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contents This month’s features 2 Change is hard

Ease the transition to a new grade or school for your child.


6 More than party hosts Parent-teacher groups are fundraising machines.

8 School savings

9 ways to save money while shopping for supplies.

11 Stopping bullies

21 Social media docs

14 Multilingual families

26 A capital trip

18 Just say ‘no’

49 Camps eat local

Schools have aggressive programs to put an end to bullying. Families in WNC are raising their children to speak more than English. Guest columnist Kim Borden offers suggestions on keeping sane while volunteering.

Pediatricians are being trained to help parents protect kids amid social media. Learn what the RaleighDurham area has to offer families. Summer camps try hard to be locavores.

Pack those backpacks

When I was little, I was the geeky kid who couldn’t wait to go back to school in the fall. The kid who had her backpack ready a week ahead of time and had the first-day-ofschool outfit hanging on the closet door days in advance. Of course, back then, you didn’t start school until September. Now that it starts smack in the middle of summer, I understand kids’ (and parents’) reluctance to get back into school spirit. So I’ll hope that this back-to-school issue gets you a bit more in the mood. Do you have a child who will experience a milestone when classes resume, such as first grade, or middle school? Check out our story on transitions and how to make change easier, on Page 2. Shopping goes hand-in-hand with school’s return. We offer a few tips on keeping costs down on Page 8. Some children aren’t eager at all to walk the hallways again, if those hallways are the home to bullies. On Page 11, we look at what schools are doing to counter bullying, both in the halls and online. And speaking of being online, look at our story on Page 21 for ideas on helping your child navigate the world of social media. See you in September! Katie Wadington, editor

Coming next month: Babies! Learn about the role midwives play, exercise options during pregnancy and more in our issue on pregnancy and babies. Also, look for a new focus on family day trips.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices ......................20 Parent 2 Parent .................23 Home School Happenings ....32 Divorced Families...............36 Artful Parent .....................39 Librarian’s Pick..................40 Story Times ......................40 Dad’s View........................42 Growing Together ...............45 Puzzles........................57-58 Calendar......................61-67

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer

On the cover

Jeremiah Stokley, by Jesseca Bellemare Photography,

.com Are you a member? Join the conversation, post photos and more at Look for WNC Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington - 232-5829 ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Tim (Bo) Head - 232-5860,


CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Aug. 10. E-mail ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the September issue is Aug. 16.



WNC educators offer advice on how to lower the stress level for children moving to higher grades or new schools

Easing By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor


When the dog days of August creep in and the back-to-school frenzy hits its peak, many kids actually look forward to returning to the classroom and the fresh start to a new school year. For others, however, a new year brings significant changes — in classroom settings, responsibilities and routines. Transition years, such as moving from kindergarten to first grade or from middle to high school, present new challenges for students that can be successfully met with awareness, planning and support from both parents and teachers.

Elementary grades Angel Frierson, kindergarten teacher at Fairview Elementary, suggests that parents have a plan in place for the first day of kin-

TRANSITION Continues on Page 3


In elementary school, connect with your child’s teacher early on to make transitions easier.


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Transitions Continued from Page 2

dergarten which includes saying goodbye at the door. “Children do better when parents let them come in alone and be independent,” Frierson says. “The parents who hang at the door or come into the classroom actually cause more anxiety for their child.” She advocates reading every day during the summer and, once the school year begins, establishing homework routines. “If you show how important education is and the importance “Something good happens of routines, this will benefit you in middle for the next 12 school every years,” Frierson day. As adults, says. it’s helpful to After being immersed in the draw attencenter-based, tion to the social activities slightest, of kindergarten, bright, shiny first-graders moment.” often encounter a completely STEPHANIE new environREAGAN, ment. ASHEVILLE “In first MIDDLE SCHOOL grade, children TEACHER sit at their own desks and must accept more responsibility in everyday tasks,” says Emily Leatherwood, grade level chair at Candler Elementary. She notes that children with older siblings tend to be more at ease with first grade as do those with an involved parent. “It’s so important to create a connection with the teacher,” Leatherwood stresses. “Volunteer in the classroom, schedule a conference or send an email to make ties early on.” And while first grade may seem scary to a child, those who are willing to listen and follow directions tend to adjust more quickly. “First grade is pivotal in building a child’s confidence in learn-


Students headed to high school will perform better and have an easier time if they set goals and try to reach them, says Owen High School adviser Kristi Neal.



ing,” says Kim Moore, first-grade teacher at Avery’s Creek Elementary. “It sets the stage for how they learn, whether by doing, by seeing or by listening. First grade is when children can mold themselves into good learners for a lifetime.”

Middle school The realities of middle school strike fear in the hearts of many parents, and with good reason. Adolescent bodies and brains are changing rapidly, parents suddenly take a back seat to friends, and exploring independence becomes paramount to a teen’s existence. Middle school students have many adjustments to make including changing classes more frequently, adjusting to multiple teachers and dealing with lockers. “The biggest transition for middleschoolers is making friends,” says Scott Schroder, middle school assistant principal for Asheville Christian Academy. “They want to know where they fit in and sometimes this jostling for position can get messy.” He adds that students who get involved in a sport or have strong organizational skills and parental support usually assimilate faster. “The middle school years are extremely important,” says Stephanie Reagan, an eighth-grade teacher at Asheville Middle School. “This is a fascinating time. The creativity is rich and their enthusiasm is inspiring.” Reagan notes

that while middle school is fun, it’s also a challenge and communication with parents is essential. She suggests asking your middle-schooler each day for two good things that happened. It could be anything from getting the locker open to sitting with friends at lunch to making a good grade. “Something good happens in middle school every day,” Reagan stresses. “As adults, it’s helpful to draw attention to the slightest, bright, shiny moment.”

Switching schools Sometimes a transition year involves moving from a public school to a private one or vice versa. When the decision is made to transfer, many students, particularly middle and high school-age kids, need to take part in and feel a sense of ownership with that decision. “If a student is forced into a change, the new school is almost always destined to fail,” observes Stephen Owens, upper school dean of men at Asheville Christian. He notes that transferring students who speak up about any issues they have are the ones who find parents, teachers and administrators willing to help. Owens also advises these students to move with intentionality. “If you are interested in athletics, make an effort in that direction,” he says. “If you are purposeful about what you do and who you meet, then the chance of failure is severely diminished.”

On to high school The shift from middle school to high school is highlighted by continuing developmental changes, more freedom, and the pressure of making grades for those with an eye toward college. With increased workloads, the organizational skills learned in the lower grades become tantamount to success. “Students who handle this transition well are those with a goal in mind,” explains Kristi Neal, ninth-grade counselor at Owen High School. “Those who get involved either through athletics or the arts or some other activity are often more successful academically.” She adds that a parent or adult mentor who provides support and encouragement is also critical. And while teens often become mute when asked about their lives at school, Neal encourages parents to carve out time to talk and let your child know that you are always available. Solid foundations laid in kindergarten and elementary school will lead to success in both middle and high school when students are figuring out who they are and where they belong in the school community. “Ninth grade is a time to learn good study habits and a time to begin exploring possible careers and colleges,” Neal says. “This year can set the course for the rest of high school and beyond.”

BACK TO SCHOOL It may still feel like summer, but school will be in full swing by the end of the month. Here’s a rundown of when area districts open to students for the 2011-12 school year. Aug. 8: Yancey County Aug. 9: Mitchell County Aug. 10: Avery, Madison and Swain counties Aug. 11: Graham County Aug. 15: Transylvania County Aug. 16: Asheville City Aug. 18: Buncombe and Haywood counties Aug. 25: Henderson, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties


W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

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Students “joust” on one of the inflatables at last year’s fall festival at Estes Elementary in South Asheville, an event put on by the school’s PTA.

Parent-teacher groups step up

By Jessica Kennedy

Parent-teacher groups are not just “feel good” organizations anymore, says Donna Graham. They are now vital to schools. “When the gaps are there, they come to the PTA to help fill in those gaps,” says Graham, outgoing president of the


Estes Elementary PTA. Schools across the country have been faced with even bigger gaps in recent years because of budget cuts and the down-turned economy. Parent-teacher groups in the area never hesitated to step right in and help wherever they could. “We have to be a fundraiser for the school because there are gaps with sup-

As public school budgets tighten, parents help bridge the gaps plies and technology and ability to send kids out on field trips,” Graham said. “We’ve definitely almost tripled our need to fundraise because of budgets in schools.” Roberson High School had a $22,000 budget cut last year, so the Parent Teacher Student Organization tried to bridge the gap, said Betsy Cypcar, president of Roberson’s PTSO.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

“I know this year is going to be a hard one for us, and the following one will be even harder,” Cypcar said. “We try to be careful knowing that there are more and more budget cuts in the last couple years and coming up.” Parent-teacher groups do a wide range of things to help support schools and teachers. From helping out in the classroom to holding toiletry or clothing drives, these organizations have one purpose — helping the students. “Teachers end up often not having everything they need in their classrooms, and sometimes PTO folks help them with supplies and things like that,” said Charlie Glazener, spokesperson for Asheville City Schools. At Reynolds High School, the PTSO helped fund a hay purchase for the cattle raised by an agriculture class. The Reynolds PTSO works on a budget of just a few thousand dollars, said co-president Penney Russell. “We break that up among 20 or so teachers,” Russell said. “We try to stretch it so we can fund everybody something.” Russell said this year’s budget was the smallest she’s ever worked with because of the suffering economy. Other parent-teacher organizations in the area haven’t suffered as much as a result of the economy. Jones Elementary’s PTO budget for the upcoming year will be between $25,000 and $30,000, said president Robyn Latessa. “It’s been remarkable,” Latessa said.

Weaverville Elementary School. “If anything, there’s been more generosiGreene said the Weaverville PTO ty. We’ve been lucky.” funds items that are both “nice to haves” Like at Jones, the Estes PTA hasn’t and “need to haves” that the school been forced to shrink its budget in slow budget can’t fund. years. “As state and local funds for office The PTA’s regular budget this year and classroom supplies continue to be was about $35,000, Graham said. But the cut in order to maintain teachers and organization also raised about that much assistants, the PTO will play an even for its outdoor garden project. bigger role in providing those ‘need to “Each year we’ve gone up, our parents haves,’” Greene said. have been able to go up The Weaverville with us,” she said. “So PTO has maintained a far the parents have “As state and local funds fairly stable budget been able to step up.” for office and classroom over the years. It But the difficulty for supplies continue to be raised about $22,000 in the Estes PTA is a cut in order to maintain fundraisers last year. dwindling parent volteachers and assistants, But Greene said the unteer base, Graham the PTO will play an even organization has seen said. a drop in revenue from The PTO at Reybigger role in providing its fall festival and has nolds Middle School is those ‘need to haves.’” had to have new fundfacing a similar probAMI GREENE, OUTGOING raisers to raise the lem. WEAVERVILLE ELEMENTARY PTO same amount of “More people are PRESIDENT money. going back to work, so Despite an inthat leaves a little less creased focus on the in that department,” fundraising aspect and new challenges, said Rachel Vickers, PTO president. Russell from the PTSO at Reynolds High Parent volunteers can help with mySchool said she thinks the role of parentriad things at schools — lunch duty, bus teacher groups has not actually changed duty, administrative tasks in and out of that much. the classroom to help lighten the load for “For the most part, our goals have teachers. always stayed the same,” Russell said. “Classroom volunteers are able to “Our focus has always been on the kids provide more one-on-one and small and what we can do to make our school group time for children than would be the best it can be.” possible without their presence,” said Ami Greene, outgoing PTO president at

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tips for backto-school saving By James Shea WNC Parent contributor

As the summer comes to a close, parents look toward the start of the new school year. And that means buying back-to-school gear. With a tight economy, many parents are looking for ways to save a few dollars on those needed school supplies. Here are a few ideas. Shop sales Most major retailers have backto-school sales, some well before school starts. Lee Watkins, assistant manager at Target in East Asheville, said the store has sales on everything from clothes to school supplies to electronic equipment. “There will be a sale running every week — pens one week, paper another,” Watkins said. “That is all leading up to tax-free weekend.”

Tax-free holiday North Carolina has a tax-free holiday, where people are not charged sales tax on certain items. The holiday takes place Aug. 5-7. It applies to clothing, footwear and school supplies valued at less than $100, recreational equipment of $50 or less and computer equipment valued at $3,500 or less. “It’s pretty much our biggest weekend of the year,” Watkins said. “We are pretty stuffed. All of our team members will be working.”

Clearance items After the tax-free holiday weekend and moving into fall, retailers


W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

often discount items, wanting to clear space for Halloween. Watkins said the clearance racks have backpacks, pens, paper and other school supplies. The discounts vary but parents can find significant savings if they are picky.

Buy quality While it’s an easy decision to buy the least expensive item on the shelf, Toy Box owner Gary Green said parents should be selective about quality. If parents buy pens and paper and other items that are well made, they will last longer and won’t need replacing. “Buy quality so you don’t have to buy again and again,” Green said.

Buy a refurbished computer Computers are expensive and can run into the thousands of dollars. But most children do not need the large amount of computing power of today’s computer. Sassy’s Computers technician Nathan Marcho said his store sells a wide selection of refurbished computers that run between $225 and $325 without a monitor. “For people who can’t afford a full computer a refurbished computer is a good option,” Marcho said. “They are not super high-end machines, but they are good enough for browsing the web and typing up some documents.”

TAX-FREE WEEKEND North Carolina provides shoppers with a sales tax holiday from 12:01 a.m. the first Friday in August through 11:59 p.m. the following Sunday. (This year, that’s Aug. 5-7.) Clothing, footwear and school supplies of $100 or less per item, sports and recreation equipment of $50 or less per item, computers of $3,500 or less per item and computer supplies of $250 or less per item are exempt from tax. For details, visit sales/salestax_holiday.html.



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Don’t buy name brands


There is a cost for buying name-brand items. Watkins said Target’s own line of clothing is less expensive than other brands and that the store carries other discount brands for the price-conscious parent.


Shop at a consignment store Western North Carolina has numerous consignment shops. Some carry outdoor clothing and recreational supplies and other sell name-brand clothing. Sandra Fowler, Children’s Trading Post owner, has been in business for 16 years and has stores in Arden and Asheville. The store sells namebrand, used clothing at around 50 percent of the price of new. Fowler said the clothing items are as good as new. “It’s hard to consign with us,” Fowler said. “We are very picky with what we choose.”

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Sell at a consignment store Children always grow out of last year’s clothes. Rather than giving those clothes to a family member, sell them at a consignment store. Fowler said she pays cash when an item sells but gives 20 percent more if the customer uses the sold item as store credit. “A lot of our shoppers are also our consigners,” Fowler said.

Buy local

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While buying local does not necessarily save money, it keeps money in the local economy and allows other people to buy back-to-school items. “Without local people shopping, I would not be in business,” Fowler said. “You are keeping (money) in Asheville and I employ people in Asheville. It helps the local economy.”

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Put a stop to bullying

Schools find that communication and support are key to keeping students safe By Mike McWilliams WNC Parent contributor

It could start with teasing on the playground, a threatening text message or a shove in the hallway. No matter its form, bullying is a problem that local schools take very seriously. Educators continuously try to educate students and parents about how to recognize and address it. Michele Lemell, the safe schools and healthful living coordinator for Asheville City Schools, says one of the most important things parents can do is simply talk to their children. “You’ve got to talk to your kids about everything,” Lemell said. “And you’ve got to have access to everything.” Bullying or harassing behavior can come in several different forms, including name calling, spreading rumors, a threatening text or phone message, punching, shoving or any other form of physical and emotional abuse. It often takes place in less supervised areas in schools such as restrooms, school buses or playgrounds. North Carolina lawmakers updated the state’s anti-bullying legislation in 2009. The changes required school systems to implement anti-bullying rules spelling out characteristics of potential targets, including sexual orientation. Continues on Page 12





Continued from Page 11

The statute also addresses cyberbullying, which includes using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to send threatening messages or pictures. Bullying behaviors usually peak in the middle school levels and start to decrease once students reach high school. Christiaan Ramsey, director of special education for Madison County Schools, worked as a middle and high school teacher, and a bus driver. He witnessed student bullying firsthand and saw how deeply bullying impacts students. “I began to understand that simply using disciplinary techniques such as suspension often does little to get at the root cause of bullying,” Ramsey said. “I found that character education, communication and support for both bullies and their victims is much more likely to reduce the amount of bullying that goes on in schools.” Ramsey said a study he conducted found the single most effective intervention for dealing with student bullying is the development of a positive relationship between students and teachers. “Teachers said students need someone to talk to in a time of need,” Ramsey said. “They need to know someone at the school is there for them and cares about their problems.”

Addressing bullying To address bullying, Asheville City Schools last year implemented the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at the elementary-grade level. Olweus focuses on changing climate and social norms so bullying isn’t considered cool, and involves all adults and students in the school as well as parents and others in the community. ACS plans to integrate Olweus at the middle school level this school year and high school in 2012, Lemell said. “Our approach to the Olweus program is you don’t mediate the situation. We don’t bring the child who was exhibiting those bullying behaviors and the


Here are some tips for parents aimed at dealing with bullying taken from a Bell Elementary newsletter sent last fall to parents: ◆ Ask your children about bullying behaviors they have seen or experienced. Help them define what bullying is and let them know you are there to help them in whatever way possible. ◆ Encourage your children to report bullying incidents. Let them know they have made the right decision by telling someone. ◆ Help your child identify bullying. ◆ Help your child plan ways to diffuse the bullying (i.e. staying away from the bully, staying near an adult when the bullying behavior begins to occur). ◆ Share your concerns and information about the bullying with the school. Volunteer time to help supervise on field trips, on the playground, etc. ◆ Do not ignore your child’s reports. Encourage your child to report again to school if bullying continues. ◆ Start early to help your children avoid becoming bullies. Observe your children and praise them when they act appropriately. Positive reinforcement is the best form of discipline. ◆ If you hear your children calling others names or excluding others from participation, correct their behavior. Ask your children how they would feel if they were being called names or excluded from activities. For more, visit the following websites: ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ target to work things out. It’s individual intervention for each of those children, and if there were bystanders involved egging on the behaviors those students are also met with,” Lemell said. “We have a set of steps that we go through to really address what was happening.” Buncombe County Schools also recently worked to strengthen the school system’s process for dealing with bullying, said David Thompson, director of student services. Schools address bullying using a

three-tiered approach, and depending on the severity of the incident, resolutions might include mediation, classroom meetings or involve law enforcement. “We’re going to put that approach in place for the bus drivers because when we looked at our data, it looked like a lot of problems initiated on the bus,” Thompson said. Buncombe County Schools also started an anonymous bullying hotline as well as an online bullying reporting system through the schools’ websites.

Cyberbullying Although traditional bullying accounts for most reported incidents, cyberbullying is a growing concern as mobile phone and social media sites continue to proliferate, school officials say. “In order to combat the problem of cyberbullying at the school level, teachers, parents and administrators must work together,” said Ramsey. “The key for success is communication between the home and the school along with increased parent/ teacher monitoring of how and when students are using cell phones and the Internet.” Lemell, who has two teenaged daughters, said she has a couple of rules concerning phone and computer usage in her home to help her keep tabs. “If your (Internet browser) history page is missing, you lose Internet privilege. If you delete all of the text messages from your phone, you lose phone privileges,” Lemell said. “It’s a real open book in my house. We set those (rules) up clearly in writing; we review them occasionally. You kind of have to get on their level, but again being really clear about what are those dangers out there on the Internet.” But children might be reluctant to come forward if they see a threatening or questionable message if they believe parents will immediately revoke their Internet or phone privileges, Lemell said. That’s why it’s important to maintain open communication. “Our first gut reaction as a parent is you just don’t have access to that,” she said. “That is one of the biggest things that makes them hesitate to come to us as adults, and we need to be mindful of that.”

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Gabriel Coll-Bettencourt, 7, is learning three languages with the help of his mom, Michelle Bettencourt, and dad, Esteve Coll-Larrosa.

Immersed in

culture By James Shea WNC Parent contributor

Seven-year-old Gabriel Coll-Bettencourt’s childhood has an international twist. Rather than learning only English, like most American children, Gabriel is

Asheville-area families raise children speaking 2 — even 3 — languages

also being taught Spanish and his father’s native tongue, Catalan, a Romance language spoken in Southern Spain. Gabriel understands his upbringing is different but he also knows he has gained a unique appreciation about the world. He traveled to Costa Rica and was able to speak Spanish with the local

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population. When he visits relatives in Spain, he communicates with them in Catalan. “Some people don’t get out of their town, like Asheville, so they only speak English,” Gabriel said.

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A smaller world A growing number of parents are raising children to speak a second, and like Gabriel, sometimes a third language. The world, they say, is becoming more connected through technology and children should learn and understand other cultures and languages. In the United States, 82 percent of the population speaks English as a primary language, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Spanish is the second most popular primary language, which is spoken by 12 percent of the population. Chinese is a distant third. Fewer than 10 percent of people in the United States are bilingual but a larger percentage do speak varying degrees of a second language. Gabriel’s mother, Michelle Bettencourt, was raised in California in a “very monolingual Caucasian family.” She studied Spanish in college and lived after graduation in Spain, where she taught English as a second language. Michelle met Gabriel’s father, Esteve Coll-Larrosa, while living in Spain. Michelle eventually returned to the United States to study Spanish and Esteve followed her. “I was too comfortable in my life and wanted to do something different,” Esteve said. The couple eventually married and Gabriel was born several years later. They decided to teach Gabriel three languages, partly to honor Esteve’s heritage, but also to teach him about the world. “I don’t think we are making a political statement,” Esteve said. “It’s part of our culture. It’s a gift I can give him.” The story is similar for Kari Sickenberger, who is raising her daughter, Rosa Sickenberger, bilingually. She and Rosa’s father are no longer together but have joint custody of their daughter. Rosa, 7, speaks English at her father’s house and Spanish at her mother’s house. Continues on Page 16

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Bilingual families Continued from Page 15

“I think building bridges is one of the most important things we can do,” Kari said. “I feel like the world is a lot smaller then it used to be.” Economics also plays a role. A bilingual person, especially someone who knows Spanish, has more job opportunities as an adult. “The world is becoming a smaller place,” Esteve said.

