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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Founded in 1923, Buckley Country Day School is a co-educational independent day school serving 350 children in grades Pre-Nursery through Eight.
Open House: Sunday, October 23rd 2pm - 4pm Sign up today at www.buckleycountryday.com/admissions
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY TEACHERS COLLEGE AFFILIATE SCHOOL Call the Ofﬁce of Admissions today at 516-627-1910 Follow us on
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FEATURES 20 | Long Island’s 10 Best AfterSchool Programs and Activities A guide as you head back to school 24 | News What New York women need to know about Roe v. Wade 26 | Spotlight At home with Zibby Owens 30 | Spotlight Marika Frumes shares on founding mysha and creating a community of mothers 34 | 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 18 | Education Choosing a Hebrew school 32 | Health The BA.5 variant: What we know 38 | Mom Stories Our editor reflects on her daughter starting middle school — and how neither are ready for it
Family fun 12 | Family Hikes Check out these gorgeous trails 36 | Calendar The best family-friendly events this month
Education 16 | Education Directory
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August 2022 | Long Island Family
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 20). We also have a helpful Education/ Admission Guide (page 16) 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 34) 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!
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You are prepared for the world. Welcome to our phenomenal network of 4,000+ alumni!! Dedicated faculty, small class sizes, time-honored Quaker values – nd out how the #1 Private K-12 Schoolin Nassau County could be the right t for your family. Please,, ask us about nancial aid. Call our Admissions Team at 516.676.0393 or visit admissions.fa.org today!
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August 2022 | Long Island Family
University of Notre Dame
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Back �� �ch��l Or�an�za�i�n Tips BY LAURA KINSELLA
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
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
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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!
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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.
Welcome Welcome to to German-American School German-American School German Lessons for Children German Lessons for Children
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For more Information email: Kidslearngerman@aol.com For more Information email: Kidslearngerman@aol.com
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www.German-American-School.org August 2022 | Long Island Family www.German-American-School.org
Family day out
Long Island’s Best FamilyFriendly Hikes By Evelyn Hartman
iking is a great way to get outside, be active and spend time with your family this summer. Come out and explore one of the many trails that Long Island has to offer. Wherever you end up going, remember to bring sunscreen and bug spray! Listed below are some of the best trails for families around Montauk, Riverhead, Huntington, Oyster Bay and Hempstead. Montauk
Hither Hills Coastal Trail Parking Lot, Navy St, Montauk, NY 11954 3.3 miles
If you’re looking for a hike filled with beautiful ocean views from beginning to end, Hither Hills Coastal Trail is for you! This 3.3 miles trail runs right along the water. Enjoy listening to the peaceful sound of crashing waves the entire time. Walking Dunes Trail 91 Napeague Harbor Rd, Montauk, NY 11954 2.7 miles
Like the Hither Hills Coastal Trail, the Walking Dunes Trail is also near Montauk, but when you start this hike you will feel like you’re on a completely different planet. The Walking Dunes Trail is home to a constantly changing landscape of sand dunes. You’ll definitely want to bring bug spray along for this hike, especially during the warmer months of the year! Battery 113 Trail Camp Hero Parking, Old Montauk Hwy, Montauk, NY 11954 1.9 miles
Pack some thrill into your next hike by heading down the Battery 113 trail in Montauk. This down-and-back trail leads to an abandoned WWII radio tower! After you’re done, head over and check out the Montauk Point Lighthouse nearby! Shadmoor State Preserve Unnamed Road, Montauk, NY 11954 2.5 miles
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
Close to the Montauk Library, Shadmoor State Park is a beautiful place to take your family for a day of hiking along the coast. This trail has beach access and dogs are permitted before 10am. The views are worth it, but make sure to bring tick spray and stay in the middle of the path as you go! Riverhead Cranberry Bog 3675-3815 Lake Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901 1 mile
Situated in the wetlands of Riverhead, Cranberry Bog is a great shorter hike for your kids. The Cranberry Bog Loop will take you across a wooden bridge and through an abandoned cranberry-growing operation. While you hike, keep an eye out for birds and fish! David A. Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve 606 Riverleigh Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901 4.4 miles
If you’re looking for a longer hike, David A. Sarnoff Pine Barrens Preserve in Riverhead is a great option! This hike will take you through a serene pine forest along sandy trails for miles. Just make sure to bring tick spray
and apply it before you go! Indian Island Park Point Indian Point Rd, Riverhead, NY 11901 1.2 miles
Enjoy beautiful water views when you hike Indian Island Park Point Loop with your family! This generally flat trail is especially great because it provides access to a beach. Just be aware that there’s a daily parking fee. Current rates are available here! Huntington Rocky Beach and Warblers Loop Trail 12 Target Rock Rd, Lloyd Harbor, NY 11743 1.6 miles
You’ll start in the woods and move towards Rocky Beach when you take Warblers Loop Trail! Dogs aren’t allowed on this trail, so you’ll have to leave your furry friends at home, but Warblers Loop is great for beginner hikers. On your way to the beach, you can also enjoy views of Brackish Pond! Caumsett State Historic Park Reserve 25 Lloyd Harbor Rd, New York 11743 5.1 miles
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Family day out
If you’re looking for another longer hike, start in the main parking lot and go all the way to Fresh Pond and back! This hike is the perfect distance for an energetic group, being a little over five miles long. Just like Warblers Loop, you’ll have to leave your pets at home for this trek.
loop at Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve is another great place to take your family! As you hike here, keep an eye out for chickadees, red foxes, native sunflowers and spicebush swallowtail butterflies. Dogs are welcome on this loop, but make sure they’re on a leash!
