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Grand River Scholars Team Up for Winter Olympics

Every few years, the World’s top athletes come together to determine who reigns supreme in their sport with the Olympic Games. Grand River Academy scholars had the chance to compete in their very own version of the global spectacle.
Grand River’s Winter Olympics played out during gym class, but the activity involved more than just competition. Each class teamed up as its own “nation” to develop a name, flag, and cheer. Each team’s flag was proudly displayed on the walls of the gymnasium as competitions were underway.
Scholars competed in a wide variety of team and individual events. These activities included the broad jump, the shuttle run, and the pacer test. Each grade level crowned champions and had gold, silver, and bronze medalists, as well.
Grand River’s Physical Education teacher Hally Johns said the scholars did a great job in the 2024 GRA Winter Olympics.

GRA Winter Olympics schedule
Competitions included the broad jump, shuttle run, and pacer test. The school is also planning on having a Summer Olympics in May.

“Our PE class motto is ‘ONE-CLASS-ONE-TEAM-ONE-FAMILY,’” Johns said. “I try my best throughout the year to create events that support that motto. They did great cheering each other on and working together on flags.”
Along with the competitions, scholars learned about the history of the Winter Olympics and all of the different events countries compete in. Johns said she had students do trivia workouts and other challenges, too. The activities, which doubled as a way for Johns to benchmark scholars, were limited due to snow days.
While the World typically has to wait roughly two years between the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics, Grand River scholars only have to wait about four months. The Summer Olympics are set for May at the school.
“We will do a Summer Olympics in May so K-2 students can compare their broad jump and sprinting skills,” Johns said. “They will also compete in the Summer Olympics and have an opportunity to see if they met the goals they set for themselves and improved their fitness levels.”
Offering unique activities like the Winter and Summer Olympics is one of the many reasons Grand River Academy has outperformed the local district for the past seven years.
Way to be creative and encourage teamwork, Mrs. Johns!

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About Grand River Academy
Grand River Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Livonia, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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