January 2013

Join us for a fun family musical!  The Children’s Theatre Company of Peekskill Celebrates Its 7th Season!  Presents a Feature Production of an Original Musical:  QUEEN KUNKA BUNKA & THE ROTTEN ROYAL RASCALS.  February 2nd and 3rd and February 9th and 10th, 2013 @ 3:00 – 4:00pm.   Celebrating its Seventh consecutive season, The Children’s Theatre Company of Peekskill, will present an original musical at The Ford Theatre in Peekskill two consecutive  Saturdays and Sundays – Feb. 2nd and 3rd and Feb. 9th and 10 at 3:00pm. The musical treat, appropriate for children and adults, is an original musical that tells a story of the land of Kunka Bunka, which is ruled by a kind and benevolent Queen, who is consumed with worry as she discovers that none of her children have the leadership qualities suited to govern the land. The musical is written by Mehr Mansuri with Music & Lyrics by Frank Sanchez & Mehr Mansuri in collaboration with  Lory Lazarus.  The Ford Theatre, Peekskill Admin Building, is located at 1031 Elm Street, Peekskill NY. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased prior to each performance at The Ford Theatre. For information, call (914) 930-6600 or 914-325-1053.  For more information about The Children’s Theatre (CTC), log onto www.ctcpeekskill.org

FORCE Winter Support Meeting.  Do you have a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer?  Have you tested positive for a BRCA mutation?  Are you considering genetic counseling/testing?  You are not alone.
FORCE exists to improve the lives of individuals and families facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  The local area FORCE is holding our quarterly get-together and we hope you can join us!  When:  Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 6:00 – 7:30 pm.  Where:   Northern Westchester Hospital, 400 E. Main Street, Mt. Kisco, NY.  Drive up main hospital entrance, turn right, continue through circular drive into Cancer Center parking lot. Enter the hospital at the North Entrance (not the Cancer Center) in front of circular driveway which has four white pillars in front. We will post a sign to the specific conference room.  What:   Learn from other people who are navigating the hereditary cancer path. Help someone else by sharing your story. This is a great chance to meet some local area FORCE members and/or catch up with those you’ve met at previous get-togethers. Nancy Cohen, MS, CGC, cancer genetic counselor at NWH will attend to help answer questions you may have.  RSVP:  Andrea Ziltzer, andreaz@facingourrisk.org.

Reading and Writing about Parenting.  Instructor: Kathy Curto.
Thursdays from 11am-1pm: February 14 – March 14, 5 Sessions, $285.
How Photographs Frame Story:   Smiles, Beehives, and Station Wagons.  Instructor:  Kathy Curto.
Saturday, March 2nd 1-4pm, 
1 Session, $75.
To sign up for these classes online, please visit www.slc.edu/ce. You can also sign up over the phone at 914-395-2205. Email kbrown1@sarahlawrence.edu or give us a call if you have any further questions!
OR Feel free to call Kathy at 914-714-9309.

How about stopping by the School of Rock in Bedford (now under new ownership) for a Super Sunday Open House!

Both kids and adults can take a FREE trial lesson on guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, or vocals with a member of our amazing staff!
Win cool stuff like free lessons, t-shirts, and more!
Watch a rock show performed by the most talented and dedicated students in the school. It will blow away this year’s Super Bowl halftime show!
And while you’re there, kids can sign-up for one of our Spring 2013 shows: the Rolling Stones, Southern Rock, Foo Fighters vs. Chili Peppers, or Women Who Rock!
Learn why this performance-based music education program is the largest after school music program in the country and is enriching the lives of kids age 7-18.
Get info on the adult performance program, which will be kicking off a new session in March!

Stop by between 11a and 3p to meet the staff, and introduce your kids to the school. Food and refreshments will be served!  School of Rock / Bedford, 12 Court Road, Bedford, NY 10506, Westchester@SchoolofRock.com, ph: 914.234.0418

Grab a good book and come out of the cold!  Join the Friends of the Bedford Free Library for their Winter Author Talks.

January 24th.  Jennifer Ciotta, author of “I, Putin”.  Jennifer received a Masters Degree in Russian Studies and creative writing from New York University. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Estonia-a main setting for the book.  Jennifer spent 12 years writing and researching  “I, Putin” which won an honorable mention at the New York Book Festival in June 2012.  Thursday, January 24th, 7:00pm.

January 31st.  Charlotte Rogan, author of “The Lifeboat”.  Charlotte Rogan graduated from Princeton University in 1975. She worked at various jobs, mostly in the fields of architecture and engineering, before teaching herself to write and staying home to bring up triplets. An old criminal law text and her childhood experiences among a family of sailors provided inspiration for “The Lifeboat,” her first novel. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.   Thursday, January 31st, 7:00pm.

