Bronx/Riverdale Family - May 2023

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≠ Camps that specialize in Stem/Steam, Arts, Sports & More! Take a Hike! Family-Friendly Trails Inspector General Lucy Lang on serving New York families while raising a family of her own may 2023
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May 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 3 M Ay 2023 contents F eaTUR es 16 | Transit MTA to expand bus stroller pilot to over 1,000 buses by fall 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 4 | editor’s letter 6 | a sk the e xpert My child wants to be a vegetarian 8 | a sk the e xpert Why do kids get nosebleeds? 10 | c amp Thriving at summer camp in the arts, sports, and STEM/STEAM programs 14 | education The history and method of a Montessori Education 18 | family Day o ut 10 best family-friendly hiking trails 20 | Travel A family paradise at Eau Palm Beach 22 | childcare Should I hire a nanny or a babysitter? Family FU n
| c alendar All the fun events and activities for May Di R e CTo R ies 12 | Summer Program listings 14 | m ontessori School listings on The cover
Yumi Matsuo
& Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | Cover Story Written by: Jeannine Cintron Produced by: Donna Duarte-Ladd pg. 26 pg. 24 pg. 18 pg. 28 pg. 14

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

documenting family milestones on social media.

With summer just around the corner, we want you to absorb the outdoors with a family-friendly hike (see page 18) and help your kids to explore art, sports, and STEM/ STEAM this summer. Check out our camp and summer program listings on page 12 and make this summer one to remember!


Publi S her: Clifford Luster

e xecuTive Direc Tor: Donna Duarte-Ladd

aSSociaTe Publi S her: Erin Brof

aDver Ti S in G Direc Tor: Stacie Goldberg

DePuT y eDiTor: Jeannine Cintron

DiGiTal eDiTor: Kaitlyn Riggio

e venTS manaG er: Shara Levine

r e P or Ter: Barbara Russo

Senior aDvi S er: Susan Weiss

Par Tner S hi P manaG er S :

Lauren Alperin, Lauren Anchin, Joan Bergman, Mary Cassidy, Suzanne Cirigliano, Chris Cunnington, Lori Falco, Shelli Goldberg-Peck, LynnMarie Hanley, Lisa Herlihy, Janine Mulé, Cara Roteman, Nina Spiegelman, Gwen Tomaselli

marke Tin G & S TraTe Gy Direc Tor: Rosalia Bobé

Sale S & marke Tin G coor D inaTor: Mykael Fields

marke Tin G aSS i STanT: Tilejah Gilead

ar T Direc Tor: Leah Mitch

web Develo P er: Sylvan Migdal

Gra P hic De S i G ner S : Arthur Arutyunov, Connie Sulsenti

eD iTor S aT larG e:

Serena Norr, Cris Pearlstein

eD iTorial conTribuTor S : Jana Beauchamp, Mia Salas

eD iTorial i nTern S : Bailey Germain, Brian Zhang

ConTaCT inFoRmaTion

aDver Ti S in G: (718) 260-4554

circulaTion: (718) 260-8336

aDD re SS : New York Family Media/Schneps Media 1 MetroTech Center North, Third Floor Brooklyn, NY 11201

Pre S i D enT: Victoria Schneps-Yunis

ceo : Joshua Schneps

coo : Clifford Luster

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

4 | 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
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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

6 | May 2023
ask the expert

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 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 7
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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.”

8 | May 2023

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

With author Lenore Skenazy

Tuesday, June 6, 2023, 4 p.m. ET

It’s time to change the way we look at obstacles and stop making assumptions that our kids are incapable of clearing their own path in life. Join author, columnist, blogger and reality TV show host Lenore Skenazy, aka “The World’s Worst Mom,” for a talk laced with humor, wit and the unvarnished truth: Your kids can be independent. Skenazy will share simple but powerful ways anxious parents can counteract the urge to overprotect their children, move away from fear-based parenting, and give their bubble-wrapped children the freedom to develop confidence and resilience the natural way: through unstructured, child-directed play.


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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.

