May 2022

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VOLUME 39, #3 MAY 2022


Summer Travel Bargains

HELP! My Child Is A Hacker Teen Turmoil: Managing Emotions


Family RESOURCE Guide

Pull Out and Save!

The Original Fun Family Movie Experience... Call or visit our website for times and films scheduled on our 5 giant outdoor screens.



May 2022 • Volume 39 • Issue 3

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Michele Miller GENERAL MANAGER Paul Kline SALES REPRESENTATIVES Jennifer Staebell Paul Kline GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Karen Wawszczyk Melanie Schroeder CONTRIBUTORS Barbara Blackburn • Donna Phillips Richard De Fino • Deborah Williams Kathy Lundquist • Myrna Beth Haskell Mike Daugherty




Visit Our Web Site To Reach Us: Advertising Department Calendar Submissions Subscriptions Editorial Submissions MAILING ADDRESS: 3147 Delaware Ave., Suite B Buffalo, NY 14217 Phone: (716) 836-3486 • Fax: (716) 836-3680 PRINTED BY: Commercial Printing Division The Post-Journal, Jamestown WE ARE AN AUDITED PUBLICATION CIRCULATION (copies printed): 20,000

Where It’s At! Happy Mother’s Day! Features: 6n

13 Play Dates Just for Mom by Christa Melnyk Hines


A Letter to the Expectant Mama: 9 True Clichés About Motherhood by Christa Melnyk Hines

FAMILY RESOURCE GUIDE A Special Pull-Out Section 17 n

Regulars: 5 n Web Finds / What’s New In The Kid Biz 10 n Family Travel Summer Travel Bargains by Deborah Williams 12 n Raising Digital Kids My Child is a Hacker?! HELP!! by Mike Daugherty 14 n Journey Into Fatherhood The Joys of Warm Weather by Richard De Fino 15 n Parent Previews by Kirsten Hawkes 16 n Pick of the Literature by Dr. Donna Phillips 42 n Special Needs Success Story: Success Comes In Many Forms, But Should Always Be Celebrated by Nicole Forgione

45 n Tweens and Teens Teen Turmoil: Helping Teens Manage Their Emotions by Tanni Haas, Ph.D. 52 n Single Parenting 10 Survival Tips for Single Parents by Christa Melnyk Hines 53 n Dear Teacher by Peggy Gisler & Marge Eberts 54 n The Kid Friendly Kitchen by Kathy Lundquist 55 n The Kiddie Gourmet Curry’s Restaurant & Pub by Barbara Blackburn


46 n Summer Camps

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Find this entire issue online at May 2022 WNY Family 3

4 WNY Family May 2022

web.finds The month of May is a time to celebrate moms. And this month we decided that brand new or expectant moms would be our focus. All the items below are inexpensive, were in stock and quickly available via Amazon Prime shipping as this issue went to press, so you can get them in time for May 8th. Or, if you’re reading this later in the month, consider these items as gifts for a baby shower … or an “anytime gift” to make mom or a mom-to-be smile!


This size-adjustable bracelet comes in girl and boy versions with four charms — “A Mother’s Love is Forever,” tiny baby feet, an inscribed heart, and a pink or blue “gem.” (By Infinity Collection, $15)


Eliminate arguments over who is going to change a dirty diaper, get out of bed in the middle of the night to pick up baby for a feeding, walk the floors with an infant who doesn’t want to sleep, or other less-than-favorite tasks associated with parenting. Flip this stainless steel coin, which comes in several varieties, and let fate take its course! (By FrereFeter Gifts, $9.49)


You don’t have to be a new mom to enjoy this five-year journal and memory book. It’s perfect for busy moms who want to capture the everyday joys, challenges, and the in-betweens of motherhood. Start on any date and record a single thought, memorable milestone, or special event to build a record of precious moments in parenting over the course of five years. (By Chronicle Books, artist Nathalie Lété, $16.95)


This stacking ceramic container, made of ceramic stoneware and pewter material, would look adorable in baby’s nursery and is the perfect place to keep first mementos — baby’s first tooth or a lock of hair. It also comes in a blue version. (By Demdaco, $25.96)

What’s New... IN THE KIDBIZ SPRING INTO NATURE Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama, NY is hosting its annual Spring into Nature celebration, Saturday, May 7, 9am to 4pm. This year they are welcoming everyone back to the refuge with a variety of nature-related exhibits, crafts, fishing demos, and games for the kids. There will be activities for all ages, including live birds of prey, archery games, and guided trail walks. Resident experts will also be out for the Eagle Watch, so you can see and learn about their nesting behavior. Don’t forget to meet Puddles, the blue goose mascot of the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since WNY weather is unpredictable, most of the events have moved indoors and will take place, rain or shine. Food will be available for purchase. Parking and all activities are FREE! Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is located midway between Buffalo and Rochester at 1101 Casey Rd., Basom, NY 14013. Individuals with disabilities and any other person who may need special assistance to participate in this program should contact the Refuge at 585-948-5445.

ROCHESTER’S LILAC FESTIVAL The largest free festival of its kind in North America runs for three weekends, May 6-8, May 12-15, and May 19-22, from 10:30am to 8:30pm. Peek around every corner and you’ll discover magnificent gardens and exhilarating special events. More than 2,500 participants, including 20 marching bands, dancers, costumed characters, and the popular Damascus mini cars are what makes the Lilac Parade, May 7, 10:30am, one of the most special times at the Festival. The Kids’ Zone is a family favorite every year! Open every day of the Festival, it offers a Zipline, bounce houses, and midway games. For details on many more Festival activities, location, parking, shuttle buses, and more, visit May 2022 WNY Family 5

13 Play Dates Just for Moms


lthough we’re rarely alone, motherhood can sometimes feel a little lonely. Spending time with a few understanding friends to vent, laugh, and reenergize in a kid-free zone is healthy and a great way to shake off the blues. “We tend to be able to schedule nap time for toddlers, bath time for babies to help them relax, and even make it easy for our partners to hit the basketball court with buddies. But when it comes to us, we forget that we need the same recharging,” says Maria Bailey, host of Mom Talk Radio, author, talk show host and founder of National Mom’s Nite out. Whether you have a gaggle of friends or just a few you’d like to know better, here are 13 ideas to fire up some fun.

Tap your inner Matisse.

Studies suggest that artistic engagement can reduce stress and anxiety. Many art studios offer instructor-led, onetime classes created specifically for ladies’ nights out. Feel a pleasant drop in your blood pressure while painting and sipping wine in the company of friends. No clean-up required!

Puzzle it out.

If your group loves mystery games, plan a gathering at a mystery “escape room.” In this latest entertainment trend, two or more people are locked in a room 6 WNY Family May 2022

peruse, guests can write in their own responses, and some interesting ‘conversations’ can result,” Perry says.

Host a “My Favorite Things” party.

— by Christa Melnyk Hines and must find and follow clues to find a way to break out of it within a set amount of time.

Pamper and primp.

Schedule manicures and pedicures for you and your friends. Or check out a blow out bar, where you and your friends can sip refreshments while each getting a signature blow dry and style or makeup touch-up. Depending on the size of your group, some spas will book an event just for your party.

Get pinning.

Host a party in which your guests bring snacks and beverages that they find on Pinterest. When Jen Conrad, a mom of three, hosted a Pinterest Party, she and her friends made a scented sugar scrub together that they found on the site. “Everything we ate, drank and did was a Pinterest idea,” she says.

Coordinate a book swap.

Invite your friends to bring gently used books, cookbooks. and magazines they no longer want. Guests can choose as many books to take as they brought to give away. Stephanie Perry of suggests providing sticky notes so your friends can share their thoughts about a particular book. “As they

What’s one kitchen gadget, makeup item, or cleaning product that you can’t live without? Hide your item in a gift bag and exchange with friends. Once everyone has opened her bag, each participant explains why she loves the product she brought to give away. “We all took notes so we could run out and try the fun stuff,” says Amber Shepard, a mom of two. Provide each guest with a complimentary notepad and pen to keep track of ideas or clever tips.

Swirl, sniff and sip. Head to an area winery for a relaxing wine tasting or host your own. Choose a group of wines from a specific region, ranging from dry to sweet and hide the names behind a large bow or decorative material. Place a placard with a number in front of each bottle. Give each guest a glass with her own wine charm. Provide scoring sheets for each wine they taste. Serve light appetizers including cheese and crackers, chocolates and palettecleansing fruits.

Stock the freezer.

As if the school year isn’t hectic enough, the holidays are always busier. Make meal time easier by planning ahead with a frozen meal exchange. Each friend should arrive with enough four-person servings for the number of attendees. If five of you participate, each should arrive with five meals. For a simpler exchange, agree on a budget in advance and choose guests who have similar dietary tastes. Casseroles, lasagnas, marinated meats, and soups/ stews work well. Remember to consider any food allergies.

Plan a cover dish party. “I love this idea because it allows you to have meaningful conversation with other moms and deepen those relationships,” Bailey says. Keep the event simple for your friends by requesting that each dish include five ingredients or less.

Explore local cuisine.

Gather your foodie friends around the table and sample area eateries while enjoying great conversation. Take turns choosing one restaurant per month. To build continuity, make the event a standing occasion on the same night each month.

Catch the latest flicks.

Head to the theater to watch a movie with your friends. After the film, review together over dinner or dessert. Budget tight? Take turns hosting moviewatching parties at your homes.

Form a culture club.

Experience the fine arts with other friends who share a similar zest for integrating more local culture into their lives. Attend different events every four to six weeks, like jazz concerts, live theater, the symphony, or the museum’s latest art exhibit.

Be spontaneous.

Light the fire pit or gather around your fireplace and invite a few friends over for a last-minute glass of wine, cocktails or mocktails. By simply creating time for you and your friends to chat, you’ll deepen your friendships and nurture your spirit, too. Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines looks forward to a mom’s night out at least once every six weeks. May 2022 WNY Family 7

A Letter to the Expectant Mama — by Christa Melnyk Hines

9 True Clichés About Motherhood

Dear Mom-to-Be,


aby showers bring a host of instructions from seasoned moms and well-meaning friends. As a new mom, I grew weary of hearing input like “sleep when the baby sleeps.” And, since I stubbornly refused to heed this sage advice, I suffered from sleep-deprivation induced splitting headaches as a result. As part of our global sisterhood, moms can relate to certain universal truths about motherhood, even as all of this advice starts to sound clichéd. Here are a few truths that not only help with life in general, but with parenthood in particular.

“This too shall pass”

When you find yourself rocking a colicky baby at all hours, this comforting mantra is like a blinking light of hope beckoning you forward. In fact, I still whisper this oft-spoken phrase to myself in times of stress, and it hasn’t let me down yet.

“I get by with a little help from my friends”

Don’t underestimate the value of a supportive network of mommy friends. Take it from me, connecting with other moms offers a pressure release valve when you need to talk out your worries 8 WNY Family May 2022

and frustrations, much to the relief of your frequently called-on pediatrician.

“The days are long, but the years are short”

When steering through a tearful toddler tirade or slogging through sick days, you’ll want for nothing more than the clock to skip ahead to a less exhausting time or place. When well-meaning individuals would tell me, “Enjoy these days — they go so fast,” I wanted to give them a swift kick in the derriere. But I understand why they said it. Those long days are quickly becoming bittersweet memories.

“Mother knows best”

Know your own heart and mind. I recall standing in line at the store with my two-week-old son who slept safe and sound in his baby carrier. “What a tiny baby,” said an elderly woman behind me. “How old is he?” When I told her, her voice hardened. “In my day, I wouldn’t have left the house until he was at least six weeks old.” As a sensitive new mom, admonishments like this bothered me despite following doctor’s recommendations.

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”

You’ll gain a new respect and appreciation for individuality and the word “quirky.” Many kids have curious interests. My son has loved cars since he was two. Not sexy sports cars, mind you. Cars like the 1988 Ford Taurus station wagon and the AMC Gremlin make his socks go up and down.

“Keep calm & carry on”

Your ability to remain calm in crisis may surprise you. I learned this about myself when my youngest was three. Across the room he chirped, “Look at me, Mommy!” I looked over to see him grinning while hanging upside down like a bat from the top of the oak mantle of our stone fireplace. “You need to get down,” I said coolly to avoid any sudden movements on his part. I swiftly walked toward him and lifted him down. I still shudder, imagining his brains splattered across the rough-hewn gray stonework below.

“Being a mother is the world’s hardest job.”

Emotionally-charged days with screaming kids may drive you to retreat behind closed doors, curl up in a fetal position, and sob. You may tell yourself that mothering is too hard and you aren’t getting any of it right. But surrender isn’t an option. You’ll pick yourself up, splash cold water on your face, and get back out there. This is a good time to call an understanding friend for moral support.

“No guts, no glory”

On especially exasperating days, you might fantasize about packing up and abandoning this motherhood


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mess you got yourself into. But you won’t run away. Children have the distinctive talent of breaking and repairing your heart daily. You won’t think twice about accepting their vise-like hugs and sloppy kisses. You’ll tuck sentimental notes away for safekeeping that sing your praises in childish scrawl, gussied up with stick people holding hands.

“Put on your own oxygen mask first”

While pregnant with my son, my doctor and loved ones concerned themselves with how I was feeling. The minute my son arrived on the scene, he naturally became the center of our universe. I forgot how much I still needed to nourish my body and spirit if I was going to be an emotionally stable and healthy mother. Getting out of the house, taking walks, joining a supportive moms’ group and returning to my interests reduced my anxiety levels and helped me feel more content. As you prepare to dive into the thick of motherhood, you’ll find these sayings will gently assimilate themselves neatly among life’s forthcoming milestones, tragedies, and triumphs. And sooner or later, you’ll turn to congratulate a new mom and out will pop the words you swore you’d never say,”Enjoy these days. They go so fast.” Freelance writer, Christa Melnyk Hines is the mom of two boys. She is the author of “Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to

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Summer Travel Bargains

FAMILY TRAVEL — by Deborah Williams


pring and summer in the Western New York area offers a wealth of family friendly activities and best of all, many are low cost or free. Higher gas prices and inflation have caused increased prices everywhere. But do not despair for there is much to see and do within an easy drive. More than ever, we all need fun and travel during the 2022 summer season. Here are some long-time and new favorites — most involve the water since our lakes, rivers, and canals are some of our best loved warm weather attractions. Presque Isle State Park is about 100 miles south of Buffalo in Erie, Pennsylvania and is one of the region’s best parks for beach lovers, with 11 beaches along seven miles of Lake Erie. Park admission and parking are free. Each of the beaches has its own character and attractions. There are some that allow leashed dogs and there are handicap accessible beaches with ramps to the water’s edge and beach wheelchairs. Kayaks are available for rent or you can launch your own. One of the park’s best secrets are the free boat tours. Run by park volunteers, Pontoon Boat Tours leave from a dock adjacent to the kayak rentals near Misery Bay. There is no pre-registration for the 50-minute tours and sign-ups start 30 minutes prior to the tour times, so make sure to arrive early as they fill up quickly. They operate four times daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Reader’s Digest recently named the 3,200-acre park one of the “15 Best Affordable Beach Destinations in America.” 10 WNY Family May 2022

Presque Isle, the most visited park in Pennsylvania, is a peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie from the city of Erie. There are also regular tours aboard the 110-passenger Motor Vessel Lady Kate that offers 14-mile 90-minute cruises onto the open waters of Lake Erie. The best place to begin your tour of the park is at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center just outside the park boundaries. The 65,000 square foot, green-designed facility that opened in 2006 encourages visitors to experience the unique history and ever-changing diverse ecosystems of Presque Isle, a National Natural Landmark. The orientation theater provides a multimedia experience that takes visitors through 12,000 years of history, yearround activities, and the many spectacular sunsets of Presque Isle. The 75-foot, glass-enclosed observation tower affords spectacular views of Lake Erie. Chautauqua Institution, 75 miles from Buffalo, is free on Sundays during the nine-week summer season in keeping with its religious origins. A Sunday visit provides a perfect opportunity to experience the special Chautauqua world and decide if you might want to return for a longer visit. A National Historic Landmark, it is one of the region’s greatest treasures and will be celebrating its 150th season next year. “There is no place like it. No resort, no spa. Not anywhere else in the country, or anywhere in the world,” ex-

plained historian and author David McCullough. There are several small beaches along Chautauqua Lake on the grounds of the institution that are perfect for children. Canoes, kayaks, and sailboats are available for rent. There are casual and more formal dining choices. Take a few minutes to sit and rock in the rocking chairs on the spacious porch of the iconic Athenaeum Hotel, completed in 1881. Thomas Edison’s father-in-law was one of the founders of the institution and Edison did the early electrical wiring in the hotel. He had a regular corner table in the dining room where he took his meals and would often leave by a window to avoid autograph hounds. Niagara Falls attracts people from all over the world and, as travel has resumed, international visitors will be gazing at the mighty falls from every possible angle this summer. Lucky area residents do not have far to drive to experience one of the natural wonders of the world. Niagara Falls State Park, a National Historic Landmark, was the country’s first state park and was created to allow everyone to enjoy expansive views of the mighty cataracts. Before the park’s opening in 1885, ugly fences required visitors to pay to see the falls through peepholes. Today, the views and the park are free to all and it has recently undergone a multi-year $75 million upgrade and it is ready to welcome the world. There have been improvements to viewing areas at Luna Island, Prospect Point, Lower Grove, Three Sisters Island, North Shoreline Trail, Luna Bridge and Terrapin Point.

