Brooklyn Family - May 2022

Page 1

May 2022

Why STEM/ STEAM matters!

Spring Bucket List

The ultimate insider’s guide for NYC families

Arts Education The many benefits for kids


The women of The Class on their parenting journeys and changing the fertility conversation


fun takes

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May 2022

pg. 32

pg. 34

pg. 36

FEATURES 8 | Puberty How to talk to your kid about puberty 12 | Arts The benefits of choosing an arts education for kids 20 | Education Your parent-personalized guide to Montessori Education

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note 16 | Camp Sending your child to camp 24 | Mom Hacks 7 Tips to save money on groceries 38 | Family Day Out Visit Candytopia

pg. 20

pg. 30

Family fun 36 | Calendar All the fun events and activities for May

Directories 18 | Camp Guide 23 | Montessori Schools Guide

26 | Real Estate The new forever homes 30 | Education Why STEM/STEAM matters 32 | To Do NYC Spring Bucket List 34 | Cover- The Class Moms The women of The Class share their unique journeys to becoming moms and their hopes for changing the fertility conversation

4 | May 2022

on the Cover Photo: Ana Gambuto | Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Produced by: Donna Duarte Ladd Cover Writer: Cris Pearlstein | Clothing: All clothing and necklaces can be found at

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Editor’s Note Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Digital Editor: Courtney Ingalls Senior Adviser: Susan Weiss Partnership Managers: Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Lori Falco 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 Nina Gallo Photography

May - Planning Ahead The school year feels like it has flown by and we are weeks away from summer break. Nevertheless, we have you covered with helpful Camp Listings (page 18) as there is still time and camps with availability! As the school year reaches a close, this is when many of us parents rethink the type of education that may be a better fit for our child. If you have been swirling around the idea of a Montessori education, we have a helpful Parent-Personalized piece to guide you. We also have experts who share why the Arts (page 12) and STEM/STEAM (page 30) are essential for kids. Are you looking to move? We have our pick of favorite Forever Homes (page 26) to

check out if you are looking for a new family residence. Lastly, with May honoring moms for Mother’s Day, it was such a pleasure to shoot the incredible instructors of The Class (page 34), the popular workout founded by Taryn Toomey that is both virtual ( and in-person here in NYC. These inspiring women — Sophia Manassei, Hannah Shelly, Marina Trejo, CJ Frogozo and Karla Misjan — share their unique journeys to becoming moms and their hopes for changing the fertility conversation.

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ask the expert

How to Talk to Kids about Puberty When it’s time, here are the tips By Courtney Ingalls


any parents tend to dread having ‘the talk’, yup we’re talking about the puberty convo with their kids. Some might feel awkward having these types of conversations and others might be looking for the right resources to use to guide the talk. We sat down with Samantha Huggins, Facilitator + Educator + Perinatal Health Supporter, about how to talk to kids about puberty and some resources and advice parents can use! Why would you say it’s important to have a conversation about puberty with your kids? Plainly, if you or someone you trust doesn’t have a conversation (or many!) with your kids about their bodies and other bodies too, someone else will. Seriously though. Kids have access to all kinds of information these days, much of which we have no control over. A great way to insure a strong foundation in body literacy and self respect is to start the conversations ourselves and create space for our kids to come back with questions as they build on the concepts we introduce. Ideally, what our kids learn about their bodies and their changes will be honest, empowering information that is delivered to them at a pace and on a level that they will be able to absorb. When we equip our children with an understanding about their bodies and the bodies around them, it creates safety, and understanding as well as builds confidence and community among kids and within families. Having a talk about puberty can feel as uncomfortable for parents as it can for kids. How should parents prepare to have these kinds of talks?

8 | May 2022

If your kids are really young, you can start by simply answering questions when they come up. Our toddlers have curious little minds and ask all sorts of questions about bodies. If your kids are in this age category, consider keeping an open door (or semi-open door) policy and answer questions as honestly as you can when they come up. I also encourage families to use whatever language feels appropriate around body parts and to also ensure that anatomical names are communicated too. The terms “vulva” and “pubic hair” are only weirder than “elbow” and “calf ” because we let it be!

Here is an example of a short conversation: “I think it’s time to change up your face soap. Want to go shopping/try mine/ etc. Just like growing taller, you will notice that your skin becomes a little more oily in spots. It’s super normal. Here is my experience with it….” The timing of these conversations are not gender specific, rather they are personality specific. I have taught sex ed classes in rooms where kids are really ready to talk about it and are sitting right next to others who really aren’t. Same age, same anatomy. Different person, different timeline.

What is the time frame for having this conversation? Does it vary depending on gender? I encourage us to think about conversations about bodies like it’s ongoing and not a box checked. We are all constantly changing physically and mentally. Continuing to check in over time rather than a one and done convo might be the path of least resistance for us all. Again, the more we normalize change the more normal it becomes.

For parents that are still nervous about having this talk, what are some tips or key points that are important to include? Take a deep breath. You are doing GREAT! As mentioned above, this doesn’t have to be a one and done conversation that connects body changes directly to sex on the first drop in. It can start with a question or two on your end and then maybe a little convo blooms. If not, you can let them know that you have bought these great books and that you


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ask the Expert

are going to leave them in their room/space. Or show them where you will be tucking them into the shelf so they know just where to find it. Remember, you fully survived this time of your life and you have a lot of experience that you can contribute to the conversation. Bringing a book is always handy. You get the party started and then let your kids lead the conversation as much as you can. Don’t try to give info that they aren’t ready for. If your kid is starting to squirm, they might not actually have a question about that topic yet. You can pause on that topic and bring it back up down the road. It’s ok if the conversation doesn’t go perfectly. It won’t always, even in the most open door families. Are there any resources you would recommend to help steer the conversation? Whether our kids are little or are days away from cracking voices and pimples , there are many wonderful resources out there for parents who are preparing to talk

Ideally, what our kids learn about their bodies and their changes will be honest, empowering information that is delivered to them at a pace and on a level that they will be able to absorb. about puberty. You can start with some books that are age appropriate for your kid, and are representative of their bodies and other bodies as well. I cannot stress enough the importance of understanding everyone’s mechanics!! A couple of my favorite books for the tween set (8-12) are Celebrate Your Body (and its changes too!), by Sonya Renee Taylor and Puberty is Gross But Also Really Awesome, by Gina Loveless And I love the resource guide on the website Sex Postitive Families is outstanding. You can put in filters by subject and age which lands you with a great and safe list of books and other resources for the age group you are trying to appeal to!

Do you have any additional suggestions or tips you would like to share? As a facilitator, educator, doula, and a mom, I have learned a lot about having hard conversations. Using inclusive language like “we, our and us” rather than “I”, “me”and “you” creates connectivity, reduces stress and builds trust. Speak from your heart. Say the hard things. Listen with both ears. Release yourself from the myth of perfection. We aren’t. Period. And we do not have to be. In fact, it will be better for everyone if we show up as we are (and a little messy) then to freeze from fear of getting it wrong and do nothing. You’ve got this!

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ummer 2022 is expected to be the busiest travel season in recent history —which makes it the perfect time to take your family on a Seastreak cruise. The heroic ferry that minimizes the New Jersey commute now offers sightseeing tours, daytrips, and getaways including trips to family-friendly destinations such as Martha’s Vineyard, Rhode Island and Sandy Hook Beach. Seastreak even hosts whale-watching trips that leave directly from Manhattan. If you’re looking for a fun and easy family trip, there’s no better way to travel than on a high-speed, luxury ferry that departs from your doorstep. 4O[WZg 2Og B`W^a ]\ ASOab`SOY Summer is just around the corner so pack some towels and board the Seastreak for a breezy trip to the Sandbox at Seastreak Beach. The casual beach bar on the Jersey shore, just a 35-minute ride from NYC, has unbelievable views of the skyline, live music and food trucks — including Cousins Maine Lobster, Brazooka Kitchen and Pie Oh My Pizza. Dine on the socially distanced picnic tables and bump up the vacation vibes with the Sandbox’s signature Courageous Cocktail. Another great day trip is the cruise to Sandy Hook Beach, where families can relax by the ocean, swim, bike and learn about the rich military history of the area. (Sandy Hook is a part of the beautiful Gateway National Recreation Area operated by the National Park Service.) Seastreak cruises leave several times a day from midtown, and there are complimentary shuttles from the Sandy Hook ferry landing to Sandy Hook Beach, as well as other nearby beaches. EVOZS EObQVW\U ]\ ASOab`SOY You don’t have to go to the Mediterranean to see magical aquatic creatures. The Seastreak whale watching cruise, which departs from

New York and New Jersey, is over 85-percent successful in finding whales, sea turtles, dolphins and rays near Sandy Hook Beach. Thanks to recent environmental legislation, whales are more plentiful in these waters where the confluence of rivers creates a fertile habitat for these mammal’s favorite fish. Also, the luxurious cruise has plenty of comfortable airline-style seating, air conditioning and a full bar to make the kidfriendly trip well worth your day off. 4O[WZg DOQObW]\a ]\ ASOab`SOY The Seastreak fleet also travels further than these favorite local destinations. Their newest vessel, the Courageous, now runs from New York City to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. Float in style with plush seating, climate-controlled cabins and an open-air top

deck. With 360-degree panoramic views, free high-speed WiFi and a full-service bar, the Seastreak’s scenic cruise is the most convenient and pleasant way to travel to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. The largest ferry of its class in the country, the Courageous also makes daily roundtrips from Manhattan, New Jersey and Bedford to other points in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. So skip the highway traffic and the hectic Hyannis and Woods Hole ports—and instead sail directly to vacation land. As warmer weather starts to lift New Yorkers’ spirits, it’s time to give in to that vacation craving and hop on a Seastreak cruise. Whether you’re heading somewhere local or on your way to a week away, Seastreak will elegantly and seamlessly transport you to family-friendly fun.

