Muskegon Metro Area News
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We are proud partners with the United Way of the Lakeshore and we work in unison with them to share the work that goes on in a little more detail as the United Way is one large endeavor that's reach is so extensive, some of the work may not be noticed.  This time, it's an organization really close to all of use here at the Muskegon Channel, Read Muskegon. 


Read Muskegon came from the humblest of beginnings.  Literally, one room in the upper level of a church in Downtown Muskegon.  As we'd all like to think literacy isn't a problem here in Muskegon and around the rest of the country, the sad reality of it is that one in six adults in the USA is functionally illiterate.  This problem leads to things like adverse effects on the economy, education, criminal justice and health care.  It's the elephant in the room and most just like to sweep it under the rug.  So much so that literacy issues have become generational and if parents or grand parents can't read, the chance of the next generation following in their footsteps increases dramatically as the support at home to help new readers is just not there. 

Well, Read Muskegon is piloting a new program in Muskegon coming up.  The Family Empowerment Program runs from April 11th-June 10th and will spread throughout the community after the first run.  From the Read Muskegon press release - "Read Muskegon, in partnership with the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), is bringing the researched-based Family Service Learning (FSL) model to Muskegon Heights through our Family Empowerment Program. This program is a national model focused on project based learning through community-led service. It has been shown to engage families in building content knowledge, work- based skills, leadership skills, and in increasing self-efficacy and social networks. FSL provides family engagement that simultaneously connects participants to adult education and PK-12 learning objectives through a six-step process. The six program components are: investigation, planning & preparation, action, reflection, demonstration and celebration of results, and sustainability. It is an effective method for youth and adults to gain college and career readiness skills, an opportunity for families to learn together through Parent and Child Together (PACT) Time, and empowers families to become a part of the solution to their own communities' problems. The pilot program will be 8 weeks long and serve 10 families. Families will meet weekly as a group and individually with their mentors. Participants will all be eligible to receive incentives such as gas cards, groceries, household supplies, and gift cards in an effort to remove some of the barriers they may be experiencing. Childcare will be provided during programming for children too young to participate."

Not only is this an exciting way to help promote literacy, it's a way to bring families closer together and share the experience of learning with a little assistance via the incentives offered and make a turn in the right direction to put a break in the cycle of literacy issues.  It's not an over night fix, but it's not an over night problem that got us here either. 

Melissa Moore is the Executive Director of Read Muskegon and we spent some time in a detailed conversation about the Family Empowerment Program as well as how this grass roots agency has grown in Muskegon to be a lasting and essential part of our community.  Take a listen.


We are so very fortunate to have an organization like Read Muskegon to help our community directly with reading.  From helping adults who have slipped through the cracks their entire life, to kids and families who can work together for the greater good and even into English as a second language, Read Muskegon is there.  To Learn more about Read Muskegon and the work they do, click on their logo below and visit them online.  Get involved.  Help if you can read, and if you know someone who's limited, send them that way to find that assistance from a truly caring group who wants nothing more than to help build success for all of us in Muskegon. 


read muskegon