10 | May 2023
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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 oneweek sessions, registration is required. For additional information contact Admissions at 212.744.0195.

h udson country m ontessori

Summer c amp

340 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle


Hudson Country’s camp is an eight-week program (June 26 -August 18) for ages 18 months to 12 years. With themed weekly schedules, campers engage in indoor/ outdoor activities while learning and having fun. Activities include daily swim instruction (on-premise pool), sports, hands-on science, technology, art, field trips, music, dance and more. Flexible scheduling, full & half-day sessions and extended hours 7:30am6:00pm available.

m osholu Day c amp

261 Arden Valley Road, Southfields 845-243-0751

For 80 years, Mosholu Day Camp has been providing affordable quality camping to children ages 5-15 from all over the area. Sitting on

beautiful Lake Cohasset at Harriman State Park, they offer children a place to develop, experience, and enjoy nature, while taking part in unforgettable summer activities like swimming, boating, sports, music, arts, and everything else you’d come to expect from an awesome summer day camp! Buses with A/C, full 8-week summer, multi-week options.

n ew Settlement community center

1501 Jerome Avenue, Bronx 718-758-5901

The New Settlement

Community Center is offering a range of programming this upcoming summer and fall, including Summer Swim Camp, Afterschool, STEM, Yoga, Mixed Martial Arts, Music, Swimming, and more. All classes are either low-cost or free and serve community members 6-month-old to seniors. Summer Camp

registration starts April 24th. Summer Arts and Swimming Program registration starts June 26th, and ends July 9th. Fall programs and Afterschool registration starts August 28th and ends September 10th.

St c atharine academy (Sca) h igher achievement Program 2550 Willamsbridge Rd. Bronx NY 718-882-2882

The Higher Achievement Program (HAP) at SCA is an immersive program preparing girls entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grades for the TACHS Exam. Students are introduced to the high school environment, SCA’s STEM Lab and Robotics program, and a variety of sports. July 10th - July 28th, 9 am - 2 pm. Program fee: $500.

12 | May 2023 C amps Di R e CT o R y | Special Advertising Supplement
Need a place to hang out this summer? REGISTER TODAY! FULL SUMMER - JUN 26-AUG 17 Weekly options available! Check us out! Mosholu Day Camp/MMCC Located at Lake Cohasset in Harriman State Park 261 Arden Valley Road, Southfields, NY 10975 CALL 845.243.0751 VISIT EMAIL Building communities one life at time Swimming, boating, sports, music, arts, and everything else you’d come to expect from an awesome summer day camp! We’re so Social Follow us @newyorkfamily on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and tag us #newyorkfamily in your NYC adventures!
May 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 13
Powered by Pocono Springs Camp

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!

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

h udson country m ontessori School

340 Quaker Ridge Road

New Rochelle, NY 10804


Hudson Country Montessori School inspires and promotes innate curiosity and a love of learning through our progressive Montessori pedagogy. Striving to help children grow into respectful, socially-adept and compassionate leaders. The curriculum is designed to empower students to become independent, creative thinkers and confident achievers. Private, co-educational school, toddlers (18 months) through 8th grade. Schedule a private tour today!

May 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 15
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Easier Strolling in the City

MTA to expand bus stroller pilot to over 1,000 buses by fall

New York City parents will soon be able to smoothly roll their strollers on buses across 57 routes throughout the city as part of a pilot program that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expanding.

The MTA announced recently it will begin the second phase of its Open Stroller Pilot, which will retrofit over 1,000 buses with a designated space for strollers, so that parents don’t have to fold them before boarding — as mandated under the current MTA stroller policy across most of the city.

The expansion comes after the agency launched the program in September on only a handful of bus routes. By next fall, the second phase of the program will retrofit all Local and Select buses operating out of six depots that serve around 250,000 daily weekly riders and include some of the busiest routes in the system, according to the MTA.

“The Open Stroller Program has demonstrated that we can make buses more accessible to all customers while providing faster, cleaner,

and safer service,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “As we expand, more and more bus customers will benefit from enhanced accessibility, especially for parents and caregivers.”

