Literacy Center of West Michigan

Literacy Center of West Michigan

NLD ID #12930
Literacy Center of West Michigan logo

Contact Information

1120 Monroe Ave NW
Suite 240
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Primary Contact

Front Desk

(616) 459-5151

Hours of Operation

Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm

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Program Overview

One-on-one literacy coaching, workplace related classes, family literacy programming, citizenship classes, and more are all available based on the goals, availability, and learning style of our learners.

Founded in 1986, the Literacy Center of West Michigan is committed to bringing about a just and vibrant West Michigan through the power of literacy. With this mission statement, we are shining a light on the crucial role literacy levels play in shaping our community's future.

The Literacy Center instructs more than 1,100 adults annually, both native speakers of English and English Language Learners. All of our learners face barriers caused by low literacy. The Literacy Center is at the forefront of adult literacy instruction. Our programs meet adult learners where they are, with one-one-one literacy coaching, workplace-focused classes, and family literacy opportunities all designed to fit within the priorities of adults' lives. Through philanthropic support, all of our programs are available at no cost to our learners.

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Cost Info

No charge for learners. Businesses who partner with us to increase the English proficiency of their staff are charged a fee, but that cost is never passed along to the worker/learner.

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Meet Reza! Reza Nematy arrived in the U.S. in 2022 as a refugee from Afghanistan along with his pregnant wife and their 2-year-old daughter. Despite working as a software designer and entrepreneur in his home country and having the ability to speak English, Reza faced challenges pursuing his goals due to limited written English proficiency.

Before the collapse of the Afghan government in the wake of the Taliban's resurgence, Reza had earned a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and worked as a software designer and entrepreneur, starting more than 10 businesses.

"I want to learn everything, every hour, every minute of my life," Reza says.

When the family arrived in the U.S., they settled temporarily at a military base in New Jersey. Asked by his support team to list his needs, Reza had one answer: A job.

“We left Afghanistan with nothing," he says. “Everything in our house, we left."

After living in Michigan for two months, Reza began working at Haworth. Soon, he was invited to join a free English class offered through the Literacy Center's Customized Workplace English program. The classes took place at Haworth while Reza was on the clock - removing many common barriers to learning English.

Over the course of 15 weeks, the twice-weekly classes cover topics from the English alphabet and grammar to conversational skills, reading maps, understanding instructions and workplace-specific vocabulary.

Reza connected with his instructor, Tyler, to ask for more information on grammar so that he could bring that knowledge home to his wife.

"When I can teach some words, some grammar, something to my wife to help her speak English and understand English..." Reza begins to explain before saying with a smile, "See, I'm a teacher, and I love teaching."

Through the program, Reza has not only improved his written English skills but he's also earned a promotion.

"I knew that I will face with challenges and difficulties," Reza says. "But because of having an aim and a goal, in my mind, I say I have to do it - and I did it."

This program listing was last updated: March 22, 2024.

All information has been provided by this organization. Do you see outdated information? Please contact NLD Support.

Education services

  • Read and write better
  • Find a family literacy program
  • Help my child learn
  • Study for my high school equivalency exam
  • Learn English
  • Improve my math skills
  • Volunteer at a program
  • Become a U.S. citizen
  • Improve my workforce skills

Instruction Type

  • In-person
  • Online