CHERRY HILL - Teen Scene, a program that brings together special-needs teenagers and peers developing typically, has received an award from the national Character Education Partnership.

The program, honored with the Promising Practice Award, was developed by Cherry Hill High School West students and Cherry Hill Township, the school district announced.

With support from the Cherry Hill Township ombudsman for disabled citizens, the township recreation department, and the Cherry Hill Alliance on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, high school community service students plan various activities. Previous events have included dinner and a movie, rock band performances, an arts and crafts night, bowling, and a luau.

"This ongoing initiative creates inclusive activities that all student participants can enjoy while also developing leadership opportunities and encouraging our growth as a caring community," said Allison Staffin, Cherry Hill West assistant principal.

"It has been exciting to watch this collaborative effort develop and to see the growth in participation at Teen Scene events," Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn said.

The next Teen Scene event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Carman Tilelli Community Center, 820 Mercer St. The event is free and open to all high school-age Cherry Hill residents.

The high school got a second Promising Practices award for the West Patriot Club, a student group that supports active-duty military and honors veterans in the Cherry Hill community.

- Rita Giordano