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FallPreview

H E R S A M A C O R N N E W S PA P E R S

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Back-to-school fashions
Taking a look into kids closets
for the new seasons must-haves
by Lois Alcosser
Good-bye, summer clothes! Those almost see-through
tops and very short shorts. Farewell til next year those
wild-print pants. Thanks, polka-dot bikini! Fall is on the
way, almost around the corner, and its time to fill shelves
and load hangers with brand-new clothes. What are the
trends for girls and boys, age 5 to teen? (Most stores say that
fashion-consciousness for girls starts around age 5.)
Littlejohns in New Canaan prides itself on being chic,
classic, as well as elegant/ trendy. They have many brands
of French jeans, admittedly for skinny boys and girls. The
favorite look for fall: a longer-than-usual sweater, leggings
and simple top.
Boys always want to be comfortable and casual, the
stores fashion consultant said. We have boys wear from
England thats very good-looking, but casual; khaki pants,
wool jackets, basic T-shirts. Speaking of jackets, we have
wool jackets and leather-look jackets that make any outfit
look good.
See Fashion on page 14

High school seniors Alex


Dobbin and Kit Mallozzi
(on his shoulders) show
off back-to-school looks
from Island Outfitters in
New Canaan and Fairfield
(Alex) and Caren Forbes &
Company, New Canaan,
on Kit. At left, the oversize sweater is a must
for girls of all ages this
year. Senior Sara Musicco
models one from Caren
Forbes & Company.
Bryan Haeffele photos

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Last years corn maze at Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Moosup.

Great fall tradition: Corn maze days


by Melissa Ezarik
Its too early for foliage and autumn still technically
hasnt even arrived, but theres plenty of fall fun to be
had at Connecticut farms. For adventurous types, its the
perfect time to get lost in a corn maze. With a little luck
and know-how at some farms, which offer clues and
trivia to point you in the right direction your family
will get through the maze in time to enjoy other farm
festivities, ranging from hayrides and animal encounters
to corn pits and farmstand shopping.
Here are some kernels worth knowing for getting the
most out of the corn maze experience:
Shop around first. Corn mazes come in various shapes
and sizes. If youre a first-timer with a toddler in tow,

it makes sense to choose a maze with less paths and


total acreage. You might also discover a 2013 cantmiss theme. In addition, not all corn mazes are stroller- or wheelchair-accessible.
Call ahead. On a sunny day following a rainy one, the
paths could be muddy and impassible, causing a corn
maze closure.
Avoid arriving close to quitting time. You wont likely
be thrown out on your ear, but staying beyond closing
is no way to butter up a farmer.
Go after dark. Some farms keep their corn mazes open
for treks by flashlight.

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

A-maze-ing Local Farms


Bishops Orchards,

1355 Boston Post Rd.,


Guilford; 203-453-2338; bishopsorchards.com

Bunnell Farm,

498 Maple St., Litchfield; 860567-9576; bunnellfarm.org

Buttonwood Farm,

471 Shetucket Turnpike,


Griswold; 860-376-4081;buttonwoodfarmicecream.com

Hayrides offer some extra fall flair for a trip to a corn maze farm.

Castle Hill Farm,


Dress the part. Even days with a nip in the air can
quickly feel dreadfully hot when the sun is beating down and youve been trapped for 45 minutes
with a cranky kindergartener or fuss-pot fourthgrader. In other words, layers it is.

a lot of company along the way is almost a given.


Plaskos Farm in Trumbull estimates that 10,000
people a year visit the maze.

Play the game. Farms that offer directional hints


or numbered checkpoints do so not just as entertaining extras, but because the maze may seem
near-impossible without them.

Keep your cool. Look at getting lost or reaching a


dead end and having to backtrack as extra family
together time. As the corn maze rules at Foster
Family Farm in South Windsor state, children
are responsible for their parents behavior at all
times.

Keep moving. Even if youre not sure of the best


path to take, standing around to debate it causes
corn maze congestion and doesnt get you to the
finish line any faster. While peak times do of
course vary, corn mazes are popular and having

Know when its time to go. If the experience turns


too trying, ask a corn cop staffer where the
nearest escape route is. If the kids (or the adults)
cant beat the challenge this year, theres always
next year.

25 Sugar Lane, Newtown;


203-426-5487; castlehillfarm.
net

Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm


Corn Maze,

227 Ekonk Hill Rd., Moosup;


860-564-0248; getlostinthemaze.com

Ellsworth Farm,

461 Cornwall Bridge Rd.,


Route 4, Sharon; 860-3640025; ellsworthfarm.com

Fort Hill Farms,

860-923-3439; forthillfarms.
com

Foster Family Farm,

90 Foster St., South Windsor;


860-648-9366; fosterfarm.
com

Gardens Dream Farm,

355 Taylor Rd., Enfield; 860835-6652; gardensdream.com

Lyman Orchards,

32 Reeds Gap Rd., Middlefield;


860-349-1566; lymanorchards.com

Plaskos Farm,

670 Daniels Farm Rd.,


Trumbull; 203-268-2716; plaskosfarm.com

Scantic Valley Farm,

327 9th District Rd., Somers;