There is a new interactive Cave of the Winds pavilion which highlights the history of Niagara Falls. For hardy visitors, the Cave of the Winds walkways are open year-round. Last October construction began on a new $46 million visitor center that is set to open in the spring of 2023. The new center will have expanded space for peak-time visitors, areas for ticketing, interpretation, dining, and retail. In addition, the center will have museum space, including an immersive experience and exhibits. A highlight of a visit to Niagara Falls during the spring through fall season is a ride on the Maid of the Mist boats — a ride like no other in the world. Today’s boats are all electric and were placed in service in October, 2020. President Theodore Roosevelt called the ride “the only way fully to realize the Grandeur of the Great Falls of Niagara.” It is hard to imagine a more intense experience of the power of the falls than this ride into their base. Anyone from babies in strollers to people in wheelchairs and power chairs can experience this truly breathtaking boat trip. Everyone receives plastic raincoats to take home as a souvenir. As darkness falls lights of many hues magically transform the cataract. The lights change during the evening and when there is a special holiday or commemoration. There are also frequent nightly fireworks during the summer. Buffalo’s Canalside has become a popular family destination and there are some must see attractions that combine history and special experiences for young and old. The Queen City Bike Ferry begins service Memorial Day and continues until Labor Day transporting people, dogs, and bikes across the river to the Outer Harbor and back. It is the best short ride anywhere and costs $1 each way. For canine passengers, the captain has a supply of Milkbone biscuits that are made a short distance from the ferry landing. Be sure to stop in the Longshed Building just over the small bridge and next to the Naval Park. Everyone is invited to come in and learn about and get up close views of the monumental building project volunteers with the Buffalo Maritime Center have undertaken to commemorate the bicentennial of the Erie Canal. The group is building a traditionally built, full-sized reproduction of the Seneca Chief, a canal boat that transported Gov. DeWitt Clinton and other dignitaries for the opening ceremonies that started in Buffalo in October 26, 1825 and continued along the canal ending in New York harbor where water from Lake Erie was mixed with waters from the Atlantic Ocean, called the “Wedding of the Waters.” The finished boat will be 73 feet long and weigh more than 20 tons and completion is scheduled for the fall of 2023. Once it is completed, it will travel along the canal acting as a host to educational exhibits and as an exhibit itself. Children are invited to take a turn at a hand powered drill or take a plane to the solid white oak that makes up the keel of the boat. Be sure to go upstairs for a prime view of the construction progress. There are also exhibits and videos about the canal’s history. continued on page 41 May 2022 WNY Family 11


ollywood has done a tremendous job at glorifying the mysterious, mischievous life of a computer hacker. A typical hacker is portrayed as a highly intelligent, powerful, tech-savvy criminal who can trick people and systems using a few keystrokes to get whatever they want. Police will be left clueless as these elite computer professionals immediately erase their digital footprints with pinpoint accuracy. It is easy to see how a youngster with a passion for electronics could be persuaded into believing this perception is a reality. Raising a child with a high affinity for technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Their technical skills mean your iPhone is always working, and they can fix the quirks of your family’s digital life with ease. On the other hand, it can be difficult to guide them down the right path when it is too easy to get lost in their “geek speak.” They may choose to try their hacking at school, which can lead to trouble on multiple fronts. Let’s take a look at how parents can help their amateur hackers avoid pitfalls and find success. The cybersecurity industry can provide a lucrative career for talented individuals.

Defining Hackers

There are three classifications used to describe hackers. Black hat hackers are cybercriminals. Their motivation is often personal financial gain. Black hat hackers perpetrate the cyber attacks, global malware infections, and ransomware trouble that you hear about on the news. They use their knowledge of computer systems to find vulnerabilities in security and subsequently take advantage of them. Some hackers look to steal personal information and data. Others attempt to destroy systems or data. These are the bad guys or “threat actors” as they are known in the tech world. The second classification is made up of people who fall into a middle area. Similar to the black hat hackers, gray 12 WNY Family May 2022

RAISING DIGITAL KIDS — by Mike Daugherty

bercriminals from achieving their goals. These white hat hackers are also employed to work with an organization that has been compromised to determine how the bad guys gained access.

Online Learning Opportunities

hat hackers use techniques to locate potential weak spots which could be exploited. Gray hat hackers will contact an organization if an exploit is found and may seek payment to remedy the issue that was uncovered. These individuals capitalize on opportunities by holding an organization hostage. A gray hat hacker may threaten to release the hack online to the broader community if the organization declines to pay for their services. Not all gray hat hackers set out with malicious intent, but there are more acceptable ways to achieve their goals. White hat hackers often referred to as “ethical hackers,” are the only group that has a defined and legally acceptable career path. People in this group have chosen to put their technical prowess to good use. White hat hackers use similar methods and strategies to locate vulnerabilities in various systems. Searching for flaws in security is called penetration testing and is performed legally by first getting the owner’s permission. Organizations often hire hackers as a way to test the security measures they’ve put in place. The federal government’s cybersecurity division is composed of white hat hackers focused on preventing cy-

The best first step is to provide your student with some formal training. Even those self-taught wiz-kids will benefit from learning from a knowledgeable adult. Unfortunately, most K-12 institutions do not offer classes in ethical hacking, which means you’ll need to look outside your school district for learning opportunities. Sites like and offer excellent, affordable courses over the Internet. These courses are self-paced, which allows students to progress through the material at their own pace. The downside to these courses is the lack of a real-time instructor. Students can ask questions through email or the website, but it may take several days to receive a response. Parents can try searching online for traditional courses led by an instructor in their local area. Local offerings are more engaging and informative, but they are hard to find. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may need to purchase an additional computer for your house that your prodigy can attempt to hack. Students will want to practice their skills at home before considering moving into the competitive world of hacking competitions.

Hacking Competitions

Hacking competitions are a fantastic opportunity for students to put the skills they’ve learned into action. Competitions such as capture the flag and hackathons are an excellent proving ground for teams of young adults. Capture the flag is played similarly to the game of your youth. One team attempts to capture another team’s flag while defending their flag at the same time. Teams must find and exploit holes in their opponent’s security. The difference is that the competition takes place over the Internet

and the flags are digital. Hackathons bring groups of hackers together to compete in individual and team challenges. A series of goals is provided to participants and points are awarded based on how many of the challenges are accomplished. Prizes can range from a few hundred dollars to university scholarships depending on who is hosting the competition. One website parents can investigate is “Major League Hacking” at They offer a listing of both in-person and virtual competitions along with the details for entering. Another way to find hacking competitions in your area is to search online. Searching “hacking competition Ohio 2022” provided a variety of competitions in my area over the next few months.

Majors & Certifications

The Information Security field is expected to see a 28% employment growth in the next ten years. The median salary for these positions approaches the low six figures. Colleges and universities are beginning to create academic coursework around cybersecurity. Tulane University, for example, launched a Masters of Professional Studies in Cybersecurity in 2018. The University of Cincinnati offers Foundations in Cybersecurity as part of the cyber range they are developing with the OC3 (an optical network for carrying data over fiber optics). Students interested in obtaining a degree related to ethical hacking should consider majors such as: ● Computer Science ● Computer Programming ● Information Security ● Information Technology Management Outside of a traditional degree, students could consider obtaining certification in ethical hacking. The EC-Council (The International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants; is the global leader in ethical hacking. The organization offers several certifications in the cybersecurity profession. The CEH, Certified Ethical Hacker, is an entry-level certification designed for those individuals looking to establish a name for themselves in the field. Licenses Penetration Testers (LPT) is the highest level of accreditation created for the experts in the cybersecurity field. These globally recognized certifications demonstrate a rigorous skill set to potential employers.

In Conclusion

In my role as Director of Technology for a public school district, I often speak to parents of students who struggle to make good choices with technology. Many of these children have a love for the digital world and the skills needed to be successful. They need to be guided to find a positive outlet for their ideas and a place to ask questions. Hacking, at least ethical hacking, will continue to increase in demand as our world continues to rely more and more on technology. Parents can use the information in this column to help create the cybersecurity experts of tomorrow from the amateur hackers of today. Mike Daugherty is a husband, father of three young children, author, speaker, Google Innovator, and possible Starbucks addict. He is a certified educational technology leader who has served in a variety of roles through his twenty-year career in public education. Currently, Mike is the Director of Technology for the Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School district in Northeast Ohio. As an IT director he has developed creative, well thought out solutions that positively impact teaching and learning.


First Trinity Preschool of Tonawanda admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its education policies, admissions policies and other school administered programs.


healthy CHIL CHILD D, healthy FA MILY

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July 2021 WNY Family 17

May 2022 WNY Family 13

some new changes at daycare. Now that Violet is a little older and slightly bigger, she has been granted access to their outdoor playground. Her teachers say she loves it out there and has no problem getting right into the mix of things with the other big kids.

The Joys of Warm Weather


don’t know if it was the sudden influx of birds on our backyard feeders that gave it away or maybe it was the newly sprouted patch of grass in the front yard. But whatever it was that made me feel like Spring was right around the corner, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. If you’re familiar with the everchanging weather patterns in Western New York, which many of you are, then you already know how difficult the winters here can be, and there is a good chance that you’ve lived through many of them yourself. I have been living in WNY since 2004 and I have already endured enough snowstorms to feel that I’m seasoned enough to write about this. Yes, I know we’ve had worse winters than this most recent 2021-2022 season, but for some reason, more than ever, I’m ready for the sun. It seems like the good weather around here, the high 60’s and mid-70 days, really don’t start showing up until early May. But we recently had a little taste of some early sun, and it was long overdue. It was about a week into March when we had our first day above 60 degrees and, seeing how it was technically still winter and with assumed snow in the future forecast, Andrea and I made sure to take advantage of it and got our14 WNY Family May 2022

selves outside while we still had the chance. That same day would also happen to be the first time we decided to let Violet walk around the sidewalk on her own. For over a year, her choice of transportation has been this tiny, pink car her grandma bought her, and she is obsessed with it. Not only can you hear this pink strollerlike car coming from a block away, but you can also hear Violet from a block away, laughing up and down sidewalks, sometimes happy-screaming, attracting the attention of anyone walking by us. So, I wasn’t sure how she was going to react once we took her out. It was really Andrea’s idea to finally let Violet do some solo walking and I’m glad she thought of it. At first Violet seemed a little confused, but after only a few seconds, she instinctively knew what to do — one foot in front of the other, trailing right behind us. It was great watching her gain more and more confidence and independence with every step she took, carefully observing each crack and imperfection in the sidewalk, until she eventually took off running on her own. My wife and I also gained a little more stress that day knowing we would forever struggle to get Violet back inside her pink car again. The good weather has also brought

She’s really at the age now, 21 months, where she’s becoming more inquisitive by the day. She is more aware of her surroundings and can appreciate her environment better than when she really wasn’t mobile at all. And I have to say, I’ve been getting a kick seeing how she reacts to certain things. Whether we’re in our living room or hanging out in our front yard, she’s questioning almost everything she sees. She will ask us, “What’s that?” pointing to whatever it is that has struck her curiosity. “That’s a car, sweetie” or “That’s a goose, Violet.” With the changing of seasons, I’m mostly looking forward to bringing her to see new places she hasn’t been to yet, something besides Wegmans and the doctor’s office. The children’s museum, maybe a baseball game, and even over the border to Canada. I think the more she’s able to visit new places, see new things, and even see some different people other than her parents and immediate family, it will start to open her eyes to more than what she’s grown used to at home, following more or less the same everyday routine. My own personal initiation for the warm weather, especially the summertime, is going to the beach — toes in the sand, sun on my face, the smell of suntan lotion in the air. I have a strong feeling Violet is going to love it there just as much as I do. Richard De Fino, a freelance writer by night, first became a father at age 34. After losing his first-born son Louis, at birth, he was determined to keep his memory alive the best way he knew how; through words. Now, with the birth of his daughter Violet, he plans on continuing to share his fatherhood journey each month with WNY Family readers.

