Rochester Family Newsletter May 6, 2010 | Kids Out and About

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Rochester Family Newsletter May 6, 2010

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Rochester Family Newsletter 5/6/10

Dear KOA readers:

The new got off to a bang-up start yesterday. We launched at midnight. Everything was going great. Then, at 7:40am, I was on Tony Infantino's show on WARM 101.3 chatting about the new site. Five minutes later, the access load was four times its normal volume, and the servers started screaming EEEK! (Well, they said it in computer language but I know that's what they were thinking.) Talk about the power of radio! But a couple of brilliant minds in early-morning Montana got it back up to full speed within a couple of hours, and I hope those of you who had trouble accessing it at first went back and saw it in its full glory. It was our single highest traffic day ever. Here's an interesting statistic: You all found it so much easier to get around the new KOA that the average number of pageviews was double what it was normally (usually, there is an average of 2.83 pageviews/session, but yesterday it was an average of 5.97 pageviews/session). I love those numbers! Many of you noticed that in the upper right-hand corner of each page is a little calendar; just click on that to find out what's going on ANY day.

2) Here are links to some of the most popular new sections:

Home Page - This is your main navigation area. We have a fantastic new calendar that lets you see at a glance what's coming up both this week and this month, plus quick links to the six most popular pages on the site currently.

Week by Week Summer Camp Calendar - Over 400 camp sessions have been entered so far by camps around our area -- more did so yesterday, after the site launched and they realized that they could do so, and that it's free. The calendar is sorted into weeks from June 7 through September 3. Once you click on a week, you can filter by subject and age on the right-hand side.

Everything That's Free - One easy link on the left-hand navigation menu brings you to a list of all events, classes, and camps that are FREE! There are hundreds, and that's not even counting all of the free summer concerts our area sponsors. One fantastic free cultural event starting this weekend is from the Off-Monroe Players, our local Gilbert & Sullivan troupe, who is starting a run of "Patience." FREE!

Birthday Parties - We have a huge new list of organizations around here that host birthday parties or provide entertainment or supplies. That includes places that host birthday parties as well as things like clowns and magicians.

Giveaways - As of this writing, 14 giveaways are live on the site. (I have added a bunch since yesterday.) Tonight, the RPYO is drawing the winner of tickets to its concert this Sunday. Other giveaways include offerings from Greek Peak indoor water park; Four Tickets for Opening Night (5/14) of 13, The Musical from Stages; signed copies of the Drew & Ellie chapter book series from author Charles Noland; Mary Kay cosmetics; plus free summer classes or weeks of camp from Hochstein, Spotlight Theatre Arts, PUSH Physical Theatre, and Kango Play Center; a family season pass for mini-golf from Adventure Landing, a family portrait from Honey DeLapa, and family tickets to the Fun Zone in Ontario. Giveaways are now easily accessible from the left-hand navigation bar, or just click here.

3) We have two new articles: Photographer Honey DeLapa's article on the best places to take spring family photos, and June Santini's review of Hope Lake Lodge and Cascades Indoor Water Park, which is in easy driving distance of Rochester. (Think it's a coincidence that Hope Lake Lodge is also offering a giveaway of an overnight stay at the resort? Well, no, I guess they liked June's review and wanted to reach out further to Rochester-area readers.)

4) is now organized to be searchable by subject. You can find anything you need to find on KOA, quickly and easily. The left-hand side groups activities by subject. We have big lists of things to do for Indoor Fun, Outdoor Fun, The Arts, Health and Physical Fitness, and Academic/Cultural Learning Activities. (Yes, several of you have already noticed that this corresponds to the interest of our five fictional families, the Walls, the Woodses, the Bravos, the Walkers, and the Smarts.) Scroll down to the bottom of any page and you'll see all kinds of lists of links. These will change as I add in sections from the previous web site, like community service links, organizations that serve kids with special needs, pediatricians, and lots more.

5) The RPO has a special deal for KidsOutAndAbout subscribers!  In honor of Mother’s Day, moms and grandmas get in for free with purchase of any kid’s ticket for the RPO’s final orKIDStra concert of the season.  Call 454-2100 ($3 phone charge applies), in-person at the RPO box office during regular business hours, or at Kodak Hall one hour prior to concert start.  “The Firebird” with Underground Railway Theater shadow puppetry takes place on Sunday, May 9 at 2:00 pm at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre with special pre-concert activities for all ticketholders at 1:00 pm in Room 120 of the Eastman School of Music.

6) Strong National Museum of Play brings America’s foremost play scholars to Rochester for two FREE, fascinating evening lectures May 11 & June 7. Click here for more details in a PDF file from Strong: Free Lectures by America's Foremost Play Scholars.

7) The Phoenix Boyschoir (yes, the famous boys choir from Arizona!) is coming to Rochester to sing a concert with the Amadeus Chorale Youth Singers on June 19. Don't miss the beautiful, unique sound of these terrific boys! Host families are needed to house the boys for the weekend. The chorale is seeking families who would host two boys for the weekend, grades 6-9. Contact if you might be interested; Darla Bair, the director, will send you details and a weekend itinerary to help you decide. Families who host receive two free passes to the concert.

8) Speaking of children's choruses, the Bach Children's Chorus will host an Audition Information Session this Saturday, May 8, at 10:45am in Wilmot Hall of Nazareth College. If your child might be interested in auditioning for the BCC's 2010-2011 year, please bring them along; they will be part of a short rehearsal with the current BCC (which includes my two daughters, by the way), then will hear more about the program and, if they like, receive audition materials for practice. Registration is preferred, though not required, so that they may be sure to have sufficient audition materials. Please click here for more details.

9) Did you know that the Rochester/Finger Lakes region has some of the highest STD rates in upstate New York? Parents of teenagers should be aware that for 15-to-19-year-olds, there are 377 cases per 100,000 teens in our area compared to 314 cases per 100,000 statewide. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield presents a new article for parents with important information for prevention and treatment of teens who may be at risk.

10) The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Rochester’s Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology is inviting the following groups to participate in exciting new research projects: Children and adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder; and Children and adolescents with no autism diagnosis. The Developmental Neuropsychology Lab’s research focuses on improving the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. They are interested in understanding how children learn to think, communicate, move, and even use senses such as vision, hearing, taste, and smell. In addition to contributing to the research, participants will receive payment for their time. If you would like to find out more about participating in the Developmental Neuropsychology Lab’s research, please visit their website at or call (585) 273-4622.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

Debra Ross

Sponsored by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield