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October 2010Vol 2, Issue 1

Afterschool ActionNJ Afterschool Action
News, Policy and Research from NJSACC

Welcome to NJ Afterschool Action!
This month marks the first anniversary of NJ Afterschool Action.  I hope you enjoyed our first year of covering news, policy and research relevant to the afterschool community in NJ.  In the coming year, we will continue to highlight innovative afterschool and summer learning programs, report on the latest trends, and update you on our progress towards developing NJ's first Quality Standards for Afterschool.  New this year will be an improved presence of our articles on  Finally, please remember that we always want to hear from you, our readers.  If you would like to submit an article, ask us to profile your afterschool program, alert us to news relevant to our field, or share your ideas for how we can make this newsletter better, please email us at  And if you like what you are reading, please consider sharing it with your colleagues. 

Read. Learn. Get involved. Together we can make a difference.
Diane Genco
Join Us for "Building Connections", NJSACC's Annual Afterschool Conference, November 12-13

Click here for more information, including the downloadable brochure and online registration

Registration closes October 29, 2010.

Join us for Game Night on Friday Night!

Looking for something to do Friday evening?  How about joining us for Scrabble game night in the Treehouse Lounge?  We've got the Scrabble games; we just need you to play!  Not in the mood to play?  No problem! Just come visit and network.  It's a great chance to unwind and talk to attendees from other programs as well as the Afterschool Ambassadors who will be there to meet and greet to everyone.  Food and drinks will not be provided, but we'll be right next to Barley's in case you feel like grabbing a drink or snack.  Hope to see you there!
Report Back: Roundtable Discussions on Quality
Throughout September, NJSACC convened three roundtable discussions on the subject of creating Quality Standards for Afterschool.  The roundtables launched what will be a multi-year initiative to develop New Jersey's first set of Quality Standards for Afterschool.  Events were held in Haddonfield and Westfield and a conference call allowed participation from any location; each event was facilitated by Dr. Margaret Olson, an expert in the field. 

Each roundtable began with the short video "This is Dan", from the Make It Stick campaign and a discussion about what quality looks like in an afterschool program.  Participants described how they would assess an afterschool program.  Some signs of quality that the group identified were: if kids were offered a choice of different activities, participated in planning, enjoyed healthy snacks, spent time outdoors, and had homework help.  Later, participants reviewed two standards (Element 5 - Programming/Activities and Element 6 - Linkages Between Day & After School) developed by the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and voted on the indicators they felt were most important to quality. 

Later this month, NJSACC will launch a new section of our website devoted to this project.  In the meantime, send your thoughts and questions about Quality Standards to

Middle Schoolers Build a Fort in the Forest
Middle school students attending Club 678 at Crossroads Middle School in South Brunswick, NJ found a great way to spend time outdoors last year.  While on a walk outdoors with an afterschool program staff member, they decided to build a fort in the forest.  What a creative and low-cost way to enjoy the great outdoors! 


Click here for more pictures
Paterson Public Schools Win Federal Grant
The US Department of Education recently awarded Paterson Public Schools with one of eleven Full Service Community Schools (FSCS) grants.  FSCS grants support the coordination of academic, social, and health services through partnerships among public elementary and secondary schools, the schools' local educational agencies, and community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other public or private entities.  A coalition of local organizations supported the Paterson Public Schools application including the New Jersey Community Development Corporation, Paterson YMCA, Paterson Education Foundation, St. Paul's Community Development Center, Catholic Family & Community Services, Paterson Public Library, Clinical Outreach Services LLC, and Children's Aid Society.  The Paterson Full Service Community Schools will offer a range of services to the community including afterschool programs, health and dental services, adult education, as well as adult and youth GED classes and will launch at School #5 (Grades 1-8) and will expand to New Roberto Clemente (Grades K-8) and Napier School of Technology (Grades 5-8) in the second year.

Afterschool programming is a central part of a community school, which takes an integrated approach to supporting students, families and communities.  NJ Afterschool Action will bring you more news about the Paterson FSCS as it develops in the coming months.  

