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Home The Atlantic-Hub Atlantic-Hub News Monmouth County News Briefs, Jan. 18

Monmouth County News Briefs, Jan. 18

Monmouth County News Briefs, Jan. 18

The Monmouth County Park System is seeking entries into its Creative Arts Festival. This juried art show and sale is open to artists and fine crafters of every medium.

Those interested in entering are invited to submit images for consideration. The application fee is $15 per person. Rules and entry form are available at www.MonmouthCountyParks.com, according to a press release.

Accepted artists will have a 10-foot x 10-foot booth space to display and sell their original work for a fee. Indoor and outdoor spaces are available. The entry deadline is March 10.

The Creative Arts Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 13 at Thompson Park, Lincroft. The festival will feature fine art and craft vendors, live music, creative activities and food vendors.

Thompson Park is home to the park system’s Creative Arts Center, which hosts fine arts and craft classes throughout the year, including ceramics, pottery, jewelry and painting.

To learn more about the Creative Arts Festival, call 732-842-4000, ext. 3343.


The Monmouth County Park System invites local gardeners to take part in National Seed Swap Day from 10-11 a.m. Jan. 28 at the Freneau Woods Park Visitor Center, Aberdeen Township.

Vegetable, annual, perennial and native seeds are welcome (no invasive species).
Place your seeds in a sealed envelope or bag, labeled with the plant name, year collected and where it was bought or collected from. A minimum of five seeds is required per item, according to a press release.

Throughout January, deliver seed submissions to the Huber Woods Environmental Center, Brown’s Dock Road, Middletown. Dropping off prior to Swap Day is strongly recommended, but not required. Those dropping off seed will receive a ticket to bring on Swap Day.

All seed swappers will take home a native wildflower seed freebie. For more information about National Seed Swap Day, call 732-872-2670.


The New Jersey Department of Education has announced that New Jersey has been awarded a five-year $14 million federal grant to expand school-based mental health services for students.

The School Based Mental Health Services Grant Program funding will be used to expand the number of psychologists, counselors and social workers in New Jersey schools with the greatest need, according to a press release.

The 2021 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Protecting Youth Mental Health concludes that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health challenges were the leading cause of disability and poor life outcomes in young people, with up to one in five children ages 3 to 17 in the United States with a reported mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder, according to the press release.

“Addressing the youth mental health crisis – especially given the challenges young people throughout our state and the nation have faced over the past few years – remains one of my top priorities as Governor of New Jersey and chair of the National Governor’s Association,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.

The U.S. Department of Education grant will provide New Jersey with $3.2 million in federal funding in the first year, and at least $2.7 million each year over the next four years. New Jersey has pledged to match the federal grant funding with $1 million annually in state funds, according to the press release.


Each person knows an individual who gives back to the community by creating positive change. The Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award has been recognizing those changemakers for almost 30 years.

Nominations are now open for the 2023 awards through Feb. 10. Established by the late Russell Berrie and hosted by Ramapo College of New Jersey, the awards honor New Jersey residents whose outstanding community service and heroic acts have made a substantial impact on the lives of others, according to a press release.

With more than 400 honorees since the inception of the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award in 1997, more than $3.9 million in cash awards have been presented to recognize the personal sacrifices and commitments the selected individuals have made to serve others, according to the press release.

Their work is improving people’s lives and making communities stronger. The nominees include community leaders, affinity groups, ethnic and religious organizations, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, among many others in such areas as community service, volunteerism, social justice, community life, environmental issues and a range of advocacy topics.

Ten outstanding changemakers will be honored at the 27th Anniversary Award Ceremony on May 5. There will be one top award of $50,000; two $25,000 awards; and up to seven $7,500 awards. Nominations can be submitted through Feb. 10 at www.BerrieAwardNJ.org.


Brookdale Community College, ARC of Monmouth County and Voyagers’ Community School have announced a free, pre-vocational program that offers adult students, ages 18 to 24, who have intellectual disabilities a classroom learning experience in life, consumer and employment skills, self-advocacy, healthy habits, financial literacy and the innovative use of technology.

This grant award was funded through the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education through the County College-based Center for Adult Transition Program, according to a press release.

The Achievement Zone Plus (TAZ) will begin in late January and will prepare students to pursue their goals, clarify their plans and take the next step as adults. Program offerings will focus on career readiness and job coaching through mini-lessons and group projects targeting various job skills. Each student will consider the milestones to fruitful employment, according to the press release.

Meeting at Brookdale Community College, participants will join in activities and experiences that strengthen and increase soft and career skills; self- and career-awareness; understanding of practical steps in preparing for employment; and vocational awareness and readiness.

Participants will acquire specific employment and job-specific skills. Those interested as a potential participant or as a professional representing a potential participant in the TAZ Plus program may complete an inquiry form or email nkane@brookdalecc.edu.


Adult use of marijuana is now legal in New Jersey and employers are required to address this issue from a workplace perspective. New Jersey business leaders who are interested in maintaining a safe, healthy and drug-free workplace are invited to participate in the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey’s (PDFNJ) free webinar, “The Challenges of Addressing Marijuana and Measuring Impairment in the New Jersey Workplace,” at 11 a.m. Feb. 9.

The webinar, hosted by PDFNJ’s workplace prevention program, Drugs Don’t Work in NJ, will examine the legal and legislative developments regarding the use of marijuana in New Jersey, measuring impairment, drug testing and how to revise drug-free workplace policy and procedures, according to a press release.

Representatives from small, mid-sized and large businesses, human resource managers, compliance and safety experts, government and union representatives, and not-for-profit executives are invited to attend. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/4316644734621/WN_09LU9fKKTXuAyv4XmeutUA

For additional information, contact Bill Lillis at 862-253-6808.


The Monmouth County Board of County Commissioners has announced the inaugural Monmouth County Travel Guide Cover Photo Contest, which is open now through Feb. 1.

“The winning photo of the Monmouth County Travel Guide Cover Photo Contest will be featured on the cover of the guide that is requested worldwide. Additionally, it will be showcased in future marketing efforts with the photographer’s spotlight placed in the official travel guide. The runners-up will have their photos published in the guide,” Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “We can’t wait to see all of the amazing photos of our county.”

For the contest, photo orientation preference is vertical; if horizontal, the image must be at least 3,000 pixels tall; photo should not exceed 10 MB; photo must be submitted in JPG format; photo must not have any watermarks.

“We invite everyone to grab a camera and capture a photo that shows how Monmouth County is one of the best tourism destinations in the world,” Arnone said. “Everyone who would like to help select the winning photo, make sure to visit the Monmouth County Tourism social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to vote for your favorite.”

Individuals submitting a photo must be 18 years of age or older and those under 18 will need parental consent; multiple entries are encouraged; photos must be submitted via the website submission form and include all required contact information; photos must be taken in Monmouth County; Monmouth County Tourism will select the finalists; the runners-up will receive placement in the travel guide with photo credit; the contest will be open until Feb. 1. To learn more, go to tourism.visitmonmouth.com or contact tourism@visitmonmouth.com.