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Events, Conferences, and Program Offerings

The Older Learner Center:

  • Fills a leadership/support role in the Kent County Caregiver Resource Network.
  • Sponsors public forums, conferences, trainings and events within the community on issues relating to an aging America.
  • Administers a number of community-wide program initiatives - including Senior Leadership Grand Rapids.
  • Produced Successful Aging, an award winning television program that is distributed nationally on video.

The Older Learner Center offers adults 45 and older opportunities for life-long learning and enrichment.These include:



2015 Health Education Programs

A number of Health Education programs are being offered to Kent County residents 60 and older can participate in two health education programs.

The Health Club and Fitness Program provides opportunities for fitness/wellness through aerobic exercise, strength training, and increased personal fitness. A faster paced Strength and Stretch Class is designed for individuals looking to strengthen and stretch their muscles.

These programs are being made available in part by Kent County Senior Millage and Older Americans Act TitleIIID funding from the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. A small co-payment is required for participation in Kent County Senior Millage funded programs, and a suggested donation is asked from participants of the Older Americans Act funded programming. See the attached brochure located under Downloads for additional details.

Registration is limited, call (616) 234-3483 or online at



Arthritis Foundation Aquatics Program

Get the workout you need without putting stress on your joints! You will get a great cardiovascular and strength workout in the water. Participants are encouraged to work and progress at their own pace while enjoying GRCC's Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse Pool!

These classes meet weekly from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Registration is limited to 30 participants. A suggested donation of $1 per session per participant is strongly encouraged. However, no one will be denied participation based on inability to pay.

This program is available to Kent County residents 60 and older thanks to Title IIID Older American's Act funding administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. Two sessions are being offered over the next year:

Session One  is 12 weeks from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Monday mornings from October 6, 2014 through December 22, 2014. Suggested donation is $12.

Session Two is 25 weeks from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Thursday mornings from January 15, 2015 through July 2, 2015. Suggested donation is $25.

For more information or to register contact Mike Faber in the Older Learner Center at (616) 234-3483 or online at



Senior Leadership Grand Rapids

2015 Senior Leadership Grand Rapids programming will be announced soon. Check back later for more information.

The mission of Senior Leadership Grand Rapids is to develop and empower mature adults to assume leadership roles that contribute to the well-being of the community. For more information on Senior Leadership Grand Rapids contact program director Mike Faber at (616) 234-3483 or



Fourth Friday Club

This new club is open, on a walk-in basis from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on the fourth Friday of each month, to anyone 45 and older. Join us monthly for interesting speakers, stimulating discussions, thought provoking video presentations, and other fun activities. Bring your lunch and we’ll provide a beverage, snack or dessert.

Where: Room 132, GRCC Learning Resource Center, 140 Ransom Ave. NE.  Location subject to change.

Cost: $3 per session suggested donation.  Includes: parking, beverage, snack/dessert and programming

No pre-registration required. Contact Mike Faber at (616) 234-3483 or with any questions.



GRCC Grandparent and Grandchild Summer Wellness Day Camps!

Help your grandchild grow into a confident, strong and caring individual.

Build your relationship with your grandchild through an interactive setting with the focus on the 7 Dimensions of Wellness: Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Intellectual, Social, Environmental and Vocational.

Each camp is a four week session for those with grandchildren between 5 and 15 years old. Camps meet every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon.


Adventure Day Camp

July 1–The Beach

Team up with your grandchild and build a sand castle, then enjoy some beach soccer, frisbee and more at Millennium Park! Dress comfortably and bring a swimsuit, towel and sack lunch if you plan to make a day of it.

Access to the Millennium Park splash pad and beach are optional. Daily entrance fees are $3 per senior and $2 per child.

Millennium Park, 1415 Maynard Ave. SW, Walker, MI 49534

Week 1–Social/Environmental/Spiritual

July 8–Fishing

Experience a guided journey through the woods at Whistlestop Park and identify late summer flora and fauna, then work on a nature craft together. If you enjoy fishing bring your poles, we will supply the worms!

