Start the Cycle introduces court-referred and at-risk teens to the sport of mountain biking as a positive alternative to drug and alcohol use and other unhealthy activities.
All of the Above in Lansing uses the fundamentals of hip hop to engage kids in community change.
Can quality preschool learning for Michigan children be tied to a healthy economy? Early education proponents around the state believe it can. Michigan Nightlight’s Amy Kuras talks to the experts.
Northwest Michigan's SEEDS offers a wide range of services -- with an ecological and social justice bent -- including free afterschool programming for kids.
Southwest Detroit attracts people with its ethnic food options, its early 20th century residential architecture and, increasingly, for innovative learning projects.
From 125 meals in 2003 to today's 5,100, Kids' Food Basket has grown into one of the brightest and most recognizable nonprofits in Grand Rapids.
Kids in Tune is about more than teaching Kalamazoo youngsters music. It's about support, nurturing, joy and acquiring life skills through the learning of music skills.
Getting a GED isn't always so easy. Learn how the Honoring Our Youth program at Steepletown Neighborhood Services helps.
A study by CEOs For Cities found that 58 percent of a region's economic health comes from the educational attainment of its residents. How does our region cultivate a culture that properly educates, trains and retains its talent?
What do mini laptops, video-streaming pencasts and Charlie Sheen have to do with academics? At Clarkston Junior High School, plenty. Algebra and statistics teacher Jeff Peariso has piloted a high-tech learning program for students, with exciting results.
We all want our kids to have well-balanced, healthy and long lives. One of the keys to that is getting kids physically active and teaching them what to eat. A mid-Michigan program, Girls on the Run is doing that for young girls in Saginaw and Bay counties.
Can we turn dismal statistical projections and empty rhetoric around education into constructive dialog and real cooperation? Vulnerable kids in Michigan and Detroit give us inspiration to try.
This Catholic college prep high school in Southwest Detroit stresses an eight year educational arc -- four at Cristo Rey and four more at the university level -- as its measure of success.
Teaching young adults how to be strong leaders is the key to transforming communities. A Grand Rapids nonprofit has a proven record for making this happen.
When MSU identified a lack of qualified computer science applicants, the Information Technology Empowerment Center was created to foster a new generation of IT enthusiasts in Lansing. Here's how ITEC and an array of community partners are making it happen.
Oxford Community Schools Superintendent Bill Skilling sees a future dominated by China's economic and political interests. With that in mind, he has become a strong advocate for teaching our kids both Chinese culture and language.
Can using Restorative Practices with students be the key to building community in Detroit? We think the idea has merit.
Kids have bright business ideas all the time, but they don’t always follow through with creating an enterprise of their own. A program at the U.P. Children’s Museum helps them do that, with training and help to develop their ideas.
At Prairieview Elementary in Battle Creek, the Developing the Community School Project uses a holistic approach to achieve school success.
Detroit kids are into transformational change, getting turned on by green living science projects and taking positive ownership of their neighborhoods.
Story-writing workshops. Screenwriting workshops. Journalism classes. These are just a taste of what Grand Rapid's Creative Youth Center does to enrich at-risk kids’ lives.
Dino's restaurant has been a beloved Ferndale fixture for over a decade. When the recession hit, owner Dean 'Dino' Bach started catering to keep his employees working and, unexpectedly, discovered a whole new business opportunity: providing healthy lunches to school kids.
The Mt. Elliott Makerspace in Detroit is nothing short of a place for transforming lives and handing kids the tools for determining their own future.
Twenty-five perent of children in Kent County are living in poverty. In the face of this startling statistic, D.A. Blodgett - St. John's, West Michigan's oldest child welfare organization, strives to make a difference.
The Michigan Nightlight team is taking a holiday break to spend time with our families and friends. We’ll be back on January 9, 2013, with more news, information and inspiration about the people, programs and projects that are making a difference in the lives of vulnerable kids.
At the national, state, and local level, college access networks are leaving no stone unturned in an effort to increase college-going rates across Michigan and the entire nation.
