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Marvin Sapp 3Grand Rapids, MI — A Grand Rapids charter school founded by gospel singer Marvin Sapp announced Monday that next school year it will offer classes in grades pre-K to 5, a move administrators say is aimed at meeting demand for the school’s arts and technology driven instructional approach.

Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology, which opened in fall 2012, currently has about 140 students in 6th-8th grades, meaning its total student body could grow substantially when the new grade levels are added.

“A number of parents expressed interest with their younger students,” said Cynthia Springer, CEO of GREAAT Schools, Inc., which operates the school.

In addition to focusing on the arts, the school also is heavily focused on “individualized” learning, she said. Students, for example, keep portfolios that include test scores and their personal goals. Resources– such as tutoring – are available at the schools to help students meet those goals.

“Every child learns differently,” Springer said. “The brain for every child is unique, and every child does not learn in a very traditional setting.”


Marvin Sapp’s performance arts charter school slated to add grades pre-K to 5th was originally published on

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