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July 2012

Our Special Needs Issue Preparing your child for college and career

Educational help— Understanding IEPs and 504 plans

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Over 169 summer fun ideas

5 fun reasons to take a family road trip to Kansas City

metrofamilymagazine.com

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www.metrofamilymagazine.com | July 2012

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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what’s new at metrofamilymagazine.com CALENDAR DIRECTORIES BLOGS CONTESTS SAVE MONEY

Lori B. with daughter Alexis C., age 10, of Moore on top of Mt. Scott, Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge..

It’s July, and at this point, summer can hit the doldrums. However, by using our Summer Fun guide online, you'll never hear “I’m bored” again! • Check us out daily at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-fun; • Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/metrofamily) & Twitter (www.twitter.com/metrofamily); • And subscribe to our popular e-newsletter, Weekend Picks, at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/subscribe-to-weekend-picks. • MetroFamily helps you have more fun and save more money!

Top picks & finds on our website this month • Entertaining family in OKC this summer? Check out our list of 14 don’t-miss attractions around the area. (www.metrofamilymagazine.com/family-fun-in-okc) • Looking for the best day and weekend trips around Oklahoma? You’ll find it all at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/exploring-oklahoma, including digital editions of Exploring Oklahoma from 2012 and previous years, a listing of Oklahoma Festivals and a downloadable Kids Pass (www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kids-pass) to help save you money at 35 Oklahoma attractions. • Keep your kids reading all summer with our librarian-recommended “Summer Reading Guide.” • Check out our newest blog about fun, ongoing family activities to enjoy, Weekend Warrior, by Assistant Editor, Brooke Barnett and Calendar Editor, Sara Riester. (www. metrofamilymagazine.com/weekend-warrior)

Join the MetroFamily community of active local parents

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You could WIN big! Sign up to be eligible for great prizes at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/contests. • Hurry and enter to win one of 10 great parties in our ULTIMATE Birthday Party Giveaway. Deadline is July 6. • Vote for your favorite Oklahoma vacation photo in our Exploring Oklahoma Photo Contest and help determine the winners of two great trips. Deadline is July 6. • Fun and portable games worth over $200 are available in our Zume Game Giveaway. Deadline is July 21. • “Beat the Heat” summer fun giveaway includes a Playmobil playset, kid-friendly DVDs and great Barbie and Hot Wheels toys from Mattel. Deadline is July 31. • Enter your 300-word story into our Summer Stories Contest and if chosen as the best entry by our judges, you will win a new Kindle Fire. Deadline is August 10.

You could SAVE big! Find coupons to the businesses listed below at www. metrofamilymagazine. com/okc-family-discounts. • Science Museum Oklahoma (Hurry! Good thru July 10th only!) • The Vintage Pearl • Club Z! In-Home Tutoring • Museum of Osteology • Skills for Living • Bouncin’ Craze • Dawn to Dusk Inflatables • Hair Care by Kelly Haines • Play Nation playground sets • Jump!Zone • Studio J School of Dance • Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum • Mathnasium • Dr. Mark Youngker, orthodontist • Sooner Bowling • Wyndham Hotel, OKC • Green Goodies by Tiffany (July 19–31) PLUS, save big bucks with the Kids Pass for 2012-2013 that includes over 30 coupons to local and statewide attractions! Download it today at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kids-pass.

Contents July 2012

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Dear MetroFamily

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Family Shorts

Editor’s Note.

Community news, resources & other family-friendly information.

16 Oklahoma Reads

Great reads for all ages.

18 Exploring Oklahoma & Beyond Heading north to Kansas City.

20 Ask the Expert

Tips for preparing your child with special needs for success.

22 Real Moms of the Metro

Meet MomRN, Tamara Walker.

26 Problem-Solving Products 28 Focus on Education

Is your teen with special needs college-ready?

31 Character Corner

Encouraging your children to have a merciful heart.

Our special needs issue helps you find many community resources, including information about the Miracle League of Edmond.

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32 Your Healthy Family

From Individualized Education Plans to 504s, inside advice on classroom planning for children with special needs. What life lessons can we teach our children through the 2012 Summer Olympics? Find out here.

HCG: inside the controversial diet plan.

35 Calendar

Fun events, activities and classes.

46 Photo Gallery

Readers share photos showing water fun.

ON OUR COVER AND ABOVE: Parker, age 12, is the son of Beth and Keith Case of Edmond. He will be a 7th grader at Sequoyah Middle School. PHOTO BY: Kathryne Taylor.

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Dear MetroFamily, “Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” That’s a quote by Margaret Lee Runbeck, one of many inspirational clippings that I keep on my refrigerator door. I’ve found that these simple words have the power to bring grand transformation. We can choose to be overwhelmed by negative or positive; we can choose to allow negative ideas wear us down or positive ideas to empower us.

Celebrating twenty years together with a family vacation, May 2012.

Just like everyone, I have a laundry list of problems in my life: those which I create, those which I’ve taken on from others, those which I shouldn’t worry about but still do, those which I’m powerless against. I have shortcomings and experience pain, drama and sadness. But I hold fast to positive words, the words that remind me that no matter how bad it might seem at the time, I can be courageous. I can be positive.

Over the past year, I’ve been sorting through this idea of positive and negative as I’ve dealt with a very messy grieving period; trying to find the balance between positive and negative, allowing the negative emotions to have their space while never forgetting the importance of keeping a positive attitude. It is possible to be happy in spite of difficult circumstances—to find the silver lining in the dark cloud. I tell my kids that while they are allowed to have big, bad emotions (anger, pain, sorrow), they’re not allowed to take them out on others; they have to find constructive ways to burn off that negative energy. I’m trying to show them that while sometimes their path is difficult, they have the power to choose how they respond to negative circumstances—they have the power to choose to travel in the manner of happiness. Wishing you silver linings and happy travels!

Cheers, P.S. Visit metrofamilymagazine.com/ mari to read my blog, “Keeping it Real,” about my personal adventures in the ups and downs of parenting.

We asked our contributors:

As a kid, what was your favorite part of summer?

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Brooke Barnett Assistant Editor

Sarah Taylor Publisher

Swimming, eating popsicles and getting to stay up late— not necessarily in that order!

Playing with my cousins at my grandmother’s house and family reunions.

Mari Farthing Editor

Jennifer Geary Exploring Oklahoma

Twin popsicles (especially banana and root beer) and staying outside until the street lights came on.

The air conditioner. We’d lie on the floor with our faces over the vents, to get as much cold air as we could!

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Info And Questions: 405-601-2081 To submit events to our calendar calendar@metrofamilymagazine.com Publisher Sarah L. Taylor sarah@metrofamilymagazine.com Editor Mari M. Farthing editor@metrofamilymagazine.com Art Director Kathryne Taylor kathryne@metrofamilymagazine.com Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price ads@metrofamilymagazine.com Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty kathy@metrofamilymagazine.com Assistant Editor & Online Content Manager Brooke Barnett brooke@metrofamilymagazine.com Calendar Editor Sara Riester calendar@metrofamilymagazine.com Special Projects Assistant Terri Fields Contributing Writers Brooke Barnett, Shannon Fields, Tiffany Doerr Guerzon, Deanne Haines, Myrna Beth Haskell, Sarah Holmes, Sarah Kendall Circulation 35,000 – OKC, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, Midwest City, Yukon Also available as a digital edition at MetroFamilyMagazine.com. Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 • Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Fax: 405-445-7509 E-mail: info@metrofamilymagazine.com ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2012, All Rights Reserved. Volume 15, Number 7

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Contributing writers: Brooke Barnett, Mari Farthing

TapToTalk App Gives Voice to Kids Families of children who are nonverbal or partially verbal often struggle to meet their child’s needs. The desire to be understood without language can lead to frustration, but a new application for smart phones and tablets is changing lives, one picture at a time. TapToTalk is an application that lets parents and teachers turn a handheld device like an iPhone, iPad or Nintendo DS into an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device to help nonverbal and partially-verbal children communicate easily and effectively. With apps like TapToTalk, kids (such as those with autism, Down’s Syndrome or cerebral palsy) can explicitly tell parents, siblings and teachers what they’re thinking about and need. TapToTalk runs on virtually all popular hand-held devices including the tablets, smartphones and computers. Parents and professionals can try out the TapToTalk application for free and a one-year account to TapToTalk Designer is available for $99.95. TapToTalk can be run on as many devices as the customer would like at no extra charge. Find out more a www.taptotalk.com.

Our Readers Speak:

Emergency Help: I’m Lost! By Sara Kendall

Of the many concerns facing a parent, the safety of their children is the greatest. It’s important to create teachable moments with your young child about key safety skills. Just thinking of the simple words “I’m lost” can be quite terrifying to many children. Get your child ready for this potential situation by ensuring they know some vital information: • Their full name, home address and emergency contact telephone numbers. Start out by teaching your preschooler to write their full name on an index card. Post the card on the bathroom mirror or in their bedroom. Reinforce until your child can say and spell them without looking at the card. Once they have mastered their name, move onto your home address and emergency contact telephone numbers. • How to find help and who to look for. Talk with your child about who they should approach if they get lost. First, look for a police officer. If not in sight, look for someone who works where they are lost like a librarian, cashier or someone in a uniform, and explain how community helpers might be strangers but also are in a position to help.

your attitude Q What’s about summer

bedtimes for your kids?

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• Easygoing. Bedtime is 1-1½ hours later in the summertime. It’s nice to enjoy cool evenings. Cindy B. • Lax, at best! Jennifer T. • Relaxed, but not forgotten. The older two stay up half an hour later—which is 8:00pm! Margaret B. • My kid thrives on routine. The schedule is sacred. Lara G. • Pretty rigid. If they aren’t rested, everyone is crabby the next day. Paula G.

New Hospital at the OKC Zoo Needs YOU! The Oklahoma Zoological Society’s Commitment to Care is a $4.5 million dollar fundraising campaign to build a new veterinary hospital at the OKC Zoo, critical to protect and care for animals in the Zoo. The new hospital will provide veterinary staff the tools and space needed to provide the very best treatment to the wild animals entrusted to their care. “Technology has improved quite a bit in medicine since the last hospital was built,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, the OKC Zoo’s Director of Veterinary Services. “Right now we can’t take certain animals to the hospital because they’re too big or we don’t have the space or the equipment.” The new animal hospital will be located on Zoo grounds, will allow access to visitors and provide an unprecedented look into a suite where exams, surgeries, medications and treatment procedures are taking place. This new state-of-the-art animal hospital will ensure the Zoo remains one of the nation’s leading authorities in zoological animal care. To make a donation to the Commitment to Care campaign visit zoofriends.com/commitmentto-care or call 405-425-0611.

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Photo courtesy of J.D. McCarty Center.

Top 10 Reader Picks: Where to Find Cold, Sweet Treats Does the hot summer weather leave you craving ice cream, snow cones or frozen yogurt? We polled our readers for their favorite places to treat their families. Here, in random order, are their recommendations:

Megan Stanek is the new director of Camp ClapHans, a residential summer camp for kids with disabilities that opens in June 2013.

Camp ClapHans Coming in 2013 Megan Stanek, the new director of Camp ClapHans, believes summer camp offers children the chance to build confidence and camaraderie, a place to unwind, unplug and undertake a new challenge. “It gives them the chance to have a good foundation of believing in themselves,” said Stanek. Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for kids ages 8–16 with disabilities, set to open in June 2013. An outreach project of the J.D. McCarty Center for children with developmental disabilities, the camp is being built on the center’s campus in Norman and will feature two cabins and an activities building located next to an 11-acre lake. Activities will include archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, fishing, field games and a challenge course. The camp program will include weekly sessions that will focus on nutrition, sensory issues and different disabilities, such as autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and physical disabilities. For more information about Camp ClapHans, call 405-307-2814 or visit jdmc.org.

• Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Stores (locations throughout the metro) • Summer Snow Shaved Ice (1325 N Janeway, Moore) • Island Ice (4901 N Meridian) • Cold Stone Creamery (locations in Norman, OKC, Edmond) • Cherry Berry (locations in Edmond, Guthrie, Moore, Mustang and OKC) • The Custard Factory (1000 Alameda Street, Norman) • Shimmers Snow Cones (6918 NW Expressway & 3721 N May) • Eskimo Sno (3 locations in Norman) • Orange Leaf (locations in Edmond, Moore, Mustang, Norman, OKC and Yukon) • Rusty’s Frozen Custard (locations in Moore and Norman) Thanks to Kim M., Stephanie R., Brittany C., Ashli P., Julie P., Barbara F., Terisa C., Sara R., Shyla H. and Jessi T. for contributing to this month’s list. Visit www.facebook.com/metrofamily to share your thoughts on next month’s list. Have a place that you’d like to suggest? Comment on our website at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ sweet-treats.

iFund Grant Expands Hearts For Hearing Oureach

Photo courtesy of Hearts for Hearing.

Hearts for Hearing is a nonprofit organization that helps children who are deaf or hard of hearing learn to listen and talk. The organization provides technology and services for babies diagnosed with hearing loss shortly after birth, ensuring that medical costs do not prevent these children from learning to listen, talk, read and write. Hearts for Hearing provides comprehensive diagnoses, funding for initial hearing aids for young children, family education workshops and summer day camps. In June, the organization received a $40,000 grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Opportunities for Children iFund grant program. This will provide funding for the organization’s hearing aid program and iHear tele-therapy, which will allow Hearts for Hearing to serve an increased number of children across the state. “We are humbled to have been awarded a grant that will allow us to continue to provide hearing aids, aggressive audiological management and auditory-verbal therapy to infants touched by hearing loss,” states Joanna Smith, Executive Director. “We will be able to pilot an internet therapy program to make it possible for children in rural Oklahoma to have access to skilled providers in spite of the distance and the time required for travel.” For more information, visit www.heartsforhearing.org.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Six Ways to Save on Gas This Summer By Tiffany Doerr Guerzon

1. Keep it smooth. Gentle driving (versus sudden starts and stops) can increase fuel efficiency. 2. Don’t idle. An idling engine = zero miles per gallon. 3. Lose pounds. Remove any unnecessary weight from the trunk—excess weight decreases gas mileage. 4. Take it to the limit. Fuel efficiency dramatically decreases at speeds over 60 miles per hour. When on the highway, use cruise control if you have it. And keep the windows rolled up; open windows create drag at high speeds. 5. Stay in tune. Keeping tires inflated to the proper pressure decreases the surface area of the tires that contact the road, thus decreasing friction. Changing the oil on schedule and regular tune-ups also keep cars running smoothly and more efficiently. 6. Find an app for that. There are apps available to help you choose the cheapest gas price. But remember, driving too far out of your way can eliminate your savings. Also, choose the right octane level for your car; sometimes the higher octane is a waste of money. For more information, check out www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/energysavings/savegas.

The Miracle League of Edmond The Miracle League of Edmond provides individuals with a variety of special needs an opportunity to play baseball in a safe and supportive environment. The League allows both adults and children with special needs to develop physically, socially and cognitively. The Miracle League serves the greater Oklahoma City area and plays inside Edmond’s Mitch Park in a specially adapted, wheelchair-accessible field. “The League needs volunteers to be ‘buddies’ to the players to help them play the game, [and to] be safe,” says League founder Margo Price. “After finishing the spring season, we now have 13 teams with 130 participants of all ages and all kinds of disabilities. Our youngest player is 4 and the oldest is 54!” Parents can register their children for the upcoming fall season which begins after Labor Day weekend. (Please note that uniforms may not be available for this fall. Register for the 2013 season by February 28, 2013 to receive a uniform.) For more information about joining the Miracle League or to volunteer, visit www.edmondmiracleleague.com. Each Miracle League player is paired with a volunteer. Photo provided by Miracle League.

OKC Parks Go Tobacco-Free On May 29, a resolution to declare all outdoor areas in city parks as tobacco free zones passed the City Council, and soon, “Tobacco Free” signs will be placed in municipal parks. “This is a great step forward, because right now smokers assume that it’s okay to light up in city parks, even when there are children present,” says Oklahoma City Beautiful Executive Director Lisa Synar. “We expect that this action will cut down considerably on smoking in our parks and on the amount of tobacco litter around playgrounds.” Children often depend on their parents and on other adults to protect them from second hand smoke exposure; “Tobacco Free” signs in the parks will give parents and others something to point to if they request that a smoker move away from play areas. For more information about the Oklahoma County Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition, call 405-425-4328 or visit www.occhd.org.

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Avoiding Blue-Green Algae A new Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Departments website (www.checkmyoklake.com) helps the public know the recreational water quality at local lakes and rivers while also providing educational information about bluegreen algae (BGA) levels. BGA is present in all bodies of water, but a rise in growth has been noted in recent years—and not just in Oklahoma. The algae doesn’t pose a health risk until it blooms, which happened in Oklahoma last summer, significantly affecting tourism at these lakes. All blooms are considered potentially harmful to humans. “Oklahoma’s more than 200 lakes and miles of rivers are recreational draws, but they are also complicated ecosystems susceptible to environmental and weather conditions,” said Deby Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. “All Oklahomans need to know how to identify blue-green algae so they can avoid water with visible algae accumulation or discoloration and keep pets and livestock away as well. As an added precaution, lake goers are encouraged to check recreational water quality our new website before visiting an Oklahoma lake to see if there are any blue-green algae advisories posted,” Snodgrass added.

Tee-Off To Support Wings Working under the mission to enhance the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through social, vocational and residential programs, Wings is a non-profit organization in Edmond that provides a community where individuals with special needs can reach their full potential, lead full lives and feel safe growing in their social, emotional and spiritual independence. By providing education and training to help develop meaningful job skills, Wings helps adults with disabilities hold real jobs in the community and experience the pride that comes with contributing to their own support. To support the programs that help residents to continue developing their skills and talents, Wings 1st Annual Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at Coffee Creek Gold Club in Edmond. “This golf tournament is a way to spread the word about the work we do,” said Bill Wolfe, president of Wings’ Board of Directors. “It will help a wider audience understand the importance of the organization and what it means to the special needs adults who are part of it.” The tournament entry fee is $150 per person and includes green fee, range balls, cart, lunch buffet, prizes and more. Call 405242-4646 to request a tournament entry form. Registration deadline for the tournament is July 31. For more information, visit www.wingsok.org

Use Your Noodles!

Free Children’s Health Fair

Get creative this summer and find a new use for pool noodles, courtesy of Bethe Almeras, Center Director, Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development & Outdoor Play:

The Grow Strong and Healthy event, to be held in the Children’s Atrium at Children’s Hospital, features a variety of free fun and information for families—including 100 free bicycle helmets and fittings, face painting, balloon animals and interactive games.

• Tug of war. Each person holds onto an end of the noodle and tries to pull it from the other. Vary positions to increase the fun! • Ride’em cowboy! Put on your imaginary cowboy hat and spurs. Pretend the noodle is a horse and gallop. What other animals might you like to ride and how do they move—walk, crawl, run, waddle? • Balance beam. Tape a flat pool noodle to the floor and walk across the beam, forwards, sideways, backwards or even on tiptoes. • Jack be noodle. Using a electric bread knife, cut the pool noodle into 2-3” segments, then jump over the pieces. Line them up to make a short wall or stack them up as skill levels increase. • Noodle limbo. Hold ends of the noodle, starting up high and lowering it in increments. How low can you go? Want more fun ideas? Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/noodle-fun for more summer fun ideas with pool noodles and beach balls.

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The purpose of the event is to provide the community more information about OU Children’s Physicians and community resources for children ages 5–12. “Oklahoma ranks near the bottom of most major health statistics,” said Jennifer Getts, OU Physicians Community Health Coordinator. “Because of this, healthcare organizations need to take action to help reverse this trend by promoting healthy lifestyles and providing health education opportunities for the communities they serve.” The Health Fair will be held on Friday, July 27 from 9:00am–7:00pm, at 1200 Children’s Avenue in Oklahoma City. Visit www.oumedicine.com to learn more.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Tools for Educational Success Help your struggling student by understanding Individual Education Programs and 504 plans

London Rains just turned 3, but she already has a SoonerStart therapist, a neurologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a nutritionist, a speech therapist, an optometrist and a pediatrician working to give her the best chance to thrive. Born 10 weeks premature and diagnosed with cerebral palsy, London struggled to meet many developmental milestones as a baby and was unable to sit up independently by age 1. Her mother, Christy, refers to the dedicated team of specialists as London’s “team of angels” and recounts how her daughter is now a walking, chattering and extremely high-functioning toddler. “Working with the team on a weekly basis, she has come within 18-24 month old capabilities,” Christy explains. “Now that she is turning 3, we have to transition out of SoonerStart and into the public school system. As a family we were not ready for such a change, but we know it is necessary.” After evaluations from therapists and Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers, it was determined that London is eligible for services in the 2012–2013 school year.

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London will join the 3- and 4-year-old special needs preschool program at her local school, and Christy and her husband Jeremy will meet her teacher and a team of other educators in the fall to set goals to help London continue to flourish. “Her goals will obviously change as the year progresses and we can reevaluate them as needed,” Christy explains. “Her eligibility is for three years, at which time she will have to be re-tested to determine her needs. In the meantime, she will continue weekly therapy with her team—and we look forward to that team growing in the fall!”

Understanding IEPs

London’s story is similar to that of many families who work to ensure that their children with special needs are provided with the best educational opportunities. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 14.5 percent of students in Oklahoma are on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act, IEPs are designed to meet the unique educational needs of a child who may have a disability, as defined by federal regulations. Tailored to each student’s individual needs, IEPs are designed to help both the child more easily reach educational goals and the teachers and other schools personnel to understand how the student’s disability might affect the learning process.

“Since they are individualized, the school can start differentiating instruction for the child,” explains Monica Pevehouse, a Nationally

Certified School Psychologist in Putnam City Schools. “Their education becomes more specialized for their needs, rather than just the general curriculum.” To establish an IEP, the student is fully evaluated in all areas related to the suspected disability and goals are developed to help place the child in the least restrictive environment possible. The IEP is written to provide specialized assistance only when absolutely necessary— ensuring that the child is still able to interact and participate with classmates in the regular classroom environment as much as possible. Once in place, the IEP provides an assessment of the child’s current academic performance, establishes measureable yearly goals and identifies what special education services or supplementary aids will be provided, such as program modifications, specially-designed instruction, classroom accommodations and more. An IEP team, usually consisting of the student’s parents, teacher, a special education teacher/case manager, a representative of the school or district, a psychologist, speech or occupational therapists and others, is established to monitor the child’s progress.

The IEP Process

The Rains’ 7-year-old son Nathaniel has been diagnosed with ADHD and is currently being tested for autism. “His IEP was a lot harder to come by than my daughter’s,” Christy explains. “Actually, it was not until when we began working on hers that I got one started for him. The school thought he had no need for one because, other than his hyperactivity, they saw no signs of a disability. It has taken almost two years to get his going. While the process totally stresses me out, I am thankful there is a process in place and am grateful we are another step closer.” Kerri Groves, a resource teacher at Fisher Elementary School in Moore and former special education director for the Bridge Creek School District, explains that the IEP process can originate from either the parent or the regular classroom teacher. “If parents have concerns, then the teacher probably has concerns, too,” Groves notes. “Parents can provide background information that teachers will not know, as they are usually the first to hear the kid say ‘I don’t get it’ or “I don’t understand.’”

First, the school will examine methods of differentiated instruction. “The school will always try to see if something will work in the classroom before moving to special education,” Groves explains. “They will look to see if these specific modifications are working. If not, they will start looking at testing and other options to evaluate the student for special education services.” Once a child is determined to be eligible for special education services, the school has 30 days to write an IEP plan to address the child’s educational needs. “Parents and teachers can make changes to the IEP and parents are extremely important in the process,” Groves says. “It can be intimidating sitting at the table with all the teachers, but it is important to remember that everyone there wants the best for the child.” Once the plan is established, the IEP team must meet at least once annually, before the current plan expires.

Successfully Navigating IEPs

What’s the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP?

504 plans, which fall under Civil Rights law, are modifications made within the regular classroom for students who have medical issues or other situations that impede learning. For example, a diabetic students who needs to check blood sugar multiple times a day may need to be in class with a teacher trained to recognize signs of low blood sugar.

