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After School Club goes to college!

After School Club is growing!  Refugee and local children in Crafton Heights began the spring semester last Thursday. JFCS and partner ARYSE have been amazed at the response from the community who have stepped up to become volunteer mentors. More than 50 volunteers showed up at the mentor training in January, bringing the new total to over 80!

More families have moved to the Crafton Heights neighborhood, necessitating the split of K-8 kids into a Tuesday group and Thursday group of about 30 children each. Students will be in Red Group (K-2nd grade), Yellow Group (3rd-5th), and Blue Group (6th-8th). In addition, this semester each month will have a theme: February is “Love Your Neighbor”, March is “Celebration of Nations”, April is “Spring into Action” (community-building and service), and May is “Plant Your Seeds” (academic and career exploration).

There they will be able to explore potential careers, go on field trips to expand their knowledge of different kinds of jobs, and experience a college campus under the guidance of about 30 college student mentors.

This semester a new program coordinator with a lot of great experience was hired. With many of the volunteers beginning to become part of the programming by building curriculum and supporting mentor coordination, After School Club promises to have an exciting semester!

Finally, we are thrilled to announce that JFCS’s Andrew Van Treeck, Volunteer Coordinator in the Refugee & Immigrants Services department, who has spearheaded the entire After School Club program along with our partner ARYSE’s Jenna Baron, is a finalist in the 2019 Champions of Learning Awards. Champions of Learning is a collaboration between the Consortium for Public Education and United Way’s Be There Campaign that recognizes adults in western Pennsylvania who go above and beyond to create opportunities and motivate students to meet their greatest potential. Finalists will be celebrated in May. Congratulations Andrew!