New summer work program improves park and lives | Community Spirit
GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Grand Haven State park is even better thanks to a program providing life skills to six Ottawa County teenagers.
This is the first year for the DNR Youth Works Summer Program in West Michigan. Grand Haven State Park was the only location to have the program up and running in time for summer.
The DNR Youth Works Summer Program is fashioned after a similar work program Traverse City State Park has been running for several years. A job coach leads six high school students with developmental, physical and cognitive disabilities through a variety of tasks, including cleaning campsites, picking up litter, repairing concrete and mentoring children. Supporters say the program also improves the lives of participants, encouraging quiet and withdrawn students to interact with state employees while finishing projects that would normally be ignored.
Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Department of Natural Resources, and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District are all involved in the DNR Youth Works Summer Program.