Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Parker Space and Senator Steve Oroho (both R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to extend opportunities to earn varsity letters to high school students that participate in competitive activities other than athletics is headed to the Governor's desk after it was passed by the New Jersey General Assembly.

“Extracurricular activities are an integral part of education,” said Assemblyman Space.  “The benefits of competing with schoolmates against peers from other schools – on the playing field or in the auditorium – cannot be overstated. A varsity letter is a source of pride earned through tireless effort, fierce determination and unwavering commitment. By opening the opportunity for a letter to more students, schools are strengthened and student outcomes are enhanced.”

The bill, S-2398, allows school districts to adopt policies allowing high school students who compete in any school-sponsored, interscholastic extracurricular activities to earn a varsity letter awarded by the district.

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Senator Oroho’s meeting with the robotics team from Newton High School led to the District 24 legislative duo to sponsor the bill.  The team builds machines in order to learn more about science and engineering, and they represent the school in robotics competitions throughout the state.

“These students have to train and prepare for their competitions in the same way student-athletes have to prepare for their games,” Senator Oroho said. “The fact they’re focusing on academic competitions rather than sports doesn’t mean they are any less deserving of a varsity letter.”