Cleaners, gardeners for a day

Top photo courtesy Gary Klotzkin; bottom photo by Judith Worster BHS senior Ryuji Maramot readies soil for planting herbs in school’s garden plots.

Top photo courtesy Gary Klotzkin; bottom photo by Judith Worster BHS senior Ryuji Maramot readies soil for planting herbs in school’s garden plots.

BELLEVILLE –

More than 100 Belleville High School students joined forces Wednesday, April 29, for the school’s fourth annual Beautification Project.

The students – from all grade levels – cleaned up the grounds around the high school, including the football and baseball fields, the Bakka Courtyard and the front and rear of the school.

They also planted herbs for the school’s culinary arts program, along with two apple trees – donated by BHS Assistant Principal Joseph Rotonda – in commemoration of the legacy of the late mass communications instructor Marilyn McCabe.

The project was organized by the BHS Family Career and Community Leaders of America Club (FCCLA), BHS culinary arts educator Judith Worster, who serves as the FCCLA master advisor; and by FCCLA Student President Jada Szkola.

According to Worster, the students involved in the project logged 150 hours of community service, distributed eight yards of mulch and six yards of garden soil as part of the planting work.

“We had a small army of working students,” Worster said. “It was great. We accomplished all our goals for the day. Hopefully, we will be harvesting our vegetables into our culinary kitchen shortly.”

After all the work was done, student volunteers were served root beer floats and certificates by the FCCLA in recognition of their diligence and dedication to the task at hand.

“We extend a thank you to all who participated,” Worster said. “Many hands make lighter work.”

Student Brian Zerbian, one of the participants, said: “We were able to make the earth greener – one person at a time.”

And FCCLA leader Jada Szkola added: “This event is important because it unified the students to give back to the school.”

– Ron Leir 

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.