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May 2022 | Brooklyn Family



The Blank Canvas of the Child’s Mind The benefits of choosing an arts education for kids By Jeannine Cintron


was signing my kids up for an afterschool arts program in New York recently and wound up having a very interesting conversation with another parent. She told me she had let her son try just about every type of sport out there but nothing really sparked his interest. So she switched gears and they gave music classes a try. She said it was the best decision she ever made! Her son discovered a hidden talent for the guitar and now plays in his school band, and even sometimes entertains relatives at family parties with mini performances. Her son is far from the only child who prefers to exert creative energy over physical. Arts programs for kids are a wonderful opportunity for children to display their individuality while bolstering creativity and inspiring confidence. And there are so many to choose from! Arts classes aren’t limited to “art” per se; these programs can include music, painting, drawing, dance, drama, photography, crafting and much more. The benefits of arts programs for kids are seemingly endless, but I wanted to know more about the specific advantages of arts-inspired extracurricular activities since I had just registered my own child for one. So I spoke to some directors of various arts programs offering arts classes for kids in and around New York, and they painted a colorful picture for me. Using Art to Unplug In a world where real-life activities take a backseat to electronic devices, it’s more important than ever to encourage your child to partake in more productive hobbies. “Unplugging from technology and engaging with the arts expands the imaginations of children, along with having the satisfaction of creating something with their own hands. Working with clay develops creative problem solving skills, fine motor skills and builds confidence and has the added bonus of being electronics free. When your hands are covered in clay, you can’t play with electronics!” says Nancy Yates, Communications Manager of Clay Art Center in Westchester.

12 | May 2022

The Importance of Self-Expression Arts programs encourage kids to be themselves in their own distinct way, which can function as an avenue for big feelings or even a distraction from the stresses of everyday life. “Participation in the arts allows children a necessary outlet to express themselves, to discover more about their own unique identities, and to make sense of their world, all with the guidance and support of an encouraging creative community. At PGC, children are exposed to a wide variety of arts experiences and encouraged to find their place in our creative, supportive community,” says Jill Abusch, Artistic Director at Play Group Theatre in Westchester. “Sometimes, music is the only thing that gets your mind off everything else. Bach to Rock music school provides music education for all ages, all instruments, and all skill levels. Their goal is to provide quality instruction, a nurturing and supportive environment where students can learn and grow as musicians - and have fun!” adds Elana Hayden, Director of Bach to Rock in Port Washington, Long Island. Katy Knowles, Director of Education at TADA! Youth Theater in New York explains the importance of the arts and self-expression, saying “At TADA! we use the artform of musical

theater to explore students’ interests and identity, and to create an environment where students can make connections with other students who have different life experiences. By creating a safe and brave environment, we allow students to show up as their authentic selves, and share and celebrate who they are. Through the artform of musical theater, we see students celebrate and accept who they are, become empathic young people who cheer on their peers, and take brave, bold risks with confidence.” How Art Boosts Self-Esteem Arts programs not only stimulate self-expression, but they boost a child’s self-esteem. In fact, heightened self-esteem is probably the most common – arguably the most important – benefit a child will get from an arts education of any sort. “Art-making is inherently stress reducing, whether you are dancing, singing, painting or creating with clay. Participating in a positive activity where kids can often see the ‘magic’ immediately in their work helps them to feel good, which builds confidence and self-esteem,” says Jessica Cioffoletti, Director of Arts in Education at ArtsWestchester. “Being able to have the ability and the ease to speak or perform in front of an

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audience of any size is a useful tool these children take with them for the rest of their lives. Learning a show and then having the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience is one of the biggest confidence builders these young artists can have. Nothing puts a smile on their face like applause,” adds Heather Capelle, Owner and Artistic Director of Artistree Performing Arts in Mamaroneck. Loren Anderson, Owner and Director of KAC Art Center in Westchester also emphasizes the effects arts can have on self-esteem. “In my experience, when a child creates something they are proud of, they develop confidence in their own abilities. There is nothing better than seeing the look of pride on a child’s face when they realize they can create a beautiful painting, drawing or piece of pottery. Many kids who love art may not excel at more typical activities such as sports. At KAC I have seen these children flourish by being around like-minded children in an environment that values their specific talents,” says Anderson. Encouraging Kids to Try Art But what happens if your child is insecure in their creative abilities or feels they simply won’t enjoy or benefit from an arts program? Should you still encourage them to try? The answer, according to our arts experts, is a resounding yes. Art is all about overcoming insecurities while having fun. Geri Kushner, Director of Music Institute of Long Island, shares a noteworthy quote: “Shinchi Suzuki, famous music educator and creator of the Suzuki Method, said ‘Every child is talented. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.’” The Many Benefits of Art Programs Okay, so art clearly builds confidence. But

“Through making art built on genuine exchange and empathy, children are inspired to develop meaningful connections in their communities, home, neighborhood, school, and in the world; and as young artists will grow into confident, engaged, and insightful citizens.” - Executive Director Kara Gilmour, Park Slope BAX (Brooklyn Arts Exchange)

there are tons of other reasons and for trying out an arts program for kids in New York. Beth Fritz-Logrea, Founder and Director of Logrea Dance Academy in Westchester cites the many impacts arts can have on a child. “The creative impact of the arts can be seen in many facets of a child’s life, including their confidence, discipline, creativity and development. They acquire so many skills that greatly impact their academic school success and make them into more wellrounded adults. As we tell our parents, whether your child wants a career in dance, or just wants to dance for the joy of it, he or she will learn life skills at Logrea that will last a lifetime,” she states. “I feel an arts education is so important for children because it teaches them the power of creativity and empathy. In theater, for example, our students learn to work together collaboratively as a cast and express themselves in a safe environment in the classroom and onstage,” says Heather Capelle. “Music teaches confidence, enjoyment, sense of accomplishment, and belonging. Music is inclusive for children of all backgrounds and ethnicities. Music students learn to focus, how to study better, and how to be a better student in school, focusing on one concept at a time,” says Geri Kushner. “The arts are truly powerful. Through the artform of musical theater, we teach students how to be empathetic to others, take brave

“Art teaches children to be creative. Music teaches children to feel. Both of them teach children how to communicate with others. Through music, we can also teach children to be affectionate and confident.” — Julian Yu, Artistic Director of Joyous Music School in Long Island

14 | May 2022

and bold risks, and celebrate and be proud of who they are,” says Katy Krowles. The Arts and Covid The past two years have been intense, to say the least. Covid took a toll on everyone. But according to Debbie Molodofsky, Founder and Director of Amadeus Conservatory in Westchester, there has never been a better time to indulge in the arts. “As we emerge from the virtual world of the pandemic, learning to play live music is a wonderful release and source of happiness for children. Many parents of our music students have told me over the last two years that learning to play music or sing has become a great solace to their children as well as an important source of fun and happiness. It has helped with their sense of individual accomplishment as well as self esteem,” she explains. Getting an Arts Education at Summer Camp With June just around the corner, you might be more focused on summer camp than afterschool activities. But an enticing arts program could be a deciding factor when choosing where your child will be spending their summer vacation. “At summer camp when kids are involved in activities in creative and performing arts, it helps campers build confidence and allow for self expression,” points out Dee Dee Horowitz, Assistant Director of Beth Sholom Day Camp in Long Island. Here in New York, art students are fortunate to have some of the most talented and caring teachers in the world who want to see them thrive and flourish creatively. We also are lucky to have so many options for great art programs. When asked about the importance of the arts, Dr. Gines Cano, Owner and Director of Crestood Music Education Center in Westchester puts it simply: “I firmly believe the arts are a necessity and not a luxury in the 21st century. Being introduced to music and instruments is an essential part of developing one’s imagination, creativity and humanization.” I think we can all agree, and that the same applies to arts programs of any kind.

