On Tuesday, March 8, Madison School District will take a break from giving homework and scheduling after-school activities so that families can spend quality time together.  The event is being endorsed by the Madison Board of Education in partnership with The Madison Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse (MAASA). 
“We know how committed our families are to spending quality time together, and yet the demands of daily life often get in the way.  In an effort to help facilitate this time with loved ones, the Madison School District has declared Tuesday, March 8, 2011, "Stay at Home Night,” said Nicole Sherrin, Principal of Madison Junior School.  “All five schools in the district have agreed to support this program by not assigning homework, scheduling test or quizzes the next day, and limiting sporting events to practices which would be finished by 5 pm.  It is our hope that all Madison families will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to slow life down a little and do something special with those who count the most,” she added. 
The idea for the Madison Stay at Home Night was inspired by a panel discussion sponsored by MAASA on the book, “Teenagers Learn What they Live,” by Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D. and Rachel Harris, L.C.S.W.  Ph.D.  “One of the challenges that families have today is finding quality time together.  A community in Connecticut sponsors a monthly family night to give families the opportunity to stay home, share dinner and spend quality time together and we are glad that our schools and town are doing the same,” stated Christine Shesler, a MAASA representative.  “Statistics show that children in families who spend time enjoying family meals together are less likely to use drugs and alcohol,” she added.
In addition to the schools refraining from assigning homework and after-school activities, downtown businesses are partnering to show their support.  “For example, Nicky’s Firehouse Restaurant & Pizza in Madison is offering a dinner special.  We are hopeful that the community and other downtown businesses will get involved and partner with the school district,” stated John Morris, President, Madison Chamber of Commerce. 
For more information on the Madison “Stay at Home Night,” please contact Nicole Sherrin, Principal, Madison Junior School, 160 Main Street, at 973-593-3149.