Reading Groups

#WritersWednesday #MotownWriters Author Feature S.L Jackson via @TCOHHdotORG #michiganwriters #michlit

Name of Author: S.L Jackson

Name of Book:Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle

Author Website| Buy Book |

Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle by [Jackson, S.L]


About this author:

S.L Jackson is an debut urban fantasy author from Inkster Michigan who chose to put his creativity to the test by writing an novella about animals in a jungle underworld.


Where are you from?

SL: Inkster, Mi

Tell us your latest news?

SL: Recently released my debut novella “Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle

When and why did you begin writing?

SL: I began writing early in my life about 4 th grade for a creative writing assignment.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

SL: Since 4 th grade

What inspired you to write your first book?

SL: I was inspired to write my book due to the facts I couldn’t get the character’s out of my head for


Do you have a specific writing style?

SL: I don’t think I’ve discovered my writing style yet, but this novella is a “urban fantasy.

How did you come up with the title?

SL: I came up with the title based on the story being about animals in their natural habitat.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

SL: Yes, loyalty, family, honor and respect.

How much of the book is realistic?

SL: It’s an urban fantasy, however the realness in the love all the character’s share with each other.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

SL: Some experiences are based on the way my family came together.

What books have most influenced your life most?

SL: The autobiography of Malcom X, and anything written by Donald Goines.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

SL: I’d say Donald Goines

What book are you reading now?

SL: The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler by Robert Payne.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

SL: Too many to name and I don’t want to forget anyone.

What are your current projects?

SL: Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

SL: So far everyone I’ve came across.

Do you see writing as a career?

SL: Yes, I see writing as a career.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

SL: I wouldn’t change anything about my current book.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

SL: I’ve always had an interest in writing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

SL: I don’t find anything challenging about writing I just like to let it flow.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

SL: Donald Goines is my favorite; he paints a vivid picture with all his writings.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

SL: Not as of now.

Who designed the covers?

SL: Michael Corvin

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

SL: Learning the actual business of publishing books.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

SL: I learned that there is no set way to ensure book sales.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

SL: Write and never stop.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

SL: RESPECT URBAN AUTHORS (#respecturbanauthors)

Connect with this author

Author Website:

Amazon Link:

Facebook Link:

Twitter Link: @tcohhdotorg

IG: @sljackson3

Author Website| Buy Book |

Animal Instincts: The Urban Jungle by [Jackson, S.L]


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RESOURCES: Metro Literacy & ESL programs

Michigan Friends of Education—Operation Kid Equip
Elementary Express Program 
P.O. Box 380565
Clinton Twp., MI  48038-0067
Phone:  586-649-2161
Provides leveled-reader and other literacy building tools each month for students 
in kindergarten through fifth grade – free of charge.This program provides for families 
who are struggling to afford books, readers or other reading improvement tools for their 
children.  Fixed income families in Lake, Macomb, Mason, Oakland and Wayne Counties 
are eligible to enroll in the program. Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties will pick up 
their books in Clinton Township; families in Lake and Mason Counties will have their 
books mailed to the child’s residence.  More information and application materials may 
be found at the website above!

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
Julie Davis-Ratekin / Education Case Manager / McKinney-Vento Act Advocate
2121 Biddle Ave.  Suite 102 
Wyandotte  MI  48192
Phone:  313 -843-2550 ext. 222
The McKinney-Vento Act provides educational assistance to homeless children & youth
The Advocate will help enroll your children in school, help obtain documents needed for 
school, act as an advocate on behalf of you and your child in regards to education, link 
your family to medical and social institutes as needed; medical dental, social services, 
shelter, etc.  Also coordinates transportation services and ensures that children have 
everything they need to succeed in school. 


Are you a veteran that served in the military during the Vietnam era and never had the opportunity
 to obtain your high school diploma? Don’t let this be a barrier any longer to finding a good job. 
The State of Michigan has passed legislation that allows honorably discharged WWII, Korean 
or Vietnam era veterans to proudly check the box on their next application that indicates, 
“I have a high school diploma.” Many Vietnam era veterans are still in the workforce and having 
a high school diploma will no longer preclude them from employment opportunities that require
 a minimum of a high school diploma.
View the legislation at:

Download and fill out the application for your high school diploma at: 


St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF)
16888 Trinity Street
Detroit MI  48219
Phone: 313-532-8404
Provides educational programs, basic skill building and learning enhancement for at-risk children and adults.  Programs are designed to build self-sufficiency skills for academic and employment success, personal achievement and dignity.  

1355 Oakman Blvd.
Detroit MI  48213
Phone: 313-494=5500
Pledges intelligent, practical action to overcome racism, poverty and injustice.  An academic enrichment program seeks to improve math, reading, work readiness and computer-literacy 
skills for adults.  

Taylor Reading Corps.   
22755 Wick Road 
Taylor  MI    48180
Phone:  313-769-6730
The Taylor Reading Corps, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Southeast Michigan 
that provides mentors and tutors to enhance literacy of children in preschool through third 
grade in the Taylor School District. Our mission is to recruit, train and supervise adult readers 
to mentor non-proficient readers. We are currently serving over 240 students, preschool through 
first grade and this is possible with the support of our 182 volunteers (and counting). We expect
to see these numbers rise significantly each year until 2015.

Detroit Public Library / Parkman Branch Technology, Literacy and Career Centers 
1766 Oakman Blvd. 
Detroit, MI  48238
Phone: 313-481-1814
Provides individual and classroom computer use instruction, works with people who are developing their resumes or undertaking a job search, and trains, coordinates and matches volunteer tutors with learners.  

