Poetry and Debate classes in Long Hill Township

The Maija Golden Creative Writing Foundation has offered free classes to Long Hill Township elementary students this fall.
Mrs Noelle Milito, Millington Elementary School, has taught a poetry class at the school after school hours for students in grades 2-5 in a program called Kids Got Poetry! Milito, with the help of WHRHS freshman Giulia Banfi, has taught her writers how poetry doesn’t need to be difficult and in her exceptionally energetic manner she has brought out the poet within all the students. Poetry classes were concluded on November 15 with an ice cream party and recital.
At Central Middle School students in grades 6-8 have been able to explore how fun debating can be when they have meet with CMS reading teacher Mrs Isabella DeBiasse every Thursday afternoon after school. A majority of middle schools do not offer a debate team so the class called Debate! has been a fantastic opportunity for students to learn to research, argue and defend a topic while improving all their language skills. Mrs DeBiasse invited the WHRHS debate team, the JSA club, to come and help the students and show them what high school debate team activities can be like. Classes were concluded on November 30 with a grand debate.
Mrs DeBiasse further explained the value of the class “The class is an opportunity for students, whether shy or outspoken, to develop their public speaking skills.” She continued, “Students in different grade levels have gotten to know each other in a setting that they normally would not have, and 8th graders were especially excited to meet Watchung Hills students who are in the JSA club. This has been valuable to CMS students who will now have a few familiar faces welcoming them in the halls at the high school next year. We have all benefited from their debating strategies and activities.”
The foundation thanks all parents that have trusted them to teach their children and the fantastic volunteers and donors that make it possible to offer these classes for free. The Long Hill Board of Education, superintendent Dr Acevedo and principals Mrs Dawson, MES, and Mr Viturello, CMS have all made it possible to have these classes at the schools to make it more convenient and efficient for students and parents alike. The foundation is most grateful to all of them.
The Maija Golden Creative Writing Foundation was founded this past spring to honor the memory of Maija Golden of Gillette who passed away earlier this year.
The purpose of the foundation is to promote creative writing and spoken word for young writers through classes, grants, scholarships and workshops. Their website can be found at www.themaijafund.org.