Redefining the Classroom

Kathy “K.P” Pelleran '78 receive honors for 10 years of service

January 28, 2011

kpKathy “K.P” Pelleran accepted an award this month recognizing her 10 years of service as State Director of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Michigan. The award recognized Pelleran for her leadership of the statewide anti-crime organization supporting investments in children’s programs proven through research to cut crime.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a nonprofit, non-partisan crime-prevention organization led by more than 450 Michigan sheriffs, prosecutors, police chiefs and violence survivors. As state director working with Michigan’s top law enforcement leaders, Pelleran has advocated for legislation to advance early childhood education and other programs for at-risk kids. She notes the strong support of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members, the law enforcement leaders of Michigan.

“My work as state director would not have been possible without the sheriffs, police chiefs, prosecutors and other law enforcement leaders. They are dedicated public servants who send a strong message that it is much easier to teach a child than to turn around a criminal,” Pelleran said. “They have diligently delivered that message to state and federal lawmakers for the past decade to help generate substantial increases in funding for programs that help kids get the right start and make Michigan communities safer.”

Under Pelleran’s leadership, members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids helped increase access to high-quality early childhood education for at-risk four-year-olds through their support for 9,000 more state-funded preschool slots made available over the past decade. Pelleran and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids members also urged increased federal funding to supplement state financial support for children’s programs.

Pelleran recalls the importance of working in a bipartisan fashion to win funding for programs that reduce crime and help Michigan’s at-risk children succeed.

“One of the highlights for me is finding champions on both sides of the political aisle who understand that investments in high-quality preschool, after-school programs, and interventions for troubled kids not only helps each child to reach their potential; those public outlays also cut crime and improve public safety.”

Pelleran first joined Fight Crime: Invest in Kids in 2001. In her early career, Pelleran was the Mackinac County youth counselor, where she worked closely with local law enforcement leaders and the probate court and also served on the child abuse and neglect prevention team. Pelleran worked for retired Michigan State Senator Mitch Irwin and was the regional director for U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) in both northern Michigan and the Capital area. She was also a press secretary for a member of Congress. In her 34-year career, she has directed statewide initiatives for non-governmental organizations involving crime prevention, consumer, health, environmental, and insurance policy issues. She shared best democratic practices internationally, volunteers on several non-profit boards, was an elected trustee for Lansing Community College, and she currently chairs the Michigan Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Advisory Board. Pelleran holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Lake Superior State University, a Master of Public Administration degree from Western Michigan University, and is currently in a doctoral program at Western.