Westchester Family - April 2022

Page 1

April 2022


Vibrant Joy Mikaela Pabon of @dressedinjoy on family, home & bold moves

The Benefits of a

Bilingual Education

Tough talks

Speaking with kids about difficult topics

Special needs Resources for families

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April 2022


pg. 36

pg. 26 pg. 12

pg. 34

FEATURES 12 | Special Needs How to support your child who stutters 16 | Special Needs Helpful special needs glossary

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note 8 | Ask the Expert Talking to kids about the war in Ukraine and other tough topics

22 | Education Bilingual Education for kids

26 | Mom Hacks How to ace eco-friendly thrift shopping

28 | Camp Experts share why Summer Camp 2022 will be amazing

32 | Family Fun Art & cultural museums In and near Westchester that are free for kids

34 | Cover — Mikaela Pabon Shares on family, design and the joy of beautiful colors and patterns


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

pg. 22

Family fun 36 | Calendar Family-friendly events this month

Directories 18 | Special Needs Listings

on the Cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com

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Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Digital Editor: Courtney Ingalls Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, Annene Guertin, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Cara Roteman, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli Marketing & Strategy Director: Rosalia Bobé Sales & Marketing Coordinator: Mykael Fields Marketing Assistant: Tilejah Gilead Nina Gallo Photography

April — Spring Vibes A new season brings days of warmth and hope. The cold days are fewer; the sunshine stays a bit longer. This is why when we thought of our April cover, Mikaela Pabon (page 34) came to mind. Mikaela seamlessly works vibrant hues into her life, both at home and work. We chatted with Mikaela about her line @dressforjoy, family, and style ruts. I am a special needs mom and know that we special needs parents appreciate helpful articles and guides. Check out our Special Needs Resources on page 18. Life-changing events are happening in the world that frankly can be hard to understand. We chatted with an expert on how parents can speak to their children about Talking to Kids about the War in Ukraine and Other Tough Topics (page 8).

Lastly, Westchester has some of the most amazing museums, check out our Local Picks(32) where many are FREE for kids! Donna and New York Family Media

Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editor at large: Cris Pearlstein Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Océane Goriou, Kilani Sierra, Liana Vazquez

Contact Information

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

We are saddened by the crisis in Ukraine and stand with our Ukrainian community— New York City has the highest Ukraine population of all United States. Please check out New York Family online on organizations that offer on the ground support.

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

President: Victoria Schneps-Yunis CEO: Joshua Schneps COO: 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 New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily


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April 2022 | Westchester Family


ask the expert

Talking to Kids about the War in Ukraine and other difficult topics By Courtney Ingalls


s we continue to watch the conflict in Ukraine unfold, kids are also starting to hear more and more about what is going on with the war. Difficult world events such as this one can be hard for kids to understand and it could be a scary topic for them. Whether your child comes to you asking questions about the current conflict or you want to have a discussion but not sure how to tackle it, we sat down with Andrea Barbalich, Editor in Chief of The Week Junior to talk about tips and strategies for talking to your kids about Ukraine and other future difficult topics. With everything going on in Ukraine, Why is it important to talk to your kids about world events? Children count on adults to help them make sense of events and feel safe when frightening events are happening, and the war in Ukraine is a global event receiving a massive amount of media coverage. Nothing quite like this has happened since World War II and certainly not in the lifetime of young children who are growing up now. All but the very youngest children are aware that it’s happening, it’s being discussed in homes, and at school and among friends, it’s on TikTok, so it is very much a topic for a family conversation. It’s a complicated situation even for adults to understand so kids may be confused, worried or frightened and they need trusted adults that they feel they can go to and who will tell them the truth. How would you go about talking about world events that could be scary for kids to think about? Our approach at The Week Junior is to tell the truth calmly and straightforwardly without


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

providing more detail than is appropriate for their maturity level. This depends on the child and parents know their kids best. Different children respond differently to different information. At The Week Junior, we focus on ages 8-14 and some of the children on the older end may have a more sophisticated understanding of what’s happening, and may be able to handle more details. While for younger children, it may be sufficient to understand that there is fighting between these two countries, people around the world are calling for peace and standing with Ukraine and governments and humanitarian organizations and individuals are providing help for the people of Ukraine. What are some tips that parents should keep in mind when talking to your kids about these difficult topics? First and foremost I would say tell the truth simply and clearly, again without providing more details than is appropriate for the child’s maturity level. I think it’s really important to open a dialogue with children to ask them what they think. They may come to you with questions or you may initiate a conversation with them and ask them what they think about what’s happening. Giving them a chance to share their thoughts helps them feel empowered and letting them know that you’re there to listen is very reassuring to them, and as your children grow up, you want to keep that line of commu-

nication open so they can come to you when they have questions or they’re concerned about something. Also if they are worried about something that is inaccurate, you’ll have a chance to correct it. Oftentimes children will think something is happening and get incorrect information that will actually cause them to be more worried, and being able to talk it out with a trusted adult can help actually lower their anxiety level rather than increasing it. A couple other suggestions I have are to emphasize the helpers. There are people around the world standing with Ukraine who want this war to end. There are governments and nonprofit groups and even people in Ukraine and at the border of Ukraine who are doing everything they can to help the people of Ukraine. The governments are doing what they can to put pressure on Russia to stop the fighting. One thing we like to say at The Week Junior is there are always more people that help than people who hurt and that’s an important message to send to kids is that there are all these people who feel the same way they do, that they really do not want this war to be happening. The other thing I would say is that a conversation like this is opportunity to reinforce your family’s values. You can say “I’m concerned for the people in Ukraine”, “I’m concerned for the people in the military and other people who are fighting”, “I’m concerned for the people in Russia who do not want this war”, and “our family hopes for peace”. That

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ask the Expert

is a way to make the child safe within your family and that this is something that you are concerned about as a family. Something else I would say is try to keep up with the news yourself as much as you can and feel comfortable with so when your child does have questions you will be able to answer them. At the same time, it’s okay to say I don’t know. There are a lot of things that nobody knows right now. Nobody knows when the fighting will stop, nobody knows exactly what Russia plans to do so it’s ok to say “I don’t know that right now, no one does but we might know more next week, we might know later this week” and things like that. Another suggestion that I would have: just as people around the world are helping, kids can help as well. That can give kids a real sense of agency and generation alpha (which is the generation of children with The Week Junior) they are a very passionate and caring generation of children who really want to make a difference in the world and they want to speak up about the things they care about, and they want to take action. So talking to them about things they per-

Giving children a chance to share their thoughts helps them feel empowered and letting them know that you’re there to listen is very reassuring to them. sonally can do to reach out to others can help them feel more in control and less anxious and more reassured, and it’s a great feeling for them to know they are doing something in the face of something so difficult. Are there areas of conversation or information that parents should steer clear of during these discussions? I would advise not going into great detail about violence and deaths. I think that can be very frightening, however if a child asks directly “have people died in this war?” I would tell the truth and say yes some Ukrainians have died and Russians have died as well unfortunately and I would just be truthful. It’s just really important, especially when asked a direct question, to tell the truth. Are there certain resources that parents

should go to to prepare for these kinds of difficult talks? I can’t resist telling you about our online information hub that we’ve created just in the past several days to put all of our information about Ukraine all in one spot. It’s available to everyone at theweekjunior.com/ukraine, and we have advice on talking to kids, we have our two news stories from the past week that very clearly explain what’s happening so that if parents are looking for language to use or word choice, or just how to explain the history between the two countries and why this may be happening and what the real world reaction has been and how are people helping. There are some very clearly written articles that are posted on that page that parents could consult. We also have all of our suggestions on how kids can make a difference and how they can get involved.

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How to Support Your Child Who

Stutters What to look for — and how to listen



ids trip up on their words a lot, especially when they’re still learning how to talk. As parents, we worry about everything, so we’re bound to wonder if maybe there’s something else going on. Stuttering is actually not too uncommon as you may think– 5% of young kids stutter and about 1% of all people do, which is 70 million people. If you’re navigating a potential or diagnosed stutter in your child, we’re here to help. You probably have a million questions, so we caught up with Travis Robertson, VP of Programming at The Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY) to get your questions answered. Read on to learn about how you can best support your child through their speech journey.


