Artist spreads niceness
Bonnie Edwards’ recent work of art is inspiring Jefferson Elementary School Students to be nice to each other and get along regardless of their situations.
Edwards, whose children attended the elementary school, is a local artist. Although her children are now in the middle and high schools, she still volunteers her time at the North Pocono elementary school. Edwards has made set decorations for concerts, painted a welcoming mural in the school lobby, donated artwork to the school’s annual art show in support of the PTA and even led family painting nights as school fundraisers.
Edwards’ most recent painting tells students “It Doesn’t Matter” if their peers are smarter, have cooler clothes or are better at sports, “be the nice kid,” the painting says, amid a larger message.
The quote was shared with Principal Judy Castrogiovanni by Heather Budnovitch, another member of the Jefferson Elementary team.
“I immediately forwarded it to Bonnie asking if she could create a piece of art with the quote to hang in our cafeteria,” Castrogiovanni said, adding Edwards responded right away. “The meaningful message supports Jefferson Elementary’s Intentional Acts of Kindness initiative and will be read by hundreds of students, each day, in the school cafeteria.”
For the past 10 years, on Fridays, the elementary school honors Acts of Kindness shown through out the week. The names of students, nominated by adults who witness them doing kind acts, are read over the PA system and they are awarded a certificate and a free kids meal at a local restaurant, among other Bullying Prevention Lessons and awards.
“The message that everyone has the power and the choice to stand out for being the ‘Nice Kid’ rang true for our school,” said Castrogiovanni.
A father-and-son duo are Man of the Year and grand marshal, respectively, of this year’s Greater Pittston Friendly Sons Banquet on Sunday, March 17.
Edward Hart is the 2019 Man of the Year. A Pittston native, Edward graduated from Pittston Area High School and the University of Scranton.
He was president of the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons in 2014 during the 100th anniversary centennial year and worked tirelessly with the Secret Service and Executive Office of the Vice President to secure then-Vice President Joe Biden as principle speaker for the centennial celebration. He also established the recitation of the St. Patrick’s Prayer to begin organized meetings in honor of the organization’s patron saint.
Ed ward is a 30-year veteran of radio and broadcast television concentrating in revenue development and management. He started his career at WARM and the then Magic 93. In 2006, he joined WNEP-TV and has managed the local sales efforts to record levels.
The son of the late Edward and Jean Morrow Hart, Edward coached youth football, baseball, basketball and soccer and is a lifelong member of Our Lady of the Eucharist Parish, Pittston, and a 4th Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus Assembly 948 and JFK Council 372.
He is married 25 years to Natalie Amico Hart. They are active in many local civic and charitable organizations and have three children: Edward IV, Alexandra and Emma.
Scranton Prep graduate and University of Scranton student Edward Hart IV is this year’s grand marshal.
Edward IV, 22, a neuroscience major, received the Diocese of Scranton’s Bishop’s Award. In 2014, he served as grand marshal of the 100th anniversary banquet celebration. He is a member of the Friendly Sons and Knights of Columbus Council 372 and is a medical scribe who works in the emergency departments at Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. Edward IV is an avid skier and golfer who enjoys mixing music.
The annual banquet will be held March 17 at the Woodlands Inn on Route 315. Tickets are available from any member and at the K of C in Pittston on each Thursday night until the banquet.