Kingston YMCA Farm Project Host Fundraiser on May 18th at 8:00pm.


 The first fundraiser for the Kingston YMCA Farm Project is planned.  The event will take place on Saturday, May 18th at 8:00pm at the Shirt Factory located at 77 Cornell Street in Kingston. 
Kingston, NY –  A new farm project is underway at Kingston’s YMCA located off of Susan Street in Kingston.  Their mission is to educate and empower young people by directly engaging them in sustainable food production on an “urban farm”. Youth will learn and practice the skills needed to produce their own food and to make healthy choices throughout their lifetime, while increasing the community’s access to fresh produce.
Led by first generation organic farmer Kaycee Wimbish who is also managing the South Pine Street City Farm in 2013 in Midtown Kingston, the location already hosts 33 community garden plots and a greenhouse on almost 1 acre of land. 
The groups first fundraiser party will take place on Saturday, May 18th at 8:00pm located at the Shirt Factory,  77 Cornell Street in Kingston. There will be live music provided by Pocatello and the Rosendale Brass band. DJ Liz will also provide music, and Keegan Ales will provide the beer. A suggested donation of $10 – $20 will be collected, but noone will be turned away. The group encourages all supporters to give what they can. 
If you can’t attend but wish to give a donation, you can do so by following this LINK.

For more information, contact KayCee Wimish at:  or call  845/332-2927



About the Kingston YMCA Farm Project:  This fall we will break ground on a quarter acre farm in Midtown Kingston.  The farm will be a place of education and community food production. The Farm Project will engage young people in the magical process of growing food. With planned integration into the YMCA’s on-site afterschool and summer camp programming, the farm will train 200 young farmers each season. Children will be involved in all aspects of food production and garden care: seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting, and ultimately preparing and enjoying the harvest. YMCA Farm Project participants will know exactly where their food comes from, how it grows, and the energy and effort it takes to arrive on a plate. Children participating in this program and the wider community will gain access to fresh, healthy, chemical-free food as the result of the YMCA Farm Project.


Fund Raiser for Burma: Punch and Judy Puppet Show Available for November

By Rebecca Martin

I’ve mentioned Amy Trompetter in another post ‘trumpeting’ her creative Redwing Blackbird Theater group and their wonderful puppet creations for children  (and adults, too).   Currently, she is working to take her ‘Peter and the Wolf’ effort to Burma – and is offering private shows for children’s parties.  It’s such a great idea that I had to share it.



10 for 100

Fund-raiser for Burma

SPECIAL OFFER Amy Trompetter of Redwing Blackbird Theater 413 Main St. Rosendale is offering 10 PUNCH AND JUDY performances in the Hudson Valley for the reduced fee of $100 per show.  The fundraiser supports young people at Gitameit School in Rangoon to adapt and to tour A NON-PROKOFIEV PETER AND THE WOLF. We propose opening a door for the young generation in Burma to be free of limitation and have access to all ideas relating to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.   The workshop in Rangoon combines Asian and western puppetry techniques, and new music based on jazz and traditional Burmese orchestration. Amy leaves 12/1/10.

Punch and Judy show description: The wicked humor of Amy’s “Punch and Judy” hand puppet show, based on English tradition and New York anarchy, has stormed five continents over twenty years and is famed for a large skirt that lifts over the head and transforms into a stage.

For more information please contact: 845 658 7651.

This PUNCH AND JUDY SPECIAL is NOVEMBER ONLY, though you may pay now for a show in the spring.



Welcome to Kingston! Livingston Street Early Childhood Community

By Rebecca Martin

In most cases, a parent and child in this country are grossly under supported by our society and system. I learned this after having a son. For instance, who was the genius that came up with three months as the magic number for a woman to recover from a delivery and get settled into her new role as “mother”?  It’s a funny thing, the discussion of family values in America while forcing both parents to work full time jobs so early in a child’s life (in places like Sweden for instance, a mother has a minimum of 69 weeks paid maternity leave).

For now, that’s just the way things are and in Kingston, we are fortunate to have some excellent choices for child care and early child development. Whether you have to work, or you wish for your preschooler to be in a sensitive, nurturing and community based program, this is it.