ANGEL HOUSE               
3319 Greenfield #260
Dearborn, Michigan 48120-1212
Physical Address:
2600 Saulino Court
Dearborn, Michigan 48120-1212
Phone: 313-849-2522
Angel House is a multicultural organization reaching out to the immigrant community in the 
areas of social, family, vocational, and physical needs, through services in education, health, 
and counseling. We provide a wide range of opportunities in volunteerism and outreach, as 
well as education in Arab culture and Islam for those outside this immigrant community. 
Angel House prides itself on its community building and support, though mainly
focusing on the personal needs of our individual students.
English as a Second Language
Angel House provides 3 levels of ESL classes for participants:
Classes are scheduled for women in the mornings and men in the mornings and evenings in segregated classrooms, sensitive to the conservative nature of our community, which prohibits mixing of sexes.
Child Care 
Child Care is available to enable mothers to participate in programs. We work to prepare children 
for preschool and kindergarten, as many of their mothers are low-level English speakers, leaving these children almost totally unprepared linguistically, socially and educationally for school.
After-School Middle and High School Tutoring
Volunteers work with bilingual middle and high school students, tutoring in computers, English 
and high challenge subjects (chemistry, physics, high mathematics, etc.) because tutoring is unavailable elsewhere in the community.
We use our new, state-of-the-art Computer Lab to teach basic applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and how to use the Internet, in conjunction with other high level skills, including digital photography and understanding computer hardware. Comcast Corporation has partnered with Angel House to provide high-speed internet access, and we are very grateful they have provided this internet access for life!
In their own countries in the Middle East, many women do not drive. While driving in Detroit is imperative due to the lack of public transportation, it is also essential for their financial stability 
and mobility, allowing women to work, shop, and travel outside the neighborhood. Several dozen women participate in classroom instruction at Angel House, preparing them for their driving tests.
Book Club 
Book Clubs are popular in many countries. This is a great way for our students to test their vocabulary, be enlightened on bestsellers and classics, and have the opportunity to talk, drink 
tea, and enjoy cookies. Oprah isn’t the ONLY one with a Book Club!

Plymouth-Canton Community Literacy Council       
46501 Warren
Canton  MI  48186
Phone:  734-416-4906
We are a volunteer, non-profit organization aiming to improve adult literacy in Plymouth-Canton 
and surrounding areas of Western Wayne County. Our mission is to provide adults with basic reading, writing and communication skills, so they may participate in their community and reach their fullest potential in life. For over 27 years, we have been offering the following services to enhance the lives of individuals in our community:
One-on-One Tutoring for adults 16 and older who need help with basic reading, writing or English 
as a Second Language (ESL).
Conversation Groups for adults learning to speak English as a second language.
ESL Book Club for English language learners looking to improve reading and conversation 
skills by discussing popular fiction.
ESL Book Club for English Language l\Learners looking to improve reading and conversation 
skills by discussing popular fiction.

Reading Works Detroit                 
615 W. Lafayette Blvd. 
Detroit MI  48226 
Phone:  313-222-6870
A collective partnership of community leaders from the business, education, media, civic 
and faith communities dedicated to improving adult literacy in Metro Detroit.  The organization 
is partnering with adult literacy agencies and other organizations to provide resources to help 
more people learn to read
2651 Saulino Court
Dearborn MI  48120
Phone:  313-842-6762
Adult literacy (E.S.L.), children’s literacy, interactive parent and child activities, educational 
and recreational field trips, citizenship classes, educational and advocacy services, early 
childhood services, WIA youth programs, career development outreach program, students 
in transition program.  Monday–Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.      
Dominican Literacy Center
11148 Harper Ave.
Detroit  MI  48213
Phone:  313-267-1000
An east-side Detroit center for tutoring and information to improve literacy. 
Mercy Education Project
1450 Howard Street
Detroit  MI  48216
Phone:  313-963-5881
An educational development program that targets young girls and women. 
Beyond Basics
Thirkell Elementary School 
7724 Fourteenth 
Detroit  MI  48206
Phone: 248-250-9304
Aims to boost literacy skills of the parents of students who participate in Beyond Basics, 
a reading enrichment program primarily aimed at children.  
Wayne State University / ANOTHER CHANCE
Phone: 313-862-1990
Tutoring Location
Lighthouse Center
19940 Livernois
Detroit  MI  48221
Detroit Literacy Coalition
3726 Fisher Ave.
Detroit  MI 48214 
Phone:  313-922-7323
A Detroit-based coalition that offers tutoring and information to improve literacy. 
Macomb Literacy Partners
16480 Hall Road
Clinton Township  MI  48038
Phone:  586-286-2750
Oakland Literacy Council
2550 S. Telegraph Road  Suite 103
Bloomfield HIlls  MI  48302
Phone:  248-253-1617
Siena Literacy Center 
16800 Trinity  (Campus of Christ the King Catholic Church)
Detroit  MI  48219
Phone:  313-532-8404

Detroit Urban League 
Main Office: 
208 Mack Avenue 
Detroit MI   48201 
Phone:  313-832-4600
Family and Community Development 
15770 James Couzens 
Detroit MI  48238
Addressing early literacy gaps, the Urban League has developed Read and Rise, a parent 
mobilization effort around early literacy support, and development in urban areas.

