Why STEM/ STEAM matters!
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Arts Education The many benefits for kids
The women of The Class on their parenting journeys and changing the fertility conversation
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FEATURES 8 | Puberty how to talk to kids about puberty 12 | Arts The benefits of choosing an arts education for kids 24 | Education Why STEM/STEAM matters 28 | Education Your parent-personalized guide to Montessori Education 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
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Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Note 16 | Camp Sending your child to camp 23 | Family Day Out Visit these nature centers 38 | Mom Hacks 7 Tips to save money on groceries
Family fun 36 | Calendar All the fun events and activities for May
Directories 18 | Camp Guide 31 | Montessori Schools Guide
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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 24) are essential for kids.
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 (theclass.com) 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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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?
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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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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 | Westchester 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.
WestchesterFamily.com | 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 Arts can teach kids patience, time management skills, focus and mindfulness. The arts are an important tool for kids and adults alike to decompress and express themselves.” — Megan Joseph, Education Coordinator, One River Hartsdale 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 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 well-rounded 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,”
“Dance, and all the arts, build self-esteem and creativity. Dance, especially, not only exercises the body, but also the brain in ways that improve math skills, ability to focus and discipline. Dance and arts are part of our nature from the time we are babies and continuing to learn and explore these skills result in better grades in school and overall enhanced quality of life.” — Roberta Humphrey, Founder and Director of Dance for Joy
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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 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
WestchesterFamily.com | 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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With our award-winning, weekly-themed summer camps for ages 7 – 15!
CAMPS RUN JUNE 27 – AUGUST 19 Register before March 15th for a 10% Discount!
40 40 Beech Beech Street, Street, Port Port Chester, Chester, NY NY | | www.clayartcenter.org www.clayartcenter.org | | 914.937.2047 914.937.2047 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY | www.clayartcenter.org | 914.937.2047
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
2170 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford 914-592-3027 acresofadventuresummercamp.com Acres of Adventure Summer Camp at Ann & Andy’s is a one to nine-week summer camp with an emphasis on outdoors for children ages 3 months to 14 years. They offer customized schedules, individualized attention and hot lunches including barbeque Fridays. All buildings are air-conditioned. Visit the website for more details. Call for open house dates.
396 Washington St, Suite 117 Wellesley, MA, 02481 781-431-2514 info@ bostonleadershipinstitute.com BLI is an award-winning summer STEM program for teens designed to introduce students to lucrative careers and exciting topics they rarely see in school. Threeweek, competitive admissions research programs, one-week introductory programs, and one-week pre-high school programs are offered in Medicine, Science, Business, and Engineering. Day and residential options are available!
Amadeus Music, Theater and Art Camp
Chapel School Summer Program
201 King Street, Chappaqua 914-238-0388 amadeusconservatory.com amadeusconservatoryofmusic @gmail.com OLIVER! Performing arts musical theater, music and art camp for ages 3 - 15. Sing, dance, act in a musical, study two instruments with Amadeus faculty, create and exhibit fine art, design and paint sets. Have fun with outdoor play and sports. Culminates in a musical performance in a theater. Camp fosters the joys of self expression and creativity. Half day 9:00 - 12:00, Full day 9:00 - 3:00. Session 1 June 27 - July 15 . Session 2 July 18 - Aug 5. Weekly sessions available.
172 White Plains Road, Bronxville 914-337-3202 directorofsummercamps@ thechapelschool.org thechapelschool.org The Chapel School Summer Program was safely open for Care Bears (ages 3-6) and Explorers (ages 7-12) in 2020 and 2021, with record numbers of children experiencing fun and enrichment in a safe and nurturing environment! They are excited to be Back & Better in 2022! Online registration is LIVE!
Artistree Performing Arts
THIS THIS SUMMER SUMMER
The Boston Leadership Institute
114 W. Boston Post Road Mamaroneck, NY 10543 914-835-2200 firstname.lastname@example.org artistreearts.com Camp Artistree’s 2022 season for grades K-9th includes: Annie, Kids, and High School Musical 2, Jr. and Bye Bye Birdie, Jr in our 3 week camps. Our 1 week camps will also see content from Descendants, Tangled, Lion King, Wicked, and Disney on Broadway! Instagram: @artistreearts Facebook: Artistree Performing Arts.