A complete list of stroller-ready routes will include:

• The B1, B3, B6/6 LTD, B36, B64, B74 in Brooklyn

• The Bx6, Bx6 SBS, Bx8, Bx11, Bx17, Bx19, Bx21, Bx23, Bx27, Bx31, Bx32, Bx33, Bx35, Bx36/36LTD, Bx46 in the Bronx.

• The M15, M31, M101, M102, M103, M125 in Manhattan.

• The Q12, Q13, Q15, Q15A, Q16, Q20A, Q20B, Q26, Q28, Q31, Q32, Q44 SBS, Q48, Q50LTD, Q76 in Queens.

• The S40, S42, S46, S48, S51, S52, S53, S66, S76, S81 LTD, S86 LTD, S90 LTD, S93 LTD, S96 LTD, S98 LTD in Staten Island.

The MTA received largely positive feedback from more than 200 online customer comments on its stroller policy since the pilot started. Four out of five customers supported expanding the pilot to

more buses, the agency said.

The idea behind the pilot is to create a seamless boarding experience for parents in a way that speeds up the process for other riders as well. Bus operators haven’t reported any safety incidents or conflicts from on any of the routes where the pilot has been implemented so far.

“As a mother of three young children who has had to frequently navigate public transportation with a stroller, I am thrilled to hear about the expansion of the Open Stroller Pilot Program,” said Assemblymember Grace Lee.

Participating buses will be identifiable from the outside by a stroller decal that customers can spot before boarding. The stroller space inside the bus is also designated with a decal and is separate from existing priority seating for bus riders with disabilities.

“This program, which will create designated open stroller spaces without compromising wheelchair access, is an innovative way to make public transit more family-friendly,” said U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “I look forward to seeing parents in my district take advantage of this pilot program on the Crosstown M31 bus and hope to see designated stroller spaces on additional routes in the future.”

This story originally posted on our sister site

16 | May 2023
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10 Best Family-Friendly Hiking Trails

Spring is the seaon when we can (warmly) enjoy nature! On a hike with beautiful views of the valley, monuments, and wildlife, we can breathe fresh air and admire nature. Even though that might seem difficult to enjoy in NYC, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to escape city life.

There are paths in curated New York City parks that can be great destinations for a hike! If you’re willing to venture out of the city as well, there are family-friendly hiking trails located under an hour and a half away that will give you some amazing views. Just select a skill level that matches your children’s experience and have fun!

Kazimiroff Nature Trail

Pelham Bay Park

Middletown Road & Stadium Avenue, NY 10465

The Kazimiroff Nature Trail in Pelham Bay Park is a lovely 1.2 mile path where one can really study wildlife and scenery. The trail is on Hunter Island in the Bronx and runs through wetlands, forest, and ends on a beach.

You may also pass Hunter Mansion garden. It is a beginner level hike which is

perfect for families who want their kids to explore nature firsthand.

Liberty Walkway

Liberty State Park

200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305

The Liberty Walkway may not be a typical hike, but it is great for families. The walkway is 3 miles out and back and offers superb views of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

While taking a walk, or bike ride, there is also a monument and old train station which your kids can learn about. Along the path there are benches, plaques about the wildlife, and large patches of grass to have a picnic.

Pine Meadow Lake

Harriman State Park

54 Seven Lakes Dr, Sloatsburg, NY 10974 Harriman State Park has many spectacular trails since it is the second largest state park in New York. The Pine Meadow Lake 10 mile loop is perfect for admiring the forest and lake, especially if you are looking for some tranquility.

Another fun trail is the Lemon Squeezer (Island Pond Loop) where rock formations

create a type of tunnel which will definitely excite your kids!

The Ramble

Central Park

Mid-Park between 73rd and 79th

The Ramble in Central Park is 36 acres of winding paths, trees, and hiding places. It is a great place to get lost in, but never leave the city. It is also perfect for birdwatching because this patch of greenery is a migratory stop for traveling birds.

