Brooklyn Family - May 2023

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that specialize in Stem/Steam, Arts, Sports & More!
moms get Fomo
Lang on
New York
may 2023
Fighting the pressure to document family milestones on social media Inspector
families while raising a family of her own
Don’t just enjoy where you live. Enjoy how you got there. Dyanna Moon Licensed Real Estate Salesperson M: 347.788.9294 | O: 973.310.6816 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ Specializing in Maplewood, South Orange, Montclair, and the surrounding areas. Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not refl ect actual property conditions. Don’t just enjoy where you live. Enjoy how you got there. Dyanna Moon Licensed Real Estate Salesperson M: 347.788.9294 | O: 973.310.6816 1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ Specializing in Maplewood, South Orange, Montclair, and the surrounding areas.
May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 3
4 | May 2023 M Ay 2023 contents F eat UR es 24 | Tech Motherhood FOMO: the pressure of documenting family milestones on social media 26 | i nspector General lucy l ang on serving New York families while raising a family of her own 30 | Tech ChatGPT, what it is and why it’s banned in NYC’s public schools stoRies & ColUmns 6 | editor’s letter 12 | c amp Thriving at summer camp in the arts, sports, and STEM/STEAM programs 8 | a sk the e xpert My child wants to be a vegetarian 10 | a sk the e xpert Why do kids get nosebleeds? 18 | education The history and method of a Montessori Education Family FU n 28 | c alendar All the fun events and activities for May Di R e C to R ies 14 | Summer Program listings 19 | m ontessori School listings 20 | arts for k ids listings on The cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | Hair & Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Cover Story Written by: Jeannine Cintron Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd pg. 26 pg. 24 pg. 30 pg. 28 pg. 18

Get a jump start on the high school admissions process with our upcoming Open House, just for 7th graders! Learn more about our all-honors academic program, over 40 + clubs and varsity athletics. Plus, hear directly from our students about what it’s like to attend school in Manhattan. Families are welcome to join in the fun!

An RSVP is required to attend the event. Please sign up at

Make NYC your classroom at our Summer Connection Camp for prospective students! Each day students will be engaging in visits to a cultural or historic landmark, participating in hands-on workshops, enriching arts activities, and STEM labs taught by members of the Dominican Academy faculty.

For additional information or questions, email Admissions at

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 5 44 East 68th Street New York, NY 10065 212.744.0195
Sneak Peek Open House
10, 2023 5:00–7:00 pm Summer Connection Camp
20-June 23 & June 26-June 30, 2023 8:30 am–2:45 pm NYC YOUR CLASSROOM

Blooming in May

May is when we think about Mother’s Day, and with that in mind, we can’t help but reflect on the joys and challenges of parenting.

This month Deputy Editor Jeannine Cintron writes about mother and Inspector General Lucy Lang (page 26) and her passion for serving New York families while raising her family.

We all know that technology is part of our daily lives — this month, we share on (page 24) Motherhood FOMO and the pressure of docu-

menting family milestones on social media. For families looking to move from the city, we have two unique spots near the city where you can Find a Dream Neighborhood and a new home (page 22.)

With summer just around the corner, we want your kids to explore art, sports, and STEM/STEAM this summer. Check out our camp and summer program listings on page 14 and make this summer one to remember!


Publi S her: Clifford Luster

e xecuTive Direc Tor: Donna Duarte-Ladd

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6 | May 2023 editor’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at and tag us at #newyorkfamily get i N touch
New York Family is published monthly by Queens Family Media, LLC. Reproduction of New York Family Media in whole or part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. ©2023 Queens Family Media, LLC
n ina Gallo Photography
May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 7 Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only college in the country specifically designed for students ready to enter college after the 10th or 11th grade and begin working on their Bachelor’s Degree two years early. GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS Apply today!
FIND YOUR PLACE An inclusive Montessori school for children 2-6 serving the Park Slope/Gowanus community for forty years 277 3rd Ave. (bet. Carroll & President Streets) 718-499-5667
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Rivendell School provides a warm, creative environment where children develop independence, respect for each other, and a lifelong love

My Child Wants to Be a Vegetarian

A guide for concerned parents

Vegetarian diets are on the rise all over the world. Statistics have shown that roughly five percent of the population in the United States follows a vegetarian diet. And these numbers aren’t limited just to adults: around five percent of youth ages 8 to 17 describe themselves as vegetarian.

Reasons why people choose to follow a vegetarian diet are varied and can include things like health reasons or ethical reasons. If your child decides they want to follow a vegetarian diet, there are plenty of ways you can support them, even without becoming a vegetarian yourself.

We sat down with pediatrician Dr. TJ Gold from Tribeca Pediatrics to talk about what parents can do if their child decides they want to pursue a vegetarian diet.

My child told me they want to be a vegetarian. What should I do?

Off the bat, it’s important to go into the

conversation with an open mind and think about letting children, especially teens and adolescents, make their own choices when it comes to food.

“This conflict with teenagers and parents is always something we want to avoid,” Gold says. “We want to give kids autonomy with that so that they’re truly learning how to make those good choices.”

That said, it’s still important to provide support and oversight. For example, have a conversation with your child about why they want to become a vegetarian and what that means in terms of food choices going forward.

Gold says sometimes adolescents and teenagers don’t want to eat meat, “but their life is a potato chip and cheese pizza diet.”

“Technically, that’s a vegetarian diet, but just not eating meat doesn’t necessitate or guarantee that you have a healthy vegetarian diet,” Gold says. “There is a word in there called ‘vegetable.’”

While teens should have autonomy in what they eat, especially as they get older, parents should provide guidance to ensure that their kids are still getting the nutrients they need after switching to a vegetarian diet.

At the same time, parents should be aware of how much control they’re exercising over food choice.

“Kids aren’t going to follow things if it becomes a chore or it’s complicated or their parents are always having to follow them around and make sure they get things,” Gold says.

Gold recommends that parents talk to their kids about what their bodies need and giving them control within that guidance.

