ASP of NJ Afterschool Development Conference Highlights Importance of Afterschool

Published by Christina DiChiara
NJ ASD Conf Group 2

Gloria Strickland (second row, third from left) and Creating a New Conversation about Mentoring and Development Break Out participants.

On Thursday, June 23, the All Stars Project of New Jersey (ASP of NJ) hosted the third annual Afterschool Development Conference at the Scott Flamm Center for Afterschool Development.  117 afterschool leaders and practitioners, representing 60 organizations in greater Newark and Jersey City participated in the day-long event, hosted by ASP of NJ city leader, Gloria Strickland.  Thought leaders – including Will Simpson, My Brother’s Keeper-Newark; Professor Katia Goldfarb, Montclair State University; Jennifer Adams, Fidelity Investments; Lauren Wells, Researcher; Porche Hardy, Institute of Music for Children – discussed priorities for a Marshall Plan-style investment in afterschool development.

ASP co-founder Dr. Lenora Fulani engaged the issue of “Having Honest Conversations With Youth in Communities of Color” with a panel of All Stars Project young people.  President and CEO Gabrielle L. Kurlander spoke about the demand for new approaches to addressing the social crisis for youth and poor communities across the country and the need to advance the field of afterschool.  She also shared the progress of All Stars collaboration with the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Center on Research & Evaluation to develop new tools for measuring the impact of afterschool and non-traditional programs.

NJ ASD Conf Youth Panel

Youth panel for Having Honest Conversations in Poor Communities of Color, led by Dr. Lenora Fulani

Afternoon workshops gave participants the opportunity to engage in conversation and hands on activity on the topics of Mentoring and Development, Social Emotional Learning and Performance.

An 18-member convening committee, many of whom are members of the ongoing Afterschool Development Working Group, worked closely with Gloria Strickland in planning and organizing the conference.

This conference kicked off a series of Afterschool Development events that All Stars Project is sponsoring nationally in 2016 across the country involving more than 500 afterschool leaders and frontliners who will work together to advance and further shape the conversation about afterschool.  At the upcoming ASP of San Francisco Bay Area (ASP of SFBA) Roundtable on July 14th, Dr. Bonny Gildin will moderate a dialogue with Dr. Fulani, ASP of SFBA city leader, Dr. Elouise Joseph and East Palo Alto Youth Arts and Music Center Executive Director, Mary Hofstedt.