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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...

‘One Simple Thing Can Spread Kindness’

The Thornapple River bustled through the Middleville dam as six high school students cleared brush, scraggly trees, a carpet of bristly grasses and unwanted weed trees on the riverbank. For three November Tuesdays, after school and on their own...

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...

College Savings Gets Kickstart from Community

For Case DeBoer and his family, saving for college has already started with a $50 community investment in his post-secondary education. Perhaps the 7-year-old McFall Elementary first-grader will pursue an automotive technology degree to become the race-car driver that currently...

Dia de los Muertos a Celebration of Life

Schools throughout Kent ISD this week studied and celebrated Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a a Nov. 2  holiday to honor the dead that originated in Mexico and is recognized throughout Latin America. Here are some district...

Challenged Students Find Freedom on Horseback

Five-year-old Desi Golnek – fitted in a riding helmet - sat astride Scooter, with volunteer David Drombowski holding the horse's bridle and Thornapple Kellogg paraprofessional Suzanne Thomas on the right. "Walk on," said Desi with a happy giggle. Slowly they...

From Schoolyard Garden to School Plate

At the middle school, a learning garden designed by resource room teacher Amy Forman hums along with flat-leaf parsley, Thai basil and burpless cucumber, which is a nearly seedless, sweeter and thinner-skinned variety than typical supermarket cukes. That's one of...

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...

Athlete, Goat Farmer, ‘Chill’ Encourager

School: Thornapple Kellogg Middle Other positions you have held in education: Health/PE teacher for 12 years. My first year was at Grand Rapids Public Schools, and every year since has been at TK High School. Spouse/children: I am married to Nathan...

A Riches of Rookies

Thornapple Kellogg Schools -- all 125 square miles of this rural district -- is feeling happy, hopeful and mostly healthy, says Superintendent Tom Enslen. With 21 new teachers, many graduating from college just months ago, Thornapple-Kellogg is bucking the...

A Heaping Harvest of Fun

Editor's note: This is a personal commentary by Linda Odette, a School News Network reporter who covers Thornapple Kellogg Schools "Hey, how did a tomato get into a cherry?" This question by a middle schooler planting cherry tomatoes at a school...

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...

Today’s Graduates Meet Tomorrow’s Rock Stars

Graduates parading down the halls of elementary and middle schools in their district has become a tradition at some schools, and Thornapple Kellogg High School did it for the first time this year. Teachers saw former students, graduates stepped...

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...

A Letter to Leo Wins Library of Congress Award

Katie Marentette wrote a letter to Leo Tolstoy last fall and kind of forgot about it -- until she found out it won the state award for the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest. For the contest, students had...

Group Collaboration Produces Surprising Sources

When innovation, collaboration, reading, language and writing all can be taught in a single project, it's a win-win for both teachers and students. That's what "A Raisin in the Sun" and Jimmy Kimmel helped teach a team of students...

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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