Ask Me About My 13,000 Students

2014It’s a new year and an opportunity to come clean with you, dear readers. On several occasions last year, it was pointed out to me that the name of our blog, Ask Me About My 12,000 Kids, is an inaccurate title. Kalamazoo Public Schools has many more students than our blog name suggests. In 2005, when the Kalamazoo Promise was announced, 10,223 students were in the district. That number has grown over the years. When we started this blog, it was a handful more than 12,000 and the numbers continue to grow.

In naming the blog, I was trying to get across the idea that all of these students are our kids. Their success and their failure is a reflection of the community from which they emerge. We share—both individually and collectively—responsibility for each of these children.

We’ll keep the 12,000 not because we are trying to mislead anyone but because we would have to change the title every year if we wanted to impart exactly how many students are served by KPS. Three main reasons I do not want to change the name:

1. It’s a catchy title which captures the point I just shared.

2. It would cost money to change all of our materials.

3. Poetically speaking, 12,000 sounds better than 13,000. Twelve is only one syllable whereas thirteen is more of a mouthful, coming in at two syllables.

Ah, I feel better. I am not a numbers person nor am I a “make a resolution for the new year” kind of gal but it sure feels good to have gotten that off my chest. What about you? Do you have anything you need to come clean about? Have you made any resolutions? Perhaps you are one of the 8% who are successful in achieving their resolution. “Help Others in Their Dreams” is one of the top ten resolutions made for 2014 (at least according to the University of Scranton: Journal of Clinical Psychology).

Maybe you are one of the 38% of people like me who don’t make resolutions. But helping others in their dreams isn’t simply a resolution, is it? It seems to be woven into the fabric of our DNA. We are all, as Martin Luther King Jr. pointed out, “tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be…”

So every time you reach out through CIS to help one of your 13,000 kids—by volunteering, partnering, donating—you are joining with other members of this community to help our children reach their dreams. That’s a pretty good way to start the new year.