Education

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Westfield Chapters of Girls Learn International Attend United Nations Summit

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Students and advisors from the Westfield Public Schools’ Girls Learn International Chapters who attended the United Nations Summit/Speak Out for the International Day of the Girl raise their hands as a symbol of solidarity in support of girls’ education worldwide.  The group stands in front of the Norman Rockwell mosaic called The Golden Rule that contains the inscription, “Do unto Others as You Would Have Them Do unto You.”  Credits: Westfield Public Schools
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Forming one of the largest contingencies in attendance at the United Nations in New York City, a total of 46 students in grades 7 – 12 and their advisors from the Roosevelt and Edison Intermediate Schools and Westfield High School chapters of Girls Learn International (GLI) attended the International Day of the Girl Speak Out on October 11. Left to right in the foreground are Roosevelt students Sofia Toglia, Stephen Handzy, Giovanna Sternberg, and Deanna Hanchuk.  The theme of this year’s summit was Innovating for Girls’ Education, and the event highlighted girls' commitment to improving their communities and provided governments with concrete recommendations based on the global action of girls.  Credits: Westfield Public Schools
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Forming one of the largest contingencies in attendance at the United Nations in New York City, a total of 46 students in grades 7 – 12 and their advisors from the Roosevelt and Edison Intermediate Schools and Westfield High School chapters of Girls Learn International (GLI) attended the International Day of the Girl “Speak Out” on October 11.

The theme of this year’s summit was Innovating for Girls’ Education, and the event highlighted girls' commitment to improving their communities and provided governments with concrete recommendations based on the global action of girls.  Girl presenters told their stories of community change and illuminated how the projects girls are working on affecting more than just girls, but benefit the entire community. 

Several girls from around the world (the United States, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Algeria and Guatemala) reported on their activism and how they are making a difference in the lives of girls in their countries. The panelists were then addressed by UN representatives and delegates from various government missions who acted as respondents.  Some of the respondents included the Executive Director of UN Women, the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, the First Lady of Peru, and the Ambassador of Turkey.

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Westfield students were moved by the stories told by the young panelists and inspired by their innovative projects.  One girl from Burkina Faso, named Malika, described her campaign to support girls’ education by distributing bicycles to girls in rural villages in her country to provide a safer and more efficient means of getting to school.

Lindsey Sharlow, an 8th grader from Westfield stated, “To see girls our age going through such struggles and then coming back with a plan to change the situation for girls around the world was empowering.”  Eighth grader Nadia Matin stated, “For the first time, I could actually see that the power of young feminists can change the world.” 

All of the presentations at the International Day of the Girl Speak Out at the United Nations were a reminder that through innovation and individual talent, young people can make a difference.  Eighth grader, Giovanna Sternberg noted, “When I looked around during the Speak Out, I noticed that the Westfield Chapters of Girls Learn International made up a good portion of the audience.  This made me aware of the big impact that young people from our very own town can have on the lives of others around the world through activism.”

The event was planned by the Working Group on Girls (of which GLI is a member organization) in conjunction with the missions of Canada, Peru and Turkey. The Working Group on Girls promotes the human rights of the girl in all areas and stages of her life.  This work is done through the inclusion and presence of girls in the United Nations system. 

Accompanying the Westfield students to the event were Westfield GLI advisors/teachers Karen Lust and Dominick Ceccio - Roosevelt; Tamara Yellin and Cecilia Valdes – Edison; and Westfield High School parent Judy Augustino, a chaperone for the event.  Sandra McCarthy, the GLI advisor the High School was unable to attend the Speak Out.

GLI first took root in Westfield in 2003 by its founder, former Board of Education member Lisa Alter.  Today through weekly or bi-weekly after school meetings, Westfield students learn about human rights and gender issues through engaging activities from a curriculum provided by GLI.  Students also communicate and exchange cultural projects with a partner school in a country where girls still lag behind boys in access to education.

The Westfield GLI chapters are partnered with Abdullah Bin Omar School in Afghanistan, and raise funds to support girls’ education initiatives at our partner school, such as covering tuition and purchasing school supplies.   Representatives from Westfield’s chapter network with other chapters around the country through webinars or Student Advisory Board Meetings held in New York City.  Over the past several years, select students from Westfield Chapters have acted as delegates to the United Nations for an entire week during the Commission on the Status of Women and have worked with young people from other countries and nongovernmental organizations to set policy related to women and girls.

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Dianne Grossman, Mallory's Mom & Founder of Mallory's Army, to Speak in Scotch Plains

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Upcoming Events

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Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale

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Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

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July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

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This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

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Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

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Account consolidation offers the ...

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Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

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Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

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It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You

EMOTIONAL EATING: FEEDING YOUR FEELINGS

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Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

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The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

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“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

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LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...

Obituaries

Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
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