Best Public Parks in Jersey City

Best Public Parks in Jersey City 

Finding outdoor space in our urban landscape can be challenging. Luckily, Jersey City is home to some of the best public parks. From Liberty State Park to Riverview-Fisk Park, Newport Green Park to Lincoln Park, there is green space to be found near your neighborhood. Most parks are close to public transportation or have parking nearby. These are great spaces to host a birthday picnic, go for a jog, toss a frisbee or join a pick-up soccer match. Often, you’ll come across live music being performed by local musicians, or a weekend farmers market. Make plans now to spend some time in your local JC park!

Liberty State Park

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/liberty.html

Best Public Parks in Jersey City

Liberty State Park is a national treasure combining open park space with a historic train station, access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It offers incredible views of the Statue of Liberty, unobstructed views of Manhattan and the Hudson River. There are parks for children, runners and anyone who needs an escape from city life and a healthy dose of fresh air.

The park was formally opened on Flag Day, June 14, 1976, as New Jersey’s bicentennial gift to the nation. Most of this 1,122 acre park is open space with approximately 300 acres developed for public recreation.

The park is less than 2,000 feet right on the New York Harbor. During the 19th and early 20th centuries the area that is now Liberty State Park was a major waterfront industrial area with an extensive freight and passenger transportation network. This network became the lifeline of New York City and the harbor area. The heart of this transportation network was the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal (CRRNJ), located in the northern portion of the park.

The CRRNJ Terminal stands with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to unfold one of this nation’s most dramatic stories: the immigration of northern, southern, and eastern Europeans into the United States. After being greeted by the Statue of Liberty and processed at Ellis Island, these immigrants purchased tickets and boarded trains, at the CRRNJ Terminal, that took them to their new homes throughout the United States. The Terminal served these immigrants as the gateway to the realization of their hopes and dreams of a new life in America.

Hamilton Park

http://www.hpnajc.org/

Best Public Parks in Jersey City

 

Hamilton Park is a gorgeous historic little park situated between Eight Street and Ninth Street in Jersey City. It is surrounded by nineteenth century brownstones.  It has lots of trees, ample space, green lawns, and two dog runs. There are also tennis courts, basketball court and two playgrounds for children of different ages.

Several events take place at this park throughout the year such as Shakespeare in the Park, a weekly farmers market every Wednesday, and Films in the Park.

Van Vorst Park

http://vvpa.org/

Best Public Parks in Jersey City

 

Van Vorst Park is located in historic downtown Jersey City at the intersection of Montgomery Street and Jersey Avenue.  The name Van Vorst comes from a prominent family in the area, the first of which arrived in the 1630s. It was donated by Cornelius Van Vorst  who was the twelfth Mayor of Jersey City serving from 1860 to 1862.

The neighborhood contains  nineteenth century rowhouses and brownstones. It is home to the Jersey City Medical Center, James J. Ferris High School, Barrow Mansion and Jersey City Museum.  The park has separate playgrounds for toddlers and older children, two dog runs, benches, a gazebo, fountain and community gardens. Cultural events which take place in this park are farmers market, Shakespeare in the Park, flea markets and Films in Van Vorst.

Newport Green Park

https://www.newportnj.com/parks-and-recreation-community-5.php

Best Public Parks in Jersey CityIn case you missed it, there is a lovely waterfront park nestled between the Hoboken train terminal and the Newport neighborhood of Jersey City. This park has a sweet little fake beach right

along with water, with lots of beach chairs and great views of Manhattan.  For hotter days, there is a sprinkler park.  For everyday fun, there is a toddler park and a field for the kids to run around in or to play a pick-up game of soccer.  And Newport Green Park is located across the street from Target if you need to run some errands after your trip to the park!

In case you missed,the playground includes swings, sprinklers, slides, and climbing contraptions. There’s also a small man-made beach with sand and Adirondack chairs, and let’s not forget the carousel


Berry Lane Park

http://berrylanepark.org/

Best Public Parks in Jersey City

Berry Lane Park located in the Bergen-Lafayette section of Jersey City. It is the both the city’s largest municipal park and the first new one in decades. The public park is the site of a former brownfield property bound by Garfield Avenue to the west, NJ Transit’s rail tracks to the south, and Woodward Street to the east. It features two basketball courts, two tennis courts, a baseball diamond, a soccer field, bike paths, and two plazas (one with a splash pad). Over 600 new trees have also been planted. The Department of Recreation is in charge of hosting community events and games in the park. The site once consisted of abandoned and underutilized industrial properties, although the city demolished many of the structures, then remediated and graded the land by 2014. Multiple concrete silos were preserved and utilized for the splash pond. Berry Lane Park is right across the street from NJ Transit’s Garfield Avenue Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station.

Paulus Hook Park

Paulus Hook is a community on the Hudson River waterfront in Jersey City. It is located one mile across the river from Manhattan.  The name Hook comes from the Dutch word “hoeck” which translates into “point of land.” This “point of land” has been described as an elevated area, the location of which is today bounded by Montgomery, Hudson, Dudley and Van Vorst Streets. The neighborhood’s main street is the north- and south-running Washington Street. The waterfront of Paulus Hook is along the basin of the Morris Canal in a park with a segment of Liberty State Park.

Morris Canal Park

This park offers a  beautiful view of the NY Skyline, it’s s nice walk up and around the peninsula and also pet friendly.

Dr. Leonard J. Gordon Park

The Dr. Leonard J. Gordon Park at Jersey City Heights is best known for the sculptures of Buffalo and Bears that are seen when passing on Kennedy Boulevard. Situated on nearly six acres of hilly terrain on the western slope of the Palisades between Kennedy Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in the Jersey  City Heights, Leonard J. Gordon Park is nearly six acres.

The larger-than-life stone statues of the buffalo and bear were the work of sculptor Solon Hannibal Borglum (1868-1922). An iron fence that is anchored in concrete piers surrounds the urban park.  In the center is a circular gazebo. On November 9, 1930, the Hudson City Soldiers and Sailors Welfare League, Inc. placed a World War I memorial statue Dough Boy in the park. There is also an American eagle atop a granite shaft that was placed there by the Raymond Sipnick Post of the Jewish War Veterans.

Dr. Gordon was a native New Yorker and moved to Jersey City in 1875 after obtaining his medical degree from Bellevue Medical Center. He completed his internship at the Jersey City Charity Hospital that predated the Medical Center.

One of Dr. Gordon’s  crowning achievement was his push for and founding of the Free Public Library of Jersey City in 1894. Dr. Gordon served as supervisor of the Library until his death in 1907 at his home at 485 Jersey Avenue, which still stands today. He is also responsible for the Soldiers and Sailors Victory Monument located on Grove Street in front of City Hall.

