Connecting families to community resources and supporting parent-teacher collaboration.
a Parent Liaison Can Help
Have a question about the school or your child’s academics?
Wondering about activities or resources that are available?
Need help finding childcare?
Need to connect with Department for Health and Human Services for a Bridge card, insurance, or other supports?
We help ensure stability and support for students and families without a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.
Need help connecting with a counselor, psychologist, or other mental health professional?
Beth is starting her third year as a Parent Liaison for Jenison Public Schools. Prior to this, Beth spent 11 years as a speech pathologist in Grand Rapids and 12 years as an SLP with Jenison’s ASD program. Beth graduated from Western Michigan University with a major in Speech Pathology and minors in Spanish and Elementary Education. She received her M.A. in Speech Pathology from Eastern Michigan University. In her spare time, Beth loves spending time with her family, boating, and reading. Beth provides support to Bauerwood, Bursley, Rosewood, JIA, and the High School.
Mary is starting her fifth year as a Parent Liaison for Jenison Public Schools. Prior to being a Parent Liaison, Mary spent 25 years teaching third grade. Mary graduated from Hope College with a degree in elementary and special education. Her Master’s Degree is from Cleveland State University where she focused on Early Childhood Special Education. Mary loves spending time with her family and friends, traveling, reading, and playing pickleball.
Mary provides support to El Puente, Pinewood, Sandy Hill, the Junior High and the ECC.
Rachelle joins the Parent Liaison Team as an administrative assistant after spending 7 years with the Young Life Organization as the YoungLives Coordinator. Rachelle’s supportive skills and an understanding of community needs, as well as her connections to many community resources, make her a great addition to the Parent Liaison Program. In her spare time, Rachelle enjoys spending time with her family, physical fitness, and time in the sunshine.
Opportunities for Families
- Free Outdoor Fitness Classes: Grand Rapids Parks and recreation is brining free fitness to parks and public spaces across Grand Rapids. Events happen Monday-Saturday, May 23 – September 3. See the website for further information.
- Summer Block Party: Love Your Neighbor invites you to bring your family for an evening of live music, kid’s activities, food trucks, and discounts at our shops! Block parties are from 4-7pm in Hudsonville on June 15 and in Grandville on June 22. See all the details on their website.
- Flick’s Family Film: Flick’s Family Film is currently showing Paw Patrol. Kids under 12 are FREE and everyone else is just $5.
- Bowling: Enjoy family fun by requesting your FREE $10 Open Bowling Certificate through Hudsonville Lanes here!
- Splash Pads: Did you know that Jenison is home to two great splash pads? Kids can choose their own “level of wet’ at either Maplewood Park or Rosewood Park Splash pads.
- Family Paddle: The City of Grand Rapids Parks is hosting a FREE kayak and canoe experience at the Riverside Park Lagoon. They’re providing all equipment and training – all you need to do is show up. Your family will also enjoy yard games and food trucks. May 20, 5:00 – 8:00 PM.
- Planet Fitness High School Summer Pass: High schoolers can use the gym for free starting May 16 up until August 31. High schoolers can visit PlanetFitness.com/
SummerPass to pre-register, and get a reminder to formally sign up when the program officially kicks off on Monday, May 16.
- Koala’s at the Zoo: Travel “Down Under” at John Ball Zoo! The *new* koala habitat is open. Iluka and Noorundi are two male koalas visiting from San Diego Zoo for the summer. Any Michigan resident who carries an MI Bridges card, including WIC, can attend John Ball Zoo for free with up to 9 free household members through the JUMP program. Anyone can also purchase tickets here.
- Summer Camp Sign-ups: If you are looking for summer camp opportunities, check out this list of local camps.
- Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports: Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports offers classes, clinics and teams. Summer program registrations are now open! Click here to explore all of the opportunities to get outside and stay active this summer. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports team at email@example.com or call us at (616)840-8356.
- Virtual Relaxation Rooms! The Virtual Relaxation Room is designed to be an interactive experience. They are designed to help you decompress, refocus, and reduce stress. Click here for easy access to some favorite rooms!
- West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball: The Whitecaps play baseball from April to September at the LMCU Ballpark. Check our all the Whitecaps Ticket Promotions, and snag a deal on a fun family outing!
- Georgetown Public Library: Our local public library has a great variety of activities for youth that can be found in their newsletter and on their website.
- Grand Rapids Public Museum: GRPM has opened a new exhibit, Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs. Student tickets are only $5 here. Learn more about Pterosaurs here.
- Draw Club: Draw Club offers drawing classes for Ages 7-16.
- Attention Teens! The Georgetown Public Library has a new teen program on Mondays from 3:30-5:00. Teens ages 13-17 are invited to spend their after school time at the library. Each week they will have board games, video games, craft supplies, snacks, and more available to teens to enjoy. They will also have special craft days, movie days, and even pizza days. This is a drop-in program so no registration is required and teens may arrive/leave anytime during the program. See the flyer for more information.
- For ages 5-10, Kent District Library (KDL) LAB Experience: TheKDL LAB Experience promotes creativity, problem solving skills and unstructured exploration time for school-age children and teens. Carefully selected learning tools and activities are designed to help students increase their proficiency in STEAM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Get your questions answers and register at the KDL website.
