GVSU hosts workshops for students at home for spring break

By Maddie Forshee | 4/6/16 11:03pm

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GVL / Courtesy - Cherilyn Denomme GVSU Meijer Campus Staycation

by Cherilyn Denomme / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Grand Valley State University’s Meijer Campus in Holland, Michigan focuses on nontraditional learning, and its faculty are now focusing in on the younger generation rather than the typical college-aged student.

GVSU is hosting the third annual Grand Staycation, a program where classes and workshops are held for local students during their spring breaks.

"It's been a really good project, because it ties in with our mission of lifelong learning," said Lisa Miller, director of the Holland Campus. "It's nice to be able to reach into the younger generation and have them have a college experience."

The Grand Staycation is four classes during the week of April 5 through 8. This year, the program is open to middle and high school students, whereas it was only previously available for elementary students.

"(The Holland Campus) is the location for the early college program," said Jane Marsman, adjunct adviser on the Holland Campus. "Many of those students are interested in going on to GV, so it's a way to offer things that would be of interest to them."

Marsman is the faculty member that organizes the events every year. She said she's excited for this year's activities and looks forward to engaging the students in the workshops.

"It helps the students to be more comfortable," Marsman said. "If they have good experiences on a college campus, when it comes time to think about going to college themselves, it isn't quite as new, different or difficult."

On April 5, the Grand Staycation kicked off with "Scrubs Camp," an interactive workshop with GVSU nursing students teaching elementary students about health care.

There will be a workshop aimed for middle and high school students about social justice, where Community Reading Project author Claudia Rankine will visit and talk with the students.

There will also be an activity hosted by the Tulip City Gem and Mineral Club for elementary students, and the week will wrap up with an activity for the older students aimed at finding their own voice.

The workshop and activity subjects change every year, but one facet of the workshops that stays the same is that they will be led by people with a GVSU connection, whether they are students, professors or alumni.

"We wanted to be able to tie in with some of the current and existing resources our faculty and alumni have," Miller said. "We have so many resources here, and to be able to share that with the community is big."

This year, GVSU expects around 100 students to take part in the Grand Staycation.

"(This event) minimizes the barriers that families or young students face when going to college," Marsman said. "I'm really excited about showing that coming to a college campus is fun, that the people there are nice and that it's a good experience."

For more information about GVSU's Holland Campus, visit www.gvsu.edu/holland or call (616) 331-3910.

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