Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring and Sewing

Spring is just around the corner, and while many students are anxiously awaiting spring break, Calvin College students have already had theirs. Many college students head to the beaches to catch a spring break swim, but the Calvin College students that volunteer at the Cook Library Center had a different idea of fun. They decided to join our students at the library for a celebration of spring; helping with homework (as usual) and enjoying cupcakes while they chatted with students about their spring break plans and how they are doing in school. We're so lucky to have such an awesome group of volunteers!

Over at the Cook Arts Center, our sewing classes have proved that hard work pays off. Starting with scraps of material, creative ideas and determination, students created pin cushions, pillows and purses. Our sewing classes have had the invaluable experience of seeing first-hand how much work it takes to create handmade items and how wonderful it is to turn creative ideas into functioning items. Nice work guys!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Library Center and the Cook Arts Center.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Calvin Volunteers - Career Day

Calvin College student volunteers, Melissa and Becca, came to visit for Career Day at the Cook Library Center and got the chance to talk to our students about their potential careers and what life is like at Calvin College. Melissa had some encouraging words to share about doing well in school, telling them, "The better your grades are, the more money you get for college!"

The students fired off questions about life in the dorms, cafeteria food, and how college students choose their classes. Melissa and Becca gave them all the details, and got them excited for the Cook Library Center's annual spring visit to Calvin College! Grandville Avenue kids get a first hand look at Calvin's campus and even get to eat in the college cafeteria. Staff and students are looking forward to the adventure, and we are reminded how lucky we are to have so many devoted Calvin College student volunteers at the Cook Library Center. We can't thank them enough!

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Library Center.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

GAAH Press Club - Officially Published!

The Cook Arts Center Press Club has officially been published on The Rapidian! Our first group of junior reporters has been learning a lot since the Press Club started in February, such as how to prepare questions for an interview and how to tell the difference between fact and opinion. Personal bios were also created by the junior reporters in order to introduce themselves to Rapidian readers, and can be found here, along with their first complete interview:

The Press Club at the Cook Arts Center was created in order to provide youth in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood with the opportunity to find, develop and share their creative voices. Being a member of the Press Club not only empowers youth by helping them develop their sense of self, but also encourages them to become creative problem solvers, enhance communication skills and increase their chances of continuing on to higher education. Through the Press Club, neighborhood youth also have the unique ability to raise awareness about the things that matter to them.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Downtown Arts!

The Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities has been recently been very involved in the arts in downtown Grand Rapids. There are always a lot of fabulous art events and activities downtown, and throughout the past couple of weeks, the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center have had the opportunity to get involved!

In February, the Cook Arts Center did a very special collaboration with the GRAM and the middle school students from Southwest Community Campus. Every 6th, 7th and 8th grade student traveled to the GRAM to view the current exhibit by Dawoud Bey; a series of larger-than-life photographs that remind us how important it is to look past our first impressions and assumptions about today's youth. (Check out this link for more info on the exhibit: After SWCC students saw the exhibit, they created their own images of themselves with help from GRAM staff and docents, focusing on who they are now and who they want to be in the future. The pieces they created were then displayed on the walls of the Cook Arts Center and SWCC, and families were invited to view both the Bey exhibit at the GRAM and the student exhibits. They also had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on family activity at the Cook Arts Center, led by GRAM staff and volunteers. It was a huge success, and we are all extremely proud of the great work that our local middle school students created.

The event with GRAM was not the end of our downtown adventures. The Cook Library Center and Cook Arts Center both got the opportunity to head down to Broadway Grand Rapids at Devos Hall to see the production Grease! live on stage. Our trip would not have been possible without the generous donation of 25 tickets from Broadway GR - We can't thank you enough!!

The Cook Arts Center Press Club took notes for their upcoming review on the production, and everyone had a fabulous time, singing along to classic songs and watching the amazing performance.

Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center.