By Scott Bleile

On Wednesday May 27, Schell Bros. brought their Project Kudos bus loaded with food boxes and other goodies to the Woodbridge School District. The food bus has also visited other school districts in the area. 

Project Kudos was brought to the district by the Communities in Schools (CIS) program which provides services to the students within the district. 

The Schell Brothers Project Kudos bus visited Woodbridge School District to hand out food boxes to the community. Alyssa Titus, Director of Marketing for Schell Bros., center, is shown coordinating volunteers loading the boxes into families’ cars. Photo by Scott Bleile

“I heard about the Schell Brothers Project Kudos bus bringing food and other supplies to Sussex County towns,” said Amanda Roth, CIS coordinator at Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center. “I just reached out to them and asked if they could partner with us to bring them to the Woodbridge School District.  The district quickly worked on a plan and just like that, it happened. Also, the bus went to Laverty Lane and distributed boxes once they left the middle school. They gave out around 200 food boxes for the event.  One thing I really liked is that they included a swag bag with little fun activities for the kids to do.”

Alyssa Titus, Marketing Director for Schell Bros., oversees the Project Kudos bus. “We want to make sure families in the communities we visit get food they need in this time of crisis. We have visited many communities and hand out the food boxes. Today we will be giving out over 250 boxes,” she said.

Roth added, “Currently Woodbridge is the only district in Sussex County utilizing the support of CIS. They are looking to expand into other schools as well. There are four site coordinators in the district-one at each building so CIS will be with the students all the way through high school which is unique. The coordinators are Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center- Amanda Roth, 302-349-4539,; Phillis Wheatley Elementary School- Erin Perry, 302-337-3469,; Woodbridge Middle School- Breanna Crump, 302-337-8289,; and Woodbridge High School- Joy Conway, 302-232-3333,”

CIS is a nationwide network of passionate professionals working in public schools to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. They are in over 200 communities across 27 states; CIS works closely with schools, social services, businesses and thousands of volunteers to get young people the things they need to learn and grow: mentors and tutors, after-school help, and family services to stabilize the home. Without these basic supports, kids in need or at-risk are far less likely to succeed and grow into productive adults. Children are individuals with very individualized needs. School-site coordinators respond quickly, on a case-by-case basis to get kids what they need — when they need it. Help can be as simple as providing eyeglasses to a child in need or as intensive as after-school tutoring; it all depends on the child.

“We each work with a caseload of students, about 10 percent of the enrollment at each school,” Roth continued. “Our services are very individualized to address the needs of the student and family so they will be successful. Supports could be food and clothing, attendance issues, academic, and behavior. Mentoring is also a big part of supports we provide. We are always looking for mentors. In addition, we also support the entire school with various programs. An example at the elementary level is Books and Buddies. CIS site coordinators collected donations from a couple of businesses to buy a book for every student that they could take home for reading with and adult at home. An adult buddy came into school to read the book with them and then the student got to take it home. This was to encourage kids and parents or other adults to read with kids at home. We also house two food pantries for our students and families in the district. One is at PWES and the other at WECEC. Just to note that, we raise our own money so any donations would be greatly appreciated.”

 The Project Kudos bus will be at Woodbridge Middle School Tuesday, June 9 at noon for drive through groceries. Please enter the back parking lot from Laws Street by turning onto School Alley by the gym. Turn into the parking lot just past the gym, retrieve the groceries and exit onto Edgewood Street. This is in collaboration with the Harry K Foundation. One set per vehicle.