“I really want to enroll them,” Gold says. “And usually it’s just giving them some of these simple guidelines.”

How can parents make sure that their vegetarian children are still getting what they need from a nutritional standpoint?

Taking meat out of a diet can leave gaps in essential nutrients.

While taking supplements to fill these gaps is always an option, but Gold recommends getting what you need through food first.

“It’s not unnatural to supplement,” Gold says. “But I really want it to be eaten in the

8 | May 2023
ask the e xpert

food itself as opposed to having to pop pills.”

Gold outlined where some of these gaps can occur and provided recommendations on how to get those nutrients without meat.

Protein : Essential nutrients for the human body, protein is used to build things like muscles and organs in the body. Aside from meat, protein can come from things like dairy, eggs, beans, lentils, seeds and avocado.

Vitamin D : Vitamin D is important for bone health. It can be tricky to maintain adequate vitamin D levels, even for nonvegetarians, considering a large portion of our vitamin D comes from the Sun.

“The world is pretty sun-phobic, because of trying to have healthy skin and avoid skin cancer,” Gold says. “So we’re already starting off a bit vitamin D deficient.”

For vegetarians, “literally the only vitamin D source that exists naturally is mushrooms.” Gold says. “It’s not like mushrooms are always the big fan favorite for young kids.”

If you have a mushroom hater on your hands, look for things like milk with vitamin D added.

Vitamin B12 : Found almost exclusively in animal products, vitamin B12 is essential for things like red blood cell formation, nerve function and the production of DNA. It’s difficult for vegetarians to get enough vitamin b12 because it’s mostly found in meat.

To supplement, turn to foods like eggs, fortified cereals and nutritional yeast.

Iron : Iron is important for red blood cells and is commonly found in red meats. For vegetarians, look for iron in fortified cereals, eggs, leafy green vegetables, kidney beans and lentils.

An important thing to remember is that absorption of iron from plant based sources is much lower than the absorption from animal based sources.

Gold recommends squeezing lemons and limes onto leafy greens. The vitamin C from the lemons and lime “enhances the ability to get that iron out of the plant network of fibers,” Gold says.

While getting the right nutrients is important, don’t get bogged down in making sure your vegetarian kid eats the entire food pyramid every single day.

“It’s unrealistic, and I think it makes the whole process a little more anxietyproducing, especially for parents,” Gold says.

How can parents cooking for their whole family accommodate everyone, including their vegetarian kid? Family dinners don’t always have to center around meat. The vegetable can be at the center of the meal.

“There are so many exciting things we can do with vegetables,” Gold says. “The vegetable items themselves can be an entire meal.”

For dinners like this, Gold says the meat can be an additive for those who want to eat it, but dinners don’t have to be just side dishes for the vegetarian kid.

Parents can also get their kids involved in cooking dinner, whether that’s one dinner a week, a side dish or another arrangement that makes sense for the family.

Not everyone in the family has to become a vegetarian alongside your kid, but there’s plenty of ways to support your vegetarian child in their choice.

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 9
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Why Do Kids Get Nosebleeds?

An expert weighs in on how to curb them

Nosebleeds are a common issue, especially in kids and especially in the cold, dry winter months. But even knowing this, it can be scary to find that your kid has a bloody nose.

While many nosebleeds are one-off problems, other kids get nosebleeds pretty frequently. What causes nosebleeds, and when should you be concerned about them?

We sat down with Dr. Alyssa Hackett, pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) with ENT and Allergy Associates, to talk about what causes nosebleeds in kids and how to curb them.

One of the most common causes of nosebleeds in children is caused by the dryness in the air that occurs, for example, in the fall or when the heat gets turned on in your building in the winter months.

“That dryness is important because it can dry out the mucus membranes, specifically the ones that are in the very front of the nose, where there are some fragile blood vessels that can crack open and bleed,” Hackett says.

You also may notice that your child with seasonal allergies tends to get a lot of nosebleeds.

“It’s not that the allergies cause the nosebleeds,” Hackett says. “But if you’re constantly rubbing your nose, that will be a triggering point.”

Other families may notice frequent nosebleeds in their children during the summer.

“If you’re running around in the heat, your body flushes everywhere, including these blood vessels in the front of the nose,” Hackett says.

Overall, there are many factors that can trigger nosebleeds, and they’re not limited to a single season.

“We see nosebleeds year–round,” Hackett says. “Not just in the fall and winter.”

What Steps Can Parents Take At Home to Mitigate Nosebleeds?

Increasing the moisturization and cleanliness

of the nose can be helpful, especially in drier parts of the year. In winter months, mucus can dry up on the inside of the nostril on fragile skin.

“They can act like knives,” Hackett says. “They just sort of cut right through those blood vessels.”

Using an ointment like Aquaphor can help clean out some of this dried up mucus and add a protective layer to the inside of the nostril. A saltwater spray is also a good way to add moisturization into the nose throughout the day.

Hackett says the key to these at-home treatments is sticking to them.

“You have to be consistent with it,” Hackett says.

To build this habit, Hackett recommends keeping the bottle of nasal spray next to the hand soap in the bathroom and encouraging kids to use it after washing their hands.

This method adds the step into their bathroom routine and “it becomes a little less burdensome” than telling them to do it three or four times a day, Hackett says.

When Should Parents Be Concerned About Frequent Nosebleeds?

In a majority of cases, nosebleeds even as frequent as once a week is “more of an inconvenience rather than it is dangerous,” Hackett says. There are rare instances when frequent nosebleeds are indicative of a larger problem, but those cases are typically accompanied by additional symptoms.

For example, if you have a child who has easy bleeding and bruising in other places on their body, it could be a sign of some other blood disorder and it’s a good idea to get a pediatrician involved to run some blood work.

Hackett also mentioned if you have a teenage boy who gets massive one-sided nosebleeds, that’s worth getting looked at; it could be a sign of juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma, a rare tumor that generally affects teenage boys.

