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Cedar Hill Prep School Participates in East Coast Regional Finals of the Middle School Debate League

Cedar Hill Prep School students participated in the East Coast Regional Finals of the Middle School Debate League on April 16th, 2016.  This event took place at the Stonebridge Middle School in Allentown, NJ.  Participants included 270 students divided into 87 teams, representing 29 schools and 5 states.

This was an all day event where teams debated on 5 topics all day, and the top two teams debated on the 6th topic in front of the entire league. The topics for debate were:

  • The US should establish a no-fly zone in Syria.
  • The US should have compulsory voting in general elections.
  • Schools should require cameras in classrooms. 
  • Justice Antonin Scalia’s Supreme Court career did more good than harm.
  • Scientists should use cloning technology to resurrect animals made extinct by humans.
  • The US should adopt the metric system.

The Cedar Hill Prep School Debate Team did extremely well.  Of the 270 participants, CHP 8th grader, Zoe Rivera, won 20th place in the category of top 25 speakers at the Debate Meet.  A team from the Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY won the tournament and will be debating against the West Coast winner in June.  CHP congratulates all of the participants and winners of the East Coast Regional Finals.

Cedar Hill Prep School has a very active Debate Club for its Middle School students.  Debate and thought are key life skills that need to be fostered from a very young age.  In order to debate well, students need to read, comprehend, do research, take good notes, make connections, and then verbalize their thoughts into structured arguments which convince people about their view point. Cedar Hill Prep School won the Garden State League championship in March 2016. 

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JA Central Jersey Women's Future Leadership Forum Inspires Promising High School Girls

May 11, 2016, Princeton, NJ Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) held its annual Central Regional Women's Future Leadership Forum at Tyco's USA headquarters, Princeton. Many of the young ladies, who attended from Franklin Township and Trenton, participated in JA's service learning program, JA High School Heroes, prior to the Forum. Throughout the school year, the high schoolers, along with their male counter parts, were trained by JA professionals to present and lead JA's financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship lessons in their local elementary schools. 

Pictured from left to right, back row: Catherine Milone, President, Junior Achievement of New Jersey; Mary Riggs, Vice President, Finance Service Delivery, Johnson & Johnson; Debbie Dyson, VP, Client Experience & Continuous Improvement, ADP; Kimberly Burnett, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Selective Insurance. Left to right, front row: Patrizia Pescatore, Global Talent Acquisition Lead, Accenture; Marisol Mendez Peron, AVP, North America Communication, Sanofi Pasteur; Judy Reinsdorf, EVP, General Counsel, Tyco; Shreya Pugalia, Franklin High School, Franklin Township; Kendra Vilus, Trenton Central High School West, Trenton.

 

The April 29th Forum brought more than 60 high school-age girls and 60 business women of all backgrounds together for an inspirational day that began with a networking breakfast that culminated with handshakes and hugs good bye.

 

Early on in the morning, an executive panel including moderator, Patrizia Pescatore, Global Talent Acquisition Lead, Accenture; Kimberly Burnett, EVP, Chief Human Resources Officer, Selective Insurance; Debbie Dyson, VP, Client Experience & Continuous Improvement, ADP;  Mary Riggs, Vice President, Finance Service Delivery, Johnson & Johnson; and Marisol Mendez Peron, AVP, North America Communication, Sanofi Pasteur shared their personal and professional stories via a very powerful and dynamic Q&A session. 

 

Following the panel discussions, students spent one-on-one time with mentors and were taught how to develop personal elevator pitches, building their character and self-confidence while also being inspired by an adult role model. After a quick lunch break like any typical business day, students and mentors in small groups teamed up for a hands on activity designed to build leadership, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills – employability skills critical for their future success in the workforce.

 

At the end of the five-hour day, students vied for the microphone to share their personal elevator pitches and key takeaways, stepping out of their comfort zones to express the day's impact. 

 

Three young ladies had this to say:

 

"Just because I have a child at 16 doesn't mean I still can't get my degree and achieve what I want in life. Nothing will stop me!"

 

"Today was a great day for me because my mentor helped me think about a better future for myself and how important it is to not let anyone bring you down."

 

"Building the index card towers with people I didn't know made me think about how to better communicate with people. It felt good to be part of team since I have never been a part of one before." 

 

Catherine Milone, JANJ's President shared, "JA is proud to serve as a catalyst to opening the eyes and minds of young people to a world of opportunity, giving them access to corporate America and their business leaders whom they may not have met if it weren't for JA events like our Forums.  The depth and breadth of JA programs extends much beyond classroom learning."

 

In addition to the day being hosted by Tyco, the JA Central Jersey Women's Future Leadership Forum was sponsored by Accenture, ADP, Allstate, Johnson & Johnson, Kearny Bank, and Munich RE.

 

About Junior Achievement of New Jersey

Junior Achievement of New Jersey (JANJ) is dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers. They provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. JANJ is expected to reach more than 62,000 students in more than 80 school districts across the state during the 2015-2016 school year. For more information visit us at www.janj.org. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook


 

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D&R Greenway Gala Underscores How Essential Land Preservation is to Life

Princeton, N.J.— Rainy skies could not dampen the spirit of D&R Greenway Land Trust's May Day Picnic for Preservation. Meredith's Garden for Inspiration, in full bloom with native plants such as Virginia Bluebells, could be seen from the tented entryway by the 160 supporters who attended on Sunday, May 1. Guests took shelter from the storm in the century-old Johnson Education Center barn, the center of D&R Greenway's activities, to celebrate the contributions to land preservation made by lifelong Montgomery resident Wade Martin.

 

Amid festivities such as a Rainbow Tree where supporters could hang their dreams for changing the world ("plant a meadow with children," "laugh out loud every single day"); a spring hat and bowtie contest; and music by Steve Hiltner's Sustainable Jazz Ensemble, Martin, who has directly enabled preservation of 1,750 acres, was honored with D&R Greenway's Donald B. Jones Award. Martin's partnership with D&R Greenway and the Land Trust Alliance to educate others through "Land College" has resulted in preserved places in Colorado, Alabama, Maryland and California, among others.

 

"We help land owners understand how they can get tax benefits and income from their land while they're still alive," said Art Martin, a 50-year Montgomery resident and Wade's father, with whom he works in the Martin-Rizzo Group at Morgan Stanley—Wade is Executive Director and Financial Advisor. "We bring all the factors together to help them achieve their goals. Because of land preservation, Montgomery has aged better than other areas—more than 30 percent is open space."