860-749-3286; scanticvalleyfarm.com

Wells Hollow Farm,

656 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton;


203-926-0101; wellshollowcreamery.com

260 Quaddick Rd., Thompson;

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Is my child

OVERSCHEDULED?
by Melissa Ezarik

With so many options for after school and weekend activities


for kids these days, youd be hard-pressed to find a family that
isnt busy adhering to schedules outside of the already-hectic academic one. But determining how much is too much and visualizing an ideal is a complicated endeavor. And its rarely obvious
right away whether the decision to keep an activity or drop it was
the right one.
Kara-Lynn Flockhart, a Stratford mom of three and a social
worker at the middle school in Redding, has experienced this firsthand.
When her six-year-old son wanted to quit T-ball, she considered that he tended to not like following through on activities.
So instead of letting him leave baseball behind, she would simply

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

reassure him by saying Youll have a great


feeling when you finish each game.
But when one of her daughters, now
9, began her fourth year of dance with an
interest in jazz which required her to
take ballet at the same time and commit
to two days of dance a week Flockhart
sensed it was too much. She found herself
having difficulty keeping up with the routine as well. Four weeks into the session,
each time wed need to leave for class I
would spend too much time coaxing her
to go, she recalled.
I made her go a few times to make
sure she was sure, then finally listened
and withdrew her for the year, Flockhart
said. I figured she could always go back
to dance if she really missed it. When
her daughter did great academically that
school year, it became clear that dropping
dance had been the right move.
Whether its an outright request from
the child to stop a particular activity or a
more indirect sign that something is not
right, such as difficulties in school or with
sleeping, parents shouldnt leap to the

conclusion that its due to the child being


overscheduled, said Mary M. Georgette,
a licensed marriage and family therapist
at ClearView Counseling in Milford. Its
important that overall parents know their

tors, said Georgette. Really its about


balance. A child should have some downtime.
The best time for a new activity or continuing an existing one? That would be

If your child is falling behind or being unable


to keep up with homework assignments
that may be a sign that your she
is overscheduled with activities.
children and pay attention to anything
that seems to be a problem.
That may mean its time to help your
child decide what activity to stop. And it
may not. With a team sport, for example,
you may not want to send the message
that its OK to quit in the middle of something, Georgette said.
Age and the time of year are also fac-

summer, Flockhart said.


No matter what time of year, she suggests looking for any or all of the following signs a child is overscheduled:
1. Persistent resistance to going to the
activity.
2. Falling behind or being unable to
keep up with homework assignments.
3. Showing signs of irritability or being

seemingly overwhelmed with simpler,


routine tasks, such as brushing teeth.
These signs should trigger a chat.
Making pro/con lists boost decision-making skills and prioritization later in life
when your children must make their own
decisions, Flockhart pointed out.
During such a discussion, help your
child identify his or her feelings. At school
with students, Flockhart shared, Ive used
the terms feeling on overload and needing to regroup when transitioning from
multiple activities and commitments. So
much so that the child will later say, I just
need to regroup.
Talking it out is especially important
because there is no across-the-board right
amount of activities.
Every child is different, said
Georgette. Children are no different than
adults. Some can handle more things than
others. Some children enjoy being active,
some children dont. It depends on the
child, the age, and the activity. It depends
on what the child can comfortably handle,
and having a balance is very important.

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Bike ride into autumn


Hopping on your bicycle solo, or grabbing a
family member or your entire family and
checking out the foliage or simply enjoying the
brisk air of autumn on two wheels is a must-do
during September and October, and even into
November.
Garrett Finley, the graphic designer at Outdoor
Sports Center in Wilton, who also happens to be a
bike mechanic, suggests the following bike trails for
a fun fall ride.
Housatonic Rail Trail in Trumbull, a.k.a.
Pequonnock Valley Greenway. Great spot for families, roughly five miles, kid-friendly.
Mianus Maze/Mianus River State Park in
Stamford. Another good one for families/all skill
levels; about 14 miles with a river, kid-friendly.
Huntington State Park in Redding. Great for
families, about 10 miles; mostly biking, kid-friendly.
Old Mine Park in Trumbull. Eleven-mile loop
mostly biking; more technical.
Trout Brook Valley in Eason. About 10 miles,
mostly biking; intermediate.
Indian Ledge Park in Trumbull. Mostly for
experienced bikers but has a BMX track and other
features for people new to the sport.
Cranbury Park in Norwalk. Family-friendly,
kid-friendly; very easy biking.
Wilton Woods in Wilton. Experienced bikers;
technical terrain about seven miles.
The following websites are also good
resources

for trails: alltrails.com, traillink.com, nemba.com

and ctnemba.com.

