Community Bulletin Board: Criterion Sentinel (for Jan. 20)

“When Women Lost the Vote” will be presented in a free online format at 7 p.m. Jan. 20.
Millions of American women were granted the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which marked its centennial in 2020. But more than a century earlier, women and free people of color legally held the vote in New Jersey for more than 30 years.
Learn about the little-known history of the nation’s first women voters and the political conflicts that led to their voting rights being stripped away. Presented by the Museum of the American Revolution.
To register, visit https://forms.gle/NVDHsfyb317bRZdM7 or email metuchenpubliclibrary@lmxac.org to register and receive the Zoom link.
This program is free and made possible by the support of the Friends of the Metuchen Library.
To access event details on Facebook, visit https://fb.me/e/1ZIWgAS3d.
The League of Women Voters of the Greater New Brunswick Area will host a presentation by Reginald Johnson titled “How Implicit Bias Can Turn to Hate Crime” at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 via Zoom.
Johnson is president of the Edison-Metuchen Branch of the NAACP and an agent with the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
The talk is open to the public.
Anyone interested in attending may email lwvnjgnba@gmail.com to request a Zoom invitation.

Join a virtual cocktail class with Mo of Papillon & Company of Metuchen at 7 p.m. Jan. 22.

RSVP to mixology@papillongifts.com

 

Community Nursery School in Metuchen is holding registration for its pre-K and K-Wrap programs for the 2021-22 school year.

The school will be open for tours from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 23. Call 732-491-2240 to arrange a tour.

The school is located at 270 Woodbridge Ave., Metuchen.

Visit communityns.org for more information

 

The Metuchen Arts Council is joining with the Metuchen Human Relations Commission to schedule a virtual “Community Conversations” around the issues highlighted in 2021 Windows of Understanding Public Art Project. Those issues include food insecurity, youth engagement, trauma and recovery, public health and climate change.

The first virtual Community Conversation will take place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27 on the topics of food insecurity and youth engagement.

The Windows of Understanding Project is a joint project of the New Brunswick Community Arts Council, Mason Gross School of the Arts, the Highland Park Arts Council, the Metuchen Arts Council and the Metuchen Human Relations Commission. The initiative unites local artists, organizations, and businesses to promote compassion and awareness around social justice issues impacting local communities. The belief of the Project’s creators is that through visual language, artists can communicate methods of understanding in powerful ways that cut across cultural boundaries.

For the issue of food insecurity, artists Anisha Thind and Kim Adlerman have been asked to create art that illuminates the mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen’s Food Pantry. Likewise, for the topic of Youth Engagement, artists Robyn-Trimboli Russo, Cristina Hoyos, Wilford Charles and Joe Castronova have been asking to create art inspired by the mission of Kiddie Keep Well Camp, the Middlesex County non-profit that provides residential camping, educational, health and wellness programs to under-resourced children, teens and seniors.

All Community Conversations will start at 7:30 p.m. and can be accessed via Facebook live at www.facebook.com/MetuchenHumanRelationsCommission/. 

Upcoming Community Conversations include:

  • Feb. 24: Discussion on public health and trauma and recovery will focus on the work of the Metuchen First Aid Squad and Women Aware of New Brunswick. The artists interpreting those agencies missions include Dominique Brancato, Lauren Rabinowitz, Luciana Mallozzi, Martina Hanna, Amalya Sherman and Janice Fried.
  • April 21: In observance of Earth Day, Edison Greenways Group and artists Laura Curtis and Mickey Waring will explore the issue of climate change.

  

In addition to the Community Conversations, the Metuchen programming for the Windows of Understanding Project will include an exhibition in the Metuchen Public Library Gallery of all the art discussed in the Community Discussion.

A virtual exhibit will also be mounted and available for viewing from the Metuchen Arts Council website at www.metuchenartscouncil.com. The project launches on Jan. 18, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as a way of paying homage to Dr. King’s legacy.

For more information on Windows of Understanding, including a complete list of featured organizations, participating storefronts, and a full calendar of free events, visit http://www.windowsofunderstanding.org or on Instagram at @windowsofunderstanding, #weseethroughhate.

 

 

 

 

Bake along with Temple Emanu-El in Edison at 11 a.m. Jan. 31, making lemon lulu cake and buttery scones from the comfort of your home.

On the day of the event, log onto Zoom and bake along with congregants Tami Rona and Jackie Litt.

The recipes will be provided in advance.

Register at edisontemple.org/event/bake-along-with-TEE

The Zoom link is https://zoom.us/j/8357221415, passcode “temple”.

