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Arts and Academics

Giving Voice to Children

Most elementary students have never attended an opera. Coit Creative Arts Academy fourth- and fifth-grade students have created, produced and performed one. The project, done in partnership with Opera Grand Rapids Children's Opera, was led by the Creative Connections arts...

Rocking Out with Strings, Awesomely

Mitchell Evink couldn't seem to help playing air cello as he sat on the floor of the band room and watched a video featuring the high school's rock fusion orchestra. As air cello goes, Mitchell's playing was pretty "lit," as...

Summer Learning Can Mean Big Fun

Educators across Kent County are making efforts to curb summer-learning loss, the tendency for students to lose ground on what they've learned during the long, lazy summer months. A new Grand Rapids Public Schools Summer Literacy Program, funded by a...

K-3 students earn real rewards for reading every day

A countywide library program entices students to read more, in response to a looming challenge: implementation of the third grade reading law...

Educators connect students with workforce opportunities

Apprenticeships provide pathways to in-demand, high wage careers, a U.S. Department of Labor representative recently told high school students...

Drama’s back, and students are ready to act

After five years without a program and, now, with a renovated auditorium, a stockpile of props pulled from storage and two enthusiastic new hires, Kelloggsville High School theater has been resurrected...

Better Teaching for Better Readers

Before beginning a lesson on weather and climate at Kraft Meadows Middle School, Anita Archer took a moment to talk to each of the two dozen middle school students who sat before her, one at a time. She asked...

New Technology Helps Kindergartners with Math

Lakeside Elementary kindergartner Charlotte Kanaan stood beside teacher Shannon Mitchell and worked through a math problem, which her classmates could see thanks to a document camera that beamed her actions through an overhead projector. Today’s lesson: 11s and 12s,...

‘They Learn by Music’

A drum beat echoes down the halls of Sparta's Appleview Elementary. The source: a boisterous bunch of musicians keeping a beat and dancing to the rhythm. Students with cognitive impairments from across the district are stepping in line with Artists Creating...

Why Are Some Schools High Achievers in Reading?

At Sunfield Elementary in Lakewood Public Schools, students read while waiting in line for the bathroom. At North Godwin Elementary in Godwin Heights, kindergartners practice memorizing more words by sight than at most other schools. At Byron Center's Brown...

When Monsters Call and Teachers Read, Students Listen

The shared love of a book was on display in English teacher Shantel VanderGalien's eighth-grade honors class as she read aloud from "A Monster Calls." Creating a monster voice with a plummy British accent, VanderGalien revealed her theatrical side. The...

Wanted: More Than a Few Work-ready Graduates

Let's talk about a glaring example of the disconnect between the workforce and the pipeline of students who will soon enter it. Last spring, Kent ISD, in partnership with local school districts, area manufacturing representatives, and Grand Rapids Community College,...

Make Art, Then Prosper

When Tricia Erickson was a little girl, her mother found her drawing pictures of Yogi Bear and his cartoon friends Tricia watched on TV. Struck by how accurate the drawings were, her mom asked, “You drew these from figures...

Students Read What They Love, Develop Literacy Skills

West Middle School eighth-grade students Anja Whitehouse and Katie Townley are definitely what you would call "readers." They finish one book to start another, immersing themselves in fantasy, historical fiction and sci/fi. Their favorite tomes are nestled amid folders...

Free to ReadGR

After one year of operation, the program has provided more than 10,000 free books to more than 3,500 students in 10 elementary schools, picking up where a defunded program left off...

Students earn credits, gain jobs through GRCC training program

After more than 600 hours spent learning to build houses, fix cars, take blood pressure and complete other skills needed for jobs available in West Michigan, 52 students graduated in December from the GRCC Job Training programs...
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