__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

Brooklyn Parent February/march 2021

nymetroparents.com Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

Success Stories

How local day camps kept campers and staff safe last year

find the perfect camp for 2021! Learning BackUp Plan

4

things you can do to ensure your kids stay on track in school

k a e r B Spring ips! Road Tr


Brooklyn’s ONLY Children’s Hospital  8,000+ Annual Deliveries  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit  Pediatric Intensive Care Unit  70,000+ Pediatric Outpatient Visits  Pediatric Sleep Center  Child Life Services  Pediatric Emergency Department & Trauma Center  Pediatric Cancer Center  Member of Children’s Oncology Group (COG)  25 Pediatric Medical & Surgical Subspecialties

Maimonides Children’s Hospital 4802 Tenth Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11219

718.283.7500 | ChildrensHospitalNY.org


180 East 79 St. Suite # 1C New York, NY 10021

114-20 Queens Blvd, Suite CS2 Forest Hills, NY 11375

www.ComprehendTheMind.com 718-441-0166 Committed to providing psycho-educational and neuro-developmental evaluations for over 15 years Dr. Sanam Hafeez and her team of expert clinical and neuropsychologists are here to help your child and family cope with the novel challenges presented by the COVID pandemic. Dr. Hafeez has been at the forefront of the crisis, bringing insight and advice to families all across the nation, as a sought out media personality and expert Psychologist. Let Dr. Hafeez and her clinical team help you assess and restructure your child’s educational, and mental health needs, during this unpredictable time.

For a short time, we are offering a 28-day neuropsychological assessment process for $2800* Please inquire with the center for details.

Who We Help: Those with: • Learning Disabilities • ADHD • Autism • Developmental Delays • Anxiety, Depression, behavioral issues • Families in court over custody, education or legal reasons

How We Help: • Extra time on tests, both in classrooms, SATs, ACTs, SHSATs • IEPs, 504 plans, private school placement • Forensic (injury, special education, child custody, immigration) cases • Medication management

We accept all major insurances GHI, UnitedHealthCare, Oxford, Cigna, MagnaCare, BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) All major credit cards, Cash, and PayPal accepted *$2800 rate for 28-day timeline excludes insurance, and is a discounted rate free of insurance restrictions, and wait times for authorizations. A detailed receipt for reimbursement, provided, upon request

We are both a pediatric and adult center, helping all ages succeed and thrive

www.ComprehendTheMind.com | 718-441-0166 NYMetroParents

3


inside

february/march 2021 16 Davler Media-Parents in Support of Camps Opening Read our official statement.

18 Making Camp Work

Five camps share how they operated successfully last summer—with no COVID-19.

36 Staying on Track

Create a ‘learning backup plan’ to help ensure your child finishes the school year strong.

38 Is Your Child a Victim of Cyber Bullying? Learn the signs and how you can help.

40 You Got the COVID Vaccine. Now What? What safety precautions do vaccinated adults still need to take?

42 Choosing a Veterinarian

Now that you’ve adopted a family pet, it’s important to find a vet to help care for its health.

COLUMNS

6 Editor’s Note 9 News: What’s happening in the community 12 Toddlers: Building Social-Skills at Home 14 Advice: Ask Dad and Buried 46 Last Word: What’s your current pop culture obsession?

18

THINGS TO DO 26 28 30 44

10 Things to Do in March Outing: Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists Spring Break Road Trips Brain Breaks

RESOURCES

38

40

42

22 24 37 39 41 45

Camp Directory Camp Guide Education Directory Meet the Health Care Professional Open Houses Advertisers’ Index

NYMetroParents

Helping Parents Make Better Decisions facebook.com/nymetroparents

@NYMetroParents

Visit NYMETROPARENTS.COM for family activities updated daily and more than 2,000 parenting articles!


NYMetroParents

5


editor’s note FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

NYMetroParents nymetroparents.com

Looking Ahead...

W

ell, Moms and Dads, it’s been a heck of a year (to say the least!), with socially distant birthday parties, helping the kids with remote learning, wearing masks when leaving the house, and more. How are you holding up? The good news is things are slowly getting back to (relative) normal. Day and specialty camps—which were able to open last year with safety guidelines in place—have been making plans for a fun and safe summer, while overnight camps officially got the go-ahead to open this summer in New York. We spoke to five local day camps about what they did last year to ensure all campers and staff stayed safe and healthy (p. 18)—and all five saw zero rates of transmission of COVID-19 at camp. Vaccine distribution is well underway. If you choose to get it, does that mean you can stop wearing face masks immediately? In short, no—you’ll still need to wear masks in public, socially distance, and follow other safety precautions to ensure your family and your community stays safe. Read “You Got the COVID Vaccine. Now What?” on p. 40 to learn why and find answers to other post-vaccine questions. Spring break is quickly approaching—are you itching to travel? There are plenty of family-friendly destinations in the tri-state area to get away for a few days. Bonus: They’re all within a few hour’s drive of NYC. So, turn to p. 30 to read “Spring Break Road Trips!” for six itineraries for your family’s getaway (and what travel precautions, if any, are needed). Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe spring ahead!

Katelin Walling Editorial Director Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

EDITORIAL EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Katelin Walling PRODUCTION EDITOR: Melissa Wickes FEATURES EDITOR: Shana Liebman EVENTS MANAGER: Shara Levine DIRECTORIES EDITOR: Alice Tank SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Danielle Feigenbaum DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER: Jayson Mena

ADVERTISING SALES Big Apple Parent 212-315-0800 Jeunesse Jackson, Manager Lauren Alperin, Managing Director Queens Parent 718-878-4860 Annene Guertin, Manager Westchester Parent 914-397-0200 Nini DeLuca, Manager Lauren Anchin, Merrill Sugarman Brooklyn Parent 718-878-4860 Selene Rodriguez Rockland Parent 845-848-8021 Jim Russo Long Island Parent 516-883-4543 Joan Bergman, Manager Lisa Herlihy To Advertise: nympads@davlermedia.com To Submit Events: nymetroparents.com/submitevents To Submit News: nymetroparents.com/submitnews

STATEN ISLAND PARENT EDITOR/PUBLISHER: Roselle Farina-Hecht 718-494-1932 EDITOR: Jeannine Cintron

MOMMYBITES MANAGING DIRECTOR: Lauren Alperin 646-736-3609 EDITOR: Liz Winchester

Keep in Touch: @nymetroparents nymetroparents.com editor@nymetroparents.com

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS: Ray Winn DIRECTOR OF TRAFFIC: Heather Gambaro TRAFFIC COORDINATOR: Alice Tank

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR |  PUBLISHING MANAGEMENT: Jiyon Son

We’re holding a spot

MARKETING DIRECTOR | MARKETING: Vicky Levy

FINANCE CREDIT MANAGER: Rosa Meinhofer

In the New York Camp Parents 2021 Facebook Group, you can ask other parents questions—will they put their kids on buses, when do they look for sleepaway camp—and get advice about what’s happening with camps this summer, info about camp safety, open houses, and much more.

facebook.com/groups/nycampparents2021 6

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

CEO: David L. Miller CFO: David Friedman 1501 Broadway, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10036 Phone: 212-315-0800; Fax: 212-271-2239

BIG APPLE PARENT, QUEENS PARENT, WESTCHESTER PARENT BROOKLYN PARENT, ROCKLAND PARENT, BERGEN • ROCKLAND PARENT, STATEN ISLAND PARENT, and LONG ISLAND PARENT are published monthly by Davler Media Group, LLC Copyright © 2021, Davler Media Group, LLC No part of contents may be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher.


Teaching students to be independent thinkers and lifelong learners

Our World Neighborhood Charter School 2 Kindergarten–Grade 5 Free Public Charter School in District 27 • Rigorous Academic Curriculum • Spanish Beginning in Kindergarten • Study of World Cultures • Pillars of a Positive Community • Arts & Music Integrated Into Curriculum • Individualized Learning • Free Breakfast & Lunch • Grade 1–5 Student Laptops • Kindergarten—Each student receives an iPad

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE DATES

Friday, March 12th • 10AM Wednesday, March 24th • 9AM

For additional information Contact Lucille Ranchor

646-415-2775

admissions@owncs.org

www.owncs.org

135-25 79th Street Howard Beach, NY 11414 NYMetroParents

7


8

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


Courtesy Netflix

news

Cooking Up Some Fun!

Netflix’s new kids’ cooking show stars Michelle Obama and some cute puppet friends.

On Feb. 9, former first lady Michelle Obama took to Twitter (@MichelleObama) to announce her new cooking show for kids: “I’m beyond thrilled to share that on March 16, I’ll be launching a new show on @Netflix called Waffles + Mochi! I’m excited for families and children everywhere to join us on our adventures as we discover, cook, and eat delicious food from all over the world.” Waffles + Mochi will follow Obama and her adorable puppet friends—a pink ball of mochi (aptly named Mochi, of course) and a furry blue puppet with waffle ears (that’s Waffle)—as they introduce kids to food from across the globe. The show, which will premiere with 10 episodes, is a collaboration between the Obama’s production company Higher Ground and a Partnership for a Healthier America, which has been helping to provide fresh ingredients to families during the pandemic. This is just the latest in Michelle Obama’s initiatives to help children have healthier diets and lifestyles, including the Healthy Schools National School Lunch Program and the Let’s Move! campaign. You can watch the premiere of Waffles + Mochi with your little foodies on Netflix starting March 16.

NYMetroParents

9


news

Black History Movies for Kids

N

ow more than ever, it’s crucial for families to discuss race and racism at home—as well as teach your kids about Black history, civil rights, segregation, and acceptance. Here are some Black history movies and documentaries (many of which feature Black main characters who face prejudices and overcome racial adversities) recommended by Common Sense Media that can help get the conversation started in your home.

Current Tooth Fairy Rates?

$3 is the amount you—um, we mean the Tooth Fairy— leaves on average in our area, according to Visa’s Tooth Fairy Calculator (a free app in the iTunes app store), which tells you what other children in similar family situations are getting under their pillows.

Navigating Daylight Saving Time We spring forward an hour on March 14, so be prepared for some grumpiness! And expect that on Monday and Tuesday nights, your kids will need to go to bed a little bit earlier, says Lisa J. Meltzer, Ph.D., who currently serves as the Sleep Education Fellow for the National Sleep Foundation. Find more tips for getting through Daylight Saving Time at nymetroparents.com/dst.

Time for Spring Cleaning? When’s the last time you cleaned out your fridge? Or dusted your houseplants (yes, it’s needed!)? Now’s the time to tackle it because spring cleaning season is almost here (the first day of spring is March 20). Cleaning experts share other oft-forgotten spots when cleaning, plus tricks to get the job done, at nymetroparents. com/spring-clean. 10

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World AGES: 4 and older WHERE TO WATCH: Amazon Prime Video The story includes readings of the book written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sister Dr. Christine King Ferris about the March on Washington.

Remember the Titans AGES: 10 and older WHERE TO WATCH: iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, DIRECTV, Disney+ This movie tells the story of the real-life integration of a Virginia high school team.

Pride

Dancing in the Light: The Janet Collins Story

AGE: 12+ WHERE TO WATCH: Prime Video (for rent or purchase); Rent or purchase on iTunes; Stream on Hulu Set in the 1970’s this movie follows Jim Ellis, the competitive-swimmer-turned-coach, as he turns an unlikely group of teens into a competitive swim team. It displays racism, segregation, and class divide.

Selma

A Ballerina’s Tale AGES: 9 and older WHERE TO WATCH: Amazon Prime Video, DIRECTV, Google Play, YouTube Movies This documentary tells the incredible story of Misty Copeland—the first African American principal dancer in a major international ballet troupe—including the adversity she faced to become one of the best dancers in the world.

Hidden Figures AGES: 10 and older WHERE TO WATCH: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, Disney+ This movie is based on the true story of three Black women who worked for NASA in the 1950s— doing complex math and engineering tasks to help launch the manned spaceflight program.

AGE: 5+ WHERE TO WATCH: Kanopy.com with a library card This movie tells the story of the first AfricanAmerican ballerina at the Metropolitan Opera House. However, she was asked to paint her face white.

AGES: 13 and older WHERE TO WATCH: Hulu Premium, Amazon Prime Video The story of the three months between Martin Luther King Jr. accepting his Nobel Peace Prize and the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voters’ rights in March 1965.

Just Mercy AGES: 13 and older WHERE TO WATCH: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, HBO Max This is the true story of a young lawyer who devotes himself to helping Death Row inmates in Monroeville, AL and focuses on the case of Walter “Johnny D.” McMillian, a man accused of killing a teen girl based on the testimony of two unreliable witnesses.

Find even more Black history movies for kids at nymetroparents.com/black-history-movies.

Connect with us facebook.com/nymetroparents

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

@nymetroparents

@NYMetroParents


New Places, New Programs Manhattan Tween Launches Nonprofit Daisy Hampton—a 12-year-old Girl Scout from Manhattan— saw how her peers with disabilities or those coming from under-resourced homes were not getting the same opportunities she was, which was made even more clear when the pandemic hit. So, she founded Including You—a nonprofit peer-to-peer program that allows kids ages 11-17 to volunteer to mentor and tutor younger children experiencing learning differences, developmental or physical disabilities, or economic disparities. Since its inception, the nonprofit has mentored and provided nearly 200 devices to students across the country. includingyou.org.

