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Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Date and theme set for Sparta Town & County Days

Date and theme set for Sparta Town & County Days

SPARTA, Mich.— It’s January, but the organizers of Sparta Town & Country Days are already looking ahead to July, when the community event returns.

 This year’s Town & Country Days will take place July 16-20.  The event’s theme is “Fun for the Whole Herd!”

 The next volunteer meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sparta Administration Offices.  All potential volunteers are invited to attend.  Refreshments will also be available.

Last year, intense heat took a toll on turnout for  Sparta Town & Country Days.  Organizers estimate 10,000 people participated in the event, down from about 14,000 the year prior.

West Michigan Archery Center nears completion

West Michigan Archery Center nears completion

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP,  Mich.--   The heat is on and the finishing touches are being made to the West Michigan Archery Center in Kent County.

The $1.15 million facility is located on 10 Mile Road in the Art Van Sports Park.  Crews with Rockford-based McIntyre Builders began construction last September. They’ve just completed drywall and trim, and hope to obtain occupancy permits within the next couple months.

The facility, which will serve as a Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) site, will be open to the public at minimal costs.  The grounds will also include outdoor and 3D fields. 

York Creek Community Center Offers Opportunities for Service

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (Sparta Adult Education Staff)--For Sparta Community Education, the new York Creek Community Center is the ideal place to host ESL (English as a Second Language) for adults wishing to learn English. 

On Jan. 18, numerous York Creek residents had the opportunity to sign up for upcoming classes there, as well as classes to help gain residents their GED (General Education Development Test). 

Rockford-based Sable Homes donates $500 to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

Rockford-based Sable Homes donates $500 to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – On Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, Sable Homes marketing manager and new home consultant, Karin Kay, paid a visit to Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids to deliver a $500 donation to the cancer and grief support organization.

The donation came in response to Sable Homes’ Facebook campaign, which pledged to donate $1 for every new "like" Sable Homes received during the month of November. On Dec. 3, #GivingTuesday, Sable announced $500 would be donated to Gilda’s Club. Daryl Vogel, vice president of development at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, accepted the check at the Gilda’s Club’s Grand Rapids clubhouse and took Kay on a tour of the facility.

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'Reelin' in the Years' concert warms the heart

'Reelin' in the Years' concert warms the heart

SPARTA, Mich.-- This year's concert on Saturday, Dec. 7  is sure to be a good one.

Come join your colleagues, students, friends and community members for a night of music and fun. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the performance starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Sparta High School Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time in each school office for $9 until noon Friday. Tickets at the door are $10. 

Fred Thorne will be honored with this year's SEF Recognition Award presented by former Superintendent Mike Weiler.  The ceremony will be followed by a thank you song from music teacher Mollie Friederichs. (Come show your appreciation to Fred.)

Special musical guests include The Bimini Brothers, Valentiger, Jeff Schroeder and the Ridgemateers, Lee McFall, the Paul Owens Band, the SHS Choir and Jazz Band, GRCC Brass Quintet and a very special young guest performer.

Bring your prized buck to Sparta's inaugural Buck Pole Nov. 16

Bring your prized buck to Sparta's inaugural Buck Pole Nov. 16

SPARTA, Mich.—An event celebrating hunting will make its debut in downtown Sparta Saturday, November 16.

Hunters are invited to bring their bucks for judging during the inaugural Buck Pole, which starts at 5 p.m. The entry fee is $10 and each buck will be judged based on weight, inside measurement and number of points. The winners will be announced at 8 p.m.  The top prizes include a taxidermy mounting package, valued at $500 and a $100 gift card to Sparta Sport Shop. There will also be an Antler Shed Contest, with prizes going to the top entries.

The Buck Pole will also feature a variety of family friendly events, including venison chili tasting, children’s activities and a community campfire. Visitors are encouraged to dress up in their favorite camouflage or blaze orange outfit.