• The Cape May County Vo-Tech. School's Habitat House Project was one of three recipients of the 1997 Exemplary Program Award. The NJ Association of School Administrators and NJ Association of Partners in Education sponsor the award, and it is given to programs that have developed outstanding partnerships to further student education. The award will be presented at the NJASA/NJSBA Spring Conference Dinner on Sunday, May 18, 1997 at Balley's Park Place Casino & Hotel in Atlantic City. Arrangements are also being made to highlight the Habitat House Project on the New Jersey Network, the state's primary public television network.
  • Over one hundred students enrolled in Fair Lawn High School's service learning course for the fall semester. Seventy-five dedicated students completed all course requirements which included 40 hours of community service, written reflection assignments, and procedural paper work (logs, contract, evaluation forms, etc.) Project Director, Jeanine Hayek, surveyed the group early in the semester to discover the reasons students enrolled in the course. Most students responded positively stating that their desire to help out in the community and the satisfaction they received from helping others were major factors. Others admitted to taking the course simply to gain credits and to add to their college application. Of the seventy students surveyed at the closing of the course, a remarkable 100% responded that they had learned something meaningful from the course. Also, 100% admitted they would recommend the course to other students. In fact, those students who had mentioned "selfish" reasons for enrolling had expressed a desire to continue volunteering even after the course requirements were completed.
  • Three first grade classes from the Long Branch Township School District visited seniors at the Monmouth Convalescent Center for Halloween. They performed holiday songs, finger plays, and poetry, which they learned as part of the service learning program. The seniors shared Halloween treats with the students along with their memories of what school was like when they were youngsters. Both the students and seniors enjoyed this experience so much that future projects have been scheduled. These projects will continue to build on various aspects of the first grade curriculum by enhancing students' reading, writing, and verbal skills, while easing the loneliness of local senior citizens.
  • In keeping with their class theme "Food For Thought," 175 Seventh graders from the Haddonfield Middle School traveled to Bridgeton, NJ with one goal in mind: to glean the Shepherd Farm. Gleaning is an activity where individuals gather and collect grain and other produce left behind by a reaping machine. Their efforts yielded over 5,000 pounds of tomatoes that were subsequently distributed to 25 needy organizations such as soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Ten teachers, the middle school principal, and ten parent volunteers accompanied the students in their worthwhile adventure. Students later discovered that migrant workers, who were usually paid very little, were used to glean fields and farms in New Jersey. As a result, the seven graders coordinated a clothing drive to collect clothes and underwear. These articles will be given to the children of migrant workers before they leave the state at the end of the Fall harvest.