Bronx/Riverdale Family - August 2022

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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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Five Full Days In School 2022-2023 FIRST STEPS TO COLLEGE

For more information or to schedule a visit, please call the school office. 685 Tinton Avenue, Bronx, NY 10455 | 718-993-9464 | www.stanselmbx.org


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August 2022

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FEATURES 18 | News What New York women need to know about Roe v. Wade 22 | Spotlight Marika Frumes shares on founding mysha and creating a community of mothers 26 | Cover- Lauren Brody Smith Founder of The Fifth Trimester on why family care matters

Stories & columns 4 | Editor’s Letter 6 | Mom Hacks Back-to-school organization tips that help get the family back on a regimented schedule

8 | Education Advanced planning for high school admissions — what parents and students should be doing now to prepare 16 | Education Choosing a Hebrew school 24 | Family Day Out The Big Bounce America is returning to Brooklyn 28 | 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

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Family fun 20 | Outdoor Movies As summer winds down, don’t miss out on experiencing the big screen outdoors with movies outdoors 25 | Calendar The best family-friendly events this month

Education 12 | Education Guide

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

August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale 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 6). Also, don’t forget to check out our helpful Admission Guide (page 12) of great schools to check out. Lastly, 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. Editorat-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

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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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August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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MOM HACKS

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

N

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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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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August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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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


August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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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

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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.


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

Brilla Public Charter Schools

Bronx Arts and Science Charter School

Brilla College Prep Elementary 413 E 144th St., Bronx Brilla College Prep Middle School 500 Courtlandt Ave, Bronx Brilla Veritas 600 E 156th St., Bronx Brilla Caritas & Brilla Pax 2336 Andrews Ave, Bronx 347-273-8439 brillaschools.org Brilla Public Charter Schools, K-8 schools in the classical tradition, helps students to grow intellectually, socially, and physically into young men and women of good character and spirit, and to be prepared for excellence in high school, college and beyond. Now accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year. Applications for the 2023-24 school year will open on 10/1/22. Families can apply for seats in grades K-8 in Mott Haven, for K-5 in Melrose, and for K-2 in University Heights.

925 Hutchinson River Pkwy, Bronx, NY 10465 718-823-1065 bronxcharter.org Bronx Arts and Science Charter School (Bronx ASCS) is a public charter school for Pre-K to 4th grade that provides a high-quality STEAM-based education in a digital learning environment to empower students. The preschool program is committed to providing students with a developmentally appropriate curriculum that allows children to learn through exploration, purposeful play, and choice. To apply, please visit bronxcharter.org.

Cardinal Spellman High School 1 Cardinal Spellman Place, Bronx NY 718-881-8000 x206 Cardinalspellman.org admissions@cardinalspellman. org

Cardinal Spellman HS, a co-educational college preparatory school, offers College Credit, Advanced Placement, Regents, Honors, and Elective Courses. Located on a 13-acre campus with all-weather athletic fields and track, fitness room, weight room, and auditorium with professional stage and seating. Priding itself on small school friendliness with big school opportunities, Spellman graduating class earns over $48 million in scholarships.

Family Life Academy Charter Schools 316 East 165th Street, Bronx, NY 10456 flacsnyc.com With multiple locations in the Mott Haven, Highbridge, and Morrisania sections of the Bronx, near the #2, 4, 5, 6, and B/D trains, their schools are committed to empowering a diverse community of future global leaders through education.

PRESTON HIGH SCHOOL EST. 1947

A sponsored ministry of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion

Outside the classroom, Preston offers extracurricular programs and clubs for various interests, including science, world cultures, and the arts. Our competitive sports program fields JV and Varsity teams in five sports, intramural competition, and sports clubs.

Join us in-person at our Open House events this fall. Meet with faculty and students, and learn about the curriculum, activities, and sports programs that make Preston such a special place. Wed Sept 28 6:30pm | Sun Oct 23 11am -2pm Mon Oct 24 6-8pm

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3030 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx NY 718-562-2300 ilchs.org International Leadership has a 99% graduation rate. More than half graduate with a semester of college credits. It is recognized as one of the top NYC high schools and is ranked top charter high school in the Bronx. It has been included in US News and World Report’s Best High Schools nine times. They plan to open a middle school in Fall 2024.

