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My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town: Sparta Education Foundation Board openings

My Town: Sparta Education Foundation Board openings
SPARTA, Mich.-- The Sparta Education Foundation is looking to add to its board.The Sparta Education Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 to help provide educational opportunities for students and staff, which are beyond the normal operating budget of the school district.

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

My Town: Anti-bullying concert tour arrives in West Michigan

SPARTA, Mich.—A music tour aimed at preventing bullying among teenagers is making its rounds in West Michigan.

The Teen Nation Anti-Bullying Music Tour kicked off Monday morning at Sparta High School.  The 90-minute performances feature young Top 40 recording artists who are also speaking out against bullying.  This tour’s headliners include  former ‘X Factor’ contestant J Ryan, 14, of San Antonio, Texas; and Tristan Blaine, 14, of Frisco, Texas.  Additional guest performers include Faith Marie Shirley, 15 of San Antonio, Texas; Collin Kozola, 17, of Naperville, Illinois, Radio Disney star Celeste Kellogg, 18, of Smithville, Virginia; and Branden Mendoza, 20, of New Carney, Texas.

The school concert assembly schedule is as follows:

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

By Zinta Aistars
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

Delight Lester, 53, sits comfortably spread out in the corner of the soft couch, her long pale blonde hair draped over her shoulders. She is surrounded by crayons and pastels, colored construction paper and paint brushes.

My Town: Sparta Family FUN Festival on March 29

My Town: Sparta Family FUN Festival on March 29

SPARTA, Mich.-- The community is invited on Saturday, March 29 to Appleview Elementary for this entertaining festival.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the family can experience a number of fun events, like a dunk tank, carnival games, music, food and more.  For additional information, call (616) 887-7500, ex. 3506 or email ptc@spartaschools.org.

Appleview Elementary is located at 240 E. Spartan Drive. 

My Town Sparta: Preschool and kindergarten enrollment March 6

My Town Sparta: Preschool and kindergarten enrollment March 6

SPARTA, Mich.—If you’re looking to take your tot to preschool or kindergarten next school year, now is the time to enroll.

The Sparta Area Schools will hold kindergarten and preschool registration Thursday, March 6, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ridgeview Elementary.

Under Michigan law, children should be five years old by Oct. 1, 2014 in order to enroll for kindergarten during the 2014-2015 school year.  For more information, visit the Sparta Area Schools website here.

My Town Sparta: Army of volunteers prepared to pull off 'Best Prom Ever'

My Town Sparta: Army of volunteers prepared to pull off 'Best Prom Ever'

SPARTA, Mich.-- Chief organizer Renee Wyman says an "army of volunteers" is getting ready to pull off the "Best Prom Ever" this Saturday, March 1 at Sparta High School.

In its ninth year, the dance for people with special needs has grown from from a group of 16 young adults with mild cognitive impairments to more than 380 young adults from across West Michigan, who plan to attend this Saturday.

More than 198 volunteers have signed up to help pour punch, carry dinner trays, wash dishes, and any other task that needs to be done to make the event truly enjoyable for the students. Donations are also pouring in the community, including dinner table rentals, linen rentals, red carpet rentals, donated desserts and limo rides and much more

“I cry every day with gratitude not only from the donations from Sparta but also from other surrounding communities,” says Wyman.