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EDITOR'S NOTE Students invited to enter contest


CONTRIBUTORS Brittany Gilbert Kellie Bishop

Meagan Lowry

501 KIDS EDITORIAL BOARD Dr. Angie Betancourt Leslie Burrows Dr. Sher Craig Stephanie Crockett Brittany Gilbert

Gloria Massey Nicole Rappold Lanette Rogers Amy Routt Stephanie Worthey

501 Kids is published five times a year by 501 Advertising and Publishing (701 Chestnut St., Conway, Ark. 72032, 501.327.1501). The contents of 501 Kids are copyrighted and materials presented may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publishers. Articles should not be considered specific advice, as individual circumstances vary. Products and services advertised are not necessarily endorsed by 501 Kids. 501 Kids is produced on recycled paper.

501 LIFE is excited to be teaming up again this year with First Security Bank and Conway Regional Health System to present the annual Daffodil Daze Art Contest. Each year we are amazed and impressed by the caliber of artistic talent displayed in the entries we receive from Faulkner County students. Their work is inspiring and captures the beauty we enjoy in Central Arkansas when spring arrives. Last year, judges reviewed nearly 300 entries before deciding on the winners. We don’t envy them the task! “Art is such an important element of our culture and our society,” said Daffodil Daze Chairman Donna Evans. “And so are daffodil flowers in our parks and along our trails! Both lend beauty and creativity to the world of Conway. I’m so excited that Daffodil Daze offers our students an opportunity to display their talents in this unique contest.” The Daffodil Daze Art Contest is open to all Faulkner County students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Entries must be submitted on 8.5 x 11-inch paper in any art medium, including photos. On the back, please list the student’s name, school/

grade/teacher, phone number and email address. The subject can be any variety of daffodil flower(s). Entries will be judged in three school divisions: elementary (kindergarten through fourth grade), middle school (fifth through eighth grade) and junior high/ high school (ninth through 12th grade). A winner from each school, where there are multiple entries, will also be selected. Friday, April 3, is the deadline to submit entries at the 501 LIFE office at 701 Chestnut St. in Downtown Conway. Winners will be announced in 501 LIFE and honored at a reception at Conway Regional Medical Center. For more information, email info@501lifemag. com or call 501.327.1501. Here’s to “Loving LIFE” and enjoying the beauty of spring – including daffodils – in the 501!

features&columns On the cover

Organizers are gearing up for the 12th Annual Kids Run Arkansas (Pages 4-5) planned Friday, April 17, in Conway. (Mike Kemp photo)

3 Event Big changes are in the works for this year’s Tadpole Trot held in conjunction with the Conway Kiwanis Club’s Toad Suck Daze Run.

6 Safety When it comes to water safety, there are important steps that parents and caregivers need to observe.

7 Health Running can be a fun and safe activity for young people but there are several important safety tips to keep in mind. 2

| 501 LIFE KIDS Spring 2020

EVENT Tadpole Trot ‘hopping’ downtown Organizers of the annual Conway Kiwanis Club Toad Suck Daze Run are making big changes to the Tadpole Trot for kids. This year, the Tadpole Trot will be Friday, May 1, and the 10K Run/Walk and 5K Run/Walk will be on Saturday, May 2, at Conway High School. This year’s 10K is a part of the 2020 Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix. The Tadpole Trot has been traditionally held after the 5K and 10K events on Saturday at the high school. In addition to the move to Friday evening, the Tadpole Trot will feature a new venue in Downtown Conway. “Toad Suck Daze takes pride in our children’s programming, so we were excited about the Kiwanis Club’s decision to move the Tadpole Trot to festival grounds,” said Mary Margaret Satterfield, director of Toad Suck Daze and Events at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce. “Integrating the race with the other kid-friendly activities at Toad Suck Daze will only enhance the experience for our youngest festivalgoers.” In addition, Conway Regional Health System is the new presenting sponsor for the Toad Suck Daze Run. “We’re thrilled to be the Presenting Sponsor for

