Neighborhood Services News

Caution: Communities at work for change

Caution: Communities at work for change

Posted: 11-04-2011

Believe 2 Become is not a program, it is not a service. It is a movement and it is growing. It is inspired by the organizations that are taking part and leading the work. It is expressed through families and neighbors that are growing closer to each other with a common hope for a brighter future. It is made alive by the collective voice, action and response of a people that are ready to become a part of change.

Since the beginning of this movement almost two years ago, we have witnessed something amazing. The collective voice of thousands of community members has shaped the conversation of our city. Political leaders, religious members, local organizations and national entities are all echoing the buzzwords of education, parent involvement, and early childhood development. We have set the agenda for change to take place, and it is.

West zone residents are beginning to define the goals of their four action teams. On November 10, they will gather again, lifting their voice and ideas on how we as a community can ensure that our children are well-rounded, healthy, and prepared to be successful in life by what they learn at home, in school, and in the community.

Esther, a West zone neighbor shared her thoughts after the West zone community celebration on October 6, “I think I Believe I Become has helped the community come together. I see more people out with their children. I have learned a lot from the meetings.”

The Central zone community will be gathering one more time at Ford Middle School on November 17 to develop a plan to implement each of the four action strategies in the Central zone schools. Parents and community members will come and identify which school based movement they want to be a part of, joining their neighbors to ensure all parents and guardians are actively involved in their child’s education from birth to high school graduation and beyond.

Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Communities in Grand Rapids are working together for change. Relationships are being restored, average neighbors are realizing their place in this work and children are being encourgaged by their families, their schools and their communities. Although the goals have not yet been reached, this movement is already a success.