1. The time to head off to college has arrived for Hope College freshmen because as they get settled in, classes begin next week.
As announced in June, Hope is beginning and concluding the fall semester earlier than usual to help limit the impact of COVID-19 on the campus community.
The semester was original to have run September 1- December 18, but since they're starting early it will conclude on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Like other institutions, multiple class options are available with in-person to online, and everything in-between.
2. The Van Andel Institute for Education has launched a new series of virtual workshops to help K-12 educators this school year.
This new "Return-to-Learn Initiative" includes three workshops designed to help teachers master "Tech Tips" for distance learning, foster student engagement, and the workshops are happening over the next couple of months.
3. If you've missed live music, drinks, and tasty food, then take part in the social distancing friendly "Green Gala" for the non-profit "Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
The event takes place Thursday at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. There will be two different time frames, hosting 100 people at a time.
Guests can buy a picnic basket and sit in designated spaces, or take the basket home. Each basket costs $110 and includes local food, drinks, two masks, and hand sanitizer. Kids basket costs just $20.
The fundraiser will help the organization support local parks and plant trees in the city. Head to their website to reserve a basket.
4. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation is also making changes to its upcoming fundraiser. They're calling it Harvest and Hope, and it will be held virtually on October 23.
It's a combination of two big events in Michigan: Harvest and Hops and Night of Hope on the East Side. There will be a raffle and silent auction, as well as entertainment and stories from patients.
The event gets started at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $100. To purchase one, or donate, visit their website.
5. It's time to go retro: It's National Vinyl Record Day on Wednesday.
While records left the music industry mainstream decades ago, they're making a comeback among audiophiles.
Some top artists have been releasing their albums on vinyl in recent years. Another way to celebrate is to visit the local record store.
Post photo social media with #VinylRecordDay.