How could Preston challenge and inspire you? centered, values-based community

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International Leadership Charter High School

FAITH

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Preston’s premier academic program challenges and inspires students to reach their greatest potential. Our nurturing environment and advanced curriculum encourages every student to pursue her growth as woman and scholar.

At FLACS, all students are empowered to excel academically by ensuring that...Learning is rigorous, engaging, meaningful & joyful, scholars take responsibility for & pride in their work, scholars build healthy relationships & learn to be global citizens.

AP

classes and dual college credit classes

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in scholarships awarded to the class of 2021

BECOME A PRESTON PANTHER! Enter TACHS Code 219

www.prestonhs.org 718-863-9134 EXT. 131 2780 Schurz Avenue, Bronx, NY 10465

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Enroll Now for Fall 2022! AP | Honors | Regents SAT & College Preparatory Courses | Clubs & Sports Track Programs: Medical/Pharmaceutical, Art, Engineering NEW State-of-the-Art STREAM Center NEW State-of-the-Art Digital Art and Design Center

Open House Saturday, October 8th, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm For more information and to schedule a private visit, Contact Gina Nieves, Admissions Director gnieves@stbarnabashigh.com or 718.325.8800 ext. 20

TACHS Code: 214

425 East 240th Street Bronx, NY 10470 | Phone: 718.325.8800 | Fax: 718.325.8820 | www.stbarnabashigh.com

August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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

Mott Hall Charter School (Middle School) 1260 Franklin Ave., Bronx, NY 10456 718-991-9139 motthallcs.org Mott Hall’s mission is to prepare scholars in mind, body, and character to succeed in top high schools, colleges, and careers. Mott Hall offers access to community-based organizations focused on mentoring and college, adult civics and ESL classes, afterschool and Saturday tutoring, engaging online platforms, music classes, and sports. Contact Erica Flores for more information.

Preston High School 2780 Schurz Ave., Bronx, NY 718-863-9134 Prestonhs.org Preston High School has a longstanding tradition of

academic excellence and commitment to empowering young women to become compassionate leaders for change. Offering a broad and challenging curriculumPreston High School supports a diverse, faithcentered community and a commitment to Christian service. Their goal is to help students become women of dignity, honor, respect and compassion.

St. Anselm School 656 Tinton Ave. Bronx, NY 718-993-9464 www.stanselmbx.org St. Anselm School serves in the same tradition of faith and academic excellence that marked its success since 1908. They create a safe and nurturing learning environment, teach values with Catholic tradition, and foster self-confidence and school spirit. Students are

taught a mastery of academic skills and an enthusiastic attitude toward learning. Applications for K-8 and Free UPK are being accepted.

Saint Barnabas High School 425 East 240th Street, Bronx, NY 718-325-8800 x20 stbarnabashigh.com Saint Barnabas High School is an all-girls college preparatory school in Woodlawn/Bronx. With a new state-of-the-art Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Art & Math Center and a new Digital Art & Design Center, it offers a path to learning with AP, Honors, Regents and Track Programs in Medical/ Pharmaceutical, Art & Engineering. For more info, contact Gina Nieves. 718-3258800x20.

St. Brendan’s School 268 207th St., Bronx NY 718-653-2292 StBrendanSchoolBronx.org stbrendanschoolbronx@gmail. com St. Brendan’s has provided quality Catholic education in grades pre-K through 8th for 100 years, striving to educate the spirit and develop the intellect in a structured environment of Christian values, responsibility and courtesy. Self-discipline and self-motivation are key. Teaching the whole child is a priority. They offer strong academics with visual arts, music lessons, physical education, and technology. Early drop-off breakfast and aftercare, and scholarships, are available.

