- Sponsorship -

Cooking Up Support for Library Improvements

Chatting was far down the list of priorities for Jack Swanson on a recent Saturday morning.

The retired Kent City Community Schools principal/teacher arrived at 7 a.m. so he could flip pancakes and French toast on a hot griddle inside the high school cafeteria’s kitchen.

He was joined by 11 other members of the Casnovia/Kent City Lion’s Club chapter who fried bacon, grilled sausage and scrambled eggs as part of the Breakfast for Books fundraiser. The goal was to raise enough to purchase new nonfiction books and books for students who are learning to communicate fluently in English.

“They are our future,” Swanson said of the reason he was helping students. Then he took a quick peek at the long line that snaked nearly outside the high school cafeteria and quickly poured another batch of batter on the griddle, a process he repeated for four hours straight.

Lion’s Club president Bob Sarachman also is a veteran educator who taught in the district for 39 years. When word got out that his service organization was sponsoring a breakfast spread for a good cause, people came out in droves, he said.

Fifth-grader Dylan Schutt’s go-to author is Brandon Mull

Books and Breakfast Combo

“Breakfast is our specialty,” Sarachman said. “I know the resources for the library continued to be limited.”

Starting last school year, staff and the community have rallied to make improvements to the library that houses 14,400 books and 100-plus DVDs and VHS tapes.

Already the library has been repainted and new carpeting installed. Future purchases include decorative rugs to give the room a homey feel, new shelving, chairs, tables and slatwall book displays.

No-cost changes have been made as well, said second-grade teacher Caryn Snyder who’s also a member of the Library Advisory Council.

Some shelves were lowered to make it easier for shorter students to reach the books intended for them.

“We were just thinking it through and looking at it from their perspective,” Snyder said.

Fifth-grader Dylan Schutt said he’s discovered it’s easier to find the books written by his favorite author, Brandon Mull, who writes fantastical tales where magic is powerful and dreams are real.

“And there’s more room for us to sit down and read and do crafts because the tables are spread out more,” Dylan said.

- Sponsorship -


Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

CARES Funds help district hire school nurse

A community member who has worked with students before is helping navigate the pandemic...

At-home learners stay connected through a new resource

In late October, Kent City Elementary opened a designated room to give families who have chosen virtual education extra resources and support...

Mapping the road to learning

Elementary teachers Billie Freeland and Nicole Andreas are at the forefront of using a curriculum designed to further educational goals, regardless of whether students are in person or online...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU