Our Brightest Stars
I've always been fascinated and intrigued by stars. No, not Ariana Grande or Ben Affleck, rather those celestial beings from so far away. In fact, that's where my intrigue begins. I've often asked myself how could something so far away shine so bright? The sun, the brightest star we see, is over four light years away. Amazing? Indeed. But I've learned that I don't have to look to the sky to see the brightest of stars. I see them every day.
Being coordinator of Bergen Family Center School Aged Child Care program for the past couple years as well as unit leader the prior
six years has given me the the privilege of seeing these stars begin their journeys. In fact, I'm blessed to say that my first after school class has joined me at DMAE, as they are now high school sophomores. The key difference between then and now are two fold. First, back then, things were more spacious, as we operated out of John Grieco Elementary, the district's prized jewel of facilities. The ginormous cafeteria made mass meetings convenient. There was a gymnasium and large playground for recreational activities. And of course, there were many classrooms which could facilitate diverse activities. We also prospered from New Jersey After Three funding, a great asset to any after school program. Sadly, we are no longer blessed with special funding or diversity of facilities.
We're thankful for Mackay Park but we are years removed from the In-house gymnasium or playgrounds. We appreciate 44 Armory St. but we don't have the luxury of science labs, music rooms or extra space.
We are blessed with great volunteers and special donors, yet there is considerable room for more. We are encouraged by movements like Lights on After School, as today the community can see what we see on a daily basis: our children shining as bright as the stars they are and will continue to be. Future Attorney Generals, ambassadors, scientists and entrepreneurs are developing right before us. I implore the community to pour into its greatest asset, its children.
We are part of a school district where almost 70% of its students are eligible for free lunch, certainly implying economic hardship. We are also a school district that academically ranks at the depths of the county. More so now than ever, education and enrichment are extremely vital to this community. The children of this program are not among those who compiled the dubious statistics. But they will certainly be an integral part of much needed improvement in the future. We urge philanthropists to continue to donate, whether time, resources, or even monetarily. We ask accomplished grant writers join our effort. We implore politicians to use their voices to help our cause. Any and all help is appreciated.
I'd like to take the time to thank BFC as a facility and as a family. I'm thankful for my staff who individually and collectively pour their heart and soul into our program on a daily basis. We will continue to serve this community as best we can. Thank you.