The idea for Rahway’s Own was conceived in 2012 when the original committee members met at the Creative Rahway convening at the Hamilton Stage. Former Director of the Arts District, Rachael Faillace met two teachers from the Rahway public schools, Patricia Volino-Reinoso and Daniel Garay. They found that they had a common problem, that the perception of Rahway was not the reality of Rahway. The City, the people, the school districts, had a reputation that they did not deserve. With the support of City administration and the creative genius of those at Wizdom Media, these three endeavored upon a re-branding campaign- and the Rahway’s Own program was born.
In the earliest stages, the Rahway’s Own committee tried to focus on former Rahway High School students who developed both their artistic AND athletic talents. The more they investigated potential candidates they realized that there were so many more accomplished individuals that they had to expand their criteria- hence the slogan: “Rahway, home to creativity and innovation”.
We continue to to use the Rahway’s Own concept to inspire! Every year, as part of the district’s National Day of writing activities, Kindergarteners across the district create an individual “Rahway’s Littlest Own” poster. Inspiring them to dream about their futures and how they can someday achieve the title of Rahway’s Own. Seventh graders and Ninth graders in the district also take part in Future Rahway’s Own projects. In 7th, they research the career paths that interest them and then in 9th, they goal set to make those dreams come to fruition. In May of 2017 we launched a new category- Rahway’s Own Rising Star. These are elementary, middle school and high school students that are selected by their school administrations for their outstanding qualities.
In addition to the posters the team produced videos of local professional talent, sharing their stories, people like dancer Daphne Lee, NFL player Antonio Garay and musician Brien McVernon. They also created the posters and banners you see today with the help of the talented crew at Wizdom Media. These are used to market this new rebranding to others.
The posters and banners hang on the walls of Rahway High School, City Hall and under the Clocktower at Rahway’s NJ Transit Rail Stations.
We have a mobile exhibit that lives on Cherry Street in the Cherry Pit but is also presented at the Elementary Schools during Back to School nights and concerts, at city events and anywhere we can set up to show off that Rahway has a rich history, but is also a launching pad for creativity and innovation.
Rahway’s Littlest Own: Kindergarteners across the district created an individual “Rahway’s Littlest Own” poster. Inspiring them to dream about their futures and how they can someday achieve the title of Rahway’s Own. This literacy project is part of the district’s National Day of writing activities.
Future Rahway’s Own: Seventh graders and Ninth graders in the district also take part in Future Rahway’s Own projects. In seventh they research the career paths that interest them and then in ninth, they goal set to make those dreams come to fruition.
Rahway’s Own Rising Stars: Rahway’s talented youth are achieving great things at young ages. These students were nominated by their school administration and we recognize them as our Rahway’s Own Rising Stars.