For C.J., New Friends. For His Mom, Peace of Mind

Respite program - CJ

C.J. concentrates on creating a greeting card at a recent Weekend Recreation pajama party. Cathy P., featured earlier, joins him.


“He looks forward to the program every week,” says Joann M. about her son C.J., in regard to his participating in Weekend Recreation. C.J. has attended most of the events this community-based social and recreation program hosts in Passaic and Essex counties.


Six years ago, Joann was looking for a recreation program to give her son opportunities to socialize with his peers. A New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities worker recommended Weekend Recreation. She has been pleased ever since. “Weekend Recreation is absolutely wonderful,” she says. “I think it’s wonderful what they do.” All along, C.J. has been a cheerful part of not only the arts and crafts programs, but also bowling, bingo, movies, and shopping outings. “There isn’t anything he doesn’t like,” says Joann.


Community respite - CJ

C.J. (in tan shirt, LEFT), helps out at the ever-popular bowling events.

C.J. is an active participant at each event. During one of the bowling outings, he helped Danica Lafortune—Weekend Recreation Coordinator—by keeping score for his team and contacting the manager when I ball got stuck. (We featured one of his Weekend Recreation Peers, Cathy P., in this space previously.) Indeed, Joann’s desire for C.J. has come true: has made lots of friends. Both C.J. and his mom treasure the relationships he has established over the years.


Also very important for Joann has been the care from Danica’s staff. “The supervision is very important,” says Joann. “The staff has always been kind and generous. You know it’s real.” Like most parents and guardians, Joann at first was concerned with supervision. However, it took little time for her to be reassured. “You can drop them off and not worry, especially when they were little,” she says. “That’s a huge benefit—peace of mind”


community based respite CJ

Leading a line of peers dressed up for a Halloween party, C.J. dressed up as his favorite superhero.




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