Golden Apple Foundation and your local Cookies By Design are partnering together to offer cookie kits to make your cookie decorating a breeze! The kits contain 12 cookies and 3 frostings, selling for $25 each, with $10 from each kit benefiting Golden Apple Foundation.

 

Choose from several unique kits:

Option A: 12 hearts with red, pink and white icings.

Option B: 6 snowflakes and 6 snowmen with blue, light blue and white icings.

Option C: 3 castles, 3 dresses, 3 crowns and 3 high heel shoes with pink, purple, and yellow icings.

Option D: 3 cars, 3 dogs, 3 fish and 3 circles with blue, green, and red icings. 

 

All orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Jan. 25 and cookie kits can be picked up Feb. 2-4 at Cookies By Design located at 6415 Riverside Blvd in Rockford. Click on this link to order and reach out to Golden Apple Foundation with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 815-226-4180.

 

 
Golden Apple Foundation is putting out a call to local talent (singers, dancers, comedians, poets etc.) to participate in our VIRTUAL 815 Rising Stars talent show to benefit Golden Apple Foundation!
 
Performers are encouraged to submit a 2 minute video to share their talent with the community before the deadline on Feb. 3, 2021. The Top 20 acts will be featured in a one-hour virtual 815 Rising Stars talent show in late February. The community can enjoy the free show and vote for their favorite acts through donations to Golden Apple Foundation. The top act wins a trophy, $500 in cash, and prizes from our sponsors. 
 
Go to goldenappleofrockford.com/talent for more information, including the submission form, rules, timeline and tips for filming your video. Reach out to Golden Apple Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.
 
815 Rising Stars talent search 2nd flyer QR
 
Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, Wendy's, with additional sponsorship support from Larson & Larson Builders, Ceroni Piping, Atlas Metal Pros, Fitzgerald Equipment and Meemic Insurance. Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence. This event funds Golden Apple programming, including teacher grants, that provide resources to support teachers' and students' needs during the pandemic.

Golden Apple Drive Event 2 1

 
No cost to you, but BIG rewards for Golden Apple Foundation. For every virtual drive, $25 is donated to Golden Apple! It takes just 3 easy steps:
 
#1 Click this link to pre-register. You will pick either noon or 4pm to take the virtual drive on Wednesday, Dec. 16! 
 
#2 You will receive an email with the Zoom link for the virtual tour that is approximately 30 minutes long. On Dec. 16, you must stay logged in for 25 minutes for it to count towards donation.
 
#3 After you have watched the Zoom, fill out a post event survey and Golden Apple receives $25!
 
Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence. The funds raised will support Golden Apple programming, including  teacher grants, that provide resources to support students' and teachers' virtual and in-person needs during the pandemic. 

GivingTues

Make a secure donation by clicking here on Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020, or anytime, to support Golden Apple programming, including direct grants to teachers, for resources to help students' and teachers' during the pandemic. Golden Apple Foundation inspires, celebrates and supports educational excellence in Winnebago and Boone counties. 

If you would like to make a donation over the phone, contact Jennifer Stark, Executive Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 815-226-4180. Donations can also be mailed to the Golden Apple Foundation office at Golden Apple Foundation, 5050 E. State Street, Rockford, IL 61108. 

ornament25 ornament

Brighten up the holidays with your own Golden Apple Foundation ornament or purchase one for those special teachers in your life! 100% of the purchase prince directly funds Golden Apple programs including teacher grants that provide resources to support students' and teachers' in-person and virtual needs.

- Gold foil ornament with champagne glitter commemorating Golden Apple Foundation's 25th Anniversary year or with the plain apple design

- Price is $15 each or 2 for $28.* Includes doorstep delivery in a gift bag to anywhere in in Winnebago or Boone county.

- Purchase online at http://goldenappleofrockford.square.site/

*Quantities are limited, deadline to order is Dec. 11 or until sold out. Special thanks to the Teacher Academy for their time and talents and to our sponsor Schmeling Construction for covering the ornament expenses! 

1785367029

Golden Apple Foundation partnered with a local company, American Bell, to offer adjustable masks with teacher messages, including one with the Goldne Apple logo. This fundraiser helps to support Golden Apple programming, including teacher grants that provide resources to support students' and teachers' in-person and virtual needs. Masks are $12.50 each with a discount for purchasing three or more. Click HERE to place your order, you can pick up your purchase at American Bell in Roscoe or shipping is available for your convenience. Thanks in advance for your support.

Golden Apple Gratitude Logo

We take great pride in recognizing local teachers through the Golden Apple awards, but we have made the difficult decision to put the process on hold for the health and safety of our teachers, students and volunteers.

Instead we will recognize local teachers this year with our NEW Golden Apple Gratitude program! We encourage students, parents, colleagues and community members to submit a note of gratitude or a 30 second video to thank a PreK - 12th grade teacher! Teachers who are recognized will be sent a thank you note from Golden Apple Foundation, along with the original message of gratitude. Any videos will be emailed to them. Teachers will also be entered into a weekly drawing, with a chance to win one of the two $100 Schnucks gift cards given out each week during the eight week program. Golden Apple Foundation limits one gratitude submission, per week, per household, and all submissions must be received online.  

e learning

Golden Apple Foundation and Rasmussen College teamed up to offer a free virtual workshop for teachers entitled What You Wish You Knew When You First Went Online on Sept. 1. 

 
Veteran online Rasmussen College professors, Steve Honeywell, Adam Samuelson and Allisha Wise shared their lessons learned when they went virtual 6 years ago and their adivce on how to still be the teacher you have always been in this new teaching environment. Teachers of all grade levels will enjoy this session focused on best practices and how to simplify teaching online. Go to YouTube to access the video.
 
