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New Jersey Department of Education Office of Student Support Services 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program and Out-of-School Time Resources
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Plainfield Community Outreach, Inc.
Project Director:  Terica Troutman
600 Cleveland Avenue,
Plainfield, New Jersey
Phone:  908-756-7897
Fax:  908-561-1391
Email: terica@educateplainfield.org

County:  Union

Servicing School District:  Plainfield

CLC Sites:  Cedarbrook K-8 Center, Clinton Elementary, Plainfield High School

Partners:  Home First Interfaith Housing & Family Services, It's-A-Wrap Cafe, Management and Evaluation Associates, Inc. (M&E), Plainfield Boxing Academy, Plainfield District 21st CCLC, Plainfield Public Schools, Plainfield YMCA

Serving Grade Level:  4-8

No. of Students to be served:  75

No. of Adults to be Served:  30

Times of Services: After-school: 2:35-6:00pm, Summer: 8-4pm

Abstract:

The public school district of Plainfield continues to struggle to meet the requirements of NCLB.  As a result since 2010 the district has transferred students and principals and restructured their grade-span configuration within the majority of their elementary schools and both middle schools.   This coming year another change in their grade-span configuration will take place within one of our sites
Plainfield Community Outreach, Inc.'s mission is to empower and educate youth and adults within the Plainfield community by providing opportunities for education, cultural expression, and well-being.  Building on a tradition of service to the Plainfield community since 1995, Plainfield Community Outreach will provide after school programming at Cedarbrook K-8 Center and Clinton school in the district.
Looking at the latest test score data listed on the state website reveals that 11 out of the 14 Plainfield district schools in 2013 failed to meet AYP and is thus classified In Need of Improvement.  A review of test score data from the district including the two schools Cedarbrook K-8 Center and Clinton K-8 Center that will be served by PCO 21st CCLC effectively illustrates how 78% of Plainfield schools are classified as Title I schools.  The tremendous need to support students in Plainfield can effectively be seen when we compare the 2013 NJ ASK scores for Plainfield's elementary and middle schools versus the New Jersey state average.  Plainfield student's test results across the district yield an average of 41% Proficiency in Language Arts and 55% in Mathematics, as compared to 67% and 75% statewide.  PCO 21st CCLC students within Cedarbrook and Clinton scored an average of 49% Proficiency in Language Arts and 75% in Mathematics.

The needs of students in the Plainfield area are great, given the significant deterrents they face to maximizing their potential.  Plainfield is a predominantly African American and Latino community challenged by the myriad of forces that result from a failing school system: poverty, unemployment, and crime.  According to the US Census, 19.4% of Plainfield residents live below poverty, as compared to 10% statewide.  The unemployment rate in Plainfield is 11.9% compared to a state average of 7.8%.   The Plainfield crime index is 84% higher than the New Jersey average and the New Jersey crime index is 27% lower than the National average.

Although education pays off handsomely in the United States, children from low-income families attain less education than children from more advantaged families.  So there is a great need for after school programming within the Plainfield district because there is not enough enrichment programs to help increase students grades and academic performance.  The students who attend Cedarbrook and Clinton schools face social and economic challenges.  Violence is ever-present part of this community and its impact on student development is great.  Therefore, Plainfield Community Outreach, Inc. proposes to address the challenges of our youth by providing a 21st CCLC to Cedarbrook K-8 center and Clinton Elementary School.

We plan to help increase their scores and build their self-esteem and self-efficacy through the many 21st CCLC components that we will be incorporating. Our purpose is to help students improve their learning skills, teach them how to get along with others, and to respect themselves, peers, and adults.  We plan to educate parents on being supportive and the importance of helping their child with homework, which includes encouraging parents to read with their child in order to improve student reading levels.  Through a theme based approach of civic engagement we can guide students to leadership roles and critical thinking by collaborating with local business owners and people that will provide opportunities to learn about making a change within their community.

This program will feature academic tutoring by NJ certified teachers according to the New Jersey Core Curriculum standards and in consultation with the principal and teachers of each school. Additionally students will receive homework help daily. Each week students will receive enrichment in art, poetry or book writing, computers, and health & fitness. All activities are designed to combine character education with the skills and knowledge taught in each session.  In cooperation with the Plainfield Boxing Academy and the Plainfield YMCA students and their families will have opportunities for recreation and fitness. Parents will receive seminars on health, nutrition and career-related topics.  Our after-school program coincides with the school year and operates starting the first full day of school in September and ending the last full day of school in June.