Kids’ Almanac (April 3-10)

Geoffrey Wright skating fundraiser at Kiwanis Arena in Saugerties

If you’ve eaten at the Bear Café in Woodstock, or spent time in the Saugerties Skating School or Kiwanis Arena’s Learn to Skate program, you probably know Geoffrey Wright. This weekend, you’ve got a chance to support Wright in his fight against cancer. On Saturday, April 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., be a part of Skate for Geoffrey: a fundraiser to help Wright offset some of his treatment costs and living expenses. The $10 donation includes skate rental, admission to the ice in the arena and access to a silent auction. An optional dinner may be purchased for an additional $5.

The Kiwanis Arena is located at 6 Small World Avenue in the Cantine Field complex in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 247-2590 or visit


Hudson River Playback Theatre

Readers of Kids’ Almanac know my love of Hudson River Playback Theatre. I find it immensely entertaining, soul-nurturing, therapeutic, and it helps me feel more connected to the universal human experience. Come on out, either with friends and/or your favorite older teens, and see it for yourself this Saturday, April 5 at 8 p.m. This interactive performance takes place at Historic Huguenot Street’s Deyo Hall, located at 6 Broadhead Avenue in New Paltz. The suggested donation is $10. For more information, call (845) 596-2763 or visit



Sunday, April 6

Time and the Valleys Museum needs volunteers

If you had the chance to help preserve the past, educate the present and ensure the uniqueness of the Rondout and Neversink watersheds for all generations, would you volunteer to help inspire others to do the same? This weekend is your chance to move into action.

On Sunday, April 6 from 1 to 4 p.m., the Time and the Valleys Museum hosts an Open House for potential volunteers in the Community Room of the Daniel Pierce Library, located on Route 55 in Grahamsville. Meet new people, get a ten-percent discount in the Museum Shop and have fun. No previous experience or knowledge of history are required: All information will be provided. Volunteers are needed for the Museum Shop, reception desk and offices. For more information, call (845) 985-7700 or visit


American Girl Club meets in Goshen

It’s an American Girl book club, but it’s more than just books. Participants will do activities, share book-related ideas and explore messages hidden in the stories. Any interested book-clubbers must attend the first meet-up on Sunday, April 6 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $10, and each participant will receive a book club kit.

The more weeks attended, the lower the cost, and each gathering is a stand-alone session. One class costs $10; two classes cost $18; and each class after that costs $5 each. Attendees receive a collectible American Girl pin at each session. Book club dates take place on April 12, 19, 20, 26 and 27, and May 4, 18, 24 and 25. For anyone interested in participating in the book club, submit your request along with a list of your favorite American Girl doll and/or story and include dates that you plan to attend.

All American Girl Club events are held in Goshen at the Catholic Charities location at 224 Main Street. For more information, a current calendar or to make a reservation to attend the book club, call Rosanne Oslacky at (845) 427-2592 or e-mail


Monday, April 7

Youth class at CrossFit 299 in Highland

If your child age seven and up, tween or teen needs some motivation to work out, I recommend taking a trial youth class at CrossFit 299. Malinda Treglia is one of the instructors for the youth class, which takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m., and her knowledge, experience and motivating approach keep the routines fresh, challenging, safe, interesting and engaging. Treglia describes the workout as “a mix of gymnastics, basic strength, games and fun.”

CrossFit fosters camaraderie in the gym, but the real challenge is within yourself. And if your kid tries a free trial class, the parent scores a free trial class too! CrossFit 299 is located at 560 Route 299 in Highland. For more information, call (845) 419-1497 or visit To learn more about the youth program, visit


Thursday, April 10

Poet laureate Natasha Trethewey reads at Vassar

Do you like to attend free poetry readings and lectures given by Pulitzer Prizewinning poet laureates? Then mark your calendar for Natasha Trethewey’s appearance at Vassar College on Thursday, April 10 at 6 p.m. I hope that she reads “Flounder”!

