Friendship Circle of Central Jersey Better Together

Programs

Toddlers 18 Months-3 Years

Friends at Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are misisng out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

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Preschool 3-5 Years

Friends at Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are missing out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained teen volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

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Sports & Swim

Swim and Sports gives the children an opportunity to excel in their swimming skills and strengthen their muscle tone as well as instill independence and confidence as they enjoy time in the pool and participate in a variety of proffessional sport activities. Each month we will focus on the rules and skills of another sport.

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Friendship Circle Camps

Friendship Circle’s camp offers children a chance to build true friendships with their one-on-one teen volunteers as well as their peers. Each action packed day will be filled with stimulating, therapeutic, and fun activities such as music, swimming, art, sports and outdoor water fun. This year FC will be offering 5 camp programs: Winter break, Spring break, early Summer, End of Summer and our Summer afternoon program.

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Elementary 6-11 Years

Friends at Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are missing out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained teen volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

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Sunday Circle

Sunday Circles is 2 hours of non-stop fun and engagement under the guidance of a Special Ed teacher or therapist and with the help of our teen buddies. Participants are exposed to a number of different fun and social activities while interacting with their teen buddies. Music Therapy is a staple at our Sunday Circles program in addition to other electives such as yoga, zumba, martial arts and more.

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Sunday Social Jr.

Sunday Circles is 2 hours of non-stop fun and engagement under the guidance of a Special Ed teacher or therapist and with the help of our teen buddies. Participants are exposed to a number of different fun and social activities while interacting with their teen buddies. Music Therapy is a staple at our Sunday Circles program in addition to other electives such as yoga, zumba, martial arts and more.

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Sports & Swim

Swim and Sports gives the children an opportunity to excel in their swimming skills and strengthen their muscle tone as well as instill independence and confidence as they enjoy time in the pool and participate in a variety of proffessional sport activities. Each month we will focus on the rules and skills of another sport.

More Info »

Friendship Circle Camps

Friendship Circle’s camp offers children a chance to build true friendships with their one-on-one teen volunteers as well as their peers. Each action packed day will be filled with stimulating, therapeutic, and fun activities such as music, swimming, art, sports and outdoor water fun. This year FC will be offering 5 camp programs: Winter break, Spring break, early Summer, End of Summer and our Summer afternoon program.

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Basketball Circle

A wonderful sport to learn trust and team building qualities while building strong friendships in an inclusive and safe environment. The kids will learn the rules of Basketball under the guidance of a caring and professional coach.

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Junior Art & Beyond

Bring out your artistic talents while enjoying a wonderful art class at Bright Zebra Studio. Our budding artists will work with paper mache and other art mediums as well as build friendships with their buddies.

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Cooking Circle

Learn a skill that wil last a lifetime. Participants will learn the basics of cooking, proper kitchen hygiene and more. We will go through a meal from appetizer to dessert – creating a menu, table setting, delicious food and more!

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Junior Fitness Circle

Keep your kids moving and healthy at the FC Fitness Circle. Participants will learn different exercise routines and sports with the companionship of their buddies.

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Teens 12-17 years

Friends at Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are missing out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained teen volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

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Sunday Program: Teen Scene

Different stages of adolescence bring different challenges to all our children. Teen scene is a weekly program developed specifically for teenagers with special needs, providing, structured social experiences and activities where they can “hang out”, learn social skills and make new friends. Each month we will enjoy 2 electives, such as zumba, yoga, hip hop, cake decorating, circus training, music, karate and more.  

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Sunday Program: Social Teens

Sunday Social Teens is a weekly program with an emphasis on social interaction and life skills that are practiced in the real world. This group is for high school teens that require less prompting for activities of daily living as well as peer interaction. We encourage all the children to be social with each other and enjoy a fun time together. Each month we will enjoy 2 electives such as zumba, yoga, hip hop, cake decorating, circus

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Sports & Swim

Swim and Sports gives the children an opportunity to excel in their swimming skills and strengthen their muscle tone as well as instill independence and confidence as they enjoy time in the pool and participate in a variety of proffessional sport activities. Each month we will focus on the rules and skills of another sport.

