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c o n t e n t s Playing, singing is the fun part of parenting

This month’s features 4 Let them sing

Area choruses and vocal lessons teach children how to find their voices.


When my twins were born, I was a typical new parent who just knew they were the smartest, cutest babies to ever live. As they grew, I spent my days enjoying their company and watching them learn. We “talked” and read stories and learned important social skills like how not to bite a sister on her arm. When they started going to Montessori school at 3 1/2 years old, I hoped that I had done enough to prepare them. Getting children ready for their first schooling experience is both fun and challenging. See our story on Page 6 for helpful tips. When I started working two nights a week, my parents took care of my girls. Before they fell asleep, I always read to Sammy and Becca. My mom did the same, but she also started singing a song to them. When I tried to sing one night, they both said, “That’s OK, Mommy, Grammy sings that.” Perhaps if I had taken singing lessons, the results would have been different. See our story on Page 4 on where in the area to get singing lessons. Nancy Sluder, editor

6 Learning tips

The five types of things every child should know before kindergarten.

8 Young actors

Being involved in theater helps children develop new strengths.

12 Finding help

Tutoring programs assist students in getting back on track in school.


16 15 good reads

Our librarian highlights some of the best books for children of all ages.

18 Stay active

Keep your family busy this winter with tubing, bowling and more.

22 Smart games

We find 10 great games that are fun and teach something, too.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices..........................29 Recall Roundup.....................30 Show & Tell ..........................31 Home-school Happenings........38 Video Games ........................40 Divorced Families...................41 Librarian’s Picks....................42 Growing Together...................43 Kids and Sports ....................44 Kitchen Kids.........................45 Puzzles ...........................48-49 Story Times ..........................50 Calendar .........................52-64


24 Get artsy

Art classes bring out the creative side in children.

On the cover

Photo special to WNC Parent.

Are you a member?

Join the conversation at

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 828-232-5845 I PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Nancy Sluder FEATURES EDITOR Bruce Steele STAFF WRITER Barbara Blake

ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Miranda Weerheim - 232-5980 ADVERTISING Lisa Field - 252-5907 COPY EDITOR Katie Wadington

CALENDAR CONTENT Submit in writing via P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802-2090 or e-mail SUBMISSION DEADLINES Advertising deadline for the February issue is Jan. 19 Calendar items are due by Jan. 10

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The Asheville Symphony Children’s Chorus rehearses for the Holiday Pops concert. It is one of many choral groups open to school-age children in WNC.

Sing, sing, sing!

Area choirs teach children musical skills and more By Lindsay Nash WNC Parent contributor

With so many great choral opportunities in the area, how do you get started?

It usually starts at a young age: children who just can’t stop singing. They belt out tunes in the tub; in the car on their way to school; in bed at night; at staged concerts in your living room; and with all their favorite cartoons and kids songs. So how do you turn an honest love and hobby to a real educational opportunity and passion for your child? “The young voice just needs to be singing,” said Timothy Wilds, interim director of the Asheville Symphony Children’s Chorus.

Choral opportunities


In our “American Idol” society, Wilds admits that many children see singing as a quick route to Hollywood. But, unfortunately, only a very small number of people are destined for stardom. “That’s why it’s important to get children singing chorally, with other people,” Wilds said. “Because in the real world, most musicians spend the bulk of their music careers making music with other people, not being solo artists.” Choral singing is an opportunity for

learning the skills of vocal production and rhythm and pitch reading, Wilds said. “It’s great to start them young because they don’t seem to be overcome by it,” he said. “They do it in such a methodical way. They adopt it quickly and they use it for the rest of their lives.” In addition to the many local choral groups, many WNC schools offer great programs with opportunities to get involved in music at a young age. In Buncombe County, Cane Creek Middle School and Reynolds High School have created a reputation for good choral programs. “I hear parents say all the time that

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they moved into this district for this,” said Reynolds choir director Janis Bryant, who recently took her awardwinning choir to China. Martha Weathers Brown, director of Voices of Laurel children’s choir in Haywood County, said that becoming part of a choral group is just a great, wholesome activity. “It teaches self-discipline, commitment, dedication and interpersonal skills,” said Brown, whose choir includes 90 students from four WNC counties. But when deciding which group your child should join, it’s important to be aware of each group’s background. “It’s important to make sure whatever group you decide to become involved with, you know the group’s philosophy,” said Anjie Grady, director of the Blue Ridge Home School Choir. “Some are based on biblical teachings, some are secular. Just line up with the philosophy you are looking for.”

Private singing lessons So at what point should you sign up your child for private singing lessons? Well, welcome to a debate where there are two distinct schools of thought. On one hand, some singing instructors say they believe you can start your child at any age or level. “Kids are going to sing no matter what,” said Ginger Haselden, director of the Celebration Singers of Asheville. “They’re going to be singing in school and in their churches. So why not show them the correct way to sing and breathe? “ Haselden is a firm believer that the lessons do more good than harm. “You have to make sure the material is age appropriate and not pushing at all the tone of the child,” she said. “It’s important to let it flow and to teach them the skills that come from breathing and correct vowel pronunciation.” Supporting the opposite belief, Bryant, of the Reynolds choir, believes children should not start private lessons until they are at least 14, when a voice is more mature. “When people call me for voice lessons for younger children, I encourage Continues on Page 11



What every kindergartner should know By Barbara Blake WNC Parent writer In the past, there might have been some thinking that children only begin “officially” learning when they start preschool or kindergarten and have an official, certified teacher running the show. Nothing could be further from the truth. Parents are their children’s first and best teacher, modeling behaviors and skills from the time the child is born. When children arrive in kindergarten, they should have at least a basic set of skills that are developmentally appropriate for their age, both socially and academically. The more solid those skills, the more likely the child will succeed there and beyond. Meggan Russell, director of Smart Start of Buncombe County’s Transition to Kindergarten program, said there are five areas of development for children: physical, emotional and social, language, cognitive and “approaches to learning.” “It is important to develop the whole child, and parents can do this by providing experiences to strengthen each area of development, not just one or two,” Russell said. “For example, a child might be able to recognize all the letters of the alphabet, but if they can’t get along with others, they won’t be as successful in kindergarten.” Alex Morgan, a kindergarten teacher at Hominy Valley Elementary School, said a child’s experience in school will be enhanced if he or she knows basic self-care skills such as being able to blow their own nose, care for their bathroom needs, be able to button, snap and zip as needed, and take off their own coats. “It would be nice if they could open, unpack and repack their backpacks and put them on and off by themselves,” Morgan said. “Some children come in with their new backpacks and have no idea how to put them on or take them off, or put things in and out of them,” she



Children and parents participate in a Play and Learn session at Asheville City Schools Preschool. Marna Holland uses a “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” puppet to lead the kids in singing the song.

UPCOMING EVENTS ◆ Smart Start’s Transition to Kindergarten program will hold family information workshops 5:30-6:30 p.m. Jan. 7 at the North Asheville Library and 10-11 a.m. Feb. 11 at the West Asheville Library. Call 225-5283 or email ◆ The Jewish Community Center will have a free training session for parents of preschoolers at 5 p.m. Jan. 14 at the JCC at 236 Charlotte St. Call 253-0701 or visit

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said. There are myriad academic skills that children should learn from teachers, but there are an equal number of ways that parents can help develop support skills that will help their kids be good citizens and go to school eager to learn. Parents of children ages 3-5 can take advantage of a number of resources offered by the Transition to Kindergarten program, which is based on the state’s early learning standards. The program also offers a detailed brochure that guides parents in ways they can help their children develop skills through everyday activities. Russell said the guidelines are general, showing what skills educators would like children to have by the time they start school. But no two children are alike, she said. “We would like children to be able to do these things, but not all children are developmentally ready to master these skills in pre-K,” she said. “The standards are a generalized guideline to the development of children at age 4. But some children will exhibit certain characteristics and behaviors at earlier ages, and others will take longer to acquire a given set of skills.” Here are a few ideas for parents to help their children learn skills in the five areas of development. For more information or for a brochure, contact Smart Start of Buncombe County at and click on “school readiness” or call 225-5283.

Emotional and social development Children should begin to show selfconfidence, play with one or two other children, express feelings and manage them appropriately, and develop skills for dealing with change. Parents can: ◆ Discuss feelings and how to handle them, and help children see the natural consequences of their actions. ◆ Promote respect and appreciation for the cultures and abilities of others. ◆ Establish, explain and model simple rules. ◆ Remind your child about sharing and “using their words” to get what they want. ◆ Discuss what makes a good friend,

Henry Baumrind, 2, stacks play ice cream cones with his mom, Elizabeth, at a Play and Learn session. how to work out a disagreement, and how to deal with differences. ◆ Plan opportunities for interaction, such as a play group, story time at the library or playing at the park. ◆ Play simple board games or card games to teach how to follow rules and take turns. ◆ Catch your child being good. ◆ Assist in finding appropriate ways to deal with angry feelings and how to express them in words.

Language development Development of language abilities — listening, speaking, reading and writing — is critical to success throughout the school years and their entire lives. It is tied to every subject and everything they will learn and do in school. Parents can: ◆ Ask the child questions that require more than a yes or no answer. “What do you think might happen if?” or “How would you feel?” ◆ Introduce new words as you experience everyday things. “Can you feel the ridges in the potato chip?”

◆ Sing lots of songs and learn lots of nursery rhymes. ◆ Read with your child every single day, for at least 10-20 minutes. ◆ Give your child books to build his or her own library. ◆ Point out letters on menus, tickets and notes, and find letters in everyday items like cereal boxes. ◆ Encourage your child to scribble, draw and print, and never correct their works of art. ◆ Describe what you are doing and explain why. “The road is slick now because it just rained, so I need to drive more slowly.”

Cognition/thinking skills Children need to learn to think independently, recognize problems and try to solve them in a variety of ways. Parents can: ◆ Provide puzzles, blocks and things to sort and match, and talk about things that go together, such as socks and shoes and forks and spoons. ◆ Teach your child his first and last Continues on Page 12




Tristan Wall, 12, as Danny and Miranda Clark, 10, as Sandy rehearse for “Grease” at Asheville Arts Center on Merrimon Avenue. On the piano is Kurt Campbell.

A flair for the dramatic Theater classes bring out a new side in kids By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor Marian Soss didn’t know her daughter, Madeleine, 11, had any acting talent. A shy violin player, Madeleine was devastated two years ago when she didn’t make the cut for her school’s talent show, Soss said. Her fourth-grade teacher at Hendersonville Elementary suggested she take an auditioning class at Flat Rock Playhouse’s YouTheatre. “She hadn’t shown an interest in drama before,” Soss said. But the class gave her “more confidence, as well as auditioning skills.” The next year, Madeleine tried out for the school play and landed a part as the Magic Mirror in “Snow White.” She stole the show.


