Dear Friends of Afterschool,
I am writing to share some big news with you… after years at NJSACC and 54 years in the field, I will be retiring on June 30, 2022. I’m looking forward to continuing to advocate for after school, gardening, travel (hopefully) and playing with my 6 grandchildren.
As I look back over my 28 years as the founding Executive Director of NJSACC, I am proud of the organization we have built and the work we have done to expand access and increase the quality of afterschool programs here in NJ. Especially over this past year and a half, I’ve been so proud of all the providers who worked tirelessly to meet the needs of kids and families during the pandemic. Some afterschool programs shifted to emergency child care, while others offered virtual enrichment. When schools reopened, many programs became remote learning centers so students had a safe place to complete their virtual learning while their parents returned to work. At the same time, the NJSACC staff shifted to providing virtual training, coaching, and professional development and helping providers navigate the challenges of providing quality programming during the pandemic. I am in awe of the work accomplished during this time!
But perhaps what I am most proud of is the mind shift that has occurred around afterschool. No longer are afterschool programs viewed as “just babysitting”. Instead, afterschool programs are increasingly recognized as spaces where kids engage in hands-on STEM learning, stay fit through active play, and develop social emotional skills. And as we recover from the pandemic, afterschool programs will help our kids catch up and keep up their learning.
The privilege of building this organization has been one of the great gifts of my life. I’m proud of the foundation built and eager to see where the staff, Board, and next Executive Director take NJSACC next!
The NJSACC Board of Directors is in the beginning phases of the transition and will begin the search process in January for the next Executive Director. As this process moves forward, additional information will be shared.