Individualized Education Programs fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and provide educational services for students with disabilities. Only certain classifications of disability are eligible for an IEP, and students who do not fall within those classifications but still require assistance to be able to participate fully in classroom activities might be candidates for a 504 plan. Want to research more? Beyond the Label: A Guide to Unlocking a Child’s Educational Potential (by Karen L. Schiltz PhD, Amy M. Schonfeld PhD & Tara A. Niendam PhD; Oxford University Press, $25) offers a step-by-step guide through determining how and why to get an IEP or 504 plan for your child.

“Once the parents sign the consent form for testing, the school has 45 school days in which to complete the assessments and hold the eligibility meeting,” Pevehouse notes. “The best thing a parent can do is to understand that the process takes awhile for all the components to be met. If there are medical forms or checklists to fill out, complete them as quickly as possible. If the school is waiting on those things, the process can’t go forward.” From her personal experience, Christy offers three pointers for parents seeking an IEP for their child: • You are your child's best advocate. “Speak up and speak out when necessary and never take no for an answer when your parental instincts are telling you otherwise,” she encourages. Also, learn your legal rights as a parent of a special needs child. You should receive a copy of the Parents Right in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards from the school site. “When you stay with it, then they will know that you mean business when it comes to your child.” • Put everything in writing. All of your requests, concerns, expectations and appeals should be put in writing, including communication with teachers, principals, doctors and anyone else involved in the process of diagnosing or evaluating your child. “This way you have a paper trail of your journey and to back you up if needed.” • Stay positive. A cooperative demeanor and encouraging outlook can be very helpful when interacting with school personnel. “If your child sees that you can handle their challenges head on, then they will be able to better conquer the world!”

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

Pevehouse acknowledges that the process of establishing an IEP is lengthy and can be frustrating to parents, but assures that it is not because schools wish it to be so. “There is a qualification process that we are required to follow. Depending on what the disability is, it can be quite lengthy and involve lots of people, including psychologists, teachers and therapists.”

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for All Grades 1+

Unlikely Friendships for Kids, books 1 & 2 By Jennifer S. Holland (Workman, hardcover, $8 each) These slim volumes pack a big lesson for kids about acceptance of others. True stories of unlikely animal friendships teach that differences are okay. These sweet stories will become fast favorites of young readers—and probably their parents, too. Great Moments in the Summer Olympics By Matt Christopher (Little-Brown Kids, softcover, $5) Get excited about the upcoming Summer Olympics with fun, true stories of the Summer Games of the past. Includes a history of the Olympic games, a breakdown of Summer Olympic events and athletes and highlights including Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 at Montreal and Michael Phelp’s record-breaking gold medal tally.

Grades 3+

A Greyhound of a Girl By Roddy Doyle (Amulet Books, hardcover, $17) An imaginative tale set in Ireland, this book tells the stories of four generations of women who work together despite the distance of years between them. Through her ghostly ancestor, Mary O’Hara learns lessons in loss—and love. Poison Most Vial By Benedict Carey (Amulet Books, hardcover, $17) Ruby is a shy, artistic eighth grader who must help her father prove his innocence when a famous forensic scientist turns up dead. With the help of a colorful cast of characters like her good friend Rex, Ruby puts together the clues to help her father in this science-themed ageappropriate thriller.

Page to Screen: Stellaluna (Scholastic, DVD, $13) Explore the true meaning of friendship with the animated version of the award-winning children's book, Stellaluna. The whole family will enjoy watching this heartwarming tale of a lovable fruit bat who learns to cherish the things that make her different— and special—and discovers that the best gift of all is often an open mind. Activity booklet included.

All Ages

Therapeutic Guitar By Robert Krout (Alfred Music Publishing, softcover with CD, $20) An instructional guitartraining book designed for those with special needs. Tap into the healing power of music through this lesson plan, including songs that impart lessons about self-worth and accomplishment.

Adults

Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine By Shaina Olmanson (Harvard Common Press, hardcover spiral, $17) Make a splash at your next potluck or bake sale with desserts prepared and presented in jars. Sweet treats of all kinds can be made in single-serving jars, from baked goods to frozen items. A section on “mixes for giving” offers another way to share the delicious wealth.

Judy’s World: The World of Autism Through the Eyes of a Mother By Judy Blake (Brio Books, softcover, $23) A personal story by a mom with two children on the Autism Spectrum, this book will provide insight and inspiration for parents of children with special needs. Written in an engaging and conversational tone, Blake shares her personal experiences to help other parents find their path.

Power Brain Kids By Ilchi Lee (Healing Society, softcover, $17) Help your child tap into his greatest learning potential through this program that integrates learning and movement to improve concentration, memory, self-control, confidence and self-discipline in children of all abilities. Raising Resilient Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders By Robert Brooks Ph.D. and Sam Goldstein Ph.D. (McGraw Hill, softcover, $18) This book for parents of children with autism strongly addresses the social aspects of the disorder, offering strategies to parents for finding their child’s strengths and developing social skills to help autistic children thrive in social situations. Stories of Old-Time Oklahoma By David Dary (University of Oklahoma Press, hardcover, $25) A collection of stories about the people and events that shaped our state—even before official statehood. Engaging essays address the people and geography that make Oklahoma unique.

Reviews by Mari Farthing & Brooke Barnett.

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July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Exploring Oklahoma & Beyond Five Fun-Filled Reasons to Visit Kansas City

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f you’ve ever wondered just how much fun you can pack into a weekend, Kansas City, Missouri is a good place to go to find out. My family recently spent three days exploring the family-friendly scene in KC, seeking to experience all the best that the city has to offer for the “18 and under” crowd—all in a whirlwind tour lasting less than 72 hours.

The first six hours of our journey were spent taking the easy highway drive from OKC to KC—just a straight shot north on I-35, through Kansas via turnpike into a city that is rich in both history and new innovation. (Word to the wise: pack extra cash as the tolls to drive across Kansas total more than $10 each way!) As we pulled out of town two days later—deliriously happy and delighted with all we had experienced—my husband said, “Now, if only we could stay for about two weeks, we might get to see everything we wanted to see in this town!” Assuming you also don’t have a full 14 days to explore KC on your own, here are five places you don’t want to miss—all great reasons to make a family road trip to KC this summer.

1. LEGOLAND Discovery Center With more than three million LEGO bricks contained under one roof, LEGOLAND features interactive exhibits (ever wonder how much you weigh in LEGO bricks?), displays of local landmarks made entirely of LEGOs and a two-story play area for kids 32" or taller. My family had a blast trying to save the princess during an interactive, arcadestyle ride in a LEGO chariot, complete with laser guns and a commemorative photo at the end of the ride. Just opened in May 2012, LEGOLAND is especially fun for children ages 3–10 and a typical visit takes 2–3 hours. Purchase your tickets online in advance and save 10%, or purchase a LEGOLAND/Sea Life aquarium combo ticket and save $9 per person. Visit www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com for details.

2. Sea Life Aquarium This 28,000-square-foot aquarium is home to more than 30 displays showcasing over 5,000 creatures including starfish, seahorses, eels and rays in more than 260,000 gallons of water. The highlight for my family was

the 360-degree walkthrough transparent tunnel where we were surrounded by sharks, rays, coral reef fish and a sea turtle. My 6-year-old daughter was thrilled to come out of her comfort zone to hold a crab and different types of starfish in the Touchpool Experience area. Want to skip the admission lines? Save over $5 per person and use the Priority Entrance when you purchase tickets online. Find out more www.visitsealife.com/ kansas-city.

3. Kansas City Zoo Open year-round, this 200-acre zoo features more than 1,000 animals in naturalistic settings, plus a KidZone and interactive feeding opportunities. New at the Zoo in 2012 are an interactive bird show and renovated Sumatran tiger exhibit. Don’t miss the African Sky Safari, an aerial tram ride that crosses the Zoo’s 17-acre African Safari in less than 10 minutes, giving you a bird’s eye view of cheetahs, lions, giraffes, and rhinos. A highlight for our family was watching Nikita—a 4-year-old, 750-lb polar bear—swim in his 144,000-gallon swimming pool in the Zoo’s new Polar Bear Passage

Photos courtesy of LEGOLAND and SeaLife Aquarium.

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Photos courtesy of VisitKC and Brooke Barnett.

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3 exhibit. (Did you know Polar Bears can do back flips underwater?) Save money on your visit with Platinum Rides Wristbands ($9) that provide unlimited rides in the train, tram, carousel, boat and African Sky Safari. Visit www.kansascityzoo.org for more information.

4. Worlds of Fun Worlds of Fun is amusement park fun at its finest, offering seven roller coasters, dozens of thrill rides, award-winning live shows and the new Planet Snoopy kids’ area. Watch for daily meet-n-greet opportunities with Charlie Brown, Lucy and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Catch one of the park’s award-winning live shows for singing, dancing and even entertainment from some four-legged friends! Download the Worlds of Fun free mobile app before you go and use it to navigate the park, view show times, find food and restroom locations and more. You can find more

information about events and attractions at www.worldsoffun.com.

5. Crown Center Located in the heart of downtown, Hallmark’s Crown Center features over 65 shops and restaurants, indoor entertainment plus seasonal entertainment (such as outdoor concerts in the summer or ice skating in the winter). Enjoy a live performance at Crown Center’s Coterie Theatre (recently named one of the top five theatres for young audiences in the country by TIME Magazine); eat at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant and have their signature burgers delivered to your table via electric train; or visit one of the ongoing schedule of free exhibits (Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice runs through September 9). Call in advance for tickets to Kaleidoscope, an art studio where children are invited to be creative using leftover materials from

Hallmark’s manufacturing process. Free tickets for these 40-minute Family Art Session are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Explore all that this entertainment complex has to offer at www. crowncenter.com. Want to see how much fun you can pack into a weekend in Kansas City? Visit www.visitkc. com to find current information on things to do and see, plus discounts on venues and hotels. Then, put on your running shoes, synchronize your watches and let the fun begin!

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine. [Editor’s Note: Want more ways to spend time in KC? Visit www.metrofamilymagazine. com/kc for other family-friendly venues!]

Get Festive in KC! Kansas City was recently ranked third in America for its number of festivals, fairs and cultural gatherings per capita by the Urban Institute of America. Here are three family-friendly festivals that are worth the time to visit: Kansas City Irish Festival The largest festival in KC, this annual event includes live music, Irish dancing, ethnic food and kids’ activities. It was also voted as the Favorite Ethnic/Heritage Festival in the 2011 Visitors’ Choice Awards. August 31–September 2. www.kcirishfest.com Festival of the Butterflies at Powell Gardens View hundreds of free-flying butterflies in an indoor butterfly conservatory, plus an art exhibit, children’s activities and more. August 3–5 and 10–12. www.powellgardens.org Kansas City Renaissance Festival Opening Labor Day weekend and continuing for seven weekends, the Renaissance Festival features themed events, live jousting, food and artisan booths. September 1–October 14. www.kcrenfest.com

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Ask the Experts Fostering Independence for a Child with Special Needs This month’s question: How can I make sure that my child with special needs learns the life skills he needs to be successful when he moves out? First, create opportunities that allow him to become independent in and around the house. This may involve chores, handling his own finances or preparing food. This will allow you the opportunity to be available for encouragement and help—but only if absolutely necessary. Try to remain at a distance, and calm, regardless of his struggle. He needs the confidence that follows achieving a task, and you need the confidence that he will be okay without you. Also be cautious not to undermine his confidence; he needs to know that he is capable and you support him, but not at the risk of feeling like a failure. Donnie Van Curen, M.A., LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist with Counseling 1820, LLC. 405-823-4302, www. counseling1820.com. Start early! As your child grows, he can be given age-appropriate responsibilities. Help him learn independence and how to be a contributing member of the household by putting him in charge of chores or tasks he is capable of doing. Start with one task and then add another when he has mastered that task. Some life-skills you may want him to learn could include laundry, cleaning the house, taking out the trash, cooking, creating a budget and paying bills. If your child is still very young, start with simple tasks such as taking out the trash, dusting furniture, folding laundry, setting the table or helping wash

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dishes. Have patience if he needs assistance as he learns new skills. As he becomes more proficient, let him have more independence to use those skills. He will gain self confidence and you will gain peace of mind that he will be able to function on his own as an adult.

trust for your child. Independence? Check into workshops and programs held by local organizations.

As a person who grew up with a physical disability, I am very grateful my parents gave me responsibilities and had high expectations for me to be a productive member of our household, which helped me grow into a independent, productive member of society. Your son will benefit greatly from learning life skills and being accountable for tasks he is able to perform, just like any other child. Depending on his level of functioning and what type of special needs he has, you may wish to enlist the help of an occupational therapist to help him develop the life skills he will need when he moves out. If so, ask your son’s doctor for a referral.

