Category: June 2024

Dark gray background with The Arc of Essex County logo alongside a white square box that says "Platinum Transparency 2024" and "Candid."

The Arc of Essex County Earns Platinum Seal of Transparency

The Arc of Essex County is proud to announce that the agency has earned a Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency on GuideStar, the highest level of recognition possible. The Arc achieved this rating by sharing a range of information with GuideStar, including organizational details, financial documents, data, and strategic goals. This rating is in addition to being rated a four-star nonprofit organization on Charity Navigator. Such evaluations from groups like GuideStar and Charity Navigator signal that donors can be confident contributions to The Arc of Essex County are being used responsibly and effectively. Visit to view the different ways you can [...]

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A man and woman standing on an athletic track. Both are wearing white 5K shirts and runner's bibs. The man is wearing a navy baseball cap and the girl has her hair in a braid.

Day Programs Get Moving (and Cheering) During Fitness Races

It was a beautiful sunny day for runners, joggers, and walkers from all four of The Arc of Essex County’s Day Programs as they made their way around the track at the Underhill Sports Complex in Maplewood for their annual fitness races on May 22. The event featured four track competitions—two running or jogging and two walking—and each participant got to choose which one (or ones) to participate in. Wearing their bib numbers on t-shirts from The Arc’s Building Tomorrows 5K, those on the track pushed themselves and smiled proudly as they broke through streamer finish lines. The top three finishers [...]

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A daughter and mother hold pizza pies in front of a pizza oven food truck. Both are wearing glasses, the girl on the left is in a black shirt, the woman on the right is in a yellow shirt.

The Candle Lighters Bring Family Fun to Stepping Stones School

Parents, siblings, and grandparents of students gathered at Stepping Stones School on May 16 for a special “Family Fun Day” sponsored by The Candle Lighters. Students and their families were treated to lunch from the Pizza Vita Food Truck before gathering around tables in the school’s multipurpose room to eat together. Throughout the afternoon, families enjoyed art activities, games, and performances. The children loved dancing with their families as dance teacher Miss Leslie led the children in movement and song, ending the session with a read aloud of the book “Be You!” by Peter Reynolds. The day also included a visit [...]

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Four women standing together in a carnival, with a Ferris Wheel visible behind them.

Kiwanis Karnival Hosts Arc Families

The Arc of Essex County thanks the Kiwanis Club of Livingston for once again hosting a joyful day at the Kiwanis Karnival for Arc program participants and their families. On May 18, the Kiwanis Karnival celebrated “Barry Ross Arc Day” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by closing the event to the general public and welcoming consumers and families from The Arc of Essex County. More than 300 people registered through The Arc of Essex County to enjoy the event on this special occasion, including participants in the Children’s Saturday Respite, Adult Saturday Respite, Hotel Respite, and Residential programs, as well [...]

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A group of 16 adults gather together and smile with the backdrop of a Jersey Shore Boardwalk behind them.

New Programs and Fun Outings for Adult Recreation

With a new “Tasty Treats” cooking class series, a revamped “Matinee and Mingle” movie club, and a variety of fun activities and outings, it was a busy spring season for participants in The Arc of Essex County's Adult Recreation Program. The May Madness party for Group Respite on May 5 featured games that encouraged creativity, independent thinking, learning, and role playing. The participants played bingo and other board games to win prizes, and also enjoyed a festive taco bar in honor of Cinco de Mayo. The party was a great way to celebrate the spring season and have fun with friends. On [...]

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Dark background with the words "Spring Into Tech: 2024 Spring Appeal" on the right and a blue pixelated butterfly on the left.

Spring Into Tech with The Arc of Essex County’s Spring Appeal

For some, it’s a headset and microphone, primed for an enthusiastic podcast discussion about a subject that is near and dear. For others, it’s music production software for creating new sounds and making adjustments to favorite songs. For a group of children, it could be a touchscreen that enables interactive lessons, combining hands-on STEAM activities with virtual learning.  No matter the age or the interest, when someone is given the right technological tools and permission to explore, the world opens up and possibilities are unlocked. The options are as boundless as cyberspace and as varied as the unique individuals with intellectual and [...]

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Three people stand around a garden bed, holding gardening tools. A white fence is visible behidn them.

Volunteers Bring Green Thumbs to Arc Group Homes

For more than a decade, Al Ianacone and Susan Langler have been bringing beauty, nutrition, and flavor to the Arc group homes by planting gardens for residents, and this year was no exception. With the help of Susan’s husband Frank, the group installed gardens at Cedar Grove and Linden group homes and the Claremont Apartments, planting several types of tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, broad-leaf parsley, and marigolds. Donating their time, skills, and plants, the trio carefully prepared the soil, planted the seedlings, and watered the gardens, and in the coming days they plan to put down some special powder to repel rabbits [...]

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Black background with the words "The Arc Spotlight: Clinton" and a light shining on the name "Clinton." A photo of a man in a dark blue shirt. The Arc of Essex County logo on bottom right.

Arc Spotlight: Clinton

In 2023, Clinton moved into his own apartment in The Arc of Essex County’s Park Place Apartment Program in Irvington, and in the year since, he’s enjoyed a balance of personal autonomy and staff support. “It’s my first time living on my own and it’s been great,” he says. Clinton, who is 33 years old, is active in various sports leagues and has regular visits with family. He is currently looking for a job, and travels to his activities and appointments using public transit. He has made friends among the nine other Arc residents who live in the Park Place apartments and [...]

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A floral border around three photos: A woman standing by her desk, two women standing side by side, and a woman holding a large picture frame. Text says "Congratulations on your retirement, Anitra!"

Anitra Wilson Retires from The Arc of Essex County

After nearly 50 years of employment and a variety of roles in the agency, Anitra Wilson has retired from The Arc of Essex County. Anitra was 19 years old when she first started working in The Arc’s Home Assistance Program (HAP) after seeing an ad in the newspaper in 1974. Soon after, she was promoted to childcare specialist. She has been on The Arc team over the decades since, most recently working as Safety Manager for the Transportation and Property Management department. In her time working in the HAP, she focused on the babies in Arc programs and assisted families with everyday [...]

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A photo of several books lined up, with a small globe ball wearing a graduation cap sitting on top of one of the books. On the top right, the Rock the 21 logo.

Scholarship Opportunity Now Available

Rock the 21, a New Jersey-based nonprofit and supporter of The Arc of Essex County, is bringing back its “Rockin’ Scholar” Scholarship Program for people with Down syndrome. The organization’s mission is to raise awareness about Down syndrome, encourage inclusion of people with Down syndrome and to provide support and services for people with Down syndrome and their families. The scholarship program started in 2023 to help finance higher education and/or employment training for people with Down syndrome. Applicants must have a Down syndrome diagnosis and be enrolled in a certificate or undergraduate course of study at an accredited two- or [...]

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