Monthly Archives: March 2015




written by Jen #supermom

Spring is upon us at last!  Warmer days are starting to make an appearance, so we can finally get our children to the playgrounds and let them run and play freely outside.  Adios to the days of cabin fever (and non-stop colds and tissues galore) and HELLO to the outdoors!!!  Thankfully, as always, there is lots going on here in Brooklyn to keep us busy.  Here is a list of local happenings that will help our families celebrate the season of growth, renewal and all things happy!


* Annie’s Blue Ribbon 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt @ 232 5th Ave:   Head to this local shop with your basket in hand to search for treat-filled eggs.  March 28th, 10am.  Must RSVP.

* Egg-citing Eggs! @ The Brooklyn Children’s Museum:  Explore the egg-citing world of eggs and discover how families around the world celebrate the holiday known as Easter. Learn about animals that come from eggs, and examine a bird’s nest from the museum’s collection. Make your own nest to take home.  April 4th and April 5th, 11:30am and 2:30pm. Ages 2 1/2 – 5.

* Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Puppetworks:  Based on Robert Southey’s folk tale and adapted for hand puppets!  April 4th, 11th and 12th, 12:30pm and 2:30pm.  Ages 3+.

* Metlife Early Learners Performance Series:  Wildlife Theater – Butterfly Boogie @ The Brooklyn Children’s Museum:  A giant cockroach puppet will teach children why insects are the coolest creatures around. Then take off on a 3,000-mile adventure with a butterfly-themed show, “The Tale of Flutterby and Piggle.” This musical, interactive performance introduces children to the interdependence among plants and animals.  April 11th, 2pm.  All ages.

* Egg and Spoon @ BAM:  Created especially for younger theatergoers, this intimate, interactive performance from Lyngo Theatre Company takes on a sensory tour through the four seasons.  Children run through rain and falling leaves, watch stars glow overhead, sleep on a blanket of snow, and chase butterflies around a flowering tree as they wait for spring. Runs April 15th-19th. Ages 2-4.

* Jack and the Beanstalk @ Puppetworks: With an original song score and a “live” giant!  Adapted for marionettes.  April 18th – August 23rd (Saturdays & Sundays only), 12:30pm and 2:30pm.  Ages 3+.

* Cultural Connections Performance: Small is Big, Big is Small: A Trip with Biriki @ The Brooklyn Children’s Museum:  Meet Biriki, a lovable character from Italy composed of simple shapes: a heart, a circle, a dot, a triangle, and a crescent. Watch a fun video featuring this whimsical character, and then make your own art project full of shapes. April 25th, 2pm.  All ages.

* Sakura Matsuri 2015 @ The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens:  Sakura Matsuri, the annual cherry blossom festival at BBG, offers over 60 events and performances that celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Events include taiko drumming, tea ceremonies, kabuki dance, samurai sword fighting, manga drawing and bonsai kids’ workshops.  April 25th and 26th 10am-6pm.  All ages.

* Manxmouse @ BAM:  The Mouse Who Knew No Fear @ BAM:  This is the story of a strange little mouse, blue and tailless and ears like a rabbit, but absolutely fearless in the face of his differences.  A witty and whimsical story-within-a-story is full of lively characters, inventive theatrical feats, and important lessons about what hope can accomplish when coupled with bravery.  Runs April 25th – May 2nd.  Ages 6-10.

* Touch-a-Truck @ PS295 in Park Slope: Trucks, vans, buses, and other large vehicles will be available for kids to sit in, climb on and marvel at. Over 25 vehicles will take part, along with their operators to help explain how their purpose and how they work.  Gourmet food trucks, craft projects and bouncy houses along with music and dancing make this an event not to be missed! May 2nd, 12pm-5pm.

* Court Street Brooklyn Festival @ Court Street between Union and West 9th: 10 block festival with over 200 vendors and activities and rides for the kids. May 3rd between 12pm – 6pm.  For a listing of all upcoming NYC street fairs, go to:


A favorite Spring day for my family is often spent at the Prospect Park Zoo, where the walk through the park is half of the fun!  Or, a few subway stops away is another favorite, Jane’s Carousel in Dumbo.  Lots to do here in the upcoming months. Looking forward to retiring the down jacket and feeling a little warmth of the sun while checking out some of these fun family events!




We’ve written before about how important physical exercise is for us, especially true after becoming a parent.  After all, a happier and healthier you is a better, more positive mom or dad and that in turn makes for a happier family!  Here is a fun and exciting way to keep in shape during these upcoming Spring weekends, while making new friends and helping fight cancer!

