Local Family Creates a One of a Kind Experience for Teens at Guru Travel Camp in Sri Lanka

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Guru Travel Camp

Jamie Wasserman is a Montclair mother who has been taking her daughters on two international trips a year. Not just for sun and fun. No. The Wasserman / Held family travels to do good and gain life experiences. Now, they want to share their experience and bring more awareness to a cause close to their hearts — elephants. They have teamed up with the Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) to create Guru Travel, a teen travel summer camp experience that takes place in Sri Lanka.

Guru Travel will take a group of teens (ages 14 and up) to their facilities in the village of Wasgamuwa, Sri Lanka. Campers / Volunteers will spend 23 days, from June 28 to July 21, teaching English to the children in the local village and conducting research on elephants and other wildlife.

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2 Juice Minimum Offering Comedy Club Fun For Kids

BY  |  Thursday, Mar 27, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

2-Juice Minimum With Mark Malkoff There are Baby Discos, kiddie concerts and now there are kid comedy shows. Comedian and Internet-sensation Mark Malkoff, a New Jersey native, has created a fun, late night-style comedy show in NYC just for kids called 2 Juice Minimum With Mark Malkoff for kids and their parents.

The show features hilarious comedy sketches, video remotes, and special-celebrity guests and well-known stand-up comics tailoring their sets to the kid audience. We attended the show on March 16 with special guest, former SNL star, Rachel Dratch and we loved it. Tailored for kids ages 4 – 10, the jokes and sketches had lots of grown ups laughing just as hard as the kids.

2 Juice Minimum With Mark Malkoff

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Spring Break Vacation Camps 2014

BY  |  Saturday, Mar 22, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Spring Break Vacation CampsAfter the brutal winter we had and the many snow days, forcing school districts to add back school days during spring break.

Local schools will now be closed for spring break on these days (Montclair and SOMA make out the best with 4 days) :

  • Bloomfield: April 17 and 18
  • West Orange: April 14, 15 and 18
  • Glen Ridge: April 14 and 15
  • South Orange - Maplewood: April 21 – 24
  • Montclair: April 21 – 24

If you’re staying local and need childcare, we’ve put together a list of Spring Break Vacation Camps to help you out:

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The Benefits of Reading and Free Local Story Times

BY  |  Friday, Mar 21, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


I teach writing at Montclair State University. But learning to write well was not easy for me. In fact, I’m still working at it. Good writing is deceptive. Looks easy, but it sure isn’t.

Unfortunately many of my students are weak writers. What exactly does that mean? Some students have poor mechanical skills. They misuse commas and don’t know when to use an uppercase letter. They’re sloppy. Other students don’t know how to make a thoughtful argument. And then there are the students who struggle with both. I think the one thing they could all use is a hearty book. They just don’t read enough good writing. That’s why we need to encourage a love of reading early on, and there is no better time than now —March is National Reading Month.

If you want your kids to become stronger writers, start now. Read to them, read with them and encourage them to read on their own.

Show them that you enjoy reading too. I recommend E.B. White. That man knew how to craft a perfect sentence. And get your kids to read aloud. I’m sensitive to how words sound when read aloud. I used to be a public radio reporter and host. When the on-air light is ‘hot’, you tend to be more careful about your word choice and sentence structure.

We’re lucky to have dedicated story hours in Baristaville that encourage a love of reading. And they’re free!

Here is a round up of free local story times:

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Sponsored Post: L3 Academy Weekly STEM-themed Camps — No Two Alike

BY  |  Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

l3 academy


L3 Academy Weekly STEM-themed camps. No two alike.


Combining education with summer fun in the sun, L3 Academy campers become scientists, physicists, engineers, architects, builders, inventors and so much more for a week of camp.

L3 Academy

Weekly camp themes include:

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Barista Kids Summer Camp Guides 2014

BY  |  Saturday, Mar 15, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Summer CampAll three of our comprehensive 2014 Summer Camp Guides are out! We will continue to update them as we learn of new camp options for your family.

