Monday, Jan 30th

KolAmiNurseryIf you have a toddler who will be ready for preschool in the fall, now’s the time to find out what programs are available and enroll them for September 2023. The good news is that Scarsdale offers many wonderful options for children’s first school experience. Take a look at the descriptions below and email or call the schools to set up a tour and see for yourself.

Happy hunting!

Congregation Kol Ami’s Early Childhood Program is dedicated to nurturing young minds and providing an engaging, joyful community. We offer classes for ages 14 months through 5 years old including our stellar Pre-K/5’s program. While Jewish learning and values are embedded in our curriculum, we are an inclusive community and embrace children and families of all faiths.
We believe children learn best through play and exploration, and our developmentally appropriate curriculum fosters learning through purposeful experiences and guided activity. We recognize and respect each child’s unique qualities and strive to foster their growth in all areas of development: cognitive, physical, social, and emotional. We view children as eager and capable learners and respect children for who they are now, as well as for their potential. Learning is incorporated in all aspects of our day through meaningful experiences and hands-on activities that foster curiosity and a sense of self and community. We believe classrooms and other indoor and outdoor learning environments provide powerful and meaningful opportunities for teaching. We are committed to outdoor education and offer a full garden and Teva (nature) curriculum. We have a working garden, where children plant, tend, and harvest. Our school’s philosophy is not bound by a single educational theory. We use many of today’s best practices in education including, but not limited to project-based learning, collaborative exploration, and differentiated instruction. We provide a print-rich curriculum which exposes the children to literacy and numeracy in all classes, and we offer enriching experiences for play and cognitive and social emotional development.

For more information call our Director, Merav Veetal at 914-949-4717 ext 107 or email MeravVeetal@NYKolAmi.org to schedule a convenient time to connect with us.

JCC Mid-Westchester offers engaging and enriching programs for children ages six to five years, including toddler classes, a Fives JCCNurserySchoolkindergarten bridge class, and early/after care at its two locations. Our exceptional staff of early childhood educators will provide age-appropriate learning tools to foster independence and enhance listening, language, social, and academic-readiness skills. We provide a nurturing and safe environment based on the philosophy of purposeful play: we learn to play and we play to learn. Children of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcome. Contact Caryn Symons at symonsc@jccmw.org. Learn more and register at jccmw.org/nursery-school-general-info/

At Hitchcock School we believe that early childhood experiences provide the foundation for one's lifetime. The Hitchcock School's program provides individualized experiences based on an authentic assessment to promote the optimal social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each child. We offer toddler, 2’s, 3’s, and 4’s morning programs. We also have an afterschool “Lunch Bunch” for our 3’s and an “Extended Day” for our 4’s.

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The Hitchcock School Program provides a variety of activities and materials based on developmentally appropriate practices that emphasize concrete experiential learning to achieve the following goals:

· Foster positive self-concept.
· Develop social-emotional skills.
· Encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment.
· Encourage language and cognitive development.
· Encourage and demonstrate sound health and safety, and nutritional practices.
· Enhance physical development and skills.
· Encourage creative expression and appreciation for the arts.
· Promote respect for the cultural diversity of staff, children, and families.
· Be responsive to individual family home values, beliefs, experiences, and language as well as to the individual learning needs of all children.

Please contact us for more information and to set up a tour! 6 Greenacres Avenue, Scarsdale, 914-723-0922 or email us at welcome@thehitchcockschool.org

HBMS PreschoolYoung children respond naturally to music. With spontaneous delight, they listen intently, sing along, and move to the beat. At Hoff-Barthelson, our teachers build on these early inclinations, inspiring a deep enjoyment of music while guiding the development of music-making skills. Our Early Childhood Program encourages and supports the development of children’s minds and bodies through Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a renowned teaching method that pairs music and movement.

Weekly classes for children aged 9 months- to 5-years-old incorporate exercises and games that involve singing, moving, improvising, and using small percussion instruments to promote keen inner hearing and rhythmic sensitivity. Props such as colorful balls, hoops, scarves, and puppets animate musical concepts, engage the senses, and spark the imagination. Even the very youngest children develop focus, spatial awareness, fine and gross motor skills, social skills, and the ability to work with others—all while having fun!

