There are three primary reasons why we are open on different nights for different grade levels.
- 1) We believe that by limiting the ages of students in our facility we can provide a safer environment for our visitors – especially our younger students
- 2) Since we offer a number of physical activities for students to participate in, we find that we can level the playing field by narrowing the age range of young people in our facility.
- 3) Limiting the ages we admit on any particular evening allows us to control attendance.
It is our policy to change the grade levels of our visitors beginning with the first weekend after school ends in the spring. For 2013, this means that we will advance all students in our system one grade beginning with the weekend of June 13–14. For example, current 6th graders will be advanced to 7th grade and will only be admitted on Friday evenings beginning on that weekend.
Students who complete the 4th grade in the spring will be considered 5th graders when school ends and will be allowed to begin visiting our facility on the first Thursday after school ends (June 13 in 2013).
Because we suspend our Saturday evening hours for high school students in the summer and because we want to continue spending time with our former 8th grade students, we will allow these students to continue to visit on Friday evenings until school begins in the fall.
Our summer admission policy looks like this, beginning with the first weekend after school ends in the spring (June 13 -14 in 2013):
- Thursday evenings, 6-9 p.m.: students who will be entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall
- Friday evenings, 7-10 p.m.: students who will be entering 7th, 8th, and 9th grades in the fall
Because our facility is designed to be open and to provide clear lines of sight, we do not have separate areas where we can hold small group gatherings during our open hours. As a result, we are not able to provide areas for individual gatherings.
We do! Please contact us at (616) 784-8433 for details. You can also view our facility rental form here.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and include grandparents, retirees, parents, college students, high school students, and people from the community who are willing to give of their time to provide a safe and positive place for young people to invest their time. All of our volunteers complete an application and must pass a criminal background check. We could not function if we had to pay all of the staff that we have in attendance during our open hours. Our volunteers are one of the things that make it possible for us to charge an artificially low admission fee of $7. If you’d like to become a 3 Mile Project volunteer, you can click here to fill out our online application.
For the safety of our visitors it is our policy to not allow any adults into our facility who have not completed our volunteer application process and who have not passed a criminal background check. As a result, parents are not admitted into our facility unless they are one of our registered volunteers. However, we strongly encourage parents to volunteer. You can click here to fill out our online application.
Although we expect our visitors to dress in a way that is modest and inoffensive, we have no interest in spending our time measuring the length of shorts or the width of tank top straps. Our policy is simple: We do not want to see our visitors’ bare bellies, backs, breasts, or buns. If a student attempts to enter in clothing that we deem inappropriate, we will ask them to return in more appropriate clothing or we will offer them something to wear from our lost and found.
Our behavioral standard is simple. We expect young people to treat each other in the way that they themselves wish to be treated. This means that we have no tolerance for verbal abuse, physical abuse, bullying, intimidation, fighting, theft, or physical displays of affection. We also, of course, do not allow students to enter the facility who are in possession of dangerous items or who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
Although we can’t be a part of every interaction or conversation that occurs in our facility, we encourage students to inform us of actions that make them uncomfortable. We also monitor 24 security cameras throughout our facility in an effort to maintain a positive environment. These cameras record, allowing us the opportunity to review incidents that we may not witness in person.
Although we reserve the right to respond to violations of our behavioral expectations based on the individual incident, we have a zero tolerance policy for fighting or theft. Visitors who engage in these behaviors will be removed from our facility and will be banned from future attendance for a period of time as determined by our staff.
Although we are a Christian organization, by design we have no particular church or denominational affiliation. If you’re curious about what we believe, please click here.