Clay Art Center 40 Beech Street, Port Chester, NY 914-937-2047 clayartcenter.org Have your kids unplug with mud at Clay Art Center’s award-winning, weekly, themed, half- and full-day summer camps for ages 7–15 from June 27 - August 19. Focusing on wheel throwing, handbuilding and sculpture, campers will be shown a variety of techniques on and off the wheel. They will craft everything from mythical creatures, animals and world culture artifacts to handmade cups, bowls and plates.
The Cliffs Summer Camp Multiple Locations throughout NYC and Westchester
A progressive EARLY CHILDHOOD SCHOOL with an emphasis on play-based, experiential learning. Children receive a solid Jewish foundation centered around the celebration of holidays and values. Our parent-teacher collaboration enables an effective communication network that enriches the growth, care, and development of each child. WJC’s SUMMER CAMP teachers gear activities to young campers, ages 18 mos–3 years. Dance, music, art, soccer, cooking, yoga, nature, science, and outdoor water play provide a fun-ﬁlled day. We specialize in toddlers and are a diaper-friendly camp! Our gentle approach to separation prepares toddlers for our 2s class in the fall.
914-698-2767 | wjcenter.org for camp information and registration forms
SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION IS OPEN
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
Half Day Camp Boys & Girls Ages 3 – 12
Register weekly or the entire summer 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 • email@example.com www.Gymcats.net
Camp Dates: Monday, 6/27 – Friday, 8/19 *No experience necessary
Powered by Equalize Fitness
Scan below for more information about Summer Camp
1 Odell Plaza, Yonkers (Located on Yonkers/Hastings Border)
914-751-8668 May 2022 | Westchester Family
camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
thecliffsclimbing.com 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.
Crestwood Music Education Center 870 Scarsdale Ave, Scarsdale 914-961-3497 firstname.lastname@example.org Crestwoodmusic.com Located in downtown Scarsdale. For over 35 years, CMEC has offered private lessons in piano, guitar, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, drums and percussion instruments for students of all ages and levels. This summer, this world-class faculty will be providing a premier music education experience! CMEC has one of the most comprehensive chamber music and orchestral programs in the tri-state area as well as their well-renowned Suzuki and Jazz/Rock programs. Programs such as Music Together for toddlers ages 15 months to 3 years as well as for kids ages 3 to 5 are also available.
Green Chimneys Summer Camps 400 Doansburg Road, Brewster, NY 33 Clearpool Road, Carmel, NY 845.225.8226 x603 greenchimneys.org/camps For 50 years, Green Chimneys has blended great camp traditions with dynamic outdoor experiences to create exciting and educational summers full of memories and friendships to last a lifetime. Serving youth from ages 4-15, Green Chimneys Summer Camps recognize each child’s individuality, his/her desire to discover the world, and
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
who they are in it. Two scenic Putnam County locations (Brewster and Carmel) offer a full roster of activities that includes sports, outdoor adventure, arts & crafts, nature study, animals & wildlife, swim, boating, and more!
Gymcats Gymnastics Summer Camp At Equalize Fitness One Odell Pl., Yonkers 914-965-7676 gymcats.net Unique, safe and fun summer program for boys and girls ages 4-12. Our high energy camp includes gymnastics, arts and crafts, theme days, inflatables, and much more. Your kids won’t want summer to end! No experience necessary! Choose between one to all eight weeks of camp. Full, half or extended day programs available. Space is limited!
Hudson Country Montessori Summer Camp 340 Quaker Ridge Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 914-636-6202 email@example.com hudsoncountry.org Hudson Country’s camp is an eight-week program (June 27 -August 19) for ages 18 months – 12 years. With themed weekly schedules, campers engage in indoor/ outdoor activities while learning and having fun. Activities include daily swim instruction (on-premise pool), sports, hands-on science, technology, art, field trips, music, dance and more. Flexible scheduling, full & half-day sessions and extended hours 7:30am6:00pm available.
KAC Kisco Art Center 40 Radio Circle, Mt. Kisco 914-232-4843 kackisco.com Art & Imagination Camps (ages 3.5-5) geared towards the creative spirit of the young child. Kids Camp (grades 1-5) small groups enable students to receive individual attention in a family-like atmosphere. Teen Camp (grades 6+) each session will focus intensively
on a topic, building the skills needed to explore the subject independently. Afterschool and weekend classes are also available!
Liberty Montessori’s Summer Science Program 155 Beechmont Dr., New Rochelle, 636-3461 631 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, 777-1382 libertymontessorischools.com Inspiring creative thinking and hands-on scientific exploration. Indoor and outdoor summer fun activities are based on a thematic approach to bring to surface the young scientist in all preschoolers. Presented through an interdisciplinary curriculum, integrating math, science, music, art and technology for children ages 17 months to 7 years.
