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New Providence School District

2018 - 2019 Character Education

Press Release

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New Providence High School seniors Jon Lee, Caleb Forbes, Will Gao, Jon Kubas, Matt Misiukiewicz, and Ethan Neidich recently donated their time and expertise to help The Brooke Healey Foundation prepare for their largest fundraiser, the 5th annual Casino Night.

Using the skills learned in classes such as Principles of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Introduction to Engineering and Design, these students designed numbered paddles to be used during the event’s “Paddle Raise”.  The paddles were created using the district’s laser cutter and engraver, which was purchased using an NPEF grant in 2017.   The laser cutter and engraver has become a vital tool that students use to produce high quality engravings and tailored cutouts for various projects in school.  

This service learning opportunity was coordinated by Engineering teacher and Technology Specialist, Mr. James McGeechan, who states “It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to apply design principles acquired in class and provide a service for such a worthy cause. The kids worked hard and volunteered their time during their professional period. A special thanks to the NPEF for providing us with the grant to acquire the laser cutter/engraver which is now used by many students for in-class projects as well as extracurricular competitions”.

The “Paddle Raise” appeal at Casino Night, held March 8th, 2019, ultimately raised $112,000 for the Brooke Healey Foundation, which was created to build awareness and raise funds for research, to help families dealing with pediatric cancers, and to foster community relationships.

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New Providence High School students recently attended UC STEP,  a Union County Student Training and Enrichment Program, held at Kean University. Together with 250 other peers from across Union County, they participated in leadership, personal growth and civic engagement workshops during the full day summit.

Ms. Christine Noppenberger, school counselor and a Character Education coordinator for the high school, organized the delegation of nine students in grades ten and eleven.  Students from NPHS have been participating in the UC STEP program for four years.

The Civic Engagement Challenge is the main event of the UC STEP program.  Students come together in teams to brainstorm and create a county-wide community service campaign.  The service campaign ideas are voted on at UC STEP and through an online poll. The campaign with the most votes is then undertaken by all participating Union County high schools.  This year’s service initiative is “Suicide Prevention and Survivor Support.”

Brooke Arnold, a NPHS Junior, states " UC Step is a wonderful program and I am so happy I was able to be a part of it. Not only did we learn leadership skills, but we learned life skills. Even though the skills me and my other peers have learned are going to be so useful in our future, the greatest outcome of UC Step is the relationships that we made. So thank you UC Step staff for teaching us great leadership skills and connecting me with so many amazing people.”

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The New Providence School District, a 2017 National District of Character, has launched their 2018-2019 Character Education Initiative “NP...IT STARTS WITH US!” 

The district-wide Character Education Kick-Off on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018, was designed to coordinate with the National Week of Respect.  The New Providence School District created a film where students, staff and teachers were featured sharing “What do you love about NP?” or “What good deeds have you done?” or “Are you involved in any community projects?”.

During the Kick-Off festivities at each school, the students were able to view the film, and participate in fun, team building events such as a Lip Sync Battle (at NPMS) and a Glow in the Dark Dance Party with teachers and students (at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School). 

Lauren Zirpoli, Principal at New Providence High School, states “NPHS kicked off the 2018-2019 Week of Respect by having students and staff wear blue to raise awareness about bullying.  The 2018-2019 Character Education theme of "NP It Starts With Us," has been embraced by students and staff and aligns with the Character Education mission and goals of making a difference each and every day.  A video featuring students and staff from all schools in the district was featured as part of morning announcements to unveil the theme and focus for the school year.

NPHS students and staff will be organizing and participating in a number of events centered around our theme including Spread the Word to End the Word, working with Bridges, Operation Christmas Child, helping at the Community Food Bank, and working with our elementary students on field days and Read Across America.”

Character Education lessons are incorporated into the curriculum in all schools in the district, and unite the students in a common theme focusing on messages of kindness, respect, and empathy for others.  Jean Drexinger, Principal at Salt Brook Elementary School states “As is tradition at Salt Brook, the “NP......IT STARTS WITH US!” theme will be carried over into the hallways, cafeteria, and playgrounds during the current school year.  Throughout the course of the school year, the students will be involved in learning activities designed to develop good character and empower them to make good choices for themselves.  They will learn that it is their actions that will help to make each day better than the next.  Many of these activities will be school-based programs as well as multi-level interconnecting activities involving High School and Middle School students visiting the elementary schools and our students visiting them."