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My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Summer is still in full swing, and new movies are premiering every weekend.

Celebration Cinema has a few good movies this weekend that you won't want to miss. Here are my top five for this weekend:

1.) A Most Wanted Man (Rated R) - Premiers this Friday at Celebration North. This movie is about a brutally tortured immigrant who turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune. Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest. As the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity.

2.) And So It Goes (Rated PG-13) - Premieres this Friday at all Celebration locations. This movie is about a self-centered realtor who enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.

My Town Kalamazoo: Child burn survivor camp gets boost from local credit union

My Town Kalamazoo: Child burn survivor camp gets boost from local credit union

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—  Dozens of young burn survivors will enjoy summer at camp, thanks to a donation by the Educational Community Credit Union.

The ECCU handed over a check for $1,154 to the Great Lakes Burn Camp this week.  The funding will go toward activities for 60 children attending the summer session in Mattawan next month.  The camp gives children who survived traumatic burns a chance to relax, have fun and connect with one another.

The funding from ECCU was raised during a recent “pay to wear jeans week” and will be used to support camp activities.

ECCU found out about the Great Lakes Burn Camp through patron Bub Sherwood, who owns an auto repair shop in Galesburg.  Sherwood also raised nearly $9,000 for the camp by sponsoring a classic car show, raffle and other activities at the Texas Corral Restaurant Backyard BBQ on June 29.  

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $31K to volunteer groups

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $31K to volunteer groups

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of organizations are getting a financial boost from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The organization recently awarded 64 grants totaling $30,900 to nonprofits across the state.  The Volunteer Investment Program grants are aimed at encouraging volunteering within Consumers Energy by rewarding those who work or have worked for the company.  This year’s recipients include:

Kalamazoo

  • $650 to Girl Scout Junior Troop 80462 (Jim Cottrell)
  • $450 to Mattawan Consolidated Schools Battle of the Books (Hillary Hogarth)
  • $550 to United States Bowling Congress Kalamazoo Area Youth Association/Airway Lanes (Susan Searles)

Kent

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs
-------NEWS RELEASE---------KALAMAZOO, Mich. (United Way)—From early grade reading to support services for seniors, 106 programs operated by nonprofit agencies across the region are welcoming support totaling more than $7.6 million from United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR).  “Because of our incredibly generous supporters, United Way is able to fund programs that are changing lives in meaningful ways,” said Michael Larson, President and CEO of UWBCKR. “More kids will learn to read well so they can succeed in school. More families will achieve financial stability. More people will embrace healthier lifestyles. More individuals in crisis will get the help they need.”  Larson said this year’s community investments, which total $7,651,690, meets or exceeds overall support provided both locally and regionally over the past several years.