Even though most nosebleed cases aren’t cause for immediate concern, families can see a doctor and get reassurance at any point.

“Nosebleeds are a really common issue,” Hackett says. “So anytime families are worried, we’re always happy to check it out.”

10 | May 2023
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Thriving at CAMP in

the arts, sports, and STEM/STEAM Programs

Camp season is quickly approaching. As your child is getting excited about a summer of fun and new adventures, as a parent, it is also exciting to have them have the opportunity to foster new skills. Camp is a time for kids to continually develop their social/emotional learning, boost their self-esteem, and tap into their creativity. And while many of us think of camps as roasting smores and water games, which is on point -summer camps also off programs such as art, dance, music, STEM/STEAM programs, and sports. These subjects help kids tap into new topics and freely explore!

Below, we are sharing examples of the many benefits of specialty programs at camp and how they will help your child soar this summer - and beyond!

Art Programs at Camp

Art programs at camp offer an incredible way for your child to express themselves and unleash their creativity. Alicia Skovera, Executive Director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ noted, “Art is often one of children’s favorite school subjects, but it usually only happens once a week.”

At camp, kids can explore art through a variety of modalities. Alicia stated, “Art is offered daily with beading, jewelry making, painting, tie dying, ceramics, and more.” These multiple disciplines allow children to explore forms of art that they might not have access to at school or from supplemental programs. They will have the opportunity to test out new forms of expression and discover new ways to showcase their creative side.

Other artistic forms of expression your camper might enjoy at traditional or specialty camps are dance, theater, and music. Dance allows kids to express themselves through movement; theater helps kids engage and communicate with others; music can help with memory, focus, and group communication.

Alicia stated, “Campers can explore their creativity, express themselves through the arts, and discover a new favorite interest.”


There has been an enormous concentration on STEM/STEAM programming over the past few years. STEM focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math, while STEAM focuses on science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts.

These programs help foster a child’s creativity, encourage experimentation, develop their problem-solving skills, and help to develop their critical thinking skills as they engage in fun, educational, and interactive activities.

Alicia shared, “From science experiments to building challenges to rocketry, children can engage in experiential learning at camp without grades or homework!”

Some camps include STEAM/STEM activities such as coding, game making, animation, YouTube production, digital arts, video game design, 3D printing, and more. These modalities can help make learning fun and exciting and lay the foundation for the school year ahead and help enhance their passion/interest in these subjects.

“These hands-on activities foster creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking en-

gagingly and interactively, allowing children to learn something new daily,” Alicia added.

Sports at Camp

Sports are a huge part of summer camp where kids can try out new activities, move their bodies, and work as a team. Kids will also be able to exert independence, develop confidence, learn new skills, utilize strategic thinking, help with mental clarity, and further develop their communication skills.

Alicia stated, “Camp is the perfect environment for children to try new sports. Not only do sports at camp give children a chance to try out a new sport in a non-competitive environment, but sports also foster teamwork and keep kids moving. Many times, children go home from camp wanting to play a new sport at home after discovering it at camp!”

This includes the opportunity to enjoy a range of modalities such as swimming, basketball, soccer, climbing, tennis, running, baseball, gymnastics, horseback riding, and much more.

Summer camp will create a lifetime of memories and bring joy to your child’s life. A huge component is the many specialty programs that can help boost your child’s confidence, promotes their growth, and encourage them to try new things as they have fun.

12 | May 2023

135 Eastern Parkway across from the Brooklyn Museum



is now part of

Anxious Parents, Anxious Kids: Parenting Advice From the "World's Worst Mom"

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b rooklyn fencing center

528 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn


Brooklyn Fencing Center opened in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, in January 2003. As Brooklyn’s first competitive fencing club, their mission is to make the excitement and joy of fencing more accessible to Brooklynites of all ages. The main Park Slope location features Olympicsized grounded pistes and 3,000 square feet of fencing facilities. Downtown Brooklyn satellite location hosts three strips for group classes and private lessons. Armory services offered as well.

chess at 3 Summer c amp UES Club - 1309 Madison Ave, New York, NY Park Slope Club - 169 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY, 11217 haleigh.adams@chessat3. com

Chess at 3 club summer camps are packed with fun. With offerings for all ages, there is something for everyone. Themed chess camps split by age/level, advanced chess camp for tweens/teens, Birchguard Quest camp (a kid-friendly version of Dungeons and Dragons), combo camps (classics like Backgammon, Go, and Rubik’s Cube), and more. Campers will play games on a life-sized chess set and take home a goodie bag from a week they’ll never forget.

cold Spring h arbor l aboratory

DNA Learning Center

One Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 516-367-5170

Hands-On Science Summer Camps! Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory DNA Learning Center (DNALC) provides biology-focused lab enrichment programs to

students entering grades 6-12. Week-long, in-person science camps are held at three locations: at the Dolan DNALC in Cold Spring Harbor, the DNALC NYC @ City Tech in Brooklyn, and the Regeneron DNALC in Sleepy Hollow. Led by experienced instructors, campers learn to use sophisticated laboratory and computer equipment to perform advanced experiments at grade levels beyond their peers. Scholarships are available!

Dominican academy 44 East 68th Street, New York This summer make NYC your classroom at Dominican Academy’s Summer Connection Camp to be held in June of 2023! Prospective students are encouraged to join the D.A. community, the only all-honors high school for girls in NYS, as they explore the city together. Students will be engaging in visits to cultural and historic landmarks, participating in hands-on workshops, enriching arts activities, and STEM labs taught by members of the D.A. faculty. Don’t wait, camp spaces are limited to two one-week sessions, registration is required. For additional information contact Admissions at 212.744.0195.

Park Slope Day c amp Brooklyn Bridge Park, Carroll Gardens, Prospect Park, Windsor Terrace 718-788-7732 camp@parkslopedaycamp. com

Primarily outdoor, fun, engaging traditional camp. For children ages 3.5 to 14. Experienced, caring and dynamic staff. Wide variety of activities; sports, arts, yoga, archery and more. Soccer specialty program. 4 two-week sessions, extended hours and transportation available.

