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IS YOUR CHILD HAVING TROUBLE CONTROLLING THEIR EMOTIONS OR REACTIONS? If so, Children’s Therapy Services may be able to help using the Zones of Regulation program.


You may be feeling sad, tired, sick, bored, or hurt.


You may be feeling good, happy, proud, calm, relaxed, or focused.


You may be feeling silly, frustrated, overwhelmed, excited, embarrassed, or confused.

WHAT ZONE ARE YOU IN? The Zones of Regulation is a teaching tool that helps children of all ages better regulate their emotions to engage in expected behaviors for a given situation.

The Zones approach uses four colors to help children identify and verbalize how they are feeling in the moment.

This program teaches children to identify which zone they are in and how their behaviors can impact the thoughts and feelings of others.

Contact us at 605-716-2634 for more information on the Zones of Regulation and how we might be able to help your family!


You may be feeling angry, elated, terrified, or aggressive.

With our therapists, they can explore different strategies to change their response/ reaction to a problem in a more appropriate manner leading to improved emotional control, self-awareness and problem-solving abilities


Innovation Meets Experience

Happy Holidays from the OB/GYN Department at Rapid City Medical Center.

Shana Bernhard, MD Angela K. Anderson, MD Marcia Beshara, MD

Jeffrey Bendt, MD

Katherine Degen, MD

Heather Moline, MD

Pregnancy | Female Surgery | Gynecology | High-Risk OB | Menopause | Birth Control | Laparoscopic Hysterectomy Pelvic Floor Dysfunction | Adolescent Gynecology | 3D Mammography | MonaLisa Touch | PRP Intimacy Injection

605.342.3280 | www.RapidCityMedicalCenter.com

College Planning Give your child the freedom to dream with CollegeAccess 529 No gift is greater than an education. To learn how to start saving today visit www.collegeaccess529.com. Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of CollegeAccess 529 Plan before investing. This and other information is contained in the current Plan Disclosure Statement. Before investing, investors should read the Plan Disclosure Statement carefully, and consider whether their state of residency – or their intended Designated Beneficiary’s state of residency – offers any benefit, such as a state tax deduction, which are only available for investments in that state’s 529 savings program. Only South Dakota residents and Account Owners who designate a South Dakota resident as Beneficiary can invest directly in the CollegeAccess 529 Plan. Certain Portfolios are not available to those who invest directly. Residents of states other than South Dakota can invest in the CollegeAccess 529 Plan only through a financial advisor. Additional fees apply for investments made through a financial advisor. Please see the Plan Disclosure Statement for details. State taxes may apply for residents of states other than South Dakota. CollegeAccess 529 Plan is a section 529 college savings plan sponsored by the State of South Dakota, and managed by Allianz Global Investors Distributors LLC. Notice: The account is not insured by any state, and neither the principal deposited nor any investment return is guaranteed by any state. Furthermore, the account is not insured, nor the principal or any investment returns guaranteed, by the federal government or any federal agency. 637454 | 03482

THE MORE YOU UNDERSTAND HER WORLD, THE MORE POSSIBILITIES YOU SEE. For Julia’s family, early screening for autism made a lifetime of difference. Find out more at ScreenForAutism.org

© 2019 Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.


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What better way to bust out of our new normal than a day at a water park? The Hespen family show us how it’s done; washing away their cares while bonding and creating memories. As we close out 2020 and welcome the new year, we hope this issue helps you find ways to stay healthy, connect as a family and break into 2021 stronger than ever.

BHPARENT BH PARENT Publisher, Owner Rick DenHerder 605.343.7684 ext. 203 For Advertising Information Alix Schaeffer 605.343.7684 ext. 213 Creative Director John Edwards Senior Designer Chris Valencia Designer Sydnee Dormann Communications Coordinator Meghan Rose Senior Editor Ashley Johnson Photographer Jesse Brown Nelson Digital Director John Eining Digital Analyst Ryan Hall Social Media Manager Jenna Johnson Distribution Richard Alley Contributors Mark Petruska, Jenna Carda, Sandi Schwartz Black Hills Parent. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without the expressed consent of the publisher is prohibited. The information included in this publication is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing. Additional advertiser information and articles are available online at blackhillsparent.com. Black Hills Parent magazine is a free, quarterly publication distributed throughout Black Hills area communities—from Rapid City to Spearfish, Deadwood to Hill City, Custer to Hot Springs, and every place in between, including: schools, medical and dental waiting areas, childcare facilities, specialty retailers, and other key locations in this area. Get an exclusive look at Black Hills Parent through our e-letter at blackhillsparent.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.



08 Holiday Fun With the holidays upon us, see our picks for movies, books and more! Not to mention a yummy treat to make while you bond as a family. 10 School Schedules It’s been a weird year; break out of the monotony of online school and virtual classrooms. AMAZING KIDS 12 Nashville Comes to the Hills When we first met her, Tiffany Johnson had big dreams. Six singles and an EP later, this songbird is just getting started. 14 Shattering Records Grayson Chapeau may have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, but he flipped a negative diagnosis into a positive reason to help others in need.


18 Maintaining Family Harmony We’ve been cooped up together since spring—here’s some ideas to keep family burnout at bay. 22 Healthy Immunity—Healthy You! Winter months mean a higher chance of getting sick. Keep your family healthy by encouraging a strong immune systems. 26 Not Magic, but Pretty Close Superfoods are a great way to add more bang for your buck, at least where your family’s meals are concerned. 30 Beyond the Toy Box Cut down on the toy clutter this holiday season and give your family the gift of experiences instead. 36 Changing the World Volunteering comes second nature to the Belchers; it makes them stronger individually, but also closer as a family.



40 Giving Back to Your Community Finding a volunteer activity that fits your family’s strengths and personality ensures it’s a valuable experience for everyone.

49 Column: Wellness Wearing masks can cause breakouts called “maskne.” Have no fear—we asked a local dermatologist how to fight back.


53 Column: Education Concerned your children might have barriers to their learning that aren’t COVID related? Here’s how to get involved and set them up for success!

42 Column: Making an Impact TeamMates Mentoring seeks to provide positive role models to youth in our area, instilling hope and a drive to succeed. 45 Column: STEM Coding is the language of technology— learn how programming can empower your kids to understand more about the digital world they use every day. 47 Column: Finance Between gift-buying, travel and food, the holiday season can be hard on our wallets. Learn some tips and tricks to help keep you from overspending!

55 Column: Grandparents Storytelling in various forms is a great way to help your young grandchildren grow, but also a perfect bonding opportunity. 56 Black Hills Cuties Black Hills parents are always happy to share photos showing off their little ones’ personalities. Proudly supported by Vast Broadband. 60 Black Hills Calendar Highlights Looking for holiday fun to get in the spirit? Check out these family-friendly events!



Holiday picks



But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids Every parent has to contend with children asking questions like “Why is the sky blue?” Coming up with satisfying answers is tricky. Each episode of this biweekly podcast tackles questions submitted by kids, providing sensible answers in an entertaining format. It’s great for kids of all ages (and fun for adults, too)

Dear Santa Available on demand and in theaters December 4, this documentary examines “Operation Santa”—an effort by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver thousands of letters to Santa every year and help make children’s dreams come true. It’s a feel-good look at a 100-year-old tradition. Klaus This 2019 Oscar-nominated feature almost walked away with the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, narrowly losing out to Toy Story 4. Created by Netflix, it’s the tale of an unlikely friendship between a selfish postman and a reclusive toymaker who team up to bring an end to a long running feud and rescue Christmas for children around the world.

Story Time Putting a modern twist on an age-old tradition, this podcast features easily digestible stories that are 20 minutes or less every other week. They are read by a narrator whose soothing voice just might help lull your little ones to sleep. Best for preschoolers through age 7.



Chutes and Ladders Spin a wheel and move your game piece up ladders and down chutes; the first person to reach the top without sliding down wins! The game is an entertaining way to teach kids to count while subtly reinforcing the idea of cause and effect. This family friendly classic is perfect for kids ages 3 and older.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle’s classic tale of a caterpillar munching its way through a picnic was originally published in 1969 and remains a timeless classic. Through colorful illustrations with fun cutouts and a beguiling story, children learn about growth and science as a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly.

Qwirkle A newer game geared toward kids 6 and up, Qwirkle is a cross between Scrabble and Dominos. It promotes spatial recognition, planning, and problemsolving by having kids line up and match wooden tiles of various colors, numbers, and shapes. It’s that rare game that is both educational and fun!

Grace for President Focusing on electoral politics and feminism, this topical read is great for kids aged 6-9. Written by Kelly DiPucchio, it follows the tale of Grace, who announces she is running for president after learning in school that there has never been a female elected to the nation’s highest office.

"Re-find & strengthen my hobbies."


"Compete in a regional strongman competition."






We collected the BHParent team and asked them to share their hopes for the New Year. Here’s what they said!