Devonne Carter, LCSW, is a Clinical Social Worker in private practice in Edmond. 405326-3923, www.carterscounseling.com.

Tamara Walker RN is a talk show host and speaker in Edmond. www.momrn.com. I encourage you to cast a vision for your child’s future; think of where you want him to be and work toward that goal. First, take some time to write down your goals and work out steps that will lead you to accomplishment. Use all the resources available to you—friends, family, community programs and health professionals. Does your plan include financial independence? Research how to set up a

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Reach out to your community to find others in the same situation and learn from their experiences.

Our readers respond: • “Always be there for him. You have taught him life skills throughout his journey so far and they will impact him the rest of his life.” • “You know best where his weaknesses are. Trust yourself and be available.��� • “Talk with other parents who have successfully helped their children and ask what advice they would give to you. Be open to suggestions from those who have already gone there and have faith that you will make the best decisions to help your child when it’s his time to spread his wings and fly.” Thanks to Kristen H., Christen H. and Lara G. for your feedback! Have a question for our experts? Email it to editor@metrofamilymagazine.com.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Real Moms of the Metro Meet Tamara Walker: Amputee and Local Talk Show Host

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Currently, Tamara is a pediatric nurse, public speaker, social media manager and homeschooling mom. She also contributes to MetroFamily’s “Ask the Experts” column. In 2001, she launched a website to provide health resources, advice and support for parents. Her “Ask MomRN” call-in show began broadcasting locally in 2004 as a lunchtime talk show and moved online in 2008. Each week, Tamara interviews experts, authors and celebrities who share practical advice, information and encouragement about family, parenting, health and wellness issues. Here’s more about how his 42-yearold mother of two (daughter Kay is 20 and son Noah is 17) strives to help parents raise happy, healthy families. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? Most people do not realize I have a prosthetic limb. My right leg was severely deformed at birth and was amputated below the knee when I was two months old to allow me to use a prosthesis.

Photo by Kathryne Taylor.

rowing up as an amputee, Tamara Walker knew that she would often have to work harder than others in order to succeed. Determined not to be held back from an active childhood, she become a majorette, marched in parades, was interviewed on a national TV show and developed a lifelong desire for public speaking and sharing how her disability has shaped her life.

The Walker family: Tamara, husband Dustin and 17-year-old Noah. Not pictured is daughter Kay, age 20.

How has motherhood changed you? My decisions are no longer based on what is best for me, but what is best for my family. I am determined to leave a legacy for my children and for future generations of our family. What inspires you? My husband inspires me by being an example of someone who is always striving to learn, grow and improve himself.

What are you passionate about? Helping other parents raise a healthy family and protecting children from child predators.

Along with your job as a mom, what do you do? I run my website (www.momrn.com) and host an online radio show. I am a social media community manager for a major automotive company, and a certified CPR and First Aid instructor.

Quick Facts About Tamara

What do you like most about your job? Interacting with my audience and guests. Interviewing celebrities is a fun perk, too!

1. What are five words that describe you? Short, compassionate, loyal, friendly, adventurous. 2. What is your favorite indulgence? Chocolate. 3. What’s on your playlist? A very eclectic mix of music, including The Monkees, Coldplay, Kevin Max, Pink Floyd. 4. What’s always in your handbag? Hand sanitizer 5. What’s your guilty pleasure? Starbucks peppermint white chocolate mocha.

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What is on your wish list? To continue to grow MomRN and the Ask MomRN Show, to do more public speaking, and to get a speaking role in a movie (I’ve had non-speaking roles in three movies so far!). What are you most proud of? My family. Through the good times and especially through the bad times, we’ve managed to stay close-knit.

everything all at once—it helps to take baby steps towards goals, prioritize and take little time-outs. Advice for other moms? Spend some time being “in the moment” with your kids as often as possible. Enjoy the fun times that come with each age and endure the rough stages, knowing they won’t last forever. Where are you from originally? I was born in Georgia but moved to Oklahoma when I was 9 days old. I’ve lived in several states but I’ve spent most of my life here and consider Oklahoma to be my true home state. What’s the biggest challenge in your life? Motherhood. It has been both my greatest blessing and the hardest job I’ve ever had. What is your parenting style? It has evolved and changed as my children have grown. My goal now that they are older is to be supportive, available and to help them gain more independence. Favorite quote or advice about motherhood? “The days are long, but the years are short.” ~ Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project.

What motivates you? God motivates me. I strive to do the work He has called me to do.

Editor’s Note: Catch Tamara’s “Ask MomRN” show live at www.momrn.com on Mondays from noon–1:00pm. Follow Tamara on Twitter at @MomRN or on Facebook at www. facebook.com/AskMomRNShow.

How do you find balance in your life? I’m pretty good at balancing on one leg, but balancing life is a lot more difficult! I try to keep in mind that you can’t do

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

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Embrace the Excitement OF THE

2012 Olympic Games “I got the gold!” blurted my 7-year-old after finishing his broccoli before anyone else at the table. “I got the silver!” said my 5-year-old. Both boys then encouraged my 2-year-old daughter to hurry up and finish her vegetables before mommy or daddy so she could win the bronze. This ritual takes place most nights at my house ever since my children watched the 2010 Winter Olympics on TV. While we don’t actually give out any medals, my children like the distinction of being called the winner. I like the fact that they are excited to eat their vegetables. The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will be held July 27–August 12 in London, England. Aside from being family-friendly television—and inspiration for a healthy dinnertime game—the Olympics can provide excitement, education and entertainment for the whole family. It’s not as fun to just sit on the couch, passively watching the Olympic events—we prefer to get involved in the events. Encourage your family to embrace the Olympic spirit and join in the fun. Here are some ways to get started.

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Cultivate Cultural Curiosity More than 10,000 athletes hailing from 205 countries will compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Expand your family’s knowledge of the world by locating the countries on a world map. It can be eye opening for a child to realize just how many countries there are in the world, each with a rich history, people and culture. You will probably need the internet handy as little-known countries like Tuvalu, Comoros and Lesotho may make this task challenging for both children and parents. Add to your child’s Olympic experience by exploring different nations’ cuisines. Choose a variety of ethnic meals to prepare. You could try your hand at afelia (pork marinated with coriander), a traditional food from Cyprus. Experiment with Vietnamese noodle soup, called pho. For dessert, try baking paw paw tarts—little papaya pies—a favorite of many residents of Liberia. A quick internet search will uncover many recipes for these dishes. Pride of citizenship is evident when witnessing the Olympic athletes sporting their country’s colors, uniforms, waving flags and singing their national anthems. Watching the Olympics with your child is a good time to explain the importance of citizenship and to teach them the words to our national anthem.

Uncover Uncommon Sports If your child’s not interested in basketball, soccer or other mainstream sports, watching the Olympics can show a world of other options to consider. Your child may develop an interest in rowing, fencing or synchronized swimming. The 2012 Summer Olympics features 26 sports, which break down into 39 disciplines. Watching the various Olympic events on TV can introduce children to a variety of unique sports. Your child may be surprised to find out that canoeing, judo and handball are sports included in the Olympics. Similar to handball except played in water, water polo is a thrilling sport to watch. In this fast-paced event, each team is given only 30 seconds to score before the ball is given to the opposing team.

Appreciate the Athletes’ Inspiring Stories Some athletes overcame major obstacles to be able to participate in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Before watching the events, read about some of the Olympians and how they got to where they are today. Observing the South African sprinter, Oscar Pistorius (in prequalification at press time), one can immediately see he’s had obstacles to overcome in his lifetime. Born without a fibula in either leg, Pistorius had both legs amputated below the knee when he was a baby. Called the Blade Runner, he runs on two prostheses, which look like blades. Before you tune in to see Team USA’s Sanya Richards-Ross run the 400m, inform your child that Richards-Ross suffers from a rare autoimmune disease called Behcet’s Disease. She experiences severe mouth ulcers and lesions, fatigue and joint pain. These two Olympians didn’t let adversity overcome their passion to do what they love. Instead they powered through and never gave up.

Copy the Characteristics of an Olympian Pistorius and Richards-Ross aren’t the only Olympians to exhibit the willpower, resolve and fortitude to excel. To get to the elite level, all Olympians must work hard and be focused and determined. This is true for any athlete who wants to succeed.

Find updated scores and event results at the official Summer Olympics 2012 website, www.london2012.com.

Local Olympic Training Venues In Oklahoma, visit the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site at the University of Central Oklahoma (100 N University Drive, Edmond). Committed to providing athletes with physical disabilities with the resources necessary to compete at the highest level, this venue includes a 6-lane indoor swimming pool, indoor track, indoor volleyball courts and more. For more information, visit www. ucowellnesscenter.com. Also, visit the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation (725 N Lincoln). This high performance, 33,000-square-foot facility provides the world’s first dynamic indoor rowing tank, indoor propulsion swim tank and more. For more information, visit www.okc-nhpc.org.

• Olympians maintain rigorous training schedules. If you get the chance, visit an Olympic training facility (see sidebar). Take a tour and get a behind-the-scenes look at how these dedicated athletes train for their events for years prior to participating in the games. • The Olympics can encourage children to eat healthier. Since athletes need to be healthy to be good at what they do, teach your kids to think like an Olympian when choosing what food and drink to consume. • Olympic athletes are team players. Watching the Olympic team sports on television, such as volleyball, rowing and relay races, can emphasize how everyone needs to work together in order to win. Teamwork is evident in the Olympics and should be stressed among all children, in all aspects of life. • Olympians are gracious in defeat. Remind your child there are only three medals given to the many participants in each sport. Most Olympic athletes end up in the middle of the pack. Teach your child that not everyone can be the best, while stressing it’s an accomplishment when athletes beat their own personal record.

Take Part in the Fun Encourage and inspire kids to get active by staging your own miniOlympics in your backyard. Activities can include anything from obstacle courses and running races to tumbling and badminton. Rebecca Zellmer, a preschool teacher, helped her 4-year-old students create their own Olympic Games. “I divided the children into groups representing different countries. They participated in events and received medals. We listened to the Star Spangled Banner and learned about the different events and equipment needed.” Zellmer even helped them make their own Olympic torches out of empty toilet paper tubes and tissue paper. Watching the Olympics with your child can be a fun, family bonding experience, but don’t just sit on the sidelines—take part in the fun. Prepare to learn a thing or two yourself as you and your child actively uncover fun facts, healthy habits and valuable life lessons.

Deanne Haines is a freelance writer and mother of three from Menomonee Falls, WI.

2012 Paralympic Games The Paralympic Games will be held August 29–September 9 in London, featuring events for elite athletes with any disability. Athletes participate in classification levels according to their abilities and the rules of the sport they are participating in. According to the Paralympics website, “Classification is a unique element of Paralympic sports, intended to ensure fair competition. As each sport at the Paralympic Games requires different skills and competencies, the impact of impairment on the performance of the athletes varies. That’s why each sport has its own unique classification rules.” The Paralympic Games include archery, athletics (track & field events), boccia, cycling (road & track), equestrian, football (5- & 7-a-side), goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair events (basketball, fencing, rugby and tennis). Learn more at www. london2012.com/paralympics/sports.

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Problem Solvers Helpful Family Products When we hear about new or helpful products, we like to let our readers know! Here are a few of the more interesting items we’ve recently discovered. Visit the product website for a list of local retailers.

Problem:

Learning hand-eye coordination is a hands-on job for baby.

Solution:

The BuckleyBoo Panda is soft for toddlers to cuddle with buckles to teach hand-eye coordination and dexterity. ($30; www.buckleyboo.com)

Problem:

Sensitive skin + sunscreen = epic fail.

Solution:

Babyganics Cover-Up Baby Sunscreen Spray provides broadspectrum UVA/UVB protection for sensitive skin of all ages. ($12; www.babyganics.com)

Problem:

It’s difficult to fly with your child with special needs.

Solution:

The CARES Special Needs Flight Harness helps keep your child safe and secure in the air. ($75; www.kidsflysafe.com)

Problem:

You want the world to know that your child has a food allergy or medical issue.

