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Hudson Valley Parents and teachers are welcome to take advantage of this special educational offer. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has designed this program specifically for Middle and High School teachers, counselors, social workers, youth advisors, and after-school program directors to help their students recognize depression in themselves or their friends, and to encourage them to get help for this common and treatable problem.

This free 60-minute webinar on Teen Depression and Suicide Risk is designed to show school personnel how they can effectively incorporate depression education into the classroom, using AFSP’s ground-breaking new film, More Than Sad: Teen Depression.

The film features vignettes of four teens that will help students recognize the varied signs and symptoms of depression, reduce their misconceptions and apprehensions about treatment, and promote help-seeking behavior. Each participant will receive a free copy of the film More Than Sad: Teen Depression (valued at $49.99)*

To accommodate your busy schedule and give you more options, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s New York chapters have joined together.   Please note that: registration is mandatory for this event, you may enter the event up to 15 minutes before the start of the event but you cannot enter 15 minutes after the event has started

March 28th, 3pm

Register for March 28th Webinar

March 30th, Noon

Register for March 30th Webinar

April 4th, 3pm

Register for April 4th Webinar

April 6th, 11am

Register for April 6th Webinar

April 7th, Noon

Register for April 7th Webinar

April 8th, Noon

Register for April 8th Webinar

April 12th, Noon

Register for April 12th Webinar

April 19th, 9am

Register for April 19th Webinar

Please note that each offering of the webinar is limited to 250 registrants, so register today!

This past Saturday I had a chance to enjoy a cooking class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. My class was The Italian Table with Chef Andrew Moreo. It was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. There’s no hiding it, I’m not skilled in the kitchen. Chopping, flombaying, and sautéing all scare me. But after taking the class, I know longer have a fear. If you mess up in the kitchen, it’s okay,  it’s all part of the fun. I grew such boldness that when one of my classmates asked if she could borrow my “cheese grater” after I was done, I said “Sure, but it’s actually a zester.” Well, well.

There are a number of classes you can take and even a “Parent and Teen” day coming up on April 30th. I recommend trying one, you may surprise yourself. Thanks to the Culinary Institute, Chef Andrew and my classmates for a fun day. Look for my article about my day in the upcoming issue of Hudson Valley Life.

I’ll leave you with a taste of some of the yummy food you can create!

I made these ricotta fritters!

According to the latest results from the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress, less than half of U.S. students are proficient in science. To help cultivate our nation’s next generation of great thinkers and innovators and keep them interested in STEM-related issues, Discovery Education and 3M have teamed up once again to reward students for their science acumen and curiosity, while encouraging them to share that passion by creatively communicating their findings through this national science competition.

Discovery Education and 3M are proud to announce the 2011 call for entries for the 13th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5th through 8th. Ten finalists will be selected to receive an all-expense paid trip to the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, Minn. to compete in the final challenge in October, 2011. The winner will receive $25,000 and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”

Has this ever happened to you? Recently, I was babysitting my niece when all of sudden she turned and stared behind the couch. I asked her what was wrong and her response made the hair on my arms stand up, “I see rabbit, Aunt Bridget!” Excuse me? What? I turned in fear expecting to see a homicidal rabbit standing behind me, but there was in fact, nothing. Phew!

When I asked my brother and sister-in-law when they got home in laments terms, “What is up with the rabbit thing?” They said that she just started saying it when they moved in to their new house. Asking around it seems that my niece simply has an imaginary friend. Does your child have one? Share your experiences (creepy or not)! In the meantime, check out this article from our own Dr. Schwartz on his insight on imaginary friends.

In an effort to encourage young women to explore career opportunities in typically male-dominated fields, Dutchess Community College will host its 15th Annual “Math and Science Matter … Especially for Young Women” program on March 5. The program runs from 8am to 1pm and is open to girls in grades 5-8. The registration fee is $10.

The program offers hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering, and math. Workshop descriptions and the registration form are available at There will be programs for parent as well.

Check-in will take place at 8am in the Dutchess Hall Lobby, followed by a welcome in the James and Betty Hall Theatre. Pre-registration is required. The program is presented with support from Hudson Valley Credit Union.


The staff at Hudson Valley Parent receives a lot of parenting products to review, so many that sometimes we can’t get to them ourselves. We were lucky enough to receive this review of The Tony Hawk: SHRED game for X-box 360 from a staff’s family member. His conclusion? This game is worth a look. Sounds perfect for snowy days because you have to get up and move around instead of just sitting with a controller. I’ll let our reviewer explain:

“SHRED is a great simulation-type skateboarding game.  The setup of the wireless board took only minutes, while the calibration took another 2 minutes or so.  Not being a skateboarder, I found this game to be very user-friendly.  The controller board was easy to stand on, while realistically bending and turning as an actual skateboard would do.  The 4 sensors located around the board allowed me to perform “grabs” and “ollies”, along with some more advanced skateboarding tricks.  The tutorials and training modes during setup allow for some practice and understanding of the game play while you get the feel for the board.  You can watch the practice videos and tutorials as many times as you need to feel comfortable playing the game.

