Sarah Cruz, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO)
Sarah has been working with children and for organizations serving children and families since 1996. Currently, she is the Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) for NJSACC.
Previously, Sarah was the Director of the Hanover Township School- Age Child Care Program (HTSACC), a program operated in a NJ Public School system. At HTSACC, Sarah facilitated the National Afterschool Association Accreditation of 3 public schools before and afterschool programs. Working closely with the Superintendent, principals and school day teachers, Sarahís goal was to engage the children in the afterschool programs in activities that complimented the school day and offer programs that met the NAA Standards for Quality Care.
She has also worked as the Director of Child Care at the YWCA of Montclair/North Essex and as Assistant Camp Director of the Fairview Lake YMCA Summer Camp.
Sarah is a prolific trainer. Nationally , she serves as a National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Facilitator for the workshop “Aligning the Learning Day, Collaborating Strategies for Principals and Afterschool Program Leaders.” Sarah works with programs across the country helping principals and afterschool leaders develop a vision for a seamless alignment of school and afterschool expanded learning opportunities for children and youth.
Sarah is currently a Trainer for NPASS2, a three-year National Science Foundation Informal Science Education (ISE) project that promotes and supports high-quality science [STEM] project work at out-of-school time (OST) agencies.
Sarah is a National Afterschool Matters Initiative Practitioner Fellow hosted by Philadelphia Writing Project at University of Pennsylvania, where she is conducting research on the effectiveness of training OST staff on promoting Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO).
In 2001, Sarah wrote ‘Fantastic Finales,’ a compilation of activities for school age children. She attended Douglass College at Rutgers University and graduated with a BA in Urban Planning and a certificate in Professional Youth Work.
In addition, Sarah coordinates the activities of the NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors, the NJSACC Afterschool CARES Service Learning Project and the NJSACC Full STEM Ahead blog.