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Rita's Italian Ices, celebrations of Hispanic heritage, and new hairstyles were just a small fraction of what was available for families at Intermediate North the night of May 23.

Info, iPads, and intermingling at Intermediate North

May 29, 2024-- They saved the best for last when it came to the district's ESL Family Nights. The final one for the 2023-2024 doubled as the 2nd Annual Community Resources Fair, and it took place the evening of May 23 at Intermediate North.

"The goal of this event is to connect our families to all of the helpful services in our community," said ESL Coordinator Sara McNerny.

Guests in attendance were able to meet local community partners, see demonstrations, sample services, and receive valuable information. In addition to that practical side, the evening was also full of fun and entertainment.

Free giveaways and door prizes were dispersed throughout, including iPads to three lucky winners. A Rita's Italian Ice station provided free treats to kids and families. High school-level Spanish Heritage Clubs performed LIVE on stage, plus there was face painting, stations for applying temporary tattoos, tutorials for creating sand art, various games and activities for kids in the gym.

As for those community partners, they included:

Toms River Fire Inspectors, which brought a firetruck, firefighter equipment, and provided a live demonstration

Ocean County Sheriff's Office, which allowed guests to receive a free photo ID made and provided a live demonstration with their K-9 dogs (below)

ocean country sheriff k9 presentation

Ocean County Library, which brought free library cards and information about free summer programs

BookSmiles, which brought along free for summer reading plus bookmarks

Ocean County Health Department, which provided free vaccinations, blood pressure checks, and other health screenings, plus information about free healthcare and giveaways

RWJBarnabas Health, which provided giveaways and information on making appointments

Ocean County Vocational School, which provided information about its high school and certification programs, plus free hair and nail work by cosmetology students

NJ Fulfill and SNAP programs, which provided information about applying for free food services

Ocean County Parks and Recreation, which offered demonstrations and interesting artifacts from New Jersey's wildlife, plus info about summer programs and activities

Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, which hosted games and interesting historical replicas

Ocean County YMCA, which provided info about summer activities and programs

Children's Specialized Hospital of Toms River, which provided giveaways and appointment info

Long Term Care Therapy Clinics of Toms River, which provided giveaways and appointment info

New Jersey Office of New Immigrants, which offered free legal advice, info on healthcare and food service, and help with work authorization applications

Mexican Consulate, which provided information and support services

Casa Latina, which provided info about legal, notary, insurance, and mortgage services

Other partners included local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops, various soccer and football leagues, and local cheerleading squads that offered in-person registration. The outpouring of local support and information, the great turnout, and the exciting prizes made for a fun, memorable, and successful event.

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