All Kalamazoo County youth are ready for career, college, and life by 21.
Ensure that all Kalamazoo County youth have access to high quality out-of-school time (OST) programs that are well coordinated and use resources efficiently.

Our Past

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.

Our Present

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.

Our Future

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:

  • A shared vision for our youth, that they are college and career ready by age 21;
  • A common definition of quality OST programming that uses the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI), a research-based model created by the David Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (YPQI) and the Michigan OST quality standards;
  • County-wide coordination of the OST sector through KYD Network;
  • Engaged leadership from the OST sector and youth to build and sustain the sector through Affinity Groups, Youth Advisory Councils, and the Kalamazoo County Youth Cabinet;
  • Shared accountability for performance targets such as youth achieving social emotional learning milestones that are set forth in a Youth Master Plan;
  • A commitment to continuous quality improvement through the YPQI;
  • Sustainable resources from local, state, and national sources; and
  • Coordinated advocacy for the Second Shift that results in more and sustained funding and supportive policies.

Our Plan

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.

  • In Michigan, over 550,000 children (31%) are home alone after school. These children spend an average of eight (8) hours a week unsupervised in the out-of-school time hours.
  • Thirty-five (35%) of all Michigan children not in OST programming would likely participate in an OST program were available in their community.
  • Kalamazoo County is home 50,000 to school-age youth, approximately 5,000 of whom participate in OST programming.
  • If the state trends hold true in Kalamazoo County, we should be serving roughly 16,000 youth; a far cry from the 5,000 we estimate we serve.
  • A recent study of a major after-school program revealed that every one dollar invested in the program produced three dollars worth of benefits to youth and the general public. In addition, boys who participated in high quality OST programming experience a six fold reduction in crime.
  • Research indicates that youth who attend high-quality OST programs have better peer relations, emotional adjustment, conflict resolution skills, grades, and conduct in school compared to their peers who are not in OST programs.
  • When after-school participation is high and consistent, there is no gap in low- and high-income children’s math achievement at grade five.
Focus Areas -


Quality matters in the out-of-school time and we know how to build a quality OST organization and program. KYD Network is part of the David Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality’s network of communities that are implementing the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI).

Social Emotional Learning

Youth, parents, out-of-school time professionals, and educators across the country acknowledge that youth are missing a critical piece of their “education.” We know that in addition to reading and writing, we need to teach resilience and responsibility, respect, and sound decision making.

DARS Survey

Parent Engagement

The out-of-school time (OST) sector will authentically engage with parents and caregivers to develop their leadership skills to support their child’s social emotional development and school success.


KYD Network seeks to advocate for policies and sustainable funding streams that enhance and support high quality OST programming.

Youth Leadership

In 2015, the Kalamazoo County Youth Cabinet was created by KYD Network and other local non-profits to provide youth, ages 14 to 20, with an opportunity to shape their community. The Cabinet is, “Building the community WE want, making the changes WE need” by identifying issues of importance to youth and developing solutions to address these challenges.
Register for the Webinar: Increasing Youth Voice and Leadership