HP Gives a Hoot

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HPGAhootMission Statement

"HP Gives a Hoot" is a nonprofit fund created by the Borough of Highland Park to contribute to the wellbeing of our children in need. With community donations, we provide lunches when school is not in session, free groceries to the Zone 6 Teen Center , scholarships to the Recreation Department's Summer Camp and opportunities to encourage academic, social and community success.

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The Need

This program began when Borough employees noticed a group of young children hanging outside Boro Hall 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.

Highlights of 2017 - 2018

  • Over 400 lunches served to Highland Park students at the Global Grace Cafe' Reformed Church, 2nd Avenue
  • 27 Camp Scholarships for 4 weeks at the Recreation Department's Summer Camp
  • Over 1,100 lunches served at the summer camp
  • Over 30 student mentor-mentees participating in the Highland Park High School Peer-to-Peer mentoring program

Lunch When School’s Out

GlobalGraceCafeAbout one third of our public school students qualify for free or reduced lunch. To support good nutrition when school is not in session, HP Gives a Hoot funds “pay-what-you-wish” lunches for school-aged children at the Global Grace Café, 19 South Second Avenue (inside the Reformed Church).

Since its inception the HP Gives a Hoot lunch program has served hundreds of meals.

Summer Camp

SummerCampHPGivesAHootThe 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

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