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Tag Archive | "Donna Clark"

Families celebrate reading program with a party


The Kent County Sheriff’s mounted unit appealed to kids of all ages. Post photo by J. Reed.

The water slide was a big hit at the summer reading program party. Post by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Community Library’s summer reading program ended with a bang last Thursday, July 27, with a big celebration in Morley Park.

According to Library Director Donna Clark, at least 642 people attended the event.

There was a lot going on to keep both kids and adults entertained. Bounce houses, water slides, games, face painting, music, popcorn, ice cream, and water were all part of the festivities. Special guests on hand included the Kent County Sheriff Mounted unit with two of their horses, and the Cedar Springs Fire Department, who kept kids cooled off.

Prizes for the end of the year raffle were also given away—45 in all. At least 389 kids in grades K-12 finished their five-ticket reading goal to be a finisher. For those first 5 tickets local businesses treated the students to pizza, ice cream, meals, and the Whitecaps and Griffins provided tickets to a game. They then got to enter that ticket into a drawing for a prize. “So it wasn’t just read for a chance to win, but they were rewarded every 2-1/2 hours of the way,” explained Clark. “Everyone had a great time!”

Clark said that 1.642 people signed up for the summer reading program, including adults, and the 25 programs they held throughout the summer brought in 1,606 people (not counting the grand finale party).

The annual summer reading program, which costs about $3,500, is funded by donations from area businesses and individuals. See the library’s thank you ad in next week’s paper.

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Cedar Springs Community Library is paid-in-full


Presenting the final check to Nugent builders is: back row, L to R: Bob Ellick, Chairperson, C.S. Library Board; Julie Wheeler, Independent Bank; Tom Mabie, community supporter; Claudia Mabie, community supporter; Duane McIntyre, Library-appointed Construction Supervisor; and Darla Falcon, City Finance Director, representing the City of Cedar Springs. In the front row, L to R: Louise King, C.S. Library Board; George Germain, Project Manger/Safety Director for Nugent Builders; and Donna Clark, Library Director.

The completion of the new Cedar Springs Community Library was a dream come true, and it came with a lot of hard work on the part of dozens of people. And now, the $1,845,190 project has been officially paid off.

“We are so excited to be able to announce that our community’s library building is now completely paid for,” said Library Director Donna Clark. “With a lot of substantial financial help and support of the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee and the wonderful members of our community, we have no mortgage, no interest, no debt!”

Credit for this amazing accomplishment goes largely to the generous donations of money and/or time by local individuals, families, business professionals and artisans, some  donations over $30,000 apiece. Leading the way was local Cedar Springs graduate and builder, Duane McIntyre, who researched, developed and drew the initial library building plan, in seven different versions, over the last four years.  He then saw it through with the help of Kurt Mabie, Sue Wolfe and others from the Community Building Development Team, the Library Board’s Building Committee, City and Solon Township officials, several local community groups and organizations, Andrus Architecture and Nugent Builders, who subcontracted companies, many from the Cedar Springs area.

“Our fabulous, new building is drawing a lot of attention from area residents, greatly increasing the numbers of those coming in  and those checking out and ordering materials,” said Clark. There were 6,932 items checked out in June, up from the Library’s average of 2200. There were 1,048 people who attended Opening Day for the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program on June 12. Since then around 1,500 patrons of all ages from the Cedar Springs area have signed up for reading, prizes and fun.  She said there has been an average attendance of 230 – 300 people per day since the Library opened on May 8.

While the library building itself is paid off, there are still some outstanding needs. They include a an electronic, digital sign on Main Street identifying the building as the Cedar Springs Community Library.  “A conservative estimate for the sign is $14,000,” noted Clark. Other signs are also needed: a handicap parking sign (2), staff parking signs (2), do not enter (1), a sign identifying the drive-by as “one way book drop only,” all for $995. They also need additional security measures between $8,000 to $10,000; 10 round tables and 40-80 chairs; electronic tags to put in all library materials for security measures at around $7,000.

There is also a focus on selling the last of the $1,000 Retaining Wall Blocks. There are eight left of the 40 set in place on the north side of the Library. The brass plate inserts are presently being engraved by CS Tool Engineering, Inc. The last $8,000 will go to help build up the CBDT’s project budget to begin the amphitheater down by the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail and Cedar Creek. In August of this year a cement foundation will be laid for the amphitheater, with plans to hold a concert during the festivities of this year’s Red Flannel Festival to raise money to get it up as soon as funds allow. The $50 and $100 bricks are also still for sale. Stop by the Library for more information.

