Wednesday, Jul 18th

Last updateWed, 18 Jul 2018 11pm

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Citibabes of Manhattan is now open in Scarsdale. Their beautifully designed space includes over 9,000 square under the Popham Road bridge.  But what is Citibabes? A children’s play space? A pre-school? A family center?  A gym? A café? A retail store?  The answer is all of the above and more.  The center offers parents and caregivers of young children a place to go to enjoy themselves, either separately or together.  Kids as young as 2 months old can attend, and will be minded by qualified caregivers. There are classes for children up to the age of ten and they can choose from instruction in art, cooking, science, music, ballet, movement, or language.  Regularly-scheduled entertainers, such as musicians and magicians will provide fun throughout the day. The facility includes an indoor playground, computer stations and four classrooms that open up into a 1,250 square foot space that’s ideal for birthday parties. The bright décor designed by Edwin Schlossberg‘s renowned eco-friendly firm, ESI Design, make the site safe and attractive.

While the children are busy, parents and caregivers can visit the healthy café, shop at the hip retail store or use the gym which offers yoga and spinning and a full schedule of group classes. The spinning classes are run by “SoulCycling” an indoor cycling studio based in Manhattan.  There are pre-natal programs and personal trainers are on hand.  Educational workshops on parenting are also included.

What’s the price tag?  The annual membership fee of $2,100 allows all family members, including grandparents and caregivers to use the club and access its facilities.  If you are interested in touring the club and learning more, go to their website  to learn more.

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Based on the size of the crowd that came out on a frigid night to the PT Council’s program on stress, anxiety must be running high in Scarsdale. The program included a panel of experts who work with children from elementary school to high school. On hand were Heathcote Psychologist, Jennifer Turetzky, Dr. Sara Levine, specialist in adolescent medicine, SHS Psychologist Ernie Collabolletta and Sue Peppers, Assistant Principal of Scarsdale High School.
These experts shared their thoughts on both the sources of anxiety and what parents might do to alleviate it.
According to Ms. Turetzky, stress manifests itself in two ways; good stress encourages us to do our best while negative stress derives from a failure to cope and causes students to feel overwhelmed.  At the elementary school many kids strive for perfection and have difficulty accepting anything less than a perfect grade. She recommends that parents give children more freedom and feels that parents should let children fail from time to time. Also, refraining from intervening will teach children to learn coping mechanisms.  Parents should share their own failures with their children so that they see that no one is perfect. By over-protecting children, she contends, we actually make them feel more fragile.

In addition, since children at this age are often highly scheduled, she sees a preoccupation with timing, schedules and logistics. She recommends giving children a feeling of control. By sticking to a concrete and dependable routine, children will feel secure about what time they will be picked up, eat dinner, and go to bed.

Through her work with middle school children, Dr. Levine finds that the main source of stress at this age comes from physical changes. As she explained, if she walked into a second grade classroom, it would be pretty obvious that the students were in second grade. However, in a class of seventh graders she could not tell the age of the students because some would appear to be ten years old, while others would appear to be fifteen. Middle school-age children yearn to be at the same physical stage as their friends but the reality is that everyone matures at different paces. 

Dr. Levine suggests that the best way for a parent to relieve the stress of a middle school-aged child is to pay attention to their children’s complaints and questions and to support their child’s growth. For instance, if a child often complains of headaches and stomach aches this may be a sign that they are feeling stressed. It is important for parents to know what is going on with their child so they can help. And lastly, a well balanced diet and enough sleep are crucial for children, especially in their middle school years.

According to Ernie Collabolletta, there are four main sources of stress for high school students: parents, teachers, peers, and students themselves. To many Scarsdale parents, a grade of B+ isn’t good enough and a “B” is almost as bad as failing. By their peers, students are often asked, “what did you get on the test?” Added to the pressure from parents and peers is the stress that students put on themselves to perform.

Like Dr. Levine, Mr. Collabolletta advises parents to emphasize positive problem solving and coping skills and to let their child learn how to fail. Most importantly, he believes that parents should teach resilience and demonstrate close and supportive relationships. Children who have strong relationships with their families are less stressed than those who do not. And, according to Choice Theory Psychology, people become depressed when they lack good relationships.

Mrs. Peppers then updated the group on some measures SHS faculty and school government are taking to reduce stress in the high school environment. Just this year, the school experimented with a new freshman orientation program, a homework help center, and a new protocol. The protocol states that if a student has a problem within their academic classes, they should seek help from their dean. To give students time-off from schoolwork, teachers are required to refrain from giving homework over vacation. And to make the work load manageable, the school has instituted a mercy rule. This new rule gives a dean the power to reschedule one assignment if a student has three or more tests or large assignments due on one day. There are many more ideas the high school is looking forward to testing in the near future. One is to eliminate testing days for one quarter and see how this affects students stress levels.

The discussion ended with an invitation to the audience to contact the panelists with their questions, thoughts, and ideas. Since the first step in solving a problem is acknowledging there is one, we commend the PT Council for devoting a session to addressing student stress in the community.

Arielle Shemesh is a senior at the Scarsdale Alternative School and she is currently doing an internship at

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Looking for a fun family activity to ring in the New Year? How about spending an afternoon creating a time capsule together.
Here's what you’ll need:
-Cookie tin (or similar type); washed and dried
-Spray Paint
-Paint Markers in Assorted Colors
-Glue or tape

How to make it:

1. Take the lid off the tin and lightly sand the cookie tin all over on the the outside to rough up the paint

2. Wipe off the tin with the rag and spread out newspapers under the tin.

3. Spray paint the cookie tin, let it dry as you gather pictures, artwork, etc.

4. Use paint markers to add your message on the top of it:

  Time Capsule: Don’t open until New Years Eve 2010 These are a few of our favorite things (add music notes around the words) 

and family members names could go around the exterior of the tin.