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Tips on proper backpack use


Michael R. Marks, MD MBA, of Westport,
be carrying around their books all day long
spokesperson of the American Academy of
through school or have unnecessary items in
Orthopaedic Surgeons, provides the followthe pack. They should be left in their locker.
ing tips on backpacks. Dr. Marks is also vice
5) Backpacks have no correlation with creating
president of business development at Norwalk
or worsening scoliosis (an old wives tale).
Hospital and president, Norwalk Hospital
Many companies have created backpacks
Physicians & Surgeons.
on wheels. These seem to have created even
1) Most injuries that occur are muscular in
more problems than traditional backpacks
nature. They occur mostly in the upper back
as they are even heavier to lift and in crowdbut to some extent in the lower back. It is
ed hallways there is no room for a backpack
rare for children/adolescents to injure a disk
on wheels. Some children have tripped over
carrying their backpack.
them while running through the hallways.
2) Most backpack-related injuries are due to
Additionally, it puts more stress on the low
improper wearing and packing of the pack.
back to have your body slightly turned and
Shoulder soreness comes from wearing the
dragging something behind you. Ask any
pack only on one shoulder, or using a pack
traveler through airports.
with straps that are too thin. A/C joint
6) The best way to prevent injuries is to Pack
problems come from similar problems with
it right, wear it right. Put the heaviest and
the straps going across the joint with direct
largest books closest to your back. Have
force. Wearing the pack too low or wearing
well-padded straps pulled tightly so the
a pack that is too large (sits too low on the
packs sit between your shoulder blades and
body) can cause bruising to the lower butuse the belt strap to prevent the pack from
tocks and upper thighs.
bouncing back and forth. The Sherpas in
3) There is no significant correlation between
the Himalayas dont seem to have a problem
age/gender, with the exception that the
carrying heavy loads. It isnt suggested that
youngest children seem to be wearing packs
children carry these heavy packs all day
that are truly too big for them. An elemenlong, but they certainly can transport their
tary school child should not be wearing a
needs to and from school. The schools must
pack that was designed for a high school
give the kids time to use their lockers.
student.
7) If your child is having back pain that you
think is related to their backpack, make an
4) Parents have a great deal of concern
appointment to see your pediatrician or an
because of the large number of books that
orthopaedist who understands back injuries.
the children cart back and forth to school.
Bring the backpack with you and let the
Backpacks should be just that a method
physician show the proper method of wearto transport books. They shouldnt be survival kits. There is no reason a child should
ing it.

Julie Butler, editor


Bryan Haeffele, designer

Thomas B. Nash, publisher

For advertising information,


call 203-438-6544

Copyright 2013, Hersam Acorn Newspapers, LLC

AUGUST 29, 2013

Box 1019, Ridgefield, Conn 06877


203-438-6544

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Six fun family activities


Tailor-made for autumn
Fall is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors.
Beautiful fall foliage coupled with great weather
compel many people to spend ample time outdoors before the arrival of harsh winter weather
drives them back indoors. The following are a
handful of actvities that are tailor-made for fall.
Raking leaves: While raking leaves might
not jump out at you as a great way to spend a
nice fall afternoon, families often find raking
leaves together soon turns into a fun day in the
yard. Build leaf piles and let the kids jump in,
and then do it again. When raking, encourage kids to collect some colorful leaves and set
them aside. Once the raking is done, you can
then enjoy making some homemade crafts with
the leaves you and your youngsters just collected.
Apple picking: Perhaps no activity is more
synonymous with fall than apple picking.
Many apple orchards encourage customers to
come by and pick their own apples in the fall.
Once your family and you have scoured the
orchard for the perfect apples, relax with a cup
of warm apple cider before returning home
to make some homemade apple sauce and, of
course, a delicious apple pie. Some apple picking places locally include Blue Jay Orchards in
Bethel, Warrups Farm in West Redding, Jones
Family Farms in Shelton and Silvermans Farm,
Easton.
Hayride: Hayrides are another fall tradition, and many farms offer relaxing hayrides
throughout fall. Younger children who may tire
if asked to patrol an apple orchard for apples
might find a hayride is more their speed. Some

farms may even allow customers to walk the


grounds and visit the animals on the premises.
Hiking: Hiking is a fun activity that can be
enjoyed nearly year-round, but it's especially
enjoyable in the fall. That's because few things
in nature are as captivating as a park or forest
when the fall foliage is in full bloom. Early fall
also boasts ideal temperatures for hiking, as
the mercury likely won't rise enough or sink
low enough to produce the kind of extreme
temperatures that can compromise a hiker's
afternoon. Instead, fall temperatures tend to be
mild and comfortable, allowing hikers to fully
enjoy their often beautiful surroundings.
Corn maze: Visiting a corn maze is another
activity that many people instantly associate
with fall. Some farmers transform their cornfields into corn mazes once the temperatures
dip, and such mazes can be fun for adults and
children alike. Though adolescents can often
be trusted to find their way through corn
mazes, younger kids should be accompanied
by an adult. (See full story on page 2.)
Pumpkin picking: Much like apple picking
is best in fall, so is pumpkin picking. Rather
than buying your Halloween pumpkin from
the grocery store, where your options may be
limited, go straight to the source and pick your
future jack-o'-lantern from a nearby pumpkin patch, which will provide a much wider
selection. Let your youngsters pick their own
pumpkins and then spend the rest of the day
carving them at home. And don't forget to save
those seeds, which can be roasted over an open
flame to make a delicious snack.

