Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NJ Youth Corps Summer Spruce Up

As the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum's summer visitors begin to dwindle down during the weekdays, our student staff continues to work on building renovations, updating exhibits and creating new artwork for the facility. Our student staff has shown themselves to be very versatile and effective when it comes to completing tasks at hand. It is important for them to show a variety of different skill sets at the workplace in order to add on to their professional experience. It also gives us flexibility when placing them on permanent work-sites later on. Our students personal development on the community service side prepares them with a productive work ethic for their next chapter in life. 

They will be able to do the job they are hired for, with the ability to multi-task and be equally effective. This particular student staff has achieved a lot under NJ Youth Corps direction and we are grateful for their hard work and dedication. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NJ Youth Corps Graduation 2015

Congratulations to our NJ Youth Corps graduates class of 2015. Your efforts and hard work have got you to this point and we hope you don't stop there. Continue to strive for greatness and put a hundred percent effort into all you do. To much is given, much is required. Best wishes.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

NJ Youth Corps & Bridge Of Books service Benjamin Franklin School in Newark

Thanks to our partners at the Bridge of Books Foundation, over 1000 books were recently donated to the Benjamin Franklin School on Park Ave. in Newark NJ. Benjamin Franklin School educates children starting in Pre-K3 through the Fourth Grade. Their population includes General Education students, Special Education students, English Language Learners and one Pre-K Handicap classroom. Reading is indeed fundamental, and it was a pleasure giving a helping hand to the teachers and students who were very appreciative with this wonderful donation.

We look forward to continued service within our communities!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

(RECAP) Go Green! Earth Day Celebration at Jersey Explorer Children's Museum

This past Saturday, the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum hosted the 'Go Green! Earth Day Celebration', presented by the Bridge Of Books Foundation and NJ Youth Corps. The highlight of the event was NY Jets starting offensive lineman D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who was on hand to present and read his children's book titled 'Brick's Way Go Green!'

There were various 'Go Green!' themed tables to help celebrate Earth Day. Tables included information on how and where to recycle, as well as computer games with recyclable themes. We showed a educational documentary on the positive effects of recycling. We also offered a book swap, where guests could bring in their old and used books and walk away with brand new ones. There were arts and crafts initiatives for the kids to make a commitment on going green. Outside the museum, volunteers alongside Youth Corps and the Bridge Of Books staff, planted flowers and added fresh soil to our garden.

Guests of the 'Go Green! Earth Day Celebration' were offered a gracious selection of literature from the Bridge Of Books Foundation. There was food offered in the park courtesy of Robert from First Fridays and Councilwoman Andrea McPhatter. Mr. Ferguson, who was a very gracious guest, stayed to sign a few books, give motivational advice to the kids and take a complete tour through the Jersey Explorer.

We would like to thank the community at large (special thanks to the local youth football teams) for attending and participating. Special thanks to Abby Daly and all the great people at the Bridge Of Books Foundation. We will continue giving away free books throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you stop in and visit us!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey (SCANJ) open house at JECM

The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey (SCANJ) conducted a open house at the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum on April 11th, 2015. Led by founder and executive director, Mary Bentley LaMar, the open house provided visitors with general information regarding sickle cell anemia and resources to assist people in dealing with the disease. Overall, around 30 or more attendees showed up to watch video clips, converse with others and enjoy a healthy lunch. Mrs. LaMar introduced the audience to new peer teachers who would also be spreading the word around NJ about sickle cell. It was a very informative session, and our Youth Corps staff also had an opportunity to learn about sickle cell, which effects a larger population among minorities.

According to http://voxxi.com/2012/06/29/sickle-cell-disease-minorities-hispanics/ Approximately 1 in 1,200 Hispanics and 1 in 500 African-Americans in the United States are born with sickle cell disease (SCD), a genetic condition passed on from parents carrying sickle cell traits, says St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It is the most common hereditary abnormality in the country, affecting up to 100,000 people, and most often seen among Latinos, African-Americans and people of Asian descent.

We were very pleased to have SCANJ as guests at the museum and we will continue to work with them to make the public more aware of sickle cell anemia and how we can work towards helping those that suffer with it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Go Green! Earth Day Celebration at Jersey Explorer Children's Museum

GO GREEN! with NY Jets D’Brickashaw Ferguson

April 8, 2015 (Holmdel, NJ) – GO GREEN! with New York Jets’ D’Brickashaw Ferguson as he joins the Bridge of Books Foundation and the New Jersey Youth Corps for an Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 25 at The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum.  