Hello 2021!


"Get a full night’s sleep as a new mom.”



• Wax or parchment paper • Large plastic bag • Spatula


• • • • • • •

9 cups Chex Cereal (any variety will do) 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1/4 cup butter 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 cup seasonal M&Ms


1. Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl. Next, prep a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper, set aside. 2. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 1 minute and stir. If it’s not completely melted, put it back in for up to 30 seconds more. Once it is melted, add vanilla and mix. Pour it over your Chex Cereal and stir with a spatula until well coated. 3. Take a large plastic Ziploc bag and place powdered sugar inside, then add chocolatey cereal. Close and begin to shake it up so that all the squares are evenly covered with sugar. Place the Reindeer Chow on the baking sheet and let it cool. Once you’re ready to serve, add holiday M&Ms or other seasonal candy and chow down!

"Take more fun trips!”


"Add another furry friend to my family!"


RIS “Participate in more marathons!”



“Master the art & craft of baking." BHPARENT 9


DEALING WITH NEW SCHOOL SCHEDULES For those who need a break from the new monotony of online school and meetings, here are some options you can check out around the Black Hills.

ORGANIZED FUN Many organizations throughout the Black Hills offer a variety of programs that include physical education, field trips, nutrition services & more. Rapid City: Club for Boys | YFS Hill City, Hot Springs, & Lead-Deadwood: Boys & Girls Club Custer & Hermosa: YMCA

HIRE SOME HELP Nannies can offer the ultimate level of hands-on care and flexibility for your family. One way to keep costs down is to join together with a couple friends or coworkers also in need of daily assistance and hire someone together.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Homework Helper programs around the Black Hills offer an environment closer to a normal school setting. Many provide snacks, recess, and homework help.

A great place to start your search is family/parent groups on social media. Fellow parents in your community might have the inside scoop on new or little-known resources!




Tree Lot Opens November 23, 2020

Tree Lot Hours The Club for Boys | 320 N 4th Street Monday - Saturday: 9am - 7pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm The Thrift Store | 960 Cambell Street Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 4pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm Nordmann Fir | Nobel Fir | Fraser Fir | Grand Fir | Balsam Fir | White Pine | Scotch Pine | Ponderosa Pine | Black Hills Spruce For custom cut trees, please contact Mark at (605)343.3500. theclubforboys.org

A Clean Home

is a happy home Your home plays a major role in your happiness, it’s where your heart is. You spend a lot of time there, so make it a sanctuary that’s always ready for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

1. Clear the Clutter.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the look of your home is to clean out your junk drawer, empty storage bins, and clear shelves.

2. Set the Stage.

Once your living room is clutter-free, breathe life into your space by incorporating plants, making subtle updates, and maintaining your clean throughout the week.

3. Make a Routine.

Cleaning is one of the most common household chores homeowners admit to putting off. With pre-scheduled, regular cleanings from Merry Maids, you’ll never again have to worry about spending a beautiful Saturday indoors scrubbing pots and pans.

SAVE $100

$20 off each of your first 5 cleanings when you mention this ad.

Contact your local Merry Maids® today!

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New customers only. Not valid with other offers. Valid only at this location. Cash value of 1/1000 of 1 cent. © 2020 Merry Maids L.P.


words Mark Petruska photos Jesse Brown Nelson




MUSIC CITY BOUND This 2019 Amazing Kid has won accolades for her music, now available for streaming.

When we first profiled Tiffany Johnson in our Spring 2019 issue, the Stevens High School freshman was preparing for a trip to Nashville to attend Tin Pan South, the world’s largest songwriting festival. A lot of exciting things have happened to the budding singer in the nearly two years since. When asked to fill us in, she chuckles and says, “Where do I start?” That trip to Tin Pan South proved to be a game changer for Tiffany. She was one of a dozen finalists chosen to perform in a writer’s round on the strength of her song “Paralyzed”—just the type of prestigious recognition needed to boost her confidence and inspire her to release the song as a single after the event. Tiffany experienced mixed emotions when embarking upon this next big step. “It’s awesome because you get recognized for your songwriting,” she says. “And it’s kind of scary releasing a first single...so that really helped me and motivated me.”


Tiffany describes her music as “bedroom pop”— a loosely-defined genre characterized by DIY artists recording in home studios. Sound wise, she calls her tunes “country pop with a little bit of alternative”.

Tiffany has obviously gained control of her nerves; since returning from the festival, she has released six singles and a six-song EP, all of which are available on various streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music. That experience still amazes the teenager. “It’s really cool, but kind of weird because I work on these songs for so long and finally get to release them,” she explains. “It’s almost like my little child that the world gets to see now. I spend such a long time crafting them; it’s cool to have people see what I’ve been doing. I hope people can relate to what I’m writing and we can all kind of share that experience.” Tiffany’s current influences include Maggie Rogers, Harry Styles, Kacey Musgraves, Hippo Campus, and her longtime idol, Taylor Swift. Her lyrics delve into familiar topics such as love and loss, and are based on the young singer’s own experiences. “I feel like I have to tell stories as honest as I can,” the musician explains, elaborating on her songwriting process. “The main story I draw from something I feel

or experience. I may exaggerate on details or sing some things to fit rhyme scheme, but I do try to be honest to what I’m feeling because I know that other people go through the same things that I go through.”


In addition to recording, Tiffany has attended several camps and seminars in Nashville in order to network with like-minded singers and songwriters, and performed at numerous shows and events locally with her new band—at least before COVID-19 largely put a stop to live concerts. The pandemic has temporarily halted her frequent travel to Nashville, but her longterm plans still include a move to the Tennessee city known as the “Songwriting Capital of the World” once she graduates from high school. In the meantime, she is doing as much as she can to stay connected with musicians in Rapid City. Tiffany says the local music scene is bigger than many people think, and everybody supports one another. “It’s cool to meet other people who are influenced by the same scene and playing the same places,” she says. “You really get to know people in the community. It’s really supportive even though it’s not giant.” That support isn’t limited to musicians; her close friends and family are proud of Tiffany’s hard work and talent—and perhaps a little surprised by the amount of time she continues to devote to recording and performing. “Even when there are down times in my life I keep going for it,” she says, “And my parents are constantly like, wow—you’re so good at this!” Tiffany is currently halfway through recording her next EP. She plans to release that eventually and hopes to be able to return to Nashville in the foreseeable future. She’d also like to keep performing and is encouraged that places are starting to open up again and hire singers. Her long-term goal remains unchanged. “I want to move to Nashville and get as big into the music scene as I can there,” she says. “Being able to tour again and reach as many people as possible with my music is my dream!” BHPARENT 13

Grayson is still collecting pop tabs, of course. This year, he set a loftier goal than ever: one ton. That’s 2,000 pounds...but if anybody can do it, it’s this Amazing Kid!




golden GOODY THE More Than a T-Shirt Slogan, “Golden Goody” Defines Grayson’s Personality and Outlook on Life words Mark Petruska photos Jesse Brown Nelson

Grayson Chapeau was one of two Amazing Kids featured in our Spring 2019 issue. His story immediately struck a chord with readers: Grayson had been diagnosed with Grade II Diffused Astrocytoma, a slowgrowing brain tumor, at the age of four. Surgery was not an option, so the family shuttled back and forth between their home in Spearfish and Minneapolis for treatments that included radiation, chemotherapy, and a targeting drug called Mekinist. Most kids would struggle under the weight of such a serious diagnosis, but Grayson turned a negative into a positive. After learning that Ronald McDonald House Charities collected pop tabs in order to help families of seriously ill or injured children with simple needs such as food and laundry detergent and provide a loving home away from home, he decided to embark upon a collection

effort of his own. “It’s such a simple thing to do,” mom Chelsey says. “Every single time you take a tab off, it’s pooled together with my 10 tabs or John Doe’s 20 tabs. It all adds up and makes a difference.” His first year’s haul, 88 pounds, was modest—but this was just the beginning. The following year, Grayson set a goal to collect 100 pounds and ended up bringing in 433 pounds. Setting his sights on 500 pounds next, he was able to collect 867 pounds. When we spoke with Grayson in early 2019, he had set a goal of 1,000 pounds that year. Naturally, he handily surpassed that, ending up with a whopping 1,700 pounds—so many pop tabs, it required two separate trips to Denver in the family’s Sienna minivan.


Grayson has collected over 5 million tabs. Denver has been a frequent destination for the Chapeau family for years. Grayson has regular check-ins with his medical team down there to monitor the progress of his tumor. It was on that first pop tab trip in October 2019 that they learned Grayson’s tumor had changed and was growing. They were told he needed brain surgery within the next couple of weeks, so they returned in early November (with the remaining pop tabs in tow). His doctors decided Grayson was a good candidate for laser ablation surgery, a 6.5-hour procedure utilizing an MRI with a robotic arm. After the surgery, the doctors advised that they had gone a little farther than intended with the laser and had cut into healthy tissue, putting Grayson at the risk of permanent facial paralysis. Not only did the droopiness in his face disappear by the next morning; he was discharged from the hospital just 24 hours later—a fact that astounded his parents. “It was just amazing,” Chelsey recalls.