Family Movie Options: In Theaters and Streaming Online Better Nate Than Ever














Unable to land the lead role in the school play, wannabe actor Nate isn’t ready to give up. Determined to reach his dream, he heads to New York for a Broadway audition. Parents will not appreciate some of Nate’s reckless behavior, but the rest of the movie contains reassuringly positive messages about persistence, determination, and working towards goals. It also benefits from strong child actors and bouncy, well staged musical numbers. Photo ©Disney+

Rescued by Ruby














Determined to be a K9 officer despite seven prior rejections, state trooper Daniel O’Neil picks Ruby out of the local shelter and decides to train her at home and then reapply. Despite her charm and intelligence, Ruby is both energetic and disobedient and Daniel almost despairs. This is a touching movie with themes focused on commitment, dedication, and community service. It has a made-forTV vibe, but that doesn’t impair its sincere warmheartedness. Photo © Netflix

Cheaper by the Dozen














Now that his savory sweet hot sauce has become a commercial success, Paul Baker decides that he can finally afford to buy a big enough house for the yoursmine-and-ours family he shares with his wife, Zoe. After moving all nine kids into the new house – and adding a tenth – Paul learns the old lesson that money doesn’t necessarily buy happiness. The story is predictable and the acting often flat but young viewers will enjoy the madcap mishaps and good natured chaos. Photo ©Disney+

Sonic the Hedgehog 2














Dr. Robotnik has escaped the alien planet where he was banished and is on his way back to earth with Knuckles in search of the mythical Master Emerald. Sonic and his friend Tails must stop the villains before they find the gem and destroy civilization. Frenetically busy and full of jokes that fall flat, this film barely entertains the children it’s aimed at. Hardcore fans of the game might enjoy the movie, but it holds no other charms. Photo ©Paramount Pictures

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore














Gellert Grindelwald is back, seeking to control the wizarding world and launch a war to destroy the muggles. Albus Dumbledore is the only man who can stop him, but his hands are tied by a blood oath the two erstwhile friends swore. Desperate to stop the violence, Dumbledore calls on magizoologist Newt Scamander to again save the day. This film isn’t magical but it manages to be tense and interesting, with lots of detail from JK Rowling’s magical universe. Photo ©Warner Bros

Detailed reviews available at May 2022 WNY Family 15


ay is the season of seeds! Seeds to be selected, seeds to be planted, seeds to be nurtured. It also makes sense that it is the month of Mother’s Day. Think of the creative energy and potential of the month. Think of the creative energy and potential of a seed. Think of the creative energy and potential of a mother. It is where life starts and is where it is nurtured. Much like the garden, the mother is from where life springs and is supported. Maybe that is why flowers are a perfect option for a Mother’s Day gift, but don’t forget books to help you celebrate. Keep in mind there are as many kinds of mothers as there are flowers, and there are just as many books. Here are some new books for this Spring season. Everything begins with a seed so let’s begin with Seed (Templar Books/ Candlewick Press, Somerville, 2022 $9.99) by Maggie Li. This adorable little board book shares the story of a seed and its life cycle. It begins with an apple seed and follows it on its travels through nature by animal, wind, water, and even people. Where seeds travel and how they find their home is part of this little seed’s adventure. Adorable illustrations tell the story as the simple text adds the details. As spring turns to summer, our little seed sprouts and grows until it is ready for autumn to put it tso sleep to rest through winter. After many years and cycles of the season, our little seeds turns in to a beautiful apple tree where a new family of seeds are ready to begin their own amazing journey. How about a trip through the garden through poetry! Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh From Our School Garden (Candlewick Press, Somerville, 2022, $18.99), written by

16 WNY Family May 2022

PICK OF THE LITERATURE — by Dr. Donna Phillips

Allan Wolf and illustrated by Daniel Duncan, is a collection of 32 poems that cover everything from the magic of a school garden to the mysteries of compost and everything in-between. A garden of poetic formats compliments the variety of topics and each poem helps to activate the senses, the imagination, and educate! The detailed and often humorous illustrations will engage children and adults. The author also includes Notes on the Poems that explain each poem and the significance of the style and the content. It gives the readers things to think about and ways to share the poem. It would be a perfect book for reading together on a rainy spring day as we wait for the flowers to bloom. It is hard when someone we love and rely on goes away, and that is especially true for young children. In Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle (Candlewick Press, Somerville, 2022, $17.99), written by Nina LaCour and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, we learn how the little girl feels about missing and waiting. Day by day, with the support of her teacher, her friends at school, her friends in the neighborhood, and her Mama she waits for Mommy to come

home from her business trip. Before she knows it, Mommy is on the way, but now how best to greet her? What better way to do this than to say it with flowers! To make it even more special, they decide to select a different kind for each day she was gone. A lily, a poppy, yarrow, and ferns, foxgloves, an aster, and a violet make the prefect bouquet. Before she knows it, they are all together again, “Mama and Mommy and me in the middle”! In A Good Place (Candlewick Press, Somerville, 2022, $18.99) by Lucy Cousins, friends Bee, Ladybug, Beetle, and Dragonfly are looking for the perfect place to live but each wants something different. Bee wants a place with flowers. Ladybug wants leaves. Beetle wants wood. Dragonfly wants a pond. Like all good friends, they try out the different places but each one has its problems. Where would be the perfect place for all? A garden of course! With simple illustrations and few words, Lucy Cousins does it again with a lovely book for May and Mother’s Day. In the end, there is a home and happiness for all. Mothers are like the flowers from Allan Wolf’s poem, “Song of the Friendly Flowers”: Dainty ornamental flowers Blessed with secret superpowers. Loyal garden crop protectors. Bodyguards for garden bowers. Happy Gardening! Happy Reading! Happy Mother’s Day! Dr. Donna Phillips is an associate professor in the College of Education at Niagara University where her specialty is literacy and children’s literature. She lives on Grand Island, NY and is the mother of two adult children and the grandmother of one.

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A Time-Saving Tool for Busy Families Get “up close and personal” with WNY businesses & organizations that cater to the needs of growing families!


Locations throughout WNY 716-884-0888 Provider of mental health & substance use disorder services for children and their families. Telehealth & In-person appointments available.



~ Rocking WNY since 1998 ~

• Fun for all ages • Controlled indoor climbing • Friendly instructors • No experience needed 1333 Strad Avenue • North Tonawanda


1263 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209 716-886-8200 Comprehensive mental health care and addiction treatment provider for all ages.

ENDEAVOR HEALTH SERVICES 1526 Walden Ave., Suite 400 Cheektowaga, NY 14225 716-895-6701 Endeavor Health Services provides outpatient mental health and substance use treatment services.


55 Dodge Road Getzville, NY 14068 716-831-1800 Horizon Health Services provides hope and healing for individuals and their families dealing with substance use and/or mental health disorders.


227 Thorn Ave., Orchard Park, NY 14127 716-539-5500 Helping families throughout WNY with mental health & addiction needs. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.



231 Aurora St., Lancaster, NY 14086 716-681-8100 WNY’s Leading Breastfeeding & Maternity Boutique, breastpump sales and rentals. IBCLC owned/ operated. The next Family Resource Guide will appear in our October 2022 issue.

Spectrum HealtH and Human ServiceS Opportunities in Hurt Feelings: Parental Tips for Developing Emotional Intelligence

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Addiction Treatment & Mental Health Services:

As a parent, our children’s tears, scraped knees, and hurt feelings break our hearts. The desire to protect our children from pain is our rite of passage but is a lost opportunity teaching our kids emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence or EQ – helping children manage their emotions - will promote your child’s success in school, work, and relationships Here are ways to develop EQ in kids: Let them cry. How often have you said “You are okay,” when a child falls? Try asking “What hurts,

your knee or your feelings?” Help kids decipher feelings like shock or embarrassment while acknowledging that it is scary to fall. Make connections. Understanding how emotions influence our behavior is essential to EQ. Ask “When you broke that toy, what where you feeling? How do you feel about that now that you are more calm?” Help kids self-evaluate how they chose to react. Make suggestions about healthy methods to manage negative emotions. Model and create opportunities for empathy. Empathy is important and promotes self-care. Model empathy in your own relationships and talk about the emo-

tions you recognize. Create opportunities for empathy through pretend play. Helping kids manage negative emotions and not dismiss them as scary will develop improved awareness and empathy. Spectrum Health C.A.R.E.S. is a family’s lifeline to mental health intervention when dealing with children and youth to age 17. Call 716-882 HELP (4357) when a young person is in crisis: trained counselors are available 24/7 to help. Learn more at Spectrum Health

716-882-HELP (4357)

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1360 N. Forest Rd, Suite 111, Williamsville, NY 14221 716-725-6370 Elvie®, Spectra® & Medela® breastpumps, replacement parts, supplies, consultations, classes, nursing tanks & bras. Insurance Reimbursement. Find this section ONLINE in our digital issue at

Butcher Shop:


With 9 WNY Locations to Serve You 716-633-1390 E-mail: WNY’s trusted source for the freshest products available. Knowledgeable service since 1930.


1639 North French Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 716-568-1140 885 Sweet Home Rd., Amherst, NY 14226 716-832-6340 Programs for infants, toddlers, 2 & 3 year olds, 4 year old Pre-K and Summer Camp.


2640 North Forest Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 716-688-4033 787 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209 716-886-3145 Infants to pre-K, full & part-time options available Mon.-Fri., 7:30am-6:00pm. Values-based & developmentally appropriate curriculum including learning to swim. FIND US ON FACEBOOK



FAMILY HELP CENTER DAYCARE 60 Dingens St., Buffalo, NY 14206 716-822-0919 Specialized child care 0 to 12 years.

JuSt4Me pediatric dentiStry

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See What Kids Are Smiling About!

At “JUST 4 ME” Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that eating healthy foods and keeping good oral hygiene are essential to maintaining a healthy smile. As parents, we know it is difficult to control what food is given to your child at daycare or school, BUT you can control what is given to them at home. Setting a good example of healthy habits NOW will help your child in many years to come.

Make grocery shopping or visiting a farmers market an adventure by giving your child a list of healthy food choices to buy. Let your child pick a new fruit or vegetable each week to taste-test at home. Keeping the kids involved in their food choices will help them eat healthier! It is important to keep in mind that although some foods appear healthy to eat they may NOT be healthy for your teeth. Foods like raisins and fruit snacks are NOT healthy choices for your teeth due to the sticky sugar that can cause cavities. The #1 cause of cavities in children today are the gummy vitamins. Each gummy vitamin contains 2-3gm of sugar that sticks in the grooves of your teeth, which is the equivalent to skittles

candy. Most local pediatricians agree that CHEWABLE vitamins are a better choice. Here are a few chewable vitamins that are available in local stores: Flintstones, Nature’s Way “Alive”, Big Friends Natural Factors and Natures Plus Animal parade. Call “Just 4 Me” Pediatric Dentistry to keep those smiles healthy!!

160 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14201 716-436-2130 1660 Hopkins Rd. Getzville, NY 14068 716-688-7721 Paid Advertisement

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Dr. David Lewis ~ Dr. Emily Patrick

General Family Practice

Also specializing in: • Webster Technique for Pregnancy • Children • Athletic Injuries • Auto/Work Injuries • Graston Technique • Flexion/Distraction Technique Call for an Appointment 4440 Shimerville Rd., Clarence, NY 14031


One Stop Shop for Kids and Kids at Heart

Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10-6 ~ Sun 12-5 Eastern Hills Mall | Williamsville, NY 14221

(716) 632-4202

Breyer Horses • Plush Bruder Trucks • Science Puzzles • Games • and So Much More!

Childcare Resources:

Consignment Shops & Sales:

1521 Main St., Niagara Falls, NY 14305 716-285-8572 or 1-800-701-4KID Email: The Niagara County Child Care Resource and Referral Program. “An Informational Source.”

1060 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, NY 14150 • 716-831-8300 980 Union Rd., #42A, Southgate Plaza, West Seneca, NY 14224 • 716-675-0483 Best kids’ resale. Clothing, baby gear, toys, furniture, maternity. Open 7 days.





Cooking Classes:

Chiropractic (Children’s):

25 Buffalo St., Akron, NY 14001 716-418-6836 Meal Pick-Up, Artisan Cafe, Catering, Youth and Adult Cooking Classes, Parties. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.

4440 Shimerville Rd., Clarence, NY 14031 716-633-2036 General Family Practice. Also specializing in Pregnancy, Children, and Athletic Injuries.


1567 Military Rd., Kenmore, NY 14217 716-877-0676 Helping generations of families pursue optimal health… naturally. When you call or visit an advertiser, please tell them “I SAW YOU IN WNY FAMILY!”


Counseling/ Mental Health Services:


4800 N. French Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051 716-725-7158 Specializing in couples counseling, parenting, grief & loss, anxiety & depression, infidelity, infertility.


Promoting Health and Wellness through Fresh Food & Education

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Clarence Chiropractic

Looking for something fun for yourself or your family to do? Try a cooking class! Look no further than Terra House, nestled in the beautiful Village of Akron. Their number one priority is to provide food that is made with ingredients that are sourced locally and organically, and to educate the community on the importance of this through classes. Classes are small and intimate to ensure participants have the best experience. Need a healthy place to eat after hiking Akron Falls Park? Stop in the Terra House Artisan Café!

From their Housebaked breads and rolls, to sauces and dressings, all of the food is prepared in the kitchen on-site so you know exactly what ingredients are going into your food. Terra House offers a variety of services including: Meal Pick Up Service - offered several days a week, order online or by phone and pick up a fully-prepared hot nutritious meal for yourself or your family, Artisan Café - Artisan Sandwiches, Salads, Soups, Pizzas and Weekly House Specials Classes - Youth and Adult Cooking, Baking, Health and Nutrition, and Artisan classes offered year-round. Great for Girl Scout Badges! Catering - From Backyard Barbecues to Formal Sit-Down Dinners of 300+,

we have a variety of menus to suit your event. Drop off or full-service catering available. Rent the Café space out for private parties and classes of up to 35 people. For more information on services, hours, menus, to join their mailing list or to contact Andrea one of the owners, visit their website at www.

25 Buffalo Street Akron NY 14001 716-418-6836 Paid Advertisement

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Visit our farm market & bakery Bring a group or book a field trip!

491 W. Klein Rd., (Dash’s Plaza) Williamsville, NY 14221 716-688-4774 Offering Ballet (6yrs.-adult), Fairytale Dance, Pre-Ballet (4 & 5 yr. olds), Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Acro & Lyrical.


716-741-4239 GREGSUPICK.COM

CENTER STAGE DANCE STUDIO 4837 Union Rd., Cheektowaga, NY 14225 716-634-3395 Encouragement and positive reinforcement though dance to reach one’s personal best. FIND US ON FACEBOOK


10151 Main St., Clarence, NY 14031 716-510-2531 Instilling a great love of dance, while inspiring self-confidence and discipline. Ages 2 & up.


730 Orchard Park Rd. West Seneca, NY 14224 716-675-3128 Outstanding classes from Mommy & Me to Award-Winning Advanced Classes. FIND US ON FACEBOOK


1639 N. French Rd., • Suite 300 Getzville, NY 14068 716-688-9590 Offering quality classical dance instruction for all ages and levels since 1993. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.


See Listing Under “Performing Arts”

Dentists (Pediatric):


4017 Legion Dr., Hamburg, NY 14075 716-648-4035 Pediatric Dentistry. Dental Care for Infants, Children, and Young Adults.

The next Family Resource Guide will appear in our October issue.

Spezio’S Dance DynamicS Instilling Passion & Building Character One Step At A Time!

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Dance Instruction:

Spezio’s Dance Dynamics, Amherst’s premier dance training center, has been educating young artists from beginner to pre-professional since 1993, while enhancing each dancer’s creativity, physical fitness and passion for the art of dance. Director and Owner Michelle Spezio holds extensive teaching background in all genres and aspects of training enhances opportunities for all students whether they intend to pursue a

career in the arts or are dancing for enjoyment. The professional staff of degreed teachers is dedicated to providing students a well-rounded dance education to all. SDD offers a professional studio with 4 class rooms, many amenities and versatile subjects of study as well as high level ballet training for dancers to discover their personal talents. “Dancer’s TurnOut Better,” that’s what we believe. Research shows that students who study dance are disciplined, goal oriented and selfmotivated. Dancers are expressive in their communication of emotions, likely to excel, creative, imaginative and able to critically analyze and problem solve. Educating dancers to use these life skills in pursuing goals, overcoming obstacles and staying physi-

cally fit throughout their lives is our goal. Dance Dynamics Students have won significant awards for proper training/choreography all through the USA. Dancers have attended many prestigious summer intensives and awarded scholarships. SDD is committed to helping every dancer experience the joy of dance! Spezio’s Dance Dynamics is a proud member of Dance Master’s of America, International Dance Entrepreneurs Association, NDEO, Award winning faculty and director, and has had the pleasure of training so many talented dancers. SDD dancers are going places!

1639 N. French Road, Amherst, NY 716-688-9590 Paid Advertisement

1660 Hopkins Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 716-688-7721 160 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201 716-436-2130 Gentle, Caring Dentistry for your child. Most insurances accepted including Medicaid/Healthplex. FIND US ON FACEBOOK See Our Advertiser Spotlight.


3724 Quaker Rd., Gasport, NY 14067 716-772-2211 U-Pick Fruit; Farm Market; CSA; Pies, Ice Cream; Animals; Educational Tours; A 127-Year Family Tradition! Visit Vizcarra Vineyards & Becker Brewing Co.!


