A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield L The Westfield L The Westfield L The Westfield L The Westfield Leader eader eader eader eader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood Thursday, March 26, 1998 Page 5
J& M 3x7 Exclusive House
2x5 1/ 2 Contact
1x2.5 PTA, PTO Members Should Ensure
Kids' Safety by Purchasing Cell Phones
Letters to the Editor
Editor's Note: The following letter was addressed to all Westfield ParentTeacher Association (PTA) and Parent- Teacher Organization (PTO) members with a copy sent to The Westfield Leader.
Westfield First Ward Councilwoman Gail S. Vernick, Chairwoman of the Public Safety Committee, is sponsoring a program that enhances the safety of our school children as they walk to and from school each day. I am referring to the special cellular telephones that have been donated to crossing guards throughout town.
As Chairwoman of The BRAKES Group of Westfield, I strongly support this program. Its benefits are twofold. First, in the case of an emergency, a crossing guard can call for help immediately. A quick response to an emergency situation can make the difference in reducing or eliminating serious injury.
Second, and perhaps more important, the phones enable the crossing guards to prevent emergencies. Being able to report reckless driving behavior might make the difference in preventing emergencies altogether. The police cannot be everywhere. With help from crossing guards, the most egregious drivers can be stopped before they cause a serious accident in our town.
I ask that each of you be instrumental in donating enough phones for each of the crossing guards that support your school. After the initial purchase of the phone, no further costs will be incurred by the Parent- Teacher Association/ ParentTeacher Organization.
A 911 call is free. Any costs incurred in calling the police station will be paid for by the town. The telephones are $180 each. Checks should be made out to Bell Atlantic. The police department will complete the paperwork.
I hope you will do everything possible to equip your professional school crossing guards with the tools they need to
Coalition Extends Thanks to Sponsors Of Upcoming Walk to End Hunger
The Coalition for Hunger Awareness of Union and Somerset Counties wishes to publicly thank the many local firms which have responded positively to the ongoing invitation to sponsor the 1998 Rally Walk to End Hunger, scheduled for Sunday, May 3, in Mindowaskin Park in Westfield.
The Coalition is an interfaith group of congregations, non- profit and civic groups organized in 1992 to raise funds to alleviate hunger by supporting local food pantries and soup kitchens, and to promote public awareness of the hunger problem in our community.
These generous firms include AT& T, Irma's Bag, Anthony James Construction, Park Place Restaurant, Trader Joe's, Martinsville Inn Caterers, Ditschman Flemington Ford, Exogen, A. Gelfond & Co., Condor Capital, Ortalis Corporation, S. Seltzer Construction, George Ulanet Co., Union County Florist Supplies, Great
Finds and Chase Manhattan Bank. In addition, we thank the Somerville Rotary Club, the Wilf Family Foundation, Congregation Beth Israel and its Sisterhood, as well as Temple Har Shalom, along with several individuals for their generous sponsorship support.
There is still time before the walk for interested business, civic or religious groups and individuals to join as sponsors. Please call Luis Fleischman at (908) 889- 5335 for more information.
Civic and school groups, as well as individuals interested in participating in the walk, may also call Mr. Fleischman for details. And again, a big thank you to all our current sponsors which have joined us as we strive to alleviate hunger in our community.
Michelle Ehrich Co- Chairwoman,
Coalition for Hunger Awareness
ensure the safety of the children of your school district Thank you for your support.
Sara E. Strohecker Chairwoman The BRAKES Group of Westfield Magnet Schools Should be Removed
From Under the Vo- Tech Umbrella
Editor's Note: The enclosed letter (in a slightly different form) was sent to Senator Robert Martin, Chairman of the New Jersey Senate Education Committee, with copies going to various local and state government and education officials.
The Scotch Plains- Fanwood Parent Teacher Association Council has serious concerns regarding the Union County Magnet High School for Science, Mathematics and Technology and all magnet schools statewide that are funded through vocational- technical districts.
Vocational- technical schools were originally designed to meet the needs of students not going on to college. Magnet schools fall outside this intent and definition.
Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School offers a strong program of mathematics, science, and technology, including college prep and Advanced Placement courses.
Programs at the magnet school duplicate what is already offered in the district and, unfettered by countless state mandates, the magnet school unfairly competes with Scotch Plains- Fanwood High School for top students.
Due in part to extensive marketing by the magnet school, response has been
strong; moreover, enrollment is not capped at two students per sending district per year as promised, but enrollment is apparently unlimited.
This year the magnet school has six Scotch Plains- Fanwood students, which translates into $36,000 in tuition payments from the district budget.
While the departure of six students insignificantly reduces local operating costs, a very significant $36,000 in resources is lost to their local peers. When the magnet school is in full operation, our district may have to cope with a whopping budget cut of as much as $144,000 plus transportation costs.
Should we cut the advanced science, mathematics, and technology classes that the magnet school duplicates? What can we say to those children who remain and whose resources have been plundered?
