Dance Mogul Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with FOCUS Program Coordinator Dorine Francis. She helped us to see the need for more programs like FOCUS and how they are needed now more than ever. With constant budget cuts across the country, Education and the Arts seem to be taking the most losses.
Ms.Francis oversees the Sussex Ave School after school site. Sussex Ave school was the pilot for the learning program FOCUS provides. She has been with FOCUS since 2005. The Youth and Family Development Division offers innovative programs to youth and families with a significant need for assistance. The Division provides quality Educational services for children before and after school, as well as during the summer months. Counseling sessions are provided, both, on an individual basis and for the families as a group. Parenting workshops and referral services are also available to those families requiring temporary or permanent assistance. The objective of the Division is to provide youth and families with enriching experiences that broaden perspectives, improve socialization and enhance skills to improve the overall quality of life.
Ms.Francis really stressed to us the importance of wanting the children to be able to travel more and go on more trips. They only go on trips once every three months. She brought us back to her childhood and helped us to see how traveling a lot at a young age helped her become more diverse and well rounded and she knows how much it would help the kids of Newark NJ if they could see past what is in front of them every day. For more on FOCUS, you can check out www.FOCUS411.org