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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 Rockford: Grillapalooza 2014 to benefit new arts center

My Town Rockford: Grillapalooza 2014 to benefit new arts center

ROCKFORD, Mich.--  Get ready to fire up those grills, as the annual Grillapalooza returns to Rockford May 3.

Hosted by Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch, the event begins at 10 a.m. and will feature grilling demonstrations, food samples and performances by a range of local artists.  This year’s Grillapalooza will showcase the Rockford Community orchestra, band and choir, the Rogue River Artists, the Rogue River Community Theatre Company, the North Kent Camera Club and the School of Rockford Ballet.  Visitors can also check out the Artist’s Market and enjoy family friendly activities organized by the Rogue River Artists Association.  Artists will be on site creating paintings and drawings for immediate sale.

A Big Green Egg Grill & Smoker donated by Herman’s Boy will be raffled off at 3 p.m., with all of the proceeds going to a new arts center in Rockford.  Organizers say they’ve already sold most of the 200 available raffle tickets.

My Town Rockford: Grillapalooza 2014 to benefit new arts center

My Town Rockford: Grillapalooza 2014 to benefit new arts center

ROCKFORD, Mich.--  Get ready to fire up those grills, as the annual Grillapalooza returns to Rockford May 3.

Hosted by Herman’s Boy Coffee Ranch, the event begins at 10 a.m. and will feature grilling demonstrations, food samples and performances by a range of local artists.  This year’s Grillapalooza will showcase the Rockford Community orchestra, band and choir, the Rogue River Artists, the Rogue River Community Theatre Company, the North Kent Camera Club and the School of Rockford Ballet.  Visitors can also check out the Artist’s Market and enjoy family friendly activities organized by the Rogue River Artists Association.  Artists will be on site creating paintings and drawings for immediate sale.

A Big Green Egg Grill & Smoker donated by Herman’s Boy will be raffled off at 3 p.m., with all of the proceeds going to a new arts center in Rockford.  Organizers say they’ve already sold most of the 200 available raffle tickets.

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:

Play celebrating life and works of William Shakespeare on stage April 11-12 at Kent Theatre

Play celebrating life and works of William Shakespeare on stage April 11-12 at Kent Theatre

In celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday 450 years ago this month, a play celebrating his life and works will be presented this weekend at Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs.

“Shakespeare: An Evening with the Bard’’ consists of vignettes of comedy and drama with music interspersed throughout the two-act play.

“Shakespeare is synonymous with theater and great writing,’’ said Director Patricia Rose, of Rockford. “Those not exposed to his works will come away with a new appreciation of his brilliance.’’

Presented by Actors’ del Arte Ensemble of West Michigan, it opens Friday, April 11 at 8 p.m. Two shows are planned for Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $4 for students. Plays will be presented at Kent Theatre, 8 N. Main St. in Cedar Springs.

More than a dozen stories will unfold, including scenes from Shakespeare classics such as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet.

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

My Town: Seed Library now open to greenthumbs

LOWELL, Mich.—Spring is here, which means the Kent District Library has officially opened its Seed Library at 13 branches.

Patrons can visit the library to “borrow” up to three packets of heirloom seeds for their garden.  People who take seed packets are asked to save seeds from the plants they grow and return them in late summer or fall for someone else to use next year.

The library is also accepting any heirloom variety seeds gardeners want to add to the library.  For more information, visit the library’s website.

Participating branches include those in Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Grandville, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Wyoming.

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

My Town: Nominations sought for Heart of West Michigan United Way awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Heart of West Michigan United Way is seeking nominations for its inaugural GIVE, ADVOCATE and VOLUNTEER awards.

The awards are meant to celebrate nonprofits, companies and people who have made a difference in the community.  The GIVE Award goes to a company that has displayed generosity within the community, and created a culture of giving within its organization last year.

The ADVOCATE Award honors a person or nonprofit organization who leads and works with people to improve the health and wellness of the community, leaving a lasting impact on Kent County.

The VOLUNTEER Award goes to a company that promotes and provides year-round opportunities for employees to volunteer within their community, improving Kent County.