If you would like to give toward any of these projects, they will be pleased to hear from you.  In the meantime, CBDT groups are still meeting and are always trying to come up with ways and means to bring in funds to continue to Build the Heart of Cedar Springs, which will include a Community Building, and eventually a Recreational Center.

And if you haven’t been by to see the building yet, please stop in on Monday through Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or on Saturday between 9:00 a.m. and noon. Visit online at cedarspringslibrary.org.

“We look forward to meeting all of you, and yes, your KDL card is good at your local, community library in Cedar Spring and in seven other counties in the WestMichigan area!” said Clark.

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Summer reading takes off


By Judy Reed

“If you build it, they will come.” That iconic line from the movie “Field of Dreams”  came true for the new Cedar Springs Community Library at the kickoff of their Summer Reading program on Monday, June 12, when between 950 and 1,000 people attended the opening event.

“At the end of yesterday we had 920 people signed up for summer reading, which is 300 more sign-ups than we ever had over an entire summer, and 400 more people came in Monday than have in the past,” remarked Library Director Donna Clark.

Double K Petting Barn with Animal Junction 4H had their petting zoo set up out back, under a tree, near the creek. But the heat didn’t seem to deter people. In fact, children took the opportunity to splash in the creek, hang out on the bridge, and rest on the well. “It was so great seeing kids rediscovering the creek,” remarked Clark.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department also had an engine pulled out for the kids to explore. The ice cream cups provided by Kelly’s Restaurant were also a big hit. One of the biggest hits was the appearance of Ronald McDonald himself, who entertained kids first outside with a book and some magic tricks, then inside in the area around the fireplace. “He was so kind and so funny,” said Clark. “Kids were lined up to get their picture taken with him.”

June and July will be filled with reading and special events. The more hours a person reads (K-12) and the more books adults read, the better his/her chance is to win one of the prizes offered by 29 local businesses.

The last day to turn in reading logs is July 21. The program will end with a carnival at Morley Park on July 27, where the prizes will be given away. But kids in grades K-12 don’t have to wait until July 27 to win something—they win with every one of the five reading coupons turned in throughout the summer.

For a complete schedule of events, stop in and pick up a brochure at the library.

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Summer reading at new library


 

By Judy Reed

Exciting things are happening this summer at the new Cedar Springs Community Library, and Monday is just the beginning as the annual Summer Reading Program kicks off.

The kickoff event to their biggest program of the year starts Monday, June 12, at 10 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. And this year, there will be lots of room to move around in the building.

“We have so much room!” said Library Director Donna Clark. “Five of our old building would fit in the new one—going from 2,000 sq. ft. to 10,000!”

During the kickoff event, adults and kids—from babies to seniors—can register and receive a reading log in the large classroom, and then move on to the community room to sign up for special programs that will happen throughout the summer, and take part in a new woman’s bike raffle. Themed t-shirts will be on sale there, and the Friends of the Library book sale will also be in the community room.

There will also be fun outside for everyone. Outside by the large tree and the historic well will be the Double K Petting Barn with Animal Junction 4H members assisting. Cindy Karafa says that there will be lots of new baby animals to show. Classic Kelly’s is giving away free ice cream cups again this year, the Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue trucks will be there, and Ronald McDonald will come to share a book and some magic tricks from 2-4 p,m. These activities will end between 3 and 4 p.m. The ice cream will then be moved to the Community Room.

At closing on Wednesday, June 7, 321 people had already preregistered for the summer reading program. “We usually have over 700 after the first two or three weeks of our kickoff,” said Clark.

June and July will be filled with reading and special events. The more hours a person reads (K-12) and the more books adults read, the better his/her chance is to win one of the prizes offered by 29 local businesses.

The last day to turn in reading logs is July 21. The program will end with a carnival at Morley Park on July 27, where the prizes will be given away. But kids in grades K-12 don’t have to wait until July 27 to win something—they win with every one of the five reading coupons turned in throughout the summer. “Every coupon turned in is a special local treat,” remarked Clark. “Come on in and join us and we will ‘treat’ you well, compliments of our local business community!”

