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Community Literacy Summit seeks to improve literacy in Grand Rapids

The Community Literacy Summit seeks to develop a community that is 100% literate by helping participants learn about, understand, and implement best practices to overcome barriers to literacy.
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About the Community Literacy Initiative

The Community Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a literacy coalition that seeks to empower community leaders, parents, and residents to improve literacy for all ages in West Michigan.  CLI is a new formation of the coalition formerly known as Greater Grand Rapids Reads. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is honored to facilitate CLI, to provide staffing and resources to the work of the coalition, and to collaborate with volunteers who were involved with the coalition in the past.

 

CLI is currently funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation and the Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation. The coalition targeted the Central and West Hope Zone neighborhoods during its pilot year (2011-2012), is currently working in the East Hope Zone (2012-2013), and will expand to the South Hope Zone next year (2013-2014).  We partner with community organizations to ensure coordination of efforts in the Hope Zones. CLI will work with all of West Michigan as appropriate.

The Literacy Center of West Michigan’s Community Literacy Initiative will host the second Community Literacy Summit on Wednesday, September 25 at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center, 1607 Robinson Avenue.  The Community Literacy Summit seeks to develop a community that is 100% literate by helping participants learn about, understand, and implement best practices to overcome barriers to literacy.

The Summit will feature workshops on age specific literacy, working with schools, English as a Second Language (ESL) and many other topics related to literacy.  Hedy Chang, director at Attendance Works, will deliver the keynote address.  Attendance Works is a national and state level initiative aimed at advancing student success by addressing chronic absence.

Over 30 million adults in the United States cannot read or write better than a third grader.  The low literacy rate of adults in Grand Rapids is 22% and 14% in Kent County.  Children who do not read at a proficient level by the third grade are more likely to drop out of high school, not attend college, and become low literate adults.  Studies have shown that adults with low literacy skills are more likely to live in poverty, be unemployed, and suffer from poor health conditions.

The Community Literacy Summit is open to the community.  Everyone has a stake in literacy. Whether you’re a parent, an employer, an educator, a health care provider or other service provider, you can be part of the solution.

Registration for the Community Literacy Summit is $35.00 and includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and workshop materials.   Register online at http://cls2013.eventbrite.com or download a registration packet at www.literacycenterwm.org/cls2013.

 

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