Friendship Circle Launches Creative Movement and Cooking Programs in Oak Park

Kids need the ability to express themselves and get moving, and that’s what Friendship Circle’s expanding programs were designed to offer. Now that programs have extended to new areas in Metro Detroit, there are more opportunities for kids to get moving and develop new skills.

Over the past few years, Friendship Circle has received many requests to provide programs in the Huntington Woods/Oak Park area. Thanks to a grant from The Jewish Fund, three new programs were launched with the hope is that with the success of these programs, we will be able to provide more programs in upcoming years.

Life Skills in Oak Park

As our children with special needs become young adults, it’s necessary for them to learn how to release their excitement and also develop skill sets that they can recreate at home on their own. What’s offered now in Oak Park serves that very purpose through Friendship Circle’s Creative Movement and Teen Cooking programs, where kids can focus on fitness and exercise, express themselves creatively, learn basics of cooking and kitchen safety and learn simple dishes to make at home.

Monday, December 14, 2015 celebrated the finale events from the first sessions for Friendship Circle of Michigan’s Creative Movement and Teen Cooking programs.

The seven-week sessions were hosted on Monday evenings between 5-7pm at Aish Hatorah in Oak Park and offered one-on-one attention with the dedicated team of Friendship Circle volunteers.

Creative Movement

The Creative Movement program offers entry to all ages and abilities with a focus on fitness and exercise as well as offering room for creative expression. For the finale event, the teens put on a dramatic play with volunteers as well as a musical number that was performed at the beginning and end of the performance.

oak park creative movement

Teens and volunteers performing “The Pizza Song” at Oak Park’s Creative Movement finale performance.

Oak Park creative movement

Parents and teens watching the photo presentation from the first session of Creative Movement in Oak Park.

Oak Park creative movement

Teens and volunteers performing their dramatic performance during the finale event of Oak Park’s first Creative Movement session.

After the performance, parents, teens and volunteers were invited to dine together by assembling salads, making sushi and after dinner, decorating holiday cookies.

One parent, John Husband, told us that his daughter Sophia had an absolute blast participating in this program and would get very excited any time the program was mentioned in their household.

Husband went on to say that “[the] volunteers were awesome and the play was so cool. We would definitely enroll Sophia in this class again. In fact, we were so impressed with the volunteers that we will be enrolling Sophia in the Drums class starting in January.”

Teen Cooking

The Teen Cooking program is open to teens ages 12 and up and offers participants the opportunity to master simple dishes to recreate at home while also helping with the development of social skills, cooking techniques and learning kitchen safety. The purpose of learning these skills is to help gain independence and confidence in the kitchen.

Oak park teen cooking

The salad bar that teens prepared for the dinner following the Creative Movement performance.

Oak Park teen cooking

The cookie decorating station at Oak Park’s Teen Cooking finale event.

Oak Park teen cooking

Teens and their families assembling salads at the Oak Park Teen Cooking finale event dinner.

Oak Park teen cooking

The sushi-making station at the Oak Park Teen Cooking finale event dinner.

Other programs that are offered in the Oak Park area include:

Sunday Funday, open to ages 4-12 for 90 minutes, allowing children to gain the group experience while still receiving one-on-one attention during activities, which include sports, music and movement instruction, arts & crafts, all while offering respite for the parents. Sunday Funday is held at the Chaya Mushkah High School in the Beth Shalom building in Oak Park.

About The Jewish Fund

The Jewish Fund was established in 1997 from the sale proceeds of Sinai Hospital to the Detroit Medical Center. Sinai Hospital was a Jewish community funded facility that grew into one of metropolitan Detroit’s top health care institutions. As a legacy of Sinai Hospital, The Jewish Fund continues the tradition of assuring excellent and compassionate care for those in need in Metropolitan Detroit by awarding grants to help vulnerable individuals improve their health and human condition.

To learn more about the programs that Friendship Circle offers in your area, please click here.

For media inquiries, please contact Melanie Barnett at [email protected].

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