MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Maplewood Rotary Club will honor Karen Weiland with its 2018 Citizenship Award at its Affair of the Heart dinner-dance on Friday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at the Maplewood Country Club. Through the years, she’s been very active in South Orange-Maplewood School District schools, including serving as the PTA vice president and president at the Clinton School, and serving on the Home and School Achievement Boards for both South Orange Middle School and Columbia High School. Additionally, she’s the director of the Achieve Volunteer Tutor Program, working with more than 250 volunteers and 300 SOMSD students each year.
Weiland identifies needs, imagines programs that will fill those needs and makes them happen. Her enthusiasm and commitment encourage people to say “yes” in ways they never imagined. For instance, Weiland envisioned the Parenting Center to engage and support SOMA families. By partnering with the various PTA groups and recruiting volunteers, the Parenting Center has grown to provide a host of innovative initiatives and services to the SOMA community, such as the Elementors program that pairs CHS student mentors with elementary students, and the Big MACs/Mini MACs mentoring program that matches CHS Minority Achievement Community Scholars with middle and elementary school students. The Monthly Speaker Series brings recognized educational and parenting experts to the community while the Support Groups focus on important topics such as ADD/ADHD, adoptive families, gifted and talented, special education, anxiety and gender identity. Yet another program is Rising Stars, which provides both academic support and enrichment opportunities to struggling K-3 students. She is also involved in programs such as the annual holiday toy drive, the All Hands on Deck initiative and Rent Party to ensure children have food and necessities. Last and certainly not least, Weiland founded Beyond the Bell, which is an elementary after-school program designed to help reduce the achievement gap.
Weiland epitomizes the Rotary International motto “Service Above Self” and is truly deserving of this coveted award.
The Affair of the Heart funds Maplewood Rotary’s support of Gift of Life NJ, which helps provide lifesaving heart surgeries for children around the world. Event sponsors include BCB Community Bank, Maplewood, Caroline Gosselin of The Gosselin Group at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty and SOMA Living Magazine.
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