Solution:

Allermates wristbands are cute, customizable and affordable bracelets that your kids will be happy to wear. ($7, www. allermates.com)

Problem:

No, sweetie, that shoe goes on the other right foot.

Solution:

Shoe Clues stickers adhere firmly into shoes to help kids identify right and left. ($4/3 sets; www.ginsey.com)

Problem:

Creativity is fun, ruining your table is not.

Solution:

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Disposable Tidy Table Covers have elastic-banded edges to ensure a snug fit on any table. ($4; www.ginsey.com)

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Focus on Education Smooth College Transitions for Teens With Special Needs

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f you are a parent of a teen with special needs, then you’ve likely worked with school personnel each year to ensure your child received all necessary accommodations consistent with his IEP (Individualized Education Plan) or 504 plan (classroom modifications made for medical needs). However, once it is time for post-secondary school, it’s a whole new ball game.

Parents should first decide if their teen is ready to live away from home. There are many challenges that a special needs child will face when moving away from home, such as unfamiliar environments and more responsibility. If the child can handle those circumstances, then parents need to consider schools equipped to handle their teen’s unique situation.

Be Prepared Students with special needs should be prepared gradually for this transition, so don’t wait until senior year. Parents should ask about workshops for college-bound, special needs students. According to Suzette Dyer, president of the Oklahoma Association for Higher Education and Disability, most workshops of this nature take place as transition fairs at local high schools around the metro, including Oklahoma City and Norman Public Schools. Local school officials can provide information about availability in your area, and parents can also download the Students with Disabilities: Transition from High School to College handbook at www. ok-ahead.org/handbook.

Matthew Cooper, assistant director of Disability Support Services at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, urges parents to teach their children self-advocacy, even starting in middle school. He suggests, “Students with special needs should attend meetings and become familiar with their IEP or 504 plan.” “After students graduate from high school, they lose eligibility under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),” says Kimberly King, high school counselor at Oklahoma City’s ASTEC Charter School. “Instead, they receive accommodations eligibility from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). All colleges and universities have students with disabilities coordinators that meet with students to arrange services while in college.” Cooper cautions, “Although all universities that receive federal funding are required to provide accommodations to eligible students, each university’s documentation process is different. For example, in some instances, showing the disabilities office a copy of your son’s or daughter’s current IEP may be enough for extra time on tests, whereas another office may require updated testing and evaluations.” Andrea Coren, MEd, who has worked in special education for 35 years and is currently the disabilities specialist at Arcadia University in Pennsylvania, cautions, “Parents with the best intentions can become enablers of their teen with special needs. Relinquishing one’s parental role as advocate is difficult.” Coren encourages parents to gradually allow their young adult to become an expert on his disability and learning style. “This self awareness will translate into self advocacy—a much needed skill in college, the work place, and all realms of life.” To assess a teen’s readiness for college life, Coren suggests parents ponder these questions: • Can he keep up with assignment due dates? • Does he have adequate organization and time management skills? • Can he manage money? • Does he understand his strengths and weaknesses?

It’s in the Details When looking for the right school for your child, address specific issues during the search process. Will he be comfortable in large lecture hall settings? Is regular correspondence with a campus advocate a necessity? Are there peer support groups for special needs students on campus?

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Carole Patrylo, EdD, a professor of education at La Salle University in Pennsylvania and director of the university’s summer program for special needs children, explains, “Most special needs students have adjustment issues. They might want to consider attending a smaller community college before transferring to a larger college.” She recommends that students sit in on classes or shadow a student for the day during campus visits. Parents should keep a list of questions handy when they visit schools, such as: • What are the documentation requirements and timelines for accessing academic and residence hall accommodations? • What is the university’s policy for course substitutions or waivers? • What specialized software is available for students with learning disabilities?

Stay Connected Even if your teen is commuting to school, he will face new challenges, such as lengthy class times, difficult course curriculum and an expectation that he is independent. Parents should keep the lines of communication open, regardless of their teen’s location. For students who choose a college far from home, a preset schedule for staying connected is imperative, such as setting up a regular video call schedule. Be sure to collect contact information from appropriate staff members in case you have an immediate concern (e.g. a drastic change in your teen’s mood). Although your teen needs to be independent, she also needs to know that support from family is always there if needed.

Other Considerations If you think that perhaps college is not the right path for your child, there are other options, through the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS). DRS can help your child develop an individualized plan for their future, and provide services for direct entry into the workforce.

Myrna Beth Haskell is a feature writer, columnist and author of the upcoming book Lions and Tigers and Teens: Expert advice and support for the conscientious parent just like you. Visit www.myrnahaskell.com for details.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Character Corner Encouraging a Merciful Heart When I recently tried to lovingly show mercy to one of my rulebreaking children, I was quickly bombarded by protests from a justice-seeking sibling shouting, “That is not fair!” Although I do try to keep justice in our home, I also try to balance this justice with loving mercy. A merciful heart offers compassionate treatment of others, especially of those under one’s power. How miserable would this life be if we always treated others the way they treated us, instead of the way we would like to be treated? Or what if everyone got exactly what they deserved? Children raised with a merciful heart, instead of a sense of entitlement, are more likely to show mercy to others in return.

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruit than strict justice. ~ Abraham Lincoln Help Your Family to Become More Merciful Mercy is a gift freely given to someone, not necessarily to someone who deserves it. We should teach our children to freely give mercy to others, and try to feel happy (instead of selfish sadness) for those who may receive more mercy than us. Fourth of July Family Tradition: Dinner of Diversity. Talk to your kids about how America is a merciful country, both by being formed by those who came here to find a better life, and our history of assistance of other countries that are in distress. Celebrate this day of independence with an American cookout. Ask guests to bring side dishes that are traditional foods representing their heritage. Activities: Hands-on Empathy. It is easier for us to show mercy to those those with whom we can empathize. To help your children feel compassion, give them pretend special needs—like a blindfold, earplugs or crutches. Make it interesting by asking them to do simple tasks that may be made difficult with this change, such as navigating across a room or making a sandwich. “I will” statements. Encourage a merciful heart in your family by committing to the following statements. Say these “I will” statements aloud with your children, and encourage them to apply them to situations in their everyday life.

I WILL: be attentive to the needs of others • have a heart filled with compassion and empathy • use my talents to help others • help both loved ones and strangers alike • find a balance between justice and mercy.

Sarah Holmes lives in Norman with her husband and three children. Find more at www.thecharactermom.blogspot.com. “I Will” statements used with permission of Character First, www.characterfirst.com.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Your Healthy Family Understanding the HCG Diet

I

t seems there’s always a hot, new diet program that claims to help you shed pounds fast. Often, these diet trends are controversial, particularly those that involve medications. Like Fen-Phen did in the 90s, the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) diet has many skeptics, but as the years pass and the dramatic results hold steady, many patients and providers are reconsidering this protocol. The HCG diet comes in a few different forms, all of which include a very low calorie diet and supplementation with a form of HCG. The program typically delivers significant weight loss, on average about a pound per day during the course of treatment.

What is HCG? HCG is an acronym for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced in both men and women, but is found in its highest levels in women during pregnancy. In fact, it is the presence of HCG in urine that turns a home pregnancy test positive. During pregnancy, the hormone is primarily responsible for controlling the woman’s metabolic functions.

HCG Diet Protocol While some still consider the protocol to be radical, the original research was published by A.T.W. Simeons, a British medical doctor, in 1954. Dr. Simeons spent many years studying obesity, and was impressed that the treatment protocol could be used in conjunction with a very low calorie diet, without experiencing the symptoms commonly associated with drasticallyreduced caloric intake. While the protocol has been in use for decades, a recent book

published by Kevin Trudeau thrust the diet plan into the spotlight.

she had a daughter, and after she stopped breastfeeding, she decided to try HCG again.

Edmond pharmacist Melissa Bolek dispenses the drug component and counsels patients on the proper use of the HCG protocol. The drug is typically dispensed in an injectable form, and patients are instructed on how to administer a daily shot of the hormone each morning. The dose is small, and allergy syringes, which are similar in size to insulin syringes, can be used to administer the injection. Patients are then asked to follow a specific diet protocol.

She is nearing the end of her 40 day program, and is down about 30 pounds. “After my son, I lost about 20, so I’m doing better this time,” she says. In addition, a body composition analysis was done halfway through the program, revealing that she had reduced her body fat by approximately seven percent and had increased her muscle mass.

“When I first began seeing prescriptions come in, I was very skeptical, because I was unfamiliar with it and knew it was an off-label use of the drug,” says Bolek. That means that although the drug is available by prescription at a physician’s discretion, the drug is not FDA-approved for this specific purpose. The practice is more common than many people realize, as many medications are not FDA-approved for their most common use. “A good example of that is using antidepressants as a smoking-cessation aid,” she explains. “After I did some research, I realized that the protocol had been around for years. HCG basically targets fat cells. It then allows your body to use those fat cells as fuel, which results in weight loss and establishes a new metabolic rate,” explains Bolek. “In addition, the patient is eating a very specific, lowcalorie diet of around 500 calories per day. While that may sound scary, the hormone allows the body to metabolize those fat cells, which provide an extra 2000-4000 calories per day. When you combine this fat metabolism with a 500 calorie diet, you get a total of 2500-4500 calories per day [for the body to actually use]. The very low calorie phase ONLY works with the HCG hormone on board,” explains Bolek. “Some physicians feel that a 500-calorie diet is too drastic, and that ANY patient will lose weight with such a small caloric intake. However, trying a 500-calorie diet without HCG would likely ultimately result in weight gain, because the metabolism would slow down so much,” says Bolek. Typical patients are looking to lose anywhere from 10–30 pounds. “The prescription-based program can last for either 20 or 40 days. For patients looking to lose 10–15 pounds, the 20 day protocol is the appropriate option. Those looking to lose more typically go with the 40 day regimen,” says Bolek.

Patient Results Lisa is a 30-year-old HCG patient. She decided to try the protocol after the birth of her first son, who is now two. Last May,

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After seeing the success of so many patients, Bolek herself decided to try the program despite her initial misgivings. “In school, we are taught that calories in equal calories out, and the more you eat without adequate exercise, the more weight you will gain. As I learned more about the program, and read the literature behind it, I was interested to learn how the body’s metabolism could be reset with this hormone and diet combination and decided to see my doctor about it. We agreed that I was a good candidate, as I had struggled with my weight for several years, and tried many different methods to lose weight without lasting results. The HCG program allowed me to lose over 40 pounds of fat, and it kick-started my journey to better health. I learned a lot about eating a clean diet, free of processed foods. No more sodas, fast food, cookies or cakes…and I discovered a wide variety of healthier food choices. I feel so much better without those foods in my diet, and I might never have learned these habits without the HCG protocol,” she notes. Both Lisa and Melissa are feeling well and eating healthy and report more energy. Bolek has maintained her weight loss for over six months. “Some doctors are still skeptical, and I understand that,” says Bolek. “But I’m seeing more and more doctors write for it, because people are getting results.” While the program is growing in popularity, it is important to remember that HCG is a prescription medication and is only to be used under a physician’s supervision. If you have questions or concerns or feel you may be a candidate for this treatment, contact your healthcare provider for more information.

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer from Edmond and a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Innovative Pharmacy Solutions. Editor’s note: While we strive to provide our readers with a wide variety of health and wellness information, MetroFamily neither endorses nor recommends the HCG diet. All diet and exercise programs should always be discussed with your health care provider.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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JULY

Midsummer Nights’ Fair The Firehouse Art Center will host the 36th Annual Midsummer Nights’ Fair on July 13–14 from 6:00–11:00pm. The event will be held in Lions Park (Flood Avenue & Symmes, Norman) and features art demonstrations, live music and artist booths offering highquality paintings, sketches, pottery, jewelry, glass, sculpture, woodworking and more.

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A highlight of the event, the Children’s Art Wall will be available for young painters to express themselves with the assistance of local artists. For more information, call 405-329-4523 or visit www.normanfirehouse.com. Photos courtesy of the Norman Firehouse Art Center, Inc.

