OCEAN CITY — To begin the 2019-20 school year, the Ocean City School District has introduced the We Rock initiative.

The vision of We Rock is to empower faculty, staff, students and the community.

We Rock was created in late June when district Superintendent Kathleen Taylor gathered a group of teacher leaders, including past teachers of the year and state and county teachers of the year, and then asked the committee to develop a program of empowerment. This empowerment would start with the focus on fellow staff members and eventually spread to the students and then to the community.

“This program is about reconnecting with humanity, learning to listen, teacher wellness and building emotional intelligence throughout our district and community,” Taylor said. “The ability for teachers and students to share their stories amongst their peers and create an environment celebrating the empowerment of each other is our ultimate goal.”

In October of this year, the goal is to have every interested Primary, Intermediate, and High School student paint their own rock and display them in the buildings for all to see. The rocks will be placed around the schools as silent reminders of the important messages they hold.

“This initiative aims to build school and community pride, bridge cooperation and camaraderie between our three schools and the community and finally to help our students and employees realize they matter!” Primary School teacher Carrie Merritt said. “I truly hope that the We Rock project allows for all of our staff and students to really take a moment and celebrate who he or she is and for our Ocean City community to have the opportunity to see that the Ocean City School District does indeed rock.”

The first Monday of each month, faculty and staff will wear their new We Rock apparel and will participate in wellness and programming for teachers and students. This initiative will also be spread to the outer school community.

As a community member, if you’d like to get involved, contact Carrie Merritt at cmerritt@ocsdnj.org. Funds and resources will benefit upcoming projects and initiatives.

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