9270 Lapp Rd., Clarence Center, NY 14032 716-741-4239 U-Pick farm market and CSA. Produce, baked goods, animal barn and more.

Educational Services: THE SUMMIT CENTER

150 Stahl Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 General Information: 716-629-3400 Developmental evaluations, therapeutic and clinical services, family support services, feeding clinic, behavioral health services, respite, & school programs for children from birth to adult. FIND US ON FACEBOOK See Our Advertiser Spotlight.



3200 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217 716-877-2700 Gymnastics instruction for girls and boys, 3 - 18 years. Pull out and save this section for future reference. And, remember, you can also find it online at

The SummiT CenTer

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Offering Programs & Services for Children with Autism The Summit Center provides educational, behavioral health, adult & community programs & services to children and adults with developmental, social and behavioral challenges. We accomplish this goal by using evidencebased practices and carefully monitoring progress. Summit employs more than 500 staff members including special education teachers, behavior specialists, speech pathologists, occupational and physical therapists, psychologists, and respite providers. Most professional staff have Master’s degrees and many members of Summit’s leadership team have Doctoral

degrees and advanced training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). These professionals work closely with parents to help your child achieve the highest level of independence. Following are the various programs we offer for your child and family:

To find out more about how Summit may be able to help your child, please call us at 629-3400 or visit our website at www.

• Evaluations • Early Autism Program • Adult Programs • Summit Academy • Respite Programs • Parent Training Programs • Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic • Pediatric Feeding Clinic

150 Stahl Road Getzville, NY 14068 716-629-3400 Paid Advertisement

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Hair Salons (Children’s):

70 Weiss Ave., Orchard Park/West Seneca, NY 14224 716-677-0338 Infant-18 yrs., Tramp/Tumble, Learning in Motion, Open Time.

3316 Sheridan Dr., Amherst, NY 14226 716-248-1455 3455 Amelia Dr., Orchard Park, NY 14127 716-322-5332 100 Marketplace Dr., Henrietta, NY 14623 585-491-6555 Specializing in haircuts for kids, ear piercing, birthday parties and our unique toy store.



9630 Transit Road, Suite 100 East Amherst, NY 14051 716-689-6151 4058 N. Buffalo Rd. Orchard Park, NY 14127 716-662-7424 1669 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216 716-833-3318 Children’s gym classes, camps, birthday parties, open play & more for ages 4 months - 9 years old! See Our Advertiser Spotlight.

The road to a healthy smile runs through busy lives—ones that are changing every day. From braces to Invisalign aligners, we deliver modern orthodontic treatment for kids, teens, and adults that does more than straighten teeth. It moves and aligns with your life.



When you call or visit an advertiser, please tell them “I SAW YOU IN WNY FAMILY!”


199 Park Club Lane, Suite 300 Williamsville, NY 14221 716-836-4646 Open MRI, Low Dose CT, 3D Mammography, Bone Density, Nuclear Medicine, PET/CT, Ultrasound, and now introducing Interventional Radiology.

Rolly Pollies

WNY’s Largest Locally and Family Owned Kid’s Gym!

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Gymnastics cont.:

Rolly Pollies is WNY’s only gym for kids with a bouncehouse, trampoline, foam pit and more! For 16 years, Rolly Pollies has offered play with a purpose, through classes, open play, birthday parties, summer camps and more! Why Classes? Rolly Pollies’s class schedule accommodates every family’s schedule with evening, daytime and weekend classes. Families are encouraged to have fun together with equipment built for everyone! A full session of classes gives children the opportunity to develop gross motor skills and

friendships, learn socialization skills, take directions from “Roll Models”, and see the same friends each week. Party With Us! Rolly Pollies offers WNYs best birthday parties, hosting only one party at a time: yours! Everyone is invited to play, no charge for adults, and the birthday child and their siblings are free too! This allows all families the ability to invite just as many friends. After all, it’s the people that make a party! Fun @ Home by Rolly Pollies You can now enjoy Rolly Pollies expertise in play-based child development at home. Our Fun @ Home line of products offer a range of Montessori based sensory activities and experiences that help foster language, cognitive and social/emotional growth. You can even grab a Fit Kit which perfectly compliments the Rolly Pollies YouTube Channel for endless gross-motor activity. Open Play Check our website to register online for Open Play. Summer Camp Rolly Pollies offers WNY’s most flexible Summer Camp program for children ages 3-9. Register online to reserve your spot today. Use Your Health Insurance Wellness Cards

Raising heathly children is Rolly Pollies mission! Because of this, most area health insurances will help pay for your Rolly Pollies classes and camps. Simply give your insurance company a call to see if they will cover your child’s programs at Rolly Pollies. Keep the learning going at home with our YouTube Channel; RollyPolliesWNY.

Funtastic Fitness For Kids

Three great locations: 9630 Transit Road East Amherst, NY 14051


4058 North Buffalo Road Orchard Park, NY 14127


1669 Hertel Ave. Buffalo, NY 14216


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788 Birchwood Dr., Lockport, NY 14094 716-439-8100 In Home Help from the HEART.

Horseback Riding:

BUFFALO EQUESTRIAN CENTER 950 Amherst St., Buffalo, NY 14216 716-877-9295 Private and group lessons; ages 5 and up; year round; beginner to advanced.


960 West Maple Ct., Elma, NY 14059 716-805-1555 Transforming lives through creative opportunities and excellent supports for people with disabilities and special needs.

Indoor Recreation:


1333 Strad Ave., North Tonawanda, NY 14120 716-695-1248 Enjoy family-friendly fun in our indoor climbing center. Any age, no experience necessary.

Human Services:


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Museums & Attractions:

1522 Main St., Niagara Falls, NY 14305 57 Canal St., Suite 102, Lockport, NY 14094 716-285-6984 Domestic Violence, Youth, Parenting and Care Management Services.


701 Whirlpool St., Niagara Falls, NY 14301 716-285-3575 Visit WNY’s only aquarium. Sea Lions, Seals, Penguins and more!

AcAdemy of TheATre ArTs

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Giving Students the Opportunity to Shine

Winner of New York Theatre Guide’s “Best Theatre Program for Young Artists”; Academy of Theatre Arts is the only full-time, year-round theatre venue in Western New York created for the development and training of children and young adults in acting, vocal performance, and musical theatre dance. ATA provides an extensive year-long program for anyone between the ages of 3 and 18 who has an interest and passion for theatre arts. But beyond its excellent theatrical training, ATA uses theatre as a platform to teach and promote excellence in public speaking, self-esteem, confidence, and personal skills.

Each year, the students of ATA perform a major school showcase, which gives them the opportunity to shine on our ATA Theatre stage. ATA creates entertaining, professional shows consisting of smaller student casts and providing each child with more stage time in a much shorter show. In addition to regular classes, ATA offers special audition-only student companies where students get the opportunity to perform in their own musical, attend workshops, work with Broadway performers, and compete in festivals.

In addition to their year-round program, Academy of Theatre Arts offers summer programs to provide students with the opportunity to learn and perform in a full-blown musical in just 1-2 short weeks. While youngest students begin by learning about public speaking and how to feel comfortable on stage, older students learn about all aspects of a theatrical production: what it takes to put on a musical not only on stage but off stage as well.

4231 Transit Rd. Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 810-0551 Paid Advertisement

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Home Help Services:


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niagara aerospace museum On Display

Historic Aircraft, Helicopters, Airplane and Rocket Engines, Rocket Belts, Aerospace Artifacts and so much more! NIAGARA FALLS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT 9990 Porter Road, Niagara Falls, NY

716.297.1323 Pottery Painting and Glass Fusing Follow us on Facebook & Instagram

Now offering Pottery To Go Kits Individual Kits, as well as Parties to Go! Open for limited seating and private parties.

138 Grey Street, East Aurora, NY




2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo, NY 14218 716-827-1584 A tropical paradise featuring exotic horticulture treasures & so much more! Reservations required to visit.


125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14214 716-856-3858 Engaging and fun family programs offered year round.


1410 Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, NY 14511 585-538-6822 The largest living history museum in New York State, plus Nature Center and gallery. Find this section ONLINE in our digital issue at


180 Thompson St., North Tonawanda, NY 14120 716-693-1885 Fun events and activities for all ages. Once Around Is Never Enough!


OLD FORT NIAGARA Youngstown, NY (716) 745-7611


New York Power Authority 5777 Lewiston Rd. (Route 104), Lewiston NY 14092 716-286-6661 or 1-866-NYPA-FUN Powerful Fun! for all ages at the Niagara Power Vista. A USA Today “10 Best in Niagara.” 50+ interactive exhibits including a 4D simulated ride. Free admission & parking. For events schedule niagarapowervista. Discover Niagara Shuttle Service (seasonal). Handicap accessible.


PO Box 169, Youngstown, NY 14174 716-745-7611 Your gateway to family adventure! Living history programs every day, special events, re-enactments. FIND US ON FACEBOOK


4050 North St., Blasdell, NY 14219 716-627-4560 Unearth unexpected treasures at Penn Dixie!


Science and Mathematics Complex, Buffalo State College • 716-878-4911 Visit the planetarium for immersive astronomy programs and exciting laser music experiences!

433 Locust St., Lockport, NY 14094 716-433-2617 Visit our Kenan House gallery, Taylor Theater, Montessori pre-school and Kenan Arena.


203 W. 2nd St., Jamestown, NY 14701 716-484-2222 Fun and laughter for the entire family with a safe, immersive and interactive experience.


9990 Porter Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304 716-297-1323 Exciting collection of rockets, historical airplanes and helicopters. Check website for hours.

Music Instruction: 716 MUSIC & MORE

716-390-8347 Music classes for young children and their parents or caregivers.



Matthew Walla, DDS & ASSOCIATES 716-832-1550 5 Convenient Locations: Amherst, Clarence, Depew/Lancaster, Grand Island & Williamsville.

Party Resources:

10086 Main St., Clarence, NY 14031 716-759-1208 Offering glass fusing and pottery. Birthdays, Scouts, mom’s groups, showers and team building.

See Listing Under “Hair Salons (Children’s)”



138 Grey St., East Aurora, NY 14052 716-655-4456 Where everyone is creative. Pottery, glass, pottery to go and much more!! FIND US ON INSTAGRAM FIND US ON FACEBOOK


7345 Transit Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051 716-446-9226 Stronger couples, happier children, healthier families — traditional, blended, extended, pre/post divorce. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.


Performing Arts:


4231 Transit Rd., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-810-0551 Nationally award winning ATA offering classes in voice, acting, dance AND FILM for ages 4-18! See Our Advertiser Spotlight.


Southgate Plaza - 954A Union Rd., Ste 3 West Seneca, NY 14224 716-608-1010 A unique performing arts center with every style of dancing, singing, acting and creating the arts with playwriting, choregraphy and directing. Ages 1 to adult. FIND US ON FACEBOOK

This handy resource guide appears twice a year, in WNY Family’s May & October issues. Call 716-836-3486 ext. 104 to learn how your business or organization can participate

Creative relationship Center

spotlight on

Strengthening relationships. One conversation at a time.

“Relationships A divorced mothare a part of everyer of six, including one’s life, but they twins, Wendy founded are hard work”, Creative Relationship says Wendy Pegan, Center to help lessfounder of Creative en children’s stress Relationship Center, through traumatic therapist, mediator, transitions like divorce, and relationship and to help them grow coach. “The 3 areas into happy, successful where I see people adults. “Our mission struggle the most truly is to strengthen is primarily after families for generaa couple has been tions, and that begins together for 3-4 Wendy B. Pegan, Founder with today’s children.” years, around 15 years As a Family and into the marriage and absolutely Supreme Court rostered mediaaround the decision to divorce. tor, Wendy claims that, although Believe it or not, many of the issues mediation helps families save are the same – communication. time, trauma, and money, they “The courts don’t make it any often come into the process witheasier for families to work together out the skills to collaborate sucduring a separation or divorce. At cessfully, and without the followCreative Relationship Center we up support they often need to keep people out of court by help- make their agreements work over ing them resolve their issues in our time. office. It is the healthiest way to keep “We work with a comprehenchildren strong and resilient!” sive Creative Mediation process,

where formerly combative partners can establish a more positive, mutually beneficial post-divorce relationship – in the best interests of the entire extended family.” Creative Relationship Center helps families in transition through a comprehensive array of interventions for all family members, including counseling, specialized programs like “Couples on the Brink”, “Children Surviving Divorce”… “Youth for Success”… and “Creative Couples Intensive Weekends.”

7345 Transit Rd. • East Amherst, NY

716-446-9226 Paid Advertisement

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Paint Your Own Pottery:


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Elmwood Village Charter Schools “It Takes a Village”

Visit to learn more.

Small School Community • Arts Integration Emphasis on Social Responsibility After School Care Available for Ages 5 and Up Services for Students with Special Education Needs and Limited English Proficiency EVCS Days Park

EVCS Hertel

40 Days Park, Buffalo, NY 14201

665 Hertel Ave. Buffalo, NY 14207

Mount St. Mary acadeMy Schedule a Private Tour Today



104 New Amsterdam Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216 • 716-877-5035 Independent school serving students 3 years old through eighth grade. Our dedicated teachers deliver a challenging, comprehensive academic program paired with citizenship, character, and creativity. Students are given the opportunity to learn and to lead in a child-centered environment, promoting small class sizes, individual attention, and a wide range of programming.


6445 West Quaker, Orchard Park, NY 14127 716-667-9377 A private preschool offering an enhanced curriculum with progressive programs for 2-5 year olds.


We believe in you. CHC Learning Center Together we make a difference! brating Cele Years!


1085 Eggert Road Amherst, NY 14226

(716) 831-8422

32 Landers Rd. Kenmore, NY 14217 716-875-5091 ext. 207 Valuing the individual child and their need to learn through play and exploration.


See Listing Under “Gymnastics”


68 Eagle St., Williamsville, NY 14221 A premier early childhood Montessori experience for children ages 3-6.


8970 Main St., Clarence, NY 14031 716-545-8048 An education that understands and nurtures your child’s natural curiosity for knowledge.



205 Bidwell Pkwy., Buffalo, NY 14222 716-885-6780 Buffalo Seminary - Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. FIND US ON FACEBOOK See Our Advertiser Spotlight.


2303 Kenmore Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207 716-710-3068 Serving grades K-12, open to all residents, no entrance exams.


1085 Eggert Rd., Amherst, NY 14226 716-831-8422 Quality educational, therapeutic & health services for students with multiple disabilities, 0-21 years. FIND US ON FACEBOOK


2 Lamarck Drive, Snyder, NY 14226 716-839-0473 Offering PreK3 - 8th grade. Small Classes & Strong Academics. FIND US ON FACEBOOK


39 Academy St., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-634-4821 Independent, Pre-K-12, collegepreparatory school. Middle States accredited. Member: ACSI. NYS Regents. Pull out and save this section for future reference. Or you can find it online at


104 New Amsterdam Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216 • 716-877-5035 Independent school serving students 3 years old through eighth grade. Our dedicated teachers deliver a challenging, comprehensive academic program paired with citizenship, character, and creativity. Students are given the opportunity to learn and to lead in a child-centered environment, promoting small class sizes, individual attention, and a wide range of programming.


EVCS Hertel Campus - 665 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY 14207 • 716-424-0555 EVCS Days Park Campus - 40 Days Park, Buffalo, NY 14201 • 716-886-4581 EVCS is a vibrant school community, consistently among WNY’s highest performing schools.




3756 Delaware Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217 716-877-1358 Take a private, personal tour of the Mount!

