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13 Reads: Solving community literacy crisis requires collaboration

13 ON YOUR SIDE heard from Melissa Moore iwth Read Muskegon to learn more about how it impacts the community and the literacy crisis in Muskegon County.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — You cannot do it alone. That’s the reality about trying to resolve West Michigan’s literacy crisis, where too many children are not making the grade when it comes to reading skills.  

Folks in Muskegon County called together a group of concerned parties, from government agencies and educators to nonprofit organizations and community members, to form the Muskegon County Literacy Coalition and the Read Muskegon program. 

Their goal is to create the conditions for initial, sustainable, and dramatic improvements in the literacy of all people, birth through adulthood. 

One in six adults in the U.S. is functionally illiterate -- meaning reading at or below the 4th grade level. 

In Muskegon County, that translates to more than 21,000 adults. The adverse effects of illiteracy are felt in our economic, education, criminal justice, and healthcare systems. Kids with parents who have low literacy skills, have a 72% chance of landing in the lowest reading levels themselves, according to ProLiteracy

Read Muskegon is breaking the generational cycle of illiteracy by providing customized programs that meet the unique needs of our learners and building community partnerships to maximize our impact. 

Read Muskegon addresses adult illiteracy by offering standardized tutor training, 1-1 tutors, literacy labs, partnering with local agencies to get parents with young children reading support, create links within in the community with organizations like the Lakeshore Literacy Coalition, West Michigan Works!, Great Start to Quality, Community enCompass and the Community Coordinating Council. 

For more information about Read Muskegon, visit readmuskegon.org/

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