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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: A Culture of Learning



The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo was launched in 2011 as a collaborative effort to get every child in Kalamazoo County ready for school, college and beyond. 

The Kalamazoo Community Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provide funding for the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo. 

The people in charge of the three different networks spoke with WMUK's Gordon Evans. Jackie Eatmon is the convener is the kindergarten readiness action network, Brenda Pickett convenes the college and career readiness network. Michael Evans is convener of the adult learning action network. 

Extended interview with members of the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo - web version

Over the last couple of years, Evans says enlisting several agencies to work together has helped accomplish more than would have been possible with all of those agencies working by themselves. Pickett says one example of collaboration is holding events that help students with student aid forms to pay for college. Eatmon says part of the idea is to make it easier for parents to find services for their children. 

Credit The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell announcing the launch of the Learning Network in 2011

One goal of launching the network was to improve coordination among different services in the Kalamazoo area. All three agree that has happened since 2011. 

All three guests say a lot has been accomplished since the Learning Network's Launch in 2011. But they say there is more to be done.

Pickett says a focus in the near future will be "college persistence." In other words, helping students stay in college and complete degree programs. Evans says he hopes more adult learners can be helped. He says there are many more adults who need further education in Southwest Michigan. Eatmon says help is needed for parents who have to navigate a maze of confusing forms and requirements. She says some changes have been made to make applications simpler. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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