“When our students do better, our City does better,” said Perth Amboy PTO president Donna Stewart, Tuesday night at Terrazza Restaurant.

Donna was reporting back to a fast expanding team of citizen problem-solvers working in Perth Amboy within The Citizens Campaign’s Impact Perth Amboy initiative.  Since September, these citizens have been meeting regularly to identify important issues and evidence-based, best practice solutions. 

Already the conversation has generated a number of priority topics, including storm related environmental issues, waterfront economic development, challenged youth, and the arts – and Perth Amboy citizens are stepping up to take these issues on and get results.  The environmental committee celebrated the adoption of a City Council resolution to join the Sustainable Jersey program which qualifies the City for grants.  The arts committee has come together to identify their top priorities and is looking to collaborate on a Perth Amboy arts promotion program. And resident Shaniel Stokes has begun putting together a snapshot report on current activities of all city planning and development entities and an “important facts” inventory of developable properties along both the Arthur Kill and Raritan River. When citizens and the business community want to know what is happening with prime waterfront properties or what is planned, this will be a go to source of information.

donnastewart.JPGPerhaps the most exciting news is found within the education committee -- which brings us back to Donna  Stewart and her call for Perth Amboy’s residents to take an active role in helping students, “Win, lose, or draw – we are all responsible.” 

If you are interested in attending the Perth Amboy Student Code of Conduct conference or interested in volunteering with one of the Impact Perth Amboy issue subcommittees, please visit thecitizenscampaign.org or call Aneil Mohammed at (732) 548-9798 x3. Parents, students, and concerned citizens interested in learning more about their legal right to improve the Perth Amboy School District Student Code of Conduct are invited to a city-wide forum on Saturday, March 29 at 9:30 am at the Raritan Bay Area YMCA. The members of the subcommittee have tapped leading education and legal experts to share with us their insight and experience in engaging parents and the community in setting best practice standards of behavior for Perth Amboy students.As chair of the education committee, Donna has been working with a team of knowledgeable city residents to hone in on solutions for challenged youth.  The group has identified a key opportunity for parents to help set the standards of student behavior, by using their legal rights to work with the school district on a Student Code of Conduct, by identifying the best practices for handling in-school suspensions. 

Remember “it takes a village to raise a child” and it takes empowered citizens to build a community.