rbr summer slam 1PHOTO: RBR rising freshmen share their biographic essays on their fellow students during a Project Write Now exercise conducted during the RBR Summer Slam program. 

LITTLE SILVER, NJ –  Throughout the month of July, rising freshmen get a leg up on high school- level classwork in the RBR signature Summer Slam program.  Here they have an opportunity to also meet and bond with future classmates in an educational, relaxed and congenial atmosphere.

Freshman Academy & SOURCE Supervisor, Suzanne Keller explains, “Summer Slam is a four week transition program for incoming freshmen designed to prepare them for the high school experience. Challenging curriculum includes; English, Math, History and Science.  Our teachers also concentrate on social skills and team-building exercises conveying these lessons in a fun and engaging way.  This year we were very happy to include presenters from local businesses specializing in writing workshops.”

Diem Jones, the Executive Director of VON, (Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation) is also a poet, multi-media artist, musician and inductee into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.  He visited RBR to mentor and inspire students’ expression in art and writing.

rbr summer slam 2PHOTO:  Diem Jones, the Executive Director of VONA, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation, is also a poet, multi-media artist, musician and inductee in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame.  He visited RBR to mentor and inspire students’ expression in art and writing during the four-week Summer Slam, high school transition program held in July.

He explained to the students, “The arts are precious to me.  It is the bridge between people.  And all art tells a story whether it is a poem, a song, or a picture.”

The students were then tasked to draw three images, the way they saw themselves today, their biggest challenge, and how they would portray themselves upon resolving that challenge.  The students would then express these pictures in words utilizing the writer’s skills of storytelling including the who, what, when, where and why that every story contains.

Down the hall that same day, students were busy interviewing one another in a Project Write Now workshop.  They learned about their interviewee’s greatest fears, obsessions, loves, most important achievement or treasured possession.  Then, they fashioned these answers into a biographical essay to share with the entire class. It was a fun way to hone their skills of interviewing and writing while getting to know their future classmates.

rbr summer slam 3PHOTO:  Jennifer Chauhan, co-founder of the non-profit writing workshop Project Write Now, gives direction to rising freshmen during a Summer Slam session.  Summer Slam is RBR’s high school transitional program held during the month of July.

Jennifer Chauhan conducted the workshop.  She and her partner Allison Tevald, who founded the non-profit, were recently honored with the SOURCE Community Partnership Award for providing college essay writing and research paper support to RBR students over the past five years. 

Summer Slam is the largest of a plethora of RBR summer school programs conducted during the summer.  It is operated by the RBR SOURCE, whose mission is to remove all obstacles that impede a students’ academic success. Over 110 students from RBR’s three sending school districts of Red Bank, Little Silver and Shrewsbury attended the four-week summer program.

rbr summer slam 4PHOTO:  RBR rising freshmen collaborate in an interview exercise during a Project Write Now workshop offered as a special program during Summer Slam, the RBR high school transitional four week program.


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...