Camden hopes to create “Children’s Zone”

    Today, officials, Rowan University, and an area nonprofit announced they’ll use $50,000 in private money and assistance from the state – to figure out how to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone.

    A Camden neighborhood is hoping to look more like Harlem.  Today, officials, Rowan University, and an area nonprofit announced they’ll use $50,000 in private money and assistance from the state – to figure out how to replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone.

    Outside Lanning Square Elementary School Camden’s struggle is on full display.  Across the street are boarded-up houses, and even the school is marked with graffiti.

    Inside, people are talking about the Harlem Children’s Zone project which takes a holistic approach to helping children succeed by rebuilding the community.  There are in-school, after-school, social-service, health and community-building programs…and workshops for the parents.

    Richard Stagliano is CEO of the Center for Family Services – the nonprofit that’s working on replicating the Harlem project in Camden.

    “We’ve never been able to do a project at scale in one community to say every child in this community from birth through college will have opportunities – will be cared for, will have the services and supports in their family that they need to have that child succeed,” Stagliano says.

    The group hopes to receive $500,000 from the US Department of Education to get a Camden Children’s Zone off the ground.

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