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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: Maritza Aráuz
441-443 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: 973-624-2528x109
Fax: 973-624-6450

County: Essex

Servicing School District: Newark

CCLC Sites: Sussex Avenue Renew School, Cleveland Elementary School and Lincoln Elementary School

Partners: Newark Public Schools, Sussex Avenue School, Thirteenth Avenue School, Cleveland Elementary School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Essex County College, International Arts for All: Global Arts to Go, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Girl Scouts Heart of NJ, Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, NJ PREP, Office of University-Community Partnerships, Rutgers University- Newark, Greater Newark Conservancy

Serving Grade Level: 4-8

No. of Students to be served: 255

No. of Adults to be served: 255

Times of Services: Afterschool: 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Summer: 9:00 – 2:00 p.m.


Through ongoing collaboration with the Newark Public Schools, FOCUS has worked to help address the needs of Newark's students and their families through the 21st CCLC Program. Some of its successes include, but are not limited to, improved academic achievement, increased participation of parents in their children's education, and students' improved school attendance.

The selected schools have consistently low achievement scores and are eligible for Title I school-wide programs where more than 30% of the attending students are from low-income families. The three schools have met 0% of performance targets of College and Career Readiness for their students.  FOCUS 21st CCLC program intends to assist students in attaining the skills necessary to be life-long global learners who are college and career ready; as identified by the Common Core State Standards and the Newark Public Schools' assessment goals. The program will complement the regular school day's academic learning by supporting, but not replacing the districts' curriculum, establishing and maintaining ongoing collaboration with school day administrators, staff, parents and the community.

The program theme, Career Awareness & Exploration, is based on a needs assessment and targets the developmental stage of growth when participants are best poised for exposure to career options and to begin learning positive life-impacting behaviors. Career Awareness & Exploration will be infused throughout the six required program components: academic remediation, academic enrichment, positive youth development, cultural and arts, health, nutrition, fitness and physical activity, and parental involvement. The academic enrichment and remediation curricula and activities will utilize inquiry-based methodology to facilitate participants' learning.  Participants will improve their skills through pedagogical approaches that foster critical thinking, strengthen problem solving ability, and increase students' personal responsibility for learning.   The program's youth development component will include an integrated character education element aimed at increasing positive student behaviors, social emotional development, and improved school attendance. Program participants will partake in regular physical fitness activities that will be linked to health and nutrition education to ensure the development of sound mind and bodies while creating life-long healthy behaviors.  Through the implementation of a cultural and arts component, program participants will be exposed to a broad variety of cultural and arts genres that will extend their experiences and knowledge base.  The parent involvement component will establish continuous communication with parents and adult family members to discern their needs and ensure that scheduled activities provide essential services that benefit them, reflect their interests and will increase participation in their children's education.

To prevent summer learning loss while best utilizing summer out-of-school-time in a productive manner, the program will offer a four-week summer component that will operate five days a week for five hours daily.  The summer program will operate at the same three sites that are implemented during the school year.  Participants will receive academic enrichment and remediation activities in language arts literacy, math, and science along with personal development, health, nutrition, fitness, cultural, and recreational activities. Parental and family participation will be central to the summer program, as well.