Madonna University’s Southwest (Detroit) Women’s Educational Empowerment Program (SWEEP)
5716 Wellness Bldg.
5716 Michigan Avenue                         
Detroit  MI  48210
Phone:  313-965-5334
SWEEP assists aspiring students to overcome economic challenges and achieve a college education, leading to a more successful future.  In our free workshops, students learn about computer use, college-level writing, making college affordable, and balancing the demands 
of family, work and school.  All services are bilingual.  

Children’s Outreach Program        
5716 Wellness
5716 Michigan Ave.
Detroit  MI  48210
Phone:  313-896-1642
Offers year-round and full-day early childhood education and childcare.  Services are provided 
at the center at 5716 Wellness and through home-based programs.  Children’s Outreach is a 
faith-based organization offering an educational curriculum that meets Head Start performance standards.  Childcare is affordable and the cost is adjusted based on income and parental involvement.   The center provides a multicultural environment. 

Central Detroit Christian Community Development         
8840 Second Ave.
Detroit  MI  48202
Phone:  313-873-0064
Each week, nearly 125 students attend the Breakthrough Enrichment Program hosted by CDC 
and an incredible team of nearly 25 volunteers! On Tuesdays from 6-8 pm, Breakthrough meets 
at Blessed Sacrament Community Center at 150 Belmont. Transportation is provided to and from 
the enrichment program for children in our service area. During their time there, the children are 
first served dinner, then go through a three-part rotation of creative arts, academic enrichment, 
and Bible time.
Tutoring for K-5 
An incredibly successful program has been CDC’s Saturday Tutoring Program. CDC provides remedial educational tutoring for grades K-5th through one-on-one interaction with a volunteer 
tutor. Reading and math are the primary focus of the Tutoring program with other subjects to 
follow as we have knowledgeable volunteer tutors come on board.

South Eastern Michigan Indians, Inc.        
26641 Lawrence 
Center Line, MI 48015
Phone: 586-756-1350
G.E.D. preparation offered. 

Arab American Chaldean Council          
ACC Artisan & Adult Learning Center
55 W. Seven Mile Road
Detroit MI  48203
Phone:  313-369-4700

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation Service Centers
455 W. Fort Street
Detroit  MI  48226
Phone:  313-962-9675
707 W. Milwaukee Avenue
Detroit  MI  48202
Phone:  313-873-8231
5555 Conner Avenue 
Detroit  MI  48213 
Phone:  313-579-4925
Meet with a Career Advisor at one of our One-Stop Service Centers to see how you can get FREE assistance including improving your Math and Reading skills (even if you already have your GED 
or High School Diploma), OR complete High School OR studying for & taking your GED.  You can also get help that includes job placement, career counseling, professional development and access to training opportunities.  

VISIONS G.E.D. Testing Center
18985 Biltmore Street
Detroit MI  48235
Phone: 313-838-3801
Visions is a non-profit, official G.E.D. Testing Center whose mission is to provide individuals 
without a high school diploma with an opportunity to earn an official G.E.D. certificate in a comfortable and caring environment.  Testing is available every day of the week and no 
appointment is necessary.  $40 to take the ENTIRE test. 

Downriver Community Conference
15100 Northline Road
Southgate MI  48195
Phone:  734-362-3481
Michigan Works! One-Stop Service Center, Job Search Skills Training, Career Resources 
Center, On-the-Job Training, Job placement and training (WFI Act), GED preparation. 
Michigan Works! YOUTH PROGRAM       
Downriver Resource Center
15100 Northline Road  Suite 180
Southgate MI  48195
Phone:  734-362-7031 (Lynette)  OR  734-362-7032  (Danielle) 
Earn you G.E.D. or High School diploma.  For out-of-school youth ages 17 to 21 years old.  
17 year olds can participate with signature of parent or legal guardian.  

The Guidance Center 
13101 Allen Road
Southgate MI  48195
Phone:  734-785-7702
The Guidance Center Head Start / Administrative Offices
35408 Beverly Road
Romulus MI  48174
Phone:  734-785-7702
Head Start is a FREE, comprehensive preschool program for children from low-income families, foster children, and children with disabilities ages 3-4 years old.  It serves children and their families in Downriver and western Wayne County at multiple sites.  See website for its multiple locations!
The Guidance Center Family Resource Center
Walter White Community Resource Center
550 Eaton 
River Rouge MI 
Phone:  734-785-7705  ext. 7835
Offers free G.E.D. tutoring for anyone 17 and older.  They will help you prepare to take the GED exam.
Even Start–A Family Learning Community
15601 Northline Road
Southgate MI  48195
Phone:  734-785-7705  ext. 7112
A FREE family literacy program designed to help low-income parents of children up to age 8 
reach their goal of earning a G.E.D. 
Parents As Teachers (PAT)
In-home child development and education program that prepares infants and young children 
for success in school. 
Family Resource Center
Phone:  734-785-7705 ext. 7361 & ext. 7021
Lending and resource library, educational play groups, parent/child play groups, parent 
education and interest groups, and other classes such as Positive Discipline and Infant Massage. 
The Guidance Corner Bookstore 
15601 Northline Road
Southgate MI  48195
Full service bookstore that provides comprehensive resources on behavioral health issues 
for children, adults and families.  Online ordering only!!
FREE adult-child interaction Playgroups at The Guidance Centers Community Resource Centers. These are for caregivers (or others) and their toddlers and preschoolers (0-5 yrs.) These are FREE GROUPS to residents of Wayne County. These playgroups include ACTIVITIES, ARTS AND CRAFTS, DISCUSSIONS, OPEN PLAY, STORY TIMES, SNACKS, SINGING and SONGS, and INFORMATIONAL HANDOUTS. We have 7 locations Downriver, all groups lasting 1 1/2 hrs. Call today for openings:
Belleville:  734-785-7705 x 7529
Flat Rock (waiting list):  734-785-7705 x7620
Lincoln Park:  734-785-7705 x7421
River Rouge:  734-785-7705 x7835
Romulus/Van Buren:  734-785-7705 x7529
Southgate:  734-785-7705 x7191
Taylor:  734-785-7705 x7420

Wayne County Health & Family Services Head Start
30712 Michigan Ave.
Westland MI  48186
Phone:  734-727-7074  OR   866-534-KIDS (5437)
Serves all of Wayne County outside the City of Detroit.  

Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency 
Administrative Office:
2121 Biddle Ave.
Wyandotte MI  48192
Phone:  313-369-4600  OR  734-284-6999  (main number)
Offers Head Start classes in Highland Park, Hamtramck, and Harper Woods. 
Also offers Even Start program in which Adult Education, Early Education and PACT Parent Education (Parent & Child Time Together) are offered.  To enroll, parents must be in need of additional basic education, GED or ESL education and have at least one child between the 
ages of 0 and seven years of age.  For this program call 313-369-460.   
Also see the listing at the top of the page for homeless youth! 

Starfish Family Services / Head Start
3000 Hiveley
Inkster MI  48141
Phone:  734-727-3159
Has Head Start  classes in Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, etc.
See second listing below!

Wayne-Westland Community Schools
36745 Marquette
Westland MI  48185
Phone: 734-419-2000
Operates Head Start classes in Wayne and Westland.

YMCA of Western-Wayne County
26279 Michigan Ave.
Inkster MI  48141
Phone:  313-561-4110
Operates Head Start classes in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Redford, South Redford and 
Westwood School District.

Flat Rock Community Education Literacy Program
28639 Division
Flat Rock MI  48134
Phone:  734-782-5173 

Teach Our Tots Early (TOTE)
24975 Van Horn
Brownstown MI  48195
Phone:  734-783-3322
Home-based intervention program serving the educational needs of eligible students 
with disabilities from birth to 3 years old.  Serves downriver communities. 

Downriver High School 
33211 McCann
Brownstown MI  48173
Phone:  734-379-4663
An alternative school for pregnant teens or teens who cannot adapt to regular high school.  
Teen Parent Educational Programs
Lincoln Park:  313-389-0234
Southgate: 734-246-4633
Wyandotte:  734-246-1008

Centro Multicultural La Familia
35 W. Huron  Suite #500
Pontiac MI  48342
Phone:  248-858-7800
Provides ESL classes with the goal of increasing employment opportunities

Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
1211 Trumbull
Detroit MI  48216-1940
Phone:  313-967-4880                   
Provides literacy training, GED preparation classes, counseling,  ESL classes, parenting 
classes and Job Seeking & Placement services for the Hispanic population.  Classes held 
during the day and evening to accommodate working students. 

LASED (Latin Americans for Social & Economic Development)
4138 W. Vernor
Detroit MI  48209
Phone:  313-554-2025
Advocacy, information, referrals, translation and interpretation, tax assistance program

Romulus Adult Education / Van Buren Adult Education
39000 Superior
Romulus, MI  48174
Phone:  734-532-1950
GED tutoring, GED, High School Completion for age 20+.  FREE to students who do not have 
a high school diploma and who are 20 years old by Sept. 1st.  Serves Romulus, Van Buren, 
Sumpter, Belleville, and Taylor.  GED classes are also offered at Taylor Head Start.  Tuition varies.

Southgate Adult & Community Education &
The Advantage Academy Alternative High School 
14101 Leroy
Southgate, MI  48195
Phone:  734-246-4633
Runs from 3rd week of August through the 3rd week of June, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free childcare, parent-child education and literacy,, high school diplomas, and vocational 
English as a second language class.  Serves Southeast Detroit to Grosse Ile.  Call for fees. 
Downriver Literacy Council 
Phone:  734-246-4633      Ask for the Literacy Program
Will evaluate your skills in Reading and/or Math and match you with a trained volunteer 
to help you improve your Reading or Math.  Tutoring is available for adults 18 and older. 

The Southgate Family Resource Center
15500 Howard
Southgate MI  48195
Phone:  734-246-7845
Provides a lending library of books and videos for families and helps parents network with 
other parents with similar concerns.  Open to any family member with a child in Southgate 

Leaps & Bounds Family Services            
Mt. Calvary 
8129 Packard
Warren MI  48089
Phone:  586-759-3895
Provides family education services through early literacy programs for families with children 
up to age 5,  adult education, G.E.D. program and career preparation, for residents of Northeast
Detroit, Warren, and all of Wayne & Macomb counties.

Starfish Family Services
Great Parents Great Start   (F.I.S.H,)
30000 Hiveley Road
Inkster, MI  48141
Phone: 734-595-0411 ext. 109                  (See Head Start listing above also!)
A literacy home visiting program for three-year old children and their families.  The program 
will offer Kindermusik classes and literacy home visits to help children develop their language 
and literacy skills, and to give parents an early introduction to what it means to be their child’s 
first and most important teacher.  Home visits and Kindermusik classes arranged to meet family needs.  No transportation provided.

