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December 4, 2003

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Meetings of the Statewide NIE Committee are held at the New Jersey Press Association's offices: 810 Bear Tavern Road, Suite 307, West Trenton, N.J. Our phone number is (609) 406-0600 (dial ext. 0 for the receptionist).

The NJPA offices are located in the Mountain View Office Park, which is adjacent to Exit 2 of Interstate 95 in central New Jersey ... less than two miles north of the Delaware River bridge (the Scudders Falls Bridge) linking New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (NOT exit 2 of the New Jersey Turnpike, which is just north of the Delaware Memorial Bridge leading to/from I-95 in the state of Delaware)

When leaving I-95 at Exit 2, turn left at the top of the exit ramp. Then turn right at the first traffic signal to enter the Mountain View Office Park.

Our offices are on the third floor of Building 840, which is clearly marked on the top of the building.

For detailed directions to NJPA's headquarters, click here.

Minutes of the December 4, 2003, Meeting

The meeting was held at the New Jersey Press Association offices in West Trenton and began at 11 a.m.


Cynthia Forster (Chair), Shirley Sasor (Vice-Chair), Tom Engleman (NJPF), Antonette Bomentre-Walter, Steve Gondelman, Wendy Halle, Liza Mattison, Jeanne Schexnider, Lee Williams


The minutes from the meeting of October 2, 200,3 were distributed and approved, with one correction: Antonette Bomentre-Walter was present.


Dr. Ken Hartman, New Jersey School Counselors Association; NBC-10 Philadelphia; University of Pennsylvania. Web Address: www.techcounselor.org. Email: kenhartman@comcast.net.

Dr. Hartman developed a training CD for school counselors on how to use technology. He was then challenged by the Los Angeles Unified School District to do a similar project for parents and students on the topic: “Everything Parents & Students Need To Know About The Road To College”. Copies of this CD were distributed to committee members. Hartman's next goal is to develop a monthly e-newsletter for parents. He is now looking for sponsors and partners to add their message to the CD and help get it into the hands of all parents. He has a distribution mechanism – school counselors. He needs financial partners. He emphasized that CDs can be individualized for specific geographic areas and can also be a sales incentive for advertisers. Would our committee have any interest in partnering on this project? Antonette motioned that we individually review the CD first and discuss it at the next meeting in February. Tom will see if the New Jersey Newspaper Network has any interest.


Regional NIE Conference: Liza Mattison reported that the Pennsylvania NIE Committee is planning a Regional NIE Conference in Hershey on June 17-18, 2004. The topic of the conference is fundraising and will include sessions on salesmanship and grant writing. The cost is $85. They expect to make a profit of $20 per person, which will be used as seed money for future events. Steve volunteered to be our liaison with the Pennsylvania NIE Committee.

Essay Contest Update: The winning essays – one middle school and one high school essay per newspaper – are due to Tom at the NJPF by January 15. Discussion: Should we have required articles from our own newspapers? Consensus: this was not in the rules, although it might have been a good idea. Basically, the goal was to make a newspaper connection. Tom needs to know: 1) total number of entries received by each participating newspaper, 2) how many schools participated, broken down by middle and high schools, 3) number of classrooms that participated, if known, and 4) what each newspaper did to promote the contest. Committee members were interested in knowing what individual newspapers gave out as rewards for local winners. Of those who reviewed their entries, most commented that the number of high school entries was up significantly from last year.

NJEA Convention: Committee members noted that it went well. Miss New Jersey signed posters. Tom reported that the total cost of the booth and printing of the posters was $3,105.

In-Print Articles: Not everyone is submitting an article, as assigned. The upcoming schedule is: January – Lee Williams; February – Peggy Maier; March – Melissa Feliciano; April – Cynthia Forster. Steve offered to write articles if given a 10-day advance notice.

Discussion: How are newspapers placed in the schools? Are they used educationally or just dumped on school doorsteps for circulation numbers? This discussion needs to be added to a future agenda.


First Amendment Project: Cynthia is continuing to look into this and will get back to committee members. She is trying to negotiate a group rate for the “Freedom” curriculum guide.

NIE Week: Any ideas? Shirley suggested doing more with the “Making My Community Better” essays, perhaps developing a compilation.

