November 5 2009
On Wednesday, Nov. 25, two events will take place: one based upon social networking and the other based upon helping Rockford families who have fallen on tough times. The latter is the 2009 Ultimate Turkey Bowl to benefit God’s Kitchen North, which will take place from 7 to 11 p.m., at The Score Restaurant and Sports Bar, 5301 Northland Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Individuals will be making contributions to earn the right to become Top Turkey Bowler or earn the title of Top Hen Tosser while enjoying the sounds and videos of the infamous Jimmy Buffett on the large screens throughout The Score. There will also be a donation barrel so folks can drop off food items. All food items and funds raised will be donated the next day, Thanksgiving Day, to God’s Kitchen North in Rockford. The former is the inaugural event of the newly established Parrot Head Club of Grand Rapids, an organization founded by Kelly Henrickson of Belmont. “There are so many needs in our area. Why not host events that center around having fun while doing good for our neighbors at the same time?” Henrickson stated. There are over 200 Parrot Head clubs throughout the country, Canada and Australia. The Grand Rapids club is the 210th. God’s Kitchen North, a program of Catholic Charities West Michigan, serves hot meals to those in need in northern Kent County. Every Thursday evening, meals are served from 6 to 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Consolation Parish’s family center, 4865 Eleven Mile, Rockford. This no-cost dinner is served to anyone who visits. For more information, contact Kelly Henrickson at (616) 447-1980, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
A lesson to learn Dear Editor, Some people want a right to guaranteed health insurance, and the right to choose poor diets, and take a nap at the mention of the word exercise. The more we emulate foreign countries by putting our hope in centralized government by asking it to take care of us, and the less we rely on the private enterprise system, the more we will be like the foreigners. I thought they came here to be like us with the benefits of free enterprise, personal responsibility and personal initiative. Ted Kennedy said health care should be a “right, not a privilege.” Gerald Ford said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson said, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” There is a saying: If you want to teach a teenager a lesson, let them have what they want. If we get what Kennedy and Obama want, we may all be taught a lesson. Denny Cochran Rockford resident
Rockford Christian School (RCS) recently initiated a community outreach program for home-schooled children in kindergarten up to eighth grade. The Home School Partnership program provides options for families who need help with advanced subjects or those that require specialized training or materials. One Partnership student recently said, “I like the science experiments!” The program offers à la carte options ranging from a full day of classes to pick-and-choose alternatives. The classes are taught by six RCS teachers and include hands-on science (including lab experiments and earth science), Spanish, computer lab, music (band and orchestra), art, writing, and physical education. Optional advanced math classes (e.g., algebra and geometry) are also available. The home-school students can either remain exclusively with other home-school students or they can elect to join the RCS students for recess and lunch. The Partnership students are greeted in the lobby on Tuesday mornings by Principal Jan VanderWerp. The program begins 10 minutes after the first RCS tardy bell. Each student is assigned a locker and escorted from class to class by a Partnership-designated teacher. If the student elects to join the RCS students for lunch and/or recess, an RCS “buddy” is assigned. Hot lunch options are available for the home-school students. The program is offered in five sessions that are six weeks long. This provides scheduling and budgeting flexibility for families if they want to initially try a few classes before committing to a full day. A full-day session (8:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.) is $200 and the pick-and-choose alternative is $60 per selected class per session. Discounts are available for families with more than three children. Two years ago, a home-school family approached RCS about options for home-school kids. The RCS administration investigated similar programs throughout Grand Rapids and interviewed countless home-school families in order to create a valuable program. The RCS staff quickly embraced the program and volunteered to forego their allotted class-prep time to teach these specialized classes. The most exciting component of this program for VanderWerp has been witnessing how much the RCS staff has stretched and devoted to making this program a value to the home-school families. “It’s exciting to see the staff live out their faith and commitment to the program and to the school,” said VanderWerp. […]
Bus safety, determining delays, school closings by JAMIE HOSFORD Assistant Superintendent Human Resources Welcome to another school year. We look forward to many successes for you and your children throughout the 2009-2010 school year. The Rockford educational community, along with the entire Rockford community, is truly a special place to live, grow and learn. It is hard to believe we are looking at fall (fog) and winter (snow and ice) weather already. Where does time go? Please read the information below as a reminder of how/why we decide to delay the opening of school or close school for the day. Rockford Public Schools (RPS) clearly understands the issues a snow day and/or two-hour delay causes students, parents and staff. The decision to close school or implement a two-hour delay is based on the safety of our students, parents and staff. We have an employee who is responsible for checking roads and driving conditions, beginning as early as 3:00 a.m. during the late fall and winter months. This person drives throughout the 100 square miles of the district, checking for problematic roads—gravel roads, as well as main thoroughfares. In some cases, driving conditions can vary greatly from one side of our district to the other. Beginning around 5:00 a.m., the person checking our roads is in constant contact with me (Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources), Director of Transportation Jacquie Fase, and in many cases the Kent County Road Commission and local weather stations, as well as transportation departments of other districts. Collectively, they share information received, and a recommendation is made to Superintendent Michael Shibler. Our goal is to make a decision to close school or implement a two-hour delay prior to 5:30 a.m. so parents may make plans for the day. However, the weather may become inclement later in the early morning and, as a result, the decision to close or implement a delay becomes more complicated. WZZM 13, FOX 17 WXMI and WOOD TV 8, as well as our district Web page at www.rockfordschools.org, have updated information regarding school closings and/or delays. In addition, you may contact our transportation department at (616) 863-6328 or central office administration at (616) 863-6320 any time you have questions. Driving school buses through snow is not a problem […]