We are excited to provide high quality programming not normally seen in elementary and middle schools. We have identified areas of need that are not addressed through ordinary funding. These amazing educational opportunities will not be available to our scholars without your assistance. Please choose the program below to which you would like to support.
If you don’t believe us that these programs are worth it, listen to the scholars.
Washington D.C. Trip
At Galapagos Rockford Charter School, we believe that one of the key ways to ensure equitable opportunities in education is to actually provide programming that would compete with some of the most successful schools in the country. This is the genesis of our innovative Project Passport program in which we send scholars to locations that they would not normally have the opportunity to visit.
In 2024, Galapagos Rockford Charter School will send our eighth class of 8th grade scholars to Washington, D.C. for three days in June. Scholars will be immersed in the history and culture of our great nation. For some of our scholars, who rarely travel out of their own neighborhood, this trip could be nothing short of a life-changing experience.
Project Passport- Spain
Galapagos is excited to continue for a second year, our Project Passport to Spain. Scholars will travel to Spain and spend a week, during spring break, in one of Spain’s most enchanting cities, Sevilla. This Project Passport trip is open to all current GRCS 7th and 8th graders as well as all alumni currently in 9th or 10th grade. On this journey, scholars will:
-Participate in approximately 3 hours of Spanish language classes a day. Don’t worry, these classes are tailored to the scholars’ ability. Scholars who already speak Spanish will take classes that match their current language ability.
-Explore the wonders of this city that was formed by combining Muslim, Jewish and Catholic cultures and influences. Highlights include the world-famous Cathedral, Alcazar as well as the largest bull plaza in the world.
-Learn to cook Spanish dishes in a hand-on class.
-Watch world class Flamenco dancers, guitar players and singers
-Eat wonderful Spanish cuisine.
-And… so much more.
Project Passport to Costa Rica
For the seventh year, the Galapagos Project Passport program will send a group of scholars to Costa Rica. Our scholars will work with biologists while hiking into the rainforest. Scholars will visit a Costa Rican school, sample Costa Rican food and immerse themselves in a unique country in which the military was abolished nearly seventy-five years ago and conservation is a key policy for all. The opportunity to explore another country can be life changing. That is the reason why Galapagos Rockford sends up to ten scholars a year to spend a week in Costa Rica. Our scholars get the chance to travel the Costa Rican countryside, explore fruit stands offering exotic fruits, visit an internationally renowned university, and that’s just the first day! Scholars sleep in the rain forest, work with biologists to create habitats for local wildlife, and discover the sights and sounds of the forest at night. For the last couple of years, we have visited a local school to which Costa Rican students walk nearly an hour and a half to get to class. Our adventures have even taken us to the far reaches of the indigenous Bri-Bri community bordering Panama. It’s an opportunity that is earned by our scholars and requires a lot of hard work but in the end it’s “pura vida”.
Summer University Programming
In 2024, we will send our scholars to up to variety of programs at different universities and locations.
- For the twelfth year Galapagos will send scholars to Northwestern University’s Gifted and Talented Camp.
- For the second year, we will send scholars to the University of Wisconsin’s academic programming.
- For the fourth year we will scholars to the Great Books program at Haverford University.
- For the fifth year we will send scholars to Boston for Model United Nations camp. This program allows our scholars to assume ambassadorial roles to debate and negotiate topics ranging from nuclear proliferation to gender equality.
- For the third year, we will send over ten scholars and alum to the boundary waters in Minnesota in conjunction with Outward Bound.
- For the third year, we will send scholars to Sea Camp in San Diego, CA.
- For the third year, we will send scholars to the National Student Leadership Conference in Washington D.C.
- For the second time, we send scholars to Space Camp.
- For the second time, we send scholars to Harand Drama Camp.
- For our younger scholars, we are sponsoring scholars to attend the Girl Scout Camp at Camp McCormick as well as the Organics Learning Center.
Project Passport- Africa (Uganda and Rwanda)
Galapagos is excited to continue it’s partnership with the Global Living Institute to expand Galapagos’ Project Passport Africa program. In the fourth year, this amazing program will send up to six Galapagos alumni in 2024 to Uganda and Rwanda. Scholars will travel with students from other parts of the United States to participate in a youth summit with high school students from a variety of African countries. Students will work together at the summit in Uganda while also having time to explore the region.
Scholars will visit a Ugandan marketplace, meet with village elders and spend time on a safari. Finally, scholars will visit neighboring Rwanda to learn about the genocide that enveloped that nation in the 1990’s while discovering how the nation undertook one of the more successful reconciliations displayed by humanity in the 2000’s. See more scholars in action here.
GRCS College Scholarship Fund for Alum
GRCS has been serving the Rockford community for over fourteen years. During that time, we have seen many of our scholars grow up and graduate from Galapagos. Well, now, they are graduating from high school and beginning to attend colleges and universities across the country.
The price of a college tuition has soared with little hope that costs will go down, GRCS would like to do its part and provide our alum with another, albeit relatively small source of funding. In 2022, we provided three GRCS alum with scholarships totaling $8,500. In 2023, we provided another $8,500 in scholarships to an ever-growing alumni base. In 2024, we hope to exceed $10,000.