The Project Launch Newton afterschool enrichment program recently initiated “Project 151: Food 4 Thought,” a fund drive which aims to provide daily nutritious snacks for hundreds of children.  The suggested individual donation of $151.00 will provide nourishing food for 151 children over the course of the school year. 


Students in grades 4 – 8 in the Newton school district are eligible to participate in the free afterschool enrichment program conducted by Project Self-Sufficiency in the Merriam Avenue and Halsted Middle Schools.   Children receive homework help and a healthy snack, and then participate in a variety of activities centered on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) themes.   Physical activities and other topics are incorporated into the curriculum.   Throughout the year, students create their own STEM City following the renowned MicroSociety curriculum, conduct a TREPS marketplace, and learn from volunteer mentors about careers, nutrition, personal safety and other topics.  Regular field trips to local attractions support the curriculum.  Monthly Family Fun Nights allow parents and siblings to enjoy dinner and learn about program activities and upcoming events. 

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“Every parent recognizes how much a child is in need of a nutritious snack after a long day at school.  Each donation of just $151.00 will give participating children the nourishment they need to make the most of our program day, which includes homework help, physical fitness activities, STEM programs, field trips, character-building curriculum, and more,” explains Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency, the non-profit organization which oversees the program.  “We want the students participating in Project Launch Newton to get the most they can out of the daily afterschool program.  We want their bodies as well as their minds to be well-fed so they can recognize and seize all of the possibilities ahead of them.”


Project Launch Newton is funded in its entirety with federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grant funds through a grant agreement with the New Jersey Department of Education.  More information about the Project Launch Newton program can be found at