Wise Up! Get the Word Out on this New Scholarship.

Students want to be recognized.  They NEED to be recognized.  Often, of course, they’re recognized for the wrong sort of things.  Of course, there’s a lot of GREAT things kids get recognized for too.  But, not too often are teachers, counselors, and fellow students able to recognize kids in a way that provides tangible opportunities too.  Not too often are the talented – but not THAT talented” – recognized.  Until now.

Local businessman Al Hight, who spent a long and productive career in the military shared with me that he wasn’t on the “straight and narrow” growing up.  But someone invested in him and helped him when he really needed it.  After he graduated he enlisted into the military … and flourished.  What he promised himself was that some day, when he had the means and opportunity, he would give back to the community that gave back to him.  Now he’s putting his money where his mouth (and mind) is.  Al is the singular driving force behind Wise Up, a student life recognition scholarship aimed at noticing student achievement in a broad range of categories including: Academics, Athletics, Leadership, Visual Arts, Performing Arts/Theater, Music, and Community Service.

Hight spoke at Calvin College during the West Michigan Counseling Association Fall Conference.  As he shared about this inaugural award, the goal is for students to look for and nominate their fellow classmates who they think stand out in one (or more) of the categories above.  This isn’t necessarily a scholarship for the “usual suspects”: the coolest, smartest, or most gifted.  Of course, they’re eligible just like everyone else.  But this award is meant to celebrate the hard-working, well-rounded students.

Counselors need to sign up their schools to participate and will meet with Wise Up representatives on how to enlist and pare down student nominations.  Students from around the county will be selected to attend the awards gala held at Frederick Meijer Gardens on March 21, where 7 students will be selected (one for each category) to receive a $5,000 scholarship for furthering their education and talents.

Registration for the scholarships are now open and nominations run through January.  For more information, visit wiseupawards.org.

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Circle Your Calendars!

TEACHERS IN INDUSTRY (Thursday, October 12, 8:00-3:00 pm)
Our first Teachers IN Industry event of the 2017-18 school year is now open!  Come with us as we see 3 different sides of the construction industry. We’ll visit an actual job site, meet with a company at their corporate office to see what happens behind the scenes, and hear/see how a local educational institution trains people for work in the industry.  Don’t miss this event! We’re aiming for 60 people to attend the only TII event this fall!

Ever hear students ask, “When are we going to use this in the real world?” Have you ever wondered, in turn, “How do I best answer that, because I’m not really sure?” If you answered yes to either question, then Teachers in Industry (TII) this is the “field trip” for you! Teachers, counselors, and administrators alike are all welcome! And teachers, we’ll pay for substitute reimbursement, up to $100! To sign up for TII, or for more information about the event, look them up on the PD Hub under Career Readiness, or visit us on our website. If you still need some convincing, check out our promo video!

STEM Network (Wednesday & Thursday, November 1 & 2, 8:00-3:00 pm)
Looking for a way to get your STEM fix? Join us for our BRAND NEW network – the STEM Network. We’ve packed so much stuff into this program that we had to make it two days! Participate in a series of interactive experiences under the theme “Connect, Explore, Achieve” where teachers visit local businesses to explore how they use educational content in industry; work with like-minded peers to develop engaging, standards-based real-world lessons that enable student success; and learn what other districts are doing in the world of STEM. This isn’t just a training; this is an EVENT.  Don’t miss out!

To register for the STEM Network, find it on the PD HubOr, reach out to one of the STEM Consultants, Ebiri (ebirinkugba@kentisd.org) or Rick (rickmushing@kentisd.org) for more information.

Girls Rock IT!

Girls Rock IT!

With the goals of breaking stereotypes and exciting girls about interesting opportunities in Information Technology, the Michigan Council of Women in Technology will be offering a FREE day of interactive fun and learning!

Girls in grades 4-8 will be given opportunities for hands-on experiments led by some of the area’s leading computer and information technology experts. Please join us for breakfast and information session about the expanding world of technology careers as students learn a variety of technology skills as they rotate through different sessions.

Visit this site for more information and registration! 

WGVU KidsFare — A Healthy Recipe Challenge

Need a fun activity to encourage your students to make healthy choices? Encourage them to participate in WGVU’s Healthy Recipe Challenge! The goal is to create an original recipe for an appetizer, main course or dessert. This is a great way to encourage informational writing and the winners get to participate in a cook off downtown at the Secchia Culinary Institute – how fun!

Please check out this link for lots more information and also the submission form.

Let’s get cookin’!

Are You Curious About STEM?

If you’re curious about STEM education, what it means, and what you should know; you may be interested in our upcoming STEM Network. Read on…

Connect. Explore. Achieve. This two-day, interactive experience will give classroom teachers the opportunity to explore how area businesses use your content areas in industry. Draw connections between what you’ve seen and how you can teach your standards. Develop relevant, real world lessons you can use with your students to help them achieve success. Use group dynamics with like-minded teachers to build engaging content tied to the world of work. Come see what other districts are doing in STEM and imagine what the future can hold for your students. A portion of each event will involve a trip to a local business to observe and glean inspiration from current business practices. Sign up at the Kent ISD PD Hub (search for course number 17CR1101).

Two meetings (2 days each) are planned for the 17-18 School Year:

November 1-2; March 21-22 8am-3pm

Outcomes will include:
Educators will discover resources that can be used in their classroom(s)
Educators are part of a support system that encourages use of discovered resources
Educators consistently connect their classroom content to the world of work; answering the question, “When am I ever going to use this?”

Summer learning is important!

There are many wonderful opportunities for students in Kent County to extend their understandings and learn more about their own capabilities. Below you will find a listing of camps (BIG list linked at the very bottom) that ALL students can engage with. Please feel free to share this post with the parents and students in your circles, let’s keep those brains moving in the warm summer months ahead.

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DC2 (Design. Discover. Collaborate. Create)
June 27-28 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

Grand Valley University (Seidman Building – Downtown Campus)

DESIGNED FOR BOYS AND GIRLS ENTERING GRADES 5-6 in Fall 2017

COST: $25 per student

Led by at team of local K -12 educators, students will work in small groups to collaboratively tackle problems that connect to both their lives and the world around them, answering questions like:

  • How might we redesign our recess experience?
  • How might we re-purpose scrap material from a local manufacturer?
  • How might we re-engineer a classroom to better meet our needs as students?

The camp will also include local mentors from industry and high school student coaches. There will be opportunities for students to engineer solutions in a ‘maker’s space’ as they prototype and test their ideas. This is a great way for kids to stretch their thinking muscles this summer in a fun, collaborative, creative way as they harness the innovator within them. Visit this page to see a flyer and  this page to learn more/register!

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CAMP INFINITY
July 10-13, 8:30 AM-3:30 PM

Kent Innovation High School (1655 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)

DESIGNED FOR GIRLS ENTERING GRADES 5-8 in Fall 2017

COST: $100 per student – scholarships available.

Camp Infinity is a four day summer technology camp for girls entering 5th to 8th grade that introduces technology as fun and fulfilling and inspires the pursuit of technology education. MCWT Foundation created it to address the primary reasons girls lose interest in technology: confidence, social relevance, and social (peer) acceptance. Visit this page for more information!

SUMMER LEARNING FOR ALL! 

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Finally, for a listing of MANY other summer learning opportunities in our area, visit this link.