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Area Students and Schools Make Holidays Brighter for Many Families

Sparta’s Angel Tree & Toys-for-Tots Programs Ensure Area Families have Merry ChristmasSPARTA AREA SCHOOLS – by Adrian Hirsch Along with quality family time, the holiday season offers a way for Sparta Area Schools students to give back and engage...

Small Group Lessons Boost Literacy, Reading Interest

While class size is on the rise in many schools across K-12 education, a new program to Sparta Area Schools -- Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) -- is providing small group lessons to students falling behind their grade-level in reading. "LLI...
First-grader Jordan Eshraghi enjoys it when Grandpa Dale reads with him

Tying Shoes, Zipping Coats, Giving Hugs: ‘Grandpa Dale’ Does it All

Dale Allers has three grandchildren, but more than 500 children from ages 5 through 15 who call him grandpa. Allers has worked in same two first-grade classrooms at Ridgeview Elementary for 10 years. He always looks forward to family events...

Construction of new middle school gets under way

The groundbreaking celebration for a new middle school included participation by fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, who will be the first users of the new building when it opens in 2020...

Area Special Education Teams Shoot and Score!

Kenowa Hills High School recently hosted for the second year a regional Special Olympics basketball tournament. Schools from Byron Center, Sparta, Forest Hills, Thornapple Kellogg, Hudsonville and Holland sent teams. Kenowa Hills students filled the stands during the game, held...

Harvesting Creativity Without Relying on Technology

With his bushy eyebrows, bright red fur and ears that stick out to there, the giggles instantly saturated Appleview Elementary's gymnasium the moment EdGar Sinclaire appeared. The laughing swelled when the fuzzy puppet recited poem after poem in rapid-fire succession...

Three Districts Seek Community Support in May 3 Election

Grandville Public Schools REQUEST: A 10-year renewal of the district's sinking fund millage, which funds repairs and maintenance of school facilities. COST: The 1.4 mill renewal would not increase the property tax rate. The owner of a home with a taxable...

Following Dad’s Passion Deep Into a Diesel Engine

When Sparta senior Alyssa Graham was still in an infant car seat, she would stretch toward the window and yell "Corvette!" whenever she spotted one zipping by. Today, she can strip a diesel engine to its block, reassemble it...

The Snow…er, Show Must Go On

Rehearsals at Sparta High School for the recent production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” have been challenging. On top of the difficult subject matter, the cast and crew have had to contend with unprecedented amounts of early November snow.  Despite...

Students get Close-Up with Native American Artifacts

Hands shot up as Sparta Community Schools fifth grade teacher Larry Carter asked 100 students what they liked to collect. “Marbles,” “Seashells,” “Shark’s teeth,” “Stones,” “Mainly Everything,” were some of the excited responses. None of them mentioned items such as umbilical...

Students take action, lend voices to honor Florida school victims and plead for violence...

The number 17 served as a marker not only for moments of silence in honor of those killed, but for students’ thoughts on how to make schools safer and kinder

Don’t want to lose your smartness? Catch Books on the Run

Books on the Run, in its third year in Sparta, makes 20-minute stops throughout the district’s community every two weeks. Other stops this year included the Ida Red Apartments, Sparta Townhouses, Glenwood Estates and Dietrich Farms...

Historical Walking Tour Turns Whole Community into a Museum

"Let's try to make him laugh" giggled a crowd of Sparta's Appleview Elementary fifth-graders as they huddled around the "Live Statue," who today was posing as Johnathan Nash, who helped get Sparta Township going in 1846. It didn't work....

Lab Brings Farming, Ecology Lessons to Students

Crowded inside a mobile science lab outside Appleview Elementary, fourth-graders discovered how farmers use science to maintain clean water. Dropping purple food coloring from a pipette into water, then transplanting that water over and over to a more diluted reservoir,...

Teachers Foster Student, Community Interaction

Planting native trees, creating a butterfly garden, and singing with seniors are just a few of the ways students at Sparta Area School's Appleview Elementary are engaging with their community throughout the year. Teachers Sue Blackall, Kevin Shuneson and Larry...

Undaunted by Disease, Staying the Course

Standing in a hall of Sparta High School, Steven Sevarns wore a smile that might suggest he wasn't headed to class that day. He had finished his last lessons before graduation, and all but the ceremony was behind him. A...

School resource officer wants to make personal connections

A student’s article about the school’s new resource officer, which originally appeared in the school news publication, 'Bell Ringer'...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

Leah Sajdek’s eighth -grade language arts classroom studied concepts involved in suspense writing, and found their 'inner Poe'
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