2011 Municipal Alliance Funded Activities


In November 2011, two hundred and thirty parents met in the campus center at Ridgewood High School for our Parent 2 Parent: Alcohol and your Teen Town Hall Meeting.  Over dinner parents networked and talked about their own experiences with their children and strategies that they could use to curb underage drinking.  A panel discussion followed.  Moderated by David Zrike, the panel included Basil Pizzuto, RHS Vice principal; Lauren DePinto, RHS Crisis Counselor; Dr. John McGreal from Valley Hospital ER; and Police Officers Paul Dinice and Doug Henky.  They spoke about what was happening in Ridgewood.  The drug of choice is alcohol and the concern is binge drinking and the use of vodka.  They all agreed that the schools and the community can help keep our children safe, but that parents have to partner with us and network with one another.  It is so important that parents make sure that they get to know their children's friends and their children's friends' parents.  Check out one of the handouts for the evening: Parenting Tips from Shoulder to Shoulder Minnesota.

Read a speech delivered by a caring parent at the meeting, a Record article about this event, and see pictures here.




Also in November 2011 A Partnership for Change was funded to hold assemblies at Ridgewood High School on dating violence prevention.  A Partnership For Change (APFC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to break the cycle of abuse in all relationships by offering comprehensive prevention and awareness programs that educate and empower communities to end family violence.  APFC provides specific training in the areas of domestic violence and teen dating abuse.  Visit their website for more detailed information on their programs.




Also funded in November 2011, Ridgewood High School student leaders will be given the opportunity to participate in the Heroes and Cool Kids Program.  The program utilizes the services of current and former professional athletes whose personal life experiences enable them to train high school student leaders.  The athletes train high school students to mentor middle school students on important life skills, including sportsmanship, conflict resolution and positive lifestyle choices highlighting drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention.  The training sessions are held at Bergen Community College and students, once trained, will work with sixth grade students at BF and GW middle schools.  For more information on the Heroes and Cool Kids program visit their web site.




On August 22, the Municipal Alliance funded training for peer counselors at Ridgewood High School.  Peer Counselors work in small advisory groups with 9th grade students to help them navigate through their freshman year.  Peer Counselors welcomed the class of 2015 when school opened on September 6.




In June and September the Municipal Alliance helped to support Backwoods for our high school students.  Backwoods, developed by the Ridgewood Guild, high school students, and RHS principal Jack Lorenz, offered students the opportunity to enjoy an outside dance at Van Neste Park.







Also in June the Municipal Alliance sponsored and helped chaperone the “Step Up” recreational night for our rising sixth graders.  Our students enjoyed a fun evening of games, music, food, and socializing and were introduced to our Village’s Youth Center.  Almost 400 students attended.





In May and June, Kids Write Now coordinators worked with our 6th graders in Health Class about substance abuse and at risk behaviors. Kids Write Now is an innovative program that bridges writing fluency and social competency. Each customized classroom workshop presents original, realistic fiction written in the voice of an adolescent faced with an alcohol or drug related incident. The story is left unfinished so that students can write their own endings in a voice of the main character, solving the problem. They are then invited to share their writing and join in thoughtful discussion.