Partnership with Muskegon Heights Schools and Michigan Dept. of Education
Children deserve to have quality education and learning experiences, it builds a foundation for future successes. CCD works to help mitigate negative effects that underfunding can have on schools. . In 2010, CCD helped re-open and staff the Muskegon Heights school libraries and media centers with retired volunteer teachers and librarians. We provide a one-on-one mentor program for elementary students. CCD also organizes and supports field trips for students to gain exposure to external learning experiences. More info at bottom of page.
Friends of the Muskegon Heights District Library (MADL)
Public libraries are the nation's most democratic institutions. They ensure ALL people have access to information and lifelong learning. CCD supports the local library through the Friends of the Muskegon Heights District Library committee.
Spencer Norman Scholarship
CCD offers a yearly scholarship for Muskegon Heights students attending Muskegon Community College. Link here.
Dr. Doris Rucks Legacy Endowment Scholarship
In 2022, CCD established the Dr. Doris Rucks Legacy Endowment at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Through it, we offer scholarships to those pursuing education or professional development toward serving the community in some capacity. These scholarships are flexible, and can be used for adult continuing education and certificate programs as well as traditional degree-seeking programs. They are evaluated on a case by case basis. To learn more, email us at HealthyHeights14@gmail.com. To donate to the Dr. Rucks Legacy Endowment, please visit the Community Foundation endowment portal here.
Carnegie Hall Music Program Curriculum for 4th Graders
CCD believes introduction to musical instruments is vital to elementary students. It is from this early exposure that great musicians might find the spark that sets them on their path in life; it might also simply engage students in a positive way that overall helps them enjoy school and increase success in other areas of study. This is why CCD organizes and raises funds to support a music instructor (a graduate of Muskegon Heights and a former band student of Mr. Moore!) to visit the 4th Grade classrooms weekly for recorder lessons, where they learn music fundamentals, how to play the recorder with a repertoire of songs, and participate in a countywide concert held at the Frauenthal with West Michigan Symphony musicians. Thanks to our generous donors, CCD only is able to hire the music instructor but also buys the recorder instruments for the students to use.
"Who Gets to Tell the Story Matters" - Curriculum centered on Black History and Experience added to K-12 Education and local museum and libraries
Recently, CCD partnered with the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) and Muskegon NAACP to increase broad historical inclusion of the Black experience and contributions to Muskegon County in general curriculum across the county. With support from a Community Foundation grant, CCD partnered with the Muskegon NAACP to help produce their centennial video featuring first person stories from residents active in the fight for civil rights from 1940s-70s. This documentary video, along with other materials (Firsts/Notables, general oral histories of everyday residents) are included in a Learning Kit available at the Lakeshore Museum Center and other museums and libraries, and local teachers may use the material to help create curriculum for MAISD and this will be available to all Muskegon County schools. Creation of the Learning Kit content is researched and coordinated by Muskegon Heights resident and business owner Steven Winston of Culturally Vigilant, with help from a local advisory council. Part of the project also entailed increasing a diverse selection of books at all schools, culturally responsive teaching sessions for faculty, and implementing an action civics program for students called "Project Soapbox."
Watch the "100 Years of Civil Rights in Muskegon County" video here:
School Libraries and Media Centers
Students, K-12th, enjoy regular visits to their libraries at Edgewood, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Middle/High School. Volunteers including retired librarians, teachers, and community members, read to the students and assist them with book selection and the circulation process. Students are learning the joys of selecting their own books and the responsibility of borrowing, caring for, and returning books. Each library is different and brought to life by volunteers, exciting books, puppet shows, guest performances, chess and card games!
During the last full school year, a total of 17 mentors volunteered a total of 634 hours with the kindergarteners, first and second graders. Mentors at Edgewood and MLK work one-on-one with their students, building relationships and reinforcing classroom learning.
Field Trips/External Exposure & Experiences
Some of the field trips organized by CCD include visits to the Lakeshore Museum Center, Heritage Museum, Pere Marquette Beach, Behind-the-scenes tour at Meijer, local plays, pumpkin patch & farm tours, and more. Future trips include a boat ride on the Annis Research Vessel and tour of the James Jackson African American History Museum.
Friends of the Muskegon Heights Library
A strong public library is a symbol of a healthy community. The friends of the Muskegon Heights Library work to support the work of the library and enhance the space with programs and community events.