Since 2016, Wellspring Adult Day Services has provided a safe place for older adults to socialize while offering respite for their regular caregivers. Housed at Reeman Christian Reformed Church, Wellspring guests enjoy conversation, lunch, and a balance of stimulating activities and rest. Programming combats social isolation and helps guests stay active and healthy.

A new program has given Wellspring an opportunity to make an even greater impact not just on their guests, but on others in the community as well. They partnered with Fremont Christian Schools and the Community Foundation’s Bridging Generations Fund to create Grandfriends.

Through Grandfriends, eighth graders from Fremont Christian School join Wellspring once a month for lunch, stories, and activities. Participants are matched based on similar interests, and the small groups play games, talk, do crafts, and teach each other. Before the monthly activities began, Wellspring staff also visited the school to teach students about the aging process, memory loss, and what to expect on their first visit.

“Our guests’ social circles continue to grow smaller as they age,” said Allie Maat, Wellspring’s program director. “This program gives them the opportunity to expand their circle and make new friends and new memories. It gives our guests something joyful to look forward to, and it is so great to see the compassion the youth have developed for our guests.”

Staff has watched friendships, empathy, and understanding grow across the generations. They write letters, share stories, and have even attended school functions together.

“We have seen the perception of each generation change, having more acceptance and empathy as well as an increase in understanding and respect,” said Allie. “The most rewarding part of the program has been to witness the building of these intergenerational relationships. As they gain a greater understanding of the different generations, we feel this builds a stronger community.”

Love INC offers many services, including a food pantry, resale store, and help center which connects people with the appropriate resources. Most importantly, however, it’s a place where transformation begins.

“We’re helping people go from just surviving to thriving,” said Traci Slager, executive director. “A lot of people feel very stuck, and we help them see life through a different lens.”

Love INC’s Transformational Ministry programs, supported in part by grants from the Community Foundation, help individuals and families make lasting changes and regain hope. Participants learn about budgeting, job skills, setting healthy boundaries, and more. They are also matched with mentors. “We always say that we’re not just giving people resources, we’re trying to build resources in people,” said Traci.

With the support of local church partners and a host of dedicated volunteers, Love INC is working to expand their Transformational Ministry and develop new initiatives to meet other community needs.

“The most rewarding part of our work is the freedom we see in people as they’re completing these programs,” said Traci. “They used to feel trapped and hopeless and didn’t see their situation being any different in the future. Now we can see the weight lifted off them. They’re starting to find a way out.”

Conservation is future-focused work. It requires deliberate, ongoing action. Habitats don’t improve overnight, and forests take decades to grow.

“Some restoration projects take a long time to show us the signs they are working,” said Kim Karn, executive director of Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

The Land Conservancy specializes in the long-term commitment that caring for natural areas requires. One of their newest projects is the McDuffee Creek Nature Preserve in northern Newaygo County. Multiple partners, including the Community Foundation,
supported the purchase of the property. Now, the Land Conservancy is also planning for amenities, like boardwalks and signage, and habitat restoration.

“Our goal is to manage the preserve with an eye toward creating and maintaining climate resilient and biodiverse landscapes,” said Kim. “We want to see the restored habitat thriving. We envision anglers, hikers, birders, and more using the preserve as a destination for nature exploration.”

While work like restoring the preserve’s oak savanna will take time, the Land Conservancy celebrates milestones along the way, like rare birds or insects returning to a once-degraded area. “How rewarding it is to know that we helped usher those conditions back!” said Kim. “To do so alongside members of the community, who volunteer their support in all manner of ways, makes it even more special.”

On a bright morning at the end of July, a line of cars looped around the parking lot at Grant Middle School. One by one they drove past a stretch of colorful tents and tables, greeted by smiles and a mix of Spanish and English. Families in each car received groceries, back-to-school supplies, information on local services, and more as part of Farmworker Appreciation Day.

Organized by the Sparta Area Migrant Resource Council, the day is an annual opportunity to recognize those who play a critical role in our local economy and community. Each year in Michigan, the food and agriculture industry brings in more than $100 billion and includes 94,000 migrant farmworkers and family members.

“I wish more people realized how important these workers are to farmers and to you and I,” said event organizer Mary Rangel, who also serves on the Community Foundation board. “We need them, and it’s important they know how much we appreciate them.”

This year, more than 150 families participated in the event, which is funded in part by a grant from the Community Foundation. It also brings together a network of partner agencies and enthusiastic volunteers. “Everybody is pitching in and helping,” said Mary. “The community is coming together, whether they’re on the receiving end or the giving end.”

Mary has led Farmworker Appreciation Day for 18 years and is still excited about the opportunity to share resources, help kids feel more ready for school, and show support for these local families.

“I’ve always wanted to leave a person, a community better than when I found it,” said Mary. “This is the best thing I can do for my community. We are taking care of each other.”

Weary of third shift work, Timothy found a new job with Big Rapids Products. He was doing well and was even able to buy a house. However, unexpected projects strained his finances just as his truck’s tires were giving out. “I was starting to have problems getting to and from work,” Timothy said.

Timothy knew a little about Michigan Works! from his involvement in a program on the east side of the state for returning citizens, but that had been years ago and he wasn’t sure what resources were offered here. He met with a Michigan Works! West Central coach at his workplace and explained his situation. Timothy soon received word that the organization could help him get new tires.

“Now I have told other people to get ahold of them, that there is a lot they can help you with,” Timothy said. “I’ve recommended it to a lot of people.”

Michigan Works! offers services to help people find and keep good jobs and address employment barriers. In 2021, Community Foundation grants supported the program that helped with Timothy’s tires and another that offers work-based learning opportunities for high school students.

“We offer a wide variety of services and programs that can assist both job seekers and employers in our six-county region,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “By having the ability to help remove barriers, we hope this has a positive impact on employer retention rates in Newaygo County.”

Reliable transportation is a necessity in a rural county where residents can’t hail a cab or take a bus when their car breaks down. In fact, transportation is one of our area’s biggest barriers to employment.

Classis Muskegon’s Fremont Service Committee—a partnership of local churches—helps fill the need by providing cars and repairs to local people trying to get to work.

“Some of us have no idea what it’s like to get up in the morning and not have a car that’s going to start,” said Sheri Byers, who has worked with the program for 19 years. She has seen clients finish work but wait eight hours to go home because their ride is on a different shift. Others can’t schedule medical appointments or look for better jobs because there’s no way to get there.

“For some, it’s been so long since they could just jump in their own car and go to work.”

The program works with local agencies to get client referrals and has a network of mechanics who source and repair vehicles. It’s supported in part by a grant from the Community Foundation.

Mary works in Fremont and recently received a car through the program. “It has made it 100 percent easier to not only get to work, but I could take a job change that led to more money because I can now drive to the office every day,” she said. “I have never been happier!”

Fresh paint and 3,500 square feet of new drywall are the obvious signs that something big is happening at the former Leighton Hall in White Cloud. But there’s also a sense of excitement and possibility growing in the refurbished space.

The new Center for Hope and Healing is the joint vision of Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (PCA) and Open Arms Child Advocacy Center. It allows PCA to relocate from its pole barn-turned-office and Open Arms from its space in an apartment complex in Big Rapids. Both organizations needed more room for their work with children and families.

“We knew collaboration would be the future of both organizations,” said Tara Nelson, PCA’s executive director and an Open Arms board member. “We have the same goals and want the same outcome.”

Together, the organizations provide an array of services to build stronger families and prevent abuse while also supporting children who have experienced abuse. PCA offers services like infant safe sleep education, teaching children about body safety, and the popular Summer Magic program. Through Open Arms, children who have experienced abuse meet with a specially-trained forensic interviewer to tell their story just once while law enforcement, investigators, and others observe from another room. Follow-up services are offered to help begin the healing process.

“It was difficult for families to know what to do and where to go for help before,” said Tara. “Here we can say, ‘We know exactly what to do and we’ll walk you through the next steps.’ We can see them through the whole process.”

In addition to private, child-friendly spaces for forensic interviews, the center will include areas for art therapy, supervised visitation, events, and more when it opens this spring. It’s a big project that came together rapidly thanks to significant community support, including a matching grant from the Community Foundation. PCA was able to purchase and renovate the building debt-free, giving two organizations a new home and new opportunities.

“We’re looking forward to the growth both organizations can have here,” said Tara. “The new center opens the doors for greater impact.”

