The Literacy Center of West Michigan needs volunteer tutors

August 6, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Literacy Center of West Michigan has scheduled an information session on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, for prospective volunteer tutors. The session is held at 2 p.m. and lasts one hour. It allows persons interested in becoming volunteer tutors to find out more about the Center and its literacy programs. At the end of the session, there will be an opportunity to sign up for tutor training. The Literacy Center of West Michigan is a non-profit, United Way agency devoted to reducing illiteracy in our community. Based on the 2003 National Assessment for Adult Literacy and the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey, up to 14.6% of adults in Kent County lack basic prose literacy skills and have difficult using certain reading and writing skills considered necessary in everyday life. By training people to be tutors, the Center can offer one-on-one reading help to adults asking for assistance in reading or English as a Second Language (ESL). You do not need to speak another language to tutor ESL. The information session will be held at the Literacy Center of West Michigan, located at 1120 Monroe Ave., NW Suite 240, Grand Rapids. Please call 459-5151 (ext . 10) or email us at to register.

Immersion education: the students’ perspective

July 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

By: Lissa Weidenfeller,  Principal, North Rockford Middle School Immersion education in the United States is a form of bilingual education in which native English speakers are immersed in classrooms that use another language to teach the students the district’s curriculum. The purpose of this type of education differs from traditional second language classes as students learn content through the target language. Rockford Public Schools is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Spanish Immersion program, which started in 2006. The first students in the program will be entering their sophomore year in high school. The Rockford Spanish Immersion program follows a 90/10 model and so students are immersed in Spanish instruction 90% of the time beginning in kindergarten. English instruction is slowly added to the students’ daily schedule so that by the high school level, they have one hour of Spanish instruction and the rest is in English. Three middle school Spanish Immersion students were interviewed and asked their thoughts about being educated in this non-traditional way.   What do you enjoy most about being in an immersion program? The students highlighted their favorite parts of being an immersion student, such as being able to communicate with people they never would have been able to, traveling with ease, and being part of their Spanish Immersion community. Laughing, many of the students shared how fun it was to shock Spanish speakers, because by looking at them, no one would ever think they would be fluent in Spanish. The students also shared the fact that they enjoy being able to share their knowledge by teaching their parents and friends. The main factor that all the interviews shared was the clear understanding that being bilingual would open doors for them in the future.   What do you think being educated in an immersion program will do for your future? The students all thought that being in an immersion program will help them in the future, primarily when it comes to their future careers. The students mentioned not only the benefits of being bilingual while working in the US, but having the opportunities to work internationally as well. The students also stated that being bilingual will allow them to meet and help others, translate for others, travel and understand others, […]

RHS Marching Band heads to camp

July 30, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Freshman Center was full of activity on Sunday, July 26, as the 250 members of 2015 Rockford High School Marching Band prepared to head to their annual band camp at Andrews University in Berrien Springs.   Under the leadership of Rockford High School (RHS) band director Brian Phillips, this marks the third week of band activities for the group since school ended in June. The band will spend this week preparing for their fall marching competitions and football game performances.  They will premiere the opening of their show at the September 3 home football game at Ted Carlson Memorial stadium when the Rockford Rams face the Holt Rams in non-conference action.

Elmhurst College Dean’ List includes local student

July 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

James Scales, of Rockford, is among the students named to the Elmhurst College Dean’s List for the Spring Term of the 2014-2015 academic year. The Dean’s List is compromised of students, who during the semester concerned, attained a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher (out of a possible 4.00). Elmhurst College is a leading liberal arts college located eight miles west of Chicago. The College’s mission is to prepare its students for meaningful and ethical work in a multicultural, global society. Approximately 3,200 full- and part-time students are enrolled in its 25 undergraduate academic departments and more than 15 graduate degree programs.

JC athletes earn academic honors

July 23, 2015 // 0 Comments

Jackson College congratulates the many outstanding student athletes who received academic awards for the 2014-15 school year! Three Jackson College student athletes received the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence — Caterina Giuliani of Italy, volleyball; Katherine Prevost of Jackson, women’s cross country; and Kalee Stringham of Hanover, women’s soccer. This award is given to athletes who have completed at least 45 credits with a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average. Since the return of athletics to JC 10 years ago, only one student previously has received the Pinnacle Award – this year, three are honored. Recipients will be treated to a special lunch with President Dan Phelan in honor of this achievement. “These awards show what the College as a whole does for student athletes in their experience here, not only as an athlete but as a student in helping them achieve their goals,” said Rick Smith, baseball coach and assistant athletic director. “It’s very exciting as an athletic administrator to see this with our athletes, and it brings it home when you see that they are not only doing well on the field or court, but also doing well in the classroom, meeting their goals. Coaches are doing a great job of mentoring, and as the College — Student Services and all the departments — are working to help student athletes achieve their goals while they are here. And next year, we will continue to do better.” Additional recognitions include Ethan Menefee, of Rockford, who participates in Men’s Cross Country, has a 3.49 GPA, and received the All-MCCAA and All-Conference awards.

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