Sagamore Hill Nature Trail 12 Sagamore Hill Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 1.5 miles
Cold Spring Harbor State Park 95 Harbor Rd, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 1.8 miles
About fifteen minutes from Oyster Bay and a few minutes from downtown Huntington, Cold Spring Harbor State Park is filled with hilly terrain and wonderful views. Start at the Cold Spring Harbor Trailhead, follow the trail until Lawrence Hill Road, turn around and hike back the same way for a total of 1.8 miles. Because of the hills, expect for this hike to take longer than others of similar distance on flatter terrain. Hope Goddard Iselin Preserve Chicken Valley Rd, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 1.1 miles
Located right inside Oyster Bay, the 1.1 mile
Follow the Sagamore Hill Nature Trail through an oak-tulip forest, salt marsh and beach for a hike that’s a little over a mile long! This short trail is awesome for kids, keeping them entertained the entire way through. As you walk, look for some of the many birds that call Sagamore Hill National Historic Site their home! Hempstead Hempstead Lake State Park Eagle Ave, West Hempstead, NY 11552 3.1 miles
At Hempstead Lake State Park, you can take an easy 3.1 mile hike with your kids along the water. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but make sure they are on a leash! Also, be mindful that
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Walkers, Exersaucers 9am-1pm Used Items Buy Back Hours: Tuesday-Saturday Visit our Website at onceuponachildseaford.com
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1089 Hicksville Road, Seaford 1/4 Mile North of Southern State Parkway (exit 29N, Rte. 107) 1089 Hicksville 9am-6pm; Road, Seaford Store Hours: Monday-Saturday Sunday 11am-5pm
1/4 Mile North of Southern State Parkway (exit 29N, Rte. 107) Clothing must be in goodStore condition, of current style, freshly laundered and neatly organized in boxes11am-5pm or other Hours: Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday
folding containers. Toys, equipment and furniture items must include all original parts, be clean and in good working condition, and meet all industry safety standards. Because the safety of children is a top priority of Clothing must be in good condition, of purchase current style, freshly laundered and neatly organized in boxes or other Once Upon a Child, we are unable to recalled or retroﬁtted products. We reserve the right to refuse folding containers. Toys, and furniture items must include all past original parts, be clean and in good itemsequipment based on condition, current inventory levels and experience.
working condition, and meet all industry safety standards. Because the safety of children is a top priority of Once Upon a Child, we are unable to purchase recalled or retroﬁtted products. We reserve the right to refuse items based on condition, current inventory levels and past experience.
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
the trail is a shared bridle path, so you may encounter horses during your hike. Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve 1600 Merrick Rd, Merrick, NY 11566 2 miles
The paved loop trail at Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve provides a nice hike for your family, accompanied by views of the water. Dogs are not allowed at this preserve, but the trails are stroller friendly. While you’re exploring, make sure to check out the preserve’s fishing pier and the herd of Nigerian dwarf goats on the property! Valley Stream State Park Valley Stream State Park Rd, Valley Stream, NY 11580 1.5 miles
There’s a paved 1.5 mile loop at Valley Stream State Park that’s perfect for families and accommodates wheelchairs and strollers alike. Like Norman J. Levy Park, no dogs are allowed here. As you walk, there are benches and tables along the trail to stop at, along with a big playground on the north side!
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August 2022 | Long Island Family
education Directory Special Advertising Supplement XXX Directory | Special|Advertising Supplement
Buckley Country Day School 2 I.U. Willets Road, Roslyn 516-627-1910 Cfortuna@buckleycountryday. com buckleycountryday.com Buckley Country Day School is an independent, coeducational Columbia University; Teachers’ College affiliate day school providing a superior elementary education in grades Toddler through Eight. Buckley provides the foundation that enables students to achieve their full potential and excel as educated, ethical, and selfconfident individuals. Buckley graduates are well prepared for secondary schools and beyond.
.Countryside Montessori School 354 Lakeville Road, lower level, Great Neck 516-466-8422 cmsgn.com email@example.com Countryside Montessori School offers children, 18 months to 6 years a wellbalanced and enriched curriculum that includes traditional subjects, art, and music. They are located on an estate-like setting with an outdoor playground and nature walks. Classrooms are fully equipped and spacious.
Friends Academy 270 Duck Pond Road Locust Valley, NY 11560 516-676-0393 fa.org Admissions:ariana_fountain@ fa.org Founded in 1876, Friends
Academy is the #1 rated K-12 private school in Nassau, and a nationally renowned college-preparatory school for students in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. Our mission is to educate students to discover and develop the best of who they are and who they can become.
The Hagedorn Little Village School Jack Joel Center For Special Children 750 Hicksville Road, Seaford 11783 516-520-6000 littlevillage.org firstname.lastname@example.org The Hagedorn Little Village School is a not-for-profit school highly regarded for providing outstanding educational and therapeutic services for children with a wide range of developmental
disabilities. HLVS provides year-round programs and services that include diagnostic evaluations and treatment, early intervention, a preschool, an elementary school, SEIT, and related services.
Holy Child Academy 25 Store Hill Road Old Westbury, NY 11568 516-626-9300 x123 email@example.com holychildacademy.org Holy Child Academy is Long Island’s only premier, independent Catholic school for children of all faiths toddler through eighth grade. Our creative educators help each child develop a joy for learning by seamlessly integrating a traditional curriculum with technology, fine arts, music, theater, and athletics.
Providing Providing Services for for Services OverOver 50 Years! 50 Years!
