Volume 2 No. 10
Written by Kelli Brook Smith, published June 28, 2018

A six-year-old student at River City Scholars Charter Academy, Zayden Coleman, received a kindergarten diploma in June during a ceremony at River City Scholars Charter Academy as his grandmother, Donna Applewhite, had tears streaming down her face.

The end of Zayden's kindergarten year represented so much more to her than just another school year.
Not only did her grandson learn how to read and do math this past year, his grandfather, Kivan Applewhite, also did, too, because of Zayden's instruction. And, as they learned together, a deep bond was formed between the two.
Throughout the past year, Zayden spent evenings cuddled up with his grandfather reading to him, doing homework, and playing together.

"He would teach me how to sound out words that were hard for me," said Kivan. "I didn't know about phonics. I didn't have that in school. I have improved since we've been reading together."

 Donna believes Zayden is the only one who could help him.

"He (Kivan) has progressed from zero to at least a fifth-grade reading level in just this past year with Zayden's help," said Donna. "It's been amazing to watch. I am so proud of both of them."
Although she knew her husband struggled with large words while reading, she didn't try to teach him.
couldn't read she didn't try to teach him.
"Only Zayden was able to teach him with the methods he's been learning from his teacher," she said. "After Zayden taught him, I began seeing him do it by himself. They both kept practicing every day and got better and better. I am so proud of the two of them."
Zayden sounds out words by using a technique where he points to parts of his arm.  
"He told him 'this is how you do it' and his grandfather does it that way when he can't sound out a word," said Donna. "It's amazing what they both have learned this year."
Now, Zayden is also teaching his grandfather how to tell time and basic math skills.
"It brings me joy to learn with him," said Kivan. 

This summer they continue to work through Zayden's Bridge book and read together each night.

"I like to teach people," said Zayden. 
The Bay Mills Authorized River City Scholars Academy opened in 2012 and is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

(source: WNEM)

Posted By Brianna Owczarzak, Digital Producer
By Jonathan Jackson
FLINT, MI (WNEM) - More than 150 volunteers came together on Friday at Richfield Public School Academy in Flint to build a playground in less than 24 hours.
"So this playground isn't just anything that you'll see in a catalog. It's 100 percent unique, designed by the kids of this community for the kids of this community," said Jacob Stockler, senior project manager with Kaboom.
Kaboom is a non-profit organization that helps communities build playgrounds for children by encouraging them to come up with their own designs.
They then take those ideas and bring them to life, along with the help of other non-profits like Good Sports - which gives kids the tools to play in their new space.
"So we want these kids to be able to play whatever they want all the time. So we have so many new basketballs, footballs, soccer goals, soccer balls and just all sorts of different cones and scrimmage vests that are easy for kids to pick up and play," said Max Jensen, program assistant with Good Sports.
With work already nearing completion, the students will be able to get on this program real soon.
"We need three days for the concrete to set in. So when they come back to school on Monday they'll be ready to play," Stockler said.
So will the staff, like Superintendent Pamela Haldy. Haldy said she is looking forward to providing her students with an active and fun environment that they deserve.
"You know, having this built is like a dream come true for us. Our students love to play and for them to come at the start of a new school year and see something this magnificent is just going to be fabulous," Haldy said.
Students at Richfield Public School Academy will get to experience the playground on Aug. 13, when classes start up again.
Richfield Public School Academy, authorized by the Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office, opened in 2003.
The mission of Richfield Public School Academy is to create a high standard of academic excellence where all students can grow and become life-long learners.
Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Since the fall of 2009, Three Lakes Academy has been providing education to Pre-K through 7th grade students in Curtis, MI. Their mission is to inspire a life-long love of learning while having "no child left inside". They focus on bringing classroom lessons and activities outside to encourage a connection with the natural world.

Three Lakes has partn ered with multiple groups  to further their mission, including Seney National Wildlife Refuge and Michigan Green Schools. Each of these partners circle back to their ideal learning method of having no child left inside. "Get ' Em Outside", a program created by Three Lakes, encompasses their mission through diverse curriculum that not only enriches the students' minds, but also creates a love for the environment.

Teachers at Three Lakes are not only ready to teach Common Core benchmarks, they are fully equipped to combine environmental studies into everyday curriculum. Throughout various workshops, the teachers at Three Lakes become acquainted with the math, reading, and writing material that they will be educating students on. However, these workshops also include environmental ideals, which they tie in with the core subjects to encourage the overall mission.

Three Lakes is also a part of the Building Healthy Communities program and is a recipient of the Building Healthy Communities Grant. Students, parents, staff , and administrators are all involved in this program, which encourages healthy choices and lifestyles through both nutrition and physical activity. With the grant, Three Lakes receives:
  • Nutrition education lessons taught by a Healthy School Coordinator in all K-5 classrooms. Each lesson includes a nutrition activity and a physical activity break. Some lessons will include sampling of healthy food to expose children to nutritious foods.
  • Training and resources for P.E. teachers and lots of equipment for the gym and playground.
  • Support from United Dairy Industry of Michigan's "Fuel Up to Play 60" initiative to plan physical activity and healthy eating events. 
Three Lakes m aintains a community "open to all children without discrimination". By building respect and pride in their community through integrated environmental studies, the school is building a network of individuals who share the same mission and values. This pride translates over the respective families of Three Lakes students, helping to reach their goal of maintaining healthy relationships with both parents and  students.
In their school contract, students and parents alike are given responsibility in contributing to the education given at Three Lakes. Each student "is expected to be involved in planning goals, assessing progress, and accepting responsibility for his or her progress toward the educational goals." Additionally, parents are to "attend Three Lakes Academy workshops and informational programs intended to help parents understand the curriculum, instructional practices, and philosophy of the school." By establishing these guidelines, the academy has placed more value into its education with accountability falling on not only the teachers, but also the families in the Three Lakes community.

Authorized by Bay Mills, Three Lakes Academy opened their doors to students in 2009. They are located in the Upper Peninsula between Manistique Lake, South Manistique Lake and North Manistique Lake.


August 7, 2018:  School Board Member Training from 6pm-9pm at the Sheraton Detroit Novi in Novi, Michigan

October 15-16, 2018: School Leaders Meeting in Bay Mills
About Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools
Bay Mills Community College began authorizing charter schools in the year 2000 and now authorizes 43 schools serving approximately 22,000 students. Fall 2015: 22,729 and Spring 2016: 22,257
Our Mission: To ensure a quality education for urban, minority, and/or poor children by improving and expanding educational opportunities through innovative oversight methods. To provide academy boards with the necessary support and training so that they may make educated decisions that are in the best interest of the students that attend their academies.