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A Special Section of The Rivertowns Enterprise

August 19, 2011

Back to School

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ScHOOl cAleNDArS DObbS Ferry 2011-2012 ScHOOl cAleNDAr*

HAStiNgS 2011-2012 ScHOOl cAleNDAr*

ArDSley 2011-2012 ScHOOl cAleNDAr*

irviNgtON 2011-2012 ScHOOl cAleNDAr*





6 Schools Open 29-30 Rosh Hashanah Schools Closed

6 First Day for Students 29-30 Rosh Hashanah Schools Closed

6 First Day for Students 29-30 Rosh Hashanah Schools Closed

6 Schools Open 29-30 Rosh Hashanah Schools Closed





Columbus Day Schools Closed

Columbus Day Schools Closed

October 10





Veteran’s Day Schools Closed 24-25 Thanksgiving Recess Schools Closed




26-30 Winter Recess Schools Closed

26-30 Holiday Recess Schools Closed




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Schools Re-open Martin Luther King, Jr. Schools Closed

February 20-24 Mid-Winter Recess Schools Closed

April 6-13 Spring Recess Schools Closed

May 28

Memorial Day Schools Closed

June 21

Last Day of School for all students

Veteran’s Day Schools Closed 24-25 Thanksgiving Recess Schools Closed


Holiday Recess Schools Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Schools Closed

February 20-24 Winter Recess Schools Closed

April 6-11 Spring Recess Schools Closed


Memorial Day Schools Closed

Veteran’s Day Schools Closed 25-26 Thanksgiving Break Schools Closed

December 26-30 Holiday Break Schools Closed

January Holiday Break Schools Closed Martin Luther King, Jr. Schools Closed

October 10

20 President’s Day 20-24 Winter Break Schools Closed

April 6-13 Spring Break Schools Closed



Veteran’s Day Schools Closed 24-25 Thanksgiving Recess Schools Closed

December 26-30 Winter Recess Schools Closed

January 2 16

20-24 Mid-Winter Recess Schools Closed

April 6-13 Spring Recess Schools Closed


Last Day of School for all students




*Houlihan Lawrence and the Rivertowns Enterprise are not responsible for any errors to these calendars.


Holiday Recess Schools Closed Martin Luther King Day Schools Closed


Memorial Day Schools Closed

Last Day of School for all students

Columbus Day Schools Closed




June 22




Columbus Day Schools Closed


Memorial Day Schools Closed

Last Day of School for Students

Back to School

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

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Parent’s Guide to Back to School 4a 6a 8a 10a 11a

A special section of

The Rivertowns Enterprise 95 Main Street Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 (914) 478-2787


Moving Up: The mission for a smooth transition navigating the student loan maze Decision-making 101: how major is a major on your college application? Mind math: helping kids learn math, improve concentration


Tips to manage a successful transition to preschool

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Technology gives kids competitive edge

BTS Notes

Teaching financial literacy BTS Fashion: Kids have options from head to toe Studying abroad: what to plan, pack End Paper: Back to school after all these years



ADVERTISING DESIGN Kathy Patti ADVERTISING SALES Marilyn Petrosa, Thomas O’Halloran, Barbara Yeaker and Francesca Lynch © 2011 W .H. White Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without the Publisher’s written permission.

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school notes

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health and wellness extra-Curricular


School News

ART DIRECTOR Ann Marie Rezen


detecting and correcting reading lags


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PUBLISHER Deborah G. White

Parents and homework: To help or not to help?

Arts & Enrichment


Ardsley focusing on four major initiatives this year


Dobbs Ferry faces new educational challenge

Create, preserve school memories


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Irvington: progress to continue under new leadership


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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Parents and homework:

To help or not to help?



hould parents give their kids help with homework? The answer: homework help can have both a positive and negative impact on kids and their education. If it sounds like a conundrum, it is. Homework help has long been a thorny issue for parents and educators. So what’s a parent to do? To find the answers, we talked to two educators and a speech and language therapist, with some enlightening results. On the elementary school level, Jennifer Allen, principal of the Greenville Elementary School in Edgemont, expressed her views on homework help. She said children need to make a “good faith” effort to complete their work on their own, then reach out to their parents to check what the assignment is, to check answers or to clarify. “There may be language on a question to help them with the assignment,” she said. “Well-intentioned parents can contribute more for their child and they do more than they should,” Allen said. “Teachers are pretty skilled in determining when there’s been too much assistance from parents.” Allen explained that ultimately kids lose out because they don’t get the benefits from learning the assignment. She suggested that parents put a note on the assignment and ex-

plain that their child really had trouble with the assignment and ask the teacher to help him. “Children can get dependent on help, which prevents them from doing the work on their own if too much work is done by someone else,” Allen said. “The goal of the parents should be mindful to have children who are independent learners.” Allen, who was previously the assistant principal in Edgemont’s middle school, knows from experience that the older children get, the more important it is to do the work on their own and learn to ask the teacher for help. She said that when students move into the middle school and high school, they will be expected to do the work on their own.

Middle school: hands-off help Bill Barrett, the middle school division head and upper school dean at Rippowam Cisqua School in Chappaqua, agreed with

Allen, stressing the importance that homework be done by the child as much as possible. “When we give a child homework, it’s meaningful, not new learning,” Barrett said. At the middle school level, which at Rippowam starts in fifth grade, parents need to know what the child is expected to do and try to engage the child in discussing their assignments. Parents should understand what the optimal learning environment is for their child and provide it; for example a quiet space or perhaps listening to quiet music while doing their work. But “every child is different.” Barrett explained that work that is done independently at home creates another opportunity “for us to assess how they’re doing at that time … if the student receives too much help at home, it can hamper the teacher’s ability to judge where the student is at that

Children can get dependent on help, which prevents them from doing the work on their own if too much work is done by someone else.” — Jennifer A llen, principAl of the Greenville elementAry School

Continued on the next page

PrePared Parents are key to back-to-school success


ith summer coming to a close, perhaps your child is resisting trading in his or her fun, leisurely schedule for the school routine. “End of summer is bittersweet for some children, while others are much more fearful about going back to the classroom,” said Thamara Thirri of the Scarsdale Huntington Learning Center. “No matter what your child’s demeanor, it is beneficial for parents to prepare children for the change.” Huntington offers these six tips to get your child ready to head back to school:


Take your child back-to-school shopping. Spending a day together buying school supplies and maybe a new outfit. Shopping is a fun way to get into the school mode and a good opportunity to let your child tell you the things he or she thinks will help make him or her successful. It’s also a


Plan on getting extra help. For students who struggled in the previous school year, the idea of going back to school may be especially stressful. Summer is a great time to build skills and improve weaker areas, but if your summer was focused on other things, now is a great time to investigate supplemental education services for your child. Talk to his or her teacher in advance about problem areas and how the two of you can work together to get your child off on the right foot. good chance for parents to have one-on-one conversations with their children about any goals they have for the year.


I ntroduce your child ahead of time to another classmate or two. A few weeks before the first day of school, reconnect with friends from last year who will be in your child’s new class. If your child is new to the school, look around your neighborhood to find other children of the same age.


Set an optimistic tone. As a parent, you have a lot of influence on your child’s attitude toward school. Show him or her through your actions that learning is fun and a part of everyday life. Teach your child to value effort and hard work.


B e prepared. Many schools have an orientation a month or so before school starts, which gives parents the information they need about school supplies,

dress code, required forms, transportation and more. Being organized and on top of all school requirements will minimize firstweek stresses for both you and your child.


Meet the teacher. Your school may host a meet your teacher day, which is a great opportunity for your child to get to know his or her new teacher before the first day. Get familiar with the school layout and other school resources (like guidance counselor and speech therapist) that will help your child. The beginning of a new school year is full of excitement and promise, and parents can set the tone at home so that their children see it that way, too. “Let your child know that he or she has a strong support system in you and his or her teacher,” Thirri said. “And remember that when it comes to going back to school, a little preparation and a good attitude can go a long way.”n

Back to School

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise Continued from the previous page

particular time.” However good teachers know where the kids are, he said, and they do assess them daily. And if kids ask parents for help, what should be the appropriate response? Barrett said if a child is writing an essay or report and asks a parent to read it to see if they’re on the right track, it is appropriate. “If the parent is correcting their work, I think the work should be the student’s,” he said. “I know there are always shades of gray,” he added. “The line between where a child’s work ended and where the parents began, then it becomes murky.” Some parents have a hard time not helping, however well-intentioned, when they think a child is asked to do too much and want to support them. “If a parent is giving help every night,” Barrett said, “we’d love to hear from that parent.” He advises that if kids are having trouble on a particular assignment parents should encourage their child to self advocate and talk to their teacher so they can “hone in on what’s needed.” Barrett approves of parents and tutors coaching at home for teaching time management and other skills, which can be helpful, but not doing the actual work. He said it is neither helpful nor appropriate: “If parents help too much, the child will lose confidence.”

Special help Dorothy Leone, a speech and language therapist and owner of Little Wonders Therapeutics in Dobbs Ferry, said the parent “is always a part of the process” in her work with children. “Sometimes there is a disconnect between schools and home,” Leone said. Working as consultants, her company can observe a child either for parents or the

school district. Leone, who is a full-time professor in speech communications at Iona College, said there are many “pieces of parent involvement” in the therapy and learning process. Sometimes she has a parent sit in on an appointment and sometimes it’s hard for parents not to answer questions for the child, but it is important for the child to share information with her. She said she encourages parents to be involved “appropriately” and suggests cooking or baking with their child at home. Some parents need help creating ways to communicate with them at home, she explained, and others need to know what the optimal learning environment should be for their child. For Leone, the biggest benefit for parental help is to have the parent “on board with you” in providing opportunities for the child. “Appropriate parent involvement is the key to success … parental help at home cuts down on the amount of time they need help in school,” Leone said. As an example, she said that if a child is working on narratives (telling stories), a parent should help them at home. “It shouldn’t end in the classroom or in a therapy session,” she explained. “Give them language.” Parents can help by asking a related question when asking “What did you do in school today?” or the work they may be doing with Leone, to encourage more than one-word answers. One of the challenges for kids that have been getting her help for years is to help them become more independent learners. “One goal builds on top of another goal — a child should be able to do more work on their own over time,” Leone said. “Once a child can master a goal, take away [that] help and move to the next one.” n

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 5a

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Detecting and correcting reading lags



ut simply, it’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of a student’s ability to read and comprehend what he or she reads. The two skills go hand in hand as the most important building blocks on the road to success in school. What happens, then, if a student — no matter the age — is found to have a problem that keeps him or her behind in class? Tutoring may sometimes be the answer. Lags in reading skills typically are suspected in the early elementary grades, particularly in first grade, when many, if not most, Westchester County school district teachers and administrators, expect their youngest students to be able to read independently by the end of the year. Students who don’t meet those standards may be tested for any number of problems. Some problems are simple; others, not so much. “You can see signs that there might be a lag as early as kindergarten, when the kids are introduced to sounds and they can’t make the connection between sounds and letter awareness,” said Linda Salomon, owner of Elite Tutors in Yorktown Heights, a firm that assigns tutors throughout Westchester County. Oftentimes a child’s teacher picks up the problem before a parent does, but not always. “A parent absolutely should call the school for intervention,” Salomon said. “If the school agrees with the parents in seeing the issues parents are describing, the district would go forth with testing. At Elite Tutors we always do an assessment, and there are a number of programs we use in preventing academic failure, including ones used at Windward School and also in the White Plains public schools.” Patricia Wagner of Katonah Tutoring Club

agrees that parents often know best. But she takes it one step further. “The moms always know there’s a problem,” Wagner said. “They may not have the right label for it, but they see it. The only time it’s a little hard is if it’s the first child. Parents don’t have the barometer they do when there’s more than one child in the family.” Public schools in Westchester would like children’s reading to be about six months ahead of grade level, according to Wagner, who has a doctorate in education and is also a child psychologist. For Wagner and others, the statistics are somewhat sobering. She cites “Preventing Early Reading Failure,” by Dr. Joseph Torgesen, director of the Florida Center for Reading Research, who writes that “children who are poor readers at the end of first grade almost never acquire average-level reading skills by the end of elementary school.” “Reading is a foundation you build early,” Wagner said. “I can’t impress upon parents how important that is. Everything else becomes building a house on a foundation of quicksand. By the time they’re in third and fourth grades, you have to keep their heads above water. That’s particularly difficult as they get into middle school.” But Wagner

stresses that it’s never too late to get help. By waiting, “it just becomes a bigger problem. People wait too long to get help. It’s the old scenario of the stomachache becoming the appendicitis.” Karla Hopf, operations manager at Huntington Learning Center, with sites in Scarsdale and Yorktown, agreed, saying a core philosophy of her firm is that “it’s never too late to learn reading skills, the fundamental foundation to lifelong learning.” With undergraduate and graduate degrees in secondary education, Hopf emphasized that it’s not just young children who can have problems. Continued on the next page

Help to turn your child into a better reader

Reading is the most important skill that children need to master to be successful in school and life. However, kids increasingly are struggling with this most basic of academic abilities. The United States currently has one of the lowest literacy rates in the developed world. According to the National Report Card, the country is experiencing a literacy crisis, with 68 percent of fourth-graders and 69 percent of eighth-graders testing below grade level in reading. When children have difficulty reading, they quickly can fall behind their peers. Luckily, there are ways to improve almost any child’s reading proficiency. “Telling children to try harder is not the key to developing better readers. Rather, students need to be taught the building blocks of words: phonograms and spelling rules,” said Denise Eide, a teacher and author of the new book, “Uncovering the Logic of English.” There are many things parents can do to help: • Explain writing is code. Many students guess wildly while reading because they have never realized words are made of individual sounds blended together. Show them how letters and groups of letters represent sounds. Then practice blending the sounds to form words. • Teach all the sounds. Many letters say more than one sound. For example, the letter “S” sounds different in the word “sad” than the word “is.” Many students misread simple words, because they don’t know all the sounds. • Make it fun. Learning the basics doesn’t need to

be boring. Engage young children through play. Practice the phonograms with games, large motor activities and art projects. • Cover pictures. Many young students struggle with the left to right eye movement of reading. Allow students to look at the pictures then cover them with a blank sheet of paper while reading. Covering pictures makes it easier to focus on text. • Teach all nine ‘Silent E’ rules. Many students know only one reason for a silent final “e” — the vowel says its name because of the “E.” This explains words like “game” and “ripe,” but leaves many kids struggling to read “have” and “give.” Learning the nine reasons, including that English words do not end in “v,” prevents students from needing to memorize thousands of exceptions. • Find answers. Too often we answer questions about reading with “that is an exception.” This frustrates many bright students and discourages them from reading. Rather than dismissing words as exceptions, look for answers and explanations. English is more logical than most Americans think. Answers to questions about English reading and spelling can be found in “Uncovering the Logic of English” and by visiting www.logicofenglish.com. “Many students complain English spelling appears inconsistent, especially highly logical children who may grow up to be scientists or mathematicians,” Eide said. “By teaching students how English works you will improve their reading abilities and encourage them to read.” n — StAtepoint

Back to School

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise Continued from the previous page

“Students in the upper grades compensate for lack of basic reading skills by memorizing and cramming,” she said. “The first step for parents is to determine why their child, no matter the age, has these poor reading skills. The first thing is to listen to their child of any age read something — books, articles, Internet mail, even an article from a teen magazine. Then parents should ask the child to tell a bit about what he or she has read, so the parents can see if there are comprehension issues.” Paying attention to a child’s “desire for reading and determining how the child deals with frustration when he or she is reading” are also important, Hopf continued. “Also, has there been a fluctuation in grades, whether it be in academic courses or standardized test scores? Have the scores dropped down or gone up?” In performing its initial student assessment, Katonah Tutoring Club “goes back to the beginning reading program,” Wagner said. “We will zip through what a student knows, and find out if there’s something in there that she’s not connecting.” Elite Tutors performs individual assessments as well, and provides one-on-one tutoring in children’s homes. “Scheduling is flexible,” Salomon said. “Lots of times with the children who are just beginning to read, in first and second grades where reading skills get noticed, we schedule to meet the needs of that age group. If it’s in the summer, tutors go to homes before camp, 7:30 or 7:45 a.m. During the school year, it’s right after a student gets home from school.” “One thing I can tell you is that at Huntington we take the guesswork out of the

testing,” said Hopf. “We provide a fulllength academic evaluation, which provides for parents a complete road map of all the skills a child would possess or need. The parent then knows if the child is meeting expectations in all the skill areas most important for academic success.” Abilities at the time of testing vary wildly. “We have seventh-graders who can’t read at all past the third-grade level, and others who can read beautifully but don’t understand a thing they’re reading,” Hopf said. Parents and teachers aren’t the only ones who realize there’s a problem — the children can as well. “I can just say that kids know they are struggling,” Salomon said. “Their faces light up when they realize they’ve read a whole sentence for the first time. It’s exciting when they know they’ve just read something and understood it, rather than just struggling to read the words properly. Finally, it all makes sense; they understand it.” Salomon used the analogy of learning to ride a bike, when “you fall off a million times” before getting the knack of it. “We feel good as tutors because of the strategies we use in teaching reading skills,” she said. “Once that kick-in clicks, the sounds and letters, they read everything. They’re like sponges, they want to learn everything.” Positive experiences in something as simple as reading can breed positive, lifelong relationships with school. “Parents just have peace of mind to know that a child is functioning at grade level and has the tools to function appropriately at their age and beyond,” Salomon said. n

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Back to School

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Moving up




ids don’t always welcome change, especially when transitioning from one school to another. It can be downright scary for some younger students moving into middle school. Parents worry too how their children will fare in a new environment with older students and more demanding work. Kids worry, “Will I be able to find my locker?” “Will I be on time for class?” “Will the kids like me?” Even kids who roll well might have pause for concern. That first day, even the first few weeks in middle school or high school, can be an anxious time for both parent and child. The schools in our area help allay some of that anxiety before school starts and prepare

students as they make the leap between schools. Schools are ready to help smooth away the bumps that may pop up along the way and help prepare students for what’s ahead. Some schools have formal programs built into their curriculums. Here’s a sampling of how area schools help pave the way to an easier transition and advice from two therapists.

Normal anxiety or a red flag? Dale Karp, a child and family therapist with offices in Scarsdale and New York City who has been involved in school programs that help kids transition, works with preschool age through high school children, but mostly 10- to 12-year-olds and adolescents. She said she doesn’t see students specifically about transition, but sometimes the issue comes up. “There can be a family dynamic that’s go-

ing on when it looks like there’s a problem,” Karp explained. “There can be a certain level of anxiety if the family is going through a divorce, there’s sibling rivalry — it could be a million things — all these things can heighten anxiety. If a kid doesn’t do things in an easy way, that’s a red flag. “Very anxious children may feel anxious when changing from a small comfortable environment to a larger one. For more confident ones it’s not such a big deal.” Karp added that when schools make a lot of effort to bring the children in, let them visit, perhaps have a buddy system of peers who can take them around, it adds to their comfort level. “When schools don’t do this until September they worry all summer that they won’t find their way around,” Karp said.

“It’s much more effective if they do this in June. Some schools let the kids spend the whole day and let them feel like they’re already there … it’s very effective.” She noted that older kids have a greater ability to cope with change.

Clear expectations At Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford, Bill Barrett is the middle school division head and the upper school dean. The lower campus is comprised of pre-k through fourth grades, while middle school is fifthninth grades. (Rippowam Cisqua has no high school.) To make transition more comfortable for students moving from the lower school into the middle or upper school, RipContinued on the next page

Back to School

Continued from the previous page

Most kids are anxious when going to a new school. they going from a comfortable environment, “to one [that’s] kind of a mysterious experience.” – Steve m ArciSz,

fox l Ane GuidAnce counSelor

Parent to parent It’s helpful for parents to talk to other parents whose kids are also going through transition to compare notes and with parents of older kids who can share their experiences. Barrett stressed that keeping the lines of communication open is very important, especially when a student is not transitioning well. He noted that that’s where the partnership between parents and the school becomes critical. “If we’re all working together it helps the child make a better transition,” he said. Children need to know that the ups and downs they’re feeling are normal. When they feel comfortable with themselves, they’re willing to take more risks and try new things. “I think children at this age want to feel known, have success, feel confident with who they are,” Barrett said. “They want to know what is expected of them. Parents and school need to help comContinued on page 12A


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powam has several supports and programs in place built into the curriculum. Middle school faculty regularly visits the lower school and the lower school goes up to the middle school on a regular basis. “We set up many opportunities for lower school students to get to know what it’s like at the middle school,” Barrett said. Students get to meet the teachers and attend middle school plays. Cast members visit the lower school and students participate in a dress rehearsal of the middle school play. Barrett said that this past year for the first time they brought fourth-graders up to the middle school for field day, an event the students will be involved in when they get to the middle school campus.

The ninth-graders, the school’s seniors, visit the lower school on a regular basis, while and the entire lower school visits the middle school. The school has a formal buddy program for fourth-graders that takes place in the spring. Barrett said the school has lots of conversations with parents about what life is like at the middle school. “For us it’s really about setting expectations, that kind of clarity helps a lot in transition,” he said. Barrett and the school psychologist talk to parents about what they expect from the kids and what parents should expect. “I tell parents that students will struggle with going from concrete thinking to more abstract thinking,” Barrett said.

