A SPECIAL SECTION OF
THE RECORD-REVIEW MARCH 14, 2014
Page 2A | The Record-Review Bedford Kids insert ad 9.833x13.5_Layout 1 2/25/14 5:24 PM Page 1
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MARCH 14, 2014
MaRCH 14, 2014
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KIDS! COveR CONTeST WINNeRS Dahlia Rudd DIvISION ONe WINNeR
Nicholas Poti COveR WINNeR
his was Nicholas’s first Christmas and first time in his jumper. “He loved it and spent quite a bit of time in it that day,” grandmother Susan Clark of Bedford said. Nicholas is now 10 months old and though he loves all three of his cousins, his favorite is McKenzie, who is only 2 months younger than him. The proud grandmother is enjoying watching all of her grandkids undergo amazing changes, and Nicholas is certainly going through some fun ones. “Nicholas is one of the happiest children I have ever met, constantly with a smile on his face,” Susan said. “He is just learning to pull himself up, and is scooting all over the floor at his house.” Two of his loves are Cheerios and his 90-pound chocolate lab named Bobby. The two pals share Nicholas’s snacks often. “everyone who meets Nicholas falls in love,” Susan said. “His smile and laugh are completely infectious, and you can’t help but smile back at him all the time. He loves to listen to stories, follow his dog Bobby around, and they go on long walks together. He loves his stuffed elephants in his room, and still enjoys bouncing around in his jumper, just like in the picture we submitted!”
t is a fall fun fact — kids love leaves! Fifteen-month-old Dahlia of Pound Ridge was having a blast on her driveway and mom Helena captured the moment perfectly. “We loved the photo because of Dahlia’s very happy expression, just playing with leaves,” dad Colin said. Dahlia is the pride and joy of Colin and Helena because all of her firsts are firsts for them. “We love her very much, she is a very happy, joyful child and she brings a lot of love to us all,” Dad said. “Dahlia loves animals, she is very sociable and outgoing, we think she is an extrovert. She likes to dance, play hide and seek, and, as we’ve discovered this past week, sail.” There’s so much more for Dahlia to experience, but sailing in the Virgin Islands is already checked off her to-do list. a pretty good getaway for a winter like 2014!
Shane Dooley DIvISION TWO WINNeR
hane may be 2.5 years old, but he’s the baby of the Dooley family, the youngest of three behind 9-year-old gavin and 5.5-year-old Nora. Mom Toni sure does have her hands full in Pound Ridge! “Both gavin and Nora each have their own special connection to Shane,” Mom said. “Nora is the ‘little mother’ who cares for him as if he is her child or doll. gavin wrestles with him and plays basketball with him as if he was a third-grader like himself. Sometimes the three can join forces and be best of friends, while at other times, one can sometimes feel left out if the other two are having a special moment. It depends on the day.” Shane has plenty of energy and, as you can see in this winning photo, a “sweetness” that defines him. This was taken before a predinner game of tag. Shane will start at Pound Ridge Community Church Playschool in the fall, but until then he has plenty to keep him occupied: watching “PaW Patrol,” playing with Lightning McQueen and other toy cars, climbing at the playground, playing catch, kicking a ball around and reading Curious george books.“His personality right now is very textbook toddler,” Mom said. “He has days when he is cranky, demanding and exhausting. But he can also be the most sweet, friendly and playful boy in the room. His smile draws people in in a way I cannot really explain.” and you should see him rock out and dance…
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MARCH 14, 2014
Get out and play!
Fun area places to visit with your kids
By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG
through children 5 years of age — have been developed by Kidville’s team of early childhood development specialists. Check the website for playspace hours and a class schedule.
ot little ones? We’ve got a lot for you to do. Outings are a great way to connect with your child and stimulate social skills, intellect, and mental and physical development. Westchester and the surrounding area are full of destinations to occupy the pre-k crowd. With all this fun and enrichment, you’ll wish you had a bigger calendar. And this list just scratches the surface…
Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale 723-3470 www.greenburghnaturecenter.org
Bronx River Pathway Bronx River Reservation 864-PARK www.parks.westchestergov.com/trailways With so much time spent indoors, kids love to be outside. Taking a walk appeals to their curiosity and high energy. Make sure to notice the details of nature while you’re traversing paths and trails. Talking about leaves, plants, animal tracks, insects and clouds will not only stimulate hands-on learning, it will also make memories. The Bronx River Pathway is an extensive system of trails located within the Bronx River Reservation. Opened in 1925, the Reservation is an 807-acre linear park adjacent to the Bronx River Parkway, which extends north from Westchester’s border with New York City to Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. The pathway trails consist of three paved segments — a one-mile loop near Oak Street in Mount Vernon, a 4.6-mile section from Palmer Road in Bronxville to Crane Road in Scarsdale, and a 5-mile section extending from Greenacres Avenue in Hartsdale to Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. On Sundays in the summer, a portion of the Bronx River Parkway closes to vehicular traffic to allow for the county’s popular Bike and Skate Sunday program. It’s a good time to transition from trikes to training wheels to bicycles. Trail maps can be downloaded from the county’s website.
1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla 328-1542 www.parks.westchestergov.com/kensico-dam-plaza As an imposing architectural marvel, the Kensico Dam is one of Westchester’s wonders. Built from locally quarried stone at the beginning of the 20th century, it is 300 feet high and 1,800 feet long. Children will enjoy walking along the monument and playing
in the adjacent public plaza and parkland. Greenspace, paved walkways and a playground offer activities for children. In the spring and summer months, families can bring tricycles, scooters, skates and balls for active fun. For artistically inclined families, the pavement offers an ideal surface for chalk drawing or a spontaneous game of hopscotch. Outdoor movies, with local entertainment before dusk, have been a summertime highlight. Check the website for further information — jammies optional.
creativity and experimentation. As part of that ambiance, he envisioned a museum in the open, where sculpture and landscape art could be enjoyed by employees and members of the community. The gardens include masterpieces by Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, George Segal, Jean Dubuffet and Auguste Rodin. The gardens are free and open daily to the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from April through October and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from November through March.
Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens, at PepsiCo World Headquarters
700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase Featuring more than 45 sculptures by major 20th century artists and set within 168 acres of lush green lawns and manicured gardens, the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens make for a delightful afternoon. Kids can run and play freely in the presence of great art. The gardens have been around for more than 40 years, since PepsiCo moved its company headquarters out of Manhattan to Purchase. At the time, the company’s chief executive wanted to create an atmosphere of stability,
145 Kisco Ave., Mount Kisco 458-1909 www.kidville.com/mtkisco When it’s time to burn some energy and you can’t get outside, Kidville is the perfect indoor destination. At various times throughout the week, Kidville staff converts one of the facility’s state-of-the-art gyms into a fantastic supervised indoor play space. Kids can run and climb in a safe and fun environment, while having the opportunity to make new friends. Regular classes are also available to engage various interests, including art, dance, enrichment, music and gym activities. All classes — geared for babies
There’s always something to do at Greenburgh Nature Center. From trails and outdoor exhibits to an indoor animal museum and drop-in classes, children will delight in experiential learning. Abundant life can be found on all four levels of the forest: the high canopy of oaks, the understory of dogwoods, the shrub level of viburnums and the forest floor level of wildflowers and mushrooms. The Great Lawn area provides an ideal space to rest and enjoy the beauty of the season. It is the staging area for special events and other gatherings. There is also an organic garden area and a butterfly garden. Outdoor animal displays include prairie dogs, rabbits, chickens, sheep, goats, turkeys, honeybee hives and a birds of prey aviary. There’s also a nature discovery playground. Indoor exhibits feature a live animal museum with more than 100 specimens, a greenhouse with a variety of plants from all over the world and a large exhibit room with changing natural history and nature-related art exhibits.
Legoland Discovery Center 39 Fitzgerald St., Yonkers (for GPS use: 1 Ridge Hill Blvd., Yonkers, NY 10710) (866) 243-0770 www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/ westchester
Especially designed for children ages 3-10, Legoland Discovery Center promises hours of creative fun. Fifteen activities include a simulated factory tour, hands-on building exercises, a 4-D cinema, themed rides, an exhibition of spectacular creations built out of Legos, Master Building Academy workshops, earthquake tables, a soft preschool play area, a mini-figure trading center, a café and gift shop. “Tot Tuesdays” offer reduced admission prices on Tuesday visits. Annual membership passes offer further savings for repeat visits. Children under 2 are always admitted at no charge. Note: Due to limited availability, tickets are best purchased in advance online. A limited number of tickets are available at the door each day, but their availability is not guaranteed. Continued on the next page
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Oakland Beach, at Rye Town Park 95 Dearborn ave., Rye, NY 967-2535, www.townofryeny.com For kids, a day on the beach is always a happy day. Located on the coastline of the Long Island Sound, Oakland Beach and the adjacent Rye Town Park has been delighting residents and travelers for over a century. The beach is a 1,200 foot-long expansive crescent of white sand. The beach is monitored by lifeguards from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend; during this time, a snack bar and beach shop are also open on the ground level of the beach. Seaside Johnnies, a restaurant on the upper street level, overlooks the beach and serves food, drinks and ice cream yearround. Children can enjoy sandcastle building and sand play, they can collect shells along the shore or they can play in the waves. On windy days, many families can be seen flying kites along the shore, with a view of the Playland Ferris wheel silhouetted in the distance.
Rockland Boulders Minor League Baseball 1 Provident Bank Park Dr., Pomona, NY (for older model gPS systems, use: 27 Fireman’s Memorial Drive, Pomona, NY) (845) 364-0009, www.rocklandboulders.com You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to love a Rockland Boulders game. You just have to love oldfashioned family fun! The excitement of live action on the baseball diamond fascinates kids. But that’s not all — expect to enjoy appearances by BoulderBird, the team’s friendly mascot, opportunities to get players’ autographs, special fireworks nights and sponsored giveaways throughout the season. Provident Bank Park also features a kids’ playground in right field — BoulderBerg. Here, parents can sit back at picnic tables and enjoy the game while
kids run around and have fun on slides, swings, climbing walls and a jungle gym. Rubberized floor mats ensure safety. The 2014 season runs from May 23-Sept. 1. Check the website for game schedule and ticket information.
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Rye Playland Amusement Park 100 Playland Parkway, Rye 813-7010, www.ryeplayland.org You’ve been to Disney World. You’ve been to Universal Studios. You know the theme parks, but have you visited the amusement park in your own backyard? With kiddy rides, boardwalk games, funnel cakes and cotton candy, Rye Playland offers quintessential summertime fun. This year opening day is Saturday, May 10. Family rides and a dedicated Kiddyland promise old-fashioned amusement classics such as carousels, a mini scrambler, boat rides, antique cars, a fun slide, a kids’ coaster, flying dragons, a jolly caterpillar, a roundabout train and other child-friendly rides. after dark at 9:15 p.m., spectacular fireworks displays are choreographed to music every Wednesday and Friday in July and august. Special holiday shows are scheduled for July 3 and 4 on the Pier.
Saxon Woods Park Miniature Golf 1800 Mamaroneck ave., White Plains 381-4843, www.parks.westchestergov.com/ miniature-golf Budget-friendly and convenient, Saxon Woods Park boasts a miniature golf course and adjacent playground. The miniature golf course has all the popular putting obstacles and is fun for kids and adults alike. The course is structured around 18 holes of varying degrees of difficulty. ask for child-sized clubs to make the game easier for little ones. Call for details regarding inseason opening hours.
