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For the third year, Egg Harbor Township students and staff will come together to put on the largest performance of the national anthem at a South Jersey sports event.

At 6:30 p.m. Friday before its home football game against Oakcrest High School, more than 600 students and faculty will perform “The Star Spangled Banner.”

This year’s participants include the Davenport Chorus, Slaybaugh Singers, Miller School Chorus, Swift Singers, Egg Harbor Township High School Vocal Ensemble and Choir, the high school Band and Orchestra, Fernwood Middle School Band, Chorus and Orchestra, Alder Avenue Middle School Band, Chorus and Orchestra, and district teachers and administrators.

Admission to the game is $3 for adults and $2 for students and seniors.

For more information, contact Mark Kadetsky at 609-653-0100, ext. 1679, or email at

Federal Autism CARES bill to continue research, education, support

For the first time, the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder will be supported with federal funding well into adulthood and “across (their) lifetime” if the president signs a bill approved by Congress last week.

The Autism Coordination, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, authored by U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., builds upon the current law that expires in September and shapes federal autism policy and investment in research to develop new treatments and therapies for those with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

In addition to reauthorizing existing federal autism programs through 2024, the legislation strengthens those programs by adding the phrase “across the lifespan” where appropriate to ensure they can address the needs of people with ASD and other intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout all stages of life.

The law could have a big impact in New Jersey, which has the highest rate of autism in the nation, with one in 34 children diagnosed. Nationwide, one in 59 children nationwide has autism, according to the latest study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lower Cape student recognized by National Merit Scholarship program

Lower Cape May Regional High School student Dakota Black has been named a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program. Black is one of about 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2020 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2020 competition by taking the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Black will receive a Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corp., which conducts the program, presented by Principal Lawrence Ziemba.

Undergraduate fellowship first of its kind at Rutgers–Camden for students pursuing biomedical research careers

A comprehensive program to prepare biology students from underrepresented backgrounds to earn a Ph.D. or a dual degree has debuted at Rutgers University–Camden.

The new Maximizing Access to Research Careers — Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research program (MARC USTAR) at Rutgers–Camden provides tuition assistance, research experience and a monthly stipend to do research in labs during their junior and senior years.

The fellowship is funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. The MARC USTAR program at Rutgers–Camden partners students with faculty mentors.

Rutgers–Camden is the only university offering the program in New Jersey and the Philadelphia region.

Rutgers–Camden biology students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. in the biomedical field can apply for the MARC program in the spring semester of their sophomore year to participate in the two-year program at

Author Benjamin Ludwig visits Rowan Cumberland campus

Author Benjamin Ludwig will visit Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland campus as part of the college’s “One Book, One College” reading campaign.

This year’s book selection is “Ginny Moon.” In the novel, Ludwig writes about being an outsider trying to find a place to belong, and about making sense of a world that just doesn’t seem to add up. The book was inspired partly by Ludwig’s experience adopting a teenager with autism.

The public is invited to meet Ludwig during his presentation and book signing 7 p.m. Oct. 16 in the Guaracini Performing Arts Center, 3322 College Drive.

Free FAFSA workshops

Rowan College of South Jersey, Cumberland campus, will host free two-hour workshops to help families get the help they need completing the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form that is required to apply for financial assistance programs.

Each of the Thursday evening workshops mobilizes financial aid professionals to help families take the first step in preparing students to attend college. Knowledgeable English- and Spanish-speaking specialists will be available to assist those in attendance.

The free workshops will be 5-7 p.m. in Room ASL-4, located in the Academic Building, 3322 College Drive, Oct. 3, 10, 17 and 24; Nov. 7, 14 and 21; and Dec. 5 and 12.

Those attending a workshop should bring parents’/students’ financial documents (federal income tax returns, W-2s, and other records of income such as Social Security benefits, child support, etc.). In addition, an FSA ID ( for parent and student is required to sign electronically. For more information, call 856-691-8600, ext. 1336.

National grant opens to support scratch cooking in schools

Schools interested in transforming their school lunch programs to nutritious meals made from scratch are encouraged to apply for a three-year Get Schools Cooking grant from the Chef Ann and Whole Kids foundations. The application deadline is Oct. 28.

The program kicks off with a workshop in Boulder, Colorado, followed by an on-site operational assessment; strategic planning; a $35,000 systems grant to cover items such as equipment, staff training and data solutions; and continued technical support to implement the strategic plan. The grant is valued at up to $267,000.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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