Wednesday, February 18, 2009

AVKO Turns 35 in 2009!

2009 marks the 35th Anniversary of The AVKO Educational Research Foundation. Don waxes nostalgic and shares a few of his thoughts on this great milestone:
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I remember when I was a kid, I thought 35 was ancient. Well, now that I’ve reached the double lucky 77, I think 35 is very young indeed. Here I was barely 42, already ancient when I and some of my close friends and relatives founded the AVKO Educational Research Foundation. We knew, or at least thought we knew, what we were about to create. We hoped to start an organization that would do real research into the problems of why so many kids end up being very poor readers by the time they are old enough to leave school. That was the reason we wanted the words Educational Research to be part of our name.

We decided on going the non-profit route with the great expectations (Sorry, Charles Dickens) of being able to qualify for government grants and certainly charitable grants from large philanthropic organizations, such as the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Because we wanted the name to reflect our non-profit status, we thought the word Foundation, should be there somewhere. That gave us Educational Research Foundation, Inc. Although that seemed to describe what we intended to be, it seemed to need a name such as Ford, Mott, or Smith. The McCabe Educational Research Foundation was suggested, but I quickly vetoed that idea. I wanted the accent to be on what we were about, not on me. Then one of our small group suggested creating an acronym for the name, one that would help better reflect our multi-sensory approach to teaching, one that utilized Visual, Audio, Kinesthetic, and Oral methods. But that spelled out VAKO which sounded too much like wacko. But with a nice dyslexic reversal of VA to AV we got AVKO—The AVKO Educational Research Foundation.....

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