TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Hello from the LexFUN! Executive Board
- Guest Column: Red Flags for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Renee C. Folsom, Ph.D. Clinical Neuropsychologist
- Special LexFUN! Events
- Ongoing LexFUN! Programs and Events
- Consignment Sale
- Community Service
- Kindergarten Connection
- With Many Thanks to…
- Events in the Community
Our 2016 Annual Guide for Your Families is posted on the “Members Only” section of our LexFUN! website at www.lexfun.org. The password for the “Members Only” section is “fiveandunder“.
Hello & Happy Spring everyone!
It looks like we are finally in the clear! Although I would have loved a few more snow days, it has been so wonderful enjoying the mild sunny days we have had outside with my two sweet boys, ages 6 years old and 19 months. As the days get longer, and the weather gets warmer, I grow more and more excited for the spring and summer days ahead. Like many of you, my husband and I moved to Lexington for its incredible schools, and wonderful community. It is a privilege to be a part of our LexFUN! community for all that it has given to me and my family over the years.
April brings many LexFUN! events for you and your family to enjoy – something for everyone!
I hope many of you will join us at the LexFUN! Annual Date Night on Saturday, April 9th! We’ve changed it up this year and are having a pub crawl in our very own Lexington Center. We start at Yangtze River at 7pm, head over to Via Lago at 8:30pm, and plan to spend from 9:30pm on at Vine Brook Tavern. What I love about this event is if you can’t get there at 7pm, you can just come when you can to meet up with old friends, make some new friends, and have some cocktails! Can’t get a babysitter or your spouse doesn’t want to come? Come by yourself or with a friend!
My husband is a history buff, so the Patriot’s Day parade is a favorite in our home. What better place to be than in Lexington on Patriot’s Day! Bring your kids and help decorate the LexFUN! float that will be in the parade (stay tuned for details on when and where we will build the float this year). The children love to help build the float and are so proud when they see it in the parade on Patriot’s Day!
Don’t forget our 2nd annual Mom’s night out at Pinot’s Palette on Friday, April 29th at 7pm. This was a great night out last year, and we are looking forward to another memorable evening!
I love the casual environment of our Playground Meetups, and we are looking forward to adding more to our calendar. LexFUN! is kicking off Spring Playground Meetups on Saturday, April 30th at Lincoln Park at 10am. Let’s get some fresh air and energy out right before naptime!
Our hard-working Consignment Sale Team is counting down the days to our biggest event of the year! If you haven’t started clearing out your closets, now is the time to start. Check out our user-friendly online tagging system which is already open. Last year was my first time volunteering at the event, and I was astounded by the turn-out. Sign up for a volunteer shift. I promise you will have fun with our gang!
Lastly, LexFUN! is always looking to add members to our board. It is a great way to become more involved in this wonderful organization that does so much for our community and our families. You’ll be amazed as to how quickly you’ll meet new friends who just happen to live around the corner from you! It was so nice for my son to start Kindergarten already knowing so many friendly faces at school thanks to LexFUN! If you’d like to learn more about being a board member please please email Leigh-Ann Durant, outgoing Co-President at Ladurant02421@gmail.com.
Hope to see many of you at these great events in April!
On behalf of the LexFUN! Executive Board,
Christine Manavian, VP Social
When people learn that I am a Pediatric Neuropsychologist, the first question is usually, “What is that?” I share with them that Pediatric Neuropsychology is a professional specialty that is concerned with learning and behavior in relationship to a child’s brain, and that I usually work with children with various neurodevelopmental problems. The next question is often, “What can you say about autism?”
With the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) coming up with estimates every few years indicating a sharp increase in the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), many parents are naturally concerned about their young children manifesting symptoms of this disorder. Current estimates (2014) from the CDC indicate that 1 in every 68 children in the United States have ASD. Various research groups all over the world are currently looking for genetic, biochemical, environmental, and other possible causes for this disorder; there is still no cure but research shows that early intervention is key to better outcomes.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder that reflects differences in the way children develop from very early on (from infancy to toddlerhood) and that usually continue to affect development into adulthood. It is manifested in problems with social communication and interaction, and in the presence of repetitive, restricted behaviors that significantly impact a child’s functioning on a day-to-day basis. The primary treatments are educational, compensatory (i.e., finding ways of remediating or going around identified weaknesses), as well as behavioral (e.g., helping individuals and their families to minimize behaviors that interfere with daily living, such as tantrums).
