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South Orange Maplewood Education Association
491 Valley St, Maplewood, NJ 07040
South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) is the teacher and staff union for the South Orange and MaplewoodMore school district. Paula Bethea, a guidance counselor at South Orange Middle School, is the president.
South Orange Maplewood Education Foundation
525 Academy St, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Founded in 1987, the South Orange Maplewood Education Foundation (SOMEF) is a 501(c)(3) organization that raisesMore money mostly through private donations to fund programs and activities in local schools that aren't covered by the school budget. Deborah Prinz is the executive director. She has an office in the Board of Education building.

Its biggest ongoing project is to fund teacher grants for classroom projects in schools throughout the district. Past projects include a campaign to end anti-GLBT bullying and harassment at Columbia High School and yoga at Maplewood Middle School. $170,000 has been given out since 1999. Teachers apply in the fall.

SOMEF also runs the ACHIEVE tutoring program, staffed by 200 volunteers who tutor more than 300 K-12 students in the district. The mailing address is P.O. Box 84, Maplewood, NJ 07040. The contact e-mail is info@somef.org.

The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School
17 Parker Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Founded in 1933, the Adult School offers classes ranging from practical to imaginative. They have single and multipleMore session classes. One example of a previous practical class was the five-session class, "Basic Accounting for Non-finance People." Previous creative classes include "Mixed Media and Illustrative Drawing" and "Water Color Painting." They also have multiple language classes including Spanish, French, Italian and more.


Most classes are held at Columbia High School (CHS) and South Orange Middle School. The main office is in the A-wing of CHS. Some art classes are held at private studios in South Orange and Maplewood but they are open to people from all over the region.

There are over 150 classes in the spring, summer and fall for adults and teens 14 and up.

The other two major programs of the Adult School are:

   * A free ESL and GED-prep program. Classes are held at CHS and the Hilton Branch of the Maplewood Library. Five hundred people from 45 countries typically enroll.
   * A four-week children's camp is offered each summer. Staff members are district teachers who offer creative and academic enrichment courses. Financial aid is available.