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My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

School is out, leaving many children from low-income families without meals during the summer months.

That’s where the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service program comes in. The program provides nutritious meals to people 18 years of age or younger for free.  All participants need to do is show up.

There are hundreds of participating locations, including places in Walker, Grand Rapids North, Grand Rapids West, Grand Rapids South, Grand Rapids Central, Grandville, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Montague and Greenville. You can find the full list on the state website here.

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies)—Every child will lose a portion of the academic growth they experienced this school year during the summer break; It’s called summer learning loss. The problem is becoming so apparent the National Summer Learning Association has designated Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day.

“It is so easy for students to slip into a summertime routine that doesn’t involve reading, writing, or using their math skills,” said Ridge Park Charter Academy Principal Emory Wyckoff. “We are challenging our students to set aside time each day to devote to a book or write about a summer experience they have enjoyed. Summer should be fun and educational.”

Wyckoff has some tips to help parents curb the summer slide:

My Town Coopersville: Class of 2014 prepares for a new chapter

My Town Coopersville: Class of 2014 prepares for a new chapter

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A new chapter has begun for Coopersville High School’s graduating class of 2014.

On Wednesday, May 28, 178 seniors accepted their diplomas. Approximately 2,500 people attended the ceremony, which lasted about 90 minutes.

Principal Pete Bush says 83 percent of the graduating class will be continuing on to higher education.  Bush says one-third of the graduates will attend community college; the remaining students will be spread across vocational schools as well as 30 four-year universities, including Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Central Michigan University, Baker College, Davenport University and Michigan Tech. 

My Cooperville: Mattress sale to benefit Coopersville band and football

My Cooperville: Mattress sale to benefit Coopersville band and football
COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—Coopersville High School’s football and band programs are teaming up to raise funds for equipment, one mattress at a time. Both programs will hold a mattress sale fundraiser next weekend at the high school. The event is a perfect chance to replace your old mattress and box spring while helping students. Sale hours will be Saturday, May 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 1 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  For additional information, contact Mike at (616) 281-5575.

My Town: Restaurant donating May 21 food sales to family of crash victim

My Town: Restaurant donating May 21 food sales to family of crash victim

GRANDVILLE, Mich.— A Grandville restaurant will donate a portion of its sales Wednesday night to help the family of a Grandville teenager killed in a crash.

Roman Aguilar-Emmons, 18, was killed May 3 when the SUV he was a passenger in ran a stop sign and collided with a pickup truck on 8 Mile Road and Northland Drive.  His cousin, 22-year-old Michael Jonathan Aguilar, was also killed in the crash.

Roman was a senior at Grandville High School, a school that’s already mourning the deaths of  hockey captain Ryan Fischer and Alyssa Arends, 15.   He planned to join the police academy after graduation.

Michael was a graduate of Coopersville High School.  Both men leave behind their parents, and numerous siblings, nephews and nieces.

My Town: Ten advance in 2014 Bishop Baraga Film Festival Competition

My Town: Ten advance in 2014 Bishop Baraga Film Festival Competition

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Student filmmakers are getting ready for the final round of the 2014 Bishop Baraga Film Festival Competition.

Students in grades 8-12 submitted short videos about their Catholic faith.   The competition has been whittled down to ten finalists from four districts.  During Champions Night on May 13, their films will grace the big screen at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.    A panel of judges will pick the top three films, which will receive cash prizes. The grand prize is $2,000.

The ten finalists include: