MONTCLAIR, NJ – The Montclair Public Schools celebrated their fourth annual district-wide Family Night on Wednesday. The goal of family night is to give parents and students a break from events and homework so that families can focus on spending time together.

All afterschool activities and events had been canceled for the one day and teachers did not assign homework so that families may have a night “off”.

Mary Emanuelli, former Bullock PTA president, proposed the idea to the PTA Council three years ago. “Hopefully, by having a designated family dinner night, with the support of the school district, it will relieve some of the after school and evening obligations so families can all eat together,” she said at the inception. “It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; whether it’s something you cook with your kids, pizza, chicken fingers, soup and salad, or leftover pot roast, the idea is to get the whole family to the dinner table at the same time.”

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Current Montclair PTA president Diane Anglin said she recalls the first Family Night and thought that it was a great idea. “Local restaurants bought into the idea (no pun intended) by providing Family Take Out menus which a lot of families found helpful. It is so hard for families to find time to spend together as a family with homework, extra-curricular activities, working/traveling parents, etc. It is so great that our district has supported this initiative to aside a day for some good old fashion dinner at the table talk,” she said.

“I hope that all families take this opportunity to share time with each other, turn of their cell phones and other electronics and just enjoy each other’s company,” continued Anglin. “Pull out the checkers, make some cookies, or just curl up on the couch and talk. Whatever you do on Family Night...Enjoy!” 

“I am pleased the district continues to promote this homework and activity-free night,” added Superintendent Penny MacCormack, “and I encourage all of our families to take this opportunity away from the daily stressors to relax and engage with one another.”