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December 2010Vol 2, Issue 3

Afterschool ActionNJ Afterschool Action
News, Policy and Research from NJSACC

Welcome to NJ Afterschool Action!

This is the season to both reflect on the past year's work as well as look ahead to next year's plans.  We have just said goodbye to our new British friends, but we look forward to continued sharing of innovative ideas and best practices in education reform.  In 2010, we continued our focus on bringing science and nature into afterschool prorgrams through our partnerships with AED's Great Science for Girls and NPASS and our annual Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State campaign.  The Afterschool Alliance, the National AfterSchool Association and the National Summer Learning Association have declared 2011 to be the Year of Science in Afterschool and we look forward to supporting that effort.  We have also laid important groundwork for the development of Quality Standards by surveying the field.  2011 will see the launch of our Standards Working Group and Writing Teams who will buckle down and draft the Standards.  All in all, 2010 was a busy year of good work.  We expect 2011 to be even better!

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year from all of us at NJSACC!

Diane Genco
  Sharing Lessons Learned Across the Pond

In December, NJSACC and the School for Global Education & Innovation at  Kean University welcomed the British Council for School En vironments to exchange perspectives on afterschool programs  and innovative ideas in education reform. 

Susan Polirstok, Dean of Education at Kean University opened the symposium welcoming the best of the US and UK's Strategic leaders, educators, and designers to discuss issues of school improvement and influential factors such as the involvement of school ad ministrators, technology, and the architectural design of a school.  Carlos Perez, the CEO of NJ Charter School Association presented the US perspective of the 15 year history, features of, and the lessons learned about charter schools. Dr. Paul Young, President and CEO of the National Afterschool Association discussed the transformative effects a principal's involvement can have on the afterschool program.

Key speakers from the UK included the directors and Co-Founders of the Centre for School Design, a leading UK educational think tank Ty Goddard and Ian Fordham who discussed UK policy on extended day and summer learning initiatives. UK's leading expert on Extended Services, Bob Mitchell emphasized how carrying over lessons in the regular school day over to extended services.  Rachel Jones, Head of Education and UK's leading technology firm, shared her ideas about designing and constructing exceptional and exciting learning environments with uses of new technology.

The symposium introduced new methods of school designs powered by concepts of emotional intelligence and simulative "wow" spaces.   UK architects exhibited spaces that adhered to the new world of social media, interdependent thinking, and flexibility that have previously challenged a school system's ability to capture our children attention. Concepts such as the dual utilization of spaces, project based environments, and refurbishing old public properties forecasted possible solutions for schools here in America.

All of the topics and speakers, no matter from what side of the pond,  were presented with the intention of working together to diminish the gap between ambition and action  in the realm of meeting the educational needs ofchildren from all over the world who will inevitably come together once again.

Click here to see pictures of this event.

Meet the Ambassador: Denise Bernheim

       What do you love about afterschool?Denise Bernheim

I love afterschool programs because the children have a safe environment  where they can have an extensive learning experience and homework help.

Why did you become an Afterschool Ambassador?

I became an Afterschool Ambassador because I am an advocate of fun educational learning experiences that utilize the interpersonal skills of the children. I get the opportunity to share my curriculum experience with those that educate our children in the after school programs through my ambassadorship.

Click here to learn more about Denise and NJSACC's Afterschool Ambassadors. 

Announcement: Applications Available for  2011 Excellence in Summer Learning Awards
Please check out this announcement from our friends at the National Summer Learning Association and feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues.

It may be December, but it's the perfect time to think about summer excellence. Our 2011 Excellence in Summer Learning Award applications are available online now, and due Feb. 11. The benefits for winners include national media exposure as well as a showcase at our national conference. This year, in addition to recognizing Excellence in Summer Learning Award winners, the National Summer Learning Association will be highlighting models of excellence in school-community partnership programs, transition programs and STEM programs among applicants. Read all about the application process.

Survey:  The State of STEM in Afterschool
The Afterschool Alliance and the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) have teamed up to collect data that will describe the state of STEM in afterschool. 

Please take a moment to fill out the survey by going to

The data obtained through these surveys will be vital to helping the Afterschool Alliance and NAA better describe and promote the STEM learning that occurs in afterschool and summer learning settings.  Your responses to these surveys will be critical in shaping policy and promoting funding in support of STEM education in afterschool.

As an added incentive, submissions will be entered for a random drawing for fun STEM-related goodies you can use in your programs!  So don't delay - take the survey now and help us move STEM in afterschool to the next level.


In This Issue
Sharing Lessons Learned Across the Pond
Meet the Ambassador: Denise Bernheim
Announcement from NSLA
Survey: The State of STEM
Afterschool In the News
Child Nutrition Reauthorization: 8 Facts
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Afterschool In the News

"Afterschool Program Aids At-Risk Youth," Daily News of Los Angeles

"Students Compete With Robots Built of Legos," Baltimore Sun
21st CCLC Funding Update

US Capitol BuildingFunding for K-12 programs will remain frozen at last year's levels for more than two months, thanks to a measure passed by both houses of Congress this week. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The bill extends funding for almost all federal programs at fiscal year 2010 levels until March 4, leaving the next Congress with the job of setting 2011 spending levels for K-12 programs.

Thank you to everyone who signed the Afterschool Alliance's petition supporting funding for 21st CCLC funding.  And a BIG thank you to everyone who called and emailed your representatives.  
Child Nutrition Reauthorization: Eight Facts You Need to Know NOW
The following fast facts were developed by the Food Research and Action Center.  NJSACC will bring you NJ-specific details in the early 2011. 

1.    Every state will be able to participate in the Afterschool Meal Program, allowing afterschool programs in low-income areas in all states to receive federal funding to serve a full meal, and retroactive funding may be available.

2.    Federally-funded jobs in state child nutrition and WIC agencies must now be excluded from state lay-offs and furloughs.

3.    Nonprofits will be able to serve Summer Food at more sites and to more low-income children.

4.    New paperless options for universal meal service will mean that more schools with high percentages of low-income students will be able to feed all children at no charge.

5.    Children may now be certified to receive WIC benefits for a full year at a time, rather than six months.

6.    Less paperwork will make it easier for parents and family child care providers to enroll in the child care food programs, and so assure that more children have healthy food in child care.

7.    Nutrition education resources may be made available at no cost for parents and child care providers participating in the child care food program.

8.    USDA is required to make significant nutrition improvements in school meals and eliminate junk food from vending machines.

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

Samantha Brown
Communications & Policy Intern
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.