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Rapid ReadsRapid ReadsRapid ReadsRapid ReadsRapid Reads

Rapid Reads

The 2018 Design Thinking class worked with the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW) and Grand Rapids Whitewater (GRWW) to imagine how the Grand River Restoration Initiative might be recorded and remembered. There, the class was challenged with the question: How might we document community projects and stories?

Class defined mission and vision statements:

In an effort to collect stories about the Grand River Restoration, we propose to create an annual publication providing updates on the status of project as well as the story of the Grand River, past, present, and future. We aspire be accessible to all with appeal to the general Grand Rapids public, using language and stories that engage community members through the use of community journalism.

Rapid Reads, an annual publication written and developed by students and community journalism stories, was created, edited, and shared with stakeholders. Featured spreads included focuses on education, sustainable business practices, water-centered art and poetry, and history of the Grand River.

Students were mindful about their audiences, making sure that Rapid Reads followed ADA standards for accessible design including font size, captioning, and even a text-to-speech video for readers to follow along.


  • Design Thinking, Fall 2018

  • Elizabeth Bush, Christian Czernik, Joe Dunaske, Zoe Silver

  • Gayle DeBruyn

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