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MARCH 14, 2014
Raising children and pets… perfect together
By MARY LEGRAND
often if there’s a pet in the household — “They can go out and throw the ball around or walk the dog, fostering a healthier lifestyle,” Thayer said. Dogs and cats are not the only options when it comes to pets. For some parents, getting a “starter” pet — a guinea pig, gerbil or hamster, for example — works better than initially taking on a dog or cat. “You can have a real relationship with these ‘pocket pets,’ more than you would have with fish, I think,” Thayer said. “And they don’t require a ton of veterinary care. You just need to become informed about their basic needs prior to buying or adopting them.” Common-sense rules apply when taking an animal into a household with children, Thayer said. “Part of being safe is knowing your pet,” he said. “Little kids are not really people yet, and animals can freak out if children make unpredictable movements or loud noises. There must be close adult supervision with any pet, and even with that you’re taking a leap of faith. An older or sick dog can act out of character, have a medical problem, that can cause behavior problems.” Children and animals both need to be socialized, Thayer said, in order to remain safe. Children must be coached to avoid sudden gestures and learn how to read the signs of whatever animals they approach. Dr. Eve Martin of the Visiting Vet Service comes to households and covers everything from puppy and kitten visits, routine vaccinations, sick visits and elder pet care.
hildren and pets are perfect together, kind of like peanut butter and jelly, right? Most folks would agree with that, and in fact, many parents have dogs, cats and other pets in the household at the same time as they’re raising kids. Local veterinarians are on board with that practice, and they offer tips on why mixing children and pets is such a good idea. Dr. Andrew Thayer, veterinarian at Hartsdale Veterinary Hospital, is the parent of two children, 11 and 13, who have grown up with pets. He sees numerous advantages for letting children have animals. “To me there are positive aspects to having pets, like helping foster responsibility,” Thayer said. “There are different stages of that, from feeding the dog or cat to grooming the animal, to taking the pet for a walk. And there’s the unconditional love that a pet gives to a child, and vice versa, that oftentimes helps a child. For children with fear or anxiety, having a pet can be very soothing.” Thayer also said that having a pet is “like having a real imaginary friend. Animals are great secret keepers; I’ve seen this with my own kids. And because animals have condensed life spans relative to those of a person, having a pet often helps children understand and experience loss on a different scale from the experience they would have if a grandparent dies, for instance.” Children can also be nudged outdoors more
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Continued from the previous page
She said an advantage of having pets is that children learn to shoulder some of the responsibility for another living thing. Another plus is the “comforting one gets from a dog or cat or even a guinea pig, who no matter what are happy to see you when you come home,” she said. “There are a lot of things going on in children’s lives that adults don’t know about, but the pets do. There’s also the social aspect of having pets — walking your dog or taking your cat to a friend’s house or to show-andtell at school.” Martin suggests that children really begin to have. I tend to steer new pet owners away enjoying their pets and taking responsibility for from lizards and birds. They’re more for people them at age 5 or 6, although quite obviously who have more time and experience, not a lot of households with pets also include terribly good choices in terms of something children from infancy and beyond. And, she for the kids to look after.” notes, while parents may think their children Kirstin Bellhouse is a licensed veterinary will shoulder a majority of responsibility for technician and manager of the Visiting their pets, that may simply not be the case. Veterinary Practice of Westchester. She did “As parents we have to be prepared to be not have pets until getting a dog when she the primary caregiver,” Martin said. “But with older children, maybe 12 and up, then you’re was about 12 years old. “One of the primary benefits of having an animal is that it helps you talking about a different situation, particularly if one of the children is keen to have a pet and form bonds and friendships,” Bellhouse said. “If you’re lucky to be born into a household forms a very strong bond with it.” Households that mix dogs, cats and children with animals, they can be your first friends. can work out very well, Martin said, especially Children with pets learn about boundaries and about responsibility. It’s a mini-model if the animals grow up together and are used of parenthood, really, and of the friendships to interacting. “You can’t really stop animals from choosing who they want to relate to, you’ll form throughout your life.” Bellhouse believes parents should be realistic after all,” she said. “Cats don’t require a large amount of space, and I tend to encourage about what individual children can take on in people who are getting kittens to get two terms of pet care. “Younger kids can start with chores that don’t have to be done every day instead of one. They grow up together and — brushing the pet, collecting all the animal’s tend to bond very closely.” toys and putting them away,” she said. “Older A fan of guinea pigs for smaller households, Martin said they have “quite a bit of children can be responsible for feeding — it’s personality, don’t smell bad and are quite1 fun p.m. PM andPage before RCS_Spring 2014_9.833x6.667_Layout 2/27/146 1:19 1 dinner you need to make
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sure the cat or dog has been fed too.” Bellhouse also stressed that parents are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the household, including pet care: “Don’t assume that an 8-year-old child is feeding the cat, because the cat will starve if the child doesn’t follow through.” A lot of Bellhouse’s clients schedule vet visits for when the children can be at home. “They want their kids to be active participants in the animal’s wellness,” she said, “and in part because of the youngster’s interest it’s a common thing for children to want to be veterinarians at some point in their lives.” In terms of safety, Bellhouse said parents must ensure that their children and visiting youngsters learn how to treat animals. “Once children are at the age when you can reason with them, teach them what to look for when a cat or dog doesn’t want to play,” she said. “No matter their age, people need to respect an animal’s space and its attitude, and always must be sure that an animal wants to interact with you when you want to interact with it. ‘Stranger danger’ is true for animals as well as humans, so it’s necessary to teach children to ask permission, never reach toward an animal without asking first.” Also a fan of smaller pocket pets, Bellhouse especially likes guinea pigs. “They’re sizable, something a young child, even a toddler, can hold and feel it’s a substantial animal,” she said. “They’re easy to take care of and not exotic, don’t get any strange diseases.” A veterinarian at Central Animal Hospital in Scarsdale, Dr. Donatella Hecht lives in Westchester with her husband, two children, “two cats and a dog named Kevin,” according to the practice’s website. She says it’s an “across-the-board wonderful experience” for children to have pets, “and an
important one. Having pets teaches children some responsibility, that this is alive, a living thing you have to take care of.” Transitioning from the excitement of getting a new animal to the “less exciting but more routine care for the pet is important, but certainly not without its mountains,” Hecht said. “As a parent you have to realize this is going to be primarily your responsibility. Somebody needs to walk the dog — he’s doing somersaults in front of you — and it can be difficult to get the kids out there to do that.” Hecht said she and her husband brought their current dog, “a big mutt who showed up sick at the practice as a 3-week-old puppy,” into their household “because we needed a little bit of light in the house because the loss of our previous dog was so traumatic and so sad. We needed this little guy to come in and open a window.” As she said, “It’s hard and it’s important, very important, for children to mourn when a pet dies. My kids have seen a lot of pets come and go, certainly their share. Don’t try to hide your tears; this is a sad event and everybody’s going to miss a pet that dies. Sometimes the animal is lucky and has a long life and a good death, and sometimes they’re not that lucky and it pulls everybody apart. That’s important, too, how you pick up the pieces and move on from a hard loss.” Hecht said she is “all for pets of all kinds being in the house with small children. But they need to get used to the signals that a pet puts out, whether a dog or cat. My kids are used to determining what’s going to happen depending on how the cat is swishing its tail. Small children just have to be supervised, and often it’s for the pet’s sake as well as the child’s.”
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Page 8A | The Record-Review
MARCH 14, 2014
Terrific times with toddlers
By JACKIE LUPO
fter a long, hard winter, many parents of kids under the age of 3 have just about run out of ideas for ways to spend meaningful time with their toddlers. There are many places to go and things to see, even activities without leaving the house to bond with your little one(s). Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the most memorable. There was the time when we took our daughter, then 3, to a farm on Cape Cod where a bunch of pigmy goats — about the height of medium-sized dogs — decided to befriend her. After her initial surprise at being nuzzled by tiny creatures with hooves, she was delighted. And decades later, she remembers the experience as well as we do. Stephanie Mandella, who is children’s librarian and head of children’s services at the Katonah Village Library, as well as being a former preschool teacher, said the toddler period, generally defined as between 18 months and 3 years of age, is a tremendous time of physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. “Development in one area influences development in another area,” she said. “Children build upon skills and knowledge as they are acquired. Children also develop at different rates, as well as unevenly within each area.” Mandella said kids are active participants in their environments, drawing on direct experience socially and physically to make sense of the world around them. In short, toddlers are learning all the time, wherever you take them, whatever they see, and whatever they have the chance to do, especially with a parent or guardian by their side. Go to the library Your local public library is probably the single greatest resource for age-appropriate programs for preschoolers, and that includes toddlers. Mandella said what’s most important at this age is for a parent or caregiver to interact with their kids at the programs they attend. A story hour geared to older preschoolers, where kids are more capable of sitting attentively and actually listening to a story being read to them, is really not appropriate for the under-3 set. When registering your
child for a library program, recognize that the age ranges for each program are pretty reliable, developmentally speaking. Asking to “promote” a toddler under the age of 3 into a class meant for older kids is bound to be frustrating for everyone concerned. At the Katonah library’s programs, as at most Westchester library programs geared to toddlers, language and social skills development are both on the agenda. But the material is presented in an age-appropriate format. “It’s important to children’s language development to hear many different sounds and words,” Mandella said. “We read short stories with colorful pictures, varied vocabulary and opportunities for participation. We also recognize that children at this age have short attention spans. They are simply too busy decoding their world to remain attentive for long periods of time. We provide many short, varied activities.” Mandella said parents shouldn’t feel
uncomfortable if their kids need to explore the room during stories or songs, because they are still benefiting from hearing them. Talk to the animals Unless you live on a farm, your kids probably don’t have much interaction with animals other than the family pets. Fortunately, there are plenty of places in Westchester and vicinity where toddlers can see, and in some cases, interact with animals. The Weinberg Nature Center in Scarsdale and the Greenburgh Nature Center in Edgemont have frequent programs for preschoolers that feature stories, activities and visits from live animals. At the O’Hara Nature Center in Irvington, toddlers can attend programs that combine music with toddler-appropriate nature and animal themes. There are also many working farms in the area. At Muscoot Farm in Somers — a real
farm that’s also a county park — springtime is baby animal time. Toddlers can see calves, kids, lambs and piglets. The Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills is another place to see lots of farm animals. The Bergen County Zoo in nearby Paramus, N.J., is a great small-scale zoo that offers weekly programs for toddlers. There’s also a miniature railroad that the whole family can ride. For a truly interactive experience, hop on the train and head for the Tisch Children’s Zoo at the Central Park Zoo in Manhattan. Here kids can get up close and personal with goats, sheep, alpacas, potbellied pigs and other barnyard animals. There are even grain dispensers where you can buy a handful of grain for your (brave) toddler to feed the animals. The Bronx Zoo also has a kids’ zoo. Continued on the next page
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MARCH 14, 2014 continued from the previous page
Music and movement Toddlers love to make noise, hop around, and bang on things. What could be better than a class that actually encourages this sort of behavior? The Hoff-Barthelson School in Scarsdale has Dalcroze Eurhythmics music and movement classes that are designed to develop inner hearing and rhythmic sensitivity with ageappropriate exercises and games involving singing, movement, improvisation, and use of fun props such as balls, scarves and percussion instruments. The classes are geared to very specific age ranges from “learning in the lap” (4-12 months), through 12-18 months, 2’s and 3’s. Gymboree in Scarsdale also breaks up their classes into very narrow age ranges. They offer not only the traditional classes with toddler-friendly play equipment to build both socialization and gross motor skills, but also music classes where toddlers 16-28 months dance and sing to different styles of music. At the Ardsley Library, Bouncing Babies (6 months-2 years) and Two’s Company (23.5 years) combine stories, rhymes, puppets, songs and movement. Rainy day fun Sometimes the best fun you can have with your toddler is the kind you make up and that costs you nothing. So before you park yourself and your toddler in front of the TV on a rainy day, consider these alternatives: • Camp out in your living room: make a tent out of blankets draped over a table. Instead of serving lunch in the kitchen, pack a picnic and eat it in the tent by the light of a couple of flashlights.
