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  • Writer's pictureThis Is Rutherford

Pierrepont School's Service Club Visited the Rutherford Police Department

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photos provided by Mrs. Julie Frattarola

On June 6th, the Pierrepont School Service Club visited the Rutherford Police Station with a special surprise for the Officers. As members of a service club, the students enjoy finding ways to let the people who work hard in their community know that they are appreciated. They created Law Enforcement Appreciation Goodie Bags for the RPD. This is Rutherford spoke with one of the Advisors of the club, Mrs. Julie Frattarola, who is also the Nurse at Pierrepont School about the Service Club and this special project.

TIR: What is the Pierrepont School Service Club?

Julie Frattarola: Pierrepont Service Club is an extracurricular club with membership open to all students here at Pierrepont. Our mission is to do volunteer work with our school, community and national organizations. We meet once a month to brainstorm ideas and work on our projects. There are also a group of students who help out at lunch, as well. There are three Service Club Advisors: Mrs. Joanne Garabedian, myself, and Ms. Tracey Scrimenti.

Gianna Valente and Officer Scott Ahearn

TIR: What are some of the activities that the Service Club students participate in throughout the year?

JF: Some activities we do annually and others are new this year. We also have done projects one time only and are always open to trying new things if we are able work it out within the confines of our school schedule. This year we have organized and participated in the following activities:

  • Spirit Days for Breast Cancer Awareness, Heart Health, and the Andrew Ortega Foundation

  • Halloween Candy Give Back Drive (we collected 267 pounds of candy) to benefit Operation Gratitude, a national organization that benefits deployed military, first responders and veterans

  • Silver Bells, which benefits families at Pierrepont

  • Collecting, sorting, and counting the Boxtops for Education, which are redeemed for cash for our school

  • Sponsored the Art Beating Cancer - Luminaria Project, which benefits the American Cancer Society

  • Painted rocks for the Kindness Rock Project that will be displayed on the grounds of Pierrepont School

  • Sponsored the collection of funds and display of paper torches for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which benefits the Special Olympics of NJ

  • Prepared 45 goody bags and delivered them to the Rutherford Police Department for police appreciation

  • Collected 93 pounds of used and broken crayons, which were sorted by color and sent to the National Crayon Recycling Program. We bought back some of the recycled crayons and currently sell them in the Goodman School Store.

  • In the past, we have had food drives to benefit the Rutherford Food Pantry, collected socks for the Socks for Seniors program, and donated funds to the Heavenly Hats program. The students have also done volunteer work for the staff here by stuffing envelopes, folding programs, sorting music, and any other work that they can do for any teacher or administrator. Our motto is "Many hands make light work."

TIR: How does being a member of this Club benefit the students who participate and the community?

JF: The students benefit from being a member because they learn the value and importance of volunteering their time usually to individuals less fortunate than themselves. They are enthusiastic, willing to do anything and very good at being flexible with their time. They also learn how to work with others, including staff members and are exceptionally polite and respectful. The community, whether local or more global, also benefits from the volunteer efforts of our members.

TIR: Tell us more about the Law Enforcement Appreciation Goody Bags.

JF: While searching for a project to do we came across the police appreciation goody bags and decided it would be a great project for our club to be involved with, since Rutherford police officers walk through our building every day for safety and security. We purchased all of the supplies needed and our service club members worked on the bags during our meetings and at lunch. The bags included different candies and gum with a note explaining what each candy represented. For example, "Hershey's Kisses - to remind you of our LOVE for you!"

Back row: SLEO Carolina Kopacz, Officer Bruce Reed, Det. Al Anderson, Sgt. Julie Zeigler, Sgt. Craig Capoano, Officers Alexandra Arnold and John Ahearn, Sgt. Jeffrey Wilkinson, Middle row: Tracey Scrimenti, Service Club Advisor, Hailey Mangarella, Delilah Rango, Sophia Clossey, Nicholas Scaglione, Drew Carney, Kate Dillon, Kiah Mehta, Anjali Mazurek, Joseph Puso, Julie Frattarola, Service Club Advisor; Front row: Grace Methe, Gianna Valente

TIR: Where did the idea for these goodie bags come from?

JF: The idea came from a simple GOOGLE search: police appreciation service projects. This is our second year doing this project, actually last year's goodie bags contained different items. We coordinated with Sgt. Julie Zeigler to visit the RPD on a day when there would be officers there to receive the students and the goody bags. Twelve students, myself, Tracey Scrimenti and Samantha Singer walked the students to the RPD, had our visit and returned to Pierrepont before dismissal.

"Members of the Rutherford Police Department are avid believers in community outreach.  We know that our work with the community's children helps to positively influence the future.  We were honored that the Service Club of Pierrepont School chose us for their community service project and are grateful for all the staff at Pierrepont School who organized this club and project are teaching them to give back to their community,"  explained Sgt. Julie Zeigler.
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