Brooklyn Family - August 2022

Page 1

August 2022

newyorkfamily.com

Back to School! • Keeping the Family Organized

Fall Education Guide

• Best Afterschool Programs and Activities

Family Care Matters

Lauren Smith Brody of The Fifth Trimester (@thefifthtrimester) shares on postpartum victories and the importance of paid family leave


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contents

August 2022

NewYorkFamily.com

pg. 25

pg. 24

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FEATURES 16 | News What New York women need to know about Roe v. Wade 19 | 7 Best After-School Programs and Activities A guide as you head back to school 26 | Cover- Lauren Brody Smith Founder of The Fifth Trimester on why family care matters

Stories & columns 6 | Editor’s Letter 8 | Mom Hacks Back-to-school organization tips that help get the family back on a regimented schedule

10 | Family Day Out The Big Bounce America is returning to Brooklyn 12 | Education Advanced planning for high school admissions — what parents and students should be doing now to prepare 22 | Family Day Out Plan a visit to the William Vale’s 9-hole mini-golf course 25 | Education The NYC DOE school calendar is here! 30 | Mom Stories Our editor reflects on her daughter starting middle school — and how neither are ready for it

pg. 10

pg. 30

Family fun 24 | Outdoor Movies As summer winds down, don’t miss out on experiencing the big screen outdoors across the city 28 | Calendar The best family-friendly events this month

Education 14 | Education Guide/Admission

on the Cover Photo: Michelle Rose | Michelle Rose Photo | michellerosephoto.com Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Hair: Oren Lazanski, Shaggy Hair Studio, NYC Cover Story: Cris Pearlstein | crispearlstein.com Produced by: Donna Duarte Ladd

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G R EEN VA LE

N E W YO R K C IT Y

W E S TC H E S TER

N E W C IT Y August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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Editor’s Note

NewYorkFamily.com

Nina Gallo Photography

August — Back to Now Whoah, where did summer go? Maybe it’s that during the height of the pandemic some of us came to appreciate the outdoors, but alas, here we are in Back to School Mode. And really, going BTS is the best. It can be the most opportune time to reset how we would like the school year (and our lives!) to look, such as working on Keeping the Family Organized (page 8). August is also the perfect time to find the Best After School programs or activities for the kids (hint, we got you covered on this-go to page 19). We also have a helpful Admission Guide (page 14) of great schools to check out. As summer winds down, many moms

(and parents) are preparing to head back to the workforce, work from home, or focus on being home with the kids. Editor-at-Large Cris Pearlstein chatted with the founder of The Fifth Trimester, advocate and all-around fantastic human Lauren Smith Brody (page 26) on postpartum victories, advice for moms returning to paid work and why paid family leave is so important—for everyone. So steal one of your kid’s markers and get ready to highlight (or screenshot) because this issue is full of all the tips for the family!

Publisher: Clifford Luster Executive Director: Donna Duarte-Ladd Associate Publisher: Erin Brof Advertising Director: Stacie Goldberg Deputy Editor: Jeannine Cintron Events Manager: Shara Levine Reporter: Barbara Russo 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 Marketing Assistant: Tilejah Gilead Art Director: Leah Mitch Web Developer: Sylvan Migdal Graphic Designers: Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti Editor at large: Cris Pearlstein Editorial Contributors: Jana Beauchamp, Jaclyn Griffith, Mia Salas Editorial Interns: Fernanda Cabrera, Sara Frommell, Evelyn Hartman, Bella Kjellen, Campbell Schouten

Contact Information

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2021

New York Family has been awarded the PMA Gold Award for Excellence in Website Design and the Silver Award for Excellence overall.

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

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

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


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MOM HACKS

Back �� �ch��l Or�an�za�i�n Tips BY LAURA KINSELLA

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othing says back to school like a laundry list of to-do’s, coupled with the excitement of getting your family back on a regimented schedule. To help ease the back-toschool transition, we’ve got you covered with sure-fire ways to get your family organized and out the door long before that first bell rings! 1. Organize a drop zone Implement kid-level hooks or baskets near your entryway for backpacks, jackets, shoes, and any other item that can come off their little bodies. This will keep your floors clear, while establishing independent routines so you aren’t left picking up the pieces of the after school tornado. This includes designating a spot for water bottles and lunch boxes (if not kept inside their bags), so you can easily

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

detect whether they’ve forgotten their lunch Tupperware before it starts growing another. 2. Address the papers and art work daily Kids come home with a lot of paperwork. And while it’s important to acknowledge their hard work, it’s equally as vital to keep the abundance in check. Clock a few minutes with your kids daily to empty their folders and bags. Finished worksheets or homework can be reviewed and recycled, and current work can go right to their desks or kitchen table for completion. Action papers like permission slips or math tests that need a signature can go to your processing zone or inbox so nothing important slips through the cracks. Special art work or sentimental items can either be displayed, placed in a bin (to evaluate midway or end of the year) or in a portfolio binder where your kids can flip through and

admire their art whenever they want. If you’re tech savvy, Artkive can digitize and organize your kids art by age and year, completely freeing you of the piles and guilt! 3. Prep a lunch box system Stash a bin in the fridge and pantry where you can portion out snack pouches of fruit, veggies, chips, crackers, etc. for the week. While the “main course” may be limited to a sandwich or some semblance of leftovers, kids can have full control over what fun snack they choose, as everything is (secretly) pre-approved by you! 4. Designate a homework station Whether you are purchasing new, or grabbing inventory from your home, create a one stop shop for all of the essentials like sharpened pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, etc. If your kids prefer to do their homework at the kitchen table, carve space in a nearby drawer or cabinet for items they’ll need to utilize or reference. If space is limited, a rolling rack can accommodate everything they need, and can be tucked out of sight at a moment’s notice for mealtime or company. 5. Get ready the night before With everyone having to get dressed and ready, mornings can get hectic fast! Prep as much as you can the night before, like aiding your kids in picking out their clothing, making sure their favorite shoes don’t have a


colossal knot to untie, and packing backpacks (with everything from backup clothes, to homework, to stuffed animals for show and tell.) Streamline your mornings with simple breakfast options that your kids can access themselves, and set specific limits with the electronics in advance to avoid arguments or meltdowns when it’s time to go! 6. Establish an after-school routine We all know what time our kids have to be at the bus stop or drop off, but what happens when everyone comes home? Maintaining an afterschool routine is key, so everyone knows their role without having to be told or questioned. Sketch out times to dedicate to homework, eating dinner, playtime, clean up, bath, and bedtime. The more kids feel aware and in control, the less they will resist, so plan a routine based on your families needs, and stick to it! 7. Keep (and reference) a family calendar If you’ve ever gotten your kids ready for school, only to realize it was “Clerical Day” (or another admin-type day off), then you

know how important keeping a calendar is. From birthday parties, to school events, to “dress like a pirate” day, there’s more to keep track of then our brains can handle. Whether you prefer paper or digital, keep a calendar accessible so you can easily plug in important events, deadlines, and to-do’s. This keeps everyone’s activities accounted for, and provides a glance of what’s to come so there are no surprises the night before, or even worse, the morning of!

Laura Kinsella is the founder of Urban OrgaNYze, a New York City based home organizing company dedicated to helping individuals and families declutter, streamline, and style their space. As a born and bred New Yorker, and mom to a growing toddler, she blends principles of organizing and minimalism to transform even the trickiest of NYC homes. She is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and has been featured in A&E’s Hoarders, Apartment Therapy, & realtor.com to name a few. For tips and tricks, follow her on Instagram @urbanorganyze.

