Deborah Mateika Beyer diverse books

 PreK-12th grade teachers of Winnebago and Boone Counties are invited to apply for Grants from the Golden Apple Foundation. Grants will be awarded to meet needs that enhance the classroom experience but are typically not funded in regular school budgets. Certified, full-time classroom teachers of grades PreK-12th in Winnebago and Boone County Schools are eligible.

Since 1998, Golden Apple Foundation has distributed grants to classroom teachers on an annual basis. The educational experience of thousands of students has been energized with nearly $183,000 through this grant program.

The Golden Apple Foundation Grants Program affords teachers the opportunity to develop and implement creative educational projects that enhance the learning experience of their students.It provides teachers a resource for expanding and enhancing the curriculum for the benefit of their students.

Last year, with teachers holding class virtually, classroom needs were much different and more immediate. Golden Apple Foundation funded several grant requests for items such as plastic partitions; ring lights; headsets or earbuds; webcams; laptop desks; laptop stands; and whiteboards, markers and erasers; in addition to books.

This year, we are pleased to be able to assist with in-person classroom needs again and have some different grant options available thanks to grant sponsors Rob and Meg Hodge, Rasmussen University and Collins Aerospace.

Simple grants are available for up to $300 for equipment, technology or books. Large grants are available for up to $1,500 for a single classroom or $2,500 for a school-wide, multi-classroom project. Up to $2,500 may be awarded for addressing a community need or problem through a Rasmussen University Community Reinvestment grant and up to $1,500 for Collins Aerospace STEM grants for a single classroom or up to $2,500 for a school-wide, multi-classroom project.

Grant applications must be received by the Golden Apple Foundation office no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. Golden Apple Foundation is located at 5050 East St., Rockford University-Scarborough Hall- room 9, Rockford, IL 61108-2393. The grant application form and details are available here. For additional information, call Jennifer Stark, Executive Director at 815-226-4180.

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This year, Golden Apple Foundation will award teachers of 6th - 12th grades. Nominations for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. Paper forms will be available in 6th-12th grade schools starting Sept. 16 and can be submitted to Golden Apple Foundation’s office at 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108. Nominations may also be submitted online here: http://goldenappleofrockford.com/goldenapple_nominationform.asp.To be eligible, the nominee must be certified and teach a group of students in a classroom on a regular basis.

(Formularios de nominación en español pueden ser obtenidas en nuestra oficina localizada en 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108; en las oficinas de La Voz Latina; o en las escuelas bilingües.) Nominations in languages other than English and Spanish will also be accepted.

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Golden Apple Foundation volunteers will be delivering more than 5,000 apples donated by Schnucks and thank you cards to classroom teachers in all public and non-public ISBE recognized schools in Winnebago and Boone counties on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. This annual event kicks off the nomination selection period for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards and is a great way for community members to express gratitude and appreciation for area educators.

This year, Golden Apple Foundation will award teachers of 6th - 12th grades. Nominations for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards will be accepted through 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14. Paper forms will be available in 6th-12th grade schools beginning Sept. 16 and can be submitted to Golden Apple Foundation’s office at 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108. Nominations may also be submitted online here: http://goldenappleofrockford.com/goldenapple_nominationform.asp.To be eligible, the nominee must be certified and teach a group of students in a classroom on a regular basis.

(Formularios de nominación en español pueden ser obtenidas en nuestra oficina localizada en 5050 E. State St., Rockford, IL 61108; en las oficinas de La Voz Latina; o en las escuelas bilingües.) Nominations in languages other than English and Spanish will also be accepted.

Volunteers can register online at https://2021applefortheteacherday.eventbrite.com or by phone at 815-226-4180.

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Golden Apple Foundation is holding a Celebrity Bartender fundraising event from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, at Louie’s Tap House, sponsored by Associated Bank. 

Join us for a night of fun with your family or friends to support 2021-2022 Golden Apple Foundation programs by buying a beer from our bartenders and sharing big tips with them! There will also be karaoke; $5/hour in the Pixel Paradise Arcade; $2.50 mini-putt games; and 815 Rising Star performer Zak Percell showing off magic tricks from 6-7 p.m.

The event features WTVO-17/Fox-39's Whitney Martin and Elliot Grandia; Golden Apple Academy members, Megan Forsythe (Prairie Hill School, 2008), Amanda Newmes (Belvidere North HS, 2019), Nikki Gallentine (Prairie Hill School, 2020) and Heidi Milner (Ledgewood School, 2020); Golden Apple board member Lynn Gibson (Retired Hononegah District #207 Superintendent, NIU Clinical Assistant Professor); Glenn Terry, Superintendent of Rockton School District; and Mike Pura, President of the Rockford Community Market of Associated Bank as Celebrity Bartenders.

