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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Library"

Michigan Reads! features “Do unto otters”


A children’s book about good-mannered forest creatures by Michigan author Laurie Keller has been named as the featured title in the 2015 “Michigan Reads! One State, One Children’s Book” program, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced last week.

Keller, who grew up in Muskegon and now lives on the state’s southwest side, wrote and illustrated Do Unto Otters (Henry Holt, 2007). The book tells a story of how Mr. Rabbit learns, with sage advice from Mr. Owl, to get along swimmingly with his new neighbors, the Otters, by simply treating them the same way he would want to be treated—the Golden Rule.

“Reading can be fun and entertaining while teaching us something at the same time,” State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. “Having all children reading at grade level by the end of third grade remains a top priority of the MDE.”

Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark said they will be celebrating the book this month during their weekly story time and with grades K-5 CTA students who come in for library visits throughout the month. “It’s a cool book,” said Clark.

Keller has written and illustrated a number of children’s picture books and also illustrates books for other authors. She presents on her work for children and adults at schools, libraries and other events.

The Library of Michigan (LM) coordinates “Michigan Reads!” The program is devoted to increasing early childhood literacy and pre-reading readiness. Programming, events and author visits are scheduled throughout the state in September and October. The program’s official launch is Tuesday, September 15 at the Beagle Elementary School in Grand Ledge.

Michigan Reads! is modeled after the “One Book, One Community” concept and is designed to emphasize the importance of shared reading practices with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-age children. These practices set the stage for fluent reading achievement in children as they enter school.

“This year’s Michigan Reads! program should help prompt Michigan residents of all ages reading aloud to children, inspiring a love of reading in both readers and listeners,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Do Unto Otters is a really fun way to bring children and parents together, reading and learning.”

The program is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and partners with the Library of Michigan Foundation. Additional contributions come from Jackson National Life Insurance and Macmillan Publishers.

As a result of the Institute of Museum and Library Services support, the LM will provide a hardcover copy of Do Unto Otters and programming materials to all public libraries, elementary schools, Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs across the state. In addition, Keller will tour a number of Michigan libraries and schools.

“Michigan Reads!” provides librarians, early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers with ideas to help children develop literacy skills through play-based activities. Since its inception in 2004, the program aims to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to children, to encourage family bonding through reading and to increase awareness and usage of Michigan’s libraries as excellent resources for learning.

More information about “Michigan Reads!” – including dates and locations of author visits and materials for parents, teachers and caregivers – is available at www.michigan.gov/michiganreads.

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Saying goodbye and good luck to Kelly Roach

N-Goodbye-KellyBy Donna Clark

It is with a heavy heart that the Cedar Springs Library Board, staff and patrons say goodbye to Kelly Roach after only six months as the Library’s Children’s Services Manager. Kelly hired in January 20 after closing her dream business, Alpha Omega Coffee and Games, the month before. She jumped right in to the Library environment!

In her words, “I’ve danced in front of an audience, learned an entirely new computer system, created and executed programs for the Summer Reading Program, and I’ve learned how to be creative with my ideas, working on a limited budget…all of which I will take with me throughout my career.”

Recent events turned the tide for Kelly and her family.  Their house sold, and due to unforeseen circumstances, they ended up renting a place in Grand Rapids. In Kelly’s words, “It really comes down to the drive and wanting to be a part of the community that I live in.”  Who can argue with that?

So, we have to let her go and make her mark on Grand Rapids, the same way she came to Cedar Springs. She certainly did become a part of our community—owning a business on Main Street, helping restart our Chamber of Commerce and serving as secretary, hosting book clubs, moms’ day out, gaming events for homeschoolers, students and adults, and serving that great cup of coffee with a smile and a sincere interest in everyone she served both great and small.

Good luck, Kelly.  You have a lot of friends in Cedar Springs.

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Summer reading carnival next week


Last year’s summer reading carnival was loads of fun! Get ready for this year’s celebration in the park next Wednesday, August 5, from 2-5 p.m.

Last year’s summer reading carnival was loads of fun! Get ready for this year’s celebration in the park next Wednesday, August 5, from 2-5 p.m.

Wednesday, August 5, 2-5 p.m., Morley Park


Last week’s summer reading program with Master Arts Street Theatre was just one of many fun programs that have been part of the Cedar Springs Public Library’s offerings this summer.