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Family Day Out

Big Bounce America Returns to NYC By New york Family

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ew Yorkers were in awe when they got to experience The Big Bounce America’s experience in Brooklyn last summer, and now the biggest touring inflatable event in the world is coming back to NYC this fall! For two weekends in September (September 16-18 and September 23-25), Big Bounce America will be taking over the Aviator Sports & Events Center so families can have a fun-filled day of bouncing! This event, produced by XL Event Lab, will feature their iconic 32 ft. tall, 16,000 square foot bounce house that has been certified by Guinness as The World’s Largest Bounce House! Inside the goliath, kids will be able to play on giant slides, ball pits, climbing towers, and more. The bounce house also has a resident DJ that will be hosting games and playing music to make your experience even more memorable. Aside from the bounce house, kids will also be able to try out other inflatable attractions such as their newest inflatable Sport Slam that features a customized sports

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

arena, a 900+ ft. long obstacle course called The Giant, and their unique space-themed wonderland airSPACE! There is no better time for New Yorkers to get out and have a little fun with the family and Josh Kinnersley, Chief Operating Officer

of The Big Bounce America says, “We need more fun in the world! After the times we’ve just gone through, we invite you to kick those shoes off and let loose for a while. We have the perfect event to allow kids and adults alike to get out of the house and enjoy an outdoor event as they’ve never experienced.” All of Bounce House America’s sessions are organized by age (toddler, junior, bigger kids, and adults) so everyone can have any experience that is tailored to their age group! If you have multiple kids who are of a variety of ages and would like to all bounce together, you can go onto their website to find out which session would be good for all of you to join. All-Access Tickets start at $19 and allow families to have 3 hours of inflatable fun! Tickets are on sale now and are selling out fast so advanced tickets are encouraged and can be found on The Big Bounce America website, (thebigbounceamerica.com). Aviator Sports & Events Center 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11234 September 16-18 and September 23-25


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Education

Advanced Planning for High School Admissions What parents and students should be doing now to prepare By Lisa speransky

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ew York City is a unique place to grow up. High school students have access to some of the best-rated schools in the US, in addition to world-class museums, research libraries, and volunteer/internship opportunities. So why have so many of our friends left New York for the suburbs with the hopes of a better education for their kids, sometimes even enduring long and unpleasant commutes back to the city for work? Despite the wealth of educational opportunities, NYC has to offer, it’s not as easy as simply registering your child for the local town school. That being said, I’m here to tell you that if you are well informed and have a plan of action, your child can have one of the best high school experiences imaginable. You just can’t wait until 8th grade to start thinking about high school – forewarned is forearmed. So grab your to-do list, and let’s get started now! Get to Know the Landscape Would you believe me if I said that there were 4 different application processes for public schools? Incredibly, there are! This means that in the spring of 8th grade when admissions offers are received, your child could have 4 or more options for high school. So why close any doors? We recommend taking part in every one of these application processes if possible. These are the 4 public school application

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processes: 1. General Education Schools – you make a list of 12 schools, ranked in true priority order. 2. The Specialized High Schools – the SHSAT, a test is given in the fall of 8th grade, is the sole criterion for admission. 3. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School and the other 24 audition-based high schools – your child can audition for as many of the arts majors as they like. 4. Charter Schools – you enter a lottery for every individual school that interests you. As far as a private school is concerned, each school has its own application, though Ravenna is used by many NYC schools so that you don’t have to fill out the same information multiple times. Independent schools often require the SSAT or ISEE test to be taken in the fall of 8th grade. Religious schools sometimes also accept the SSAT and ISEE, but catholic schools prefer the TACHS test. You can also look beyond the bounds of New York City by applying to boarding schools, which also usually require the SSAT. Some competitive schools have their own exam requirements, and most applications require essays and an interview. It’s important to explore all of the options, especially in the early stages. The wider you cast your net, the more likely you are to find the school where your child will be happy. Even if you think private school is out

of reach for your family, do not leave it off your list completely. Very high SSAT or ISEE scores, great grades, and a strong overall application may earn your child Start Before You’re Ready Whatever path you choose, I am sure you’re thinking that this sounds like a hell of a lot of work. It is! But understanding that most of this work is coming in 7th and 8th grades allows you to plan accordingly and get some things out of the way early. Here are some things to start doing now to take the stress out of the application process later: 1. Start exploring schools. A good place to start is InsideSchools and Parents League online. Get your child involved and excited about the process. Attend any tours or information sessions that are available to you, either in-person or online. 2. Sign up for high school admissions webinars and attend all available school fairs. 3. Make an informed middle school choice. Middle school is where your child will get the vital skills needed to be a confident high school applicant. Make sure to apply to schools that are challenging yet supportive. 4. Middle school grades and test scores matter. If there’s any time to get super involved in your child’s education, it’s now. Pay extra attention during parent-teacher conferences and read your child’s report cards carefully. Flag potential issues and come up with a plan to address them, with special emphasis on math and ELA enrichment. 5. Get extra support. Leading into 7th and 8th grade, be sure to get to the bottom of any academic issues or blockages your child may be encountering. Do you suspect any executive functioning or organization issues, or any trouble with focus or attention? Do what you need to do to get your child ready and up to speed so they can perform at their best when it counts, whether this means hiring a math tutor or consulting with


EducatIon

a learning differences specialist. Having a 504 or IEP in place before applying to high schools can be a huge advantage to students who need extra support. 6. Good attendance is another important admissions criterion for many schools. Do not let your child be late and, if they need to miss school, make sure those absences are excused. Depending on your child’s emotional maturity, it may help to apprise them of the stakes and what the potential payoff is for working hard in 6th and 7th grades. If they have a particular dream high school, this can provide motivation and a goal to work towards. But there’s a fine line between motivation and pressure. Getting into a high school that’s a great match for your child should be exciting, not stressful. Encourage Reading All the high school entrance exams have a reading and grammar section. You can avoid hours of painful test prep by engaging in a regular reading regimen. Students who read regularly have an easier time retaining information, acquire a more robust vocabulary, and often develop the ability to read passages more quickly. These are all big advantages when it comes to standardized testing. Reading is also the most painless way to learn vocabulary. Literacy expert Timothy Shanahan insists that students should read at least an hour a day to acquire knowledge and build vocabulary. Find a topic that excites your child and search out articles on that topic. Love science fiction? How about the technology section of the NY Times? Reading about video games and social media also counts! If it’s words on a page, it’s all fair game. We also love the DK series for young readers. Increasing the number of words your child understands and employs will not only help them achieve a higher baseline SHSAT, SSAT, ISEE, or TACHS score, but it will make them a better and faster reader. These are vital skills for high school and beyond. Start Test Prep Early The good news is that a lot of the things mentioned in the first half of this article count as starting test prep early. Encouraging a daily reading practice, focusing on math and ELA enrichment, and making sure your child has the extra support they need will all lead to a higher baseline score, and therefore a shorter and less stressful test prep experience. Our aim is for you to have to do as little

