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Muskegon Reads to debut 'transformative' new literacy program

The organization will launch a pilot of its 'Family Empowerment Program' in Muskegon Heights.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. — Muskegon Heights-based literacy organization Muskegon Reads will debut a comprehensive new literacy initiative dubbed 'the Family Empowerment Program' in April.

Muskegon Reads said the program would be based on a national model known as "family service learning".

Families involved in the pilot program will form groups and with the help of mentors, take on various projects throughout the community utilizing relevant skills in the process.

Program organizers said it would help participants hone those skills, improve literacy and gain access to other resources, including gas cards and help with groceries as well.

Read Muskegon said the potential upside goes well beyond picking up a book.

"What people visualize of literacy is very narrow. It's not just about reading," Melissa Moore of Read Muskegon related. "Literacy is really about taking the skills of reading, and putting them to work to move your life forward, to engage more in your community. So it means managing your health, it means getting better jobs, it means helping your kids be successful in school."

The initial ten families are in the process of being selected.

If deemed a success following its launch in April, the organization said it ultimately planned to take the effort countywide. 

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