8550 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-633-7441 Educating students age 3 through grade 8.

NATIVITY OF OUR LORD SCHOOL 4414 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park, NY 14127 716-662-7572 Nativity: Where Faith Leads to Success.


5480 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-632-6146 “Our Tradition: An Education for the Future; Values for Life.” Schedule a private tour today! The next Family Resource Guide will appear in our October 2022 issue.

3980 Main St., Amherst, NY 14226 716-835-2518 High academic achievement in a rich spiritual environment. PK3-8th grade.

Christ the King School Offering PreK3 - 8th Grade Classes

Join us for

250 St. Gregory Ct., Willliamsville, NY 14221 716-688-5323 Email: Pre-school 3 and 4, early kindergarten to grade 8.

OPEN HOUSE May 16 - 5:30 - 7:30pm


1085 Englewood Ave., Kenmore, NY 14223 716-877-6401 Teaching Minds • Touching Hearts • Transforming Lives. PreK-3 to Grade 8


6919 Transit Rd., East Amherst, NY 14051 716-689-8424 Dedicated to the whole child… serving the entire family. Montessori PreK-8. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.

• • • • • • • • • •

Celebrating 90 years of Rigorous Academic Excellence Faith-Based Environment Tour our campus facilities & classrooms Meet Teachers, Parents and Students STREAM School/STREAM Academy Accredited by Middle States Commission State-of-the-art Technology Lab Offers a variety of Sports, Arts & Extracurriculars Tuition Assistance Available All welcome

2 Lamarck Dr. | Snyder, NY 14226 839-0473 |

St. Mary School SworMville

Spotlight on

Offers Holistic Catholic Pre-K – Grade 8 Education

For academic excellence and a holistic approach to Catholic education, look no further than St. Mary School Swormville! Dedication to the whole child starts early at St. Mary’s. Their fully accredited Montessori Children’s House provides a peaceful nurturing environment which engages children aged 3 - 5 in a self-paced curriculum through hands-on learning, exploration, creative instruction and a Montessori-based introduction to the Catholic faith. Because they are part of the St. Mary

School (SMS) family, preschoolers also receive instruction in Music and Physical Education, participate in monthly service projects, perform in school concerts, and interact with children in other grades. Kindergarten at St. Mary’s is unique. Kindergartners attend weekly Mass with the entire school, participate in swimming, bowling and track, are introduced to engineering concepts, and learn to use Chromebooks. Hands-on classroom activities, Art, Music, creative Phys. Ed classes, and older student buddies round out their experience. Exceptional Performing and Visual Arts programs, K-8 Interscholastic Sports, 1:1 Technology, Engineering, after school STREAM Academies and differentiated instruction culminating with Advanced

Math, Science and ELA in middle school set St. Mary School Swormville apart. All students are encouraged to seek knowledge through inquiry and to confidently share it with others. St. Mary’s Faith Community upholds the family as the primary building block of a strong and holy society. Together, the entire community is developing disciples with a spirit of service to others who desire a personal relationship with Jesus. Strong healthy friendships begin at St. Mary School and continue into adulthood. Many SMS students are the children of St. Mary’s alumni!

6919 Transit Road East Amherst, NY 14051 (716) 689-8424 Paid Advertisement

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Skating Lessons (Ice):

2 St. Mary’s Hill, Lancaster, NY 14086 716-683-2112 St. Mary’s has a history of academic excellence and strong family values.

2982 Lakeview Rd., Hamburg, NY 14075 3465 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227 75 Weiss Rd., West Seneca, NY 14224 41 Riley St., East Aurora, NY 14052 716-580-3458 Email: #1 Learn-To-Skate Program in WNY. Over 20 classes per week. FIND US ON FACEBOOK



146 Reserve Rd., West Seneca, NY 14224 716-674-5353 Providing Christ-centered education for PK-3 through 8th grades since 1851. NLSA Accredited. See Our Advertiser Spotlight.

Senior Housing:


716-817-9090 People Inc. operates 19 Senior Living affordable apartment complexes throughout Western New York.


Sleep Consultant:


716-572-4276 Email: Infant and toddler sleep consultant. Custom sleep plan with individual support. FIND US ON FACEBOOK

Special Needs Services:


180 Oak St., Buffalo, NY 14203 716-883-8888 Email: Helping people of all abilities reach their fullest potential.


547 Englewood Ave., Kenmore NY 14223 716-832-9334 Raising awareness of and enhancing the lives of people with Down syndrome.


sasi - 13339 Route 39 - PO Box 526 Sardinia, NY 14141 • 716-496-5551 Therapeutic horsemanship program serving individuals with disabilities.


393 North St., Springville, NY 14141 716-592-9331 Center & community-based educational & therapeutic programming. EI & CPSE Evaluations. Serving children birth-8 years of age.

TriniTy ChrisTian sChool Preparing Young Minds to Soar

spoTlighT on

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Schools cont.:

The Mission of Trinity Christian School is to guide our children in faith, learning, character and leadership by nurturing their relationship with Jesus Christ and educating them for a lifetime of service to God and man. We are a Preschool 3 through Grade 8 nationally accredited (NLSA) school located at 146 Reserve Rd. in West Seneca. Our rigorous academic curriculum, STEM implementation, music, art, physical education and foreign language programs provide stu-

dents and staff with the tude of giving. Extracurricular opportunity to grow sports and athletics, school and learn together in a musicals, game clubs, and acasafe and loving, Christdemic enhancement opporcentered environment. tunities inspire students to Our graduates are welluse their gifts and interests for prepared for all high further growth and leadership. For more information, school settings. The students at Trinity are in or to visit the school, please visit smaller classes that provide indi- our website thinktrinitychristian. vidual attention and are techno- com, or call 674-5353. logically current. They participate in many community service projects throughout the school year that encourage them to adopt an atti-

146 Reserve Road West Seneca, NY 14224

716-674-5353 Paid Advertisement


sasi - 954 Union Road, Suite 1 West Seneca, NY 14224 • 716-656-1321 Therapeutic dance/movement program for individuals with developmental disabilities and special needs.


1219 North Forest Rd., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-817-7400 People Inc. is Western New York’s leading non-profit human services agency, providing services to people with special needs, families and older adults to achieve greater degrees of independence and productivity. Services include: Residential, vocational and supported employment, respite, senior services, health care and affordable apartments.

Toy Store:


5225 Main St., Williamsville, NY 14221 716-633-1966 1396 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216 716-939-3000 One Hundred and six years of delivering smiles!

636 Girard Ave., East Aurora, NY 14052 716-687-3300 We carry Fisher-Price® and Mattel ® products. Ask about our weekly specials.


4545 Transit Rd., Eastern Hills Mall Williamsville, NY 14221 716-632-4202 Toy Store and Playland. Games, puzzles, Playmobil, science, crafts, plush, educational toys.

Urgent Care:


Multiple locations in WNY Visit location for location nearest you For quick, quality treatment in an hour or less, 365 days a year visit WNY Immediate Care. On-site physicians and advanced practice clinicians provide cost effective treatment of coughs, colds, flu, allergies, and other non-life threatening injuries. With five convenient locations, we help you Get In. Get Out. Feel Better!™ When you call or visit an advertiser, please tell them “I SAW YOU IN WNY FAMILY!”

Buffalo Seminary

Spotlight on

Independent Day and Boarding School for College-Bound Girls

Worried about your daughter’s academic success? Worried she’ll be lost when school starts in the fall? We’ve got you. SEM is among the oldest schools for girls in the U.S. We’re tried and tested in the classroom and now as a recognized leader in distance learning while 169 years of traditions anchor our community. We’ve had technology woven into the curriculum for over a decade. SEM girls are independent, resilient, and ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world with resourcefulness and resolution. We are a Committed Steinway Select School and Niche named us the Best All-Girls School and Best College Prep School in the Buffalo Area.

Centered by our Academic & Social Honor Code, we have designed an independent culture of achievement, scholarship, creativity, leadership, and service that challenges girls to engage and explore opportunities from theater to sports, to public speaking and computer science. Our small class size keeps learning personal and connected. We do not require uniforms and are not bound by NYS Regents. Our teaching goes beyond state mandates. Take a virtual tour of our campus here:, and call the Admission Office, 716-8856780, to schedule an in-person visit. Over 30 student scholarships are offered. Entrance & Scholarship Exam

dates are available by appointment. Forward thinking is our oldest tradition. Accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), we are also a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS), the Online School for Girls (OSG), The Small Boarding School Association (SBSA), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS).

Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls 205 Bidwell Parkway Buffalo, NY 14222

716-885-6780 Paid Advertisement

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 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  ABUSE/DOMESTIC VIOLENCE n New York State Office of Children & Family Services prevention State Hotline: 1-800-342-3720 Report abuse/neglect of children. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police department. n New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence 24 hour Hotline: 1-800-942-6906 According to Safe Horizon, a New York victims’ services agency, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence; more than 3 million children each year witness domestic violence at home; without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse, and boys are more likely to become abusers of their partners and children as adults, continuing a cycle of violence seen in families all too often. n Haven House Child & Family Services 24-Hour Hotline: 716-884-6000 (for HELP & Shelter) For over 35 years, Haven House has been working to prevent domestic violence/intimate partner violence and promote peace in the home. Services are based on a continuum of care ranging from a fullyinclusive emergency shelter in a confidential location to long-term transitional housing. The continuum of care includes an extensive counseling and advocacy program for all individuals regardless of gender that includes many satellite locations throughout Erie County. Who Should Call? Anyone involved in an intimate partner violence or family violence situation, including: domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, those

in same-sex relationships, those with disabilities, male survivors, senior citizens, and immigrant and refugee victims of domestic violence. Friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, or professionals with questions about domestic violence operates safe and secure emergency housing in a confidential location for women and their children, single women, and transgendered individuals identifying as female. Shelter supportive services include: Safety Planning, Individual Counseling, Support groups (including Art Empowerment), Advocacy. Referrals can call the hotline for information. Haven House housing assistance, Referrals to transitional housing, Food, Clothing, Crisis Intervention, and Children’s Programs. n Family Justice Center of Erie County 716-558-SAFE (7233) Offers free services for domestic violence victims and their children through an extensive collaboration with 13 partner agencies, all located at one secured, comfortable location, where victims can get all the services they need to safely escape abuse. They have the following locations but as of this issue’s print date, due to COVID, they are not currently accepting walk-ins or in-person meetings. They are still available by phone or through their website. Buffalo 438 Main St., Suite 201, Buffalo 716-558-7233 (Monday-Friday; 8:30am-5pm) Orchard Park 4383 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park 716-662-0259 (Wed. & Fri; 8:30am-5pm) Amherst 330 North Forest Rd., Amherst 716-634-4309 (Mon. & Tues.; 8:30am-5pm)

Grand Island Satellite 1801 Grand Island Blvd. Suite 3 Grand Island 716-507-0764 (Mon. & Wed.; 8:30am-5pm)

ADOPTION n Adoption Star 131 John Muir Drive Amherst, NY 14228 716-639-3900 Provides thorough and compassionate counseling to pregnant individuals, regardless of location, who are considering their options, including abortion, parenting, and adoption. Allows prospective adoptive parents and expectant parents to explore all the adoption options and to receive the appropriate information and education necessary to access those options. Provides counseling and support to birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. n Adoption Program Child & Family Services 330 Delaware Ave. Buffalo, NY 14202 716-882-0555 Specializes in promoting permanency through adoption for children of all ages in the foster care system. Staff work with children freed for adoption as well as families interested in adopting children. Provides support, training, and case planning services for the child and adoptive family. n Center for Family Development 5820 Main St., Suite 406 Williamsville, NY 14221 716-636-6243 Provides counseling for adoptive and foster families, adopted children, children in foster care (ages birth through adult), and adult adopters. Offers educational workshops for families and – continued next page

Concerned about a family member? We can help. Call us today at 716.831.1800 | Mental health & addiction | Virtual Counseling Services

 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide 

Feeling stressed? Anxious?


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You are NOT alone

Telehea lt or in pe h rso counseli n ng available .

Specializing in ... • Marriage & Relationships • Infidelity • Infertility • Parenting & Coparenting • Grief & Loss • Anxiety & Depression * Groups Forming in 2022


 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  support groups; professional training and consultation; court ordered custody evaluations; pre-placement home studies and post-placement supervision. Offers WNY’s only Attachment and Bonding Center. Provides attachment therapy, evaluations, and treatment for children and adolescents using an evidencebased treatment approach.

AFTER SCHOOL CARE n For a very comprehensive list of more than 100 after school care programs in Erie County visit and enter “after school” in the search box. Information on programs in Niagara and other counties is also available through this site. If you do not have access to the Internet, call 1-888-696-9211.

4800 N. French Rd. • East Amherst, NY 14051

716-725-7158 | 716-689-3110 Ext. 1


Elementary School Full Day Pre-K 3 & 4 Grades K - 8

A STREAM School STEM + Religion + Art


2 St. Mary’s Hill • Lancaster NY 14086


BABY NEEDS There are a number of local “Baby Needs” programs that meet the emergency needs of infants and very young children by providing them with a supply of diapers, infant formula, baby food, and baby care products. Limited quantities available; supplies may differ at each location. Get in touch with Baby Needs programs at the following locations which serve specific zip codes:

n Buffalo River Food Pantry 62 Republic Street Buffalo, NY 14204 716-856-8613 Mon-Thurs, 9am-11am. Serving zip code 14204. n Every Bottom Covered Delavan Grider Community Ctr. 877 Delevan Ave. Buffalo, NY 14215 716-896-7021

Provides up to 50 free diapers and/or 20 pull-ups for each child in eligible families. Diapers available for pickup on a monthly basis. n The Genesis Center 2161 Seneca Street Buffalo, NY 14210 716-822-1900 ext. 40 Hours by appointment only. Call to schedule. Serving zip code 14210 for parents with an emergency need; no residency requirements for children’s clothing. n Kenmore Alliance Church 175 Bonnet Ave Tonawanda, NY 14150 ministries/kac-serves 716-876-5570 Many types of services are offered including emergency essentials for babies. n Urban Christian Ministries 967 Jefferson Avenue Buffalo, NY 14204 716-882-9472 Tues & Fri, 11am-2pm; Thurs, 11am-4pm. Serving zip codes 14204, 14208, and 14211.

BREASTFEEDING n La Leche League International La Leche League has several groups meeting in WNY as well as leaders who are available to answer your questions about breastfeeding. If you are unable to find a leader in your area, call 1-877-4-LALECHE (1-877-452-5324). Amherst • Cynthia, 716-989-7070; Cindy, 716-835-7504. East Aurora • Karen, 716-652-0225. Hamburg/West Seneca • Kimberly, 716-997-4662; Amanda, 716-220-1597 Niagara Falls • Christine, 716-523-1143.

CHILD SUPPORT ASSISTANCE n Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Erie Co. Dept. of Social Services Rath Building, Room 230 Buffalo, NY 14202 Helpline: 888-208-4485 (8am-7pm) CSE can help locate the noncustodial parent, help parents establish paternity if either has any doubt about the identity of a child’s biological father, help the custodial parent file a petition in Family Court for an order of support, and enforces a child support order when the non-custodial parent does not pay. The child support enforcement program has legislative authority to collect overdue child support (arrears) and to obtain medical coverage through a variety of administrative procedures. Some administrative procedures can be put into action without going to court. Noncustodial parents who fail to pay child support can be subject to having the funds automatically deducted from their wages; unemployment payments, federal and/or state tax refunds, and lottery winnings can be intercepted; financial assets, including bank accounts, can be seized. Delinquent noncustodial parents can also have their NY State drivers license suspended and can be prevented from obtaining or renewing their passports.