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Digging Deeper into Camp Experience What to ask about before sending your child to camp By Jess Michaels


hoosing the right camp to send your child is a big decision for a family. There are many factors parents will want to consider when finding their child’s future summer home. There are certain basics of a camp search that parents will want to ask about: the camp’s safety procedures, medical supervision, staff composition and training, and if the camp is Accredited by the American Camp Association or at a minimum, licensed by the Department of Health. However, parents should explore a camp even further to make sure the camp they are choosing is going to be a good fit for their child. Finding out about the camp director and the leadership team at a camp is imperative in your camp search. These are the people who are making final decisions for the camp and ultimately is responsible for all that happens at the camp. “It’s very important for parents to feel a connection with one of the directors or leadership team. It’s more than just liking the person. Parents want to make sure the person understands their child and the child’s needs and that the parents feel they can be totally open and honest with the director about their child. When there is a trust between the parents and the camp director, a partnership between the two can be formed,” says Laurie Rinke, Owner and Director of Camp Echo Lake, a coed overnight camp in the Adirondacks. “At some point, parents need to feel comfortable to take a leap of faith that they aren’t going to know what their child is doing every minute and can they trust the camp they have chosen to make healthy, happy and safe experiences for their child.” Steve Bluth, Owner and Director of Camp Southwoods, a coed overnight camp in the Adirondacks feels parents should also focus on the culture of the camp. “Does the camp have a lot of spirit? Is it nurturing? Does the camp focus on things like teaching, sportsmanship, making friends, building relationships and having fun? Is the culture about winning and competition? Or, no competition at all? Thinking about what type

16 | May 2022

of camp culture you want your child to be part of is an important part of the process of finding the right camp. One of the best ways to learn about a camp’s culture is to tour the camp to see and feel these things while you are there. If you can’t see the camp in person, that’s ok! You can speak with the owners and directors to help you understand what their culture is all about.” How a camp communicates with camp families is often something families don’t inquire about but it’s become even more important with the arrival of COVID-19 and ever changing information. Josh Male, Owner and Director of Gate Hill Day Camp in Rockland County says, “Parents should make sure they know how a camp will be announcing policy changes and decisions prior to summer. When is that communication happening? Parents feel more comfortable when they know there is a process in place.” Male also suggests parents ask questions about what is important to them in a camp. “What kind of food is

served? How many swims do campers have a day? What type of activities do they go to? Do children get choice during the day? What does the camp do for new campers to foster new friendships? Is bus service door to door or group pick-up?” Asking the camp director and leadership team about what they do to help prepare a first time camper and what parents can do is something parents may want to ask about. “Find out about setting up a tour of the camp or if the camp has any events before the first day so the camper will be more comfortable. Ask the director about what to talk about at home to prepare for the transition to camp. Kids need to feel certainty from parents when discussing camp and that even though they may be nervous, they should know that mom and dad think camp will be great for them.” Although the process of finding a camp can feel overwhelming, if families ask the right questions and feel comfortable with the camp director, they will be certain to make the best camp decision for their child.

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May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

BAX Summer Arts Program Indoors at the BAX Building 421 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY and outdoors in Washington Park/JJ Byrne Playground in Park Slope 718-832-0018

In BAX’s Summer Arts Program, young artists explore a wide range of performing and visual arts disciplines with creative play activities throughout the day and week. This fun, dynamic, and community-based program fosters creativity, encourages exploration, and provides a positive and nurturing environment.

The Cliffs Summer Camp Multiple Locations throughout NYC and Westchester

The Cliffs Summer Camp is filled with indoor adventures,

including exhilarating high adventure elements, collaborative games, and of course, climbing! Campers will experience bouldering and other exciting adventures to ensure a full week of fun! Unique collaborative games build problem-solving skills and lasting friendships. Young climbers will learn how to tie knots and belay as well as play fun and challenging climbing games.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center NYC At City Tech 62 Tillary Street Brooklyn, New York 718-285-0389

Hands-On Science Camps – In-Person or Virtual!Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

DNA Learning Center (DNALC) provides biologyfocused lab enrichment programs to students entering grades 6-12. Weeklong virtual or in-person science camps at the DNALC NYC at City Tech, Brooklyn, led by experienced Instructors, teach campers to use sophisticated laboratory and computer equipment to perform advanced experiments.

and fun-filled afternoons. Students will receive a well-balanced summer experience which will enable them to rejuvenate their minds and get the opportunity to socialize and interact with their peers.

Corteylou Summer Enrichment Program

Park Slope United is Brooklyn’s leading youth soccer club. Their summer soccer camps are the place to be for fun, making new friends, and enjoying the beautiful game! Join them any week this summer for the highest quality soccer instruction paired with world-class fun!

1110 Cortelyou Rd. Brooklyn, NY 718-282-6077

Cortelyou’s​Summer Enrichment Program (7/5-8/26) grades K-8th. Your kids will enjoy an academically enriched summer program, Academic lessons in the morning

We’re s� S�cial

Park Slope United Summer Soccer Camps Prospect Park Parade Grounds and LIU Athletic Complex 347-301-9613

Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!

18 | May 2022


Park Slope United

CORTELYOU ACADEMY IS A PREMIER PRIVATE SCHOOL IN BROOKLYN Our educational programming surpasses NYS curricula standards by exposing young scholars to a balanced curriculum of rigorous academics and extracurricular opportunities paired with robust teaching. • advanced mathematics • riveting classroom debates and science experiments • vibrant arts • spelling bees • music program

Call for more information about our elementary school programs.

(718) 421-9581

2739 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Summer Enrichment Program 7/5 to 8/26

May 2022 | Brooklyn Family



Montessori Education Personalized guide for parents By BaraBra russo and Mia salas


ontessori has become a movement with over 5,000 schools now in the United States, and many in NYC. Whether your little ones are currently enrolled in a Montessori school or not, we’re sure you’ve heard the buzz around this unique approach to education. When you embark on the ohso-long search for a school for your kiddo, there are so many factors to consider — too many! That’s why we’ve decided to coordinate your top priorities when looking for a school with how the Montessori education fulfills them. Whether your primary concern is individualized learning, warm and welcoming classrooms, or the available resources and opportunities, we’ve got you covered. What is a Montessori Education? Many people have heard the term Montessori, but not everyone knows exactly what it is. In a nutshell—and according to the American Montessori Society (AMS)—Montessori fosters rigourous, self-motivated growth for children and adolescents in these areas of their development: cognitive, emotional, social and physical. “Montessori is a creative way of teaching both individually and as a community of learners,” says Gina Lofquist, AMS’ senior director of education and strategic initiatives. “As such, Montessori schools seek to be in partnership with parents and to build a community for and with families involved. It really is a team effort.” You may have heard of the “Montessori method,” which we’ll explain in just a bit. History of Montessori Education First, it’s important to have an understanding of where Montessori came from, so here’s a brief history. It was created by Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori, who noticed through many observations that children thrived and learned in an engaging and hands-on environment. She opened her first school in 1907 for children whose families couldn’t afford a formal

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education. Today, Montessori schools teach over 1 million students in the United States. Of course, there’s a lot more to the birth of this education movement, so it’s worth taking a deeper look if you’re considering a Montessori education for your child. The Montessori Method The Montessori method of education uses natural interests and activities, rather than formal teaching techniques. A typical Montessori classroom is student-led and often comprises multiple age groups. But don’t worry—the classes are guided by experienced teachers who are always watching and observing a child’s characteristics, tendencies, talents and abilities. Montessori is most popular in preschool and elementary grades, though some schools have been known to extend their programs for younger kids to middle- and high-school levels. It’s important to note that Montessori programs can be found in public,

charter and magnet schools, according to the AMS. In other words, it’s possible that your local pre-k, middle or high school offers Montessori programs without it being an official Montessori institution. Lofquist explains that there are several unique factors to Montessori education and philosophy. Here are a few: Multi-Age Classrooms: These allow children to learn from each other. This supports their learning to collaborate and helps develop their leadership skills. Observation: Montessori guides carefully observe children to learn how to meet their individual needs and the needs of the community, Lofquist explains. The Prepared Environment: This appeals to a child’s innate desire for learning and encourages independent discovery. Materials: The materials in a classroom provide hands-on learning that give children the opportunity to experience abstract concepts in a concrete way.

Brand New Park Slope Location! Enroll Now for Summer Camp at Park Slope or Ft Greene Locations

Summer 2022: July 5th through August 19th (7 weeks) Little Thinkers Montessori Summer Program for Kids Aged 3-6

A French & Spanish Bilingual Montessori Program

• Summer program runs from July 5th through August 19th, from 9 am to 12 or 3 pm • Days are filled with Gardening, Science, Art, Yoga, Music, Dance and Outside Play • Weekly registration available or for enrollment in the full 7 week program a 5% discount applies • Tuition for our summer program can be broken up into 2 payments, or paid at the beginning of each week. • Morning and afternoon Snacks and Lunch are provided.

Accepting students ages 2-5 years

Full and Half Day 2022-2023 School Year Now Enrolling

6 Week Full Day Summer Program From July 11th – August 19th Summer Program will include traditional Montessori activities, outdoor play, music and art.

