MUNCIE, Ind. — Great things have come from MAP, Muncie Action Plan, since its inception in 2009-10, and the group tasked with improving the quality of life in the city has no plans to slow down.
Plans this year call for some fine-tuning of MAP's mission, which will depend heavily on soliciting community opinions.
More than 70 people gathered Wednesday night at Minnetrista to hear progress reports from the past year, including testing children for lead, preparing youngsters for kindergarten readiness, enhancing bicycle trails around Muncie and Ball State University, improving neighborhoods and strengthening neighborhood associations.
MAP co-chair Donna Browne said MAP3 will be coming soon, starting with four public meetings next month in different locations to gather input. Information will then be organized and presented at a couple of open houses in draft form for a final plan, to be revealed in mid-August, she said.
After the meeting, Browne said this would be a tweaking of MAP2, (the current version) with more extensive changes planned in three years.
She said MAP's success and longevity is tied to the people of Muncie, along with support from major community organizations and government. It continues because they want it to continue, she said, crediting people new to the community and Ball State students wishing to make a positive difference as major factors. She also noted the efforts of MAP's board of directors and partnerships within the community for helping the group achieve its goals and successes.
Two of those accomplishments revolve around early childhood development and lead testing.
Thomas Kinghorn, retired Ball State treasurer and chairman of MAP's Task Force 1, reported on the importance of early childhood development through BY5. "If 100 percent of kindergarten children are ready to go to kindergarten, you build a strong foundation that promotes successful careers and successful communities," Kinghorn said. "Today, based on the annual assessment that we do, in Muncie, only 42 percent of youngsters are ready to be in kindergarten when they enter."