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Senior Living Partnership
Wesley Community, Saratoga Hospital Expand Level of Senior Care
MALTA – Saratoga Hospital and The Wesley Community recently announced plans to collaborate on a proposed new senior living community in Malta. The campus will vastly expand the level of care available to southern Saratoga County.
The proposed 12-acre, three-building living community for aging adults will bring various levels of senior housing to southern Saratoga County, including market-rate senior apartments, middle-to-lower income senior apartments and a senior health facility.
The campus will be situated at the north end of the Malta Med Emergent Care facility complex located off Exit 12 of the Northway. The Wesley Community will operate the housing and care facilities and will lease the land from Saratoga Hospital.
“Our commitment to helping seniors age in place has driven this collaboration with Saratoga Hospital,” said Brian Nealon, Chief Executive Officer of The Wesley Community. “The Wesley Community’s hands-on, expert staff has a long history of providing seniors with a wide variety of choices for their long-term care and housing. Aligning our services with Saratoga Hospital will enable us to create a second campus offering a breadth of high-quality services for Capital Region seniors and their families.”
Officials from Saratoga Hospital and The Wesley Community unveiled details of the plan at the Malta Town Board meeting in late November in an effort to seek a variance on building height. The proposed 60-foot buildings would be no taller than the current Malta Med Emergent Care building.
“Both Saratoga Hospital and The Wesley Community have strong reputations for providing exceptional care to all types of patients and this partnership will continue that tradition,” said Angelo Carbone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saratoga Hospital. “This alliance will provide additional options for an aging population in a fast-growing section of our community while diversifying the care available in southern Saratoga County.”
The proposed senior care campus will feature three buildings designed to provide various levels of care to area seniors. The first building will feature approximately 98 market-rate senior apartments ranging in size from 700 to 1,300 square feet. Additional plans for the building include common areas on each floor, a dining area, media center and a lap pool for senior health and wellness.
The second building will contain approximately 75 apartment units for middle-to-lower income seniors and feature similar amenities to the market-rate senior apartment building.
The third entity will house a senior health facility designed for seniors who require additional care or cannot live independently. All facilities will offer a variety of services designed to enhance the lives of seniors, including socialization programs and activities, off-campus outings, and transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores.
Saratoga Hospital presently operates a primary care clinic at The Wesley Community while Wesley provides administrative management of the skilled nursing home facility for Saratoga Hospital. Additionally, approximately 70 percent of nursing home admissions at The Wesley Community are referred by the staff at Saratoga Hospital.
Historic Country Club under New Ownership
Longtime Members to Preserve McGregor Links Legacy
WILTON – The historic McGregor Links Country Club is beginning the new year under new ownership. Blake Crocitto and William Ahl recently purchased the 131-acre property, after its previous owner and operator, Mike Dennis, passed away in December.
The Dennis Family and Arakelian Family had owned and operated the property for nearly 45 years prior to the sale. Crocitto and Ahl have been working with the Dennis Family to ensure a smooth transition of ownership for several months, with the real estate transaction facilitated by Robin Dalton and Amy Sutton of Roohan Realty.
“One of the things that appealed to the Dennis Family was [Ahl and Crocitto’s] history here and their love for the course and the tradition and they really had a lot of respect for the legacy and the club,” said Dalton. “So when the family began to think about selling, these two buyers seemed like the perfect fit.”
Established in 1921 by the founder of The Adirondack Trust Company and designed by Devereux Emmet, a world-renowned golf course architect, McGregor Links has a long history and the new owners say they’ll continue to honor the club’s tradition and legacy while investing in the club and its facilities.
“It’s a big project but we’re excited about it,” said Crocitto. “We’re a little nervous, of course, but we’re extremely excited. I actually played this course seven years ago with my future father-in-law and fell in love with it. I had never played golf before.”
It seems as though the stars aligned for Crocitto and Ahl in this endeavor, as the property was never technically on the market. Ahl and Crocitto have been members of McGregor Links for quite some time and met each other at the club.
“I’ve been a member here for six years and [Ahl] has been a member here for 15 years…but he has grown up golfing,” said Crocitto. “The opportunity [to purchase McGregor Links] arose and we were lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do it.”
Ahl will oversee maintenance operations of the semi-private club, while Crocitto will assume the position of general manager. The Wilton club features an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a clubhouse.
