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W N C PA R E N T. C O M

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c o n t e n t s Too many screens Katie Wadington, editor

This month’s features 6

Managing technology

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Parents develop strategies to balance screen time.

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Great expectations In the preschool years, what are little ones expected to know and when?

Winter fun No need to just sit inside this winter. We find things to do around WNC.

Drawn to the magnets

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Lots of yelling

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Concussions 101

We take a look at the schools in Asheville’s magnet school system.

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Doable resolutions Start the new year by setting goals your family can actually achieve.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices .....................18

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A recent study found almost 90 percent of parents admit to yelling.

Dr. Richard Cantu, a concussions expert, talks about the impact of impact on kids.

Super Bowl bowls Whip up a bowl of shrimp or soup or pasta for the big game.

How many screens are in your house? In mine, counting screens I have for work, there are 12. Two TVs, two iPhones, three iPod Touches, an iPad, two laptops, a desktop computer and a Nook. And managing the use of those devices takes its own set of rules. This month, we take a look at strategies families use to balance technology and life. My children would probably tell you that we are strict in how much screen time we allow. I may have them read the story on Page 6 to let them learn how lucky they are to get about 90 minutes to two hours of screen time a day. How much screen time do your children get? And how do you manage it? I’d love to hear from more parents on this. One thing that pulls kids away from screen time is a chance to get outside for some fun. Even in winter, WNC has so many outdoor opportunities. Our story on Page 10 describes some. At this time of year, parents of little ones are looking at preschools. They may wonder, what are my children expected to know in preschool? And when? Find some answers on Page 8. Parents of Asheville preschoolers are starting to look at kindergartens. We take a look at the options available to city families in our story on magnet schools on Page 13. Being January, you may have set up a few resolutions. This year, why not set some goals as a family? We take a look at how to go about this, and how to make your resolutions reasonable so they actually get done. Find these tips starting on Page 15. I can’t believe it is already 2013. And I really can’t believe that starting next month, it’s time for another Camp Guide. Look for our overnight camp listings in the February issue. Until then, stay warm and safe!

On the cover Special to WNC Parent

Artist’s Muse ...................26 Home-school Happenings .38 Divorced Families ............40 Growing Together............44 Nature Center Notes ........45 Librarian’s Picks...............42 Story Times .....................42 FEAST .............................46 Kids Page ........................54 Calendar .........................56

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.com Are you a member? Join the conversation, post photos and connect with other parents at WNCParent.com. Look for WNC Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 www.wncparent.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829 kwadington@citizen-times.com

FEATURES EDITOR Bruce Steele bsteele@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Brittany Martin — 232-5898, bymartin@gannett.com CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Jan. 10. E-mail calendar@wncparent.com ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the February issue is Jan. 15.

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TECHNOLOGY Dylan Ramsey, 11, of Leicester, plays games on the computer. His current passion is Minecraft, played solo or online with friends. DAVID W. RAMSEY/ SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

How much is too much?

Families develop strategies for managing screen time 6

By Pam J. Hecht, WNC Parent contributor

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t was a “black Christmas” in 2011 for Kristi Schleder, parent of two in East Asheville. The holiday marked the time her son Neil, 13, and daughter, Erin, 10, first received their own hand-held electronic devices — an iPod Touch for her and an Amazon Kindle for him, she says. It hit a nerve for Schleder, who now feels the need to monitor their screen time.

With the increasing popularity of electronic technology, like computers, smartphones and iPods, the effects of screen time on children are of growing concern among parents. Studies have already linked excessive amounts of screen time to childhood obesity as well as other physical and mental health issues among children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no electronic media for children younger than 2, and just one to two

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hours per day for older children. Yet many kids get more than twice that. So what’s the best way to make sure kids don’t overdo it? Here are some tips, from parents and experts:

Make a plan

Parents should set limits early on, depending on each child’s age or aptitude,” says Monty Fuchs, director of technology at Buncombe County Schools. Kids need boundaries and consistent encouragement to engage in alternative activities, like exercise, he adds. If Julie Schantz’s daughter Ruby, 7, “isn’t watching TV or playing on the computer or iPad, she doesn’t know what to do,” says Schantz, of West Asheville, whose older daughter, Molly, is 12. Although they have made lists of things to do and there’s easy access to crafts, toys and games at home, Ruby still “struggles with what to do,” she adds. That’s OK, child development experts say — it’s good for kids to be idle and even bored, which allows time for introspection, creative thought and self-awareness. The Schantz family’s schedule typically includes one hour of TV and 30 minutes of a second screen (iPad or computer) on two weekdays, after homework and chores are done. An active electronic game like Wii is allowed any time. Weekends are open, which makes for “more of a battle” when they’ve had too much and it’s time to turn everything off, she says. “When we stick to the schedule, they are more productive and creative and come up with cool things to do without screens, so the schedule is key,” she says. Displaying the family’s agreed upon screen schedule in a visible place, also helps, she adds. “(We set) very clear expectations and rules and if things seem to get out of control, we come together and revisit the rules,” Schantz says, with logical consequences for breaking the rules, like putting away an overused device. “Encourage behaviors that you want to continue,” like taking breaks and sticking to the time limit, she adds, and ask your kids to come up with solutions, like using a timer.

Get involved

“Understand technology and what’s out there for young children and teens,”

WHAT THE DOCTORS SAY The American Academy of Pediatrics has these media guidelines on its website: “The AAP recommends that parents establish ‘screen-free’ zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be highquality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play. “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

says Scott W. Governo, DNP, family and pediatric nurse practitioner with the Developmental Pediatrics Team at Mission Children’s Hospital. Governo has two teenage boys. “Remain actively involved and talk with kids to learn about where they go, what they watch, and how often they access their devices.” By showing an active interest, it’s easier to know how much is too much and help make better decisions about their media choices, he adds.

Control the environment

“Phones should go on the charger located in the kitchen at a reasonable time each night and computer/TV use should be in common areas, where anyone can see what is on the screen,” says Fuchs. “Some parents also turn off their Internet router each night,” he adds. Parents can set up automatic shutdown times and other controls for computers and phones to limit use, which can be “helpful, but is just a tool and should not be relied upon,” Governo says. Try limiting TV to pre-recorded shows to avoid the ongoing flow of shows as well as commercials. “Set an example by limiting your own technology use,” he says. Avoid texting in restaurants, checking emails or Facebook constantly or watching TV during dinner.

Be flexible, when appropriate

Schantz sometimes allows her 12-year-

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old, Molly, to watch extra TV or listen to music on an iPad at night. She also has a texting phone, she says, which is how she often communicates with her friends. She is old enough to “make her own decisions and live with the consequences,” Schantz says. “I trust her, we have open discussions about it, and she knows if her grades or behavior slip, things will have to change.” Meanwhile, experts agree that when it comes to screen time, quality is as important as quantity. David Ramsey, a parent in Leicester, allows more screen time when it’s “creative, collaborative, nonviolent and educational,” he says. His son, Dylan, 11, along with his brother, Skyler Mund-Penniman, 10, recently discovered the game Minecraft, which they play with friends remotely via Skype. Ramsey says that Dylan’s reading skills have doubled, along with improved online research and communication skills. “We use the experiential learning approach, allowing full engagement and encouragement,” says Ramsey, who expects the boys to eventually move on to another high-interest activity. “One of the worst feelings as a child is when you are pulled away from something you haven’t finished,” he says. “And because I’m generous, they don’t give me a hard time (when it’s time to quit).” Ramsey requires that they take a break at least once every hour, with longer breaks for chores and homework after a few hours of screen time, “to earn more screen time,” he says. At home, Schleder plays it by ear, telling them to call it quits when they’ve had enough. On long car trips, she will sometimes tell them they can use(their electronic devicesfor an hour or just one way, she adds. Our kids are “growing up in this screen age and it’s just how their world is going to be,” says Schantz. “There are lots of benefits, but there has to be limits set, with encouragement to move around, get outside and interact with real, live people.” “Ultimately, (kids) look to parents to be their guides,” agrees Ramsey. “That’s our job.” Pam J. Hecht is an Asheville-based freelance writer, editor and instructor. Email her at pamjh8@gmail.com.

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Educators at local preschools such as Mountain Area Child and Family Center, pictured here, recognize that children develop at different rates, but there are guidelines as to what preschoolers should know at certain ages. KQ CONCEPTS/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Early

What should preschoolers know, and when?

learning

Let’s face it. We all think our kids are pretty darned special. After all, doesn’t every child speak in complete sentences at 18 months old? But what are the milestones that parents and caregivers should look for as youngsters move toward their schoolage years? Should children be expected to know their ABCs by age 3? Can a child really be reading before kindergarten? We asked some area experts for their opinions on what kids should know be-

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By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor

fore they enter school. “Parents need to realize that children grow at different rates and nothing is set in stone,” says Ashley Parks, child development specialist at the Mountain Area Child and Family Center in Asheville. Parks is a veteran in the early childhood field with more than 17 years of experience and notes that 3-year-olds really don’t need to worry about mastering the alphabet when they first walk into a classroom.

“We don’t expect 3-year-olds to know much, but we do find that they are able to engage in more complex play, not just parallel play,” Parks says. “And their cognitive development is improving so they are able to start making decisions such as choosing what to play and being able to verbalize that choice.” Most 3-year-olds are working on their self-help skills and their ability to work in group experiences such as story time where they sit and listen to a short, en-

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EARLY EDUCATIONAL MILESTONES Socially

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By the time a child heads off to kindergarten, a solid academic base should be in place. KQ CONCEPTS/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

gaging book. By the time a child enters a preschool program, teachers are looking for kids to be able to interact with other children appropriately and have the self-control to function in a more structured classroom setting. “Without self-control, education suffers,” says Christy Lowder, a K4 teacher at Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa. “Four-year-olds need to assume responsibility for themselves and learn respect for the adults in the classroom as well as for their friends.” That being said, she notes that this is a fluid time for children. “This is a training process, and every child grows and matures at different rates,” Lowder explains. “You take them from where they are and grow from there.” A 4-year-old classroom is an active place with a focus on learning letters, numbers, shapes, math patterns, and even basic science concepts. “Science is so natural for children,” Lowder notes. “They learn to investigate their world by getting in the grass and looking at roots and bugs. Science at this age is putting a child’s natural curiosity and the joy of discovery to work.” By the time a child heads off to kindergarten, a solid academic curriculum is in place. According to Rena Eller, kindergarten teacher at Pisgah Elementary School, the Common Core Curriculum adopted by the state of North Carolina means children in kindergar-

» Should be interested in more complex play, not just playing next to someone » Should be able to start making decisions such as where to play, what to play with » Should be able to handle group experiences such as sitting together to enjoy a short book » Should be able to take care of toilet issues alone » Should take care of most dressing skills independently » Should work on self-control and learn to treat friends appropriately

4 AGE

» Should have ability to play with other children and independently » Should exhibit selfcontrol in the classroom and at play » Should assume responsibility for themselves » Should respect authority of adults in the classroom as well as other children » Should use their words, not their hands, to communicate and solve problems

Academically

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AGE

» Should be able to start identifying shapes and colors » Should be interested in learning about the world around them

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» Should be able to hold a pencil and use scissors correctly » Fine motor skills should become more proficient » Should learn how to color, cut and glue » Should learn to take care of their own property and the property of others » Should identify capital letters, numbers 1-20, count to 30 » Should start knowing simple sight words

» Write multi-page stories » Should be able to manipulate, count and write numbers to 20 » Should be able to say numbers to 100 by ones and by 10s » Should know capital and lower case letters » Should be able to rhyme » Should be able to identify beginning, middle, and ending sounds in words

LEARN MORE » Details on the Math Common Core Curriculum for public schools can be found at www.ncpublicschool.org/docs/ acre/standards/common-core-tools/unpacking/math/kindergarten.pdf » More information on the Language Arts Common Core Curriculum can be found at www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/ acre/standards/common-core-tools/unpacking/ela/kindergarten.pdf

ten will be learning much more. “Parents have commented this year on how many things we have been work-

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ing on,” Eller says. “They are shocked that we are doing that much in kindergarten. It’s not like it used to be.” By the end of kindergarten, students are expected to read at a high level, be able to manipulate, count, and write numbers, plus master a host of language arts skills. How does a parent prepare their child for these critical first years of schooling? “Read, read, read,” suggests Eller. “This is the single most important thing a parent can do for their children both academically and preparing them for having structured activities that require a longer attention span at school.”

