Since the 1960s, all sixth graders in Cherry Hill Public Schools have had the opportunity to experience one of the school district’s most memorable and enriching educational programs: The Cherry Hill Environmental Education Resident program at Mt. Misery, a preserved site located in the heart of the Pinelands.
Affectionately referred to as simply “Mt. Misery,” this program provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience that results in the following benefits to children:
- Going Beyond the Textbook: Education about South Jersey’s Pinelands, an ecosystem that is unique to the world, with hands-on practice of scientific learning and social studies.
- Group Collaboration: Opportunity to learn to live democratically with other students and with adults through experiences in outdoor living.
- Personal Growth: Development of stronger and more lasting friendships by creating interpersonal bonds amongst all students.
About the Program
Mt. Misery entails four days and three nights of staying in the Pinelands. An essential element of this program is that ALL students have the opportunity to take part. It is a rare chance for students to bond and meet others while gaining an educational experience of a lifetime. Indeed, students who have participated in the Mt. Misery program during the more than 40 years of its existence remember it fondly as one of their best educational and personal experiences.
The total annual cost for the Mt. Misery program is approximately $300,000, which covers pay for salaries for substitutes to be at the schools while teachers, nurses, educational assistants and others assist students at Mt. Misery, as well as residency at the site, transportation, and more. This cost includes a family contribution for each student to help subsidize the overall cost. In 2014-15, for example, the family contribution amounted to $230 per student. To ensure that every student has the opportunity to attend, the Cherry Hill Education Foundation last year began raising funds to provide tuition scholarships for economically disadvantaged students.
Clearly, your support and the support of other community partners is vital to the continuance of this program.
Cherry Hill has an increasingly diverse population, as shown by the following statistics:
- 62% of students are white, 17% are Asian, 10% are Hispanic, 8% are African American, and 3% are multi-race
- 59 native languages are spoken by Cherry Hill students and their families; 18% of students are bilingual
- 20% of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch, indicating financial hardships at home
- 18% students are eligible for special education services
Benefits of Supporting Mt. Misery
Sponsors of Mt. Misery can realize the following benefits:
- Charitable Deduction: Your contribution to the Cherry Hill Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. (Please consult your tax advisor.)
- Recognition: The Foundation welcomes donations to the program in any denomination, and with a contribution of $500 or more, you or your company’s name will be recognized in the Foundation’s brochure as a sponsor, on the Foundation’s website, and in our e-blasts to the community and our supporters.
- Connection to the Community: Since Mt. Misery is a well-known educational program to Cherry Hill families, your contribution will show the community your dedication to supporting this treasured program for the present and future generations.
Interested in contributing to Mt. Misery or learning more about the program?
To learn more about how you can help the Mt. Misery program, please contact Eleanor Stofman, President of the Cherry Hill Education Foundation, at 856-428-7585 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss giving opportunities in more detail.
Thank you for your consideration!