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Schools Gear Up to Prepare for Third-Grade Reading Law

During a recent Literacy Night at Oriole Park Elementary School, teachers dressed like superheroes, activating their powers to help parents best support their children’s reading development. Students also donned capes and masks, ready to soar up, up and away...

High-Achieving Reading: How One School Does It

Brown Elementary School fourth-grader Layla Funk looked up from the book she was reading to consider the question: “How has your school helped you become a great reader?” “You have to have a good book you like with you and...

Two Teens Learn Each Other’s Language, and More

In late June, Eryn Schell left her small community along the Thornapple River to live in Shiga Prefecture, Japan for nearly three weeks. Eryn traveled nearly 24 hours with a cohort of peers from the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange...

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...

From Geckos to Guava, Students Steep Selves in Spanish

When 34 high school students landed in June at Juan Santamaría International Airport in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, the West Michigan teenagers entered a world of Spanish, from the airport signage and customs agents to dates...

An Arts School Takes the Stage

Baton in hand, Jaeda Selden led fellow second-graders Kamellah Kidd and Lizzariah Robertson in practicing a song from “The Wiz.” Taking a break for a reporter, they chatted excitedly about the hit musical they would soon present on the...

History as Song and Story

It was the true story of a horrific murder, but Ben Bedford sang the tale to a gentle melody. “Pulled by four strong arms from sleep/where he prayed to the Lord his soul to keep/to that half-ton Chevy on a...

Art Award Tradition Continues for 35th Year of Excellence

Northview High School sophomore Nick Ensing's drawing depicts a colorful, detailed royal court, staffed by doe-eyed kings, queens and jesters. Junior Ellie Haveman's photo is of a girl's face, simple, shadowy and pure. Both pieces are Representative's Choice winners for ArtFest...

Playing in Tune with Giving Hearts

Elizabeth Catlin tentatively plucked a few notes on a violin after eighth-graders McKenzie Watkoski and Presley Avery showed her how. The she gamely played along with a blues tune played by the student orchestra, which had come to entertain...

Revving Up Reading, Writing with Workshops

A renaissance of reading and writing is going on at West Middle School, where teachers say students are indulging in books they love more than ever and learning a lot, page by page. They regularly peruse eighth-grade English Language...

Revived Program Attracts Student Artists, Musicians

From imaginative paintings and sculptures to soothing songs and a silky sax solo, Union High and Westwood Middle school students recently shared their artistic talents at the third annual Westside Celebration of the Arts. The evening featured student artwork that...

Students Jam On, with Plenty of Moxie

Forest Hills Eastern High orchestra students joined forces recently with The Moxie Strings for a night of upbeat contemporary music. But before they did, they spent time jamming together at school. Moxies violinist Diana Ladio and Alison Lynn on electric...

Settling Conflict by Settling Minds with Connective Art

With colorful petals radiating from a bright orange center, the mandala Circle of Art rug represents the universe and all its connectivity. For members of the high school's National Art Honor Society, it's also a way of connecting with a...

Students Explore Hip-Hop as ‘Something that You Live’

Matthew Duncan lightly shakes a can of spray paint and, like the serious aerosol artist he is, deftly sprays an immaculate orange “o” on a canvas. And so begins a lesson on graffiti – or more properly called “writing,” he...

Adding Sugar to Education’s Cake

As a young mother new to the district in the early 1970s, Candace Hinshaw remembers hearing about a magazine sale at Pine Ridge Elementary to raise money to bring in outside performers. "They brought in an individual who was doing...

‘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...
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