Jack Joel Special Children (HLVS), is a not-for pro��� pro��� Jack JoelCenter Centerforfor Special Children (HLVS), is a not-for program provides servicesfor forinfants infants and upup to to 12 12 years of age learning, language, program thatthat provides services andchildren children years of with age with learning, language,
Related Services: • ���������� • ����������������� Related • SpeechServices: ����������������� (Birth–3) • ••Speech ����� • SEIT (Birth–3) Parent Training ••����� • SEIT• ������������ Services • Family Support • ������������ • Parent Training • ABA Home Services Services • Family Support Programs • ABA Home Services Programs 750 Hicksville Road, Seaford, NY 11783 • 516.520.6000 •
Special Ed Classes: Special(3-5) Ed Classes: • Preschool • Preschool • School age (5-12)(3-5) • Inclusion • School age (5-12)
750 Hicksville Road, Seaford, NY 11783 • 516.520.6000 •
�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������rogram that provides services for infants and children up to 12 years of age with learning, language, and social delays, moto������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������rogram that ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ provides services for infants and children up to 12 years of age with learning, language, and social delays, moto������������������������������ ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������
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NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
The Knox School 541 Long Beach Road, Saint James 631-686-1600 Email admissions@ knoxschool.org knoxschool.org The Knox School is Long Island’s oldest established private school. An inclusive environment provides students with a broad world perspective and a wide range of skills to prepare them for success after high school. A Knox education unlocks every student’s potential.
Temple Sinai of Roslyn 425 Roslyn Road Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 516.621.6800 firstname.lastname@example.org mysinai.org Temple Sinai of Roslyn is home to the Religious School children LOVE! We are the premier Jewish education program for students in Kindergarten
through Seventh Grade, including those with special needs. We look forward to welcoming your family to our warm, caring, and inclusive community this Fall!
Holy Child Academy
Nurturing the Spirit, Challenging the Mind
Temple Tikvah 3315 Hillside Avenue New Hyde Park, NY 11040 516- 746-1120 email@example.com templetikvah.org Located by the Queens/ Nassau border, Temple Tikvah is a progressive and inclusive Reform Jewish community that welcomes families of all kinds. Their vibrant religious school teaches all children, including those with special needs, from tots through teens, in a warm and supportive environment. Temple Tikvah’s Religious School creates positive Jewish memories that students and parents cherish for life.
Start Your Journey Today!
Integrating a traditional curriculum with inspiring instruction. A premier, independent Catholic school for children of all faiths - Toddler through Grade 8
Visit Our Spacious 14-Acre Campus Private tours available upon request
25 Store Hill Road, Old Westbury, NY 11568 516-626-9300 www.holychildacademy.org firstname.lastname@example.org
Countryside Montessori School An Education Where Children Thrive Under the Guidance of Great Teachers in an Environment that Stimulates Creativity and Individual Potential!
Our fullyequipped, spacious classrooms offer the most enriched curriculum available for 18 mos – 6 yrs
)XOO\ DIÀ OLDWHG with the American Montessori Society since 1988 •Spacious playground •Large classrooms •Low teacher-student ratio •Early drop-off and extended day available
To ensure a safe environment, we are taking all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID
354 Lakeville Road, Great Neck, NY 516-466-8422 | www.CMSGN.com August 2022 | Long Island Family
Choosing a Hebrew School By Vered Ornstein
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.
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
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.
Join the Temple Tikvah Family Religious School Begins Sunday, Sept. 11th
Literacy instruction programs for children and youth offer: • Literacy instruction that builds on the learner’s strengths to build ��������������������������������������������������������� •����������������������������������������������������������������� •������������������������������������������������������������������ ��������������������������� •�������������������������������������������������������������������������� FALL 2022 CLASSES NOW FORMING �������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������hofstra.edu/rwlclinic or call 516-463-5806.
Come home to…. A dynamic and inclusive community that believes in all families: interfaith, single-parent, adoptive, families with same-sex parents and those with children with special needs. An aﬀordable congregation where all are welcome. A vibrant and growing religious school that teaches all children in a warm and supportive environment. Youth programs from Tikvah Tots through Hebrew High School and Youth Group.
Call the Temple oﬃce to schedule time to meet with our Religious School Director and our warm and caring clergy. A house of workship that feels like home. 3315 Hillside Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11040 (516) 746-1120
Reading/Writing Learning Clinic
Located on the border of Eastern Queens and Westen Nassau County
August 2022 | Long Island Family
Afterschool | New York Family Partners
10 Best Long Island’s
Afterschool Programs & Activities
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 Long Island 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!
The Coder School Multiple Locations longisland.thecoderschool.com.
