Born and raised in Flint, Angela Hood-Beauregard, Executive Director of the Flint & Genesee Literacy Network (FGLN) is proud to be a product of Flint Community Schools. She has traveled the world but chose to work and live in Flint. In her position with FGLN, she is able to share her passion for the importance of reading and literacy. The leader of the FGLN since 2019, Hood-Beauregard is currently pursuing her PhD at Michigan State University. “I am a lifelong student and working with the network was the perfect opportunity to merge my passion for learning into making a difference,” she shares.
According to Hood-Beauregard, the mission of the FGLN is “to seek out, convene, align and build capacity in partners who improve the lives of individuals, children and families of Flint and Genesee County by radically raising literacy levels.” The Network is funded by grants and the support of Mott Community College, as well as significant grants received from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and the C.S. Mott Foundation. The Hagerman Foundation and the Dollar General Literacy Fund have also supported the Network.
FGLN works with more than 60 community partners in three different categories: Funding Partners, Learning Partners and System Partners. “We support the partners as they proceed with the program,” Hood-Beauregard explains, “And, we support programs that contribute to multigenerational literacy and entire families.”
The Executive Director says FGLN is fiercely committed to partners who work toward whole-family and long-term outcomes over the lifespan of individuals. “Our understanding of literacy is multi-dimensional,” Hood-Beauregard states. “We know that increasing literacy levels means strengthening skills related to reading, numeracy, digital technology, workforce readiness.”
The FGLN partners include Crim Education Foundation, Lenore Croudy Family Life Center, Active Boys for Christ, Educare Flint, and the Flint Development Center, among others.
Now in its sixth year, Community Read is currently a virtual program that is held on the first Saturday of each month from 11am-1pm. “The program is intended to engage the community in promoting inclusion and understanding of differing points of view through a literary journey,” Hood-Beauregard states. For 2021-22, the book under discussion is Caste: The Origin of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson. The book is described as “an eye-opening story about people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American lives today.” Program participants form breakout groups for a discussion exercise, Hood-Beauregard explains, when they delve deeper into the book. “That’s where the real magic happens,” she adds.
In September, a Community Read registration event was held at the Flint Farmers’ Market. “We distributed 200 free books!” Hood-Beauregard exclaims. At the first session, there were 52 participants. Currently, 232 people are registered for the program that began in October and runs through April 2022. A closing celebration is held at the program’s end, which Hood-Beauregard hopes can be an in-person event.
It’s not too late to participate in Community Read, Hood-Beauregard reports. “We invite folks to join us – even if it is just to listen,” she notes. And participants don’t have to read the entire book or attend every session. “We just want people to fall in love with reading!”
To register for Community Read, visit flintliteracynetwork.org/events/community-read-2/