Andrew Trzaska | December 18, 2012
Muskegon’s Board of Education meeting Tuesday night wrapped the year with little official business, but the proceedings did announce the kindling of a new project aimed at improving Muskegon internal and external perception.
Plans for a “a community-driven competition aimed at identifying and championing Muskegon’s unsung heroes” called MPrize is in the works.
The project involves both children and adults. The theory is that by schools, businesses and other community stakeholders working together on one project, that unity could spin out into other community change.
Starting in fall of 2013, MPrize hopes to have students in districts around the area identify “staff members and others who make differences in their lives,” according to Superintendent Jon Felske. What the “prize” in MPrize will be is unclear at this time, but will develop over the next 9 months.
The inspiration for the MPrize name is the “Grand Rapids ArtPrize competition, unveiling the layers of our community’s unsung heroes to reveal the Muskegon Prize.”
The project’s intended scope of involvement will include churches, local businesses, non-profits, neighborhood associations, The Muskegon Chronicle, members of the group called ‘Pulling Muskegon Together”, and most notably, student councils of each Muskegon area school district. Those coordinating the project note they will work to form student councils in districts where one does not already exist.
There are plans to gather sponsors to help fund the project as well.
Debra Griffin, Muskegon resident and Muskegon Public School parent who ran unsuccessfully for school board in 2011, is involved in the project and signed her name to a presentation on the project, dated December 5, 2012. She is the liaison between Muskegon Public Schools’ Parents Who Care group and others involved in the project.
The “buy-in” from school districts was also spelled out Tuesday. Most of the involvement of any district in the area would be access and support – access to student councils, employees and administrators and to buildings, and support via approval of school boards and building principals, volunteer support and social media and web promotion of the project.
“I think this is a very wonderful thing that Debra and that parent group is doing for our district,” said Felske.