The CoderSchool is a place where kids aged 7-18 learn to code all year round. Coding is the future, and everything will depend on AI, metaverse, blockchain or any of the many technologies being built today. At our locations, kids not only get an opportunity to build a technical foundation but learn the logical skills that coding and other engineering disciplines require. Our next generation will shape the future, so let’s make sure they’re ready for it. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, The CoderSchool is proud to have individually operated locations all around Long Island, from Commack to Syosset and Roslyn, and soon Merrick too. theCoderSchool has taught many tens of thousands of students ages 7-18 in the last 8 years, and to no surprise of any parent, we’ve found that kids are all different! Some learn faster, some learn slower. Some want web, some want games, others still want algorithms or specific languages. Their core philosophy is based on that – all kids learn differently, so let’s teach them differently. Our programs are designed to give kids the flexibility to create what interests and engage them most. After all, when kids are excited to learn, that’s when they _really_ learn! Contact us today to set up your free trial at longisland. thecoderschool.com. Learn to Code. Change the World.®
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
Eglevsky Ballet 700 Hicksville Road, Suite 102, Bethpage, NY 11714 516-746-1115 email@example.com, eglevskyballet.org
For over sixty years, Eglevsky Ballet has been the premier ballet academy on Long Island. With a world-renowned faculty, a nationally recognized graded curriculum, and a stateof-the-art facility, the school is, by far, an embodiment of excellence in dance education. Classes in the Children’s Division begin at three years of age in the First Steps© classes and advance, progressively, through their Lower School and into either the Academy Training Program (for students who enjoy the avocational study of dance) or the Pre-Professional Training Program, which is designed for students seeking a career in dance. Student placement at Eglevsky Ballet is determined solely by ability and not age; therefore, progress is reflective of the aptitude of the student in a noncompetitive environment. Under the direction of Executive Artistic Director Maurice Brandon Curry, the faculty is a group of highly skilled educators execute a curriculum created by Mr. Curry to create a well-rounded dancer. These teachers have performed with noted ballet and modern companies, on Broadway, and, in television and film. An exciting array of celebrated guest faculty from the dance world complete the training offered at Eglevsky Ballet. For a tour or schedule of classes, contact Eglevsky Ballet.
Girl Scouts of Suffolk County 442 Moreland Road, Commack 631-543-6622 firstname.lastname@example.org, gssc.us
Hofstra Saturday Classes for Young People 101 Oak St, Uniondale, NY 11553. 516-463-7400 email@example.com, ce.hofstra.edu/youth
For 110 years, Girl Scouts have found a way to dream big and do good. Girls learn STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship, and important life skills, all while discovering new ways to make their family and community stronger. Girl Scouts helps your girl form forever friendships that keep her inspired, engaged, and unapologetically herself. Plus, studies show being a Girl Scout improves girls’ confidence and make them better prepared to weather life’s challenges. The Girl Scouts of Suffolk County serves over 12,000 members and offers a wide range of programming. Every Girl Scout has their own curiosity, dreams, and talents. Whether visiting an animal shelter, camping, hosting a dance-off, or directing a music video, they learn to take risks, trust their gut, and team up with others for good. But mostly? They’re figuring out the things that will bring happiness to their lives for years to come. Membership dues are just $50 annually and financial aid may be available. Whether you want to start a new troop in your neighborhood, join an existing troop, or have questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and get her adventure started today.
Hofstra Saturday Classes for Young People offers students in grades K-10 the opportunity to improve their skills and explore their passions in various classes, including academics, arts, information technology, instructional swim, theater, and video game development. Classes are offered year-round in six or eight-week increments, with select courses being held in shorter weeknight sessions. Hofstra Saturday Classes are taught by New York state-certified teachers or technology professionals and our low student-to-teacher ratio allows students to thrive in the classroom while receiving the individualized assistance they may need. All programs take place on the beautiful 240-acre Hofstra University campus, where students learn in state-of-the-art classrooms, computer labs, art studios, science labs, theaters, and athletic facilities.
Kweller Prep 135 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 1-800-631-1757 email@example.com, kwellerprep.com
Music Institute of Long Island 90 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY, 11030 516-627-7052 milimusic.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kweller Prep Tutoring and Educational Services, Inc., is an established accelerated learning program that helps students in grades 3-12 get to the next level of their academic careers. It has a proven track record with over 15 years of success in the New York City region with locations in Queens and Manhattan. They have served over 10,000 NYC families to date. This program has now expanded to the East End of Long Island with a new location in the Hamptons. Kweller Prep specializes in competitive middle, high school, college, and graduate school preparation. Class sizes are limited to 10 students and are offered through zoom online and in-person. Kweller Prep has a very intentional, dedicated mission to guide students to advance to higher education, including placing them in highly competitive environments and building their careers. Kweller Prep purposely hires tutors who reflect the students who are served. Kweller Prep identifies early talent and focuses on holistic learning approaches that place its students on track for success, offering private lessons and group instruction.
Established in 1990, the Music Institute of Long Island (MILI) is a classical music school staffed by exceptional instructors from many of the most prestigious conservatories and graduate music schools in the United States and Europe. Long Island’s foremost musical academies, its instrumental programs include classes in violin, viola, cello, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone and voice. MILI has been voted # 1 BEST MUSIC SCHOOL Consistently. Through both the Traditional, Suzuki, and the Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music methods of music instruction, the faculty engage both in drawing in the beginning musician and enriching the performances of the conservatory-bound virtuoso. Graduates of the Music Institute have gone on to colleges and conservatories such as Juilliard, Eastman School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School, Columbia, Cornell, Yale, Harvard, Amherst, University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan. Students participate in AllNational, All-Eastern, All-State and outside youth orchestras, as well as routinely receiving top scores on NYSSMA and Royal Academy Music Festivals. First prize winners of various music competitions earn solos at Carnegie Hall and with orchestras. MILI offers Fall, Spring semesters and Summer Sessions. Each semester includes 15-17 weeks of private lessons and culminates in a weekend of student recitals. August 2022 | Long Island Family
Afterschool | New York Family Partners
Saf-T-Swim Multiple Locations in Nassau and Suffolk/Little Neck location 1-866-723-3794 email@example.com, saf-t-swim.com
Make a splash after school at Saf-TSwim, Long Island’s leader in water safety education (opening summer 2022)! Each school year is afresh start. Incorporate swimming into your routine for even more opportunities to grow and learn. Swimming yearround helps children gain confidence in the pool, classroom and beyond! Saf-T-Swim’s various swimming programs are for all ages and abilities, allowing your child to progress at their own pace in a safe, kid-friendly environment. Have your child experience an afterschool aquatic program like individual (1-on-1) lessons, semi-private lessons, swimjams, swim team, and more! Each lesson is 30 minutes long in comfortable warm water pools taught by experienced instructors. Saf-T-Swim’s children’s lessons are tailored to each student’s unique needs; whether you want your child to develop lifesaving water safety skills, learn fundamental strokes, or participate in elite competitions, Saf-T-Swim can help. To learn more and find a location near you visit www.saf-t-swim.com.
