Local/State

2 Delaware Valley schools receive top honors

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two Delaware Valley school districts have been recognized as among America's 100 Best Communities for Young People. The idea is to empower students to be prepared for the future.

It's an impressive award, recognizing the Abington and Lower Merion School Districts, with a specific focus on promoting safe school environments and eradicating bullying.

The student body president at Welsh Valley Middle School, Jacob Diamond Reivich, says no school is more deserving of the best communities award.

"The entire staff here frequently and persistently goes out of their way to ensure that every student feels included and safe at Welsh Valley," Reivich said.

Welsh Valley and other schools in the Lower Merion District have provided students with diversity, education, and bullying prevention programs like Forum, where a time and place are provided during the school day for kids to have an open dialogue with faculty and one another.

It is done in groups of about twenty five, so it gives everybody a chance to be open and say how they are feeling. It gives them a chance to tell if they are happy, not happy, or even how school is going.

The district participates in the Anti-Defamation League's "NO PLACE FOR HATE" initiative.

Its effort includes a web of support. The principal of Welsh Valley Middle School says it includes multiple adults and most importantly, other students in the community.

Both Lower Merion and Abington Township were recognized by America's "Promise Alliance" the nation's largest partnership, dedicated to improving young people's lives. It was founded by General Colin Powell and is currently chaired by his wife, Alma.

Both communities completed a rigorous application in the competition, providing details on how they implemented the "five Promises" identified by the Alliance.

"It's about the fundamental resources a young person needs, whether it's health, caring adults, or safety," says Carol DiJoseph, Abington Township Commissioner.

The Abington School district has been named one of the country's Best Communities for Young People for the 5th time. It is the only four and five-time winner in Pennsylvania!

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Tags:
pennsylvania, bullying, school, local/state, lisa thomas-laury
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