Mara LaBato, Grover Cleveland Middle School Teacher, Recognized by Kiwanis for Student Community Service Programs
by Christine Corliss
Grover Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell, eighth grade teacher Mara LaBato (left) receives a certificate of appreciation for her work and dedication to the youth of Builders Club and their community service from Kiwanis of Caldwell-West Essex president Mary Ann Luke this May. LaBato has advised the Builders Club at the school for 12 years. Credit: Christine Corliss
CALDWELL, NJ - Eighth-grade math teacher Mara LaBato has advised the Builders Club at Grover Cleveland Middle School (GCMS), Caldwell, for twelve years, working with the students to organize fundraisers, host parties for senior citizens, donate to local and national charities, and much, much more, to help students recognize the importance of community service and doing good for others.
However, this spring, the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex turned the tables on LaBato, recognizing the important role that she has played in the community and her contributions to community service programs as the Builders Club Advisor.
A Kiwanis Service Leadership Program, the Builders Club is an international student-led program providing students with opportunities to perform service, build character and develop leadership. Clubs are chartered in partnership with a Kiwanis club and a school or community-based organization serving middle or junior high school students. The middle school’s club partners with the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex.
Over the years, students involved with the Builders Club have participated in Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF; made and served a Valentine's Day dinner for local seniors that includes live entertainment; worked with the PRIDE committee on their annual holiday Adopt-a-Family; and held numerous bake sales, food drives and coat drives. The Club also sponsors a "Pajama Day", donating all of the proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“We try to vary the types of activities to show students that there are
This year, Kiwanis President MaryAnn Luke presented LaBato with a certificate of appreciation for her work and dedication to the youth of Builders Club and their community service.
“I work with the students in the Builders Club
For more information on the Kiwanis of Caldwell-West Essex, visit their website online here.
For more information on Builders Clubs, visit their website online here.
For more information on Grover Cleveland Middle School, visit their website online here.
Christine Corliss is the Data Specialist and Communications Coordinator for the