NYC Student Film Festival Applications Open The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment announced in late January that applications are open for the 3rd Annual New York City Public School Film Festival. Students of the NYC Department of Education can apply through March 16 for a chance to have their film selected and screened virtually on May 6. Films will be chosen by a panel of educators and media professionals. Following the screening of the films, student filmmakers will be invited to virtual discussions with industry professionals. filmfreeway.com/NYCPublicSchoolFilmFestival.

These two together always warms my

— posted by @themommyspice

Can summer camp be claimed on taxes? Summer camp can be expensive, but parents will be happy to hear that daycamp tuition (although not sleepaway camp) can qualify as eligible expenses for the federal child-care credit. The child-care credit allows parents to claim 2035- percent of qualifying expenses, based on income levels, during a given tax year, explains Levi Herzog, a CPA and partner at Hoberman & Lesser, LLP in Manhattan. The maximum tax credit is $3,000 for a child or $6,000 for two or more children. “In order to qualify for the credit, both parents, if filing taxes jointly, must be working or actively seeking work, and must have earned income for the year, unless one spouse is a student. Additionally, the children must be under the age of 13 when they are cared for at day camp, unless the child is disabled,” he says. “Certain states, including New York, also allow for a state level child-care tax credit. Parents should consult with their accountant or tax advisor regarding eligibility and limitations of the credit.”

Want to see your child in our magazine? Tag us on Instagram (@nymetroparents) for a chance to be featured! NYMetroParents 11


mommybites

Building Social Skills at Home 9 ways to help little ones socialize while social distancing By Jennifer Landis

practice social skills. You should participate so your child can learn how to communicate effectively. If your child is taking over the conversation, guide her to let the other person talk.

WATCH VIDEOS ABOUT SOCIAL SKILLS There is a plethora of videos online. Some are even animated for young children. These videos demonstrate and thoroughly explain various social skills, so your child understands. Focus on a topic that is specific to your child. If your child needs help with looking people in the eyes, search for that rather than searching for social skills in general.

READ BOOKS Having your toddler cook with you will help increase his ability to pay attention, a social skill that will help him for years to come.

T

he pandemic has made distance learning a regular part of life—but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier. Without daily interaction with peers, kids are not practicing social skills. So, in addition to teaching math and spelling, parents are being asked to fill in the gaps in their child’s social-emotional learning. It’s a big job, but there are ways to develop your child’s social skills at home.

TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS 1-ON-1 Without access to other people, you may think social skills are a lost cause. However, they can be taught 1-on-1. It may look different, but it is just as useful and important for their development as society members. Here are just a few basic social skills you can teach: empathy, active listening, maintaining eye contact, speaking up, using manners, working with others, and good hygiene.

ENCOURAGE TAKING TURNS It’s a great way to teach your child self-control and patience. If this is a new concept for your child, make sure she knows she must take turns doing something. For example, instead of your child choosing the bedtime story, tell him it’s your turn to do so. This is something you can do with multiple children, as well. Set up a schedule for your children to determine who will choose the movie, game, or snack for a night.

SET UP VIRTUAL PLAYDATES While it’s not recommended to get together with other people, seeing other people via video chat is still possible. Coordinate an online playdate with your child’s peers to

If you would rather get away from screens, use books to support your child’s social skills. Read stories that highlight emotions or a character improving a social skill. As you read, ask questions about how a character feels, what the character should have done differently, reading the character’s faces, and so on.

DO ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE ATTENTION In a world full of screens, the ability to pay attention has diminished in younger populations. Choose activities that require your child to pay attention, such as cooking meals or playing a new game. Encourage your child to watch you do it or give him instructions to follow.

HOLD SOCIALLY DISTANCED GATHERINGS But only if you feel safe enough to do so. Wear masks and allow your child to see other people in person.

MONITOR FAMILY INTERACTIONS When meeting up with other friends isn’t possible, you can monitor social skills at home within your family. You can use social lessons with your child’s siblings, yourself, or extended family members. Take notes throughout the interaction. Additionally, call out your child whenever they make an interaction deemed unacceptable in society but may be overlooked in your home. Encourage your child to use necessary social skills, such as saying please and thank you, sharing, maintaining eye contact, and greeting others.

ADD SOCIAL SKILLS TO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE To fully support your child’s social skills, add social lessons into your daily routine. With the lack of a classroom, your child is deprived of developing social skills. However, with just a bit of innovation, you can assist your child in navigating social settings.

Since 2006, expecting moms to moms of toddlers visit Mommybites for advice on all things parenting. The Nanny Boards are NY’s only resource for finding exclusively employer-recommended caregivers. Visit Mommybites.com. 12

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


stargazer day camp June 28 - August 13, 2021

Ages: 3-14 All Trips Included Super Fun Activities Educational Enrichment

1943 1943 Brown Brown street street Brooklyn, Brooklyn, ny ny 11229 11229

347-560-3469 347-560-3469

MS 358 MS 358 MS 358

www.stargazerdaycamp.com

Magnet School for Exploration STEAM Exploration and Experiential Learning The TheThe Magnet Magnet School School for forSTEAM STEAM Exploration and andExperiential Experiential Learning Learning cmheei nentvt e•m eEn DDi ivveer rs si it tyDy i •v•eArAsccihthy i iee•vveAem • E qqtuui•it tE yyq u i t y

What is student life like at MS 358?

What What isisstudent studentlife lifelike likeat atMS MS358? 358? • Life at MS 358 is fun, rigorous, challenging, and transformational

• •Life LifeatatMS MS358 358isisfun, fun,rigorous, rigorous,challenging, challenging,and andtransformational transformational • Students learn through F.I.R.E.—Fellowship, Integrity, Resiliency, Excellence • •Students Studentslearn learnthrough throughF.I.R.E.—Fellowship, F.I.R.E.—Fellowship,Integrity, Integrity,Resiliency, Resiliency,Excellence Excellence • Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) are designed for students to goals and reflect on their progress • •Student-Led Student-Led Conferences Conferences (SLCs) (SLCs) are aredesigned designed for forstudents students totoset setset goals goals and and reflect reflect on on their progress progress •their All students have access to technology every day during the school day • •All All students have haveaccess access totoclassroom technology technology every everyday dayduring during the the school schoolday day •students Arts are integrated into experiences through strategic partnerships and residencies • •Arts Artsare areintegrated integratedinto intoclassroom classroomexperiences experiencesthrough throughstrategic strategicpartnerships partnerships • Students can participate in a variety of clubs and enrichment activities including dance, and and residencies residencies debate team, sports, and Saturday programs • •Students Students can can participate participate ininaavariety varietyofof clubs clubsand andenrichment enrichmentactivities activitiesincluding including dance, dance,debate debateteam, team,sports, sports,and andSaturday Saturdayprograms programs

MS 358 Facts:

• 90% of Facts: students MS MS 358 358 Facts:were admitted into their top 3 choices for High School

• Students were accepted intointo Specialized High Schools including Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, • •90% 90% ofofstudents students were were admitted admitted intotheir theirtop top 33choices choices for for High HighSchool School Brooklyn Tech & Queens SchoolHigh for the Sciences at YorkStuyvesant, College • •Students Students were were accepted accepted into intoHigh Specialized Specialized High Schools Schools including including Stuyvesant,Bronx Bronx Science, Science, Brooklyn Brooklyn Tech Tech&&Queens QueensHigh High School Schoolfor forthe the Sciences Sciences atatYork York College College • Designated a National Certified Demonstration Magnet School August 2020 • •Designated Designated aaNational National Certified Certified Demonstration Demonstration Magnet MagnetSchool School August August 2020 28 • 16.9% Growth in Math for the 2018-2019 Academic Year, highest in2020 District • •16.9% 16.9%Growth GrowthininMath Mathfor forthe the2018-2019 2018-2019Academic AcademicYear, Year,highest highestininDistrict District28 28 • MS 358 was designated a 2018 NYS Reward school • •MS MS358 358was wasdesignated designatedaa2018 2018NYS NYSReward Rewardschool school

“Sky Above Me, EarthBelow Below Me, “Sky “SkyAbove AboveMe, Me,Earth Earth Below Me, Me, Fire Within Me” Fire FireWithin WithinMe” Me”

th thth Street • Jamaica,NY 11432 88-08 164 88-08 88-08 164 164 Stree Stree Jamaica,NY NY11432 11432 t t• •Jamaica, (718)558-6240 558-6240• ••www.ms358.org www.ms358.org (718) (718) 558-6240 www.ms358.org MS358Q MS358 MS358QQ @358middle @358middle @358middle

Please Please contact: Pleasecontact: contact: parentcoordinator@ms358q.org parentcoordinator@ms358q.org parentcoordinator@ms358q.org for information on our Open Houses for for informationon onour ourOpen Open Houses Houses &information One-to-One info sessions &&One-to-One One-to-Oneinfo infosessions sessions

For Magnet Application Survey For For Magnet Application ApplicationSurvey Survey goMagnet to: www.ms358q.org go goto: to:www.ms358q.org www.ms358q.org

NYMetroParents 13


advice

Ask DadandBuried My kids are back in school some of the time, but remote schooling is still a large part of their week. Without as much access to teachers, I’m forced to help with lessons far more than I’m used to—or able to! Not only do I not remember any of my fifth-grade math, I can’t teach to save my life! Help! —Catherine, Cobble Hill

F

irst of all, Catherine, thank you. Both for reaching out and for reminding me that I’m not alone. None of us are. The pandemic and its consequences—from less exercise and more bingeing (watching, eating, and drinking), to more family time and less alone time—have been rough on everyone, especially those of us forced to add “teaching” to that list. This isn’t to say that the teachers aren’t doing a great job. They are, as always, and often at great risk to themselves—spending their days inside with the world’s biggest germ magnets. That said, there’s no denying how essential in-person school is to kids. They require hands-on assistance, and with remote learning robbing them of access to their teachers, Mom and Dad are forced to step in. This is not ideal. Like you, I haven’t thought about mixed fractions or exponents or long division for 30 years, but I have honed my ability to get frustrated and bark at my son. It’s a fun combination! I am also not a teacher, neither by temperament nor trade, and the extra assistance my fifth-grader needs is simply not materializing at home. Not helping matters is the tried-and-true fact that kids are much less willing to take instruction from us than they are from their teachers or, say, some rando teaching Minecraft hacks on YouTube. That tendency to resist our help, combined with an inability to offer much besides confusion (“Do fractions even divide?”) and capitulation (“Just Google it!”), does not a happy home make. But at least we’re all unhappy together. Which is about the best I can do. Instead of assisting with advice, I can only console with solidarity. We’re all being forced into roles we’re not used to and often aren’t cut out for. Every one of us is in the same drowning boat, and all we can do is take solace in that fact—while simultaneously calculating how much time we have left before our boats are totally submerged. Who the heck knows how to measure water? Do I need the metric system? ALEXA! Our advice column features the wise and humorous commentary of Mike Julianelle (aka @DadandBuried), a 40-something influencer with a popular podcast who lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids.

HAVE A QUESTION FOR DADANDBURIED? Send it to editor@nymetroparents.com with the subject “DadandBuried’s Advice.” 14

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


An Education Where Children Thrive Under the Guidance of Great Teachers in an Environment that Stimulates Creativity and Individual Potential!

To ensure a safe environment, we are taking all precaut ionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID

We’re offering Zoom activities for children 18 mos to 5 yrs: Art/Music · Cooking · Science · Story Time · Games 354 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY | 516-466-8422 | www.CMSGN.com NYMetroParents 15


parents HELPING PARENTS MAKE BETTER DECISIONS

Davler Media-Parents Supports the Opening of Summer Camps We believe all kids deserve a chance to have a more traditional summer. We at Davler Media-Parents (NYMetroParents, Staten Island Parent, Mommybites, and Mitzvah Market)—the New York metro area’s largest parent media company—strongly support the opening of local day, specialty, and overnight camps this summer at the maximum capacity possible while still remaining safe for children and camp staff.

We believe... ...that all children who want to go to camp this summer should have the opportunity to do so. This year, more than any in our lifetime, children need the social, emotional, and physical benefits that summer camp offers. Children should not be turned away because of limited capacity. ...that every camp should be able to enroll the maximum number of children they can safely accommodate and return to earning an income from providing these services. Like many businesses, camps suffered in 2020, and they need an opportunity to recover.

Our beliefs are based on the fact... ...that camps that opened in 2020 did so with overwhelming success as documented in the Duke University study from Feb. 3, 2021, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report from Sept. 4, 2020:

•D  uke Study “Our study suggests that appropriate measures to reduce the spread of disease can create an environment where normal childhood activities such as day camp, school and after-school recreation can be provided with minimal risk,” said lead author Emily D’Agostino, Dr.PH, an assistant professor in Duke’s Department of Family Medicine & Community Health.

•C  DC Statement During the 2020 summer camp season, four Maine overnight camps with 1,022 attendees from 41 states and international locations implemented a multilayered prevention and mitigation strategy that was successful in identifying and isolating three asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and preventing secondary transmission.

We also know... Camp owners, who are committed professionals, deeply care about children’s health and well-being. These dedicated businesspeople devote themselves to providing safe environments, ensuring the health of both campers and staff. Parents who have been supporting their children in virtual learning environments at home need relief. The support from camps helps parents return to a more traditional adult life of dedicating themselves to their careers, maintaining their homes, and enjoying a more balanced emotional state. If you agree that opening camps at the maximum safe capacity level is vital for this summer, join the New York Camp Parents 2021 Facebook Group. Offer a positive comment so that the entire camp community, including camp owners see your support. Invite your friends to join too. Share this on social media. Let’s come together as a community. We believe all kids deserve our support and a chance to have a more traditional summer.

