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June 2010Vol 1, Issue 9

Afterschool ActionNJ Afterschool Action
News, Policy and Research from NJSACC

Welcome to NJ Afterschool Action!
Photo of ED Diane Genco

As the days go by, we draw ever closer to the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  When the school doors close for the year, many children lose access to enriching activities, healthy meals and a safe place to spend their day until the Fall.   We know that all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer.  Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer.  Quality summer learning programs ensure that children are safe, healthy, engaged, and well-prepared when school starts in September.  

All summer long our newsletter will bring you stories of summer learning success here in New Jersey.  If you know of an excellent summer learning program that we should know about, please email us at

Read. Learn. Get involved. Together we can make a difference.
Diane Genco
Summer Fun + Learning = New Vision for Summer Programs

Summer learning loss has become a hot topic as evidence of its impact grows. Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement. And children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. For many their health suffers as they gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break.

Afterschool programs are offering solutions to summer learning loss by re-envisioning programs to incorporate academic enrichment along with recreation. They provide important options for children who have few other outlets for summer activity.  Jeff Smink, Vice President for Policy at the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), recently spoke to NJSACC's Advisory Board about summer learning. Much of this article is adapted from NSLA's recent commentary in Education Week.
Imagine, a summer school program that would provide accelerated and engaging instruction in the morning, fresh local food for breakfast and lunch, and afternoon enrichment activities in which students could choose to canoe down the Mississippi River, create their own video games, or display self-made projects in local museums.
>>Click here to learn more

Report Shows Unmet Demand for Summer Learning Programs
Afterschool Alliance Summer After 3When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children.  New analysis of
data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 33 percent of New Jersey's schoolchildren (an estimated 490,148 kids) participate in summer learning programs - safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.   
Fifty-two percent of New Jersey kids (an estimated 519,854 children) not currently enrolled in a summer learning program would likely participate, based on parent interest.  Four in five New
Jersey parents (82 percent) support public funding for these programs.   

To learn more about this report, please visit the Afterschool Alliance website.
Save the Date for NJSACC's Annual Conference

NJSACC is pleased to announce that our Annual Afterschool Conference will be held on November 12-13, 2010 in Princeton, NJ.  This year's conference theme is "Building Connections".  The conference will focus on the critical ways afterschool programs can and do complement the learning that happens during the school day.  Online registration information will available beginning later this summer.  Please contact Diane Genco, Executive Director, at with any conference related questions. 
Federal Funding Announcement:  Full Service Community Schools
US Department of Education logoThe U.S. Department of Education released its application for Full Service Community Schools on June 8, 2010.  According to the application package, a full service community school: "is a public elementary or secondary school that works with its local educational agency and community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other public or private entities to provide a coordinated and integrated set of comprehensive academic, social, and health services that respond to the needs of its students, students' family members."  An estimated 8-12 awards, ranging from $275,000-$500,000, will be awarded to establish or expand full service community schools. 

Additional information can be found by visiting the U.S. Department of Education website.
Afterschool Showcase Highlights Best Practice in Expanded Learning Opportunities
On May 25, 2010, an afterschool showcase called "Soaring to Success" was held at Georgian Court University.  The conference highlighted innovative expanded learning programs throughout the state and featured opening remarks from Susan B. Martz, Director
Office of Educational Support Services at the New Jersey Department of Education.  Workshops included "Engaging Youth in Healthy Cooking", "Engineering Challenge Activities Promote STEM", and "Enriching Student Learning through the 21st Century Afterschool Science Project (21stCASP) Water Curriculum". 
21st CCLC participating kids
The conference also included a Youth Panel, where students currently attending the 21st CCLC programs shared their experiences.  One student reported that her grades had improved, pleasing her parents. 

In This Issue
Summer Fund + Learning = New Vision for Summer Programs
Report Shows Unmet Demand for Summer Learning Programs
Save the Date for NJSACC's Annual Conference
Federal Funding Announcement: Full Service Community Schools
Afterschool Showcase Highlights Best Practices in ELO
ACNJ Releases Report on Well-Being of NJ's Children
Afterschool In The News
NJ Competes for Federal Funds
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ACNJ Releases Report on Well-Being of NJ's Children
The Association for Children of New Jersey recently released a report called "Kids Count New Jersey" which utilizes indicators like poverty, income, child health and test scores to draw a statistical portrait of the well-being of New Jersey's children. 
ACNJ Kids Count logo
"Kids Count county profiles arm local leaders with information to make smart decisions about targeting scarce resources to improve the well-being of all New Jersey children," said Cecilia Zalkind, executive director of ACNJ. The report shows that all but four counties - Bergen, Cape May, Somerset and Sussex -- posted increases in child poverty.   "The increase in child poverty and unemployment means that more families are struggling to provide for their children," Zalkind said.

To access profiles and rankings of counties in your coverage area, go to and click NJ Kids Count 2010 Profile Rankings under "Spotlight."
Afterschool In The News
A collection of local and national news articles of interest to the afterschool community.

New Jersey

"N.J. Assembly Committee Approves Bill Allowing Schools To Charge Students For Summer Classes",


"Michelle Obama's Next Childhood Obesity Target:  Summer Break", Christian Science Monitor
NJ Competes for Federal Funds
The NJ Department of Education submitted its second round application in the Race To To the Top (RTTT) school reform competition created by the US Department of Education under Secretary Arne Duncan.  Only two states, Delaware and Tennessee, were awarded funding in round one.  NJ's application focused on the goals of closing the achievement gap, increasing college and work-readiness, and improving college attendance rates.  If successful, up to $399 million could be awarded to NJ.  For more information, NJ's second round RTTT application is available on the NJ Department of Education website. 

Twenty-five organizations throughout NJ submitted letters of intent to apply for Promise Neighborhoods, another funding opportunity from the U.S. Department of EducationThis initiative seeks to replicate the success of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, an organization which takes a "cradle to college" approach by offering educational, medical and social services to all young people within their Harlem neighborhood.  Final applications are due June 25, 2010.  Additional information about this funding and the complete list of organizations who intend to apply is available at the U.S. Department of Education website. 
Thank you so much for reading this edition of NJ Afterschool Action.  We always want to hear from you, so please send your questions, comments, and ideas to 
Diane Genco
New Jersey School Age Care Coalition
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.