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CARDINAL SPELLMAN HIGH SCHOOL WHERE WHER WH ERE BO AN ND D GIRLS GIR RLS WIT TH DREAMS DREA DR AMS MS BECOME BEC C OME OM ME N AND AN WOME WO M N OF O VIS SIO ON HER E E BOYS BOYS BOYS YS AND IRLS LS WITH ITH DREA EAMS ECOM E COM OME MEN MEN AND ND WOMEN WOME MEN OF F VISION ION

OPEN HOUSE OCT. 23RD I 11AM-3PM OCT. 25TH I 5PM-8PM

20+ AP & College Level Courses! 14:1 Student Teacher Ratio

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BOOK A SPEND-A-DAY ONLINE: CARDINALSPELLMAN.ORG Cardinal Spellman High School

One Cardinal Spellman Place, Bronx, NY, 10466 718-881-8000 x 206 I Fax: 718-515-6615 admissions@cardinalspellman.org

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@SpellmanBX

1260 Franklin Ave., Bronx, NY 10456 • www.motthallcs.org The mission of the Mott Hall Charter School is to prepare our scholars in mind, body, and character to succeed in top high schools, colleges, and careers by becoming inquisitive, open-minded, and compassionate citizens of the world.

The Mott Hall Charter School is Accepting Applications for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade! Scan code or go to https://motthallcharterschool.schoolmint.net to apply Our programs include access to community-based organizations focused on mentoring and college, adult civics classes, adult ESL classes, after school and Saturday tutoring, engaging online platforms to increase student learning , music classes, and softball & basketball.

We will also provide transportation via MetroCards for all eligible students. For more information, please contact Erica Flores at eflores@motthallcs.org or 718-991-9139

RISE TO THE CHALLENGE! August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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Education

Choosing a Hebrew School By Vered Ornstein

I

n New York City, the options for a Hebrew school program are seemingly endless. Factors such as cost, location, and level of religious observance all play a huge role in determining which Hebrew school is right for your family. It’s important to understand the purpose of a Hebrew school, as well as its known benefits, when scouting for Hebrew schools before the school year starts this fall. Hebrew School vs. Day School It is necessary to note the difference between Hebrew school and Jewish day school. Since the first Jewish people migrated to the United States, educational institutions were founded to provide religious families with full-time education, focusing mainly on biblical and Jewish historical study. As more people from Western and Central Europe moved to the U.S, some saw Jewish day schools as a detriment to assimilation into American culture. Thus, religious after-school and Sunday school programs for Jewish students began to emerge as alternatives to full-time Jewish day schools. Across the country, enrollment in traditional Jewish day schools is down, while enrollment in Hebrew schools and Jewish summer camps seem to be on the rise. Especially amidst rising costs of living and tuition, some families are opting out of private schools, choosing instead to enroll their children in the less costly after-school option. Though Hebrew school education is more limited in what it can teach when compared to full-time day school education, the curriculum integrates many aspects of Jewish religious and cultural learning into a short amount of time. Aspects of the curriculum are wide-ranging and vary from school to school but are often expected to cover Jewish history; Hebrew language comprehension; studying religious and holiday traditions and practices; exploring American Jewish relationships to Israel/ Palestine; and sharing different cultural experiences of Judaism. Preparation for a bar or bat mitzvah is a central focus of Hebrew schools, especially for middle school students.

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Hebrew Schools Today Today, Hebrew school classes are most often held twice a week, once on one weekday afternoon and once on Sunday morning. With the introduction of virtual learning due to COVID-19, many programs have shifted to a hybrid system offering either one or both days virtually rather than in-person. At some schools, Hebrew language classes are being administered one-on-one in person or over Zoom as opposed to in large groups of students. Typically, a child must have at least one parent who identifies as Jewish to be able to attend Hebrew school, but policies vary depending on the school community. While the traditional focus of a Hebrew school is gaining and enriching knowledge of Judaism, being a part of a Hebrew school community has been shown to have great benefits to children’s social and emotional wellbeing as well. A 2015 study submitted to The Jewish Education Project explored the implementation of new, experimental models of congregational Hebrew school teaching. For a period of six years, selected schools implemented alternative methods of Jewish education that included multigenerational learning, blended online classes, Saturday morning programs, and more. The results found that students and parents alike took