It’s been a great summer of reading and special programs at the Cedar Springs Library, but there is still a grand celebration to attend and prizes to be given away!

The Cedar Springs Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is heading into its Grand Finale Reading Celebration Park Party on Wednesday, August 5 from 2-5 p.m., at Morley Park. Beyond the normal fun offerings the Library provides, such as music by Deb Eadie; the Double “K” Petting Barn and Animal Junction 4H Club; popcorn by Independent Bank; a game by Metron of Cedar Springs; a waterslide and four games by Diana Merritt; Ice Cream by Country Fresh; free tours of the Museum; and the hose down by the CS Fire Department, there are two new events!

The Solon Wesleyan Church recently built a brand new Obstacle Course, complete with a climbing wall. Word has it that it takes 1-½ hours just to set it up!  Youth of all ages will enjoy this event.

We are also very excited about the free expo that the Kent County Sheriff’s Department is hosting in the parking lot area on the east side of the Cedar Springs Museum! They will have on hand their Mounted Police (yes, horses), an armored car (you can’t believe how thick and heavy that vehicle is), a Police Robot (wow!), as well as a variety of equipment they use everyday to keep Cedar Springs safe. The Sheriff’s Department will also be giving away two bicycles and two helmets to two lucky winners that day.

The Library will be giving away around 50 other prizes at the Park, everything from a wagon, karaoke machine, manicure, oil change, Legos, to a Kindle Fire, two bikes and a refurbished Xbox 360. You can imagine that Summer Readers have been pouring it on this summer, banking their chances to win the prize of their dreams.  This year every coupon was marked by readers with the number of the prize they wanted to win.  Reading is up. Excitement is way up.

Come to Morley Park next Wednesday, August 5 and share in a great time! A huge thank you to our local heroes who give so much every year to make this the Library’s premier program of the year! A special Hero Banner will appear in next week’s Post. You know who you are and so does your community!

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Everyday heroes at the library

Sgt. Jason Kelly explained that one of an officer’s tools is a bulletproof vest.  Post photo by J. Reed.

Sgt. Jason Kelly explained that one of an officer’s tools is a bulletproof vest. Post photo by J. Reed.

It was great week of summer reading fun at the Cedar Springs Library this past week, with programs highlighting everyday heroes and animal super powers.

Fire Chief Marty Fraser and Firefighter Stacey Velting from the Cedar Springs Fire Department showed up for preschool storytime, Wednesday, June 24. They showed the kids what firefighters look like dressed up in their turn out gear, and then the kids were able to try it on themselves. The children were also able to climb up and inspect the fire truck.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate these everyday heroes!

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoon Nature Center talked about the superpowers of animals in our own backyards. Courtesy photo.

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoon Nature Center talked about the superpowers of animals in our own backyards. Courtesy photo.

Mr. Pete from the Kalamazoo Nature Center visited educated kids and parents alike on June 24, at the family program at Cedar Springs Middle School, with the superpowers of some animals we can see in our own backyards. “He started off with the tale of Charlie the Caterpillar, aka Double Identity, and taught us about the beaver, Master Builder, the turkey culture, Super Stomach, and more!” said Kelly Roach, who is in charge of the children’s programming, at the library. “And we taught him what a great community Cedar Springs is with our record attendance!” The program was attended by 188 kids and parents.

Preschoolers got to try on firefighter equipment. Courtesy photo.

Preschoolers got to try on firefighter equipment. Courtesy photo.

On Tuesday, June 29, Sgt. Jason Kelly, and Deputy Jason VanDyke, of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s Cedar Springs Unit, taught kids in fourth through sixth grade about being a police officer. Sgt. Kelly talked to the kids about becoming a police officer, what the physical training is like, the kinds of tools and weapons they use, and more. He and Dep. VanDyke allowed the kids to get hands-on and try out some of their tools, like touching a bullet-proof vest, checking out handcuffs, talking through a megaphone, putting on a gas mask, lifting a police shield, etc. They also got the chance to sit in a police cruiser and switch on the lights. It was a great way for kids to become acquainted with our own police officers. A big thank you goes out to these everyday heroes who help keep us safe!

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The Poppy Lady


MaryAnn Yuncker dressed as The Poppy Lady for story time on May 27, at the Cedar Springs Library.