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THROW ON THE MITTENS &

GET OUTSIDE By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor

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es, you can go skiing. Yes, you can hit the trails with the kids and their bikes. But how about a little something different for family fun this winter? How about a little adventure?

Asheville Treetops Adventure Park, behind Regent Park, has about 50 zipping, walking, rappelling and other challenges tethered to more than 30 trees and towers. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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â–  Asheville Treetops Adventure Park has about 50 zipping, walking, rappelling and other challenges tethered to more than 30 trees and towers. The park, off Patton Avenue behind Regent Park, has four grades of trails, each with a dozen or so challenges to surmount. The Green Trail, for kids ages 7-9 with an adult escort, is the easiest, climbing to no more than 15 feet off the ground. The Red Trail, or most ad-

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vanced, is for kids 11-14 with adult escort and scales heights of up to 45 feet for adventures that include the Tarzan traverse, tree top climbing wall, Burma Bridge and “Big Air” snowboard zip. ■ Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures, at the same location, is also open during winter. Several of Western North Carolina’s ski resorts offer snowtubing, an exhilarating experience of riding a specially built inner tube down a specially groomed slope. If you’ve never tried it, you’ll be amazed at how fast and — thanks to the cushy inner tube — how smooth the ride can be. A few places in the area are exclusively dedicated to this fly-by-the-seat-ofyour-pants sport. ■ Tube World, four miles from Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, has six slopes and one children’s tubing area, as well as a carpet lift to sweep you back to the top. Scaly Mountain Snowtubing Area at Scaly Mountain, south of Franklin, has two slopes, one lift and a magic carpet ride back. Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park, in Hendersonville, has an observation area overlooking the run-out area — perfect for getting photos of the kids. Jonas Ridge Snow Tubing in Jonas Ridge is in Avery County, near the ski resorts. You can’t help but laugh when you hear tubers shrieking as they come down the slopes. You’ll want to join them, so be sure to wear hat and gloves — tender ears and fingertips can get cold quickly. Other ski areas that offer snowtubing include Hawksnest Winter Resort in Seven Devils, Sapphire Valley Ski Resort

Snow tubing is offered at several locations throughout WNC, from Hendersonville to Beech Mountain. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

in Sapphire, Ski Beech, Sugar Mountain Resort and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort.

der with plastic sleds and parental supervision.

■ On top of Beech Mountain, next to the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce and town hall, is a free sledding hill (with its own snowmaking machines). It’s for children 12 and un-

■ All of the ski resorts have areas set aside for beginner skiers and snowboarders, and they all offer lessons, if

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N.C. Arboretum has a vast network of trails that are good for a nice winter day. MICHAEL OPPENHEIM/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

GET OUTSIDE Continued from Page 11

your kids would like to develop or brush up on their skills on the slopes. With their low centers of gravity, kids are natural skiers and snowboarders, and starting them out early is a way to help them enjoy a sport that will give them plenty of exercise all their lives. The resorts rent equipment for the smallest of enthusiasts. ■ It’s been a few years since the city of Asheville discontinued ice skating in the then-Civic Center. But there is outdoor skating — really, better than indoor skating — at Scaly Mountain and

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Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock. Sugar Mountain Resort has a 10,000-square-foot outdoor rink that’s next to the its tubing park. Beech Mountain Resort has a 7,000-squarefoot outdoor rink in the center of Beech Tree Village. Kids 4 and younger skate free with paying adult. ■ You don’t have to go far or spend any money to take the kids hiking. Hiking in winter brings its own joys — the woods are rarely quieter, and with the leaves off the trees, there are views along nearly every trail. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail skirts Asheville and can be picked up on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of town. The hike to the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge is steep at times, but nothing most children 8 and

older can’t handle. If the parkway is closed, DuPont State Forest has great trails. If you don’t mind paying to park, the N.C. Arboretum has a great network of easy trails. If you do mind paying, there are lovely walking paths at Asheville Botanical Gardens. And don’t forget an afternoon at the parks in the area. Asheville’s Weaver Park has lots of things to climb on in the sun. Carrier Park in West Asheville does, too. Weaverville’s park at Lake Louise sees lots of kids on sunny (and not-so sunny) days. All have bathrooms. There are pocket parks in neighborhoods throughout Asheville, so ask your friends if you’re not sure where they are.

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Students at Isaac Dickson work on iPads earlier this school year. Asheville City elementary schools are part of a magnet system. Each has a specific theme. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Asheville magnet schools draw students by their interests By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor

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sheville city parents whose children will enter kindergarten next fall are starting to think which school they want their little ones to attend. The city school system allows parents to choose among five “magnet” elementary schools, each of which delivers standard student education through a theme that is designed to meet a student’s interests or way of learning. Asheville’s five magnet schools are: » Claxton (arts and humanities) » Hall Fletcher (science, math and technologies) » Ira B. Jones (global scholars) » Isaac Dickson (experiential learning) » Vance (human diversity and ecology) Most kids go to schools near their

homes, but magnet school systems are different in that they allow parents, based on availability and racial balance, to select a school based on what their children have, so far, displayed an aptitude for. The concept of magnet schools has been popular throughout the United States for years. The idea is that, like metal filings to magnets, students are drawn to certain disciplines and learning modalities — and to the schools that specialize in them. The schools may be centered around the arts or the sciences or technology or whatever, but all teach curriculum based on state guidelines. The Asheville City Schools system adopted the magnet approach beginning with the 1991-92 school year.

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Drama, dance, music, visual arts and creative writing are not only what makes Claxton Elementary School the system’s arts and humanities magnet school. They are also part of the overall curricula at the school, taught daily as part of the non- arts content areas. Offerings at Hall Fletcher, the science, math and technologies-themed school, include a science lab and greenhouse, as well as a physical education component called HopSports — “where technology and PE come together,” according to the school. The “global scholars” theme at Ira B. Jones means it offers Spanish language instruction for students all six years Continues on Page 14

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Hall Fletcher draws students to its science, math and technologies programs.

Claxton Elementary focuses on arts and humanities. SPECIAL TO WNC

SPECIAL TO WNC

PARENT

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Isaac Dickson stresses hands-on experiential learning. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

The theme at Ira B. Jones is “global scholars.” SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Vance students focus on human diversity and ecology. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@ CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Magnet schools

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

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(K-5), as well as classes that teach multicultural awareness, creative thinking, problem solving and other skills to help them be collaborative citizens of the world. Isaac Dickson, the area’s first magnet school, carries out its experiential-based themes through hands-on lessons that include community service projects and the maintenance of its school garden, nature trails and pond. The system’s school of human diversity and ecology, Vance integrates students’ studies with ecology education and NASA resources and technology. A NASA Explorer School, Vance focuses on the study of people and cultures and their relationship with the natural environment. Denise Turner chose Ira B. Jones for her daughter not only because it is her neighborhood school, but also because of its global scholars theme. “If you emphasis the global nature of things, and if your peers are doing the same thing in school, that becomes second nature for you at a really early age,” Turner said. As an example, she cited the

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The Asheville City Schools Magnet School Forum for the 2013-14 school year will be 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 8 at the Asheville City Schools boardroom, 85 Mountain St., Asheville. Additionally, there will be open houses at all five magnet elementary schools from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 28-30. For more, call 350-7000.

birthday money her daughter gave to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, where she volunteers. Her daughter, in the fourth grade, got another after-school care program to partner with Brother Wolf as well, her mother said. “There’s a lot of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural diversity at Jones. And that’s what’s really great about that school,” Turner said. “Multicultural awareness, service learning, technology, environmental awareness and Spanish — the focus of the global scholars theme — those are really important for 21st century learning. Emphasizing those not only sets up our children for the future but also makes them good community citizens for Asheville.” Jen Ramming has three boys, all of whom have gone or are going to Isaac

Dickson. They went to a Montessori preschool here in town, so she chose Dickson because of its experiential learning theme. “My first son just learns better through exploration,” Ramming said. “My youngest son is in the third grade there. He’s dyslexic and struggles a bit more than the other two with reading. But he can keep up because of the different ways the school accesses material. You can build a sculpture about a national landmark; you don’t just have to read a book about it. He recently got to listen to an audiobook and got to speak about the topic instead of write a paper about it.” Ramming is founder and executive director of OpenDoors of Asheville, which advocates for children who are homeless or living in public housing, helping them get the academic and enrichment resources they need. With 47 children in the program, she’s in all five magnets schools a lot and is impressed by all of them. “Kids all learn differently, and if you have five different elementary schools with five different emphases, you’re going to find the best fit for nearly all of them,” she said. “I don’t feel that in Asheville City Schools you can go wrong.”

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Reasonable

RESOLUTIONS

Families can work together to set, meet goals

By Susanna Barbee WNC Parent contributor

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ith Christmas trees back in the attic or on the burn pile and little boys sword-fighting with empty wrapping paper rolls, it’s time to move on from the holidays and look ahead to the New Year. As 2012 comes to an end and 2013 remains a blank slate, families welcome new beginnings. Kathryn Clontz, Waynesville mom of Joseph, 7, and Sam, 4, has made her own resolutions in the past but will soon be involving her entire family in this longstanding tradition. “Some ideas I have are to do family resolutions and to be more general rather than too specific,” she says. “I want us to make resolutions that will hopefully make each of us healthier and happier as individuals, as well as a family.” Now that her boys are at ages where they can understand and appreciate family goals, Clontz asked them to help her develop a few resolutions. “Some ideas are: Be kinder to each other, think of others before ourselves, respect one another, and spend more time together as a family (planned activities as well as spontaneous). We often have ‘family game night’ or ‘movie night’ during holidays, vacations and on occasional weekends, but I would love to do these more often,” she says. Adults know that resolutions are often made but not kept; so when making family resolutions or New Year’s goals, it’s important to involve the children but not overwhelm them. “Parents can explain to their children that the New Year is a traditional time for people to look at things they want to change, goals they have for the future, and plans on how to make them succeed. It is really important to emphasize that

The Clontz family — Kathryn, Scott and children Joseph and Sam — will make resolutions for the new year together. “Making resolutions can help put things in perspective and help us remember our priorities,” Kathryn says. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

this is simply a way to bring more awareness to an issue and perfection is not to be expected,” says Gail Azar, a registered play therapist/supervisor in Asheville. “I think resolutions can be helpful to give children and families a focus on what’s important to them. Making resolutions can help put things in perspective and help us remember our priorities,” says Clontz. “I hope our family will resolve this year to slow down and enjoy

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more time together.” Putting items into writing not only helps families make resolutions but also helps them ensure their goals are accomplished. “Each family member can write out their ideas, put them in a bowl and draw out each one and give individual input,” Azar says. “Ideas that may be unrealistic can be whittled down to size as members Continues on Page 16

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RESOLUTIONS

TIPS FOR MAKING RESOUTIONS

Continued from Page 15

comment on how those might be achieved. The family members can help by agreeing to do their best to keep the others on track (without being hurtful or obnoxious).” To help keep her family on track with their resolutions, Clontz says, “I think having resolutions in writing would help give us a reminder as the year goes on and we get busy with life and forget what we decided as a family was important. I may even post little key phrases in several places around the house as reminders.” As children get older and more aware of their own wants and goals, more input can be asked of them. “Children can be asked if there are things they would like their parents to do differently and vice versa. This is not a time for criticism, although it can lead to some lively discussions,” Azar says. “Sometimes I find myself being the mom that wants her kids to try everything — every activity, every sport, every event. While some of that is OK, I

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Advice guru Dr. Phil offers these tips for setting New Year’s resolutions that involve a family:

1 2 3

Take inventory and prioritize.

