Flint, MI—Several Flint educational initiatives and programs will soon be operating under a singular organization.

Launched through an anticipated $10 million in initial funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the new Flint Center for Educational Excellence is set to coordinate six “cooperative efforts” according to the foundation’s Feb. 2, 2023 press release.

Those efforts include some already existing initiatives, like community education, after-school programming, and the Flint Early Childhood Collaborative.

However, the center will also be launching some new ones, including: a “Flint Parent Collaborative” meant to “create opportunities for greater involvement and advocacy”; a “Community Council on Education” to “bring together a broad set of stakeholders” looking to bolster Flint’s educational landscape; and a “Network for School Excellence” defined as “a cohort of schools that will work together to improve educational outcomes” according to the release.

“The foundation, since its earliest days, has had a very strong interest and priority around the needs of Flint kids and families,” said Jennifer Liversedge, program officer for the Mott Foundation. “This is an evolution, a bit, of some of the things we have been supporting, but really combining them into this one organization provides a way to leverage what’s being offered.”

Liversedge added that “weaving” those supports together will mean “even better” outcomes for Flint kids and families.

While the details of the new organization’s roll-out are still to come, what is known is that the Community Foundation of Greater Flint will serve as its fiscal sponsor, leading the pilot phase of the center’s work until it becomes an independent public charity.

“It’s being set up through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF), rather than Mott,” Liversedge explained. “We will provide funding to help bring this about, but it’ll initially start with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and then in time the expectation is that it spins off from that and becomes its own independent entity.”

Though the center is not yet independent, it does already have an executive director. 

According to the Mott Foundation press release, Ja’Nel Jamerson, previously the executive director of Educare Flint, has been tapped to lead the Flint Center for Educational Excellence.

The release notes Jamerson will serve in this role as part of his work at CFGF, where he is vice president for policy and P-20 partnerships.

The center does not yet have a location, but Liversedge noted that its early programming will take place in local schools, not the organization’s offices.

“It will focus on—initially, in the first year—after school and community education programs in area schools. So in that regard it is school-based where kids are,” she told Flint Beat.

Thomas Parker, executive in residence and program officer for the Mott Foundation, added that more information will be made available as the structure of the new organization solidifies.

“Over the next couple of months we’ll be rolling out some information to kids, families and schools about the entire organization,” Parker said, noting that there are already students receiving some of the services that will soon fall under the center’s efforts. “So, we want to be really sure to say that we want to continue to support Flint kids primarily in some of the schools that we’re in or that they’re already receiving services and supports in.”

According to the Mott Foundation’s press release, The Flint Center for Educational Excellence will be “up and running” in time for summer programming starting July 1, 2023.

Kate is Flint Beat's associate editor. She joined the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues....