“As a professional basketball player, I have lived all over the country and still there is no place like my hometown of Flint, Michigan. As a father of three sets of twins under the age of five, I am humbled to be a part of this children’s book highlighting the beautiful state of Michigan and my great city, Flint. It is a privilege to come back home and give back to this community that has given me so much.”
Morris Peterson, Jr.
Former NBA and Michigan State University basketball player
“Michigan has something special for everyone. Benson’s Adventures in Michigan provides the opportunity for children to explore the many treasures of Michigan.”
Bob Gale, Owner
The Original Butterfly House and Insect World
Mackinac Island, Michigan
“Learning at a young age why their state and community is unique in the world is the first step in giving children a “sense of place”. This understanding fosters a sense of pride for their state and communities that will carry over when they are old enough to vote and make decisions about where to live, work and play. Benson’s Adventures in Michigan provides Michigan children with reasons to be proud to live in a place that is like no where else on earth – the Great Lakes State.
Edna Cucksey Stephens
Children’s Author and Creator of the award-winning Michigan L.A.P.’s program. (Learn from the past, Appreciate the present, Preserve our natural resources.)
“My son Joshua was blessed to have Tracy Foster as his kindergarten teacher. Her dedication, love and compassion for her students are admirable. Shannon Toma was his principal. I’ve never seen a more caring and interactive principal. I have the utmost respect for these women.
These amazing educators offered my son a chance to spend the day with them, along with a few other friends from his class. They drove out to Lake Michigan and toured all around Saugatuck. They had so much fun!
I am so proud Josh was able to be a part of the inspiration for Benson’s Adventures in Michigan. These women are giving opportunities to children to discover the magic Michigan has to offer; that they otherwise may have never seen. They are inspiring young people to travel, experience new things and DREAM BIG! Now these trips will be forever remembered in Benson! I am so excited for these ladies to have the opportunity to touch the hearts of so many families, the way they have ours.”
Katie Siddock, Parent
“If anyone can encourage my boys to dream and DREAM BIG, Tracy Foster and Shanno Cooper-Toma can, have AND continue to do so. Sully and Everett have been fortunate enough to be part of Benson’s Adventures. These adventures have given them memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
As parents, we feel honored that our children have been able to take part in some very unique, fun and extremely exciting activities. They have experienced dog sledding in the Upper Peninsula, sledding down sand dunes in the winter, Mackinac Island and so much more. Without Tracy and Shannon, these adventures would have never taken place.
We often talk to our children about the best part of their day, their favorite thing they have ever done or the most fun they have ever had. During these precious times, we always hear a new story about an adventure they took with Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Toma. This adventure may have taken place almost a year ago, but when their faces light up, you would think it just happened yesterday.
And talk about DREAMING BIG…our Everett is convinced he WILL MEET the President of the United States. He truly believes that all he needs to do is go to Washington D.C. and IT WILL HAPPEN. How can a six year old be so bold? He is so bold because he has two amazing women, Tracy and Shannon who have taught him and hundreds of other children, who they encounter ever day, if they DREAM BIG, their dreams CAN and WILL come true.”
Amy & Brian Martin, Parents
“Our daughters, Ellie and Annamarie, have had a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved with Benson’s Adventures in Michigan. They were so excited and grateful to be able to travel on several adventures including: Oval Beach on Lake Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes, dog sledding in the Upper Peninsula and exploring Mackinac Island. Through these awesome experiences and adventures, they have gained so much knowledge of our great state of Michigan. Ellie and Annamarie have been able to make real life connections and meet new friends along the way. Both of our girls were extremely fortunate to have Mrs. Foster as their kindergarten teacher and Mrs. Toma as their principal. These amazing women and educators truly know the value of touching young people’s lives and the importance of having fun along the way. They have taught our girls to follow their dreams because anything is possible and giving up is not an option. We will forever be thankful that Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Toma inspired our daughters to realize that a dream can become a reality!”
Megan & Mark Dodak, Parents