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West Michigan Middle School Identified as Awardee for MDE READS Initiative

Newaygo County’s Grant Middle School Gets Visit from MDE

LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) recently identified Grant Middle School in Newaygo County as the awardee of the 2024 MDE READS initiative. Of 24 schools that submitted entries, Grant Middle School was selected at random for sharing March Is Reading Month activities.

“Schools like Grant Middle School do a wonderful job of getting children excited about literature during March is Reading Month,” said State Superintendent Michael F. Rice. “At MDE, we emphasize the importance of reading and having diverse classroom libraries in schools so that students can see themselves and others in what they read. Children need to read in March, during the rest of the school year, and during their summer break.”

Ms. Sandy Morris, librarian, and Ms. Danette Gesler, fifth-grade English Language Arts teacher at Grant Middle School, responded to MDE’s Michigan READS call for entries by sharing information about school activities that included a “Look Who Got Caught Reading” activity in which staff gave cards to students who were found reading when it was appropriate but not expected. The students could then turn in the cards for a treat and a drawing for a pizza party with friends.

Students also designed bookmarks about what reading meant to them and participated in a book face contest in which they replaced pictures of their own faces on the covers of books that had existing faces.

Recently MDE staff members Dr. Corinne Edwards, director of the Office of Educational Supports; Mrs. DeNesha Rawls-Smith, Literacy Unit manager; and Ms. Katy Dennis, literacy consultant, visited Grant Middle School to present a banner, a certificate, and 50 diverse books that school staff had selected to add to the school library. Following an awards ceremony, the MDE employees met with Grant district staff to learn more about other exciting education initiatives being implemented in Grant Public Schools.

In celebration of March is Reading Month and reading all year round, the Michigan Department of Education would like to thank and acknowledge additional Michigan schools that also submitted entries:

Berrien Springs Success Virtual Academy

Riverview Elementary School

Groves High School

Seaholm High School

Chesaning Middle School

Colon Elementary School

Detroit Community Elementary/Middle School

Eagles Nest Academy

Lybrook Elementary School

Grant Middle School

Southwest Elementary Academia Bilingue

Hillsdale Intermediate School District

Monroe Intermediate School District

Kalamazoo Regional Educational Services Agency

Scripps Middle School

Masonic Heights Elementary School

Rodgers Elementary School

Violet Elementary School

Northwest Kidder Middle School

Old Mission Peninsula School

Reese Public Schools

Tekonsha Elementary School

Indian Lake Elementary School

Whiteford Agricultural School

MDE encourages all students, families, educators, and administrators to continue to engage in interesting and diverse reading throughout the summer months and looks forward to more opportunities to share a love of reading in the coming school year.

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Students at Grant MS

Students at Grant Middle School are pictured with prizes that the school received from the Michigan Department of Education READS Initiative.