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JCC MetroWest Recipient of Grant to Fund Social Workers at All Six Summer Camps for the 2019 Summer Season



JCC MetroWest Recipient of Grant to Fund Social Workers at All Six Summer Camps for the 2019 Summer Season

March 11, 2019, West Orange, New Jersey – JCC MetroWest is proud to announce the award of a grant from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to employ social workers at their summer day camps in collaboration with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest. JCC MetroWest runs six distinct camps, each with a different focus in terms of age, interest, and abilities. Each comes with its own set of program initiatives and challenges. JCC MetroWest’s overall goal is to make each camper and staff member successful and enriched as a result of their summer experience.

Having a social worker on-site would enable camp leadership to provide increased support where needed. The goal will be for the social workers to get involved in all facets of the camps to develop relationships and intervene when necessary. Camp provides a safe haven for campers where they are often comfortable discussing issues in a low-stress environment. JCC MetroWest counselors and camp leadership will be trained to work with campers to be more prepared as challenges arise.

“The main outcome that we hope to achieve is to create an environment that provides our campers, counselors, and families with support and skills needed for them to be successful in camp and prepare them for life after camp,” explains Sharon Gordon, Chief Program Officer at JCC MetroWest. “We want the social worker to become part of the overall camp leadership and be very approachable to all.”

“We at The Healthcare Foundation are proud to support this important effort,” said Marsha Atkind, Executive Director/CEO.  “Today’s children and adolescents face numerous pressures – pressures that arise from within families, from social media, and from the overall environment in which we live.  This initiative at the JCC Camps will help young people cope with those pressures and empower staff to identify and deal with problems before they become crises.”

JCC MetroWest has been a pillar of the community for over 140 years. Nearly 2,000 people come to the J for educational, social, cultural and fitness programs every day. The J’s six summer day-camps include Camp Deeny Riback on 40 wooded acres in Flanders, NJ, as well as Triple Threat Theater camp, TEKI STEM camp, Exploration Camp serving grades K-6,  Early Childhood camp and Teen Travelers camp for teens and young adults with special needs, all located on the Leon & Toby Cooperman JCC campus  in West Orange. Through classes, theater events, the fitness center, summer camps and community-wide festivals JCC MetroWest touches approximately 50,000 people each year. In keeping with Jewish heritage and values, JCC MetroWest is an inclusive community of communities.  The J is open to and appreciates people of all ages, genders, races, religions, nationalities, ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientations, education, socioeconomic levels, and political perspectives. The J’s mission is to strengthen the community and add meaning to the lives of those served by connecting them to—and through—shared Jewish experiences.

Check out the article in the Jewish Link: