Englewood—It’s those troublesome hours between the end of school and the end of the workday that cause the most concern for working parents. The Moriah School of Englewood is starting a new program to take away the worry. Moriah Plus, new for the 2014-2015 school year, will provide after-school care and activities for students from early childhood through middle school. While the early childhood program is open only to Moriah students, Moriah Plus for the elementary through middle school grades will be open to all Bergen County.
“Moriah Plus is a Jewish, comprehensive, cost effective, after-school program that will make life easier for working parents,” said Debra Prince, former president of Moriah Auxiliary Parents (MAP), who is organizing the program with Gila Comet, another Moriah parent and colleague at the Englewood Parks and Recreation Department.
Prince and Comet, both active volunteers at the school, said Moriah asked them to expand initiatives in after-school activities they began last year to meet the need of increasing numbers of working parents. “There is a tremendous need for quality after-school programs for all children,” said Prince. “Moriah is very excited about the idea of outreach, bringing in Jewish children from different schools. This will unite everyone together.” Prince said interested parents from outside Moriah are already organizing car pools and other transportation options.
The hours are based on the end of the school day which differs for early childhood, elementary, and middle school. Early childhood through kindergarten children will have an activity from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. and optional play time and snack until 6:00 p.m. The students in grades 1 to 5 will be divided by grade for supervised homework and snack, with an activity from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Middle School students will go directly to their activity from dismissal at 4:30 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. On Fridays, which will be for Moriah students only, elementary school students will have their elective activity from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. and middle school activities will run from 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Homework monitors will include both Moriah and outside teachers, whose backgrounds have been thoroughly checked. At the end of the homework session, the students will be met by instructors who take them to the activities they have selected.
Prince and Comet said classes will include “anything a child could want,” from sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and fencing, to chess, jewelry making, and yoga. Music electives will include flute and violin instruction and playing in a string quartet.
Prince and Comet did their homework to learn what other schools were offering and what was needed. “We looked at public and private schools, Catholic schools, and other yeshivas,” Comet said. The only similar Jewish program is Club Kids at the JCC on the Palisades (formerly “Finish the day at the J”), which is restricted to JCC members. “Our program offers more,” Comet noted. “We have older kids and more kinds of activities.”
The program is organized into eight-week sessions, with each activity scheduled once a week. Families can opt for full or partial sessions. Registration is open until August 22. Comet said they are anticipating 100 students per day but could handle up to 400 if there is a need.
For more information, pricing and registration, visit http://moriah.org/plus or email [email protected]
By Bracha Schwartz