What is Side Door?
Side Door is an after-school drop-in program for Montclair middle-school students which provides a fun alternative to “hanging out” Uptown or being home alone.
Who can come?
Any Montclair middle-school student (in grades 6 – 8)
When is it open?
Most Fridays after school from 2:15 – 5:00 pm (click here for a calendar with the exact dates)
Where is it?
176 Cooper Ave. in Upper Montclair (Union Congregational Church).
How many kids come?
It depends on the week… last year we averaged about 55 kids/week
Can new kids come?
We have new kids signing up every week. We love new kids.
What do you do there?
Lots of stuff! We have ping-pong, foosball, air hockey, Wii Let’s Dance and RockBand, the MAM Art Truck, movies, basketball and other outdoor sports (weather permitting), board games, crafts and quiet activities, parties….. Come check it out!
Is there food?
We always have free snacks and water, plus pizza for $1/slice, soda for $.50 and candy and snacks for sale.
Can I leave and come back?
You can come and go as often as you wish… we just ask that you do so quietly and that you sign in and out each time.
Are there rules?
You must: sign in each time you arrive, sign out each time you leave, wear a nametag, and cooperate with the adults and other volunteers. You are expected to respect yourself, respect others, and to respect the Side Door space. If you are unable to follow these rules, we may ask you to leave. Other than that, just have fun!
Does it cost anything to attend?
While attendance is free, we depend on donations from families to run this program. Last year Side Door cost over $20,000 to run. Please donate.
What do I have to do to come?
Show up! After a few weeks we will need a completed registration form on file for each child (click here to print a PDF or fill out the form online). Both the parent and child need to fill it out. You can mail it to the church or bring it when you come (do NOT turn it in at school!).
If mailing in a registration form, mail to:
UNION CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
176 Cooper Ave., | Montclair, NJ 07043 | www.unioncong.org | 973-744-7424/fax 973 744-1364
Side Door Highlights for parents and caregivers:
Side Door is run by Union Congregational Church, with significant support from COPE Center and with generous grants from the church, Montclair Fund for Women, Montclair Foundation, Montclair Community Intervention Alliance (Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse), and the MFEE. Supervision is provided by our staff, MSU and MHS student volunteers, and adult volunteers.
We ALWAYS welcome parents who can spend an hour or two (selling sodas, monitoring sign-in, etc.), so please email us or give us a call. In addition, we cannot exist without monetary donations, or donations of soda and/or snacks. Contact the director (info below) if you would like to donate snacks or drinks. Last year the program cost over $20,000 to run.
To register your child, complete the form online by clicking here or simply fill out the printed registration form at that link (both sides!) and have your child hand it in when he/she comes to Side Door, or mail it directly to the church. Do NOT send it in to the school. We MUST have a completed form on file for your child to attend after the first few weeks.
Side Door attendees are expected to abide by our rules and to conduct themselves in a responsible and safe manner. They must sign in each time they arrive, sign out each time they leave, and wear a nametag while on church property or at the Park House. (See the registration form for a list of the 6 rules.)
If you need to reach your child during Side Door, please make arrangements to contact them via cell phone. While there is a phone for outgoing calls, it is not possible to reach your child via the church’s phone number. Please do NOT call the church to reach your child.
You can try the Director’s cell phone (below) but we cannot guarantee it will be answered.
Please note that we close PROMPTLY at 5 pm. If you think you might be late, make arrangements to meet your child at an alternate pick-up site (such as the Bellevue MPL Branch or Starbucks). Your child CANNOT remain on church property after 5 pm. If a backpack or jacket is left behind, contact the director (info below) to arrange a pick-up time.You can also follow us on Facebook: (MontclairSideDoor). Emergency calendar changes are posted there. You do NOT have to have a Facebook account to access our page.
973 809-9581 (cell)
176 Cooper Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07043
973-744-7424/fax 973 744-1364