Kids’ Almanac (October 24-31)

Diwali celebrations in New Paltz & Red Hook

At its core, the Indian celebration of Diwali, the annual five-day festival of lights, asks each of us to draw our awareness to our own inner light. That inner light is our deepest connection to self, a personal source of intuitive knowing, our most enlightened thinking. It is home: that place to which we can return again and again to receive strength and guidance to help us navigate the outer world. On Friday, October 25 at 3:30 p.m., children are invited to make and paint dyas – clay pots to hold tea lights – and to make paper flowers in preparation for the community celebration of Diwali.

Interestingly, the One Book/One New Paltz selection for this year’s community read is Toni Morrison’s novel Home. One Book/One New Paltz also has a children’s component that takes place this weekend at the Elting Memorial Library. On Sunday, October 27 from 1 to 2 p.m., children ages 4 through 8 years are invited to share in the discussion, “What Is Home?” Activities include storytime and an art project that will be displayed during the One Book events in November.

Then, on Saturday, November 2 at 5:30 p.m., join the Diwali festivities. Activities include dance, music, Diwali snacks, colorful costumes, henna designs on the hands, making paper lanterns, paper flowers, decorating boxes with jewels and sequins like Indian boxes and coloring Rangoli designs. After the celebration, hear a live performance of Indian music.


These activities are free and open to the public. The Elting Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit To learn more about One Book/One New Paltz, visit

For folks looking for a taste of Diwali in Dutchess County, teens are invited to “draw their dreams directly onto their bodies during a special Mehndi Henna program” at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Red Hook Public Library. Led by Anuska, a Tibetan Bard College student trained in traditional Mehndi designs, participants will learn how to create traditional designs as well as their own. Supplies will be provided, and this program is free and open to teens.

The Library is located at 7444 South Broadway in Red Hook. For more information, call (845) 758-3241 or visit


Songs of Pete Seeger at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge

What fun! On Sunday, October 27 at 3 p.m., the High Meadow School presents a Tribute to the Songs of Pete Seeger: a family concert featuring Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower, Dog on Fleas, Bill and Livia Vanaver and the Caravan Kids, as well as special guests. Tickets cost $8 for ages 5 and up or $25 for full family admission. If you’ve got extra time, you can arrive early, between 1 and 3 p.m. and check out the Open House.

High Meadow is located at 3643 Main Street in Stone Ridge. For more information, call (845) 687-4855 or visit


Sensory Storytime at Gardiner Library

I am always impressed with the range of quality programming at our local libraries, and this weekend, the Gardiner Library presents a storytime that I wish every library would offer. Sensory Storytime takes place on Saturday, October 26 from 10 to 11 a.m. and is geared to children with sensory processing issues: “Participants will listen to stories, play games, do an art project and experience all that a library storytime has to offer. Additionally, parents will have an opportunity to meet other special-needs-community families.”

This storytime will be led by Heather O’Donnell, MSEd and EdM. Heather holds teaching certificates in both Early Childhood/General Education and Early Childhood Special Education. Registration is required, space is limited to ten participants and youth must be accompanied by an adult.

The Gardiner Library is located at 133 Farmers’ Turnpike in Gardiner. To register or for more information, call (845) 255-1255 or visit


A positive spin on ADHD

Just the name of this discussion alone helps to flip the idea of “deficit” in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder into honoring the gifts present in all of us. For parents raising a child with ADHD, or whose partners may have ADHD, or who might have those tendencies themselves, come on out to hear clinical psychologist and ADHD expert Kathleen Nadeau present “ADHD Traits May Be Just What You Need to Succeed.”

“Hyperactivity can translate into drive,” she says. “Daydreaming can become creativity. ‘Oppositional’ teens can morph into adults with strong leadership traits. And students frustrated with ‘book learning’ can thrive in real-life, on-the-job learning. The key to success with ADHD is in learning how to manage the challenges that accompany ADD, while finding the right environment to put your strengths to work.”

This event takes place in the Villard Room of the Main Building at Vassar College on Thursday, October 24 at 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 437-7400 or visit


Open mic with Grenadilla in Rosendale

On Sunday, November 10, Grenadilla is hosting an open mic for youth at the Rosendale Café. Debbie Lan, founder of the singing group Grenadilla, explains: “After a short set [by Grenadilla], which will include newly penned songs, the stage will be handed over to our younger performers and artists. Our featured artist of the afternoon is Summer Sorge. We are looking for singers, musicians, spoken-word artists, comedians, poets, magicians who would like a chance to do their thing!”

Interested participants from Pre-K to seniors should sign up with Lan at, or on the day of the show, provided there is space available.


Paul Green Rock Academy at Snug Harbor in New Paltz

The Paul Green Rock Academy will be performing at Snug Harbor in New Paltz on Saturday, November 23. Stay tuned for details! Snug Harbor is located at 38 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 247-3034. To learn more about the Academy, visit


TMI Project takes on tales of unplanned pregnancy

The TMI Project’s performances are powerfully moving experiences. Listening to people share their own personal stories is empowering for the storyteller, as well as the audience. There’s a point of awareness that thrills me each time, a reenergized understanding that we are all connected.

This weekend, the TMI Project presents “What to Expect…When You’re Not Expecting: True Stories of Slips, Surprises and Happy Accidents,” a theme that seems relevant to Kids’ Almanac readers, since the vast majority of us are parents. This is not a show for children; it is for adult audiences.

“The show, which is about all the different ways reproductive ‘choice’ is exercised by women – and men, will benefit both Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley and the Community Outreach Initiative of the TMI Project, a division of Starling Productions. Inspired by Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, the play incorporates as source material the voices of many women and men, a number of whom have participated in TMI Project writing workshops. Their experiences with unplanned pregnancies (nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned!) are varied, and run the gamut from the decision to continue a pregnancy, adoption or termination… Adoptees also share their experiences. There’s even a transgendered prospective sperm donor in the mix, who is left to decide if he should transition to womanhood or hold out to donate: a dilemma he certainly wasn’t planning on.”

Performances take place on Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. at the Rosendale Theatre. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door and are available through The Rosendale Theatre is located at 408 Main Street in Rosendale. For more information, call (914) 299-2363 or visit

Erica Chase-Salerno celebrates Halloween with a “not-too-scary” witch and a vampire hunter in New Paltz, where she lives with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at