How to Help a Michigan Child – or Adult – Learn to Read

Under the Michigan Department of Education’s Culture of Reading program, a donation of as little as $5.50 can get a book in the hands of a child or adult who can’t read.

The new Culture of Reading program developed by the Michigan Department of Education coordinates private donations to help improve literacy rates among children and adults in the state. (Patch file photo)
The new Culture of Reading program developed by the Michigan Department of Education coordinates private donations to help improve literacy rates among children and adults in the state. (Patch file photo)

Low-income children around Michigan will be receiving free books and reading instruction this year through the newly-developed Culture of Reading program at the Michigan Department of Education.

The program is designed to coordinate private donations to help build a culture of reading in Michigan, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said.

“There are too many people, including children and adults, who cannot read,” Flanagan said. “We need that to change. To help build a culture of reading in Michigan, we need to get books in their hands and in their homes.”

Flanagan said the Culture of Reading program provides an opportunity for people to have a meaningful impact on a child’s future with minimal investment.

“A donation of as little of $5.50 will get a book into the hands of a needy child,” he said.

A coordinated, single donation collection system has been developed through the Library of Michigan Foundation to accept contributions from individuals; businesses; and groups, clubs and civic organizations for the express purpose of providing children’s books to young readers in low-income homes.

“The earlier a child is introduced to reading, the better chance they have of success in school and life,” Flanagan said. “Too many kids don’t have their own books to have and read at home when they want to. We have developed a vehicle to not only get them books, but engage their teachers and parents in the process.”

In partnership with the Library of Michigan’s Michigan Reads! program, the Michigan Department of Education will be establishing a grant opportunity that will provide copies of this year’s Michigan Reads! book to children in low-income communities, through their classrooms and early childhood programs, based on their educators’ commitment to use the books to promote scientifically-based reading instruction and/or family engagement activities focused on literacy.

The number of classrooms and early childhood programs that will receive these free books will be dependent on available resources. That’s where the public can help, Flanagan said.

“Reading is the foundation of learning and success,” Flanagan said. “Building a reading culture in every corner of this state will build a stronger Michigan for generations, and help foster a lifetime love of reading by our children.”

Generating resources for early childhood literacy, and building a culture of reading, will help Michigan attain the goal of having all children proficient in reading by the end of the third grade, Flanagan added.

>>> To make an online donation or find out how to donate with a check, and for other information, click here.

Elizabeth March 24, 2014 at 04:06 PM
In the past, I wouldn't hesitate about donating to a reading program like this one. However, with Common Core being pushed everywhere (it's a TERRIBLE program), I wonder what sort of book my child/adult would be reading. Do you have a list of books used for this reading donating program? Thank you!
Glenn March 24, 2014 at 09:11 PM
You're very wise to be concerned about what specific books will be provided by this program before deciding to part with your hard earned $5.50 to fight illiteracy Elizabeth. After all, we don't want people learning to read if they're not going to be reading the "right" kind of material do we? Anyway, here's the list of books you asked for. Hope it helps!! 1. Goodnight Bush: A Parody by Erich Origen 2. The Truth (with jokes) by Al Franken 3. 449 Stupid Things Republics have Said by Ted Rueter 4. The Sinner's Guide to the Evangelical Right by Robert Lanham 5. Bush at War with the English Language by Jacob Weisberg 6. Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P. Pierce. 7. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 8. The End of Faith by Sam Harris 9. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler 10. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
Elizabeth March 26, 2014 at 06:52 PM
You left out Dreams From My Father, Audacity of Hope and Heather Has Two Mommies. Glenn....this was a legitimate question and your response was sophomoric.


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