February 27th.  Will Schwalbe author of “The End of Your Life Book Club”.  This wonderful memoir chronicles a literary journey taken by Will and Mary Anne Schwalbe, during her two year battle with pancreatic cancer. Mary Anne was Director of Admissions at Harvard and Radcliffe, and head of the upper school at Nightingale-Bamford. She was a tireless advocate for refugee women and children,serving as founding director of the Women’s Refugee Commission. Will is a former journalist and former Editor in Chief of Hyperion Books. His current venture is cookstr.com.  Wednesday, February 27th, 7:00pm.

Call 914-234-3570 to register. Wine and cheese will be served. Cost per talk $10.00.

I am NOT a doctor, I am not giving medical advice, I am just recapping something I attended yesterday…..so please take it as that and seek answers from your medical doctor.

That said, I attended an awesome speaker series at Northern Westchester Hospital yesterday (yes, the one I have been promoting, but it was truly a great lecture) so here are my notes to share with you…

Regarding your daughters:

Breast development average these days is between 9 and 11 years old.  If it is occurring before 9 for your daughter, have her checked.  If it happens after 9 and before 16, she’s in the normal range.
The average age used to be 12-13 years old.  Although there are no conclusive studies that say the hormones and chemicals in our food are causing earlier puberty and development…sure seems fishy with the age of development getting younger.  The fewer hormones and chemicals you put in your bodies, the better = common sense.
Breasts develop asymmetrically.  There is almost always a difference in their size or shape.  Totally normal. During development there can be soreness, pain, itching, and more.
Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer.  Physical activity (moderate to strenuous work out 4 times a week) reduces the risk of cancer.  Exposure to second hand smoke greatly increases the risk.

My take away?  Feed your daughters good, healthy food without hormones and chemicals.  Teach them to take care of their bodies.  Limit their exposure to radiation, chemicals, second hand smoke.  Teach them to exercise and recognize their bodies.

And for the moms?

Early detection is the best prevention.  We all know that — you’ve heard the lectures about breast self-exam, mammograms at 40, and on and on.  What I found interesting though?  Breast self exams don’t need to be search and destroy or a mapping your chest exercise.  Feel around once a month (preferably the same time every month) and when you feel something different or weird, go get it checked — that’s not so hard.  The more familiar you are with what you have, the more likely you’ll be to recognize if there’s a problem. Most breasts are lumpy.  Getting to know YOUR lumpy breasts is the key.

Rumors but no conclusive studies linking the following as risk factors:

Underwire bras
Breast injuries
Caffeine (no risk to cancer, but can cause breast pain/soreness and lumpier breasts – so if you experience either of those, consider cutting back)

Risk factors to consider:

Breast Density
Radiation (cat scans, old xrays, other cancer treatments, environmental)
Family history
Early age of onset of menstruation
Hormone replacement therapy
Drinking alcohol more than 1 drink a day increases your risk
Obesity and high BMI increases risk
If you are at a higher risk, avoid xenoestrogens like in BPA plastics or Phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) like in soy
Smoking and second hand smoke

Know your risk

Ask your doctor for a risk assessment, or call the Breast Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital to schedule an appointment.  Risk can be calculated and steps to monitor your health CAN be taken. Find out more about the Breast Institute at www.nwhbreastinstitute.org or call 914.242.7640.


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Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade with Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.  “Securing the Promise of Roe”, a conversation with Jessica Arons, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program, Center for American Progress.  Thursday, January 24, 2013, YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester.  515 North Street, White Plains, 6:30-8:30pm.  General Admission: $20.  Find out more or RSVP, click here.

The Byram Hills Education Foundation, Inc. (BHEF) announced that it has awarded an Insta-Grant in the amount of $2,500. The Insta-Grant Program is a new grant initiative recently launched by the BHEF to provide immediate, short-term funding for programs and equipment that enhance learning and personal development among students in the Byram Hills Central School District. The recently approved Insta-Grant is: Teaching Non-Fiction Writing Skills Workshop, H.C. Crittenden, $2,500. Judith Hochman will conduct a seminar for H.C.C. language arts teachers about writing instruction. Her philosophy and techniques enhance how teachers instruct writing, especially non-fiction, which is essential to the Common Core and the new standards students are expected to master. She focuses on evidence-based writing strategies, but demonstrates the use of voice and rich language. She believes that teaching writing across the curriculum will enhance every student’s potential.  Previously awarded Insta-Grants include:  Dr. McRoy Leads the Band! H.C. Crittenden, $2,200.  Grade Level National Geographic Ladder Reading Sets, Wampus, $2,500.  Author Visit by Robert Lipsyte, H.C. Crittenden, $1,250.
The Byram Hills Education Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that provides financial support to the teachers and school administrators to introduce innovative programs, equipment and technologies beyond what is covered by the School District’s annual operating budget. Since its inception in 1994, the Foundation has awarded 294 grants totaling over $3 million. More information about the Foundation is available at www.ByramHillsFoundation.org.