Central Park also has other paths, such as the narrow Central Park Reservoir Loop. It is only for running or walking and circles the Jackie Onassis Reservoir.

Stairway to Heaven

Appalachian Trail

443 Vernon Warwick Rd, Vernon Township, NJ 07462

Stairway to Heaven is a part of the Appalachian Mountain range in New Jersey. The hike is 2.9 miles out and back and is connected to the Wawayanda Mountain. It is a moderate to challenging trail which offers a steep climb, great views of Pochuck Mountain and the Catskills and a waterfall.

18 | May 2023
family day out

This is one of the most challenging hikes on this list meant for teenagers. If this hike isn’t a good fit for your family, there are many other trail options in the Appalachian Mountain range where a hiker can pick and choose the length.

Cass Gallagher Nature Trail

Van Cortlandt Park

Broadway and Van Cortlandt Park S, Bronx, NY 10471

Van Cortlandt Park is a great park to bring the little ones. This trail is a popular and easy 1.4 mile loop for beginners. It only takes a little more than 30 minutes to complete. There are other trails at Van Cortlandt Park, such as the John Muir Nature Trail and the Van Cortlandt Park Trail if you want a bit more of a challenge.

Carpenter’s Loop

Fort Lee Historic Park

Hudson Terrace, Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Carpenter’s Loop is a 5.5 mile path in Fort Lee Historic Park on the border of New Jersey. There is some slightly rough

terrain with wonderful views of the George Washington Bridge.

On this path a hiker will find a model Revolutionary War encampment, cliffs, the shore of the Hudson, and the New York City skyline.

Cape Fly Away

Palisades Interstate Park

Alpine, NJ 07620

Palisades Interstate Park is definitely worth the trek across the bridge for amazing trails near the coast of the Hudson River. The Cape Fly Away is an easy trail about 3 miles long. It offers views of the riverfront and mild rocky terrain for the adventurous little one. There are other trails as well near the Alpine Boat Basin where a hiker can get really close to the water.

The High Line


23rd St. and 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011 When a visitor travels The High Line, which used to be railroad tracks, they can see amazing, unique views of the city with their

own eyes. You can walk the entire length of the High Line, 1.45 miles, or enter at different points, found here under Park Access & Info.

There are a ton of attractions in the park, from Chelsea Market to the 10th Avenue Square and Overlook, to keep the little ones entertained. The park does not lack in nature either, especially when you visit the Gansevoort Woodland. The High Line is open year round but the hours change seasonally.

Camp Smith Trail

Appalachian Trail

28 Bear Mountain Bridge Rd, Cortlandt, NY 10567

The Camp Smith Trail, specifically on Manitou Mountain, is a 4 mile loop which is a little bit of a workout for you and the kids, but it can always be made shorter.

The hike offers plenty of panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and plenty of photo opportunities. If you are up for a challenge with teens, Anthony’s Nose is near the Camp Smith Trail and offers an all encompassing view after a steep climb.

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A Family Paradise at Eau Palm Beach

Pull up to the Eau Palm Beach and welcome your family to Palm Beach paradise. The family-friendly oceanfront property is full of fun in the Florida sun for kids of all ages.

Play on the private beach and seven acres of oceanfront property, dine at one of the many family-friendly restaurants, relax in the spacious accommodations designed by Jonathan Adler, and simply soak in the Palm Beach pampering. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a luxurious escape with the fam.

Three days will give you ample time to enjoy the Palm Beach sun and surf. It’s a classic mini-getaway. Stay longer for more rest and relaxation and time to explore.

There’s a resort pool and tranquility pool, private beach, multiple restaurants, arcade, fitness center, spa, ice cream shop, and kids and teens programs.

Families can even bring their fur babies, since the resort warmly welcomes four-legged friends with their own bed, bowls, stylish bandana, and homemade welcome treats.

Families are welcomed with an adorable Palm Beach tote bag and pineapple water for the kids and champagne for the adults. It’s a great way to start the vacay!

