Believe 2 Become Central Zone
The Believe 2 Become Central Zone began their journey on August 26, 2010. Over the last year and a half goals have been set and plans have formed to ensure that all the community’s children are supported to succeed in school, work and life. As the work moves forward and takes shape parents and neighbors will start meeting within each of the three Central Zone schools to implement the action plans in a way that best fits the student populations.
The launch of the School Based strategy provides a great platform for parents to become more involved and work more closely with Believe 2 Become and the school which is the heartbeat of the Central Zone’s community goal: “Parents and guardians are actively involved in their child’s education from birth to high school graduation and beyond.”
While the school based strategy is rolling out, the Central community will host the following events and opportunities for parents, neighbors and children to participate in! B2B Family Fun Nights, Courageous Movie Screening, Dad’s Legal Clinic, Men in the Circle, Safe Routes to School, & Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). Information on all of these events can be found on the LINC Events Calendar and ibeleieveibecome.org.
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Today, I have pride in my heart and a smile on my face for the Central Zone Community and the commitment families have made to stay involved with their children. This was made apparent as more than 190 parents and children filled the Seidman Boys and Girls Club on Wednesday night. The venue quickly became a metropolis of smiles and community spirit for the second in a series of Family Fun Night collaborations with the Believe 2 Become Community Center Action Team and Seidman Boys and Girls Club.
The Family Fun Nights provide a great opportunity for parents to interact with their children in a positive way. The activities and information involved in the night offer a strong base for parents to become more dedicated and involved in their children’s education and support their increased academic achievement.
Seidman gave us the luxury of having time to set up by locking the doors until 5:00pm because there were families waiting outside in anticipation of the big event. As we quickly moved our materials into the center, I thought about how fortunate Believe 2 Become has been to have great partnerships with places like Duthler’s Family Foods who supplied all the beverages and chips, LINC Opportunity Center that offers resources and opportunities to the community, the Grand Rapids Police Department who runs the club, the Department of Human Services (DHS) who disseminated information on “Bundled Benefits,” Sigma Gamma Ro Sorority that helped with games, and the Madison Square Library’s head librarian who volunteered her time to offer storytelling and crafts to the smaller children. In fact, there were too many volunteers and collaborators to mention; I am thankful to each company, resident and organization that helps make these events successful for our community and its residents.
This Family Fun Night had a bevy of activities happening simultaneously; Believe 2 Become and Seidman kicked-off the month long Seidman Reading Rewards program that is to run each month between Family Fun Nights. There were only 25 opportunities for children this month to participate so we held a reading rewards lottery. Potential participants entered their name into a drawing and 25 winners were selected. To our surprise we had more than 75 entries which is an awesome problem to have! Kids are anxious and excited to have the opportunity to read and expand their knowledge! The Central Action Teams have partnered with the Madison Library and the Dairy Treat to offer Summer Reading Rewards that will accommodate any and all children in the Central Zone who are eager to read throughout the summer.
There was face painting, tattoos, egg races, basketball 3-pt competitions and a game with LINC/Seidman Staff vs. the high school boys and girls intramural teams. Although the high school teams won, it was a testament to the empowerment that our communities’ children have received to Believe that they can all Become winners.
I am left with the permanent residue of pride for our community and the film that covers my eyes from seeing the ills of the world now allows me to be far-sighted enough to see the positive effects that the Believe 2 Become movement is creating in our communities.
Revitalizing neighborhoods through authentic engagement, stimulating economic development, expanding housing opportunities, creating affordable housing, and developing leadership and capacity to residents and grass-root organizations.