Reading Enables Adult Development
Our mission is to provide adults who live in or near Ottawa County with an opportunity to improve and transform their lives by strengthening their reading and language fluency.
READ Ottawa is the only nonprofit organization that provides free one-on-one adult literacy education tutoring to adults in Ottawa County. Strong adult literacy and education programs bring a powerful return on investment by improving the lives of adult learners, the lives of their families, and improving the economic growth of the Ottawa County area.
READ Ottawa was founded in 2008. The first tutor training was held in the spring of 2009 and was established as a nonprofit organization in 2010. Formally known as R.E.A.D., the organization started with three learner/tutor pairs. We have continued to grow our pairs each year and support over 40 learner/tutor pairs annually within Ottawa County. In 2022, READ Ottawa expanded from Northwest Ottawa County to serve all of Ottawa County with a focus on the Holland and Zeeland area. Since READ Ottawa was established, we have helped over 200 adults achieve their literacy and language goals.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement: It is the policy of READ Ottawa to serve all individuals who are eligible for its literacy program without regard to race, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. READ Ottawa strives to help adult individuals of various ethnic backgrounds, cultures, and disabilities reach their literacy goals. Additionally, READ Ottawa values diversity, equity, and inclusion within the work environment.
READ Ottawa has no designated office space and partners with Loutit District Library, Spring Lake District Library, Herrick District Library, and Howard Miller Public Library & Community Center for training, meeting and resource space.
43% of adults with the lowest literacy levels live in poverty and 70% of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels. There is a clear correlation between more education and higher earnings and between higher educational scores and higher earnings.
- The National Institute for Literacy
50% of the 2 million immigrants that come to the United States each year lack high school education and proficient English language skills. This severely limits their access to jobs, college, and citizenship and increases their vulnerability to living in poverty.
- Center for Immigration Studies, National Commission on Adult Literacy