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My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

My Town: Finding free meals while school is out

School is out, leaving many children from low-income families without meals during the summer months.

That’s where the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service program comes in. The program provides nutritious meals to people 18 years of age or younger for free.  All participants need to do is show up.

There are hundreds of participating locations, including places in Walker, Grand Rapids North, Grand Rapids West, Grand Rapids South, Grand Rapids Central, Grandville, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Kentwood, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Montague and Greenville. You can find the full list on the state website here.

My Town EGR: City closer to eliminating privacy fences

My Town EGR: City closer to eliminating privacy fences

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—East Grand Rapids is one step closer to eliminating privacy fences in front yards.

On Monday, June 16, the city commission approved amending the fencing ordinance to limit front yard fences and walls to three feet in height and 50 percent opaqueness.   City Clerk Karen Brower says commissioners asked that swimming pool fencing regulations be added to the amendment before its second reading, which will likely take place July 7.  City commissioners are expected to vote on the amendment that same night.

For more information, you can find the entire proposed fencing ordinance amendment in the city commission’s agenda packet here.

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

My Town: How to bridge the summer learning loss gap

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (National Heritage Academies)—Every child will lose a portion of the academic growth they experienced this school year during the summer break; It’s called summer learning loss. The problem is becoming so apparent the National Summer Learning Association has designated Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day.

“It is so easy for students to slip into a summertime routine that doesn’t involve reading, writing, or using their math skills,” said Ridge Park Charter Academy Principal Emory Wyckoff. “We are challenging our students to set aside time each day to devote to a book or write about a summer experience they have enjoyed. Summer should be fun and educational.”

Wyckoff has some tips to help parents curb the summer slide:

My Town EGR: Concerts in The Park return June 17

My Town EGR: Concerts in The Park return June 17

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Music will fill the air once again at John Collins Park, starting Tuesday, June 17.

The Concerts In The Park series returns to the park at 7 p.m., when Rebekah Rhys takes the stage.  Rhys’ style is pop rock with folk influence, similar to Natalie Merchant.  You can find the entire lineup for this year’s series here.

Concerts In The Park are is free.  The series is sponsored by United Bank of Michigan.  Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner and blanket or lawn chair. Due to construction on Lakeside Drive, drivers will need to seek alternate parking.  If inclement weather occurs, performances may be cancelled.  To find out the status of a concert, call (616) 940-4800 ext. 300.

My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

MUSKEGON, Mich.— Grab a rod and head out onto the big lake this weekend for Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend.

On June 7 and 8, the state will be waiving fishing license fees.  Free Fishing Weekend applies to residents and out-of-state visitors on inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish.  All fishing regulations still apply.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, our state offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams. To find inland lakes in your area, click here.

My Town EGR: Entire lineup released for 2014 Concerts in the Park series

My Town EGR: Entire lineup released for 2014 Concerts in the Park series

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Organizers are releasing the entire lineup for this year’s Concerts In The Park series, sponsored by United Bank of Michigan.

Rebekah Rhys will be the first act to take the stage June 10 at John Collins Park.  Her 7 p.m. performance kicks off a summer filled with free musical performances.  The entire schedule is as follows.

My Town EGR: Concerts In The Park first act announced

My Town EGR: Concerts In The Park first act announced

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Organizers are announcing the first act for this year’s Concerts In The Park series, sponsored by United Bank of Michigan.

Rebekah Rhys will take the stage June 10 at John Collins Park.  Her 7 p.m. performance kicks off a summer filled with free musical performances.  The remaining family-friendly concerts will take place June 17, June 24, July 1, July and July 15.

 Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chair and picnic basket for the performances. No barbecues, grilling, open fires or alcohol will be allowed.  Due to construction on Lakeside Drive, drivers will need to seek alternate parking.  If inclement weather occurs, performances may be cancelled.  To find out the status of a concert, call (616) 940-4800 ext. 300.