“Jeremiah (Grayson’s dad) and I were like, ‘how is that even possible? He just had brain surgery!’ He was actually running up the escalators at the mall.” The family received another jolt upon learning the results of his latest biopsy: Grayson’s tumor was upgraded to Grade IV. The targeting drug was no longer working, leaving doctors with few options beyond additional radiation treatment. The Chapeaus decided to hold off until after Christmas, hoping to make the holiday as normal as possible under the circumstances. What came next was truly a miracle: the genetics of the tumor came back, and it was downgraded back to Grade II. The medical team were perplexed and couldn’t figure out what had changed between the preliminary biopsy and genetic results, but Chelsey has no doubt. “I’ll tell you what changed,” she says. We have a big God and He works miracles.”

Earlier in the year, he told his parents, “I don’t fear. I live and I love life.” That attitude is one that we can all learn from, Chelsey believes.“That’s life in a nutshell,” she says. “If we can stop fearing things and just live and love in the moment we have right now we’d all be better off. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.”


KIDS GROW. We Have Them Covered.


Shop with us!

LOCAL & ONLINE. ANY TIME. ANY DEVICE. shopkicksandgiggles.com 605.343.8722 • 329 Main Street, Rapid City M-F 10AM-5:30PM, Sat 10AM-5PM, Sun 12PM-3PM


Managing Family Burnout words Mark Petruska

How to cope when cooped up with loved ones




For some kids, school is a challenge no matter what. But throw in a historic pandemic, complete with masks, social distancing, and an unrecognizable classroom environment—or remote learning—and you have a recipe for even more kids feeling the sting of school struggles.


e love our families, but if there’s one thing this challenging year has taught us, it’s that there is such a thing as too much togetherness. Disruptions in work and personal routines began in March and, for some people, have continued unabated since. This is leading to a phenomenon known as family burnout.


There is plenty to be anxious about these days. Many of us have been thrust into unfamiliar roles: we are remote employees, cooks, and fulltime babysitters. The novelty of spending time with our spouses and kids 24/7 has long since worn off, replaced by worries over staying healthy and keeping our jobs. Even having a ready supply of toilet paper is no longer a given in these strange times, but it’s important to remember that we aren’t the only ones affected by the pandemic. Kids are experiencing stress, too. Familiar everyday routines like going to school and playing with friends have been upended, and many children lack the emotional maturity to understand why. Masks used to be reserved for Halloween, but suddenly they’re as normal a part of our daily dress as shoes and socks.

Recognizing the signs of burnout can be tricky since they’re mostly invisible. Symptoms include physical and emotional exhaustion, loss of motivation and depression. Lack of energy can make even basic tasks feel overwhelming; dishes pile up in the sink, laundry goes unwashed, and dinner is PB&J sandwiches again. Many people withdraw emotionally from their family; anger, frustration, and depression are common. Adults are better at verbalizing their needs while kids are more likely to keep their emotions to themselves, which can lead to irritability and lashing out.

unhappy these days, and I don’t blame you. Spending so much time at home is difficult! Is there anything I can do to help you out?” This approach shows your child that “we’re all in this together.” Instead of berating them, you are displaying sympathy and a willingness to help. Kids respond positively to this type of conversation.



Watching for the signs of burnout is key in getting a handle on it. Understand the things frustrating us are different than those bothering our kids. Parents might be burned out on work while children are upset over virtual schooling or missing their friends. Despite differences in triggers, the end result is the same. Look for signs of depression, mood swings, changes in sleep, and increased conflict with family members. One of the best things you can do is maintain an open line of communication with your child. Check in on them frequently and ask how they are doing. Try to do this in a setting where they are more likely to open up; in the car driving to the grocery store is a great, low-key place to initiate a conversation. Choose your words carefully and frame the discussion in a positive light. For instance, you might say, “You seem

This too shall pass. Understanding we are all dealing with stress and frustration while navigating through this uncertain period will help ensure a positive outcome. in the long run.

Another crucial step involves promoting the habit of self-care. Quiet time is at a premium when everybody is under one roof at the same time, but it’s essential to reduce stress and anxiety. Establish soothing rituals such as reading, listening to music, going for a walk, or taking a bath. Don’t just say you’re going to do these things—schedule them on your smartphone to keep yourself accountable. Make this quiet time a priority—for both you and your kids—and you’re likely to see a positive change in behavior. A healthy body helps maintain a healthy mind. Many of us have slipped into bad habits while being stuck at home; try limiting your use of alcohol and tobacco, stock up on nutritious snacks instead of junk food, and be sure to get at least a little bit of exercise, both physical and mental, every day. Practice mindfulness as a family by choosing a fun activity such as creating a story: set a timer for five minutes, have everybody sit in a circle, and take turns reciting one sentence at a time, making up a story as you go along. Mindfulness exercises are perfect ways to de-stress and bond.



Hot Springs

Evan’s Plunge has been a favorite for generations, and although only the pool and fitness rooms are open this year, it still offers a welcome respite for all ages. Dry off and head downtown to grab lunch or fuel up on coffee and take in beautiful views of the southern hills. Finally, visit the Mammoth Site, where their self-guided tour app lets you experience all the site has to offer while maintaining a safe social distance.


Breaking up the Winter Monotony Winter months allow locals to reclaim the hills and enjoy their splendor in a light many never get to see. Here are a few family-friendly ideas and itineraries to break out of the monotony and have some fun!



Custer State Park turns into a wonderland with a coat of snow. Don’t miss the Sylvan Lake Shore Trail—just be careful on icy rocks! From December 11th until New Year’s Day, check out the visitor’s center for festive trees decorated by local organizations and vote for your favorite. After the park, head into town for lunch, where you’ll find local favorites without the usual wait in line. Plan your trip for the weekend of January 18th and catch the Burning Beetle—a fun local tradition that includes a bonfire and fireworks!

Rapid City

Head over to Main Street Square’s ice skating rink, both a winter favorite and social distancing approved activity. Rent a pair of skates and hit the ice, or watch from a distance with a warm beverage. For some indoor fun, visit the Dahl Arts Center for fun classes and free exhibits. Finish your day at one of the many family-friendly restaurants downtown, whose variety will satisfy the picky eaters while still entertaining the most daring of taste buds.


Few winter wonderlands can compare to Spearfish Canyon after a snowfall. Start your day out by renting snowshoes or a snowmobile at Cheyenne Crossing and trek up the path to see Roughlock Falls, then come back down to the lodge for lunch. Continue up the canyon into Lead, and check out the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, with free exhibits and an awe-inspiring view of the old mine.

W O R G , LEAD SERVE AND merous . u n s r e ff rsing o cal, but go far u N D S U ay lo t s o t u o ays for y


P and DN , N S M SN, N N to BS R N to B P e L n i l d n n o a our . BSN pid City We have ditional a a R r t d r n e a ff , a l ls and o , Sioux F n options, io l l i m r in Ve degrees

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Year Round Programs • 6 Weeks - 12 Years Old • A Starting Strong Provider • Accepts Child Care Assistance • Transportation to and from Local Schools


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Boosting your

HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM As cold and flu season approaches, many of us have heard varying advice on how to prepare; exercise more, eat healthier, and try to get more sleep. While it all sounds easy, in a perfect world we would be doing all of that already.

words Ashley Johnson




Unfortunately there is no easy button for boosting immunity, but small changes to our daily routine here and there can help us stay healthy all winter.

What Does Winter Have to Do With It?

Why Immunity is Important

Our immune system is precisely that—a system. Just like how doing exercises to target one area of our body is ineffective (we’re looking at you, crunches), our immune system is a complicated network that affects us as a whole. The biggest workhorse of the system is white blood cells, which essentially remember every microbe they come in contact with and learn how to protect us against them. They don’t act alone, however, relying on other bodily functions in our spleen, skin, and bone marrow, to name a few. Keeping all of these healthy and functioning goes a long way toward a healthy immune system and preventing sickness.

If our immune system is always working, it may seem strange that we focus on it more in the cooler months of the year. Whether or not we are physically cold doesn’t necessarily affect our immunity, but it does make a difference in how viruses spread. As weather cools down and humidity decreases, the air becomes thinner. According to Harvard Health, this allows viruses to travel more easily, increasing their footprint and ability to infect new hosts. Additionally, cold weather generally means more people are indoors in small spaces, creating a sort of concentrated petri dish of germs that would otherwise expand over a larger area.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep plays an important role in our health since it gives our bodies time to reset and recharge after a long day. It also gives our body time to produce a protein that fights inflammation and infections; not sleeping enough can leave your body without a sufficient level to ward off illnesses. Adults should try for seven to eight hours of sleep a night, school-age kids should aim for nine to eleven, and toddlers should get between eleven and fourteen hours.

