Grillestone Hosts Dinner Honoring Promising Practice Award Recipients
The Peterpaul Family, the owners of Grillestone, a restaurant located at 2658 County Road 516 in Old Bridge, hosted a dinner for the Old Bridge School District’s 2017 Promising Practice recipients. In addition, the Administrators Association paid the gratuities for the dinner, honoring 10 Old Bridge education programs, including one district-wide program, demonstrating effective strategies that develop good character in youngsters. The programs received Promising Practice awards by Character.org for 2017.
The Kids at College Program earned the District 2017 Promising Practice award; this was the first time Old Bridge submitted an application for a district-wide program. As the recipient, the program will be used as a National Model.
“I am pleased to serve a district that in recent years has routinely demonstrated its commitment to go beyond the norms to deliver quality learning experiences for all students,” said Schools Superintendent David Cittadino. “Our teachers are visionary innovators; they are reshaping the traditional school learning dynamics, and the children are benefiting from each educator’s ingenuity.”
Other schools that submitted applications and received Promising Practice awards, included: Old Bridge High School; M. Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon Cooper, William A. Miller, Walter M. Schirra, and Alan B. Shepard elementary schools; two programs from James McDivitt Elementary School; and Jonas Salk Middle School. They were honored in October at the National Forum on Character Education in Washington, DC.
“We are grateful to our staff who work tirelessly to establish initiatives that not only benefit our students academically, but socially and emotionally, while also supporting the greater community,” said Kathleen Hoeker, assistant superintendent of schools. “Our Promising Practice authors exemplify the stand out professionalism that we strive for and that sets Old Bridge apart from other districts.”
The winning Promising Practices are:
- OBTPS District, "Kids at College". Students learn about setting high expectations and discover performance values needed to succeed as they engage in a program where they experience being college students for a day.
- Old Bridge High School, "P.E.E.R. Day (Power, Empathy, Encourage, Respect)". The high school’s senior character ambassadors, along with middle school peer leaders, facilitated P.E.E.R. Day to empower student leadership, development, and growth through empathy, encouragement and respect.
- Jonas Salk Middle School, “P.E.E.R. Day (Power, Empathy, Encourage, Respect)”. P.E.E.R. Day is a program designed to engage students in activities and discussion that emphasize Power, Encouragement, Empathy, and Respect.
- M. Scott Carpenter Elementary School, “Collaborating and Connecting with the School-Wide Theme". This practice is to utilize connecting, engaging learning activities to a school-wide theme, Exploring the Depths of Knowledge, and promoting collaboration and communication between third, fourth, and fifth grade staff.
- Leroy Gordon Cooper Elementary School, "K-9 Comfort Club”. The K-9 Comfort Club is a school-wide initiative where a full-time certified therapy dog, Scooter, works alongside the school counselor and principal to assist in counseling sessions, social skills, behavior management, class lessons, and the enhancement of the school climate.
- James McDivitt Elementary School, "5th Grade Journey". The 5th Grade Journey is a keepsake highlighting the contributions and achievements of students in the areas of academics, leadership, responsibility, character, and commitment to school and community.
- James McDivitt Elementary School, "Buzz Around the World". The fair promotes global and cultural cognizance while encouraging worldwide friendship and overall ethnic awareness and diversity in the school community.
- William A. Miller Elementary School, "All Aboard the Miller School Bus of Character". Fifth grade students are character ambassadors on the school buses. They model expected behavior and make efforts to build trusting relationships with the younger students.
- Walter M. Schirra Elementary School, "Art Soup". This program is designed to encourage collaboration between members of the school community, where staff and students design art projects and learn about accepting/celebrating individual differences and cultures.
- Alan B. Shepard Elementary School, "Shark News 12". Shark News 12 is an innovative program whereby ESL students create news stories for a school-wide broadcast.
The Promising Practices program highlights what is going well in classrooms. Each practice must be tied to one or more of Character.org’s 11 Principles of Character Education. Character.org is a national, nonprofit group based in Washington, DC that works with schools and districts to educate, inspire, and empower young people to be ethical and engaged citizens. The organization is led by educators who are dedicated to teaching youth how to be both smart and good through the advancement of quality character development in all schools.
Character.org sponsors the annual program to showcase innovative best practices that demonstrate impacts across the nation and abroad. Charater.org encourages educators with similar needs to learn from and even replicate these initiatives.