BATTLE CREEK, Mich., April 30, 2024 — State Representative Jim Haadsma (D-Battle Creek) expressed gratitude for the recent announcement from the Michigan Department of Education that Battle Creek Public Schools and Marshall Public Schools won competitive grants to support students and their families by better connecting them to community resources.

In Battle Creek, the $226,540 grant will be used to address chronic absenteeism and organize community events to bring together community members. In honor of the grant, Dr. Kim Carter, Superintendent of Battle Creek Public Schools commemorated the grant by saying:

“Winning this grant is a testament to our commitment to addressing the critical issue of chronic absenteeism and fostering a culture of academic excellence and community engagement. With these funds, we are equipped to implement comprehensive strategies that will not only improve attendance rates but also strengthen the fabric of our community.”

Meanwhile, Marshall plans to use its $75,750 award for additional staff and outreach. Marshall Public Schools Superintendent Rebecca Jones celebrated the grant by saying: 

“This Communities in Schools grant will support efforts to engage students, parents and community stakeholders within and throughout both of the communities that call MPS home. By allowing us to hire additional staff, host community events and make meaningful connections with community resources, these additional funds will have a profound impact. The support from the state of Michigan will make a significant difference in our buildings. We are truly thankful for the commitment to quality public education from our local and state representatives.

“We are lucky to have dedicated school staff who look for these opportunities to support our young people and our schools. Connecting students and their families with support outside of the school setting means the kids will be better prepared to learn,” Haadsma said. “I am confident this partnership between the State of Michigan, Communities In Schools and our local schools will help ensure every kid has the opportunity to take advantage of an education.”