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Eldridge Park Named National School of Character

Eldridge Park, one of Lawrence Township's four public elementary schools, is one of only 43 schools (plus one school district) nationwide to be recognized for excellence.

Editor's Note: The following is a news release that was issued by Lawrence Township Public Schools.

The Character Education Partnership (CEP) has named Eldridge Park School as a 2011 National School of Character (NSOC).

Since 1998, CEP has recognized schools for their outstanding character development of students through its prestigious annual NSOC program. Eldridge Park School is one of 43 schools and one school district being recognized nationwide in 2011.

"It is truly inspiring to see what these schools have been able to accomplish by coming together around a shared purpose," said CEP President and CEO Joe Mazzola. "We see over and over that when schools embrace the critical role they have in shaping the character of young people, achievement and morale go up and bullying and discipline problems go down."

Schools and districts from 30 participating states are named State Schools of Character (SSOC) before advancing to the national level for review. Eldridge Park School was recognized as a 2011-13 New Jersey School of Character on March 15, 2011, at the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development (NJASECD) conference held at Rider University in Lawrenceville.

CEP will honor the 2011 National Schools of Character at the National Forum on Character Education, to be held October 19-22, 2011 in San Francisco. At the ceremony, Eldridge Park will receive an NSOC award, banner, and check for $1,000. After being named NSOC, schools serve as models and mentors, helping other educators transform their school cultures and improve academics and behavior.

"Schools of character are places that bring out the best in everyone - students, staff, and even parents and community members," said NSOC Director Lara Maupin. "This year, a record number of schools demonstrated school cultures that enable all their students to thrive socially and academically. These schools went through a very rigorous evaluation process and we are thrilled to recognize their achievements and tell their stories."

“We are really honored and proud of this recognition,” said Principal Kathy Robbins. “We appreciate the fact that character education is an essential element in the social, emotional, and academic success of our children, and do our best to integrate it into all we do at Eldridge Park School.

“We are very proud that Eldridge Park School is a National School of Character,” related Superintendent Phil Meara. “This honor is well deserved as Eldridge Park, under the caring leadership of Principal Kathy Robbins, has provided all its children with a learning environment in which they can flourish. Congratulations to the amazing Eldridge Park staff!”

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