For further information about Child Support Services in New York State visit


n NY State Parent Education & Awareness Program parent-ed/index.shtml

Launched in 2005, and offered under the auspices of Catholic Charities of Buffalo here in WNY, this program is designed to educate divorcing or separating parents about the impact of their breakup on their children. The primary goal is to teach parents ways they can reduce the stress of family changes and protect their children from the negative effects of ongoing parental conflict in order to foster and promote their children’s healthy adjustment and development. Four topics are addressed in the Parenting & Child Well-Being portion of the curriculum: 1) Creating and Maintaining Supportive Parent-Child Relationships 2) Providing a Stable, Supportive Home Environment 3) Maintaining Healthy Parental Functioning & Psychological WellBeing 4) Protecting Children from Ongoing Conflict Between Parents. An overview of the Legal Process is also included. In Erie County, there are “Our Kids: A Parent Education & Awareness Program” class locations in Amherst, Buffalo, and Hamburg; contact Michele Wittman, 716-896-6390 or email michele. In Niagara County, there are class locations in Niagara Falls and Lockport; contact Michele Wittman, 716-896-6390 or email At the present time, Zoom meetings are also being held. If you live in any other county, visit the website for a list of providers. n New York State Council on Divorce Mediation Divorce mediation is a voluntary, cooperative settlement process – continued next page

Coming Up In Our June Issue

r me m u S In P rint e! and Onlin


Go! Guide

This special pull-out section will showcase museums, attractions, festivals, getaways and much more to tens of thousands of parents searching for the perfect Summer activities and destinations for their families!

Contact your account rep directly or call 836-3486 ext. 104 for more information Space Reservation Receive a FREE PROFILE Deadline: & FREE COLOR Tuesday, when you May 10, 2022 reserve your ad.

 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide 

 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources 


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 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  in which a neutral professional helps you make practical, informed decisions to resolve your differences. It is used frequently and successfully by separating and divorcing couples who want to plan their futures rationally, in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual respect. With the guidance of a trained mediator, you work together through a series of orderly steps to create a fair and reasonable agreement. Visit their web site to find accredited mediators in your area, or call 516-227-2595.

DRUG & ALCOHOL ABUSE n Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Get Help via text, email or by scheduling a call with their trained specialists by visiting Drug use remains a significant problem in the United States, however adolescent drug use is particularly damaging as such use can affect the physical and mental development of younger people and can impact their opportunities later in life. In 2020, 7.58% of 12- to 17-year olds reported using drugs in the last month. 91,799 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, 21,000 more than the previous year, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. A person is more likely to die from an accidental opioid overdose than from a motor vehicle crash. This national organization helps parents take effective action before their child’s drug use or drinking reaches a point where treatment is required. Research has shown that substance abuse problems can be reduced by intervening early. Encouraging parents to take immediate action is therefore a main goal of the helpline’s team of parent support specialists who offer expert advice to help parents plan a course of action and can supply a list of local resources or treatment facilities. Their website is an excellent one-stop resource where you can educate yourself about specific

drugs, teen behavior, and ways to talk to your kids to prevent abuse from ever happening in the first place. n UNDERAGE DRINKING TIPLINE 1-800-851-1932 Erie County Sheriff’s Office anonymous, confidential, and free hotline. Concerned adults, teachers, students and friends now have a number to call 24 hours a day, to report planned underage drinking parties; underage drinking parties taking place or other activities that may be harmful to the health, safety and welfare of young people.

FOOD ALLERGIC FAMILIES n Greater Buffalo Food Allergy Alliance The mission of this local support group is to share information, tips, and experiences to ease the challenges of living with food allergies, as well as raise the awareness in the community; meets at the Orchard Park Library, 4570 South Buffalo St., Orchard Park. You can find more details on their website or Facebook page.


Among the many changes in society today is the growing incidence of grandparents raising their grandchildren, or other relatives or family friends taking on the primary role or raising a child in the absence of biological parents. Check with your church, your town’s senior services center, or your county’s mental health association for currently active support groups or counseling services. Here are several area resources: n Catholic Charities of Buffalo Kinship Preventive Services 412 Niagara St., Buffalo, NY 14201 716-854-3622

The Preventive Services Kinship program serves Erie County families involved with the child welfare system by placing children under the care of relatives. Staff conduct home visits to observe family interactions and provide referrals, as well as offer counseling and support for caregivers and biological parents in attaining child permanency, including filing for benefits and petitions in family court. In addition, staff are specially trained to work with families where children have been removed out of the natural home and placed in kinship care. All families must be referred through the Erie County Department of Social Services. n Child and Family Services 330 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202 716-842-2750 Child and Family Services Kinship Preventive Services Program works with kinship caregivers and parents to prevent placement of relative children out of their homes (foster care, residential), and works to expedite the return of children to their parents and/or Article 6 custody to the kinship caregiver. The Kinship Preventive Services Program assigns a counselor who – utilizing a family systems, solution focused approach – assists parents and/or kinship caregivers in solving problems, learning new ways of coping, and identifying other needed services. A majority of the service occurs in the kinship caregiver and/or parent’s home, however, some counseling sessions and group sessions will occur in one of several Child and Family Services offices. The kinship program offers the family case management, various workshops including support groups and parenting education. n OLV Human Services-Kinship Caregiver Program 790 Ridge Rd Lackawanna, NY 14218 716-828-9411 Provides services to caregivers in Erie and Chautauqua counties

who have Article 6 or 1017 custody arrangements, as well as those caregivers providing informal care arrangements for children not biologically their own. Services include family-driven case management provided by an MSW Case Manager. Additional services include monthly peer lead support groups and educational sessions for kinship caregivers, as well as interactive groups designed specifically for children in the caregiver’s household, and family engagement activities for all family members. n Hillside Kinship Caregiver Program 1 Mustard Street Rochester, NY 14609 315-459-1606 Serving Erie and Monroe counties. This program serves families with informal or legal custody of a youth between the ages of 0-18, free of charge. Services are provided by experienced kinship parents and other kinship professionals who understand the challenges grandparents, relatives, or any non-parent caregiver may experience at times and the need to secure resources and meet other kinship families. n Non-Parent Caregivers: NY State & Erie County Department of Social Services Programs Non-parent caregivers — grandparents, other relatives, friends — who are caring for children without a parent living in their home, may be eligible for Temporary Assistance. Temporary Assistance for children not living with a parent is often referred to as “nonparent caregiver” or “child-only” grants, and includes Medical Assistance (MA). If the non-parent caregiver wants assistance only for the children, the non-parent caregiver’s income is not used to determine eligibility and there are no Temporary Assistance work requirements for the non-parent caregiver. Non-parent caregivers may apply for temporary

14201, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14210, 14211, 14212, 14213, and 14215.


MY FAMILY assistance at their local social services office. In addition to financial assistance, non-parent caregivers (also called kinship caregivers) often have a need for information and assistance related to food stamps, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), custody, guardianship, foster care, adoption, schooling, school enrollment, and other forms of assistance such as child care, social security, respite, case management and service programs. For information about services and assistance programs visit: - The NYS Kinship Navigator’s website offers legal fact sheets, state and local kinship resources, and other information. In addition, the Navigator operates a 24 hour toll free phone line at 1-877-4546463.

LEAD POISONING SERVICES n Erie County Department of Health LEADSAFE Erie County 503 Kensington Avenue Buffalo, NY 14124 716-961-6800 Families with young children who want information about lead poisoning prevention can request an assessment of their pre-1978 home. A visual exterior and interior inspection by staff will identify any potential lead hazards and a lead education visit with the family will provide cleaning supplies and strategies for avoiding lead hazards. “Communities of Concern” have been designated in zip codes

n New York State Division of Criminal Justice Missing Persons Clearinghouse 1-800-346-3543 Call local law enforcement first to report a missing child or adult. Call the hotline for case intake or to provide lead information. Electronically distributes missing child or missing college student alerts statewide and assists in investigation.

NUTRITION ASSISTANCE n WIC - Women, Infants & Children Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is a federal nutrition program that supports pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants and children up to the age of five to live a healthier life. WIC provides nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, prenatal and postpartum support, referrals and supplemental food vouchers. All of our services are free of charge. WIC is for all kinds of families married or single parents, working or not working. Fathers, mothers, grandparents, foster parents or other legal guardians of a child under five can apply for the child to receive WIC. WIC does not require US citizenship, social security number, green card or legal residency to receive benefits. Catholic Charities operates the program locally through a variety of locations. To reach any of the sites serving Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, call (716) 2181484. Not all of their locations are open every day, please call for site schedules. You may be eligible for WIC if you: • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or post-partum, OR • Have an infant or child under 5 years old, AND – continued next page

 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide 

 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources 


 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  38

 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  • Receive SNAP (Food Stamps), Temporary Assistance (TANF) or Medicaid or meet the income guidelines below, AND • Live in New York State You can also call NY State’s Growing Up Healthy Hotline toll-free at 1-800-522-5006 for further information about eligibility, etc.


Moms, we know how it is. We manage the house, the schedules, the lunch packing and dinner making. We’re there for homework, the big game, the school play, and we make it happen with a smile. Where’s that little dose of “me” time? Thankfully, there are some helpful organizations in our community just for moms. Whether you’re a new mom or a veteran mom, there’s a special place for you to connect, refresh and relax.

This support group for expectant and current mothers of twins (and more!) meets on the 2nd Wednesday of most months at 7pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 2669 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda. In addition to their meetings which feature “meet and mingle” sessions, they organize activities such as moms’ nights out, toy/clothing sales, and a great vareity of other mom-oriented and family events. Download membership forms on their website. n Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) MOPS is an international organization for pregnant women and moms of infants through pre-schoolers. MOPS meetings give moms and moms-to-be the opportunity to meet other moms and share the journey of motherhood. Here is a sampling of WNY groups. A complete listing is available on the MOPS web site. Check to see if in-person meetings are taking place. Amherst Alliance Church 3915 Millersport Hwy., Amherst 2nd Thursday; 7pm-8:30pm Fellowship Wesleyan Church 1645 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca 1st & 3rd Mondays (Sept-May); 6:15pm-8:15pm

n MOMS Club The MOMS Club is an international non-profit organization, started by a California mom. Several local chapters have formed which offer monthly meetings with speakers and discussions, park play dates, holiday family parties, outings for mothers and their children, and activity groups like playgroups, arts ‘n crafts, and a monthly MOMS Night Out. They also do community service projects. Find a local chapter through their web site. n WNY Mothers Of Multiples formerly Mothers of Twins Club of Buffalo

Winchester Community Church 909 Harlem Rd., West Seneca 1st & 3rd Thurs., 6:30pm-8pm Zion Lutheran Church 9535 Clarence Center Rd., Clarence Ctr. 1st & 3rd Wed.; 9:30am-11:15am or 7:30pm-9:15pm The Tabernacle 3210 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park 2nd & 4th Wed.; 9:30-11:30am Watermark Wesleyan Church 4999 McKinley Pkwy, Hamburg 2 Fridays a month; 9:15am11:30am

n MOMSNEXT is a relatively new type of group, created by MOPS International for mothers of school-age children. You can check for a program in your area at Here are some examples: Fellowship Wesleyan Church MOMSnext meets every 1st & 3rd Monday of the month at 6:15pm, beginning in September, at 1645 Southwestern Blvd., West Seneca. Zion Lutheran Church MOMSnext meets every 1st & 3rd Tuesday from 6:30-8:15pm, at 9535 Clarence Center Rd., Clarence Center. The Tabernacle MOMSnext meets the 2nd & 4th Wednesday, 9:30am-11:30am, at 3210 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park. Watermark Wesleyan MOMSnext meets at 4999 McKinley Pkwy., Hamburg. Get in touch for schedule.

POISON EMERGENCY n Upstate New York Poison Center 24 Hours A Day, 365 Days A Year 1-800-222-1222 poison/ Calls are answered by Specialists in Poison Information (SPIs), registered nurses, and pharmacists trained in toxicology. Specialists provide the most efficient and up-to-date poison information available. Physicians and toxicologists are on-call 24 hours a day for consultation purposes.


For a complete listing of special needs organizations, visit the DD Info Link at http://www.211wny. org/search/ddinfolink/ which provides a multitude of resources related to developmental disabilities. The resources can be broken down by age group, and then by service types, such as

daily living, education, in-home services, recreation, respite and more. If you do not have access to the Internet, call 1-888-696-9211. n Parent Network of WNY 1021 Broadway Buffalo, New York 14212 Information & Referral: 716-332-4170 This community resource provides all the tools necessary for parents and professionals to take an active role in the education of children and young adults with special needs. They offer a wealth of seminars, workshops, information and referral services, a newsletter, family training services, all FREE of charge. If you’ve struggled to find the right services for your child, or are lost in the maze of rules and regulations in the Special Education System, these are the folks who can help. n Down Syndrome Parents Group of Western New York 716-832-9334 Provides support to persons with Down Syndrome and their families through information on educational programs and community services. A Parent Support Program connects new parents with volunteers who can share their experiences and provide support. A phone call, hospital or home visit is available upon request by calling Barbara at 716-983-2140. They host activities throughout the year. n Autism Society of Western New York 716-633-2275 living-with-autism/ Parent support coffees are held once a month but are currently on hold due to COVID. n Grand Island Autism Support Group Meets at Realty USA 2139 Grand Island Blvd., Grand Island, NY 14072

Contact: Vienna, 716-430-5118 Email: GrandIslandNYAutismGroup n Group for Parents of Children with ASD Meets monthly, 6:30pm-8:30pm Aspire Building, 7 Community Drive Cheektowaga, NY 14225 Contact: Jana Mertz, 716-323-6435 Email: Ask about their groups for parents of teenagers with ASD or Aspergers. n Niagara County Group for Parents of Children with ASD Meets monthly, 6:30pm-8:30pm Empower Children’s Academy 9812 Lockport Rd., Niagara Falls, NY 14304 Contact: Parent Network of WNY, 716-332-4170


n Family Help Center (formerly Joan A. Male Family Support Center) 24-Hour Parent Help Line 716-892-2172 Did you ever get the feeling that being a parent is a bigger job than you expected? The stress continues every day! Raising a family is a big job and sometimes it’s an overwhelming one! Since 1973, the Family Help Center has been providing services to families raising children and gives the support you can’t always get from family, neighbors, or even parents. They operate the only 24-hour, 365 day a year family crisis intervention and support service in Erie County, and offer immediate assistance with no application procedures, no eligibility requirements, and no waiting period. They provide inhome support services to all of Erie County, as well as a

NY State licensed daycare facility. Their Family Help Center Daycare, at 60 Dingens St., Buffalo, offers full day, before, and after school care, and school-age summer programs. n Crisis Services Serving Buffalo & Erie County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 716-834-3131 24-hour Addiction Hotline: 716-831-7007 24-Hour Erie County Domestic Violence Hotline: 716-862-HELP For Shelter: 716-884-6000 Provides crisis intervention and supportive counseling to all callers in Erie County. Provides immediate assistance for people who are in acute emotional distress; who are or perceive themselves to be in life-threatening situations; who are a danger to themselves or to others; or who are hysterical, frightened or otherwise unable to cope with a problem that requires immediate attention. n Crisis Services Kids Helpline: 716-834-1144 The Kids helpline is a part of the Crisis Services Counseling Program and is dedicated to serving school aged children, adolescents and parents by providing immediate and confidential support 24 hours a day, on a variety of issues related to youth and their families.

