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New Staff: Welcome Andre & Mike!

We are excited to welcome two new staff members to the Read Muskegon family.

 

Andre Pierce, Program Assistant

Andre brings a variety of skills and experiences to Read Muskegon that will be valuable in helping us to continue to grow our programs and reach those who most need our services.  A graduate of Muskegon Heights High School, Andre previously worked as a Community Health Connector for Hackley Community Care where he was responsible for connecting inmates in the Muskegon County Jail with critical resources that they would need upon release such as health care, insurance and housing.  At Read Muskegon, Andre will help us reach deeper into our local communities to recruit, train and support both learners and volunteers.  He will also help to coordinate our Family Literacy programs and the Project Fatherhood Book Club.

 

Mike Wyant, Adult Literacy Instructor

Mike brings years of classroom experience and a passion for teaching non-traditional learners to his new role at Read Muskegon.  He interjects his teaching with personal experiences like his love for history and his adventures at NASA’s Space Camp.  Mike teaches our Job Skills and English as a Second Language classes at Read Muskegon.  You’ll also find him out in the community teaching our workforce development & functional literacy classes at the EXIT program, Muskegon County Jail, and West MI Works.  On Tuesday evenings, he oversees our Drop-In Tutoring program for K-12 students and their parents.

Project Fatherhood Book Club

 

 

“Just because it’s easier to build strong children than repair broken men, doesn’t mean we leave men broken.”  – Jason Wilson, Cry Like A Man

 

Literacy is about more than the ability to read words. It’s about using the power of those words to change the course of your life: to participate in your community, to achieve your goals, to create a better future for your children. That is the foundation of the Project Fatherhood Book Club, a weekly gathering of fathers hosted by Read Muskegon that engages men in reading books that provoke intense and often difficult conversations with a goal of changing life outcomes for the participants, their children and their larger community.

In 2010, former gang member turned community activist Big Mike Cummings asked UCLA gang expert Jorja Leap to co-lead a group of men struggling to be better fathers in Watts, South LA, a neighborhood long burdened with a legacy of racialized poverty, violence, and incarceration. These men came together each week to help one another answer the question ‘How can I be a good father when I’ve never had one?’ The book Project Fatherhood follows the lives of the men as they struggle with the pain of their own losses, the pressures of poverty and unemployment, and the desire to do better for the next generation. Recognizing similar struggles exist for men here in Muskegon County, the book became the inspiration for Read Muskegon’s Project Fatherhood Book Club.

 

          

 

 

The Project Fatherhood Book Club began in 2019 with a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion grant from the Anton Family Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. They funded the first 8-week session. As the group grew, the dads let us know that the book club needed to continue. Read Muskegon, along with our partner, Dads on Deck, has committed to making that happen.  Our focus is to empower participants to break the generational cycles of illiteracy, incarceration and poverty.

The Project Fatherhood Book Club meets in 8-week sessions with each session focused on a book selected by the participants.  Shared reading aloud from the book, discussion, and journaling are be incorporated into each session with a focus on using written text as the catalyst for processing difficult issues, expressing thoughts and feelings in a constructive manner, and setting personal goals. Read Muskegon’s instructor facilitates the process of shared reading in a way that is sensitive to all reading levels. Each week also incorporates a guest speaker or shared information that focuses on one of the social determinants of health such as: the importance of physical & mental health, cooperative parenting, father activity/fun time, financial literacy & stability, advocacy and engagement in children’s education. Participants who would like to receive extra reading support can meet one on one with a Read Muskegon tutor or staff member.

We need the financial support of our community to make this happen. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to support the book club through 2020. Funds will cover books, food, facilitators, materials, and family & community events developed by the dads. Please consider supporting this group of fathers who are working hard to change the outcomes for the next generation.

Click Here to Donate

 

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Our Spring 2017 Newsletter is all about our move to Muskegon Heights and the opening of our Family Literacy Center.  Click on the link below to read all about it!

 

Spring 2017 Newsletter

Read Muskegon to relocate to Downtown Muskegon Heights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Read Muskegon to relocate to Downtown Muskegon Heights

In partnership with the City of Muskegon Heights Downtown Development Authority, local non-profit organization Read Muskegon will open a Family Literacy Center at 26 East Broadway in the spring of 2017.  The center will act as a countywide hub for literacy with a focus on providing programming for low-literacy adults and their 0-5 year-old children.

Read Muskegon will be the first organization to partner with the Downtown Development Authority to invigorate commercial corridors in Muskegon Heights. As Read Muskegon brings its programs and administrative offices to the new site, it also brings its volunteers and partners, allowing them to see firsthand the opportunities that exist in the City.

According to Melissa Moore, President of Read Muskegon, “Opening a literacy center that is accessible to many of our learners with the most critical needs has been at the core of Read Muskegon’s long-term planning.  We are excited about all of the opportunities that relocating to the heart of the Muskegon Heights downtown will bring with it.”

The menu of services offered at the Literacy Center will include:

  • 1-1 tutoring
  • Small group classes focused on improving functional literacy, job readiness and instruction for parents on how to engage in early literacy development with their children
  • English as a Second Language small group class focused on job readiness, functional literacy and developing early literacy in children
  • Literacy based Play & Learn groups for low-literacy parents and 0-5 year-olds
  • Literacy based ABC’s of Cooking, a six-week parent and child healthy cooking workshop for low-literacy parents and 0-5 year-olds
  • Drop-in Literacy Lab tutoring
  • Family Reading Corner open 5 days a week

Additionally, Read Muskegon will offer community-based Family Literacy activities and book distribution at the Height’s Farmer’s Market, family movie nights, and other community events.

“The DDA Board has been extremely proactive in assisting the City with our economic development efforts, and will play a key role moving forward as we work to establish viability and diversity in our offerings downtown. We at the City of Muskegon Heights are thrilled to see Read Muskegon making an investment in our downtown, and are confident they will make a great impact in our community,” said City Manager Jake Eckholm.

One in six adults in the United States is functionally illiterate, 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 health care systems.  Read Muskegon is focused on breaking the generational cycle of illiteracy by providing customized programs that meet the unique needs of their learners.

Contact:

Melissa Moore

231-830-5539

melissa.moore@readmuskegon.org

 

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