Peggy Feagin began her career at Pratt Institute in December 1999, as the Financial Aid Department’s Administrative Information Specialist and Assistant to the Director of Financial Aid. Prior to arriving at Pratt Institute, Peggy served as the Assistant Director of Admissions at the famed Art Institute of New York from 1993-1999. In 2000, Peggy was given the task of establishing Pratt Institute’s first America Reads/Counts program. America Reads/Counts is a federal program that addresses the problem of failing literacy scores in our nation’s schools through tutoring. This Clinton initiative pays college students through work-study dollars to tutor children pre-school to elementary children free of charge to the agency of school in reading and math. The America Reads/Counts program provides personal instruction and mentoring services that strengthen reading and math skills so children can read independently and are performing at grade level by 3rd grade.
Pratt Institute’s America Reads/Counts initiative differs from the other programs administered by the other 1,400 participating colleges. Peggy has expanded service options to include creative and unique enhancements that support the learning needs of young school-aged children. These enhancements include: Costumed Reads, Read-A-Loud in Pratt’s gym hosting over 600 children; the Black Cowboys history show; American Sign Language for tutors and children; Foreign Language instruction taught to children by Pratt student-tutors; A Tutor Award ceremony that hosts over 500 people including Mary Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President, Community leaders, Dr. Thomas Schutte, President of Pratt Institute, parents, faculty, students and children and their families from the 30 tutoring sites. Today, the program provides service learning opportunities to 75 Pratt students who deliver reading and math tutorial services to 5,000 children weekly at 30 school and community based sites, including day care centers, head start programs, and schools which provide specialized services to students who are visually and hearing impaired. Another unique component of Pratt’s America Reads/Counts Program instituted by Peggy is called Saturday Tutoring where one hundred neighborhood children gather once a month to learn Reading, Math, Foreign Languages, Braille and American Sign Language. Peggy’s newly formed Teen division is learning Shakespeare and participating in spelling Bee’s using SAT words. Peggy graduated with honors in speech/theater from Long Island University and is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt’s School of Library Science. Peggy is passionate about education, providing students of all ages with the resources and services they need to be successful in school. Peggy is always seeking to develop new and innovative activities that support the learning needs of children and provide college students with access to resources that emphasize the importance of life long learning and community service.