23-27

THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16

18-22 Chinasaurs Huge, exotic dinosaurs from China are visiting the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History through September 16. From the frightening Yangchuanosaurus, the 30-foot-long king of the Asian Jurrasic dinosaurs, to the little “Jurassic Park” movie star Velociraptor, a dozen rare dinosaurs are featured in this Mesozoic menagerie of mysterious dinosaurs. Receive a free child’s admission with purchase of an adult admission with our Kids Pass (www.metrofamilymagazine. com/kids-pass). For more information, call 405-32504712 or visit www.snomnh. ou.edu. Photos courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Children’s Music Festival The Metropolitan Library System’s Fourth Annual Children’s Music Festival pumps up the volume and has kids ready to rock to the sounds of Aaron Nigel Smith from “Between the Lions” and Dino O’Dell and the Veloci-rappers. It’s a celebration of cultures; from Jamaican Reggae to Ska to British Punk to German Polka and Waltz to American Rock ’n’ Roll. The Festival runs from July 23–27 and features performances in 18 libraries across the metro. For more information and a complete performance schedule, visit www.metrolibrary.org. Photos courtesy of the Metropolitan Library System.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Recommended for elementary-age children, the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre presents “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Adapted from the book by Lewis Carroll, the play features a world beyond imagination with remarkable characters like the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. Performances will be held at OCU’s Burg Theatre from July 18–22. Receive a free child’s ticket with purchase of an adult ticket with our Kids Pass (www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ kids-pass). Call 405-951-0011 or visit www. oklahomachildrenstheatre.org for ticket information. Photos courtesy of the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Quick Reference American Banjo Museum 9 E Sheridan Ave, OKC 604-2793, www.banjomuseum.org City Arts Center Fair Park, 3000 Pershing Blvd, OKC 951-0000, www.cityartscenter.org Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond 340-4481, www.edmondfinearts.com Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave, Norman 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 13th & Shartel, OKC 235-4458, www.oklahomaheritage.com Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd, OKC 814-0006, www.museumofosteology.org

July 2012 July 1 • Sunday OKC Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds baseball at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. 7:05pm. $5 & up. 218-1000, www.okcredhawks.com. Other home games this month: 7/2-3, 12-15, 24-31. FREE Summer Breeze Concert Series in Norman features live performances in the park. 7:30pm. 3079320, www.pasnorman.org/programs/summerbreeze. Also held: 7/22. See website for performance schedule and locations.

Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W Reno, OKC 297-3995, www.myriadgardens.com

July 2 • Monday

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org

FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm.

Oklahoma Aquarium 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks 918-296-FISH, www.okaquarium.org

July 3 • Tuesday

OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr, OKC 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com OKC National Memorial 620 N Harvey, OKC 235-3313, www.oklahomacitynationalmemorial.org OKC Zoo 2101 NE 50th St, OKC 424-3344, www.okczoo.com Oklahoma Children’s Theatre 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC 606-7003, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.org Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., OKC 522-0765, www.oklahomahistorycenter.org Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 325-4712, www.snomnh.ou.edu Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org

Do you have an event for our calendar? Email Calendar@MetroFamilyMagazine.com

Outdoor Inflatables at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond) includes water slides. $15 indoor & outdoor inflatables. 10am-8pm. 607-2020, www. bouncincraze.com. FREE Family Night Out at Quail Springs Mall (2501 W Memorial) features family-friendly activities & themes in the Food Court. 5:30-7:30pm. 755-6530, www. quailspringsmall.com. FREE Monthly Mini Model Build at Penn Square Mall’s Lego Store. Build a new model every month. First Tuesday of the month, limited quantities, ages 6-14. 5pm. 840-9993, www.Stores.Lego.com. FREE Red, White & Boom at State Fair Park features the OKC Philharmonic & Susan Powell performing popular & patriotic musical favorites, 8:30pm. Fireworks, 10pm. 842-5387, www.okcphilharmonic.org.

July 3–4 Art in the Park 2012: A Celebration in the Heartland at Buck Thomas Park (1903 NE 12, Moore) features live music, children’s tent, a giant sand pit, food, wineries, fireworks, arts, crafts & more. 793-4332, www. cityofmoore.com. FREE Yukon’s Freedom Fest 2012 at City Park (2200 S Holly) & Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament) features live music, fireworks, car show & more. 3503911, www.cityofyukonok.gov.

All phone numbers are area code 405 unless otherwise noted. Information should be verified before attending events as details can change after press date.

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For Independence Day celebrations around the state, visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ independence-day-fun today! And for the best in Summer Fun, go to www.metrofamilymagazine. com/summer-fun.

July 3–8 FREE Battle in the Saddle at State Fair Park includes barrel racing, cowboy mounted shooting, roping & more. Events begin at 8am daily. www.battleinthesaddle.com.

July 4 • Wednesday 4th of July at Science Museum Oklahoma features a community fireworks mural on the Sideshow Science Stage. FREE with paid admission. 9am-5pm. Stars & Stripes Forever 5K at Lake Hefner Stars & Stripes Park benefits the Silver Strings of Putnam City. Preregister. $25. 7am. 620-0773, www.ssf5k.com.

July 5 • Thursday FREE A Day with Benjamin Franklin at the Oklahoma History Center features special activities with a Benjamin Franklin reenactor. Children’s program at 10am, event at 7pm. Family Night “Flowers” at Paint Your Art Out (100 N Broadway, Edmond) has families creating their own masterpiece on canvas. Preregister. $25. 7pm. 5135333, www.paintyourartout.net.

July 5–21 The Tempest by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at the Myriad Gardens Water Stage. A magical story of spirits, young lovers & shipwrecked sailors. $15. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm. 235-3700, www. oklahomashakespeare.com.

July 6 • Friday FREE Play in the Park at Westmoore Park in Moore invites families to enjoy activities & games. 10-11:30am. 793-5090, www.cityofmoore.com. Also held: 6/13 (Little River Park).

JULY S M T W T F S

Water Balloon Day at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to discover the science that makes water balloons so much fun. Water balloon launches at 10am, noon, 2pm & 4pm. 9am-5pm.

July 6–7 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features more than 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www. thepaseo.com.

July 8• Sunday Exciting Insects at the Myriad Botanical Gardens for children ages 7-12 includes searching for insects in the Garden with a handy insect guide. Preregister. 1pm. 297-3995, www.myriadgardens.org.

July 9• Monday

July 6–8 Iolanthe, a comic operetta presented by the Cimarron Opera at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts (1809 Stubbeman, Norman). $15 adults, $10 students & seniors. Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 364-8962, www.cimarronopera.org.

FREE Vampires 101 presented by Science Museum Oklahoma at the Moore Library explores the science behind vampire lore & uses technology to experience first-hand the strengths & weaknesses of modern-day vampires. For teens. Preregister. 2-3pm.

July 6–15

FREE Professor B. Looney at the Norman Library features zany antics & balloon art for all ages. 2pm.

Shawnee Youth Rodeo Discount at Frontier City & White Water Bay invites all rodeo contestants & families to enjoy a discounted rate. A portion of each ticket will be donated back to the rodeo. Advanced ticket required, available online. 478-2140, www.frontiercity.com, www. whitewaterbay.com.

FREE Neighborhood Arts Presents: Oklahoma Children’s Theatre “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” at OCCC (6500 S Land) for all ages. 10:30-11:15am. www. metrolibrary.org. Also held: 7/9 Midwest City Library, 7/10 Ralph Ellison & Luther Libraries, 7/11 Del City Library, 7/12 Edmond & Jones Libraries, 7/13 Nicoma Park Library.

FREE 1st Annual Independence Day Festival at Purcell City Lake features food, shopping, music, contests, car show & Kid Zone activities. 11am-10pm. 527-3093, www.theheartofok.com. FREE Crafts for Kids “Sunny Day Visor” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) invites kids ages 3 & up to create a visor to keep them safe from the sun. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www.lakeshorelearning.com. Live Banjo Performance at the American Banjo Museum (9 E Sheridan). FREE with paid admission. 3-5pm. 604-2793, www.americanbanjomuseum.com. Also held: 7/14, 28.

Metropolitan Library System www.metrolibrary.org

FREE Primary pArtners Class at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W Mac Arthur, Shawnee) for children 3-6 with parent to explore animals in artwork, hear a story & create a craft. Preregister. 10:3011:30am. 878-5605, www.mgmoa.org/classes.

July 7• Saturday

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FREE Neighborhood Arts Presents—Cimarron Opera “Jack & the Beanstalk” at the Northwest Library. 10:3011:15am. Also held: 7/9 Capitol Hill, 7/10 Bethany & Downtown, 7/11 Warr Acres, 7/12 Village & Belle Isle, 7/13 Harrah, 7/16 Southern Oaks & Midwest City, 7/17 Luther & Ralph Ellison, 7/18 Del City & Choctaw, 7/19 Edmond & Jones, 7/20 Nicoma Park. FREE What’s that Sound? Who’s in the Dark? Who? Who? at the Norman Library features Jennifer Lance & her nocturnal critters. 7pm.

Belle Isle.................5501 N Villa...........843-9601 Bethany................3510 N Mueller.........789-8363 Capitol Hill............ 334 SW 26th...........634-6308 Choctaw.................2525 Muzzy...........390-8418 Del City..................4509 SE 15th...........672-1377 Downtown.............300 Park Ave.......... 231-8650 Edmond............... 10 S Boulevard......... 341-9282 Midwest City......... 8143 E Reno........... 732-4828 Ralph Ellison....... 2000 NE 23rd...........424-1437 Southern Oaks....6900 S Walker.........631-4468 The Village........... 10307 N Penn.......... 755-0710 Warr Acres...........5901 NW 63rd...........721-2616 Harrah...............1930 N Church Ave.....454-2001 Jones.......................111 E Main............399-5471 Luther......................310 NE 3rd............ 277-9967 Nicoma Park...... 2240 Overholser........769-9452 Northwest ..........5600 NW 122nd........606-3580 Wright Library.... 2101 Exchange.........235-5035

Pioneer Library System www.pls.lib.ok.us

Blanchard............... 300 N Main............ 485-2275 McLoud....................133 N Main............964-2960 Moore.................... 225 S Howard.......... 793-5100 Newcastle............. 705 NW Tenth.......... 387-5076 Noble........................204 N 5th..............872-5713 Norman.................225 N Webster......... 701-2600 Purcell.................... 919 N Ninth............ 527-5546 Shawnee............101 N Philadelphia......275-6353 SW OKC............... 2201 SW 134th.........979-2200 Tecumseh............114 N Broadway........598-5955

FREE Battle in the Saddle Family Fun Day at State Fair Park features arts & crafts, games & Wild West-themed activities including a mop pony parade (limited to the first 75 entries ages 6 & up). 4-7pm. www. battleinthesaddle.com. Gospel Concert at Inspiration Hill (880669 S 3330, Wellston) features The Williamsons in a tribute to Independence Day. Love offering will be received. 7pm. 356-4051.

July 2012 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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July 10 • Tuesday Storytime Science at Science Museum Oklahoma features a tale presented by SMO’s performerpuppeteer extraordinaire. FREE with paid museum admission. 10am & 2pm. FREE Rock the Park at Wild Horse Park in Mustang features inflatables, face painting, balloon twister, live music & outdoor screening of the movie "Despicable Me." 7:30pm. 376-3411.

July 10–14 Sweet Charity presented by Lyric Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall. $33 & up. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com.

July 11 • Wednesday Kids Paint Your Pet at Paint Your Art Out (100 N Broadway, Edmond) for children ages 8-16 to create their own masterpiece on canvas featuring their pet. One pet per canvas. Preregister. $35. 10am. 513-5333, www.paintyourartout.net.

Weekly Events FREE Discovery Room programs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Usually held Saturdays and Sundays but see website for complete list & details. FREE Art Moves weekdays (Monday-Friday) in downtown OKC (various locations), including performances, demonstrations, short films & discussions. Noon-1pm. 270-4892, www. artscouncilokc.com/art-moves. Monday Evening Family Swim at the Mustang Town Aquatic Center (1201 N Mustang). $3 per person, $10 entire family. Mondays in June & July, 7:30-9:30pm. 376-9049. Toddler Time playtime at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). $2 or FREE with Town Center membership. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-noon. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org. Wild Tuesdays Story Time Safari at the OKC Zoo for kids 11 & under to hear stories & meet a zookeeper. FREE with paid admission. Tuesdays in June & July, 9:30am & 10:30am. FREE Admission at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on Tuesdays. 10am-5pm. Activities include Art Adventures for children ages 3-5 with adult (10:30am). FREE Sooner Mall Outreach Storytime is an interactive story time held outside Sears at Sooner Mall for ages 9 & under. Tuesdays, 10am. Family Fun Night at JumpZone (SW 104th & Western) includes 2 adults, 2 children, 1 large pizza, 2 liter pop for $25. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-8pm. 200-1691, www.jumpzoneparty.com. Way Back Wednesdays at the OKC Zoo features $1 admission, concession & ride deals. Children 2 & under FREE. Wednesdays through August.

