Participants in the Marcus JCC’s Club J after-school experience for pre-K to fifth grade have been making a difference this year with community service projects through the city. This included working with two nonprofits with Jewish founders, The Packaged Good and Creating Connected Communities. Club J kids put together care bags for children in need, made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Malachi’s Storehouse, and made cookies and delivered them to the local fire and police stations.
“Our Club J participants have the opportunity to make all of the food that they donate through the MJCCA’s culinary program,” explained Club J Director Jodi Sonenshine. “Different age groups split up the responsibilities when preparing the food, and then go in small, chaperoned groups to deliver the items to support and thank our community.”
Some of the other Club J community service projects are writing letters to soldiers, visiting residents at the Berman Commons to sing and play; reading to the MJCCA’s Weinstein School pre-K children once a week as part of the Snacks and Stories program and making meals for the South Atlanta Youth Group.
Community service is just one of the components of Club J. Children can also participate in after-school cultural and academic or sports and physical activities.
The cultural and academic activities include arts and crafts, computer time, science discovery, drama workshops, critical thinking projects and homework hour. The physical activities include basketball, soccer, flag football, gaga, relay races, swimming, ropes course, rock climbing and yoga.
Club J offers a safe, planned afternoon filled with supervised homework help, counselor-led activities and various opportunities for physical activity.
“Kids from 10 local schools can’t wait to come to Club J and see their after-school friends,” Sonenshine said. “Club J participants enjoy the meaningful community service projects, physical and cultural activities, and working with Club J staff on their homework. It’s a win-win-win for kids, parents, and the community at large,” she said.
“Club J is designed to provide a high-quality, enriching after-school environment to students of all backgrounds and beliefs.”
The program allows parents to choose from three to five days per week with healthy snack options provided daily. There is also homework support in small groups guided by Club J staff and supervised transportation provided from area schools.
Club J registration is open for the 2019-2020 school year, Aug. 5 to May 27, with the program running from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Club J at 678-812-3761, or visit atlantajcc.org/afterschool.