The Pere Marquette and Muskegon rivers may get all the glory, but, according to Jake Lemon, eastern angler science coordinator with Trout Unlimited, the White River has plenty to offer too.

The White River is a popular place for fly fishing, camping, and beloved family cottages. Smaller and shallower, the river is home to brown and brook trout, steelhead, and salmon as it runs through Newaygo, Oceana, and Muskegon counties.

“It supports high-quality and varied fisheries,” said Jake. “The watershed is sandwiched between the Pere Marquette and Muskegon rivers and it doesn’t get as much attention, but we can improve water quality, the fishery, and recreational opportunities for these communities along the river.”

Recently, Trout Unlimited began leading efforts focused on restoring and protecting the White River watershed. A gathering hosted by the Community Foundation earlier this year brought together community representatives to share perspectives and develop priorities. Trout Unlimited stepped up to provide leadership moving forward and this spring received a $38,022 grant from the Community Foundation to continue the work.

“We want to build a groundswell of good partners using good science,” said Jake. “None of this would be possible without the Community Foundation. It’s been the catalyst for something that can grow.”

By working with partners from local landowners all the way up to federal agencies, Trout Unlimited is focused on improving watershed health and building stronger connections between communities and the river that runs through them. Culvert remediation, bank stabilization, and exploring economic impact are just a few projects planned or already underway.

“There are great opportunities to significantly improve the watershed,” said Jake. “I would like to have a well-connected community of caretakers working together to find opportunities to restore and protect the watershed. That’s the big picture.”

In less than two years, the West Michigan Research Station went from a field and a dream to a collection of neat green and white buildings and a hum of activity.

“In 20 months, we went from zero dollars in the checking account to where we are now,” said Andy Riley, president of West Central Michigan Horticultural Research Inc. Located on 68 acres in Hart, Michigan, the $1.5 million agricultural research station serves fruit and asparagus growers in Mason, Newaygo, and Oceana counties. It will host a Michigan State University Extension educator and MSU graduate students researching fruit varieties, invasive species, and more.

According to Andy, the microclimate of the three-county region is unique and boasts diverse crops thanks to its proximity to Lake Michigan. But unlike other regions, there was no station to address the needs of local farmers or for large-scale agricultural research.

“We were one of the largest fruit-growing regions without a research station,” he said. “Traverse City has one, Grand Rapids, southeast Michigan—but we didn’t. Now, our counties [can] be on the cutting edge.”

In addition to being a research hub, the station includes meeting and event space. Project leaders also look forward to offering educational opportunities for local students. The Community Foundation was an early supporter of the project, awarding a $50,000 grant in 2020.

“We’re so grateful for the Community Foundation’s support, for the support of Peterson Farms, and the people who donated,” said Andy. “Everything is always changing. Growers have to know how to adapt. This place is a problem-solving unit.”

As the pandemic started to take hold in March 2020, the staff at TrueNorth Community Services was sure of at least one thing: “As soon as schools closed, we knew it would have serious repercussions,” said Mike Voyt, director of hunger prevention programs. “We pride ourselves on being able to respond quickly to emergencies, but even we were surprised by the speed of the increased need.”

Knowing that school closures and layoffs would mean greater food insecurity, TrueNorth quickly tripled weekend food packs for students, reduced the waiting period for food services, and increased mobile pantry distributions. “We turned our multipurpose room into a food warehouse,” said Mike. “We filled the whole agency up with food.”

Just a week after closures began, double the usual number of families were being served at mobile pantries. Numbers increased again in September. By then, TrueNorth had already distributed 120,000 pounds of food—thousands more than in all of 2019.

While TrueNorth adapted to the increased need, they were quickly met with local support, including two grants from the Community Foundation’s Community Response Fund.

“It has been a stressful time, but this is what we do—we come together,” said Mike. “As soon as we got the word out, we started getting calls. I felt extremely proud to live and work here.”

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he added, noting he expects increased demand into 2022. “But we can create a local food system where everyone has access to affordable, quality nutrition. We can recover and come out stronger.”

A trip to the symphony usually doesn’t involve getting to play along or being showered with confetti from the ceiling, but that’s what hundreds of local elementary students have experienced each year for nearly two decades as part of Link Up.