Consistency is key While children can learn a second language in school, many parents are starting early. Children pick up language easier at an early age and the information becomes more engrained. Kari, who teaches Spanish at Asheville’s Isaac Dickson Elementary, said she started speaking Spanish to Rosa before she was born and communicates with her now in Spanish. “She is aware that I understand everything in English,” Kari said. “I have to force her to use it. If she wants ice cream, she has to talk in Spanish.” Michelle, who teaches Spanish at UNC Asheville, said she is “hard core” about only speaking Spanish to Gabriel but admits it can be difficult. She is not a native speaker so she did not know many of the nursery rhymes and other cultural aspects of a native speaker. Around the house, Gabriel and Michelle interact in Spanish, and Esteve and Gabriel interact in Catalan. He learns English from his friends, television and being immersed in the English language. The situation is similar for the Penaloza family. Jorge Penaloza is from Mexico and speaks perfect Spanish and English. Tiffany Penaloza only speaks English. Their 3-year-old daughter, Memphis, speaks both languages, with Jorge primarily speaking to her in Spanish and Tiffany in English. “She is extremely smart,” Tiffany said.



Jorge and Tiffany Penaloza are teaching their daughter, Memphis, both English and Spanish. The family lives with Jorge’s mom, Sandra Ordonez, and her son Kevin Penaloza, 10. “She speaks good Spanthe language of their “I don’t think we are ish, but has problems peers,” Kari said. making a political with the verbs, which is Tiffany said she wants statement. It’s part of our hard.” Memphis to speak Spanculture. It’s a gift I can But she added, “She ish so she can interact give him.” knows more English, with her cousins and ESTEVE COLL-LARROSA, WHO IS because I am (a stay-atother relatives, who TEACHING HIS SON CATALAN, HIS home mother) and mostly speak that lanNATIVE LANGUAGE speak with her more.” guage. The couple are At night, Jorge sits considering moving to down with Memphis Mexico for a year or two and watches Spanish cartoons or reads when Memphis enters school, so she can books in Spanish. improve her Spanish language skills. Michelle said she has wanted to find “play dates” with other bilingual families Finding other interactions but it has been challenging. One outlet families have found is Casa Some families have found it difficult dei Bambini, a bilingual preschool in to find bilingual interactions outside the West Asheville, where children speak home. People learn a second language Spanish part of the day and English part best when they are immersed and the of the day. primary language spoken in public in the The school was founded in 2002, and United States is English. moved into its current Haywood Road “As the saying goes, children speak

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location in 2005. School co-owner Stephanie Crawford-Wilson said the school was founded after speaking with parents in the community and learning that there was the demand for bilingual education. “At a young age, children are like sponges,” Crawford-Wilson said. The children are immersed in language through games and other activities. Crawford-Wilson said most children are open to learning a second language and enjoy the interactions. “Full language immersion is important,” she said. Some parents are using Facebook as a way to connect with other bilingual families and immerse their children in a second language. There is an Asheville Spanish Play Date Group that formed recently.

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Some backlash Parents say they have experienced some backlash when interacting with a child in a non-English language in public. Michelle says she was at a department store and was speaking with Gabriel in Spanish. They were looking at different items and a nearby boy studied them inquisitively. Michelle said the young boy turned and said, “In North Carolina, we speak English.” The boy’s mother did not say anything or correct him, Michelle said. “He was raised in a family where English was the only language,” she said. Esteve said he understands that English is the primary language in the United States. His English was not good when he moved to the country, and he has spent years learning the language. “As an immigrant and seeing immigrants who have been in the country for years speaking broken English, I understand,” Esteve said. “I never expected people to speak to me in my native language.” But, they say, it is not wrong to raise a child on more than one language. “How is it a negative to have multiple languages and multiple cultures?” Michelle asked. Esteve added, “Some families say ‘y’all’ and ‘younguns,’ and we speak three different languages. It is all all right.”

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guest column

Moms: Make time for you, learn to say ‘no’ By Kim Borden Guest columnist

email your child’s teacher to find out ways you might help in the classroom. Then, think about what your talents are. If you are organized and a great delegator, you might want to chair a committee. Don’t, however, chair them all. If you love to bake, find ways to help with bake sales or other events. Whatever your talent, there is a need. Finally, choose. Make a conscious decision about how you plan to help at your child’s school. Decide in advance how many field trips, committees and parties you have time for. Also, if you do not have time to volunteer this year, be honest — your family will thank you. Furthermore, do not forget that the most important obligation you have is the one that gets overlooked the most: your obligation to yourself. You must take time for you. Make a date with yourself once a


As a preschool teacher at Asheville Catholic School, I regularly witness moms struggling to juggle the many demands of motherhood. This juggling act becomes more difficult as the carefree days of summer give way to the structured days of the school year schedule. Whether you are an outside-the-home working mom or a stay-at -home working mom, the demands are relentless. In addition to making sure that your children are fed, clothed, housed and educated, you also provide emotional and social support for your kids. Then, on top of that, you are invited

to volunteer, by chairing committees, organizing events, making phone calls, chaperoning field trips, baking cookies, helping in the classroom … it’s mind boggling. With some simple planning and some self-care tips you can bring much needed peace to the chaos. First, be realistic about how much time you have. What does your schedule look like this year? Have you gone back to work full-time? Have you had another child? Or simply, do you not want to be as harried as you were last year? Understand that you cannot do it all. No Mommy, no matter how super, can be on every committee, go on every field trip or bake every cookie and still be at peace. You need to make some choices. First, find out what there is to choose from. Call the chair of the parent-teacher organization and ask what major events the school has planned. In addition,


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week, make sure it’s at least an hour long and make sure it’s fun! Go for a walk. Go to a bookstore. Go to an antique store. Go to a movie. Just go! Schedule it in your calendar, write it down in pen. This is an appointment worth keeping. This action tells yourself and your family that your time is valuable and that you are important. Since you are helping to create the next generation of humans, you deserve at least an hour a week of uninterrupted solace in order to refuel. I assure you, wonderful things will happen if you do this. Finally, you need to know how to say, “No.” There is an art to saying “no” and feeling good about it. When someone asks you, “What are you doing Sunday afternoon?” Never, ever answer, “Nothing.” Always answer, “Why do you ask?” It is easier to say no when you do not feel cornered. It is good to have a response prepared ahead of time. Here are two examples: “I would love to help, however, I am already working on the (fill in the blank) project.” or “I can’t. I promised my fami-

No Mommy, no matter how super, can be on every committee, go on every field trip or bake every cookie and still be at peace. ly I’d spend time with them.” What’s more, remember that “no,” all by its lonesome is a perfectly acceptable response. You can also leave the door open and tell the person you need to check your schedule. Additionally, if you should say “yes,” and regret it, you can change your mind. It is entirely reasonable to tell someone, “I misspoke and am unable to assist you with that.” Learning how to say no graciously and comfortably is key in maintaining family harmony. You’re now ready for the first school bell to ring. You have done the groundwork, you’ve picked your projects, and you’re all set to take care of yourself. One last thought: Remember, these days are sweet and will not last forever. Savor them. Kim Borden is a preschool teacher at Asheville Catholic School.


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The best kids’ voices

summer day

Whether their summertime is filled with lazy days or overnight camps, kids have a preferred way to make the most of their time away from school. We asked campers at the YMCA’s Camp Beaverdam to share their favorite way to spend a summer day. Here is what they told WNC Parent contributor James Shea.

“I would like to go to Adventure Camp, the camp they do at the Y. We go to swimming holes and hike.” JohnDavid Emrick, 10

“I like to play baseball in a league. I play center field.” Tyler Scott, 11


“I would like to play soccer. I usually play at the YMCA.” Gus Emrick, 7

“I like to swim and play on my scooter. And I like to read.” Isabel Inman, 8

“I like to ride my bike, and we usually go to do gymnastic.” Michail Darellwolf, 8

“I like to do gymnastics and tae kwon do and crafts with grandma.” Sierra Darrell, 7

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“I like to go swimming and go to Brother Wolf (Animal Rescue) and take care of the animals.” Jenna Barnes, 6


The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents maintain an open dialogue with kids to make sure that time spent on computers and gadgets isn’t harmful and doesn’t get in the way of family time.

Doctors, parents join forces on social media Pediatricians urged to start discussions on usage, guidelines

By Darla Carter Gannett Parents have a new ally in trying to keep their children safe in cyberspace and on social media platforms: the pediatrician. A recent clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics stresses the role of kids’ physicians in helping parents be aware of and set limits for technology that


young people use, such as texting, Facebook and Twitter, as well as gaming and video sites. “Pediatricians are in a unique position to help families understand these sites and to encourage healthy use and urge parents to monitor for potential problems with cyberbullying, ‘Facebook depression,’ sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content,” according to the report, called “The Impact of


Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” The academy wants parents to maintain an open dialogue with kids to make sure that time spent on computers and gadgets isn’t harmful and doesn’t get in the way of family time.


Start the discussion “We just want to educate parents about the importance of them having a very open and transparent discussion” with kids, said Dr. Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, a pediatrician in Chapel Hill who co-wrote the academy’s report. “And I think even in the tween years, this has to be happening because more and more, pop culture is percolating down to tweens.” Dr. Hatim Omar, a pediatrics professor at the University of Kentucky, said teens can be persuaded by what they see on social media sites or elsewhere online to try risky behavior, such as inhalant use or the choking game. “They do not develop abstract thinking until about age 17, 18, which means they cannot foresee what something leads to,” said Omar, chief of the adolescent medicine division. “The mantra basically is ‘it’s not going to happen to me,’ so they will do these things because everybody else is. “It’s a lot easier if we start talking to parents when their kids are 8, 9, 10,” Omar said. “That way, they can start setting standards or rules before it’s too late.” There also needs to be discussion about being “responsible digital citizens — not to sext, not to cyberbully, not to post inappropriately,” Clarke-Pearson said. Cyberbullying — a term for bullying online — has been blamed for some teen suicides. And “there are 11-year-old girls posting pictures of themselves on a Facebook page in a little sexy bra and panty thing during their sleepover and then of course, it goes viral,” she said. The academy issued its statement earlier this year because “the great majority of the patients are spending their time” on these types of activities or sites, Clarke-Pearson said. The statement cites a poll that found that 22 percent of teens log on to their favorite social media site


These sites can help you learn more about protecting your children and yourself online. You can read about the topic or watch videos. ◆, SafetyNet, American Academy of Pediatrics. ◆, NetSmartz Workshop, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. ◆, ◆, National PTA. ◆, MedlinePlus. ◆ Click on ”Family Life,“ then ”Media.“ ◆, more than 10 times a day, and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day.

Ideal time Office visits provide an opportunity for pediatricians to talk with patients and their parents about that usage. “It’s very easy for me these days to bring up media use because I walk into an exam room, and more often than not — I would say 90 percent of the time — the child is on a screen, and the parent is on the cell phone,” Clarke-Pearson said. The academy’s statement doesn’t cite a specific number of social media and texting hours to which the group thinks kids should be limited, but it does encourage families to strive for balance. “What we want parents and families to do is to have an online plan “that allows them to” have time off screen as a family because that’s extremely valuable,” Clarke-Pearson said. The family plan might address what happens to the electronics at night. Parents also should be on the lookout for signs that children might be developing problems, such as sleep deprivation and “Facebook depression,” which occurs when kids spend a great deal of time on social media sites and then start showing signs of depression, according to the academy.

