Queens Family - January 2022

Page 1

January 2022


Catholic School Listings

Greek Goddess

Anastasia Ganias-Gellin of Fancy Peasant on the importance of family, building a business and why moms need to be kind to themselves

Kids on Instagram

The parental controls being launched this year

Give your child a

Foundation For Life Today

Catholic Education can provide the ABC’s they need!

The ABC’s to a Foundation for Life: Academics: Embracing academic rigor & student support.

Your child deserves a Catholic Education. catholicschoolsBQ.org or 718-965-7380

Belief: Celebrating Catholic values & faith in God. Character: Putting what they know & what they believe into action for good!


Register Now for the 2022-23 School Year • NNursery, ursery, 3-K Pre-for K foAll, r APre-K ll, Kinfor derAll, gartKindergarten, en, Grades 1Grades to 8 1 to 8 • Ex tended Day: Mornings at 7:15am, Af ter School unt il 5:45pm • Religious Inst ruct ion wit h Emphasis on Gospel Values and Service to Others • New York St ate St andards (EL A, Mat hemat ics, Social Studies, Science) • New STEM lab (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Offering Hands-on Instruction to all Students in K-8 • Spanish, Mandarin, A r t, Coding, Physical Educat ion, Yoga and Mindfulness • Fu l l T i m e G u i d a n c e C o u n s e l o r a n d N u r s e

• High School Regent s Cour ses at Monsignor McClanc y HS for Qualifying 8th Graders • Resource Room and T it le I Remedial Ser vices in Reading and Math, P/T Social Worker • Small Classes, Co - curricular Clubs and Activities, CYO Sports Program • SM A RTBoard Interact ive Technology in A L L classrooms (Nursery to Grade 8) • i P a d s a n d E - t ex t b o o k s i n G r a d e s 5 - 8 • Re s i d e n c y P r o g r a m s i n T h e a t r e a n d M o d e r n D a n c e • Out door Playground and Gross Motor Skills Room for Early Childhood Programs

28-46High-Quality 44th St.,3-K Long Island 11103 718.728.0724 Free, Full-day, for All is now City, offeredNY at St. Joseph Catholicwww.sjcalic.org Academy, Register Now at myschools.nyc or contact us. AVAILABLE TO QUALIFY ING FAMILIES • ALL FAITHS WELCOME To Inquire about enrollmentFINANCIAL and transferASSISTANCE options please email info@sjcalic.org. To schedule a tour please contact Janet Sgritto at jsgritto@sjcalic.org.

To Inquire about enrollment and transfer options please emailWELCOME info@sjcalic.org FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO QUALIFYING FAMILIES • ALL FAITHS To44th schedule a tour please Janetwww.sjcalic.org Sgritto at jsgritto@sjcalic.org 28-46 St., Long Island City, contact NY 11103 718.728.0724

January 2022 | Queens Family



January 2022 NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 22

pg. 30 pg. 26

pg. 28

FEATURES 26 | Kids & Sleep How to help your kids get a good night sleep 28 | Cover- Greek Goddess Anastasia Ganias-Gellin shares on her delicious olive oil, family and building a business

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note

pg. 20

Directories 14 | Catholic School Listings

8 | Mom Hacks Winter Skin: 5 of the best products for combatting seasonal dryness 12 | Family Day Out 7 great New York City ice skating rinks 20 | Tech Instagram’s new parental controls for 2022 22 | Camps Camp directors on meeting the challenge for today’s kid 24 | Spotlight Hannah Finnerty becomes the first female student-athlete to sign with NCAA Division I school 30 | Craft How to save your kid’s artwork


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

on the Cover Photo: Ana Gambuto | anagambuto.com Hair & Makeup: Stefano Antonaizzi | stefanobeauty.com Cover Produced and Written by: Cris Pearlstein | crispearlstein.com

Caring for you and your family, your whole life. We’re changing medicine for you and your family, making it easier to get quality healthcare right in your neighborhood. More physicians and expanded services in a state-of-the-art setting. Weill Cornell Medicine in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian, the #1 hospital in New York, now at the JACX. Primary Care • Pediatrics • OBGYN • Orthopedics

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY JACX, 28-25 Jackson Ave. | (646) 962-9921

January 2022 | Queens Family


Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Editor: Donna Duarte-Ladd Digital Editor: Courtney Ingalls Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Erin Brof, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck Ad Operations Manager: Rosalia Bobé Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Mykael Fields Sales Assistant: Jake Davis Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Nina Gallo Photography


It is a New Year, and parents know all too well that 2021 had its (Pandemic $#@&%!) challenges. Yet- we always have our stories. Our article on Skating Rinks in NYC ( page 12) is rich with information. Features such as Kids & Sleep (page 26) and Instagram’s New Parental Controls (page 20) provide insight and tips on significant parenting issues. We are in this together, and reading about

other parents’ journeys connects us. Cover mom of 3 actress-turned-Greek-olive-oil goddess, Anastasia Ganias-Gellin (page 28), chatted with NYF contributor Cris Pearlstein about getting messy in the kitchen and why she thinks moms should stop feeling ashamed about it getting all the help they need. Heck yes! So hello 2022 — we’re ready for you.

Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Cris Pearlstein, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Olivia Haveron, Kairee Giron, Tamonda Griffiths, Maya Laidler, Jennifer Tsuei

Contact Information

ADVERTISING: (718) 260-4554 Advertising@NewYorkFamily.com Circulation: (718) 260-8336 Tina@NewYorkFamily.com

Address: New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

Donna and New York Family Media

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps Group Publisher: Clifford Luster


New York Family has been awarded the PMA Gold Award for Excellence in Website Design and the Silver Award for Excellence overall. New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC.

get in touch Share your feedback and ideas about family life in the city! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2022 Queens Family Media, LLC

January 2022 | Queens Family


mom hacks

Help for Winter Skin 5 of the best products for combatting seasonal dryness By Donna Duarte-LaDD


inter is here, and while often picturesque with snow days and ice skating what it can do to the skin, not so good. During this time of the season, many of us may find our skin dry and flaky. For moms, this can be compounded with already tired-looking skin- yup, not cool. And as many moms know, sometimes it is an internal factor. Meaning we need more sleep maybe should tweak our diet, and yes, we may need to add a product or two to make its way into our regular beauty routine. So we, the editors, test. We test what is out there and find what works for us and may also work for you. And here are the top 5 best products that we recommend to combat winter skin:


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

For Super Dry Skin: Cetaphil’s Moisturizing Cream

For the dryest skin, you will want to try a cream that will work on many levels. This cream provides up to 48 hours of hydration. It is rich but doesn’t feel greasy. And while I especially love to use it at the dryest of skin areas like my elbows, I also use it on my fiveyear-old, whose eczema flares up during these winter months. Dr. Lian Mack MD, a boardcertified dermatologist, says, “For my eczema patients, I always recommend using a product that you scoop out, not pump out. The moisturizing cream is a relief in a jar. Similar to the Moisturizing lotion, the cream has also been reformulated to include Niacinamide, Vitamin B5, and Glycerin. This heavier formulation works also helps to pull water to the skin, minimize trans epidermal water loss leaving the skin feeling smoother and more hydrated.”



January 19th In-Person Middle School 5:00 pm High School 6:00 pm

February 16th Virtual Middle School 5:00 pm High School 6:00 pm

Recognized In Na onal Rankings

Middle School Apply on your My Schools Account www.myschools.nyc Code: Q262S

Middle School Highlights

• Dance, Soccer, Lacrosse, Basketball Flag Football, Tennis, Baseball, Volleyball • Millennium Afer School Program • Afer School Academic Enrichment • Summer Bridge Program • Community Service Projects • Farm Trip and College Tours • Gymnas�cs & Cheerleading • Marine Biology and Robo�cs

Middle School students should use code Q262S - Research on the Middle School Choice Applica�on.

