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Oceana Community Foundation’s Read early. Read often. Program Starts New Year with a New Leader

Oceana’s Read Early. Read Often. (RERO) Program would like to welcome Teresa Mead to the Foundation Team as the new Program Coordinator. Teresa spent 24 years working for Shelby Public Schools. She started in 1999 at Benona Elementary, then 7 years at New Era Elementary  running the computer and library programs and her last 14 years at the Early Childhood Center (ECC). She was the ECC Program Coordinator before her retirement in June 2023.  

Achievements in Teresa’s early childhood tenure include working 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 ESD, 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. 

RERO 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. Numerous academic studies support that increasing early literacy rates for our youngest learners not only impacts education preparedness, but also higher education & 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.  Reading to children is incredibly important and I am so thankful for the opportunity to help make an impact in this wonderful community,” said Teresa Mead. 

Teresa was involved in the startup of the RERO Program in Oceana County.  After being introduced to same program at the Muskegon ISD in 2016, Teresa 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 the Foundation’s Director, Tammy Carey, and ultimately the program began in the Spring of 2016. “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 will be on February 13th from 9-11am at the Foundation offices (388 S. Hancock Street in Pentwater – 2nd floor of the bank building). 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 & activities, call Tammy Carey at 

231-869-3377 or visit the Foundation’s website at