August 30 2012

Rockford Rams boys varsity soccer off to strong start

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

With one week of play in the books, the Rams varsity soccer team is poised for a strong season. The Justin Bailey Memorial Shootout in Portage provided a challenging three-match opportunity for this relatively young team to work together and emerge undefeated. The Rams tied the first match against Ann Arbor Pioneer in a scoreless event, followed by 3-0 and 1-0 wins over Northville and Okemos, respectively. The Rams traveled to Lowell on Tuesday for the first regular season match. Scoring events by senior Zak Hermann and sophomore Michael Pontius resulted in a 2-0 win for the Rams. In the season home opener on Thursday, the Rams’ defensive wall shut down Fruitport’s offense, while Hermann managed to score from an assist by junior Derek Williams. Coach Steve Thomas stated, “I’m very pleased with our guys’ effort and energy to start the season. It is a very hardworking and accountable group. The fact that we’ve had five goals with four different goal scorers is very positive. Defensively, we have five shutouts and have been extremely organized on the back line. Most importantly, we’re having fun and improving each time we train. I’m excited to finish the non-league portion of our schedule and keep getting prepared for a very demanding OK Red conference.”

Great Start Readiness program to be offered at Rockford

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Starting in fall 2012, Rockford Public Schools will partner with Kent Intermediate School District (ISD) to provide a new option for at-risk preschool students. The Great Start Readiness Preschool (GSRP) will be housed in the Community Services Building, located at 350 N. Main Street. The program, administered and managed by the Kent ISD, provides services to at-risk four-year-old students for qualifying families. Students must be four on or before December 1. The program will have a morning session beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at noon. The afternoon session will run from 12:45 to 3:45 p.m. Rockford welcomes the opportunity to expand its preschool offerings through this consortium. Executive Director of Community Services, Lisa Jacobs, welcomes the opportunity, stating, “GSRP will be a great program to bring to the families of Rockford. The preschool option fills a void in the diverse range of preschool programs provided by the district.” In addition to the GSRP, Rockford offers Community Education Preschool, Child Development Lab Preschool, Hola Amigos Preschool, Montessori Programs, and Preschool Enrichment Child Care to our youngest learners. For information on the Great Start Readiness Program, please contact the county-wide preschool intake line at (616) 447-2409. For more information on any of Rockford’s preschool or child care programs, please contact the Community Services Department at (616) 863-6560.


August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

The School Year Begins by CAROL A. HILLMAN President, Board of Education Rockford Public Schools Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year. On a personal note, my two daughters will be in the same building for the first time in two years and I’m hoping that makes things a little less complicated. Time will tell… My past presidency was during the 2007-2008 school year when the bond issue was passed. Because of your vote of confidence at that time, we have and are still continuing to make capital improvements to our district. Due to our prudent spending, an excellent bidding environment, and capable teams of designers and construction workers, our facilities provide wonderful opportunities for our students and our many community education offerings. Because we are the recreation department of the Rockford community, our facilities are used literally from birth to retirement ages and, specifically in the school day for preschool through 12th grade. It is rewarding to know that these well-thought-out plans have allowed for improvements above and beyond our expectations. Thank you for your trust in these endeavors. I hope you take the time to tour the district as a point of pride for our community. Facilities are important, yes. But of the utmost importance is the growth and development we expect to occur for your child(ren) this year. Relationships in their classes (teachers, parapros, specialists, and fellow classmates), co-curricular choices, and friendships are key to a successful year. Please be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences and volunteer in co-curricular or classroom settings whenever possible. In addition to parent involvement, the people of Rockford contribute to our students’ success. Retired members of the community are also welcome to be involved. It does take a village to raise a child, and I am proud to have Rockford be the village my family chooses to have our daughters experience their opportunities in school. I trust you will take the initiative to assist your child(ren) to make the most of this year for academic, life-skills, character-building, physical, social, and emotional growth. Welcome to the 2012-13 school year. Go Rams!

Join Arbor Day Foundation, receive 10 free trees

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Everyone from Michigan who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in September will receive 10 free trees as part of the Foundation’s Trees for America program. Through Trees for America, everyone is encouraged to plant trees for the benefit of the environment and quality-of-life. With one million members, the Arbor Day Foundation is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to planting trees. Everyone joining the this month will receive an eastern redbud, white pine, sugar maple, white flowering dogwood, pin oak, red maple, river birch, silver maple, northern red oak and Colorado blue spruce. “This group of trees was carefully selected to yield year-round benefits in Michigan, including beautiful spring flowers, cool summer shade, spectacular autumn colors and winter berries and nesting sites for songbirds,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “These trees will also add to the proud heritage of Michigan’s 120 Tree City USA communities. For the last 36 years, Tree City USA has supported effective urban forest management across Michigan, and planting these trees will enhance the state’s tree-planting tradition.” The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between October 15 and December 10. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Easy-to-follow planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees. New members of the Arbor Day Foundation will also receive The Tree Book, which includes information about tree planting and care. To receive the 10 free trees, send a $10 membership contribution to Ten Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, by September 29, 2012, or join online at

Visit Ikes at Rockford Farm Market

August 30, 2012 // 0 Comments

Conservation near home, Rockford and the northeast Grand Rapids area! The Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will have a nonprofit booth for the day, September 1, at the Rockford Farm Market. The award-winning farm market runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Ikes, as Izaak Walton League members are called, will be there explaining “what the Ikes do” and with handouts on important current conservation and environmental issues such as Asian Carp, fracking, Purple Loosestrife and others including kids free fishing on Versluis Lake in Plainfield Township in June 2013. Go to the farm market and get some good locally grown items and stop by the Ikes’ table.

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