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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Heroes and Cool Kids at RHS

Submitted by Mark Bergen, English and Special Education Teacher at Rutherford High School

Heroes and Cool Kids is a program that has been in our community for decades! Heroes and Cool Kids is a state-wide organization with chapters in over 30+ high schools across New Jersey. The program is designed to train and educate some of the most talented and well-rounded students in various tactics and approaches to mentorship. Each year, 40-50 students are selected from over 100 applications to be a part of this organization. The students attend three conferences a year with a handful of other schools to practice public speaking, learn from 'mentorship professionals', and engage in conversations on 'tough topics', such as bullying, peer pressure, and overcoming personal obstacles. The beauty of the program is truly shown when RHS students then turnkey their mentorship experience towards 6th graders in Pierrepont School. Mark Bergen explained, "It is truly remarkable to watch our students come alive with excitement, enthusiasm, and compassion as they interact with younger students." Heroes and Cool Kids not only carry out the task of being a role model for the 6th graders but throughout the year our 'Heroes' give up their lunch to interact with students in the Multiply-Disabled classroom and participate in various philanthropic events. Mr. Parnofiello and Mr. Bergen, co-advisors to HCK, gain more pride in our career and students every interaction they have with them.

Since the high school students did not have the opportunity to meet with the sixth-grade students after virtual learning began in March, they created this video to send the sixth graders positive, inspirational messages as they prepare to move onto Union Middle School. Click here to watch the video.

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