Happy new year! 2011: A year of goals, opportunities 2
New year, fit family! 6
Top kidsâ€™ health issues in 2011 7
2,8, 9, 11-16
• Syracuse Parent and CNY Family • January 2011
2011: A year of goals, opportunities Editor Jennifer Wing 434-8889 ext. 340 email@example.com Ad Manager Heidi Tyler 434-8889 ext. 320 Ad Sales Colleen Kompf 422-8048 Joan Brockway Griffiths, 662-3690
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In our schools: Tutoring for all ages
With the new year stretching before me like a clean blanket of snow, I am thinking of what I would like to accomplish during the 12 months ahead. Here are my top 10: 1. Spend more time with the kids. Although we are pretty good at doing things as a family, I only have to look at our schedule to see that getting together for fun family activities won’t be without obstacles, what with sports and other commitments. The kids are getting so big, so fast, and
I already feel like there are many things we could have done, but didn’t out of a lack of time. I am going to make the time this year, not just for big things like vacations and going to ballgames/concerts, but for the little things, like sitting down to listen to them read a book aloud, taking walks around the neighborhood and at local parks, spending time goofing around at camp during the summer and just hanging out, talking about nothing and everything over a good meal. 2. Try hiking. Now that I am in better shape, having lost almost 80 pounds in the past year, I find that I am embracing more in the way of physical activity.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not an outdoorswoman. I don’t like to camp, fish or hunt. But taking a hike to a scenic view, stopping along the way to grab breaths of fresh air – I think that might be just the ticket on a cool spring or crisp autumn day. 3. Work on the house. I don’t mean that I’ll be picking up a hammer or installing carpet. What I do mean is changing the color scheme in my front hall and kitchen, doing some pruning of bushes when the weather warms up, staining the deck and working on some interior decorating. It would be great to put in place some new furniture
What we’re thinking
See 2011 on page 3
Make the most of what CNY has to offer this winter Say what you want about Central New York winters, but one thing you can’t deny is that the freshly-fallen snow and insulated quiet of a still winter day are a thing of beauty. So why not enter into this winter wonderland, alone or with others, and get moving? Local parks like Beaver Lake and Highland Forest offer snowshoeing opportunities, where you can either rent a pair and create your own experience or
join a planned outing to enjoy the company of others. Take the kids or grandkids to your local hill for some sledding (first make sure it is safe and in an area away from traffic, of course). Both running up a hill and laughing till tears run down your face are a great way to boost spirits and burn calories. Or what about hitting the rink for some fun? The rink downtown is beautiful, what with it’s massive guardian of a
Parent Child of the Month
Is your child learning disabled? Dads enjoy a turn in the classroom page 4
tree lit with festive lights. Rent skates or bring your own for an outing that you will treasure forever. You don’t even have to leave your yard to have some fun, though. A good oldfashioned snowball fight, complete with fort and stockpiles of ammunition, might be just the kind of mayhem that can bring you back to your own childhood winter warfare. Or make that old-time favorite: a snowman complete with carrot nose, button eyes and the appropriate headgear. Then, drop to the ground and make a snow angel. Make sure to gaze up into the bright blue winter sky as you flap your arms up and down to form the wings. Most importantly, have fun and make the most of what winter has in store.
On the cover
From the stacks: Bookworm sez
Health and Nutrition: New year, fit family
Report: top 10 kids’ health concerns for 2011 page 7
In the garden: Keep you poinsettias growing year after year page 8
Devan Trikha of Jamesville gives his mom, Shveta, a hug.
Things 2 Do: Get out; get moving pgs 11-16
About the photographer: Kaylee Witt, 1, shows off her baby blues for the camera. She is the daughter of Parent reader Kristy Lee Witt.
Cyndi Farrare is owner of Cyndi FarRare Images. For more information visit cyndifarrareimages.com.
