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Home Cranbury Press Cranbury Press News CRANBURY: Happiness on the hardwood – new PTO afterschool program scores high marks

CRANBURY: Happiness on the hardwood – new PTO afterschool program scores high marks

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CRANBURY: Happiness on the hardwood – new PTO afterschool program scores high marks
<p>The “Cranbury Basketball All-Stars” are shown wearing the t-shirts that were made for the class. Clockwise from the back are Sawyer Klein

By Amy Batista, Special Writer
CRANBURY – The Cranbury PTO offered a new afterschool program, called Cranbury Basketball All-Stars, this spring that found a way provide additional funding to benefit its programs while at the same time teaching the children teamwork, sportsmanship and respect for the game.
“This winter, the Cranbury Recreation Department sponsored a basketball program run by the company On The Court (X-perience) (OTC) owned by Jim and Wendy Manaskie,” said PTO member Celeste Scott, who will be taking over as the PTO director of programming during the next school year.
Ms. Scott’s children, Carter and Hayden, along with many of their friends, participated in the program, she said.
“The kids and parents loved it,” said Ms. Scott. “Jim and his team strike a perfect balance between teaching teamwork, sportsmanship and respect for others while providing and environment where the kids have a blast playing basketball.”
She said that since her kids and their friends enjoyed the program so much and it was so closely aligned with the Cranbury School principles, she wanted to bring it to the school as an afterschool program so that other children could experience it as well.
“During my discussions with Jim and Wendy, I learned that their program provides a revenue sharing plan that gives 20 percent of all proceeds to the PTO,” she said, adding that she found this to be a great opportunity to enhance the many programs that the PTO offers.
Ms. Scott hopes that the proceeds will be used to fund the many PTO sponsored programs offered to the Cranbury School community such as educational assemblies for students, grants for teacher enrichments, teacher supplies, teacher appreciation week, career day and academic competitions.
“I proposed the idea to both Michelle Baird and Sasha Weinstein, co-presidents of the PTO as well as Michelle Waldron, vice principal of the Cranbury School,” said Ms. Scott.
She said that everyone was enthusiastic and supportive of bringing the program to the school.
This seven- or eight-week program offers one hour weekly sessions that are tailored to both first time and experienced players.
“Programs are held directly after school on-site in public and private school gyms,” she said.
There are 21first- and second-grade children enrolled in the program. OTC’s coaches meet students immediately after dismissal inside the school and provide working parents an additional level of flexibility as well as a fun activity for kids who otherwise would have been placed in the general after-care program.
“I am very appreciative of the ongoing efforts of the school administration and staff,” she said. “This is the first year of the program, but based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the kids, parents, and the PTO, we are hoping to continue the program in the future.”
Ms. Scott said she enjoyed seeing the kids having fun, learning teamwork and sportsmanship and ultimately learning how to play basketball.
“It’s an enjoyable afterschool athletic experience that’s fun for students and a great way to raise funds for the Cranbury PTO,” she said. “The parents are enjoying it as well and have asked for more of these programs to be brought to the school.”