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

What causes stuttering “Stuttering is a neurological difference in the way that people process speech,” says Robertson. More often than not, a stutter will reveal itself very early as kids are still developing their speech. Robertson explains how a common misconception is that stuttering is caused by trauma or nerves: “Those are things that can exacerbate a stutter perhaps or can bring to light a stutter, but the neurological challenge exists independently of that.” The only caveat being brain damage due to a physical head injury. Stuttering is also not related to your capabilities as a parent. As parents, we know how easy it is to blame ourselves and to wonder what we could have done differently. In the case of stuttering, it is not caused by anything you did as a parent. Your job

moving forward? To support your child as they navigate this challenge. How parents can recognize stuttering So if stutters develop at a young age, how can parents recognize the difference between stuttering and typical kid-like mispronunciations? Robertson recommends seeking a diagnosis even if there’s a small concern, because stuttering can look very different from person to person. The SAY Stuttering 101 Guide outlines three generalized “types” of stutters: Sound repetitions: repeating one sound or syllable over and over again Sound prolongations: extending one sound for a long time Silent blocks: pauses between words, a complete stop in sound

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special needs

If you recognize one or more of these in your child, or some variation of them, then you’ll likely want to see a specialist. It’s important to note that a stutter does not indicate a learning disability. “People who stutter know what they want to say and are, more often than not, confident in what they want to say. It’s not necessarily a situation of forgetting your words. It’s just the process of creating the sound of the word that is in your mind,” explains Robertson. How to get involved with your child’s speech pathology Especially if you have young kids, you’ll want to be involved with your child’s speech therapy sessions to some degree. What might this look like? Goal setting. “Families have options. Work with a speech pathologist to collaborate on what those goals are,” advises Robertson. “What do you want for your speech? Do you want to stop stuttering? Or be able to stutter confidently and help people understand exactly what is going on? Is it that you want to make a new friend? Is it that you want to answer questions in class without the fear of stuttering?” The goal for a person who stutters does not have to be to stop stuttering altogether. And for little ones around other kids in school or after-school programs, they may have other priorities that feel more urgent to them, such as raising their hand in class without feeling nervous about their stutter. Encourage your child to think about these smaller successes, and work alongside your speech pathologist to set realistic, thoughtful goals. How stuttering may impact your child emotionally It’s key that as a parent, you’re aware of what your child who stutters may be experiencing emotionally. “Below the surface there can be feelings of fear, anxiety, trauma, insecurity,” says Robertson, “There are a lot of things that I may be processing in my head: What are the words that I think I’m going to stutter on? Is there an alternative word I can use? Can you tell that I stutter? How is this going to affect the next interaction I have with you?” This is just an idea of what your child may be experiencing. Just as stuttering presents itself differently for everyone, it’s emotional impact will also be different. It’s important to note that a slight or mild stutter doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is not experiencing insecurity or doubt. Vice versa, Robertson explains: “If


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

“People who stutter know what they want to say and are, more often than not, confident in what they want to say. It’s not necessarily a situation of forgetting your words. It’s just the process of creating the sound of the word that is in your mind.” I’m a person who has a very strong stutter, that does not necessarily mean that I’m emotionally in a bad place. I may be very confident, secure, and comfortable in the experience that I’m having.” As parents, we have to try our best not to assume. Read on to learn how to talk to your kiddos about what they may be thinking and feeling. How to best support your child after a stuttering diagnosis “One of the most important things is just to be able to talk about it,” insists Robertson. The only way to find out what your child is experiencing on the inside is to talk and listen. “Often times, there can be a hesitation to mention the thing or talk about things that are hard, sometimes in hopes that they will go away, or as not to draw more attention to them. It’s important to be able to make space to have the conversation and to make it a collaboration with your child,” says Robertson. Talking about the stutter may be difficult at first for both you and your child, but it creates a strong emotional support system moving forward. If your child does not seem to want to talk about it at first, don’t be discouraged. Their speech progression journey will take

time, and at some point during that time, your child will lean on you because they’ll know you’re there to support them. Ask your child how they felt after their speech pathology sessions, discuss any nerves they may have before heading to school for the day, and check-in with them to see how they feel about their speech progression. Now, of course their stutter shouldn’t be the only thing you talk about, because you don’t want your child to feel as if they are defined by it. But just let them know that you are open to conversation whenever they are, and that there is nothing wrong with them. “I think it’s important for young people and families to understand that stuttering is okay. It’s okay to be a confident and clear communicator, and still be a person who stutters,” says Robertson. Tips for listening to your child Listening sounds like an easy concept, but it can be a lot harder than you think to be a good listener. “The most impactful thing that parents, families, teachers, and everyone in the community can do is to listen,” says Robertson. There are a few things that you’ll want to refrain from doing when it comes to listening to your child who stutters. First, try not to finish their sentences. “It comes with the best intentions,” explains Robertson, “But that’s a form of not really making time and space for someone. If someone is trying to guess the word that I’m trying to say before I have the chance to communicate it, on some level it can read as a microaggression: I don’t have time to give you space to say what you have to say. It goes a really long way if you as a listener are able to just listen.” Next, try not to use phrases such as “slow down” or “take a breath”. “Again, it comes with good intentions, but it’s much more of a complex experience than just taking a breath and slowing down. It goes much deeper than that,” says Robertson. It can be difficult, but do your best not to simplify stuttering with these phrases. At the end of the day, being a good listener means being able to show that you are fully present. Make eye contact, use body language to show that you’re engaged, and be patient to allow your child to say what they want to say. Other children may not always give them the same time and space at school, so you’ll want to make sure that they have it at home. Let your child know that their words matter, and they are worth waiting for!


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April 2022 | Westchester Family


Special needS

SpEcial NEEDS Glossary Keywords that every special needs family should know By Mia SalaS


art of navigating a special needs diagnosis is knowing the words used to describe it. But it can be intimidating to ask what everything means, especially when doctors or websites seem to be speaking another language with acronyms like “ERSS” and “OT”. We’ve all been in that confusing place before and, as parents, it’s not a fun feeling. That’s why, we’ve created a glossary for keywords that you may want to know as a parent of kids with special needs. This guide includes common special needs words, phrases, and acronyms so that you can feel more confident in your parenting journey! Special Needs Diagnosis Developmental disability: Physical, learning, language, or behavioral impairments that will delay your child’s development. ADHD, Autism, learning disabilities, etc. are all examples of developmental disabilities. ADHD– Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A developmental disability that makes it difficult for your child to pay attention or stay focused. Look out for squirming and fidgeting, talking a lot, not being able to wait for their turn, or trouble concentrating. ASD– Autism Spectrum Disorder: A developmental disability that may delay your child’s speech, motor, learning, and social skills. Early intervention (see below) can help improve skills. Down Syndrome: A condition caused by an extra chromosome that affects how your child’s brain and body develop. Diagnosis typically happens before or during birth. Emotional Disturbance: Mental health disorders such as anxiety, bipolar, OCD, etc. that have no direct, identifiable cause. Be on the lookout for aggressive behavior,


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

withdrawal or nerves related to social environments, and vocal outbursts in public places. Learning Disability: Difficulty learning and grasping new concepts. Learning disabilities include dyslexia (reading), dysgraphia (writing), and dyscalculia (math). See Special Education for more. Stutter: A speech disorder that makes it challenging for your child to say what they want to say. You may hear them repeat a sound a lot, hold one sound for a long time, or stop speaking mid-sentence. Special Needs Resources OPWDD– Office of People with Developmental Disabilities: A New York organization that can help connect your family to nonprofit services, based on what kind of treatment/therapy they need, and provide funding. Transition planning: Creating an action plan for what your child with special needs will do after high school. This is often a part of your IEP (see below). Service provider: An agency or organization that will help your special needs family navigate some aspect of your journey. This could be everything from speech therapy to after school programs with a focus on special needs to horseback riding as a form of physical therapy. INCLUDEnyc: A non-profit organization that

advocates for young people in NYC to be included in their communities: classrooms, workplaces, etc. They have super informative resources for parents of kids with special needs, and they can connect you with professionals who can help you navigate your options even further. Special Education Inclusion: Everyone in the classroom feels welcomed by the school, teacher, and classmates. For special needs kids, inclusion is definitely a keyword to look for when choosing a school! IEP– Individualized Education Program: A written plan for your child’s education as a special needs student. According to the NYC Department of Education (DOE), this means your child is guaranteed a free and appropriate public education in a Least Restrictive Environment (see below). Your child’s IEP will also include development and progress reports, evaluation results, specific needs, and anything else that is relevant to your child’s success. IEP Teams: Your IEP team will be made up of you (as a parent/guardian), a school psychologist, a special education teacher (and sometimes a general education teacher), and the district representative. It may also include a school physician or other service providers who have worked with your child.