• Create a toilet paper treasure hunt: use a roll of toilet tissue to make a continuous trail through the house. At the end, place a “treasure” such as a small book or toy. • Have a teddy bear party: round up all the stuffed animals and invite them to “tea” around a child-size table. Use toy dishes if you have them, but if not, just set out paper plates. The food and drink? Imaginary ones are best! • Jump in the pillow pit: Dump all the chair and sofa cushions and throw pillows in a pile in the middle of the room. Little kids will enjoy bouncing for hours. • Keep the box: large, clean corrugated cardboard boxes, such as the ones lamps or appliances come in, can make for hours of toddler fun. The same box can become a car, a boat, a house, even a puppet theater. Have the kids try decorating the “walls” with crayons. Be sure to check all packing boxes for staples before using. • Make a homemade xylophone: Line up a set of eight tall drinking glasses. Fill each one with a different amount of water, from just a little to almost full. Show kids how to gently tap the side of each glass with a spoon to play “notes.” What about all those enticing apps available for toddlers to use on iPads and computers? For toddlers, they’re no substitute for parent participation. “At this stage of development, exposure to technology is not the most important,” said Mandella. “The primary focus is to be exploring through the senses and through interaction with adults, people they feel comfortable and safe with. We have technology available because it can be a tool as any other tool when used correctly, with adult interaction at the appropriate age — ages 4 and up.”
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MaRCH 14, 2014
BRAINPOWeR fROM BOOKS? Still the No. 1 choice, according to experts
By MARY LeGRAND
re you the parent of an infant or preschooler and tempted to purchase computer programs to jump-start or boost your child’s brainpower? In truth, you might be better off stepping away from the credit cards, according to advice from developmental pediatricians. The american academy of Pediatrics’ website, healthychildren.org, has tons of help for parents, including age-appropriate sections on cognitive development. Much of the advice should sound familiar to current grandparents, who for the most part raised their kids prior to the days when computers, smart phones and tablets gave youngsters the opportunity to watch or tap on something 24/7. Rather, play is at the forefront of learning, the aaP experts note. Wind-up toys, switches, buttons and knobs — the original mechanical items — continue to provide a child with a wide range of activities, “and she’ll select the ones that are challenging but not completely beyond her abilities.” The common perception is that a huge percentage of a child’s brainpower is reached by age 5. William Levinson, M.D., chief of developmental pediatrics at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, noted how a young child’s brain grows: “Brain development is both physical and functional. The child’s head grows because the brain contained within the skull is growing. a second way to measure growth in the brain is the number of cells — the total number of adult brain cells is reached by 15 months of age. a third way to measure growth in the brain is brain weight: the average brain weight for a male in his early 20s is a little over 3 pounds — 90 percent of this would be achieved between 3-4 years of age.” But “while the major percentage of the physical growth of the brain occurs between 1 1/2 and 4 years of age, the functional capability of the brain lags behind this physical growth,” Dr. Levinson said. “You would not expect a 4-year-old to know 90 percent of what an adult knows.” Brain development “can best be promoted by helping a child to learn — talking to your child, even when the child is an infant, engaging the child in meaningful, reciprocal communication is the best basis for learning,”
Levinson said. “Reading to a child is also a good way to promote learning, and also a way to show a child the value of reading, and reading is a way that a child will continue to learn on his or her own.” Mark Bertin, M.D., a board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician with a practice in Pleasantville who is affiliated with Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, agrees that reading to young children, no matter their age, is of utmost importance. “as parents, we’re under constant pressure to do whatever we can to give our children a leg up,” Dr. Bertin wrote in his Huffington Post blog in September 2013. “Millions of dollars are spent marketing to us, most of it without a whole lot of grounding in reality. For example, claims are continually made, yet there is scant evidence to date that ‘educational’ software has much (if any) benefit for children.” as for “new” products, Bertin wrote, “apologies if you find it a stretch, but new books come out every week. That may not sound flashy, but more than any other ‘product,’ time with books has been shown to build language and cognitive abilities.” Bertin said there’s been a lot of chatter about how to best educate the prekindergarten crowd, but “the most research about children
from infants to age 5 has to do with things we’re familiar with, some of them common sense, like being raised in a stable, supportive home environment, which definitely influences brain development.” Bertin said there’s a growing body of evidence about social and emotional skills, so-called “executive” function and cognitive skills and how they correlate with school success. “a lot of these skills really come from open-ended, imaginative play, so in most households what you’re looking at to promote brain development are things that are readily accessible and don’t involve more than most parents are already doing,” he said. Children attending preschools that focus on play, language and social development “generally do better than those who attend more academic programs,” Bertin said. “Despite pressure being put on parents and preschools to do more, being around caring adults who talk to children a lot and expose them to caring experiences, being around books, is of primary importance.” When you look at all the different things that set kids up for school success, another one is just background knowledge, partly from books and partly from getting out in the world and doing activities.
Research has shown that children from lower-income homes are exposed to about half the language of children from higher-income homes by the time they reach kindergarten. Bertin used the analogy of an adult trying to read an article about advanced physics without having a basic knowledge of physics. “It’s difficult to do if you just don’t have any of that content knowledge to begin with, and that goes into the classroom setting for children who lack knowledge of basic things that other students have,” he said. Parents who allow children some screen time are not doing major developmental harm, Bertin said, but as always, that activity should come in moderate doses. “anything we repeat enough reinforces itself by creating brain connections to support that specific behavior,” he wrote on the Huffington Post blog. “Routines built early in childhood neurologically sustain themselves around nutrition, reading, technology and countless other aspects of life.” Therefore, “there’s nothing wrong with wellmanaged computer use for entertainment, and technology can be a powerful tool when well-utilized,” Bertin continued. “Someday, a specific product may even be proven to educate. Yet, screen habits develop early and built-in marketing is highly influential. In order to raise a generation of children able to manage media without allowing an intrusion on other vital activities or a push toward less healthy habits, we must promote and model a balanced lifestyle from the start.” To build the best brain possible, lay a foundation for success by reading. “get on board by going back to the basics,” Bertin wrote in his blog. “No one is going to spend millions of dollars to convince you that the most important product for your child’s development may simply be a pile of books.” In short, Bertin offers this advice: Make reading a part of every day, and have fun while doing it by talking about the pictures; letting your child turn the pages; choosing books about events in your child’s life; making stories come alive by creating voices for a story’s characters; asking questions about the story and letting your child ask questions about it as well; and visiting your local library often — “you do not even need to spend money on this particular brain-building product at all!”
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Westchester Sandbox Theatre promotes education, entertainment Since 2010, the Westchester Sandbox Theatre in Mamaroneck has provided the Westchester community with a variety of performing arts programs and events that enrich the soul and engage the mind. In such a short time, WST has built a reputation for quality, success and entertainment. The heart of WST lies with its Young People’s Theatre program, which is open to performers in grades k-12. Each year, WST produces over a dozen shows starring young performers. Each show is fully and professionally produced, and young performers get the opportunity to work with professional directors, designers and musicians as they learn the art of theater — music, dance and acting. With three age groups — kids, tweens and teens — WST provides focused instruction as well as an experience that each performer will not soon forget. In the coming months, WST will hold auditions for its kids/tweens production of the tap dancing spectacle “42nd Street,” its teens production of the hit Disney musical “Aida,” as well as a kids only production of “Doctor Dolittle.” All of these shows audition in March and April with performances in May and June. WST also provides young performers with other opportunities to be on stage. Acting classes run throughout the school year, and for those who like to set their imaginations free over the summer, WST has its highly regarded Summer at the Sandbox summer day camp, which runs in two sessions in July and August. WST has also earned praise for its Mainstage
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St. Matthew’s School A Pre-School Offering Excellence and Enrichment for Early Learners Programs available for 2, 3, and 4 year olds
series, shows that are produced with professional actors both from the area and from New York City. Recent hit productions have included “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” “The Full Monty” and “Next To Normal.” The Westchester Sandbox Theatre is owned and run by Daniel Ferrante, executive director, and Jason Summers, artistic director. Call 630-0804 or visit www.wstshows.com.
St. Matthew’s School 382 Cantitoe Street, Bedford, NY The school is located on the grounds of the historic St. Matthew’s Church and enjoys the use of its beautiful property and woodlands. For more information or to schedule a tour please contact Stephanie Scanlon, Director, at 914.234.7890 or visit us online at www.stmatthewsschool.org
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American Academy of Pediatrics I 2014 Recommendations Computer feedback can help students with ADHD
Adult talk helps preterm infants improve language
Neurofeedback, a type of training using a computer program for children with attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can contribute to lasting improvements for these children, according to a study in the March 2014 issue of Pediatrics, “In-School NeurofeedbackTraining for ADHD: Sustained Improvement From a Randomized Control Trial,” (published online Feb. 17). Neurofeedback consists of giving immediate feedback (both heard and seen) to individuals regarding their attention as they practice focusing. Neurofeedback trains users to monitor and change their brainwave patterns in ways that can improve their attention and executive functioning (a set of skills related to learning and academic achievement). The researchers looked at 102 children and compared their attention and executive functioning after two types of computer training: neurofeedback and cognitive training. These students were compared to students who had no computer training for the study. Compared to no computer training, the children using both types of training had better results in certain areas of attention and learning six months later. The group using neurofeedback showed significant improvements, in more areas and to a greater degree than those who received cognitive training. This is the first large randomized controlled trial to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of in-school computer training for ADHD, and the authors identify
Older children who are exposed to only small amounts of adult speech are known to be at risk for language delay. A new study in the March 2014 Pediatrics examined whether the same is true for preterm infants. For the study, “Adult Talk in the NICU With Preterm Infants and Developmental Outcomes,” (published online Feb. 10), researchers recorded 16 hours of adult speech and vocal sounds from infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at Women & Infants Hospital in Rhode Island. Researchers used a Language Environment Analysis (LENA) digital recording device to record adults talking to 36 preterm infants at age 32 weeks, and again at age 36 weeks. Every increase by 100 adult words per hour during the recording at age 32 weeks resulted in a two-point increase in language composite scores at 18 months, and a 0.5-point increase in expressive communication scores. For every 100 adult words per hour at age 36 weeks, there was an increase of 1.2 points in the Bayley Cognitive Composite at seven months, and an increase of 0.3 points in expressive communication scores at 18 months. At seven months, the cumulative adult word count for all recordings was associated with higher cognitive and language composite scores, and receptive communication scores. For 18-month outcomes, adult word counts for
future research steps to advance this type of brain development.
Can sleep machines be hazardous to babies’ ears? Infant sleep machines can be used to mask environmental noises in busy households or to provide ambient noise to soothe an infant during sleep, but they can also contribute to babies’ hearing loss. In an April 2014 Pediatrics study, “Infant Sleep Machines and Hazardous Sound Pressure Levels,” (published online March 3), the maximum noise levels of 65 sounds in 14 different infant sleep machines were tested at three distances: 30
centimeters (to simulate placement on a crib rail), 100 centimeters (simulating placement near a crib) and 200 centimeters (to simulate placement across the room). All 14 machines exceeded 50 dBA, the current recommended noise limit for infants in hospital nurseries, and all but one exceeded the recommended noise limit even from 200 centimeters away. The findings also determined that regular exposure to white noise through an infant sleep machine on a nightly basis can affect hearing, speech and language development. Even though the maximum output levels were measured in this study, the authors encourage parents to move infant sleep machines farther away than 200 centimeters and to lower the volume to protect infants’ hearing.
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American Academy of Pediatrics I 2014 Recommendations Continued from the previous page
all recordings were linked to higher expressive communication scores. Study authors conclude that infants being cared for in the NICU benefit from exposure to adult talk, resulting in both higher language and cognitive scores later in life. Parents should be encouraged to talk to their preterm babies while in the NICU to avoid risk of language delay.
Childhood immunizations save lives, billions of dollars A new economic analysis of the childhood immunization schedule shows it will prevent 42,000 early deaths and 20 million cases of disease, with a savings of $13.5 billion in direct costs and $68.8 billion in total societal costs in a single cohort. The study, “Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009,” in the April 2014 Pediatrics (published online March 3), used population-based vaccination coverage, vaccine efficacy data, historical data on disease incidence before vaccination, and disease incidence data after vaccination to calculate the lifetime economic impact of vaccinating a hypothetical cohort of all U.S. children born in 2009. The study updates a prior analysis published in 2005. Researchers conclude that from a societal perspective, the average savings per dollar spent on vaccination is at least $10. According to the study authors, “the vaccines currently recommended for young
children represent not only a major public health victory in terms of disease prevention, but also an excellent public health ‘buy’ in terms of dollars and cents.”