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FREE Spaghetti Eddie at the Village Library features songs that will have your kids moving, shaking, learning & singing along. 1-2pm. FREE Spooky Campfire Tales at the Edmond Library invites children ages 6-11 to sit around the “campfire” to hear some spooky stories & songs. 7-7:30pm.

July 12 • Tuesday FREE Moore Make 'n Take at the Moore Library for children 3-12 years old to enjoy a come & go craft activity. 10-11:30am. FREE Monster Mash at the Southwest OKC Library celebrates all things ooey, gooey & icky with snacks, games, activities & crafts. 2-3pm. Dive-In Movie Night at Pelican Bay (1034 S Bryant, Edmond) screens The Sandlot. $5. Gates open at 8:30pm. 216-7647, www.edmondok.com.

July 13 • Friday Story Time at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond) FREE with paid admission. 11-11:30am. 6072020, www.bouncincraze.com. FREE Children’s Storytime at Quail Springs Barnes & Noble (13800 N May), Wednesday & Saturday, 11am. 755-1155, www.barnesandnoble.com. FREE Wacky Wednesdays at the Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main, Yukon) presents a carnival, sports activities & fishing. 10am-noon. 350-8920, www.cityofyukonok.gov. FREE Wednesday Night at the Movies at the Downtown Library. Held every Wednesday, 6-8pm. 231-8650. Home School Bowling Days at Sooner Bowling Center (550 24th Ave NW, Norman) offers bowling for up to 6 people and much more, $15. Wednesdays & Fridays through July, 10am-3pm. 360-3634, www. soonerbowl.com. Story Time at Be Wild For Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) includes story & pottery activity. See website for details. Thursday, 11am. 307-9971, www. bewildforart.com. FREE Fishing Clinics at Arcadia Conservation Education Area Kids Pond invites families to learn fishing for free. Preregister. Thursdays in July, 6:308:30pm. www.wildlifedepartment.com. FREE Lower Bricktown Live Summer Concert Series in front of the fountain just South of Mickey Mantel & Reno Thursdays through August 16. 7:309:30pm. www.lowerbricktown.com. FREE Summer Concert Series at the Outlet Shoppes at OKC (7624 W Reno) held in the Center Court on Thursday evenings through July. 7pm. www. theoutletshoppesatoklahomacity.com. FREE Concerts in the Park at Joe B Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City each Thursday evening through 8/2. 7pm. www.midwestcityok.org. FREE Melody Hounds Music Class at the Norman Library for children 3-7 with parent develops musical

FREE Kids Dance Party at the Southwest OKC Library invites children ages 8-15 to learn cool moves to their favorite tunes. 6-7pm. FREE Norman’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art is a monthly celebration of the arts connecting the downtown arts district with galleries, performance halls, & Campus Corner. Trolley service between venues available. 6-10pm. 360-1162, www.2ndfridaynorman.com. FREE Heitz Movie Nitez at Marc Heitz Chevrolet (I-35 & Lindsay, Norman) features a special double feature of Lion King 2:Simba's Pride and Wild Hogs at dusk. 4887971, www.facebook.com/kcoyote.1Force Parents' Night Out at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise, Edmond) invites kids to enjoy crafts, playground & pizza while parents enjoy a night out. For ages 5 & up. $25, add a sibling or friend for $20 more. Preregister. 6:30-10pm. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.com. FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) includes art walk, local artists, live music & shopping held the second Friday each month. 7-11pm. www.plazadistrict.org. FREE Art a la Carte at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum literacy. Thursdays, 7-7:30pm; Fridays, 10:30-11am. FREE Thursday Noon Tunes at the Downtown Library, 11:30-1pm. Family Fun Day at Celebration Station (509 Westline) features unlimited rides & a pizza buffet for $15.99 per person. Thursdays, 4-9pm. 942-7888, www.celebrationstation.com. Cocktails on the Skyline at the OKC Museum of Art. Free for members; $5 for nonmembers. Cash bar, complimentary snacks & live music. See website for details. Thursdays through October 11, 5-10:30pm. FREE Concerts in the Park at Chisholm Trail Park (500 W Vandament, Yukon) features music Thursdays (except July 5). 7-9pm. www. cityofyukonok.gov. FREE Outdoor Concerts in the Park at Hafer Park Stage (1034 S Bryant, Edmond) offers live music outdoors each Thursday at 7:15pm. 359-4630, www.edmondok.com/parks/rec. FREE Green Earth Gang for ages 9-13 works on conservation projects in Martin Park. Fridays, 9:30am-12:30pm during the summer months. 755-0676, www.okc.gov/parks/martin_park. FREE Summer Nights Music in the Park at Buck Thomas Park (1903 NE 12, Moore). Fridays in June, 7pm. 793-4332, www.cityofmoore.com. The UCO Jazz Lab features performances each Friday & Saturday at 8pm. $7 adults, $5 age 12 & under. 359-7989, www.ucojazzlab.com. Train Rides at the Oklahoma Railway Museum leave the Oakwood Depot at 10am, 11am, noon, 1:30pm & 2:30pm on the first & third Saturday of the month. $10 ages 15 & up, $5 ages 3-14, FREE under 3. 4248222, www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org.

of Art provides live music, short films & an art activity. 6-9pm.

July 13–14 FREE Midsummer Nights’ Fair at Lions Park (450 S Flood, Norman) celebrates visual arts with activities, live music, demonstrations & food. 6-11pm. 329-4253, www.normanfirehouse.com. Mother & Sons Conference at OKC First Nazarene Church (4400 NW Expressway) helps single mothers understand how to speak their son's language & embrace their personalities rather than being in conflict. Sons attend a leadership & character training conference. Preregister. $25 per family, includes meals, childcare and materials. Friday, 6-9pm; Saturday, 9am5pm. 917-1817, www.supportforsingleparents.org.

July 13–29 Hairspray presented by the Poteet Theatre (222 NW 15) presents a musical based in 1960s Baltimore. $20. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm; Matinee on August 4, 2pm. 609-1023, www.poteettheatre.com.

FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expressway) each Saturday, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com. FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www. bestofbooksedmond.com. FREE Skating Lessons at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36) for beginner, intermediate, advanced & featured styles. Saturdays, noon-12:45pm. 605-2758, www. skategalaxyokc.com. All-Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Yukon Lanes (500 E Main). $8/week includes 3 games & shoes. Saturdays, 1pm. Email dbrakefield@yahoo.com to verify schedule. 354-2516. Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art features hands-on art activities. FREE with paid admission. Saturdays, 1-4pm. Stay Late on Saturdays at the OKC Zoo. Open until 8pm on Saturdays through September. History Cruises (Saturdays) & Shakespeare Cruises (Sundays) on the Oklahoma River depart Regatta Park & Exchange landings. Adults $6+, children $3+, FREE under age 6. Through August, noon & 12:45pm. 702-7755, www.okrivercruises.com. FREE Open House at techJOYnt (8328 Glade) presents information about this hands-on, technology-based after-school education academy. Sundays, 2-4pm. 345-5010, www.techjoynt.org. FREE Sunday Twilight Concert Series at the Great Lawn Stage in the Myriad Gardens. Sundays through August, 7:30-9pm. www.artscouncilokc.com for lineup. FREE Sunset Cinemas at Charles J Johnson Park (7209 SE 29, Midwest City) outdoor movies shown Sunday nights through August 12. Movies begin 20 minutes after sundown. www.visitmidwestcity.com.

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July 14 • Saturday

July 18 • Wednesday

Color Me Rad 5K at State Fair Park is a colorful 5K race in which the runners start with white shirts & get pummeled with color throughout. Preregister. $40 & up. 9am. www.colormerad.com.

Coolaid & Canvas—Surfboards on the Beach at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) invites participants to enjoy an afternoon of artist-led painting on canvas. Supplies provided. Preregister. $35. 4-6pm. 307-9971, www.bewildforart.com.

All American Idol Pre-Auditions at Sooner Fashion Mall (3301 W Main, Norman) invites ages 16 & up to audition. Over $5000 in cash & prizes awarded to first three winners. $3 donation requested benefits Bethel Foundation. Registration 9am, performances 10am. 286-3700, www.bethelfoundationusa.com. Also held 7/28 (Outlet Shoppes of OKC). FREE Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinic “Kung Fu Panda Spinning Attack” at participating Lowe's stores. Participants receive a free apron, goggles, patch & project certificate. Preregister. 10am. www. lowesbuildandgrow.com. FREE Crafts for Kids “My Pet Fish” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) invites kids ages 3 & up to create a pet fish complete with a water bowl, bubbles, pebbles & more. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www. lakeshorelearning.com. OU-Stream Ecology Sideshow Science at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to learn about the science & study of Oklahoma’s streams with ecology experts from OU. 11:30am-2pm. Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society Concert/Jam at the Oklahoma Country-Western Museum & Hall of Fame (3925 SE 29) features professional bluegrass bands. $6, FREE ages 12 & under. 6:30pm. 677-7515, www.gobms.org.

July 14–15 FREE Overnight Glow Party at the Norman Library invites teens to a lock-in to light up the library at night. Preregister. 8pm-7am.

July 15 Meandering Mazes at the Myriad Botanical Gardens for children ages 7-12 to stroll through the Children's Garden Maze & discover the differences between mazes & labyrinths as they work together to make one of each. Preregister. $1 per child. 1pm. 297-3995, www. myriadgardens.org.

July 16 • Monday FREE Pint Sized Polkas at the Norman Library invites families to discover the fun of polka music. 2pm & 7pm.

July 17 • Tuesday The annual Sales Tax Appreciation Day at the OKC Zoo means FREE admission for all. Family Night “Paint Your Name” at Paint Your Art Out (100 N Broadway, Edmond) has families creating their own masterpiece on canvas. Preregister. $25. 7pm. 513-5333, www.paintyourartout.net.

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July 18–20 FREE American Idol Auditions at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The show will audition potential contestants for season 12. See website for complete details & procedures. www.americanidol.com

July 18–22 Alice’s Adventures presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder). $9 adults, $6 students & children ages 2-12. Wednesday-Friday, 10am & noon; Saturday-Sunday, 2pm. 606-7003, www. oklahomachildrenstheatre.org.

July 19 • Thursday FREE Space Jam at the Southwest OKC Library is an out-of-this-world party complete with astronauts, aliens, snacks, activities and a presentation from the OKC Astronomy Club. 2-3pm. Cocktails & Canvas—Jazzy Tree at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) features artist-led painting on canvas. Supplies provided. Preregister. $45. 7-10pm. 307-9971, www.bewildforart.com.

July 19–28 Into the Woods presented by Upstage Theatre & Performing Arts Studio at the Mitch Park Amphitheatre (1501 W Covell, Edmond). $12 adults, $6 students, FREE children 4 & under. 8pm. 285-5803, www. upstagetheatreok.com.

July 20 • Friday Celebrate The Moon Landing at Science Museum Oklahoma by making your very own moon craft & suiting up like a real astronaut. 10am-2pm. FREE Pianist Wayne McEvilly at the Midwest City Library includes performances & stories of music reflecting composers’ enchantment with the magic & romance of the night. 2-3pm. FREE Heitz Movie Nitez at Marc Heitz Chevrolet (I-35 & Lindsay, Norman) screens Homeward Bound: the Incredible Journey at dusk. 488-7971, www.facebook. com/kcoyote.1Force Sleep with the Sharks at the Oklahoma Aquarium (Jenks) invites visitors to stay overnight in the Aquarium. Includes a light snack, drinks, dive show, scavenger hunt, flashlight tour, movie & breakfast. Group discounts available. $45 nonmembers, $35 members. 7pm-8am. FREE Third Friday Celtic Night at Sonder Music (225 E Gray, Norman) invites Celtic dancers, musicians & listeners to join in a Celtic music jam. 8-10pm. 474-9734, www.sondermusic.com.

July 20–29

July 24 • Tuesday

Anything Goes at UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theatre (100 N University, Edmond) features music by Cole Porter. $20 adults, FREE children 4 & under ($5 discount for matinees). Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 974-3375, www.summerstockok.com.

