Coalition for Community Development Announces Harvest Meal, Library Volunteer Program

Andrew Trzaska | September 28, 2011

A local group that was heavily involved in a summer enrichment program for Muskegon Heights students held at Martin Luther King Elementary says that they learned a lot from their first year, and plan on celebrating the fruits – or vegetables – of the students’ labors.

Greater Muskegon Area Coalition for Community Development helped to run a summer learning and mentoring program for grade K-2 students. While not exactly summer school, the program covered academic subject areas as well as other life skills and activites, including planting and tending a garden.

Multiple representative of the Coalition appeared at Monday’s Muskegon Heights School Board meeting to discuss the program and announce other initiatives they were working on.

Concerning the summer program, Floyd Cook Jr. noted that they did not have as many students involved as they would have liked but said there were other benefits.

“A tremendous success in terms of substance,” said Cook. “The numbers weren’t there but it was a pilot and we learned a lot.”

To celebrate the program’s first year, the Coalition also announced their plans for a Harvest Meal on Tuesday, October 11.

Some of the vegetables grown by the students will be a part of the meal.

The even will be held at the Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church Center at Wood Street and Sherman Boulevard from 5-7 p.m.  Gift card giveaways, door prizes, and games will be part of the event.  A sweet potato pie contest will also be held – all entries must be dropped off by 5 p.m.

The group’s other representative, Spencer Norman, discussed the Coalition’s newest initiative: collecting and training volunteers to staff the Heights school district’s libraries as the district makes cuts.

Norman noted that the Muskegon Area District Library would be training the volunteers, who are being recruited by Coalition member Dr. Doris Rucks.

When asked when the volunteer program may begin, Norman said it would be by the end of the year:

“We expect that to happen sometime in the fall.”

Those looking for more information on the Harvest Meal or other Coalition for Community Development projects should call 231.798.2915 or 231.903.5398.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst