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  • The Top 5 Sledding Hills in Staten Island Your Kids will Love

    You might shiver at the thought of a snowstorm, but kids love them! That’s because when it snows, it’s time to dig out the sled and hit the hills! Turn a snow day into a fun day with our picks for optimum sledding in Staten Island. Whether you child is a beginner on the snow or a seasoned snow bunny, there are sledding hills on Staten Island that kids of all sledding experience levels will love. So bundle up and head to one of these sledding hills in the borough. When sledding time is over, grab a cup of hot cocoa at a cafe near you. Can’t get enough of snow fun? Check out our list of nearby snow tubing destinations to keep the winter fun going all season long.  Sledding in Staten Island  1. Mount Loretto Unique Area 20 Kenny Rd., off of Hylan Boulevard 718-482-4900 Mount Loretto is a nature lover’s paradise. Located on the South Shore, the natural area is home to more than 200 acres of forest, grasslands, wetlands and coastal shoreline. It also has lots of open, sprawling land that makes it a favorite locale for sledding in Staten Island after a snowstorm!  2. LaTourette Park and Golf Course 1001 Richmond Hill Rd. 718-351-1889 Centrally located in New Springville, LaTourette is famous for its huge hill that’s perfect for sledding. The park, which is part of the Staten Island Greenbelt, has arguably been the most popular location for sledding on Staten Island for generations. Adults often share stories of sledding at the park with their own kids and grandkids who are just now discovering the park. Other amenities at LaTourette that can be enjoyed year round include baseball fields, hiking trails and more.  3. Conference House Park 298 Satterlee St. 718-227-1403 Located at the southernmost point of New York State, Conference House Park has hills that aren’t too steep, so it’s a great place to introduce toddlers to sledding. Families can also enjoy scenic views of Raritan Bay and even see New Jersey across the water. The park is home to the Conference House, a grand stone manor house built in 1680 and named for the unsuccessful Revolutionary War peace conference that was held there on Sept. 11, 1776.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by The Historic Conference House (@conferencehouse) 4. Clove Lakes Park Forest Avenue, Victory Boulevard bet. Clove Road and Brookside Avenue, Royal Oak Road 718-390-8000 Clove Lakes, located on the North Shore, is Staten Island’s flagship park. It offers family-friendly activities and amenities all year long, such as hiking trails, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields,  paddleboating, playgrounds, ice skating and…great opportunities for sledding! This sprawling park has lots of hilly areas where kids get to sled and have a great time on a snow day. 5. Silver Lake Park Victory Boulevard, Clove Road, Forest Avenue 212-639-9675 The 209-acre Silver Lake Park is another one of Staten Island’s beautiful parks. Some of the hills here aren’t too steep, providing excellent sledding opportunities for kids of all ages and sledding experience. The park also has baseball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, dog-friendly areas and more. Want the best events and winter activities sent directly to you? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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  • maddie brings sweet treats to the local police department Young Staten Islander Raises Money for Charity by Baking Sweet Treats