More Info »

Friendship Circle Camps

Friendship Circle’s camp offers children a chance to build true friendships with their one-on-one teen volunteers as well as their peers. Each action packed day will be filled with stimulating, therapeutic, and fun activities such as music, swimming, art, sports and outdoor water fun. This year FC will be offering 5 camp programs: Winter break, Spring break, early Summer, End of Summer and our Summer afternoon program.

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Teen Creative Art

Participants will create items out of clay, glass fusings and more. They will find the artists within themselves and learn the importance of self-expression and confidence. The class will be led by a retired special-ed teacher at a Stroke of Creativity.

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Basketball Circle

A wonderful sport to learn trust and team building qualities while building strong friendships in an inclusive and safe environment. Teens will learn the rules of basketball under the guidance of a caring and proffesional coach.

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Cooking Circle

Learn a skill that will last a lifetime. Participants will learn the basics of cooking, proper kitchen hygiene and more. We will go through a meal from appetizers to dessert – creating a menu, table setting, delicious food and more!

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Teen Life Skills

Join us for a 3 week Life Skills session as we learn new life skills out in the community under the guidance of Jenna Cahill, M.S., SLP-CC.

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Young Adults 18 + years

Friends at Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are missing out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained teen volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

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Sunday: YAD Evening

Meeting weekly, our Young Adult Division gives young adults with special needs an opportunity to have fun and hang out with friends in a comfortable and safe environment. Through a series of community service oriented activities, participants learn the satisfaction of giving back while gaining vital social and vocational skills. We will be going on monthly trips out in the community and having special electives giving participants exposure to many different experiences.

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Sports & Swim

Swim and Sports gives the children an opportunity to excel in their swimming skills and strengthen their muscle tone as well as instill independence and confidence as they enjoy time in the pool and participate in a variety of proffessional sport activities. Each month we will focus on the rules and skills of another sport.

More Info »

Friendship Circle Camps

Friendship Circle’s camp offers children a chance to build true friendships with their one-on-one teen volunteers as well as their peers. Each action packed day will be filled with stimulating, therapeutic, and fun activities such as music, swimming, art, sports and outdoor water fun. This year FC will be offering 5 camp programs: Winter break, Spring break, early Summer, End of Summer and our Summer afternoon program.

More Info »

Sunday: YAD Social

Meeting Weekly, our Young Adult Division gives young adults with special needs an opportunity to have fun and hang out with friends in a comfortable and safe environment. Through a series of community oriented activities, participants learn the satisfaction of giving back while gaining vital social and vocational skills. We will focus on important skills needed to explore the community, have a number of different electives exposing participants to many different experiences and social interactions.

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Creative Art

Participants will create items out of clay, glass fusings and more. They will find the artists within themselves and learn the importance of self-expression and confidence. The class will be led by a retired special-ed teacher at a Stroke of Creativity.

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Basketball Circle

A wonderful sport to learn trust and team building qualities while building strong friendships in an inclusive and safe environment. Teens will learn the rules of basketball under the guidance of a caring and proffesional coach.

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Hanging with Friends

“Mom, just going to hang with my friends.” This program will give teens the opportunity to “hang out” around town with new and old friends.

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Life Skills

Join us for a 3 week Life Skills session as we learn new life skills out in the community under the guidance of Jenna Cahill, M.S., SLP-CC.

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Cooking Circle

Learn a skill that will last a lifetime. Participants will learn the basics of cooking, proper kitchen hygiene and more. We will go through a meal from appetizers to dessert – creating a menu, table setting, delicious food and more!

More Info »

Family

Jewish Holiday Celebrations

Experience the magic of the Jewish calendar with refreshments, crafts, games and unique entertainment. Whether it’s making real olive oil on Chanukah, or fashioning a functional Shofar before Rosh Hashanah, Jewish Holiday Programs at the Friendship Circle are full of excitement and hands-on fun. These are the times when Friendship Circle families and volunteers join together to prepare for the upcoming holidays and celebrate their Jewish heritage.