Group classes in piano, violin, flute and guitar introduce the joy of making music with others while teaching basic playing technique, and foundational musical concepts.

Join us at an Open House on Monday, January 23, 2023, from 10:00-11:30 am. Spring classes starting soon. For additional information and to RSVP for the Open House visit. https://hbms.org/early-childhood/ Hoff-Barthelson Music School, 25 School Lane, Scarsdale, 914-723-1169, hb@hbms.org
www.hbms.org

Mazel Tots® at Scarsdale Synagogue provides a warm and stimulating environment, which encouragesMazeltotsphoto children's curiosity and helps them to grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Our warm and nurturing staff will guide the children through a curriculum filled with a variety of child-centered and developmentally appropriate activities that are safe, fun and friendly. The children's spiritual growth will be enriched by the study of Jewish holidays, traditions and family values. We also offer a group of special activities such as sports and games, music, creative movement, sign language, nature, yoga, karate, science, art atelier, dance and more! We have two beautiful playgrounds and gardens, plus a fully equipped indoor play space featuring ride-on toys, gym equipment, giant blocks and stepping stones just to name a few! Our Early Childhood Program serves children from 18 months through those Kindergarten-bound! For more information please contact Jody Glassman, Early Childhood Program Director at 914-723-3001 or mazeltots@sstte.org. You can also visit our website. Scarsdale Synagogue is located at 2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583. 914.725.5175.

SCCNurseryThe Scarsdale Congregational Church Nursery School (SCCNS) has a 65-year history of nurturing the hearts and minds of children. We are a play-based, non-sectarian preschool instilling a desire to learn by encouraging verbal expression, promoting social development, and supporting the development of fine motor skills. We offer preschool programs for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds, with partial and full weeks available. For program options please visit our website at www.sccnurseryschool.com. SCCNS preschoolers have the opportunity to participate in music, Spanish, the arts and gym with skilled specialists who visit weekly. We also offer after-school Enrichment programs, including STEM, cooking, and more! Our safe, diverse, bright, and nurturing classrooms are located on the grounds of the Scarsdale Congregational Church. During the summer months, we also offer our six-week M-Th Inchworm Summer Program, where children can socialize and play among their peers. Each weekly theme is filled with fun and exciting activities. For more information or to schedule a tour, please email the director at sccnschool@gmail.com.

WRTFall2022At Westchester Reform Temple’s Early Childhood Center (ECC), we strive to create an environment that fosters social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth, as well as, creativity and confidence. Our warm, nurturing teachers provide children with the tools they need to communicate with each other and with the world around them. At the ECC, children learn about Jewish holidays, traditions and lifelong values which help them to become confident members of our community. We emphasize STEAM concepts through hands-on science, technology, engineering, art, and math investigations which encourage young learners to achieve developmental goals. Through inquiry and play-based instruction, we provide students with an opportunity to learn language arts, math and handwriting readiness skills that prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. We facilitate learning through small groups and foster relationships between our children and their teachers, specialists and the WRT clergy. Lunch and afternoon classes are available for older children. For toddlers between the ages of one and two, we offer parent/caregiver participation classes for socialization and fun: These classes are facilitated by an ECC social worker and ECC teacher. These classes are wonderful opportunities for making friends for adults, as well as children.

End of the year Mini Session and Summer Play Place camp offered. For further information regarding school registration, please contact ECC Director Sue.tolchin@wrtemple.org or call us at 914 723-5493.

YellowacornYellow Acorn Montessori’s mission is to encourage the social, emotional, and cognitive development of the child by providing a comprehensive Montessori education, cultivating independent thought and foundational skills as well as awareness of their environment, empathy for others, and social ease and confidence. The Early Childhood Program (3-5 years) and Toddler Program (18mos-36mos) include Language, Math, Science, Geography and Culture, Practical Life, Sensorial, Music and Art and more.