    Nine-year-old Staten Islander Maddie French recently launched Maddie’s Sweet Treats Shop. She bakes and sells her own homemade baked goods, with proceeds going to a new charity each month. So far, the young entrepreneur has donated to charities including the JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. “I love baking, and I wanted to think of a way to raise money for others,” Maddie says. “I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” Maddie is no novice when it comes to baking. She’s been making her specialty items—including chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, blueberry scones, and raspberry mint iced tea—since a young age (even younger than 9!) Her mom Ilana helps, but it’s really Maddie doing most of the work. Her dad and younger brother are part of the business, too, helping with quality control as official taste testers. How You Can Support Maddie’s Sweet Treats Shop Ilana and Maddie run a Facebook Group called Maddie’s Sweet Treats Shop. Customers can see the charity of the month, browse the menu, and place their orders. Then, the busy baker gets to work in the kitchen to ensure all orders are done in time for pickup.  New menu items are added each month, perfect for those of us with a sweet tooth. In September, Maddie’s featured sweet was a coconut macaroon adorned with a chocolate and caramel drizzle. Everything is organic and made from scratch, according to Maddie.  Customers can also attend monthly pop-up events in different locations that Maddie and her mom promote in advance on Facebook and by word-of-mouth. The Business Behind the Baking  Maddie had the idea for a bake shop last year, but like any successful business owner, she took her time developing a business and marketing plan that would help turn her dream into a reality.  “I said to my mom, ‘I’m starting up a business’,” Maddie explains. “So, I went right to the computer in the basement, and I started working on the marketing—the name, the colors, the menu—and I made a poster with Maddie’s Sweet Treats on it.” Her family was supportive along the way. “This continued for about a year, her just planning and planning,” Ilana says. “I told her a long time ago to never let anyone stop you from living your dream.” Maddie launched her business in July of this year with a grand opening pop-up event outside her house to benefit Sunrise Day Camp. In September and October, she raised money for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation. To date, she’s raised approximately $1,000 for both charities.   In addition to helping her community, Maddie is also learning the business of…business. She’s learning time management, marketing, and how to create a business from scratch, according to Ilana.  “She enjoys baking, and baking is fun for her. But I want to make sure she’s also gaining the experience of running a business,” Ilana explains.  While there are no pop-ups scheduled at the moment, you can check her Facebook Group for updates and order treats online. Ilana says she and her husband are very proud of their daughter and what she’s doing to help others. “I’m in awe of who my daughter is, every single day,” she says. “It’s just unbelievable how proud I am of her.” Read Next | This Is Where You Can Get Amazing Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas

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  • Staten Island baseball team logo The FerryHawks: Staten Island’s New Baseball Team

    Ok Staten Island! You spoke, and your Staten Island baseball team listened. After an extensive community engagement and voting process, the Island’s new Atlantic League professional baseball team will be called the Staten Island FerryHawks! The FerryHawk name was selected from over 2,000 names submitted by fans as part of a contest launched earlier this year by Staten Island Entertainment , the owners of the team. The names were narrowed down to seven finalists for initial fan voting, and then ultimately three. The other two names in the finals were Dragon Slayers and Harbor Heroes. So, what is a FerryHawk? According to officials at SIE, a FerryHawk “is a fun-loving, baseball-playing superhero that combines the power, toughness and persistence of the Staten Island Ferry and the red-tailed and cooper’s hawks that are seen around Staten Island.” FUN FACT: A red-tailed hawk has great vision and can fly up to 120 miles per hour. (Think Rickey Henderson base-stealing speed). Staten Island is a great borough, full of common sense and hard-working New Yorkers who love their community, love to have fun and deserve a world class year-round entertainment venue,” said SIE partner John Catsimatidis. “The symbols of Staten Island, the hawk, the Verrazano Bridge and the ferry, will last in people’s minds forever. Staten Island, get ready for some awesome promotions and entertainment. The FerryHawks team is an endeavor of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and SIE. The team was officially announced in August, after last year’s cancellation of the Staten Island Yankees minor league baseball team. NYCEDC negotiated the deal with SIE, who signed a lease in July of 2021 to take over the closed Richmond County Ballpark stadium and organize and operate an Atlantic League franchise.  The team will be based at the Staten Island Ballpark, previously called the Richmond County Ballpark, in St. George.  Over the summer, baseball legend Dwight Gooden was on hand at the ballpark to help officials celebrate the return of professional baseball to the borough.  Eric Shuffler, SIE president, said the team will be looking to the community once again for input on a new mascot and other ballpark fun. “The fan input has been tremendous and decisive in this process. We are going to provide the community with more chances to help develop the FerryHawk brand,” Shuffler said in a press release. “Stay tuned for more community input around the mascot and ballpark amenities.”  According to SIE, the FerryHawks brand will be the anchor of a larger vision to turn the ballpark into a community-focused, year-round sports and entertainment arena offering baseball, youth and amateur sports, concerts, festivals and community activities.  The FerryHawks will begin playing in April 2022 in the Atlantic League, an official partner of Major League Baseball.  For more information, visit the team’s website at ferryhawls.com or follow them on Instagram.  Read Next | This Is Where You Can Get Amazing Kids’ Birthday Party Ideas

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  • Staten Island Hebrew Public Students Staten Island Hebrew Public: first Hebrew-immersion charter school opens in Staten Island 

