News: Fancy Nancy's Latest Debut, New Public School Holidays, UWS Dance Store Closes

3/31/15 - By Alina Adams

It's a short school week, with Good Friday and the first night of Passover falling on the same day. Speaking of the upcoming holiday, NYC public schools may be adding another day off to its calendar soon. We've also got news of a program expansion at the South Street Seaport Museum and the chance for students to win $1,000 for their school library. Also, you'll want to hold on to your boas and tiaras, kid-lit icon Fancy Nancy is going to be a TV star!


Last Dance. The Upper West Side's Barbara Gee Danskin shop is closing its doors this Tuesday, March 31, after decades in the same location. The neighborhood is full of dance schools, ranging from Ballet Hispanico to Steps on Broadway to, of course, The School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center, and multiple generations of aspiring ballerinas, tap dancers, and ballroom dancers have come to Danskin for their leotards, tights, shoes and accessories. The store, closing primarily due to rising rents, is holding a massive "Everything Must Go Sale" up until the last minute. My daughter and I recently stopped in and snagged a couple of heavily discounted items. It's definitely worth the trip if you can get there by 6pm tonight!

Prize Writing. In an effort to encourage kids to read and learn, the Charles Lafitte Foundation hosts a series of essay contests throughout the year. The most current is their Kid’s Corner Spring Essay Contest for students in grades 3-12. To enter, your child must read a book listed in the appropriate grade level—titles include: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson and Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Students must then write an essay detailing the main character’s most important characteristic, which helps them overcome obstacles. Winners in each category receive $1,000 for their school library and a Kindle Fire for themselves. Entry deadline is April 17, 2015.

Spring is now in session. South Street Seaport Museum is expanding its Mini Mates Program with a spring session that runs from Thursdays, April 16 to June 4 or Fridays, April 17 to June 5. Both days offer the same programming, allowing more families to participate. Sign up for 75 minutes of music-making, reading, and hands-on learning activities. It costs $200 to attend, with a $100 deposit at registration. To reserve a space, email or call 212-748-8753. 

Fancy That! Got a kid who's rawther fond of the Fancy Nancy book series? Then we've got scrumptious (that's a fancy way of saying great) news! Disney Junior has announced plans to bring Nancy and her bedazzled, multi-syllable finery to television, along with a line of related merchandise. 

School's Out. With two Muslim holidays recently added to next year's NYC public school calendar, 12 city congressional members have sent an open letter to Mayor de Blasio asking about the absence of the Asian Lunar New Year. In Asian culture, the Lunar New Year is considered one of the most significant holidays, and when it falls on a school day many parents keep their children at home, resulting in a marked absence and missed day of learning. According to de Blasio's press secretary, the city is currently reviewing the school calendar, and while there is no set date for adding the Lunar New Year, it will happen.