High School Apply on your My Schools Account. www.myschools.nyc Applica�on Code | Program Name Q97X | College & Career Readiness Q97A | Research Technology & Robo�cs

High School Highlights

• 100% Gradua�on Rate • 100% College Acceptance rate • Advance Placement Courses • College Now, Internships and Mentoring • PSAL Sports - Baseball, Basketball, Football Volleyball, Tennis, Track, Lacrosse and So�ball • 9th Grade Crew Orienta�on • Studio Art, Chorus, Instrumental & Marching Band • Computer Technology, Performing Arts • Marine Biology and Robo�cs • College Tours High School students should use code Q97X (College Prep) or Q97A (Research Technology and Robo�cs) on the High School Applica�on.

Where your child’s education is secure with us... We are Rockaway’s best kept secret 100- 00 Beach Channel Drive • Rockaway Park, N.Y. 11694 Denise Harper-Richardson, Denise Harper-Richardson Principal • (718) 634 -1970 • cvsr cvsr..info January 2022 | Queens Family


mom hacks

Expert Advice:

Vitamins that Promote Skin Hydration: HUM Glow Sweet Glow – Skin Hydration Gummy Hearts Supplement

Body Oil that does Extra for Skin: BioOil Skincare Oil (Natural)

If you love body oil but are wary of products not having natural ingredients, you’ll want to give the popular Bio-Oil’s Natural line a whirl. It felt luxe while testing this oil, and my skin felt softer within a week. Bio-oil has a cult following as it also improves the scars’, and it is clinically proven to help repair skin damage and stretch marks, a big plus for us moms. Sunflower Seed Oil is beneficial during the winter months as it improves texture, smoothness, and hydration, while the rosehip helps with moisture and protects against inflammation.

Lip Balm that Locks in Moisture: Amala Beauty Moisture Melt Lip Salve

Keep your lips from cracking in the harsh winter weather- with this superfood salve of Acai Berry and Papaya Enzymes that help replenish and seal in precious moisture. Use this daily to lock in moisture to keep your lips moisturized.


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

It is said beauty comes from within, and these Glow Sweet Glow gummies do just that. Working with the key ingredients of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C. Each gummy is tart and delicious, but the best part is within weeks of testing- my skin was, yes, glowing. And while a skin boost is something this tired mom loves, what is happening is that the vitamins work to lock in moisture into the skin, which promotes hydration, which stimulates collagen production, so your skin looks refreshed.

Face Mask for Deep Hydration: Ceramidin Facial Barrier Mask

When the air is dry and the heat is on, it can damage our faces. This mask is perfect when your skin deeps a deep reset. The mask works in three ways-rebuilds skins moisture barrier, replenishes moisture helping to soften skin, and prevents future water loss. It is also dermatologist-tested for sensitive skin!

Dr. Hope Mitchell, MD, FAAD an Ohio and Michigan boardcertified medical and cosmetic dermatologist and the founder & CEO of Mitchell Dermatology. Dr. Mitchell has extensive experience in general dermatologic education and treatment, acne/complexion treatment, skin cancer diagnosis, treatment and surgery, as well as cosmetic injectables. Dr. Mitchell shares her tips for the winter skincare with New York Family: Change your skincare regimen with the change of season. My common advice is to get rid of the cleanser that stripped the skin of natural oils and the summer shine or may even have “exfoliating” on the label and choose a creamy, “hydrating” cleanser that can gently exfoliate while starting the moisturization process and not leave the skin dry or tight after cleansing. The summer lightweight moisturizers may not cut it in the winter. Trade them in for creams that provide longer-lasting hydration and physical protection from harsh outdoor elements and dry environments. I recommend searching for hydrating creams like Neostrata’s Ultra Moisturizing Face Cream with its PHA technology that restores the skin moisture barrier and hydrates the skin. This moisturizer is fragrancefree, non-comedogenic and ideal for all skin types. Water loss is greatest at night so don’t skimp on your night routine. A nightly skincare routine should impart plenty of moisture to compensate for water loss while addressing your skin’s additional needs. I highly recommend applying creams at night with hyaluronic acid which lock-in and hold moisture in the skin.

Pappas Pediatric Dentistry

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Warm child friendly environment TV/DVD in waiting room and operatories

Turn Your Child’s Dental Visit Into A Fun Experience Come Pet the Friendly Dinasaur

• Convenient afternoon and Saturday Appointments • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) analgesia • 30+ years experience • Accepting many insurances as full or partial payment • Digital radiography • Zoom Bleaching (for our older patients)

Despina Pappas D.D.S Elayne Pappas D.D.S. 215-41 23rd Road Bayside, NY 11360 718 224-0443

Par�ner wi�h Us



- Locations in: New Hyde Park, Wantagh, Jericho, Islip Terrace, Commack, Stony Brook, Farmingville, & East Yaphank ALL OFFICE LOCATIONS ARE OPEN AND ARE FOLLOWING ALL CDC GUIDELINES!




Want to reach engaged parents across New York City? Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us by emailing info@newyorkfamily.com or calling 718.260.4554

Telecharge.com or 212.239.6200 New World Stages 340 W. 50th St.

GazillionBubbleShow.com January 2022 | Queens Family



Ice Ska�ing



ce skating has always been an iconic New York winter activity, and many ice skating rinks are up for the season! Whether you are a pro or are just learning how to skate independently, here are some great ice skating spots to enjoy this winter season! Bank of America Winter Village – Bryant Park Between 5th and Avenue of the Americas and between 40th and 42nd Street 212-768-4242 Open until March 6 Hours: 8 am – 10 pm, Monday – Thursday & 8 am – 11:30 pm, Saturday – Sunday (And Holidays)

Bryant Park Winter Village is the ultimate spot for some holiday fun! From food to shops to ice skating, this makes a great day out with the family. Visitors should know that masks are encouraged, and Bryant Park is continuing to implement additional cleaning protocols. Families will need to book these reservations in advance online. The Rink at Rockefeller Center – Midtown 5th Ave between 49th and 50th Streets 212-771-7200 Open: January 2 Hours: Daily 9 am – 12 am

The most iconic New York skating spot, this is one of the most picturesque spots to skate in the city. This year they are open from November through January and will be limiting the number of skaters on the rink to abide by public health guidelines. This is the ideal spot to take family photos while enjoying a classic New York experience. Riverbank Stare Park – Upper Manhattan 679 Riverside Drive 212-694-3642 Open through mid-March. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 4 – 6 pm


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

Wednesday and Friday 4 – 6 pm, 7 – 9 pm Saturday 2 – 4 pm, 5 – 7 pm Sunday 2 – 4 pm, 5 – 7 pm

Riverbank is not just an ice skating rink; it’s also a 28-acre multi-level landscaped recreational facility, rising 69 feet above the Hudson River. This is an ideal spot to spend a winter day as a family, enjoying the skating rink, wandering around, and taking in views of the Hudson. The skating rink is outdoors but covered, making it Covid-safe but perfect for a rainy or snowy day. The Rink at Brookfield Place – The Battery 230 Vesey St. Open throughout the winter until March. Hours: Monday – Friday 2 pm – 9:15 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am – 9:15 pm

This beautiful New York rink is a spot where professional skaters train; it also has beautiful views of the Hudson and One World Trade Center. This is also among the largest rinks in the city. They also offer lessons and public skate hours by reservation. Face masks are required at all times.

