The students and staff in the Northfield City School District have been busily engaged in many activities since our last communication. I am proud to update that one of those activities was the conclusion of the Coins for Kindness drive initiated by the Kindness Kidmittee, which collected over $1,000 in coins in our Elementary School to benefit patients receiving chemotherapy at Shore Memorial Hospital. Hospital representatives will come to our Elementary School to receive the donation to purchase portable DVD players and disposable headphones for their patients.

As another update, three teams of students had the privilege to participate in the STEAM Tank competition during the New Jersey School Boards Convention in October. Two middle school teams and one elementary school team were selected to present their inventions to a panel of judges who quizzed the students with challenging questions about their respective products. Our students were more than up to the task as they supported their products, which were developed during the students’ STEAM classes. Yet another proud accomplishment of our students was having three elementary school students published in The Press of Atlantic City for their Halloween article submissions. We are not finished though.

Our Elementary School students, through the Kindness Kidmittee, have created a Teacher of the Month cart in which they select and recognize a teacher and education support staff member each month and present them prizes. Also through the Kindness Kidmittee, our elementary school students created videos demonstrating respect for staff and sharing compliments with others. These videos will be presented throughout the month of November. In celebration of World Kindness Day, our elementary school students will be writing kindness thoughts in chalk on the sidewalks during the week of Nov. 11. On Nov. 11, veterans will visit our Elementary School classrooms to share flag and respect thoughts in recognition of Veterans Day.

Something we always try to accomplish in our schools is to bring the content to life for the students. Doing so enriches the learning process and bring real life meaning to what they are learning in school. To this end, Sheriff Eric Scheffler and Officer Joe Kleinow visited with our third-grade students with K9 Officer Loki. The students were thrilled to meet an actual police dog after reading the selection “Aero and Officer Mike.”

In keeping with this, our Middle School has implemented a One Book One School initiative. The book selected for this initiative is the book “Wonder.” Through collaborative partnerships with local business and organization, their generous donations made it possible for every student in the middle school to receive their own personal copy of the book. The books were delivered to the students in October and each book identified the group that donated it as well as an encouraging message from one of their teachers. Activities to support the message of kindness from the book have already been implemented and more are scheduled throughout the school year. One example of the activities that have already happened are the positive messages painted in the students’ lavatory, such as “Scatter Kindness.” Another example is a bulletin board that reads “Your Deeds Are Your Monuments.” In this activity, the students wrote kind messages to each other on post-it notes and placed them on the skyline mural of a city, thereby creating a monument of their kind “deeds.” Another activity that will be occurring throughout the year is sharing this initiative with our community. “Caught being kind” cards will be distributed to businesses and public locations throughout our community so that when our students are caught exhibiting acts of kindness they can be recognized. These cards will be returned to the school and the students will be recognized for their kind deeds during pep-rallies throughout the year. These and all other activities for this initiative can be followed on twitter through #NCSisWONDERful.

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