School Counts! Improves Life in the Community


By President Dr. Kenneth Ender

Cumberland County is a top-notch community. Cumberland is the first county in New Jersey to embrace the School Counts! program, a unique partnership between the business and education communities.

School Counts! is going to improve the quality of life in the county. More than 400 businesses are participating in School Counts!. And 2,000 students from Bridgeton, Cumberland Christian, Cumberland Regional, Millville, Sacred Heart and Vineland high schools have enrolled.

Through School Counts!, high school students can earn a certificate every year indicating that they are workforce ready. Students earn the certificates by attending school regularly, achieving above average grades, accomplishing more than the minimum graduation requirements and graduating on time.

School Counts! means opportunity for the students. Area businesses will give them the edge as job applicants, since the students possess characteristics businesses seek for productive employees.

And students who earn four School Counts! certificates will also be eligible for scholarships to attend Cumberland County College. The 2005 high school classes will be the first students to be eligible for the scholarships.

Money for the scholarships is being raised by the CCC Foundation through special events and an endowment campaign. The second annual School Counts! Golf Classic, held on June 12, netted more than $120,000.

More than 70 area businesses sponsored the golf tournament, with South Jersey Industries serving as the presenting sponsor. Major sponsors included The Daily Journal, Sun National Bank, Basile and Testa PA, Coca-Cola, Durand Glass/ARC International, Federici and Akin PA, Hudson National Bank, Foundry Service Corporation, Jenzabar, Minotola National Bank, Newfield National Bank, Progresso Quality Foods, Rothe-Johnson-Fantacone and The Kintock Group.

CCC Foundation Board member Norman Neill saw that all the details were in place as chair of the Golf Committee. The members, who shared Neill’s enthusiasm, included Terry Carpenter, Dennis DiLazzero, Gus Gosweiler, Bill Hallissey, Carl Kirstein, Bill Milam, Sue Perry, Mark Sockwell and myself.

The Lincoln Falls foursome of Rich Allen, Lew Thompson, Alan Angelo and Dave Crescenzo placed first, but they were among many stars at this event. The enthusiasm generated by county residents is going to make School Counts! a model program for promoting success in America.