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New program gives parents a step up with new skills

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.

Welcome to Nightlight!

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. 

GRPS Centers of Innovation: It Takes a Whole Community

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.

Carl Kelly & the Grand Rapids Youth Boxing Foundation

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.

All-of-us Express Children's Theatre: Curtain Up on Lansing's Youth

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.

Baylor-Woodson: Dispelling The Myth that Public Schools Can't Improve

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.

SPARKS helps students ignite interest in academic success

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.

Three towns. Three citizen philanthropists. All for Detroit

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.

City Kids: Putting a laser focus on high achievement (part II)

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.

Traverse City's Junior Achievement program teaching kids business basics

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.

Generation E teaches the next generation how to be their own boss

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.

College Access Network aims to get more students into college

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.

City Kids: Putting a laser focus on high achievement (part I)

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.

Community of Inclusion: It is about what you can do

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.

Refugee Development Center Provides Bridge of Hope for Refugee Children

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.
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Michigan Nightlight relaunches: Here's where to find us across Michigan

GreenFist Project at Sprout Urban Farms

How Motivated Kids and Better Food Access Fit Together

Stuart Ray, Mindy Ysasi, Mike Kerkorian, Ellen Carpenter from Grand Rapids' Nonprofits

Jumping Ship: Former Corporate Leaders Tell All

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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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