Owen Grundy Park

This Hudson River waterfront park at Exchange Place was named in honor J. Owen Grundy.Owen Grundy (1912–1985) was a native of Jersey City and was until his death.

Grundy wrote The History of Jersey City, published in honor of the 1976 American Bicentennial and about 50 monographs on historic subjects related to Jersey City.  He was among the founders of the Brownstone Revival Committee in Jersey City and the Preservation and Restoration Association of Jersey City and had served five terms as president of the Jersey City Museum Association.

Dr. Lena Edwards Park

One of Jersey City’s most popular neighborhood parks, Dr. Lena Edwards Park on Johnston Avenue and Pine Street is named for a prominent physician and long-time Jersey City resident who was a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Lena Francis Edwards was born in Washington, D.C. in 1900 to a prosperous African American family. She graduated from Howard University Medical School in 1924.

Dr. Edwards was one of the first African American women to be board-certified as an obstetrician-gynecologist and gain admission to the International College of Surgeons. When she and her husband, Dr. Keith Madison, moved to Jersey City in 1924, she set up practice on Pacific Avenue in the neighborhood of Lafayette. While raising six children of her own, she dedicated her life to treating the poor and immigrant Eastern European factory workers who lived in the area. Though she was made a staff physician at Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital when it first opened in 1931, she fought to obtain residency there in obstetrics and gynecology for nearly 15 years.

This small neighborhood park features a lighted basketball court, a children’s playground,  and outdoor seasonal basketball leagues.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is an urban park in Jersey City with an area of 273.4 acres. It originally opened in 1905, it was originally known as West Side Park. The park consists of two distinct sections: Lincoln Park East, and Lincoln Park West.  The sections are named for their positions relative to US Route 1/9, which passes between them, and are connected by foot and vehicular bridges over the highway.

Lincoln Park was the first park in the Hudson County parks system.Lincoln Park East contains many sports fields and recreational facilities. There are 21 outdoor tennis courts, seven baseball fields, a cricket pitch, three children’s playgrounds, a running track, five basketball courts, two football fields, two soccer fields, and four handball/paddleball courts. This section of the park also contains a 3 acres lake available for fishing. The park  has four gazebos, several maintenance buildings, and the Park Administration Building. The park also contains several monuments and memorials.  

Riverview-Fisk Park

Best Public Parks in Jersey CityRiverview is located on Palisade Avenue. The park contains magnificent views of both the New York City Skyline and the Hudson River as well as the Verrazano Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. These views can be enjoyed while relaxing in the park gazebo. The Park also has a host of recreational activities such as two basketball courts and a playground for children. Due to the amazing views, Fourth of July has become a major day for the park. On this holiday thousands of people gather to watch the displays of fireworks across the New York skyline. This has become a tradition for lots of families and brings many newcomers each year.

 

Fun With Fruit & Vegetables : Kids Lunch Ideas

 Kids Lunch Ideas
Fun With Fruit & Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a tricky topic with children. It’s vital to keep it fun and interesting in order to engage them. Also, repetition is key. If you keep giving them vegetables in their lunch box (eg. instead of chips, pretzels etc), they will eventually nibble and try it. They may not initially accept the flavors, but hang in there, scientifically it takes taste buds at least 10 tries of eating something to ‘acquire’ a taste for it. This is not going to guarantee a raw vegetable LOVER, but I assure you they will learn to tolerate it in small quantities, which is an astounding success when compared to eating chips, pretzels, crackers etc.
Also, presentation and shape make a big difference.
Tiny mason jars mixed with something they like (eg. natural Greek yogurt or hummus) works very well. A large dollop of hummus or yogurt can nicely tuck away vegetables and thus becomes fun & interesting. The smaller the veggie pieces, the more likely they will eat them, not least of which because it gets all mixed up and there is no choice but to spoon it all up in one go, MOM HACK, KID approved!
Lightly steaming green vegetables and drizzling with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper makes a huge difference with taste and texture, as it is sweeter, more familiar and softer.
Have fun, experimenting with cutting vegetables and fruits in different shapes using cookie cutters and use fun cocktail sticks!
Here is a list of some easy, fun go-to fruit and vegetable snack ideas that your kids can make with mild adult supervision. The more that your child in engaged with making healthy foods, the more awareness and interest they will have! Also, children learn best by example, if they see that your plate is always filled with at least 50% vegetables (which a healthy plate should be), they will be more inclined to do the same.
Cucumber sandwiches
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with cream cheese, sliced cheese, sliced turkey etc
Sliced apple or pear sandwiches
Cut 2cm thick slices and shape with fun cookie cutter, fill with nut butter, raisins, seeds, or with sliced cheese and turkey
Tomato and cheese sticks
Cut tiny wedges of cheese, steam tiny flowerets of broccoli and have a bunch of colorful cherry tomatoes, pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Ants on a log
Celery cut into 3-4 inch pieces, fill with:

 

hummus and pine nuts
hummus and vegetables
cream cheese or natural Greek yogurt and vegetables
nut butter and raisins

 

NB. Variation – add slice of apple into wedge of celery to create a little insect create!
 
Fruit cocktail sticks
Slice fruit into 2cm thick small pieces and pierce carefully with toothpick (with adult supervision)
Vegetable Mason Jars
1/4 cup hummus or natural Greek yogurt and raw or lightly steamed vegetables as described above
Mason Jar Smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to transform all sorts of VEGETABLES into a drinkable treat. Have your kid help you place ingredients in a food processor and press the mix button, there is something so satisfying about watching a smoothie in the making. Some of my top pics for smoothie ingredients include: spinach, avocado, banana, berries, hemp seeds (for protein), medjool dates, unsweetened almond milk, coconut water, dash of vanilla powder.
copy-erinrose

 

Best PreSchools, Elementary Schools and Daycares in Jersey City

Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Daycares in Jersey City

Choosing a day care or school for your child can be a nerve-wracking and overwhelming experience.  At JCFamilies, we want you to find the right fit for your  child, There’s so many choices as you search for the right option for your child(ren) and family. Here’s a list of our Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares In Jersey City. With each listing, you’ll find contact information and a few details to help you become informed and make the best decision possible.

The Brunswick School

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

189 Brunswick Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.420.1550

Website: http://thebrunswickschool.com/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: M-F 7am-7pm

(7th Street Entrance, street and parking lot parking)

The Brunswick School provides childcare and education beginning at age six months through Kindergarten. Their goal is to create happy, healthy lifelong learners. They encourage students to think and learn, and their teaching style is loosely based on The Creative Curriculum. The Brunswick School realizes each child learns uniquely and is an individual and their developmental continuum is based on 125 objectives.

The Brunswick School has upcoming open houses scheduled on July 10 and 25th at 6:45 pm. RSVP for an open house or schedule a private tour: [email protected]. Check out the Brunswick School and see if your family finds it to be one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City.

Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care

255 Brunswick Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: (201) 241 -4443

Kiddie Academy is an educational center in Jersey City which will exceed your expectations. The key ingredient of their educational philosophy is the Life Essentials program and children learn, grow and play in a safe, nurturing and clean environment. Kiddie Academy offers something for everyone from 6 weeks of age thru 12 years old.

Waterfront Montessori

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

150 Warren St #108, Jersey City NJ 07302- Phone: (201) 333-5600

Website: http://www.waterfrontmontessori.com/

Email: recruiting@waterfrontmontessori.com

Hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

Waterfront Montessori uses a Montessori curriculum for toddlers through grade 5, and a Montessori and International Baccalaureate (IB) combined curriculum for grades 6 through 8. The student to teacher ratio is 1:4 for toddlers, 1:10 for primary and lower elementary students, and 1:8 for upper elementary and middle school students. Students are exposed to visual and fine arts, choral and instrumental music, theater and music appreciation. Children in grades 4 through 8 are provided with digital art, coding and programming languages, 3D printer, google education apps and more. Tuition fees range from $15,900 to $28,900. Click here for more tuition information. Summer camp and before and after school programs are available. Our premises are under video and audio surveillance, twenty-four hours a day. Waterfront Montessori features combine to make Waterfront Montessori a stimulating, safe, nurturing and beautiful environment. Waterfront Montessori is on the list of Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares in Jersey City.

Learning Ladders

Address: 33-35 Hudson St, Jersey City, NJ 07302, Phone: 201.918.6643

Address: 160 Morgan St, Suite # 2, Jersey City, NJ 07302; Phone: 201.918.6334

Website: www.learningladdersnj.com

Email: [email protected]com

Hours: 7.30am – 6.30pm

Learning Ladders International Baccalaureate World School is an independent, private, non-sectarian school with locations in historic Paulus Hook and in downtown Grove St of Jersey City.

Learning Ladders fosters independence, promotes, analytical thinking and creative problem solving. We utilize developmentally appropriate practices to provide stimulating early experiences which promotes children’s social/ emotional, physical and cognitive development. We support children by laying strong foundations in being responsible, gracious and confident citizens of tomorrow’s world.

We open M-F throughout the year and, offer flexible schedules and have least number of closings a year. Among other features, Weekly enrichment classes are conducted and digital daily reports are sent to each family. Contact now to schedule a personal tour.

Bright HorizonsBest PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

JERSEY CITY: 152 Plaza 3, Jersey City NJ 07311 – Phone: 201.433.6370 and for enrollment info call: 877.624.4532

Website: https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/nj/jerseycity/plaza3jc

Hours M-F 7 am – 6:30 pm

Jersey City Bright Horizons is located in the lobby of Plaza 3 in Harborside Financial Center, which is located on the corner of Harborside Pl. and Hudson St. The HBLR is conveniently located in the front of the building.

HOBOKEN MAXWELL LANE: 1102 Maxwell Lane, Hoboken NJ- Phone:201.479.5330 and for enrollment info call: 877.624.4532

Website:https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/nj/hoboken/1102maxwell

Hours: M-F 7 am – 7 pm

Maxwell Lane Bright Horizons is located near the corner where Toni and Guy Hair Salon is and is located at the first storefront entrance. For local parking info, visit: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/

HOBOKEN SINATRA DRIVE: Sinatra Drive, Hoboken NJ – Phone: 201.420.7043 or for enrollment information call: 877.624.4532

Website:https://child-care-preschool.brighthorizons.com/nj/hoboken/sinatradrive

Hours: M-F 7am – 7 pm

Sinatra Drive Bright Horizons is located in the middle of the block between LRP and House Of Que. For local parking info, visit: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/

Bright Horizons uses curriculum titled, The World at Their Fingertips. It is designed to engage children in active learning while helping them learn, grow, develop and encourages a spirit of community. Children are served healthy food and eat family-style serving themselves while learning about making healthy choices. Tuition varies by schedule, individual classroom, and center. For more information about tuition, contact the Bright Horizons center listed above. It’s listed as one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City

Early Beginnings Day School

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

338 Grove Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.918.5623

Website: https://www.earlybeginningsdayschool.org/

Email: [email protected]

Early Beginnings Day School provides services for children ages 6 months through 4 years old. Tuition is based on a 5 day week and ranges $1250-$1350 per month from 8:30 am – 3 pm. Before-school program, an after-school program, and half day programs are available. Early Beginnings Day School provides a safe, caring and enriched environment that promotes learning and the development of each child. Could Early Beginnings Day School be the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City choice for your family?

The French American Academy

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

Jersey City Campus: 209 Third Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.338.8320 press 2

Website: https://www.faacademy.org/

Email: [email protected]

The French American Academy provides a bilingual and comprehensive curriculum in an atmosphere which encourages critical reasoning, wonder, enthusiasm and a strong ambition. The French American Academy believes learning a second language at an early age is a lifelong advantage which benefits children both academically and cognitively. They believe every child has a potential for excellence and work passionately to educate the whole child.The teacher student ratio is better than the state required teacher ratio: 5:1 Pre-K, 8:1 for three year olds in Pre-K, 10:1 for four year olds in Pre-K, and 12:1 in Kindergarten and up. The impressive ratios make it one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City.

The Garden Preschool Cooperative

242 10th Street #5, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.309.0440

Website: www.gardenpreschool.org

Email: gardenpreschoolenro[email protected]

Hours: 8 am – 6 pm

The Garden Preschool Cooperative provides a high-quality education for children ages 3 (by December 1) through 5 years old when they enter school with a theme based curriculum which changes year to year. The Garden Preschool Cooperative is a parent-run non-profit preschool which employs the developmental-interactive approach to teaching students as pioneered by the Bank Street Graduate School of Education in New York. Parents play a central role in the education of the students. They help enrich the curriculum, offer guidance to our teachers, assist in the classroom once monthly, and staff all leadership roles on the Board of Directors.

Hamilton Park Montessori

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

 1 McWilliams Place #206, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.533.1910

Website: http://www.hamiltonparkmontessori.com/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

The Hamilton Park Montessori educates children from infancy through 8th grade through nurturing each child’s love of learning. Each child is provided opportunities for growth and development to help them become capable, confident and compassionate citizens of the world.

Click here for information on tuition. Hamilton Park Montessori is included in the list of best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City.

Hudson Montessori School

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

10 Regent Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.516.0700

Website: http://hudsonmontessori.net/

Email: [email protected]

Promoting a love of learning in each child from toddlers through 6th-grade guides the thoughts and actions at Hudson Montessori. We focus on the individual interest and needs of each child allowing the child to learn in a hands-on setting. We work with the children in areas of Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Math, Cultural, Science, and Motor Skills. For tuition information, click here.