For more information call 347-916-1433 or email: Visit Member of AMS (American Montessori Society)

Clinton Hill: 148 Clinton Ave Brooklyn, NY 11205

*New 2nd Park Slope Location* 242 6th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

347.996.2688 • 718.858.8961 •

The effects of MDS's program on my daughter are immeasurable. I have watched her transform from a shy and reserved child to an independent and creative thinker ready to take on the world. Parent 2021

Since 1977 MDS has followed a Montessori philosophy to guide and inspire a joy of learning both in and outside of the classroom. We are an inclusive preschool program that values diversity, excellence in early childhood education, and continuous learning. We are located in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. We'd love for your family to join us!

AGE 2- 5 Years Old Schedule a Virtual Tour Today! 7. (718) 398- 2322 237 Park Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11238 May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


Montessori education

Here’s a great example provided by Lofquist: “1,000” isn’t just a number. It is a large, golden cube filled with 1,000 golden beads. The gold allows for storytelling about value and they also experience 1,000 by weight and size are able to compare it to a 100 which has 100 beads, a 10 with 10 beads, or one singular bead. Potential Benefits of a Montessori Education Many experts and parents are advocates of a Montessori education. But of course, as with anything else, there are benefits as well as challenges to consider. “Some studies exist to show beneficial effects on learning and development, and the approach is generally viewed positively by child development experts and pediatricians,” Rebekah Diamond, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University and author of Parent Like a Pediatrician, says. “The biggest downside I’ve encountered is that it can be hard to access this type of education both due to limited availability and cost.” Mary Miele, education consultant nursery-college, learning specialist, and CEO of Evolved Education, says that there are many benefits to a Montessori education, but it’s important to make sure its approach aligns with your parenting style, as well as the temperament of your child. “Montessori promotes academic skills, but equally importantly it develops a child’s sense of responsibility and respect for the people and things around them. It places learning within the context of the human experience. It celebrates the joy of learning. At the heart of the method is the child and the child’s development and a harmonious relationship between adult and child,” explains Miele. Your Top Priorities Now that you have a good background on what Montessori is, let’s take a look at some priorities to consider when choosing a school. Priority: Individualized Learning Do you prioritize an education for your kiddo that really focuses on their own personal progress and learning needs? Montessori recognizes that all students learn at different paces, so teachers focus on each student’s individual needs. As mentioned earlier, the Montessori curriculum is intentionally grouped into 3-year cycles, rather than broken out into year-by-year expectations for student learning. Kids are encouraged to pursue their own interests and curiosities, taking

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“Montessori promotes academic skills, but equally importantly it develops a child’s sense of responsibility and respect for the people and things around them.” the time they need to fully understand each concept and meet individualized learning goals. Montessori students learn to take care of themselves and their environment- they wash tables, organize shelves, prepare their own meals, and assist younger children. Priority: Supportive Community Once you join the Montessori network, you become a part of a much larger community of teachers, students and parents all working together. As children mature in the Montessori classroom, they understand that they are a part of a community where everyone has their own individual needs, but they’re also encouraged to contribute to the community. The environment is super loving and the classrooms are thoughtfully arranged, welcoming each student into the community with open arms. Montessori learners recognize themselves as part of multiple communities- the community of the classroom, the community of the family, and the community of the wider world. And even with distance learning, Montessori was still able to facilitate a strong virtual community! Priority: Well-Rounded Curriculum Teachers carefully observe your kids in the classroom to customize the curriculum for their own unique abilities, interests, and learning style. In the infants and toddlers program, little ones develop skills such as language, concentration, problem solving, visual discrimination, and physical coordination. The early childhood classroom offers your child five areas of study: practical life, sensorial, math, language, and cultural studies. Similarly, the elementary program includes science and social studies, cultural studies, language, math, and practical life. In the sec-

ondary program, there are advanced courses in language arts, mathematics, sciences, and social studies, as well as specialized courses, including world languages, visual and performing arts, health and fitness, field studies, and service learning. The “spiral curriculum” introduces students to many interrelated topics, repeatedly over time, to instill a broad and deep knowledge. Priority: Location Convenience You want a school that’s on your route to work in the morning or nearby your neighborhood so that dropping your kids off and picking them up fits smoothly into your busy NYC schedule- we totally get it! Luckily, there are a ton of Montessori schools in the city. From Battery Park to SoHo to Morningside Heights and everything in between, location is certainly not a barrier with the abundance of Montessori schools. Whether classes are in-person or remote, you won’t have to worry about going out of your way to get your kiddo to school. Priority: Affordability As for now, most Montessori education is provided in private schools, and tuition can vary based on location, age, hours, and other factors. Many Montessori schools offer financial aid for families in need, and some schools have reduced tuition when you enroll more than one child. Priority: Education for Kids with Special Needs Does your child have special needs and you’re looking for a school that will accomodate them? The Montessori education provides a nurturing environment for kids of all abilities and learning styles, including kids with special needs, physical disabilities, learning differences in reading, spelling, and math, ADHD, and mild to moderate autism spectrum disorders. Because kids learn in multi-age classes with the same teacher for three years, this provides a stable, predictable environment and sustained connection that particularly suits kids with special needs. Learning at Montessori is also multi-sensory and hands-on, and because teachers tailor education to specific needs, kids with disabilities get the individualized learning experience that works for them. Free from the pressure of meeting formal standards of learning, like grade-level benchmarks, kids with special needs can really take their time and develop a unique educational and developmental path.

Montessori Schools Directory | Special Advertising Supplement

Elemental Arts Montessori 364 Argyle Road Ditmas Park/Flatbush 718- 484-0942

Located in the historical Victorian section of Beverly Square West, this is a Full Member School with the American Montessori Society, for preschool and kindergarten children who will be 3,4 or 5 years old by 12/31 of the year they’re enrolled. EAM has a small class size of only 12 children per session with 2 Montessori teachers, offering a warm, nurturing and stimulating environment with an emphasis on individual attention for every child.

Elite Minds Montessori

Elite Minds Montessori is a private preschool in Carroll Gardens for children ages 2 to 5 years old. It offers a nurturing multilingual (English, French and

Spanish) environment where children can develop their unique skills and potential by engaging their minds in art, music and play in a traditional Montessori setting. There is a 5 day half day program from 8:30am 11:30am or 1:30pm - 4:30pm, a 5 day full day program from 8:30am - 2:30pm and early drop off and extended day. The Summer Camp is now enrolling (2 week minimum) running from July 11 to August 19. Email director@ to schedule a tour.

Little Thinkers Montessori 2 Locations: Clinton Hill and Park Slope 347-996-2688 718-858-8961

Offering a Summer Program with full or ½ day sessions running for 7 weeks. Activities include, Gardening, Science, Art, Yoga, Music, Dance and outside play with extended care available.

atmosphere where children learn to work and play.

During the school year, LTM preschool curriculum is individualized, multi-aged, and thoughtfully guided to match each student’s needs. LTM also offers an afterschool program for students in preK through 5th grade. Please contact the school to learn more about the programs offered.

Montessori Day School of Brooklyn 237 Park Place Prospect Heights, Brooklyn 718-398-2322

MDS is a community of families, children and educators using Montessori philosophy to guide and inspire a joy of learning both inside and outside the classroom. MDS is a welcoming community that values diversity. They are committed to excellence in early childhood education and continuous learning. The school serves children ages 2-5 years, and is divided into toddler and primary classes. Primary classes have mixed-age groups (i.e., 3-5 years of age) following the Montessori model in which young children learn from older ones and older children reinforce their learning by helping the younger ones.

Rivendell School 277 3rd Avenue Park Slope/Gowanus 718-499-5667, ext. 14

A Montessori pre-primary school providing a respectful, inclusive community helping children feel powerful and confident as learners and as social and emotional beings. Toddler, half day and extended day programs are available (2 through 6 years). Offering beautiful Montessori classrooms, an excellent, student/teacher ratio, and a warm, cooperative

Rivendell School provides a warm, creative environment where children develop independence, respect for each other, and a lifelong love of learning.

• For children 2.6 – 5.6 years old • 1/2 Day Programs or Full Day • Early Morning Drop-off Available • Program is 5 Days a Week • Small Class Size • Warm, Nurturing Environment

An inclusive Montessori school for children 2-6 serving the Park Slope/Gowanus community for forty years 277 3rd Ave. (bet. Carroll & President Streets)


Your child’s learning environment is adapted to their individual developmental needs. EAM offers a unique experience for your child. Our mission is to have fun through exploration and discovery, allowing each child to fully experience their natural joy for learning.

