North Bergen bilingual students receive Christmas gifts as part of ‘Adopt-a-School’


The North Bergen Polk Street School participated in the Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center’s “Adopt-a-School” program last week to celebrate some Christmas cheer.

Photo courtesy of the North Bergen Board of Education.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Many of our children come from families that are still planting their roots and we’re proud that they have decided to do it here in North Bergen,” North Bergen Superintendent of Schools, Dr. George Solter said in a statement.

“This is a special time and many of our students are experiencing their first American Christmas. We would like to thank the Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center for their generosity, interest and support in what we are trying to do here, which is provide a space where our kids can learn English at their pace with teachers who care about their development. It is heartwarming to know that our community also cares about how we integrate new arrivals into the fabric of North Bergen.”

Students at Polk Street School come from various Latin American countries and have families who experience financial difficulties. For some students, it was their first time receiving a gift at all.

“This time of year is magical for children, and we are thrilled to be a part of this wonderful celebration for the students at the Polk Street School,” added Hackensack Meridian Palisades Medical Center President and Chief Hospital Executive Lisa Iachetti added.

“We look forward to this every year because it reminds us that the spirit of the holiday season is alive and well in the children that live in the communities that we serve.”

According to the New Jersey Department of Education, 42.1 percent of students in North Bergen speak Spanish.

The Polk Street School specializes in validating students’ diverse backgrounds and preserving their roots to their native cultures while nurturing their development towards becoming global bilingual students.

Polk Street’s student choir sang a “Nochebuena” classic called “Los Peces en el Rio” to the sound of a jolly tambourine while family members listened in the audience.

“Every year, we do this event and it makes me cry. It really is a Hallmark moment for each of our students and it means so much to them and to their families,” added Polk Street School Director of ESL Adamarys Galvin.

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