Get Our News


The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation are pleased to announce that 12 submissions for Inspired Learning grants have been identified to advance to final judging by a panel of community leaders. The submission videos seek support for activities from science clubs to art projects, math fluency to reading and storytelling. Each of the 12 videos received more than 450 votes from the community.

“The engagement we’ve seen from the community on this program has been fantastic,” says Amy Slancik, The Learning Network officer at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. “The dialogue about the videos spanned hundreds of Facebook comments, and more than 13,700 votes were cast. This program has been a real testament to the importance that Kalamazoo County places on learning. And I can’t say enough about the amazing educators who submitted videos for the grants. Their passion and commitment has been truly inspiring.”


The Learning Network and the Community Foundation kicked off the Inspired Learning grants program in October to empower local educators to launch innovative learning ideas. Four grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to Kalamazoo County teachers, volunteers or other educators who work with kids and want to inspire them with an innovative learning program.

To apply, educators simply needed to upload to the program’s Facebook page a short video explaining their idea. From December 2 through December 12, people could visit the page to vote for their favorite videos. Voting narrowed the submissions down to the top 12 videos. Next, a panel of community leaders from Kalamazoo County will select the final four recipients of the grants.


Here are the submissions that are advancing to the final panel judging process, which will take place in early January:

  • Julie for tools and equipment to help students with disabilities at Great Explorations Preschool (1,396 votes)
  • Amy for a Montessori School collaborative mural project with local artists (888 votes)
  • Laura for the Big Dreams project and Youth Led Creative Justice (873 votes)
  • Francesca for ABCDance: A Literacy through Movement Program for pre-school-age children (786 votes)
  • Tracy for Galesburg-Augusta Middle School Library improvements (612 votes)
  • Kelly for the Reflex Math online math fluency program at Kazoo School (556 votes)
  • Jane for a mentoring program for Milwood Magnet Middle from WMU's Future Leaders of Kalamazoo (552 votes)
  • Emily for a Read and Write Kalamazoo life storytelling series with Kalamazoo high school students (545 votes)
  • Katelan for a Northeast Middle School science club (515 votes)
  • Binney for the Beebots computer science program at Woodward Elementary School (466 votes)
  • Jamie for integrating art and science at Parkwood Elementary with an artist visit and Kalamazoo Nature Center program (461 votes)
  • Kandace for supplies and experiences to enhance education for students at a local foster care home (452 votes)

Recipients will be announced in January.


Here’s a look at the video submission participation:

  • 44 submissions
  • 9,604 unique visitors to the submissions site
  • 13,725 votes
  • 27,007 entries clicked


The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo brings community together to increase cradle-to-career educational success for everyone in Kalamazoo County. We track key education measures, facilitate action networks that drive educational readiness and adult learning, and rally resources and support for improved learning.