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Hops and Hoops: Donations Strengthen Neighborhood Schools

Local businesses are stepping up to help the district’s students get a step ahead with two sizable donations to its schools.

At Congress Elementary, school community partner Brewery Vivant led a fundraising effort from over 20 businesses that yielded more than $20,000 to upgrade classroom technology. The sum paid for 60 Dell Chromebooks, which teachers are using for online discussions using Google Docs and to conduct lessons using Google Classrooms.

Brewery Vivant co-owner Kris Spaulding spearheaded the effort to celebrate the brewery’s five-year anniversary.

“This is providing students with college and career readiness skills as it relates to technology, while enhancing the level of engagement in core content areas,” said Congress Principal Erek Kooyman. “In addition, students are able to produce evidence of their learning in new ways.”

At Innovation Central High School, Craig Datema, head of Triangle Associates Inc. construction firm, presented a check for $12,000 to the school’s Academy for Design and Construction, to be used for college scholarships and post-graduation training for ADC students. The funds were raised in an annual three-on-three basketball tournament hosted by the ADC advisory board, which pits teams from design and construction companies against one another. Newly appointed school board member Jen Schottke serves on the advisory board and helps organize the fundraiser, which has been held for the past three years.

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Academy for Design and Construction 3-on-3 tournament

Congress Elementary School

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers series and issues stories for all districts. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio

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