Literacy, or lack of it, is a big problem in the Big Rapids area. To help combat the situation, SLD Read is teaming up with the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District to put on a Literacy Summit this Tuesday.
SLD Read Education Services Specialist Suzanne Finney says more people need to be aware of the problem before it can be tackled.
“The main purpose [of the summit] is to make people aware of the state of literacy, which is at a crisis point in our community and across our state.”
She notes that Michigan is not faring well in basic reading when compared with the rest of the U.S.
“If you look at the NAEP score, which is the National Assessment of Educational Progress, in Michigan we ranked 42nd in the nation in reading.”
And, this doesn't bode well for the future of children in the Big Rapids area.
“Here in this county, our students are scoring above the state level, which is about a 50 percent proficient on the state tests, but that's not enough for employability,” she says. “And we have one out of four of our students who will struggle with reading because of a language based difficulty. Sometimes we call it dyslexia, but it could be other things as well.”
The summit is being held at 6:30 pm this Tuesday in the Miller Wing of the MOISD Career Center at 15830 190th Avenue in Big Rapids. There will be presentations by MOISD Early Literacy coaches and consultants along with information booths highlighting various Local Literacy Projects happening in our community. You can call the Career Center at 231-796-5805 for more information.