All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Lenore Skenazy

How to Give Kids Freedom Like We Had Growing Up

New York Op-Ed columnist Lenore Skenazy wrote the much talked about book “Free Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts With Worry)". She was inspired by the reaction to an article she wrote about allowing her 9-year-old son to ride the New York City subway alone.

Skenazy has followed up this book with many speaking engagements around the world on how to raise safe, self-reliant children. “We are making our kids 'too safe to succeed’,” she says.

Learn how parents should realize the greatest risk might be raising a child who never encounters choice or independence. Please join the Byram Hills Parent Teacher Association for a conversation with Skenazy on Tuesday June 14 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at H.C. Crittenden Middle School.

Food Shop & Drop Your Receipt for PTSA

Updated January 21, 2015
Shop at DeCicco's & Sons Market and then drop your receipt in the box located near the exit. DeCicco’s Armonk store is giving back 1% of their pre-tax sales to the Byram Hills PTSA.

“It’s the least we can do to give back to the community,” says John DeCicco, Sr. The program is also offered at other DeCicco markets in Westchester.

It’s easy to do. Just drop your original sales receipt in the box to support the Byram Hills PTSA. If you need to keep your receipt, ask the cashier for a duplicate. But please drop only the original receipt in the box so it can be calculated in the sales.

Our school children directly benefit from the PTSA’s sponsored activities.

Thank you to DeCicco's & Sons Market for supporting the Byram Hills PTSA.

Bring a Smile to Kids at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

March 19, 2015
The Byram Hills PTSA Community Service Committee is proud to sponsor the first annual “Spring Fling” collection to benefit children at Maria Fareri Children Hospital in Valhalla, NY.

Please consider bringing some fun and joy to kids in the hospital by donating new items that can be easily used from a hospital bed. The gifts will make a difference to the youngsters. Try to bring along your children to help pick out the items to reinforce the lesson of giving back.

Grade gift requested items are as follows:

  • Kindergarten: New Arts and Crafts Supplies (paper, stickers, glitter glue, markers, glue paint beads, …)
  • 1st Grade: New Play Doh or Modeling Clay
  • 2nd Grade: New Playing Cards or Travel Games (UNO, Go Fish, …)

Donation bins will be located in front of Coman Hill Elementary School’s lobby from March 23 to May 1. 


Halloween Scenes Painted on Downtown Windows

A favorite Armonk tradition is the Halloween window painting. As the Byram Hills PTSA’s most popular event, it was close to a sell-out. This year there was the addition of Armonk Square’s windows which allowed for a total of almost 300 canvassed spots. The entire day of Saturday, October 25, was filled with young artists painting halloween scenes. The sunny and warm autumn day was perfect for en plein air.

Along with a bake sale and the spirit wear sale on Main Street, the fundraiser was a great success. Heather Hecht, VP of Coman Hills PTSA, is the mother of two elementary school children who were among the artists. Her five-year old daughter proudly showed off her ghostly masterpiece--a bat flying in front of a full moon, with a pumpkin and what appeared to be a self portrait.

Not only do the paintings put a smile on the faces of the young artists, they lift the spirits of all the viewers, young and old, who may peruse the piece de resistance. Many of the renderings include the standard collection of halloween witches, pumpkins, ghosts and goblins, all with the recurring theme of “Boo,” and “Happy Halloween.”

Don’t Be “Alone Together”

By Louise T. Gantress

April 3, 2014
On the evening of March 19 at H.C. Crittenden Middle School, Alison Trachtman Hill, founder of the consulting firm Critical Issues for Youth, delivered a workshop on Parenting in the Digital Age: Promoting Cyber Safety and Cyber Wellness. The Byram Hills Education Foundation supported the event and PTSA Tech Coordinator Leslie Ilany said that over 200 responses to the PTSA survey on technology led to this presentation.

The program presented useful parenting strategies and answered such questions as “at what age should my child have a cell phone,” and reviewed acceptable online behavior and parenting power.

Ms. Trachtman Hill said, “Today’s kids are more constrained in time and space, they are more regulated and under pressure than previous generations with less time to socialize, so they use technology.” She reminded the audience of their youth, when they were on the phone for hours. Online chatting or texting has replaced that, relationships remain important and distance is no longer a barrier.

Young people see media as fluid and creative, not passive. Ms. Trachtman Hill advised parents, “Do not confuse sophistication with technology, with maturity.” The age 13 requirement for Facebook or Instagram can be easily avoided. Safety and respect should be taught.

She added that parents “need to focus on family values and a relationship with their child because cruelty and inhumanity are easy without face-to-face contact.” Normal expressions, such as tone of voice, facial expressions and body language are lost online. Children need to learn techniques for conflict resolution and to always remember that there is a person on the other side of that screen. Set limits for tech use for all family members, so as not to be “alone together” using devices in the same room.

The presentation concluded with tips:

  • Teach what is OK and not OK

  • Be present (aware)

  • Build a network of other adults so the child has resources in addition to parents

  • Respect your children

  • Engage with non-judgmental conversation

Alison Trachtman Hill’s website, Critical Issues for Youth, can be found at and her presentation will be available soon on BobcatTV.

Global village day
International Cultural Exchange at Global Village Day
March 18, 2014
Byram Hills families are invited to gather at the Byram Hills High School on Saturday March 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to share cultural traditions.

The Swedish Dala Horse is a wooden carved and painted horse statuette originating in the Swedish province of Dalarna. The traditional art of carving and painting the horses has taken hundreds of years to perfect. The Dala Horse is a national symbol of Swedish frugality and dexterity, and will most likely be found in every home in Sweden.
The Khamsa Hand is a symbol of good luck from Morocco. This good luck hand has been used as an amulet in northern Africa for centuries to ward off the bad spirits. Make your own Khamsa Hand and bring home some good luck.

Spend the day at Global Village Day where the school will be transformed into a multicultural village. You'll be drawn in by the aroma of flavors from the international food. You'll be charmed by the exquisite ethnic entertainment, and the children will be mesmerized by an array of activities and crafts. Come celebrate the wonderful tapestry of cultures that weaves our community together.
Tickets at the door: Adults $15, Students/Teachers/Byram Hills School District Staff $10, Seniors $5, Children 4 and under are free.

Prepare for International Travel at Globe Village Day

March 6, 2014
The Byram Hills PTSA presents Global Village Day on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at Byram Hills High School from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Experience and learn about cultures from around the world as you enjoy food, crafts, and entertainment from nine different countries.

Get your very own passport to “visit” Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, and Sweden. Taste some of the international delicacies: Shepherd’s Pie, Chicken Kebabs, and Swedish Meatballs.

Families are invited to make Indonesian shadow puppets, Swedish Dala Horses, and  Brazilian carnival masks. Performances will include Irish step dancing, Balinese dancing, Moroccan belly dancing and Swedish folk songs.

Tickets will be available at the door: Adults $15, Students/Teachers $10, Seniors $5, Children under four years old are free.