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My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town Wyoming: Wyoming Concerts in the Park lineup unveiled

My Town Wyoming: Wyoming Concerts in the Park lineup unveiled

WYOMING, Mich.—Although there is snow on the ground, the Wyoming Community Enrichment Commission is already set for a summertime tradition.

The Wyoming Concerts in the Park series will return to Lamar Park June 3 at 6:30 p.m.  The series kicks off with a special Kids Night concert featuring “Zumbatomic” followed by the Grand Rapids First Church Youth Choir.  Kid-friendly activities are also scheduled.

The rest of this year’s lineup is as follows:

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

SPARTA, Mich.—A music tour aimed at preventing bullying among teenagers is making its rounds in West Michigan.

The Teen Nation Anti-Bullying Music Tour kicked off Monday morning at Sparta High School.  The 90-minute performances feature young Top 40 recording artists who are also speaking out against bullying.  This tour’s headliners include  former ‘X Factor’ contestant J Ryan, 14, of San Antonio, Texas; and Tristan Blaine, 14, of Frisco, Texas.  Additional guest performers include Faith Marie Shirley, 15 of San Antonio, Texas; Collin Kozola, 17, of Naperville, Illinois, Radio Disney star Celeste Kellogg, 18, of Smithville, Virginia; and Branden Mendoza, 20, of New Carney, Texas.

The school concert assembly schedule is as follows:

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Heart of West Michigan United Way is seeking nominations for its inaugural GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER awards.

The awards are meant to celebrate nonprofits, companies and people who have made a difference in the community.  The GIVE Award goes to a company that has displayed generosity within the community, and created a culture of giving within its organization last year.

The ADVOCATE Award honors a person or nonprofit organization who leads and works with people to improve the health and wellness of the community, leaving a lasting impact on Kent County.

The VOLUNTEER Award goes to a company that promotes and provides year-round opportunities for employees to volunteer within their community, improving Kent County.

My Town: Grand Rapids-Wyoming among fastest growing places to retire

My Town: Grand Rapids-Wyoming among fastest growing places to retire

WYOMING, Mich.—The Wyoming area is among the nation’s fastest growing places to retire.

That’s according to nerdwallet.  In a report released Thursday, March 13, the financial publication highlighted the Grand Rapids-Wyoming market’s growing population of residents who are 65 or older. Nerdwallet also mentioned the Senior Neighbors centers scattered across the region, providing health and wellness resources, as well as the retirement living communities popping up ion the area, including Clark Retirement Community.

The Grand Rapids-Wyoming area ranked 10 on the list; the greater Detroit area ranked fourth on the list. The Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metro area in Arizona took the top spot.

My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

 

GRANDVILLE, Mich. – Grandville-based First United Credit Union backing the Kent District Library’s campaign to replenish its budget.

Through the Genre Derby, KDL hopes to raise $10,000 for digital and physical books. That’s just a fraction of the $300,000 that’s been slashed from the library’s budget since 2013.

“Our overall budget has been cut by over $2 million in the past three years from changes in tax valuation and personal property tax,” explained KDL Development Manager Linda Krombeen. 

Despite the cuts, KDL is using technology and restructuring to avoid laying off staff.

The Genre Derby allows patrons to direct donations to the type of books they read most. First United Credit Union is pledging to match 50 percent of all donor gifts during the Genre Derby, up to $1,500.