Energizing Afterschool: Partnership for Afterschool Quality
We are pleased to announce an exciting partnership between NJSACC, Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability, and 3 afterschool programs in Salem and Gloucester County Areas, the Woodbury Child Development Corporation in Woodbury, the YMCA of Salem County in Carney’s Point and the John B. Campbell Center in Salem.
The Energizing Afterschool Partnership is a team approach to improving afterschool program quality. Each afterschool program will assemble a team to conduct a self study of their programs using the After-School Quality (ASQ) tool developed by the National Institute on Out of School Time (NIOST).
NJSACC will facilitate the partnership to help the afterschool programs creates a common vision for their program and a road map for how to achieve that vision.
ASQ is a five-step self-assessment process that helps to examine the quality of a program and then make changes that will lead to better practices and more positive youth outcomes.
The cornerstone of ASQ is a team approach. ASQ relies on the ideas and energy of program stakeholders which include the program staff, families, children, youth, program directors, boards of directors, and hosts. All involved are invested, have a voice, and can help shape the solutions because ASQ includes everyone in program improvement.
The ASQ process is about change.
ASQ is based on the belief that the most successful program improvements happen when key stakeholders are involved in a slow, gradual change approach which will be more sustainable. The ASQ process focuses on how one uses an instrument, who is involved in using it, and, most importantly, what is learned from the information gathered.
This leads to developing strategies for program improvement.
In addition to using the ASQ tool, NJSACC staff will provide support to individual sites to develop Program Improvement Plans based on the ASQ self-assessment.
NJSACC will support the programs to carry out the Program Improvement Plans via training on a variety of topics to compliment the Program Improvement Plans and a collection of resources that are available to NJSACC such as the 21st Century Afterschool Science Project (21st CASP), the Outdoors in the Garden State Activity kit, and the National Project for Afterschool Science (NPASS) STEM Curriculums.
PSEG is generously providing mini grants to support of the Program Improvement Plan.
The process of ASQ lends itself to training afterschool programs to approach problem solving holistically as well as be diligent about consistent program improvement based on the needs of the program stakeholders. NJSACC will be the “guides by the side” to the programs, cognizant of each agencies Mission respectful of the individuality of the programs and help them to build and strengthen the vision of their organization.
Energizing Afterschool kicked off on March 7 at the PSEG Environmental Education Center in Salem City with attendance from NJASCC, PSEG, United Way and Administration of the participating Afterschool programs. Everyone is excited to get started and share the journey with the New Jersey Afterschool Community.
Dennis Groomes, Support Specialist, NJSACC
Michael Bower, Director of Development, United Way of Salem County
Tim Dolan, Executive Director, United Way of Salem County
Sarah Cruz, Director of Expanded Learning, NJSACC
Charles Washington Jr., Executive Director, John B. Campbell Center
Phyllis Folk, Executive Director, Woodbury Community Development Corporation
Sheila Rostiac, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, PSEG
Shauwea Hamilton, Manager, Community Affairs, PSEG
Diane Genco, Executive Director, NJSACC
Robert Butler, Executive Director, YMCA of Salem County
Bill Levis, President, PSEG Power