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Finding a perfect musical match


Maybe your child just wants to learn a few
songs to play for friends and family. Perhaps
you have simply noticed that your preschooler loves to clap his hands and dance to
all types of music. Your family has produced
many musical talents and your child wants
to learn to play like aunt Barbara and cousin
Mark. Or maybe your preteen fancies himself
the next guitar hero.
Whatever the reasons you have for enrolling your child in music lessons, you should
do it. It is never too soon to introduce a
child to the performing arts.
Before enrolling, however, you should
take the time to observe a class or a lesson
if possible, and it is a good idea to meet the
teacher.
Here are some music centers you may
want to check out.

The Creative Music Center


701 Main St.
Monroe
203-261-7301
thecreativemusiccenter.com
Giuliano's Music Center
87 High Ridge Road
Stamford
203-353-9062
gmusiccenter.com

New Canaan Music


72 Park St., New Canaan
203-920-1800
facebook.com/newcanaanmusic

Westport Music Center


1460 Post Road E., Westport
203-259-7615
westportmusic.com

Trumbull Music Studios


964A White Plains Road
Trumbull
203-268-0097
trumbullmusic@sbcglobal.net

Greenwich Music
1200 E. Putnam Ave.
Riverside
203-637-1119
greenwichmusic.com

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

10

August 29, 2013

Performing Arts Center of Connecticut


holding auditions for a capella ensemble
PACC offers new
classes for fall
Stretch & Strength: Monday 8-9 p.m.
with Adam Holms. A toning and core
strength class the goals work on flexibility, conditioning, stamina and building a solid core.
Adult ballet: Tuesdays 7:30-9 p.m. with
Adam Holms. Session 1 is Sept.Nov.
and $300 for the session; Session 2
runs Feb.-April, also $300 for the session.This is a beginner through intermediate class.
Acro/tumbling: Wednesdays 4-5:15
p.m. and 8:15-9:30 p.m. with Maria
Cherniske. This is a beginner/intermediate level class taught by Maria, who
is a gymnast and certified by the U.S.
Olympic Gymnastic Committee.
Heels class: Thursdays 7-8:30 p.m. with
Yvonne Sain. Hip Hop goes the way of
Beyonce and Rhianna; fun hip hop class
for those girls who like to work in heels
and beast their feminine side.
Mind/body/movement: Thursdays 89:15 p.m. with Erika Wuhrer. This class
takes yoga ideas and movements as a
warm up and builds into a composition
class that puts you into your body and
mind so you can feel where you want
to move; a different approach to creating movement.
Pilates: Saturdays 10-11 a.m.; for adults
and dancers.
Contemporary ballet: Mondays with
Nikole LaChioma. The main goal of a
contemporary ballet class is to give
the body a larger and more expressive range of motion while remaining true to classical ballet technique.
Contemporary ballet incorporates
several modern dance concepts, which
fuse together with classical technique
to create a broader and vaster range of
movement. From these ideas, we will
learn how to effectively increase the
bodys spatial limits and options. When
used together properly, classical ballet
technique and modern dance concepts
will provide innumerable options for
movement creation and exploration.

PACC students performing. A new a capella group is being formed now.

Auditions for the Performing Arts Center


of Connecticuts all new, mixed-voice a capella ensemble The AutonoTunes will be
held Saturday, Sept. 7 at noon at the center,
located at 18 Lindeman Drive, Trumbull.
The center is looking for a group of 12 to
16 male and female singers of middle school
age (11-14 years old).
Auditioners should come prepared with a
headshot and brief bio (if you do not have
a professional photo any photo will do) and
six bars of a song of your choice, to be performed a capella; please bring two copies of
your music.
Before the final selections for The

AutonoTunes is final, select singers will be


invited to callback auditions the following
Saturday, Sept. 14, at noon. Once the singers
have been selected, they will rehearse once
a week, either on Friday or Saturday afternoons, depending on members schedules.
There are no fees to be a member of this
group.
The AutonoTunes will have three benefit
performance opportunities throughout the
year, along with a showcase performance in
the spring of 2014.
The AutonoTunes musical director Gregory
Sullivan, a graduate in voice education from
Western Connecticut State College, is team-

ing up with the Performing Arts Center to


donate time, talent and space.
While at Western, Sullivan performed in
numerous operas, including Die Zauberflte
(Sarastro) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Count
Almaviva) by W.A. Mozart and Kurt Weills
Street Scene (Frank Maurrant). He brings
a classical vocal approach to his extensive
choral experience. He has sung in several
select auditioned choirs, directed the WCSU
Summer Music Camp choirs in 2011 and
2012, and continues to teach there each
summer.
Please call PACC 203-372-2787 to sign up
for a 10-minute audition block.

