CARTERET — Mayor Dan Reiman was joined by Councilwoman Susan Naples, Director of Community Development Daniel Croson Jr., and Tashilee Vazquez, chief professional officer of Boys & Girls Club Perth Amboy & Carteret in announcing the opening of a Boys & Girls Club extension unit at the borough’s Community Center at 42 Cooke Avenue. The program, beginning Sept. 30, will operate Monday through Friday from school dismissal until 6 p.m. and will serve students of Carteret Middle School.
“Study after study has shown that students who participate in afterschool programs, like Boys & Girls Club, have higher test scores, are less likely to become involved in criminal behavior, and develop a more positive sense of self,” said Reiman. “The opening of this Cooke Avenue extension is a huge step toward improving our schools and helping students utilize their full potential.”
Naples, who serves as an administrator in the Carteret school district, noted the success similar programs have had in the past. “As an educator for over thirty years, I have witnessed first-hand how much of a difference afterschool programs can make in a child’s life. I look forward to seeing what Boys & Girls Club is able to do in our middle school and in the lives of the students they serve.”
Similarly to its high school unit, the Boys & Girls Club will fund and operate the program, while the borough will provide transportation from Carteret Middle School to the community center. The middle school has been without an afterschool program since the Carteret Board of Education lost state funding for its “CASA” program during the 2012 school year and failed to replace it.
“The lack of supplemental educational programs for our students is simply unacceptable,” Reiman remarked in reference to the board’s lack of an alternative to CASA. “Since the current Board of Education has made it clear it does not intend to do anything about this problem, the borough will.”
“I am thrilled to be able to work with Mayor Reiman and Boys & Girls Club to offer this program to the residents and students of Carteret,” said Croson. “Ensuring that our kids are equipped with the skills and education necessary to successfully transition into the leaders of our community is vital to Carteret’s success, and this program will help accomplish just that.”
Added Vazquez, “We are looking forward to expanding our youth development services to include Carteret Middle School students and to implementing our time-tested and proven strategies at the new site. Through relationships with caring, trained adults, we provide a safe place for youth to expand their minds and prepare them for brighter futures.”
For additional information or to apply for the program, contact the Mayor’s office at 732-541-3801, or Brieem Town, program director for Boys & Girls Club, at 732-541-8960 ext. 4320. All applications are to be returned to the Mayor’s office at Borough Hall (61 Cooke Avenue).
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