Current Initiatives

County Breakout Group

Youth Employment

The County Breakout Group is currently tackling the issue of Youth Employment. In 2017, The County Breakout Group created and launched the Cumberland County Custom Career Club (C5) Program. Since its launch, the C5 Curriculum has been offered at the Boys and girls Club in Vineland, Thunderbolt Academy, and Cumberland County Alternative Schools. About 100 youth have completed the program. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the C5 Workshops from both youth and the organizations offering the curriculum, the County Breakout Group is working on expanding the program to reach more youth. In addition, it has joined forces with the Cumberland County Workforce Development Board to assist with providing job opportunities, paid internships and hiring events for youth who complete the program.

Gun Safety and Violence Awareness

To help bring visibility to Gun Violence and Gun Safety, the County Breakout Group is also continuing its work on the Gun Safety and Violence Awareness Campaign. Thanks to the Group’s collaborative work with state representatives, June has been declared as Gun Safety and Violence Awareness Month statewide. June 2018, marked the 3rd year for this Initiative. In addition, Members are looking to expand the sites at which the Gun Safety Education and gun locks are administered, and designing supplemental activities in order to further engage community members.

PAL Initiative

Throughout 2018 and into 2019 the PAL Sub-Committee will be working diligently to provide Life Skills Training/Education to local youth. The primary Life Skills Trainings/Education will highlight, Safe Dating & Healthy Relationships, Job Readiness, Life After High School, and Financial Literacy. During summer 2019, the PAL-Sub-Committee will again be assisting the Cumberland County PALs to provide Play-Streets thought the County.

Safe Dating & Healthy Relationships was successfully launched over summer 2018 and now has progressed to reach far into the second quarter of the fiscal year. Safe Dating and Healthy Relationship trainings bring attention to methods of healthy communication, setting healthy boundaries, respect, and approaches to eliminate unhealthy behaviors. To ensure that these trainings provide quality education, they are performed by a certified staff member from the Center for Family Services.

The Job Readiness Life Skill consists of a Youth Employment Quick Facts Pamphlet and Facilitator’s Guide. Both of the Youth Employment Quick Facts Pamphlet and Facilitator’s Guide were created by CCPYDC members who have extensive experience in job readiness training. The purpose of the Youth Employment Quick Facts Pamphlet and Facilitator’s Guide is to allow for anyone to teach/learn about Job Readiness as a Life Skill. This Life Skill builds off the C-5 Curriculum that has been used around Cumberland County for the past year.

The Sub-Committee is currently working on a Life After High School Life Skill Pamphlet. The pamphlet will allow the reader to prepare for Life After High School by discussing four paths to having a successful future. Those paths include:

 Post-Secondary Education
 Apprenticeships
 Military
 Employment

Once the Life After High School Pamphlet is completed and approved by all Sub-Committee Members, the pamphlet will be disturbed to all PAL youth.

The Financial Literacy Life Skill is in the early stages of development. The PAL Sub-Committee has been reaching out and talking with individuals/agencies that offer financial literacy education. The PAL Sub-Committee recommended focusing the financial literacy presentations on the basics, which include banking, budgeting, credit card usage, saving for college, and financial aid.

Bridgeton Breakout Group

Youth Court

The Bridgeton Breakout Group is collaborating with Harcum College and Bridgeton Public Schools to establish a Youth Court at Bridgeton High School. Youth Court is a student-run, non-binding alternative not only to the regular juvenile court, but also the school disciplinary process for youth who have committed low-level, general misconduct offenses at school. Using restorative justice as a participatory tool, youth court students contribute to the well-being of their school and community. Bridgeton Youth Court will begin in Spring 2019 at Bridgeton High School as an afterschool program. The Breakout Group is working with Millville and Vineland to help them start their own Youth Courts in the future.

Play Streets

Play Streets is a program in which a residential street in an urban area is closed to cars and open to children residing in the city so they can play safely in their community. Through the summer, the Bridgeton Breakout Group will be focusing its effort on ensuring a safe place for youth to play each week. Play Streets will take place every Wednesday from July 18 to August 15 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at Riverfront Park in Bridgeton. Themes for this year include Bridgestock (Police Athletic League) and Back-to-School Bash (Family Success Center).

