Mar 14, 2022
The Launch Party is scheduled for April 6 at the Goodwill-Muskegon store
MUSKEGON, MI — Goodwill Industries of West Michigan (GIWM) is partnering with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) and their “Read early. Read often.” program to create learning opportunities for young children in several Goodwill retail store locations.
After collaborating with Goodwill on several community book sorting and donation projects, MAISD Great Start Collaborative Coordinator Allison Keessen approached Goodwill President and CEO Jeanette Hoyer about designating Goodwill stores as “Talking is Teaching” learning sites.
Launched in 2014, “Talking is Teaching” is a national public awareness and action campaign designed to share information with families about the critical role they play in their child’s early brain and language development.
“Research has shown when parents regularly engage their young children through talking, reading, and singing, it significantly and positively impacts a child’s literacy and school readiness,” Keessen said. “Families can turn everyday activities like shopping at a Goodwill store into meaningful and powerful learning opportunities.”
Using Talking is Teaching resources and grant money, Goodwill and MAISD team members created five different bi-lingual “learning adventure cards” that lead children on a scavenger hunt throughout the store. Talking prompts and questions have been installed at three Goodwill Industries of West Michigan store locations. Parents can engage with their children while they shop by interacting with the campaign’s colorful floor decals, rack signs, posters, and wall graphics. Visiting children and parents are also offered a free book to take home.
To celebrate, a “Launch Party” event is planned for Wednesday, April 6 from 9:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Muskegon Goodwill store located at 1934 E. Sherman Blvd. The event will feature a brief ceremony at 9:45 a.m. along with refreshments, tours, giveaways, and literacy resource information booths. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are thrilled about integrating the Talking is Teaching campaign into our stores,” Hoyer said. “Goodwill is committed to helping improve literacy rates in West Michigan. We know literacy directly affects education which we also know is critical to job success and higher wages in adulthood.”
Other Goodwill stores participating in the Talking is Teaching initiative include the Roosevelt Park store located at 950 W. Norton Ave., and the Whitehall store at 3353 Underwood Drive.
“We hope to expand the program to additional Goodwill stores,” Keessen said.
This project was funded by the Preschool Development Grant B-5 awarded by the Michigan Department of Education Office of Great Start.
This is a partnership with Goodwill Industries of West Michigan; the MAISD Great Start Collaborative’s Read early. Read often. campaign; and Talking is Teaching, a campaign of Too Small to Fail, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation.