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My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

School is out, leaving many children from low-income families without meals during the summer months.

That’s where the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service program comes in. The program provides nutritious meals to people 18 years of age or younger for free.  All participants need to do is show up.

There are hundreds of participating locations, including places in Walker, Grand Rapids North, Grand Rapids West, Grand Rapids South, Grand Rapids Central, Grandville, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Montague and Greenville. You can find the full list on the state website here.

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies)—Every child will lose a portion of the academic growth they experienced this school year during the summer break; It’s called summer learning loss. The problem is becoming so apparent the National Summer Learning Association has designated Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day.

“It is so easy for students to slip into a summertime routine that doesn’t involve reading, writing, or using their math skills,” said Ridge Park Charter Academy Principal Emory Wyckoff. “We are challenging our students to set aside time each day to devote to a book or write about a summer experience they have enjoyed. Summer should be fun and educational.”

Wyckoff has some tips to help parents curb the summer slide:

My Town: Metro High School Police Academy welcomes 40 students

My Town: Metro High School Police Academy welcomes 40 students

WYOMING, Mich.—While school is out for most districts this summer, another academy is starting up classes this week.

Public safety and police departments from Wyoming, Kentwood, Grandville, Walker, Rockford, East Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University are teaming up for the 19th annual Metro High School Police Academy.  The Michigan State Police Rockford post and Kent County Sheriff’s Department are also participating in the academy, which runs now through June 20 at Grandville High School. 

Approximately 40 area high school students are taking part in this year’s training program, which will give them a snapshot of what a real police academy would be comprised of- patrol operations, criminal investigations, community policing and physical training.  A graduation ceremony will take place at Grandville High School beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.

GRPS outlines new budget cuts

GRPS outlines new budget cuts


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal on Monday outlined a revised budget which she says keeps cuts as far from the classroom as possible.

The district is facing a $13.5 million dollar deficit due to a projected enrollment decline of 400 students this fall, limited new state funding, and increased health and retirement cost.

The Board of Education has demanded that the district's savings account not be under 5% of the budget.

To meet that goal, Neal outlined these cuts and changes:

- A pay and job freeze for administrators, estimated to save $1 million dollars.

- Athletics cuts totalling $200,000, which will mean more fundraising and possibly higher pay to play fees.

- $430,000 in transportation cuts with Dean Transportation.

My Town GR North: NorthPointe Christian students compete to give away $1,000

My Town GR North: NorthPointe Christian students compete to give away $1,000

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Before wrapping up their school year, NorthPointe Christian School students competed in an unusual contest: Who has the best idea of where to give $1,000?

The exact challenge: create a one-minute video explaining what you would do with $1,000 that would make a difference in impacting the world for Jesus Christ.  The incentive: $1,000 in prize money.

Coined “Heart Prize 2014,” the contest motivated 46 NorthPointe Christian middle and high school students to step up to the challenge.  Students passionately presented local, national and world causes to their fellow student body, inviting the school as a whole to consider needs outside themselves.  Hundreds of views and votes poured in through the contest’s youtube channel, eventually narrowing down the entries to a top six.

One of the top six contestants was Tadesse Yasin.

Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

By Marla Miller

This story originally ran in the Grand Rapids Urban Innovation Exchange

With the mission to restore and refocus at-risk youth, Grand C.I.T.Y.

My Town GR North: Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival winners honored

My Town GR North: Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival winners honored

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- More than a dozen promising student filmmakers will be honored Saturday as they accept awards from the Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival.

As part of the competition, students from across Michigan submitted more than 320 Public Service Announcement videos promoting positive choices among two age groups of youth.  A panel of media students and professors from Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University helped whittle down the number of entries to 60.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, the competition will culminate with 18 of the 60 finalists being honored with $21,000 in prizes and awards.  The presentation will take place at Celebration Cinema North at Knapp’s Corner, located at 2121 Celebration Drive NE in Grand Rapids.