Use of off-label drugs for children Less than half of medications include specific labeling for children, which means pediatricians often must decide what is appropriate to prescribe based on their clinical judgment. In a revised policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers guidance to physicians using drugs off-label. The policy statement, “Off-Label Use of Drugs in Children,” published in the March 2014 Pediatrics (released online Feb. 24), updates a statement that was published in 2002 and reaffirmed in 2005. “Pediatricians must prescribe drugs offlabel, simply because an overwhelming number of critical drugs still have no information on the label for use in children,” said Kathleen Neville, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Committee on Drugs. “This is an even larger issue for special populations of children, including preterm infants and newborns, and in children with chronic or rare diseases.” According to the AAP, a drug’s offlabel status does not imply an improper or experimental use. Health care practitioners caring for children can make therapeutic decisions to use drugs off-label based on expert opinion or on evidence for the
medication’s use in a different population. The passage of the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act and the Pediatric Research Equity Act has resulted in more than 500 labeling changes, including expanded labeling that includes pediatric information. According to the AAP, the two laws are an “essential first step” in expanding the evidence on use of medications in children, but more work remains to ensure the best possible outcomes for children. The AAP encourages pediatricians to advocate for research of drugs for children, and supports the publication of drug trials, including negative studies, in academic journals. The AAP also advises that health insurance companies should not use labeling status as the sole criterion to determine whether a medication is eligible to be reimbursed for use in children. Less expensive medications that are considered appropriate for adults should not be automatically considered as first-line treatment in children.
Evaluating child fractures recommendation updated In infants and toddlers, physical abuse is the cause of 12 to 20 percent of fractures. In a revised clinical report, “Evaluating Children With Fractures for Child Physical Abuse,” in the February 2014 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 27), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) describes recent advances in the understanding of which fractures are suggestive of abuse, how fractures occur and medical diseases that may
make some young children’s bones more likely to fracture. The report updates a previous report published in 2006. According to the report, rib fractures in infants and toddlers have a high probability of being caused by abuse, as do classic metaphyseal lesions, a type of long bone fracture. Multiple fractures, fractures of different stages of healing and complex skull fractures have a moderate probability of being caused by abuse. However, any fracture can be caused by abuse, and it’s important for physicians to understand the mechanisms of fractures to determine whether a fracture is caused by abuse or something else. Pre-existing medical conditions and bone disease may make a child’s bones more vulnerable to fracture. It is important for pediatricians to take a complete medical history, family history and social history to determine how an injury occurred. Siblings of children who have been physically abused should also be evaluated for maltreatment. When evaluating a child with a fracture, the AAP recommends physicians take a careful history of any injury and then determine whether the mechanism described and the severity and timing are consistent with the injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.
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MaRCH 14, 2014
Making kids art smart and gallery groovy By TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG
“It was long,” said the brown-haired girl outside the Metropolitan Museum of art. She drew out her syllables to emphasize the point. “and boring,” her little brother chimed in, “really, really boring.” He slid his belly down the brass railing and couldn’t contain his smile for exhilaration. The parents looked frustrated — tired, too. They wondered if their effort into art’s masterpieces had fallen on dead eyes. “What can you do?” the father shrugged. “Maybe some of it will sink in later on.” What is it about kids and art museums? It seems not to be a relationship of love at first sight; but actually it has nothing to do with the paintings and sculpture. By nature, most children love art. Vivid imagination, keen perception and adept nonverbal expression make them natural visual connoisseurs.
Instead, the problem of kids and museums lies in the serious atmosphere and commonly emphasized appropriate manners. Basically, for kids it’s too much quiet looking, worn-out walking, patience stretching listening, repetitive rules of no running and no touching, and way too much time spent. So it’s no wonder little ones can lose sight of the art. But museums and kids are not a lost cause. Make the visit fun; be active lookers; and soon Pablo Picasso, andy Warhol, and Frida Kahlo may be the most coveted playdates on your child’s agenda. Start by talking it up. Children model adults’ behavior and perspectives; so if you bring enthusiasm to the museum, your kids will too. Tell them that you’re excited with anticipation, that you can’t wait to show them special things, and that you can’t believe you’ve finally arrived. If your communication makes kids feel
like they’re in for a treat, that’s how they’ll feel going into the museum. Once there, try to gauge your visit according to realistic attention spans. a good rule of thumb is to plan for only one hour of concentrated time. If you remain longer, there is a fair chance somebody will have a meltdown – and it might be you. If you don’t want to leave after 60 minutes, consider a diversion such as a trip to the café or a sketch pad. Museums’ vast collections often represent days of exploration which would tire most adults, not to mention children. Prioritize what you want to see and focus your effort there, remembering to engage particular works of art rather than just flying through galleries. Older children should be able to manage one or two collection areas, while younger children may only have the attention for a few rooms or even just a handful of individual works of art.
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Keep in mind, too, that leaving while everyone is happy and wanting more promises excitement for the next visit. To support such frequent and brief visits, most museums offer unlimited-entry memberships, which may also be tax deductible. Once in the exhibition space, stimulate children by making the exercise of looking fun and active. ask lots of questions to get kids talking, and validate their responses. explore paintings and sculpture for the elements of art (line, shape, color, and texture) as well as for stories told and moods expressed. Rather than focusing on “meaning,” an appropriate children’s goal is to meaningfully engage works of art and interact with them using one of several visual games. “eye spy” played in front of individual paintings is a great technique for detailed looking. 219 expand the game from a search for straight
Check out Westmoreland Sanctuary’s summer camps! Campers will have the chance to explore the natural wonders of our forest. To register or for more information, contact Rachel Diersen at 914-666-8448 or firstname.lastname@example.org Nature Immersion Nature Exploration1 Nature Exploration2 Nature Exploration3
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MaRCH 14, 2014
early detection, family history key for young eyes By TODD SLISS
r. Dawn Rush periodically gets questions from parents of young children all wondering the same thing: are my child’s eyes in danger from modern viewing screens on electronic devices of all sizes? In most cases the question comes after a parent sees a news report on the topic. and those reports tend to pop up quite often. While Rush, who has a private practice in Yorktown Heights, eye Spy Optical, and an affiliation with Northern Westchester Hospital, among others, understands the concern about screens potentially causing myopia, also known as nearsightedness, she said there isn’t much to it on the surface. according to the american Optometric association (aOa), myopia is “a vision condition in which close objects are seen clearly, but objects farther away appear blurred. Nearsightedness occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea, the clear front cover of the eye, has too much curvature. as a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused correctly and distant objects look blurred.” “I don’t necessarily think there are more kids than there were 20 years ago wearing glasses, but there’s better detection and there’s earlier screening,” Dr. Rush said. “There’s no scientific evidence that handheld devices or smart phones or DS games are causing kids to need glasses more.” Local eye care specialists will tell you to limit screen time for children — or staring at anything up close or for a long period of time — and to get kids playing or outdoors as much as possible, which will take large
amounts of unnecessary strain off the eyes. after all, natural light is better for the eyes. “as far as recommended use for electronic devices, the american academy of Pediatrics recommends limited use in the order of 1-2 hours per day total screen time for small children and it’s not because it’s visually harmful, but intellectually harmful,” Dr. Rush said. In other words, yes, it’s harmful for various reasons if your child spends too much time occupied by technology. Sharon Decker opened eye Designs of Westchester when she was 24 years old. That was 30 years ago. She now has locations in Scarsdale and armonk. “Constantly looking at screens of any type can damage your eyes over time,” Decker said. “More than anything, the idea of focusing on something so close for hours and hours can have long-term effects on your eyes. Whether it’s an iPad, an iPhone, video games or even a book, staring isn’t something you should get into the habit of doing. To keep your eyes healthy, we recommend giving
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your eyes breaks every 15 minutes, looking at something in the distance just to give your eyes a rest.” Dr. abraham Zlatin of eye Q Optometrist in Scarsdale and New York City noted that eye fatigue is common with digital viewing due to the strain of blue light on eyes. Blue light is more powerful than natural white light and is contained in many electronics that give off light. “Long hours of exposure to blue light may cause eyestrain, dry eye, headaches, vision discomfort and sleeplessness,” he said. On the contrary, blue light can help wake an adult up in the morning better than a cup of coffee. One way to counter blue light, according to Zlatin, is by using iBlucoat™, which he said, “is an anti-reflection coating specially developed to protect your eyes from harmful UV and blue light, improving contrast and reducing eye fatigue. iBlucoat™ lenses filter blue light to a high degree of efficiency from both the front and back reflected light.” Zlatin’s website, www.eyeqdr.com, has
information about advanced orthokeratology and myopia control. Dr. arlene Schwartz of Hartsdale Family eyecare has been working with children in her practice for many years, and said that “today myopia is increasing worldwide.” “Myopia has become worse over the span of one generation so that now over 40 percent of the population in the United Sates is myopic,” Schwartz said. She added, “after many years in practice I do believe that many children who do extended near activities often do have increase in the development of nearsightedness. It seems that heredity may also play a part, but another very important factor seems to be outdoor activity. The studies show that children who are outdoors more show less progression in myopia and I agree with this as well. Obviously when outdoors there is greater opportunity to do more distance activities but there is evidence that increased vitamin D may also play a part.” eye exams at an early age are paramount to dealing with myopia. “We know today that bifocal contact lenses are used successfully to slow myopia progression,” Schwartz said. “another contact lens treatment is orthokeratology contact lenses. Orthokeratology lenses are customized contact lenses which are worn each night and removed each morning. These lenses will also slow down myopia progression and are often the treatment of choice when myopia starts or if it progresses rapidly.” Researchers are studying the different percentages of myopia around the globe. acCONTINUeD ON THe NexT PAGe
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MARCH 14, 2014 Continued from the previous page
cording to Zlatin, the rate of myopia in Taiwan was 84 percent of 16-18-year olds in 2000 as compared to 74 percent in 1983. On Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific, it’s just 1.3 percent of schoolchildren. In the middle is the United States at over 40 percent of the population. “We do not have any good studies that support the claim that small electronic devices or screen viewing impacts kids’ eyes,” Zlatin said. “However, there is some evidence that certain children under-focus when looking at close images and that may be causing problems for them.” The biggest reason kids need glasses, according to Rush, is hereditary, and the main reason that more young people are wearing glasses today compared to when she started in the business 20 years ago is better, earlier detection of problems with young eyes. “Most of the reasons that kids wear glasses is not because of electronic use so much as family history and early detection,” Rush said. “There isn’t really any scientific evidence that video devices or handheld electronic devices causes or precipitates the need for glasses. Actually, small handheld devices like iPads and smart phones are incredibly useful in therapies now. There’s a lot of programs or different kinds of therapies for children, large print for kids who have learning disorders and who are developmentally delayed. There’s a lot of high tech important uses for all this new electronic stuff that’s going on.” Identifying the problem early is not only easier now, but it will help a child succeed at an earlier age. “It actually has a profound effect on learning and general ability to see with both eyes together as a team for kids to develop normal
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depth perception,” Rush said. “One of the main reasons that kids are screened so early is because some children have amblyopia and amblyopia is something that can be caused by an unequal need for glasses in one eye over the other, it can be caused by an eye which crosses or turns, it could be a pediatric or congenital cataract or other abnormality of the focusing system of the eye. All of those diseases are very readily screened for, so the potential for binocular — meaning two eyes working together as a team — excellent vision in small children is phenomenal.” According to the AOA, amblyopia “is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with lenses. It can result from a failure to use both eyes together. Lazy eye is often associated with crossed eyes or a large difference in the degree of nearsightedness or farsightedness between the two eyes. It usually develops before the age of 6, and it does not affect side vision.” Through age 9 is when kids go through their “flexible period of visual development,” according to Rush. Catching any issue before that time can help professionals put a child on a path to “normal vision.” She noted, “If they come at 12 and 14 and there’s a problem you can’t correct the problem.” Rush recommends visiting the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s website, www. geteyesmart.org, which has excellent resources for parents. “In general if you know your family’s history and you have a history of childhood eye problems in your family, then you should take your young child to be screened probably at 2 or even earlier if you detect any problems, but usually pediatricians are very, very welltrained to detect problems in children,” Rush said.
