School bus route to library available for secondary students

New after-school programs for teens, tweens implemented


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  • School buses will now stop at the West Milford Township Library so students can take advantage of its services and programs.



By Patricia Keller

The West Milford School District and Township Public Library officials have been working together to provide new after-school programs for middle and high school students at the township’s new public library facility.

According to West Milford Director of Education Dan Novak, plans for transportation from these schools to the library have been finalized, and the service became available to students as of Nov. 6. Novak said the district would provide one or two buses daily to take students age 12 or over (library policy for not requiring an adult to accompany them) directly to the library.

The library itself is working to provide adolescent and tween/teen programming and activities to capitalize on this opportunity, Novak said, adding: "As a school district, we are eager to support an increased involvement between our students, staff, and the township library.”

About the programNovak and Library Director Ricardo Pino have been working closely together to work out the details of the program. It aims to let students better utilize the library’s resources to study, complete homework, work on school or other research projects, and for after-school activities.

Novak said, “As part of a bigger picture, we see this as a ‘next step’ to enhancing the academic experience of our adolescents and increase more positive involvement for this age group throughout our township.”

Pino said the programs will enhance "the academic experience and positive involvement for community members that are exploring the ever-changing edges of their world but may not always have the ability to explore them in a safe, constructive environment.”

“Our former library facility encouraged a transactional model of library service because of its size; basically, grab your materials and go. Now that we have a brand new facility of appropriate size, our goal is to truly make this space a community center. Enhanced partnerships like this with the District are one step towards inviting the community to explore how the library can serve as a gateway to the larger world.”

How it worksAs of Monday, the buses have been traveling from the high school to the library, located at 1470 Union Valley Road. Parents are responsible for providing transportation home for their child from the library prior to library closing hours. Library hours are available on the library website at www.wmtl.org.

A permission slip must be completed and returned to the student’s homeroom teacher before the student may take part in the program, and it is effective for the entire school year. The permission slip form is posted on the district’s website, www.wmtps.org.

Board of Education president James Foody remarked that the library is a safe environment with plenty of resources for open study or focused projects; and that the district will be supplying Chromebook computers there for use by local students.

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