David L. Miller CEO, Davler Media Group

16

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


SIGN UP NOW

YEAR-ROUND REGISTRATION

OPEN NOW!

Discover new friends and ways to PLAY at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open!

Summer Camp Year-Round Programming REGISTER NOW AT:

NTC.USTA.COM Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Flushing, NY 11368

When Registering Online Use Code- QueensMar21

HILLCREST JEWISH CENTER DAY CAMP “The Camp Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

REGISTER ONLINE NOW!!!

100 OFF camp tuition

Early Bird Special: Register before April 1st to receive $

Visit hjcdaycamp.org for a VIRTUAL TOUR Email daycamp@hillcrestjc.org to arrange for an IN-PERSON TOUR

Program for Children 4-14 Years Old • Extended Hours for Working Parents • Red Cross Swim Program • Sports (Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Volleyball) • Drama & Arts and Crafts • Large Gymnasium & Recreation Room • Catered Kosher Lunches & P.M. Snacks • Drone Training and Krav Maga

• Jewish Culture Program • End of Summer Carnival • Day Trips • Early Morning Supervision • Weekly Cookouts • Door-to-Door AC Transportation • Gymnastics and Dance NEW • Shabbat Services

Online Registration: Go to hjcdaycamp.org to register NOW! Like us on

Follow us on

@hjcdaycamp

rtial Full & Pa rograms Season P le Availab

LARGE INDOOR POOL!

for 2021! 3D Design & Printing

183-02 Union Tpke., Flushing 11366 • hjcdaycamp.org • daycamp@hillcrestjc.org • Call 718-380-4145 NYMetroParents 17


camp

Making Camp Work

We spoke to five camps that operated successfully and safely last summer—with no COVID-19. By Melissa Wickes

F

Courtesy Rockland County YMCA

amilies throughout New York have been through the ringer— and every kid is in need of a little fun. Fortunately, summer is around the corner when camp can come to the rescue. And because so many camps throughout the New York metro area were able to operate safely last summer, it looks like they will be able to open again this year. We talked to five camps about what precautions they took last year—and how they plan to do the same in 2021. (Spoiler alert: All of these camps saw zero transmission of COVID-19.)

LEARNING AND PREPARING The most important first step for camps was to buff up on all essential COVID-19 information. Most followed safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local health departments, and the American Camp Association. “We took a very proactive approach, meeting weekly with our CEO, aquatics, registered nurse, specialists, and directors virtually, sharing any information someone may have received in their respective fields,” explains John Dillon, Rockland County YMCA youth program director. “Lisa [Coughlin, Rockland County YMCA program director] and I would attend virtual camp discussions with YMCA camps across the United States to see what they were doing, what was working, and what wasn’t working. All of this collaboration made it easier to prepare for the unexpected.” Every staff member at Camps ‘R’ Us, which operates several camps in Long Island, received extensive training about COVID. All group leaders, program staff, and directors were thoroughly educated on health procedures and received contact-tracer training through Johns Hopkins University. The camp also had health professionals on-call and available for guidance and consultation. Campuses were fully equipped with personal protective equipment and their infirmaries were revamped to add isolated areas. 18

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

The Rockland YMCA operated two successful camps throughout the summer of 2020, one in Nyack and one in Pomona, with not one COVID-19 case.

HEALTH SCREENING Many camps set up procedures to track temperatures and monitor symptoms for 14 days before camp started. Park Shore Country Day Camp in Dix Hills, Ann & Andy’s Acres of Adventure in Elmsford, and the YMCA of Rockland, for example, required a health-screen form to be filled out by every camper and every member of the staff. At Camps ‘R’ Us, comprehensive daily health checks were already part of the norm—even prior to COVID-19—but they added elements like monitoring signs and symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days prior to camp, daily temperature checks, and staff COVID-19 tests every 2 weeks. Camps ‘R’ Us also distributed important information to parents over email and ZOOM webinars. Handwashing protocols were consistently followed, and staff


was trained to model best hygiene practices for campers. Entrances and exits were limited to essential business and camp vendors (who were screened upon entry), and no visitors were allowed. Staff members could not leave campus during lunch or breaks, and those who traveled between campuses were health-screened at each campus.

Expert BCBAs & Highly Skilled Technicians make a world of difference to your child

DROP-OFF AND PICKUP Bus transportation was rare last summer, but some camps—like Magic Day Camp in Queens Village—offered rides if masks were worn. Ann & Andy’s Acres of Adventure limited bus capacity, and campers had to enter at the back and exit at the front of the bus. At camps where transportation was not offered—like Park Shore, for example—parents stayed in their cars during drop-off and pickup. At pickup, each parent was given a placard with their child’s name on it that was color-coded by their pod. The camper’s name was then called out on the PA system upon parent arrival and a group leader would walk the camper to their car. Despite the extra hassle, parents were happy their kids had the opportunity to go to camp. “All of the parents that opted to send their children [to camp last summer] were overjoyed and so appreciative,” says Bob Budah, director of Park Shore Country Day Camp. “It was so heartwarming to see, and there was such a camaraderie at pickup and drop-off.”

LUNCH AND SNACKS The precautions taken for camp meals included handwashing before eating, social distancing between pod tables, and singleserve bottles of water and juice. Water fountains were disabled at Park Shore, so each camper brought their own reusable water bottle to refill at designated water coolers. At Camps ‘R’ Us, campers ate lunch in their designated “hubs” or homerooms.

PODS AND GROUPS Most camps kept children in their respective pods throughout the day. For example, at Park Shore, the pods (of 15 kids or fewer) never came into contact with any other group. If pods had to cross paths, counselors would play what Budah calls “Gaiters Up!” and all campers would pull their neck gaiters— which had been distributed to all campers—over their mouth and nose. At Ann & Andy’s Acres of Adventure, entrances, exits, and bathrooms were designated for specific pods so there was no crossover between groups. At Park Shore, every facility was sanitized after a pod used it, and every pod had its own equipment. For example, if six groups were going to be at the ball field that day, there were six bags of baseball equipment. Activity scheduling was staggered to allow for cleaning in between, and to limit unnecessary interactions between smaller groups. Despite all this separation, however, campers grew closer. “Because the counselors and campers had to stay with the same cohort throughout the entire summer, they became really close with one another,” according to Dillon. “It was them and the group and they did a fantastic job.”

«Home-based & Telehealth Therapy

FIND OUT HOW ABA CAN HELP IMPROVE YOUR CHILD’S:

«In network with most insurance plans

· communication skills · language acquisition · difficult behaviors · social skills · school readiness · play skills · daily living skills

n ventio r e t n I Early le availab s e c i v Ser years) 3 o t (birth

FOR MORE INFORMATION TEL: 718-984-9022 EXT 223 WEB: LOSNINOS.COM EMAIL:INFO@LOSNINOS.COM The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program for children under the age of three who are either suspected of having or at risk for developmental delays or diabilities. Potentially eligible children must be referred to the county program (311) to receive EIP services. EIP is funded by the New York State and county governments. All EIP services are provided at no cost to parents. Health insurance may be used for approved services. A child’s eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract, and all services must be authorized by the county

NYMetroParents 19


SANITATION AND HYGIENE

Join the Camp

Courtesy Park Shore Country Day Camp

New York Camp Parents

Another routine precaution was proper hand hygiene and equipment sanitation. Park Shore purchased 60 gallons of hand sanitizer for the summer and set up hand-sanitizing stations throughout the camp. Many camps also hired extra sanitation staff to keep high-traffic areas clean. Because indoor activities were limited, Magic Day Camp staff made an extra effort to keep campers hydrated and provided handheld fans for cooling off. They also emphasized the importance of maskwearing to campers who may have seemed confused or frustrated. Darielle Loprete, assistant director of publicity at Magic Day Camp, says they did whatever they could to make sure every camper was comfortable and having fun.

2 02 1

Conversation

• Ask questions • Offer advice • Learn about different camps • Enjoy a meme or two

Hundreds of parents are members of the New York Camp Parents 2021 Facebook Group

Sign up today facebook.com/groups/ nycampparents2021

20

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

The main pool at Park Shore Country Day Camp was divided into six separate areas, dilineated by buoy lines.

SCHEDULES AND ACTIVITIES In fact, most camps did everything they could to make summer “normal” for campers, despite the circumstances. At Magic Day Camp, campers got to play sports and carnival games, dance, visit parks, and even roller skate when a roller rink came to set up shop at their facility. Campers were also able to swim every day. Whenever possible, all activities took place outside, even arts and crafts. At camps where indoor activities were allowed, like Camps ‘R’ Us, gymnasiums were separated into quadrants and campers were given cohort-specific equipment. Typical schedules were reduced, and field trips were canceled, but camp staff still made the summer special for kids by modifying certain events so they could happen. For example, at Park Shore Country Day Camp, Color War was held within individual pods rather than campwide. At Ann & Andy’s Acres of Adventure, additional lifeguards were hired so more pool areas could be open. Playgrounds were divided and designated by color coding. The camp’s “extra” activities, like family night and the variety show, were virtual. Camps that had separate programs held them all on one campus, and some built precautionary rain days into the camp schedule, the same way schools do with snow days. “As a business, we opened because we wanted to serve the children of NYC,” Loprete told WPIX11 News. “When you’re operating at less than half capacity, it can be financially devastating, but the reward was seeing the smiling faces of the children that got to walk through our camp doors each day.”


PARK DAYS & WORKSHOPS ART / DRAWING / MUSIC 2-8 WEEKS OPTIONS AVAILABLE JULY & AUGUST AGES 4 - 6 YEARS OLD

65-01 KISSENA BLVD. FLUSHING, NY 11367 TEL: (718) 460 - 6366

Ivy1info@ivydayschool.com

70-44 KISSENA BLVD. FLUSHING, NY 11367 TEL: (718) 880 - 1888

104-70 QUEENS BLVD. FOREST HILLS, NY 11375 TEL: (718) 997 - 1997

Ivy2info@ivydayschool.com

Ivy3info@ivydayschool.com

SUMMER 2021

ARTS ACADEMICS SPORTS SWIMMING

PRE-SEASON: JUNE 7 - JUNE 25 CAMP: JUNE 28 - AUGUST 20 POST-SEASON: AUGUST 23 - AUGUST 27

We’re Back! AGES 2-13 SNACKS TRANSPORTATION ON-SITE GYMNASIUM ON-SITE SWIMMING POOL HALF/FULL/EXTENDED DAYS (7:30 AM - 6:00 PM)

*TOURS BY APPOINTMENT* gardenschool.org/summer | (718) 335-6363 | 33-16 79th St, Jackson Heights, NY 11372 NYMetroParents 21


Camp DIRECTORY BROOKLYN >>>>>>>>>>>>

MANHATTAN >>>>>>>>>

Brooklyn Music School

Atlantic Acting School

126 Saint Felix St., Fort Greene 718-638-5660 brooklynmusicschool.org contactus@brooklynmusicschool.org BMS is excited to present our summer 2021 programming including the Summer Institute for ages 5-8 and the Summer Intensives for ages 9-12! Play, sing, and dance your way through the summer of a lifetime with our worldclass curriculum and instructors and make new friends while learning and having fun!

Mill Basin Day Camp

5945 Strickland Ave., Mill Basin 718-251-6200 millbasindaycamp.com MBDC is dedicated to providing exciting and fulfilling camp experiences for children through fun, recreational, and safe activities. Our modern, air-conditioned, and private facility offers a wide range of activities for children entering pre-K through ninth grade. There are five individual camps, each with unique and innovative programming.

Park Slope Day Camp

76 Ninth Ave., Suite 313, Chelsea 212-691-5919 atlanticactingschool.org/kids-andteens/summer education@atlantictheater.org Actors (ages 4-18) spend their summer days playing, creating, and forming lifelong friendships, all from the comfort and safety of home! In addition to creating characters and scripts, students may produce their own work! Camps include musical theater, improv, scene study, and film. All are rooted in our acting technique.

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Flushing, Queens ntc.usta.com The Billie Jean National Tennis Center offers year-round programs: daytime, after-school, and weekend, as well as fun-filled summer day camps with multi-sport activities for all ages and levels. Campers work on tennis techniques, tactics, multi-sport conditioning, and strategy. Enrollment available at ntc.usta.com.

Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Windsor Terrace, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park Ronny Schindler, executive director 718-788-7732 parkslopedaycamp.com For 30 years, Park Slope Day Camp has been providing Brooklyn families with a safe, nurturing, and unique day camp experience. Located in Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Carroll Gardens, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, we offer a wide variety of outdoor activities and options including traditional camp, soccer, and more.

Camp Reece

StarGazer Day Camp

Oasis Summer Day Camps in Manhattan

1943 Brown St., Marine Park 347-560-3469 stargazerdaycamp.com info@stargazerdaycamp.com STARGAZER is the premier summer program serving the Brooklyn area for more than a decade, and the only true 5-star camp across the board. For this reason, enrollment is limited. Make the right choice for your child this summer. Register asap, as spots fill up very quickly. See you this summer!

22

815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs 212-289-4732 campreece.org info@campreece.org Camp Reece is a sleep away camp for children with special needs ages 10-17. Located in Saratoga Springs with transportation from NYC and Westchester County. We have weekly adventure trips along with a wide range of activities designed to engage campers while teaching skills, building confidence, improving self-esteem, encouraging social-emotional growth, and having fun!