The Link Up program is run locally by the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra in partnership with Carnegie Hall. It provides a beginning music education for third through fifth graders and is supported in part by grants from the Community Foundation. Students learn about instruments, how to read music, and how to play the recorder. In a typical year, members of the orchestra visit classrooms and at the spring symphony concert, students bring their recorders and play along.

According to Karen VanderZanden, orchestra director of education, the decision to cancel last year’s concert because of the pandemic was necessary but painful. “Kids are usually very excited to participate in a concert,” she said. “They can see why live music is so wonderful.” But despite the challenges of going online, Karen and other program leaders found creative ways to keep students engaged. Recorders were temporarily swapped out for bucket drums and other percussive instruments. Lessons, activities, and classroom visits with musicians moved to virtual spaces. The annual spring concert was recorded and posted online for anyone to enjoy.

“There are so many inherent benefits to learning music,” said Karen. “Studies show connections to things like higher GPAs, lower dropout rates, and learning about teamwork. It’s rewarding to see students excited about how music can be a part of their lives. This year has been a challenge, but I’m glad we didn’t give up.”

Grant Public Schools has the largest after school program in Newaygo County. For 30 years, school staff has sought to provide a safe place to spend time after school while also incorporating a wide range of fun and educational activities.

“Our main goals are to improve enrichment opportunities and have a local impact,” said Stephanie Dood, teacher and co-director of the after school program. “We want to make the biggest impact we can. This is not just a place to go to be watched. We’re a safe haven and a place to build skills.”

Each day, students can get involved in a variety of creative enrichment programs such as meeting with a reading interventionist, trying yoga, or listening to books in Spanish and English during read aloud time. A partnership with MSU Extension also incorporates science and environmental activities.

Another new addition has been theme-based Lego projects. In November, students used Legos to create open hand sculptures featuring the Community Foundation logo as a way to celebrate National Philanthropy Day and express gratitude for the Community Foundation’s support.

“If it weren’t for the Community Foundation, we couldn’t do this,” said Stephanie. “We couldn’t serve over 100 kids or employ over 30 people.”

The program’s impact also extends beyond students and families to local small businesses and organizations. They’re committed to buying food, books, and other materials locally whenever possible and are connecting with organizations like Camp Newaygo to offer workshops and new programming.

“We have so much gratitude for our local partners,” said Stephanie. “We’re connecting with people who know the area, understand the needs, and can be flexible.”

These partnerships and the efforts of the dedicated staff are allowing Grant to meet the diverse needs of students in innovative ways each day after school.

“My passion is figuring out what the need is and how to meet it,” said Stephanie. “It’s about creating exceptional opportunities. Every day we get two hours with a group of kids to do something amazing.”

Creating a climate that encourages entrepreneurship often hinges on one key factor: if a potential entrepreneur can see someone who looks like themselves making money.

“In a rural area, it’s more difficult to connect with others and learn from others who are going through the same thing,” said Julie Burrell, business development coordinator with The Right Place. “There can be a lot of isolation.”

To foster greater connection, The Right Place partnered with the Community Foundation and Northern Initiatives—a nonprofit that provides loans to small businesses in rural areas—to create the Grow North series. Local entrepreneurs and small business owners gathered monthly to network and learn about different topics, from finding a niche to start-up funding. The series culminated with Pitch North, a business idea pitch competition with cash prizes. “We wanted to bring the kind of activity that’s becoming more common in Grand Rapids and Muskegon here to this community,” said Dennis West, retired president of Northern Initiatives.

“It’s exciting to see how the participants are growing and learning from each other,” said Julie. “They’re supporting each other’s businesses, mentoring each other. They have a friendly group to bounce ideas off.”

“As people see other people making progress, it grows,” said Dennis. “You see movement and it becomes infectious.”

Until Open Arms Child Advocacy Center opened last year, local children who experienced abuse often had to recount their trauma over and over to police, lawyers, investigators, and others. According to Amy Taylor, Open Arms executive director, the process can be overwhelming and scary for young victims who often worry they did something wrong.

“If we do it right,” she said, “children are only interviewed once.”

At child advocacy centers like Open Arms, children tell their story to a specially-trained interviewer in a child-friendly setting while agencies involved in the investigation watch on monitors in another room. Open Arms then coordinates with partner agencies to provide follow-up services, including counseling referrals and support if a case goes to court.