Payment Plans are available

RegistRation is open 364 Argyle Rd., Brooklyn NY • 718.484.0942 May 2022 | Brooklyn Family



7 Tips on Saving Money on Your Family’s Meals BY DONNA DUARTE�LADD


t all started during the pandemic when toilet paper was scarce, and Amazon sneaky sellers asked for enormous prices for most everyday items. We’d been hoping for relief, but unfortunately, there hasn’t been much. Many of us know inflation has been at its highest since the early 80s. A recent report by USDA shared that the monthly grocery bill for a family of four has at least an increase of 30 percent, with an average increase of $200 more than last year. Meat is at 14 percent, eggs at 11.4, and fruit at a 10 percent increase from last year. There are always tricks and tips for saving money while grocery shopping. As a former editor of popular lifestyle magazines where cooking and saving came hand in hand — I have learned many ways to save. Yet living in NY, we know that budgeting for groceries can be tricky as we do not have competing supermarkets. New Yorkers are savvy and shopping at more than one market is the norm. Thankfully, stores such as Wholefoods provide affordable items with their Whole Foods 365 Value Brand, and luckily for us city dwellers, more Trader Joe’s have been opening where produce and dairy can be found at fair prices. While no one has a crystal ball to know when shopping for necessities such as food (!) will get more affordable — here are tips and tricks I have learned as an editor (and mom!) and utilized with my own family. Make a list If on a budget, make a list and plan out your meals. This will help you focus on what you need by not loading your cart with last-minute items. Of course, be open to sale items and treats for the kids. Buy frozen Nope, your eyesight is fine; veggies are getting costly these days. Frozen allows us to use only what we need and makes for great last-minute meals such as crockpot soups. Of course, now that most farmer markets are open after a long winter season, you can buy seasonal vegetables and whatever you don’t

24 | May 2022

use — freeze before they spoil for later. Save your veggie scraps Veggie scraps like chopped carrots onions can be frozen and used later for soup broth. Not only does this make for a super tasty broth. It is also green AF — and you save money on broth. Filler foods Luckily a family meal sourced from filler foods consists of kids’ favorite meals such as pasta, rice, squashes (okay, maybe not that one), and beans. When it comes to a staple such as beans, you can buy in a can or purchase dry (so much cheaper), simmer in a large pot and make a few meals such as a simple rice and bean bowl, chili beans, or soft tortilla bean tacos. Go Big Many grocery stores provide bulk offerings (if they don’t, it is time to find a new store) at affordable prices. Meat buying in bulk can be overwhelming, especially when space is limited. So move over the spices and ice and make room in the pantry and freezer for bulkfriendly grocery items such as fish, ground meats, and chicken that you can separate and store in freezer bags for future meals.

Serve up more veggie dishes Sure, there are meatless Mondays, but you can also do as our grandmothers did and serve casserole dishes like lasagna. Or do like my mother and make tasty tostadas with black beans with sautéed zucchinis in place of meat. I remember when my mother was into eggplants… before you go yuk — she was super creative, and the dishes she made were delicious. I didn’t know until I was much older that money was tight at this time (of course, it was the 80s, the last time inflation was super high!). All I recall is that the dishes were yummy. Try not to throw anything out One of my favorite things to buy is the rotisserie chicken at Wholefoods; not only is it at a great price it is already cooked! The bummer is my kids hate white meat, so I shred up the meat and simmer it in a chicken or vegetable broth, add oregano and spices and make tortilla soup. Push your store purchases to work hard. Are the tomatoes going bad? Freeze them before they do and use them later on for soups. Even leftover spaghetti can be turned into a casserole — be creative and save money in return!

Piano Lessons For Everyone 135 Eastern Parkway across from the Brooklyn Museum

Experienced, friendly teacher with MA in Music Student recitals twice a year • Six foot concert grand piano Near 2, 3, 4 & 5 Subways

Call me and let’s talk about what you or your child would like to learn

Call Beth Anderson-Harold: 718-636-6010 or Email:


T H A N EV E R !



Check us out Online! We’re the #1 print & digital lifestyle platform for engaged parents in New York.


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May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


Real estate

The New Forever Homes By Donna Duarte-LaDD


ou have dedicated Pinterest boards and screenshots on the phone of your dream home. But what if we told you there are residences and homes that have everything (and more) on your list that can be checked off? Whether you want to stay put in the city or move close by, we have four picks that have forever written on them.

Check it Out! Flatrate Moving is a luxury service that goes beyond the traditional moving experience, with guaranteed, all-inclusive prices and service, with no hidden costs or surprises. Labor, protection, and transit are always included. Box delivery, storage, packing, installations, and more services are available. FlatRate Moving 212.988.9292

26 | May 2022








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Source: OKMLS 1/1/2021-12/31/2021, total volume sold by agent, Westchester County, single family, coop, condominium and multi-family. Houlihan Lawrence Transactions Database: 1/1/21-12/31/2021 total volume sold both on and off market

May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


Real estate

The Cortland Related Sales LLC & CORE Two to Five Bedroom Residences Starting at $4,050,000

First, let’s indulge in the architecture. The list is endless on what makes The Cortland, a new residence developed by Related on the Hudson River in West Chelsea, a forever residence. The Cortland is a unique collaboration between two iconic architects, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Olson Kundig. Architect Robert A.M. Stern designed The Cortland to feel at home in New York, which it genuinely does, yet it also feels inspirational and modern. Gorgeous LaSalle limestone stonework, molded brickwork are just some of the design touches that make this building unique. Large bay windows allow residents views of the city and river. Yes, please! We will happily make dinner in a kitchen while our energetic kids run around and we take in the city’s beauty. The residences are generous in space and light- the living room is an open space with high ceilings. A spacious family room is perfect for a TV room or play space for your little ones. Or both! The beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms are designed like sanctuaries, accomplished with the gorgeous and modern design.

for the kids. Another huge plus for families is being close to Chelsea Piers, Clement Moore Park, and Chelsea Waterside Park.

Why We Chose This for a Family Residence

Located in an excellent location in West Chelsea- there are both stellar public and private school options for kids. The building features a pool, wellness, and fitness spaces. A crafted play space

Contact: 212-271-5483

Westfield, New Jersey Frank D. Isoldi, Coldwell Banker 6 Bedrooms, 5.1 Baths , $2,295,000

You’re not alone if moving to the suburbs is on your bucket list. Luckily you don’t have to look far -for Westfield has everything a city family needs and more. This six-bedroom (growing families take note) is located in one of Westfield’s premier family-friendly neighborhoods. There is a huge backyard with five and a half bathrooms- all nestled on nearly a half-acre. You will love the 3-story foyer with an open staircase on the third floor, flanked by a formal living room and dining room. The family room features a coffered ceiling which helps absorb sound. The gas fireplace is on the same floor. This impressive nook opens to a stunning eat-in kitchen with a staircase to the 2nd floor. Making this a perfect home for a family -there is a roomy island breakfast bar that sits at the center with a sink, granite countertops, and professional-grade SS appliances. There is also a butler’s pantry with a wine refrigerator. Adding to the awe -ness of this home, there is a separate dining area with access to the backyard. An en-suite bedroom (perfect for out-oftown guests) features a private bath and a powder room. There is more. On the second floor, you’ll find the main bedroom with cool add-ons such as a tray ceiling, coffee/beverage bar, WIC. And finally, if you ever lacked closet space, the two closets include a sitting room with a double-sided gas fireplace. Wow. The magazine-worthy bath features dual sinks and what every tired parent wishes for in their life, a jetted tub. The shower is spacious and the space also features a make-up vanity and a private commode. If you have young children, you’ll appreciate the two Jack-n-Jill bedrooms and another bedroom, a full hall

28 | May 2022

bath, and no more dropping laundry off; this floor features a laundry room! The sixth bedroom can be found on the third floor, making for a perfect indoor playroom or office room if working remotely. Why We Chose This for a Family Residence

There are many extras to this home, such as a durable paver patio and a paver block driveway. A two-car attached garage includes something all New Yorkers want, more storage! There is also Hardi-plank siding, a Timberline dimensional shingle roof, a BlueTooth camera system, an underground sprinkler system, and a natural gas generator. The downtown is a vibe that city people will seamlessly fit right into - the schools are top-notch. Families looking to be near the city will love that Westfield is only 22 miles outside Manhattan. Contact:, Cell: 908-787-5990. Direct: 908-301-2038

Real estate

Pelham, New York April Monaco of Houlihan Lawrence Inc. 4 Bedroom Home, 1 Circle Hill Road, Pelham, NY 10803 $1,485,000

If a home with ample room for the family is top on your list, you’ll love this spacious four-bedroom Colonial-style home located in the Estate Section of Pelham Manor. We adore this house for its history- built-in 1926, it still maintains its original architecture, yet with recent modern updates, including central air conditioning, it is perfect for family living. The layout of this home feels welcoming and open, yet everyone will have their own space and not feel crowded. You’ll find the light in every room and corner of this home. With four bedrooms upstairs, including a primary en-suite and a full hall bath, there is room for the entire family and then some. In this home- the kitchen seamlessly flows into a large, naturally bright family room that connects to a side patio. A cozy living room with an adjoining sunroom and fireplace is perfect for movie nights —an ample-sized dining room with sliding glass doors leads to the outdoor patio. The eat-in kitchen means homework and afterschool snacks will go hand and hand. And let’s not forget the outside. There is plenty of room for play and not sure who will love this more, the kids or the parents, but the Saltwater Pool is an oasis featuring a hot water spa and a tranquil waterfall seat that beckons all to enjoy. Why We Chose This for a Family Residence

