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Bright Ideas

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Museum Encourages Kids to Become Young Entrepreneurs

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.

Battle Creek Elementary Brings the Community to School

At Prairieview Elementary in Battle Creek, the Developing the Community School Project uses a holistic approach to achieve school success.

Sustainability: The Next Generation

Detroit kids are into transformational change, getting turned on by green living science projects and taking positive ownership of their neighborhoods. 

Dreams Come True and Grades Improve at the Creative Youth Center

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: Feeding Fans And School Kids Alike

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.

Makerspace culture for 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.

D.A. Blodgett - St. John's: 125 Years of Helping Kids

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. 

Happy Holidays from Michigan Nightlight

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. 

Improving college access and completion for Michigan youth

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. 

Fresh Food Fairy gives fresh perspective to veggies and fruits

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. 

Teaching kids about food from the ground up

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.

Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative prepares children for kindergarten and life

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.

Educating parents gives children their best shot

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.

Saginaw youth a FORCE for positive change

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.

WorkZone Helps Youth Get Ready For Employment

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.
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Bright Ideas


Can systemic racism impact infant mortality?

Even when controlling for poverty, education level, and tobacco use of a mother, maternal and infant health outcomes are far worse for minority populations than European-American women. What's causing the continued disparities? And what can West Michigan do to ensure all babies born here have the best chance of reaching their potential? Zinta Aistars reports on Strong Beginnings, one local program working to give all families a fair start.

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Company Supports 4th Grade Field Trips to Lake Michigan

Parents working more than one job or odd hours, a lack of funds, and no transportation often prevent kids from experiencing one of Michigan’s incredible natural resources. For the majority of west side Grand Rapids elementary school kids, Lake Michigan is sadly out of reach. OST has teamed up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to give fourth-graders at west side schools the opportunity to experience the big lake firsthand.


Youth Decide Where Grant Dollars are Spent

For Grand Rapids students who serve as trustees-in-training on the GRCF Youth Grant Committee, giving back to the community goes hand in hand with empowering students to succeed. 
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