Cynthia Tavlin

P.S. Confidential: Which Schools Make the Grade?

(Jan. 24, 2006) - Clara Hemphill is optimistic. That’s no small feat when your job is helping city parents find a great public school for their kids. As director of at Advocates for Children in New York, Hemphill and her three co-authors visited nearly 500 elementary schools and identified 200 of the top schools for the recent, third edition of New York City’s Best Public Elementary Schools (Teachers Press, $21.95) — 70 more since the last edition was published in 2002.

Take Our Puppets, Please!

(Oct. 21, 2005) - Run by the Puppeteers’ Cooperative — a group of puppeteers based in Boston and New York with members spread out along the East Coast — the 100 or so puppets stored inside the Brooklyn monument have the same mission as a good book from the public library: Circulate.

RAISING KIDS BILINGUALLY - NYC parents are enrolling their youngsters in foreign language classes — for the earliest possible exposure.

(May. 21, 2005) - Bonjour, ca va? Curious toddlers who step into West Park Presbyterian Church on Wednesday mornings are greeted with a singsong voice and smile from Michelle Bertrand, founder of Music & Play En Français. The foreign language playgroup — one of dozens held throughout the city — is part of a growing trend of parents opting to raise a bilingual child or give their babies a leg up by exposing them to a second language early on.

The Shtick Goes On

(Dec. 21, 2003) - How long can Kids and Yiddish, the annual holiday show produced by the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre, keep up the shtick without wearing out their welcome? Indefinitely it appears, as the company continues its energetic and comical tradition with Farmisht and Far-Fetched, a new family production which moved from midtown to the Upper West Side this year, playing Sundays until January 4, at the JCC of Manhattan.

Is There a Tyrant in Your House? Why Kids Push Your Buttons and What to do About It

(Aug. 21, 2003) - If these types of outbursts get your adrenaline pumping to the point where you see red, and respond with the sorts of statements you swore you’d never use with your children, congratulations, your kids have successfully pushed your buttons. Take heart, it happens to the best of us.

Gliding to Glory: Ice Skating

(Apr. 21, 2003) - On a recent Tuesday evening, the ice rink at Riverbank State Park is swarming with young figure skaters dressed in matching light blue warm-up suits.

How Sweet It Is! A Lolli-Pops Concert

(Jan. 21, 2003) - Make no mistake: Taking a 3-year-old to a classical music concert is hard work. Really hard work if you consider the preemptive bathroom trips before curtain time, naptime adjustments, and constant admonitions to “use an inside voice.” The effort is worth it, however, once the lights dim and The Little Orchestra Society (LOS) takes the stage for a Lolli-Pops Concert, a rare cultural offering perfectly suited to the pre-school set.

Halloween events in NY - 2002

(Oct. 21, 2002) - What are you doing for Halloween? There are a number of family outings, local and a short distance away, spooky and non-spooky, to celebrate a holiday that evolved from “All Hallows Eve” — a religious day that honored All Saints — and which has evolved into the community-centered October 31 we know today.

Museums Celebrate NY’s Finest and Bravest

(Sep. 21, 2002) - If you’re thinking of ways to best commemorate the upcoming 9/11 anniversary with kids in tow, consider twin visits to the New York City Fire Museum and New York City Police Museum. Popular destinations prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center, both institutions share a similar mission — educating the public on their respective department’s history and using permanent exhibitions and programming to trace their development into their modern day structures. While both continue with their original mission in post 9/11 New York, they are also in the process of coming to terms with the losses suffered last September.

Order on the playground?NYC Schools Opt for a New, Improved RECESS

(Sep. 21, 2002) - True story. While volunteering as a recess aide at my first-grader’s public school a few years back, I insisted — against the wishes of all the professional recess aides — on bringing a few jump ropes to the playground. After all, skipping rope was a classic schoolyard game, one I warmly remembered as idyllic, carefree and above all, orderly. Given the proper equipment and a minimal amount of adult supervision, my son’s classmates should enjoy a similar experience. Right? Not quite.

Kelly Preston: on Protecting Your Baby from Toxins

(Apr. 21, 2002) - Like many celebrity advocates, Kelly Preston's road to activism began with the personal, when her 2-year old son was hospitalized for inhaling fumes from carpet cleaning agents in 1994.

Nifty Fifties!

(Dec. 21, 2001) - Big Apple Circus, New York's homegrown one-ring circus, takes a step back in time in its newest production, Big Top Doo Wop - a salute to the American '50s that serves up impressive circus acts against a backdrop of the Lone Ranger, Ed Sullivan and other pop icons of the era.

In a League of Their Own

(Apr. 21, 2001) -

Batter Up! Minor League Baseball in the Big City É and Beyond

(Apr. 21, 2001) - If you wanted to take your kids to a minor league baseball game 10 years ago, you might have driven upstate to Oneonta, Rochester or out to Western Pennsylvania. Not anymore. Major League expansion, the growing popularity of Minor League baseball, and urban renewal efforts have brought the game much closer to home.

A City Story: The Doorman

(Apr. 21, 2001) - When John Riley, a beloved doorman, died of a sudden heart attack several years ago, residents from his Upper West Side apartment building were shocked and saddened. One tenant posted a poem in the elevator, others attended his funeral in Harlem. But it was journalist Ed Grimm who started writing a reminiscence of the experience - which eventually evolved into the recently published childrenÕs book, The Doorman (Orchard Books $16.95).

In a League of Their Own

(Apr. 21, 2001) - Five years ago, Mark Feinberg was looking at available baseball playing facilities in downtown Manhattan Ð a choice between a mud field or concrete playing ground - and not liking what he saw. The city wasn't motivated to get those fields in shape, recalls Feinberg, who played competitive baseball in high school and college, and became motivated to find something better for his own young son.

CHARTER SCHOOLS: Next for New York?

(Jan. 21, 1995) - To date, 34 states have passed legislation allowing for the creation of charter schools - publicly funded schools that operate independently of their local districts

  • 1