WMU formalizes partnership with Kalamazoo Literacy Council

Contact: Deanne Puca

Adult Literacy and Training Symposium Friday, Dec. 10.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Western Michigan University and the Kalamazoo Literacy Council have announced a new collaboration to improve the state of adult literacy in the region.

The partnership—signed by WMU President Edward Montgomery; Kara Wood, associate vice president for community partnerships; and Michael Evans, executive director of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council—formalizes and strengthens the work the two organizations have been engaged in together for the past decade. Since 2011, both organizations have been collaborating in a variety of areas to explore best practices for adult literacy instruction, develop service-learning and internship opportunities for students and define relevant areas of research to expand the breadth of knowledge on the issue of adult literacy.

“Western Michigan University has had a history of dedicating efforts to promote civic engagement in our community. This agreement will help us to strengthen our efforts not only in civic engagement but in social responsibility and shared prosperity by formalizing our already robust collaboration with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council,” Montgomery says.

Montgomery will formally announce the partnership during his welcome address at the 2021 Adult Literacy Research and Training Symposium from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, at the Fetzer Center and online. This free, annual symposium, “Fostering Leadership and Equity Through Adult Literacy,” facilitates cooperation between the academic research of best practices in adult literacy and community-based application of this knowledge. 

The event is open to the public and participants may qualify for State Continuing Education Clock Hours. To attend in person, register by Monday, Nov. 29; to attend virtually, register by Wednesday, Dec. 8. Find more details and register.

The Kalamazoo Literacy Council is a volunteer-led, nonprofit agency providing free education services to adults with low literacy. Programs include English as a second language, health literacy, parent literacy and workforce literacy. It also provides one-on-one tutoring, computer, writing and language classes to empower adults to reach their full potential as employees, parents and community members.

“The Kalamazoo Literacy Council educates the public about the needs of adults who struggle to read. One of our strategies is to build collaboration with our community partners, such as WMU. This agreement with WMU will help us to go even further in achieving our goal of making Kalamazoo County a fully literate community,” says Evans.

For more information, contact Kito Jumanne-Marshall, marketing and fund development coordinator, at kjumanne-marshall@kalamazooliteracy.org or (269) 382-0490, ext. 211.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.