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Ellen Birnbaum, associate director of the 92nd Street Y Nursery School since 1997, is co-author (with Nancy Schulman) of "Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years" (Random House/Knopf, 2007; trade paper, 2008). She believes that "working in early-childhood education is an opportunity to touch children and parents at the most important and perhaps the most joyous time of their lives." She is proud of and energized by the hard work it takes to make fun and learning happen every day and enjoys being part of a community of educators, instructors and artists all working together to bring children and their parents opportunities to try new things, learn and grow. She lives in New York City.