October 9, 2017

NJCDC Block PartyTo celebrate the neighborhood it serves while providing information to local residents, NJCDC held its Annual Great Falls Promise Neighborhood Block Party on Saturday, September 30. Hundreds of Paterson residents attended the free event, where they learned about about the resources available to them through NJCDC's many programs, including the Neighborhood Help Center, a one-stop-shop for assistance on a broad range of topics that concern neighborhood residents, Parent Academy, and Music Together.

During the warm and sunny day, children and families rode a mechanical shark, climbed a rock wall, slid down a giant slide, played in bouncy houses, navigated an obstacle course, and played carnival games, all to the sound of festive music played by a local DJ. Children and families also enjoyed having their faces painted, courtesy of talented volunteers, and eating free hot dogs, pretzels, and popcorn.

NJCDC Block PartyThroughout the afternoon, neighborhood residents attended our Neighborhood Help Center (NHC) Open House sessions to discover the resources available to them and their families. The NHC is NJCDC's community space, offering access to information and resources on topics including housing, immigration, job readiness, educational opportunities, and financial literacy. The NHC provides ongoing on- and off- site assistance to neighborhood residents to assist them in empowering and enriching their lives.

NJCDC Block PartyFamilies also learned about Parent Academy, NJCDC's nine-week program providing parents and guardians of children ages 0-3 with the skills and support necessary to raise happy and healthy children so they enter school ready to learn. Through nine weekly interactive workshops, parents explore topics including brain development, social and emotional development, language development, literacy, nutrition, safety, and CPR.

In addition, neighborhood residents learned about NJCDC's Music Together classes, during which children and their caregivers sing, make music, dance, and bond. For more information about Parent Academy and Music Together, and registration, please contact Janice Suarez, Director of Early Learning at or 973-413-1612.

Representatives from Oasis, Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey, Greater Bergen Community Action, and Black Nurses Rock were also on-site to link families with additional resources.

NJCDC Block PartyAttendees also had the opportunity to participate in multiple free raffles. The lucky winners received prizes including two George Foreman grills, two waffle makers, Bluetooth headphones, an omelet maker, and two gift cards.

NJCDCs CEO Bob Guarasci said, "Thank you to everyone involved in the event – from our staff members who organized the event, to our volunteers who helped run the event, which enabled us to directly reach hundreds of neighborhood children and families, to everyone who showed up to enjoy a day of fun and learn about the resources available to them."

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