GRCC instructor teams up with quilt-making ministry to help inspiring student have a warmer, safer commute

Island Hines will have a warmer, safer commute to Grand Rapids Community College’s Fratzke Early Childhood Learn Lab through a gift from a local ministry and support from a GRCC instructor.

Island’s joyful spirit and determination make her an inspiration to the ECLL team members, who describe her as a “phenomenal individual.”  Island, who turns four years old next month, was recently diagnosed with Cohen’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by diminished muscle tone.

Island’s mother, Abriana Winters, is a GRCC graduate and her father, Isaiah Hines, is a current student, and the family works to ensure her needs are met and hope their story can be an inspiration to others who are on the journey.

Julie Sizemore, a, ECLL lab instructor, nominated Island to receive a quilt from Love Sews Ministry. The Holland-based non-profit’s mission is to make and provide custom quilts for those facing challenging life circumstances. The group’s volunteers have completed more than 1,000 quilts since starting in 2013.

“This child has changed my life,” said Sizemore, who starting working with Island when she was eight months old.  

“She has changed who I am as a care teacher.  She has changed how I support families when it comes to children with special needs.  She has been the reason that I have built a network of early interventionists that has allowed me to help other children get needs met when they may not normally have qualified for early intervention.”

Sizemore’s hope was to give Island a quilt for her wheelchair so she can be warm and safe when she rides the bus to school or is in the car. If she wears a coat while being transported, the belts could be too loose and this can be very dangerous if she was ever in an accident. 

“The Love Sews Ministry group did an amazing job on every detail of the quilt down to the princesses who have dark skin, like Island, and including her favorite character, Peppa Pig,” Sizemore said. “Island and her family continue to inspire me, their joyful spirit, determination, and how they always work so hard to beat the odds are just a few of the ways.”

GRCC in the News 12/20/2022

Grand Rapids school board appoints new member to fill vacant seat

12/19/22 MLive

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Board of Education has appointed Jordoun Eatman to fill the vacant seat of former board member Kristian Grant.

… Eatman was one of three finalist candidates the board was considering for the open seat, along with Travis Steffens, a success coach at Grand Rapids Community College, and Shanda Vaughn, a recipient rights officer for Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

Play and Learn GRCC Winter Celebration

Play and Learn GRCC is hosting Winter Celebration on Wednesday, December 21 from 9 a.m. to noon at the GRCC Phyllis Fratzke Early Childhood Learning Lab, 210 Lyon NE, Grand Rapids.

Come help us celebrate another year of play! We hope you will join us for some wintery fun!

This event is open to faculty, staff and students living in Kent County who have children infant through 5 years old.

Be loud and proud, refresh your headshot on Jan. 5

GRCC has outstanding faculty and staff members. Help us show students, potential students and community members the quality of the people here at GRCC serving our community by having a current headshot for the website and other uses.

The Communications Department is providing an opportunity for faculty and staff to have free headshots photographed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 5 – Learning Day – on the third floor of the Student Center in the lounge area.

Without a headshot, the webpage shows a missing photo icon or a RaiderCard photo.

Communications stresses that GRCC provides an affordable education, but more importantly, a quality education. Our expert faculty and dedicated staff members are selling points! Help us highlight your work and attract new students by updating your headshot and web bio. 

Nominations being sought for 2023 Emeritus Faculty Award

You are invited to nominate a GRCC retired faculty or administrator for the Emeritus Faculty Award.

This award was established in 1985 to honor those instructors and administrators whose dedication and creativity have left an indelible mark on the lives of students and colleagues at GRCC.  During their tenure at GRCC and since their retirement, they have continued to promote GRCC’s “Commitment to Excellence.”

Please submit online nominations by noon on Friday,  February 10, 2023. For more information, please visit the Emeritus Award webpage.