Here are our Barista Kids Summer Camp Guides for 2014:

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Meet Up Mondays for Montclair Parents

BY  |  Monday, Mar 10, 2014 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Meet Up Mondays

The recent spate of articles debating the qualities and brain cortex thicknesses of introverts versus extroverts offer great insight into our own behaviors. But our own social habit can take a back seat when we become a parent because thoughts about socializing shift primarily to our little one. Parents are somewhat forced out of their shells to mingle at the playground, learn about activities and schools and make the sometimes highly stressful PLAYDATE even if they would rather stay home. Our social network, in whatever fashion adults manage it, provides support, a sounding board and sometimes just a good old chance to vent. Preschools, elementary schools, kids’ classes and activities are all great social outlets. Typically, one could also head to a local park after school or on weekends and meet parents and kids pretty easily. This icy Winter has really cancelled that option.

If you are new to Montclair or switching schools, it can be difficult to find ‘your peeps’ when everyone is busy with their daily routines, chaos and now shut in their homes. The Adult School has great classes. The YMCA, gyms and yoga studios offer a variety of group classes.

It seems like there should be a modern welcome wagon or “Buddy Bench” spot in town for adults. The heart warming “Buddy Bench” concept that a little boy created is basically a designated playground spot where children can sit if they want to play or talk with other children. Some of our Montclair schools have created the bench spots.

As the Montclair Public Library opens its doors to everyone, I asked Grace Grund of its Terra at the Isabel Rose Cafe about hosting a weekly informal drop-in and meet-a-new-friend session there. Of course Grace jumped at the idea as she is one of those very friendly, together people that make Montclair a warm place to live.

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Sponsored Post: The Unforgettable Experience of Jewish Camp is More Widely Accessible Than Ever Before

BY  |  Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 2:00pm  |  Comments Off

Foundation for Jewish Camp

The unforgettable experience of Jewish camp is more widely accessible than ever before. Discover the newest ways to find great summer experiences for your first-time campers.

We know that for children, Jewish camp is just plain fun. But it’s also much more than that—it’s camp with a soul. At camp, kids get the chance to explore who they are—and who they want to become—in an inspiring, fun-filled environment. Whether they’re playing basketball, zip-lining, or dancing with their friends, Jewish camp creates a community of campers—and young leaders—who feel sure of themselves and proud of their heritage.

Every child should experience the magic of Jewish camp. After all, summer at Jewish overnight camp is the adventure of a lifetime. It’s where kids build connections to the Jewish future and create memories they’ll hold onto for their entire lives. And, perhaps more importantly to the campers themselves, it also happens be a whole lot of fun.

Here are two programs to help you get there:

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Kids and Technology: A Dangerous Combination

BY  |  Monday, Feb 24, 2014 8:00am  |  COMMENTS (7)

Kids and Technology

This blog post originally appeared on Chalk, the blog of The Adult School of Montclair.

The idea for the class “Stop arguing about screen time!” came about when psychiatrist Dr. Peter Della Bella noticed that his neighbors at the bus stop were complaining daily about their kids and technology. “The biggest issue is that parents are no longer in control. Subway Surf is in control. A parent has to decide how much is enough, and how to implement that.” This Spring Della Bella will teach two workshops at ASM to give parents resources and strategies for how to control the amount of time their kids spend on social media, gaming, and the like.

“These days, kids cannot tolerate just being present,” says Della Bella, who has lived in Montclair since 1998. “There is the expectation that they will be entertained 24/7.”

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Barista Kids Summer Camp Guides 2014

BY  |  Saturday, Feb 22, 2014 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Summer CampAll three of our comprehensive 2014 Summer Camp Guides are out! We will continue to update them as we learn of new camp options for your family.

Here are our Barista Kids Summer Camp Guides for 2014:

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