The future of education in Michigan remains murky in the wake of COVID-19. Superintendent of Grandville Public Schools, Roger Bearup, did not mince words when it came to his reaction to the global pandemic’s recent developments. “Our jobs are quite different now,” said Bearup of his staff. “Whether we wanted them to be or not, they are, and so we’re tackling that and looking at every phase and doing our best to provide the best quality Grandville education we can.”
Like every school district in Michigan, Grandville Public Schools has been drafting a plan for the 2020-21 school year for months. When in-person instruction for the 2019-20 school year was shut down prematurely in March, students finished the year virtually.
Samantha Slager approached the podium to address her classmates. Grandville High School’s Class of 2020 president looked out upon the parking lot and began to speak. “The Class of 2020 has been through a lot together,” Slager said to the crowd. “In fact, I think I can officially say we go down in the record books for having the craziest senior year of all time.”
The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop Grandville High School from holding its graduation ceremony. Hundreds of cars packed the school parking lot to celebrate the Class of 2020 just about a month before many of the students head off for a fresh start in college.
With annual Ludington community events like the LudRock music festival and the Gus Macker 3-on-3 basketball tournament being canceled in wake of COVID-19, the city turned to its weeklong fishing event, the Ludington Offshore Classic, to lift some spirits. The event kicked off on July 14. The event usually is accompanied by a beer tent, food and live weigh-ins and award ceremonies for spectators and locals to enjoy. This year, that wasn’t the case, though holding the tournament itself was more of the priority. Starting it all was the first leg of the Big Boys Tournament, a two-day competition to see which crew could catch the highest weight of fish with a limit of 12 fish per day.
Courtesy of Grandville United Methodist ChurchGrandville United Methodist Church in Grandville, Michigan. If Christian churches can be boiled down to one steadfast purpose, it’s keeping the faith and spreading the word of God. When the COVID-19 pandemic halted the world and life as we know it, keeping the faith became more difficult, as thousands died from the virus, and spreading the word simply became harder to do without face-to-face interaction. But one pastor, in a small church, in a small town in Michigan, wouldn’t take no for an answer in either facet.
“This is something that most people of any age have not faced in their lifetime,” said Rev. Ryan Wieland of Grandville United Methodist Church. “People are stressed and overwhelmed.