By Kelly Higginbotham
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The Educational Information and Resource Center-South and the Learning Resource Center offer services to area residents and groups in the Camden County College library in Blackwood.
Both centers have been operating on the college’s Blackwood campus since August 2016 and are on the third floor of the Wolverton Library. The EIRC specializes in education-related programs and services for parents, schools, communities, nonprofit organizations and privately held businesses throughout New Jersey. The LRC specializes in special education as well as other educational resources.
Learning Resource Center
Those who pay a $2 annual membership fee have access to the Learning Resource Center’s library resources and production services. The production area of the center provides a place where LRC members can make classroom posters, bulletin boards, standards-based activities and other materials. This station provides services such as color poster printing, lamination, boardmaker software, button maker, binding machine, die-cuts and public computers. The center attracts teachers because they can get all the supplies they need for the classroom there.
The LRC focuses on special education, but anyone can join. It has supplies for anyone ranging from pre-school level to age 21.
Jason Verdone, the van outreach consultant for LRC, said the center is funded by the state Department of Education and is not for profit. Verdone delivers LRC materials and supplies to schools and daycare centers.
“We charge what it costs us (for supplies),” Verdone stated.
Andrea Martin, a special-needs high school teacher and home-schooling parent, recently visited the LRC for the first time. Martin, who has been a teacher for 16 years, said she would be taking many supplies and resources from the center to help her with home-schooling her two daughters and with teaching in her high school classroom. She said she heard about the LRC because she went to Rowan University, which also has an LRC, and because family members have talked about it.
“I really am loving the different variety the center has,” Martin stated. “I can definitely see stuff from here helping with both home-schooling and regular schooling.”
Educational Information and Resource Center
EIRC makes a promise to improve the education, safety, physical and emotional health of children, according to the center’s website. The center offers support services to individuals who teach, raise, care and mentor children. This includes administrators, educators and parents. The center also provides teacher evaluations and holds post-observation conferences.
EIRC representatives declined requests for comment, saying they were too busy.