TOWACO, NJ – Brady Garb, (age 11), of Towaco, a sixth grade student at Robert R. Lazar Middle School, in Montville, has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with a President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The award, which recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country, was granted by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of President Barack Obama. Cedar Hill Elementary School nominated Brady for national honors this fall in recognition of his volunteer service.

Brady was an active participant of Cedar Hill’s 5th Grade Character Education Committee and his tireless efforts on behalf of those less fortunate have made a difference locally and globally.  Brady used his mathematical skills to manage fundraising events. His methodical practices ensured successful ethical fundraising for the causes that are so important to Brady.  While on the committee, Brady volunteered nearly every recess and lunch period for the entire school year to support a fellow student in Ghana, Africa as well as a local burn-victim.

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Brady said that “being on the 5th grade Character Education Committee has made me realize that I can help make someone's life a little better, which has helped build my own character and moral.”

Dr. Cathy Lundquist and Ms. Heather Praml, faculty advisors to the committee, said that, “Brady was chosen for the 5th grade Character Education Committee by his peers and teachers. It was evident from the beginning that he was respectful, dedicated and committed. Brady is quiet, but when he speaks, everyone listens.”

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), recognizes middle level and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service.

“The recipients of these awards demonstrate that young people across America are making remarkable contributions to the health and vitality of their communities,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial.  “By recognizing these students and placing a spotlight on their volunteer activities, we hope to motivate others to consider how they can also contribute to their community.”

"Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life," said NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti.  "These honorees practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate."

Prudential Spirit of Community Award applications were distributed nationwide last September through middle level and high schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and HandsOn Network affiliates.  These schools and officially-designated local organizations nominated Local Honorees, whose applications were advanced for state-level judging. In addition to granting President’s Volunteer Service Awards on behalf of President Barack Obama, The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards selected State Honorees, Distinguished Finalists and Certificate of Excellence recipients. Volunteer activities were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

Cedar Hill Elementary School, a Montville Township Public School located in the Towaco section of Montville, serves approximately 400 students in grades Kindergarten through Five. The school’s mission statement indicates that every stakeholder in the learning community unites in an effort to engage children in the joy of learning. Cedar Hill encourages students to accept responsibility and to contribute their gifts and talents to realize their potential as citizens of a global society. Throughout the year, students participate in a variety of activities that reinforce the theme of respect for themselves, each other, and the school community—Cedar Hill students Connect with Respect. Cedar Hill Elementary School is a recent recipient of the 2015 NJ State School of Character Award.  The entire school community’s character education efforts are led by approximately ten 5th grade students on the Character Education Committee. This committee chooses what causes to support—carefully researching, selecting and fundraising.  Students learn from their parents and teachers the importance of contributing to the community as citizens by helping those in need.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States and 35 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.  For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit                    

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