As the 2021/2022 CIS Think Summer! wraps up, we can’t help but reflect on the awesome individuals and organizations who shared their knowledge and expertise with our students. The CIS Think Summer! program for Kalamazoo Public Schools elementary and secondary students is designed to reduce summer learning loss and increase academic and enrichment opportunities.
This year’s program transitioned back into an in-person summer program. While we’ve been showcasing some of the activities and experiences students have had on the CIS Facebook page, we want to thank our partners who provided engaging opportunities for the students we served this summer. Thank you:
|Aerick Burton, local artist and Grand Rapids Art Prize winner
|Andrea Page, Kalamazoo Valley Community College MA instructor
|Carmen James, personal trainer and owner of Carmen’s Fit Bella Vei
|Curtis Woods, owner of PJW Creole Cuisine
|Daja Excel-Johnson, photographer and owner of Excel Media & Entertainment LLC
|David Thomas, a retired police officer of 20 years
|Demargo “Marge” White, chef and owner of Huey D’s Goodies
|Ed Genesis, local artist, motivational speaker, and community activist
Fred and Noreen Blackwell, owners of Freddy’s Food Hut
|Guess Who’s Dancing?
|Hayward Babineaux, architect at Byce & Associates, Inc.
|Heather Mitchell, dance instructor
|Henry Cooper, graphic designer and owner of Coop Arts of Colors
|Hether Frayer, owner of Fresh Food is Fun
|Jackie Mitchell, urban gardener
John and Martiza Graca-Lobo
|Joy Burton, owner of Move with Joy – Dance, Yoga, Pilates
|Katie Pearson, owner of Tabitha Farm Urban Homestead & Community Garden
|Lee Pratt, owner of UncLee’s Barber Shop
|Marta Lehman, from Zoo City Farm and Food Network
|Melanie Marie, owner of Melanie the Canvas Lady
|Michael Beyene, video game developer and instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Nicole Lee, owner of Imagine Art by Nicole Lee
Richard Moncrief, owner of Specialty Cheesecakes
|Scarlet Vasquez, owner of N Motion
|Shantell Nelson, owner of Eternity Hair Salon
|Sheena McCants, owner of Sheena Sade Catering and Baking
|Tami Rey, Kalamazoo County Commissioner
|Tanisha Pyron, owner of Tanisha Lynn Pyron Creative Photography
|TC Custard, community activist
|Terice Bailyewu, massage therapist and owner of Personal Transformation Massage
|The HeLa Project
|Tiffany Burns, owner of Smile Savers Mobile Dental Service
|Tiffany Parker, graphic designer
|Tony Lee, owner of Just Us Building Restoration
|Trinity Prep Center, LLC.
“We are so appreciative of all our partners who help us. Our students learn about things that are so interesting and important,” says Lila Farran, one of the many dedicated youth development coaches supporting students throughout CIS Think Summer!
Colleague Andrea Kinloch agrees. “The experiences made available by our partners have allowed students to tap into their imaginations and reconnect with their interests, emotions, gifts, and energy for learning.”
Students concur with these sentiments. Liam, who will be attending sixth grade at Linden Grove Middle School this fall is a fan of math. He’s good at it so it’s no surprise that he appreciated “learning more about radius and circles” at Think Summer! He also enjoyed exploring arts and crafts. “It’s a very active program,” he explains, adding that he also likes the breakfasts that are offered each morning. “At home I eat cereal, but here there are a wide variety of breakfast foods.”
For Elizabeth, an incoming sixth grader and recent graduate of El Sol Elementary, if she could invite just one special guest back, she would pick Ms. Kim from Guess Who’s Dancing? “I like to dance,” explains Elizabeth. “It’s more about how I feel when I dance than doing the moves that she is telling you to do.”
To all you delightful folks who partnered with us to enrich and inspire our kids this summer, thank you!
CIS Think Summer! is supported by federal dollars awarded through the Michigan Department of Education, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Tags: Andrea Kinloch, CIS Think Summer, Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Kim Guess, Lila Farran, Michigan Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers, supporting students to succeed, Tami Rey