SOMERSET, NJ – The board of education accepted almost $46,000 in grants and donations of money and equipment Thursday night to support programs like integrated sports, the district’s Positive Behavior in Schools (PBIS) effort and leadership training at the high school. 

Frank J. Semcer Sr. donated $25,000 on behalf of the MICRO Company, Somerset-based medical device manufacturer, to support the PBIS program, which covers $2,500 for each school in the district. TAP here to learn more about the PBIS program. 

The Sodhani Foundation gave another $500 towards the PBIS initiative, as well as $3,900 to pay for high school students to attend general leadership training. 

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The Sodhani Foundation funds education scholarships, medical research and organizations that provide food and shelter. Vimal Sodhani, president of the foundation, moved to Franklin Township a few years ago with his wife and felt the need to give back to the community after feeling welcomed by the diverse population. 

“We felt that it is the time to give back to the society at large where we will live for the rest of our life,” Sodhani said. 

The foundation wants to encourage students to take an active role in their education and develop leadership skills to uplift those around them. 

“Our donation … will provide programs such as school leadership mentoring that will teach students the importance of their roles in the community at large and give them leadership skills that will allow their fellow brothers and sisters to break the chains of ignorance and close the achievement gap through mentoring and service,” he said. 

On top of monetary donations, the board also accepted items donated by businesses and nonprofits. 

The Home Depot donated a $700 electric stove for use in the Hamilton Street School life skills lab, Live Like Jonathan Foundation donated a $4,000 retractable wrestling spotlight for the high school gym and Little Kids Rock! donated $1,000 worth of musical equipment to MacAfee School, including ukuleles, guitars, a drum kit and PA system.

The board also accepted an $11,000 Play Unified Grant through the Special Olympics of New Jersey to fund the district’s participation in integrated sports and physical education. 

TAPinto Franklin/Somerset is independently owned and operated by  Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate. 

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