Page 1



Vol.19 Number 4

in this issue 6 Editor’s Note 7

On the Web in April

8 Short Takes

Reviews & News

28 Book Nook Au Natural

30 Parenting –



A Smooth Transition: Preparing Your Special Needs Teen for College

32 Try This!

Compost It!

34 Spotlight

Surviving in Style – Lizzy Spencer Takes to the Runway

36 Calendar of Events

• Family-Friendly Events • Support Groups & Clubs • Ongoing Events & Exhibits

46 Out & About

Walk with the Whitetails



more feature articles

14 18 23

Exploring Rochester




Greening School Lunches


on the cover Our green issue 10, 14, 18, 23, 28, 32 & 46 School lunches go green 23 Connecting kids with nature 10 How to compost 32 Exploring Rochester’s history 14

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ editor’s note]

By Jillian Melnyk


try not to jump blindly and join every trend I see. (Sometimes it bites me in the butt, like when I didn't start watching The Office until season four and felt totally out of the loop with my friends until I finally rented the previous seasons' DVDs – a good thing too, because I learned that that show rocks!) But in marketing speak I wouldn't typically call myself an Early Adopter. I'm not a turtle as far as adopting trends, but when it comes to the uberhot-trend-of-the-day, I tend to see how things are going to play out first. I'm more of an Early Majority girl.

A few years ago when organic this and organic that started to pop up on shelves, things were different. I didn't question how long the trend would last, or wait around to see what others were doing, I took the plunge. I started to buy my produce at local community farm markets, I joined a CSA, and when I could, I selected organic and local produce over conventionally grown items that came from far away. I became an Early Adopter in the food revolution. And it looks like I was on to something; this is a trend that has staying power. The whole "green thing" isn't


going away. Three years ago we launched our first "green issue" which we loaded up with eco-friendly ideas for your family. We're pleased to bring you our fourth edition which includes even more local information about environmental awareness, connecting kids with nature, food, and health. Plus we'll have a lot more great green editorial online this month at Speaking of our website, I would like to take a second to toot our own horn - last month at the Parenting Media Association's conference we earned some high recognition. We were

Staff PUBLISHER Barbara Melnyk EDITOR Jillian Melnyk SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR Natalee Kiesling ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Cynthia Goldberg, Natalee Kiesling

award finalists for our magazine's overall editorial, Rochester Baby Guide editorial, our Modern Family series, and we took home the winning award for our Rochester Baby Guide design and our Special Family editorial. Plus, our website received a gold award of General Excellence. It's an incredible honor to receive these recognitions and we would like to extend a thank you to our fabulous readers and advertisers who make this magazine possible! Have a fabulously green April!


MAGAZINE LAYOUT & GRAPHICS DESIGN Jillian Melnyk Matt Peltier CALENDAR EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Cannon-Crothers, Marianne Benjamin, John Boccacino, Carol Harvey, Sue Henninger, Myrna Beth Haskell, Basic subscription rate: $25/year. Send subscription inquiries and changes to address below. Copyright 2012, by GVP, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not necessarily constitute an endorsement or necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication.

Genesee Valley Parent Magazine 266 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY 14607 p: 585-287-5330 f: 585-287-5344


[ what’s online]

April 2012

What you will find at this month! Giveaways

This month you'll have opportunities to win a family pass to Whitetail Tours in Rush, a gift certificate to Once Upon a Child Consignment Shop in Henrietta and a $25 gift certificate toward a party from Pastabilities.

Online Only Editorial EXPERIENCE, EMBRACE & ENJOY EARTH DAY — April in Rochester will no doubt bring many shower-filled days, but spring is here and April is a good month to start getting outside, and chances are your kids are ready for it too. Put all that pent up winter energy into a way to help the earth. Learn how your family can get involved – and have a good time!

What's Cookin'

We have all new yummy and fun recipes you and your kids can enjoy making and eating! Check out the Bunny in a Cup recipe – even your littlest kids can help with this dessert.

Image courtesy of Big Idea Entertainment

PLUS: Five lucky winners will each win a copy of VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-SoMerry Men, a fun parody that features plenty of high-energy, family-friendly music, including a new Silly Song. Enter to win at

FIVE SUPER GREEN OUTDOOR ADVENTURES — Looking to get in touch with your natural side? Check out these local "green spaces" that feature nature at its finest!

TO MARKET TO MARKET — It's not exactly "farm market season" yet, but that doesn't mean your family can't load up on fresh, local produce. Check out our list of year-long and spring markets that will keep you satisfied until the summer months. Plus, it's a great time to sign up for CSA farm share, see our list of area farms accepting memberships for the 2012 season!

Win a Pandora Starter Bracelet for your mom!

With Mother's Day approaching, here's your opportunity to tell mom how much she means to you and have a chance to win a Pandora Starter Bracelet that is sure to bring a smile to her face. GVP is offering this beautiful bracelet valued at over $200…WOW! Don't miss out on this opportunity; entries must be received by April 15th. Let us know in 100 words or less why your mom (or significant mother figure in your life) is special…"I Love My Mom Because…" Submissions open to kids ages 3-17. Visit for complete rules.

Check out more recipes in our Family Kitchen section,

Online Poll

We asked area parents if they are sending their kids to camp this year. Here are the results. 65% Day Camp 15% Overnight Camp 15% We do activities at home 5% International Camp Current Parent Poll: Is your family a "Green Family?" What type of Green are you? Add your response at

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[short takes ] fresh from the


grow a pizza


Sometimes it can be difficult to the get the kids to eat their fruits and veggies, but it shouldn't be. The trick is using fresh, in-season ingredients that are full of flavor and nutrients. Gooseberry Patch's latest cookbook, Fresh from the Farmstand, offers 240 tasty recipes using backyard bounty and farm market finds. Try this delicious recipe, using ingredients that you can find available now:

Yummy Chicken-Leek Soup Shared by Alice Hardin, Antioch, CA | Serves 4. INGREDIENTS — 2 t. olive oil 2 leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced 1 onion, chopped 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced 2 skinless chicken thighs 3 c. reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 T. fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 t. salt 1/4 t. pepper

FIND THE BOOK: Fresh from the Farmstand / Gooseberry Patch / January 2012 / hardcover / $16.95

DIRECTIONS — • Heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. • Cook leeks, onion and carrot until softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. • Add chicken and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. • Transfer chicken to a cutting board; cool slightly. Discard bones; dice chicken and return to soup. • Stir in seasonings. Heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Get out and do some good on April 28th by helping to clean up parks in the Rochester area during the third annual Pick Up the Parks Event! Clean-up begins at 9am and runs until noon. You can head out to your preferred park on event day, or pre-register as a group, organization, club, class or family ahead of time. Last year's PUTP event collected a whopping 3,200 pounds of trash; 1,500 pounds of it recyclable! This year's event has expanded to include seven area parks: Churchville, Durand Eastman, Genesee Valley, Northampton, Powder Mills, Seneca, and Webster Parks. Visit or call 753-7281 for more information.


April is the perfect time to start thinking about your backyard garden. If you're looking for a fresh – and delicious – garden idea that the kids will also love, try growing a pizza garden. This garden is so versatile that it can be grown in both spacious backyards and those strapped for space (each plant can be grown in a container rather than directly into the ground.) Growing toppings for homemade pizzas is not only fun, but wholesome, too. Be as traditional or as adventurous as you would like. You can find pre-made pizza dough at supermarkets like Wegmans or you can simply make your own with recipes found online.

Topping ideas: • TOMATOES – Cherry tomato plants are ideal for container gardens. Kids might also get a kick out of an heirloom variety of tomatoes with an interesting color like purple or pink. (Bonus: they tend to taste great!) • BASIL – This Italian staple comes in a wide assortment of styles including traditional sweet basil and purple basil. • SPINACH • OREGANO • PEPPERS All of these plants are easily found at your local garden store. You can often also find them for sale at area farm markets throughout the spring and early summer. Bon appetite!

local organization shoots & scores The Pieters Family Life Center's G.O.A.L.S. summer soccer clinic will kick into action again this summer, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Inclusion Project. This is the third year that the National Inclusion Project has partnered with Heritage Christian Services and the Life Center to implement Let's ALL Play – Inclusion in Recreational Programs, which gives children with disabilities access to activities that many children without disabilities take for granted. Besides having fun, experts agree that children with disabilities who have the chance to participate in recreational programs see an improvement in self-esteem, social skills, confidence to participate, and sport and motor skills. The youth and teens involved in the G.O.A.L.S. program this summer will practice with the Rochester Rhinos players at Sahlen's Stadium. "This partnership increases our momentum to serve more youth and teens and help them to realize at a young age that we all have different and unique abilities to celebrate," says Andrew Little, director of the Pieters Family Life Center. For more information, visit

get outdoors! Sometimes it seems like kids are glued to their electronic devices. To help parents encourage kids to engage in outdoor play, the National Wildlife Federation's Be Out There movement has created "Outdoor Play for Every Day: A Parent's Guide for Overcoming Common Obstacles to Kids and Outdoor Play," which includes tips, activities, and information to help kids do what comes naturally – playing outdoors. NWF's Guide makes these suggestions to maximize outdoor time while making peace with media: • MONKEY SEE/MONKEY DO: Set a good example about limiting tech time and your kids will be more likely to follow suit. Talk to your kids and let everyone have a say on the amount of time that screens will be used each week so it's clear up front what the ground rules are. • PAY TO PLAY: Encourage kids to earn screen time by balancing it with equal amounts of reading, chores or playing outside. Len Saunders, author of Keeping Kids Fit and father of two, suggests that for every hour of physical activity, kids earn 30 minutes of tech time. • LET 'EM PICK: Offer kids a set amount of screen time each day and let them decide how to use it, watch TV, play video games or surf the web. If the weather is nice and they want to trade their screen time for playing outdoors, they can bank their screen time for use on a rainy day. More great ideas for enjoying outdoor time can be found at Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


making natural connections ways to connect children to nature By Angela Cannon-Crothers


achel Carson, famous marine biologist and conservationist, talked about the importance of sharing a Sense of Wonder with children, and how each and every child needs at least one adult with whom to share nature. More recently, Richard Louv wrote about Nature Deficit Disorder being the biggest problem facing our children today. Helping children build a relationship with the earth helps them connect with the world. A relationship with nature provides a richness throughout one's lifetime that is immeasurable.


Many of us have fond memories from our own childhoods of times when we were sent outside to play – mother's orders! Sometimes we played with children in the neighborhood (four square, baseball, bike riding), other days maybe we built forts in the woods or thickets nearby with friends or even alone. Those hours of play and enjoyment in the elements and nature, have helped mold us into the people we are today. There were no constant clicks from electronic devices in our pockets when we were kids.

