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Legacy Scholars program asks area adults to nominate fifth-graders

The Legacy Scholars program seeks to inspire selected students from Battle Creek Public Schools and the Lakeview School District to achieve their educational goals.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54 percent of recent high school graduates from low-income families pursue post-secondary education, compared to 88 percent of graduates from upper-income families.

“Among kids attending Battle Creek Public Schools, 57 percent qualify for free or reduced lunches,” said Dr. Charles Coleman, superintendent of Battle Creek Public Schools and member of the advisory committee that developed the Legacy Scholars program. “This program has the potential to address disparities that inhibit academic achievement, which can impact future generations for our children – and down the line, the economic health and well-being of our community.”

The Kellogg Foundation initiated the Legacy Scholars program to address educational disparities of students enrolled in Battle Creek Public Schools and the Lakeview School District. The Foundation established a $4 million endowment with the Battle Creek Community Foundation to ensure that funding of scholarships will continue beyond this 75th Anniversary year, benefiting youth for years to come.

Here’s how the Legacy Scholars nomination process works: Caring adults – parents, counselors, teachers, coaches, pastors, mentors, and others – nominate students at the end of their fifth-grade year. Between sixth grade and graduation, students who are selected to participate in the Legacy Scholars program have an incentive to graduate from high school and pursue college. The goal of the nomination process is to identify sixth-graders who will become Legacy Scholars later this fall – and every fall thereafter. Upon timely graduation, Legacy Scholars receive two-year scholarships to Kellogg Community College (62 credit-hour equivalent). Scholarships are “last dollar,” used to supplement any other scholarships or grants students receive.

“In his own words, Mr. Kellogg believed that ‘education provides the greatest opportunity for really improving one generation over another,’” said Dr. William C. Richardson, president and chief executive officer of the Kellogg Foundation. “This work is a direct link with his vision.”

The program was developed through the collaboration of a diverse group of organizations and individuals dedicated to the needs of local children: representatives from Battle Creek Public Schools and the Lakeview School District, the Battle Creek Community Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek Unlimited, the County Prosecutor’s Office, the Battle Creek Police Department, Western Michigan University, local business leaders, parents, and students.

How Do I nominate a 5th Grade Student to be a Legacy Scholar?

Adults are encouraged to complete a nomination form, available in English and Spanish, and submit it to the Battle Creek Community Foundation by May 20, 2005. The forms are available at Battle Creek McDonald’s restaurants, Willard Library (downtown and Helen Warner branch), elementary schools in Battle Creek Public Schools and the Lakeview School District (after spring break), Battle Creek Community Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. They are also available online at www.wkkf.org/legacyscholars. Call 965.2445 with any questions.

The Legacy Scholars program is one of many ways the Kellogg Foundation is investing in the common good – in Battle Creek and around the world – during its 75th Anniversary year. For additional information on the Kellogg Foundation’s 75th Anniversary investments, visit: www.wkkf.org/75th.

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