away not only educational benefits, but social ones as well. Parents felt their children were learning and grasping new concepts while at the same time building integral relationships to their Jewish community. In this sense, Hebrew schools are at the forefront of progressive and alternative learning models, built to accommodate individual and familial needs. Picking the Right Hebrew School for You Considering the following factors will help you choose the Hebrew school that meets the needs of your family: location, cost, type of learning, and religious observance. Most synagogues with significant membership offer some sort of Hebrew or Sunday school program, so researching Jewish Community Centers (JCCs) and synagogues near you is a good place to start. If finances pose a roadblock for enrolling in a Hebrew school, ask about sliding scale tuition and scholarships, as many programs try to accommodate people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Especially in New York City, families of any level of religious observance have their pick of traditional or alternative learning environments to choose from, helping to enrich their children’s Jewish education and experience.


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August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

17


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.”

A small school that’s BIG on inclusion NYC’s only K-12+ independent inclusion school At IDEAL, we believe that differentiated learning is the key to academic excellence. We offer a supportive environment where all children are valued and celebrated.

www.theidealschool.org Join us for an open house or a personal tour. Call us at 212-769-1699 x10105 or email admissions@theidealschool.org for more information. August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

19


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.


August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

21


Spotlight

Banding Together Marika Frumes shares on founding mysha and creating a community of mothers By Donna Duarte-LaDD

A

few years back- I met Community Builder Marika Frumes at a gathering where we were encouraged to visualize and share what we wanted for our future. Many women at this meet-up were at the start of their careers; most were not mothers. For me, it was a group out of my comfort zone, yet it was what I needed at the time, to recall what it felt like to be aspirational again. As many mothers can attest, dreaming can become lost in the fray of motherhood. The women were all super encouraging and now, fast forward, Marika and I are both in the parenting world and what we visualized for ourselves those years back came to fruition (really!). And we know- with dreams, goals, and aspirations, most understand that some growing pains may be part of the process. When Marika was in the throes of postpartum, she found that “the rosy, commercial experience of motherhood” didn’t reverberate with who she was. This is where mysha comes in. Founded by Marika, it is the mom group reimagined where a new mother is connected to an intimate community of modern moms and resources that support mothers in their parenting journey. I recently chatted with Marika on mysha and on how banding together a community of mothers came about. How did mysha come to fruition? Despite being a community builder and having many amazing women in my life, I felt quite isolated in my pregnancy experience. I craved a community of other like valued moms who where also going through similar changes. Pregnancy isn’t an on-demand experience and often, we aren’t going through it at the same time as our friends. I would go to workout classes geared towards pregnant women with the sole intention of connecting with other new moms, but everyone would

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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

usually leave after the class ended. I didn’t have “my village” and took matters into my own hands to create one. The first mysha pod was born when I connected 20 women from my extended network virtually via WhatsApp. I facilitated the experience and set some ground rules to ensure the space provided value and little “noise.” Our pod became a place to share resources, information and support. Naturally, deep friendships were formed and word got out to other moms who wanted to join. I kept creating more pods as moms kept sharing their experiences — and new moms wanted to join. We made mysha “official,” and incorporated it last March. It has grown leaps and bounds since then.

How does the community work? After you apply, we start curating your pod by matching you with other moms who are also delivering the same month. We also consider other factors like where you live and your career when creating the pods. While waiting on your pod, you’ll gain immediate access to mysha’s vault of highimpact resources. We’ve personally vetted it all, so no need to spend hours researching. A month before your delivery date, we virtually connect and introduce you to 19 other moms in the same situation as you- say hello to your new BFFs. Each pod is moderated and curated to ensure the mysha experience is high on


“We see ourselves as matchmakers for new moms, connecting them to the resources and the people that they most need during this vulnerable transition.”

engagement and value. We know each member intimately and help make strategic connections that will bring you value in your motherhood experience and beyond. The pod is your place to ask anything you need and get trusted answers to your questions from moms with similar values. What is the mission statement of mysha? Connection is at the core of the mysha experience. We believe that the right connection can change your life and we see ourselves as matchmakers for new moms, connecting them to the resources and the people that they most need during this vulnerable transition. We carry this ethos to our dinners, where each member is always invited to put out an ask… ensuring we get to know what we need and can support each other. How do you see mysha evolving? We’ve been really happy with the outcomes of our recently launched

neighborhood-specific supplement pods. Those intentions are to give our members an immediate network next door. Imagine texting “anyone out for a walk” and getting immediate location pings. It’s beautiful to see the community come alive IRL in all these neighborhood pods.