 

Wade Martin's son, Zach, a freshman at Susquehanna University where he is following in his father and grandfather's footsteps, studying finance, took a break from school to attend the Gala. While it's hard to know where life will take you, he says, he'd be delighted if it brought him back to Montgomery. "I've seen how my dad helped preserve Edie and Charlie Howard's farm and that inspires me."

 

When Dr. Howard was considering preserving his Montgomery farm, he happened to run into Martin, whom he did not yet know, at the Harlingen deli in Belle Mead. Over breakfast, Martin sketched out on a paper napkin how selling the preservation rights to the farm would be more financially advantageous, in the long run, than selling to developers. Dr. Howard subsequently preserved his farm through D&R Greenway, retaining his land and his view and avoiding the taxes he would have had to pay if he sold to a developer.

 

"Serendipity works," said Dr. Howard. "If it hadn't been for that meeting at the deli and the numbers on the napkin, the preservation might never have happened."

 

Martin's daughter Rachel, who graduated from Lafayette College two years ago and also works in finance, likes living in Montgomery because of its small-town feel. "Everyone knows everyone, it's a welcoming community where you can ride your bike and kids play in the fields." She recalls taking children she babysat to play in the fields.

D&R Gala Attendees Nancy Faherty and Judy Hutton by Mary Michaels

YWCA Princeton CEO Judy Hutton—whose pink veiled chapeau won the contest judged by Avril and Diana Moore—pointed out that it was Wade Martin who made the connection between D&R Greenway and the YWCA through a networking luncheon. In October, the YWCA became a tenant at 2 Preservation Place, joining D&R Greenway's Conservation Campus and creating an alliance between the two non-profits that celebrates the healing value of nature. "Wade sat me next to (D&R Greenway President & CEO) Linda Mead and we got to talking about health, healing gardens, and the healing paths surrounding the Johnson Education Center. Now, three years later, here we are."

 

Hutton admitted her hat was on loan from Susan Carril, who works in development at the YWCA and is the sister of D&R Greenway Trustee Peter J. Dawson, a childhood friend of Martin. As further evidence of how small a town Montgomery is, Martin's mother is buried in the Rocky Hill Cemetery next to Dawson and Carril's father.

 

Lisa Butler, an attorney who has known Martin since they went to kindergarten together, said it was watching the population of Montgomery rise from 6,000 to 25,000 over half a century that made Martin so preservation minded. "He is living proof that one person can make a difference," she said.

 

Butler's son, Ryan, an attorney who works for her practice, said Montgomery was and is a wonderful place to grow up, thanks to the preservation work of D&R Greenway.

 

When a sudden power outage on Rosedale Road dimmed the lights, supporters put the spotlight on the speakers—literally, lighting up flashlights. "We're not in the dark because we're enlightened," quipped Vice-Chair of D&R Greenway's Board of Trustees Phyllis Marchand, wearing a dress made from an American flag and a hat that contained her collection of political buttons. "Everyone is thrilled that Wade is the honoree, but he doesn't like the limelight so he must have arranged for this blackout."

 

President & CEO Linda Mead invited those gathered to close their eyes and picture themselves in a sunny park for the May Day Picnic for Preservation, and at that point the lights came back on, as if a stage technique, illuminating the barn's poles decorated with stripes to look like may poles.

 

"Not only are we celebrating 20,000 acres preserved in 27 years—an area bigger than the combined size of the world's two smallest countries—but it is the 10th anniversary of the Johnson Education Center," Mead pointed out. "Think of all the people who have been impacted by coming together here for thought-provoking programs to inspire a conservation ethic," she continued. Naming some of the largest properties preserved, including the 2,000-acre Princeton Nursery Lands and the thousands of acres of farms in South Jersey "that keep the garden in the Garden State," Mead posited, "What would central New Jersey be like without these preserved lands, and the fresh foods and walks in nature they provide us with. We know that asphalt is the last crop and preservation of land is the most important thing we can do to preserve all that is precious in life."

 

Quoting the likes of Margaret Mead and Mahatma Gandhi about being the change we want to see in the world, Mead added, " 'Look at us, we're changing the world' —Wade Martin."

 

In 2012 Martin helped to launch Land College, a national training program in conservation finance at D&R Greenway so that others could reap the benefits of win-win scenarios. Through Land College Martin teaches other financial advisors the benefits of land preservation, and with D&R Greenway invited 25 land trusts across the country, pairing them with financial advisors in their communities.

 

As Mead presented Martin with the award—an artist-designed plate with images of some of the properties he helped preserve—Martin surprised the crowd, although not those who know him well, and gave back yet again: a specially commissioned painting of the Howards' preserved farm, with a rainbow over it, painted by noted artist James Fiorentino. Martin presented the painting to Edith Howard, for whom the rainbow has symbolized a healing journey, as well as 25 limited edition digital prints to be sold as a fundraiser.

 

"I'm here to applaud Wade because he's done so much, volunteering his time, for open space in the region," said Montgomery Friends of Open Space President Sarah Roberts.

 

The Donald B. Jones Conservation Award is presented annually to a person who embodies D&R Greenway's mission to inspire a conservation ethic.

Donald B. Jones (1911-1994) was a determined preservationist who committed his time and resources saving the land and historic landmarks that give our region its sense of place. Awardees display a similar selfless generosity, making a significant impact on the landscape. The Donald B. Jones Conservation Award has been given to a former Governor, a Congressman, a community and a 10-year-old environmental activist.  What they have in common is a love for the land and a commitment to action that results in land preservation.

 

 

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Lawrence High School DECA Students Earn Recognition at International DECA Conference

Over 17,000 students attended the international awards and scholarships as emerging leaders and entrepreneurs.

 

Lawrenceville, NJ – Lawrence High School DECA chapter members earned the organization’s highest honors at DECA’s annual International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tennessee this past April.

 

Students/advisors receiving recognition at the international level were:

Name of Students

Event/Scholarship

Place/Honor

Anjali Agawal and Aanchal Aich

Business Services Operation Research

1st place

 

During the school year student members take part in the organization’s competitive events program, allowing them to compete for local and regional titles. The competitions are designed to simulate real-life business scenarios and test students’ academic understanding and skills development. The top state and provincial winners put their talents to the test during the program’s final round of competition in Nashville. The DECA International Career Development Conference was the pinnacle of competition where members vied for international honors. Over $500,000 in scholarships and awards were presented to students and teachers for their achievements.