As a child my time was filled with what was actually happening in the environment around me – be it a robin's call, the splash of a mud puddle, or a thick cloud over the hot sun. All of these things bring a child into the present moment, connecting him or her to life itself. That connection to the earth helps breath mindfulness as well as imagination.

Connecting Children with their Food There are many ways you can help your children draw a connection to their food sources. By joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) garden or farm, growing some of your own food, or visiting a local Farmer's Market on a regular basis, children learn how their food is grown and produced; they learn the miracle of seed to produce to table, as well as what is in season in their locality. Selecting locally produced and organically raised, fresh produce forms the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating. "Over the past 15 years we've met so many children who have no idea where their food comes from," says Deb Denome, president of Seeking Common Ground, a nonprofit that helps oversee Ontario County's Farm-to-Cafeteria program. "Bread comes in a bag. There is no awareness that it is made from grain. Some think potatoes grow on trees. To witness kids, and adults, dig potatoes for the first time is like watching people dig for gold – there's such pure enthusiasm and excitement." Agricultural education that helps children and families grow their own food helps people feel empowered. Denome adds, "When we harvest potatoes – or anything

– directly from the Earth, it expands our relationship with the Earth. We care more. We want to know more about how our other food is grown and raised and how the Earth is treated in the process. "

Connecting Children with Other Creatures of the Earth Whether you are feeding birds with a homemade feeder outside your window or volunteering at an animal shelter, you are helping build empathy and understanding with the animals who share this planet with us. While watching Animal Planet and other documentaries are engaging and valuable education tools, nothing speaks more strongly than allowing your child to have actual encounters with wildlife and wild things. • Fishing builds on conservation ethics and understanding of the environment, but if fishing isn't your thing, try stream exploring. Look under rocks for aquatic invertebrates like water bugs and crayfish. • The Seneca Park Zoo offers a plethora of activities for children, teens, and families year-round. Programs ranging from day events to day camps and internships engage children in not just zoology and

FUN WITH FOOD Rochester Roots is another organization that creates school gardens as well as offers outreach programs like healthful cooking workshops for parents and children. Call (585) 232-1463 or email Other CSA gardens can be researched through the Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture and Peacework Organic Farm near Newark, NY and online at For more information on the Farm-toCafeteria program, contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Ontario County at (585) 394-3977. The Cooperative Extension can also let you know where to find the nearest Farmer's Market.

animal care but issues surrounding habitat, sustainable living, and conservation. • Lollypop Farm (part of the Humane Society) is a wonderful place to take chilCONTINUED >>>

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


OUT & ABOUT Nature Centers are a great way to inspire and educate children about their environment. The Rochester area is fortunate to have many great parks and other formal environmental education programs: GENESEE COUNTRY MUSEUM'S NATURE CENTER in Mumford offers day camps for kids, special trout fishing excursions, and miles of nature trails. Visit or call (585) 538-6822. HELMER NATURE CENTER is owned and operated by the West Irondequoit Central School District and is located at 154 Pinegrove Avenue in Rochester. The center encompasses 40 acres and hiking trails are open from dawn to dusk. The center offer school based and special programs. For more information, call(585) 336-3035.


THE ROCHESTER MUSEUM AND SCIENCE CENTER'S CUMMING NATURE CENTER is located 40 miles south of Rochester at 6472 Gulick Road in Naples. It is open primarily on weekends. The center has miles of hiking trails, a beaver pond observation area, and several seasonal programs. Visit or call (585)374-6160. Other great nature hiking trails can be found by exploring The Finger Lakes Land Trust ( and The Finger Lakes Trail ( Always check ahead to find out if dogs are allowed on trails, hours of operation and fees, if any. REMEMBER: Dress prepared for the weather and let the kids set the pace!

dren to learn about pet care and farm animals. Lollypop Farm also offers animal husbandry programs for youth and are open for family visits and tours year round. • Wild Wings Raptor Center in Mendon Ponds Park houses and cares for injured and disabled raptors that can no longer be released into the wild. The hawks, owls, and other raptors housed at the center used for educational programming. The facility is open to the public daily (except Wednesday) from 10 am to 2 pm. You can visit online at or call 585-334-7790.

Connecting Children with the Universe The stars are one of the oldest fascinations of humankind. When you help connect children to the concept of a greater universe, you are expanding their minds to unlimited possibilities. Spend time star gazing and looking through a telescope. For an indoor activity visit the Rochester Museum and Science Center's Strasenburgh Planetarium. Learning about constellations and planets helps children understand that we live on a very small planet in a vast universe. This earth

is special. And the chance that we are alone out here in the universe is pretty small.

Connecting Children with the Outdoors Remember neighborhood baseball games? Capture the flag? Even just riding bikes around and around the same block? All of these activities offer something that no video game can really provide – real exercise and fresh air. Taking children on nature hikes through a local park, along Lake Ontario beaches or to adventurous destinations helps your child contemplate the complexities and diversity of nature and all living things. Such activities build questioning skills, inquisitiveness, observation, reflection and even mathematics. Spending time looking closely at a patch of moss, the skeleton of a washed up fish, or even a flower in a window box helps reaffirm the credibility of your child’s own sense of wonder while, miraculously, reigniting yours.

Connecting to the All of Nature Sharing nature with a child is one of the most important things we can do for our children. You don't have to be a hiker or a farmer either. Tending houseplants or pets, collecting stones or seashells, or painting a tree you see outside the window together are all ways we can help children build a relationship with their environment. Connecting with nature feeds our hearts, minds, and souls. It builds our relationship with a Greater Source – be it God, Allah, Goddess or what-have-you. Building on this connection is a lifetime affirmation, one that begins in infancy and needs to be supported through childhood and beyond. It is the only cure for saving ourselves and our planet. "You carry Mother Earth within you," says Zen Master, Thich Naht Hahn. "She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment." If we all held this belief close to our hearts, in raising our children, and in pursuing our days, imagine the oneness we would create with all living things and within ourselves. Imagine the care we would bestow upon the earth when we recognize how interconnected to the earth we truly are. Besides, spending time in nature is just plain fun!

Angela Cannon-Crothers is a contributing writer to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. She is an an educator at Herb Haven in Crystal Beach as well as a writer and author. You can visit her website at

New York needs to know about NOEP! You could be eligible for Food Stamps - call MCLAC NOEP at (585) 295-5624 to find out more. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Prepared by a project of the Nutrition Consortium of NYS, USDA/FNS & NYSOTDA.

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


EXPLORING ROCHESTER rochester's preserved history can be educational & fun for your family Story by Marianne Benjamin | Art by Lisa Barbero


he Rochester area is rich in history. Thanks to the efforts of area residents – past and present – who have cherished our neighborhoods, cities, parks and buildings, we have preserved some precious resources to share with our children. "Many people think that preservation is just a movement to save old buildings – but it is much more than that," says Caitlin Meives, Preservation Planner of The Landmark Society of Western New York. "Preservation involves fostering interest in the architectural heritage of our region and promoting reinvestment in older neighborhoods and buildings. It means adapting older buildings and structures (like bridges) to new uses, preserving landscapes and open space, and constructing new buildings that complement the old." 14

History is a major part of any school curriculum but how can parents help children understand and appreciate the history, architecture and resources we have around us? And how can you make it fun? There are many local attractions – some of them free – that are both enjoyable and educational. It's guaranteed that they will become favorite stops for your family. Here is a small sampling of destinations and activities that you can share with your children.

Tour a Historic Building


broad river valley. Seneca Park and Maplewood Park are on the deep Hours: Friday & Saturday You don't have to take river gorge with its native 12 pm - 3pm, April your kids to Williamsburg, forest. They each have a through December. Group Virginia to experience late picturesque pond and tours of six or more can colonial living. The picnic groves. Today be scheduled daily, except Stone-Tolan House these parks remain Monday. Special group Historic Site at 2370 East exceptional examples of packages are available. Avenue in Rochester is Call 546-7029, extension Olmsted's design. Seneca, actually the oldest place in 15. Maplewood and the county and its 200 Highland parks are all year history has been Annual events include an listed on the national thoughtfully preserved. April Fool's Day Tour and Register of Historic Originally a farm and tavflashlight tours during the Places. ern run by owners summer. "Visits to the Orringh and Elizabeth Rochester Olmsted Parks Stone, it served as both are trips through the home and work. Local citizens planned for ideal landscapes of the turn of the 20th the government of the new town of century," says JoAnn Beck, Senior Brighton in the tavern room and travelers Landscape Architect with the City of took shelter from the wilderness of 19th Rochester. "They are open and free for all century New York within its walls. to visit. Come to experience natural beauCurrently owned and operated by ty in many forms and to enjoy activity in The Landmark Society of Western New fresh air and sunshine. They are designed York, the house has never been moved and to promote our health, lift our spirits and is firmly rooted on the original site. The inspire our imaginations." For self-guided East Avenue neighborhood is now comwalking tours through the historic parks, fortable suburban splendor but Mr. Stone's and other information, visit the websites tavern stands where it always has, witness for Monroe County Parks (www.monroeto the changes and reminder of our rural and the City roots. of Rochester parks The Stone-Tolan House represents ( the private and the public activities of a household and rural tavern on the frontier Stroll Through a in Brighton between 1790 and 1820. Visitors can tour the tavern room, kitchen, Neighborhood The 35 streets of Rochester's oldest resiparlor-bedroom, summer kitchen, orchard dential neighborhood, Corn Hill, are borherb and kitchen gardens, smokehouse, dered by I-490 to the north, Ford Street and privy. to the west and the Genesee River/Erie Canal to the east and south. Built during Visit a Park the 1820s and 30s, many called the Rochester is one of a handful of American neighborhood "The Ruffled Shirt Ward" cities that have a park system designed by because of the prosperity of its residents Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of and the substantial homes and mansions American Landscape Architecture and a found there. Since the 1970s the neighleader of the American park movement. borhood has been popularly and widely In the late 1800's, city leaders had a vision for a grand park system for Rochester, start- known as historic "Corn Hill." Today Corn Hill is a vibrant urban ing with Highland Park. They hired village in the heart of Rochester. The Olmsted, who helped them choose locaneighborhood boasts historic architecture tions along the Genesee River for what along well-kept streets and amidst inviting became Genesee Valley Park, Seneca Park parks. But the neighborhood struggled to and Maplewood Park. Olmsted designed get to this point, declining in the posteach of the four parks to show off its World War II years as the general populaunique scenery, with graceful drives and tion shifted from the city to the suburbs. walkways for visitors to experience the landIn the 1960s, urban renewal claimed scape. many historic homes, including those Highland Park, with its famous lilac inhabited by Rochester's first mayor and collection, has hills, valleys, and scenic outother early leaders. The structures were looks. Genesee Valley Park has rolling