World Ice Arena – Fresh Meadows Corona Park 131-04 Meridian Road 718-760-9001 Open: Mid-December and throughout the winter. Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:30 am – 5:15 pm, Friday 9 am – 5:15 pm, 7 pm – 9:50 pm Saturday 12 pm – 4:45 pm, 8 pm – 9:50pm Sunday 12 pm – 4:45 pm

This massive indoor skating rink at World Ice Arena offers great space to practice your skating and even has a coned-off area for practicing figure skating! Kids will love spending time taking laps around the ice or spending time in the coned-off section where they can practice their figure skating moves. This is a great way to get your family out for some fun adventures during the winter! Industry City Ice Rink – Greenwood Open: November 19 until March 31, 2022 Hours: Thursday 4-8pm; Friday noon8pm; Saturday 11am-8pm; and Sunday




Take in the beautiful views of Industry City while you ice skate with the family! Visitors will be able to skate on IC’s large open-air ice skating rink that is located alongside their local shops and eateries, when you take a break from skating, head over to Frying Pan Brooklyn, where they will be serving hot chocolate and snacks! LeFrak Center at Prospect Park – Prospect Park 171 East Dr, Brooklyn, NY Rink is open seasonally- check lakesidebrooklyn.com/visitor-info/iceskating for rink updates Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 7 pm,Friday & Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm,Sunday: 9 am – 7 pm

Lace-up your skates and head over to Prospect Park for some ice skating! The LeFrak has not one but two open-air rinks that kids of all ages can enjoy. Before you go, make sure you and your family reserve a 90-minute skate session so you can guarantee ice time. Skates are available for rent, but you can bring your own.

Don’t Let Your Child Fall Behind

You Have A Pal To Give Your Child A Headstart

Preschool Program & Universal Pre-K (718) 939-0306 www.Familyspeechcenter.com Familyspeechcenter@verizon.net We accept most insurance plans

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718-342-4141 718-373-1100 718-372-4044 PAL World Of Creative PAL Western Queens PAL Woodside Nursery Experience Early Learning Center 50-37 Broadway Woodside, NY 11377

280 Livonia Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11212


718-345-5219 PAL Rockaway

10-26 41st Avenue L.I.C., NY 11101


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January 2022 | Queens Family


Catholic Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Academy

25-38 80th Street Jackson Heights, NY 11370 (718) 429-7031 www.olfcaqueens.org

What Sets Our Middle School Apart: Technology & STEM Offered 5 Days a Week 100% Acceptance Rate for Applicants to Catholic High Schools of Their Choice High School Regents Courses in Math and Earth Science Taught by Our Own Qualified Teachers

A Quality Middle School Choice! Air Conditioned Classrooms Extended Day: Mornings at 7:20am, After School Until 6:00pm Also Serving: Nursery, Pre-K, Kindergarten, Grades 1-5 State of the Art Technology and 1:1 Devices for ALL Students, Nursery through Grade 8 New York State Standards in ELA, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science STEM, Technology, and Coding in Grades 6-8 Full-Time Guidance Counselor and Nurse Small Classes, Co-Curricular Clubs and Activities Free NYCDOE Food Program & Bus Service


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

Incarnation Catholic Academy 89-15 Francis Lewis Blvd., Queens Village, NY (718) 465-5066 incarnationqv.org Incarnation Catholic Academy is a family-oriented school grounded in the Catholic faith. The school strives to academically, spiritually and technologically prepare our students for higher education and to adapt to an ever-changing world. This is achieved by providing academic preparation through a challenging curriculum, a caring environment, and being sensitive to the needs of a diverse society. The academy is committed to inspiring the students to become moral decisionmakers, effective communicators, critical thinkers, problem solvers, and lifelong learners. The school’s vision is to form students who will be faithful servants, inspired motivated leaders, who will be well equipped to make a difference, influence the world and serve others.

Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Academy 34-45 202nd St., Bayside, NY 718-229-4434 OLBSAcademy.org info@olbsacademy.org OLBSCA provides an inspiring and challenging educational experience that is college and career-ready and grounded in Catholic values. OLBSCA’s academic programs provide a quality education implementing Diocesan and NYS Standards in an environment that challenges and encourages students to work to their full potential. Established in 1951, the Academy has students in 3K through the 8th grade from 20 Communities in Queens & Nassau Counties; it is a multi-purpose facility with an Auditorium, Gym, Cafeteria, STEM Lab, and Computer Lab; Foreign Language and Advanced courses are offered. A nurse, security guard and counselor enhance the safety of all.

Our Lady of Fatima School 25-38 80th St., Jackson Heights 718-429-7031 ourladyoffatimaschool.org Offering a quality, innovative

Catholic education for over 70 years, in grades nursery to 8. Offering Mommy and Me for 18 months to 2-year-olds with a getting ready for a Nursery school program. They seek to educate the whole person: mind, heart, soul, and body to develop strategic thinkers for the 21st century. Students are engaged in their learning with 1:1 technology in the classroom from nursery through 8th grade. Outside of the classroom, students are engaged in performing arts programs, fine arts programs, intramurals, and many other activities led by the faculty. Please contact them for registration information or to request a tour and find them on Facebook at facebook. com/ourladyoffatimaschool​ jackson​heights.

Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy 61-21 71st St., Middle Village, NY 718- 458-3535 olhca.org Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy’s mission and responsibility for educational and spiritual growth is a shared endeavor among students, parents, faculty and administration. The school offers art, music and foreign language classes and a variety of academic and social development clubs after school. Aside from a full academic and religious program for kindergarten through eighth grade, the school also has a nursery and prekindergarten program and affordable morning care and after-school programs to assist parents with child care. The school enrolls over 600 students and benefits from a diverse national population. Class sizes range from 18 to 30 students, and 90% of Our Lady of Hope graduates started as pre-K or kindergarten students.

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy 70-25 Kessel St, Forest Hills, NY 718- 793-2086 olmercyca.org Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy’s beautiful campus, centrally located in Forest Hills, Queens, seeks to provide children with a complete, vigorous Catholic education. Their expert faculty educates the whole child through our

Incarnation Catholic Academy is Open! Monday to Friday 8:00am-3:00pm

Parents choose: Option A – in school learning Option B – home schooling

Special scholarships are available Call today for a tour in-person or virtual.

Incarnation Catholic Academy


89-15 Francis Lewis Blvd., Queens Village, NY 11427


34-45 202nd Street, Bayside, NY 11361 718-229-4434 info@olbsacademy.org

incarnationqv.org ©2020 M1P • INCC-078200

• • • • • • •

OLBSCA provides an inspiring and challenging educational experience that is college and career ready and grounded in Catholic values. Our academic programs provide a quality education implementing Diocesan and NYS Standards in an environment that challenges and encourages students to work to their full potential. Established in 1951, the Academy has students in 3K through the 8th grade from 20 Communities in Queens & Nassau Counties; it is a multi-purpose facility with an Auditorium, Gym, Cafeteria, STEM Lab and Computer Lab; Foreign Language and Advanced courses are offered. A nurse, security guard and counselor enhance the safety of all.

OLBSAcademy.org @olbsca

Full Curriculum Catholic Values Safe Environment Hydroponic STEM Lab Early Drop-Off & Afterschool Students of All Faiths Welcome $283,000 in Scholarships awarded to the Class of 2021


ST. MATTHIAS CATHOLIC ACADEMY Foundations of Mind and Spirit




January 2022 | Queens Family


Catholic Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Open House January 30, 2022 by Appointment Only For New Families 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Nursery to Grade 7 Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy continues to pride itself on the strength of its Catholic Identity and Academic Excellence over 50 years in Middle Village and the surrounding neighborhoods. Let your child take flight in a faith based, caring environment.

student-centered, interactive classroom environment, extra-curricular programs, and fun social activities encompassing their students’ spiritual, intellectual, social, psychological, and physical development. The school day starts at 8 AM and provides a before – and after school program. For more information, go to http://olmercyca. org and follow us on FACEBOOK. Please call them at 718-793-2086 to arrange a personalized tour for you and your child.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy 111-10 115 St., South Ozone Park 718- 843-4184 olphca.org As one of the most outstanding Catholic academies – with students from prekindergarten through eighth grade – the faculty and staff of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy are diligent in their commitment to the spiritual, academic, physical, social and emotional growth of each child. The multi-sensory, Next Generation Standards curriculum and crosscurricular instruction ensure that each student’s individual needs are met. Every student is different; the faculty and staff identify and cater to various learning styles. Students consistently show outstanding performance in mathematics, language arts and science on statewide testing. All members of 2020-2021 were accepted into Catholic and specialized public high schools. In many cases, students received scholarships. For more information, please call or visit olphca.org