 

This year’s #DECAICDC featured a record-breaking 18,000 members and advisors in attendance, DECA’s largest conference to date. In addition to career-based competition, DECA members engaged in leadership academies and networking opportunities with over 60 internationally recognized businesses.

 

ABOUT DECA:

DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management. DECA enhances the preparation for college and careers by providing co-curricular programs that integrate into classroom instruction, apply learning, connect to business and promote competition. For more information about DECA, please visit our website and to see the conversation from this year’s conference follow #DECAICDC on Twitter

 

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Arbor Day Celebration a Spring Tradition in Montgomery Township

A yellowwood tree was planted at Harlingen Green to mark Arbor Day 2016 in Montgomery Twp.  Present at the observance were (l to r): Deputy Mayor Ed Trzaska, Parks Foreman John Snyder, Shade Tree Committee chairperson Larry Koplik, President of Montgomery Friends of Open Space Sarah Roberts, and Shade Tree Committee Member Jacqueline Haren.

 

In celebration of Arbor Day the Montgomery Township Shade Tree Committee, supported by community volunteers, held an educational program about trees and their benefits for all third grade classes at the Village Elementary School on April 15th.  In addition to this classroom lesson, the students were visited by three arborists, who explained what they do in their profession. Each student received a wrapped Swamp White Oak tree seeding to plant.

“We really depend on and appreciate the support of our volunteers. Thanks to them the kids had fun while learning why trees are so important to us and how to care for them," said Larry Koplik, chair of the Montgomery Shade Tree Committee.

This year marks the 144th time that Arbor Day has been celebrated in the United States and the 30th year of Montgomery Township’s observance.

After the children’s program a yellowwood tree was planted in the Harlingen Green as a celebration of Arbor Day. During the month of April, the Montgomery Shade Tree Committee also has an exhibit about trees at the Mary Jacobs Library in Rocky Hill, NJ.

Montgomery’s Deputy Mayor Ed Trzaska, who attended the celebration, stated, "Thanks to Larry Koplik and the entire Shade Tree Committee for all of their hard work.  Arbor Day is not just about planting a tree, but it also reminds us that we are connected to something bigger and must do our duty to protect what we hold dear for future generations."

 

Montgomery was named a “2016 Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.  More information on this program is available at arborday.org/TreeCityUSA.

The Montgomery Twp. Shade Tree Committee advises the Township Committee in matters relating to tree policy, planting and care. The committee members participate in Planning Board & Zoning Board development application reviews. The committee works closely with the Parks Foreman and the Department of Public Works and was integral to the creation of a township arboretum next to Montgomery Veterans Park on Harlingen Road. It collaborates with the scouts, local businesses, students, the Environmental Commission and the Open Space Committee on a variety of projects. The committee meets on every third Wednesday of the month in the volunteer conference room in the municipal building at 7:30 PM. The public is always welcome at the meetings. Call (908) 359-8211 in advance to confirm. For more information on the Montgomery Township Shade Tree Committee, go to: http://www.twp.montgomery.nj.us/elected-officials/township-committee/shade-tree-committee/ .

Five PHS Students Awarded College Scholarships by the Give Something Back Foundation

 
Five 9th graders from Princeton High School have been awarded full scholarships to Rowan University, Montclair State University, The College of New Jersey, or Saint Peter's University by the Give Something Back Foundation (GSBF), a nonprofit organization that provides mentors and scholarships to help Pell Grant-eligible students go to college and graduate in four years debt free.

 

Each Princeton High School student completed the GSBF application process, which included attending a family information meeting, completing a College Cost Estimator as well as an extensive online application, obtaining school and community recommendations, and participating in in-person interviews in order to be eligible for the scholarship.

 

The Princeton High School 9th graders are among GSBF's inaugural class in New Jersey. The recipients are:

 

Lucynda Amo
Zachary Miller
Kimberly Rojas
Adan Del Cid
Elena Zephirin

 

Students must maintain a B average throughout high school, participate in a mentoring program, and attend GSBF-sponsored workshops to continue in the program. As seniors, students must complete the FAFSA and be accepted into GSBF's partner colleges.

 

GSBF was established through the generosity of Bob Carr, founder of Princeton, NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems. Carr received a $250 scholarship grant from the Lockport Woman's Club in Illinois in 1963 when he was accepted as a student at the University of Illinois, and he vowed someday he would "give back" when he was able. His foundation partners with high schools and colleges in Illinois, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. The program has provided scholarships and mentoring for hundreds of students.

 

GSBF is currently recruiting volunteer mentors for its 9th graders at Princeton High School. If interested visit

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PEI Kids’ 25th Annual Dinner & Auction Brings Out the Brass

Lawrenceville, NJ – April 27, 2016 – In the crisp night air on Friday, April 8th, nearly 200 guests, friends, supporters, clients, and dignitaries gathered at Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville for PEI Kids’ 25th Annual Dinner & Auction. The event included a packed agenda which was kicked off with an invocation, given by The Honorable Mayor Eric E. Jackson of Trenton, followed by recognition of honorees Nola Bencze and Thurman Gates, who were presented with a proclamation by Freeholder Pat Colavita.  The dinner and live auction were attended by Mayor of Lawrenceville, Dr. David Maffei, along with a host of guests, bidders, and participants.

 

With the support of over 30 sponsors, this event is
PEI Kids’ biggest fundraising effort of the year, and generates an important share of the agency’s operating and program revenue for its child abuse prevention and intervention programs which serve abused children and at-risk youth in Mercer County. 

Attendees browsed more than 80 donated auction items which inspired friendly competition among bidders; and the evening integrated spontaneous moments with memorable ones—including a special appeal from a former client of PEI Kids’ counseling program for child victims of sexual abuse. Live auction items donated by community members and local businesses included:

  • Six box seats with VIP parking to a Philadelphia Phillies home game donated by David & Marlene Thompson
  • Original, hand-crafted retro electric guitar donated by Michael Virok of Bordentown Guitar Rescue plus private guitar lessons donated by Jean Cheaumont of Princeton.
  • Behind-the-scenes tour of the Hopewell Valley Police Department, including a police ride-along, donated by Chief Lance Maloney
  • A hand-carved, wooden bear—a 19-year PEI Kids tradition—donated by Thurman Gates
  • One-week luxury-condo vacation in Williamsburg, VA donated by Eugene Coughlin
  • Luxury-condo vacation in Beaver Creek Olympic Village, CO donated by Nicholas and Michelle Ventura plus air travel for two donated by George Meyer
  • Pair of St. John originals – clutch purse and shoulder tote – donated by Nicholas and Michelle Ventura
  • Dedication and naming of PEI Kids’ Infant/Toddler Family Visitation room made available by PEI Kids
  • Two tickets for a NY Giants home game with field seating and VIP parking at MetLife Stadium donated by Tom and Fran Bartlett
  • Two tickets with field seating to NY Yankees home game plus 4 tickets with VIP package to a Trenton Thunder home game donated by Szaferman Lakind & Craig Hubert, Esq.
  • Spa package consisting of 10 luxury treatments at area salons and spas plus a basket of premium Shiseido beauty products made available through various donors.

