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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

(Courtesy of Kool Kids Passaic) Kool Kid Passaic participants, local children and young women with disabilities have enjoyed a particularly enriching season thanks to several community partnerships.

A few months ago, the girls division, consisting of elementary, high school and post-high school girls, with a wide range of developmental and complex learning disabilities, had the privilege of attending three local performances: the Bnos Bracha eighth grade play, the Bais Yaakov Machon Ora production and the Ratzon performance. Attending these functions gave the participants an enjoyable evening out, alongside their sisters and neighbors, and showed them that they are a true part of the larger Passaic-Clifton community. Kool Kids is grateful to these organizations for inviting them to attend!

More recently, the boys division has partnered with Yiddle League to offer a self-contained team for the boys with special needs. Many Kool Kids participants had longingly watched their brothers and neighbors head off to Yiddle League for years, but were unable to participate on the teams because of their cognitive, social and physical challenges. Through this unique partnership, the Kool Kids Passaic boys are playing baseball on a field alongside the other Yiddle League teams, but have the supportive environment they need to build their skills. The boys are so proud to don their Yiddle League uniforms and head out to the field on Sundays!

When Kool Kids participants were off from school for Memorial Day, they got together with the ladies of Gevuros, a program for seniors, for a special intergenerational program. After the seniors heard a speech about how the organization was started and how it functions, and were treated to a short shiur from a Kool Kids Passaic parent, the Kool Kids Passaic participants were each paired up with a woman from Gevuros and the magic began! The “bubbies” and children had a chance to get to know each other over some crafts activities. Afterwards, the children each received two teddy bears from the Bear Givers organization—one to keep for themselves, and one to gift to their Gevuros partner. No one wanted to leave at the conclusion of the program—the Kool Kids Passaic participants, the Gevuros ladies and all the volunteers from both organizations were touched by the special relationships that developed in such a short amount of time.

Kool Kids Passaic offers a variety of ongoing programs for children and young women with complex learning and developmental disabilities. If you know of an individual who would benefit from this programming, please contact [email protected] Kool Kids Passaic is a volunteer-run organization that depends entirely on community support. For more information, or to make a donation, please visit the website at www.koolkidspassaic.com.