Middle school grades and test scores matter. If there’s any time to get super involved in your child’s education, it’s now. test prep as possible. Since test prep consists of 3 things – content, strategy, and practice – you can get ahead of the game by simply making sure your child has a strong content foundation. The next step is to have your child take a diagnostic exam, then determine a plan of action based on those results. 7th graders should take a diagnostic SHSAT, SSAT, ISEE, or TACHS exam in early Spring, though some students may start even sooner than that. It’s important to know what is on each test and have your child commit to a consistent study plan (approximately 30 minutes of study per day). Your child should learn the essential content and test-taking strategies at a leisurely pace, and then take regular practice tests leading up to the test date. Gather Materials While any individual school may have its own requirements, many private schools require a graded writing sample, including teacher’s comments, and some of the most competitive public schools also require an essay. Most private and boarding schools also request 2 letters of recommendation written by teachers, one in math or science and the other in humanities. Instead of scrambling for that writing sample last minute or asking teachers to write recommendations at the same time everyone else does, keep these needs in mind way in advance. Which teachers have been most influential in your child’s life? Which will have the best things to say about your child? Start conversations with those teachers now. Keep essays and creative writing that received especially good teacher comments in a separate folder or, better yet, scan them and keep them on your desktop! If your child doesn’t get great comments on their writing assignments in 6th or 7th grade, ask teachers for extra help and additional tools to help them work towards becoming a better writer. It’s important to make sure your child’s

writing is improving, especially between the 5th and 7th grades. By the end of 7th grade, students should know how to outline and write a critical essay with a thesis statement and evidence. How well is your child progressing towards that goal? Discover Talent Since there are many options for art schools in New York City that require an audition or portfolio for entry – including the specialized public school you probably know, LaGuardia – why not help your child discover any hidden (or not hidden) talents? The audition high schools are not conservatories, so there’s no need to worry that art will prevent students from pursuing academic interests or getting into a good college. On the contrary, students who make time for art, music, drama, or even technical theater are well-rounded and happier pursuing their creative interests. Audition high schools do not require students to have played piano since 3 years old or to have studied figure drawing; they want to see a demonstrable interest and passion for the arts, as well as a well-prepared audition or portfolio. Applying to these schools allows you to cast a wider net, giving your child even more options for a fantastic high school experience. There’s no downside to applying, except the time it takes to prepare the audition or portfolio. Knowledge is power. There’s a lot to know and learn about the high school admissions process, so we encourage you to continue doing your research and seek out experts who can answer your questions and assuage your concerns. We hope this article has given you a lot to think about, as well as some concrete action items to get started on now. Remember, no other city in the world has the same wealth of educational opportunities on offer as New York City. So instead of getting anxious, get excited! With the right preparation and planning, your child is bound to have an incredible high school experience. Lisa Speransky grew up in New York City, attending public schools PS 87, MS 54 and Bronx Science, before receiving her BA at Columbia University where she founded Ivy Tutors Network. Ivy Tutors Network specializes in catering to private clients and NYC schools (including as a proud DOE vendor). While running her education company, Lisa has also had a 13-year corporate career in consumer products, spending 3 of those years in a C-level role before returning to IVY to pursue her mission to help students find joy in learning. August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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education Directory Special Advertising Supplement XXX Directory | Special|Advertising Supplement

A.Fantis School

At Dillon, we teach the whole child. We work to develop a child who is a lifelong learner, and to foster and enhance the natural curiosity in all children. We see school as a place to grow and wonder. We value children’s natural ability to play as a crucial tool for their growth and learning.

Apply for 2023-2024 on our website on or after September 6, 2022. Families will be invited to enroll based on the date of their application, so applying earlier is better! Mixed-age half-day sessions (8:30-11:30am) for children who are 2 and 3 years old, and mixed-age full day sessions (8:30am-3:00pm) for children who are 2 through 5 years old

dillon.sjcny.edu

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

195 State St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 718- 624-0501 afantis.org A.Fantis School is a small, private, and inclusive Greek Orthodox school in Brooklyn Heights for preschool to 8th grade. NYC’s first Greek Dual Language UPK4. Graduates enter high school fluent in Greek and educated in the Socratic Method with strong faith as foundation. Students participate in full-day, inperson instruction five days a week. Join us for an inperson Open House to learn more.

Dillon Child Study Center @ St Joseph’s University Clinton Hill 718-940-5678 sstrautcollard@sjcny.edu dillon.sjcny.edu Offering half- and full-day, mixed-age programming for 2-5 year olds in an atmosphere where children are free to express their

feelings and ideas. Children learn through play, developing confidence, competence and dispositions for future learning. The toddler, preschool and kindergarten programs offered here are led by NYS certified teachers and assisting them in the classroom are students from SJU’s Department of Child Study.

Hebrew Public Charter School HLA - 2186 Mill Ave (Mill Basin) HLA2 - 1870 Stillwell Ave (Gravesend) HebrewPublic.org/apply Hebrew Public is a network of Pre-K through 8th-grade tuition-free charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew and Israel studies. These subjects are complemented by a curriculum featuring hands-on science experiments, intensive literacy instruction, advanced middle school algebra, as well as art and music.

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Hebrew Public students graduate with all the tools to become tomorrow’s changemakers!

Phyl’s Academy 3520 Tilden Ave, Brooklyn, NY 718-469-9400 phylsacademyny.com All big trees started as tiny seeds planted in fertile foundations. Phyl’s Academy is that foundation, a place for students to blossom into all they can be. Their nurturing family environment gives Phyl’s Academy’s students the tools they need to build successful, fulfilling lives. They are open for enrollment in 3K, PreK for All, K-5, and After-school.

Saint Saviour Catholic Academy Small School, Big Heart 701 Eighth Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 saintsaviourcatholicacademy. org 718-768-8000 Do you want your child to analyze thoroughly, communicate, grow in faith, and love learning? Check us out! Saint Saviour Catholic Academy educates students from PK3 to Grade 8. We provide a nurturing and supportive environment where our students grow academically and build a strong sense of community. Click here to learn more.

Uncommon Schools NYC 23 schools throughout Brooklyn

718- 363-5024 uncommonschools.org/ enrollnyc A free K-12 public network of charter schools in Brooklyn accepting applications in grades K through 8 for Fall 2022. Their 23 schools provide a loving yet rigorous learning environment that guides each child to success in college and beyond. Top Reasons to Join: Personalized instruction catered to your child’s needs; Caring & Supportive Teachers; Whole child development through diverse electives and enrichment programming. Apply at uncommonschools. org/enrollnyc or call (718) 363-5024.

Williamsburg Charter High School 198 Varet St., Brooklyn 347-217-6995 thewcs.org admissions@thewcs.org The Williamsburg Charter High School teaches young people to accomplish this through participation in a liberal arts education that includes language, literature, writing, science, history, mathematics, the visual and performing arts, technology and explorations in disciplines designed to teach justice, independent thinking, respect and compassion for themselves and others as well as the skills of critical thinking, communication and research.

Williamsburg Charter High School (WCHS)

Open enrollment has begun for the 2022-2023 school year. Apply Now! WCHS offers: • Advanced Placement (AP) and Syracuse University Project Advance (SUPA) classes • Special Education (SPED) and English as a New Language (ENL) services

• Student-driven course selection • Social emotional supports • Visual and performing arts, extracurricular activities, and athletics

Visit www.thewcs.org to

APPLY NOW 198 Varet Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 admissions@thewcs.org

347-217-6995

We’re s� S�cial

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

August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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News

Roe v. Wade ReveRsal What NY women need to know By BarBara russo and donna duarte-Ladd

Note from the Editors: The news of Roe v. Wade being reversed has caused a Tsunami of emotions for people worldwide. We know this is a very contentious issue where both sides feel passionate about their view on abortion. Our job is to cover how this will affect women, especially New York women – we will continue to share and post on this issue.

