Taking the ‘Plunge’

From left, Centenary students Rachel Edwards of Phillipsburg, NJ, Nicolle Siebens of Frelinghuysen, NJ, and Joseph Jiles of Camden sing a rousing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”

Every semester, Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, conducts a day-long community service project for all incoming students. It’s called Community Plunge, and it offers students the opportunity to explore communities around the college by volunteering for one day.

Matheny is always on the Centenary list, and this year a group of incoming freshmen participated with Matheny students in an adapted baseball game. Most Matheny students are in wheelchairs, so the Centenary students wheeled them down the base paths and helped them bat and field as well.

Some of the Centenary students, such as Amber Spere of South River, NJ, are special education majors. “I enjoy being in this environment,” Spere said. “I always wanted to be a teacher, and when I started to interact with the special education students in my high school, I decided to major in special education. I find it so rewarding.”

Amber Spere of South River, left, with Matheny teacher Darlene Tammara and student Kimberly Alarcon.

Taking the plunge

Centenary student Anthony Pare sharing a humorous moment with Matheny student Mark O’Connell.

Every semester incoming students at Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, take part in a day-long community service project called the Community Plunge. The project is mandatory for all new students and offers them a selection of different sites at which they can volunteer. This year’s Community Plunge was held on Monday, August 26, and Matheny was one of 18 different organizations that were included.

The students spent the entire day participating in several recreation therapy activities including relay races and adapted sports. Recreation therapy at Matheny provides our students and patients with a variety of recreation opportunities and resources to improve their physical, emotional, cognitive and social well being.

Volunteers are needed to help out in recreation therapy activities evenings and weekends. Volunteers can serve as recreation assistants, classroom aides, tutors or just friendly visitors. For more information, call Gail Cunningham, at (908) 234-0011, ext. 282; or email her at volunteers@matheny.org.

Centenary student Nicolena Marrero getting ready for a catch in the egg in toss competition.