Bright Side Community Calendar Recent News

Atlantic County Middle School Students Invited to Participate in Public Service Announcement Contest

The winning entry of the 2019 PSA Contest was created by Naomi Green 8th grade, Brigantine Middle School.

Join Together Atlantic County, a countywide substance misuse prevention coalition, is holding an underage drinking middle school Public Service Announcement contest for 6th through 8th graders in Atlantic County.

Students are invited to create an 8.5 x 11 inch landscape direction, PSA, as a message to parents from youth about the dangers of underage drinking or providing alcohol to those under 21.  

The top three winners will receive prizes and the 1st place winner’s drawing will be turned into a billboard. Entries are due no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020.

The younger a person starts drinking, the more likely he or she is to have alcohol problems later in life. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are 4 times more likely to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives. The brain is still forming until the early twenties and teen drinking can cause permanent brain damage. If you really want to fit in, stay sober. Research shows that more than 70% of youth aged 12 to 20 have not had a drink in the past month. Providing alcohol to those under the age of 21 is illegal, a person can receive up to 6 months’ jail time and a $1,000 fine.

By participating in this contest, youth help to support Join Together Atlantic County in their mission: “to prevent, reduce and/or delay substance use among youth of Atlantic County in a long term and sustainable manner.” Join Together Atlantic County is located at 626 N. Shore Road in Absecon, NJ.

Please see the attached Rules and Regulations for the Middle School PSA Contest, which are also located at

Click here for the entry form.

Bright Side Community Calendar News

New Jersey Dept. of Agriculture Kicks Off #ThankYouFarmers Contest

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced the #thankyouNJfarmers social media photo contest that will begin on Wednesday, June 10. Each week, there will be two selected winners who will each receive a $250 gift card for fresh produce to a Jersey Fresh market of choice, plus a Jersey Fresh NJ-shaped cutting board. An overall winner will receive a $500 gift card to a Jersey Fresh market of choice. Funding for this program is provided by USDA grant allocations.

The contest will run through September 1 with the final weekly winners being announced Sept. 2. The overall winner will be announced Sept. 9.

To enter the contest, share photos of Jersey Fresh farmers, farms, markets, or produce with the hashtag #thankyouNJfarmers and make sure to mention the farmer, farm, or market name. Using the #thankyouNJfarmers hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will automatically enter you to win.

“This contest will be a great opportunity to showcase the essential work our farmers do every day,” Secretary Fisher said. “They grow outstanding fruits and vegetables year after year and are the reason the Jersey Fresh brand is so trusted. We know consumers will be creative and enthusiastic in highlighting the many sectors of agriculture in the Garden State.”

The weekly winners will be chosen from photographs posted on social media using the #thankyouNJfarmers hashtag. Starting Wednesday each week, contestants will have until the following Tuesday to post their #thankyouNJfarmers photos.

The weekly winners will be announced each Wednesday on the Jersey Fresh Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. There is a limit of four gift cards and/or $1,000 allowed to be allocated to any one Jersey Fresh market.

To learn more about Jersey Fresh, visit, Facebook at, Twitter @JerseyFreshNJDA, or Instagram @JerseyFreshNJDA.

To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at and Twitter @NJDA.

Community Calendar Education

Free Gardening Webinar Series Offered by Master Gardeners & 4-H

(Camden, NJ) – Have you and your family always wanted to garden? Do you just need a few tips to get started this growing season? Then join Camden County Master Gardener Coordinator Rebecca Szkotak and Camden County 4-H Agent Sharon Kinsey for the Get Ready to Grow! Family Gardening Series scheduled biweekly on Thursdays during June, July, and August 2020.

This six-part webinar series offered via WebEx is free of charge but requires pre-registration to participate. Szkotak will teach topics for the whole family, while Kinsey’s webinars are geared towards youth.

Topics Include:

  • June 4, 2020, 6 pm – Planning a Vegetable and Herb Garden with Rebecca
  • June 18, 2020, 3 pm – Making Upcycled Planters and Garden Markers with Sharon
  • July 2, 2020, 6 pm – Keeping Pest Out of the Garden with Rebecca
  • July 16, 2020, 3 pm – Insects – Pests or Pals?
  • August 6, 2020, 6 pm – Harvesting and Food Safety with Rebecca
  • August 20, 2020, 3 pm – Crafting for the Garden with Sharon

“Gardening is a rewarding, outdoor activity that can be shared by the whole family, especially during this period of social distancing,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash, liaison to the Camden County Parks Department. “With the expertise of these two organizations, and the easy access offered by the online format, your family will be cultivating and caring for your very own garden in no time.”

For questions, contact Rebecca Szkotak at or Sharon Kinsey at 

Register by June 3, 2020, by clicking here.

Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension helps the diverse population of New Jersey adapt to a rapidly changing society and improve their lives and communities through an educational process that uses science based knowledge.

Through science-based educational programs, Rutgers Cooperative Extension truly enhances the quality of life for residents of New Jersey and brings the wealth of knowledge of the state university to local communities through a partnership with counties across New Jersey.

Bright Side Community Calendar

JFS’ Village by the Shore Programs in June

Margate, NJ (May 21, 2020) – If you’re looking to enjoy some fun, unique virtual programming and a chance to socialize while safely at home, then the Jewish Family Service Village by the Shore events are for you. In June, the Village will feature interactive programs for your mind, body and creative skills as well as a chance to showcase your musical talents.

