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MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Michigan State University College of Human Medicine announces plans for its second annual Gran Fondo on June 28, 2014.

Italian for “Big Ride,” proceeds from this this non-competitive cycling event go towards programs to increase awareness, prevention and detection of skin cancer and supports MSU’s skin cancer research.

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: 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 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.

Vista Charter Academy students jump for heart health

Vista Charter Academy students jump for heart health

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hearts were pumping at Vista Charter Academy on Friday, and not just because it was Valentine’s Day.

Students from Young 5s all the way up to fifth grade jumped rope for heart health.  The children took part in a variety of other heart-healthy activities as well, including hula hooping, playing with beach balls and dancing.  The school also set a goal to collect $4,000 in pledges to donate to the American Heart Association this year.

Vista Charter Academy, operated by National Heritage Academies, is a free public charter school serving students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

UPDATE: Childhood Center's greenhouse to raise green for charity

UPDATE: Childhood Center's greenhouse to raise green for charity

UPDATE: The Heart of West Michigan United way says an employee of West Michigan Lumber saw this story and now the company is donating many materials for the build.

WYOMING, Mich.--  Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center is looking for building materials to help transform 2,000 water bottles into a greenhouse.

The greenhouse is the brain child of teacher Char Walsh, who teamed up with other staff and LEAGUE MI member Bridget Knight to come up with a creative solution to help Degage Ministries.  The group plans to help students build a water bottle greenhouse, where they will grow vegetables used to make salsa.  That salsa will then be sold at the school, with all proceeds going to support Degage Ministries.

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