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Toddlers, Parents Learn Science in New Rochelle

The Westchester Jewish Community Services runs the three-week program.

Parents and children spent time during the summer learning a little about science.

Actually, according to Patrice Cuddy, director of the Parent Child Program at the Westchester Jewish Community Services, it was more like the parents learning how to help their children learn.

The Toddler Science Camp, conducted over a three-week period at the New Rochelle Public Library, was "supporting the parent as the child's first and most important teacher," Cuddy said.

The preschool program was designed for children up to age 4, she said. It is an extension of a similar program that is run during the school year and is funded by a federal grant from the Safe Schools/Healthy Students initiative.

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Cuddy said it was based on the theory that children who are challenged by poverty or English as a second language need extra assistance in order to not be at an educational deficit when they enter public school.

"We are dedicated to making sure they are ready to learn and ready to succeed," she said.

Some of the projects used in the programs examine what happened when food coloring is added to a substance or what happens when vinegar is combined with baking soda.

Cuddy said the projects were enjoyed by both the children and their parents.

"It turned out wonderfully," she said. "It was really great to have the parents come alive and enjoy that."

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