Raising Astoria: a gem in my neighborhood

Thanks to the efforts of two local moms, Laurie Nicholson and Kim Rossignol, a little over a year ago, Raising Astoria was born. It has since then become a resource for parents and expecting mothers in the neighborhood. A mix of toy shop, consignment  store and learning center, it is a place where you can grab some fab Eco-friendly toys, maternity wear, gifts, or recycle your stuff by placing it into Consignment. (Because you know, how much can we really store in our tight spaces?) It is also a place where you can enjoy open play, yoga with your little one or music classes, and the lily pad learning center is available for party rentals. It’s not all for little ones! Laurie and Kim know how important it is for parents to have resources available to them in their communities.

Enzo having fun in music class!

Since its inception, Raising Astoria has offered helpful workshops and Laurie and Kim are very willing to work with parents to bring what they need to the neighborhood. Among the workshops RA has offered are:

CPR classes
Expecting parent lectures
First aid training
Financial literacy
Baby Massage
Baby wearing
Breast feedingRaising Astoria is especially important to me because it allows me to partake in some fun activities with Enzo, because they have Saturday morning classes.  This is important because, if you’re a working mom, you know that most stuff for kids is happening when you’re at work! (how annoying!!)  To  me, Raising Astoria is a God-send. We’ve been taking music classes there, and they’re so much fun!

Enzo_Listening_GuitarEnzo listening to Yoni G. during Music Class. For schedules and pricing click here.

 Raising Astoria is a true gem in our community, I am so happy that Laurie and Kim decided to embark on this adventure. Recently, They decided that they want to create a space that emulates those found in children’s museums. They are raising money to do so via The Small Knot (, a crowd sourcing site dedicated to funding small projects in the  community. If you’d like to support this venture and bring this space to the community, check out their project.  There are great thank you’s you can get if you support, like class packages, bagel party, use of the Lily Pad Learning Ceter for a 2 hour party, among others. Their fundraising campaign ends in two weeks.
If you live in the area, and haven’t already done so, check out their classes and shop! They have really cool consignment gear (I got Enzo a pair of Polo jeans for $7-like new!) and very cool toys.You can also like them on Facebook.These moms are making a difference in our community! They saw the need for a place like this, and were dedicated enough to make it become a reality! Hooray for that drive and entrepreneurial spirit!  Laurie and Kim are super friendly, and are always willing to help out in the community. Last November, they were gracious enough to allow me to hold a voter registration drive outside their shop. 


Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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