“She had the audience rolling on the floor they were laughing so hard,” Soss said. A director from Flat Rock Playhouse saw Madeleine in the show and persuaded her to audition for the comedy “Princess Reform School.” She got a part. Now, she’s honing her skills at a YouTheatre acting class. “These acting experiences have done more than just give her acting tools and a new appreciation for the theater — she’s developed a greater self-esteem,” Soss said. “She’s also a lot more comfortable getting up in front of people, which makes a big difference at school.” Continues on Page 10

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A few theaters offering children’s classes ◆ Asheville Arts Center, 308 Merrimon Ave., Asheville; 10 Miller Ave., Asheville, 253-4000, Spring session runs Jan. 4–May 15; $160-$252/month; beginning and advanced acting and musical theater classes; ages 4 and older; Children’s Theatre Workshop (upcoming shows: “Aristocats, Kids!” for ages 4-7 and “CATS,” ages 8+; after-school, Saturday, spring break and summer programs; discounts for full payment, scholarships available. ◆ Asheville Community Theatre (Tanglewood Youth Theatre), 35 E. Walnut St., 254-2939, ext. 21, Spring classes start in February (musical theater class starts in March); after-school, Saturday and summer programs, home-school class; beginning, intermediate and advanced acting and musical theater classes; $100$300, 9- to 12-week sessions, financial assistance available. ◆ Flat Rock Playhouse YouTheatre, 1855 Little River Road, 693-3517, Spring session is Jan. 18–March 27 (some classes start later); ages pre-K to adult; $100-$185/session; after-school and summer programs, beginning and advanced acting and musical theater classes; early registration and sibling discounts, tuition assistance available for qualifying families. ◆ First Stage Youth Theatre, 689-3342, Free after-school drama classes at several Madison County public schools, advanced class Saturdays at the Madison County Arts Center, 90 S. Main St., Marshall (cost/dates TBA), $75 one-week summer camps, audition-based touring children’s performance group; scholarships available. ◆ Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Mars Hill, 689-1384; may be offering a spring break theater camp – call to check. The following offer classes only during the summer ◆ Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, Waynesville, 456-6322. ◆ Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Black Mountain, 669-0930. ◆ Brevard Little Theatre, Brevard, 884-2587; also may be adding classes during school year — call to check.



Theater classes Continued from Page 8

Theater’s benefits Being involved in theater helps kids “discover their own niche and find their strengths,” as well as developing problem solving and social skills, said actor Michael MacCauley, artistic director at First Stage Youth Theatre in Madison County and an Asheville Community Theatre instructor. “It also teaches teamwork and the collaborative process, which is empowering for kids.” “Kids learn how to be creative, resourceful thinkers, which is important no matter what you do,” added actor Andrew Gall, drama program director and instructor at the Asheville Arts Center and producing artistic director for Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville. At Flat Rock Playhouse’s YouTheatre, the primary goal is to “learn to be better people and citizens,” and to develop good thinking skills, said administrator Charles Holland. “Kids become more


confident in voic- “Kids learn how to be creative, Picking a class ing their own resourceful thinkers, which is opinions, public Some acting classes important no matter what you do.” speaking and crearequire performance ANDREW GALL, DRAMA PROGRAM DIRECTOR tive writing — preparation and indrama skills come AND INSTRUCTOR AT ASHEVILLE ARTS CENTER tense study; others are next.” more low-key. Make Angel Utz, of Asheville, has three sure the class is a good match for your drama queens in her house — daughters child, Gall said. Before signing up, deterSabrina, 13; Hannah, 9; and Lydia, 5, are mine whether your child is serious about all enrolled in the theater program at learning the craft or is just exploring. Asheville Arts Center. Consider how often and long the class It all began with Sabrina, Utz says, meets. Certain classes at Asheville Arts who was motivated by a friend to particiCenter, for example, require a commitpate in a Children’s Theatre Workshop ment of several hours per week, Gall musical at the center. said, while others meet less often. “Sabrina has a beautiful singing Find out if kids have regular opportuvoice,” Utz said, but she was shy about nities to be in shows or to perform on a performing. “We pushed her a little into real stage, if that is a priority. doing it and she loved it. The fact that The advanced class at Asheville Comshe didn’t have to audition for it helped.” munity Theatre’s Tanglewood Youth At the Asheville Arts Center, kids can Theatre culminates in a show performed sign up to participate in productions, for family and friends, which is open to and/or take separate acting classes. the public. Kids are treated like profesAfter four shows at the center, Utz sionals, says MacCauley, and though it’s said, “Sabrina has really come out of her more work than some expect, at pershell.” She’s become more confident formance time “people clap and respond verbally and her school grades are better, and (the student performers) realize that too. they’ve accomplished something.”

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Sing, sing, sing!

guidelines for teaching young singers,” she said.

Continued from Page 5

Exposing your child to music

them to take piano lessons,” she said. “It helps train their ear and helps them read music.” And for boys, whose voices change through puberty, it’s even more complicated. “Encourage your male children to stay in that vocal treble range until their voices change,” Bryant said. Timothy Wilds also said he believes in this philosophy, explaining that the physical maturing of a child plays a big role on the vocal cords, especially for boys. “They should go through puberty before they invest in private lessons,” he said. When you do feel your child is ready for private lessons, Bryant recommends searching for local voice teachers who are members of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. “It really establishes some great

If there is one great thing you can do for your child’s interest in music, it’s exposing them to good music. And this is one philosophy that all music teachers agree on. “I would also say to parents, take your children to the concerts of the schools in your district,” Bryant said. “Take them to the local elementary, middle or high school so they can get an idea. That’s how it started with so many of my kids. They came to a Christmas concert.” At the end of the day, singing is all about a love for music and simply enjoying the music you can make. And, this too, is where all the experts agree. “The beautiful thing is you can make a career out of it if you want,” said Ginger Haselden. “But if you look at your local choir, it’s full of adults who are doctors, teachers, seamstresses, pharmacists, and so on. It’s just a skill that’s also a lifelong enjoyment.”

AREA SINGING OPPORTUNITIES Most choirs will hold auditions in January. Check Web sites for details. ◆ Asheville Symphony Children’s Chorus, for fourth- through eighth-graders. Visit Contact Timothy Wilds at 333-1700. ◆ Celebration Singers of Asheville, a youth choir for children ages 7-14. Visit or call 230-5778. ◆ Black Mountain Youth Chorale, for students in fourth to sixth grades. Visit or call 669-0930. ◆ Blue Ridge Home School Choir, a group for home-schooled children ages 5 to 18 or 19. Visit or e-mail for details. ◆ Voices of the Laurel, a Haywood County choir for school-age children. Call 3352849 or visit ◆ Asheville Music School, ◆ Soundings Studio, ◆ Ginger Haselden Music Studio,



Ready for school Continued from Page 7

name, your name, your phone number and your address. ◆ Teach concepts like hot and cold, in and out, over and under, by describing those things as your child experiences them. ◆ Take walks, go to the park, visit the grocery store or library and talk with your child about what you see. ◆ Talk with your child about how to fix things. ◆ Experiment. “What might happen if the bike is left in the rain, crayons are left in the sun too long, we forget to water the plants, we add red and blue paint together?”

Physical development Children learn gross motor skills (large muscles), fine motor skills (small muscles in the hand and arm) and selfcare skills such as eating, dressing and


hygiene. Parents can: ◆ Create obstacle courses and introduce simple ball games. ◆ Encourage outdoor activities every day. ◆ Supply materials for the child to cut and draw. Limit using coloring books or worksheets with lines. ◆ Encourage using sewing cards and small beads for hand-eye coordination. ◆ Offer assistance as needed with using a fork effectively, dressing and undressing themselves, etc., but give them room to try to manage for themselves. ◆ Don’t worry about the weather. Take rainy day hikes, splash in mud puddles and make mud pies. ◆ Encourage the child to clip art work, hang clothes, use clay or dough, and use markers, crayons and pencils daily. ◆ Practice zip, buckle and tie.

Approaches toward learning This is simply the child’s attitude

toward and interest in learning. Parents can: ◆ Support your child’s exploration and curiosity and encourage him to attempt new tasks and develop interests. ◆ Encourage your child to do his or her best, not to be the best. ◆ Encourage your child to attempt new tasks and develop interests. ◆ Attempts and efforts should be recognized and praised, so the child is not afraid of failure and will continue trying new things. ◆ Learn to love the question “Why?” Answering happily lets the child know it’s OK to be curious and ask for information. ◆ Provide opportunities, props and materials for your child to express creativity and imagination through art, music, movement, make believe and pretend play. ◆ Provide time for unscheduled activities that allow your child to explore the world. ◆ Pay attention as your child talks about her experiences and ask follow-up questions.

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A little extra help

Tutoring caters to needs to students and families By Stephanie Jadrnicek WNC Parent contributor Does your student dread going to school? Is he or she falling behind in class? Is it a fight to get nightly homework finished? If so, tutoring might be the solution. One of the best ways to determine if students need extra help outside of the classroom is by observing their attitude toward school. “If they’re saying they hate school, it probably has a lot to do with them feeling like they’re not very good at it,” said Ben Ambrosino, director of Asheville Learning. “Students with great grades usually like school.”

It’s best to intervene sooner rather than later. Develop good relationships with your student’s teachers early on so if additional help is necessary, you’ve already established a team atmosphere. Good communication among parents, educators and tutors is key to your student’s academic success. A plethora of resources exist in Western North Carolina, from private to public and individual to group instruction. Cheryl Head brings her son, Jeremiah McKinney, age 12, to Sylvan Learning Center for assistance in math because she’s already witnessed his success with tutoring. “Jeremiah came to Sylvan in first

and second grade because of his weakness in reading,” she said. “He used to be afraid to read out loud, but by the time he finished he had improved beyond his grade reading level and loved getting up in front of the class to perform plays. Now he’s getting help in sixth-grade math, and I can already see the difference in his confidence.” Head brought her son back to Sylvan because of the program’s skills assessment, which is designed to identify the student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. She highly recommends working with a tutor who tests the child before beginning instruction. Continues on Page 14



Tutoring help Continued from Page 13

Research options There are many styles of tutoring and finding the right tutor for your student may involve a bit of research. Look at the tutor’s Website and ask them about their philosophies or approaches to learning. Inquire about their coordination with teachers and parents and how they assess a child’s progress. Leslie Starkey, a certified teacher and private tutor, works from her home in Candler. She tutors all grade levels in every subject except upper-level math. One of her specialties is using the Orton-Gillingham method, an approach to reading instruction that uses the three learning modalities — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — to assist students with learning disabilities. “A student I worked with was diag-



Will Prewitt, left, age 12, receives tutoring in academic reading from Tab Williams at Sylvan Learning Center. nosed with dyslexia at the end of the year. I had already begun using the Orton-Gillingham approach with her because I had identified some of the

challenges,” Starkey said. “Her reading had greatly improved.” Because students have numerous after-school commitments, tutors from

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Asheville Learning interact with students in their own home or school setting. The location is not only comfortable for students and convenient for parents, but it gives tutors an opportunity to observe a student’s study habits. “Environmental factors such as sitting by a TV or at a cluttered desk affect a student’s study habits,” said Ambrosino. “Being in the home or in the classroom with the student allows us to address these factors.” If your family isn’t in the market for private instruction there are other resources available. The Asheville City School Foundation offers a Volunteer Academic Coach program that places volunteers in the schools to serve as tutors and mentors. Usually teachers refer students to the program; however, parents can request referrals from school counselors. All volunteers commit to working with a student one hour per week throughout the school year. Background checks are required for the volunteers, and they are provided with ongoing training. Last year, the foundation received

the Ribbon of Hope grant, which has allowed them to partner with organizations such as the YWCA. The program now has more than 90 volunteers assisting 100 students. Tutoring in the Buncombe County School District varies from school to school. William W. Estes Elementary School established the RAMS Club (Reading and Math Success) last year. Partnering with the YMCA, the school’s teachers offered tutoring afterschool until 4 p.m., and then YMCA staff provided an enrichment program which included activities ranging from swimming to gardening. “Students who attended RAMS Club were observed to have an increase in self esteem and confidence, more active participation in class as well as increased motivation to complete assignments,” said John Barbour, principal. “On average, end-of-grade test scores among these students increased by a factor of almost 10 percent when compared with their counterparts who were not involved in RAMS Club.”