LRE– Least Restrictive Environment: Your child will be in a classroom with kids who do not have special needs. SETSS– Special Education Teacher Support Services: Either a special education teacher will design specific activities for children with special needs or the special education teacher will collaborate with the general education teacher to modify the entire classroom to accommodate. SEDL– Special Education Distance Learning: Modifying special needs education for virtual/online students. This became especially important during the pandemic. SWD– Students With Disabilities: Used to refer to special needs children in the classroom. SC– Special Class: If your child’s needs cannot be met in a general education classroom, they will have all classes taught specifically by a special education teacher. These classes are typically very small in NYC schools, with up to 12 students for elementary/middle school and up to 15 for high school.

PBIS– Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support: NYC school-wide approach that encourages positive behavior instead of punishing or pointing out the negative. One example of this is changing a poster from “No Food. No Weapons. No Drugs.” to “School Rules: Be Safe, Responsible, Respectful”. This positive environment is especially important for special needs education. Special Needs Treatment & Evaluation ADL– Activities of daily living: Day-to-day actions like brushing your teeth, going to the bathroom, walking up and down stairs, etc. that are used to determine your child’s diagnosis and progress. Early intervention: Services and support for infants and young children with developmental disabilities. Early intervention can often help improve your child’s skills and progress. OT– Occupational Therapy: Focuses on ADL’s (see above) and other everyday skills that your child will work on. PT- Physical Therapy: Focuses on physical

developmental disabilities and helps your child with mobility and movement. Speech pathology: Focuses on language and speech disabilities to help your child communicate their thoughts. Regression: Your child loses skills that they previously had. If regression happens, you may want to revisit and revise your child’s IEP (see above). AT– Assistive technology: Any device that helps your child’s special needs by improving their capabilities. AT’s include wheelchairs, text to speech, voice recognition, and more. ABA– Applied Behavior Analysis: A positive-reinforcement program designed to understand your child’s behavior in real life situations. It is most commonly used for children with Autism, but it can also be effective for other developmental disabilities. Developmental milestones: Key movements, expressions, speech etc. that show your child’s progress. For little ones, this may include smiling at people, crawling, copying sounds, and reaching for toys.

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Special needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Breakthrough Fit Co. 251 S. Central Ave. Hartsdale, NY 10530 914-358-4575 jake@breakthroughfitco.com breakthroughfitco.com Breakthrough Fit Co. offers inclusive health and fitness opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the General Population alike. Exclusively at Breakthrough Fit is the Ignite Fitness Program; a small group fitness class for Special Needs individuals. Proud partners of New York Special Olympics, Autism Speaks, and Gigi’s Playhouse.

Cardinal O’Connor School 16 North Broadway, Irvington, NY 914-591-9330 jcoschool.org The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a Catholic school dedicated to providing an affordable, language-based, academic curriculum for children in grades 2-8 with mild Learning Disabilities (LD), Speech or Language Impairments (SPL), or other

Health Impairments (OHI). Students at JCOS are taught by certified special education teachers in small classes. Teachers utilize multisensory instructional techniques to help children succeed both academically and socially. JCOS is dedicated to providing the benefits of a Catholic education to children who learn differently. Please contact JCOS for more information by emailing tara. freeman@johncardinaloconnorschool.org.

The Cedar School 200 Pemberwick Road Greenwich, CT 06831 203-808-5005 thecedarschool.org info@thecedarschool.org The Cedar School, located in Greenwich, CT, is a co-ed high school for bright students with mild-to-moderate language-based learning differences. Cedar provides a rich academic setting with researched-based supports. The school’s multisensory approach allows students to pursue a rigorous curriculum

Make a change for the better for the 2022-2023 school year. Try a new approach to education. • Small Class Sizes • Multisensory Learning College Prep • Individualized Instruction The Cedar School is a co-ed day school serving high school students with language-based learning differences in the FDLUÀHOG &RXQW\ DQG Westchester County areas.

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WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

while mastering the skills they need for college and beyond.

Creative Wonders Therapy Center 470 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 204 White Plains NY 10605 101 South Bedford Rd Suite 404 Mt. Kisco NY 10549 914.421.8270 ext. 2 914 373 6823 ext 3 Fax: 914.421.8272 creativewonderstherapy.com facebook.com/#!/ creativewonderstherapy Creative Wonders is a pediatric therapy center with locations in White Plains and Mt. Kisco. Seasoned occupational, physical, and speech therapists trained in specialties including sensory integration, PROMPT, and therapeutic listening and SIPT evaluations. Private speech and toddler rooms as well as a sensory gym! Strict cleaning guidelines, therapists in masks, 75i True HEPA Air Purifiers in both locations.

Green Chimneys School Campuses in Brewster & Carmel 845-279-2995 Greenchimneys.org Green Chimneys School is an accredited special education program for students K-12 who benefit from a highly structured and supportive setting. An enriched curriculum for individualized academic, behavioral and emotional support features an innovative nature-based approach that integrates animalassisted activities, horticulture and outdoor exploration into therapeutic treatment and education programs.

Littman Krooks, LLP 800 Westchester Avenue, S-436 Rye Brook, New York 10573 914-684-2100 littmankrooks.com Littman Krooks Special Needs Planning and Special Education Advocacy Attorneys work for the empowerment of individuals with special needs. Planning for your child’s future can seem overwhelming


Helping Special Families Plan for the Future

Special Education Advocacy Special Needs Trusts Guardianship Transition Planning Special Needs Planning


Carol Frank Biondi Education Center National Association of Special Education Teachers School of Excellence

Our Biondi Elementary School provides:

www.littmankrooks.com 399 Knollwood Road � White Plains, NY 10603 � 914.684.2100 655 Third Avenue � New York, NY 10017 � 212.490.2020

• Serving students with AU, ED, LD, OHI Classifications • NYS Certified Teachers & Teaching Assistants • New York State Education Department Standards Based Curriculum (Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Physical Education)

Sensory Works OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY PC • Years of experience working with families and children in creating therapeutic relationships • Each child receives a personalized road map to achieve their full potential • Offering private consultations, evaluations, and therapy sessions • Therapy services include: Sensory Integration, fine and gross motor, handwriting, overall muscle strength and balance • Specialization areas include: Sensory Processing Disorder, Integrated Listening Systems and DIR Floortime Vincent Incognoli, MA, OTR/L SPD Foundation Fellow Pediatric Specialty • SIPT Certified Sensoryworksot@optonline.net • 646-210-3508 Sensoryworksot.com

• School Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational & Speech Therapists • Robotics & technology programs • Transportation (provided by home school district)

Our Biondi Middle & High School provides: • Supporting AU, ED, LD, OHI classifications • NYS Certified Teachers & Teaching Assistants • New York State Education Department Standards Based Regents Curriculum (English, Mathematics, History/Social Studies, Science, Spanish, Art, Physical Education)

• Technology Integrated Instruction • Academies (Young Women Academy, Young Men Academy, Career Development Occupational Studies – Cosmetology, Barbering, Plumbing)

• Student Clubs & Activities • Section 1 & Club Sports • Guidance Counselor, School Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational & Speech Therapists • Animal Assisted Therapy – Canine and Equine

Biondi Education Center

463 Hawthorne Avenue • Yonkers, NY 10705 • 914-410-5596 Approved by the New York State Education Department & accredited by the Middle States Association

RisingGround.org April 2022 | Westchester Family


Special needs Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

but you do not need to face these tasks alone. Seeking the assistance of an attorney can be the best approach. receptive language disorders.

Main Street Pediatric Dentistry 115 Main St., Suite 302 Tuckahoe, NY 10707 914-633-4440 drpennydds@aol.com mainstreetpediatricdentistry. com Main Street Pediatric Dentistry’s experienced staff has specialized training to work with special needs patients and those with disabilities. They focus on behavior management, working closely with the patient and their families to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Patients of all ages are welcome.

Monster Mini Golf Yonkers Ridge Hill Mall 221 Market St., Unit 2950, 2nd floor Yonkers NY 914 346-5072 yonkers@monsterminigolf.com

monsterminigolf.com/yonkers 49 East Midland Ave. Paramus NJ 201-261-0032 paramus@monsterminigolf. com monsterminigolf.com/paramus Monster Mini Golf is an indoor, fun, affordable, upbeat experience for special needs humans of all ages. Our 18 holes of monster-themed mini golf, glow-in-the-dark experience is wheelchair accessible, climate controlled, with interactive team members. For more excitement we have an on-course DJ, arcade games, bowling, and private party rooms!

RockOnMusic Westchester, Putnam counties or on Zoom, anywhere! 914 489 0520 RockonMusicSchool.com Dmeyers12531@gmail.com Make Music Accessible. Individualized music sessions in your home or through Zoom. The benefits of music participation are great, so unlock the potential in your child. Play

The Westchester School

Guitar, Uke, Bass, Keyboards, Drums, Dance and Sing, whatever inspires the musician in you. David specializes in teaching differently-abled children and young adults. (Ages 8+).SELF-DIRECTION APPROVED

SAIL at Ferncliff Manor 1154 Saw Mill River Road Yonkers, NY 10710 914-968-4854 Sailatferncliff.com info@sailatferncliff.com The School for Adaptive and Integrative Learning (SAIL) at Ferncliff Manor is a New York State Education Department approved private, nonpublic school program serving residential and day students with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. SAIL provides a range of supports and services including specialized instruction, intensive staff to student ratios, positive behavior interventions and supports, social services, rehabilitative therapies, dietary programming, and living accommodations

for children who require the specialized care offered by our comprehensive residential setting. The program’s adaptive approach ensures that all students are able to access the curriculum, via pathways tailored to meet their own unique needs.

Shames JCC on the Hudson 371 S. Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 914.366.7898 Specialneeds@shamesjcc.org shamesjcc.org The Shames JCC is a welcoming and supportive environment for people of all abilities and is dedicated to serving individuals with special needs across their life spans. We offer a wide range of inclusive and specialized programs for individuals with varying special needs and their families. We offer an individual-to-staff ratio of 3:1.

Sensory Works, Vincent Incognoli 159 Main Street, Suite 201

Green Chimneys School

• NYS approved and funded non-public school providing therapeutic and educational services to students diagnosed with AU, MD, ID, OHI, OI, ED, & PWD, ages 3 - 21, with locations in Yonkers & North Salem • Ungraded, self-contained classrooms with a student to staff ratio of 12:1:4 & 8:1:2 in SchoolAged classrooms and a ratio of 10:1:2 in Preschool classrooms. • Customized classroom instruction based on IEP goals, enhanced with SMART boards, IPads, and computers in every classroom • Counseling, Behavioral Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, as well as Speech and Language Therapy


• Assistance with transitioning to post academic life by providing Vocational and Job Skill opportunities • Adaptive Physical Education and a Sensory Room

www.westchesterschool.org 20

WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022


New Rochelle, NY 10801 Phone: 646-210-3508 sensoryworksot.com sensoryworksot@optonline. net Vincent Incognoli is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist who has served Children with various disabilities for over 19 years. He specializes in Sensory and Relationship-based therapy and holds certifications in Sensory Integration (SIPT Certified), DIR/ Floortime and the Integrated Listening Systems (ILS). Vincent is passionate about building relationships with his clients and families and focuses his work on having children reach their highest level of independence. Inquire about his services which include treatment, screenings,evaluations and a broad range of therapeutic options to best suit your child’s needs.

Westchester School 45 Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10703 520 Route 22 North Salem NY

33 Seymour St. Yonkers NY 914-376-4300 westchesterschool.org The Westchester School’s main campus is a year round, NY state approved special education day facility located in Yonkers NY. The school’s 3 locations serve individuals with autism and multiple handicaps as well as children who are medically fragile. In addition to serving Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties, they also support the Mid-Hudson area, New York City and Fairfield County, CT.

Winston Prep Long Island 57 Rocks Road, Norwalk 203-229-0465 mrolfe@winstonprep.edu Winston Preparatory Connecticut is a leading school for students with learning differences, including dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal learning disorders. Learn more about our nationally recognized program at www. winstonprep.edu.

All-ability Music Specialist

SELF-DIRECTION APPROVED Interactive Live Music Sessions In Your Home or on Your Computer

David Meyers 914-489-0520 Serving Westchester, Putnam Counties or on zoom, anywhere! Since 2016

RockOnMusicSchool.com rockonmusicschool

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.tppa naContact eluContact dehcuss otous t sschedule utotcschedule atnoCan appt. an appt. elbaliavTelehealth a NO Telehealth SREP AND NI DAND NIN A PERSON hIN tlaPERSON eheleavailable T available April 2022 | Westchester Family



Bilingual Education for Kids By BarBara russo


etter grades. More brain power. Academic success. These are all things parents want for their children when it comes to their education. While it can be challenging for parents to uncover the secret to success for their budding student, many childhood education and wellness experts are in agreement that one way to help a child learn, grow and thrive in school is through bilingual education. In a city with almost 8 million people, only about 50 percent speak only English at home, according to NYC population data. Given these statistics, it’s understandable that bilingual education is becoming increasingly popular in New York City and nearby. Bilingual education is offered at public, charter and private schools throughout the metro area. Interestingly, parents of children who speak only English at home still choose bilingual education for the child’s education based on a number of reasons such as giving their child an opportunity to explore and embrace a culture that’s different from their own. In this article, we’ll shed some light on this learning model—addressing its benefits and concerns—to help parents decide if bilingual education is the right path for their child.

What is Bilingual Education? First, let’s define what bilingual education actually means. In a nutshell, bilingual education is when a child learns subject matter—such as math, history and science— in two different languages. In the United States, this generally includes English and a secondary language. In other words, bilingual education means more than learning to say “hello” in a foreign language. It refers to using two languages as a means of instruction—not just teaching the secondary language as its own subject. While there are different models of bilingual education, educators usually teach students in their native language in conjunction with a second language. How much focus is placed on


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

one language versus the other varies depending on the requirements of the lesson plans, teaching models and school curriculum. History of Bilingual Education in NYC Bilingual education has been around for quite some time now. Private schools each have their own founding stories, many dating back to the early 20th century. But as for bilingual programs in New York public schools, bilingual and ESL education appeared in 1974 following a lawsuit against the NYC’s Board of Education for failing to educate Puerto Rican students with limited English skills. Since the implementation of the Aspira Consent Decree, New York ESL and bilingual programs have expanded to serve students speaking over 145 languages. While bilingual education began primarily as a way for kids who speak their native language at home to learn English, it has since become attractable to parents of kids who already speak English natively. Why? Keep reading to find out. Why Choose Bilingual Education? There are many advantages to bilingual education. First there is the connection to culture. Learning another language—and learning through another language—is a great way for children to be accepting and respectful of others of all backgrounds, celebrate diversity and promote inclusion. Deborah Gilboa, MD, (also known as Dr. G to her patients), a family physician and professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine, says bilingual education

gives students a more global view, something many parents want their kids to have. “When you learn a language, you don’t just learn the language. You learn some things about the culture,” Gilboa says. “It helps children see things from more than one perspective, which is really valuable in terms of building cognition and critical thinking, too.” Bilingual education also helps children develop empathy and improve their ability to communicate with others, no matter what their native or secondary language is. “The language itself also strengthen’s a child’s understanding of each language,” Gilboa said. “When you’re asked to think about does the adjective go before or after the noun and why, you start to understand the parts of speech better, how things related better and see that often something is expressed a little differently from one language to another.” When it comes to academics, studies have shown there are many mind-sharpening benefits of bilingual education. National Library of Medicine research suggests there are cognitive advantages to learning two languages among toddlers and infants. “Because bilingual children inherently practice switching between languages, it’s no surprise these skills extend into academics,” says Leanne Sherred, CCC-SLP and co-founder of Expressable virtual speech therapy. “Young children have increased abilities to perform executive functioning tasks like multitasking, problem solving, and time management required for academic success.” If a child is from a bilingual or non-English


