Family Engagement


Westside public school buildings are lowering chronic absenteeism by 10% each year through intentional communication, improved policies and procedures, and environmental/cultural changes at the building level to engage families and stakeholders in meaningful ways.


Mel Atkins, Grand Rapids Public Schools

Rebecca Black, College & Career Coach/Westwood Middle School
Jim Davis, Westside Collaborative
Amber Fox, Kent School Services Network

Isabel Garcia, Westside Collaborative

Angie Glortzner, Parent Action Leader/Stocking elementary
Benjamin Oliver, Challenge Scholars/Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Stephanie Sheler, KSSN coordinator/Sibley Elementary School

Troy Wilbon, GRPS Principal/Harrison Park

Email workgroup leader, Benjamin Oliver with questions or ideas



Parents and volunteers of Westside schools will have access to evidence-based practices that reinforce and amplify classroom instruction through a common curriculum and platform


Jim Davis, Westside Collaborative

Isabel Garcia, Westside Collaborative

Kiki Johnson, Little Lites/Other Way Ministries/ELNC

Kelly Karr, Grand Rapids Public Libraries

Mike Nassar, Literacy Center of West Michigan

Jose Orozco, Kent Schools Services Network  

JoAnn Riemersma, Grand Rapids Public Schools

Laura Ward, Affinity Mentoring

Email workgroup leader, Mike Nassar with questions or ideas



Westside residents and stakeholders feel comfortable, valued, and safe in their own community as evidenced by increasing visiting local businesses, participating in local programs, accessing local services, and joining/leading local initiatives. Increasingly, the Westside community functions with a more reflective demographic diversity in age, race, socioeconomic status, gender, and ethnicity that local data recognizes "on paper."


Liz Collver, Grand Valley State University (Office of Student Life)
Jim Davis, Westside Collaborative
Juan Marcos Garcia, WMCAT (Ambrose)

Kevin Huver, Experience Live Art

Rachel Lopez, Affinity Mentoring

Susana Pacheo , Church Esperanza

Casey Stratton, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids (Achievers Program)

Steve Tibbe, Experience Live Art

Karl Williams, Westside Collaborative

Alejandra Zamora-Hernandez, GVSU Student/Westside Collaborative

Email workgroup leader, Liz Collver, with questions or ideas

Resident Development


All Westside residents are equipped for and positioned in community leadership that may lead to further opportunities.


Trudy Brown, WMCAT

Jim Davis, Westside Collaborative

Steven Jones, Abide in Media 

Isreal Ledesma, Habitat for Humanity Kent County

Eleanor Moreno, The Other Way Ministries

Kurt Reppart, City of Grand Rapids 

Bo Torres, Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

Emilio Zaparimma, Steepletown Neighborhood Services

Email workgroup leader, Eleanor Moreno with questions or ideas