Village East Gifted 33 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 111, Huntington Station, NY 11746 216 Mineola Avenue, Second Floor, Roslyn Heights, NY 11577 631-549-2313 Villageeastgifted@gmail.com, villageeastgifted.com
Village East Gifted (VEG), with locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is celebrating 16 years of academic excellence in the field of gifted education. The program offers a rigorous CORE curriculum, covering all subjects to gifted students ages 2-15. Founder and CEO, Tobi J Phillips, Ed.D. (cert.), trademarked her teaching methodology and curriculum, which is highly creative and intellectually challenging. VEG is also renowned for its ongoing emphasis on the written word’s perfection. Students must have an IQ of 130+ and perform at least 2-3 years above their grade level. Classes are offered 1-2 times a week for 2 to 3 hours during the day (for preschoolers) or after school/weekends for grades K-12.) The curriculum is constantly changing, allowing students to attend for many years without ever learning the same lesson twice. All the educators have master’s degrees with up to 45 years of teaching experience. High school subjects are taught to all ages and appropriately differentiated to the highest level of comprehension in each class. Students learn SAT/ACT vocabulary, geography, language arts, etymology, business, science, instructional writing, American Sign Language, structural design, research/study skills, topic-related art projects and practical mathematics. Curriculum demonstrations are held every semester to show the parents what their children have learned.
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
Soccer Shots Multiple Locations in Nassau and Suffolk. 516-558-2266 SoccerShots.com/liwest, firstname.lastname@example.org
An engaging children’s soccer program for children ages 2 to 8, with a focus on character development. Their caring team positively impacts children’s lives on and off the field through best-in-class coaching, communication, and curriculum. Their coaches are the best-trained in the business. Their expert-approved curriculum is age-appropriate and aligns with New York State’s early childhood education standards. You can feel confident that the person coaching your child has met their strict coaching standards and has been trained in the use of developmentally appropriate techniques. During the season, you will receive constant and timely communication about what your child is learning. Curriculum is developed in alignment with state early childhood education standards. Your child will learn from a curriculum that is designed for his/her age group. Fall enrollment open now.
The summer fun never ends - WildPlay Jones Beach is extending its season to November 6th! These new oceanside ziplines and high ropes courses are the perfect outdoor activity for families craving a little adventure on Long Island this summer! The signature 700ft Jones Beach Zipline is a must-do in New York, while four levels of adventure courses will have you climbing, zipping, jumping and swinging along the beach! WildPlay has a dedicated Kids Course for ages 5-12 with wobbly bridges, rope swings, tightropes and cargo nets. Use the skills you learned at sleep-away camp programs to conquer every adventure at WildPlay Jones Beach with their package deals for an unforgettable day of adrenaline. Flexible scheduling and extended hours mean you can sneak in an adventure after work or school. Ask about group rates for birthday parties, school groups and team building! PSA: Public school facilitators can qualify to have their entire field trip covered by the NYSP Connect Kids grant. Visit wplay.info/ckg to learn more. Save 20% on your booking with code NYFAMILIES20. Book online: wplay.info/nyfamilies or Book by phone: +1-800-6687771. Or drop in today! Visit the link above to see current hours.
All Fun, Totally You!
Suzuki, Traditional & ABRSM Methods
Fall Semester Begins September 8th
Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Voice, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone Age 3 yrs - Adult. All Levels.
Join Girl Scouts www.gssc.us/join
BACK -TO-SCHOOL, BACK TO THE POOL!
7/12/22 3:53 PM
Join our pool party event 8/27 (rain date 8/28)! Enroll day of & have your annual service fee waived!
NEW CUSTOMERS, THE MORE YOU SWIM THE MORE YOU SAVE! ENROLL IN 3 SWIM PROGRAMS, SAVE 15% OR ENROLL IN 2 SWIM PROGRAMS, SAVE 10% Choose between • Individual (1-on-1) Lessons • Swim Team 1-866-723-3794 • Group Lessons programs for all ages • Group Baby and Me SCAN TO FIND A • Semi-Private LOCATION NEAR YOU and abilities • SwimJams New Saf-T-Swim customers only. Must pay in full for special savings. Cannot combine offers. Special is nonrefundable or transferable. Annual service fee of $35 applies to new and annually renewed swimmers. Swim lesson availability varies by location. Expires 9/30/2022.
August 2022 | Long Island Family
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.
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.
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.”
Soccer Shots Children's soccer Ages 2 to 8 Soccer Shots is an engaging children’s soccer program with a focus on character develoment..
