By cultivating reading and writing skills, Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) is amplifying Kalamazoo’s youth voices and encouraging everyone to rock their own story. Founded in 2012, the organization was developed around the idea that all stories must be told and witnessed, leaving no voice unheard. With volunteers at the core of the mission, community members work in small groups and individually with students through programming in school, out of school, and after school that offers accessible, inclusive, and innovative literacy opportunities for all.
Executive Director, Nicki Poer referenced that relationships with caring adults affect childhood brain development and ultimately their futures. “It’s important that youth understand that their voices are worthy wherever they are now,” says Poer. In an effort to surround students with a spectrum of voices, RAWK incorporates books, art, and opportunities that are inclusive and intersectional.
This Friday, in partnership with the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, RAWK is opening its space for Art Hop to celebrate its newest window display. Under the guidance of artist Sabine LeDieu, youth and families created pieces under the theme of “What’s Your Story?” Stop by to learn more about the mission and how you can encourage students to RAWK on!