MaryAnn Yuncker dressed as The Poppy Lady for story time on May 27, at the Cedar Springs Library.

A special lady shared one of her favorite books with families at preschool story time at the Cedar Springs Library on May 27.

Local American Legion Auxiliary Past Department President MaryAnn Yuncker bought one of her favorite children’s books highlighting American veterans, “The Poppy Lady” by Deborah Crane, to read and donate to the Library.

The book is the inspiring story of Moina Belle Michael. Moina was inspired by the poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae, In Flanders Fields, that spoke of the poppies growing on the battlefields where they had buried soldiers during World War I. Against all odds, and in a day when women had few rights and opportunities, Moina almost singlehandedly launched a national campaign to establish the red poppy as the symbol of sacrifice and courage of America’s soldiers. Sacrificing her own personal life, Moina helped individual soldiers in many ways. Thus the American Legion auxiliary Red Poppy Program was established.

MaryAnn dressed up in late 1800’s attire and, as you can see in the photo, she very much resembles Moina Michael in body and spirit.

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Program helps kids become money smart

Bank teller Genda Farnsworth working with kids on their piggy banks during the money smart program at the Cedar Springs Library. Courtesy photo.

Bank teller Genda Farnsworth working with kids on their piggy banks during the money smart program at the Cedar Springs Library. Courtesy photo.

The Cedar Springs Library partnered with ChoiceOne bank and the Kent County MSU Extension to educate preschoolers about money on April 18 and April 22. Age-appropriate books, including Max and Ruby in “Bunny Money” and the Berenstein Bears in  “Dollars and Sense” were the delight of 32 children and their parents.

Every child had “Bunny Money” amounting to $10. Throughout the book, Max and Ruby spent a dollar here, a dollar there until all their dollars were gone. The children were very engaged as they spent their Bunny Money a bit at a time, handing it in to ChoiceOne Bankers Stacey Helsel and Genda Farnsworth, as Children’s Parapro Kelly Roach took them through their $10 shopping spree.

Children received gift bags from the bank, a copy of “Dollars and Sense” from MSU, and made a piggy bank to take home, along with 10 pennies each to drop in the slot on top.

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Queen and Court Sighting at the Cedar Springs Library Booth


N-LibraryRed Flannel Queen Melissa Maguire and Court Kaleigh Keech and Ellie Ovokaitys, stopped by the Cedar Springs Library booth Community Night, April 16, to see which of the library’s 25 Summer Reading Programs set for June 8-August 5 would suit their fancy as volunteers.

Each year since 2001, it has become a tradition that the Red Flannel Queen and Court would be the Library’s featured guests at one of their many programs. Courts of the past have done everything from reading stories, sharing what it’s like being Red Flannel Royalty, and helping other entertainers out with dance moves or crafts.

This year’s Queen and Court plan to help out on Opening Day of the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program, Monday, June 8, starting at noon. Normally around 600 people come to the library that day to register, get their reading logs and free ice cream and free book bags stuffed with goodies.

Double “K” Petting Barn will be there, as usual, with their cool animals, assisted by students from Animal Junction 4H Club. The Friends of the Library always say, “600 people?! Let’s have a book sale!” All funds go to build a new library in Cedar Springs! And did we mention that the Cedar Springs Fire Department will also be there?

This is one event you will not want to miss, along with the other 24 exciting programs this summer!

You will also want to save the date, August 5, Wednesday from 2-5 for the Finale Reading Celebration Carnival at Morley Park. This year the Kent County Sheriff’s Department will be in the parking lot at the Museum with their various vehicles, including an armored car, their mounted police, robot and more. Giveaways include a bike and helmets!

For more details on this year’s CS Library summer reading program, turn to our Beat the Boredom section on page 13.

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Free computer class at the CS Library


Do you wonder what a mouse is? How about a hard drive? Do you feel totally lost when the kids or grandkids start talking about [UTF-8]? URL’s and pages and sites on the Web? What is with all these commercials talking about going to their .coms? What is the difference between mail and email? Are computers just excess junk on my desk?

Join us at the Cedar Springs Library, Tuesday, April 07, from 11-noon and we will help you try and learn the answers to these questions.

Hopefully this session will help you understand why everyone seems so fascinated with these new fangled things called computers. Contact the Cedar Springs Library and 696-1910 to sign up.

