Rockford High School (RHS) students studying Chinese during the 2009-2010 school year will participate in a learning experience unlike any other students in Michigan. Song Shuyun, an exchange teacher from Mainland China, will team teach in the Chinese language program, which is in its fourth year. Rockford Public Schools (RPS) is one of only 24 districts in the nation to receive a grant to host a Chinese exchange teacher from the Teachers of Critical Language Program, a project of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Shuyun, who teaches high school English in Beijing, China, arrived in Washington, D.C., in early August. She participated in an orientation program there for nearly three weeks before traveling to Michigan. She arrived in Rockford in the middle of August and has been learning about RPS and the Rockford community. In addition to participating in the RPS New Teacher Orientation, she plans to eat ice cream at the Rockford Dam, throw the first pitch at a Whitecaps game, and alter her wardrobe to orange and black. She is staying with multiple host families during the school year. Students, faculty and administrators are looking forward to having Shuyun involved in the Chinese program. In addition to achieving greater fluency in the Mandarin Chinese language, RHS students will gain an even deeper appreciation of the Chinese culture from her. Teachers will develop a partnership to share resources and teaching methods. The experience will also benefit Shuyun. She will be able to strengthen her English program when she returns to China.
August 20 2009
Our mixed tour group of 40 travelers hailed mostly from West Michigan along with two smaller groups from Virginia and Montana. We traveled by plane, by luxurious motorcoach, on cruise ferries, and on the incredible Rocky Mountaineer Train. From start to finish, every detail of our 10-day adventure was all-inclusive and arranged by Holiday Vacations. We were led by Lamb, who prides herself on delivering unsurpassed personal service so we all could sit back, relax and leave the details to her. Meals and accommodations throughout were top shelf. James guaranteed the weather and came through with 10 bluebird days without a drop of rain. He even managed to have all our plane connections on time with no lost luggage to boot! On day one, accompanied by Lamb, the West Michigan group departed from Gerald Ford Airport on Delta Airlines to make a connecting flight and hook up with the two smaller groups in Minneapolis. In Seattle, Wash., we spent the late afternoon and enjoyed overnight accommodations with an incredible unobstructed view of Mt. Rainier from our hotel room windows. On the following days, we visited the Canadian cities of Victoria on the island of Vancouver, Vancouver City on the mainland of British Columbia, Kamloops B.C., plus Banff and Calgary in the Canadian Province of Alberta. At each stop along the way, a local guide joined us aboard comfortable well-appointed motorcoaches to expertly narrate information of the areas’ history and local attractions. At points during each motorcoach tour, we disembarked to get a first-hand feel and taste of what we were seeing. We could write a book about what we experienced on this tour. But unless you had experienced it yourself, words would not suffice. This is really a story of natural wonders, of breathtaking vistas, endless snowcapped majestic mountains, rushing streams, waterfalls, azure blue lakes, and abundant wildlife. We even witnessed a lightning-caused forest fire on the train segment. All along the way, we were struck by the hospitality and friendliness of our Canadian neighbors to the north. Too numerous to individually mention, some of our favorite trip highlights include Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Capilano Suspension Bridge (including a walk in the rainforest treetops), the amazing Rocky Mountaineer Railroad, glacier-fed Moraine Lake, and the Columbia […]
Spindler-Mathis Stephanie Spindler and Jon Mathis of Chicago will wed on October 10, 2009. The future bride is a graduate of Rockford High School and Central Michigan University. The future groom is a graduate of Livonia Stevenson High School and Western Michigan University. Both are graduates of Oakland University. Parents of the couple are Paul and Sue Spindler of Rockford, Linda Mathis of Milford, and David and Sue Mathis of Ogden, Utah.
For the third consecutive year, West Cannon Baptist Church is offering a free family carnival. Last year’s event was held for two hours on a Wednesday evening when over 300 families enjoyed 16 games with prizes, and nine large inflatables including Mountain Climb, Bungee Run, Velcro Wall, Ball Pit, Boxing, Bounce House, and others. There was also face painting, a dunk tank, free children’s books, a Toddler Zone with games and activities, and up-close looks at a fire engine and an ambulance. Nearly 200 volunteers from the church’s staff and congregation served 500 hot dogs, 350 “walking tacos,” 450 bags of popcorn, 500 ice cream cones, and an undetermined number of snow cones and beverages. This year’s event has been expanded from two hours to three to accommodate larger crowds. There will also be some additional activities plus appearances by Crash, the River Rascal mascot of the West Michigan Whitecaps, from 1 to 2 p.m., and representatives of the Rockford D.A.R.E. program. According to Rev. Douglas Crawford, pastor of West Cannon Baptist Church, “West Cannon has been a part of the community since 1914. One of the ways in which we can contribute to our community is to help families. Our hope is that by providing an afternoon of fun for the family we will not only encourage families but also let them know we are here to help them throughout the year.” All area families are invited to take part in this exciting and free family carnival on Saturday, August 22, from 1 to 4 p.m. The church is located at 5760 Cannonsburg Road, east of Northland Dr. between Pettis and Egypt Valley.