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ASAS New Jersey and Achieve Community Charter School Announce the Creation of "Laylah's Garden"


Newark, New Jersey

In June of 2022, After-School All-Stars New Jersey, Achieve Community Charter School, and the entire Newark community suffered a massive loss when Laylah Clark, a vibrant student from Achieve, passed away due to a drowning accident.

In remembrance of Laylah, we are proud to unveil the creation of "Laylah's Garden" at Mildred Helms Park. This garden, made possible in part through the generous support of a Community Garden Grant from Whole Foods, will stand as a symbol of hope, growth, and solace for the community in which Laylah once resided. Adorned with aromatic herbs, welcoming bird houses, and vibrant flowers, Laylah's Garden will forever remind us of our beloved student who touched our lives in countless ways.

“Laylah was a vibrant student who embodied the very essence of beauty, inspiration, and kindness. This garden will stand in honor of her incredible spirit and will serve as a lasting tribute to her memory,” said Nicole Harris, Regional Executive Director of After-School All-Stars.

“At After-School All-Stars we believe in the transformative power of building strong communities and in the impact strong communities can have on children’s lives. It is our duty to ensure that Laylah’s legacy continues to resonate within the hearts and minds of our community, inspiring all to make a lasting difference.”

"Laylah had an immeasurable impact on our lives and is still part of our Achieve community. Not only will the garden serve as an honorarium to her, it will also be a place for her classmates to learn about and grow healthy fruit and vegetables,” said Mandissa Brudey, Principal at Achieve Community Charter School. Students who attend Achieve also attend the afterschool program at After-School All-Stars New Jersey (ASAS NJ), where they participate in daily project-based enrichment including cooking, gardening, and more. “The establishment of Laylah's Garden allows our All-Stars Students to cultivate a strong community bond while nurturing their green thumbs” - Dr. Naima Ricks Executive Director of After-School All-Stars New Jersey.

In tribute to Laylah’s legacy, After-School All-Stars and Achieve Community Charter School invite the Newark community to join us at Laylah’s Garden dedication ceremony on June 14, 2023, at 2:00pm at Mildred Helms Park (534-544 Clinton Ave, Newark, NJ 07108).

This event will feature performances by scholars from Achieve and members of the community.



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