On September 25th Eport staff attended United Way of Greater Union County training on the NJ Standards for Prevention Programs. United Way of Greater Union County, in partnership with NJ Child Welfare Training Partnership, and Rutgers University, offered the training to anchor partners in Union County.
Anchor organizations are those community-based organizations that have provided social services to its residents and families, for decades and have a unique perspective on how to provide support for its community.
Typically anchor organizations are an important part of a philanthropist’s matrix when trying to solve a social issue within a designated community.
Recently, the Eport Center took the children, from its summer wraparound early childhood program, to the Roving Nature Center at the Whittemore Wildlife Sanctuary in Oldwick, NJ. The Roving Nature Center is a place where young children can learn about nature and environmental responsibility. The quiet and beautifully preserved sanctuary is over 11 square miles and includes wetlands, a network of hiking, dog-walking and horseback riding trails, ponds and, a variety of flower, herb and vegetable gardens.
The group of children and counselors spent the day hiking, playing with environmentally friendly arts and crafts, and enjoying story time in the outdoors. They also, learned how to catch butterflies and fish with small fishing nets.
In addition, the Eport Pres Center’s students were able to explore the wetlands and understand their role in the total environment. The tour guides provided a lot of insight on how people could care for their environment and how important it was for the animals living in the sanctuary. They even took time out to feed a baby deer.
“Our ability to bring children to a animal sanctuary, where they learn and experience the great outdoors, is part of our efforts to nurture environmental sensitivity among our young children.” state Karla Spivey Bouie, the Center’s executive director. “They had a lot of fun and really learned a lot about nature and its connections to our urban communities.”
Central Presbyterian Church Donates $20,000
Thanks to the generous support of its Members in Mission, the Central Presbyterian Church, in Summit, NJ, has donated an additional $20,000 to the Eport center to provide support for its youth services and community food bank programs.
The Central Presbyterian Church has partnered and funded the Eport Center for over 45 years through its well-established tutoring program. The program brings together volunteer teens, from the church, as mentors and tutors to young Eport Center youths ages 6-12 years old. The teens provide much-needed academic and homework assistance during the school year for younger Eport Center youth. As a result, many of the Eport youth show improvements in their schoolwork while developing a valuable friendship with their mentors.
“We are immensely grateful to the commitment and support of the Central Presbyterian Church and its mission council. The demand for our services has increased tremendously now that we are fully operational in our new building, as the Eport Center continues to provide educational, vocational and spiritual support to the families we serve. One of the biggest challenges we face is finding funds to support the growing and pressing needs of the Eport community, especially our youth services and food bank programs, but this donation will help us do so much more for our families,” states Karla Spivey Bouie, the Center’s executive director.
According to an article published in NJtoday.net in 2012, there are more New Jerseyans living in poverty than at any other time in history. Among some of the counties and cities that are most in need, is Elizabeth. The Elizabethport Presbyterian Center is centrally located where many of these families reside and are in critical need of social services and resources. This additional donation by the Central Presbyterian Church, will support the Center’s summer camp activities.
Summer programs are critically important because they reinforce academic strategies that were developed during the school year. They also allow for children to explore their creativity in a less competitive non-school environment so they can really challenge themselves in a fun and exciting way.
The Eport Center is currently running three summer programs and is serving over 70 youth between the ages of 7-17 years old.
Please visit the new website for more information on the Eport Center and our initiatives www.eportcenter.org
The Center sent the Wells family children for a week of camping at Johnsonburg Camp located in Frelinghuysen Township, NJ, near the Pocono Mountains. The Johnsonburg Presbyterian Camp is a year-round camp that has been serving children since 1959 and whose mission is to provide a place apart where all people can experience God’s love within a welcoming Christian community (source http://www.campjburg.org/about/mission.php).
Funded by the Eddie Grey Camp Fund (a local foundation that provides annual support), the Eport Center selects, prepares and sends over 20 youths per summer to Johnsonburg Camp. This partnership has served the Eport community for over 20 years.
The camp provides a variety of fun and exciting activities including the experience of being at a sleep-away camp for a week in a safe and adventurous manner. The sleep-away camp experience helps children learn to be independent and gives them exposure to activities they could not otherwise have had in the Elizabethport area. Many of the youth that are served at the Eport Center do not have an opportunity to attend sleep-away camps but a few are selected to attend Johnsonburg Camp and participate in a variety of outdoor and spiritual activities.
“It is important that the children within the Elizabethport Center gain exposure to activities and experiences that every child should experience in their lifetime. The Eddie Grey Camp Fund has become such a trusted and valuable resource for us and our community,” says Karla Spivey Bouie, Executive Director of the Eport Center.
Summer sleep-away camp is an activity that many children are not able to participate in. In a recently published article, Business Insider lists some of the top 10 most expensive summer camps. These camps can cost up to $10,000 or more for an 8-week program. Comparably, the Johnsonburg summer camp provides some, if not all, of these wonderful activities for their campers and, subsequently, for a few Eport Center youth.
Eport Center youth attend the camp through a generous donation from the Eddie Grey Camp Fund, which has made it possible to send children to the camp and take part in holistic outdoor and personal growth activities such as camping, cookouts and water sports. They also learn how to make decisions, be independent and take care of themselves, and team-building skills.