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The Learning Network and The Kalamazoo Promise

Michelle Miller-Adams and Bridget Timmeney explain how The Learning Network and The Kalamazoo Promise relate to each other.

Kalamazoo has historically had many resources in the community devoted to serving youth and promoting education. When it was created in 2005, The Kalamazoo Promise proved to be a particularly strong catalyst to reorganize those resources within Kalamazoo Public Schools. It is a generous, powerful scholarship program that assists one subset of youth in the county — those in the KPS school district.

The Learning Network and The Promise are both part of
Kalamazoo's larger efforts to become "the education community."

The Learning Network, which was formed in 2011, grew out of the efforts of some community leaders to shift the local conversation from “How do I earn The Kalamazoo Promise?” to “How do we assure that the kids in all of the school districts in our county are ready for school, reading on time, graduating from high school, and ready to pursue some kind of post-secondary degree?”

With that question in mind, The Learning Network was designed to be much broader than The Kalamazoo Promise. It is not a scholarship program, but a dynamic, growing collaboration of individuals and organizations embracing a vision that every child in Kalamazoo County will be ready for school, post-secondary education and the world.

The Learning Network was inspired by The Promise, but it is designed to support all of Kalamazoo County’s children on their journey from cradle to career. And ultimately, both The Kalamazoo Promise and The Learning Network are part of Kalamazoo’s larger regional economic development efforts to become the “education community,” investing in human capital to assure future vitality and growth.