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Cliffside Park Sixth-Graders Learn To 'COPE'

Here are the district's COPE essay winners. The first-place students stand next to the police officers. Retired Detective Sgt. Eugene Vitale is to the left of Detective Jason Kangas, who is continuing the program.
Here are the district's COPE essay winners. The first-place students stand next to the police officers. Retired Detective Sgt. Eugene Vitale is to the left of Detective Jason Kangas, who is continuing the program. Photo Credit: Michael Ryan

CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. -- All Cliffside Park School District sixth-graders participate in the COPE -- Cliffside's Own Positive Education -- program, sponsored by the Cliffside Park Board of Education and the Cliffside Park Police Department.

The 12-week anti-bullying program teaches students skills to prevent and handle conflict. The program is taught by Detective Jason Kangas of the CPPD Juvenile Division. Detective Sgt. Eugene Vitale ran the program until January, when he retired.

At the program's end, the students enter an essay contest. Each sixth-grade classroom throughout the district has a first-, second- and third-place winner.

The student winners from Mrs. Thea Unagast's class are Carolay Solorzano, Megan Forro and Jonah Diaz. The winners from Mr. Michael Ryan's class are Damian Vasquez, Daniel Catalan and Jorge Urias.

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