 

 

 

 

 

The Metlar-Bodine Museum will offer “Stories of Slavery in New Jersey” at 7 p.m. Feb. 4.

Historian and author Rick Geffken reveals stories from New Jersey’s dark history of slavery. A Q&A session follows the lecture.

Dutch and English settlers brought the first enslaved people to New Jersey in the 17th Century. By the time of the Revolutionary War, slavery was an established practice on labor-intensive farms throughout what became known as the Garden State. The progenitor of the influential Morris family, Lewis Morris, brought Barbadian slaves to toil on his estate of Tinton Manor in Monmouth County.  “Colonel Tye,” an escaped slave from Shrewsbury, joined the British “Ethiopian Regiment” during the Revolutionary War and led raids throughout the towns and villages near his former home. Charles Reeves and Hannah Van Clief married soon after their emancipation in 1850 and became prominent citizens in Lincroft, as did their next four generations.

Rick Geffken is a trustee of the Shrewsbury Historical Society, past president of the Monmouth Connection, member of the Navesink Maritime Historical Association and Monmouth County Historical Association. He is currently heading up a project called The New Jersey Slave Record.

To join the Zoom lecture, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84404927732        

Meeting ID: 844 0492 7732

The program is free, but a $10 donation is suggested. Make checks payable to The Fellowship for Metlar House, or use Venmo via Sherry-Hope1

A limited number of signed books are available from the museum, 1281 River Road, Piscataway. Call the museum at 732-463-8363 to place an order. Pickup available on days the museum is open. Cost is $23 each plus $3 shipping.

For more information, email metlarbodine@gmail.com or visit www.MetlarBodineHouseMuseum.org

 

 

New Jersey Blood Services will hold a blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Metuchen YMCA, 65 High St., Metuchen.

Everyone 17 years old and over is strongly encouraged to become a donor.

To make an appointment, visit www.nybc.org and click on “Donate.” Or, call Paul Edgcomb at 732-887-6633.

 

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Eighth graders will get a second opportunity to apply to the Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge.

Applications are being accepted for a second entrance exam, to be held online on Jan. 30.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 23.

The entrance exam is being held virtually for the first time. Students taking the two-hour exam are monitored via webcam by proctors from the academy staff. The exam includes mathematics, language arts and science questions, as well as an essay.

The exam results are used to choose applicants to be interviewed. The interview process includes virtual meetings with both parents and students.

The application is available on the district website, www.mcvts.net.

The academy’s focus is to prepare students for college majors in the medical and biomedical research fields. All students take an honors curriculum with an emphasis on the sciences. Students have opportunities to take Advanced Placement courses as well as courses affiliated with Rutgers University School of Health Professions.

 

 

 

 

The Metuchen Farmers Market is holding an online fundraiser.

The Pea support level, costing $20 pays for important supplies like hand sanitizer.

The Pod support level, costing $50, goes toward key equipment such as the hand sanitizer dispensing stand.

The Seed support level, costing $100, pays for one week of essential site services, such as portable restrooms.

The Radish level, costing $200, pays for a month of e-commerce site fees.

Donate by visiting www.localline.ca/metuchenvirtualmarket; or send a check or money order to Metuchen Farmers Market, 402 Main St., Suite 100-166, Metuchen 08840.

For more information, email metuchenfarmersmarket@gmail.com.

 

 

Raritan Valley Road Runners, one of the largest running clubs in New Jersey, is accepting applications for a new scholarship program designed to help student runners in cross country or track and field who attend high school or community college in Middlesex and Somerset counties.

A one-time award of $1,000 will be made to each of two outstanding athletes enrolling in post-secondary education.

The scholarships are not based entirely on speed or competitions won, but rather on strong academics, sportsmanship, citizenship and financial need.

The scholarships are funded by individual donations, funds from club-sponsored races and business contributions.

Eligible applicants will be graduating from high school in Middlesex or Somerset counties in 2021 or currently attending community college in these counties. They will need to prove acceptance to a full-time (12 credits or more) associate or bachelor’s degree program. They will have a weighted GPA of 2.75 or higher as demonstrated by an unofficial transcript. And they will need to demonstrate passionate participation as a runner in a cross country or track and field in their junior and senior years of high school or while at community college. Participation in extracurricular activities and community involvement will also be considered.

For more information, application materials, or to donate to the scholarship fund, email scholarship@rvrr.org.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 31. Scholarships will be awarded in April.