You don't have to clap your hands to keep the Fresh Food Fairy alive. Instead, Hether Frayer is doing what she can to make sure Kalamazoo children get it when it comes to fresh food so they can live longer themselves.
Stephanie Reuter has melded her expertise and passion to create Grow. Cook. Learn., her exciting new Lansing business that uses a hands-on approach to teach kids about community, gardening, and cooking.
When Dr. Nkechy Ezeh was growing up in Nigeria, they didn't have early childhood learning programs. No one knew what children were missing. Now that she lives in the U.S., what baffles her most is that we have early education, but not all children have access.
The Great Start Plus program is designed to help Kalamazoo County families whose life situations put their preschool children at high risk of school failure. Margaret DeRitter talks to parents who are learning they can be their child's best teacher.
A young people's advisory board, part of the Saginaw Community Foundation, is making a difference. That's thanks in large part to a Kellogg grant which challenges the youth in the community to develop their own programs.
Finding work in today's job market is tough enough. For at-risk teens, it can seem impossible. WorkZone, a program created and run by Ozone House in Ypsilanti, helps young adults to develop job-seeking skills and hone them through training and paid internships.
Seeds of Promise, a Grand Rapids nonprofit organization that calls itself an urban community improvement laboratory, has recently received a grant to begin a self-sustaining, community-governance program in the area surrounding Dickinson School. Board President Ron Jimmerson explains their strategy.
Local activists launched 1Michigan, bringing attention to the challenges of immigrant youth and advocating for the passage of the federal DREAM act. Amy Kuras reports.
The Latino and Hispanic community of Battle Creek has a place it can come together in Voces. Its mission is "many voices, one community" and now young people have a voice, too. Margaret DeRitter talks to Antonio "Tony" Carillo and others about his role in the organization and its role in his life.
When he founded the boxing gym in 2005, Carlo Sweeney wanted to better engage Detroit youth. Mission being accomplished, reports Tunde Wey.
Is it possible to end racism? PRFC thinks so. Partners for a Racism-Free Community (PRFC) in Grand Rapids offers an organized and measured program to help individuals and organizations become racism-free.
Want kids to eat fresh and healthy food? The Farm to School program promotes local food in schools and educates children on healthy eating.
Amidst the stories of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity it's sometimes easy to forget that there are those who face profound hardship. For instance, Oakland County, for all its prosperity, must contend with teens who have left or been forced from their homes. Kim North Shine takes a look at the shelters and services that help struggling youth find a place in our community.
With school just around the corner for many Michigan children, we’re profiling education initiatives across the state and encouraging our Detroit area readers to attend our Innovation in Education panel discussion tonight.
The Grand Rapids Community Foundation, with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, connects nonprofits with youth looking for summer jobs. The result is a win-win, with benefits lasting far beyond the summer.
Traverse City’s Chamber President Doug Luciani walks his talk when it comes to Michigan children and shares his thoughts on how communities and businesses can help.
Leadership training, career exploration and goal setting are all part of the Mercy Education Project. Melinda Clynes reports.
A positive fixture in the Lansing community for over 20 years, Ele’s Place is now nationally recognized for their work in helping countless children heal and cope with grief. In January, the organization received a $25,000 grant from The New York Life Foundation
to use toward their efforts in expanding the success of their unique program to new Michigan communities. Whether it’s listening to the needs of a community or those of a grieving child, Ele’s Place is clearly doing something very right.
Bay Cliff Health Camp is more than just a summer camp for disabled children; it inspires these children to work toward realistic goals and allows them to be surrounded by other children who accept them for who they are. Lucy Hough learns more about how Bay Cliff helps these children become more independent.
When people think of Gleaners, programs like Kids Helping Kids, Cooking Matters, and No Kid Hungry probably don't come to mind. They will now, says Noelle Lothamer.
More than 30 years ago the first family from Burma came to Battle Creek. Now the city has a thriving Burmese community. Jane C. Parikh reports on recent steps being taken to make them feel more at home and strengthen their ties to the area.
Based on the successful Harlem Children's Zone, CAN Council's Great Start University teaches parents effective techniques to deal with children. The program expects to serve about 250 Saginaw County parents in 2012.