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TEXTING AND SOCIAL-MEDIA SMARTS Some advice for parents as your children get into social media: ◆ Learn about texting, Facebook, Twitter and other ways that young people communicate these days. Know how to use it, including the privacy settings, and what your kids are accessing. ◆ If your child has a profile, such as on Facebook, you should get a profile, too. That way, you can “friend” and monitor the child. ◆ Let the child know you’re interested in their online and social media habits; ask about them every day. Talk about your experiences, too. ◆ Keep the computer in a public part of your home. ◆ Discourage kids from gossiping, spreading rumors, bullying or damaging others’ reputation through texting or other tools. ◆ Set time limits for Internet and cell phone use. ◆ Watch for trouble signs: skipping meals, homework or other important activities; losing or gaining weight; failing to maintain grades. Contact your pediatrician for advice. ◆ Stress that everything sent over the Internet or a cell phone can spread worldwide. Define good judgment and teach them to use it when sending messages or pictures, and to use privacy settings to restrict access. ◆ Tell them that messages should never contain nude or lewd pictures. Remind teens that “sexting” is considered pornography. ◆ Discuss the consequences of poor judgment (from minor punishment to possible legal action for things like “sexting”). ◆ Be aware of age guidelines for sites and whether parental consent is required. ◆ Create a strategy for monitoring your kids’ online use. You may want to say, “Today, I’ll be checking your computer and cell phone.” ◆ Consider formal monitoring systems, such as using parental controls on your computer or from your Internet service provider or a commercial program. ◆ Connect with fellow parents to see what other kids near your child’s age are doing. Source: Adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics

A love for learning

Hominy Valley Principal Angie Jackson revels in watching children grow By Barbara Blake WNC Parent contributor

Angie Jackson is principal of Hominy Valley Elementary School in Candler. She and her husband, Jerry Jackson, a state Division of Community Corrections manager, are the parents of daughter London, age 2. Jackson received an undergraduate degree in elementary education and psychology at Continues on Page 24


Angie Jackson with her husband, Jerry Jackson, and their 2-year-old daughter, London.

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UNC Asheville, and her master’s in education, education specialist degree and doctorate in education from Western Carolina University. She was a first-grade teacher at Weaverville Primary School, assistant principal at Glen Arden Elementary and principal at Black Mountain Elementary before moving to Hominy Valley six years ago. Q: Did you always know you wanted to work in the field of education? A: I have always known I wanted to be in education. I had fabulous teachers during my elementary school years, and they inspired me to want to become a teacher. As a high school student, I tutored younger students in reading and writing. I chose UNC Asheville because of its outstanding educational program.

Q: What do you love most about being an educator? A: I enjoy watching the children grow as learners during their elementary years. I love to watch their excitement in learning something new. Being an administrator allows me to go into all classrooms — kindergarten through fifth grade — throughout the day. I have the joy of watching hands-on learning and technology integration daily. This is very exciting to me! As I watched our fifth grade awards program on the last day of school, I could remember their first days of kindergarten. It is amazing how quickly a school year passes and how much our students grow and learn while they are in elementary school. Q: When were you and your husband married? A: We were married in June 1995. It hailed so hard on our wedding day that I could not get out of the car to walk into the church. During the ceremony, the power flickered several times. I was

worried about my “perfect day,” but at the altar, my “to be” husband made me giggle and laugh. He still keeps me laughing to this day. Q: How do you and your husband manage child care? A: We are fortunate in that we have a very close friend, Ms. Denise, who keeps London. She has a grown daughter of her own and understands the challenges of our hectic daily schedules. London and Ms. Denise have a very loving bond. She is London’s second Mommy. Q: What have been some of the challenges of being a working mom with a small child, and especially when she was an infant? A: Since our family has known Ms. Denise for years, it was an easy transition back to work. She is very flexible in that I can pick London up at varying times during the school year. She always knows that during those first few weeks of school, I will be late. I do have a friend who welcomes London into her

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W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

home when Ms. Denise cannot keep her. London also has two Nanas who love to keep her.

night before bedtime. My most spectacular moment was holding her for the first time.

I also enjoy scrapbooking London’s adventures. A pedicure is always a nice treat.

Q: Have there been any surprises about being a mom and also a professional that you didn’t expect before you had your child? A: I have a very strong support system of family and friends. We all pull together to make it work. I guess the biggest surprise is learning how little sleep you actually need to have a successful day. I just thought I needed eight hours of sleep each night.

Q: What do you enjoy doing together as a family? A: We love going to the Biltmore Estate to spend the day. London especially enjoys going to Antler Village at Biltmore to pet the animals and see the flowers. She goes to The Little Gym every week, which has been great social interaction for her since she is an only child. We also have regular play dates with friends at the park. While at home, we love to read together and work puzzles.

Q: What are your future aspirations as an educator? A: I really enjoy being a principal, and I love the Hominy Valley community. I plan to remain a principal until London is much older. At that point I may think about other avenues.

Q: What do you love most about being a mom? Any spectacular moments in motherhood that you’ll never forget? A: The joys of being a mom are neverending. The facial expressions and the funny things she comes up with keep us entertained. I love watching London experience new things and asking her never-ending questions. It is so precious to watch her and her father have a tea party and read stories together each

Q: What do you do just for yourself to stay healthy and sane? A: Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with close friends. I also try to get to the gym three times each week for Turbo Kick and CSI classes. This always makes a difficult day easier. It is such a stress reliever! Our gym has great child care so I take London with me.

Q: Any tips for busy, working parents to keep it all together? A: I use every spare moment (nap time, daddy time) for chores. It is difficult to get it all done but I prioritize and use lists. I try not to stress over the small stuff that would have driven me crazy pre-London. Now there are more important priorities besides ironing and doing the dishes. Working as a team is instrumental, and understanding each other’s priorities is an important piece to a successful marriage and a happy family.

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Triangle of fun

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is chock full of family entertainment By Mike McWilliams WNC Parent contributor


ou don’t you don’t have to wait to be 18 or get that acceptance letter in the mail to enjoy the benefits of living in a college town. Home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University in Durham and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, the Research Triangle region offers world-class education opportunities as well as top-notch family fun. From exotic animals to movies on a

larger-than-life screen, the Triangle has it all. A short, four-hour drive on Interstate 40 east from Asheville and you’re there.

For science and animal lovers Considered one of the top attractions in the state, the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science in Durham packs a lot within its confines. Visitors can see black bears swim below a waterfall and Continues on Page 29


Duke Gardens offers classes, guided tours and programs for adults and families.

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W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

Triangle of fun


Continued from Page 26

can walk along a wooded forest path to see life-sized dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous period all within the same 84-acre park. Highlights include the Magic Wings Butterfly House, which is one of the largest conservatories in the Southeast, said Taneka Bennett, museum spokeswoman. “The museum is also home to more than 110 animals including rescued black bears, endangered red wolves and exotic lemurs,” Bennett said. Happening in July is DinoDays, which will celebrate the second anniversary of the museum’s Dinosaur Trail. The event, July 16-17, promises to be fun a weekend full of fossils and fun. Visitors can meet local collectors from the North Carolina Fossil Club, speak with paleontology experts and discover their own fossils. Chapel Hill can claim many important firsts. For example, the University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States. It’s also home to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, which was the first planetarium built on a college campus, in 1949. Today, Morehead is best known for its amazing planetarium shows, marketing manager Karen Kornegay said. It is the largest full-dome planetarium in the Southeast and last year, Morehead installed a new digital video projection system in its dome. “Full-dome technology creates an immersion environment — you’re actually surrounded on all sides by the action, and the sensation of being immersed in the middle of the planetarium show is so complete that you feel you could reach up and touch the spacecraft passing directly overhead,” Kornegay said. “Most of Morehead’s planetarium shows are designed to meet the educational needs of children in elementary grades, and we include show elements that appeal to adults, too.” Each month Morehead offers a pair of programs geared toward families. The Starry Nights Series allows visitors to explore the night sky under the planetarium dome, with an expert guide. Star Families, which is based on the same


Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill is the largest full-dome planetarium in the Southeast. themes as Starry Nights, is geared toward learners ages 7-12. If the movie “Madagascar” was a hit in your house, or if your family simply loves animals and nature, then check out the Duke Lemur Center. The center has been caring for lemurs and other related prosimian primates — animals that appeared on Earth before monkeys — since 1966. Approximately 13,000 people tour the Duke Lemur Center every year. It also the largest sanctuary of its kind in the world and features about 250 animals, including 233 lemurs from about 15 different species. There are several tour options available for visitors, including walking alongside lemurs in their habitat. Other tours offer guests a chance to assist animal caretakers as they demonstrate the use of positive reinforcement to care for the animals. “The center just opened a new tour path to welcome the public,” Duke Lemur Center spokeswoman Lari Hatley said. “It is as close to a little bit of Madagascar — the only place on Earth that lemurs naturally occur — as you can get and it is right here in Durham.” Southwest of Durham, in Pittsboro, Carolina Tiger Rescue tends to a different sort of animal, and its mission is


◆ North Carolina Museum of Life and Science: 433 W. Murray Ave., Durham. 919-220-5429. ◆ Morehead Planetarium and Science Center: 250 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-962-1236. ◆ Sarah P. Duke Gardens: 420 Anderson St., Durham. 919-684-3698. ◆ Duke Lemur Center: 3705 Erwin Road, Durham. 919-489-3364. ◆ Carolina Tiger Rescue: 1940 Hanks Chapel Road, Pittsboro. 919-542-4684 ◆ Kidzu Children’s Museum: 123 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-933-1455. ◆ Frankie’s Fun Park of Raleigh: 11190 Fun Park Drive, Raleigh. 919-433-7888. ◆ Marbles Kids Museum: 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh. 919-834-4040. ◆ The Pit: 328 W. Davie St., Raleigh 919-8904500. ◆ Fuhgeddaboudit Pizza: 7321 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. 919-844-6692. 3450-158 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary. 919-387-7711. ◆ Elmo’s Diner: 200 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro. 919-929-2909. 776 Ninth St., Durham. 919-416-3823. ◆ Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom: 1483 Beaver Creek Commons Drive, Apex, 919-355-1380; 102 E. Main St., Carrboro, 919-929-6881; 324 Blackwell St., Durham, 919-433-0345. ◆ Mama Dip’s Kitchen: 408 W. Rosemary St. Chapel Hill. 919-942-5837. simple: saving the protecting wildcats in captivity and in the wild. To achieve this, the organization rescues wildcats, providing them with lifelong sanctuary, while educating the public about the plight of wildcats. The facility features many different species of big cats, including tigers, lions, caracals, servals, ocelots, bobcats, binturoungs and kinkajous. Public tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays, with a Twilight Tour offered on Saturday evenings. Reservations are required for both tours. On the second Saturday of each month, Carolina Tiger Rescue hosts Kid’s Enrichment Day where children make animal enrichment crafts, which include papier mache balls, scented toys Continues on Page 30


Triangle of fun Continued from Page 29

and puzzle feeders.

For garden lovers Sarah P. Duke Gardens is a 55-acre oasis on the campus of Duke University in Durham. It includes four main specialized gardens: the Historic Gardens, the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants; the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, including a large pond and a Japanese Pavilion and Tea House, as well as many shaded paths and meditation benches and shelters; and the Doris Duke Center Gardens, which includes the Virtue Peace Pond, the hosting site of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society’s annual New Waterlily Contest each summer. Duke Gardens offers classes, guided tours and programs for adults and families, from botany courses to a children’s book club to a summer day camp. The biannual Family Fun Days are a free gathering with science-themed activities for children to do at the Gardens and take home. Family Fun Days happens in the spring and fall. Every Thursday in August, Duke Gardens will offer a free summer outdoor movie series, featuring animated shows at dusk. “Our goal is to begin as a family conversation about people and plants that will extend beyond the limits of the Gardens,” said Jan Little, the director of education and public programs. “Every season is filled with beautiful landscapes and fascinating discoveries.”

