Category: November 2023

An airplane shown through an airport window with the "Wings for All" logo, The Arc of Essex County logo, and the words "Making the skies friendlier for everyone."

Wings for All Coming to Newark Airport on December 2

The Arc of Essex County, The Arc of New Jersey, and United Airlines have teamed up to bring Wings for All to Newark Liberty International Airport. Wings for All is an airport “rehearsal” program created to alleviate some of the stress individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families experience when traveling by air. The program helps ease family concerns regarding how their loved one will react to different stimuli in the airport, such as bright lights, noises, TSA security screening, and crowds. This program aims to give solutions to these concerns to make air travel easier. Wings for All also [...]

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A wide shot of open car trunks for trick or treating, with a teacher wearing a lime green onesie costume holding the hand of a preschooler dressed up as a doctor.

Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat Fun at Stepping Stones School

Students at Stepping Stones School celebrated the autumn season with an action-packed Fall Festival and a cheerful Halloween Trunk or Treat event. The annual Fall Festival, held under beautiful sunny skies on October 13, included a pumpkin patch, a straw-bale obstacle course, outdoor games, bubbles, and lots of smiles. Each class took turns exploring the different activity stations, prepared by Arc therapists and staff, and each student collected a pumpkin to take home. On October 31, the annual Trunk or Treat tradition featured a dozen creatively decorated car trunks—with innovative themes including Sesame Street, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Harry Potter—each assembled [...]

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Six adults standing in front of a red building with white window frames, and a display of fall flowers.

Trains, Pumpkins, Costumes, and More for Adult Recreation

The adults in The Arc of Essex County’s Community Inclusion, Recreation, and Respite activities had a busy October that featured a variety of seasonal events with their peers. On October 1, the group took a trip to the Caldwell Street Fair, put on by the local Rotary and Kiwanis organizations. There, participants enjoyed rides, entertainment, live music, arts and crafts, and shopping together. The group visited Northlandz Model Railroad Museum in Flemington on October 15, where they explored different miniature worlds and watched model trains cruise through different landscapes. It was a sunny day on October 22 when participants visited Alstede Farms in [...]

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A man dressed in the Michael Jackson Thriller costume and a woman dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, with van trunks open behind them with people trick-or-treating.

Fall Fun at Arc Day Programs

October was busy for The Arc of Essex County’s Day Program participants, who went on autumn excursions and celebrated the Halloween holiday together throughout the month. A group of SYA participants took a trip to Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, where they explored the animal exhibits and pet stingrays in the touch tank. An SYA group also visited Ort Farms in Long Valley, feeding farm animals and picking pumpkins that they later painted and decorated at the program center. Arc Day Program participants from Bridges, the Opportunity Zone, and West Caldwell Hub celebrated the autumn season with pumpkin crafts and [...]

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Four adult residents standing together in their Halloween costumes: (left to right) A cheeseburger, a Pringles can, a hippie, and Waldo in a red and white striped shirt.

Arc Residents Enjoy Fall Adventures

Residents in The Arc of Essex County’s group homes have been enjoying the autumn season together, with a mix of fun day trips and at-home celebrations. At the Nutley group home, residents took a trip to the Turtle Back Zoo, made cupcakes, hosted a game night, and dressed up in their Halloween costumes. Residents from the Washington Avenue group home in Montclair took a trip to Conklin Farm U-Pick, where they enjoyed visiting with farm animals and picking out pumpkins. The Belleville group home took a special trip to Medieval Times. And Cedar Grove residents dressed in costume for the Halloween [...]

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Studio Arc logo with the words "Holiday Card Sale" and five winter scenes created by Studio Arc artists using different materials.

Studio Arc Holiday Card Shop is Open!

Supporters of The Arc of Essex County can now spread holiday cheer that features winter scenes created by Studio Arc artisans! The Studio Arc Shop, which can be visited at, is selling a 10-pack of cards just in time for the holiday season. Each set costs $12 and features five vibrant winter scenes created by Arc artists Abby-Gale, Caryn, Felicia, Ronella, and Ruqayyah. The 5x7 cards include an image of the mixed-media canvas on the front and the artist’s bio on the back, and are blank inside. Two of each design are included in each pack, along with envelopes. Purchases can [...]

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Seven children standing together in their Halloween costumes.

A “Spooktacular” Time for Children’s Respite

Children and teens attending the Saturday Children’s Respite program marked Halloween with a special celebration on October 28. Attendees wore their Halloween costumes, painted pumpkins during arts and crafts time, participated in Zumba exercises, and danced to spooky music together to prepare for the holiday. The Children’s Saturday Respite Program is a community-based program for children ages 5 to 21. The program participates in both community-based and in-center activities including visits to parks, festivals, cooking, arts and crafts, and more. The in-center location is based out of Maplewood. To learn more, visit our Children’s Respite page or contact Assistant Director of [...]

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Four golfers waving with all green grass in the background. A golf cart is parked, with a PSEG logo on the front.

Clear Skies for the 3rd Annual Craft Beer Open

After a rainy-day postponement, The Arc of Essex County’s rescheduled Craft Beer Open on October 23 took place under beautiful sunny skies with an autumn-foliage backdrop for participants on the course. The 3rd annual event at the Crestmont Country Club featured a shamble-formant golf competition with on-course tastings from tasting partners Autodidact Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery, Dogfish Head, Four City Brewing, Links Drinks, and Owl’s Brew. After the golf was complete, participants enjoyed a cocktail reception that featured delicious food from the Crestmont Country Club, plus tastings from Chef Jesse Concepts, Q’Enko, Crumbl Cookies, and Organic Vintages wines. Guests also bid in [...]

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Yellow background with white bubbles on either side. Text says "THANK YOU for your generous support: The Bolger Foundation, The McCutchen Foundation, The Provident Bank Foundation."

The Bolger, McCutchen, and Provident Bank Foundations Award Grants to The Arc

The Arc of Essex County is pleased to announce three generous grants from foundations that will support Arc residents and campers. The Bolger Foundation donated $32,010 to The Arc of Essex County to replace HVAC systems in three group homes. The McCutchen Foundation donated $14,000 to install a new 24kw generator at the Wedgewood Drive group home in West Orange. The Provident Bank Foundation donated $2,500 to Camp Hope’s general operating budget. The Arc of Essex County extends its sincere appreciation to all three organizations for their kind support, which will make a difference in the lives of the individuals with intellectual and developmental [...]

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Ten people sitting on hay bales or standing together with autumn scenes displayed behind them. Everyone is holding a pumpkin.

Saturday Respite Visits Fall Festival

Participants in The Arc of Essex County’s adult Saturday Respite program were invited to Calvary Evangelical Free Church in Essex Fells on October 14 for a Fall Festival. Despite the rainy weather, the group enjoyed the autumn celebration, participating in tabletop games, crafts, and indoor pumpkin picking. The Arc thanks the Calvary congregation for putting together such a special event and including our Arc community. The Arc of Essex County’s Saturday respite program is a community integration program for adults that allows caregivers to take the time they need to relieve stress, restore energy, and manage family life. Our Saturday respite [...]

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