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My Town: Author of “How to Walk to School” addresses need for strong neighborhood schools | Community Spirit

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My Town: Author of “How to Walk to School” addresses need for strong neighborhood schools
My Town: Author of “How to Walk to School” addresses need for strong neighborhood schools

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Jacqueline von Edelberg will tell the story of how she and other neighborhood moms galvanized their community to transform a struggling neighborhood school into one of Chicago’s best at an event on Thursday, March 12 at Congress Elementary School.

Von Edelberg co-authored the book “How to Walk to School: Blueprint for a Neighborhood School Renaissance,” which inspired East Hills Loves Congress and the Congress neighborhood/school initiative.

There will be a panel discussion following her presentation. Panel members include: Bridget Cheney, Congress Elementary principal; Jono Klooster, parent; Dustin Dwyer, Fulton Heights resident and Michigan Public Radio reporter; and Elizabeth Hoffman Ransford, co-chair of East Hills Council of Neighbors. Free dinner and child care will be provided. Von Edelberg will also be available to sign copies of her book, which will be available for purchase at the event. A preview of von Edelberg’s story is available at http://youtu.be/59pbjTY08ac.

A livestream of the event will also be available at www.grps.org for those unable to attend.

The Congress neighborhood/school initiative was included in the Grand Rapids Public Schools Transformation Plan, which was implemented in 2012. As a result of the initiative, Congress Elementary has seen significant gains. Congress posted the highest MAP student growth test scores last school year and ranks in the 86th national percentile. Additionally, the school has one of the best attendance rates in the district, is among the top schools for safety and low suspension rates, has the first ever community-school garden, and much more.  

  • WHAT: Presentation by Jacqueline von Edelberg, co-author of “How to Walk to School”, followed by a panel discussion
  • WHEN:  Thursday, March 12, 2015, 5:30 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: Congress Elementary, 940 Baldwin St SE