Vitamins & Spices are Key

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals is always important, but zinc, folate, iron, and vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12 have been linked to a healthy immune system. Additionally, some research points to spices having antibacterial and antiviral properties both when ingested and when used in essential oils. According to a review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, two such spices are cinnamon and cloves—pumpkin spice latte lovers rejoice!

Drink More Water

Hydration is a key factor for our health due to the makeup of our bodies—we are over 60% water! If we get dehydrated, our entire system can start breaking down. Our skin is one of our organs most at risk of dehydration, which can be a big issue for our immunity. When our skin dries out, it leaves us open to viruses and bacteria that can make us sick. A good rule of thumb is to multiply your weight in pounds by 2/3, and make sure to drink that many ounces a day. This number can go up if you’re more active or taking certain medications, but always chat with your doctor if you aren’t sure!


Several dietary and lifestyle changes may strengthen your body’s natural defenses and help you fight harmful pathogens, or disease-causing organisms.


While there is no magic pill to ensure a flawless immune system, we can focus on a few lifestyle tweaks throughout the day to try and boost it. Perhaps the biggest help is also one of the easiest: good hand hygiene. Using soap and hot water to scrub the front and back of hands, and in between fingers for at least 20 seconds is key. A great way to time yourself or your kids is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing. If soap and water is unavailable, hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch, using the same diligence to clean all surfaces of your hand. Avoid touching your face or mouth, and cover coughs with your elbows and not your hands.



Everybody’s favorite advice: get more exercise. Maintaining a fitness routine helps fight off seasonal depression and stress; being in a good mood means we’re more likely to look after our health in other areas, too. Exercise also promotes good circulation, which can help cells of our immune system to move freely and efficiently through the body. There’s no need to go overboard, however, as even family fun such as going to the pool or indoor playgrounds can help boost activity levels. Simply parking your car at the back of the parking lot can also get you extra steps, which will add up over time. While exercising in the cold can be uncomfortable and even lead to a sore, dry throat, there are plenty of options throughout the Black Hills for indoor activities.


A couple activities that can severely influence our body’s ability to fight off infection are drinking alcohol and smoking. Both of these activities damage the small hairs that help our lungs filter out pathogens, which makes it easier for them to infiltrate our body and get us sick. Alcohol can also cause inflammation in our gut by destroying the good microorganisms that fight against infections. Decreasing or eliminating these activities help your body stay in top illnessfighting shape!




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Superfoods: Eating Your Way to Health and stick to simmering, stewing, or baking. This applies to processing as well; frozen produce loses little of its nutritional value and keeps much longer. Theresa cautions "When choosing canned foods, beware of the salt content with vegetables and the sugar content with fruit. Look for products with no salt or sugar added. Fresh or frozen are your best options."

With a focus on quality time and family gatherings, nobody has time to feel ill this time of year. Luckily, we can help ward off that next cold or onset of the flu by adding a veggie or sprinkling a new spice on dinner. words Ashley Johnson




ALL ABOUT THE VEGETABLES Unsurprisingly, a lot of superfoods are fruits and vegetables, since they naturally supply an array of nutrients. Orange and red vegetables are an easy go-to this time of year, as they have high levels of Vitamin A and C, and immunity-boosting beta-carotene. Carrots, squash, and tomatoes are all good additions, and versatile enough for almost any dish. Grains are also a common superfood, if you stay away from highly processed or bleached versions. Brown rice, oatmeal, and quinoa are great foundations to build from, since they have high levels of zinc and iron.

FRESH, FROZEN, OR FRIED? A good rule of thumb is to eat superfoods as close to their natural state as possible, but cooking them won’t remove their nutritional value. Avoid frying or grilling if possible,

BRING ON THE PROTEIN When adding meat to your meal, the easiest way to maximize your benefit is to select products that were fed as close to their natural diet as possible. Look for labels such as grass-fed or wild-caught as a starting point. Seafood tends to be healthier than other types of meat, and salmon is an especially great choice. It is one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D, which is tough to come by in the winter months.

ny food that contains a high level of vitamins and minerals can fall into the Superfood category. They help our bodies run at their best, no matter the season. Theresa Ferdinand, the Manager of Employee Health and Wellbeing for Monument Health, says “Nutrition is key, not only in preventing and treating chronic conditions, but in being able to be at your peak and perform all day long.”


SPICE IT UP! A convenient way to add a little extra to a meal, or even a drink, are spices. Cinnamon is popular this time of year, and adding it to recipes can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Turmeric is another common spice with a host of benefits; it reduces inflammation, and may even improve memory. For the brave at heart, adding some cayenne or chili pepper can boost metabolism— just be careful, too much can cause nausea or pain in sensitive tummies. LIFE IS SHORT, EAT DESSERT Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up dessert. Making a couple substitutions to a standard baking recipe can up the ante! Trading out half of your white flour for coconut is a great way to add fiber. Likewise, trading milk chocolate for dark adds antioxidants and zinc. Pumpkin is a perfect base to any fall or winter dessert, and is full of zinc, fiber, and vitamin C. Its benefits are dense enough you can put a dollop of whipped cream on top guilt-free!

Tips for Picky Eaters

While all of these superfoods are great for our health, they only count if they’re actually eaten. So how do you get your kids to try something like turmeric or pumpkin? Here are a couple tips to convince your kids to at least give it a shot: Offer choices. Even a choice between two healthy options lets kids feel like they have a say. This works simply because kids are constantly fighting for independence and autonomy, so giving them options can make them feel in charge—even if it’s between carrots or peas. Let them see behind the scenes. Take them to farmers markets to see a variety of new produce and find recipes to try them. The Mayo Clinic recommends asking what kids want for meals when you make your grocery list, or letting them help with basic cooking prep like measuring ingredients. Having them be a part of the process makes them more interested in the end product.

Try camouflaging the healthy food. An easy one to start with is adding sweet potatoes to mac and cheese; it’s a favorite dish kids are more likely to eat, while the cheese does wonders to cover the taste and color of the potatoes. Once they take to the new ingredient, try it in other recipes that showcase it more. Remember not to force the issue. While it can be frustrating, letting your child guide the conversation leaves foods open for exploration later. Trying to force something can cause resentment to both the food and the process.


Stocking the Pantry So what are some easy-to-find superfoods you can start incorporating into your family’s meals? Here is a list of some of our favorites! FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: • Carrots • Garlic • Fennel • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.) • Pumpkins and their seeds GRAINS: • Oatmeal • Brown rice • Quinoa • Millet • Buckwheat SPICES: • Turmeric • Cinnamon • Cayenne • Ginger • Cardamom PROTEINS: • Eggs • Oily fish (salmon, sardines, etc.) • Greek yogurt • Almonds, pine nuts, and peanuts • Grass-fed beef No matter what your current meal rotation is, don’t try changing things up completely. Small, easy to manage adjustments are better than attempting to change your entire lifestyle. Theresa notes, "I wish we could convince people to not think about things as 'a diet.' People go on this diet, that diet, or whatever. Focus instead on healthy eating and making good food choices." Add a few of our suggestions to your daily routine, or make healthy substitutions where it’s easy, and you’re more likely to reap the benefits of superfoods in your daily life.





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as Gifts Teach your kids the real spirit of the season by emphasizing activities over toys

words Mark Petruska


ew parents ever say “my kids don’t have enough toys!” They seem to accumulate over the years, despite our best efforts to keep them contained in a toy box, and convincing children to part ways with their favorites is an exercise in futility. One great way to reduce the clutter, while teaching your kids to place less importance on material objects, is to give them experiences instead of gifts this holiday season.

WHY EXPERIENCES MAKE GREAT GIFTS There are many reasons to go the experience route beyond simply teaching them good values. First of all, scientific studies have found that experiences bring people more happiness than possessions. According to psychologists, much of this has to do with anticipation. Looking forward to an experience elicits a prolonged period of excitement leading up to the occasion. Waiting for something is almost as pleasurable as the actual experience itself!



Experiences truly are the gifts that keep on giving. Memories last a lifetime and continue to make us happy as we recall them even years later. Some people believe that objects bring greater value because they last a long time while experiences are fleeting, but in reality once the initial joy over a material gift dissipates, our appreciation for it wanes. How often have you given your child a gift they begged and pleaded for, only to find it lying on their bedroom floor surrounded by other unplayed-with toys a week later? Experiences also eliminate competition; siblings won’t fight over who got the better gift, or compare their hauls to see who ended up with more presents. Because they’re often enjoyed as a family or in groups, experiences provide a better social connection (and are a great way to break out of the doldrums of too much time spent cooped up in the house together). Local father of three Ryan Hall has long been a proponent of experiences over physical gifts. “Usually we do a trip or something,” he says. Over the years, those

excursions have included concerts, a visit to the Denver Aquarium, and a backpacking trip on the Centennial Trail. For Ryan, the benefits are simple. “My kids like it because it’s something they can have forever—they don’t just throw it away or outgrow it,” he explains. “And I get to spend quality time with all three at once or individually. You have a memory and irreplaceable quality time; you’re not throwing away whatever gift you spend money on.” Ryan’s advice to other parents thinking about giving their kids experiences? Tailor them to each child’s unique interests. “Try to choose something that forces you to spend quality time together,” he continues. “Something you can do with them that makes it a bonding experience. In this disconnected world, those are few and far between.” EXPERIENCE GIFTS FOR ALL AGES The great thing about experience gifts is there’s something for kids of all ages. You can perfectly pair experiences with each child’s interests. Here are some ideas to help you get started.