5

Create family rituals.

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Recognize what you’re doing to contribute to the problem. Learn to delegate.

4

Eat meals together.

think we as parents often go overboard. Kids really don’t need all that; they need quality time with their families above all,” says Clontz. While creating resolutions together can help a family bond, it shouldn’t be something else that everyone feels pressured to do. The atmosphere should remain positive and encouragement throughout the year may be

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Source: DrPhil.com.

Schedule family meetings.

Make each child feel special. Nurture your relationship with your spouse.

needed. As Azar says, “Agree to understand that this is only a beginning and there may be many bumps in the road as the year goes on. In fact, goals may change or be modified at any time. End the family meeting by popping some popcorn, ordering a pizza, playing a game or watching a movie together. Inject humor, and enjoy!”

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$

aving for college is painful but possible

By Matt Krantz USA TODAY

Question: Is it even possible for a typical family to save enough to send their children to college? If so, how much do they need to save and invest? Answer: Given that kids will be competing for jobs with others around the world, the importance of higher education has never been greater. With college costs skyrocketing, though, it’s critical for parents to start thinking as soon as possible about paying for higher education. Starting early will be the best way for parents of average or modest means to foot the college bill and prevent their kids from drowning in debt after getting their college degrees. A solid investment plan is the only way for most to keep up with soaring college costs. Here are some staggering numbers

to put all this into perspective. If you think you can wait and do nothing, and just pay for college out of your paycheck when the time comes, you might want to start asking for a raise now. Today, the cost of a four-year degree as an in-state resident at a public university is $33,300, says Savingforcollege.com. In 18 years, that cost will soar to $95,000 based on 6 percent annual inflation. To save for this investment with as little pain as possible, you’re going to need to put an investment plan in place as soon as possible. For instance, let’s say you start the moment your child is born, expecting for four-year enrollment in 18 years and a cost of $10,000 a year. You’ll need to save $241 a month to have enough put away, assuming college costs rise by 6 percent a year and your investments return 7 percent a year. However, if you wait just seven years

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to start saving, the plan gets much tougher, and you’ll need to save $322 a month to make it, or 33 percent more. And if you wait until your child starts high school, as many parents do, you’ll need to save $563 a month. Again, all these numbers are based on the assumption you’ll get a 7 percent annual average return. That’s a relatively aggressive target, given that stocks typically return 10 percent a year on average and bonds do something closer to 2 percent a year on average. The later you start saving, keep in mind, too, that you’ll need to dial back your risk as enrollment nears. That means you’ll probably get closer to a 2 percent return than a 10 percent return the longer you wait. Your best bet is setting up a 529 college savings account as soon as possible. You can sock away money and take the contributions and gains out, tax free, if you use the money for qualified college costs. Most 529 plans have decent choices of low-cost mutual funds that spread your money in stocks and bonds. You can save for this goal. Just get started right now and create an investment plan that will get you there.

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kids’ voices

Eager to learn

What child doesn’t want to learn something new? We asked students in Ms. Then’s third-grade class at Claxton Elementary, “If you could learn how to do something new next week, what would you choose, and why?” Here are some of their answers.

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“I would choose to do this: I would want to read all day long.” Nalathia, 9

“I would like to have a whole day of different art activities like sketching, abstract, painting, markers, crayons, watercolor, stickers and gluing.” Aislinn, 8

“I would like to learn more stuff about the Internet... because I would like to show my family. And I would like to learn more math... because I can be smart.” Serenity, 9

“I would like to learn how to do a split and gymnastics.” Sally, 8

“I want to learn to be a football player because it is easy.” Tyquavion, 8

“I would want to learn to be a pediatrician because I want to be a pediatrician some day.” Rondasha, 8

“I would like to learn about Russia because I like to learn about different countries.” Kadin, 9

“I want my handwriting to get better because I do not have very good handwriting.” Claire, 8

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“I want to learn division because I do not know it.” Irving, 8

“I would want to play electric violin because I know how to play a violin and I want to be a better reader so I can be at a higher reading level.” Ella, 9 “Clay crafts, because its fun.” Max, 9

“I would want to be a pro soccer player so I can be famous and I want to finish all my projects and we are studying the human body and I want to go inside someone’s body and kill all the bad germs.” Tess, 9 I want to learn how to play soccer very good.” Danyil, 9

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CHRONIC

ELL N G YTAKES I ITS TOLL By Lu Hanessian, Gannett CHERRY HILL, N.J. — According to studies in the workplace and at home, we are a nation of yellers. That’s not because we are all at the game cheering our favorite team, only to wake up hoarse. We are apparently yelling in anger, in frustration, distressed as a way of communicating — and venting. A few years ago, researchers asked a thousand families about yelling and found that 88 percent of parents admitted yelling, screaming or shouting at their children during the year. In fam-

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ilies with 7-year-old kids, that number climbed to nearly 100 percent. Yelling. Shouting. Screaming. Railing. Wailing. Howling. Regardless of what we call it, raising our voices is exhausting. Especially if it becomes our reaction to stressors — or our way of relating. Not only does it take a physical and emotional toll on the yeller, but it deeply affects those on the receiving end of this high-decibel stress. Children’s brains are so sensitive to yelling that a child who is yelled at reg-

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ularly, say, at bedtime or before school (or at school) can become “immune” and start to “tune it out,” explains psychologist and researcher Myrna B. Shure, author of “Raising a Thinking Child.” In her research, she found a troubling correlation between kindergartners whose parents disciplined through yelling and demands and the children’s expression of aggression.

Why we yell

Relationships can be enormously resilient. But chronic yelling can create a kind of relational erosion, fraying the fabric of trust and security between us. Since none of us sets out to intentionally squander our interpersonal and internal resources, we would do well to get curious about why we yell or retreat from yellers time and again. John Armando, a licensed clinical social worker in practice in Cherry Hill, N.J., says the answer lies in acceptance, not of the yelling itself, but of our shared imperfections as human beings — and the beliefs that tend to drive our behaviors. “That belief, that things should be the way we want them to be, tends to trigger

that primitive behavior in us,” says Armando. “I think yelling would be an example. I’ll increase my volume as a way of trying to solve this problem. But, people get intimidated and push back. So what you get is more of the problem. “ … (Yelling) almost never works, yet we continue to try it. And we continue to escalate.” There are some key triggers that tend to drive our yelling: stress, impatience, needing to be heard and feeling anxious.

Parent and teen brains

Teenagers are not, in fact, rebellious, but reactive. Their brains will sense shock, anger and fear more readily than adults. A teen might yell in defense, sensing a threat to his emotional well-being. Or a teen might experience an adult’s yelling as intensely alarming, and have a brain send “Mayday!” signals to bolt or debate or zone out. While at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, a University of Utah professor, gathered Continues on Page 24

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YELLING Continued from Page 23

PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONS BY THINKSTOCK.COM

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groups of subjects for an experiment that mapped the differences between the brains of adults and teenagers. Todd monitored how they responded to pictures of people in various emotional states. Adults and teens were asked to discern emotions in a series of faces. All the adults identified the emotion by using their pre-frontal cortex (front of the brain, where problem-solving, executive planning, reason, insight and self-regulation are mediated). However, many of the teenagers interpreted the emotion using a different part of their brain: the amygdala, which acts as a 911 center, producing emotional and physical reactions in response to intense stress. Todd found that teens were neurologically more likely to “misinterpret” facial expressions, and unwittingly perceive fear, worry, sadness and confusion as anger. Hence, “why are you always yelling at me?!”

Calm down

Armando, a specialist in acceptance and commitment therapy, says that the best way to deal with relationship stress is to “defuse it, to get some distance from it and to accept that our minds produce lots of negative thoughts and distressing emotions. “It’s normal, and when we can notice those thoughts and feelings, and allow them to be there without struggling against them, we can live a life based on what our value system is.” Armando says it’s not about vowing to never yell again, because taking a vow of yellibacy, so to speak, is not realistic or effective. “I can try to control my behavior and say I’ll never ever do that again. What works better is to say I regret that, and that behavior is not consistent with my values. It’s not who I strive to be. I want to be able to notice that. My life is about trying to make my actions match my values. “When you can accept that you’re flawed, you don’t have to struggle against it,” he continues. “You can say I’m human and I’m going to work at that. If my values are to own that and apologize, then that’s what I can do. Beating myself up and making myself feel shamed and guilty is not particularly effective.”

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HOW TO BREAK THE YELLING CYCLE To break the intensely negative cycle of yelling-yelled at stress, there are some simple rituals that speak directly to where the fire is burning: our brains and body systems. In the face of stress and hot emotions, we are most easily and readily restored through breath. » Instead of counting to 10, try some different math. Find a quiet place for two minutes (not at a traffic light), close your eyes and breathe in for four, hold for seven and exhale for eight. Start your day with two or three rounds of this breathing, and your body-brain systems will immediately benefit from the good chemistry of peace. » Notice your feelings escalating, your heart racing or pounding hard, your mouth getting dry and your palms getting sweaty. The very act of noticing our body’s response to emotional stressors can help us control our impulses by strengthening our selfregulating neural pathways in the front of the brain that boost insight and self-calming.

» Consider starting a journal. The practice of writing, even scribbling, drawing or just noting something that is throwing you off and getting under your skin, has helped many people to hone their “noticing” skills. » Get some regular exercise to reduce sympathetic stress, calm your system, and produce more BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which keeps you growing and thriving. Not yelling and surviving. » Practice yoga and meditation. Both are easier than you may think, and the effects of both have been proven by neuroscientists to boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and increase longevity by slowing down the degradation of telomeres at the ends of our DNA. Genetics aside, they make you feel good and peaceful. Which means you’re not primed to feel like yelling and less inclined to be around or be affected by those who do.

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artist’s muse

COLLABORATION ACROSS GENERATIONS By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

Much has been written about working with specific age groups, and even collaborating within a group of the roughly the same ages. However, I want to draw attention to the power of collaboration across a spectrum of generations. Our Asheville Community Design Lab works with many age groups through a diversity of programming. During a recent week with our irl (in real life) after-school program, we brought together multiple ages to help work on a large mural project that will be installed at Hall Fletcher Elementary School this spring. It is a project funded through an NC Arts Council Grant in collaboration with the Asheville City Schools Foundation and two amazing artists: Alex Irvine and Ian

Students of many ages work together on a mural project for Hall Fletcher Elementary.