Oasis in Central Park 795 Columbus Ave., Upper West Side 646-698-1800 Avital Lazar, director oasischildren.com centralpark@oasischildren.com Oasis in Downtown-PS 110 285 Delancey St., Chinatown 649-519-5058 Stacey Soto, Director downtown@oasischildren.com oasischildren.com

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

Oasis Day Camp prides itself on age-appropriate programming for ages 3-15. Early Start (ages 3-5) is a nurturing camp environment. Lower (first-second grade) offers sports, arts, swim, enrichment, and nature. Upper (third-sixth grades) is bigger and better for older campers. Teen Travel (seventh-ninth grades) offers unique trips, overnights, and friendships.

QUEENS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All Star Studios

108-21 72nd Ave. 4th floor, Forest Hills 718-268-2280 allstarstudiosnyc.com allstarstudiosnyc@gmail.com Register now for All Star Studio’s Spring and/or Summer 2021 Session of jazz, tap, ballet, hip hop, and acro for ages 3 and older. Demonstrative assistants included so teachers can focus on students’ progression. Classes modified to accommodate in-person and Zoom classes simultaneously depending on families’ preferences. Register for your free trial!

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Flushing ntc.usta.com The Billie Jean National Tennis Center offers year-round programs: daytime, after-school, and weekend, as well as fun-filled summer day camps with multi-sport activities for all ages and levels. Campers work on tennis techniques and tactics, multi-sport conditioning, and strategy. Enrollment available at ntc.usta.com.

Countryside Montessori School

354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck 516-466-8422 cmsgn.com info@cmsgn.com Countryside Montessori School is offering in-person camp for children ages 18 months to 6 years old. There are morning academics for the older children and playtime for all children. Zoom sessions are also being offered in the morning with a different topic each day.

Garden School Summer Camp

33-16 79th St., Jackson Heights 718-335-6363 gardenschool.org/programs/summer campdirector@gardenschool.org Garden School Summer Camp is excited to be back after a successful 2020 summer. On-site pool, certified lifeguards, snacks, and program variety make us the best camp in Queens! Ages 1½–13!

Camp offers sports, crafts, swim, and themes. Extended day and transportation are available. Certified by the DOH.

Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp

183-02 Union Turnpike, Flushing 718-380-4145 hjcdaycamp.org daycamp@hillcrestjc.org The camp “where everybody knows your name” offers programs for campers from pre-school through our Counselor-in-Training program for age 14. Our age-appropriate programs include Red Cross swim instruction, arts and crafts, outdoor play and exercise, sports, field trips, drama, Jewish culture programs, special events and activities, and weekly cookouts.

Ivy Day School

65-01 Kissena Blvd. Flushing 718-460-6366 70-44 Kissena Blvd. Flushing 718-880-1888 104-70 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills 718-997-1997 ivydayschool.com dinam@ivydayschool.com At Ivy Day School (three locations), we provide our decade-long standard of academic excellence to children ages 2-5. We envision students will develop essential skills for a lifetime of achievements via fun, stimulating activities. Call to ask about our special summer program for children ages 4-6.

Magic Day Camp

216-15 Peck Ave., Bayside 718-634-8109 magicdaycamp.com Magic Day Camp, “Where Every Day Is Magical,” offers children ages 4-15 adventures and activities that stimulate and motivate minds and physical ability. We swim every day in an Olympic country club pool. With exciting weekly trips, our rates include door-to-door transportation, healthy lunches, professional tennis, dance, and instructional sports programs.

Oasis in Bayside – Fort Totten

Totten Ave and 15th Road, Bayside 516-738-5010 Charles Giegerich, director oasischildren.com bayside@oasischildren.com Oasis Day Camp prides itself on age-appropriate programming for ages 3-15. Early Start (ages 3-5) is a nurturing camp environment. Lower (first-second grade) offers sports, arts, swim, enrichment, and nature. Upper (third-sixth grades) is bigger and better for older campers. Teen Travel (seventh-ninth grades) offers unique trips, overnights, friendships.


Looking for a camp for your child? Can’t get to an open house?

Camp Fair ON DEMAND

MANHATTAN•BROOKLYN•QUEENS

Check out many camps from the comfort of your home.

nymetroparents.com/nyc-virtual-camp-fair

NYMetroParents.com NYMetroParents 23


All Star Studios allstarstudiosnyc.com Forest Hills

l

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center ntc.usta.com Flushing

l

l

Brooklyn Music School brookylnmusicschool.org/ summer-2021 Fort Greene

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp hjcdaycamp.org Flushing

l

Ivy Day School ivydayschool.com Forest Hills

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Garden School gardenschool.org/programs/ summer Jackson Heights

Dance

Arts & Crafts

Special Needs

Music

Academic Enrichment

Day Trips

Swimming

Sports

Theater

l

l

Countryside Montessori School cmsgn.com Great Neck

24

STEAM/Robotics

l

Atlantic Acting School atlanticactingschool.org Chelsea

Camp Reece campreece.org Saratoga Springs

PROGRAMS: Half-Day Option

Flexible Scheduling

Extended Hours

Lunch

Transportation

Camp GUIDE

SERVICES:

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Magic Day Camp magicdaycamp.com Bayside

l

l

l

Mill Basin Day Camp millbasindaycamp.com Mill Basin

l

l

l

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l


l

l

Oasis Camp in Downtown oasischildren.com Downtown Manhattan

l

l

l

Park Slope Day Camp parkslopedaycamp.com Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn Bridge Park

l

Stargazer Day Camp stargazerdaycamp.com Marine Park

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Day Trips

l

Theater l

Dance

l

Arts & Crafts

l

l

Special Needs

Oasis Camp in Central Park oasischildren.com Upper West Side

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

l

Music

l

Academic Enrichment

l

Swimming

Flexible Scheduling

l

Sports

Extended Hours

l

STEAM/Robotics

Lunch

Oasis Camp in Bayside oasischildren.com Bayside

PROGRAMS: Half-Day Option

Transportation

Camp GUIDE

SERVICES:

Join us for a Session of Dancing Together While Apart!!

Register NOW for Spring and Summer 2021!

We accommodate for partial In-Person & Zoom classes simultaneously

Teachers will have assistants to demonstrate so that they can focus on the students’ progression and growth!

Offering classes for ages 3+ in:

★Jazz ★Tap ★Ballet ★Hip Hop ★Lyrical ★Jumps + Turns ★Stretch + Strength ★Acrobatics

108-21 72nd Ave 4th floor Forest Hills, NY 11375

718-268-2280 • allstarstudiosnyc@gmail.com

allstarstudiosnyc.com

SAFETY FIRST!! See our website for our Covid-19 Protocols NYMetroParents 25


family fun

By Katelin Walling

S

ure, earlier in February Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter weather. But the first day of spring is quickly approaching—March 20, to be exact—and we can’t help but think ahead to (slightly) warmer temps and all the outdoor fun that comes with the season! Plus, March has some pretty special holidays (like Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Pi Day) to celebrate. Here are 10 things to do this month with your family—have fun!

CELEBRATE DR. SEUSS’ BIRTHDAY! Also known as National Read Across America Day, March 2 is the birthday of every child’s favorite rhyming master. So celebrate by enjoying green eggs and ham for breakfast, have a family movie night with The Lorax or Horton Hears a Who!, and, of course, read plenty of Dr. Seuss books!

BAKE A PIE FOR PI DAY. Math-lovers know March 14 as Pi Day (the mathematical constant of 3.14159…), so why not celebrate by making your favorite pie? Pizza, apple, blueberry, peach, strawberry, chocolate, key lime…the options are endless (much like pi, itself). Just make sure to snap a pic, share it on Instagram, and tag us so we can see your delicious creations: @NYMetroParents!

SHOP LOCAL. Grocery shopping al fresco is an ideal, peaceful shopping experience. Not to mention, the kids can learn about what types of produce are in season and see get a sense of where their food is actually sourced. What’s more, local farmers’ markets have everything you’ll want to buy from fruits and vegetables to locally raised meat and dairy, handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, baked goods, and more. Find a list of area farmers’ markets at 26

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

nymetroparents.com/farmers-markets—just double check hours and safety restrictions before you visit.

GO FOR A BIKE RIDE. Check the air in your tires, make sure the helmets still fit, ensure the breaks are in working order, and take your bikes out for a spin along the Hudson River Greenway, across the Brooklyn Bridge, or through Flushing Meadows Corona Park.


CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY. Sure, parades might not be happening this year due to the pandemic, but you can still celebrate at home! Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he must take you to his pot of gold. So, help your kids build a leprechaun trap and don’t forget something gold as bait! Read some kids’ books about St. Patrick’s Day (like Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase by James Dean). And enjoy some traditional Irish foods, like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie, or Irish soda bread. Oh, and don’t forget to wear green!

WALK AMONG TREETOPS!

PLANT A GARDEN. In addition to being a fruitful hobby, gardening has health benefits for kids and adults. Gardening outside promotes movement (walking, squatting, and lifting), and you’ll get plenty of vitamin D—just remember to wear sunscreen! It also “connects us with nature, which has been shown to work wonders for children having a hard time focusing,” says Renata Fossen Brown in Gardening Lab for Kids: 52 Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, Play, and Enjoy Your Garden. So, whether you want to start growing your own produce or your child has expressed an interest in digging in the soil, try growing a green thumb this year—and visit nymetroparents.com/garden for kid-friendly ideas!

Get ready for an aerial adventure as your whole family climbs through the trees, ziplines through the forest, and conquers any fears or nerves. Boundless Adventures, located in Purchase, opens for the season March 27, while The Adventure Park at Long Island, located in Wheatley Heights, opens March 26. Bonus: Both locations host nighttime climbing events when the trees are aglow with lights.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR CHERRY BLOSSOMS! Cherry trees are all over the New York metro area, and they typically start to bloom in late March/early April, according to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. When the pretty pink flowers begin to bloom, it’s a sure sign of spring’s arrival. You can even track the cherry blossoms’ progress at bbg.org to see when it’s the best time to visit the garden for some amazing pics.

SAY HELLO TO THE ANIMALS AT THE ZOO! Spring is the perfect season to see the animals at the zoo—you might just spot some adorable baby animals during your visit! The Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Staten Island Zoo are all open, with COVID safety guidelines in place. Make sure to buy tickets in advance online to ensure you’ll be able to visit on the day you want!

GO FOR A HIKE. A great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while maintaining social distance from other parties, there are so many hiking trials in our area that are family-friendly! “Hiking shows kids that exercise can be fun and that the wilderness can be more exciting than video games,” says Kevin Rosenberg, founder of the formally Brooklyn-based Gear to Go Outfitters, a full-service outfitter that offers backpacking, hiking, camping, and other gear for sale or rent. Find a trail near you—even in the city!—at nymetroparents.com/hike. NYMetroParents 27


outing

Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists An interactive, educational paradise for little learners, here’s what you should see at Liberty Science Center.

Courtesy Liberty Science Center

By Lauren DeCuir & Shara Levine

Left: Kids can learn all about the Rubik’s Cube—and the skills needed to become an expert on solving the puzzle—through memory and matching games in the Beyond Rubik’s Cube exhibit. Right: Have you ever wanted to see things blow up? You can do just that at Boom Time, where watermelons, bouncy balls, and more are exploded with liquid nitrogen (safely behind polycarbonate walls, of course)!

K

nown as New Jersey’s first major state science museum, Liberty Science Center is quietly tucked away in Liberty State Park, albeit a stone’s throw from downtown Manhattan and accessible within New Jersey via Light Rail. Liberty Science Center has been serving the community for more than two decades providing interactive, educational fun for generations of families and children, plus its home to the largest IMAX Dome Theater in the Western Hemisphere. This four-floor facility appeals and caters to children and adults of all ages, be they a science aficionado, a budding botanist, a tech enthusiast, an animal-lover, or just a person looking to spend the day in one of the most entertaining, enthralling, thoughtprovoking museums in the NYC area.

COVID SAFETY PROTOCOLS In response to the pandemic, Liberty Science Center has established the following guidelines to protect your family: • Capacity is limited to less than 25 percent. It’s strongly

28

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

recommended you purchase tickets online in advance to ensure you’ll be able to visit at your desired time. • All guests ages 2 and older must wear face masks for the entire visit. • Guests must maintain proper social distance; LSC recommends leaving strollers and bulky items at home as elevator capacity is limited and lockers are currently unavailable. • Hand-sanitizing stations are located throughout the building. • The café is closed, and guests are encouraged to enjoy food and beverages at the outdoor picnic tables. • QR Code maps can be accessed from your phone that include LSC’s floor plan and live demonstration schedule. • Staff members are required to wear face masks and have their temperatures checked daily. • Daily disinfecting and sanitizing protocols are increased. • The air quality in the building is improved with air filters recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Can’t-Miss Exhibits! DC SUPER HEROES: DISCOVER YOUR SUPERPOWERS Calling all DC fans! Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and their friends need your help! This exhibit gives comic book fans of all ages the chance to enter the Hall of Justice, stop supervillains, navigate a “laser” maze, and more! But hurry: This exhibit leaves Feb. 28!

LONG ISLAND SPEECH Licensed Speech Pathologists & Myofunctional Therapists

BEYOND RUBIK’S CUBE Learn all about the world’s bestselling puzzle toy. Visitors will get to control a Rubik’s Cube the size of a car, try to stump a Rubik’s Cube solving robot, invent puzzles at the Cube Prototype, and more! Admission is included with Recommended Combo ticket or can be added (for $6) to general admission tickets. Exhibit closes April 19.

DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD: A GRR-IFIC EXHIBIT Your little ones will be transported to the neighborhood of MakeBelieve where they’ll recognize scenes from the beloved animated series and feel like they really are in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood— from making music at the Music Shop to visiting the Post Office and writing or drawing a thank-you note for the Thank You Tree! The exhibit is open to children ages 6 and younger, and it closes May 9. Other exhibit highlights include: • INFINITY CLIMBER: Crawl into an adventure in the world’s first suspended climbing play space of its kind! •B  OOM TIME: Who doesn’t like to watch things explode? See liquid nitrogen explosions watermelons, bouncy balls, and more! •P  IXEL ART: Make fun patterns and art on this giant wall installation made of 952 pixel dials, which you rotate to turn on. •W  ONDER WHY: Celebrate the joys and wonders of science, including glow-in-the-dar minerals, optical illusions, and more. •B  EES TO BOTS: Peer inside the museum’s beehive to see real honeybees at work, then learn how these insects are inspiring inventors.

DETAILS Address: Liberty State Park, 222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City, NJ Hours: Thursday-Friday, 10am-4pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 10am-5pm Admission: Recommended Combo (includes general admission, Beyond Rubik’s Cube, and a theater show): $36.99; $31.99 children ages 2-12 General Admission (includes all exhibits, free science demos and labs, and all-day admission): $24.99; $19.99 children ages 2-12 Create a Combo (and add as many premium shows and exhibitions as you wish to your general admission ticket, including Beyond Rubik’s Cube and theater shows): general admission, plus $6 per addition. Parking: $7 per day; parking can be purchased in advance, which is highly recommended. Want more info? lsc.org • 201-200-1000

TELETHERAPY AVAILABLE!

Specializing in the Treatment & Correction of: • Language Disorders • Memory & Auditory Processing Difficulties • Fluency • Voice Disorders • Motor Planning Disorders • Deviate Swallowing • Tongue Thrust • Feeding & Swallowing Problems/Aversions • Thumb Sucking • Articulation Disorders • Oral Facial Muscle Weakness

Specialized Therapy Approches Including: • PROMPT • Individual Feeding Therapy • Augmentative Communication Evaluations & Therapy

Locations in:

East Yaphank | Farmingville | Stony Brook Commack | Islip Terrace | Jericho Wantagh | New Hyde Park

844-5-SPEECH www.LIspeech.com NYMetroParents 29


travel

Whether you have tots or teens, these family-friendly destinations have something for everyone! By Jessica Allen; all photos by Garrett Ziegler

H

ow lucky we are to have so many options for spring break fun within comfortable driving distance of midtown Manhattan?! It wasn’t easy to pick our favorites—but pick we must, so pick we did. Read on for the best family adventures to be had in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania this spring. As of February 2021, asymptomatic New Yorkers are allowed to travel to contiguous states—Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut—without having to quarantine or be tested upon returning to NY state. However, some of these states have specific rules, as noted below. Be sure to double-check guidance and guidelines before hopping on a train or into a car. Confirming goes double when it comes to activities and restaurants. Traveling in COVID times means being super-flexible. Everything from opening hours to availability to the reservation process can change rapidly and with little warning, so call, email, or text before setting out.

The Adirondacks Here’s a fun fact: Adirondack Park is larger than Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountains, and Yellowstone put together. At 6 million acres, the Adirondacks are truly awesome, in every sense of the word. Approximate drive from Midtown: 5 hours

WHAT TO SEE AND DO Ooh and aah at Ausable Chasm, a deep Ice Age-era gorge often called “the Grand Canyon of the East.” The classic tour caters to families, with an easy walk and gentle river float. The adventure tour—appropriate for kids 8 and older—lives up to its name, with edge walks and cable bridges. Peer above the tree line at the Wild Center. The Wild Walk at this natural history center rises 30 feet into the air and culminates in a bouncy net known as the Spider’s Web (the walk is fully accessible). You can also pay a visit to the center’s outdoor animal ambassadors, among them a raven and a porcupine. Summit a high peak. With 46 mountains to choose from, the Adirondacks High Peaks have options for everyone, from the littlest hikers to individuals with physical disabilities. Discover military history at Fort Ticonderoga. A key location during the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars, Fort Ticonderoga offers historical interpreters, detailed exhibitions, weaponry demonstrations, and grand views of Lake Champlain. Pretend you’re an Olympian at the Olympic Center. As you soar through the air on a Skyride gondola, you can see how far ski jumpers have to fly, or you can strap on some skates to practice spins and Lutzes at the rink. The museum is full of memorabilia from the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, hosted in Lake Placid.

WHERE TO EAT

ondacks, you can see At Fort Ticonderoga in the Adir rpreters, detailed inte re-enactments by historical French and Indian and the to ting rela e mor and exhibits, s. Revolutionary war

30

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

Start with the BBQ nachos at Smoke Signals, then try a baconglazed meatloaf or half-chicken, smoked on-site. This Lake Placid restaurant even has a kid-sized version of ribs for young carnivores. Barkeater Chocolates sells bars and boxes of truffles made on-site in North Creek (take a peek at the factory in back), but its imaginatively flavored bark just might be best. Think flavors like Adirondack Adventure, which covers dark chocolate with apricots, cashews, flax seed, sunflower seeds, and cranberries. Although the bark comes in a resealable package, you won’t be needing it.


Lake Placid’s Big Mountain Deli & Crêperie boasts 46 sandwiches, one for every peak in the Adirondacks. Its crepes include savory options like maple ham and asparagus, as well as sweet versions like brie and brown sugar and key lime pie.

WHERE TO STAY Located on the shores of Mirror Lake, and just steps away from Lake Placid’s main thoroughfare, the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort makes for a great base. Family suites are available, as are boats and other watercraft for fun on the lake. Most of the rooms at High Peaks Resort offer views of Mirror Lake, and rustic furniture adds to the ski lodge, country-living vibe. It’s close to the shops and eateries of Lake Placid. The resort boasts not one, not two, but FOUR pools. Every night—regardless of weather—the kind staff at Whiteface Lodge lights a fire and passes around everything you need for s’mores. Other kid-friendly fun at this Lake Placid institution includes a 3-D movie theater, a game room, and a bowling alley, as well as organized activities like arts and crafts and canoeing.

The Berkshires, MA

WHAT TO SEE AND DO Drive the Mohawk Trail, once used by members of the Five Nations to travel between the Connecticut and upper Hudson Valleys. Stop along the way for wonderful views of the Western Summit, Mount Greylock, Mount Prospect, and Mount Williams. Delight in all forms of art, from sculpture to painting to video and audio installations, at MASS MoCA in North Adams. If your kid’s not up for walking the vast galleries of this former textile mill and electricity plant, mosey on over to Kidspace, a gallery designed with children in mind, or ArtBar, where kids can make their own works on weekends. Receive a butterfly kiss at Magic Wings, an 8,000-square-foot sanctuary dedicated to Lepidoptera in South Deerfield. Around 4,000 native and tropical butterflies flit, flutter, and fly inside a florafilled tropical environment. Although young children are welcome, their strollers are not. Hike Mount Greylock, the highest peak in Massachusetts. All told the mountain has approximately 70 miles of trails for hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. If you’ve got a bookloving, nature-ignoring sceptic in your party, you might want to mention that Mount Greylock is the site of the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the North American version of Hogwarts. Visit the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, dedicated to exploring the intersection of natural science, history, and art with an emphasis on the local area. For example, the Berkshire Backyard exhibitions spotlight the beetles, bears, birds, and bull frogs that live nearby.

WHERE TO EAT

Mass MoCA in the Berkshires in Massachusetts is housed in a former textile mill. The art museum has an array of galleries, with a few kid-specific areas: ArtBar, where kids can make their own art, and Kids pace a gallery designed with kids in mind.

Anyone who says the Berkshires are best during fall foliage hasn’t visited during the rest of the year. This rural swath of western Massachusetts couples adventure and art, an irresistible blend for young and old alike. Returning residents and nonresidents must fill in the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival and either quarantine for 10 days or produce results for a negative COVID-19 test that was administered up to 72 hours before arriving in Massachusetts. Approximate drive from Midtown: 3 hours

Quite possibly the area’s most famous restaurant, Jack’s Hot Dog Stand in North Adams has been serving up dogs since World War I. Get yours with ketchup, dripping with chili, or covered in sauerkraut. PUBLIC eat+drink neatly divides its upscale pub-grub menu into “smalls” like tempura-covered chicken tenders, “mids” like falafel, and “bigs” like steak with a Cognac cream sauce. The North Adams restaurant also has two-course family meals with options like chorizo tacos and mac-and-cheese with pancetta. Warning: Your family might flip for breakfast at Renee’s Diner that they’ll beg you to eat there again for lunch. This American restaurant in North Adams does a wicked French toast with raisin bread, as well as a mean set of butterscotch chip pancakes.

WHERE TO STAY At Rose and Goat Retreat, you and your family can stay in a secluded apartment, complete with its own all-weather hot tub and fire pit. And because the hotel is located atop Florida Mountain, you’ll enjoy boundless views just about anywhere you go on the property. Located on the grounds of MASS MoCA, the Porches Inn is tailor-made for families with kids of all ages. The hotel has boardgames and DVDs, there’s a playground down the block, and there’s a heated outdoor pool. The four-season Vacation Village in Hancock has multiple pools (including one just for the kiddos), a private movie theater, a game room with table and video games, and suites with fireplaces and full-service kitchens. NYMetroParents 31


WHERE TO EAT

famous skills is one of the most Kaaterskill Falls in the Cat e trail mil 2.6a on state. Plus, it’s double waterfalls in the n. dre chil ng that’s doable with you

After filling your belly with omelets or pancakes at the Catskill Mountain Country Store in Windham, stock up on locally made baked goods, jams, and crafts. Then burn off some of your breakfast (served all day) by wandering the grounds or playing on the pirate-themed playground. Be sure to give Wilbur, a huge potbellied pig, a hearty hello. Phoenicia Diner is known far and wide for serving upscale comfort food like grilled cheese and avocado toast. Grab your grub to go or sit at one of the picnic tables in the heated outdoor area. Jingle writer-turned-baker Janice Hardgrove-Kollar runs Peace, Love, and Cupcakes in Woodstock. Give your kids a music lesson while letting them nosh on the “Jerry Garcia” (vegan banana cupcakes topped with vegan double fudge frosting) or the “Jefferson Airplane” (an ultra-chocolatey cupcake covered with kaleidoscopic vanilla frosting).

WHERE TO STAY

The Catskills For years, “the Catskills” has been synonymous with recreation, relaxation, and resorts. Some things never change, as you’ll discover over a long weekend or spring break vacay. Parts of it feel charmingly retro and happily hipster, while other parts, such as Kaaterskill Falls, no doubt look as beautiful now as when the first people stumbled upon its rushing waters. Approximate drive from Midtown: 2½ hours

WHAT TO SEE AND DO Scale Kaaterskill Falls, the most famous double waterfall in the state. The uber-popular 2.6-mile trail is doable with young children, but note the steep paths leading to and from the falls’ base. Catch a flick at the Hi-Way Drive-In Theatre in Coxsackie, showing kid-friendly movies on four screens over select spring weekends. You supply the car, they supply everything else. Ride down Plattekill Mountain. Come spring, the ski slopes transform into a mountain biker’s paradise. Bikes and guides are available. Picnic at Lake Superior State Park. Although the park doesn’t have marked trails, it does have around 1,000 acres, including a beach. Plenty of spots for fishing, too. Wander the Dove Trail in Sullivan County. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, local artisans painted 50 doves, which are now on permanent display in the county’s villages and towns. Anyone who completes the trail (with photos #SullivanCatskillsDoveTrail) will receive a special gift from the local tourism bureau. 32

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

For more than 70 years, the Catskill Game Farm drew visitors from all around to gape at its animal menagerie. After falling into disrepair, the grounds are being transformed into a multiseason resort. You can stay in what used to be the giraffe house (now a boutique hotel) or opt for a more-secluded glamping site. You’re free to wander and explore what’s left of the zoo too. Hull-O Farms welcomes guests to its seventh-generation farm in Durham. Accommodations include a chalet and a cottage, and activities range from petting baby animals to hayrides to fishing to chasing butterflies through meadows. Two words: all inclusive. Villa Roma puts kids first, offering a slew of fun stuff like bumper boats, hair-braiding, rock-climbing, and shuffleboard at its large Callicoon property. A kid-focused social director plans daily to-dos as well.

The Hudson Valley What is there not to love about the Hudson Valley? With great art, creative food, incredible hiking, and close proximity to New York City, this area really has it all. You might never want to leave. Approximate drive from Midtown: 1½ hours

WHAT TO SEE AND DO Run around Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre outdoor sculpture museum in Beacon. How you see the art depends on when you see it—at noon, in the fog, as the sun sets—which is most certainly part of the appeal. Kids will love the freedom to roll, shout, and wrestle beneath ginormous monoliths in steel and stone. Check out the ruins of a once-grand estate. An easy 1.8-mile round-trip hike through Hudson Highlands State Park in Cold Spring takes you to a mansion that’s fallen on hard times since its early 1900s heyday. Nature has slowly but surely taken over.


Your child deserves a CATHOLIC SCHOOL Learn more about safein-person or remote learning at a Catholic school near you. ONLINE session g happenin ! now

FAITH • CHARACTER • ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Mid-year transfers and admissions for Fall 2021 are being accepted now!

VISIT US ONLINE TODAY AT:

catholicschoolsBQ.org/welcome NYMetroParents 33


Mohonk Mountain in New Paltz lets kids be naturalists, cowboys, golfers, crafters, and detectives, thanks to a range of programming for every age. Plus, tea and cookies are served every day at 4pm. Consistently ranked among the best resorts in the US, Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland is the total package. From pony rides to bonfires, character lunches to concerts, your kid’s schedule will be jam-packed with entertainment, excitement, and memory-making.

