Rockford High School students can have a friend and mentor to help reach their graduation goals through a Rockford Rotary program. Rockford Rotary’s STRIVE program matches seniors with citizens of the community who work together to help the high school students meet their graduation goals. A recognition dinner for the students and their mentors was held recently at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. The program is one of many ways Rockford Rotarians work in support of area students. Pictured are this year’s students and mentors. Candy Lancioni (second from left), of Aunt Candy’s Toy Company, is a repeat mentor who has helped many Rockford High School students successfully complete their high school education. Anyone can volunteer to be a mentor; being a member of the Rockford Rotary Club is not required. To find out more about the STRIVE program and other Rotary activities, visit one of Rotary’s weekly luncheons at the Rockford Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street in downtown Rockford. The meetings are at noon each Tuesday, with occasional exceptions. Rotary will not meet for lunch on Tuesday, June 30.
Articles by Squire News
Marine Corps Reserve Lance Cpl. Brad J. Kovizh, son of Julie Echtinaw of Lowell, and Mike Kovizh of Rockford, and fellow marines of the 24th Marine Regiment, Kansas City, Mo., recently participated in this year’s Partnership of the Americas (POA) exercise at Naval Station Mayport and Camp Blanding, Fla. U.S. Marines, partner nation marines from countries throughout Central and South America to include Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico and Peru as well as Canadian soldiers participated alongside each other in order to promote maritime security. UNITAS Gold and POA were conducted simultaneously this year to showcase more than 25 ships, four submarines, 50 rotary and fixed-wing aircraft, 650 marines and 6, 500 sailors. POA is an annual U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South multi-national joint exercise that focuses on enhancing interoperability between U.S. Marines and partner nation marines in amphibious operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, peacekeeping and disaster relief. Kovizh joined the Marine Corps Reserve in August 2008.
by CINDY KITZROW Director of Library and Media Services Each year the Rockford Public Schools’ (RPS) reading specialists and library staff have a tradition of promoting summer reading. The theme for the 2009 Summer Reading Program is “Reach the World… Read.” The primary purpose of the program is to encourage students to read throughout the summer. The students are given a goal sheet. They record the books or minutes they spend reading. The students are asked to read 10 grade/age appropriate books or spend 15 hours reading throughout the summer. Each student who completes their reading goal will be invited to participate in a special celebration when they return to school in the fall. Research and beginning-of-year scores show that children who do not read consistently over the summer lose fluency and are prone to more reading “errors” in the fall. The summer-reading effect on student achievement is well-researched. The long summer breaks the rhythm of instruction which leads to forgetting and requires a significant amount of review when the student returns in the fall. Reading programs have a positive effect in showing literacy growth. Studies support the findings that those who read more know more. The culmination of our summer reading program will be celebrated with a one-day reading event. The Rockford Rotary Club is also charged to improve/increase literacy through various activity involvements. On Saturday, August 29, Rotary is sponsoring a reading celebration called “Reading Rocks in Rockford.” The Krause Memorial Library along with the RPS library staff, reading specialists and teachers are helping to plan numerous events for children of all ages. We will have Michigan authors, celebrity readers, and much more performing on the Garden Park stage. There will also be various reading activities throughout the city. The community will also help kick off the RPS K-12 fall reading program called “Pennies for Peace.” We will be reading the books Three Cups of Tea and Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson. “Pennies for Peace” is a service-learning program. We will be collecting pennies to help support a school in the remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We all want to share our vision to reach communities around the world to increase and improve literacy.
Colleen Hamilton of Rockford, who graduated with a bachelor of arts degree and with summa cum laude high honors-with a degree in French with a teaching English to speakers of other languages minor-May 24, made the spring 2009 Dean’s List at Manchester College, in northern Indiana. Hamilton is a graduate of Rockford High School. To receive this honor, a student must complete at least 12 hours with a grade-point average of 3.5 or above for the semester. For more about the college, visit www.manchester.edu. Michigan Technological University has released the Dean’s List for the spring 2009 semester, recognizing students who achieve grade-point averages of 3.5 or higher. Among the honorees was Katherine R. Henshaw of Rockford. Henshaw is a junior majoring in Communication and Culture Studies.
This spring, The Rockford Squire reported that five historic people in the Rockford area were honored at Recognition Plaza at Peppler Park. The event is a newer tradition in its second year and organized by the Rockford Area Community Endowment (RACE). Each year, RACE will honor people from the City of Rockford and the townships of Algoma, Cannon, Courtland and Plainfield. The Endowment was initially formed in the 1960s to finance a school pool and the Towers downtown. It fell dormant after those goals were accomplished and was revived just a few years ago. Among activities of the Endowment is honoring community heroes and leaders. Its purpose is to provide funding for projects in the greater Rockford area. This year the Endowment gave a $1,000 grant for National Night Out, $1,000 to the City of Rockford Police Department for a purchase, and each community in the Endowment received $1,000 for landscaping projects. The Endowment is funded by brick sales at Peppler Park, where the public is invited to purchase a brick either in their own name or business or in honor of a person. The Rockford Squire has a brick there and editor Beth Altena purchased one for Publisher Roger Allen for his 80th birthday last year. It is a wonderful, lasting gift and is appropriate for the person who “has everything.” As of this spring, 269 bricks had been sold. Bricks are just $125 each. To purchase bricks, call the City of Rockford at (616) 866-4465. Also contributing to the Endowment’s assets of $87,5000 (up from $65,000 a year ago) was a December 2008 gift from the Don Berg estate in the amount of $10,000. In addition to the gift of grants, recognizing the people who have contributed significantly to the history of the area is among the Endowment’s goals. When visiting the beautiful Peppler Park Recognition Plaza (on the west side of the dam), take the time to read the names on the bricks under your feet and in plaques on the columns in the park. The following are some of the stories of this year’s honorees, with others to follow in future issues of the Squire. Gerald Leon Kitson Gerald Leon Kitson was the son of Leon and Jenny Kitson, […]