W

hile the Roe v. Wade leak of a possible overturned was a story in itself, it gave lawmakers here in New York an opportunity to prepare for the likely hood, now a reality of it being reversed. Governor Hochul announced a $35 million fund to help reproductive health clinics in New York for the surge of out-of-state patients that will now head to our state for abortions. Women should know that New York has long been a proponent of the right to choose — this state legalized abortion in 1970— this was before Roe vs Wade. While many states are making no exceptions for cases of rape and incest, what do women in New York need to know about this highly controversial decision? The overturn of Roe v. Wade takes away a woman’s right to abortion from the federal government and gives it to the states to decide. Since the U.S. Supreme Court (on June 24th) overturned the decision and as of July 16th, 44 U.S. states now prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy. Of those states, seven ban abortion with very limited exceptions, and three states ban abortion at six weeks. New York, where approximately 110,360 abortions were obtained in 2020, is not one of these states. New York is considered a “protected” state, meaning it has strong abortion protections—with restrictions—in place. New York’s current abortion policy includes: • New York women are protected for up to 24 weeks. After 24 weeks this is considered special circumstances. The determination of this special circumstance is not made by the state, it is made by a woman’s medical provider.

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

• State Medicaid funds cover abortion • Private health insurance plans are required to cover abortion • Qualified health care professionals, not solely physicians, can provide abortions • Protections for patients and abortion clinic staff Can women come from out of state to New York for an abortion? Yes. And if you wish to support a woman in any way while she is here to have an abortion, you, the doctor, and the facility -are also safe by New York State Laws that were passed in anticipation of Roe vs Wade being overturned. But since there is no longer constitutional protection for abortion rights, state laws can change at any time. For now, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has made it clear that New York abortion access will continue within the state, and American women can come here to safely receive abortion services. The governor has stated. “The Supreme Court has dealt a crushing blow to all who value the ability to make decisions about their own bodies. Let me be clear: the Supreme Court has failed us, but New York State will not.

Our Abortion Access Always campaign builds on efforts to ensure that everyone knows that abortions remain safe, legal, and accessible here. As long as I am Governor, this state will protect you.” While this is good news for women in need of abortion for health, economic and other reasons, Nadia Lopez, founder of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a STEAM-focused middle school in Brooklyn, is concerned about possible changes in the future. “As we have seen with the Justices, who under oath swore they would respect the precedence that Roe v. Wade presents and would uphold its ruling, should we get a governor with governs based on their personal ideology and not based on a woman’s freedom, there will be individuals whose lives that could be in danger, there will be forced pregnancies, and more tragic is our girls will grow up denied a right that was taken away by conservatives who have abused their power and set this country back 50 years,” Lopez said. Meanwhile, in response to the overturn, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) increased abortion appointment


availability at all 23 health centers by 20%. “Banning abortion does not take away people’s need to access abortion. We believe all people — no matter where they live — should have the right to control their own bodies, lives and futures,” JoyD. Calloway, interim president and CEO of PPGNY, said. “It is unacceptable that people in some states have been robbed of that right, forced to overcome unjust barriers to access the abortion care they need and deserve. What Medical Experts Say While all states seem to provide protections for the mother’s life, there’s a lot of gray area here. Sometimes, even lawyers have to be involved to provide the necessary clearance for an abortion where the fetus isn’t viable and the mother’s life is in immediate danger—as in the case of ectopic pregnancies. Many legal and medical experts are concerned that anti-abortion legislation language may be vague enough that healthcare professionals may delay care for women with these types of pregnancies.

“The message is clear— politicians can interfere in medical decisionmaking and put women’s lives at risk.” Rebekah Diamond, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, is a doctor concerned about political restrictions being inserted into decisions about maternal and pediatric health. Seasoned and evidence-based medical providers, including obstetric and pediatric doctors who are experts in maternal, infant and child health, staunchly affirm the right for individuals to make medical decisions about their body in concert with their own doctor, Diamond explained. “It’s unclear exactly how this will affect care in New York State. New York isn’t

one of the states where abortion access is immediately threatened,” Diamond said. “But the fact that legislators are legally able to insert politics into medical decisions is a devastating precedent. It may not be right now, and it may not be what we typically view under the lens of “abortion access” right now, but the message is clear— politicians can interfere in medical decision-making and put women’s lives at risk.” Andrea Ippolito, a maternal health expert and CEO of SimpliFed, underscores Diamond’s sentiments. “In NYS, we are thankfully not affected yet, but no doubt about it that this will increase maternal mortality in this nation,” Ippolito said. “Abortion is healthcare. Decisions about healthcare should be made by a patient and their clinicians. Those that will be most affected by this decision cannot afford to come up with alternatives to protect their health and safety. Maternal health is already broken in this country and this, unfortunately, will only fuel the maternal mortality crisis plaguing this nation and further increase disparities.”

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August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

Park Slope UNITED


afterschool | New York Family Partners

7 Best Brooklyn’s

Afterschool Programs & Activities P

arents know that finding an afterschool program can be challenging. It is all important. The activity portion, the hours, and most significantly, we want it to be an enriching experience for our kids. There are many reasons, some personal and others obvious (our workload, afterschool stimulation is beneficial for kids), that a parent chooses to place their child in an afterschool program. Thankfully, we live in New York where we have amazing resources. But let’s get uber-focus on the Brooklyn area. As you prepare for the upcoming school year, we have the 10 Best Activity and Afterschool programs standouts for you to choose from that not only will you be happy, but most notably, your child will!

Brooklyn Music School 126 St Felix St., Brooklyn 718- 638-5660 brooklynmusicschool.org

Child’s Play NY Classes meet at: 121 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn 347-759-6313. childsplayny.com

Brooklyn Music School Promoting Healthy Arts and Serving the Community for 113 Years. This amazing school provides a great example of how studying music and dance from a young age can enhance academic learning and help children to develop selfconfidence and self-discipline that will serve them throughout the rest of their lives. This Fall, BMS is proud to offer something fun and affordable for everyone! Brooklyn’s most creative after school program ARY (Arts Reaching Youth) for 5–8-year-olds offers a range of classes in music, dance, theatre and even homework support and a healthy snack. And back by popular demand are Private Lessons which make learning music enjoyable for all ages! Group Classes covering a variety of performing arts areas including Musical Theatre, Dance, Orchestra, Jazz, and Rock Bands are a great way to meet new people and work on your skills. BMS is excited to offer a brand-new program called the Adult Bands Series which caters to adults looking to play in an unconventional and educational environment! BMS programs coupled with exciting community events, offer a wonderful institution for connecting, growing, and learning in Downtown Brooklyn. Learn more online and join the BMS community this Fall!

