August 10, 2021

CIS Think Summer: Thank you to our community of supporters!

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
Boy Scouts
Carmen James, personal trainer and owner of Carmen’s Fit Bella Vei
Comerica Bank
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
Edwards Garment
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
Joslyn Johnson 
Joy Burton, owner of Move with Joy – Dance, Yoga, Pilates
Katie Pearson, owner of Tabitha Farm Urban Homestead & Community Garden 
Landscape Forms
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
Prevention Works
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!

“Future Commissioners” with Kalamazoo County Commissioner Tami Rey who was a guest presenter.

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.” 

High school student practicing interview skills with Comerica Bank volunteer.

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.”  

Thank you to Kellogg’s for donating over 2,128 snacks for CIS Think Summer students! Thank you to our friend, Jessica Waller, Vice President of Kellogg’s Salty Snack Division, for helping coordinate the snack donation.

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.”

Group of students with Kim Guess, owner of Guess Who’s Dancing? during enrichment at the CIS Think Summer program.

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.

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