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December 2009
Vol 1, Issue 3

Afterschool ActionNJ Afterschool Action
News, Policy and Research from NJSACC

Happy Holidays from NJ Afterschool Action!
Photo of ED Diane GencoIt's cold, dark and often lonely. December may include the shortest days of the year, but to a child those days can stretch forever.  It's when they truly appreciate a place to go afterschool that is warm, hospitable and full of opportunities to learn and grow.

This holiday issue of NJ Afterschool Action includes lots of holiday wishes for afterschool. In the spirit of the season, I'd like to share my appreciation for your continued interest in afterschool. I look forward to working with you in the coming year to keep New Jersey afterschool strong.
My wish for afterschool is that in  the new year, no child is home alone, but rather with caring, warm folk whose charge is provide a wonderful place - a place where positive childhood memories are born!

Read. Learn. Get involved. Together we can make a difference.
Diane Genco
Holiday Wishes for Afterschool 

For this issue of NJ Afterschool Action, we asked some of our friends in the afterschool community to share their wishes for afterschool this holiday season.  

"My wish for afterschool is that all programs would have the capacity to work with parents as Christine Corristonpartners and assist families with accessing resources in the school, community, government, health care and businesses to help them improve their financial situations and the quality of their lives."  Christine Corriston, NJSACC Director of Special Projects

Jessica Heiberg

"I wish that all families who need them have access to a variety of quality afterschool
programs in their communities."  Jessica Heiberg, NJSACC Director of Program Services

"I have many wTheresaishes for our Afterschool programs. I wish that our staff, who attend more training sessions in one year than most professions require over the course of their employees' entire careers, would be recognized as professionals and not babysitters.  Not only should the amount of time and effort that Afterschool workers devote to their careers be compensated, it should be commended by all.   My main wish is that everyone would recognize how extremely important Afterschool is to the future of our children, our economy, and our communities."  Theresa Roessner, NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador


"I wish for children and staff to have a supportive and comforting environment that feels like a home away from home."  Sarah Cruz, NJSACC Enrichment Support Specialist

Tina and Gwen"I am hoping for more well organized After School Programs that will enrich children in many activities and I encourage leaders to remember that children have been in school all day and need to enjoy their afterschool activities."  Tina Blackledge, former Executor Director of Trenton After School Program, Trenton, NJ (pictured above right)

"I wish that for all those children in afterschool programs may have a safe and healthy new year.  I fear , the new year will bring more chidren in need of an afterschool program.  These are tough times."   Gwendolyn Corrin, President and State Director Communities in Schools New Jersey (pictured above left)
Afterschool in Action:  Carteret Middle School Aligning School and Afterschool
Carteret Middle School is on a roll. Attendance is up; grades and test scores are improving. Suspensions are declining. This year, the school was removed from the list of schools in need of improvement. Principal Mary Spiga attributes the changes in part to the school's partnership with CASA, its afterschool program.
From tutoring to photography to chess, CASA offers an array of programs and activities to complement the school day. CASA staff members are trained to mentor children in many ways. "Our approach is intentional," says CASA program director Gareth Grayson. "If we meet students' social and emotional needs, everything else falls into place."

  >>Click here to read more.
In This Issue
Holiday Wishes for Afterschool
Afterschool in Action: Carteret Middle School
Congress Increases Funding for Afterschool
Bill Supporting Afterschool for Older Youth Introduced in U.S. Senate
Gov-elect Christie Announces Education Subcommittee of Transition Team

Happy Holidays from NJ Afterschool Action!


Congress Increases Funding for Afterschool
On December 13, 2009, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Conference Report.  President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this week.  The legislation includes a $35 million increase for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21stCCLC) initiative, bringing the total funding for 21st CCLCs to $1.166 billion, giving 35,000 more children access quality afterschool programs in 2010.  A number of other programs through which afterschool programs receive funding also saw increases, including Americorps, VISTA and Learn and Serve America.  To learn more about 2010 funding levels for other federal programs that benefit afterschool programs, visit the Afterschool Alliance Policy and Action Center.
Bill Supporting Afterschool for Older Youth Introduced in U.S. Senate

US Capitol BuildingIn recent weeks, Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced the Afterschool Partnerships Improve Results in Education (ASPIRE) Act, which would provide dedicated grant funding for quality afterschool programs that serve older youth at the middle and high school levels.  Under the Act, competitive grants would be available to programs that focus on extended learning, service learning and civic engagement.  The ASPIRE Act is supported by many organizations including Save the Children, YMCA of the USA, Citizen Schools and the Afterschool Alliance.

You can learn more about the ASPIRE Act on the Afterschool Alliance website by clicking here.  Voice your support for quality afterschool programs for older youth by contacting your Senators contacting your Senators.
Governor-Elect Christie Announces Education Subcommittee of Transition Team
Governor-elect Christie

Governor-elect Chris Christie recently announced the education subcommittee of his transition team, chaired by Montclair State University President Dr. Susan Cole, which will work to ensure a smooth transition with the outgoing Corzine administration.  On the 21-member subcommittee are representatives from New Jersey's education community including the public school system, higher education, charter schools, and others including the NJEA and New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association.  The subcommittee will also work with the Department of Education to develop and submit an application for federal education aid through the "Race to the Top" program, which could bring NJ up to $400 million in aid.

>>Click here to read more.

Thank you so much for reading this holiday issue of NJ Afterschool Action.  We wish everyone in New Jersey's afterschool community a very happy holiday season and we look forward to bringing you more news, policy and research in 2010. 

Please send your comments, questions and ideas to

This newsletter is a part of the New Jersey Afterschool Network, the policy arm of NJSACC. The Network builds lasting public support for quality afterschool programs across New Jersey. Led by a public-private partnership, the network enhances public awareness and support; offers guidance for parents, providers, and advocates; strengthens relationships with policymakers, funders, practitioners, and parents, and shares best practices in the field.