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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Apply for a grant NOW through Sept. 15, 2020. Recipients will be notified by Sept. 29, 2020.
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!
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
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!
Golden Apple Foundation is so excited to be partnering with Quixotic Bakery on a YUMMY cookie fundraiser on Friday, May 29. You simply go to the Quixotic Bakery website and purchase a cookie box for $10. Please consider purchasing additional boxes for friends, because Golden Apple will receive $5 from each box sold, any tips and 10% of any additional purchases that evening! The cookie box includes four warm cookies and two dipping sauces. You pick the time between 5:30-8 p.m. that you will pick up your order curbside at Quixotic Bakery located at 116 N. Madison in Rockford City Market. Golden Apple volunteers will be masked and will deliver them to your car. Please note, after you place your order online, you may receive an email to pick up your order now. Please ignore and wait until your selected time on May 29! (This is a glitch.)