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Tag Archive | "Cedar Trails"

Campus Kids continues to grow!!


Campus Kids has really grown in size over the past 2 years!  Since the start of the school year, we have served 212 students!  Our Pre-schoolers through 1st grade students attend our Cedar Trails location, while our 2nd through 5th graders attend at Beach location.  This number includes students who come in the mornings, afternoons, and all day care when school is closed.  The staff has done a great job of getting to know each child and of offering programming that they enjoy.  In the mornings, the children can work on a craft, go to the gym, watch a movie, or play a game with a friend.  The afternoon session offers time to play outside or in the gym, homework time, computer time, or crafts.  Parents really like it when their child finishes his/her homework or reading while at Campus Kids.

Our all day programming occurs on days when school is closed; i.e., Mid-Winter Break, Spring Break, Christmas Break, etc.  On these days, the children spend a lot of time outside enjoying the Michigan climate (weather permitting!) by sledding, building snowmen or forts, playing on the outdoor equipment, cooking snacks, playing gym games, competing in games for prizes, crafting, and reading or playing on the computers.  There is a small time frame in the morning and in the afternoon for electronic use.  The staff really keeps the children busy and engaged with their peers throughout the day.  We are currently gearing up for our Summer Camp session.  Campus Kids Summer Camp will be held at Cedar Trails.  The children are divided by age group – 3 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds.  This way we can plan age appropriate activities and outings.   Summer Camp starts on June 12, 2017 and runs through August 31, 2017.  We are closed the week of the 4th of July.  There is a $20 registration fee for one child and a $35 registration fee for a family.  If you register for the Summer Camp, your registration fee covers the next school year.  Cost for Summer Camp is $27 a day or $125 for 5 days a week.  Families can sign up for as many or as few days as needed.  A sibling discount is available.  Tuition payments are due a month in advance and payment is expected for the number of days registered for.  No refunds are issued for missed days.  Field trip costs are extra.  Drop-In rates are available but your child needs to be registered and please call in advance to check availability.  Programming for Summer Camp includes many field trips to various fun and educational spots around the area.  Last summer we offered 34 field trips and plan to offer even more this year!!  Some examples of field trips last summer included:  bowling, roller skating, Paris Park Fish Hatchery, berry picking, Rockfit Ninja gym, zoo, swimming, Whitecaps Baseball game, parks, movies, Howard Christensen Nature Center, NorthStar gymnastics, splashpad, Boulder Creek Wild Animal Park, etc.  Other fun activities included contests, crafts, gardening, community service, Zumba, reading and relaxing, free time, outdoor play, etc. We also employ some teachers for the summer, so tutoring assistance is available for those desiring it.    Registration packets are available at Cedar Trails or online at csredhawks.org and Campus Kids is under the Parents tab.  Or you can call Campus Kids at (616)696-1716 or e-mail questions to campus.kids@csredhawks.org.  Please register for Summer Camp by May 10, 2017.

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To Mr. Ringler’s Machining Woods class for making 4 mini picnic tables for a new play area at Cedar Trails!  Also thank you to the CS Education Foundation for funding the $5000 grant to cover the cost of completion of the project which will include a sand play area, sidewalks for hopscotch and basketball, and a shed to store new outside toys!

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Toys for Tots a big success


The Post has been collecting Toys for Tots over the last few weeks, and it has been a rousing success! It got even better this week when two teachers from Cedar Trails—Rhonda Bellamy and Audrey Debri—stopped by to drop off 75-plus toys and games that the Cedar Trails kindergarten classes collected! About six classes participated. The teachers said they aimed for games, something that older kids would like, because those types of toys are always sorely needed. It’s so awesome that they had younger kids actually donating to help older kids have something to play with, too!

The Post thanks the Cedar Trails teachers, students, and parents, and all of the members of the community that donated, from the bottom of our hearts! Your gifts of love will help make Christmas a happier time for many families this year!

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No longer a welcoming community?

