Meadow Ridge Elementary

Zumba Exercise also REF fundraiser

May 28, 2009 // 0 Comments

Second grade teacher Natalie Maj works hard to motivate the students in her Meadow Ridge Elementary School classroom. But it’s her second job that stretches the limits of her ability to motivate. Maj is a Zumba instructor, combining her ability to teach with her passion for fitness. The fast-paced, get-up-and-dance exercise program fuses Latin rhythms with aerobic dance moves.  Zumba was developed in the mid-1990s by fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez, a native of Columbia, using the traditional Latin music and dance movements he’d known since childhood. Perez’s classes caught on and soon became the most attended sessions at the health club at which he was teaching. Perez’s Zumba technique quickly caught on with Americans and spread to gyms and health clubs across the country. The Rockford Education Foundation (REF) will be joining forces with Maj, and fellow Zumba instructor Kandi Holmstrom from the YMCA of Belmont, for an exciting fitness fundraiser. “We are excited at the opportunity to help raise monies for the REF and help put resources into local classrooms and promote educational opportunities for children,” said Maj and Holmstrom. Kandi Holmstrom and Natalie Maj are both certified instructors through either the American Council on Exercise or the Aerobics and Fitness Associate of America. Together they carry several specialized certifications including Zumba, Mad Dogg Spinning, Les Mills (Body Pump) and pilates. Both instructors represent the YMCA of Belmont where they teach classes of their own including Zumba.  In addition, Kandi is the creator of the outdoor Rock Hard Boot Camp which runs out of both Rockford and Grand Rapids with limited enrollment.  For more information regarding her classes visit Natalie has established Zumba classes through the Rockford Community Education Office. For more information contact either the Rockford Community Education office or is limited to 50. The first-annual Zumba Party is scheduled for May 29, at 6 p.m., in Rockford High School’s main gym.  Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults.  The night will be filled with music, Zumba dance instruction and many exciting give-aways.  The YMCA of Belmont has donated three one month memberships for either one adult or a family as a give-away.  The Philip Anthony Salon has donated some generous discounts on hair color, cuts and full […]

Meadow Ridge Elementary’s 16-year goal accomplished

March 26, 2009 // 0 Comments

In 1993, Valley View Elementary became Rockford Public Schools’ first school to be recognized by the state of Michigan as a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School. At the time, we committed to having all of our schools go through the Blue Ribbon process and earn this recognition. Why? Because we want to be accountable to you for providing the very best education for our students and our community. The Blue Ribbon recognition confirms that commitment. The Blue Ribbon program is a very challenging and detailed process, requiring school personnel to complete a comprehensive report delineating the school’s student achievement, test scores, educational programs, opportunities available for all students, and parent involvement in the school. The report is then evaluated by three independent readers, and a score is assigned based on a rigorous rubric. If the school receives high marks, a visitation team is sent to confirm the accuracy of the report. If all goes well, the school is recommended to the State Board of Education as a State Blue Ribbon Exemplary School. On March 17, 2009, the State Board of Education declared Meadow Ridge Elementary as Rockford Public Schools’ final traditional school to earn this recognition. All of Rockford Public Schools’ elementary, middle and high schools have now received this prestigious recognition from the State Board of Education. Many of our schools also received National Blue Ribbon recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the state of Michigan discontinued participation in the federal program several years ago. Listed below are the dates each of our schools received their Blue Ribbon recognition: 1993-Valley View Elementary 1994-Rockford Middle School* 1995-Parkside Elementary 1996-Rockford High School* (includes all 9-12) 1997-Roguewood Elementary* 1998-Sheridan Trail 1999-Belmont Elementary* 2001-Cannonsburg Elementary* 2003-Lakes Elementary 2005-Crestwood Elementary 2006-East Rockford Middle School 2009-Meadow Ridge Elementary *Also received National Blue Ribbon recognition from the U.S. Department of Education (Michigan’s participation in the U.S. program ended in 2002). The process to become a State Blue Ribbon Exemplary School District has taken 16 years, but was well worth the effort. Later this spring, Meadow Ridge staff, students and parents will be formally recognized by the State Board of Education during a ceremony held at the school. Congratulations to Meadow Ridge Elementary and the Rockford Public Schools!

Presidential Letters Go All the Way to the White House

March 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Who wouldn’t like the chance to steer our highest elected official in the right direction for the United States? For two Meadow Ridge Elementary students, words to the country’s new president are to become a page in history. All three fifth-grade classes at Meadow Ridge took part in a nation-wide project by kidthing, Connecting Kids Project in partnership with the National Education Association. Students sent letters to President Obama expressing their thoughts and hopes for the future. From over 4,500 submissions, 150 were to be chosen to be published in a book. With such odds, students set to their task, but had no guarantee any of the Rockford letters would make the cut. Teachers Christine Stall and Mr. Frasier were surprised when their students Zach Julien and Kameron Ford came in to school with letters of congratulations. Their letters were among the few chosen by kidthing to be included in the publication, available free on-line, as well as in a limited print edition to be presented to President Obama at the White House.

Meadow Ridge Elementary’s John Hammer: An Example in Excellence

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

Student ‘a great questioner with uplifting personality’ John Hammer, age 11, is the son of Tom and Lynn Hammer and brother to three little sisters, Maggie, Natalie and Dana. At Meadow Ridge Elementary, John is recognized for being a kind, thoughtful and reliable student. He is a hardworking boy who is quick to offer assistance to others, inside the classroom or out. John is a lunchroom helper at his school two days a week. He helps younger students get their hot lunches as well as offers assistance to lunch room servers. Teachers say John always has a smile on his face and is very curious about what’s going on in his classroom as well as the world around him. He is a great questioner who often wonders and asks “why?” of situations he doesn’t understand. He wants to get to the bottom of problems and persists until he finds an acceptable reason or answer. John has a positive attitude, an uplifting personality and a desire to help others. These qualities lead his teachers to believe he will be a person who will do all he can to make the world a better place. Teachers at Meadow Ridge say, “John seems to work from an inner drive, desires to really understand what he is learning, and does his personal best in all he attempts.” This versatile student has taken piano lessons since he was in first grade. He helped start summer book clubs for his classmates the last two summers, and has a new hobby of collecting business cards. When asked what prompted him to start the unusual hobby, he said, “If I want to look something up, I’ll know where to go.” He has also played soccer since kindergarten and currently plays for the Soccer Club of Rockford. He is involved with his church, Blythefield Hills Baptist, where his favorite activities include Wild Wednesdays and Virtual City. John tries to live out his faith not only on Sunday but every day of the week, at home and at school. His curiosity, tenacity and uplifting personality make him a wonderful Example in Excellence at Meadow Ridge Elementary. Examples in Excellence, Rockford Students Making A Difference is an annual project created by partnership between Rockford Public Schools, […]

Food Stimulus

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

Mrs. Barton’s fourth-grade class from Meadow Ridge Elementary took time during their Valentine’s party to decorate sugar cookies for families in need of a little “heart.” The residents of Vern Barry Place in downtown Grand Rapids enjoyed being served a spaghetti lunch followed by the beautifully decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies. In the economic times we are facing, the kids felt good about doing something for families to brighten their Valentine celebration.

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