Hobby Lessons

If your kids are interested in taking up new activities but don’t yet have the skills, consider signing them up for lessons that will either teach them the basics or help expand their knowledge! Possibilities include: • Dance lessons • Yoga classes • Skating lessons • Cooking classes

• Music lessons (with an instrument of their choosing) • Creative writing classes • Swimming lessons


Outdoor Adventures We are fortunate to live in an area with year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation. Help stoke your child’s enthusiasm for the great outdoors with one (or more) of the following experiences: • Fishing trip • Wilderness/nature survival courses • Horseback riding excursion • State and national park passes • Summer camp • Whitewater rafting trip • Hot air balloon ride

Sports Fans

Whether your child enjoys watching sports or participating in the action, there are plenty of great experiences that will thrill them, such as: • Tickets to a professional sporting event • Seasonal pass to an ice or roller skating rink • Sports camps • Miniature golf passes • Indoor rock climbing membership • Bowling passes • Ski mountain lift tickets




Arts & Culture

Kids interested in arts & crafts, fossils, history, and more are sure to love any of the following experiences: • Museum membership • Pottery making classes • Children’s or community theater subscription • Storytelling event or book signing • Aquarium or zoo annual pass • Magazine subscriptions

Indoor Interests

Let’s face it, we can’t always count on the weather to cooperate—and being stuck at home gets old fast. The following indoor experiences are guaranteed to help stave off boredom: • Movie or concert tickets • Escape room passes • Yoga classes • Computer camp • Trampoline play zone passes • STEM makerspace membership


Family Fun

To really foster a sense of togetherness, plan an experience the whole family will enjoy! You might opt for the following: • Family movie or board game night • Parent/child painting class • Dining out (take turns choosing restaurants) • Camping trip • YMCA family pass • Weekend getaway in a cabin or hotel • Scavenger or treasure hunt While the emphasis is on the experience, you could include a simple tangible gift tied to the experience (ballet shoes for dance lessons, team cap for a sporting event). These items are generally inexpensive and will help tide your child over until they can enjoy their experience.





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The impact of volunteering as a family.



As parents, we want our children to find happiness and success as they navigate life and grow into the adults they will eventually become. Volunteerism can play an important role in families’ lives, especially for little ones. Nathan and Kirsten Belcher have lived in Rapid City for the past eight years, but their family’s involvement in International Students, Inc. (ISI) started long before they


No matter how old the girls were, they can see us serving. Some things are just better caught than taught.

The Belcher family walks the walk. Serving others in the Black Hills community lifts up the people around them, but also strengthens their bond as a family.

were even married. “We have big hearts for international students and spouses,” said Kirsten. “ISI gives them an opportunity to learn the area, connect, and find the resources they need while they call the area home.” Kirsten and Nathan met in college at the South Dakota School of Mines before getting married and moving to New York state for graduate school. Through their studies and preparation with their church, the couple then moved to Russia. After a short six months, their lives took an unexpected shift, and they returned stateside when their daughter Nadya fell ill. Now 12 years old, and the middle child of three girls, Nadya serves alongside her parents and sisters Grace, 16, and Amina, 8. “We have always volunteered as a family,” explained Nathan. “It’s valuable to me, but if I don’t show my children, they won’t understand the reason as well as if they were participating for themselves. Volunteering helps them realize there is more in this world beyond their lives. They have the opportunity to meet others and hear their stories, then learn how they will play a role in society.” The child who has experienced a full-circle impact of serving others is the Belchers’ eldest daughter, Grace. Now that she is a similar age to the students

ISI supports, she engages into deeper conversations with them at ISI’s Friday night meals. Nadya often helps serve meals and bus tables, and Amina will help clean. But it didn’t start off diving into designated roles. Amina has been volunteering with her parents since she was one year old—cheering up homesick international attendees. “It goes back to modeling for our children,” said Nathan. “The true expression of who you are is in what you do. No matter how old the girls were, they can see us serving. Some things are just better caught than taught.” The Belchers have created a schedule to make volunteering with ISI a priority in their lives. It didn’t happen overnight, but with a lot of family communication and input, their week is filled with scouts, ISI, and family activities they can do together. “We have bad days,” laughs Kirsten. “You have to be patient and flexible. It won’t be perfect every time! Making strategic choices and talking to each other about our expectations has gotten our volunteer time to a place where it’s just part of our rhythm.” As Grace enters her final years in high school, college is on her mind, but helping people is still in her heart. “I’ve only known that we serve people. That’s what we do in this family, and that’s who I am,” she said. Not every volunteer opportunity is ideal for every family. From serving meals and donating clothes to sharing your skills and giving your time, there is something for every chapter your family is in. Take the time to prioritize volunteerism; it could change the world. BHPARENT 37

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How To Choose The Best Volunteer Activities For Your Family words Sandi Schwartz Volunteering as a family is such a wonderful way to bond and to feel better overall. When we make others happy, we experience an amazing biological phenomenon called a “helper’s high” that is the result of our brain releasing chemicals called endorphins. We experience an energy in our body that is similar to the rush we feel after we exercise. These positive feelings make our kids happier and healthier by reducing stress and anxiety and feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression. Finding the right family volunteer activities can be overwhelming at times. You may feel uncertain about what is expected and question whether your children can participate. It is so important that your children feel comfortable where you volunteer, get inspired by the work you do, and enjoy themselves. Without these three components, our children won’t reap all the amazing benefits of volunteering. Plus, we want them to love helping others so they continue to do so for a lifetime. When searching for the appropriate activity, consider the following priorities.

Project Focus

The first step is to brainstorm as a family to decide what types of volunteer activities you are interested in doing. Ask your children who they would like to help. Is there a particular cause they feel passionate about, such as feeding homeless people, making art for other children, helping animals, or visiting the elderly or sick? What interests, skills, and talents do your family members have? Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors? Do you wish to work directly with people or do something quiet like painting or pulling weeds? The options are endless, so it is important to narrow down your choices and focus on projects that your family will get the most out of. 40


Organization’s Mission

Do your research before you sign up with a specific organization. Find out the group’s history and how it got started, the goals and mission, who its leaders are, and how it is funded. Check their website, search online for press coverage, and visit sites like www.charitywatch.org and www. charitynavigator.org. If possible, ask a current or past volunteer about the pros and cons of the organization. Getting a referral from someone you know is the best option, especially because your children will be participating.


Next, you will want to make sure you search for projects that are close to home so you do not have to drag your kids far to volunteer. Check your local paper, call charitable organizations, or search online to find the perfect places for kids to volunteer in your area.


Although rare, check to see if there are any fees to volunteer. You may also want to consider any other costs involved like travel, equipment such as certain clothing required, or requested products or monetary donations.


Time Commitment

Decide how much time you have to volunteer. It could be once a week, once a month, or once a year. Start slow and gradually increase your involvement if the project is working out well. You may choose to volunteer with different organizations each time to expose your children to a wide variety of experiences.

Age Range Guidelines

Look for activities that your whole family can participate in. Before you commit to a project, check to see if there are any age requirements listed. It may take some hunting around, but you should be able to find age-appropriate options. Even babies can take part in nursing home visits, charity walks, and beach cleanups.

Activity Expectations

Before you show up, find out exactly what you will be doing. Will there be heavy lifting involved? Will you have to get down and dirty? Will the project be a boring and repetitive task that will make your kids annoyed? Make sure the activity is something that your kids will actually enjoy before you invest your time.


No matter what, safety needs to come first when children are involved. You may want to avoid going to activities in neighborhoods that make you uncomfortable. Your kids may be scared to talk to strangers, so consider starting with familiar people and places. As they get older, you can start to venture out and expose them to more mature situations.

Fun Factor

Finally, if it isn’t an enjoyable experience for your kids, then what’s the point? Choose projects that involve your children in a fun way, but also teach and inspire them. Avoid topics and activities that are too serious and sad for young children. Be sure to engage with them afterwards and ask what they thought, and if they would be willing to do it again.

TEAMMATES Mentoring Our Future G

raduating from high school is one of the earliest and most important milestones to set us up for success in life. That goal, however, isn’t always easy or even attainable for every student. This is where TeamMates comes in; a program that believes caring adults mentoring school age children can make a big impact.

