America’s Public schools are the entry point for success, and teachers lead the way. But they can’t do it alone. Students are with them only seven hours a day during the week. Parents take over the teaching the rest of the time. And every educational study ever conducted on how much children learn at home reaches the same conclusion. The more parents read to, with, and in front of their children, the better students their children become.

The Wege Foundation supports a program run by the Literacy Center of West Michigan that helps parents improve their own language skills so they can become better teachers to their children.

The Family Literacy Program partners with Head Start to find parents struggling with literacy who want to read better. The parents sign up for the Program knowing children from reading homes progress faster in school, and they want that for their children too. This year F.L.P. volunteers are working one-on-one with 50 of these motivated parent-learners for two hours a week.


They meet in public settings, most often libraries.  The Center is looking for more tutors who will step up for the parents on the waiting list eager to become better readers for themselves and their children.

The above video is a moving testimony from one of the parents whose life has been changed through the Family Literacy Program.  This mother of five children is helping her children succeed in school because she worked hard to become better educated herself.

She reflects the Literary Center’s vision of “Education. Expertise. Excellence.”   A motto not far from Peter Wege’s call to “Educate! Educate! Educate!”

left to right – Jessica Young, Nathan Mabie, Elena Barone, Elizabeth Juarez, and Amy Jensema. On the right is Dan Drust, Manager of the Family Literacy Program. The Americorps members teach in the Schools of Hope program, partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Schools.

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