We’ll also continue launching supplement pods for unique member needs. Currently, we support solo moms and twin pods. Without a doubt, you can expect a lot more intimate meet-ups and IRL dinners all over the country.

The 176th Dutchess County Fair Rhinebeck, NY

August 23 - August 28

Tuesday, August 23 • 7:30pm

Admission & Concert - $37 pre-sale. $42 day of concert.

Wednesday, August 24 • 7:30pm FREE With Paid Admission

HITS INCLUDE:

“BUY ME A BOAT” “FIX A DRINK” “GOOD VIBES” “DONE” AND “DRUNK GIRL”

Thursday, August 25 • 7:30pm FREE With Paid Admission

Friday, August 26 • 7:30pm

Admission & Concert - $42 pre-sale. $47 day of concert.

RODEO - Sat. August 27 • Noon & 6pm & Sun. August 28 • 4 pm. $5 Adults. Children 6 & Under FREE

Advance Discount Tickets For Admission, Ride All Day Wristbands & Concerts Are Available At dutchessfair.com KIDS UNDER 11 FREE ADMISSION AT ALL TIMES • FREE PARKING August 2022 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

23


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


✂ 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 | Bronx/Riverdale 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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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 | Bronx/Riverdale Family

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calendar By Shara Levine

Try a Family Art Project at Wave Hill on Aug. 13 and 14.

BRONX Community Paddle WHEN: Aug. 5-26, 8/5, 1-5pm; 8/12, 10am-2pm; 8/19, 1-5pm; 8/26, 10am-2pm WHERE: Starlight Park, 1490 Sheridan Blvd., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Take out a canoe or a kayak and explore NYC’s only freshwater river. WANT TO GO?: bronxriver.org

Puppet Time WHEN: Monday, Aug. 8, 1-1:45 pm

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WHERE: Mill Pond Park, Exterior St. & E 150th St., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: This family-friendly variety show features songs from past Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre performances including Pippi, Peter Pan, Princess, Emperor & The Duck. WANT TO GO?: nycgovparks. org.

Movie Under the Stars: The Bad Guys WHEN: Friday, Aug. 12, 8:3010:30 pm WHERE: Concrete Plant Park,

NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022

Westchester Ave., Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Grab a blanket and join Concrete Friends and the Bronx River Alliance for a FREE screening of “The Bad Guys”. WANT TO GO?: 718-542-4124. bronxriver.org.

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

Aqua Adventures WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 24, 4-6 pm WHERE: Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, 3225 Reservoir Oval East, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Spend a hot summer day water painting, water


August

calendar

splashing, water running, and more! WANT TO GO?: 718-543-8672, nycgovparks.org.

Bronx Night Market WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 27, 1-7 pm WHERE: Fordham Plaza, 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx AGES: All WHAT: Come out to the largest family friendly foodie celebration in the Bronx complete with food vendors, kid zone, education booths, and more. WANT TO GO?: thebronxnightmarket.com.

MANHATTAN The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show WHEN: July 25- Aug. 29, Mondays, 10 am, 12 pm 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. WANT TO GO?: $15. wollmanrinknyc.com/event/ the-very-hungry-caterpillar

Waterbombs with Acrobuffos WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 7, 6:30 pm WHERE: Little Island, The

Discover “Taiwan: A World of Orchids” at the Queens Botantical Garden on Aug. 12 to 14. 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

BROOKLYN NYC Pinball Championships 2022 WHEN: Aug. 19-21, Friday and Saturday, 9 am-12 am; Sunday, 8:30am-6pm 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.

QUEENS Taiwan: A World of Orchids

Paddle on the Bronx River this month.

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.

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 | Bronx/Riverdale 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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