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My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

WYOMING, Mich.—The LEAGUE Michigan is looking for more schools, organizations and businesses to help encourage literacy through a statewide book drive.

“Read n’ Give” is focused on boosting literacy among youth.  Schools, organizations and businesses collect K-5 books, which are donated to students involved in literacy programs with Camp Blodgett, The Salvation Army and Schools of Hope, which includes the Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights school districts.   When students are finished with the books, they are encouraged to donate them back into the program the next year, to foster the continuous cycle of giving.

Bridget Knight, who works with The LEAGUE Michigan, says participants in last year’s program collected 65,000 books statewide.  More than 39,000 books of those books came from West Michigan.  Knight says the goal this year is to collect 70,000 books.

My Town Wyoming: Arcade game ordinance close to repeal

My Town Wyoming: Arcade game ordinance close to repeal

WYOMING, Mich.—The City of Wyoming is one step closer to getting rid of an old ordinance regulating arcade games.

City Clerk Heidi Isakson says the ordinance was likely created because of concerns about illegal gambling using such machines.  However, she says the way the machines are designed now, they are longer a risk to public welfare and peace.  If the repeal takes effect, arcade game owners wouldn’t need an additional license for their games, which would save them $50 to nearly $300 per year.  Additionally, non-cash prize values would be allowed to rise from $150 under the current ordinance to $500, which is the cap under state law.

Isakson says the city collects approximately $1,500 annually from the license fees.

A second reading of the repeal will take place March 17; if all goes well, the ordinance will be stripped from the city’s regulations a few weeks later.

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

Nonprofits getting $13k in grants from Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation

WYOMING, Mich.--  Five nonprofit organizations supporting children are getting a financial boost.

The Grand Rapids Jaycees Foundation recently awarded more than $13,000 to Roosevelt Park Ministries, Autism Support of Kent County, Kendall Continuing Studies, Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology.

Roosevelt Park Ministries plans to use the $5,000 it was awarded for career camps for children ages 12-17.  The four week-long camps will take place in summer and highlight the importance of graduating from high school and pursuing higher education.

Autism Support of Kent County will use its $2,520 grant for Project Lifesaver, providing transmitters/locator units  which will be worn by autistic individuals who may wander off.

Homeschooled students bring Peter Pan to stage

Homeschooled students bring Peter Pan to stage

WYOMING, Mich.—Homeschooled students throughout the Grand Rapids area are teaming up to bring Peter Pan to stage.

Homeschool Performing Arts will hold its first performance Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.  Everyone involved in the production is homeschooled, from actors to stage crew.  The group’s publicist says many of them travel just to be a part of the production.

The group will rehearse for the next two weeks at the Homeschool Building in Wyoming.  All performances will take place at Caledonia High School.  The play schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 11 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. For more information, contact Veronica at (517) 525-6651.

Friends of the Cascade Library donate new sign

Friends of the Cascade Library donate new sign

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  The Cascade Township Library’s old, antiquated sign is getting replaced.

John Alcorn, President of Alcam Signs & Lighting Inc., and Friends of the Cascade Library member Paula Rowland began staking out space for a new electronic sign Monday, November 11.  Rowland says the LED message board was ordered Monday and the concrete base for the sign will be installed within the next couple of weeks.  The LED board is being built by Electro-Matic Products, Inc.  in Farmington Hills.  Alcam Signs & Lighting, Inc., located in Wyoming, will be putting the sign together.

The new electronic sign is being donated by Friends of the Cascade Library.  The organization, which is approximately 300 families strong in Cascade Township, is funding the $20,000 project through its used book sales.

Grand Rapids Symphony visits school

Grand Rapids Symphony visits school

WYOMING, Mich.—Classical music filled the air at Vista Charter Academy last week as the Grand Rapids Symphony regaled children with a visiting performance.

The symphony stopped by the school on October 29 and October 31 to meet fourth grade students and play a few numbers.

Vista Charter Academy is a tuition-free public charter school that serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  The school, located at 711 32nd St. SE, is operated by National Heritage Academies.