Standardized tests For older students, prepping for standardized tests can feel overwhelming. Suzanne May, director of Sylvan Learning Center, said getting ready for the SAT is intense and suggested students allow a six-month preparation time. Sylvan offers an SAT prep program with 20-30 hours of instruction, four hours per week, which leads students right up to testing day. May said the SAT is unlike any other test students have taken and requires a new strategy of test taking. Any student can pick up an SAT study guide through the school’s guidance office. Ambrosino also stresses the importance of test-taking skills. “Lots of standardized test results don’t reflect the student’s mastery of the material but how well they perform in very rigid evaluation settings,” he said. “By teaching the skills involved in test taking the students can let go of the apprehension and the emotional baggage and the test scores can more accurately reflect their knowledge.”



15 best books By Jennifer Prince WNC Parent contributor


Books designed especially for children are a relatively modern development of literary evolution. In a short time, the industry has produced images, ideas and characters that have proved to be indelible mainstays from generation to generation. “Curious George” and “Madeline” have charmed at least three generations now, and the “Very Hungry Caterpillar” at least two. Sometimes though, a tiny brilliant star of a story goes mostly unnoticed, or after years recedes to the outer reaches of the literary universe. Here are 15 of those.

away her wool to needy animals. When winter’s first snow comes, Millie’s skin is pink and bald. Scamell devises a solution both entertaining and thoughtful. Author Mem Fox and illustrator Judy Horacek created “Where is the Green Sheep?” in 2004. Bright sheep of all colors (except green) dance, swim and jump. A refrain, “Where is the green sheep?” keeps kids engaged until the very end. In her 1967 “First Poems of Childhood,” Tasha Tudor created art to go with traditional poems. Tudor’s affinity for presenting the world at its rosy best is evident. Everything is green fields, wildflowers, cherubic kids and animals.

For preschoolers

Elementary school

“Little Gorilla” by Ruth Bornstein was published in 1976. From the moment “Little Gorilla” peers out at his world with his large, dark eyes, he is the darling of the jungle. His parents love him. His grandparents love him. All the animals love him. That is all well and good when he is little and cute, but what happens when he begins to grow? Like her “Goodnight Moon,” Margaret Wise Brown’s 1956 story “Home for A Bunny” is well worth repeated readings. Garth Williams’ sweet, exquisitely detailed illustrations marry well with the sing-song narrative. The book tells a story of a bunny who scampers down a country path looking for a home. The bunny meets various animals but none of them has the right kind of home to share with him. What is a bunny to do? From 1993, “Three Bags Full” by Ragnhild Scamell tells the story of Millie, a sheep. Illustrator Sally Hobson uses dark, moody shades and slightly askew perspectives to emphasize the cold and fear that besets Millie after she gives

“In Every Tiny Grain of Sand: A Child’s Book of Prayer and Praise” showcases faiths from around the world. Four international artists contributed to the book, providing visual affirmation that the world is a beautiful, diverse place. E. Nesbit’s 1908 publication, “The House of Arden” is a story is of a brother and sister who search for treasure in their mysterious, magical ancestral home. Nesbit’s writing style is elegant, and often, quite funny. Roderick Townley’s 2001 story “The Great Good Thing” is story about a story. Princess Sylvie, a book character, grows tired of living the same story over and over again. One day, she dares to step outside her pages. This is an original tale of putting away childish things, about memories, dreams and friendship. The wise and warm “All-of-a-Kind Family” by Sydney Taylor was published in 1951 but tells the story of a loving family some 50 years earlier. The book chronicles episodes in the lives of the five daughters and includes details about how the family practices its Jewish faith.

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“Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust” was published in 1994 in conjunction with the opening of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Extensively researched and profusely illustrated with archival photos, this book chronicles the Holocaust by tracing the experiences of young people who were caught in its throes.

Middle school Addie, the 12-year-old narrator in Leslie Connor’s 2008 book “Waiting for Normal,” describes in poignant honesty her attempts to maintain normalcy while living with her undependable, erratic mother. This is a beautifully written story filled with imagery of full space, empty space and space that is just right. “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: A Graphic Novel” from 2008 is an elegant tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story of the same name. Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir adapt Fitzgerald’s writing faithfully. Through sepia-toned illustrations, artist Kevin Cornell provides the requisite vintage. Plus, he interprets Fitzgerald’s droll pervasive humor with precision. “Iqbal” by Francesco D’Adamo is the 2001 fictionalized account of a Pakistani boy who resisted slave labor in rug mills and incited others to action. He embodied the belief that slavery is wrong, no matter how widely-accepted. He was murdered in 1995 at age 13. Nonfiction for this age group does not get any better than Candace Fleming’s “The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary.” Published in 2008, this book explores the often turbulent lives of the Lincolns through photographs, diary and letter excerpts, and newspapers. “Where the Lilies Bloom” by Vera and Bill Cleaver, published in 1969, tells the story of 14year-old Mary Call Luther and her siblings, who fend for themselves after their father dies in 1960s rural Appalachia. Full of mountain lore and imagery, this book is a standout.



Get out and play

By Barbara Blake WNC Parent writer

Winter offers a whole new pool of resources for outdoor activities, especially if your family enjoys outings in the snow. Here are some ideas for fun and exercise during the winter months, as well as for indoor activities when the weather outside is frightful.

Snow tubing

Tube the Wolf

The Wolf Ridge Tube Run at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Mars Hill offers oneand two-hour sessions. There’s a “magic carpet” ride in the area to take you back to the top. Sessions are offered 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. Rates are $15 for one-hour sessions, $25 for two-hour sessions. Children 6 and younger riding with paying adult are free. Groups of 12 or more are $20 per person for two-hour sessions. Call 689-3322 or visit

Tube World This companion attraction near Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley offers 1 3/4-hour sessions for $25 per person, with sessions starting every two hours. There’s also a Wee Bowl snow-play area for children who don’t meet the 42-inch height requirement, but it has limited availability, so call ahead. There’s a moving carpet lift to take tubers back to the top. Days and hours vary according to date. Call 800-768-0285 or 926-0285, or visit

Scaly Mountain The Scaly Mountain Outdoor Center on N.C. 106 between Highlands and Sky Valley, Ga., offers snow tubing with a ski lift to pull you to the top of the slope. Two-hour sessions are $22. Children must be 42 inches or taller and 4 years



Tubers head down Sugar Mountain, one of several places in WNC to have fun in the snow.

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old. A kiddie slope is open for young tubers. Group rates are available for parties of 20 or more. Call 526-3737 or visit

Hawksnest Hawksnest, in Seven Devils between Boone and Banner Elk, offers 1 hour, 45-minute sessions for tubers older than 3. Admission is $22 Monday-Friday, $31 Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The tubing resort has four different areas to snow tube, and two moving carpet lifts to the top. Call 800-822-4295 or 963-6561, or visit

Sugar Mountain Sugar Mountain, in Banner Elk, offers 700-foot slopes open day and night, with 1 hour, 45-minute sessions. Admission is $20 weekdays, $25 weekends and holidays. Tubers must be 3 years old; children 6 and younger must share a tube with adults. Includes a moving carpet to take tubers to the top. Call 800-898-4521, or visit

Moonshine Mountain This tube park in Hendersonville has three lanes plus a short lane for younger children, and is the only park in the area that allows trains, limited to 20 people. Children must be 48 inches tall to ride in trains. Admission is $25 for a two-hour session. Operating hours vary according to the day of the week. Call 696-0333 or visit

Frozen Falls Tube Park The park at Sapphire Valley Ski Area in Sapphire offers 500-foot slopes with a 60-foot vertical drop. Open varying days and hours. Tubers must be 42 inches tall. Rates are $22 for a two-hour session. Call 743-7663 or visit

Other activities

Take a hike

Snow or no snow, take the family on an outdoor outing to the N.C. Arboretum, Botanical Gardens, Western North Continues on Page 20



Winter activities Continued from Page 19

Carolina Nature Center, the Urban Trail in downtown Asheville, the Vance Birthplace in Reems Creek or any of the myriad public parks in the area.

Go skating Tarwheels Skateway in Swannanoa is Asheville’s only roller-skating rink. The rink is often booked for parties on weekends, but there are plenty of hours available for public skating for entire families. Cost and hours vary according to day and season. The rink also includes a video arcade. Call 298-6606 or visit

Bounce in a house Bounceville USA in Hendersonville offers a variety of bouncy activities in houses and on a slide. Open play hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and



Bailey Allen takes her turn at AMF Bowling in Asheville. Thursday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 9-10:30 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Cost is $7 per child. Call 696-1949 or visit

Indoor fun centers Let the kids burn out some energy at area attractions like Fun Depot and Chuck E. Cheese’s in Asheville and the Fun Factory in the Smokies in Franklin.

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There are myriad choices, from minigolf, go-carts and laser tag to bumper cars, batting cages, climbing walls, skill games and arcades. ◆ Asheville’s Fun Depot is on Sweeten Creek Road. Call 866-303-4FUN or visit ◆ Chuck E. Cheese’s is at 104 River Hills Road in East Asheville. Call 2993750 or visit ◆ Fun Factory in the Smokies is at 1024 Georgia Road in Franklin. Call 866482-2386 or visit


The Health Adventure

This enduring attraction inside Pack Place in downtown Asheville is a health and science museum for children, packed with interactive exhibits that encourage wellness lifestyles, improve health awareness and promote science literacy through programs and exhibits. Call 254-6373 or visit

Colburn Earth Science Museum

Go bowling Blow off the cold and mix a little exercise with fun at your local bowling alley, where everyone in the family can compete. Star Lanes is at 491 Kenilworth Road in East Asheville. Call 254-6161 or visit Sky Lanes is at 1477 Patton Ave. in West Asheville. Call 252-2269. Tarheel Lanes is at 3275 Asheville Highway., Hendersonville. Call 253-2695 or visit

This kid-friendly museum inside Pack Place in downtown Asheville includes 5,500 mineral and gem specimens from around the world, along with a petrology collection, an interactive exhibit on the science behind weather, a look at the history of mining in North Carolina, an exhibit on gold, and interactive programs on fluorescent minerals, crystals and fossils. Call 254-7162 or visit

Hands On! A Child’s Gallery Hands On! at 318 N. Main St. in Hendersonville is a unique and affordable museum that offers a series of nooks including a "tot spot," health education, the Harris Teeter grocery room, a costume theater, nature area, log cabin, mountain music and creative art. Call 697-8333 or visit

