Washtenaw Literacy

Washtenaw Literacy’s purpose is straightforward: we help adults change their lives through literacy. Our organization has over 30 years' experience in helping men and women improve their reading, writing and English as a second language skills.

This focus on individual goals makes our program unique in the county. Washtenaw Literacy is a critical part of our community’s educational continuum. Someday we hope to have no need for our services. Until then, we’ll support our volunteer tutors as they help low-literate men and women improve their skills and their lives.

Check out the Washtenaw Literacy website.

Staff Recommendations

The kind mama : a simple guide to supercharged fertility, a radiant pregnancy, a sweeter birth, and a healthier, more beautiful beginningBy Silverstone, Alicia

Despite being yet another celebrity-authored work (as if!), "The Kind Mama" has real value. If you're a vegan looking to conceive, are pregnant or want to raise your baby vegan, this book is absolutely for you. If you're a healthy eater, not necessarily vegan, who wants to avoid putting chemicals into her body and you are starting a family, this book is for you. Even if you're just a regular ol' lady who is ready to start a family, you will get something out of reading this book.

Silverstone writes with a conversational tone, making you feel as though you just arrived to a breastfeeding conversation at your local playgroup. Don't let the familiar cadence fool you though; Silverstone backs up her facts with peer-reviewed research and direct quotes from pediatricians, OB/GYNs, midwifes and doulas. Stand-out portions include the "For Gentlemen Only" sections in each chapter (Silverstone recommends handing the book to your male partner at that moment), recipes for fertility, pregnancy and beyond, and the chapter that explains options for labor and delivery. One staggering statistic she offers, is that a hospital makes around $9,280 on vaginal deliveries; a C-section birth provides hospitals with even more profit. Silverstone does an excellent job of laying out all the pros and cons of every delivery option and shares how her birth story didn't go as planned.

Silverstone spends too much time on making parenting/lifestyle choices based on the principles of karma; if you don't subscribe to that way of life, it could dampen your enthusiasm for the book (as it did for me). She also makes unrealistic assumptions about people's ability to afford the lifestyle she touts. Still, even if you're a mama just surviving, pick this book up at the library (for free) and get a little support from her Kind Mama network. You can visit her website for more tips and to get in touch with other like-minded mamas. Included in "The Kind Mama" are vegan recipes, an index of "kind" food, natural remedies for common ailments, resources and bibliographies.

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