Annual Campaign

Hello. What’s Up?! Hola. Moni. Hallo. Hei. Ciao. Bawo Ni.

and greetings in the language that feels like home to you! You are receiving this letter because somewhere along your journey you made it clear that you want to SUPPORT YOUTH VOICES IN KALAMAZOO through Read and Write Kalamazoo!

Thanks to recent research, we know that 63% of local youth in Kindergarten through 8th grade are not reading at grade level (Miller, 2023). The impact this has on their academic achievement in school is obvious and many schools, administrators, teachers, and support staff are doing their absolute best to help youth improve and succeed while navigating day-to-day challenges. But, they can’t do it alone — which is why RAWK exists! Alongside teachers, we diligently and wholeheartedly work to celebrate and amplify youth voices by cultivating their reading and writing skills via joy, creativity, equity and access.

Here are a few ways that RAWK is supporting:

Books for Keeps! Youth participating in RAWK programs have the opportunity to build their home library by choosing a new book to take home and keep from a wide range of culturally- responsible and responsible titles.

In-school programs! Currently at Lincoln International Studies School and Northeastern Elementary with more to come — our RAWK Readers’ Room provides one-on-one and small- group literacy, SEL, and various enrichment sessions to support teachers and youth during the school day.

Out-of-School programs! RAWK After-School, Read and Write Nights, Youth Advisory Council, Summer Writing Camps and more work to foster creativity, wonderment and curiosity for reading and writing and provide youth in Kalamazoo an opportunity to be lifelong readers and writers.

It is our hope that through the work we do together, youth will discover the treasures inside of books and catch a glimpse of who they are somewhere between the books’ covers.

RAWK is one of many organizations in Kalamazoo that rely on the support of our community to continue creating spaces for youth to LEARN. GROW. THRIVE. Thank you for being some- one youth can count on by supporting RAWK’s work and efforts. Your support makes a difference in the lives of youth in Kalamazoo!

With gratitude,

Kandace Lavender
Executive Director