ROXBURY, NJ - With the school year half over, Kennedy School celebrated the 100-day milestone recently by giving back to the community when its Early Act Club held a toiletries drive for Roxbury Social Services.

“The students brainstormed ideas around the 100th day of school and, since we donate food items to the food pantry in the fall, they wanted to donate the other items that are in need at the food pantry,” said club advisors Tina Banta and Rebecca Peppel,

Early Act was informed by a parent that Roxbury Social Services was in high need of toilet paper but its website also explained they also needed items other than food. The club generated buzz about the collection by sending home flyers and by making student-generated posters to advertise the challenge.

Sign Up for E-News

Each grade collected a particular group of items. The preschool and Kindergarten were tasked with collecting toilet paper, Q-tips, and cotton balls while the first grade collected toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash. Second grade had shampoo and conditioner with third grade covering the hairbrushes and hair bands. Fourth graders collected bars of soap, body wash and deodorant.

The end goal was to have each grade donate 100 items for the 100th day of school within 15 days. The majority of the grades reached this goal while others blew it out of the water more than 200 items collected in just one grade. In the end, more than 500 items were collected with many of those items being multi-pack sets.

“Our students know that they are very fortunate but there are people right here in Roxbury who are less fortunate and that all it takes is a simple donation to help out,” explained Banta.

“Students learn about giving back to the community and helping those in need. We talk about how when we help others, just seeing how happy it makes those receiving something makes us just as happy," added Pepper. "We just hope that they take the feeling of giving back and continue to do so on their own."” 

Kennedy’s Early Act President Katrinka Sullivan added, “I feel great knowing that I am helping the community and people who need our help the most right now during a hard part of their lives.”

Lily Phelan-Fonseca, the Early Act Secretary echoed those thoughts: “We raised a lot of items and it makes me happy that we got to give it to all the people who don’t have them and need them.”

Kennedy’s Early Act program is composed of 45 members, 30 fourth-graders and 15 third-graders. It is a school-wide service club for the elementary students and is sponsored by the Roxbury Rotary Club.

Kennedy’s Early Act Students are:

  • Avah Bloom-Hagler
  • Nick Colatrella
  • Therese Ohene-Ologo
  • Katie Rittger
  • Jack Scalfani
  • Taylor Schauble
  • Katelyn Smith
  • Trinka Sullivan   
  • Brady Boryeskne
  • Sergio Chico
  • Tyler Curtis
  • Wyatt Glasser
  • Ian Hills
  • Franco Leon
  • Natalie Novillo
  • Henna Patel
  • Lily Phelan-Fonseca
  • Amanda Pieklo
  • Ava Pennisi
  • Jada Scalfani
  • Valentina Ambra
  • Madelynn Anderson
  • Rebecca Corrado
  • Dylan Cooper
  • Cole Fedorchak
  • Cora Jacobsen
  • Meghan Lockman
  • Ava Sabella
  • William Sullivan
  • Julianna Uccello
  • Nicholas Alston
  • Andrea Bowles
  • Avery Maida
  • Griffin Reynolds
  • Evan White
  • Mya DeKorte
  • Emery Scavino
  • Joshua Tidwell
  • Katheleen Tusa
  • Niko White
  • Brady Batsch
  • Cymone Stephen
  • Beau Wawrin
  • Paul Hakkenberg
  • Shay Jackson

The Early Acts website says “The mission and operation of Early Act are closely linked to the ideals of Rotary and provide the foundation and natural succession into the Interact Club at the high school.”

The site goes on to say, “Early Act provides young students the opportunity for gaining an increased awareness and knowledge of their community and the world. At a young age, all students can easily be encouraged to be caring and helpful. Their minds are open to recognize the dignity and worth of each individual which builds respect for others. It also engages students in character-building activities and prepares them for leadership roles to identify and carry out projects which benefit their school, local, and global communities.”

Roxbury Social Services assists low-income working families, seniors, and people with disabilities, living on fixed incomes. The food pantry exists solely on the generous donations from individuals and local businesses as many individuals and families in the Township rely on social services and the food pantry.