Grand Kids Foundation

All public elementary school libraries in Michigan soon will be receiving a copy of Detroit Tigers’ Curtis Granderson’s new book.  Granderson and publisher Triumph Books are proud to donate a copy of Granderson’s book All You Can Be to every public elementary school library in Michigan.  The illustrations in this book were contributed by fourth grade students from across Michigan.

Earlier this year, with the help from the Michigan Department of Education, the Grand Kids Foundation and Triumph Books held a contest inviting fourth graders across the state to submit their artwork through their school for consideration to be included in the book.  The theme for the artwork was:  How do you see yourself when you are in high school and how is education important in helping you become that person?   There were hundreds of submissions and Granderson chose 29 of them to be in his book.  Those students whose artwork was chosen received a free copy of the book, autographed by Granderson.

“Our many fine teachers throughout the state, along with other educators and administrators, are always looking for new and refreshing ways to motivate students and create enthusiasm for the joy of learning,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan.  “All You Can Be takes a unique approach to student involvement in this adventure by giving them the opportunity to create their own artwork, illustrating the importance that education plays in achieving their goals for the future.

“I’d like to thank Curtis for his generosity not only to school libraries, but for his overall commitment to education,” Flanagan said.

With special input from the Michigan Department of Education, Granderson, his mother, Mary Granderson (herself, a retired school teacher), and Detroit News writer Terry Foster, All You Can Be is the latest effort from Triumph Books to help children get excited about learning - in this case helping them realize  that the things they are taught every day have very real applications later in life.

“There was one simple thing I wanted to achieve with All You Can Be – to make learning fun for school children,” said Granderson.  “My mother, Mary, co-author, Terry Foster, and I truly feel we have accomplished what we set out to do, which was to make learning fun through using creative and different ways to get Michigan’s elementary school students thinking about their future.”

Granderson grew up on the south side of Chicago. He loved sports and was determined to become a successful athlete. But perhaps because both of his parents were teachers, he had an even stronger desire to succeed in the classroom. He loved learning for its own sake, and from an early age the importance of education. Now an established Major League baseball All-Star, Granderson has not forgotten the lessons he learned growing up. These are lessons not only about the importance of education, but also about working hard to attain goals; and lessons about character, integrity, and personal responsibility.

All of the net proceeds from the public sale of the books will go to Granderson’s foundation: Grand Kids Foundation, whose funds go towards purchasing school supplies for needy families/kids; books and supplies for schools that do not get the funding they always need; establishing baseball programs as well as providing equipment and facilities in some of Michigan’s inner cities; and eventually a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors.

List of students whose artwork was selected:

Lindsey Lammlin, Minges Brook Elementary (Battle Creek)

Breanna Schwartz, Madison Academy (Flint)

Kate Nawrocki, All Saints Academy (Grand Rapids)

Sklyer Kochan, Harvey-Swanson Elementary (Ortonville)

Carson Render, Creekside Elementary (Hartland)

Kerryn Taylor, Central Elementary (Flushing)

Kody Beauchaine, Autrain-Onota Elementary (Deerton)

Lily Atkinson, Lake Hills Elementary (Spring Lake)

Naiya Taylor, Stark School of Technology (Detroit)

Gracie Butler, Trinity Lutheran School (Jackson)

Cruz Rodriguez, Oakridge Upper Elementary (Muskegon)

Megan Pietila, Southwest Elementary (Howell)

Chloe Smith, Byron Center Christian School (Byron Center)

Kelsey Hessbrook, North Elementary (Ithaca)

Ally Estes, New Haven Elementary (New Haven)

Gavin Walters, Brummer Elementary (South Lyon)

Raisa Zahir, Westlake Elementary (Battle Creek)

Jonathon Forbush, Kennedy Elementary (Warren)

Reyah Spikener, The Bates Academy (Detroit)

Rachel Yang, Wood Creek Magnet School (Lansing)

Sydney Knisley, Angell School (Berkley)

Ina Gjoka, New Haven Elementary (New Haven)

Danielle Anderson, North Elementary (Ithaca)

Ashley Hann, Hutchings Elementary (Howell)

Julia Boudreau, Seymour Elementary (Flushing)

Autumn Petrick, St. Joseph School (St. Johns)

Tereon Rutherford, Warren Charter Academy (Detroit)

Savanna Wirth, Minges Brook Elementary (Battle Creek)

Katie Crawford, St. Charles Elementary (St. Charles)


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