Rockford Register – April 1, 2009

Tuesdays -Now through April 21

Free Health Program-6:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Sparta Health Center, 475 S. State St., Sparta. The Personal Action Toward Health (PATH) workshop provides knowledge and skills to adults with chronic health conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, bronchitis, asthma and depression. Registration is necessary; enrollment limited. For more information or to register, call (616) 685-1300.

Thursday, April 2

Auditions for “Paris on the Brain” Original Musical-6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (and Saturday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to noon) at Kent Theatre, 7 N. Main St., Cedar Springs. Performances will be August 7, 8, 14, 15 and 16. Four adult males and four adult females are needed. Some roles require only minimal singing. Be prepared to sing at audition (may bring your own sheet music). For further details, call Scott Phillips at (616) 696-3746 after 5 p.m.

Rockford Area Historical Society Meeting-7:00 p.m. at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Sue Osgood, writer for the new Grand Rapids Food magazine, will present “Small Farms in the 21st Century.” Open and free to the public.

Saturday, April 4

Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast-8 to 11 a.m. at Courtland Township Fire Station, 7480 Fourteen Mile Road. Breakfast includes pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, coffee, orange juice, and milk. Cost is $4 for adults, $2 for children 6-12, free for children 5 and under, or $12 for families (2 adults, 3+ children). Proceeds to benefit Courtland Fire Department. Sponsored by Courtland Fire Auxiliary. For more information, call (616) 866-3511.

Free Concert Series-noon to 4 p.m. at Mancino’s Pizza, 218 S. Lafayette, Greenville, the first Saturday of every month. Performing this month are Zachary Graft and Roosevelt Diggs, presented by the Greenville Area Community Center.

Preparing for a Prescribed Burn-10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Howard Christensen Nature Center. Learn about the benefits of prescribed burning along with the legal considerations, contractor information, and if weather permits, a demonstration burn. Cost is $10 for members; $15 for non-members. Register at, or call the nature center at (616) 675-3158 by March 30.

Tuesday, April 7

Mended Hearts Meeting-7 p.m. at Spectrum Health Fred & Lena Meijer Heart Center, 100 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, in Room 8815 on the eighth floor. Mended Hearts, a volunteer nonprofit support group affiliated with the American Heart Association, offers hope, information and encouragement to heart patients, families and caregivers through those who have experienced heart disease. For more information, contact Jim Oldfield at (616) 891-9395.

Country Music-9:30 to 11:30 a.m. every Tuesday at Rockford Ambulance Community Center, corner of 10 Mile Road and Shaner Avenue in Rockford. Music by the Rogue River Band. Enjoy free coffee, tea and snacks.

Rockford Rotary Club Meeting-noon at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe St., Rockford. Larry Linsley will speak about the Rockford Lions Club. Members enjoy lunch, socializing and speakers, while organizing local and international service projects. To find out more about the Rotary Club or to visit as a guest, contact any local Rotarian.

CHADD’s Adults with AD/HD Meeting-7 to 9 p.m. at Calvin College’s Meeter Center Lecture Hall off the library lobby. Tim Zwart, Ed.D., and Jennifer Sochak, MA, Ph.D., of Pine Rest’s Psychological Consultation Center will present “Assessment of AD/HD in Adults.” There is no cost or pre-registration required. All are welcome. For more information, call Linda Brauer at (616) 874-5662.

North Kent Toastmasters Club Meeting-7 p.m. at Prudential Preferred Realtors, 502 Northland Dr., Rockford (at 11 Mile Rd.). Members enhance public speaking and leadership skills through practice and encouragement. Guests welcome. For directions, call Sue at (616) 866-3509 or visit

Sunday, April 12

Breakfast-8 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post #102, 330 Rockford Park Drive, between 11 Mile and 12 Mile roads on Northland Dr.). Cost is $6.50 for adults, $5 for seniors over 70, and $3 for kids, which includes eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice.

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Rockford teachers employ differentiation


Principal, Cannonsburg Elementary

Gifted & Talented Coordinator

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”-Henry David Thoreau

By nature, every student who crosses the classroom threshold requires a distinct and diverse educational plan. While our state sets the outcomes for our children, it’s the teachers alone who create the plan to help students meet those outcomes. Or, for the student who has already learned the content, the onus rests on the teacher to present new opportunities. This process is termed differentiation, and it’s how every teacher, coach and mentor meets the individual needs of pupils.

What is differentiation? It’s a new term for a tried and true educational method. Differentiation is simply meeting the student at their readiness level; in other words, teaching students, not teaching content. “One size fits all” has never been a philosophy to which Rockford teachers have subscribed.

Imagine a piano teacher who planned the same lessons for all first-year piano students, neglecting to acknowledge or plan for those students who have natural talents, previous musical training, or difficulties. It’s not hard to see how ineffective those lessons would be for the majority of the students, because readiness was not considered. While anecdotal evidence abounds regarding the effectiveness of differentiation, research is confirming this premise, as well.

A noted expert in the area of differentiation, Carol Ann Tomlinson, writes:  From a very young age, children understand some of us are good with kicking a ball, some with telling funny stories, some with manipulating numbers, and some with making people feel happy. They understand that some of us struggle with reading words from the page, others with keeping tempers in check, still others with arms or legs that are weak. Children seem to accept a world in which we are not alike. They do not quest for sameness, but they search for the sense of triumph that comes when they are respected, valued, nurtured, and even cajoled into accomplishing things they believed beyond their grasp.