Weekday and weekend programs Many locations throughout Long Island
Enroll Today for Fall Season! www.soccershots.com/liwest (516)558-2266 August 2022 | Long Island Family
At Home with Zibby Owens The writer, publisher and podcaster talks about her family life in the Hamptons By Taylor K. Vecsey
ibby Owens is a busy mom of four. She hosts an award-winning, popular podcast, “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books,” on which she has interviewed First Lady and Senator Hillary Clinton, First Lady Jill Biden, singersongwriter Alicia Keys, actress Natalie Portman, and hundreds of other New York Times bestselling writers. She’s an author with a memoir, Bookends, out July 1, and she’s launching a publishing company, Zibby Books, and even a podcast network. It’s no wonder that when she and her husband, Kyle Owens, bought their Hamptons house three years ago, they bought a move-in-ready house fully furnished. “There was another family who had been living there, also with small children, and we were looking for something that didn’t need a lot of work and we walked in and I was like, ‘Leave the coffee table, books — don’t touch anything, just leave it and run.’ And that is literally what they did.” The Water Mill property holds a tennis court, a must since her husband is a former tennis pro. “That was the number one thing that we insisted on having at a house,” she explains. When they bought the home, the couple had been renting around the corner and liked the neighborhood. The beach being close by and her brother living biking distance away are definite benefits. The podcaster has been coming to the Hamptons since 1979. Until she was 2 or 3, her family rented in Pound Ridge, but every summer since, they have made a home on the East End. Her parents soon built a house in East Hampton. (Her father is billionaire businessman and philanthropist Stephen A. Schwarzman.) When Owens and her second husband were on a house hunt, there were a few other must-haves, as well, and this home fit the bill. “I have four kids, so I wanted each kid to
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
Photos by Lenny Stucker
have their own room and also to have room for friends and family to come, stay, help out and all of that. I really wanted all the bedrooms, all the kids’ bedrooms to be on the same floor as my bedroom because I think my kids come in in the middle of the night more than any other kids in the world — still to this day,” she says. The outdoor space was important too. “We wanted to have a pool and room for a pickup baseball game in the backyard,” she continues. Her family ends up spending a lot of time on the trampoline as it’s an activity all of her children — the 15-year-old twins, a soonto-be 9-year-old and a 7-year-old — can all
do together. “I think we spend more time on the trampoline than in the pool,” she says. “I feel like that was my major mode of exercise throughout the pandemic and it’s not bad at all.” She loves that the large home affords everyone their own space, but also lends itself to gathering as a family. Her kitchen opens into the living room, which is next to what she describes as “a hangout space where we play board games and the kids have all their toys. So we’re all generally together, which is really important to me.” “I must say the walls are not thick in this house at all,” she says with a laugh. “I know when someone is taking a shower
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from anywhere in the house, but I like knowing that I can hear, that I can yell and talk to anybody at any point and . . . nobody’s off, in their own wing.” When the pandemic hit in 2020, they retreated from the city to Water Mill, from March until September 2020 when school began, again. “My gosh, we were so lucky. I don’t take it for granted for a minute. We were so lucky to have it.” Her home in the Hamptons is traditional and comfortable. “My home in New York is very colorful,” she says, but this home already had more neutral tones, “which is not something I generally gravitate towards, but it just kind of works.” “Then over the pandemic, I let the kids all redo their rooms,” she exclaims. The children wanted their space to reflect their own styles. “My younger son has like a great eye. . . . He’s only 7. I’m ready to have him redo the whole house!” she says. At first, she wasn’t so sure. “I’m like, ‘Really? You think this bright orange carpet is going to go with bright green walls?’ And he’s like, ‘Trust me.’ And then it ends up looking great. So who knows?” At first, she felt it was unnecessary, but with not much else to do, she relented as long as they stuck to a reasonable budget. “I let them do it and now they love it and take such ownership of their own spaces,” she says of the final results. She and her 15-year-old daughter spent two days putting up wallpaper they bought on Amazon — “which I’ve never recovered from” — and string lights. “We went to TJ Maxx in the Bridgehampton Commons and bought new bedding and fun towels,” she says, adding they ordered rugs from Overstock and Wayfair. When the pandemic hit, she had already been doing her podcast for two years and was well-known as “a book-fluencer.” By 2019 she had 200 podcasts under her belt, which had been downloaded more than one million times. That March, though, “The day after we got there, I was in my parka jumping on the trampoline with the kids and I was just thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, what is gonna happen with all of the book releases that are coming out?’” She says she was “very much tapped into ‘pub day’ and what it meant for books to come out and all of that.” She wanted to do something to help. “So I decided that next morning that I was going to have an
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
Instagram Live show and anybody who wanted to come on, I would just have them on.” She carved out an office space in a guest bedroom as she ramped up her podcasts to daily episodes, in addition to live shows. “Every day from 11 to 12, I would interview authors live, back when Instagram Live was the place to be. I got to know a lot of people, even though it was only 10-minute interviews. I developed this whole community of people who would look forward to that as their one piece of structure to the day. Certainly, it was my piece of structure to the day!” She also started a virtual book club during the pandemic and launched an online literary magazine, We Found Time, that features essays written by the authors on her podcast. A book called, Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology was released in February 2021. How did she do all that while the kids were home during the pandemic? “My husband was so helpful — it’s insane. And, he’s the kids’ stepdad and he cooked all our meals, the whole pandemic. He watched the kids while I did my Instagram live show and my podcast and I could not have done it without him.” Her husband was going through an especially hard time. He sadly lost his mother and grandmother to COVID in late summer 2020. The couple started a nonprofit, The Susan Felice Owens Program for COVID-19 Vaccine Research at Mount Sinai Health System, to honor his mother, along with his grandmother, Marie “Nene” Felice. Even with vaccines approved, the center is still doing research and they’ve come up with a single-
dose vaccine, administered through the nose, that doesn’t need to be kept cold, according to Owens. “It’s hopefully going to be used still for developing countries,” she says. Owens’ upcoming memoir, Bookends: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Literature, is about her journey to find her voice and rewrite her story. Appearances are planned for the summer. She will be the featured author at Hampton Library’s Fridays at Five in Bridgehampton on August 12 and she will be under the tent for East Hampton Library’s Authors Night on August 13. In addition, her first children’s book, Princess Charming, a modern take on a princess character filled with a lot of girl power, was released in April to rave reviews. How does she juggle it all? “It is sort of a mystery to me as well,” she says. “One is that I do things very quickly, I write very quickly. I prepare, I guess, quickly. I read really quickly. I’ve taught myself also how to speed read essentially.” There are also weekends that her children are with their father. “I do a lot of stuff then.” She also just launched a publishing company with books coming out starting in January of 2023. “I have a 14-person team who helps not just do everything needed for the publishing company, but for all the brand offshoots I’ve launched and I could not do it without all of them. I’m not alone in this ecosystem.” When there is downtime, it’s family time at home that she looks forward to and it involves one of her two favorite spots — a couch in the living room. “It’s super comfy and I basically live on that couch. I’m reading, I’m working there with my laptop, I’m sitting there while the kids watch TV,” she says. “My husband might be cooking behind me and the kids might be playing in the next room or right there. It’s sort of in the center of the action.” The other space? “I have to say, I love my laundry room. I spend a lot of time in there. We have two washers and two dryers, which I am very excited about. I’ve even had them go out and I’ve figured out how to fix them a couple of times myself!” This article appeared in our sister publication Behind The Hedges. Check them out behindthehedges.com and follow them on Instagram @hedgeshamptons!
