Rockford Community Federal Credit Union just finished their 10th year of facilitating Student Run Credit Unions in the Rockford area schools. We would like to say thank you to all the 2012-2013 volunteer Student Run Credit Union employees. The 28 student employees helped their peers save over $4,250.00 by processing over 530 transactions! We would like to thank Belmont Elementary, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Our Lady of Consolation Schools for participating this year. Rockford Community Federal Credit Union enjoys partnering with the local schools to help students achieve financial literacy. “I enjoy helping students understand more about the importance of saving and budgeting their money; they don’t always need to spend, spend, spend!” said Josh Fortuna, Student Run Credit Union facilitator. A program like the Student Run Credit Union gives students the real life skills of financial banking in a safe and secure school environment.
By Megan McCall Megan McCall, first grade teacher at Valley View Elementary, presents her students with a rather unique opportunity every year in the fall: detoxifying their brains. The DETOX Program is a ten-day cleanse from ALL electronics. It means ten days of going back to the basics of learning to play board games, shuffling a deck of cards, walking on stilts, speed cup stacking, working on arts and crafts, etc. The group also meets on a Sunday afternoon to do a healthy walk on the trail. Third through fifth graders stay after school and participate in two classes that are run by parents and teachers. Every year, about 225 detoxers participate, and the program has been going for three years. Initially the DETOX Program was to improve the MEAP scores. Research shows that cleansing your brain from electronics at least 3 days before a test will lead to better test performance, but McCall believes it leads to much more than that. Family dynamics improve, school attitude and behavior improves, healthier choices occur in terms of fitness as well as food choices, kids sleep better and a lot more, and overall attitude from the child improves. It is an overall win-win situation. Downtown Rockford businesses support the program as well by offering little incentives for students’ abstinence from electronics. Businesses are very generous with their donations. Of course, the program would not be a success without the support of wonderful parents, as well. McCall wrote a grant for her DETOX program in 2012, hoping to provide students with materials that would help them be successful participants in the program. The Rockford Education Foundation (REF) gave her full funding. One of the items she received was a set of 30 speed stacking cups. McCall said, “REF is all about giving teachers, students, and the community as many opportunities as they can to enrich a student’s academic experience. They believe and want to do as much as they can to support ALL of us. Rockford is blessed for all of the opportunities that the REF has provided for the community of Rockford. This is just one of many grants that the REF has helped fund for me. Without the REF and all that they do, we wouldn’t be able […]
Seven RHS seniors participated in Rockford Rotary Club’s STRIVE program. During their senior year they have a Rotarian mentor that connects with them weekly. “Since the program was started in September 2006, 100% of the STRIVE students that finished the mentorship program graduated. Another common result of being in the program is an increase in grade point average (GPA)” stated Rotarian, Kathryn VanCuren. STRIVE gives the students to explore the possibilities after high school graduation through conversations and experiences with their mentor. “Our mentor volunteers are the backbone of the STRIVE program.” according to Rotarian, Ramona Hinton. In describing his experience as a mentor, Rotarian Al Meyers stated, “You wouldn’t expect a one hour/week conversation to make an impact on a life, but it does for both of us!” The program also involves community volunteering opportunities for the students and their mentors. Each year a $1200 scholarship is awarded to the STRIVE student with the highest GPA. The 2013 STRIVE Scholarship was awarded to Rockford High School senior, Ken Nash.
Surprise donation will allow accessible playground By BETH ALTENA When Tony Comden, Director of the West Michigan Miracle League, spoke to the members of the board of directors of the West Michigan Sports Complex, he was asking them to give up considerable space in the new baseball complex planned for property off Ten Mile in Plainfield Township. He wanted the space to build a Miracle League ball field for children with disabilities to play with able bodied buddies. As a father of a son who uses a walker, Comden is a strong believer in the importance that all children, regardless of ability, be able to experience the joys of playing ball. “After five minutes I had them in tears,” he said of his talk about his vision for the field. “After 15 minutes they said yes.” Dick VanderMullen, Chair of the West Michigan Sports Commission, followed Comden in speaking to a crowd during the complex groundbreaking held Wednesday, May 15. “He didn’t have to talk for fifteen minutes to get us to agree,” he said. “He just couldn’t stop talking about it.” The groundbreaking for the Miracle League ball field took place at the site off Ten Mile where the field will be built this summer, with play beginning in September. With room running out for parking, there was an extensive crowd, including classmates of Comden’s son Jed. Comden talked about the importance of baseball to our country’s culture, and how his childhood, like so many others, included the memories of playing ball in the summer. “I cried if the game was rained out, I wanted to play so bad,” he said. “Tonight thousands of kids will play baseball with parents cheering for terrible playing.” “Unfortunately for thousands of kids they never have that opportunity to play, they never get to high five their teammates, they never get to wear their jersey to school on game day, they never get to hear the cheers of their parents.” The Miracle Field will allow kids of all abilities to play baseball and softball, with a two-part solution to the limitations of kids with physical or mental disabilities. The surface of the field is a smooth rubberized field, which will allow kids in wheelchairs and walkers or other […]