Additionally, a surprise auction item was donated on the spot by Dianne Pepe, Director of Sales & Marketing for Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel, who was so moved by the agency’s mission and work that she donated a weekend stay at the penthouse suite of Renaissance’s newest location in mid-town Manhattan.  The book value for a one-night stay is $10,000; and the lucky bidder received a full weekend stay with breakfast for a winning bid of $4,000.  This and other deals were successfully orchestrated by high bidders at the leading of auctioneers Patrick Kendig and Michael Paglione, Esq. 

“I always look forward to this special event,” said Roz Dashiell, PEI Kids’ Executive Director. “It’s one of the few times during the year that we are able to bring together our PEI Kids family to celebrate our work while supporting the mission.” Consistent with the theme of the event, which was “An Eye Toward the Future,” Dashiell spent a portion of the evening discussing the agency’s legacy and the vision for moving PEI Kids forward. 

Sponsors of the event included AAA Mid-Atlantic, Nola R. Bencze & Thurman Jay Gates, Customers Bank, Szaferman Lakind Blumstein & Blader, P.C., Dave & Marlene Thompson, Borden Perlman Salisbury & Kelly, Marcus & Loni Hand, Hopewell Township PBA Local 342, Mark Mucciacciaro of Morgan Stanley, PNC Bank, PSE&G, Capital Health, Margaret A. Chipowsky, Credit Union of New Jersey Foundation, Michael & Brenda Cseremsak, Fennelly Associates, Inc., First Choice Bank, Michael & Lisa Hayden, Hill Wallack, Hopewell Township Police Superior Officers’ Association, Horvath & Giacin, Investors Bank, Kalavruzos Mumola Hartman & Lento LLC, George C. Meyer, Nottingham Insurance, Mr. & Mrs. Vincent A.

Piacente, Jennifer M. & Paul D. Pierson, Ivan & Shelly Punchatz, Mr. & Mrs. Chris and Denise Pratico, Stark & Stark, and Taco Bell.

PEI Kids’ next fundraiser will be its 11th Annual Wine & Food Tasting held at the Mercer Airport in October.  To learn about sponsoring or participating in PEI Kids’ events, please contact Janina Akins at 609-695-3739 or at jakins@peikids.org.

 

About PEI Kids
Since 1985, PEI Kids’ mission has been dedicated to promoting and maintaining a safe environment for all children by providing Prevention/Education and Intervention programs relating to personal safety, sexual abuse, bullying, delinquency and gang prevention, and the overall well-being of the child.  PEI Kids provides school-based prevention education workshops reaching over 13,000 students, teachers and parents annually is the lead agency for Greater Mercer Coalition to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse which spearheads the Enough Abuse Campaign in Mercer County.  Intervention services include crisis counseling for child victims of sexual abuse, as well as anger management for at-risk youth, a juvenile offender diversion program for first- and second-time offenders, and family support services for children in foster care and their families. PEI Kids currently serves approximately 14,000 children and their families each year.  To learn more about PEI Kids and how you can support their work, please call 609-695-3739, visit www.peikids.org, or email info@peikids.org.

 

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Ken R. Zirk Elected to Pennington School Board of Trustees

PENNINGTON, N.J.—The Pennington School has announced the election of a new member to its Board of Trustees.

Ken Zirk is a senior vice-president at CBRE, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.  Zirk is responsible for co-leading the Global Workplace Solutions practice in the greater Philadelphia area. He has more than thirty years of experience in negotiating real estate transactions, site selection, economic analysis, and strategic portfolio planning. Mr. Zirk earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Rutgers University. Zirk joins the Board as a current parent at the School; his daughter is in the seventh grade.

 

Chair of the Board Peter J. Tucci, Esq. remarked, "The board is honored to have Ken Zirk join us at this time. His impressive credentials in real estate transactional management and strategic planning make him a terrific asset for the School, and especially for its building and grounds committee, as we move forward in the next phase of our physical transformation of the campus."

 

The Pennington School, founded in 1838, is an independent coeducational school for students in grades 6 through 12, in both day and boarding programs. The curriculum is college preparatory, with an emphasis on individual excellence, fostering the development of the whole student through academics, athletics, community service, and the creative and performing arts. The School is in the midst of a five-year capital campaign to raise $20 million by the end of 2017. The Building for the Future campaign has funded a number of construction projects on campus including the renovation of Wesley Alumni House; recent construction of the state-of-the-art Kenneth Kai Tai Yen Humanities Building, which opened in January 2016; current construction of new administrative offices in Old Main; the renovation of Stainton Hall to create a dedicated STEM building and new Middle School classrooms; and important updates to Meckler Library.

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Princeton Montessori School Students Visit Spain for Home-stay Program

Princeton Montessori Middle School students earn an immersion experience in southern Spain on a week-long language, cultural, and historical experiential learning trip.

 

As part of the Montessori philosophy, middle school-aged students are taken out of the classroom and into the real world to experience work, community service, cultural differences, natural wonders, and connections to their studies.

 

Throughout this school year, the 7th and 8th grade students prepared in many different ways for their week abroad.  They focused with high attention on improving their Spanish language, they earned and raised money, and they prepared to live with another family as part of the homestay element of the trip.  

 

Students reviewed “grace and courtesy” behaviors important in all cultures and learned distinct cultural differences and expectations of the area they were to visit.  Pre-trip lessons addressed common language phrases to use in certain situations, how to use the different currency, how to take care of their passport and other important documents, and how to pack appropriately and minimally for a trip with many varied activities.

 

The students are staying in La Herradura, a tranquil fishing village located right on the Mediterranean just to the east of Malaga and Gibraltar. Their history classes prepared them for familiarity with the influences of the Jewish, Christian, and Moorish cultures over the history of this Andalusian area.

 

The goal of the trip is for the students to appreciate another culture, value world travel, improve their Spanish, and make meaningful connections as they begin to discover the ecological, social, cultural, and economic issues that are important to this village and region while they enjoy the varied geography and cuisine.

