Kids’ Almanac (Feb. 7-14)

My belief is, you know, certain things have to be explained that’s never been explained.
– Dick Gregory

Dick Gregory headlines Black History Month events at DCCC and Marist

Clear your calendars and round up your teens this Thursday, February 7: African American humorist and civil rights activist Dick Gregory performs right here in the Hudson Valley! What an incredible opportunity to hear this influential speaker, who is also counted among Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. “The World According to Dick Gregory: An Afternoon of Humor and Humanity” will be presented twice on February 7: first, at 12:30 p.m. at the James and Betty Hall Theatre at Dutchess County Community College, and then again at 7 p.m. at the Hancock Center at Marist College.

Here are a few more highlights from Dutchess County Community College’s celebration of Black History Month. On Saturday, February 9, bring the kids to hear professional storyteller Evelyn Clarke. The whole family will enjoy her fun and engaging African and Caribbean folktales. Clarke’s performance takes place at 11 a.m. at the James and Betty Hall Theatre.

On Sunday, February 10, arrive early to get a seat for the annual Gospel Concert, which takes place from 3 to 5:30 p.m. in the James and Betty Hall Theatre. The concert includes soloists, praise dancers and youth and adult choirs from area churches, followed by refreshments in the Ritz Lounge. For more information about the Gospel Concert, call (845) 431-8049.

Monday, February 11 marks the opening of a special art gallery exhibit by Sadee Brathwaite: “Cosmic Daughters and Sacred Grandmothers.” Brathwaite’s works “feature figures designed to connect to the universal female, while some paintings focus on elder women that are mentors and educators.” An artist’s reception will take place on Wednesday, February 13 at 5 p.m. in the gallery. To learn more about the artist, visit

All of these shows are free and open to the public, and there are even more Black History Month events to check out on the Dutchess calendar. Dutchess County Community College is located at 53 Pendell Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information about the Dutchess show, call (845) 431-8017 or (845) 431-8074 or visit Marist College is located at 3399 North Road in Poughkeepsie. For more information about the Marist show, call (845) 575-3204 or visit


New scouting group for both boys & girls launching in Kingston

Both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts can trace their organizational roots back to Englishman Robert Baden-Powell, who pioneered the scouting movement back in 1907. Baden-Powell believed, “For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the forest is at once a laboratory, a club and a temple.”

In 2006, the Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA) was formed to offer a coed, inclusive, traditional scouting experience to children and youth; and now a new group of the BPSA is forming right here in the Hudson Valley! On Friday, February 8 at 7 p.m., husband-and-wife duo Andy Bicking and Jenny Lee Fowler invite you to an informational meeting about the 91st Sojourners Scouts at the Center for Creative Education. Bicking explained, “We’re launching a program to develop character, improve resourcefulness, learn responsibility and skills in public service through participation in the traditional game of scouting. This is an opportunity for kids and adults and boys and girls to do their best and learn from each other while having fun in the outdoors.”

I love the name of this group: “91” represents the Hudson River mile mark of the group’s base, Kingston; “Sojourners” honors Sojourner Truth, the African American abolitionist and women’s rights activist who was born in Ulster County, overcame many challenges in her life and worked for freedom and equality. 91st Sojourners activities include hiking, knot-tying and, for the older youth and adults, woodland camping overnights. Membership is open to children from 5 years of age through adult for a fee of $20 per year. The meeting is an opportunity to meet the volunteer leaders and to learn more about this terrific program.

The Center for Creative Education is located at 15 Railroad Avenue in Kingston. For more information, e-mail Andy Bicking at or visit the group’s Facebook page. To learn more about the Baden-Powell Service Association, visit


Spring Valley Puppet Theater visits Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck

Right now, I feel that if a magical elf gave me three wishes, one of them might be for someone to do my household chores. Since that doesn’t make for very good theater, I’m happy to say that the Spring Valley Puppet Theater provides a much more interesting storyline. On Saturday, February 9 at 11 a.m., the Spring Valley Puppet Theater presents two puppet shows at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck: Three Wishes and Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The humor and plot twists make for great entertainment for children aged 5 years and up.

And for those of you who have not made it to the Center yet, I encourage you to check out anything that they put on. The seating makes it so easy for everyone to see and hear what’s going on, and they do excellent programming. Tickets for this performance cost $7 for children, $9 for adults and seniors.

The Center is located at 661 Route 308 in Rhinebeck. For tickets or more information, call (845) 876-3080 or visit To learn more about the performers, visit


Celebrate Chinese New Year at Elting Library in New Paltz

This weekend marks the Chinese New Year, the beginning of the Year of the Snake. Strengths of people born in the Year of the Snake are said to include great wisdom and financial security. You can begin to integrate these qualities immediately by making the wise and financially prudent decision to attend the free Chinese New Year celebration at Elting Library.

On Chinese New Year’s Eve, Saturday, February 9, all are invited to join the Library and Mid-Hudson Chinese Language Center’s festivities with samples of traditional foods, children’s games and activities, the Lion Dance, a Shaolin Kung Fu demonstration and Chinese folk dancing. Prizes will be awarded for the best Chinese costumes. The Chinese New Year event takes place from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

The Elting Memorial Library is located at 93 Main Street in New Paltz. For more information, call (845) 255-5030 or visit To learn more about the Mid-Hudson Chinese Language Center, visit




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