Kindergartners at Nokomis School in Medford Lakes marked the 55th day of school, Nov. 28, with a '50s party, courtesy of their teachers,

Judy Hamlin

,

Jamie Dimaulo

and

Lisa Better

. Dressed in the attire of the decade, including poodle skirts and rolled-up jeans, students and teachers danced to '50s music. The youngsters also counted to 55 while hula hooping and did 55 twists while dancing the Twist. The teachers showed them an old record player, and they made records as a craft.

Children's author

Jonathan Rand

, known for his "American Chillers" series, visited with third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Neeta School, in Medford Lakes, on Nov. 30. Rand asked the students to write a scary story about New Jersey that might persuade him to write a book about their state. Earning kudos from the Michigan author were the stories of fourth-graders

Eric Biehn

,

Spencer Blanchard

and

Christian Cramer

. Each received an autographed copy of Rand's latest "American Chillers" book,

Nuclear Jellyfish of New Jersey

. The book's main character lives in Medford. The Medford Lakes Home and School Association arranged Rand's appearance.

The Pemberton Township School District has scheduled a ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday to mark the opening of the new media center at Fort Dix Elementary School. The building will be dedicated to the soldiers who have served at Fort Dix since its inception in 1939. The $2.7 million facility was financed under the Federal Impact Aid Program. The 6,621-square-foot center holds a library with the latest computer technology. Fort Dix community members will be able to use the facility.

Ten members of Lenape High School's World Affairs Council took part in the Princeton Model Congress in Washington from Nov. 15 through Nov. 18. During the four-day event, the students played the roles of members of Congress, debating bills of national interest. Senior

Brett Davis

, junior

Andrew Jakubowski

and sophomore

Gayle Pitone

each won the gavel in their committees, recognizing them as best speaker. Senior

Nick Coleman

and sophomore

Madison Higgins

earned honorable-mention awards in their committees.

Michelle Indoe Kaighn

advises the group. Other students participating were senior

Joshua Gerson

, sophomore

Krishen Jalali

, and juniors

Tori Young

,

Jill Gonzalez

and

Marc Krisch

.

College-bound high school seniors have less than a week to enter the Beneficial Scholars Program essay contest sponsored by Philadelphia-based Beneficial Bank.

The program, which awards $45,000 in scholarships to six students, is accepting entries until Friday from seniors in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.

Students are asked to write an essay describing what they think is the most important issue facing their community and how they would respond to this concern.

The winning writer will receive a $20,000 scholarship, and five runners-up will receive $5,000 scholarships. Judging will be done by a panel of area business and community leaders and educators.

Visit

» READ MORE: www.thebeneficial.com

for an entry form.

- Lea Sitton Stanley

and Matt Sandy