School-Based Services

Middle Earth partners with local schools to guide teens toward responsible adulthood. Research and studies say that children who participate in structured afterschool programs are more likely to:

afterschool activities

  • improve their grades,
  • behave in school,
  • develop better social skills,
  • refuse alcohol and drugs,
  • have higher self-confidence,
  • avoid criminal or risky behavior, and
  • have higher aspirations for their future.

Middle Earth provides these school-based services to local youth:

21st Century Community Learning Center

The 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) is a comprehensive afterschool program, which supports students' academic, behavioral, emotional and social growth in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement. The program serves students in 3rd through 8th grades at Lafayette Elementary School and Smalley Middle School in Bound Brook and operates 11 months out of the year. The program provides students with:

  • academic enrichment,
  • character education,
  • cultural and artistic opportunities (such as art, computer technology, environmental science, home economics, musical drama, and videography),
  • educational field trips (such as museums, science centers, performing arts centers, and local historical sites),
  • health, nutrition, fitness and physical activity,
  • on-site counseling, and
  • positive recreation.

This project was funded in its entirety with federal funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), through a grant agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education.

2nd Grade Afterschool Program

This afterschool program for 2nd graders in Bound Brook provides students with academic support and exposure to a variety of clubs, activities, guest speakers and positive recreation. We hope by connecting with these younger children, they will learn how to make positive choices and see the full potential of their future, before they face the temptations of risky behavior in adolescence.

Youth College Readiness Program

getting teens ready for collegeThe purpose of Middle Earth's Youth College Readiness Program (YCRP) is to:

  • keep youth engaged in school and improve academic performance so that they will graduate on time,
  • improve students’ extracurricular resume by offering community service opportunities, and
  • teach youth how to make post-secondary education a reality.

The program provides students in Bound Brook, Bernards, and Manville schools with the following services:

  • weekly workshops on: goal setting; the importance of grades, extracurricular activities, and community service; post-secondary options; ways to pay for college; college and financial aid application process; college life; and stress management, coping skills & journaling.
  • career exploration;
  • tutoring and preparation for PSAT, SAT and ACT;
  • college visits;
  • college and career fairs;
  • one-on-one services to youth who are identified as experiencing difficult situations in school or at home;
  • meetings to educate parents; and
  • community service to include on college applications.

YCRP also has a summer component for students including community service, employment readiness, and character education groups.

This has been a very successful program. In the last four years, 100% of participating high school seniors have graduated on time and over 95% have enrolled in a college or university for the Fall.

Middle Earth received an operating support grant from the Office of Faith Based Initiatives, a Division of Programs in the Department of State. You can learn more about this program and our results by viewing our infographic.