Wayne RESA
Phone:  734-334-1300
Give Your Child a GREAT start!  Dial 734-334-1475 and your child will hear a celebrity read 
one of three award-winning children’s books (stories change monthly). Tune in to your local 
school district education access channel for dates and times of programs that will help you 
learn how and why it is important to read to your child every day.

Wayne County Community College District      
Multiple locations in Taylor, Belleville and Detroit                     
FREE 16-week GED PREP classes held year-round from Monday through Thursdays from 
9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The class book can be bought at the college bookstore for $26.  After  
taking the class, the G.E.D. test can be taken at a center in Detroit for only $30.  Tutoring, 
career counseling, associate degrees and certificates in 68 different programs.  Day and 
evening classes.  Grants, financial aid, etc. is available.  

Matrix Human Services
Administration Office:
120 Parsons Street
Detroit MI  48201
Phone:  313-831-1000  OR  313-873-0678
Computer Lab Training

Epiphany Education Centers
Samaritan Center
Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance  
5555 Conner  (near Chandler Park)
Detroit MI 
Phone:  313-267-1830
Run by 7 retired Catholic nuns who provide instruction in reading & language arts
to grades 1st-8th.

Southwest Solutions
Adult Learning Lab and Wayne State University Harris Literacy Program 
4214 W. Vernor 
Detroit MI  48209
Phone:  313-451-8055
Helps adults improve their literacy, math and computer skills so they can be better qualified for employment. 

ProLiteracy Detroit           
12300 Morang Drive 
Detroit MI  48224
Phone: 313-872-7720
52 Literacy and tutoring sites have been established throughout Metro Detroit.  
Free one-to-one and small group tutoring services, after-school literacy programs 
for elementary school children, technology-based literacy instruction.  
FREE books for adults and children, family literacy projects.

Latino Family Services
3815 W. Fort Street
Detroit MI  48216
Phone:  313-841-7380
GED & ESL classes

Cass Community Library          
Cass United Methodist Church
3901 Cass Ave.  Cass & Sheldon          
Detroit MI  48201   
Phone: 313-833-7730

Caregivers Ministry
2111 Woodward Ave.  #700
Detroit MI  48201
Phone:  313-964-5070  OR  800-676-5071

Child & Family Institute
104 Lothrop Landing
Detroit MI  48202
Phone: 313-874-5820
Parent enrichment, la-related education: Street Law Program/Teaching Law in High School 
Program, Conflict Resolution: P.E.A.C.E. Program, alcohol and drug awareness, motivational speaking/concerts, After-School programming and professional development seminars.

S.E.M.C.A.      (multiple locations)
25363 Eureka Road
Taylor MI  48180
Phone:  800-285-WORKS  OR  TTY 800-649-3777
The Partnership for Adult Learning (PAL) provides an opportunity for adult students to achieve education levels equivalent to those of high-school graduates by improving reading, writing, 
and mathematic skills.  The instruction is tailored to the individual needs of students and consists of these five components:  Adult Basic Literacy (instruction in reading, English, language arts, math and civics for adults without a high-school diploma), GED Test PreparationWorkforce Readiness, English as a Second Languageand High School Completion (designed to fulfill the requirements for a high school diploma for the residents of Wayne and Monroe counties, excluding the city of Detroit).

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan           14 Locations in 3 Counties
26777 Halsted Road  #100
Farmington Hills MI  48331-3560
Phone: 248-473-1400
Call for current hours!  Homework & Career Help, Character & Leadership Programs, the Arts, 
Health & Life Skills

Services for Older Citizens
17150 Waterloo
Grosse Pointe MI  48230
Phone:  313-882-9600
Computer classes on Friday afternoons.  
Ask for ext. 245  OR  Email:

English Language Institute
Wayne State University
351 Manoogian Hall
Detroit MI  48202
Phone:  313-577-2729
Offers the fastest way to improve communication skills in English.  The ELI is the only 
intensive English language program in the metropolitan Detroit area.  Helps students 
at all levels of English proficiency with their reading, writing, speaking, grammar, and 
listening comprehension.

Community Literacy Council
Starkweather School
550 N. Holbrook
Plymouth, MI  48170
Phone: 734-416-4906

Life Institute of Family Education
Phone:  313-342-0006
Provides relationship-skills training, marriage preparation and financial literacy 
for adults and youth.

First Presbyterian Church
2799 West Road
Trenton MI  48183
Phone:  734-676-1510
ESL classes every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. (free)

Joy Baptist Church
37055 Joy Road
Westland MI  48185
Phone:  734-425-0466
Has a literacy ministry and is free of charge.

Operation Get Down, Inc.
10100 Harper Avenue
Detroit MI  48213
Phone:  313-921-9422
This program offers free adult education classes that are open to the community.  
Classes include: general education diploma preparation and adult basic education, 
job placement assistance for G.E.D. graduates, hands-on computer training and 
computer-assisted learning tools, and Alcoholics Anonymous & Narcotics Anonymous 


Community Action Agency
400 West South
Adrian  MI  49221
Phone: 517-263-7861  OR  800-438-1845
Parent Programs, Fatherhood Initiative, ESL & Literacy programs.


Mentoring Solutions of Warren  
27500  Cosgrove       
Warren MI  48902
Phone:  586-294-8449

Macomb Literacy Partners              (See Reading Works above under Metro Detroit)
16480 Hall Road 
Clinton Twp., MI  48038
Phone:  586-286-2750
Agency is at Wayne State University’s Macomb Education Center on the Center Campus of Macomb Community College.  Tutoring is provided year-round throughout Macomb County.  Adults 18 and older who are living, working or going to school in Macomb County and functioning at an eighth-grade level or below who need help with reading, writing or English as a second language (ESL).  Free one-on-one tutoring is provided by trained volunteers one to two hours per week at a public location mutually convenient to the learner and tutor.   

