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Featuring 20+ Mindful Leaders 
FREE 7-Day Series to Nurture your child's developing mind, turning the crazy into calm, curious play.
Register TODAY to gain access to FREE resources 
(Value: $2500) that will inspire you to PLAY and reduce stress and anxiety along the way. 
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Decolonize Gender in Your Classroom Today!

Decolonizing Gender Is Available Now!

This mini-course is for elementary teachers who want to better understand how gender-based stereotypes show up in their classrooms, and how to create classrooms where all of their students can be themselves, regardless of gender identity or expression.

Learn More

What You Will Learn:

Lesson 1: Decolonizing Gender for Ourselves

Lesson 2: Gender in the Elementary Classroom

Lesson 3: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills about Gender Stereotypes and Gender Fluidity

Lesson 4: Teaching Trans, Two-spirit, and Nonbinary identity

Lesson 5: Putting It All Together

Bibliography and Resources: 

  • Participants will receive a mix of resources, lessons, and reflection tools.

About the Instructor:

Bex Mui (she/her) is a biracial, queer, cis femme organizer and consultant committed to the work of LGBTQ affirmation at the intersections of education, equity, and spirituality. She has studied, worked, and advocated for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the K-12 education system for the past 18 years. Bex started her journey studying systems of oppression with a queer femnist lens at the College of New Rochelle where she received a B.A. in English and a certification for Elementary Education.  Dedicated to progressive education and facilitated learning, Bex chose Bank Street College to receive her Master’s in Education with a specialization in Literacy.  She worked for ten years as an elementary classroom teacher, primarily at a social-justice inclusion school, where she taught and developed LGBTQ+ inclusive lessons as an out queer educator. Bex has supported school, district, and national LGBTQ-inclusion and social justice initiatives, and has developed equity-themed professional development workshops for faculty, administrators, and families.

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10814003270?profile=originalWe are thrilled to announce that PPMNJ is hosting its very own Virtual Teen Life Conference! Join us when we go live via Zoom on Friday, June 11th, 2021, 10AM-12PM.  


Youth are at the forefront of countless progressive movements aimed at creating better futures for themselves and their communities. This year at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan NJ's Teen Life Conference, we are focusing on providing education, resources, and tools to empower high school students to become young activists. This half day conference will provide teens with the opportunity to learn about what social and health justice issues impact them and how they can be a part of a positive change. We are thrilled to have Leader, Educator, and community activist Tia Ryans deliver the conference keynote address.

 Students are can register using this link: 

Looking forward to seeing you there! Register Today! 

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PRISM at Montclair State University is giving away FREE "Grow and Learn" plant growth kits at their office in NJ.  Each boxed kit has 80 peat pots packaged as "pods" containing seeds in paper planting strips, labeled tags for all 20 different kinds of vegetable and herb seeds, with pellets of growing medium, and are ideal for children.  Take one kit for a class or several for a school or community garden, as long as the supply lasts.


YouTube videos provide step-by-step instructions:  Grow and learn with seed pods!

Also, use the GROW & LEARN app in the App Store.  The seed pods are each coded for scanning and use in the app, which has extensive instructions and activities for kids.


Pick up at PRISM offices in Bloomfield on April 27, 28, 29, May 5, and May 6 between 2:00 and 4:30 pm. 


Email first to let us know you are coming!  Multiple sets of kits can be taken for many classes, but please reserve and come soon.

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REL Mid-Atlantic News

Tips for Supporting Student Engagement in Remote and Hybrid Learning Environments

Remote Learning graphic

A new infographic from REL Mid-Atlantic and the New Jersey Department of Education can help educators promote and maintain student engagement in remote and hybrid learning environments. Most schools moved to fully or partially remote instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. The infographic reviews critical factors related to instructional delivery, staffing and professional development, extracurricular activities, technology access and use, family engagement, and social and emotional learning.


Read the infographic and listen to a related webinar.

