Helping Children and Families Succeed

Born in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Believe 2 Become is based on three guiding principles. First is the heartfelt belief that all people are born with God-given, unlimited potential to achieve and grow. Second is the understanding that all children need to grow up with high expectations from a supportive community. Third is the knowledge that all children and youth deserve real opportunities to learn in a rigorous environment, explore the natural world, connect with role models, gain work experiences, and aspire to college or career success. Guided by rigorous research and a community-centered design process, Believe 2 Become is an asset shared and valued by dozens of community partners, stakeholders, and families in Greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Timeline

Institute for Learning begins working with GRPS educators to influence classroom teaching and learning with research-based practices

Youth Violence Prevention initiative launches to support neighborhood families

Athletic academic expansion launches to bring learning-centered strategies to the field

Rigorous analysis reveals Hope Zone neighborhood opportunities for academic success strategies

A network of individuals and organizations joins forces to help more children achieve their potential

The “I Believe I Become” rallying cry is born, along with the Believe 2 Become identity

B2B launches Summer Learning Academy Community engagement begins with public gatherings in the Central Hope Zone

B2B Baby Scholars recruits its first cohort of families

Cambridge Education begins working with GRPS on the Teacher Effectiveness project

Tripod Survey of students and teachers is introduced to provide helpful feedback to GRPS teachers and principals on instructional practices

Community engagement deepens the strategy to include school-based parent meetings in the Hope Zones B2B premieres documentary film Helping Children Succeed featuring community leaders

GRPS publishes its first parent manual with Believe 2 Become messaging

Partners in School Innovation begins working with GRPS on a middle school turnaround project

With B2B support, GRPS launches its first attendance challenge

B2B and GRPS team up to launch the first Parent University in Michigan

Summer Learning Academy and Baby Scholars celebrate student and family achievements at Successfest, a collaboration of Believe 2 Become and GRPS Basis Policy Research begins working with GRPS to develop the Opportunity Index

The Project LIFT pilot shares student success data with select GRPS parents via text messages

ELO Network launches Imagine U to help students improve social-emotional learning and develop future orientation

Parent University launches online learning and credentialing opportunities for parents

GRPS increases efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism with Challenge 5, a districtwide attendance challenge

Project LIFT teams with Summer Learning Academy to share student success data with GRPS parents

Parent University adds an online course, “Helping Students Imagine Their Future,” with Dr. Ronald F. Ferguson of Harvard University

GRPS reports measurable improvements in attendance and reductions in chronic absenteeism

Imagine U emerges as a strong community-wide professional learning community committed to helping youth develop the mindsets, skills, future orientation, knowledge, and agency they will need for successful futures in the 21st century

The Imagine More campaign launches with its eye focused on the successful futures of young people and their families in West Michigan

Workforce Opportunity Report is published and distributed at public forums where leaders in education, workforce development, and captains of industry gathered to discuss solutions to bridge the school to career opportunity gap faced by so many high school graduates