Office: 908-204-3070
After Hours: 908-766-1122
Fax: 908-204-3075

262 South Finley Ave
Basking Ridge, NJ

Grab n Go Teen Outreach

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Grab n Go Teen Outreach hopes to reach out to students in the community to offer creative outlets and constructive ways for adolescents to deal with their stressors in a healthy way. The main focus of the program is the already existing Teen Advisory Board "Grab and Go" Bags that have been taking place at the Bernards Township Library during 2020 and the beginning of 2021. 

The bags will contain items for activities that can act as a study break or stress reliever to remind the adolescent using them that they should prioritize self-care and overall mental and physical well-being. The program aims to address stress, anxiety, peer pressure and healthy vs unhealthy coping skills. Bags are available ~ once a month and releases are announced via social media.

Grab n Go Teen Outreach is sponsored by the Bernards Township Youth Services Commission, Municipal Alliance, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

RISE

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Creative Corner at WAMS created by RISE

RISE (Reaching, Informing, Supporting Everyone) was a youth leadership program at WAMS that met twice a month with WAMS Student Assistance Counselors, Jamie Sutton and Amy Stem. RISE received the Competitive Youth Services Commission grant from Somerset County Youth Services Commission in 2018 and 2019. 

Students developed initiatives to engage the WAMS school community for Week of Respect (October), National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (January), and other wellness programs during the school year. Even though RISE is not currently meeting, the Creative Corner in the media center was dedicated by RISE to help their fellow students relax and unwind.

RISE was sponsored by the Bernards Township Youth Services Commission, Municipal Alliance, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

 

Viking Yoga

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Viking Yoga is a new afterschool club for students at William Annin Middle School. A growing body of evidence suggests that mindfulness practice could be beneficial to teens, helping them cultivate empathy, as well as skills for concentration and impulse control. Mindfulness can help adolescents navigate the challenges of adolescence. Middle school students will be introduced to the practice of mindfulness, or purposeful, nonjudgmental awareness and showed the value of slowing down, disconnecting from their digital devices and simply breathing.

Over an 8-week period, participants will be introduced to mindfulness strategies and yoga postures.

    Students will be introduced to the following concepts:
  • Introduction to Mindfulness
  • Introduction to Mindful Breathing
  • Being Mindful of Your Surroundings/Notice the Details
  • Finding Calm Around You
  • Eating Mindfully
  • Listen Mindfully
  • Increasing Empathy
  • Manage School Stress

Everyone can benefit from incorporating mindfulness practice into their busy lives, especially teenagers. The goal for participants of Viking Yoga is to begin a digital detox and to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives.

For more information on Viking Yoga, please contact Christine Flanagan at Cflanagan@bernardsboe.com.

Viking Yoga is sponsored by the Bernards Township Youth Services Commission, Municipal Alliance, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

LMTI

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Students at LMTI Summer Leadership Conference 2019

The mission of the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute (LMTI) is to guide young people to realize their leadership potential and become empowered to create positive change in themselves, in their schools, and in their communities.

Every summer, students from REACH (Ridge Education Action & Community Health) attend the Summer Leadership Conference. The Summer Leadership Conference is an opportunity for high school students from throughout New Jersey to come together for a week to learn new concepts, develop confidence in themselves and their abilities, and gain the skills and tools necessary to create a positive impact in their schools and communities.

The Bernards Township Municipal Alliance & Youth Services Commission have been working together for nearly 30 years to send Bernards Township students to LMTI to learn leadership skills. Students typically are nominated to attend LMTI the summer going into their freshmen year. Campers are then invited to join REACH to put their community plan into action.

For more information on the nomination process, sending a student to LMTI, or anything about REACH, please contact advisor Kaitlin Cartoccio at Kcartoccio@bernards.org.

To learn more about the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute and their parent organization, Partners in Prevention, please visit https://pipnj.org/lmti/.

Empowerment Day

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Students at Empowerement Day 2019

Empowerment Day is a school based conference that provides the 8th graders at William Annin Middle School a chance to participate in workshops to learn about making healthy choices and decision and resisting peer pressures.

REACH students start off the day with a presentation, followed by speakers from the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute and workshops facilitated by both WAMS staff and REACH students. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)

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Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. 

Members of the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance are trained as YMHFA First Aid Instructors and frequently conduct classes. 

REACH

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Ridge Education Action & Community Health

REACH is a youth leadership group based in Bernards Township. The mission of REACH (Ridge Education Action & Community Health) is to promote healthy lifestyle choices through an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug free lifestyle amongst Bernards Township Youth

  • Raise awareness of Natural Highs and other alternative activities.
  • Educate fellow youth about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
  • Create positive change through leadership and self-acceptance.

Formerly known as Ridge Against Alcohol & Drugs (RAAD), REACH has been working in the Bernards Township community for over 20 years. REACH has always had the goal of preventing and reducing underage alcohol and drug use amongst Bernards Township youth, but has recently also become passionate about vaping prevention, de-stigmatizing mental health, and a focus on student stress.

REACH meets twice a month at the Bernards Township Community Center to plan programs and activities that are synergistic with their goals for the town they live in.

    REACH can be found at many events during the year including:
  • Back to School Night
  • Teen Volunteer Fair
  • Empowerment Day at WAMS
  • Pumpkins in the Park
  • Charter Day
  • Twilight Challenge 5K Race
  • Party in the Park Movie Night
  • National Night Out

REACH students attend the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute (LMTI) annually in August to learn leadership skills and form an action plan to bring back to Bernards Township. Students are nominated to attend LMTI in the early spring and invited to attend by the end of the school year.

In order to join REACH, a student must be a 9-12th grader that either attends school or resides in Bernards Township. Students are expected to want to enact positive change in the community through healthy lifestyle choices including being alcohol, tobacco, and drug-free. For more information, email advisor Kaitlin Cartoccio at Kcartoccio@bernards.org.

    REACH 2020-2021 Leadership
  • Co-Presidents: Andrew White & Alex Timoney
  • Secretary: Sanjiv Raghupathy
  • Youth Advisory Council Members (YACs): Andrew White, Abigail Phillips, Alex Timoney, Madison Clowes, Jack Rhead

REACH is sponsored by the Bernards Township Youth Services Commission, Municipal Alliance, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

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