Mead hired to lead Read Early Read Often program

February 1, 2024

Teresa Mead

Mead hired to lead Read Early Read Often program

Teresa Mead has been hired as the new program coordinator for Oceana Community Foundation’s Read Early Read Often program.

Mead worked 24 years for Shelby Public Schools. She started in 1999 at Benona Elementary; then worked seven years at New Era Elementary, running the computer and library programs; and spent her last 14 years at the Early Childhood Center. She was the ECC program coordinator before her retirement in June of 2023. 

Mead worked collaboratively with Peterson Farms to open the Oceana County Early Learning Center. The innovative partnership between a business and school is unique and helped fill a critical childcare need in the county. In 2022, the Early Childhood Center in partnership with the West Shore Educational Service District, was selected to pilot the multi-tiered system of support for the State of Michigan. The center was one of four schools in the state to be selected to shape future educators and programs nationwide.

Read Early Read Often is a county-wide effort to urge parents, siblings, grandparents and community members to read to infants and toddlers. “Reading every day, everything, everywhere will lead to success in school and in life,” states press release from the community foundation. “Numerous academic studies support that increasing early literacy rates for our youngest learners not only impacts education preparedness, but also higher education and career potential. Additionally, a 2010 study revealed that the number of books in the home has as great an impact on the levels of education attained by children as the education levels of their parents.”

“Early childhood experiences are the foundation for future success,” said Mead. ”Reading to children is incredibly important, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to help make an impact in this wonderful community.”

Mead was involved in the startup of Read Early Read Often in Oceana County in the spring of 2016. After being introduced to the same program at the Muskegon Intermediate School District, she brought the idea to the local Shelby ECC parent group. Together, they brainstormed ideas to get the program up and running in Oceana County and met with Oceana Community Foundation Director Tammy Carey. 

“While helping to provide free high-quality books for area families is core to the work, we are working with all of our literacy partners to determine our shared purpose, goals and activities. Teresa is an exceptional leader to carry out the plan,” said Carey.

The next RERO advisory committee meeting is set for Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 9-11 a.m. at the foundation offices on the second floor at 388 S. Hancock Street in Pentwater. Anyone interested in learning more about the program or contributing to its success is welcome to join.

For more information about making a gift, now or through an estate plan, creating a named fund at the foundation, or to learn more about foundation programs and activities, call Tammy Carey at (231) 869-3377 or visit the foundation’s website at www.oceanafoundation.org

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