School #5 Students Donate over $1,000 in Supplies to Oasis

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

On March 30, 2012, about twenty 5th and 6th grade girls from Paterson Public School #5 delivered over $1,000 dollars in baby and family supplies to women at Oasis—a Haven for Women and Children located on Mill Street in Paterson, NJ. This service event was part of the Full Service Community Schools effort at School #5.

In 2010, NJCDC was designated as the lead service provider for the City of Paterson’s inaugural Full Service Community Schools program at School #5. For NJCDC, a school should be a community hub, offering a myriad of programs and services to students and their families.  As such, a community school is a collection of community partnerships and relationships that helps to remove all barriers to a student’s academic, mental, physical and social advancement.

In honor of Women’s History Month, Ms. Hill, a teacher at School #5, led the effort to organize this event. It was advertised to the Girls’ Group as a Women’s History Act of Service, in which they had the opportunity to give back to the women in their community. The girls appealed to their teachers, family members and friends to collect supplies and then delivered the donations to the women and children at Oasis in Paterson’s Historic District.

Community service is a key component to the Full Service Community Schools effort. NJCDC’s CEO Bob Guarasci echoed this point by saying, “Oasis is a great organization fulfilling a critical need in our community, and we are so pleased that young people understand the importance of helping others.” When asked what she liked best about the day, Julissa S., School #5 fifth grader said “I liked seeing the little kids, it made me feel like I was really helping and making a difference in the  kids’ life. When I walked into the waiting center I thought to myself ‘I am making a difference’. I want to tell people about my experience so that they can donate too. It made me feel like an awesome person.”

School #5 Vice Principal Christine Damasceno, the founder of the Girls’ Group has been running the program for the last two years and is extremely passionate about the group. When asked to describe the purpose of the group, she responded “The main message is to teach girls to build their own self-esteem and to have self-respect so that they can become independent women that are well educated and self-reliant. Also I try to teach them that it is better to work together as a team, because women are powerful together—if we work together we can make really big difference.”

Article written by: Nakeefa Bernard, NJCDC Staff Writer