Child’s Play NY’s award-winning theater programs empower young people to develop themselves and their skills through inspiring production classes. This Brooklyn-based company has been beloved since its founding in 2009 and is chosen by dozens of top NYC schools to be their in-house theater program. Their classes prioritize courage and compassion through dramatic arts education: students are given free rein to their imaginations and creative impulses while they learn sophisticated technique from professional performers in a supportive and inclusive environment. Production classes are original commissions of musicals or adaptations of classic literature, with a 12-student cap so young people have ample stage-time and maximum growth. Child’s Play NY’s rehearsal process involves improv and research-backed theater games to stoke creativity and develop imaginations. As they mount their scripted show, young people gain skills taught by master teachers and performers at the top of their field. From new musicals to Shakespeare, serving grades 1-8, there’s a production experience for everyone! Child’s Play NY is both right for the child who passionately dreams of being on stage and the one who is simply looking for a joy-filled class. Classes run every semester in Brooklyn Heights. To learn more and enroll, check them out online. August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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afterschool | New York Family Partners

Eye Level Enrichment Brooklyn 1605 Voorhies Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11235 150 4th Avenue, Brooklyn 11217 718-494-1232 valentino8808@gmail.com eyelevelny.com/locations/brooklyn

Eye Level NY aims to provide every student with the best possible academic enrichment environment by utilizing an individualized, systematic program that caters to all abilities regardless of age or grade level so that parents can be confident about where their child’s education will lead them. Eye Level’s English program helps students reach their full potential by developing the skills they need to excel in life through a systemized curriculum with targeted lessons that target specific language skills at each grade level, starting from infancy all the way up until high school graduation. Eye Level’s math program is designed to help students develop a deep understanding of the mathematical principles they are learning. The dynamic curriculum engages learners by guiding them step-by-step through each concept, master skill and idea as it becomes foundational knowledge for future math success. Parents can enroll their children this fall for a free assessment to get started.

Penguin Coding School Park Slope: 424 7th Ave, Brooklyn Cobble Hill: 156 Smith St, Brooklyn Or Virtual: penguincodingschool.com

Penguin Coding School provides a comprehensive education to students ages 5-18. Their small classes ensure personal attention to every student. Penguin’s teachers are rigorously chosen for their teaching ability and trained to teach an age-appropriate curriculum. In-person and online afterschool, weekend and summer day classes are available in Minecraft, Scratch, Roblox, Python, JavaScript, and Robotics. Penguin also offers free trial courses, where students can try out a new language in an hour-long session with full attention from their teacher. This fall, they are offering a variety of their award-winning courses. They have new editions such as Roblox Level 2 and advanced Python. Visit their website to see their fall schedules and to register. Also offering Virtual Classes this fall - Penguin Coding teachers are so engaging in their online courses that students sometimes forget that the class is virtual! Enrollment is now open for fall, both in-person at the Park Slope and Cobble Hill locations and virtually. After school pick up is available for Penguin’s 3:30pm classes. Penguin currently picks up in Park Slope at PS 321, 107, 39 and 10. Email info@penguincodingschool to inquire about your school being included in their pickup groups.

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

Park Slope United Locations Throughout Brooklyn parkslopeunited.com/psu-classes

Park Slope United is Brooklyn’s premier youth soccer club. Founded in 2012 with a single class, it has since grown to become the borough’s largest club. They offer every skill level, from beginner classes to serious travel programs. This fall, PSU is offering classes in nearly every corner of Brooklyn, and with class options every single day of the week, they’ve got a class for you! All classes begin after Labor Day, and happen once per week for 10 weeks. They are staffed by professional coaches who have years of experience working across their Tot Footy and Developmental programs. Tot Footy classes are for 2-5-yearolds, are co-ed, and are 40 minutes in duration. The Developmental program is designed for ages 5-12; classes are 50 minutes in length, and are typically co-ed, although there are options for girls-only classes. For more detailed information, including their class schedule and to register for a class, visit their website today!

Skateyogi 140 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn 58 North 9th Street @ Kent Ave, Brooklyn 718-484-9777 skateyogi.com

Discover the joy of skateboarding with SKATEYOGI! From their two Brooklyn locations in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Williamsburg, SKATEYOGI offers skateboarding classes, camps, lessons and birthday parties in a fun, creative environment for ages 2 up to adults. Their small teacher-tostudent ratio and ego-free philosophy make every student feel welcome to learn this dynamic activity. SKATEYOGI classes are a great exercise, a form of creative expression and very adaptable to different learning styles. This Fall, SKATEYOGI is offering weekly afterschool classes, weekend classes and day camps on school holidays. SKATEYOGI is happy to welcome back their popular Skate Tots class for ages 2-3 and Junior Shredders ages 4-5. These classes feature creative movement fun on their indoor obstacles and hands-on skate instruction. The Little Kids ages 5-6 class introduces group skate games teaching foundational skills. The Kids ages 7-13 and Teens ages 12-17 classes provide a supportive environment as students learn basics and tricks with extra time to allow for outdoor skating at nearby parks. All SKATEYOGI kids classes are taught in an open-level format where anyone is welcome from absolute beginners to experienced skaters. Skateboard rental is included for students who need one.


World Explorers Brooklyn Preschool Age: 36 St. Felix St., Brooklyn, NY 11217 School Age: 485 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217 855- 687-6923 brooklyn.explorerkids.us

It takes a village. And you’ve found one! Inspiring young learners since 2003, World Explorers Group has the dedicated mission to offer expert family education services including preschool, camp, and after-school services to children across the world. Their mission is to improve the quality of life and inspire children, families, community and planet. They partner with parents in raising healthy, mindful, driven, independent, and bright children that can prosper in this increasingly diverse world. They practice fair trade, social responsibility, and philanthropy with the goal of enhancing lives in every community they touch. Their newest location at 485 Atlantic Avenue will be open this September. The location will offer morning classes for 0-4 year olds, afternoon classes for kindergarten through fifth graders, and evening and weekend events for children and their families. World Explorers Brooklyn offers year round care for children ages 2-12. Year round programming includes Afterschool Adventures, School Break Camps, My Caregiver & Me Classes, Intro to Preschool Classes, Evening & Weekend Events and Summer Camps.

FALL CLASSES

AT BROOKLYN MUSIC SCHOOL!

BMS has been promoting healthy arts, serving the community, and offering fun + affordable classes for everyone, for over 113 years.

LEARN MORE HERE

Fall 2022 Registration Open! Learn more by scanning the QR code or visit www.brooklynmusicschool.org

Skateboarding classes and camps in a fun environment for all ages. Fall I: Sat 9/10-Fri 11/4 Fall II: Sat 11/5-Fri 1/27 skateyogi.com Williamsburg | 58 North 9th Street Prospect Lefferts Gardens | 140 Empire Blvd

August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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family day out

Mini-Golf at The William Vale By Fernanda CaBrera

M

ini golf this summer is right up there with Pickle Ball and The William Vale in Williamsburg per usual is on-trend this season having launched a 9-hole mini-golf course called VALE(mini)GOLF located at the Vale Plaza. The admission fee for a round in this exciting golf course is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12. The William Vale has partnered with NAMI-NYC (National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City) organization where they will donate $1 of each player’s admission fee to the cause. Don’t hesitate to visit this new spot this summer and enjoy a fun day with your family, friends and pets, as the golf course is also pet friendly! The course will be open on Wednes-

days and Thursdays from 12PM to 9PM and Fridays to Sundays from 11AM to 9PM. Fun Extra: Not only will you have a great time playing in the epic golf course, but you will have the beautiful view of the new mural created by Brooklyn-based artist Jason Naylor. The artwork with exciting and vibrant colors is part of a nationwide public art project called You Are Not Alone Murals which inspires artists to create work in their communities, sparking hope, connection and

conversations around mental health. This project started in 2019 with 3 murals in Brooklyn and now has over 40 murals created by different artists and communities all around the world. After all that fun go grab a treat at Mister Dips, a retrofitted 1974 Airstream located at The William Vale’s public outdoor park. Mister Dips will be serving griddled burgers, waffle fries and refreshing dairy dips during the 2022 summer season.