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Engaging Families in Re-Entry Planning

Wednesday, April 21, 3:00-4:00 pm ET


Students and teachers have started to return to in-person instruction after an unprecedented year of virtual and hybrid schooling. As schools reopen, educators will need to consider a variety of needs. Those include academic as well as socio-emotional needs. How can schools and districts collaborate with families in the re-entry process? And how can we ease anxieties and smooth the transition?


In this webinar, we'll hear from a panel of school and district representatives from Stafford County Public Schools in Virginia and Queen Anne's County Public Schools in Maryland. The panel will discuss how they’ve engaged families in planning for the return to in-person instruction. They’ll share what's worked and what hasn't, lessons learned, and tips for those working through similar challenges.



  • Alexis White, Principal, Garrisonville Elementary School
  • JR Raybold, Principal, Conway Elementary School
  • Scott Elchenko, Principal Stafford Middle School
  • Kristen McKinney-Nash, Family Engagement Specialist, Stafford County Public Schools
  • Amanda Ensor, Title I Family Engagement Specialist, Queen Anne's County Public Schools

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Watermark Scholarship for Women in STEM


The application period is now open for the Watermark Scholars program! 

Watermark is offering women in STEM scholarships for the fall 2021 academic term to provide much-needed support for college students pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM)-related studies and careers.

Two students will be selected from the pool of applicants, and awardees will each receive $5,000 to help continue their education.

Share the Opportunity With Your Students!

To participate in the Watermark Scholars program, applicants are asked to submit either a written essay, up to 500 words, or a short video on the topic of “Who has inspired you to pursue a career in science or technology, and what do you want to achieve upon graduation?” We’re looking for students who have been inspired by recent events and changes in learning and want to make a difference in their careers!

We’re asking you to help us share this opportunity with your students by posting this link on your institution’s website and sharing it with the appropriate internal resources:

The deadline to submit entries is July 15, 2021, and awardees will be notified in August. 

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10814003500?profile=originalDear Teachers and other School Personnel, 

We are the Northeast Counties Association of Psychologists (NCAP) serving our members and the communities of Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic. We have been an affiliate of the New Jersey Psychological Association for 38 years. 

For more information about us please visit our website at 

As we approach the one year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, our association is focusing our community outreach toward educators in our three counties. We are extending this invitation (attached) to educators and school personnel as an opportunity for connection, support, and strategies for managing the life and work challenges of this unique school year. We hope our dialogue will provide a format for sharing struggles, learning from each other, and expanding our ways of coping in this difficult year. 

NCAP's Educators Zoom Forum will be held Thursday, April 15th, 2021 from 7:00-8:30 PM. Zoom link to follow. 

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Curated by: Ashley Y. Lipscomb and Brittany Spatz

5 Ways to Support Students & Colleagues During Ramadan by Fatema Elbakoury 

I went into education because I am the teacher my younger self needed. So I have to be what would have freed her at the time. It's scary, but it's necessary.” -Fatema Elbakoury 


Ramadan starts on the evening of Monday, April 12th and ends on May 12th; therefore, I am amplifying the words of my good friend, teacher, and beautiful soul Fatema Elbakoury: 


Growing up in the American public school system, I usually spent all of Ramadan apologizing as I asked for extensions, patience and support from my peers and teachers. Sometimes these needs were accommodated. Most times they weren’t because teachers didn’t want to look like they were giving me a pass. 


My fears and experiences are those of many Muslim students in American schools. It is also an untold story of Muslim educators in this country, who are expected to produce curriculum and instruct with the same enthusiasm during this time--a pandemic that’s caused so much loss and trauma for everyone involved--as well as any other non-Muslim staff. 


