Archive for October, 2009

Afterschool and Environmental Education

Thursday, October 29th, 2009


Genco Honored For Linking Afterschool and Environmental Education

NJSACC Executive Director Diane Genco was Awarded NJ Audubon’s Patricia F. Kane “Excellence in Environmental Education” at the organization’s annual dinner on October 23, 2009 in Cape May, NJ..

Genco was recognized for developing a statewide campaign to link environmental educators with afterschool programs.
The campaign, Celebrate Afterschool:  Outdoors in the Garden State launched in spring 2009 with nature festivals,
hands-on workshops, and community events that inspire learning, and connect children with their communities and
the natural world.

“Afterschool programs have a unique opportunity,” says Diane Genco, executive director of NJSACC the network
for New Jersey’s afterschool communities, which organized the event. “Afterschool programs can work with children in creative ways that aren’t bound by high stakes testing goals or by 45 minute blocks of time.”

The award is given annually to an individual/team that demonstrates outstanding effort/dedication in connecting people to the natural world through formal and informal education.


NJSACC, the Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities offers technical assistance, training, and support to help New Jersey’s afterschool communities thrive. The organization builds public awareness and support; offers guidance for parents, providers and advocates; strengthens relationships with policymakers, funders, practitioners and parents; and shares best practices.  Founded in 1982, NJSACC works locally and statewide. For more information, see

About the New Jersey Audubon Society

The New Jersey Audubon Society is a privately supported, not-for profit, statewide membership organization. Founded in 1897, and one of the oldest independent Audubon societies, New Jersey Audubon has no connection with the National Audubon Society.

New Jersey Audubon fosters environmental awareness and a conservation ethic among New Jersey’s citizens; protects New Jersey’s birds, mammals, other animals, and plants, especially endangered and threatened species; and promotes preservation of New Jersey’s valuable natural habitats. To learn more about NJ Audubon   CLICK HERE

Dale Rosselet,Vice President for Education , NJ Audubon and Diane Genco, NJSACC

Science Training

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

21St Century Afterschool Science Project (21st CASP)

The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project is a 21 lesson curriculum designed to enrich student learning through inquiry-based, interactive science experiences using every day materials.  Developed in partnership with Liberty Science Center, this fun and engaging “water” curriculum is easy to implement and reinforces the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards in science, literacy, and math. This project was pilot tested and evaluated over a 2 year period.  The evaluation demonstrated successes on many fronts including:

*    Creating a replicable model designed for afterschool, OST and extended-day programs to implement science programming;

*     Increasing OST staff capacity to facilitate science learning in the afterschool setting;

*    Increased student engagement, skill and knowledge related to science;

*     Developing and piloting curricular materials tailored for the OST setting, which imbed math and language arts components, and which are grounded in the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards and inquiry-based learning; and

*    Involving families in hands-on science, math and language arts activities in support of their children’s learning.

This training is relevant for all afterschool providers and is especially geared for those without science background, as is the entire model.
This training will provide afterschool staff with a free science curriculum funded by the New Jersey Department of Education.


“This project was funded in its entirety with federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by No Child Left Behind, Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant funds through a grant agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education.”

21st centuryAll participants will receive a CD copy of the curriculum.

Participants will receive 2.5 hours of professional development hours.

When:  Friday December 4th, 2009
10am to 12:30pm

Cost: $10.00 includes curriculum

Where:  NJSACC Office
@ First Baptisit Church of  Westfield
170 Elm Street
Westfield, NJ 07090

LAST DAY TO REGISTER IS November 30th, 2009.


Happy Lights On Day!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Happy Lights On!
As we embark on the 7th Annual Lights On Day, I would  like to  thank each and everyone of you .

Thank you all for making a difference for  the children and families in NJ.

Diane M. Genco
Executive Director
NJSACC: The Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities

Applying for Federal Funding: Preparing Grant Proposals

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

NJ OFBI in partnership with Thomas Edison State College and The Region II Interagency Federal Partners Council – Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Subcommittee announce a?