Located in the Estate Section of Pelham Manor and is less than

a mile to incredible Manor exclusive Shore Park. It is also adjacent to the gorgeous Long Island Sound and close to the New York Athletic Club. There are excellent schools in Pelham. There are two beautiful playgrounds, a basketball court and a newly renovated green field. Kids will treasure The Pelham Public Library- where they will find an enchanting children’s library that offers storytime and programs for all. Pelham is close to the city and the commute via Metro-North is only 29 minutes! Contact: April Monaco 914-548-8350

West Orange, New Jersey 32 Undercliff Ter, West Orange Twp., NJ 07052 4 Beds, 4 Baths, $700,000

This is one of those homes that looks roomy, which it is, but then you go inside and it is even more magnificent. There are many reasons to adore this renovated 4-Bedroom House in the Gregory section of West Orange. First, the rooms are spacious and perfect for kids of all ages. Any room can easily be made into a highly functional remote office. From the kitchen, you can see the NYC skyline. There is a charming staircase that leads up to the second floor. But let’s get into the large living room- which includes a wood-burning fireplace and a sunroom. There is also a spacious deck perfect for hosting friends and family. This floor also consists of a formal dining room, eat-in kitchen- a family room (more space!), and a powder room. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and two full baths. The owner’s suite is a jewel with plenty of room, a renovated en suite bath and two side-by-side closets. The house’s second-floor balcony is perfect for family hangouts, decompressing from the day, or just taking in the view. As we mention, this house keeps on giving. The lower level offers features and fitness/ office/guest room capability. There is a laundry area, another powder room and access to the two-car garage. The driveway is heated and provides access to the jitney stop at the foot of the driveway. Why We Chose This for a Family Residence

At only 12 miles from the city, this is one of the most accessible towns to move to when looking to be near NYC. There is ample

greenery and parks such the Eagle Rock Reservation, Thomas Edison National Park, and the South Mountain Reservation. The South Mountain Recreation Complex features the Turtle Back Zoo, Treetop Adventure and miniature golf. A rich community of restaurants, shops, bakeries, and coffee shops energizes this town. The schools are also great with twelve public schools in the district as well as private schools. Contact: Mark Slade, The Slade Team, Keller Williams 917-797-5059 May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


Why STEM & STEAM Matters

By Donna Duarte-LaDD


hat is STEM and STEAM? We know it involves Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, and Math- that it is an educational method to teach kids to be critical thinkers. But the importance of STEM/STEAM as part of kids’ education and life runs deeper. We spoke to the author Christopher Emdin, Ph.D. of STEM, STEAM, Maker, Dream: Reimagining the Culture of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Dr. Emdin is also the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum and Teaching and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California who also serves as Director of youth engagement and community partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. In other words, he is pretty darn smart. Dr. Emdin also shared how kids can use STEM/STEAM in their lives. He also gives us insight on why all children are naturally “STEAM people” and how parents can encourage their kids by positive reinforcement through STEAM/STEM language. Why is Stem/Steam essential for our kids? For our children to grow up in a world where they are not just blind consumers of products, research, and media but producers of it, it is essential that they both see themselves as scientists, technology experts, engineers,

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and mathematicians and be equipped to have careers in these fields. STEM subjects are the anchor of the future of our society. STEM is where the jobs and careers of the future are. For children to not be left out of the careers of the future, it is important that they become part of these disciplines today. However, even if they choose not to have careers in STEM, it is important they are not afraid of these subjects and have enough familiarity with them that they are scientifically literate — that they can understand basic ideas and principles, can ask questions and are not intimidated. Luckily, ALL children are naturally “STEM people,” and all we have to do is sustain and grow what already exists. Children naturally think deeply, tinker, play, question, categorize, make meaning, interpret, and draw connections. They come into the universe being inquisitive about all that is around them and have innate dispositions and leanings that can make them successful in STEM. When you think about a baby being born, the first set of knowledge they are using is scientific knowledge. They are smelling their environment and making observations in the world. They are not using English. They are not using history. They are using math and science. They make observations, identify patterns, test hypotheses, and draw conclusions. Once they start associating language with what they are seeing, they start expressing what is unfolding before them.

There is magic in that unleashing that revealing. This process is the foundation of STEM. This is what we need to build upon and it is essential that the adults in their lives remind them of this so that when they come in contact with experiences in school or other spaces, that functions to rob them of their confidence. Finally, I want to clarify that being a STEAM person (when you incorporate the arts in STEM) makes our children more well-rounded. STEAM teaches us how to question, explore, discover, and create and imagine. When intellectual challenges in STEM are encountered, STEAM finds ways to bring imagination and creativity that propels children to be resilient and hard working. These are the skill sets that help children across the life span and areas of academic interest. When they become a part of our children’s identity, we improve their preparation for life in whatever area of study they choose when they get older. What sorts of impact does Stem/Steam have on society? Without STEM/STEAM, we would not have the luxuries and opportunities we currently have as a society. These subjects are at the anchor of all our new discoveries and are the solutions to many of our current challenges. The only way that we address climate change, save endangered species, solve world hunger and improve existing technologies

is through the intelligence and creativity inherent in STEM. Furthermore, our society is more inclusive and democratic when all people are able to participate in all aspects of STEM. Currently, our society is in dire need of a new generation who have had practice and hands-on experience with STEAM. We need a populace that sits comfortably at the intersections of all multiple disciplines and who understand how to solve complex problems. Decades ago, a person could have one career in a very specific field and do well. Today, we need engineers with arts degrees, mathematicians who work in arts museums, scientists who are journalists and many more mergers of previously separated fields. We need to give students the opportunity to not just imagine, but also design systems for a more just society. Today, entrepreneurs aren’t simply growing their businesses, they are developing their STEM efficacy, sharing ideas and adding value through the services they provide to their communities across fields. We need young people to grow up with the mindsets necessary to be a part of the future. We cannot train them for jobs and careers of the past. How does a Steam/STEM education teach kids to learn to make informed decisions? For decades I have advocated for teaching children to develop what I call “science mindedness.” Mindedness is an inclination to think in a particular way. Science mindedness is an inclination to think like scientists and requires the ability to use certain traits or decisions in how you move through the world. It is, in essence, how to think like some of the most brilliant scientists of our time. If children learn these skills, they will make sound decisions rather than have decisions about their lives being made for them. Science mindedness includes demanding that a person’s claims are evidence-based, expressing curiosity or a desire for knowing more about anything one encounters, making cognitive connections by using analogies to make connections between ideas, being creative, always leading with a healthy skepticism, openmindedness, and having the ability to be analytical. When one works on these skills — which can be applied to any endeavor one encounters, they will always make informed decisions. STEAM trains young people to develop these skills. As one goes through STEM experiences, they learn how to identify these skills in themselves and then, with the right support, strengthen these abilities for the rest of their lives.

Children naturally think deeply, tinker, play, question, categorize, make meaning, interpret, and draw connections. In your book, STEM, STEAM, Maker, Dream: Reimagining the Culture of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, you share how the need for the arts and culture can serve as an anchor for instruction. Can you share a bit of insight on this? When we think about STEM or STEAM, we must be thinking about art as the main key to unlock scientific or mathematical genius. When we think about art in this way, we gain a necessary respect for it and also, begin to think about it in more expansive ways. When I think of art, I consider aesthetics and not simply a drawing or painting. Aesthetics includes fields such as poetry, philosophy, music, and dance. It also includes more traditional crafts, that require the work of the hand and special knowledge like pottery or playing an instrument. These can be classified as areas of aesthetic expression. The A in STEAM is about art (in traditional forms), aesthetics and also seeing the art in young people and the places they come from. That idea of seeing people as works of art allows us to value the cultures they are embedded in and use their culture to make them into — or have them make themselves into STEM people. Art is a vehicle for culture much in the same way that culture shapes art. You cannot separate the two. Recently, we’ve seen a big push to bring identity and culture into the STEM classroom. It is absolutely essential. You can teach STEM, as well as the arts but it doesn’t connect to young people unless you tap into their culture and identity. TheSTEM/ STEAM classroom or even the STEM/STEAM supportive home must do more than teach facts and remain neutral. It has to be culturally responsive to who the children are. If we do not radically shake up what STEAM is and bring it to people who have been categorically excluded for a long time, our efforts to improve and expand STEM will fail. I have written in my book that when students think of a scientist, they rarely picture themselves. If they don’t picture themselves as being able to do well in STEM, there is nothing we can do in classrooms or through textbooks that will get