Relaxation Workshop

Wednesday, June 3 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Decompress virtually in a positive, relaxing environment and join in conversation with JFS Wellness Coordinator Mary Jean Arreola and Village Care Supervisor Jamie Reichelt. This workshop includes guided meditation, a discussion on breathing techniques and positive affirmations as well as tips to relax and wind down. Those new to guided meditation are in for a treat!

The Positivity Project – The Mind-Body Connection

Friday, June 5 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Join JFS Wellness Coordinator Mary Jean Arreola and Rothenberg Center Supervisor Sharon Simon as you discover ways to boost your wellness – mind, body and soul. You’ll explore how emotions, diet and physical activity impact your health, while discovering healthy habits that fit your lifestyle.

DIY Container Garden

Tuesday, June 9 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Embrace your green thumb and join us for an informative session on creating your own manageable container garden. You’ll learn how to grow and care for herbs and vegetables for display on your porch, deck or balcony.

Karaoke Sing-Along with Alex

Thursday, June 11 from 4pm to 5pm

Are you feeling nostalgic for the annual Village Spring Social, sponsored by United Methodist Communities?  If so, we can still come together virtually as local musician Alex Town leads friends and neighbors through a late afternoon of songs and live music. Dance along as Alex plays all of your favorites on the keyboard.

Coffee Klatch

Thursday, June 18 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Our world in 60 minutes! Insightful, animated and fast-paced conversation with friends spanning “both sides of the aisle and the middle.” Share your thoughts on politics, technology, world events, the arts and more. This program is moderated by JFS Village by the Shore Membership Director Tina Serota.

Memoir Workshop

Friday, June 19 from 10:30am to 12pm

Experience the thrill of capturing your life’s adventures, history, ancestry and more at our Memoir Workshop led by award-winning author and Drexel University Professor of Creative Writing, Harriet Levin Millan. You must have a laptop or pen and paper to enjoy the full experience of the workshop.

Get Physical with Fox Rehab

Tuesday, June 23 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Put on some sweats, grab your sneakers and kick those quarantine blues! Join a Fox Rehab Exercise Physiologist for a 45-minute session – no special equipment required. Exercises include a warm-up, gentle stretches, yoga-like techniques and cool-down. Stick around afterward for a 15-minute Q&A with Fox Rehab Regional Director of Operations Lauren Hunt, OT, MS, OTR/L, and Fox Rehab Account Manager Tara Pietrowitz.

Comfort Cuisine

Thursday, June 25 from 10:30am to 11:30am

Join us as we share our favorite recipes and the memories they invoke.  This month, we’ll focus on desserts, so send a copy of your favorite confection, pastry or treat to Tina Serota at by June 18.  Don’t forget to include your special memory and keep an eye out for special guest chefs.

All community members are welcome to participate in these programs, so please invite your friends, family or neighbors. To participate in any of the programs, please RSVP to Tina Serota at 609.287.8872 or  A Zoom link or call-in number for each program will be e-mailed or provided to you.

Village by the Shore is a membership program for adults over the age of 50. The program provides Intergenerational Events and Programs, Transportation, Grocery Shopping and Delivery, Kosher Meals on Wheels and more. For information or to join the Village by the Shore, contact Tina Serota at 609.287-8872 or or visit

About Jewish Family Service

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic & Cape May Counties (JFS) encourages strong families, thriving children, healthy adults, energized seniors and vital communities. With dozens of program areas, JFS specializes in counseling, mental health services, homeless programs, vocational services, adult and older adult services and also hosts an on-site food pantry. The agency impacts 8,000 lives throughout Atlantic and Cape May Counties each year.

JFS’ mission is to motivate and empower people to realize their potential and enhance their quality of life. In keeping with Jewish values and the spirit of tikkun olam (healing the world), JFS provides services with integrity, compassion, respect and professionalism regardless of their religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age or background.

For more information or to keep up-to-date with JFS events and programs, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Community Calendar Recent News

Gloucester County Division of Senior Services Holding Public Hearing via Teleconference to Identify & Prioritize Needs of Senior Citizens

The Gloucester County Division of Senior Services is in the process of updating its three-year plan. This plan will coordinate a service delivery system designed to identify and prioritize the needs of senior citizens in Gloucester County.

There will be a Public Hearing on the Gloucester County Division of Senior Services’ Area Plan Contract 2019-2021 — update 2021. The Area Plan Contract provides funding for programs that benefit the senior citizens of the County.

Funding sources include the Older Americans Act, Social Services Block Grant, Safe Housing and Transportation Programs, and State of New Jersey Funds among others.

Due to Governor Murphy’s executive order on March 21, 2020 prohibiting social gatherings and ordering residents to stay at home the County will be conducting its public hearing using teleconferencing.

This teleconferencing will provide information and permit members of the public to provide feedback and comment.

The teleconference will be held on May 28, 2020 at 10:00 am.

Persons who are unable to attend may send written testimony to:

Leona Mather, Executive Director
Division of Senior Services
115 Budd Blvd.
West Deptford, N.J 08096

To access the meeting:
Dial # 1-800-747-5150
Use Access code #3848346

For more information, please contact Brian Carey, Senrior Program Analyst at 856-686-8342.