The Kaplan Cooperative Preschool

115 Park Avenue, Hoboken NJ 07030 – Phone: 201.653.8666

Website: http://www.kaplancooperativepreschool.org/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: 8 am – 6 pm

For local parking info, visit: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/

The Kaplan Cooperative Preschool is associated with the United Synagogue of Hoboken. They are a Jewish Preschool committed to providing a play-based and high-quality education to children. The Kaplan Cooperative Preschool welcomes children and families of all faiths and wants everyone to be comfortable. Learn more about this option and see if it is the Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares in Jersey City for your family.

Primary Prep Elementary & Middle School

41 Tuers Ave, Jersey City NJ 07306 – Phone: 201.333.8844

Website: http://www.primaryprep.com/

Primary Prep is a small and private school which was founded in 1993 and now serves grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. The curriculum is designed to encourage the students to think outside the box using and developing critical thinking. Students form strong foundations in math, reading, language arts, science, history, writing and the arts. Technology is also infused in lessons through Ipads, Google Chromebooks, and laptops.

The Scandinavian School of Jersey City

210 9th Street, Jersey City NJ 07306 – Phone: 917.536.7911

Website: http://www.scandischool.com

Email: [email protected]

Transportation: Public Transit – Path Train to Grove Street or Newport/Pavonia Stops

The Scandinavian School of Jersey City is a Scandinavian school inspired by the Reggio Emillia Approach caring for children from 1 to 6 years old. Children will be exposed to and learn a Scandinavian language, besides English. The curriculum is based on a child being creative, capable and inquisitive. They learn best when their interests are acknowledged as worthy of investigation. This child-centered approach provides a vibrant teaching and learning environment. The Scandinavian School of Jersey City offers homemade, organic and wholesome meals which are enjoyed together. Additionally, the children are involved with making organic nut milk and daily food preparation. Click here for tuition information. The Scandinavian School of Jersey City is listed as one of the Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares in Jersey City.

Smart Start Academy

HOBOKEN – Smart Start Academy: 552 9th Street, Hoboken NJ 07030 – Phone: 201.461.6363

Website: http://smart-startacademy.com/

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm

Hoboken Tuition Information

Hoboken Parking Info

JERSEY CITY – Smart Start Academy:  180 Newark Avenue, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.461.6262

Website: http://smart-startacademy.com/

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm

Newark Ave Tuition Information

THE HEIGHTS- Jersey City – Smart Start Academy:  462 Central Ave, Jersey City NJ 07307 – Phone: 201.461.6161

Website: http://smart-startacademy.com/

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm

The Heights Tuition Information

JERSEY AVENUE Jersey City – Smart Start Academy: 532 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.461.0101

Website: http://smart-startacademy.com/

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm

Jersey Avenue Tuition Information

Smart Start Academy has teacher-student ratios of 1:3 for infants through toddler years and a 1:5 ratio for preschool and pre-k children. They use The Creative Curriculum which focuses on project-based investigations as a means for children to apply skills. Four areas of development are addressed through this curriculum: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language. The five fundamental principles of the Creative Curriculum are:

Positive interactions and relationships with adults can provide an essential foundation for successful learning

Social-emotional competence is a significant factor in education.

Purposeful and constructive play supports essential learning.

The physical environment impacts the type and quality of learning interactions.

Teacher and family partnerships encourage development and learning.

Tessa International School

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

720 Monroe Street Suites E105-106 Hoboken, NJ 07030 – Phone: 201.755.5585

Website: http://tessais.org/

Hours: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm

Tessa is located on Monroe Street, on the first floor of the Monroe Center, between 7th and 8th streets. Vehicle: There is a parking lot at the rear of the school with an entrance at the intersection of 7th and Jackson Streets. Light Rail: Get off the Light Rail at the 9th Street/Congress Street station. The school is only one block away. Bus: Take the NJ Transit Bus Route 126 to Hoboken. Get off at 8th Street and Willow Avenue (Peak Time Only) or 8th and Washington Streets. Head west on 8th Street and turn left on Monroe Street.

Tessa International School provides a quality learning environment for children 2.5 and up. At Tessa, children are introduced to other languages and cultures to enhance cultural awareness. Through understanding and respect, Tessa aims to develop curious, knowledgeable and caring children. Tessa International School emphasizes the social-emotional development of children in conjunction with strong academic challenges. Tessa provides a world-class education based on international models. Future plans including organizing public transportation for students. Click here for tuition information. Learn more about Tessa International School and see if it is the Best Preschools, Elementary Schools, and Day Cares in Jersey City choice for your family.

Viaquenti Preschool

285 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.222.0033

Website: www.viaquenti.com

Email: [email protected]

Viaquenti Preschool provides a global education for children from three months of age thru 2nd grade and anticipating expanding grade levels. Children under 3 years old are instructed based on the Multiple Intelligence Theory and Project-Based Approach. For children three and over, Viaquenti follows the IB PVP curriculum which encourages children to think independently and direct their own learning, learn a second language, and to be able to engage better with our globalized world.

World of ABC, The Waldo School

Best PreSchools, elementary school and day Cares in Jersey City

159 2nd Street & 110 1st Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.656.4444

Website:http://www.worldofabc.com/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm

Students pursue their individual talents and dreams through a comprehensive academic program and a range of after-school classes. World Of ABC, The Waldo School inquiry-based educational approach provides every opportunity for children to ask questions, grow, think critically, develop, collaborate and express themselves in different ways. They offer an increased emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education. Click here for tuition information.

Smile Preschool and Nursery

276 1st Street Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.963.8533

194 Newark Avenue NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.963.2462

Website: http://www.smilepreschoolandnursery.com

Smile Preschool and Nursery provides a nurturing environment in a home-like setting where your child is encouraged to share their feelings and express their creativity where they can grow and develop at their own pace.

The River School

Three Jersey City Locations:

WARREN– River School:  254/254 Warren Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.427.9070

Website: https://theriverschool.com/locations/warren-st-the-early-years/

Email: [email protected]

EXCHANGE PLACE – River School:  251 Warren Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.369.7003

Website: https://theriverschool.com/locations/jersey-city-exchange-place-location/

Email: [email protected]

NEWPORT – River School: 30 Newport Parkway, Jersey City, New Jersey 07310

The River School embraces and encourages a lifetime of learning and joy for children 8 weeks through six years old. Children learn from everyone and everywhere. We provide an environment where children are encouraged to explore with developmentally appropriate activities and flexibility to meet their individual needs. The River School currently represents more than 15 countries and come from different backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, marital statuses, and experiences.

All Saints Episcopal Day School

WASHINGTON STREET – All Saints Episcopal Day School:  707 Washington Street, Hoboken NJ 07030 – Phone: 201.792.0736

Website: www.AllSaintsDaySchool.org

Email: [email protected]

CLINTON STREET– All Saints Episcopal Day School:  527 Clinton Street, Hoboken NJ 07030 – Phone: 201.792.6292

Website: www.AllSaintsDaySchool.org

Transportation:

All Saints Episcopal Day School is only 15 minutes from Manhattan and is easily accessible by car, train, bus, or ferry. You may travel via car through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel or NY Waterways. You may travel via Path Trains and via Port Authority Bus Terminal on NJ Transit (Bus #126).

For local parking info, visit: http://www.hobokennj.org/departments/transportation-parking/

All Saints Episcopal Day School nurtures academic excellence from Nursery to Grade 8 by encouraging social responsibility and educating the whole child. The dedicated staff shares values of hard work, self-discipline, mutual respect and the active pursuit of knowledge and understanding. All Saints Episcopal Day School is one of the best preschools, elementary schools, and day cares in Jersey City

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees

Nursery – Pre-Kindergarten $12,970 (Half Day 8:30 – 11:15 am)

Early Childhood Extended Day $8,680 (Extended Day 11:15 am-3:00 pm)

Kindergarten – Grade 4 $21,650 (Full Day 8:20 am – 3:00 pm) 

Middle School – Grades 5-8 $22,690 (Full Day 8:20 am – 3:20 pm) 

All Saints Episcopal Day School offers need-based financial aid. Approximately 13% of families receive some form of financial assistance.

 

Baby and Kiddie Galileo Preschool and Daycare

GROVE STREET: 360 Grove Street, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.798.0343

Serving 0 – 18 months

Website: http://www.galileopreschool.org/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm, Emergency Services and After Hours Available

The Grove Street location is within walking distance of Grove Street Train Station.

NEWARK AVENUE – 175 Newark Avenue, Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.798.0343

Serving 18 months to 13 years

Website: http://www.galileopreschool.org/

Email: [email protected]

Hours: 7 am – 7 pm, Emergency Services and After Hours Available

Fees:

Parents may pay weekly or monthly. The prices listed below are based on a five day per week attendance and a full day. For more details, please visit their website and for special circumstances, please contact the director.

0 to 1 years old $300

1 to 2 years old $285

2 to 3 years old $265

3 years and up $245

Teacher Radios meet or exceed the state requirements:

Infants 4:1, Young Toddler 6:1, Preschool Age 8:1

Galileo Preschool and Daycare follows the Behaviorist Model. They believe children learn best in a structured environment where items are carefully presented, and learning is rewarded. They believe self-esteem is developed as children grow, learn, and develop. Baby & Kiddie Galileo proudly serves one of the most organic menus of all the preschools in the area. They serve wholesome and low sugar foods while introducing a variety of tastes and textures.

Gilliard Group Centers – 3 centers in Jersey City

BABYWORLD: (a Gilliard Group Center)

491 Ocean Avenue Jersey City NJ 07305 – Phone: 201.369.9991

Website: http://gilliardgroup.com/babyworld/

Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

English, French, and Spanish are spoken here!

 

JERSEY CITY DAYCARE 100:(a Gilliard Group Center)

409-415 Halladay Street Jersey City NJ 07302 – Phone: 201.432.7645

Website: http://gilliardgroup.com/jersey-city-day-care-100/

Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

English and Spanish are spoken here!

 

PARKSIDE PRESCHOOL #1: (a Gilliard Group Center)

202  Central Avenue, Jersey City NJ 07307 – Phone: 201.533.0570

Website: http://gilliardgroup.com/jersey-city-day-care-100/

Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

English, Spanish, Hindi, Spanish, Tagalog, and Arabic is spoken here!

The Gilliard Group Centers provide a safe, healthy and nurturing environment for children ages 6 weeks up to school age with providing an after-school program and summer camp program. They invite the exploration of math, literature, arts, music, and science. The Gilliard Group Centers accepts Urban League, Program For Parents and Other Childcare Subsidies.

Camp Riverbend “Alien Invasion” Open House

 

Choosing a summer camp?

Come sample Camp Riverbend’s awesome summer activities this winter at our “Alien Invasion” Open House Saturday February 25, 10 am – 12 noon.  We will have lots of fun Riverbend activities for kids and parents, run by our amazing counselors, including out of this world games, crafts and cooking.  Take a tour of the camp site with our directors.  Free!  RSVP required to [email protected] or 908-580-CAMP.

Camp Riverbend is 30 minutes from downtown Jersey City; daily summer bus service included

Charter Schools In Jersey City

Knowledge is power and great educational opportunities are the stepping stones to a child’s future. However, education is not one size fit all. Children have different learning styles and families can be offered a range of school options to help them while they find the right fit for their child. Charter Schools have been offering specialized learning programs and allow families the ability to have choices. We’ve compiled a list of Charter Schools in Jersey City to make your search easier!

The Ethical Community Charter School

95 Broadway, Jersey City, NJ 07306

First on our list of Charter Schools in Jersey City isThe Ethical Community Charter School (TECCS). TECCS opened its doors at in September 2009 with 120 kindergartners and first graders. Since then, the school has added a grade each year, to become a K-8 school in 2016-2017, educating nearly 400 children. Ethics, service, and social justice are the main principles that inform every aspect of school life which makes it a great choice on our list of Charter Schools in Jersey City. Want to visit the school before applying? No problem! Send an email to [email protected] or give them a phone call at 201-984-4151 and book your appointment.

  • Admission: applications here 
  • Student Teacher Ration: 16:1
  • Elementary (K-4th): In the elementary grades, children will learn about ourselves, their families, and their community. Elementary students at TECCS are learning to express themselves as thinkers, writers, mathematicians, and experimenters.
  • Middle School (5th-8th): Using the foundations built in elementary school, middle and upper grades discuss civic responsibility. Students begin to analyze how their actions impact the world.
  • Transportation: Student bus service

BelovED Community Charter School 

508 Grand Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302

The education model at the heart of the BelovEd Community Charter School wraps powerful values and character development protocols, rooted in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s concept of the “Beloved Community making it a perfect addition to our list of Charter Schools in Jersey City. The school believes in helping its students to feel cared about in their environment and growing and learning by the golden rule; due onto others as you want done to you. BelovED opened in 2012 as a K-2 school and has added a grade each year since. Currently BelovED serves K-8, and next year for the first time, will be offering 9th Grade! For more information about applications and the school in general, you can call them at 201-630-4700 or email them!