- Kindness Machine: Kindness is something you can never have too much of. The Kindness Challenge is a refurbished vending machine that dispenses mystery kindness challenges to help spread kindness in our community. The kindness machine is located outside of DeVos Place. You can select from easy, medium, or hard challenges that range from free to $3.
- Indoor Sports and Recreation: Enjoy the Recreation Center and pool at GVSU with a day pass! Day passes are $5.00 per person and you may come and go as you need. Click here for information.
- Story Walks: Ottawa County parks offers Story Walks. Walk along the paths with your family and read the picture books posted on signs and look for things to do. Be sure to check the calendar for dates and parks.
- Supporting Teens Mental Health: Stay Well Michigan has 2 new live webinars. Both presentations revolve around supporting teens mental health. Supporting Teens Mental Health (for parents, guardians, caregivers) will be on May 24 at 6:00 pm. Friends helping Friends (for teens) will be May 25 at 6:00 pm.
- Mental Health Support Groups: Be Better in Holland is here to provide guidance, support, and education to the individual and their network. Free support groups are happening now. Learn more here.
- Parent Education Videos: In 2021, Ottawa County Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP) launched a new Parent Education SHORT Video series. Several West Michigan parents self-recorded their parenting experiences or conversations with their teens about topics linked to substance use, mental health, and more. These candid recordings give insight into how parents can engage teens in necessary conversations that may feel uncomfortable to start or other helpful parenting advice. OSAP will release a short video each week on its YouTube Channel. Click here to watch the first video of the new Parent Education Video Series. From there you will be able to see the others or subscribe for future videos.
- GVSU K-12 Connect: Offering free tutoring services and homework help to students in grades K-12. See the link for more information and to sign up.
- Early Childhood: The Jenison Early Childhood Center (ECC) has a new facebook page! Check out the Facebook link for everything going on in early childhood!
- Depression / Bipolar /Anxiety Support: Fairhaven church in Jenison is offering a free DBSA support group on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month. See this flyer for more information.
- May Mobile Food Pantry
- Good and Cheap Cookbook: Ottawa Food has provided the Eat Well on $4/day Good and Clean cookbook by Leanna Brown for free! It can be accessed for online at https://books.leannebrown.com/good-and-cheap.pdf. Ottawa County DHHS also has some of these available in their lobby for anyone interested.
- Health Fair: Community Mental Health of Ottawa County is joining together with local agencies to provide an exciting HealthFair at The Salvation Army in Holland on June 9th from 12-4 PM. This event is for members of the community to come learn about local resources as well as health, wellness and educational opportunities.
- Free COVID Tests: Every family may order 2 free sets of home tests on www.covidtests.gov. You can also receive free and Confidential Covid Testing and Vaccination for ages 5 and up at City on a Hill Health Clinic in Zeeland. Click here for information.
- Confidential STD Testing: May 23 10am-2pm Free, walk-in clinics – no appointment needed. This flyer in English or Spanish has all the information.
Spring / Summer 2022
- Meijer Now Accepting SNAP Benefits for Online: See all the details here!
- Double Up Food Bucks: Use your Bridge or Pandemic EBT Card at participating Farmers markets to get tokens to purchase SNAP eligible items. Get an equal amount in FREE Double Up Food Bucks (up to $20/day) for Michigan grown fruit and vegetables. See all the information here.
- Free or low cost Broadband Service: The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) helps households pay for broadband service and internet connected devices like a laptop or tablet. Several internet providers have announced high-speed internet plans for $30/month or less. If you apply your ACP benefit to one of these plans, you will have no out-of-pocket cost for your household internet. APPLY HERE for AFFORDABLECONNECTIVITY.GOV
- Hearing and Vision Screening: The Ottawa County Health Department is offering free vision and hearing screenings for children ages 3-5 years of age. Please see the flyer to sign up!
- Heat and Energy Program: TrueNorth Community Services’ emPower Heat and Energy Program assists people struggling to afford their utility and deliverable fuels in Michigan – Apply today!
- Energy Bill Assistance: The Salvation Army has a program that might be right for you. See this flyer for more information.
- FREE COLLEGE –Michigan residents 25 and older who don’t have a college degree can now apply for funding to cover community college tuition costs or skilled trades training scholarships. Click here for more information or to apply.
- Work with a coach through Michigan Works to improve your skills and find a job. All information is on this flyer.
- Looking to Build Resource and Learn New Skills?: Families in Hudsonville, Jenison, and Grandville can connect to community and resources at Love Your Neighbor. For families in Holland or Zeeland, Doors of Hope offers practical life skills (financial literacy, parenting, healthy relationships).
- Free and Low Cost Childcare: Michigan has recently expanded its eligibility for families to qualify for free and reduced quality childcare. See more information in the Child Care Handout – For Families or signup at MiBridges. Great Start to Quality helps parents find quality child care in West Michigan. Backed by the State of Michigan, their extensive database allows you to search for programs to fit your needs.
- Community Action House Food Club is now open! Please see this video for more information. They are located at: 739 Paw Paw Dr. Holland MI 49423 Food Club FAQs
- Resilience offers resources for helping to end domestic violence. Many services are being offered virtually. Check out the website to get connected or call the 24 Hour Help Line at 1-800-848-5991 for free and confidential support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
- The Fresh Guide to EBT answers all of your questions related to food stamps in Michigan. And best of all, the Fresh EBT app for I-phone and Android helps you keep track of all of your EBT information right on your phone.