 

High school students are invited to enter their substance use prevention messages through their original music as part of the music and song writing competition, “Your Song! Your Voice! Shout Down Drugs New Jersey,” sponsored by New Jersey Broadcasters and 959.9-FM WRAT.

The competition is designed to challenge New Jersey high school students to create original music and lyrics with powerful peer-to-peer substance use, misuse and prevention messages. Entries are accepted through Feb. 1.

All music genres are welcomed from students interested in sharing their talent and inspiring messages about shouting down drugs and raising up their voices to inspire their peers.

The winner of the New Jersey Shout Down Drugs competition, as decided by judges and announced at the end of the Prevention Concert, will receive a $5,000 music contract. The second- and third-place performers will receive $3,000 and $2,000 music contracts, respectively, with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.

For rules and information on how to enter, contact Diane Higgins at 973-275-7985.

 

 

 

The Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County, located on Oak Tree Road in Edison, will hold its second virtual Mahjong tournament on Feb. 10.

Play on RealMahJongg.com for three rounds of 12 games.

The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Play from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Winners will be announced at 1:45 p.m. There will be Amazon gift card prizes.

The cost is $18 per person. 

 There will also be a 50/50 raffle at $5 per ticket.

Must register by Feb. 4. Zoom registration information will be sent upon receipt of tournament registration. 

Contact Diane Mael, director of Adult Services, by emailing dmael@jccmc.org to get an invitation, rules for scoring and registration information.

Nominations for the 25th annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award are being accepted through Feb. 12.

Members of the community can nominate a fellow New Jerseyan and give him or her the chance to be recognized for their service. They are people who help others in need, give their time and energy to solve community problems, and put others above themselves.

Each year, the Making a Difference Award presents $50,000 to one winner, $25,000 to two runners-up, and up to $7,500 to several others at a ceremony hosted by Ramapo College of New Jersey, which manages the awards program on behalf of the Russell Berrie Foundation.

Awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony in May.

The nomination form is available online at berrieawards.ramapo.edu. 

 

Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2021 grant program for volunteer fire departments, ambulance squads and first aid squads located within the company’s service areas.

Grants may be used to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, communications gear, first aid equipment, firefighting tools, vehicle maintenance and other materials that will be used to support volunteer firefighter and emergency responder operations. Reimbursement for specific training courses, including the cost of training manuals, student workbooks, and instructors is also eligible.

To apply, organizations must complete the application available at www.newjerseyamwater.com under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000.

The deadline to apply is March 12. Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at www.newjerseyamwater.com/community.

Grant recipients will be notified at the end of March.

 

 

Teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights the New Jersey Human Services’ mission to support families, especially during these challenging times.

The contest, run by the Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged children.

The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate – through art or the written word – how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year, from remote schooling to finding new ways to stay connected to friends and family.

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31.

Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups, for each of the two entry categories. Typically, winning students are recognized at an awards ceremony in mid-May, but a final decision on an awards ceremony will be made at a later date based on the status of the public health emergency and related health and safety guidelines.

Winning entries from the contest will be included in the 2022 Office of Child Support Calendar, as well as potentially being included as part of the office’s marketing materials. A number of honorable mention entries will also be selected for possible inclusion in both areas.  

The 2021 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage, www.NJTeenMedia.org, to serve as inspiration for the teens. The website also provides the official rules, frequently asked questions, entry forms, a look at the winners and honorable mentions from previous contests and other important contest information.

Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting www.NJTeenMedia.org or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 937-207-7627 or matthew.cossel@efkgroup.com. School registration is not required for direct student entry.

For complete submission guidelines, visit www.NJTeenMedia.org.

For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit www.NJChildSupport.org.

 

 

 

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Ongoing

 

Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey seeks compassionate volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families.

Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes, which can also be nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. They read to the patient, reminisce about their lives, play cards, help with letter writing and provide respite for caregivers.

Visits can be virtual, and are either during the day or early evening.

Volunteers may also assist with administrative work within the hospice office.

Patient care volunteers complete an application and attend a virtual volunteer training program that covers the role of a hospice volunteer. Day and evening virtual training programs are offered.

To sign up for the next virtual training class, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email deborah@dovehs.com.

 

The United Way of Central Jersey’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund will assist individuals and families affected by the novel coronavirus with crucial basic expenses including rent, utilities, prescription medication/medical supplies, child care and food.
United Way will work with trusted community partners to identify individuals and families most in need of this temporary support.
Donations to the UWCJ COVID-19 Support Fund may be made online at www.uwcj.org. Checks made payable to United Way may be mailed to United Way of Central Jersey, 32 Ford Ave., Milltown 08850.