In our schools
Syracuse Parent and CNY Family â€˘ January 2011 â€˘
Busy mom brainstorms tutoring for all ages
2011 and accessories. 4. Try new recipes. Many of my meals are tried-and-true but predictable. I want to experiment with the many recipes Iâ€™ve been clipping from magazines and just putting in a drawer, telling myself, â€œIâ€™ll try these some time.â€? Well, that time is now. True, my husband and children are not very adventurous when it comes to food, but Iâ€™m not talking about making something overly exotic, just different, such as Beef Wellington or Cherries Jubilee. 5. Become more involved. I think I need to be more active in my community. For example, the kids have been involved in Pop Warner for many years, and I coached Cassidyâ€™s cheer squad for one season. I donâ€™t have the expertise to coach her at this more advanced stage, but I can help in other ways â€“ volunteering at fundraisers, helping the coach with some of the administrative duties, etc. 6. Run in more 5ks. I have done four races so far â€“ The Fayetteville Classic, the Festival of Races in Syracuse, the Burn Run in East Syracuse and the Turkey Trot in Manlius â€“ and want to do more. In fact, my goal is to run in at least one 5k a month. These runs are great because they support wonderful causes and there is such a feeling of fellowship among the runners. Theyâ€™re also a great gut-check for me to make sure Iâ€™m keeping in good cardiovascular condition. 7. Take up skiing â€“ again. Iâ€™ve skied since I was 5, but in recent years stopped for numerous reasons, including cost, lack of time and, most of all, lack of motivation. But with my childrenâ€™s interest in learning to ski/snowboard, I feel my enthusiasm for the sport returning. I donâ€™t think it will be as easy as riding a bike again, but I do think Iâ€™ll get
of the villageâ€™s ill-advised consolidation with the Syracuse Police Department. Later, she was instrumental in our successful effort to prevent a Wal-Mart Supercenter from ruining Liverpool. In 2008, Kelley was part of Promoting Action and Accountability in Liverpool Schools, a group which monitored the management of the troubled Liverpool Central School District. Now, continuing on the education theme, Kelley has helped establish the Drop-In Tutoring Center at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 1001 Tulip St., here in the village. The center, which opened Nov. 23, mentors learners of all ages from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays. As she attended a recent meeting of St. Josephâ€™s Parish Council, Kelley said, From page 2
back into the rhythm. 8. Learn my roots. I want to do some research into my family tree, and with many different programs/websites, that will hopefully be an attainable goal. I also need to spend more time learning how to make Polish dishes, which maybe could have been listed above, under â€œtry new recipes,â€? but food is such a part of my heritage I feel itâ€™s more appropriate here. I hope to be able to pass this knowledge, once gained, down to my children. 9. Go to camp. This is always a goal of mine, so itâ€™s not really new, but again, with my children more involved in activities, I need to keep my eye on making time to hit the beach this summer. 10. Share good news. In my position as managing editor at Eagle Newspapers, I am well-informed about issues affecting me and my family; one of my duties at Eagle is to make sure these issues are reported in a fair and balanced manner, and it is important to remain impartial. What I donâ€™t have to be impartial about, however, is in trumpeting the achievements of those in my community who make a difference; those who, by living in my, and your, neighborhood, make it better. So I invite all of our readers to write or email me to let me know about these everyday heroes â€“ the people who make an impact in our lives and ask nothing in return. Send your thoughts about your neighbors to: Jennifer Wing Managing Editor Eagle Newspapers 2501 James St., Suite 100 Syracuse, NY 13206 Or email me at email@example.com. Happy new year, everyone!