Enrollment Information:
Early Childhood (3-5 years)
Toddler (18 months-36 months)
Full Day Programs offered

Contact Information: info@yellowacorn.org, 46 Fox Meadow Road, Scarsdale 914-725-2173

redistrictingmapOn December 1, 2022, the NYS Independent Redistricting Commission released a single draft NY State Assembly plan for public review and comment. The IRC released the draft plan to comply with an order from a NY State Supreme Court Justice, in a case that had challenged Assembly district lines that were drawn by the NY State Legislature. The new Assembly districts are due to be sent to the Legislature for final approval by April 28, 2023.

The draft plan is available to the public in an interactive format on the IRC’s website at https://www.nyirc.gov/assembly-plan. Scarsdale is intact in Assembly District 88. The draft plan is very similar to the proposal from the Republican Commissioners submitted to the Legislature in January 2022 (IRC Assembly Plan B). In fact, according to the Center for Urban Research, 105 of 150 districts are identical to those proposed by the Republican Commissioners last year, including District 88.

Members of the public may submit testimony and/or comments on the IRC’s website at https://www.nyirc.gov/participate or in person at a public hearing. The IRC will hold a public hearing on Monday, January 30, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in the Haub School of Law at Pace University, Gerber Glass Moot Courtroom, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, New York 10603.

Studio3The following was written by mindfulness and meditation expert Cheryl Brause. Check out her new meditation studio, Pause to be Present in Scarsdale Village.

It’s that time of year again - holiday season. It’s a time of celebration, joy, and togetherness. It can also be a time of stress and feelings of sadness or loneliness. Travel, family reunions, social gatherings, overflowing “to do” lists, and pressure to feel joyful this time of year can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips from mindfulness expert Cheryl Vigder Brause, to help you lower stress, slow down, and feel more joy and ease this time of year.

1. Look for the “Ands”

In any situation there are always the “ands.” These are the good things, the positive or pleasant things that bring you joy. Even in difficult times, you can look for the “ands” to foster positivity in your experience and help you feel more balanced and less overwhelmed. Remember that even the little things aren't so little. A nice deep breath, a beautiful sunset, snuggling with a pet, a walk outside, a restful nap, a delicious cup of coffee, these are the “ands” that can re-energize you and help you feel joy and ease, even in very stressful times. You have to pause, look for them, give yourself time to enjoy them, and really feel that joy or ease in your body. It takes time and practice but looking for the “ands” can make a big difference in your life!

2. Do Less

We often want to do it all and do it all perfectly. This year, give yourself a break and do less. Know what boundaries you need to set and set them. Know when it is time to leave or what topics you prefer not to discuss. It’s OK to say NO and set those boundaries. In doing so, you are honoring your own limits and preferences. Just as we all like to spread good cheer and kindness this time of year, don’t forget yourself in the mix and give yourself a much-needed break by taking a few things off your “to do” list.

3. Good Enoughstudio1Cheryl Brause and Stephanie Falk

Holidays are often full of memories and expectations. We set the bar impossibly high for ourselves in terms of how we want things to be or how we want others to act. Then, we get upset, angry or disappointed when things (or we) don’t live up to those expectations. So, adopt the phrase, “good enough.” A messy house, a less than perfect table setting, a moment of impatience or frustration — are good enough. Catch yourself when you are apologizing or berating yourself and stop right there. Remember it is good enough and you are good enough!