“A lot of what I’ve heard [Ahl and Crocitto] talk about in terms of changes they want to make really are bringing it back to more of a social club that isn’t just focused on people coming to play the 18-hole golf course, but really a place for family and friends to come and eat and gather and enjoy the experience of the club in its totality,” said Dalton.
While some things will change, the character of the property will stay the same. The new owners are working on converting the restaurant into a full-season restaurant, with Druthers Brewing Company taking over the lease. Crocitto is also looking to install a simulator in the locker room for members to take advantage of.
“We’re looking to do on-course testing of new, unreleased clubs so it’s going to be a really cool draw for the members to be able to hit all of the new clubs that come out, for free and before they’re released, so they can get a feel for if they like them or not,” said Crocitto.
Ahl and Crocitto have their work cut out for them, but are anticipating hosting a grand re-opening of McGregor Links this summer.
“Dennis’ shoes are big and no one can fill them, but we’re going to preserve the legacy and put the club in the right direction,” said Crocitto.
For membership information, call McGregor Links at 584-6270.
Maple Avenue Principal Retires After 22 Years
School’s First and Only Principal, Stuart Byrne, Says Goodbye
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Maple Avenue Middle School Principal Stuart Byrne will retire at the end of December, 22 years after taking over the position and just over 40 years after beginning his career as an educator.
Byrne is the first and only principal in Maple Avenue Middle School’s history. The school opened in 1992 and has undergone many changes, but the one constant has been Byrne.
“I was hired at the end of 1991 and started in February of 1992,” said Byrne. “At that time, the building was a shell. Myself and a secretary were all that started, originally. Everything was done from the ground up. I look back now and I think, ‘Did I do all that?’ But I did…I did.”
Not only is Byrne retiring after 22 years at Maple Avenue, he’s retiring from 42 years in education.
“I never left…I started in Kindergarten and just never left,” laughs Byrne.
Byrne said he’s had the good fortune to keep his career alive by teaching different subject matters, grade levels and eventually transitioning into an administrative role. He said his lengthy career has as many peaks as the Rocky Mountains, but some events that stand out include the grand opening of Maple Avenue in 1992 and the 2002 expansion of Maple Avenue with the addition of eighth grade.
“Middle schoolers, as much as the times have changed and the demands have changed, they themselves haven’t changed a lot,” said Byrne. “I think what has changed is the world they’re coming into and the stresses and the pressures being put on them at a younger age. I think one of the challenges middle school teachers and educators have is the fact that we’re trying to make sure they’re competent in literacy and math, but it’s very important that they be critical thinkers. That’s something I find exciting. These kids have the excitement of a kindergartener, but young adult skills so you can take many of them up to higher levels of learning.”
Local, national and worldly events undoubtedly have an impact on the classroom. Byrne said two events stand out in his memory – 9/11 and the 1993 abduction and murder of Sara Anne Wood of Herkimer County, NY. Serial killer Lewis Lent Jr. admitted to killing Wood in 1996, but her body was never found. To this day, Byrne has Wood’s photo posted on the bulletin board in his office.
“Wood was abducted around the time we were opening Maple Avenue and my wife worked with her aunt,” said Byrne. “There hasn’t been any closure for the family, there hasn’t been a memorial service, and there hasn’t been a funeral. I always promised myself that I would keep the photo up until the family got closure, but the photo is coming down when I leave. It’s been up there this whole time, it’s a little faded now. I’m hoping in the back of my mind that between now and my last day, there will be a news story saying they found her or can identify her.”
Byrne says he doesn’t have any set plans for his retirement at the moment, other than relaxing and spending time with his wife, Linda, his son, Nicholas, and his daughter, Lily. The three people he says provided him unconditional love and support throughout his career.
“For the first time in my life, I don’t have the next 10 years of my life planned out,” said Byrne. “It’s a major change. I have a stack of books I’ve accumulated that are non-educational that I might actually get to break a cover on because it hasn’t happened yet.”
Jeffrey D. Palmer, principal at Gordon Creek Elementary School in Ballston Spa, will serve as the next principal of Maple Avenue Middle School effective Thursday, Jan. 1.
Compliments to the Chef Opens in New Location
The Kitchen & Cutlery Store Now Across From The Fresh Market
SARATOGA SPRINGS – After months of preparation, Compliments to the Chef, Saratoga’s well-known kitchen and cutlery store, has a new home. The store, owned by John and Paula Reardon, recently opened at its new location – 46 Marion Avenue, across from The Fresh Market.