I played for a little more than one hour without even realizing it.  It is quite addicting when you see the player on-screen imitating your every move on the board while skating through exotic skate parks.  Also, this game proved to be a surprising workout as I was visibly sweating after the hour of game play.  I’d recommend this game to anyone looking to have some fun, burn a few calories, and simulate skateboarding without the risk of injury.”

What did you like about this product?

1.  Tutorials – not being a skateboarder I was able to pick up on the tricks quickly.

2. Controller Board – the controller board is as realistic of a skateboard as you can find without wheels.  The board was simple to set up and easy to use.

3. On-screen graphics – the player I chose to ride as me imitated my every move while cruising through beautiful skate parks and amusement parks.  Very realistic!

What did you dislike about this product?

1. Calibration – Calibrating the board can be potentially difficult if you are not deliberate with the actions on the board.  I had no trouble calibrating but my girlfriend did have some trouble following my game play.

2. Tricks – Some of the tricks are a little difficult to perform and took a while in the skate park for me to complete them even though I was doing what the tutorial said.

3.  Saving – If you do not chose to sign-in and save your progress, the board needs to be calibrated and setup as if you’ve never played before.

Would you recommend this product to parents? Yes or No


*Please note that Tony Hawk: SHRED is rated “E” (Everyone – content that may be suitable for ages six and older) by the ESRB.  Players can also visit Tony Hawk: SHRED’s interactive website at and learn how to master over-the-top skate and snowboarding gameplay tricks and explore new game info, soundtrack details, dozens of training videos, talent bios, gameplay tips and more. Tony Hawk: SHRED is available for Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Nintendo Wii™.

Monroe-Woodbury  High School has been rocked by two student suicides which occurred nine days apart. As grief counselors fan out to help students and families cope, they’re also scrambling to prevent copycat cases from occurring.  A high-profile teen suicide can cause others to follow suit. In fact, in some countries, teen suicides are not reported, in an effort to keep other teens from getting any ideas.

School officials say they don’t believe the two deaths were related. A 14-year-old freshman killed himself on Tuesday. The 16-year-old junior who committed suicide earlier was on the school’s football team. Friends and families have been left asking why, especially since the cases are not isolated. There has also been an attempted suicide by one student and a suicide threat by another.

Studies show that suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. Experts say that the onset of winter poses a dangerous time for those susceptible to depression. Combined with the fact that teenagers can be impressionable; mental health specialists have plenty cause for concern.  Parents who think their child is at risk, should look for warning signs, such as depression and changes in behavior. The school is planning to hold sessions with parents this week to explain risk factors in detail. It’s important to seek counseling quickly.

Friends of both teens have set up Facebook pages in remembrance of them. One page posts a reminder to visitors about the importance of telling others if they’re considering suicide, while the other makes reference to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Jason Foundation, which is another suicide prevention organization. If you know of someone who is at risk, contact Orange County’s 24-hour mobile mental health clinic at 888-750-2266, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or email AFSP at

Contest winners

The Friends of the Greenwood Lake Public Library recently raised $462 with a holiday fundraiser to benefit the Library.  The Gingerbread Village was handmade and donated by Greenwood Lake resident and Chef, Hal Weinstein, who has donated a Gingerbread House for the Friends’ holiday fundraiser for the past six years.

Featured in the picture are Maria Alvarado with her sister, Astrid (left) and her daughter, Jacklyn (right) in front of the Gingerbread Village they won for the Friend’s  annual fundraiser. All three were thrilled to take home this holiday prize and promised that they will enjoy every last morsel!

The Tutor Whisperer gives students, parents, teachers, and other tutors an innovative line of attack in improving academic skills and our educational system as a whole. The site is intended  for parents who are looking for tips and strategies to help their children academically. However, it is also a resource for students who are searching for ways to heighten their learning experiences, as well as tutors, teachers, and administrators who are interested in alternative, innovative educational methods.  The helpful sections are broken into different grades which make finding the help faster and more efficient. This site is definitely worth a look if you are in need of extra homework assistance. No apple for the tutor is necessary.

I’m always on the look out for helpful articles or advice that I feel our Hudson Valley parents need to know. Even the girls (and gentleman) in our office know this and often tell me about the latest news they’ve heard. Today I found an article on a topic that I feel hits home in our current economy. “4 Ways To Teach Your Kids Financial Responsibility” presents four simple  ideas that the writer suggests for parents to try when educating their kids on financial topics. While these ideas are good starter points, teaching financial responsibility is a life long journey. How do you approach your kids when you want to teach them a lesson on fiscal responsibility?

Also be on the lookout for an upcoming article on teaching your preschooler money lessons in an upcoming Parent issue.

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