Moms In Training is a 10-week, flexible work-out program that meets in Prospect Park (and 10 additional NYC locations) every Saturday morning, which culminates with an optional all-women’s 6.2 mile run/walk in Central Park in June.

This program allows you to get in shape and meet other moms while supporting the mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  See what inspired 1,500 moms to raise almost $2 million for the fight against cancer:

All mom’s are encouraged to participate.  Moms of babies and kids of all ages, expectant moms, moms who want to work out with their baby stroller or come alone, all are welcome.

Moms In Training begins on April 11th and continues on Saturdays at 9am at Prospect Park.  You DO NOT need to be a runner to participate.  Enter coupon code: momsrock (all lowercase) for 50% off your registration fee.

Visit the website for all details:

Sometimes we just need that little extra push to get started – perhaps the idea of running while fighting cancer and raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is just the thing to get us going.  A fabulous idea and a great way to start off your Spring weekends!!!!




This is the first of hopefully many interviews we’ll be featuring on the South Slope Pediatrics blog.  As part of this, we’re looking to feature some of the many inspirational and dynamic parents that are part of the South Slope Pediatrics Family!  For our first interview, we spoke to Elyssa Gersen-Thurman, a Director of Work Readiness and Work Wellness Services at The HOPE Program.


SSP: How did you first get involved with The HOPE Program?

I first became involved with The HOPE Program when I worked as Director of Vocational Services at Samaritan Village, a substance abuse treatment program. My staff referred many clients to HOPE for training with great success and over time I became familiar with their program. When they had a job opening, I applied right away and thankfully joined their team.


SSP: Can you please tell me a bit about The HOPE Program and what it is you do there?

The HOPE Program, which started in 1984, empowers New Yorkers to overcome poverty through skills training, jobs and career advancement. We combine classroom work readiness training with internships and then provide job placement and career advancement. I oversee the work readiness and work wellness services. I supervise a phenomenal staff including our Recruitment & Intake Coordinator, three Work Readiness Instructors, a Technology Instructor, and a Mindfulness Educator. We work together to insure that we are continually providing stellar services to our students. I also teach three wellness classes per week.


SSP: What influenced you to get into this line of work?

I started college with the goal of becoming an English teacher because I love to read and write. I went to a non-traditional college and out of curiosity I took a yearlong program called ‘Human Health and Behavior’ and became interested in counseling. I was fascinated by the stories of people’s lives and how they make meaning of these stories. I went on to graduate school and earned my Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. Initially, I thought that I wanted to go into private practice, but then moved to NYC and started working in non-profit drug treatment, mainly serving clients from low income backgrounds. This led to my becoming immersed in and passionate about counseling for social justice, which ultimately led me to The HOPE Program.


SSP: What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love serving others. I feel humbled and honored to witness our students’ devotion and effort as they transform their lives through The HOPE Program. I also enjoy teaching wellness classes and learning about wellness along with our students. As I tell them, ‘we’re all in this together’ and I derive a great deal from the wisdom they share with me and each other.


SSP: What do you find the most challenging?

Our students face a lot of barriers. Thankfully, we are able to address most of these at HOPE due to the wide array of services we provide and if we can’t, we have many partners who assist us.


SSP: Has there been one specific situation/story that has stood out and greatly affected you during your time at The HOPE Program that you would like to share?

When our students get a job they walk down a long hallway, comprised of our offices and classrooms, ringing a bell. Everyone stops what they are doing and comes out to applaud. Every time I hear that bell, I know a student is beginning a career. Nothing makes us happier than the sound of the bell ringing at HOPE! Anyone can see the photos of this on our FB page.


SSP: What do you wish other people knew about The HOPE Program?

Our job placement and retention rates are among the highest in the field. Our services are comprehensive, so we are able to help individuals with significant barriers.


SSP: What would you say to someone who would like to help or get involved?

You can visit our website: to learn more about what we do. If you are interested in becoming a student, please come to an Information Session any Tuesday or Thursday at 9am at 1 Smith Street in downtown Brooklyn. We always need internship partners to provide our students with job skills. We are grateful that South Slope Pediatrics is one of our new internship partners and the student who trained there had a positive experience. We can also help employers meet their staffing needs with our qualified students. Last, but not least, we welcome any donations and on May 12th is ‘A Taste of HOPE’, a fundraiser featuring award-winning food and beverage purveyors.