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Ride for READ to include beer, food

Krystle Wagner • Sep 9, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Community members will be able to raise funds for a non-profit literacy program while sampling local craft beers and food later this month.

Ride for R.E.A.D. takes place 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, beginning at the Grand River Sailing Club, 219 N. Harbor Ave. in Grand Haven. Two Harbor Transit trolleys will take participants to Grand Armory Brewing for craft beer samples, and then to The Bookman for samples from Lake Effect Kitchen.

Before boarding trolleys, participants will have appetizers and beverages as musician Loren Johnson performs.

Along the trolley ride, there will be trivia games, adult beverages and snacks. Trivia will include three rounds of movie to book questions and citizenship questions.

The evening will end with dessert and coffee back at the Grand River Sailing Club.

Tickets are $50 and can only paid for by cash or check made out to R.E.A.D. A limited number of tickets are available. Tickets can be purchased at The Bookman, Grand Armory Brewing, Lake Effect Kitchen and Patricia’s Chocolate, or by contacting R.E.A.D. Ottawa Executive Director Susan Lowe at 616-843-1470 or by email at readottawa@gmail.com.

R.E.A.D. (Reading Enables Adult Development) Ottawa currently serves 40 Northwest Ottawa County community members who are working on meeting their own literacy goals. Participants must be at least 18 years old to qualify.

More than half of R.E.A.D. students speak English as a second language, Lowe said. Students’ goals vary from wanting better literacy skills to get a better job, wanting to acquire a driver’s license, or wanting to help their children with homework.

About 6,500 adults in Northwest Ottawa County read below a third-grade reading level, Lowe said. Since 2009, R.E.A.D. has grown from initially serving just three students.

Volunteers work with students one-on-one for 1-2 hours a week. Although R.E.A.D. doesn’t have a problem attracting volunteers, the program faces a challenge finding people who are willing to reach out for assistance, Lowe said.

To continue providing services, Lowe said they rely on the community for their support, which they’ve received over the years in the form of volunteers, donations and grants.

“The community is behind us for sure what we do,” she said.

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