 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide 

 Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources  Parenting Resources 



 Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide  Family Resource Guide 

FAMILY TRAVEL continued... Just a short walk down the boardwalk is the Buffalo Heritage Carousel that opened with a grand celebration last Memorial Day weekend. This vintage park-style menagerie carousel was custom designed and manufactured in 1924 by Spillman Engineering in North Tonawanda for Domenick DeAngelis of Massachusetts. He operated it until 1954 and then it was owned by his family until it was acquired by Buffalo Heritage Carousel and returned to Buffalo. Once back in North Tonawanda, a few streets away from where it was first built, it was fully restored over five years and hundreds of hours of painstaking labor. This stunning historic carousel is solar powered and housed in a specially designed roundhouse. A ride costs just $1 and the young and young at heart are delighted to ride this rare carousel at the terminus of the Erie Canal. Is there any sweeter aroma than the intensely fragrant lilac? Rochester boasts the largest lilac collection in the United States and the Rochester Lilac Festival is the largest free festival of its kind in North America. The 124th edition will be celebrated May 6-8, 12-15, and 19-22 from 10:30am to 8:30pm. The festival and lilacs are in the 150-acre Highland Park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was the dream of George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry, two leading Rochester citizens and prominent nurserymen who gave the community part of their nursery’s land and enlisted the help of landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted to develop the park.

The first lilacs were planted in 1890 and there are now more than 500 varieties on 1,200 plants. Don’t miss the spectacular hand-planted pansy beds with 10,000 plants in a floral carpet design. Each year there is a new design and a must see for visitors. The tulip garden provides a kaleidoscope of brilliant color. There is also a grove of 700 varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas. The Kids Zone is a family favorite and offers a zipline, bounce houses, rides, and midway games. The Lilac Parade begins at 10:30am on May 7 and features more than 2,500 participants, including 20 marching bands, dancers, costumed characters, and mini cars. Live music is back for this year’s festival and a wide range of free bands and musical entertainment will be playing on Free Center Stage.

Travel Tip of the Month: For Presque Isle State Park go to or call 814-833-7424. For Chautauqua Institution visit or call 800-836ARTS. For Niagara Falls State Park, visit or call 716278-1794. Visit the Buffalo Maritime Center at or call 716-881-0111. Visit the Buffalo Carousel at or call 716-493-2110. For the Rochester Lilac Festival go to or call 800-677-7282. Deborah Williams is a veteran travel writer who lives in Holland, NY. Her work has appeared in national and international publications and she is the recipient of the Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Gold Travel Writing Award.

May 2022 WNY Family 41


Success comes in many forms, but should always be celebrated


aving a sense of accomplishment is different for everyone. It could be getting a passing grade on a school project, completing a puzzle, or practicing dance moves. Accomplishments of any magnitude should be celebrated. This is also true for children and young adults with an intellectual or developmental disability.

Feeling a part of something is important.

There can be many definitions of success. Marie and Justin Proudman of Hamburg, NY, parents of four children, spoke about their family. To say they are proud of them — pun intended — is very telling. Two of their children are a set of twins — Dominic and Zachary, age 20 — both living with autism and cerebral palsy. The boys have always attended a non-local school and currently attend Erie 2 BOCES in Holland, NY. Dominic and Zachary are non-verbal; however, that does not stop them from sharing their joy. One of the many activities they enjoy is being at Cradle Beach, a non-profit organization offering enrichment programs in an inclusive

environment for people with and without disabilities. As the Proudmans spoke for this story, their twins were interacting at Cradle Beach. Marie and Justin shared that their twins have met many friends, who also attend Cradle Beach, thanks to the People Inc. Southtowns Afternoon Respite (SAR) Program in Hamburg, which focuses on having fun, while offering socialization, arts and crafts, sensory activities, and community outings for people, age 10 to 21, with a developmental disability. Establishing friends has been a great benefit for them. “The fact that they have friends, it would not have been an opportunity without SAR,” said Marie. “It’s normal for kids their age to go to the mall, arcade, and to have a typical life as much as possible.” The staff of the program help make this possible, as they organize these and other experiences in the community. Due to various challenges, daycare or a YMCA were not appropriate options for Dominic and Zachary. A service coordinator provided information about the Respite Program and they have been enrolled since about age 10.


Ability Inspire Advocate

Special Needs Potential Thri

Growth Strategies — by Nicole Forgione

When asked how they mark milestones, the Proudmans said they try to give their sons a typical life, not making things purposefully different, and provide opportunities similar to peers who do not have a developmental disability. Marie shared that their oldest boys started to walk at age 8 and it was the best feeling. Justin pointed out that when Dominic and Zachary turned 16, they took them to the DMV and they both got a non-driver ID. “They want to be part of the world — a world they fit in,” said Marie. And when asked how they express themselves when they are happy or meet a goal, Marie and Justin said their twins, “scream with joy, smile as big as the moon and love to give high-fives.” The Proudmans enjoy spending time together as a whole family with their four children, like going to the arcade, ice skating, and going on trips to the Outer Banks. The younger brothers, age 5 and 11, have an understanding that their older brothers are differently abled and are incredibly kind and accepting. Marie also shared there have been issues over the years when people may seem uncomfortable when their twins communicate or act differently. “Keep in mind, at the end of the day, we just want to be a part of something,” Marie said. For them, that something is the People Inc. Southtowns Afternoon Respite Program, where staff take groups, including their boys, on various community outings, like hanging out at the mall food court. “The program has had a tremendous impact,” Marie said. “Life is okay to be different and that can be great.”

42 WNY Family May 2022

When asked what advice she would give to new parents of children with special needs, Marie shared, “All I can think of is one word — ‘advocate.’ Become their voice if they are nonverbal. Don’t be afraid or feel bad about speaking up when you have concerns, or even questions. Whether you’re leaving a doctor’s office or school, you should always understand the plan for your child and feel comfortable discussing any concerns. Your child’s life experience will be so much better due to your efforts and advocacy.”

“At our Respite Program, we focus immensely on praise,” Special said proudly. “Everyone likes to feel recognized and receive praise, that’s just human nature. When looking at the small stuff, those little accomplishments eventually will work together exemplifying great success; the most prominent motivation is praise.” When asked how praise is given to participants, Special said she and her staff are like cheerleaders. “At our Respite Program, we cheer each other on. We clap, we yell, we celebrate — everything — all the small stuff — every day.”

Realizing success is different for everyone.

Feeling accomplished for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can mean different things. “Success in this community is not pinpointed by a specific action or accomplishment, but rather all the small things that lead up to that moment of greatness, big or small,” said Cassie Special, senior Respite supervisor, of People Inc. “Success is seen in the ability to trust new people, in the ability to be open to trying new things, and to the resilient dedication new tasks will take.”

And fellow participants get into the action, too. “Often times, the kids will cheer each other on or join the staff, proving that the high energy praise is in fact contagious and motivating,” added Special. “We cheer everyone on each step of the way with their goals. It is so crucial to recognize the small things because they are huge for them! The more motivation and praise they get, the more they continued on page 44

Special, who has worked for People Inc. for three years, shared these thought-provoking remarks about people who may face extra challenges due to a developmental disability: • Success is taking 10 minutes to accomplish something that used to take you 15 minutes. • Success is communicating more efficiently; success is being able to button your jacket for the first time. • Success is not determined by the time it takes, but rather the relentless effort of those who may need just a little extra support than others. The team of the People Inc. Southtowns Afternoon Respite, along with their other programs in the area, make it a point to celebrate accomplishments of all kinds.

“a must-read”

A feel-good story of family and survival when faced with raising a child with special needs. This powerful memoir, written with compassion and humor, is the moving narrative of a family changed forever and the celebration of optimism, transformation, and hope. “Rubin writes with clarity and thoughtful introspection, making for a truly enlightening read”

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purchase on Paperback, hardcover, ebook available

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W W W.V I C K I E R U B I N . C O M May 2022 WNY Family 43

SPECIAL NEEDS continued...


We take a look at topics important to parents of children with special needs not just in April, but in each and every issue of WNY Family Magazine with our monthly column.

want to keep going and this is where we find the greatest success.” The members of the program also contribute to their outings. “I always ask the kids where our next outing should be, as their input is highly encouraged,” Special shared. Special said she is inspired by Dominic and Zachary and shared how repetition and praise may help: “They used to not come inside the program, staying outside or in the vestibule. With practice, they now come inside with a huge smile on their face. The boys used to stick close to their staff. With encouragement, they interact with their peers. They initiate high fives and joke with other kids. They had a tough time communicating their wants and needs. With practice, reassurance and praise, the boys continue to learn how to efficiently communicate with our staff.” Success isn’t always about getting into an Ivy League school or planning ahead to buy a house. Success is about living in the now — celebrating the big

and small milestones. It’s about taking in the moments to get to better spots in life and appreciating them along the way. Let’s boost each other up, celebrate people of all abilities, and celebrate every success! Nicole Forgione is a wife, proud mom, loyal friend, and a marketing and media relations guru. She can usually be found re-watching “The Golden Girls,” instead of doing housework. Forgione is the assistant director of Marketing Communications for People Inc. (people-inc. org), a multispecialty non-profit health and human services agency, providing supports to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and older adults throughout Western New York and the Greater Rochester region. Forgione is an active member of the Marketing Communications Committee for the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York and a volunteer for Senior Wishes.


We’re here to help. Does your business, agency or organization serve children with special needs in our community? Their parents are looking for your services all year long. Advertise in conjunction with this informative column and let our readership of nearly 60,000 WNY parents know about your important programs and services each and every month.

For more information, contact the

Advertising Department at 716-836-3486 ext. 104. 44 WNY Family May 2022

Comprehensive services for children and adults with autism. Support for your family.

· Evaluations · Early Autism Program (Preschool) · Summit Academy (Ages 3-21) · Respite Programs · Pediatric Feeding Clinic

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We are WNY’s largest provider of evidence-based programs and services for autism. Our programs use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methodology – identified by hundreds of scientific studies as the most effective method to teach individuals with autism. Our goal is to help your child lead the most independent and fulfilling life possible.

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et’s face it: there’s nothing simple about being the parent of teens. One moment they’re totally happy, and the next moment nothing is right, including anything you say to them! How do you help teens better manage their emotions? Here’s what the experts suggest:

TWEENS & TEENS — by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

Help Them Understand Their Emotions When teens experience emotional ups and downs, it’s often because they’re frustrated and don’t understand what they’re feeling. Roy Petitfils, the award-winning author of What Teens Want You To Know and other parenting books, says that parents should help teens name the emotions they’re experiencing by giving them a sheet of paper with a list of common emotions and asking them to check off the ones that apply. “When we’re able to identify and clarify what it is that we’re feeling or experiencing,” Mr. Petitfils says, “we gain a sense of control over it.” Or, put even more succinctly: “Naming it helps in taming it.”

Dedicate Some Private Space As parents, we like to think that as long as we talk things through with our kids, everything will be fine. But, as Ms. Werrell notes, “Sometimes teens just need a break — from parents, from friends, and from siblings.” If your teens have their own bedroom, help them make it as comfortable and relaxing as possible — and then let the room be a zone of privacy. If they don’t have their own space, dedicate an area of your home just for them. As Ms. Werrell says, “Make sure they have a private space, even just a small section of a room, where they can decompress and gather their thoughts.”

Encourage Physical Activities

Helping Teens Manage Their Emotions

... And Validate Them Validate your teens’ emotions as real and important, and be careful not to minimize their significance. “While you don’t necessarily have to agree that a minor incident is, in fact, the end of the world,” Beth Werrell of Connections Academy says, “it also helps to realize your teen might truly feel that it is.”

Listen Without Judgment If you’re lucky enough that your teens take the initiative to talk to you

about an emotional issue, listen to what they say without judgment or suggesting a solution. “Just because your teen is sharing a problem,” Ms. Werrell says, “he or she isn’t necessarily asking you to fix it. Often, teens (and adults) just want to share what’s wrong without being bombarded with solutions.” Child psychologist Dr. Eleanor Mackey says that a better course of action is to ask open-ended questions like “Wow, how have you been handling that situation?” This will help them to think through tough situations and how to navigate them on their own in the future.

Be A Good Role Model As Ms. Werrell puts it, “Don’t just tell teens how to deal with troubling emotions — show them.” For example, if you like to go for a run when you’re stressed, don’t suggest that they go running, too. Instead, casually mention that you’re going out for a run to de-stress.

It’s good for teens to have physical outlets for their emotions. Experts suggest lots of different activities including baking, dancing, exercising, and hiking. It doesn’t really matter which activity your teen chooses; the important point, as Mr. Petitfils says, is that “getting into your body… helps get you out of your head.”

Stay Calm at All Times Stay calm if your teens take out their frustrations by slamming doors, shouting, or both. Don’t condone unreasonable behavior, but don’t escalate a stressful situation any further. As clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Richfield says, “As tempting as it is to return your child’s verbal swordplay with a lashing of your own, don’t. This just escalates the conflict and closes the door to any productive discussion.” Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences & Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College. May 2022 WNY Family 45

Special Advertising Section

2 Summer Literacy Programs

One-to-one Tutoring & Half-day Camp


The Creative Play Learning Center

5- 12


SUMMER PROGRAM June 27th- September 2nd

When: July 11th-14th Cost: $80 for the week (4 days) and includes a Soccer Camp T-Shirt! Session One: For girls entering 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade - 9a.m.-11:30p.m. Session Two: For girls entering 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Grade - 12p.m.-2:30p.m. Coaching from Mount Mercy Varsity Coach Maddie Higgins and Mount Mercy soccer players.

Register online:


Open from 6am-6pm

Learn about all aspects of horsemanship without having to own a horse!

The cost is $59.00 per day or $265.00 per week. week Includes Breakfast, lunch, and snack.

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Summer at the Farm Camping/Vacation Bugs Come to the Carnival

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Up in the sky Who is your Superhero Spirit Week

For More Information or To Register

Call (716) 689-9800 647 Dodge Road, Getzville, NY 14068 46 WNY Family May 2022

Programs for ages 5-13; 13 & Up


Fe e d i n g Nu t r i t i o n Grooming Barn Chores Ta c k Leading Daily Riding

Camps run Monday through Thursday throughout the summer! mon th Sign u p this 0! 5 $ & save

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May 2022 WNY Family 47

CENTER STAGE DANCE STUDIO - Certified member of Dance Educators of America -

Dance Workshop

July 25-29 • August 15-19 Special Advertising Section


Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, Acro, Combination Class – Ages 3-5, and Mommy & Me.

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For more info call 836-3486 Ext. 104 48 WNY Family May 2022

SUMMER DAY CAMPS A fun, structured environment

July 5 - August 12 (no camp July 4th)

Children from Cheektowaga and surrounding areas looking to have fun this summer in a recreational setting, are invited to attend our great Summer Day Camps! Here they have a chance to make new friends, explore, play and swim.

~ Advanced Registration Required ~

Two Locations Available


Fully integrated program for children, including youth with special needs.

Ages 4-12 ~ Located near Cheektowaga Town Park ~


(*dependent on staffing*) General population youth

Ages 4-12 ~ Located in South Cheektowaga ~

Cheektowaga Youth & Recreational Services

275 Alexander Avenue • Cheektowaga, NY 14211

Contact us at (716)897-7205 or

Summer Crew Camp for boys and girls! Full Day and Half Day Sessions Available for July and August! Come try a new sport! Register online at or call 716-881-9797 May 2022 WNY Family 49


H June 27-30 H August 22-25

Grassroots/ Elite Training Camp Ages 5-15 Grassroots/ Elite Training Camp Ages 5-15

ter Regisay! Tod

BUFFALO’S GRASSROOTS SOCCER CLUB ALL CAMPS WILL TAKE PLACE AT: Point of the Meadow Field at Delaware Park Register online @

Sail Buffalo Junior Sail Camp Sign Up Today! We Teach Sailing! We Teach Important Life Lessons, too.

