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This Months Feature Story

Nature skills teach young people about the earth—and themselves

By Kira Maddox

It’s the middle of summer on a hot June day. A group of kids trek through Arnot Forest, a 4,000-plus-acre expanse of woodland just south of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes.



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© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York

Fall Finds

Jell-O facts and other fun sights on Routes 5 and 20

By Lewes Kunda

Editor’s note: We received a delightful letter and essay from Lewes Kundas in July, describing a day trip his family made inspired by an August 2010 Family Times article.

Have you ever had Jell-O? I’m sure you have! My mom was talking about going to Routes 5 and 20 for a day trip. She got the idea from the August 2010 issue of Family Times magazine. She told me that the Jell-O Museum is located on Route 5 in LeRoy, New York. I was anxious to go. It almost seemed like forever until we left that Tuesday in August. Then, we got in the car and, well, I had to wait two hours to get there. The ride seemed eternal.

First, in LeRoy, we spotted a pizza shop and decided to pay them a visit. Pontillo’s served the best subs on warm crusty rolls. My mom remembered the name Pontillo’s Pizza from her college days. After lunch, we traveled a very short distance to the Jell-O Gallery. I was amazed at its small size. First, here is some Jell-O Museum history. Jell-O was invented in 1897 and was made in the LeRoy factory starting in 1900. Bill Cosby worked for the Jell-O company for many years. There is even a National Jell-O Day! The museum has a wide variety of exhibits. You can vote for your favorite Jell-O flavor. They post the results several times a year. During our guided tour, we learned that the Jell-O Factory is now located in Dover, Delaware.

There are also some other fun places to visit on the same routes. Once in the car, we took a short drive to Oliver’s Candies and Adam Miller Toys and Bicycles. Oliver’s was a great place to get candy! Adam Miller’s small shop sold many unique toys.

Routes 5 and 20 is the trip of a lifetime. The Jell-O Museum is truly an amazing place. I hope I visit there again. If you travel toward Buffalo, you, too, will find Jell-O on Route 5 and 20!


Lewes Kunda is a sixth-grader who lives in Syracuse. His article is adapted from an essay he wrote for his fifth-grade English class at Bishop’s Academy at St. Charles last year.