The Finger Lakes King Art Center, a 500-acre Spend the day exploring Storm Hudson Valley. Bonus: You’ll the outdoor sculpture exhibit in gram! get some amazing pics for Insta

According to Native American legend, the Finger Lakes are the result of the Creator blessing the land by touching it, leaving a handprint behind. Today, the region is known for its perfect grapegrowing micro-climate, huge number of child-friendly activities, and opportunities for waterfalling, which is totally a thing. Approximate drive from Midtown: 4 hours

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

The Pandorica purports to be the only Doctor Who-themed restaurant on the East Coast, serving comfort food in comfy Beacon digs. Try the faux fried fish fingers (French toast wedges) with a custard dipping sauce. Among the vendors you’ll find at the Hudson Valley Food Hall in Beacon are Momo Valley (handmade Himalayan dumplings) and Miz Hattie’s Southern BBQ. Stock up on some gooey goodness, including pumpkin spice marshmallows at the Hudson Valley Marshmallow Store in Beacon. Two-bite s’mores are made to order.

Go ahead and grab what you see at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester—its exhibitions are designed to be tweaked and touched. Among its ginormous collection of historical toys, dolls, and manipulables is the National Toy Hall of Fame, where you can introduce kids to the once-longed-for relics of your youth. Appreciate 35 centuries of glass objects at the Corning Museum of Glass, dedicated to exploring and extolling the art and science of working with this material. Kids ages 4 and older will get a kick out of learning to flamework, sandblast, and blow glass, or playing “Glass Detective” as part of the museum’s scavenger hunt. Watch for wobbles at the Jell-O Museum. America’s favorite dessert was invented in the Finger Lakes Region in 1897, and this cute museum in LeRoy tells you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the treat. Stroll along one of the coolest suspension bridges in the United States: the pedestrian Fall Creek Suspension Bridge at Cornell University hangs 140 feet above the waterfalls and gorges of Fall Creek. Don’t be frightened if it sways ever-so-slightly; that’s totally normal, and the flexibility of suspension bridges prevent them from breaking during severe weather. Meet the more than 700 animals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. New residents include a giant Pacific octopus named Tellaro and four Turkmenian markhor called the Golden Girls.

WHERE TO STAY

WHERE TO EAT

Located on Beacon’s Main Street, the Roundhouse overlooks a waterfall and a creek, and is easy walking distance, making it a good choice for folks traveling by train who might not wish to rent a car. Breakfast is included with your stay. As if staying in a Victorian castle wasn’t cool enough,

What’s better than a waffle? A buckwheat-and-hemp waffle topped with lemon curd, Nutella, peanut butter, and cream cheese frosting. Your kids will probably come up with something even crazier from the make-your-own menu at Ithaca’s Waffle Frolic.

Rev it up at Motorcyclepedia. This Newburgh museum displays around 600 different motorcycles, such as a 1916 Husqvarna and a Harley that was riding in the motorcade when President John F. Kennedy was shot. Interpret the art at Dia:Beacon. In 2003, this former Nabisco factory reopened as a haven for cutting-edge, and sometimes huge, work by such contemporary artists as Richard Serra, On Kawara, and Louise Lawler. Cross the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. Once a railway bridge, the Walkway Over the Hudson connects the towns of Poughkeepsie and Highland, rises 212 feet above the Hudson, and forms part of the newly opened, 750-mile Empire State Trail.

WHERE TO EAT

34

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


Open to the public, the Cornell Dairy Bar marries ice cream and the Ivy League. Sandwiches, hot drinks, and breakfast foods too, but the real draw is the ice cream, with rotating flavors like triple caramel bliss, mango sorbet, and “Cornelia’s Dark Secret”—you’ll have to lick it to find out what it is. If you’re going to say you have the “best chicken tenders on Earth,” you’d best have the chops—er, chicken—to back it up. Thankfully, Tully’s Good Times in Rochester makes great takes on the classic, served with fries and various dipping sauces.

WHERE TO STAY Belhurst Castle in Geneva has a variety of rooms inside the main castle, or you can book a cottage for more privacy. Parents can relax with a glass of wine from a local vintner while kids look for knights and dragons. Dedicated to restoring the glory of mid-century architecture, the Miami Motel in Canandaigua will make you feel as if you’ve gone back in time, when ducktails and poodle skirts were all the rage. Teens will dig the decidedly period vibe. Not only does La Tourelle Hotel in Ithaca have around 70 acres of grounds for roaming, its Buttermilk Trail intersects with the Buttermilk Falls State Park, making it easy to go for a forest bath or hike. There’s also a hot air balloon depot right on-site.

Mystic, CT You can’t get much more charming than Mystic, CT. As you’d expect from this seaside town in Southern New England, aquatic activities rule. If you’re coming to Connecticut from New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, you don’t have to self-quarantine; anywhere else, however, and you have to stay isolated for 10 days. Approximate drive from Midtown: 2½ hours

WHAT TO SEE AND DO Admire the marine animals, including beluga whales, sea lions, and sharks, at Mystic Aquarium. For an extraspecial experience, consider a small-group, in-person encounter: For example, you and your little ones can feed and stroke a stingray—and watch as it ‘paints’ a picture for you to take home. Applaud the engineering behind Mystic River Bascule Bridge. To accommodate large vessels, one end will rise up almost perpendicular to the water while the 230-ton counterweights come down. It’s rather breathtaking. Master maritime history at Mystic Seaport Museum. In addition to strolling around a recreated 19th-century seafaring village, you can climb aboard various ships. Shop Olde Mistick Village, a recreated 18th-century village full of independently owned stores, footpaths, playhouses, gazebos, and even a duck pond.

Say hi to beluga whale s, sea lions, sting ray s, sharks, and more when you visit the Mysitc Aquarium in the seaside town of Mystic, CT.

Explore the Submarine Force Library and Museum in nearby Groton, the self-proclaimed submarine capital of the world. Your ticket enables you to explore the USS Nautilus, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered submarine.

WHERE TO EAT Olde Mistick Village has several restaurants, but only one small-batch, artisan donut shop. Deviant Craft Coffee & Donuts specializes in mind-blowing flavors like candied bacon and tiramisu. You’ll be forgiven for expecting to see a young Julia Roberts swagger out of Mystic Pizza. The 1988 movie might have put the restaurant on the map, but the pizza keeps people coming back. It’s a butcher shop, it’s a restaurant, it’s Grass and Bone. Everything’s locally sourced and responsibly raised. We recommend the rotisserie chicken taco.

WHERE TO STAY With grand water views, the Inn at Mystic makes for a relaxing stay. Throw in the fire pits, walking trail, dock, and more, and you’ve got an excellent property that will appeal to the entire family. In keeping with the town’s nautical theme, The Whaler’s Inn is decorated in whites and blues. Junior Suites come with a big bed for the grown-ups and bunk beds for the kids tucked in a separate alcove, complete with its own Roku-equipped TV. About 20 minutes away from Mystic is Foxwoods, home to a casino, a performance hall, and a crazy cool number of things for kids, including an arcade and an indoor gokart track. Jessica Allen writes about food, culture, travel, and NYC, where she lives.

NYMetroParents 35


education

Staying on Track Create a ‘learning backup plan’ to help ensure your child finishes the school year strong By Andrew Campanella

R

ight now, getting through each school day still feels exhausting for many parents and students across the country who are decidedly “over” the continued uncertainty surrounding their children’s education. Switching between emergency remote learning, to in-person instruction, to hybrid learning models is chaotic. Not surprisingly, NYC homeschooling enrollment numbers have seen a 31-percent increase this school year. The toll of learning disruption is not only emotional; it’s financial. Mothers are leaving the workforce in record numbers to help their children navigate their schooling.

Instead of just worrying about how far behind students may be after an unusual year of school, there are practical things parents can do to regain control over their children’s education this year and ensure they stay on track. Creating a “learning backup plan” is not expensive, and it can save your child the frustration of starting the 2021-2022 school year behind on his or her learning. What is a “learning backup plan”? It’s four steps parents can take over the next 6 months to eliminate some of the uncertainty surrounding their children’s education and arm themselves with as much information as possible.

EVALUATE HOW YOUR CHILD IS DOING Parents should continue to closely monitor whether their children are truly engaging in remote learning. Touching base with teachers and having frank discussions about your child’s progress is key. To start with, ask your child’s teacher the following questions: • Have you noticed any changes in my child’s behavior since the start of the school year? • What type of remote learning assignments does my child seem to enjoy the most or get the most excited about? • Are there any topics or assignments my child seems frustrated by or struggles with? Of course, don’t just focus on learning and achievement; think about your child’s happiness and well-being, too. If your child is struggling with remote learning, consider bringing other students together by creating a socially distanced learning support pod. To augment your child’s in-school learning, tap into some fun online courses and educational games that are designed to help students acquire skills and knowledge. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that K-12 schools work quickly to safely reopen. While many schools in the area are making steps in that direction, the timeline remains unclear. With some U.S. school districts already committed to remote learning for the remainder of the school year, and with report of even more worrisome strains of the coronavirus, parents are wondering whether schools will even reopen for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Looming large over these worries is a big question: Exactly how much learning did students miss out on this year? If New York suspends state standardized testing for another year in a row—as state education officials recently proposed—many families might never know the answer to this question. 36

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO PURSUE HOBBIES Parents can and should actively encourage their children to pursue healthy interests outside of school. Work with your children to explore things that spark their curiosity. Curiosity is recognized by psychologists as a key building block to lifelong learning. Besides helping your child develop new skills and a spirit of perpetual learning, tapping into hobbies can reduce the anxiety or stress your child may be experiencing due to school disruptions. So, whether your child is interested in collecting rocks and learning about geology, discovering the stars and learning about astronomy, learning how to build things or take them apart, or anything else, now is the time to encourage your child’s after-school hobbies.


EXPLORE YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL CHOICE OPTIONS If you feel that your child’s school isn’t the right fit for them anymore, take some time to explore your school choice options, in case you want to switch schools for next year. The New York metro area offers more schooling choices than families may immediately realize, including charter, magnet, online, private, Catholic, international, and home education. It will be difficult to switch schools in the middle of the year, but it’s not impossible. Finding a different environment for the next school year, however, is much more realistic. The key to navigating the school search process is to start looking now. See if you can set up 1-on-1 video chats with the school’s admissions department and watch virtual open houses; some schools might even offer 1-on-1 in-person tours following strict COVID-19 safety guidelines. When you tour potential schools (whether online or in person), make sure to ask questions about how the school is handling the pandemic, how it ensures students are successful, and more to see if the school environment will truly meet your child’s educational needs.

IN JUNE, ASSESS HOW THE SCHOOL YEAR WENT Finally, set aside a few days after schools close for the summer to truly evaluate how much your child has learned this year. Your goal should be to identify whether your child has learned at grade level or is falling behind at school. There are free assessments parents can use to help determine this. For less than $50 and a more complete picture of your children’s progress, you can access the online Stanford Ten tests or the booklet-based Terranova tests. Nobody enjoys standardized tests, but this information could be crucial to ensuring your child is set up for success this fall. Unlike state tests, only you will know your child’s scores. Beyond assessment tests, evaluating your child’s learning should include thinking about your personal goals for your child. What are your hopes and dreams for your child’s development and are those being attained? While test metrics matter, what matters even more is your insider knowledge about whether your child is on the path to the future you hope him or her to have. Most importantly, all parents should recognize that they are not alone. Every family in the U.S. has faced unprecedented struggles this year. So, take a moment to reflect on all you’ve done to help your children this year, recognize the sacrifices made by your child’s teachers, give your kids some big hugs, and plan for some down time this summer. Someday, hopefully soon, things will get back to “normal.” And with the right planning, families can make the transition back to “normal” as easy as possible for their kids. Andrew Campanella has served as president of National School Choice Week since 2012. NSCW has become the world’s largest education-related public awareness effort. Campanella is also the author of “The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child,” which offers practical advice to parents in navigating the process of exploring their options and choosing the best fit for their families.

Education

DIRECTORY

QUEENS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Countryside Montessori School

354 Lakeville Road, lower level Great Neck 516-466-8422 cmsgn.com; info@cmsgn.com Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years, a well-balanced and enriched curriculum which includes traditional subjects, art, and music. They are located on an estate-like setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks. Classrooms are fully equipped and spacious. Zoom classes are offered for toddler and nursery children.

Catholic Schools of Brooklyn and Queens

Locations throughout Brooklyn and Queens 718-965-7300 catholicschoolsbq.org/welcome Your child deserves the best. Give them a Catholic school education. Educating the minds and hearts of our children is more important than ever. Join a virtual visit with a Catholic school near you to learn how academics, character, and faith are at the center of what we do.

Garden School

33-16 79th St., Jackson Heights 718-335-6363 gardenschool.org Garden School was founded in 1923 to meet the need for a high-quality, individualized, and independent school in Jackson Heights, Queens. We believe every child has potential and we believe it is a school’s job to spark, acknowledge, and promote the passions and interests of children.

Ivy Day School

65-01 Kissena Blvd., Flushing 718-460-6366 70-44 Kissena Blvd., Flushing 718-880-1888 104-70 Queens Blvd., Forest Hills 718-997-1997 ivydayschool.com dinam@ivydayschool.com Books and blocks, music and dance, art and creativity! At Ivy Day School (three locations), we provide our decade-long standard of academic excellence to children ages 2-5. We envision students will develop essential skills for a lifetime of achievements via fun, stimulating activities.

