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My Town: Health department offers free testing in honor of National HIV Testing Day

My Town: Health department offers free testing in honor of National HIV Testing Day
----------------------NEWS RELEASE--------------GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Kent County Health Department) – One in five people living with HIV don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thursday, June 27, 2014 marks the 10th annual National HIV Testing Day. The Kent County Health Department is making it easy for everyone to know their status the week of National HIV Testing Day: a quick, painless finger poke test, which gives you preliminary results in just 20 minutes. The Kent County Health Department is offering four opportunities to get tested, without an appointment, free and confidentially. When you get tested at one of these events, you will receive a gift card* for your time, education about HIV and prevention, and steps you can take to protect those you love from HIV.

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

My Town Wyoming: Registration deadline nears for Safe City summer program
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My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

MUSKEGON, Mich.— Grab a rod and head out onto the big lake this weekend for Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend.

On June 7 and 8, the state will be waiving fishing license fees.  Free Fishing Weekend applies to residents and out-of-state visitors on inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish.  All fishing regulations still apply.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, our state offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams. To find inland lakes in your area, click here.

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

My Town: Millennium Park to host National Trails Day celebration June 7

WYOMING, Mich.—  Community members are invited to celebrate National Trails Day this weekend with a one mile or two mile walk through Kent County’s Millennium Park.

Recreation departments from Wyoming, Walker, Kentwood and Kent County are teaming up to host the Fun & Fitness Walk this Saturday, June 7.  The event is one of more than 2,000 activities planned nationwide, to promote park activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.

The national Walk in the Park event will begin at 9 a.m. Registration will be available on site that morning.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will provide water and snacks. Strollers are permitted; however, pets are not allowed. Area parks and recreation departments and trail advocacy groups will be on hand to share information on local walking clubs and trails.