Celebrate Amelia Earhart’s Birthday at Science Museum Oklahoma. Eat cake, make a paper flying machine & see the SMO’s collection of real airplanes. 11am-12:30pm.

July 21 • Saturday FREE Crafts for Kids “Olympic Torch” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) invites kids ages 3 & up to create a torch to celebrate the Summer Olympic Games. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www.lakeshorelearning.com. Family Fun Night at KickingBird Golf Club (1600 E Danforth, Edmond) features 9 holes with special junior tees. Tee times required one week in advance. FREE putting course plus food & beverage discounts. $6 green fees, $6 carts, $2 range tokens. 5-8pm. 341-5350, www.kickingbirdgolf.com. Bowling for Rhinos at AMF Boulevard Lanes (3501 S Boulevard, Edmond) supports rhino conservation at the OKC Zoo. $25 includes shoe rental, bowling, door prizes & t-shirt. Preregister. 424-3344, www.okczoo.com. Fort Reno Ghost Tours at Historic Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne, El Reno) includes tours of the fort & presentations by paranormal research teams. Advance ticket required. Third Saturday of the month through November. $8 adults, $5 children ages 5-12. 7:30pm. 262-3987, www.fortreno.org. FREE RIVERSPORT OKC Family Movie Night at the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower (Lincoln & SE 6th) invites families to bring chairs & blankets to watch a family-friendly film. Title TBA. Concessions available for purchase. 8:30pm. 552-4040, www.riversportokc.org.

July 22 • Sunday Celebrate Gregor Mendel’s (the founder of the science of genetics) Birthday at Science Museum Oklahoma. Eat cake & manipulate alien genes while studying the science of genetics and learning about Mendel. 11am-12:30pm.

July 24–28 Call Me Madam presented by Lyric Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall. $33 & up. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com.

July 25 • Wednesday Christmas in July “Fragile” at Paint Your Art Out (100 N Broadway, Edmond) has participants creating their own masterpiece on canvas featuring the infamous leg lamp from a popular Christmas movie. Preregister. $35. 7pm. 513-5333, www.paintyourartout.net.

July 26 • Thursday Make Your Own Slime Day at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to explore the science that makes up ooey gooey slime. 10am-2pm. FREE Light Up The Night presented by Science Museum Oklahoma at the Warr Acres Library unlocks the mystery behind chemiluminescence & kindles the inner artist with a colorful palette of light. Preregister. 6:30-7:30pm. FREE Open House at Primrose School (1520 SW 119) includes a tour of school, a meet-and-greet with teachers, refreshments and more. 793-6000, www. primroseswoklahomacity.com. Ladies’ Night at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) invites ladies to bring drinks for some girl time & a discounted $4 studio fee. 6-9pm. 307-9971, www. bewildforart.com.

July 26–29

Precious Pollinators at the Myriad Botanical Gardens for children ages 7-12 teaches about butterflies & bees and the important work they do that helps to grow the food we eat. Preregister. $1 per child. 1pm. 297-3995, www.myriadgardens.org.

Cymbeline presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at OCU’s Burg Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) is a dark fairy tale of wicked stepmothers, beautiful princesses, clowns, war & divine interventions. $15. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm. 235-3700, www. oklahomashakespeare.com.

July 23 • Monday

July 27–28

FREE Monty Harper at the Norman Library features musical entertainment. 2pm & 7pm. FREE Children’s Music Festival Presents Dinosaur O’Dell’s Big Dream Machine at the Northwest Library. 10:30-11:15am. Also held: 6/23 Capitol Hill, 6/24 Bethany & Downtown, 6/25 Wright & Warr Acres, 6/26 Village & Belle Isle, 6/27 Harrah. FREE Children’s Music Festival Presents Aaron Nigel Smith from “Between the Lions” at OCCC (6500 S Land). 10:30-11:15am. Library dates: 6/23 Midwest City, 6/24 Ralph Ellison & Luther, 6/25 Del City & Choctaw, 6/26 Edmond & Jones, 6/27 Nicoma Park.

2nd’s Best Consignment Sale at Arvest Plaza (915955 S Cornwell, Yukon) features deals on gently used children’s clothing, toys, décor & more. Discount day Saturday. Friday, 9am-8pm; Saturday, 9am-noon, 1-4pm & 4:15-5pm. www.2ndsbest.info/index.html.

July 27 • Friday Music Time at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond) FREE with paid admission. 11-11:30am. 6072020, www.bouncincraze.com. Friday Night 5K at Wheeler Park (I-40 & Western) features fun & fitness with a 5K race followed by food,

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Photo courtesy of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City.

The Sunday Twilight Concert Series provides free, family-friendly concerts each week at the Great Lawn of the Myriad Botanical Garden. Find a list of summer concerts around the metro at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-concerts.

fun & excitement. Preregister.online. $25. 919-9587, www.dgroadracing.com.

modest attire & socks. 11am-12:30pm. 869-0501, www. ctbuddhamind.org/classes.

July 28 • Saturday

Dive-In Movie Night at Pelican Bay (1034 S Bryant, Edmond) screens Home Alone. $5. 8:30pm. 216-7647, www.edmondok.com.

FREE Crafts for Kids “Keep Cool Summer Fan” at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) invites kids ages 3 & up to create a hand fan. 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www. lakeshorelearning.com. FREE Kids' Meditation Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) helps kids discover their inner wisdom through meditation & fun activities. No prerequisites. Join anytime. Wear comfortable,

FREE Explore Little River Park at Little River Park in Moore (4th Street entrance) invites participants ages 2 & up to join naturalist Neil Garrison in taking a look at the different eco-systems, environments & creatures that roam the park. Preregister. 10-11:30am. 793-5090, www. cityofmoore.com.

July 31 • Tuesday Outdoor Inflatables at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond) includes water slides and indoor & outdoor inflatables. 10am-8pm. $15. 607-2020, www. bouncincraze.com.

August 2–5 Crazy for You at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman) features this musical by George & Ira Gershwin performed by a teenaged cast. Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 2pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 321-9600, www.soonertheatre.org.

August 3–4 Edmond Quilt Festival 2012 at the UCO Fieldhouse in Edmond features a juried show with vendors, door prizes, demos & raffle quilt drawing. $5. 9am-5pm. www. eqg.us.

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August 4 • Saturday FREE Arcadia Lake Sweep at Spring Creek Park (7200 E 15, Edmond) invites participants to help clean up the park. Includes FREE t-shirt & hot dog while supplies last. Bring own gloves. 216-7471, www. arcadialakeok.com.

August 5 • Sunday FREE Summer Breeze Concert Series in Norman features live performances in the park. 7:30pm. 3079320, www.pasnorman.org/programs/summerbreeze. Also held: 8/26. See website for performance schedule and locations.

August 6 • Monday FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm.

August 7–11 Chita Rivera: My Broadway presented by Lyric Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall features the twotime Tony Award winner. $33 & up. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com.

August 10 • Friday OKC Redhawks vs. Sacramento River Cats baseball at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. 7:05pm. $5 & up. 218-1000, www.okcredhawks.com. Other home games this month: 8/11-17, 27-31.

Ongoing Events Through July 15 FREE Family Summer Camp at Bass Pro Shops (200 Bass Pro) activities, workshops, crafts, photos, s'mores & fishing. Earn a FREE pin for completed workshops. See website for schedule. 218-5200, www.basspro.com.

Through July 26 Norman Come & Go Crafts at the Norman Library encourages children to make a creation to take home. Thursdays, 1-3pm.

Through July 28 Enoch Kelly Haney Art Exhibit: Touching the Past at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum showcases paintings & sculptures by the Oklahoma Senator & Seminole Chief.

Through August 2 Summer Kids Movies at the Warren Theatre (1000 Telephone, Moore) kid-friendly movies held Tuesday & Thursday mornings. $2 single shows. 735-9676, www. warrentheatres.com/moore.asp.

Through August 5 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in an annual exhibition featuring more than 300 works by the finest contemporary Western artists.

Through August 10 Summer Movie Fun at Harkins Bricktown Cinemas 16 (150 E Reno) kid-friendly movies held Monday–Friday, 9:45am. $5 admission to one movie per week for the series. 231-4747, www.harkinstheatres.com/smf.

Through August 25 Soaring Voices: Recent Ceramics by Women from Japan at City Arts Center (3000 General Pershing) features ceramic works by 25 women artists. 951-0000, www.cityartscenter.org.

Through August 26 Morning Zoo Rise at the OKC Zoo features an early opening at 8am daily to allow guests to enjoy the Zoo during the cooler morning hours. 8am-5pm.

Through August 31 FREE Admission at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) through August. 8785300, www.mgmoa.org.

Through September 3 Blue Star Museums provides FREE admission to participating museums. Available to military ID holder & five immediate family members. See website for details & full list of participating locations. www.arts.gov/ bluestarmuseums. Faces of Bettina Steinke at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum features the work of the renowned portraitist.

Through September 9 Fusion: A New Century of Glass at the OKC Museum of Art features glass sculptures & installations from the twenty-first century that embrace the diversity & depth of the human experience. Vernet to Villon: Nineteenth Century French Master Drawings from the National Gallery of Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features the first exhibition lent to Oklahoma by DC’s National Gallery of Art including drawings & watercolors representing each of the major 19th-century movements. Red Earth Invitational Sculpture Exhibit at the Myriad Botanical Gardens features Native American sculptures installed in the Meinders Garden & the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory's South entrance visitors' center.

Through September 16 The Cult of Personality: Andy Warhol, Harold Stevenson & Portraiture at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features portraits by Andy Warhol with a special focus on the Polaroids he used as preparatory studies for the portraits he produced. Chinasaurs: Dinosaur Discoveries from China at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History features a dozen rare cast dinosaurs as well as fossil dinosaur eggs, nests & bones.

Through December 9 Oklahoma & Infamy at the Oklahoma History Center marks the 70th anniversary of the United States’ entrance into WWII through the Oklahomans who experienced the devastation. Includes artifacts, Japanese flight suits & naval uniforms, interviews with veterans & personal letters. FREE admission to veterans & active duty military.

Through 2012 Oklahoma at the Movies at the Oklahoma History Center showcases the creativity & innovation of Oklahomans & their legacy of creating, starring in & watching motion pictures.

Visit www.metrofamilymagazine. com/calendar today for more fun upcoming events!

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Ellie M., age 2, of Mustang enjoying backyard sprinkler fun.

Andrea B., age 10, and Cheyann B., age 6, of Mustang in the pool.

Water Fun!

To celebrate summer, we asked our readers to submit their favorite photos of cool water fun. View all submissions at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/ july-2012-photos.

The Knox Family of Edmond at Frontier City's new Wild West Water Works Park.

Caleb V., age 7, of Oklahoma City, boogieboarding in Florida.

Tristan L., age 4, and Brooklyn L., 19 months, of Edmond play on the Slip-n-Slide.

Kate L, age 3, of Oklahoma City plays in the sprinkler.

Isabella B., age 11, and Ainsley B., age 7, of Edmond in the pool.

Emma L., age 7, and Lauren L., age 4, playing with water balloons.

Hudson M., age 5, and grandfather Scott L. in the pool in Norman.

For August, we'd want to see your favorite first day of school photos. Submit them by Thursday, July 19. For September, we want to see photos of your children's best funny faces. Photos are due by Thursday, August 16. Guidelines and a photo submission form can be found at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/mfm-photo-galleries.

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Let MetroFamily help you plan the best summer ever! Visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com/summer-fun to find: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The Summer Survival Guide (updated daily!) Summer Camps & Activities Guide Summer Concerts Guide Vacation Bible School listing Coupons to over 35 attractions & local businesses Summer Reading Program Guide Best places to get wet in the metro Hundreds of Exploring Oklahoma ideas, including a list of Oklahoma festivals around the state Farmer's Market Guide Family and youth volunteer opportunities Our online calendar featuring HUNDREDS of daily fun ideas (and many are FREE!) Two NEW blogs perfect for summer fun: Weekend Warrior & Stephanie's Kitchen Fun summer contests for your chance to win trips, birthday party packages and event tickets!

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for your daily summer fun tip! MetroFamily Magazine 405-601-2081 info@metrofamilymagazine.com


MetroFamily Magazine July 2012