Presenters:
Dr. Caroline “Carrie” Gulbrandsen is the Dean of Faculty for Graduate Studies as well as the Academic Dean for the Rockford Campus at Rasmussen College. She has been teaching online for twenty-one years, spanning from grade nine to doctoral courses. Her philosophy about “distance education” is that good teaching is good teaching, regardless of where or how it happens.
 
Steve Honeywell, Assistant Professor Honeywell once worked as a professional video game player, and has written all or part of three dozen books on video games. He has worked as an educator for more than 15 years, and has taught English, Communications, and Critical Thinking at Rasmussen College since 2008.
 
Adam Samuelson, Since 2009, Assistant Professor Samuelson has been working with Rasmussen College to improve teaching innovation, learning outcomes and comprehensive student support. He is one of the leaders in Rasmussen College’s Flex Choice Competency-Based Education (CBE), a modality that helps students balance work and college life.
 
Allisha Wise, Since 2012, Assistant Professor Allisha Wise has been working with Rasmussen College as a mathematics professor. Her modalities began with in-person classes, and gradually moved to strictly online education. She has also worked with Competency Based Education (CBE) as an effective alternative to traditional courses. She has created several on-line courses in both the traditional method and in CBE by working as a subject matter expert. Her teaching philosophy includes creating a welcoming and fun environment which facilitates learning while challenging students to expand their knowledge in mathematics and create a growth-mindset. 
 

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PreK - 12th grade teachers in Winnebago and Boone counties are invited to particpate in Golden Apple Foundation's simplified grant program for the 2020-2021 school year. We seek to support teachers preparing to teach online or in the physical classroom by offering an opportunity to apply online for up to $300 in equipment, technology or books. Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 815-226-4180.

Apply for a grant NOW through Sept. 15, 2020. Recipients will be notified by Sept. 29, 2020.

Thomas Kress

Golden Apple Foundation is thrilled to announce that Thomas Kress has been elected the new Board president. Tom has been a Golden Apple volunteer for three years and also serves on boards for United Way, Alignment Rockford, The Rockford Symphony, Family Peace Center and the Discovery Center. He believes that the quality of a good community depends on education, which is why he supports Golden Apple’s development and recognition of teachers, who contribute to having a solid education system. 

 

Associated Bank believes in giving back to the community and team members receive eight hours paid time off annually to volunteer. Tom says volunteerism is a pillar of their organization and is deeply engrained within the culture of Associated Bank. Locally, the credit goes to colleagues who care enough to want to volunteer to help others. Associated Banks Rockford and Beloit colleagues annually volunteer over 2,500 hours in our community. Tom leads through example and volunteers in many capacities with golden Apple including teacher observations and at special events.

 

As one of our top tier sponsors, Tom presents a Golden Apple to a teacher in a surprise presentation in the classroom. He concedes that he completely underestimated how special this is for a teacher. He loves the surprise, the raw emotion and the response from the kids, family and fellow teachers. He went back to the office and talked about how there is nothing like that moment. Tom also wanted to note, that while he attends many rubber chicken dinners, he thoroughly enjoys our annual banquet focused on teachers and looks forward to it each year.

 

When asked about a teacher who made an impact in his life, Tom was quick to remember Mrs. Hershberger, his junior high school English teacher who had a reputation for being tough. Kids got their schedules and would be upset if she was their teacher. Mrs. Hershberger adored Tom’s older sister who was an excellent student, so the first thing she asked him was, “Are you Debbie Kress’ brother?” He was dreading her classroom because he didn’t feel like he was a good student and he thought she should lower her expectations. But, Mrs. Hershberger wouldn’t let him disappoint himself because she knew he was a better student than he realized. Tom got tired of being singled out, he put the time in and ended up getting a B in English. He was never more proud of a grade!

 

 

Tom has worked closely with the Golden Apple Executive Director and our volunteer chairs to update and enhance our programs during these extraordinary times. We are purposely shifting to help teachers both virtually and in the classroom. Golden Apple Foundation is grateful for Tom’s leadership and support!

 

presentation

The family of Don Zimmerman, a longtime Rockford educator and co-founder of the Golden Apple
Foundation, Rockford University and the Foundation, seeking another way to honor Don’s passion for
encouraging excellence in local education, united to offer the 2020 Don Zimmerman Golden Apple
Foundation scholarship for an area teacher to earn his/her first master’s degree in Rockford University’s
program. Each candidate was required to first gain acceptance into the program, then submit letters of
recommendation and an application, including an essay. A committee including Golden Apple Academy
members reviewed the documents, then virtually interviewed finalists before reaching their tough
decision.


On Friday, May 29, 2020, Golden Apple awarded its inaugural recipient. Don’s son, Brad Zimmerman; GA
board president, Michelle Gorham; and Rockford University president, Dr. Eric Fulcomer donned facial
masks and took flowers, wine and R.U. gifts to Meghan Baylor’s Rockford home along with media
partner, WTVO-17/Fox39, for a surprise presentation. Meghan has been teaching for eight years, the
last four as a French teacher at Boylan High School. Though she teaches language courses, Meghan is
also known in the Rockford arts community as a teaching artist with Rockford Area Arts Council and as
Rockford Dance Company faculty. She shared in her application that achieving her MAT from R.U. would
strengthen the power of knowledge “on both the giving and receiving end.” She is eager to pursue this
advanced degree which would most certainly “bolster the credentials, stability and expertise to secure
[her] career for decades to come.” Congratulations, Meghan Baylor!