Kids’ Almanac (November 15-22)

Zev Vel and Meredith Basler of The Visual Narrative Project by Adam Bigelow.

“Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that she is exactly the person she is supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.”
- Joan Ryan


The Visual Narrative Project

I met local teen filmmaker Zev Vel when his movie, The Symbol of Peace, was screened at the Woodstock Film Festival last month. Now I’m excited to share with you a new venture that he and Meredith Basler, a fellow student at Bard College at Simon’s Rock,  have created: The Visual Narrative Project. They are interested in directing and filming a short film written by you!

I think this is so cool. Here’s how it works: Vel and Basler invite submissions from writers, screenwriters, and storytellers of all ages and from any part of the world. They will select a story, work with industry professionals to film in the next few months, and bring the film to festivals around the world. Submissions must be received by November 20, and the winner will be announced on the Project website by November 30th. Stories may be written on any topic and multiple submissions by the same author are fine.

This could be a great opportunity for any of you doing NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, where participants pledge to write a 50,000 word novel between November 1 and 30.

If you would prefer to back this project either financially or by donating equipment, your support is needed, too. The website even has a spot for people to contribute suggestions and subscribe to updates. For specific entry rules and donor information, visit or on Facebook. To learn more about Zev Vel’s work, visit


A Little Princess

Just like The Secret Garden, that I mentioned last week, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess is a story that connects with both children and adults, where the life of main character Sara Crewe takes a dramatic turn from being a wealthy boarding school student to a poor orphaned servant. Who can forget Shirley Temple in the 1939 film version: “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.” This weekend, the Shadowland Theatre Young Actors Academy brings A Little Princess to the stage. The performances take place on Saturday, November 17 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets for A Little Princess cost $5. The Shadowland Theatre is located at 157 Canal Street in Ellenville. For tickets or more information, call (845) 647-5511 or visit


The Puppet People’s The Firebird

Kingston Library’s Super Saturday events offer some terrific, engaging programming for families. On Saturday, November 17 at 10:30 a.m., the library presents The Firebird, a marionette performance by The Puppet People about Prince Ivan’s encounters with a magical Firebird in the enchanted forest. This show includes positive themes of friendship, teamwork, responsibility, and courage, while introducing young audiences to some great classical music: Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird plays throughout the story. The Firebird is free and open to all ages. Kingston Library is located at 55 Franklin Street in Kingston. For more information, call (845) 331-0507 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit


Family Walk and Scavenger Hunt at Minnewaska

I think guided walks are a fantastic way to introduce families to local nature spots in our area. Whether you’ve been to Minnewaska State Park Preserve countless times or you haven’t made it there yet, this Saturday’s Family Walk and Scavenger Hunt sounds like fun. Participants will play a leaf matching game and do a scavenger hunt along a two-mile walk around Lake Minnewaska. This program takes place on Saturday, November 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is recommended for children ages seven to ten years old accompanied by a parent. The event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required, and there is an $8 parking fee per car. Minnewaska State Park Preserve is located at 5281 Route 44/55 in Kerhonkson. For more information or to register, call (845) 255-0752 or visit




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