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Bright Side Feature Stories

Camden County Library Kicks Off 2020 Summer Reading program

(Voorhees, NJ) – The Camden County Library System is excited to announce the start of its 2020 summer reading program. Readers can log their summer reading minutes online to earn digital badges, as well as to be entered in weekly drawings for e-gift cards.

This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Families can sign up and add up to 12 readers by visiting read.camdencountylibrary.org. Participants are then encouraged to log their minutes at least once per week to be entered into that week’s drawing.

There are four programs: Early Readers, Elementary Readers, Middle & High School Readers, and Adult Readers. In all four programs, readers will reach milestones and earn digital badges by logging their number of minutes read.

“It is always important to keep our children and tudents reading throughout the summer, and it has never been easier thanks to the library’s robust catalog of online and electronic resources,” said Freeholder Melinda Kane, liaison to the Camden County Library System. “Reading is key to the growth and development of young minds, but the best part of the summer reading program is that it incorporates the entire family. Signing up and logging your minutes is simple and easy, and the library even has recommended reading lists for children of all ages to make finding your next favorite story as easy as possible.”

Recommended reading can be found by clicking here. Most titles can be borrowed as e-books or audiobooks with a library card.

Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Camden, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees Township.

The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.

For more information about the Camden County Library System, visit us online at http://www.camdencountylibrary.org/ or by calling (856) 772-1636.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

209,000 Meals Delivered to Seniors During COVID-19

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – Since the Camden County Division of Senior and Disabled Services expanded its meal delivery program in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 18, more than 209,000 meals have been delivered to Camden County seniors.

In total, more than 3,500 individual seniors have received nutritious meals as they navigate the unprecedented crisis represented by coronavirus. From June 25 to July 1, the Division delivered nearly 18,000 meals countywide. Over this same span, the Division delivered an average of 3,589 meals per day.

“This is a major milestone for the Department of Health, the Division of Senior and Disabled Services, and every county employee who has helped to get food in the hands of those who are struggling amidst this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Freeholder Jonathan Young. “Prior to coronavirus, this program served just under 500 participants. In a matter of weeks, our team was able to exponentially expand our efforts and reach thousands of residents throughout Camden County who no longer had reliable access to healthy meals. We have now delivered nearly 210,000 meals across nearly every municipality, and we are continuing to take on new clients every week.”

Meals have been delivered to seniors in 36 municipalities. More individual clients (558) were served on May 4 than any other day since the expansion of the program. More deliveries were made on May 22 (4,950) than any other day.

“This would not have been possible without the incredible men and women at the Department of Health, Parks, Buildings and Ops, and all the other county employees who have stepped up to make deliveries. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their incredible public service,” Young said. “Still, even with the progress we have made in our community in terms of fighting the spread of COVID-19, we know that coronavirus will continue to impact our community until there is a reliable, widely available vaccine, and the economic repercussions of this pandemic will stay with us even beyond then. As we continue to navigate these crises, rest assured that we are here to get you the assistance you need.”

The Division of Senior and Disabled Services is continuing to deliver meals to new program participants. If you or a senior you know needs meal assistance, please call (856) 374-MEAL or (856) 858-3220 to make arrangements.

Post has been updated.

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Bright Side Community Calendar Feature Stories

Independence Day Observance at the Bellmawr War Memorial

There will be an Independence Day Observance on Saturday, July 4th at 11:00 a.m. at the new Bellmawr War Memorial located at 1040 Creek Road across from Larc School.

This will be a brief patriotic observance on our nation’s 244th birthday.

Please plan to attend and celebrate America.

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Bright Side Covid-19 Education

Atlantic City Electric Helps Meet Funding Needs for Students Impacted by COVID-19 With Innovative Community Scholars Program

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (June 25, 2020) – As part of its ongoing support for customers and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic City Electric has announced it will donate $50,000 through its Community Scholars Program, to support local South Jersey students seeking careers in energy or related fields.

