Governor Rick Snyder has deployed a program to promote economic growth in 10 separate Prosperity Regions throughout Michigan and our zone, “four,” has chosen Evart to be the focus of economic growth. The governor actually checked into northern Michigan a couple of months ago and was pleasantly surprised at the progress being made in Evart. One of most important premises missed in setting up the Prosperity Region programs, called “Rising Tide,” was the impact of education on economic development. That is where the Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District (MOISD) offered to help.
As an educational service agency for all things K-12 in Mecosta and Osceola counties, we are charged with supporting our educational systems long after the Lansing cameras have left. So what is happening in Evart through Rising Tide? There are four main ideas behind the MOISD’s participation with Rising Tide: 1) bring all economic, service, educational, religious and community groups to the participation table; 2) raise the level of importance of educational development to economics; 3) focus on a long-term, “research-based” approach versus a short-term, “flashy” approach; and 4) keep the educational contribution to the economic equation simple and focused: reading.