Our network

Families

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

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: 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: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

--------------NEWS RELEASE-----------

 

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: 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: Guiding Light Mission thrift store reopening June 17

My Town: Guiding Light Mission thrift store reopening June 17

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Guiding Light Mission will celebrate the grand reopening of its thrift store and a new partnership with Holland Rescue Mission on Thursday, June 17. 

The celebration will start at 12 p.m. at the store. Appetizers and refreshments will be available.

Guiding Light Mission Upscale Thrift Store carries a variety of items for all ages, including dishes, hardware, sporting goods and jewelry, as well as new furniture and mattresses, which come with free delivery.

Donations can be dropped off at the Guiding Light Mission Upscale Thrift Store, where donors can receive a tax deductible receipt for their contributions. The store is located at 1435 60th Street SE in Kentwood.

For information about how to volunteer for Guiding Light Mission, contact Marcia at (616) 451-0236 ext. 14.

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

My Town: Local First offers family-friendly Local Treasure Hunts this June

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Local First has put together Local Treasure Hunts for families to do this June.

Participants can choose from two hunts: one in Grand Rapids and one on the lakeshore. Hunters can enter to win prizes in each hunt by texting in codes at each location. The hunts started on June 1 and will conclude at 11:59 on June 30.

In Grand Rapids, participating businesses include:

  • Grand Rapids Children's Museum
  • Grand Rapids Bicycle Company
  • The Cheese Lady
  • Fulton Street Farmers Market
  • Hop Scotch Children's Store
  • Nantucket Baking Company
  • Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
  • Schuler Books
  • The Rapid Central Station
  • GoNuts

On the lakeshore, the following businesses are treasure hunt stops: