10-17-2019 Riverside Hagar #6 celebrates 150 years of being a rural K-8 school with Open House/ Hom

Riverside Hagar #6 celebrates 150 years of being a rural K-8 school with Open House/ Homecoming Saturday, 1-4 p.m.

By Teresa Smithers Riverside Hagar #6 School in Riverside, Michigan, celebrates 150 years as a K-8 school with an Open House/ Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 19, 1-4 p.m. The first school building was built at its current location in 1869. Before that, the school was a “log school house on the St. Joseph Road (near the residence of E.F. Reynolds)” and the first teacher was Mary Jane McCray in 1861. She received $52 for 26 weeks of teaching (averaging $2/week). When the school opened its doors, there were 15 students from four families. The names of those families are lost to history, but Hagar has many families that have attended this school for generations: Eltson / Elson, Chabot, Daly, Pecoraro and Baushke are a few.


The community of Riverside Hagar #6 is a strong one. Parents are encouraged to be active members of the Riverside community. Hagar has a Community Club in which parents participate in fundraising, yearbook projects, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinner and school yard clean-up. “One of the most powerful things I witnessed when I first came on as a teacher was when the school needed a new roof,” recalls Woods. “Everyone just came out and worked together to get it done. They didn’t hire a roofer, nobody complained, they just all worked together to get it done.” Caring Riverside Hagar #6 is proud to report that there is no bullying at Riverside Hagar #6. A “no bullying policy” is strictly enforced. The small class sizes also allow for more individualized attention for each student by the dedicated and caring staff. No child becomes invisible, no child is left behind. The students happily give back that care at Thanksgiving when they cook a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for parents, staff and community. (Only the turkey is cooked by adults.)


And finally, the core curriculum at Hagar is based on state benchmarks and standards for Michigan as outlined in the Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs), and all grades regularly exceed state standards on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP). Besides the core curriculum, students are bused to a wellness program at the YMCA and to a local library. The school also offers, art, Spanish, PE, and music classes, providing a well-rounded education that makes Riverside Hagar #6 the choice of students whether they live in Riverside or not. “If it wasn’t for Schools of Choice, we wouldn’t exist,” says Woods. “There are not enough kids living around the school to keep it operating, but children come from nearby Benton Harbor and other districts.” Currently, 75 students are enrolled at Riverside Hagar #6. The new principal is Joann Gilliam. She also teaches grades 6-8, along with Kristin Morlock. Jim Mitchell is the teacher for grades 4 and 5. Karissa Karnik and Katie Hoffman are the K-1 teachers. The School Board consists of Teresa McCain, president; Joan Bell, treasurer, and Tim Smith, secretary.

Open House/ Homecoming

All students, or their families, that have ever attended Riverside Hagar #6, or those that would just like to see this K-8 school, are invited to attend their Open House / Homecoming this Saturday, Oct. 19, 1-4 p.m. The school is located at 3422 Riverside Road, Benton Harbor. There will be a Silent Auction and T-shirts will be available to purchase. Pictures are welcome! Everyone who attends will get to have one actual school lunch (sloppy joes / hot dogs) at no cost. Additional meals can be purchased at a minimal fee.

Hartford Library Fall Halloween Festival is Oct. 26

The Hartford Library annual “Fall Halloween Festival” will be on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Hartford Bible Church (formerly the Hartford Federated Church). The event is totally free and open to all children and their families. There will be games, prizes, candy and lots of fun for all ages. Festival goers can test their skill at bean bag throw, have their face painted and there will be lots of prizes. Children may wear their costumes. Abundant free parking is available in the church lot.

City of Watervliet to take first steps in rebuilding Neighborhood Watch program

Police department optimistic about program rebuild

The Watervliet Police Department will be holding an informational meeting on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019 at 1 p.m., at the Watervliet City Hall in regards to the rebuilding of the neighborhood watch program. The department is asking that anyone interested in being a block captain or participant attend the meeting or contacts the police department accordingly. Topics to be discussed will include: safe houses for children before and after school, vetting processes, areas of concern, and duties/responsibilities. “This will be a great opportunity to empower the community in helping the department protect our neighborhoods while also hearing about any concerns that local residents may have,” stated Police Chief Tim Sutherland. Officer Toby Thornbury, who serves as the community’s School Resource Officer (SRO), will lead the meeting and the program rebuild under the direction of Chief Sutherland. For any questions or concerns, please contact the Watervliet Police Department at 269-463-5112.

GREAT PUMPKINS… these great pumpkin displays didn’t magically appear. They are the result of the Impact Day collaboration between Watervliet varsity team members and cheerleaders, city public works and staff, and volunteers at the beginning of this school year. The Halloween displays were erected in place throughout the downtown area last week. (TCR photo Karl Bayer)

Coloma Lions Club Great Pumpkin Derby is Oct. 26

The Lions Club Pumpkin Derby will kick off the Halloween celebration in downtown Coloma starting with weigh-in of “Race Pumpkins” at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 by Baker Park. The street will be shut down to commence the celebration. The start of the double elimination race will be at 1 p.m. Losers of the first race still have a second chance.

Building a “Race Pumpkin” is easy – just find the perfect pumpkin body. But remember the total weight including axles, wheels and any decorations cannot exceed (20) pounds. Kits including wheels and related parts can be purchased at True Value Hardware in Coloma from the Coloma Lions Cub for $15. The applications and all the rules are available there, and the $10 entry fee can also be paid at the hardware store.

Participants will compete in a race and pumpkin “Beauty Contest” which awards CASH PRIZES. The race will take place, rain or shine with the potential to race under a tent if necessary. See the application for the cash prizes. The Coloma Lions Club has also issued a Lions Club Challenge Race to all the area Lions Clubs.

Interested persons can enter their “Race Pumpkin” as an individual, a business, or a group. Enter and enjoy the thrill of the race to see if you can keep your “Race Pumpkin” going straight and prevent any spin outs and crashes.


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