meadows with tall trees, and views of the

CONTINUED >>> Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012



Preservation involves fostering interest in the architectural heritage of our region and promoting reinvestment in older neighborhoods and buildings. It means adapting older buildings and structures (like bridges) to new uses, preserving landscapes and open space, and constructing new buildings that complement the old." — Caitlin Meives, Preservation Planner of The Landmark Society of Western New York

demolished when I-490 was built through a Research Your Personal Story portion of the neighborhood. More land was Families wishing to find out more about their cleared to make way for the Civic Center and Rochester roots can do so at the Rochester other roadway additions. Historical Society, located in the Rundel Landmark Society architectural surveys of Library on South Avenue in Rochester. surviving homes in 1964 helped persuade the Researching your history together as a family government to include can be a great afternoon conservation in its urban or rainy day activity. FOR MORE INFORMATION renewal plans. Residents Show your children how worked to revive the Rochester has changed neighborhood and formed and evolved since you and The Corn Hill Neighbors their ancestors grew up Association to promote here. and protect the area. The Rochester Beginning in the 1980s, new residences, Historical Society (RHS) has a wide variety of designed to be compatible with the neighborresources to help you research your Rochester hood's historic streetscapes, began to fill in roots. Unique to RHS is the Rochester Pioneer areas cleared during the era of urban renewRegistry, which consists of genealogical files of al. Many local businesses also moved in, over 8,400 descendants of Rochester's first including restaurants, shops and professional inhabitants. In addition, the Society has and medical services. Rochester City Directories published from Today's Corn Hill neighborhood is within 1827 to 1986. City Directories are rich historiwalking distance of downtown Rochester's cal and genealogical resources. Down the hall main business district and its many attractions, is the Public Library's Local History Division including the Blue Cross Arena at the which has more genealogical material that you Community War Memorial as well as the seacan browse. sonal Mary Jemison boat tours. A stroll Although you may walk in and receive assisthrough the neighborhood is a wonderful tance during business hours Tuesday through opportunity to teach children about architecThursday, 10 am through 3 pm, it is recommendture, urban renewal, and Rochester's history. ed to call ahead at 428-8470 so materials can be The biggest attraction in the neighborgathered in advance of your visit. hood is the annual Corn Hill Arts Festival, a juried art show of fine arts and crafts which Whether you are in awe of historical architecattracts more than 250,000 people. The festival ture, a lover of green space, or interested in your is recognized as one of the top 200 festivals in ancestors, Rochester is truly the place to be! the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. An array of food and musical entertainment and a Marianne Benjamin is a contributing writer to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. She is a public children's area are also part of the festival. relations consultant who lives in the Rochester, NY area. This year the festival is July 7-8.

Lisa Barbero is an artist living and working in Rochester, NY. Find her online at


Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


envirothon }


area teens compete to show off environmental & ecological prowess


1 By Sue Henninger


ost adults and teens have full plates these days so what compels them to dedicate their limited free time to an environmental competition? For Karl Biedlingmaier, a Chemistry and Environmental Science teacher at Churchville-Chili Senior High School who advises the school's Students for the Environment Club, it's being able to offer his students a different type of experience. "With technology the way it is, kids spend their lives inside; they don't get the chance to be outside and do thing away from the computer or to apply the science they're learning in the real world," he says. 18

1. A team member from one of the local Monroe County high school teams examining a skull for the Wildlife Exam. 2. Members

from a local Monroe County high school participating in a segment of the Forestry Exam.

3. Members

from a local Monroe County high school participating in a segment of the Wildlife Exam.

Education Coordinator for the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District, Karen Ervay, also has a ready answer, "Young adults today have a whole different level of awareness than people in past decades have. They've been brought up with a different mindset; they're constantly thinking about things like recycling and composting and they really care about the world they live in." Ervay, has helped organize the county level of Envirothon, a hands-on, outdoor environmental competition for years. Though Envirothon got off to a slow start in Rochester, with only four teams from the Churchville-Chili school district competing the first year, the event's popularity has grown, and there's currently a core group of about eight to ten schools that now participate every year.

Eco Teens What types of teens are drawn to a competition like the Envirothon? According to Ervay the students are usually very aware of the importance of the decisions they'll be making about the future of their world. A hands-on, environmentally-focused event like Envirothon not only reinforces their proactive attitudes about issues such as conservation, sustainability, and land

stewardship, but also encourages them to become action-oriented adults. She acknowledges that not every high school student will end up pursuing an environmental career, but feels they still have the ability to carry these positive values into the world and share them with others. For those students who do want to make a career out of protecting the environment, the Envirothon is a fun way to fuel this desire and increase their knowledge base. Biedlingmaier and Churchville-Chili Senior High School's Students for the Environment Club send several teams to the county Envirothon competition each year. Biedlingmaier explains that the students on his teams do ninety percent of the work, often starting to prepare for the event in the fall. "To be successful, you really need to treat it as a year round event," he explains, adding that he likes working with the teens because they're so self-motivated. Some of the teams' dedication and high energy levels may be attributed to the fact that his one requirement is that the five team members be friends. "They need to have that rapport to be successful," he explains. "It doesn't matter if the five smartest kids in the school are on a team, if they don't care about each other they won't do as well."

The kids want to maintain that tradition of being successful. When we get back to school they're already anticipating next year's event." — Karl Biedlingmaier, a Chemistry and Environmental Science teacher at ChurchvilleChili Senior High School who advises the school's Students for the Environment Club which sends several teams to the county Envirothon competition each year

Biedlingmaier adds that many of the students on Churchville-Chili's teams aren't teens who constantly win academic or sporting awards. "They may not have lots of trophies on the shelf," he says. "This may be the first event they've ever won so it means a lot to them." He recalls the first time a Churchville-Chili team made it to the State level. "The kids were crazy-excited," he recalls. "But they had no CONTINUED >>>

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


Community Support


Local community groups have also been staunch supporters of Envirothon over the years. Rochester Institute of Technology has "been a strong partner and one we're enormously appreciative of," Ervay notes. Not only does RIT help organizers put workshops together, the college also provides an "instructor pool" that hosts workshops for the Rochester high school students. Finger Lakes Castle, a local company that produces environmentally safe products for the automobile industry, has also been an advocate for Envirothon from the beginning. Ervay explains that the company's founder places a high value on educating and reaching out to local youth and sees Envirothon as an ideal means of accomplishing this goal.

idea what they were doing and they came back home saying 'We could do so much better.'" The teens persisted so it was really memorable when they finally reached their goal. "I still remember the look on their faces; they were thrilled," Biedlingmaier recalls. Since then, Biedlingmaier's students have made it to the New York State Envirothon for the last eight years in a row. They've also placed third at the state level three times. "The kids want to maintain


that tradition of being successful," he asserts. "When we get back to school they're already anticipating next year's event." Ervay is also cognizant of what the teens are capable of as she's chaperoned a few Rochester-area teams to the State Envirothon. "It takes a special kind of kid to compete," she says. "It's an amazing type of competition. I wish they had it when I was in high school!"

Getting Involved Becoming part of the Envirothon is easy. Ervay explains that there are five teens per team and that each school district can send up to three teams. Teams need an adult advisor, usually a high school teacher, who will help them study the five areas of the competition: wildlife, soils and land use, forestry, aquatic ecology, and a current issue which changes every year. Students and their advisors utilize a variety of

THE FACTS Canon Envirothon is North America's largest high school environmental education competition. Each year it reaches more than 500,000 students annually. This year's County Envirothon is scheduled for May 3rd (location to be determined). The New York State Envirothon will be held at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva on May 23rd and 24th and the 2012 Canon Envirothon is scheduled for July 22nd-28th at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania.

LEARN MORE means to learn more about the topics including reading articles, having guest speakers with a specific expertise meet with them, and taking field trips. The County Envirothon is usually held in early May, rain or shine. Each team travels from station to station where they're tested, both in writing and through interactive activities, on what they've learned. Teams must be able to follow instructions and come up with the answer or solution to the questions posed. Each cycle runs about twenty-five minutes and the final scores are tallied to determine which lucky team will go to the State competition. Though only one group can advance, Ervay always awards the top five teams a plaque for their efforts. Biedlingmaier adds that without Ervay's efforts none of the Monroe County teams would have had such good county and state level performances. "Karen's tireless energy is what drives us and keeps the event together," he asserts. Once the New York State champion team has been selected, winning teens head for the Canon Envirothon competition, the national level of the Envirothon where one team from each state competes against students from other parts of the United States and Canada. Greece-Athena has gone to Canon twice says Ervay, noting "They're the strongest team I've seen in awhile." However, she quickly adds that she's proud of every single Monroe County team that's participated in Envirothon over the years because the students always have fun. "We don't hold the event for the one team that goes to State, we hold it for everyone," she emphasizes.

Sue Henninger is a contributing writer to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. Contact her at

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


summer camps & activities • spring programs

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school lunches } { how area schools are offering healthier, greener choices for students

By John Boccacino


hen it comes to nutrition, school-aged children can be particularly picky eaters, often selecting tried and true favorites such as pizza, chicken nuggets, and the always-popular macaroni and cheese. But while those foods might taste great, they are not providing the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for children to properly grow and develop. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the United States since 1980, with the percentage of obese children ages 6 to 11 skyrocketing from seven percent in 1980 to an astounding 20 percent in 2008. The numbers are not much better for older children. Using the latest CDC figures, obesity in young adults ages 12 to 19 has climbed from five percent to 18 percent over that same timeframe. Combining the age groups together, the latest CDC figures claim that more than one third of school-aged children were either overweight or obese in 2008, which is troubling news to parents, educators, and food service professionals like Todd Fowler. Fowler has spent a majority of his adult life passionately working with food. After working as a private chef, Fowler accepted the position as Food Service Director with the Bloomfield Central School District in 1997 and has spent the last 15 years striving to get children to consume more fruits and vegetables. CONTINUED >>>

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012



There's definitely a sense of pride that our students have from growing their own snacks. A lot of these

children live in neighborhoods where the access to fresh foods isn't as great and they won't see much fresh produce, but in the garden you can get them into new foods that they hopefully want to eat at home too.� — Sara Scott, Rochester Roots' farm manager


"Going back to my time as a chef, I always loved to use local ingredients and produce that was grown by local farmers," says Fowler, who has also worked with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County in the district's drive for more homegrown produce in schools. "Fifteen years ago, these kids didn't eat their fruits and vegetables in schools. Through fruits and vegetables, children get the essential vitamins and minerals they need, and we're doing what we can to change that," says Fowler, who advocates changing what children eat in their meals at school. Fowler also serves as the local coordinator for the Finger Lakes Farm to Cafeteria project, and serves on the regional steering committee for the national Farm to School program, a nation-wide effort that matches schools with local farms and farmers to offer healthier meals in school cafeterias. The organization's goal is to improve nutrition among students while supporting the work of both local and regional farmers. The Farm to School program works with interested school districts to find local farmers who can provide locally produced fruits and vegetables for consumption in school cafeterias. They also provide free training, informational services, networking and support to interested school districts.

