Durice Jones first walked into the New York City Parks & Recreation - Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center, located in the neighborhood where she lives and grew up, while searching for an afterschool program for her oldest child. When she began working at the Center full-time in 2001, she spearheaded the development of the afterschool program as it currently operates, and began teaching the children about the park’s history and the resources it has to offer. Using the school day and the NYC education system as an example, Durice brought structure, organization, and high-quality afterschool programming to the children of her community, including her own kids. Now the Center Manager, Durice oversees programming and staff, cultivates community partnerships, and helps to create and maintain a nurturing and safe environment for the kids and teens living on the Lower East Side.
In 2005, Ms. Jones created the NYC Parks Happy Warriors Summer Day Camp, providing academic assistance, sports and fitness activities, and arts and crafts to local families, while creating jobs and volunteer positions for many of the teens in the neighborhood. Living and working in the same community, Durice understands the area’s needs and the importance of providing high-quality programming for the families who access the Center’s resources. The Day Camp, which is registered as a School Age Child Care program, provides free services and assistance to 40 families annually.
In addition to her role at the Recreation Center, Ms. Jones also currently serves as the Manhattan Borough Youth Program Coordinator and Recreation Supervisor for the NYC Parks and Recreation, where she oversees 13 afterschool programs throughout the city. Prior to her current roles, Durice worked as a Deputy Center Manager, also with the NYC Parks and Recreation.
Durice is currently being trained as a Master Trainer in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming through PASE’s “Taking Root: Strengthening STEM in Afterschool”. Through this training, she is helping to bring STEM topics to the afterschool programs at the Alfred E. Smith Recreation Center.