(EAST ORANGE, NJ) - TAPinto East Orange / Orange supports youth as they desire to enter the field of journalism. Our TAPinto Youth Corespondent, Madison Green covered East Orange Mayor's 2nd Town Hall meeting below:

On the 24th of March, East Orange Mayor Ted Green and local officials hosted the second virtual town hall in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents were allowed to ask questions via Facebook, or a conference phone number. With over 800 people connected virtually, the questions varied. Information was provided on local COVID-19 statistics, hospital and testing access, parking rules, schools, and ways to protect yourself and others from the virus. I have chosen to highlight a few that resonated with me from a high school student's perspective.

                One question broached the topic of where kids can go for meals, now that schools are closed. A relevant and important issue as we may neglect to realize how many children under the age of 18 depend on their institutions to provide them with meals. The setting of a statewide curfew, the closing of schools' physical buildings, the lack of work for "non-essential" workers, and New Jersey is on lockdown; it may be difficult to impossible for families to ensure that children receive three meals a day. Assistant Superintendent Deborah Harvest announced East Orange remains prepared to support the town's families with five locations children under the age of 18, who live in East Orange can go for meals: Bowser, Garvin, Houston and Hughes Elementary Schools, and Campus High School. They will serve breakfast and lunch at the same time: between 8:30 AM and 11:30 AM

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                A question on the instructional assistance that will be provided for special needs students during this pandemic was addressed. It was announced that special needs students would continue to participate in the online platforms, such as Google Classroom. Also, child study team members will be reaching out to families of students with special needs, to see how they can assist while the students are at home.

                While many more things were addressed in the almost hour-long town hall, these are just a few of the questions that might be pertinent for students or parents with students in their household.  To say COVID-19 is making a lot of things difficult is an understatement, but we will persevere. As Mayor Ted Green closed, "we are in a time when all of us must come together." We will get through this, for now, we'll just have to weather the storm, and look out for one another by taking care of ourselves, and staying at home.

TAPinto East Orange/Orange is an online newspaper serving East Orange and Orange a part of a network of more than 80 franchised local news sites in NY, NJ, and FL. TAPinto recently won 3 of 5 excellence in local journalism awards by the Center for Cooperative Media in NJ. We are an accredited by the NJ State Police which is done through the New Jersey Press Association in which we are long-standing members of. We take pride in providing the community with objective news, fact finding reporting, while featuring positive stories and awareness campaigns daily.

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