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Monroe-Woodbury hosted M-W CARES on Friday

The new walkway out front sold personalized bricks as part of a fundraiser for M-W CARES.

The new walkway out front sold personalized bricks as part of a fundraiser for M-W CARES.

Devyn Aguilera

Devyn Aguilera

The new walkway out front sold personalized bricks as part of a fundraiser for M-W CARES.

The Wire Staff

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Monroe-Woodbury High School hosted the first M-W CARES day on October 26, 2018, during which students had the chance to hear from dozens of speakers on a variety of topics.  

The day-long event featured speakers talking about their experiences with depression, drug addiction, discrimination, LGBTQ awareness, dating violence, and drunk driving, and more. The day  featured more than 100 speakers who spoke about the obstacles that they have overcome in their lives.

According to a press release issued by the school district, M-W CARES day “is designed to promote compassion, acceptance, respect, empowerment, and success throughout the Monroe-Woodbury community.”

“This is going to give you the experience of what other people have overcome,” said Principal Mr. Kaste.

Student Taiyyibah Khan said she thinks the day will be a success.

“I think it’s a good idea because it highlights issues on stuff that happens in a lot of peoples’ lives,” said Khan.

The idea for the day originated when Mr. Kaste visited Fieldstone Middle School in Montvale, New Jersey that was hosting a similar event. The day inspired Mr. Kaste to bring the idea back to Monroe-Woodbury.

Mr. Kaste said Monroe-Woodbury’s event will be even bigger.

“We created a day at Monroe-Woodbury that’s unlike any other day that we know of,” said Mr. Kaste.

The keynote speakers for the event are WWE Wrestling champion Marc Mero, former Miss USA Tara Conner, and beat-boxing champion Kaila Mullady. 

Mr. Kaste said the budget for the day was $140,000. The district provided $45,000 and the rest of the money came from outside contributions and fundraisers. One of the fundraisers asked people to buy a brick for the walkway to the building’s entrance.

“It’s a great way for people to get involved,” said Mr. Kaste, about the brick fundraiser, who added that the messages on the bricks “really reflect the day of compassion, acceptance, respect, empowerment, and success.”

Some of the money was used to pay speakers, although some will speak for free.

The classes will not be in session during the event and students will listen to speakers and do various activities during the school day.

“M-W CARES day is an event that I am very excited for,” said student Adriana Ferreira.

According to Mr. Kaste, there is more to come after M-W CARES day.

“It’s not a one and done thing,” said Mr. Kaste.

Monroe-Woodbury superintendent Ms. Rodriguez said the day could help students deal with pressures in and out of school.

“As a district, we want to arm [students] with information and resources that will help them cope and be successful, healthy individuals who in turn make a difference in our community,” stated Ms. Rodriguez in a press release. “Talking about these types of tough topics at school will then lend itself to conversations at home. If we can make a difference in just one life today, then it is all worth it.”

“It seems like it will be a fun day that will teach students a lot about themselves and other people,” said Rivera.

Student Natalie Sirignano agreed.

“It’s a good opportunity for students to feel connected with their classmates about issues we all face,” said Sirignano.


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Monroe-Woodbury hosted M-W CARES on Friday