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Some of the 20 people involved in The Franklin Project

Neighbors turn eyesore into place children can play

Zinta Aistars has the story of how a blighted city lot became a place where children can play soccer, creating a place for them to stay busy rather than get into trouble. It's called the Franklin Project and it's about workers in the surrounding neighborhood who decided to make a difference.  

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Playing in the dirt at the Kalamazoo Nature Center's preschool

There is a preschool where children are encouraged to get down in the mud and dirty, jump into puddles, and splash around in the rain barrel that collects rain water from the school’s roof. Zinta Aistars has the story on Nature's Way Preschool.

Sydnee Peters is a visual artist and a teacher at the Gwen Frostic Center at Western Michigan University

Creativity Scouting: What it means and why it matters

What if we looked for people's strenghs instead of trying to fix their problems? What if we looked for the creative among us and encouraged them to be their most innovative? George Martin asks these questions and more in his look at the link between creativity scouting and strong communities.

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Pilot program offers a second chance for young people

Can young people who are poised to get adult criminal records turn their lives around? A group of dedicated people in Kalamazoo (including the Kinetic Affect duo) led by Judge Anne Blatchford is trying to help them turn that corner. Zinta Aistars has the story on how it works.

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Harnessing the Future

When it comes to farming sometimes old is new again. At least it is for Gina Wertz. She tells Donna McClurkan about her reasons for learning one of the oldest ways for tilling the earth. 

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WMU's business accelerator, Starting Gate, open for student entrepreneurs

The first group of students entreprenuers to work in WMU's venture accelerator, the Starting Gate, recently showed off what they were all about. Kathy Jennings tells what happend.

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Redesigning education to prepare youngsters for changes ahead

At least 500 people were at the Radisson when the Kalamazoo Community Foundation presented new ideas on ways the community might go as it becomes a place where education is the number one priority. Disruptions lie ahead.

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A garden tour that's about more than growing plants

Most people are satisfied to get ripe tomatoes from their gardens. But Common Ground has higher expecations of community gardens in its network. It wants to harvest better neighborhoods and build community as the food grown there improves health of those who eat it. A tour the group organized highlights those goals.

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Reading above grade level becomes more common at Verona Elementary

What happens when a school turns a laser like focus on reading? Parents at Verona Elementary say their children are reading all the time, even when they don't have to. Jane Parikh has the story on how one school is turning things around before the all-critical third grade. 

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Rambling Naturalists teach the secrets of nature and a good life

Whether in character or as themselves, Wil and Sarah Reding have a lot of wisdom to share about the natural world around us. Zinta Aistars talked to them about their business Rent A Rambling Naturalist that's more than telling a good yarn.
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