Saint Margaret Catholic Academy ��

� Rigorous Curriculum

Vibrant Catholic Identity

� Dedicate d Community Service

Leading Edge Technology State of the Art STEM Lab

� Yellow School Bus Service

Catholic Schools Week will be held February 7th to February 12th Contact us to register for an Information Session Call 718-726-9405 or email info@sfaacademy.org

21-18 46th Street Astoria, NY 11105 www.sfaacademy.org


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

66-10 80th St., Middle Village, NY 11379 718-326-0922 smcamv.org stmargoffice@gmail.com Saint Margaret Catholic Academy exists to educate and form young people in light of the Gospel. Their students are nurtured in a loving academic environment by our dedicated faculty and staff, who recognize the unique talents of each student. Their mission, therefore, is to help all students attain their full po-

tential through an integrated academic curriculum, rooted in Gospel values and Catholic teachings. Saint Margaret Catholic Academy encourages students to achieve their full potential spiritually, morally, confidently, and academically to ensure they are prepared to meet the challenges of the world around them.

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy Astoria 21-18 46th St., Astoria, NY 718-726-9405 sfaacademy.org St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy is proud to open its doors to learn, serve, lead, and succeed in this academic year. Their goal of success for all inspires a curriculum that supports students’ strengths and helps them maximize their potential. This changing world requires students to be creative, artistic, tech-savvy, and resourceful; therefore, the academy programs are designed to educate the whole child in academia, STEM, and the arts. The faculty knows that the spiritual, emotional, and social well-being of each child in our CARE (Cooperation, Acceptance, Respect, Empathy) is essential to their growth and is reflected in every aspect of a child’s educational journey at SFACA.

St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy 244-44 87th Ave, Bellerose, NY 718- 343-5053 office@sgtgca.org sgtgca.org St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy school is committed to educating the whole person (mind, body, and soul) through a vibrant, safe, faithfilled environment. Their student body consists of early childhood through 8th grade. They follow New York State Common Core curriculum and strive to meet or exceed all New York State Learning Standards. All students will benefit from our Art, STEAM, Music, and Foreign Language programs provided to all grades. In addition, they offer many extracurricular activities, including a Regent’s Program for the 8th grade. They also provide an extended care program (before and after-school coverage available). Discover

St. Margaret Catholic Academy

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Academy 70-25 Kessel Street, Forest Hills, NY 11375

Check us out at olmercyca.org or call 718-793-2086

66-10 80th Street, Middle Village NY, 11379 (718) 326-0922


Our Expert Faculty in EARLY CHILDHOOD(Nursery, 3K-and PreK-ForAll, Kindergarten) PRIMARY GRADES (1-5)and JUNIOR HIGH (Grades 6-8) Led by a Vibrant, Young Principal…

Dynamic Classroom Environment …1:1 Technology... StrengthCentered, Individualized Social and Emotional Learning Principles … Earth Science and Algebra Regents…Physical Education, Art, Music, STEM, Spanish… High School Scholarships…High School Application Preparation Musical and Dramatic Performances…Art Shows… Student Ambassador Program …Guidance Counseling…Beforeand After-School Programs and Activities …Active HomeSchool Association…Community Charity Events #CATHOLIC SCHOOL IS COOL # NYC STRONG # BEST IN QUEENS,THE WORLD’S BOROUGH P.S. CHECK US OUT IN ACTION DAILY ON FACEBOOK ! IT’S FUN TO KEEP UP!


About St. Joan of Arc School

• 3 and 4 Year Full Day Pre-K Program.


• After School Program for all students, Dismissal to 6:30 pm. • Title I Services and IEP students approved for SETTS, Speech and Occupational Therapy.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic School

• Traditional academic subjects plus Music, Art, Phys. Ed., Computer Science, Library and Band.

718-639-9020 www.sjaschoolny.org

35-27 82nd Street Jackson Heights, NY 11372

In the spirit of our youthful patron, St. Joan of Arc, our mission is to educate exceptionally, serve endlessly, and dare dreams of the impossible in our welcoming Catholic school community so we manifest God in today’s world.

• School Choir • SMARTBoard, and Interactive White Board Technology, IPads, wireless laptops and Technology Room. • PDHP (Program for the Development of Human Potential) Guidance Counselor. • Full Time Nurse. • Active Parent Association. • Scholarships Available through the Diocese of Brooklyn; Futures In Education; Children’s Scholarship Fund. January 2022 | Queens Family


Catholic Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement what makes St. Gregory so great! Visit the school’s website to download a virtual tour or contact the school to register your child today!

Technology Room. Scholarships Available through the Diocese of Brooklyn; Futures In Education; Children’s Scholarship Fund.

St. Joan of Arc Catholic School

St. Joseph Catholic Academy

35-27 82nd St., Jackson Heights, NY 11372 sjaschoolny.org 718-639-9020 In the spirit of their youthful patron, St. Joan of Arc, our mission is to educate exceptionally, serve endlessly, and dare dreams of the impossible in our welcoming Catholic school community so we manifest God in today’s world. They offer 3 and 4 Year Full Day Pre– K Program and an After School Program for all students, Dismissal to 6:30 pm, Title I Services and IEP students approved for SETTS, Speech and Occupational Therapy Traditional academic subjects plus Music, Art, Phys. Ed., Computer Science, Library and Band School Choir. SMARTBoard, and Interactive White Board Technology, IPads, wireless laptops and

28-46 44 St., Long Island City, NY 718-728-0724 sjcalic.org St. Joseph Catholic Academy is committed to developing students of diverse backgrounds and faiths from nursery through 8th grade by providing a well-rounded foundation for future learning and life. In addition to religion class and religious activities, they offer a rigorous academic program, complemented by classes in music, art, library, physical education, Spanish, Mandarin, and yoga/ mindfulness. Children are also exposed to co-curricular activities. All instructional areas are equipped with SMARTBoard computer technology and students have access to a portable notebook lab, and a newly renovated comput-





NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

erized library containing twenty-five upgraded computer PCs. The new STEM lab provides hands-on instruction for all students grades K-8. They also offer the 3-K for All and Pre-K for All programs of the NYC Board of Education for 3 & 4-year-olds.

St Luke School 16-01 150th Pl., Whitestone, NY 718-746-3833 slswhitestone.org St. Luke’s provides a Catholic atmosphere that nurtures the growth and development of the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically. The faculty, in cooperation with the parents, endeavors to correlate moral and spiritual values with daily living of the faith life of the child. Daily religious instruction and prayer, with participation in liturgical and para-liturgical celebrations and the regular reception of the sacraments, are an integral part of each student’s life. Students are encouraged to participate in service projects. The school offers a wellordered curriculum of studies that include religion, English Language Arts, mathematics, science, social studies, TAC (Technology Across the Curriculum), Spanish, physical education, music, library, and computer education.

St Matthias Catholic Academy 58-25 Catalpa Ave, Ridgewood, NY 718- 381-8003 stmatthiasca.org St. Matthias Catholic Academy honors its 112-year commitment to serving the children of the Ridgewood/ Glendale neighborhood by providing a strong academic program to students in nursery, pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and grades one to eight. Small classes offer high teacher-to-student ratios and our family-oriented approach helps every student thrive. Their diverse community enjoys a safe and supportive learning environment which encourages strong character, leadership, and service. A full curriculum is enriched by the many extracurricular programs available such as: band, piano, robotics, and glee club. At SMCA, every

child is special!

