FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Krieger (616) 813-0455
Twenty-one percent of people in Grand Rapids can NOT read this press release.
GREATER GRAND RAPIDS READS SUMMIT ON LITERACY
Over 500 Attendees Will Explore Methods to Support Literacy
October 13, 2005 - Grand Rapids, MI - Hosted by Mayor George
Heartwell and Grand Rapids Community College President Dr. Juan Olivarez, the
Second Annual Greater Grand Rapids Reads Literacy Summit will explore how
community leaders can help Grand Rapids support literacy at all levels.
“This summit is very important as it both drives stakeholders and policy makers to find solutions in our community and ensures this important issue stays top-of-mind,” said Dr. Olivarez, advocate for literacy programs both locally and nationally.
“This is a unique opportunity for business people, government officials, educators and community members to explore the impact of illiteracy in Grand Rapids,” said Fritz Crabb, United Way Heart of West Michigan Community Programs Manager. “Last year’s Summit exceeded our expectations. This year’s summit offers a more comprehensive look at exactly how our community can deal with this important issue.”
The keynote speaker is Dr. Sandra Baxter, director of the National Institute for Literacy, a federal organization that addresses literacy across the lifespan and across federal agency programs. Invited speakers include U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Jennifer Titche, a local student who has collected thousands of books for inner city school libraries, who is the featured lunch speaker.
Literacy Summit participants will have the opportunity to help develop activities included in the Grand Rapids Community Literacy Plan. Workshops will include; Literacy 0-5, School-Based Mentoring, Workplace Mentoring, Adult Literacy, Literacy Coalitions, English As a Second Language (ESL) Literacy, Family Literacy, Cultural Sensitivity in Literacy, Faith Based Mentoring, Cost of Illiteracy and Literacy for those with Reading Disabilities.
Participants are being asked to bring a new elementary level book to donate to Dream Reading. This year’s Summit will be held on Friday, October 21 at the DeVos Place. Sessions will be held from 8 AM to 3 PM.
The Literacy Summit is being sponsored by Greater Grand Rapids Reads, SBC, the City of Grand Rapids, United Way of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Community College, State Farm Insurance, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and The Grand Rapids Press.
Registrations are still being accepted through the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce website at www.grandrapids.org or by calling (616) 771-0303. Cost is $10.00 per participant which includes a continental breakfast and lunch, as well as free parking in the nearby city lot. The deadline for registration is October 19.
- END -