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Trenton Central High School Partnership Project

Bonners Scholars and Bonner Volunteers painting a mural at a Trenton Central High School.

The primary purpose of the Trenton Central High School-TCNJ Bonner Partnership Project is to establish a partnership between the College of New Jersey’s Bonner Center and Trenton Central High School (TCHS). The partners will mobilize the vast resources of the College in an effort to help TCHS students succeed in their academic and personal lives. Replicating the model that has been thriving at the Hedgepeth-Williams school, a team of Bonner Community Scholars will be placed at TCHS, where they will engage in tutoring and mentoring activities. In addition, under the direction of Center staff, they will organize individual volunteers as well as TCNJ professors and their service learning classes to provide meaningful assistance.

Year 1 Program Plan: During the first year, the project leaders move through a planning (fall) and implementation (spring) phase. The major steps are briefly described below.

Formation of the TCHS Bonner Community Scholar Team: The Bonner Center will recruit 4 new full time Bonner Community Scholars and two part-time volunteers, thereby creating a new team that will partner with TCHS. This team will be led by a staff Site Manager as well as a Senior Student Site Leader – and it will anchor down the College’s relationship with TCHS. During the course of a full year, this team will complete approximately 1200 (300 for each BCS) hours of community engaged learning (or community service/service-learning) activities.

Integration of TCHS Learning Communities & TCNJ’s Academic Schools: At least three of the new Bonner Community Scholar students will be recruited from the College’s School of the Arts and Communication, given this project’s focus on the two TCHS Learning Communities – Media and Technology & Virtual and Performing Arts. In addition, a campus planning committee will identify 2-4 SAC professors and work with them to create service-learning projects that include TCHS students as partners. The TCHS students will be enrolled in regular high school classes or 5th Block communities.