About the KLC
The Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit volunteer tutor organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults who struggle to read. The Kalamazoo Literacy Council offers free one-on-one programs designed to develop reading, writing and spelling skills. Our goal is to also educate the public about the crisis of illiteracy and bring together a community with a common goal of making Kalamazoo County 100 percent literate. The KLC is the only organization in Kalamazoo County exclusively providing free basic literacy instruction to adults.
According to the National Institute for Literacy, 13 percent of adults (25,495) in Kalamazoo County cannot read a job application, an intersection on a map, a prescription label, or read a story to their child. Their lives are often linked to poverty, crime, and poor health, and their children are more likely to struggle in school.
Our mission is led by highly trained and dedicated volunteers and supported by a full-time executive director, student services coordinator, part-time administrative staff, and generous donors. As a member agency of ProLiteracy – the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation – we’re connected to the right tools and resources to best support our learners and grow awareness.
“In the world today, there are a lot people like me that need help. They might not say it, they might be scared to ask for it, but I’m one of them, I’m a living example.”
Mission: Enhance the lives of adults by improving their reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension skills
Vision: Empower adults to reach their full potential
For over 40 years, the Kalamazoo Literacy Council has provided free literacy services to adults in Kalamazoo County. Our story began with a group of passionate residents who wanted to make a difference in the lives of adults who struggle to read.
1974 – KLC Founded
The KLC was founded by local residents in response to a public call for adult reading tutors. After tutoring independently and meeting informally for four years, members formed a charter organization and elected officers.
1984 – New Councils in Eastern Michigan
A flourishing KLC joined an effort to establish new literacy councils on the east side of Michigan.
1986 to 1995 – Involvement in Literacy Network
From 1986 to 1995, the KLC played a significant role in the Literacy Network, a state-funded initiative to coordinate community literacy needs.
2007 to 2008 – Start of Strategic Planning
The KLC began a strategic planning process to build capacity within the organization with funding from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, Dorothy Dalton U. Foundation, and the John E. Fetzer Institute. The KLC shifted from an all-volunteer group to an organization with a professional staff and governing board to better meet its mission.
2010 – Partner with Goodwill Industries
The KLC formed a collaboration with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan to strengthen the adult literacy services provided in the areas, and received a three-year grant from the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.
2010 – Hire of Full-Time Director
A full-time executive director was hired to strengthen adult literacy services and to establish the Adult Literacy Collaborative (ALC) of Kalamazoo County. This serves as the venue for determining adult literacy priorities, identifying and expanding resources, and aligning services and programs.
Kalamazoo Literacy Council
Marketing Communications Specialist, Stryker
Director of Community Collaboration, The Kalamazoo Promise
Van Buren ISD
Gull Lake Community Schools
Immediate Past President
Healthcare Career Pathways Coordinator, WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Head, Adult Services Department
Kalamazoo Public Library
Communications and Social Media Coordinator, WMU Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine
Attorney-Referee, Kalamazoo 9th Circuit Court
Office Manager/Data & Fiscal Specialist, Samaritas
Director of Events, Western Michigan University
System Director, Bronson Health Foundation
Director, Kalamazoo RESA
Kalamazoo Literacy Council is a member organization of ProLiteracy.