Stepping Stones center 44 1st Place, Brooklyn 718-630-1000, 718-243-1432 steppingstonescenterinc@

Stepping Stones Center is an alternative preschool offering a 6-week half-day summer camp session from July 5th to August 11th. They are a small intimate camp, perfect for firsttime campers and young toddlers! Start the morning with water play in the sunny backyard, continue with art, cooking, science and more. Be in touch with your child’s teacher through an app with real time picture updates throughout the day. Perfect for ages 2-5, choose from several half day options.

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Choosing a Montessori Education

Montessori schools have been a hotbutton topic for years as they’ve become more popular in the American schooling system. While there are countless reasons to send your child to this alternative type of schooling, you may still need more of an understanding of how Montessori schools work. Of course, every child has unique and individual needs, but let’s look at the features of Montessori schools and how your child may thrive in a Montessori environment.

What is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori method was founded by an Italian physician named Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907. She observed that children in her care were able to teach themselves by taking the lead in hands-on activities, such as solving puzzles or preparing their own food. From these observations, she derived a method of teaching that aims to “follow the child”, allowing them to set their own pace for learning. While most conventional schools follow a curriculum set by teachers and administrators, the Montessori method entrusts the child to lead the way in their own education.

Montessori schools usually run on a set of 5 principles set forth by the Montessori method:

1. Children are shown respect

2. Kids have absorbent minds

3. Sensitive periods are critical for learning

4. Kids learn best in a prepared environment

5. Kids can teach themselves through auto education

The Looping System

Additionally, some Montessoris run a “looping” system, meaning that students learn in multi-age classrooms or stay with

the same teacher for two or more years, allowing teacher and student to build a strong bond and understanding of one another. Montessori also prides itself on the physical learning setting, and they consider the classroom environment to be just as important as the teachers and learning materials.

High Test Scores

The reward of attending a Montessori school is worth it for many families. The research surrounding the effectiveness of the Montessori method is still ongoing, but many studies indicate higher test scores and performance of Montessori students compared to students in traditional schools, especially low-income students. Across the board, students who attend a Montessori school score higher on social-emotional scales than their non-Montessori peers.

So, for whom exactly is Montessori the

right choice? Many parents choose this method for their child-led education and may know intuitively that their child may benefit from working at their own pace. The method of child-led education and allowing a child to set their own pace and curriculum can be incredibly beneficial for students who struggle with the structure of traditional schooling. Students who are neurodivergent or have a learning disability may also thrive in a Montessori environment. Additionally, the method shows encouraging results in helping underprivileged populations get ahead in their education and Montessori pride itself on racial and economic diversity.

The Montessori method has been around for more than 100 years, and its expansion in the US education system shows no sign of slowing down. If you’re interested in Montessori for your child, check out our Montessori directory to learn more about the choices available!

18 | May 2023
The history and method of this popular type of school

e lemental a rts m ontessori

364 Argyle Road

Ditmas Park/Flatbush

718- 484-0942

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

m ontessori Day School of

b rooklyn

237 Park Place, Brooklyn 718398-2322

A warm and welcoming community serving children ages two to five. At MDS, they encourage every child’s natural curiosity and readiness to learn and create a nurturing and fun atmosphere that promotes independence

and self-esteem, and creates life-long learners. They work to ensure that their school community is as richly diverse as the city we live in. Their tuition assistance program provides access to an MDS education for all children. Applications open up on September 1, 2023 and the deadline to apply for the next school year is December 31st. Please reach out with any questions about admissions.

r ivendell School

277 3rd Avenue

718-499-5667, ext. 14

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

• For children 2.6 – 5.6 years old

• 1/2 Day Programs or Full Day

• Early Morning Drop-off Available

• Program is 5 Days a Week

• Small Class Size

• Warm, Nurturing Environment

Your child’s learning environment is adapted to their individual developmental needs.

EAM offers a unique experience for your child. Our mission is to have fun through exploration and discovery, allowing each child to fully experience their natural joy for learning.

• Founded in 1977

• Serving children ages 2 years through 5 years, that are divided into toddler and primary/mixed age classes.

• Montessori certified teachers

• The school has a total of seven classrooms.

• Each class is led by a team of three teachers, with class sizes appropriate to the ages of the children.

• Operating between the hours of 8:00 am - 3:00 pm with extended day options from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

• Offering winter, spring, and summer camp

• Enrichments include music, movement, art, and gardening. With seasonal soccer and drumming!

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 19
re available Regist R ation is o pen 364 Argyle Rd., Brooklyn NY • 718.484.0942 (718) 398- 2322 / 237 Park Pl. Brooklyn, NY 11238 Like us on
Payment Plans a
MDS is a warm and welcoming community where children are loved and supported through their most important and exciting developmental years.
m ontesso R i sC hools Di R e C to R y | Special Advertising Supplement

b ard college at Simon’s rock

84 Alford Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230

Bard College at Simon’s Rock is the only college in the country specifically designed for students ready to enter college after 10th or 11th grade and begin working on their Bachelor’s degree two years early. Simon’s Rock hosts both world-class academics and a stunning natural environment with a 275-acre campus. The school was named a Top Producing Institution of Fulbright Scholars in 2022-2023. Find your place at Simon’s Rock. Accepting applications for Fall 2023 now.

child’s Play ny

121 Pierrepont St, Brooklyn 347-759-6313

Child’s Play NY’s awardwinning theater programs empower young people to develop themselves and their skills through inspiring production classes. This Brooklyn-based company has been beloved since its founding in 2009 and is chosen by dozens of top NYC schools to be their in-house theater program. From new musicals to Shakespeare, serving grades 1-8, there’s a production experience for everyone! Child’s Play NY is both right for the child who passionately dreams of being on stage and the one who is simply looking for a joy-filled class.

n oel Pointer foundation

Summer m usic i ntensive

247 Herkimer St., 1st Fl., Brooklyn 718-230-4825

A non-profit organization inspired by the life and work of the talented violinist Mr. Noel Pointer, founded in 1995. Since then, NPF has served 34,000 NYC students, enriching their lives through the development of string music education programs for resourced communities in the metropolitan area. Through professional instruction, performance and school placement opportunities, NPF enhances a student’s cultural and academic experience.