  • Admission: BelovED is a free public school that provides equal access to ALL students on a space available basis. If you are interested in applying to BelovEd you could apply in multiple ways.
  • Student Teach Ratio: 14:1
  • Transportation: form here. Students who are in 3rd grade or above have the ability to walk home only if their parents have signed a form granting them permission.
  • Extra Curricular: Middle School students have the ability to go out for school spots. 
  • Open House Dates: Here

Golden Door Charter School

The Golden Door Charter School was founded in 1998 as one of Jersey City’s first charter schools. The school strives to create an institution that offers the parents of Jersey City a viable choice for their child’s education. They are dedicated to creating a safe and high quality-learning environment for all of our students which start at Pre-K4 to 8th grade
  • Admission: Here.
  • Student Teacher Ratio: 13:1
  • Chief Academic Officer: Mr. Brian Stiles. Telephone: 201-795-4400 x3425 Email: [email protected]
  • School Calendar: 2018-2019 School Calendar

Soaring Heights Charter School

1 Romar Ave. Jersey City, NJ 07305

Soaring Heights Charter School is a K – 8 elementary school which opened in downtown Jersey City as one of New Jersey’s 13 original charter schools in September, 1997. The mission of Soaring Heights Charter School is to prepare a growing number of students from Kindergarten to 8th grade for a lifetime of learning as productive citizens in the technological age by training them how to communicate and listen effectively, think critically, solve problems, act responsibly, value their accomplishments, and achieve a high level of academic excellence.

  • Admission: You will need to print the document, complete it, and mail it to Soaring Heights at the address provided.
  • Student Teacher Ration: 14:1
  • Transportation: Buses / vans provided for students. For information about public transportation, as well as bus transportation to programs such as the Boys & Girls Club and the Jewish Community Center, please contact the school office at 201-434-4800.
  • Dress Code: Uniform order forms can be requested from the school office.
  • Extra Curricular Activities: STEAM, Tutoring 

Learning Community Charter School

2495 Kennedy Blvd.  Jersey City NJ 07304

Founded by parents, the Learning Community Charter School opened it’s doors for the first time for the 1997-1998 school year, beginning as a small, neighborhood school in downtown Jersey City. LCCS continues to provide an innovative, top-notch education to for kids from PreK – 8th. For more information call them at 201-332-0900.

Jersey City Global Charter School

255 Congress St. Jersey City, NJ 07307 (201) 744-2224

Last but not least on our list of Charter Schools in Jersey City is the Jersey City Global Charter School. The mission of the Jersey City Global Charter School is to provide students with the skills and exploratory experiences that enable them to reach their fullest potential as independent thinkers and innovative problem solvers. Through a rigorous academic core curriculum aligned to the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards and Core Content Standards JCGCS provides a diversified, comprehensive curriculum that encompasses social and economic entrepreneurship, social justice, equality, ecological sustainability as well peace and harmony between people, we seek to address the unique needs of the students in a changing society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Blogs: Public Schools in Jersey City, Pre-Schools in Jersey City

Camp Riverbend Open House, Sunday Jan 22

Choosing a camp for this summer?

Come sample Camp Riverbend’s awesome summer activities this winter at our “Secret Agent Training” session.  We will have lots of fun Riverbend activities for kids and parents, run by our amazing counselors, including  spy games, undercover crafts and secret-ingredient cooking.  Take a tour of the camp site with our directors.  Free!  RSVP required to [email protected] or 908-580-CAMP.

Camp Riverbend is 30 minutes from downtown JC and Hoboken; daily summer bus service included.camp-riverbend-jan-17-open-house

How to Host a Playdate: 10 Tips

First time hosting a play date? Never fear – it’s easier than you think. Here are a few tips to help your play day go off without a hitch.

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1. Provide snacks. Choose healthy snacks like apple slices or everyone’s favorite goldfish. If you’re not sure about the dietary concerns of your guests, feel free to ask the other parents before they arrive. Send a simple text, “Does Sasha have food allergies?”

2. Put your pets away. Since we’re on the topic of allergies, some parents and even adults have allergies to animals that you may not be aware of. In addition, while your child loves your dog, the other child might have limited experiences with animals, and your dog’s excitement could terrify your guest.

3. Offer your guest a drink as soon as possible. Coffee, tea, water, or soda are good options to start with. You might even offer to have a glass of wine together. Let’s put it this way: if you’re willing t o have a glass of wine in the middle of the day, maybe she is too. It doesn’t hurt to throw it out there. (Hint: If you invite me over, I like red.)

IMG_22284. Prepare your child for the play date. If there are any special toys that your child then not want to share, have your child to put those toys away before the play day begins. Having that conversation ahead of time will help with some of the stress of sharing those coveted toys.

5.  Do not turn on the TV. The kids are there to play. Let them do that.

6. Turn on the music. To that point, sometimes too much silence is off-putting. Put some light music on in the background. Let your home be inviting.

7. Tidy up before your play date. Not during. Again, let the kids play. (Note: If you’re the guest, help clean up before you go. Even if the host says, “Oh you don’t have to do that.” You do. She’s just being nice.)

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8. Be clear about the parking or stoller situation. As we live in a very dense area, sometimes it is difficult to figure out what to do with your car or your stroller. Let your guest know where you typically park, or where you leave your stroller. If you have a parking spot in your garage, maybe you can move your car into the street before she gets there so she can park in your spot.

9. Do not hover over the kids. Spend some time getting to know your guest. Compare bedtime routines and dinner menus. Laugh a little. Friends are everything.

10. Connect. The best part of a play date is spending time with other adults. Learn more about the ways other people run their households. Try to be open and honest with other moms about what works for you and what doesn’t. Be willing to hear advice and offer yours.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at www.urdoingitright.com.

Bucket and Bay: Jen Kavlakov & Boris Kavlakov

Bucket and Bay in Jersey City

JCFamilies: Tell me about your business.

Jen: Bucket & Bay has been open a year and a half now. In the very beginning, it started out as my project.

Boris: But it’s hard to do something like this and not have the other person involved to some degree. You just share an idea and then that idea goes somewhere.

Jen: So ultimately Boris became a full-time, hands-on participant.

Boris: But I was always involved.

Jen: He’s always been our website and branding guy.

JCFamilies: What are some of the challenges?

Boris:  Running a business is a lot about prioritization and the list of things you have to do as a single proprietor is crazy, and you never get to do everything. Even the list of flavors that we want to create, we have had some ideas, like Old Fashioned Oatmeal, that have been on the docket since…

Jen: …since before we opened… and i has been “coming soon” for a while!

Bucket and Bay in Jersey CityBoris: And other things too – like we have a program where we provide our neighbors with 100% grass fed milk, fresh from the farm. We have wanted to expand that for a long time, but it wasn’t a priority. It was summer and summer is ice cream season.

Jen: My focus has always been in the kitchen and operational things that customers don’t always see but take a lot time, like organizing the team schedule.

