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Federally-funded LCC Program Provides Educational Resources to Families

March 23, 2016

LANSING, MICH. - Savannah Miller dropped out of high school. It wasn't that she didn't value education, she was simply overwhelmed with having a complicated illness and finding out she was going to be a teen mother.

Miller reduced the stress in her life the only way she knew how: by leaving Lansing Everett High School to have her baby and manage her hyperthyroid disease. Within a year, she felt better. Her life was more manageable. It was time, she said, to get her high school diploma, think about college, and build a better life for herself and her son.

Today, Miller is among roughly 45 families accessing both quality child care and education through a federally-funded program at Lansing Community College (LCC) called Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS). Immersed in her first year of college, Miller receives coaching, guidance, and help finding and paying for daycare through the program.

Project Director and Success Coach Robin Pizzo says CCAMPIS is about connecting students with the LCC campus and community resources they need to be successful in school and have stable homes. The program, she says, supports two generations at the same time and helps break poverty cycles by coaching students through their post-secondary education while providing early education for their children.

"Anytime we look at vulnerable groups or poverty, we tend to deal with those groups in separate silos," says Pizzo. "This program helps us make a difference with both generations at the same time."

CCAMPIS has been part of LCC for nearly twelve years. The most recent grant from the U.S. Department of Education will help the program provide more robust services to eligible families.

Pizzo says child care services are provided through LCC's Early Learning Children's Community (Early LCC), or through accredited in-home day care centers. About 40 percent of students receiving assistance through CCAMPIS are on the Dean's list, and more than 80 percent persist in their coursework.

Bianca Peterson understands how difficult it can be to juggle two children under the age of 3, a part-time job, and going to college at LCC. The Detroit-native heard about CCAMPIS after earning her high school diploma from an alternative high school and moving to Lansing to live with her sister. Her toddler and infant now attend daycare while she works and takes classes toward her general associate degree.

"I want to make something better for my children," says Peterson. "I doubted at first that I could make it through college, but I'm determined now. Just having CCAMPIS as a shoulder to lean on helps a lot. They're always there helping in any way that they can."

About Lansing Community College

Lansing Community College is Michigan's third largest community college with approximately 15,000 students attending each year. LCC offers courses in general education for those interested in transferring to a four-year institution, career and workforce development, developmental education, and personal enrichment. To meet the professional development and training needs of regional employees, the college offers customized programs for credit, non-credit, and continuing education. The University Center at LCC offers students the opportunity to earn bachelor's and master's degrees from six partner universities on the downtown LCC campus. For more information, visit lcc.edu.

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