Good Wishes from Diane Genco

The Winter Solstice is nearly here, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.
For centuries out of time, people have celebrated this sacred festival of earth and sun, a special day shared by all inhabitants of this planet, no matter what other spiritual or religious beliefs may divide us.

The Winter Solstice  is my most favorite day of the year!
Perhaps it is being from Buffalo , NY where the winters are a bit tedious and bleak.

Here is a powerful poem by author , Susan Cooper that reminds us of the beauty of the Yuletide season.
May it bring a bit of joy and hope to all our hearts.

The Shortest Day

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

I wish you and yours,  the children and families you serve daily in your afterschool programs a healthy and
wonderfilled new year.

I will be taking a leave from the  Afterschool FLASH and NJSACC  for a bit while I recover from breast cancer surgery
and reconstruction .

I am looking at the recovery period as a bit of a sabbatical:

* to reflect on the field of afterschool, nature deficit disorder in youth and my new passion ,Extended Learning Time

* read  new books and re-vist  some favorites

*  plan our garden for  the spring

* sit in front of the fire, sip tea and  spend time with my dog, family and friends

My staff at NJSACC will be “womanning “the FLASH.
Messages will be posted by various staff members ( I may sneak a few in).
NJSACC has a busy winter and spring line up.
Stay posted to the FLASH to learn what is coming up in the world of afterschool in NJ.

Have happy holidays , Solstice and a healthy New Year!

Be well, do good work and keep in touch!

Diane M.  Genco
Executive Director

NJSACC: The Network  for  NJ’s Afterschool Communities

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