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Millennial Expert Ana Homayoun, will Speak on Social Media Wellness

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On January 16, 2019, teen and millennial expert Ana Homayoun, will be visiting our district to talk about the important topic of Social Media Wellness. We are delighted that she will be delivering three phenomenal programs that day: one for all ninth grade students, a second for staff members, and finally the parent program, which is part of our Wellbeing Speaker Series.

Bookends Bookstore will be on-site to host a book sale and signing at the conclusion of Ana’s presentation. Books can be pre-ordered at Bookends for this event or purchased that evening at George Washington Middle School.

Ana Homayoun is an author, speaker, and educator. Ana is the founder of Green Ivy Educational Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based educational consulting firm and has spent the past seventeen years working with students, parents, and educators around the world. Her latest book, Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World, discusses modern social media dilemmas and offers prescriptive solutions. Her first book, That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life, quickly became a classic among parents and educators for the pragmatic approach to executive functioning issues. Her next book, The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life, explores the real-life dilemmas of young women today and provides strategies for finding authentic success and happiness.

Ana’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, USA Today, Psychology Today, ABC News, CNN, and more. She is also a frequent guest on NPR.

We hope you can join us.


Stacie Poelstra
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

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Canadian Healthcare Rated The Worst in “Wait Times “

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ottawa Canada, if you are not feeling well better put off that move to Canada . According to the U.S.-based Commonwealth Fund, in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Health Information, just published the results of their health policy survey of adults in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The results indicate that Canada is not just lagging, but dead last when it comes to indicators of timely access to health care.

Continue reading Canadian Healthcare Rated The Worst in “Wait Times “

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Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Back to School Greeting

Dan Fishbein 10

Summer is quickly coming to an end and the opening day of school, September 5th, is nearly here. We have all been working hard to ensure that our buildings and programs are ready for the first day of school.

Continue reading Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Back to School Greeting

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Healthy Smoothie Ideas from Valley Hospital

June 22,2018

by Andrea Collins, MS, RD, CDE, Dietitian, The Valley Hospital

Ridgewood NJ, Smoothies can be a delicious and healthy part of your food plan. Include the ingredients below to boost your phytonutrient, protein, omega 3 and fiber intake.

Combine ingredients in the order listed below and blend to desired consistency.

Base liquid: 4 to 6 ounces
Brewed and cooled tea, green or an herbal tea

Juices (optional): 2 to 4 ounces
100% fruit juices, try cranberry, orange, dark cherry, pomegranate

½ cup of unsweetened fruit, try apple, berries, banana, mango, melon, peach, pear, pineapple

1-2 cups of leafy greens or other vegetables of your choice

Choose one: Unsweetened protein powder (1 scoop), nut butter (1 Tbsp.), yogurt or kefir (1/2 cup)

Flax seeds
Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seeds to the blender

Add ¼ cup to the blender if you prefer your smoothie cold


If you are interested in meeting with a nutrition coach to learn more about a wide range of personalized services including menu planning, refrigerator makeovers, supermarket shopping, advice about what to order in restaurants, personal chef referrals, lunch box ideas, collaborative cooking instruction and recipes, please contact Joe Juliano, DTR, Nutrition and Wellness Manager, The Valley Hospital, at 201-447-8093 or

The above smoothie ideas were inspired by The Institute for Functional Medicine

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Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman will be presenting “Developing Grit, Self-Control, and a Positive Mindset: The Keys to Success.”

Wellness program

Next Wellness program is Wednesday, February 28

Dear Parents/Guardians,
On February 28th, Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman will be presenting “Developing Grit, Self-Control, and a Positive Mindset: The Keys to Success.” This program will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the George Washington Middle School auditorium. Dr. Baruch-Feldman is the author of The Grit Guide for Teens: A Workbook to Help You Build Perseverance, Self-Control, and a Growth Mindset. She is a clinical and school psychologist who believes in inspiring a growth mindset. Dr. Baruch-Feldman uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help children and adults with depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD, and weight loss. She is an expert in coducting psycho-educational evaluations for children experiencing school-related difficulties and has trained hundreds of teachers, parents, children and health care professionals by giving workshops and lectures through the country.

