Kids’ Almanac (June 19-26)

Walk against postpartum depression in Cold Spring

Climb out of the Darkness: These five words seek to raise awareness and offer hope to women and their families who are affected by maternal mood disorders such as postpartum depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychosis and pregnancy depression. As more attention is given to some of this invisible pain experienced by so many pregnant and postpartum mothers, resources are shared, treatments are pursued and feelings of isolation and self-destruction are replaced by healthy, loving feelings toward self and child.

Climb out of the Darkness is also a call to action. On Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, women and supporters across the US and in six countries are climbing out of the darkness in a variety of ways to shine a light on this important issue, whether it’s in the form of a group hike, a family stroll, a private walk in the woods or even a stationary “couch climber.” Interested participants are invited to fundraise for Postpartum Progress, a national nonprofit that raises awareness for pregnant and new Moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I learned about this weekend’s Team Hudson Valley walk through the blog of Rebecca Wong, psychotherapist and personal coach, where she posted local team leader Mariah Warren’s moving story about her own experience:

The walk takes place this Saturday, June 21 at 10 a.m. at the Cornish Estate, located on Route 9D in Cold Spring. The event is free, although fundraising is encouraged, but participants over 16 years must register. For more information about the Team Hudson Valley walk, send an e-mail to To learn more about Climb out of the Darkness, visit



Hudson Valley Pizza Fest at Mid-Hudson Civic Center

After happily pizza-ing my way through another softball and baseball season, especially with Rino’s Grandma’s pie, I’m looking for fresh excuses to eat more of that delectable combination of sauce, cheese and dough. On Sunday, June 22 from 2 to 6 p.m., head over to the Mid-Hudson Civic Center for the Hudson Valley Pizza Fest. Admission includes samples from area pizzerias, live music, games and raffles, as well as a pizza contest.

Tickets cost $25 per person, which includes two samples from each pizza place; VIP tickets cost $45 and include three samples per place, plus other perks; kids 12 and under get in free. Military, police, firefighters, EMTs and New York State schoolteachers receive a $3 discount with valid ID (not applicable with other offers), and the event’s website has coupons as well.

The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. For tickets or more information, call (845) 590-1915 or visit


Botanical art class with Wendy Hollender at Mohonk Preserve

Regular readers of Kids’ Almanac know of my fondness for Accord botanical artist and author Wendy Hollender and her amazing work, so beautiful and precise. You can take an outdoor class with her at the Mohonk Preserve this Sunday, June 22 from 1 to 4 p.m., open to ages 12 years and up. Space is limited, and beginners are welcome. The cost is $25 for Mohonk Preserve members, $35 for non-members.

For reservations and the meeting location, call (845) 255-0919 or visit To learn more about the artist, visit


“Cooking with Fresh Berries” class for kids at Terrapin in Rhinebeck

I’ll be honest – they had me at the title: Kids’ Taste & Talk at the Terrapin. But it gets even better. Kids aged 8 to 12 years spend some time with Chef Josh in the dining room, answering questions such as: “What’s good food?” “Where do we get it?” “Why should we eat it?”

The kids must be accompanied by an adult, who can hang out in the Red Bistro area during the program. The program is completely free, and no reservations are needed. Wonderful, right? The next program takes place this Sunday, June 22 at 1 p.m.: “Cooking with Fresh Berries.”

Terrapin is located at 6426 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck. For more information, call (845) 876-3330 or visit


Guided butterfly walk at Cary Institute in Millbrook

It’s the time of year when I like to order a butterfly kit for the kids to hatch and release. In the meantime, on Sunday, June 22 at 10 a.m., the Cary Institute offers “Butterflies and Skippers: Tracking Nature’s Clock,” a guided walk through the Institute’s fields and trails to learn about their habitats and phenology. I should probably attend this one so I can learn what a skipper is.

Admission to the event is free, but registration is required. The Cary Institute is located at 2917 Sharon Turnpike in Millbrook. For reservations or more information, call (845) 677-5343 or visit


Fun volunteer opportunities for youth

Volunteering is not just a chance to do some good for the community; it’s a scheduled reason to get out there, or just outside, to support a cause you believe in, and to make a few like-minded friends who might help stretch your regular social circle. Students could even count the volunteer hours toward an internship or community service. Here are three family-friendly volunteer opportunities taking place this week:


The Mohonk Preserve Family and Youth Volunteer Recruitment Event takes place on Saturday, June 21 at the Mohonk Preserve Visitors’ Center from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Did you know that your volunteer ID grants you access to the Preserve during your volunteer activities, as well as family recreational activities? The recruitment event includes demonstrations, games, a guided hike and raffles, and is free and open to the public of all ages.

The Mohonk Preserve Visitors’ Center is located at 3197 Route 44/55 in Gardiner. For more information, call (845) 255-0919, extension 1269, or visit


The ninth annual Midtown Make a Difference Day takes place on Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Franklin Street in Kingston, adjacent to the Kingston Library. This year’s theme is, “Ready, Set, Go! Making a Difference Starts Today!” Activities include education and career exploration, dance and fitness workshops, performances by the Kingston Boys and Girls Club’s Glee Club and Drum Line and more. Attendees interested in working on a service project can paint a fence, build picnic tables for use in local parks and plant seedlings in the Hodge Center Children’s Garden.

The event is open to all ages, and all activities and refreshments are free. For more information, call (845) 331-1110 or e-mail


On Wednesday, June 25 from 3 to 4 p.m., the Adriance Library hosts an orientation for teen summer volunteers between 13 and 18 years old. Could volunteering at the library mean that you get first dibs on the new books that come in, or that you know which book topped the formal complaints for removal from US libraries?*

The volunteer orientation event is free, no registration or reservations are necessary to attend and light refreshments will be served. The Adriance Library is located at 93 Market Street in Poughkeepsie. For more information, call (845) 485-3445 or visit

(*Answer: Captain Underpants.

Kids’ Almanac Writes

Kids’ Almanac thanks Stefan Bolz for supplying writing prompts during the month of June. This week, Stefan published his third book. It’s called The Fourth Sage. It’s about a young girl who fights against a corporation that has taken away everyone’s freedom.

Here is his prompt for the week. Remember to post your piece on the Almanac Weekly Facebook page:

Prompt: “Close your eyes. Imagine you go into an elevator. You push the button for B-10 – that’s the lowest level deep underground. You watch the floor numbers change: B-1, B-2…B-8, B-9, B-10. The door opens. What do you see?”

Start writing. And have fun!

Erica Chase-Salerno is eating strawberries. She lives in New Paltz with her husband Mike and their two children: the inspirations behind She can be reached at



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