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My Town Kalamazoo: Attractions offer free admission deal during May

My Town Kalamazoo: Attractions offer free admission deal during May

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Enjoy some of Kalamazoo’s top attractions for free next month, as the Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange returns. 

The program is open to members of The Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Nature Center or Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.  Throughout the month of May, these five organizations will team up to welcome each others’ members. Each attraction will also be offering additional activities, however there may be additional costs for special activities and programs.

Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange was created last year as a way to celebrate the region’s cultural richness while introducing community members to new experiences. 

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

My Town: 3 ways to inspire your online learner

Whether learning online or in a traditional classroom, keeping your student motivated is important—it offers the opportunity for innovation and powerful learning experiences.

Alexandra Negrete, a teacher at statewide virtual public high school Great Lakes Cyber Academy, shares three tips to help challenge students to reach their highest potential.

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan raises awareness through random acts of kindness

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan raises awareness through random acts of kindness

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day that is officially observed by the United Nations and will be celebrated on Saturday, March 21, 2015. WDSD was established to help raise awareness of exactly what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how those with Down syndrome are an important part of our communities.

To celebrate, the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan will be committing random acts of kindness on March 21 in three West Michigan communities:  Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo.  Random acts of kindness are selfless actions performed with the intention of assisting or lifting the spirits of a stranger.  Some examples include paying for someone’s fuel at a gas station, baking cookies for a local fire station, or handing out bubble gum in a public park. 

Red Cross Reminder: Check smoke alarms when clocks spring forward

Red Cross Reminder: Check smoke alarms when clocks spring forward

---NEWS RELEASE--

Daylight Saving Time, the weekend of March 7-8, when everyone turns their clocks ahead, the American Red Cross reminds them to also take these steps to make sure their household is prepared for emergencies.

The Red Cross and the Muskegon Heights Fire Department have formed a partnership for preparedness and prevention to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed. On March 7-8 teams will be canvassing Muskegon Heights neighborhoods from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Please contact (231) 733-8893 to schedule a home visit.

“It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready,” said La Forice Nealy, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Region. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take these steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.”

My Town: Kalamazoo marks a decade of keeping 'The Promise’

My Town: Kalamazoo marks a decade of keeping 'The Promise’

---NEWS RELEASE---

This year, "The Kalamazoo Promise" community -- where anonymous donors put college education within the reach of every child here -- is celebrating a decade and nearly 4,000 scholarships thus far.

Kalamazoo Public Schools is the district where all high school graduates can count on full-tuition scholarships to any community college, public university or, new this year, a select group of private colleges in Michigan.

The Kalamazoo Promise is the famed initiative that sparked a national movement. Today, more than four dozen communities around the country have sought community transformation through free tuition strategies modeled at some level on the Kalamazoo effort. Most recently, President Barack Obama launched an initiative promoting free tuition for community colleges.

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.A group of real estate professionals have come together to create a service that is giving back to those who serve the public in the Grand Rapids area.

"U Deserve" has brought together several professionals who are dedicated to lowering costs associated with buying, selling or refinancing a home for active military members, veterans, firefighters, police officers, EMS providers, health care professionals and educators.

“Growing up with a father who served in the National Guard and as a police officer, I was able to see first-hand how much public service individuals give back to their communities,” said Kevin Wildman, founder of U Deserve.  “U Deserve is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those individuals.”