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Soldier’s Letters Bring Civil War Close to Home

Eighth-grader Nevin Hooper says learning about a local Civil War soldier was "way more cool" than learning about the bloodiest war in U.S. history from a textbook. Libby "Fred" Rozema and Riordan McPhail agree. "You always get it from the textbook's...

Video Chat Piques Interest in Reading, Writing

Jaxson Wilder isn't sure he will ever become an author, but at least he now has an idea of what it takes. Jaxson and his fellow fifth-graders at Cummings Elementary were able to ask questions via Skype with California-based children's...

The Arts & Chocolate: What Could be Better?

Rowan Marshall posed next to one of her works of art displayed inside the Grandville Branch of the Kent District Library so her mom could snap a photo of the achievement. It was the second time her work had been...

It May Look Icky, but It’s Educational

Troy Reinhart held the pig's heart in his right hand and agreed it felt pretty much like he thought it would: "Slimy." But despite the initial tactile discomfort, the Grandview Elementary sixth-grader handily identified for a classmate the superior vena...

Students Do Battle with ‘Bots, Steampunk Style

Busy 'bots, moving gears and quick-thinking pilots converged at the For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST) Robotics district finals at East Kentwood High School recently. Thirty-nine robotics teams, from as far north as Traverse City, south as...

Art for Heart’s Sake

Allan Milton really wants to go to prom. So the Grandville High School senior decided to put his artistic talents toward raising the $40 cost to attend and eat a fancy dinner, and to look snazzy doing it. His caricatures...

Can I Hear the Part About the Squirrel Chase Again?

Hayden Cole opened a book titled "Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch" and began to read aloud: "She had a bucket of pink paint, a big brush and some rags," began the East Elementary second-grader. At first, her listener...

From Downtime to Downward Dog Time

In her 25 years as a teacher, Sandy Brunett knows well the challenges of getting elementary students to switch gears from one area of focus to another, or from relatively unstructured time such as lunch and recess to time to...

‘Bird Nerd’ Shares Adventures in Wildlife

For any high school freshman who's ever sat in class and wondered "When am I going to use this in my life?," Taylor Root feels your doubt. The 2010 Grandville High graduate's response: "I was in the same situation...

String Students Stretch their Skills with Eclectic Duo

Seventh-grader Joshua Ma drew the bow across his violin for the final note of a mashup of Ravel's "Bolero" and Katy Perry's "Dark Horse," and declared the experience of playing with all 130-plus members of the middle school orchestra...

Stepping up to Eleven

At Grandville Middle School a while back, they lifted up a beautiful bunch of Somebodys. But these six seventh- and eighth-graders weren't elevated for their grade-point average. Nor their athletic prowess. Nor how they might contribute to band or choir...

Helping with Stress at the Holidays

When Karen Hoekstra was in high school, there was no "be nice" committee, and talking about mental illness just didn't happen, she said. "Had there been those sort of programs they have here today, it would have saved me a...

Look Out Humans — Here Come the Robots

A robot made of Legos pushing around poop could lead to students being scientists and engineers. Settle down, it's not real poop. It's manure made of Legos, and it was part of the challenges for students as this year's...

Teacher Grants Fund History Drama, Snowshoe Treks and More

Tim Kosiara imagines his Century Park Learning Center students strapping on snowshoes and making their way across the frozen tundra to stay in shape. Teacher Missy Hadaway, also at Century Park, envisions her sixth-graders performing a play about a child...

Fast Talking, Storm Chasing, Globe-Toting Teacher

The first thing you notice in Dave Carmichael's weather and science class is that he often carries around a globe, using it as a prop to explain intertropical convergence, polar jet streams and pressure belts. The second thing you notice...

Filling a Need by Filling Backpacks

Surrounded by tubs and shelves bursting with food, Jenny Steele ticked off the numbers of children at half a dozen schools who would soon be receiving it. Here in a portable classroom behind Meadow Ridge Elementary School, the Rockford...
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