The Kalamazoo Youth Development Network (KYD Network) was created fifteen years ago through a collaborative effort among the city of Kalamazoo, the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, and the Hispanic American Council to provide networking opportunities for youth-serving organizations.
Today, KYD Network serves as the intermediary organization to a growing out-of-school time (OST) sector whose vision is that all Kalamazoo County youth are college or career ready by age 21. We seek to accomplish this vision by ensuring that all Kalamazoo County youth have access to high quality out-of-school programs that are well coordinated and use resources efficiently.
Organizations that serve youth work in the out-of-school time, or “second shift.” While youth spend seven hours a day in school during the “first shift,” many youth spend as much, or more, time with us during the second shift. We believe we offer a powerful and unique opportunity to improve outcomes for youth by giving young people time and space to identify their interests and assets and by providing them with opportunities to explore and learn new skills they can use in school, at home, and to better their community.
In order to achieve our vision and fully implement our mission, KYD Network, serving as the intermediary for the OST sector, is building a sustainable OST system. Over the past year and a half, KYD Network has learned what elements are necessary for our sustainable OST system, or second shift. We are creating a movement with the second shift to create a sustainable system that consists of:
KYD Network realizes that this system will take the next three to five years to fully build with our members and stakeholders. Over the past eighteen months, we have conducted a listening campaign and have convened our sector through a quality cohort of fifteen organizations and four Affinity Groups in the areas of Youth Leadership, Social Emotional Learning, Parent Engagement, and Advocacy. This process led to the creation of a Theory of Change that presents a roadmap of the longer-term outcomes we believe must be achieved to reach our vision for Kalamazoo County youth.
Social Emotional Learning
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709 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007