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My Town Holland: Vanderbilt Charter Academy celebrates new playground

My Town Holland: Vanderbilt Charter Academy celebrates new playground

HOLLAND, Mich.—Students of Vanderbilt Charter Academy will have a new place to play when they return to school this fall.

Tuesday evening, students, teachers, staff, board members and community supporters will cut the ribbon on a new playground at 301 West 16th Street.  The dedication ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Children are encouraged to stay afterward to enjoy the new facility and meet live animals from the Critter Barn.

Vanderbilt Charter Academy is a free public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. 

My Town Holland: Hope College student headed to Broadway

My Town Holland: Hope College student headed to Broadway

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HOLLAND, Mich. (Hope College) – Hope Summer Repertory Theatre recent alumna Grace Stockdale has signed on to perform with Broadway’s touring production of “Kinky Boots,” beginning in September.

Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, another HSRT alum, the original production of “Kinky Boots” was a wild success when it debuted on Broadway in 2013, and went on to win five Tony awards, including best musical, best actor and best choreography.  Stockdale has been cast as Nicola in its touring production, which will open on September 4 in Las Vegas before embarking on its year-long national circuit.

My Town Holland: Hope College anticipates record enrollment in fall

My Town Holland: Hope College anticipates record enrollment in fall

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Strong freshman enrollment and three large returning classes have Hope College anticipating a record number of students for the fourth consecutive year.

Hope will make a formal count in mid September, a few weeks into the school year, but the college is poised to top last year’s record high of 3,388 students, according to William Vanderbilt, vice president for admissions.

The incoming Class of 2018 will arrive on campus on Friday, Aug. 22.  Fall semester classes will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

“We had an extremely successful recruitment year and are anticipating approximately 840 incoming students for the fall,” he said.  “They’ll be joining the three largest classes in the history of the college, which makes an overall record all but certain.”

Vanderbilt points to the quality and character of Hope as central players in the college’s success.

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

School is out, leaving many children from low-income families without meals during the summer months.

That’s where the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service program comes in. The program provides nutritious meals to people 18 years of age or younger for free.  All participants need to do is show up.

There are hundreds of participating locations, including places in Walker, Grand Rapids North, Grand Rapids West, Grand Rapids South, Grand Rapids Central, Grandville, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Montague and Greenville. You can find the full list on the state website here.

My Town Holland: Two recent Hope College grads Named Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows

My Town Holland: Two recent Hope College grads Named Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows

HOLLAND, Mich.-- Two members of Hope College’s graduating class of 2014 have been named 2014 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows.

Alexandra Benson of Alpena and Grace Blank of Three Rivers are among 43 teacher candidates introduced at the Michigan State Capitol by Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday, June 11.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship recruits accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (the STEM fields). The 2014 Fellows are the fourth class of new teacher candidates to be prepared through the program since the fellowship was launched in Michigan in 2010.

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies)—Every child will lose a portion of the academic growth they experienced this school year during the summer break; It’s called summer learning loss. The problem is becoming so apparent the National Summer Learning Association has designated Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day.

“It is so easy for students to slip into a summertime routine that doesn’t involve reading, writing, or using their math skills,” said Ridge Park Charter Academy Principal Emory Wyckoff. “We are challenging our students to set aside time each day to devote to a book or write about a summer experience they have enjoyed. Summer should be fun and educational.”

Wyckoff has some tips to help parents curb the summer slide:

My Town Kalamazoo: Promise scholarship expands to liberal arts colleges

My Town Kalamazoo: Promise scholarship expands to liberal arts colleges

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Students who receive the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship have even more college options available to them, beginning in the fall of 2015.

The Kalamazoo Promise is teaming up with the Michigan Colleges Alliance to allow scholars to attend any MCA liberal arts college or university in Michigan.  Eligible schools include Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Andrews University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Hillsdale College, University of Detroit Mercy, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Madonna University, Marygrove College, Olivet College, Siena Heights University and Spring Arbor University.  The Kalamazoo Promise board member Janice M. Brown says the partnership brings the number of eligible schools up to 58.  In each case, tuition and fees will be fully and jointly funded by The Kalamazoo Promise and MCA member institution.