The programs of the Institute for Service-Learning strengthen the community and promote academic learning, personal growth, and civic responsibility for students. Some course-based service-learning projects occur during a 10-week quarter; most projects are on-going and take place within the context of reciprocal partnerships. Many partnerships span both academic service-learning and co-curricular work in order to provide continuity and cohesiveness.
The Woodward School: Our award-winning Kalamazoo Public Schools partnership began in 1997 with the Woodward School, a K–6 boundary magnet two blocks from “K,” and this is still our most complex partnership. Every year, Woodward’s 350 - 400 pupils welcome over 125 students in service-learning courses, and about 30 volunteers and 30 federal work-study students from “K” - each committing three or more hours a week for at least a 10-week quarter.
El Sol Elementary: In our ongoing student-led initiative, about 10 “K” students work in K-4 Spanish/English immersion classrooms each quarter to help children with literacy skills.
CAPS (Community Advocates for Parents & Students) Tutoring at Interfaith Homes: CAPS is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization that provides tutoring opportunities to KPS students in any grade. The program meets at Interfaith Homes on the city’s north side, where it is open to resident children. In a structured but fun environment, the program includes relationship-based homework help, literacy and math support, and information about getting into colleges.
KDO (Keeping the Doors Open) Math Enrichment Program: Responding to the Kalamazoo Promise and the KPS mission of making a college education accessible to all students, K College began an After-school Math Enrichment Program for Kalamazoo Public School middle school students from traditionally underrepresented groups who show promise in math, but may need additional support to reach their full potential. Over 40 middle school students come to K’s campus where they work with one-on-one with “K” tutors.
Heartbeat Creative Expressions Program: Heartbeat is an after-school program at K Central High School that focuses on creative expression. Each Thursday afternoon, a group of about six “K” College mentors work with twelve to sixteen K-Central students at Heartbeat sessions.