Weekly roundup: Distracted driving awareness, kindness in schools and military honor

Also, gymnastics achievements and fundraising opportunities

Reserved parking for veterans is now available at the Municipal Building, police station and senior center.

Mayor Joann Gattinelli and Business Administrator Jason Gonter revealed newly designated parking spots for veterans in Washington Township, while Washington Township Police Department crack down on drivers using their cellphones behind the wheel for Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Also, Chestnut Ridge Middle School students and gymnasts won the state gymnastics championship for the third year a row. Check out some of the top stories from the past week in the Weekly Roundup.

‘U drive, U text, U pay’

Washington Township was one of 16 towns in Gloucester County to receive part of a $45,000 grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety to enforce distracted driving during the month of April. People Against Distracted Driving and the Toni & Baby RJ Foundation remind residents the dangers of using cellphones and electronics behind the wheel, hoping their stories will encourage others to drive responsibly.

From left, Mayor Joann Gattinelli, Business Administrator Jason Gonter and Chief of Police Patrick Gurcsik unveil the new veteran parking space at the police station.

Veterans recognized, honored with reserved parking spots

Parking spaces designated to wounded warriors and veterans were revealed last week at the police station, Municipal Building and senior center. Coordinated by Mayor Joann Gattinelli and Business Administrator Jason Gonter, the signs are a way of recognizing and honoring local veterans who have served in the military.

Gabriella Torres, 12, was one of three Washington Township residents to perform on the state champion gymnastics team in March.

Local gymnasts win state championships third year in a row

Teammates Isabella Nelli, 12, Isabella Delude, 12, and Gabriella Torres, 12, recently took first place at the state gymnastics championship for the third year in a row. Hosted by Head of Heels in Parlin, the girls and their team beat approximately 43 teams from across the state at the two-day event and qualified for the regional championship in Pittsburgh, Pa., the first weekend in April.

Birches Elementary School kicks off “Great Kindness Challenge Week”

Birches Elementary School students and staff spread the message that kindness truly does matter through a series of planned activities for the second annual “Great Kindness Challenge Week.” Throughout the week, students discussed Rainbow Rabbit’s message and practiced random acts of kindness throughout the building.

Pictured at the the eight OVMS students who produced “The Loop Cookbook.” In the back from the left are Manon Bada, Kendall James, Nicholas D’Angelantonio, Megan Smith, Aliena Thomas and Jordan Farr. In the front from the left are Danielle Stuart and Kelsey Alexandre.

Orchard Valley Middle School students cook up kindness to benefit teacher in need

Eight kindhearted Orchard Valley Middle School students, with the support of physical education teacher Wes Yamamoto, created a one-of-a-kind cookbook called “The Loop Cookbook.” The eighth-grade students, Kelsey Alexandre, Manon Bada, Nicholas D’Angelantonio, Jordan Farr, Kendall James, Megan Smith, Danielle Stuart and Aliena Thomas, will be selling the cookbook to benefit OVMS English teacher Travis Martin, who has been out on medical leave facing a serious health crisis.