Note: Please leave your cats at home—the mice are pets of the Library.

Tony Owen BS, MPA, and faculty member University of Phoenix will be facilitating this session. If there is a future session topic you would like to participate in please contact the library at 616.696.1910 to register.

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Halloween Happenings


Check out some of the fun, fall activities going on in our area for Halloween!


MCC Haunted Indoor Forest

Oct. 24, 25: Montcalm Community College Art Club hosts a Haunted Indoor Forest from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Instruction North Building, on the college’s Sidney campus. A $2 donation is suggested.

Harvest Brains at Sand Lake/Nelson Library

Oct. 25: Program for teens, at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25. Save your brains! Build a survival bag, practice your aim, and learn what it takes to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse. The library is located at 88 Eighth St., Sand Lake.

Harvest party

Oct. 25: Cedar Creek Community Church, at 2969 14 Mile RD NE Sparta, will host a harvest party on Saturday, October 25, from 5-8 p.m. There will be hayrides (using straw due to allergies), pumpkin painting, dunking for apples, cake walk, games, face painting, soup, hot dogs, popcorn, and lots of fun! All are welcome. Call 866-9829 for more info.

Pumpkin Carving and Lit Trails Walk

Oct. 25: Pumpkin/Carving and Pumpkin lit trail hike from 5-8:30 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, on Saturday, October 25. Suggested donation is $8 per person or $30 for family of four or more, including pumpkin to take home. (No one turned away for inability to pay. This donation helps keep HCNC operating.) Pumpkin carving from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and pumpkin lit walk through our spooky Enchanted Forest from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Friendly enough for your toddlers. Non scary animals will be on display in the forest, weather permitting for the mock-animals). Includes pumpkin to take home or leave at the center for the wild animals to munch on. Dress up as your favorite nature character. Open to all ages.

Trunk ‘r Treat at Courtland-Oakfield UMC 

Oct. 25: It’s our fourth annual Trunk ‘r Treat for kids of all ages. Saturday, October 25, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church, 10295 Myers Lake NE. Candy outdoors; hot dogs & baked beans indoors.

Trunk or Treat at East Nelson UMC

Oct. 25: Bring your kids and come “Trunk or Treat” at East Nelson UM Church, 9024 18 Mile Rd., Cedar Springs on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Warm up with hot chocolate and sloppy joes. Games and fun for all.

Fall Festival  

Oct. 29: Fall Festival for all ages at the Solon Center Wesleyan Church, 15671 Algoma Ave., Cedar Springs on Wednesday, October 29, from 6:30- 8 p.m. For families with children 5th grade and under. Games, prizes, snacks, boy and girl door prizes and candy, candy, candy! The church is located on Algoma, just north of 19 Mile Road.

Nightmare on Cherry Street

Oct. 30: Calling all 4th to 6th graders!  You are officially invited to come to our “Nightmare on Cherry Street” party at the Cedar Springs Library! The fun, games, and food will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 30 and go until 7:30. Registration is required, so come into the library to sign up or call 616-696-1910

Trick or Treat Trail Walk

Oct. 31: From 3-5 p.m. on Halloween, bring your kiddos by Howard Christensen Nature Center, 16290 Red Pine Dr., Kent City, to take a short walk down one of our trails to collect some candy, so we don’t get tricked!

Cedar Springs Spooktacular

Oct. 31:  The Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and churches in Cedar Springs are sponsoring the annual Main Street Halloween Spooktacular on Friday, October 31. Some of the free events include: spooky storytelling and crafts at the Cedar Springs Public Library, 4:30 p.m.; a haunted school house at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park 5-7 p.m.; a Kids Carnival, hosted by Calvary Assembly of God 5-7 p.m.; Trick-or-Treating at local businesses between 5-7pm; and Trunk or Treat at The Springs Church from 6 to 8 p.m. (see more details below).

Kids carnival

Oct. 31: Calvary Assembly of God will be presenting a free carnival during the Chamber of Commerce’s Spooktacular event from 5-7pm on Friday, October 31. The carnival will be at the corner of Ash and Main Street, next to DJ Nails, and will have lots of family-friendy games, with prizes and candy.

Haunted school house

Oct. 31: The Haunted School House is back this year at the Cedar Springs Historical Museum in Morley Park from 5-7 p.m. again. Nolan Patin has worked up another fun spooky event for the museum. We do adapt our spookiness when young children are coming through and will be handing out treats.

