GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — A relatively new program in Grand Haven is helping give children a new worldview.
Not only does it help inspire them in their personal lives, but it allows them to enjoy some of Michigan’s natural beauty in the process.
“So statistics say that if you have one charismatic person in your life your whole trajectory can change…”says Dennis Threadgill, the Grand Haven Area Public Schools Performance Arts and GHTV Coordinator.
“Just as a farmer cultivates soil and seed to grow food and plants, that’s what we are doing with these kids to grow them into leaders.” Threadgill explains.
He along with the Grand Haven Schools Foundation launched a club known as “The Cultivate Club.”
They selected eight fourth grade students from Ferry and Voyger elementary school and over five weeks gave them an experience of a life time
“We wanted to get some kids together during the summer and have a camp of some sort to give them experiential learning opportunities that otherwise they may not receive.” Threadgill described the activities – simple things like kayaking, fishing, picking blueberries.
Threadgill says the students all make huge strides, trying things for the first time and learning that they can overcome anything in their paths one baby step at a time.
“It starts out small with a kayak but once you learn ‘hey, I can do this’ and then you have the support of all of your friends ‘You got this, you can do it, you’re safe, you are going to make it,’ just gives them the self-confidence to be able to kayak but then also do well in math or whatever else it is that they want to do they can achieve it.” Threadgill told FOX 17.
“Before all this happened, I was really excited because I never got an invitation in my whole entire life,” said Dakota, member of the Cultivate Club. “This was my first invitation.”
It’s an opportunity the kids will never forget. When it comes to growth Threadgill hopes to expand the club saying support from the community will be vital.
“It’s going to take a lot of help from the community to help these kids become future leaders,” Threadgill explained. “They may only be in fourth grade now but they are going into 5th 6th and then they are going to graduate and they are going to come back to our community and we need to make sure we are training them, giving them every possibility, everything they need to succeed in life.”
If you’d like to support the club as it works to grow you can get in touch with the ferry and voyager elementary school.