Contact: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137


TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County is proud to announce that a $29,700 grant from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund to Mercer County 4-H will partially fund local after-school programs administered by the County and the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton.
The funding will help support afterschool programs for 66 young people in Trenton, helps provide families greater access to safe and enriching programs for kids during the out-of-school hours, and allows 4-H to expand its after-school work in Trenton.

"These children are able to grow and develop in so many ways in a safe, healthy environment thanks to this great partnership between the County, Mercer County 4-H, and the Boys and Girls Club of Trenton," said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. "They are learning more and without this grant, we would not be able to reach the maximum number of young people we possibly can."

4-H, a positive youth development program operated by Rutgers Cooperative Extension, provides research-based, hands-on learning experiences for more than 500 youth in Trenton each year through 4-H Afterschool. 4-H programs are held Monday through Friday at collaborating after-school programs sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club, City of Trenton, EducationWorks, and Trenton After School Program (TASP) and focus on activities and skill development in areas such as environmental science, outdoor adventure, computer technology, healthy living, and leadership development.

National 4-H Council received $1.3 million from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund to award access grants to county-based 4 H Afterschool programs across the United States. The programs receive after-school training and technical assistance provided by 4 H professionals, 4 H Afterschool curricula and 4 H clubs. In conjunction with the JCPenney Afterschool Fund grants, JCPenney donated 2,000 $50 JCPenney gift cards, representing an additional $100,000 donation. Cards were given to youth benefiting from the grants to purchase school supplies and clothing.

"Mercer County 4-H is pleased to collaborate with Boys and Girls Club to help fund after-school for these 66 children through a grant from the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. Mercer County 4-H is committed to providing high quality programming for youth throughout the city during the hours of 3 to 6 p.m., and we are thankful for collaborating after-school providers such as Boys and Girls Club who share our mission," said Chad Ripberger, Mercer County 4-H agent.

Mercer County 4-H is currently providing several 10 to 12 week after-school programs throughout Trenton. Design It! an introductory engineering design program, is being delivered at the Robbins Annex site operated by Boys and Girls Club, at the Kilmer site operated by the City of Trenton, and at the Wilson site operated by EducationWorks. 4-H is also providing its Horses and Youth program to children from the Donnelly Homes site operated by the City of Trenton.  In addition, it is delivering its Get Moving - Get Healthy program for youth at the Trenton After School Program at Trinity Cathedral and at the Rivera site operated by the City of Trenton.  Youth from the Trenton After School Program are also participating in the 4-H Afterschool Adventure program.

"With the support of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund, 4-H continues to provide high-quality after-school opportunities for thousands of youth nationwide," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and chief executive officer. "These grants ensure that all young people have access to safe and enriching after-school programs, regardless of their circumstance."

"The JCPenney Afterschool Fund is committed to improving the positive academic and social development of America's youth through valuable after-school experiences," said Jodi Gibson, president of the JCPenney Afterschool Fund. “We value our partnership with 4-H as we continue to build a solid, sustainable after-school program infrastructure that empowers all youth to succeed in school and later in life."

About 4-H
4-H is a community of 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. National 4-H Headquarters, which operates out of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is the federal partner of 4-H programs implemented by the Cooperative Extension System of the nation's 106 land-grant colleges and universities and in local communities through 3,150 county Cooperative Extension offices. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of National 4-H Headquarters. Learn more about the 4-H adventure at www.4-h.org.


About the JCPenney Afterschool Fund

The JCPenney Afterschool Fund is a charitable organization committed to advancing the afterschool movement in JCPenney communities by increasing access for children in need, inspiring innovation in the field, and elevating awareness of the value of afterschool programs. Currently, more than 14 million youth in America are unsupervised every day between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.Through partnerships with the YMCA of the USA, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National 4-H and United Way of America, the JCPenney Afterschool Fund helps prepare children to reach their full potential by providing them with essential after-school opportunities.

For more information, visit www.jcpenneyafterschool.org.

For more information, please contact Chad Ripberger, Mercer County 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Mercer County, by phone at (609) 989-6833 or via email at ripberger@rce.rutgers.edu.