Friday, October 12, 2018

We celebrate International Girls Day

In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 International Day of The Girl. The resolution stated, "Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence."  

Today women are releasing their fears and finding their voices. As we work to empower young women, this day allows us to celebrate their new strength, their resilience and their dreams.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Support Arts Jam 2017

Although New York City is the center of the art world, arts programs at New York city school children are considered inadequate.  New York offers families the best museums, theaters and cultural experiences in the world. Children's Focus was started to  encourage parents to expose their children to the abundance of cultural institutions in the city, but part of that  equation was to encourage children to participate first hand in creating music, art and literature. Unfortunately, funding for arts in New York City schools does not match that level of interest. The Center for Arts Education is trying to bridge that gap by providing parents and educators with information that empowers them to engage their schools on this issue. To learn more about their work, parents can download Arts Education Parents Advocacy Toolkit.

There are lots of great reasons for parents to get involved in getting art programs into the school. First, there are the benefits for the children, studies have shown that children who participate in dance, music, theater and visual art do better in their class work. Children can enjoy dancing, playing an instrument or creating art while they also learn discipline and self control,  This creativity allows children to think and build outside the box, to find solutions to problems, and eventually,  paves the way for a better society.

On May 1, you can support the work of The Center of Arts Education at their fundraiser, Arts Jam 2017. Enjoy a fun evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, musical performances, and a live and silent auction at SLATE, 54 W21 Street, New York, NY, at 6:30pm. If you are unable to attend the party, you can make a donation by contacting Kim Craig or 212-971-3300. This year they will be honoring artist, composer, musician, filmmaker Laurie Anderson; and educators Patrick Burns and Maria Justiniano from J.H.S.217Q. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

"Fearless Girl" The Wall Street Bull Meets His Match

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action, and the theme for 2017 is "Be Bold For Change."

This holiday has been observed for over a century. In 1975, International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations. Then in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.  The issues that women faced a hundred years ago are not that much different than the ones we face today, and the problems we face in our community are not that different across the globe. Everyone is encouraged to commemorate the day in her own unique way and work with other women to bring change. This is a year of activism, and International Women's Day is a catalyst.

"So make a difference, think globally and act locally!
Make everyday International Women's Day.
Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding."

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day with Pen Parentis

Tonight join Pen Parentis for their racy special Valentine's Day event.  The Pen Parentis Literary Salon is a unique Downtown series that shatters parental stereotypes as it celebrates the diverse creative work of writers that are also parents.  For Valentines' Day they are featuring grassroots journalist Shani Gilchrist, Columbia professor Karl Jacoby, and bestselling novelist Helen Wan. These three amazing writers come together to discuss writing about race and other topics. Expect the unexpected. Join them on February 14  at Andaz Wall Street, 75 Wall Street, NY. Second Floor from 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM.  And it's free. Refreshments compliments of Andaz Wall Street. Pen Parentis meets on the second Tuesday of each month September through May. Visit their site

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Playground Rules

Playgrounds rule the summer. They offer hours of great memories and teach us the rules for socializing... how to wait your turn, share with others, make friends and most important how to have fun. New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. All summer those parks will be filled with the patter of little feet and the sound of laughter and joy.  So here are a few reasons why playgrounds rule and some of the best lessons children have learned from them.

Stay Cool - when the temperature reaches 90 degrees the sprinklers and pools in the parks are open.
Brookyn Bridge Park
Credit: Julienne Schaer

Make Friends - some life long friendships have been forged on the playgrounds of New York.
Crotona Park
Daniel Avila / NYC Parks
Play Ball -  develop those skills. The next Lebron or Curry could be playing somewhere on a playground court.

Credit: Jon Lopez

Scream for Ice Cream - every child has learned how to beg, nag and harass his or her parents when the sound of the Ice Cream Truck passes by.

Learn to Say Good Bye - we must all learn how to exit gracefully after a fun filled day at the park.
Please Baby Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Friday, August 7, 2015

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet Opens Today!

In this age of summer blockbuster movies hearing about a new movie that celebrates poetry is a welcome surprise.  This past Thursday actress and producer, Salma Hayek introduced her new movie, Kahilil Gebran’s The Prophet  at Lincoln Center. The Prophet, a series of poems written in the 1920s by the Lebanese philosopher Kahlil Gibran has inspired generations of young people. Salma Hayek first discovered the book as a young child on her Lebanese grandfather’s bed table.  So her connection to her new project comes with a lot of passion. Putting poetry to film is not an easy task but Ms. Hayek has solicited the help of some very talented animators to bring this story to life. The artists on the eight poems chosen for the film use different techniques of animation. The poems are then strung together by the story of a young girl trying to find her voice. Salma describes this film as a visual and spiritual experience. She believes young people today are misunderstood. "They are looking for purpose in life, this film is about freedom and finding your own voice."

The Prophet will open at The Landmark Sunshine Cinema - 143 East Houston Street, New York on August 7.
For more venues visit their site at

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Recipes for a Snowy Day

The Snowy Day

From the east to the west coast, we have become a winter wonderland. Now is the perfect time to pull out a copy of Ezra Jack Keats classic story.  The Snowy Day follows Peter 's adventure into the deep snow. This classic book has appealed to generations of young people since it was first published in 1962. In the book, Peter wakes up one morning to find his neighborhood covered with snow, and thus begins his snowy adventure. This winter we have had seen enough snow that children can relate to the surprise of discovering that first snow fall. So make a pot of hot chocolate and share Peter's story with your little ones. Start a great winter storytelling tradition for the next generation.

Learn more about Peter and the other Ezra Jack Keats' characters at the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

A Snowy Day View from the Window

Snow Cream

Have you ever had snow cream? I have not had the opportunity to enjoy one but one of my best friends always reminisced about the snow cream her mother would make every winter. So the other day I asked her mother for her recipe. Her recipe was very simple catch a bowl of clean, fresh fallen snow, combine milk, cream, sugar and vanilla, and gently fold into snow, and enjoy. Now if I can only catch some clean, fresh snow

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