April 6 or May 4, 2022 at 3 p.m. Registration for our next Open House or a private Tour @ GISNY.ORG Open a world of opportunities for your child with a distinctive bilingual education and a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes the sciences. German International School New York, a Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program, is the only school in the tristate area, where graduates earn the NYS High School Diploma and the German International Abitur, which facilitates access to universities worldwide. Pre-K and Kindergarten children are welcomed into a bright, spacious, and nurturing environment, and with our Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program our students enjoy most of their school day outdoors exploring, learning, and playing on our beautiful 20-acre campus. Children entering our Pre-K or Kindergarten programs are not required to speak or understand German and build the foundation of being bilingual by first grade. All nationalities are welcome!

GISNY.ORG admissions@gisny.org | 50 Partridge Rd, White Plains, NY 10605 | (914) 948-6513 cognitive growth and positions them| for long-term academic success.


Live Locally, Learn Globally No Knowledge of French Required

Bilingual Program Nursery to Grade 12 NEW! International Program Grades 1-8 IB Diploma Program in Grades 11 & 12 914.250.0401 www.fasny.org April 2022 | Westchester Family



speaking household, their academic needs can be better supported in the language that they are most apt to using at home or on a daily basis, Sherred adds. This holds true even as a child gains new skills and knowledge throughout their bilingual education. Bilingual education can also lead to more professional opportunites for students once they enter adulthood. “Knowing more than one language in our global world makes a person a more appealing employee and more concerned global citizen,” says Gilboa, who recently authored the book From Stressed to Resilient: The Guide to Handle More and Feel It Less. When should your child start bilingual education? Most educators and language experts agree that introducing a child to a dual-language program at the preschool or kindergarten age is ideal, but it’s never too late. In fact, introducing your child to bilingual education at an older age can give them benefits they may not have achieved as a younger student in the same program. Children in later

elementary grades above can grasp certain cognitive concepts that younger kids don’t, Gilboa says. “Older children get a higher form of academic language, meaning they grasp vocabulary,” Gilboa says. “When kids go to a language-immersion school, those benefits only persist if the child keeps having exposure to that language.” What are some challenges of bilingual education? Some experts say that learning two languages can cause a delay in speech development. Sherred says this is actually a misperception based in a belief that bilingual children are prone to confusion since their vocabulary development is split between two languages. “In reality, this phenomenon is called ‘code-switching’ and even bilingual adults regularly mix words from two languages in the same sentences,” Sherred says. “This is a completely normal part of bilingual speech development, and it doesn’t cause a delay in communication abilities.” As children get older and their vocabulary

and linguistics expand, they naturally learn how to distinguish between languages during conversations, Sherred adds. English as a Second Language vs. Dual Language While there are several different types of bilingual education within public, charter and private schools, one notable distinction parents should consider is English as a Second Language (ESL) versus dual language program. Does your child speak another language at home and you want them to learn English through school? If yes, then ESL is the bilingual education format that you’re looking for. If your goal is for your child to learn two languages simultaneously (half instruction in one language and half in another language), then dual language is the right fit. More information is available online for parents interested in bilingual education for their child. The NYC Department of Education also gives an overview on its website about the types of bilingual programs available in NYC public schools. Additional reporting Mia Salas

bilingual Education Directory | Special Advertising Supplement German International School New York (GISNY)

French-American School of New York

50 Partridge Road, White Plains, NY 10605 admissions@gisny.org 914- 948-6513 GISNY.ORG For over 40 years, GISNY, an independent Pre-K through Grade 12 college preparatory program, has cultivated students to develop into curious, analytical, and conscientious global citizens. No German is required for Pre-K and Kindergarten children who are welcomed into a bright, spacious, and nurturing environment, and with GISNY’s Nature-Based Early Childhood Education Program the students enjoy most of their school day outdoors exploring, learning, and playing on the beautiful 20acre campus.

Manor Campus (Nursery-Grade 3) 111 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, 914-250-0469 Village Campus (Grades 4-8) 145 New Street, Mamaroneck, 914-250-0451 Harbor Campus (Grades 9-12) 320 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, 914-250-0477 fasny.org FASNY is an international and bilingual N-12 day school on three campuses in Westchester, New York. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in either the French-American Program or the International Program, beginning in grade 1 (no French required). FASNY is the only school in the NY metropolitan area accredited to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma and the French baccalaureate.

Check us out Online

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WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

Join us on campus for a summer full of enrichment and FUN! We offer 1, 2 and 4 week full day programs for grades 4 -12. Our students dive into a rich environment of new skills and new friends, fostering growth and independence.

• Acting • Songwriting • Creative Writing

• Digital Arts • Filmmaking • Musical Theatre

Youth& Precollege Programs in the Arts Serious Foundation. Serious Fun.

• Photography • Visual Arts • Vocal Arts

Open House is Saturday, April 23 at 10 am RSVP at purchase.edu/youth

Continuing Education

Register now at purchase.edu/youth April 2022 | Westchester Family


mom hacks

How to Ace Eco-Friendly

Thrift Shopping By Courtney Ingalls


ccording to the Environmental Protection Age- in 2018, 17 million tons of textile waste ended up in landfills. This number is growing every year. There are significant advantages to shopping vintage. For parents who have younger children, second-hand or vintage clothing is an excellent option since kids’ are constantly growing and it is a budget-friendly way to shop. It also teaches kids that thrifting is good for the environment and fun when scoring some fabulous pieces. Now for those of you (including myself) who are trying to dip their toes into the world of thrifting- Natalie Sky, Owner of Mother Vintage NYC, shares her experience with thrift shopping with terrific tips for us newbies! How did your fascination for thrifting/vintage shopping begin? I grew up thrifting out of necessity– My mom was a single mom of 5. Thrift shops were somewhere that she could get us all clothes without really breaking the bank. Funny thing is, we didn’t know we were shop-


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

ping at Thrift Shops or that the clothes were secondhand until we got older. She called The Salvation Army “Sallys.” We always looked at Sallys as a cool place where we could find unique clothes that our friends didn’t have. So even after I became a teenager/ adult, I continued shopping there for cool, unique clothes! How did the idea of your store, MOTHER VINTAGE, come to be? Growing up in the thrifts, my love for thrifting never ended! My twin sister and I tour the world as singers/ DJ’s. Anytime we land in a new city I map out where the closest thrift/ vintage shops are and we head out to shop before our shows. While acquiring clothes for ourselves, we started collecting cute vintage kid clothing that reminded us of outfits we wore growing up. Then we had kids of our own and we found ourselves shopping at Thrift shops for our kids. That’s when the idea of MOTHER VINTAGE came about. Here we are doing the same thing our mother did, thrifting for clothes for our kids! Although we could always shop in other stores– we were always back at the thrifts! MOTHER VINTAGE is really a nod to our mother who introduced us to thrifting + vintage, but it’s also our way to give other people the chance to shop some of our finds + scoop up some of that NYC 90’s – 2000’s Aesthetic for their kids. That’s what MOTHER VINTAGE collections are inspired by, what we saw +

wore growing up in NYC in the late 90’s – early 2000’s. Vintage/thrift shopping has become so popular over the past couple of years. Why do you believe that is? So many reasons! The reason our Mother brought us, to save money! Because you can find high quality clothing at low prices. Because it’s fun, it’s like searching for treasure you never know what unique pieces you will find while thrifting. Because most fashion trends are rip offs of past fashion anyway! Right now y2k style is making a comeback- low rise jeans, bucket hats, that ed Hardy vibe- these are all things you can currently find at the thrifts! And of course because It’s eco-friendly and sustainable! What are some of the benefits of second hand clothes shopping, especially when it comes to kids clothing? Kids outgrow clothing so fast! Thrifting is budget friendly, you can shop for a full season of kids clothes for a fraction of the price you would pay at regular department stores. There’s so many different styles & items to shop – new styles & past seasonsvintage to designer. When your child outgrows their current wardrobe, you can donate those & pick up something “new.” I love bringing my kids to pick out their own clothes at the thrift store! It really is a way to find unique clothing and allow them to make their style their own since there’s so much to choose from and as they get older you can teach them how thrifting is sustainable and you’re actually helping the earth by shopping there!

