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‘They get all the skills they need.’ Newark’s Rising Stars program provides summer structure

The Rising Stars program offer 150-200 campers a wide range of activities for eight weeks of the summer for children ages 5 to 13.

Matt Trapani

Jul 24, 2023, 9:31 PM

Updated 325 days ago

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One of the best-kept secrets in the City of Newark is its Rising Stars summer program.
The summer camp is the idea of former city all-state football player Naazir Jackson. The camp has grown far beyond sports.
Jackson is currently a Newark firefighter. In fact, the Firefighter Explorer Program meets at the camp at George Washington Carver Elementary School every Wednesday to speak to the campers about fire safety.
The Rising Stars program offer 150-200 campers a wide range of activities for eight weeks of the summer for children ages 5 to 13. It is the only program of its kind in Newark’s South Ward.
Jackson says that the kids are at the camp up to 10 hours per day, so important that he provides a high-quality program.
“They get fun. They get all the skills they need. They get all the work they need…they can be doing all types of things in here. They get to work on their whole craft. If you’re a basketball player, you’re doing all your drills here. If you’re a football player – all your drills here. Baseball, soccer, dance – everything gets done here during the course of the day,” says Jackson.
The program also raises money. It has raised $53,000 in scholarships for past campers who were going off to college. They hope to raise another $8,000 for another eight campers to attend college.


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