Open Arms is the first center to serve Newaygo, Lake, Mecosta, and Osceola counties. Community foundations in all four counties and two youth advisory committees provided grants to support start-up costs.

“When we see the family getting help—that there was no further trauma to the child—we feel like we did a good job,” said Amy. “It’s rewarding to see kids going from victims to survivors and knowing that now they’re going to get help.”

Imagine navigating a pandemic and stay-at-home orders when home is a dangerous place. This has been the daily reality for too many in our community who experience domestic and sexual violence.

“With abusers in the home, without them leaving for work or recreation, a victim does not have an opportunity to escape,” said Jane Currie, executive director of Women’s Information Service, Inc (WISE). “Additionally, if the individuals lost pay or his or her job, the stress can cause an already volatile situation to escalate.”

For years, WISE has provided crisis intervention and support services to survivors in Mecosta, Newaygo, and Osceola counties. The organization offers emergency shelter, a 24-hour hotline, advocacy services, and more. COVID-19 has not changed their mission, but it has changed how services can be delivered. The shelter was reconfigured to allow for social distancing, already careful cleaning practices were quadrupled, and group support meetings moved online. Advocates were not able to remain with sexual assault survivors during forensic exams, but they stayed with them on the phone.

While dedication and creativity allowed the work to continue, WISE’s budget wasn’t built to accommodate these unforeseen changes. A pair of grants from the Community Foundation’s Community Response Fund helped fill the gaps.

“This has been a truly bright light during this unprecedented time,” said Jane. “We could not have provided this continued work without the Community Response Fund. It gave us what we needed to continue providing the services to survivors, giving them hope for a new life in the midst of this pandemic.”

Watching 17-year-old Zyra confidently stand center stage and create impromptu dance moves and characters, you would never guess that the Grant teen used to experience intense stage fright. “It was terrible,” she said. “But because of the youth drama program, it’s gotten so much better. I’m not as scared. And I really appreciate that they do that for me.”

Zyra is part of a group of teens, ranging from middle to high school, that comes together two Saturdays a month in White Cloud for Stage Door Players’ youth drama program. Each session features a guest presenter covering a different theater topic and participants can get involved in youth-focused productions during the year. On one snowy Saturday, the morning started with dance, laughter, and a little improv before moving on to a group performance of a Shel Silverstein poem.

The program grew out of a conversation between Bev Guikema, Stage Door’s board president, and members of the Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee who were interested in supporting creative outlets for their peers. A subsequent YAC grant in 2017 helped get it started and two more grants have helped them expand.

“It’s been fantastic,” said Bev. “We are seeing more families at the shows and getting involved. An organization like ours, you’re not going to grow unless you can draw in families and young adults.”

The program also helps participants like Zyra conquer fears and gain self-confidence. Students not only learn about theater and acting, but they learn how to be part of a team. “It’s been rewarding seeing the friendships they’ve formed,” said Bev. “They just enjoy being here.”

“I’ve learned a lot,” said Zyra. “Not just about theater but about myself too.”

In the middle of a blizzard on icy roads, nurses Brandee Chase, Amy Drilling, and Ann LaPres-Hindes drove to Lansing to tour a hospice home. Each had known patients without families to care for them at the end of their lives and had seen how overwhelming that care could be. They made the drive that day looking for a solution.

“The minute we walked in, we knew this was it,” said Ann.

“We all cried on the way home,” added Amy. “This was given to us to do.”

The Newaygo County Compassion Home was born in that blizzard, a dream of a warm home where people could complete their lives in dignity, comfort, and love. Technical support from the Community Foundation and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy helped the organization build a strong foundation and a combination of grants for operating support and matching gifts has provided support for growth.

The community has also embraced them by volunteering and donating supplies, time, and—for one local family—a home. The organization had just purchased a building to renovate in Fremont when the White Cloud home came along as an “unexpected gift,” said Diane Rudholm, executive director. “It gave us the opportunity to start working on our mission.”

The White Cloud home has welcomed 36 guests since it opened. Some have stayed only a few hours, others a few months. They have told their stories around the kitchen table, visited with family in the cozy living room, and rested in their bedrooms with a favorite television show. Guests’ care and comfort is overseen around the clock by trained staff and volunteers who are deeply passionate about their mission.