them to learn or engage in these subjects. What if we try a different approach? If we expand our definition of art, we can explore its application through different models. We can validate both arts education and STEM education and radically change the future. How can parents start to incorporate Math and Science with their Kids early? There are a few things parents can do. The first is to simply offer students positive reinforcement through the language of STEM as children compete in everyday activities. We have to expand our vocabulary with our children and ensure that we include affirmations of their STEM selves. A child who works hard at an art project needs to hear I love your resilience and hard work. I know you can do that in all things and subjects too. Along with including new words and phrases, we have to eliminate some phrases from our conversations with children. Parents cannot say things like “I’m not a math or science person” in front of their children because they will adopt those same beliefs. I also encourage parents to do math problems or read science books in their everyday lives. Children learn more from what you model than what you say. When they see you engaging in STEM, they follow suit. Finally, parent should play and cook with their children. Measure dirt and count bounces of the ball. Create a ratio of missed baseball swings to hits. Make mixtures. Talk about your recipe like a lab experiment and watch for reactions when you mix certain items. Incorporate STEM/ STEAM into everyday life. Christopher Emdin, Ph.D., is the Robert A. Naslund Endowed Chair in Curriculum and Teaching and Professor of Education at the University of Southern California; where he also serves as Director of youth engagement and community partnerships at the USC Race and Equity Center. He previously served as Director of the Science Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University and alumni fellow at the Hip-hop archive and Hutchins Center at Harvard University. The creator of the #HipHopEd social media movement and Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S., Emdin has previously been named Multicultural Educator of the Year by the National Association of Multicultural Educators, STEM Access Champion of Change by the White House and Minorities in Energy Ambassador for the US Department of Energy. He is the author of STEM, STEAM, Make, Dream (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Ratchetdemic (Beacon Press), and For white folks who teach in the hood … and the rest of y’all too (Beacon Press). May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


Spring Bucket List

Make the most of the season with the ultimate insiders guide for NYC families By Donna Duarte-LaDD, Shara Levine & Courtney ingaLLS


YC has a ton to do; this is no secret but what are the best activities and things to do with kids? Luckily, we at New York Family have a lot of kids; we are also editors whose job is to know the best places to go with the family. Yup, we got this. This spring bucket list is our insider guide because it is places we hear about when we are out with our kids or a parent at the park shares on the latest new slide kids are begging to visit. We also know that families love to spend a day at one of our fantastic museums

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or try the newest scoop of ice cream from one of NY’s own founded ice cream shops. So whether you are a new or seasoned parent , visiting New York City we have a Spring Bucket List perfect for the entire family. 1. Roller Skate at Flipper’s Roller Boogie

4. Root for the home team at a Long Island

Duck’s baseball game. 5. Learn to juggle at Bryant Park. 6. After drop off visit The Whitney, solo, or

wait for the weekend and bring the family. Kids ages 18 and under are free!

Palace at The Rink. 7. Feel like you’re on top of the world when 2. Take a ride on the world famous Coney

Island Cyclone at Luna Park 3. See Macy’s in full bloom at their annual

Flower Show

you zipline and climb at The Adventure Park at Long Island 8. Head downtown to Water and State Street

and hop on the aquarium–themed and

gorgeous Seaglass Carousel. 9. Take on “Slide Mountain” at Brooklyn

Bridge Park.

Fudge Brownie, Cookies & Cream or try their limited Kraft Macaroni & Cheese(!) flavor.

flavors Lychee and Durian 20. Pick up a new book to read

at the park at Books Are Magic in Cobble Hill.

10. Immerse yourself in the world of

Minecraft at Liberty Science Center. 11. Finally take that walk across the Brooklyn


16. Check out Playscape

@thebatterynyc with a mega slide hill that kids will love and fun climbing structures.

12. Encourage your kids to try new fruits and

vegetables with a trip to the Union Square Greenmarket. 13. Walk along the DUMBO Walls for art you

won’t see anywhere else- and don’t forget to take some memorable selfies. 14. Head to the Greenpoint Library &

Environmental Education Center-the kids and teen sections are A-mazing…enjoy the serene outside Reading Garden.

17. Spend the day at City Point. Visit CAMP,

McNally Jackson’s children’s book nook and find your new favorite food at the global food court

Leeuwen’s famous flavors like Chocolate

22. Explore NYC from new heights or learn a

new thing or two about this amazing city by grabbing tickets for RiseNY! 23. Grab any kind of food you could possibly

imagine (and maybe even more!) when you stop by Smorgasburg this Spring.

18. Walk the Highline, check out the plants,

and artist Sam Durant’s Untitled (drone) and grab some of NYC’s best food in and around this buzzling nook on the Westside. 19. NY’s Chinatown is like no other- the

15. Grab a scoop of ice cream of Van

21. Visit the New York Aquarium and meet some of your favorite marine animals.

kids will love the noodles at Cha Kee and The Original Ice Cream Factory for yum

24. Stop by the Battery Playscape and play in

the five ecology zones. 25. Spend the day exploring Hudson Park’s

Pier 25 and taking part in some of the many fun activities they offer, such as their mini golf course and children’s playground!

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Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us by emailing or calling 718.260.4554

May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


The Class Moms Five instructors from the mindfulness workout, The Class, open up about motherhood, egg freezing, and their new program, The Fertility Series

By Cris Pearlstein


his month I will be celebrating my fifth Mother’s Day. It’s pretty wild for me to type those words because there was a time when I thought it would never happen. It took my husband and I four rounds of IVF over the course of almost four years to finally have our daughter, and during that time I often felt alone. At first I kept the experience under wraps like a dirty little secret, but once I started talking everything changed. As I connected to more women, hearing about their unique journeys to becoming moms, the shame lifted. That’s the thing about motherhood—we’re all on the same team, though we bring different things to the game. We may not parent the same way, and we might not hold the same values, but we’re all in it. Wiping butts, cleaning messes, loosing our cool, loving so big. All of it. This month, The Class—a unique workout that focuses on movement and mindfulness—is expanding their program to offer support to people on their conception journey. We chatted with five of their instructors about everything from motherhood to freezing eggs to the one piece of advice they would give to moms to be.

HannaH SHelly Mom of 1: Edith, 16 months old Jersey City, NJ

My advice to new moms would be to let their own experience unfold on their terms. I’m sometimes hesitant to share my birth story or my initial postpartum experience with other mothers to be because I went through a lot of trauma and mental health struggles. I think there is a balance of normalizing that, but at the same time what was hard for me might not be for you. If there is ease and grace and power for you where there wasn’t for me, that’s a beautiful thing.

SopHia ManaSSei Mom of 3: Iebe, 16; Minty, 14; Viggo, 11 Brooklyn by way of London, England

What does the concept of motherhood mean to you? Motherhood is offering small humans lots of space, tools and safety as they navigate all the levels of independence. What do you wish you knew about being a mother before you became one? I feel so blessed for my kids and don’t take a single day for granted as their mother. But the one thing that I don’t ever have enough of is my time. I miss the days when I would spend hours getting ready for brunch and focusing purely on myself. It was a real shock to my system and still is. Motherhood doesn’t have an off button, no matter the time of day.

Karla MiSjan Tell me about your journey to motherhood. My journey to motherhood happened within the metaphorical walls of the pandemic. I became pregnant in March 2020 and spent my pregnancy confined to quarantine. The whole experience felt largery private and more intimate than I thought it would. What is your one piece of advice for new moms or moms to be?

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Mom of 1: Miles, 1.5 years old Park Slope, Brooklyn

What does the concept of motherhood mean to you? Read the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins and you’ll understand what motherhood means to me. Just try to read it without crying! Motherhood is all encompassing love. It is selflessness. It is frustration. It is grit. It

demands that you grow. It is unbridled joy. It is everything. What is your favorite thing about being an instructor at The Class? The community at The Class is everything. We keep each other going. We celebrate each other. When your heart is aching and you feel like the world is caving in on you, there is endless support. The method of The Class itself keeps me sane, too. The movement. The music. The breath. Especially now being a mom, it helps remind me to breathe before there is a knee jerk reaction. That is super important because I want to be a mindful parent and raise a mindful child.

Marina Trejo Mom of 2: Robinson Miel Stewart, 15, and Ruben Yves Stewart, 7 Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Tell me about your journey to motherhood and how you got there. I have been with my husband since I was 21, but hadn’t really wanted to have kids until one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. It felt quite biological, the craving for one. While my pregnancy was great, motherhood was bumpy—stress, depression, isolation—and is indeed part of the reason my boys are so far apart in age. I didn’t really have any friends with babies but then my son went to an artistrun pre-school that literally changed my life. I made some of my greatest friendships and support system there. My boys are almost 8 yrs apart in age which has a lot of perks (free, in-house babysitting is amazing), but is also kind of like having two only children sometimes. What does the concept of motherhood mean to you? I still wish I had been mothered

Photo by Ana gambuto

differently myself in some ways, but then I look at my boys and I know I have been so harsh towards my own mom all these years. It is so challenging to be thoughtful, patient, kind and available to them as much as I want to be. It just isn’t possible to do everything and be that ideal version of a mom. I hold these ideals of motherhood and yet they just really aren’t that realistic for one person to encompass. So back to the question… motherhood is a state of being able to hold space, listen, look and simply allow them to be who they are while you love them. Motherhood is caretaking. It is holding and giving without expecting anything in return.

