In today’s world, teachers need as much help and support as they can get. And giving that help is vital, because they’re shaping South Jersey’s children.

To pitch in and lend a local hand to our students, PREIT – owners of Cherry Hill and Moorestown Malls – has introduced Kickstart Your Class – a partnership with the online nonprofit to support our public school teachers and enhance the classroom experience for students. And you can help!

We hit Cherry Hill Mall with some exceptional educators who work hard for our kids (and look good doing it). They’ll be participating in PREIT malls’ Kickstart Your Class and seek funding for special classroom projects. Hear their classroom wishes, and if you can help where our kids need it most, visit

How Kickstart Your Class works: Public school teachers can log on to and create a page for the special project they would like funded. Donors can also log on to contribute to help make the project possible – donations can be as big or small as you like. Once a project is fully funded, the requested supplies are purchased and shipped directly to the school.


kaitlin-CHM_8951Kaitlin Tumulty

Third Grade

What Kaitlin Tumulty’s classroom really needs, she says, is a nudge into the 21st century. She is using to ask for two iPads for her third-grade classroom at Magowan Elementary School in Edgewater Park, where she teaches every subject from reading to math.

“Everything is changing to a technology-based world,” says Tumulty, 28. “To introduce technology at a third-grade level will definitely help them in the long run.”

Having two classroom iPads will help in the short term, too, as Tumulty already knows exactly how she’ll put them to use. In fact, she’s been letting students use her personal iPad for quite a while.

“It would be great to have more than just my personal iPad,” she laughs. “We do a lot of work on reading with fluency, and it makes a huge difference when the students are able to record themselves reading and then play it back. There are a lot of different apps we can use to do that. It helps the students to self-check, and they improve very quickly.”

Tumulty also has her students do “Reader’s Theatre” – where they turn works of literature into plays, acting them out for their classmates.

“We can use the iPads to video these performances,” Tumulty says. “They can watch the video and see themselves improve from the first time to the last.”

Tumulty says the ESL students in her classroom would also benefit from being able to access reading level-appropriate materials and activities on the iPads.

“There are so many areas where we can integrate this technology,” she says. “It’s going to open up so many possibilities for my students.”

On Kaitlin: Topshop Daisy Sequin Miniskirt, Nordstrom, $140; Free People Free Falling Shirttail V-Neck Tee in Fatigue, Nordstrom, $58; Topshop Moto Tilda Denim Jacket, Nordstrom, $75; Ankle Booties in Cognac, GAP, $39.99; Faux Leather Tote and Pouch, Forever 21, $27.90; Three Tier Necklace with Bar, Dynamite, $12.95; Pendant Necklace, Francesca’s, $8 (also at Moorestown Mall); Leather Triple-Wrap Bracelets, Banana Republic, $28.99; Bracelets, H&M, $6.99-$9.99

greg-CHM_8963Greg Wake

Freshman English

Greg Wake, 30, has always wanted to work with teenagers. He says the 14- and 15-year-olds in his English classroom at Winslow High School are old enough to grasp complicated plot lines and imagery, but young enough to be impressionable and open-minded.

“I enjoy my job, and I really enjoy the students I work with,” Wake says. “I think I’m able to give them different points of view that they may not otherwise be thinking about at 14.”

One way Wake provides those new points of view is by deviating a bit from the been-there-read-that, Shakespeare-heavy curriculum and making it a point to have his students read works by women and Hispanic and African-American authors.

“Our school has a big population of African-American students and Latino students, and I want them to hear voices they can relate to in the books they’re reading,” Wake says.

He feels lucky to have all the technology his classroom could possibly need, so instead he’s using to raise funds to buy a class set of an August Wilson play like “Fences” or “Radio Golf.”

“We don’t have any August Wilson plays now,” Wake says. “When it comes to plays, I want to switch it up and get away from Shakespeare. I want them to read a modern play that deals with modern life. Wilson’s plays are very relatable, and I know my students will enjoy his plays as much as I do.”

On Greg: Easy Care Stretch Slim Fit Striped Long Sleeve Shirt in Blue, UNIQLO, $39.90; Extra Fine Merino V-Neck Cardigan in Blue, UNIQLO, $49.90; Denim in Slate Grey, Charlie’s Jeans, $129; Base Camp Lite Slip-Ons, The North Face, $44.99; Watch, The North Face, $400; Klean Kanteen, The North Face, $31.95

lauren-CHM_8887Lauren Primas


Before the 5- and 6-year-old students in Lauren Primas’ kindergarten class at Magowan Elementary School in Edgewater Park can learn to read independently, they have to learn the basics. So Primas focuses on how to hold a book, when to turn the page and how to follow along as the words are read aloud.

