Giving Back

Post Sandy Belmar Tutoring & Mentoring Program Led by Volunteers


On Saturday, May 11, 40 volunteers worked with young students, grades K-3, in the Belmar Elementary School Tutoring and Mentoring Program, located in Belmar, NJ, sponsored by the alumni driven Yale Day of Service and Stanford Beyond the Farm programs. While this program originally called for 15 volunteers, Principal Lisa Hannah was thrilled to more than double the number of students and add two more grades.

Coordinated by Short Hills resident, Lise P. Chapman, Site Leader, this collaborative effort brought volunteers from Stanford, Yale, Counselor Education - Kean University, Congregation B'nai Jeshurun, Junior League of the Oranges & Short Hills, Millburn High School students, and residents from many NJ and NY communities.

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Designed in partnership with the school administration, this half day service program, 9am-1:30pm, was divided into three parts: training, tutoring and mentoring with discussion about career explorations. After an orientation and training by the school teachers during the first hour, the volunteers met individually each with a student and worked on literacy and math exercises for over two hours (with a hula hoop break!). During this time, additional Spanish-speaking volunteers shared conversations about teaching and learning with 20 parents.

MHS seniors, Krista Young, Gabrielle McCann participated with Saachi Gupta, who commented, “I was paired with first grader Alexa, who is an amazing reader. Her enthusiasm for learning was truly inspiring, which made sharing what makes reading so special. During lunch, several of the young girls, who were so enthusiastic about math, encouraged us to talk about our future math studies in college. Mrs. Chapman and the principal of Belmar Elementary School have set up a program that has the potential to be incredibly impactful in empowering elementary school students to dream as big as they want, and to help them to take the first steps towards fulfilling their limitless potential.”

After a group photo with over 100 participants, the groups re-met for lunch with each volunteer paired with one student or in small groups and talked about their personal career path. Other volunteers enjoyed conversations with parents. The children, parents and school administration were excited to hear about the variety of careers shared by volunteers, included computer and software design, electrical engineering, law, finance, interior design, counseling, public health, medicine, teaching, and special education.

Short Hills resident, Sharon Portnoi, spearheading Congregation B’nai Jeshurun’s volunteer opportunities in Belmar is hoping to find a way to involve the children in its Religious School program.  Mrs. Portnoi commented, “Wow! What an unbelievable day! The school administration was so incredibly welcoming and appreciative of us being there. And the kids were adorable, well-behaved and eager to learn. It was truly a win-win for everyone. I look forward to continuing our relationship with the town of Belmar in the future”.

Volunteers came together from different backgrounds and cultures to make a difference to these students, who were struggling academically and socially even before SuperStorm Sandy hit this town.  It was truly an inspiring day. Going forward, many of the volunteers will be working with school administration to develop a sustainable monthly Saturday morning program for the K-8 students, which also could include children volunteers. For those interested in being part of this program, contact Principal Lisa Hannah, or  Lise Chapman,

Lise commented, “I am thrilled about the number of volunteers who reached out to help today. It is truly overwhelming to see this much support and genuine care for others." She added, "When you are working with children on a one to one basis, you can really feel the difference you are making right then and there. Seeing the smile on a child’s face, that is the part why we all volunteered today and helped them dream. I am excited about the opportunity to work together with volunteers to create a sustainable monthly weekend program for these students.”

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South Orange Police Blotter - Six Adult Arrests Reported

December 10, 2016

South Orange Police Blotter as of December 10

Adult Arrest - Isiah Martin, a 24 year old Newark resident, and Kelly Green, a 24 year old Newark resident, were arrested on Wednesday, Dec. 7,  at approximately 1:45 p.m. for outstanding arrest warrants out of Irvington. Officers stopped the subjects, who were driving a 2000 Oldsmobile, for motor vehicle violations in municipal parking ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Daytime Home Burglaries Reported

November 30 - Burglary; Between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. a home on Warren Rd. was forcibly entered.  Jewelry and electronics were reportedly removed from the home.

December 1 - Burglary Attempt; During the daytime hours, entry was attempted to a home on the 100 block of Parker Ave.

December 1 - Burglary; During the daytime hours a home on Melman Terr. was forcibly ...

Holiday Events at Maplewood's Dickens Village

December 9, 2016

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Breakfast with Santa is on December 10 at St.

