Mayor’s Column – Back to School

As we approach the beginning of a new school year, it is of utmost importance that a safe learning environment be provided for our students.

In an ongoing effort to protect our children, the Voorhees Township Committee and our schools continue to work together. We will continue to have police officers in all of our public schools all day every day.

The first few days of school are always emotional, especially for younger children. Accept and validate your child’s emotions. Let your child know that their feelings make sense.

Parents should emphasize the positive aspects of starting school. It is important to develop good homework and study habits. Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework. Youngsters need a permanent workspace in a bedroom or a part of the home that offers privacy. Make sure your child has a daily, predictable routine, with regular times for healthy meals, naps and night sleep at home. Having a rested body and knowing what to expect at home helps children cope. Set aside ample time for homework. Establish a household rule that the TV and computer stay off during homework time. Make every effort to be available to answer questions and offer assistance.

Consider starting your child on their school sleep/wake schedule a week or so ahead of time so that the time change is not a factor in their first couple of days at school.

If it is a new school for your child, attend any available orientations and take an opportunity to tour the school before the first day. Bring the child to school a few days prior to class to play on the playground and get comfortable in the new environment.

If you feel it is needed, drive your child (or walk your child) to school and pick your child up on the first day. Get there early on the first day to eliminate any unnecessary stress.

Make sure to touch base with your child’s new teacher at the beginning or end of the day so the teacher knows how much you want to be supportive of your child’s school experience. Monitor your child’s developmental milestones and learn what to do if there are concerns. Talk to a healthcare professional if your child’s symptoms of anxiety or behavior problems are severe or persistent.

Too often, we hear of tragic accidents involving school buses. Children should wait for the bus to completely stop before approaching it from the curb. Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver.

Have a safe and happy school year!

** This year we wrap up the summer with a new and exciting free event, Country Rock Music Night on Friday, Sept. 16 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Town Center in front of the former Macy’s store entrance.  Dance and tap along to your favorite songs with The Desperados, a five-piece group of seasoned musicians from Jersey. The “Beer Garden” and food trucks will open at 5:30pm.  Come out with your chairs and enjoy this great show.  For more information, visit or call the Show Hotline at 856-882-SHOW.

** The Lions Gate Susan Love Family Golf Classic will be on Sunday, Sept.18 from 11am-3pm rain or shine at Golf Land. For more information, contact Lisa Goldwasser at

** The Voorhees Business Association will hold its Annual Bowling Fundraiser on Sept. 23 from 6pm-8pm at the Big Event, 1536 Kings Hwy North, Cherry Hill.  Proceeds benefit the Voorhees Township Police Holiday Fund.  For more information, contact Lisa Goldwasser at

** The Voorhees Animal Orphanage (VAO) will hold its 26th Annual Woofstock Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11am-4 pm at the Voorhees Town Center (rain date is Sunday, Sept. 25). It is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Animal Orphanage. This year, the Camden County Commissioners are again partnering in the event. For more information about Woofstock or the Animal Orphanage, visit or

** The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club is hosting a fundraiser on Oct. 1 from 10am-2pm at Golf Land. There will be 18 holes of pitch and putt golf or mini golf, food, refreshments, prizes and games. Tickets and sponsorships are available. For more details, please call John Conners at 856-261-8738 or go to