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MARCH 14, 2014
Record-Review parent’s Guide I Healthy Kids Motivate children to practice good daily dental habits
National Nutrition Month: Evaluate your family’s diet
Oral care and cavity prevention are crucial for overall health, and getting kids to put that knowledge into practice is a must. To help motivate kids to take better care of their smiles, experts recommend a number of approaches, resources and tips that parents will find helpful.
If eating right is a challenge, it may be because you are trying things you simply don’t like. The key is finding options that satisfy your taste buds, say experts. “Taste is a major influential factor driving what you eat and feed your family, so it’s important to strike a balance between foods you like and those that provide the nutrients you need,” said Glenna McCollum, registered dietitian nutritionist and president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Taste and nutrition are not mutually exclusive.” March is National Nutrition Month, an excellent annual reminder to take the time to evaluate your diet and your family’s diet and make positive changes you can sustain longterm. As part of the “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” theme, McClollum is encouraging Americans to return to the basics of healthful eating by combining taste and nutrition to create meals that follow the recommendations of the “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” With that in mind, McClollum is providing some expert tips on how to eat right and enjoy it: • Love sandwiches? Swap out white bread for whole grain to up your fiber intake. Instead of mayo, use avocado as a rich addition to your
Good practices The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day. If you aren’t able to brush between meals, swishing water is a great way to help reduce bacteria that can build up. When choosing toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance to indicate it has been rigorously tested for cavity protection. Take a minute to check what’s inside your toothpaste. Many contain ingredients like artificial sweeteners, dyes or preservatives on the label. If you prefer a more natural option, Tom’s of Maine makes the top-selling natural kids toothpaste without any artificial ingredients and no animal testing. Encourage kids to make healthy nutritional choices that promote good dental health, including calcium-rich foods like yogurt, cheese, almonds, oatmeal, and oranges. While skipping all sweets may not be realistic, encourage kids to limit sugary beverages and candy, and to brush after treats.
Oksana Kuzmina-Fotolia.com Photo
Get creative, give back A new free downloadable coloring book called “Brushing Fun” is now available to help introduce kids to healthy habits. Each free download will trigger a donation of 10 tubes of Tom’s of Maine Wicked Cool! natural toothpaste to Oral Health America (OHA), a non-profit dedicated to increasing access to oral health care, education and advocacy for all Americans. “Brushing can be fun and it’s never too early to talk with your kids about their oral health, or too late to try to help shape healthy habits,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. The coloring book, which can be personalized with a child’s name, offers games, puz-
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zles, tips and facts about oral care, as well as a story that encourages kids to appreciate nature. The free coloring book is available for download at www.TomsofMaine.com. Go natural While you’re caring for your teeth, don’t forget to also take care of the earth. According to the EPA, by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth in the morning and before bedtime, you can save up to eight gallons of water. Parents and kids can also visit www.terracycle.com to learn how to recycle or upcycle toothpaste tubes. It’s simple to show kids that a healthy smile is an important component of overall health. These smart oral health habits can last a lifetime. — StatePoint
Continued on the next page
MARCH 14, 2014
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Record-Review parent’s Guide I Healthy Kids Continued from the previous page
sandwich. It’s more flavorful, and it’s also full of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, as well as other nutrients. To stay fuller longer, include fiber-rich veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers. • Balance. While there’s always room to indulge, be sure that the majority of your calories are sourced from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, fat-free or low-fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds. You’ll be filling up on all the nutrients your body needs without all the extra calories. And don’t forget to limit added sugars, salt and saturated fats. • Don’t skip dessert. Many diet fads will encourage you to skip dessert, but doing so can seem like a sacrifice, which won’t make for a sustainable change. Instead, seek out treats that provide nutritional benefits. For example, mango blended with low-fat milk and a splash of pineapple juice will satisfy your sweet tooth, while giving you a dose of calcium and vitamin C. • Spice it up. A great, low-calorie way to add flavor and nutrition to meals without the fat, sugar or salt, is by incorporating beneficial herbs and spices, such as cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon cumin, thyme, basil and oregano. Citrus juices are another great addition to recipes. • Ask for advice. Whether you need to lose weight, want to reduce your risk for disease or just want to improve your family’s overall health, consider consulting a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions
for healthy living. Your RDN can help you plan healthy, delicious meals. For more tips on healthful, tasty eating and to find a RDN, visit www.EatRight.org/nnm. This National Nutrition Month, don’t just eat for your health, eat for your happiness. Take steps to find foods that are not only nutritious, but taste great too. — StatePoint
Seasons change, so do your child’s asthma triggers
Across the country, 25 million Americans are living with asthma. As the winter months come to an end and the spring makes its arrival, the change in seasons can be problematic for adults and children with asthma. It’s important for asthma patients to understand the triggers of each season to prepare for symptoms as the temperature changes. Asthma patients know the symptoms: coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing and tightness in the chest. The cause of these symptoms is inflammation or swelling of the large and small airways in the lungs. During an attack, the airways become narrower and tightened, making it hard to breathe and reducing the flow of oxygen to other parts of the body. During colder months, it’s important to know that seasonal asthma triggers exist both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor activities paired with cold temperatures can put adults and children with asthma at greater risk for asthma attacks. Staying inside can also be problematic
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because unexpected triggers like indoor dust, animal dander, mold and even wood-burning fireplaces can cause an asthmatic to experience uncomfortable or dangerous symptoms. In addition to environmental triggers, cold and flu viruses can be a serious problem for people with asthma. Asthmatics are not more likely to contract the flu virus, but because they may have swollen and sensitive airways in the lungs already, contracting the flu may cause further inflammation and trigger symptoms. With spring on its way bringing warmer temperatures, asthmatics have new triggers to pay attention to. Allergens from flowers and trees and the change in temperature can trigger an attack in people with asthma.
“Asthma is a condition that requires attention year-round,” said Dr. Nemr Eid, a pediatric pulmonologist from Louisville, Kentucky. “Patients should be aware of their seasonal triggers. It’s important that I maintain communication with my patients and keep them on-track with their asthma management plans from season to season.” Being smart about asthma management includes working with your health care professional (HCP) to create an asthma action plan that can be adapted to the season. This potentially life-saving tool includes notes for what to look for during an attack, emergency contact information and proper treatment methods. To download an asthma action plan, visit www. GetSmartAboutAsthma.com. The Get Smart About Asthma website serves as an educational center for patients and caregivers to find important asthma-related information such as types, triggers and treatment plans. Asthma symptoms and severity varies from person to person. While some require treatment with a rescue inhaler for the quick onset of symptoms, others use a controller medication for daily asthma management, which can help prevent symptoms and reduce the use of a rescue inhaler. Knowing and implementing the method for treating asthma symptoms is something every person with asthma should be familiar with. Patients should work closely with their HCPs to identify a treatment plan that works for them. Before seeing a doctor, visiting www.GetSmartAboutAsthma.com can help inform and prepare patients for their asthma treatment discussion. — BPT
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MaRCH 14, 2014
Can tablets for toddlers teach them more than tapping? By CATHY COLLYeR, OTR, LMT
paying attention, trying advanced play levels and thinking outside the box. They do have limits in what kind of social, language and physical skills they can promote. For children 2-5, there are simple methods to transform tablet use into a dynamic learning experience. Step 1: Pick the right app. Young children cannot search for apps, so adults are in control of what apps are available. Select apps that provide educational experiences, opportunities for multiplayer interaction or creativity. If an adult has played the app with their child, they have the opportunity to determine if there is an appropriate level of challenge blended with entertainment. The right app can be far more creative than the best educational video. apps that entertain without allowing a child to use his
imagination can have the same benefit as a distracting DVD or television program would provide: electronic babysitting. Step 2: Use a nonslip stylus to develop pencil grasp. a smooth metal or plastic shaft is harder to hold and control, leading to the use of a fist rather than fingertips. Young children can hold a stylus that is made just for their hands. Some nonslip surfaces also have contrasting colors that show kids where to place their fingers. Dragging icons using a rubber stylus tip or accurately tapping tiny items will build hand control and strength. Step 3: angle the screen. By using a 20-30 degree wrist angle rather than placing a tablet flat on a table, a child will build forearm, wrist and finger control that prepares them to use the correct arm positions for handwriting. even without using a stylus, reaching forward
Cathy Collyer, OTR, LMT is a licensed pediatric occupational therapist specializing in ﬁne motor development and handwriting remediation in the lower Westchester area. She performs evaluations and treats children in their homes. She can be reached at 282-2326.
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Watch any family with young children in a restaurant or on an airplane and chances are that at least one child under 5 is playing with a tablet, merrily tapping away. There is an equally good chance that at least one of the parents at that table is concerned that using an electronic device may not be the best thing for their child. Can both parties be satisfied? The answer is not easy, but it is simple. The american academy of Pediatrics has recommended limiting screen time to less than two hours per day for children over 2, and none for children under 2. Many experts further recommend limiting individual sessions to less than 30 minutes for children under 5. The aaP does not discriminate between tablets, DVDs and television. aaP recommends limiting use because electronics don’t allow manipulation of real objects or help develop social and language skills, and children are sitting still for long periods. This is a serious issue; no toddler should be so attached to a screen that they do not get enough interaction with the physical world and with other people. at-risk children with developmental delays or home environments that do not have positive social or language models are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of electronic exposure. For typically developing children who have a range of activities, this is not a significant concern. Yet everyone has witnessed an ugly toddler meltdown after the tablet has been put away or refused. Tablets offer the potential for more interaction and creativity than watching DVDs or television. The apps can reward them for
on an angled surface will encourage better finger control. Tablet cases should hold the device very securely, as toddlers are known to use extra force when they get excited. Step 4: establish good habits. Just like snacks, children can accept that they are not entitled to unlimited tablet time. It is easiest if ownership of the devices is clearly the parents’; therefore children are offered “turns.” Children are also expected to ask for more access than they actually will receive. Parents have the responsibility of setting limits that work for their values and goals. Some families reward positive behavior with more tablet time, and others choose to set firm limits on use regardless of their child’s behavior. Having parents that model healthy electronic use is especially important for older preschoolers. They may even appreciate hearing that a parent is “taking a break” or has “had enough for now.” Step 5: examine non-electronic choices. If the tablet is the most exciting toy a child has, they may need new or more challenging toys and activities when “unplugged.” a new sport, a new multiplayer non-electronic game or an art project might be the best alternative. Or a child may need more faceto-face interaction with peers and adults. Insistence on tablet use can tell parents that it is time to explore the range and quality of non-electronic play in a child’s life.