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August 2022 | Long Island Family
Banding Together Marika Frumes shares on founding mysha and creating a community of mothers By Donna Duarte-LaDD
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
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.
is now part of
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.
Mommybites.com provides expertly curated resources for all parents in the New York area, including our most popular feature — our mom-generated nanny board — the best online source for parents to find vetted (by other parents), experienced nannies and childcare providers who want to work in New York City, Westchester, Long Island and Northern New Jersey.
MommyBites.com We can’t wait to see you there! August 2022 | Long Island Family
The BA.5 Variant What we know about this new subvariant of Covid-19 By Evelyn Hartman
ince the initial outbreak of Covid-19 in the US in 2020, as many of us know, restrictions have been lifted. We can finally enter many public spaces again without masks. The kids can slide, swing and run through the sprinklers- all maskless if they choose; it has been pretty amazing. At the same time, things have slowly started to feel “normal” again. Yet if any lessons can be learned since this virus has entered our world, it is that it is unpredictable and evolving. Because of this, new variants like the BA.5 are produced. What is BA.5 The BA.5 variant is the latest variant and cases tied to it are on the rise. The symptoms are like past Omicron subvariants, such as a runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, headache and muscle soreness. Other symptoms may include sneezing or a cough that seems to last forever. If parents have learned anything in this pandemic, we need to stay updated. Here is what we know about BA.5 Around mid-July, the CDC came out with an estimate that the new BA.5 variant accounts for around 64% of cases in the New York region, also including New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in their surveying. This percentage has been rising. The CDC is also acknowledging that the presence of BA.5 is likely to be much higher than they are able to report due to limitations surrounding the ability to isolate variants through genomic sequencing. Experts have expressed that the new BA.5 variant is associated with a higher risk of reinfection from other variants following exposure.
New York Because New York City is a high-risk area for transmission, the CDC recommends that
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
all those ages two and older wear a wellfitting mask while out in public regardless of vaccination or booster status, In February of this year, a study by the CDC showed that people who reported that they were always wearing a mask inside indoor public settings were between 56% and 86% less likely to test positive than those who wear no mask. Masks are effective because they drastically reduce the spread of potentially infectious aerosols. A little over two weeks ago, Weill Cornell epidemiologist Dr. Jay Varma commented on Twitter, “Experience from other countries means there will be another big increase in NYC #COVID19 infections, including among those who have had #Omicron in the past few months.” With the anticipation that cases will continue to rise, masking up again is essential. On Monday, Governor Kathy Hochul advised New York residents who test positive
to “contact our free hotline to connect with a health care provider and identify the treatment plan that’s right for you. For those in New York City, call 212-COVID-19 and for those outside of New York City, call 888-TREAT-NY.” She also is encouraging New Yorkers to “stay up to date on your vaccine and booster doses.” After this, Governor Hochul went on to say, “Parents and guardians, now is the time to consult with your child’s pediatrician about getting them vaccinated.” If you’re looking for more information on vaccines for children under 5, check out our article FDA & CDC Approved Covid-19 Vaccines for Kids Ages 5 and Younger: What Parents Need to Know. Right now, the best thing your family can do is mask up, especially in crowded and public spaces, keep up on vaccinations and continue following updates from the CDC and local experts.
Fun all summer Urban Air Lake Grove has attractions that cater to any level of adventurer! Kids can chase, race, climb and soar in air-conditioned comfort all summer long! Book your birthday party or join with a membership at:
August 2022 | Long Island Family
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
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 | Long Island Family
calendar By Shara Levine
Learn about fishing at the Snapper and Crab Derby at Captree State Park on Aug. 20 and 21.
NASSAU How I Became a Pirate WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 2, 10:30am WHERE: Elmont Memorial Library Theatre, 700 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont AGES: All WHAT: Sail off on a fantastic musical excursion when a band of comical pirates lands at North Beach and enlists young Jeremy Jacob to help bury
their treasure. WANT TO GO?: $15. 516-599-6870, plazabroadwaylongisland.com.
