BRICK Education Network (BEN) is launching a week-long, citywide campaign help motivate students and remind them that school is still in session during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BEN, a Newark-based charter management organization, is asking educators and community leaders to join them in sharing inspirational words of encouragement with students by video.

From May 18 to May 22, BEN will be leading theme-day activities with helpful tips for families about how to keep students motivated and ideas for recreational activities to keep young people occupied. 

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BEN will also share other valuable information regarding Food Bank resources and other essential needs.

"We are dedicating the week of May 18 through 22 to remind our youth that while school buildings may be closed, school is still in session,” said Dominique Lee, Founder and CEO of BRICK Education Network (BEN). 

“As the school year winds down, it’s difficult to keep students motivated under typical circumstances, so we are launching a social media campaign and sharing helpful resources and advice for families who are at home with our young people,” Lee said. 

The campaign will use the hashtag #SchoolsStillInSession

Schools throughout New Jersey have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Gov. Phil Murphy closed schools buildings for the state's 1.4 million students in March and announced last week that school buildings would remain off limits for the rest of the year.

Lee said school offers students a positive, safe environment to learn in, and many students are missing the structure and social support it provides while many students are challenged to stay focused on their schoolwork during this difficult time. In addition, Lee said, there are some students who teachers have not been able to reach since school closed.

“We have seen so many students who are thriving in these uncertain times. We have also seen students who are understandably missing that critical social support network that school provides,” Lee said. “Our #SchoolStillInSession week-long campaign is one way to reach out to our students and let them know that their school community is still here for them throughout this crisis. We will get through this together.”
 
In addition to the campaign, BEN is providing valuable resources to assist Newark families, including:

  • Touchless Emergency Food and Health & Wellness Care Package Delivery Service
  • One-to-One Virtual Support with a South Ward Children’s Alliance (SWCA) Master Level Social Worker
  • Peer-to-Peer Virtual Grief Support from IMAGINE
  • Emergency Resources and Cash Assistance from our Family Hub
  • Enhanced government assistance navigation (with the new Federal Stimulus package) benefits.gov 

To join the campaign and submit a video, please email SchoolStillInSession@MercuryLLC.com. Starting Monday, May 18, video submissions will be shared over BEN’s social media as part of the campaign.