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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


Some 350 students at J.T. Roberts Pre-K-8 School at 715 Glenwood Ave. in Syracuse submitted drawings to their art teachers, who selected the best for Family Times’ seventh annual drawing contest. The artists, in grades 3 through 7, created drawings that celebrated snowflakes, snow people and sledding, among other motifs, in their illustrations of the theme “winter fun,” using either markers or oil pastels. Two designers in Family Times’ Creative Services Department chose the winner, whose drawing is on the magazine’s cover, along with five artworks that earned honorable mentions. Family Times wants to thank art teachers Tina Zhang and Tim Howard and the Roberts students who took part in the competition.



Kayla Howard, age 12, Syracuse


Honorable Mentions:

Lily Ryan, age 11


Wyatt Allers, age 12


Dyversyty Amore Pasha, age 12


Isabella Rose Phillips, age 12


Andrew Serrao, age 11