Logrea Dance Academy / Summer Dance Camp 2 Dale Ave, Ossining, NY 914-941-2939 logreadance.com Logrea summer dance camp will be exploring musical theater, ballroom, Latin dance, improvisational dance, classical ballet and modern dance. This camp experience is a perfect opportunity for any child who loves to move and wants to explore the different genres of movement. Ample break and snacktime will be provided. Explore dance with them at Logrea Dance Camp.
Mosholu Day Camp 261 Arden Valley Road, Southfields, NY 845-243-0751 mmcc.org/camp Mosholu Day Camp offers a quality program at a low cost. With a strong emphasis on developing new relationships and experiences, their traditional camp day is filled with dynamic activities that include swimming, arts, trips, archery, high ropes, rock climbing, boating, dance, sports, and more0. Mosholu Day Camp makes memories!
The Rock Club and New Rochelle Racquet Club at Pine Brook Fitness 130 Rhodes St., New Rochelle
914-636-1019 Rock climbing and tennis summer camp provides both new and experienced campers the ability to learn and excel in a fun, supportive, and encouraging environment. Spend a week or the whole summer climbing, playing tennis, or both. We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course Camp At Equalize Fitness, One Odell Plaza, #190, Yonkers 914-751-8668 ninjacatswarriors.com Register today for summer camp! Half day sessions available weekly or for the entire summer! Ages 3 – 12 years. Obstacle course training is a great way to get your child moving, build confidence and have fun with fitness. Regular obstacle course instruction classes will be held on Saturdays.
Squire Camps Maria Regina School, Hartsdale 914-328-3798 squirecamps.com A camp for the child who wants it all. Award winning programs celebrating 49 yrs of locally owned operation. Children choose their own schedule. Choose from over 50 different activities including photography, cooking, swimming, arts, robotics, sports and more. Campers may choose four, three or a total of seven weeks. Hot lunch is included. Courses are taught by certified teachers. Transportation available. Director: Matt Davanzo.
Thornton-Donovan Summer Challenge 100 Overlook Circle, New Rochelle 914-632-8836 td.edu Celebrating its 53rd year, the Summer Challenge has been a source of joy, entertainment, and enlightenment for boys and girls ages 3-14 for over half a century. Hundreds and hundreds of campers have learned to swim at T-D. The in-ground pool allows all
K I SC S Katonah Art Center oﬀering classes for all ages and levels
Camp summer camp
one-week sessions for ages 3.5 yrs-18 yrs 40-2 Radio Circle Drive Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Logrea Dance Academy
Ballet • Jazz • Tap • Modern • Theater Dance
For ages 3 – 18 Located in Ossining, NY
We follow CDC guidelines for masks and have a new air filtration system
Registrations now being accepted for Summer and Fall 2022 LogreaDance.com firstname.lastname@example.org 914-941-2939
favorites TO P 5 2020
May 2022 | Westchester Family
camps Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
campers to touch bottom on the shallow end. Instructional and recreational swimming occur daily as well as many other physical activities. Contact Annemarie at email@example.com or call 914632-8836 for a personal tour or any questions regarding all things Thornton-Donovan.
Oasis Dobbs Ferry
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Oasischildren.com Andrew - 646-519-5057 or firstname.lastname@example.org Oasis in Dobbs Ferry is an affordable premier Westchester day camp located on the beautiful Mercy College campus overlooking the Hudson. Children, ages 3 to 16, are invited to take part in activities centered around sports, the arts, nature, daily instructional and recreational swimming, and most importantly, social-emotional growth. Offering a variety of camp experiences, Oasis in Dobbs Ferry has something for everyone! The traditional summer camp program includes children grades K-6, Teen Travel & Jr. Teen Travel programs, as well as an ESIC (Early Start Imagination Camp) for the newest campers, ages 3-5. Oasis in Dobbs Ferry is a place to experience amazing summers & make lifelong friends!
Play Group Theatre Summer Camps One N. Broadway, White Plains, NY 914-946-4433 playgroup.org Get IN on the ACT this summer with The Play Group Theatre’s inspirational and
innovative Performing Arts Camps! With programs in Musical Theatre, On Camera, Improv, Sketch Comedy, Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Design/Tech and more, there is something for everyone at Camp PGT! From backstage to on stage and everything in between, Camp PGT offers the best in educational theatre year-round. Limited spots available for all PGT indoor/outdoor in-person summer 2022 camps for ages 4-17. Visit playgroup.org/ summer to find the perfect PGT program for your young artist today.
