SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD — Since the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Scotch Plains-Fanwood students at Coles Elementary have experienced events and opportunities to demonstrate some of the school community’s core values — supporting others in the community, respect, and making healthy and safe choices.
The Cultural Arts Committee invited the Great & Powerful Dave to lead an educational and motivational anti-bullying assembly for the Coles students. Using magic and laughs, Dave helped to deliver a powerful message of kindness and respect along with demonstrating easy-touse strategies to handle bullying encounters in and out of school.
Coles families carried on the tradition of the Sharing Lunches Program, in which students prepare and share lunches with local families in need. This school year’s first of six donation days resulted in 193 brown-bag lunches delivered to the Salvation Army. Sharing Lunches is a cornerstone of the Coles Kids Care effort and is an easy way to engage even the youngest of students in giving back to the local community.
In early October, many Coles students and their families celebrated the Walk to School event along with local Fanwood and Scotch Plains celebrities. Accompanied by Scotch Plains-Fanwood Superintendent Joan Mast, Ed.D., Scotch Plains Mayor Josh Losardo, and members of both the Fanwood and Scotch Plains Police and Fire Departments, Coles families walked throughout the school’s neighborhood, arriving safely and on time for the start of the day. This event is part of the National Walk to School campaign, which aims to empower communities to make walking and biking to school a safe and appealing option.
Coles students got into the giving spirit early on with a Halloween Costume Drive, donating more than 50 new and gently-used costumes and accessories for distribution to local children in need via the Salvation Army of Plainfield. Another Coles Kids Care program, the Halloween Costume Drive is a reminder of how holidays are an important time to give and to help others enjoy and participate in holiday fun.