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Franklin Lakes Brothers Help Our Preschool Students Start the Year Prepared to Learn

Franklin Lakes Brothers Help Our Preschool Students Start the Year Prepared to Learn

September 8, 2023

This week, 105 three- and four-year-old students at our Paterson Family Center preschool were excited to start the new school year. Even better, each student got to start the year ready for success with a backpack full of school supplies! The school supplies were purchased with funds raised by two high school students from Franklin Lakes who wanted the preschoolers to have the same access to quality education that they have.

NJCDC founded the Paterson Family Center in 2003 to provide free, quality education and after-school programming to give Paterson youth a strong foundation for educational success. Now in its 20th school year, the Paterson Family Center serves 105 three- and four-year-olds and their families through a safe and supportive learning environment and connections to community resources and services that allow the entire family to succeed.

Two brothers, Nick and Brian Princiotta, came up with an idea for a back-to-school drive over the summer. They reached out to friends and family members to help and were able to raise over $3,000 to purchase school supplies for the students at our Paterson Family Center Preschool.

We wanted to focus on school because in our town [Franklin Lakes] we have so many opportunities," said Brian. "Our town is so focused on school and we realized that people around us don't have the same education and opportunities that we have, so we felt like we need to give back and help other people.

With the donated funds, the Paterson Family Center's Director, Maria Camacho, then purchased all of the supplies the 105 preschool students would need for the year, including backpacks, notebooks, pencils, glue sticks, and more. She said, "As the Director of PFC, it has been such a rewarding experience to know that all of the 105 students of the center will start the school year with all the necessary supplies to have a wonderful and successful school year! The community surrounding a student is so impactful on their success and we are so lucky to have members of our community that are willing to go above and beyond for our little learners. Thank you to the Princiotta family in thinking of PFC!"

Then, a few weeks before school started, the brothers — who are entering ninth and tenth grades — came to Paterson with their mother and grandmother to fill backpacks for the students. The boys expressed interest in continuing to help less fortunate children in Paterson, and are excited to start a club with fellow students who want to help Paterson! They'll spend the first few weeks of the school year getting to know their teachers and deciding which teacher they want to be the club's advisor, and then they'll organize more opportunities for their classmates to raise money and donate supplies to Paterson youth.

Before the new school year started, families of Paterson Family Center students were invited to a special orientation event at our Great Falls Youth Center where backpacks were distributed to each student. PFC parent Jazmin Frey said, "The drive was such a nice gesture – especially because a lot of families cannot always afford buying their children supplies. It was very refreshing and comforting feeling at the beginning of the school year!"

On the first day of school, every Paterson Family Center Preschool student arrived ready to learn!

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