Boris: We don’t have time to discuss everything.

JCFamilies: And you have kids too, right?

Jen: Yes, and that really adds a lot to the time pressures. We have two girls. They’re five and six, kindergarten and first grade. Mornings are whirlwinds of trying to get out of the house on time.

Boris: Morning are crazy, but very often both of us are there.

Jen: Which is extremely helpful.

Boris: We do a lot extracurricular activities, which is a luxury, because it takes time. There are not a lot of jobs that allow you to leave work and take your kids to ice-skating.

Jen: Or to a performance at the school. The last one started at 5:00. There are a lot of families where both parents cannot attend a performance at that hour.

Boris: While there are advantages to being a part of the corporate world, it’s organized and predictable, being a business owner gives us flexibility.

JCFamilies: I love the way it looks in here. It’s warm and inviting.

Boris: Thank you! We wanted our place to be warm and inviting like a Bucket and Bay in Jersey Citycoffee shop, not like a typical ice cream store.

Jen: Most ice cream shops are typical scoop shops – they feel cold – not a place where you want to hang out. And we feel that ice cream is very social in nature, we want people to relax and enjoy it.

Boris: So it feels like a coffee shop, but our core focus is still gelato!  And we do our gelato with passion and completely from scratch. Jen’s interest in ice cream started as a kid.

Jen: I grew up visiting my grandparents. My grandfather had an old wooden ice cream bucket that I’d find sitting in the middle of the garage churning away ice cream  – always vanilla

JCFamilies: What makes your ice cream special?

Boris: We start with the milk. We use the most amazing milk in the world – it’s grass fed milk – 100% grass fed. When cows eat exclusively grass, they produce less milk but it’s richer. That’s why it’s a bit more expensive too. But you can totally feel the difference in the way our gelato tastes.

Jen: And our gelato is not typically Italian, it is more modern American, made from scratch, with inspiration from all around the world. Our flavors are creative but also very elegant, they open up gradually as you eat them, often revealing multiple layers.

JCFamilies: Do you get time as a couple? Do you go on dates?

Jen: We do. But not very often.

Boris: Jen just gave me a present for my birthday. It was a handmade book of “tickets” that I can redeem for things like going out to a movie, a date night…

Jen: We do most things as a family, with the kids – which gives us time to be together and talk. But even when we’re out on dates, we still talk about the gelato and the cafe. We haven’t been able to draw that imaginary line that differentiates “this is for work” and “this is for us.”

JCFamilies: How do you decompress?

Jen: We were supposed to go sailing together. As we used to…

Boris: I teach sailing at the Manhattan Sailing Club, but we did find time to go out together on a boat in 2016.

JCFamilies: Do you watch Netflix?

Boris: We don’t binge watch the series. We watch movies.

Jen: Yeah. We recently watched that one movie – remember?

Boris: Yeah. (He doesn’t.)

Jen: I used to want to watch every single movie that was up for an award.

Boris: Yes… We used to host an Oscar’s party!

Bucket and Bay in Jersey CityJen: But now I enjoy coming to work every day.  People tell you, and it’s true – when you have your own business, it’s 24/7. We’re lucky because our business is a place where I would want to come and hang out

Boris: It does get a bit intense. Marrying someone and being in a business with someone is totally different.

Jen: Communication is key. Only we don’t have the same communication style. While we always have the same end goal in mind, the details and the strategy – which direction we’re coming from – is always very different. It helps to take a step back, and look at the whole picture. It’s something we don’t do nearly enough.

Boris: Last year we were on the beach for vacation, and we had a mini business meeting, thinking about all the different moving parts. We wrote them on a piece of cardboard that we found. We still have it. (Looks for it.)

Jen: Boris doesn’t like lists. I love lists.

Boris: (Finds it!) Tea was part of the plan. And look! It materialized!

JCFamilies: How do the kids fit in?

Boris: The kids have priority. That’s where our movie time went. From homework to extracurricular activities, all these things take time. Growing up with your parents having an ice cream shop – the kids are fully aware of it.

Jen: Sometimes they don’t like the ice cream shop.

Boris: Last year was challenging. We spent even more time at the cafe. Partly because we couldn’t afford to have as much help and we were not as organized – so we’d take turns. The kids knew when it was either mommy night or daddy night.

Jen: The kids requested more family nights. So we have that now.

Bucket and Bay in Jersey City

JCFamilies: Do you have advice for other couples in business together?

Jen: I’d definitely say: Communicate! You’ve got to have thick skin. You’ve got to let things go. Get over the small stuff.

Boris: And establish priorities. The fact that we have agreed that our kids are the top priority, helps us move smoothly through the day. Whatever happens, the kids have to get the attention they deserve.

Christine Goodman: Art House Owner and Jersey City Mom

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey City

I’ve known Christine Goodman since before either of us had kids. It’s been amazing to grow into motherhood with her. Her words are always inspiring.

JCFamilies: Tell us who you are, professionally.

Christine Goodman: I am the founder and executive director of the visual and performing arts center Art House Productions. Now in its 16th year, we present plays, art exhibitions, and a quarterly citywide arts festival – JC Fridays.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey CityJCF: How did JC Fridays start?

CG: JC Fridays came about after the closing of 111 First Street, an artist enclave in Jersey City. When that building closed, a lot of our arts community felt really beaten down. Art House had a meeting with arts organizers, arts friendly businesses, and other community leaders, to see how we could move the arts forward in Jersey City.

The idea of JC Fridays came out of that meeting. Even to this day, it continues the spirit of the community coming together to support one another around the arts. There was a real need for that. I think that’s why it’s such a successful program.

JCF: How important are the arts to a community?

CG: The arts are an extremely valuable component of any healthy city, particularly in times where people feel like they don’t have a voice. The arts gives people a platform, a meeting place, a community. A vibrant arts scene makes people feel invested in the city and in the communities in which they live.

JCF: What’s a typical workday like for you?

CG: It starts at 6 am – but through no decision of my own.

JCF: Because of the kids?

CG: Yes. Should we talk about a work day, or about my family?

JCF: Both.

CG: So I have my predawn experience with my one year old. That’s how we roll into the rest of the morning. I have two kids. The day starts with them waking up pretty early. My husband and I get them to school, and then I’m at Art House. It’s a 24/7 job. As a founder, an organization like this is a third child. This is my teenager.

JCF: Why did you call it a teenager – what makes it a teenager?

CG: First because it’s 16 years old. But also because it has really has matured. It can stand on its own. It has its own identity. It’s wonderful to see that through all the growing pains, we have created an institution that means a lot to many people.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey City

JCF: How do you balance your business and your family?

