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Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: June 7, 2000

NJ Leads Nation - Seven New Jersey Schools Recognized for Service Learning Excellence

Seven schools have been selected to represent New Jersey as National Service-Learning Leader Schools. The schools have earned this distinction by successfully combining academics with community service.

The National Service-Learning Leader Schools is a Presidential initiative administered by the Corporation for National Service. The schools will be recognized at a public ceremony to be held on Monday June 5, 2000 at Rider University, Lawrenceville.

"We are enormously pleased at the success our schools have enjoyed in this program," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "We believe that schools that choose to incorporate community service activities into their students’ learning experience are laying the foundation for their students to become responsible, civic-minded adults."

The Commissioner noted that the service learning schools exemplify many of the characteristics, such as respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, necessary for effective character development. "Through Governor Whitman’s leadership, we are implementing the New Jersey Character Education Partnership," Commissioner Hespe said. "Many school representatives recently attended a statewide conference to find out more about this voluntary program.

"When our young people participate in programs like these, they broaden their view of the world and attain a greater sense of purpose," the Commissioner said.

New Jersey’s seven National Service-Learning Leader Schools are:

  • Linden High School, Linden
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, Iselin
  • Terence C. Reilly Middle School, Elizabeth
  • Delsea Regional Middle School, Franklin
  • Cranford High School, Cranford
  • Hoboken Charter School, Hoboken
  • Academy of the Holy Angels, Demarest

All seven of the schools selected as National Service-Learning Leader Schools were also recognized as State Leader Schools. Of the 66 schools selected nationally, seven have been chosen from New Jersey.

Service learning combines academics with community service in a way that benefits students, teaches civic responsibility and strengthens communities. Through service learning, students apply their coursework in the community in relevant and meaningful ways.

The New Jersey Department of Education supports service-learning programs and funding to school districts throughout the state in part through a grant from the Corporation for National Service. Created in 1993, the Corporation for National Service provides opportunities to improve communities through programs such as AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and the National Service Corps.

NOTE: Attached is a list of New Jersey’s State Leader Schools, and 15 schools that were semi-finalists in this year’s selection process. News media are invited and encouraged to attend the June 5 event at Rider University. For more information, contact: Linda Rivera, 609-633-9627.