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 9a


The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

parent guide


Navigating the student loan maze College costs aren’t limited to just tuition. You need to consider room and board, books, meals, transportation and more. After you’ve applied for scholarships, grants and federal loans, it’s not uncommon to need additional funding for a complete college education. This is where a private student loan can help. If you’re exploring what private loan is right for you, here are some important questions to ask so you can make the right decision for today and your financial future. You must decide if you want a fixed-rate loan or a variable-rate loan. A fixed-rate loan will typically have a higher interest rate, but the rate will not fluctuate over the life of the loan, so you’re protected from large interest rate swings. For example, U.S. Bank offers two types of student loans. The fixed-rate student loan option offers an interest rate of 7.99 percent (7.80-8.46 percent APR) for approved applicants. This provides security because the interest rate will never change. The variable loan rate option has no fees and can range anywhere from a 3.45 percent to a 10.95 percent interest rate (3.39-10.22 percent APR). This rate and APR may increase after consummation and can change over the life of the loan. All applications are subject to normal credit approval. It’s important to weigh your options to determine what is right for you. Because eligibility, interest rates and reserve fees for private loans are based on your credit, a co-signer may help you get the loan you need at the rates you want. This is

particularly true for younger students who may not have an established credit history. A co-signer may be a parent, guardian or close relative who has an established credit history and stable income. It’s important for any co-signer to understand that if the student borrower cannot pay the loan for any reason, the co-signer is then responsible for any remaining loan obligations. It can be difficult to predict the future, but one way to help determine what amount you should borrow is to estimate your future earnings. It’s wise to be conservative in your estimates. For help determining average earnings for specific careers, visit the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics website. A good general rule to follow is your monthly student loan payment should not be more than 8 percent of your monthly salary. Remember that if you borrow too much and have late or missed payments, this will be reflected on your credit history (and any co-signer’s credit history). Every loan has different terms and it’s important to understand all the details before you sign the paperwork. Any time you take out a college loan, only take out as much money as you need for education-related expenses. Start by learning your options when you apply at www.usbank.com/student-loans; an application takes five minutes or less. Once you find the right loan for you, you’ll be able to get the degree you want and set yourself up for financial success in the future. n — ArA content

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Decision-making 101

How major is a major on your college application? By JACKIE LUPO You’re sailing through your college application when the next question stops you in your tracks: the one that asks you for your intended major. If you’re like the majority of college-bound students, you’re not sure what you intend to major in. But when you’re confronted with a long list of potential majors, checking off that forlorn-looking “undecided” at the end of the list looks so, well, forlorn. So indecisive. Or does it? How does checking off “undecided” affect the way colleges look at applicants? And how does indicating a probable major affect your chances for admission? We talked to local college consultants who are experts on application strategy to help you decide what to do about the “undecided” question.

Liberal arts: don’t know? No problem “College admissions people don’t necessarily expect 17-year-old young people to know what they want to major in,” said Carol Gill, founder of Carol Gill Associates, a college consultancy based in Dobbs Ferry. “If a student is applying to a college of arts and sciences, then going undeclared is perfectly OK.”

All our experts agree that for a liberal arts college or liberal arts division of a major university, undecided is a perfectly valid declaration. “If you truly don’t know what you want to study, colleges are OK with that,” said Betsy Woolf, owner of Woolf College Counseling of Mamaroneck. Statistically speaking, she said, colleges know that students, on average, change their majors just under three times. In the liberal arts environment, where students are usually required to take classes across a broad spectrum of humanities, social sciences and math/science subjects, it’s not surprising that students often find themselves graduating with a major they never even considered when they were applying to college. After all, that’s what a liberal arts education is supposed to be about: exposing students to a range of subjects; opening their eyes, and their minds, to new possibilities. The student who loads up on science courses during freshman year because he always assumed he’d be a biology major may take an elective in philosophy and end up 10 years later as a bioethicist. A high school poet may end up digging for dinosaur bones. But what if you do know what you want to major in? Can declaring that interest on

your application help? It can — especially if you can back it up by your experiences so far. According to Leslie Berkovitz, a partner at the Scarsdale-based college advisory Collegistics, “If you have the background to support a particular major, it would be to your advantage to mention activities and work you’ve done to support your application. On the Common App, you’re required to expand on a work or extracurricular experience that is significant to you. If one of these supports a particular major, shows that you have a passion, this makes your application unique. It says, ‘I really know what I’m saying when I’m committing to a major.’” The experts agree that indicating a major works best if you have something to say about why you’re interested in the subject.

Have you taken (and excelled in) related courses, done outside reading, had an internship or job related to your interest? “If you have a passion, it makes sense, but if you indicate interest without the backup, admissions officers don’t know whether, after three months you won’t be interested in something else,” said Berkovitz. When admissions officers look at applications, they’re not only looking for students who satisfy some performance standard as measured by grades and test scores — they’re also in the process of assembling a freshman class. In essence, they are creating a community of, ideally, individuals with diverse talents and enthusiasms. That’s where it can help to promote that special something about yourself that makes you interesting. Are you premed? Fine. A preContinued on page 13A

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takes a while to get used to the high school,” Pepper said. “Most students will have more unscheduled time during the week than they’re used to… they have more freedom.”

Continued from page 9

municate that … the school needs to provide clear expectations on a daily basis.”

Formal programs at SHS Sue Peppers, the assistant principal for student life at Scarsdale High School, described the two formal programs the school offers that students can opt into which help them “adjust to the challenges of freshman year.” In the spring of eighth grade, students can opt into Civ Ed, which requires extra scheduling because it’s given twice a week for an entire year. Ninth-graders in Civ Ed are assigned to a team made up of an English and social studies teacher and their dean for a weekly community meeting; once a week they meet as a small group with their peer leader, an upperclassman who has been trained as an advisory counselor by an outreach worker. Students who opt for Freshman Seminar meet with an adviser and their dean once a week for a semester, which is built into their schedules. Peppers said that all students have a mandatory two-day orientation program before classes start in the fall. In eighth grade, students come up to the high school in June and meet with their deans, plus there are eighth-grade and parent orientations. And what are the most daunting issues for kids transitioning into the high school? Peppers said the high school is a bigger space than the houses at middle school, which divides the kids into smaller groups and for the first time they will all be together. “It

The challenges of transition Dorrie Bernstein, an educational psychologist in private practice in Hastings and a former school psychologist in a Westchester school district, offered her insights on transition. She explained that in many districts, students go from a classroom with a single teacher they are familiar with in elementary school to a departmentalized day in middle school with different teachers for each subject. Students have to get used to different teacher personalities and styles of learning than what they were used to in elementary school. Students move from the safety of elementary school, “a school they’ve grown up in where they are the oldest kids and move to a new building where they are the youngest.” The curriculum is more advanced and tests are more frequent. “Students may have concerns about being ready for the academic challenges,” Bernstein said. Hastings Middle School begins in fifth grade, but classes are not departmentalized until sixth grade. But, Bernstein said, it gives students a chance to get used to the building “one challenge at a time.” For districts that allow students to accelerate in eighth grade in math and/or science, “They’ve had some experience with high school level classes, so high school can feel less scary for them,” she said. Bernstein said when students go from middle school to high school, “They like the block scheduling, they feel grown up, but they may have the same issues if they

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

are going to a new school.” They are very aware that their grades count — the college process has started and it can be “scary.”

3 houses merge into one Steve Marcisz, the guidance chairman and middle/high school guidance coordinator at Fox Lane in Bedford, referred to the transition program as “pretty elaborate.” The Fox Lane campus has a middle school for sixth through eighth grades, which draw kids from five elementary schools in the district, and has a house system like Scarsdale’s. Each house gives kids a small school experience with the same teachers who meet weekly to discuss the kids. Teachers may change from year to year, but their guidance counselor remains the same for their three years in the middle school. Like Rippowam Cisqua, middle school teachers visit the elementary schools and talk to teachers about the kids, learn their strengths, personalities and any issues. Counselors also visit teachers to get the scoop on the kids to find out what red flags there may be and what support they may need in the middle school. In the spring, kids and their parents are invited to an open house to learn about the school, its facilities and the guidance counselors to learn about what support is available to them. Kids are bused over for a walking tour of the middle school, so they know “what they’re walking into” and learn about the school’s student government. Marcisz said that most kids are anxious when going to a new school. Some kids have more anxiety than others when meeting new kids. “It could be that guidance counselors or psychologists are already alert to that,” he said. “[They] might assign a guidance coun-

selor or psychologist to them if they’re really anxious.” Transitioning from middle school to the high school, “which they can see up on the hill,” the students are going from a comfortable environment, “to one [that’s] kind of a mysterious experience.” The school tries to make the transition as smooth as possible. Guidance counselors meet with eighthgraders in their second semester to discuss what courses they will be taking, get an overview of high school transition and the sports available to them. Students are taken to the high school, where they meet social workers and psychologists and get more familiar with the campus, learn what electives they can take and meet with teachers. At a parents’ night in January, parents meet the administration and learn about all the courses. There’s also a Q&A session with a panel of ninth-grade students. “A lot of parents are very, very nervous,” said Marcisz. “They find it helpful to them.” This past year Peer Power, a recent grad’s idea, was introduced, where upperclassmen are assigned to incoming freshmen. “Sometimes it’s the first friend they meet … hopefully it’s someone they can depend on for support,” Marcisz said. Similar to Scarsdale, there is an orientation before school starts. They meet their teachers and other staff and enjoy a social event — “It could be a BBQ” — which serves as the culmination of Fox Lane’s eight-month transition program. Despite all the programs the school has in place, issues with small daily routines, like working their lockers and other uncertainties happen. Marcisz said, “Most students can adjust to that, but it does come up the first week of school.” n

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college major Continued from page 11A

med major who also plays the harp? That’s much more interesting (assuming you really do). By letting colleges visualize you on campus, “It can be really significant in letting them know who you are,” said Jane Hoffman, founder of College Advice 101 in Larchmont. “Colleges are looking for fit.” That being said, sometimes looking for fit may not be the way to make admissions officers salivate over your application. At schools such as Kenyon or Bard, applicants who were high school poets, literary magazine editors, and writers are a dime a dozen. It could be that such a school would even come up with some merit scholarship

If you truly don’t know what you want to study, colleges are ok with that.” Students, on average, change their majors just under three times. – BetSy Woolf, Woolf colleGe counSelinG

Back to School money for a science major. Hoffman noted that such a “contrarian approach” can help you get into a school that is looking for applicants to support the faculty of an undersubscribed department, such as, say, the art history department of a college that is known as a science school. But taking a contrarian approach is something to consider only if you feel that the college is a good fit for you in other ways. How do you know what majors colleges are looking for? “This question really depends on the major you’re interested in and the college you’re applying to,” Gill said. “For example, at many schools, there are premed quotas, so it may be a disadvantage to declare premed as opposed to biological sciences. This is research that we at Carol Gill Associates do for students and it can change from year to year. It varies: some colleges are eager to develop their engineering department, or, let’s say, eager to develop and grow a specific department, so then it would be an advantage to declare.”

Keeping your options open A declaration of a probable major on your application is not binding. But applicants to large universities usually don’t find the process as open-ended as do applicants to liberal arts schools. “If you’re applying to a small liberal arts college, there’s a lot of fluidity,” said Woolf. “But if you’re applying to a major university, in some cases you need to indicate your intent at the get-go if you’re applying to a particular school at the university. Some programs you can’t really transfer into later on.” For example, specific “schools” or majors at large universities, engineering schools and business schools often must be applied

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 13a

to directly. They have different criteria for applicants (for example, engineering schools generally expect higher math test scores and may be more forgiving of lower verbal scores than a liberal arts school) and different curricula. For example, at some business and engineering schools, the required business or engineering-related courses begin in freshman year, making it difficult, or impossible, to transfer into later on. Those who do transfer in later may not graduate in four years because they have to backtrack to fulfill prerequisites. “If you’re a student who is truly not 100 percent sure, investigate how easy it is to transfer between schools,” said Berkovitz. She noted that at some universities, transferring between schools is much easier than at others. A tip off that this is the case is whether all candidates for a bachelor’s degree, re-

gardless of school or major, are required to take a certain number of liberal arts courses. The more that this is the case, the easier it may be to transfer from, say, the college of arts and sciences to the school of business, or vice versa. Research, say the experts, is the most important step you can take before you decide where to apply. Then, make sure your application will really let colleges get to know you. “There are many ways to promote oneself, but it should be something that has been a strength and a demonstrated interest. Otherwise, it just comes off as a marketing ploy,” said Gill. “Admissions people are savvy. They can read right through something that is not sincere. I certainly am the first one to say colleges play games themselves, but the best thing is to be honest about who you are, and express that.” n

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school reports Ardsley focusing on four major initiatives this year By DR. LAUREN ALLAN A rdsley schools superintendent


hope you are enjoying your summer and the extra time you have to spend with your children. We have been busy here in district getting ready to welcome our students to the 2011-12 school year. While our custodial and maintenance staff has worked to prepare the buildings for a new year, many of our teachers and other staff members were involved in curriculum work. Our World Language department is preparing for a Tri-State review scheduled for the spring of 2012, our co-teaching partnerships met to plan for the upcoming year, our curriculum leaders met to reflect on the past year and plan for the 2011-12 school year, our middle and elementary guidance counselors have revised their curriculum and teachers who are changing their teaching assignment spent time gaining a deeper understanding of their new curriculum. Our very successful Boys Who Write program is expanding to the middle school and the staff has been working diligently to prepare for the implementation of this exciting program. There are four major initiatives we will be working on this year. Three are direct mandates from New York State. As you probably have noted in the news, New York has adopted the Common Core Standards, new Teaching Standards and a new evaluation process known as APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review). These all need to be implemented to some extent this year. In addition, along with our colleagues in Dobbs Ferry, we will begin to map our curriculum using a new tool/product called Rubicon Atlas. This product will enable us to put our curriculum in an electronic

format that is easy to continually update, monitor and share among our staff. All the curriculum leaders received training in using this tool this summer and they in turn will train the teachers in their department. We will be doing some of the required training with the Dobbs Ferry staff in the winter and the two districts will share the cost of the training. We will demonstrate the Rubicon Atlas mapping program at the Jan. 25 board of education meeting. Through this mapping process we will be aligning our current curriculum with the new Common Core Standards and making any necessary adjustments. The curriculum will include 21st century skills such as critical and creative thinking and metacognition. The maps will also articulate specific ways to differentiate instruction to meet the varied needs of our learners. Teams of English language arts and math teachers began to work with the Common Core Standards this summer. We will be sharing the Common Core Standards and our curriculum alignment work at the Oct. 26 board of education meeting. During the summer we worked on integrating the newly adopted Teaching Standards into our observation and evaluation process. There are seven standards. They are: knowledge of students and student learning, knowledge of content and instructional planning, instructional practice, learning environment, assessment of student learning, professional responsibilities and collaboration and professional growth. Teachers will begin the year by setting goals based on these standards. Both formal and informal observations, as well as teachers’ final annual evaluations, must be aligned with these standards. In this first year of implementing APPR, all teachers of English Language Arts and Continued on page 17A

Dobbs Ferry faces new educational challenge By DR. LISA BRADy dobbs Ferry schools superintendent


t is with a sense of great anticipation and enthusiasm that I approach the new school year as the superintendent of the Dobbs Ferry School District. The Dobbs Ferry Board of Education conducted a highly professional superintendent search, and it is an honor to have emerged as the chosen candidate. I leave a successful and fulfilling 25-year education career in New Jersey as a teacher, district supervisor, high school vice principal, high school principal and superintendent in two districts. I am excited about my recent move to the area and beginning the next chapter of my professional life in Dobbs Ferry. On behalf of the board of education, I am proud to introduce and welcome additional new administrators to the Dobbs Ferry Schools family. Our former Springhurst Elementary School principal, Doug Berry, as-

sumed his new role as director of curriculum and instruction on July 1. Doug has been with the district for 13 years and brings a strong and steady perspective as an experienced elementary school leader, as well as a sharp eye for instructional innovation and excellence. He is passionate about teaching and learning and will facilitate our Teacher Leader model. He also has a proven track record in working collaboratively with all the schools’ constituents. Succeeding Doug as the next principal at Springhurst is Julia Drake, a graduate of Hastings High School who was previously the principal at P.S. 147 in Brooklyn, a prek through fifth-grade elementary school. As principal for the past three years, Julia successfully launched a schoolwide Enrichment Model Program, as well as an Academic Intervention Program, in addition to adopting a new Literacy Program. As an instructional leader, she has been hands-on in planning and developing professional opportunities Continued on page 22A

Hastings-on-Hudson prepares for Tri-States Consortium By TIMOTHy P. CONNORS


h Astings-on-hudson schools superintendent

n preparation for the opening of school, the board of education approved my recommendation to appoint James Boylan as assistant principal for Hillside Elementary School. Mr. Boylan was one of two finalists presented to the superintendent by an interviewing committee led by Laura Sullivan, Hillside’s principal. Mr. Boylan has six years’ experience as an elementary teacher and is a graduate of Bank Street Future School Leadership Academy. Mr. Boylan has assumed his position and is at work with Mrs. Sullivan preparing for the return of students on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Our custodial and maintenance staffs, under the leadership of George Prine, di-

rector of facilities, are hard at work preparing our schools for opening day. One of the projects they are working on is an enhancement of the middle school playground. This project is being funded, in part, by the Hastings Education Foundation. Enhancements of the playground include the removal of three trees presenting safety hazards and the replacement and repositioning of three new trees. Improvements are also under way for the playground at Hillside Elementary School. The middle and high schools will be adding extra space to their respective buildings. Due to the State Department of Education’s removal of their BOCES classrooms located within Farragut Middle School and Hastings High School, this space is now available for district use. The additional space will be used by both schools to enhance our teaching and learning programs. For example, the middle school will gain a

new computer lab located within the fifthand sixth-grade wing. Another area currently being renovated houses the middle school locker rooms. The district is in the process of hiring a director of curriculum and instruction. This position is important for the district not only because of changes in state standards for curriculum, but also because of changes being implemented by the state to significantly change the way teachers and principals are evaluated. Résumés from 90 candidates are currently being screened. Once the screening is complete, eight finalists will be interviewed by a committee comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, one student and one board of education member. This committee’s charge will be to recommend three finalists to the superintendent, who will select a candidate for recommendation to the board of education. The district plans to complete the hir-

ing process for this position by the opening of schools. Looking ahead, the district is planning a visit by Tri-States Consortium in November. Under the leadership of high school principal Lou Adipietro, faculty and administrators from all three schools have been preparing for this fall visit and look forward to Tri-States’s assessment review of the district’s k-12 mathematics program. With the 2011-12 school year about to begin, please visit our district’s website, where in addition to recently updated information, you will find our district and school calendars. The first day of school for the Hastings-on-Hudson School District is Tuesday, Sept. 6. All faculty and staff will return to school on Wednesday, Aug. 31, for one of two superintendent’s conference days. This year, our freshman orientation will take place Thursday, Sept. 1, at 11:30 a.m. in the high school auditorium. n

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Irvington to continue progress under new leadership By DR. KATHLEEN MATUSIAK irvington schools superintendent


lans have been under way this summer to prepare for another successful year in the Irvington School District. Thanks to the support of the community, as well as the fundraising efforts of the PTSA and the Irvington Education Foundation, a wide range of academic and extracurricular opportunities as well as a number of enrichment programs will again be available to students. The 2011-12 school year will begin with some new faces at the administrative level. Mr. Randy Lichtenwalner enthusiastically assumed his position as Dows Lane principal on July 1, and has been busy all summer getting to know the children and their families. Also new to the district’s leadership team as of July is Ms. Beverly Miller, who recently retired from a long career in South Colonie. Irvington is lucky to have attracted someone of Bev’s caliber who comes with extensive expertise in finance and operations. Lastly, Mr. Gary Knowles, who has been serving in an interim capacity as the district’s director of facilities, permanently assumed this role on July 26. As an interim since September

2010, Mr. Knowles has done an excellent job overseeing our buildings and grounds operations. In mid-July, I announced my decision to retire on Aug. 31, 2011, after serving the Irvington schools for the past seven years. An announcement read by board of education president John Dawson is posted on the district’s website. An interim superintendent will be appointed until a permanent successor is hired. Mr. Phil Whitney began his new role on the board of education in July, replacing outgoing board member, Ms. Robyn Kerner, who served in a variety of capacities on the board for six years, including vice president and president. The school year for staff will begin on Aug. 31, followed by a Superintendent’s Conference Day on Sept. 1. As in past years, all staff will be welcomed at a breakfast in the courtyard, generously provided by the PTSA, after which an opening assembly, faculty meetings and professional development will be scheduled. Irvington’s students continue to excel in many areas, as evidenced by the impressive list of college acceptances this past spring, as well as the countless outstanding recognitions received in academics, athletics and

an interim superintendent will be appointed until [my] permanent successor is hired.

Continued on page 18A

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

news & notes

Ardsley PTA enhancing schools


he Ardsley PTA has continued its close partnership between Ardsley parents, teachers and administration and plays a unique role in the Ardsley School District. Thanks to the generous contributions and commitments from the Ardsley community, the Ardsley PTA has been able to work toward strengthening district children’s educational experience. Here are a few of the things brought to the schools during the 201011 school year: At Concord Road School, the PTA continued to support many efforts including: magazines for kindergarten classrooms, enhancement of the first-grade Rainforest Research project, the second-grade chick hatching program, and speakers from the New York Historical Society discussing life in Colonial times with fourth-graders. Thanks to an Ardsley PTA grant, not only was speaker Peg Tyre, author of “The Trouble with Boys,” engaged to speak, but a Boys Who Read and Write program was developed for third- and fourth-graders. At Ardsley Middle School, the PTA was glad to arrange for a bus to transport the Science Olympiad team to the state competition. When outside funding was cut for the New York Hall of Science DNAmazing program, the PTA stepped in to fund the program. This sixth-grade program builds on the genetics curriculum and enables students to isolate and take home their own DNA. AMS tried a new event this year, Latin Dancing. Performances of the tango, salsa and Mexican hat dance enhanced the fifth-grade study of Latin America. Ardsley High School held another successful Wellness Fair to teach teens about a healthy lifestyle — with food samples, yoga demonstrations and sports activities — along with information on avoiding risky behavior, including a drunk driving simulator and speakers on drugs and alcohol. New wireless microphones were purchased for students to

wear during performances. The PTA funded a special art project through the Ardsley Family Academy to help teens give expression to their “secret” feelings by painting words on jeans, which were then displayed throughout the school. The PTA donated supplies for raised garden beds, a coordinated effort in all three schools, and hopes to grow enough fresh produce to donate to local food pantries. Ardsley was one of the few local districts to show the movie “Race to Nowhere.” The Ardsley Family Academy invited a dynamic speaker to address issues of bullying, self-acceptance and empathy. The Special Needs Committee sponsored a viewing of the inspirational documentary “Wretches and Jabberers” to educate the community about the struggles and triumphs of people with autism. Through the ArdsleyCares Committee, the PTA will continue to support local shelters and food banks and provide volunteer opportunities. Here are some of the things to look for this coming school year: At Concord Road: an improvement to the science lab with the purchase of new balance scales and a modern listening center with books on tape via iPod shuffles. At Ardsley Middle School: the purchase of a state-of-the-art projector for the auditorium and the purchase of supplies to enhance the student Art & Couture benefit. At Ardsley High School: support materials for a bullying prevention program, enhancement to the physical education department with the purchase of a Classic Recreational games program, additional SMARTBoards for classrooms and funding for an additional alternative student lounge. The Ardsley PTA looks forward to fun and exciting upcoming events, including the Ardsley Day craft table, the Harlem Wizards, sales of new spirit-wear lines, the cookie dough fundraiser and the ever-popular movie mornings. n


The FLes (Foreign Language early start) program is funded by the dF schools Foundation.

