top of page


Empowerment Through Literacy!
Capital Area Literacy Coalition - The Reading People works to eliminate illiteracy in our community by providing free educational support to anyone on a language-learning journey.


The Reading People helps people of any age achieve their learning goals. We walk together alongside learners and help unlock pathways to new and better opportunities.

Through improved literacy, we empower and help make self-sufficient adults with personal or job-related literacy goals, any immigrant, refugee, or asylum-seeker learning English as a second language, and children at risk of falling behind in school for any reason.

Our Vision

A community of empowered individuals, able to access the benefits that come with the ability to read, write, and speak English.

Our Core Values

Empowerment. We work together to empower our students and increase their self-sufficiency and ability to thrive.

Community. We believe in the value of healthy, lasting relationships between our staff, board, students, families, and do our part to serve everyone in our community who has an educational goal.

Warmth and Openness. We build spaces that are warm and welcoming, within which students can feel safe and comfortable as they learn.

Empathy and Compassion. We honor the social, emotional, and physical well-being our students and their families. We strive to recognize and understand the perspectives, feelings, and lived experiences of others, including and especially those most different from ourselves, and give one another grace.

Resilience. We understand a path to learning can take many directions and have many obstacles along the way. We are patient and we persevere, working with students as long as it takes in pursuit of our mission of eliminating illiteracy in our community by providing free educational support.

Equity and Inclusivity. We attract and serve a broad, diverse community. We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to live their full potential and that our community is stronger when it is full of opportunities for people with diverse identities, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Cultural Sensitivity. We root ourselves in our shared humanity and treat each other with kindness and compassion while acknowledging that we serve individuals and families coming from many places in the world and are mindful of differences in cultures, values, and traditions.  

Volunteer Power. We greatly value and appreciate the time and talents of our volunteers and know our programs and services can happen only with the help of our volunteers.  



According to the 2010 U.S. Census, twenty percent (20%)—or approximately 93,000 adults in the Greater Lansing area—are functionally illiterate. Many cannot read well enough to hold a job, read directions on prescriptions, or read to their children.


Adults who are functionally illiterate cannot read above third grade level. Practically, this means they cannot do things like:

  • read a pay stub

  • understand directions on a bottle of medicine

  • complete a Social Security application

  • calculate the total of an order form

  • or read the instructions for a microwave dinner.

bottom of page