KidSenses It’s worth a bit of a drive to Rutherfordton to spend the day at KidSenses Children’s InterACTIVE Museum, which offers a wide array of hands-on exhibits and activities. Among the offerings are DeSoto’s Dental Office, Gears and Gadgets, WFUN-Studio, Little Family Dollar, Creation Station, Bubbleology, Science Power, Big Climber and the Alphabet Trail. The museum is at 172 N. Main St. in Rutherfordton. Call 286-2120 or visit



By Barbara Blake WNC Parent writer

Play and learn

Don’t call them “educational toys.” The best toys are the ones that liberate the imaginations and creative energy of children — who have no idea that they are learning and stimulating their minds while having loads of fun both alone and with friends and family. The benefits of those types of toys are endless, from teaching cognitive and math skills to verbal articulation to team play and social interaction. And the fact that children are learning while playing should in no way be interpreted to mean that a toy is any less fun. Some of the most popular toys on the market have been around for decades, and many are of the epitome of simplicity — proving that glitz and sparkle are far overrated when it comes to entertaining kids. “Wikki Stix have been around for 20 or more years, and they’re one of our most popular sellers,” said Shawna Butcher, coowner of Teacher’s Edition on Hendersonville Road referring to the simple sticks made of wax and yarn that can be turned into any creation a child’s imagination allows. “You twist and untwist them, and they can be reused over and over and over,” Butcher said. “There’s no cleanup, no mess, and they’re great for stimulating kids’ creative imagination. And they’re great travel toys.” Gary Green, owner of the Toy Box on Merrimon Avenue, is a fan of the series of science-based games from Thames & Kosmos. “One thing Thames & Kosmos is known for is that their instruction guidebooks are very clear, and they make sure that children are actually learning science, not just blowing something up and moving on to the next thing without understanding what made it all happen,” Green said. There are myriad other toys and games that are designed to stretch children’s imaginations and expand their knowledge while offering plenty of fun in the process. Here’s a sampling.


Wikki Stix These bendable sticks made of yarn and a patented wax formula stimulate creativity and imagination and are endlessly reusable, sticking to each other and almost any smooth surface with just fingertip pressure. They are ideal for ages 3 and up, and appeal equally to boys and girls. And best of all, there’s no right or wrong way to play. $6.99 at Teacher’s Edition.

Bendomino Dominos have been around for generations, but they made a big comeback with this updated version that has curved pieces instead of rectangles. Children have to not only try to match the dots but think ahead to decide which shaped piece will keep them going in the game. For ages 5 to adult. $16.99 at Teacher’s Edition.

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Shape by Shape With this single-player game suitable for ages 8 and up, children pick a challenge card that shows a shape, and the player must build the picture image with an assortment of puzzle pieces. The game changes with each card, and children learn perseverance and develop special reasoning skills. $15.95 at Once Upon a Time.

Smart Mouth This is a competitive game perfect for parties or family gatherings, building language skills and word recognition through exciting play. The Letter Getter dispenses a pair of letter tiles, and players or teams think of a word with five or more letters that starts and ends with the letters on the tiles. The first to shout out a correct word wins the two tiles. The winner is the player or team with the most tiles after all 36 pairs have been used. For ages 8 and up. $20.95 at Once Upon a Time. Beginner Pattern Blocks This manipulative toy by Melissa & Doug for ages 2+ includes five two-sided wooden pattern boards with 10 designs featuring recessed spaces for secure shape placement. Brightly colored geometric shapes complete the pictures and can be used for color- and shape-matching activities. $19.99 at Dancing Bear Toys. Snap Circuits Elenco’s new game makes learning electronics easy and fun, as children build projects like AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells and more from a single set. All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together easily. No tools are required and the circuit board operates with AA batteries. $31.99 at Dancing Bear Toys. Stepping Into Science Using a 48page guidebook, Stepping Into Science teaches science fundamentals with step-by-step,

hands-on experiments while introducing children to the scientific method itself. Learn what plants need to grow, build a barometer, see how water climbs, learn how colors mix and how static electricity attracts, experiment with evaporation, watch a balloon inflate itself and dozens of other activities. For ages 5 and up. $34.98 at the Toy Box. Veterinarian clinic With Playmobil’s animal clinic playset, children help the veterinarian treat the animals using open-ended play. The set includes three figures, a pony, peacock, birds, puppies and rabbits, and comes with an ultrasound device, removable cast, bandages, bird cage and man other accessories. $64.98 at the Toy Box. ZOOB 75 Building Set This construction set features 75 fun pieces and instructions to make 16 different creations using ZOOB pieces that snap, click and pop together in 20 different ways to build amazing projects. Small pieces are not appropriate for young children. $21.98 at the Toy Box. Double Shutter This math and strategy game invites players to roll two dice, add the dots and find the best combination of numbers to shut two rows of nine tiles. The one who shuts down all the tiles wins. For ages 8 and up. $20.95 at Once Upon a Time A sampling of where to buy educational toys locally: Teacher’s Edition, 848 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 2779683,; Dancing Bear Toys, 144 Tunnel Road, Asheville, 255-8697,; Once Upon A Time, 7 All Souls Crescent, Biltmore Village, 274-8788; The Toy Box, 793 Merrimon Ave., 254-8697.



Get artsy

Visual arts classes tap children’s creativity

By Lockie Hunter WNC Parent contributor

We are fortunate to live in an area flush with artists. Many artists offer lessons to children at art centers or private lessons at their studios or homes. Looking for a class? Here is a sampling of various classes:

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts Odyssey offers a variety of classes for children at all skill levels and ages year round. Winter kids classes provide exciting activities for kids (ages 6-12) or teens (ages 13-17) to make giant sculptures, spend time on the potter’s wheel, and learn about North Carolina folk art traditions by making face jugs. All supplies are included, and students get to take their finished projects home. Cara Gilpin



Jeffrey Short enjoys a class at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts in the River Arts District.

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at Odyssey suggests trying the center’s Martin Luther King Clay day on Jan. 18. “It is a great way for them to shake off boredom, learn some history, and make new friends before signing up for a winter class session,” she said.

The school has a variety of teaching artists providing a diverse range of art mediums with a maximum class size of seven.

Joyful Noise

Children’s Art School At the Children’s Art School, each child has the opportunity to be selfdirected and is given the supplies and resources to explore any aspect of creating they choose. “We use nature as our primary influence,” said Clarie Sordoni Smith, the school’s founder and a teacher. “Through art, children can contemplate their relationships with each other, nature, and themselves, and use art as the means by which they give visual expression to those relationships.”

Roots + Wings Roots+Wings School of Art director Ginger Huebner said she believes in the power of art to speak to and through everyone. Classes are structured to accommodate various age groups and


Katie Land shows off a piece she created as part of a Joyful Noise Summer Camp. learning levels. In addition to the Visual Arts Preschool, the school offers monthly art sessions for ages 3-6 and 7-10, summer art camps, and private studio time for children, adults and families. “Our monthly art sessions for 3- to 6-year-olds will help your child enter his or her school days with confidence in the visual arts while developing emotional and social skills,” Huebner said. “Our sessions for 7- to 10-year-olds provide the opportunity for in-depth artistic engagement.”

The Visual Arts Program at Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center offers students of all ages the opportunity to explore and express their creativity in a variety of media. Joyful Noise offers beginning drawing using pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, and pastels. It also offers fiber arts, where students can learn traditional hand quilting methods or take a 10-week intensive fiber arts/ surface design workshop. One family class is Art Quilts 102–Take It With You, where participants design and complete a small art quilt in one day. “In all the visual arts classes, students learn about design principles, color and composition, and above all, to let their creative juices flow,” said Lynda Sondles, visual arts teacher. Continues on Page 26



Get artsy

improv theater and expressive arts; knots, braids and weaves; soft sculptures, multimedia, knitting, quilting and more. Students may take one or two classes during each Saturday morning session. “Super Saturday is geared to students who are academically gifted, creative or highly motivated and ready to learn,” said Holly Beveridge, director of the program.

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Richmond’s Studio At Richmond’s Studio, the teachers want to show students that art is something that can make them happy for a lifetime. “Not only can they experience this happiness through the process of creating new artwork, but each student will come away from a class by looking at the world from a different perspective,” said artist/teacher Richmond Smith. Richmond’s Studio offers both homeschool and after-school art classes for kindergarten to 12th grade, covering a wide range of media including drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Odyssey Community School


Super Saturday program

BMCA Clay Studio teacher Geoff Bird gives a young potter a few tips.

Super Saturday is UNC Asheville’s six-week academic enrichment program for third-eighth graders. The Spring 2010

session features arts classes in cartooning; handbuilt pottery; photography;

Odyssey Community School’s offerings include a clay class that teaches the entire process of ceramics, from the ball of clay to the glazing and firing. Participants will play with the wide range of colors and glazes that are available with low-fire pottery. The Beads from Around the World course examines cultural and social traditions of beads throughout the history of the world. This is a multiage class teaching professional jewelry-making skills through the creation of single- and multistrand jewelry. Programs are open to elementary and middle school students.

Black Mountain Center for the Arts Black Mountain Center for the Arts’ mission is “to bring arts to the people and people to the arts,” said program coordinator Rita Vermillion. Ongoing visual arts classes are offered in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional arts. Drawing and painting classes are taught by Bob Travers, and each class is appropriate for beginner through advanced. Students work at their own pace, with their choice of medium and subject. Travers is an award-winning wildlife artist who teaches in oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor and more. Pottery classes are taught at the center’s clay studio. Other classes, by appointment, include Family Clay Time, two-day and one-week Clay Samplers and Paint Your Own Pottery.

Molly Angel Molly Angel, an artist with bachelor’s in art education and studio art, has been teaching art for six years. She offers classes for kindergarten to sixth grade in a variety of media including collage, clay, painting, drawing, sculpture. Private lessons offered as well.


