Post Eagle Newspaper


May 24, 2024

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New Jersey

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Wallington Students Take
Part In A Program That
Was “Out of This World”

WALLINGTON, NJ – Thanks to Donald Nuckel, 100 students and their families recently took part in a Family Science Night at the Frank W. Gavlak School.  Funded entirely by Donald Nuckel, through the Better Education Starts Today (BEST) initiative, the program is offered at no cost to parents and the Wallington School District. 

The December 12th event, entitled “Astronomical Wonders,” was the first in a series of six Family Science Nights planned for the 2017-2018 school year for students in grades K-5.  Those in attendance had the opportunity to view the night sky in a blow-up Star Lab Planetarium and create a glitter galaxy and star chart to take home.

The goal of the program is to bring parents and children together to experience the wonders of science and the world around us.  “This is a great opportunity for us to get more involved with our kids,” added Rebecca Sanchez, a parent who attended the event with her daughter Arianna.  “Children don’t often show a lot of interest in science but this changes their perspective on the subject.”

Barbara Sondej, Wallington’s Supervisor of Curriculum, says Family Science Nights provide valuable hands-on experiences in an informal setting.   All activities align with state and district goals for science and career awareness.  “We are hoping this program will help open the student’s eyes to possible careers in science,”  added Sondej.

The Family Science Nights are led by Angela Cristini, an Assistant Vice President at Ramapo College and Director of Educational Activities at the Meadowlands Environmental Center.  “Wallington is a district in need.  But thanks to the on-going support from Mr. Nuckel, the students here are receiving top-notch science education,” said Cristini. 

Nuckel also provides funding for students in grades K-6 to visit the Meadowlands Environmental Center several times throughout the year. 

“We are truly grateful to Mr. Nuckel for providing these wonderful programs,” said Nancy Giambrone, principal of the Frank W. Gavlak School.  “Without his generosity, these programs would not be possible for our district.”