CAMP YDP, a nonprofit organization that provides a preschool, after care and summer programs for the children of Paterson, has partnered with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey for the long-term mission of serving children and their families.
This is a bold step for CAMP YDP which has been serving and educating Paterson preschoolers and elementary children since 1959 when Rev. Maxwell Tow, a United Methodist pastor, founded the program.
CAMP YDP believes every child needs a healthy start to life. Healthy children’s lives are built around encouragement, affection, stable relationships, play, quality care and inspired education. CAMP YDP is taking the next steps in its development to give children a healthy start. The Paterson community has more than 12,000 preschoolers, with more than 5,000 of them living below the poverty line. CAMP YDP provides the tools for preschoolers and elementary children to excel educationally and equips them to engage well in life.
The partnership with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey means that CAMP YDP can set a course to strengthen its programs for the long term. The United Methodist Church has made a $70,000 investment in the program and is providing administrative services including financial, community development and communications support so that onsite staff can focus on programs and children.
Over the next six months CAMP YDP will also explore becoming a Hope Center as a part of A Future With Hope, a nonprofit organization under the umbrella of the UMC. As a Hope Center, CAMP YDP will be able to expand its reach in the community by collaborating with local residents, leaders and organizations to look holistically at the needs of children and families in Paterson.
CAMP YDP is re-evaluating the entire program, including staffing, as it progresses into the next phase of its development. It is also restructuring its classes, recruiting more children, and strengthening its educational program.
Bishop John Schol of the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey will be joining CAMP YDP staff for a series of meetings to share information and gather input.
A meeting for parents of children enrolled in the school is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 at CAMP YDP 13-15 N 1st Street in Paterson. At 6:30 p.m., the community is invited to join the discussion and meet the leadership of CAMP YDP. Child care will be available and light refreshments will be served.