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AREA ART CLASSES ◆ Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain, 669-0930, ◆ Children’s Art School, 40 Forest Road, Asheville, 3375843, artschool.html ◆ Joyful Noise, First Presbyterian Church, 30 Alabama Ave., Weaverville, 775-2499, classes.html ◆ Molly Angel, 24 Pinehurst Circle, Arden, and 70 S. Main St., Weaverville, 6810106 ◆ Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts, 236 Clingman Ave., Asheville, 285-0210, ◆ Odyssey Community School, 90 Zillicoa St., Asheville, 259-2653, ◆ Richmond’s Studio, Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., Asheville, 7773345, ◆ Roots +Wings School of Art, Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville’s Biltmore Village, 3 Angle St., Asheville, 5454827, ◆ Super Saturday at UNC Asheville, various campus sites, One University Heights, Asheville, 251-6558, ◆ Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville, 253-3227 ◆ Jewish Community Center, 236 Charlotte St., Asheville, 253-0701




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kids’ voices

The artist in me

We asked fourth-graders in Melanie Slimko’s class at Hall Fletcher Elementary School which arts activity they enjoy most, choosing from genres such as drawing, painting, singing, dancing, drama, writing, sculpting and pottery. Here’s what they told staff writer Barbara Blake. “I would probably pick sculpting … . In art, we were sculpting arrowheads. I wasn’t the first one to finish, but it’s not about how quick you are, it’s about how it looks. With sculpting, it’s a free choice to make anything you want, like a frog or a person or maybe even a research project. Plus, it doesn’t have to be big. It can be small.” Sherwood Matthews

“I want to be a painter because I love to draw, color and paint. Also, because my artwork could become famous. For a girl my age, I am talented when it comes to painting. I have a lot of talents, but I’m mostly good at painting. If I ever became a famous painter I would design a pretty flower for anyone.” Ceecret Allen

“I would like to do sculpture. The reason is because I want to make something that will last a long time. I also want to make something that people will remember, and I want to do sculpting because it is done by hand.” Yeshua Hermanson

“I would be a video game creator or a Web site creator. I like to make video games on the computer at my house. When I finish the game I try it out to see how it is, then I print it on my CD and let my cousin play it to tell me if it’s good or not. While he does that, I look on the Internet to make sure nobody else has made the game. Then I give away copies.” Kanize Jackson

“I would pick singing because I have a great voice. I’ve been practicing a lot. I love singing. I sing all the time. It makes me feel special, great, fantastic, and I can sing any song perfectly. I sing at the church, at home, at the store, on the airplane. I sing everywhere I go. I love singing.” Francisco Maldonado

“I would like to be a fashion designer because I love to sew. It’s fun the way the thread intertwines with the cloth, the feel you get as you dance with the needle. The needle wears a long dress that gets shorter and shorter until it makes a beautiful creation of its own. I love the feeling of success after you finish a piece of art. Fashion design is more than just about style. It is also about feeling and soul.” Sarawila Villatoro Weir

“I think dancing would be good for me. I’m really good with dancing. My talent gets higher and higher whenever I dance. If you ever see me dance you would be sur-

“I would like to do drama because I would like to express my creativity in motions. I have taken an acting class before, and it was very fun. I also like to talk in funny voices, and that’s part of drama. I also enjoy being in front of people.” Addison Brown

“I want to be a movie star because I want everybody seeing my face. I will make movies for families. I will make people laugh. I want to be on the red carpet. I want to make a game out of my movies. I want to have a Web site. I want to make people happy with my work.” Keevon Hines

prised.” Armani Aiken



recall roundup The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued the following recalls. For details, visit

Children’s pajama sets Little Miss Matched Inc. has recalled about 7,000 sets of children’s pajamas because they fail to meet the federal children’s sleepwear flammability standard, posing a risk of burn injury to children. This recall involves long-sleeved toddler and girls pajama sets. The sets were sold in sizes XXS (2T-3T), XS (3T-4T), S (5-6), M (7-8) and L (10-12), and in three varieties: black multicolored stripes/polka dots; white Multicolored stripes/polka dots; pink and blue stripes and oversized polka dots. They were sold nationwide from March 2008-July 2009 for about $30. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled pajamas and contact the firm to receive a full refund. Call Little Miss Matched at 877-649-4386 or visit

Toy trucks Variety Wholesalers Inc. of Henderson, N.C., has recalled about 700 Super Rigs play sets because the toy truck’s surface coating contains high levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard. This recall involves “Super Rig Transport” toy truck with trailer and vehicles. The truck and trailer are multicolored, holding two vehicles and two action figures. “Super Rigs Play Set” is labeled on the outside of the packaging. The box back has a bar code square with Item No. 67007, Made in China and Bar Code 6-98567-67007-3. The bottom of the trailer has an engraved code 45TNGO9. They were sold in discount stores in the Southeast from SeptemberNovember 2009 for about $20. Consumers should take the recalled toy away and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or replacement product. Call Variety Wholesalers at 800-678-7776 or visit Compiled by Katie Wadington


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We welcome photos of your children. Send high-resolution images, along with a brief description of the event, and names, ages and hometowns of everyone pictured. Include your name, address and phone number. Send to Katie Wadington by e-mail at or to WNC Parent Photos, P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802.

Carter Myers, 9 months, enjoys the flower carpet at the Biltmore Estate. Submitted by parents Dana and Brent Myers and big brother Brady. Sebastian Mullins, 1, of Asheville. Submitted by mom Stacy.

Celia Marie Gibbs, of Zirconia, plays in the snow after church one Sunday. Submitted by Shawn and Stacy Gibbs.

Trillian Elise, who turned 3 on Dec. 1, plays a cute clown. Submitted by mom Jessica Ingram. They live in Canton.




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parenting in a nutshell

Set limits on dating for teens By Doreen Nagle Gannett

As a parent of a teen itching to enter the social whirl, you will be adding another job description to the title of “parent”: Maker of Rules for Dating. The first thing many parents consider is at what age can their teens start to date? One way to approach this is with “graduated” dating — first a small gathering or birthday with a few friends of the opposite sex in your home. This could lead to a small gathering of teens off to see a movie together without a parental chaperone. From there, two or three couples can perhaps go out for a casual dinner. As a final step, your teen and his or her date can go out alone. These graduated steps can be separated by as many weeks or months as you deem necessary. Another important factor is how much you want to tie grades, work habits, chores and the like to allowing your child this new mature freedom: Grades not what you think your child’s should be? Chores left undone? Other acts of irresponsibility rearing their heads? These should certainly be taken into consideration when you decide how much, how often and where your teen can date. The degree to which you let it influence your decision should relate to your family values. Be sure to discuss with your teen what values they should have when selecting a date. Help your teen think through what criteria he or she should look for — interests in common, similar outlook on life, etc. E-mail Doreen Nagle at


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home-school happenings

Some fun winter activities for home-schoolers By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist I love winter. With winter comes lots of opportunities to celebrate all things cold. I think it’s important to find things to celebrate at this time of the year, since it can be a time of exhaustion and let down after all of the holiday hustle and bustle. As a home-schooling mom, I find myself depleted after the holidays, and so this year I have intentionally planned some special activities for January. They are purposely tuned into family time and require very little planning or fuss. We are going to make some maple sugar candy. This idea came out of our in-depth study of Laura Ingalls Wilder. All you need is some real maple syrup — can’t be that fake stuff at the grocery store. Then, all you have to do is wait for the snow. Warm the maple syrup on the stove top until it’s too hot to touch. Have the kids bundle up and fill pie tins with snow. Bring them in from the cold, and then ladle the syrup onto the snow. Make curlicues. Make stars. Go crazy. The syrup should harden immediately — then the kids can lift it out and eat it like taffy. One rainy, cold day in January, my children and I are going to sort through all our crayons and take out all the broken ones. Then we’re going to make rainbow crayons. Use an old mini-muffin tin and have the kids break up the crayons into the mixture of colors they want. Place a handful of broken crayons in each tin and place in the oven on low heat (about 200 degrees). Keep checking frequently. When the crayons have melted into a mixed up mess, it’s done. Take them out and let them cool for at least an hour. Pop them out of the tins and make winter rainbow pictures. Both of these little “celebrations” have plenty of built-in learning that teach about chemical reactions and how

HOME-SCHOOL EVENTS ◆ Jan. 13, The Health Adventure: For ages 5-7, Tooth-R-Sore-Us Rex teaches about dental hygiene. Ages 8-10 can learn Secret of the Solar System. Programs run 1:302:30 p.m. Cost is $7 per child, $5.50 for members. Call 254-6373, ext. 316. Visit ◆ Jan. 21, Colburn Earth Science Museum: A home-school program for first- to thirdgraders from 2:30-3:30 p.m. the third Thursday of the month. January’s topic is Basic Rocks and Minerals. Cost is $5 for members, $6 for nonmembers. Visit or call 254-7162. In Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square.

heat and cold can change the properties of materials. Also, you can research rainbows. Teach the kids all about Roy G. Biv. And, while you’re out collecting snow, talk about where maple syrup comes from and about where snow comes from. Get on the Internet or make a trip to the library to find out why it’s cold in the Arctic. Before you know it, you and the kids will have learned a whole bunch of new stuff, and had fun doing it. The last thing we have planned for January is a mini stay-cation. Studies have shown that steam is great for killing bacteria and keeping the respiratory system healthy. We love to wait for a snowy, cold day and head out to Hot Springs for a dip in the mineral baths. It’s an affordable and short trip with benefits that last for days. We bring snacks, drinks and floaty toys for the kids. Then soak up the relaxation. Nicole McKeon is a home-schooling mom who lives in Asheville. Contact her at



video games

Lego puts a family twist on ‘Rock Band’ ‘LEGO ROCK BAND’

By Jinny Gudmundsen Gannett Families new to music gaming can’t go wrong with “Lego Rock Band.” It’s the perfect entry-level music game for kids and their reluctant parents. Not only does it teach you how to play, but it’s easier to play than the other popular “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” games and has a fun story mode that’s full of tongue-in-cheek antics by Lego characters. For those unfamiliar, music games are played on controllers that look like instruments. As music plays, the object is to tap colored spots on your controller (a guitar or a drum) to match the ones scrolling down the screen. If you hit the color on your controller as it passes over a special bar on the screen, you hear a sound and earn points. Do it consistently, and you’ll earn multiple points. Singing is done by using a special microphone that records pitch and vocals. “Lego Rock Band” follows this popular method of musical gaming. You can form a band with up to three other players using a drum controller, two guitar controllers and a compatible USB microphone. However, the instruments don’t come bundled with this game; you


Rating: 4 stars (out of 4) Best for: Ages 8 and older. From Warner Bros Interactive,, $49.99, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii. GANNETT

In “Lego Rock Band,” families new to music gaming can learn to rock out with great music and hilarious Lego character antics. will need to buy them separately. All “Rock Band” controllers and most “Guitar Hero” peripherals are compatible. What makes “Lego Rock Band” more child-friendly than most of the “Rock Band” and “Guitar Hero” titles is the family-friendly song list, the addition of a “super easy” mode and the presence of hilarious Lego characters shown in the music videos and story mode. The addition of the “super easy” mode simplifies the playing of each instrument. On the guitar, you don’t have to worry about pressing the colored buttons on the guitar’s fret. All you have to do is hit the strum bar as a note passes over the target zone. On drums, you don’t have to hit a specific colored drum

pad, any of the four pads will do or you can simply tap the kick drum pedal. As you get the hang of it, you can progress into other difficulty levels. The zany story mode will also greatly appeal to kids. In it, you design your own band members using Lego blocks and then rock out throughout the universe. While you start out playing gigs at your small local rock club, you will eventually travel to 19 venues including a pirate ship, a spooky mansion and the moon. In the story mode, your playing well earns star ratings and Lego studs (the currency in this game). You will also attract fans. Earning stars and fans unlocks new songs (gigs). With the studs you can buy Lego vehicles to take your band to bigger and better venues, as well as hire staff to help you. Gudmundsen is the editor of Computing With Kids magazine. Contact her at

