morana-lauraSuperintendent Laura Morana will give up half her pay raise this year to fund the effort at the Red Bank Primary School.

A push to transform the 17-acre Red Bank Primary School property alongside the upper Navesink River into a nature preserve and learning center is getting financial help from the borough schools superintendent.

Laura Morana has informed the board of education that she’ll to donate half of her scheduled raise in the coming year to the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation, a charitable organization created last fall to pursue the wetland project, according to a foundation press release issued Thursday.

In April, 2008, Morana signed a five-year employment contract under which her base salary would be $155,000 and rise in annual increments of four percent. According to information on the school board website, Morana’s salary for the 2009-2010 school year is still reported at $155,000. That would put her donation at about $3,100.

Here’s the full press release:

Dr. Morana Initiates  RBBEF Fundraising with Salary Reduction

Red Bank Borough Schools Superintendent, Laura C. Morana, E.D.D, in a letter to Red Bank Board of Education President,  Peter Noble, has requested that half of her contracted 4% salary increase for 2009-2010 be donated to the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation.  Dr. Morana’s donation is given “in support of  [the Foundation’s] commitment to the students of our school system.”

The Red Bank Borough Education Foundation is dedicated to providing borough students with educational opportunities to supplement the school curriculum.  Dr. Morana indicated that her bequest would initiate the fund for  the Education Foundation’s current project, Swimming River Discoveries.  Swimming River Discoveries is a plan to adapt the seventeen-acre tract where the Red Bank Primary School is sited along the Swimming River as a nature preserve with:  outdoor educational laboratories; river, pond, and stream access; nature trails; outdoor classrooms; and even recreation opportunities for borough residents.

Dr. Morana’s bequest represents the first significant contribution to the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.  It is another demonstration of her commitment to using  the resources of the school property, itself,  to support learning in science, math, and language arts. Dr. Morana has been meeting with curriculum consultants to this end and hopes to enlist the support of the Center for Environmental and Scientific Education operated by Ramapo College under the NJ Meadowlands Commission to integrate outdoor field-based lessons with core science curriculum.

Membership in the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation is open to any person sharing its goals.  Interested parties should contact membership chairman, Ed Zipprich, via the organization’s website, or e-mail directly  Questions can be referred to Rosemarie Kopka at 732-758-0636.