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Foundation Shows Millburn Schools Rock

U2 tribute band to highlight education foundation fund-raiser

Most parents will tell you Millburn schools rock, and the Education Foundation of Millburn-Short Hills hopes to prove it in March.

Unforgettable Fire, a U2 tribute band, will headline the foundation's annual benefit on March 27 at the Maplewood Country Club.

"I saw them at a friend's 40th birthday party," said Amy Talbert, event organizer. "They look and sound just like them. Not a lot of people get to go to rock concerts."

Organizations like the education foundation are more important now than ever, she said, with all of the money raised by the foundation going back into the schools.

The foundation is looking to fund the Communication Television Arts Initiative, which adds video conferencing and editing equipment to each of Millburn's schools.

Debra Camitta, foundation co-chairwoman, said the group's leadership wanted to find a way to embed technology into the schools while increasing students' public speaking skills.

"We felt (the initiative) would accomodate all those goals," she said.

The foundation wants to raise close to $250,000 for the initiative, which would install equipment in each of the district's seven schools.

At the elementary schools, teachers wanted to have video conferencing to link students to other programs and students across the globe. The Board of Education has accepted the equipment for each school and seed money for the program.

The equipment is already in place at Deerfield Elementary, which piloted the program.

The program at the middle school was to enhance the communications cycle for seventh graders with an editing lab.

"It went from small to large," said Camitta. "We're splitting the cost with the PTO to help fund the entire room."

There will be cameras, editing equipment and a flatscreen television for the middle school editing labs, and the Board of Education recently accepted the funding for the project.

The Millburn High School portion of the initiative has yet to be donated to the district, and about $100,000 of the total has already been donated. How much is done at the high school depends on how much the foundation raises, Camitta said.

The project at the high school would include a studio component, but it may not have a separate control room. That depends on whether enough money is raised, Camitta said.

"If we do well, we can get more things like high-end cameras and lighting," she said.

Tickets to the benefit are $75 per person, and in addition to the band, a "light supper" will be served. Leading up to the event, supporters can purchase T-shirts and wrist bands.

For more information, call Talbert at 917-468-5138.

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