NJSACC Launches Year 2 of Afterschool CARES

Starting in October,7 afterschool programs are partnering with NJSACC: The Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities and the Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development to participate in Afterschool CARES, a Service Learning Training project for afterschool programs.

 The goal of Afterschool CARES is to train and support afterschool program staff to provide children with resources to engage in Service Learning in their communities. During the Project year (October 2010-June 2011) participants will receive training on Service Learning. The Afterschool CARES project will track and tally the service that children across the state participate in as well as develop a data base of Service Learning activities for all Afterschool programs to utilize in the future.

 Service Learning has many benefits for children such as great personal satisfaction and wonderful learning opportunities in planning and participating in community service.

In Service Learning, regular community service projects are transformed into Service Learning by emphasizing the academic and social skills involved in planning and performing projects and by engaging children in reflection on their work.

For children, the outcomes of Service Learning are rich.  By participating, programs are promoting learning through active participation in service experiences; providing an opportunity for students to use skills and knowledge in real-life situations; extending learning beyond the classroom and into the community; and fostering a sense of caring for others.

Last year, in the Afterschool CARES pilot year, programs that participated had children involved in Service Learning activities that included working with Animal Shelters, Teaching the Community about Recycling, organizing collections for men and woman in Active Service and a Mentor Reading Program.

 In its second year, Afterschool CARES has 7 Afterschool programs participating from across New Jersey:

 Second Street Youth Center Afterschool, Plainfield
Lambertville Academy, Lambertville
Kangaroo Kourt Extended Care, Tuckerton
Better Beginnings Child Development Center, Hightstown
Union County YM/YWHA AfterSchool Program, Union
Glassboro Child Development Centers, Glassboro
Yomeca After School, Raritan Valley YMCA, East Brunswick

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