Piper Theatre Productions

336 3rd St., Brooklyn

Brooklyn’s best kept secret!

Since 2005, Piper has fostered a vigorous and nurturing theatre education program for children ages 8 to 16. Piper’s education program reaches over 140 children in Brooklyn with a concentration on new plays, large-scale musicals, ensemble-based values, process drama and physical theatre. Productions of musicals and plays are performed outside each summer at the Old Stone House in Washington Park. Seats are filling up fast so register today.

20 | May 2023 a R ts F o R ki D s Di R e C to R y | Special Advertising Supplement
We’re s� S�cial Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!
May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 21 ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2023. Bard Academy is the nation’s first two-year boarding and day program designed to prepare 9th and 10th graders to start college early. Within six years of entering Bard Academy as a high school freshman, a student who matriculates into the College will earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. The Academy curriculum is designed and taught by college professors. GREAT BARRINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS FIND YOUR PLACE Apply today! Theatre Education Program Register Now

Maplewood, NJ

Known for charming, tree-lined neighborhoods, gorgeous homes, and a village vibe, Maplewood, NJ, is a unique town that’s great for families. The best part? You’re still a hop; skip away from NYC! For parents who still need to commute to the city for work, you can enjoy the luxury of the suburbs while easily getting into the city whenever.

There’s plenty for kids and families to do in Maplewood, from playing at parks and playgrounds to eating at farm-to-table restaurants. Maplewood Village is home to Rockwellian downtown, which has unique shops, restaurants and cafes. Kids love playing at Memorial Park, which has events throughout the year like the Duck Race. Outdoor fun is a must in Maplewood– South Mountain Reservation has over 2,000 acres of hiking trails, scenic vistas and a dog park.

Not only can your kids have fun in a safe, peaceful environment, but they’ll get a top education at excellent public schools. There are strong academic programs, dedicated teachers and a warm, welcoming school community.

Curious to know what kind of homes your family can browse? Maplewood boasts

The Dream Neighborhoods

Find the perfect family town

Looking for a new family home?

Choosing the right neighborhood to raise your family is no easy task. You want to find a place where your children can run around outside, get a top-tier education at local schools and have plenty to do on the weekends. NYC is truly a dream, but there are also beautiful, welcoming suburbs outside the city that might be perfect for your family. Luckily, we’ve got the scoop on these towns, so you don’t have to do the research yourself. Read on for the best towns for NYC families to move to!

Maplewood, New Jersey

a variety of architectural styles, including Colonial, Victorian and Tudor styles. History meets modern design in Maplewood real estate, making every home unique.


22 | May 2023
real estate

Westfield, NJ

Westfield, NJ is a hotspot for young families with its welcoming vibe and many kidfriendly things to do. Families love all of the outdoor adventures in Westfield, with two buzzing parks on either side of town. Tamaques Park is a town favorite, with 106 acres of picnic areas, basketball courts, pickleball courts, shuffleboard, playing fields and so much more.

There’s something for everyone in Westfield, from mom-and-pop stores to amazing restaurants and live jazz music to libraries and bookstores. There are also arts & culture activities, like the Miller Cory Museum and the newly-opened gallery by local artist Ricardo Roig. Add top-rated schools that are known for stellar academics and extracurriculars, and Westfield is a great choice for families looking to move outside the city.

When it comes to Westfield real estate, you’ll have your pick of homes! Cape Cod style homes, traditional Colonials, storybook tudors, grand Victorians, and new modern homes. One home recently sold

at 544 Lawrence Ave has 7 bedrooms and 4.2 baths, perfect for big families.

There are four levels of living space, including a family room with a fireplace, sitting room and study, wine cellar, sunken playroom, and beautiful finishing touches

that really bring the home to life.


FlatRate Moving Company:

The Stress-Free Move You Deserve!

moving can be so stressful! That’s why when you’re planning a move, it’s important to have a professional moving company you can trust to treat your belongings like their own. The experts at FlatRate Moving will do that, and much more.

We all know how much a move costs, especially for families. Between down payments, boxes, and moving trucks, the time (and money!) adds up. The worst part is, sometimes we don’t even realize how much the move costs until it’s complete. FlatRate Moving guarantees transparency so you know exactly what you’re paying for.

Never again will you be surprised by moving costs, because FlatRate Moving provides an upfront quote with no hidden fees. Hard to believe? We know. But FlatRate Moving revolutionized the way

moving companies work by introducing all-inclusive flat rate pricing.

Beyond the price transparency, FlatRate Moving offers families a stressfree moving experience! Their team of professionals handles every aspect of

your move. With expert packing services, inventory tracking, high-quality packing supplies, timely delivery, and over 30 years of experience as professional NYC movers, you can definitely trust FlatRate Moving to take proper care of your personal items and make the whole process easier.

Plus, FlatRate Moving knows that families schedules change, especially families who are moving. That’s why scheduling is flexible– FlatRate movers will work around your schedule. FlatRate Moving will be there with you every step of the way. You can even stay connected with their mobile app, which will help you locate your moving truck, create a photo inventory of your items, and even view and request items in storage.

Ready to use FlatRate Moving for your family move? Head over to to request a free quote!

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 23
544 Lawrence Ave, Westfield, New Jersey New York FamilY partN er

Motherhood FOMO

The pressure of documenting family milestones on social media

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Social media can be great for anyone seeking advice on a whole range of topics. But sometimes, the constant scrolling can really become too much. We know a lot about its influence on kids, but what about the effects of social media on mothers?