Here are three ways to support Muslim students: 


Be Kind & Gracious:  I know damn well you can't go without your coffee and water! So don't expect your students to produce the work you demand when you wouldn't even be able to produce it yourself under those circumstances. Allow for extensions and constantly communicate with your Muslim students as to when they feel they will be able to turn the assignment in. If it’s after Ramadan, it’s okay! You can still expect them to meet the criteria you set out on the rubrics you created, but allow for that time so they can focus on their spirituality and nourishment as well as their education. If they are quieter during class as a result of fatigue and dehydration, do not hold them to the same level of expectations when considering daily participation. 


Make the Exception & Reach Out: REACH OUT in advance to see what those students need. If the idea of "making an exception" makes you uncomfortable then you might be part of the problem called islamophobia. The entire American context--from calendars to holidays--is structured around Christianity, so of course, you never have to ask for grace when you get every Sunday for it. 


An important note here: Do not assume that because a student is Arab, they are Muslim. And do not assume that they will be fasting even if they are! Some Muslims can’t fast for medical conditions, and girl-identifying Muslims may be menstruating and therefore can’t fast for that period of time. 


Address Students Directly & Offer Space:  If another student comes up to you and says "Why does ______ not have to do_______?" You can tell them "Because it's Ramadan and _____ is fasting. They can't eat or drink till sundown, so they are very tired right now. Wouldn't you be tired if you had to do what we are doing right now with no food/water?" Use it as a moment to challenge your students, educate yourself, and create variation and open dialogue in your virtual classrooms (and physical classrooms for those who are back in-person). 


Here are two ways to support your colleagues: 


Overall Grace: Our memory and abilities will be even more limited than usual as a result of some dehydration and fatigue from fasting. We are still trying our best! 


Disrupt Microaggressions: Do NOT say to your colleagues or to students, “I don’t know how you do it.” or “It must be so good for your health,” or “Not even water?” or “Aren’t you Muslim, so why aren’t you fasting?” And if you hear someone else saying similar comments address it immediately by situating that student in their actions. For example, “How would you feel if during this time of the year, you would have to constantly answer these questions because most people aren’t aware of your faith?” Or, “Actually, Muslims hold varying degrees of faith and each Muslim is different in that, so maybe it’s not okay to assume?” 

Ramadan Mubarak and good luck on your journey as an educator! ✨✨✨


Note: Fatema will be curating lesson plans about Ramadan for your classrooms. The release date will be announced in next week’s newsletter. Be sure to follow Fatema on Twitter: @fy822!



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Gentili docenti-

The 2021 edition of the Italian Intensive Summer Program for HS students is slated to take place in an “al fresco” version, leveraging the beautiful outdoor spaces of the Montclair State University campus, in accordance with current COVID-related guidelines.

We are currently collecting interest among students and families through a survey due April 20 (see Google Form). We would appreciate if you can circulate this announcement through your schools' lists and social media. We understand this is spring break, but we thought that this would be a better time for everybody to think about the summer without the pressure coming from school-related commitments.

For more information, see webpage:
For inquiries, please write to

We are very excited at the idea of offering the program again after last year's hiatus, and look forward to having students of Italian on the Montclair State University campus!

Teresa Fiore and Patti Grunther

Dr. Teresa Fiore

Full Professor of Italian and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies - Montclair State University, New Jersey

Recent Grant: NEH Award
Book: Pre-Occupied Spaces: Remapping Italy's Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies
Profiles: MSU Page and
Inserra Chair website

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Sharing on behalf of Candace Dowart...

We are now offering the opportunity to complete the online graduate certificate in Virtual Learning for Students with Disabilities this summer. The 6-credit program is fully online and can be completed in two, short-term sessions at reduced graduate tuition of $500/credit. Anyone interested in learning more about the program is invited to a 30-minute information session on April 21 at 4 p.m. EST.


The use and access to technology in the classroom will continue to grow and change how we teach and how students learn.

Montclair State University's fully online graduate certificate in Virtual Learning for Students with Disabilities is designed to build your skills in instructional and assistive technology for the P-12 classroom. 

