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Tinton Falls, NJ, 07724

Tinton Falls Spotlight Corner

Tomorrow's Leaders

Eleanor Roosevelt once eloquently emphasized the importance of teaching our children the fundamental structure of their government and how it intersects with their daily lives. By understanding the vital role each part plays in a well-functioning democracy, young citizens are empowered to recognize their influence and engage meaningfully with their local government. When young citizens understand how each part contributes to the achieve a smooth running of the system, they recognize their impact and become more engaged with their local government.

In line with this vision, on April 11, 2024, the Borough of Tinton Falls hosted a special workshop at Tinton Falls Middle School for members of the school's Student Council. This initiative, spearheaded by a collaborative effort of elected and appointed officials from the Borough Council and Administration, aimed to give students a firsthand experience of their local government's inner workings and significance within the community.

The workshop was led by prominent Borough representatives, including Council President Risa Clay, Deputy Council President Dr. Lawrence Dobrin, Councilmembers Tracy Buckley and Michael Nesci, Borough Administrator Charles Terefenko, Chief Financial Officer Tom Fallon, Chief of Police Michael DeLucia, Borough Engineer Thomas Neff, Borough Clerk Michelle Hutchinson, Borough Attorney Kevin Starkey, and Recreation Director Sherrie Eisele.

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Engaging Education
The event offered an interactive platform for dialogue between local government representatives and the youth of Tinton Falls. Students were introduced to the diverse functions of local government, such as public safety (Police Department), infrastructure management (Engineering), recreational programs (Recreation Department) legislative procedures (Council), and administrative operations (Administration/Finance). This immersive experience provided insights into the process of transforming an ordinance into local law, understanding site plans in new developments, and planning budgets and implementing new programs. Additionally, students explored the various types of legal challenges that may arise within their community.

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An Open Exchange
The workshop provided an open exchange between students and officials, encouraging questions and discussions about government processes. This direct dialogue not only explained the intricacies of government operations but also allowed students to share their perspectives and concerns, fostering a sense of responsible citizenship and connection to their community.

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Inspiring Future Leaders
The goal of the initiative is to inspire the next generation of leaders to contribute positively to Tinton Falls' growth and development. By introducing students to the basics of government at a young age, the workshop aimed to equip them with the knowledge and motivation to actively participate in civic life.

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A Vision for Progress
It was evident that both the leaders and students agreed that the event was a resounding success, highlighting the importance of educating youths about the workings of government. By empowering students with knowledge and promoting community involvement, the Borough of Tinton Falls sets the stage for a better tomorrow, where all citizens play an active role in shaping positive change. Tinton Falls remains dedicated to nurturing its young citizens, who will lead the future of the Borough for years to come through initiatives like this.

Special thanks go to the Superintendent Lisa Goldey, Principal Benjamin Howroyd, and the Educators of Tinton Falls Middle School for facilitating this event, as well as to the community leaders for generously dedicating their time to engage with and give back to their young citizens.

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"Our children should learn the general framework of their government and then they should know where they come in contact with the government, where it touches their daily lives and where their influence is exerted on the government. It must not be a distant thing, someone else's business, but they must see how every cog in the wheel of a democracy is important and bears its share of responsibility for the smooth running of the entire machine."- Eleanor Roosvelt.