Category: May 2024

A man in a red shirt coloring alongside a boy with blue glasses and a yellow, blue, and black t-shirt. They are both looking down at the coloring page together. On the far left and far right are school staff. In the background, there is classroom shelving.

Studio Arc and Stepping Stones School Team Up for Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, Day Program participants at Studio Arc gathered broken old crayons and melted them to create new crayons, and then delivered them to Stepping Stones School for a coloring session together. A group of seven Day Program participants visited the school on April 22, stopping first at the Preschool classroom, then Transition Kindergarten, and then the Primary classroom. At each stop, the adult consumers sat down with students in the class and colored Earth Day-themed pages together. Prior to the visit, the children had learned about the concepts of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and about the process of [...]

Read More
Seven boys wearing white shirts that say "5K" on the front right side are walking together. Two are blocked by the boys in the front walking row. A lake is visible behind them, and people are walking along the lakeside path behind them in the distance.

The Arc of Essex County Raises Over $70,000 at the 26th Annual Building Tomorrows Event

Under sunny skies and with cherry blossoms in bloom, hundreds of runners and walkers gathered at the Clipper Pavilion in West Orange for The Arc of Essex County’s 26th Annual Building Tomorrows 5K Run, Family Walk, and Fun Fest on Saturday, April 27, 2024. The event, which raised more than $70,000 for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the greater Essex County area, also featured a Fun Fest with games and activities for all ages. For the 5K race, the overall winners in the male division were Tristin DeVincenzo in first place with a time of 17:10, followed [...]

Read More
In an industrial restaurant kitchen, a group of people are standing on opposite sides of a long metal prep table. Each is wearing a dark gray shirt (with one wearing a black-and-white checkered shirt). All are wearing light blue gloves as they fold cloth napkins.

Job Club Begins Restaurant Training

Members of the Job Club at West Caldwell Hub began their six-week prevocational training at The Office Tavern & Grill in East Hanover as part of a partnership between The Arc of Essex County and the 40 North Restaurant Group. Five WCHUB day program participants attended their first training session at The Office on April 25, where they received uniform shirts and tied on restaurant aprons before taking notes on the types of tasks they might be asked to complete in a restaurant setting. Kendra Mohan, the district manager for 40 North Restaurants, then led the group around the restaurant, teaching [...]

Read More
Three vertical photos: On the left, a boy in a white shirt playing a xylophone with a girl in a purple sweatshirt; center, a girl's in a blue shirt and wearing braids painting a puppet with pink paint; on the right, a boy in a blue shirt playing a keyboard.

New Classes for Children and Teens at Studio Arc

During the month of April, a variety of new classes at Studio Arc were launched for children and teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Running through the end of June, Animal Yoga and Tumble Ninjas take place from 4 to 5 p.m. on alternating Tuesdays at Studio Arc for children ages 6 to 12. In the Animal Yoga classes, which started on April 2, young yogis learn simple animal and nature poses to stretch, move, and calm their bodies and minds. (Register at Tumble Ninjas, which started on April 9, combines different elements of circus yoga, mixed martial arts, and [...]

Read More
Four cards across a wooden background: Left to right: an "On Your Special Day Mr. & Mrs." card with a turquoise background and white lettering, a pink "Happy Mother's Day" card with white lettering; a gold, brown, and black "Congrats GRAD" card; and a "Happy Father's Day" card with a blue and green background and green lettering. The Studio Arc logo is shown below the cards.

Studio Arc Handmade Cards for Sale at Local Businesses

Shoppers at stores in Montclair and Morristown can now pick up handcrafted greeting cards designed by artisans from Studio Arc. The General Store in Montclair and Just Jersey in Morristown now both carry seasonal cards made by Arc artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The cards feature a variety of themes, including birthday, graduation, weddings, get well, sympathy, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. They were crafted using mixed media and an embossing machine. Studio Arc provides visitors with opportunities to engage in a wide range of visual and creative arts classes. If you are interested in learning more about the exciting and [...]

