From current school closings to the shutdown of public, entertainment spaces, parents are facing the challenge of filling the hours of the day for their children. Schools have been doing everything possible to provide meaningful remote instruction, but these can leave hours of the day open for children. On the warmer days we’ve enjoyed, for those with backyards or a local park (that is still open) it has been easier. However, even then, there is more time in the day. Help your children avoid excessive screen time during the current restrictive conditions with one of the activities below. Having fun, recreational time together is important to all members of the family especially during these challenging times.
Down Dog App Can download it to your device and they also have High Intensity Interval Training and Barre classes for parents and children.
Art for Kids Hub This online tool allows a child to draw along with the instructor and there are hundreds of themes.
The Arts Council of Princeton has introduced an online program titled apART together
DIY.org offers thousands of courses and projects. Most offerings are free and many are doable with simple supplies like markers, paper and glue.
Book Creator Create an account for free for 90 days!
Access the Virtual Branch of Mercer County Libraries for access to e-Books and other online content
Check out eLibraryNJ for even more virtual content
Mystery Science offers free science lessons for ages K – 5
Line Riders videos provide wonderful classical music with a fun visual cue to help children understand how music flows. To push this one further, on your own, ask your child to move up and down (arm movements encouraged!) to the rise and fall of the music.
UpToTen.com includes games and songs and use this site to search for more related sites.
CreatingMusic.com is for elementary-age students to explore, create and manipulate music.
Do not underestimate the power of a FaceTime session with a child’s friend. Try and set up a few of these each week. Having connection to their peers can make a big difference in your child’s ability to focus on the positive and their schoolwork!
Definitely try to set up a few of these each week, they will make a big difference in your child’s ability to focus on the positive as well as on their online schoolwork!
Claire Brown, LSW
It is impossible to look around you – even from within your own home – and not be inundated with information about the COVID-19 outbreak. These are uncharted waters for our local, national and global communities, but, there is an oddly comforting unity to know that this outbreak has an impact of everyone in our community, we are in this together.
We do not know how long our lives will be upended by restrictions and quarantines, but we do know the impact will last even longer. Right now and through the uncertain future, JFCS will be here ensuring help, hope and healing. In this phase of social distancing and disconnection, we intend to keep you, our community, well informed on JFCS actions.
What are we doing right now?
We are utilizing all available resources to ensure the most vulnerable and most in need have food:
- We provided 50 families at Better Beginnings with packaged groceries
- We plan to maintain our Mobile Food Pantry distribution schedule, including a stop at for 50 Redding Circle residents this week
- April pantry hours for our on-site Yvette Sarah Clayman Kosher Food Pantry will be kept for our scheduled clients. For the health & safety of all, clients will be provided prepacked bags of grocery items, delivered to them in their cars, limiting outside access to our site.
- Kosher Meals on Wheels continue to be delivered to homebound seniors. Meals are delivered by staff at the door with no direct contact with the recipient.
- We are packing to-go boxes for Kosher Café seniors and have seen an increased attendance given the limited resources available for this low-income population. Last week we also provided the Kosher Café guests with a supplemental bag of grocery items to help them during this time.
- We have frozen prepared meals available to supplement any of our seniors existing deliveries on an as-needed basis.
- We are exploring all possible resources for packaged, pantry items and prepared meals to keep in stock as we anticipate growing need for food among our seniors and the food-insecure.
- We are ordering Kosher for Passover meals to be distributed to our homebound senior clients.
Counseling is being provided by phone to our existing clients. Our team of counselors is available to take new calls for anyone who needs immediate assistance to cope with the heightened stress, anxiety or fear and for those with ongoing mental health concerns.
JFCS Geriatric Care Managers are making regular check-in calls and providing support by phone to our Secure@Home members, low-income seniors, Holocaust Survivors and support group members.
Volunteers have stepped up to provide check-in calls to our Kosher Meals on Wheels clients as well as seniors who were enrolled in Cooking Companions and Friendly Visitor programs.
We have launched a comprehensive resource page on our website as a one-stop source of agency information, helpful blogs from our staff on topical issues, and links to outside resources.
What is in the works?
- Our staff is working with all community partners to make connections and ensure any available food is reaching those who need it most.
- We are planning to launch teen engagement programs over Zoom (video conferencing) to keep our youth connected and supported during this challenging time.
- We are creating plans to host Community Calls with one of our counselors to provide topical information on the challenges being faced by many.
- We are working to offer free “call-in” hours during the week where callers can be connected to one of our counselors for coping skills and support.
- We are exploring the capabilities of Zoom and other conference-calling programs to deliver supportive workshops to our constituents.
What can you do?
- If you know of any counseling needs in the community, recommend JFCS.
- If you know of families or seniors in need of food, recommend JFCS.
- If you know of resources that will help us continue to deliver our programs whether it is through food, funding, or technology, we welcome your help and support.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST… check in on your children, your parents, your elderly neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and yourself.
Administrative staff will be available by phone to answer any questions Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM and Friday 9 AM – 4 PM. Please note effective March 23, the restrictions noted in our original posting remain in place indefinitely in accordance with local, state and national health and safety guidelines.
JFCS is stretching our resources as far as possible at this time to ensure our current clients have the support they need, be it counseling, senior resources and food. We know this is just the beginning of a rise in need for our services. Help us be equipped to provide for as many as possible here in our community.
UPDATED MONDAY MARCH 16, 2020
JFCS is here for the health of our community. In line with directives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as local leadership for the state of New Jersey and County of Mercer, we are moving our programs and staff to remote schedules effective March 16 – 27. We understand this situation is evolving day by day and will continue to assess our remote service delivery during these two weeks and beyond as prudent and safe for our staff, our clients, and all constituents.
Please note the following changes to programs & services:
No clients or visitors will be allowed inside JFCS offices through March 27.
Counseling services will be provided through tele-therapy. We are continuing to take new calls for clients interested in services. If interested in counseling services, call us at 609-987-8100 Ext 102.
Seniors enrolled in our programs will receive regular check-ins and phone support to connect them with needed resources. There will be no in-home visits and/or geriatric assessments provided by Senior Services.
Food delivery programs will continue to the extent our resources are available.
Gesher LeKesher and Jewish Community Youth Foundation (JCYF) recruitment and programmatic gatherings are canceled through April 1.
- J-Serve, International Day of Jewish Youth Service is canceled.
- All community events and days of service are canceled through April 1.
- All volunteer activities are canceled through April including Shop & Stocks, Chore Corps, Cooking Companions, Friendly Visitors and all individual and group opportunities
- All on and off-site support and therapeutic groups are canceled through April 1 including Bereavement groups, Caregiver Support group, and Youth Mindfulness group.
Administrative staff will be available by phone to answer any questions Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 5 PM and Friday 9 AM – 4 PM.
JFCS continues to gather important resources for dealing with the impact of COVID-19. We are sharing the below information for an outside resource: Daily 30-minute Webinar available at 1 PM EST Monday-Friday (through April 24) "Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Decision...
Looking for inspiration for new activities to share with your family over the coming days? We’re sharing some of our favorites out there!