Media Room Makeover Is a Community Effort

Walter Howard gets congrats from Griff, the Grand Rapids Griffins’ mascot. Photos courtesy of Sam Iannamico/Grand Rapids Griffins

Students at Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School have been enjoying new books and shelves, cool wall decorations and nifty Chromebooks thanks to a $15,000 media room makeover. Their colorfully remade library comes compliments of the Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, which chose Ken-O-Sha from among 21 Kent County elementary and middle schools in their second annual Media Room Makeover Contest.

The 52-year-old building at 1353 Van Auken St. SE houses 165 pre-K through fifth-grade students as well as the Grand Rapids Oral Deaf and Physically Impaired programs.

Tashaya Dannah checks out a new laptop with her mother, Latasha Gates
Tashaya Dannah checks out a new laptop with her mother, Latasha Gates

Volunteers from Farm Bureau Insurance and elsewhere helped with the makeover, which also provided new furniture, carpet, blinds and paint.

The project was led by the efforts of Mike Case of Case Construction, painter Tyler Sprague, Rockford Flooring, and Steve Ritsema of the Griffins. Additional project support was provided by Seven’s Paint, Closet Concepts, the Griffins Youth Foundation, and Jim Palmer of Shaw Contract Group, which donated new carpet.

“Words cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity that we’ve received,” said Principal Stephanie Villalta, noting tough budgets limit what the school can provide. “Our students now have the opportunity to enjoy reading in a bright library with some fun décor and comfortable seating.”

The other two finalists in the contest, Red Hawk Elementary of Cedar Springs and North Rockford Middle School, each received $250 for upgrading their media rooms.

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press 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. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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