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Kate Fagan, author of What Made Maddy Run, on Monday, January 29 at 7 p.m. at the Ramsey High School Auditorium

Ramsey High School

January 29,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ramsey NJ, Dr. Matthew Murphy, superintendent of the Ramsey Public Schools, has extended an invitation to the Ridgewood community to attend their Parent Academy with Kate Fagan, author of What Made Maddy Run, on Monday, January 29 at 7 p.m. at the Ramsey High School Auditorium. Madison Holleran graduated from NHRHS prior to attending University of Pennsylvania.

What Made Maddy Run is a very powerful book that discusses some of the challenges that children are facing: social media, mental illness, and suicide. In fact, all staff members have received a copy of the book and Ms. Fagan will be addressing the entire staff in the afternoon. Later in the afternoon, she will be addressing our student-athletes and coaches to talk about the additional pressures of being a scholar-athlete. These are just some examples being taken towards the District’s Goal of Enhancing the Student Experience via a focus on Wellness.

An evening with author Kate Fagan:”Ms. Fagan brings enormous credibility and I think her story will be interesting to many,” wrote Dr. Murphy. “She played basketball for the University of Colorado and finished her career as one of the Big 12’s top scorers and then played 2 seasons in the WNBA. Following athletics, Ms. Fagan has worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and now is a writer for ESPN. She has appeared on “Around the Horn.” She has written several books and has established herself as a sportswriter with knowledge and insight that is useful and important, especially young athletes.”

Location: Ramsey High School Auditorium
Time: 7 PM (doors will open at 6:15 PM)
Parking is very limited – please carpool!

Limited additional parking has been graciously made available via Ramsey Ambulance (WHITE spaces only) and St. John’s.
In case of any potential weather-related issues – please check the district website for updates.

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Good Life Ridgewood to Be Held October 1, 2017

Good Life Ridgewood to Be Held October 1, 2017

September 28.2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Health Department and Parks and Recreation invite you to Good Life Ridgewood. This event will be held Sunday October 1, 2017 from 11 to 3 at Memorial Park at Van Neste Square in downtown Ridgewood.

Come see what wellness services are available to Ridgewood area residents. Visit with 70 Local Health-Providers: Medical Providers, Non-profit Organizations, Health screeners, Vendors, and Entertainers.

The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign supports Good Life Ridgewood. The Mayor’s Wellness Campaign is a state-wide initiative to invite Mayors to play a leadership role in supporting opportunities to promote active, healthy lifestyles with long-term goals to include a reduction in health care costs for all. Come be a part of it all.

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Friendship More Important For Health Than Family As We Age, Study Finds


7Jun – by Daniel Steingold

 In Family Studies Happiness Studies Health Studies Psychological Studies Relationship Studies

EAST LANSING, Mich. — We may have less time to spend with friends as we get older, but that doesn’t mean that close companionship becomes any less important to our well-being. That’s because our social circle has a greater impact on our health and well-being than family does, a new study finds.

Researchers at Michigan State University conducted two separate, yet related studies, hoping to find the empirical value of friendship.

A new study finds that friendship is important to our health and well-being as we age than relationships with family members.

The first study analyzed a survey that provided self-reported measures of health and happiness from over 270,000 participants of all ages worldwide. Meanwhile, the second study derived its data on relationships and chronic illness from a survey of nearly 7,500 American adults.

Via the first study, the researchers found that both having healthy relations with family and friends were determinants of good health and happiness in general, but friendship alone was seen to be a solid predictor of positive overall health at later ages.

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“How to Empower Your Mind” with Bhante Sujatha

Bhante Sujatha

Thursday, March 23 at 6:45 PM – 9 PM
Namaste Organic Spa
30 Franklin Ave, Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450

Guess who’s back!

Ridgewood NJ , Namaste Organic Spa is very excited to have Bhante Sujatha .

