High Tech Students shine in Orlando Saa Foreign Languages Poetry Recitation Contest

High Tech students shone at the 32nd Annual Orlando Saa Foreign Languages Poetry Recitation Contest, held at William Paterson University, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal of High Tech High School.
The following students excelled in the French poetry contest: Sara Bendaoud of Bayonne earned second place for advanced level. Other students who entered the French contest included Nicole Albornoz of Jersey City and North Bergen resident Erica De Lacerda.
Christian Flores of Union City excelled in the German poetry contest, earning first place for beginner level. North Bergen resident Sherly Tapia entered the Italian poetry contest as well.
Students also excelled in the Japanese poetry contest: Bayonne residents Taeka Hayashi and Joseph Saylor earned first place for native level and third place for intermediate level, respectively; Camille Romano of Kearny earned first place for beginner level; and Secaucus resident Aaleah Oliver earned first mention for advanced level.
Last but not least, the following students participated in the Spanish poetry contest: Mariam Abdelmoula of Jersey City, who earned third place for the beginner level; Bayonne resident Ivana Rodriguez; Karina Voronich of North Bergen; and Secaucus resident Zachary Canonico.
“All contestants did great work representing High Tech High School,” declares Dr. Laje Gashi, veteran French Language and Culture instructor at High Tech.

Farmers markets open at Braddock Park in NB and Ellsworth Park in Union City

Washington Park Association of Hudson County (WPA) has teamed up with North Bergen and Union City to bring fresh, local food options for the communities surrounding James J. Braddock North Hudson Park and Ellsworth Park.
On Sundays starting June 7, the North Bergen farmers market will feature fresh food, fruits and other great items for sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Riverview Drive traffic circle at 79th Street. Enjoy fresh produce, drinks and opportunities to buy locally grown, healthy food options provided by Nolasco Farms and Hoboken Farms. On Wednesdays beginning June 3, the farmers market in Union City will offer the same fresh foods and opportunities from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at Ellsworth Park, 2301 Palisade Ave. Both farmers markets provide not only great, fresh produce but also programming for all age groups. There will be music, yoga, and other opportunities to bring the community closer together.
WPA has some great volunteer opportunities available to help residents give back to the community, meet new people, and be involved in these markets. Volunteers must be at least 16 years old. To start volunteering, visit the market manager’s tent during market hours or visit
Sponsors of the North Bergen Braddock Park farmers market include Mayor Nicholas Sacco, Hudson County Executive Thomas DeGise, and Hudson County Freeholder Anthony Vainieri. Sponsors of the Union City Ellsworth Park farmers market include Mayor Brian Stack and the Board of Commissioners.
NJ Transit buses 88, 23, 84, and 128 run to the Braddock Park Farmers Market. NJ Transit buses 84, 22, and 83 run to Ellsworth Farmers Market. Local jitney service runs to both markets from Fairview, Fort Lee, and Journal Square. Street parking is available near both sites.

Church moving from Guttenberg to North Bergen

The church Iglesia de Dios en Cristo La Senda (Church of God in Christ “The Path”) is moving from 328-68th Street in Guttenberg to the Temple Beth El building at 300-75th St. in North Bergen.
The church has been incorporated in New Jersey for 20 years and the main reason for the move is to have a larger space to better serve the community. They aim to become more relevant within the community and to provide citizens with a church community that focuses on building relationships with people, with God, and with the community itself. Their vision is to show love, passion, and compassion for the diverse among the city and to provide a sense of family.
The church will add programs that are relevant to community members once they get more statistical data on what those needs are. Some things they are projecting to do include English classes, helping people build resumes, and connecting community members with jobs within the community. More information will be forthcoming on all these initiatives.
Prayer services are on Tuesdays from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. Youth services are on Fridays from 7:45 to 9:45 p.m. Sunday school is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and evangelistic service is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The pastors are Francisco Alexis and Melba Fernandez. Services are in English and Spanish.

Benefit gala on June 11 to support performing arts youth group

The Grace Theatre Workshop, Inc., a not-for-profit youth based organization dedicated to providing free classes in the performing arts to children, will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary and will hold their annual Spring Benefit Gala on Thursday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at The Graycliff, 122 Moonachie Ave., Moonachie. The gala will feature live performances, dinner, and dance music. The organization will also be presenting community service awards to individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the community as a whole. Donations for the Spring Benefit Gala are $100 per person and can be purchased by visiting
The Grace Theatre provides free classes in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap/rhythm, folkloric dance/salsa, flamenco, singing, and acting to children from Hudson County as well as free admission to professional performances to the students and their families. This school year alone, over four hundred students received free classes at the Grace Theatre.
The Grace Theatre Workshop has received much critical acclaim for its professional theatrical productions and is the premiere presenter of bilingual and Spanish language theatre in the State of New Jersey. This past year, the Grace Theatre produced the play “Comfort” at Lincoln Center in NYC, the NoHu International Film Festival at the Tribeca Screening Room in NYC, and the short film “SAL,” and received various awards including the prestigious ACE Award and the ATI Award. Most recently it produced the highly acclaimed documentary feature film “Bay of Pigs, Our Perspective.”
The Grace Theatre Workshop, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, and donations are tax deductible. Any contribution is greatly appreciated. If unable to attend but would like to make a donation, visit or mail a check or money order payable to The Grace Theatre Workshop, P.O. Box 4412, Union City, NJ 07087.

Health fair and blood drive on June 13

Walgreens Pharmacy at 7401 River Rd. in North Bergen will host a community health fair and blood drive in its parking lot on June 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the general public, is made possible thanks to Walgreens’ partnership with Palisades Medical Center and the American Red Cross.
Medical professionals from Palisades Medical Center will be in attendance to answer questions and conduct free health tests and screenings, including blood pressure, heart rate, percentage of oxygen in the blood, and many more hospital services.
Health fair attendees will receive free samples and giveaways, and there will be face painting and other attractions for kids.
The American Red Cross will also conduct a blood drive during the health fair. Blood drive appointments are preferred. Sign up at or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, sponsor code: walgreens north bergen.

Braddock Park Art Festival is June 14

The first annual Braddock Park Arts Festival will take place between the Lake House (Interpretive Center) and the street circle on Riverside Drive in Braddock Park in North Bergen on Sunday, June 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Lake House is the focal point of the festival, with the artist market set up in tents following the lake’s walking path, displaying high quality art and craft works from many local artists, galleries, and organizations. Also lining the path from the Lake House to Riverside Drive will be art technique demonstrations, community projects, and artist installations. Food Truck Row will be located around the street circle on Riverside Drive, joined by a farmers market to support locally grown food.
Throughout the park will be artist installations, creating a pop-up sculpture garden featuring works by internationally known artists. In Graffiti Alley, artists will create graffiti-style murals on 8’x 8’ panels of plywood. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a brush and paint on an 8’x8’ community mural, as well as participate in the art-making demonstrations that are fun and fit for all ages.
Guinness Book of World Record holding artist Steve McKenzie and the Rainbow squadron will introduce the public to large scale printmaking by creating a 50’x4’ community steamroller mono print. Visitors are invited to watch as additional 4’x8’ woodcuts by other artists are inked and printed with the steamroller. These larger than life mono prints and woodcuts will be hung between the trees and change the park into a temporary gallery creating a beautiful series of images for all to enjoy.
The first annual Braddock Park Art Festival is sponsored by Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise, Anthony Vainieri and The Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, The Hudson County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Hudson County Division of Parks, and is hosted by Guttenberg Arts.

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