Dobbs Ferry schools FounDation Since its creation in 1994, the Dobbs Ferry Schools Foundation (DFSF) has raised over $4.5 million through individual contributions and public and private grants. Started by a handful of dedicated parents, the DFSF is now a working board of close to 40 community members who partner with the faculty and staff of the district to identify and fund programs

Ardsley Education Foundation delivers


he Ardsley Education Foundation works to fund projects that enrich local children’s lives and may be outside the traditional scope of the schools’ budget, especially in tough economic years. Thanks to the Ardsley community, donations are up, as is participation in the annual auction. In the past year the AEF has worked closely with the PTA to fulfill funding requests in all three schools that have included technology, classroom grants, sound systems, fitness equipment and pilot educational programs. This year, those efforts will continue with additional grants and funding for new programs and equipment. The foundation is providing AlphaBetter Stand-up Desks and Adjustable Stools to support an innovative program at Concord Road School that has proven successful over the past year. The Ar-

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dsley Middle School is continuing to invest in technology and will receive document cameras to be piloted in all grades. Ardsley High School is benefiting from a new lighting board, projector and equipment for the auditorium. The AEF is continuing to fund SmartBoards for the district and is excited about the potential educational opportunities projects will bring. The Ardsley Education Foundation was formed in 1995 and is comprised of parents, school administrators and community members who are dedicated to enriching public education in the Ardsley Union Free School District. AEF is a 501 (C) (3) nonprofit educational organization. Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Grants or special projects selected for funding by the Ardsley Education Foundation’s board of directors may be single events, pilot projects or ongoing programs. n

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and equipment that further the district’s strategic goals and enhance the learning experience of the students. From technology to foreign language to reading, writing and arithmetic, the DFSF supports diverse programs that promote a stronger, richer community of learners. To learn more about the DFSF, contact Jema Cooper at jcooper@dfsfoundation.org. n

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542 Warburton Avenue, Hastings • 478-7446 Summer Hours: Wed - Sat, 10:30 am to 5:30 pm; Thurs and Fri, 11:30 am - 6:00 pm After Labor Day: Tues - Fri, 11:30 am - 6:00 pm; Sat, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm

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arDsley schools Continued from page 14A

math in grades 4-8, along with their building principals, must be evaluated using this new system. Each professional will be rated on a 100 point scale. Twenty percent of the total score is based upon their students’ performance on state assessments, 20 percent is based on their students’ performance on local assessments and 60 percent is a composite score based in part on teacher observations, the progress they make toward achieving their goals and a reflection on this achievement. The Sept. 27 board of education meeting will focus on this new mandate and how we are implementing it. We have had several changes in staff. Ms. Hudes has transitioned from being the principal of Concord Road to the new director of curriculum and instruction. Her office is located in the central office administration building. Mr. Holland has transitioned from assistant principal to principal at Concord Road and we will be hiring a new assistant principal this month. Several of our teachers have also transitioned to different buildings this year. They all are eager to begin the new year in their new home. We also welcome Mr. George Holt to our board of education. As is our past practice, we will continue to have at least two board of education meetings each month except in December. Our meetings will begin at 7 p.m. The first meeting of the month will be a typical business meeting and the second meeting will be a workshop format and will focus on some aspect of cur-


riculum and instruction. In addition to the meetings listed above, we will be discussing the vision and mission of the high school at the Nov. 30 meeting, and on Feb. 15, we will be assessing our new Cambridge University Global Perspectives course. We hope to see you at these informative workshop sessions. Agendas and minutes will be posted on our website. The newly formed Athletic Advisory Committee has been meeting. This committee has worked on the Selective Classification Process, the district’s mission and vision for its athletic program and some of the norms associated with our athletic programs. Please go to our website www.ardsleyschools.org to view these documents. We have also been restructuring our website — eChalk will now host our new website. The URL will remain the same, www. ardsleyschools.org. The new site is more user-friendly and will keep you well informed about school events and other district news. We will also be deploying Office 2010 districtwide and rolling out eChalk for teacher pages at Concord Road. We will continue to communicate with you regarding your child’s academic performance via eSchoolData. Progress reports and report cards will be available on the parent portal. The first day of school for our students is Tuesday, Sept. 6. We anxiously await the return of the children and look forward to meeting and welcoming our kindergarteners. We look forward to seeing you at the back to school nights scheduled throughout September. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer and be sure to spend some time reading to, or with, your children. n

School Supplies?

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 17a

Wireless Voice Locations 1088 Central Park Scarsdale , NY 10583 914-472-4784

1 Cedar St Bronxville, NY 10708 914-779-7980

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Seven It Free People Splendid Frye Ella Moss Velvet Joie

Denim • Tees • Dresses • Accessories and much more!

50 Livingstone Ave, Dobbs Ferry (Exit 16, Saw Mill River Parkway) • 914-478-8200 - LIKE US ON FACEBOOK -

1929 Palmer RD Larchmont NY 10538 914-833-3232

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irvingTon schools Continued from page 15A

extracurricular activities. During the 201011 school year, 73 Irvington High School students were named Advanced Placement scholars and three students were honored as National Merit Finalists. Section 1 New York State Scholar-Athlete Teams honored were: boys’ and girls’ fencing, boys’ varsity basketball, boys’ and girls’ varsity bowling, girls’ varsity tennis, girls’ cross country, girls’ lacrosse, girls’ softball, girls’ track and field, boys’ tennis, boys’ track and field, and boys’ baseball, and for the second year in a row, the girls’ varsity basketball team won the New York State Class B championship. The district’s 2010-11 strategic plan goals and objectives were successfully accomplished, thanks to the hard work of the administrators and their dedicated staff. Among these were a Tri-State Consortium science review in March 2010, numerous enhancements to the grades 6-12 guidance program, a world language study, continued revisions to the math Trailblazers program and ongoing curriculum development in ELA, particularly in reading. Character education has remained a primary focus in our district, and in 2010-11, three of the district’s administrators participated in a newly formed Diversity Task Force with members of the community. One of the major outcomes of this initiative was funding received for new programs at the secondary level by the IEF and the PTSA, as well as student-produced anti-bias/bullying videos that were shown to the community at-large in the spring. Environmental stewardship remained among the district’s priorities in 2010-11, as evidenced by the

school gardens at Dows Lane and Irvington Middle School, ongoing recycling and composting efforts, and energy savings and “go green” initiatives. The middle school Green Team is to be commended for their impressive Waste Station project in 2011. In compliance with the upcoming Response to Intervention (RTI) Federal mandate, district staff have been working hard to ensure that our elementary schools have clearly articulated plans in place. In 2010-11, the Dows Lane RTI plan was implemented, and Main Street School’s plan will be ready for implementation in 2011-12. Funding for software to track students’ progress will be included in the 2012-13 budget. Per Goal 1 of the district’s strategic plan, a new reading curriculum was launched last year. This curriculum identifies Assured Reading Experiences (ARE’s) that include narrative texts, short stories, poetry and literary response (text) reading. A focus on the reading and writing curriculum will continue in 2011-12. In August 2011, the district’s annual leadership team will spend three days focusing on the Common Core Standards in English language arts, mathematics and science. Department chairs and administrators will work with three consultants to develop a clear understanding of the changes in these areas so that they can help guide their staff. In addition, there will also be administrative meetings this year devoted to building a culture of data collection and analysis. At the June 21, 2011 meeting, a plan was presented to the board of education detailing how the responsibilities for curriculum, assessment and professional development would be coordinated in 2011-12. A fulltime assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction position, initially approved

Temple Beth Shalom Nursery School

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

by the board in December 2010, was subsequently eliminated in the 2011-12 budget so the board requested a plan (see website) that details how the responsibilities of this department would be handled under the direction of the superintendent. It calls for a focus on the new Common Core as well as the APPR regulations and proposes a hold on any other new initiatives in the coming year. Among the initiatives proposed to be on hold is follow-up to the recommendations made by the Tri-State Consortium science visiting committee in March 2011. These recommendations can be viewed on the district’s website. The following buildings and grounds projects were completed in 2010-11: Dows Lane upper field and ramp; Main Street School parking lot lighting; and repair to the light rigging in the campus theater. Thanks to grant funding from the Irvington Education Foundation, some of the 22 exciting enrichment opportunities for students at all levels in 2011-12 include: Ancient Greek II, Reel Change with Jacob Burns Film Center, Yoga and Mexican Architecture. As in years past, the PTSA’s fundraising efforts afforded Irvington’s students many opportunities in 2010-11. In addition, in January 2010, there was a special viewing for parents and community of the film “Race to Nowhere” in the campus theater. The Irvington School District has remained committed to collaboration with other districts, as evidenced in 2010, with its participation in the Quad Village Virtual High School pilot. A group of IHS students were able to take a number of courses online that are not offered in the high school curriculum. Among these were film making, German and criminology. As part of

another collaborative initiative, a group of Irvington teachers joined faculty members from other Tri-State Consortium districts in a study that focused on teaching metacognition to students. There were two very special trips at the secondary level in 2010-11. The first involved the high school band students, who traveled to Belgium to perform in February. The second was a new eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., marking the culmination of middle school. This will now become an annual tradition at IMS. In June 2011, the board approved tenure for nine teachers as well as the retirement of six teachers and three support staff. We wish all of these individuals the very best in the future. Once again, our district’s custodial staff worked tirelessly this summer to ensure that our schools are in great shape to begin the 2011-12 school year. On Sept. 6, 1,811 students will be arriving, which is a decrease of 72 students from the 2010-11 year. Seven new teachers and/or leave replacements will be joining our talented and hardworking staff to kick off the new school year. As always, the district welcomes both the input and the involvement of the parents and the community. We encourage you to stay informed by attending board of education meetings, which are generally held on the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of every month in the Campus Presentation Room (CPR) on the secondary campus. The meetings can also be viewed on the district’s website, www.irvingtonschools.org. In addition, information about the district is updated on an ongoing basis on the website. We wish everyone a very successful 201112 school year! n

L’dor Va-dor ... From generation to generation

We’ll help your child grow.

Call about our exciting 2012-2013 program for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds Registration begins November 2011 We welcome Temple members and non-members to join us for all preschool activities including our Tot Shabbats!

740 North Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson Email: info@tbshastings.org www.tbshastings.org


Terrific toddler class for children younger than 2 years and their accompanying adult. Mondays 9:15-10:15am Begins October 2011. Call for details!

Judith Michael, MSW Executive Director of Education & Programming • 478-3833

� An independent reform congregation of over 400 families � A nursery school, a religious school, teen programs, an elaborate adult education program, and a strong social action program � Shabbat and holiday services, life-cycle events from birth to bar/bat mitzvah to weddings Please call for information:


Temple Beth Shalom 740 North Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson Email: info@tbshastings.org www.tbshastings.org

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 19a

School news & notes Foundation enhances Hastings schools


he Hastings Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1997 to offset declining state aid, which over the years forced the elimination of many fine enrichment programs in the public schools. The foundation’s mission is to enrich and enhance the curriculum and facilities of the Hastings Public Schools, while increasing the community’s awareness of and support for the schools. Each year the foundation raises money through an annual fundraising letter to the community, as well as an event in the spring. The sixth annual gala party and auction, held last May at Alder Manor in North Yonkers, raised well over $70,000 for the foundation. To date the foundation has awarded over $1 million to the Hastings Public Schools thanks to donations from a wide cross-section of Hastings residents. Contributions to the foundation benefit every student in the school system. Grant applications from teachers, administrators, staff, students and occasionally parents are carefully screened and must be approved by the principal, superintendent, foundation grants committee, foundation board, as well as the board of education. Recent grants have included: • $29,400 to purchase SmartBoards for first- and second-grade classrooms at Hillside Elementary School. • $11,000 to expand and upgrade the middle school/high school fitness/weight room and yoga/aerobics studio.

• $11,200 to establish a guitar lab (guitars, software, instrument cables and storage) at the middle and high schools. • $8,400 to provide biotechnology lab equipment to replicate and analyze DNA at the high school. • $5,250 to fund a Teachers and Writers Playwriting multiweek residency for fifth grade. • $3,500 to fund a feasibility study to build an outdoor classroom at Sugar Pond. • $3,500 to purchase materials for a new high school course, Material Science and Nanotechnology. • $2,376 to purchase a pottery wheel and materials to support a new high school course, Ceramics II. • $2,000 to bring the Hudson Valley Students-on-Stage Shakespeare Festival workshops to eighth grade. The Hastings Education Foundation is committed to the idea that strong public schools strengthen communities. A public schools foundation is a proven way to bridge the gap between severely reduced state aid and a continuing need for innovative programs. All donations are tax deductible and grants are generally divided among the three schools to ensure fair distribution. The Hastings Education Foundation welcomes your contributions as well as your input. Call either of the foundation’s co-presidents, Jody Heyward (4781375) or Denise Rosenberg (478-4450), if you have any questions or would like to get involved. n

The Fitness Studio at

Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club’s Walk in rate is now

$15 per class


Pre-Pay Packages are

5 Classes - $70 10 Classes - $130 15 Classes - $180

We are now offering classes in:

Zumba, T’ai Chi, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Turbo Kickboxing, Teen Hip Hop Dance, Abs & Body Sculpt. No membership required. Open to the public.

Visit our Website at www.hudsonvalleytennis.com or call us at 914-478-4400

We are located at 100 River St., Hastings on Hudson, NY adjacent to the Metro North Train Station.

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news & notes

Families give back on ArdsleyCares Day in October


tudents and their families are coming together once again for the annual volunteer opportunity, ArdsleyCares Day. It’s the perfect chance to get everyone involved in making something good happen in the community. This year ArdsleyCares Day will be held Saturday, Oct. 22. Families will be able to spend time with friends and neighbors while giving something back. Over a dozen exciting events will run throughout the day making it easy to participate even with a busy schedule. “People who have commitments in the morning will be able to attend afternoon events,” said volunteer Sue Lau. “And likewise, people with busy afternoons can volunteer in the morning. This way, everyone can participate.” Events are designed to help Westchester residents in need, from the young to the old. Events include: • Preparing meals and sorting clothing. • Halloween parade to entertain seniors at the Atria Woodlands and the Andrus Senior Center. • Support for local animal shelters. • Mural painting at Elm Street Youth Center. • Preparing lunch and dinner for kids at the Ronald McDonald House. • Bowling with kids from Andrus Children’s Center. “Volunteering is a great way to spend time with friends and neighbors,” said cochairman Karyn Lantier. “It helps strengthen

students make their mark on the community during ardsleyCares day.

important values, like gratitude, community responsibility and good citizenship. It gives everyone a chance to show empathy with those less fortunate, while teaching valuable life lessons.” Although ArdsleyCares Day is still weeks away, families can prepare right now by gathering much-needed items such as children’s clothing, baby and preschool books, sample size toiletry items (soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream, disposable razors) and DVDs, CDs and videos appropriate for kids up to age 16. These items will be collected when school resumes. In past years, ArdsleyCares Day generated an outstanding spirit of volunteerism. Last

year, more than 400 volunteers made meals for the homeless, bowled with disadvantaged teens, painted a homeless shelter nursery, cleaned local streets and parks, donated thousands of clothing items to local shelters and much more. “This year, we hope to provide greater assistance for families in need and our community,” said project leader Judy Cooperman. “We welcome everyone to volunteer, so each one of us can have a hand in making something good happen.” For more information about ArdsleyCares Day and about volunteer opportunities, visit www.ardsleycares.org or email ardsleycares@ gmail.com. n

Happy kids at care center Happy Harbor Child Care Center has been providing early care and education for the past 24 years to the children of the Hastings and surrounding communities. Children from 3 months to 5 years of age can spend their days playing in the large, wellequipped playground; helping plant and grow the Children’s Garden; helping make play-doh; painting many pictures; singing songs in various languages; and marveling at wonderful stories read by dedicated teachers. The kids consume nutritious meals prepared on site, learn how to make friends and learn about themselves. Working parents head to the office knowing their children are in good hands. Their children are learning the basics of being a curious, happy, healthy and caring child. The center is small — 44 enrolled — and every child is known by every teacher. Happy Harbor Child Care Center believes if every child has a safe harbor, none will be at risk. Call 478-4175. n

AUTISM: Result-Oriented Therapy™ Give Your Child the Gift of Success™

I can help your child break through Autistic Tendencies Parent Training Included Robert J. Bernstein Educational Services, LLC Educational Specialist


email:rjb@autimismspeech.com • www.autismspeech.com

Robert Owen, Racquel Peña, Brian Morgan, Ben Giampaglia, P.T., M.T.C.; Janice Nesbeth, P.T., D.P.T. and Lynn Voeste, M.S.W.

OrthoCare Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation is a well-equipped, outpatient orthopedic physical therapy facility, conveniently located on Saw Mill River Road in Ardsley. All therapists are licensed by New York state and continually update their manual therapy skills and knowledge base to provide our patients with proven and reliable treatment strategies. Patients are assigned to a primary physical therapist to assure continuity of care, and treatment plans are individually designed to meet their specific needs. We provide physical therapy for treatment of overuse and traumatic injuries including, but not limited to: tendonitis, bursitis, sprains and strains, fractures, cervical and lumbar dysfunctions and pre- and post-surgical care. We participate in most major insurance plans including Medicare, workers’ compensation and no-fault. Ample parking is available. At OrthoCare Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation, we take great pride in the fact that our No. 1 priority has always been providing patients with excellent physical therapy care. Hours: Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

OrthoCare Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation


1053 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley • 693-2350

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CHRISTIAN PRE-SCHOOL “where faith and learning connect” • Impressive Classrooms • Large outdoor play area • Caring and supportive staff • ‘Hands-on’ learning • Families welcome at all times • special events & activities • Nurturing empathy for God’s World and God’s People

Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church 43 Ashford Avenue


FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Dobbs Ferry schools Continued from page 14A

for teachers and implementing cross-curricular goal-setting that directly correlates to student achievement. At Dobbs Ferry High School, John Falino joins us as our new principal. John comes to the district from New York City’s High School for Environmental Studies (HSES), where he was assistant principal for the past six years overseeing a student body made up of 1,460 ninth-12th-graders. John officially started on July 15 and has been actively engaged in the hiring of new teachers and meeting with our staff in preparation for September. We are thrilled to have him on board and anticipate that he will work closely with middle school principal Patrick Mussolini on the important linkages and transitions between the middle and high school programs. This summer, our administrators and members of our board of education read Tony Wagner’s highly regarded text, “The Global Achievement Gap.” Wagner is the codirector of the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has been writing and facilitating work with educators who are grappling with the challenges facing our schools within the larger context of the demands of the global economy. Wagner points to the “Seven Survival Skills” that ALL students must learn and embrace within our classrooms in order to experience success in the rapidly changing world that surrounds them. These skills include: • Critical thinking and problem solving • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence

• Agility and adaptability • Initiative and entrepreneurialism • Effective written and oral communication • Accessing and analyzing information • Curiosity and imagination. This new educational challenge is embedded in the reality that ALL students today need new skills for work, continuous learning and active citizenship in a knowledgebased society. The skills that Wagner emphasizes are, not surprisingly, very similar to the eight characteristics that define the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile, which is a mainstay of the Dobbs Ferry High School curriculum. Looking ahead, the district will be focusing on the goal of developing these same qualities in students from kindergarten through the high school. We need to expand the use of and incorporate these 21st century skills into the framework of our faculty discussions, lessons and curriculum planning. As educators, we realize that traditional structures and classroom practices are simply not working as our schools attempt to engage with today’s learners, who are both differently wired and differently motivated. No one can argue that we are in a time of remarkable technological change which has broken down the boundaries between the world at large and our schools. Having witnessed the rise of a truly interactive “World Wide Web” where people of all ages and interests can create content and share their ideas, it is hard not to be energized about the implications for our classrooms. This new connectivity has ushered in an era of communication and collaboration that our society has only begun to understand. Transformational tools such as blogs, wiContinued on page 24A

Rivertown’s Dental Dr. Samar Tannous

Dr. Tannous has practiced dentistry for over 15 years. She earned her DDS and a diploma in Pediatric and Community Dentistry in 1994. She obtained her DDS from New York University in 2008. Known for her high quality and good caring, Dr. Tannous shares her extensive experience and continues her dental education to solve most of today’s dental problems and concerns. She is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy Of Facial Cosmetics.

is happy to announce the opening of her new dental practice at:

34 High Street (corner of High and Rose)

Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y. 10706

(914) 214-8228 Hours by appointment

Services Include:

General Dentistry ~ Root Canal Therapy

Cosmetic Dentistry Including: Bonding, Veneers, Crowns and Bridges Invisalign ~ Teeth Whitening

Special Back to School Offer: Bring your child in for their school dental examination. New York State Law also requests in addition to a physical exam, a dental exam for all students in grades K, 2 & 4 for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year.

FREE Cleaning plus Fluoride Treatment for Children 10 & under. (Offer expires 9/30/11)

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 23a SPIn • PERSOnAL TRAInInG •

How are you and your family spending the school year? Come Get ... Spirited. Refreshed. Energized. Best In Class Equipment ~ Childcare Available ~ Visit our EQ Café ~ Free Fitness Evaluation ~ Sauna ~ Steam Room ~ Showers

914.751.6655 • www.equalizefitness.com


The goal at Gym Cats is to build a physical and mental foundation for all sports and to promote athleticism and good health through participation in Gymnastics.


 


• Develop Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Coordination and Confidence. • Ages 20 months & Up • Boys and Girls • Beginner — Advanced • Tumbling for Cheerleaders • Private Lessons Available


• All of our Exciting Parties are private. • Our interactive staff will make your child’s party a very special time. • Obstacle courses, Trampolines, Air Castle, Giant Air Slide and more!


Ages 3 & Up BOOK EARLY!