Local picks For those (like myself) who would like to start thrift shopping, what are some tips/ techniques to help get your started? Dress comfortably! Some thrift shops have fitting rooms, some don’t. So be ready to try on clothing over your clothes if necessary. Check all buttons/ seams/ zippers & stains and then- DOUBLE CHECK! I’ve come home with the perfect leather jacket only to find out the zipper was broken. I was able to get it fixed, but that isn’t always the case so make sure you inspect before checkout. Size doesn’t always matter. Vintage clothing tends to run smaller than modern day sizing so don’t be scared to shop in different size sections than you’re used to. Always check for deals! Most thrift shops have color tag sales. So like on a Monday there might be 50% off green tags – or even multiple colors. Check for the color tags of the day for an extra little discount. Lastly, be ready to dig/ hunt for those treasures. Some days at the thrift store you might strike gold & find tons of awesome pieces- the next day you might not- But that is the thrill of the find!

Want to thrift locally? Check these shops out!

Affordables 10 Main Street Dobbs Ferry, NY 914-627-9462 HOURS Mon–Sat: 10am– 5pm Thurs: 10am–6pm Sun: CLOSED affordablechild.com This children’s and maternity consignment store offers new and gently used baby equipment and gear, seasonal clothing and accessories, all carefully inspected and checked against government recall.

Once Upon A Child 80 Route 6 Somers, NY 10508 914 621 0003 HOURS Sun: 11am–5pm Mon: Closed Tues–Sat: 10am–6:00pm

onceuponachild.com/locations/ baldwin-place-ny-somers Not quite consignment as the store pays cash on the spot for all items accepted, ranging from toys, bicycles, sporting goods, baby gear, and clothing from infants, junior girls and young mens. Call 914-6210003 or refer to onceuponachild​ somers.com for selling appointment details.

The Sharing Shelf 47 Purdy St Port Chester NY 914 305 5950 info@sharingshelf.org sharingshelf.org The Sharing Shelf is Westchester’s Clothing Bank for Children founded to combat clothing insecurity and meet basic material needs among low-income children and families in our community. The Sharing Shelf collect new and gently used clothing and distribute at no-cost.

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April 2022 | Westchester Family


Summer Camps are Thriving! Whoo-hoo, we are so happy that Summer Camp is in full swing. If you’re wondering what to expect this summer, we asked camp experts to share why camp is so wonderful for kids and what families can expect this summer!

“Kids need opportunities to socialize, play and just have fun together. There is always enrichment ... academic or physical ... but it is more about them having fun.” —Chrissy Colagrande, Care Bear Director, The Chapel School Summer Program

“Just as we did for the past few years, Mosholu Day Camp is excited to provide the safest summer possible. We closely follow all safety guidelines from the NY State Dept. of Health, CDC and American Camping Association.” —Mike Halpern, Director Youth Services, Mosholu Day Camp


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

“Students have an opportunity for both academic and athletic enrichment! PEP offers both Robotics and dance classes!” —Cardinal Spellman High School Pilots Enrichment Program (PEP)

“We are looking forward to welcoming our newest campers to experience camp for the first time. After all we have been through these past two years, we know that kids need camp more than ever and can’t wait for new friends to join the River Friends family.” —Melanie Friedman and Stephany Olivieri, co-directors, River Friends Day Camp

SUMMER ARTS PROGRAM Customizable Five-Week Session for Students Entering Grades 1-10

JUNE 27 - JULY 29, 2022 �������������������������������������������� Group Instrumental Instruction � Orchestra � Chamber Music � Chorus Jazz and Popular Music � Piano for Non-Pianists � Music Technology Workshop World Drumming � Chimes � Musicianship � Drama � Visual Arts

ENROLLING NOW! Programs Individually Tailored for Each Student

www.hbms.org 914-723-1169 | Scarsdale NY

Obstacle Course Classes and Camp

SUMMER CAMP Full & Half Day Camp Boys & Girls Ages 4–13 1-8 weeks available No experience necessary

Gymnastics Games & Events Theme Days Color Wars Space is limited

Classes for children and teens! Spring Registration is Open & Ongoing

NinjaCats Summer Camp SPACE IS LIMITED

Sign up now for our upcoming Camp 22’ GymCats Gymnastics & Birthday Party Center At Equalize Fitness One Odell Plaza, Yonkers (Exit 9 off Saw Mill River Pkwy)

914-965-7676 • info@gymcats.net www.Gymcats.net

Camp Dates Monday 6/27 – Friday 8/19

Half Day Camp 9:00-11:30 am or 12:30-3:00 pm

Boys and Girls Ages 7-12 years

NinjaCats Obstacle Course At Equalize Fitness, One Odell Place, #190, Yonkers 914-751-6655 https://ninjacatswarriors.com/

April 2022 | Westchester Family



“Whether your child is an experienced climber or just learning the ropes, our Camp TRC program offers the best climbing in the area while also providing activities that build self-esteem, creativity, concentration and problem-solving.” —Daniel Gruza, The Rock Club, Director of Junior Programming

“From beginners to experienced level payers, our tennis camp provides a fun, challenging indoor environment to learn and grow as tennis players and young people.” —Tracy Caillaud, New Rochelle Racquet Club, Junior Program Coordinator, New Rochelle Racquet Club

“This summer’s for kids to experience adventures, make new friends, build confidence, and create lasting memories.” —Nadira Bryan, Camp Director, Jimmy Vejar Summer Day Camp


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

“The children have many opportunities to play and explore here on our 5-acre campus and around the community. They swim & Bowl weekly. A theatre group and the Gaming truck come to our campus. Weekly visits from the Ice Cream truck plus much, much more. Plus, most importantly a caring and nurturing staff.” —Anndrian Keller, Camp Director, Acres of Adventures Summer Camp

“We look forward to summer 2022 with great optimism! Now in our 40th year, we welcome students to the Purchase College campus to learn with accomplished artists and educators, and other students who share a passion for the arts.” —Kelly Jackson, Director of Continuing Education, Purchase College

r a Secure j r e a P V Secure j M y e A P C V my DAY CAM your m your Jiim mmeerr DAY Spot Now! J m u m Spot Now! S Sum f o r a g e s 5- 21 Be part of B e pa r t o f

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April 3-7

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May 4-8

May 25-30 Now! June 27 to Register Now! cpwestchester.org/camp June 27 to Register cpwestchester.org/camp August August 12 12 Two Additional Two Additional Weeks Available! 2022 Available! 2022 Weeks


Jimmy Vejar Summer Day Camp 1186 King St, Rye Brook, NY Jimmy Vejarinformation Summer contact Day Camp St, Rye x224 Brook, NY For more Nadira1186 BryanKing 914.937.3800

Follow us Follow us

Acting Classes for Kids Family Theatre (Live)

For more information contact Nadira Bryan 914.937.3800 x224

2019 2018

We’re honored. Thank you!

Family Owned & Operated since 1973 Experienced Counselors

Serving children 2 months–14 years of age Licensed by the Health Department

Age appropriate activities including: tween trips, bowling, swimming, golf, drama, sports, water slide, zip- line, climbing wall, arts & crafts, computers, air castle and more!

Covid safety regulations are followed. Call for a Tour and Appointment!


2170 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, NY www.annandandychildcare.com Apply Now for Counselor Position!

