The Edison Early Childhood Education Career Pathway has received a $300,000 Child Care Innovation Award from the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC). The funds will be used to launch Phase 2 of the program and scale up efforts to develop a sustainable career path that addresses the growing need for qualified early learning professionals in the Edison community of Kalamazoo.
Rodney is a KLC learner who recently came back into service. Originally from St. Louis, he’s been in the Kalamazoo area for 20 years. Growing up in a family of 10, Rodney’s early path in life was rocky. He spent many years in the streets and ended up incarcerated. While there, he was able to reflect on himself and his choices. After several tragedies, including the loss of his mother and son, he vowed to do better and spend time with more positive people who could help him make better choices.
“All across the state, all across the country, we do find that there are adults who struggle to read and the term functional literacy really means reading at 0 to fourth grade level,” Michael Evans, the executive director of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council, said. “Most documents for adults struggling to read at that level, they may not be able to read it independently. So that might mean the mail you receive, the applications you need to fill out if you try to apply for a job — not being able to search those jobs and be able to see how you fit.”