MUSKEGON, Mich. (April 30, 2014)– A local company is partnering up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to offer students an experience to see something many of them may never have before, Lake Michigan.
Over the past week and a half, dozens of elementary school students made the trip out to Hoffmaster Park in Muskegon with the costs covered by Open Systems Technologies.
It all started after the CEO of OST, whose headquarters is on Grand Rapids’ West Side, reached out to school leaders at Grand Rapids Public Schools.
After brainstorming ideas on how to get involved they learned of the chance to provide these students with an opportunity they may not have otherwise.
It was a day far beyond what could just be taught in the classroom. We tagged along with one the classes Wednesday, fifth graders from Harrison Park. Their teacher Ann Beals says it was great to see their expressions and hear their comments during the day.
“We can watch videos, we can talk about it, bring people in about the dunes and conversation and the importance of keeping dunes how they are, but that’s where we teach everything right in the classroom,” said Beals. “It’s so fun to watch them, many of them had never seen a dune; they thought it was a little mound of sand like they see on the playground,” she said.
“Some of them looked at Lake Michigan and thought it was the ocean, it’s so cool to watch their expressions,” said Beals. An adventure these kids sure won’t forget once they get back to the classroom.
“It’s just so great to take these inner city kids and get them completely out of their element.”
The company says they may increase involvement in the future with GRPS but first wanted to focus on the West Side and maybe even inspire other local businesses to get involved.