Atlantic City Electric’s Community Scholars Program will provide financial assistance to students who are pursuing higher-education and vocational training—helping achieve their personal educational goals and sustaining a workforce that is prepared for future careers in energy. The program will provide grants for the 2020-2021 academic year to the following educational institutions:

  • Rowan College of South Jersey (Gloucester and Cumberland Counties)
  • Atlantic Cape Community College

“The COVID-19 pandemic has strained our economy and limited financial support for students in South Jersey and across the country,”said Gary Stockbridge, Atlantic City Electric region president. “As we continue to recover as a region, we are making strategic investments, including helping students pursuing STEM fields to continue on a path to achieve their personal goals. This will not only help students but also will have long-term benefits for the overall economy, ensuring we have a diverse and skilled pipeline of local talent who can continue to support our customers’ evolving energy needs. We will continue to do our part to support our customers, community partners and South Jersey’s recovery efforts.”

The Community Scholars Program grants will be provided to local educational institutions, supporting students as gap funding. Partnering educational institutions will make award decisions based on a student’s financial need and pursuit of degrees in energy related fields. 

“Rowan College of South Jersey is appreciative of this generous donation being made to our Cumberland and Gloucester students by Atlantic City Electric,” stated College President Frederick Keating. “On behalf of the Foundations, I want to thank Atlantic City Electric for the Community Scholars Program Scholarship. This gift is evidence to the commitment and desire to aid students in the pursuit of a higher education and will make a difference in the lives of our students, particularly during this time of economic uncertainty.”

“We are thrilled about our ongoing partnership with Atlantic City Electric in creating education pathways for Atlantic Cape students,” said Dr. Barbara Gaba, Atlantic Cape Community College president. We are most grateful for the $25,000 grant that provides scholarships for students in need.”

A robust and skilled energy workforce is essential to keeping the lights on. Atlantic City Electric’s support is part of the company’s effort to provide the highest level of service for its customers and communities. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlantic City Electric has supported COVID-19 relief efforts across South Jersey, including $75,000 in contributions committed to local organizations in March and April to support food insecurity and other financial challenges facing residents. In addition, Atlantic City Electric crews have worked around-the-clock, in accordance with local ordinances, to maintain the critical infrastructure that powers hospitals and health care facilities, federal, state and local response centers, and businesses, as well as the many homes that make up the region.

Atlantic City Electric has a strong track record supporting workforce development and providing customers with energy assistance in the region. In 2018, the company announced a six-year, $6.5-million workforce development initiative to expand training programs for energy-related jobs and to educate the workforce needed to fill future energy jobs across New Jersey. 

The program is being implemented through a partnership with Atlantic County Institute of Technology, Cape May Vocational School, Cumberland County TEC, and each of the four workforce development boards across the Atlantic City Electric’s service area. Additionally, since 2017, Atlantic City Electric has provided $1 million annually in funding through the Helping Hands program, which supports energy assistance programs administered through local, partnering organizations.

Readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Atlantic City Electric’s online news room. For more information about Atlantic City Electric, visit atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available at atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.

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Bright Side Feature Stories

Atlantic County Recovery Court to Graduate 30 Participants

The Atlantic/Cape May Vicinage will recognize the successes of 30 graduates of its recovery court program during two virtual ceremonies on Tuesday, June 30.

The graduates, along with their friends and families, treatment providers and court staff, will attend virtual ceremonies at 10 a.m. and noon. The recovery court team, led by Superior Court Judge Mark Sandson and staffed by court personnel, attorneys, probation officers, substance abuse evaluators, and treatment professionals, has continued to support participants’ recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is hard to imagine a stronger or more heroic group of people. They have fought a life-shattering disease and are seeking to restore their families and communities, all while maintaining their sobriety through these difficult times,” Judge Sandson said.

The ceremonies will include encouraging words from Assignment Judge Julio Mendez, Judge Sandson, and retired Superior Court Judge Michael Connor as they recognize the graduates’ journey from addiction to recovery. The ceremonies also will honor Judge Connor, Atlantic’s first drug court judge.

Judge Connor, a pioneer in the New Jersey Judiciary’s drug court program, led the drug court team in Atlantic County for more than 12 years.

“Given the hardships many faced during this time, this is a great opportunity to celebrate our participants who have continued to focus on their own personal growth and wellness in a time when it may have been easier to revert to old habits related to their substance use disorder,” said Recovery Court Coordinator Vicky Golas.