SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – An initiative, launched on social media this past weekend, aims to recognize members of South Plainfield High School’s (SPHS) Class of 2020. 

On May 17, resident Jennifer Carter (Grajko), a special education middle school teacher in the Edison School District, took to Facebook and launched the South Plainfield chapter of ‘Adopt a Senior 2020 – South Plainfield, NJ.’ Part of a nationwide grassroots community initiative, the goal of the project is to celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduates. 

“Being a teacher, I feel for all children right now. They are missing out on so much and, for seniors, that is compounded in so many ways. There’s all these rites of passage that, because of the current situation, they are completely missing out on,” said Carter, telling TAPinto South Plainfield that she got the idea when she herself was invited to ‘Adopt a Senior’ group established for Edison graduates. “I thought this was something that our community would embrace.”

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Through ‘Adopt a Senior,’ parents of SPHS seniors are encouraged to post a photo and description of their child, including some details about them, their accomplishments, future plans, etc. Residents, teachers, family members, friends, and others members of the group can then ‘adopt’ one of the seniors and celebrate them with small tokens such as balloons, cards, flowers, baked goods, letters, etc. 

“The goal is to celebrate their achievements in some way, whatever is within your budget, and encourage them the best way you can,” said Carter. 

To find an ‘adoptable’ senior, click on the ‘#adoptme’ tab, comment on the specific student, and send a personal message to the parent to let them know and find out other small details about their child’s likes and interests. Note, seniors can only be posted for ‘adoption’ once and, to ensure all seniors get ‘adopted,’ Carter is asking that each senior only be ‘adopted’ by one person at this time. Seniors who have been adopted already will be listed under the ‘#adopted’ tag. 

“If someone is adopted already, please wait. As more people find out about this and join the group, we will have more seniors to ‘adopt,’ she said. “It would be great if every member of the senior class is ‘adopted.’ 

There are approximately 230 students in South Plainfield High School’s Class of 2020; as of press time, about 40 seniors have been posted to the site and ‘adopted’ with the group’s growing membership waiting for additional seniors to ‘adopt.’ Although the site is private, it is accessible through a direct link (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1478419239006223/). Current members are also encouraged to invite trusted family, friends, and neighbors as well as fellow students, teachers and staff. 

“South Plainfield is such a family-oriented, close-knit community and I have never felt so much a part of something as I have these past few months. I am so happy to live here and that my kids are going to South Plainfield schools,” said Carter, whose two children attend Riley Elementary. “In such a short time, so many have stepped up and want to be a part of this effort to recognize our seniors. Here, everyone is looking out for everybody.”

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