5. Let each member of the family place a few special items in the tin that represented 2009 to them.

6. Clip out news articles, or put in the best movie titles of the year, the kids’ favorite songs, etc. Pictures of the family, or the kid’s school year photos. Artifacts from somewhere special you all went. You get the idea… anything that is important to you


7. Seal up the tin with glue or tape.

8. Last of all, find a safe hiding place for your time capsule. Hopefully someplace where no one will find it for quite awhile.

Suburban Share: What would go in your time capsule?

This idea comes to you from the website - an enlightened look at thriving in the burbs.  Check them out for more fun family ideas.

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I know we all love to praise our children incessantly...oops, I mean give positive reinforcement, but I've wondered before whether as a result of all those gold stars and pats on the head we're actually creating praise-crazy monsters?  Raising their expectations to the point where they will be disappointed if they don't get gold stars from their professors and smiley faces on their business reports? On the other hand, is it kosher to criticize them?

Today my son told me that his class was asked to write about anything they wanted. He wrote a paragraph about how he couldn't think of anything to write about.

I was disappointed in him.


Angry even.

He is a terrific, creative, imaginative writer and I couldn't believe that was the best he could come up with.

"What about how you just learned to rollerblade? Or, how you had a great visit with a friend you met at camp last summer? Or about the horrificly bumpy flight you had back from Florida when you threw up in a ziplock bag?" I questioned.

Then, I said it.

"You know what. What you did was a cop-out. It just wasn't good and you're capable of better."

Was that a terrible thing to say?

Read more at Gray Matter Matters:

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Exciting news... the 2010 JCC Maccabi Games will be held in Denver from August 1- 6 and in Baltimore from August 8 -13. The JCC of Mid-Westchester, who hosted the games in 2009 will send delegates to both Denver and Baltimore.

The JCC Maccabi Games ® have been offering a life-and personality-shaping experience to Jewish teenagers since 1982. At this Olympic-style sporting event for Jewish teens 13-16 years old*, each athlete has the chance to participate in one of 16 sports in events spanning the week-long experience, creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

The JCC Maccabi Games however serve a larger purpose than athletic competition. The Games also promote community involvement, teamwork, and pride in being Jewish. The Games are the largest Jewish teen event in the world – each summer over 6,000 Jewish teens participate in the Games. Over 100,000 teens have benefited from the JCC Maccabi Games ® since 1982.

On the field, athletes participate in one of 16 sports  Off the field, the excitement continues with Opening Ceremonies, evening social activities including amusement parks, zoos, host family night, parties and dances, all designed to encourage interaction among the athletes who come from around the US and the world.

All athletes participate in a unique "Day of Caring and Sharing", independent from their competition, to do a hands-on project that may serve those in need in the host community and/or teach the athletes something about Jewish and/or Israeli culture.

See the tryout schedule for teens ages 13-16 below:

Boys U14 Basketball (Denver)
Sun. January 10, 6:00-7:30pm, Mon. January 11 - 7:45-9:00pm, Wed. January13 - 7:45-9:00pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

Girls U16 Volleyball (Denver)
Wed. January 20, 7:45-9:00pm, Sun. January 31, 6:00-7:15pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

Swimming (Denver / Baltimore)
Sun. January 24, 6:00-7:30pm, Sun. January 31, 6:00-7:30pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Pool

Girls Lacrosse (Baltimore)
Sun. January 24, 6:00-7:30pm, Mon. February 1, 7:45-9:00pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

Girls U16 Basketball (Baltimore)
Mon. February 22 & Wed. February 24, 7:45-9:00pm, Sun. February 28, 6:00-7:30pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

Boys U16 Basketball (Denver)
Mon. February 22 & Thurs. February 25, 7:00-8:30pm
@ Pace University 861 Bedford Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570, Entrance #3 / (914) 773-3200
Sun. February 28, 7:30-9:00pm @ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

In-line Hockey & Girls Softball Informational Meeting (Baltimore)
Mon. February 1, 7:00-7:45pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester

Tennis (Denver / Baltimore)
Sat. January 30 & Sat. February 6, Boys & Girls U14, 7:00-9:00pm
Boys & Girls U16, 9:00-11:00pm
@ Mt. Vernon Tennis Center, 431 Garden Ave, Mt. Vernon, NY 10553, (914) 668-7477

Boys U14 Soccer (Denver)
Mon. January 25, 7:30-8:30pm @ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym
Sun. January 31, 6:20-7:45pm @ On Track Sport Center, 29 South Depot Plaza, Tarrytown NY
(914) 909-2974

Girls U16 Soccer (Denver)
Mon. January 25, 8:30-9:45pm @ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym
Sun. January 31, 7:35-9:00pm @ On Track Sport Center, 29 South Depot Plaza, Tarrytown NY
(914) 909-2974

U14 Baseball (Denver)
Mon. February 8, 7:45-9:15pm, Wed. February 10, 7:45-9:00pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym

U16 Baseball (Denver)
Mon. February 8, 7:45-9:15pm, Thurs. February 11, 7:45-9:00pm
@ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym
Boys U16 Soccer (Baltimore)
Wed. January 27, 7:45-9:00pm @ JCC of Mid-Westchester Gym
Sun. January 31, 8:50-10:15pm @ On Track Sport Center, 29 South Depot Plaza, Tarrytown NY
(914) 909-2974

Optional Denver Pre-Games Adventure
July 29th - 31st
Spend time exploring Colorado Springs
*additional fee applies

Interested in Bowling, Golf, Track or Table Tennis? Contact Steven Weisbrot

For more information, contact Steven Weisbrot
914-472-3300 xx362, <>

JCC of Mid-Westchester
999 Wilmot Road
Scarsdale NY

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