People… In Our Times

People… In Our Times


Local teacher’s concern affects listeners

On October 29, Beyer School fifth Grade teacher, STACIE WALTON, made a simple phone call to SKY DRYSDALE at radio station Y95 on behaf of five of her students. This gesture prompted an immediate and unexpected response from Rockford area residents, thereby solving a concern for the entire pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school.

“I contacted Sky Drysdale in the hopes of finding a way to locate Halloween costumes for five of my fifth grade students who I knew weren’t going to be able to afford a costume for the school’s Halloween Parade on Thursday,” stated Walton. “Many families of Beyer School aren’t able to cover extra expenses for things like Halloween costumes, so I wanted to ask the Y95 listeners if they would be able to donate a few extra costumes that they may have in a closet or dresser for the students to use.”

Walton’s call was taken live “on the air” by Drysdale, and he stated during their conversation that he would personally donate $25 to cover the cost of at least one of the costumes. In return, he stated that Y95 listeners with an extra Halloween costume could drop off their costume donation at the radio station to cover the remaining students’ needs.

As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, monetary donations totaling $604, more than a dozen costumes and numerous makeup kits and props, and even treats for the parade were dropped off at the Y95 studio. Due to the overwhelming response, not only were the needs of the five fifth grade students met, but a total of 39 students at the entire school who weren’t going to be able to attend the parade now can look forward to being a part of this very special school tradition.

Arts Council names new directors and officers

The Rockford Area Arts Council, at its recent 15th Annual Meeting in late September, elected five new directors to three-year terms. They are: IAN BERAUNOVICH, Operations Manager of MCI; VICTORIA GILBERT, Newell Rubbermaid; JAMES HANSBERRY, Amcore Financial; ABIGAIL PRIBBENOW, and MAYA SIMMONS, an Artsplace artist.

Officers for the year 2002/2003 are: TOM WALSH, President; DAN LOESCHER, treasurer/secretary; JOHN McNAMARA, immediate past president; JODY GOFF, marketing vice president; JIM HANSBERRY, Development vice president; SHELTON KAY, Grants vice president; MELISSA MARSDEN, Constituent Services vice president, and CLAIRE ROTOLO, Education/Outreach vice president.


Rockford College receives grant for bilingual teachers

Earlier this month, Rockford College President PAUL PRIBBENOW and DEBRA DEW, Ph.D., master of arts in teaching director, announced that Rockford College received a five year, $1.38 million federal teacher-training grant. The award from the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) of the U.S. Department of Education will expand the teacher-training opportunities for bilingual teachers, administrators, and other support personnel. Project “Arriba Y Adelante” is designed to assist the Rockford Public School District in meeting a demand for teachers in specialized fields such as Bilingual/English as a Second Language education and teachers of reading for Bilingual /ESL students.

According to Dr. Dew, one of the project’s authors, “The increasing number of English language learners and the increased demand for qualified educational personnel to instruct them, is a challenge of great significance. As the population of students learning English as a second language grows, so does the need for adequately trained staff to meet their needs.”

Local school receives grant

The Harlem School District is pleased to announce that the PawPrints Preschool at Harlem High School has been chosen as a recipient of a $1,000 Preschool Literacy Grant from the WalMart Corporation.

Harlem students will operate a “Lending Library” Project within the eight-week preschool program being conducted by the Family and Consumer Science classes at Harlem High School. Parents of preschoolers will be encouraged to check out books on Tuesday and Wednesday nights while enrolled. Harlem High School students will do follow-up questions and listen to the children “reading” stories as each child returns their borrowed books the following morning.

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