Upon arrival, it is clear that the centerpiece is the resort’s family pool. There are tons of fun floats and poolside loungers to get a front row seat to the action. Splash and play in the pool until it’s time to walk a few steps down to the private beach.

The wonderful staff will set families up with lounge chairs and towels and kids will love that the towel stand is even adorned with towels shaped like swans. Build sand castles, jump in the waves, and run up and down the oceanfront collecting seashells and making footsteps in the sand. There are also free sport activities at the beach for more family adventures.

Play all day at the pools and beach and then cool off with a hop, skip and jump on the splash pad on the way to get tasty treats at Melt ice cream shop. The hardest part will be deciding whether to get the soft serve or choose a favor of ice cream for mix ins and more. Everyone will love the cold ice cream

treat for any hot day.

Next, play at the kids club or arcade until you win the claw machine games and then reward your family with a picture perfect moment in the photo booth.

The endless swimming and activities will work up an appetite and the food on property was delicious and diverse enough to have options for everyone in the family. Be sure to book reservations ahead since the restaurants fill up very quickly and there is limited capacity, even for hotel guests.

Families will love that every dining outlet has an extensive kids menu. Breakfast at Polpo is a great way to start the day, and a kid favorite on their menu is the chocolate chip pancakes.

Have lunch or dinner al fresco (and a few steps from the action at the pool) at Breeze. Feast your eyes on the oceanfront setting and all the sunny yellow tables, umbrellas, and people watching and your appetite on the tasty fare of local and fresh food.

One of the highlights is a smoothie and margarita bike where patron can pedal the bike to mix up a smoothie (or margarita for adults).

20 | May 2023

Dinner at Polpo was more formal and delicious even if service is a bit slow for the typical NYC child. It’s an oceanside restaurant with authentic Italian flavors delivered with the look, feel and comfort of relaxed luxury.

Families will also find fine dining at Angle, a fire pit and light snacks at Stir, and fresh, delish sushi at Bento (make sure to snag a seat at the chef’s table for an omakase meal). In room dining is also a treat, complete with roll in table and special extras.

After a fun-filled day, retreat to your room, your new home away from home. The property has bright and cheerful and spacious rooms complete with beautiful ocean views that are great for families. The waves crashing will lull you to sleep at night and wake you up in the best way in the morning.

Guest accommodations, designed by Jonathan Adler, are colorful and chic and very Palm Beach with sun, sand, and even seahorses woven into the décor. Families will especially enjoy stepping out onto the private

balcony with spectacular views to cozy up in the hanging chair swing.

Families can swing along making memories by watching the waves crash, and enjoying the views and the company all while making plans to come back again soon.

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

100 South Ocean Blvd.

Manalapan, FL 33462 561-533-6000

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May 2023 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 21
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Should I Hire a Nanny or a Babysitter?

They both care for your kids and are responsible for keeping them safe, but there are significant differences between a nanny and babysitter. If you want to find the right childcare fit for your family, it’s important to fully understand how a nanny’s job differs from a babysitter’s job and vice versa.

What is a nanny?

A nanny cares for children when their parents are at work on a full-time or part-time basis depending on the family’s needs. Nannies are often an alternative to daycare or aftercare, though usually have more experience or training than your average after school or weekend babysitter. Because nannies typically spend a lot of time with your children at your home, they are naturally immersed in your family’s life. Nannies often prepare kids’ meals, help with homework, and may even take care of the kids’ laundry. Parents also have nannies take their children to activities, appointments, and playdates. They are responsible for taking care of children’s physical, social, and emotional needs.

What is a babysitter?

A babysitter provides childcare when parents are either at work or have personal engagements during the week or on the weekends. They typically care for kids at the family’s home and are less likely to take children out of the house. Babysitters may or may not be employed on a regular basis depending on the family’s schedule and needs. While babysitters may help kids with their homework, their primary responsibility is the physical and emotional well being of the kids in their care. Babysitters may hold other part- or full-time jobs, which could sometimes impact their availability.

