Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Retired NCS teacher Linda Brim spearheading Norwood Promise

The article below by Andrew Clark appears in the current issue of the Norwood Star, which comes out today. We want to thank Andrew for sending us his article with permission to publish it.

Some of our regular readers may recall this blog about the August, 2008 joint meeting of the NCS Board of Education and city council’s Committee of the Whole to discuss the possibility of the school district doing a Norwood version of the Kalamazoo Promise and the City partnering on the project. We do not know if NCS ever laid any groundwork for the project following the joint meeting, but we are pleased to know that Linda Brim has stepped in to launch the Norwood Promise. We applaud her effort, and we plan to keep our readers informed about her progress.

Norwood Promise
By Andrew Clark
Norwood Star

I’m excited to tell you about a new program that is coming to Norwood called the Norwood Promise. It is based off of the successful Kalamazoo Promise that was implemented in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The basic premise of the program is to provide up to 100% of a student’s college tuition, to a state college or university, if they attend district schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.

This may sound crazy or impossible, but while reading about Kalamazoo the similarities between it and Norwood are remarkable. The program was implemented in November of 2005 after receiving an anonymous donation a scholarship foundation was set up. The program has now become an economic development tool for the city of Kalamazoo because of the number of new students and families it has brought into the city.

The “Promise” has also been credited with a rise in housing prices within the school district, an increased interest from developers, growth in enrollment in Kalamazoo’s public schools, and an increased rate in the number of students who go on to college. Two researchers from WMU found that school enrollment in the district grew by 1,211 students or 12.1 percent. Enrollment gains generated $7.8 million in additional state aid in the first year which was used to educate the influx of new students.

The Norwood Promise is being spearheaded by Linda Brim, who retired from the Norwood School District several years ago. Linda worked for the Norwood School system for 24 years and before worked for the Northwest District for seven years. She is a graduate of the Norwood High School Class of 1961. She was also a resident of Norwood for 11 years. Linda is heavily involved in our community through the Norwood Business and Professional Women’s Club and you may recognize her as the MC at the Baby Show at Norwood Day at Coney Island.

This program is just what our city needs. With your help we could set up this program that has already brought results to Kalamazoo in less than five years. We could see growth in development, an increase in enrollment in our schools (which has seen a decline for some years), and our kids could be guaranteed a college education for free as long as they stay in the district from kindergarten through 12th grade and maintain a 2.0 GPA!

The Norwood Promise is currently setting up a website that will have more information soon. You will be able to visit in the near future. You may also call Linda Brim at 513-924-2517 if you have any questions or comments about the Norwood Promise. Please also call her to make donations, which are tax deductable, or find out how you can help.

I can’t stress to you enough the potential that this program would have to change the entire dynamics of our schools and our city. Can you imagine your children going to college for FREE for just attending the district? It could happen. Please consider donating or helping out!