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New Branches Charter Academy Wins Media Room Makeover

May 19, 2017 - American Hockey League (AHL) - Grand Rapids Griffins News Release

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - New Branches Charter Academy in Grand Rapids has been chosen from elementary and middle schools throughout Kent County as the winner of the third annual Media Room Makeover Contest conducted by the Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance.

Representatives from the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance made site visits earlier this week to New Branches and two other finalist schools, All Saints Academy in Grand Rapids and Sparta Middle School, to help determine the winner of a media room makeover valued at $15,000.

New Branches Charter Academy, a charter school managed by Choice Schools Associates, is a tuition-free public school, providing quality education for students in grades preschool-8 in the Grand Rapids area. They believe in caring for our Earth, promoting positive life choices, and working with our community to build a positive environment for their students. New Branches believes it takes a village to raise a child and works closely with parents to ensure each child receives what he/she needs to be successful. Students are able to grow and foster into students who love and understand learning.

"It is an honor to be selected for the Media Room Makeover," said Terry Larkin, principal of New Branches. "Our students deserve the best, and this makeover will help provide them with a learning environment that they will be excited to learn in, and know that it was created just for them! The new media room will help improve how we teach technology and will provide them with quality equipment and comfortable seating while they work. We appreciate our community partners and are grateful for their support. It is important for us to model what giving back to our community looks like, and this is a perfect example."

Over the next month, officials from New Branches, the Griffins, Farm Bureau Insurance and project contractor Mike Case of Case Construction will collaborate on the scope, details and planning of the school's media room makeover, which could consist of a variety of new resources such as computer hardware, software, books, furniture, paint, carpet and light construction. The Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance, including dozens of employee volunteers, will assist school officials in the makeover of the school's media room this summer, then host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the start of the new school year in September.

Each of the other two finalist schools will receive $250 toward upgrading the amenities of its current media room.

"Farm Bureau Insurance is dedicated to enriching communities and children. Our initiative, EMC2 (Enriching Michigan's Children and Communities) pays tribute to schools seeking a little help - and hope to do great things for their students. New Branches Charter Academy is a true example of teachers and administrators wanting to do more, be better, and enhance their students learning experience," said Vic Verchereau, vice president of marketing at Farm Bureau Insurance. "We're excited to be able to create a media center that will embrace their passion and support their students' continued learning success."

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

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan, in its third 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 nearly 500,000 Michigan policyholders.

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