 

The trip includes hiking, kayaking, an afternoon at a local school and an introduction to the history and culture of Flamenco when they attend a classical guitar workshop.

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New Director of Institutional Advancement to Join Stuart

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, the girls' independent day school in Princeton known for innovation in education, announces that Lynne Brum will join Stuart as the new director of institutional advancement beginning July 1, 2016.
 
Ms. Brum comes to Stuart from the Whitby School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she has been the director of development for the past four years. She began her career in major gifts at Boston College and has had success at several independent schools including National Cathedral School, Far Hills Country Day School and The Pingry School. Ms. Brum will replace Beth Crutcher who is leaving Stuart to serve as the director of advancement at The American School in London.
 
"Lynne Brum is a dynamic, knowledgeable, dedicated and savvy independent school professional with 20 years of high-level experience in institutional advancement at a variety of educational institutions," said Dr. Patty Fagin, Head of School at Stuart. "We believe she will make an immediate and tangible impact on our development efforts and are thrilled that she has chosen to join our Stuart community."
 
Ms. Brum's background includes strategic planning, trustee management, comprehensive campaigns/feasibility studies, alumni relations, annual fund, planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, government relations, stewardship, special events, marketing, and communications. While at the Whitby School, she more than doubled the size of the annual giving and secured the schools' first ever million-dollar gift.
 
As director of institutional advancement, Ms. Brum will oversee development, alumnae and communications activities at Stuart. She will work closely with the Board of Trustees and Head of School on tactical policies, programs and operations that support the school's mission and goals.

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Littlebrook School Wins TREX Recycling Challenge

 
Littlebrook School has won first place in the statewide TREX Recycling Challenge for their efforts in recycling after a year-long effort in collecting, weighing and transporting 720 pounds of plastic, the equivalent of 58,000 plastic bags.
 
Moving beyond merely teaching and learning about recycling, students, staff and parents at Littlebrook Elementary School decided to step up and take action at the beginning of the year.

 

"All year, we've had the pleasure of watching children arrive with large bags of plastic in their arms and huge grins on their faces," said Littlebrook Principal Annie Kosek. "They've loved doing their part to help out the environment, ensuring that these plastics avoid the landfill and instead get recycled."

 

As a result, the school has been awarded a new TREX bench, made from recycled lumber and plastics -- precisely the plastics the students have been collecting. These include all kinds of bags and films like shopping, grocery, bread, cereal, dry-cleaning, and ziploc bags, as well as carton overwrap, newspaper sleeves and bubble wrap. Furthermore, simply for their participation in the Challenge, the school also received a TREX planter box. Both will soon welcome students and staff at the main entrance.

 

Clearly, there's pride in winning an award, but Science Teacher Martha Friend said it was a little tricky to balance the idea of a competition with the actual goal of environmentalism. "Early on, we were surprised to hear students wondering if their parents should start buying more plastics so we could collect more," explained Friend, who led the efforts within the school. "So, we just continuously reminded the kids that our true goal was to help the Earth. Winning the competition was exciting, but it couldn't be the main goal."


 

"And that idea really caught on," Friend said. "Simply continuing to use plastic in this quantity is not our endgame. Now that we've built awareness about all of the plastics we are consuming, the next step at Littlebrook is to promote reduction. After all, with recent reports that bits of plastic are filling our oceans and even creeping into our sea salts and other foods we consume, the time to act is now."


 

"The Littlebrook community is clearly eager to do more to help out the environment, so it's wonderful that TREX gave us the opportunity to participate," said Kosek. "But perhaps the most amazing thing about this project is just how successful it's been."

 

Friend and parent volunteer Jenny Ludmer reached out to others in the community and readily found several willing partners. ACME of Lawrenceville collected shopping bags from their clients, while two Princeton restaurants -- George's Roasters & Ribs and Slice Between -- focused on collecting the overwrap from their incoming packages. Furthermore, Princeton Radiology started saving the plastic bags that encase mammogram gowns.


 

Although the Challenge has ended, the team will continue recycling and hopes it spreads. "We will keep a bin at Littlebrook, but anyone in the area can drop all of these plastics at Target or McCaffrey's too," reported Ludmer. "And next year, hopefully other schools and organizations will sign up to participate in the Challenge."


 

"If one little elementary school managed to collect the equivalent of about 58,000 plastic bags and save them from the landfill, imagine what the whole community could be doing," she concluded.




 

For more information:


 

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Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ (GSCSNJ) Celebrate Outstanding Volunteers

Board Chair Carolyn Rutsky (left), Samantha Thompson, a recipient of the Golden Rose Award (center), and Ginny Marino, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ (right).

 

This past weekend, Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ (GSCSNJ) celebrated outstanding volunteers for their devotion, support, and impact on the lives of Girl Scouts in their 9-county area.  The Adult Recognition Celebration highlighted volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help girls achieve their dreams.  It was a time to show appreciation to volunteers and let them hear the applause for all of the hard work and dedication they have shown throughout the Girl Scout year!

This year, the “Celebrate” award ceremony and luncheon took place on April 16, 2016 at The Hamilton Manor at 11:00 am.  GSCSNJ presented the Appreciation Award, the Honor Award, the Helping Hands Awards, the Thanks Badge, the Spirit Award, the Golden Rose Award, and several Community Partner Awards.  In addition to these special awards, there were recognitions for those adults who have been Girl Scout members or served Girl Scouts in leadership capacity for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 45, or 50 years!  GSCSNJ also directed the spotlight to the STAR Service Unit Leadership Teams.  GSCSNJ presented 11 awards to over 100 honorees.

GSCSNJ extends a special thank you to our community partners: Acme Supermarket of Mays Landing, Archway Programs: “Just Kids”, Delsea Village Properties, First United Methodist Church of Mays Landing, Gloucester County YMCA Afterschool Program “Y’s Kidz”, Hollybush Garden Apartment Community Center, Mays Landing Presbyterian Church, Mount Laura Municipal Complex, PATCO High Speed Line, Pleasantville Middle School, NJ Snap-Ed of Rutgers Cooperative Extension & Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Community Health Promotion Program, Springdale Farms, Sunny Delight Warehouse, and TD Bank of Cherry Hill.

Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ sends a special thank you to volunteers who freely give their time and talents to help girls make the world a better place. Without volunteers and members, the Girl Scout experience would not be possible.  In addition to Celebrate, the council hosted the GSCSNJ Annual Meeting to review council business. 