For fun lovers Kidzu Children’s Museum offers interactive activities for families. The mission of the museum is to inspire children and the adults in their lives to learn through play. To accomplish this mission, Kidzu is dedicated to providing high quality, hands-on learning experience to its visitors. Since opening five years ago in a former storefront on Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill, Kidzu has served more than 150,000 visitors through its



Duke Lemur Center has been caring for lemurs and other primates since 1966. engaging educational exhibits, programs, special events, field trips and outreach. One exhibit, KidZoom: The Power of Creativity, inspires children to seek creativity in all areas of life. The exhibit features a market, a construction zone, an art studio, a book nook and a spot for tots. The museum is nearing expansion to a much larger site on the Wallace Plaza in downtown Chapel Hill. The move will allow more space for outdoor exhibits and programs and room to grow. For great rides, great food and great times, head to Frankie’s Fun Park of Raleigh. Visitors will find miniature golf, bumper boats, amusement rides, laser tag, batting cages and a video arcade. Frankie’s has no admission fee and you pay as you play. Located near Moore Square in Raleigh, the goal of Marbles Kids Museum is to inspire imagination, discovery and learning through extraordinary adventures in play through hands-on activities. The museum features seven permanent exhibits, including: Around Town, where kids take charge and lead the way

through their own, pint-sized community; Splash, a water adventure; Idea Works, where kids use their imaginations to create simple products; Art Loft, a place where kids can paint, draw, sculpt and explore various forms of art; BB&T Storybook Forest, a place for families to explore a book and put on a show together; Moneypalooza, where kids learn the importance of establishing healthy money habits through innovative and high-energy activities; and Power2Play World Tour, where kids learn about fun sports and activities from around the globe. “From driving a real city bus, to walking the plank on a pirate ship, to making a birdhouse using real tools … kids connect, communicate, create and learn through extraordinary adventures in play,” said Katy Hipp Burgwyn, Marbles’ spokeswoman. Marbles also houses the region’s only larger-than-life IMAX Theater where documentaries and other educational movies are screened.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011


Learn about wind’s impact on boats at the sailboat pond at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science.

For food lovers Here are a few family-friendly restaurants in the Triangle. Serving authentic North Carolina barbecue, The Pit is a celebration of all things great to eat in the Tar Heel State. Besides traditional barbecue plates, The Pit also offers twists on traditional Southern favorites like Texas-style brisket, baby back ribs and fried chicken. Fuhgeddaboudit Pizza is the creation of Gus Camos. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Camos grew up on NYC-style pizza pies. He moved to Raleigh and unable to find a decent piece of pizza, he decided to open his own pizzeria. The pies feature the best tasting pies from NYC’s five boroughs and can be found at two locations in Raleigh and Cary. Elmo’s Diner, in Carrboro and Durham, are two locally owned, family-friendly restaurants. Like true diners, Elmo’s serves homemade food and breakfast all the time. Some say Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom has some of the best fried pickles and garlic fries around. Others say the burger there can’t be beat. Whatever your pleasure, Tyler’s serves it in a family-friendly atmosphere. FYI, parents, Tyler’s also was voted one of America’s 100 best beer bars. There are three Tyler’s in the Triangle region. Featuring traditional country cooking, Mama Dip’s Kitchen has been a favorite in Chapel Hill for 35 years. Staples on the menu include country ham, Southern fried chicken, barbecue and chittlins.

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home-school happenings

Alternative learning for alternative learners By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist As I write this, I am sitting on the second movie set I have had the opportunity to be on this summer. My daughter and son spend lots of time making movies of their own, so spending time with “real” directors, producers, costumers, set designers, etc., has been a dream come true for them. This is hands-on learning at its best. This is why we love home-schooling. It allows you to redefine or, perhaps, define for the first time, exactly what you consider to be “educational.” Too often, our traditional schools instill in us the idea that learning is only happening when there are books, pencils and tests.

Many of the folks who choose to homeschool have a completely different, and, in my humble opinion, more enlightened view of what’s “educational.” For a long time after we made the decision to home-school, I tried to “do school” with my highly creative, highly kinesthetic and highly unschool-y daughter. It didn’t work, and we both ended up frustrated. However, when I finally surrendered and believed in her ability to learn, we both were much happier. Now, creative writing happens as scripts for movies; fine arts, as filmmaking and design; math as measurement for costumes and programming for editing ... well, you see where I am going with this. And my child is inspired and motivated. Does this mean we don’t do anything else? Of course not. We have a tradition in our house that you must read at least

two broccoli books over the summer break. What’s a broccoli book? Well, “Pretty Little Liars” would be considered a popcorn book, and Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” would be considered broccoli. It doesn’t mean you have to read Shakespeare but something that challenges your reading level, intellectual assumptions and ideas. We also continue with some math through the summer because it seems to be the subject most likely to disappear from your brain if you don’t practice it. (At least at our house. For my left brained friends — and you know who you are — you can take a break!) The nice thing is that we have the time and opportunity to take advantage of these exciting educational excursions when they arise. Unschoolers have perfected the skill of life learning. The truly courageous are totally child-led with absolutely no par-


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ent initiated learning, just supportive management of the organic unfolding of a child’s natural abilities. I struggle with this because my traditional side says, “do math, do math, how will they ever get into a good college,” while my creative/entreprenurial side says, “they’ll be much happier doing something they love and are more likely to be successful.” And that sort of brings me back to where I started, which was what your definition of “educational” is. I think it should be tailored to your individual learning style. By removing ourselves from the world of terminal standardized testing and narrowly defined scopes and sequences, we have opened up a world of opportunities for our children. And, as quickly as the world is changing, our alternative learning environment is one way of keeping pace with the world in which we live. Nicole McKeon is a home-schooling mom and owner of Homeschool Station in Fairview. Email her at


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divorced families

Keep an eye out for kids’ hidden problems By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist I need to confess something about my early school experience. I really hated PE. I was one of those kids who always got picked last to be on someone’s softball team. As if that wasn’t humiliating enough, it also meant I got placed to cover left field. Maybe you can guess what happened next. When I was paying the least amount of attention, someone would finally hit a deep fly ball to left field, which I would totally miss and then chase after only to get it by the time the runner had crossed the home plate. This would reinforce the wisdom the next day to pick me last and then put me back into left field.

The point of this heartwarming story is that children can encounter hardships in school that they silently keep to themselves. No one in my family ever knew how hard PE was on me. Later, as a parent “close to his child,” I never knew that my son was being bullied at middle school until it became extreme. Personal and social pressures may inhibit even the closest parents from knowing what is really going on in the world and mind of their child during the school year. So, let’s review three reality checkpoints about problems that children, especially those of divorcing parents, can undergo in going back to school and possible solutions: ◆ The problem: not fitting in. This could be not wearing the right clothes or having a cell phone because of money problems, being unable to have both your parents attend a school event without them making an embarrassing scene,

having difficulty with inviting friends over because households are in transition or awkwardness with having a single parent if most of your friends don’t. The solution is not easy. Use your powers of observation to determine if your child is really out of sync with the other children when it comes to appearances. Get out of combat mode when you are with your child and the other parent is present. Do your best to keep your child’s schedule sane, which means predictable and reliable. Never indicate shame about being a single parent or try to compete with other parents. ◆ The problem: bullies. Maybe your child is being picked on because of the perception that he or she is different related to the divorce. Possibly, your child is being subjected to cyberbullying involving text messaging or social networks. The solution is to form a strong col-

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W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

laborative response with your child’s school to enforce a zero tolerance policy regarding bullies. Divorcing parents will have to get over their differences while conferencing with the school to make this work. ◆ The problem: Your child’s grades have plummeted since the divorce process and maybe they are having some behavior problems at school. The solution is to be conservative and not jump to conclusions. Get your child a full physical to make sure nothing medical is being missed. Consult with the teachers and counselors. Listen to their ideas about corrective actions. Make sure they keep you actively informed through a reasonable reporting system. Consider a therapy consultation if matters continue to deteriorate. If you find these ideas useful, then do me a favor. Root for that kid playing left field next time you go to a softball game. Even if he misses the ball. Trip Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 6068607.

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10 ways art the artful parent

is fundamental to education By Jean Van’t Hul WNC Parent columnist

1. Art helps children develop fine motor skills as they use their hands and tools to draw, paint and sculpt. 2. Art teaches children about cause and effect. “What happens when I mix blue and yellow?” 3. Scribbling and drawing form the foundation for later literacy. As young children progress through the stages of scribbling, they learn to make all the shapes in the letters of the alphabet. 4. Art helps children develop problem-solving abilities as they explore new ways to use art materials. “How can I build this sculpture taller without it falling down?” 5. Art is one of the languages of the world. We live in a visual society in which much of what we interact with and learn from has to be decoded visually. Art can be an effective tool for learning about other school subjects (just as verbal and written languages can be ways to learn). 6. Open-ended art is linked to creativity. The ability to think in new ways and to create something new is an especially important skill for the 21st century. 7. Art gives children a voice and allows them to communicate what they are thinking or feeling in a safe way. 8. Art helps hone spatial skills, including an understanding of patterns and shapes, which are important in math and other areas of learning. 9. Art encourages observational skills and helps children to notice details in the world around them. 10. Art is fun. A child who is having fun is an engaged and happy child, which in turn helps him learn better. Jean Van’t Hul writes about children’s art and creativity on her blog, The Artful Parent (



librarian’s pick

Book celebrates gift of water By Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries Clean water is essential to all humans and many other life forms. For many, clean water is an everyday thing — something available readily at the turning of a faucet. For others, clean water is a rarity. In their new children’s picture book, “All the Water in the World”, children’s author George Ella Lyon and artist Katherine Tillotson divests water of its scientific characteristics, its use in industry and its use as a symbol in philosophy and literature to celebrate the essence of the precious endowment. The book begins, “All the water in the world … is all the water in the world.” In the following pages, Lyon uses a combination of brief, declarative sentences and poetic, lyrical descriptions to describe the journey of water. Not only does the text have sound and rhythm, it helps show the story. In describing how water moves through an endless cycle, she writes, “Water doesn’t come. It goes. Around.” These declarations are followed by a string of verses that are lined up in such a way as to suggest the delicate curvature of a cloud: “That rain/ that cascaded from clouds/ and meandered down mountains, that wavered over waterfalls/ then slipped into rivers/ and opened into oceans, that rain has been here before.” A torrent of rain is suggested by extra-large, bold font. A drought is suggested by tiny, thin font, all in lowercase. Tillotson’s digitally rendered illustrations have the appearance of illustrations that are done using a combination of tempera paint and collage. Intricate designs and patterns appear throughout, blending subtly into the makeup of grass, trees, sand and trees. Long, curvilinear shapes suggest movement. The liberal use of bright colors gives the images


area story times For summer reading program events, see the Calendar on Page 59.

instant kid appeal. The final two-page spread is one of those rare instances in children’s picture books where word and image unify flawlessly to convey a memorable, effecting idea or action. It is a “ta-da!” moment. Viewed from an arm’s length distance, the illustration shows a single, curling wave of water made up of tiny drops of water. Upon closer examination, the reader discovers that while some of the drops are indeed water, other drops are actually silhouettes of frogs, turtles, giraffes, dogs, horses, lions, butterflies and other creatures. The text appears in large, clear font and follows the curve of the wave: “all so precious — do not waste it. And delicious — we can taste it. Keep it clear, keep it clean…” The ellipsis gives way to the last page which reads simply, “keep Earth green!” This book has great appeal to a wide age range. The presentation is simple enough to appeal to preschoolers, yet the substance is sophisticated enough to appeal to older elementary school children. This book is available through the Buncombe County Public Libraries. Visit for more information.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

