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Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center Holds "Spring Fling" at Washington Elementary School

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Nearly 200 students and their families stopped by Washington Elementary School on May 17 for the Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center's annual Spring Fling.

The event has grown in size and scope over the years, and according to Executive Director of Student Support Services Connie Salimbeno, not only all BMELC families and teachers were invited, but the West Orange Early Learning Center preschool students and staff as well. BMELC classes are held at The Life Christian Church and Washington Elementary School, and Principal Marie DeMaio gladly offered the space for the Spring Fling.

Students and their families were able to go fishing, dance, sing, color, make crafts, play with Legos and other tactile objects, visit Anna and Elsa from "Frozen," and enjoy face-painting once they entered the colorfully decorated gym. Receiving twice the amount requested, donated gift baskets were raffled off for free to the children, whose enthusiasm was contagious. 

Salimbeno, who was recently appointed Executive Director of Student Support Services, said it was a bittersweet moment for her as she is relinquishing the BMELC principalship. 

"Such a fun night, but bittersweet as my last one as the BMELC Principal," she said. 

"By holding the event at Washington, we could host a whole school (BMELC and BMELC-WES) in order to continue to foster a BMELC community," Salimbeno noted.

"While our amazing families provide donations, this is completely organized and run by BMELC staff, spearheaded by Lauren Kenny. Ms. Kenny's mother, Mrs. Kenny, also pictured above, provides donations and volunteers her time every year. We are grateful for her support!" she continued.

"This year, we invited the teachers at the West Orange Early Learning Center to be a part of our BMELC family and were so happy to see that two of them came. We also had students from their classroom in attendance. All staff that attend do so on a voluntary basis.  It is something we look forward to every year, along with our Fall Festival," Salimbeno explained.


Spring Fling

(L-R) Washington Principal Marie DeMaio, Superintendent Hayden Moore, Executive Director of Student Support Services Connie Salimbeno, WOELC Direction Kalisha Dorlean, teacher Lauren Kenny, Robbin Kenny. (Children L-R) Felicity Rainey and Everleigh Pierznik

Spring Fling
Donated gift baskets were raffled off for free to the children
Spring Fling
Spring Fling
Tactile crafts
Spring Fling
Dance Party
Cynthia Cumming
May 17, 2024