New organization will knit together educational supports to help Flint kids thrive

Brownell-Homes Preschool Graduation
Photo: Adam Stoltman

Flint, Michigan — Several educational initiatives and programs will soon be operating under one organization to better serve kids and families in the community.

Launched with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Flint Center for Educational Excellence will lead and coordinate six cooperative efforts:

  • Community education, which is a school-based holistic approach to supporting students and families with academic, enrichment, recreational, health, and other programs and services.
  • Afterschool programming, which provides out-of-school-time activities and programs for students.
  • The Flint Early Childhood Collaborative, which supports best practices in early learning at Cummings Great Expectations and Educare Flint.
  • A Flint Parent Collaborative, which will build on existing avenues for engagement, creating opportunities for greater involvement and advocacy.
  • A Community Council on Education, which will bring together a broad set of stakeholders interested in bolstering the educational landscape in Flint.
  • A Network for School Excellence, which will be a cohort of schools that will work together to improve educational outcomes.

“As students have struggled through the effects of the city’s water crisis and a global pandemic, the need for high-quality educational opportunities has become more important than ever,” said Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “We’re supporting this new organization with one purpose in mind: to help Flint kids thrive. Key initiatives that once operated separately will now be more closely aligned to better serve students and families.”

The Mott Foundation anticipates making more than $10 million in grants in 2023 to support the initial operation of the Flint Center for Educational Excellence. The Community Foundation of Greater Flint will be the fiscal sponsor for the organization and will lead the pilot phase of its work until it becomes an independent public charity.

Ja’Nel Jamerson, who holds a doctoral degree in education and previously served as executive director of Educare Flint, has been named executive director of the Flint Center for Educational Excellence. He will serve in this role as part of his work at CFGF, where he is vice president for policy and P-20 partnerships.

“Our goal is to bring together strategic focus, collaboration and commitment to excellence for the sole purpose of advancing outcomes for Flint kids,” Jamerson said. “When kids thrive, communities thrive. I’m excited to see highly dedicated educators combine their expertise to drive programs, research and advocacy that will give Flint kids the best opportunities to thrive in the paths they choose.”

The Flint Center for Educational Excellence will be up and running in time for summer programming starting July 1.