Long Island Speech

844-5-SPEECH (844-577-3324) Locations across Suffolk and Nassau: Stony Brook, Farmingville, Commack, East Yaphank, Islip Terrace, Jericho,

Wantagh, New Hyde Park Newest Location: 2915 Sunrise Highway, Islip Terrace 631-675-1065 lispeech.com Janine Stiene, speech-language pathologist, owns and operates Long Island Center for Speech and Myofunctional Therapy. With her group of therapists, she supports families across Long Island, specializing in PROMPT, feeding, myofunctional therapy, voice disorders, fluency, augmentative communication, articulation, auditory processing disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders.

MS 358: The Magnet School of Steam Exploration and Experiential Learning

88-08 164th St., Jamaica 718-558-6240 ms358.org; info@magnetschools.nyc At The Magnet School of STEAM Exploration and Experiential Learning, everyone learns with purpose. Classroom instruction incorporates passionate speaking, purposeful writing, powerful presentations, and digital literacy. Through project based and experiential learning students take intellectual risks, make real world connections, and explore authentic problems in their community and society.

World Neighborhood Charter School 2

135-25 79th St., Howard Beach 718-392-3405 owncs.org/own2 admissions@owncs.org Our World Neighborhood Charter Schools (OWNCS) joined the Queens school community in 2002. Through a literacy-based, integrated, and standards-driven curriculum that encourages community and honors diversity, students receive the broad education they need to meet the academic and social challenges of the best NYC High Schools and thrive in today’s world.

BROOKLYN >>>>>>>>>>>> Catholic Schools of Brooklyn and Queens

Locations throughout Brooklyn and Queens 718-965-7300 catholicschoolsbq.org/welcome Your child deserves the best. Give them a Catholic school education. Educating the minds and hearts of our children is more important than ever. Join a virtual visit with a Catholic school near you to learn how academics, character, and faith are at the center of what we do.

NYMetroParents 37


kids & tech

Is Your Child a Victim of Cyberbullying? Learn the signs—and how you can help your child if they’re being bullied online. By Emma Steven

N

ow that our kids are interacting on the Internet more than ever—and especially after COVID led to a spike in time spent online—the age-old act of bullying has gone from the playground to the internet. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 36.5-percent of children aged 12-17 years old say they have been cyberbullied. While there are now apps like mSpy that allow parents to monitor their child’s communication online, it’s difficult to predict or prevent a child from being a target. But what, exactly, is cyberbullying? It’s internet bullying that occurs over digital devices like computers, cellphones, and tablets, according to stopbullying.gov. It most often occurs over social media (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok), text messaging, instant messaging, email, online forums, and online gaming communities. Some cyberbullying can even be deemed criminal. Read on for how to tell if your child is being cyberbullied and how to prevent it.

virtually all tweens, teens, and even some kids. However, if you notice your teen is suddenly using her phone (or other devices) more or less than usual, take note—especially if she is wary to discuss it. Another important red flag is if she shuts down existing social media accounts and/or opens new ones. “If you see that your kid is not interested in their phone, that’s a big sign,” says Ross Ellis, founder and CEO of STOMP Out Bullying, the leading bullying prevention nonprofit. Your kid engages in emotional texting. Does he get upset or angry when a text or email comes in? Does he laugh hysterically at something but won’t explain why? It’s important to pay attention to unusual emotional reactions to online communication—it could mean your teen is feeling uncomfortable with something that’s developing. While no one expects you to know what every message coming into your teen’s phone says, it’s important that you’re not entirely in the dark about it.

SIGNS OF CYBERBULLYING Your teen deletes current or starts new social media accounts. It’s no secret that social media is huge for 38

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

Your kid has uncharacteristic mood swings. Another sign of cyberbullying is a teen who becomes withdrawn and


MEET THE

depressed, and loses interest in activities, Ellis says. She can also become angry or anxious or complain of feeling ill more often. Take any change in mood seriously and check in with your teen if this becomes apparent. Sometimes “how are you?” can go a very long way. Your teen’s behavior changes suddenly. Ellis also recommends looking out for a decline in grades, or changes in eating and sleeping habits. Your teen is more secretive than usual. Tweens and teens are notoriously private but it’s wise to start investigating if your teen starts to seem much more concerned about hiding her screen. If this is a new pattern, you may want to consider the benefits of using mSpy to monitor your kid’s communication online. Your teen now avoids socializing with friends. If your kid suddenly wants to avoid certain social situations, or doing a certain activity, he may be being bullied, Ellis says. Ask your teen how his friends are doing and if it’s a particularly negative reaction, you may want to look into it more.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR KID IS A VICTIM OF CYBERBULLYING If you think your teen might be a victim, it’s important to offer her support—but approach it delicately. Ellis recommends talking in general terms rather than asking directly. For example: “I’m reading a lot about cyberbullying and bullying and it’s really happening a lot. Does it happen at your school? Do you know anyone it’s happening to?” Even if she doesn’t open up, it’s important to reinforce that you are there for her, you love her, and will do your best to help. If you find out he is being cyberbullied, stopbullying. gov recommends keeping a record and screenshots, then reporting directly to the social media platform as well as your kid’s school. If your kid is receiving threats of violence or worse, or if a crime or illegal behavior is happening, report it to the police. Finally, make sure your kid knows the rules of the cyber road. “A parent has to be computer savvy,” Ellis says. “You have to communicate with your kids constantly. It’s not a one-time conversation. Parents need to raise responsible digital citizens because if they don’t, there’s a possibility their kids are going to bully someone, or they will be bullied.” For more help and support, visit stompoutbullying.org and staysafeonline.org. Emma Steven is a British freelance writer living in Manhattan with her husband, two small kids, and two cats.

HEALTH CARE Professional BROOKLYN >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> HEALTH

Maimonides Children’s Hospital Brooklyn’s only children’s hospital and pediatric trauma center

4801 10th Ave., Borough Park 718-283-7500 maimonidesmed.org Maimonides Children’s Hospital is Brooklyn’s only pediatric hospital and is recognized by the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). Our expert team of board-certified pediatric physicians, surgeons, nurses, and nurse practitioners provides compassionate, family-centered care for infants, children, and adolescents. Virtual visits available.

MANHATTAN >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> HEALTH

Lab for the Developing Mind - New York University

212-998-7917 labdevelopingmind.com labdevelopingmind@nyu.edu Calling all baby and child scientists! Short and fun online studies offered by the Lab for the Developing Mind at New York University explore the foundations for STEM learning. Plus, families receive a $5 Amazon gift card for participating! Visit labdevelopingmind.com/online to learn more and to sign up. COUNSELORS

Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C.

718-441-0166 Manhattan location: 180 E. 79th St., Suite 1C, Upper East Side Queens location: 114-20 Queens Blvd., Suite CS 2, Forest Hills comprehendthemind.com CCPS is a group of psychologists specializing in neuro-developmental and educational evaluations to help you understand your child’s learning style and developmental level. A diagnosis of a learning disability or ADHD should not define, but rather strengthen your child and family. Let us help plan for their educational success and emotional well-being.

QUEENS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> COUNSELORS

Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C.

718-441-0166 Queens location: 114-20 Queens Blvd., Suite CS 2, Forest Hills Manhattan location: 180 E. 79th St., Suite 1C, Upper East Side comprehendthemind.com CCPS is a group of psychologists specializing in neuro-developmental and educational evaluations to help you understand your child’s learning style and developmental level. A diagnosis of a learning disability or ADHD should not define, but rather strengthen your child and family. Let us help plan for their educational success and emotional well-being.

Connect with us facebook.com/nymetroparents

@NYMetroParents @nymetroparents

NYMetroParents 39


health

You Got the COVID Vaccine— Now What? What kind of safety precautions do vaccinated parents and grandparents still need to take? By Stacey Feintuch

I

f you chose to get the COVID-19 vaccine when you became eligible, does that mean you can resume your pre-COVID lifestyle? Unfortunately, the vaccine is not a passport to return to pre-pandemic life—you will still need to take precautions in order to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community safe—and to slow the virus’ transmission.

First, remember that vaccines don’t work instantly. You don’t get immunity until 7-14 days after the first dose depending on the vaccine you received. And you won’t get full immunity until 7-14 days after getting the required second dose—21 or 28 days after the first one, depending on which one you got. “You still have to be careful after you get the vaccine,” says Soma Mandal, M.D., a board-certified internist at Summit Medical Group in Berkeley Heights, NJ, and author of Dear Menopause, I Do Not Fear You. “It takes some time for your body to build immunity.” While these vaccines aren’t perfect, their effectiveness was found to be nearly 95-percent in trials—so 5-percent of people who get the vaccine may become infected. That said, “the vaccine would ideally work if every single person in the United State had the vaccine,” Dr. Mandal says. “Then we wouldn’t need to be as cautious.” Wondering what else you should keep in mind after getting the COVID vaccine? Here are answers to some other questions you may be thinking about. 40

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A FACE MASK? Don’t toss that mask supply just yet. You’ll be wearing this new fashion accessory indefinitely. You should also continue to social distance and wash your hands frequently because of the chance that you might be one of the unlucky 5-percent of people who didn’t develop a strong immune response from the vaccine, says David Buchholz, M.D., senior founding medical director for primary care at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in NYC. “As long as there is COVID in our community, we need to continue to take precautions.” Researchers aren’t sure how long immunity lasts from the vaccine. Plus, the virus is mutating around the world, creating variations that seem to be more contagious. “Whether the vaccines will be effective against those variants is still yet to be determined. The vaccine can give you a false sense of security,” says Niket Sonpal, M.D., adjunct assistant professor of clinical medicine in the Department of Basic Biomedical Sciences at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City. “We don’t want people to let their guard down.” Also, you may be asymptomatic, meaning you don’t show symptoms, but you have a low level of the virus in your system that is transmittable to others. “You should do what you did before you got the vaccine, until experts tell us it’s safe not to do so,” says Louis Calderon, R.N., at Catholic Hospital in Bethpage. “Pretend like you didn’t even get [the vaccine]. There is still a tiny chance that you can get COVID. For some people, that 5-percent can matter. We need everyone to get the vaccine for it to work.”

CAN WE VISIT WITH GRANDPARENTS? Since the pandemic started, Dr. Mandal’s children have only seen her mother, their grandmother, on FaceTime as they didn’t feel comfortable having an in-person visit. Once Dr. Mandel’s mother received her first dose of the vaccine, Dr. Mandal felt more comfortable. So, she, her mother, and her elementary school-aged daughter met up outside with masks on and social distancing in effect. While you’re likely feeling antsy to see those grandparents, especially if they’ve been isolated during the pandemic, you must be cautious. It’s going take a while before everyone in a family is vaccinated, especially since vaccines haven’t been authorized for


use in children (who can carry COVID and be asymptomatic). “It’s the most common question I get,” Calderon says. “I say ‘yes,’ but do so safely.” When you’re seeing people who have received both doses of the vaccine, you have a lower risk of getting sick. For example, two vaccinated grandparents can see their two vaccinated adult children with low risk. The larger a circle gets, the larger the risk becomes. “Once both the grandparents and their grandchildren are vaccinated and the group is kept small, the risk of someone having COVID and transmitting it to someone else is low,” Dr. Buchholz says.

CAN I TRAVEL? The virus has impacted all forms of travel from commuters who avoid mass transit to vacationers cancelling trips. If it’s essential travel, then of course do so—but “you still have to take precautions if you’re traveling,” Dr. Mandal says. “Not everyone is vaccinated.” Follow safety measures like mask-wearing, frequent handwashing, and social distancing, and look into the travel restrictions and guidelines for where you’re going. It’s not the travel itself that’s an issue; it’s who you might be encountering during that travel.

CAN I ATTEND A LARGE GATHERING IF I GOT THE VACCINE? Facebook may be taunting you with memories of a Broadway show or a Knicks game. Unfortunately, it may be a while before we’re attending a packed concert, performing arts show, or sporting event—though Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that large arenas and stadiums can host in-person events, with strict rules in place, starting Feb. 23. This is especially true for gatherings that are in an enclosed space, which is risky because you don’t know if the strangers around you have been vaccinated. “Until there is less COVID in the community, avoiding large gatherings is still essential to prevent the spread of the virus,” Dr. Buchholz says.

CAN I GO OUT TO EAT? Maskless dining indoors carries some risk (when looking at contact tracing data from September-November 2020, 1.43percent of COVID cases in NY were from restaurants and bars, according to the Governor’s office). As you talk and chew, your respiratory droplets are spreading all around. You may be transmitting the virus through those droplets, which can float and linger in poorly ventilated spaces. (Most restaurants lack the proper indoor air filtration equipment.) You also want to take into account the rates in your community. If the rates are high, Dr. Mandal says, it’s not wise to eat indoors. Outdoor dining, as well as takeout and delivery, are lower risk options. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your comfort level.

Open HOUSE Camp Reece

Magic Day Camp

Garden School Summer Camp

MS 358: The Magnet School of Steam Exploration and Experiential Learning

Skidmore College 815 N. Broadway, Saratoga Springs 212-289-4732 campreece.org info@campreece.org Check out our camp at the NYMetroParents On-Demand Virtual Camp Fair at nymetroparents.com/nyc-virtual-camp-fair.

33-16 79th St., Jackson Heights 718-335-6363 gardenschool.org/programs/summer campdirector@gardenschool.org Call or email to schedule a tour to see our in-ground pool and spacious facilities! Speak to our experienced staff; find out why Garden should be your camp choice!

Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp

183-02 Union Turnpike, Flushing 718-380-4145 hjcdaycamp.org daycamp@hillcrestjc.org “The camp where everybody knows your name” offers a virtual tour at hjcdaycamp. org and in-person tours by appointment. Program for ages 4-14. Register online for full/partial season programs.

216-15 Peck Ave., Bayside 718-634-8109 magicdaycamp.com See what our camp has to offer at our open house event on Sunday, March 21 from 12-3pm at Jib Lanes. Please call or visit our website for more information.

88-08 164th St., Jamaica 718-558-6240 ms358.org info@magnetschools.nyc Please contact parentcorodinator@ ms358q.org for information about our open houses and one-to-one info sessions. For Magnet Application Survey please go to ms358q.org.

Our World Neighborhood Charter School 2

135-25 79th St., Howard Beach 718-392-3405 owncs.org/own2 admissions@owncs.org Please join OWN Charter Schools for a Virtual Open House event, dates are Howard Beach March 12 or 24, and Astoria March 18. Register at owncs.org.

Let’s get social! Parents Follow @NYMetro dvice, for even more a ws! family fun, and ne

Bottom line? Stay vigilant! While the vaccine is a big step in the right direction, we’re unfortunately still a long way from a new normal. Stacey Feintuch is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She lives in Bergen County, NJ, and is mom to two boys.

NYMetroParents.com NYMetroParents 41


pets

Choosing a Veterinarian

Now that you’ve adopted a family pet, it’s important to find a vet to help care for its health and well-being. By Jacqueline Neber

U

nlike your kids, you can’t talk to your pet about choosing a veterinarian—or how to feel about going to the vet. Once you’ve chosen a pet for your family, it’s up to you to decide which primary care vet is right for your pet and you. Just like choosing any other health care professional, it can be overwhelming: There are a lot of vets out there! Luckily, Carly Fox, D.V.M., a staff doctor at the NYC Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, has several tips that will help you choose a quality vet. Most importantly, when visiting prospective primary care vets, pay close attention to how you feel about everyone working in the office. The process is similar to choosing a pediatrician for your children. “Having a good rapport with the vet is important,” Dr. Fox says. “That’s more of a feeling you get when you interact with them—most people can tell quickly when you trust someone with your pet.”

QUESTIONS TO ASK It’s essential to make sure your prospective vet is practicing good quality medicine and has direct answers to your questions—but how can you determine that? Dr. Fox recommends asking the following questions. Is the office accredited through the American Animal Hospital Association? To be accredited, the office has to have certain care protocols in place, the right equipment for every situation, and more. Getting accredited is a rigorous process. It 42

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

tells you this vet’s office cares about the quality of its medical care, according to Dr. Fox. Did the vet and her colleagues complete an internship program after graduating from veterinary school? Unlike with medical school to gain experience with real people, vet schools do not make an internship program mandatory. Choosing to complete an internship after graduation is an elective decision that guarantees your vet has more clinical and emergency experience, could be more comfortable with emergency situations, and generally has more knowledge with which to treat your pet. Does the vet see emergencies, and is the vet reachable after hours? A primary care office might not have time to treat emergency situations, and so should have a good relationship with a nearby animal hospital you can trust. When asking about emergencies, get to know the people in the office who would be administering anesthesia or other emergency medicine, as well. Has the office undergone the Fear Free certification program for veterinary professionals? This elective certification process means the office will have protocols in place to help pets be less anxious, such as specific ways of handling frightened dogs, extra comfortable bedding in crates, and non-slip mats on the floor. These practices might seem inherent in any office, but they’re not, Dr. Fox says—and they can really help your pet.


Bite-size expert advice Telehealth • Home Remodeling International Schooling

What if my pet has a special medical condition? If your pet has a condition that will require ongoing care, such as diabetes or epilepsy, talk to your prospective vet about the condition and make sure he’s comfortable with it. Having extensive experience with rare conditions is not necessary, Dr. Fox says, but then it’s even more crucial that your vet can collaborate with specialty vets such as veterinary neurologists. Make sure your vet has a good relationship with specialty hospitals, too.

SIGNS A VET ISN’T THE RIGHT FIT “Your vet’s and the staff’s biggest concern should always be your pet’s well-being and comfort level,” Dr. Fox says. Most of the time, you will know if that’s not the case. The biggest signs to look for include poor communication or lack thereof (your vet can’t explain the progression of your dog’s disease or doesn’t return your phone calls, for example). “Owners, a lot of the time, know their pet and know when something is wrong, even if they can’t put their finger on it,” Dr. Fox says. Your vet should listen to your concerns—if she doesn’t, that’s a major red flag, too. Most importantly, you should feel comfortable at the vet’s office. If you don’t for any reason, that’s a sign to pick a different vet. A

GUIDE

A 2021 Guide to Home Renovation in New York A 2021 Guide to

Home renovAtion in new York

A

GUiDe winter 2020-2021

Guide

Opear.cOm

Safer Care for a Healthier Family

A

You can’t exactly talk to your cat about the vet or read him a book about how helpful and kind vets are! And because you can’t, the best way to make an anxious pet feel comfortable is using positive association. Dr. Fox suggests you stop by your vet’s office on a random day just to say hi. Let your pet interact with staff, get a treat, and show him that the vet’s office isn’t just a place to go for shots or surgeries. The two best methods of positive association are usually praise and food, Dr. Fox says, so make sure your pet receives both and learns to associate the vet with everything he loves.

mommybites.com

GUIDE

REDUCING YOUR PET’S ANXIETY

Enjoy the easy-to-read digital guides on

Telehealth for Infants, Toddlers, Teens, and Parents GUiDe winter 2021

A

GUiDe

A Guide to Choosing an international School

A Guide to Choosing an International School

SponSor eD by

A

GUiDe

Jacqueline Neber is a social journalism MA candidate at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. When she’s not reporting, you can find her petting someone else’s dog.

NYMetroParents 43


education

Brain Breaks

Quick and easy ideas for recess during virtual learning By Stacey Feintuch

S

tudents and parents can attest to the difficulties that come with virtual learning. Days are spent in front of the screen. Microphone issues and computer crashes are the norm. You feel frazzled while your child is frustrated and unhappy. That’s where brain breaks come in. Taking a timeout during remote learning can and will help your little learner—and you—stay creative, alert, and focused. Schedule brain breaks throughout the day or bust one out spontaneously if it looks like your child needs a breather. The ideas below will help you up your brain break game during virtual learning. Don’t worry; space won’t be an issue. You can do these brain breaks whether you’re in a house in the suburbs or cramped city digs.

TRANSFORM INTO A LETTER OF THE ALPHABET Call out letters and let your child make them with his body. You’ll both laugh as you see how he contorts his body to make the letter. No way is incorrect of course.

GET GROOVING Crank up some tunes and host a dance party. It’s a great way to get out the wiggles. Make it extra silly by stopping the music for a round of freeze dance.

SET UP A SCAVENGER HUNT

POP THE BUBBLES HOLD AN EXERCISE CLASS Release your inner Richard Simmons by holding a gym class. Go for simple, old-school exercises. That means having kids do jumping jacks, toe touches, push-ups and sit-ups. Or choose one of the many online exercise videos for kids.

STRIKE A POSE Namaste. Yoga can help reduce stress in kids and adults alike. Search online for free printable yoga cards. Or find an app to help teach you and your little yogi some new poses.

44

ACT LIKE AN ANIMAL Kids will giggle as they pretend that they’re an animal. Start loud by having them jump like a frog, gallop like a horse, or slither like a snake. Finish with quieter motions to get them back into school mode with actions like kiss like a fish.

MARCH IN A BAND Ask your child to march in place. Call out different musical instruments. Your little musician can play them, even with sound effects. (Minimize the noise level if you’d like by explaining that you’re a quiet marching band.)

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com

Take advantage of the bubble wrap from all your deliveries. Kids can crawl, roll, or run on this fun packaging material.

PLAY SIMON SAYS Make this game as simple or difficult as you want. You can slowly do the game’s movements or quickly switch your motions. Add in some silliness by making a funny face or sticking out your tongue.

Kids can search for household items based on a theme. Ask them to grab something that starts with the letter “B.” Then round up an object that’s “red.” It’s an educational way to take a break.

STAND LIKE A STATUE Describe a challenging pose. Maybe it’s put your right hand on your head. Lift up your right leg. Put your left hand on your left hip. Your child must hold the pose until you’ve clapped three times. You can even snap a picture to document the silly stance.

Stacey Feintuch is a freelance writer for print and online publications. She lives in Bergen County, NJ, and is mom to two boys


index ACROBATICS / GYMANSTICS

HEALTH

All Star Studio............................... 25

Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services..................... 3

CAMPS All Star Studio............................... 25 Atlantic Acting School..................... 8

Maimonides Medical Center............ 2

Brooklyn Music School.................. 25

MUSIC

Countryside Montessori School...... 15

Brooklyn Music School.................. 25

Garden School Summer Camp....... 21 Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp..................................... 17 Ivy Day School............................... 21

PERFORMING ARTS / ACTING Atlantic Acting School..................... 8

Magic Day Camp........................... 48 Mill Basin Day Camp....................... 5

RELIGIOUS

Oasis Children Services.................. 48

Catholic Schools of Brooklyn and Queens................ 33

Oasis Children Services.................... 2 Park Slope Day Camp.................... 48 Reece School................................. 15 Stargazer Day Camp...................... 13

RESEARCH

USTA BJK National Tennis Center................................ 17

Lab for the Developing Mind at New York University.................. 14

CHILD CARE / DAY CARE

SPECIAL NEEDS

Ivy Day School............................... 21

Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services..................... 3

CLASSES Atlantic Acting School..................... 8

DANCE

Janine Stiene Suffolk Center for Speech..................................... 29 Los Ninos Services......................... 19

All Star Studio............................... 25

SPORTS DEVELOPMENTAL Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services..................... 3 Janine Stiene Suffolk Center for Speech..................................... 29

Garden School Summer Camp....... 21 Hillcrest Jewish Center Day Camp..................................... 17 Magic Day Camp........................... 48

Lab for the Developing Mind at New York University.................. 14

Mill Basin Day Camp....................... 5

EDUCATION

Oasis Children Services.................... 2

Catholic Schools of Brooklyn and Queens.................... 33

Park Slope Day Camp.................... 48

Countryside Montessori School...... 15 Ivy Day School............................... 21 NYC Dept of ED Middle School 358........................ 13 Our World Neighborhood School..... 7 Reece School................................. 15

Oasis Children Services.................. 48

USTA BJK National Tennis Center................................ 17

TUTORS Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services..................... 3

NYMetroParents.com features more than 20,000 businesses serving the NY metropolitan area!

JOIN THE BAR/BAT MITZVAH CONVERSATION _

(

{

^

CONNECT

GET ADVICE & RECOMMENDATIONS

SHARE

MEET & ASK QUESTIONS

LOCAL GROUPS In each of our Facebook groups, you can: • Ask questions and get advice and feedback within minutes! • Connect with local moms/ dads in your area. • Get recommendations of vendors and ideas.

TYPE INTO FACEBOOK SEARCH: “NewYorkCityBarBatMitzvah” Find it. Book it. Celebrate!

Mıtzvah Market mitzvahmarket.com

NYMetroParents 45


W

ur o y s ’ hat

P O P obsession

listening to the “I’m addicted to ain Patterns livestreams of “R hillhop)” on (Lofi/Jazz Hop/C k. Also, the film YouTube as I wor g Woman—and Promising Youn rviews about it.” all follow up inte ooklyn @priscillagrim, Br —Priscilla Grim,

“I recently started watching ABC’s Big Sky and the show gets better with every episode! Is it Tuesday night yet?”

—Shara Levine, Long Island

“My 12-year-old son and I just fin ished reading The Hu nger Games pre quel, The Ballad of Songb irds and Snakes, and we read it old-s chool, aka prin t version, because we’re all having enou gh screen time with remote learning. Person ally, the best streaming has been bingin g Cobra Kai on Netflix be cause it’s incred ibly nostalgic—laun ching off of one of my favorite childho od films.” — Lance Somerfeld , @NYCDadsGroup , Manhattan

idgerton on Netflix. “I think it’s all about Br ie is Finding O’Hana.” And a great family mov an

g Empire!” “I love Blin land Is idus, Long —Sheri Lap

w series from “I absolutely love the ne lled Hooking the New York Times ca usic, Five Readers on Classical M rook Gesser, Brooklyn Minutes at a Time.” —B

“I have decided to rekindle my love for reading this year. My favorites have been If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha and Know My Name by Chanel Miller.” —Tricia Savino, @nihaonewyork, Manhattan

att ntownchicmoms, Manh —Mary Wassner, @dow

“WandaVision on Disney+! Marvel is at the top of its game with this comedy/mystery series, and it’s fun for parents to share with their superhero-fanatic kids. Also, Cobra Kai is a great show, and a wonderful way for parents to enjoy some nostalgia and share a bit of their youth with their children.” —David Friedman, Brooklyn 46

February/March 2021 | nymetroparents.com


mommybites.com

Find a Nanny, Place a Nanny New York’s most reliable Nanny Boards — restricted to parents’ posts mommybites.com/nannies Mommybites is a community that connects expectant, new, and young moms to resources, education, expert parenting tips, fun family activities, job opportunities, childcare, and each other.

facebook.com/mommybites

pinterest.com/mommybites

twitter.com/mommybitesny

instagram.com/mommybitesparenting


Profile for NYMetroParents

Brooklyn Parent - February/March 2021