Six Grand Valley charter schools get grants for community beautification projects

Alissa Dayringer, a teacher at Reach Charter Academy, helps students add landscaping around the school.
Alissa Dayringer, a teacher at Reach Charter Academy, helps students add landscaping around the school.
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Grand Valley State University’s Charter Schools Office recently awarded school and community beautification grants to six of its authorized schools in greater Detroit. 

The newly created competitive grants provided winning schools with up to $1,500 to fund an outdoor improvement project for the school or community area near the building.

Tim Wood, special assistant to the president for charter schools, organized similar projects during his time as a principal at Northview High School and said they serve multiple purposes.

“You give students a chance to work with adults in a non-academic setting and pull together for the betterment of the school,” Wood said.

Two of the six schools have already completed the beautification projects. Michigan Mathematics and Science Academy, in Hazel Park, restored a community baseball field, repainting the backstop and planting a garden behind it. 

Reach Charter Academy, in Roseville, built new landscaping along the school entrance sidewalks. Nearly 100 students and faculty participated in the project, building new flower beds around the flagpole and school sign.

The four remaining schools in Detroit include Detroit Enterprise Academy, Cornerstone Health High School, Henry Ford Academy: School For Creative Studies Elementary, and University Preparatory Academy Elementary (Ellen Thompson campus). These schools will complete their projects during the summer. 

The grant program is one of many offered by and funded through the university’s charter schools office throughout the year.