Please join us for a celebration honoring PrimeTime‘s 25th Anniversary on February 28th during the 10:00am service at the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, NJ. Following the service we will be having cake and treats made by the PrimeTime children. Did you know that PrimeTime was started as a mission of the church to help the growing number of families that needed a safe, nurturing place for their children when the school day ended and they were able to get home from work? There were just 11 students in that first year—but today FPC’s educational buildings are filled with after-school students throughout the school year and well as during summer camp. Primetime offers before school care inside Cranford’s local elementary schools too!
PrimeTime through our the years, as lived and witnessed by Virginia Waters, Program Co-Founder:
PRIMETIME IS IN ITS PRIME!
In answer to the question, “Where did God show up in your life?” I would have to say that is was through God’s whisper that PrimeTime was conceived, created, nourished and grew. Approximately 26 years ago, the Social Outreach committee was attempting to create a program that could benefit the community. We decided that since Cranford had no after school child care programs, and the Board of Education was not inclined to create such a program, and we here at this Church had the prefect space for a program, that we would provide an after school childcare program for the school aged children of Cranford.
God’s hand was evident in this project from the beginning. Carolyn Ferolito and I began to build PrimeTime. The Session accepted our proposal and offered the space in the Church as part of its mission outreach. Karin Burk approached us and jumped on board as our first Director and one of our prime architects. In a casual conversation at the Orange Avenue pool a friend mentioned she was interested in rejoining the work force and was excited about the concept of PrimeTime and building a program from the bottom up. She was hired as our first staff person. We then received a donation from a foundation that provided us with enough seed money to purchase supplies and announce our existence to the community. We ourselves were surprised that we were able to open our doors after just a few months of praying and planning with 2 staff members and 7 children, on a wing and a prayer and with God’s grace.
Well, here we are 25 years later, still going strong and still growing stronger each year. From the beginning we knew we wanted to offer something special, we wanted to provide childcare in a homelike setting with staff who really cared about children and their well-being. PrimeTime expanded eventually to include before school childcare, after Kindergarten care and a summer program. I was President of the Board of Directors for 20 years and PrimeTime is one of those experiences in my life which always opens my heart. We have had many talented and dedicated staff and Board Members but I think I will always place Karin Burk at the heart of PrimeTime and all it has provided to hundreds of children and parents over the years. Did we really build this program? Yes we did – with the grace of God the love and inspired leadership of many, and the generosity of the Church.