The Rapidian

Adult learners from the Literacy Center of West Michigan share their writing

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Learners enrolled in the Family Literacy Program, at West Godwin Elementary, practiced their writing skills by writing encouraging letters to their children.

More about the Family Literacy Program

The Family Literacy Program at the Literacy Center of West Michigan is a collaboration with Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools. Learners with children enrolled in these districts can attend classes, where they will increase their English literacy skills and better support their children's academics. Every month, they also have the opportunity to attend a Family Activity Night at their school, with their family. There, they will share a meal with classmates and complete a fun, literacy-based activity. 

For more information about the Family Literacy Program, please visit

/Literacy Center of West Michigan

In my English language learners (ELL) class at West Godwin Elementary we have been working on letters to the learners' children. They have learned to talk about their own goals, as well as the goals of others, in past, present, and future tense. We also had a lesson on words of encouragement, where the learners translated the words they use to encourage their children in their own language into English. The lesson highlighted the importance of supporting their children, which prompted us to start this class project.

The learners wanted to remain anonymous, but to have their writing shared with others. I am very proud of the progress and revisions they have made – they are all very dedicated to learning. - Carrie Roper, AmeriCorps ELL Instructor


Dear Hong,

I want my child to learn from me. I want to help my family and help other people. I want to read a book. I want to write comfortably. 

You want to become a teacher. You want to be a Bible teacher. You are a beautiful girl. You try to be a good person. You believe in God. You go to church. You help other people. She learns everything.

I like your enthusiasm.You can do this. I am proud of you. I want to be your goal.

-English language learner, West Godwin Elementary


Dear Jose,

Thank you for completing the football season. I am so proud of you. I remember the day when I signed your name for this sport; you were upset.  Those days were very hot in the summer your first week. But that day was the worst and you said “Mom, this is tough, I don’t want to do it”. I said to you “Finish this week and we will talk about it at home”. Then you had your first game and I saw happiness on your face. We didn’t talk anymore about quitting. On the contrary, you were focused and precise on every practice that you had. When the season was over you said I am definitely signing up for next year. I want you to know that I am very happy and proud of you, this was your first goal in your life and you completed it with enthusiasm.

Many goals like this one will come in your life and I will be here by your side to support you, like the day when you wanted to enjoy the basketball game. Unfortunately you were not ready for it. You did not play this sport before, so when the coach selected the players you were not able to make the team. That day my friend picked you up from school. When you got home, you started to cry. It broke my heart seeing you crying. I want you to practice basketball, so I been looking for places so you can have the opportunity to learn. I don’t want you to feel down, I know you can do it!  I want to support you on every dream that you want to accomplish, because if you are prepared and educate yourself, you will be able to complete any goal in your life.

With love,

Your mother

-English language learner, West Godwin Elementary


Dear Son,

You are the love of my life, you are a very smart kid. Everything you want, you can do. You only have to study hard.

I love you and will always be here to support you. I know that you want to learn how to swim and now that we have our membership to the Y.M.C.A., you will be able to complete your goal. You know that your dreams are my dreams too. And I will be here to support you

-English language learner, West Godwin Elementary


Dear Karen,

When I was young, my goal was to go to school and graduate. Striving to achieve my goal, sacrificing myself and perform my tasks. I will helpyou by motivating you to continue to study and not give up. Everything needs an effort, sacrifice, and encouragement by telling you you can do it. You're smart and your family is supporting you. And especially God is your guide.

-English language learner, West Godwin Elementary

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