Six years ago this month we moved to Chappaqua from the city two days before school started. We had wanted to move in the summertime but the house closing and Hurricane Irene had other plans for us. I was nervous that my city born and bred son would have trouble acclimating to a new school and an actual house as opposed to an 800 square foot apartment but those fears quickly dissipated once we started school.We were welcome with open arms at my kid’s nursery school. So many parents had made the same journey just like us – from city parents to country transplants.
Yes my parents still consider this lovely part of Northern Westchester “upstate N.Y.” After all, I do have deer roaming my backyard. What drew us to our community was the excellent school system. This is one of the many reasons why I am so delighted to helm this “back to school” issue as the new editor of both Inside Chappaqua and Inside Armonk. There are so many great things happening in our schools and the wider community that I want to highlight.
First up, I had the pleasure of interviewing and writing the cover story on The Comedy Kids for Inside Chappaqua. These two Roaring Brook Elementary School students had an idea to raise money for pediatric brain cancer that germinated during rainy day recess. It all started with a simple idea that grew from a grassroots joke booth at the Chappaqua Farmers Market to a charity that has gained national attention.
Our cover story for Inside Armonk is also “back to school” themed and features the Byram Hills Preschool Association which plays a critical role in making sure Armonk’s preschoolers are ready to enter elementary school and helps parents and caregivers make connections in the community.
With the back to school season in full swing, there’s never been a better time to visit downtown Chappaqua on October 14th for the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, an annual event that now draws more than 90 children’s authors and illustrators and thousands of attendees to the town. Be sure to read the profiles of three Chappaqua-based authors Matthew & Mara Van Fleet and Barbara Dee who will be meeting eager readers and signing books at the festival. Even if you don’t have children that are school age anymore, the Festival is a lot of fun and a book is a gift that you can open again and again. Plus what’s better than an autographed book for a beloved grandchild?
If you are hoping to savor the beautiful autumn weather, North Castle is chock full of events this fall such as the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, Jamie’s 5K Run and the Cider and Donut Festival. There’s something for everyone right at your doorsteps or in a neighboring town.
Finally if your kids need a break from hitting the books or you are too tired from figuring out after-school schedules, check out Jordan Stutts story on the best local biking trails and get a sneak peek of fall’s foliage. Yet another reason to love living in Northern Westchester.
Editor, Inside Press