CJ Frogozo Recently froze eggs DUMBO, Brooklyn

get pregnant, so even my frozen eggs aren’t a sure thing. But I have them and I have a lot of knowledge, and that’s an empowering feeling.

What would you say to a woman who is thinking about freezing her eggs? Silence is the loneliest number. Ask a lot of questions to friends, family, your doctor. You don’t have to do this by yourself. I would also say make the first appointment to understand your baseline. Know your AMH level, the health of your follicles, ask your family about their history with fertility. Dr. Jamie Knopman at CCRM Fertility said the only way I’ll know if I can get pregnant is if I try to

What are your hopes and goals for The Fertility Series being offered at The Class? I hope we can provide a community for folks who might feel alone or judged during this time. I have so many friends in their late 30s and 40s who are either feeling like they’ve waited too long to conceive or freeze, and are experiencing feelings of shame or blame. I hope we can hold space for them to make empowered choices about their bodies and, ultimately, their choices around motherhood. May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


calendar By Shara Levine

Open Stages Music Festival Green Meadows Baby Farm Animals & Children’s Fun WHEN: April 30- May 28, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm WHERE: Green Meadows Farm, 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Floyd Bennett Field AGES: All WHAT: The Baby Animals have arrived! Discover Green Meadows Farm new little additions, plus all of their amazing other farm animals. WANT TO GO?: $14 ages 2 and older. 718-470-0224. greenmeadowsfarmbrooklyn. com


Mother’s Day Morning, Keeper for A Morning WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 10-11:30am WHERE: Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Park AGES: All WHAT: Learn about amazing animal parents, meet animals up close, and discover how Zoo babies are important to conservation. Craft a Mother’s Day present for the animal moms, and then make a gift for your own! WANT TO GO?: $25; $20 members. 800-433-4149. | May 2022


Celebrate Eid WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 10am-1pm and 2-5pm WHERE: Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave., Crown Heights AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Eid al-Fitr with dance, music, food, and art activities including traditional water marbling. WANT TO GO?: $13; $12 grandparent; free for babies younger than 1 year. 718-7354400. programs/eid

DTBK Presents: Kid-Friendly Ping-Pong Happy Hours WHEN: May 10-31, Tuesdays, 5-7:30pm WHERE: Brooklyn Commons Park, 2 MetroTech Center, Downtown Brooklyn AGES: All WHAT: DJs set the soundtrack on Tuesday evenings while you enjoy ping pong games with The Push. WANT TO GO?: events/dtbk-presents-kidfriendly-ping-pong-happyhours



Madagascar the Musical WHEN: Friday, May 13, 6:30pm WHERE: Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave., Flatbush AGES: 3-12 WHAT: This smash hit musical features all of your favorite friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar. WANT TO GO?: $35-$5. 718856-5464. calendar/madagascar-themusical

Brass Bands Festival WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2-6pm WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a brand-new summer kickoff event that will feature both roving and stationary live musical sets by a diverse and energetic range of NYC’s brass band community. WANT TO GO?: 718-802-0603. events/brass-band-festival

Open Stages WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 3-7pm WHERE: Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 Seventh Avenue, Park Slope AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Park Slope with more than 150 musicians, including hip hop artists, classical musicians, marching bands, kids’ groups, an “Encanto” sing-along, plus ensembles and student groups from all of BKCM’s flagship programs and much, much more.

Mothers Day Morning Keeper for a Morning WANT TO GO?: 718-622-3300.

The Great Dumbo Drop WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 3-8pm WHERE: Pearl Street Triangle, 155 Water St., DUMBO AGES: All WHAT: See elephants “fly” at this block party with live performances, a Kids Zone featuring bedazzling elephant crafts, plus other family-friendly activities, music, and more. WANT TO GO?: 718-237-8700.

MANHATTAN May the Fourth Be with You WHEN: May 4, 10am–5pm

WHERE: Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side AGES: Newborn-6 WHAT: Use the force to make your way to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan for Star Wars inspired activities. WANT TO GO?: $15 per person; free for members. 212-721-1223

16th Annual ‘Back to the Streets’ Dance Parade WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 12:30pm WHERE: Dance Parade New York, Broadway & E 20th St., Stuyvesant Park AGES: All WHAT: Dance Parade kicks off on the corner of 20th and Broadway with more than 10,000 dancers, live bands, DJs, and more than 100 unique styles of dance and culture. WANT TO GO?: 646-765-4773.

BRONX Bronx Night Market

Brooklyn Childrens Museum

WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 1-7pm WHERE: Fordham Plaza, 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Come out to the largest family friendly foodie celebration in the Bronx

complete with food vendors, kid zone, education booths, and more. WANT TO GO?:

QUEENS Sheep Shearing Festival WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 11am-4pm WHERE: Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park AGES: All WHAT: NYC’s only sheep shearing festival features live music, historic farmhouse tours, kids crafts, a free scavenger hunt, and more! WANT TO GO?: $12; $8 ages 4?11; free for 0-2 year old’s. 718-347-3276. sheep-shearing-festival/.

The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade WHEN: Monday, May 30, 2pm WHERE: The Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Assoc., Inc., Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard, Great Neck AGES: All WHAT: Witness one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the Nation and salute the men and women in uniform that made the ultimate sacrifice. WANT TO GO?: 718-279-3200.

May 2022 | Brooklyn Family


family day out

Candytopia Returns! By Mia SalaS


f your kiddos ever dreamed of entering a real-life Candy Land or visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, then we have exciting news. Some of us may remember the iconic NYC Candytopia experience in 2018, and it’s back. Opening to the public on April 29, Candytopia is about to be the go-to destination for NYC families. Located in Penn Plaza, Candytopia stretches about 24,000 square feet with 17 different interactive exhibits. With so much to explore, we did some digging and found out the top things that your kids are going to love about Candytopia. Read on to learn all about the yummy place and its kidfriendly experiences! Marshmallow Pit Ball pit, but make it marshmallows. What little one wouldn’t love to jump into a pit of sugary bliss? The marshmallow pit has always been a fan favorite at other Candytopia locations, so it had to be included here in NYC. Because it’s so popular, the pit can get a bit crowded, so wait your turn and keep your kids close– or else they might disappear into the faux marshmallows!

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NYC Candy Art Gallery Your kids may not love touring the galleries of MoMA, but this art gallery is a bit different. For starters, it’s made of all candy. Exclusive to NYC, this new exhibit is the talk of the town— and we’re all dying to see how Candytopia will turn Kit Kats and Reese’s into fine art. Because art is such a part of our NYC culture, we appreciate that Candytopia took that into account when designing a unique experience for us. Candytopia is known for incorporating aspects of the region’s vibe and culture when designing exhibits. Confetti Room with Candy-Farting Pigs This has to be one of, if not the top, kid-friendly section of Candytopia. First, the confetti room is super fun and it looks great in Instagram photos. NYC mamas, get your cameras out, because adorable family photos are coming your way. While you snap selfies, your kids can see pigs fart candy. Yes, you read that right– these pigs are loaded with candy and ready to let it out! Your little ones will not be able to stop laughing. Zipline There truly is something for everyone at Candytopia. While your bigger kids may not think the candy-farting pigs are funny, they

will love this feature. Calling all adventureseeking children, because Candytopia’s zipline is for thrill seekers. While your little one plays in the marshmallow pit, your older child can take their turn on the zipline. Birthday Parties If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate your kiddo’s birthday, look no further than Candytopia. You can book a sweet birthday party that your little one won’t forget. You can even request a private-buyout if you want the space all to yourselves during the visit. Especially after Zoom and at-home birthday parties over the past two years, we’ve been on the lookout for new, in-person NYC birthday spots. Candytopia is top of the list! Candy, candy & more candy It probably goes without saying that you’ll get to munch on sweet treats during your visit. Come with an empty stomach, because you’ll definitely be leaving full on sugar. With that being said, make sure you look after your little ones and monitor their candy intake so their sugar rush isn’t too bad. It can be tempting to grab everything that’s offered, but Candytopia is more about the experience than it is actually eating candy. Sign up for your presale tickets now, or wait until they officially go on sale April 12. $36 for adults; $29 for kids 4-12; free for kids under 4.

talks 5 Must-watch for parents We’ve got a list of top-notch experts to speak on timely parenting topics and dish out essential advice. Break the cycle of parental burnout, transform your relationship, learn the latest science on child development and more with our free New York Family Speaker Series.

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