Years ago, Fowler and the Bloomfield School District began offering its students a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables that had been grown by local farmers. Recognizing that it would take time for these children to develop a fondness for fruits and vegetables, Fowler started slowly, building up the school's farmers' market line to include roughly 18 to 24 offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables. As children became more and more interested in healthier eating options, the selection grew to match the interest, and now Fowler is proud to say that, with every meal, Bloomfield offers every child fresh fruit salad and side salads made solely from produce collected from local farmers. Refraining from calling it a salad bar, Fowler says children have access to different assortments of field greens, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and fruits, among other offerings. "The movement towards healthier eating in schools hasn't won everyone over yet, and kids still prefer if mom and dad takes them to get fast food when they're out of school," Fowler says. "If you sanitize the cafeterias and only have healthy choices, kids will go back to eating fast food and junk food when they get out of school. But here we're winning because the kids are making the choices themselves to eat healthier." CONTINUED >>>

summer camps & activities • spring programs

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


Seven area schools in Ontario County work with Fowler as part of the partnership between local growers and local schools. The seven that participate through the local chapter of the Farm to Schools program are Bloomfield, Canandaigua, Geneva, Honeoye, Naples, Red Jacket and Victor. "That's a positive impact -- providing our school-children with quality, homegrown fruits and vegetables while also supporting the local economy," Fowler says. "There's definitely been a growing trend towards doing more with local farmers when it comes to cafeteria food. Maybe 15 years ago it was tough going getting partnerships between schools and area farmers, but now everyone seems to be a stakeholder. This [movement] impacts the local community in a positive way and is a winwin for the farmers, the parents, the children, everyone." Since 1975, Rochester Roots, a nonprofit school gardening organization, has been harvesting a love of gardening, farming and eating healthy among children in the city of Rochester. The organization currently works with Rochester City School District students at the Franklin Montessori School and Clara Barton School #2 to produce productive gardens and greenhouses that demonstrate the


LEARN MORE: For more information on the Farm to School program, or to sign up for the program, visit For more information on Rochester Roots, call (585) 232-1463 or visit For more information on the Cornell Cooperative Extension, visit There, you can find contact information on the local chapters of Cornell Cooperative Extension, including for the Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates County branches. value of eating locally-grown produce. Through these efforts, Rochester Roots has introduced a new generation of schoolaged children, as well as teachers, parents and neighbors in the city of Rochester, to the benefits of eating healthier. Children spend ample time in the gardens, growing their own snacks and being exposed to a whole different bevy of food

options, alternatives that aren't normally present in the corner stores, says Sara Scott, Rochester Roots' farm manager. "There's definitely a sense of pride that our students have from growing their own snacks," adds Scott, who points out that when talking about eating healthier, it's about trying to alter both the child's and the parent's approach to food. "A lot of these children live in neighborhoods where the access to fresh foods isn't as great and they won't see much fresh produce, but in the garden you can get them into new foods that they hopefully want to eat at home too. And if they share these food ideas with mom, dad, grandma and grandpa soon, hopefully the whole family is eating these fresh fruits and vegetables that they might not have been exposed to in the past." At the Franklin Montessori School, Scott says students have grown mostly tomatoes, with roughly 20 garden beds sprouting with turnips, carrots, beets and herbs, among other items. Recently parents inquired about growing potatoes, so the students are also trying their hand at growing spuds in their garden. At Clara Barton School #2, students have grown lettuce, turnips, tomatoes, peppers, okra, kale, eggplant, summer and

winter squash, flowers and herbs on the half-acre urban garden. "They're all the things you would ever want to find at a farmers' market," says Scott, who adds a key component to the garden has been identifying kid-friendly products that parents would also know how to prepare for meals at home. In addition to Rochester Roots, the South West Neighborhood Association (SWAN) has a Grow Green Youth Entrepreneur program where area children – while learning about efficient gardening techniques – produce their own cherry tomatoes, carrots, corn, collard greens, radishes, peppers, eggplant, watermelons and more in their own heated greenhouse. After the produce has been harvested, these children go to a farmers' market and sell their produce while learning good business skills. While the cafeteria landscape has changed dramatically over the last 15 to 20 years, and local farmers are providing more fresh produce than before, there's still a ways to go before Jim Ochterski and the members of Cornell Cooperative Extension are satisfied that school lunches have reached an acceptable level of both healthiness and home-grown quality. "We're not near our full potential; we could get 10 times the amount of local foods to our schools that we are currently achieving," says Ochterski, the agriculture issues leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County. "Distribution is key, and one of the barriers is a scale mismatch. A small family farm in a big elementary school is not going to be able to provide the school's needs, that's a scale mismatch, whereas wholesalers like Cisco can meet the school's needs with its large supplies," he says. "In order to meet the needs of the school, a small farm just cannot meet those needs; that's not what occurs to a lot of people when they think about getting local foods into schools. It's a great thought and we're definitely excited that more schools are going local, but we have a ways to go."

John Boccacino is a freelance writer living in Webster, NY who reported on sports and local news for more than 6 1/2 years with the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. He is currently the Director of Sports Information for Keuka College.

Join our Team! Interested in working for an award-winning company that cares about Rochester’s families? GVP is looking for an Account Executive to work with area businesses who focus on the parenting community for both our print and growing web products. For information on this and other positions at GVP, go to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ book nook ]

By Jillian Melnyk

Au Natural Get in touch with your natural side this month with these nature-loving books. Just in time for Earth Day on April 22nd, these books celebrate Mother Nature, healthy eating, and our environment. And after you're done reading, don't forget to go enjoy the great outdoors!

MORE READS Check out these other best-sellers, award-winners, and classics that celebrate the earth: The Earth and I By Frank Asch Don't Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing Written by Lara Bergen & Illustrated by Betsy Snyder Over in the Forest, Come and Take a Peek Written by Marianne Berkes & Illustrated by Jill Dubin Garden Crafts for Children By Dawn Isaac Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life By Barbara Kingsolver (For Parents) It's Earth Day! By Mercer Mayer The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets Behind What You Eat By Michael Pollan (For Teens) Jo MacDonald Had a Garden Written by Mary Quattlebaum & Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant Let's Celebrate the Earth By Peter Roop The Lorax By Dr. Seuss Earth Day, Birthday! Written by Maureen Wright & Illustrated by Violet Kim


Molly's Organic Farm By Carol L. Malnor & Trina L. Hunner & Illustrated by Trina L. Hunner Dawn Publications, 2012, paperback, $8.95 Ages 4-10 Molly's a farm cat. She enjoys strolling under the sunflowers, swatting at cornstalks, and mingling with shoppers at the farm market... but she wasn't always so lucky. Inspired by the true story of a homeless cat who wandered onto a small organic farm in California, Molly's story is both heartwarming and inspirational. Her life on the organic farm is also a perfect way to introduce children to organic growing practices, local food, and nature. Information at the back of the book provides additional information about some of the themes featured throughout the story.

Take a Hike – Family Walks in the Rochester Area By Rich and Sue Freeman Footprint Press, 2010, paperback, $19.95 For parents

local author

Now in its third edition, this book continues to be the quintessential guide to outdoor family fun in the Rochester area. Each of the 67 hikes featured includes vital statistics like detailed trail directions, distance, difficulty, and terrain so you'll know if it's right for your family. Perfect for little hikers and more experienced walkers alike, this book will help guide you along as you get acquainted with nature and enjoy exploring the vast assortment of trails that the Rochester area has to offer.

Lunch Wars – How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children's Health By Amy Kalafa Penguin, 2011, paperback, $17.95 For parents The average child will eat 3,000 school lunches between kindergarten and twelfth grade. Do you know what your kids are eating - and where it comes from? That's the inspiration behind Kalafa's book, which aims to expose the unhealthy, scary underbelly of school lunches. With food statistics, menu makeover ideas, and what parents can do to get involved, this is a definite must-read for any parent.

Planet Earth – 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself By Kathleen M. Reilly Nomad Press, 2008, paperback, $19.95 Ages 9 and up With 25 fun-filled, yet educational, activities this book is perfect for after-school and weekend projects. Try making your own Global Warming in a Jar, Pocket Sundial, or Hydroponic Planter. Projects are easy to make with reused, recycled, and household items, and a little parent supervision. The book is more than just a few DIY items; it's also loaded up with tons of great information about the environment, words to know, and interesting facts.

Arthur Turns Green By Marc Brown Little Brown & Company, 2011, hardcover, $16.99 Ages 5-7 Everyone's favorite aardvarks are at it again! D.K. starts to get concerned about her brother Arthur after his teacher assigns him a class project that is literally turning him green. While Arthur tends to veggies in the garden, pulls the cell phone charger out of the wall, and uses water efficiently, D.K. worries a real green monster might be lurking somewhere in the house. But all is cleared up at the science fair when she realizes the Green Machine is just Arthur's 10 step plan to make his family more eco-friendly. With splashes of humor and some learning, this book is ideal for reading this Earth Day.


Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ parenting teens & tweens ]

By Myrna Beth Haskell

A Smooth Transition



f you are a parent of a teen with special needs, you work with school personnel each and every year to ensure your child receives all necessary accommodations consistent with his IEP or 504 plan. However, once it is time for post secondary school, it's a whole new ball game.

Parents should decide if their teen is ready to live away from home. There are many challenges, such as unfamiliar environments, more responsibility, and, oftentimes, a much larger campus than the one he is used to. Therefore, besides looking at program fit, parents should choose a college which is equipped to handle their teen's unique situation.


Be Prepared

Students with special needs should be prepared gradually for this transition, so don't wait until senior year. Matthew Cooper, assistant director of Disability Support Services at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, urges parents to teach their children self advocacy, even starting in middle school. He suggests, "Students with special needs should attend meetings and become familiar with their IEP or 504 plan." Parents should ask about workshops for college-bound, special needs students. These are often held at local colleges or as part of a college information night. Cooper cautions, "Although all universities that receive federal funding are required to provide accommodations to eligible students, each university's documentation process is different. For example, in some instances, showing the disabilities office a copy of your son's or daughter's current IEP may be enough for extra time on tests, whereas another office may require updated testing and evaluations." Andrea Coren, MEd, who has worked in special education for thirty-five years and is currently the

disabilities specialist at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, cautions, "Parents with the best intentions can become enablers of their teen with special needs. Relinquishing one's parental role as advocate is a difficult one." Coren beseeches parents to gradually allow their young adult to become an expert on his disability and learning style. "This self awareness will translate into self advocacy – a much needed skill in college, the work place, and all realms of life." To assess a teen's readiness for college life, Coren suggests parents consider these questions: • Can she keep up with assignment due dates? • Does he have adequate organization and time management skills? • Can she manage money? • Does he understand his strengths and weaknesses?

