The mission of Macomb Literacy Partners (MLP) is to eliminate adult illiteracy in our community by developing programs that promote the advancement of literacy.
Here you can discover what exactly MLP does; the history of MLP; and what literacy is. For more information, or to become a volunteer tutor or student, please contact us.
WHAT MLP DOES
Macomb Literacy Partners is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization helping adults who have problems reading, writing, and/or speaking English. MLP provides training for volunteer tutors who work with students one-on-one or in small groups. Volunteer tutors meet with their literacy student(s) in quiet, private areas of public sites, such as libraries, churches, and community centers. We also work directly with school districts, colleges, and other academic institutions by providing tutoring services.
You may be wondering how Macomb Literacy Partners delivers services. Our programs break into two main types: adult reading assistance and family literacy.
We provide adult reading assistance by providing free tutoring services to adults (18 years and older) in Macomb County who have difficulty reading. Some students speak English and others are English as a Second Language learners. All students meet with tutors once a week for at least two hours. Tutors are volunteers who are trained through Macomb Literacy Partners. Students may call our office to find out if they qualify for our services.
We provide family literacy services by partnering with the Macomb Intermediate School District and Rosco the Clown, who provides a magic, entertainment, and reading show for children and their parents. These programs are free and children are given a book to take home. We ask that children attending these programs are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Finally, we offer conversation groups for English as a Second Language learners. These groups enable students to work on their newly developing language skills. See our conversation group schedule for more details.
HISTORY OF MLP
Macomb Literacy Partners was originally initiated by the Suburban Library Cooperative (SLC) and Utica Community Schools in 1984. A group of dedicated individuals responded to the needs of adults reading below a level of functional literacy. Such individuals have difficulty reading a newspaper, understanding simple directions on a prescription, taking a written test for their driver’s license, or are English as a Second Language learners.
Since 1984, Macomb Literacy Partners has helped over 4,000 people become better readers, writers, and speakers.
WHAT IS LITERACY
The National Institute for Literacy tells us that literacy is traditionally defined as the ability to read. However, literacy is currently being discussed as a much broader set of skills as outlined in the Workforce Investment Act of 1988. The act states that literacy is a person’s “ability to read, write, speak in English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual and in society” (National Institute for Literacy, 2009).
In contemporary society, literacy is used as a phrase that refers to a large set of skills that enable people to be successful in their day to day activities, including jobs. It is no coincidence, then, that the Workforce Investment Act of 1988 refers to literacy. Currently the Federal Government of the United States, and local state governments, view investments in literacy education as essential to shaping our society’s workforce. Therefore, literacy has become a lynchpin of workforce development and job retraining programs.
In a slightly different light, and one more akin to educational studies, literacy can be conceptualized as an individual’s ability to decipher language and process information. In this sense, literacy skills may include phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. These skills are applied when individuals read printed materials. When adequately employed, sound literacy skills enable people to exchange information and ideas. While literacy is typically thought of in reading and writing contexts, other content areas have emerged as important as well. Such areas include math literacy, technological literacy, financial literacy, and health literacy, to name a few.
One challenging task for education providers is to fully serve all the needs of their students. Further, many students who find themselves needing assistance have already had difficulty in traditional educational settings and many have diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disabilities. Despite these challenges, though, literacy programs are creating success stories by teaching adults in different ways. So, even though many students have faced challenges, success is not out of their reach.