All posts in “Education”

School help for families – public forum

Entering a school year like no other, parents and students need help — and community. Whether you’re schooling at home or trying a hybrid system offered by your school district, a gathering at Summerwood on Monday, Aug. 31, will address families’ questions, concerns and fears.

Former teachers Suzanne Falconer and Diane Geddes will host the group discussion. We’ll talk about at-home school logistics, parental coaching, student tutoring and network resources. From this conversation, we’ll build a response to support and link families for the learning season ahead.

Kids are welcome! Bring your lawn chairs, conundrums and creative solutions as we brainstorm and pray together to meet the educational challenges ahead.

Who can attend: Families with primary through high school students; teachers and former teachers. You don’t have to be part of our church family to attend, but you must register below.
When: 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31
Where: Summerwood Amphitheater behind the church building. Social distancing required. In the event of rain, we will attempt to reschedule.




Can’t make the gathering but still interested in connecting? Contact Suzanne Falconer at 779-772-3055, or Diane Geddes at 815-218-5528.

Playing it by ear

by Rob Ullrich | 5-minute read


Occasionally, when my seventh graders are working in my classroom, I’ll play jazz. They don’t know they’re hearing Django Reinhardt, the guitar giant who shaped a genre around himself. They couldn’t trace his influence to the musicians on their YouTube channels. They can’t tell the story of his terrible accident and miraculous comeback.

It’s an anonymous background tune for them, but a time machine for me. Reinhardt’s style is frequently featured in World War II movies and dramas of that same period. Picture that scene in a smoky, low-lit jazz club.

For the past few months, there has been no jazz crooning from my classroom speakers. Teachers had to improvise to transform their classrooms into remote hubs for e-learning. This task took extemporaneous technique. It was a jazz number and I was playing it by ear. Read More

Raise Up Parenting Conference 2019_

Raise Up Parenting Conference 2020

Parenting is a challenging, delightful, heart-wrenching journey that can feel overwhelming and even lonely. To come alongside you, First Free Rockford is hosting a parenting conference, Raise Up, featuring writers and speakers Sissy Goff and David Thomas from the Raising Boys and Girls ministry.

» Interview with David Thomas, conference speaker
» Story on the Johnson family, past attendees

WHEN: Feb. 21-22, 2020
Friday, 6:30–9:15 p.m. (check-in 6–6:30 p.m.)
Saturday, 9–11:15 a.m.

WHERE: First Free Rockford – 2223 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL
(southeast corner of Mulford and Spring Creek roads)

CHILDCARE: All ages through grade 5 (check-in 6 p.m. Fri.; 8:30 a.m. Sat.)

REGISTRATION: $30 couple; $15 individual
Registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 18.




Questions? Contact Adult Ministries by calling 815-877-7046 or emailing adultministries [AT] firstfreerockford [DOT] org.

Learn more about the speakers at