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New Jersey 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Soaring Beyond Expectations, Aferschool Programs

New Jersey Department of Education Office of Student Support Services 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and Out-of-School Time Resources
New Jersey 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Soaring Beyond Expectations, Aferschool Programs

Project Director: Louise Shabazz
635 South Clinton Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08611
Phone: 609-620-1018
Fax: 609-620- 1213

County: Mercer

Serving School District: Trenton City Public Schools

CCLC Sites: Grace A. Dunn Middle School
                       The Joyce Kilmer School

Partners: Trenton Public Schools
                  YMCA of Trenton

Serving Grade Level: 6th & 8th

No. of Students to be Served: 225

No. of Adults to be Served: 225

Times of Service: Afterschool:  3 pm - 6 pm, Summer 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

ABSTRACT: The Children's Home Society of New Jersey (CHSofNJ) is applying for 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding in partnership with the Trenton Public Schools and the community-based YMCA of Trenton.  The project will provide high-quality after school and summer learning time that is well-aligned with the school curriculum and student needs (Grades 6-8) at two Trenton public school sites -- the Grace A. Dunn Middle School (120 students) and the Joyce Kilmer School (105) -- and the Trenton YMCA (where 60 students will participate in the summer program). The program will be open to all Grade 6-8 students at the two participating schools, including those with special needs or limited English proficiency.

Academic Remediation and Enrichment. The 21st Century program will provide a strong remediation program that addresses specific learning gaps and skills identified by classroom teachers and NJASK tests. Teachers certified in mathematics and language arts will conduct one-on-one tutoring and small-group instruction to address these gaps. In addition, the program will provide Study Island, Read 180, Skill Building Challenge activities and a wide variety of enrichment activities, such as Drama Club, Readers Theater, and Arts4G/Arts4B.

Unifying Theme. The Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) theme will support the Trenton school district's middle school initiative by incorporating STEM activities to increase student engagement. The afterschool program will build upon existing successful partnerships with Rhodia, Inc., Bloomberg LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Johnson & Johnson, corporations involved in scientific, medical/health care, and technology research and development.

The "Middle School Engineering Challenge," is an inquiry-based learning experience, developed by Rhodia scientists in collaboration with afterschool program staff, that  incorporates core subjects and fosters the development of learning and innovation skills identified by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills-creativity, innovation, critical thinking, problem-solving,  communication and collaboration.

The STEM theme will provide opportunities for students to learn about what scientists, engineers, and mathematicians do, and to experience first-hand the tasks they perform, the methods they employ, and how they assess their effectiveness. Other STEM activities will include: the "Chemistry Connection;" Visiting Scientists/Others; Science Discovery, Lego Robotics, Video Game Design, and TV Production clubs; and science-focused field trips to the Franklin Institute, Honey Hollow Environmental Center, and Camden Adventure Aquarium.

Youth Development and Other Activities. Students will participate in youth development and community-enrichment activities, including Male ROOM (Removing Obstacles Occurring in Manhood), Ladies Empowered for Tomorrow (LEFT), Student Council, and Community Corner. They will choose from a range of nutrition, health and fitness including Horizon Healthy U, boating, swimming, tennis, golf, basketball, and dance. All Grade 7 students will receive a free membership to the Trenton YMCA.

Summer Program. The 4-week summer program will provide students a safe, positive, interesting summer experience during which they will have daily boating and swimming lessons, participate in the Prudential Youth Leadership Institute, and counter learning loss over the summer and prepare to succeed in the fall.

Collaborations, Partnerships, and Stakeholders. The partnership between the CHSofNJ, Trenton Public Schools, and Trenton YMCA will make it possible to provide year-round, high-quality programming for Trenton students. The afterschool program will also collaborate with Rhodia, Inc., McCarter Theater, Mercer County Community College, Mercer County Board of Social Services, Trenton Family Success Centers, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Bloomberg to supplement program offerings. Visiting Scientists and other Visitors will help students make the connection to the real world where people pursue the sciences and other interesting work.

Professional Development. The 21st Century program will incorporate national and state conferences on out-of-school-time learning; program orientation and inservice training for program, school, and district staff; workshops and training sessions conducted by the NJ Department of Education; and other professional development experiences that help align the afterschool program with the school day to improve academic achievement.

CHSofNJ afterschool programs serve a critical purpose: they keep students safe while they support their academic and social development by addressing learning gaps and negative influences in the community.