POST SCRIPTS NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

I am truly saddened and disheartened by the actions of some of our community members. The way that some behave and tear others down is just wrong.  I remember when my kiddos were at Cedar Trails they use to sing a song about welcoming people to Cedar Springs and how people with all different backgrounds were welcome here. I wish our community would follow in the footsteps of that song.

How horrible it is that someone comes to our town looking to put down roots, but before they’re even able to get a toe in the water there are people trying to push them out. Constantly being criticized for doing the job they were hired to do. The way our superintendent has been treated makes me sick. How would you feel if you put your all into something you believed in, working tirelessly and accomplished amazing things, bringing our district many, many positive changes and programs that it had been in desperate need of, but yet, you constantly had to be on guard and defend yourself because some people want you gone? The same people who were upset you got the job in the first place. Now they’re not only attacking you, they’re attacking your husband; a man who spends countless hours volunteering for the school and Red Flannel. I’ve heard it said that people don’t know how it is possible that he’s now the Red Flannel President. I can only imagine it’s because of the countless volunteer hours he’s put in for the festival and he’s earned his place.

It really makes me sad that we live in a place that does not give people a chance and does not accept everyone as equals. I can’t even begin to list all the positive things that have happened in our district in the past two years, things that directly affect our kids. I pray people take a step back and think of how they’re treating others and the message it’s sending to all of our kids. It is high time we let the past be the past and move forward together in the positive direction the district is now heading.

Jennifer Skelonc, Nelson Township

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Trail patrol volunteers needed

Meetings at Cedar Springs City Hall on June 8, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Have you ever noticed problems on the White Pine Trail you wish someone would report? Would you like to help trail users who have questions? The Kent County Sheriff Department Community Services Unit is looking for people to be part of their Volunteer Trail Patrol program.

Volunteers patrol trails in Kent County, reporting problems that need to be addressed and assisting trail users.

The Kent County Sheriff Department will hold two meetings at Cedar Springs City Hall, on Wednesday, June 8, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., for those interested.

Volunteers wear a vest issued from the Sheriff Department that identifies them as a trail volunteer. They work a minimum of two hours each week, but can set their own schedule. They can walk, ride a bike, or use in-line skates on the trail.

Volunteers must be 18 or older, be friendly, and have transportation to and from the trail.

For more information, call Sandi Jones at 616-632-6221.

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Local principal to umpire College World Series

Michael Duffy has been umpiring for college baseball since 1985.

Michael Duffy has been umpiring for college baseball since 1985.

Michael Duffy

Michael Duffy


By Judy Reed

This last week has been a dream come true for Cedar Trails principal Michael Duffy. After a 30-year love affair with umpiring college baseball games, he is finally officiating at the College World Series, in Omaha, Nebraska, which began last Saturday, June 13.

Duffy, who umpires for the Big Ten, Mid-American, and Big East Conferences, began umpiring college baseball in 1985, for smaller colleges. But his roots go much deeper. He played Little League as a boy, and then began to umpire Little League games when he was a high school baseball player. After graduation, he umpired high school games.

In 1985, he was approached by Terry Bocian, Athletic Director at Aquinas. “I knew Terry, and he said he needed an ump for just one game,” explained Duffy. But he was hooked. “It became a love affair,” he said.

Duffy at first umpired for smaller colleges, like Aquinas and Grand Rapids Community College. He’s been doing the Big 10 since 1995. “My mentor, Bruce Doane Jr., took me under his wing, showed me the ropes, then said you are ready to go out on your own,” he recalled.

What does Duffy like about umpiring? “I’ve always been a sports enthusiast. At first, I needed to make some money, but I loved being around sports and the competition. After awhile, I realized that ‘Hey, I’m pretty good at this.’ Then other people started to notice my skill level. It’s really just a thrill to be a part of it,” he said.

This year, Duffy umpired 42 Division 1 baseball games, which take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Post asked Duffy how that worked with his job as principal at Cedar Trails Elementary. “The school has been really good about it. Cedar Springs allowed me to restructure my contract so that I work less days,” he explained.

