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ABH Atlantic City Family Success Center selected by DOE for study

For Immediate Release:  January 11, 2012

AtlantiCare Behavioral Health Atlantic City Family Success Center
Selected for Department of Education Community Learning Center Study

ABH One of Only 15 Sites Selected in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has selected AtlantiCare Behavioral Health (ABH) Atlantic City Family Success Centers for a study of 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs. The study focuses on four topic areas of children’s after-school and summer programming including: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM); English Learners (EL); Career and Technical Education (CTE); and structures to increase learning time. The DOE held a two-day site visit of the program in December, which included interviews with staff, observation of program activities, and collection of relevant program documents.

“The DOE selected the ABH Atlantic City Family Success Center as an example of a program that demonstrates strong promise in STEM,” said Rosalind Norrell-Nance, director, ABH Atlantic City Family Success Centers. “The Center is one of only 15 sites selected in the United States and was chosen based on a number of criteria, including location and urbanicity, as well as meeting specific requirements regarding its STEM programming.”

The DOE visit took place December 12 and 13. In addition to meeting with AtlantiCare representatives, the surveyors met with representatives of the Atlantic City School District. 

“One of the things I found most compelling was that the surveyors asked each person to relay a story about a student who had benefitted from participation in our program,” said Norrell-Nance. “The stories the staff and school administration shared were heart-rending, and truly exhibited that we are providing far more than educational services.  The students’ comments revealed how safe they feel by being able to come to the family success centers.” 

“The interviewers told us that during the observations, every group they observed was truly participating in inquiry-based educational activities - using the scientific method to solve challenges in the areas of math, science, and engineering.”

Norrell-Nance explained one group showed how it was experimenting with building a ski jump out of piping, marbles and other materials to test how height, distance and gravity affected how far the marble could fly into a bucket.  “The design will lead to their building a life-size roller coaster of the same materials,” she explained.

“Some students made a two-story apartment building out of balloons, others did forensic experiments using facial reconstruction and identification of fingerprints,” continued Norrell-Nance. “Another group worked on various math challenges.”

The observers also learned about the ABH Family Success Center’s partnership with the Franklin Institute, Free Library of Philadelphia; Museum of Science, Boston and Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

About ABH Family Success Centers

Four Family Centers in Atlantic City
AtlantiCare Behavioral Health has four Family Centers located in Atlantic City that offer a wide range of free services and education programs, in addition to STEM education. The centers are strategically located in the public schools to assure that all city neighborhoods have access to services. The locations are:

• Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Family Success Center
Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. School Complex: 1700 Marmora Ave.

• New York Ave Family Success Center
New York Ave School: 411 N. New York Ave., Room 224

• Uptown Family Success Center
Uptown School Complex: 323 Madison Ave.

• Viking Family Success Center at ACHS East Campus
Atlantic City High School East Campus: 117 N. Indiana Ave.

About the STEM Program and Curriculum
The ABH Family Success Center offers STEM education activities for students in grades 4-12 as well as separate curricula for children in kindergarten to grade 3. All curricula are expanded to include field trips, guest speakers and community STEM professional mentoring. The wide range of STEM programs ABH Family Success Center offers include:

• After School Kidz Math: Provides games, books and activities that increase children’s understanding and enjoyment of mathematics.

• After School Kidz Science: Offers hands-on activities to give children experience with important science concepts and learn about what scientist do.

• AtlantiCare Medical Center Medical Explorers: A nine-week program for students in grades 8-12 that introduces them to different medical careers.

The Family Success Center also uses several STEM curricula from PBS, including:

• Sci Girls: Encourage girls to take an interest in science and STEM careers. 

• Design Squad: Provides engineering challenges and contests.

• Meet The Greens: Environmental science study that explores alternative energy, recycling and helps students become more aware of their carbon footprint.

Study Results Will Be Used to Create New Guides, Programs
 “The study will highlight the work of selected 21st CCLC programs in four ‘Lessons Learned Guides’ that will help 21st CCLC programs nationwide improve and refine their practices,” said Norrell-Nance. “The DOE expects to release the guides in late 2013.”
The Family Success Centers are funded by the Atlantic County Children and Families Initiative, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Department of Children and  Families and various private foundations. 

For more information about the AtlantiCare Behavioral Health Family Success Centers visit www.atlanticare.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000 or find AtlantiCare on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atlanticare.



Media Contact: Jennifer Tornetta, 609-569-7010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,461employees and 600 physicians serve the community in more than 60 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008.

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