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divorced families

A child’s education can suffer in divorce By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist In marriage, the three most prominent stress points tend to be money management, parenting styles and in-laws. In divorce, they continue to be money management (as in child support, overall depleted income), parenting (including the custody arrangements and ongoing differences in parenting styles), and the new, but not necessarily improved, “outlaws.” Funny, isn’t it, how life issues can sometimes can get recycled and repackaged with similar problems intact? Within the parenting arena, the allimportant topic of education poses a significant challenge for divorced or divorcing parents. The legal custody arrangement is always a realistic cornerstone and something the school should have a copy of for their files. This document impacts who has a “say” when it comes to school and overall educational decisions concerning your children. For example, this may mean that even

under the best of circumstances, stepparents and grandparents do not have any “right” toward decision-making in such things as school conferences unless the court has awarded them some form of custody status. This doesn’t say that their opinion is not important or needed, but that the law has to be respected concerning any documentation sign-off and that the weight of any “final decisions” regarding educational planning will follow the custody order. The goal in divorce parenting is collaboration. The educational decisions regarding the children of divorce can become a battleground between parents. The result — the kids suffer. If collaborating parents with mutual custody rights have differing philosophies about their children’s education, then this might be a good reason to engage the services of an outside person on a limited basis to help you arrive at a more mutual solution. I recommend a licensed marriage and family therapist for your consideration because they are more specifically trained for this type of work. I also advise that you coordinate your concerns with your school officials. Schools can frequently offer excellent resources for divorced families through

team efforts. For example, at Nebo Elementary, school counselor Janet Curtis, social worker Christina Wooten and principal Joyce Poplin work together to provide a responsive “helping group approach” to supporting families going through a transition of life change such as divorce. Advising the school counselor, the school social worker and administrative personal of any life-affecting changes such as custody battles or visitation switches will only serve to help your children get the understanding and support they may need through this difficult time. During a divorce, it ultimately takes more than a “tribe” to raise a child. It takes several tribes including family, friends, school, and your religious community, to name but a few. The good news can be that your child will grow to appreciate the power of community, which we adults sometimes forget. Trip Woodward is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.



librarian’s pick

Books offer lesson about apologizing Jennifer Prince WNC Parent columnist In her new book “Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry,” author Samantha Berger presents an important life lesson about apologizing in such a dainty, beguiling way, that the story is as entertaining as it is instructive. Pink ribbon in her hair, white sash around her waist, little Martha the otter is the image of politeness and sweetness. Most of the time she is a good girl. She shares. She gives hugs. She makes homemade gifts. There is one thing, though, that Martha never does. She never says she is sorry. One day, Martha is feeling especially ornery. She spatters her mother with cake batter, runs a fat wet paint brush across her father’s back side,


and she sticks her tongue out at her little brother. Martha’s misdeeds weigh on her mind. She wants to make things right and she knows how to, as well, but she is reluctant. As Martha goes about her day, she discovers that pride is a ticklish thing. Illustrator Bruce Whatley packages the story in cotton candy pink, with white and tan as accent colors. Martha’s face is expressive. With a few lines tilted this way or that, Martha’s face shows the wearing effect of a guilty conscience in all its agonizing degrees. Norbert Landa offers another look at apologizing in his new book entitled simply “Sorry.” In it, Bear and Rabbit are best friends. Their likes and abilities complement each other’s perfectly.

Their peaceable existence is tried when they spot something in the grass, “something blinking and twinkling in the sun.” The reader sees the shiny object for what it is, a deflated Mylar balloon. When Rabbit looks at the balloon, he sees his reflection. He thinks it is a picture of him. When Bear looks at the balloon, he sees his reflection. He thinks it is a picture of him. An argument ensues and they end up tearing the balloon into two pieces. They retreat to their own corners, but soon the friends miss each other. Each tries to figure out the best way to make amends, but saying “Sorry” can be an awkward business. Tim Warnes’ illustrations are rendered in watercolors and pencil. The balloon is made with applied pieces of silver paper. The contrast between it and woodland landscape is captivating. These books are available through the Buncombe County Public Libraries.

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growing together

Finding some perspective and peace By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist I am going to take it as a sign of spiritual maturity that I am still smiling at the end of a long week. If you know me, you are probably saying, “No, that can’t be it.” You’re probably right, but work with me here. Trying really hard to make my view less myopic, I am doing a little better at not getting bogged down in the details. So the van needs repair, the ideal carpool just fell apart and a Saturday visit to the pediatrician cost $536.10. I swear to you, I am not making that up. I get positively overwhelmed by a list like that. Woe is me — or woe is I, if you want to get technical.

It’s as if the discharge nurse from the labor and delivery floor had told me, “Here’s your free diaper bag, a suction bulb for her nose and a lifetime supply of worry. Knock yourself out.”

Getting over myself requires perspective. Maybe being married for 20 years or having a teenager plays a role in getting that, but I feel it coming on in fits and starts these days. And I know I can counter those negatives that seem insurmountable today but will mean little in the timeline of my life. Outside my window, six birds are queued up for the two birdbaths. While some bathe, the others flail around in the mulch, chirping and puffing up and generally doing very little to remedy their predicament. But they don’t seem to worry about that. I can take a hint.

We mothers have cornered the market on worry, I think. It’s as if the discharge nurse from the labor and delivery floor had told me, “Here’s your free diaper bag, a suction bulb for her nose and a lifetime supply of worry. Knock yourself out.” I’ve now been a mom for 16 years, so I know that supply compounds annually, with interest. The challenge remains in knowing what is in my control and what is far beyond it — and how big a blip each event makes on the eternal picture. So I will indeed cloak myself in gratitude. Saturday pediatrics notwithstanding, I am happy and blessed beyond measure. Life is good indeed. Chris Worthy is an attorney who took down her shingle to be a stay-at-home mom. Contact her at



kids and sports

Father-son time is best part of derby

By Tom Kuyper Gannett “On your mark, get set, go!” Those were the last words before I heard my oldest son yell, “And they’re off!! Oh… we’re already in last place!” followed by: “Hey Dad look, our front tires fell off,” then, “Dad! We’re really off … Our car fell off the track!” Wikipedia defines the Pinewood Derby as “a racing event for Cub Scouts with the help of parents.” The derby was organized in 1953 in California by Cub master Don Murphy because his son was too young to participate in the popular Soap Box Derby races. So, Cub Scouts all over the country get excited about this event every year. So, too, do ambitious dads. The engi-


neers, architects or just the handy ones lie awake at night as they dream about their (er, their son’s) car design for this year’s race. From the beginning, my son knew he was in trouble. He knew that I knew a lot about shooting free-throws but when he saw me trying to unscrew a light bulb and heard me repeating to myself, “righty tighty; lefty loosey” he knew he’d have to take the lead on this one. It is me alone who keeps all the handy men in Phoenix fully employed. Does falling apart and crashing off the track count as a last place finish? But, let’s take another look at the definition of Pinewood Derby: “Help.” Dads need to understand this word. It means to come under the one needing assistance and enable him to learn to develop new skills. It does not mean to

take over. Who cares if your car comes in last place if it is truly your car? Who cares what place you come in if that car was your dream, your heart and your project. It doesn’t even matter if the wheels fall off and your car falls off the track! It’s all about dad and son doing something together, spending time together and having fun; playing, laughing, listening and developing the relationship. This is an opportunity for dad to find out his son’s favorite colors and to watch him create something that reflects who he is. Now, does anyone know a good electrician? I have a light bulb that got stuck — “righty tighty/lefty loosey” didn’t seem to work! E-mail Tom Kuyper at

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kitchen kid

Spice up winter with this easy chili What does it take to be a Kitchen Kid? The recipe is quite simple. Start with safety first. Then, add an interest in learning. Finally, sprinkle a few simple kitchen skills.

Jumpin’ Jack Chili

1 cup onion, diced 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, undrained 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed 3 1/2 cups chicken broth 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie chicken can be used) 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Monterey Jack Cheese, coarsely grated and divided 1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Colby Cheese, coarsely grated and divided Toppings: crushed corn chips, sour cream, chopped green onions, olives, chopped tomatoes, oyster crackers, goldfish crackers, bacon 1. Cook onion in hot oil in heavy stock pan (Dutch oven) over medium-high heat, stirring until tender. Add green chiles, garlic and cumin; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add beans and chicken broth, stirring well. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. 2. Add chicken, 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and 1/2 cup Colby Cheese; simmer over low heat 10 minutes more. 3. Ladle chili into bowls. Top each serving with remaining cheeses and desired toppings. Serves 4.



Old-time recipe turns into light whipped cream cake Gannett What’s next after you’ve already written the “Bible”? While it’s been 20 years since Rose Levy Beranbaum’s landmark baking book “The Cake Bible” was published, the author continues to find divinity in simple cake batters. Her ninth and latest cookbook “Rose’s Heavenly Cakes” (Wiley, 2009) offers more than 100 meticulously tested recipes for everything from for a humble, but very tasty, apple-cinnamon crumb coffee cake to a stunningly gorgeous palet d’or gateau, a chocolate butter cake topped with a lacquer glaze, and flecked with gold leaf and fresh red currants. “I have never loved a book as much as this one,” says Beranbaum by phone from her New York home. “I love baking bread and cookies, but cakes almost have their own personality. I had so many ideas I wanted to try.” One of those included a recipe for a whipped cream cake that was given to her by friend Anthony Stella, a former chef. Stella passed along an old-fashioned recipe for an unusual cake that used no butter or oil. Instead, it was made with heavy cream. Beranbaum says the recipe needed work, and, over the years, she began to “nip and tweak it.” “It’s almost everyone’s favorite recipe in the book,” she says. “Whenever I go to make it, I think, ‘I forgot to soften the butter.’ Then I remember: Oh, there’s no butter.”

Follow the recipes When it comes to cake, being a perfectionist is to be admired, Beranbaum believes. Baking isn’t for cooks who like to


wing it. The alchemy of butter, sugar, eggs, flour and leavening agents is an exacting science, with no leeway. A cake, in particular, can be like a jilted bride. It won’t forgive the person who burned it. “It’s not a lamb chop. You can’t overcook it and still eat it,” Beranbaum jokes. Beranbaum carefully considers every ingredient before it goes into a batter. “Flour is the soul of baking,” she says. “People still think flour is flour.” She prefers cake flour, which results in a more tender crumb, or bleached allpurpose flour. (She likes unbleached all-purpose flour for bread.) Beranbaum also discovered that Wondra flour, mostly used for gravies or dusting fish for frying, is an ideal flour for producing tender, airy sponge cakes. She tries to encourage people to carefully weigh flour rather than doing the dip-and-sweep or spoon-andlevel off methods, which can result in denser, drier cakes. If you do measure, Beranbaum says sifting into a measuring cup is the most accurate way to measure flour. “When people complain about heaviness, they’re probably using too much flour.” Scales are widely used in European kitchens, but not often in America. While researching the book, Beranbaum discovered why. “When pioneers were coming through the ... mountains, they started throwing things away to lighten the load. And one of the things they got rid of was scales,” she says. “But they keep the cups.” Beranbaum even suggests weighing or measuring the volume of eggs. She prefers USDA-grade large eggs for most of her recipes, but says that the amount can vary a great deal from egg to egg. “Chickens are younger laying eggs now, so the yolks are smaller than the whites. It will throw the recipe off.”

