YPSILANTI COMMUNITY SCHOOLS provide education for over 3800 students in our community with a focus on diversity, student achievement, and leadership. Washtenaw Promise is proud to offer strong support and a dedicated partnership with our public schools. We support YCS in a number ways, including direct funding for; teacher training, STEM advancement through the development of FIRST Robotics teams, pilot programs in parenting, and increasing of contract time for behavioral coaches in preschools. We also provide trained, volunteer mentors to our public preschools for one-on-one social and emotional coaching, and will soon be offering teacher wellness programs throughout the school year. Our plans for 2020 reflect our intense commitment to the success of public education in Ypsilanti.
CHILDREN’S LITERACY NETWORK was founded in 1991 by a group of educators dedicated to promoting the benefits of literacy. They are a volunteer-based nonprofit agency in Washtenaw County dedicated to closing the book and reading achievement gap to keep low-income students from falling further behind their more affluent peers. Washtenaw Promise is so proud to partner with CLN in our “Read With Kids” program which began in the 2022-23 school year at Ford Early Learning Center, and is now expanding to Perry. Together, we bring a host of trained volunteers to read each week with children of ages 4 through 6, supporting the goal that all children will read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. Washtenaw Promise is proud to be a valued site placement for many UofM students each year, through Project Outreach, an initiative of the Psychology department. Our UofM students volunteer in our preschool mentorship program, and also support research projects, Robotics advancement and community events in Ypsilanti.
We are proud to partner with Ruth Habrecht, Founder of Hutan for World Health and the Bob-a-loo Program. Bob-a-loo is a movement-based learning program designed to help children reach their developmental milestones during the most critical time in their lives; from 2-5 years of age. The focus is on motor, cognitive, and social development. Washtenaw Promise helped to secure grant funds from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, and supports Ruth in her astounding accomplishments to develop literacy stations for young students, a wealth of resources at the Bob-a-loo website and to bring the Bob-a-loo program to many public and private preschools in Ypsilanti.
HUNTINGTON BANK supports the Ypsilanti community, and so many others, in major ways. With their generous support, Washtenaw Promise has been enabled to extend our sponsorship of the Imagination Library, which now provides a high quality children’s book each month to over 900 young children in our community, continue to expand our volunteer programs, and also to develop our educational opportunities for students and teachers at our new facilities at The Woodlands at Bruin Lake. We are honored to share with Huntington Bank, a deep commitment to the educational success of the young people of our region and beyond.
WILLOW RUN ACRES supports children, people with special abilities and needs, seniors, and families through gardening. TC Collins and his team teach gardening and farming for all skill levels. They offer basic, beginning, intermediate and advanced training. They also provide friendly and encouraging consultations for individuals, groups, businesses and families. Washtenaw Promise proudly partners with TC Collins in his development of incredible community gardens, most recently at Appleridge Park in Ypsilanti. His collaborations with government, school and community organizations are truly inspiring.
MI STEM NETWORK
Michigan, together with business, education, and community partners, is embarking on a journey to create a MiSTEM Network throughout the state. This opportunity grew out of Governor Snyder’s MiSTEM Advisory Council recommendation to make Michigan a world leader in STEM education.
Mr. Scott Heister is Director of Michigan STEM Region 2 and a recent addition to the Governing Board of Washtenaw Promise. Scott and MiSTEM are partnered with Washtenaw Promise in the conceptualization and initial design phase of the American Center for Innovation, a “cradle-to-career” facility for Washtenaw County children and families that we hope will soon be a reality.
WASHTENAW INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Founded in 1962, Washtenaw ISD is one of 56 intermediate school districts in the State, serving public school districts and public school academies of Washtenaw County. As a regional educational service agency, they provide supports from cradle to career for our local school community, with a focus on supporting students of color, students with disabilities and students in poverty. Washtenaw Promise eagerly joins WISD in its’ mission to support early childhood education and continually seeks opportunities for collaboration.
WASHTENAW SUCCESS BY 6 GREAT START COLLABORATIVE is a critically important group of over 40 organizations working together to strengthen and streamline the early childhood system of programs and services in our county. The Collaborative promotes an understanding of the importance of investing in the early childhood years and provides actions that will help us reach the shared vision of ensuring that every child in Washtenaw County starts school ready to succeed. Washtenaw Promise plans to be a significant partner to this collaborative during in 2020 and beyond.
MENTOR 2 YOUTH Emmanuel Jones and his team provide mentors to children of all ages, through a variety of successful programs throughout the community. For over 9 years they have demonstrated inspiring results, confirming that mentoring provides critical support to children at risk in our community. Emmanuel is a strong partner with Washtenaw Promise, actively supporting growth of the organization. He has served WP as a consultant and advisor to our volunteers and administration. Emmanuel’s long service to the community continues at the level of heroic. Mentor2Youth is a community treasure, changing lives every day.
FOUNDATIONS PRESCHOOL is one of the largest and oldest preschools serving Ypsilanti children and their families. Foundations prepares children from low-income families for academic and social success while providing parents with opportunities for professional and parental growth. We are proud to have Sandy Williams, Executive Director, on our Stewardship Board. Washtenaw Promise and Foundations are actively working together to develop programs in mentoring, teacher wellness, trauma informed care, and others.
BOTTLES-N-BACKPACKS is Ypsilanti’s largest African America owned child development center. Kier and Deata McLemore and their team help families grow strong in multiple areas, providing a variety of services, enriching the lives of children with compassion, and a deep commitment to the greater good. We are honored to have a special partnership with this highly successful organization. We work together to develop successful mentors and empower other community programs that benefit young children and their families.
DOLLY PARTON’S IMAGINATION LIBRARY is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.
After launching in 1995, the program grew quickly. First books were only distributed to children living in Sevier County, Tennessee where Dolly grew up. It became such a success that in 2000 a national replication effort was underway. By 2003, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library had mailed one million books. It would prove to be the first of many millions of books sent to children around the world.
MICHIGAN HEALTH ENDOWMENT FUND is a philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of Michigan residents while reducing healthcare costs.
The Health Fund supports organizations across Michigan, from grassroots groups addressing local health challenges to large agencies working in every county. From the urban streetscapes of downtown Detroit all the way to the rural corners of the Upper Peninsula, our partners are doing innovative, evidence-based work to improve the health and wellness of Michigan resident
THE BRIGHT FUTURES PROGRAM is one of the most important partners for Ypsilanti Community Schools, offering comprehensive support for children, including after school programs to improve academic achievement and develop self-efficacy. Washtenaw Promise hopes to support Bright Futures in significant ways in the coming year.
LADIES’ LITERARY CLUB OF YPSILANTI has been a thriving and vital part of the Ypsilanti community since 1878. The Club enriches its members through fellowship that encourages learning, and serves as an energizing force for the good of the community through charitable donations and scholarships. Washtenaw Promise is proud to partner with Ladies Literary Club and is so grateful for their support of the Imagination Library program. Their donations have already enrolled 300 Ypsilanti children in the program, allowing each to receive a book in the mail every month for a year. The ladies of the club continue to make tremendous contributions to the educational success of children in our community.