    There are few dual-language elementary schools in New York—and even fewer with Hebrew as the foreign language. But beginning in fall 2022, Staten Island Hebrew Public will welcome students to its free public charter school that not only promotes proficiency in Modern Hebrew but teaches students of all backgrounds to be global citizens. What is Staten Island Hebrew Public? Staten Island Hebrew Public (SIHP) is the newest school in the Hebrew Public school network —a national movement of Hebrew language charter schools, with ten active campuses, including several in New York. The network—with more than 3,000 students—was started by philanthropic groups in 2009 to offer Modern Hebrew to diverse students in a public school setting. According to Lissette Roman, the founding Head of School, “We strive to create a culture of belonging through dedicated community-building opportunities daily, high expectations, and social-emotional support. Our commitment to creating an intentionally diverse by design community will allow students to learn about cultures outside of their own and build relationships across lines of difference.” Staten Island Hebrew Public will open in Midland Beach with kindergarten and first grade, and then add one grade per year. The school’s aim, according to Hebrew Public’s Chief External Officer, Valerie Khaytina, “is to provide a great education. Our academic program is rigorous and aims to meet every child’s educational needs.” She adds that Staten Island Hebrew Public “will provide differentiated instruction to connect with each student and teach a foreign language, which not too many schools do in general, and definitely not from kindergarten.” Do you have to be Jewish to attend Staten Island Hebrew Public? Students do not have to be Jewish or speak Hebrew to apply. “We are a public school, which means we are open to students from all backgrounds,” Khaytina says. Most of the students in Hebrew Public’s schools come from diverse backgrounds. During the 2019-20 school year, the enrollment of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy (another school in the Hebrew Public network) was 45% Black and 41% Hispanic or Latino, according to New York State data. At the Sela Public Charter School in Washington, DC, more than 70 percent of the students are Black, and about 16 percent are White, with most identifying as Jewish. “Research points to the fact that the more kids can interact with somebody who is not just like themselves, the more they benefit in life later on—being able to emphasize, accept and respect people who are different from them,” Roman says. Staten Island Hebrew Public’s random lottery on April 6 will decide enrollment for the fall. Acceptance at other Hebrew Public schools has been competitive, but Khaytina—who says applications for Staten Island Hebrew Public opened October 1—is confident that there will be a good chance of getting in, or at least on the waitlist. What is Staten Island Hebrew Public’s educational approach? Students at Staten Island Hebrew Public learn writing, reading, math, Modern Hebrew, science, social studies, physical education, music, and art. The average class size is 25 students. “We support our teachers so they can truly get to know each child and their individual academic needs,” Khaytina says, explaining that kids at different levels may receive different assignments based on an assessment to differentiate their learning. For example, In English Language Arts, students read grade-level texts, but are also introduced to books at their own reading level. (A third-grader reading at a fifth-grade level will be placed with other students at the same level.) The math program offers advanced studies for students who are ready for more challenging concepts. Hebrew instruction is conducted in small groups based on students’ needs, with advanced groups at each grade level. In eighth grade, all students are eligible to participate in a trip to Israel. After graduation, former students can take advantage of a robust alumni program with volunteer and internship opportunities in Israel, career events, and Hebrew lessons. In other words, Hebrew Public makes sure their kids continue learning and growing–even after they have left the school. Sponsored Content by Staten Island Hebrew Public Wanna learn about awesome family activities? Get our newsletters packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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  • People volunteer at food bank Volunteer Opportunities For Kids and Families on Staten Island