The new library has been a big hit with the community. According to Clark, they are averaging 300 people a day. They issued 73 new library cards in their first 12 days of being open, and have updated many of the KDL patrons who use their service as well. If you haven’t made it there yet, stop in Monday, June 12, and have some fun!

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Girl Scouts visit new library


Girl Scout Troop 4282 visited the new Cedar Springs Community Library on May 20 and donated several boxes of Girl Scout cookies to their local heroes—staff at the library!

I said, “Do you mean us??” remarked Library Director Donna Clark, who was tickled pink by the gesture.

The girls who dropped off the cookies were Trinity Besmer, Haley McDonald, Lindsey Washington, Ashlin Kreft, Lily Scott, Katie Porter, and Katie McDonald.

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Cedar Springs Community Library Grand Opening


The ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Cedar Springs Community Library. From L to R: Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team. Not shown are Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley (to the far left of Duane McIntyre) and Kurt Mabie, Chair of the CBDT (to the right of Tom Mabie). Photo by Kathy Anderson.

The ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Cedar Springs Community Library. From L to R: Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team. Not shown are Mayor Pro Tem Pam Conley (to the far left of Duane McIntyre) and Kurt Mabie, Chair of the CBDT (to the right of Tom Mabie). Photo by Kathy Anderson.

By Sue Harrison

A project planned for many years became a reality last Saturday, May 13, with the grand opening celebration of the new Cedar Springs Community Library, located in the “Heart of Cedar Springs” at the corner of Main and W. Maple St.

Sue Harrison, Master of Ceremonies, introduced the event by thanking the dozens of organizations and countless individuals who have been working on the Town Square, which includes the new library, a Veteran’s Clock Tower, a bridge across Cedar Creek, a steel dragonfly sculpture, and the historic flowing well.

“So much has been done already, but in order to complete the vision, much more funding is needed through donations and pledges through the Community Building Development Team,” she added.

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library

The Ceremony started with the American Legion Color Guard Glen Hill Post 287 raising the American flag and the State of Michigan Flag on the new flagpoles in front of the Library. Viet Nam veteran Dan Davis delivered the invocation, which was followed by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful by members of the Cedar Springs High School, under the direction of Ryan Miller and Adam Borst.

City Manager Michael Womack and Mayor Pro-tem Pam Conley spoke about the city planting a maple tree on the library grounds. Mayor Gerald Hall presented some special “Making a Difference” awards to Duane McIntyre, Kurt Mabie, Dale Larson, and Dean Wall for for their work on the “Heart of Cedar Springs” projects.

Louise King, member of the Library Board, gave some of the history of the library in Cedar Springs and introduced Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, who spoke about the importance of the new library to the Cedar Springs Community.

Crowd gathers in front of library for the Grand Opening.

Crowd gathers in front of library for the Grand Opening.

“This is a very significant contribution to our community and one only being accomplished through a cooperative and caring group of people. Our community now has its own library where people of all ages can learn, share, gather, and celebrate for many years to come,” said Clark.

The Ribbon Cutting for the Library followed with many dignitaries present. They were Duane McIntyre, licensed builder; Solon Township Supervisor Bob Ellick; Cedar Springs Mayor Gerald Hall; Library Director Donna Clark; CS City Manager Michael Womack; Lakeland Library Coop Director Sandra Wilson; Claudia and Tom Mabie and Kurt Mabie, representatives of the Community Building Development Team.

Mayor Gerald Hall does a ceremonial first check-out of The Cedar Springs Story. He is shown here with co-author Sue Harrison and Library Director Donna Clark. Photo by Kathy Anderson.

Mayor Gerald Hall does a ceremonial first check-out of The Cedar Springs Story. He is shown here with co-author Sue Harrison and Library Director Donna Clark. Photo by Kathy Anderson.

After the ribbon cutting, Mayor Gerald Hall ceremonially checked out the first book, a signed copy of The Cedar Springs Story presented to him by co-author, Sue Harrison. The book will remain permanently in the library and will be checked out in perpetuity to the Mayor.