I had the opportunity to sit and chat with the founder of Livingston Street Early Childhood Community recently to share her ideas with our readers.

*** Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how you came to Kingston?

Cheryl Demuth: I grew up in Middletown, NY and got my Bachelors degree in Psychology at SUNY New Paltz. After graduating, I moved to Kingston with my then boyfriend, now husband, Tim. Tim was accepted to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University shortly after coming to Kingston and we moved to Pittsburgh eighteen months later. We stayed in Pittsburgh for a couple of years, but moved back to the Hudson Valley in 2004.

After moving back to Kingston, I began working as the Head Teacher in the toddler classroom at Vassar College Infant Toddler Center (ITC). The ITC is an inclusive childcare center and laboratory school. Given the lab school setting, alongside the toddlers in the room there were researchers observing and studying children in the group care environment, student teachers learning classroom management and developmentally appropriate practice, and Vassar College students in the work-study program. This type of setting gave me a solid foundation in management, communication skills, working with young children, developing innovative curriculum, and engaging parents and community (just to name a few).

I worked at the ITC for two years before deciding to go back to school at Bank Street College of Education for Early Childhood Leadership. Working full-time and going to school full-time was not easy, but after two years I received my Masters degree. My wish was to open a progressive early childhood program in Kingston.  Upon graduating from Bank Street in 2008, I left Vassar College to pursue my dream. The Livingston Street Early Childhood Community is a combination of school and daycare. Can you explain how your program works?

CD: Livingston Street operates from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday, except for Wednesdays when we close at 3:30. In thinking about what I wanted for children and families it was important to me to offer high quality care for the working part of the day. Yet, I also wanted to have a structured routine similar to school that offers engaging and challenging activities for young minds and bodies. Thus, Livingston Street meets the needs of working families with full-day care and high quality, progressive early childhood programming. What is your philosophy and approach to caring for and teaching young children?

CD: Livingston Street’s mission is to nourish the emotional well-being and social competence in young children through the creation of meaningful relationships with a diverse group of people, the development of early literacy and communication skills, and program wide participation in the process of community service.

I approach early childhood teaching and care from a social/emotional standpoint. Jack Shonkoff, director of the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University said it simply when he stated, “Emotional well-being and social competence provide a strong foundation for emerging cognitive abilities. Together they are the ‘bricks and mortar’ of the foundation for human development.” With that said, I am most interested in making sure that young children believe in themselves and feel competent and effective in social settings.

What we do:

At Livingston Street, we expose children to a variety of experiences, including walks through the neighborhood, large group mural projects and individual artistic creations, music and movement, cooking projects, early literacy, and so much more. All of these experiences challenge and encourage development in a safe, nurturing environment where children feel comfortable to explore and learn at their own pace.

Part of the Livingston Street philosophy is to allow for a democratic classroom where the children lead the curriculum. This is called emergent curriculum and is based on the idea that children know best what they would like to learn about. It is the teacher’s responsibility to follow their lead and create experiences and challenges that teach based on the children’s interest.

Along with the work we do with young children, Livingston Street also has the component of community service. Twice during the calendar year, Livingston Street staff, friends and families volunteer for a community service event. The project is simple, something that the children can manage alongside the adults. The purpose is three-fold. First it brings the children a greater sense of security in the surrounding community. Second, it enables young families to learn together the joys of helping others and believing in a cause. Lastly, it connects the Livingston Street community with the broader community in a very meaningful and positive way. You have a new location that will be open shortly. Why did this space inspire you?

CD: We are located in a space at Immanuel Lutheran Church at 20 Livingston Street in Kingston. The building housed a school that closed in the early 1970’s. The classroom that we are using is a large, newly renovated open space. It has high ceilings, a wall of large, south facing windows that look back on the wooded play area, and a striking wood floor.

If ever a classroom could, this room stimulates imagination and creates an atmosphere of friendship and engaged learning. Each time I walk into the room I feel excited for the children that will be use this beautiful space and the families that will reap the rewards of delighted and inspired children.