“We specialize in beginners”

914-751-6655 • www.parisischool.com

914.965.7676 • www.Gymcats.net

Together Yet Separate ... One Odell Plaza, Yonkers, NY (on the Hastings/Yonkers border)


PA R I S I S P E E D S C H O O L • G Y M C AT S • P E R S O n A L T R A I n I n G • P I L AT E S • YO G A • S P I n • P E R S O n A L T R A I n I n G • PA R I S I S P E E D S C H O O L • G Y M C AT S

PA R I S I S P E E D S C H O O L • G Y M C AT S • P E R S O n A L T R A I n I n G • P I L AT E S • YO G A • S P I n • P E R S O n A L T R A I n I n G • PA R I S I S P E E D S C H O O L • G Y M C AT S


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Dobbs Ferry schools


Continued from page 22A

kis, podcasts, RSS, social networking and simulations make sharing information and interacting with others easy and efficient. Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Ning are just some of the high profile examples of the types of technologies that are connecting disparate people in communities of work and play. It is critical that schools take the lead in producing “technologically rich” learning environments since many students, despite their facility with basic technological tasks, do not fully understand how to leverage these resources into powerful learning tools. Students need the same kind of scaffolding for their technology use that they receive in many other areas. They need to learn how to safely operate online, how to create an ageappropriate online presence, how to connect with other people to further their learning, how to filter the torrent of available information and how to contribute meaningfully to the world through their online activity. Yes, our challenges in educating our young people in the 21st century are exciting and provocative. We need to work together to include all stakeholders as part of the change process so that we can model the collaboration, critical thinking and initiative that we expect to see from both students and teachers in our classrooms. As our board of education, administrative staff and teachers engage in discussions about 21st century teaching and learning in the Dobbs Ferry Schools, we will also be expanding these conversations to include parents, students and members of our school community. We are eagerly looking forward

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98 Main Street, Irvington, NY • 231-6755 Store Hours:

Monday: 10am-4pm ~ Tuesday: Closed Wednesday: 10am-6pm ~ Thursday: 11am-8pm Friday: 10am-7pm ~ Saturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: Closed

Gift Certificates Available per School Band and Prices year Orchestral Rentals* school

Alto Sax . . . Baritone . . . Upright Bass Cello . . . . . Clarinet . . . Flute . . . . . . French Horn Oboe . . . . . Piccolo . . . . Tenor Sax . . Trombone . . Trumpet . . . Violin . . . . . Viola . . . . .

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Westchester’s Largest Music Complex is Celebrating it’s

29th Anniversary

to the development of a new five-year Strategic Plan and will begin work on the strategic planning process toward the middle of the year. We will seek representation across a broad spectrum of committed people who want to co-create a vision for what we want Dobbs Ferry students to know and be able to do once they have graduated from our schools. This must be a shared vision with a clear path that closes the distance between our future and our current reality. In an excerpt from her book “Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope for the Future,” Margaret Wheatley writes: “As we work together to restore hope for the future, we must include a new and strange ally — our willingness to be disturbed. Our willingness to have our beliefs and ideas challenged by what others think. No one person or perspective can give us the answers we need to the problems of today. Paradoxically, we can only find those answers by admitting we don’t know. We have to let go of our certainty and expect ourselves to be confused for a time.” Wheatley’s book is written from the belief that we can change the world if we just begin listening to one another again. Great social change movements always begin from the simple act of friends talking to each other about their fears and dreams. It is in this spirit that we turn our minds and our hearts toward the future of the Dobbs Ferry Schools and its students. It will be more imperative than ever before to extend ourselves in a true effort to embrace change, engage in hard and meaningful collaborative work and to call our school and local community to action. The result will be well-prepared students who are indeed able to connect and compete in our global society. n

Music Lessons:

Individual Private lessons on premises with qualified instructor. Our teaching staff includes professional musicians focusing on the proper techniques and fundamentals of music. They are sensitive and encouraging regardless of your skill level. All levels and instruments including voice are welcome! Genres taught range from rock to jazz, classical to modern. NYSMA training on all instruments, Classical piano expert instruction and Preparation for college auditions.

Suzuki Method of Instruction Violin, Viola, Double Bass, Cello, Guitar and Piano.

Lesson Prices:

Regular Lesson Price is $36 for 30 minutes (for individual lessons per week)

Package #1 • 8 Lessons

Regular Price: $288 Package Price: $268 * Add 20% for Yamaha Instruments * Prices DO include insurance and maintenance for the school year. Insurance does not include negligence. * Prices DO NOT include sales tax or accessories. ** Ask about our RENT to BUY program**

Additional Rentals: PRICE PER MONTH • Acoustic Guitar $30 • Electric Guitar or Bass with amp, strap, cable, gig bag and picks $55 • Keyboard with stand and Bench 61 note . . $30 • 5p Drum Kit with Cymbals and sticks . . . . . $45 Sound System Rentals Starting at $150


By Musicians for Musicians

Store Hours:

Monday . . Tuesday . . . Wednesday Thursday . . Friday . . . . Saturday . . Sunday . . .

. . . . . . .

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. . . . . . .

.10:30am-6:30pm .10:30am-8:00pm .10:30am-6:30pm .10:30am-6:30pm .10:30am-5:00pm .10:00am-3:30pm .Closed

914-693-3200 39 Cedar Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522


$20 savings or $2.50 per lesson Package #2 • 16 lessons Regular Price: $576 Package Price: $528

$48 savings or $3 per lesson Private Audio Engineering Lessons $90 per hour - $40 per 30 minutes Paul or Peter Price $40 per 30 minutes

• Lessons packages do not apply to Paul or Peter Scattaretico • No refunds on lesson packages

College Demos Available: The MUSIC COMPLEX Recording Studio is available to rent per hour for college demos.

•Pro Tools HD System • Digital and Analog Recording Consoles • Isolation Booth for Drums and Vocals • 7 ft. Kawai Piano • Hammond B1 Organ B3 • $75 per hour (2 hour min.) • 2 hour Piano Demo price includes engineer and tuning . . . .$250 • Other Demos: 2 hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$175 Duplication of additional CD’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3.00

(labels not included)

Students will leave with a Studio quality Master CD and 5 copies to submit to colleges.

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 25a

Mind math: helping kids learn math, improve concentration By VENKATESH BRAHMADESAM Want Italian food for dinner, but don’t feel like cooking? Turn on your computer. A quick internet search gives you a list of local Italian restaurants, whether you choose to order in or go out to eat. How does this transaction work? Binary numbers made up of bits and bytes run your computer’s programs. And to garner search results, like your request for Italian restaurants, a complex formula scours the internet. This simple example illustrates the growing role of technology and mathematics in our daily lives. It is becoming evident that the future of innovation in many industries involves math. Some of the most lucrative professions in finance, information technology and even research require a command in mathematics. Unfortunately, many students are scared of math and try to steer clear of it as they pursue higher education. Their fear is often justified by a poor performance on math exams throughout their elementary, middle and high school careers. A fear of math even prevails in adulthood for many people — actual and fictional. Consider TV sitcoms. The tip calculator episode of Seinfeld portrays how we harbor math anxiety throughout life and have difficulty calculating a waiter’s tip. The key to conquering this phobia is a acquiring a firm grounding in the fundamentals of basic computational skills. According to the article “Do the Math in Your Head!” published on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Website, “Mental math provides both tools for solving problems and filters for evaluating answers. When a student has strong mental math skills, he or she can quickly test different approaches to a problem and determine whether the resulting path will lead toward a viable solution.” Fundamentals are important when trying to master any skill. A basketball player must be able to dribble a basketball and shoot a lay-up shot before he can dunk. Similarly, a student must be able to compute and be comfortable with numbers before that student masters abstract math concepts. Recent studies have shown that using an abacus, an ancient mathematical tool, may be the optimum way to develop and improve a young student’s ability to do mathematics. The residual effect of this is improving a child’s concentration and visualization abilities. Abacus learning is part of the curriculum in most Asian countries, where students are proven to excel in math compared to their counterparts on other continents. If you search the Internet for “abacus” and “right brain” or “brain study,” you can access numerous studies on how abacus learning positively impacts children’s cognitive development. An abacus provides a visual way of learning math, and most kids love it. The Japanese version of the abacus is called soroban, which is considered the simplified version. Each number is represented in the soroban by a bead or combination of beads. There are rules for adding, multiplying, subtracting and dividing numbers. Children initially learn the rules of using the abacus for mathematics and slowly graduate to manipulate the beads mentally without the aid of the abacus — hence the name mental arithmetic. Imagine how being able to mentally compute and manipulate large sets of numbers can enhance a person’s concentration and visualization skills.

As a pre-requisite to working with the abacus, children must understand basic number concepts, be able to count and know the partners that make up the numbers up to 10. For example, considering that a partner of 2 is 3, the equation is 2+3=5. Students also need to learn what each bead represents in the abacus. As children learn about place value, they can reinforce this concept with the abacus. As kids become comfortable with all the partners of the numbers up to 10, they can set simple number statements

on the abacus. Children should start using the abacus at a young age, and they should learn to represent numbers and eventually manipulate the numbers. Students also need the manipulative skills required to operate the abacus itself. Some teachers prefer starting young children on the enlarged abacus because of the larger beads and the greater space between the beads. Students can then make the transition to the smaller abacus when Continued on page 30A

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School news & notes ACNS serving families for 50 years The Ardsley Community Nursery School has been serving families from the local area for more than 50 years with a fun-loving environment run by caring staff and a strong enrichment program consisting of music, dance and movement, nature and Spanish. The Ardsley Historical Society has written ACNS up as the oldest nursery program in the area. ACNS maintains the outstanding quality of a nursery school from 9 a.m. until noon, and additionally offers limited spots in a variety of afternoon sessions until 5 p.m. Early drop-off is available for working parents. Programs are offered from ages 2-5 years old. A three-week pre-camp program runs in June, and a six-week summer camp program runs from the end of June through the first week in August. Children learn through carefully planned play experiences that include songs; arts and crafts; language, phonemic awareness and literacy; science and exploration; computers; multicultural humanities; and independence and social skills. ACNS is New York State accredited, and follows the NYS learning standards for preschool. The school curriculum centers around integrated activities based on weekly themes that reflect the interest of the students, such as dinosaurs, outer space, the Wild West, circus, animals, the ocean and farms. Fun days include Halloween and spring carnivals, Valentine’s Day brunch for parents, Thanksgiving feast, holiday puppet show

Five Corners Nursery A balanced creative arts based enrichment program for 2,3,4 and 5 year old children Our “Home-Away-From-Home” nurturing environment will enrich and secure your child’s journey through their early years.

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and Chinese New Year parade. All cultures are celebrated. ACNS also has the ability to include children with special needs. The school has a beautiful, shady playground with sandboxes, swings, climbing equipment, playhouses and mobile toys. Field trips are taken to the nearby police and fire stations, the local supermarket, the library and the Greenburgh Nature Center. Children experience science and nature daily through taking care of plants and classroom pets, and hatching butterflies and chicks every spring. ACNS’s goal is for every child to feel good about themselves, make friends and love school. The school is located at 21 American Legion Drive in Ardsley. ACNS accepts children from all local areas. Call 693-4932 to obtain an application or arrange a visit. Visit ACNS at www.acns.us and on Facebook. n

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news & notes

Chabad offers free Hebrew School In response to the growing need to provide easy, affordable access to Jewish education, Chabad of the Rivertowns is offering one year of free tuition for Hebrew School kindergarten. “There is no doubt that the earlier children are engaged and involved in Jewish education, the greater the impact and longterm positive effects there are for the child,” said Rabbi Benjy Silverman of Chabad of the Rivertowns. “In many cases, families hesitate to begin formal Jewish education at younger ages due to financial challenges. We hope that this free kindergarten program will encourage families to begin their children’s education early on.” This program is available starting with the September 2011 school year. Chabad of the Rivertowns does not require any syna-

gogue membership for enrollment in Hebrew School. Chabad Hebrew School hours are Sundays, 10:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. At Chabad Hebrew School the goal is to convey a well-rounded knowledge of Jewish tradition and values in a way that children find exciting and meaningful. Lessons are carefully planned according to each student’s level and incorporate games, art, songs, contests and more. The qualified teachers will ensure that every child has a positive learning experience. A friendly policy means every Jewish child is welcome, regardless of affiliation, religious observance or prior knowledge. The school’s diverse student body provides a setting where each child is comfortable and able to learn at a relaxed pace. For more information, call 693-6100 or email hinda@chabadrt.org. n

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Children grow at Rivertown Preschool Searching for a “nanny alternative”? How about Hastings’s very own full-day (7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.) preschool program for children 2 years, 9 months to 5 years old? Having just celebrated its 11th anniversary this last fall, The Rivertown Preschool at Grace Church has been a steady, dependable and consistently popular full-day creative arts-based child care program serving hundreds of families over the years. Right at the five corners intersection of Broadway and Main Street, The Rivertown Preschool is a first step for many into the world of child care. Children 2 years, 9 months to 5 years old spend their day danc-

ing, painting, building with clay, doing gymnastics, practicing yoga and meditation and beginning the basic tasks of learning. Founded by Pat Palfy and Pam Koner of The Homework Club Program, Rivertown Preschool has a steady, devoted and highly trained staff led by Palfy. Her over 30 years’ experience with the preschool set and her expert, instinctive skills in helping little ones find their words, emotions and gifts make this program rich in meaning and value. For more information or to visit the program contact Palfy at 478-6181 or visit www. thehomeworkclubprogram.com. n

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Tips to manage a successful transition to preschool By BARBARA SCHAINMAN Beginning preschool is a milestone, both for children and parents. It should be and almost always is a wonderful journey towards independence, and a building block to future school success. To ensure the easiest, most comfortable beginning of this journey takes careful planning weeks in advance of the first school day. As a director of a well-known preschool for decades, I’m often asked by anxious parents about best ways to prepare for their child’s entrance school. Here are some helpful tips: Show confidence: It’s a fact — children are aware of, and sensitive to, parents’ emotions. The mother, father or caregiver who, through words and gentle enthusiasm, shows confidence that school will be a safe and exciting place has the best chance of providing security to a preschooler for his or her first day. A parent who trusts the teachers and a director, who with a positive smile, gives a big hug of reassurance, more often leaves a comfortable child in a new classroom than a parent who is hesitant or indecisive. Before school begins: Talk about school several weeks before it begins. Helping a young child learn what kinds of exciting things he will be doing once school begins gets him prepared to enjoy his new routines. If you’re not familiar with a daily routine, call school to understand the regular schedule. Find age-appropriate books with pictures and a simple story about going to school AVisit your new school several times before

the first day. See where the new classroom is located and, ideally, to meet the teacher together. And play on the playground, associating the school with a fun activity. If your school has a photo brochure or website, look at it together. The repetition of visual images helps prepare your preschooler for what a school environment will look like. Be sure to point out all the things you know will be exciting — music, new toys, animals, puzzles, art materials, dress-up clothes, Legos, tricycles, a doll corner, trucks or whatever is offered! Ask for a contact with a new classmate if

you think that a familiar face would ease a transition. Paint a picture with words. Tell your preschooler about your role in his school day. Explain how lucky he is to be old enough to go to school. Discuss who will be bringing him and picking him up every day. Explain that school is especially for boys and girls his age and that there will be special times for you to visit, too. Tell him what happens when he first gets to school, and what his last activity is before he will be picked up to go home. Once school begins: Be sure to have time

to talk about your child’s day in a positive way. Some preschoolers are verbal and chatty. Others need prompting. So, if your child does not easily discuss his activities and friends, call school to get his daily schedule and ask which children he seems to relate to best. Most teachers send regular newsletters and stay positively connected with parents. Separation: Some schools encourage parents to remain in a classroom for defined or indefinite periods of time, waiting until both a parent and child are ready to separate. Other schools believe it is best to separate quickly and have young children adjust to their new environment independently. You should know your school’s separation philosophy and policy well before a child is enrolled, and talk with your child about it. Whatever the policy, if it is not working as well as you hope, communicate with teachers and a director to find what works best for both your child and the school. Most children surprise their parents with an easy adjustment to their new school. Experienced teachers and directors should always be available to partner with parents to make a child’s first school year one that will be forever looked upon as a wondrous and enriching step on the path to learning. Given proper preparation, and parent-school cooperation, children quickly lose school jitters and blossom in preschool. n Barbara Schainman has been the Director of Mohawk Country Day School (Mohawk Day Camp’s school year program) for over 40 years. She can be reached for school advice at 949-2635.

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news & notes

Five Corners for 2s, 3s and pre-k Five Corners Nursery Program in Hastings provides a warm, loving, stimulating environment that allows preschoolers to develop self-worth and a positive attitude toward learning. Each class has a developmentally appropriate curriculum that emphasizes the different areas of development, including physical, cognitive, emotional and social. Five Corners offers a 2s, 3s and pre-k program. Children love this introduction to group play. This is a teacher-led introduction to an educational playgroup, which will feature music and movement, story time, messy art and much more. The Tiny Steps 2s program runs two or four mornings a week. The 3s program offers two, three or five days a week. This program builds upon the Tiny Steps class, while incorporating new activities and adventures for the children as their character and individuality grows and matures. The pre-k group meets five days a week and is focused on each child and their own developmental needs as they prepare for kindergarten. The Tiny Steps 2s, 3s and pre-k programs all encourage active, hands-on learning with a mixture of self-directed and teacher–directed activities. Five Corners offers opportunities for children to explore and discover through various activities. In all programs the children are encouraged to experiment with different art media, participate in music and movement programs, enjoy children’s literature and story time,

develop math and science skills while measuring, mixing and cooking in a professionally equipped kitchen, enjoy imaginative and dress-up play, develop independence through classroom centers and free choice time and participate in active outdoor play on a state-of-the-art playground. Five Corners’ schedule allows ample time for free play and exploration, while also including more structured group activities and circle time. The program believes this is the best way to develop a child’s selfconfidence and sense of community. The teachers at Five Corners Nursery Program hold degrees in Early Childhood Development. Moreover, they are mothers who know the importance of giving children a warm and loving environment in which to learn, grow and develop. Call 478-2334. n

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New technology gives kids a competitive edge All parents want to give their kids a competitive edge in school and in the real world. With this in mind, many parents increasingly are turning to new media technologies to make sure their children have the skills to succeed. While some are concerned about children accessing inappropriate content online, many educators and parents know that combining traditional and digital learning skills is crucial in today’s wired world. “Digital learning lets students learn at a pace they’re comfortable with and enables teachers to gain insight into their students’ achievements and problems more quickly and accurately,” said Bethlam Forsa, executive vice president of content development for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a leading provider of educational solutions and developer of digital learning tools. Unlike previous generations, today’s youth has a host of information at their fingertips, allowing them more freedom to explore interests and hobbies, as well as to learn. But with so much information available, it’s important children learn to discern credible information from questionable content. Consider exposing children to age-appropriate Websites from accredited institutions. For example, the Smithsonian is making educational research easier through online resources like smithsonianeducation.org. Digital learning can also make the classroom more fun and help supplement what kids read in books and hear from teachers. For instance, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s new iPad app, “HMH Fuse,” combines online help with in-class learning. Students

can receive feedback on practice questions, write and save notes, receive guided instruction, access video lessons and more. The app provides a year-long Algebra 1 course with classroom materials and resources. Its comprehension tracking tools let teachers receive real-time feedback on each student. To learn more, visit hmheducation.com/fuse. Since the late 1970s, educators have sought to combine gaming with learning and today’s new technologies are making this easier. Ironically, some of the games many parents once enjoyed, like “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” and “Oregon Trail,” are also favorites with today’s students. These games let children improve math and critical thinking skills while learn-

The Beginners Club

A “younger” affiliate of The Homework Club, Inc.

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“Just September” Kindergarten Only Why: Kindergarten days end at noon in September. If you need us to help... a short school bus ride will bring your child from Hillside to the First Reformed Church in Hastings. (we pickup Dobbs kids, too!). There they’ll enjoy the afternoon with a healthy snack and playful, enriching activities. Our cheerful space mirrors the Kindergarten experience for a smooth transition in your child’s day. When: Month of September 2011 Time: 12-2:00 pm or stay on until 6:00 pm

mary Cahill, Director: 478-2334 For Registration, call Pam Koner: 478-0756 18 Farragut Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson www.TheHomeworkClubProgram.com

ing about the world. You can learn more at thelearningcompany.com. Digital learning also can enable kids to become virtual tourists. Museums like the Louvre in Paris and the American Museum of Natural History in New York offer online tours through their Websites. And Project Gutenberg lets you download more than 36,000 free e-books — from “The Bible” to “Huckleberry Finn.” This can be especially handy if your child has misplaced a book before a major exam or paper. The internet and digital tools can be productive for kids — it’s all in how they are used. Students just need parents to help give them the edge they need to be tomorrow’s leaders. n — StAtepoint

maTh minD Continued from page 25A

appropriate. There are rules for every mathematical operation that need to be learned. Teachers, including parents who aspire to teach their kids, should be proficient in the use of the abacus themselves before they can start teaching it. Conveying a positive attitude about the use of the abacus and making it fun for children are crucial elements. Parents and teachers should be creative and musical in teaching some of the concepts. Parents can teach the abacus to their kids by buying books about the use of the abacus for mathematics and the Japanese form of the abacus. Reading such books and Websites on the topic, parents become familiar with the concept of abacus learning and can introduce the abacus as a toy to kindle children’s interest in and understanding of math. As with learning or teaching any skill, practice makes perfect. In the absence of time and energy to teach your kids the abacus, you can send your children to one of the abacus programs in your area. While many abacus schools exist across the country, it’s preferable to enroll your children in an accredited institution. n Venkatesh Brahmadesam is an IT professional with more than 15 years of experience in IT consulting for various large companies. He is also a director at ALOHA (Abacus Learning of Higher Arithmetic) in Westchester County. To schedule a free session, call (888) MathMind or visit www.AlohaMindMath.com.

Is ReadIng a stRuggle? school is about to begin. does your child have the visual skills needed to meet his or her future academic demands? Passing a school screening or seeing 20/20 does nOt mean your child has perfect vision. this is only the tip of the iceberg! eye teaming, eye focusing, and eye movement control are among the visual skills critically involved with reading and writing. a checklist of signs/symptoms of a vision problem includes but is not limited to:

• Distractibility • Poor concentration • Inconsistent performance • Slow reading speed • Poor reading comprehension • Frequent loss of place • Avoidance of reading/homework • Frequent copying errors

If your child’s academic performance is marked by one or more of these problems, it is imperative that you schedule a developmental vision examination immediately. the changes that can be brought about through this form of treatment are life changing.