Leaps & Bounds Family Services           
Mt. Calvary 
8129 Packard
Warren MI 48089
Phone: 586-759-3895
Provides family education services through early literacy programs for families with children 
up to age 5, adult education, G.E.D. program and career preparation, for residents of Northeast
Detroit, Warren, and all of Wayne & Macomb counties.


Project READ
Monroe Intermediate School District
1101 S. Raisinville Road
Monroe MI  48161
Phone:  734-242-5799 ext. 1325
Tutoring for literacy and improving others reading skills, Assisting with GED preparation, ESL.   
Must be a Monroe County resident and be age 20 or older, must provide own transportation.

S.E.M.C.A. (multiple locations)
25363 Eureka Road
Taylor MI 48180
Phone: 800-285-WORKS   OR  TTY 800-649-3777
The Partnership for Adult Learning (PAL) provides an opportunity for adult students to achieve education levels equivalent to those of high-school graduates by improving reading, writing, 
and mathematic skills. The instruction is tailored to the individual needs of students and consists 
of these five components: Adult Basic Literacy (instruction in reading, English, language arts, math and civics for adults without a high-school diploma), GED Test Preparation, Workforce Readiness, English as a Second Language, and High School Completion (designed to fulfill the requirements
 for a high school diploma for the residents of Wayne and Monroe counties, excluding the city of Detroit).

Arthur Lesow Community Center
120 Eastchester Street
Monroe MI  48161
Phone: 734-241-4313
Mentoring and tutoring for youth in elementary and middle school.

Monroe Center for Independent Living
40 N. Roessler
Monroe MI  48162
Phone:  734-242-5919
Free beginning and low-vision computer classes

Bedford Public Schools
Phone:  734-850-6050   
Offers both preparation classes & GED testing at a site in Temperance.  Classes meet on Monday 
& Wednesday nights from  6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and there is an attendance requirement.  If a person 
is a Michigan resident over the age of 20 and can  commit to attending those evenings, they are eligible for free classes.  If they meet the attendance requirements once they are in the program, 
they may also get “free” testing.  Only a limited number of students are accepted each period.   
There is a $199 fee which covers all 5 tests, the registration appointment and two workshops 
(1 in Math and 1 in Writing).


Boys & Girls Clubs of Oakland County
1545 E. Lincoln
Royal Oak MI  48067
881 Pinecrest 
Ferndale MI  48220
Phone:  248-544-4166
Homework & Career help, Character & Leadership programs, Health & Life skills, the Arts.

Oakland Literacy Council
Phone:  248-253-1617
Phone: 248-232-4664
Agency is on Telegraph Road at Square Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills, but tutoring is provided 
at public locations convenient to the learner and tutor.  Adults 18 and older who are living, working, 
or going to school in Oakland County, functioning at an eight-grade level or below and who need help with reading, writing, or English as a second language (ESL).  Free one-on-one tutoring by trained volunteers, one to two hours per week at a mutually convenient public location.  
Workshops and activities are offered throughout the year for tutors and learners.  

Centro Multicultural La Familia 
35 W. Huron Street    Suite  #500
Pontiac MI  48342
Phone:  248-858-7800
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
ESL classes.  Limited transportation within an 8 mile radius as well as limited child care. 

Grace Centers of Hope
35 E. Huron 
Pontiac, MI  48342
Phone:  248-334-2187
GED classes.

Bound Together
167 W. Pike Street
Pontiac MI  
Phone:  248-334-3827
Provides tutoring, mentoring and meals for elementary students 
every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon throughout 
the school year.  Also offers Art class every second Monday.  

South Oakland Shelter
431 N. Main Street
Royal Oak MI  48067
Phone:  248-546-6566
Adult literacy, financial literacy as well as computer training classes. 


Washtenaw Literacy
5577 Whittaker Road
Ypsilanti MI  48197
Phone:  734-879-1320
Assistance with reading, GED, English as a second language (for those 16 yrs. and older), 
if you live or work in Washtenaw County.  FREE!

Ypsilanti Adult Community Education
2095 Packard
Ypsilanti MI  48197
Phone:  734-714-1240
High School Diploma and G.E.D.

Washtenaw County Community College Adult Transitions
4800 E. Huron River Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1610
Phone:  734-677-5006
Counselor on site.  FREE (to qualified applicants) workshops on GED & ASSET test preparation, entrance into campus programs, improving reading, writing and math skills, some job training programs.  Call for information about workshops!

Ypsilanti Student Literacy Corps
Eastern Michigan University
34 N. Washington
Ypsilanti MI  48197
Phone:  734-487-0243
Using E.M.U. faculty and pre-student teachers, provides after-school tutoring to elementary 
students in public housing sites in Ypsilanti..

Student Advocacy Center
1921 W. Michigan Avenue
Ypsilanti, MI  48197
Phone:  734-482-0489
Provides free, non-legal advocacy to students (and their parents) who are eligible 
for general and special public education programs.

Father Patrick Jackson House Program
1014 S. Main
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
Phone:  734-761-1440
Literacy classes for young women under 18 who are pregnant.