St. Michael’s Catholic Academy 136-58 41st Ave., Flushing, NY 718-961-0246 (English & Spanish) 347-399-8500 (English & Chinese) stmichaelsca.org St. Michael’s Catholic Academy is enriched by and reflects the cultural diversity of the parishes of St. John Vianney and St. Michael’s. The total program at St. Michael’s, from preschool through grade 8, is designed to promote each student’s intellectual and spiritual growth grounded in a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ. Programs offered include: STEM, DualLanguage Immersion with Mandarin, free 3K and Pre-K For All programs with additional programming available for before school and after school. The Dual-Language Program achieves bilingualism, biliteracy, and academic achievement. Kindergarten through grade 8 students are offered classes in English and Mandarin. Contact the school to learn more and to enroll your child.

St Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Academy 80-22 Parsons Blvd. Jamaica, NY 718-380-1900 sntschoolny.org At St. Nicholas of Tolentine Catholic Academy, the school values and challenges all of their students in grades Nursery to 8 to the best of their abilities. The Catholic values of faith, hope and charity are the cornerstones of this school’s existence. All of their classrooms are equipped with SmartBoards and we have a modern Computer Lab available. Students also use laptops in their classrooms and are encouraged to do enrichment activities both at home and in school. We also offer instruction in Computer Graphics and Robotics. The school combines challenging academics with a variety of co-curricular activities such as school assemblies, a Science Fair, Spelling and Math Bees, a Talent Show, Concerts and Poetry Contests. For more information please visit their website.

St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy “A Community Where Great Things Happen”

ENROLL TODAY! PRE-K - 8TH GRADE Early drop off at 7:00am Extended day to 6:00pm After School Band and Clubs 1:1 Technology Program Google School E-boards in every classroom State-of-the-art Computer Lab and Science Lab 3D Printer Recently Renovated Gym & Playground Music, Art, Spanish All Subjects Being Taught

MAKE THE SWITCH FROM PUBLIC SCHOOL TODAY! St Gregory the Great Catholic Academy 244-44 87th Ave.,Bellerose, NY 11426 718-343-5053 office@sgtgca.org • sgtgca.org


Contact us for a Virtual Tour St Michael's Catholic Academy 136-58 41st Ave, Flushing, NY 11355

Celebrating 171 years! NOW REGISTERING

Contact: Principal Philip Heide: heide@stmichaelsca.org 1910 – 2022 • CELEBRATING 112 YEARS!

Registration Has Begun and is Ongoing For New Students for the 2022-23 School Year Nursery/Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten through Grade Eight

Small Class Sizes • Technology Classes Class set of Chromebooks Grades K-8 • Updated Science Lab Nursery/Pre-K • Early Morning Care Afterschool Program • Extracurricular Activities Art/Music/PhysEd/Library•Foreign Language Program Grades Pre-K-8 Sports Programs • Reading Specialist on site Special Education Services • Full Time School Nurse • Financial aid is available

Virtual tours are available. Please contact jbrunswick@slswhitestone.org for more information.

16-01 150 th Place • Whitestone, NY 11357 718.746.3833 • www.slswhitestone.org

・ Dual Language Immersion with Mandarin ・ ・ Free breakfast and lunch program ・ ・ ・ ・ 3K and Pre-K for All ・ Accepts children of all faiths


Contact Us: (718) 961-0246 (English/Spanish) (347) 399-8500 (English/Mandarin) www.stmichaelsca.org, Facebook: StMichaelCatholicAcademy January 2022 | Queens Family



Instagram New Parental Controls for 2022! What parents need to know about the app’s new features By Donna Duarte-LaDD


ocial media might be a thorny topic in your household. This may be because many of our kids communicate with their peers via the latest social appsand getting kids off these said apps isn’t always easy as well as a handful of other significant concerns like mental health and cyberbullying. Last month Instagram introduced new features and parental controls that focus on teenagers and their safety as Instagram users. As Adam Mosseri, father of 3 boys, New Yorker, and Head of Instagram, shared on Twitter, “it’s not only important to me that people feel safe on our platform — that they feel good about the time they spend on Instagram.” This is what parents like to hear, especially from someone who makes the big decisions on this popular app. And we hope more safety changes such as these are not only made in the near future but become part of the norm for the social safety of our kids. Here are some takeaways about these new features including the new Parental Controls coming in March. Take a Break The Instagram version of a time-out? Kinda. While this is not limited to teens, it is a feature perfect for them. The “Take a Break” encourages users to pull back or, as the kids say, “chill.” It will be built into Instagram’s already existing Daily Limit. By selecting Take a Break, the user will be reminded that they have reached the time they set for the day. They can also mute notifications to not be bothered for the day


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

and set notifications with time limits. This is great for teens, for as much as they complain about what they cannot do, structure and rules are built into kids’ lives at home and school, right? So why shouldn’t it be part of their daily social media usage? No More Tagging Instagram will not be allowing tags on teens if that person is not following them. So this helps teens in multiple ways. It gives them control over who shares on their social imprint. No more embarrassing pics that great Aunt Mary took of them mid-bite at the holiday table; yup, many kids don’t always follow back all family members, but that is another post for another time. Your Activity Much like a digital dashboard on a blog, Instagram will move likes, comments, photos, and videos into one spot so you, the user, can be in control of your digital footprint. The Big One: Parental Controls Instagram is working with the first version

of parental controls with a goal of March 2022 in mind. These parental controls will allow parents to see how much time their child is spending on Instagram and set time limits. It will also allow teens to share any handles they report on Instagram with their parents. Education Hub for Parents To help parents, caregivers, and guardians navigate their kid’s usage in this social media world- Instagram will be sharing educational resources, expert tips, and tutorials on kids and their social media experience in what they’re calling their Education Hub. As a parent who has yet to allow access to their oldest child on Instagram, I will be keeping a close eye on the new tools being implemented by this top social media app (#5 in the world) — which will help me make my decision when the time comes. For more on Instagram’s Raising the Standard for Protecting Teens and Supporting Parents Online go to Instagram. com.

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For additional questions or sponsorship opportunities, please email us at speakerseries@newyorkfamily.com January 2022 | Queens Family



Mental Health at Summer Camp Camp directors on meeting the challenge for today’s kids BY JESS MICHAELS


ith more children and young adults experiencing mental health challenges, summer camps have needed to adjust over the years, especially during COVID, to help meet the needs of their campers and staff. Jamie Sirkin, Owner and Director of Summer Trails Day Camp in Westchester and President of the New York State Camp Directors Association, has advocated for almost a decade along with other camp directors to get a law passed that would allow camps in the state to hire licensed professionals such as social workers to work at camp. This past July, the law passed,


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

giving camps the option to hire licensed professionals for their campers and staff. “Camp directors have seen more children arriving at camp with eating disorders, anxiety and depression. Then there are just the things that happen during a typical summer such as a child being upset about their favorite counselor leaving,” explains Sirkin. “This law will give camps the option to have a professional on hand to help children, along with young adult staff, deal with the baggage they come to camp with and to process the things that happen during the camp season.” When children are prepared before heading off to camp, they feel less anxious about the new experience and ease into camp life easier. “Children who go to camp with

positive expectations go into camp excited. We have ramped up a lot of what we do prior to camp to help kids have a smoother adjustment,” explains Matt Krouner, Owner and Director of Camp Schodack, a coed overnight camp in NY. “There are new camper days, home visits, and each camper has a big brother or a big sister. We are having more contact with parents and zoom calls for new parents leading up to camp which is above and beyond what we have done in the past. Our goal is to set positive expectations so campers feel a sense of place before getting to camp.” Camp Schodack also tells campers before the summer that within the first week of camp, they can choose a staff member to be their check-in person. “Campers can identify a person on the leadership team or a counselor that they can go to if they need support. When a child picks the person, it

also makes a staff member feel amazing and connected to the person that chose them,” says Krouner. As camps opened up last summer after a year of COVID, they were prepared for children to come to camp with limited social interactions from a lack of get-together with friends, few extracurricular activities and remote learning. “We knew kids were desperate for social interactions that they couldn’t have for the 18 months prior to camp,” says Krouner. “We went into the summer with a plan to have increased check-ins with campers but most of those weren’t necessary. Children found their stride quickly and felt protected and safe at camp. Staff on the other hand felt more limited at camp without their normal days off out of camp due to COVID and it effected their experience. We’ve made some changes to make sure our staff feel supported. I’ve hired a staff liaison, which is like a staff cruise ship director, to focus on the needs of our staff and to adjust things as the summer goes on.” Sirkin explains that as kids were back at camp after many months in isolation, simple