Autism Speaks’ Ad Council published these “red flags” that may indicate risk for an autism spectrum disorder:
- No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
- No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
- No babbling by 12 months
- No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
- No words by 16 months
- No meaningful, two-word phrases (including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
- Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age
Consult with your pediatrician when you observe any of these “red flags” in your child. Your pediatrician will probably perform screening for ASD using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT). Based on this, your pediatrician may recommend a full diagnostic assessment. Experts at Child Development Network (CDN) can see patients as young as 12-months old for a full assessment. Additionally, CDN’s Center for Autism Research Education Services or CDN CARES offers social skills groups, executive function skills training, and transition planning for adolescents and young adults.
About the Author: Dr. Folsom heads the CDN CARES Program. She obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Fuller School of Psychology in Pasadena, California. She completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at UCLA Semel Institute/The Help Group. Immediately before joining CDN, Dr. Folsom held an appointment on Johns Hopkins’ Medical Staff and worked at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders.
Date: Thursday, April 14th
Location: Cary Library, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue
This presentation/Q&A session, hosted by award-winning Salem State Physical Education Professor and long-time Lexington Summer Camp Director Ann Marie Gallo, will help parents and caregivers to encourage their young children to trade in screen time for physical activity. Ann Marie will talk about concepts of sports readiness, modeling active habits, creative family games and exercise, and practical, easy-to-use strategies to inspire young children to get moving. Audience questions are welcomed.
Dr. Ann Marie Gallo is a Professor and the Undergraduate and Graduate Physical Education Teacher Education Program Coordinator at Salem State University. She is also the Founder and Director of Summer’s Edge Day Camp and Tennis School, based in Lexington, and now celebrating its 25th season. During the school year, Ann Marie works with several Massachusetts public schools on physical education curriculum instruction and assessment. She is most interested in sharing how children’s confidence and self esteem can be supported and enhanced through the promotion of physical activities.
Date: Saturday, April 30th
Location: Lincoln Park
Come out to Lincoln Playground and enjoy the beautiful spring weather with your little ones! We’ll have coffee and other refreshments for everyone to enjoy. Hope to see you! No RSVP necessary.
Date: Saturday, April 16th
Location: 31 Baskin Road, by the High School.
No RSVP necessary, just show up
The 2016 Patriots Day Parade is upon us – And THIS is OUR YEAR!!
When LexFUN! first entered the Parade Float Competition in 2013, we won Third Prize. In 2014, we received a solid second prize.
This year, we are going for FIRST!
We are pulling out all the stops and have a dynamic plan in place to achieve our goal. This years float will be the one to remember and will make for stunning family photographs to cherish for years to come!!
Please join us to create this masterpiece. The decorations are kid-friendly. No prior experience necessary, just bring your creativity!
Date: Monday, April 18th
Location: Mass. Ave (exact location will be emailed to you)
Calling all Patriots!! Come ride on our float on Patriots’ Day. Parents will need to accompany their children during the parade. To reserve a spot on the float email Leigh-Ann at Ladurant02421@gmail. Space is limited so please sign up ASAP. First come, first served.
Join us on Friday April 29th for a night out at Pinot’s Pallete in Lexington Center. We will have wine and light snacks and hope to see you there!
This is a first come-first serve event with limited spaces. To sign up, go to the website https://www.pinotspalette.com/lexingtoncenter/class/93613. Discount code is “lex party” at check out. That gives you $21 per person – 40% off.
Pinot’s Palette is the upscale “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” destination in Greater Boston Area where anyone can be a Picasso. No art experience required! In two hours you can create any number of festive, whimsical and pretty paintings.
Date: Saturday, April 9th
Our pub crawl days don’t need to be over! LexFUN! is partnering with local restaurants to host a Lexington Pub Crawl for you, your spouse/partner and/or friends!
Stroll downtown and join fellow parents for cocktails, tasty appetizers and great company at favorite local spots. We all deserve a fun night out on the town!
8:30-9:30 – Continue the evening at Via Lago where a full bar menu will be available
9:30- close – Explore the wine, craft micro-brew and cocktail selection at Vine Brook Tavern
Be sure to RSVP in advance through BigTent to receive your complimentary drink ticket for Yangtze (1 per attendee). Only those on the BigTent list will receive their drink ticket upon arrival at Yangtze!
The Drop-In Center is a place where children ages 0-5 and their parents/caregivers can play, socialize, and make new friends. The Center is open every Friday (except on Lexington Public School vacations/holidays), during the year (September through April). Check the LexFUN! calendar for many special events throughout the year.
There is so much to share – we gave it its own page!!!
Come meet other LexFUN! families and enjoy our wonderful local seniors at this feel-good event. Together we will enjoy a craft activity, read a story, engage in rich conversations, and have a tasty snack.