Buncombe County Public Libraries

Visit Black Mountain, 250-4756 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday East Asheville, 250-4738 Preschool: 11 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday Enka-Candler, 250-4758 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Fairview, 250-6484 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Leicester, 250-6480 Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday North Asheville, 250-4752 School Age: 3:15 p.m. Thursday Preschool: 11 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 10 a.m. Wednesday Oakley/South Asheville, 250-4754 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday Preschool: 10 a.m. Wednesday Pack Memorial Library, 250-4700 Mother Goose: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays Skyland/South Buncombe, 250-6488 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Swannanoa, 250-6486 Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10 a.m. Thursday Weaverville, 250-6482 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 11 a.m. Thursday Preschool: 11 a.m. Tuesday

West Asheville, 250-4750 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Monday Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday Storyline

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Haywood County Public Library

Visit Waynesville, 452-5169 Baby Rhyme Time: 11 a.m. Mondays Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays Ready 4 Learning: 2 p.m. Wednesdays Canton, 648-2924 Family story time: 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays Mondays with Ms. Lisa: 3:30 p.m. Mondays

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Henderson County Public Library

Visit No story time is offered during August. Main, 697-4725 Edneyville, 685-0110 Etowah, 891-6577 Fletcher, 687-1218 Green River, 697-4969 Mills River, 890-1850

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 296-7335 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Saturdays

Blue Ridge Books

152 S. Main St., Waynesville, 456-6000 10 a.m. Tuesdays (age 3 and under)


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dad’s view

Sticking up for the picture book

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Last month, KidsPost ran a column titled, “Are Picture Books Dead?” The gist: Picture books have lost their way as parents push young children harder academically. As column writer Tracy Grant laments: “Could we really be preparing to mothball yet another simple pleasure of childhood in pursuit of a fat envelope from Harvard?” Grant is right to worry. The last thing we need is children growing up faster than they already are. Children are already losing ground in traditional areas of childhood such as free play, art and music. Do we need to add children’s books to the list? As we inch closer to another school


year, here are five reasons to consider sticking with (or returning to) children’s books. 1. They have pictures. Often done by world-class artists. Open up “Pond Circle” and be blown away by the work of Stefano Vitale. For a child, a bookshelf of picture books is like having a ticket to an art museum. 2. They speak for themselves. Picture books allow kids to imagine what might be happening in a story before being told (read to). Pictures provide context for guessing, or estimating, story plots. My daughter Sophia can’t read yet, so I often ask her to look through pictures books and guess what is happening on each page. She comes up with some crazy story lines. This will help her become a more engaged reader later on. 3. They don’t have all the answers. Chapters books are filled with stage directions: Jill woke up. She got dressed.

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By Scott Tiernan WNC Parent columnist

She ate breakfast. And so on. This style helps young readers develop fluency but also can dull the reading brain. Picture books, however, require a filling in of the blanks and remind us that brevity is a lost art. “Zen Shorts” is a good example. We love Stillwater, but we don’t know where he came from or why he can speak English. These things are best left to the imagination of each child.

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4. They boost vocabulary. Chapter books offer a finite set of words: what you read is what you get. Not so with picture books. Page 1 of “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” has a picture of an armoire. The first time I read Page 1 to Sophia she wanted to know what the “big thing” was called. Now she knows an armoire from a closet. 5. They let kids feel comfortable being kids. A few months ago in the bookstore, Sophia spied a few older girls looking through the Magic Tree House books. Wanting to be like the “big girls” she picked out Book 1. Boredom set in after just a few minutes of listening — not enough to interact with. Compare this with Mia and the “Too Big Tutu.” Sophia is obsessed with this fun, age-appropriate, illustrated tale of a little girl who mistakenly packs her older sister’s tutu for dance class. Perfect! What say you? Email me your list of Top 5 picture books. Scott Tiernan is an education and communications consultant and a freelance writer. Read more at:





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4 guidelines for shoe shopping

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Fall represents one of the peak times for children’s shoe shopping. Parents need to keep in mind these tips from podiatrist Dr. Richard Stanley and the American Podiatric Medical Association as they peruse the shoe aisle for the young feet in the family: 1. Buy for fit, not size: Don’t assume because your child has grown out of one size that he or she needs the next size in the new pair of shoes, Stanley says. 2. Make sure the shoes are flexible: Shoes should bend with a child’s toes. Also, grab the shoes from both ends and try to bend them. If a shoe bends in the middle or if you can twist it around, there’s not enough support. 3. Don’t buy shoes that are too stiff or too big. 4. Avoid shoes that pinch the toes: “If you can kill a cockroach in a corner with a toe, you don’t want to be in it,” Stanley cautions.

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growing together

The harvest makes one yearn for simpler times

By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

About twice a year, I get the homestead blues. It usually happens first in the dead of winter, when seed catalogs and their promises of flower gardens and heirloom tomatoes fill my mailbox. The fever strikes again at harvest time, when local markets become row after row of fresh vegetables and fruits begging to come home with me. The antidote to this, of course, is buying some herb plants and maybe a container veggie or two that I can barely keep alive until August. There is a real disconnect between my vision of being Tasha Tudor, making homemade lye soap in a kettle in the backyard, and my reality of working, home-schooling and living in suburbia.

I add a new thing each year it seems, though none of my suburban homesteading is really new. It’s all very old, actually, and made fashionable again less because it’s cool (though it is) and more because of a collective sigh of relief breathed as the economy gains strength in its uphill climb to recovery. Those of us who were “hippies” a few years ago are now “green” and maybe even fashionably frugal. I think those who converted during the uncertainty of recent times are finding that an old way of running our households really makes so much sense. Some changes that came out of necessity are taking hold as mainstream notions. I laugh at myself when I think I’ve come up with something new, only to see Ma Ingalls doing the same thing on “Little House on the Prairie.” On that note, I think we should all start wearing cute aprons in the kitchen. Moms, despite what you may think, this

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will not reduce your IQ. Trust me. Though my gardening notions have yet to become reality, I have learned some things that women three or four generations ago already knew: ◆ Filling my freezer with in-season produce means we have better food at a better price all year round; ◆ My home-canned salsa can evoke summer even in January; ◆ And, in the event of a national emergency, fresh peach jam could probably be used as currency. Our foremothers lived by a philosophy of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” It wasn’t an optional way of life for them. Though I fail often, the summer’s harvest — admittedly the result of someone else’s labor — always inspires me to try harder at living intentionally. The jars are washed and ready to be filled, right here in the suburbs.

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squash and

zucchini By Ron Mikulak Gannett

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As I was researching recipes for summer squash, it struck me that zucchini and its relatives in the cucurbit family are the duct tape of the vegetable world. Just as duct tape is usable for any sort of repair or craft project — repairing shoes, reattaching loose car bumpers, making prom dresses — so is summer squash usable for just about any sort of dish a cook has in mind. Zucchini or yellow squash, raw, steamed, sautéed or roasted, are excellent additions to, and even main components in, salads. Summer squash form the base for a number of summer soups, cold and hot. Zucchini bread can sometimes be the desperate way to use up an Continues on Page 47

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Zucchini come in several shapes and colors.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

Zucchini carpaccio salad.

Squash Continued from Page 46

abundance of late-season squashes, but actually, as a baking ingredient, zucchini is very pleasant indeed. Too often, sautĂŠed zucchini, tossed with onions and peppers, is my lastminute vegetable side dish, but when I have more time to plan, there are unlimited ways to cook summer squashes to complement any main dish of meat or fish. And, squashes can be the basis for plenty of main dishes too, both vegetarian and otherwise. It is good that there are so many ways to eat summer squash because at this time of the year, there is so much available. While the long, slender zucchini and yellow squash are the most familiar, summer squashes come in a variety of shapes and hues. On farmers market tables are the light green, scallop-edged pattypan squash. Both globe zucchini and pattypan squashes are excellent for

Zucchini carpaccio

1/2 pound very young, fresh and tender zucchini or yellow squash 1/4 cup fruity olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound mixed baby greens 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese Slice the zucchini on the bias in thin rounds, about 1/8-inch thick. Place in bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Let marinate 5 minutes or more. Arrange salad greens on serving plate. Arrange zucchini slices over lettuce, the top with Parmesan cheese. Add more freshly ground pepper. Serves 4.

hollowing out and stuffing, but they can be sliced and sautĂŠed or roasted as well. Although there are now a remarkable variety of shapes and colors of softskinned summer squash, all are variations derived from one botanical genus. Thus, in most recipes, one variety can be substituted for another. That is, yellow


squash can use used when the recipe calls for zucchini, and, if the squash is to be grated or diced, pattypan or globe zucchini can be used instead of the classic long green zucchini. Squash are edible at all stages of development; even the blossoms make for interesting and tasty eating. But as zucchini get larger, they have a tendency to become woody, and the seeds are tougher. Summer squashes have a high water content, which makes them low in calories, but also bland in flavor. The best, freshest, young squash are mild, somewhat nutty in taste, pleasant in texture, just crunchy enough when raw. I think roasting brings out the inherent sweetness in squashes, but my wife likes the results of a surprising method shown to me some years ago in a cooking class in France: slice the zucchini sort of thick, add some chopped onion, and simmer covered in water for up to an hour. The result is almost a pudding, but rich and vegetal. Continues on Page 48


Stuffed pattypan squash or globe zucchini


Stuffed patty pan squash.

Zucchini, mozzarella and tomato stacks

This makes for a lovely and unusual first course for a dinner party. Balls of fresh mozzarella are essential to this dish. 2 globe zucchini or plumb Starship pattypan squashes Olive oil 2 tomatoes, about the same size as the squashes Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) Slice the zucchini or pattypan squash into disks about ¼-inch thick. Place on a baking sheet, brush liberally on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and broil or grill until soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into ¼-inch thick disks. On the baking sheet, assemble the stacks: a slice of grilled zucchini, a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella and top with another slice of zucchini. Repeat for other stacks. Return to oven until cheese just begins to melt, 5 to 8 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with shredded basil and a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinaigrette. Makes 4 stacks.


Globe zucchini tomato and mozzarella stacks.

Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1/4 cup olive oil Salt and pepper to taste. Combine ingredients in a bowl, or in a salad cruet. Whisk well, or shake to combine. Makes about 1/3 cup.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

For a vegetarian dish, a lot of stuffing ideas are possible. The quinoa provided an especially pleasant, nutty flavor. You can use rice, or couscous instead. 4 pattypan squashes, about 4 inches across, or 4 globe zucchini 1 cup quinoa 2 tablespoons oil 1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced 1/2 pound sausage (optional) 1/4 cup dried tomatoes, chopped 1/4 cup parsley, minced 1/4 cup grated cheese, such as Gruyere or Asiago Trim a thin sliver off the bottom (opposite the stem end) of each squash, so that it will sit evenly in a baking dish. Slice off the top (stem end) about ½ -inch down. Using a melon scoop or grapefruit spoon, hollow out the squash, leaving at least ¼ -inch thick walls, and reserving the flesh. Place the hollowed out squash in a pan large enough to hold them all, add at least ½ -inch of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and steam the squash until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, drain and cool. Set aside. Boil 2 cups salted water, add the quinoa, stir to combine, and simmer ten minutes or so, until quinoa is al dente. Remove from heat, cover, and let grain sit to absorb liquid. Fluff with a fork, and set aside. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, and when shimmery, add the chopped onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the reserved chopped zucchini flesh, and sausage, if using, breaking up with a wooden spoon, and cook until meat is browned or vegetables tender. Add the chopped dried tomatoes and cook until tomatoes soften, another 5 minutes or so. Mix in the quinoa and the minced parsley. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly salt the squashes, then spoon the quinoa mixture into the hollowed out interior, mounding attractively. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Place in a baking pan, add a little water, and bake until heated through and cheese melts, 12 to 15 minutes. Serves 4 as a main dish.

