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My Town GR South: Civic Theater troupe visits Excel Charter Academy

My Town GR South: Civic Theater troupe visits Excel Charter Academy

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies)-- To celebrate March is Reading Month, Excel Charter Academy invited the Grand Rapids Civic Theater traveling troupe to perform No Dogs Allowed on Tuesday, March 18.

The musical is adapted from Sonia Manzano’s best-selling children’s book of the same name. The traveling troupe’s goal is to promote theatre in the community.

Excel Charter Academy is a free public charter school serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

My Town GR South: Affordable Care Act Sign Up Day March 29

My Town GR South: Affordable Care Act Sign Up Day March 29

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—People who still haven’t enrolled for health care coverage will have one last chance during an event at River City Scholars Academy Saturday, March 29.

Affordable Care Act Sign Up Day  will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Members of the Cherry Street Health Clinic will hold two information sessions to go over the Affordable Care Act and enrollment options.  Those sessions will be at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visitors can also sign up for coverage at the school, located at 944 Evergreen Street SE.

The deadline for enrolling for health coverage is March 31.  Those who do not sign up will face a federal penalty.

My Town GR South: Calvin College earns spot in scholars program

My Town GR South: Calvin College earns spot in scholars program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Calvin College)-- Calvin College is one of just 12 institutions nationwide to receive a 2014 Beckman Scholars Program, which is awarded to colleges who are committed to quality undergraduate research.

“This is a very notable statement that what’s going on in chemistry, biochemistry and biology at Calvin is comparable to the best that’s going on anywhere else in the country,” said Carolyn Anderson, a chemistry professor at Calvin College.

The $104,000 award—funded by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation—will fund in-depth research experiences for four students in biology, biochemistry or chemistry over the next three years. Each of the scholars will pursue an independent research project under the direction of a faculty mentor. The goal of the program is to develop future leaders in the areas of scientific research and innovation and to prepare students well for graduate school.

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

LANSING, Mich.—Two community leaders from West Michigan are joining a Michigan authority focused on forging relationships between municipalities and school districts.

On Thursday, Governor Snyder announced the appointment of Al Vanderberg  and to the Michigan Municipal Services Authority and its executive committee,  as well as the appointment of Stacie Behler as chair of the executive committee and the MMSA board.  The MMSA encourages cooperation between communities in school district, overseeing services they can share.

“Increasing collaboration between local units of government and getting the most out of citizens' tax dollars remains an important focus as we continue to reinvent government,” Snyder said. “I appreciate the willingness of both Al and Stacie to serve in these important roles in that effort.” 

My Town GR South: Calvin College prepares for new provost

My Town GR South: Calvin College prepares for new provost

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  An alumnus who has dedicated 25 years to Calvin College will take over as the school’s provost.

Last month, a 11-person search committee announced its recommendation for the next provost: Cheryl Brandsen.  Brandsen is currently Calvin’s dean of social sciences and contextual disciplines.  She’s also 1979 graduate of Calvin College.

"It's that notion of calling that I take seriously," said Brandsen. "I was given a lot of encouragement to throw my name in the ring from people for whom I have a lot of respect. So, I entered the process as much for me to see how I fit with this role as for the college to think about how I fit with this role. And this is how it ended."

President Michale Le Roy, who co-chaired the search committee, said the pool of  executive-level applicants were the most competitive he’s witnessed, with more than 150 nominations and 28 qualified applicants.

My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

My Town: Grand Rapids gets new Poet Laureate

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Calvin College professor will take over as the Poet Laureate of greater Grand Rapids starting next month.

During his three-year term, Professor L.S. Klatt will be the ambassador for poetry, creating programs and projects to foster public interest in the art. 

Klatt remarked, “The great vitality of a city is its speech, and yet much of what we say to one another is reckless, superfluous, or worn out. It is the task of poetry to resuscitate the tongue. As Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, I want to help us return again to the poems that articulate our aspirations and carry our cultural memory. In an age of competing discourses, I want to unify us once more around the possibilities and pleasures of words. That is what poetry has to offer.”

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Consider the statistics: Only 15 percent of female college freshmen go into STEM fields, and only .4 percent enter computer science fields as opposed to three percent of men.

And while some believe these numbers may be caused by stereotypes that steer women away from science and technology fields, others believe that women simply aren't being exposed to the right opportunities at young ages.