Programs & Services
The H&SA helps to plan, organize, fund and staff several different types of programs and activities. We run information sharing program meetings for parents and community members; host recognition events and co-sponsor many school activities by contributing funds and/or volunteers and organize in-school programs and after school events aimed at enriching the school experience. Throughout the year and from time to time, H&SA augments its programs and services to meet any new needs of the schools, the Board of Education and the community that are consistent with our mission and goals. New volunteer opportunities are created, general program meetings are scheduled to address important and timely issues, publications are enhanced and programs or fundraisers may be added.
General Program Meetings
Each year the H&SA Board looks forward to hosting informative and entertaining events and to continuing the strong partnership with our schools' faculty and administration. The H&SA conducts evening and day-time general program meetings, three to four times per year, to address current issues of interest to our membership. Meetings are open to the public and may involve a panel discussion, presentation, or both.
Our In-School Programs:
• Book Fairs
These long-standing week long events support the libraries of both Wildwood and Briarcliff. The funds raised go directly to the libraries and are usually used to supplement and update the existing selection of reading and reference materials. Children are invited to the library and are given shopping time to create a "wish list." This list is provided to the parents to assist them in making purchases for their children and/or gifts for their family. We provide copies of summer reading lists and many of the titles are available for purchase and/or ordering. The book Fair is coordinated by a H&SA chairperson and is staffed entirely by parent volunteers.
• Cultural Arts Programs
The Cultural Arts program in Wildwood brings artistic performances and inspiring workshops directly to the school or to an after-school event. These programs enrich the curriculum with music, dance, performance art, creative writing, story telling and other art forms.
• Popcorn Fridays
Several times a year, the Wildwood cafeteria is transformed into a movie theater lobby, where popcorn is popped and distributed to the children. It's a very fun day that all the children look forward to! Don't be surprised to find some empty popcorn bags in your child's backpack.
• Holiday Shopping Spree
Continuing a December holiday tradition begun in 1977, our Wildwood chairpersons organize and man a day of holiday shopping for our K-5 students. Gently used items, donated by members of the community, are available for students to purchase for $1 as holiday gifts for their families. This is one of the most exciting days for the students, and a touching and memorable one for the parents who donate their time to assist the shoppers.
• Field Days
Each June, the H&SA staffs and supports a day of outdoor fun for the students of Wildwood and Briarcliff Schools. Games, snacks, lunch and drinks are provided for each student throughout the day.
Our Family Programs:
• Family Fun/Bingo Nights
Support from our fundraisers allow the H&SA to sponsor family programs and conduct entertaining family nights for our school children and their families. Suspense, excitement and prizes...Who doesn't like Bingo? This all-time favorite event is conducted three time a year at Wildwood. Sign up early to reserve your spot as these nights are often "sold out!"
• Next Is Briarcliff
Next is Briarcliff is a "moving up" ceremony for the students upon their completion of fifth grade, their last year at Wildwood School. The H&SA volunteers organize activities, photo displays and a reception for the students and their families after the ceremony.
• Briarcliff Completion Ceremony
At the end of their eighth-grade year, students and their families celebrate a "completion ceremony." The H&SA is proud to be a part of this special day by organizing a student photo display, decorating the ceremony setting and sponsoring a reception after students receive their certificates.
• Helping Hands
The Helping Hand Safety House program, a national program, was adopted in Mountain Lakes in the 1970s and continues today. It is designed to help children who may be in need of assistance while out walking in the neighborhood. To designate a home as a Safety House for children, volunteers are asked to display the Helping Hand placard in their front window whenever they are home. Local school children are instructed to seek out a marked Safety House whenever they are lost, injured or approached by a stranger. The H&SA solicits the volunteers for Safety Houses, maintains a list of Safety Houses in the neighborhood, distributes the placards and publishes information about the program to all school families.
The H&SA conduct several programs each year to express our appreciation for all the work of our exemplary teachers, administrators and staff, as well as our exceptional students. Our biggest event is the H&SA Annual Recognition Luncheon, a tradition that began in 1958 as a tea honoring two retiring teachers. This annual luncheon recognizes teachers, staff and administrators who are celebrating milestone anniversaries or retiring from service in the school district. We also provide Teacher Appreciation luncheons, breakfasts and other events in each school and one surprise day of Parents Appreciate Teachers and Staff (PATS) where delicious snacks or small gifts are left in the teacher's lounges. The H&SA also sponsors student recognition events such as National Honor Society, Thanks For Being You, and our annual Volunteer Award.