Mayor Fulop expands recreation and youth development programs for children with special needs under new director


Mayor Fulop expands recreation and youth development programs for children with special needs under new director

Carlo’s Bakery Dessert Decorating Events this Thursday to launch new and improved inclusive experiences

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joined the Department of Recreation and Youth Development to announce the expanding Jersey City’s special needs programming, enhancing inclusive recreational and educational experiences for children of all abilities across the city with an all-new social club for special needs and upcoming dessert decorating events featuring Carlo’s Bakery – all under new management with the hiring of the city’s first special needs recreation program specialist.

The additional adapted and adapted programs will facilitate the development of recreational skills, socialization, independence and overall quality of life.

“This December, we are launching a new Special Needs Social Club to host events every Tuesday that provide organized socialization and activities for Jersey City children and young adults with special needs,” said Mayor Fulop. “Since expanding the Recreation Department to include youth development, we have been successful in establishing new programs and improving existing recreation to better include everyone’s abilities and interests, ultimately attracting more children to participate in skill-building experiences that help create a strong foundation for a successful future.

On Thursday, Jersey City will host the first inclusive holiday dessert decorating class with a special guest Mauro Castano from Carlo’s bakery to celebrate the expansion. Dessert decorating classes for people with special needs will take place on October 27 and November 4 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Please see the attached flyer.

The Fulop administration’s ultimate goal is to provide all young people in Jersey City with the opportunity to play a team sport, participate in a social recreation program and make physical gains in coordination and endurance. . Developmental skills such as the ability to wait, focus, follow instructions and feel a sense of accomplishment are central to the skills and training in these responsive and responsive programs.

To support the expansion of Special Needs Recreation Programs, Jersey City is proud to introduce Ryan Magee, the Premier Special Needs Recreation Program Specialist, who will coordinate and implement these expanded programs. He brings over 10 years of experience in the field of special needs and recreational activities.

“The vision of these programs is that no matter who you are, you have a purpose in this life, regardless of your disability, and have the right to participate in community activities. With continued support and encouragement, the department truly believes that everyone can have fun,” added Ryan Magee, Special Needs Recreation Program Specialist.

Current programming suitable for children and teens with special needs includes adapted sports and social opportunities such as kickball, flag football and bucket drumming. The department will now offer at least one stand-alone special needs program for each season, while incorporating more family-themed events, trips and programs.

Each recreation and youth development program includes activities aimed at improving the mental and physical well-being of participants. Positive reinforcement from trained staff helps build participants’ confidence as they take new steps during each session. All program participants will benefit from low-impact activities aimed at improving strength while reducing obesity and other health problems.

Overall, special needs programs aim to provide a source of positive youth development and recreational enjoyment within the community. Participants will use their skills to show their growth, creativity and increasing independence.

We want to ensure that all of our young people in Jersey City can participate in meaningful recreational and educational programs where they can simply be themselves while developing social skills, establishing meaningful friendships and learning new skills,” said Lucinda McLaughlin, Director of the Department of Recreation and Youth Development.

Department of Recreation and Youth Development special needs programs currently include Bucket Drumming every Wednesday from 6:15-7:00 p.m., Holiday Dessert Decorating Class October 27 and November 5 from 4:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday Night Kickball from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Upcoming programs include the Special Needs Social Club on Tuesdays from 5:30 p.m. to activities that will provide them with their own space to socialize and spend time. For more information and to register, please visit

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