â€œI heard that the church is looking for new ways to reach out to the community.â€? So she suggested an academic tutoring center, and all agreed it was a great idea. â€œI wanted to do some volunteer tutoring along with the actual teaching I do on Mondays, teaching a writing course to a group of high-school students at a home-school co-op,â€? she said. â€œThe church has the space for teaching, the food pantry which serves the local community, and itâ€™s convenient to many families.â€? Kelley put a notice in the church bulletin seeking tutors, and in a few weeks she received commitments from about a dozen adults and a few high-school students to tutor math, reading, writing, homework, study skills and English as a second language. â€œMany of our volunteers are retired teachers or teacher assistants or folks who have worked in the various local literacy programs,â€? Kelley said.Â â€œMost of the tutors are parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker, and they will all need VIRTUS training within two months if they are going to be working with children.â€? VIRTUS is the brand name that identifies best-practices programs designed to
prevent wrongdoing and promote â€œrightdoingâ€? within religious organizations. The training programs were established about ten years ago in response to revelations about church-related child abuse. But the Drop-In Tutoring Center isnâ€™t only for school-kids. Adults â€“ especially immigrants studying English as a second language â€“ will surely benefit from the tutoring. Because of budget cuts, BOCES no longer hires tutors for English as a second language, but those adult learners will be able to easily access the St. Joeâ€™s location because itâ€™s on the same CENTRO bus line as BOCES. â€œWe donâ€™t really know whatâ€™ll happen,â€? Kelley admitted, â€œbut we believe that over time, the word will get out and the students will come.â€? No appointments are necessary and there is no cost for the tutoring services. Meanwhile, the center could use a few things to support the project such as calculators, rulers, colored pencils, picture books, a dictionary and thesaurus, hand sanitizer and tissues. If you can help, or if you or someone you know could use some tutoring help, contact Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Terry Cardinal at 457-6060.
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Youâ€™ve got to appreciate a lady like Kelley Romano. The wife of one of Central New Yorkâ€™s best dentists, the mother of a happy handful of accomplished kids and the owner of one of the villageâ€™s most historic homes, Kelley seems to live a charmed â€“ albeit busy â€“ life in Liverpool. While family is her priority, Kelley pays it forward, as they say. She applies her energies not only to her loved ones but also to the betterment of the entire community. I first met her a decade-and-a-half ago when she worked on a committee which eventually achieved the repeal
In our schools
• Syracuse Parent and CNY Family • January 2011
Is your child learning disabled? You’re not alone If you’re confused
Parents and educators are so confused about the nature of learning disabilities that this may be preventing students from getting the early help they need to keep from falling permanently behind in school. A new GfK Roper poll found that seven out of 10 parents, teachers and school administrators incorrectly linked learning disabilities with mental retardation. In fact, experts say the condition causes the brain to process information differently-thus leading even those of above-average intelligence to have difficulty learning to read, write
and do math. “This poll shows dangerous misconceptions, and a lack of knowledge by parents and educators, that threaten our children’s futures while undermining efforts to improve educational outcomes for all,” said Stewart J. Hudson, president of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, which commissioned the poll and awards grants to innovative early intervention projects. Roughly 2.6 million U.S. students-or one in eight-have been diagnosed as being learning disabled. And if estimates are correct, many more than that go undiagnosed or unremediated. The poll suggested at least two reasons why: parents’ fear of the attached stigma; and teachers wrongly considering learning disabilities to be “the product of the home environment” or the result of laziness. What to do if you suspect your child is learning disabled? Here are some tips: • Don’t wait for them to “grow out of it.” Currently, most students with learning disabilities aren’t identified until after they’ve reached the seventh grade, which James H. Wendorf, executive director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities, calls “too late for many.” Warning signs, though, can be detected as early as ages 2 to 4. So consult a professional if your child exhibits symptoms like appearing awkward and clumsy (i.e., dropping, spilling or knocking things over), early delays in learning to speak, and failing to pick up on others’ moods or feelings. • Don’t underestimate what’s at stake. Education is more important to future success than ever. And yet the high school dropout rate for those with learning disabilities is 25 percent and only 61 percent of those who complete high school receive a regular diploma. Alarmingly, students with learning disabilities are vastly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. • Don’t lose heart. Programs like Response to Intervention (RTI) seek to help students with their reading skills before they’re classified as learning disabled. And the very latest adaptive technology, including computer apps, helps them compensate for their disabilities while still demonstrating their intelligence and knowledge. For more information, visit LD.org. -NAPS
Photo courtesy of Mary Lawyer O’Connor
Preschool student, Reese Bowden of LIverpool demonstrates a color work to her father, Dustin Bowden, at the school’s annual Father’s Night event held in December.
