Toms River Regional Schools will hold its TR Excellence Expo from 5 to 8 p.m. at RWJBarnabas Health Arena on April 6, according to a news release.
The free event will be an evening of teacher- and student-driven interactive experiences that showcase what makes TRRS an excellent place to learn and grow.
The seeds of this idea were planted by Jersey Shore Makerfest, the daylong celebration of creativity, technology, and the maker mindset that the district hosted for four consecutive years, from 2016-2019. Emerging from a two-year era of pandemic restrictions that essentially halted Makerfest, a core group of administrators led by Curriculum Directors Rachel Cicala and Adrienne Gold worked diligently on the expo idea.
“Makerfest was so successful, and drew in thousands of attendees each year, so enhancing that model was a challenge,” Gold said. “But we thought that introducing new elements of creativity, including music and performing arts, and ceding much of the creative input to our students and teachers would help engage even more people. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’re beyond excited to show off what we do here.”
Educational topics such as transitioning to an adult and multisensory phonics will be featured along with information about the schools’ Hispanic Heritage Clubs, Career Academy courses, and Genius Hour activities. A Green Fair featuring a host of guests will neighbor a robotics showcase. Local vendors will provide resources, and PTOs and booster clubs will promote their missions. Schools’ choruses, drama clubs, dancers, and bands will perform, and students will present their STEAM capstone and Genius Hour projects.
“This is a true hands-on event,” said Assistant Superintendent Cara DiMeo. “Parents simply looking to see their children perform can come and watch up close and in person. Young kids can get engaged with arts enrichment, learn how to operate a robot, or take a yoga lesson. Any student, from preschool to kindergarten, will find something of interest. Overall, it will be a family event and a true source of pride for our district as we give our students an opportunity to showcase all of the amazing things that are happening.”