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School inside Grand Rapids Public Museum wins $10 million to help expand

Dustin Dwyer
Michigan Radio
A classroom inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

A school that’s housed inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum is getting a $10 million boost.

The XQ Super School Project announced the national award today. The institute says it offered the money to get schools “to rethink and redesign the American high school.”

The money going to Grand Rapids Public Schools will help cover the costs of renovating the 80-year-old public museum building into a new high school.

Tom Almonte has paid to send all three of his kids to private schools to get the best education. Last year he took his oldest daughter, Sophia, to check out the new public school inside the public museum. Before the visit he says she was hesitant, worried about leaving her old school friends behind.

“After the visit we didn’t even have to ask her, ‘Do you want to go there?’ She was the one saying, ‘When am I going to begin? When do I get to go?'” Almonte said.

Almonte loves that teachers use artifacts and real community issues to teach students about core subjects and the city he loves.

“Personally I want my daughter, at this stage of education where she actually is quite aware of the issues we have as a community,” he said.

You can read more about the concept on Michigan Radio’s State of Opportunity page here.

The new high school is set to open in 2018.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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