Compliments to the Chef opened at Marion Avenue in late November, gaining almost 1,000 square feet of additional space. John says while the store, which was previously located at 48 Broadway, has gained some new perks, some aspects of the store aren’t changing.
“We have the same phone number, same website, same people,” said John. “But now I have more space, more parking and a new partner in The Fresh Market. Every time I see a car parked in front of my store, it’s a joy. Customers that couldn’t get to me before are getting to me now. It just opens up a lot of possibilities.”
One of those possibilities, thanks to the additional space, includes setting up larger, more interactive displays for products, along with a wheeling demonstration counter and knife sharpening area.
“There are products that we can bring into this location that we just didn’t have the room for in the old location,” said John. “We have some bigger electronic pieces, like the electric griddle, and we’re going to be bringing in more coffee machines. The displays take up a lot of room. Our Wusthof knives are also on display – sets that we haven’t had in a long time because we didn’t have the space. That way, customers can see what knives come in the set. We can have and do more things here because we just didn’t have the space before.”
From fine china, to cookware and kitchen gadgets, John says there’s something for everyone at the store, no matter if you’re a home cook or a professional chef. And with less than one week left until Christmas, Compliments to the Chef has last-minute shoppers covered.
“We have locally-made cutting boards by Adam Cielinski; he lives up the street and he’s been making these cutting boards for years,” said John. “We also have gift baskets made up all over the store for the husband that needs a quick, easy gift that’s already wrapped. These gift baskets are a first for us.”
The Reardons say they wouldn’t trade in any of their experiences on Broadway over the last 12 years and this relocation is both exciting and bittersweet.
While the store is currently open, the Reardons haven’t yet had an official grand opening for Compliments to the Chef. They’re hoping to celebrate their relocation with a grand opening ceremony in late January.
Compliments to the Chef is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at its new location, 46 Marion Ave. in Saratoga Springs, across from The Fresh Market. For questions or more information on the store, give the Reardons a call at 226-4477.
Milton Terrace Students Give the Gift of Mobility to their Classmate
BALLSTON SPA – It’s the season of giving and students at Milton Terrace North Elementary School in Ballston Spa recently presented one of their classmates with a heartwarming surprise – the gift of mobility.
First and third grade students at Milton Terrace spent months raising money to fund a running chariot for their classmate, Hunter, to allow him more mobility. With help from the Evans, a local family of four, the students gave 6-year-old Hunter his new chariot at an assembly Monday, Dec. 15.
“It’s an amazing gift because as a parent of a child with special needs, you can’t always do everything with the family because your equipment is limited; it doesn’t always fit the event or activity that you want to do,” said Bekah, Hunter’s mother. “So sometimes, Brock and Garrett [Hunter’s brothers] will go with dad and Hunter and I will stay home, but that’s not the case any longer. We’ll get to do more activities as a family. Nobody has to sit on the sidelines and wait and watch, all five of us can go and do things together.”
Hunter’s chariot resembles the one used by 8-year-old Shamus Evans. Shamus was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair as his primary means of mobility. Last year, the Evans family was able to obtain a running chariot with the help of Ainsley’s Angels of America, a group that provides equipment to those with limited physical ability to help them participate in endurance events. With the help of his running chariot, Shamus was able to participate in running events and races with his dad, Shaun.
Shaun and Shamus, along with mom Nichole and younger brother, Simon, are currently preparing for a cross-country run next summer to raise money and awareness in the hopes of distributing more running chariots through Ainsley’s Angels of America.
“Our goal is to distribute 15 chariots across the country next summer – one for every state we run through,” said Shaun. “Once we get back from our expedition next summer, we’re going to start a local chapter of Ainsley’s Angels.”
The journey ahead is no easy feat, but Shaun says he’s preparing every day. Besides, this won’t be the first time Shaun and Shamus are put to the test, physically. In August 2013, the duo completed the Sweltering Summer 6 Hour race in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. The race is a six-hour timed event on a loop, in which runners try to complete as many laps as possible in the allotted six hours. Shaun and Shamus ran 125 laps for a total of 45 miles, earning them first place overall.
“It melted my heart seeing Hunter today because we were on that end last year, when we received Shamus’ chariot from Ainsley’s Angels,” said Nichole. “Hunter’s presentation today is exactly why we do what we do. We want to give back the way we were given to.”
For more information on Ainsley’s Angels and the Evans Family, visit www.ainsleysangels.org/power-to-push.html.
Northshire Program Gifts New Books to Local Children
SARATOGA SPRINGS – The team at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs is looking for angels to help them gift books to around 300 local children this holiday season. Northshire Bookstore’s Book Angel Program is celebrating its second year at its Saratoga Springs location and provides books to young readers of all ages.
The annual holiday tradition began in Northshire’s flagship Vermont store about 20 years ago as a way to get books in the hands of kids who might not be getting them otherwise.
“We ask local schools and not-for-profits for names of kids who might not be getting much for the holidays this year,” said Rachel Person, events and community outreach coordinator at Northshire Bookstore. “We ask them to give, if possible, the first name only, the age, reading level, and something the kid is interested in.”
That information is represented on paper ornaments hung on a beautiful Christmas tree in the children’s section on the second floor of the bookstore. Some requests are general guidelines, such as, “Boy, 6, loves animals,” while others can be more specific: “loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” This is where you get to polish your halo! Choose an ornament and find a book that matches or donate a specific amount and the Northshire team will pick out books for appropriate ornaments.
“We commit to every single child whose name we get to make sure they get a book,” said Person. “We wind up donating a significant number of books.”
For every five books purchased for the program, Northshire donates one. Once the books are selected, the Northshire team takes care of gift-wrapping and sorting the books for delivery, ensuring every book is given to the children before the start of winter break.
This year, there are approximately 300 students from three local elementary schools and Maple Avenue Middle School who will be receiving books through the Book Angel program; an increase from the 200 students from two schools who participated last year.
“We’re hoping, over time, to be able to expand first to every elementary school in the Saratoga Springs City School District and then to some of the outlying schools,” said Person.
With only about one week left for the program, Northshire is hoping to receive more donations. All books need to be wrapped and delivered to the schools by Monday, Dec. 22, which means all donations need to be received by Sunday, Dec. 21 at the latest.
Book Angel organizers say the program is well-received by both the local school district and the community. In fact, Book Angel is made possible through public and private donations, as well as funds provided directly from the bookstore.
“The kids love it. We got the most amazing thank-you note from Geyser Road Elementary School last year,” said Person. “The kids wrote on doilies and then laminated them and hung them from a big sign…the little hand-written notes were so sweet. I heard from some of the teachers that the kids were flabbergasted to have randomly gotten a present the last day before [winter] break and not know who it was from. The kids really were thrilled by it.”
Northshire is open Sunday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. To make a monetary donation online, visit www.northshire.com.
The bookstore will also be open on Christmas Eve -- Wednesday, Dec. 24, until 4:30 p.m. for last-minute shoppers.
Inspiring Wellness Solutions
Integrative, Holistic Wellness Company Offers another Approach to Health Care
SARATOGA SPRINGS – A new business in Saratoga Springs is changing lives for the better, by helping people improve their health and overall wellbeing.
Inspiring Wellness Solutions, LLC opened its Saratoga office early this fall. The integrative and holistic wellness company, owned by LisaMarie Tersigni, CHHC, AADP, uses a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare that supports and motivates clients to achieve new levels of health, happiness and security.
“What I offer is simple – helping people to be healthy mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” said Tersigni. “And we do that through taking a look at that entire person and seeing what their history is, where they are now and where they need to be.”
Specializing in disease reversal, depression and weight management, Inspiring Wellness Solutions offers a variety of services, including health counseling, nutrition coaching, healing arts and fitness programs for individuals, small groups and corporations. Tersigni is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and is also a Reiki Master and teacher. She opened Inspiring Wellness Solutions in 2012 in Troy, after spending over 25 years in the corporate health care industry.
“I stepped out of [the corporate health care industry] several years ago, to be more hands-on and involved in the actual helping and healing process,” said Tersigni.
Tersigni says she works as her clients’ counselor, nutrition educator, life coach, spiritual advisor, healer and success partner. Through her counseling, she says her clients achieve their health, wellness and lifestyle goals.
“Most of the clients that come to me, because I specialize in disease reversal, have been diagnosed with one or more diagnoses. So, we take a look at what that diagnosis is and how we can work together and help them be healthy by natural means – without the medication, without the surgery and just help them to be well,” said Tersigni. “A big part of that is taking a look at nutrition; 65 percent of illnesses can be prevented by healthy nutrition.”
As the New Year approaches, nutrition and fitness are on the minds of many who are hopeful to make a positive change for their health. Tersigni says Inspiring Wellness Solutions is the perfect option to help guide people on their personal well-being journey.