Duffy has been working hard to get to the College World Series. Over the years he has worked several NCAA Division I Regional Tournaments and one NCAA Division I Super Regional Tournament. He has also worked NCAA Division II, III, and JUCO Regional Tournaments. He has also umpired three baseball high school State Championships. With all that on his resume, there was still one thing they wanted him to do to reach the College World Series: take off a few pounds. Duffy did that, and this year, he finally got the call.

While Duffy didn’t have his schedule when we talked last week, he said that people could recognize him by the number he will be wearing—22. He got to choose his number, and it was a heartfelt decision. “My favorite number is 12. I wore it in school as a quarterback, and in baseball. But I decided the number to choose was #22—to honor the person who has sacrificed the most—my wife, Deb. That was her number in school, when she played softball,” he explained. “So with thankful thoughts, I chose 22.”

Duffy will be in Omaha through June 25. The series started on Saturday, June 13.

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Community Playground Build completed

CSPS-Cedar-Trails-Kids-Playground-Build-webCommunity Playground Build completed on April 30 at Cedar Trails Elementary Kindergarten and 1st grade playgrounds.  Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to support this event!

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Cedar Trails Honor Guard


“Cedar Trails Honor Guard” participants from 3/31/15. Mr. Sartore selects different students each day to help him take down the flag at the end of the day. He chooses the students based on their character and if they are a “powerful” Red Hawk. The four students in these pictures are Kindergartners and they were very proud to help Mr. Sartore. What an honor!

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Cedar Trails teacher wins “Cool Teacher” award

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

Mary Graf, right, received the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award.

N-Cool-teacher-Graf2Mary Graf, a first grade teacher at Cedar Trails Elementary in Cedar Springs, was named the latest teacher to receive the WGVU “Cool Teacher” Award. WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23, which also happened to be Graf’s birthday. Graf has been teaching first graders for 37 of her 38 teaching years, all having been in Cedar Springs.

Cedar Trails Elementary Principal Mike Duffy, cited Graf as a “Master Teacher always growing, learning, and looking for ways to improve educational techniques for her students.”

Sienna Wolfe nominated her teacher, Mrs. Graf, for the award because “she is kind, caring, and makes learning fun! She even allows us to dance in the classroom as one way of expressing ideas.” Several other students from the class also submitted letters of support in naming her a “Cool Teacher.”

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

WGVU honored Graf and her class with a pizza party on Thursday, April 23.

Bradley Gordon, WGVU Marketing and Special Events Coordinator noted, “We receive several hundred applications each month from our 2.1 million viewers, within 28 counties. A committee comprised of educators and other professionals from GVSU judge the nominees based on the students evidence of learning. Just 30 teachers, from grades kindergarten thru eighth, are selected each school year. Graf met all the criteria and had strong support from her students.”

Gordon and WGVU photographer Zack Limiewski video-recorded the celebration and various activities of Graf interacting with classroom students. A twice-a-day airing of this recording will begin around mid-May on WGVU TV 35 and TV 52 as well as on the website WGVU.org.

Graf and Wolfe were presented with four vouchers each from Amtrak for a trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago. On May 7, WGVU will host an Education Celebration with a dinner and award presentations to be held at the Eberhard Center honoring the 2014-15 winning “Cool Teachers.”

When Graf was asked what she enjoyed about teaching, she responded, “I love the enthusiasm that first graders have for learning. Every new lesson is a new adventure for them! First grade is such an amazing grade to teach because they are just discovering the incredible world of reading and writing. I feel so lucky to be part of this journey with them. To see the pleasure and joy on their faces after they read a great book or write a new story is so rewarding. I feel so blessed to have the best job in the world! I am humbled and honored to receive this award.”

The “Cool Teacher Award” promotes the positive and good things that teachers are doing with our youth. This program is an example of WGVU’s mission to provide educational, informational, and entertaining programs and events to the West Michigan Community as a service of Grand Valley State University.

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Zero the Hero


Zero the Hero (a.k.a Principal Duffy) made a special appearance at Cedar Trails Friday, February 6 to celebrate 100 day.

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