4. Set An Intention to Help You Stay Grounded

Setting an intention is a powerful way to stay grounded during the holidays. Before you welcome guests, head to the airport, enter someone’s home, or sit down at the holiday table, set an intention to help you get into the right mindset. Ask yourself, “What matters most to me right now?” Or “How do I want to show up?” See what answers arise. Then, pick a word or phrase and repeat it to yourself often to remember how you want to show up and what you want to focus on. Some helpful intentions to repeat to yourself over the holidays are:

-Slow down
-Be patient
-Be kind
-Relax (literally let go of tension in your body and open your heart to fun and joy — let your body lead the way)
-That’s interesting
-Everyone is (I am) doing the best that they (I) can

5. Be Where Your Feet Are

The best gift you can give others is your presence. There is magic in being exactly where you are physically and mentally. The more you pull your attention into the present moment in a non-judgmental and openhearted way, the more you can steer clear of all those stories or Cheryljudgments about what is or what is not happening right now. You can also avoid mentally time traveling where your mind is often full of regrets from the past or worries about the future. Remember that the only place you ever are is here, in this moment, don’t miss it. This holiday season be where your feet are and give the gift of presence to yourself and those around you.

Cheryl Vigder Brause is a nationally recognized mindfulness and meditation expert, writer, speaker and mother of three who resides in Larchmont. Cheryl specializes in teaching corporate clients, schools and people across the country how to manage stress, boost happiness, and live their best life. She is the Co-Founder of Pause to be Present, a virtual meditation studio with a new in-person studio in Scarsdale Village. To learn more about upcoming live and in-person classes and workshops visit www.pausetobepresent.com

person mountain3Living through a worldwide pandemic over the past several years has been incredibly challenging. The impact of fear, stress, and uncertainty that we experienced has taken a toll on our mental and physical health, as seen by the record-high rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and stress-related illnesses in our country.

Now, we find ourselves living in a “new” normal. We feel less in control, more uncertainty, and a greater sense of imbalance in our lives as we adjust to thisnew way of being. To add to those challenges, we live in a time of constant distraction, where technology has become an essential part of our daily lives and is designed to pull our attention away from being where we are. As a result, people are finding it more and more difficult to quiet their minds, focus their attention, be present, and relax. 

As the new year begins, this is the perfect time to take action and create new habits to improve your health and well-being. Emerging research shows that exercising your mind is the newest frontier in health and wellness. Large-scale studies have shown that one powerful and effective way to improve your mental and physical health is by practicing mindfulness. There are many benefits of mindfulness practice which include:

Mindfulness and meditation also provide a wonderful refuge from the busyness of life. The deeper gift of mindfulness and meditation is helping you live your life fully, authentically, and with greater ease.

What is Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful way to journey through life. It is an unlearning of the unhealthy mental habits of reactivity, busyness, and constant distraction that result in stress, fatigue, and anxiety. Mindfulness is learning to purposefully pay attention to the present moment and to what is happening right now by embracing thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations with openness and acceptance. In learning to be more present, you no longer miss all the good stuff that is actually happening because you are too busy focusing on or worrying about what is not actually happening right now. You are training your brain to find more joy in everyday moments and learning to navigate difficult moments with greater ease and resilience.

 How To Get Started

The best part about mindfulness is that it can be done anytime, anywhere, by anyone. There are easy and accessible ways to get started in your life right now. Experts agree that the best way to start and maintain a mindfulness practice is to find a skilled and experienced teacher, learn with a supportive community, create strategies to keep you motivated and set your intention to stick with it. The great news is that the new meditation studio, Pause to be Present, in Scarsdale offers you all of these things and more! 

One tool that we teach at Pause to be Present is to start small and build the habit of mindfulness over time. Task stacking is another strategy that helps you maintain a new habit by adding the new habit onto another task you are already doing. For example, when brushing your teeth each morning, you can choose to make this your mindfulness practice by fully experiencing brushing your teeth, instead of thinking of everything other than how it feels to brush your teeth. In doing so, you are purposefully placing your attention in the present moment, and training your brain to focus. Simply picking one activity that you do each day, and doing it with your full attention, is one of many easy ways to begin your mindfulness practice right now. 

Feel the Benefits Right Away

The good news is you can start to feel the benefits right away. Although the simple exercise of being fully present for more moments of your day may seem inconsequential, the effects can be profound. For example, drinking your morning coffee with your full attention and without distractions can boost your focus, add a few moments of quiet and calm to your day, and bring you pleasure, joy, and gratitude - all from that one little cup of coffee. The most important part is actually pausing to be present long enough to feel those benefits. 

studiopic1 copyPause to be Present - Your Mindfulness Community

Pause to be Present offers virtual and in person classes and workshops, to help you experience the incredible benefits of living a more mindful life! We have daily online guided meditations with expert teachers and an on-demand meditation library so you can practice on your own, anytime, anywhere. 