Applying for Federal Funding: Preparing Grant Proposals

Date: November 9, 2009
Location: Thomas Edison State College

For additional information, Directions and online registration see information below

Register by November 5, 2009
Register Early Seating is Limited to the First 80

Breakfast will not be provided.  Lunch will be provided.

Announce a Free Workshop on:

Applying for Federal Funding: Preparing Grant Proposals

Date:  Monday, November 9, 2009

Time:             9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Location:     Thomas Edison State College –
Main  Campus  Prudence Hall 101 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608-1146

This interactive workshop will help faith-based and community based organizations understand what to do and what to avoid when applying for federal grant funds.  You will learn how to:

*    Document the need for your project

*     Describe your goals, objectives and activities

*    Define how you will measure the results

*     Demonstrate your capacity to succeed; and

*     Develop and present your budget.

Facilitators: Barbara Andrews, Joan Gibson and Josephine Rago-Adia, US Department of Health and Human Services; Earleene Sealy, US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Pre-registration is required!

Register online at

Click on the workshop date – November 9 – to register.

Space is limited. Please register early.

The registration deadline is November 5th.

If you have questions, please contact Joan Gibson at
or Earleene Sealy at:

For directions to Thomas Edison College, please go to:

Good News!

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

KABOOM! and the jon bon jovi soul foundation HELP MAKE A LOCAL SCHOOL A SAFE PLACE TO LEARN, Grow, and PLAY for communities in schools students.
Communities In Schools of New Jersey/NJ After 3 Site Coordinator Shani A. Johnson(second left), and after school students (l to r: Nadia Lawry, Migdalia Cruz, Aniya Wilson, Ajah Bell, Precious Hollingsworth, Teyana Skillings, Sabiel Rodriguez, and Michelle Rodriguez)  pose with Jon Bon Jovi (center) after volunteers assembled a playground at Rafael Cordero Molina School in Camden, NJ.

CAMDEN, NJ, October 19, 2009 – Monday morning’s weather was partly cloudy and temperatures began in the low to mid 40’s. But that did not stop KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that advocates community participation and leadership by building “playscapes” for needy neighborhoods, and the Jon Bon JovI Soul Foundation from adding a little joy to the lives of Camden school children. THE KABOOM! set up team arrived at Rafael Cordero Molina school at 5am. The first of over 250 volunteers followed shortly after at 7am. They were dressed in layers and winter garb. Their mission was to assemble and unveil a 2,500 square foot play area–complete with monkey bars, slides, and a 6-foot high rock wall—in less than six hours.  Their motivation was the hope that their effort would add a little inspiration to the lives of students in New Jersey’s poorest city.  Their mission was accomplished.

The idea to replace the dilapidated play area came from first grade teacher and CISNJ/NJ After 3 afterschool program staff member Jacqui Burgos. Burgos applied for a grant from the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation over her summer vacation. The Jon Bon Jovi SOUL Foundation’s mission is to “combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. Through the funding and creation of programs and partnerships, [it] supports innovative community efforts to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.”

When the Molina School was awarded the grant in September, Burgos was overjoyed. Gwendolyn Corrin, CISNJ President and State Director could relate. “Our children are often on the receiving end of bad news. I was so delighted to hear about positivity—to hear that a number of caring adults were collaborating to ensure that these students not only have a safe place to learn, but also to grow and play.”

Students took a role in designing their own playground. A committee of 50 students submitted designs, which included everything from slides and swing sets to rockets, to an adult planning committee compiled of parents, teachers, and faculty.

Shani A. Johnson, a member of the school’s planning committee and CISNJ afterschool Site Coordinator for the NJ after 3 funded program said, “There has already been a boost in school morale. The spirit of the entire community has changed. You can see it in the smiles of the children and the pride of their parents and the whole community”. CISNJ students performed an original skit entitled “Dream Café” which was a real crowd pleaser.

New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi was on hand for the play area’s unveiling and commended the students for designing their dream playground. Bon Jovi encouraged students to keep dreaming and reaching for the stars.

Communities In Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. For more information please call 973.242.0706 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Visit us online at