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‘Nobody more deserving’ than Maranda for Education Advocacy Award


WOTV4Women host Maranda, known for her annual Park Parties, infectious energy and approachable interviewing style, is the recipient of the Kent Intermediate Association of School Boards Education Advocacy Award for her contributions to children.

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Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Caniff, Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent Ron Koehler and Ken Hornecker, vice president of the KIASB, announced the award at Maranda’s Park Party in Grand Rapids’ Garfield Park,  last week.

Park Parties bring thousands of children and families out to area parks each summer for freebies from local organizations, food, games and lots of fun.

Maranda meets a Park Party-goer at Garfield Park

“Maranda has been doing Parties in the Park for 25 years. That’s a quarter of a century of bringing children and families together to have the opportunity to learn about the resources in their community, and bringing those resources to them in a fun way,” Koehler said. “That’s really the least of it… her programming the entire year is about helping families be better parents and help their children succeed,” Koehler said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”

Maranda, who will officially receive the award this fall, said there are always more children to host a party for.

“It’s really all about the kids,” she said. “Just when we think maybe we’ve done it enough, the kids grow up and there are more kids. It’s a chance for us to give back and let every child know they are special and they are worth it.”

Maranda’s Park Party

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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