Humble Beginnings

words Ashley Johnson photos Jesse Brown Nelson 42


TeamMates was started in 1991 by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne, matching 22 University of Nebraska-Lincoln football players with Lincoln middle school students. Coach Osborne saw a need in his community, and thought the players could make an impact. Of the first class

of students, 21 graduated high school, with 18 continuing on in post-secondary education. In 1998 it became a statewide program, and in 2018 spread into South Dakota. The Custer-Hermosa school district led the charge, with programs in Rapid City, Spearfish, and Sioux Falls following suit. Chapters are being developed in more communities throughout the hills, with some hoping to start taking applications in spring of 2021. While it may seem similar to other youth mentoring programs, what sets TeamMates apart is its carefully structured approach. Jess Karim, the Regional Coordinator for TeamMates in South Dakota, notes that “When folks mentor with us, they join a team of experts


who support them through training, feedback and advice when needed.” Mentees and mentors meet once a week during the academic year at school. They don’t exchange personal information or interact outside of this onceweekly visit, which allows both sides to engage and interact while still maintaining that boundary.

Jess Karim says “The TeamMates Mentoring Program makes it possible for anyone to be successful in mentoring a young person, thus creating a positive impact in our community.”

Inspiring Change Through Hope

Hope is a big deal in the TeamMates Mentoring Program. JC Joyce, a mentor with the Rapid City chapter, says the program focuses on strengths: “When you highlight what [mentees] are doing well and not what’s going wrong, that hope measurement really comes into play.” For the 2018-19 school year, 91% of mentees said they had a more hopeful outlook for their future than they did prior to participating. Unfortunately, in-person meetings are on hold for now, but local programs are working hard to adapt and overcome. For now, mentors and mentees use a virtual web portal that allows them to meet, while their privacy is protected via TeamMates-assigned user names and passwords required for access. Connection is more important than ever, as over 90% of kids under the age of 18 report feeling lonely in their daily lives—and that was before the current pandemic.

Looking to the Community for Support Creating change: Brandi Christoffer, Program Coordinator for Rapid City; Dr. Lori Simon, Superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools; JC Joyce, TeamMates Mentor; and Jess Karim, South Dakota Regional Coordinator, are all dedicated to the success of TeamMates in Rapid City and the Black Hills.

As with any volunteer-based program, TeamMates struggles to find enough adult mentors to meet the demand. Karim notes that people “might be interested, but the reason they don’t apply is they worry about being good enough.” Mentors in the program are trained prior to being matched, and they are not expected to be counselors or tutors. Volunteers just need to be caring adults who will show up and be a positive, reliable part of a child’s life. She encourages people to think about informal mentoring relationships in their own lives and what they’ve meant, and recognize that the most important thing in the program is just “showing up, caring, and being consistent.” Having time with their mentor is something that mentees have said makes a difference, with 85% of TeamMates mentees

stating that having a mentor makes them excited to go to school. A great resource for the program has been local businesses in Rapid City, such as Black Hills Energy and Scheels. Karim explained that having employers who are willing to support and encourage their employees to participate in TeamMates is huge for them. The time commitment is such that most working professionals can find time over their lunch hour once a week to participate, while some businesses even carve out time for their employees to participate during their day. Either way, the dedication of local volunteers is making a huge difference in the lives of our youth.

Paving the Way Forward

Currently, the Rapid City program is only taking nominations from students at North and South Middle Schools, with hopes to expand into more schools in the future. The program chose to start with middle school students after discussing the program with Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon, who hopes that mentor and mentee pairs can grow their relationship over several years. This lets matched pairs bond better and adds an element of stability for students during some of their most challenging years in school. Adults wanting to be a mentor for any local program can find an application on the official TeamMates website at TeamMates.org. Students at North and South Middle Schools interested in the TeamMates program should contact their school principals for program information and applications. Those in Spearfish and Custer Hermosa Districts can also ask their school administration, or check for contact information at TeamMates.org. School districts interested in implementing a TeamMates program can contact Jess Karim, the South Dakota Regional Coordinator, at ≠≠≠karim.jesslynn@gmail.com. BHPARENT 43

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Coding: The New Literacy. Children are growing up in a different world than their parents. Cell phones, computers, YouTube, Netflix and social media are embedded in their daily lives. It is one thing to know how to use these technologies, but it’s another to understand the logic behind them. Computer programming, or coding, is the language used by people to control these devices. words Chandelle Brink; Owner, Code Ninjas Rapid City

The digital age is built on programming

When learning to program, children understand and tinker with the digital world they inhabit. Coding reveals the seeming “magic” of technology so they can truly understand the logic and science that controls this technology—a discovery that is all the more magical. Our reliance on technology will only increase. The students of today must

be able to not only passively consume this technology, but also understand and control it, becoming an active part of this huge digital shift.

Programming changes the world

For the last several centuries, people relied on the written word to spread ideas. The ability to write was the ability to create change. Today, writing alone is not enough. The ability to code separates those who merely have an idea from those who can make them reality. Building a website, automating tasks, and solving worldwide problems all require knowledge of programming. If you want your child

to be a thinker and innovator who can bring ideas to life, learning the language of computers sets them up for success.

Problem solving and critical thinking skills are in demand

Problem solving is the core of computer science. When a child programs, they must first understand how a human solves a problem, and then translate that into an algorithm (a set of steps). When it doesn’t work as expected, they use problem solving skills to identify the problem with their code. These critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential in many top positions.

Programming can be natural, easy and fun to learn

When a child programs an object on the screen—or in real life, such as a robot—to move in a certain way and then immediately sees the results they wanted, they know they have communicated correctly to the computer. This type of instant positive reinforcement is an incredibly powerful educational tool. BHPARENT 45


How to Prevent Holiday Season Overspending Make a budget. This includes more

than just gifts: think travel expenses, decorations, gift wrapping supplies, and food and drink if you’re hosting dinner or taking a dish to a gathering. List out every category you anticipate spending money on, and then prioritize them. Then you can set aside money to each category, and be able to cut or reallocate as necessary.

Be aware of retail tricks to get you to

spend money you don’t need to. Make a list—and stick to it—to avoid impulse buying. Big box retailers will send you all kinds of shiny, glossy advertisements with huge sales; check them for items on your list, and if they don’t have what you need, do yourself a favor and throw away the advertisement to remove temptation.

Redeem credit card rewards to

give your budget a boost. Almost every card offers some sort of rewards system these days, but almost a third of Americans don’t use them. Points also tend to lose value over time or expire, so using them often gets you the best bang for your buck. Likewise, if you use them, keep your best credit card at the top of your wallet—the one with the lowest interest rate or best rewards, for example.

park. Giving your time or experiences as gifts can have a longer lasting impact than buying something at the store.

Limit self-gifting. This is a trend that

has been on the rise in recent years, and while self-care is important, holding off can have two benefits: first, you might be given gift cards (or the gift itself!) that you can use to buy what you have your eye on. Or, you might find what you want in post-holiday sales and score a better deal.

Finally, track your spending.

Not only does this help you keep your budget in mind, it helps you do better next year. Perhaps you sorely underestimated your travel expenses—now you know, and you can prepare and save up so next year you aren’t caught in a lurch.

Watch out for convenience costs like rushed shipping for a last-minute gift, or adding extra things to your cart to get that “free” shipping. Likewise, keep your online shopping time to a minimum, as more time spent means you’re more likely to buy more than you meant to.

Set gift expectations, and stick

to them. For older or extended families, a Secret Santa gift exchange is a great way for everyone to feel included, but takes a huge financial burden off everyone. For kids, try the 4 gift rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.

Think outside the box for gift giving!

Not everything has to cost money. Consider giving things like help with spring yard cleaning, a night of babysitting for a friend, or homemade coupons for play dates in the



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words Maren Gaul, D.O. Monument Health Dermatologist

avoiding “MASKNE”

In the age of COVID-19, there’s a new type of skin condition caused by wearing a face mask for extended periods. Some have dubbed it “maskne.” I know maskne can be frustrating, but remember these two things: your dermatologist can help you manage maskne, and we need to protect our community from being overwhelmed by COVID-19. The best way to do this is by masking up in public. I’m afraid this dreaded new skin condition will be with us for the foreseeable future. When you wear a face mask, the fabric or paper is in constant contact with your skin. This can cause irritation, redness, rashes and conditions similar to acne, folliculitis and rosacea. This can be even more frustrating for any teenagers in your family, who are already dealing with acne due to hormonal changes, stress and inflammatory diets with excess simple carbohydrates and sugar. What can you do? First, everyone should be gently cleansing, moisturizing and avoiding manipulation of the skin. This is good advice always, and has become even more important now. This will maintain a healthy skin barrier in all conditions. Also, don’t rub or pick the flaky skin off, as this can cause new

problems. Wash your face with a gentle hydrating cleanser as soon as you take off your mask. After you’ve washed your skin, pat it dry, then apply a moisturizer. Depending on how irritated the skin is, you may need an emollient (a thicker, greasier moisturizer). If you are experiencing milder irritation, you can just use a lotion (made with water) or cream (made with oils). Also, before putting on your mask, you may want to apply moisturizer to the areas of your face where you mask typically rubs. We tend to treat maskne similarly to acne or rosacea. Some great over-thecounter things to add to the general washing and moisturizing at least twice a day are products with acnefighting ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, sulfur, benzoyl peroxide, and retinols/retinoids (as long as you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding). Generally, it is good to start with one product for a few weeks so you don’t get too dry or irritated, and you know what helps or what your skin can tolerate.