“Children who go to camp with positive expectations go into camp excited. We have ramped up a lot of what we do prior to camp to help kids have a smoother adjustment.” things like dealing with disappointment, learning to share or taking turns was a struggle for them. “These were things we always taught at camp and now half of the group was having difficulty and the

counselors had to manage things on a different level then previous summers. These are not necessarily part of a counselor’s skillset. For next summer, we will enhance this part of our staff training to include mindfulness, taking a break, behavioral management and communication skills.” The camp director and leadership teams at both day and overnight camps are there to help both campers and staff, however, it’s important for parents to be honest with the camp about any challenges a child may be having. “When you send your child to camp, you are forming a partnership with the camp director. You want to let the director know if your child has had any recent changes in their life or is experiencing any issues that would be helpful for the camp leadership team to know ahead of time. Being upfront with what is going on will help the camp set your child up for a successful summer. If you leave them in the dark, they won’t necessarily be able to support them in the best possible way,” says Davina Angus, Executive Director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ.

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January 2022 | Queens Family



Hoop Star Hannah Finnerty becomes first female student-athlete from McClancy to sign with NCAA Division I school By Jennifer tsuei

Hannah Finnerty doesn’t act like a champion, but she sure looks like one. The six-foot tall basketball star strode modestly to the front of the room amidst the whooping cheers and standing ovations from the crowd gathered at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. She is the first female student-athlete from this East Elmhurst Catholic high school to sign with any Division I program. Hannah has beaten the odds. Only 4.1% of student-athletes in women’s basketball move from high school to any NCAA division, and only 2% of all high school athletes receive some form of athletic scholarship to compete in college, according to NCAA statistics. On this day, the NCAA National Signing Day (November 10th), Hannah officially signed her Letter of Intent to accept her full scholarship to Siena College. New York Family spoke with Hannah, her parents, and her coach to find out more about the making of McClancy’s very first female Division I student-athlete. Greetings zip this way and that. The tightknit community and strong family bonds at McClancy are palpable. The Finnerty family sits together at a back table, blending into the celebratory buzz. Someone passes by and asks about Hannah’s older sister, Catherine (McClancy ‘20), whose presence is clearly missed at this event. Hannah is the youngest of three siblings to attend McClancy. When asked about her start in basketball, she explains, “My brother [Brendan, McClancy ‘18] and sister always played [basketball], so I feel like I followed in their footsteps, and I just fell in love with playing basketball.” Later, when describing what it’s like being the first female student from McClancy to reach NCAA Division I status, she says, “I see my sister as a role model. She goes to a Division II school, so she’s been through a similar process.” Hannah is called up on stage, and when the cheering and applause finally subside, a man in a


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

McClancy basketball star hannah Finerty (center) with her family. neatly pressed, red McClancy athletic polo shirt introduces her. One may say that he has been preparing for this moment for the past nine years, ever since McClancy became coed and he was hired as the coach for the girls’ varsity basketball team in the fall of 2012. Coach Andrew “Dewey” Hopkins (McClancy ‘89) shares with the community two moments that demonstrate his star player’s character, bookending his service as her basketball coach. First, while attending an AAU tournament that her sister was playing at, Hannah — who was still undergoing the high school selection process at the time — sat next to Hopkins and light-heartedly joked about the possibility of attending their rival school, Malloy. “I know who I’m putting first on the TACHS [Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools] test,” she told Hopkins. “It starts with an “M” and ends in a ‘Y.’ That’s all I can tell you!” Fast forward to Hannah as a senior and now captain of the girls’ varsity team. Hopkins notes that while the players were scrambling for their scrimmage uniforms, Hannah remained aside. “Let the girls get what they need first, and then I’ll take whatever

we have,” she told Hopkins. Hopkins says admiringly, “Small, medium…. That’s her character, that’s what Hannah’s about. That’s why she’s a leader on and off the court.” Indeed, when speaking with New York Family about her accomplishments, Hannah pivots instead to those she feels deserve the recognition along with her. “My family is my biggest support system, and my coaches too, because they’ve helped me and have been through all that with me,” she says. Surprisingly, Hannah’s parents did not play basketball. However, her father, Colin, detected her talent for sports early on. “I enrolled her in soccer when she was seven or eight, and she just seemed to be a natural at it. She loved it.” Colin Finnerty, who has been a Queens resident since 1986, is no stranger to sports though. “I used to play all the Irish sports. Gaelic football and hurling.” He deftly swings his arm sideways. “Hurling is the one with the stick, you know?” Colin Finnerty attends his children’s games but he credits his wife, Kathy, as the one who has always planned their three children’s schedules. Kathy Finnerty, who towers at about 6 feet, was asked to play basketball

“My family is my biggest support system, and my coaches too, because they’ve helped me and have been through all that with me.”

in her youth but preferred track and field. When asked about how she managed three children and their sports and school schedules, she reminisces with a smile: “We ate in the car a lot. Chicken nuggets, french fries, or whatever it was. There was always food in the car. Homework was done in the car as well. Traveling to practices and stuff. Now she drives herself.” Like her daughter, Kathy Finnerty is quick to acknowledge her support system as part of her daughter’s success: “It’s not easy, but you network with other parents and everybody helps everybody out. These teens are like family. Everybody is there for one another.” So what are the ingredients to the making of McClancy’s first female Division I athlete? Sports-oriented parents, two older studentathlete siblings, a strong school community, and a car well-stocked with food and pencils. Despite all this, Hannah Finnerty is clear: “Academics always comes first to us [in our family.]” Hannah is a National Honor Society member, and her Catholic education is at the center of her work ethic and leadership qualities. “It’s about our morals and doing the

right thing. Like, sports and academics are important, but if you’re not doing it the right way, then it’s not really worth it.” Coach Hopkins, a man who exudes patience and humility, speaks passionately about McClancy’s core values: “It’s not just about basketball. It’s kids with the right values.” Hopkins adds, “Our school motto is we’re the ‘school that makes a difference.’ The principal and the president are two of the fairest gentlemen you’ll ever meet…. Their core values are what we try to establish within the team….

They’re involved in everything that goes on here. They’re not just the principal and president, they’re at most of the events, they come when they can come. The girls and boys appreciate that because there’s a presence, a family presence. We can see from today how many people stuck around. We didn’t tell anybody they had to stay. They wanted to come.” The president of McClancy, Nicholas Melito (McClancy ‘76), addressed the crowd, ”We’ve won. We have four student-athletes going to college and hopefully pursuing their dreams. That’s what it’s all about.” Along with Hannah, three other student-athletes from McClancy also signed their Division I Letters of Intent in baseball: Justin Sanchez (University of Southern Florida), Sean Serrano (Molloy College), and Ryan Ehret (Mercy College). Melito especially acknowledged the assistant coaches for their students’ successes as well, for their tremendous dedication that is “often overlooked.” Hannah Finnerty’s advice to girls aspiring to reach Division I like her? “Just keep working hard because you never know how far it could lead you. When it gets tough, don’t give up into keep having faith.”

