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My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

My Town: Check out a Book Buddy at your local library

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Firemen, ballerinas, mascots, sports figures, literary characters and more will be at local library branches on June 21 to get kids reading!

Kent District Library, Grand Rapids Public Library and the Heart of West Michigan United Way are joining forces to present Book Buddies, a program that encourages children to check out a “book buddy” and spend ten minutes reading their favorite book together.

The Book Buddies program is designed to help children meet the goal of reading 400 minutes over the summer, the amount of time it is estimated that kids should spend reading to prevent summer slide and maintain the reading gains they made over the school year.

Seven local library branches will present Book Buddies on June 21. The schedule is as follows:

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: Job outlook for the area largely positive

My Town: Job outlook for the area largely positive

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Despite the harsh winter, businesses in West Michigan added 9,500 jobs during the first quarter of 2014.

That’s according to a newly released report by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Analysts found employment in West Michigan’s six metropolitan areas jumped 1.1 percent.    The biggest increases were reported in manufacturing and private service sectors.   

In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area, employers added 7,200 jobs in the first quarter, driving down the area’s unemployment rate to 5.8 percent.   Analysts say there was solid growth across all sectors, and they expect the job market to remain strong in the coming months.

My Town: Book Buddy volunteers needed for June 21

My Town: Book Buddy volunteers needed for June 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Help a kid discover their passon for reading by becoming a “Book Buddy” this weekend.

The United Way, Kent District Library and Grand Rapids Public Library are looking for volunteers to read to children this Saturday, June 21. Volunteers are especially needed in Lowell and Sand Lake.  Volunteer roles include:

Book Buddy- Dress up as a character and listen to kids read. Wear costumes of your profession (police officer, doctor, etc.) or simply put on your best listening ears and be a buddy. Give your attention to a child as they read for 10 minutes.

My Town: West Michigan Chalk Art Festival returns June 20-21

My Town: West Michigan Chalk Art Festival returns June 20-21

BYRON CENTER, Mich.-- The Byron Community Wellness Foundation invites businesses, families, adults and children to register as artists for the opportunity to participate in the West Michigan Chalk Art Festival on Byron Center Avenue & 84th Street.

This festival will take place Friday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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.

My Town Wyoming: Registration deadline nears for Safe City summer program

My Town Wyoming: Registration deadline nears for Safe City summer program
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