this year’s Toad Suck Daze 5K/10K Run,” said Paul Bradley, director of marketing for the health system. “Conway Regional is committed to supporting the health and wellness of our community, and we’re excited for this partnership.” “Conway Regional has served our community for nearly 100 years, providing compassionate care, expanding health care access, and bringing innovative services to our region,” said Jessica Faulkner, who co-chairs the race committee with Patrick Lewis. “We want to thank Conway Regional for their support and commitment to the health and wellness of our community.” The Tadpole Trot registration is $10, which includes a cotton T-shirt. Entry fee for the 10K and 5K events is $30 until noon Friday, May 1, when it goes up to $35. 5K and 10K entrants receive a technical shirt for those who pre-register. To register, visit toadsuckrun.com and click on the “register now” tab to sign up for the 5K/10K/Tadpole Trot. Over the years, the race has raised more than $400,000 for non-profit organizations. Proceeds from this year’s race will benefit a variety of local nonprofits:

Boys and Girls Club of Faulkner County CAPCA Children’s Advocacy Alliance Community Connections Community Service Inc. HAVEN (Help for Abuse Victims in Emergency Need) Main Stage EdUCAtion Series at Reynolds Performance Hall Milestone Services Inc. The Toad Suck 10K was started by the Conway Kiwanis Club in 1982 and held in conjunction with the Toad Suck Daze Festival. In 1984, First National Bank of Conway (now Regions) began a race in memory of a fellow employee, Randy Baker, who died of cancer. The Randy Baker 8K was conducted for two years, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. In 1986, the Conway Kiwanis Club approached Regions Bank, and the two races were combined. The Kiwanis Club Toad Suck Daze Run continues to be held in memory of Randy Baker, with proceeds benefiting non-profit agencies in the Faulkner County community.


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Spring 2020 501lifemag.com



Kids Run Arkansas

Event promotes fitness, supports schools by Sonja J. Keith

Young people in Central Arkansas and their families are invited each spring to participate in a special event that promotes health and fitness while also supporting school physical education programs. The 12th Annual Kids Run Arkansas is planned 6 p.m. Friday, April 17, at the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center. The event offers fun for the entire family, including face painting, games, food and more, leading up to a 1-mile and 3-mile run/walk. Kids Run Arkansas is presented by the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center and is sponsored by Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. The event is under the direction of Mallory Lefler, fitness coordinator at the health and fitness center. This is her fifth year to serve as the director and she previously volunteered at the event. Amanda Castillo, marketing coordinator and group exercise coordinator at the fitness center, assists Mallory with the event. “We are so excited for the 12th Annual Kids Run Arkansas event,” Mallory said. “The event is a great way for the entire family to be active together. Because of our awesome sponsors, we are able to give away scholarships to local schools for their physical education program, so get your school excited today!” Kids Run Arkansas is open to kids of all ages and abilities as well as their parents. While it is a running event, there is no chipped timing as the event strives to promote fun and fitness for youth and families. Each year, the 10 schools with the highest percentage of participation are awarded grants for their physical education programs. The incentive was added in 2010. For the last four or five years, there have been more than 1,000 participants each year, according to Mallory. In 2019, the runners participating represented 40 different schools from Faulkner and Perry counties. Grants totaling $8,000 were awarded. “Nearly $50,000 has been given back to the schools through PE scholarships,” Amanda said, adding that the largest gift presented was $3,000. Amanda and Mallory describe the competition between schools and students as friendly but also fierce. They noted that in the past two or three years, they have enjoyed watching the schools rally to get students and families registered. Last year, the top two schools were St. Joseph and Woodrow Cummins Elementary. St. Joseph 4

| 501 LIFE KIDS Spring 2020

Kids Run Arkansas Director Mallory Lefler (left) and her daughter, Lakyn, with Amanda Castillo, who assists with the event. (Mike Kemp photo)

has been the top school every year. “St. Joseph is small, but they are mighty. They come out in full force and get every kid to sign up. That’s how they win,” said Amanda. In addition to public and private schools, homeschool students and Girl Scout troops have participated in the event. “This race started with 100-plus kids,” Amanda said, adding that Amy Routt was the original race director and the event had a small budget. “It was a great idea that grew into something big.” KRA was originally held at Conway High School, with the race route through nearby neighborhoods. Later, it was moved to Laurel Park to make it more conducive for families to gather. Over time, the event transformed from a handful of students participating to families, Amanda said. “That’s what I love; it’s a family event,” she said, adding that today 250 to 300 of the participants are parents. Two years ago, Kids Run Arkansas was moved from Laurel Park to the grounds of the fitness center because of park construction. The longer run begins on the parking lot and continues on the city’s bike/walking trail. With positive feedback from participants, orga-

nizers decided to remain at the fitness center. In addition to the growth in registrants, event sponsorships have increased. Different sponsorship levels are available, and the deadline to be included in the T-shirt and other materials is Monday, March 30. Volunteer opportunities are also available. Participation medals were added five years ago. “Kids love them,” Amanda said. Online registration is new this year for Kids