Puppets in Rosendale

By Rebecca Martin

I discovered this really great group called  the Redwing Blackbird Theater in Rosendale.  We sort of fell into it last weekend on Halloween when their doors were wide open for the children to enjoy a free puppet show as we were wandering around trick-or-treating. I have never seen my son laugh harder than he did and I was impressed by the artistry. It was a funky space, and alot of fun.

The one behind the magic, Amy Trompetter, is presenting “Peter and the Wolf” this afternoon at 3pm at the Rosendale Theater.  She is working to raise funds to bring her show to Burma this winter. Perhaps when she returns, we can bring her to Kingston on a regular basis.

PETER AND THE WOLF, November 6, 2010, 3 pm, By Donation, Rosendale Theatre Collective

Redwing Blackbird Theater presents a puppet adaptation of PETER AND THE WOLF.

Geared for children and adults, this PETER AND THE WOLF is updated from the 1936 original by Sergei Prokofiev, as narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt around 1950 in Poughkeepsie. Like many good stories, this one begins in the forest and asks where we are going. The Full Spectrum Dominance Orchestra provides unusual instrumentation and improvisation in the spirit of Prokofiev’s beloved score.

PETER AND THE WOLF was developed as a series of Saturday improves and performances by and for the community at Redwing Blackbird Theater, 413 Main Street, Rosendale, NY.

408 Main Street, Rosendale, NY 12472
Phone:  845-658-8989

The Rosendale Theatre Collective is dedicated to preserving the historic Rosendale Theatre and enhancing the cultural life and economic vitality of Rosendale and Ulster County through film, the performing arts, and educational programming.

The Kingston Land Trust Hosts Fun, Local Events in September

By Rebecca Martin

The Kingston Land Trust, an urban trust with offices in Uptown Kingston, is hosting several upcoming events that are community based and fun.

On Wednesday, September 15th the Kingston Land Trust will host it’s first ‘Dinner and a Documentary’ series with  a complimentary screening of ‘The Chances of the World Changing” by critically acclaimed film maker Eric Daniel Metzgar. The event will take place at MINT Wine and Tapas Bar located at 1 West Strand in the historic Rondout section of Kingston. The community is invited to arrive at 6:00pm and encouraged to purchase drinks and dinner. The complimentary film will begin between 7:15 – 7:30pm and will include fresh popcorn and organic butter for guests.

Exactly one week later on Wednesday, September 22nd the Kingston Land Trust hosts its first annual Harvest Moon Benefit Concert. POOK (the Percussion Orchestra of Kingston) and the Kingston High School Jazz Combo will be featured. World renowned bassists Larry Grenadier and Vicente Archer will sit in with the combo (along with the youth musicians all being from Kingston, Larry is also currently a resident and Vicente born and raised).  The event will take place at the Falcon Arts Performance space, 1348 Route 9W  in Marlboro, NY. There is a suggested donation of $25 with children 18 and under for free.

To learn more about these event s and the Kingston Land Trust, click on this LINK.

The Good Stewards aka ‘Project Forsyth’

There are many good works underway in the city of Kingston in the midst of some pretty tough economic times. For instance, stewards of the ‘Project Forsyth’ program are working to gain a substantial grant to update the park at Forsyth in Kingston for all of our families and visitors to enjoy. Forsyth is a premier location that hosts our city zoo (with a wide array of rescued animals ranging from bulls to peacocks), nature center, open space, tennis courts and children’s playground.

Read more…

Youth Build Helps Maintain the City of Kingston’s Foreclosed Properties

By Rebecca Martin
(excerpts taken from a letter generated by Fire Chief Rick Salzmann)

With the increasing number of foreclosures that the city of Kingston is experiencing, Building safety is receiving daily complaints regarding properties that are vacant and not being maintained.    In an effort to better deal with these properties, Ward 9 Alderman Hayes Clement suggested a meeting with Bonnie Landi at YouthBuild. As a result, Youth Build will cut grass and perform basic yard work at vacant properties, where owners have ignored the notices that the Building Safety Department have sent to them.

Read more…

Tyke Bikes

By Rebecca Martin

On the outskirts of the city of Kingston, NY. there is a bike shop that is wonderfully old school.

