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Family Literacy Program

Make reading and learning a family event!

Study after study shows that families who read together can help children boost their vocabulary and school performance. By the age of four, a child of a low literate parent will have heard 32 million fewer words than a child of a literate parent. If a member of your family needs help reading, we can help!

Our Family Literacy Program serves families with children participating in Head Start for Kent County, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Godwin Heights Public Schools.

Head Start Family Literacy Program

Any person who is at least 18 years of age and is interested in improving his/her ability to read and write or speak English.  Must be the parent or caregiver of a child attending one of our participating Head Start for Kent County programs. Learn More

 Family Literacy Program

Any person who is at least 18 years of age and is interested in improving his/her ability to speak English.  Must be the parent or guardian of a child attending one of our participating Grand Rapids Public Schools or at West Godwin Elementary. Learn more

Iglesias de Esperanza

Iglesias de Esperanza began as a collaboration between the Literacy Center of West Michigan, the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, and three neighborhood churches.  It was modeled after the Schools of Hope Family Literacy Program.  Learn More

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  • “One of our EL/Civics learners passed his citizenship test a couple of weeks ago! His hard work truly paid off but he does not plan to stop there-he is now hoping to be paired with a tutor and continue working on his English skills. We are very proud of him!” -Language Instructor
    “Yo pienso que como estamos aprendiendo es una manera fácil y sencilla de aprender inglés.” -Language Learner
    “It’s been a lot more than just a tutor/learner relationship. I have come to love this young woman.” -Tutor
    “Do you want a community where college graduates are eager to live; where opportunity is everywhere and poverty is declining? A community of promise and hope? The importance of literacy to the success of the community should not be underestimated.” -Mayor George Heartwell
    “On the last day of class, Maria told me that she had completed all of the goals she set the first day of class. Because of our program, Maria was able to find encouragement and confidence to learn from her peers and become a more confident citizen of Grand Rapids.” - Family Literacy Instructor
    “Sometimes I think I’m too tired [to be so involved], but when I see my kids, I think ‘that’s my life. I do this because I love them.’” -Language Learner
    “Ya puedo hablar en inglés cuando tengo que hacer una llamada por teléfono, para hacer una cita médica o ordenar algún articulo por teléfono.” -Language Learner
    “When I first came here, I only spoke a little bit of English. I asked myself, how can other people understand me if I don’t speak good English? So I started coming to the Literacy Center of West Michigan. Now my spoken English has improved and I can understand much more than before. I know it is very challenging to have four kids and study English at the same time, but I will try my best for my future.” –Language Learner
    “I want to encourage those who are learning English. With perseverance, you can achieve your dreams.” -Language Learner
    “I am so thankful for the opportunities this country has given me and for the Literacy Center for helping me achieve my goals.” -Language Learner
    “English class has helped me become more involved in my daughters’ schools, understand what their report cards mean, and talk to school staff.” -Language Learner
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