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Whipped cream cake

2 cups bleached all-purpose flour sifted into the cup and leveled off 2 teaspoons baking powder 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold 3 large eggs, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar One 10-cup fluted metal tube pan (a Bundt pan), coated with baking spray with flour At least 20 minutes before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees (350 degrees if using a dark pan). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, then sift them together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whip the cream, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla just until lightly combined. On medium-high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The mixture will thicken into mayonnaise consistency (unless high-butterfat cream is used). Gradually beat in the sugar. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate it. Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture and, with a large silicone spatula, stir and fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture and continue folding and mixing until all traces of flour have disappeared. Using a silicone spatula or spoon, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatula or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth surface with a small metal spatula. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Let cake cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. With a small metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Notes: Do not chill the bowl and beaters for the heavy cream because the eggs will not emulsify as readily if the whipped cream is too cold. High-butterfat (40 percent) heavy cream, generally only available to bakeries and restaurants, produces a finer, more tender crumb. Makes 8 to 10 servings.



kids’ page



Word search Find these names of popular games: Battleship, cat’s cradle, charades, checkers, chess, crazy eights, go fish, hotter colder, I spy, jacks, Monopoly, musical chairs, Old Maid, solitaire, thumb wrestling, tic tac toe, Tiddlywinks, twenty questions



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parent puzzles Across

1. Unaccompanied performances 6. He makes classic toys way up North? 9. Be compatible 13. American Indian group, e.g. 14. Golf peg 15. Core of personnel 16. Artist’s tripod 17. Hot Wheels is a popular ___ brand 18. Sharks’ domain 19. Modeling compound 21. Creature made of Red-Heel sock 23. Douse or soak 24. Adjutant 25. “Muppet Babies” aired on this “eye” network 28. “Death in Venice” author 30. Lace passage 35. United ____ Emirates 37. “you ____ what you sow” 39. Nixon’s VP 40. Eight 41. Dollar’s European forerunner, a.k.a. thaler 43. Ahmadinejad’s home 44. A spouse’s parent 46. Funeral wood pile 47. Wine container 48. Leaseholder 50. Antioxidant mineral 52. Pirate’s turf 53. White-tailed sea eagle 55. Earlier in time than, archaic 57. Naked freshwater protozoa 60. It requires lots of bending 64. Twist into deformity 65. Dark loaf 67. Fur shawl 68. “April showers bring May flowers,” e.g. 69. Victory sign 70. Smidgeons 71. Athletic facilities 72. Type of sweet potato 73. Expended

15. a.k.a rock rabbits 20. Abstractionism with optical illusion 22. “___ to Joy” 24. Consider in detail 25. Raise trivial objections 26. Chicken-seasoning liquid 27. They made the Mayflower go 29. Less than average tide 31. Long narrative poem 32. Former money of Italy, pl. 33. Remove, as in wrong answer 34. Famous for toy trucks 36. Partiality that prevents objective consideration 38. ____wig or ____winkle 42. Sign up again 45. It doesn’t fall down

49. Geological time period 51. Cuban Missile ______ 54. In a tense state 56. Bar by estoppel 57. Raggedy Ann’s brother 58. “Yes, ____!” 59. Work or energy units 60. Move in large numbers, as in bees 61. Type of bag 62. Panache 63. First R in R&R 64. Speech-preventing measure 66. Affirmative response

Solutions on Page 64


1. Dance move 2. Unwritten test 3. Michael Jackson’s ex 4. What a subordinate does 5. Not often 6. ____ A Sketch 7. Actress Thompson 8. Italian/American physicist 9. Found in a box 10. Idea in France 11. Make donkey noises 12. Even (poetic)



story times Buncombe County Public Libraries

For more information visit governing/depts/Library/default.asp. Jan. 19: Bilingual Story Time: Weaverville Library hosts its monthly story time with stories, rhymes and songs in both English and Spanish. At 6:30 p.m. The library is at 41 N. Main St. Call 250-6482. Mother Goose Time (ages 4-18 months) 11 a.m. Mondays: West Asheville 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Fairview 11 a.m. Wednesdays: Swannanoa, Weaverville 11 a.m. Thursdays: Oakley 11:30 a.m. Thursdays: Enka-Candler Toddler Time (ages 18-36 months) 10 a.m. Wednesdays: North Asheville 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Fairview, Skyland/South Buncombe 11 a.m. Wednesdays: West Asheville 10 a.m. Thursdays: Swannanoa 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Black Mountain, Enka-Candler 11 a.m. Thursdays: Weaverville (first Thursday only) Story time (ages 3-5) 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays: Weaverville 10 a.m. Wednesdays: Oakley 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Black Mountain, EnkaCandler, Leicester 11 a.m. Wednesdays: East Asheville, North Asheville 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Fairview, Skyland/South Buncombe 11 a.m. Thursdays: Swannanoa, West Asheville 11 a.m. Saturdays: East Asheville School-age story time (ages 5-7) 3:15 p.m. Thursdays: North Asheville Family story time 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays: Weaverville Storyline Call 251-5437 for a story anytime.

Haywood County Public Library

For more information, visit Baby Rhyme Time (birth-24 months) 11 a.m. Mondays: Waynesville. Movers and Shakers (ages 2-3) 11 a.m. Thursdays: Waynesville Family story time (all ages) 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Fines Creek 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays: Canton 11 a.m. Wenesdays: Waynesville Ready 4 Learning (ages 4-5) 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays: Waynesville Mondays with Ms. Lisa (grades K-5) 3:30 p.m. Mondays (during school year): Canton


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Henderson County Public Library

For more information, visit Bouncing Babies (ages 0-18 months) 11:15 a.m. Tuesdays: Etowah 11 a.m. Wednesdays: Main Library 11:15 a.m. Wednesdays: Fletcher Toddler time (ages 18 months-3 years) 10 a.m. Tuesdays: Etowah 10 a.m. Wednesdays: Fletcher 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Main Library Preschool story time (ages 3-5) 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Main Library, Etowah 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Fletcher 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Main Library Family story time (all ages) 10 a.m. Mondays: Edneyville 10 a.m. Thursdays: Green River 10:30 a.m. Saturdays: Main Library Stories Alive 10:30 a.m. Saturdays: Main Library 4 o’clock Craft Club 4 p.m. Thursdays: Main Library

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 3 S. Tunnel Road, 296-7335 Ongoing story times: 11 a.m. Mondays (toddlers) and 2 p.m. Saturdays (young readers). Jan. 4: “Angelina Ballerina” story time with Asheville Arts Center at 11 a.m. Feb. 1: Dr. Seuss story time with Asheville Arts Center at 11 a.m. Biltmore Park, 33 Town Square Blvd., 687-0681. Ongoing story times: 11 a.m. Wednesdays (toddlers) and 2 p.m. Sundays. Jan. 10 and 13: “Angelina Ballerina” story time with Asheville Arts Center at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 and 11 a.m. Jan. 13. Feb. 10 and 14: Dr. Seuss story time with Asheville Arts Center at 11 a.m. Feb. 10 and 2 p.m. Feb. 14.



calendar of events

Things to do

The deadline to submit items for February’s calendar is Jan. 10. Send information to

Jan. 4

‘Boxcar Children’ auditions

Auditions for “The Boxcar Children” at Asheville Community Theatre, directed by Lori Beland Hilliard, will be 6-8 p.m. Jan. 4. Roles are available for four students (8 and older) and 10 adults (all ages). Families are encouraged to audition. Perusal scripts are available for at the ACT box office. Wear comfortable clothing and bring your calendar. Rehearsals begin Jan. 14 and will be primarily 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The show will run three weekends (March 5-21)and includes two school morning matinees. Call 254-1320 for information.

Food allergy group

COCOA — Caring for Children with food Allergies — is a free group for parents of food allergic children that meets at 6:45 p.m. the first Monday of the month at Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. E-mail Kristie at for details.

Starts week of Jan. 4

Asheville Area Music Together

Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for children age 0-5. Each class is a rich, playful, family experience full of new and traditional songs and chants. Free demo classes available. Visit or Contact Kari at or call 545-0990. Winter session begins week of Jan. 4. Session enrollment ends Jan. 11.

Jan. 5

Sit and Knit

A casual knitting and needlework group for all levels at 1 p.m. at Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. Call 250-6482.

Skyland Library Knitters

A casual knitting group for knitters of all skill levels at 6:30 p.m. at the Skyland/South Buncombe Library, 260 Overlook Road. Call 250-6488.



Lyn Martin hands out a sample of her chili during Fletcher’s annual Chili cook-off contest. This year’s event is Jan. 9.

Registration starts Jan. 5

Play and Learn

Registration begins Jan. 5 for new participants. Parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care are invited to a series of eight free Play and Learn group sessions. Three groups will be offered: 10 a.m. or 11a.m. on, Jan. 19-March 9, and 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 20-March 10. Each 45-minute session will be held in the Family Resource Center at Asheville City Schools Preschool, 441 Haywood Road in West Asheville. The program focuses on pre-literacy skills for children and educational information for parents. Activities include songs, puppets, dance, games, crafts and hands-on activities. Registration is required. New participants may register by e-mail ( or phone (828.350.2904) at 8 a.m. Jan. 5. If slots are still available, returning participants may register starting Jan. 12. Children must be 3 on or before Jan. 18 to participate. Younger siblings may attend with their families, but materials are not provided for them.

Starts Jan. 6

Afternoon Art classes

Roots + Wings offers weekly art sessions for children ages 7-10, from 3:45-4:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Janu-

ary’s session focuses on clay sculpture. Runs Jan. 6-27. Cost is $50 plus $10 supply fee. Sibling discount. Classes held at the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village. Call 545-4827 or visit for information and to register.

Childbirth classes

Park Ridge Hospital’s Baby Place offers childbirth classes. Weekly class meets Wednesday evenings for six weeks, starting Jan. 6. Cost is $90 per couple. Call 681-BABY to register.

Jan. 7

BirthNetwork of WNC

Learn about mother-friendly childbirth and get answers to your birth-option questions. Facilitated by a certified nurse-midwife. At 8 p.m. at Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Hendersonville. Registration not required.

Jan. 7 and 14 Childbirth class

A two-session class for expectant parents covering the labor and delivery process, relaxation, breathing patterns, birth options, positioning and comfort measures. Bring two pillows and a blanket. Also includes tour of the Pardee Women and Children’s Center. Runs 6:30-9 p.m. Jan. 7 and 14. Cost is $40, or free with Medicaid. Registration required. At

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calendar of events Pardee Hospital education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866-790-WELL.

Jan. 7-8

Up and Away workshop

Hands On! A Child’s Gallery offers Up and Away Workshop, where children explore the basics of flight. Runs 3-5 p.m. Cost is $15 ($12 for members). Call 697-8333 or visit The museum is at 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville.

Jan. 8

Free tap class

Ballet Conservatory of Asheville is offering a free tap dance class for ages 5-7, 3:30-4 p.m., and ages 8-10, 4-5 p.m. Call 255-5777 or visit for details.

Parents’ Night Out

Fired Up! Creative Lounge, at 26 Wall St. in downtown Asheville, offers a Parents’ Night Out from 6-9 p.m. Kids ages 5-12 will paint a bisque piece, have pizza and play games. Cost is $25 per child. Call 253-8181 to make reservations.

Starts Jan. 8 Pre-K art class

Roots + Wings offers weekly art sessions for children ages 3-6, from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Fridays. January’s session focuses on art from recycled objects. Runs Jan. 8-29. Cost is $50 plus $10 supply fee. Sibling discount. Classes held at the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village. Call 545-4827 or visit for information and to register.