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It was so wonderful to watch and be a part of the energy. Wilkinson. Alex is leading the creation of a clay mosaic mural that will weave together with a painted mural led by Ian. They both worked with the fourth-grade students at Hall Fletcher to design and start the mural this fall. Our irl students are helping to continue the work. On this day, we had my own children (ages 5 and 7), our irl middle school students, our UNC Asheville students, and Alex and I on hand. Everyone arrived and got right to work: rolling slabs of clay, pressing them into the molds, pulling them out, making tiles by hand, etc. It was so wonderful to watch and be a part of the energy. Everyone was in tune with each other, lending a hand where needed, and stepping out of the way to make room for more learning to take place. At the end of our time together, there such a sense of accomplishment — and a true-life learning experience. As this new year unfolds, I challenge all of us to see the opportunity to gather folks of all ages to MAKE things … ideas … changes happen here in our community. For more information about the Asheville Community Design Lab, visit www.ashevillecommunitydesignlab.com. Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Asheville Community Design Lab, offering visual art and design education for all ages. Email her at info@rootsandwingsarts.com or visit www.rootsandwingsarts.com.

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10 top iPad apps for kids A

By Jinny Gudmundsen

Gannett

pps for kids continue to innovate, and they can now be found on most mobile devices from iPads to Android tablets to smartphones and even Kindle Fire and Nook. If you received a tablet over the holidays, here is a list of sure-fire app pleasers. While most are for the iPad, some of the apps are available across all platforms.

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My Mom’s the Best

Rounds: Parker Penguin

Snappyant, best for ages 2-4, $3.99, $3.99, iPad Filled with charming and hilarious illustrations showing why baby animals think their moms are the best, this book app is perfect for your youngest techie. The baby bear mentions his mom’s hugs, so he is seen enveloped in a bear hug where he is squeezed tightly. The hippo mommy excels at hulahooping, and the mommy frog is a dancer. The pattern of hearing why the mom is the best, followed by a surprising animation, will make your toddler or preschooler giggle.

Elmo Loves 123s Sesame Street, best for age 3-5, $4.99, iPad Elmo teams up with Abby to teach kids about the numbers 1 to 20. Through fun videos and songs from the “Sesame Street” television show, as well as games and coloring pages, kids identify

numbers, trace them, count groups of objects and practice adding and subtraction. The app also provides parents with information about their child’s experience. Elmo and Abby are so likeable that kids have a riot learning numbers while playing with their favorite Muppets.

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Nosy Crow, best for ages 3-6, $4.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Kids meet Parker Penguin when he is just a chick growing up in Antarctica. On each page in the science book app, kids interact with the penguin to learn what his life is like. They help him grow up, hunt for food while avoiding predators, find a mate and protect his egg. When the egg is ready to hatch, kids tap the shell so the new baby chick can break out and the story starts again — with a new star — Parker’s son. Presented with rich artwork full of round shapes and accompanied by music that varies when you touch the penguin, this is an intriguing way for kids to learn science. Continues on Page 30

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iPAD apps

Pettson’s Inventions 2

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My Beastly ABCs Duncan Studio, for ages 4-7, $3.99, iPad This interactive book brings together two things that kids love: narration by Jim Dale (the award-winning narrator of the Harry Potter audio books) and mythical creatures (such as the Loch Ness monster and the Abominable Snowman). Starring a timid little boy who gets up on the wrong side of the bed, this youngster’s day is filled with surprising but wonderful interactions with monsters and beasts. He plays hide-and-seek with the Boogey Monster in his closet, flies to school on the back of a Griffin, tickles an Ogre under its arms, tosses rings onto a Unicorn’s horn and struts home, surrounded by a crew of dancing zombies. With great interaction, an engaging story that introduces a different beast for each letter of the alphabet and wonderful illustrations, this app will chase away all fears of monsters.

Bugs and Numbers Little Bit Studio, LLC., best for ages 4-8, $2.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad By playing through 18 games, kids learn early math concepts, including numbers, how to count, comparing sizes and sequence. They even explore early fractions and telling time. The games feature realistic-looking bugs doing things like hiding under items in the junkyard while waiting to be counted, or crawling through an arcade game where kids learn left and right by following onscreen arrows and listening to directions. These educational games are fun, and they adjust in difficulty depending on how your child is doing.

Let’s Color Lazoo Worldwide, Inc., best for ages 4-10, Free, iPad This free app contains a simple drawing program and a series of 18 pages with drawing prompts. When kids respond to the prompt by drawing something and then hit the “Go” button on the page, their creation magically animates. It is as if the ink is enchanted and what they draw can come alive. In addition to drawing, kids can also watch an animated video about three friends, using their creativity to go on an adventure. This app is special and free, so don’t miss it.

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Faces iMake — Right Brain Creativity iMagine machine LLC, best for ages 4-up, $1.99 on iPad (also on iPhone and iPod Touch for $1.99 but called Faces iMake - Premium) This is one of the most creative apps in iTunes because it encourages kids to create faces using unusual collage materials. By thinking outside of the box, kids arrange candy, toys, fruit, musical instruments and more to create fanciful faces. With the iPad version, kids can even upload their creations to FaceWorld, a virtual art gallery. They can also download other people’s creations, modify them and then upload them to collaborate with kids from around the world.

Filmundus AB, best for ages 7-up, $1.99, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad Inventor Pettson and his talking cat Findus have 37 inventions for you to recreate. Pettson provides you with the parts to his Rube Goldberg-like machines, and it is up to you to drag and drop them into the correct locations. Each invention has an “On” switch so you can experiment to see what happens when you do things. The inventions do things like rocking an old lady to sleep in her chair. Engineering becomes fun.

Where’s My Perry Disney, best for ages 8-up, $.99 on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, and $1.99 on Nook. This physics puzzler stars a secret agent platypus named Perry. Perry earned his fame on the Disney television show “Phineas and Ferb,” but you don’t have to know the show to enjoy these puzzles. In each, you must figure out how to use your finger to create a path for water to get to generators so you can transport Perry to spy headquarters. In each, the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz has placed obstacles, such as lasers that turn the water into steam. With more than 100 puzzles, there’s a lot to love.

Angry Birds Star Wars Rovio Entertainment Ltd, best for 8-up, $.99 for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android. HD version is $.99 for iPad, Nook and $2.99 for Kindle. The famous Angry Birds have now morphed into the good guys from Star Wars, and the bad pigs are now Darth Vader and the evil pigtroopers. This Angry Birds is still filled with puzzle levels where you slingshot the birds at the pigs who are hiding inside of block structures. Everyone is in costume, and the Star Wars music and locations grace the background. The Star Wars themes, with accompanying power of lightsabers and Jedi powers, breathe new life into this popular app franchise. Losing becomes fun, because a piggie Darth Vader laughs at you. Jinny Gudmundsen is the author of the upcoming “For Dummies” book “iPad Apps for Kids.” Contact her at techcommentsusatoday.com.

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Popular baby names go retro, cool By Sharon Jayson USA TODAY

Retro seems to be the latest trend — at least for baby names. Prospective parents used to pore over lists of popular names to find just the right one. Now, they’re as likely to look for what not to choose. “They don’t want their child to be a cookie cutter. They want a unique identity,” says Linda Murray, of BabyCenter, a San Francisco-based pregnancy and parenting website that recently released the top names of 450,000 babies born in 2012 to moms who registered on the site. Aiden topped the boys’ list for the eighth consecutive year. Sophia was No. 1 for girls for the third straight year. But the top 10s also include classics from the past, such as Ava and Lily, as well as Jack, new on the top 10 this year. Jack was among the top 20 boys names in the 1920s and 1930s, according to the Social Security Administration, which has tracked baby names since 1880, based on applications for Social Security numbers. Its 2012 list comes out in May. “Names from two generations back are meaningful and retro and have a cool factor,” says Murray. The site reaches 12 million U.S. moms a month; 75 percent are white. But more ethnic names appear lower on the list, she says. “Since we focus on the top 100, they aren’t typically seen here.” BabyCenter’s site for U.S. Spanish speakers also has a top 10 list (out in January); it has included crossovers such as Sofia, Isabella and Olivia. Although Lacey Moler, 30, of Austin named her 9-month-old Olivia, No. 3 for girls on BabyCenter’s list, they call her “Lo,” for “Little Olivia.” Moler is cofounder BellyBallot.com, which allows real-time reaction from friends and family to potential names. She says names that get consistently high numbers include Savannah, Ava, Michael, Noah and Owen. Those the site declares “bottomed out” include Emma and Zoe.

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PARENTS’ VIGILANCE CAN HEAD OFF KIDS’

CONCUSSION RISK By Michelle Healy, Gannett

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oncern about concussions and how these brain injuries affect children’s health, has never been higher, and rightly so, says neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, one of the nation’s leading concussion experts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions, increased by 60 percent among children and adolescents (from birth to 19 years old) over the past decade. And the CDC

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estimates that almost 4 million sports and recreation-related concussions are recognized every year, with many times more going unrecognized. In his new book, “Concussions and Our Kids,” Cantu, chief of Neurosurgery at Emerson Hospital in Boston and medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, offers parents advice on keeping kids safe from this “silent epidemic.” He spoke with USA TODAY’S Michelle Healy. Q: You say that physiologically, kids and teens are more vulnerable than adults to concussions. Why? A: They don’t have fully myelinated brains, so the nerve cells and their connections don’t have the coating

and insulation of adult brains. In addition, they have disproportionately weak necks compared to adults, and disproportionately large, heavy heads, so they’re like bobblehead dolls. This sets them up for brain injuries that are more serious than those sustained at a later age from the same amount of force. Girls appear more susceptible to concussions and postconcussion symptoms than boys and are often slower to recover, which is why I recommend that helmets be required in field hockey and girls’ lacrosse. Q: Concussions trigger a chain of chemical and metabolic reactions in the body, but you say there’s growing evidence that they also can cause structural damage to the brain? A: As co-director of the Study for Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University, I work with neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee and her team and have seen firsthand the concussed brains of diseased athletes, in which there have been structural damage. I (expect) that as our abilities to image injured brains gets better, we’re going to see that con-

Robert Cantu wrote “Concussions and Our Kids. “ SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

cussion, at least in some instances, and maybe most, is not only a metabolic injury, but also a structural injury. Q: One of your goals is empowering parents to play a role in detecting concussion symptoms that coaches and trainers may have missed. How? A: I’m not asking them to be a doctor or asking them to make the diagnosis, but asking them to have their antennas up for the subtle mood and behavior changes that could signal a concussion. They known when their kid is “off.”

