NPS Honors NJ Devils for Continued Investment in Newark Students

The district’s ongoing partnership with the New Jersey Devils promotes initiatives supporting education, athletics, and community development


NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf, School Board Members, and students honored the New Jersey Devils organization for their support for Newark students at a luncheon, presenting a proclamation and an award to Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center.

[Newark, NJ — May 10, 2017] — Newark Public Schools (NPS) hosted a luncheon honoring the New Jersey Devils organization for their long-standing and continued investment in Newark students, and also to announce the expansion and launch of several academic and athletic programs to support NPS students and the greater Newark community. At the event, NPS Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf, Board Members, and NPS students presented a proclamation and an award to Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center, recognizing the organization’s significant impact on Newark students and thanking the Devils for their ongoing commitment to the Newark community. Over 80 individuals attended the event, including various district and school leaders, educators, and students, as well as New Jersey Devils alumni and Prudential Center staff members.

“We want to thank the hometown New Jersey Devils organization for their ongoing commitment and dedication to Newark Children,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of Newark Public Schools. “Thanks to their efforts, children across this city have been able to explore a wide range of educational and athletic opportunities. The organization’s comprehensive programs and initiatives, along with their ongoing generous donations to our schools and athletic teams, continue to have a significant impact on our students and communities and we look forward to continuing our work with The Devils well into the future.”

At the luncheon, the Newark Public Schools thanked the New Jersey Devils for their commitment in the areas of athletics, academics and community giving. Many students and staff members who have been involved in the Hockey in New Jersey initiative were on-hand to celebrate. The Devils also announced the expansion of the Street Devils street hockey afterschool program, as well as the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program. The Devils aim to expand the reach of the Street Devils program and to bring the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program into more classrooms across the district next year than ever before. The Devils also plan to host students and families to visit The GRAMMY Museum Experience at the Prudential Center, which is set to open this fall.

“We understand and value the impact a high-quality education can hold for both an individual and community. We are honored to have the opportunity to invest in opportunities that will help advance every child’s educational experience across Newark,” said Hugh Weber, President of the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. “We look forward building upon our strong partnership with Newark Public Schools as we look to expand and enhance access to more educational, athletic, and extracurricular opportunities to students and families across our community.”

ATHLETIC PARTNERSHIP: Hockey in New Jersey and Street Devils Program

Over the past two decades, the New Jersey Devils have made a variety of investments in athletic programs across the district, exposing thousands of students to the sport of hockey.

Since 2003, children across Newark have increasingly been exposed to the sport of hockey through the “Hockey in Newark” program. Over time, the program expanded and eventually joined the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Hockey is for Everyone Initiative and also worked with the New Jersey Devils to bring hockey to more children across various cities throughout New Jersey. Many players involved in the Newark hockey program have gone on to play at the high school level for Newark’s East Side High School boys’ and girls’ hockey teams. This past season, the Devils allowed Newark’s East Side High School boys’ and girls’ hockey teams to use their practice rink next to the Prudential Center. Additionally, back in December, The Devils donated 35 new sticks to the East Side High School boys’ ice hockey team.

The Devils’ Street Devils street hockey afterschool program aims to build a better future for children by introducing students to a new and exciting sports activity. Newark students began participating in the Street Devils program in 2008, and the program is now expanding to 25 schools and will reach over 5,000 students by the end of the 2017 school year. This program donates sticks, balls, and other street hockey equipment to schools so that students can learn to play the game at a young age, and participate in more structured activities during physical education classes and in after-school activities.

“Hockey is a very expensive sport to play; however, our students are now able to explore this exciting game, free of charge, thanks to The Devils’ generous investments across the district,” said Keith Veltre, Special Assistant of Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities at NPS and Varsity Boys Ice Hockey Coach at East Side High School. “We’ve found that once our students get a stick in their hand, they fall in love with the game, allowing them to develop the important life skills of teamwork, discipline, and perseverance that they will utilize for the rest of their lives.”

ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP: Future Goals – Hockey Scholar Program

In addition to the athletic opportunities, the New Jersey Devils have also made investments directly into Newark classrooms. This year, 3,246 students from 36 schools are participating in the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program, a cutting-edge, digital learning program launched by the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) which introduces students to foundational STEM concepts through the sport of hockey, covering Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and NJ Math and Science Standards. Over 6,800 NPS students have participated in the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program since 2014.

“It’s been exciting to witness firsthand how the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar™ program has increased student engagement to a whole new level in our classrooms,” said Timothy Nellegar, Special Assistant for Technology. “The program’s interactive and exploratory coursework has allowed for Newark students to use real-life STEM applications through the unique sport of hockey, a sport that I have seen many students become increasingly excited about thanks to the Devils’ programs and contributions across district.”

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP: On-going donations to Newark Schools

NPS and the New Jersey Devils began their partnership in when the Devils first built their new facility in Newark. Since the partnership’s formation, thousands of Newark students and families have benefited from the Devils’ ongoing investments and dedication. In addition to their contributions in the areas mentioned, in September 2015, the New Jersey Devils donated more than 150 backpacks filled with school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, crayons, index cards and glue sticks to students attending John F. Kennedy School and South 17th Street Elementary School. Additionally, in December 2015, New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider launched “Cory’s Keepers,” an initiative where the Devils starting goaltender hosted students and veterans at NJ Devils home games at the Prudential Center. In 2013, The Devils donated $5,000 to the Newark Public Schools’ Visual and Entertainment Arts Program.