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Letter: Kids Camps Combat Summer Slide

Once upon a time, back when we went to camp, camps focused on athletics and the arts. Primary activities at most included hiking, sports, running around, and blowing off physical steam, with arts and crafts for quiet periods or rainy days. Alternative camps inverted the formula, specializing in arts — drama or drawing or music — with games and sports as recreational add-ons. 

 

That has changed. These days camps are offering more and more in the way of high-end intellectual stimulation, extending the learning of the school year with STEM programs or courses in multimedia design. It’s no surprise that modern, more activist parents have embraced camp as an extension of school, as more than 100 years of research has detailed the loss of learning that takes place when intellectual exercise is eliminated. Kids slide about two months backward in math skills during the summer. (They also, despite all the exercise, tend to gain weight.) 

 

So the shift to incorporating some brain stimulation into summer programs is welcome. It’s certainly good for the kids who participate. Those who can’t afford such camps—which run from around $500 to $1,200 per week — the gap only grows.

News

The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.

 

Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.

Holidays increase daily congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”


Sports

The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.

 

The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20. 

This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.


Calendar

Turkey Cookie - November 21

Lost Nights - November 22

Town of Hempstead Meeting - November 25


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com