April 2022 | Westchester Family


family fun

Local Museums That Are Free for Kids By Shana Liebman


ne of the most inspiring activities for families in Westchester is a trip to a local museum. Many of the Westchester museums that closed during the pandemic have since re-opened their doors. And here’s a tip: Some of the best Westchester museums are free for kids. Indulge your cultural curiosity and spend some time enlightening the kids at these free Westchester museums. Free Art Museums for Kids

Hudson Valley MOCA 1701 Main Street Peekskill, NY 10566

The Hudson Valley MOCA in Peekskill has 12,000-square-feet of exhibit space for multiple exhibits that often include emerging


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

local talent. Their artist-in-residence program gives artists the opportunity to create long-term installations, and the museum hosts many educational programs like lectures and special events. The museum is open Thursdays and Saturdays, 11 am – 5 pm, and is free for kids 8 and younger. Neuberger Museum of Ar 735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577

The Neuberger Museum of Art, housed in a Philip Johnson-designed building at Purchase College, showcases the work of modern, contemporary and African artists including Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Helen Frankenthaler, Marsden Hartley, Hans Hofmann, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and David

Smith. It’s open Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5 pm, and is currently free for both adults and children. If you can’t make it to Purchase, the museum also offers free online art educational videos for kids. Pelham Art Center 155 Fifth Avenue Pelham, NY 10803

The Pelham Art Center, which offers art classes for kids and adults, exhibits the work of local, national and international artists in painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, film, installation and folk arts. Aspiring young artists should see the remarkable current exhibit, “Shadows,” which explores the idea of visibility with works that incorporate the physical and psychological dimensions of shadows. The gallery, open

Monday – Friday, 10 am – 5 pm; Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, is free to both adults and kids. The Katonah Art Museum 134 Jay Street Katonah, NY 10536

The Katonah Art Museum presents visual works across a spectrum of artistic disciplines, cultures, and historical periods with three to four major exhibitions per year. They also host a family learning center where children can participate in hands-on projects. Currently, the museum is exhibiting nearly 350 works by local high school seniors in their 39th annual “Young Artists 2022” exhibit — which the student artists also helped publicize, curate, and install. This exhibit is free until Feb. 27 and the Katonah Art Museum is always free to kids under 12. Free Cultural Museums for Kids Bruce Museum 1 Museum Drive Greenwich, CT 06830-7157

The Bruce Museum, just a short hop over the Connecticut border in Greenwich,

highlights art, science, and natural history, and offers a variety of educational programs for all ages. The current (and permanent) exhibit is about natural cycles, like tectonic plates, ocean tides and the daily patterns of animals. Seven galleries focus on this region’s geology, paleontology, Ice Age, marine ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, and our own backyards. At the Natural Science Lab, halfway through the exhibit, kids can engage in hands-on activities. The museum (open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 5 pm) is currently “pay as your wish” while under construction, and always free to visitors on Tuesdays. The Hudson River Museum 511 Warburton Avenue Yonkers, NY 10701

The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers is home to an incredible collection of American art — from nineteenth-century Hudson River School paintings to contemporary art installations — as well as Glenview, a 19th century Hudson River home; the Hudson Riverama, a 2,500-square-foot environmental teaching gallery; and a planetarium. The

current exhibit, “The World of Frida” (Feb. 4- May 22), celebrates the culture, style and persona of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo with works by more than 75 national and international artists. Some of the works feature Frida Kahlo as subject and some are inspired by her life and art, her garden, Mexican culture and fashion, vibrant colors and surrealism. Open Thursday – Sunday, 12–5 pm. Children under 3 are free (and kids under 18 are $4). It’s not always easy to drag your kids to a museum, but these free opportunities to expose your kids to art, culture and history are invaluable — and don’t come along all that often. Shana Liebman is a writer and editor who lives in Irvington, New York with her husband and two boys. She has worked for many publications including New York Magazine, The New York Observer, PAPER, and Salon. If she’s not at her desk, she’s either reading a novel in bed, cooking with her kids, or fantasizing about her next trip (while also feigning interest in Fortnite updates).

Flexible Schedules | Ages 2 – 6 | TARRYTOWN

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River Friends Day Camp at the Shames JCC welcomes people of all backgrounds, faiths, genders, and abilities.

shamesjcc.org/camps April 2022 | Westchester Family


Ready for Joy!

Mikaela Pabon of @dressedinjoy on family, home and bold moves By Donna Duarte-LaDD


s we all make our way out of this pandemic, I have felt the tug of wanting aspiration and inspiration infused into my closet and home. I believe Instagram caught on as I was searching for stylish people, and one day, Brooklyn-based Mikaela Pabon popped up on my feed. This mom of two IG posts are full of bright, colorful clothing, mixed prints — and I find myself always wanting to see more. I am not the only one, many women are inspired by this wardrobe stylist, content creator and founder of the statement-making athleisure line @dressedinjoy. Via her social media feeds, Mikaela shares daily (@mikaela.pabon) on her life as she and her husband Dre juggle their young children (Christian, age 8, Elle, age 4) while sharing tips and cheering on others. At the photo shoot — our tightknit crew found ourselves seamlessly fitting in with the kids, Mikaela's amazing husband, and even the dog made it into the photo shoot. You can’t fake that kind of energy — just pure love and openness. While Mikaela is undoubtedly stylish, her quiet confidence intrigued me while we were at their home that snowy day in Brooklyn. So yes, while she is one of the chicest moms I have met in some time, her whole vibe is bright, and yes, the next day, I went full-on bright palettes and print mode! Let’s first discuss your style? Does it come naturally, or do you have to work the vibrancy of colors and prints into your life? My style absolutely comes naturally. Often, I’ll imagine an outfit in my head before I put it together. Color and print have been a part of my wardrobe for as long as I can remember! I’ve studied Hawaiian dance since I was eight years old, and we’d always


WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

wear the brightest colored costumes, lots of greenery, bold floral prints — that stuck with me over the years and it’s why I am still so drawn to them now. Can you share with us about your collection Dressed in Joy? Dressed in Joy is like my love letter to little Mikaela. Since I was a young girl, designing clothes has been my dream, but I squashed that dream myself when I didn’t think it was a realistic career. Isn’t that crazy? That I made that decision for myself at such a young age! What started as designing a hoodie for myself that I couldn’t find anywhere in the market (and I looked for months!) has turned into more than I could have ever imagined. I started Dressed in Joy when I was still working my corporate job at Jetblue, hoping to sell at least ten hoodies in my first weekend. I ended up selling 52! It’s been uphill from there. People all around the world — from Japan to Germany to Australia — are Dressed in Joy. From the likes of Tabitha Brown to Jessica Alba, being on the TODAY Show with Al Roker and local NYC news stations, my brand has gone farther in the last two years than I ever thought was possible. After just over a year of selling athleisure exclusively, I launched a Ready-to-Wear collection in May of 2021, which did exceptionally well. So well, I launched another for Spring 2022. It has been received extremely well, and I am looking forward to offering more JOY for my customers. It’s been an indescribable feeling to know that my work brings joy to so many people worldwide. Many of us have a pile of cozy sweats from the last few years of being stuck at homecan you share tips on how one can get out of a style slump? Well, here’s the thing, you can still be cute in cozy sweats! Not only are they available in so many more colors but also

in vibrant prints (*cough* Dressed in Joy *cough*)! Get yourself a pair of fun, colorful sneakers that can turn into your everyday shoe (because really, who’s wearing heels every day anymore?), and you’re golden. You can also switch out your joggers for a pair of high waist denim. You can still throw on your hoodie, but try tucking the front of it and throw on a leather jacket over it for a cool weekend look. Now that spring is coming around, more dresses and skirts are showing up in stores, which is another way to transition out of your joggers! They can be just as cozy without the stigma that wearing joggers can sometimes carry. Most of all, wear what brings you joy and have fun! At the photoshoot, we chatted about how at one point, you had too much going on, something many of us moms can relate to. How did you step back and check-in with yourself so you could move forward? Oh man, yeah. I know many of us get overwhelmed with everything we have to do and all the thoughts and information we have to keep in our brains. I had gotten completely overwhelmed with my corporate job, with a baby who cried all the time while trying to keep a drowning business afloat. Something had to give. When I realized I was crying and feeling overwhelmed more than enjoying my family or taking time for myself, I knew it was time to take a break. It was HARD. It was really hard to let my business go (before Dressed in Joy, I owned another online boutique) because it felt like a part of my identity, but there was no way to sustain it all. And on top of it all, I didn’t enjoy it anymore. It was work I dreaded, and that’s never a good feeling. I talked it through with Dre and he supported whatever my decision was 100%. And thank God I did that! It was only when I allowed myself the time to breathe, be