    The holiday season is about giving, but not just material gifts. Spread some holiday cheer in Staten Island to those in need by volunteering and donating your time to a worthy cause. There are many ways kids and families can volunteer in Staten Island this year. You can help prepare or serve meals to those experiencing food insecurity, help a senior in need or donate your time to a local animal rescue. Even doing something as simple as making a greeting card from home can bring joy to a homebound senior or someone who may be alone this time of year. Browse our guide to where kids and families can volunteer on Staten Island this holiday season. Most are designed to give kids the opportunity to volunteer, but some organizations do have age requirements. It’s a good idea to check the website or call in advance to find out about specific volunteering instructions. However you choose to volunteer in Staten Island this holiday season, it’s sure to make a positive impact on the lives of others.  RELATED: 16 Donation & Volunteer Opportunities In Staten Island For The Holidays 1. New York Cares 65 Broadway, Manhattan, with volunteer opportunities on Staten Island 212-228-5000 Facebook • Instagram For the last 30 years, New York Cares has organized the city’s largest winter coat drive, gathering more than 1.8 million winter coats. Last year, the organization collected and distributed 109,000 winter coats to families who would have otherwise faced a long, cold winter without one. For a map of drop-off locations where you can donate a warm coat to someone in need, visit newyorkcares.org. The organization also offers many volunteer opportunities, with more than 1,600 listed on their website per month, including opportunities for teens and kids older than 6. 2. South Shore Community Pantry 347-352-1447 Facebook • Instagram Kids and families can volunteer on Staten Island at this South Shore food pantry that works to fill the gap of food insecurity around the borough. The organization is always looking for volunteers and donations. For more information, send a message through its Facebook page.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by [email protected] (@southshorecommunityfoodpantry) 3. City Harvest 6 E. 32 St., Manhattan, with volunteer opportunities on Staten Island 646-412-0600 Facebook • Instagram City Harvest is a food rescue organization that helps to feed more than 1.5 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. The organization plans to collect 111 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community organizations across the five boroughs. Visit the website to learn how you can help. 4. Meals on Wheels of Staten Island 304 Port Richmond Ave. 718-727-4435 Facebook • Instagram Meals on Wheels serves to ensure elderly people in the community receive nutritious meals and the human connection they need to help them live independently by delivering two meals per day to senior citizens who live alone. Anyone older than 18 with a driver’s license and two free hours one morning per week can apply to deliver meals. To make a donation or find out about volunteering, visit the website. 5. Project Hospitality 100 Park Ave. 718-448-1544 Facebook • Instagram Volunteer at this Staten Island-based organization that serves the hungry and homeless, people living with HIV & AIDS, the mentally ill and people battling addiction. The organization is always looking for volunteers, ages 16 and older, to assist in its soup kitchen, food and clothing pantries, with child-care services, tutoring, fundraising events, and more. Opportunities are available for children, too. They can run food drives, make reading kits, collect books and do lots more. For more information on volunteering and to download a volunteer application, go to projecthospitality.org.  6. Where To Turn Snow Shoveling for Seniors 22 Brienna Ct. 718-966-6531 Facebook • Instagram The organization works to provide crisis relief services for victims of tragedies by aiding them in obtaining the help they need during the recovery process. There is also a snow shoveling program that matches student volunteers with seniors Island-wide. Last year, volunteers shoveled for more than 150 seniors. Kids can find out how to enroll in the program on the website. 7. Staten Island Zoo 614 Broadway 718-442-3100 Facebook • Instagram Adults and children ages 14 and older can volunteer on Staten Island at the zoo any time of year. All volunteer candidates must fill out an application, which is available on the website.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Staten Island Zoo (@statenislandzoo) 8. Staten Island University Hospital 475 Seaview Ave. 718-226-9132 Facebook  Staten Island University Hospital is looking for volunteers who are compassionate, professional, dedicated and reliable. There is also a junior volunteer program for students ages 16 or 17 with working papers. Volunteers hold a variety of positions at the hospital. They can be greeters, work in the gift shop, assist staff in the physical therapy department and much more.  9. Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue 800-477-9168 Facebook Don’t forget about our animal friends in need this holiday season. Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue specializes in the rescue and placement of abused, disabled and/or injured and abandoned animals. Without the help of volunteers, many animal rescues such as this one would not exist. The organization is looking for volunteers on Staten Island who can fill a variety of roles. Volunteers can sponsor an animal, foster an animal in need, care for animals at various locations, do office work and so much more. Find out about volunteering on the website.  10. New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund 156 W. 56 St. Suite 901 646-731-9630 Facebook • Instagram The organization works to provide financial assistance and a network of support to the families of New York City Police Officers, Firefighters, Port Authority Police and EMS personnel who were killed in the line of duty. It was run entirely by volunteers when it [more…]

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  • kid stuffing his face These Are the Best Kids-Eat-Free Restaurants in Staten Island

