Campaign launches to support Lakeside for Children

An 11,500-square-foot multipurpose classroom and fitness center is planned to improve opportunities at Lakeside for Children. A campaign to raise $2.3 million to help pay for the building project got under way Oct. 1 and is called "Sound Mind. Sound Body."

Four new classrooms and a multipurpose space will allow Lakeside to expand its programming. A full-size court will provide fitness space for athletic competition and wellness programming. The new center will take the place of a small, outmoded gym built in the 1960s for elementary school aged children.

The 48-acre Lakeside for Children campus on Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo has been a home for troubled children for more than 100 years. One of the oldest social service agencies in Kalamazoo County, Lakeside currently serves about 120 at-risk boys and girls, ages 12 to 18 in a residential setting.

Youngsters are referred to Lakeside through juvenile justice systems and human service agencies in Michigan and several other states. Students live in family-style cottages and attend year-round school at Lakeside Academy, a strict-discipline charter school sponsored by Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency.

Former Lakeside resident Bob Ezelle (now head of the Boys and Girls Club of Kalamazoo), as well as several current Lakeside students were scheduled to talk about how Lakeside helps them achieve sound minds and sound bodies, many for the first times in their young lives. Kirk Latimer and Gabriel Giron, the inspirational speakers known as “Kinetic Effect” who work regularly with Lakeside students, were to provide a special performance.

Lakeside leaders, including “Sound Mind. Sound Body.” Honorary Campaign Co-chairs Amy Upjohn and Joseph Brogger II, were to join area education, civic, and business leaders at the event in Lakeside’s Todd Cultural Center at Lakeside to announce the public phase of them campaign.

"The project is essential to the success of every Lakeside student,” says Lakeside Board Chair and “Sound Mind. Sound Body.” Campaign Chair A.J. Todd. “Countless studies demonstrate that fitness and wellness combined with quality classroom experiences and counseling greatly helps at-risk students to recover and progress toward a healthy future. Our students will take a big step toward this future with the successful completion of this campaign."

Source: Lakeside for Children