July 20, 2023 -- Last week, incoming fifth grade students from the district’s twelve elementary schools were invited to participate in Toms River Regional Schools’ sixth annual Peer Leadership Program. This week-long program was held at Beachwood Elementary and focused on enhancing students’ leadership skills with a focus on self-care, empathy, kindness, acceptance of others, and ability to communicate.
The camp serves as an opportunity to extend and build upon the various social and emotional offerings already embedded within our elementary schools’ curriculum and daily practices. The program features team building activities, keynote speeches from community partners, problem-solving challenges, and opportunities for self-reflection.
“It’s been extremely rewarding seeing this program grow into what it is now over the past six years,” shared program supervisor James Klass. “Seeing students from every one of our elementary schools learn from one another and morph into this cohort of leaders in such a short amount of time is nothing short of incredible. Our facilitators are passionate and dedicated teachers from across the district who make it all possible!”
This fantastic opportunity was made possible through funding from the Toms River Municipal Alliance. This year’s facilitators included Ms. Okuniewicz (South Toms River), Mrs. Cameron (Beachwood), Ms. Francis (Pine Beach), Mrs. Smith (West Dover), Mrs. Hanson (Cedar Grove), and Mrs. Walsh (Hooper Avenue). Partnerships included RWJBarnabas Health, Toms River Regional Schools Food Services Department, JBJ Soul Kitchen, Dementia Living Solutions, LeadU, and other health and wellness professionals from throughout the area.
This exceptional group of students will serve as leaders in various capacities within their home schools throughout the 2023-2024 school year.