Run Arkansas at runsignup.com. A registration form (with sponsors listed) will continue to be distributed through area schools. Registration is $10 per person. For more information, contact Lefler at 501.450.9292, ext. 309, or mtate@conwayregional. org. Information is also available on the Kids Run Arkansas event page on Facebook. Looking ahead, Mallory and Amanda would like to see more schools in Central Arkansas and throughout the state participate. Additional sponsors would also make it possible to provide more financial support to the schools. “The people I’m friends with, this is an event their kids look forward to. Even if they aren’t actively running throughout the year, they train and get ready for Kids Run Arkansas because they look forward to it and it is fun,” Amanda said. “We are encouraging health and wellness for kids and their parents.” Mallory said KRA is a good family event that is economical. “We do this for fun, purely fun. It is not timed,” said Amanda. “There’s not a first, second and third place. We just want them out there moving, laughing and maybe falling in love with fitness.”

At The Institute Open Spring 2020 Spring 2020 501lifemag.com



Overcoming a fear of water

I’ll admit that kids and swimming has always freaked me out. The news is full of stories of what can happen. I am fully aware that even the most diligent and watchful parent can miss things sometimes, and the worst can happen. I spent way too long being fearful of the water, and last summer, I took steps to prevent the worst. We enrolled our bigger kids in swim lessons at Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center and our 2-year-old in Safety Before Skill lessons.

SWIM LESSONS As the name suggests, Safety Before Skill lessons emphasize safety first, then skills, and that the skills should be taught with proper etiquette from the very beginning. We were taught using songs because that’s how children learn best. We learned right away that our children would not be learning to swim anytime soon. Sometimes it takes a full year of these lessons for a child this age to actually learn to swim proficiently. Our main objective was to teach a child that the wall is the safest place in the pool, how to pull themselves up the wall and how to ask for permission to enter the pool. We also learned several holds as well as how to roll over to their back when in distress. We also practiced helping our kids learn that they can trust us in the water, especially when it comes to going under the water. We took lessons in a small group with seven other toddlers from 18 months to 4 years old. A parent had to be in the water with our group; however, Conway Regional also offers private lessons in which a coach is one-on-one with your child. Because I was in the water with my daughter, I was able to learn some very valuable skills that we continue to work on. In order to have a group lesson in Conway, I 6

| 501 LIFE KIDS Spring 2020

had to contact the director personally and then find other families to do the lessons with us. It was well worth it.

MISCONCEPTIONS One of the biggest and most shocking things I learned as a parent is that Puddle Jumpers (a swim vest) are not considered safe. Sure, they are U.S. Coast Guard approved, but there is a lot that is wrong with them that can be setting you and your child up for an accident. First, Puddle Jumpers provide false security for both parent and child. For a parent, it seems your child is totally able to float in the pool without you being right by their side. For a child, it really feels like they can swim in the water. Puddle Jumpers aren’t as bulky and uncomfortable as a traditional life jacket; therefore, children have been known to jump in the water, not realizing they took their Puddle Jumper off. Second, Puddle Jumpers often train your child to swim vertically and use bicycle kicks instead of proper technique. They also make it difficult for proper arm placement — arms on the sides instead of out in front — and discourage putting their face in the water. This is not how people swim, and it can take years to correct this bad technique. We have experienced this with our older kids who used Puddle Jumpers for years. One of the first things we did was get rid of those Puddle Jumpers and replace them with a Type II or III U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest.

