Kool Kids Passaic Keeps Connections Strong with

Home-Based Programming

Kool Kids Passaic’s motto has always been, “When school’s closed, we’re open.”  Legal holidays, Yom Tov, Chol Hamoed, vacation days, after school hours, and even snow days saw Kool Kids Passaic participants gathering together for socialization, recreation, and enrichment, while allowing their parents time to recharge and tend to the needs of their other children.  Despite sadly and necessarily having to close their physical doors during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kool Kids Passaic programming is still going strong for Passaic-Clifton children with disabilities!

The Kool Kids Passaic at Home programming has multiple components, designed to meet the varied needs of the participants.  One aspect of the home-based programming is activity bags delivered to participants’ homes.  Volunteers lovingly pack and deliver these gift bags, while following strict social distancing protocols and other medical guidelines, such as wearing gloves and masks.  The bags contain activities, toys, art projects, and personal letters from volunteers. The activities are individualized to appeal to each child’s abilities and interests.  Special activity bags delivered before Pesach even included items for the children to bring to virtual programming on each day of chol hamoed, and next week participants will receive a special surprise for the whole family in honor of lag b’omer!  These gifts bring the Kool Kids Passaic participants and their families an incredible feeling of connection to the outside world during this time of physical separation.  One parent commented, “You can feel the love and devotion of all the volunteers packed into every one of the Kool Kids activity bags that are dropped off on our front porch.” 

Daily Kool Kids Passaic programs on Zoom offer participants a chance to connect with peers and learn new skills.  Regularly scheduled Zoom offerings include gardening, fine arts, cooking, and interactive games.  Special events, such as a visit with a farmer, photography tips from a professional photographer, and a meet-and-greet with a therapy dog, complement the regular programming and give participants something special to look forward to.  Participants and their families love these opportunities for connection and entertainment.  One participant commented, “I have the most wonderful time at Kool Kids on Zoom!  I enjoy it so much!”  A parent added, “It’s our family’s favorite part of the day!  We can’t wait for the programs to start!”  Kool Kids Passaic parents are exceedingly grateful for the respite and encouragement the Kool Kids Passaic at Home programs bring to their children and the entire family.

Kool Kids Passaic is committed to enhancing the lives of Passaic/Clifton children and young women with complex learning and developmental disabilities.  If you know of an individual who would benefit from this programming, please contact koolkidspassaic@gmail.com. Kool Kids Passaic is a volunteer-run organization that depends entirely on community support, particularly during these trying times. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit the website at www.koolkidspassaic.com.