History of the KLC

The Kalamazoo Literacy Council has a history of providing services for more than 40 years in Kalamazoo County. And it was all started by a group of passionate residents.


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.

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