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Join Us for NJ School Breakfast Report Release
What do footballs and breakfast have in common? They will both be featured at the 5th annual release of the NJ Food for Thought School Breakfast Report on Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. at the Fred W. Martin School (Martin Center for the Arts), 59 Wilkinson Avenue, Jersey City.
Please register today. Space is limited.
ACNJ Is Hiring!
Are you passionate about data? Can you understand, analyze and present it effectively to diverse audiences? Are your writing skills strong? Can you tell a compelling story about what the data say? Do you have experience in policy advocacy? Do you care deeply about children? If so, ACNJ is interested in talking to you. Check out the job description here. If you think you are a good fit for the position, e-mail a letter describing how you meet the criteria, along with your resume and a writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org.Ceil Honored by Community Foundation of New Jersey
ACNJ Executive Director Cecilia Zalkind was honored recently by the Community Foundation of New Jersey for her civic leadership during the foundation’s 35th anniversary celebration. Margarethe Laurenzi, CFNJ’s director of leadership grantmaking and engagement, presented the award, saying CFNJ and its fundholders were proud to have supported many ACNJ projects, including the successful school breakfast campaign.
“Because of people in this room, we have done so much for New Jersey,” Ceil said. “The finish line is ahead. It’s in our sights. And the efforts of everyone here and others will get us there.”
Showing Up Matters: ACNJ Releases Report on Chronic Absenteeism
More than 125,000 New Jersey children were “chronically absent” during the 2013-14 school year, according to an ACNJ report released last month. That amounts to 10 percent of all K-12 students statewide.
Studies show that daily attendance is essential for student success. When children miss too much school, they can suffer long-term consequences.
ACNJ and its partners will be bringing this message to school leaders, parents and teachers as we work with communities to reduce the amount of classroom time New Jersey children miss.
Pre-K Gains Momentum
A recent Senate Education Committee hearing, chaired by Senator Teresa Ruiz, shined a spotlight on the need to create an effective early learning system in New Jersey, with an emphasis on expanding preschool.
While early education has received attention before, this time was a little different. A broad range of people came out to show support for increased investment in children’s early years, especially preschool expansion. This included law enforcement, business leaders, superintendents, teachers and others.
In other preschool news…Federal officials last week announced the second round of preschool expansion grants. New Jersey is one of 18 states to receive these federal dollars earmarked for early education. This is great news. Nearly 1,500 4-year-olds are in new or improved preschools this fall thanks to these funds.
But…the future of these preschools is in jeopardy as Congress has yet to approve funding for the final two years of this 4-year initiative. ACNJ is working with our Congressional delegates to ensure that preschool expansion remains a top priority in Washington.
Early Childhood Councils Gather
In September, a 15-member team of advocates, state leaders and parents and staff from several of the newly-formed NJ County Councils for Young Children participated in conference in a Pittsburgh called Building Bridges: Connecting State and Community Early Childhood Efforts, sponsored by The BUILD Initiative.
The New Jersey team, along with similar teams from other states, learned about innovative strategies to give families and community agencies a voice in the design and implementation of child- and family-focused polices, programs and practices. Over the 3-day meeting, the team met several times to determine how this information can be integrated into New Jersey’s county council structure. The councils were established in all 21 counties with funds from the NJ Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grant to serve as forums for family feedback.