“My whole mission in life is to help people be healthy and well, fit and happy,” said Tersigni. “I look at people’s entire lives and where they are, the relationships they’re in, the careers they have, what their finances are and their creativity…everything that makes them who they are. I help them to help themselves, take care of themselves, be proud of themselves, and love themselves because when you have all of those, you’re more inclined to be a healthier person on the inside, outside, and every which way.”
Outside of the office, Tersigni is also a contributor to Wellness Today TV – a program where viewers can meet local natural wellness practitioners and learn about the wellness modalities and services they provide. The program airs on Time Warner Cable channels 16 and 18, as well as Verizon channel 32 and onlie 24/7 at SACC.TV.
To learn more about Inspiring Wellness Solutions, visit www.inspiringwellnesssolutions.com. To schedule a free consultation with LisaMarie Tersigni, give her a call at 292-8767.
Assembly Recruiting Vets to Serve as Interns
Tedisco’s Initiative Enables Veterans to Participate in Legislative Internship Program
ALBANY – The 2015 legislative internship program may include some unconventional interns this legislative session. The New York State Assembly is implementing an initiative brought by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) to recruit veterans and members of the military who are enrolled in college.
In February, Tedisco called on the Assembly to set aside a minimum of 10 percent of the current internship program positions for veterans, specifically service-disabled veterans. This first-in-the-nation pilot initiative is called G.I.V.E. Back NY – Giving Internships to Veterans not fully Employed.
Every member of the Assembly Republican Conference signed a letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Intern Chair Deborah Glick, calling for implementation of G.I.V.E. Back NY. Since then, the Assembly has reached out to military affairs offices at college campuses across New York to recruit military and veteran students to become Assembly interns for the 2015 session and is now reviewing applications. The Assembly will pay these interns a stipend of $4,900.
“We truly owe our veterans everything we hold dear as Americans: all of our freedoms, liberties and relative safety that we enjoy are thanks to the service of our veterans. Who better than our veterans and our wounded warriors to see the inner workings of the republic and representative democracy they put their lives on the line for, to the extent that some must now have to deal with a life-long disability,” wrote Tedisco in a news release. “As our veterans learn about state government, my colleagues and I and our other college interns will learn from them about honor, duty, courage, and perseverance against the enemies of freedom and about the principles that make America great. This will also give our veterans significant experience to put on their resumes for future long-term employment.”
Tedisco and state Senator Bill Larkin (R,C-Cornwall on Hudson) are sponsoring legislation to set aside a minimum of 10 percent of internship slots for disabled veterans and 10 percent for other veterans and include a stipend of $11,500 – the highest current pay level for interns.
“While I applaud the implementation of this program, the Assembly should raise the bar even higher by paying veterans at the highest possible level and setting aside a minimum of 10 percent of internship slots for veterans and another 10 percent for disabled veterans, who are not necessarily matriculated in a college program but are just as deserving of an opportunity to see first-hand how their state government works,” wrote Tedisco.
There were 120 interns in the Assembly internship program during the 2014 legislative session, which is down from 180 interns in 2013. Currently, the program is open to students matriculated in a four-year college. Undergraduates receive a $4,500 annual stipend ($6,500 for SUNY students) and graduate students earn $11,500. It is budgeted at $929,149 this fiscal year. There will be no additional cost to taxpayers to implement G.I.V.E. Back NY.
"As our disabled veterans learn about state government, my colleagues and I and our college interns will learn from them about honor, duty, courage, and perseverance against the enemies of freedom and the principles that make America great. This pilot initiative also will give our disabled veterans significant experience to put on their resumes for future long-term employment," wrote Tedisco.
A Holiday Purchase with a Purpose
Horse-Shaped Wreaths to Benefit Old Friends at Cabin Creek
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Most holiday wreaths are made with front doors in mind, but one local woman only has one thing on her mind as she creates her handmade, artificial wreaths – horses.
Ceci Leonowens, of Saratoga Springs, has had a busy winter making Christmas wreaths. Her horse-shaped, handmade wreaths are made with artificial Canadian pine and when packed away with care, can be used year after year.
“I made one for myself, saw how awesome it was looking and decided to kick it up a notch,” said Leonowens. “I also try to capture light and movement, say in the horse’s mane, so I’ll use glitter and things like that.”
