As many as one in five people have difficulty reading and may have dyslexia. It is the hope of the Montcalm Area Reading Council (MARC) to assist those who struggle.
MARC was established in 1986 and Executive Director Elaine Crawford has been with the organization since its inception. While the group originated to assist adults with reading difficulty, it has expanded to help children who exhibit reading troubles, as well. The council has also developed a book club, called Montcalm Reads, which is offered to adults only but will soon branch out to include children.
Area adults have not only learned the gift of reading but have earned their general education development and obtained citizenship through the work of MARC. It is the hope of the organization that the greater Montcalm area become a community of readers. To see that hope come to fruition, Crawford said it will require involvement of volunteers and continued funding through generous donors.
“We have grown and changed to meet the needs of the community, but we must increase community awareness,” Crawford said. “With increased illiteracy and unemployment rates, people really need to network. Maybe you wrote a $5 check that allowed someone to get their GED.”
Crawford and other members of MARC have organized a Community Fiesta that, for the first time will be open to the public.
This year’s event will include an art contest for an area resident to design a new logo for MARC that the group hopes to incorporate on various items to help raise funds. The Community Fiesta will also include food, games and music performed by MARC volunteer of the year John Ekholm.
Those interested in submitting an entry in the art contest may pick up forms at Flat River Community Library.
The Community Fiesta will be from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 2 at Flat River Community Library.
Registration is suggested to attend the MARC Community Fiesta and those interested may call Elaine Crawford at (616) 754-1391, ext. 4.