The Grand Rapids Education Reform Initiative awarded the first Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids program grants to three Grand Rapids Public elementary schools for academic achievement. This prestigious local award recognizes Grand Rapids Public elementary schools for their ability to meet nine benchmarks for student success. The 2006-2007 award winners are:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy $50,000
- CA Frost Environmental Science Academy $25,000
- Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy $25,000
The Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids Program was developed by the Grand Rapids Education Reform Initiative and funded by The Meijer Foundation. The program is modeled after the Blue Ribbon Schools program of the U.S. Department of Education, the Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence, and a similar program launched in 2005 by the Skillman Foundation in Detroit.
"We couldn’t be more pleased to award these grants and to celebrate the accomplishments of the students, certainly, but also the teachers, principals and the parents at these three schools,” said Fred Meijer, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Meijer, Inc., and Trustee of The Meijer Foundation.
The Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids Program was launched in October of 2006 with the intent to donate a maximum of $1 million over a three-year period to reward elementary schools for good performance and build support for schools in the City of Grand Rapids. The grant is administered by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, a partner in ERI. After the initial three years of the grant, The Meijer Foundation will evaluate the effectiveness of the program to determine its continued support.
“Every child deserves a good school and if greater Grand Rapids expects to maintain its competitive advantage and continue to be a community that attracts talent, we must have world class schools where every student receives the tools necessary to reach his or her highest potential,” said Wendy Jackson, Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Education Reform Initiative.
The winning schools will use the grants for improving student achievement in a variety of areas including parent and child enrichment, training materials, and technology. Dr. Bernard Taylor, Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent, said that he “congratulates the students, teachers and staff for their hard work and thanks the Meijer family for making this possible.”
The Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids was adapted and created by ERI as its signature program and is a cornerstone of its efforts to provide leadership in the community-wide effort to improve schools in the City of Grand Rapids. The goals of the Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids Program are to:
- Showcase and reward high performing and improving schools in the City of Grand Rapids.
- Promote systemic education reform using performance measures.
- Support successful school principals.
- Raise community expectations for student achievement.
- Build a network of community funders committed to education reform.
- Improve community decision making about schools through locally collected unbiased data.
Established in 2002, the Grand Rapids Education Reform Initiative is a collaborative partnership of the Frey Foundation, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Steelcase Foundation, the Sebastian Family Foundation, and the Wege Foundation and is committed to the long-term goal of ensuring that all children in the City of Grand Rapids have access to a quality education.
For more information about the Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids program or ERI, please contact Roberta King, Vice President of PR & Marketing at the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, at (616) 454 -1751 or Mary McLoughlin (616) 698-0748.