Comfort Zone Camp is a nonprofit 501(c)3 bereavement camp that transforms the lives of children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. The free camps include confidence building programs and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. Comfort Zone Camps are offered to children 7-17, and are held year-round across the Country. We have offices in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia.
It’s time to celebrate our magnificent feminine strength, power and beauty!
by Debbi Spiegel
As a woman, daughter, wife and mother, I am incredibly passionate about the lives, realities, hopes and dreams of girls and women. March is Women’s History Month. March 8th is International Women’s Day. It’s time to celebrate our magnificent feminine strength, power and beauty! International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900′s.
International Women’s Day is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honoring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries International Women’s Day has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.
The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts. Women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. Great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and senators. Women can work and have a family. Women have real choices. So the tone and nature of International Women’s Day has moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.
Women’s rights are the unfinished business of the 21st century. We need strong women and men, girls and boys to ensure this century recognizes all are rights equally and gives everyone an equal chance to discover and pursue their dreams. In November, 19 new women were voted into the House of Representatives, 6 Senate incumbents were re-elected, 3 new Senators (all the first woman to represent their state in the Senate), and the only pro-choice Democratic woman governor in the country. Girl power has hit the political arena. There is a lot of talk about Hillary Clinton running for President in 2016.
Take a moment to thank a special woman this month!
As of 3/04/14, Smithtown Schools have experienced five emergency closings. As a result of these closings, school will now be in session for students on March 21 for ½ day (with the second ½ day remaining for teacher professional development), and school will be in session on May 23 and 27.
Half Day Dismissal – Bus Departure Schedule for March 21:
High School Dismissal – 10:20 am (Note – Transportation will be available only for morning Wilson Tech – A.M. Tech buses will dismiss from the High Schools at 11:00am.)
Middle School Dismissal – 11:00 am
Early Elementary School Dismissal – 11:45 am
-Early Schools: Branch Brook, Dogwood, Mills Pond, and Smithtown Elementary
Late Elementary School Dismissal – 12:20 pm
-Late Schools: Accompsett El, Mount Pleasant, Saint James, and Tackan Elementary
No lunches will be served on March 21.
School will be in session for all students all day on May 23 and May 27.
Note: If there is an additional (6th) school closing, there will be an adjustment to the June testing and moving up calendar. If there is a 7th school closing, school will be in session on April 14.
Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors provides eye candy for your kids!
by Debbi Spiegel
March is National Nutrition Month. It is a great time to support the health and nutrition of your family.
Eating a variety of foods is one of the best ways to ensure that you are getting the fullest range of nutrients in your diet. A fun way to help you and your family choose the right foods is to eat a rainbow – choose fresh fruits and vegetables from each color of a rainbow. Dazzle your kids with color! Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors – red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple, white and orange – not only provides eye candy for your kids but mixing things up also gives them a broad range of nutrients. So think variety, think color and everybody wins!
Here is a breakdown of the health benefits of each color:
- Red Fruits and Vegetables
Contain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, Quercetin, and Hesperidin. Good for heart health.
- Orange and Yellow fruits and vegetables
Contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. These nutrients reduce age-related macula degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, encourage alkaline balance, and work with magnesium and calcium to build healthy bones. Good for eye sight and cancer prevention.
- Green vegetables and Fruit
Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, fiber, lutein, zeaxanthin, calcium, folate, vitamin C, calcium, and Beta-carotene. The nutrients found in these vegetables reduce cancer risks, lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, normalize digestion time, support retinal health and vision, fight harmful free-radicals, and boost immune system activity.
- Blue and purple fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients which include lutein, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. These nutrients support retinal health, lower LDL cholesterol, boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation, reduce tumor growth, act as an anticarcinogens in the digestive tract, and limit the activity of cancer cells.
- White fruits and vegetables
Contain nutrients such as beta-glucans, EGCG, SDG, and lignans that provide powerful immune boosting activity. These nutrients also activate natural killer B and T cells, reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers, and balance hormone levels, reducing the risk of hormone-related cancers.
by Debbi Spiegel
Lynda and I were invited to lunch at Bahama Breeze. It is the new restaurant by the mall. (612 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove (631) 366-6212 )
As soon as we walked in, we were taken to a tropical paradise. The island vibe here immerses you immediately. They have palm trees, hanging thatched roof, drum sets and clay pottery scattered throughout the restaurant. The music and the decor transported us to the Bahamas. The only thing missing are tropical birds, a waterfall, and hot shirtless Island men. LOL!