It is a critical time for the Lexington Public School district. Buildings are overcrowded and teachers face challenges in delivering curriculum due to space constraints. In May, our community will be asked to vote to approve a Debt Exclusion to finance the renovation and expansion of both our middle schools and provide modest space increases at three elementary schools. Your support of the Yes for Lexington campaign is essential so these school building projects can move forward. The Estabrook School PTA has endorsed the Yes for Lexington campaign and we hope you will as well.
How will these projects improve Diamond and Clarke?
Diamond Middle School
- Increase overall capacity at Diamond from 9 to 11 student teams
- Additional 3 science labs
- Additional engineering and art classrooms
- Additional music/drama classroom
- Replace end-of-life modular space with brick and mortar construction
- New and appropriately sized cafeteria
- Appropriately sized fitness center
- Creation of a teacher workroom that will allow classroom sharing
Clarke Middle School
- Increase overall capacity at Clarke from 9 to 10.5 student teams
- Additional 2 science labs
- Additional Special Education classrooms
- Additional engineering and art classrooms
- Additional and enlarged drama and music classrooms
- Additional English Language Learner and World Language classrooms
In 2015, Town Meeting approved the purchase and installation of two modular classrooms each at Bridge, Bowman and Fiske elementary schools (for a total of 6) with an anticipated completion date of December 2016. Funds from the Debt Exclusion will also be used to finance these modular classrooms. These schools are over capacity, and apart from some small scale redistricting to utilize space at Estabrook and Hastings, there are no meaningful sources of relief planned until a new Hastings opens in 2019.
We need the help of all parents to pass this Debt Exclusion. Please visit the campaign website – www.yes4lex.org where you can:
- Endorse the campaign
- Make a donation
- Volunteer to help with a phone bank, write letters, hold signs and much more.
LexFUN! strongly encourage you to support Yes for Lexington – for our town, our schools and our future.
If you have an incoming Kindergartener for 2016, be sure to sign up for Kindergarten Connection and don’t miss the Parent Panel Discussion on May 19th. Whether you attended the Town-Wide Kindergarten Orientation in March or not, there is another opportunity to learn all about Kindergarten. Read on for Kindergarten Connection details and an event you won’t want to miss – mark your calendar and double check our helpful to do list below!
Date: Thursday, May 19th
Location: Cary Library, Large Lecture Room, 1874 Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington
LexFUN! presents an evening of discussion and Q&A with parents of current Lexington Kindergarteners. Parents from all six elementary schools will be represented on the panel. Get answers to all your questions and honest advice directly from other parents:
• Preparing your child and yourself for Kindergarten
• Tips on school supplies, lunches, daily routines, practical dos and don’ts
• Bussing, walking or driving to school
• Options for after-school care
• Ask questions specific to your school at the end of the program
Submit your questions to our panel ahead of time! Send e-mail to email@example.com.
• If you have not yet received your Kindergarten registration packet, please call your elementary school directly
• Fill out your registration forms and bring them PRIOR to your Kindergarten Screening appointment
• Schedule your child’s Kindergarten screening at http://cloud.ptcscheduler.com/LPSkindergarten/ Screening dates:
Bowman: April 29 & May 2
Bridge: May 4 & May 6
Estabrook: May 2 & May 3
Fiske: May 3 & May 4
Harrington: April 28 & April 29
Hastings: April 27 & April 28
• Visit http://www.lexfun.org/kindergarten to register for Kindergarten Connection and meet new friends this summer!
• Save the date! Attend LexFUN!’s parent panel discussion, Getting Ready for Kindergarten: What every parent wants to know! – see details above!
• Kindergarten Visiting Day is Thursday, June 9th for all 6 elementary schools
Thank you to …
- Danna Steinberg for heading up another very successful and fun Barn Babies event!
- Tricia Perona for helping us to help ourselves through the Wingate Seminar: Organize, Simplify and Take Control of Your Finances.
- Emma Harding for helping us feel a bit pampered during Spa Night!
- Ammie Jensen for being out there and representing our Kindergarten Connection at the Townwide Kindergarten Orientation.
- Katie Blauer for helping us with our signs and flyers for our Consignment Sale
- Our Consignment Sale Committee volunteers who have already stepped in and stepped up to get the preparation going on our biggest event of the year.
- And lastly to our WinterFun! team: Nancy Carson, Jennifer Solomon, and Neha Robinson, who helped make the cold long days of winter, a little more colorful!
~ Leigh Ann & Joyce
Celebrate Patriot’s Day and benefit LexFUN! at the Annual Pancake Breakfast at Church of Our Redeemer. For the second year, Church of Our Redeemer is donating all proceeds from the breakfast to the LexFUN! pre-school scholarship fund, consistent with their mission of serving children in the community. Each year, Church of Our Redeemer serves nearly 500 visitors pancakes after the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington on the Green next door to Church. For more information, and to learn more about the Church and their mission, visit http://www.our-redeemer.net.