Sunday, May 5, 2013 8am-12pm. Here it is! Your invitation to lace up your sneakers and support mental health and wellness here where you live. The run/walk is located at the beautiful FDR Park in Yorktown Heights. For more information, e-mail onthemove@mhawestchester.org or call (914)345-5900 ext. 7511. Register online now! www.mhawestchester.org

With LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester set to open on March 27, 2013 at Ridge Hill in Yonkers, the attraction is looking to build the final piece of its creative team — the Junior Construction Panel — and is launching an online search to find the tri-state area’s most creative and brightest youngsters to join the panel.   The Junior Construction Panel will consist of 12 imaginative and energetic children between the ages of 6 and 12 to serve as ambassadors for LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester throughout the year.  If selected to the panel, winners will receive a special “box of imagination,” an annual pass to the attraction and work alongside LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester Master Model Builder Mike Tocidlowski, to help finish plans for new LEGO models, provide input on what features could be added and best of all, give their official approval when the attraction opens this spring.  In addition, the school with the most entries for the Junior Construction Panel will also be entered for a chance to win a visit from Master Model Builder Mike Tocidlowski.

How to apply for a spot on the Junior Construction Panel:

  • With the help of a parent, guardian or teacher, MINI model builders will create a brief news report video, no longer than 90 seconds, about why they are the area’s biggest LEGO fan or about a LEGO model they’ve built.
  • All videos should start with the line, “My name is (INSERT NAME) and I am a LEGOLAND Discovery Center MINI model builder and I want to be on the Junior Construction Panel because…”
  • The video should be uploaded to YouTube and the MINI model builder’s information, including the name, city and state of the MINI model builder’s school; the parent, guardian or teacher’s email address; and the YouTube URL of the video, should be filled out on the form at on.fb.me/TGSyaP on LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s Facebook page.
  • Applicants can also send their entry by email to WestchesterJCP@legolanddiscoverycenter.com and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will upload the video to YouTube.

Entrants will be judged on creativity, enthusiasm for LEGO and their LEGO models.  The competition closes on Monday, January 28, 2013 and the Junior Construction Panel will be chosen and announced by LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s panel of LEGO experts by Monday, February 11, 2013. For full details, visit the attraction’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LDCWestchester or Panel search Facebook page at on.fb.me/TGSyaP.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is a $12 million, 32,300 square-foot indoor attraction featuring more than 3 million LEGO bricks, geared towards children ages 3-10 and their families.  Its range of interactive attractions will include hands-on play areas, a 4D cinema, master classes led by Master Model Builders, two LEGO rides, special party rooms and MINILAND — the venue’s signature re-creation of landmark locations and buildings throughout Westchester County and New York City, made entirely out of LEGO bricks.  Advance tickets and annual passes to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester are available online.  To purchase tickets and annual passes, or for more information, visit www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester.  Follow us at www.facebook.com/LDCWestchester and www.twitter.com/LDCWestchester.  LEGOLAND Discovery Center is part of the Merlin Entertainments Group.

The YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester will host a Summer Camp Open House on January 27, 2013 from 12pm to 4pm. This is an opportunity to learn more about all of the summer programs at the YWCA: Little Friends Camp, Camp Funkist, Travel Camp, Gymnastics Summer Program, and Summer Camp for People with Developmental Disabilities. You will have the opportunity to meet our camp directors, counselors, and activity leaders.  For program information, please contact the following offices:  Little Friends Office: (914) 949-6227 ext.142, Camp Funkist and Travel Camp Office: (914) 949-6227 ext.168, Gymnastics Summer Program Office: (914) 949-6227 ext.135, Summer Camp for People with Developmental Disabilities: (914) 949-6227 ext.108.  Join us at the Open House on January 27, 1pam-4pm at the YWCA, 515 North Street, White Plains, NY 10605

The Claudio Reyna Foundation was created to instill and inspire underserved youth in urban communities with positive experiences through soccer, education and community involvement in hopes of growing healthy bodies, minds, and spirits.  The Third Annual CRF Party is a guaranteed good time. The event has been scheduled for February 2nd, 2013 from 5-8pm at Doral Arrowwood and the theme is – The Groundhog Day Soiree!  This family-friendly event includes great food, fabulous auction items, and a chance to help kids in need. It’s always fun to see which friends of CRF stop by. Friends of CRF include Eddie Lewis, Jeff Agoos, Chris Armas, Jimmy Conrad, Kristine Lilly, Mark Consuelos, Grant Wahl, Steve Nash, Mariano Rivera, and more!  Started in 2008 with 68 kids at 2 locations, CRF has now grown to serve over 2,000 children at 44 locations!   Our expansion has stretched our budget to the limit, so we need all the help we can get.  Don’t miss this family friendly evening designed to raise money for programs that get kids focused on schoolwork and proper nutrition while introducing the beautiful game.  Now is the time to help us in the fight against childhood obesity and the cycle of poverty.   We’re hoping that you can help this year by attending the Party. We’ve dropped the price, and kids under the age of 5 are free!  For more information and to register, click here.  The Claudio Reyna Foundation, PO BOX 275, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549, 848.469.6086, www.claudioreynafoundation.org, info@claudioreynafoundation.org.