Contact a board or staff member for a ticket to a meal of a burger, chips and any drink (up to a $7 value) for $20 ($5 of each ticket goes to our non-profit). MEAL TICKETS WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. The Golden Apple Foundation is a volunteer-driven organization that celebrates, inspires and supports educational excellence in our community. The Golden Apple Foundation honors teachers, principals, assistant principals and volunteers in more than 150 schools, both public and non-public, in Winnebago and Boone counties through four core programs: Awards & Recognition, Teacher AcademyClassroom Grants and Community Engagement. Louie's Tap House is located at 5689 Elevator Rd, in Roscoe. For more information: 815-226-4180 or goldenappleofrockford.com.

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The 2021 Excellence in Education Banquet was held on June 14 and we are excited to offer a video of the entire event online thanks to Eric Wilson and the WTVO/WQRF team! Click HERE to watch!

Congratulations to 2020 Golden Apple teachers, Nikki Gallentine of Prairie Hill Elementary, Heather Geary of Whitehead Elementary, Tui Harned of Nashold Early Education Center, Heidi Milner of Ledgewood School and Tiffany Russey of Welsh Elementary who presented their speeches along with 2020 Outstanding Principal Erin Salberg of Nashold Early Childhood Center. K-FACT was presented with the 2020 Jan Jones Educational Service Award. In addtion, the 20 Finailsts were announced and local excellence in education was celebrated during this historically challenging year!
 
Special thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: Banquet Presenting sponsor; Bergstrom; Grove sponsors: Rockford Register Star, Rockford University, WTVO/WQRF; Tree sponsors: Associated Bank, Collins Aerospace; Branch sponsors: Meg & Rob Hodge, GrahamSpencer, LAMAR, Rasmussen University; Apple Barrel sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, Entre Computer Solutions, First Midwest Group, McDonalds, OSF Healthcare, Schmeling Construction, Schnuck Markets, SwedishAmerican Health System; Golden Sponsors: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Crusader Clinic, Illinois Bank & Trust and Reno & Zahm.

Teachers, here's your opportunity to earn a full scholarship for your Master's Degree at Rockford University! The Don Zimmerman Golden Apple Scholarship began in 2020 with Meghan Baylor as the first recipient. Meghan completes her Master's degree in Spring 2022.

Don Zimmerman began teaching locally in 1956 at Rockford West High School as an Orchestra teacher. Don Zimmerman, and his dear friend, Dr. Richard Novak, took their passions for education and turned it into a collective community effort to recognize excellence in teaching with the founding of Golden Apple Foundation in 1997. It began out of Don's garage, sorting apples and celebrating local RPS 205 teachers, and today has grown to supporting all public and ISBE recognized private schools in Winnebago and Boone counties. The Foundation continues its mission of inspiring, celebrating and supporting educational excellence in our community through awards & recognition, the Golden Apple Teacher Academy, classroom grants, and teacher scholarships. 

The Zimmerman family and Golden Apple Foundation honor Don's memory with the Don Zimmerman Golden Apple Scholarship. This scholarship grants an existing teacher a full-tuition scholarship at Rockford University to complete their Master’s degree. Click here for eligibility requirements and more details about the scholarship.

 TIMELINE & PROCESS:
  • Complete application packet and submit to the Golden Apple Foundation office by 5 p.m. on May 20, 2022.
  • Finalists will be contacted by June, 1, 2022 and interviews scheduled.
  • Recipient will be announced by June 15, 2022.

 Ist Don Zimmerman Golden Apple Scholarship recipient - Meghan Baylor 2020

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 2020 GA teachers
Golden Apple Foundation is excited to announce the upcoming Excellence in Education banquet to be held on June 14, 2021 at The Illinois Bank & Trust Pavilion. The banquet will look a little different this year (under 50 people) to balance everyone's safety, but the goal remainds the same, to highlight our local educators and to celebrate their accomplishments. Eric Wilson and Mimi Murphy from WTVO/WQRF will MC the event and video highlights will be shown with each teacher's  suprise in the classroom.
 
The 2020 Golden Apple teachers, Nikki Gallentine of Prairie Hill Elementary, Heather Geary of Whitehead Elementary, Tui Harned of Nashold Early Education Center, Heidi Milner of Ledgewood School and Tiffany Russey of Welsh Elementary will present their speeches along with 2020 Outstanding Principal Erin Salberg of Nashold Early Childhood Center and K-FACT will be presented with the 2020 Jan Jones Educational Service Award. In addtion, the 20 Finailsts will be announced and all local excellence in education will be celebrated during this historically challenging year!
 
The free online program will be available through a link on the Golden Apple Foundation website by June 29 for for sponsors, schools and the community to enjoy. Special thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible: Banquet Presenting sponsor; Bergstrom; Grove sponsors: Rockford Register Star, Rockford University, WTVO/WQRF; Tree sponsors: Associated Bank, Collins Aerospace; Branch sponsors: Meg & Rob Hodge, GrahamSpencer, LAMAR, Rasmussen University; Apple Barrel sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, Entre Computer Solutions, First Midwest Group, McDonalds, OSF Healthcare, Schmeling Construction, Schnuck Markets, SwedishAmerican Health System; Golden Sponsors: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Crusader Clinic, Illinois Bank & Trust and Reno & Zahm.
 