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When the kid is off, is it necessarily a concussion? No, but you might ask, “Did you get whacked in practice today?” “Did you have a fall?” Or whatever. If they say yes, in those situations the parent should bring the kid to the doctor . Q: You rely on a checklist of 26 symptoms that help determine the severity of a concussion and the pace of recovery? What are some of them? A: They fall into four (categories): Cognitive symptoms, where someone is having problems with concentration, memory, insight, judgment, attention, things you need for school work, to take exams and so on. Sleep symptoms, such as sleeping more or less than usual or having difficulty falling asleep. Emotional symptoms, such as feeling anxious, having panic attacks, depression or loss of impulse control. And somatic symptoms, including headaches, blurred or altered vision, dizziness or balance symptoms. Q: Most kids will recover from a concussion, but how long does it take for symptoms to disappear? A: Properly managed, roughly 80 percent of people will recover within Continues on Page 36

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CONCUSSION

PROPOSED CHANGES Cantu proposes these changes to youth sports programs to reduce the threat of head trauma: » No tackle football before age 14 » No body checking in youth hockey before age 14 » No heading in soccer before age 14 » Require chin straps in youth baseball; ban the headfirst slide » Require helmet use in field hockey and girls’ lacrosse » Hold sports officials to a higher standard

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seven to 10 days; 20 percent will go on and have symptoms that last beyond that time. Somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent will go on to have post-concussion syndrome, in which symptoms last beyond a month. Most of those with post-concussion syndrome will recover, but some will take even over a year to recover and a very small number will never recover. Q: What’s known about the link between the degenerative brain disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which is so much in the news these days, and concussions sustained during adolescence? A: I call concussion the poster child for CTE, but what’s very important to know is that we have cases of CTE in people who have never had a “recognized” case of concussion. So just because you have had a very low number of concussions, or even no recognizable concussions, doesn’t mean that you’re not at risk for CTE. The risk factor is really all about total brain trauma, which includes concussions but also sub-concussive blows, those hits to the head that don’t result in concussion symptoms or a recognized concussion. They’re the blows that happen on every single play when two people hit heads but keep going — it’s just thought of as no big deal, just part of the sport. An individual subconcussive blow isn’t a big deal, but 10,000 of them over the course of a lifetime may be a big deal. Q: Short of preventing your child from participating in any collisiontype sport, what’s a parent to do? A: I don’t want to stop sports from being played. I do want people to be very well aware that no brain trauma is good brain trauma. No hit to the brain is a good hit. If your child is going to play a sport in which brain trauma is inherent with the activity, please start at a later age. Arbitrarily I say 14 because that’s when high school starts, and if you’re going to play at the next level you’ve got to start somewhere. Ideally, I wouldn’t have them start until 18, because it would have them taking less brain trauma over the course of their lives. Q: So suggesting kids play no football or hockey until age 18 has no chance of flying? A: From a practical standpoint, I say

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don’t start until 14. It has got a little chance of flying, but mostly it has a very big chance of putting in place another recommendation: Making rule changes in sports that will reduce the amount of contact allowed in practice and the number of hits that kids take in a game. I’ve already seen Pop Warner (youth football program) dramatically reduce the amount of contact allowed in practice and eliminate certain drills that involve head-to-head hitting. That’s great. It’s not good enough, but it’s a great start. I would also recommend no heading in soccer until age 14, no body-checking in youth hockey before 14, and eliminating the head-first slide in baseball. Q: You also say that young athletes, both boys and girls, should work to strengthen their neck muscles as a preventive measure to reduce brain trauma risks? A: They should be working on strengthening their core musculature, especially their necks, so if they receive a blow to the head and see it coming, they can at least tense their neck muscles and reduce the acceleration forces the brain will receive. And by strengthening their core muscles, if they get knocked down, they have a greater chance of not having their neck snap back and suffering whiplash. Girls working to strengthen their neck exercises should remember that they don’t produce enough testosterone to build big, bulging necks, but they are going to be stronger and that will help protect them. Q: You note that concussions can occur in sports that we don’t traditionally think of as collision-type sports. A: They can happen in any sport in which there are accidental or nonaccidental blows to the head and or blows to the chest or blows to the back that force the head to be snapped backward and forward. A few years ago, the U.S. syn-

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chronized swimming national team had a 50 percent concussion rate, and one member was permanently off the team for severe post concussion syndrome. Sometimes those powerful kicks performed underwater land on someone’s head, but because it’s buffered by water it’s not thought of as a very hard hit. Q: Is rest the most effective therapy for a concussion, even for patients who have long-lasting post-concussion syndrome who sometimes are also prescribed medications and non-medicinal therapies? A: Both physical and cognitive rest is needed until the symptoms clear. Traditionally, people have been aware of the need for physical rest and understood that when you physically exert yourself, you greatly exacerbate your symptoms. People have not been so aware of the need for resting the brain. Individuals with cognitive concussion symptoms who exert their brain by doing computer work, reading, doing lengthy homework assignments, playing video games, texting will exacerbate their symptoms in almost every instance. We also recommend patients avoid noisy or bright locations . Q: What about the many new hightech accessories that are advertised as protecting users from head injuries, like anti-concussion headbands, helmets and chin straps? What’s known about how well they work? A: The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission have already come down on some of these products and some of the claims they make. Those that claim to significantly reduce the risk of concussion haven’t been proven to do so. Although the companies have some research, it hasn’t been supported by independent labs and passed the mustard of peer review. Q: One of your big concerns is that unacknowledged concussion syndrome may be “falling under the radar” and affecting many more young people than we know? A: In my opinion, we have a public health issue that goes far beyond our athletes, but we don’t quite have our hands around it. I think a lot of what goes on in society that has people scratching their head, wondering, “how could this have happened,” is probably related, in some instances, to brain trauma that people have sustained but it wasn’t recognized. I’m talking about the behavior where there’s a lack of impulse control, some of the of things.

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home-school happenings

Reorganizing for a new year

By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist

The holidays are over, and it’s time to restart the learning engines. But, if your house looks anything like mine after the holidays, all you can think about is putting away the decorations, finding a place to store all the gifts and cleaning the refrigerator, because you’re pretty sure there may be some Thanksgiving leftovers in a container way in the back somewhere. But, don’t despair! I know you can do it! To start your new year on the right foot, you need to feel that you are in control of your surroundings. We usually do unit studies toward the end of the month of January. This year you have the perfect subject to use, the inauguration. But, before you do that, why don’t you get yourself organized? First, put all the Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa decorations away. Sort out the stuff you don’t want anymore. Put out two boxes, one for trash and one for donations. As you are putting away the decorations and gift wrap, throw out broken things, and donate stuff you don’t need anymore. (We are donating to the Salvation Army, which will pick up items. We decided the Salvation Army may not

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get as many donations as Goodwill, and we like the idea of helping the folks who are helping the victims of Sandy.) Next, start on your kids’ bedrooms. The same two-box system will work. Have them sort their toys and books, and give them encouragement to be brutal about their decisions. It’s important for them to understand that stuff is less important than people, and if they haven’t played with a toy in six months or more, or if they have outgrown a baby book, it’s really great to send it on to a new family. This makes room for any new toys or books they may have received over the holidays. This is also a good time to sort through your kids’ clothing and weed out the stuff that doesn’t fit anymore. Once your kids rooms are inhabitable again, have them vacuum. Even a 5-yearold can do a pretty good job of vacuuming. Don’t impose your standards, just be happy with what they do. (Or, re-do it when they aren’t around!) I also take this time to clean out the closets belonging to the adults in our home. I have learned over the years that hanging on to those size 3 jeans will not magically turn me back into a size 3. It’s a bummer, but I am pretty sure my butt is never going back into anything smaller than a size 9, so everything else gets passed along. If I haven’t worn a pair of shoes or an outfit in six months or so, I pass that along as well.

I take one whole day to clean the kitchen, including the refrigerator, which is about my most hated job. I like to have all the plastic storage containers sorted, and my son likes to take this job as his. We then can get rid of all the tops that don’t have bottoms and vice versa. (I think the Tupperware and the socks from the dryer go into the same black hole!) Lastly, I sort through all of our homeschooling books and supplies, and get rid of anything that we aren’t using. I file away projects and art work and eliminate any workbook pages or scribbling that we don’t need. For us, some of the stuff gets sent down to our store to resell, and some of it gets passed along to friends. All this takes about two weeks. We take our time and try not to put too much pressure on ourselves. We take breaks to go outside and make day trips to cool places. By the time we are done, we are feeling pretty organized, and I am feeling like I can breathe easier. When you homeschool, it’s hard to keep your house neat and organized because you have people using all the rooms, 24/7. So, if you are somewhat disciplined about getting organized at the beginning of a new semester, it will go a long way to getting off on good solid footing. Nicole McKeon owns Homeschool Station in Fairview. Email her at homeschoolstation@hotmail.com.

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divorced families

Help in navigating technology By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

Electronics have become the bane of my existence. Technology advances on a yearly, sometimes monthly basis, and research about its effects on children can not begin to keep up. It becomes increasingly difficult for me to give advice the parents as to how to deal with the various concerns they have about their children and electronics. Here are some of their more commonly asked questions: » Should my child to have a cell phone? I have mixed feelings about this. I do like children having the ability to call 911 if they are in a dangerous situation. I think the younger the child is, the

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simpler the phone should be. When they are old enough to own a smartphone, considering insisting that they have a tracking app downloaded on their phone for safety. When it comes to schools, I am not opposed to a child having a phone, but not given permission to use it during class. I wish that public schools would get their act together about having a universal policy about phone use in the classroom, but they don’t. I have known some teachers to allow their students to use their phones quietly to text if they complete their class work. Sorry, but I think this is a bad idea. As to phones going back and forth between homes when parents are separated, I think this should be in line with the custody agreement. Some will disagree with me on this, but unless it is a high conflict divorce, I think children should be allowed reasonable access to call their other parent. And again, I like

the safety features that cell phones provide for children wherever they are. » What about video games? Aren’t they turning my child’s brain to Jell-O? You know, the funny thing about this is that my son grew up with video gaming and when I complained to him about it, he would say “show me the research, Dad.” And here is the deal. I don’t think there is any substantial research to indicate that games make children more violent or damage a child’s learning curve. Therapists are divided on whether they believe gaming is addictive. I think it depends on the game as to how your child might be affected.. “Grand Theft Auto”: NO. “Little Big Planet”: Yes! Learn the games and consider playing them with your children to gain a better sense concerning their content. Then again, parents can use common sense concerning all time their children are invested in any and all video. If that is 90 percent of how they spend their

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time, that is a problem. If the time they spend interferes with schoolwork or sleep, that is a big problem. » What about iPods or similar devices that plug into their ears? I think this is a social problem. If I am talking to someone and they can’t hear me because they have chosen to “plug in,” then that is rude. Just old-fashioned rudeness. » What about allowing them to be on social networks such as Facebook?

Some children flat out lie to get an account set up on various social networks, as most require participants to be a certain age. But if you are a parent who is going to “wink” at this with your teen or tweenager, at least insist you know their password for periodic monitoring and that no identifying information is posted whatsoever. » What about iPads, notebooks, laptops, Kindles and regular computers? I would tie this into their school needs, their maturity and your finances. Most children need the Internet these days to do class projects of various forms. If your budget is really tight, consider buying a used computer that the whole family can use. But whatever you buy, remember these three things: monitor, monitor, monitor. There are lots of bad guys out there so you can’t be too careful. 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 606-8607.

