Dec. 9 symposium promotes neighborhood-based literacy and learning in Kalamazoo

Contact: Paula M. Davis

Cultivating literacy and learning at the neighborhood level, Adult Literacy Research and Training Symposium.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC), in partnership with Western, will host the annual Adult Literacy Research and Training Symposium on Friday, Dec. 9, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at WMU’s Fetzer Center. This year’s theme is "Cultivating Literacy and Learning at the Neighborhood Level."

To register as well as view the agenda and presenter bios, visit For in-person attendance, please register by Friday, Dec. 2. Those who will attend virtually should register by Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Attendees will enjoy insightful sessions on strategies and best practices that demonstrate and encourage learning and equity for adults and their families in the neighborhoods where they live, work and play. The event features a welcome address by Dr. Deveta Gardner, associate dean for Merze Tate College at WMU. Presentations will highlight success stories in parent literacy and multigenerational learning, digital literacy, English as a second language, and health literacy.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Karika Parker, community/university fellow, on the EDIsON “Education Is On” initiative, which serves to transform the Edison neighborhood into a vibrant learning campus.

“We believe literacy should be alive and present in every neighborhood for learners of all ages,” Michael Evans, KLC executive director, says. “The community/university partnership we have had with WMU has created some incredible opportunities for adults to learn with their families. We believe literacy is a right everyone should have and look forward to sharing what we’ve learned over the past year.”

Lisa Garcia, WMU assistant vice president for community partnerships, adds that this year’s symposium “is a testament to all the important work being done through WMU’s continued collaboration with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council. The sessions at the symposium will highlight many wonderful examples of our dynamic university/community partnership.”

The symposium is free and open to anyone interested in supporting adult literacy, from experienced volunteer tutors and instructors to individuals who want to learn more about how they can serve this important cause, particularly during a time of virtual learning. Students are also invited to learn about volunteer and internship opportunities. A catered lunch is included.

About the kalamazoo literacy council

The KLC 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. Learn more about

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