For more information about the banquet contact Golden Apple Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 815-226-4180.  

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Golden Apple Foundation salutes teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week May 3-7! Thank you for your dedication to the profession and your students each and every year and especially during these very trying times. We will be having teacher give-a-ways to celebrate teachers throughout the week and month. Go to Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoldenAppleFoun to take part in these promotions. 

 

 

 

 

 815 Rising Stars winner Kristina

Golden Apple Foundation is pleased to present Kristina Puzin as the 815 Rising Star! Kristina is a freshman at Auburn High School in the CAPA program and she performed her version of “City of Stars” from the movie La La Land and received the most votes from the community.

The 815 Rising Stars talent show began with 120 submissions from local singers, dancers, magicians, bands, and more. The selection committee chose 21 acts that were highlighted in the 815 Rising Stars talent show that aired on Feb. 27, 2021. The individual performances were viewed over 8,500 times combined and were voted on by the community through donations to Golden Apple Foundation. Over the past week, Kristina accrued 3,440 votes.

Golden Apple recognizes all 21 individual performers and groups who shared their talents with the community and we have listed the top 10 acts that received the most votes. All of the top 21 vote totals can be found on their individual pages as well as their videos at goldenappleofrockford.com.

 

Kristina Puzin  3440
Samantha Bonzi  3383
Joslynn Labak  2150
Rockford Dance Co. 1360
Zack Percell  1130
Ben Bathje  1080
Aleyna Yaylaci  620
Clark Kelly 390
Winterland Cake Georgia Buhl, Kayleigh Ratzlaff, Elif Ozkok 382
Logan Tillmon 375 

Thank you to the 815 performers, our sponsors and the community for voting and supporting local talent and teachers through your donations totaling over $16,500. This event was created by a group of Golden Apple teachers and the funds raised will support Golden Apple programming, including teacher grants that provide resources to support teachers' and students' needs during the pandemic. Thank you to our sponsors Wendy’s, Larson & Larson Builders, Ceroni Piping, Atlas Metal Pros, Fitzgerald EquipmentRedd Insurance Group - MeemicWTVO and Fox 39

 

PHOTO: 815 Rising Star Kristina Puzin

Final Top 7 March 6

Congratulations 815 Rising Stars! We are in the last stretch, help your performer to the finish line. TODAY is the last day to view and vote for your favorite performers! Here are performers currently in the lead:

Samantha Bonzi 1568
Joslynn Labak 1480
Ben Bathje 970
Kristina Puzin 870
Rockford Dance Co. 790
Zack Percell 750
Aleyna Yaylaci 600
Clark Kelly 390
Winterland Cake Georgia Buhl, Kayleigh Ratzlaff, Elif Ozkok 382
Bronson Campbell 290

Voting and viewing continues through 11:59 p.m. today at goldenappleofrockford.comThe winner of the 815 Rising Stars talent show will be announced on Sunday, March 7 and the vote tallies of the top 10 will be posted on the Golden Apple website. The top 21 vote totals can be found on their individual pages. 

 

Thank you 815 performers, our sponsors and the community for voting and supporting local talent and teachers through your donations. This event was created by a group of Golden Apple teachers and the funds raised will support Golden Apple programming, including teacher grants that provide resources to support teachers' and students' needs during the pandemic. Thank you to our sponsors Wendy’s, Larson & Larson Builders, Ceroni Piping, Atlas Metal Pros, Fitzgerald EquipmentRedd Insurance Group - MeemicWTVO and Fox 39

 

PHOTO: Top 7 in the lead: Samantha Bonzi, Josylnn Labak, Ben Bathje, Kristina Puzin, Rockford Dance Co., Zack Percell, Aleyna Yaylaci 

 Top 7 March 6
 
Congratulations 815 Rising Stars, the voting has been incredible! Tomorrow is the last day!
Here are performers currently in the lead.
 
Samantha Bonzi 1284
Joslynn Labak 1050
Ben Bathje 945
Kristina Puzin 855
Rockford Dance Co. 710
Zack Percell 700
Aleyna Yaylaci 590
Winterland Cake Georgia Buhl, Kayleigh Ratzlaff, Elif Ozkok 382
Clark Kelly 370
Bronson Campbell 285
 
Voting and viewing continues through 11:59 p.m. on March 6 at goldenappleofrockford.com and all the top 21 vote totals can be found on their individual pages. Thank you 815 performers, our sponsors and the community for voting and supporting local talent and teachers through your donations. This event was created by a group of Golden Apple teachers and the funds raised will support Golden Apple programming, including teacher grants that provide resources to support teachers' and students' needs during the pandemic. Thank you to our sponsors Wendy’s, Larson & Larson Builders, Ceroni Piping, Atlas Metal Pros, Fitzgerald EquipmentRedd Insurance Group - MeemicWTVO and Fox 39
 
PHOTO: Top 7 in the lead: Samantha Bonzi, Josylnn Labak, Ben Bathje, Kristina Puzin, Rockford Dance Co., Zack Percell, Aleyna Yaylaci