H.P. Gives a Hoot
"HP Gives a Hoot" is a nonprofit fund created by the Borough of Highland Park to contribute to the wellbeing of our Highland Park students in need. Donations to the fund are used to provide
lunches to these students when school is not in session and offer opportunities to ensure their success in school and the future. Since its inception in December 2015, we have supplied more than 450 lunches to children.
This fund has helped to send several children to our community day camp, so they will have a place to go during the summer. Additionally, over the past few years, the fund has sent more than 15 high school students to the YouthROOTS mentorship camp, where they learned self-esteem, diversity and how to combat bias and discrimination. Most recently "HP Gives a Hoot" has partnered with Highland Park Schools to create the "Peer to Peer Mentorship Program" which is designed to enhance the leadership skills of the mentors and partner them with incoming freshman to develop their academic, social and emotional growth.
This program began when Borough employees noticed a group of young children hanging outside Boro Hall last summer, with nothing to occupy their time, and no access to healthy lunches. We recognized the need to provide these children with healthy food and activities to help them grow and develop.
Nearly 38% of the students in Highland Park schools are on free or reduced lunch. The Borough feels a strong responsibility to assist these children in their growth and success. Through fundraisers, promotions and publicity, "HP Gives a Hoot" receives donations from residents and organizations. In order to maintain our ability to help our youth, we need to continuously solicit donations from residents.
Lunch When School’s Out
About one third of our public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch. To support good nutrition when school is not in session,
funds “pay-what-you-wish” lunches for school-aged children at the Global Grace Café, 19 South Second Avenue (inside the Reformed Church). HP Gives a Hoot
Since its inception the HP Gives a Hoot lunch program has served hundreds of meals.
The Highland Park Department of Recreation offers a variety of summer camp activities including *Pool Visits *Day Trips *Cooking *Arts and Crafts *Sports * Special events *Music *Electives *Science *Theater * and much, much more!
HP Gives a Hoot pays the tuition of a number of free or reduced lunch students selected by lottery. In 2018 we sponsored 27 camp scholarships up from 10 in 2017.
Peer-to-Peer School Mentoring
In 2017-18 HP Gives a Hoot and Highland Park schools instituted a Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program teaming juniors and seniors with incoming freshmen through the first year of high school to develop their academic, social, and emotional growth. The transition from middle to high school is a challenging period for most students, and it can be easy for students to feel disconnected from school and lose their focus. Many studies show that the success rate among students who feel connected to their schools is much higher than their counterparts who feel less connected.
How Can I donate?
Interested in making a donation to help provide lunch for our H.P. Children? checks can be mailed or dropped off to Borough Hall, 221 South 5th Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904. Checks should be made out to "Borough of Highland Park" Memo line please write in HP Gives a Hoot.
Questions can be emailed to