It's in the Details

Address specific issues during the search process. Will she be comfortable in large lecture hall settings? Is regular correspondence with a campus advocate a necessity? Are there peer support groups for special needs students on campus? Carole Patrylo, EdD, a professor of education at La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA and director of the university's summer program for special needs children, explains, "Most special needs students have adjustment issues. They might want to consider attending a smaller community college before transferring to a larger college." She recommends that

TIPS AND TALES (from high school counselors) "Our local community college has a fabulous "Transition to College" workshop. I've attended it several times, and they provide a lot of great information. We are making plans to include a session like this at our evening College Information Night." — Pam Atkins, guidance counselor at F.D. Roosevelt High School, Hyde Park, NY "Many schools have specific programs where the primary goal is to help students with special needs. Those are the best schools to look at! Using the community college as a transition tool is a great way to test the waters and to experience success. This leads to increased self awareness and self esteem." — Ryan Teeter, guidance counselor at Rush-Henrietta Senior High School, Henrietta, NY

students sit in on classes or shadow a student for the day during campus visits. Parents should keep a list of questions handy when they visit schools. Some might include: • What are the documentation requirements and timelines for accessing academic accommodations and residence hall accommodations? • What is the university's policy for course substitutions or waivers? • What specialized software is available for students with learning disabilities?

Stay Connected

Even if your teen is commuting to school, he will face new challenges, such as lengthy class times, difficult course curriculum, and an expectation that he is independent. Parents should keep the lines of communication open, regardless of their teen's location. For students who choose a college far from home, a preset schedule for staying connected is imperative, such as setting up Skype time once per week. Be sure to collect contact information from appropriate staff members in case you have an

immediate concern (e.g. a drastic change in your teen's mood). Although your teen needs to be independent, she also needs to know that support from family is always there if needed.

Myrna Beth Haskell is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine who lives in Salt Point, NY. She is the author of the upcoming book Lions and Tigers and Teens: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you (Unlimited Publishing LLC), now in limited advance release, with broad public availability expected in mid 2012. See for details.



Tips to help your teen learn the value of a budget and savings. Send your full name, address, & brief comments to: or visit:

The perfect local resource for new and expectant parents

2012 Edition arriving in May

For information on advertising in this annual guide, contact Natalee at 287-5330 Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ try this! ]

By Jillian Melnyk

Compost It!



wo years ago I kicked my daily Starbucks habit in favor of brewing my own pot of morning coffee. I've also become more adept in the kitchen, trading takeout for home-cooked meals. But I've found that while I'm trying to be budget-friendly, it leads to a pesky problem: each morning I dump my coffee grounds into the trash. And while home-cooked meals are wonderful, I'm always left with a pile of food scraps – potato peels, pepper tops, apple cores – which I shove down the garbage disposal. Waste, waste, waste.

garden – I know that compost is exactly what my little vegetable plot and fresh herbs could use to thrive. I'm not exactly new to the compost game; I grew up with a compost bin in my childhood backyard. It overflowed with grass cuttings, autumn leaves, and banana peels. I remember mixing it around with a pitch-fork and spreading it around the yard in the spring. But composting is much more than just a big outdoor pit filled with scraps, I wanted to try something different. I was amazed to find so many other options available.

For Those Strapped For Time & Outdoor Space



And then I got an email from a reader: Jen Canning, a mother of two from Pittsford wrote in and expressed that she wanted to try composting but just didn't know how to get started. It was a sentiment I had been sharing lately too. All this waste was bogging me down but I just didn't know what else to do with it. And like Jen, I didn't want to start a compost bin, only to realize three months down the line that I didn't have the glamorous natural fertilizer of my dreams but gross coffee grounds and eggshells rotting in my backyard. This summer will mark the second year of my backyard

I never imaged that composting was possible without a backyard. Whether your goal is to recycle your organic materials purely for the sake of the environment, or you want to feed your indoor plants or window garden, it is surprisingly easy to compost indoors. While food decomposes on its own in nature, if you're strapped for space and time, an automatic composter is a great option. While the cost of a NatureMill automatic composter will run you between $199 and $399, the money is well worth it. Because it's a kitchen appliance that runs on electricity (though efficiently so it will cost you less than $1 a month), the hot composting method can break down meat, dairy, and fish (things you typically can't put into a backyard compost heap.) It also works quickly and produces usable compost in just two weeks. I

WHAT YOU CAN COMPOST: • Fruit and vegetable scraps • Other kitchen scraps (oatmeal, bread, etc.) • Coffee grounds • Eggshells • Floor sweepings • Paper and cardboard • Rabbit and hamster bedding WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T COMPOST: • Meat • Dairy • Disposable diapers • Oils and fats • Cat Litter

tried out an automatic composter and was amazed at its efficiency. An automatic might also be a great option for supplementing a larger backyard compost bin during winter months when you're bin is buried beneath two feet of snow. PERFECT FOR: Busy families, apartment/city dwellers, pet owners

For Those Who Want to be Hands On

If you don't mind a few wigglers, vermi-composting may be for you. (And you'll likely have the kids eager for this one.) I'm not naturally a fan of insects and other creepy crawlies, but I sucked it up and ordered myself a multi-level worm bin and a thousand red worms. The general idea behind vermi-composting is that you feed your worms unwanted kitchen scraps and they turn all that organic matter into "worm tea" which is ideal for spreading around your garden and plants.

You can either create your own worm bin or order one online. Believe it or not, some bins are designed to be housed indoors... the worms won't even escape! Mine currently resides in the kitchen but I plan to move it to a shady spot outside once the weather gets warmer. Worm bins can run anywhere from $50 to $200 and a set of 1,000 worms for about $30. PERFECT FOR: Kids who love insects, do-it-yourselfers, apartment/city dwellers, backyards

For Those Who Have Patience and Space

If you have the room, a traditional backyard compost bin can be the most cost-effective and creative method. However, it does take time and patience. A bin needs to be large enough to generate heat to decompose the materials (three feet high) so you need enough space and organic matter to fill it. Traditional bins can be a great hands-on method for families as kids can help in the design and maintenance of the project. Let them assist in selecting the style, designs and supplies to maximize your space and budget. Options range from everything from posts wrapped in chicken wire to buckets with holes to homebuilt wooden boxes. The possibilities are really endless. With this option you can let nature work her magic (adding new materials and aerating your compost routinely by turning it over with a shovel or pitch-fork) or you

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CHECK OUT THESE BOOKS: FOR KIDS Compost! Growing Gardens from your Garbage By Linda Glasser & Illustrated by Anca Hariton, The Millbook Press, 1996 Compost It By David Barker, Cherry Lake Publishing, 2010 Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth By Mary McKenna Siddals & Illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press, 2010 FOR ADULTS The Complete Compost Gardening Guide By Barbara Pleasant & Deborah L. Martin, Storey Publishing, 2008 Compost: The Natural Way to Make Food for Your Garden By Ken Thompson, DK Publishing, 2007

can speed things up by adding a set of worms. PERFECT FOR: Do-it-yourselfers, backyards, large yards with lots of yard scraps (grass, leaves etc.) The seedlings I started a week ago are just starting to sprout. When they're full grown plants, I can't wait to use my compost to surround them in my garden this summer. It feels good to know that I'm giving back to the earth and my own plants, instead of creating needless waste.

Jillian Melnyk is the Editor for Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. To comment on this story email

Do you have something you've been dying to try but you haven't been able to muster the energy? Or you just don't know where to start? Don't fret! Let our editor try it out for you! Each month our editor, Jillian, will accept a challenge‌ whether it's going vegetarian or staying on budget‌ and then she'll report back with her findings and share how your family can do it too.

To offer up a challenge send Jillian an email to with subject line "Try This!"


award-winning FAMILY MAGAZINE & WEB SITE • GOLD AWARD GENERAL EXCELLENCE for Genesee Valley Parent’s website • AWARD WINNER for the design our magazine's annual Rochester Baby Guide • AWARD WINNER for the editorial in our Special Parent Section (featured in our September 2011 issue) • FINALIST for overall writing for Genesee Valley Parent Magazine • FINALIST for overall writing of our magazine's annual Rochester Baby Guide • FINALIST for editorial of Genesee Valley Parent’s Special Series on Modern Families Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ spotlight ]

By Jillian Melnyk

Surviving in Style



lizabeth Spencer is a typical eight year old girl," says her mother. But in June 2011 after Lizzy began complaining about headaches, her parents, Andrea and Jim, became concerned. A CT Scan revealed that Lizzy had a mass in her brain. The events that followed are not ones that any family should have to endure – hospital admission, an operation, MRIs, and a cancer diagnosis. What followed after that included weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. LIZZY SPENCER WITH HER MOTHER ANDREA

Even though times were tough, Lizzy remained positive. "Lizzy never lost her smile," says Andrea. "Although it sounds cliché, Lizzy really does have a smile that lights up a room. Situations like this show what a person's made of and Lizzy is a tough little girl." When she lost her hair because of treatment, Lizzy showed off her bald head, undeterred. Inspiring others, in November 2011, eighteen students and staff members at Lizzy's school, PalmyraMacedon Intermediate School, cut their hair and donated it to Pantene's Beautiful Length's program which makes wigs for cancer patients like Lizzy. While the battle has been arduous, Lizzy's treatments have been successful and she's now cancer-free. She complet-


ed her final chemo treatment in February where she was picked up from school in a pink Hummer limo to take her to her final treatment in style. Lizzy and her family are currently awaiting post-treatment MRI results to confirm that the cancer has not returned. "But there is never really an end to cancer treatment," says Andrea. Lizzy will still continue to undergo periodic MRIs to ensure she's okay. Today, Lizzy continues to be an inspiration. She's willing to share her story and stride down the runway at the upcoming Gilda's Club Surviving in Style Fashion Show on April 15th, a fundraising event that honors cancer survivors and their caregivers. Along with Lizzy and her mother, more than 40

"models" will be donning spring fashion from Macy's and up-dos from area salons. HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH GILDA'S CLUB?

Andrea: One of my Jazzercise students told me about Gilda's Club. She told us about Open Arms and also had mentioned the Fashion Show coming up in April. She thought that Lizzy and I would really enjoy the event. WHAT PART OF THE SURVIVING IN STYLE FASHION SHOW ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?

Andrea: Being able to wear different clothes and walking the runway. Lizzy: Wearing a dress and looking pretty.

ABOUT THE SURVIVING IN STYLE FASHION SHOW WHEN: Sunday, April 15 at 2:00 pm WHERE: Hyatt Regency, Rochester PRICE: Tickets are $50 and include hors d'oeuvres and desserts; beer and wine cash bar will be available. All tickets may be purchased in advance. MORE ABOUT THE EVENT: In addition to the exciting runway show, there are over 75 raffle baskets and numerous unique silent auction items. Matt Molloy of WROC-TV and Sandy Waters of 98PXY will emcee the event. All proceeds benefit Gilda's Club Rochester. FOR MORE INFORMATION:


Lizzy: Playing games, shopping, doing our nails and cuddling together. ON A NORMAL DAY WHAT DO YOU TYPICALLY WEAR?