If you are just entering the field or are a veteran teacher, the Virtual Learning graduate certificate program will prepare you to use technology to meet the the needs of all students, with the goal of supporting their academic independence and ensuring their full academic and social participation.

All types of education professionals, such as general education teachers in inclusive classrooms, special educators working across a range of classroom settings, paraprofessionals, administrators, and related service providers, will gain immediately applicable skills in instructional technologies and assessment methods, including the development of accessible, high-quality instruction.

Take your next professional development step and complete the graduate certificate program this summer. The first course will be offered from May 22, 2021 to Jun 26, 2021.

Learn more about the program at our upcoming online information session on April 21 at 4 p.m. EST.


Candace E. Dorwart
Montclair State Online

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Join ACNJ, First Lady Tammy Murphy, the NAACP of Atlantic City, Prematurity Prevention Initiative and Family Health Initiatives for a roundtable discussion of the launch and expansion of the Maternal Experience Survey. The survey focuses on the experience of Black and Brown mothers in New Jersey, with the goals of improving maternal and child health care and reducing inequities for birthing women of color.

The Maternal Experience Survey has already launched in Atlantic City, and now, will be released for other counties throughout the state. The event will share the innovative and powerful processes designed to collect the stories and experiences of Black and Brown pregnant and delivering mothers in NJ. Join us to hear how community leaders, health care providers, local stakeholders, elected officials and state leaders partnered to usher a robust and successful launch of the survey.

Register Today

If you have any questions about this e-newsletter, contact Eloisa Hernandez at or call 973.643.3876 x208

Advocates for Children of New Jersey | 35 Halsey Street Newark , New Jersey 07102

Questions? Email us at or call us at  (973) 643-3876.

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This is a reminder that "Aztec Chocolate in Sicily: An Online Cooking Lesson with Annalisa Pompeo" IS HAPPENING NOW!

Date Time: Apr 19, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

When Sicilian photographer Ferdinando Scianna visited Oaxaca and experienced how chocolate was made based on an Aztec recipe, he claimed he felt right at home. A mirror of that experience is available to visitors from Mexico in the Sicilian town of Modica, where chocolate is also made following that very ancient technique.

On Mon. April 19 (11am EST, 17 in Italy) join us for the virtual event "Aztec Chocolate in Sicily" to discover one of the fascinating transnational routes of cultural cross-pollination created by the Spanish Empire and its legacy... in a chocolate bar. Chef Annalisa Pompeo will guide us through the preparation of bars with different flavors, from chili pepper to cinnamon, after chocolatier Pierpaolo Ruta walks us through the history of this preparation and its unconventional meaning in today's Made in Italy market. 

This webinar will be presented in Italian with (optional) simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish.  For more info, see flyer below and webpageRSVP HERE

The event is part of the NEH project "Memoria Presente: The Common Spanish Legacy in Italian and Latin American Cultures" and the COIL video project in collaboration with the University of Palermo.


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Dear Teachers,


I hope that this email finds you well. We are writing to ask you to participate in a research study titled, “Teacher Preparedness in Addressing Cyberbullying: Impact of Stress, Self-Efficacy, and COVID-19.” The purpose of this study is to learn about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of stress for teachers and understand teachers’ experiences with remote learning. This study will also investigate teachers’ perception of cyberbullying and how remote learning may have impacted cyber-bullying at school.


In order to understand these issues, we are asking for teachers working in public middle and high schools (5-12 grades) to complete a brief survey. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. Your participation in this survey is voluntary and your responses will be anonymous. If you decide to participate, you will have the option to include your email address at the end of the survey to receive a $5 gift card to Amazon, Target, Walmart, or Starbucks to thank you for your participation in this study. You must complete at least 80% of survey items in order to receive a gift card.


This study has been approved by the UBSTUDY00004949 and the MSU IRB-FY20-21-1970.


Study link:


If you have any questions about the study, please contact Dr. Fredrick at or Dr. Coyle at

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