Last fall, Larry and I went looking for our sons very first bike. Lucky for me,  I came across the “Famous Bike Brothers” out on Boices Lane.  In business since 1974, their small shop was filled with a great selection of bikes, helmets and gloves. The service was outstanding, too.

Read more…

South Pine Street Garden Makes First Food Donation to Queens Galley

Farmer Frank and Rebecca Martin making a delivery of turnip greens to the Queens Galley from the South Pine Street Garden. Photo credit: Kevin McEvoy

The South Pine Street Childrens/Community Garden off of Greenkill Avenue in Ward 5 made a large food donation of Turnip Greens to Queens Galley.

Read more…

A Golden Opportunity For the City Of Kingston’s Youth

The children from the GW Montessori Program in their garden!
GW Montessori Public School gets its garden on!

Kudos to Valerie Hannum and the The George Washington Montessori School. Of all of the percolating ideas and efforts in the city of Kingston, Hannum and her program to us is in the ‘pinch me’ category. How lucky that she has landed here.

With only approximately 200 public Montessori schools in the US and Canada, to have one in our community and particularly in the heart of Midtown is no small thing. Soon, ours will accommodate grades K-5. Generally, a Montessori eductation is costly making it impossible for most families to pursue. Here, the program is covered by grant money and ultimately, as a public school by our taxes. Imagine that. Paying school tax and actually using the schools.

Of course, we realize that there are some parents who feel the program isn’t suited for their child. But the GW Montessori School is a great option to have. To force a mandated public education on every young mind is not a healthy approach.

A special thanks to Gerard Gretzinger, Robert Pritchard,  and all of the GW Supporters who recognized a good thing. Most of all, to the staff and teachers (some who have served the community as educators for decades and who come out of retirement to teach in this new way) that have taken between 1200 – 1800 hours of study to become certified Montessori teachers.

Reach out to Valerie Hannum (845/338-1978) and ask for a tour of the school to see for yourself. Perhaps one day, more of our public schools will have the same approach.

Read about the program in Today’s DAILY FREEMAN.

To get a better sense of the Montessori principals, visit this LINK

Keeping Up With the Everett Hodge Center

Sandy Hopgood and Jeanne Edwards

The Everett Hodge Center on Franklin Street in Kingston has always been an important place to us. Almost in the heart of Midtown, it works hard to service and run programs for the children and families living in Ward 4 and beyond.

Every Friday night, Ward 4 resident Jeanne Edwards helps to organize a healthy warm meal for the children as part of the “Hodge Food For Thought/Rewards For Excellence” program.  They are always in need of healthy food donation as well as volunteers. Visitors and presentations for the children are a great gift, and always welcomed.

Visit their BLOG for weekly posts, and contact information for more on the program and how you can help.

By the way, the 5th Annual Midtown Make A Difference Day has been set for June 19th from 11am – 4pm at the Hodge Center.  If you wish to learn more, contact Megan Weiss (Kingston Cares) at 845/331-1110.

– Rebecca Martin

Upgrading the YMCA Playground by Making Community and Children’s Gardens

This just in! I am so happy to learn of the news, as that play area is really beautiful and completely underutilized.

Good news indeed.

– Rebecca Martin


April 6, 2010

Citizen Help Sought for YMCA Park Clean up and Garden Projects

DEP volunteers launch initiative at YMCA playground that includes creating community and childrens gardens.

Employees from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection office in Kingston have volunteered to clean up the YMCA playground as well as install a community garden and children’s garden at the site, which is behind the YMCA building on Broadway in Midtown. The coordinators are conducting the first cleanup this Saturday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and need community volunteers to help.

The work involves making repairs to the jungle gym as needed, cleaning up trash at Summer and Susan streets, and removing brush, dead limbs and trees as well as removing invasive plants. Additional cleanups are also planned in the coming weeks.

For more information about the clean up as well as to help out with the garden project, contact Ed Blouin at or by calling him at (845) 616-2677.

For more information about other community garden projects in Kingston, contact Arthur Zaczkiewicz of the Kingston Land Trust at