Sunday, November 19, 2017
Helping Connect The Dots
By Brian W. Carter (Staff Writer)
Published June 2, 2014

Michael McGrew, founder and executive director of I.A.M: Inspiration Amongst Manifestation Project For Literacy

Courtesy Photo

The I.A.M Project For Literacy is creating a bridge towards success for youth

There is power in wisdom and knowledge and the stepping stone to acquiring these vital keys is literacy. The U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy recently conducted a report that showed 32 million adults in the U.S. are illiterate. The study further showed 21 percent of adults read below 5th grade level and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. Back in 2009, the Department of Education report showed 50 percent of African American children in the fourth grade nationwide were below the basic skills level and far below average and by the ninth grade nationwide, the rate dropped below 44 percent.

Michael McGrew, 33, is the founder and executive director of I.A.M: Inspiration Amongst Manifestation Project For Literacy, which was established in December 2013. He understands the need for this program and wants to help the youth of the community become stronger.

“The I.A.M project for literacy is an organization that focuses primarily on four major components, which are health and wellness, financial business and writing,” said McGrew. “The literacy program is attached to our writer’s club and encourages students to express themselves through writing stories.”

I.A.M hopes to shed light on the importance of literacy and the doors and opportunities it unlocks. During the school year, the program focuses on reading, comprehension and vocabulary. The program is designed to create better comprehension skills, learn the difference between negative and positive language, encourage reading and a better understanding of language overall. A self-published author, McGrew saw I.A.M as a natural progression of his personal journey.

Michael McGrew (center) says his purpose is about “advocating literacy and educating the youth on discovering their inner genius.”

Courtesy Photo

“Ever since discovering my purpose…[I have been] advocating literacy and educating the youth on discovering their inner genius, [which] has been my primary goal,” said McGrew.

Literacy in the community is essential to our youth having an attainable future. It’s important that programs like McGrew’s are successful because the more you know, the more you can do. He understands that and he urges the community to understand the importance as well.

“I would like the community to know how important it is for us all to group together and encourage the youth and invest in the youth because they are our future,” said McGrew. “As a young man, I used to take those phrases for granted because no one really sat down and mentored me in regards to the importance of community advancement.”

He continued, “Personally, I do believe that literacy is the root to success… it’s about reading people, observing your area, getting involved, reading circumstances. As [African-Americans], it is important that we encourage each other.”

I.A.M works with youth between the ages of 13-25. For more information, please visit their website at You can also contact them at (310) 590-6816 or email at info@theiamp.prg. The I.A.M Project for Literacy is located at 1201 N La Brea Ave. Suite #18 in Inglewood, CA 90302.

Categories: Crenshaw & Around

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