New Jersey Schools Under Pressure as Demand Increases for Bilingual, ESL Classes

There was a time a little over a decade ago when Claudia Velasquez was in the seventh grade and she didn’t speak any English. She is now attaching paper on a flip-board, preparing to give a class in English, in the same red-brick Pleasantville school on Washington Avenue where she learned the language.

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Atlantic County Kids Could Lose Hundreds Of After-School Places

About 450 children and 27o adults and parents could lose access to federally-funded after-school services provided in Buena, Atlantic City and Pleasantville school districts. The services, offered under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, are among those that would be affected by President Trump’s proposal to end $1.2 billion in grants for after-school and summer programs.

There are three sites in Atlantic County that offer the program, which also provides after-school care for individuals with disabilities. This is a roundup of the local 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, according to details from New Jersey’s Department of Education:

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Boardwalk Beans: How a Quest for the Perfect Cup of Coffee Turned into a Business

Damon Germano and Gabrielle Cianfrani just wanted to make a better cup of coffee. Somewhere along the line, their personal mission turned into a business. Now, from a corner of Pleasantville not far from the old Ireland Coffee Company plant, Boardwalk Beans is roasting small batches of carefully-selected coffee for retail and wholesale customers. Germano used to work for Ireland, back when Ireland had a small store in one of the Atlantic City casinos. “I was really into coffee, I had the beret, the turtleneck – the whole thing,” he said.

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‘Narcan is Staggeringly Expensive’

The skyrocketing cost of Narcan—the lifesaving opioid antidote used to revive people in overdose—is impacting budgeting decisions for at least one South Jersey police department. Pleasantville Chief Sean Riggin said the cost of a dose of Narcan has increased between 200% and 400% for his department (depending on how you estimate), while at the same time the number of doses the city uses has spiked. “We had to put it in as a line-item in the budget this year,” he said. “Narcan is staggeringly expensive.”

Riggin sat down with Breaking AC and Route 40 yesterday at Gary’s Restaurant in Pleasantville for an interview that covered a range of topics.  

“Our budget is not increasing for next year, and our Narcan cost is, so other things are going to get cut,” he said.

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