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last updated: Sat, Apr 5th, 2014
Gabriella Harmon and Saadaan Rathore, second-graders in Jennifer Terrill's class, put food into the classroom's donation box

Sandshore cares

This spring, the Sandshore school community has shown its heart. Students, teachers, and parents donated food, money, and loose change to three separate causes.

The school participated in Olive Garden’s Pasta for Pennies program, a national fundraising drive conducted in partnership with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Teachers and students contributed spare change into classroom collection jars over a three-week period. Proving that a great many people doing just a small bit can make a big impact, the school raised almost $2,400 to support the fight against blood-related cancers.

School nurse Suzanne Herbst coordinated Sandshore’s Pasta for Pennies drive.

Lorri Vaccaro’s fourth grade class raised the most money at Sandshore. As a way to say thanks, the class will enjoy a pasta party from the Olive Garden in Rockaway on April 28.

Pasta was one of the staples with a long shelf life that was recently donated during a food drive to benefit the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morris Plains. Canned good such as canned soups, vegetables, fruit, tuna, baby food, and prepared meats along with peanut butter, tea, and rice were just some of the types of food items brought in by students and staff. In total, the school collected a whopping 355 pounds of food during the week-long drive.

Dr. Brinda Wederich, Sandshore guidance counselor, coordinated the effort.

The non-profit Interfaith Food Pantry serves all of Morris County and will deliver to Mount Olive families after the organization approves them. For more information contact the pantry directly at 973-538-8049.

Sandshore, which houses the elementary-level autism program for the entire district, also recently recognized National Autism Month as well as World Autism Awareness Day (April 2). Applied Behavior Analysis facilitator Cheryl Tracey coordinated a fundraising drive the first week of April to benefit Autism New Jersey, the largest statewide network of parents and professionals dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Each student received a puzzle piece, the symbol of autism awareness, with his or her name on it for every dollar donated. The paper pieces were then assembled into giant, 12-foot-long ribbons and hung from the rafters of the gymnasium for all to see. 

“Since we welcomed the district’s elementary autism program into the building several years ago, Ms. Tracey and autism teacher Donna Scales have really educated our students, our faculty, and our parents about autism,” said Katherine Monaghan, Sandshore’s instructional supervisor. “But more than that, they’ve opened many eyes and many hearts.”

In total, the school raised $485 for Autism New Jersey. This was the third year in which Sandshore collected money for autism research, education, and support.

Principal honored for contributions to education

Bob Allen, principal of Sandshore Elementary School, was recently honored for his contributions to public education with a “Friends of Education” award from the Morris County Council of Education Associations. His award, in the principal category, was presented to him at a dinner and awards ceremony at Meadow Wood Manor in Randolph.

“This is a very special honor for me,” Mr. Allen said. “Every day I feel truly blessed to work in a district and a school with great kids and a professional, caring staff.”

Along with his award, Mr. Allen also received a proclamation from the New Jersey State Legislature.

Mr. Allen was nominated for the award by Sandshore teachers Lisa Lamendola and Steven Spangler. In their nomination letter, the two veteran educators heralded Mr. Allen’s unwavering dedication to students, his respect for staff members, and his cultivation of a family spirit within the building.

Mr. Allen is in his seventh year as principal of Sandshore. He came to the district in 2007 from East Hanover where he was middle school principal. For the initial 10 years of his career, he taught the fourth and fifth grades.

This was the third year in which the council recognized outstanding contributions to education. More than 200 people attended the awards dinner including Dr. Larrie Reynolds, Superintendent of Schools, and many members of the Sandshore faculty.

District to offer summer science camp

This summer, something bold and imaginative is coming to Mount Olive. The district will introduce Innovation Station, a two-week-long program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Designed for students in grades 1–8, Innovation Station features hands-on learning in various topics ranging from CSI-style investigative technology and kite flying that teaches the fundamentals of flight, to rocketry and robotics.

“STEM isn’t the future, it’s the present,” said Dr. Larrie Reynolds, Superintendent of Schools. “Innovation Station will teach students the principles of STEM and also show how fun they are to apply. The goal is to inspire kids to explore their scientific interests and expand their curiosity. More and more careers will involve STEM and this program will help better prepare students for the world that they’ll live in as adults.”

The program will run from July 28 to August 8 at Mount Olive Middle School. Tuition is $200 per week and includes free transportation for Mount Olive students. Before and afterschool care will be available through the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center at an additional cost.

"STEM is the future for our economy and we need to encourage students to think, explore, and create within these subjects," said Peter Hughes, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. "I'd love to take all the workshops myself. Who doesn't want to fly a drone or launch a rocket?"

The registration deadline is May 15.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.mtoliveboe.org/summercamp.

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Sandshore School
498 Sandshore Rd Budd Lake, NJ 07828
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