Read More
Three clear plastic boxes with white lids in a row. Flower, rainbow, heart, and star stickers are visible on the top and sides of the boxes. Inside, a box of hot chocolate, a mug, gloves, and tissues are among the items shown.

Newark Students Donate Care Packages for Residents

With their “Love in a Tub” service-learning project, students from the Avon Avenue School in Newark gathered a variety of gift items and assembled kits to donate to residents in The Arc of Essex County group homes this spring. Each class at the school filled a plastic container with gifts such as winter gloves, activity books, hand lotion, socks, scarves, small blankets, mugs, tea, coffee, and hot cocoa. They also included a cheerful card with a note from the students. More than a dozen “Love in a Tub” kits were given to residents in different group homes, including Beechtree, Millburn, Green [...]

Read More
Fifteen adults are standing across a colorful painted scene that looks like the inside of an arcade game, with buttons and joysticks. Across the top are the words "Super Arcade."

Adult Recreation enjoys TILT Museum, T-Shirt Making, and Arcades

Participants in The Arc of Essex County’s Adult Recreation programs enjoyed a bustling April that featured a variety of engaging activities. On April 7, a Community Inclusion group took a trip to the incredible TILT Museum at American Dream, where they explored the interactive 3D exhibits and stepped into optical illusions painted by world-renowned urban art master Tracy Stum. Whether surfboard riding or jumping into a video game screen, every stop on the visit featured an imaginative adventure. The following week, a group gathered at Studio Arc on April 14 for a t-shirt making session, where they created patriotic shirts with their [...]

Read More
Background goes from blue on the left to orange on the right. Profile of an orange cartoon person's head with their mouth open and the state of New Jersey outlined like a thought bubble in white. Wording says: New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project & Statewide Self-Advocacy Network. A program of The Arc of New Jersey since 1983. Promoting Advocacy and Independence for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Self-Advocacy Group Honored for Video

Participants in The Arc of Essex County’s Self-Advocacy Club finished in second place in the New Jersey Self-Advocacy Project (NJSAP) video contest and were celebrated at the group’s annual luncheon in April. The video, in which three Arc Day Program consumers share what self-advocacy means to them, was part of a contest sponsored by NJSAP in honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March. The group’s video secured dozens of votes via social media “likes,” and participants were pleased with their silver-medal finish. The Self-Advocacy Clubs meet at Arc Day Programs and cover various topics about how individuals advocate for themselves [...]

Read More
Blue background with green and yellow faint bubbles. Text says Arc Staff In Focus: Toshonda Johnson-Hall, Assistant Director of Children & Family Services. On the left, a photo of a woman in black with glasses and a necklace. On the right, a photo of a woman with her arm out to the side, standing next to a smiling man in a hat, in front of a green spherical sprinkler on the splash pad at Camp Hope.

Staff Spotlight: Toshonda Johnson-Hall

In 1998, Toshonda Johnson-Hall was working as a Payless store manager when residents from one of The Arc of Essex County’s group homes stopped in to buy new shoes. Toshonda began chatting with the residential staff and soon learned about The Arc’s day programs. With three young children at home, she was interested in a different working schedule, but she also was inspired by watching the dynamic between The Arc staff and consumers and thought the day program might be a good fit for her. Before long, Toshonda was on board as a floating staff member between The Arc’s Avenues and [...]

Read More
Yellow background with white bubbles on either side. Text says "THANK YOU for your generous support: The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, The Lillian Schenck Foundation"

Montclair Group Home and Camp Hope Receive Generous Grants

The Arc of Essex County is grateful to announce the recent awarding of two grants that will support adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Arc programs. The Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement granted $9,250 to The Arc’s Washington Avenue group home in Montclair, which will be used to purchase and install a sump pump and French drain for the residence. The Lillian Schenck Foundation granted $4,000 for Camp Hope’s 2024 season and its fee-assistance project. Camp Hope is a summer camp that has provided a fun camp experience for children and adults with IDD for more than 65 [...]

Read More