GRPS students to experience ‘floating classroom’

Wilderness Inquiry, a Minnesota-based nonprofit will bring its floating classroom to Grand Rapids Public School students, May 15-19.

A Minnesota-based nonprofit that travels the country with the goal of bringing hands-on, water-based learning opportunities to urban students is coming to Grand Rapids May 15 through 19.  “Canoemobile is a floating classroom that takes students on local waterways in a 10-person canoes to learn about science, history, geography and culture. About 1,000 Grand Rapids Public Schools students will participate in the annual experience.

This is the fifth time Grand Rapids Public School students will be treated to the canoe paddling experience, which launches from Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave. NE.

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids Magazine file photo. Photo by Kristen Norman

“Canoemobile continues to be a unique and special experience for our students to interact with the Grand River,” said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “Through this immersive hands-on opportunity, these young people are learning about the importance of our incredible waterway and becoming empowered to explore it for themselves.”

Throughout the week, GRPS students are engaging in a number of outdoor activities, including paddling nine-passenger canoes on the Grand River, learning about the waterway, water quality testing, nature hiking, cultural history lessons and more. Land-based educational opportunities will be provided by the City’s GR Outside division and other community partners.

“This annual tradition is a wonderful experience for our scholars to get out of the classroom and explore!” said GRPS Superintendent Leadriane Roby, Ph.D. “Some of our children haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy our treasured lakes and rivers. Canoemobile lets our scholars see firsthand the role the Grand River plays in what it means to be a part of the Grand Rapids community.”


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