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Reaching new heights, physically & academically

East Oakview third-graders, from left, Kenzie Messink, Bennett Rittner, Sydney Taylor and Tristen Crawford tackle the wall

Northview — With a new climbing wall at East Oakview Elementary, the school’s DK-fourth-grade students can not only practice their physical dexterity, but also reach new heights in reading and math.

The recently installed wall is thanks to a grant from the Northview Education Foundation and funding from the school’s parent-teacher committee. Its colored, customizable routes to the top of the 20-foot-by-8.5-foot structure can be paired with magnetized words and numbers. Students are asked to solve a math problem or choose a part of speech, for example, by climbing to their selected answer printed on a magnetized card placed somewhere on the rock wall.

Gym teacher Jordan Wallin said the new wall replaces one installed in 2004 that was showing its age. Portions of the old wall that can still be used will be installed at other district buildings, he said.

East Oakview third-grader Taliyah Broyles heads back to the starting point as her classmates try the climbing wall
The new climbing wall integrates math and reading practice with physical fitness
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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio


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