Welcome to The Round Up, our weekly resource-focused email for BBBS Independence families and volunteers!
Through this weekly email, our team shares resources geared toward at-home activities, ways to remotely stay connected, education/virtual learning resources, tips for talking with youth about Coronavirus, location specific resources, and more. When matches are able to resume in-person outings, we will begin to include listings of in-person activities in our communities once again.
Register to Vote in Time for the General Election!
- October 13th, 2020: Deadline to Register to Vote in New Jersey
- NJ offers online voter registration here: https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/register
- October 19th, 2020: Deadline to Register to Vote in Pennsylvania
- PA offers online voter registration here: https://www.pavoterservices.pa.gov/Pages/VoterRegistrationApplication.aspx
Become a Poll Worker!
Recent elections have suffered from poll worker shortages that have led to long lines. This problem is exacerbated this year as most poll workers are over the age of 60, who are at higher risk of complications from COVID. Poll workers make elections happen. They’re the on-the-ground people who work at polling locations and make voting possible. College and high school-aged citizens are encouraged to apply.
Ways for Matches to Stay in Touch
Make a “No Bake” Snack
Choose a recipe, like these no bake cookies, that is a super easy, snack that you can each make and enjoy together. This is a great opportunity to teach your child how to read a recipe, learn a new cooking skill, or to pass down a favorite family recipe along with the family history that goes with it.
For no-bake recipe ideas, visit
Virtual Arts and Crafts
Thursday October 8, 2020 6:30pm- 7:30pm
Let’s get creative! Please join us on October 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM via Zoom. You must contact Karen Weidner ahead of time to register for these classes. Your supplies will be delivered to your home prior to the classes taking place. Contact Karen Weidner for Zoom information.
This event was created by the Camden County Board of Freeholders for individuals with disABILITIES and special needs. If you are interested in participating in any of these activities or know someone who might be, please contact Karen Weidner at email@example.com or by phone at 856-216-2127.
Imagination during Halloween
- With parent/guardian permission, ask Littles to create mysterious potions with items found in your kitchen. While the potions are brewing, encourage them to come up with spells that the potions will produce and ask them to elaborate on the outcome of taking the potions.
- Create a spooky story with Littles. You can begin by starting a sentence and asking them to finish it. You’ll be amazed where their minds will take them. Don’t forget to write the story down for lasting memories. For example, “As I was trick-or-treating on Halloween night, I heard a rustling in the bushes and …”
Spooky Snacks! Pretzel Spiders
Are you looking for a spooktacular twist for a Halloween snack? Try these tasty spider snacks! Discuss gathering ingredients with your Little’s parent/guardian in advance.
- Cream cheese
- Pretzel sticks
- Candy-coated chocolates
- Spread cream cheese on a cracker.
- Break the pretzel sticks in half, and arrange them as legs on each side of the cracker.
- Place small candy-coated chocolates on the cream cheese for eyes.
Games to play over the phone
Clap the Song
Think of a song and then clap it. Simple! See if the other players can guess what song! Alternatively, you can leave out the words and just hum the song until the other players can guess what it is.
Collect a group of 8-10 objects. Have the other player study the set of objects and then close their eyes. Then, while their eyes are closed, remove one of the objects. Can they figure out which one is missing? Use more or fewer objects depending on the child’s age.
Education & Virtual Learning
World Space Week
Sunday, October 4 – Saturday October 10
World Space Week is the largest public space event in the world, with celebrations in more than 70 nations. During World Space Week, teachers are encouraged to use space-themed activities to excite students about science and technology. The event list details the many ways World Space Week is being celebrated around the world. Among celebrations of interest are Space Unites and STEMFest in Space.
Songwriting 101: Halloween Style
Saturday, October 10, 11:30 am
Kids can learn the fundamentals of songwriting, including form, theme, and rhyme scheme. Via chat, participants share ideas and write an original song inspired by the season. This free introductory workshop takes place via Zoom. Space is limited. Registration required. Recommended for ages seven and up, but all are welcome. Guardian is required to be present for children under thirteen.
Rebel Girls United Virtual Rally
Sunday, October 11, 12 pm
Let’s hear it for the girls! Rebel Girls celebrates International Day of the Girl and the launch of a new book with the Inaugural Rebel Girls United Rally. The virtual event is a diverse, play-based virtual experience that adults can participate in with their children to foster open dialogue around diversity and inclusion.
The virtual event features live performances, sing-alongs, dance parties, interactive art, and cooking moments from a diverse set of all female celebrities, change-makers, thought-leaders, and doers from different parts of the world. Register for the event at RebelGirls.com/Rally.
Carnegie Hall Opening Night of the 130th Anniversary Season: A Virtual Gala Celebration
Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 pm
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Just tune into the legendary concert halls’ virtual gala celebration—no practice necessary! The Carnegie Hall community in New York City, across the United States, and around the globe celebrates the Opening Night of the 130th Anniversary Season. This free online event is available to everyone, anywhere in the world.
Bringing people together through a shared love of music, this special evening presents inspiring performances—both new and from the Hall’s illustrious past—to honor its 130-year history and future.
The evening can be viewed on Facebook Live, YouTube, or on the Carnegie Hall website.
Rhiannon Giddens & Our Native Daughters
Michael Tilson Thomas
Habib Azar, Director
The 31 Nights of Halloween
Thursday, October 1 – Saturday, October 31
Freeform continues its annual tradition of a month-long marathon of Halloween films. Among the iconic films shown are Ghostbusters, Casper, Beetlejuice, The Addams Family, Hotel Transylvania and of course Hocus Pocus, along with many, many others. Freeform requires cable or streaming service subscription. See website for complete schedule.