Gang Prevention

The Bridgeton Breakout Group is working with the Juvenile Justice Commission to incorporate the Phoenix Gang Prevention Curriculum into Bridgeton High School. Additionally, they have successfully taught Steered Straight’s Truth About Gang Curriculum after-school to a select group of 25 at-risk students at Bridgeton High School.

Barbershop Books

Members created their own Barbershop Books program in Bridgeton, a community-based program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops and provides early literacy training to barbers across America. 3 sites have been established in Bridgeton, 1 in Vineland, and 1 in Millville. Bridgeton Chair Mayor Kelly’s organization Gateway Community Action Partnership received book donations and a bookshelf which used for Barbershop Books. The Breakout Group is currently working on expanding the program throughout the county and creating an evaluation.  

Student Forum

As a result of feedback from Student Representatives, the Bridgeton Breakout Group worked with Bridgeton High School administration to establish a regular forum between students and administration at Bridgeton High School where youth can voice their constructive criticism. Together they selected a group of 12 at-risk students who will participate in the program beginning once a month in September with Bridgeton High School Principal Carl Dolente.

Summer Feeding

The success of last year’s Summer Feeding Program is being continued by the Bridgeton Breakout Group. The 2018 Program offered breakfast, early lunch, and late lunch/early dinner to Bridgeton Youth. Youth from the Next Generation Community Leaders program were employed to promote and facilitate the program. Additionally, The Mobile Feeding Truck was utilized again this year. They distributed fresh fruits and vegetables and also had a pop-up library as well as physical activities.

Millville Breakout Group

Play Streets

The City of Millville successfully completed their 3 year of Play Streets during the summer of 2018. Play Streets is a program in which a residential street in an urban area is closed to cars and open to children residing in the city, so that they can play safely in their community. Play Streets is a 6-week event held every Wednesday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM in the Center City section of Millville on Pine Street between second and 3rd street from July 11 – August 15. This year, Play Streets welcomed 1,203 children, 62 organizations, and 145 volunteers. During the six weeks of programming, 194 activities and games were offered, 275 book bags with 4,125 school supplies were dispersed, 2,400 snow cones were served, and 1,125 lunches were provided to youth who attended Play Streets.

Tobacco Recreation Ordinance

The Millville Breakout Group Members worked hard to pass a Tobacco Recreational Ordinance in the City, prohibiting smoking in recreational areas throughout the city in locations such as municipal complexes, recreational fields, and other public areas in Millville. Originally, Millville City Council was only going to approve and enforce this ordinance at the Millville Police Department and one park in the city. However, through immense community support and youth activism on the topic, the Millville City Council approved this ordinance, and made it applicable to all municipal complexes, recreational fields, and parks throughout the city of Millville. Signage informing individuals of this ordinance has been posted around the City of Millville at the end of May.

Vineland Breakout Group

Play Streets

The City of Vineland held its first Play Streets in the summer of 2018. This event was an initiative sponsored by the Vineland Police Department, the City of Vineland, and coordinated by the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition (CCPYDC). Play Streets is a car-free street that provides youth and communities with space for engaging in safe, active play and physical activity benefiting youth, residents, and the community. Vineland Play streets was held every Friday from June 29th – July 27th at the intersection of Sixth St. & E. Elmer St. Vineland Play Streets serviced 694 youth. On average 175 youth attended Play Streets each week.

The Play Streets Sub-Committee created a promotion video that will be utilized for next year.
Click here to see the video on YouTube.

Play Streets was also featured on SNJ Today.
Click here to see the video on YouTube.

Realities of Technology Campaign

The Vineland Breakout Group partnered with Vineland High School’s Search for Consciousness class to create a PSA explaining the dangers of sexting. The PSA, which is accompanied by a lesson plan created by CCPYDC, is now being shown in middle school classrooms and local youth groups.

Click here to see the PSA video on YouTube.

The Vineland Group has created a second edition of their Social Media Resource Guide. This guide was created by the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition’s (CCPYDC) Vineland Breakout Group for the education of parents and adult community members on current social media platforms, as well as the potential dangers associated with these websites and applications. Additionally, the guide serves to provide information on popular texting language and emoji meanings. Adults should use this guide to get a basic understanding of social media platforms, and to decipher different messages typically sent via text or emojis. The Social Media Resource Guide will be distributed across all Vineland Public School students, parents, teachers, and staff.