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Federal report: More Michigan babies breastfeeding

Federal report: More Michigan babies breastfeeding

GREENVILLE, Mich. (Detroit Free Press) -- In a state where nearly 7 in every 1,000 babies die before their first birthdays, efforts to promote breastfeeding in hospitals and homes of new moms seem to paying off, according to a new federal report.

Health experts say one of the best ways to fortify baby against a world full of disease is with mother’s milk.

In 2013, three of four babies born in Michigan are breastfed at least once, with nearly 1 in four still being breastfeed a year later, according to the 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

The reasons?

Efforts by local hospitals and health advocates to focus on the first hours and days after birth.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of children will get the chance to experience the fun of fishing, thanks to mini-grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

MDNR’s fisheries division raised $3,482 through a silent auction for Mentor Michigan.  The funding will go to five organizations statewide to allow children and their mentors enjoy a fishing outing. 

“Every youth should have the opportunity to experience fishing,” said Mentor Michigan Director Amber Troupe. “Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to this fun activity, such as a lack of equipment, transportation or knowledge of the sport.  We are thankful to [the MDNR's] Fisheries Division for providing this generous donation so mentoring programs around the state will be able to introduce fishing and fishing skills to their matches.”

My Town Greenville: District moves weapon against summer brain drain

My Town Greenville: District moves weapon against summer brain drain

GREENVILLE, Mich.--  A little tool to help prevent summer brain drain has moved.

The Little Free Library at Baldwin Heights is now located in front of the building, just west of the main entrance.  The Little Free Library is open around the clock for people to borrow and donate family friendly books for reading.

Little Free Libraries is a grassroots initiative to push people to read more.  The program, which began at Baldwin Heights and Cedar Crest elementary schools, is being expanded to Walnut Hills and Lincoln Heights elementary schools. The effort is being led by several staff members from Greenville Public Schools.

My Town: Head Start for Kent County names new executive director

My Town: Head Start for Kent County names new executive director

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new face is taking the helm of the Head Start for Kent County.

The Board of Directors has appointed MaDonna Princer as executive director of the Walker-based organization, which provides resources to low-income families to aid in the well-being and development of children age five and under.

Princer has worked with the Head Start Program EightCAP, Inc. of Greenville for 15 years.  For the last five years, she’s held a senior management position overseeing childhood systems within the areas of early childhood education, child and family outcomes, family engagement and evaluation.

Princer replaces Mary Hockwalt, who is retiring this summer after 13 years of serving as executive director for Head Start for Kent County.

My Town Greenville: Battling brain drain with books

My Town Greenville: Battling brain drain with books

GREENVILLE, Mich.—School is out but learning isn’t taking a break at Baldwin Heights Elementary School.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 15, the school library will be open for students to check out books.The library will be open during that same time every Tuesday throughout the summer. 

The district has also started a new Summer Mail Home Program, which allows students to pick books to be mailed to them throughout the summer to prevent summer reading loss.  More than 120 students are participating this summer. The district says it takes just six books to stop the academic summer slide.

My Town Belding: Kari Ann & Lost Creek to take stage for free summer concert

My Town Belding: Kari Ann & Lost Creek to take stage for free summer concert

BELDING, Mich.-- Enjoy music and free popcorn when Kari Ann & Lost Creek take the stage this week for Belding's Music in the Park summer concert series.

Each seasonal performance takes place on Thursdays, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Riverside Park.  The rest of this year's lineup is as follows: