On the Corner

By Sue Moore

The Vicksburg school’s Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) hit the big time with a front page story in the online Bridge Magazine that focuses on education in Michigan.

The article by Ron French, a former Detroit Free Press writer, says that 21,000 four year olds in Michigan are benefiting from a full day of free pre-school education. This is because the state put a lot more money into the classroom in 2014 for low and moderate income families. One of the beneficiaries was Vicksburg’s program that had one classroom until this year. It has expanded to four full day classes at Indian Lake elementary.

Elizabeth Lamb, a four-year old from Vicksburg, was profiled in the story. Her mother, Nicole Craig, said “It has made so much difference as we didn’t have to wait that long to see the benefits.” That is what the state was hoping for when it expanded the preschool program. Tonya Nash, community education director and program administrator, told Bridge magazine that the school went from 32 children in half-day programs, four days a week, to 48 children in full-day programs, five days a week.

“We had to go out on a limb and assume we could fill the classrooms,” Superintendent Charlie Glaes said. It turned out the district had the opposite problem—not enough seats. “We could have filled another class.”

The South County News profiled the program in Vicksburg and Schoolcraft in its September back to school edition.

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Teachers in Vicksburg’s Great Start Readiness Program are from left to right: Community Ed Administrator Tonya Nash; Teaching staff Alyssa Thompson, Kylee Schlabach, Kim Flathers, and Andrea VanDyk. Missing from the photo are Alicia Crandall and Dot Rowley.

Vicksburg Hall of Fame Event

There have been many good athletes setting records for the Vicksburg Bulldogs, so making a choice to induct a few each year, has fallen on a committee of ex coaches who carefully weigh the merits of the individual’s records and what they have accomplished after graduation. This year, they have chosen to honor Dr. Tom Willmeng, who didn’t attend school in Vicksburg, but has given time along the sidelines to take care of the athletes’ physical health. He has also volunteered along with Family Doctors of Vicksburg to perform free physical exams on each participant for the last twenty years or so. He and his wife, Maryann, have volunteered for many jobs with the Athletic Boosters organization as well. It is their way of giving back to their community. Of course he is ever humble when complimented on being selected, saying the committee must have been desperate this year. Mike Roy, Vicksburg’s athletic director, is hoping that many of the former athletes who are members of the Hall of Fame, will come to the induction ceremonies at Angels Crossing clubhouse on March 21 at 6 p.m., to honor the newest group inductees.

Free Press Article About Small Town Museums

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Ted Vliek, president of the Vicksburg Historical Society.

The Detroit Free Press featured the Galesburg Historical Museum and its curator, Keith Martin, 70 years old, who keeps the museum going, literally by himself. He is dedicated to keeping the history of the village in a place where the artifacts won’t be destroyed, but laments that nobody comes to see them or is willing to serve with him on the board of directors.

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Don Sanborn, president of the Schoolcraft Historical Society.

That brings to mind how fortunate Vicksburg is to have a highly visible Historic Village and Schoolcraft the Underground Railroad House—and a host of visitors and volunteers who help to keep each village’s history in a special place. Just this month, Randy and Donna Seilheimer took their seats as new members of the Vicksburg Historical Society board and Ted Vliek became the new president. They and the Historic Village committee have big plans for the coming year. The communities are fortunate to have such dedicated people who are interested in its history. Plus, there is a dedicated staff of volunteers who work at the Depot Museum and the Thursday Guys who are constantly building and repairing items in the Historic Village. Should we call the Free Press and see if they will do an article about a roaring success?

The Vault is gaining attention for its emphasis on great cuisine these days. Rave reviews on what its new chef is offering recently, have not fallen on deaf ears, or mouths for that matter.

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