Annual Campaign


My name is Kandace Lavender, and I am the executive director of Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK). This past July, I recently celebrated my first year here at RAWK, and it has truly been a phenomenal experience! I hope that you have a few moments to read a brief message from Janeya Willis & Jahleel Fisher, two of our RAWK Youth Advisory Council Members, as they talk about their experience at RAWK, and hear more about working TOGETHER to CELEBRATE & AMPLIFY YOUTH VOICES IN KALAMAZOO!

WE CANT RAWK ALONE! RAWK exists because of the unwavering commitment and support of humans like YOU, who recognize the importance of INVESTING IN THE FUTURE! We hope that you consider making a contribution that will allow us to continue supporting youth literacy in Kalamazoo.

Would you like to help RAWK amplify youth voices in Kalamazoo? Heres how!

A one-time donation of $20 will cover the cost of healthy snack options for one student for a week at summer writing camp.

A recurring monthly donation of $25 will provide the necessary materials and resources for one student participating in our in-school reading and writing enrichment programs throughout the school year.

A one-time donation of $100 will cover the cost of the supplies and resources needed to publish one anthology of students’ work.

A one-time donation of $500 will help us keep culturally relevant books for students at one of our RAWK Reader’s Rooms for the entire school year.


Donate what you can! Any and every donation no matter the amount will serve as a statement of commitment to the youth in Kalamazoo reminding them that they are supported!

With gratitude,

Kandace Lavender
Executive Director


This summer we engaged with over 600+ youth in Kalamazoo by partnering with Kalamazoo Public Schools, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Global Ties, Young Kings & Queens, and MORE!

Thanks to the support of local foundations and community members like YOU, we were able to put 720 books that focus on representing the fullest range of identities and intersections in the hands of youth by the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

We recently welcomed THREE new team members and TWO new positions to help us enhance our capacity in our Readers’ Rooms, after-school and out-of school programs widening support for both teachers and students in the Kalamazoo Public Schools District.

Prioritized both time and resources to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as we continue efforts toward widening access for ALL youth voices in Kalamazoo.

Increased programs and offerings via partnerships and collaborative efforts to fill gaps in literacy among youth in Kalamazoo.