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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

Cliffside Park Afterschool Program
Project Director: Linda Ludwikowski
440 Oakdene Avenue
Cliffside Park, New Jersey 07010
Phone: 201-313-8158
Fax: 201-313-8487

County:  Bergen

Servicing School District: Cliffside Park

CLC Sites: Cliffside Park Elementary Schools #3, #4, #5 and #6, Cliffside Park Middle School (which is housed within School #6), Cliffside Park High School

Partners: Jewish Family Services, Inc., William Paterson University, Cliffside Park Public Library, HealthCorps, Cliffside Park Police Department, Local area businesses

Serving Grade Level: 4-12
No. of Students to be served: 215
No. of Adults to be Served: 50
Times of Services:  After School: 3:00-6:00PM; Summer 8:00AM-12 Noon for 4 weeks

The Cliffside Park School District (CPSD) is a K-12 district of 2,846 students located in Bergen County, New Jersey.  The district is comprised of four elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. CPSD is implementing the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant to assist students with overcoming obstacles to academic success related to increasing poverty, limited English, and emotional challenges.  Currently, some CPSD schools have over 70% of students living in poverty, and districtwide, 60% of students speak a language other than English in the home.  Literacy issues are impacting student performance on both Language Arts Literacy and Math sections of NJASK.  Additionally, the district's graduation rate dropped to just 79% in recent years as a result of the effects of the economic crisis on local families.

Cliffside Park School District will provide the extra time and extra help economically disadvantaged students need to succeed by improving literacy skills and addressing college and career readiness.  Originally, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program planned to serve 215 low income students in grades 4-12. However, due to the high registration rates in the elementary schools and district middle school (requiring waiting lists); CPSD will dedicate most of its grant resources to building a strong academic foundation in the elementary and middle grades.

To bring resources that truly address the needs of our targeted students, CPSD will partner with Jewish Family Service, Inc. to provide character education, student support groups, and one on one, group, and family counseling.  Additionally, CPSD will collaborate with the Cliffside Park Free Public Library to offer monthly family literacy events, parenting lectures, and ESL activities for the parents of participating students.  CPSD will also collaborate with William Paterson University to ensure after school teachers have ongoing training and in class support to utilize technology to implement inquiry based lessons.  This helps to ensure that the program is not simply "more school" but a journey of self discovery that places participants in the center of the learning.

Throughout the year, CPSD collaborates with Dr. Oz's HealthCorps Program to provide activities for teens related to health and nutrition.  Meanwhile, the Cliffside Park Police Department offers training to students and parents related to anti-bullying, anti violence, substances abuse prevention and Internet and cell phone safety. Also, the district partners with local area business, such as Tribe Martial Arts and Viibe Dance Studio to expand the recreation portion of the program. CPSD will add resources from LearnDoEarn NJ to assist students with career planning and readiness by offering PSAT and SAT Prep activities and APPS to help middle school and high school students plan for future careers.

Whether Homework Help,  Science Experiments, Treasure Hunt, Math Fun, Smartboard Games, Book Club, Exploring Math and Science, Geography Games—in every activity, teachers focus on career readiness by assisting students with exploring their strengths and weaknesses and creating a pathway for tomorrow that will enable them to attain their individual academic and personal goals.
Cliffside Park's 21CCLC Program offers a wide array of diverse course options for students that link academic remediation, academic enrichment, positive youth development, cultural and arts, health, nutrition, fitness and physical activity, and parental involvement under the umbrella of improved English language acquisition and career readiness. The desired outcome is that all participating students will increase their academic proficiency and achievement, while the district dramatically improves its annual graduation rate to better prepare students for the rigors of college and careers.