Communities in Schools

    At Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, we work directly inside public schools, helping vulnerable students and those with the greatest risk of dropping out. We empower 1.5 million students to stay in school and on the path to graduation each year. Our trained site coordinators do this by partnering with teachers, mobilizing the community to offer students extra support, and doing whatever it takes to help them succeed. Our unique model works because it’s based on national research, driven by community relationships and supported by local resources. More importantly, we know it works because we see it in the faces and hear it in the stories of millions of students and alumni we’ve helped in the past 40 years.

    We believe that every child needs and deserves:

    1. A one-on-one relationship with a caring adult.

    2. A safe place to learn and grow.

    3. A healthy start and a healthy future.

    4. A marketable skill to use upon graduation.

    5. A chance to give back to peers and community.

    Due to the virtual environment, available services may vary by school. Please reach out to your school site coordinator for available resources, Joseph Burrel at: or (269) 870-5986.


  • Healthy Kids University is an after-school program for students in grades K-5, serving Lincoln International Studies School. The YMCA after-school program engages kids in physical, educational, and imaginative activities that encourage exploration of who they are and what they can achieve. the YMCA's programs are inclusive, offer a combination of free choice and structured, age-appropriate activities. Scholarships are available for all YMCA programming. 

    Healthy Kids University includes the SPARKS and CATCH curriculums, which are aimed at engaging children in intentional physical activity and nutritional education. The program also offers healthy afternoon snacks, academic support, tutoring, STEM, arts and crafts, and more! The YMCA promotes four core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, and incorporates the CHAMPS program. 

    CHAMPS stands for:

    • C-caring
    • H-honesty
    • A-always respectful
    • M-making responsible choices
    • P-positive attitude
    • S-safety first