2020 Fall Reception
Volunteer service award
Jay Parsons has truly lived an international and literacy-centered life. He first taught English with International Voluntary Services, a predecessor to the Peace Corps when he was in Vietnam.
He currently teaches Level 4 (advanced) classes in the KLC’s ESL of Southwest Michigan, for students in civics and citizenship, through our Virtual Learning Center.
His academic achievements include a masters degree in International Studies and a Ph.D. in Geography, from the University of Hawaii. Grad studies took him to the Philippines and Ann Arbor.It is an honor to recognize Jay for a lifetime of service in literacy and education, and for all he does with his learners. Read his full story here.
June Miller Legacy award in literacy
Kim (Thinnes) Bell
It is indeed our honor to recognize Kim for a lifetime of service in literacy and education, and for being an unwavering advocate in support of adult literacy.
literacy advocate of the year
Mard Little award for adult learner excellence
Nominated by Jackie Denoyer
Naomi began attending in-person classes through our Community Literacy Center (CLC) at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and once the pandemic hit, she continued her studies through our Virtual Learning Center. She is highly motivated and participates in as many weekly classes as possible. Outside of the traditional language classes, Naomi attended our Health Literacy Covid-19 series from March – May, the “Read and Seed” garden and nutrition-focused course in June, and is an active participant in the Fall Health Literacy class. Naomi is a bright student and a friendly person who says, “I really enjoy the time with my classmates and teachers; they are so kind!”. Read her full story here.
Nominated by Dori Ravotas
Clarisse Kalusembiko is a single mother with three children and without family or support system in the U.S. She works full-time at JBS Beef Plant. She first attended ESL classes in the Health Literacy summer program in 2019 and returned this year. However, she did not have a computer or internet access. Since receiving technology services through our Laptop Learning Program, Clarisse was a consistent attendee for the rest of the term.
Clarisse is working with her children on school work and is a great candidate for Parent Literacy programs. She has advanced her English fluency levels in reading and writing since studying with the Kalamazoo Literacy Council and we are very proud of her hard work.
Check out some fun photos of the Fall Reception from past years!