About Girl Scouts of Central & Southern NJ, Inc.

GSCSNJ is the premier organization serving 19,000 girls in over nine counties. GSCSNJ shapes leaders for tomorrow by empowering girls to take on bold challenges, discover their own passions and strengths, act with character, and engage fully in fun, relevant experiences that encourage friendships and build life-long skills.  For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to GSCSNJ, call (800) 582-7692 or visit www.gscsnj.org.  You can also connect with GSCSNJ on Facebook.com/GSCSNJ or Twitter @GSCSNJ.

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D&R Greenway Land Trust Plays Active Role in Connecting 750 Miles of Trails in Greater Philadelphia Region

Princeton, N.J.– D&R Greenway Land Trust Vice-President Jay Watson led a group of about 45 cyclists on a bike ride from Trenton's Battle Monument to the Thomas Paine Statue in Bordentown City April 16, helping to bridge the gaps in the Greater Philadelphia/Burlington/Mercer Circuit Trails. When complete the Circuit Trails will include 750 miles of multi-use paths for cyclists, walkers, runners, commuters and families for recreation and active transportation.

 

"Thanks to the generous support from the William Penn Foundation, D&R Greenway is working on bridging the gap between Bordentown City and the D&R Canal State Park path at the Battle Monument in Trenton. This is the northern most effort of the Circuit Trails, and we want to show how we're all connected," says Watson. "From Bordentown, once you arrive at the Battle Monument you'll be able to go along the towpath to Frenchtown or New Brunswick, to the Princeton Battlefield or Washington Crossing State Park. And along the way you may see nesting bald eagles, among other wildlife."

 

Cyclists on the April 16 tour, which included Mercer County Freeholder Andrew Koontz, League of American Bicyclists Board Chair Karen Jenkins, Wills Kinsley President of Trenton Cycling Revolution and East Amwell Township Mayor David Wong-Iverson, learned about the hidden heritage of the Crossroads of the American Revolution. Historian Sally Lane spoke from the steps of the Trenton Battle Monument, which commemorates the Battle of Trenton, a pivotal victory for the Continental forces during the American Revolution. Its fluted Doric column was designed by John H. Duncan, architect of Grant's Tomb. A bronze 13-foot-tall statue of Gen. George Washington crowns the 150-feet Beaux Arts edifice, while two bronze figures of Continental soldiers guard the entrance.

 

On the base of the pedestal are two bronze relief panels by Thomas Eakins depicting "The Continental Army Crossing the Delaware River" and "The Opening of the Battle." An original Otis elevator that can take viewers to the top is under repair, and Lane estimates that viewers will be able to ride it once again by the end of the year.

 

Cyclists saddled up to continue to South Warren Street on a bike lane, crossing Route 29 to get to Waterfront Walkway and South River Walk Park with magnificent views of the Delaware River, continuing on a newly restored section of the Delaware & Raritan Canal towpath, where D&R Canal State Park Naturalist Stephanie Fox met up with the group and pointed out the eagles nesting, proof that the site is rich for wildlife.

 

D&R Greenway also seeks to connect the County's Tulpehaking Nature Center, Abbott Marshlands and the Lawrence Hopewell Trail to the Circuit network. Dr. Mary Leck, Rider University Professor of Biology Emeritus, talked about the rich ecological history of Abbott Marshlands, the northernmost tidal freshwater wetland on the Delaware with 3,000 acres of preserved open space. Within the Marshlands boundaries are the Abbott Farm National Historic Landmark, which recognizes  Native American life in and around the Marsh for 13,000 years, and the contributions of archaeologists such as Charles Conrad Abbott and Dorothy Cross.

 

"We are very proud of the work we are doing to 'Connect the Circuit' trails in and through Trenton" said Linda Mead, President & CEO of D&R Greenway Land Trust.  "Our ride was one of many other events held this past weekend to demonstrate the trail links that will bring all of our communities together".

 

Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, lived at Point Breeze near Bordentown for 22 years, and at the Thomas Paine statue in Bordentown, historian Mike Skelly spoke about the life of one of the nation's founding fathers. Skelly pointed out that if it hadn't been for Paine, he wouldn't be speaking from Bordentown City, U.S.A., but from a place called West Jersey, England. Paine, who failed at several endeavors in England and nearly died of typhoid before coming to Philadelphia at the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, went on to write the first bestseller in the U.S. "Common Sense," his pamphlet of letters to the editor of various newspapers, argued for independence from Great Britain. Paine settled in Bordentown because of an invitation from the father of a Quaker with whom he'd fallen in love.

 

 

 

***

 

D&R GREENWAY LAND TRUST IS IN ITS 27TH YEAR of preserving and protecting natural lands, farmlands and open spaces throughout central and southern New Jersey.   Through continuous preservation and stewardship -- caring for land and easements to ensure they remain protected and ecologically healthy in perpetuity -- D&R Greenway nurtures a healthier and more diverse environment for people and wild species in seven counties. Accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission, D&R Greenway's mission is to preserve and care for land and inspire a conservation ethic, now and for the future. Since its founding in 1989, D&R Greenway has permanently preserved close to 20,000 acres, an area 20 times the size of New York City's Central Park, including 28 miles of trails open to the public.

 

The Johnson Education Center, a circa 1900 restored barn at One Preservation Place, Princeton, is D&R Greenway's home. Through programs, art exhibits and related lectures, D&R Greenway inspires greater public commitment to safeguarding land. 

 

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Somerset, N.J. Middle School Students Named National Finalists in the Bright Schools Competition

 
Somerset, N.J. April 11, 2016?Fisayo Odukoya, Lilyanna Hopkins, Heer Patel, and Carys Neill along with coach/teacher, Denise Galiano, of Cedar Hill Prep School in Somerset, N.J. have been named national finalists in the inaugural Bright Schools Competition?. The competition is a collaborative effort of the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences student health and performance. E-Robot is one of 50 national finalist teams, chosen among 170 teams, made up of nearly 550 students from 63 schools. On May 2, 2016, first-, second- and third-place national winning teams will be announced. The complete list of the national finalists can be found at http://brightschoolscompetition.org/.

 

E-Robot?s winning project, entitled ?E-Robot,? was designed to store electronic devices in at night. This way the light and sounds from the devices do not bother the sleeper while the items are recharging. The robot has a special secure entry and it has outlets in it. This is to keep the devices hidden from the sleeper while still having the devices on and charging.The robot was designed on Tinkercad 3-D design software.