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librarian’s picks

Time-traveling fashionista entertains By Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

Time travel is a familiar theme in literature for youths. Two series in particular have used the conceit to engage young readers not only in adventure but history as well. First, the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne features siblings Jack and Annie, who, by way of their enchanted tree house, find themselves propelled to places and times far from their own. So, whether they are shivering alongside George Washington as he crosses the Delaware River or making new friends in 1870s Kansas, Jack and Annie are immersed in events. Second, the Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka features pals Joe, Sam and Fred, who, courtesy of a mysterious book, find themselves whisked from one time period to another, cracking jokes and learning about history as they go. Both of these series are geared for young independent readers. For older readers, a new series about time travel is under way. The name of the series is also the name of the first book in the series: “The Time Traveling Fashionista.” Written by Bianca Turetsky, the opening book features ordinary middle-schooler Louise. Louise tempers the awkward, embarrassing but altogether ordinary reality

area story times Buncombe County Libraries

Visit www.buncombecounty.org 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

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of her life with a deep interest in old movies and vintage clothes. When Louise is invited to an exclusive, albeit eerie, vintage clothing sale, she is excited and hopeful she will find the perfect dress to wear to the upcoming school dance. At the sale, Louise tries on a shimmering pink evening gown that, except for its smelling vaguely of saltwater, is lovely. As soon as Louise tries the dress on, she faints. She wakes to find herself in someone else’s body and in another time period. As Louise interacts with these unfamiliar people, she tries to piece together an idea of who she is supposed to be and where she is. She discovers she inhabits the body of Miss Baxter, a famous, glamorous teen actress who enjoys a fabulously wealthy and stylish existence. Louise discovers, too, that Miss Baxter is sailing to America aboard a state of the art luxury liner. That the year is 1912 and the ship is the ill-fated Titanic makes Louise wish she had paid more attention in history class. While rubbing elbows with the Astors and Strauses, Louise luxuriates in the excesses of the wealthy, even as she tries to warn Captain Smith about their impending doom. Rich in period detail, Turetsky creates a strong sense of time and place.

This book is available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.buncombecounty.org/library.

a.m. Thursday Fairview, 250-6484: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Leicester, 250-6480: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday North Asheville, 250-4752: 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:

Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Mondays; Mother Goose: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays Skyland/South Buncombe, 2506488: 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.

Nervous, but a quick study, Louise partakes in the elaborate social rituals of dressing, dining and socializing. Also, Louise witnesses the vast differences and inequalities associated with gender and class. Interspersed through the book are elegant drawings by fashion illustrator Sandra Day. Finely detailed, each illustration features a beautiful lady wearing an opulent dress from 1912. The translucent, airy quality of the figures conveys a subtle ghostliness, well in keeping with the tenor of the story. Readers will be kept guessing to the very end.

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area story times Wednesday; Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday

Haywood County Library

Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. Waynesville, 356-2512 or 356-2511: Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays; Ready 4 Learning: 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays Spanish story time: Waynesville branch offers Spanish story time for families, 4-4:30 p.m. Fridays, with books and songs in in Spanish (and explanations in English). All welcome. For more information in English, contact Carole Dennis at 356-2511 or cdennis@haywoodnc.net. For more information in Spanish, contact Marisa Dana at 561-275-8097 or marisamdana@gmail.com. Canton, 648-2924: Family story time, 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Rompin’ Stompin’ story time, 10 a.m. Thursdays

Henderson County Library

Visit www.henderson. lib.nc.us. Main, 697-4725: Bouncing Babies: 11 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; Toddler Time: 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays; Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; 4 O’Clock Club (K-5): 4 p.m. Thursdays. Edneyville, 685-0110: Family: 10 a.m. Mondays Etowah, 891-6577: Family: 10 a.m. Tuesdays Fletcher, 687-1218: Toddler Time: 10 a.m. Wednesdays; Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays Green River, 697-4969: Family: 10 a.m. Thursdays Mills River, 890-1850: Familiy: 10 a.m. Mondays

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 296-7335: 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Saturdays; Biltmore Park Town Square, Asheville, 6870681: 11 a.m. Saturdays

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop

21 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 232-2228: 10:30-11 a.m. Saturdays, ages 4-7.

The Health Adventure

800 Brevard Road, Suite 620, A sheville, 665-2217: 3:30 p.m. Monday and Friday.

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growing together

When moms become invisible By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

When I was a kid, I longed for superpowers. Of course, I was a geeky kid, so superheroes and space battles were the kind of things I carefully considered. (That might go far to explain the lack of prom invitations, now that I think about it.) The ability to become invisible always seemed like it would be among the most useful of the known powers. Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak only served to confirm this to me in adulthood. Who wouldn’t want the chance to observe the world unnoticed or sneak a piece of pie? But being invisible by choice is entirely different from feeling overlooked and bypassed by the world around you.

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I heard from a friend recently that her invisibility wasn’t self-imposed. From the hustle of holiday traffic to the line at the grocery store, others were going around her, leaving her behind and ignoring her existence. She had simply disappeared, or so she felt. I hurt for her. And I understood. As moms, we gladly and rightly put our needs aside for those of our children, but sometimes that sacrifice makes us — the first “us” — all but fade away. It’s not a special effect to feel the lines start to blur and the pixels grow dim. When we lose ourselves in our children, it can be exhilarating and brutal at the same time. We see our futures intertwined in theirs, which is true for a time. But they grow and need us less, or at least need us differently. For all the long nights and short years we spend as someone’s mommy, we need to find ways to remember who we were before, who we are still. I married young

— really young. Fortunately, I also married well, and the fact that I’ve spent more years married than not means my identity is profoundly connected to him. While that relationship grows and changes, it’s different from that of a mother to her children. We grow them (whether inside us or in our hearts), nurture them and take every deliberate step toward the goal of finding their own way in the world. As they grow, we get to know someone we knew long ago. The invisibility cloak slips away, just a bit at a time, like the shedding of a welcomed and loved cocoon. The emergence may take much of a lifetime, but a new person is on the other side, ready to be seen. And for each experience, she will be all the more beautiful. Chris Worthy is an attorney who took down her shingle to be a stay-at-home mom. Contact her at chris@worthyplace.com.

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nature center notes

Hellbenders: A slimy, scary but important species By Hannah Epperson Special to WNC Parent

Hellbender. Mud-devil. Grampus. Snot otter. Those are a lot of off-putting names for one fascinating animal. This slimy critter — which really goes by Eastern hellbender — is the largest aquatic salamander in North America and can grow up to 2 feet long. Though they might look a bit seamonsterish at first, these are not storybook creatures from a far-off land. Hellbenders are found in rivers throughout Western North Carolina, including the French Broad. Hellbenders actually breathe through their skin, so they love fast-moving, oxygenated water. Hellbenders are an indicator species. This means they require a clean, nonpolluted habitat to survive. While it

Hellbenders are an indicator species that require a clean, nonpolluted habitat to survive. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

may be startling to find a hellbender in your river, it’s reason to celebrate: You have a healthy river. Many myths and misunderstandings

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have developed about the hellbender — it can look a bit scary, after all. Some worry that hellbenders will eat all the fish out of their favorite fishing holes. But hellbenders primarily eat crayfish, minnows and worms. Larger fish may actually prey on juvenile hellbenders. Others worry that a hellbender’s bite is venomous. It’s not, and — much like a younger brother or sister — a hellbender will only bite when really provoked. Hellbenders are pretty tricky to find, as they spend most of their time hiding under large, flat rocks in rapid moving water. But you can see a hellbender anytime, and learn more about these awesome salamanders, in the Appalachian Station at WNC Nature Center. And, yes, they are as slimy as they look! The WNC Nature Center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road. Learn more at www.wncnaturecenter.com.

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PESTO WINS RAVE REVIEWS

By Kate Justen WNC Parent columnist

FEAST classes are all about encouraging people to eat healthy foods. Each class, we bring locally grown produce that has been donated to the program from Mother Earth Produce, a local and family owned, year-round delivery service of organic produce and local edibles. Recipes and cooking activities are changed according to what produce is donated that week. Because we are using locally grown vegetables, we often have the same vegetables week after week and month after month. So, students in FEAST classes have become familiar and comfortable with these vegetables and even like them. Yes, I said it: Children liking and loving vegetables. The focus this month is on winter greens. What grows well in Western North Carolina in January? Hardy greens! Students are now asking if I have kale with me and are disappointed if I do not. I decided to take the featured pesto recipes into a fourth-grade classroom to see how it did under the test of 9- and 10-year-olds. Here’s a sampling of their comments: “It tasted strong.” “It is pretty good.” “I like the veggies plain, no need to dip. Your recipes are SO good!” “I am a very picky eater so personally I did not like it, I thought the arugula was too spicy by itself.” “I am not sure if I really liked it or not. I mean, it wasn’t terrible or great. It was in between. I tried it with the bread and broccoli, it was a little spicy.”

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Kale and parsley p esto

1 bunch kale, rin sed and remove stems d 1/2 bun ch pars le y, rinse stems re d and 3-6 clov moved es crush ed garl 1/2 teas ic poon sa lt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup toas (option ted pine nuts al) 1/2 cup parmes an chee se Co

sto Arugula pe, rinsed and rugula 1 bunch a oved m re s m e st garlic s crushed 3-6 clove lt sa n o o 1/2 teasp live oil 1/4 cup o ptional) alnuts (o w p cu 1/2 eese ch n sa arme 1/2 cup P

in gredients first five in l ti n u r e Combine d len cessor or b eese. Chill ch a food pro n sa e ir in Parm a. smooth, st r over past as a dip o e rv and se

mbine fi rst 6 ing food pro redients cessor o in a r blende smooth, r until stir in Pa rm and serv e as a dip esan cheese. Ch ill or over p asta.

Cilantro pesto

1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and stems removed 3-6 cloves crushed gar lic 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup toasted pecans (optional) 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Combine first six ingredien ts in a food processor or blende r until smooth, stir in Parmesan cheese. Chill and serve as a dip or ove r pasta.

“Good, good, good, good, it was all good!” “I think the pesto with cilantro is more sweet than the pesto without cilantro, but I liked them both a lot. I like how they were tasty and healthy.” “I think it is very good because the

kale, cilantro and arugula with the bread tasted AWESOME!!! I think it would be better if it had cabbage for dipping.” “Good, a bit spicy, yummy, goes good with bread.” “My opinion is the pesto was a great blend, it had a good and perfect taste. I could taste the cilantro, its really good.” “I did kind of like the one with cilantro and arugula with vinegar.” “It tastes amazing, a little sour.” “I loved the pesto, it was amazing especially when you mix it with spinach hummus” “I love this meal, all of it! That’s all I have to say.” Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Contact her at feast.avl@gmail.com or visit www.slowfoodasheville.org.

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SUPER BOWLS FOR THE SUPER BOWL By Karen Fernau, Gannett

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uper Bowl cuisine is as predictable as the game’s overhyped halftime show and testosterone-fueled beer commercials. Bowl after Bowl, millions of hungry TV spectators dig into deep-fried chicken wings, greasy sliders, salty chips and gooey dips. This year, sideline that tradition and insert super bowls. Remember bowls? They offer a practical way Continues on Page 52

Spicy shrimp bowl from Sens in Phoenix. MICHAEL MCNAMARA/THE ARIZONA REP

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SUPER BOWLS Continued from Page 51

to eat in front of the TV. And, when they’re filled with stickto-your-ribs savory sausages, beer, cheese or spicy shrimp, super bowls are sure to win accolades. “Who says you can’t eat pasta and watch football? Just create a bowl with the great flavors of traditional football food, and everyone will be happy,” said chef Chris Curtiss, of North in Phoenix. We asked three chefs — Curtiss, Johnny Chu of Sens in Phoenix and Tien Wong Hot Pot in Chandler, and Steve Freidkin of Texaz Grill in Phoenix — to come up with recipes to bowl over guests. Their creations are variants on another perennial bowl favorite: chili. Here’s their lineup for the Super Bowl. If you’re short on bowls, consider paper ones. They’re strong enough to handle these big eats for the big game.

