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My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

My Town: Pizza to help pets Aug. 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary invite the community to help rescued cats Wednesday, Aug. 27 by picking up a pizza.

Print a flyer from Crash's Landing's website and present it to employees at any of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations Wednesday to donate 20 percent of your total bill to Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary.  The benefit runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 27 and includes dine-in, carry out or delivery orders.

The flyer has the list and addresses of the 14 participating Pizza Hut locations in the Grand Rapids area.

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!

Cooking with Kal: Roll out the zucchini bread

Cooking with Kal: Roll out the zucchini bread

This is the season- zucchini is growing wild and people with gardens can barely keep up with the harvest of this vegetable.

I got a large one last week from Denise, here at work, and could not use all of it right away, but I did process and freeze it for future use. I have never done that before but thought, what have I got to lose? Hopefully, when the snow is flying and I feel like baking zucchini-apple bread, I will be all set.

In the meantime, the following recipe is wonderful. I made it recently but did not have any apples in the house, so I substituted with an approximate amount of crushed pineapple. I did not have any walnuts like I usually use, so I used toasted and salted sunflower seeds. I also added a bag of dried cranberries. It's easy to make changes in recipes, especially if you have made it before. I hope people will give this recipe a try; it is good and it makes three loaves, so you will have plenty to share or freeze. Enjoy!

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: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

My Town: Our Kitchen Table improves lives through the power of plants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A leafy green initiative to improve the lives of Grand Rapids families is leading to a plant free-for-all this weekend.

On Saturday, July 26, Our Kitchen Table will be giving away a variety of vegetable plants to those who rely on the United Church Outreach Ministry and the Asian West Michigan Association for support.  Kale, collars, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, chard, lettuce, cabbage and Brussel sprouts will all be available on a first come, first serve basis. The plant pick-up will take place at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave. SE from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

My Town: GRPS looking for exchange student hosts

My Town: GRPS looking for exchange student hosts

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids Public Schools are looking for families who would like to host international exchange students during the next school year.

Several students from overseas will be attending school in the fall, as part of the districts efforts to expand its global education program. The following teenagers are need places to stay:

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: