Belmont Elementary

Students learn, help peers by volunteering their time

May 17, 2012 // 0 Comments

Rockford Community Federal Credit Union (RCFCU) just finished their ninth year of facilitating student-run credit unions in the Rockford area schools. RCFCU would like to say thank you to all the volunteer Student Run Credit Union employees in the 2011-2012 school year. The 65 student employees helped their peers save $5,300 by processing over 700 transactions! Belmont Elementary, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Consolation schools participated this year. RCFCU enjoys partnering with the local schools to help students be more dedicated to 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 allows students to be taught real life skills of financial banking in a safe and secure school environment.

Students run to help children in Haiti

March 24, 2011 // 0 Comments

Goal is $10,000 for kitchen, classroom A determination to help those in Haiti and the generosity of the Rockford area have students well on their way to an ultimate goal of $10,000 to go to a kitchen, classroom, books and more for students in Haiti. The most recent fundraiser is coming right up and the public is invited to take part. On March 26, bright and early at 8 a.m. at Belmont Elementary School, students will take place in a 5K kids run to raise money for students in Haiti, who are still suffering the effects of the devastating earthquake which happened over a year ago. The money they raised will be used by a group of Rockford people who are returning to Haiti in June. There they will distribute food and hygiene kits and working at an orphanage and a school. The group is working with the Haiti Foundation Against Poverty in the community of Les Bours. Organizer and teacher Rachel DeKuiper stated, “On behalf of the group heading to Haiti in June, I’d also like to thank the community for its support of our Hoops for Haiti event on February 18. What a great community we live in!” To register for the race, or for more information, go to “Thanks so much for supporting the work a team of individuals will be doing in Haiti this summer. The group is overwhelmed by the generosity of the Rockford community,” said DeKuiper. An earlier event, Hoops for Haiti, raised over $2,000 on Friday, Feb. 18. “This $2,000 combined with the $2,600 raised previously through [Rockford Public Schools’] sister school project with Les Bours School of Hope, puts us nearly halfway to our goal. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to build a kitchen, add a sixth-grade classroom, purchase books, improve the school’s courtyard, put up a basketball hoop, and install a soccer goal at our sister school in Haiti. We also will be working with the adults and children/students of the Les Bours School community to help them start a garden program. We are excited to be able to not only provide food and hygiene kits to help with their short-term needs, but also help them plant fruit and vegetables to meet their long-term […]

Algoma Township drops D.A.R.E. funding

December 9, 2010 // 0 Comments

Program the last in Kent County by BETH ALTENA Rockford Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Shibler and Rockford Police Chief Dave Jones can’t understand the reasoning for Algoma Township’s decision to discontinue their $5,000-a-year funding of the D.A.R.E. program, and they aren’t taking it quietly. Plainfield Township is also taking a hard look at their budget and had a discussion on whether to continue to fund the D.A.R.E. program. With revenue down across the board in municipalities in Michigan, including the City of Rockford, many government organizations are looking longer and harder at every service they offer, but Jones and Shibler don’t believe D.A.R.E. should fall to the wayside. On Monday, Nov. 29, Jones, Shibler and representatives from the Parent Teacher Organizations of each Rockford school attended a wake-up call meeting at Rockford City Hall to discuss the funding and future of D.A.R.E. “If Algoma doesn’t come around, if we lose Plainfield, we’re done,” Jones said. The D.A.R.E. program is much more than an anti-drug lesson, described Rockford’s D.A.R.E. officer Dave Jehnzen. It is a program that encourages good decision-making with lessons that ideally last a lifetime. Every student in the district takes part in D.A.R.E. in the fifth- and sixth-grade levels, and Jehnzen said that if it helps even a few kids avoid behaviors that lead to criminal activity or drug use, it is a no-brainer with the annual cost of $67,000 split between the City of Rockford and the townships who have students in the district. Jones said the program was originally offered by the Michigan State Police, which cancelled it due to budget cuts 10 years ago. Determined to continue D.A.R.E., the Rockford Police Department took on the program for Rockford Public Schools, and established funding by splitting the costs with Plainfield and Cannon townships each at $10,000 a year, Algoma and Courtland townships—with only part of their students in the Rockford district—at $5,000 a year each, the City of Rockford at $10,000, Rockford Public Schools at $12,500, and Our Lady of Consolation Church contributing $2,500. That total of $55,000 is still short of the entire funding by $12,000, which is currently made up with contributions from groups and an annual D.A.R.E. golf outing held by the Rockford Police Department on volunteer […]