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3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

For many people, young and old alike, a pet for Christmas is the top desire for the season. For a long time, it was assumed that pets as gifts were a really bad idea, increasing adopted animals being returned to the shelter after the excitement of the holidays is over. Data supports just the opposite.

“It’s a myth,” states Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM, “that giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea. In fact, with the right research, identifying the needs of the new pet, and knowing the person you are gifting to, helps make the right decision for both the pet and the person.”

A 2013 study by Dr. Emily Weiss says, “There is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.” In her research, Dr. Weiss found that over 87% of the pet owners in the study still had their pet in their home or had kept the pet in their home for the pet’s lifetime, even when the pet was given as a surprise or a gift, according to the ASPCA.

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Fall Leaf Program through November 19

Fall Leaf Program through November 19

Residents of Holland City Streets are encouraged to have their leaves picked up through November 19.

Keep in mind that only leaves will be picked up! Your pile will not be picked up if there are other branches or debris included.

Visit www.cityofholland.com for details. Call: (616)355-1335 for other yard disposal options.

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Rainbow Child Care Center locations throughout West Michigan teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket, a local nonprofit organization attacking childhood hunger, to support children experiencing food insecurity. The preschool students decorated brown paper bags for children aided by Kids’ Food Basket’s Sack Supper program, which serves 7,500 kids each weekday in West Michigan.

All eight West Michigan Rainbow Child Care Center locations decorated 1,400 bags with positive images using crayons and markers. Each decorated sack not only provides a well-rounded nutritious meal critical to the development of the brain and body, but also helps brighten each recipient’s day.

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Live Mannequin Night Tonight, September 16

Live Mannequin Night Tonight, September 16

The Communities favorite night has returned!

Shopping, dining or experience the town, guests may spot live mannequins from 7pm - 8:30pm in 25 downtown Holland participating businesses, tonight as they stroll the streets.

Visit www.downtownholland.com for more events.

Virtual Education Offers Frequent Opportunities for Parent Engagement

Virtual Education Offers Frequent Opportunities for Parent Engagement

Parents want the best education for their children. Increased engagement with their child’s school gives them an opportunity to see that through. School choices continue to emerge, with online education thriving amongst families in the United States with a 58 percent increase in enrollment since 2010.

Great Lakes Cyber Academy is a tuition free school serving students in grades 6-12. As an online school, Great Lakes Cyber Academy allows local families from communities like city to learn from the comfort of their own homes, or wherever there is an internet connection. Enrollment numbers continue to increase with this learning model because of satisfaction with virtual education, the level of expertise through online institutions and the rigorous curriculum of the offered programs. One of the primary benefits of Great Lakes Cyber Academy is the level of parent engagement across all grade levels.

Grand Rapids School Receives High Marks From Local Parents

Grand Rapids School Receives High Marks From Local Parents

Approximately 94 percent of parents whose children are enrolled at Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids would recommend the school, according to a recent parent satisfaction survey. The blended learning school delivers a combination of online and face-to-face instruction in an engaging and flexible educational setting committed to making each student’s success a priority, .

The 2015-16 survey was administered by an independent market research company, which created the questionnaire, collected the data, and tabulated the results. High marks were achieved with 89 percent of Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids parents giving the school an A or B grade.