Andrea: Professional attire each day to work and jeans on the weekends. Lizzy: Sweats and a t-shirt and my pink sweatshirt. And fuzzy socks.

Do you know someone worthy of the spotlight? Someone with an inspiring story or who is making a difference in our community? Email our Editor, Jillian, with the subject line "Spotlight" to nominate someone to be featured in this column.


Lizzy: Caring.


Andrea: Strong.

Jillian Melnyk is the Editor for Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine. To comment on this story email

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012



april events

Activities • Exhibits • Theater • Storytelling • Shows • Family Fun • Outdoor Adventures Parenting Programs • and lots more for families to do in & around Rochester!

Rochester Red Wings

April 7 Baseball Opening Day


merica's favorite past time is back! Join the Rochester Red Wings as they kick off the 2012 season against the Buffalo Bisons. The first 1,000 fans will receive magnet schedules presented by HSBC. The first 5,000 fans will receive a cowbell courtesy of Frontier Pages and there will be a Pre-Game Autograph Booth brought to you by the Hillside Family of Agencies. Gates open at 2:30. Where: Frontier Field, 1 Morrie Way, Rochester When: Saturday, April 7 at 4pm Cost: Varies by seat For More Info: Call 454-1001 or visit




Literature Live: Meet Sister Bear

Each Literature Live weekend offers the opportunity to meet, greet, and pose for photos with some of the most popular storybook characters of all time and enjoy related story readings. Today you can meet Sister Bear from the Berenstain Bears. Afterward, check out a book from the Literature Live book cart and continue the experience at home. Included with museum admission. 1-5pm. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.



1st Annual Autism Spectrum Connection Fair

This is a FREE community event that will connect parents and caregivers who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with the agencies, businesses, and organizations in the Rochester area that provide autism services, support, and information including more than 60 community organizations and businesses. There will also be bounce houses, horse drawn wagon rides, a photo booth, giveaways and much more for the kids. 9am-12pm. Unity Health System Total Sports Experience, 880 Elmgrove Road Rochester, 14624.



Earth Day at Seneca Park Zoo

Learn about the many efforts being made by zoos to help endangered species. Many housed at Seneca Park Zoo are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP). Participate in the Endangered Species Scavenger hunt, featuring seven different animal stations, where knowledgeable docents will talk about why each SSP animal is endangered and what the Zoo is doing to help them. Each child who completes the Scavenger Hunt receives a prize! General Zoo admission. 10am-4pm. Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St. 336-7123.

calendar of events • local family-friendly activities calendar guide: Support Groups . . . 41 May . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Ongoing . . . . . . . . . 42

01 * Sunday FREE • LITERATURE LIVE: SISTER BEAR. Meet, greet, and pose for photos with some of the most popular storybook characters of all time and enjoy related story readings. Meet Sister Bear from the Berenstain Bears. 1-5pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

____ 02 * Monday

TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. Readings of classic children’s tales followed by music and movement activities. This month: Outer Space. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

____ 06 * Friday

FLY ME TO THE MOON. The first animated giant-screen film at the museum combines the Apollo 11 mission with a twist. Check website for daily showtimes. 4pm. $3-7 Ages: 5yrs+ Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 271-1880. SCHOOL BREAK WEEK IN MUNCHKINLAND. Use a variety of materials to add to Munchkinland or your own Emerald City. Travel down the Yellow Brick Road to the Tent of 10,000 Tales and play dress up, recreating the story of The Wizard of Oz exhibit. Included with museum fees. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

____ 07 * Saturday

EGG-C CELLENT EASTER EVENT. Hop on down to the Carrousel Museum for some spring time fun. Learn about the history of the Easter Bunny and other spring symbols as you enjoy crafts, games and activities including and old fashioned egg roll on the lawn. 12-4pm. $5/person Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, 180 Thompson St. North Tonawanda, 716-693-1885.

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. OUR EXTREME PLANET. Come face to face with some of the most powerful forces of nature. Continues through April 15, see website for details. 12-4pm. Free with museum admission Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 271-1880.

Fly Me To The Moon Friday, April 6

RED WINGS BASEBALL OPENING DAY. Gates open at 2:30pm. Magnet schedules (first 10,000 fans), Cowbell giveaway (first 5,000), Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 4-7:30pm. Varies by seat. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

____ 08 * Sunday

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS. BUFFALO. PreGame Easter Egg Hunt, Post-Game Run the Bases with Spike and Mittsy, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 1:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

____ 09 * Monday

OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS. BUFFALO. Kids Eat Free (first 500 kids 12 & under receive hot dog, soda & snack item). PreGame Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001. FREE • HEALTHY HERO’S FREE FAMILY FUN ACTIVITY: EAT WELL. Activities and recipes with ideas to help your family eat well. Each family will receive prizes including a token for the Farmers Market. Registration is required. 2:30-3:30pm. Kate Gleason Auditorium, Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, 115 South Ave., Rochester, 428-8150.

____ ____ 11 * Wednesday

13 * Friday

CHALLENGER CENTER FAMILY MISSIONS. Embark on a virtual voyage to Mars- a high-tech, handson simulation. Children must be at least 7 yrs old, children 7-10 must be teamed with an adult. 10:30am12:30pm. $11-16 Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 271-1880.

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6.

MAKING AMERICAN MUSIC. Celebrate music with New York roots. Sit back and revel in the musical empire built in the Empire State. 7:30pm. $16-$19. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.


OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS PAWTUCKET. Wings Wednesday, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 4541001.

10 * Tuesday


OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS. BUFFALO. Family Four-Pack Night, Knot Hole Kid’s Club Game, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 1:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 4541001.

12 * Thursday

STEPS TO A HELATHY PLANET. Do you know what kinds of items can be recycled? Learn at this fun, educational program. 2pm. Ages: 6+yrs. Irondequoit Public Library-Evans Branch, 45 Cooper Rd., Rochester, 336-6062.

OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS PAWTUCKET. Buy 1, Get 1 Thursday (Buy 1 ticket get 1 free with honey receipt), Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. RED WINGS VS PAWTUCKET. College Night, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001. TALES FOR TAILS. Cuddle with the therapy dogs! They love to have stories read to them. 1pm. Ages: 212 yrs. Charlotte Branch Library, 3557 Lake Ave., Rochester, 428-8216.

____ 14 * Saturday

FREE • 28th ANNUAL GENESEE VALLEY WOODCARVERS SHOW. Competition and observe artists as they create in wood. Of special interest, check out the children’s soap carving class offered at 2pm. No registration or fee required. 10am-5pm. RMSC Eisenhart Auditorium, 657 East Ave. 35th RIT SPRING JUGGLE-IIN. One of the longest running juggling festivals in North America. Jugglers from around the nation come to join in the fun. All are welcome to attend. Runs through 3pm Sunday April 15. 6pm. RIT, Clark Gym. Visit website for more info and schedule of events.

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


calendar of events • local family-friendly activities FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm. GOODWILL FASHION SHOW. Enjoy a fashion show using thrift store clothes selected and styled by some of the Teen Advisory Board members. Refreshments and raffles available. Limit 50, registration begins March 1. 2-3pm. Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7093.

walks & worthy causes! 15 * Sunday

28 * Saturday ROCHESTER HEART WALK. A walk to benefit the American Heart Association. Blue Cross Arena, One War Memorial Square, Rochester, 697-6268.


SURVIVING IN STYLE FASHION SHOW. Featuring the latest styles from Macy’s with hair and make up by local salons, event celebrates the cancer-surviving models as they share their stories and strut their stuff. With raffles & silent auction. Proceeds benefit Gilda’s Club Rochester. 2pm. $50 Hyatt Regency East Main St Rochester 14604. 423-9700.

15 * Sunday

22 * Sunday

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6.

YEAR OF THE DRAGON FASHION SHOW. Featuring Chinese and Chinese American fashion designers, as well as traditional and historical costumes. Items for raffle or purchase, proceeds will go to Half the Sky Foundation to provide educational opportunities for Chinese teenage orphans. 2-4pm. $15 School of the Arts, 45 Prince St Rochester 14607. 768-8631.

TYKES PRESENTS: GO, DOG. GO! P.D. Eastman’s world-famous children’ book bursts into life on stage as the dogs delve into life with gusto. 2pm. $14. Hart Theater at the JCC, 1200 Edgewood Avenue, Rochester, 723-6080.

OUR EXTREME PLANET. See April 7. 12-4pm.


TYKES PRESENTS: GO, DOG. GO! See April 14. 2pm.

16 * Monday TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. See April 2. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm.


AUTISM AWARENESS WALK. Join as they walk indoors to raise awareness during National Autism Awareness Month. 7:30am. Eastview Mall, 7979 Pittsford-Victor Rd (Route 96), 223-4420.

29 * Sunday DREAM BIG. “Dream BIG!” at the 9th Annual Auction Fundraiser at Memorial Art Gallery. Enjoy live music, great food, select wines & entertainment while bidding on fantastic Live & Silent Auction items. 4-7pm. Call for tickets. Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave. 461-2324.

may 05 * Saturday 6TH ANNUAL DAYSTAR DERBY. To support New York’s only licensed medical day and respite program for medically fragile infants. 2:30-6:30pm. $100 Nazareth College Equestrian Meadow 385-6287.

12 * Saturday RUN FOR FUN 5K RUN/WALK 2012. Run or Walk along with families and friends help support this fundraiser for CP Rochester. Registration 7:45-8:45am. The event includes a Silent Auction, pie throwing contests, dunking booth. 9am. $3/under 12yrsfree. CP Rochester’s Winton Campus, 3399 Winton Road S., Rochester.

calendar of events • local family-friendly activities 20 * Friday 24TH ANNUAL BIRD OF PREY DAYS. Presented by Braddock Bay Raptor Research- See a hawk, owl or eagle up close and attend one of the many educational programs. One entry fee for the whole weekend, kids are free. See website for full schedule of events. $3 adult Braddock Bay Park, 199 East Manitou Rd Rochester 14612, 267-5483. FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. RED WINGS VS LEHIGH VALLEY. College Night, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 4541001.