Whistlestop Park, 2120 – 76th St. Byron Center, MI 49315

Week 2–Social/Environmental/Physical/Spiritual

July 15–Kayaking

Learn to paddle a kayak or paddle board at Millennium Park. The cost to rent the kayak will be $8. Dress comfortably and bring a swimsuit, towel and sack lunch if you would like to make a day of it.

Access to the Millennium Park splash pad and beach are optional. Daily entrance fees are $3 per senior and $2 per child.

Millennium Park, 1415 Maynard Ave. SW, Walker, MI 49534

Week 3–Spiritual/Social/Environmental/Physical

July 22–Blueberry Picking

We will be meeting at Behm Blueberry Farms to pick blueberries and then create a delicious snack with some of our pickings. You will be responsible for the cost of the blueberries you pick.

Behm Blueberry Farms, 11101 – 144th Ave., West Olive, MI 49460

Week 4–Social/Physical/Environmental


Animal Adventure Day Camp

July 29–Wild Animals

We will meet at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, a unique, hands-on experience with a collection of exotic animals and reptiles. Cost is $8 per person.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park, 8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302

Week 1–Environmental/Spiritual/Intellectual

August 5–Farm Animals

Join us at the Critter Barn, a nonprofit educational farm to explore their farm animals, poultry, idea garden, farm crops and fruit trees. We will participate in a class that focuses on promoting an understanding of agriculture, food sources, animal care, animal science, plus volunteer initiatives, and the farmer’s role in feeding the world.

The Critter Barn, 9275 Adams St., Zeeland, MI 49464

Week 2–Physical/Environmental/Intellectual

August 12–Camouflage

Discover how and why animals use camouflage, then explore the trails of Blandford Nature Center in search of hidden critters on a guided program by one of the parks naturalists.

Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Week 3–Physical/Social/Intellectual/Environmental

August 19–Monarch Butterflies

You’ll learn all about Monarch butterflies as we will hunt for caterpillars. Every child will have the opportunity to take a caterpillar home to raise.

The location will be determined during the first day of camp.

Week 4–Spiritual/Environmental/Social

Sign up today!

Registration is available online ( or call (616) 234-3483.

Grandparents of any age from Kent, Allegan, Lake, Mason, Osceola, Mecosta, Newaygo, Montcalm, or Ionia Counties are encouraged to attend both day camps with their grandchildren, ages 5–15.


The cost is listed in the description of each activity. A suggested donation of $20 is asked per pair (one grandparent and one grandchild) for each four-week session. An additional $5 is asked for each additional grandchild and/or second grandparent.


Arrangements have been made for shelter if needed, so each activity will be held rain or shine.

These programs are provided with funding from the Older American’s Act Title IIIE administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan.



Encore Reading Club

We have teamed up with the Grand Rapids Public Library to discuss selected readings or engage in interactive presentations by community experts on a wide range of aging-related topics selected in advance by club membership.  Free monthly club meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. at the Main Library, 111 Library St. NE.  New participants are welcome to join the club at any time throughout the year.



Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Educational Support Group

"Are you raising your grandchild?" This program offers you the opportunity to share common experiences; better understand your own needs and the needs of their grandchildren; locate resources; and gain valuable information from community professionals.

This group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at:

United Methodist Community House (2nd floor Boardroom)

904 Sheldon Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49507

This educational program, offered without charge, is open to any grandparent, regardless of age, involved in helping to raise her/his grandchild(ren). For More information please contact Mike Faber, program director, at or (616) 234-3483.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Educational Support Group is a joint partnership of the GRCC Older Learner Center and United Methodist Community House with funding from the Older American's Act Title IIIE administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan.



Computer Club

This is an opportunity for individual and peer learning, formal computer instruction, socialization, and most of all FUN.

Membership in this club entitles participants to many additional perks and benefits including handouts and instructional materials, and a free annual luncheon banquet.

The club meets on Friday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in a second floor computer lab of the Applied Technology Center. Free parking is available to club members under the GRCC Applied Technology Center. Handicapped parking is also available under the building, with easy access from the parking area to the elevators and on to the lab where club sessions are held.

Annual membership in the Computer Club is only $50. If you are interested in more information or wish to become a member please contact program director Mike Faber at or (616) 234-3483.