Rumi says “what you seek is seeking you”… perhaps it’s true. The evidence of the power of our minds is undeniable.. The ancient texts of the Buddha tell us that no external condition can be the cause of our happiness, only the mind has that ability. When people understand how they are influenced, the root causes of struggle and what we can do with our minds to make things better, sustainable happiness and radiant joy are the result. My life as a Buddhist monk has given me a front row seat to incredible transformation within so many people as I teach them how to empower the mind and cultivate the qualities that will help you find strength and happiness, as well as give you a burning desire to add more love to the world. When we understand our mind, we begin to re-shape our behavior and feelings about so many things… it’s the most loving act of service one can do for themselves and the world.

Connect with your natural healing power with the gentle guidance of Bhante Sujatha, Buddhist monk from Blue Lotus Temple in Woodstock, IL. This 2-hour workshop has been life-changing for many of its participants, regardless of religious background. The teaching is centered around the cultivation of self love, for without healthy self love, you cannot be fully present to love anyone or anything else.

Proceeds go to Bhante’s Incubator Project in Sri Lanka

Bhante will do his book signing after the workshop and his CDs are also avilable for purchase.

Bhante Sujatha, a 35+ year Buddhist Monk, is singularly focuses on adding more love in the world. Bhante teaches loving-kindness meditation to people around the globe for all those seeking the art of happiness and contentment. His approach to meditation is deep and simple, bringing core Buddhist teachings to everyone in a way that is practical and easy to understand. A joyful, radiant, funny and wildly energetic monk, Bhante will help you obtain peace that can only be found in deep silence. He is originally from Sri Lanka and is the head monk / abbot of the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center in Woodstock, IL.

Bhante believes his purpose is not only to teach meditation, but also, “teaching people how to be happy.”

Fee: $35 (Checks or Cash)
*First come, first serve basis*

Space limited. Advanced registration required (cash or check) by Sunday, March 19, 2017. Stop by the spa or mail payments to: 30 Franklin Ave. Ridgewood, NJ 07450.

Checks can be made to Bhante Sujatha.

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Coverage vs. Care: Interview with Dr. Alieta Eck on Halo Health

March 12,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Coverage vs. Care, Interview with Dr. Alieta Eck on Halo Health where she discuses ,why insurance coverage is not the same as access to medical care and offers some interesting ideas could help.

Dr. Alieta Eck, M.D. graduated from the Rutgers College of Pharmacy in NJ and the St. Louis School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO.

She studied Internal Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ and has been in private practice with her husband, Dr. John Eck, MD in Piscataway, NJ since 1988.

In 2003, they founded the Zarephath Health Center, a free clinic for the poor and uninsured that currently cares for 300-400 patients per month utilizing the donated services of volunteer physicians and nurses.

Dr. Alieta Eck is working to enact NJ S94 in New Jersey whereby physicians would donate their time caring for the poor and uninsured in non-government free clinics in exchange for the State providing medical malpractice protection within their private practices. She is convinced that this would relieve taxpayers of much of the Medicaid burden currently consuming 1/3 of the NJ budget.

Alieta Eck has been involved in health care reform since residency and believes that the government is a poor provider of medical care. Dr. Alieta Eck testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress in 2004 about better ways to deliver health care in the United States.

Dr. Alieta Eck then testified against Obama’s health care plan at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing in 2011.

In 2013, Dr. Alieta Eck put her name forward in the Republican primary race to win the party’s nomination for a temporary seat on the U.S. Senate. Confident she could make a change in Washington she ran on a platform of shrinking the federal government and repealing ObamaCare – President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Despite losing her bid for Senate, Dr. Alieta Eck pushed forward, running for Congress in 2014 but, lacking enough votes to win the predominantly Democratic 12th Congressional District, came second to Bonnie Watson Coleman, the first African-American female member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation in state history.

Dr. Eck is a long time member of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations and in 2009 joined the board of AAPS, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which advocates the preservation of the  practice of private medicine.

In addition, she serves on the advisory board of Christian Care Medi-Share, a faith-based medical cost sharing Ministry and is a member of Zarephath Christian Church. She and her husband John have five children, one who is now an ophthalmology resident in St. Louis, MO.