____ 21 * Saturday

24TH ANNUAL BIRD OF PREY DAYS. See April 20. 2ND ANNUAL GREAT CLOTH DIAPER CHANGE. Help break the Guinness Book of World Records for most cloth diapers changed simultaneously around the world. PreReg online for a $10 gift card to Luvaboos Natural Baby Boutique. 9am-5pm. Regular Zoo admission Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St. 336-7123. FREE • AUTISM SPECTRUM CONNECTION FAIR. A community event to connect parents and caregivers who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorder with the agencies, businesses and organizations in the area that provide support. 9am12pm. Unity Health System Total Sports Experience 880 Elmgrove Rd Rochester 14624. CELEBRATE EARTH DAY WITH BUDDY THE DINOSAUR. Join WXXI and Buddy the Dinosaur from Dinosaur Train at the Seneca Park Zoo as they celebrate Earth Day. Have your picture taken, learn about how you can become a Nature Tracker, and join a scavenger hunt. 10am-4pm. Free with Zoo admission. Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St. 336-7123. CELEBRATING EARTH DAY. Explore some of the ways we can all do our part to protect our environment. 124pm. Free with museum admission Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 271-1880. EARTH DAY. We will celebrate Earth Day by making crafts from recyclables. 10:30am. Ages: 2-12 yrs. Charlotte Branch Library, 3557 Lake Ave., Rochester, 428-8216.

EARTH DAY AT SENECA PARK ZOO. Learn about the many efforts being made by zoos to help endangered species. Participate in the Endangered Species Scavenger hunt, a great way to learn about your Zoo’s involvement in local and international conservation projects. 10am-4pm. Free w/regular admission. Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St. 336-7123. FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. LITERATURE LIVE: GERONIMO STILTON. Meet, greet, and pose for photos with some of the most popular storybook characters of all time and enjoy related story readings. Meet Geronimo Stilton. 11am-5pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

Genesee Valley Woodcarvers Show

PARENTHOOD FOR ME ANNUAL GALA. Annual Gala - Sponsored by CNY Fertility and Healing Arts. Attendees will enjoy Hors d’oeuvre and Cocktails, a Meet and Greet session and Dinner. 6:30-10:30pm. $100 The Inn on Broadway, 26 Broadway Rochester, 14607.

Join the Genesee Valley Woodcarvers for their annual show and competition. You’ll experience handmade animal, human and marine life carvings and the kids can even participate in Soap Carving. There will also be raffles and a silent auction, as well as the Peoples Choice and Members Choice awards at the end of the day. April 14 10am-5pm Rochester Museum and Science Center Eisenhart Auditorium, 657 East Avenue Rochester 14607. 342-7815.

RED WINGS VS LEHIGH VALLEY. Post-Game Autograph Session, Knot Hole Kid’s Club Game, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 1:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester. 454-1001.

23 * Monday

SHEEP SHEARING FESTIVAL AT SPRINGDALE FARM. Highlights include sheep shearing demos; spinning, weaving, and dyeing demos; tours of the robotic milking barn; the petting zoo, children’s crafts and more! 10am-3pm. $5/Adults, $4/Children/Seniors. Springdale Farm, 700 Colby Street, Spencerport, 340-5704.

MONDAY KICKS FOR AGES 2 TO 6. Playful learning activities designed for 2- to 6-year olds. Meetings held one Monday a month. This month: Out of This World. 10am-2pm. Free with admission. Ages: 2-6yrs. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

RED WINGS VS SYRACUSE. Wings Wednesday, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 4541001. TV TURN-O OFF WEEK GAME NIGHT. Come by as the library brings out the games and makes popcorn. 5pm. Charlotte Branch Library, 3557 Lake Ave., Rochester, 428-8216.

____ ____ ____ TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. See April 2. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm.

TYKES PRESENTS: GO, DOG. GO! See April 14. 2pm.

26 * Thursday

22 * Sunday

24 * Tuesday


____ ____

CELEBRATING EARTH DAY. See April 21. 12-4pm. FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. LITERATURE LIVE: GERONIMO STILTON. See April 21. 1-5pm. RED WINGS VS LEHIGH VALLEY. Knot Hole Kid’s Club Game, PostGame Run the Bases with Spike and Mittsy, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 1:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.


TYKES PRESENTS: GO, DOG. GO! See April 14. 11am & 2 pm.

RED WINGS VS SYRACUSE. Family Four-Pack Night, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

25 * Wednesday RE-C CONVERGENCE OF MUSIC AND SCIENCE. Presentation by members of the University of Rochester Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Music Theory at the Eastman School of Music. Presentation followed by reception with refreshments. 7:30pm. $7-$55 Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 271-1880.

RED WINGS VS SYRACUSE. Buy 1 Get 1 Thursday (Buy 1 ticket Get 1 free with honey receipt), Careers in Sports Day, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 11:35am. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 4541001.

27 * Friday

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. FREE • STORY TIME! Young children and their parents/caregivers will have an opportunity to do activities that promote language development and early reading skills in fun ways. Interaction through stories, songs, rhymes and projects. 9-9:45am. Ages: 2-4 yrs Seton Catholic School library 165 Rhinecliff Dr Rochester 14618. 4736604

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


calendar of events • local family-friendly activities WEEPEATS CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT EVENT. Buy quality, like-new items at 70% off retail! Baby Equipment, Books, Toys, DVD’s, Clothes: Sizes (Junior size 3; Boys’ 18/20) 9am-6pm. $3 Fair & Expo Center, 2695 East Henrietta Rd.

____ 28 * Saturday

Celebrate Earth Day with WXXI Join WXXI and Buddy the Dinosaur at the Seneca Park Zoo as they celebrate Earth Day! Learn about the Zoo’s preservation efforts during an endangered species Scavenger Hunt. Test your tracking skills during the Hands-on Nature Tracking Challenge activities. You can also see a free screening of an episode of Dinosaur Train and don’t forget your camera so you can get a picture with Buddy! April 21 10am-4pm Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St. Rochester 14617. 336-7200.


CELEBRATION OF WOMEN GALA. Celebrate the women in your life. Enjoy music, hors d’oeuvres and vendors that celebrate and nurture the spirit of women in diverse ways. 1-4pm. $10 per person Burgundy Basin Grand Ballroom 1361 Marsh Rd Pittsford 14534. 647-1150. FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. IN ANOTHER GALAXY WEEKEND. Dress as your favorite science fiction movie character and meet members of the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion. Play vintage Star Wars games and see Star Wars artifacts from the museum’s collections. 10am-8pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700. WEEPEATS CHILDREN’S CONSIGNMENT EVENT. See April 27. 9am-4pm

LITTLE BUDDIES MOVIE SERIES. The MVP Little Buddies Series is a family-friendly film series sponsored by MVP and Genesee Valley Parent. 10am. $5. The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. 258-0400. LITTLE ONE’S STUFF SALE. Sell your clothing and toys for children under 12, or shop for discounted kids items. No early shoppers please. Visit website for vendor information. 9am2pm. Free to shop, $12 resident/$17 non-resident to vend. Ogden Community Center, 269 Ogden Center Rd Spencerport 14559. 6176174.

____ 29 * Sunday

FLY ME TO THE MOON. See April 6. IN ANOTHER GALAXY WEEKEND. See April 28. Noon-5pm. SID THE SCIENCE KID. WXXI is bringing Sid the Science Kid to Rochester, and he’ll be at RMSC for an afternoon of science & exploration. Meet him in person, participate in a variety of hands-on science experiments and more. 12-4pm. $10-12. Members and kids under 3 free. Rochester Museum & Science Center, 657 East Ave. 2711880.

calendar of events • local family-friendly activities


meet up!


club & support groups

30 * Monday TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. See April 2. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm.

03 * Tuesday

11 * Wednesday

MOMS CLUB-N NEWARK-PPALMYRA. For location and further information about our activities please email us. 9am. For more info email

MOMS CLUB OF BROCKPORT. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month. 10am. Call 210-2543 or email or visit website for location.

04 * Wednesday MOMS CLUB OF FAIRPORT. Activities include social time, a craft for children, circle time and a snack. 10-11:30am. 234-4MOM (Mailbox 7).

05 * Thursday MOMS CLUB OF IRONDEQUOIT. Meets the first Wednesday of the month. 9:30am. Check website or email

09 * Monday HOLISTIC MOMS ROCHESTER. This month’s topic is Raw Foods with Lauri Boone. Children welcome. 6:30pm. Christ Episcopal Church, 36 S. Main St., Pittsford.

10 * Tuesday FIRST TIME AROUND GROUP. Educational and social support for first time mothers and their babies. An RN BSN and a certified lactation consultant will be available for questions on breastfeeding and parenting. 10-11:30am. F.F. Thompson Hospital, 350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, 396-6497. MOMS CLUB OF PENFIELD/ER/BRIGHTON. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month. 10-11:30am. Email for locations and details. OPERATION KIDS. This program is geared toward children who will be undergoing surgery and their families. Includes a tour of the Surgical Care Center, Operating Room and Post Anesthesia Care Unit. RSVP required. 7-7:45pm. F.F. Thompson Hospital, 350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, 396-6231.

12 * Thursday MOMS CLUB OF CLARKSONHAMLIN. Support and social opportunities for at home moms. Meets the second Thursday of the month. 10am. Call 502-8805 or visit website for location and details.

19 * Thursday GREATER ROCHESTER MOTHER OF TWINS CLUB. September-June GRMOTC meets on the third Thursday of each month. 7pm. Laurelton United Presbyterian Church, 334 Helendale Road, Rochester.

05 * Saturday DR. SEUSS’ THE SNEETCHES. A work for narrator and orchestra by Spanish composer Lorenzo Palomo. This performance will have a special Seussical twist that your family will truly enjoy. 7pm. $10-$15. Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre, 60 Gibbs St., Rochester, 454-2100. RED WINGS VS BUFFALO. Post-Game fireworks, Cinco de Mayo, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

____ 06 * Sunday DR. SEUSS’ THE SNEETCHES. See May 5. 2pm.

RED WINGS VS BUFFALO. Knot Hole Kid’s Club Game, PostGame Run the Bases with Spike and Mittsy, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 1:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester, 454-1001.

MOMS CLUB OF CHILI. Visitors and children welcome. 9:30am Chili Presbyterian Church 3600 Chili Ave 234-MOMS ext. 4,


24 * Tuesday OPERATION KIDS. This program is geared toward children who will be undergoing surgery and their families. Includes a tour of the Surgical Care Center, Operating Room and Post Anesthesia Care Unit. RSVP required. 7-7:45pm. F.F. Thompson Hospital, 350 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, 396-6231. RESOLVE THROUGH SHARING PARENT SUPPORT GROUP. Support group for parents who have experienced the loss of a baby during pregnancy, at birth, or shortly after birth. RSVP required. 7:30-8:30pm. M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center, 350 Parrish St. Canandaigua 396-6260.

WANT YOUR SUPPORT GROUP LISTED IN THIS SECTION? Send information by the 10th of the month prior to the event date to


07 * Monday TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. Readings of classic children’s tales followed by music and movement activities. This month: Sing a Song. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 2632700.