GO GREEN! focuses on the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and features fun activities for the whole family.  Crafts, games, gardening, exhibits and recycling demonstrations will take place from 10 am until 3 pm. 

Ferguson, left tackle for the New York Jets, will join the celebration at 1:30 PM to read from his children’s book Brick's Way Go Green!. Free copies of Brick’s Way Go Green! will be distributed to all children in attendance throughout the day.  Attendees are invited to bring gently used children’s books for donation to the Bridge of Books Foundation and take part in a Book Swap, selecting children’s books to take home.   

            “I am grateful to D’Brickashaw Ferguson for his generosity in supporting our cause,” said Abigail Daly, Bridge of Books Foundation Founder and Executive Director.  “Access to books is the single biggest barrier to literacy development in the United States.  In many towns throughout New Jersey, there are homes that have only one or two books.  At Bridge of Books, we believe every child has the right to own a book.  Our goal is to distribute 1 million books by 2020.”
            “We are excited to partner with the Bridge of Books Foundation for this Earth Day Celebration,” said Gary Patnosh, from the NJ Youth Corps and The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum.  “We support their mission and believe that literacy opens the door to greater opportunities. In addition to providing thousands of children with an interactive and educational experience at the museum, the NJ Youth Corps welcomes the opportunity to send every child home with books from the Bridge of Books Foundation.”

Founded in 2003, Bridge of Books Foundation works to provide an ongoing source of books to underprivileged and at-risk children throughout New Jersey.  Located in Holmdel, NJ, the Foundation has facilitated the distribution of almost half a million books in order to support literacy skills and encourage a love of reading. Visit www.bridgeofbooksfoundation.org for more information.

The Jersey Explorer Children's Museum is a project of the New Jersey Youth Corps at New Jersey City University.  Built and staffed by young adults from the Youth Corps, the museum provides academic and vocational opportunities to these at-risk young adults and educational enrichment to the thousands of children who visit.  The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum is located at 192 Dodd Street, East Orange, www.jerseyexplorer.org.


NJ Youth Corps volunteer at Let's Celebrate

NJ Youth Corps have been volunteering with non-profit group  "Let's Celebrate" over the past six months, helping to service clients in the food pantry and soup kitchen. Our students have gained a great appreciation for working with those in need. It is a part of their 150 hour community service commitment to the Youth Corps program. A few of our Youth Corps students commented on their experience thus far working at "Let's Celebrate".

Joel: I just like helping people. You have to talk to everybody, even if they don't speak English. So you are always learning a lot. Plus you are helping out your community. 

Ebony: We get to interact with different people every week. You learn to be patient and have courtesy. 

We are grateful to have a work-site such as "Let's Celebrate" for our students to gain important and relevant skills that will certainly help them on their next job in the future. 

“Moving from hunger to wholeness”
Let’s Celebrate moves people from hunger to wholeness through nutrition, financial, supportive and affordable housing services. For more info please visit their website: http://www.letscelebrateinc.org/

Friday, March 6, 2015

Jersey Explorer hosts National African-American Read-In

February 21st, marked the date of a very important event at the Jersey Explorer Children's Museum - The National African-American Read-In. We had an outstanding performance from Christine Dixon, who starred as "Harriet Tubman Herself", which truly captivated our audience. Ms Dixon reenacted the life and times of the Underground Railroad's most recognizable conductor, Harriet Tubman in an emotional one woman show. 

We also had visits from some wonderful African-American writers such as Sharon Dennis Wyeth, Ms. Wyet h has written a number of award w inning books for children and young adults, including:  A Piece of Heaven”, Once on T his River and the Children’s Book Council Notable Book Something Beautiful.”  Other authors included, Cynthia ‘Lady Rose’ Roberson, also known as “The Singing Librarian” and writer of "RITTA" book series. This singer/songwriter is also a native of Newark, NJ and an Educational Media Specialist for Newark Public Schools. Last but not least we also had Teresha Rue -Hughes,  the author of t he beautifully illustrated Sungi Bear series.

The event ended slightly early due to an incoming snowstorm, but we had a amazing time learning from our special guests. Below we have links to all of the participating author’s books as well as pictures from the event. We still have free African-American literature we are giving away at the museum, so please stop by on a Saturday when time permits. Thanks to all who were involved. 

Christine Dixon

 Cynthia ‘Lady Rose’ Roberson

Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Teresha Rue-Hughes