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

11

Extracurricular activities
need not involve sports
Rare is the child today who returns home
immediately after school. Many school-aged
children now have busier schedules than their
parents. Involvement in an extracurricular
activity can help kids make friends while they
learn about responsibility. Some extracurricular activities even allow kids to apply lessons
learned in the classroom in real-world situations.
Many students play a sport as their extracurricular activity. In fact, according to the
National Federation of State High School
Associations, participation in high school
sports increased for the 23rd consecutive year
in 2011-12, when nearly 7.7 million studentathletes participated in high school athletics.
Such heavy participation in sports can
make it easy for parents to encourage their
youngsters to go out for a school team. But
not all youngsters want to play sports, and
even those who do might not be able to make
a team. But lacking the desire or talent to
compete in high school sports does not mean
students cannot participate in extracurricular activities. The following are a handful of
extracurricular activities that can benefit students even if they don't require them to lace
up their cleats.
Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way for schoolaged kids to spend some of their free time.
Student volunteers can often pick when they
want to perform service, and that can make
it easier on kids who want to focus on their
performance in the classroom. For example,
students can focus on their studies on weekdays and volunteer on the weekends. Many
organizations, from animal shelters to hospitals, accept student volunteers, who can learn
about the benefits of helping others and the
importance of making a positive impact in
their communities.
Volunteer organizations do not typically
require a long-term commitment, so students will not have to continue to volunteer
if an organization is not what they hoped it

would be. But parents should discuss kids'


interests with them before choosing a volunteering opportunity. For instance, youngsters
who love the beach might be best suited to
an organization devoted to cleaning up the
beach, while animal lovers would likely love
to volunteer at a local animal shelter. Finding
the right organization will benefit both parties, and parents will be happy to have fostered a sense of responsibility to the community in their youngsters.
Music
Some youngsters might not know the difference between a first down or the first
inning. But many kids who are not inclined
to play sports may be inclined to play a musical instrument. And some kids are inclined to
play both a sport and try their hand at music.
Many school music programs have fallen
victim to governmental budget cuts, leaving
students who want to play an instrument
without a proper introduction to music or an
opportunity to play. Parents must therefore
make that introduction on their own, discussing kids' attitudes toward music with them.
That discussion should include asking kids if
they would like to play a specific instrument
or be part of a choir.
In addition to giving kids a creative outlet,
music may even benefit them in the classroom. Stanford University researchers found
that musical training improves how the brain
processes the spoken word. In addition, in an
analysis of data on more than 25,000 secondary school students, researchers at the United
States Department of Education found that
students who report consistent involvement
in instrumental music during middle school
and high school perform significantly better
in mathematics by grade 12 than those who
do not participate in music programs.

fun as playing an instrument, getting a job


can teach high school students valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout
their lives. Even though high school students
only work part-time, such a work schedule
can still teach them the importance of money
management and the valuable lesson of reaping what you sow. High school students can
save their money to finance their college
educations or purchase their first cars, each
of which can teach them the value of saving money. Working in high school also can
prepare students for college, where many will
need to work in order to support themselves.

Working
Many students live in communities that
allow them to work once they reach high
school age. While working might not be as

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

12

August 29, 2013

Kids and parents survey reveals

First dayoutfit important


While summer break is in full swing, it will soon be time
for the first day of school for millions of families. According
to the Lands End 2013 Back-to-School Kids and Parents
Survey, parents tend to be very or somewhat excited about
the first day (74%), while kids still love their summer break
with nearly 45% reporting that the first day is okay, but they
like summer break. Yet, parents and kids can agree that a
first day outfit is important.
Best day, every day
This fall, millions of bus stops and school halls will be
buzzing with students returning to classes or starting their
very first day. Whether for photos or simply to feel great, we
know that a first day outfit is important for kids, said Syndi
Stark, vice president of merchandising at Lands End Kids.
We also know that parents want that same outfit to look
great from day one and beyond.

First day fashions and photos


According to kids surveyed, shopping for school supplies
and clothing is their favorite part about getting ready for the
first day of school (64%). Topping the list of supplies is a
backpack with 92% of parents reporting it as the number one
item to have for the first day.
With 85% of parents indicating photos as part of their first
day back-to-school plans, looking great on day one is important. More than 95% of parents are willing to spend up to
$100 on a first day outfit alone.
Overwhelmingly, smartphones (52%) and digital cameras
(43%) are the top photo-taking devices, with Facebook being
the number one tool for sharing those images (48%).
Other survey highlights from parents includes:
Butterflies! Most parents (48%) had butterflies on their
first day of school and were nervous.
Routine. Parents are equally excited to return to a routine (39%) when the school year starts as they are about a
new year (39%).
Teachers Make an Impact. Parents remember meeting
new teachers the most (35%) when they reflect back on their
first day of school.

