LITTLE FERRY, N.J. – About 15 young children sat quietly one morning last week, listening intently as Kengo Yamada gave them an interactive chemistry lesson at the Meadowlands Family Success Center in Little Ferry.
“It is fun because it is super hands-on and they get to play with the materials,” said Yamada, a former pre-school teacher who now works for the Liberty Science Center.
The Washington Avenue center serves people from Little Ferry and nearby towns, like Ridgefield Park and Hasbrouck Heights, as well as folks from Garfield and Lodi, according to Fabricio Salas, a Family Partner at the center.
“We are like a family center mixed with a resource center. We provide a lot of programs and try to bring people closer together to reduce isolation,” Frabricio said.
“We want to focus on the younger kids and help establish good values in them,” he added.
Chiara Volpicelli of Ridgefield Park brought her 4-year-old daughter, Eloise, to the center Friday for the chemistry program, dubbed “Lil’ Scientists.”
“I love to bring her so she can experience different things,” Volpicelli said.
Kristy Stanisljevic of Little Ferry brought her daughter, Kylie, also 4. “We do science experiments at home. So this was up her alley. She was so excited to come here today,” Stanisljevic said.
In addition to the science program, the center has hosted programs for kids on things like art and music.
The Meadowlands Family Success Center is one of numerous Family Success Centers throughout New Jersey. Funded by the Department of Children and Families, the centers serve as one-stop shops that provide wrap-around resources and supports for families.
Additional centers in Bergen and Passaic Counties are:
- The Highlands Family Success Center in West Milford
- The New Destiny Family Success Center in Paterson
- The Straight & Narrow Family Success Center in Paterson
- The Englewood/Teaneck Family Success Center in Englewood.