Interested in getting started? Join us for our popular introductory 6-week course, Foundations of Mindfulness, starting Tuesday, January 17th, in our Scarsdale studio or live online. This course will teach you everything you need to know to get started, as well as walk you through practices week by week. We are also kicking off a February Mindfulness Challenge. By signing up for this 28-day mindfulness challenge, you will receive one email in your inbox each day with a guided meditation or mindfulness practice to help you establish your practice. Our Mindful Parenting series will help you bring more calm into your home and more joy into your parenting. And, our Bringing Nature In will help you enjoy the healing power of nature even during these long winter months. Or, you can simply join us for our in-person Press Pause class in our Scarsdale studio to experience all the benefits of mindfulness with the guidance of our expert teachers. 

We hope you will join us virtually or in person. We know that this practice can transform your life in so many positive ways! For more information about all of our offerings, go to www.pausetobepresent.com or contact us at info@pausetobepresent.com.

ColumbiaUniversityThis article was written by Adam Katcher, Scarsdale High School Class of 2022. He is currently attending Columbia University.

With Early Decision and Early Action deadlines behind us, high school seniors find themselves in a stressful situation. January 1st marks the deadline for regular applications, so with just one month remaining until 2023, the clock is ticking on the time when the students have some control over their fate. In the New Year, the college admission boards possess all the power.

It is scary to an extent: on the surface, some seem calm about the entire process, not showing too much worry about their Early Decision outcome. This may lead others to feel like they are out of place if they do, in fact, have anxiety about the whole college situation. But, as Dori Baron, a freshman at Columbia University, advises, “trust you will end up happy in the long run.” And yes, everything will end up okay in the long run, but that does not mean some present stress is not justified.

For now, seniors still have time to maximize their chances, so below are some tips for all seniors to take into consideration in these final weeks of the college process.

Tips for Approaching the End of the College Process

Breathe and Relax: Proper advice on “how to write a killer application” and similar topics is coming shortly, but seriously, first, breathe. Everything is going to be okay. Early Decision results matter to an extent, so congratulations if successful, but those congratulations, in the worst case, will have to be delayed a few months if deferred/rejected. In the short run, yes, it is stressful. But breathe and remind yourself it will all work out in a few months maximum. If you do not believe this article, ask all teachers and guidance counselors: it will all work out. Also, do not lose touch with your friends. Baron, when reflecting on the stress of her college process, explained, “It was very comforting leaning on other people because everyone was going through the same process.”

Be Unique: This advice is not unique compared to other sources one can find, but the importance of this must be highlighted. Admissions officers have to read hundreds of thousands of applications. Since your grades may be similar to other applicants, a gripping, enthralling, distinct application can make a difference. Essays can demonstrate your individuality. Colleges do not want applications that solely show how smart someone is and nothing more. In the words of Baron, they do not want a “carbon copy” of another “typical applicant.” Use supplements and essays to show who you are and elaborate on your areas of expertise, whatever they may be. Detail the type of person you are, rather than showing you are just another smart person.

Nothing Is Out of the Question: If a student is an avid poet in their free time, even if they do not often share their work, they should still demonstrate their interest in the field. Even if an application primarily focuses on success in STEM clubs and grades are stronger in STEM courses, for example, if the student is passionate about their poetry and may even consider pursuing a class or two about it during college, they should dedicate some of the application to it (even if it is just one portion in the activity section). Unless this is a rare situation of applying to a university that does not offer any humanities courses, then yes, be unique by describing in detail unique traits/hobbies; if a student’s array of interests are a widely-cast net, be proud of it. For students applying to liberal arts schools, having an interdisciplinary application often matches the philosophy of what the school hopes students will want to learn.

