Kalamazoo Center For Youth and Community

The Kalamazoo Center for Youth & Community (KCYC), located in the Eastside and Eastwood neighborhoods, has over 400 students currently enrolled. KCYC relies on a collaborative partnership “surround the child” approach, providing a variety of evidence-based programming. Youth may become a member at the Boys & Girls Club at Northeastern Elementary (where Kalamazoo Public Schools provides indoor and outdoor space and dinner for all who attend), or they can drop in for the CHAMPs after-school program, located at the Eastside Neighborhood Association, where staff offer homework help, social-emotional skill building, and experiential learning activities.

KCYC teens can participate in Speak It Forward’s “Speak With Fire” program, where they develop confidence in speaking about the challenges they experience in their lives, or in the Accelerating Student Athletes Progress (ASAP) program, which combines individualized academic tutoring support with collegiate level basketball skill coaching.

Eastside students with high risk indicators for dropping out are enrolled in KCYC’s intensive Check & Connect program, where they are assigned a mentor and may have focused interventions at the Cheff Center (equine therapy), the Eastside Boxing Club, or even attend a local martial arts program.

Some of the youngest students who struggle academically are enrolled in KCYC’s acclaimed Individualized Student Services program, which includes occupational therapy provided by Western Michigan University to help in understanding their personal learning styles, and individualized reading tutors provided by the SLD Read organization.

KCYC also offers Math FUNdamentals, a program with individual tutoring and group activities aligned with the Common Core curriculum. Students with a high interest in STEM (grades 2 – 6) may be selected for KCYC’s new EASEL program, a summer science and arts classroom that joins forces with organizations such as the Kalamazoo Nature Center, Southwest MI Land Conservancy, WMU’s School of Medicine, and you just might find a local
scientist dropping by!

KCYC provides staff training, cross-program student data, and continuous improvement evaluation to all its collaborative partners — creating transformation on the Eastside.

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