These are my favorite products: Acne-fighting cleansers: PanOxyl benzoyl peroxide wash Neutrogena salicylic acid wash Glytone Glycolic creamy wash Differin Gel Hydrating cleansers: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Vanicream bar soap or liquid facial cleanser Dove bar soap

Remember to moisturize more if you are starting any of these products and notice more dryness than usual. It takes time for skin to get used to new regimens. If you notice scarring, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist immediately.

Emollients: Vaniply (Vanicream ointment) CeraVe Healing Ointment Aquaphor Healing Ointment Lotions: CeraVe lotion Aveeno 24-hour moisturizing lotion Lipikar La Roche – Posay Body Lotion Creams: CeraVe Cream La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP+ Body Cream

Maren Gaul, D.O. is a Dermatologist at the Monument Health Rapid City Clinic on Fifth Street. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Dermatology. To make an appointment, call (605) 755-5340. BHPARENT 49



Welcome back from a time of being away due to the Coronavirus. This pandemic has had an impact that we can all feel. Something that you may not necessarily feel, however, is the true impact that it has had on your oral health. Gingivitis and periodontitis are conditions of the gingiva, more commonly referred to as your gums. These conditions do not cause any discomfort to the gums, and it is typically a surprise when patients are told that they have either of these conditions. Gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. You can start to see warning signs of the conditions if you notice that you have bleeding in your gums. We check for this and the health of your gums with measurements along the gumline. You may also notice that you have some recession of your gums, which is where

they have moved down and exposed the root surface of your teeth. In this time of the pandemic, many have missed their routine care of having their six-month check up and cleanings. Now that we are back and serving our patients, we are finding an increase in the amount of people who are displaying these conditions. Stress is also a factor, and these stressful times coupled with the delay in provided services has had a negative impact on the population’s oral health. To get back on track with your oral health, schedule your checkup and cleaning at All About Smiles Valley Dental. We are accepting new patients, and are proud to accept and work with a variety of dental insurance companies for your convenience. We can bring health back to your smile; call for an appointment today at 605-343-6691. Stay safe and healthy, Dr. Sara Reausaw All About Smiles Valley Dental







605-343-6691 4215 Berniece Street Rapid City, SD 57701 Summer Hours: M-TH 8am-4pm Winter Hours: M-TH 8am-5pm Every Fri 8am-12pm


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If you are willing to carry a baby for a family in need, benefit packages range between $38,000 - $45,000. Surrogates must be between the ages of 23 - 39 and have previously carried a full, healthy pregnancy to term.

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Early Intervention is Key! We offer educational services to help change a child's developmental path and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. Our mission is to build bridges, create common goals, and help families navigate the RTI, 504 & IEP process. With our extensive knowledge, we're here to help your child, and help your family!

Interventions. Advocacy. Outcomes.

Jackie Waldie

605.431.3318 inspire1learning.com

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This is not a “throwaway” school year It’s the perfect opportunity to watch, understand, and document how your child learns.

myriad of possibilities that can be used during online learning. If the suspected learning disability affects a major life activity, they will qualify. Remember, grades are not an indicator of a disability. Your child can have good grades due to your support, coping mechanisms, or even sheer will. Many children have strong coping mechanisms that mask learning problems.

words Jackie Waldie Inspire Education Due to COVID-19, our children are spending a great amount of time at home. Frequent quarantines and school closures are causing havoc on the academic and mental well-being of our children. This is not a “throwaway” school year; it’s the perfect opportunity to watch, understand, and document how your child learns. Pay attention to when, where, and how they are struggling—now is your chance to note these concerns and share them with their school. This is powerful and can have a large impact on your children’s education.


As you document your observations, you may see a pattern start to arise. Do you suspect depression or anxiety? Perhaps you suspect dyslexia? Maybe ADHD? All of these are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and your child may qualify for services that could help them make progress. You can notify your child’s school in writing that you suspect a learning disability that might be causing them to struggle. The school will then contact you to determine when and how to start the evaluation process. You can also contact your pediatrician or


a special education advocate who can offer referrals and guidance. Once the evaluations are complete, your child may qualify for a 504 plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Knowing the difference between these two is important. A 504 plan is all about access—it guarantees equal access to an education. Think of it as leveling the playing field. So, if a child has a qualifying disability, such as ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, or diabetes, the question becomes what do they need to access their education? What kind of accommodations will help them succeed? Do they need extended time? Will audio books help? There are a

An IEP differs greatly from a 504. You do not “get” an IEP, rather, you are found eligible for one. This means your child will receive specialized instruction. They will have annual goals, accommodations, and a clear plan on how they will make progress. This includes things like social or emotional needs, academics, and attention. Some of the categories under IDEA are specific learning disabilities like dyslexia, other health impairments like ADHD, autism, or emotional disturbances, and speech or visual impairment. If you feel there is a need, act quickly. The sooner the process starts, the sooner your child can get assistance. My motto is “Intervene early and often. Don’t wait.” The documentation of what you saw at home, possible input from a pediatrician or therapist and your child’s experience are all things to share with the school. In these times of frustration, there is hope! Reach out to the experts, everyone is more than happy to help. Inspire Education 605.431.3318 inspire1learning@gmail.com inspire1learning.com



We’re Expanding! Starting November 2020, our Internal Medicine, Rheumatology & Infusion departments will be sharing space with our neighbors at Open Mortgage. 3024 Tower Road Suite #2 Rapid City, SD 57701

Now Scheduling

605-791-6220 RapidCityMedicalCenter.com



PROUD SPONSORS OF FAMILY MOMENTS Wendy Miller, a retired Speech Language Pathology Assistant from Custer, reads to her grandson Torsten.

Play on words

Storytelling is a tradition that spans centuries—in fact, oral stories passed through generations are some of the earliest historical records we have. words Ashley Johnson photos Jesse Brown Nelson

In today’s world, storytelling is a great way to bond with your grandkids, but also help them develop crucial skills. We asked Wendy Miller, a retired Speech Language Pathology Assistant in Custer, to give us some tips to help engage with your grandchildren.

Start early

Hearing voices from the womb introduces babies to their family’s voices, plus it’s a way to bond with your children as they experience a new life phase. Once babies are born, talking to them often is incredibly important, as hearing a familiar voice can be soothing. Now is also a great time to build your storytelling skills, so as your grandchildren grow up you’re ready to dive in.

Language before books

Young children and babies like short storybooks and bright pictures, but they don’t always have the attention to get through a book. Nonetheless, there are activities you can do together that will help them build language skills. Walking around the house and narrating your actions or describing what you see are great vocabulary builders for babies. As they grow into toddlers and start forming basic sentences, Wendy says to follow their lead: “when children point something out, extend their sentences. If they say ‘horse,’ say something like ‘yes, that is a brown horse.’ You’re taking the knowledge they have and expanding it.”

Help children grow

Once your grandchildren are old enough to sit through more than a short picture book, the real fun begins. Because you are a familiar

How to get started • Here are some fun activities you can propose to your grandchildren: • Children love hearing about themselves; tell a story about them and ask them their favorite part. • Create a fun place to tell stories, such as a pillow fort, or a blanket tent. Setting the scene to be fun can make story time magical. • Let them ask questions and see where the conversation goes. • Get out the photo albums! Kids tend to be visual learners, so letting them flip through pictures and ask questions is a great way to open up the conversation. • Same book again? Try pausing and having them finish the sentence. Filling in familiar words boosts memory skills.

face, children will engage with you more than they will a screen. Have a talker who likes to interject? Wendy says to gently focus their energy by “using openended questions or intentionally taking a pause in your story—you give them space to start thinking about what comes next!” Doing this also encourages critical thinking and processing skills.

