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WILLIAM C. ABNEY ACADEMY WINS MEDIA ROOM MAKEOVER

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance on Tuesday announced that William C. Abney Academy has been chosen from elementary and middle schools throughout Kent, Ottawa and Allegan Counties as the winner of the fourth annual Media Room Makeover Contest.

Representatives from the Griffins and Farm Bureau Insurance made site visits recently to William C. Abney Academy, Hope Academy of West Michigan and Grand Rapids Christian School – Evergreen Campus to help determine the winner of a media room makeover with a valuation up to $15,000.

Founded by the late Bishop William C. Abney in 1998, WCAA is a tuition-free public school operating under the public school academy governance structure and is authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Just like Bishop Abney, WCAA is always looking forward and thinks innovatively how it can help all students and families reach their full potential. Serving students K-6, 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.

“We are excited and honored to have been selected as the Media Room Makeover winners,” said Paul Adams, principal of William C. Abney Academy. “Our students have made the best out of our current media room situation and it is exciting to be able to give them a learning space that will be new and inspiring. The new media room will help improve our intervention program and testing environment, and give our students a place to learn about technology as well as many books to explore. Our building has not had a space for students to read in and check-out books from in many years, so this is such a wonderful opportunity to be able to provide them that space. The Abney family is thankful for this opportunity to further enrich our students’ lives.”

Over the next month, officials from William C. Abney Academy, 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 August or September.

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

“As Michigan’s Insurance Company, we’re committed to serving Michigan and are passionate about helping our communities grow,” said Jennifer Miller, communications, public relations, and advertising manager for Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan. “Our initiative, E=MC2 (Enriching Michigan’s Children and Communities) pays tribute to schools such as William C. Abney who seek to enhance their students learning experience. We are excited to help the teachers and community with a new media center designed to inspire.”

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).

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.

Listen here to Griffins corporate partnerships manager Steve Ritsema on WOOD Radio's West Michigan's Morning News (May 30)