Sizzling game day shrimp Sauce 2 teaspoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon garlic 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon diced Thai chiles Shrimp 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons finely diced pineapple 2 tablespoons finely diced onion 2 tablespoons Asian mint (available in Asian markets) 8 black tiger shrimp, size 21/25 (can substitute any shrimp)

To make sauce, add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until blended. Set aside. Heat large skillet, preferably cast iron, on medium-high. Add olive oil, and when hot add pineapple, onion, mint and shrimp. Saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sauce and saute another 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp is pink. Makes 2 servings. Source: Johnny Chu of Sens in Chandler, Ariz.

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The Texaz Grill’s bunkie, or cheese and beer, soup. JILL MCNAMARA/THE REPUBLIC

Bunkie beer 1/4 cup butter 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced thin 1/2 cup green onion 1/2 cup flour 1/2 pound or about 1 heaping cup shredded cabbage 1/2 bottle beer 3 1/2 cups chicken broth 1 tablespoon creole mustard 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed 1 cup whole milk, warmed

Melt butter on medium heat in a large skillet. When melted, add sausage and saute 3 minutes. Add onion and saute another 2 minutes. Add flour and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add cabbage, beer, chicken broth and mustard. Lower heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add cheddar and cook 10 minutes. Meanwhile, temper cream and milk by slowly warming in a saucepot. When warm, slowly pour into soup. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Source: Steve Freidkin of Texaz Grill, Phoenix

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North’s Super Bowl pasta. JILL MCNAMARA/THE REPUBLIC

Super Bowl pasta 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1 pound spicy Italian sausage 6 cloves garlic, shaved thin 1 cup golden raisins 4 cups shredded kale 1 tablespoon Calabrian (Italian) chiles 1 pound strozzapreti pasta (can substitute fusilli) 2 tablespoons salted butter Salt and black pepper to taste 1/4 cup grated aged pecorino 1/4 cup Castelvetrano olives

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. While waiting for water to boil, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium in a medium saucepan. Break up sausage and add to hot pan. Saute sausage about 5 minutes, or until fully cooked. Add garlic, golden raisins and kale. Season with salt and Calabrian chiles. Cook until kale is tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add pasta to water and cook according to package directions until al dente. Remove 1 cup of pasta water, and set aside. Drain pasta and add to sausage mixture. Add pasta water and butter. Mix until well blended. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until sauce forms. Serve in large bowl. Garnish with the pecorino, olives and remainder of olive oil. Makes 4 servings. Source: Chris Curtiss of North, Phoenix

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kids’ page STAFF DRAWING BY JEFF RUMINSKI

W N C P A R E N 54 T | JANUARY 2013

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calendar of events

dots changed the world. Free with $5 admission, free for members. All day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333.

Things to do

Jan. 3

Items for the February calendar are due Jan. 10. Email information to calendar@wncparent.com.

Jan. 2

READING CORNER STORY TIME: Make a bird feeder at this story time for ages 6-12, 3:30 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Materials provided. Call 250-4720 or email pack.children@buncombecounty.org. SPROUTING NATURALISTS: New preschool-age nature program at Chimney Rock State Park. For ages 2-5. This month’s theme is “Skins, Skulls, Tracks and Traces.” 10-11:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month. Kids 5 and younger, $3; adults, $12; older siblings (ages 6-15), $5.50; passholders, free. Advance registration required. Call 625-9611 weekdays to register. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com. WORLD BRAILLE DAY: Learn to write your name in Braille, experience Braille books, and see how six

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CELEBRATION SINGERS OF ASHEVILLE: Auditions for January-May at 6 p.m. at First Congregational Church of Christ, 20 Oak St., downtown Asheville. Prepare a song and bring sheet music. Contact Artistic Director Ginger Haselden at 230-5778. HEALTHY KIDS CLUB: “Happy Hands” program focus on proper hand washing techniques for preschool age children incorporating singing and fun while washing away germs. Sponsored by the Henderson County Department of Public Health. Free with admission/free for members. At 11 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333. WORLD BRAILLE DAY: Learn to write your name in Braille, experience Braille books, and see how six dots changed the world. Free with $5 admission, free for members. All day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333.

Jan. 5

COMMUNITY SWIM DAY: The YWCA of Asheville hosts free swim lessons in solar-heated pool and open swim from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for $5 per family. YWCA Aquatics memberships will be available at a discounted rate. Space is limited for classes. Registration required; call 254-7206, ext. 110. At 185 S. French Broad Ave. Visit www.ywcaofasheville.org.

HENDERSONVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Saturday lessons for parent-child, preschool and youth, Jan. 5-26. Register by Jan. 3. Starts at $30. Call 692-5774 or visit ymcawnc.org. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Saturday lessons for parent-child through youth, Jan. 5-26. Register by Dec. 29. Starts at $25. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. WEAVERVILLE TEEN AWESOME GROUP: The library’s teen group will show its movie trailer for the book “The Forest of Hands and Teeth,” by Carrie Ryan. Join this zombie-apocalypse-themed event with a discussion panel featuring the teen creators, ghoulish games like pin-the-limb-on-the-zombie, zombie face painting, and a chance to win your very own zombie gift basket! Recommended for ages 10 and older. At 41 N. Main St., Weaverville. Call 2506482 or email weaverville.library@buncombe county.org. WORLD BRAILLE DAY: Learn to write your name in Braille, experience Braille books, and see how six dots changed the world. Free with $5 admission, free for members. All day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333.

Jan. 6

POST-NATAL YOGA SERIES: Nest Organics hosts a four-week yoga series for moms, no matter how old their babies are, 10:45-11:45 a.m. Sundays. Spend an hour re-connecting to your body during this great flow based yoga class. $35 for the series. Bring a yoga mat and a blanket. At 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 to register.

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Jan. 7

HENDERSONVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Four-week session of Monday/Wednesday lessons for preschool through youth, Jan. 7-30. Register by Jan. 3. Starts at $30. Call 692-5774 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Monday/Wednesday lessons for parent-child through youth, Jan. 7-30. Register by Jan. 3. Starts at $45. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. YWCA SWIM LESSONS: Learn to swim in the YWCA of Asheville’s indoor solar-heated pool. Classes for all ages and levels. To sign up, call 254-7206, ext. 110, or stop by the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. Visit www.ywcaofasheville.org.

Jan. 8

BABY STEPS TO PARENTHOOD: New mama support group at Nest Organics. A six-week series, providing a place to connect with other mothers. Bring your baby. Facilitated by Meggan Hartman, M.A. $50. At 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 to register. CRIPPS PUPPETS SHOW: Asheville puppeteer Madison J. Cripps returns to The Hop with a performance of storytelling and puppet creations. From 6-7 p.m. at 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. ‘LINCOLN AND THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION’: Friends of the Swannanoa Library hosts a re-enactment of the announcment of the Emancipation Proclamation with ACT Autumn Players actor Mike Vaniman, as Abraham Lincoln. Also

per child. Classes at Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village. Register at www.rootsandwingsarts.com. Call 545-4827 or email info@rootsandwingsarts.com. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Tuesday/Thursday lessons for parent-child through youth, Jan. 8-31. Register by Jan. 3. Starts at $45. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

Jan. 9

The registration deadline for the spring season of recreation soccer through ABYSA is Jan. 16. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@ CITIZEN-TIMES. COM

watch part of the History Channel documentary “Lincoln: Man or Myth.” With a question-and-answer session with historians. At 4 p.m. at Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. Call 250-6486. HENDERSONVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Tuesday/Thursday lessons for preschool through youth, Jan. 8-31. Register by Jan. 3. Starts at $30. Call 692-5774 or visit ymcawnc.org. KIDS YOGA SERIES: Kids ages 2-4 will move their bodies in a playful way while learning and laughing. Four weeks. 10:45-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays. $35. At Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 2581901 to register. PRESCHOOL ART LESSONS: Roots + Wings School of Art offers four-week sessions, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Jan. 8-29, for ages 3-6. Focus is on animals, faces and far out places using recycled materials and painting. $50

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PRETZEL KIDS YOGA SERIES: Yoga for ages 3-6. Four weeks. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. $35. At Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 to register. SPACED-OUT SATURDAY: Astronomy for the whole family at the Colburn Earth Science Museum. Fly around the universe in a digital spaceship. Learn about robots, spacecraft and colonization in “Living Beyond Earth.” Free with admission or membership. At 1 and 3 p.m. at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Visit www.colburnmuseum.org or call 254-7162.

Jan. 10

ART LESSONS: Roots + Wings School of Art offers four-week sessions, 4-5 p.m. Jan. 10-31, for grades K-5. Focus is on alternative portraits with photography and mixed media. $50 per child. Classes at Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village. Register at www.rootsandwingsarts.com. For information, call 545-4827 or email info@rootsandwingsarts.com. KIDS YOGA: Yoga for ages 3-6. Four weeks. 3:30-

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calendar of events 4:15 p.m. Thursdays. $35. At Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 to register.

Ridge Mall from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 12. Learn the game of bridge, a gateway to improving analytical thinking skills, math analysis, inferential reasoning, more. Free. Parents are welcome to stay and learn. Registration requested. Call 658-9398 or email lindan49@charter.net.

Jan. 11

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DFAN SHEARIN ACOUSTIC SHOW: Singer/songwriter Dan Shearin of the band Uncle Mountain performs an all-ages show at 7 p.m. at The Hop West, 721 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, movement and songs. Three-class series runs at 11 a.m. Fridays through Jan. 25. Series focuses on calendar and wintery words. $8 members/$10 nonmembers per class. Call 697-8333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MUSIC TOGETHER: An internationally recognized early childhood music program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, and the adults. 45-minute class at 3:30 p.m. Fridays. $160 for 11 weeks plus CDs and songbooks. At Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Call to register, 258-1901or register online at www.ashevilleareaMT.com.

Jan. 12

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Session for pre-K and youth, Saturdays, Jan. 12-Feb. 2. Registration deadline is Jan. 10 (with late registration fee

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ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Sessions Mondays/Wednesdays, Jan. 14-Feb. 6. Register by Jan. 10 (with late registration fee of $20). Starts at $45. Call 210-9605 or visit ymcawnc.org.

Asheville Community Theatre’s youth presents “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” Jan. 18-20. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT of $20). Starts at $25. Call 210-9605 or visit www.ymcawnc.org. FLETCHER CHILI COOK OFF: Town of Fletcher Parks and Recreation’s annual event at Veritas Christian Academy. Set-up starts at 11 a.m., with public tasting beginning at 11:30. Visit www.fletcherparks.org for information. INFANT SLEEP: Meggan Hartman, MA and infant sleep consultant, leads workshop about the uncertainties of infant sleep. Learn about your child’s changing sleep patterns and gentle tips for developing healthy sleep habits. 11 a.m.-noon at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 for information. YOUTH BRIDGE PROGRAM: The Asheville Bridge Room will host a Youth Bridge Program for sixth- to eighth-graders at the Bridge Room in the River

Jan. 15

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Session for pre-K and youth, Tuesday and Thursdays, Jan. 15Feb. 7. Register by Jan. 11 (with late fee of $20). Starts at $45. Call 210-9605 or visit ymcawnc.org. PROFESSOR WHIZZPOP! MAGIC SHOW: Hysterical magician Professor WhizzPop! returns to The Hop with a performance, 6-7 p.m. at 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. ‘THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION’: Join members of the WNC community including businesses, health care organizations, schools, faith organizations, agencies and policymakers for a conversation about solutions to the obesity epidemic. Includes a screening of several clips from the HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation.” Plus a conversation with Mayor Terry Bellamy and a discussion about the specific ways WNC we can make a change in the obesity epidemic. From 5:30-8 p.m. at the Wilma M. Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville. Contact Virginia Maziarka at 210-9603 or vmaziarka@ymcawnc.org.

