With spring just around the corner, it’s a great time to look through your things to see what you can part with and what you need. You can do that spring cleaning at the Hillside Free Community-Wide Swap, which helps you clear out your closets and/or score some “new to you” items. The 22nd swap will take place on Saturday, March 22 from 9 am – 11 am, with drop off of donations on Friday, March 21. As always, the swapisfree and open to everyone.
Please be sure donated items are clean and useable – something you would want to use or wear, and bikes must be rideable. Donate items on Friday and take ones that you can use on Saturday, all absolutely free, including:
Adult and Children’s Clothing
DVDs, Videos, CDs
New/Unopened (or taped shut) Toys, Games, Puzzles
They CANNOT take: car seats, booster seats, potties, cribs, helmets, skis, computers, printers, computer manuals, outdated software, manuals, textbooks, furniture and any large items.
In a press release sent out from the Superintendent’s office, Dr. Penny MacCormack expresses her approval with the 2014 – 2015 school budget, which the board voted to tentatively approve at last night’s meeting, saying she was “very pleased” and that the $116 million budget focuses on current needs and invests in the future:
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You can check our Calendar for all events this weekend, but here are this weekend’s highlights:
Kids ages 6 – 12 can join Mr. Mike for “Friday Night Science Night” at the Geyer Family YMCA in Montclair. This month’s theme is “Tye Dye!” (Friday, March 7)
On Sunday, March 9 we “spring ahead” our clocks one hour for Daylight Saving Time. While it brings welcome extra daylight in the afternoons and early evening, it can wreak havoc on sleep, especially in children.
If you’re worried about losing even more sleep than the one hour, we have some tips that may help make it a smooth transition.
Montclair Art Museum (MAM) announced that students from across New Jersey have received prestigious awards for their artwork through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the 91-year-old national program that recognizes outstanding creative teenagers and offers scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors. The program is administered by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, for which the Montclair Art Museum is the sole affiliate sponsor in New Jersey, the sixth year MAM has served in this capacity. The competition at MAM focuses on visual art.
MAM is one of 115 affiliate organizations nationwide that, in partnership with the Alliance, conduct the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. At MAM, more than 30 jurors, made up of artists, curators, and educators, participated in a series of panels, reviewing 4,500 submissions.
March 2 was Dr. Seuss’ birthday and local schools celebrated Read Across America Day and the author who published 46 children’s books.
On Monday February 17 and Tuesday February 18, students of House Schwartz at Glenfield School held a bake sale to raise money for Paws Montclair. This past Monday a representative from PAWS, Ron Locacio, visited the House and thanked them for the donation, especially the coordinators of the Bake Sale: Hana Ackelsberg, Caleb Koch, Samantha McLoughlin and Angie Noyes.
Then on Thursday February 27, 20 students from House Schwartz visited Nishuane School to act out the story “The Cat in the Hat” in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday for several 1st grade classes.
Montclair Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Penny MacCormack, sends out a monthly newsletter titled Straight from the Superintendent. In this edition she discusses the proposed Montclair Schools budget for the 2014-15 school year, includes a summary of Chief Human Resources Officer Felice A. Harrison’s presentation on the District’s Enrollment Report and the Annual Violence and Vandalism Report, and a summary of Watchung School teachers’ presentation:
Highlights of the March 3rd Budget Workshop
Chief Operating Officer Brian Fleischer Expands on the Preliminary Budget for 2014-2015
Brian updated the Board on the district’s finances and answered questions on the preliminary budget for 2014-15.
The key challenge in formulating the budget was that the surplus which had accumulated in prior years had been spent down, in accordance with NJ law and the guidance of our auditors. As a result, we began this budget season with an $8 million shortfall in funding for next year’s ongoing expenses. Our plan was to take a balanced approach in budgeting that would fund ongoing expenses including salaried positions added in 2012-13 school year and the negotiated and much deserved salary increases for our MEA staff.
We plan to address this deficit in several ways, with the ultimate goals of maintaining the current level of school programs and staffing our children deserve, and supporting our continued implementation of the Strategic Plan.
Our first step in this process was to add $1.5 million of available reserves (fund balance) which narrowed the gap to $6.5 million.
Through a line by line review, we next identified $2.7 million in cost savings, including:
Hands down the best gift I received when my second daughter was born was a sleep machine from Brookstone. It was given to me by a mom of four who knew from experience that white noise would drown out a noisy toddler and help a newborn sleep. My first daughter was the world’s worst sleeper, so I was desperate for any sleep aids. My new baby turned out to be a champion sleeper, partly perhaps because she just was wired that way, but I can’t help but believe that the sleep machine helped.
She is 6 years old now and still sleeps with the sleep machine on. Actually, she can’t sleep without it. So yes, it becomes habit forming, but to me, it was a small price to pay for getting your child to sleep better.
But a “not so small price to pay” is the hearing damage that a baby can suffer if you blast the white noise and put the machine too close to your baby’s crib.
A new study, published online Monday by the journal Pediatrics, says parents should be cautious with sleep machines because they can generate sound levels that could place infants at risk of developing noise-induced hearing loss.
Every year millions of animals are sent to shelters in the U.S. Sure, the shelters take care of them, but the animals never know what it feels like to have their own family.
Girl Scout Troop 20080, a troop of 5th Grade girls in Montclair, are working with the Montclair Animal Shelter to help the animals by promoting The Erin Go Bark & St. Catrick’s Day Adoption Day on March 15.
To earn their Bronze Award, which is a community service award, the girls must work 10 hours on a project. They care deeply about animals, and have chosen to promote this adoption day in the hopes that some animals will find loving homes. In addition to creating and putting up posters and flyers, and promoting the day at their schools and houses of worship, the girls are baking cat and dog treats and making cat toys to give out at the adoption day.
If your family has been thinking of getting a pet, plan on visiting on March 15.