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Bridging the Gap

Preschool, post-camp activities.

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The post-camp letdown in the final two weeks of August can be tough on kids. But while other places around the city are setting up for their fall programs, Staten Islanders don’t seem ready to give up on the outdoors quite yet. Boogie Woogie Wednesdays, the free family dance lessons on the lawn at Snug Harbor that started early in the summer, continue for two more weeks (August 23 is modern, August 30 is line dancing). Enabling our competitive nature, the coordinators of September’s Richmond County Fair—known for biggest-hair contests and pig races—will hold a practice session (no, not for the pigs) for the kids’ challenges. At Historic Richmond Town on August 26, little ones can figure out their best strategies for the yoke-and-bucket relay race, paper-airplane toss, and shopping-cart scurry. Shameless mothers in the crowd may want to practice for the soccer-mom-sideline-cheering contest, a hollering match where the loudest and longest shriek nabs the blue ribbon. More-erudite youngsters may fare well at the Staten Island Zoo’s Careers With Animals Workshops. The three sessions remaining this season take a middle-school-level look at animal behavior and the work of veterinarians and field biologists. Participants learn about recording the way animals act through ethogramming (noting specific activities within a set time frame) and using quandrancies (a technique for mapping their movements). Even if none of this is useful in school come September, there’s certainly a social benefit, says zoo educator Dave Johnston. “You’re not just talking about animals when you learn about behavior,” he says. “Anything we do with animals can be applied to humans, too. It helps you get along.”

6 p.m is pizza, 7 p.m. is dancing; 8/23 modern dance with scarves, 8/30 electric slide and the Macarena; Staten Island Children’s Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, 1000 Richmond Terr., nr. Fillmore St. (718-273-2060 or statenislandkids.org ); free.


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