FALL 2015
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Whether I’m out in the community speaking to a group or sitting at my computer writing grants to fund our work, I spend a lot of time using big picture statistics to help others understand the scope of the adult illiteracy issue. 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. can't read better than the average 3rd grader. Over 21,000 adults in Muskegon County. 75% of U.S. prison inmates. It’s easy to forget that those numbers represent individuals, thousands of unique stories. 

Who are some of those individuals?

Carl came to Read Muskegon a year ago through our partnership with MI Works.  The father of a young daughter, he wasn’t able to recognize some of the letters of the alphabet and didn’t think he would ever be a reader.  Today, he is reading at the 4th grade level, continues to attend weekly classes, and is able to read with his daughter.

Kirk is a father and employed as a custodian.  When he came to us, he was reading at the 2nd grade level and was not able to read aloud with his son.  A year later, he is reading at the 5th grade level, enjoys reading with his son, and has decided he wants to continue to improve his reading so that he can get a better job.

Virginia is a mother of two boys and is working with a Read Muskegon tutor on improving her reading and English language skills. Recently, she wrote about her sons, "I am learning too with both of them. I like that. We do our homework together every night, reading and writing and doing math. Sometimes we play flashcards and practice making sentences. I like spending time with them. It is a happy time."

I am inspired every day by the stories of our learners. I love to share in the hope, joy,and pride that they feel when they recognize how becoming a better reader has changed their life. 

Melissa Moore, Executive Director


Read Muskegon Celebrates 10 Years of Service 
A Decade in the Books"

Over 250 people joined us at Hampton Green Farm on August 19th to celebrate Read Muskegon's 10th anniversary. A huge thank you to the Van Kampen, Boyer, Molinari Foundation for sponsoring the event, allowing 95% of the funds raised to go directly to support our programs. Thanks also to Shelley Irwin for once again acting as our emcee. Finally, thanks to all of you who came out to help us celebrate!

Check out our website for more great pictures from the event.







1st Annual Founder's Award Recipients Honored


In recognition of their years of volunteer service to Read Muskegon, Shannon Glinski, Courtney Schaub-Olsen, and Laura Gates were selected to receive the inaugural Founder's Awards from Read Muskegon.  All three women have served as board members and officers, dedicating countless hours of their time to implementing the day-to-day operations of the organization prior to the time when Read Muskegon had an Executive Director.  Their dedication and passion helped to create a strong foundation for our future.  Please help us say thank you to Shannon, Courtney and Laura!



My Secret Life
Written by a Read Muskegon Learner

For over fifty years of my life I have ducked and dodged the question, Can I Read? Now here's the funny part, I have always had a library card.  Not even the librarian knew my secret. Until Read Muskegon, I had never read a book and I was too embarrassed to ask for help.  One day at a doctor's appointment, I asked and was given the number to Read Muskegon.

Now...I am not only doing my homework, I am making time to read.  I have gone from no books read to over ten and I have three books now that I am reading.

I take my hat off to Read Muskegon.  Thank you for all you do.  I only wish that you had more Tutors because I know that there are a lot of people who need help but are too embarrassed to ask.

If you are interested in finding out more about tutoring, call our Literacy Coordinator, Sarah Klassen, at 231-766-5040.


Thanks to
The Employees Fund of
The Community Foundation for Muskegon County

for granting our wish!

Thanks to a very generous contribution from the Employees Fund at Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Read Muskegon was able to purchase recordable books for our EXIT program participants. This gift allows incarcerated fathers to record their voices directly into a book that their child can then listen to over and over again. Not only does this help to build important early literacy skills, it also helps to maintain an important bond between father and child. The Employees Fund found out about our need from the Community Foundation's Wish List - a great place to check out if you are looking for ways to donate to local programs.
Interested in getting involved in the EXIT program? 
  • Become a Read Muskegon tutor and volunteer in our class or 1-1 with a participant.
  • Work with your club, church or group of friends to donate and serve a meal for approximately 60 people at a Family Literacy dinner.
  • Collect canned goods, books, games, or puzzles that we can send home with the families.
Welcome New Board Members
Jennifer Zwemer is a Reading Specialist at Ealy Elementary School in Whitehall.  She has spent many years volunteering for a variety of community and school organizations and events including United Way, Tempting Tables, Whitehall District Schools, and the White Lake Community Fund.

Cynthia Langlois is the Workforce Training and Account Manager for the Lakeshore Business and Industry Service Center at Muskegon Community College. She holds a Master's Degree in Education, has a strong background in workforce development, and a passion for social justice.
Board of Directors

Peter Violino, President

Courtney Schaub-Olsen, Secretary

Kerry Halloran, Treasurer

Brandon Davis
Sarah Emmerson
James Geisler
Frank Kennedy
Cynthia Langlois
Field Reichardt
Merle Scolnik
Krystal Stone
Jonathan Wilson
Jane Wright

Jennifer Zwemer

Melissa Moore, Executive Director

Sarah Klassen, Coordinator

Louise Schaallema, Office Manager

Thank You To Our Funding Partners....
Copyright 2014 READ MUSKEGON, All rights reserved.
FALL 2014 Newsletter

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 1312, Muskegon, Michigan, 49443

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