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Aug 17, 2018
Written By: EdenCreative

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan on Friday unveiled their $15,000 media room makeover for William C. Abney Academy (WCAA), which was chosen in May from elementary and middle schools throughout Kent, Ottawa and Allegan Counties as the winner of their fourth annual Media Room Makeover Contest.

Founded by the late Bishop William C. Abney in 1998, WCAA is a tuition-free, K-6 public school operating under the public school academy governance structure and is authorized by Grand Valley State University. Through this makeover, WCAA received a renovated media room and library that include a new reading center with bookcases, carpet, bean bag chairs, a listening library and 450 new books, along with signage, paint, blinds and electrical work. (Click here for before and after photos.)

Several dignitaries spoke at the outset of today’s event, including Griffins vice president of community relations and broadcasting Bob Kaser, Farm Bureau Insurance CEO Don Simon, and WCAA principal Paul Adams. Following their remarks, a number of WCAA students and their parents received their first look at the school’s new media center.

"Now we have an updated computer area, and an intervention area where we can pull small groups and have differentiated instruction for individualized learning," said Adams. "This is an awesome environment for students and academics."

Work at WCAA began in late July, when more than 50 volunteers from the Griffins, Farm Bureau Insurance and WCAA put in a full day of demolition, painting and landscaping. Over the last five weeks, the makeover has been led by the efforts of Mike Case of Case Construction and Restoration, Inc., painter Tyler Sprague, and Steve Ritsema of the Griffins. Project support was provided by Repcolite, which donated the paint; CS Erickson, which provided electrical support; and Scholastic Book Fairs, which donated the reading material.

Each of the other two finalists of the Media Room Makeover Contest – Hope Academy of West Michigan and Grand Rapids Christian School – Evergreen Campus – has received $250 toward upgrading the amenities of its current media room.

The previous winners of the Media Room Makeover contest were New Branches Charter Academy (2017), Ken-O-Sha Park Elementary School (2016) and the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center (2015).

Just like Bishop Abney, WCAA is always looking forward and thinks innovatively how it can help all students and families reach their full potential. WCAA strives to create a positive learning environment that fosters independence and inspires students to be self-motivated, life-long learners. WCAA values trust, integrity, honesty, respect, teamwork, accountability, leadership and relationships. They are committed to putting their students, parents and community first and treating all with kindness and dignity.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, in its fourth 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 more than 500,000 Michigan policyholders.

Photo by Veronica Ann Dearborn