Photo by Yumi Matsuo

inspired, and relax that the idea for the first Dressed in Joy hoodie came to me. You have equally stylish mom friends. How are you and your @momstylematters there for each other? We are all so much alike! From family structures (we each have two kids, boy & girl) to our bold and colorful styles and being fashion entrepreneurs, it’s easy for us to support each other because we’re all going through similar challenges. We connected

initially via style and then motherhood and entrepreneurship. There’s nothing like being able to call your girlfriend and complain about running your business and toddler drama all at the same time! You have a creative and tight-knit family; even your dog Indi is lovely! How do you and Dre, your husband, keep the family in sync? Thank you! Honestly, a lot of it came naturally to us because we have the same goals for our children — to raise good

humans who aren’t afraid to do what they love. We are both very encouraging to our kids, whether they want to be a dentist (Elle) or an Engineer/YouTuber (Christian) because ultimately, we want them both to know that we have their backs with whatever they decide to do, as long as they remain kind and happy people. Dre and I do our best to set the example for doing what we love and living out our dreams and it is our hope that they both remember that about us as they grow into adulthood. April 2022 | Westchester Family


calendar By Shara Levine

Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company

LEGO Pirates Hunt for the Golden Treasure WHEN: March 18- April 24, Mondays-Fridays, 12-5:30pm; Saturdays-Sundays, 10am-5:30pm WHERE: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Help Captain Brickbeard on his hunt for the golden treasure and become a pirate along the way! WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $26.99. 866-243-0770. https:// legolanddiscoverycenter.com/ westchester/whats-inside/ events/lego-pirates-hunt-forthe-golden-treasure/.

Westchester Children’s Book Festival


WHEN: Saturday, April 30, 10am WHERE: Mohawk Day Camp, 200 Old Tarrytown Road, White Plains AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Enjoy author readings, train rides, interactive carnival zone, and more! WANT TO GO?: $20. 914-9492635. http://wcbfestival.org/.

participate in fun family activities, enjoy delicious food, and so much more! WANT TO GO?: $12; $11 seniors (62 and older); $4 kids 6-16; free for children younger than 6. 845-3317900. https://artrider.com/ springcraftsatlyndhurst2022.

WANT TO GO?: $10; $9 child 11 and younger; $8 seniors 62 and older; Residents: $8; $7.50 child 11 and younger; $6.75 seniors 62 and older; $5 skate rental for all. 914-834-1069. https://townofmamaroneckny. org/282/Hommocks-Park-IceRink.

Skate with the Easter Bunny

Community Passover Seder

Spring Crafts at Lyndhurst 2022

WHEN: Sunday, April 10, 1-3:30pm WHERE: Hommocks Park Ice Rink, 140 Hommocks Road, Larchmont AGES: All WHAT: You’ve seen a bunny hop, but have you ever seen one skate?! Now is your chance at this special Easter Bunny event!

WHEN: Friday, April 15, 7:15pm WHERE: Chabad of Rivertowns, 303 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry AGES: All WHAT: Relive the Exodus, discover the eternal meaning of the Haggadah, and enjoy a community Seder complete with hand-baked Matzah, wine, and a wonderful dinner

WHEN: April 29- May 1, Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm WHERE: Lyndhurst, 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown AGES: All WHAT: Spend the day shopping for original items,

WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022


T H A N EV E R !


APR. 6, 6:30PM

APR. 16, 3PM

MAY 11, 4PM

MAY 15, 2PM

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April 2022 | Westchester Family




spiced with unique traditional customs. WANT TO GO?: $54; $25 child. 914-693-6100. https:// chabadrt.org/templates/ articlecco_cdo/aid/5406080/ jewish/Community-PassoverSeder.htm.

Children’s Series: Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company WHEN: Sunday, April 3, 2-3pm WHERE: Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 N Bedford Road, Chappaqua AGES: All WHAT: See this heartwarming story highlights the intrinsic value of coming together, courage, hard-work and ingenuity.? WANT TO GO?: $10; $5 child; free for ages 3 and younger. 914-238-3909. https:// chappaquapac.org/upcomingevents/chinese-dancecompany-nai-ni-chen

The Rock And Roll Playhouse: Music of David Bowie for Kids & More WHEN: Saturday, April 9, 1:30pm, doors open; 2pm, show WHERE: The Capitol Theatre, 149 Westchester Ave., Port Chester AGES: Newborn-5 WHAT: This concert for kids and families shares the music of David Bowie with a new generation of music lovers. WANT TO GO?: $17; $15 in advance; free for children younger than 1. 914-937-4126. https://thecapitoltheatre. com/events/detail/music-ofdavid-bowie-for-kids-moreg5vvzpz28bsry.

Pete the Cat WHEN: Saturday, April 23, 11am and 2pm WHERE: Emelin Theater, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Join Jimmy Biddle and Pete the Cat on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus! WANT TO GO?: $20; $15 child. 914-698-0098. https://emelin. org/event/pete-the-cat

Seussical the Musical


Dinos After Hours WHEN: April 22-24, Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 2pm and 7pm; Sunday, 2pm WHERE: Yorktown Stage, 1974 Commerce Street, Yorktown Heights AGES: All WHAT: Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza featuring your favorite Dr. Seuss characters live on stage! WANT TO GO?: $25-$30. 914-962-0606. https:// yorktownstage.org/seussicalthe-musica

10:30am, 2pm, 5:30pm; Sunday, 10:30am, 2pm WHERE: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza, Midtown AGES: Newborn-5 WHAT: This is your PAWsome opportunity to see the whole pack as they set sail in a pirate themed live touring stage performance. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $30. 212-465-6000. https:// msg.com/calendar/hulutheater-at-madison-squaregarden-april-2022-paw-patrol.

Fl!P Circus

New York International Auto Show

AGES: 5 and older WHAT: From traditions of the ring shout to contemporary stepping, Step Afrika! reveals the hidden histories and resounding rhythms that transformed America. Recommended for ages 7 and older. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $20. 646-223-3010. https:// newvictory.org/tickets-andevents/2122-live-performancestono/.

Dinos After Hours WHEN: April 15- May 2, Mondays-Fridays, 7:30pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 2pm, 5pm and 8pm WHERE: Cross County Center, 8000 Mall Walk , Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: With an enormous red and white circus tent, see the great motorcycles inside the Globe of Steel, and laugh like you never have before with the gleeful clowns. WANT TO GO?: $25-$55. 877829-7839. https://flipcircus. com/.

New York City PAW Patrol Live! ‘The Great Pirate Adventure’ WHEN: April 9-10, Saturday,

WestchesterFamily.com | April 2022

WHEN: April 15-24, MondaySaturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 10am-7pm WHERE: Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., Chelsea AGES: All WHAT: See the new and exciting exhibits that will be showcased with the very best that the automobile industry has to offer in an exciting and unique way. WANT TO GO?: $17 ages 13 and older; $7 ages 12 and younger. 718-746-5300. https://autoshowny.com/.

Stono WHEN: April 20- May 8, See website for schedule WHERE: New Victory Theater, 209 W. 42nd St., Midtown

WHEN: Friday, April 15, 5-6:30pm WHERE: Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx AGES: 5 and older WHAT: You and your family will meet a modern-day “dinosaur” up close, compare the bones of dinosaurs and modern animals, and have an exclusive after-hours tour of Dino Safari! WANT TO GO?: $45; $36 members. 800-433-4149. https://bronxzoo.com/learn/ families/family-programs. child. 718-601-1553. https:// eventbrite.com/e/family-funhike-celebrating-planet-earthtickets-269763779727.

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