Trethewey’s event takes place in the Sanders Classroom Building’s Spitzer Auditorium (Room 212). Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 437-5370 or visit


Looking ahead

Special needs support group at Family of New Paltz

There’s a new support group for families with children with special needs, called Parents Supporting Parents, sponsored by Family of Woodstock. Two gatherings are scheduled at this time: Saturday, April 12 and Saturday, April 26 at 1 p.m. at the New Paltz site. Come to talk, vent, network, find resources, learn from guest speakers and more.

Family in New Paltz is located at 51 North Chestnut Street. For more information, call (845) 255-3601 or visit


Creative Discovery for special needs kids at YMCA Suffern

For families with children with sensory issues, have you heard about Creative Discovery? It has a variety of classes for all age ranges of kids, including an open sensory gym time. Classes are held at the YMCA Suffern Dance and Activity Center, located at 91 Washington Avenue in Suffern. A new afterschool and weekend session just started, so if you’re interested, don’t hesitate. For more information, call (845) 547-2084 or visit


Cary Institute in Millbrook sponsors Hudson River Data Jam

Hudson River Data Jam might just be your jam! The Cary Institute has created a new competition for middle and high school students to tell some sort of story, or poem, or puppet show, or dance, or any creative outlet, using Hudson River science data. Is that your jam? Then don’t wait, and get your registration together by the April 15 deadline. Projects themselves are due by June 2.

Keep me posted; I’d love to share your finished projects when you’ve completed the contest. For more information, call (845) 677-7600, extension 179, e-mail or visit


Intro to Veterinary Science for tweens at SUNY-Ulster

What a cool opportunity: 4-H teams up with SUNY-Ulster for an “Introduction to Veterinary Science” program for ages nine to 12 years. The event takes place on Saturday, April 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes presentations and hands-on activities focused on veterinary science with veterinarians, SUNY-Ulster professors and animal science professionals. Registration is due by April 15, along with payment of $10.

SUNY-Ulster also hosts an open house on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including tours of the campus and information about all of its programs. SUNY-Ulster is located at 492 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge. For a veterinary science youth registration form or more information, call (845) 340-3990, extension 340, or visit



LGBTQ scholarships offered

April 30 is the deadline for Mid-Hudson Valley high school seniors who identify as LGBTQ or identify as allies to submit applications for the LGBTQ Community Center 2014 Youth Scholarship. Applicants must reside in Orange, Dutchess or Ulster County; identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning or Straight Ally; and be accepted to an accredited two- or four-year college, university, vocational or technical school. For more information, visit


Summer StudioLab for artistic high schoolers at SUNY-New Paltz

High school students interested in trying out a life in the visual arts need to submit an application for a new two-week residential program at SUNY-New Paltz called Summer StudioLab. Applications, tuition and need-based scholarship information for StudioLab @ New Paltz can be found at The application deadline is May 1. For additional information, call (845) 257-3860.


Summer camp highlights

Nerf Camp in Montgomery

The Wallkill River School of Art in Montgomery hosts classes for all ages, all year long; and since it’s an art school, that’s the primary subject area, along with sustainable farming through its youth garden program. But Wallkill River School’s Nerf Camp is only offered for a week or two during the summer, and it’s the only one around our area. Nerf Camp runs daily for five days beginning Monday, July 14, and again the week of Monday, August 25. The cost is $125 for one camp, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. If you have another child interested in something else, check out the schedule for class options that run at the same time (which will free you up to shop at Recycled Fashions down the street: my absolute favorite vintage clothing and accessories shop). If your Nerf warrior likes to battle, make modifications to gear, strategize and have fun, this one might be a great fit.

The Wallkill River School is located at Patchett House at 232 Ward Street (Route 17 K) in Montgomery. To learn more about the Wallkill River School or camp offerings, call (845) 457-2787 or visit


Hudson Valley Writing Project offers camps at scenic spots

The Hudson Valley Writing Project has a nice series of writing camps for ages seven to 17 years located at special spots throughout the Hudson Valley, including Storm King, Black Rock Forest, Clermont State Historic Site and more, with both half- and full-day options. I know that it’s barely spring and we’re talking about summer, but if you’re interested in a spot for your budding or passionate writer, think about finalizing things now. For more information, visit


Erica Chase-Salerno can’t wait to see your family’s writing responses! She and her husband live in New Paltz with their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at