Cindy Schaffer has been an Instructor with Rutgers Community Programs since 2000. She teaches Handprints, Cindy and Lesley’s Workshop, and Once Upon an Artist, where children learn about famous artists, while creating their own work. Cindy also teaches in the Friends2gether program for newly and nearly 2s. Cindy has a BA from NYU and an MA from Columbia University.
Cindy says: “I have the best job in the world! Watching young children paint for the first time brings me great job because they can express themselves before they can even speak. Our art studio allows children of all ages (and adults, too!) the freedom to create, imagine and play. I love helping people find their inner artist.”
Lesley Countryman began as an instructor at Rutgers in 2003. She teaches Cindy and Lesley’s Workshop and Once Upon an Artist. Lesley is also the Community Programs Outreach Advisor, handling marketing and outreach efforts for our programs. After a career as a performing artist in dance, theater, film and television, she taught in the afterschool program at PS9. Lesley has a BA from Connecticut College.
Lesley says: “I love being an instructor at Rutgers because I get to witness uncensored joy of discovery — every day.”
Somer Adams has been an Instructor at Rutgers since 2007. She teaches in the Ready, Set, Go! and Ready, Set, Go Jr programs. As a performing artist Somer has been in national and international road shows of several Broadway musicals. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York and holds a teacher’s associate degree from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.
Somer says: “The team of staff at Rutgers Community Programs are wonderful and I am thrilled to that I have the opportunity to work alongside them. After many years of teaching, I am a firm believer that through play, art and theater, children are able to grow as individuals, improving self-expression and promoting good self-esteem. I am thrilled to work for a program dedicated to the development of children, and passionate about doing so in a warm and creative environment.”
Denise LeDonne has been working with Rutgers since 2006,, working as an instructor in the On My Own Playgroups and the Ready, Set, Go and Ready, Set Go Jr programs. Denise has more than 20 years of experience as a performing artist in dance, theater, and television. She has a BA from Montclair State College.
Denise says: “I never tire of the perspective of a child, and find that their special clarity on any topic is what fascinates and energizes me as an instructor at Rutgers.”
Shadrach Fher is a native of Patagonia, Argentina. He has played college and professional soccer in his native country. In New York, he founded the popular Soccer by Coach Fher program, offered at schools and churches throughout the city. His classes are offered during the fall and winter at Rutgers. He has been teaching soccer at Rutgers Community Programs since 2002.
Jennifer Moore is an instructor in Babyplay, Friends2gether and the On My Own Program for 2s. She has been with Rutgers Community Programs since 2007, and attended our Playgroups and worked as a group leader when her own daughter was younger. Jennifer is also the Programs Coordinator handling registration and communications. She has a BA from NYU.
Jennifer says: “Every day the children make me laugh! Their joy, playfulness and energy are infectious, and it’s very gratifying to see them learning and growing over the course of a semester or a year. It’s also nice to encourage and support parents as they navigate their way through everything from sleepless nights to preschool applications.”
Therese is the Programs Assistant at Rutgers Community Programs, working as an instructor in the Ready, Set, Go! program as well as assisting in art and other classes. She runs her own Zumba program, where children as young as 3 learn Zumba. Therese has a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M, has taught third grade, and is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College.
Emilia is an instructor in the On My Own Program for 2s. She has taught music to children fro infancy to 4 years old, and has a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from Julliard. Emilia plays multiple instruments, is a working composer, and volunteers as a youth peer counselor and a companion to the elderly.