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: beth@beand.com

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

Visit newyorkfamily.com to check it out and sign up for our weekly newsletters! 22

NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022


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

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

718-499-5667

http://www.rivendellnyc.org/admissions.html

Now accepting children 3 months to 5 years, Mon. to Fri., 8AM-6PM

We make learning FUN!

W es

tH

ar

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3

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Our children’s well-being, happiness, academic and language development are at the foundation of our learning model.

(Original Family Daycare)

vanessa@vhggroupny.com • director@vhggroupny.com • www.vhggroupny.com August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

23


family fun

Outdoor Movies! By Fernanda CaBrera

A

s summer winds down don’t miss out on experiencing the big screen outdoors. Take this opportunity to enjoy a good film while overlooking some of NYC’s most memorable views. Etienne Frossard/Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Bryant Park Movie Nights Midtown Manhattan, between 40th and 42nd St. & 5th and 6th Ave. Every Monday to August 15 Free

Bring your family and a blanket to the Bryant Park lawn that is featuring films this summer presented by Paramount. Films begin at 8pm but you can come in and reserve your spot from 5pm. While you wait for the movie, grab some food and drinks at the Fountain Terrace and have a picnic with your family! Films on The Green Various Locations

Get your dose of French cinema with these arty outdoor movies. While the movies are geared toward the Gen Z and Millenuum crowd -you will find all ages at these viewings. While not in August ELEANOR’S SECRET (Kérity, la maison des contes) by Dominique Monféry (recommended for ages 4+) will be showing Friday September 9 at McGolrick Park, Brooklyn. Go to facefoundation.org/for location and times for August films.

Movie Nights at The Garden 43-50 Main St., Flushing, Queens August 6, 19th $10 – $55, free for children 3 and under

The nights at Queens Botanical Garden are more fun this summer, for the movies being screened are in their outdoor cinema! Get tickets for your family and get a complimentary $5 snack voucher, a complimentary craft or performance and after-hours admissions to the garden. Enjoy this experience at this beautiful place! Movies Under the Stars Various locations until August 26th Free

Bring your blanket, picnic chair and some food to enjoy the various screenings that the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and NYC Parks are bringing this summer for you and your family to Parks across the five boroughs! In the films catalog you will find new releases and classics that you will love! Look up the films available and be sure to come by!

Intrepid Summer Movie Nights Pier 86, W 46th St., New York August 26 Free

Movies With a View 334 Furman St., Brooklyn Every Thursday to August 25 Free

Come watch a classi film at Intrepid’s flight deck before summer ends! Experience an outdoor movie night with friends and family where you can bring your own lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets for a fun and comfortable evening. You also have the option of bringing food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is offering eight special Thursdays of films with the theme “Around the world” for you and your family to come watch this summer at the Pier 1 Harbor Lawn. The screening starts at sundown (around 8:30pm) but the doors open at 6pm. Come early to reserve your spot and enjoy music by

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

a DJ from Brooklyn Radio and a short film by local filmmakers. Check out the lineup so you don’t miss out on these entertaining movies and stay tuned to vote by mid-August for the movie selection of the last screening in August 25, the choices are Back to the Future, Mamma Mia! or Mission Impossible. Rooftop Cinema Club Skylawn Embassy Suites, 60 West 37th St., New York Various dates all of August Starting at $22.50 per person

Located at the rooftop of Skylawn Embassy Suites, Rooftop Cinema club offers an entertaining experience where you can watch their screenings in the new LED screen and immerse yourself with wireless headphones. The variety of films available range between classics and new releases for you to come enjoy with your family! Movie snacks and a food menu is available if you are looking for a treat. Skyline Drive-In 1 Oak St., Greenpoint, Brooklyn Various dates Car (up to 7 passengers) $55, Single Outdoor seat $19.50, Motorcycle $35

Grab your keys and drive to the Skyline DriveIn where you can enjoy a fun night of movies and snacks in a unique way! Skyline is offering a variety of movies of different genres this summer for families to watch. Don’t have a car? No problem, Skyline has outdoor seats available for you! Before the movie starts you will have an amazing view of the Manhattan Skyline and can go grab a snack at the concession stand.


✂ CLIP & SAVE!

2022-2023 NYC School Calendar

September 8

First day of school

September 15

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools, and Pre-K Centers

September 22

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools

September 26–27

Rosh Hashanah, schools closed

September 29

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

October 5

Yom Kippur, schools closed

October 10

Italian Heritage / Indigenous Peoples’ Day, schools closed

November 3

Afternoon and Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 8

Election Day, students do not attend school

November 9

Afternoon and Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 11

Veterans Day, schools closed

November 17

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

November 18

Afternoon Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

November 24–25

Thanksgiving Recess, schools closed

December 26

Christmas Day (observed), schools closed

December 27–30

Winter Recess, schools closed

January 2

New Year’s Day (observed), schools closed

January 16

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, schools closed

January 24–27

Regents Administration

January 30

Professional Development Day for high schools and 6–12 schools; students in these schools do not attend.

January 31

Spring Semester begins

February 20–24

Midwinter Recess, schools closed (includes Presidents Day and Lincoln’s Birthday (observed)

March 9

Afternoon and Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools and Pre-K Centers; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

March 16

Afternoon and Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools

March 23

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

March 24

Afternoon Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools; students in these schools dismissed three hours early.

April 6–14

Spring Recess, schools closed

April 21

Eid al-Fitr, schools closed

May 4

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for elementary schools and Pre-K Centers

May 11

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for middle schools and D75 schools

May 18

Evening Parent-Teacher Conferences for high schools, K–12, and 6–12 schools

May 29

Memorial Day, schools closed

June 8

Anniversary Day / Chancellor’s Conference Day for staff development; students do not attend.

June 9

Clerical Day for elementary schools, middle schools, K–12 schools, and standalone D75 programs; students in these schools do not attend.

