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Literacy Center of West Michigan

Contact Information

1120 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

(616) 459-5151

Focus Areas

  • Education & Youth

Bringing about a just and vibrant West Michigan through the power of literacy.

  • About Us
    Our mission statement is the Literacy Center’s commitment to making West Michigan a region known for being one of the most highly-literate areas in the country.

    To this end, the Literacy Center works with adults, both native speakers and English language learners, who struggle with literacy skills and read below a 9th grade level. Our learners can engage with the Literacy Center through one-on-one tutoring, work-related classes, and/or family literacy activities. The Literacy Center served 963 adults in the 2014-2015 program year, utilizing almost 300 volunteers, and yet the need is still great. With 1 in 8 adults in Kent County struggling with low literacy, the Literacy Center is eager to grow its capacity to serve even more learners and draw attention to the crucial issue of low literacy among adults in our community.
  • Our Impact
    Improving literacy skills produces extremely positive outcomes for our community. Studies have shown that low literacy has an impact on the economy, poverty, and crime.

    Our adult learners who improve their literacy skills are able to:
    • Obtain higher paying jobs.
    • Participate in their child’s education.
    • Pursue higher education or certification.
    • Stop the cycle of low literacy in their family.

Positions at Literacy Center of West Michigan

Literacy Center of West Michigan Programs

Family Literacy Program

One of the greatest indicators of a child’s future success is the reading level of the parent. Our Family Literacy Program works to improve the literacy skills of Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools parents in order to help them raise strong and successful readers. Our Family Literacy Program provides free English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to parents whose children attend participating schools. Our program follows the model of the National Center for Family Literacy, and has four components to offer comprehensive services: Parent Education: Parents attend weekly English classes to improve their reading, writing, and conversation skills, with instruction provided by highly-trained AmeriCorps members. Children’s Education: Children attend one of our participating schools in order to receive high-quality education. Parent Time: Parents learn about the importance of getting involved in their children’s lives. They learn ways to promote literacy in the home, and are encouraged to interact more with the school: speaking with teachers, attending parent-teacher conferences, volunteering, and helping with homework. Parent and Child Together (PACT): Monthly Family Activity Nights are offered for our families. Parents and children come together to learn more about literacy activities, and to practice reading together.