Judd students learn about community helpers

Justin Capezza

NORTH BRUNSWICK – Ten professionals from the community shared their career stories with second graders at Judd Elementary School during Community Helper Day.

As part of the Social Studies curriculum, students learned that the community is where people live, work and play, according to Eileen Glincman.

On Oct. 29, each class visited the station of each helper for six minutes, viewing equipment, asking questions and participating in activities. Many were parents of the children in attendance.

Mark Cafferty is the director of North Brunswick’s Office of Emergency Management. He spoke about first aid kits, whistles for rescues, the necessity of having a flashlight, and keeping a backpack with emergency supplies.

Justin Capezza is a lieutenant with North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co. No. 2. He showed the students his gear, some equipment and an air tank.

“If you see somebody wearing all this stuff, you should come right to them. Don’t hide – we want to make sure you’re safe,” he said.

Arielle De Lain is a registered nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She said she works with patients with head injuries, and demonstrated to the students how a light shone in the eye dilates the pupil.

Keith Rada is a banker at Brunswick Bank & Trust. He explained how a bank makes its money, detailing borrowing and lending, and charging interest. A popular question asked by several students was what happens when a bank gets robbed, to which Rada replied tellers push an emergency button and call police.

Michael Reggio has been a member of the U.S. Coast Guard for 12 years. He said he guards the coast while also helping ships that are in trouble on waterways. He also participates in search and rescue efforts, law enforcement and pollution response. He said, on average, Coast Guard members save 10 lives a day and assist about 190 people a day. He also mentioned that Coast Guard members are trained firefighters in case of an emergency while at sea.

Erin Dunne is a recycling expert with TerraCycle. She explained how recycling is turning waste into useable materials, while upcycling is creating a new product by creatively using an old product. She displayed a small table made out of chip bags that were turned into pellets, shoes made with toothpaste tubes, and a block of wood constructed from cigarette filters.

Frank Petrillo is retired from the North Brunswick Police Department, but now works as a Special Law Enforcement Officer Class III at Judd. He told the students that police officers train at the academy, save lives and sometimes go to court.

Jennifer Ponds is a local artist. She hand drew a mural for the Raritan Valley YMCA in East Brunswick, sent it for a computer rendering, and then had help painting it. She asked students where they see art: everywhere, not just on walls, in museums or in picture frames. She asked the students to look at their clothes, since a fashion designer is an artist who made their shirts and sneakers.

Hilal Tekin is an EMT with the North Brunswick First Aid & Rescue Squad. She showed the children an AED and gave a demonstration if someone is stung by a bee. She said when someone calls 911, she shows up in an ambulance with a partner to help the injured, takes blood pressure and listens to the heart rate with a stethoscope.

Irene Kanterakis is an interpreter. She said she helps families who are new to the country go to work, go to school, drive, buy a home, get money for food and fill out paperwork to become a citizen.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@newspapermediagroup.com.



Michael Reggio
Erin Dunne
Keith Rada
Frank Petrillo
Arielle De Lain
Mark Cafferty
Arielle De Lain
Irene Kanterakis
Hilal Tekin
Jennifer Ponds
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