This summer children at the Cook Library and Cook Arts Center participated in day camps designed around S.T.E.A.M. subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.
Part of the Grand Rapids Public School Initiative, Believe 2 Become, funded by the Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation, the programs helped to lessen “summer learning loss” for students AND provided a fun way to spend the summer. SpartanNash also provided funds for additional activities, snacks, and field trips at the Cook Library.
Sofia Ramirez Hernandez, Program Manager at The Cook Library Center, says the camp provided a opportunity for students to “explore STEAM subjects in a non-traditional environment. The Cooking Matters program from MSU was a HUGE success!”
In addition to learning about science and math through such non-traditional means as cooking, Library students also visited Meijer Gardens, Michigan State University, and took swimming lessons at the YMCA. Sofia enthusiastically describes the impact of inviting families to visit a college campus with their children and the excitement of seeing students learn to swim for the first time: “Helping kids learn to swim and seeing their bravery grow and their dispositions change is pretty magical.”
|Students from the Library Center learned to swim this summer|
The highlight of the Cook Arts Center’s closing Summer Celebration in August was the public reading of Crazy Dogs, an original story written by 9-year old student, Akia. Crazy Dogs was the product of the Reading and Writing unit, taught by instructor, Ashley Acton.
Akia’s mother, Anjie, expressed her surprise that Akia stood in front of the crowd and read her story, “It was exciting, because Akia is usually so shy and quiet!” She also expressed her enthusiasm at all the summer program had to offer: “It was so much more than art - which Akia loves - but we learned it was also about cooking and helping Akia keep up on her reading and math. It was AMAZING!
For a full video of Akia reading her original story, click here.