WMU News

Community kickoff set for citizenship program

Sept. 7, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- A community kickoff is set for Monday, Sept. 13, for Northeastern Elementary School's "Citizenship Education" program. The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the school grounds at 2433 Gertrude St., Kalamazoo.

Northeastern Elementary School is a WMU College of Education cluster site for teacher internships. College of Education representatives will be on hand Monday to help launch the new program.

The Citizenship Education program initially will include fourth-through-sixth graders at the school. Students in each grade level will receive lessons in core democratic values, such as the everyday implications of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; equality; and the common good and the rule of law.

Classes will be team-taught by Northeastern teachers and Kalamazoo Township police officers every Wednesday afternoon for six weeks. Lessons on these values eventually will be included in the curriculum of all grade levels, including the PEEP program for 4-year-olds.

Monday's event will include a dunk tank, pony rides, clowns and refreshments. It is termed a "community kickoff" because it is hoped the whole community will help reinforce citizenship education with children outside school.

Also present at the kickoff will be the Kalamazoo Mass Choir, the Family Health Center's My Child Program, members of the Kalamazoo Tornadoes football team, and Kalamazoo Township and Kalamazoo Public Safety officers. Baked goods also will be sold, and community organizations, such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, will set up informational tables.

For more information, contact Gwen Matthews, Northeastern Elementary School at (616) 337-0690 or Mark Schwerin, WMU University Relations at (616) 387-8413.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 616 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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