Michigan Radio launches multi-year project to examine economic future of Michigan’s children

Jun 12, 2012

Michigan Radio has been awarded a major three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to report on the many issues related to childhood poverty. The $995,000 grant, the largest in the station’s history, will allow Michigan Radio to move beyond traditional radio reporting to reach a wide variety of audiences about the plight facing Michigan’s most vulnerable children. The project, called State of Opportunity: Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?, will utilize documentary feature reports, first-person storytelling, youth journalists, a robust online portal, and Michigan Radio’s Public Insight Network to expose the barriers to achieving success for children of low income families in Michigan. Michigan Radio will dedicate three full time journalists to this new endeavor.

State of Opportunity will also engage community members and people directly affected by poverty. It will provide opportunities to share concerns and connect with community resources. The project will also help teach people to better advocate for themselves and their children through town hall discussions, panel events and several planned youth policymaker forums.

State of Opportunity reporters will examine the impact that healthcare, schools, family, the local community, and public policy have on child development…from cradle to college. Throughout the project, diverse voices will be heard, including families and youth struggling with these issues, community leaders, legislators, and experts.

 “The future of Michigan’s children and the future of our economy are intertwined,” said Steve Schram, Director of Broadcasting. “Michigan Radio is excited about State of Opportunity’s potential to help shed light on the problems facing Michigan’s underserved children, and we hope that our outreach efforts will help empower listeners, members of the general public, and community leaders alike to identify causes and solutions.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, established in 1930, supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For more information on the foundation, please visit www.wkkf.org.