Tag Archives: child development and education

24 students receive Teachers of Tomorrow scholarships

The Child Development and Education Department celebrated the Teachers of Tomorrow scholarship winners with an awards dinner last week.

Congratulations to all the winners:

  • Averie Allen.
  • Areli Berlanga.
  • Taiylor Camp.
  • Valerie Cassell.
  • Jennifer Cooper.
  • Maria Cruz.
  • David DeVries.
  • Carlee Devrou.
  • Sydnee Ellison.
  • Dennis Gross.
  • Kaelynn Kieboom.
  • Chelsea McCrum.
  • Maria-Elena Pimentel.
  • Anna Reynolds.
  • Katie Schumann.
  • Jessica Smith.
  • Rachele Smith.
  • Amanda Stuart.
  • Caitlin Tejeda.
  • Kara Tonneberger.
  • Nathan Townsend.
  • Adam Warners.
  • McKenna Whipple.
  • Alaina Wierenga.

Advice from Alumni: Make use of experts

Alejandra Ledesma
Alejandra Ledesma

Alejandra Ledesma graduated from GRCC this spring with plans to transfer to Ferris State University in pursuit of her dream of being a second-grade teacher. Her advice is to make use of the “experts” at GRCC: “At GRCC, you have the option to talk to a professor or drop into a class within any program you are considering, and I recommend you take advantage of this option! GRCC experts coached me in choosing my major and then assisted me to make the best schedules and plan to reach every goal I’ve set while balancing all that is a priority to me – family, school, work and life.”

GRCC In the News, 8-10-17

Free play & learn groups launching to get more kids kindergarten-ready

Aug. 10, 2017; MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – First Steps Kent and Grand Rapids Community College are partnering in an initiative help more children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed.

KISD students can earn associates degree tuition free

Aug. 9, 2017; The Lowell Ledger

Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) students are now given the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and a specialized associates degree tuition free in five years through a hands-on early college program, Launch U.

Early/Middle College is a career focus type of program that ultimately prepares students to go directly into the workforce or to continue on with school, said Ron Caniff, superintendent of the KISD. For the extra year of high school status, students will earn 60 or more college credits through Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) while their peers may have only upwards of 30 credits.

Culinary school to host pastry competition tryouts

Aug. 9, 2017; Grand Rapids Business Journal

The kitchens at a local college culinary institute will be powdered with the sugar of expert pastry chefs next week.

Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education will host tryouts on Aug. 14 and 15 for the U.S. team in an international pastry competition.

Favorite Family Flavors: Bringing Tradition to the Table

Aug. 9, 2017; Women’s Lifestyle

You know you’ve entered a special restaurant when the aromas capture your senses. Basil, oregano, cinnamon, tomatoes, onions, wine and garlic drift through the air at Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen; a blend of corn, garlic, onions and spices permeate Lindo Mexico’s new modern restaurant; a rich broth filled with special meats and steeped with basil, ginger root, cinnamon, onions and other tantalizing spices is one menu item that will light your fire at PHO 616, the newest restaurant in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.

… One dollar from every Restaurant Week meal sold is donated by the participating restaurants to the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education Student Scholarship Fund at GRCC, providing financial support to up-and-coming chefs and restaurant staff.

First Steps Kent, GRCC launch partnership to provide community play groups

A woman uses play money to make a pretend purchase from four children playing store with a toy cash register. The sign hanging from the ceiling says "Burton Veterinarian Clinic."First Steps Kent and GRCC are teaming up to provide community play groups in eight locations throughout Grand Rapids.

First Steps Kent, a Kent County nonprofit organization that works to strengthen and coordinate early childhood services, will work with GRCC’s Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory to organize the weekly play groups for children ages 2 to 5.

Parents, caregivers and children will take part in the free play groups with intentionally designed activities to prepare the children for success.  The parents and caregivers will learn about child development, early reading and positive discipline, said JaneAnn Benson, director of GRCC’s Early Childhood Learning Laboratory.

“We are excited to work in partnership with First Steps Kent and Grand Rapids Public Schools in sharing early childhood resources and activities throughout the area,” she said. “The play groups will help children build literacy skills while having fun. It will be a wonderful opportunity for caregivers to learn from us — and from each other.”

First Steps Kent started the Early Learning Communities playgroups as a demonstration project, said Annemarie Valdez, president and CEO of First Steps Kent.

“Since starting with FSK, Early Learning Communities has provided a quality early learning experience for many children, along with their parents and caregivers,” she said.  “We are thrilled to have Grand Rapids Community College as a partner to steer this effort going forward. True partnerships such as this benefit our children and the whole community.”

The groups will meet for 90 minutes every week during the academic year at:

  • Aberdeen Elementary, 928 Aberdeen St. NE.
  • Burton Elementary, 2133 Buchanan Ave. SW.
  • Coit Creative Arts Academy, 617 Coit Ave. NE.
  • Congress Elementary, 940 Baldwin St. SE.
  • The Grand Rapids Library’s main branch at 111 Library St. NE.
  • Harrison Park Elementary, 1440 Davis Ave. NW.
  • Madison Square Church, 1441 Madison Ave. SE.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Academy, 645 Logan St. SE.