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MAPLEWOOD, NJ - This Sunday, Dec. 11, is the 4th Annual Holiday Celebration at the Springfield Avenue Gazebo (1688 Springfield Ave.) from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A program of the Maplewood Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs and the Springfield Avenue Partnership, and sponsored by Meineke Car Care Center, the event will feature cookies, hot chocolate, photos with ...

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Santa Claus will be at the South Orange firehouse for visits and pictures with kids from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Upcoming Events


Sat, December 10, 7:00 PM

Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit

Holiday Concert at Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, December 11, 11:00 AM

Ethical Culture Society of Essex County, Maplewood

Amy Blake: Educational Initiative Program on ...


Mon, December 12, 1:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Holiday Cookie Swap at the Millburn Library

Education Food & Drink


Tue, December 13, 6:00 PM

The Westin Princeton At Forrestal Village, Princeton

ACG NJ Announces Princeton Event December 13th, ...

Arts & Entertainment Business & Finance Food & Drink

Obituary: Murray H. Ross

November 27, 2016

Murray H. Ross

Born in Glen Cove, NY on Jan. 17, 1926
Departed on Nov. 21, 2016 and resided in Maplewood, NJ

Murray H. Ross, 90 of Maplewood formerly of Carlisle, PA died at Winchester Gardens on Mon, Nov 21, 2016. 

Murray was born in Glen Cove, Long Island. He lived most of his life in Cranford, NJ before moving to Carlisle, PA. He moved to Maplewood 2 ...

Search for Next Director of Special Services & Survey

November 28, 2016

The following was sent via email on Nov. 28 to the South Orange Maplewood School District Community 

Dear South Orange & Maplewood School Community,

Dr. Leroy Nunery of Atlantic Research Partners is the consultant selected to lead our search for the new Director of Special Education. The following timeline has been developed to lead us to a recommendation to the ...

How to Avoid Inspection Pitfalls

Buying or selling a home is not for the faint of heart. The older homes in this area are charming; but with age, comes issues. Getting an accepted offer is only step 1 in the process. Along the way the agreement can be derailed during attorney review, the appraisal, the mortgage process, and the inspection.

If you are planning to sell your home in the next few months, I recommend doing some ...

Court Date Set for Man Suspected of Killing Montclair College Student

December 9, 2016

NEWARK, NJ – Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, 20, of Orange, is set to appear in court on Tuesday, December 13, on charges that he allegedly killed New Jersey City University Sophomore Sarah Butler, 20, of Montclair.

Wheeler-Weaver will appear before the Hon. Ronald Wigler, PJ Cr. at the Essex County Superior Court, officials announced. 

Butler was ...

Hundreds of Gingerbread Creations on Display at Morristown's Frelinghuysen Arboretum

December 10, 2016

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The 25th Annual Gingerbread Wonderland features over 100 ...

TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger Talks Local Travel Security at Seton Hall University

December 1, 2016

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger discussed the future of Newark International Airport and local travel security as a guest lecturer at Seton Hall on Tuesday night.

Neffenger spoke about his career as head of the TSA, as well as the success of the administration’s Instagram account @TSA, which has over 500,000 followers. He cited rehabilitating the public ...

Rahway River Study to See Completion; Lance Gets Water Infrastructure Package Passed

December 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07)  secured authorization of the Rahway River Basin Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study in the final water infrastructure package that passed the U.S. House on a 360 - 61 vote.  Lance’s Rahway River provision instructs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finish the study.  The U.S. Senate is expected to pass the measure ...

Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime at the Burgdorff Center in Maplewood

Suburban Legend Presents Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime January 6-8 and 13-15, 2017 at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts in Maplewood.

For the fifth straight year Suburban Legend brings you the perfect cure for the post-holiday blues with another uproarious play. Gadzooks! A Very Arthurian Pantomime opens at the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, January 6 at ...

Second Suspect Arrested in Killing of Cabdriver in Orange

ORANGE, NJ - Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray and Orange Police Director Todd Warren have announced that authorities have arrested a second suspect in connection with the Nov. 30 killing of Jonas Larose in Orange. Larose, a cabdriver was fatally shot at approximately 11 p.m.

A sixteen year old juvenile was arrested on December 2, 2016 and charged with the murder of Larose.