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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Celebrate Afterschool: Outdoors in the Garden State

The Week of May 9, 2011, Celebrate Afterschool!

NJSACC: The Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities encourages afterschool programs to take advantage of all that the Garden State has to offer and get their children outside to explore the flora and fauna, animals and landscapes of New Jersey.

Click HERE for a Packet of Activities
Click HERE for an Event Planning Packet

About Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State:

Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State is an event in its third year that helps to bring children in afterschool programs outside and connect them with their communities through meaningful and fun activities throughout the year.

To get kids outdoors more, NJSACC has created a resource booklet for providers that list easy, inexpensive activities that can connect children with nature in categories like Trees and Leaves and Nature Art. There are lists of field trips and enrichment program resources for providers as well as nature fun facts and nature experiments that can be done in only a few minutes.

A highlight of Celebrate Afterschool! is a week long community celebration of children and nature. NJSACC asks Afterschool programs across the state spend the week of May 9-13, 2011 outside and reaching out to local leaders, businesses, families and friends to build support for high quality afterschool programs in New Jersey and doing nature based outdoor activities.

Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State Shines a Spotlight on Quality Afterschool

Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State is also a tool to build lasting public support for affordable, high-quality afterschool programs across New Jersey. Led by a public-private partnership, the events that Celebrate Afterschool help to build public awareness and support; offers guidance for parents, providers and advocates; strengthens relationships with policymakers, funders, and practitioners to share best practices.

Since the inception of Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State, providers are doing more activities that connect children with nature and many programs have signed on to Celebrate Afterschool! joining in the week long Celebration with activities in their communities.

NJSACC developed an Event Planning kit to guide afterschool programs on how to Celebrate Afterschool with a sample Press release and invitation letters for community leaders and celebration ideas.

Tell us what you are doing by Clicking: HERE!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Special Report on Informal Science Education

As concern mounts that U.S. students lack sufficient understanding of science and related fields, it has become increasingly clear that schools can’t tackle the challenge alone. This special report explores the field often called “informal science education,” which is gaining broader recognition for its role in helping young people acquire scientific knowledge and skills. Opportunities abound outside the classroom to learn about science, and to inspire a passion for it. Zoos and science museums, robotics clubs, science competitions, and online games are just a few of the options to engage American youths. Education Week reporters examine what informal science education looks like in practice, and what we know about its impact, its potential, and the challenges it faces.

From Education Week

There are many ways afterschool programs participate in Informal Science Education:
Check out New Jersey's Own Curriculum for Science in Out of School Settings