LIVINGSTON, NJ — Youth volunteers from Livingston are receiving national attention through Nickelodeon’s HALO Movement, which encourages young people to use their passion and creativity to help those in need.
Every year, Nickelodeon teams up with its long-standing partner Key Club International to share the stories of kids throughout the country who are “Helping And Leading Others” in their schools and communities. Livingston’s involvement with the movement began when Michelle Bent, communications and community outreach coordinator for Livingston Public Schools (LPS), saw that Key Club International had posted about Livingston High School’s (LHS) 2018 Intergenerational Prom on Twitter.
“I noticed that a rep of Kiwanis International left a message on that post saying that its partner, Nickelodeon, was interested in learning more about the project—so I reached out to her,” said Bent. “She connected me to a producer at Nick. I supplied photos and a description of the prom…and hustled to get photo releases with the help of Liliana Branquinho and Michael Ladolcetta. And it happened! LPS is so proud that our Key Club has been recognized on this level, and that a true Livingston community effort is receiving national attention.”
A commercial that is currently airing periodically on Nickelodeon highlights LHS and the students involved in Key Club, who hosted the school’s 30th annual Intergenerational Prom in April in collaboration with LPS, the Livingston Education Association and the Township of Livingston. The event brought local teens and senior citizens together for an evening of dancing, food, prizes and more.
“The Key Club student volunteers were incredible,” said Branquinho, who spearheaded the event as the township’s Senior & Adult Enrichment and Special Events Supervisor. “Every year I'm amazed by their commitment to this event. They are extremely helpful with all the preparations that day, but also they fundraise throughout the year to help with some of the costs.”
During the event, Branquinho said the students are always extremely attentive to the seniors, and that they have fun mingling and dancing with them.
“We are very fortunate to live in a town where our town council and board of education support our Intergenerational Prom as well as other intergenerational programs,” she said. “This is a great way for youth and senior citizens to learn about each other and share experiences, which fosters understanding among the different generations. There's great value in this and we as a community must continue to support and create events like this.”
According to the HALO Movement website, the kids and families highlighted are those who make the world a better place while inspiring others to do the same.
“Ordinary kids doing extraordinary things—that’s the HALO Movement!” the site states.
See the video highlighting Livingston's youth HERE.