Rockford Education Foundation

Rockford Education Foundation calendars available now

September 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

  Do you want to know when the Rockford Harvest Festival takes place? Are you interested in the dates for conferences, school holiday vacation dates and events at your particular school? You will find the dates of conferences, exams, the high school musical, and the Farmer’s Market. You can find all of these and much more in the Community Events Calendar that the Rockford Education Foundation has made available. Buy yours at a school, business or community organization near you.

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 […]

What’s up with the big green footprints?

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Buy your own piece of Ted sod by Cliff and Nancy Hill It’s spring and miraculously the downtown sidewalks have sprouted pairs of big green footprints.  What’s up with the feet?  Turns out that the Rockford Education Foundation (REF) in a joint venture with the Rockford’s Football and Band Boosters had the feet placed on sidewalks and storefronts to promote their upcoming “Tiptoe Through The Ted – Selling the Sod” event.  Weather permitting, the undertaking of the removal of the grass turf at the Rockford High School Football Stadium (aka ‘The Ted’) will begin on May 4.  During the weeks following, the grass surface will be replaced with one of the latest generations of synthetic turf.  This taking of ‘The Ted’ to a new level provides the REF and the Boosters a great new opportunity to raise money in support of their good works.  Rain or shine, on Saturday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., everyone will be afforded the opportunity to buy a piece of Rockford history.  During the free midday event square yards (18 inches by 72 inches) of the removed sod will be available for $10 per yard.  Small potted versions will also be available.  By buying a chunk of the sod you can create your own little patch of ‘The Ted’ in your yard.  Imagine the possibilities!  Whether purchasing sod or not, everyone is invited to four hours of live music and games.  Picnic on the field, if you like.  There will be something for everyone.   The Sports Boosters will have food concessions stands.  The High School Band will make an appearance.  There will be stage performances by local students, some of who are REF grant recipients.  Zumba and Parisi demonstrations are scheduled.  Other possibilities include; face painting, relay races, and football passing contests.  Many more fun activities are planned, too many to name.  In case of rain, the event will be moved inside to the Rockford High School gymnasium.  Aside from the sod sale the purpose of the event is to celebrate the role ‘The Ted’ has played in the lives of all in our Rockford community. The installation of artificial turf was made possible as a result of school district voters saying “yes” to a mileage […]

Volunteers Key to Success of REF Phone-a-Thon

March 12, 2009 // 0 Comments

The last week of February, the Rockford High School Media Center housed 125 dedicated volunteers over a three-day period. These volunteers called every parent in the Rockford School District to ask for a donation to the Rockford Education Foundation. Their efforts resulted in over $22,500 in pledges to the foundation, which, in turn, gives over $60,000 per year to the community in the form of grants for educational purposes. “I think all of us at REF were concerned about meeting our goals this year, in light of the economy,”said Phone-a-Thon co-chair Gail Vanderlaan, “It was very gratifying to again receive so much financial support from the Rockford Community.” With fifteen Phone-a-Thons behind them, REF trustees have it down to a science. Approximately 25 parent, grandparent, RPS staff, or community volunteers come in for a two-hour shift. Vanderlaan trains the callers and puts about 18-20 of them to work on a bank of phones. Sue Arends, REF trustee, who was instrumental in developing the annual Phone-a-Thon in 1994, takes the rest of the volunteers, who stuff envelopes and prepare the mailing. “It’s quite a production,” says REF administrator Sue Arend. “Our pledges are down from last year, but that’s to be expected in times like these. We are just so grateful to those who pledged and to those who volunteered their time. It will be a big help as we prepare to face the budget cuts ahead!” Meadow Ridge Elementary School parent Beth O’Donnell not only organized 20 volunteers from her school, but she also worked two shifts herself. When asked if she enjoys working the Phone-a-Thon, Beth said, “I do enjoy doing what I can to help out REF and help out our schools. Although it was very humbling this year, as we heard many say they weren’t able to give due to financial hardship or loss of jobs, it was awesome and also humbling to have those who could give this year, do. Everyone did what they could, whether it was $10 or $100 and it was great to be a part of that!” REF trustee Theresa Webb co-chairs the event with Vanderlaan. “Now, more than ever, the need for REF grants are crucial. Thank you to our Rockford parents, for coming through once […]

February Phone-a-thon to Benefit Rockford Education Foundation

February 19, 2009 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Education Foundation will be conducting its annual Phone-a-thon on February 24, 25 and 26, between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Volunteers will be calling parents in the Rockford School District to ask for donations. The foundation funds educational opportunities for learners in the Rockford area. “We typically give back around $60,000 per year to the Rockford community in grants,” says Phone-a-thon co-chairpersons, Gail Vanderlaan and Theresa Webb. “The Phone-a-thon is one of our largest fund-raisers of the year. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000.” “The state budget cuts in education have made our work even more important,” says Sue Arend, REF Administrator. “We really appreciate the support we have received from the community in the past, and hope people will consider helping us out in any way that you can, again this year.” Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the Phone-a-thon may call the REF at 863-6317.

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