Neighborhood Bulletin Board: Criterion Sentinel (for Feb. 3)


A Family Night Out program will be offered to parents, caregivers and youths ages 10-14 who live in Middlesex County starting Feb. 8.

The program will take place on Monday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m.

Families will spend their time doing interactive activities and games while building communication skills. The adults learn and discuss parenting techniques to help them deal with their children during adolescence. They review subjects that include parental love and limits, making rules, encouraging good behavior, using consequences, protecting against substance abuse and getting help through community resources. Youth learn about subjects such as having goals and dreams, appreciating parents, dealing with stress, following rules, dealing with peer pressure and reaching out to others are discussed.

On the Tuesday after the lesson is attended, families will receive a gift card for a grocery store. They will be able to purchase whatever food they would like and have dinner while completing homework assignments for the program.

 Subsequent sessions will follow on Mondays Feb. 22, and March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.

Register at

Contact Heather Ward at 732-254-3344, ext. 120 or email at [email protected] for more information.

This program is made available through a grant from the NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.




The Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps is dedicated to protecting and preserving the more than 8,000 acres of open space owned and maintained by Middlesex County.

Conservation Corps crew members must be 16 years of age or older. They work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays from April 10 through June 5. Salary is $12.50 per hour.

Responsibilities include:

  • Litter clean-up, recycling and brush removal
  • Trail marking, building and maintenance
  • Mapping/survey of existing trail system
  • Plantings and reforestation management projects
  • Wildlife habitat enhancement projects
  • Invasive species management and removal

To apply, send a cover letter and resume to [email protected] or mail to Middlesex County Office of Parks and Recreation, Attn: Julia DeRosso, P.O. Box 661, New Brunswick 08903.

Applications are due by Feb. 19.




Temple Emanu-El in Edison will present an evening of Jewish comedy, presented by Abe Vorensky, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 via Zoom.

Register at

The Zoom meeting ID is 835 7221 415 using passcode “temple”.

Temple Emanu-El in Edison will present “Pandemic in Persia” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26.

“The Zoom Spiel” will include Shabbat L’Chol in celebration of Purim.

The Zoom meeting ID is 835 722 1415 using passcode “temple”.



The American Irish Association of Woodbridge has canceled its 2021 St. Patrick’s Day Parade due to caution surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade started in 1974. The only other cancellation was in 2010 due to a Nor’easter.

The date for 2022 is already set for March 13.

For updates, visit @American Irish Association of Woodbridge on Facebook or






Middlesex College is developing apprenticeship opportunities in Advanced Manufacturing through Career Advance USA, a U.S. Department of Labor-funded grant.

Apprenticeships, developed and implemented in collaboration with employers, are earn-and-learn programs that combine formal classroom learning with on-the-job training.

Those interested in the program should register for a virtual information session at They will be held over Zoom at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 9, March 9, April 13 and May 11.

The college is also looking for employers interested in developing workers.

For more information about the grant and how to participate, visit or contact Yarelis Figueroa at [email protected] or John Miller at [email protected].




The Metuchen Arts Council is joining with the Metuchen Human Relations Commission to schedule a virtual “Community Conversations” around the issues highlighted in 2021 Windows of Understanding Public Art Project. Those issues include food insecurity, youth engagement, trauma and recovery, public health and climate change.

All Community Conversations will start at 7:30 p.m. and can be accessed via Facebook live at 

  • Feb. 24: Discussion on public health and trauma and recovery will focus on the work of the Metuchen First Aid Squad and Women Aware of New Brunswick. The artists interpreting those agencies missions include Dominique Brancato, Lauren Rabinowitz, Luciana Mallozzi, Martina Hanna, Amalya Sherman and Janice Fried.
  • April 21: In observance of Earth Day, Edison Greenways Group and artists Laura Curtis and Mickey Waring will explore the issue of climate change.


In addition to the Community Conversations, the Metuchen programming for the Windows of Understanding Project will include an exhibition in the Metuchen Public Library Gallery of all the art discussed in the Community Discussion.

A virtual exhibit will also be mounted and available for viewing from the Metuchen Arts Council website at The project launches on Jan. 18, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as a way of paying homage to Dr. King’s legacy.

For more information on Windows of Understanding, including a complete list of featured organizations, participating storefronts, and a full calendar of free events, visit or on Instagram at @windowsofunderstanding, #weseethroughhate.




The Metuchen Farmers Market is holding an online fundraiser.

The Pea support level, costing $20 pays for important supplies like hand sanitizer.

The Pod support level, costing $50, goes toward key equipment such as the hand sanitizer dispensing stand.

The Seed support level, costing $100, pays for one week of essential site services, such as portable restrooms.

The Radish level, costing $200, pays for a month of e-commerce site fees.

Donate by visiting; or send a check or money order to Metuchen Farmers Market, 402 Main St., Suite 100-166, Metuchen 08840.

For more information, email [email protected].





The Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County, located on Oak Tree Road in Edison, will hold its second virtual Mahjong tournament on Feb. 10.

Play on for three rounds of 12 games.

The opening ceremony is at 10 a.m. via Zoom. Play from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Winners will be announced at 1:45 p.m. There will be Amazon gift card prizes.

The cost is $18 per person. 

 There will also be a 50/50 raffle at $5 per ticket.

Must register by Feb. 4. Zoom registration information will be sent upon receipt of tournament registration. 

Contact Diane Mael, director of Adult Services, by emailing [email protected] to get an invitation, rules for scoring and registration information.

Nominations for the 25th annual Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award are being accepted through Feb. 12.

Members of the community can nominate a fellow New Jerseyan and give him or her the chance to be recognized for their service. They are people who help others in need, give their time and energy to solve community problems, and put others above themselves.

Each year, the Making a Difference Award presents $50,000 to one winner, $25,000 to two runners-up, and up to $7,500 to several others at a ceremony hosted by Ramapo College of New Jersey, which manages the awards program on behalf of the Russell Berrie Foundation.

Awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony in May.

The nomination form is available online at



The Latino Mental Health Association of New Jersey will hold its 2021 annual conference virtually on Feb. 19 and 20.

Find meaning across Latinx identities and adapt to changing times affecting racism, colorist and invisibility.

To register, visit

Co-sponsored by Horizon NJ Health and Rutgers School of Social Work.




New Jersey Blood Services will hold a blood drive from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Metuchen YMCA, 65 High St., Metuchen.

Everyone 17 years old and over is strongly encouraged to become a donor.

To make an appointment, visit and click on “Donate.” Or, call Paul Edgcomb at 732-887-6633.





Recognizing the bravery and commitment of volunteer firefighters and first responders, New Jersey American Water announces its 2021 grant program for volunteer fire departments, ambulance squads and first aid squads located within the company’s service areas.

Grants may be used to cover the costs of personal protective equipment, communications gear, first aid equipment, firefighting tools, vehicle maintenance and other materials that will be used to support volunteer firefighter and emergency responder operations. Reimbursement for specific training courses, including the cost of training manuals, student workbooks, and instructors is also eligible.

To apply, organizations must complete the application available at under News & Community, Community Involvement.

The maximum grant amount awarded to any organization is $2,000.

The deadline to apply is March 12. Interested applicants can find more information and apply online at

Grant recipients will be notified at the end of March.



Teens across the state can begin submitting entries for the 26th Annual New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which highlights the New Jersey Human Services’ mission to support families, especially during these challenging times.

The contest, run by the Division of Family Development, is open to all New Jersey middle and high school-aged children.

The 2021 contest challenges teens to illustrate – through art or the written word – how they and their loved ones have supported each other through all of the changes that have happened this year, from remote schooling to finding new ways to stay connected to friends and family.

All entries must be postmarked no later than March 31.

Staff from the Division of Family Development and its Office of Child Support Services will judge the contest. Winners will be selected in first, second, and third places in both the middle and high school groups, for each of the two entry categories. Typically, winning students are recognized at an awards ceremony in mid-May, but a final decision on an awards ceremony will be made at a later date based on the status of the public health emergency and related health and safety guidelines.

Winning entries from the contest will be included in the 2022 Office of Child Support Calendar, as well as potentially being included as part of the office’s marketing materials. A number of honorable mention entries will also be selected for possible inclusion in both areas.  

The 2021 calendar can be viewed or downloaded from the contest homepage,, to serve as inspiration for the teens. The website also provides the official rules, frequently asked questions, entry forms, a look at the winners and honorable mentions from previous contests and other important contest information.

Teachers and administrators can register their school by visiting or by contacting Matthew Cossel at 937-207-7627 or [email protected]. School registration is not required for direct student entry.

For complete submission guidelines, visit

For more information about child support services, call 1-877-NJKIDS1 or visit







Dove Hospice Services of New Jersey seeks compassionate volunteers to provide support to local hospice patients and their families.

Hospice patient care volunteers visit with patients in their homes, which can also be nursing facilities or assisted living facilities, at least once a week. They read to the patient, reminisce about their lives, play cards, help with letter writing and provide respite for caregivers.

Visits can be virtual, and are either during the day or early evening.

Volunteers may also assist with administrative work within the hospice office.

Patient care volunteers complete an application and attend a virtual volunteer training program that covers the role of a hospice volunteer. Day and evening virtual training programs are offered.

To sign up for the next virtual training class, contact Volunteer Coordinator Deborah Adams at 732-405-3035 or email [email protected].


The United Way of Central Jersey’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund will assist individuals and families affected by the novel coronavirus with crucial basic expenses including rent, utilities, prescription medication/medical supplies, child care and food.

United Way will work with trusted community partners to identify individuals and families most in need of this temporary support.

Donations to the UWCJ COVID-19 Support Fund may be made online at Checks made payable to United Way may be mailed to United Way of Central Jersey, 32 Ford Ave., Milltown 08850.


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