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My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."

My Town: Prepatory schools team up to collect Toys for Tots

My Town: Prepatory schools team up to collect Toys for Tots

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- WZZM 13 is celebrating the end to yet another successful Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge, thanks to an army of students scattered across West Michigan.

More than 40 schools participated in this year's drive, collecting more than 11,000 toys. Wellspring and Grand River prepatory schools collected 125 toys for the challenge.

For additional toy totals and videos, visit the WZZM 13 Toys for Tots page.

My Town Kentwood: New school program helps students save money

My Town Kentwood: New school program helps students save money

KENTWOOD, Mich.—  While many people are focused on spending money this holiday season, the Heart of West Michigan United Way and Comerica Bank are teaming up to teach children how to save.

Comerica launched its Youth Savings Program at Valleywood Middle School in Kentwood Wednesday.  Students can open savings accounts and make deposits through the in-school bank. 

Comerica already launched more than a dozen similar programs in West Michigan schools.  Organizers say the goal is to teach students financial literacy early, paving the way for future economic success.

My Town: Former Steelcase pyramid building to become STEAM education hub

My Town: Former Steelcase pyramid building to become STEAM education hub

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Twenty-five years after Steelcase dedicated its $111 million Corporate Development Center, it's selling the pyramid.

An education group will buy the landmark property for $7.5 million then transform the 663,000 square-foot building and surrounding 181 acres into the Pyramid P20 Campus.  The new educational center will serve pre-K through university-level students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The academic programs will be offered through existing schools.

 “We have been working for over a year to get to this point,” said Pyramid P20 co-founder Jerry Zandstra, Ph.D.  “We are very excited to take ownership of this incredible facility and retain full control of design, build out and programming.”

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids to Host College Financial Aid Informational Night

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids to  Host College Financial Aid Informational Night

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids, is hosting a free college financial aid seminar on Tuesday, November 18 at 6:00 p.m. featuring a representative from Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC). The event, which is open to the public, will help educate parents and students on financial aid, the FAFSA application, and scholarship options for any student considering college.

Families interested in learning more about the college application and financial aid process should RSVP for the event on the Nexus Academy of Grand Rapid’s event page.

The event will be held at the Nexus Academy campus in Grand Rapids, located inside the Clark Place building at 801 Broadway Ave. NW, Suite 225.

School of Choice for Teachers

School of Choice for Teachers

Thanks to Schools of Choice programs in Michigan, students are afforded the opportunity to choose a school environment that best meets their learning needs. These programs also offer our state’s educators opportunities to teach in environments that are best suited for them. Just as some teachers flourish in a traditional school, there are those who prefer teaching at a virtual public school, such as Michigan Connections Academy, the school where I teach.

I work with an incredible team of teachers – they are state-certified, specially trained in online learning, recognized as Highly Qualified under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act—and live in Michigan. In fact, even though we teach in a virtual school, more than 60 teachers travel to the school’s office in Lansing every day to lead online instruction for more than 1,700 students across Michigan in grades kindergarten through 12.

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Awarded AdvancED Accreditation

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids, a “blended” tuition-free public high school for students in grades 9-12, has been awarded accreditation from the national accreditation commission, AdvancED. The accreditation report praised Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids for its ability to: effectively use technology to align student schedules based on needs; provide students with immediate feedback on assignments; and to operate the school in an efficient manner for student success.

“Receiving the AdvancED accreditation demonstrates our commitment to excellence and the high quality of our school,” said Dan McMinn, Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids principal.