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Secretary Rochelle Hendricks of the NJ Commission on Higher Education Joins Bonner at the Academic Sports Academy

TRENTON, NJ – The Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement welcomed Secretary Rochelle Hendricks of the Commission on Higher Education on November 16th to one of its community partner sites, the Academic Sports Academy (ASA) at Hedgepeth-Williams School in Trenton. Students collected nonperishable food during the week to benefit people whose lives had been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Hendricks, along with ASA students, helped sort donated items, which were distributed by the Bonner Center and the TCNJ Here for Home Campaign during the following week.

Secretary Hendricks congratulated the students for their efforts and followed the relief activities by reading Langston Hughes’ Thank You Ma’am to the students as part of their daily read aloud session. Hendricks tied the message in Langston Hughes’ Thank You Ma’am to the need to help and appreciate others, such as the victims of Hurricane Sandy. As Secretary Hendricks pointed out, it is important for all of us to think about how we can pitch in to help others in small, yet profound ways. Through their service, the youth in ASA collected over 10 crates of food for people affected by the storm.

“At a time like this, in the wake of one of the most devastating storms in our history, we need to do all that we can to help each other,” Secretary Hendricks said. “I am impressed that so many young children though of others in their hour of need. The Hedgepeth-Williams School and The College of New Jersey deserve great credit for teaching children about the importance of being good citizens. Every thoughtful donation helps.”

Secretary Hendricks joined Bonner Community Scholars, Bonner Center staff, ASA staff and youth in the program as part of the state government’s dedication to community service during the holiday season, known as a “Season of Service.” As part of the initiative, all cabinet officials in the Christie administration spend time volunteering and highlighting service opportunities in New Jersey. The Bonner Center for Civic and Community Engagement was happy to have Secretary Hendricks join it and the program staff and students in the Academic Sports Academy, and thanks all those who have donated items for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The Academic Sports Academy is an after-school program founded by Trenton native, Greg Grant. The program works with about 100 students in K-8, who are split up into classes. The program includes snacks and aerobics at the beginning of the afternoon followed by homework assistance, tutoring, read aloud and writing. The program operates in the Hedgepeth-Williams Elementary and Middle School in Trenton. ASA has been a community partner with the Bonner Center since 2007.


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Madeline Bell