R.E.A.D. provides free one-on-one tutoring for adults in Northwest Ottawa County.
“I have always thought that the volunteer tutors are the soul of R.E.A.D. and, if that is the case, then our executive director, Susan Lowe, is the heart,” said Paul Martin, the president of the organization’s board. “Susan’s leadership and tenacity will be hard to replace, and this organization has grown stronger having benefited from such a dedicated love of improving literacy.”
Lowe has accepted a new position at The Bookman in Grand Haven. She will formally begin her new post in September.
Lowe said the decision to leave R.E.A.D. after five years as director was a difficult one.
“I love R.E.A.D.’s mission and feel that everyone has a right to literacy in order to reach their full potential,” she said. “I have so enjoyed working with our amazing staff, board and volunteers. They share their love of reading and change lives by teaching adults in our area to read, write and communicate.”
Under her leadership, the reading program has expanded its services, increased its student base, developed stronger community collaborations, multiplied its fundraising efforts and grant opportunities, and seen growth in the R.E.A.D. endowment fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation.
Lowe previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and among her previous employers were Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oakland and the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
“R.E.A.D. was the perfect job for me as I re-entered the workforce as my children got older,” she said. “The schedule was flexible and I could work around my passion of helping adults learn to read."
In the coming weeks, the R.E.A.D. board will launch a search for a new director.