ETIQUETTE Adults should teach kids proper etiquette for whenever they are around water. Kids from a very young age can be taught that they are not allowed to be in or near water without a parent. When we walk around the pool, the parent is closest to the water

and the child is preferably holding their hand. When in the water, you should be as close in distance as your child’s arms, not your own. They are the ones needing to reach out to you if in danger. Start water confidence as early as possible by allowing water to go in your child’s face in the bath or shower. So often, we shield their faces from water, but this can make them afraid of putting their face in the water when they start learning to swim. When you are in a pool, encourage your children to put their faces in the water, too. As a family, we try to continue swimming throughout the year. We’ll continue swim lessons every year for as long as we need to do so to encourage proficiency and skill. We’ll call out any behavior that contradicts the safety advice we’ve learned. We avoid crowded pools, and as adults, we commit to keeping an eye on our kids whenever they are in water. If one of us needs to walk away for a minute, we make sure the other is aware that they will be the main eyes on our children. If, for some reason, both of us need to leave the pool area, our children do, too, unless we have another adult friend near who we trust and have communicated with to watch our kids closely. It doesn’t sound like much fun to be so diligent, but this is what we have learned through our safety classes is necessary to keep our kids safe.

Brittany Gilbert is a former FACS teacher at Maumelle High School. She and her husband, Levi, have three children and live in Conway. Brittany can be reached at b.gilbert37@gmail.com.


Safety tips listed for running Running is an activity that is easily accessible and almost all kids can do. It is a great way to keep your child healthy and active. The Kids Run Arkansas event is just around the corner and many kids within our community will be preparing for the race. Although it is a relatively safe sport, there are always safety considerations when kids are involved. Let’s talk about a few safety tips to keep in mind for the little runner in your life! There are ways you can prevent running injuries prior to even starting the activity. Here are a few things to consider and review with your child before they start running. Get a sports physical and/or make sure your child is up to date on his or her well-child exam with a pediatric healthcare provider. Injuries and tragic medical emergencies during activity can be avoided if your child receives a medical exam prior to starting strenuous activity, such as running. Make sure your child carries some kind of bag with them while running with a form of identification, a cellphone and a whistle to blow if they feel unsafe or injured. Run during daylight hours. If they must run at night, make sure they stay in brightly lit areas and wear bright/ reflective clothing.

Stay on a sidewalk or shoulder of the road and obey traffic rules/signals. Once your child is ready to start running, it is important to make sure they are safe during the activity. Injuries can happen during their running activities so it is important to review these safety tips with them before they run. Always stretch before running. Dynamic stretching is the best way to stretch before a walk or run. It is also important to warm up to running. Try to avoid running during the hottest part of the day to avoid overheating. Make sure your child wears sunscreen of at least SPF 15 and has a hat or visor to shade his or her face. Make sure your child has supportive shoes with intact soles. Ideally, running shoes should be changed about every 250 miles. Give your child a water bottle to carry in their running bag. It is vital to stay hydrated, especially on hot days. Children can become overheated and dehydrated easily. If running in cold weather, make sure all skin is covered. Running is a healthy and relatively inexpensive activity that your child can enjoy most of the year. It provides

great exercise, stress relief and conditioning for the body. Whether your child is running for a track team, running for pleasure or training for and participating in an event, following these safety tips will help prevent injury and ensure your child’s safety while running. Good luck to all the kiddos running in the Kids Run Arkansas race!

Kellie Bishop is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Central Arkansas pediatrics in Conway. She lives in Plumerville with her husband, Greg, their son and two dogs. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Central Arkansas and her master’s and doctorate degrees in pediatric primary care at UAMS.

Little customers are a big deal to us. O N L Y IN A R K A N S A S It’s never too early to teach children to save. That’s why First Security helps parents reinforce savvy saving and smart spending lessons, with banking just for kids. So they can build habits that last a lifetime. Move over, piggy banks – First Security helps kids bank better. When your bank is only in Arkansas, you know it’s all about you.

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As the area’s largest and most comprehensive health and fitness facility, Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center offers something for everyone! Enjoy amenities such as an expansive fitness floor, functional training area, indoor track, pool, sauna, group classes, and more! Visit ConwayRegionalHFC.org, call us at 501-450-9292, or stop by to learn more.

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501 Kids Spring 2020  

Organizers are gearing up for the 12th Annual Kids Run Arkansas (Pages 4-5) planned Friday, April 17, in Conway. (Mike Kemp photo)

501 Kids Spring 2020  

Organizers are gearing up for the 12th Annual Kids Run Arkansas (Pages 4-5) planned Friday, April 17, in Conway. (Mike Kemp photo)