The immensity of this task for teachers is considerable. To meet the needs of all Rockford students, teachers meet weekly before school hours in Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to examine teaching practices and how they can be refined to best meet the needs of the struggling and advanced learner. Collaborating with regular education teachers during PLC meetings, special education and gifted education personnel provide additional resources and strategies to address the needs of special populations.

As we witness our state and nation going through economic turmoil, we cannot stand idle as advocates for our children and the children of our community. Celebrate the differentiation you see in your child’s classroom, advocate for differentiation for our community’s children, and convince our legislators of the need for appropriate legislation and adequate funding to meet the needs of kids, both struggling and advanced. We’d never expect every child to have the same batting average, nor would we coach them in exactly the same manner. No less consideration should ever be afforded our children.

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Local students named to Dean’s Lists

Calvin College has announced its winter 2008 Dean’s List, requiring that a student maintains at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the semester and has at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. The following Rockford High School graduates were named to the list:  Sarah Robinson of Belmont, a sophomore majoring in speech pathology and audiology, is the daughter of Daniel and Burnetta Robinson; Cassaundra Bell of Rockford, a freshman majoring in English, is the daughter of Hal and Karen Bell; Denise Britton of Rockford, a senior majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Daryl and Dorothy Britton; Jennifer Erickson of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Timothy and Carole Erickson; Rachelle Grandia of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in business/math group, is the daughter of Roger and Diane Grandia; Paul Haverkamp of Rockford, a senior majoring in biology, is the son of Phyllis Haverkamp; Lauren Kelley of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, is the daughter of Michael and Kathleen Kelley; Jessica Roodvoets of Grand Rapids, a junior majoring in art, is the daughter of Diane Roodvoets. Also named to the list are the following Northpointe Christian High School graduates: Lindsay Bailey of Rockford, a senior majoring in elementary education (three minors), is the daughter of Michael and Sue Bailey; Sarah Bratt of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is the daughter of David and Ruth Ann Bratt; Deborah Gray of Rockford, a senior majoring in English, is the daughter of Charles and Jeanette Gray; Samuel Lefurge-Mcleod of Rockford, a freshman majoring in communications A&S, is the son of David and Tamalette Lefurge-Mcleod; Luke Pettinga of Rockford, a senior majoring in geology, is the son of Ross and Jonell Pettinga; Andrea Waldo of Rockford, a junior majoring in music, is the daughter of Carl and Gerdina Waldo.

Spring Arbor University is pleased to announce the Jessica Hughey of Rockford has been named to the fall 2008 Dean’s List. Hughey is a freshman majoring in WOR-Leadership/Broadcast.

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WMU announces graduates

Western Michigan University recently announced its graduates for the 2008 winter semester. The following Rockford students graduated during WMU’s December 13 commencement:  Benjamin Arendt, Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in educational leadership-higher education; Mallory Good, Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree, major in mechanical engineering, cum laude honors; Stacey Gordon, Bachelor of Science degree, major in elementary group minors, magna cum laude honors; Richard Herrick, Master of Business Administration; Kendra Kargenian, Bachelor of Arts degree, major in theatre-performance, cum laude honors; Timothy Mullen, Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in interdiscipinary health studies; Russell Platte, Bachelor of Science, major in geology; Catherine Raney, Bachelor of Science, major in psychology; Molly Rodriguez, Bachelor of Science; major in geography-environmental analysis and resource management; Andrew Rosenberg, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in general business; Joseph Rozelle, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in food and consumer package goods/marketing; Frederick Skallow, Bachelor of Science in Engineering, major in computer engineering; Nicole Trim, Bachelor of Arts degree, major in political science-international and comparative politics/French; Ryan Walker, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in marketing; Carrieanne Winter, Bachelor of Music degree, major in music education-choral/general secondary, magna cum laude honors.

The following Belmont students also graduated from WMU on Dec. 13:  Christopher Fridsma, Master of Arts, major in human resources development; Kevin Kindig, Bachelor of Business Administration, major in food and consumer package goods/marketing; Joshua Mikrut, Master of Development Administration.

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What a difference


North Kent Bible Church

There is a song made popular in the late 1950s entitled “What a Difference a Day Makes.” I have heard this song used in movies and commercials to support the point of how quickly life can change. Certainly we have experienced this truth in our own lives as well.

As we look forward to what is typically known as Holy Week next week, we certainly see the truth of this concept of change in a short period of time. On one day Jesus dies on the cross. Only a few days later he is raised to life again. Today I would like us to consider, however, Jesus’ triumphal entry and the mood of the crowd compared to their mood only a few days later.

In Matthew 21:1-11 (as well as Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 12), we find the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem only a few days before he is arrested, tried, crucified and eventually raised from the dead. When Jesus enters Jerusalem on this day, there are large crowds spreading their cloaks and palm branches on the road in front of him. This spreading of the palm branches and waving them in the air was done in the presence of someone thought worthy of honor.

Matthew 21:9 says, “The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest!'” The crowds are proclaiming by their actions and words that this Jesus was very special. It seems by their words, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” that they even understood him as Messiah, the anointed one of God. Upon his arrival into the city it says “the whole city was stirred.” This triumphal entry into Jerusalem by Jesus was celebrated and he was honored by the crowds that accompanied him. It is hard to believe then, that just a few days later, the crowd in Jerusalem was shouting, “Crucify him!” What a difference a few days make.

I would encourage you to be involved in worship this upcoming week. Throughout the week, many local churches will be remembering and celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus and their significance for us today. By our faith in him we can come to realize fully what a difference a day makes for us as well.

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