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    Michigan cities have taken President Barack Obama's national concept of "Promise Neighborhood," and started putting them into action. Michigan has used the Harlem Children's Zone in New York as their model, as suggested by President Obama during his campaign. The notion of a "Promise Neighborhood" is a system of institutions which will provide basic services for the area. These services would include "working with schools on education, community organizations to enhance health care, community development organizations and developers to improve housing stock, and creating community gardens"(Crain Service News). The City of Kalamazoo and Detroit are currently working on their own Harlem Children's Zone.

    In Detroit, Williams Jones is trying to find a way to improve the community in the north central Detroit neighborhood. Project Focus: Hope as Jones has named it would be a foundation for a "layer of nonprofit services for children and families, with a focus on education"(Crain Service News). Focus: Hope's main focus will be on education from preschool through 12th grade. The project already on its way but they need backing from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, which they are currently waiting on a $50,000 grant approval. However, Jones did say that "Even if federal funding doesn't come through, the project will move forward"(Crain Service News).

    Kalamazoo's program, Communities in Schools (KCIS), is dedicated to supporting families in need of basic services. KCIS's main focus is on education because the community has realized that the current system is not supporting the kids to become successful adults. Committee members have visited the Harlem Children's Zone and have witnessed the success of the program there and have high hopes for KCIS. Don Cooney, city commissioner of Kalamazoo, is currently looking into "increasing funding and strengthening partnerships" with the current community members involved (Micha Center). In the city of Kalamazoo there are high hopes for success for this program.

    Sources:

    http://micahcenter.blogspot.com/2009/04/don-cooney-touts-harlem-childrens-zone.html

     http://www.detroitmakeithere.com/article/20090827/DM02/908279994/-1

     

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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    Meet your Policy Fellow: Jocelyn Cutean

    Jocelyn Cutean serves as Morality and Family policy correspondent for the Michigan Policy Network. She is a first-year student at Michigan State, majoring in Theatre and English. Jocelyn has experience working on the executive board of the Waterford Chapter Coalition for Youth. She has also piloted a grant funded city wide public service announcement entitled, "It Just Wasn't Worth It" which exposes the repercussions of driving while intoxicated. Jocelyn enjoys art of all forms, from writing to performance.