Westchester Jewish Center Rockland & Palmer Avenues Mamaroneck, New York 10543 914-698-2767 Ext. 110 wjcenter.org WJC camp provides a warm, nurturing child-centered environment in which children can make friends, be active in the fresh air and enjoy the summer under the supervision of caring adults. Their program is designed specifically for children ages 18 months to 3 1/2 years old. If your child will be 2 by December 31, this is the perfect place for them. For first time campers, they specialize in guided, gentle separation from parent or caregiver. A diaper-friendly program. Children do not need to be potty trained. Their professional, mature adult staff are selected for their educational background, early childhood training, teaching experience and for their sensitivity to the individual needs of the young child.
Family Owned & Operated since 1973 Experienced Counselors
Licensed by the Health Department
Serving children 2 months–14 years of age Age appropriate activities including: tween trips, bowling, swimming, golf, drama, sports, water slide, zip-line, climbing wall, arts & crafts, computers, air castle and more!
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
Call for a Tour & Appointment! 914-592-3027 2170 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, NY www.AcresOfAdventureSummerCamp.com
Family Day Out
Westchester’s Nature Centers By Shana Liebman
s spring finally blooms, Westchester families are getting back in touch with nature. Luckily, Westchester is home to some of the most beautiful and educational nature centers and preserves in New York, where families can not only enjoy the great outdoors, but learn about it as well. They are a perfect weekend destination for children of any age. In fact, the whole family will find weekend fun at Westchester’s best nature centers.
The Rye Nature Center 873 Boston Road, Rye, New York 10580
A 47-acre wildlife preserve with over two miles of hiking trails, ponds and streams. It has a beautiful natural playground with climbing structures, a slide and an animal museum. Family programming takes place in the museum space, as well as the indoor and outdoor classrooms. Cranberry Lake Preserve 1609 Old Orchard Street, North White Plains, NY 10604
Located in White Plains is a 190-acre park, which was opened in 1967. It’s a safe haven for migratory birds, turtles and dragonflies— and a wide variety of plants. There is a four-acre lake, cliffs and scrubland, mixed hardwood forest, vernal pools and a swamp. Hike the History Trail to see the remains of a 19th-century farmhouse and early 20thcentury stone-mining operation. The Croton Point Nature Center 1 Croton Point Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY 10520
The 504-acre Croton Point Park, hosts exhibits (often with hands-on activities) about local flora and fauna, and local and Native American history. The park attracts Bald Eagles in winter, and a capped landfill is now a meadow filled with birds and butterflies. The Sheldrake Environmental Center 685 Weaver Street, Larchmont, NY 10538
Located in Larchmont this center offers nearly 60 acres of outdoor space. Explore the woods, stroll past the meadow, relax by the pond and check out the abundant wildlife. Trails are pet-friendly and leashed dogs are welcome.
The Greenburgh Nature Center 99 Dromore Rd. Scarsdale, NY 10583
Located on 33 acres and includes an indoor building, woodland preserve with hiking trails, a pond, organic garden, Nature’s Discovery Playground, a native plant meadow and over 100 animals, like birds of prey and farm animals. Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining, NY 10562 914- 762-2912
Located in Ossining is the largest privately held nature preserve in Westchester — with 15 miles of hiking trails, a two-acre island refuge for over 230 species of native wildflowers, wildlife exhibits and science day camps. The Nature Center and nearby Raptor Loop Trail have birds of prey and animal displays, along with seasonal programs and events. Westmoreland Sanctuary 260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 914- 666-8448
Located in Mount Kisco on 640 acres of land includes both woodland and streams, and an environmental education center which runs conservation and recreational programs in a reconstructed 200-year-old church. There are exhibits of local flora and fauna, live animals — including rabbits (named Skittles and Houdini), birds, frogs and turtles — as well as a bird observation window. Muscoot Farm in Katonah 51 Route 100 Katonah, NY 10536 914-864-7286
This farm makes history, agriculture and wildlife accessible for kids. Meet cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs — and walk through historic structures like the milk house, the ice house, the brooder house and the carriage house. There are also over six miles of trails for family hiking. Westchester’s nature centers can introduce kids to the world’s natural playgrounds, and they offer an ideal setting for a family outing. Before you go, check them out online to find out about current programs and upcoming events. May 2022 | Westchester 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,
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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
May 2022 | Westchester Family
Stem & steam
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.
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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).