Gifted Child Conference: Every year, the statewide NIE Committee has been represented. Cynthia has not yet heard about next year's event and will call Jackie Mickelburgh to follow-up. Jackie has represented us at past meetings.

NJPA Advertising/Circulation Meeting: April 30, 2004, Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. For the last two years, our committee has sponsored a speaker at this event. It was agreed this year's topics would be: Increasing Circulation: Securing Corporate Dollars For Your NIE Program. Shirley offered to find two speakers, one a professional fundraiser and another a corporate funder. Tom will also sit on this panel to represent the NJPF efforts at fund-raising for NIE. It will be a one-hour presentation.

Sharing: Tom suggested committee members invite other committee members to their workshops, and also consider using the resources and expertise of others in our group to give workshops.

Tabs Handed Out: Financial Literacy Tab (Cynthia); Gangs (Liza Mattison)

The meeting adjourned at 2:00 pm.

Next Meeting: Thursday, Feb. 5, 2004

Respectfully Submitted 12/4/03 by Shirley J. Sasor

Minutes of the October 2, 2003, Meeting

The meeting was held at the New Jersey Press Association offices in West Trenton and began at 11 a.m.

Attending: Cynthia Forster, Jackie Wilson, Foundation Director Tom Engleman, Steve Gondelman, Millie Kerner, Peggy Maier, Lee Williams, Liza Mattison, Jackie MicKelburgh, Jeanne Schexnider, Wendy Halle, Antonette Bomentre-Walter.

Old Business: Minutes were approved from the August meeting. An update was given on the Miss New Jersey poster, which is being printed by The Record. Cynthia Forster is facilitating. The Press of Atlantic City was taking the photo of Miss NJ and this still needs to be done. Steve Gondelman is facilitating. Members asked that Shirley Sasor be contacted to make sure that Miss NJ will be present at the Teachers' Convention to sign autographs.

A listing of members who are available to staff the NIE Statewide booths at the convention was made. It included: Millie Kerner, Ziggy Wozniak, Jackie Wilson, Liza Mattison, Lee Williams, Wendy Halle, Jeanne Schexnider, Antonette Bomentre-Walter, Peggy Maier, Steve Gondelman, Tom Engleman, and Cynthia Forster.

Members distributed the tri-fold listing of NIE contacts in the state for updating by Antonette and printed by the Burlington County Times. These will be given out at the convention.

Discussion was also held about the essay contest. Wendy Halle agreed to contact the NAA Foundation about a guide on citizenship that was available for distribution to the newspapers. This guide, at $10 per copy, was less money than other vendor products, and it was thought that it would serve the purpose.

There was also discussion about inviting the potential essay winners to the Press Association Presidents' Dinner. Jackie Mickelburgh felt that parents of the winners should not have to pay the entire amount and perhaps half of the cost could be defrayed, using the funds that were not spent on purchasing a study guide. This will be discussed further.

New Business: Steve Gondelman gave an update on a proposed regional NIE conference that would include NJ and surrounding states. Liza Mattison noted that Pennsylvania is hosting a regional conference next June in Harrisburg. Steve then said we should rethink the date, and perhaps think of 2005. The location would be the Jersey shore, and the event would be 1 and _ days, with a 1 night stay. Steve will pursue this further.

Cynthia Forster asked members to consider speakers for the Spring Circulation Conference which is to be held in the spring. This will also be considered at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Cynthia Forster, Chair

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Minutes of the August 7, 2003, Meeting

Attending: Cynthia Forster (Chair), Shirley Sasor (Co-Chair), Antonette Bomentre-Walter, Steve Gondelman, Wendy Halle, Milli Kerner, Peggy Maier, Jeanne Schexnider, Jackie Wilson

Presentation on Spelling Bees: Barney Gallassio (Advocate/Judge of Spelling Bees)

Mr. Gallassio talked informally with the group about his passion for spelling bees. According to his count, there are 19 daily newspapers in New Jersey but only seven participate in statewide spelling bees. He was curious why. The group response was that spelling bees are very expensive and labor intensive. He noted that at the national level, the winner typically comes from a state that sends only one state representative. The committee favored this idea – sending one statewide champion rather than multiple newspapers each sending a representative to Washington, D.C. The NIE coordinators also said they would like to find corporate sponsors for events such as this.

