NEWTON — Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar announced the launch of its 2nd annual Above and “BEE”yond Teacher Essay Contest, which will recognize top teachers — as nominated by their students — by awarding them with a sponsorship check and end-of-year class party, courtesy of Applebee’s. The contest is being offered at Applebee’s restaurants in New Jersey owned and operated by local franchisee, Doherty Enterprises. Specifically, Applebee’s will award six deserving teachers from 13 counties* with a $500 sponsorship check to use towards their classroom for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year, along with an end-of-year party for their current class. To nominate a teacher, students must submit an essay in-person at their local Applebee’s explaining why their teacher deserves to be “Teacher of the Year.” To sweeten the deal, students who enter an essay will receive a free ice cream certificate to Applebee’s. Contest submissions will be accepted at participating Applebee’s restaurants through March 3 and winners will be announced on Monday, April 8, 2019.“We are thrilled to be holding our second annual Above and BEEyond Teacher Essay Contest at our New Jersey restaurants,” said Kevin Coughlin, director of operations, Applebee’s New Jersey. “Our restaurants are committed to giving back to the local community, especially schools within the communities we serve. The overwhelming support from last year’s campaign reminded us what an integral role teachers play in building a better community.”Doherty Enterprises is committed to involvement in the communities it serves and is proud to support education year-round through its “A is for Applebee’s” program, which was created for teachers, libraries and scout leaders to use as an incentive for children to succeed and be rewarded. The program gives children an incentive to go the extra mile to help other students, read more books and make the Honor Roll. By obtaining the certificate from Applebee’s, children also gain a sense of accomplishment. Through this, and several other initiatives including donations, fundraisers, sponsorships and participation in community events, Doherty Enterprises gives back to local causes, helping organizations grow and flourish.For more information about how Doherty Enterprises and its restaurants support local communities, or to get involved in one of the youth programs, visit www.dohertyinc.com/community-connection.