The book fair at Daniel Webster Elementary School was a roaring celebration.
The book fair at Daniel Webster Elementary School was a roaring celebration.

Daniel Webster Elementary School book fair promotes reading culture

An estimated 300 parents and 30 teachers showed up for the annual book fair at Daniel Webster School, along with hundreds of children from Kindergarten through Second Grade. “The event is less about the books, and more about getting students to share their enthusiasm for reading with their families and their community,” Principal Anna Rudowsky said. “It’s a mid-year event which sparks the interest of reading.”

The Parent Teacher Asssociation (PTA)- sponsored event has been a way for school children, their families, teachers, and community leaders to mingle at the elementary school during the winter.

During the book fair, the PTA also runs a separate fundraiser, called “All for Books,” to stock school libraries and give books to students who can’t afford to buy them. In 2017, the PTA raised more than $2,000.

The Weehawken Public Library staffed a booth at the book fair with a dinosaur diorama, and a paleontology dig. “They do an excellent job of it in the middle of winter, during a week that is a very focused reading time when kids are mostly inside anyway,” PTA co-chair Jennifer Bolcar said.

During the week leading up to the book fair, elementary school students observed Dr. Seuss’s birthday, with a different theme each day of the week. Police and town officials spent the week reading to classes in tandem; classes held birthday parties with  “Cat in the Hat” birthday cakes.

Weehawken Library announces Baby & Me, Storytime classes

The Weehawken Free Public Library will begin registration for its third session of Baby & Me and Story Time classes on Monday, March 25.  There are currently a limited number of spots available.

Residents can register either in person or by calling the Library at 201-863-7823 beginning at 9:30 a.m. on March 25th. This program is open to Weehawken residents only; proof of residency and the child’s birth certificate or passport are required. Residents choosing to register over the phone must bring their documents to the first class.

Three different programs are being offered by the Library for Weehawken children between 6 months to 3 years of age.

The Baby & Me program classes, which run from April through May, are designed to encourage socialization and early learning skills through finger puppet play, music and dance. Classes are limited to 15 participants. Two classes are offered:

  • Baby & Me AM – ages 6 to 24 months; Wednesdays from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.
  • Baby & Me PM – ages 6 to 24 months; Wednesdays from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m.

The Story Time Tuesday’s program classes, which run from April through May, encourage creativity, socialization, early learning skills, along with the value of independent as well as together time. Classes are limited to 15 participants. Two classes are offered:

  • Story Time Tuesday AM – ages 2 to 3 years; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Story Time Tuesday PM – ages: 2 to 3 years; 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

For more information, contact the Library at 201-863-7823 and ask for the 2nd Floor Circulation Desk.

Female representation in Computer Science earns award for high school

Weehawken High School (WHS) received an award from College Board AP for achieving high female representation in its AP Computer Science Principles class. Out of more than 18,000 secondary schools worldwide, WHS is one of 685 to accomplish this.

“We’re honored by this recognition and are proud of our female students for their achievements studying computer science,” Principal Robert Ferullo said. “We’re committed to continuing to provide our female students with access to AP Computer Science courses to help prepare a more diverse workforce in critical STEM jobs.”

The course, AP Computer Science Principles, launched in 2016. Since then, computer science course participation has more than doubled.

NAMI offers family-to-family educational program

The National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter in Hudson County will offer free classes for families and caregivers of adults living with a mental illness beginning March 20. The program consists of twelve 2-½ hour classes that focus on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The course will be given by family members of individuals with a mental illness, trained by NAMI as educators of the Family-to-Family Program. Many family members describe this experience as life changing. Thousands of families have gained information, understanding, and support through these programs.

The classes on Wednesday evenings begin March 20 and finish on June 5. Classes are from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Christ Hospital, 176 Palisade Ave., Jersey City. There is free parking at the hospital parking facility. Light snacks will be available.

The program and materials are free but registration is required. To register, contact Martha Silva at 201-861-0614 or email namihudson@msn.com.

Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers

Learn how to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books, 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m.

CASA is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.

CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.

Red Cross Month is now

March is Red Cross Month; the American Red Cross New Jersey Region asks people to be a hero for others by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, donating blood, or donating to the Help One Family campaign on Red Cross Giving Day, March 27.

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission.

During March, several New Jersey locations and landmarks will be illuminated in red in recognition of Red Cross Month.

Volunteers are needed to help families affected by disasters, install smoke alarms to keep neighbors safe from home fires, provide emergency assistance for military members and veterans, or help reconnect families separated by international conflict. The Red Cross is also seeking volunteers to make appointments to donate blood or platelets, and is holding classes in first aid, CPR, and other skills.

Donations can be made at www.redress.org/givingday, and will go toward providing urgent relief like food and shelter to help families during the first devastating hours of a disaster.

New Jersey residents can help support the Red Cross while filing their 2018 state tax returns, by checking box 64 on the NJ 1040 form and entering Code 14 for the American Red Cross- NJ Fund.

People can find more information about Red Cross Month events, volunteer opportunities, and other ways to support the work of the Red Cross by visiting www.redcross.org/NJ.