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Jan. 16

ABYSA REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Register for spring recreational soccer for all ages by Jan. 16. Visit www.abysa.org for details. BOOK N’ CRAFT: Enter the world of Curious George and get creative and curious with a craft. Free with $5 admission and for members. At 11 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. MINDING YOUR ‘PEES’ AND ‘POOS’: An introduction to infant potty training with Andrea Olson. Learn when to start potty training, how long it should take and what happens if you wait to long. Class will give an overview of gentle options to break diaper dependence and achieve potty independence at any age. Also, get an overview of elimination communication. $10. At 2-4 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call to register, 258-1901. Visit www.nestorganics.com.

Jan. 17

ACA LOWER SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Visit the Lower School (grades 1-5) of Asheville Christian Academy, 9-11 a.m., 74 Riverwood Road, Swannanoa. Drop-ins welcome, but registration is encouraged. Register at www.acacademy.org. Call 581-2200. CRITTER CRAFT: Focus on Monkeys. All ages. All-day drop-in activity. Free with $5 admission/ free for members. From 2-4 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333. INTERSECTIONS SERIES: Classes at The Forum at

Diana Wortham Theatre, at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square. Class fees include free ticket and backstage tour to Matinee Series show. Visit www.dwtheatre.com. For more information or to register, contact Rae Geoffrey at rae@dwtheatre.com or 210-9837. » Build a Play: For grades 6-8 (maximum 15 students). 4-5:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 17-March 28. How do you take a play from the page to the stage? This 11-week course leads students through the process of creating a staged production. Through guided activities and games, students will practice basic acting skills such as stage presence, vocalization, improvisation, creating a character, and working with a script. The class culminates in a final performance of a finished play for an invited audience. » Creative Drama: For ages 3-5. 11-11:45 a.m. Thursdays, Jan. 17-March 28. Offers preschoolers a playful introduction to the magical world of theater and make believe. Through stories, crafts and games and creative play students express themselves, build confidence, explore their imagination and develop basic social skills. » Creative Movement: For ages 3-5. 10-10:45 a.m. Thursdays, Jan. 17-March 28. Wiggling and giggling while exploring different rhythm and music styles, and growing basic skills such as teamwork, selfesteem, spatial and body awareness.

Jan. 18

LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, movement and songs. Three-class series, 11 a.m. Fridays, Jan. 11-25. Series focuses on calendar and wintery words. $8

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members/$10 nonmembers per class. Call 697-8333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Jan. 18-20

‘YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN’: Asheville Community Theatre’s Youth Production Class presents a day in the life of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in a lighthearted musical. Performed by students ages 6-12. Performances at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 and 2:30 p.m. Jan. 19-20. Tickets $5 at the door, by phone or online. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org.

Jan. 19

BOOK PRESENTATION: Author Steve Jones teaches children how history’s human experiences relate to life today, through his book “Life in America.” 12:30 p.m. at Grateful Steps Bookshop, 159 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Visit www.gratefulsteps.org. POSITIVE DISCIPLINE: For children of all ages. Threehour workshop teaches how to spend less time engaged in power struggles with your children. Learn how to foster a greater sense of cooperation and mutual respect within your family. Led by Genevieve Fortuna. $50. Noon-3 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call to register, 258-1901. Visit www.nestorganics.com.

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calendar of events

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Jan. 20

HEALING THE BIRTH EXPERIENCE: An after-birth process group. Birthing a child can be both a beautiful and a devastating experience, leaving individuals feeling conflicting emotions. Share and process your childbirth experience in a creative, healing, way. Come with your baby or without. Facilitated by Andrea Olson, MA. $35. 1-3 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Call to register, 258-1901. Visit www.nestorganics.com.

Jan. 22

‘INTO THE WOODS, JR.’ CLASS: Asheville Community Theatre offers a Youth Production Class for ages 8-15 that ends in performances of “Into the Woods, Jr.” In the story, favorite fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and his beanstalk) and more interact on their journeys. Classes run 4:30-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jan. 22-Feb. 28. Performances are March 15-17. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org or call 254-1320. PUPPET WORKSHOP: Make a paper bag puppet. All ages, while supplies last. 2-4 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. YOUTH ROCK SHOW: Kontainted, a bad of 13-yearolds, all members of the Asheville Rock Academy, deliver some rock favorites. An all-ages show. From 6:30-7:30 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com.

Jan. 23

INTERSECTIONS CRAFT CLUB: Part of the Intersections Series at The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre. Learn multimedia collage art with Yoko Morris, the program coordinator at HandMade in America. Come use everyday materials, both natural and man-made, to create a small wall hanging. Items will be included to make artworks, but please feel free to bring any small items, including natural things such as sticks, pinecones, etc. you would like to include on your wall hanging to make it more personal. At 6 p.m. at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. $25 per person covers materials and class fee. For additional information or to make a reservation call 257-4530. ROCK PAINTING: All ages. Create art with water & rock along mountain pools, 10 a.m.-noon at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Jan. 24

ACA MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: Visit the Lower School (grades 6-8) of Asheville Christian Academy, 9-11 a.m., 74 Riverwood Road, Swannanoa. Drop-ins welcome, but registration is encouraged. Register at www.acacademy.org. Call 5812200. TWELVE STEPS TO RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN: An evening of family education presented by Chabad House. Free, with refreshments. At 7:30 p.m. at 660 Merrimon Ave., Suite C, Asheville. Call 505-0746 or visit www.chabadasheville.org.

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Need a date night? Here is a roundup of upcoming parents’ nights out. Have an event to submit? Email information to calendar@wncparent.com. Jan. 5

ASHEVILLE DOWNTOWN YMCA: For ages 2-13. Themed nights include swimming, healthy snacks, games and crafts. 6-10 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at the Downtown YMCA, 30 Woodfin St., Asheville. $15 members/$23 nonmembers, with $2 sibling discount. Register online at www.ymcawnc.org. Call 210-9622 or email cemrick@ymcawnc.org for more information. Jan. 11

COLBURN EARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM : Kids’ Night at the Museum with activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on science lessons. This month, learn about “Our Wonderful World.” For grades K-4. $20 nonmembers, $16 members and siblings. 5-9 p.m. in Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Register by phone at 254-7162. Visit www.colburnmuseum.org for more information.

NATIONAL KAZOO DAY: All day for all ages. Learn the kazoo’s history, fun facts and hear a few songs. Kazoos available for purchase. Free with $5 admission/Free for members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL PUMPING: Are you a working mom who breast-feeds? Are you a stay-athome mom who wants to store milk? Are you somewhere in between? Does pumping feel overwhelming? If so, this class is for you. Join Michelle Shelfer, IBCLC, as she walks you through how to successfully pump. $25. Noon-2 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call to register, 258-1901. Visit www.nestorganics.com.

Jan. 25

JONATHAN SANTOS ACOUSTIC SHOW: Singer/ songwriter returns to The Hop West for an all-ages show. From 7-8 p.m. at 721 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, movement and songs. Three-class series, 11 a.m. Fridays, Jan. 11-25. Series focuses on calendar and wintery words. $8 members/$10 nonmembers per class. Call 6978333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Neighborhood Y at Woodfin offers Parents’ Night Out the fourth Friday of each month, 6-9 p.m. Themed nights include healthy snacks, games and crafts. $12 member/$18 nonmember, with $2 sibling discount. Ages 2-13. Regis-

FIRED UP! CREATIVE LOUNGE: Kids paint pottery, have pizza and play games, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month. At 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 6989960. Jan. 25

WOODFIN YMCA: Neighborhood Y at Woodfin offers Parents’ Night Out the fourth Friday of each month, 6-9 p.m. Themed nights include healthy snacks, games and crafts. $12 member/$18 nonmember, with $2 sibling discount. Ages 2-13. Register online at www.ymcawnc.org or in person at 40 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 101, Asheville. Call 505-3990. Jan. 26

HAHN’S GYMNASTICS: For children ages 3-12, with pizza dinner and gymnasticsrelated games and activities. $15 for first child, $7.50 for each sibling if enrolled at Hahn’s ($20/$10 if not enrolled). From 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Call 684-8832 to register.

ter online at www.ymcawnc.org or in person at 40 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 101, Asheville. Call 5053990.

Jan. 26

BE ACTIVE DAY: The fifth-annual Be Active Day with information and demonstrations about physical activities available in our area to inspire everyone—from kids to adults—to move more. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Mall in Hendersonville. Free. Call 694-6065. NESTING PARTY: Learn about cloth diapering, baby wearing and importance of chemical-free living. Free. 2-4 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 or visit www.nestorganics.com. POTTY TRAINING AND ELIMINATION COMMUNCIATION: One workshop that looks at potty training and elimination communication with Andrea Olson, Diaper Free Babies specialist. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call to register, 258-1901, or visit www.nestorganics.com.

Jan. 27

EVERGREEN FAMILY PERFORMING ARTS SHOWCASE: Evergreen Community Charter School’s artistic community produces a familyfriendly festival of music and stories at Lexington Avenue Brewery. With performances by the school’s EMBE Marimba Band, guitarists, violinists, singers and storytellers, among others. All proceeds benefit the school’s performance-based music program. From 2-5 p.m. at 39 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Open to the community. All ages.

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$5 (children under 10 free). Food available for purchase.

Jan. 28-31

‘THE CIVIL WAR’: Diana Wortham Theatre’s Matinee Series for Students and Families presents “The Civil War,” a production focusing on the stories and individuals caught up in the war that divided the nation. Performances at 10 a.m. and noon, Jan. 28-31. Recommended for grades 3-9. Open to school groups, home-schoolers, community groups and families. For tickets, call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Jan. 29

GAGGLE OF GIGGLES YOUTH IMPROV SHOW: Chris Martin’s Youth Improv Troupe makes its monthly appearance, from 6-7 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com. Have a child interested in joining the crew? Email Martin at cwaremartin@yahoo.com. PARI SCI GIRLS PROGRAM: For girls ages 9-14.

Each month’s program will lead young girls to try a different facet of science and bring real connections to that field for their pursuit beyond the monthly program. At the Transylvania 4-H Office, 98 E. Morgan St., Brevard. $10. Register online at www.pari.edu or call 862-5554.

Jan. 30

CRAZY CHEMISTS: Make snow spray. Ages 3 and older. Limited space. Call 697-8333 to register. Free with $5 admission/for members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. ELIMINATION COMMUNICATION FUNDAMENTALS: Andrea Olson, a Diaper Free Baby mentor, teaches about elimination communication and how to have a diaper free baby. $25. From 2-4 p.m. At Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 or visit www.nestorganics.com.

Jan. 31

FAMILY FUN NIGHT: FISH THE MAGISH! Pack

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Memorial Library presents Fish the Magish and his humor and mind-bending magic for all ages. Free. At 6:30 p.m. at 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Call 250-4720 or email pack.children@buncombecounty.org. LISTEN TO THIS: Asheville Community Theatre offers an original storytelling series with stories and songs from locals. At 7:30 p.m. at 35 E. Walnut St. Tickets $10. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. THE SOUND POST STRING BREAKERS: A group of youth fiddle students returns to The Hop to show off its musical skills. With a special performance by Americana folk trio Red June. From 6-7:30 p.m. at 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com.

Feb. 2

REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Saturday lessons , Feb. 2-23. Register by Jan. 27. Starts at $25. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

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WNC Parent January 2013