March 18 2010

Garden Pathways series free to the public

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Garden Pathways began in 2007 when the Outreach Committee of Blythefield Christian Reformed Church had a vision of reaching friends and neighbors. Their motto has been to explore God’s creation through the means of bringing in experts to speak about different aspects of gardening. Once a month, beginning in March and continuing throughout the spring and summer season, the group explores a different pathway. Some of the paths they have explored have led to pruning, composting, herbs, rain gardens, orchids, tree identification, bulbs, growing vegetables, and more. They have also visited various gardens in the summer to see wildflower fields, rose gardens and perennial gardens. Beginning this month, Garden Pathways will go down a pathway to learn about various viburnums and where they can be used in home gardens. In April, the group will learn about growing and using ornamental grasses. Coming in the month of May is an opportunity to learn all about daylilies. Then, in the month of June, they will learn about water gardening, and where and how to build a backyard pond. All of these learning experiences are at no charge, and refreshments are included. The public is invited to join in the Garden Pathways on the third Thursday evening of the month at 7 p.m. at Blythefield Christian Reformed Church, 6350 Kuttshill Dr. NE. For more information, visit the church website at or call the church office at (616) 866-2962.

Scouts honored at Recognition Mass

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Boy Scout Troop 283’s Nathan Christensen of Belmont proudly displayed the Bishop Baraga medallion as the Grand Rapids Catholic Committee on Scouting hosted the annual Scout Recognition Mass at the Basilica of St. Adalbert in Grand Rapids on Sunday, Feb. 28. Christensen was the first Boy Scout to earn the Bishop Baraga award, commemorating the celebration of 100 years of Scouting as youth ministry. More than 140 Scouts and adult leaders were recognized as recipients of Catholic religious awards at the Scout Recognition Mass. Recipients were recognized by the diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting to individuals who have performed exceptional service to the Scouting program through their contributions to the spiritual development of Catholic youth. Recipients of the Bronze Pelican Award were Michael Lenz, Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 3208 of Holy Spirit; Daina Luczyk, Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 283 of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Pete Luczyk, Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 283 of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Kevin Meyers, Scoutmaster of 275 and Advisor of 2275; and Bill Mullholland, Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner of the Gerald R. Ford Council/Boy Scouts of America. Receiving the St. George Award from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting and recognized for their outstanding contributions to the spiritual development of the Catholic youth were Scott Harvey, Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus, Bishop Kevin M. Britt Council, Charter Organization Representative of Pack 3283 and Troop 283, Finance Council Chairman of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Larry Wilson, Scoutmaster of Troop 230, High Adventure Advisor for Section C-2B of the Order of the Arrow, member St. Jude Church Christian Formation Committee, Fourth Degree Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus. Honored for the Pope Paul VI Catholic Unit Award for the third straight year were Boy Scout Troop 31 of Marne and St. Mary and Cub Scout Pack 3283 of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Pope Paul VI was also awarded to Boy Scout Troop 283 for their outstanding efforts in Catholic Scouting. Plans also are underway to celebrate the 100 years of Scouting with a Cub Scout Activity Day scheduled for Saturday, June 5, and a Catholic Boy Scout Retreat on August 6-8 at the Life Process Center in Lowell.

Michigan author visits Meadow Ridge Elementary

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Jeffrey Schatzer started off March is Reading Month by presenting writing strategies and samples of his books to the kids at Meadow Ridge Elementary School. The students were entertained by Schatzer on March 3, when he presented at two assemblies, one for upper elementary and one for the early elementary. Schatzer is a Michigan author who has won several awards for his books. He was featured at the summer Reading Rocks in Rockford Festival last year, and is scheduled to appear this year on August 7, as well. He has written such books as “The Elves in Santa’s Workshop,” “The Bird in Santa’s Beard,” “Professor Tuesday’s Awesome Adventures in History: Book One, Chief Pontiac’s War,” and “Fires In the Wilderness: A Story of the Civilian Conservation Boys.”

Rockford Public Schools exemplary, getting better

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

by DR. RYAN KELLEY Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Rockford Public Schools A quality education is what every parent expects for their children. According to parent survey results in Rockford, our parents believe that their children are receiving a quality education. When asked, “What letter grade would you assign to the education that is provided by Rockford Public Schools?” nearly 95 percent of parents responded with either an A or a B. The national average for the combined responses of A and B is 50 percent, according to the most recent Gallup Poll. Beyond survey results, there are other indicators that are valuable in determining the quality of a school system. For example, what do experts from “outside of the district” have to say about the school district? Rockford Public Schools (RPS) brings in many experts to assist in obtaining feedback on the effectiveness of our district. Over the past 15 years, the Michigan Department of Education and/or the U.S. Department of Education have recognized every Rockford school building as being a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Another process that assists schools in their continuous improvement effort is the accreditation process. Accreditation assures the community that the schools adhere to high quality standards based on the latest research and successful professional practice. Every RPS school has been North Central Accredited for many years. However, this year we are pursuing AdvancED District Accreditation. District accreditation is a powerful systems approach to improving student achievement and organizational effectiveness. No longer do individual school buildings work in isolation on their school improvement plans. Schools must work together on developing district-wide systems for improvement, while still being able to work on building-specific targeted goals. An important step toward being one of the first districts in West Michigan to be recognized with AdvancED District Accreditation status, is the hosting of a visitation team of education experts. From March 21 to 24, RPS will host a visitation team that consists of members from Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan. They are committed to identifying our strengths, and mandated to identify areas needing growth. The goal of this process will be to make this exemplary school district even better! I look forward to providing the community with a summary of the visitation team’s assessment of […]

Gremel earns prestigious Morehead-Cain scholarship

March 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford High School senior Ashley Gremel has been awarded the prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This full four-year scholarship is based on merit, moral force of character, commitment to lifelong learning, dedication to fitness and physical activity, and leadership. Of the 1700-plus applicants from throughout the world, less than four percent received this invitation. Students outside of North Carolina must be nominated by an approved nominating institution. Rockford High School received its nominating credentials in 2007 after a vigorous selection process (less than ten schools in the State of Michigan qualify as a nominating school). Rockford High School Principal Dan Zang said, “We are so excited for Ashley; she is a phenomenal young lady! This is the most comprehensive scholarship I have seen in my 22 years in education.” According to the Morehead-Cain Foundation, “The scholarship is truly an experience that will last a lifetime. Over the course of four undergraduate years, Morehead-Cain Scholars begin to forge relationships with a vibrant network of nearly 3,000 Morehead Alumni—some of the most influential and prominent people in a wide array of careers around the globe. Scholars also meet and work with Summer Enrichment Program sponsors in the U.S. and abroad, many of whom become mentors and potential employers. In exchange, Scholars are expected to make a perpetual commitment to lifelong personal growth through hard work, discipline, humility, and compassion. Morehead-Cain Scholars accept rigorous challenges that may intimidate others. They embrace obstacles as opportunities to lead. They understand that with great gifts come even greater responsibilities.” A few of Ashley’s accomplishments in Rockford include: • Founder of Cast Off the Cold (a community service initiative which has donated over 2,000 hand-knit scarves, hats, and mittens to homeless missions throughout West Michigan and Lansing) and subsequently, “United We Knit,” in which 300 hand-knit items were donated to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans ( • Treasurer of RHS’s Youth Initiative Community Service Club, including fundraising efforts to secure more than $42,000 and recruit volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity project • Coordinator of RHS’s MI blood drive • Four-year letter in swimming, water polo, marching band, and academics • Recipient of the 2010 Congressional Medal of Merit award • Recipient of the Dartmouth […]

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