On March 22nd of 2016, dozens of Robert Fulton and Robert Fulton Annex students, teachers, and staff came together in the North Bergen Public Library to put together Journey Bags. Journey bags are bags that are given to Foster Children when arriving in a new Foster Home. These bags contain essential items such as toothbrushes, clothing, and games, and help the children bond with their new Foster Family.
The project organizer Ellen Begbie, is passionate about helping children who are in Foster care and has been donating Journey bags for the past three years alongside her husband Chris Begbie. Ellen said that she realized the importance of Journey Bags when she started getting her license to foster children in her home. Many of the foster children would arrive at her home with little to no personal items, carrying the belongings they did have in a trash bag. Literacy Coach at Robert Fulton Annex and former DYFS Case Worker, Jill Stein, could relate to Ellen Begbie’s cause. When adopting her daughter Julia, the baby arrived with one article of clothing and one diaper, the one she was wearing. Remembering the way she felt in that moment, Stein decided to reach out to Robert Fulton School about working alongside Begbie.
North Bergen’s Superintendent, Dr. George Sulter, was very impressed by the project and the involvement of Robert Fulton’s students and teachers. Dr. Sulter said that this project was great and that it may even be expanded to other North Bergen Schools. The students of Robert Fulton felt like they were making a difference in the lives of other kids. One student, Kenza Idrissi, even donated her birthday money to the cause.