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My Town Kalamazoo: Celebrating a promise kept for a decade

My Town Kalamazoo: Celebrating a promise kept for a decade

KALAMAZOO, Mich.— A decade ago, Kalamazoo made a promise, which has now sent thousands of teenagers to college.

The Kalamazoo Promise is marking its ten-year milestone this year. Officials with the program say it is responsible for 4,000 scholarships totaling more than $60 million. 

The Kalamazoo Promise, which sparked a national movement, pays the full tuition of Kalamazoo Public School graduates who attend any college or university in Michigan.  Nearly 50 communities across the country have since adopted the free tuition model.

“In our city, that has meant changing our culture, knocking down barriers and raising expectations. We’ve really just begun, but we’ve accomplished so much already that the 10-year anniversary is a milestone we need to mark and leverage as we set the stage for the next 10 years,” said Von Washington Jr., The Kalamazoo Promise executive director for community relations.

My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

Whether learning online or in a traditional classroom, keeping your student motivated is important—it offers the opportunity for innovation and powerful learning experiences.

Alexandra Negrete, a teacher at statewide virtual public high school Great Lakes Cyber Academy, shares three tips to help challenge students to reach their highest potential.

Michigan virtual school hosts informational events throughout March

Michigan virtual school hosts informational events throughout March

OKEMOS, Mich.-- As families continue to seek school options featuring greater flexibility and control for their children’s education, one of Michigan’s statewide virtual schools – Michigan Connections Academy – has scheduled a variety of information events throughout March.

Interested families are encouraged to attend upcoming events to learn more about how virtual learning works, meet teachers and familiarize themselves with the schools’ award-winning curriculum.

Is kindergarten too young for virtual learning?

Is kindergarten too young for virtual learning?

As parents across Michigan register their five year olds for kindergarten, many may wonder if virtual learning is the right solution for their child. Others may believe kindergarten is too young for virtual learning. Before deciding, parents are encouraged to attend a Kindergarten Round-Up session hosted by Michigan Connections Academy. Experts in virtual learning will be on hand to provide critical insight on this 21st century learning alternative.  

Michigan Connections Academy offers a complete online learning experience from home for students in grades K-12 that combines a high quality education, flexible scheduling, Michigan-certified teachers and an innovative, award-winning curriculum. 

My Town Kalamazoo: $2 million gift means upgrades, scholarships for art school

My Town Kalamazoo: $2 million gift means upgrades, scholarships for art school

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Studio upgrades and a new series of scholarships are coming to the Kirk Newman Art School, thanks to a $2 million gift from a Kalamazoo couple.

Rosemary and John Brown announced their donation to the school during a reception at Kalamazoo Institute of Arts earlier this month.  Kirk Newman, who was a longtime director of the art school, was in attendance.

"Our decision to give to the Kirk Newman Art School at the KIA is based on our admiration of Kirk as a person and on our desire to validate his legacy," said Rosemary Brown. "Our hope is that the school will continue to thrive and to have an ongoing positive influence on the cultural life of the Kalamazoo area."

Planting the seed: Drought-resistant corn developer awarded $500k grant

Planting the seed: Drought-resistant corn developer awarded $500k grant

----NEWS RELEASE---

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Grand Valley State University) — Native Traits Corporation, a start-up bio-technology company in Kalamazoo, received $500,000 in pre-seed funding.

The Bioscience Research and Commercialization Center (BRCC) at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo invested $250,000 and Northern Michigan Angels, an investor group in Traverse City, provided an additional $250,000. The company also received hands-on support from the Michigan Small Business Development Center housed at Grand Valley State University.

Native Traits Corporation is a commercial developer of native traits for the hybrid seed corn industry; the company’s primary focus is the development of genetic traits that can make corn resistant to drought and extreme temperatures.

My Town: Kalamazoo marks a decade of keeping 'The Promise’

My Town: Kalamazoo marks a decade of keeping 'The Promise’

---NEWS RELEASE---

This year, "The Kalamazoo Promise" community -- where anonymous donors put college education within the reach of every child here -- is celebrating a decade and nearly 4,000 scholarships thus far.

Kalamazoo Public Schools is the district where all high school graduates can count on full-tuition scholarships to any community college, public university or, new this year, a select group of private colleges in Michigan.

The Kalamazoo Promise is the famed initiative that sparked a national movement. Today, more than four dozen communities around the country have sought community transformation through free tuition strategies modeled at some level on the Kalamazoo effort. Most recently, President Barack Obama launched an initiative promoting free tuition for community colleges.