It’s not uncommon for mothers to overshare their families’ lives on social media. Whether they’re an “influencer” or not, these highlight reels make it easy for their friends and followers to get caught in a comparison trap. In fact, a recent study even confirmed that moms who spend more time online engage in greater levels of social comparison. This can lead to an increase

in cortisol levels and in turn, overall higher stress and negative emotions.

While this shows up most often in first-time moms, moms with multiple kids experience this, too. From their own personal postpartum weight loss journey to their toddlers’ potty training timeline, there’s a ton of pressure to keep up with what seems to feel like a never-ending cycle that continues as children become teenagers, adults and eventually parents themselves.

Some therapists call this social media pressure “motherhood milestone FOMO” (an acronym for fear of missing out). Anisha Patel-Dunn, D.O., psychiatrist, Chief Medical Officer at LifeStance Health, and a mom herself, knows a lot about this topic. She’s been working with patients who are

dealing with this type of pressure. We spoke with Dr. Patel-Dunn, who shared tips for moms on how to cope and have a healthy relationship with social media.

Do you find that moms compare themselves to other mothers on social media? If so, is there a lot of pressure for them to keep up with what their friends, influencers and/or celebrities are posting/sharing?

There is a lot of parenting content on social media, whether from celebrities, influencers or our friends and loved ones. This content often presents as rules or advice for mothers, which can become overwhelming. Another side of this is that many people on social media only present their “best” moments. This is not an accurate representation of their lives. It’s understandable that moms might fall into a comparison trap, which can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Can you talk a bit about what Motherhood Milestone FOMO is?

24 | May 2023
ask the expert

Motherhood is full of milestones including pregnancy and childbirth, a child’s first steps, their first words and more. If your own timeline or experience doesn’t match up with what you’re seeing friends or celebrities post about on social media, it’s not uncommon to experience feelings of being left behind or even inadequate. Comparison is a common challenge many people face in different aspects of their lives but, for mothers, societal expectations about what makes a “good mother” can make this even more difficult.

Can you explain how moms who spend more time on social media experience more stress and negative emotions?

For those who are experiencing low self-esteem, spending more time on social media and falling into a comparison trap can often exacerbate these feelings. Social media is designed to pull us in and capture our attention. And it can be incredibly challenging to break out of this cycle.

But there are surely positive aspects to social

Additional Tips

Dr. Patel-Dunn shared some additional tips for building a healthier relationship with social media:

• Be mindful of how you feel before, during and after engaging with social media. Get curious about this experience, and ask yourself what boundaries around social media might serve you best.

• Unfollow accounts that lead to an increase in negative emotions or feelings of comparison.

• If you notice yourself falling into a comparison trap, remind yourself that these glimpses of motherhood are not an accurate representation of what is going on in a person’s life.

• Focus on social media sites that offer a sense of community rather than comparison.

• Avoid using social media first thing in the morning or right before you go to bed at night. Give yourself breaks to be present throughout the day.

media, too. What are some benefits of social media for mothers?

I do think one of the silver linings of the last few years is that more people have become open and transparent about their mental health, and this is often seen on social media. It can provide an opportunity to

access a community of like-minded people that you may not be able to access in person depending on your location and personal situation. In that sense, social media can be an incredible benefit by connecting moms with peer support regardless of where they’re based.

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 25
Partner with Us Want to reach engaged parents across New York City? Collaborate with the New York Family Media team to spread the word about your launches, promotions and news. Reach us by emailing or calling 718.260.4554

Inspector GeneralLucy Lang

on serving New York families while raising a family of her own

At New York Family we rarely interview appointed officials. But New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang is no typical government official. Sure, we had a little extra security on our cover shoot because, well, she is a big deal. But she is also a native New Yorker and a mom of two who loves her job because she is passionate about the state she was born and raised in.

Lucy is so New York that she refers to her family as “interfaith” because she loves the Mets but her hubby is a Yankee fan. Her Instagram is dotted with family outings to classic New York institutions like the American Museum of Natural History, Coney Island and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Born, raised, and currently residing in Manhattan, Lucy is raising a young family in NYC, just like myself and many of you. She also has challenges, her youngest was recently diagnosed with Dyslexia (more on that in a bit) and at our cover shoot she was busy balancing the kids, work and home. Sound familiar?

She takes her job as mom seriously, but her family isn’t the only one she’s vowed to serve and protect. In her position, she’s tasked with protecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers. We sat down with Lucy to talk about her two biggest roles: as Inspector General of New York state, and as Mom.

You’re a busy mom! Do you find it difficult to balance career and family life? How do you do it all?

The amazing privilege of serving as Inspector General is that I have the

responsibility to ensure that the agencies’ systems and services that protect vulnerable New York families are doing so with integrity. And it is a tremendous privilege to be able to do that while also raising my own young family. I’m very fortunate to have a very supportive extended family, including my siblings and my parents, and my in-laws. And as your readers will know, it truly does take a village to balance a demanding professional life and the demands of young children. But I feel incredibly fortunate to have the support to be able to do it and the privilege to be able to do it.

What are some of the causes or issues that have become more important to you since becoming a parent? Probably a big question!

Yeah, it is but I’m glad that you asked. I have two brilliant children, one of whom happens to be dyslexic and I have been shocked to learn how much more remains to be done at schools of all kinds to support students with language-based learning differences. And really the true heroes amongst us, our literacy specialists and reading teachers are doing the hard work of building up the next generation of public servants and citizens. And I can’t say enough about how much I admire teachers who teach our kids to read and how much more we need to do to support young readers with a diversity of backgrounds, including with language based learning differences.

Do your kids realize their mom is such a powerhouse? Do they push you to achieve more and continue to be an inspiration?

My kids and the kids in our neighbor-

hood and community are undoubtedly the inspiration that keeps me going when the days feel long and the challenges seem insurmountable. Not long ago I ran for District Attorney, which was a grueling but incredibly moving experience. On election night, after I called my opponent to concede the election and offer him my congratulations, I went home and my son was asleep in my bed. I was crying and it woke him up. He asked what was wrong and I told him that I hadn’t won. And I thought, in that moment, I can either pull it together and put on a brave face for him or I can acknowledge that I tried something really hard and it didn’t work out the way I had hoped and planned. I chose the latter. And he remembers that moment very distinctly.