She teaches these skills with the help of a listening center – a CD player that can accommodate multiple sets of headphones. The children hold the book, following along and turning pages as the CD plays. The students absolutely love the listening center, says Primas, 32, but she just can’t trust it.

“It’s old, and it’s broken,” she says. “It’s hit or miss. We have to cross our fingers and hope it works each time the kids put a CD in. A lot of the time, it doesn’t. That makes for disappointed kids and a missed learning opportunity.”

With special funding from, Primas plans to upgrade her classroom’s listening center with about a half-dozen individual CD players. The benefit to her students, she says, would be huge.

“When the kids listen to a book, they have a comfy place to sit and they can grab a stuffed animal, a ‘book buddy,’ to hold while they listen,” she says. “It’s great, but the problem is, at most, all I have is two copies of a book, and everyone is trying to look at them at the same time. Individual units would give them the freedom of picking a book they’re really into, instead of having to agree on what the rest of the group wants to read. That freedom is the first step in developing a lifelong love of reading.”

On Lauren: New Savvy Pleat Detail Dress, Nordstrom, $68; Makayla Mid-Heel Pump, Banana Republic, $99.99; Handbag, H&M, $29.95; Twisted Wood Bead Necklace, LOFT, $25; Bracelets, LOFT, $15

danielle-CHM_8829Danielle Law

7th Grade Math

Sometimes, Danielle Law’s seventh-grade math class operates a little differently than the traditional classroom. Rather than spending the class period teaching all the students one particular skill, she creates different means of instruction that operate simultaneously. This way, her students at Lindenwold Middle School learn in the way that works best for them and at their own pace.

“I can have some students watching video lessons I’ve created, completing work as they go along,” says Law, 25. “At the same time, other students who can’t work quite as independently can partner with a higher-level student. While that’s all going on,

I can have a small group of students gathered for more in-depth instruction. So everyone is learning through different means, but getting the same amount of instruction.”

Law’s classroom includes a large number of ESL and special education students, for whom small-group instruction is a great learning tool. To make that instruction a more integrated part of the classroom, Law is seeking funding on for a kidney table.

“I want to have an area in the room where they can still feel like they’re part of the classroom,” she says.

Law’s classroom utilizes iPads and Chromebook laptops, which is important because many of her students do not have access to such technology at home.

“Being able to use technology is a 21st-century skill,” she says. “With PARCC testing now being done online, if they’re comfortable with the tech that’s one less stressor for them.”

To further improve the use of classroom technology, Law is also seeking funding for a class set of headphones and headphone splitters. “It’s an affordable thing that goes a long way to improve their learning experiences,” she says.

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lori CHM_8926Lori Kelly

Special Education

Lori Kelly believes it’s never too early to start talking about college, and she puts that theory into practice with the first, second and third graders at Winslow Township Elementary School #4.

“Economically, a lot of these kids are at risk,” says Kelly, 45. “We want to let them know from a very early age that everyone can go to college. They need to know, ‘Hey, I can make a plan for my life and be successful.’ Yes, they’re young, but you need to do this when they’re super impressionable.”

Kelly and her fellow teachers decorate the hallways of the elementary school with the colors and logos of their alma maters – Rowan Hall, Rutgers Hall, Stockton Hall – and last year, Kelly took things a step further by leading her students down actual university hallways.

“Last year we were awarded a grant I wrote, and we were able to take our first through third-graders on a tour of the Rowan University campus.

The kids absolutely loved it, and they suddenly had a real vision of what their future could be.”

Kelly is using to raise funds to take this year’s students to another college or university. She wants to expose them to as much possibility as she can.

“We feel very strongly that this is the first step toward getting these kids to a post-secondary education,” Kelly says. “The road to college begins with School #4.”

On Lori: Lightweight V-Neck Sweater, Dynamite, $29.95; Ryder Pant in Deep Fatigue, J. Crew, $49.99; Sleeveless Trench in Crema, White House Black Market, $160; Cece Ballet Flats in Romance Pink, J. Crew, $79.99; Fabric Tassel with Stone Necklace, Dynamite, $10; Geo Pave Bangle Set, LOFT, $15

August 2015
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