Liberty Science Center receives $35,000 grant to fund program for underprivileged children

August 21st, 2014

Written by Nicolas Fernandes
Liberty Science Center has been granted $35,000 from the Charles Lafitte Foundation that will go towards their free, recurring event for less fortunate children during the school year.

LCS has been holding Community Evenings since 1998. The three-and-a-half-hour sessions provide IMAX films, 3D shows, family programming, live demonstrations and hands-on activities for students in the 31 low-income school districts statewide, which include Jersey City, Harrison, West New York, Hoboken, and Union City.

CLF supports organizations working in education, children’s advocacy, medical, and arts.

LCS submits request forms to about 100 foundations each year to fund the $100,000 program. Some years they receive the entire amount and other years they get a smaller amount. If they are not granted the full amount, the science center, a non-profit organization, pays for the remaining costs.

“Science and technology education is increasingly important for our students’ futures – that’s why we are so excited and proud to support the Liberty Science Center, CLF President Jennifer Vertetis said.

This is the second time CLF has awarded the center with a grant for the program. This is the first grant they have received for the upcoming school year and LCS Director of Grants Jessica Ortiz expects one or two more by February.

“Charles Lafitte Foundation’s support of Liberty Science Center’s community evenings provides opportunities for learners of all ages to gather at the Center and experience the range of exhibitions and special programs presented here,” said Daniel Menelly, LCS vice president of STEM education.

Click here to read from this article’s source.

Join us Thur 11/20 for Institute on Expanded Learning: Opportunities for Student Success!

August 20th, 2014


NJSACC, NJ’s Statewide Afterschool Network in partnership with the NJ Department of Education and the NJ Principals and Supervisors Association presents:
Institute on Expanded Learning: Opportunities for Student Success

Click here to learn more and register!
* Registration closes on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Date: Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 9:00am – 3:00pm

Registration at 8:30am.

Who Should Attend: School leaders including Chief School Administrators, Charter School Lead Persons, Building Administrators

Location: The Marriott Princeton Hotel and Conference Center at Forrestal in Princeton, NJ

Cost: $149 includes materials and lunch

Registration: Please visit for more information and to register.

Registration closes on Thursday, October 30, 2014.

Research shows that high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) – such as afterschool and summer learning programs – have a positive impacts on student attendance, behavior and coursework. Please join us for an engaging conversation about how school districts can utilize ELOs to support student success.

The Institute is designed for school leaders to learn how to:

  • Use time differently to make positive impacts on students;
  • Align activities with the school day;
  • Effectively engage community partners; and
  • Utilize available funding streams to support expanded learning programs.
Keynote: Dr. Terry Peterson is director of the Afterschool and Community Learning Network is senior fellow for policy and partnerships at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Peterson serves on the executive committee of the National Center for Summer Learning at John Hopkins University, the Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, and the Mayor of Charleston’s School Reform Committee. Dr. Peterson served as the chief education advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Education for eight years.


9:00am – Welcome
9:30am – Keynote: Dr. Terry Peterson
11:00am – Assistant Commissioner Susan Martz, NJ Department of Education
12:00pm – Networking Lunch
1:00pm – Plenary session featuring innovative ELO programs from in NJ
2:30pm – Closing Remarks

ICYMI: Next Generation Science Standards Adopted by New Jersey’s Department of Education

August 19th, 2014

Through a collaborative, state-led process, new K–12 science standards have been developed that are rich in content and practice and arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is based on the Framework for K–12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.

Recently, the NGSS were adopted by the State Board of Education of New Jersey on July 9, 2014. The implementation timeline is as follows:

  • Grades 6-12 to implement by the start of the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Grades K-5 to implement by the start of the 2017-2018 school year.

Resources, including professional development, will be available beginning in September 2014. As it becomes available, information and updates will be posted on the science webpage here and through the science list serve.

The consensus among states that have adopted the NGSS is that it is essential for teachers of science to become experts on the Frameworks for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) before making any changes to the local curriculum. The department has established a timeline that provides sufficient time to make the transition, but the work needs to be sustained, intensive, and begin during the fall of 2014.

The NJDOE’s professional development plan is to focus on district level administrators during the fall 2014. Building level administrators will be the target of professional development offerings in the spring of 2015. Professional development for teachers of science will begin in late spring 2015 and focus on the model science curriculum and ancillary unit assessments.

Click here to learn more about NGSS.

Applications open on 9/3 – Announcing the Trust Challenge, the fifth HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition!

August 18th, 2014

Join the Trust Challenge and solve some of the thorniest issues facing connected learning today.

Trust, privacy, and safety are critical to learning in an open online world. How can learners exercise control over who sees and uses their data? What tools do they need to navigate, collaborate, and learn online with confidence? What solutions will foster greater civility and respect in online learning environments? How can open technical standards create more opportunities to share and collaborate online in a spirit of trust?

The Trust Challenge is the fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition — an open, international invitation to museums, libraries, school districts, schools, community organizations, afterschool and out of school programs, app developers, researchers, colleges and universities, and other institutional/organizational partners willing to create collaborations or alliances that address existing real-world challenges to trust in online learning environments.

Successful applicants will develop digital tools — apps, badge systems, data management platforms, online learning content, etc. — that engender trust, safety, and privacy in connected learning environments, and that empower learners to connect and learn anywhere, anytime in ways that are equitable, social, participatory, and interest-driven.

Full information is available on

The Trust Challenge will award $1.2 million to institutions and organizations that tackle these questions in real-life learning contexts.

Click here to learn more!

New Jersey’s Exciting Annual Conference on Afterschool is Coming Fri-Sat November 21 & 22, 2014

August 12th, 2014


Conference Fees:

Members: $251/2 days – $151/1 day
Non-Members: $296/2 days – $196/1 day
Fee includes conference materials, continental breakfast and lunch

Conference Location and Accommodations:

The Marriott Princeton Hotel and Conference Center at Forrestal
100 College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08540
Room Rates: $119 per night

Room Reservations:
Reservations must be made by individual attendees directly with Marriott reservations at (800) 228-9290 or (609) 452-7800.

Room reservations must be made on or before Friday, November 7, 2014.

When you call make sure to mention the NJSACC Conference and the dates of the conference in order to receive the conference rate.

Please Note: Full conference program will be posted at in early September in a downloadable format. For more information, contact NJSACC via phone at: 908-789-0259 or via the web at:

This conference is funded in part by the:

  • NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development as part of a Federal CCDF Block Grant Earmark
  • Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (Title IV, Part B of No Child Left Behind), 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant funds awarded to the NJ Department of Education