FREE • STORY TIME! Young children and their parents/caregivers will have an opportunity to do activities that promote language development and early reading skills in fun ways. Interaction through stories, songs, rhymes and projects. 9-9:45am. Ages: 2-4 yrs Seton Catholic School library 165 Rhinecliff Dr Rochester 14618. 473-6604

12 * Saturday G. WILLIAM LADUE RECITAL SERIES. A celebration of the talent, passion and dedication of greater Rochester’s accomplished vocal artists. 2pm. Nazareth College, Wilmot Recital Hall, 4245 East Avenue, Rochester. 738-5995. LITERATURE LIVE: PIPPI LONGSTOCKING. Each Literature Live weekend offers the opportunity to meet, greet, and pose for photos with some of the most popular storybook characters of all time and enjoy related story readings. Meet Pippi Longstocking. 11am-5pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700.

____ STAGES PRESENTS: WEST SIDE STORY. See May 11. 7:30pm.

13 * Sunday EXHIBIT CLOSING: THE WIZARD OF OZ. Last chance to experience an interactive family journey from Dorothy Gale’s farm to the colorful Land of Oz. Noon-5pm. Free with admission. National Museum of Play at The Strong, One Manhattan Sq., Rochester, 263-2700. LITERATURE LIVE: PIPPI LONGSTOCKING. See May 12. 1-5pm.

____ ____ ____ 11 * Friday

STAGES PRESENTS: WEST SIDE STORY. Join A Magical Journey Through Stages as they present this classic story of star-crossed lovers and their inevitable fate. Visit website for complete show schedule. 7:30pm. $12-15. Stages, 875 East Main St, Auditorium Center, Third Floor, Rochester, 935-7173.


14 * Monday

TODDLER BOOK CLUB AT THE STRONG. See May 7. 10:30am, 11:30am, & 12:30pm.

15 * Tuesday RED WINGS VS LOUISVILLE. Family Four-Pack Night, Pre-Game Autograph Booth. 7:05pm. Frontier Field, One Morrie Silver Way, Rochester. 454-1001.

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


calendar of events • local family-friendly activities

Ongoing Events & Exhibits Currently at the University of Rochester Rush Rees Library




657 East Ave., Rochester 14607, 271-1880.

657 East Ave., Rochester 14607 271-1880. Check website or call for prices and hours

Check website or call for prices and hours MUMMIES-SSECRETS OF THE PHARAOHS. Experience the wonders of Mummies and enjoy a cinematic adventure 3,000 years in the making. $8-$10.

ADVENTURE ZONE. Dive to the bottom of Lake Ontario in the Deep Submergence Vehicle simulator. Experiment with wind currents, stream erosion, and more.

MY PLANETS. For children ages 3-5 and the adults with them, this friendly introduction to the planetarium features worlds in our solar system. Saturdays at 10am. $8. Ages: 3-5yrs.

AMERICAN ROCK SALT EXHIBIT. Experience the story of the region's abundant natural resources in a stateof-the-art, multi-media Object Theater located within Expedition Earth.

SATURDAY NIGHT LASER SHOW. Intensely colored beams from argon and krypton lasers fill the planetarium dome with dazzling color patterns that spontaneously dance to classic rock music. Shows change monthly. 9:30pm. $9-$10. Ages: 5+. SATURDAY SUN, MOON AND STARS. This relaxed, enjoyable family show presents prominent constellations and takes the audience on a quick trip to the moon. Show Times: confirm at $8-$10. 2012: FACT OR FICTION? Many have heard notions about potential disasters in 2012. Taking a skeptical perspective, we'll explore the 2012 phenomenon, how it got started, and how you can check alarming claims for yourself. $6-7. RING OF FIRE. This film explores the fiery Pacific Rim, showing the geological causes of volcanoes and how people have adapted to living in their shadow. Ages 6+yrs. $3-7.


AT THE WESTERN DOOR. The hundreds of objects displayed show the Seneca’s and Haudenosaunee’s creative response to new technologies and materials introduced following European Contact. DISCOVER OUR WEATHER. Make a cloud, measure the wind, and marvel at the power of lightning! EXPEDITION EARTH. Explore your connections to the natural world in this interactive natural science exhibition. FLIGHT TO FREEDOM. Rochester’s Underground Railroad. Explore stories of courageous African Americans who traveled through Rochester on their way from slavery to freedom. HOW THINGS WORK. Through fun, hands-on investigation, find out how mechanisms such as light switches, thermostats, and traffic signals work. K’NEX. Be an engineer! Build trucks, towers- anything you can imagine with this colorful construction toy.

Springing to Life: Movable Books and Mechanical Devices. From intricate twirling wheels for calculating planetary movement to colorful paper sculptures that blossom forth from the page, more than 50 movable and pop-up books are on display in the exhibit. Take a tour of the centuries-old movable book as it has developed through the ages and offers a hands-on experience with reproductions that visitors can spin, pull, and lift. Through August 17th. Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, Saturday 11am-3pm. University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library, 275-4477. LIGHT HERE-LLIGHT NOW. Have hands-on fun with light, color, and optics with mirrors, lenses, and lasers. Presented by Bausch & Lomb. RACEWAYS. Experiment with momentum, friction, gravity, and acceleration as you send wooden balls looping and racing over ramps. THE ROCHESTER BUSINESS HALL OF FAME. This interactive exhibit celebrates exemplary Rochester leaders who have made outstanding, enduring contributions to business and community in the greater Rochester region.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PLAY AT THE STRONG One Manhattan Square, Rochester 14607 263-2700 or TDD 423-0746, www.the Check website or call for prices and hours AMERICAN COMIC BOOK HEROES: THE BATTLE OF GOOD VS. EVIL. Climb up the side of a building, make your own cape, test your superhero skills, pose for pictures with Spiderman and learn more about your favorite comic book hero. BERENSTAIN BEARS: DOWN A SUNNY DIRT ROAD. Step into the playful world of the Berenstain Bears including Main Street, Bear Country School, Brother and Sister Bear’s Club Houses, and the Family Tree House. CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO GET TO SESAME STREET? See yourself on TV with the Muppets, drive Elmo around Sesame Street in a big yellow taxicab, sell movie tickets at the Circle in the Square Cinema ticket booth, and more.

CELEBRATING AMERICA’S FAVORITE DOLL. The display features more than 500 examples of Barbie and her friends—plus an array of Barbie accessories. DANCING WINGS BUTTERFLY GARDEN®. The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden team has raised the bar by introducing a variety of birds and animals into the garden to create a lively ecosystem that they have dubbed “butterfly garden 2.0.” eGAMEREVOLUTION. An original, highly interactive exhibit that explores the history of video games and their impact on the way we play, learn, and relate to each other. NATIONAL TOY HALL OF FAME. The prestigious hall features historic examples of current toy inductees and play stations. ONE HISTORY PLACE. Amid original artifacts and reproductions, children explore mini-environments and get a taste of life as it was a century ago. READING ADVENTURELAND. Step into a life-sized pop-up book and follow the Yellow Brick Road into five literary landscapes from children’s books. SUPER KIDS MARKET. Cruise the aisles and fill your cart with a selection of colorful produce that looks so real, you can almost taste it. Departments are filled with highly interactive stations for dramatic role-playing. THE ELAINE WILSON AND STRONG EXPRESS TRAIN. Experience the thrill of old-fashioned train travel as the mini locomotive chugs down the track surrounded by scenic postcards from across America.

calendar of events • local family-friendly activities OTHER AREA ATTRACTIONS CUMMING NATURE CENTER: ACTIVITIES A 900-acre preserve located 40 minutes south of Rochester. $3 per person/$10 family. 6472 Gulick Rd., Naples, 374-6160, WHEM ANKH: THE CIRCLE OF LIFE IN ANCIENT EGYPT. This is your opportunity to time travel back into the past at a time when everything from birth to death revolved around the seasons and the river of life - the Nile. The Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, 716-896-5200, CULTURES FOR KIDS. Learn about children from all over the world. $5. Explore & More children’s museum, 300 Gleed Ave., East Aurora, 716-6555131, THE HERSCHELL CARROUSEL FACTORY MUSEUM. Currently operates two historic carousels inside its building complex. 180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, 14120, 716-693-1885 TOUR THE RIEDMAN ROBOTIC MILKING CENTER. Tours available Mon-Sat 11am-2pm. $2-$3. Springdale Farm, 700 Colby Street, Spencerport. 349-2090

PLEASE NOTE: Dates and times for all calendar and ongoing events are subject to change. Please call the numbers provided or visit their website to confirm event information


IN PRINT & ONLINE? To submit an event to our calendar e-mail: or mail to: GVP Calendar 266 Alexander Street Rochester, NY 14607

All entries must be received by the 10th of the month prior to publication in order to be considered. (May events must be submitted by April 10th.) Events printed as space permits.

Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


Party Planner – Everything to get the party started! Carnival Supplies & Rentals “Imitated, But Not Duplicated” Fully Insured

All Events - Year Round Inflatable Bounces Wet & Dry Slides Huge Obstacle Course Dunk Tank

Fun Foods New Games New Foods Pucker Powder

Not Just a Bounce Company

We stay with our equipment Celebrating 14 Years of Fun

872-1644 •




Diamonds Limo Presents “Pizza By Limo”

Featuring Mark’s Pizzeria

receive a 2-hr limo cruise, stop at a point of interest, a 2-liter of Pepsi and the best pizza in town! Only $99! (Sunday-Thursday)


Fri. & Sat. packages, larger limos, and service outside of Monroe County are available at an additional charge.

Are you planning a party?

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‰ Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent • April 2012


[ out & about ]

By Carol Harvey

Walk with the Whitetails THE WHITETAIL DEER FARM


estled into the countryside, less than an hour drive from Rochester is one of the most amazing, educational wildlife experiences available. At the Whitetail Deer Farm, located in Rush, your family will have the opportunity to engage with whitetail deer up close and personal.

The farm is located on 17 acres of fenced-in natural habitat for deer but the tour offers much more than an opportunity to watch these magnificent animals from afar – you and your children will also be able to pet and feed them. These farm raised deer are completely tame making this an exceptional opportunity to learn how they grow and develop in their natural habitat. "This summer we expect between 40 and 45 fawns to be born," said Mike Czora, owner and director of the farm. "Families will be able to pet and feed the fawns using nursing bottles."


Although summer is an exciting time to visit the farm, with all the fawns prancing about, each season allows for new experiences. Czora suggests that families come prepared. "The facility is in the process of building a visitor center, so feel free to pack a lunch and enjoy it on the picnic tables provided. Don’t forget to dress for the weather." Tours are by appointment only, so call ahead and be prepared to spend time with some favorite 4-legged friends, the whitetail deer.

Carol Harvey is the Web Editor for Rochester Area & Genesee Valley Parent Magazine.

Where it's located: Whitetail Deer Farm, 336 Woodruff Rd., Rush, NY 14543

When it’s open: All year long

Pricing: $10, Ages 4-12: $5, under 3: Free, Group rates available For more information: Call 585-943-3700 or visit

Genesee Valley Parent April 2012  
Genesee Valley Parent April 2012  

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