“Teen Scene,” a program developed collaboratively by Cherry Hill High School West students and Cherry Hill Township, recently received national recognition with a “Promising Practices” Award from the Character Education Partnership.
Teen Scene was designed to bring together teenagers with special needs and their typically developing peers in fun and engaging social events.
With support from the Cherry Hill Township Ombudsman for Disabled Citizens, the Township Recreation Department, and the Cherry Hill Alliance on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, community service students from Cherry Hill West plan a variety of activities throughout the year.
Previous Teen Scene events have included dinner and a movie, rock band performances, arts and crafts night, bowling, and a Hawaiian luau.
“This ongoing initiative creates inclusive activities that all student participants can enjoy, while also developing leadership opportunities and encouraging our growth as a caring community,” said Allison Staffin, West Assistant Principal who accepted the Promising Practices Award at the CEP conference in late October.
“We are delighted that Teen Scene has received recognition as a model practice,” said Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn. “It has been exciting to watch this collaborative effort develop and to see the growth in participation at Teen Scene events.”
The next Teen Scene event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, at the Carman Tilelli Community Center (820 Mercer St.) The event is free to attend, and open to high-school aged Cherry Hill residents.
Cherry Hill West received a second Promising Practices award for the West Patriot Club, a group created and led by students for a dual purpose: to support active duty military serving around the world and to honor veterans within our own community. A. Russell Knight Elementary School received a Promising Practices award for its culturally proficient practices.
According to the Character Education Partnership (CEP), Promising Practice award winners offer educators and others working with young people “practical ways to develop empathy, conflict resolution skills, and good citizenship,” said Lara Maupin, CEP Program Director.