June 14–23

Regents Administration (excluding June 19, when schools are closed)

June 19

Juneteenth, schools closed

June 27

Last day of school for students

August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

25


Family (Care) Matters

Founder of The Fifth Trimester, Lauren Smith Brody, chats postpartum victories, her unique advice for going back to work, and how paid family leave actually benefits us all

By Cris Pearlstein

“S

he was my coach when I returned from maternity leave,” the DM read. “She’s the best!” I had just posted a photo of Lauren Smith Brody and myself from our Zoom meeting where I interviewed her for this cover story—and the responses came fast. See, Lauren’s company, The Fifth Trimester, has quite a loyal following on Instagram. Since her book of the same name was released in 2017, she has tapped into this section of #momlife that not a lot of people were paying much attention to: the return from maternity leave. The company’s homepage says it best, “The first three trimesters are pregnancy. The fourth is the newborn haze. But The Fifth Trimester? It’s when the working mom is born.” But this response in my DM’s caught my eye because it wasn’t from any of the mutual connections I knew Lauren and I shared. Those responses I was expecting. Instead, it was from a high school acquaintance who I hadn’t spoken to in many years. The law firm where she worked was offering Lauren’s coaching services to its new parents and, despite it being her second child and “not my first rodeo”, she decided to take the opportunity and schedule a call. I have to admit I was floored when I read her email detailing how the coaching sessions helped her to find her footing after maternity leave, left her with valuable takeaways, and “provided a sounding board” for how to succeed both at work and at home. I’ve always heard of companies offering services like this, but never knew anyone who actually benefited from them. At that moment I knew Lauren’s work was making a true impact in the lives of real moms in the workforce. And when my acquaintance said she would “wholeheartedly recommend” Lauren’s coaching services to “anyone and everyone”, I also knew she had hit on something I bet so many of us didn’t even know we needed. Because we didn’t even know it existed. Be-

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

cause new parents, especially new moms, are so used to having little to no help that they think it’s normal. Well, if I’ve learned one thing from this assignment it’s that moms—and dads, and caregivers, and anyone whose job it is to take care of someone other than themselves—deserve more than what’s been considered normal up to this point. Keep reading to hear how Lauren is trying to affect change from the inside, the amazing group of women working alongside her, and why offering paid family leave benefits every single one of us. CP: Tell me about your maternity leave journey. LSB: As an editor at Glamour it seemed like I was set up to have the perfect entry into working motherhood, and yet it was devastatingly hard. I just didn’t know how tiny and needy newborns were, and how little they could give back to you in the beginning. And so I had postpartum anxiety during my maternity leave. I was just starting to come out of it when it was time to go back to work, so it was an enormous struggle—even from the privilege of, at that point, being an executive. I felt competent at my job and yet coming back after having my first son, Will, felt like my first day at my first internship when I was 17 years old. It was terrible. What I didn’t understand at the time was that it wasn’t my fault. I think like a lot of new moms I internalized a lot of guilt. Now I completely reject mom guilt, because what I didn’t realize then was that the systems weren’t set up to support me. I knew I had this amazing husband, fancy job, healthy, fairly easy baby, but couldn’t understand why this was still so hard. It must be something that was wrong with me. What I didn’t know then was that all of the studies that I’ve since researched show you need six months of paid leave. That’s the minimum amount to be protective of mom’s mental health, mom’s physical health, baby’s physical

health, partner’s bond with the baby, and your ability to maintain your income. So I struggled through it. CP: Tell me about when you came up with the idea of The Fifth Trimester. LSB: I was a very open and honest manager. I admitted I was slurring my words because I didn’t sleep the night before, which sometimes felt like a radical act. There was a specific moment when I was back from maternity leave when a coworker came into my office with a problem. I fixed it and she was so grateful and told me how much she missed me. I thanked her, but confessed I didn’t always feel like I was succeeding in those days. She said, “No one has shown me what it’s actually like…that it’s hard and yet you can still be good at your job, and it’s worth it.” Motherhood was far in her future, she was in her 20’s with a boyfriend, but she said everyone else was hiding it. She thanked me for showing her that it’s hard but that she can maybe do it one day, too. That was a huge eureka moment for me. As a manager what I had thought was a failure, was not. What I had done was shown this woman, and maybe even some of my other colleagues, that they had longevity in this career and they would be able to do it even if it was hard. That planted a seed. Then I had my second son, Teddy, and a second challenging return. I had read Harvey Karp’s book “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” and his idea of the fourth trimester really rang true to me. It’s this idea that humans are born three months premature compared to other mammals. That’s why the fawn is born walking, but humans don’t really wake up until week 12, which is why he advises all of the shushing, the swaddling, and all the things to recreate the feeling of the womb—and it was all working on my baby. His advice is “mama, just get to 12 weeks,” and I thought ugh that’s when I have to go back to work. At that time I had a good maternity leave compared to most


having some of the most challenging, yet most interesting work of his life while I’m sitting here in my pajamas watching my income fall, watching my kids become somewhat feral, just trying to make everything ok. I knew I had the best of everything in my favor, but I will tell you I was freaking the fuck out. I tried to buy a liferaft. I bought powdered eggs. Within a month I figured out, as we were starting to hear about what was happening with women in the workforce, how inequitable the division of labor was in the homes. I realized it was nobody’s fault. I realized people came into their relationships in a progressive manner, but look at me. My husband was the one with health insurance and he was doing work that had to be done outside the home, so it all fell on me. I became a little more empathetic to couples who were operating in a system that forced them to divide along those lines.

Photo by Michelle Rose/Michelle Rose Photo

women, and I knew it even then, so that was hard to swallow, and it made me realize that there’s actually a whole fifth trimester. I started to think of it as a developmental phase, as a transition to get through. It helped me to find meaning in my work because at that point the actual tasks of my job weren’t exciting to me anymore, but being able to teach and mentor other people started to have a lot more meaning to me. After I left Glamour a year of meetings gave me the foundation I needed to be able to say, “I’m starting a business”.

At that point The Fifth Trimester was me doing a lot of speaking engagements, I was doing some consulting, helping businesses doing a better job of retaining women and moms, and making the economic case. I learned pretty quickly I couldn’t just say, “It’s the right thing to do,” I had to give them the ROI. I knew it would have a ripple effect, but I was seen as “the new mom person.” And then the pandemic hit and every single speaking engagement I had for the year fell off my spreadsheet. My kids were home andmy husband was gone 15 hours a day because he works in a hospital as a doctor. He’s

CP: What advice do you have for moms who are gearing up to go back to paid work after having a baby? LSB: The advice I would give to anyone is to know their impact. Know that for everything they are a little more transparent about, every negotiation they engage in, everything they do that sort of stretches their boundaries a little bit in terms of their comfort and ability to protect their income, is not just for them and their family. Very often the first time women negotiate for something really important at work is in their fifth trimester and they’re doing it with the highest stakes possible: the health, wellness, and safety of their families. That comes with a lot of pressure and one way to diffuse that pressure is to know that it’s not just for you, you’re not being selfish. It is for your colleagues who for one reason or another may be marginalized in a way that you’re not, and may not be able to speak as loudly or directly as you’re able to. So whatever bit of privilege you may have, use it to ask for the thing you need knowing it’s also for your colleagues who also have caregiving needs. When mothers go back to paid work, people like to say they are more efficient. But actually they’re better at saying no. I believe they are better at giving more meaningful yesses because by the time they agree, they've already had to do so much mental math to make it work that it is a very committed and real yes. It’s a lot of reframing. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. To read the story in its entirety visit newyorkfamily.com August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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calendar By Shara Levine

Photo by Etienne Frossard

Try Family Kayaking from Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Brooklyn NYC Pinball Championships 2022 WHEN: Aug. 19-21, Friday and Saturday, 9 am-12 am; Sunday, 8:30 am-6 pm WHERE: Industry City - Five Two A Event Space, 33 35th Street, Sunset Park AGES: All WHAT: This live pinball event features free gaming, worldclass competitions, and more! WANT TO GO?: $50; $25 ages 6-12. 718-963-3369, nycpinballchamps.com.

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Family Kayaking WHEN: July 10- Aug. 28, Sundays, 12-3pm WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 2, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights AGES: All WHAT: Learn the basics of kayaking, build confidence, and see the city in a whole new way. WANT TO GO?: 718-222-9939, brooklynbridgepark.org.