Leonowens is a self-proclaimed horse lover and has been riding horses since the age of three. She also says she comes from a creative family, which has helped her tremendously. From the frame to the design, Leonowens makes every wreath by hand which can take upwards of two hours for a single wreath.
The right wreath, whether placed on a front door, above the fireplace, on walls, or even in a window, offers visitors a big, festive welcome; but not only does Leonowens want to bring holiday cheer to the community, she also wants to help local horses by donating 15 percent of every sale to Old Friends at Cabin Creek. The non-profit organization provides a natural, nurturing, forever home to retired race horses. Old Friends is Saratoga County’s only thoroughbred retirement farm and one of the few that will take thoroughbred stallions.
“I got to know the horses there and the volunteers who do amazing work,” said Leonowens. “I admire them so much. What they do for these horses and what the horses have done in their lifetimes – everyone there is amazing. So I thought, why not? It’s going to be a hard winter, the horses need food in their bellies, coats, veterinarian checks, so I’m hoping to just do my part to help these beautiful creatures.”
According to organizers, the average cost of caring for a horse at Old Friends at Cabin Creek is approximately $15 per day. That amount is based on the cost of hay, grain and regularly-scheduled veterinary and farrier care. That amount increases significantly when there is serious illness or an injury, or when the cost of hay and grain changes; but does not reflect any costs associated with facility management. Old Friends at Cabin Creek is staffed entirely by volunteers.
Leonowens is hoping some of the profits from her horse-shaped wreaths can help contribute to the growing Old Friends at Cabin Creek’s growing expenses. She’s planning on selling wreaths again next year as well.
“People go to the track in droves to see these horses race,” said Leonowens. “But once they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind and it shouldn’t be like that with any animal. These guys still have so much spunk and life and personality, so it’s great that they get the care they need there and it’s such a beautiful place.”
To volunteer, donate and learn more about Old Friends at Cabin Creek, visit their website at www.oldfriendsatcabincreek.com.
Señora Gloria’s Spanish Story Time a Success
Northshire Bookstore, CRLC Partner to Offer Bilingual Educational Experience
SARATOGA SPRINGS – On the third Friday of every month, children gather in a circle at Saratoga’s Northshire Bookstore and anxiously await for story time; but it’s not your average story time…books are read entirely in Spanish.
Spanish Language Story Time with Señora Gloria is a collaborative program between Northshire Bookstore and the Capital Region Language Center. Gloria Batista, an educator at CRLC, reads and speaks to the children only in Spanish.
“We have regular story time here at Northshire on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. and we discussed [with CRLC] having a foreign language story time where teachers from CRLC could come in, teach and have some fun,” said Rachel Person, event and community outreach coordinator with Northshire Bookstore. “It’s a way to promote the amazing programs they have and bring some new people into the store for us.”
Throughout story time, the children seem hooked and completely engaged with Batista, even repeating words when she asks them to -- in Spanish, of course. One word to describe the educational atmosphere: inviting.
“Gloria is very warm and outgoing and she just draws in kids,” said Vicki Tremper, children’s program coordinator at CRLC. “That really symbolizes our language program as well. We know we can only be effective language teachers for children if the children want to be there, so we focus on fun and keeping them engaged using music and games and crafts.”
Señora Gloria’s animated story telling skills definitely keep the children engaged. As a child, she says her mother and grandmother told her stories and brought the characters to life, so that’s something she enjoys doing for her students during story time as well.
“One of my favorite things to do is read to children because I get to be part of the story and I get to be part of their memory,” said Batista. “It allows them to associate me with the language as well, so they know when they see me, they’re going to experience something different – like another language.”
Teaching children Spanish is what Batista does every day. She has been an instructor with CRLC since 2006, teaching the pre-school and elementary Spanish classes.
“I love where I work and I love the people I teach,” said Batista. “It’s a wonderful center, geared toward the development of the child. We also cater to the parents needs as well regarding their schedules. We do a lot for our community in that we want the language concept to get out there because it’s important. Language is very important in our changing world.”
While Capital Region Language Center was headquartered in Albany, it has recently relocated to Saratoga Springs. CRLC opened its doors in Saratoga on Monday, Dec. 1 and is located at 77 Van Dam Street. Registration is open for new students.
Spanish Language Story Time with Señora Gloria at Northshire will resume in January. Northshire Bookstore and CRLC hope to add more languages to story time in the future, including French, Chinese and German.
For a full list of events at Northshire, visit www.northshire.com and for more information on Capital Region Language Center, visit www.crlcalbany.org.