Literacy Center of West Michigan
The Literacy Center works with adults, both native English speakers and English language learners, who read below a 9th grade level. We are focused on the needs of our learners — their goals, their availability, and their learning style. We offer multiple ways in which learners can engage with us, including one-on-one tutoring, work-related classes, and literacy programming designed for families.
Our Adult Tutoring Program is the original program of the Literacy Center and continues to be the backbone of the organization. Volunteer tutors work one-on-one with learners who want to develop their reading, writing, and/or conversational skills. The pairs meet two hours a week for at least six months and are fully supported by Literacy Center staff members.
The Family Literacy Program is offered in partnership with Grand Rapids Public Schools, Godwin Heights Public Schools and Head Start for Kent County. The program strengthens the connection between home and school by addressing the literacy needs of adults in children’s lives. The program teaches adults the literacy and language skills needed to break the generational cycle of low literacy.
Customized Workplace English provides contextualized English language learning for the workplace. Learners attend classes that are designed to give them the literacy skills they need for advancing, retaining, or gaining employment. Classes are available at the Literacy Center and at partner organizations and businesses in the community.
Lastly, the Literacy Center is home to the Community Literacy Initiative, a coalition of literacy providers who are working to align efforts to accelerate improvement of literacy levels in our community.
In the 2017–2018 program year, the Literacy Center instructed 800 unduplicated learners across our programs. We are on a strong trajectory of growth, but given the unmet literacy needs in our community, we urge everyone to join our effort.