Key differences between a nanny and a babysitter

Experience : Professional nannies care for kids as a career, they typically have more direct experience compared to babysitters. Nannies may also have deeper knowledge of

popular parenting styles and how to handle kids at different developmental stages. However, both nannies and babysitters can receive child-specific education or training, so it’s important to ask for relevant details when you’re hiring, especially if you are looking for your caregiver to have specific certifications or experience levels.

Schedules : For full-time or part-time childcare, your family definitely needs a nanny. If you need an on-call caregiver or someone to watch your kids only a few steady hours a week, a babysitter may best suit your needs. Babysitters often work with a few families at a time, so you may need to develop a relationship with more so you have options for childcare when you need coverage.

Pay : Nannies and babysitters may both require a minimum number of hours (for the week or workday, respectively), then charge based on hours worked, but nannies usually have a higher rate based on their experience and hourly employment status. How nannies and babysitters are paid differs, too. Nannies receive a W-2 along with sick time and

vacation days, whereas babysitters are usually paid in cash since their wages don’t typically meet the threshold for filing for taxes.

Responsibilities : A babysitter’s main job is to supervise kids and encourage play for the handful of hours they’re in charge. They may prep meals or encourage clean up, but any kid-related chores are second to ensuring everyone’s safety and wellbeing. A nanny, however, does much of what a parent does–think scheduling, meal prep, pep talks, rides, etc.–while providing physical, emotional and social support to the children they care for. They’re hands on and often need to guide and discipline children, which requires deeper understanding of childhood development and effective caregiving strategies. was founded in 2006. Now owned by New York Family Media, the number one parenting resource for New York families. Mommybites works hard on sharing resources for all moms and families in the New York area, including our most popular feature—our momgenerated nanny board,

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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 | Bronx/Riverdale 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 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 27
Photo by Yumi Matsuo


25th birthday celebration of everett children’s Garden

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.

immulate frida on cinco de mayo

when : May 5, 3 pm

where : Woodlawn Heights Library, 4355 Katonah Avenue, Bronx

aGeS: 5 – 12

whaT: Become an artist like Frida Kahlo this Cinco de Mayo by reading a book about her life and making an art project in her style.

wanT To Go?:

Tie Dye in the bronx

when : May 5, 3:30 – 5:30 pm

where : Playground One Thirty Four CXXXIV, Cypress Pl & E 133rd St. Bronx

aGeS: All

whaT: Use tie-dye to transform a plain white-T into a colorful and unique shirt that you’ll be proud to wear all season long.

wanT To Go?: Free.

nyc Parks Present: family Day in the bronx

when : May 13, noon – 4 pm

where : Mazzei Playground, 2484 Williamsbridge Road, Bronx

aGeS: All

whaT: Bring the family out for a day of games, obstacle courses, sports, and much more!

wanT To Go?: Free.

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.

family art Project: my

Green heaven

when : Starting May 20, Daily, 10 am – 1 pm, through May 21. where : Wave Hill, 4900 Independence Ave. The Bronx

aGeS: All

whaT: Inspired by Wave Hill’s emerald hillsides, create a world of hues in paint and collage, explore the history of the color green, and make your own beautiful verdant shades.

wanT To Go?: Included with admission: $10; $6 students and seniors 65 and older; $4 children 6 and older; free for members. (718) 549–3200,

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.

M A nh AttA n

children’s Day: kodomo no hi

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

28 | May 2023
try a Family Art Project — My Green Heaven – at Wave Hill on May 20 and 21. calendar

wanT To Go?: $15.

musical explorers family concerts

when : Saturday, May 13, 12 – 1 pm & 3 – 4 pm.

where : Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Avenue, Upper West Side

aGeS: 4 – 8

whaT: Meet artists from around the world who lead this vibrant, highly interactive concert for children.

wanT To Go?: $15. (646) 477–8416,

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.

Brook Lyn

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.

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,

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 | Bronx/Riverdale Family 29 MAY calendar
t he 17th Annual dance Parade struts its stuff in Manhattan on May 20. carnegie Hall hosts two Family concerts on May 13.

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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