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.