Coordinated School Health Highlights
Bridget Hill, Perth Amboy Vo-Tech's school health coordinator accompanied Youth Advisory Council and Interact Club students to the State Theater to see Paige in Full: A B-girl's Visual Mixtape, an autobiographical tale of a multicultural girl growing up in Baltimore, MD. The show explored culture, personal identity, race, class, love, abuse and triumph through poetry, dance, visual arts and music.
East Brunswick Vo-Tech will hold their first annual Inspire 5K Run on April 28th at 9:00 a.m. at Dunham's Corner Road in East Brunswick to benefit the Paul Chrzaszcz (class of 2006) scholarship fund. Paul passed away June 19, 2012 in a tragic accident. To honor his name East Brunswick Vo-Tech is hosting this 5K to raise money for a scholarship for a graduating senior. For more information or to register click here.
On March 20th Somerset County Vo-Tech offered a healthy cooking class for staff. Led by culinary arts instructor Mark Mastrobattista the staff prepared cantaloupe and coconut milk soup, picked beet, fennel, radish and cucumber salad with red quinoa and miso glazed scallops over soba noodle stir fry. The staff enjoyed sampling the food at the end of the classs.
On March 21st Bound Brook High School staff took on the Smalley Middle School staff in their annual volleyball game. Many students and staff turned out to cheer on the players. The fast paced game ended with the middle school staff beating the high school. Way to go Smalley!
Meet our Fabulous Interns!
EmPoWER Somerset would like to recognize and thank three interns from the Rutgers School of Social Work who have helped us in reaching our goals on numerous community projects this year. Jessica Stockl, Bianca Cordero and Stephanie LePersonne joined EmPoWER this past September and will be completing their internships in April. Some of the projects they have worked on include facilitating Keys to Innervisions (KIV) groups, doing outreach for the "EmPoWER Yourself - Get Connected" resource kiosk, and promoting the Ride Home 2Nite campaign to prevent impaired driving. Through these projects, they have gained many learning experiences that can help them succeed in their future plans.
The KIV group involved forming and facilitating lesson plans for eight weeks for groups of students ranging from 5th graders-8th graders to promote positive changes in the student's lives. Bianca stated, "Facilitating my KIV group allowed me to test different techniques for presenting all while building a bond with the students so I could better relate to them and improve their learning experience." The skills learned through their groups helped them with their project of doing outreach for the resource kiosk, located in the probation office of the Somerset County Superior Courthouse. The interns approached community members to inform them on the kiosk and how it runs, and to receive feedback. Stephanie sums up their experience working on this project, "Kiosk outreach pushed us out of our comfort zones by putting us in a new situation and allowed us to get to know the opinions and needs of the local community we are serving."
In conjunction with helping the local community, the interns worked on promoting the Ride Home 2Nite program to prevent impaired driving. The interns approached several businesses to participate in the program. As Jessica states, "Working on Ride Home 2Nite allowed us to learn how to work with other organizations and businesses to come together for the greater good of the community." Our interns have been a great asset to EmPoWER Somerset this year. We are proud of their progress and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!
There is still time to register for Somerset County Safe Night, a party open to all youth in grades 7-12, with three universal rules: NO WEAPONS, NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS, AND NO ARGUMENTS! Safe Night includes food, games, DJ and a dance. The theme for this year is Mardi Gras.
The event also incorporates education on alcohol and drugs through fun, interactive stations.
Safe Night is taking place on Saturday April 6th from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at Somerville High School. It is. There is a $5 admission fee and pre-registration is encouraged. Click here to view the Safe Night brochure.
Family Success Center
- Thank you to the Family Support Organization for bringing "Proactive Parenting" classes to the EmPoWER FSC. Their first session was March 20th, and they will continue to meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
- We would like to thank Evanyani Perez of the United Way of Northern New Jersey for bringing FREE Tax Preparation to the EmPoWER FSC on March 20, 2013.
- Thank you to the PeopleCare Center in Bridgewater for hosting our March Family Fun Night, and to Conrad Colon for putting on a spectacular magic show! We had an amazing evening full of magic, crafts, and door prizes and met new families from our area.
April Program Highlights:
- The EmPoWER FSC is partnering with Youth Coaches Liz Hicks and Karl Craft to bring the "Girls Youth Partnership" program to our center. Youth Partnership will serve as an opportunity for girls ages 13-21 with emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges to discuss and share their experiences with other girls battling the same issues. Their first session will meet on Friday, April 5th from 5:30pm - 7:30pm.
- The "Women's Wellness Support Group," facilitated by Marianne Bruno, is a new program that will meet every Thursday, beginning on April 4th from 9:30am - 10:30am.
- SAVE THE DATE!! Saturday, April 27th from 10am - 2pm - Join the EmPoWER Family Success Center with Radio Disney during Healthy Kids Day at the Somerville YMCA!
- Click HERE for a complete April calendar and event descriptions.
For more information about the Center click HERE!
Take Control of Your Health
The Take Control of Your Health / Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is designed to give people with chronic conditions and/or their caregivers the knowledge and skills needed to gain confidence and motivation to manage their health and feel more positive about life.
EmPoWER Somerset recently completed this 6-week workshop at Community Hope (at the Lyons Campus of the VA) with 13 veterans. The class was a success; individuals shared personal experiences with one another while providing feedback and using the problem-solving techniques learned throughout the workshop, new friendships were made and weekly action plans were accomplished. Feedback from program participants included:
- I have become more self conscious and more honest with myself concerning the seriousness of my health problems
- This program helped me with coping skills and being aware of things around me
- There are two important changes I have made: contrary to my all or nothing nature, I am steadily moving toward a gradual and moderate improvement based attitude. I break larger goals into smaller, more easily achievable steps and if I do not achieve a particular action plan, I can modify it or find a way to achieve it.
- This group reinforced my belief that I am on the right track
- This group and instructors started me on a journey to a healthy new life
We look forward to continuing to offer life-skills programs at
Alcohol Awareness Month
April is Alcohol Awareness Month and EmPoWER Somerset is a local community resource. From April 15th through the 30th, our annual Alcohol Awareness Month exhibit and resource table will be set up in the main lobby of the Somerset County Library, Bridgewater branch. The exhibit will include information and literature on alcohol risk factors, prevention strategies, tips for parents, and local treatment resources and self-help groups as well as information on how youth and adults can get involved in local prevention efforts within their communities.