Flint, MI—Flint Community Schools (FCS) will be hosting a Family Literacy Night at the Flint Farmers’ Market on Dec. 8, 2022. 

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and include a poetry slam featuring guest presenters, more than 1,000 free books and literacy-focused activities for scholars of all grade levels.

FCS Superintendent Kevelin Jones said the event aims to foster families’ understanding of the importance of literacy. 

“My dad told me a long time ago, if anyone wants to hide anything, they can put it in a book, because many shy away from books,” Jones said. “Many shy away from reading. Many shy away from that important tool for our lives. So I want to make sure families understand the true meaning of literacy.” 

Jones added that literacy remains a major challenge for Flint Schools’ scholars.

“Literacy is an issue,” Jones said. “That is the number one issue we’re facing. We want our kids to be literate.”

The Family Literacy Night event is partly funded by the Michigan Comprehensive Literacy State Development Project Grant.

Last year, the Michigan Department of Education announced that FCS was one of five school districts in the state to be awarded with the 5-year grant of nearly $3.2 million.

During its Dec. 6 meeting, the FCS Board of Education authorized a little over $609,000 in spending for year three of the grant. DeLynn Smith, comprehensive literacy facilitator of the grant, said the district will begin implementing activities under that authorization in January 2023.

She also said while FCS will continue hosting family literacy nights and authors, it has also planned various new initiatives, including field trips to the Flint Public Library, Sloan Museum of Discovery and local bookstores.

In addition, Smith noted, the district will also be putting some of the grant’s third year funding toward professional development and learning materials around literacy instruction.

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...