Talking with Youth About Current Events
PBS Kids Talk About: Race and Racism
Friday, October 9, 7 pm
Feeling uncomfortable about race and racism? Let’s talk about it! This latest special from PBS Kids offers candid and authentic conversations between kids and their parents about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way. Viewers are given ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.
The special includes content from the popular PBS KIDS series Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Arthur and Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. Amanda Gorman, the writer, activist and first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S, is the host.
The special debuts as part of PBS KIDS Family Night on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, and is available on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings), and streaming on pbskids.org, the PBS KIDS Video app and on PBS KIDS’ Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
CDC Issues Halloween Guidelines for 2020: Is It Safe to Trick or Treat?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released guidelines for Halloween safety. From the MommyPoppins Blog:
The pandemic has drastically changed how we live our daily lives, including all our favorite fall and winter holidays. With Halloween right around the corner and Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas close behind, these new guidelines from the CDC and pediatricians aim to keep kids and families safe while enjoying modified celebrations.
High-risk Halloween Activities
The new CDC Halloween guidelines sort through typical seasonal activities, placing each in a risk category from low to high, and firmly putting traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating in the high-risk bucket. Also deemed high risk by the CDC were indoor costume parties, crowded indoor haunted houses, large trunk-or-treat celebrations, and fall hayrides and wagon rides with strangers. All of these “high-risk” Halloween activities might help to spread the virus, said the agency.
The CDC cautions that if you or your family members have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with the virus, you definitely shouldn’t participate in any in-person Halloween festivities.
Even if you’re healthy, Dr. Bita Nasseri, a Los Angeles-based physician and mom of three, said if your city or neighborhood has a high number of confirmed COVID cases, it’s best to skip trick-or-treating this year. Dr. Dyan Hes, medical director of New York-based Gramercy Pediatrics agreed.
“As far as trick or treating, sadly, I think this would be too risky,” said Dr. Hes. “Kids would naturally form large groups, and no one knows the health status of the people in each home. I would say it’s a hard pass for now, and my daughter is going to hate me for this.”
Dr. Nasseri added that if your community has low to no COVID cases, the best option is to have a trick-or-treating pod and only visit the houses of those in your pod.
“Make sure that each parent that is handing out candy is wearing gloves to limit direct contact,” she said.
Safer Halloween Activities
To stay healthy and minimize the potential for coronavirus exposure or spread, the CDC offers a number of tips, as well as lower risk activities. It places one-way trick-or-treating in its moderate-risk category, and suggested offering individually-wrap treat bags and lining them up so kids can grab and go while social distancing. If you’re preparing the treat bags, the CDC advised washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the treat bags.
Dr. Nasseri noted that germs can live on surfaces, including candy wrappers, for up to 72 hours.
“In order to keep children safe, do not give them their treats until the 72 hours have passed,” she said. “You can also keep a couple of pieces of their favorite candy in your home to give them after trick-or-treating so that they can enjoy them in the meantime.”
If you decide to skip traditional trick-or-treating this year, that does not mean that the holiday can’t still be fun for kids.
A small group outdoor costume party and outdoor Halloween movie viewing were both listed as a more moderate-risk activity by the CDC as long as everyone stays 6 feet apart. It also cautions against the use of costume masks in place of cloth masks unless it makes use of two or more layers of cloth, covers the mouth and nose, and doesn’t leave gaps. Do not double up with a costume mask and a cloth mask either, says the CDC, or breathing issues could occur.
“I recommend inviting over a small handful of classmates for an outdoor gathering if you have space for social distancing and enforce mask-wearing,” Dr. Nasseri suggested. “It is important that both children and adults confirm that they have no symptoms and that they have not been in contact with individuals that are COVID positive or experiencing any symptoms before attending the outdoor event.”
Lowest Risk Halloween Activities
The CDC recommends the following low-risk, home-based activities to really minimize the virus’ spread this Halloween.
- Host a virtual Halloween costume contest
- Enjoy a Halloween movie night with your immediate family
- Organize a scavenger hunt search inside your home with family members
- Decorate or carve pumpkins at home
- “Parents can place a bowl of candy in each room and have their child ‘trick-or-treat’ in the house,” Dr. Nasseri advised. “To make the experience extra festive, you can decorate each room in a different Halloween theme or celebrate by baking Halloween cookies and decorating them with the family. This ensures that children are safe but also allows them to partake in festivities.”
You can still enjoy other favorite fall activities—with a few caveats.
“I think pumpkin picking is fine if the number of people let into the field at one time are controlled,” said Dr. Hes. “There can also be rules in place that you can only touch the pumpkin if you are going to buy it. Everyone over 2 years old should be masked at the pumpkin patch. There should be no crowds. It should be like going to a supermarket.”
The CDC placed going to the pumpkin patch or apple orchard into its moderate risk category as long as everyone was wearing masks, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining social distancing.
Holiday Safety Guidelines
As Thanksgiving and the December holidays approach, it’s tempting to gather with friends and extended family, but keeping everyone healthy—especially at the height of flu season—is crucial. With that in mind, the CDC offers the following low-risk alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving festivities:
- Host a small dinner with only people who live in your household.
- Host a virtual dinner with friends and family.
- Shop online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday.
- Watch sporting events, parades, and movies from home.
- Host a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community.
- While the holiday season might look a bit different this year, it’s still possible to have fun with the kids and celebrate in ways that minimize the spread of the virus.
[Excerpted from MommyPoppins.com]
Food distribution for those in need – Camden County
Friday October 16, 2020 10:30 am
Parkview at Collingswood, 700 Browning Road, Collingswood, NJ
Camden County has partnered with Touch New Jersey to bring FREE food distribution to those in need throughout Camden County every Friday at 10:30 AM. Drive-up and walk-up options available. Must wear a mask and practice social distancing.