Category: September 2023

A boy in a white shirt covered in different colored paint, holding a spray bottle filled with red paint.

Camp Hope Fun Rolls Into August

Week after week this summer, campers have had the chance to try fun new experiences and enjoy an array of activities at Camp Hope, all tied into the weekly and daily themes organized by camp staff. August kicked off with Color Wars week, which featured color days (red and orange on Monday, yellow and green on Tuesday, and blue and purple on Wednesday, with associated crafts), followed by a rainbow-filled Thursday that included tie-dyeing, and the annual (very messy and fun!) color run and color war on Friday. Next up was “Once Upon a Time” week, which took campers through days that [...]

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Three children gathered together holding a pink soccer ball. Behind them, different country's flags are visible on the wall.

Learning Continues with ESY at Stepping Stones

For six weeks this summer, the children at Stepping Stones School participated in the Extended School Year (ESY), which included opportunities to learn and to enjoy the summer season. Activities included learning about Independence Day and fireworks; water play sessions that featured sprinklers, water tables, and more; sensory play that included tower building and sand and ocean-themed sensory bins, and a celebration of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The ESY ended in August and students will return to start the 2023-24 school year in September. The Arc of Essex County’s Stepping Stones School is a Department of Education-approved private school for students with [...]

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Five women sit around a craft table holding paintings of pink cats. Behind them, a line of aprons are hanging on wall pegs.

New Art Explorations at Studio Arc

Visitors to The Arc of Essex County’s Studio Arc have learned new techniques and been inspired by a variety of renowned artists as they’ve created innovative and colorful works this summer. Classes explored different artists, including Frida Kahlo and Andy Warhol, and replicated their styles and techniques using a variety of media, such as watercolors and collage. Arc artisans learned how to paint with different textures and use airbrushing tools. In block-printing and stamp-making sessions, our artists were inspired by artist Jim Dine when making their own stamps and creating cool and interesting pop art. Studio Arc has also been home to [...]

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To the left, the 3rd Annual Craft Beer Open 2023 logo and the words "Virtual Auction is Open! To the right, a collage of images, including golf courses, a few of New York City, and the Rutgers football stadium.

Virtual Auction Open to All for 3rd Annual Craft Beer Open

UPDATED: The Craft Beer Open has been rescheduled for Monday, October 23 due to a weather postponement. Bidding is underway for the fantastic prizes featured in The Arc of Essex County’s Craft Beer Open virtual auction. The auction is open to all, and bidders do not have to attend the Craft Beer Open to win. Prizes can be viewed at, where participants have the opportunity to bid on foursomes at local golf courses, city getaways, sporting event tickets, and more. Prizes are being added regularly, so check back often before the auction closes at 6 p.m. on October 23 The auction [...]

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Prudential logo and Stepping Stones School logo, with a blue backpack filled with school supplies.

Prudential Helps Stepping Stones with Back to School Supplies

The Prudential CARES National Backpack Challenge helped outfit The Arc of Essex County’s Stepping Stones School with hundreds of supplies needed to start the new school year in September. Employees from Prudential’s BRG ADAPT group collectively donated more than 40 backpacks and kindergarten supply kits, as well as dozens of packages of construction paper, sidewalk chalk, glue, beginner pencils, erasers, paint sets, notebooks, pencil cases, and playground balls. The group exceeded the requested numbers for all of the items that Stepping Stones needed, and eased the back-to-school supply burden on families and teachers going into the 2023-24 school year. "ADAPT, Prudential’s employee-led [...]

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Three people sitting on a bench at Camp Hope: A man in red, a woman in pink, and a man in blue. The man in blue and a man standing near him in gray are both holding a basketball together.

Hotel Respite Visits Camp Hope

Camp Hope was the scene for some weekend action as participants in The Arc of Essex County’s Hotel Respite program explored the splash pad, basketball courts, and swings, and enjoyed playing bingo and singing karaoke together this summer. The weekend also featured a trip to the bowling alley and local restaurants. With visits to community events, shopping excursions, and more, those attending the weekend retreats have explored the local sites and made plenty of new memories with friends. Recent hotel respite weekends have featured the Hispanic Festival at Monte Irvin Park in Orange, local stage performances, and painting sessions at Studio [...]

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Four children and a woman are smiling and laughing together.

Communi-Play Parties Return for the Fall

Studio Arc will once again be lively with music, play, and bubbles as the free children’s Communi-Play parties return for the fall season. Led by speech therapist Jaquetta Perry-Boyd, children ages 2.5 to 5 and their parents learn skills for better communication while singing and playing together. Jaquetta presents parents with innovative techniques to teach neuro-divergent children new ways to express themselves. The first fall Communi-Play party is scheduled for Saturday, September 9 at 10:30 a.m., followed by sessions on September 23, October 7 and 21, and November 4. Registration is required, visit to sign up. This program is provided to families [...]

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Five people are standing on a deck holding bags of apples, overlooking a farm.

August Adventures for Adult Recreation

Participants in The Arc of Essex County’s Community Inclusion and Respite program had a robust schedule of events in August that took them to the shore, to Princeton, and to Studio Arc for a variety of fun adventures and activities. On August 6, the group made a trip to the Just Peachy Festival at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, where they ate peaches and peachy treats, visited the traveling zoo, and enjoyed live music. On August 13, it was off to Asbury Park, where participants explored the Silverball Museum, trying their hands at pinball, skee-ball, shuffle board, air hockey, and more. The group [...]

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Parents' Night Out logo with a blue background

Parents Night Out Offering Free Monthly Respite Care this Fall

Starting on September 15, Parents Night Out will be resuming for the fall season and, thanks to Partnership for Children of Essex and Essex County Community Resource Development Funds, the respite care for children and teens will be provided free of charge for families. Activities will be based at Studio Arc in Fairfield and run from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants can pay $5 for pizza and drinks or bring their own dinner. Space is limited and registration is required. Three-to-one coverage is provided for all participants, including siblings. One-to-one coverage may be provided upon request; call to discuss possible additional fees. After [...]

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"The Arc Spotlight: Carmella and Donna-Marie" with a photo of two women with their arms over each other's shoulders. The Arc of Essex County logo is visible in the bottom right corner.

Arc Spotlight: Carmella and Donna-Marie

Carmella and Donna-Marie are both longtime participants in The Arc of Essex County’s SYA Day Program in Nutley. They also both became members of The Arc’s residential program in 2023, with Carmella joining the Ashwood group home in Livingston and Donna-Marie joining the Belleville group home. For both of them, the transition into their new homes has gone wonderfully. “I am so happy where I am,” Carmella says, sharing stories about helping to set the table and make dinner with her friends and the staff. She raves about her new room as well. “I am so happy in my own room. [...]

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