GRCC President Bill Pink said the play groups would not be possible without cooperation from many community organizations.

“We are grateful to Grand Rapids Public Schools, the library and Madison Square Church for providing the space to help Grand Rapids children learn and grow,” he said. “All of us benefit when our youngest learners feel confident and successful in the classroom.”

Student Success Story: Alejandra Ledesma

Alejandra Ledesma
Alejandra Ledesma

When Alejandra Ledesma decided to become a teacher, she knew where her education would start: GRCC.

“GRCC has been a significant part of my family,” she said. “While our family grew, with two beautiful daughters, my husband was still able to complete his undergraduate degree and graduate degree because of the options at GRCC through Ferris State University.

“Going to GRCC was a ‘no-brainer’ when I decided to finish my degree.”

Of course, juggling work and family along with her studies was challenging, at times, for this busy mom. When she need help and advice, she turned to her “experts”: Child Development program leader Rebecca Brinks, faculty members Tricia Siegel and Keri Davis, and preschool instructors Andrew Wolinski and Penny Folsom.

Brinks said Ledesma will be “truly an asset” to the early childhood field.

“Like many of our students, she has a lot on her plate, but she always brings enthusiasm and a positive outlook to everything she does,” Brinks said. “Her desire to learn and become the excellent preschool teacher she it has been evident both in the college classroom and with the children and families at the Early Childhood Learning Laboratory.”

Ledesma will receive her associate degree at commencement, which takes place 7 p.m. April 28 at Ford Fieldhouse, 226 Lyon St. NE. She plans to transfer to Ferris State University to earn a bachelor’s degree.

“My goal is to be a second-grade teacher, bilingual in English and Spanish, and be the difference I’ve longed to see,” she said.

GRCC In the News, 1-23-17

GRCC holds grand opening dedication, open house for new preschool facility

Jan. 21, 2017; WZZM

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Grand Rapids Community College marked the grand opening of the Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Laboratory with a dedication and community open house on Saturday.

Members in the News January 2017

Jan. 20, 2017; Merit

GRCC Replaces Nearly $590,000 in Textbooks Through Open Educational Partnerships

Through its new partnerships with the OpenStax program and other providers of free digital resources, Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has replaced almost $590,000 in textbooks with free or substantially less expensive versions. Last February, GRCC joined Rice University’s OpenStax program, which provides free, high-quality peer-reviewed textbooks. During the fall semester, more than 90 GRCC class sections used the open-educational resource (OER) texts.

Together again

Jan. 22, 2017; Lanthorn (GVSU student newspaper)

Grand Valley State University’s Sibs and Kids Weekend will be a time of reconnection for GVSU students and their families. To celebrate this annual event, GVSU will be hosting a variety of activities Friday, Jan. 27, and Saturday, Jan. 28. Most of the activities will occur in the Kirkhof Center, although a few will happen in various other campus locations, as well as off campus.

… This year’s Sibs and Kids Weekend will be hosted by the Laker Traditions team, along with assistance from organizations like Spotlight Productions and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. In addition, the Grand Rapids Community College will be partnering with the YMCA to provide volunteers for one of Saturdays main events, Night at the YMCA.

World Affairs Council of Western Michigan Announces 2017 Great Decisions Global Discussions, Expansion into Holland

Jan. 21, 2017; 24-7pressrelease.com

Global health issues, nuclear proliferation, the complexity of U.S.-Saudi and U.S.-China relations are a few of the dynamic topics being explored as the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan launches its 2017 Great Decisions Global Discussion Series.

… In addition to strong participation from World Affairs Council members and the general community, more than 100 college students will take the series through their respective political science or international departments. Local participating colleges include Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Montcalm Community College and Western Michigan University.

American Law Society Recognizes Gary P Schenk

Jan. 21, 2017; military-technologies.net

Grand Rapids, MI, January 20, 2017 (PR.com) — Gary P. Schenk is a partner at Schenk, Boncher & Rypma based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Gary’s practice focuses primarily on commercial, business, contract, and corporate law and associated litigation. His profound knowledge of commercial real estate has made him an expert advisor for both large and small business owners.

… Other notable associations and accomplishments include: serving on committees for the Grand Rapids Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan; he was a past member of the Grand Valley State University Foundation, the Grand Valley University Friends of the Arts; he is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and previously served on the Lawyer Referral Committee of the Grand Rapids Bar; additionally, he has served a term as Chairperson of the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees.

Jayhawks women’s team stifles Grand Rapids CC with tough defense

Jan. 21, 2017; Local Sports Journal (Muskegon)

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Community College women’s basketball team didn’t lose any defensive intensity over the two-week holiday break.

The Grand Rapids Community College Raiders will attest to that.