Kindergarten students and their families in the Kalamazoo Public Schools are making a commitment this fall to take advantage of the Kalamazoo Promise. That's the program launched in 2005 that pays tuition and fees for most KPS high school graduates who attend public and private colleges and universities in Michigan.
Several "Promise Signing Days" are taking place around the district in October. Kalamazoo Promise Executive Director Bob Jorth says for the college scholarship program to succeed, everyone has to do their part. And Jorth says that includes parents.
“We just hope that they realize how important it is to make a commitment to their student’s education and their future. And that their future really has, really, a bright light at the end of KPS that will help them go on and fulfill their hopes and dreams.”
At each signing day, students get certificates with their name and the date of their college graduation. Parents pledge to support their students through high school graduation.
Jorth He says it’s never too early for parents to become involved in their students’ education.
“These early interventions, the early efforts (like) reading to your students and developing good study habits and valuing education, those students who get that early on are much more likely to be successful in all areas of their life.”
Since it began more than a decade ago, the Promise has helped more than 5,000 KPS graduates to go college and has awarded more than $100 million in scholarships.
Lincoln International Studies School in Kalamazoo will hold its "Promise Signing Day" on Monday, October 16, at 8:30 a.m.