Feeding the hungry ‘One Plant at a Time’ in RPS 205

“One Plant at a Time,” East High School’s grant-winning community project, has donated 30 pounds of food to the hungry this summer. And it’s still growing. Students, community members and advisors to the project celebrated the bounty with an end-of-summer get-together Thursday. They had a picnic lunch in the shade east of the school building, a short walk from the garden where they have grown produce ranging from carrots to chard. Today’s haul from the garden included beans, tomatoes and zucchini. It will be donated to the Rock River Valley...

read more

Ford awards grant to garden project in RPS 205

East High School is one of six U.S. high schools to win a $5,000 grant in the Ford STEM Community Challenge. And East students are letting no grass grow under their feet. They are tending a summer garden that’s both a teaching tool and a way to fight hunger in the community. The project, “One Plant at a Time,” was designed by the school’s Environmental Key Club and literacy students. They competed for the grant on the theme of building sustainable communities. Winning grant proposals showed significant student input, involvement and...

read more

The real power behind high school academies

There was a bigger plot line in the story of the “Big Town, Little City That Could” (win a top prize from Ford Motor Company). But you had to listen carefully to hear it. Rockford this week was named the nation’s third Ford Next Generation Learning Model Community for developing and implementing high school career academies. The honor came only two years after all high school students in the Rockford Public Schools were in academies, and only a year after Ford honored Rockford with the lesser title of Learning Community. The contributions of...

read more

‘Human tunnel’ helps students find their way

An image sticks with me from the first Academy Expo in November 2012: a single line of Jefferson High School students walk through a clapping and cheering gauntlet of volunteers who support the public schools.  Students had to pass through this human tunnel to reach booths that would help them choose a high school academy. Volunteers do more for our schools, of course, than turn up and cheer on Expo day.  Thanking them is the point of “Faces of Alignment Rockford,” which will recognize one volunteer each month. Alignment Rockford, a nonprofit...

read more

RPS draws power from Ford learning network

A little-known fact outside the Rockford Public Schools: We are one of only 17 communities in the Ford Next Generation Learning network, which supports innovation in education and preparation for the 21st century workforce. That’s good company. It affords us the expertise and perspective we wouldn’t have without membership in the Ford NGL network, which includes communities such as St. Johns and Pinellas counties in Florida; Nashville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky. Goals of the network — funded by the Ford Motor Co....

read more