Trunk or Treat at The Springs

Oct. 31: Creative costumes—check. Oodles of goodies—check. Lots of giggles and loads of fun—doublecheck! You’ll experience it all at The Springs Church at Trunk or Treat on Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be lots of candy for the taking, carnival games, a giant slide, and refreshments. It will be fun for the whole family, and a safe, well-lit environment for kids. The church is located at 135 N. Grant St., in Cedar Springs.

Traffic Squad/Fire Department

Oct. 31: There will be cider, donuts and candy at the Cedar Springs Fire Department on Maple Street from 5 to 7 p.m. or while supplies last.

Halloween Hospitality Center

Oct. 31: Warm up station at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, 140 S. Main Street, Cedar Springs, on Friday, October 31, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Serving hot chocolate and popcorn, everyone is welcome to join us.

Halloween party – Courtland Fire

Oct 31:  Stop by the Halloween party at the Courtland Fire station #2, 9535 Myers Lake road from 5-9 p.m. Games, snacks candy, cider, coffee,  car trunks with treats welcome. Sponsored by women auxiliary, and many stores in the area.

Family Harvest Celebration

Oct. 31: Pine Ridge Bible Camp invites you to its annual Family Harvest Celebration on Friday, October 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event includes hayride, games, puppet show, cider, donuts and trip through Treat Town. Please bring a bag for collecting treats. It is a fun night for the whole family. Costumes welcome but not necessary. Please no witches, ghosts, monsters, etc. Pine Ridge is located just 5 miles east of town at 8415 17 Mile Rd. Call 616-696-8675 for more information.

Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church

Oct. 31: Trunk or Treat at Crossfire Church, 4780 Cornfield Drive, Cedar Springs, from 6-8 p.m. There will be games and prizes, candy for the kids, hot dogs and chips available.

Ghostbusters at the Kent Theatre

Oct. 31, Nov. 1, Nov.2: Don’t let the Halloween weekend go by without spending some time at the Kent Theatre. A special showing of Ghostbusters will be on the big screen October 31, November 1 and 2, in celebration of Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. Now in digital format, watch your favorite ghost busting team in action! Showing Halloween night at 6 and 9 p.m., Saturday at 3, 6 and 9 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 6 pm. Tickets are only $3.00.

Sand Lake Fire Department

Oct. 31: The Sand Lake Fireman’s Association will host their annual Halloween festivities at the fire station at 2 Maple Street in Sand Lake from 6-8 p.m. There will be games, a bounce house, prize drawings, goody bags, cider, donuts, and coffee. There will also be a costume contest. Judging is at 7:15, must be present to win the contest. Call 636-8854 for more info.

Trick or Treat at Meadowlark

Oct. 31: Meadowlark Retirement Village in Sparta loves having trick or treaters. Their doors will be open from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, October 31. The residents can’t wait to see all the kids dressed up! Meadowlark is located at 65 Ida Red Ave, Sparta. Call 887-8891 ext. 102 for more info.




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Read to Ride 

Left to right: Deb Elliott, Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark, and Lolita Johnson with her Read-to-Ride ticket.

Left to right: Deb Elliott, Cedar Springs Librarian Donna Clark, and Lolita Johnson with her Read-to-Ride ticket.

The Red-Reading Challenge—the Read-to-Ride Program, got off to a great start with the beginning of the new school year and climaxed with carnival rides on Red Flannel Day. 131 students, K-8th grades, turned in their Red Reading Logs, down about half from last year due to the chilly, wet weather.

Elliott’s Amusements has been Cedar Springs’ valued reading partner for 9 years now.  The Festival pitched the idea to Deb Elliott and the Cedar Springs Library in 2006 and it has been going strong ever since. In fact, it has been such a success, that this year we are having to rethink how we can reward our Red Readers in a way that Elliott’s Amusements benefits as much as our community readers do.

Next year we have agreed to print 150 free ride tickets to be given out to the first 150 students who request one at cash in. There will also be a second choice of a snow cone or bag of popcorn for another 200 students who prefer a concession. The Reading Challenge will continue to be 6 hours.

All reading logs would be traded in at the Cedar Springs Library on or before September 30 or until the 350 tickets were claimed.


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