Read Muskegon has grown into an organization focused on literacy in Muskegon County and all aspects of what causes literacy to fall behind from the very beginning of a persons life. Even pre-natal care is being proven to play an integral role in the development of a child's ability to read at the earliest ages and if the foundations of reading are missed early on, catching up is nearly an impossible task. The frightening reality? From the Read Muskegon Website "In 2014, 61.76% of the learner’s being tutored by Read Muskegon volunteers read at or below a 4th grade level and 20.56% read at or below a 1st grade level. Illiteracy is not just about reading, it’s at the root of what keeps many adults stuck in the cycle of poverty. The ability to read impacts almost every aspect of someone’s life."
Advocacy on behalf of those who are in need of the help to achieve functional literacy has gone past reading tutors. Read Muskegon has partnered with Michigan’s Children and the Michigan Adult, Community, and Alternative Education Association (MACAE) to present a candidate forum at the Covenant Community Church on September 26th at 5pm. This event will be streamed live on the Muskegon Channel LIVE website as well as the Read Muskegon's Facebook Page and will be welcoming candidates from local, state and national races to address their stance on literacy and what they are working on or promising to work toward if elected. This is not a debate, it's an informative discussion to share ideas and goals. Melissa Moore is the Executive Director or Read Muskegon and joins to talk about what's to come.
You are welcome to attend in person or view online. It's an important discussion and it's a topic that should really be given a lot of deep thought as we think about the future of our community and country. We see so much of the "loud stuff" that people use to get our attention over issues. Are they the roots? Poverty? Where does it begin and how do we best break the cycle? Crime? Does it stem from illiteracy? Yes...it does. Welfare, lack of employability, increased healthcare costs and more....it can all be traced back to illiteracy. Asking a candidate what they are planning to do about global market crisis is one thing, but let's find out what they plan to do about what really matters here at home.
Read Muskegon's reach and depth has grown SO much since we first met with them years ago. Their outreach not only is in to assisting low literacy people but English as a second language, the ABC's of Cooking...outreach into the jail and Exit Program in Muskegon. The work of Read Muskegon is a vital part of the future for all of us and to know where candidates stand on it and how to support literacy. Don't forget to tune in to see where they stand Monday, September 16th at 5pm.