I think that the vulnerability of leadership is critical, both in a professional context and in a parenting context. And that’s something that I really carry with me, that I feel proud of, that I feel trying hard at things matters. And that success comes in many different forms.

You’re a native New Yorker! What are some of your favorite things to do with your family around the city?

I could go on about this forever because I love New York City! I also have grown to really love New York State so I make two lists. In New York City, we love Coney Island. We love the boardwalk and we even love it there in the winter. We did the Polar Bear Plunge this year which was a totally wild experience and an absolute hoot. My daughter was the bravest of the four of us. She was the first one in the water! It makes me so proud that I have a daughter who will just barrel into the

26 | May 2023

freezing cold waves on New Year’s Day.

We are major theater-goers; we love to go to theater on and off Broadway. I took my eightyear-old son to his first rock and roll concert this week. We went to see Bruce Springsteen at the Barclays Center, which was really awesome. We are an interfaith household, meaning I’m a Mets fan and my partner Scott is a Yankees fan, so we go to the Subway Series every year. I love New York City’s parks. We spend a lot of time in Morningside Park, in Marcus Garvey Park and in other uptown parks. I also have visited every beach in New York City and love them all for different reasons, but I would say that Far Rockaway is really our go-to favorite family beach.

And then New York State is just such a wealth of beautiful places for families to visit! The Thousand Island region has beautiful pebble beaches. In the parks across the state, the hiking and waterfalls are just extraordinary. I love New York bridges, so the Walkway Over the Hudson is a nice long family walk across and back. In fact, one of the coolest things about this job has been getting to know the North Country and Western New York and beyond, and it has been such a privilege getting to talk to New Yorkers who are very, very different from New York City residents. Learning about the diversity of New York State has been really remarkable and inspiring.

What are some ways you protect New York families in your position as Inspector General?

When I think about protecting vulnerable New York families, I think about our work with the State Department of Social Services and protecting SNAP benefits to make sure that folks have access to a fair system that functions the way it’s supposed to. I also think about the work we have been doing around unemployment insurance, to which during and post-pandemic there has been a tremendous amount of fraud committed – which is really coming at a cost to New Yorkers who need unemployment insurance and for whom the system was designed to help during a crisis time like the pandemic. So we’re particularly committed to rooting out corruption and fraud in those areas, because we know that they are of the utmost importance to New York families who are suffering, at a disadvantage or otherwise vulnerable.

Keep up with Lucy and the Inspector General’s office by following @NYStateIG on Instagram and Twitter.

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 27
Photo by Yumi Matsuo



keeper for a morning: animal moms

when : Saturday, May 6, 10:30 am – 12 pm

where : Prospect Park Zoo, 450 Flatbush Ave. Prospect Heights

aGeS: All

whaT: Take part in this exclusive event filled with educational activities, animal interactions, and enrichment delivery to one of the exhibited animals!

wanT To Go?: $25.

church avenue Street fair

when : Sunday, May 7, 12 pm – 6 pm

where : The Church Ave BID, Church Avenue from Coney Island Ave to Argyle Road, Brooklyn

aGeS: 3 and up

whaT: Come out for a day of fun with street art, robotics, music, food and drink, and dance performances from local groups.

wanT To Go?: Free.

edge of the Sea: Seaside explorations

when : Sunday, May 7, 2 – 4 pm

where : New York Aquarium, 602 Surf Avenue, Coney Island

aGeS: 3 and older

whaT: Explore the sandy shore ecosystem, meet a live local animal, and walk away with an appreciation for the amazing aquatic organisms that call Coney Island home.

wanT To Go?: $30; $24 members.

farmhouse family Day: Pinkster celebration

when : Saturday, May 13, 11 am – 3 pm

where : Wyckoff House

Museum, 5816 Clarendon Road, East Flatbush

aGeS: All

whaT: Discover the history of Pinkster, one of North America’s first African celebrations, with storytelling and music from Chief Baba Neil Clarke.

wanT To Go?: Free.

lift off: a waterfront kite festival

when : Saturday, May 13, 11 am – 3 pm

where : Brooklyn Bridge Park, 334 Furman St, Downtown Brooklyn

aGeS: 3 and up

whaT: Launch your kites, enjoy live entertainment, and learn all about the science of flight through kite-flying activities and experiments.

wanT To Go?: Free.

movies under the Stars: 5th annual Public School film festival

when : May 20, 7:45 – 9:45 pm where : Sunset Park, 41 St., 44 St., bet. 5 Ave. and 7 Ave., Sunset Park

aGeS: All

whaT: Catch the filmmakers of tomorrow today at this film fest celebrating the talent and diversity of our students’ voices citywide.

wanT To Go?: Free.

madagascar The musical

when : May 21, 3 pm

where : Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn

aGeS: 3 – 8

whaT: See all of your favorite characters from the film as they go on an unexpected journey to the world of Madagascar.

wanT To Go?: $46-$69. (718) 856–5464,

156th memorial Day Parade and memorial Service

when : May 29, 11 am

where : Brooklyn’s Memorial Day Parade, 3rd Ave. & 78th Street, Brooklyn

aGeS: All

whaT: Honor and remember those who lost their lives in the defense of our nation at this annual parade followed by a memorial service.

wanT To Go?: Free.

children’s Day: kodomo no hi

when : Sunday, May 7, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm & 1 – 3 pm.

28 | May 2023
M A n HAttA n
Become a keeper for morning and learn about animal moms, at the Prospect Park Zoo on May 6

where : Japan Society, 333 E 47th St, Murray Hill|

aGeS: 3 – 10

whaT: Celebrate this holiday with traditional carp streamers, sword-fighting, dance performance, Children’s Daythemed crafts, and more!

wanT To Go?: $15.