 

?The National Sleep Foundation is encouraged to see so many students interested in how light directly affects their sleep and academic performance,? said David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation. ?We congratulate the finalists on their innovative ideas and thoughtful projects. These students, teachers and parents will help bring about change in the way institutions view lighting and overall health." 

 

Under the mentorship of an adult coach/teacher, teams of two to four students identify, investigate, and research an issue related to light and sleep as it pertains to their community and/or young adolescents. Using scientific inquiry or engineering design concepts teams develop a prototype, create an awareness campaign, or write a research proposal for the competition. Each team then submits a written report detailing their project along with a three-minute video showcasing their investigation. Projects are evaluated on the basis of several criteria, including scientific accuracy, innovativeness, and potential impact.

 

?Congratulations to all of the national finalists who competed in the competition this year,? said NSTA Executive Director Dr. David Evans. ?We are extremely impressed with the quality of work and innovative ideas these students have exhibited as they explored science and found ways to benefit their communities and society as a whole.?

 

All students who enter the competition will receive a certificate of participation. Students on the first-place national winning team will each receive a cash prize of $5,000; second place students will receive $2,500; and third-place students will receive $1,500. The coach/teacher of the first place team will also receive a prize package, including Vernier Middle School Probeware, an all-expense paid trip to an NSTA conference, and membership to NSTA. The second-place coach/teacher will receive an all-expense paid trip to an NSTA conference and membership to NSTA, and the third-place coach/teacher will receive membership to NSTA and a $500 gift certificate to use in the NSTA Science Store.


More information about the competition is available at http://brightschoolscompetition.org/

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Award-winning Illustrator E.B. Lewis Visits Princeton Academy

Princeton, NJ (April 12, 2016) - On Thursday, April 7, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart welcomed award-winning illustrator and Philadelphia-native E.B. Lewis to campus. The event was sponsored by the Princeton Academy Parents Association and held in the William E. Simon Chapel Library.

 

 

Students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 enjoyed engaging presentations. Lewis passionately shared inspiring stories from his youth and how his fascination and love of art from an early age led him to a career as an "artistrator" and author.

 

Librarian Ellen Dowling stated, "The stories which Mr. Lewis chooses to illustrate reflect the character traits of compassion, service to others, and cooperation. These are all values that Princeton Academy educators, through the Sacred Heart philosophy, hope to inspire our students to live. In addition, Mr. Lewis encouraged the boys to seek out and follow their passions. I find that the exploration of a student's passions often provides a great way to nurture reading."

 

"Mr. Lewis encouraged our young men to find their purpose and leave a legacy that will make our world a better place, he shared with them that his grandfather would always remind him that the future is not tomorrow... the future is today. He inspired every member of our community and we are grateful for his powerful contribution to the mission of Princeton Academy," added Headmaster Rik Dugan.

 

E.B. Lewis has illustrated over 70 books for children, including Jacqueline Woodson's Coming on Home Soon, a 2005 Caldecott Honor book; Nikki Grimes' Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman, the 2003 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner; Alice Schertle's Down the Road, an ALA Notable Book; Tolowa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins, an ALA Notable Book and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book; Bat Boy and His Violin by Garvin Curtis a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side, a 2002 Notable Book for the Language Arts.

 

Inspired by two artist uncles, as early as the third grade, Lewis displayed artistic promise. Beginning in the sixth grade, he attended the Saturday morning Temple University School of Art League and studied with Clarence Wood. Lewis attended the Temple University Tyler School of Art. There, he discovered his medium of preference was watercolor.

 

During his four years at Temple, Lewis majored in graphic design and illustration, and art education. After graduating, he taught art in public schools for 12 years. Presently, Lewis teaches at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, continues to paint and illustrate, and is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City.

 

About Princeton Academy: Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart is an independent school for boys in Kindergarten through Grade 8. Our mission is to develop young men with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We educate the whole boy in mind, body and spirit. A rigorous, inquiry-based, hands-on academic program joins unparalleled character development and a wide variety of arts, athletics and extracurriculars to provide an ideal learning environment for boys. To learn more about how we bring out the best in boys, please visit www.princetonacademy.org.

 

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Lawrence Educator Jeanne Muzi Named 2016 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow

Program to Send 35 Educators on Global Expeditions for

Hands-On Professional Development in Tenth Year of Program

Jeanne Muzi

 

Lawrenceville, NJ—In recognition of her commitment to global education, Jeanne Muzi, a K-3 Gifted and Talented (G&T) teacher at Lawrence Township Public Schools (LTPS) in Lawrenceville, NJ, was selected as one of the 2016 Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. Every year, K-12 educators are considered for this professional development opportunity that allows them to bring immersive geographic learning experiences back to their classrooms and communities. Jeanne is one of 35 highly respected educators from the United States and Canada to receive this honor.

 

In June, Jeanne will embark on an 11 day Lindblad voyage aboard the National Geographic Explorer to the Arctic Svalbard for a one-of-a-kind field experience, accompanied by Lindblad-National Geographic expedition experts. The expedition will provide Jeanne with new and exciting knowledge to bring back to Ben Franklin, Eldridge Park, Lawrenceville and Slackwood Elementary Schools and her community.

Before the voyage, Jeanne will travel to National Geographic Society’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., to participate in hands-on workshops covering photography and outreach, and will have the opportunity to meet Lindblad Expeditions’ naturalists and to network with previous years’ Fellows.

Photos and biographies of Jeanne and the other Fellows are available on the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow website at: natgeoed.org/gtf.

Jeanne has taught within LTPS for 14 years. She was the 2008 New Jersey Teacher of the Year and has earned multiple achievements and recognitions. Last summer she was chosen as part of the 2015 class to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea program. She spent 12 days at sea aboard NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson assisting scientists as they conducted a hydrographic survey along the U.S. East Coast.

This year marks the tenth year of the Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program, established to honor former National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor’s lifetime commitment to geographic education. The program began with two Fellows in 2007 and has grown each year. The expeditions were donated in perpetuity to the National Geographic Society by Sven-Olof Lindblad and Lindblad Expeditions to mark Grosvenor’s 75th birthday in 2006 and to honor his service in enhancing and improving geographic education across the United States.

About National Geographic Society

With a mission to inspire, illuminate and teach, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. The member-supported Society, which believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, reaches over 600 million people each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.

