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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...

Bigs and Littles Find Rewarding Relationships

When you're in elementary school and a high schooler gives you some attention, it feels cool. Thornapple Kellogg High School students have been making younger kids feel that way the past three years by building relationships with the district’s...

Therapeutic Riding Builds Students’ Self Esteem

On the first day of school, several students at Thornapple Kellogg McFall and Page elementaries had one question for teacher Jill Pilecki: "When are we going to go horseback riding at Camp Manitou-Lin?" "They absolutely love it and count down...

Clothes Pins, Hot Glue and Elmo

District staff across Kent ISD busied themselves in the weeks and days leading up to today, readying their buildings and classrooms for students. Lowell Martha Hayden worked quietly but quickly to get her second-grade classroom at Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell set...

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...

Mentoring Program Sees Early Success

Kelly Jenkins and Halaynea Shanahan didn't know each other a few months ago, but if you saw them together today, you wouldn't know it. Laughing and smiling as they sit together at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School, it's obvious they...

Want to Boost Reading Comprehension? Make it a Contest

Sure, students can read a bunch of books to get principals to shave their heads, kiss a pig, eat insects and jump out of planes -- but can they remember what they read? Reading comprehension was the goal of the...

‘You Find Yourself Striving to be Greater at Something’

Noah Miller and Heather Price, both 2016 district graduates, are members of the Western Michigan University Marching Bronco Band and got to play at the Cotton Bowl game on Jan. 2. Here's what they had to say about what...

A Gift from Graduates

The Alumni Association’s 13 board members include graduates from the 1950s to 1980s, and, this year will award its first $500 student scholarship, thanks to an endowment that has grown to more than $17,000...

Kids Read, Principal Flies

Page Elementary Principal Michael Gelmi was literally sky-high over his students reading more than 850 books in their Battle of the Books this year. For reaching the goal, he told his students he would reward them by skydiving over...

Water Donation: ‘Anyone Can Make a Difference’

Two students helped teacher Peggy Luebs unload three cases of bottled water from her car, each containing 40bottles she bought on special at Costco. Then they watched as she filled in a hallway chart showing her class’ latest contribution...

Students Make it All in Makerspace Room

The words a mother painted in big letters on the Lee Elementary makerspace room's wall told the story of the room best. "Passion. Discover. Dream. Inspire. Imagine. Explore." That's what went on this school year in the makerspace room that...

TK Trombone Player Marches with the Notre Dame Band

Being part of the Notre Dame band the first year at college makes for a crazy-busy life, says 2012 Thornapple Kellogg High School graduate Alicia Czarnecki, but she loves it. “It's amazing,” Czarnecki says. “It's really a lot of work...

Schools Put on ‘The Boot’, Among Other Security Measures

A simple, safety device called "The Boot," which can secure doors in a matter of seconds during a school lockdown, has been installed on every classroom door in the Thornapple Kellogg School District. The product is one of many security-related...

A Positively Positive First Day

What is Your Dream? A big sheet of paper with a big question written in big letters and spread across 8-foot-long tables greeted high schoolers on the first day. Students' answers were full of hope, ambition, compassion and a bit...

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,...

Dear Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Editor's note: Following is Katie Marentette's letter to Leo Tolstoy, for which she won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. My dad adores bookstores. He could spend hours nursing a cup of coffee and...
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