From Nothing to Something, After-School at the J is a Boredom Buster

By Greg D’Amico, Katz JCC Children and Family Director

When you’re a kid, every summer matters. I remember those days like yesterday- the beach, the baseball field, endless sunsets outside with my best friends in the world. It seemed like back-to-school would never show it’s face- until it did.

Back-to-school prep is a beautiful combination of excitement, nerves, & curiosity for children. Remember that first day of each year? New faces, new places, new teachers, new experiences. By the time I got home I was bursting with excitement. I had so much brewing in my mind right up until my parents asked,

“What’d you do at school today?”.

“Nothing” I replied.

I’d head off to my room to play on the video game system.

I went to after school programming at my elementary school for years. Each day I couldn’t wait for mom to pick me up-not at fault of the program, the day was just long. I’d been sitting in class for 6 hours, and now I was stuck in the school gym for two more. The moment my sister was old enough to babysit, I chose to come home right away.

Greg D’Amico

Fast forward to present day, I have a really cool opportunity; the chance to give back to my eight-year-old self. My name is Greg D’Amico, and I’m the new Just4Kids After School Program Director at the Katz JCC.

I have been part of the JCC family since 2014, directing JCC Medford’s PM Care & working in the ACHaD Special Needs Department. Here at the J, we have an enormous variety of facilities, activities, games, arts and sports for your child to explore more than the norm at after school programs. It’s my job to utilize that to unwrap your child’s full potential I want your kid to love their after school program so much, they shake the “nothing” answer, and instead tell you all the “somethings” they did.

With the help of my hand-picked, dedicated staff team, the days won’t seem so long anymore. Activities we offer include: Hands on STEM & STEAM, GaGa, swimming, arts, field sports, yoga, cooking, imaginarium, computers, Active Zone (interactive movement gaming), book club, cartooning, Teen Lounge and of course homework help!

For middle schoolers, we offer the JCrew after school program- a relaxed environment for pre-teens and teens to study, exercise, participate in monthly community service projects or spend time with one our our Just4Kids tutors.

Every single day, we cultivate friendships, improve our study habits, move our bodies, and enjoy snack time all within the confines of 3:15-6:30pm.

New Kids Club enrichment add-ons include Hip Hop Dance Class, MineCraft, 3v3 Sports League, Music Production 101 and JCC Kid-Fit personal training/nutrition workshops! Does your child have an idea for a new club? Reach out and let’s make it happen.

If you’re a busy, working parent who wants to ensure that your child gets the attention, support and after school experience they deserve – I’d love you to consider Just4Kids and JCrew at the Katz JCC. I promise to turn nothings into somethings.

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