Augusta K. Levy
The Learning Center is named for Augusta K. Levy. Levy, who was known as "Gussie" to her friends and colleagues. Gussie was a longtime teacher and lifelong learner who epitomized the skill and commitment needed to teach children that had previously been labeled as unteachable.
Gussie was selfless and unassuming with a brilliant mind. She was tenacious in overcoming the obstacles she faced in educating underserviced children. She taught at public schools in the poorest Brooklyn neighborhoods. She became well-known for guiding particularly challenging students into literacy, and she was appointed to a created position as a specialized reading teacher. Students in any grade who had trouble reading, and who were labeled as failures, were sent to her class.
She developed specific methods of teaching students at various levels of ability and deficiency that included a peer tutoring system which helped to develop skills further, increase self-confidence and improve behavior. She was an early advocate of a multi-sensory approach to teaching as she recognized that each child learns best through different sensory modalities: visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic.
After the death of her husband Benjamin, she relocated to Maryland to be near her family. In her 70's, Gussie took courses toward a Master's degree at the University of Maryland. Her purpose was to gain the accreditation needed to develop programs to help public school teachers succeed in teaching language arts where other systems had failed these children, many of which had unique challenges. Sadly, illness cut short this goal. In her late 80's and early 90's, she served as a volunteer in the Ivymount School for exceptional children in Rockville, Maryland, where she continued to inspire children and to mentor other teachers.
Augusta Levy passed away in 1998, but not before helping countless children gain in the gift of literacy. She showed by her life that everyone could learn if given a real chance.