Its Exciting! Forty-nine percent of parents indicated


their child is Excited. Wakes up early with anticipation
when describing their childs feelings about the first day of
school.
Shopping Sources. Most parents get their back-to-school
shopping information from friends (30%) or company websites (26%).
Survey highlights from kids include:
A whopping 67% of kids indicated seeing their friends
again as the favorite part about the first day of school.
Most kids are either excited (39%) or feel pretty normal
(20%) about the first day.
Thirty-eight percent of kids think next years school
year will be fun, while just about 37% indicated it will be
tough or busy.
Teachers Make a Difference. Sixty-two percent of kids
indicated a nice teacher helps them have the best,
first day back to school.
* The 2013 Back to School Survey of parents was
conducted by Lands End via SurveyMonkey from
July 8-12, 2013. The online survey was fielded by
634 participants. The 2013 Back to School Survey
of kids was conducted by Lands End via C+R
Research. The survey was fielded by 502 kids from
the ages of 6-12 years.

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

13

Tips for talking


with your kids about

BULLYING
Do you think bullying is just harmless
teasing? An estimated 160,000 children
miss school every day due to fear of
attack or intimidation by other students,
according to the National Education
Association. And Yale health researchers
have found a connection between suicide
the fourth leading cause of death in
children ages 10 to 14 and bullying
and being bullied.
Experts say that Kids themselves have
the power to put a stop to bullying.
Unfortunately, both victims and bystanders dont always know the best way to
handle bullying situations as they occur.
Most kids feel terrible when they see
friends or classmates get bullied. They
want to help, but they dont what to do,
Alice Cahn, Cartoon Network vice president of social responsibility, said. Having
strategies for these situations can help
prepare children to intervene when the
time comes.
With this in mind, Cartoon Network
launched the award-winning Stop
Bullying: Speak Up in 2010 to educate
kids on what to do when they see friends
getting bullied. In partnership with official advisors, including staff from the U.S.
Departments of Education and Health and
Human Services, and partners including
CNN, The Anti-Defamation League, the
Pacer Foundation, and nationally recognized academic experts, the bullying prevention campaign aims to put a stop to
this common and serious problem.
The pro-social campaign is offering
these tips for parents and kids to help

stop bullying in their schools:


Tell an adult: When someone gets
bullied, tell a parent, teacher or trusted
adult. Talking about it isnt tattling or
snitching. Its helping someone out.
Be friendly: Bullying can make a victim feel alienated and lonely. Saying a few
kind words to the person who has been
bullied makes a huge difference.
Volunteer: Your schools bullying
prevention program needs parents and
students to help encourage everyone to
speak up against bullying.
Say it loud: Ask your school to fly or
display the official Stop Bullying: Speak
Up flag, which indicates that the school is
a place where bullying actions will not be
tolerated.
Learn more: Free online resources
can help you learn how to deal with bullies. Visit StopBullyingSpeakUp.com to
access public service announcements,
two 30-minute documentaries and tips
sheets for parents and teachers that offer
a step-by-step guide for safe and effective
ways to be an active bullying bystander.
The site also provides links to the AntiDefamation League, Boys and Girls Club
of America and other partners providing
expert advice about bullying. All materials
are available in English and Spanish.
Dont stop there, said Cahn. These
resources are meant to spark a conversation.
No child should feel like his or her
school is not a safe place to learn. Parents,
teachers and students can work together
to make a difference.

Weston High School head


boys basketball coach Mike
Hvizdo has returned to lead the
team in the state Class M tournament this week.
A press release issued on
Friday, March 1, by the school
district, Superintendent Colleen

Palmer, Weston High School


Principal Lisa Wolak, Weston
High School Athletic Director
Mark Berkowitz, and Mr.
Hvizdo said they were pleased
to announce they had reached
an agreement and Mr. Hvizdo
would be returning to serve as
head coach.
Mr. Hvizdo, who stepped
down approximately a month

ago after it was discovered he


took part in a short comedy film
that was deemed inappropriate for a leader of kids by
school officials, was reinstated
on Saturday, March 2.
The release states, Through
further discussion, we have
worked through the issues surrounding Mr. Hvizdos resignation, which he has been permit-

ted to rescind, and have clarified the districts expectations


concerning his performance. We
welcome Mr. Hvizdo back to our
coaching staff, and we wish him
and the boys basketball team
every success for the future.
In a letter to the Weston
community (see page 4A), Mr.

The Weston Board of Selectmen voted


unanimously to approve the 2013-14 town,
debt service, and capital budgets, and to recommend a $100,000 decrease in the proposed
school budget.
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, after making a
few slight revisions
to First Selectman
Gayle Weinsteins
original proposal,
the board voted to
approve the following:
Town
operating
budget:
$11,690,441
(a
3.32% increase

from the current

budget).

Town capital bud

get: $733,728 (a

36.03% decrease).

School
capital

budget: $395,000

(a 16% decrease).

Town debt service:



$694,124 (a 2.55%

increase).