Guiding their future

Storytelling is also a great foundation for children’s future learning. By listening to you, they pick up on natural language patterns such as tone and inflection. They also learn how to concentrate and determine meaning from someone who is speaking—skills that will serve them well and boost academic success. The benefits expand beyond the classroom, as well. By detailing past experiences and struggles you’ve overcome in life, you instill virtues they carry with them for life. Sitting down and telling a story helps children understand the world around them, and learning through your experiences solidifies their sense of family connection. BHPARENT 55










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Holiday Happenings HOLIDAY MARKETS

December 3-6 Hatchery Holidays DC booth fish hatchery, Spearfish, 10am-4pm December 5 Winter Market and Christmas Festival Box Elder, 3-7pm December 5 Kountry Junkin Market Central States Fairground, 10am-3pm December 5 20th Annual Christmas Stroll and Holidazzle Light Parade Spearfish, 11am-8pm. December 11-12 Kris Kringle’s Christmas Market at Outlaw Square Deadwood December 19 Rapid City Holiday Marketplace Central States Fairgrounds, 8am-2pm December 19 Christmas Market Lead, 12-3pm. January 16-17 Spearfish Makers Market & Vendor Fair Barn at Aspen Acres. Saturday 12-8pm, Sunday 9am-1pm.


December 1 - February 17 Main Street Square Ice Rink 2-for-1 rentals and admission on Tuesdays.



PARADES AND TREE LIGHTINGS December 4 Deadwood Tree Lighting Outlaw Square, Deadwood, Tree lighting at 5:15pm, Santa arrives 5:30pm.

December 5 - January 1 Festival of Trees Custer State Park, Free with pass to the park. Vote for your favorite, winner announced January 1st. December 5 Box Elder Tree Lighting & S’mores, 5pm December 5 Spearfish Light Parade Starts at Spearfish Rec & Aquatics. Spearfish, 6pm December 5 31st Annual Custer Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting in Way Park 5:30pm


December 6 High Country Christmas Paul Larson, Kenny Putnam, Jami Lynn, Chet Murray perform Christmas classics. High Country Guest Ranch, Hill City, 1:30pm. December 20 A Very Potter Christmas Joni Orion & Stacey Potter, along with Luke Anderson, Lizzie Anderson, and Big John Burress for a dinner show. Holiday Inn, Rapid City, 7-9pm.








Keystone is Prioritizing Safe Travel VisitKeystoneSD.com/COVID-19


reserve your space for spring

We’ve remade our store for your family!


We invite you to come check us out. You’ll have plenty to do before and after you shop!


STORE NOW OFFERING smart toys & games | posters dino items | science kits


dig box | microscope | dress-up trunk discovery boxes | activity tables Open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5 pm 415 Fifth Avenue in Belle Fourche Social distancing in place; hand sanitizers available for public use

Where Art & Science Meet to Optimize Your Oral Health. 605.348.0831 • Fibonacci-Dental.com 2800 Jackson Blvd. Suite 9 • Rapid City



Travel to the North Pole pick up and train enjoyride hot to cocoa cookies route! Bring the kids, family andtofriends forSanta a magical meetand Santa at theen North Pole! Passengers Each child receives a special gift from Santa. enjoy hot chocolate and cookies en route and each child receives a special gi�. Holiday Express- Spiked! departures feature spiked hot cocoa in a keepsake mug.

November 27* & 28* December 5, 6, 12*, 13, 19-20, 24, & 26-27

*These dates include a Holiday Express Spiked option. Visit www.1880train.com for details.




WINTER ACTIVITIES The Black Hills are a winter wonderland with endless ways for families to enjoy the snow! From snowshoeing to building a snowman, here are our tips for fun and safe recreation in the winter. DRESS IN LAYERS Start with a base layer next to the skin made of synthetic or wool fabric which wick moisture away and dry quickly. Avoid cotton, which takes a long time to dry and sticks to skin when wet. Next, layer with a fleece or down jacket to provide insulation. A water or windproof jacket and pants on top of the insulation layer provides protection from the elements. Wear wool or synthetic socks and a hat; a lot of body heat is lost through your head. PACK SNACKS We burn calories quickly in the cold since our body is working harder to regulate its temperature. High caloric treats like dried fruit, trail mix, and granola bars are great options to keep you going. Cheese and salami are also tasty and filling. A thermos of hot cocoa is a fun seasonal treat; it is full of warm calories to keep folks of all ages motivated and fueled! STAY HYDRATED In cold weather, our body works hard to keep our vital organs warm. Extremities such as fingers and toes get less blood flow, making them more susceptible to frostbite. Drinking water is important, since exertion can cause dehydration and

lead to serious injuries like hypothermia and frostbite. If it is difficult to get kids to drink enough water, put in an electrolyte flavoring. Avoid frozen water bottles by packing a thermos of hot water, or by wrapping bottles in socks or fleece inside a backpack. SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA AND FROSTBITE The first signs of frostbite are cold, red skin that feels prickly and painful. To treat, find a warm shelter as soon as possible, remove wet clothing and put on dry layers. If it escalates and the skin becomes hard, waxy and numb, seek medical attention immediately. The first signs of hypothermia are shivering and the “umbles”—stumbling, mumbling, fumbling, and grumbling. If a person is experiencing these symptoms get them to a warm place, remove any wet clothing and rewarm with dry layers and blankets, and have them drink a warm sweet liquid (avoid caffeine and alcohol). If symptoms do not improve with initial rewarming, seek medical attention immediately. FOR EMERGENCIES Phones and batteries die quicker in cold weather so keep devices in a pocket near your body for warmth, and carry extra batteries in case of an emergency.

WITH THESE TIPS IN MIND, HERE ARE SOME OUR FAVORITE PLACES TO EXPLORE: Eagle Cliff Trail System—located in the northern Black Hills National Forest, this area offers over 30 miles of crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing trails with something for all ability levels! Mickelson Trail—a great option for hiking, snowshoeing, and crosscountry skiing because of the easy grade. The Mickelson Trail Office in Lead offers free snowshoes for use. Jewel Cave National Monument— Jewel Cave has two family friendly trails and beautiful scenery. Free snowshoes are available at the visitor center to use within the monument.

Supporting Wonder & Exploration www.blackhillsparks.org 605-745-7020 BHPARENT 63

SDPB Early Learning Initiative SDPB

South Dakota Public Broadcasting

SDPB Early Learning Initiative is an avenue for ongoing conversation between caregivers and SDPB. Sign up for weekly newsletters with links to new material, focus areas, ways to connect to other ELI users, and offer feedback.


SDPB is partnering with Bright by Text, a national parent texting program, to put expert tips, games, and child development tools directly into the hands of parents and caregivers.

Free activities, games and resources for people who care for children prenatal to age 8.

Have older kids? SDPB’s got you covered! Each week, Monday-Friday from 11am-4pm CT (10am-3pm MT), SDPB2/World has educational programming and documentaries for grades 6-12 with additonal PBS Learning Media content (lesson plans, videos, discussion guides, and worksheets). Get a schedule with live links to take you straight to the resources for each program at SDPB.org/learn/worldschedule or visit SDPB.org/learnersconnection for all SDPB distance learning links. 64



Make WIC your sidekick

Many families don’t know they are eligible for WIC and are missing out on lots of helpful benefits and services. If you are pregnant, just had a baby, are breastfeeding, or have infants or children up to five years old, you have a support network ready and waiting for you! Let us be your sidekick. Find out if you are eligibile today at SDWIC.org.


Wholesome food & nutrition education • Access to free, nutritious food • Guidance for how to shop, prepare, and incorporate healthy food into your diet

BETWEEN REGULAR DOCTOR VISITS We check on the health of your children at least once every six months.

• Education on making healthy lifestyle choices Breastfeeding & community support • Lactation consultants and peer groups that listen, share information, and provide moral support • Connection to dentists, pediatricians, immunization services, substance and domestic abuse counselors, and social services

For more information on how WIC can help your family, call 605-773-3361 or visit SDWIC.org BHPARENT 65

Healthy skin in every season. Healthy skin in every season. Happy Holidays from The Skin Institute at Rapid City Medical Center. Happy Holidays from The Skin Institute at Rapid City Medical Center.

Melody Eide, MD, MPH, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist Melody Eide, MD, MPH, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist

Briana Hill, MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist Briana Hill, MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist

Robert Sage, MD, FAAD Fellowship Mohs Surgeon RobertTrained Sage, MD, FAAD Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon


Jason Noble, MD, FAAD Board Certified Jason Noble,Dermatologist MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist

Gregory Wittenberg, MD, FAAD Fellowship Trained Mohs Gregory Wittenberg, MD,Surgeon FAAD Fellowship Trained Mohs Surgeon

Tamara Poling, MD, FAAD Board Certified Tamara Poling,Dermatologist MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist

Jessica Rachetto, PA-C Jessica Rachetto, PA-C

Lycia Scott-Thornburg, MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist Lycia Scott-Thornburg, MD, FAAD Board Certified Dermatologist

Lyndsi Slusarski, PA-C Lyndsi Slusarski, PA-C

(605) 721.DERM (3376) | www.rapidcitymedicalcenter.com/Dermatology (605) 721.DERM (3376) | www.rapidcitymedicalcenter.com/Dermatology


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Black Hills Parent Winter 2020