For Immediate Release

GRCDC Wins Media Room Makeover!

Press Release,


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center (GRCDC) has been chosen from 46 elementary and middle schools throughout Kent County as the winner of the inaugural Media Room Makeover Contest conducted by the Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance.

Representatives from the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance made site visits earlier this week to the GRCDC and two other finalist schools, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Belmont and the Godfrey-Lee Early Childhood Center in Wyoming, to help determine the winner of a media room makeover valued at as much as $15,000.

The GRCDC is a K-5 public school academy located in a 93-year-old building in the heart of Grand Rapids at 409 Lafayette SE. The school offers a free education to its current enrollment of 227 children – projected to increase to 260 for 2015-16 – more than 52% of whom are considered economically disadvantaged.

“The GRCDC is grateful that the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance identified our need and responded so generously,” said the school’s pedagogista, Sarah Cooper. “Having support to design a space for children is a remarkable gift and we look forward to securing innovative, reliable technology and a comfortable learning environment.”

Principal John Robinson added, “We believe in ‘Education Built on Relationships.’ This relationship between the Griffins, Farm Bureau Insurance, their partners, and the GRCDC will help us better encourage curiosity, discovery and connectedness in our students. Thank you, Farm Bureau Insurance and the Grand Rapids Griffins for putting together this championship team and this big win for students and our community!”

Over the next month, officials from the GRCDC, the Griffins, Farm Bureau Insurance and project partners Mike Case of Case Construction and Steelcase will collaborate on the scope, details and planning of the school’s media room makeover, which could consist of a variety of new resources such as computer hardware, software, books, furniture, paint, carpet, flooring and light construction. The Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance will assist school officials in the makeover of the school’s media room this summer, then host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the start of the new school year in September.

Each of the other two finalist schools will receive $500 toward upgrading the amenities of its current media room.

“We were immediately impressed with the amazing staff and students at the GRCDC,” said Jennifer Miller, communications, public relations and advertising manager for Farm Bureau Insurance. “From the moment we walked into the building we could see the incredible passion this team has for creating a learning environment that children can excel in. Beyond their enthusiasm for success, the fact that the school has no media room/library currently to aid in the development of young lives struck our hearts. We are excited to be able to offer this school, its staff and students a media room/library makeover.”

The mission of the GRCDC is to continuously expand the potential of children, the experiences of educators and the involvement of parents within the diverse community of Grand Rapids. The school believes education is built on relationships to others, to ideas and to the environment and the larger community, an approach based on the Reggio Emilia method that encourages curiosity, discovery and connectedness. While the Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) is its charter authorizer and compliance overseer, all GRCDC facilities, finances and operations are separate from GRPS.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, in its first year as a Griffins corporate partner, was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why they are known as Michigan’s Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more—protecting over 565,000 Michigan policyholders.

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