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Grand Rapids youth review holiday events at John Ball Zoo

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Youth reporters from the The Andy Angelo Press Club attended the annual "Zoo Goes Boo" event and report on their experience.

The Andy Angelo Press Club - Who We Are

The Andy Angelo Press Club is a program run by the GR Creative Youth Center (CYC) and Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities (GAAH). The club exists to provide youth with the opportunity to improve their writing skills by way of exploring Grand Rapids and then writing about their experiences. Once a month, the club takes a trip to an event, organization, restaurant, performance or other Grand Rapids point of interest, and then writes articles or opinion pieces about the trip. Their writing is then published here on The Rapidian.

The CYC prepares kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. They believe that while nurturing kids’ writing can give them access to the world, fostering their creativity may allow them to change the world. At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Their programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools.

GAAH operates the Cook Arts Center and the Cook Library Center, both located on Grandville Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. Their mission is to enrich the lives of neighborhood youth through diverse and engaging programs at their two facilities, and provide access to the arts and humanities.  With the help of many talented artists and committed volunteers, they strive to provide an enriching environment for children and adults living in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood, and beyond.

Note: The club was named in honor of GAAH’s dear friend and longtime board member, Andy Angelo, who passed away in the summer of 2012. Andy was a journalist, editor and mentor at The Grand Rapids Press for 25 years.

/John Ball Zoo Society

The Andy Angelo Press Club (AAPC) is a program of the GR Creative Youth Center and Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities.  On Saturday, October 25th, the AAPC visited the annual "Zoo Goes Boo" event at John Ball Zoo. Each student wrote about what stood out to them during their visit and their reflections on the event, in their own words.

Michelle G. – Age 9

Andy Angelo Press Club went to John Ball Zoo Goes Boo. Press Club saw lots of people in line. Press Club interviewed two families. Beth Pridde has three kids. Theirs names are Grace (7), James (5), and Michel (9). Grace was a cheerleader, James was Robin, Michel was Batman. Pridde said she and her family had gone to Battle Creek to go to the Zoo Goes Boo and wanted to check out the Grand Rapids event. Press Club went to the aquarium to see fish, penguins sharks, starfish, and big fish. Press Club went to the trick-or-treat trail and it was long but we got to the end and got our candy!

Edgar J. – Age 11

All of press club separated into two groups, the trick-or-treat trail group, or the non-trick-or-treat group. Shoving through the line was the choice to go back for the non-trick-or-treat group in the Zoo Goes Boo (ZGB). The visitors waited in line for about 25 minutes. While in line they interviewed Beth Priddy and her children, ages of 5, 7, and 9. Priddy said that this was her first time in the Grand Rapids ZGB but she also has gone to the one in Battle Creek. She enjoyed the ZGB in Battle Creek and she hopes she has a good time in the one in Grand Rapids. The press club finally got to their destination to get their tickets. The guests entered the zoo, discussed where they were going to go, then they zoomed to go to the trick-or-treat trail. They changed their mind and instead they went to see some animals! First they entered the aquarium saw a lot of fish, penguins, and even star fish. Then the press club went outside to see more animals. After that the guests went to the trick-or-treat trail. The press club separated into groups. One group went to get a little snack and the other went to trick-or-treat. The first group waited for the second group while they ate the snack. Then the second group came and ate their snack. When the eating ended they went to see some dancers. They said they were really interesting. Finally they went back to the exit with candy all over their bag. All in all the guests had a very fun time in Zoo Goes Boo!!

Kamaria W. – Age 12

Zoo Goes Boo is a fun Halloween event at the John Ball Zoo that gets the whole family together. Every day at Zoo goes Boo is different but there will still be decoration, activities, entertainers, and a trick or treat trail. The line getting into Zoo Goes Boo was ridiculously long but it paid off when you got in. One thing that was everywhere was costumes, lots and lots of costumes. Adults were wearing costumes and children were wearing costumes. It was costume-a-palooza!

When visitors arrive they go through a gate where everything is located. At the gate someone gave out bags for the trick or treat trail. Farther into the zoo was the trick or treat trail. Getting to the trick or treat trail had a long line to wait in but it was surprisingly fast. At the base of the line there was a tent and volunteers giving out reflective bracelets and rubber duckies with Halloween characters. The line was long and there was not a lot of candy but at the end there was a petting zoo. It was fun watching the animals and there was a chicken with really feathery legs. It was quite weird and extraordinary.

Luis J. – Age 9

Adults and kids both wore costumes for John Ball Zoo's Halloween event, Zoo Goes Boo. The event was at 12:00pm-4:00pm. Guests got to see animals from all over the world. People got to see spider monkeys and sharks.

Trick-or-treaters lined up for the candy trick-or-treat trail located next to the aquarium. There are more animals like fish and pigeons. Zoo Goes Boo is a great event for the whole family!





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