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MARCH 14, 2014
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Whitby School: Topnotch instructors and fun Get ready for a super summer at Whitby School’s Summer 2014 Camp. You won’t believe how good Whitby’s instructors are… until you see what your kids can do. Whitby’s summer program offers a unique lineup of activities for summer fun for children ages 3-11, taught by experts in their field who specialize in working with children. “What distinguishes Whitby Summer Camp is simple — the quality and experience of our instructors, who work with children year-round,” said Kurt Putnam, summer camp director and Whitby’s director of athletics and co-curricular programs. The camp runs for six consecutive weeks beginning June 16, the first week consisting of the New York Giants Football Camp, and ending the week of July 21 on Whitby School’s beautiful 25-acre backcountry Greenwich campus. The camp runs five days a week from 9 a.m.-noon (no camp on July 4; the week is prorated). Some of the activities include: • Model airplanes, bridge building and electronic gadgets through Sciensational Workshops for Kids (www.sciensational.net); • Theater with Allyn Bard Rathus, professionally trained actress and Whitby teacher with a Master of Arts in educational theater (www.allynrathus.com); • Chess instruction through Grand Masters Adnan Kobas and Ian Harris; • Tennis instruction through USTA Certified Fairfield County Tennis Instructors (www.fairfieldcountytennis.com); • Kung Fu through Sensei Tom McCusker and former world champion Matt Lupidas (www.cmaec.com); • Soccer camp with Greenwich High School
Whitby School Summer Camp offers a wide range of activities. varsity coach Kurt Putnam and Fairfield University soccer coaches Javier Decima and Rich Williams (www.cardinalsoccercamps. com); • Montessori camp for children ages 2-4, taught by Whitby’s expert early childhood teachers; • New York Giants Football Camp featuring Giants heroes and professional coaches (www.NYGiantsCamps.com). Additional information, including online registration information, is available on the Whitby School website at www. whitbyschool.org/summer2014.
Whitby School is an independent school in backcountry Greenwich, Conn., developing fearless achievers from 18 months through eighth grade who are engaged in learning and inspired by discovery. Whitby is the founding school of the American Montessori Society and is triple-accredited by the American Montessori Society, the International Baccalaureate and the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools. For more information, contact John Palomaki, director of communications, at email@example.com or (203) 3023952. Visit www.whitbyschool.org/faaw.
Long Ridge School: building a 21st century student A Time Magazine cover story, “How to Build A Student for the 21st Century,” identified four areas essential for students to become successful citizens in a globalized world: Thinking outside the box, becoming smarter about new sources of information, developing good people skills and knowing more about the world. Although the discussion about 21st century skills is often reported as breaking news, The Long Ridge School curriculum has been graduating students with these four skills since its founding in 1938. The Long Ridge School is an independent coeducational school for 2-year-olds through grade 5, just 1 mile from the New York border in Stamford, Conn. Long Ridge works with each child’s natural curiosity to build critical thinking and problem-solving skills and believes children should explore, experiment and experience the joy of learning in a caring and challenging academic community. Small classes that span two-year age groupings allow students to work at different levels within a single class, while providing individual attention. The school’s greatest strength is the expertise and dedication of our faculty. The Long Ridge School faculty averages 17 years’ teaching experience and over 75 percent of the faculty hold advanced degrees in education. The classroom teachers are supported by specialists in art, music, science, Spanish and physical education. Long Ridge students are motivated, successful individuals who score well on nationally administered achievement tests and graduate well prepared for a lifetime of learning. Visit www.longridgeschool.org or call (203) 322-7693.
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MARCH 14, 2014
t The Record-Review 2014 t
Preschool Guide BET TORAH NURSERY SCHOOL
for your child that will promote curiosity, foster learning and keep your son or daughter engaged. Our nutritious home-cooked meals, multiple learning centers and daily Spanish lessons are part of a wholesome, multicultural atmosphere that encourages inclusiveness, friendship and sharing. Our mission is to provide parents with peace of mind about their child’s educational and emotional development by creating a nurturing and loving home environment where learning is fun, hands-on and educational.
60 Smith Ave. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-7595 www.bettorah.org Mindy Citera, Director Philosophy: We seek to enhance the total development of each child socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively through a childcentered curriculum with an emphasis on Jewish values. Our goal is to provide interactive experiences that stimulate a child’s learning ability, while providing a safe, tender and caring environment that encourages a child to explore. We aim to build a partnership between home and school in order to foster the well-being of each child. All activities are designed to be developmentally and individually appropriate.
Enrollment: 12 in 3’s and 4’s classroom; 12 in 2’s and 3’s classroom, six in infant to 2’s classroom Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: Full-year program Hours: Full-time and part-time hours available between 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Fees: Available upon request Special programs: Music, art, science, cooking, multicultural studies, Spanish, summer camp, school-age summer travel camp
Enrollment: 100 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: September 2014-first week of June
Other: Licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and member of NAFCC, Child Care Council of Westchester and NAEYC
Hours: 9:15 a.m.-noon, with after-school enrichment until 2:30 p.m. Fees: Vary. From two-five days $3,928-$7,409 for 2014-15, with discounts for synagogue members Special programs: A summer camp program (Camp Keshet), Bagels & Blocks program (infants and toddlers) and a toddler separation class (Mom’s Day Out) round out our programs.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF NORTHERN WESTCHESTER 351 Main St. Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 666-8069 Elizabeth Ostrye, Childcare Director Philosophy: The Boys & Girls Clubs Childcare Center believes that early childhood should be a time of fun, warmth, security, exploration and discovery. Preschool children are creative and receptive; the staff strives to nurture and encourage these qualities. Our purpose is to provide an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth through developmentally appropriate practices. Enrollment: 52 children Student-teacher ratio: 3’s, 6:1; 4s, 7:1 Calendar: September through August, three, four or five days per week Hours: Options from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fees: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: five days, $9,950, four days $7,890, three days $5,985; 7-9 a.m.: five days $2,840, four days $2,1280, three days $1,710; 8-9 a.m.: five days $1,420, four days $1,140, three days $844; 4-6 p.m.: five days $2,840, four days $2,280, three days $1,710. Special programs: Swimming, physical education, music, art Other: Licensed by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services
BRUNSWICK SCHOOL 116 Maple Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830 (203) 625-5850 www.BrunswickSchool.org Gina Hurd, Director of Preschool Admission Philosophy: Brunswick School, founded in 1902, is an independent college preparatory day school for 950 boys in grades pre-K through 12. We believe in the potential of boys and have successfully developed an educational experience that emphasizes rigorous traditional learning, self-discipline and character development. The school’s motto, “Courage, Honor, Truth,” is a phrase familiar to students who have graced our halls and one that is followed in both word and deed. Enrollment: 32 (pre-K; must be 4 years old before Aug. 1) Student-teacher ratio: 8:1 Hours: 8-11:45 a.m. (Monday, Wednesday, Friday); 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m. (Tuesday, Thursday); optional extended day (Monday, Wednesday) until 2:45 p.m. Fees: $29,180
THE CANAAN RIDGE SCHOOL 2810 Long Ridge Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 322-7191 www.CanaanRidgeSchool.org Virginia Sarvalon, Director Philosophy: Established in 1977 and incorporating Montessori principles. Each child is approached on an individual basis and
presented with developmentally appropriate materials. With this in mind, our goals are to provide a safe, stimulating and fun-filled environment, to encourage curiosity, enthusiasm for learning, and give children a strong foundation in all academic areas. Enrollment: 65 children, nursery through grade 4 Student-teacher ratio: Nursery and pre-K, 6:1; K-1, 5:1 Calendar: September through June. Summer session in June and July Hours: 3’s and 4’s: three-five days; morning program: 9-11:40 a.m.; full day: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; kindergarten, first through fourth grades: five days: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fees: Upon request Special programs: Daily academics, phonics reading program, French, Mandarin, chess and drama (for K-4 students), daily music and dance, arts and crafts. Science, computers and sports. After-school activities include sports, baking, science club, little artists and etiquette. Other: Starting in the fall of 2014, all nursery and pre-k classes will be bilingual (French).
COUNTRY KIDS SCHOOLHOUSE 28 Virginia Ave. Bedford, NY 10506 (914) 234-0590 firstname.lastname@example.org Ester Aguzzi, Director Philosophy: Country Kids Schoolhouse offers a rich, stimulating and fun environment for children. Whether enrolled in preschool, day care or before-/after-school care, we provide activities
EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER AT TEMPLE SHAARAY TEFILA 89 Baldwin Road Bedford Corners, NY 10509 (914) 666-3188 www.shaaraytefila.org email@example.com Debra Frankel, Director Philosophy: The ECC at Shaaray Tefila embraces individuality and helps lead children on the magical journey of growth with respect towards personal development, while regularly infusing Jewish values and traditions into classroom life. We provide a developmentally appropriate hands-on environment for every child. Our teachers encourage independence, self-confidence and success in a nurturing environment while being ever-mindful of the developmental milestones of young children and kindergarten readiness. We believe that child development happens best in a supportive, safe and nurturing environment. Enrollment: 60 children ages 2-5 Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s, 6:1; 4’s, 7:1 Calendar: September-June (parallels Bedford School District calendar) Hours: 3’s and 4’s: Monday-Friday, 9:15 a.m.noon; 2’s: three days, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or five days, 9:15-11:30 a.m.; 3’s and 4’s extended day: Monday-Thursday, noon-2 p.m.; Mommy and Me Wednesdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Special programs: Nature, music, yoga, sign language, physical education. During extended day we offer enrichment programs with yoga, science, music, arts and crafts. continued on page 23A
MARCH 14, 2014
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The Record-Review 2014 I Preschool Guide to develop physical, social/emotional, language, cognitive and self-help skills. Through play, children develop confidence and the ability to relate to others with cooperation and acceptance.
continued from page 22A
Other: Parenting Center for children ages birth to 30 months, Mommy and Me programs, large playground, children’s organic garden, social action program.
Enrollment: 80 children, 2-5 years old Student-teacher ratio: 7:1; 2’s, 5:1 Calendar: September through June; same as area schools regarding vacations
Hours: 9-11:30 a.m., 12:30-3 p.m.; extended day, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
200 North Maple Ave. Greenwich, CT 06830 (203) 625-8990 www.greenwichacademy.org Molly King, Head of School Philosophy: Founded in 1827, Greenwich Academy is an independent college preparatory day school for girls and young women that seeks to foster excellence. Its mission is to provide a challenging, comprehensive educational experience grounded in a rigorous liberal arts curriculum within an inclusive, diverse community. The school’s objective is to develop girls and young women of exceptional character and achievement who demonstrate independence, resilience, courage, integrity and compassion. We strive, above all, to honor our motto, “Toward the Building of Character.” Enrollment: 800, pre-K through grade 12 Student-teacher ratio: 10:1 Calendar: Early September to end of May Hours: 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m.-noon, Friday Fees: Pre-K to grade 12, $34,900-$39,000
JEWISH FAMILY CONGREGATION EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER 111 Smith Ridge Road, Route 123 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3028 www.jewishfamilycongregation.org firstname.lastname@example.org Jane Weil Emmer, Director Philosophy: JFC Early Childhood Center is a warm, inclusive community school in beautiful surroundings. We help each child to develop his or her intellectual, emotional, physical and creative self through our nurturing and stimulating environment. Our program helps children achieve a love of learning through hands-on play and interaction with children and our professional teachers. The curriculum delves into interest areas using language, literacy, science and math materials, creative arts and cooking. Our beautiful, large playground offers many opportunities for riding bikes, climbing, running and exploring. Jewish culture is enjoyed while celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays through stories, songs, art and foods on Friday mornings. Monday-Wednesday secular curriculum.
Fees: Five days, $5,000; three days, $3,800; two days, $2,600; 2’s and extended day prices upon request Special programs: Lunch Bunch for 3- and 4-year-old children extends the session by two hours. Special classes include science/nature, art and literature, music and movement, yoga, cooking, sports games and tae kwon do. Before and after school care for preschoolers and ages 5-12. Other: NAEYC accredited and licensed by the NYSOCFS available Monday and Wednesday until 2:30 p.m. Fees: $2,450-$5,410 Special programs: Temple professional staff participates in programs, particularly holiday celebrations. Enrichment specialists include music, nature, yoga and trips. Lunch Bunch afternoon enrichment available. Other: Practically Pre-school program for children ages 10 months-2 years beginning September, includes play, music, art, stories and more, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. for two 10-week sessions. Summer Fun Program, a seven-week outdoor experience for children entering 2’s-5year-olds runs from July-August, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
KATONAH PLAYCARE EARLY LEARNING CENTER 44 Edgemont Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 232-7825 www.katonahplaycare.com email@example.com Louise Cameron and Gail Porter, Directors Philosophy: At Katonah Playcare Early Learning Center, the emphasis is on a blend of academic and social activities aimed at developing the “whole child.” In a warm, nurturing, developmentally appropriate environment, teaching is scaffolded upon each child’s abilities, with the goal being kindergarten readiness. Enrollment: Call for info Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 2:11/12; 3’s, 2:13/14; 4’s 1:9 Calendar: September-June (summer program available for registered children) Hours: 2’s, 9-11:30 a.m.; 3’s, 9:15-11:45 a.m.; 4’s, 9 a.m.-noon
Enrollment: 30 children ages 2-5 and parenting center for ages 12 months-2 years with parent or caregiver
Fees: 2’s, $3,300; 3’s, $4,100; 4’s, $5,450
Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1
Other: Optional day programs in 2’s and 3’s are offered. Extended day/lunch bunch program offered in the building.