Dads enjoy a turn in the classroom
A special tradition at the Montessori School of Syracuse is the annual Father’s Night event, which was held in December. Students host their father, or another special person, in one of the school’s three, multi-age classrooms designed for students age 3-6. Father’s Night provides the opportunity for the student to demonstrate a favorite material, share a snack or giving a tour of their cottage to their dad or special adult. The Montessori primary classrooms for 3-6 year olds are designed to be Children’s Houses – a student’s first “home away from home.” Unlike typical preschool environments, the Montessori classroom is designed to allow a student to move at their own pace through a rich curriculum that includes math, language, geography, geometry and science. The students also learn to be compassionate and caring members of a community as they engage in work such a food preparation, and practical life activities such as washing dishes, sweeping the floor, and arranging flowers. When parents consider the traits they would like their children to have as young adults, their list often includes, conscientious, caring towards others, reliable, responsible, motivated and independent, as well as academically successful. These traits begin forming very early in life, and a Montessori education provides an excellent foundation for this journey. The Montessori School of Syracuse will be hosting an open house from 2 – 4 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 23 (see below). This is a drop-in event, and families are welcome.
Montessori to hold Admissions Open House
MPH open house, scholarship exam planned
MPH Admission Open House at 1 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 9. An opportunity to learn about Manlius Pebble Hill School’s Pre-K through 12th grade program, the admission process, merit scholarships, and tuition assistance. It also enables prospective families to speak with current students and faculty members and tour the MPH campus. MPH Annual Scholarship Exam Saturday, Jan. 22. New students in grades 6-12 applying to MPH for the fall of 2011 are eligible for merit scholarships. The two-hour exam will be given at 9 a.m. for students applying to grades 6-8 and at 1 p.m. for students applying to grades 9-12. Register online at www.mph.net or call 446-2452. (Alternate testing dates are available. Call to schedule an appointment.)
Photo Courtesy of Mary Lawyer O’Connor
Preschool student Annika Dharwadkar of Fayetteville learns about leaf varieties at the Montessori School of Syracuse, located in Dewitt. The school will hold an Admissions Open House from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday Jan. 23. The school provides over 150 children, ages 3 through 12, from 20 different school districts with a quality preschool and elementary education based on Montessori philosophy and methods. Montessori School of Syracuse strives to help students reach their full potential as independent, life-long learners and caring global citizens. Information about the school and the Open House is available at www.mssyr.org or by calling 449-9033.
From the stacks
Syracuse Parent and CNY Family â€˘ January 2011 â€˘
â€œOf Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughtersâ€? â€œBeyond Bizarreâ€?
by Varla Ventura, c.2010, Weiser Books, $15.95, 304 pages
by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long, c.2010, Knopf, $17.99, 40 pages
Your sister thinks youâ€™re a little weird.
As you grow up, your parents and grandparents have many
good ideas for you. First of all, they want you to remember that youâ€™re a wonderful kid and that theyâ€™re happy to see you when you walk into a room. They hope you know that theyâ€™re really proud of you and that youâ€™re loved very much. But as youâ€™ll see in the new book â€œOf Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughtersâ€? by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long, they also have lots of bigger ideas for you, too. Are you a creative kid? Then your parents and grandparents want you to use your talents wisely, like Georgia Oâ€™Keeffe. When youâ€™re brave, they want you to remember Jackie Robinson, Billie Holiday, and Abraham Lincoln. Your parents and grandparents want you to grow up to be someone great, and thatâ€™s going to be easy because these people and their unique talents are already a part of you. Itâ€™s true, because you are the future. While â€œOf Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughtersâ€? simply oozes with encouragement; and while author and President Barack Obama has written a love letter not only to Malia and Sasha, but to all children; and while I really enjoyed this book, only part of my enjoyment was for the words it contains. Yes, Obamaâ€™s story is one that children will want to hear repeatedly, but the appeal for me (and, I suspect, anyone under age 5) is the artwork. Award-winning illustrator Loren Long paints life into Obamaâ€™s words, and though parents will cherish the text, kids will love â€œreadingâ€? the pictures. Of course you have dreams for The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has your kids. â€œOf Thee I Sing: A Letbeen reading since she was 3 years old and she ter to My Daughtersâ€? will reveal never goes anywhere without a book. She lives a few. For you and your child, on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 11,000 having this book on your shelf is books. a good idea.
All children are born with talent. It needs to be awakened! All children can learn music if itâ€™s introduced in their formative years!
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