Since 2007, J.P. Mascaro and Sons has been giving back to its communities through the Respect Program. Aimed at children in grades two to five, the program goes into elementary schools across the 12 counties the trash and recycling hauling company serves.
“We decided to do something in education as a company,” said staffer Katie Mascaro. “We teach the children about respect; respect for themselves, for people, for the environment.”
Through interactive assemblies, the program teaches children, free of charge, about respect. Included in the program is a poster contest. For the same age students, awards are given out for first, second, and third grade winners.
Lindsay Mascaro Ptaszenski said that for grand-prize winners, a laptop is the coveted prize.
The Respect Program breaks down each letter as such:
to educate the youngsters about everything from taking care of one another to placing plastics into recycling bins.
“Prizes this year alone total over $5,000,” said Ptaszenski.
In addition, J.P. Mascaro and Sons also operates a grant program. Schools participating in the Respect Program may apply for funding, of up to $5,000, to host their own continuation of programs to teach respect.
This year, 27 schools were rewarded with such grant money.
“This year along, with the 27 schools, we are going to reward over $50,000 in educational grants,” said Ptaszenski. “Since its start [of the grant portion] in 2010, we’ve rewarded over $150,000 in grants, all under the Respect Program, with J.P. Mascaro making the contributions.”
With its newest addition to the program, a new Star Student Award was also created. Each year, one male and one female student will win an award as nominated by educators, principals and teachers.
“These students show characteristics of respect each and every day,” said Mascaro. “Students win a $250 prize, and since we believe in paying it forward, they also choose a charity to give $250 to on their behalf.”
In its second year, the business had nine nominees for the Star Student. Its winners were Nicole Westcott, grade five, from Media Elementary School. She was present, despite her last day of school for the year, to collect her winnings in person.
Unable to make the trip was male winner Marco Inigo Cadag, a fifth-grade student at Sacred Heart in Rockaway, N.J.
Encompassing service for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey towns, as far north as Scranton and as far out as Morris County, N.J., guests gathered from near and far to attend the awards ceremony, which was held Friday afternoon at the J.P. Mascaro headquarters in Audubon, Pa.
Local winners for the awards, who were invited to attend the ceremony, which included a full buffet of food and drinks for all ages, were presented their prizes, plaques and framed posters by Mascaro, Ptaszenski and fellow-school presenter Nicole Hager.
The company, which started in the family home in Norristown 50 years ago, has blossomed into a major corporation, serving hundreds of homes across two states. In its eighth program, the company, which was founded in 1964, felt it was “our obligation to participate and give back into our communities,” said Ptaszenski. “The Respect Program is one example of that.”
Winners of the school grant program included:
· Penn Christian Academy $1,784
· Lorane Elementary School $3,856
· Jefferson Elementary $3,500
· Whitehall Elementary $1,192
· Tinicum Elementary School $1,000
· Mother Teresa Regional School
· Paul Fry Elementary School $3,600
· Robeson Elementary Center $3,250
· Holy Cross School $802.72
· Roosevelt Elementary School $5,000
· Blair Christian Academy $3,500
· Woodland Elementary School $1,140
· Media Elementary School $2,000
· S. Solis Cohen Elementary $2,000
· Lighthouse Christian Academy $1,100
· Monocacy Elementary $2,000
· East Ward Elementary School $750
· Walnut Street Elementary $750
· Cole Manor Elementary $750
Poster contest winners were also announced and presented at the ceremony. First, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” winners were announced. Those students were given a gift card, an art kit and a sketch book for their efforts.
Those students included:
R: Respect – Sonoma, of Creek Elementary
E: Environment – Drew, of Woodland Elementary
S: Special Message – Angela, of St. Charles Bonaventure School
P: Presentation – Nicolas, of St. Andrew’s School
E: Everyday Message – Noah, of Grace Park and Nina, of West Elementary
C: Creative – Abigail, of St. James School
T: Talent – Madison, of Issac Trip and Katie, of Woodland Elementary
Following the two star students being named, the winners for the poster awards for first through third places in second through fifth grades, were honored with their winnings before family, friends, teachers and principals.
Winners of the poster awards included:
· Second Grade
o First place: Elaina
o Second place: Demming of Renaissance Academy
o Third place: Cate of St. Andrews
· Third Grade
o First place: Abigail, of Woodland Elementary
o Second place: Nicolas, of St. Gerome
o Third place: Ashland, of Visitation BVM
· Fourth Grade
o First place: Elizabeth, of St. Patrick’s School
o Second place: Sarah, of Shimona Creek Elementary
o Third place: Erin, of St. Jame’s
· Fifth Grade
o First place: Isabella of Mary Mother of the Redeemer
o Second place: Alicia, of Doyles Park Elementary
o Third place: Reese
Posters were voted on by the entire staff of J.P. Mascaro and Sons in Audubon. One local winner was thrilled with her prize.
Abigail, of Woodland Elementary, age 9, lives in Lower Providence Township. She said she worked while she was sick to create her poster.
“It took me about five days,” said Abigail. “I was sick, so I worked on it then, drawing.”
Using colored pencils, pens and letters from a magazine, she created a unique poster, which won her a laptop computer. When asked what she would do with her very first computer all of her own, she has many ideas.
“I’m going to type, play games,” she said.
Frank Sau, director of communications at J.P. Mascaro and Sons, said he was happy that his company could do so much.
“We really wanted to give back by getting into the schools,” he said. “After eight years of being implemented, it has really grown. As the company grows, our program grows as we head into new areas, new school districts.”
For more information on obtaining the Respect Program for your school, call 1-888-MASCARO or visit the program’s website here.