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Edgemont Runaway: What Can We Learn?

teentalkLocal parents and teens were alarmed to learn that an Edgemont girl had run away just after New Year's. It was a terribly frightening incident for kids and parents and the community breathed a collective sigh of relief when the girl was found safe and sound in Manhattan after 9 days at large.

Though the particulars of her circumstances are confidential, what can families learn from this? What's the right balance between giving your children freedom to roam and imposing rules and boundaries to ensure their safety and your peace of mind? These questions have perplexed parents of teens for years – and though there are no concrete answers, here's some information to consider.

We spoke to Jay Genova at Scarsdale and Edgemont Family Counseling Service. In addition to acting as a referral center for families who need help, SFCS runs 65 parent support groups and Genova assured me that issues surrounding independence and boundaries are pretty much the crux of many parenting discussions. Though situations vary, it all comes down to the struggle to maintain discipline while allowing teens the freedom they need to grow into responsible adults.

So how to maintain a bond with your child? Genova stressed the importance of staying as connected as possible with your teenage child. He contends that teenagers face lots of risks and the best way to protect them from getting into trouble is to help them to build strong bonds with parents, the school and the community.

According to Genova, the conundrum for teenagers is that they have simultaneous needs for independence and autonomy along with the need for limits and boundaries to protect them. It's up to parents to try to negotiate between these conflicting forces.

If you feel your child growing distant from you, Genova suggests that you JayGenovaexperiment with new and innovative ways to relate and connect. Plan to do something together that you both enjoy -- cooking, seeing a movie or trying a new restaurant. If conversations spiral into fights, try to re-establish rapport by avoiding hot topics and starting with safer or benign comments. Try to engage by talking about issues that don't stir up a fight.

And if you do disagree, Genova counsels parents to listen to their children and seek to understand their point of view. Maybe they have information you have not considered. Engage, hear what they say and validate their point of view, even if you don't agree. Genova says that kids are often frustrated because they feel their voices are not heard.

He also urged parents not to give up. If the conversation is going nowhere, table it until another day. Some issues may take several tries to sort out, so he recommends that if things get heated you back off and revisit the issue at another time. Stay connected by continuing the dialogue.

If you have reached an impasse and are fearful your child is at risk, there are many resources at your disposal. Call the school psychologist or peer counselor at your child's school, a mental health professional, speak to your clergy or consult Scarsdale and Edgemont Family Counseling Service at (914) 723-3281.

Kang Family Expresses Gratitude for the Safe Return of their Daughter, Christine

christine-jiwoo-kangThe Kang family of Edgemont has sent out the following letter to thank everyone involved in the search for their daughter Christine who was located on Sunday night January 11 after nine days at large. According to reports she is safe and healthy:

Here is their letter:

Kang family would like to express our tremendous appreciation to everyone who took Christine into their hearts last night. We would like to thank all those whose tireless efforts and relentless search brought Christine safely home. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all who kept her in their thoughts and prayers for her safe return to home.

We would like to give a special Thank You to the gentleman who recognized Christine in the Church of Saint Agnes. In addition, we would like to thank Chief McNerney, Captain Ryan and the team of the Detective Division of the Town of Greenburgh Police Department who immediately implemented the search. Their efficient and powerful investigation identified Christine's route promptly, which enabled the search to focus on the area of Manhattan. Furthermore, their determined and unyielding efforts played a critical role in finding Christine safe and healthy.

We would also like to thank all of the members of the Edgemont community. Their
tremendous outpouring of support for Christine and our family have enormously helped us to continue the pertinacious search. Especially, we would like to thank Aubrey Graf- Daniels and the Edgemont Care Committee members, the Edgemont High School and the Edgemont Korean Mom Association. Through this network and our family's friends, we could have distributed more than 4,000 flyers in areas of Manhattan and Fort Lee, New Jersey. All of their help and support has been beyond our family's imagination.

Once again, thank you to everyone who helped.

Sincerely,
The Kang family

Music Together Teacher Training Workshop to Be Held in Scarsdale This Winter

uke1Music Together®, the national early childhood music and movement program developed in Princeton, New Jersey, is offering a three-day Teacher Training Workshop at Over the Moon Music and More, LLC, in Scarsdale, New York, from Friday, February 6, through Sunday, February 8, 2015. The teacher training is open to anyone desiring an overview of music development, including parents, university faculty, students, and preschool directors or teachers. Workshop participants will learn Music Together's research-based approach to teaching music and movement to children ages birth through kindergarten.

Participants who successfully complete the training will be eligible to teach Music Together parent-child or preschool classes, either at an existing Music Together center or by applying for a license to open and operate a Music Together center of their own. The flexibility of challenging part-time work with young children and parents appeals to musicians, actors, dancers, parents, and educators. No formal academic degrees are required.

The workshop provides opportunities to assess children's rhythmic and tonal development, techniques for presenting musical material, and strategies for lesson planning. There will be live early childhood music demonstration classes on each day of the workshop, teaching children and their parents using the Music Together curriculum.

Since 1987, Kenneth K. Guilmartin, Founder/Director of Music Together LLC and coauthor of Music Together, has been a pioneer in teaching parents and caregivers how to nurture their children's musical growth. "The whole purpose of the Music Together program is to enable children, as well as the adults participating with them, to become more comfortable with musical expression, and to develop musically at their own pace," says Guilmartin. He adds, "Childhood music development is a natural process just like language development."