CG: That’s the million-dollar question. It’s evolving. It’s a balancing act. As professional mothers, we continually walk the line of making sure that we’re there for our kids, that they have what they need, and also that we’re taking care of what the businesses needs, which can mean that you are on call at the strangest hours.

There’s no easy answer or a magic pill for running a business and being a mother of two. We have these standards of excellence as professionals and mothers that we can handle everything. The short answer is that it’s really tough. I think the short answer is in continually making sure that your children know that you’re there for them and empowering other people around your business as well.

JCF: How do you do that?

CG: For me, it means making sure that my kids feel comfortable at my business. I don’t run a 9-5. They’re comfortable at Art House. They’re comfortable in the theatre. They have space here that’s their own. They’re welcomed when they walk in the door. At the times when there needs to be a lot of juggling, they can be in the space of my business and feel like they belong.

The other thing is being realistic about my timelines, about what is humanly possible for me to accomplish. I think that the Christine before kids would work all night if she needed to. Christine after kids needs to make sure that the timelines and support systems are in place. Which has been a wonderful change for me.

JCF: Do you ever work at night?

CG: Taking a meeting at 7 pm is tough. It means that there are other people who have to sacrifice in order for that to happen. Even for me to be at the shows that I produce – I’m continually figuring out how to navigate. The natural result is that I’ve had to not hold on so tightly to the idea that I need to do it all myself at Art House. And it’s been great. There’s a beautiful leadership team here that’s really wonderful and rocking it out. It takes a village on both ends.

Christine Goodman Art House Owner Jersey CityJCF: What was it like going from one to two babies?

CG: Having my first child and the incorporation of motherhood into business ownership was overwhelming at first, and then manageable. We found our rhythm and knew that it wouldn’t last forever, but it was working.

But when the second baby came along, the juggling wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t possible. At that point, I needed to make sure that we had a theatre manager and a technical director who could be on site in the evenings and make sure that the shows went smoothly in my absence.

JCF: If you had to do it all again, what would change?

CG: Nothing. Through owning my own business, I was able to bring my kids to work with me for the first 10 months of their lives. I could pursue my love of the arts and keep the business going. It was a wonderful opportunity and for that I am extremely grateful. In an ideal world, I don’t even know how I would change it, because my kids are growing up in the theatre and I think that’s a unique experience for them too.

JCF: What is the best advice that you ever got?

CG: It wasn’t any specific thing. Having the influence of other mothers around me that were making it work, and knowing that it didn’t always have to be perfect, was amazing. Being able to see that we all mess up, and we’re all feeling our way through this – and that it’s possible to raise children who are kind, aware, intelligent human beings while still not always getting it right felt like such a relief. It shifted the focus from being supermom to being a human being and the best mom I could be. That gave me more confidence. It’s nice to know that we all drop the ball, and we all feel like we’re constantly playing catch up, and we forget the diapers, and we try to figure out a last minute dinner, and we forget the paperwork for the school, but at the end of the day, our kids are good people. And that says to me that I’m on the right track.

Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at www.urdoingitright.com.

How To Say, What to Say: Talking to Kids about Race

Back in September, when bombs exploded in trash cans around New York and New Jersey, I called (who else?) my sister. At the time, her city (Charlotte, NC) was reeling from the death of Keith Scott, a black man fatally shot by the Charlotte Police Department. In both of our cities, racial and ethnic differences and presumptions seemed to be on everyone’s minds.

Like moms across the country, my sister and I contemplated what (if anything) to say to our little ones about race, diversity, and the United States of America. We desperately wanted, like generations of mothers who came before us, to raise children who could be kinder and carry less prejudice than the generation before. But how?

I didn’t want to scare or create anxiety in my children by bringing up issues that they couldn’t possibly understand. But at the same time, I didn’t want them to overhear confusing discussions by perfect strangers on the Light Rail. So maybe I should just answer whatever questions they might bring up instead of saying anything preemptively? Would that work? And then I could try to answer them in a way that makes sense to them. You know, like be honest but not traumatizing.

None of this was in the manual.

So I sat down with child and family therapist, Divya Dodhia for some guidance. Long conversation short, there are no easy answers. (You’re welcome.) Most of her advice was preemptive, but not in an event-specific way. Her advice centers around the ways we talk to our kids in general – how we interact with them. Here’s some of the greatest hits:

  • These are the conversations we need to be having. It’s our job to be able to stand up to injustice, in whatever form that takes – whether it’s racism or mental health or whatever the case is.
  • Talk at their level. Use examples from their own lives. When a person is discriminated against, that means the person is being left out. They’re so young, they won’t understand racism, or xenophobia. But they do understand feeling left out. Or bullying. Start there.
  • Begin with very small with very basic concepts of humanity. Start with simple things such as empathy and making good choices. Get them to think about how the other person feels.
  • Use these conversations to encourage and explain empathy. Empathy is so important. Let’s say for example your child hears someone saying this or that about the police. It’s confusing for that child. A conversation with your child is the key to truly understand what they are thinking. Situations that create conflict are not easily resolved all the time. Tell them that not everyone will have the same experiences and that a lot of what people say is based on their own personal experiences.
  • Talk about feelings and the choices that go with them. What can you do with the experiences that you have? Let them bring up the examples. You might ask, “Can you think of a time when you felt ____? Then what happened?”
  • Help your child understand that just because one person thinks one way, not all the people think this same way.
  • Teach simple skills such as sharing and using kind words and even using your manners such as hi, hello, and goodbye. It’s a foundation of you being a human being. You can take it to the next level and talk about what it means to be nice.
  • Instill that good choices lead to good consequences. Even at a young age, they have a right make your own choices, but they also have to deal with the consequences, and those consequences might impact other people. You can do this outside of these larger conversations, and you should. Use examples like ‘If you don’t wake up and brush your teeth, how do you think the rest of the day is going to go for you?”
  • Replace “Don’t do that” or “Don’t say that,” with “How do you think this person is going to feel if you do that?”
  • Remember that behavior is a method of communication. Children have a difficult time articulating feelings, especially when they have negative feelings like guilt, fear, or embarrassment. Learning how to deal with those are the foundations. Anger is normal, but how you display it matters.
  • Give them the language. For example, you might say, “People from different parts of the world will have different foods, different cultures, and look different – that’s called diversity.”
  • Be a positive role model yourself. Model behavior that shows kindness, respect, and acceptance of others.Talk to you children about how they can have a positive impact on their schools and community.
  • Give them the voice to share their thoughts and feelings with you. Ask them questions.
  • Limit their exposure of negative social media.
  • Strengthen their core beliefs of mutual respect, and kindness.
  • Provide experiences where they are exposed to diversity, and help them feel safe, optimistic and motivated that they can make a difference, and they are part of this world.

Divya Dodhia is a child and family therapist.
Mel Kozakiewicz is an editor, writer, and educator.