17th annual Dance Parade new york

when : May 20, 11:45 am where : New York Dance Parade, 17th Street and Sixth Avenue, Chelsea

aGeS: All

whaT: See the fancy footwork of 10,000 dancers showcasing over 100 unique styles of dance!

wanT To Go?: Free.

Story Pirates live on Stage: The amazing adventure

when : May 21, 4 – 5:30 pm

where : Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St, New York City, NY 10036, New York City

aGeS: 5 – 12

whaT: See some of your favorite Story Pirates live at this comedy-improv performance while raising money for a good cause.

wanT To Go? Tickets start at $35.


25th birthday celebration of everett children’s


when : April 1-May 26, Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 am – 6 pm

where : The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

aGeS: All

whaT: Celebrate 25 years of outdoor nature and science play, sing “Happy Birthday” to the caterpillars, revisit iconic activities, and more.

wanT To Go?: NYC Residents $4-$15; Non-residents $15-$35.

family nature club: mother’s Day

when : May 14, 10:30 am –12:30 pm where : Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx

aGeS: All

whaT: This Mother’s Day, connect your family to the local environment through unstructured free-play exploration and investigation.

wanT To Go?: Free.

bronx night market

when : May 27, 1 – 7 pm. where : Fordham Plaza, 1 Fordham Plaza, Bronx aGeS: All

whaT: Let someone else do the cooking and choose from a curated selection of local Bronx & NYC-based dining options along with arts & crafts, live performances, and more.

wanT To Go?: Free admission.

Queen S

viva el cinco De mayo: festival Del Son

when : Saturday, May 6, 3 pm where : Colden Auditorium, 153-49 Reeves Ave, Flushing

aGeS: All

whaT: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at this festive program featuring four world-renowned

ensembles on stage presenting traditional Mexican music and dance.

wanT To Go?: $20. (718) 793–8080, kupferbergcenter. org/event/cinco-de-mayo

Sheep Shearing festival

when : Saturday, May 13, 11 am – 4 pm

where : Queens County Farm Museum, 75-50 Little Neck Parkway, Glen Oaks

aGeS: All

whaT: NYC’s ONLY sheep shearing festival brings you sheep shearing demons, live music, hayrides, kids crafts, scavenger hunt, and more!

wanT To Go?: $15; $12 (ages 3–11); Free for 0-2 year olds. (718) 347–3276, queensfarm. org

hands on history: happy birthday, Joey ramone!

when : Saturday, May 20, 1 pm where : King Manor Museum, 150-03 Jamaica Ave. Jamaica

aGeS: All

whaT: Hey ho, let’s go and honor the legacy of Queens native and punk legend Joey Ramone by making your own guitar picks and learning some basic punk chords on electric guitar!

wanT To Go?: Free. (718) 206–0545,

May 2023 | Brooklyn Family 29 MAY calendar
Lift o ff: A Waterfront Kite Festical takes flight in Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 13. explore the seaside with the new York Aquarium on May 7.

What it is and why it’s banned in NYC’s public schools

You may have seen a lot of news recently about ChatGPT and other advanced artificial intelligence (AI) programs that are skyrocketing in popularity. The technology has made waves in recent months and is already receiving its share of criticism.

In fact, since the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, its usage has been banned in companies like Amazon, Verizon, and JP Morgan, as well as being banned from college campuses and schools around the country, including New York City public schools. This begs the questions, what exactly is ChatGPT? How does it work, and why is it sparking so much debate and discourse?

ChatGPT is the seminal product of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab that was founded in 2015 by Elon Musk and other tech entrepreneurs. It uses AI and algorithms to generate responses to questions and simulate conversation. Its Generative Pre-Trained Transformer (GPT) is taught to understand human language by being fed a huge sample of text and information from the internet. Essentially, the more information that the AI is given, the more accurate and precise it’s able to be in its responses.

This is not new technology- for example, every Google search you make uses AI to predict what you’re going to ask and analyze your searches to direct you to the best results. What makes ChatGPT different from other AIs and chatbots is its accuracy and versatility in mimicking conversation and generating content and knowledge. Instead of merely answering a user’s question, ChatGPT is able to hold real dialogue, ask follow-up questions, argue different premises, and even correct its own mistakes.

Even more incredible is the AI’s ability to produce longform content. With just one detailed prompt, ChatGPT can solve mathematical equations, generate web copy or year-end reports, write film scripts, essays, proposals, and much more. It can serve as a tool to provide a jumping off point for a project, fix grammatical and structural

mistakes, or produce a complete and fully fleshed out paper of any length.

This is where complications arise surrounding the use of ChatGPT and other AI systems in school and in the workplace. Because the technology is so advanced and accessible to the public (it’s currently completely free to use), educators and employers alike are worried about the potential for an increase in plagiarized and nonoriginal work.

“While the tool may be able to provide quick and easy answers to questions, it does not build critical-thinking and problemsolving skills, which are essential for academic and lifelong success,” said Jenna Lyle, a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Education.

While this sentiment is shared among many educators, others believe that the system should be incorporated into teaching curriculums rather than banned from it, with some comparing the current panic around the chatbot to the early reaction to Google and the accessibility of information on the internet.

Engineers at OpenAI are aware of the concerns surrounding their product, saying in a statement, “We don’t want ChatGPT to be used for misleading purposes in schools or anywhere else, so we’re already developing mitigations to help anyone identify text generated by that system”. The company also claims that the system is not perfect, and that it may sometimes produce content that is inappropriate, inaccurate, or otherwise harmful, and should therefore never be used for advice or crucial projects.

The future potential and impact of ChatGPT and AI in general is unknown and constantly evolving. As these programs become more advanced and adept at performing human tasks, society will inevitably need to learn to accept and incorporate them into everyday life. While the list of institutions that have banned the usage of ChatGPT continues to grow, it is hard to know how attitudes will change in the coming months and years. For now, much like our AI counterparts, we will have to observe, learn, and adapt to this new era of artificial intelligence.

30 | May 2023
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