 

About Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions, specialists in expedition travel, works in alliance with the National Geographic Society to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. As pioneers of global exploration, their collaboration in research, technology and conservation provides extraordinary travel experiences and disseminates geographic knowledge around the globe. Their educationally oriented voyages to all seven continents allow guests to interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools. Destinations include the Galápagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja California, Alaska, Costa Rica & Panama, the Amazon, Southeast Asia & Pacific, Africa, Indian Ocean, Europe, Mediterranean and beyond.

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Dr. Mary Boname of Montgomery Eye Care Interviewed by RadioMD About a Natural Treatment for Dry Eye

 
If you're experiencing dry, itchy eyes and would like to learn more about a natural remedy that comes highly recommended by a leader in the field, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mary Boname of Montgomery Eye Care by calling 609-279-0005. 
 
Dr. Mary Boname was recently interviewed by Dr. Robert Abel, The Wizard of Eyes, on RadioMD about her specialty, Dry Eye Syndrome, and why she and patients are loving Avenova as a natural treatment. Click to listen now! Click here to listen. 
 
 Montgomery Eye Care is located just north of Princeton in the Montgomery Shopping Center in Skillman, NJ. Learn more at www.mecnj.com
 
 

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Student With Autism Raises Money to Help Others

Paying it Forward for Autism Awareness Month  

                          

Skillman, NJ (April 5, 2016) – 11-year old Lucas Weiner, a student at Rock Brook School, has started a fundraiser to help children with autism receive service dogs. His desire to giveback comes from his own incredible experience with having a service dog.

Residing in Marlboro, NJ, Michelle Weiner says two years ago her family received their most precious gift, Rafael, an autism service dog, for her son Lucas, who is on the autism spectrum. With the arrival of Rafael, Lucas’ whole world changed and he is determined to help raise money to help change the lives of other children with autism. 

According to Michelle, prior to Rafael’s arrival, Lucas was going through a very rough time. His anxiety was out of control, he wasn’t sleeping or eating and even leaving the house was a challenge. When the family did manage to get Lucas out of the house, he would become easily distracted and wander off. The family was constantly worried that he would get lost, or worse, taken. It was during this time that Lucas’ parents reached out to Heeling Autism, a program through Guiding Eyes for the Blind, that matches children in need with service dogs.

“In September of 2014, our miracle, Rafael arrived,” says Michelle.  “Rafael immediately became Lucas' best friend. He would sleep with him, come on outings and trips with him and something amazing happened...slowly but surely, Lucas’ anxiety melted away, he began to sleep again and eat again and we watched as a self-confident happy child emerged. Rafael is always by Lucas' side. We can now go out as a family with confidence knowing Lucas won't wander away.” 

After bonding with Rafael, Lucas began asking his parents to help him raise money so other children can receive the same gift he did. Last summer, Lucas set up a stand and sold water. He was so proud of the $4 he raised and happily handed it off. Lucas’ desire to help other children continued; and this past February, Lucas’ parents took their son’s wishes to the next level and created a go fund me account. Each service dog costs roughly $50,000, but the dogs are given to the children and their families free of charge. Guiding Eyes does not receive government funding. They depend on donations to continue be able to provide this life-changing service.  

“Service animals can offer many therapeutic benefits for children with special needs,” says Mary Caterson, Executive Director of Rock Brook School. “I have seen first-hand the positive effects animals have had on special needs kids. Lucas has really blossomed since Rafael has come into his life.”

For the past nine years, Rock Brook, serving students ages 3-21 with language and learning difficulties, has partnered with SAVE, a local animal shelter, on its Humane Education Program. Each week, a volunteer comes in to work with two classes. They bring different animals from the shelter for students to see, pet and feel comfortable around. About three years ago, a tiny and lost looking Cheewinnie (Chihuahua/Dachshund) named Roxy came to visit. The staff and students couldn’t bear the thought of her being in a shelter, so Caterson applied to adopt Roxy and she became the school mascot. Roxy spends two-three days a week at the school. Students can work to earn visits with Roxy as part of their individual behavioral motivation program.

“Many special education and nursing home programs use dogs or cats as a comfort or for companionship.  For kids with special needs it facilitates a relationship that is a positive experience for them. Roxy is not a certified therapy dog. Parents sign off on a permission slip for their children to visit with her, but the benefits she provides is nonetheless valuable,” states Caterson.

With Rafael by his side, Lucas continues to make great strides.

 “To witness the transformation in our son since the arrival of Rafael is beyond words,” says Michelle. “Nothing would make Lucas happier than to share his fortune with another boy or girl.”

To help Lucas reach his goal of $50,000 to provide a service dog for a child with autism, visit his go fund me site at www.gofundme.com/aarudzmk.

 

About Rock Brook School

Since 1974, Rock Brook School has provided education and assistance and support for children with special needs, their families and professionals. Rock Brook’s services include a full academic program, intensive speech and language therapy and other specialized programs for students ages 3-21. For more information, visit www.rock-brook.org. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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Cedar Hill Prep's Jump-Rope-A-Thon Helps 5 Year Old Alex in her Battle with Leukemia

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Cedar Hill Prep is a school that prides itself on caring for the needs of others.   Every year, the school commits to raising awareness and money for specific charities. This year, CHP is focused on helping a 5 year old girl, Alex, who is battling Leukemia.  She is the cousin of a student enrolled at CHP.

Everyone can look around and realize that somehow they have been affected by cancer, whether through the illness of a family member, friend, or coworker.  Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, accounting for almost 1 out of 3 cancers.

Cedar Hill Prep is hosting a “Jump-Rope-A-Thon” for Team Alex!
All students, Preschool – Grade 8, are participating during their Physical Education classes.  The students are looking forward to this great event as they understand the importance of helping to make a difference in someone else’s life.

If you would like to donate to help support this endeavor, please contact Ruth Sulitzer at Cedar Hill Prep School (rsulitzer@cedarhillprep.com) . Please make your check payable to Cedar Hill Prep PTO by Friday, January 29th

 

Cedar Hill Prep School is located at 152 Cedar Grove Lane, Somerset, N.J. 08873.

 

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Girls at Stuart Hold "Pink Out" for Breast Cancer Research

Princeton, NJ - On Monday, the entire community at the all-girls Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton came together for Pink Out Day to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for research. Girls from preschool through high school, joined by preschool boys and faculty and staff, donned pink clothes for the day. Families contributed baked goods for a fundraising sale and baskets full of items donated by upper school athletes were auctioned off in support of the cause. The community showed up in force after to school to watch the varsity field hockey team, outfitted in pink, Play 4 the Cure against Montgomery High school in the school's annual Pink Out Game.

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