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Kindergarteners Celebrate Promise
Promise Signing Days Encourage Young Scholars
It’s never too early to start talking about college — with kids or parents.
Kalamazoo Public Schools and the Kalamazoo Promise celebrated that fact this fall with a series of Kindergarten Promise Signing Days held at KPS elementary schools. The celebrations were modeled after college signing days, when athletes sign their letters of intent to attend selected schools.
Kindergarteners and their parents and guardians were invited to the schools and signed “certificates of intent,” in which the families, the school district, and the Promise office acknowledged their roles in creating a college-going community.
Some schools gave the certificates to families at parent- teacher conferences, and other schools, such as Edison Environmental Science Academy, held special ceremonies. Edison’s event included a visit by KPS Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice and Robert Jorth, executive director of the Kalamazoo Promise.
Jorth signed under the Promise section of the certificate, to provide free tuition and fees to participating Michigan colleges and universities to any student who graduates from the school district, according to the rules of the program, which can be found at www. kalamazoopromise.com.
Rice signed under the school district’s promise to provide a high-quality education, to offer college-readiness programs for children of all ages, and to welcome parents and families to participate in the education of their children.
At the Edison event, Rice told the kindergarteners that the Promise and an education “are how you get to be what you want to be when you grow up.”
He told parents and guardians the school district needs their support to ensure all children are prepared to take advantage of the Promise.
“We can’t get it done without our parents and grandparents,” Rice said. “We need our parents and grandparents reading to kids every night, working with them on their homework every night, working with them on math every night.
“What you pour into your children every day, positive, affirming energy, pays off every day.”
Tasha Simmons, attended the event with her son Messiah, who is in kindergarten at Edison, and her daughter Melody, who is a PEEP student.
“I went to Kalamazoo Public Schools and we didn’t have the Promise when I graduated. I think the Promise is great for Kalamazoo. Free tuition is a good thing.”