03&++( Camps "$.#, 1#**'- /,+%,2)eat local

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By Jessica Kennedy WNC Parent contributor

Every summer camp is different, and the food they feed their campers varies just as widely. But many area camps are making efforts to provide fresh, local, healthy food for their campers to make camps more sustainable as a whole. Terra Summer, a food-based day program in Mills River, educates children about food through food. “Children are our future adults,” said Sybil Fix, founder and director of Terra Summer. “They’re the people who are going to be living on this planet for the next one year to 90 years.” The children who attend Terra Summer work in the 16-acre on-site organic farm, work with a chef to cook their lunch each day and have instructional time. Terra Summer uses only vegetables grown in its garden, very few animal products and no processed foods. The program is entirely vegetarian. “We try to teach children about the healthfulness of food more through a discussion of the whole holistic approach to food rather than lecturing them about calories,” Fix said. Denise Barratt, a registered dietitian in Asheville, said using local and fresh foods is a healthier option because kids will be more willing to eat them for taste and aesthetics. “It has more flavor,” Barratt said. “It’s more attractive because it’s fresh from the garden. If you go to the tailgate market, you can get something picked that day rather than several weeks ago.”

The ‘picky’ problem

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Exposing kids to a range of different Continues on Page 50

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Camps eat local Continued from Page 49

foods is the key to making them less picky, Barratt said. Hans Stader, of Asheville, said he signed his son up for the program for the last two summers because he “needed some more exposure to different foods.” “We’re still waiting for him to grow up,” Stader said. “He’s a very picky eater.” Stader said Terra Summer introduced his son to new foods and ideas and planted seeds in his mind that he hopes will flourish over time. “There’s a stereotype of kid-friendly having to be what looks familiar to kids,




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W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

■ 52 percent: WNC camps that used local food products in the 2005 camp season, according to an N.C. State University study. ■ 75 percent: WNC camps that used local food products in the 2009 camp season. ■ 64 percent: Camp directors that said they promote energy conservation. ■ 19,435: Acres controlled by the 40 camps that responded to the study. ■ 18: Average number of days children spent at those camps.


■ Do your homework. Many camps have sample menus or cafeteria information on their websites. Research the food your kids will eat and don’t hesitate to ask questions about where food products will come from. ■ Let your child’s camp know about allergies or other dietary issues. Camps are always willing and used to working with children who have dietary restrictions, but it’s the parents’ responsibility to let them know. ■ Fill the kids in. If kids interact with the growing process, they’re more likely to choose healthy foods. Talk to kids about where food comes from and what good choices are from an early age. ■ Give feedback. If healthy, local foods are important to you in choosing a camp for your children, tell the folks who will be feeding them. Camps want to make parents happy and hear what you have to say.

but it’s very possible to introduce things to kids that they’ll eat,” said Genie Gunn, volunteer standards chair for the American Camp Association’s southeastern branch. “Camps just need to make a commitment to do it.”

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Residential camps Camp Carolina in Brevard and Camp Ridgecrest in Black Mountain have also been moving toward more sustainable camp models for their residential camp programs. “We’ve been getting local food for about 17 years, but it’s easier now in the last couple years to get better food,” said Alfred Thompson, owner and director at Camp Carolina. “It’s still not easy, it’s just easier.” Thompson is part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and gets two cases of local, organic vegetables every week for his campers. It doesn’t feed the whole camp, but it helps, he said. He also recommends taking trips to the farmer’s market and purContinued from Page 50

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Camps eat local Continued from Page 51


chases flour from a North Carolina mill. Camp Carolina tries to add healthy options to established kid favorites, meals like pizza, tacos and spaghetti. “Kids tend to like finger foods,” Barratt said. “Kids will go for raw broccoli or carrots or cauliflower to put in a ranch dip rather than squash casserole.” But Thompson has figured out his own way to get campers to eat vegetables. The pasta Bolognese, for example, has carrots and celery ground up in it, and the pasta Raphael has blended artichoke hearts. “They don’t like to see the vegetables,” Thompson said.

Students learn how to prepare a chocolate angelfood cake, a Lithuanian-style apple pie, and a blueberry peach crumble at Terra Summer in Mills River.

Quality and price “The stereotype is that it’s more expensive, but the yield is greater,” Gunn said. “There’s going to be a lot less waste because it’s fresher and tastes better.” Gunn said it can be more expensive

up front to hire skilled food service people and buy organic or local vegetables. But after the initial commitment, camps will find that it’s not that expensive. “The impact is that a camper might go home and try to eat those things or increase the fruits and vegetables they take to school with them to augment their lunches,” Gunn said. “It also makes them more open to the changes we all hope are coming down the pipe for public

schools.” Barratt said the positive economic impact on the community from camps buying local food is huge. While one piece of produce may cost slightly more, the money that goes into the local economy adds up. “It doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” Barratt said. “The side effect is that if the food’s healthier at the camp, it’s going to help the child that week.”


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Solutions on Page 67


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calendar of events

Things to do

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July 26

BOARD GAMES FOR KIDS: Bring your favorite board game to Historic Johnson Farm and play with other kids. Free. 10 a.m.-noon at 3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Call 891-6585. CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will learn about glass fusing by making a jewelry dish, plus crafts, tie-dying, and snacks. 1-3 p.m. At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-0042 or email for reservations. DRUMMING AND CHANTING: Sonia Brooks will lead this program at Black Mountain Library at 10:30 a.m. as part of the summer reading program. Ages 5 and up. Drums provided but feel free to bring your own. GROOVIN ON GROVEMONT: Summer concert series in Grovemont Square, next to Swannanoa Library. Free show featuring Latin/Cuban jazz group Ahora Si at 6 p.m., plus a half-price book sale at the library. Email or call 250-6486.

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July 27

STORYTELLING: Enjoy stories from around the world at 10:30 a.m. at Pack Memorial Library. All ages. STORYTELLING: Enjoy stories from around the world with Sharon Clarke at 2 p.m. at Oakley/ South Asheville Library. Ages 5 and up. No groups please.

July 28

CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will learn how to paint cartoon characters on pottery, plus crafts, tie-dying, and snacks. 3:305:30 p.m. At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-0042 or email for reservations. DRUMMING: Join Sonia Brooks at Weaverville Library at 2:30 and 4 p.m. as part of the summer reading program. Ages 3 and up. Personal drums welcome, but not necessary. Free ticket required, available at the library July 21. INFANT CARE CLASS: Pardee Hospital offers a course on infant care from A to Z. From 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee, education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Free. Registration required. Call 866-790-WELL. WHEELS: Design your own wheels at 11 a.m. at Leicester Library as part of the summer reading program. All ages. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: The Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays. This week’s theme is “Weather in the Woods.” $4 per child per

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calendar of events Continued from Page 59 program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit

July 29

PUPPETEER: Join Addie Hirschten at West Asheville Library at 11 a.m. Ages 5 and up.

July 30

MUCHKIN MARKET: Consignment sale through Aug. 2 at Biltmore Square Mall. Visit for hours.

Aug. 1

GUITAR CAMP: Electric Guitar Shop Learning and Performance Center offers camp for all skill levels and ages, 3-6 p.m. Aug. 1, 3 and 5. Call 628-1966. $85. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aug. 1-11. Registration deadline is July 28. Starts at $20. Call 651-9622 or visit YWCA SWIM LESSONS: YWCA of Asheville offers lessons for all ages and levels. Session starts Aug. 1. Call 254-7206, ext. 110, to register. At 185 S. French Broad Ave. Visit

Aug. 2

ASHEVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10-11:30 a.m. for pre-kindergarten through eighth

Continues on Page 63


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calendar of events Continued from Page 61 grade. For individual tours, contact Debbie Mowrey at 253-7896 or At 12 Culvern St., Asheville. Visit CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will learn how to make pottery using the coil technique, plus craft project and snack. 1-3 p.m. At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-0042 or email for reservations. FREE BALLET CLASS: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville hosts free ballet class at Five Points Studios, Broadway and Chestnut Street from 12:30-1:15p.m. (ages 6-7) or 1:15-2 p.m. (ages 3-5). Visit or call 255-5777.

Aug. 3

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calendar of events Continued from Page 63 254-2224 or visit

Aug. 4


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BABYSITTER’S TRAINING PLUS CLASS: For ages 11-15. Learn how to care for a child, develop a baby-sitting business, and more. Basic first aid, child CPR and infant CPR included. Dress comfortable and bring lunch. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter, American Red Cross, 100 Edgewood Road, Asheville. $85. Visit or call 258-3888. CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will learn how to paint successfully with stamps on a curved surface like a mug, plus tie-dying and snacks. 3:30-5:30 p.m. At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-0042 or email for reservations. CLOWNING AROUND: Join storyteller David Novak at South Buncombe/Skyland Library at 2:30 p.m. Ages 5 and up. MOM2MOM: Free group with discussions about breast-feeding topics and techniques and offers new moms a way to connect. Meets 10 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Pardee Hendersonville Family Health Center Medical Office Building, 709 N. Justice St. Babies and children welcome. Registration required at PARDEE CHILDBIRTH CLASS: A two-session class for expectant parents covering the labor and delivery process, relaxation, breathing patterns, birth options, positioning and comfort measures. Runs 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 4 and 11. Free. Registration required at At Pardee Hospital Orientation Classroom, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866790-WELL. STORYTELLING: Around the World with Mountain Story Magic, at 11 a.m. at Leicester Library as part of the summer reading program. All ages. WOODSY OWL’S CURIOSITY CLUB: The Cradle of Forestry offers a summer nature series for ages 4-7. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays. This week’s theme is “Fire Safety.” $4 per child per program, $2.50 for adults. Make a reservation at 877-3130. On U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Visit

Aug. 6

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Kathleen Mounts checks out her face paint during the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain last summer. This year’s event is Aug. 13-14.

