Our Mission

Read and Write Kalamazoo exists to celebrate and amplify youth voices through the cultivation of reading and writing skills via joy, creativity, equity, and access.

Founded in 2012, Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) is a nonprofit organization based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, devoted to nurturing intellectual and creative confidence in youth in Kalamazoo County through creative writing workshops, community partnerships and reading-themed events.

Our Purpose

We bring a supportive community around young people to give them safe and positive spaces to learn and grow. Through the investment of the adults around them, young people begin to hear and know their own minds and voices and enact agency in their own lives. We act as a touchstone for families throughout the preschool and school years to foster a culture of literacy.

Because academic language can hinder communication and expression of authentic voice, (and because language is living, fluid, and cultural), traditional assessments of achievement often do not accurately reflect true knowledge. We celebrate and amplify authentic voice in the specific context of each student’s cultural identity, while remaining mindful of the practical and social capital resulting from the use of academic language.

I like to write because you get to express your feelings and you get to be creative in it, and you can write in someone else’s perspective.
— Jamara, RAWKstar student