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Birthday Bash

It is difficult to orchestrate a birthday celebration for a child with special needs. With this in mind, the Friendship Circle periodically invites their special friends with upcoming birthdays for an event planned just for them. With festivities run by the teen volunteers, it is a birthday that these children will always remember.

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Saturday Nights Out

Parents with special needs children are on duty 24 hours a day, acting not only as their parent, but as their friend and advocate. With Saturday Night Out, parents are able to enjoy a few hours just for themselves, knowing that their children are having a ball under the careful watch of Friendship Circle volunteers.

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Walk4Friends

Over 1,000 men, women and children come out each year to walk in support of children with special needs, spreading the message of acceptance and solidarity, while raising crucial funds and awareness for the Friendship Circle’s many programs. This program is vital for the continuation of Friendship Circle and its programs.

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Sibling Circle Jr.

This program is geared for siblings ages 5-8 giving them a chance to meet other siblings in a fun and safe environment. The program will focus on giving the siblings a great time while having important discussions of what it is like to have a sibling with special needs.

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Sibling Circle Teens

Meeting bi- monthly a support group for siblings ages 9-11. The pre-teens will meet on Sunday from 3-5 pm giving them a chance to volunteer, enjoy fun activities & important conversations facilitated by a social worker.

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Mom’s Night Out

When you combine the stress of kids, parents’ work and friends – the job of a mother today can at times seem overwhelming. That’s why the Friendship Circle has devised a range of programs and special services just for YOU, giving you dedicated, noble moms a chance to unwind and relax. Join in the fun!

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Dad’s Night Out

A special evening dedicated to dads of children with special needs! Dad’s night out is a great way to socialize with other Friendship Circle dads and hang out in a fun and comfortable setting. Save the date for Wednesday, January 13th for some bowling fun!

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Friends Fun Day

Join us as we go out into the community for fun trips. This is a great opportunity to foster independence, build social skills and create long lasting friendships. Some trips will include, Bowling, Swimming, at the Aquatic Center, Fun Time America and Home Depot.

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Team Friendship Miami Marathon

Whether you walk at your dog’s pace or sprint like a pro, YOU can run a FULL MARATHON (26.2 MILES) OR a HALF MARATHON (13.1 MILES) with Team Friendship, and forever change the life of an individual with special needs. Take on the challenge. Contact the FC office to learn more or visit www.teamfriendship.org and sign up under our FC chapter

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Volunteer

Friends@Home

Children with special needs often have many adults in their lives – parents, teachers, therapists and doctors. The Friends at Home program offers the one thing these children are missing out on: friendship. Each week, a pair of specially trained teen volunteers visits their special friend in his or her home, offering companionship, laughter, and fun. In exchange, the teen volunteers learn the value of giving back and gain respect and empathy for those facing difficult challenges.

More Info »

Volunteer Club

The Friendship Circle was founded on the belief that teens can make a huge difference in the lives of others. The Volunteer Club celebrates our teen volunteers’ outstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for all members of our community through a series of dinners, educational activities and social events.

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MVP Volunteer Program

The Mitzvah Volunteer Program is a training program for 6th and 7th grade boys and girls that teaches the volunteers how to interact with children who have special needs. Volunteers will learn about various disabilities, appropriate conduct while volunteering, the importance of giving back to the community and the huge impact they can make on others. Great as a stand alone Bar or Bat Mitzvah project, it also gives the teens the skills necessary to be a

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President’s Club

Every year Friendship Circle elects presidents. Presidents have many roles including being a role model for the kids and other volunteers. Meetings are held monthly and focus on the different disabilities volunteers encounter while volunteering at the Friendship Circle and how best to work with these children. Being a President also means recruiting new volunteers and encouraging the old ones. Presidents are involved in planning and executing special events such as the Walk4Friends and Friends at Home

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