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701 Westchester Avenue White Plains, nY 10604 (914) 682-8886


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Teaching financial literacy Money matters, and money management skills are even more important — at any age. With the help of parents, friends and teachers, children can develop essential financial skills that will be an asset throughout life. Nearly half of parents believe that schools should teach their children financial literacy, according to the 2010 Intuit Town Hall Money Matters Consumer Survey. “Today’s economic crisis underscores the need for financial education and the importance of budgeting and planning ahead — life skills that are not necessarily included in the standard American school curriculum,” said Aaron Forth, Vice President and General Manager for Intuit Personal Finance Group. Some basic money skills will help your child develop financial literacy and be responsible adults. If kids don’t have control of money before adulthood, they learn that money will always be provided for them, and tend to then spend liberally when they do have their own money. To avoid this, give your child some control over the household budget now. If you allot $125 a month for toys and entertainment, let them have complete say in how $30 of it is spent. They’ll probably end up buying $30 worth of junk in the first week, but eventually they’ll gain an understanding of what’s worth buying and how to make money last longer. Goals and games are great — for adults and kids. They bring out the competitive nature in all of us, even if we’re just competing against ourselves. For example, the free personal finance Website Mint.com has capitalized on children’s love of games by teaming up with Scholastic to create a financial litera-

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 31a

The Rivertown Pre-School A unique full-dAy creative-arts based childcare program designed to stimulate the growing mind of the pre-school aged child.

daily Activities Include: Pottery • Music and Movement • Theater Arts • Science & Nature Hands-on (and in!) Modern Art • Cooking and Baking Imaginative Costumed-fantasy Play Rob/Fotolia.com

it’s never too early to teach your kids about money.

cy game called “Quest for Money.” Children can choose from a variety of savings goals (a new bike, concert tickets, etc.) and roll the dice to see if they can make wise financial decisions that let them reach their goals. By controlling impulse buying, you teach your kids that patience is the key to good judgment when it comes to financial planning. Establish a 30-day wait rule for all big purchases. Or have your children make a list of items they need and keep it in their wallets. Then let them purchase anything on that list when it goes on sale. For more tips on teaching children financial literacy, visit www.mint.com. And remember to practice what you preach — a good example is the best teacher when it comes to money management. n — StAtepoint

Program Hours: daily from 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. 3, 4, or 5 day programs available located in the Parish Hall of Grace Episcopal Church 78 Main Street, Hastings-on-Hudson

for more information about this “Nanny alternative” childcare program please call 914- 478-6181

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“A near magical experience for children!”

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• Motor Skills (ages 6 months to 5 years) • Sports Skills and Phys Ed (grades K to 5th)

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Pass it on Kid’s Kloset director stephanie Roth organizes donated children’s items for redistribution to local families in need.

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Westchester Jewish Community Services is issuing a “clothes call” for cold-weather clothing to stock Pass It On Kid’s Kloset, which provides new and gently used children’s clothes and essentials to Westchester families in need free of charge. An all-volunteer effort, Kid’s Kloset relies on donations of children’s clothes, diapers and strollers to pass on to families who cannot afford them. “As winter approaches we have a tremendous need for warm clothes, especially coats, jackets and boots,” said Stephanie Roth, Kid’s Kloset director. “The start of school is

a good time to sort through children’s clothes and pass on those that no longer fit as well as items that children have outgrown such as pack ‘n plays and car seats.” Kid’s Kloset is located in downtown White Plains. Clothing donations can be dropped off at WJCS, 845 North Broadway, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. or by appointment at Kid’s Kloset. Contact 761-0600 Ext. 715 or kidskloset@wjcs.com. For more info about Pass It On Kid’s Kloset, go to www.wjcs.com or “like” it on Facebook. n

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BTS faShIon

Kids have options from head to toe By MARy LEGRAND


he 2011-12 school year might not begin for another few weeks, but that doesn’t keep fashion-savvy students — and their moms — from heading to the stores now for their back-to-school shopping. Trends shoppers are seeing so far are wide-ranging, including everything from skinny jeans for all ages to faux fur trims on just about everything and surf- or sportsthemed shirts and hoodies for boys. Certain colors are bigger than ever this year, even on fabrics where they don’t usually appear, such as denim. Trends may change from season to season, but for Jane Sims, owner of Acadia on Main in Mount Kisco, usability and durability are still key. “First of all, because of the economy, people are looking for clothing they can be active in as well as be cute, fashionable and current,” Sims said. “We look for brands that do both.” Continued on page 34A

At Bubble and Tweet in Bedford Village: Savannah is wearing a Local cashmere sweater and Free People skinny jeans.

Explore your gifts. Challenge your strengths.

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O penings for the 2011–12 school year for students entering grades 7, 9, 11

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Back To School faShIon 2011

1 Continued from page 33A

It’s helpful to purchase clothing and outerwear that can take kids and teens from school to afterschool activities, Sims said, and this year what she called “retro-fashion” is affecting the outdoor and active wear world. “There’s a resurgence in classic looks,” she said. “Patagonia has brought back Polartec fleece in retro colors — berry, burgundy, blue, turquoise, black and gray. This warm, technical piece is slim-fitting and protects the body’s core temperature. It also wicks moisture and dries quickly.” The old-school look continues at Acadia on Main with footwear, including Merrell hiking boots and Sorel’s Joan of Arctic faux-fur-lined boots, which Sims called a modern classic. “Another footwear option comes from The North Face,” she added. “Its Back to Berkeley boot harkens back to 1968 and combines an old-school look with new-school tech.” Marilyn Werner, director of marketing for Lester’s, with locations in Rye and Manhattan, said that this year’s back-to-school fashion trends “do seem to cross all age barriers. One of these trends is faux fur, which this year is really going to be an important element — on vests and boots, trimmed on knits and hats, even motorcycle jackets for little girls and boys.” Another big hit in the boys’ department is from Volcom — its lines of Ninja and Peepers zippered sweatshirts for boys come complete with hoods that zip all the way up, covering the whole head with the exception of the eyes. Quiksilver’s Gutless zippered sweatshirts for boys, also at Lester’s, take fur trim to new heights, with mohawk-style stripes right down the middle of the hood. Back-to-school shopping is fun for many students and their parents. At Butterflies & Zebras in Ridgefield, Conn., owner Shari Horowitz ca-

ters to girls in middle to high school, as well as their fashionable mothers, who enjoy shopping together. “Oftentimes the daughter is approving what the mom wears and vice versa,” Horowitz said. “We started to bring in more items for moms after we saw the mothers browsing while the kids were shopping.” Cropped tops continue to be popular. Butterflies & Zebra’s initial supply of fall sweaters sold out the first weekend they went on display. Cropped sweaters may be short, but that doesn’t mean a child has to look under-dressed. The store’s private label seamless tanks to wear underneath cropped tops “have become the uniform for girls,” Horowitz said. “We carry them in 20 colors, and we’ve found the girls are wearing them under everything. They layer them two at a time in different colors. We emphasize to the moms that everything we sell is age-appropriate, so their daughters’ bodies are covered. Even though the sweater may be short, we provide a tank top to go under it.” Skirts and dresses are popular at Butterflies & Zebras too. “We’re seeing a lot of influence from ‘Gossip Girls,’” Horowitz said, citing “pretty tweedy, flirty skirts a la Blake Lively.” Preppy tartan plaid skirts, “flowy in a heavier fabric,” are going to be big this year. As the mother of 12- and 17-year-old daughters, Horowitz knows what that age group is looking for, and special-occasion dresses are important for weekends off from school. “It’s hard to find dresses that are appropriate for 13-yearolds,” she said. “We try to find lines that are ageappropriate and not revealing. Once girls get into high school they want a dress that fits closer to the body.”

High-schoolers and college students flock to Churchills of Mount Kisco for the latest looks. Denim has stood the test of time. “The last two years in jeans have been all about the comfort,” said Lori Land. “It’s the comfort of a boyfriend style, but slim in the legs. They’re often paired with oversized, off-the-shoulder sweaters.” Colored jeans are back again. “We’re seeing a lot of green denim,” said Land, “and leather pants are huge again, with leather leggings continuing because they look so great with the oversized cardigan, turtleneck or v-neck.” Other color choices include brown — chocolate and caramel — being among the most popular. Navy is also big, as is winter white. Churchills continues to carry full collections of clothing, with many items trimmed in faux fur. “It’s popular to mix a faux fur vest with a cashmere sweater, also to add faux fur accents to chocolate brown,” Land said. Men’s fashion remains a mix of styles, Land said: “The look is juxtaposed between tailored and sloppy. One of the designers hit it right on the head — his whole advertisement was that men’s fashion is a tad dressy, but a tad disheveled.” Lynda Piscitelli of Indigo Chic in Hartsdale Continued on page 36A

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 35a

PhotoS by Jim maclean


At Dennys in Scarsdale: Alexa, left, is wearing a Free People top layered over a Sugar Lips tank and paired with dark wash denim jean by Mavi. Backpack by Zinnia. Ariana is wearing a Vintage Havana toile sweater layered with a Charm School tank and scarf tied around waist, paired with Dori pinstripe leggings.

options for all




At Beginnings, with locations in Scarsdale and Armonk: Shelley, left, is wearing a JoieEmilie sweater, an Italica cheetah scarf and Hudson Chelsea jeans, while holding a JJ Winters small envelope bag. Leah, middle, is wearing a Haute Hippie suede fringe jacket and Seven Jiselle jeans. Jenna is wearing a G1 co-ed shirt, a Minnie Rose charcoal vest and Citizen Ava jeans.


At Neil’s, with locations in Mt. Kisco and Scarsdale: Matthew is wearing an Adidas long sleeve dri-fit tee, Adidas triple stripe pants and a Northface backpack. The mystery model is wearing a Monster hoodie and Adidas triple stripe pants.


At Bubble and Tweet in Bedford Village: Kingsley, left, is wearing a Pink Chicken jewel dress. Ava is wearing a Pink Chicken Madeleine shirt, Go Gently bow tie cardigan and Kit & Lily Peasant top.



At Neil’s, with locations in Mt. Kisco and Scarsdale: Allison, left, is wearing a Faux fur vest, dark stretch jeans, a long sleeve Star tee and feather clips. Emma is wearing a Burnout multi-colored studded LOVE long sleeve tee, stretch jeans and feather clips.


At Dennys in Scarsdale: Michael, left, is wearing a striped Volcom hoody over an Element tee, paired with Quiksilver cargo pant and knit hat. Luca has on an Authentic Proteam vintage tee and hat, paired with Vibe cargo sweatpants.

4 6

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bTs Fashion Continued from page 34A

agrees that colored jeans are making a huge fashion statement this school year, as are fringed tops, animal prints and fur trim. Cherry, cobalt blue and purple are among the most popular jeans colors, while gray and black denim remain perennially popular. The jeans, she said, “are very dark pigmented in different colors, a look that has changed from prior years. Usually there are different shades and washes of blue, but this year color is really big.” Offering clothing to customers “15-70,” Indigo Chic’s fashions transition through different ages. “It seems as if the off-theshoulder look is still really big,” Piscitelli said, citing “really big, slouchy tops that fall off the shoulder, plus asymmetrical blouses and tops.” Barb Jacobowitz of Industry in Dobbs Ferry said colored denims are popular in bright as well as muted colors — royal blue and red or deep purple, plum and army green. Wearing skinny jeans and cords is a trend that, while not new, remains extremely popular. Tops in stripes, polka dots and floral prints help complete the look. Accessories such as vests, jewelry and hats are equally “in” this year. “Vests are popular as fashion pieces,” said Piscitelli of Indigo Chic, who added, “If you’re going to wear a sweater indoors, the vest would add an extra layer. It also could be worn throughout the fall instead of a jacket.” The fedora remains the hat of choice — for teens and young adults of both sexes all the way down to fashion-forward elementary school students. For women’s jewelry, there’s a lot of mix-

At Beginnings, with locations in Scarsdale and Armonk: Shelley, left, is wearing an Elizabeth & James hooded poncho and Hudson Chelsea jeans. Leah, middle, is wearing a Lauren Moshi Bridgit swing tank, an Ever black leather jacket and Seven Jiselle jeans. Jenna is wearing a Three Dot long sleeve scoop watermark top, a Sanctuary faux sherpa vest, Citizen Avan jeans, while holding a Diane VonFurstenberg bag.

ing of semiprecious stones with different golds, according to Land from Churchills: “From rose gold mixed with white gold, yellow gold mixed with rose gold, you can wear any kind of jewelry. You no longer have to wear all your white gold or all your yellow. Because the price of gold is so high a lot of designers are mixing diamonds with sterling silver, and pyrite is huge again.” Going back to school means students must carry their supply of books, tablet computers, laptops and cell phones, a heavy proposition sometimes. While the basic black book bag remains at the top of the popularity list, accents in bright colors can make an other-

wise ordinary necessity pop. “The North Face is making some backpacks that continue the old-school look,” said Sims of Acadia on Main. “Most of them will have sleeves for laptops. Kids are also looking at daypacks. Patagonia makes them in hot pink, blue, orange and army green.” Diana Tyler at Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah has noticed students purchasing more than one backpack or daypack: “People now have two or three, and they really reflect an individual’s personality and what he or she is using them for at the time.” Combining colors is popular in this year’s backpacks, Tyler said. “Even for a guy’s bag,

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

we find yellow and purple with red loops, for example. But guess what sells the most — classic black with accents of color.” Cross-body bags are the choice of most college students, and there’s even a bag specifically made for the iPad, available in a number of Westchester stores. Look in many local shops for hats, boots, outerwear and other items to complete the back-to-school look. “We just bought 250 unbelievably cool hats,” Tyler of Kelloggs & Lawrence said. “Some of them even have curled dreadlocks in different colors.” Lindsey Isanberg, owner of Infinity in Scarsdale, said that feathers are “very big this fall. We’re finding that feathers in hair — hair extensions — feathers on clothing, on earrings and all accessories are extremely popular.” In addition, Isanberg noted the trend toward colored jeans, with skinny jeans remaining popular but “wide-leg jeans making a comeback” as well. A “neighborhood shop,” according to Isanberg, Infinity sells to girls size 4 to 6X, 7 to 14 and teens. “I know everybody and all their kids,” she said. “We get a lot of repeat customers, all of whom loving shopping here for back to school.” Back-to-school clothes shopping is as important as ever for kids and parents. “When I went back to school I couldn’t wait to get my notebook, pens and backpack,” Werner of Lester’s said, “and those are still things that kids like, only now they’re more interested in fashion as well. “There’s a blending of fashion. Kids don’t want to look unfashionable. With Facebook and the access that kids have to what’s online, they’re speaking to one another about what they’re wearing. No matter what the age, they want to be hip, cool and fashionable in school.” n

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Backpack safety tips for kids School may be a figurative pain in the neck for many children, but what about a literal pain in the neck — and back? These days, the answer is yes, and backpacks are to blame. Or more specifically, the improper use of backpacks. “The average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman,” said Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “Growing children should only be carrying 10-20 percent of their body weight.” Heavy backpacks can negatively affect your child’s health by pulling on ligaments and muscles that cause neck and back pain and can possibly cause deformity of the spine, according to the ACA. Parents who want to protect their children from these painful injuries can follow these tips: • Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. They should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain. • Encourage your child to use both straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and back spasms. • Pack light or at least smart. A backpack with individualized compartments

helps in positioning the contents most effectively, keeping pointy objects away from the back. • Check to see if your children’s textbooks are available on e-readers — it’ll save their backs, as well as paper. Or consider buying a second set of textbooks for your student to keep at home, perhaps used ones. • Learn some back-strengthening exercises to build up muscles. Sit-ups are great since strong abdominal muscles can share the load and take the strain off back muscles. • Encourage your child or teenager to tell you about any pain or discomfort he or she may experience. Do not ignore any back pain in children or teenagers simply because they seem too young. If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic, who is licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits. You can find more backpack safety tips and learn about treatment for back pain at www.acatoday.org/patients. And lastly, examine your own backpacks, handbags and diaper bags. Parents are as likely to suffer back pain from excess weight or improper carrying as are their children. n — StAtepoint

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 37a

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011


Studying abroad: what to plan, pack Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity full of culture, language, culinary delights and many other unique and exciting experiences. Study abroad program participation grew in the 2009-10 school year, according to the Institute of International Education. Colleges and universities modified and revamped programs to cater to where and what students want to study. If your child plans to study abroad this school year, the excitement levels are likely pretty high as you get him or her packed and prepared for the trip. You’ve already researched the climate, food, language, transportation and school where your child will study, so you have a good idea of what clothing, school supplies and personal items he or she will need to pack. But you might not have considered some items which should probably be added to the list: • Brand name products you must have. This is important if you’re traveling to Africa, Asia and even South America. If you love to chew gum, use a specific brand of shampoo or deodorant or even prefer a brand of pain killers for headaches, chances are that the country you’re traveling to won’t carry that brand. So stock up on those products that you’ll need to last you the entire time you’re away. • Travel assistance. You hope that medical, legal or even stolen document emergencies won’t happen to your child while he or she is studying in a foreign country. Invest-

With the right preparation, studying abroad will provide many wonderful life opportunities. ing in On Call International for travel assistance can help give you peace of mind that if an emergency occurs, he or she will have access to financial, legal and transportation assistance. On Call International’s memberships offer travelers help for medical evacuations as well as medical transport home after a hospitalization. The program also includes a 24-hour nurse helpline and worldwide legal assistance. Visit www.oncallinternational.com for more information. • Current conversion kits. Foreign countries have different outlet shapes and electrical currents than the United States, which means if your son or daughter tries to plug a laptop or cell phone charger into an outlet while abroad, the plug won’t fit. If he or she is planning on packing electronics, purchase a proper electric conversion kit for the country. Check with the travel abroad program about its recommendations for cell phones. It may

be easier and cheaper for to purchase a cell phone plan overseas. • Review the policies on social networking sites, email and even cell phone use for the country your child will be visiting. There are some countries where the government controls usage of some communication methods, which could come as a surprise to many Americans. Consider packing a smartphone so she can also take advantage of helpful travel and safety applications. With the right preparation, traveling and studying abroad will provide many wonderful life opportunities for your child. It might not feel like time is flying by while your child is gone, but when he arrives back home, he or she will have so many stories to tell you and photos to share about all the fun while studying in a foreign country. n — ArA content

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Bye, bye kids; hello workout!


f you’ve taken an exercise hiatus this summer, make back to school mean back in shape. When kids are back in a routine at school, try squeezing in an extra hour or two a week to work out … alone or at a local training facility. Marathon runner and mother of four, Anne Traynor, owner of The Resistance Personal Training Loft in Dobbs Ferry, offers six tips for getting in shape this fall. Traynor encourages her clients to “Exercise Your Rights” — to good health, lose weight, feel strong, look great. She helps bodies of all shapes and sizes feel relaxed and positive about getting started. Traynor believes “It’s important to set good habits now, before the winter doldrums set in.” Here’s how: 1) Keep moving. Enjoy a brisk walk, cycle, run around with the kids. Vigorous movement burns calories. Carve out time in your busy life for cardio 40 minutes three to four times per week. Consistency is key. When you’re not in the mood, push yourself. 2) Warm up! Even if crunched for time, warm up before exercise, stretching or any physical activity. Five to 10 minutes of jogging in place or light aerobics brings blood flow to muscles, making them more flexible and less prone to injury. Other benefits are improved range of motion, hormonal balance and mental prep. When you break a light sweat, your body is ready to begin. 3) Strong core. To protect your spine and back from injury, keep core muscles

(your abs) tight and “drawn in” during exercise and activities like lifting, pushing or pulling. They are the center of your mobility and flexibility and used in everyday tasks like driving, walking and lifting children. 4) Short spurts. No time to train? Try 5-10-minute sessions throughout the day. Multitask by doing squats while on the phone, glute extensions or hamstring curls (with ankle weights) while washing dishes, engage your core while brushing teeth, applying make up or doing your hair. And there’s always the stairs instead of elevator. 5) Leg power. Working your legs, especially squats and dead lifts, raises testosterone levels, which greatly affects your metabolism. Don’t worry ladies, no chest hair will appear — just a slimmer waistline and amazing legs. 6) Plan meals for success. Avoid sabotaging your workouts by planning meals and snacks before a grocery run. Make healthy choices … fruits, veggies, grains, protein. Cut out “white” foods that put on the pounds — breads, pastas, white rice and potatoes — or limit to once a week. Try six mini-meals per day instead of three big meals. See the difference. Looking for more personal, results-oriented training? Traynor is offering a Back To School Special at The Resistance — five 60-minute personal training sessions for $300. That’s a $450 value, if you sign up before Sept. 30. Call 231-9240 or visit www.theresistancefit.com. . n

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 39a

Make this

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BTS Fun, easy ways to get kids to eat breakfast We all know the old adage: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.â€? Nevertheless, many parents find themselves short of time or struggling to get their kids to eat a healthful breakfast every morning. “Whether they’re getting ready for school or just a day of play, kids need to eat something in the morning to jump start their metabolism and keep them energized and focused,â€? said Stacy Stengel, a sports nutritionist. “Otherwise their bodies go into starvation mode and start storing fat, which can lead to weight-related problems.â€? Here are some fun tips to get your kids to eat well in the morning: • Example is the only teacher. The best

anastasia tsaRskaya/Fotolia.com

Be creative to get kids to eat in the morning.

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Health & Wellness

way to get your kids to eat in the morning is to eat with them. Even if it’s just gulping down a bowl of cereal in 10 minutes, eating every morning, preferably while sitting down, will teach your child a life lesson in making healthy living a priority. • Move up dinner time. The reason breakfast is so critical is because after sleeping eight hours, your body has been deprived of food for 10-12 hours. But if your children are eating dinner close to bedtime, they may not be hungry. Try moving dinnertime up by an hour to get your kids hungrier for breakfast. • Cook with flair. Don’t be afraid to don a chef’s hat and get imaginative. Choose foods that kids find fun, but that can be prepared quickly. For example, a product called Batter Blaster lets you squirt pancake batter out of a whipped-cream style can, cutting down on prep time and entertaining kids. Kids can choose from different flavors, such as organic original, double chocolate, buttermilk and organic whole wheat with brown sugar and cinnamon. For more information, visit www.BatterBlaster.com. • Make faces. Breakfast doesn’t have to be a chore of whole grains and protein. Try being creative, like adding food coloring to cereal milk, making faces on kids’ plates or preparing pancakes in fun shapes. • Think outside the box. Breakfast time doesn’t mean your child has to eat breakfast foods. Healthy is healthy. Let your kids have last night’s pizza or chicken with rice — the important thing is that they’re getting protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.