When renovations are complete at the Fremont location, the second home will allow the organization to serve more guests and will also include a room reserved for respite care. “It represents a lot of growth and opportunities,” said Diane.

“It’s such an honor to have people come into our home,” said Ann. “The end of life is a really difficult subject for people to talk about. It gets glossed over, but it’s so important. Everyone has the right to die with compassion and love.”

Krista Sellers knows that life can veer in unexpected directions. For her, Circles Newaygo County represented the opportunity to get back on track and do something different for her family.

“I didn’t grow up in poverty,” said Krista. “Sometimes I think if just one or two things had gone differently, I wouldn’t be in this position. For a lot of us in Circles, we’re just wanting to be out of the position we’re in.”

Circles—a TrueNorth Community Services program—uses an intensive and personal approach to ending poverty one family at a time. At weekly meetings, Krista and other Circles Leaders learn about budgeting, credit, setting goals, self-care, and more. They are also matched with volunteers called Allies who provide encouragement. In addition to other support, the Community Foundation awarded a $155,000 grant to the program in 2018.

“In the beginning, I didn’t comprehend how Circles would help in all areas of my life,” said Krista. “Opportunities just open up. It’s connections beyond connections.”

Those connections have helped Krista and her husband navigate unexpected challenges while still progressing toward their goals. Krista is working to quit smoking and looks forward to finishing her associate degree. Ultimately, she wants to become an Ally herself.

“Circles makes me feel like I matter in the world,” said Krista. “It reminds me that I can do this—then I can help other people. I can’t wait.”

Before getting involved with Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI), said Luke, “I was starting down a pretty rough path. I couldn’t overstate the impact it’s had on me. It was a complete turnaround.”

MYOI helps current and former foster care youth, like Luke, transition to adulthood. It provides young adults 14-24 years old with a support network, life skills and employment training, financial education, and other resources.

“I’ve learned to invest in my future,” said Luke. “I haven’t been late on one bill. And without the friendships I’ve made, I don’t know if I could have the relationships I do today. I’m more friendly, happier. I’ve learned responsibility. Every aspect of my life I can thank MYOI for.”

But when Luke turned 21, he found himself in danger of losing the support he found with MYOI. Funding restrictions create a gap in resources for older participants. “And you still have a lot of learning to do after you turn 21,” said Tara Johnson, Lake-Newaygo MYOI coordinator.

That’s where June Britt stepped in.

June, a former case worker, has a special place in her heart for youth in foster care. Through the Jerry and June Britt Fund she created at the Community Foundation, June provided funding to help young adults like Luke stay involved with MYOI, now and in the future.

“I thought about how it would be very difficult to be a young person in that position, without help,” June said. “What they’re doing is wonderful. I was happy to find the organization and be able to help.”

“With her gift, I’m able to continue,” said Luke. “We’re all very appreciative. Nothing would be the same without it.”

Just before kicking off the 2018/19 school year, more than 100 teachers from Hesperia and Fremont schools gathered for a three-day training that immersed them in new tools to use in the classroom.

In a partnership between the two districts and the Community Foundation, Hesperia hosted a Kagan Cooperative Learning training for its entire teaching staff and Fremont’s middle school and upper elementary teachers.

Over the three days, teachers learned about Kagan strategies—called structures—and practiced them in small groups. In one activity, a group member fanned out a set of cards with different questions written on them. Another person picked a card and read it to the group, the next person answered the question, and the other group member checked the answer and offered encouragement. Structures like “Fan-N-Pick” not only provide an informal check for understanding, but they also actively involve the whole group in the process.

“It gets kids talking about what they’re learning,” said Vaughn White, Hesperia’s superintendent. “It’s not group work. It’s incorporating structures that get students talking and sharing what they’re learning.”

Using Kagan structures has been shown to improve student engagement, social skills, and classroom culture. Vaughn, who has experienced multiple Kagan trainings, has also seen it positively impact student discipline and test scores. For teachers, it provides tools that can easily be incorporated into what they’re already doing.

“They don’t have to change their lesson plans,” added Vaughn. “The structures fit in their plan. It’s not creating extra work. It’s not a draining thing. There’s no pressure. It’s a fun thing to support learning and development.”