The Neutral Zone
310 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
Phone:  734-214-9995
Offers Literacy classes, music, art and Leadership programs as well as a “Chillin’ Drop In” 
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A Book Review: “N” (The Compass Series) by Stephen Santos


I never ask for more than I deserve/You know it’s the truth/You seem to think you’re God’s gift to this earth/I’m tellin’ you, no way.

-Janet Jackson, What Have You Done For Me Lately

     There are two ways to think about Stephen Santos and his new novel, N: The Compass Series, and the differences of how we interpret a failed marriage between two people whose worldview is inharmoniously synched with spirituality, practicality and conventional wisdoms that always seem to betray even the most decent of amorous intentions.

     Joshua and Bridget are married, and Bridget wants (and is eventually granted) a divorce from her husband. She moves with her children into a new marriage which she feels will provide her with a better sense of emotional and financial security.  Joshua is understandly devastated, torn with anguish, and is forced to accept the way his wife feels, and he thus spends the remainder of the book laying the bulk of his problems at the winged feet of his wife (whose voice in the matter seems controlled, choked and regulated, but more on this later). At times, Joshua seems delusional and romantic about marriage and women. He seems ironic and contradictory, believes he knows what Bridget wants, yet he is unable to hear her for sake of his own veiled conceit:

We were young, and she had so much life in her. I loved her with all of my heart, but I didn’t have concrete plans as to where I was headed in life. She, on the other hand, had a plan, a purpose and a desire to be free from uncertainty about things. She kept dragging her feet when I would ask her about our future. She knew that I couldn’t change, and that she would have to be the one to. That sounds bad. It’s not that I didn’t want to change for her, it’s just that I had discovered what everyone really wants (63-64).

     But Bridget did seem to know what she wanted in life and marriage, if only Joshua had listened. The novel is full of these moments, Joshua is steady with his blame-game, and Bridget struggles to find happiness and a sense of marital fulfillment. All is difficult mostly because Joshua cannot bring himself to think in practical terms regarding the breakdown of his marriage, the problem of arrogance, and the limitations of spiritual/religious panaceas. He spends too much time ministering to us (in first-person), undervaluing his wife, and, fatalistically, seeing the world through romantic lenses.


Sing your praises, hold your hand/Tell the world that I think you’re grand/I’ll do any, thing for you, (he-he) but slave.

-Ray Charles, I’ll do Anything But Work

Much masculinity, particularly when it is aggressive and overbearing and hostile and unrelenting, is really a mask for the innate puerile frailty most men suffer. This is why it is so important to repress oppress suppress and  control women. This is why it is difficult for men to listen to women, husbands their wives. It is difficult for a man to respect a woman’s independence and self-assurance, but particularly her right to control her body mind and soul.  And religion undergirds this male persistence simply by way of its own support and confirmation of female subjugation (Ayaan Hirsi Ali is still on the run last I heard). Throughout the novel, Joshua never accepts responsibility for his failed marriage, only insisting that Bridget has fallen from (his) grace like in a biblical scene, thus it is his righteous duty to rescue and rehabilitate her. Her dreams and ambitions (which he has taken for granted and/or is unable to bear) is never really the focus of Joshua’s concern, just that he must save her from herself. More of Joshua’s sermonic hubris:

I refused to worry about things, and I was ok with the ways that life changes direction. She figured she needed to control her life so that nothing was left in the air. I know why she did this, but I knew she would always be nagged by the fears of her childhood unless she followed me. She knew deep down her desire was to live with me, but she kept wondering how she would function in reality? She used to always tell me she thought I lived on a cloud somewhere, and she was trying to make things work down here in the real world (64)

     “Why did she have to do this? Why now? Why ever? For comfort. That’s her reason. So that she could feel more comfortable, that’s what it boils down to. She was tired of being a journey. Well, did she really think that life was supposed to be easy?” (23) Ironically, the answers to Joshua’s questions – which he cannot see because of his evangelical preoccupation with all that is wrong with Bridget – is revealed in the futile soliloquies where he finds himself suffocated by his own romanticism.

     In a scene that is quite revealing, Joshua asks Bridget pointedly if he is the reason to blame for her leaving the marriage. Bridget says yes. “If you  would’ve just provided a safe place for us, a place where I didn’t have to worry about the things I was worried about, then I wouldn’t have felt like I needed to go look for it elsewhere” (44). Bridget is redolent with reason, trying desperately to lift her voice above Joshua’s impassioned sentimentality, hoping he will see the importance of financial and emotional security a woman needs and desires from a husband. She tries to explain what is practical in a marriage and what security means for her: “Josh, you know just as well as I do that whether you worry or not, there are still bills that need to be paid, people who get sick and things that were outside of our financial reach” (44). Again, Joshua misses his chance to learn something about women and how they view marriage. Here he cloaks his personal inadequacy in ignorant romanticism: “Yeah, but life is more than just paying bills. It’s more than just paying bills. It’s more than a feeling of safety” (44).

     In his great novel, Baldwin wrote: “We all commit our crimes. The thing is to not lie


Stephen Santos

about them – to try to understand what you have done, why you have done it. That way, you can begin to forgive yourself. That’s very important. If you don’t forgive yourself you’ll never be able to forgive anybody else and you’ll go on committing the same crimes forever” (79, Another Country).   Joshua’s burden is that he cannot forgive himself for his inadequacy as a provider. He cannot forgive Bridget (in the real sense) because forgiving her would place a deeper burden of confrontation: to excavate hidden pain; to look at the man in the mirror, to challenge all that he has come to know about life, love, and about people. Perhaps this is partly the inextricable burden Santos, too, confronts inasmuch as why he avoids the subcutaneous questions pervading the entire novel:  Why is Bridget’s character so condensed, paralytic, voiceless, and solely dependent on Joshua’s holy mercy and righteous wisdom?