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• Eat on the go. While it’s not ideal, eating on the go can be another way to squeeze some nutritious eating in your child’s life. Cereal without milk or granola mix is a great car snack. For children who aren’t very hungry in the morning, try a smoothie of frozen fruit with orange juice or yogurt. Most of all, don’t stress too much. Kids only need about 500 calories to get them going, and some may eat less in the morning. So long as healthful food is available in the house, they’re sure to get the nutrition they need. — StAtepoint

Packing tasty glutenfree school lunches Packing tasty gluten-free school lunches Back-to-school shopping and planning can be exciting, but parents of kids with gluten allergies face a unique challenge: plan healthy, savory, colorful, kid-friendly lunches that are full of love and not full of wheat, barley or rye. Making sure your child is sticking to a gluten-free diet doesn’t have to be overwhelming as more gluten-free products become available every day. Long gone are the days of combing the web to find gluten-free retailers or spending your entire paycheck at specialty stores. The food your child needs is appearing in regular grocery stores. Follow these easy guidelines to stress-free healthy lunches

that are gluten-free.

The meat of it Your standard kid lunch has old-fashioned classics like a turkey sandwich or peanut butter and jelly. Thanks to glutenfree bread, you can now pack a sandwich that will hold together without gluten. Just remember that gluten-free bread does not survive in the pantry. Be sure to at least keep it in the refrigerator. Better yet, keep your loaf in the freezer, and take out slices the night before and it will be perfectly soft and ready for spreading in the morning. Another great option is corn tortilla quesadillas. Take mini corn tortillas and fill Continued on the next page

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Health & Wellness

Continued from the previous page

them with chicken or beef, finely chopped veggies or salsa, and cheese. Vegan cheese is a great substitute. Microwave for a minute and then wrap in foil. For colder days, what is better than mom’s chicken soup? If you don’t have time to make it, ready-made gluten-free chicken noodle soup is a smart alternative.

The veggie challenge Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. Getting kids to eat them can be tricky. Some kids will eat anything if it is dipped in the right sauce. Gluten-free kids don’t have the luxury of using everyone else’s ranch dressing, so look for nondairy mayo as a base that can be seasoned to their liking.

The crunch Today, snack companies are making gluten-free snacks that are tasty and have great crunch. Snyder’s of Hanover recently created certified Gluten-free Pretzel Sticks that are low in fat and available in an easy-to-pack 100-calorie size. Look for them along with the 100-calorie packs of Eatsmart Naturals Veggie Crisps, which are also certified gluten-free. Learn more at www.snydersofhanover.com and www. eatsmartnaturals.com.

The drink Healthy and flavorful drink alternatives include mint-flavored water, fruit-infused waters and organic milk. Many individual organic milks come in two percent, straw-

berry, vanilla and chocolate flavors. Look in your supermarket for a selection of fruit infused water, or you can also make your own and fill environmentally-friendly reusable bottles.

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 41a


Sweets for the sweet Having a special dessert for a gluten-free child is no problem. Rice crispy treats are a staple in the gluten-free world. Whipping up a batch of rice crispy treats isn’t too time consuming, but even the most organized of super parents needs a back-up plan. Look for brown rice crispy treats in your local grocery store. They are made with brown rice and cane sugar. Switch it up with gluten-free shortbread cookies sweetened with agave syrup. If put it a reusable container, they will not crumble before they hit the lunch yard.

The plan Living gluten-free requires planning no matter what the meal, so you are probably already an expert. If you keep these lunches in mind while shopping, and set aside an hour on Sunday nights, you will be organized and set up for success each week. More importantly, your child will not get “glutened” at lunchtime and you will rest easy. It’s important to recognize that being gluten-free can be a challenge for a child. It’s alienating and can bring unwanted attention. An inspirational quote, happy faces, inside jokes or even a little incentive will surely remind your special student that eating healthy and gluten-free is a gift and not a curse. n — ArA content

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Health & Wellness Rye Brook and Stamford. Call 935-0123 or (203) 321-8454 or visit www.lifefocusnutrition.com. n

Make the grade with meals, snacks

creating safety, fairness for diabetic children

By LINDA ARPINO, MA, RD, CDN The school year often starts with fastpaced schedules. Eating is sometimes the least thought about part for transition from summer to fall schedules. This year start the year off right. Choose foods that are packed with nutrients, taste great and enhance focus. • Teach your child to sit relaxed not rushed. This is very important for digestion and hormonal balance and will help with feeling satisfied. A false sense of hunger from adrenaline and cortisone overdrive may occur from eating on the run. Avoid meals and snacks in cars or while watching TV. • Plan ahead. Encourage your child to NOT skip meals, especially breakfast, which is critical for school attention and ability to focus. Late night heavy eating will reduce the desire for food first thing in the morning. So limit bedtime snacks and offer most calories during the day when they are the most active. • Choose fiber rich, healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit or vegetable, low sugar whole grain cereals, fiber rich bread or crackers. Junk foods should be only considered after your child has sufficiently met their nutritional needs. One hundred calorie snack packs (cookies or chips) should not replace more nutrient dense options such as apples,

pears, bananas, carrots and other raw vegetables, whole grain bread or crackers or cereal. Manufacturers coined 100 calories as a target, but many children should have less. • Encourage your child to drink water instead of sweetened beverages such as soda and juice. • Physical activity is key to release stress and help maintain muscle. Grade A Lunches: Encourage your child to bring lunch from home if choices at school are high in fat and sweet cereals and bagels replace more nutrient dense foods. Plan on including at least one serving of fruit or/and vegetable, one or two whole grains and a

protein choice. Go Vegetarian a few days: • Sunflower seed butter on whole grain bread is a great alternative to peanut butter, with a banana or apple and low fat soy or cow’s milk. • Hummus on Pita with raw veggies and a fruit is a great choice. • Black bean tex-mex salad with corn and salsa served with a corn tortilla and fruit. For more great ideas check out Linda Arpino’s book, “Eat Fit, Be Fit: Health and Weight Management Solutions.” Arpino, MA, RD, CDN, is the founder and owner of The Life Focus Nutrition Centers with offices in

School is supposed to be a safe haven for children, a healthy place where they can learn and grow. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for the nearly 200,000 American children with diabetes who may place their health at risk when they board the school bus each day. Diabetes is a disease that must be managed 24/7, 365 days a year. At home, these children have parents, baby sitters and others to assist them. Similarly, there needs to be someone available to help during the many hours students spend at school and school-sponsored activities. For some students, that means having trained school personnel to help with the insulin they need to survive; for all students, it means someone who knows how to help in an emergency. And although diabetes experts agree that school personnel can be easily trained to help a child with diabetes in need, there are many examples where students are left on their own and often aren’t welcome at school because of their diabetes. The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School Campaign has worked for years to make sure all children with diabetes have Continued on the next page






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Health & Wellness

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the care they need at school and the same educational opportunities as their classmates. Keeping a child with diabetes safe at school requires a collaborative effort among parents, doctors and other diabetes health care professionals, school nurses, teachers and administrators. Accordingly, the Association has developed the resources needed by parents and all members of the school care team. Through the Association’s Safe at School Campaign, thousands of families and schools have worked together to develop plans for safe care at school. In many states, statewide policies were developed specific to diabetes care at school. Recent legislative successes include state laws in Florida and Illinois that prohibit segregation based on diabetes, allow students who are able to do so to self-manage their disease, and ensure school personnel are permitted to provide the care that students with diabetes need to succeed. “It is vital to ensure that all children with diabetes have the same educational opportunities as their peers,” said Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE, co-chair of the Safe at School Working Group. “The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School Campaign trains parents, health care professionals and school personnel to make sure children with diabetes have the care they need, and are not being discriminated against or placed in life-threatening situations.” But in other states, widespread problems remain. In California, for example, there is only one school nurse for every 2,200 students and a record of students not getting the insulin they need at school. Some stu-

dents became ill and others were placed at increased risk of long-term complications such as blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and amputation. Some parents lost their jobs because of the need to leave the workplace to attend to their children. In a lawsuit currently pending before the state supreme court, the association is arguing that under both state and federal law, school employees should be allowed to volunteer to be trained to help a child with diabetes in need. Supporting the association is a broad array of agencies and organizations including the United States Departments of Justice and Education, the California Department of Education, diabetes medical experts, school boards and civil rights organizations. “The American Diabetes Association is fighting every day, in California and across the country, to Stop Diabetes and make sure that children with diabetes are never abandoned at school,” said John W. Griffin, Jr., chair of the board of the American Diabetes Association. “Diabetes experts from parents to doctors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree the solution is to train non-medical personnel to safely administer diabetes medications in school when a nurse is not available, just as family and friends of children with diabetes are trained every day.” Although the Safe at School Campaign has made significant progress, there is still much work to be done. To learn about the Safe at School Campaign, go to www.diabetes.org/sas or call (800)-DIABETES. To join the fight to stop diabetes in your community, go to www.stopdiabetes.com. n — ArA content



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Health & Wellness

Eye exam improves education

Back to School


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Did you know that 80 percent of what we learn is acquired visually? From reading to visual mnemonics (think stop signs and multiplication tables), vision plays a critical role in your child’s academic success. That’s why it’s important to put a visit to the eye doctor on your back-to-school to-do list. Surprisingly, approximately 76 percent of children under the age of 5 have never had a comprehensive eye exam, according to a recent nationwide survey of nearly 4,000 Americans by VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the Unites States. And since vision problems often manifest as behavioral problems or poor academic achievement, they’re also often misdiagnosed. For example, a child who fidgets in his seat and does poor work because he can’t read the board work may be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. Children’s eyes also change from year to year as they grow. Between shopping for school clothes, updating immunizations and stocking up on supplies, parents can forget the all-important annual eye exam that children need. Moreover, parents may assume that the screenings provided by pediatricians and school nurses are enough, but they’re not. “General vision screenings are limited and overlook many potential vision problems,” said Dr. Stephanie Kirschbaum, a VSP provider based in Grass Valley, Calif. “Children need to be examined annually by an optometrist for signs of astigmatism,

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annual eye exams may help improve school performance.

nearsightedness and farsightedness.” Children should have their first eye assessment at 6 months of age, a comprehensive eye exam starting at age 3 before entering school and then an annual exam throughout their lives. See your eye doctor if your child: • Loses his or her place while reading • Avoids close work • Tends to rub his or her eyes • Has headaches • Turns or tilts his or her head • Squints while reading or watching television • Has behavioral problems Regular eye care is essential to classroom success. To locate a VSP provider in your area, visit www.vsp.com. By correcting any vision problems now, you can make the classroom a positive and productive experience for your child. n — StAtepoint

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Health & Wellness

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Anna Krosche, The Lice Lady of Westchester, is a natural lice and nit removal specialist. Her salon is located in the Town of Greenburgh. Inhome lice removal services are also available. Call 497-5465, email TheLiceLady@aol.com or visit www.TheLiceLadyof Westchester.com.



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combing with a specialized metal-toothed comb. This is the most effective way to remove nits. Lice have become resistant to both over-the-counter and prescription products containing pesticides. Treatment should include: thorough vacuuming, hot water and high heat laundering of linens and clothing, and boiling combs and brushes. Head lice cannot live on pets, nor can they be passed via the household cat or dog. Good communication with your child’s teacher, school nurse or daycare provider can assure that an outbreak can be avoided and that they are free of live lice and nits before returning to those environments. n

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Take a closer look at that scalp. What may initially look like dandruff could be head lice. Pediculus humanus capitis, or head lice, live and feed exclusively on the human head. These tiny insects live in human hair, causing intense itching, after they have been present for several weeks. More of a nuisance than a medical threat, these tan or grayish-white insects are roughly the size of sesame seeds and don’t fly or jump. The nits, or eggs of adult lice, are laid where the hair shaft meets the scalp, making them difficult to see and remove. Contrary to popular belief, lice are not a sign of poor hygiene, but rather easily latch on to clean hair. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, head lice is most often found on children between the ages of 3-10 and their families. Head-to-head contact and the sharing of hair brushes, towels, hats and pillows, are the most common ways lice are spread. Frequent scratching of the head may be the first sign of a problem. Small, red bumps on the scalp and neck may help you identify head lice, along with tiny, yellowish-white, oval-shaped eggs that are attached to the hair shaft and are difficult to pick out. Nits are most commonly found at the top of the scalp, behind the ears and base of the neck. To see head lice, you must look closely in good light or use a magnifying glass. When it comes time for treatment, a natural enzyme shampoo should be used that kills the lice on contact followed by manual

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Greenburgh Nature Center is paradise for preschoolers

Fall Festival visitors get a Look at “Bigfoot” the Tortoise.

$7/child. No preregistration required. Nature Bugs (for 2-5-year-olds) provides an opportunity for nature discovery. Students will look for signs of life on the lawn and in the woods, and meet a different museum animal each week. There will also be a craft or nature game. The program meets on Mondays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Critters, Crafts and Kids (18 months-5 years old) offers an hour of nature fun. Participants will enjoy wonderful seasonal days at the GNC with walks, live animals and stories. The program meets on Wednesdays

from 10-11 a.m. On Sunday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m., GNC is hosting its annual Harvest Party. Reap the harvest of the nature center’s gardens and hives. With the naturalists, pick ripe veggies from the organic garden and help make apple cider using a hand-operated press. The harvest from the hives will be extracted indoors, away from the active outdoor beehives, by beekeeper H. Peet Foster. There will be a free tasting of fresh honey from the hives. Members $4, nonmembers $8. Visit www.greenburghnaturecenter.org

for details about the upcoming Fall Festival, Scarecrows & Pumpkins Parades, Turkey Scavenger Hunt and Train Show. Visitors can walk among live butterflies in the greenhouse. Watch Monarchs and Red Admirals fluttering from blossom to blossom in search of nourishing nectar or see them resting in a shady spot to cool off. Compare how diverse adult butterflies are in shape, size and color. Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly — from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly — and about the relationship between specific plants and butterflies. Appropriate for all ages. Runs through Sept. 30. Also ongoing is the third annual Story Walk. See how much fun it is to read while you walk. Signage will lead you along the woodland trail and you’ll have an opportunity to enjoy Farfallina & Marcel, a favorite children’s storybook, along the way. Free bookmarks will also be distributed. Recommended for children ages 8 and younger. The free program runs through Sept. 30. GNC is located at 99 Dromore Road off Central Park Avenue in Scarsdale. Parking is free and handicapped parking is available. The nature center’s grounds are open daily dawn to dusk throughout the year. The center’s indoor exhibits are open daily except Fridays and a few holidays, from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekends. See www. greenburghnaturecenter.org for a calendar of special events. Call 723-3470. n



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Back to school is a busy time at the Greenburgh Nature Center (GNC), which welcomes visiting preschool and school groups, parents and caregivers with children, and the general public. GNC offers a wide array of educational programs and classes, special seasonal events and birthday parties for ages 3 and up. The goal is to promote an appreciation of nature and the environment on a 33-acre woodland preserve that has trails, a pond, gardens and outdoor animal exhibits. The indoor exhibits include a live animal museum with over 100 specimens, exhibit areas focusing on nature and the environment, a greenhouse with a live butterfly exhibit (through Sept. 30) and a gift shop. By being outdoors, interacting with animals and witnessing nature’s seasonal changes, children learn that they are part of a larger ecological community. The GNC has professional educators who gear each program to the appropriate age. Programs stress hands-on and direct-involvement learning, while teaching children important skills such as utilizing measurement tools and developing critical thinking. Weekday drop-in programs for young children with a parent or caregiver let you enjoy an hour of fun with nature. Except during extreme weather conditions, a portion of each class is spent outdoors. For each class, GNC members pay $5/adult and $4/ child, and nonmembers pay $9/adult and

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Enrichment programs

the Beginners club Irish Step? Yoga and meditation? Cooking and woodworking? What a way to spend the after-school hours. The Beginners Club program, founded by Mary Cahill and Pam Koner of The Homework Club, offers an afternoon program rich with creativity, inspiration and socialization. Opening in 1998, The Beginners Club has been helping working families with their after-school child care needs for over 12 years. Located in The First Reformed Church Fellowship Hall, The Beginners Club begins the school term each year, to the relief of working parents in the Rivertowns, by opening its doors at noon for the early kindergarten dismissal throughout the month of September. Director Cahill and her staff of nurturing and care-giving teachers meet the district’s school bus each day with warm open arms … gathering the little ones and ushering them into The BC space, a delightful, open kindergarten/first grade roomlike environment. Afternoons are filled with woodworking, clay, cooking, music, dance and yoga and plenty of opportunity for creative dress-up fantasy play. New to our program this year are Irish Step dance classes. Over the years The Beginners Club has been a safe and welcome haven for families in search of a reliable and “just a little more than child care” resource. Beginners Club families can depend on someone from The BC to be available if their child becomes

sick at school and needs a pickup, waiting for mom or dad to get back home from work, a truly unique and stress-reducing offering. As the summer ends and the school year begins, the community is certainly lucky to have this wonderful resource available to its families. n

Zoffness Sat Prep personalizes approach The SAT is one of the most important components of your child’s college application. For over 22 years, Zoffness SAT Prep’s personalized approach has helped Westchester students maximize their academic potential. Located in Larchmont, the program has become a local favorite, enjoying extraordinary success for over two decades, offering 13 comprehensive 2.5-hour instructional sessions, supplying the most up-to-date materials andproviding essential test-taking strategies The course also offers full-length SAT exams which are scored and reviewed with students. The course instructors are experienced and committed to their students. These students consistently walk into their college entrance exams with the highest degree of confidence and get excellent results. One proud Scarsdale parent said, “The Zoffness SAT Prep approach to teaching not only dramatically increased my daughter’s SAT scores, but more im-

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More Than an Education. A Foundation for Life. •Academic Excellence •In-depth General & Judaic Curriculum

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Continued on page 48A



affordables a quality children’s consignment store

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Enrichment programs

What life-changing discoveries await you at Sacred Heart? Katie, Class of ’12, Aspiring Research Scientist


Preschool – Grade 4.............................noon to 2 p.m. Grade 5 – Grade 12..............................2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 Sacred Heart’s three-year Science Research Program enables students to conduct original, high-level research as part of their academic experience. Students present scientific findings in classroom forums as well as at state and regional symposia and national competitions. “My research focuses on combating malignant gliomas, a deadly form of brain cancer,” says Katie. “I’m not just learning about science. I’m doing it.”

Greenwich, CT 203-532-3534 www.cshgreenwich.org

An independent, Catholic school for girls from preschool through grade 12

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portantly taught her how to approach testtaking, studying and time management. I highly recommend this course.” In addition to the SAT Prep course, students may elect to receive private instruction for the SAT I, SAT II and ACT. Another parent said, “We recommend the Zoffness program for parents who want to know their child is getting high quality tutoring and for any student who wants to enter the SAT test center prepared and confident.” Space is limited and classes fill up quickly. To learn more about Zoffness SAT Prep’s strategies, competitive rates or to register for a class, call 835-0036 or visit www.ZoffnessSATprep.com. n

homework club: values shared, taught The Homework Club Program in Hastings has been offering working parents a creative, stimulating and safe place for their kids to land for quite a while now. Whether it’s Urban Illustration classes, where budding and seasoned young artists are encouraged by master artist Katie Reidy to create “way out of the box” art, or the Authors and Illustrators writing program, magic classes, zumba for kids, jewelry and beading, The Homework Club always seems to reinvent/recreate and offer enriching options for all. About to begin its 16th year, The HomeContinued on page 50A

The Ultimate Backyard Adventure

Mishkan Ha’am The Westchester A Riverdale Reconstructionist Group

Looking for something different in a Hebrew School? She’arim/Gateways, Mishkan Ha’am’s innovative approach to Jewish education and community may be the answer for your family.

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Through art, stories, music, games, role-playing and discussion, children learn Hebrew and explore Jewish history, culture, religion, and ethics. An intimate community of children from kindergarten – 7th grade, from Lower Westchester, the Rivertowns and Riverdale. Thursday afternoons and monthly Shabbat/holiday experience, September – June At the First Reformed Church of Hastings 18 Farragut Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson Synagogue membership not required

Contact Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, Education Director mishkanhaam.shearim@gmail.com or leave a message at 914-478-4996 • www.mishkanhaam.org

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 49a

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work Club Program, a creative arts-based after-school program for elementary schoolaged children, has had a year of “creation” and compassion. Along with the parents of our community, The Homework Club kids have become a vital and meaningful part of Family-toFamily, a national hunger relief organization founded by Pam Koner, also the founder of The Homework Club Program.

Enrichment programs

Each month, the children at the HC help box food and clothing for impoverished American families, often decorating the boxes being sent with drawings and kind wishes. This hands-on experience each month, this “living empathy,” has become an integral part of the HC experience. It is always a joy to hear the kids speak of the families they are helping with kindness and caring, taking the time to reflect on what they have and what they are grateful for on a regular basis.