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May 2022 | Westchester 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
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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.
46 Fox Meadow Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583
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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
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
“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 Liberty Montessori Schools 155 Beechmont Dr., New Rochelle 914-636-3461 631 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck 914-777-1382 libertymontessorischools.com An amazing waterfront facility offering programs for toddler -Gr. 3 with an updated enrichment curriculum that incorporates special music programs. Liberty’s unique curriculum includes their special Science programs leading advanced students to a Challenger Program with special multilingual programs in Chinese, French, German, Spanish and Japanese. A tour of the facility to meet with the school director can offer more details about the Montessori environment.
Hudson Country Montessori School 340 Quaker Ridge Road New Rochelle, NY 10804 914-636-6202 email@example.com hudsoncountry.org Hudson Country Montessori School inspires and promotes innate curiosity and a love of
learning through our progressive Montessori pedagogy. Striving to help children grow into respectful, socially-adept and compassionate leaders. The curriculum is designed to empower students to become independent, creative thinkers and confident achievers. Private, co-educational school, toddlers (18 months) through 8th grade. Schedule a private tour today!
Montessori Children’s Center (MCC) 220 Westchester Ave., West Harrison 914-607-7600 firstname.lastname@example.org montessorichildrensctr.com A year-round, full-time Montessori childcare facility, MCC offers authentic Montessori programs for children 3 months to 5 years old. Some infant spaces available for the September 2022-August 2023 program year. Infants must be between 3-9 months at enrollment. To sign-up for a tour and meet the director, call K.T. Korngold.
Montessori School of Pelham Manor 1415 Pelhamdale Avenue, Bronx, New York 914-738-1127 email@example.com montessorischoolpelhamny.com Upholding a “tradition of excellence” for over 35 years, this school firmly holds to the principles of child development devised by Dr. Maria Montessori. Children ages 3 to 5 work with apparatus in a prepared environment progressing at their own rate, developing the confidence and love of learning that is the hallmark of Montessori. Our small class sizes make it easy for our instructors to find out how to best cater to your child’s unique learning needs. Prepare your child for a lifetime of learning.
Pound Ridge Montessori 5 Highview Rd, Pound Ridge, NY 914-763-3125 poundridgemontessori.com Children enter their school and immediately feel welcome in the prepared environment. The classrooms are carefully presented to allow for freedom
of flow, small group learning, and individual mastery of each lesson and each piece of material. There are different areas for the children to choose from: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math, Language, Science, Geography and Art. They have a multi-age classroom for students ages 3-5 and another just for two year olds.
Yellow Acorn Montessori 46 Fox Meadow Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583 914-725-2173 yellowacorn.org Yellow Acorn Montessori’s mission is to encourage the social, emotional, and cognitive development of the child by providing a comprehensive Montessori education, cultivating independent thought and foundational skills as well as awareness of their environment, empathy for others, and social ease and confidence. The Early Childhood Program (3-5 years) and Toddler Program (18mos-36 mos) include Language, Math, Science, Geography and Culture, Practical Life, Sensorial, Music, Art and more.
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Please formore moreinformation information or to schedule visit. callfor information or toschedule scheduleaaavisit. Please call information or to schedule K.T. Korngold, Directoror 914-607-7600 Please visit. Please to 220 Korngold, Westchester Ave, West Harrison, NY 10604 Director 914-607-7600 Korngold, Director K.T. Director 914-607-7600 K.T. 914-607-7600 Director 914-607-7600 www.montessorichildrensctr.com 220 WestchesterAve, Ave, West Harrison, NY 10604 220 Westchester Ave,West WestHarrison, Harrison,NY NY10604 10604 220 220 Westchester West Harrison, NY 10604 www.montessorichildrensctr.com www.montessorichildrensctr.com www.montessorichildrensctr.com www.montessorichildrensctr.com
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May 2022 | Westchester 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!
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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.
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May 2022 | Westchester 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?
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
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 | Westchester Family
calendar By Shara Levine
Check out some very good dogs at the Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience at Paramount Hudson Valley Theater on May 7.
Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience
WHEN: Saturday, May 7, 1pm WHERE: Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown Street, Peekskill AGES: All WHAT: Witness some of the most incredible stunts and behaviors ever performed by dogs. WANT TO GO?: $30$35. 914-739-0039. paramounthudsonvalley.com/ events/chris-perondis-stuntdog-experience
WHEN: Sunday, May 1, 10am-3pm WHERE: Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy gardening presentations, dance on the great lawn to live music, browse products from local vendors and explore the nature center during a scavenger hunt! WANT TO GO?: Day of: $15; $10 members; In advance: $12; $8 members. 914-723-3470. greenburghnaturecenter.org/ springfest-2022
WHERE: Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, 480 N Bedford Road, Chappaqua AGES: All WHAT: This circus performance packs a panoramic presentation of circus skills into a bundle of comedy and variety routines, with lots of audience interaction and participation! WANT TO GO?: $10; $5 child; free for ages 3 and younger. 914-238-3909. chappaquapac. org/upcoming-events/nationalcircus-project
Children’s Series: National Circus Project
Celebrate Mother’s Day with Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York
WHEN: Sunday, May 8, 2-3pm
WHEN: Sunday, May 8, 2-4pm
WestchesterFamily.com | May 2022
WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate Mother’s Day with a performance by Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York and go onstage for a workshop to learn and perform a simple dance. WANT TO GO?: 914-963-4550. hrm.org/events/celebratemothers-day-with-balletfolklorico-mexicano-de-nuevayork
Fairy House Workshop WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 1-3pm WHERE: Muscoot Farm, 51 Route 100, Katonah
AGES: 8 and older WHAT: Decorate a Fairy House for your garden. WANT TO GO?: $25. 914864-7282. https://eventbrite. com/e/fairy-house-workshoptickets-301620965427
Yonkers Arts Weekend WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 12-5pm WHERE: Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy free admission to the Museum and familyfriendly activities, including art workshops, that celebrate current HRM exhibitions and the thriving arts in Yonkers. WANT TO GO?: 914-963-4550. hrm.org/events/yonkers-artsweekend/.
BAC Wood Festival 2022 WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 10am-12:45pm and 1:15-4pm WHERE: Bethany Arts Community, 40 Somerstown Rd., Ossining AGES: All WHAT: Come out for music, art, crafts, food and family fun! Featuring visual artists, live musicians, food, and interactive demonstrations. WANT TO GO?: Event is free; $10 Parking Reservation required in advance per car. 914-944-4278. bethanyarts. org/calendar/woodfestival-2022/.
The Art Happening! WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 12-3pm WHERE: Pelham Art Center, 155 Fifth Ave., Pelham
Join Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Nueva York at the Hudson River Museum on May 8. AGES: All WHAT: Pelham Art Center presents the second annual Art Happening, a community art festival that brings together community members of all ages to create, witness, celebrate and support the arts in all forms. Enjoy an afternoon of artmaking, raffle prizes, music and dance, and an art vendor sale. WANT TO GO?: Suggested $5 per person. 9147382525. pelhamartcenter.org/event/ ah22/.
Yorktown Chamber of Commerce: Spring Festival & Car Show WHEN: Sunday, May 22, 10am-4pm WHERE: Railroad Park, 1826 Commerce Street, Yorktown
Heights AGES: All WHAT: Enjoy a day of fun with art, music, food trucks, farm market and vendors. WANT TO GO?: 914-245-4599. yorktownchamber.org/springfestival
Memorial Day Parade and Observances WHEN: Sunday, May 29, 5pm WHERE: American Legion Post 90, 850 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck AGES: All WHAT: Honor our soldiers during this Memorial Day Parade followed by a ceremony of tributes and remembrances in dedication to our fallen. WANT TO GO?: village. mamaroneck.ny.us/home/ events/110091
Manhattan May the Fourth Be with You
Celebrate Mother’s Day weekend at Wave Hill.
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
Mother’s Day at Museum of Ice Cream NYC WHEN: May 7-8, 10am-5pm WHERE: Museum of Ice Cream NYC, 558 Broadway, New York AGES: All WHAT: Museum of Ice Cream NYC celebrates Mother’s Day with a sweet experience featuring engaging crafts, photo ops and special cocktails to celebrate mom WANT TO GO?: $36; free for children aged 2 and younger. 855-258-0719. museumoficecream.com
Bronx Mother’s Day 2022 WHEN: May 7-8, 10am-4pm WHERE: Wave Hill, West 249th Street and Independence Avenue, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate mom with a special Family Art Project, a guided walk in the gardens, a session of spring birding, a free session of community yoga and a family nature walk, and more. WANT TO GO?: FREE with admission plus $2 surcharge: $10; $6 students and seniors 65 and older; $4 children 6 and older; free for members; Spring Birding is $15 and includes grounds admission. 718-5493200. wavehill.org
May 2022 | Westchester 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
WestchesterFamily.com | 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!
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