Newport: Not Just a Vacation Destination
Local moms discuss this week's question: Why raise a family in Newport?
Over the past month, our Moms Council has tackled issues like nutrition and school lunches, the right age to start connecting with technology and uniform policies. This weeks topic: Raising a family in Newport. In case you haven't met them yet, let us introduce you to our Moms Council:
Abby Rowe: Abby is married and has a two-year-old daughter. She and her husband are expecting a second child this spring. Abby is the owner of Stroller Strides of Newport, a fitness program that moms can do with their babies. She is also currently serving as President of the Newport/Middletown MOMS Club.
Naomi Neville: Naomi is married and has two girls, one who attends Underwood School and one who is in preschool. She is a member of the Newport City Council and also a registered architect in Rhode Island, running a local practice on Thames Street. Naomi has also served as Chair of Newport's Planning Board and was on the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission. She has a bachelor's from Yale University and a master's in Architecture from Columbia University.
Lynn Ceglie: Lynne is married and has two children at Rogers High School, a daughter who is a junior and a son who is a sophomore. Lynn works for East Bay Community Action Program as a child outreach screener at Sullivan School. She is also a board member and secretary of the Newport Public Education Foundation.
Nikki Vazquez: is married and has two children. She has been involved in a number of local initiatives, including serving as co-founder of the Newport Community Garden and chairperson for Newport in Bloom. She is also the owner of Ladies Who Lunch, a full service personal chef and events management company. Her son attends St. Michael's Country Day School.
This week's question: Why did you choose to raise a family here in Newport?
Lynn: Newport is a GREAT place to raise a family! When my kids were little I walked them everywhere in the stroller. I never felt isolated as a stay at home parent in Newport. Having a small yard forced me to take them to parks and playgrounds where they made friends easily. I realized that my social life improved on the playground too!
They've had excellent experiences in the Newport public schools where they have dedicated teachers and learn in a culturally diverse environment that mirrors the world in which we live today. As teenagers they walk downtown to work and to meet friends. Coffee shops are typical gathering places for them and I don't have the worry of them driving on East or West Main Road. Newport is a small, extremely livable community where you see familiar faces everywhere.
Naomi: I love the fact that if we walk north, we can walk into town, to restaurants, the library, the Hut; if we turn east, we'll hit Cliff Walk; south we can get to a public beach facing the Atlantic Ocean; west the harbor. I also love that in one weekend we can participate in a "dog parade," get a ride in a firetruck, go to the Save the Bay aquarium, run into a friend at the Beach Carousel, have them come over for a playdate and still have time to head off to Ballard Park's Illuminated Garden. And I especially love that this list does not represent everything we did in Newport this weekend!
Nikki: Being a city girl, I was reluctant to settle in Newport to settle down and raise a family...on the outside it seemed so tiny and isolated. Ten years later, I am happy to call Newport home for me and my family. We live on a friendly street and are lucky to have a neighborhood of families who have taken us under their wing. Like Lynn, my stroller has clocked hundreds of miles over the past five years of shuttling Waylon and Penelope all over town for our daily adventures.
We have been to parades, on tall ships, harbor tours, seal watches, weekend adventures at Rose Island, swimming, spear fishing, surfing, sailing, concerts, comedy, theater and so much more all within a mile or two from our house.
Abby: I think this is such a great question! I really believe Newport is such a uniquely wonderful place to live and raise a family. I grew up in a very pretty but BORING town in Connecticut and was first introduced to Newport as a vacation destination. It took me a long time and quite a few moves to realize that I could actually live here year round!
Now that I am settled here and raising my family, I really appreciate all the activities the area offers for young families that Nikki and Naomi mentioned. But I think I am most thankful for our beautiful outdoor environment. I love being able to wake up and see the ocean every morning, visit gorgeous beaches, take walks on the Cliff Walk, or explore Sachuest Point and Norman Bird Sanctuary. Now we just need some nice spring weather so we can get out and enjoy it all!
Check back next Wednesday for a new edition of Moms Talk.