School debt service: $5,860,508 (a
4.55% decrease).
The selectmen also voted unanimously
to recommend to the Board of Finance a
$46,193,668 school operating budget. That is
$100,000 less than the school board is request-

Palmer, Weston High School


Principal Lisa Wolak, Weston
High School Athletic Director
Weston High School head Mark Berkowitz, and Mr.
boys basketball coach Mike Hvizdo said they were pleased
Hvizdo has returned to lead the to announce they had reached
team in the state Class M tourna- an agreement and Mr. Hvizdo
ment this week.
would be returning to serve as
A press release issued on head coach.
Friday, March 1, by the school
Mr. Hvizdo, who stepped
district, Superintendent Colleen down approximately a month

ago after it was discovered he


took part in a short comedy film
that was deemed inappropriate for a leader of kids by
school officials, was reinstated
on Saturday, March 2.
The release states, Through
further discussion, we have
worked through the issues surrounding Mr. Hvizdos resignation, which he has been permit-

ted to rescind, and have clarified the districts expectations


concerning his performance. We
welcome Mr. Hvizdo back to our
coaching staff, and we wish him
and the boys basketball team
every success for the future.
In a letter to the Weston
community (see page 4A), Mr.

The Weston Board of Selectmen voted


unanimously to approve the 2013-14 town,
debt service, and capital budgets, and to recommend a $100,000 decrease in the proposed
school budget.
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, after making a
few slight revisions
to First Selectman
Gayle Weinsteins
original proposal,
the board voted to
approve the following:
Town
operating
budget:
$11,690,441
(a
3.32%
increase

from the current

budget).

Town capital bud

get: $733,728 (a

36.03% decrease).

School
capital

budget: $395,000

(a 16% decrease).

Town debt service:

$694,124 (a 2.55%

increase).

School debt service: $5,860,508 (a
4.55% decrease).
The selectmen also voted unanimously
to recommend to the Board of Finance a
$46,193,668 school operating budget. That is
$100,000 less than the school board is request-

learned from the experience.


This is the first time with
a real lockdown situation on
the heels of Newtown, and we
understand the high level of
emotions and fears everyone
had, Dr. Palmer said.

The events on Wednesday,


Feb. 27, unfolded as follows
according to Dr. Palmer and
Chief Troxell.
Around 11 a.m., a handwritten note with several lines
of text containing references

I Do, I Do

A Harlem woman who tries


to bring down mobster Lucky
Luciano, the chilling story of
Harry Thaw, who murdered
architect Sanford White,
and the secret life of Emily
Dickinson. Those are the plots
of just three films a Weston
filmmaker is bringing to life.
Pamala Hall has a lot of
irons in the fire. As the head
of LionHawk productions,
she is working on numerous

The Planning and Zoning


Commission is divided about
an application to run a coffee
shop at the Cobbs Mill Inn.
At the commissions regular
meeting on Monday, March 4,
a sense was that half the commission would favor the application while the other half was
opposed.
Because one member, Joe
Limone, was absent, the commission decided to table an
official vote and continue its
discussion.
Cobbs Mill owner Drew
Friedman applied for a zoning
permit to do interior work on
the former gift shop building
on property at 12 Old Mill
Road, in order to create a coffee shop-style caf.
The shop would be called
J.K. Caf at Cobbs Mill Inn in
honor of the late son of Elayne
Cassara, Mr. Friedmans business associate. It would be
open for breakfast and lunch,
serving such items as coffee,
pastries, soups, sandwiches,
and paninis.
The caf would open
around 7 a.m., seven days a
week, and would have seating for approximately 35 to
40 people. Cooking would be
done in the kitchen at the main
restaurant, while coffee, cold
sandwiches and paninis would
be prepared in the caf. It was
described as both a grab and
go kind of shop and a place
where customers could sit, linger and use wi-fi.
This was P&Zs second discussion on the issue. It previ-

The lockdown and subsequent evacuation at Weston


High School last week didnt
quite make the grade.
Parents and students complained about overlooked
classrooms, communication
problems, and late dismissals.
Superintendent Colleen
Palmer and Weston Police
Chief John Troxell acknowledged things didnt go as
smoothly as they could have
and said valuable lessons were

learned from the experience.


This is the first time with
a real lockdown situation on
the heels of Newtown, and we
understand the high level of
emotions and fears everyone
had, Dr. Palmer said.

The events on Wednesday,


Feb. 27, unfolded as follows
according to Dr. Palmer and
Chief Troxell.
Around 11 a.m., a handwritten note with several lines
of text containing references

The lockdown and subsequent evacuation at Weston


High School last week didnt
quite make the grade.
Parents and students complained about overlooked
classrooms, communication
problems, and late dismissals.
Superintendent
Colleen
Palmer and Weston Police
Chief John Troxell acknowledged things didnt go as
smoothly as they could have
and said valuable lessons were

I Do, I Do

A Harlem woman who tries


to bring down mobster Lucky
Luciano, the chilling story of
Harry Thaw, who murdered
architect Sanford White,
and the secret life of Emily
Dickinson. Those are the plots
of just three films a Weston
filmmaker is bringing to life.
Pamala Hall has a lot of
irons in the fire. As the head
of LionHawk productions,
she is working on numerous