We were greeted and seated by a very friendly hostess. Once seated in our booth, the real fun began. Our server Michelle’s enthusiasm was contagious. She told us all about her favorite items on the menu. Based on her recommendation, we absolutely had to order the Firecracker Shrimp. It was everything that she said it would be. It was perfectly battered succulent shrimp with a kick from the spicy red pepper sauce. The tortilla strips were a tasty garnish. It was a cute touch that Michelle drew a picture along with the date and name of the leftovers on the lid of the leftovers.
After studying the menu, Lynda ordered the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and I went with the Jerk Chicken Pasta. (My kids would say, “you are what you eat!” Hopefully, we aren’t jerks!!) The portions were generous and quite delicious. We had to save room for dessert. So more cute Sharpie-drawn lids were going home with us.
The sweetest part of the meal was our desserts. The Key Lime Pie was gigantic and yummy! Their homemade recipe of brown sugar crust was sublime. Lynda’s ChocolateIsland is a chocoholic’s dream. The chocolate mousse is served on a fudge brownie Island in milk chocolate sauce and vanilla bean anglaise. When Michelle served the coffee, she noted that they use real sugar cane. She was great sharing so many interesting tidbits with us.
After our fantastic lunch, it was back to reality. Snow and ice in the parking lot and having to chauffeur our kids.
I will definitely return to Bahama Breeze with my family. They will love the atmosphere and food as much as I did. I will have to indulge in an Island drink too.
Here is the March edition of Inside Your Library.
The newsletter highlights all of the exciting programs happening this month. Check out all of the fantastic events for children, teens and adults.
Your taxes are funding the library. Enjoy what they are offering!
March begins tomorrow. It is the month that will bring Spring to Smithtown!
by Debbi Spiegel
February was a month of roller coaster weather. We had wild winds, frigid temperatures, a lot of snow and a few warmish days thrown in. March starts on Saturday. I for one am ready for a new beginning. March is full of days to celebrate. Daylight Savings Time is on the 9th. St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. Vernal Equinox better known as the first day of Spring on the 20th. Here’s to hoping that March goes out like a lamb!
Even the novice birdwatcher will recognize the Robin with it’s reddish-orange breast. The Robin is considered a symbol of spring. Emily Dickinson wrote the poem ”I Dreaded That First Robin So.” There are some who think that Robins are not a sign of Spring any more than groundhogs are a predictor of weather. Do you believe that robins are some sort of messenger telling us to get up and get out? I will cling to any wives tale for any creature that will bring me warmer weather!
Sweetbriar Nature Center, located at 62 Eckernkamp Drive in Smithtown, is a not for profit organization, dedicated to nature education and wildlife rehabilitation.
Sweetbriar is successful in a great part due to the hard work and commitment of its volunteers. There are over 150 volunteers helping out at Sweetbriar in varying capacities. Each contributes their time and energy to fit their needs and ours. Staff and volunteers alike feel like they are doing something important for the community. All who help out here enjoy the family atmosphere that prevails at the nature center.
To become a volunteer, call them at (631) 979-6344 to schedule an informational interview.
A Smithtown Moms writes….
Hi Everyone! My sister and I are childhood cancer survivors. My sister started a foundation 4 years ago called Friends and Angels: The Tracy Vicere Foundation. We directly support the Hematology Oncology Unit at Cohen’s Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Check out our Facebook page to see all the wonderful things we have done so far.
Friends and Angels was asked to put together a Parent Comfort Kit…. We are excited to do this for the parents and make their lives a little bit easier. Our goal is to put shampoo, conditioner, soap, shaving cream, lotions, brushes, mouthwash and other toiletries in a canvas bag (which we have purchased already) and donate to parents when they are staying in the hospital. If anyone can help get donations or knows of any stores/people that can donate please let us know. Thank you for your continued support! xo
The HEALTH OFFICE is now accepting update forms to be cleared for all SPRING SPORTS which start on March 3rd.
PLEASE DROP ALL FORMS AT THE HEALTH OFFICE IN THE MORNING. REMINDER: You need a Sports Clearance to tryout for any sport.