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My Town: EKHS students selected for Michigan Youth Arts Festival

My Town: EKHS students selected for Michigan Youth Arts Festival

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Four instrumental music students from East Kentwood High School have been selected to participate in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival, held on the campus of Western Michigan University, May 8th-10th.  

They are:

  • Derek Bartlett (11) Honors Jazz Ensemble-Trombone
  • Peter Cripps (11) Honors Band-Tuba
  • Claire Ross (12) Honors Orchestra-Horn
  • Travon Williams (12) Honors Jazz Ensemble- Piano

For Cripps and Ross, selection was a result of proficiency examinations at State Solo and Ensemble.  Their scores were among the highest in the state for their instruments. Williams and Bartlett were selected as a result of outstanding performances at the State Jazz Festival.  The adjudicators nominated several students from throughout the state.   A panel of judges selected the top 20 students for the Honors Jazz Ensemble based on their performances.

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A dozen students from Kent Career Tech Center are now members of the National Technical Honor Society.

The students were inducted into the Tech Center’s inaugural NTHS class for demonstrating outstanding skills in their program and overall academic achievement.  The NTHS is similar to the National Honor Society, but with tougher requirements, including involvement in a career or technical education program, a 3.5 or higher GPA and community service hours.

My Town Kentwood: Acts needed for Kentwoodpalooza

My Town Kentwood: Acts needed for Kentwoodpalooza

KENTWOOD, Mich.--  Students are invited to celebrate the end of school and the beginning of summer with Kentwoodpalooza.

The June 12 event is being organized by the Kent District Library.  Organizers are looking for local teen bands to perform at the festival, which will be held in the Kentwood Library Amphitheatre, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.. The deadline for applications and demos is Saturday, May 3.  For additional information and to sign up your act, visit the KDL website here.

Kentwoodpalooza celebrates teen involvement in many art forms, including painting, poetry, film-making and music.  Live bands will play from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and food and beverages will be provided.

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 Kentwood: Student readers eager to join 100 Point Club

My Town Kentwood: Student readers eager to join 100 Point Club

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies) —Students at Ridge Park Charter Academy read for fun, read to learn, and they read for a chance to join the esteemed 100 Point Club.

Three years ago, Library Technician Dawn Elliott had the idea to start a club that rewarded students in all grades for reading. Students can earn one or two points for each book and accelerated reading test they complete. Accelerated Reading (AR) is a computer-based program that quizzes a student on a book they have read to measure the level of understanding of the material.

“Our thought behind starting this club was to encourage and celebrate students that not only read, but also stretch their comprehension skills,” said Elliott.

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 Kentwood: Mother-turned-author shares autistic daughter's experiences

My Town Kentwood: Mother-turned-author shares autistic daughter's experiences

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Book lovers are invited to meet a Ludington mother who’s transformed her daughter’s experiences with autism into a book.

Mary Ann Payne’s book, “Hadley” is a collection of stories illustrating how education, inspiration and humor can turn the trials of autism into triumphs.

Payne says, “Over the years, as I penned my woes, my tears began to turn to laughter and I thought maybe these stories could be something to share with others.

Hadley tells of fortunate and not-so-fortunate events that actually took place. It is my hope for the reader to learn from our pain as well as our pleasure of living and dealing with autism. None of us plan on having adverse circumstances in our lives. Our circumstances can be out of our control, but it is how we react and respond accordingly that helps shape our lives.”