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My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

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: 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: 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: Volunteers needed for Park Spring Spruce-Up May 31

My Town: Volunteers needed for Park Spring Spruce-Up May 31

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Volunteers throughout Grand Rapids will be rolling up their sleeves this weekend for the Spring Spruce-Up event organized by the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.

Everyone is invited to help pick up trash, debris and brush at the parks as well as installing new Parks Alive amenities and recognition plates.  The volunteer work will take place Saturday, May 31 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To register to help, click on the park you’d like to work in:

My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

My Town: Kent Innovation High students focus on revitalizing Grand River

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  What does the Grand River need?

That’s the question students of Kent Innovation High are trying to answer, with the community’s help.  Inspired by Grand Rapids Whitewater, a group of sophomores have been surveying Grand Rapids residents downtown and on social media to find out what they would like to see in waterfront’s future.  They are taking that information to make a 25 foot long replica of the river and its banks, complete with ideas to revitalize the space.

 The replica will be on display during the Grand River Innovation Showcase Friday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the school, located at 1655 East Beltline Ave. NE.  For more information, click here.

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—As Memorial Day approaches, Kent County Commissioners are getting ready to hear a proposal to create a millage to support county veterans.

The proposed Dedicated Veterans Millage would be for .050 mill, generating slightly more than $1 million for veteran outreach and emergency services.  The measure would also more than double available federal claims assistance hours. 

On May 8, the Kent County Board of Commissioners Millage Subcommittee unanimously supported forwarding the millage request onto the Finance and Physical Resources Committee for consideration. The proposal will be discussed at the Kent County Commission’s finance meeting Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.  Supporters hope to get the millage on the November ballot.