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Candlelight Snowshoeing on Valentines Day

Candlelight Snowshoeing on Valentines Day

Make plans to spend time with your significant other on Valentine’s Day!

Howard Christiansen Nature Center located at 16190 Red Pine Drive in Kent City is offering three Candlelight Snowshoe guided excursion through their scenic trails on Valentine’s Day. You can choose 6:30pm, 7:30pm or 9:00pm.

The excursion includes snowshoe and is a one mile hike through candle lit trails with the chance to warm up by the fire and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a romantic evening you won’t want to miss.

Member Cost: $8.00 per couple and Non-members are $15.00 per couple.

Call: (616)675-3158 for more information or visit www.howardchristiansen.org to book tickets.

Community Sponsors

Children learning through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

3 Things to Consider Before Gifting a Pet this Holiday Season

For many people, young and old alike, a pet for Christmas is the top desire for the season. For a long time, it was assumed that pets as gifts were a really bad idea, increasing adopted animals being returned to the shelter after the excitement of the holidays is over. Data supports just the opposite.

“It’s a myth,” states Trudy Jeffers, Executive Director of HSWM, “that giving a pet as a gift is a bad idea. In fact, with the right research, identifying the needs of the new pet, and knowing the person you are gifting to, helps make the right decision for both the pet and the person.”

A 2013 study by Dr. Emily Weiss says, “There is no increased risk of relinquishment for dogs and cats received as a gift.” In her research, Dr. Weiss found that over 87% of the pet owners in the study still had their pet in their home or had kept the pet in their home for the pet’s lifetime, even when the pet was given as a surprise or a gift, according to the ASPCA.

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday

Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Preschool Students Decorate 1,400 Brown Paper Bags to Support Children Experiencing Food Insecurity

Rainbow Child Care Center locations throughout West Michigan teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket, a local nonprofit organization attacking childhood hunger, to support children experiencing food insecurity. The preschool students decorated brown paper bags for children aided by Kids’ Food Basket’s Sack Supper program, which serves 7,500 kids each weekday in West Michigan.

All eight West Michigan Rainbow Child Care Center locations decorated 1,400 bags with positive images using crayons and markers. Each decorated sack not only provides a well-rounded nutritious meal critical to the development of the brain and body, but also helps brighten each recipient’s day.

Community Sponsors

Children learning through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences

Fall Stream Insect Monitoring Event

Fall Stream Insect Monitoring Event

The Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative Project – Trout Unlimited invite the community to volunteer for this Fall Stream Event on October 1.

Volunteer groups of all ages will gather & interpret insects from various stream sites in the Rogue River watershed. Experience is not required. Under 16 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult.

Dress for the weather, bring waders, if have them and lunch will be provided.

RSVP soon for this Monitoring event taking place at the Rockford Community Cabin located at 220 N. Monroe Street on Saturday, October 1 from 9:00am to 1:00pm!

Call: (312)391-4760 or e-mail jvaughan@tu.org to RSVP.

Virtual Education Offers Frequent Opportunities for Parent Engagement

Virtual Education Offers Frequent Opportunities for Parent Engagement

Parents want the best education for their children. Increased engagement with their child’s school gives them an opportunity to see that through. School choices continue to emerge, with online education thriving amongst families in the United States with a 58 percent increase in enrollment since 2010.

Great Lakes Cyber Academy is a tuition free school serving students in grades 6-12. As an online school, Great Lakes Cyber Academy allows local families from communities like city to learn from the comfort of their own homes, or wherever there is an internet connection. Enrollment numbers continue to increase with this learning model because of satisfaction with virtual education, the level of expertise through online institutions and the rigorous curriculum of the offered programs. One of the primary benefits of Great Lakes Cyber Academy is the level of parent engagement across all grade levels.

Grand Rapids School Receives High Marks From Local Parents

Grand Rapids School Receives High Marks From Local Parents

Approximately 94 percent of parents whose children are enrolled at Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids would recommend the school, according to a recent parent satisfaction survey. The blended learning school delivers a combination of online and face-to-face instruction in an engaging and flexible educational setting committed to making each student’s success a priority, .

The 2015-16 survey was administered by an independent market research company, which created the questionnaire, collected the data, and tabulated the results. High marks were achieved with 89 percent of Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids parents giving the school an A or B grade.