Archive for the tag 'families'

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Source: jennesy / Flickr

Gateway National Recreation Area’s Jamaica Bay Unit has lots of family-friendly Spring Break programs going on at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Fort Tilden. A schedule of events, which starts tomorrow, is below.

Schedule Of Events

  • Have a Hoot with a Ranger, Saturday, March 23, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Junior Rangers are invited to an owl adventure. Learn about owls and their habitat through a hike and an owl pellet investigation. Anyone can come! No charge and no reservations required. Note: Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Bus Q52/53.
  • Jamaica Bay Origami, Sunday, March 24, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Did you know that origami came from the Japanese words “Oru” meaning “to fold” and “Kami” meaning “paper”? Learn more about this relaxing art and create the animals found in and around Jamaica Bay. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q52/53.
  • Woodcock Watch, March 26, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Wait and watch in the dusk for American woodcocks and their amazing flying tricks. These birds, also known as timberdoodles, mudbats or bogsuckers, put on a spring show that’s not to be missed. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Program will begin with a brief indoor presentation. Bring a flashlight. Bus Q 52/53.
  • Moon Shine, Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Enjoy the night as a ranger guides you along the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge trail on a full moon night. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Please wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. You are welcome to bring a flashlight. Rain date: Thursday, March 28. Bus Q52/53.
  • Spring Surprises, Thursday, March 28, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. On this family-friendly nature walk, we will seek out some springtime surprises, including a plant that has been used as makeup, flowers that have gone to war, and birds of many kinds. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: We’ll have binoculars available to borrow, please bring your own if you have them. Moderate physical exertion (one mile). Bus Q52/53.
  • NYC Audubon Early Spring Bird Walk, Saturday, March 30, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. Meet at the Jamaica Bay Refuge visitor center for a hike around the ponds and uplands to look for the first birds of spring. We can expect to see ospreys, oystercatchers, ibis, great egrets, laughing gulls, and phoebes to name a few. Leader: Don Riepe. Anyone can come. Reservations required. Note: To reserve call (917) 371-8577; email: Bus Q52/53.
  • Creepy Crawlies, Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens. The itsy bitsy spider is fun to learn about, and the insects are too. Hear all about creepy crawlies during this interactive family-friendly program. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q52/53.
  • Explore the Back Woods of Fort Tilden, Sunday, March 31, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Fort Tilden, Queens. Enter the woods with American Littoral Society naturalist Mickey Maxwell Cohen to search for early spring birds, bursting buds and historic fortifications of World War II. Anyone can come. No charge and no reservations required. Note: Bus Q22/35.

If you need more information, call the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge at (718) 318-4340.

Have fun at the library and get your child ready for school!

Families can enjoy stories and activities designed to encourage the development of early learning skills in their children, every Saturday at 11:00 a.m., now to July 28 (July 7, 14, 21 and 28) at the Gerritsen Beach branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue.

Geared toward children ages three to five years-old, and their parents or caregivers, the program will explore literacy, science, and math through music, stories, and play, and will help you and your child get ready for school. Families will also receive free materials to continue the learning and fun at home.

To learn more, call (718) 368-1435.

Photo by Erica Sherman

We wanted to pass on the following email we received from the NYC Department of Education’s High School Enrollment Team:

October is a busy time for high school admissions!

Important Deadlines

Grade 8 or first-time grade 9 students who are residents of New York City can register for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) through their guidance counselor until October 12, 2011. If you’re interested in taking the exam, be sure to meet with your counselor before the deadline.

Guidance counselors will distribute high school applications to students in mid-October. The deadline to submit completed applications to counselors is December 2, 2011.

Fairs and Workshops

The five Borough High School Fairs will take place on Saturday, October 22, and Sunday, October 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visit the DOE website for more information and fair locations.

Check out the schedule for fall high school admissions workshops on our website. These workshops will be held during the month of October throughout the City. We encourage all families to attend a workshop – each session covers the same content, so you only need to attend one.

High School Admissions Videos

Check out our new Videos page on the High School Admissions website to view the High School Admissions Summer Workshop Video Series. These three videos, filmed at our summer workshops, provide an overview of the process, details about the Specialized High Schools, and strategies for making informed decisions.

If you have any questions about the events, and / or the high school admissions process, check out the DOE’s website, email, or call (718) 935-2399.


School’s Chancellor Dennis Walcott is reaching out to NYC school families. The newly-appointed head of the Department of Education is collecting parent feedback in his Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form, asking what information is important to parents and how they’d prefer to hear from the DOE. Here is the letter, in full:

NYC Public School Parent/Guardian,

Families are valued partners, and we know that your feedback and suggestions are key to improving your child’s education.

Chancellor Walcott wants to know what information about your child’s education is most important to you and how you’d prefer to hear from us. Tell him by completing the Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form.

Our goal is to do a better job of providing tools to help you support your child and this is just another way to help make that happen. The deadline to complete the form is Monday, July 25th. So what are you waiting for? Get started!

If you’ve already completed the form, we ask that you forward this email to a friend, post it on facebook or Twitter or share the flyer with your community (available in 10 languages).

Enjoy your summer and thanks in advance for your feedback!

Don’t forget — the deadline is this Monday, July 25th.

It must be something in Sheepshead Bay’s water. Either that or this local family is extremely, extremely lucky.

The Daily News reports that the Amer family will be bringing home their third set of twins. This must make parents Mohammed and Gezime Amer not just lucky, but very tired. Not to worry, though, because according to older sister Kerima, she and her own twin will help out by changing diapers and getting the milk ready, while their twin older brothers, Abdullah and Rahman, will cuddle and kiss them.

Officials at the Brooklyn Hospital, where the twins were kept in the neonatal intensive care for observation due to slightly low birth weight, will let them know that we are interested in getting a picture of the whole family in front of their humble Sheepshead Bay abode. Hopefully, we’ll be able to put him in touch with well-wishing Sheepshead Bites readers — just in time for Father’s Day.