Michigan Nightlight is a new online source of news and inspiration for people who care about kids. Our tag line, illuminating solutions for children, is just what we're doing – through interviewing visionary leaders, spotlighting dynamic work, and profiling amazing projects and programs that impact the lives of vulnerable children in our state.
Launched in 2007, the Centers of Innovations consists of five schools whose structures have been redesigned to foster public/private partnerships and offer students and their parents more school choices and real-world mentorship.
Every Wednesday night, approximately 35 children and young adults from the surrounding schools and neighborhoods gather with the staff and volunteers of the MLK Mentoring and Boxing Program to train in the sport. But talk to any member of the staff, and you’ll hear that there is much more to the program than athletics.
Sure, as an up-to-date person about town, you’re familiar with of the richness of the theatre culture present in the Lansing area. But have you heard about a 23 year old organization that works year-round to help raise the leaders of tomorrow through a truly community theatre experience? Children, regardless of ‘age, color, creed, gender identity, disability, height, membership in any labor organization, national origin, parental status, political identification, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or weight’, are welcomed with open and supportive arms at All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre. Read on to learn more about the remarkable things happening both on and off the stage.
For some critics there is the view that public schools can do no right, especially when it comes to under-served communities. Baylor Woodson in Inkster is evidence to the contrary. In a system hobbled by the recession, school and community leaders turned their struggling elementary school into an award-winning example of achievement, involvement, and innovation.
In the constant search to find better ways to help students achieve their goals, one Regional Education Service District in Clare and Gladwin counties has come up with a program that has shown huge success. Second Wave's Kim North Shine does her homework and files this report.
In the first month of Detroit4Detroit, over 50 Detroiters of all types and from around the city and country have stepped forward to make their mark on the city. Meet three of them.
Three schools that have three things in common: excellent teaching, strong leadership and high expectations. Amy Kuras takes another deep dive into city education in part II of our series.
With the cooperation of school systems and local businesses, the Junior Achievement program in the Traverse City area reaches more than 4,000 kids, teaching them about workforce readiness, personal finance, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.
At age 10, youngsters can start their education in being an entrepreneur. Chris Killian reports on a curriculum called Generation E started in Battle Creek and now offered nationally and internationally that readies young people for the business world.
While a future that includes a college education is a given for some high school students, the Marquette-Alger College Access Network is developing an initiative that will encourage all area students to seek education beyond the high school classroom. It's part of a larger statewide plan to help more Michigan students attend, and succeed in, college.
How do we get public education in Detroit to the next level? It's happening now, though some of the highest performing schools fly under the radar. Amy Kuras reports that good work is getting done: we just need more of it.
Asking children and adults with disabilities what it is they want to do opens new opportunities for them. Writer Chris Killian finds the Arcadia Institute is asking all the right questions that are providing answers for those who want to be included in the community in a greater way.
Lansing’s Refugee Development Center has been helping refugee families find hope and build new lives for more than 10 years. Today, the organization serves hundreds of refugees and has created specialized programs that support and help children making this difficult transition into American life; so they can start anew.
In the conversation about mass transit and whether or not we develop a county-wide service one type of rider often gets overlooked: kids. What do limited transportation options mean for students car-less volunteers who work with kids?
There is a shocking racial disparity when it comes to infant mortality rates. Learn about how Strong Beginnings is working to decrease this disparity and dismantle racism in West Michigan.
Connections are being made in Detroit classrooms between the science curriculum, growing and eating good foods, creating better nutritional habits that lead to healthier lifestyles. Melinda Clynes puts her garden gloves on for this report.
826michigan is well known for its Robot Repair Store and writing center in downtown Ann Arbor (not to mention its fun, offbeat events). But did you also know they tutor and host workshops in Ypsilanti? From fiction to stage plays to poetry, volunteers at their Drop-In Teen Writing Workshop inspire kids to find expression through words.
Slam poetry competitors turned business partners, the two men behind Kinetic Affect have found a way to connect with audiences of all kinds through their vulnerability. Zinta Aistars talks to them about their art and business.