According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Calhoun County has, at a minimum, 10,800 adults who do not read at the basic level.
What does this mean?
This means they struggle with the most basic activities of daily living such as filling out a job application, reading a story to their child, decoding the information on a prescription bottle, finding an address on a road map, or following simple written instructions. This impacts their lives and the lives of their children in a vast number of ways.
Without functional literacy achieving economic self-sufficiency becomes extremely difficult, creating a family that values education and demonstrates it in their everyday lives is unlikely. The generational impact of low literacy is real and keeps us, as a community, from fully realizing our human potential.
E3 Achievement, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower youth and adults to create a better future through education, career exploration, experiential learning, entrepreneurship and connection to meaningful careers. We serve both youth and adults with special focus on at-risk youth, individuals with disabilities, and those with barriers to employment. A great many of the people we serve struggle with low literacy. It is this fact that acted as a catalyst for us to explore what local assets were currently available and to begin formulating a plan to strengthen this community resource.
So, what is the solution in Calhoun County?
When researching the availability of literacy programs currently active in the greater Battle Creek area, E3 Achievement found that an organized system to work with individuals with low reading attainment levels was no longer active. So, E3 Achievement made the commitment to reactivate this critically important component of adult education.
To date, E3 has partnered with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, the Regional Prosperity Initiative, the Battle Creek Community Foundation and the Binda Foundation to begin this work.
Since March 2016, two Community Literacy Centers have been formed, our first tutors have been trained and we are performing outreach to the community.
E3 Achievement is actively seeking additional people with an interest in becoming a reading tutor, small classroom instructor or literacy advocate. Training is provided and teaching background is not a requirement. We are also seeking organizations interested in a partnership to host additional Community Literacy Center sites. Our goal is to create a cadre of 60+ tutors and have 5 additional tutoring sites by 2018.
We are also hosting a fundraising event on November 3, 2016 called Read Between the Wines, at Riverside Golf Club. Please join us for this opportunity to support local literacy programming.
For more information, please call E3 Achievement at 269-924-7247.
You can make a difference in someone’s life.