The Planning and Zoning


Commission is divided about
an application to run a coffee
shop at the Cobbs Mill Inn.
At the commissions regular
meeting on Monday, March 4,
a sense was that half the commission would favor the application while the other half was
opposed.
Because one member, Joe
Limone, was absent, the commission decided to table an
official vote and continue its
discussion.
Cobbs Mill owner Drew
Friedman applied for a zoning
permit to do interior work on
the former gift shop building
on property at 12 Old Mill
Road, in order to create a coffee shop-style caf.
The shop would be called
J.K. Caf at Cobbs Mill Inn in
honor of the late son of Elayne
Cassara, Mr. Friedmans business associate. It would be
open for breakfast and lunch,
serving such items as coffee,
pastries, soups, sandwiches,
and paninis.
The caf would open
around 7 a.m., seven days a
week, and would have seating for approximately 35 to
40 people. Cooking would be
done in the kitchen at the main
restaurant, while coffee, cold
sandwiches and paninis would
be prepared in the caf. It was
described as both a grab and
go kind of shop and a place
where customers could sit, linger and use wi-fi.
This was P&Zs second discussion on the issue. It previ

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14

Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

Fashion for the new year


Continued from Page 1
Some fashion people say that olive
is the new neutral, though navy blue,
purple and lots of black are very popular colors. Short dresses and skirts
stay short this coming season. For
little girls, smock-style dresses are
considered antique.
Jeans and skinny pants are here to
stay reports B Chic in Wilton. They
believe that printed and patterned
jeans will be popular.
Fall maxi-dresses look wonderful with flats or boots. Neutral colors seem to be back: taupe, grey
and black. Gold or silver accents
give classic jeans or sweaters a fun,
sparkly look. Expect to see lace,
crystals,fringe, studs on denim jeans.
For the first time in ages, there are
fake fur muffs for girls. Leathery materials look new and different. Dresses
and pencil skirts are still popular.
Puffy vests are almost a necessity
as well as puffy jackets, it seems, and
they come in a choice of very attractive colors.
Boys and girls have turned
scarves into true articles of clothing and fun hats are not just for
costume parties anymore. Real or
fake fur trim on jackets looks and
Above, Sara and Kit are set with transitional fashions for school (from
feels cozy. Jumpsuits have skinsummer into fall). At left, Grayson Handler, 5, is kindergarten-ready in
tight legs. But the biggest news
clothes from Candy Nichols. Bryan Haeffele photos
all around is the look of oversize
sweaters.
purchasing it and getting opinions from mom and
At Cindy Nichols in New
friends right away.
Canaan, boys are opting for less denim and
Kids are expensive: they want to go back to
more microfiber pants and tops. The younger,
school looking great, looking cool. They may have
elementary school kids are sensible this fall.
outgrown most of last years wardrobe, but they
They want to be comfortable, with leggings,
never outgrow the urge to change into something
tights and easy-fit dresses. For this age, theres not
as much pink as there used to be more reds and
new, something fun.
blues.
Designers and buyers have gone all out to give
Its predicted that lots more shopping is going
boys and girls (and their parents) an exciting new
to be online this fall, but local shops will always
season, with a closetful of answers to: What should
have the advantage of kids trying on clothing before I wear today, mom?

Fairfield Prep invites you


to Open House

Open House
Sunday, October 6, 24 p.m.

Entrance Exams
Saturday, October 19, 8:30 a.m.
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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

August 29, 2013

15

Back-to-school tips
Get your home organized for a successful year
When your carefree summer comes to an end, getting the
family ready to go back to school can seem a little daunting.
Establishing a routine will help students kick off the new
school year and reduce stress for the whole family.
Going back to school is a pivotal time for children and
families across the country, Wendy Froehlich, vice president
of marketing for Homes.com, said. Get your home and life
organized now to ensure the transition is smooth and the
school year is the best yet.
With that in mind, Homes.com is offering tips to help
beat the back to school blues and ensure an A+ performance
year-round.
Eliminate clutter: Designate a specific location to store
school papers and materials. This will keep homework and
projects from getting lost or in the way. Label individual

baskets for each child.


Create a family calendar: A family calendar displayed
in a central location will keep everyone organized and in
the know. Include important project reminders, after school
activities and test dates. Get the kids involved by having
them write in their own activities. Review the calendar
together to keep everyone on track.
Make lunch a breeze: Pre-pack food for the week and
store it in easy-to-see containers, so little helpers can lend a
hand. Hang an over-the-door shoe organizer in the pantry
and fill it with lunch supplies like sandwich bags, napkins
and snacks that children can access when packing their
lunches.
Create perfect study spaces: Creating a dedicated study
space is an ideal way to help a student focus and stay on top

of their schoolwork. And several studies show that by learning childrens study habits and tailoring spaces to reflect
how each child best learns, you can help kids achieve their
maximum potential. For example, some students need to
work in a central location so they can get quick help, while
others might need a more private, quiet space.
Eye-catching inspiration: Hanging a bulletin board in
the study area creates a place for important reminders at eye
level. Cover bulletin boards in bright fabric to bring color
to the space and spark brilliance and imagination. Or paint
an area above the desk with chalkboard paint so children
can write with chalk on the wall to stay on top of projects or
work through math problems.
A little prep can go a long way in ensuring your familys
transition back to school is well organized and stress-free.

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Fall Preview Hersam Acorn Newspapers

16

August 29, 2013

starting