Recent research shows that children's innate ability to make music is strongly supported as children observe the adults with whom they have an emotional bond actively engaging in making music. This is possible regardless of the adult's own musical ability. Music making is fun and engaging for children, parents, and teachers--and, as a highly beneficial side effect--contributes to the development of language and other intelligences, including spatial and mathematical.

The Music Together approach to early childhood music is taught worldwide at more than fifty teacher trainings per year. (For more information, visit www.musictogether.com.) Licensed Music Together teachers currently teach children in parent-child and preschool classes in approximately 2000 communities in all 50 states and over 20 foreign countries. In addition, many teachers trained by Music Together apply the curriculum and philosophy in preschools and childcare centers.

The cost of the three-day workshop is $475. Graduate Credits, CMTE Credits, and CEUs are available for completion of the teacher training. For additional information about the workshop or to register, visit www.musictogether.com, or contact Lisa Chouteau at (800) 728-2692 x329, lchouteau@musictogether.com.

Scarsdale Raiders Take Down Mamaroneck Tigers in Hockey

Hockey 1

The stands were packed with many nail-biting fans on Monday night at Murray's Ice Rink in Yonkers as the Scarsdale Raiders took on the Mamaroneck Tigers in hockey. Along with the usual crowd of Scarsdale high school students and parents, teachers and even college students showed up to support our Raiders in the rivalry. So far, the team has had an exceptional season. They are currently on an 8-0 winning streak, and, in the first statewide ranking, the Raiders hockey team was named #1 in New York. Although the team has won previous games by as much as 9 goals, their victory over Mamaroneck proved a bit more difficult to achieve.

Hockey 2At the start of the first period, it was easy to tell that the teams were evenly matched. So far, the Tigers have won 9 games and lost only 2 games. Mamaroneck has been a tough opponent and a big name in hockey over the years, but the Raiders certainly proved themselves with this win. 4-Year Raiders hockey player James Nicholas remarked that "the sun used to rise and set on Mamaroneck hockey. Not anymore--we've changed that and it is a great feeling. Mamo bested us in the football playoffs this year, so we knew we had to take them down in hockey."

Midway through the first period, Nicholas scored his first goal. At the end of the period, Scarsdale led 1-0. Goalie Gabe Harousseau made some great saves to keep us leading by a goal into the third period, but Mamaroneck eventually scored, tying the score up at one through almost the end of the game. Nicholas, however, had an unbelievable tie-breaking goal late in the third period that saved the day. "My second goal was just one of those moments that you can't explain. The puck kinda fell on my stick and I just got it on net and it went in. It was a great moment and it couldn't have come at a better time" said Nicholas. Younger brother Stephen Nicholas also had a fantastic goal from inside the blue line toward the end of the period, making the final score 3-1 Scarsdale.

Overall, the team seemed to feel very proud of their performance. Defensive player Brandon Bank remarked that he felt he played well and put his all into the game. "I knew it was my last time playing Mamo, so I gave it everything I could." Co-captain Devon Schell agreed the team had a great game as well, but explained that they can always do better. Still, "anytime we beat Mamo, we're happy" added Schell.  

The Raiders will be taking on Niagara falls tomorrow at 5:50 PM at EJ Murray's Ice Rink. 

Live, Online Tutoring for Students of All Ages Available Now from Brainfuse.com

brainfuseThe Scarsdale Public Library has launched a new online homework help program switching to brainfuse.com from tutor.com. The programs are almost identical and offer students of all ages live, one-to-one online help from certified tutors. Scarsdale Public Library cardholders can access the service for free from the library website, www.scarsdalelibrary.org by clicking on brainfuse.com.

Brainfuse went live on Wednesday, December 10. Tutor.com will remain on the library website until Thursday, December 18.

"This type of educational service has proved extremely popular with usage up 264 percent this fiscal year," said Elizabeth Bermel, library director. "Brainfuse.com offered us a flat annual fee, while tutor.com's fee was based on usage and with the significant increase in use the cost for tutor.com could be far greater than brainfuse.com"

Brainfuse.com has sections for students from kindergarten through college as well as an adult learning center and a career guidance center with live, one-on-one tutoring, a real-time writing center and 24/7 access to worksheets, video and tutorials on just about any subject. The hours remain the same, daily from 3 p.m. to midnight for the live online tutoring and resume writing service.

Brainfuse.com's services include:

• HelpNow, which provides a complete tutoring system consisting of tutoring, collaboration, and study tools for homework help, skills building, test preparation and writing assistance for a wide variety of subjects.
• The Adult Learning Center, which offers services similar to HelpNow and additionally offers test preparation (including GED and USCIS citizenship tests).
• JobNow, which provides fundamental career-enhancing skills for job seekers including interview coaching via live chat, resume and cover letter writing guidance from trained experts and a 24/7 career resource center to help users target jobs they are best suited for.

"Education is a core value in Scarsdale" Bermel said. "The response to an online tutoring program via the library website has been excellent and exceeded our expectations. Now, with brainfuse.com we can continue to provide an equal service at less cost.

"We can also continue having the library open virtually 24/7 for patrons when it comes to learning and assistance. This program allows all Scarsdale library holders to get the extra help they may need or guidance no matter the time of day or night."

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