Camp Zama's Student Activity Center aces accreditation

Ariana Inniss, 8, hugs Marino Nakanowatari, a caregiver in the art room, at the Camp Zama Student Activity Center Feb. 22. (Photo Credit: Photo by Wendy Brown, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs)
Ariana Inniss, 8, hugs Marino Nakanowatari, a caregiver in the art room, at the Camp Zama Student Activity Center Feb. 22. (Photo Credit: Photo by Wendy Brown, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs)

Camp Zama's Student Activity Center aces accreditation

by Wendy Brown
U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs

CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Feb. 25, 2019) -- When parents send their children to the Camp Zama Student Activity Center, they want to be able to go to work and focus on their mission without having to worry. According to the center's most recent accreditation report, they can do just that.

The Council on Accreditation is an international, independent and nonprofit accrediting organization headquartered in New York City, and Richard Klarberg, the organization's president and chief executive officer, congratulated the center's director, Tara Paprzycki, Feb. 13 on earning another four-year accreditation.

"Accreditation demonstrates that your program is recognized as an after-school provider that successfully implements high performance standards and, as such, is delivering the highest quality services to all of its children, youth and families," said Klarberg in an email to Paprzycki.

The accreditation took a year of preparation, and the SAC staff did so well that the organization expedited the accreditation, according to Klarberg.

The SAC received no out-of-compliance ratings in any of the fundamental practice or core standards, according to Klarberg.

"Congratulations on this amazing achievement," Klarberg wrote.

The center provides before- and after-school care for 82 children, Paprzycki said, although only a handful come to the facility before school.

The accreditation tells parents they are sending their children to a facility that provides quality programming in a safe, nurturing environment, Paprzycki said.

"Our mission statement is to reduce the conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibilities, so our whole goal is for parents to be able to go to work and focus on the mission without having to worry about their child," Paprzycki said. "So this is just one more layer on top of that telling a parent they don't have to worry about their child because this is a quality program."

Jared Barrick, coordinator, Child and Youth Services, U.S. Army Garrison Japan, said he is proud of the accreditation and it shows that Camp Zama parents are receiving quality child care that is comparable to what they would be receiving stateside.

"They passed (the accreditation process) with amazing, flying colors," Barrick said.

Paprzycki said the center offers children a wide range of activities.

The after-school portion of care starts at 3:30 p.m. with the "Power Hour," which gives children an opportunity to do their homework with the assistance of a staff member, Paprzycki said.

"If they participate during that time they can earn Power Hour points, and then at the end of the quarter we have a store where they can buy prizes from the store using their Power Hour points," Paprzycki said. "So it's just an incentive to get them to do their homework while they are here."

After that, the center offers a wide array of other activities.

Children can go to the computer lab for technology-based activities; the gym for exercise; the performing arts room to work on plays or other performances; the arts and sciences room for creative endeavors; or they can go outside to participate in the gardening club or to the kitchen for the cooking club, Paprzycki said.

Paprzycki began working at the center in June 2015, but she was in Japan during the center's last accreditation and since her son attended, she volunteered to help them through the process.

"I'm very proud of the program," Paprzycki said. "I'm proud of the staff here; they're phenomenal. The fact that the reviewer was able to see that when she came, it really shows that they really do care about what they do and they care about the kids here."

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