For the Birds WHEN: June 11- Oct. 23, Through August: Tuesdays,

NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

10am?8:30pm; Wednesdays, 10am-6pm; Thursdays, 10am-8:30pm; FridaysSundays, 10am-6pm WHERE: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1000 Washington Ave., Crown Heights AGES: All WHAT: For the Birds is a multidisciplinary exhibition and program series that explores the connections between birds and plants. WANT TO GO?: Included with admission: $18; $12 for seniors 65 and older and students with ID; free for children younger than 12. 718-623-7200, bbg.

org/forthebirds.

Movies with A View: The Mitchells vs. the Machines WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 18, 6-10pm WHERE: Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, 334 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights AGES: All WHAT: A family road trip goes awry when the world’s electronic devices come to life to to take over the world and the Mitchells must band together to stop them.


August

calendar

WANT TO GO?: FREE with admission: $10; $6 for students and seniors 65 and older; $4 for children 6 and older; free for members. 718-549-3200, wavehill.org

WANT TO GO?: 718-683-5600, brooklynbridgepark.org.

The Rock and Roll Playhouse Plays the Music of Billy Joel for Kids + More

Aqua Adventures

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 20, 1 pm WHERE: Industry City, 274 36th St., Sunset Park AGES: 3-5, 5-8, Adult WHAT: No need to go to extremes to introduce your children to the music of Billy Joel- just bring them to this concert for kids! WANT TO GO?: $5. 718-9656450, industrycity.com.

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 4-6pm WHERE: Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, 3225 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Spend a hot summer day water painting, water splashing, water running, and more! WANT TO GO?: 718-543-8672, nycgovparks.org.

Goldilocks & the 3 Bears WHEN: Aug. 13-21, Saturdays and Sundays, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm WHERE: Puppetworks, Inc., 338 Sixth Avenue, at 4th Street, Park Slope AGES: All WHAT: See this childhood classic as adapted for Hand Puppets WANT TO GO?: $11; $10 child. 718-965-3391, puppetworks. org.

QUEENS Taiwan: A World of Orchids WHEN: Aug. 12-14, Friday and Saturday, 9 am-5 pm; Sunday, 9 am-4 pm WHERE: Queens Botanical Garden, 43-50 Main St., Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Immerse yourself in a stunning display of orchids and experience Taiwanese art and culture. Create crafts, watch diabolo yo-yo tricks, listen to ancient storytelling, and so much more. WANT TO GO?: Included with admission: $6; $4 for seniors 62 and older, students with ID, and Individuals with Disabilities; $2 for children 4-12; free for children younger than 4. 718886-3800. queensbotanical. org.

Live at the Archway WHEN: June 9- Sept. 1, Thursdays, 6-8pm WHERE: The Dumbo Archway, Water Street between Anchorage Place and Adams Street, DUMBO AGES: All WHAT: Live at the Archway is an annual series of free concerts and interactive visual arts programming in the unique setting of the DUMBO Archway. WANT TO GO?: 718-237-8700, dumbo.is/live-at-the-archway.

Check out the artist-designed birdhouses at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

MANHATTAN

WANT TO GO?: $15,wollmanrinknyc.com.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Waterbombs with Acrobuffos

WHEN: July 25- Aug. 29, Mondays, 10am, 12pm and 2pm WHERE: Wollman Rink, 830 5th Ave., Upper East Side AGES: All WHAT: Experience the fantastical larger-than-life puppets inspired by Eric Carle’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, and the star of the show The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 7, 6:30pm WHERE: Little Island, The Glade, Pier 55 at Hudson River Park Hudson River Greenway, West 13th Street, Meatpacking District| AGES: All WHAT: Dramatic opera music scores this hysterical battle filled with 100 flying water balloons and ridiculous

comedy. WANT TO GO?: littleisland.org

BRONX Family Art Project: Catching Light with Camera Obscuras WHEN: Aug. 13-14, 10am-1pm WHERE: Wave Hill, 4900 Independence Ave., Bronx AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Create your very own camera obscura using upcycled and natural materials.

Hip to Hip Theatre - Shakespeare in the Garden: Much Ado About Nothing WHEN: Friday, Aug. 12, 7:30 pm WHERE: The Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing AGES: All WHAT: Experience Shakespeare like never before with this spirited, richly costumed, family-friendly production. WANT TO GO?: 718-359-6227, vomuseum.org/exhibitions. html.

August 2022 | Brooklyn Family

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mom stories

My Daughter is Starting Middle School and Neither of Us are Ready for It By Jeannine Cintron

M

y daughter and I have this little thing we have been doing for as long as I can remember. We blow a kiss to each other, then catch the other’s kiss in the air, tilt our heads, and hold it against our hearts while smiling big. It might sound a little cheesy to you, but it’s actually very sweet. It’s like our little silent signal to one another that says “I’m right here and I love you and I always will.” We have done it thousands of times – in crowded rooms, across school auditoriums, in the car while driving away. Sometimes she even texts the exchange to me in emojis (thank goodness for copy-andpaste simplifying the process of sending it back). Last week we were at Six Flags and we did it on a roller coaster! It’s very symbolic of our close relationship, and it’s very special to us both. I cannot picture a day where I will blow her a kiss that goes uncaught or unreturned. But that day might be coming sooner than I think. My little girl just graduated elementary school. While I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I no longer have a child in elementary school (and one starting high school too, but that’s another story), she is about to reach a major milestone in her young life: Middle School. The middle school years are tough. I remember my own junior high experience in a good amount of painful detail. You’re struggling with your own identity while trying desperately to fit in. You’re in a new, bigger place, with new, bigger kids, and new, bigger problems. The teachers don’t want to hear about your recess drama and they certainly won’t be bending down to tie your shoes or letting missing homework assignments slide with a note from Mom. It’s a huge adjustment for a 10-11 year old. There is no other institution in their lives where they will enter and leave as two such completely different people. I don’t know about you, but I’d happily go back to any other time in my young life than those awkward middle school years. While many kids her age seem to be in a

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

rush to grow up, my daughter is still playing with fidget toys and watching cartoons and frequently off in her own little lala land of make believe. She’s still very innocent and at times even a little babyish for her age (which I am fine with – I already have one moody teenager and I’m in no rush to have another). I often see other kids her age growing up way too fast. I’m never one to judge, as every child grows at their own pace. But when I see other young girls her age dressed to appear older, going out on dates and making inappropriate TikTok videos, I feel some relief that our biggest fights are usually over her stealing my lotions to make slime. As the first day of school approaches, I am reminded that some of that sweetness, that seemingly angelic innocence, will soon begin to wear away and be replaced by preteen angst. It’s hard to picture in such a sweet kid but it’s literally science. In fact, I watched a Netflix documentary recently about the teenage brain that confirmed all the changes and difficulties she will soon be facing daily. Peer pressure, risk-taking, poor impulse control, to name a few. The combination of hormones and neuroscience pretty much guarantee that someday I will send an air-kiss her way that will go unreturned. If this would to happen- it would break my heart, admittedly. My baby won’t be a baby anymore! The thought is so depressing. What I have to remind myself is that she is still going to be MY baby. The middle

school years will be tricky but I’ll stay strong knowing my baby is still in there somewhere. Someday – maybe at her high school graduation, maybe at her college graduation, maybe not until her wedding day – she will return my kiss in a crowded room again. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and she will never stop in the first place.


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