10 Reasons to Move Project Graduation
And the one why it won't happen.
2013 Project Graduation co-chairwomen Marie Mluzan and Mary Lou DiRosa visited the Watchung Hills Regional Board of Education meeting Monday to offer their take on David Letterman's famous Top Ten Lists.
After researching ways to improve the annual drug- and alcohol-free post-graduation party, Mluzan and DiRosa wanted to suggest moving the event to East Hanover's Funplex amusement center. This year, Project Graduation was held at the Morris-Union Jointure Development Center, which is the organizers' second choice.
Here, then, are the Top Ten Reasons to Have Project Graduation at Funplex:
- No. 10. The Morris-Union Joinure is too close. "We did 'lose' a lot of kid around midnight, and I think it's because it was very easy for parents to come pick them up," DiRosa said.
- No. 9. The Morris-Union Jointure didn't have any outdoor space. Mluzan said the students were not permitted to leave the building.
- No. 8. The Morris-Union Jointure didn't have enough floor space. Much of the building was unusable for Project Graduation.
- No. 7. Volunteers needed to run the programs and activities at Project Graduation were hard to find. Mluzan said the Funplex would provides the personnel needed to operate activities and rides.
- No. 6. Food was hard to get at the MUJ.
- No. 5. Chaperones were hard to find. MLuzan said the Morris-Union Jointure requires one chaperone for every 10 students, so as many as 48 chaperones could be needed if the entire class attends—"And we don't know until we get there," Mluzan said.
- No. 4. Donations for Project Graduation have been "tapering off." Mluzan and DiRosa attributed the drop to less interest in the annual event.
- No. 3. The Morris-Union Jointure, as well as Rutgers' Sonny Werblin Center, where earlier Project Graduation events have been held, are too "boy oriented." Mluzan and DiRosa said almost all of the activities offered were sports, with few alternatives for those not interested in playing.
- No. 2. There's more to do at Funplex. With games, rides and other activities, the enter offers a better variety of activities, which DiRosa and Mluzan said could help reinvigorate the program—participation was down to about 80 percent of the graduating class this year; Mluzan said she's heard some students didn't participate because the program is perceived as not being very much fun.
And the Top Reason to Move Project Graduation: There are built-in activities.
Despite all those reasons to hold Project Graduation at Funplex, there was one big hurdle: the space was only available June 19—the day before graduation in the school calendar approved at the meeting.
Mluzan and DiRosa asked the board to consider moving graduation forward to June 19, but Superintendent Frances Stromsland said it wasn't possible.
"The calendar the board is going to vote on tonight is squeezed very tightly," she said. "It's a rock and a hard place."