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Keeping Our Kids Safe, Healthy & In School

4th Annual Soaring Beyond Expectations:
A Statewide Afterschool - Showcase May 22, 2012

The 4th annual Soaring Beyond Expectation: Statewide Afterschool Showcase highlighted best practice methods utilized by New Jersey 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Programs. The showcase was open statewide to any personnel from school districts, faith based agencies, community based agencies, and others interested in utilizing afterschool, before school or summer school as a strategy to improve youth's knowledge and skills and engage them in meaningful expanded learning opportunities.  

Workshops offered covered a variety of areas that relate to program quality such as: summer learning; engaging best practices and program activities in career awareness and exploration; Science Technology Engineering andMath (STEM) and positive youth development, health and nutrition and family involvement. Sarah Pitcock from the National Summer Leaning Association was the keynote speaker addressing the importance of summer programs and summer learning loss. Other showcase highlights included a panel discussion of best practice and an exhibit hall showcasing the best in New Jersey's 21st CCLC programs!


Sarah Pitcock, Senior Director of Program Quality from the National Summer Learning Association

Sarah led the Association's development of the Comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs and leads their work in supporting providers as they improve their summer programs in alignment with research-based practices.

Presenation Title: NJ SOARS – Summer Learning Presentation


Session 1: 10:00 – 11:00

A. Title:   Using Technology, Project-Based Learning and Universal Design Learning to Transform Learning Environments

Presenters:  Alicia Discepola; Millville School District

Description:Discover how the use of technology, project based learning, and universal design for learning can transform schools and programs into 21st Century learning environments. Explore free web tools to support student engagement, family and community involvement, global citizenship, and 21st Century skills such as collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, innovation, and more.

B. Title: Student Voices: Positive Change to Create a Better School Environment

Presenters:  Meagan Brooks; EducationWorks, Inc.

Description: This workshop informs the audience of media projects, discussions, and activities Woodrow Wilson High School students in the EducationWorks program participated in revolving around the topics of truancy and profanity and their impact on the school environment, and best practices identified for creating change and a more positive school climate.

C.  Title: The World of Social Sciences

Presenters: Dorine Francis andIya Green-Brown; FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development, Inc.

Description: This workshop explores the world of social sciences as it pertains to the areas of law and justice, leading up to the culminating event of a Mock Trial. In American society there is an attraction to the trial process.  Whether the issue is evolution in school, the kidnapping of the baby of a celebrity couple, or a fatal love affair, the spectacle of a courtroom trial has increased significantly over the years.  In recent times, this interest has escalated as a result of the media’s presence in highly public hearings, i.e., Michael Jackson, Bill Clinton and O. J. Simpson.  Furthermore, judges and attorneys have become prominent role-players feeding into the public’s fascination and the media has heightened the public’s contact with the trial process.  However, media aside, a trial is a vehicle for teaching justice for all, a belief set in the cornerstone of our American legal system.

Session 2: 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

D. Title: Creating College and Work Ready Students Using the LearnDoEarn System

Presenters: Dana Egreczky and Sue Herring; New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and the Foundation for Educational Administration

Description: LearnDoEarn is a college and career readiness program that motivates students to want to work harder, and gives students a roadmap to success that defines the courses they should take, the amount of homework they should be doing, the grades they should earn, and the behaviors they should practice. Along with receiving a LearnDoEarn After School Materials Kit, participants will play the LearnDoEarn Avatar University Game in which students’ avatars compete for a highly limited number of college openings using processes that mirror college admissions selection.

E. Title: Successful Summer Programming

Presenter: John Brovak and Maritza Ramirez, Freehold School District

Description:This workshop will describe the summer program at the 21st CCLC program at Freehold School District.This highlysuccessful summer program utilizes Summer Academies” to provide academic remediation and enrichment to district students offering a rigorous, interesting and hands-on curriculum and offer authentic opportunities for learning. Music, dance, arts, and physical fitness are incorporates a little from every program.

F. Title: CAS-Carrera and 21st Century Community Learning Centers: A Natural Partnership

Presenters: Reinaldo Santiago and Alex Sanchez; Aspira, Inc. of New Jersey; Cathy Motamed; The Children’s Aid Society

Description: Effective partnerships are often difficult to achieve but groundbreaking when they are realized. The Children's Aid Society's Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention program (CAS-Carrera) is an effective and holistic after-school youth development program that was founded almost 30 years ago. ASPIRA of NJ, Inc. (ASPIRA ) is successfully implementing this complex program in conjunction with the New Jersey 21st Century Community Learning Center (NJ 21st CCLC). The partnership between New Jersey 21st CCLC, CAS-Carrera, and ASPIRA is of particular interest because the parties involved are large, established and heavily data-driven with unique cultures, histories and missions. However, all three have shared vision and commitment the young people of Newark and have developed a robust program model using each of their strengths. Participants in this workshop will learn best practices and approaches to successful implementation of a robust youth development / public health program with 21st CCLC funding.

Session 3:  1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

G. TitleThe All-Around Youth: Holistic Methods for Creating Student Leaders
(Coming Soon)

Presenters: Chase Miller and Arttia Watts, EducaionWorks, Inc.

Description:  Beyond academic instruction, how does one develop a young person into a well-rounded individual? The All-Around Youth workshop will focus on holistic methods for delving into students' potential as leaders: in their schools, families, and communities. By exploring best practices for instituting elements of such as Youth Voice and Choice, Peer to Peer Instruction and Mentoring, Civic Engagement, and Career Exploration, each workshop attendee will come away with new ways to revolutionize the process of leadership and characterdevelopment in their programs.

H. Title Kids News

Presenters: James Castillo and Yokasta Ventura; Jewish Renaissance Foundation

Description: This workshop will give participants ideas on using iPads/ tablets in a journalism/ broadcasting club. Currently, news travels faster than ever in history; people now have access to more news outlets than before. Technology has affected how we receive and transmit news from a daily activity to a part of life that is updated every minute.

I. Title:   Catch-Up with Childhood Obesity

Presenters: Jamaar Winborne and Daniella Sofianakos; FOCUS Hispanic Center for Community Development, Inc.

Description: During the past 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in childhood obesity and general obesity in the United States.  With the rise in “instant” technology, students have become accustomed to living a sedentary lifestyle.  This workshop will focus on ways that afterschool staff can implement activities into their respective afterschool programs that place an emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle and participating in activities which involves students partaking in some form of exercise.