PATERSON, NJ- Strengthening their community through collective action was a recurring theme in Paterson’s 5th Ward on Friday as students, teachers, elected officials, the Department of Public Works, and others came together for two separate events with the potential to make a lasting impact on the city.
First, members of the Eastside High School Student Government Association (SGA) spent several hours sweeping, bagging trash, planting flowers, and beautifying the area around the Eastside Education Campus. Their work ended with the unveiling of street signs marking the “adoption” of the park by the SGA, signifying an agreement by the student leaders to keep the neighborhood litter free and green
Later in the day about 60 fifth grade students of the Martin Luther King School visited Pan American Park and celebrated the installation of the latest “Little Free Library.” This “library,” the 13th of it’s kind in the city, is part of a greater effort by MLK School teacher, and Paterson’s poet laureate, Talena Lachelle Queen, to bring reading to adults and children alike throughout Paterson.
“Little Free Library” is a national movement that encourages individuals to share the love of reading, building and maintaining book lending boxes where residents are encouraged to donate and borrow.
“These students taught all of Paterson a lesson today,” 5th Ward Councilman Luis Velez said to TAPinto Paterson. “Making our community better, making it stronger, is something that we all need to invest in. That is true and real leadership.”
Both events were held as part of Mayor Jane Williams-Warren's "Student Ambassador Program" which encouraged students from every city school to develop and lead a "quality of life" project within the Paterson community.
Do you have a story about students, or other residents, making a positive impact in Paterson? Email TAPinto Paterson editor Steve Lenox.