Members of the Cedar Springs Women’s Club served refreshments to the hundreds of visitors who toured the new library and grounds. Visitors also talked with local authors Sue Harrison, Shirley Neff, Kathryn Moore, David Stricklen and puppeteer Rebecca Casavant. The Open House lasted from 2:30-5:00 p.m.

 

View of the Community Room patio.

View of the Community Room patio.

View of the interior of the new Cedar Springs Community Library

View of the interior of the new Cedar Springs Community Library

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Celebrating 20 Years of First Grade Readers


CSPS-Library-Event

CSPS-Library-night-teachers-CTDonna Clark, Cedar Springs Library

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.”  The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.”   Invitations were for March 6 and 7 at 6pm.   The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings.  Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

2017 marked “20 years of celebrating first grade readers”  since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark,  sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest”, all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were there both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township brought several items for first graders to take home, as well.

Cedar Springs first grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz, welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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First grade library card celebration


Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre last week to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.” Invitations were for Monday and Tuesday nights,  6 pm on March 6 and 7. The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings. Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

This year marked 20 years of celebrating first grade readers since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest,” all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were on hand both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township, brought several items for first graders to take home as well.

First grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz all welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners


Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students last week in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis, Donna Clark and Bea Hesley.

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “We talked about having integrity and the 4 way formula (is it the truth, is it fair, will it build goodwill, will it be beneficial) and how it ties in with habits of mind,” explained Clark. “People who live by these have integrity and impact their community in a positive way. We told them to think about one of these that they practiced in their own lives—a real life situation that would touch us, and told them to write about it.”

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 14 essays, they chose five. There were ties for second and third place.

“We feel like these essays were the best ever,” said Clark.

The two second place essays were about volunteering to feed hungry families. The third place winners wrote stories about how a community can work together to benefit one another, such as the fundraisers for the Rickers.

The first place winner spoke about how things people say can be cruel, but we can choose to be inspired rather than let their words have a bad effect on us.

The first place winner was Sally Odren, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View. She won $50.

Second place winners were Jack Cairy, of Mrs. Kahler’s class, and Makenna Nichols, of Mrs. Miller’s class, both at Cedar View. They each won $25.

Third place winners were Josh Trendt, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View, and Analiese Van Harten, of Mrs. Norman’s class at CTA. They each won $10.

“We as Rotarians are aware of the example we set as individuals and as a Club in our community,” said Noreen. “As community leaders and partners, we are mindful of what we think, say and do.”

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the ninth year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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New library taking shape


This photo is a view of the side entrance, which leads into the community room. This area is where the circulation desk will be located. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Library.

This photo is a view of the side entrance, which leads into the community room.
This area is where the circulation desk will be located. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Library.

By Judy Reed

Work is humming along on the new Cedar Springs Library and residents can’t wait to get a peek inside.

Library staff and others took a tour of the inside this week to see how it was looking. “I’m really excited,” remarked Library Director Donna Clark. “I was surprised to see how far along they are.”

Clark said that the drywall is up and they have started painting. The metal roofing also arrived this week.

“There is also going to be an area with a beautiful fireplace, which will be very warm and welcoming, comfy chairs, and a table with chairs on either side,” she remarked.

There will also be 12 public computers, a classroom, three tutoring rooms, an enclosed children’s area with glass panels, and a playroom area. There will also be four stations for children’s computers. Teens will also have their own area.

This area is where the circulation desk will be located. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Library.

This area is where the circulation desk will be located. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Springs Library.

Another draw will be the community room, which will hold up to 75 people with the tables and chairs, and 100 without. A complete kitchen will open up into the community room. People can walk out of the community room to a patio, which will be facing the creek, where the retaining wall will be.

The retaining wall is being funded by the blocks that the library is selling. They have sold 18 of the 25 they need, so are looking for more people or businesses interested in helping fund this part of the project. The 10×8 retaining wall blocks are $1,000, and will have a brass plaque insert with 8 lines available. Logos are also possible with a block.

They also are still selling bricks. For $50 you can get a 4×8 brick with 3 lines, or an 8×8 brick with 6 lines for $100, and inscribe it as you wish. Bricks will be placed at the Library entrance and a few other places, as needed.

Pick up a brochure to order a brick or block at the Cedar Springs Library or visit http://cedarspringslibrary.org/news/bricks-and-blocks-for-new-library/ to print one out.

They library is expected to be completed sometime in the spring.

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