Make Backup Plans (If Necessary): Once again, those who are waiting on Early Decision results should still get a head start on other applications to ensure they do not have to cram a dozen applications into the final couple of weeks of the year (which would mean a student loses their entire winter break to the college process). Get a head start on regular decision applications. If they end up going to waste, it means the gold of Early Decision acceptance has already been struck. If unfortunate news comes in December, then at least it has not all been left until the last minute to throw entire applications together.

Create Set Deadlines: Setting firm deadlines for oneself will combat procrastination. However, if this is not a viable approach, ask someone else - a friend or parent - to set a deadline. With accountability, procrastination is minimized. The best part about these deadlines is that if the deadline is beat early you can get a head-start on the next deadline, or even take a break. Baron described her approach, “I made a spreadsheet with all the deadlines and included how many questions there were for each application. I am happy that I was ahead in case things didn’t work out.”

Keep Track of Supplements/Essays: It is up to the individual whether they set their personal deadlines based on a college-by-college basis or section-by-section of the application basis. Regardless, before writing any applications, it is a good idea to compile all essay/supplemental questions asked by the colleges in one’s wish list.

See What Ideas Can Be Recycled: See what supplemental essays overlap, or in some cases, are even identical. Of course, if college-specific supplements are asked, do research; show knowledge about the university and how acceptance would enhance individual learning and add a valuable member to their specific community. When encountering non-college-specific questions recycling is allowed in moderation. “I was trying hard to recycle because I thought, ‘this would save time,’” recalls Baron, “but I think sometimes it was more difficult to recycle stuff because even though prompts were kind of asking similar things, they all had their own twist and spin; I would recycle some sentences or general ideas, but I would never completely copy and paste.” She also added, “I found this approach more rewarding.”

Have Others Read Your Essays: An essay that may look perfect to some may not be the ideal essay to others. Get multiple opinions on all essays - use English teachers, guidance counselors, parents, friends, older siblings, or whoever is willing to offer their time. Amalgamating their opinions to create the optimal essays gives the best chance at creating an application that will be appealing to an admission officer, as by this point, the writing has already withstood the test of all sorts of criticism.

Including Yourself: With that being said, do not only rely on the advice of others in writing the essays. Take ownership of it and make sure, despite the responses of others, it remains unique. If there are blatant errors or sentences that do not make sense, then yes, heed the advice of others. However, if the advice portrays the applicant in an undesirable or inaccurate manner, it is up to the individual to take the feedback with a grain of salt and weed out the helpful advice from the bad. It still has to sound like your essay.

Consistent Grammar: Editing for grammar matters. “I was very crazy about my editing process which I think paid off. You don’t want to risk the typo,” explained Baron. Again, all writers may have a slightly different “digital handwriting style,” for lack of better terms, but if the grammar is inconsistent and incorrect, lots of credibility is lost.

Stop Calculating Your Odds: Many students use websites that claim to be able to “calculate chances” of being accepted to given colleges based on their GPA and test scores. Stop visiting these websites. Naviance is a useful portal to help students get a general idea of their standing, but understand that in an application, GPA and test scores neither tell the full story nor solely determine the outcome. On this note, do not ask other students where they are applying in hopes of “calculating chances based on how many others from here have applied.” It does not matter. If someone wants to go to a college, or is even somewhat interested, the deciding factor should not be based on how many others are applying. No good comes from compiling endless lists of who else is applying to your target schools.

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Here Are Your Calculated Odds - 100%: on a case-by-case basis, it is impossible to predict how any application will be viewed. Someone who seems to have “such a good chance” at acceptance may be rejected while the person with “no chance” gets admitted. But, when all applications are considered, everyone ends up at a place well-suited to their strengths and conducive to growth, whether right away, after a gap semester/year, a transfer, or beyond.

For Scarsdale High School Students Who Have Been Accepted/Once All Applications Are In: Make sure to cast a wide net for Senior Options as early as possible – it will be that time of year when all is figured out in no time!

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