The HC has made it a value to promote generosity of spirit, mindfulness of others, respectful mediation of feelings, hurts and sensitivities. One mother said recently, “The HC has replaced the old neighborhood feeling … You ARE the new neighborhood!” HC teaches children on a daily basis to be thinkers and self-motivators, to find the “process” more rewarding than the “result,” to dream and play, to fantasize and stretch to boundaries of imagination. n

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MultiFlex helping students excel MultiFlex Tutoring, a subsidiary of Bowman Educational Services Inc., recently opened a branch in Chappaqua, adding to its growing list of branches across the country. Although the new office is located in Chappaqua, the group is offering in-home tutoring services across all of Westchester County and surrounding areas. MultiFlex Tutoring offers a systematic, multisensory approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling to children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, reading/spelling deficits and ADHD. Fran Bowman, director of MultiFlex Tutoring, explained that MultiFlex is very different from traditional tutoring companies: “We try to be very specific in our treatment, aiming to coordinate our tutorial programs with instruction that is taking place at the child’s public, parochial or private school. We have served 6,000 students over the years and find that we are able to help students really change their skills sets, so that they are able to reach their highest possible degree of academic functioning.” Orton-Gillingham is a multisensory, structured, sequential and cumulative approach to reading, writing and spelling. All of the tutors at MultiFlex Tutoring receive 60 hours of training in this approach, following the standards of the Academy of OrtonGillingham Practitioners and Educators. MultiFlex Tutoring also offers multisensory support in math and written language. They also provide organizational (executive function) coaching services to help students to manage their time, organize their school materials, and use appropriate, individualized approaches to studying for tests. MultiFlex Tutoring, led by Bowman, already has branches existing in Columbia and Baltimore, Md., McLean, Va., and Los Angeles, Calif. She is happy to bring her services to Westchester County, where a group of trained and certified tutors have been helping children of all ages since January. They work closely with Dr. Marta Flaum, a clinical psychologist, who has been doing indepth psychological evaluations and providing counseling services in Chappaqua for the last 20 years. “I am so excited to see the expansion of MultiFlex Tutoring,” Dr. Flaum said. “Not only are the tutors highly trained, they are also warm and engaging. They are encouraged to work closely as a team with the family, the school and any other professionals who are treating the child.” MultiFlex strongly believes in serving the “whole child,” recognizing that a deeper understanding of a child’s strengths, as well as their needs, will help them to overcome their academic difficulties and improve their selfesteem. Bowman is a Fellow in the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators with over 37 years of experience in teaching, testing and guiding families of children with learning differences. She is the author of Bowman’s Orton-Gillingham “Plus” Guidebook. She has taught courses in all areas of special education to graduate education students at six different colleges. In addition to her professional career, Bowman is also currently a doctoral candidate at Seton Hall University. Visit www.bowmaneducationalservices. com, call (410) 868-4781 or email bowmanedu@aol.com. n


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Enrichment programs

Therapy options for special needs kids Donna Klein & Associates, a leading provider of therapy for children in Westchester County, continues to expand its options for parents to get quality services. Complementing their existing individualized options of occupational therapy and physical therapy in the convenience of your home or in their dynamic therapy gym, Donna Klein & Associates is now offering groups. With social skills, handwriting, yoga and personal training groups among others available, Klein said chil- donna Klein & associates provides services in various settings. dren are “able to gain skill and self-esteem in the company of new of better-quality therapy. “We’ve long been thought of as some of friends.” the best therapy services available in our “This allows children to build self esarea” Klein said. teem through new friendships while gainIn addition to group therapy, Donna ing competence,” Klein said. Groups combine their high quality ther- Klein & Associates continues to provide apy with the concept of children motivat- individualized service for sensory inteing children. Not only does each therapist grative disorders, children on the autism tailor a group’s goals to each child’s indi- spectrum, fine motor/gross motor incovidual needs, but also each child can find ordination, children with learning disand be a “mentor” for their new friends. abilities and children with ADD/ADHD For over 20 years, Donna Klein & As- and neuromuscular disabilities, as well as sociates has provided therapy services auditory-based interventions such as interto Westchester children. Klein believes active metronome. “maximizing a child’s potential, hearing Visit www.donnakleintherapy.com or what’s important to a parent and providvisit Facebook for at home therapeutic tips ing topnotch intervention” are the essence and strategies. n


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CELEBRATING OUR 45th YEAR! We offer a warm and accepting atmosphere where each child’s individuality is encouraged within the group setting. Class time consists of free play with opportunities for exploring special subjects. Circle time is held daily for discussions and stories. We have a weekly music program with “Miss Mary Ellen and her guitar”. Emphasis is given to one-on-one time with teachers and groups that encourage social, emotional and intellectual growth. Our large outdoor facility provides space for climbing houses, swings and a substantial flat surface for “big wheels”, tricycles, scooters and cars.

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A great foundation • good educational experience • socialization and independence • personal attention to students

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Feels Good

A Hebrew School Your Kids Can Love! A spiritual home for you! Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Renewal, intermarried families ‌ all under one roof. Yoga and Meditation. Social Action and Adult Education. It’s all good. And around here it all comes together at PCS.

Open House You’ve read about us in the New York Times and heard about us from your friends and neighbors. Come see for yourself Friday evening, Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m. Meet Rabbi Mark Sameth and Hebrew School Principal Ronni Metzger. Learn why folks from 20 cities, towns, and villages across Westchester now belong to Pleasantville Community Synagogue. And if you’re interested in purchasing High Holiday tickets please let us know! Call (914) 769-2672, stop in at 219 Bedford Road, visit us on-line at www.shalomPCS.com, or e-mail us at info@shalomPCS.com.

This is not your parents’ synagogue‌

Joyful Judaism!

Extra-Curricular Arts

Hoff-Barthelson Music School for all interests and abilities The Hoff-Barthelson Music School, a major Westchester center for music education and performance for more than 65 years, extends a welcome of warmth and caring to all who walk through its doors and into its musical home. HBMS students embark upon a journey of musical growth under the guidance of a distinguished faculty, and are encouraged to explore their musical ideas, tastes and potential in a setting of friendship and support. Private musical instruction, sequential musicianship classes and annual performances constitute the school’s core curriculum. The 90-member faculty, comprised of many of the region’s most distinguished performers, offers lessons for all students in both classical and jazz idioms. Students of all ages and skill levels may join one of the many chamber, choral, jazz or orchestral ensembles. (Students from outside the school may participate in an ensemble or club for a modest fee.) Hoff-Barthelson’s Orchestral Training Pyramid is unique among music schools in Westchester County in structure, substance and quality. Students begin their orchestral experience in the Lower School Symphonette, move on to Chamber Orchestra or Wind Ensemble and then may audition for the selective Festival Orchestra, which has been lauded as one of the finest high school orchestras in the country by the New York State Council on the Arts.

HBMS isn’t just for youngsters! Adults have a special treat in store at HBMS with a new program, Dalcroze for the Older Adult, an approach to learning music concepts through movement. This 14-week course will meet weekly and participants will explore music concepts while exercising skills in balance and gait. Adults will experience the pleasure of moving with music and a general sense of increased well-being. An open house is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, at 2:15 p.m. The very youngest students will enjoy Hoff-Barthelson’s Music & Movement Program, staffed by dynamic, highly skilled eurhythmics teachers, which features Music and Movement classes for parents/caregivers and children from birth to 5 years old. These classes present an opportunity for parents and their little ones to share songs, rhymes and movement games in a nurturing setting. The music school introduces language learning through music with its Hola Niùos and Welcome to Mandarin classes for preschoolers 3 and 4 years old. The school’s group recorder classes introduce children to the basic concepts of music on an early wind instrument while they discover the joy of making music with others. A full Suzuki program for violin, viola, cello, flute and piano completes the Continued on page 57A

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create, preserve school memories


t’s back-to-school time again, which means new teachers, new classrooms and new routines. As the long summer days are coming to an end, fall schedules start and families get back into the swing of the school year. To help kids make the transition, it’s important to create a healthy balance of school duties and family time, while maintaining the summer energy and fun. Here are some tips to help your family create and preserve cherished memories during this back-to-school season.

Digitally preserve school memories School artwork, important documents and first day photos are special reminders of your child’s time spent in school. Keeping physical copies of these items can be cumbersome, with fragile pieces of artwork often ending up damaged or lost. • Skip storing items in a dusty basement box and create a digital scrapbook the whole family can enjoy. • Preserve special memories by taking photos of your kids’ artwork and uploading the images to a CD or flash drive with other important documents and photos. • Create digital scrapbooks or online photo albums, a fun activity that makes these items easily accessible for out-oftown family.

• Involve the whole family to inspire imagination and create lasting memories.

Create musical moments Master morning chores, homework assignments and after-school errands with the help of family-friendly playlists. • Create an upbeat playlist to help get kids through the morning routine of brushing teeth, eating breakfast and getting out the door. • Lullabies and classical music have been known to help people absorb more information and de-stress. • Use music to support after-school study sessions and keep kids on task. • Make car time fun by letting your kids pick the playlist. • Let them include some favorite singalong tunes to help travel time fly by.

Schedule time for family It’s easy for family moments to get lost

in the shuffle of everyday routines. Just as you would schedule a practice or work meeting, consider scheduling regular family time. • Choose any type of game (video, board, sports) that is team-oriented to bring the family together. • Turn daily chores into family fun by hosting a cooking competition or a highspeed room cleaning contest. • Taking time to be together will improve communication, build a solid support system at home and create more meaningful family time. Memorex offers a full line of products

that help families create and preserve lasting memories. The Memorex Signature Audio Series offers six stylish iPod and iPhone compatible audio products to help families groove together at home or on the go. The Memorex line of video game accessories will reinvent your family game night with Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS and PlayStation 3 compatible accessories. For more information, visit the Memorex Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/ MemorexFans or Memorex.com. n — ArA content

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Creativity counts: Why kids ne ed the Arts By JACKIE LUPO “What does your son do after school?” asked a mom to her friend one day over coffee. “Music? Art? Acting?” “Well, he doesn’t seem to be an ‘artsy’ person,” answered the second mom. “He has never shown signs of being talented in any particular direction. I guess he’ll just do sports.” End of discussion. And maybe, the end of a child’s interest in the arts, even before it had a chance to begin. Does a kid need to show creativity or talent to benefit from participation in the arts? We asked that question to local experts from the fields of music, theater, dance and the visual arts. The answers we got may surprise you. “We say, everyone’s a creative person. You were born a creative person,” said Jill Abusch who, with her husband, Steve, owns Play Group Theater in White Plains. “Our job is to nurture and guide it.” Steve Abusch agrees. When it comes to success in theater, he said, “We’re definitely of the understanding that it’s a taught skill. We don’t expect the kids to come in with the skills that we will teach them. Sometimes kids say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this, because look at everybody up there on the stage. They’re so good.’ But it’s not that they are better — they have learned the skills.” The Abusches run acting classes for kids during the school year and a theater summer camp. Their goal, throughout a typical day of camp, is to nurture creativity. “The idea is

to provide a complete creative environment. That includes providing creative role models — teachers and adults who lead creative lives,” Jill Abusch said. “We gather together at the beginning of every day and we have the ‘question of the day.’ For example, today’s question was, If you could combine any two animals, what two animals would you combine, and what would that animal be like? It gets you thinking outside the box. Everybody’s voice is heard, and their personalities emerge. And they’re challenged to think in a new way.”

What about talent? Steve Abusch doesn’t even like to use the word. “The idea that you’ve either got talent or you don’t is a complete misconception,” he said.

It’s the process that counts Where there’s a will there’s a way, according to our experts. “Arts are great for kids whether they’re talented or not,” said Nancy Rothenberg, owner of Studio B Dance in Eastchester. “It’s just a way to express oneself. Art should be appreciated by all kids, even kids with disabilities.

There doesn’t have to be any talent.” Dance experts agree that for those kids who want to progress to more advanced levels of very formal disciplines such as ballet, there is a natural selection process. “Kids can be as young as 4 or 5, and we sometimes see they have a talent,” Rothenberg said. “Sometimes, when they turn 8, they suddenly become serious. Talent can be developed at any time. In dance, you can see if children have good feet. You can see if they are good listeners at a young age.” But what about kids that are not naturally graceful — those that are, in fact, on the klutzy side? Don’t write off the idea of dance, said Rothenberg. “A lot depends on what the studio’s philosophy is,” she said. “A very structured ballet studio might not be best for that child. They might feel better, if they’re not comfortable in ballet, doing something like hip-hop. Not every child has to be excellent — they just have to have the opportunity to express themselves. So, I think that when a child wants to dance, if they enjoy doing it, you don’t want to discourage them.” Diane White, owner of Scarsdale Ballet Studio, said desire is just as important as talent. “I have learned that, though some children show obvious ability from a very young age, one mustn’t overlook any student with a desire to learn,” she said. “Many of my students have been late bloomers. At the same time, no matter how much talent a child has, or Continued on the next page

Hastings Co-op Nursery School A child-centered, cooperative preschool founded on respect for the spirit of young children and dedicated to encouraging their natural talent for learning. We offer: • Classes designed to help children mature socially, emotionally and intellectually • A progressive, process-oriented teaching approach for 2, 3, and 4 year olds • A curriculum that supports learning through hands-on & minds-on experiences • A collaborative environment where parents are involved in their child’s educational journey • Experienced, knowledgeable, and nurturing teachers • A wonderful first school experience for both children and families

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Photo by sally semonite GReen

Continued from the previous page

how hard he or she works, there is no guaranteed outcome. It’s the process that counts. In dance, as in any other discipline, each class should be a reward in and of itself.” White’s philosophy may surprise parents who assume that participation in the arts is only worthwhile as long as the child is making steady progress toward some level of “professionalism.” But experts in other arts agree with White that it’s the process — the experience of performing, or creating art — that’s of real value to kids. Loren Andersen, founder and owner of the Katonah Arts Center, teaches art to students from third grade to adults. She notes that “people are born with more or less activity in one side of the brain.” Some students come in with more natural, open-

ended creative ability — “right-brain” people. Others are recognizable as “left-brain” people — folks who tend to thrive in a more structured situation. “You can train the right side of the brain to be more active,” said Andersen, who uses exercises such as the ones in the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” to unlock a person’s creative potential. Andersen said that sometimes kids who first arrive at class with a left brain approach have to be “untaught.” “Instead of teaching them, ‘This is how to draw a face,’ we teach them to see the face,” Anderson said. “When they’re drawing metal or glass, forget what it is, and look at value, shape, color. Then it becomes accessible to them.” Andersen believes teachers and parents

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can play major roles in either promoting or discouraging a child’s creativity. “Parents should be nothing but positive,” she said. When looking at a child’s drawing, if it isn’t realistic, “Don’t say, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look like this in real life’ or ‘That sky doesn’t look real.’” She recounts the story of a parent who would make some critical remark about her young daughter’s painting every time she came to pick her up after class. “That child didn’t continue the next year,” noted Andersen. Music is an area in which the need for technical proficiency often leaves kids by the wayside. Once again, some parents have the perception that every child needs to strive for some level of professionalism to make the effort worthwhile. This attitude, and the pressure on kids that comes with it, often

results in kids quitting music lessons after a few years. But according to Joan Bergman, director of Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, “Music is an essential part of life.” “Students here glean an enduring love of music and discover the joy of sharing it with others,” she said. “We emphasize the intrinsic value of a life enriched by the ability to appreciate music, and the skills to interpret the vast menu of music literature available to us. We encourage the creative inspiration that gives voice to the music within our hearts.” Many of the school’s students have gone on to professional careers in music. But not every young pianist will make it to Carnegie Hall, and not everyone wants to. Some just want to be able to play their favorite pieces at home, or for friends and family. Who’s to say what’s more important? n

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Extra-Curricular Arts

Expanded space for theater arts at Applause Westchester Applause Westchester, founded in 1995, is excited that it is expanding again. Since opening in Mamaroneck in January 2008, it has now expanded its space — twice. In addition, this September Applause Westchester adds singing, acting, ballet and tap programs to its lineup of exceptional music and theater classes. Applause Westchester’s new state-of-theart dance and rehearsal studio is located on the second floor of its current location at 114 W. Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck, making it now three floors of classroom and studio space. The new second floor studio with wood floors and mirrored walls also boasts expansive windows to allow beautiful views of Harbor Island beach and park. In September 2010, Applause Westchester built out additional studio space on the ground floor to accommodate the growing demand for classes. New at Applause Westchester this fall: • “Broadway Babies” and “Rock-n-Roll Babies” classes, now $100 per month. • New “Music and Sports” class for toddlers 18-36 months old in conjunction with OnDeck NY. • “Broadway Ballet and Tap” class. • Additional Applause Weekend Workshop for fifth- and sixth-graders on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The current Applause Weekend Workshop for sixth-eighth-graders remains on Saturday afternoons from 1:15-5:15 p.m. • “On Camera” and “Acting for the In-

applause westchester rocks!

dustry” classes for students currently auditioning or just starting to break into the business. More exciting news: Seven-year-old Henry Kelemen of Larchmont, whose interest in theater and acting career began at Applause Westchester’s classes and camp, appeared as the “youngest” Mr. Popper in this summer’s hit movie “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” Kelemen got his manager from Applause Westchester’s

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Talent Manager Workshop in 2010. Several students who attained their agents and manager through Applause Westchester recently auditioned for Broadway for their first time for the upcoming Broadway revival of “Annie.” “Everyone here shares a love for music and theater and considers it a privilege to expose children to these great art forms,” said Heather Capelle, director of operations.

“In addition to this passion, we enjoy seeing our students grow and develop the skills necessary for the performing arts, whether it be professionally or just for fun. And in the arts, you truly develop friendships like no others. It’s so rewarding to see that happening for our students.” Applause Westchester opened in Westchester in January 2008. This premier music and drama program introduces Broadway and rock ‘n’ roll music to children 4 months to 3 years with professional performers/musicians who sing out in harmony while the curriculum weaves educational activities, such as pre-k development of motor skills, color and letter recognition, counting and socialization, all through the stories and songs of each Broadway musical or band. Applause Westchester students then take the next step by performing in Broadway Stars (3-5 years). Next, it is on to the classes in the Superstars division for k-sixth grade with singing, acting and hip-hop. The Applause Weekend Workshop for Grades 5-8 is an exciting and intensive workshop for students who are more serious about performing and theater, and is by audition only. Applause Westchester offers children’s birthday parties with a Broadway show or theme of choice and interactive entertainment with a 45-minute show. Their Broadway and rock ‘n’ roll performers make the party come alive with games, music and fun. Visit www.applauseny.com. n

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Extra-Curricular Arts

music school Continued from page 52A

roster of preschool programs. The HB preschool, which has offered a daily program for 3- and 4-year-olds, with a special emphasis on music and art since 1975, has a few openings available for the upcoming school year. The public is invited to hear the school’s many fine ensembles, often in performance with renowned guest artists, at the Classics in Concert and the Music of Our Time festivals. The HB Artist Series (the Faculty in Performance) presents the School’s exemplary professionals in chamber music recitals that are open to the public for a nominal fee. The school’s distinguished tradition of free-of-charge Master Classes coached by world-class musicians continues with internationally renowned cellist Joel Krosnik, flutist Bart Fekker, pianist Seymour

Lipkin and violinist Jennifer Ko. The New York Philharmonic will return on April 16, 2012 for its 16th annual educational residency for chamber ensembles. Other special events will include a commissioned work for the HBMS Jazz Studies Department by David Grossman, bassist with the New York Philharmonic, and a lecture recital, Classical-Jazz Connections, by Stuart Isacoff on Friday, Nov. 4, at 7 p.m. Adults who wish to refresh their instrumental technique or who enjoy choral singing may join the Adult Chamber Program or the Festival Chorus. The Festival Chorus participates in the school’s major music festivals. The Adult Flute Choir always welcomes new members. At Performers Showcase, avocational players hone their performance skills before a sympathetic audience of fellow performers. School opens Sept. 9. Call 723-1169, email hb@hbms.org or visit www.hbms. org. n

Meeting for Suzuki method of music Music programs based on the Suzuki Method of musical instruction were founded by Shinichi Suzuki, who believed that every child can develop talent and excel in life when properly nurtured. In September, the Hudson River School of Music will host a free informational meeting on Understanding the Suzuki Method. Attendees will: • See students play the violin and cello. • Hear about the program at HRSM. • Meet other families who have used the method.

• Register for school year. The Hudson River School of Music, located in Dobbs Ferry, is a communitybased, nonprofit school for children ages 3-18. Founded in 1968, the school was the first in the Northeast to provide instruction by Japanese teachers trained by Suzuki. Come learn more about the Suzuki Method and the Hudson River School of Music. Limited spots available for the 2011-12 school year. Call 693-9481 to register or visit www.hrsm.org. n

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 57a

Play Group Theatre

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

Fall 2011

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Extra-Curricular Arts

School helps kids share the creative joy of dance Share the joy of dance at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance, just named as having “Best Kids Classes” by Westchester Magazine. The school’s centrally located studios are home to classes appealing to the needs of a variety of dance students and are housed in the nearby Music Conservatory of Westchester (across from the county center) in White Plains. Classes also take place in Chappaqua at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin on South Greeley Avenue. Core Curriculum modern dance classes are taught to live music for children in preschool-third grade. They are followed by modern/jazz (grades 4-5) and jazz classes, for grades 6 and up, classes that introduce and explore the rhythm, styles and music of the jazz idiom. Classes take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They develop both technique and creativity and emphasize movement and dance vocabulary. Technique is taught in the form of dances set to a variety of music children love and are appropriate to the physical and educational development of each age level. In addition, the school’s excellent technique programs include modern, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and a young children’s ballet program beginning with classical story ballet at age 3. A guest artist program of short-term workshops in a variety of dance and movement dance forms will be offered throughout the year. The Steffi Nossen School of Dance, founded in Westchester in 1937, is a pro-

steffi nossen school of dance students in kindergarten and first grade in “eloise” as part of this spring’s children’s show, “Live from new york.”

gram of the not-for-profit Dance in Education Fund, an organization making dance opportunities more available for dance students, professionals and audiences. Classes emphasize the joy and freedom of dance as well as honing technique. Live music and visiting days are highlights of the program. All students — recreational and pre-professional — are treated with equal attention and respect. School director Kathy Fitzgerald said, “Our program involves the whole child,

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not only physically, but also their emotions, their minds and their creativity. Our faculty collaboratively designs a sequential, developmental and age-appropriate curriculum that shares their love of dance, encourages creativity and exposes students to a variety of dance styles. Faculty members are all graduates of college dance programs and performing professionals. As dance is a performing art, there are performance opportunities for all students.” She added, “For the dancer interested in

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developing technical advancement, master classes, ensembles, and the pre-professional Steffi Nossen Dance Company are additional possibilities.” Fitzgerald is a graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, who has performed as a principal dancer with and teacher for Frankfort Ballet and soloist with Netherlands Dance Theater. Moving Wheels & Heels is a program of adaptive dance classes for students of all abilities — both wheelchair and stand-up. It includes movement adapted so that all can experience the joy of moving to music and learn dance technique. Students can increase strength, range of motion, focus and social skills. Individual creative expression is encouraged. Teacher Jeanie Gayeski previously taught and headed the arts department at the Gillen Brewer School in New York City. She holds an M.S. in elementary education, a certificate in dance education for children from the 92nd St. Y, and has trained in creative arts therapy at Pratt Institute and in yoga and creative movement for children with special needs. Classes include live music. During the Week of Dance Open House, Sept. 19-24, all are invited to try as many age- and level-appropriate classes as they wish at no charge. Call 328-1900 or email info@steffinossen.org to plan your dance year, register or arrange a no-obligation trial class. To learn more about classes and meet the faculty, visit www.steffinossen.org. n