We object to the burden of locally paying for select students to attend what is in effect a private school, free of the regulatory burdens other schools bear. We ask for legislation to remove magnet schools from the vo- tech umbrella and to devise a magnet school funding plan that does not penalize those students who remain in district schools.
Mary O'Connor, Corresponding Secretary Scotch Plains- Fanwood Parent
Teacher Association Council
The Leader on the Internet Esther Jennis Takes Oath
As Advocate for Children A VOICE FOR CHILDREN… Esther Jennis of Westfield is congratulated by
Family Court Judge Thomas Zampino of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County, after being sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.
Westfield resident Esther Jennis was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) on March 1 by Family Court Judge Thomas Zampino of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County.
A CASA volunteer is a special advocate for a child in foster care, who helps to make sure abused and neglected children reach a safe and permanent home with relatives, birth parents or an adoptive family. The next volunteer training session will start on Saturday, May 2.
CASA volunteers help foster children and their families receive the services they need, and help move these cases through the child welfare system quickly, according to Executive Director Caroline Jacobus.
They investigate the case, inter view pertinent people, make independent
recommendations to the court as to what is in the child's best interest and monitor the case until the child is settled in a permanent home, Ms. Jacobus said.
After a careful screening, prospective volunteers will be trained to prepare them for their role, Ms. Jacobus explained. They receive ongoing support and supervision.
CASA volunteers may be full- time employees, retirees, homemakers or professionals. The hours are flexible and the only requirement is concern for a child's future, the Executive Director maintained.
CASA is a non- profit organization and supports its work through contributions and grants. For more information about becoming a volunteer, please call the Essex County CASA office at (973) 693- 6785 or visit the CASA web site at www. casaessex. org.
Elizabeth Giameo Named to Dean's List
Elizabeth Giameo of Westfield has been named to the Dean's List at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania for the 1997 fall semester. A sophomore, Elizabeth is majoring in finance.
Twenty- Seven Join Ranks Of CONTACT Volunteers
Twenty seven men and women from throughout Union, Middlesex and Somerset Counties were commissioned as new telephone hotline volunteers for CONTACT We Care, when the non- profit agency held its Annual Meeting and Commissioning Service on March 3 in Westfield.
The new volunteers had attended CONTACT's volunteer training class during the past year, according to spokeswoman Arlene Klemow.
"It is so inspiring for all of us involved with CONTACT We Care to witness this latest commissioning service and to have new volunteers join our ranks," said Ross Royce of Edison, Board President of the 24- hour telephone hotline service.
"These 27 compassionate men and women have taken significant steps toward helping their fellow man and making a difference in people's lives by offering the gift of listening," he added.
CONTACT We Care, established in 1975, is a free, confidential service available to anyone needing a listening ear. Volunteers are required to attend 50 hours of training in order to learn how to actively listen and deal with a broad range of human needs, the spokeswoman said.
Volunteers are supervised by a licensed professional social worker, and must approach their work in an open and nonjudgmental way, according to the spokeswoman.
"CONTACT volunteers are very special people," said the Reverend Dr. Darla Dee Turlington, Minister of Christian Education and Evangelism at the First Baptist Church in Westfield, as well as a CONTACT board member.
"They truly give of themselves, and offer loving acceptance and empathetic identification as they listen, hear and reflect back the caller's feelings," she continued.
"CONTACT and its volunteers are special in another way, too; in its willingness to use spiritual resources," said Reverend Turlington. "This sets CONTACT apart from many secular organizations.
"The caller's spirituality is one of many tools that a CONTACT volunteer may utilize to facilitate a caller in working through their problems," she explained.
"The telephone workers of CONTACT offer a safe place where troubled people who have nowhere to turn catch a glimmer of hope and start to rebuild some sense of their own worth."
Spelling Bee Winners Are Told By SP Recreation Department
The Scotch Plains Recreation Department of Parks, in conjunction with the Scotch Plains Junior Woman's Club, sponsored a spring spelling bee for grades 3, 4 and 5 March 14 at the Scotch Hills Country Clubhouse.
Winners in the third grade spelling bee were: first place, Cristina Boggs, a student in the J. Ackerman Coles Elementary School, and second place, Christopher Polhamus, attending McGinn.
For the fourth graders the winner was Liza Katz of Brunner Elementary School, with Sarah Halpern of McGinn Elementary School finishing second. She was first as a competitor in the third grade contest, as well as in the fourth grade fall spell ing bee.
The fifth grader winner, also a repeat champion in first place, was Christine Lomiguen from St. Bartholomew's Interparochial School.
The second place for fifth graders was Jacqueline Macri, also a student at St. Bart's.
All winners received certificates of participation and "shiny apple" awards for Burger King meals, as well as gift certificates to be redeemed at the Town Book Store in Westfield. Judges were Mandy Holanda and Regina O'Connor from the Junior Woman's Club.
Moderator was Laura Swidersky, Recreation Supervisor.