By JACK SLOCUM TAPinto Belmar / Lake Como
Published December 25, 2022 at 7:53 PM
BELMAR, NJ — The Belmar Elementary School community should be proud, because it was a finalist in the Asbury Park Press’s “Best of the Best” public school contest. Belmar Elementary School was listed as a finalist in the Monmouth County division alongside Middletown Highschool North, and Red Bank Regional who was the winner.
Belmar Elementary has several programs and characteristics that make it stand out as a public school, including the Eagle’s Den, which debuted this year. The Eagle’s Den is a converted classroom with art supplies, craft and jewelry stations and STEM activities such as legos, fort building and a marble run. There are also several board games, Nok Hockey boards, and even a Nintendo Switch.
In addition, the school has a SOAR program which encourages both students and staff to be respectful, responsible, and kind. When a student does an act of kindness or shows respect and responsibility, they have the opprotunity to be rewarded.
“We are so proud of our SOAR program because it is flexible enough to support the needs of our entire school while being something we can implement daily,” Belmar Elementary School Superintendent Jimmy Alvarez previously told TAPinto. “Our SOAR team is another great example of collaboration amongst our teachers to bring together different perspectives and knowledge for the betterment of our students.”
Students who do these acts of kindness or responsibility take part in a raffle every Friday, and prizes range from time in the Eagle’s Den to lunch with the staff.
“Positive quality interactions between students and staff is a very important factor for creating positive academic and social outcomes for our students,” Belmar Elementary School principal Sarah Wilton said. “The mission of our SOAR program is to build and implement a multi-tiered program that supports positive behavior from our students and staff. We do this by awarding students with feathers when they display actions that are respectful, responsible, or kind. These feathers allow our students to participate in a weekly school-wide raffle that we stream live each Friday for all to enjoy.”