Coastal Preparatory High School students bag Thanksgiving goodies for local food bank, while also receiving a generous donation from Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund for their own holiday cheer.
Coastal Prep students holding donation bags to be given to a local food bank. Students’ identities are protected for their privacy.
Cape May Court House, NJ – Coastal Preparatory High School students started spreading some holiday cheer early this year by giving back to those in need. On Nov. 3, students took the time to share their appreciation for all of the support and care they’ve received as they helped put together bundles of food to donate to the South Jersey Food Bank.
As part of their life skills courses, students packed bags with all the fixings for a green bean casserole from spices to veggies to ensure community members have access to a plentiful Thanksgiving meal to enjoy. Among the many skills taught at Coast Prep by Middle Township School District and Cape Assist professionals, giving back is something taught that helps provide the students with purpose as they make their way through their own journeys with sobriety. Along with the donated food, information on the Quit Center of Cape Assist can be found within the donated bags. Their services are completely free and open to anyone who is interested in starting their journey to a smoke-free life.
“We are really happy to be able to teach these kids about community, because it helps remind them that they have people in their corner too,” said Anna Canella, Coastal Prep Transition Coordinator. “Activities like this show them they can have a positive effect on other people even while they work toward their own goals and work through their own battles.”
This generous opportunity for the community was then followed up with a special donation for the students themselves. The Greg DiAntonio Memorial Fund, a local non-profit, gifted $1,400 to Coastal Prep, which will be used for Shoprite gift cards for the students and their families. Named in honor of their son, Kreni and Pat DiAntonio raise funds annually to help support individuals struggling with substance misuse and through the difficult rehabilitation process.
“We believe that giving back to others is something that comes full circle, helping others creates a positive domino effect. It’s important for students to learn this life skill,” said Pat DiAntonio. “There is no understating the immensity of dealing with substance misuse, but I think programs like Coastal Prep show these young adults an environment where they can truly see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
“The best way to show the importance of giving back to the communities around us is to lead by example,” said Dr. Toni Lehman, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction for Middle Township School District. “And the students are doing just that. Many of these students are struggling with something beyond what any young adult should have to go through, but they still show up. Each day they take the opportunity Coastal Prep provides them with and they make the most of it. Then, they pay it forward by participating in activities like these.”
Coastal Prep High School is one of only three recovery high schools in the state. A partnership between Middle Township School District and Cape Assist, the school ensures that students recovering from substance misuse can also stay on track academically, thanks to special support. Their focus is on prevention as well as recovery.