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January 2022 | Queens Family


Kids & Sleep and how to help them get a good night’s rest

By Donna Duarte-LaDD

Mediation for Kids: Insight Timer

hen it comes to our kids and sleep, parents know a good night’s slumber is golden. And while it’s essential for us, it is vital for our children as it helps them be present. How important? According to the CDC, The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that children ages 6 to 12 years get at least 9–12 hours (per 24 hours); much younger kids’ sleep needs range from 12 -16 hours. Ummm, my kids never slept that long! But I am an optimist, and I am always searching and learning how to help my children sleep better. Here are a few things I tested that help with sleep as well as helpful tips from a sleep expert.

Many parents know that kids have worries just like us, and these days with COVID, school, and social expectations, their sleep may be carrying more angst than usual. Meditation can help all of us, and with kids, sleep meditation can teach kids to relax, learn to let go of the day, find comfort despite worries, and(hopefully) relax them enough to have a good night’s sleep. There are many great free mediation apps available. I love the Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Sesame Street for my youngest. I use Insight Timer (it’s free!). He loves the music mediations and less than five minutes mediations because, well, tweens. #IYKYK


Mattress: Helix Kids Mattress

If your child is complaining about their mattress, it may be time to consider investing in a well-made bed. The Helix Kids Mattress is backed by child and sleep experts, which us parents want when purchasing an essential item for our kids. This flippable hybrid mattress is designed specifically for growing kids. The mattress is designed with innerspring and custom foam layers so it feels sturdy and not all over the place as some beds can be. What is remarkable about the mattress is that the firmer side is excellent for younger kids who need more spine support. As kids get older (around ages 8-12), while the opposite side of the bed is still firm, this side has more cushion. My oldest is growing fast and complained of back pain; the Helix Kid Mattress has him sleeping better. I also like that all fabrics and foams that are CertiPUR-US certified. Helixsleep.com., $550-560.


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

A Clock That Promotes Snooze: Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant With Sound Machine and Sunrise Alarm Clock

If your child hates getting up in the morning- the Hatch Restore Smart Sleep Assistant With Sound Machine and Sunrise Alarm Clock creates the perfect relaxing setting with ambient sounds and dim lighting until they fall asleep. The Hatch Restore will also gently wake you up with its sunrise light effect and soft noises such as birds chirping. Buybuybaby.com, $129.99 Melatonin: Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Chewable Tablets

When babies are in the infant stage, we might sleep train them or set their nighttime routine with a

bath and pajamas, signaling that sleep is near. When my younger son’s doctor suggested melatonin, I was pretty nervous, but I soon learned that melatonin isn’t a sleeping pill. I tested many melatonin products, and my favorite is the Mommy’s Bliss Kids Sleep Chewable Tablets; I also use the liquid formula. I love that this melatonin blend of magnesium, organic chamomile, lemon balm, and passionflower works within the hour. My kids are not groggy in the morning, and my oldest only gets it occasionally. Of course, speak to your pediatrician if you need more guidance or advice when using melatonin. As mentioned, my youngest now takes melatonin. He is five years old, is on the ASD spectrum, and is given it at least four nights a week on his doctor’s recommendation. Mommysbliss. com, $7. Weighted Blanket: California Design Den Chunky Weighted Blanket

I learned the benefits of weighted blankets with my youngest son, who loves a nice midweight blanket. When kids are feeling anxious, a weighted blanket is a bit like a hug and the weight offers a pressure that can be quite calming. Think of it a bit as pressure therapy. This is especially true with my youngest, who is Autistic. This %100 cotton by California Design Den Chunky Weighted Blanket is soft, and while chunky, it isn’t bulky. The measurements are 40” X 60” and weighs 8 pounds. The brand suggests the weight of this blanket is most suitable for kids who weigh 80 lb to 100 lb. Since my kids are like little heaters when they sleep, I place it on my child so it’s nice and snug, and once asleep, I move the blanket about halfway down. Tip: weighted blankets are not only for kids with sensory issues; they actually can help all of us sleep well. Californiadesignden.co, $132.

Helpful Expert Sleep Tips! The Sleepy Mama-Nicole Cannon is a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and a mom of four based in NJ tips on helping your kids have a better night’s sleep! 1. Start shifting your schedule

If your child is staying up too late, then, just like with Daylight’s Savings, you can try to shift your child’s schedule back day-by-day. Start waking your child about 15 minutes earlier every day or two. Also, put your child to bed 15 minutes earlier. By the end of the week, your child should be back to waking at their normal time, and bedtime should be back to where it was. (PS-shift meal times and nap time back too if they’ve crept later). 2. Remove electronics before bed

We hate to admit it, but electronics have been

the key to successful parenting over the past couple of years. But, blue light from electronics can delay the production of melatonin. So, if your child is struggling to fall asleep at night, consider removing screens about an hour before bedtime. Studies have found that melatonin production starts to increase fairly quickly once the blue light is removed.

4. Set realistic basics

Start talking to your child about what’s expected of them in terms of sleep. For your preschooler, this may mean reading them a book about staying in bed or purchasing an Ok to Wake clock. For an older child, this may mean telling them to get in bed at a given time but allowing them to read a few books on their own before calling “lights out.”

3. Get back to basics

Remember when your child was a baby and everything you read told you to establish a nightly “routine.” Well, the same holds true for older children. Create a bedtime routine that is predictable and consistent. A nightly routine helps a child wind down before bedtime, and also removes some of the parent’s stress. Start with a bath or shower, followed by the brushing teeth and pajamas, then onto books and cuddles, and lastly, getting into bed.

5. Get outside help

Sometimes, even with the best planning and routine, children still have trouble. If you’ve tried all the tricks above and your child is still struggling to fall asleep at night, talk to your doctor about supplementing with melatonin for a few days. Although it is not a long-term solution, melatonin supplements may help reset your child’s internal clock when they first start back at daycare, camp, or school. January 2022 | Queens Family


Keeping It Simple

Anastasia Ganias-Gellin (aka @Fancy_Peasant) opens up about building a business and why she thinks moms should stop feeling ashamed about getting all the help they need By Cris Pearlstein


first met Anastasia Ganias-Gellin in a writing class at the start of 2019, long before anyone knew anything about COVID or what would soon happen to the world. She wrote about food and family and the crushing sense of grief she felt after losing her father to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Her stories were beautiful yet painful, and I remember relating deeply to how tightly she wound food into her family narrative, together with the love they share for each other (in my Italian culture, food is our love language, too). I remember thinking, this woman is going to do something with this. And not to toot my own horn, but I was right. A year later, after a self-proclaimed Eat, Pray, Love trip to Greece she started Fancy Peasant in the midst of a pandemic, all while pregnant with her third child. Read on to hear about her wild ride into entrepreneurship, and her experience with motherhood, which she describes as the hardest thing she’s ever done (“by a fu*kin landslide”). CP: First, can you tell me a little bit about your beautiful family? AGG: My dad used to describe them as his, “wild and beautiful brood” and I really feel like that’s what it is. I have three boys: Greyson is 6, Roman just turned 4, and London is 3 months old. Right now I’m really trying to spend some special time with each of them—if I can spend 15 minutes with each kid, focused without any interruptions, without any screen time, that means I’ve had a good day. That’s a mini victory for me. CP: I love that you said 15 minutes because that sounds doable, especially for a busy mom. Kids don’t need elaborate dates, they really just want your attention and your time. AGG: 100 percent. People ask me a lot about the transition to three, but for me the transition from one to two was a lot


