RED BANK: CLUB OFFERS KIDS A HAVEN

Children line up for pre-dinner clean-hands inspection at the Boys and Girls Club. (Photos by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

After five p.m. on a recent afternoon, a pair of children in red shirts and khakis set a long table with styrofoam plates laden with tacos. Moments later, a dozen or so kids dressed in the same outfits – the uniform of the Red Bank Primary School – line up for inspection by Natasha Cargill, a teenaged kitchen manager.

It’s clean-hands time at at the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County‘s Red Bank unit, a scene that plays out so routinely that some of the kids continue to absently hold their hands above their heads long after they’ve passed Cargill’s inspection.

Looking on, Christy Crank looks pleased. As the facility director, the 38-year-old borough native sets a welcoming but firm tone for all who step through its doors.

“I see a lot of me in these kids,” says Crank. “When I was growing up, we didn’t have a Boys and Girls Club. We provide a safe space, where there’s no bullying, you get the help you need, and everyone is equal.”

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FAIR HAVEN MAN TURNS FEARS INTO STORIES

Drazin with young fans at the Eastern Branch of the Monmouth County Library earlier this month. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

Justin Drazin did not originally plan to add the title “children’s author” to his résumé, but what started out as a short piece to show family and friends has evolved into a trilogy of whimsical tales. And along the way, the Fair Haven-raised environmental policy student  turned one of his childhood fears into a captivating bedtime story for kids.

Drazin, 24, recalls being terrified of the dark when he was younger.  “I had a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of going back and forth to my parents’ room,” he said, removing his brown thick-framed glasses during a recent interview.  “It’s an age-long fear. Everyone goes through it at some point.”

Written from the point of view of a little boy afraid of the dark, “Albert and the Amazing Pillow Monsters” is the first installment of the dreamland-centered series.

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MAN ARRESTED FOR CHILD SEX ASSAULTS

Red Bank police arrested an Elm Place man on charges he sexually assaulted two girls over the course of a year, they announced Tuesday.

Jose Fuentes, 52, was taken into custody Friday, two days after police received information that he had sexually assaulted girls aged 9 and 14 years old over a one- year period, according to police.

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LITTLE SILVER TO VOTE ON ALL-DAY-K FUNDS

Two classrooms would be added to the Point Road School to accommodate the program. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

After almost four years of study and discussion, a proposed full-day kindergarten program goes before Little Silver voters next month in the form of a funding referendum.

On the ballot: a $750,000 bond to pay for a two-classroom addition to the pre-k-to-fourth-grade Point Road School.

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PROWN: LET’S GIVE ST. ANTHONY’S A HAND

david-prown-091410David Prown at St. Anthony of Padua’s gym earlier this week. (Click to enlarge)

David Prown doesn’t want this article to be about him, and anyone who knows the Red Bank kids’ activist would not be surprised in the least to know that.

No, Prown, who’s widely regarded as a kind of rolling charity/sports impressario in his omnipresent maroon minivan, is only taking the spotlight here because he thinks it will help put a spotlight elsewhere.

That elsewhere is St. Anthony of Padua on Bridge Avenue.  And the reason he wants redbankgreen readers to notice, he says, is that the church makes possible what he does for children, many of them from struggling families: indoor and outdoor sports, trips to cultural events and amusement parks and the like.

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GROWTH DRIVES T. BERRY SQUARE’S BIG MOVE

jennifer-quinn-payneT. Berry Square owner Jennifer Quinn Payne in her store’s new consignment section. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

It wasn’t long after Jennifer Quinn Payne added a consignment section to her boutique children’s store, T. Berry Square, that she realized floor space had become a precious commodity. She kicked off the new operation in June with about 30 pieces of lightly used children’s clothing, and quickly, the Broad Street shop started getting smaller.

“It was kind of taking over,” Quinn Payne said of the consignment section. “We needed to expand.”

So expand she did. With Courtney Medd, brought in as a partner to help oversee the resale portion of the store, Quinn Payne packed up and headed south to a bigger space — next door, to 64 Broad, to be exact.

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