PATERSON, NJ- For Jashina Green Jackson, a mother or two, the help of 4CS means that her son and daughter can participate in a summer program as well as financial support for her own continued training as a certified teaching assistant.
On Saturday, the Paterson based nonprofit child-care resource and referral organization was also a conduit to a merrier Christmas season for she and her family.
Beaming with excitement during the event at the Paterson Museum, Jackson said the support of 4CS is “awesome” and that without them she doesn’t know how she’d manage work and raising her son and daughter. 4CS additional support, in the form of new winter coats and Christmas gifts for them, as well as the nearly 200 others gathered, showed, she said, how much the organization’s team is willing to do to “help those in need and give back to the community.”
Asked what her wish was Christmas, Jackson offered simply “more love and peace.” Lamenting that despite efforts of so many there is still too much homelessness and drugs she added that in 2019 she’d like to see “stronger families.”
Saying he was happy to see “everybody come together and have a good time,” at the event that also offered food, face painting, and a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, Jackson’s son, Ja’sier, suggested he hoped his gift would be something that satisfied his love of electronics. As for his Christmas wish, the eighth grade student said he’d like to see new homes for people that need them, as well as more community centers where families can gather.
In addition to the 4CS staff showing they were full of the holiday spirit as they presented gifts and ushered families in and out of a meticulously decorated winter wonderland were a number of volunteers including Tomasz Labuda, representing M&T Bank, one of the sponsors that made the day possible.
Marveling at how well run the event was Labuda said that while assisting with financial needs is the bank’s mission they also encourage its employees to volunteer with the non-profits they serve. “Giving back,” he said, “is part of our culture.”
Similar to Jackson, Alexis Thomas appreciated the opportunity to spend some time with loved ones in a safe and friendly environment. Suggesting the activities were indicative of what Paterson is really about, “a good community with friendly people,” the mother one young daughter, working as a phlebotomist while she attends nursing school, added that the support of 4CS was critical in her efforts to achieve success.
Also like Jackson, Thomas sees improvement on the horizon for the city she has called home all of her life. Citing the curfews that have taken hold in spots across Paterson she added “we have to stop the violence.”
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PATERSON, NJ- An effort to increase Pre-K enrollment among three and four year old Paterson children is working, according to a report by the Paterson Alliance.
The “Think Pre-K” campaign, initiated by the Paterson Alliance, and funded by The Nicholson Foundation, set a goal of increasing enrollment by 100 more registrations on October 15, 2017 than on the same date a year previous. Through a three-pronged approach, which included creating a map to show where spaces existed compared to where eligible children reside, launching a strategic outreach campaign in four languages, and placing nine “navigators” across Paterson to help parents better understand the value of early childhood education, the campaign exceeded its goal with enrollment increasing by 337 children.
While studies show that children who attend pre-K are more prepared for kindergarten and do better in school the impact goes well beyond academics. “Every dollar spent on early childhood education saves $7 on social service costs in later years,” said Inge Spungen, Director, Paterson Alliance. However, whether it’s issues of logistics related to getting children to school, culture, or lack of spaces in proximity to their home many parents still are not enrolling their children.
“We hope to continue our initiative to help people find good programs in their area and to support availability citywide,” Spungen continued.
In speaking of leveling the academic playing field among students in Paterson over those in more affluent communities Mayor Jane Williams-Warren said that “opportunities for our children when receiving early education are endless, this is what our children need to be competitive.”
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4CS of Passaic County Shares Holiday Generosity With Children and Families!
Take a look at what 4CS has been up to in our Fall 2017 Newsletter!
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