By KYLE AVINK,
ERMS Activities Coordinator
In May of 2017, I was hired as the Student Activities Coordinator at East Rockford Middle School. Not being from Rockford, but close to the area, I have always heard about “Ram Pride”. After being immersed in the community for the past six months, I am beginning to realize what “Ram Pride” is truly about. William Baldwin once said that, “A community is a group of people who have come together, they work and they live to try and improve the standard of living and quality of life.” This is truly what the community and schools of Rockford believe in. I have witnessed the impact of “Ram Pride” from elementary-aged children all the way to elders in our community.
“Ram Pride” comes in many forms. This has become evident at a variety of levels. A few instances include: the continued efforts to assist The Corner Bar after a devastating fire; the outpouring of support for our students and families in times of need; and something as small as ongoing conversations and sense of welcoming that I’ve felt, personally, from the staff and community members here at Rockford. These are examples that our students see and experience in Rockford every single day. We are teaching our future what it means to be part of a community. In Rockford, “Ram Pride” and community spirit is instilled in our children during their early years, and continues as they age.
In my position as Student Activities Coordinator, I have the opportunity to develop, facilitate, and organize a variety of opportunities offered to our students. These opportunities help develop our youth physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have been so impressed with the diverse selection of activities that are offered; from sports, orchestra, band, fine arts, technology, volunteering, leadership, and beyond. These opportunities are shaping our students every single day. As we continue to be a student-focused community, Rockford will keep moving in a positive direction. I’m proud to say that I get to be part of a community that recognizes the importance of exposing our children to a variety of experiences, while stressing the importance of looking out for one another. To witness, and now participate in “Ram Pride” each and every day in our schools and community has helped me understand the importance of what it truly means to be a Rockford Ram.