With 29% of Genesee County fourth graders reading below Michigan standards, and up to 10% of adult residents reading below optimal levels, low literacy remains a concern throughout our region.
Challenges such as this require a strategic, far-reaching approach. In 2014, several organizations in Flint and Genesee County joined forces to shape a new future of literacy for our community. We continue to support the organization that began from that initial gathering: The Flint and Genesee Literacy Network (FGLN).
FGLN now connects more than 300 community stakeholders. Through these partnerships, in the past three years, it has established a new early learning center, a two-generation literacy program, the Read While You Wait Initiative located in barbershops and beauty salons, and the Dolly Parton's Imagination Library/Flint Kids Read initiative delivering one book per month to Flint children from birth to age five.
At the Community Foundation, supporting FGLN is one of our foremost priorities. This year, the FGLN received our largest literacy programming grant of $136,547.
"The Community Foundation has been a catalyst for this work," said Ja'Nel Jamerson, FGLN Director. "It has encouraged collaboration and aligned its resources with the community's priorities. The support of the Community Foundation has allowed partners to define the scope of our work community-wide. We are now focused on scale and sustainability."
In recognition of its outstanding work, the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading recognized FGLN as a 2017 Pacesetter. The future is looking bright for literacy in Flint.