W N C PA R E N T | A U G U S T 2 011

Learn how to care for a child. Basic first aid included. Dress comfortable and bring lunch. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Henderson County Chapter, American Red Cross, 203 Second Ave. East, Hendersonville. $85. Visit or call 693-5605. BACK TO SCHOOL BLUEGRASS: Hominy Valley Baptist Church hosts a fundraiser for kids in need of back-to-school supplies. With music, clogging, refreshments, bake sale. 3-6 p.m. at 135 Candler School Road, Candler. Love offering and donations of new or gently used children’s books and schools supplies accepted. Call 665-7501. MOUNTAIN DANCE AND FOLK FESTIVAL: Mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and more perform at Diana Wortham Theatre for three nights, Aug. 6-8. Visit for tickets and information. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years are Saturday mornings, Aug. 6-27. Registration deadline is Aug. 3. Starts at $20. Call 651-9622 or visit SMOKEY BEAR’S BIRTHDAY PARTY: Music, games, art, wildland firefighting tools, cake and visit from Smokey Bear. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with a live animal program at 1:30 p.m. At Cradle of Forestry, U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. $6 for adults, $3 for children. Call 877-3130. TANABATA FESTIVAL: At East Asheville Library at 11 a.m. as part of the summer reading program. All ages. WNC FALL BALL REGISTRATION: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Oakley Recreation Center. $65 per player. Visit WEE TRADE CONSIGNMENT SALE: Sale is 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Aug. 6 and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Aug. 7 at WNC Ag Center Expo Building, Fletcher. Visit YMCA PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: At Downtown Asheville YMCA for ages 2-12. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, inflatable obstacle course, snacks and a movie. Register online or in person (at least 24 hours before scheduled program). Offered 6-10 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. $15 for members ($30 for nonmembers), with $2 sibling discounts. Call 210-5622 or visit

Aug. 7

ROYAL BOOK CLUB: Club for Readers of Young Adult Literature. August book is “Impossible,” by Nancy Werlin. At 4 p.m. at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, 19 Wall St., Asheville. Call 232-2228 or visit

Aug. 8

LEND A HAND, CARE FOR THE LAND: Pack Memorial Library Youth Services hosts an exhibit Aug. 8-31 featuring America’s environmental icon, Woodsy Owl, to educate children and their parents about the forest, invasive plants and recycling. Free. Exhibit provided by the Southern Research Station of the National Forest Service. At 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Call 250-4700. PARK RIDGE CHILDBIRTH CLASS: Park Ridge Health’s The Baby Place offers a childbirth class in a one-day session, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A tour of the Baby Place is included. Call 681-BABY or visit to register. $90. The hospital is at 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville.

Aug. 9

CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will paint pottery, tie-dye shirts and have snack. 1-3 p.m.

share favorites. All levels welcome. Paper is available at the museum store or bring your own. Cost is museum admission. From 4-5 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at The Health Adventure, 2 S. Pack Place. Call 254-6373 or visit

Aug. 12

BALLET CONSERVATORY OPEN HOUSE: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville fall registration, meet instructors, 1-6 p.m. Sample intermediate/advanced ballet class 4-6 p.m. (age 10+, please RSVP). With Sock Basket dancewear sale for class leotards/ tights, etc. At Five Points Studios, Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville. Visit or Call 255-5777.

Aug. 13


The 84th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival at Diana Wortham Theater is Aug. 6-8.

At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 2770042 or email for reservations. GROOVIN’ ON GROVEMONT: Free concert, 6 p.m., on Grovemont Square adjacent to Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. Half-price book sale at the library during concert. Call 250-6486. OPAL STRING QUARTET: Performance by Ashevillebased group, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at The Hop Ice Cream Café, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 254-2224 or visit

Aug. 10

MOROCCAN CULTURE: Learn about Morocco through stories, belly dancing and Khamsa Good Luck hands art at Black Mountain Library at 10:30 a.m. as part of the summer reading program. All ages. HOLISTIC PARENTING FORUM: Free group to provide support, education and resources for a community of parents committed to natural living. Meets 6-8 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Earth Fare in West Asheville. Children welcome. Call 230-4850 or email

Aug. 11

CLAYING AROUND WORKSHOP: Kids ages 6-12 will create glass-fused candle holders, plus tie-dying and snacks. 3:30-5:30 p.m. At 1378 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-0042 or email for reservations. ORIGAMI FOLDING FRENZY: Learn new folds and


ASHEVILLE DANCE THEATER OPEN HOUSE: Visit newly remodeled facility and register for fall classes. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at 802 Fairview Road. Classes for ages 3-adult. BALLET AUDITIONS AND OPEN HOUSE: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville hosts pre-professional program auditions 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (grades 5-12). From 3-6 p.m., register for fall sessions and meet instructors. Free ballet classes offered: 3-3:30 p.m. (ages 3-5), 3:45-4:15 p.m. (age 6-7), 4:30-5 p.m. (age 8-10). Girls and boys welcome. See website for audition info/times. Visit or call 255-5777. At Five Points Studios, Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville. BRAZILIAN CARNAVAL: At East Asheville Library at 11 a.m. as part of the summer reading program. All ages. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Traditional bluegrass, clogging and more, 7 p.m. at Pack Square Park. Visit SOURWOOD FESTIVAL: Almost 200 vendors of arts, crafts, food and more. Aug. 13-14 in Black Mountain. Free. Visit WNC FALL BALL REGISTRATION: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Oakley Recreation Center. $65 per player. Visit

Aug. 16

SECRET AGENT 23 SKIDOO: Performance at 6:30 p.m. at The Hop Ice Cream Café, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 254-2224 or visit

Aug. 17

BREAST-FEEDING CLASS: Park Ridge Health’s Baby Place offers a workshop teaching the benefits and basics of breast-feeding, feeding patterns, proper latch and positioning. At 6 p.m. Call 681-BABY to register. Cost is $25. The hospital is at 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. MULTICULTURAL SALAD BOWL: Library Garden Harvest at Black Mountain Library at 10:30 a.m. as part of the summer reading program. All ages.

Aug. 18

PARDEE PARENTING CLASSES: Both at Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866-790-WELL or visit to register. ◆ Breast-feeding class: Learn the art of breast-

Continues on Page 66


calendar of events

Asheville hosts auditions for its third-annual “Nutcracker,” to be performed Dec. 15-16 at Diana Wortham Theatre. Auditions 6-7 p.m. for girls and boys ages 8-15 at Five Points Studios, Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville. RSVP. Ages 6-7 may call about performing. Visit or call 255-5777.

Continued from Page 65 feeding. 6:30-8 p.m. Free. Registration required. ◆ Daddy Duty class: Learn helpful ideas and tips for dads during the labor and birth process. 6:30-8 p.m. in Video Conference Room. Free. Registration required. TIE-DYE ART: Hand’s On! A Child’s Gallery offers coffee filter tie-dye art for all ages from 2-4 p.m. Free with admission. While supplies last. At 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 or visit

Aug. 19

TEEN AWESOME GROUP: Weaverville Library’s teen group meets at 4 p.m. Call 250-6482.

Aug. 20

BALLET CONSERVATORY OPEN HOUSE: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville hosts free ballet classes and chance to meet instructors and register for fall, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Classes offered: Noon-12:30 p.m. (ages 3-5), 12:45-1:15 p.m. (age 6-7), 1:30-2 p.m. (age 8-10). Girls and boys welcome. Visit or call 255-5777. At Five Points Studios, Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville. BUZZ ON BEES: Learn about bees and visit vendors featuring local products from local honey. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Chimney Rock Park. Free with admission. Visit CELEBRATE PREGNANCY CLASS: The Baby Place at Park Ridge Health offers a twist on a normal childbirth class, covering important labor techniques and support. Includes a ($65 value) massage voucher with the $99 fee. 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Call 6812229 or visit to register. CHIMNEY ROCK HIKE: Use your sense of smell to recognize different plants. Easy 90-minute walk. 9:30-11:30 a.m. $19 for adults, $9 for ages 6-15, $4 passholders and Grady’s Kids Club members. Register at NIKE NITE: Mike’s On Main hosts an autism awareness event, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at 303 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 698-1616 or 233-3216. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Traditional bluegrass, clogging and more, 7 p.m. at Pack Square Park. Visit

Aug. 21

Sept. 1


The Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival will be two days this year, over Labor Day weekend. quired at or call 866-790-WELL. PAPER BAG PUPPETS: Hands On! A Child’s Gallery offers a paper bag puppet workshop from 2-4 p.m. for all ages. Free with admission. While supplies last. At 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 or visit

Aug. 26

HICKORY NUT GORGE OLYMPIAD: Three-day sport and community festival through Aug. 28 with sporting events, family games, water ski show, beach bike ride, fireworks and more. Visit

Aug. 27

FARMER JASON PERFORMANCE: Farm music for kids at 11 a.m. at Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. A hybrid of folk, Americana and rock ‘n’ roll that teaches about farm life and nature. All ages. Free. RUMMAGE SALE: Asheville Moms of Multiples hosts sale with gently used baby and children’s clothing, toys, books, equipment, maternity clothes, adult clothes, yard sale items including furniture. Cash and credit only. Early bird sale 7-7:30 a.m. with $1 admission. Free sale is 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Half-price sale is 2:30-3:30 p.m. At U.S. Army Reserve Center, 224 Louisiana Ave., Asheville. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Traditional bluegrass, clogging and more, 7 p.m. at Pack Square Park. Visit

MOM2MOM: Free group with discussions about breast-feeding topics and techniques and offers new moms a way to connect. Meets 10 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Pardee Hendersonville Family Health Center Medical Office Building, 709 N. Justice St. Babies and children welcome. Registration required at

Sept. 3

LEXINGTON AVENUE ARTS AND FUN FESTIVAL: Two days, Sept. 3-4, of entertainment with street performers, live music, artwork and more on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville. Visit NESTING PARTY: Nest Organics hosts a party for parents and parents-to-be. Learn about cloth diapering, baby wearing, protecting children from harmful chemicals and more. Free. RSVP to 258-1901. SHINDIG ON THE GREEN: Traditional bluegrass, clogging and more, 7 p.m. at Pack Square Park. Visit

Sept. 8

ORIGAMI FOLDING FRENZY: Learn new folds and share favorites. All levels welcome. Paper is available at the museum store or bring your own. Cost is museum admission. From 4-5 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at The Health Adventure, 2 S. Pack Place. Call 254-6373 or visit

Sept. 12

FAMILY TO FAMILY: Free, 12-week program to help caregivers and family members understand and support individuals with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being. Provided by National Alliance on Mental Illness. 6-8:30 p.m. through Nov. 29. Register by calling 888-955-6264. At Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard, Hendersonville.

Aug. 29

‘NUTCRACKER’ AUDITIONS: Ballet Conservatory of

ASHEVILLEMOMMIES.COM BIRTHDAY BASH: Nonprofit community group for moms hosts annual birthday party, 3-6 p.m. at Avery’s Little Corner, 90 Elk Mountain Road, Woodfin. All ages. Free games, food, fun. Visit

Continues on Page 67

Aug. 25

CHORUS AUDITIONS: Celebration Singers of Asheville Community Youth Chorus invites young singers 7-14 to join. Auditions will be offered 6-7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Come prepared with a song and sheet music if possible. Call artistic director Ginger Hasleden at 230-5778 or visit INFANT CARE CLASS: Pardee Hospital offers a course on infant care from A to Z. From 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Pardee, education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Free. Registration re-

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ASHEVILLE AREA MUSIC TOGETHER: An internationally recognized early childhood music program for children age 0-5. Fall session begins in September in downtown, West Asheville and South Asheville. Free demo classes in August! Contact Kari Richmond at or 545-0990. Visit or DANCE CLASSES: Clogging, hip hop, ballet and jazz classes at The Asheville Clogging and Dance Company in South Asheville. Classes for ages 3 and older. Classes offered for all skill levels. Visit or email, 329-3856." FAIRVIEW PRESCHOOL: Registration is open for the 2011-12 school year. Fairview Preschool will provide a developmentally age-appropriate, hands-on learning environment for children ages 2-5 (pre-K). Classes will meet 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At 596 U.S. 74, behind Fairview Library, in Fairview. Call 338-2073, email or visit SWANNANOA VALLEY MONTESSORI SCHOOL: Registration for the 2011-12 school year for Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, which serves ages 18 months to sixth grade. Drop-In tours every 9 a.m. Tuesday. Preschool at 130 Center Ave., Black Mountain. Elementary at Carver Community Center, Black Mountain. Call 669-8571 or visit

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