    Going out to dinner can get expensive, but luckily there are a few restaurants where kids can eat free in Staten Island. These restaurants are making it a little easier for families to enjoy a night out without breaking the bank. So when you’re not in the mood to cook another dinner or you want a break from meal prep, check out one of these family-friendly Staten Island restaurants. These locations all have Kids Eat Free nights throughout the week. And these restaurants’ kids’ meals all include classics like grilled cheese, chicken fingers, and hamburgers, so even picky eaters are sure to find something they like! Oh, but if you do decide you want to cook at home, check out these easy pasta recipes using ingredients you likely have at home, these meals that take 30 minutes or less to make, or simmer one of these classic soup recipes on the stove until it’s time to eat. Here’s a list of the best restaurants where kids eat free in Staten Island during the week! Note: Restrictions may apply and offers may change. Please contact the restaurant for details on each offer before heading to dinner to avoid disappointment. Where Kids Eat Free on Sunday Moe’s Southwest Grill 2397 Hylan Blvd. 718-979-8226 262 Arden Ave. 347-562-4850 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: All day Requirements: One kids’ meal per adult entree There are two locations of this chain restaurant on Staten Island. Menu items include burritos, quesadillas, chips and dips and more.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Moe’s Southwest Grill (@moessouthwestgrill) Where Kids Eat Free on Monday Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse 23 Nelson Ave. 718-966-9600 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 10 and younger Time: All day Requirements: One kids’ meal per adult entree  A Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar. Choose from a variety of items including tempura-style apps, hibachi dinners, sushi platters and more.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse (@ariranghibachi) The Hop Shoppe 372 Van Duzer St. 718-448-3400 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: All day Requirements: 1 free kids’ meal and 4 video game tokens per adult entree This local gastropub serves burgers, nachos, hummus platters, salads, tacos and has an extensive beer list.  The Richmond Republic  4459 Amboy Road 718-356-7425 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: 4-9:30pm Requirements: with purchase of adult entree Offers fare such as steaks, burgers, seafood and more.  Where Kids Eat Free on Tuesday Arirang Hibachi Steakhouse 23 Nelson Ave. 718-966-9600 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 10 and younger Time: All day Requirements: One kids’ meal per adult entree  A Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar. Choose from a variety of items including tempura-style apps, hibachi dinners, sushi platters and more.  J’s On the Bay  1189 Bay St. 718-720-0922 Facebook • Instagram The kids-eat-free promotion will resume once the Bay Street location reopens; check back for updates A classic gourmet eatery. This North Shore dining spot has a variety of items on its menu, including brick-oven pizza, sandwiches, burgers, and more.  Miller’s Ale House 2883 Richmond Ave. 718-477-0112 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: All day Requirements: free kid’s meal with the purchase of a $10 or more meal; limit 2 per table Restaurant and sports bar. Enjoy a variety of dishes including filet mignon, original pasta dishes, boneless chicken zingers, and more.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Miller’s Ale House (@millersalehouse) Z Two 2925 Veterans Road West 718-356-6800 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: 5-8pm Requirements: 1 per adult entree   Diner. Menu items include seafood, chicken, wraps, paninis and more. Costume characters and balloon animal artists on kids-eat-free nights.  Where Kids Eat Free on Wednesday Big Nose Kate’s 2484 Arthur Kill Road 718-227-2266 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 3-12 Time: 4-9pm Requirements: per adult entree A saloon-style pub and restaurant. The menu features soups, salads, burgers, wraps, side dishes, beverages, cocktails and more.  Joyce’s Tavern 3823 Richmond Ave. 718-948-0220 Facebook • Instagram Ages: 12 and younger Time: 5-8pm Requirement: with purchase of adult entree Irish and American bar and restaurant. Costume characters will be on site during kids-eat-free times!   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Joyces Tavern (@joycestavern) Where Kids Eat Free on Thursday  J’s On the Bay  1189 Bay St. 718-720-0922 Facebook • Instagram The kids-eat-free promotion will resume once the Bay Street location reopens; check back for updates A classic gourmet eatery. This North Shore dining spot has a variety of items on its menu, including brick-oven pizza, sandwiches, burgers and more.    View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Js On The Bay 😋 (@jsonthebaysiny) Wanna get more family activities sent to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletters, which are packed with ideas, events, and information for parents in Staten Island.

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