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Jaye Beeler

To make contractions fun, first-grade teacher Brittany Brown uses surgical masks, latex gloves and Band-Aids to teach the lesson

‘Together, we’re educating an awesome child’

“It’s very important that they enjoy being here. I’m trying to capture that first-day-of-school enthusiasm every day.” - Rockstar Teacher Brittany Brown

Tech Center’s 3D Autism Project a national finalist in Samsung ‘Solve for Tomorrow’ contest

For months now, in a digital technology program at Kent Career Tech Center, nearly 40 high schoolers propel themselves into a real-world project in digital design, animation, graphics and game-making
Students in art teacher Debra Kreuyer’s interior design class create spheres that are attached for a collaborative group mural called the Legacy Project

Students Leave a Legacy to Last, in Clay

By making hundreds of clay tiles utilizing form, line, shape and texture, high school students unleashed their creativity in creating a hallway mural

It Draws, It Spells, It Colors, at Touch of a Tablet

Moving at lightning speed, second-grader Logan Shank beat his teammates Exley Roon and Emma Bowman to the Sphero, a miniature robotic orb, effectively becoming the leader of the assigned group of three. Tapping twice, Logan woke the sleeping Sphero,...

‘My Class is More Than What I Teach Them’

At 7:45 a.m. daily, teacher Terry Blevins begins the day with his 30 audiovisual broadcasting students tooling about a warren of separate rooms stuffed with computer screens, Canon cameras, teleprompters, professional video cameras on pedestals and video monitors. In...
Claudio Sanchez, education correspondent for NPR, and Mike Nassar, director of the Community Literacy Initiative

Reading Law Adds Urgency to Literacy Summit

As a National Public Radio education correspondent, Claudio Sanchez is used to asking the thorny questions and then questioning the answers. He spied an opening during an interval at the Literacy Center of West Michigan's sixth annual Community Literacy...

Star Fleet to Mission Control: Egg Incoming!

At STARBASE Battle Creek, located on the Air National Guard Base, the four-girl team of Page Elementary fifth-graders knew the landing was a one-shot event. Survival with bruises, bumps and cracks was okay, but oozing any kind of liquid...
Volunteer grandparent Ernie Sandona, affectionately called “Papa Belly Floppa,” shows his football prowess at Central Elementary School recess

Poppa Belly Floppa Gives ‘That Special Love’

At Central Elementary School, the spontaneity on the playground pings around grandparent Ernie Sandona, who’s at the center of the dance. His grandson, third-grader Evan Mann, and his friends clamor for the football, running and throwing, catching and celebrating. Right...

Librarians Ready to Share ‘Joy of Reading’

Chelsea McCoy dives headfirst into imagination: wildly, enthusiastically, getting right on the floor with youngsters. It’s clear she wants to help them cultivate a love of reading. McCoy asks a lot of questions: about the last book they read, their...
Alana Bracey, a fourth-grader at Southwest Community Campus School, brought the audience to its feet with her powerful voice

‘We’re Living His Dream’

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” -- the Rev. Dr....

Transcripts Should Tell More Complete Story, Leaders Say

John Kraus thinks high school transcripts ought to show both a student's achievement in the classroom as well as learning that happened outside school walls, which would convey career employability skills. Kraus, principal of Kent ISD Secondary Programs including Kent...

Quoth the Rooster, ‘Some More’

Four student collaborators in Sandra Bajema's language arts class performed an outlandish Edgar Allan Poe parody by vilifying a rooster: Students Chris Veldhuis and Aiden Marsiglia recited their parody with dash of slapstick and drama: Every morning at the hour six,...

‘One Simple Thing Can Spread Kindness’

The Thornapple River bustled through the Middleville dam as six high school students cleared brush, scraggly trees, a carpet of bristly grasses and unwanted weed trees on the riverbank. For three November Tuesdays, after school and on their own...

Bride Selects Student-created Wedding Cakes for Reception

It's not often students get to create the prettiest -- and surely the most romantic of all -- wedding cakes. Forty-five advanced baking-pastry students at Kent Career Tech Center were invited to do just that. This fall, they made...

Typical Teen Stuff or Serious Mental Health Issue?

For a while now, high school English teacher Sheri Gilreath-Watts has been teaching from Judith Guest's novel "Ordinary People," about a suicidal boy home from a mental institution. "I'm hoping to connect my students to the emotional distress that can...

The First Thanksgiving, Through the Eyes of Its Children

In Michelle DeVries's first-grade class at McFall Elementary School, Lilee Grinnel and Braylee Tep inspected the Indian corncobs soaking in water –- which DeVries hopes to sprout. "Owen's grandpa gave us this Indian corn," said Lilee. "It's wet but...