Kids Salad Making Competition at Ben’s Deli WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 7, 10:30am WHERE: Ben’s Deli, 140 Wheatley Plaza, Greenvale AGES: 7-12 WHAT: Young competitors will show off their creativity and
NewYorkFamily.com | August 2022
culinary skills while making their own salads with the winning salad featured on the Ben’s menu! WANT TO GO?: $15. 631-3290050, signupgenius.com/ go/805054faaac2fa0f58-kids.
Long Island Retro Gaming Expo WHEN: Aug. 12-14, Friday, 4-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm WHERE: Cradle of Aviation
Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd. , Garden City AGES: All WHAT: Get ready to play all your retro favorites, browse retro gaming vendors, participate in panel discussions, bring your best cosplay, enter tournaments, and win prizes! WANT TO GO?: $10-$15 single day child tickets; $15$30 single day adult ticket; 4 pack tickets and VIP tickets available. 516-572-4111, liretro. com.
August Back to School Bash WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 12-2pm WHERE: Green Acres Mall, 2034 Green Acres Mall, Valley Stream AGES: 3-8 WHAT: Bring your littles one out for some games, activities face painting and more with the first 100 children to arrive receiving a complimentary Backpack and School Supplies. WANT TO GO?: 516-561-1157, greenacresmallonline.com/ Events/Details/571065
Circus Renaldo WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 16, 11:30am and 2pm WHERE: Long Island Children’s Museum, 11 Davis Avenue, Garden City AGES: 3-12 WHAT: Circus Renaldo featuring Renaldo and Little Lou will share the fun of juggling, clowning and balancing, to name a few skills. The best part is that you can be a part of the show! WANT TO GO?: $9 with museum admission of $15 or $12 for theater only. 516-2245800, licm.org/calendar/event/ circusrenaldo-08-16-22
Disney’s Encanto: Sing Along Film Concert WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 18, 7:30pm WHERE: Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, 895 Bay Pkwy., Wantagh AGES: All WHAT: The music of Encanto
comes to life on stage with world-class musicians and you’ll get to experience it all alongside a community of fellow fans. WANT TO GO?: Tickets start at $36. 866-558-8468, jonesbeach.com
SUFFOLK Suffolk County Sea Glass Festival WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 7, 11 am-4 pm WHERE: The Whaling Museum and Education Center, 301 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor AGES: All WHAT: Celebrate all things sea glass with workshops, a glass-themed scavenger hunt, sea shanties, food trucks, and more! WANT TO GO?: $10; $8 members; free for children 3 and younger. All event activities included, except for the optional pendant workshop. Optional Sea Glass Pendant Workshop is $7 and $5 for members. 631-3673418. cshwhalingmuseum.org/ seaglass
2022 Seafood Festival WHEN: Aug. 20-21, 11 am-6 pm WHERE: Long Island Maritime Museum, 88 West Ave., West Sayville AGES: All WHAT: It’s a day of fun that will have everyone wanting to come back for seconds with fabulous food, entertainment for the kids, and the museum’s 1888 Oyster Sloop Priscilla!
Have fun with Circus Renaldo at the Long Island Children’s Museum on Aug. 16.,
Swim with the Mermaids at the Long Island Aquarium this summer. WANT TO GO?: $9 online, $10 at the door; free admission for children younger than 12. ?631-854-497, limaritime.org/ seafood-festival.html.
Nesconset Day 2022
4 and younger without the swag bag. 631-833-3364, bubblepalooza.redpodium. com/bubble-palooza-longisland.
Snapper & Crab Derby
WHEN: Sunday, Aug. 28, 10 am-5 pm WHERE: The Nesconset Chamber of Commerce, 127 Smithtown Blvd, Nesconset AGES: All WHAT: Bring the family out for bounce houses, face painting, vendors, food trucks, crafts, games, prizes, and more! WANT TO GO?: nesconsetchamber.org
WHEN: Aug. 20-21, 10am-2pm WHERE: Captree State Park, 3500 Ocean Pkwy., Bayshore AGES: 5-16 WHAT: Children are encouraged to discover and enjoy fishing with prizes awarded to the heaviest snapper and crab caught. WANT TO GO?: $8 Vehicle use fee in effect. 631-669-0449. parks.ny.gov
Bubble Palooza & Color Fun Run Festival
Swim with the Mermaids
WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 8:15 am registration and check-in; 9 am first wave time begins WHERE: Tanger Outlets Deer Park, 152 The Arches Circle, Deer Park AGES: All WHAT: Run, walk, or stroll through bubbles, throw color, eat from local food trucks, explore interactive vendor experiences, take pictures, play games, enjoy fun-foods, and more! WANT TO GO?: $29 per person early bird; $59 regular fee; $18 ages 4 and younger with a swag bag; free for children
WHEN: July 1- Sept. 5, Mondays and Fridays, 10:30am; 11:45am; 1:30pm; 2:45pm WHERE: Long Island Aquarium, 431 East Main Street, Riverhead AGES: All WHAT: Your little one will be delighted to swim with a real, live mermaid, as she navigates the Shark Reef Lagoon which is filled with gorgeous tropical fish from all over the world. WANT TO GO?: $49 plus admission to the aquarium: $42.99, $31.99 seniors 62 and older; $29.99 ages 3-12. 631-208-9200 x426, longislandaquarium.com/ mermaids.
August 2022 | Long Island Family
My Daughter is Starting Middle School and Neither of Us are Ready for It By Jeannine Cintron
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
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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