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My Town: Cooley Law School's West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic receives honor

My Town: Cooley Law School's West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic receives honor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapid’s LINC Community Revitalization recently honored Cooley Law School’s West Michigan Public Defenders Clinic during the organization’s annual Community Spirit Award winners ceremony. 

The Public Defenders Clinic was presented with the Cornerstone Award, which honors an organization that best exemplifies the model of capacity building and demonstrates impact in a specific area.

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

My Town: Student Great Lakes protection projects on display May 14

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  High School students from six area districts will showcase their efforts to protect the Grand River watershed and the Great Lakes during the Groundswell Student Showcase May 14.

Grand Valley State University is showcasing the exhibit, which provides hands-on environmental learning for students throughout Kent County.  The projects will be on display on the big screen and in the Beacon Lobby at Celebration Cinema North in Grand Rapids.

My Town: Online app boosts community involvement in Rapid route project

My Town: Online app boosts community involvement in Rapid route project

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Researchers behind the Laker Line Study are crediting an online app for more than doubling public engagement.

The study team is using MindMixer, a customizable online survey system, to gather feedback from the community as they try to determine the future of the RAPID line connecting downtown Grand Rapids to Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus.  The route upgrade will include stops on the city’s west side and Standale.  RAPID officials say the current 50 Campus Connector route has experienced the sharpest ridership increase of any route, carrying more than 12,000 riders each weekday during the school year. 

The education of a military child

With the recent conclusion of the Month of the Military Child (in April), it is important to take a closer look at those children impacted by having a mother or father serving in the Armed Forces.

According to Do Something, more than two million children have had a parent deployed at least once since 2001. Because of this, children in military families often experience disrupted relationships and education because of frequent moves and distress at home. Such hardships lead some military children to enroll in virtual schools so that it will allow them the flexibility to spend more time at home with other family members while staying on track with their education.

My Town: Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

My Town:  Transforming 2,000 water bottles into a beneficial greenhouse

WYOMING, Mich.—A new greenhouse made out of 2,000 water bottles now sits outside Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center.

Students, along with teacher Char Walsh and school staff teamed up with Goodwill AmeriCorps members to build the eco-friendly greenhouse last Friday, using water bottles collected by the Heart of West Michigan United Way and Grand Rapids Community College.  Many of the additional building materials were donated by a local lumber company.

Students, teachers and the female clients of Dégagé Ministries will grow and harvest vegetables in the greenhouse to make salsa, which will then be sold, with all proceeds going to  Dégagé.

My Town EGR: Aquinas College hosts Earth Day event for students

My Town EGR: Aquinas College hosts Earth Day event for students

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- On April 22, 2014 Aquinas College celebrated Earth Day with a series of student activities.

Themed "Love Your Mother", the event included activities such as decorating TOMS shoes, a showing of the movie "Wall-E" and musical performances by Rhett Price and Joey Hyde. The event also featured a series of educational and fun activities sponsored by student clubs and school departments. These included a toxic cosmetic dump, recycling and compost games, do-it-yourself green cleaners, henna tattoos and beekeeping demonstrations.

Aquinas College is working to become the first zero waste college in the nation. The student Earth Day event was designed to entertain, educate and engage students on the importance of sustainability and the benefits of working towards a greener tomorrow. 

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A charter school in Kentwood is the top West Michigan school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list of Best High Schools.

The publication recently released its list of the top 500 schools nationally. The rankings are based on the student to teacher ratio, AP course involvement and math and reading proficiency scores.  The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX took the top spot.

In Michigan, 60 schools made the cut, with International Academy in Bloomfield Hills taking the top spot.  Excel Charter Academy-Grand River Prep School in Kentwood ranked second among Michigan schools.  City Middle/High School and Black River Public School were the only other West Michigan schools to crack the top ten.

The list of local schools includes: