The ability to read, write, and speak in English, and compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, achieve one's goals, and develop one's knowledge and potential.
This is our dream and vision for Flint and Genesee County. As a community, the only way to bring our Continuum to life – for all residents – is to align as a collective force and make Literacy for Life a central priority. We want them to be prepared for kindergarten, to excel in school throughout grades K-12, to have options and support for any post-secondary path they choose, and to have secure jobs that pay a living wage as adults!
We are hopeful--The momentum guiding the Literacy Network is a source of optimism for all those who wish to see the residents of Genesee County prosper. As the Network moves into the full-implementation phase, it does so with community support, practitioner engagement and promising results from pilot programs.
We are also guided by the core values that have always been present in our community, but have emerged in earnest over the recent years across sectors and organizations. There is an optimism, momentum and energy behind this collective effort, and a new focus on quality programming and measurable results.
There are fewer silos and barriers, and in their place, we are building teams and collaborative infrastructure. We are also operating with a stronger sense of urgency, and a renewed drive to implement successful programs at scale, ultimately to serve the children and families in Genesee County who deserve every possible opportunity to live their best possible lives.
“As champions for literacy, we must share a common understanding of the challenges our community faces in order be truly effective agents of change in today's landscape!”
The Flint community has been managing a variety of challenges for many years: a declining population in the county, lack of access to healthy food and cuts to state funding, which is true for Michigan cities in general. All of these issues have affected community literacy in Flint.
Flint once had 200,000 residents; today that number is less than half as large. Over time, layoffs have led to fewer residents and a massive reduction in the tax-base. This tax loss links directly to education and library funding in Genesee County. According to recent U.S. Census data:
The Flint Water Crisis demanded that we respond to the profound outpouring of local and national support for Flint’s children exposed to lead. It also shined a bright spotlight on Genesee County’s need for high-quality early childhood learning and literacy programs. Fortunately, our community-building efforts before the Water Crisis gave us a strong foundation, as we were better organized, experienced and already working together. As a result of all of these factors, our literacy work has more momentum now than ever before.
FGLN partners are now reemerging on the other side of the crisis, able to deepen our focus on literacy. And the silver lining of the water crisis is that our community is more aligned, driven and resilient than ever before. The average person sees the benefit of offering quality literacy programming at scale, and we know that investments in literacy will play a critical role in ensuring that Flint children have the resources and support they need to live healthy and happy lives, post-Water Crisis.
Thank you for your interest in helping spread the word about literacy throughout Genesee County.
These communications tools are available to make it easy for you to share the "Literacy for Life” campaign messaging with your employees, members, students and other key audiences. The strength of this campaign is based on the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network and its collective partner organizations spreading the word through their established communication channels (publications, advertising and digital). Please download these communications tools and use as you see fit. If you need help with variations on these messages, please contact us.