     The biblical meaning of the name Joshua is “a savior; a deliverer.” The American meaning of the name Joshua is “a savior; a deliverer.” The Hebrew meaning of the name Joshua is “Jehovah is generous. Jehovah saves. In the Old Testament, Joshua was chosen to succeed Moses as leader of the Israelites for their journey to the Promised Land” ( So perhaps that is Joshua’s real problem: He thinks his job is to save Bridget. He thinks he is on a righteous crusade of biblical importance, to rescue the fallen woman, the harlot, from imminent self-destruction and eternal doom – this, he believes, is his sacred calling. He ministers when he should seek counseling; he analyzes when he should accept; He proselytizes when he should be silent.

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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ULITT 2014: February 22 & 23, Michigan State University | #ULITT2014 via @CAITLAH

ULITT 2014: February 22 & 23, Michigan State University | #ULITT2014


It’s that time again, ULITT 2014 is just around the corner! REGISTER BELOW

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing information about this year’s conference. In the interim, sign up to join our ULITT mailing list below. 


This year’s conference will feature a keynote by renowned activist, writer, and filmmaker dream hampton, as well as powerful workshops by 5e Gallery, Inside Out Literary Arts, Urban Word NYC, and others!

What is ULITT? 

The Urban Literacies Institute for Transformative Teaching is being held at Michigan State University once again.  Designed to explore critical issues that affect today’s youth, ULITT strives to support teachers, educators, youth organizers, community leaders and activists to not only engage but cultivate best practices for working with our students both within and outside of the classroom. 

Past ULITTs 

ULITT 2013 featured keynotes by Dr. Chris Emdin–a pioneer in the Hip Hop science movement–and acclaimed spoken-word poet Jessica Care Moore, as well as tremendous contributions by the likes of MC K-Swift, Jamila Lysicott, Hired Gun, Toni Blackman, Michael Cirelli, Adam Falkner, and Issac Miler.  


Register HERE! 

ULITT 2012: June 18-21, Michigan State University

ULITT 2012 featured transformative sessions from Dr. Dawn-Elissa Fischer, Toni Blackman, Michael Cirelli, Adam Falkner, and Jamila Lyiscott, and workshops and performances from Ishmael “Ish” Islam, Hired Gun, Eagle Nebula, Intikana, MC K~Swift, and Detroit’s own Invincible. MSU’s State News reported on ULITT 2012 here.

Urban Literacies Institute for Transformative Teaching 

ULITT, an annual event designed to support teachers, educators, youth organizers, community leaders and activists in cultivating social justice and hip-hop pedagogy, embraces the Freirian student-centered model and aims to explore critical issues affecting today’s youth. Using the power of spoken word poetry and hip-hop as the lens to explore language and privilege, participants will learn best practices from professionals in key fields of urban education, youth development, and community activism. 

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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@Boys2Books featured in National Spotlight!

Boys2Books1I’m honored to be a contributor to the Motown Writers Network and share about my program, Boys 2 Books.

The program focuses on improving the lives of young males through literacy, leadership, and life skills. The program has been receiving local and national attention via BET, PBS, and other media sources. Read the feature on Boys 2 Books in C&G News, focusing on the work being done to inspire our youth! —-> and check out our feature “It Takes a Village to Raise Detroit” on BET —>

For more info. about Boys 2 Books visit: or call 313.469.1947


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New Meetup Group: Genesee County Literature Lovers #mwn #michlit

New Meetup Group!
This is a group for people who love literature in all forms whether it be a novel, poetry, play or lyrics. Reading is what I love most in this world and being able to share that love with other people makes reading even more enjoyable. I am looking forward to sharing in the joy of the written word with all of you!
Organized by Julie Hannah Bissett

Hello! My name is Julie and I love to read. I love reading so much that as a young child my mother used to ground me by taking away my reading privileges, little did she know that I had books hidden all over the house. 🙂
What is your favorite form of literature?
I love every form of literature. The written word speaks to me, there are novels that make laugh or cry, there are songs which I can’t help but sing along to, there are plays which make me question my very existence and there are movies (screen plays) which fill my with unending questions. Whatever form literature comes in the connection and love is always there.
What book would you suggest we read?
Although I have read more books than I can count, one which I would recommend for anyone to read would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Yes, it is a little bit older and a “romance” novel but it is so beautifully written and has such memorable characters that it can quickly become one of your favorites. Until about a year ago I had never even wanted to read a Jane Austen novel, now I am one of her biggest fans.
Who is your favorite author?
Can anyone ever have just one favorite author??? Just to list a few; Novels: J. K. Rowling, Chinda Williams Chima, Suzanne Brockmann, Jennifer Cruise, Betty Neels, Jane Austen, Mitch Albom, James Patterson, Rick Riordan; Poetry: Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, W. H. Auden, e.e. cummings; Plays: William Shakespeare, Tony Kushner, Steve Martin; Songs: Blue October, Ke$ ha, P!nk, Adele, Christina Perry, Nickelback, Shinedown, Seether, 3 Doors Down, Michael Buble. To me there are different writings for different times in our live and that is what these authors represent to me, different times, thoughts, emotions, feelings, needs, wants, but most of all life.
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Michigan Male Authors: Help support #MotownWriters literacy efforts #RealMenRead #mwn #amreading #MotownLit #Detroit

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