Calendar: September-early June Hours: 9:15 a.m.-noon; 2’s, two- and three-day programs; 3’s and 4’s; extended pre-k program
Special programs: Music/movement, science/ nature, yoga.
LANDMARK PRESCHOOL 223 West Mountain Road Ridgefield, CT 06877 (203) 894-1800 www.landmarkpreschool.org Tara Simeonidis, Head of Preschool David Suter, Director of Enrollment Philosophy: To provide a balanced program that combines an engaging, age-appropriate introduction to academics with plenty of opportunities to socialize, explore, create and play. Our goal is to encourage young children to explore, discover and enjoy new challenges. We believe children are curious, capable and ready to learn at an early age. Our balanced program inspires children of all levels by enhancing their social-emotional, intellectual and physical development. We dedicate ourselves to helping each child discover his or her intrinsic talents in a stimulating, nurturing and creative environment. The first five years are forever.
LITTLE SPARROWS NURSERY SCHOOL 448 Bedford Road Armonk, NY 10504 (914) 273-9760 www.hillsidechurch.com firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Coombs, Director Doreen Semple, MPS, Director Philosophy: Our goal is to meet the developmental needs of every child actively searching, exploring and adapting to his or her world in a warm, nurturing Christian environment. We offer a carefully planned yet flexible curriculum, allowing each child to be recognized and nurtured by our staff of licensed teachers. Enrollment: 60 children
Enrollment: 50 children
Hours: 2’s and 3’s 9:15 a.m.-noon; pre-K 9:15 a.m.-noon or 9:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 3’s and 4’s extended day, noon-2:45 p.m.
Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s 6:1
Fees: Upon request
Calendar: September through June
Special programs: Music class, nature studies, cooking, science, computers, field trips, movement, family social events.
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Fees: Vary by program Special programs: French instruction, music, movement, art, drama, science lab. Hatch SmartBoard technology in all preschool classrooms. Other: Three campuses: Landmark of Ridgefield Academy at Redding and Westport. Accredited by Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
LISSIE’S KATONAH PLAYSCHOOL 31 Bedford Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 232-5903 email@example.com Anne Harris, Director Philosophy: The purpose of the school is to provide an educational experience in a healthy, happy atmosphere where children are encouraged
Other: Licensed by NYS Office of Children and Family Services. Registered with the NYS Education Department.
THE LONG RIDGE SCHOOL 478 Erskine Road Stamford, CT 06903 (203) 322-7693 www.longridgeschool.org Kris Bria, Head of School Philosophy: Founded in 1938, The Long Ridge School is an independent pre-school through elementary school serving boys and girls 2 years old to Grade 5 in North Stamford. The Long Ridge School is a diverse community where children are academically challenged in small multi-aged groups, theme-based interdisciplinary classes and hands-on learning. The curriculum continued on page 24A
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includes classes in science, art, music, physical education and Spanish. Children are respected as individuals with innate curiosity where learning is an active and joyful experience. We help children develop the skills, motivation, and values to become successful students, responsible people and lifelong learners. Student-teacher ratio: Beginners (2’s), 4:1; Nursery (3’s and 4’s), 8:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: Beginners: two or three mornings per week. Nursery: five mornings per week. Fees: Vary according to program Special programs: Classes in Spanish, art, music, physical education and library. Other: Accredited by the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools.
MOUNT KISCO CHILD CARE CENTER 95 Radio Circle Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 241-2135 www.mkccc.org Dawn Meyerski, Executive Director Philosophy: Since 1971, every child knows that they are valuable at Mount Kisco Child Care Center (MKCCC). Experienced teachers provide the support and caring that allows our diverse community of children to reach their potential. Children are given the freedom to explore carefully planned environments that maximize learning. Trusting relationships between children and adults are the key to success. Each child feels safe to develop interests and abilities while appreciating and respecting their friends. Our full-day prekindergarten program operates from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (flexible hours may be arranged). At MKCCC, your child will have a stimulating experience that will prepare him/her for kindergarten. Visit our center and see for yourself why MKCCC is considered an outstanding place for children to learn and grow. Enrollment: Please call the director Student-teacher ratio: Exceeds New York State licensing requirements Calendar: Mount Kisco Child Care Center’s full-day prekindergarten program operates yearround. The half-day prekindergarten classroom operates from September-June. Fees: Call for more information. Scholarships available based on financial need. Hours: 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Special programs: MKCCC is NAEYC accredited. In addition to our Exceptional Prekindergarten Programs, Mount Kisco Child Care Center cares for children from 3 months-10 years old. We have infant, toddler and before- and after-school programs. The after-school program extends to a full day for the summer months and the school vacations and holidays. Innovative programming includes our Feed Me Fresh seed to table nutrition curriculum and our awardwinning JEWEL program, which encourages intergenerational interactions between children and senior citizens.
NEW CANAAN COUNTRY SCHOOL
POUND RIDGE MONTESSORI SCHOOL
635 Frogtown Rd. New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 972-0771 www.countryschool.net Beth O’Brien, Head of Early Childhood Program Nancy Hayes, Director of Enrollment Management
5 High View Rd. Pound Ridge, NY 10576 (914) 763-3125 Poundridgemontessori.com Teresa Whelan, Director Philosophy: PRMS is an intimate, multi-age preschool founded upon the principles of Montessori philosophy. Through our materials and guidance, students work to become independent, self-motivated learners. For more than 40 years we have welcomed families Bedford, Katonah, South Salem, North Salem, Bedford Corners, Waccabuc and Pound Ridge, in addition to New Canaan and Ridgefield.
Philosophy: The Beginners Program (ages 3-5) at New Canaan Country School fosters intellectual curiosity and a love of learning. We place emphasis on developing the whole child, which includes cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth in addition to academic development. Our 75-acre campus provides many outdoor opportunities to explore and learn beyond the classroom. Our small class sizes and 6:1 student to teacher ratio ensure individualized attention.
Enrollment: Two- to five-day programs for students ages 2.5-5 Student-teacher ratio: 5:1
Enrollment: Age 3 through grade 9
Student-teacher ratio: 6:1
Hours: 9 a.m.-noon
Calendar: Early September through mid-June Hours: 8:15 a.m.-noon Fees: $27,200 for 2014-15 Special programs: Lunch Bunch, extended day until 5:30 p.m.
PLAYLAND NURSERY SCHOOL 800 Ponus Ridge Road New Canaan, CT 06840 (203) 966-2937 Gary Bloom, Barbara Bloom, Steve Bloom, Kathy Lopes, Directors Philosophy: We provide a safe, warm, loving and nurturing environment. Playland Nursery School provides hands-on, three-dimensional learning. Enrollment: 50 children Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: September through May Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-noon or Lunch Bunch, noon-2 p.m. Fees: Three mornings, $6,925; five mornings, $9,200 Special programs: Lunch Bunch offered, summer day camp Other: Licensed by the State of Connecticut. Accredited by the NAEYC.
PLAY CARE 210 Orchard Ridge Road Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-6206 www.playcarepreschool.com Carol Cleary, Director Philosophy: Play Care provides a flexible, nurturing program that encourages socialization, cooperation, individual development and a positive self-image. An interdenominational approach provides a cheerful and meaningful learning experience for our children.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:15 a.m.-noon; extended day program available Tuesday through Thursday until 3:30 p.m. Enrichment classes Monday and Friday until 2:15 p.m.
Fees: Rolling admissions. Call to schedule a tour and for information on admissions and fees.
Fees: Vary according to number of sessions attended
Other: Summer art camp for ages 3-10. Visit littlefauves.com
Special programs: Music, creative movement, weekly science experiments, arts and crafts, story time, computers for 3’s and 4’s, large enclosed outdoor play area Other: Early morning drop-off, lunch program (Monday-Friday). After-school enrichment classes such as art, science and cooking. Flexible schedule. Licensed by NYS Office of Children and Family Services.
POUND RIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH PLAY SCHOOL 3 Pound Ridge Road Pound Ridge, NY 10576 (914) 764-4360 Kirstin Zarras, Director Philosophy: Our Play School program consists of carefully selected and integrated activities designed to encourage growth in the social, emotional, creative, physical and cognitive development of young children. Our objectives are to help children build self-confidence, meet new friends and develop positive feelings about school and the world around them. We have a developmentally appropriate curriculum. Enrollment: 75-80 children (2-, 3- and 4-year olds) Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: Early September through early June Hours: Morning 2’s, 9:15 a.m.-noon; Morning 3’s, 8:45-11:30 a.m.; Morning 4’s, 9-11:45 a.m.; Enrichment Tuesday to Thursday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. for 3’s and 4’s
Enrollment: 75 children, 2 months to 5 years
Fees: Vary according to program
Student-teacher ratio: 2 months to 1-1/2’s, 4:1; 1-1/2’s and 2’s, 5:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1
Special programs: Music enrichment, nature programs, yoga, weekly science, karate, Spanish language, beautiful outdoor playground.
Calendar: September through June
Special programs: Spanish, sign language, art appreciation, dance and movement.
RIPPOWAM CISQUA SCHOOL Lower Campus 325 West Patent Road Mount Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 244-1200 www.rcsny.org Matthew Nespole, Head of School Carol Gahagan, Head of Lower Campus Elizabeth Carter, Director of Admissions, Lower Campus Philosophy: From the earliest moments of their formal education, young children at RCS are encouraged to be critical thinkers, intellectually curious and confident in their abilities and in themselves. Our teachers create challenging, play-based activities and programs that enable students to experience success in developmentally appropriate ways in language arts, math, science, athletics and the arts, as well as their social and emotional behavior. The early childhood program is guided by extensive research related to individualized, child-centered learning and informed by Dr. Jean Piaget’s maxim that “play is the work of young children.” Enrollment: 515, pre-kindergarten through grade 9 Student-teacher ratio: 5:1 Calendar: September-June Hours: 8:20 a.m.-noon for junior pre-K; 8:20 a.m.-noon or 2 p.m. for senior pre-K Fees: Available upon request Special programs: Music, art, physical education, computer, library, Spanish and dramatic play and performances. Other: Accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools through the New York Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS). continued on page 25A
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SAINT MARY PRESCHOOL 183 High Ridge Ave. Ridgefield, CT 06877 (203) 438-7288 www.smsridgefield.org Anna O’Rourke, Principal Philosophy: At Saint Mary Preschool, we provide an atmosphere that encourages social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual growth and development of the child as a whole. Our nurturing approach enhances the uniqueness of each child, while teaching respect for self and others. Physical development and coordination are achieved through creative play. Intellectual curiosity and growth is encouraged through a wide variety of classroom and playground equipment and stimulating, exciting learning programs in an atmosphere of spiritual joy and wonder. Enrollment: Approximately 80 children in our 3’s, 4’s and transitional kindergarten programs. Student-teacher ratio: Approximately 8:1 Calendar: September through June Hours: Our 3-year-old programs meet two or three days a week, our 4-year-olds have the option of three to five days per week and our 5-year-olds come five days a week. Half-day and full-day sessions available for all programs. Please see our website for complete details. Fees: Fees range from $2,680-$6,250 based on the program. See our website for details. Special programs: Saint Mary School is a Roman Catholic, co-educational day school for students in preschool through eighth grade. Preschool students have access to all of the facilities and services of our school, including the nurse, computer lab, gymnasium and library, art and music programs.