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BTS Extra-Curricular Arts Explore at WCC Center for the Arts Since its founding in 1926, Westchester Community College Center for the Arts (formerly Westchester Art Workshop) has provided the Westchester community the opportunity to explore and expand its creativity and gain an education in the visual arts. From the most traditional methods to the most cutting-edge technology, Center for the Arts is dedicated to providing education in the arts and craft media, supporting the notion that the arts and creativity are fundamental to life. Center for the Arts programs have evolved over the years into a full spectrum of art offerings in painting, drawing, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, computer arts and photography. As an extension site of Westchester Community College, Center for the Arts offers a rich variety of credit and non-credit courses every semester, serving matriculated

students working toward a certificate or associate degree, as well as the community’s needs for enrichment. Recently, Center for the Arts added a selection of general education classes such as English, history, psychology, sociology and film. Primarily serving continuing education adults and college students, Center for the Arts does offer summer art classes for children ranging in age from 6-16 and also offers a unique portfolio development class for teens during the regular school year. Westchester Community College Center for the Arts is centrally located at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The fall semester has two starting dates. The first series of classes start Sept. 9 and the second series of classes start Sept. 19. For more information visit www.sunywcc.edu/arts or call 606-7500. n

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 59a


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Janet Gordon M. S., CCC-SLP, TSHH

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Extra-Curricular Arts

Programs for all ages at CPD Whether your child is bound for Broadway or ready to be introduced to dance for the first time, Central Park Dance combines a fun dance environment along with a studio focused on teaching proper dance technique. Led by artistic director Maria Bai and director of operations Mario LaStrada, Central Park Dance is celebrating over 30 years in business. “We believe that superior teaching and a supportive atmosphere go hand in hand,” Bai said. “Our dancers believe in themselves because we do everything we can to motivate and inspire them.” Thanks to her extensive dance experience, Bai has developed a dance syllabus that reflects every age, ability and commitment level for each student studying ballet, pointe, jazz and tap. Her program integrates fairness, constructive education and a very rewarding dance experience. Be sure to ask about the preschool program, which is regarded as one of the finest in the area. Children as young as 2 years of age delight in Tot & I, an introduction to dance. The latest addition is the popular Fairytale Ballet for ages 3-5. LaStrada is constantly updating the programs and class offerings to ensure quality, variety and age-appropriate options. With over 30 years of experience, Central Park Dance knows that variety and creativeness have made them a popular studio for dancers. With over 150 weekly classes to choose from such as ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, hip-

hop jazz and pointe, as well as fitness classes like aerobics, boot camp, hip-hop fit, Latin dance fit, Latin workout and the ever popular zumba, you are sure to find a class that’s right for you. Camps, birthday parties, Miss Talia’s Boutique and more are available. Miss Talia’s Boutique is located within Central Park Dance and is open late, seven days a week for your convenience. We offer a wide selection of footwear, body wear, gymnastics attire and accessories at affordable prices. Beyond just traditional dance programs, Central Park Dance also offers summer camps and creative birthday parties. They customize each party and add elements that work best for your child and his/her guests. Central Park Dance, at 450 Central Park Ave. in Scarsdale, invites you to participate in the ultimate dance experience. Call 7232940 or visit www.centralparkdance.com. n

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In 1978, Claessens came to •We We offer proctored practice tests, which are graded and then Š proctored practice tests, which are graded and Scarsdale Ballet (near White thenoffer reviewed with our students. New York as a scholarship student at the Š We offer proctored practice tests, which are graded and reviewed with our students. Studio and the Purthen reviewed with our students. School of and American Ballet and the AmeriPlains) Š then reviewed chase Youth Ballet, Christian Claessens can Ballet Theatre School simultaneously. •Conveniently Conveniently located with our students. Larchmont. Š Conveniently located in is opening a new After graduating, he performed with the in Scarsdale (near Š Conveniently ballet school in Tarrytown. All classes at La Š Scarsdale located in Visit Kansasour City Ballet and the Pittsburgh BalWhite Plains) and located in Lecon Christian Claessens, School of Ballet let Theater. (near White website to read Scarsdale Larchmont. will be taught by Claessens. 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We have a proven track record of program unique and whyat our vision of the Conservatory of Dance Pur- students Claessens’s philosophy of teaching reflects our Ask chase College (SUNY).entrance Claessens has been with elevating scores and motivating students. uI, their college exams confidence. s aSAT Private tutoring is available available forthe theSAT SAT II bouII his European training, which he began in take Private tutoring isavailable also for I, SAT IIt and Private tutoring is for the SAT I, SAT our referr Brussels, Belgium, at the Conservatoire de presenting his choreography in Westchester a l and ACT. We have a proven track record of ACT. WeWe have a proven tracktrack record of elevating Call us today sohave we can explain what makes and ACT. a proven record ofdiscouscores and New York City since(914) 1991. 835-0036 His unique Info@ZoffnessSATprep.com nt AskAsk la Monnaie. 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A Musical Treasure in Westchester Join MCW This Fall! For over 80 years, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has provided outstanding music instruction for students of all ages and all abilities. Conveniently located in White Plains, MCW offers lessons, classes, ensembles and more in a beautiful building provided by outstanding teachers, plus a nationally-recognized music therapy program, and live performances monthly.

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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Smart (and fun) ways to stop summer brain drain


reparing for back-to-school season is more than just shopping for classroom supplies and new clothes. During summer vacation, kids can experience a month or more of learning loss. As a parent, you can halt the summer brain drain and give your kids the brain boost they need to prepare them for the upcoming school year. Exercising the brain doesn’t need to be something boring that kids dread. With some creative ideas, you can encourage your children to have fun and the education will come naturally.

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Smart idea 1: scavenger hunt A family scavenger hunt can make for a fun afternoon activity full of education and a bit of friendly competition. For smaller children, focusing on counting skills can be a good way to add education to the activity. Have them look for things like five red rocks, three yellow leaves and one penny. For older kids, make nature your inspiration and have them seek more specific items, such as a certain type of tree leaf, a specific flower or a bird feather from a popular local bird. Arm them with a nature book or diagram so they can learn about each item as they look for it. The great thing about scavenger hunts is they can be done anywhere. Stay close to home and have the hunt in your neighbor-

Personalized Tutoring

Smart idea 2: board games Recent research has acknowledged the significant benefits that board games have, not only on children’s cognitive development and their brain’s motor functions, but also on important life skills such as patience, cooperation, concentration, teamwork and perseverance. Two fun games with educational benefits are Jungle Speed and Dixit. Jungle Speed is a fast and furious game of quick thinking and lightning-fast reflexes. Think classic card games like Spoons or WAR, embellish the cards with abstract shapes and colors and add an exciting race element. The game will have kids involved in so much exciting, stimulating fun, they won’t even know they’re learning. Dixit is a unique game of storytelling through imagination and clues. Artistically designed cards tell a different story for every individual and put creativity to the test. “We find that game play enhances many cognitive functions, including visual discrimination, visual span, visual processing speed, visual-motor integration and visual sustained attention,” said Jason Continued on the next page

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696R White Plains Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583

Artistic Director: DIANA WHITE, former soloist of NYC Ballet

Pine, president and founder of the national after-school program Sharp as a Tack. “It is astounding how much progress each student makes in terms of cognitive processing speed in just one session. You can see the transformation in their eyes and body language.”

Smart idea 3: crafts that teach Encouraging kids to be creative and use their imagination is a great way to have a blast while exercising that brain muscle. If your child has an interest in a certain type of art or craft, encourage him to explore it throughout the summer. From writing poetry to sketching flowers, you’ll be amazed to see their talent develop. Here are three fun educational crafting ideas: • Make puppets and plan a puppet show. You can create your own storyline and

characters or choose from a favorite play or movie. Put the show on for the neighbors or family. • Make learning about nature fun by incorporating crafting. For example, pick up leaves that have dropped and create nature rubbings by putting the leaves between two pieces of paper and rubbing with crayon. Collages that feature natural treasures are always fun as well. • Encourage kids to write in a daily journal and keep small mementos from their favorite activities. Each week go through the journal and add to a scrapbook. From playing games to making crafts, with these fun activities, your kids will be learning and preparing their brains for backto-school without even realizing it. Summer will be a blast and heading back to school prepared will benefit you both. n — ArA content



After-school classes for children and teens. Daytime and evening classes for adults.

Westchester’s premier destination for professional-level classical and contemporary ballet training for ages 3 through Adult

914.725.8754 www.ScarsdaleBalletStudio.com


Greenburgh Nature Center


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Nature discovery for children with a parent/caregiver. Meet a museum animal, hear a story and do a craft or nature game.

Call 478-2762


(ages 1½ - 5) Children and parents/caregivers come for an hour of nature fun. Enjoy walks, live animals, stories and crafts.

or look us up on the web: www.potteryonhudson.com 145 Palisade St., Dobbs Ferry

Handwriting • Athletics • Gross Motor Social Skills • Fine Motor • Language Occupational • Physical • Speech Therapy Individual Therapy • Small Groups • Evaluations Consultations • Enrichment Sessions Robbie Levy, MA, OTR/L, Director 914-428-5151 White Plains www.dynamickidsny.com



Continued from the previous page


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www.greenburghnaturecenter.org or


for class times, dates & prices


99 Dromore Road Scarsdale, NY


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FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

index to adveRtiseRs 5th Avenue Chocolatiere ............29A Affordables.................................47A Alcott School .............................11A Nicole Alifante, Acting Coach ...40A Aloha Mind Math.......................62A Ardsley Community Nursery School......................58A Ardsley Orthodontics .................16A Ardsley United Methodist Nursery School......................51A Around the World Children’s Center ....................................44A Art Academy of Westchester......47A Aspire .........................................38A Bauer Optical Eye Care .............12A The Beginners Club ...................30A Beginnings .................................15A Bernstein Center for Visual Performance ..........................30A Robert J. Bernstein Educational Services .............21A Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Rand Realty .......66A Blue Rock School ......................45A Boulder Brook Equestrian Center ...................................56A Bowman Educational Services ....3A The Brick Oven Pizza ................59A Buddy’s Barking Lot ..................31A CEED .........................................45A Central Park Dance ...................46A The Children’s Jewish Education Group ..................57A Christian Pre-School ..................22A Jeri S. Cipriano, M.A., Tutor .....62A Choice College Consulting ........32A Collegistics.................................65A Community Nursery School of South Presbyterian Church ...12A Convent of the Sacred Heart ......48A The Corset Tree ..........................16A Creative Beginnings .....................9A Dance & Theater Arts Studios ...32A Days of Wonder Child Care Program .......................55A Denny’s ......................................25A Dobbs Ferry Karate ....................43A Dynamic Kids ............................63A The Elegant Poster .....................19A Elite Tutors .................................52A Elmwood Day School ................54A Endless Trail Bikeworx ..............43A Equalize Fitness .........................23A Family Helpers ...........................58A Dr. Brian H. Finn, Orthodontics..........................36A Five Corners Nursery .................26A Galápagos Books .......................10A

Gateway .......................................8A The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development .......37A Good Shepherd Early Childhood Center ..................41A Janet Gordon, M.S., CCC-SLP, TSHH ..................60A Great Outdoor Toy Company ....48A Great Play...................................32A Green Meadow Waldorf School .15A Greenburgh Hebrew Center .......13A Greenburgh Hebrew Center Nursery School......................13A Greenburgh Nature Center .........63A Greenleaf Pharmacy ...................49A Gymboree Play & Music .............3A Gymcats Gymnastics .................23A Happy Harbor Child Care Center ...........................28A The Harvey School ....................33A Hastings Bootery........................44A Hastings Center Restaurant ........51A Hastings Co-op Nursery School...54A Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA..........9A

HaZamir Westchester .................65A Gary D. Heitzler, D.D.S. ............62A Hoff-Barthelson Music School ...60A Home Helpers ............................10A The Homework Club Program ...26A Houlihan Lawrence ......................2A Hudson Family Dental ...............55A Hudson River School of Music ..39A Hudson Valley Health & Tennis Club ...........................19A Huntington Learning Center ......39A Immaculate Conception Pre-Kindergarten ...................41A Industry ......................................17A JCC Mid-Westchester ................60A JCC on the Hudson ....................28A Kids Co-Motion .........................26A Donna Klein & Associates, Inc. .32A La Leçon: Christian Claessens School of Ballet......................51A The Lice Lady of Westchester....52A Lice Off ......................................44A Listen for Change.......................45A Live Wire Security .....................27A

Shirley Love ...............................62A The Masters School......................7A Mishkan Ha’am..........................48A Mohawk Country Day School ...20A Music Conservatory of Westchester ...........................61A Musical Munchkins....................36A The Muzic Store.........................24A On Hudson Fitness & Dance Studio .........................67A OrthoCare Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation.........21A Parisi Speed School....................23A Pediatrics on Hudson .................39A Peter J. Riolo Real Estate ...........68A Pilates and More ..........................5A Play Group Theatre ....................57A Pleasantville Community Synagogue .............................52A Pottery-on-Hudson .....................63A The Resistance Personal Training Loft ...........................7A The Rivertown Pre-School.........31A Rivertown’s Dental ....................22A Robert Jacobson Sports ..............10A Salon Biagio ...............................27A Say Cheese & Thank You ............9A Scarsdale Ballet Studio ..............63A Scarsdale Synagogue Temples Tremont and Emanu-El .........59A School of the Holy Child ...........61A Shaarei Tikvah ...........................53A Slices Pizzeria & Family Restaurant .............................42A Snip-its .......................................55A Solomon Schechter School of Westchester ...........................47A Soundview Preparatory School ..40A Spa Lamya .................................24A Steffi Nossen School of Dance ..57A Temple Beth Abraham ...............29A Temple Beth Shalom ..................18A Temple Beth Shalom Nursery School ...................................18A Terri Optics Eyewear Gallery ......7A The Toddler “Messy Art” and Movement Program........41A U-Turn Auto Driving School .....58A Urgent Care of Westchester .........5A Westchester Community College Center for the Arts.................44A Westchester Jewish Community Services ................................60A Westchester Skating Academy ...50A Wireless Voice ............................17A Woodlands Community Temple ....8A Woolf College Consulting..........52A Zoffness SAT Prep .....................61A

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

Back to School

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 65a


Back to school after all these years



graduated from college in 1999. I never did well sitting in a classroom (not grade-wise necessarily, but sitting and paying attention for long periods of time). The only “classroom learning” time I’ve had since that time would be short classes at an annual two-day press convention. Next month, however, is my first real back-to-school experience in over a decade. For four years most of what my son, Henry, knew was either staying home with mom or dad or going to his grandparents’s houses for the day. We knew that he wasn’t getting much socialization with his peers, but it caused no strain on our already empty wallets keeping him home with us, plus it also helps that parent-child bond. Then this year in the winter and spring once each week for an hour, Henry went to a cooking class. This summer he spent 2.5 hours five days a week at camp. Now, in his final year before he’s old enough for kindergarten, our 4.5-year-old is going to pre-school. This is big stuff for us, major stuff for him. He loves being around kids, but doesn’t always know how to handle the situations that arise. (From my observation, many of the ones who have been in daycare or been to pre-school don’t either.) The cooking class and camp were a transition for Henry — he got a timeout for not listening at each one, but for the most part was on his pretty good behavior. The real reason we’re sending him to pre-school is for the social aspect, for him to get into a routine and reinforce everything his parents have been telling him about how to behave before we unleash our little monster into public school. With Henry going to school, and his younger brother Jeffrey to follow in four years, I feel like I’m going back to school. Sure, I may not be sitting in classes, taking tests, writing pa-

pers or doing projects, but eventually I feel like I will be. I’m going to have to know lots of things that I forgot before I even took the tests back in elementary school, middle school and high school so I don’t look like a total dope to my kids. Luckily I think between my wife and I we have the math and humanities angles covered at least until a certain point where they surpass us. Just the other day Henry asked me two questions: 1) Is Mercury the smallest planet? and 2) What about Pluto? Luckily I had my laptop out so I could at least attempt to

answer his questions (sad, right?). And then try explaining to your 4.5-year-old that Pluto is not a planet and that his Baby Einstein DVDs, Blues Clues and apparently all of the scientific community since 1930, were wrong. Then tell him that it’s one of 40 “dwarf planets.” Now imagine you actually know what that means. This is the same kid that listened to his mom — by his choice — read from my old Golden Guide space book about nebulae and not even flinch, and then laughs hysterically when I tell him we live in the Milky Way Galaxy. Soon enough it will be time to go over the whole Uranus pronunciation thing. Ah, the life of a parent. I think, especially in Westchester County, getting an education is as much a strain on parents as it is on kids because of the expectations we place on our schools and our children. How will I as a parent handle my children’s education? Will I advocate for them? Will I sit back and not make waves so they don’t get caught in the middle? Will I help with the homework? Too much, not enough? Will I value creativity? The arts? Sports? Certain subjects in the classroom? And how will my kids handle me? A colleague came in a few years ago and told us that her then-kindergartener grandson and his classmates were given an activity/coloring book about saving — for college! We all had a good laugh about it, but in reality, 13 years goes by QUICKLY! I’ve seen plenty of people spend what they have now to make sure their kids are getting the proper education they need to get into college — my wife and I fit into that mold right now — but when high school hits, they start to panic, especially with the costs escalating each year. I don’t look forward to that feeling. From pre-school to college and everything in-between, the collective process does make you nervous all over again, kind of like going back to school.

1. a combination of college and logistics 2. a highly organized and research-driven college advising partnership 3. a supportive, caring team that understands your needs

More than a name . . . a team approach to personalized college advising www.collegistics.com 914-282-3820

Page 66a/The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

Back to School

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

Back to School

Celebrating 20 Great Years

New York Goju Karate Black Belt Academy AGE & RANK SPECIFIC CLASSES

Pre-School Tiny Tigers • Leadership All Women • Teen/Adult • Parent/Child

On Hudson Fitness & Dance Studio Jazz • Hip-Hop • Lyrical • Ballet • Pointe • Modern Tap • Pre-School • Princess Ballet • Classical Ballet

Fitness Classes with the finest instructors in Westchester! BIRTHDAY PARTIES

ALL AGES! ALL LEVELS! ALL FUN! 558 Warburton Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson

914.478.0508 www.nygka.com www.onhudsondance.com

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011/ Page 67a

Back to School

Page 68a/The RiveRTowns enTeRPRise

FRiday, augusT 19, 2011

Numbers to KNow ( P L E A S E R E F R I G E R A T E I M M E D I A T E LY ! )

Emergencies — 911

Public Schools ARDSLEY UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendent of Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-6300 Concord Road Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-7510 Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-7564 High School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 693-6300

(all villages)

Poison Control Center 800-222-1222

DOBBS FERRY UNION FREE SCHOOL DISTRICT Superintendents Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1506 Business Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1500 Springhurst Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1503 Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-7640 High School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-7645

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS Superintendent’s Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-6200 Board of Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2900 Hillside Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-6270 Farragut Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-6230 Hastings High School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-6250

IRVINGTON Superintendent’s Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-8500 Dows Lane Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-6012 Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-9494 High School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-8500

Parochial Schools

Our Lady of Victory Academy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1633

Private Schools

Hackley School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .631-0128 Masters School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1400

Pre-Schools ARDSLEY

Ardsley Community Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-4932 Ardsley United Methodist Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0204

DOBBS FERRY Alcott Montessori School . . . . . . . . . .693-4443, 472-4404 or 595-7551 Chabad Pre-School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-6100 Christian Pre-School, Dobbs Ferry Lutheran Church . . . . . . . . .693-0026 Community Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-9072 Greenburgh Hebrew Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-5121 Hudson River School of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-9481

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON Five Corners Nursery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2334 Hastings Co-op Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-3777 Rivertowns Pre-School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-6181 Temple Beth Shalom Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-3833 Toddler Messy Art & Movement Morning Nursery . . . . . . . . . .478-0756

IRVINGTON Good Shepherd Early Childhood Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-4104 Immaculate Conception Pre-Kindergarten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-6614

Child Care

Ardsley Children’s Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-6686 Ardsley Pals -5th & 6th Grades, Middle School . . . . . . . . . . . . . .674-1222 Around The World . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .479-0762 Aspire - Hastings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-5521 Beginners Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-0756 Days of Wonder Child Care Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-2980 Dobbs Ferry After-School Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 693-2406 The Happy Harbor Child Care Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-4175 Homework Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-0756 Irvington Children’s Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 591-8182 Little Village Daycare Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0600

Ambulance, Fire, Police (non-emergency numbers) ARDSLEY Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-3673 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 693-6581 Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-1700 DOBBS FERRY Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-5500 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-3000 Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-5500 HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2344 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2344 Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2344 IRVINGTON Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . .591-5151 Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-9867 Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-8080


Emergency Rooms Dobbs Ferry Pavilion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-5187 Phelps Memorial Hospital Center . . . . . . . . . .366-3590 St. John’s Riverside Hospital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .964-4349 White Plains Hospital Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . .681-1155


Libraries-Public Ardsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-6636 Dobbs Ferry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-6614 Greenburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .993-1600 Greenburgh (children’s) . . . . . . . . .993-1605 Hastings-on-Hudson . . . . . . . . . . .478-3307 Irvington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-7840

Chambers of Commerce Ardsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .P.O. Box 119 Dobbs Ferry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .P.O. Box 444 Hastings-on-Hudson . . . . . . . . . . .P.O. Box 405 Irvington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .P.O. Box 161

Ardsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-8012 Dobbs Ferry Recreation & Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-5505 Hastings-on-Hudson Community Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-2380 Irvington Recreation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-7736

The Arts

Irvington Town Hall Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-6602 Newington Cropsey Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .478-7990 Rivertowns Art Council.............................................476-2321 The Hudson River Museum......................................963-4550


Post Offices

Bee Line Bus Information.........................................813-7777 Metro North Railroad From New York City..............212-532-4900 From all other areas ..........................................1-800-METRO-INFO

PETER J. RIOLO REAL ESTATE M e m b e r We s t c h e s t e r R e a l E s t a t e , I n c .

Ardsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0476 Ardsley-on-Hudson . . . . . . . . .591-7299 Dobbs Ferry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .693-0451 Hastings-on-Hudson . . . . . . . .478-3786 Irvington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .591-6487

30 Main Street Hastings-on-Hudson

478-1400 www.peterriolo.com

Profile for The Rivertowns Enterprise

Back to School  

Our annual section offers updates from area superintendents and all the latest school news. Discover back-to-school fashion trends, extra he...

Back to School  

Our annual section offers updates from area superintendents and all the latest school news. Discover back-to-school fashion trends, extra he...