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Children's Department

After School Program offers more than a babysitter and day care

Busy families looking for options on where their children can go after school until mom or dad get home from work don’t have to look very far. The Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center of Syracuse’s After School Program offers school-age children a safe place to go for fun, educational and recreational activities.

A student in the JCC's After School Program doing homework in the program’s homework room.The program is highly flexible to meeting the needs and schedules of even the most active families. It’s open to kids of both JCC members and non-members from the close of school to 6:00 p.m. on school days. Children can attend anywhere from one to five days per week. Most kids come from school districts in close proximity to the JCC, such as east area Syracuse City Schools, Jamesville-DeWitt, Fayetteville-Manlius and area private schools, including the Syracuse Hebrew Day School. In many cases, the JCC’s own bus can even provide transportation to the program.

“Solid programming that’s fun and full of teachable moments is what makes us different from a babysitter’s or having kids sit in front of a TV,” says Mick Hagan, JCC’s director of Children and Teen Services. “We do a lot to keep kids active and engaged. This includes arts and crafts, sports and recreation, games and cultural activities. We even have a homework room. Kids can also enroll in enrichment classes to further their interests or learn something new.”

When there’s a school holiday such as Columbus Day or Veterans Day, the After School Program has those days covered for busy working parents as well. The program’s vacation camps run on these and other weekday school holidays ­from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. While it may be a day off from school, the kids are kept active with a variety of fun and exciting activities.

 “Vacation and snow days are great for kids, but they can still create a hectic schedule for parents,” says Hagan. “That’s why we offer extended care so parents can drop off children early and let them stay later after the vacation camp day ends. We even open up our program from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on school snow days for those unexpected last-minute closings.”

The JCC’s vacation camps for school holidays, superintendant days and snow days are available to everyone. Children don’t have to be a regular After School Program participant to take advantage of this convenience on very little notice.

“We want to make our program as convenient and affordable as possible for families,” says Hagan. “We offer many different options, including tiered pricing and a sibling discount.”

For more information about the JCC After School Program, call Mick Hagan at 315-445-2040, ext. 129.