Hundreds of Grand Rapids students participating in canoeing program this week

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A thousand students with Grand Rapids Public Schools are getting a chance at a unique hands-on learning experience near Riverside Park this week.

Students are getting out of the classroom and into a canoe to learn about the environment around them.  It gives them a chance to do something different and learn in a new way.

This is the second year GRPS has enlisted help from the city and other groups to pull the event off. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss says seeing kids interested in and engaged in this experience is exactly what they hoped for.

"So this is another example of hands on learning or experiential learning," Bliss said. "Getting kids out of the classroom and into nature."

She believes it's important to make these types of experiences happen for kids, including some who had never been out on the water before.

"Out of the group of kids I was with, a couple of them were anxious and didn't want to get on the canoe," Bliss said. "They ended up finding the courage and getting on and having a great experience."

Canoeing sessions will continue for the next few days  with around 1,100 students taking part altogether.

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