Minutes of the June 12 meeting were distributed. Steve moved to approve and Milli seconded. Minutes were approved unanimously, as submitted.

Old Business

Cynthia attended the NJPA Foundation dinner in July to honor the 2002 statewide NIE essay contest winners. She reported that only one of the six student winners attended.

NJEA Booth: Tom requested a double booth near where Certificates of Attendance are issued. Antonette motioned that individual papers be allowed to bring two hand-outs per paper to display and distribute during the convention, November 6 and 7. Motion passed. Cynthia gave price quotes for producing the posters: 11 x 14 would be $398 plus $150 set-up fee for $1,000. For full color, add apx. $1,000. Committee members discussed size options, and the consensus was to continue with what as been done in the past. Since the poster promotes literacy, Shirley suggested partnering with the NJEA to help defray production expenses. Cynthia will look into this. Committee members should email Cynthia with new newspaper logos, if appropriate, and also new educational materials for the statewide hand-out, which needs updating, along with the committee roster tri-fold.

National/Regional NIE Meeting: Steve Gondelman

After discussion with Jim Abbott, Steve reported that 2008 is earliest date available to host the national NIE convention. Also, our NIE Committee would need to provide entertainment. These expenses raised the question: Would our committee make a profit as host? After further discussion, it was decided not to pursue a national convention. Steve will now focus his efforts on organizing a regional meeting for October 2004. A committee was formed to work with Steve: Antonette, Cynthia, and Liza, who has recent experience from the Pennsylvania convention. John O'Brien's name came up as someone from NJPA who has experience organizing large gatherings. His expertise will be solicited. The next steps are to choose a theme for the event, solicit vendors, and identify workshop presenters.

Wachovia Grant: Cynthia Forster

Wachovia awarded the committee a $15,000 grant. The theme: Accentuate The Positive was suggested. Jackie motioned to accept, Milli seconded, and it was approved. To narrow the focus more, the group discussed additional topics including: By Being My Best, How I Can Make My Community Better; Improving My Community By Improving Myself; Self-Esteem; and Making A Difference. Nothing further was agreed upon. Antonette distributed hand-outs from a similar contest she developed and ran for her local paper. A timeline for the contest was proposed: December 11 - deadline for entries to individual newspapers; January 15 – deadline to submit winning essays to Tom. Shirley suggested reconsidering who we use as judges. Perhaps this is something our publishers or editors could do, to build support for the project. Cynthia will discuss this with Tom. Antonette suggested that the essay must incorporate a reference to a newspaper article, and the article should be attached. This led to a discussion of the contest rules. The group decided to add a no plagiarism rule, and a rule that entries must include a reference to a newspaper article. Additionally, Antonette moved and Milli seconded that in order to qualify for funding, newspapers must submit at least one entry for judging and a final report (checklist to be developed) that includes a discussion of promotional efforts. Motions passed.

New Business

First Amendment Project: Cynthia inquired if anyone is interested in doing anything with this. Antonette agreed to contact them for follow-up information.

Civic Education Consortium: (Part of the Eagleton Institute) Cynthia was approached by this group inquiring what newspapers in the state were doing for teen audiences. The group brainstormed and suggested she mention Jeanne's paper, Teen Scene in the Home News Tribune, Generation Next in The Press of Atlantic City and Student Voices.

Next Meeting: Thursday, October 2, 2003

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Summary of the June 12, 2003, Meeting

The meeting was held at the Trenton Marriott Hotel and began at 11 a.m.


Cynthia Forster (Chair), Shirley Sasor (Vice-Chair), Tom Engleman (NJPA), Antonette Bomentre-Walter, Robert Brown, John D╠Achino, Steve Gondelman, Wendy Halle, Milli Kerner, Peggy Maier, Jackie Mickelburgh, Andrea Spaeth, Zygmunt Wozniak


There was no business meeting at the last NIE meeting in Atlantic City; no minutes were taken.


Those who attended the April meeting with Jim Abbott summarized his presentation. Discussion followed about how we could package information about benefits of NIE.