Bike Art Contest!
If you have a bicycle, or bicycle parts, you might want to think about getting creative for Lexington’s Bike Art Contest, co-sponsored by the Council for the Arts and the Friends of Lexington Bikeways. The contest is part of ArtsOffroad, a festival with visual and performing arts in Lexington Center on May 14th that happens to come at the beginning of Bus-Walk-Bus week.
Participants can enter as individuals or groups. Awards will be given by age group. Bikes will be displayed, and prizes awarded at the ArtsOffroad event. For anyone who is unfamiliar with Bike Art, just do a web search to see what some amazing possibilities are! Complex and simple creations are both welcome.
If you don’t want to enter the contest, but do want to be part of the fun, stay tuned for more information on bike decorating craft tables at the Revolutionary Revelries’ Mayday event (may 1st) at Emery Park, and at ArtsOffroad.
For more information:
- ArtsOffroad & Bike Contest – http://blog.artslexington.org/events/arts-offroad/
- Bike-Walk-Bus Week – http://www.lexingtonma.gov/transportation-services/pages/bike-walk-n-bus-week
- Revolutionary Revelries – http://tourlexington.us/RevolutionaryRevelryCalendar.html
- Lexington Council for the Arts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lexington Symphony Community Music Festival & Movie Night Concert
On Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Cary Hall in Lexington Center, the Lexington Symphony and Conductor Jonathan McPhee host an afternoon of family activities and wonderful performances, followed by an evening concert of great music from the “big screen.”
Don’t miss this free family-friendly event which includes: an instrument “petting zoo,” Lexington Symphony quartet performance of Peter and the Wolf, a cappella singers, Indian music and dance, traditional Chinese music, Lexington High School Jazz and choral ensembles – and even a chance to ‘Be a Conductor!
Learn more at http://lexingtonsymphony.org/
Lexington Historical Society
Saturday, April 2, 10am, Hancock-Clarke House opens for the season: Built in 1737, this house was the parsonage for the town of Lexington during the 18th century. Visit the home of Reverend Jonas Clarke where patriot guests John Hancock and Samuel Adams were awakened by Paul Revere and his famous warning in the early hours of April 19, 1775. Highlights: First Shot: The Day the Revolution Began orientation film, Treasures of the Revolution exhibit, Colonial herb garden. Last tour of the house begins at 4:00 pm. 2016 hours: April 2nd- Memorial Day: Saturdays and Sundays; 10:00 am- 4:00 pm (tours depart on the top of the hour); Memorial Day- October 30th: Monday- Sunday; 10:00 am- 4:00 pm (tours depart on the top of the hour). For Group Reservations please contact the Manager of Education and Interpretation at 781-862-0295 or at email@example.com.
Saturday, April 2, 12pm, Munroe Tavern opens for the season: Built in 1735, this important tavern was taken over and used by the British Redcoat troops on their retreat back to Boston in the afternoon of April 19, 1775. Learn about the British perspective of the day’s events and see where President Washington dined when he visited Lexington and this Tavern in 1789. Highlights: Relics of the Redcoats exhibit, Garden of Colonial Flowers, Museum Shop featuring modern British import items. Last entry into the tavern is at 4:00 pm. 2016 hours: April 2nd- Memorial Day: Saturdays and Sundays; 12:00 pm- 4:00 pm (guided and self-guided tours available); Memorial Day- October 30th: Monday- Sunday; 12:00 pm- 4:00 pm (guided and self-guided tours available). For Group Reservations please contact the Manager of Education and Interpretation at 781-862-0295 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, April 5, 7pm at the Lexington Depot, Annual Meeting: Join us for a social hour and recognition of some of our dedicated volunteers. Plans for the Society’s new Archives Center at Munroe Tavern will be unveiled. Dick Kollen, Society historian, will speak about his brand-new biography of the Reverend Jonas Clarke, The Patriot Parson of Lexington, Massachusetts. The book will be available for purchase and signing. Free and open to the public!
Sunday April 17, 8pm, In Their Own Words: A dramatic retelling of the events of April 19, 1775. This event will take place at Pilgrim Church (55 Coolidge Avenue, Lexington) at 8:00pm. Tickets available at www.lexingtonhistory.org.
Sunday April 17, 11:30 pm, Paul Revere’s Ride: A reenactment of the arrival of Paul Revere at the Hancock-Clarke House in Lexington after his famous ride. Admission is free.
Monday April 18, all day, Patriot’s Day activities: House tours, First Shot! film screenings, and various other activities throughout the day at all three historic sites. Visit www.lexingtonhistory.org for full 2016 schedule.