Here at Kids for Kids, we are commited to helping children grow and connect with those around them in an authentic, loving way. This connection helps foster healthy relationships at home and school. We also assist professionals (i.e.; educators, child care workers, and administrators) with creating a more mindful work setting. Our programs are especially tailored to help children and professionals manage the stressors they face in their daily lives.
Annette Ferrigno, Founder/Owner
Annette is passionate about creating a space for children to learn more about themselves and the world around them. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University and has advanced institute training from ICAFS (Institute of Child, Family, and Adolescent Studies). She has focused her work on helping children, families stay connected while navigating the many changes that occur throughout life.
Annette is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in both New York and New Jersey and is a trained Play Therapist.
Annette has been working with children, adolescents, families and adults for nearly 20 years. Her experience has been rich and varied working in multiple settings including: mental health clinics, foster care, elementary, middle and high schools, and private practice.
After working with children in these settings, Annette noticed an unmet need. The need for children, as well as professionals working with children, to create more calm and balance in their lives. Annette began addressing this need by incorporating various mindfulness techniques into her practice. Mindfulness has been shown to improve attention, emotional regulation an academic success.
Kids for Kids has been established to help children and families live a more mindful life.
Erika works with children, adolescents, and adults utilizing an empathetic approach to help clients through difficult times as well as achieve maximum success in order to reach their personal goals. In tandem with her clients, Erika helps uncover and build strengths while addressing areas where improvement is desired. Trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) which focuses on reducing emotional suffering through mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. These strategies may be particularly helpful for first responders, people experiencing PTSD, and any person aiming to reduce distress.
I believe that a trusting therapeutic relationship and warm therapy environment are the keys to success. Depending on the needs of my client I utilize cognitive behavioral techniques, play therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-based therapy and empathetic listening.
I also work on a school child study team, evaluating and case managing students with disabilities. This gives me insight into educational issues that may affect children and their families.
Ashley works with children, adolescents and their families to address a multitude of emotional needs including, but not limited to, anxiety, coping skills, anger management, depression, self-esteem and life stressors. Working as a collaborative team, we will address the areas in which you would like to see growth and improvement, while discovering and enhancing your strengths.
Ashley draws from a variety of methodologies to create a tailored approach to address you and your individual goals. In addition, I am a School Based Social Worker who counsels and evaluates students. I have an understanding of educational concerns that may affect children as well as their families.
Ashley provides an open-minded, non-judgmental and compassionate environment to help with sharing your thoughts, fears, feelings and goals, which are not always easy but imperative in the transformation process. Ashley looks forward to being part of your personal growth and peaceful life journey.
M. Ed., MA
Matthew is a dynamic, energetic, and creative therapist who is committed to addressing the developmental needs of all his clients. As a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) with a Cognitive- Behavioral and Child-Centered background, Matthew’s approach to therapy is both fluid in nature and directive, when needed. He believes that working with the parent(s), alongside the child, is important during the treatment process to ensure effective change aligns with family goals. His areas of clinical interest include, but are not limited to: depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, trauma, and adjustment disorders.
As a School Social Worker, Matthew is prepared to advocate for his client’s educational and behavioral needs outside the office. Matthew has completed 40 hours of Applied Behavioral Analytics (ABA) training as well as worked with the New Jersey Children System of Care to ensure wrap-around care within the school setting. Matthew is prepared to provide parent education on behavioral interventions and can assist in clarifying appropriate placement and addressing client's needs in school.
Matthew is very proud of his Puerto Rican heritage and is ready to work with a diverse population of clients. Although he is not fluent in Spanish, he can communicate conversationally with parents who speak Spanish and assist in bridging the cultural gap between cross-generational and cross-cultural family stressors. In his free time, Matthew enjoys traveling the world and taking cooking lessons from his abuela (grandma). Matthew is excited to join the team at Kids for Kids a Mindfulness Movement.
Appreciating that each client has unique needs, strengths, and resources, Michelle employs a variety of therapeutic techniques tailored to each individual. She has extensive experience working with children and adolescents struggling with a wide range of emotional difficulties and behavioral concerns in both school-based and private settings.
Michelle is certified by the State of New Jersey as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). I received a Master's Degree in Professional Counseling with a concentration in Mental Health and certification in School Counseling from William Paterson University. In addition to my therapy work, I am a wife, a mother. When not in the office, you can often find me exploring the outdoors with my little loves and eating all the acai bowls NJ has to offer.
Simply stated, Nikki is a kickin' momma with a Masters Degree in Special Education from NJCU and Teacher Certification from University of Delaware. Nikki is currently employed as reading and writing and math resource specialist full time. Her passion to bring wellness to herself, family and students is what sparked her journey into a skilled mindfulness practitioner.
Nikki is Annette's right arm when it comes to joining forces to create teacher and student workshops, 1/2 day retreats for children and teens, summer camps and more! They have been on their individual wellness journey and have both mindfully and successfully brought many with them along their way.
Nikki has spearheaded several contractual relationships with various schools districts including: Rahway, Plainfield and Clark. She and Annette are currently creating an app that will allow school districts to institute wellness and safety from age preschool up! How exciting is that? Please reach out to Nikki for more information about mindfulness in schools and beyond.
Workshops for Educators
Child and Teen Workshop Series
Groups for Children & Teens
Child Centered Meditation & Yoga