SOUTH SALEM NURSERY SCHOOL 111 Spring St. P.O Box 232 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3560 www.southsalempc.org firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Potz, Director Philosophy: We believe in a developmental approach to early childhood education because children develop at their own unique pace; in an environment that fosters initiative, self-discipline and self-reliance; that play is a child’s work and that it builds important foundations for future academic achievement; that children learn from each other and must learn to respect others; and that self-esteem results when children are recognized and valued as unique individuals. Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 5:1; 3’s, 6:1; 4’s, 7:1 Calendar: September-mid June Hours: 2’s, 9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.; 3’s, 9 a.m.12:15 p.m.; 4’s, 9 a.m.-noon Fees: Two days, $3,000; three days, $4,000; four days $4,800; five days, $5,500 Special programs: Cooking, music, outside exploration and play on a 4-acre campus, plus class trips, foreign language instruction, parents programs and activities
ST. JOHN’S EARLY LEARNING CENTER
Wednesday/Friday), $6,500; four half days (Monday-Thursday), $9,000; five half days, $10,500. 3-6 program four half days (MondayThursday), $8,800; five half days, $9,000. A space is secured, if available, with a $500 nonrefundable deposit and a $500 new student fee.
82 Spring St. P.O. Box 394 South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 763-3671 email@example.com www.stjohnselc.com Doreen Bistany, Program Director Philosophy: The St. John’s Early Learning Center is a developmental preschool which affirms the individuality of children and provides an emotionally safe environment in which children can learn and socialize. It is our belief that children grow and learn when they are free to observe, explore and actively engage in activities at their own developmental levels and pace. Our program provides a warm and nurturing environment in which children can thrive. Each child is treated as an individual, respecting their needs, learning styles and personalities. Our rich thematic curriculum addresses the intellectual, emotional, social and physical needs of young children. Since we acknowledge the importance of play, our day combines free-play time, group activities and discussions to allow the children to practice the social readiness skills necessary to begin kindergarten with a positive self-image. We encourage children¹s natural curiosity and foster a healthy respect for themselves, for others and for their surroundings. Enrollment: 40 children ages 2-6 Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 5:1; 3’s, 7:1; 4’s, 8:1 Calendar: Mid-September through first week in June Hours: 9-11:45 a.m. Fees: Two-day, $2,900; three-day, $3,900; fourday, $4,500; five-day, $5,300 Special programs: Music, yoga, language and hands-on science classes included. Nature study, cooking, computers, art discovery, field trips and family social events are all part of our program. Other: St. John’s Early Learning Center is a nonsectarian preschool. Six-week summer camp offered. Kindergarten enrichment offered at both locations.
ST. MATTHEW’S SCHOOL 382 Cantitoe Street Mailing Address: P.O. Box 902 Bedford, NY 10506 (914) 234-7890 www.StMatthewsSchool.org firstname.lastname@example.org Stephanie Scanlon, Director Philosophy: St. Matthew’s School provides preschool children with a dynamic and developmentally appropriate curriculum that addresses all areas of learning — social, intellectual, spiritual and physical — in a nurturing and supportive environment. The program is focused on hands-on learning which stimulates curiosity and discovery, and generates enthusiasm. Our goal is to ensure that the children develop the skills and self-confidence necessary to prepare them to flourish and thrive in kindergarten and beyond. Daily schedules include circle time, stories, songs or poems and skill-based activities, as well as plenty of time for playing.
Special programs: Spanish, music, chess (kindergarten). Summer camp. Busing provided to or from Katonah-Lewisboro schools Other: Affiliate member of American Montessori Society; NYS licensed day care facility.
VILLAGE GREEN NURSERY SCHOOL Enrollment: 52 children Student-teacher ratio: 2’s, 4:1; 3’s and 4’s, 6:1 Calendar: September to mid-June Hours: 9-11:45 a.m. for all classes. 2’s program is two mornings plus alternating Fridays; 3’s program is four or five mornings per week; 4’s program is five mornings per week. Fees: 2014-2015: 2’s, $4,650; four-day 3’s, $6300; five-day 3’s, $7,300; five-day 4’s, $7,300. Special programs: St. Matthew’s School has weekly programs for music and Spanish instruction, as well as a chapel component called God’s Garden. We also incorporate cooking, regular nature walks and a three-season garden into our program. Other: Brand new playground installed August 2013.
THISTLEWAITHE LEARNING CENTER INC. 1340 Route 35 South Salem, NY 10590 99 Valley Road Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 977-3662 www.thistlewaithe.org email@example.com Maria Fitzgerald, Director Jenifer Hughs, Program Coordinator Philosophy: A Montessori school for children 18 months to 6 years old with locations in South Salem (full day plus extended hours) and Katonah (half day), ThistleWaithe will educate young children to be strong, well-adjusted personalities who will have the motivation and courage to make individual decisions and to discern intelligently while maintaining respect and mutual understanding of all other individuals. Children will become budding stewards of the environment and learn to protect and ensure the health of our world. From an early age, children will be introduced to the pleasure of self-accomplishment, the motivation of self-learning and they will be encouraged to have a persistent attitude about life and learning. Enrollment: 115 children (40 in the toddler program, 60 in the primary program, 15 in kindergarten) Student-teacher ratio: Toddlers, 5:1; primary, 7:1 Calendar: September to mid-June Hours: Half-day programs Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon; full-day programs Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; wrap-around care available, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; kindergarten enrichment MondayFriday in both a.m. and p.m. sessions and full day kindergarten. Fees: Toddlers two half days (Tuesday/ Thursday), $5,800; three half days (Monday/
Main Street, P.O. Box 344 Bedford, NY 10506 (914) 234-7967 www.villagegreennurseryschool.com Mistie Eltrich, Sarah Kalarchian, Sandra Broas Sirchia, Directors Norma Bandak, Head Teacher Philosophy: Our child-centered program provides a warm and nurturing environment for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds. Our curriculum is designed to help children grow socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. We provide children with age-appropriate, hands-on experiences that instill a sense of trust, belonging and self-esteem. Enrollment: 10-12 in 2-3-year-old class; 15 maximum in 3-4-year-old class Student-teacher ratio: Two teachers for 14-15 children Calendar: September-June Hours: Five-day morning program, 9 a.m.noon; four-day morning program, 9 a.m.-noon, Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday; mini-camp available in June Fees: Visit Web site for application Other: Village Green is a not-for-profit school that has been in Bedford for 57 years. We welcome parental involvement.
WORLD CUP NURSERY SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN
160 Hunts Lane Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-9267 Roxanne Kaplan, Director Philosophy: We are proud to offer a developmental program with a “hands-on” academic approach. Our program is individualized, keeping in mind the children’s interests and strengths in a warm, nurturing, age-appropriate environment. Our facility has a lot to offer, such as a state-of-the-art gym and an indoor playground, but still offers the warm, cozy classroom atmosphere appropriate for preschoolers. Enrollment: 300 children Student-teacher ratio: 6:1, with “floaters” in each program for an even better ratio Calendar: School: September through June; Camp: June through August Hours: Mornings or afternoons; half-day and extended-day programs; full-day programs and private kindergarten available Fees: Vary with program Special programs: Music, gymnastics, science, Spanish, creative movement, special visitors, parent seminars and much more Other: Licensed by Department of Social Services. Teachers are CPR and First-Aid certified. Staff MAT trained.
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MARCH 14, 2014
Clare Julia Dur
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MaRCH 14, 2014
CONTINUeD fROM PAGe 14A
objects to include both suggestive details (“I spy something that tells me this landscape’s season is winter”) and compositional elements (“I spy a diagonal line, a pattern, a repeating shape, etc.”) The latter works especially well with abstract subject matter. another game is to re-tell the story of a painting or sculpture in words. Utilizing children’s direct interpretation, this game suits genre scenes which portray people engaged in activities of daily life. However, it can also be adapted to portraiture (by analyzing what kind of person is portrayed), as well as landscape (by imagining what it would be like to be inside the landscape — time of day, weather, season, etc.) Rather than only using imagination, encourage children to construct narratives from visual clues. ask them, “What about the artwork makes you think that?” If people are the subject matter, especially in sculpture, children may enjoy imitating poses and facial expressions to get in touch with their stories’ “characters.” Deeper involvement with a work of art comes from activating sensory perception. ask children to imagine the sounds, scents, tastes, and tactile sensations of the subject matter. With representational art and still lifes in particular, this activity may take a literal, object based approach — a bowl of juicy fruit, a vase of fragrant flowers, a shiny metal cup — beside softly feathered fowl. With abstract art, however, the questions can be imaginatively adapted and comparatively phrased to motivate insightful perceptions. Would the colors feel hot or cold? If the painting were food, what kind would it be — a sweet lollipop, crunchy cereal, hot soup, creamy pudding, etc.? How would the lines and shapes of the painting feel? If they
were a road, what would the drive be like? Is the work of art loud or quiet, shrill or peaceful? If it were music, what would it sound like? To feel the energy of a work of art, encourage children to look in a new way by asking creative questions. If this were a place, would it be a city, a jungle, an open plain? What kind of hairstyle would this painting be? How would the feeling of the painting change if figures were added to the landscape, or if they were removed? If the season were different? If it were night rather than day? If the person were looking at us? If the person were smiling? If the space were more crowded? If the colors were realistic? as children approach the world through their own relationship to it, try to relate artwork to children’s own creativity. When appropriate, draw concrete connections such as — “This reminds me of the color you used in your drawing; of the book we read; of the collage you made.” To foster further connections, you may want to ask kids to articulate their favorite work of art. Or, ask for their opinions with open ended questions. Your young critics may surprise you with a flood of words if you contemplate a piece and simply inquire, “What do you think?” extend your museum visit by discussing it at home, by identifying elements of art in the surrounding world, by doing a related art activity, or by creating a postcard scrapbook. allowing children to select a postcard souvenir from each visit and pasting it into an album is a nice ritual which creates a visual diary and first art reference book. Children’s own sketches or artistic creations, inspired by either the post card or the museum trip, would further personalize the album. Following up museum excursions with handson activities creates pleasant associations which encourage a lifelong relationship with art.
The RecoRd-Review|Page 27a
clothing . shoes . accessories
Bet Torah offers programs for fall Registration for Bet Torah Nursery School in Mount Kisco is under way for families wishing to enroll their children in preschool programs for fall 2014. Spots are available in the twoday, three-day or five-day morning classes for 2-year-olds, which meets from 9:30-11:45 a.m. Limited spots are available in the 3s and 4s program, which meets Monday through Friday from 9:15 a.m.-noon. Join Bet Torah for the fall 2014 semester of Mom’s Day Out, a program of separation, socialization, sharing and fun for toddlers. Children 18 months and older (as of September) may be enrolled for one or two mornings of music, art, story time, movement, and indoor and outdoor play each week. Classes are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30-11:45 a.m. a snack is provided. enrollment is limited. For babies and toddlers with their moms, dads, grandparents and other caregivers, Bet Torah
offers Bagels & Blocks classes. a mini-music class on Tuesdays and a mini-movement class on Thursdays are followed by open gym playtime with crafts, stories, special projects and a snack. The Bet Torah Nursery School program is designed to promote cognitive, social, emotional and physical growth of each child. The curriculum includes regularly scheduled visits by music, sign language, science and movement specialists. Special events throughout the year include Tot Shabbat, family services, schoolwide assemblies and celebration of the Jewish holidays. Bet Torah (www.bettorah.org) serves as a leading center for Conservative Judaism in Northern Westchester. Bet Torah Nursery School is located at 60 Smith ave. in Mount Kisco. Parents wishing to arrange a tour of the school or receive information about the program may call the nursery school office at 666-7595.
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