MARQUETTE - The Upper Peninsula Center for Educational Development received a three-year grant of nearly $386,000 from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to fund the U.P. Middle Start 11 project, which will help middle schools throughout the region and beyond communicate better and improve student outcomes.

The UPCED will assist schools in improving academic achievements, social equity and healthy development. The grant will support a digital communications network and assist teachers and administrators in improving schools through workshops, expert resource personnel, technical support and interactions with other schools. Currently, 18 U.P. schools are participating in the project, said Carl Wozniak, director of the UPCED.

"It helps those schools by providing professional help for teachers and administrators and public awareness about the special needs of middle grades education," Wozniak said. The Middle Start program, funded by the Kellogg Foundation, has its roots in the 1990s when schools recognized that there are significant issues in middle grades education not found in elementary or high school classrooms. Wozniak said the schools have come a long way since the beginning, and he hopes to work with school districts beyond the U.P. and the state of Michigan in the near future.

The UPCED is housed at Northern Michigan University and supported by the seven intermediate school districts in the U.P. and by NMU. The center acts as a liaison between school districts and the university.

Prepared By
Kristi Evans
News Director