Tom Engleman reported that the grant request of $30,000 to sponsor a statewide NIE essay contest is currently being reviewed by the Hoffman Foundation. The committee voted to accept the grant if awarded. Antonette offered to chair a committee to review last year's contest rules and guidelines. It is expected that the format will remain the same: each newspaper will be eligible to submit one middle and one high school first place winner chosen locally. At the state level, a first, second and third place winner will be selected at each level, for a total of six prizes. Student winners will be invited to attend an awards dinner. It was suggested that students be required to reference information and research from a newspaper in their essay. Ideas for topics included: bullying, positive role models, and freedom of the press. It also was suggested that newspapers must receive a minimum number of local entries to qualify for a cash distribution.

Cynthia summarized the national NIE Convention in Chicago. Our committee won 3rd place among statewide NIE Committees. Discussion followed about organizing a regional NIE conference in New Jersey for the fall of 2004. Steve will chair a committee to look into this, working through Jim Abbott.


InPrint Magazine: Please remember to submit NIE articles to Missy Flynn in accordance with the schedule previously announced. Upcoming dates include: September - Wendy; October - Julian. Send articles to mflynn@njpa.org and add a brief blurb on yourself.

NJEA Convention: Tom will arrange for a double booth near the Certificate of Attendance area. NIE coordinators will be asked to volunteer to help staff the booth at the next meeting. It was agreed to hand out posters featuring Miss New Jersey once again. Shirley Sasor will arrange for the photo shoot and Cynthia will have the posters reproduced.

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Summary of the April 4, 2003, Meeting

The meeting began at about 2:45 p.m.

Attendees: Paul Lanaris (Jersey Journal), Julian Rosado and Stephen Urbish(Princeton Packet), Lee Williams (New Jersey Herald), Steve Gondelman (The Press of Atlantic City), John D'Achino (Worrall Community Newspapers), Andrea Spaeth and Cynthia Forster (The Record), Antoinette Bomentre-Walter (Burlington County Times), Sue Anderson and Allison Spinella (Recorder Community Newspapers), Squire Osbourne (North Jersey Community Newspapers), Jeanne Schexnider (Asbury Park Press).

James Abbott, director of the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, announced the results of a new NAA Foundation research study titled "Assessing the Impact of NIE Programs." The study showed that having NIE in a school increases the overall performance of the school on standardized test scores by about 10 percent, compared with scores at schools that don't have NIE programs. Also, students in middle schools where most students were minority or qualify for free or reduced lunches scored nearly 30 percent higher on standardized tests than student in schools without NIE. Printed survey results will be distributed at the next meeting of the NIE Committee.

The meeting was adjouned at 4 p.m.

The next meeting of the NIE Committee is scheduled for Thursday, June 12, at the NJPA conference room in West Trenton.

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Minutes of the February 6, 2003, Meeting

Meeting started at 11am at the New Jersey Press Association headquarters in West Trenton, NJ

Attendees: Cynthia Forester (chairperson), Tom Engleman (pres of NJPA), Antoinette Bomentre-Walter, Steve Gondelman, Milli Kerner, Jackie Wilson, Sue Anderson, Allison Spinella.

Meeting called to order and minutes of the December 6, 2002, meeting were approved.

Guest Speaker Cole Kleitsch from "Freedom's Answer" in NJ explained that the organization's goal is to develop youth coordinators to get people to vote. This project helps students to learn how to have a stake in the political process. In 2002 there were 2,500 high school students across the country that participated in the project. They will train 16 and 17 year old students to work as poll workers for this November. He also presented a 2-1/2 minute video promoting the importance of voting. Tom suggested that if the Statewide Committee could create a tab on "How to Vote."

New Business: Tom has applied for two grants this year: a $10,000 proposal to PSEG and $30,000 to Wachovia. All newspapers that participated in the "Live Without Hate" contest were urged to write a letter to Great Adventure, thanking them for the tickets that were given to students. The address is PO Box 120, Route 537, Jackson, NJ 08527, Attn: Pat Klingensmith. Forms were given out for the "Teachers at Newspapers Program." The Statewide Committee will be entering the NAA Excellence Award Contest.

The NJPA Spring Circulation/Advertising Conference is scheduled for April 4. The NIE Commitee's session will feature Jim Abbott, director of the NAA Foundation. Abott will make a PowerPoint presentation on Don Sullivan's "How NIE has a large impact on test scores." Our meeting will be at 2:30 pm and there is no charge if you attend only the meeting. This will be the first year there will be two statewide NIE awards presented at the Circulation Committee's luncheon.



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