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

harder. This time I set myself up with a lot of support. I went back to work right after having Roman, which was intense, but it wasn’t like having a growing business. It wasn’t the same pressure as having to get through 500 customer service emails in a day. CP: Can you tell me a little bit about that support system you set up? AGG: I didn’t have a baby nurse with my other two children. Greeks just don’t do baby nurses, [laughing] that’s what grandparents are for! My parents helped so much with Greyson, but this time around, with my dad gone and my mom living farther away and six years older, I needed the kind of support where I didn’t feel guilty about saying “take the baby, I have 5 hours of work to do, just bring him to me to eat.” I let go of all the stigmas. The first time around when it came to receiving help I was so ashamed, but this time I told my husband that getting support is something we need to do for our marriage and for the other two children. And it’s helped a lot. CP: If there’s a mom out there who is feeling that same guilt and pressure, what would you say to her? AGG: I get hundreds of messages on Instagram asking me how I do it all, and I always respond that I don’t do anything by myself. I would say to take as much help as you can possibly get—don’t feel guilty about it, feel supported by it instead. Oh, and be kind to yourself. I’m struggling a lot right now with my weight, holding on to an extra 25 pounds, but my mantra every day is be kind to yourself. Being a mom is really hard. If I die tomorrow it’s the best thing I ever did but it’s also, by a fu*kin landslide, the hardest thing. CP: By a fu*kin landslide is right! And I’m sure running your olive oil business, Fancy Peasant, makes everything different this

time around, too. AGG: It makes everything different, in a good way. With my first two, Spielberg could have called me on the phone to star in his movie and I would have said no, I’m with my new baby. This time around, I’m so happy to have an identity outside of just being a mom. After six years I’ve learned that I need a bit of separation to be a better mother, and I’m finally accepting that. CP: Let’s talk about this separate identity then. How did the business come to be? AGG: A few years ago I took a writing class where I wrote a lot about my dad and food and sickness and mourning, and how coming together as a family and remembering these meals was a very big deal. I was very connected to our Greek cuisine, but I could never find any Greek cookbooks that broke down recipes for a visual learner like myself. When my dad was very sick I told him I wanted to come out with a cookbook that makes it easy for people to cook Greek food. He was born into poverty, living in a peasant village until he came to the United States at 16 years old. He was able to give me every opportunity in the world, and so I said, “It’s called The Fancy Peasant, I’m like the fancy version of you”. After my father died I started cooking and talking about grief on Instagram. People wrote to me saying they haven’t been able to get back into the kitchen after a loved one died, and that eating is the most lonely and painful part of their day—I didn’t know how much the worlds of food and grief combine. I found myself teaching people how to cook, talking to strangers, and healing my own pain. I went to Greece to find olive oil for the few people who were asking me to sell it. I sat with that idea, kept cooking, and then the pandemic hit. My mom, sister, her week-old baby, and her husband moved in for the next 10 months. My sister had run operations for a start-up before and she helped me launch

in November 2020. The response to the oil was crazy, we sold out immediately. But I had never started a business, I had no idea what we were in for. We got it off the ground with Stephanie’s background in operations, but we still don’t have any PR, we don’t have marketing. The oil is organic and the growth of the company is organic. My dad has a lot to do with this. I feel his energy all around me. Yes we sell oil, but Fancy Peasant is also a place where we teach people how to cook healthy Greek cuisine. CP: So do you feel like the strategy for getting them to love the food you do is to get them involved in the kitchen? AGG: Yes, I think moms need to move past the the-kitchen-is-going-to-get-dirty mentality. I say this because once you let yourself have fun with food your children will, too. Moms get really flustered because there’s a lot going on, but you have to go into it accepting the worst case scenario, that the whole counter might get covered in flour, or there’ll be egg shells on the floor. I also don’t believe in a kids menu, I don’t believe they should eat a totally different meal. Sure I veer from that, like when I incorporate kale chips with dinner instead of broccoli, or give them a green juice in the morning when they refuse to eat vegetables, but I really think it’s important to get them involved in the kitchen and also to make dinnertime a sacred ritual. No phones on the table. We’re connecting, we’re talking about our day, and we’re going to eat. CP: On Instagram you have this large and incredible community. What does that mean to you? AGG: The community is unbelievable. I screenshot messages every day of people telling me things like I’m able to cook a very simple dinner for my entire family because of you, or thank you for making everything so simple. People tell me they’re feeling a lot better, they have more energy. I’m very honest on my platform and I talk about whatever is on my mind, but I try to keep it specific to food and sprinkle in my family. I really struggle with the social media thing, but I know people like to see the three boys and my husband. I try to give them what they want while maintaining privacy. If I’m having a hard week I let myself take a break, because I know my followers will be there. They’re incredible. Photo by Ana Gambuto

Follow @Fancy_Peasant Visit the Website! Fancypeasant.com January 2022 | Queens Family



How to Save Your Kid’s Artwork! By Donna Duarte-LaDD


e love our kids’ artwork, but let’s be honest, the school folders start to get out of hand by this time of the year. What should we keep, toss, and for those treasured pieces we want to showcase, what are the best ways to showcase our little ones’ talents. Bt what to do with it? We touched base with Disney+ star and YayDay Paper Co. founder Amber Kemp-Gerstel. Amber loves DIY; just check out her IG; it is full of crafty creative projects, from sewing up a designerinspired bag to partnering with family-favorite juice brand Juicy Juice to share some easy and fun crafts to get kids excited for the season. Kids have been back at school for four months now, and so are the work pages and artwork. Most parents, including myself, hate to throw out kids some of their schoolwork and artwork. How do you decide what to keep? What are some crafty tips on saving the work that makes the parent edit? When your kiddos come home from school with handmade projects, it can be tough to toss them into the trash. Afterall, they made it with their own little hands! Eventually, you end up with a drawer filled with projects and there just isn’t enough room to keep everything. Thankfully, there are some creative ways to preserve those creative memories and conquer the pressure to save every single thing. Ask for your child’s input! You’ll be surprised how many projects they’re happy to discard. They don’t always have a strong emotional attachment to those projects and they can easily let you know which ones they can say goodbye to. Additionally, you’ll learn a lot through this process about which projects do have a special place in your child’s heart, and those creations will, in turn, become even


NewYorkFamily.com | January 2022

Disney+ star and YayDay Paper Co. founder, amber Kemp-Gerstel

more special to you! Make a memory book! Once you’ve decided which projects are special and worth keeping, use a large 3-ring binder to save them. In our home, we like to use a binder for each school year. Inside the binder, I insert a bunch of page protector pockets, then slide each project into the pocket. When you’re done, you have a fun way to flip through all those projects. Outsource it! Life gets busy and it’s okay to enlist a little help sometimes. There are several apps and websites that offer services to memorialize your child’s artwork into a professional book. Services like Artkive or Plum Print are awesome resources for saving those special handmade creations. Can you share creative tips on how to showcase kids’ artwork? I think the easiest way to do that is to provide seasonal or themed craft ideas that can

be repurposed as holiday décor. For example, decorated pinecones could be strung into a festive holiday garland that becomes a staple in your holiday decoration collection. For example, this Lucky Leprechaun Trap or this Valentine’s Day Kaleidoscope could become staples for the upcoming winter/spring holidays. Some of my favorite holiday decorations that we use year after year were handmade by my son. It’s also a fun way to get into the holiday spirit, whichever holiday that may be, and spend some quality time with your little one. Is it okay to recycle your kid’s artwork? Are there ways to creatively do this? Artwork itself may be difficult to recycle, but you can certainly create more sustainable artwork by using upcycled items from around your house. My son loves Juicy Juice, so we always have extra bottles and juice boxes around the house, so we use those, along with other items we already have around home, for crafts! It’s as simple as putting some paint, construction paper and/or googly eyes on an item to give it new life. Some of our favorites are these Tissue Box Dinosaur Feet, this Bottle Bird Feeder and Bottle Planter.

Looking forward to next summer?

Meet with day & sleepaway camps in a safe environment to find a great camp for your child • New York Family and the ACA-NY and NJ will be hosting our Annual Camp Fair Series from January through April of 2022 • We will be hosting 10 camp fairs around NYC and in Westchester • This is an opportunity for you to meet one on one with Day & Sleepaway Camp Directors in a safe environment to learn about different opportunities next summer for your child • All events are indoors, to attend the camp fair you must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask while inside at all times

Locations include:

Manhattan Brooklyn Westchester Queens

Presented by

Find out more at newyorkfamily.com/camp-fairs summer@newyorkfamily.com

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