Learn more about the Full Service Community Schools program

Learn more about the community schools model from the Coalition for Community Schools

NJ Department of Education Selects New Grantees
The New Jersey Department of Education recently welcomed 8 new 21st CCLCgrantees to the 21st Century Community Learning Center program.  The new grantees are:  Boys & Girls Club of Garfield, Boys & Girls Club of Perth Amboy, D.U.E Season Charter School (Camden), EducationWorks, Inc., Gloucester City Schools, Lawnside Public School, Millville School District, Paterson YMCA

For the first time, 21st CCLC programs will be required to offer summer programming to the children and youth they serve.   Additionally, applicants chose one of four "themes" -- visual and performing arts, civic engagement, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) or career exploration -- to guide their program design.  

Learn more about NJ's 21st CCLC programs.

Afterschool Alliance Releases New Report on Afterschool
The special report, From Big Cities to Small Towns, examines how kids' afterschool experiences differ from one community to another and concludes that our nation has a loBig Cities to Small Towns reportng way to go to meet the needs of kids and families from urban, suburban and rural communities when schools are not in session. The demand for afterschool and summer programs is very high in all community types, especially among
low-income students who need them most.  The report also found that more than a quarter (26 percent) of America's rural, urban and suburban schoolchildren are on their own after the school day ends, and before parents get home from work.  

Click here for a copy of the full report, From Big Cities to Small Towns


In This Issue
Join Us for "Building Connections"
Report Back: Roundtable Discussions on Quality
Middle Schoolers Build a Fort in the Forest
Paterson Public Schools Win Federal Grant
NJ DOE Selects New Grantees
Afterschool Alliance Releases New Report on Afterschool
Afterschool In the News
Election Day is November 2, 2010 -- Please Vote!
This Thursday Let's Celebrate Lights On Afterschool
Why Wait for Superman? We Can Help Kids Now
Join our Mailing List!
Afterschool In the News
A roundup of articles of interest to NJ's afterschool community. 

New Jersey

"Community Schools: the 3 R's and Much More", The Alternative Press


"Mount Rushmore to Be Lit In Observance of 'Lights On' Afterschool Program", The Argus Leader

"Vice President Makes Surprise Appearance to Redwood City School", Mercury News

"Brielle Elementary Students Reap What They Sew", Asbury Park Press
Election Day is November 2, 2010 -- Please Vote!
Democracy is something we cannot take for granted.  It needs our help.  Our communities are more likely to thrive when we parRemember to Voteticipate at higher rates.  Voting is a way of connecting to and caring about our neighborhoods, our children, our government and the direction of public policy.  

Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 2, 2010 and remind your families, friends and coworkers to do the same.

Voting Resources

Click here to find out if you are registered to vote

Click here to find your polling place

Nonpartisan Ballot Analysis from the League of Women Voters

Nonpartisan voter guides from the League of Women Voters

Step Up for Kids! A voter guide from ACNJ

NJ Afterschool Programs Celebrate Lights On Afterschool
Lights On AfterschoolWith more than 125 Lights On events in NJ and an executive letter in support of afterschool from Governor Christie, Lights On Afterschool 2010 was a great success here in NJ! We thank Governor Christie for his support.  Governors in all 50 states proclaimed October 21 as Lights On Afterschool day, with more than 7,500 events held in communities nationwide.

In honor of Lights On, show your support for increasing funding for afterschool programs that children and families rely on by signing this petition from the Afterschool Alliance. 

Mark your calendars for the 12th annual Lights On Afterschool on October 20, 2011!
Why Wait for Superman?  We Can Help Kids Now
This article originally appeared on the Afterschool Alliance's Afterschool Snack blog.  Written by Ursula Helminski.

The other night I saw "Waiting for 'Superman'."   The buzz around this film has been incredible.  Like a thriller whose ending you already heard, I walked in with some pretty solid notions of what it was going to show me.  I knew it would upset me; I knew it would expose some deep and persistent problems in our education system.  But I surprised it made me cry. 

Click here to read more
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
Executive Director

Lee McDermott Schaefer
Policy Director
NJSACC works to build lasting public support for quality afterschool programs across New Jersey. Led by a public-private partnership, NJSACC 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.