Sail Buffalo

Sailing School


four seasons Camp @ 9 mile island 1 Orbit Drive Nine Mile Island • Amherst

• Swimming • Hiking • Arts & Crafts • In-house visitors • Great Outdoor Fun and much more! Call 0 CHILDCARE CENTER & PRESCHOOL ENROEALLRLY 4 1639 N. French Rd., Getzville, NY 14068 SPECI MENT 568-11 AL S


Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts

Youth Performance Workshop



✷ Learn diverse forms of dance with master teachers

✷ Creative dance and costume design ✷ Perform on the festival stage Monday, August 22nd – Friday, August 26th, 9:30am – 4:15pm Saturday, August 27th Dress Rehearsal 10am – Noon Sunday, August 28th Festival Performance

✷ Cost: $300.00 ✷ Scholarship is available

Classes take place at Lisa Taylor Academy ~ 97 North Park Avenue, Buffalo Check out our Facebook page for more information! For more information and registration, email Nancy Hughes at 50 WNY Family May 2022

Check out our Facebook page for more information!

Summer 2022

Summer 8 WEEK PROGRAM Starts July 5th

Quality Gymnastics: Ages 1-18yrs ~ Weekly Themes Trampoline & Tumbling Classes: 7-18yrs Open Tumble/Cheer Class July/Aug. - Mon. 8:50-9:45pm July/August Open Workouts - Wed. 7:15-9pm Returning!! Mini Camp! Every Mon/Wed from 9:30am-12pm or 12:30pm - 3pm


70 Weiss Ave. • Orchard Park/West Seneca (Near Duff’s & Leisure Rinks) • 677-0338





The Full payment of $450.00 is required with the completed application and release forms to secure selected sessions.

H June 13 – 17 H June 20 – 24 H June 27 – July 1 H July 11 – July 15

(Pony Week | 5-8)

H July 18 – July 22 H July 25 – July 29 H August 1 – August 5 H August 8 – August 12 H August 15 – August 19

716.276.8947 Applications can be completed at

5940 NEWHOUSE ROAD | E. AMHERST, NY 14051 May 2022 WNY Family 51

SINGLE PARENTING — by Christa Melnyk Hines

mindset and flexibility can make it all work,” Wildman says. Ask for help. Without adequate emotional and practical support, caregiving can deplete your energy making you more susceptible to illness and depression. Utilize available resources and take advantage of any help that is offered by family and friends, says life coach Kristin Dunn. Also, find a reliable sitter, trade babysitting with a friend or check out area drop-in day cares.

10 Survival Tips for Single Parents


arenting is hard. Parenting kids without a partner to help can be grueling. From finding the right support to setting realistic limits, you can feel more in control and less overwhelmed. Here’s how: Tap emotional support. A positive support network is instrumental for stress management. If you don’t have access to close family or friends, seek support from single parent or mothers’ groups. “We have discussion groups that discuss topics pertinent to single parents,” says Janet Gallinati, president of Parents without Partners, an international non-profit organization, with chapters across North America. “Sometimes all you need to do is talk about it, but there may be someone in the group who has gone through something similar.” Manage your finances. Many hardworking single parents struggle to make ends meet. If you qualify, numerous non-profit and government organizations are available to provide assistance. Also, eliminate unnecessary bills or contact the company to see if refinancing is an option. “One of the worst things to do is to let the kids think that the only thing that has changed is that mommy or daddy has left,” Gallinati says. “Explain that this is now a one income family and cuts need to be made.” Set limits. Say no to requests that will cause undue strain on your wallet or 52 WNY Family May 2022

your time. Also, resist the urge to say yes to every activity your child wants to participate in. Make reasonable choices according to what works with your hours and available support. Seek flexibility. If possible, negotiate work hours or find a job that better accommodates you and your children’s needs. “Finding flexible work is realistic if you are clear about what you need, how you can be successful, and matching that with the business need,” says Laura Wildman, a staffing consultant with Mom Corps, which helps match professionals who are raising young families with companies that offer flexible work conditions. Single mom Jill Gaikowski, says she works in the evenings and on the weekends when she doesn’t have her child. “I’m happy to make the trade-off because before becoming a single parent, I was a stay-at-home mom. I am lucky to have this option,” Gaikowski says. Resolve guilt. Are you haunted by feelings of guilt, inadequacy, and resentment in the midst of juggling parenthood and a career? Realize that you are doing your best and focus on remaining optimistic. “You will get that important email that comes while you are at your kids’ game and you will get that call from school when you are working, but your

Commit to self-care. Engage in activities that nurture and energize you like meditation, reading, or exercise, even if that means waking up a few minutes earlier than usual. Use your lunch hour to connect with a friend. “Don’t underestimate the power of human touch,” Dunn says. “Schedule a massage or a pedicure. Human contact is really helpful in releasing bottled up energy and emotion that may not otherwise have an outlet for release.” Plan ahead. Include personal time on the calendar. “Do something for yourself once a week. You will see how it makes you better in all other areas of your life,” Gaikowski says. Integrate fun. Spend time with your kids cooking meals together, playing board games, bike-riding, or watching a movie. Also plan playdates or outings with other families to build a sense of community. Involve your kids. Assign ageappropriate responsibilities which helps children grow more self-confident and independent. “If you over-function by doing things for your children they could be doing for themselves, you’re teaching them to have unrealistic expectations for themselves and others,” Dunn says. Although single parenting isn’t easy, remember that when you manage your stress and focus on creating a stable, loving home for your kids, you’ll not only survive, you and your family will thrive. Christa Melnyk Hines is a nationally published freelance writer and author, specializing in family communication issues.

DEAR TEACHER – by Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts

Helping all parents make their children’s educational experience as successful as possible


uestion: What should children and families be doing to end the school year on a high note? — Final Tasks Answer: It definitely makes life easier for your children and the entire family if everyone takes the time now to tie up all the loose ends necessary to ending the school year successfully. In this way, the next school year can begin without having to do tasks related to the previous year. It can help to keep the list below handy and check off items as they are completed. The following tasks need to be completed before the last day of school:  The most important thing children need to do is to keep their grades up until the end of the school year. Homework still needs to be done and tests prepared for.  Encourage your children to clean out their desks and lockers. They should select papers, projects and personal items that they want to keep and bring them home.  Have them search everywhere — from under the beds to in the car and the lost and found — for items that belong to the school, such as textbooks, library books, and musical instruments, and return them.  Make sure children at all levels have a list of any assignments they must complete over the summer to be ready for the next grade.  Learn when any sports, band, or other activities will begin if they typically start before the beginning of the school year.  Talk to your children’s teachers well before the last day of school about any special concerns that need to be addressed during the summer. For example, not working on grade level in any subject requires some type of intervention during the summer.

 

  

Sign your children up for remedial summer programs, if needed, or enrichment programs, if offered. Gifted children should definitely be challenged over the summer and enrolled in programs that will fuel their desire to learn. Plans for special-needs students with IEPs for the next school year must be in place. Make sure young children are enrolled in kindergarten, and older ones in a new school if this applies. Have your children obtain the phone numbers and email addresses of friends that they wish to see during the summer if they don’t already have them. Make it a point for you and your children to thank teachers who have truly helped them during the school year. A short note will do the job. Find out the dates of any special programs that the school will be offering during the summer. Some elementary schools have weekly library programs as well as sports programs.

Think About The Future Parents: Life moves forward faster than we are often prepared for. Before you know it, children are in high school and thinking about college. As early as middle school, you need to be sure they are taking the right courses to meet college admission requirements. And when they get to high school, it is absolutely essential to know they are on the right path to college. Course requirements for state schools are a good standard for them to meet for most colleges — but not all. There is the much-publicized cost of going to college. Investigate early some of the financial help you might be able to get. There are 17 states that of-

fer tuition-free programs at community colleges for eligible students. Find out if your state is one of them. Also, look into the costs of attending a public or private college in your state or another state. Your savings and a college savings plan may not meet all these costs. Think ahead to the probability of getting help from your children receiving scholarships and from funds that may be available from your company or union. Plus, some states offer money for college that does not need to be repaid for superior grades or certain career choices.

Finding the Right Summer Camp Question: I am trying to find a summer camp for my 8-year-old son. The child goes back and forth between wanting to go to an overnight camp or just staying at home and doing activities with our community parks program. Do you have any guidelines that I could use in deciding what will be right for him? — Choosing a Camp Answer: The American Camp Association is an excellent resource for answering your question. Here are their questions which will help you gauge your child’s readiness for camp:  What is your child’s age? Children under age 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home. Consider the day camp experience to prepare them for future overnight camp.  How did your child become interested in camp? Does your child talk about camp and camp activities on a sustained basis? How much persuasion is necessary from you?  Has your child had positive overnight experiences away from home? Visiting relatives or friends? Were these separations easy or difficult?  What does your child expect to do at camp? Learning about the camp experience ahead of time allows you to create positive expectations.  Are you able to share consistent and positive messages about camp? Your confidence in a positive experience will be contagious. Parents should send questions and comments to dearteacher@dearteacher. com and to learn more about helping their children succeed in school visit the dearteacher website. May 2022 WNY Family 53

Butterfly Cakes


s each new month approaches, our little ones herald its approach with a pronouncement that it’s almost time to bake the “cookie of the month.” Snowflakes and mittens for January, hearts for February, shamrocks for March, bunnies for April. By May, mommy has grown tired of making cutout cookies, and desires a bit of culinary adventure. Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of cookie cutters. They’re inexpensive and easy to store. From teeny tiny to huge, I found a variety that inspires creativity. I could find a shape for every season and hobby. More importantly, I saw their utility beyond cookie baking. We’ve made gelatin footballs, crisp rice treat flags, and brownie bears — all fast, easy, and without much rolling and baking. Below are a few recipe ideas to inspire you and your kids — just about anything you can slice, you can perk up with a cookie cutter!

Spring Flower Sandwiches

Free of: DAIRY, EGGS, SOY, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, FISH, SHELLFISH, WHEAT*, GLUTEN*, can be VEGAN** Yield: varies with size of cookie cutter Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes Sliced bread* (regular, wheat or gluten free as needed) Sliced lunchmeat**, seed butter or other sandwich filling Condiments Using tulip, sunflower, daisy, or other flower shaped cookie cutters, cut out bread one slice at a time. If using lunchmeat and/or vegan cheese slices, cut with cookie cutter, too. Assemble sandwiches.

Start with an assortment of shapes your children will enjoy. For the sports enthusiast: baseball, snowboard, hockey puck, basketball. For the animal lover: dogs, cats, birds, fish. Dancer, super hero, race car, astronaut – there are so many options.

Avoid stress by selecting cutters that are less angular when working with foods that might fall apart.

Grease cutters when working with sticky foods, or when baking with the cutters themselves.

Make shaped pancakes by greasing larger metal cookie cutters (not plastic) and placing on a flat pan or griddle, fill with pancake batter and cook pancakes as usual.

Local craft stores usually carry cookie cutters, as do cooking supply stores. If you can’t find the cutters you need locally, there are online stores with plenty of variety.

54 WNY Family May 2022

1 cake recipe or box mix* – enough for a standard 11x13 or two layer cake (gluten free variety if needed) 11” x 14” jellyroll pan Parchment paper Butterfly cookie cutter Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Pour in cake batter, bake as directed and cool. Cut out butterfly shapes. Transfer mini-cakes to a cooling rack. Place rack over pan or paper to catch drippings from glaze (below). Confectioners’ Glaze: 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 3-4 tablespoons water as needed for glazing consistency 1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon, or orange extract Food coloring (optional) Combine glaze ingredients, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over cakes.

A few tips: •

Free of: DAIRY, EGGS, SOY, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, FISH, SHELLFISH, WHEAT*, GLUTEN*, VEGAN Yield: varies with size of cookie cutter Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

Animal Kingdom Pizzas

Free of: DAIRY, EGGS, SOY, PEANUTS, TREE NUTS, FISH, SHELLFISH, WHEAT*, GLUTEN*, can be VEGAN Yield: varies with cookie cutter size Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time:15-20 minutes Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)*, gluten free if needed Pizza sauce Toppings (diced chicken, olives, ham, pineapple, mushrooms, etc.) Vegan shredded cheese

Roll out pizza dough on a floured surface. Use cookie cutters with animal themes (lions, monkeys, elephants, alligators, etc.) Place on baking sheets, add pizza sauce and desired toppings. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes – or until golden brown around the edges. You can substitute pizza dough with crescent roll dough if desired – alter the baking temperature and time as directed.

If you have any questions about our column, e-mail Kathy at allergy@roadrunner. com. For further information about food allergies, contact FARE, or call 1-800-929-4040. Kathy Lundquist is a Western New York parent whose son, now an adult, was born with severe food allergies. Over the last two decades, she has worked tirelessly, in a variety of capacities, to increase community awareness about food allergies.



— by Barbara Blackburn

e discovered Curry’s in a list of best fish frys and decided to try out some of the other dishes that made the restaurant able to gather a substantial crowd on a week night. We were pleased to encounter a reasonable kid’s menu, for $7.50, including a drink: soda, milk, or juice. We spied more than enough high chairs in a corner. You can request some art materials to keep busy in case there is a wait. The favorites for kids are Grilled Cheese, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Spaghetti, or Ziti with a Meatball.

Curry’s Restaurant & Pub

cheese. Banana Pepper Filet ($21.95) and the Banana Pepper Strip ($23.95) are also on the menu.


As for pasta, a Banana Pepper Pasta ($14.00) offers a choice of pasta topped with banana pepper cream sauce. As in the Dibbles, other additions await your choice.

864 Kenmore Ave. Buffalo, NY 14216


Every day has a special. Ours, on a Wednesday was Mom’s Turkey Dinner ($15.50), including all the traditional fixin’s, which on my plate included slices of 1ight and dark meat bolstered by creamy gravy, keeping company with mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, and cranberry sauce. As in all holiday meals at our house, the leftovers were great. The Signature Dibbles called to Dad. His stuffed banana peppers sauteed and served on a garlic toasted roll with mozzarella cheese, served with fries ($13.00) would have satisfied me. However, he chose one of the suggested accompaniments — Roast Beef ($16.00). The surrounding fries were tasty although somewhat over-browned — time to change the grease in the fryer. The Banana Pepper makes the rounds here in many of the categories. One entree is the Banana Pepper Chicken ($18.50), the signature peppers served atop a grilled chicken breast with melted mozzarella

Since we mentioned the famous fish fry, know that it is served every day — Beer Battered, Breaded, or Broiled ($15.50). This one is served with coleslaw, macaroni salad, choice of potato including French fries, rice, baked potato, and German potato salad, also rye bread. A fish sandwich is served every day with lettuce and tomato. One of the melts that caught my attention for future reference is the Pauly ($13.50), fresh, thin sliced corned beef and pastrami, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and 1000 island dressing.

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Also, adding to the popular peppers, there is the Stuffed Banana Pepper Soup (cup $6.00 or bowl $7.00). A separate dessert card was on the table with three choices. We’re glad we ordered the Lemon Mascarpone Cake, which won the baker our accolades. Curry’s is honest comfort food, in a restaurant that reminds me of some I knew as a kid.


Paul Kline at

716-836-3486 ext. 104 or

Jennifer Staebell at

716-836-3486 ext. 102 to get started!

Check out Barbara Blackburn’s blogs at and Community News Kitchen Wizard. May 2022 WNY Family 55

56 WNY Family May 2022