Clogging classes


A sampling of support groups for moms in WNC. Biltmore Baptist MOPS: MOPS is a place designed specifically for mothers of children from infancy to kindergarten. Experience authentic community, mothering support, personal growth and spiritual hope. MOPS of Biltmore Baptist Church invites any and all mothers to attend. Meetings are 9:30-11:30 a.m. the first, third and fifth Wednesday of each month at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. For more information, call 687-1111, e-mail or visit La Leche League of Asheville: Pregnant moms, babies and toddlers welcome at all meetings. Monday morning group meets at 10 a.m. the second Monday of the month at First Congregational Church on Oak Street. Contact a leader: Susan, 628-4438, Jessica, 242-6531, Falan, 683-1999, or Tamara, 505-1379. Monday evening group meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of the month at Awakening Heart on Merrimon Avenue. Contact a leader: Yvette, 254-5591, or Molly, 713-7089. La Leche League of Hendersonville: Offers information and support for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, 2021 Kanuga Road. Babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, contact a leader: Andrea 676-6047, Katie 808-1490, or MC 693-9899. Mom2mom: Christian moms group meets at St. Paul’s Church, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Rosscraggon Business Park Building B, Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. For information, call 388-3598. Mommy and Me: Park Ridge Hospital offers a support group for moms at 10 a.m. the fourth Monday of each month. Contact Angie Collins at (231) 838-4853 for more information. The hospital offers a luncheon for moms and babies, noon-1 p.m. the third Monday of the month, at the hospital’s private dining room. Call 681-2229 for information. MOMS Club of Hendersonville: A support group open to mothers of all ages in the Henderson County area, including mothers who have home-based businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects benefiting needy children in the community. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome at meetings. Call Kerry at 692-7724 or visit Moms with Multiples: Group for moms with multiples meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Women’s Resource Center on Doctors Drive, behind Mission Hospital. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. For information, call 444-AMOM or visit ! Montreat/Black Mountain MOPS: Join other moms for fun, laughter and friendship. Group meets 9-11 a.m. the second Tuesday of each month at Black Mountain United Methodist Church, 101 Church St. Free child care available. Call Michelle at 669-8012, ext. 4001, to reserve a spot. North Asheville MOPS: Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. the first Monday of each month at Maranatha Baptist Church, 1040 Lower Flat Creek Road, Weaverville. For information, contact Jennifer Warner at 423-6180 or Liban Morris at

Beginner clogging class taught by Junior Olympic medalist Ashley Shimberg starts Jan. 8. Class runs 5:30-6:20 p.m. at Hahn’s Gymnastics, Intermediate and advanced classes also offered. Visit, e-mail or call 329-3856 for information.

classes runs Jan. 11-Feb. 5; registration deadline is Jan. 8. Classes offered for children ages 6 months-14, parent-child classes, adult classes, and a swim club for children ages 7-14. Cost starts at $40 for members and $70 for nonmembers. Call 210-9605.

Register by Jan. 9

Jan. 9

Smith-McDowell House Museum continues its series of historical parties and activities for boys and girls with a Colonial contra dance for ages 10-18. Contra dance is done in rows of boys and girls, and dance partners change as the dance progresses. Runs 2-4 p.m. Jan. 16. Make reservations by Jan. 9 by calling 253-9231 or e-mailing At Smith-McDowell House, 283 Victoria Road.

Fletcher Parks and Recreation hosts its ninth-annual Chili Cook-Off. Set-up is at 10:30 a.m. with judging beginning at 11:30 a.m. Open to individuals and businesses. Community members are welcome to come and taste the entries from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. or until it’s gone. Suggested donation is $5. Registration deadline is Jan. 4. Entry forms and rules at Event is at Veritas Christian Academy, 17 Cane Creek Road. Call 687-0751.

Starts Jan. 9

Jan. 9-16

Historical party: Colonial contra dance

YMCA swim lessons

The Asheville YMCA offers an eight-week Saturday session that runs Jan. 9-Feb. 27. Registration deadline is Jan. 6. A four-week session with weekday

Fletcher Chili Cook-off

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Wilderness Wildlife Week is an eight-day family event in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to salute the Great Smoky Mountains. Children’s programs include Animal Olympics, Oh! Possum, Those Ain’t Teddy Bears in

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Kiddin’ Around, Wings of America and more. Free. Most activities are indoors at the Music Road Hotel’s convention facilities, and there are about a dozen hikes every day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (almost 5,000 miles were hiked in 2009), and there are several owl prowls during the week. Wilderness Wildlife Week is part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest. For details, visit or call 800-251-9100.

Jan. 9-17 and 30

Open Doors Art Show and Auction

This auction of work by local artists will support Open Doors, a new Asheville not-for-profit that breaks the cycle of poverty by connecting local children with an individualized support network and opportunities for higher education. Opening reception will be Jan. 9 in Pack Place’s Front Gallery and is free to the public. Art will be displayed there until Jan. 17. An auction will be Jan. 30 at Asheville’s YMI Cultural Center. Artists include Randy Shull, Benjamin Betsalel, Rebecca D’Angelo, Moni Hill and more. For more information, contact Jen Ramming at 777-1135.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 53

Starts Jan. 10 Latin classes

Intermediate Latin classes for ages 10-14 are offered in a 12-week session starting Jan. 10 for 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sunday classes or Jan. 12 for 5-6 p.m. Tuesday classes. At Kenilworth Presbyterian Church. Taught by John Paul McDonald, former humanities professor at UNC Asheville. Cost is $120 plus books. Contact karen.boekschoten! about Tuesday classes or about Sunday classes.

Jan. 11

Park Ridge Hospital Baby Place classes

Call 681-BABY to register. The hospital is at 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. ◆ Childbirth class: One-day class meets 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $90 per couple. ◆ Sibling class: Class designed to help the soon-tobe big brother and/or sister get ready for the new baby. Includes a craft, a big sister/big brother T-shirt, and tour of the Baby Place. Cost is $25. Runs 7-8 p.m. ◆ Infant massage class: Learn how to massage your baby, which can help improve digestion, sleep, calm the nervous system and help create a bonding experience for mom and baby. It is designed for parents, grandparents and primary caregivers. Cost is $25. Starts at 6 p.m. ◆ Pregnancy massage class: Class designed for pregnant women and their partners/birthing partners. Learn various massage techniques to help mom to relax and ease her discomforts in pregnancy and labor. Bring two large towels and two pillows. Cost is $125. Starts at 6 p.m.

Jan. 12

Odyssey Community School open house

Odyssey Community School will open its doors from 5:30-7 p.m. Tour campus and classrooms, and meet the teachers, the directors, and Odyssey parents. Odyssey offers preschool (3- to 5-year-olds, yearround program) through high school. In Montford, at 90 Zillicoa St. Call 259-3653, e-mail, or visit for more information.

Jan. 13

Holistic Parenting Forum

The Holistic Parenting Forum is a free group that meets monthly to provide support, education and resources for a diverse community of parents committed to natural living. All meetings take place on the second Wednesday of every month at Earth Fare in West Asheville from 6-8 p.m. Children are welcome. For more information, call 230-4850 or e-mail


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calendar of events Origami Folding Frenzy

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

Starts Jan. 13 Clogging class

Beginning clogging classes for ages 7 and older run 7:15-8 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 13, at Oakley Community Center. Cost is $40/class; additional family members are half off. No experience or partner required. Call 490-1226 or visit to register.

night out for children ages 2-12. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, inflatable obstacle course, snacks and a movie. Register online or in person (at least 24 hours before scheduled program). Offered 6:30-9:30 p.m. the third Friday of each month. Cost is $12 for members ($24 nonmembers) with $2 sibling discounts for everyone. For information or to register, call 210-5622 or visit

mont Theatre’s acting and musical training program, the Altamont Theatre Conservatory. Acting, dance, and singing classes, workshops, performances and career guidance with experienced/professional instructors. For students age 7-18 and adults, beginner classes also available. From 1-2 p.m. at 5 Points Building, 6 E. Chestnut St. RSVP required. Call 274-8070. Visit for information.

Jan. 16

Altamont Theatre Conservatory auditions and open house

Auditions and information session for the new Alta-

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Jan. 15

Teen Awesome Group

Weaverville Library hosts a teen group the third Friday of each month during the school year. This month’s theme is “Whose Line is It, Anyway? A Teen Comedy and Improv Night.” Add your own spin to an evening of comedy and improve games, snacks and more. Call 250-6482 or e-mail

YMCA parents’ night out

The YMCA in downtown Asheville offers a parents


The third-annual Isaac Dickson Elementary School Hot Chocolate 10K and Kids 1K Hill Climb is Jan. 23.



calendar of events

Jan. 17

‘Dance, Baby, Dance’

Swannanoa Valley Montessori School presents a dance party for families. From 2-4:30 p.m. at The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave. Tickets are $5 in advance, $6 at the door. Infants and crawling babies are free. Visit or call 669-8571 for tickets. Visit for information.

Waldorf education presentation

Come find out why Waldorf education is one of the fastest growing independent school movements in the world. This introduction will offer an experiential window into the Waldorf approach though the eyes of teachers, parents and graduates. From 3-4:30 p.m. at the Vesica Institute in East Asheville. Visit or call 296-8323.

Register by Jan. 17 Spring season registration deadline for U7 and older levels of Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association is Jan. 17. Cost is $58, plus $17 uniform fee. Deadline for U5 and U6 is Jan. 29. Cost is $48 plus $17 uniform fee. Late fee is $10 for registration after the deadline. For details, visit


p.m. At Park Ridge Hospital, 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. Call 681-BABY to register.

Join the Arden Seventh-day Adventist Church and Park Ridge Hospital for the Arden Community Health Fair, a free screening event. From 1-5 p.m. Jan. 17 and 8 a.m.-noon Jan. 18. At Arden Seventh-day Adventist Church, 35 Airport Road, Arden. Call 6873947 for a complete list of free screenings.

Registration begins Jan. 19

Arden Community Health Fair

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ABYSA spring soccer

Jan. 17-18

Jan. 18

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Federal holiday. No school in many districts.

Clay Day

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts at Highwater Clays offers a pottery program for kids ages 6-12 on a day off school. Runs 9 a.m.-noon. Cost is $35. Visit or call 285-0210 for information. At 238 Clingman Ave., Asheville.

Mommy and Me Luncheon

Park Ridge Hospital’s Baby Place welcomes new moms to its Mommy and Me luncheon. Bring your new baby, visit with other new moms and enjoy a short presentation. Call 681-BABY to RSVP.

Refresher Childbirth class

Class offered by Park Ridge Hospital’s Baby Place that is designed for a couple who needs a brush-up on labor and birth choices. Class covers relaxation techniques, birthing options, pain relief techniques, medications and medical procedures, as well as a tour of the Baby Place. Cost is $55. Runs 5:30-8:30

Play and Learn programs

Parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care are invited to attend a series of eight free Play and Learn group sessions: ◆ At Leicester Elementary, 8:30-9:15 a.m. Fridays, Feb. 5-March 26. Children must be 3 by Feb. 4 to participate. ◆ At Johnston Elementary, 9-9:45 a.m. Mondays, Feb. 1-March 29. Children must be 3 by Jan. 31 to participate. The program focuses on pre-literacy skills for children and educational information for parents and is sponsored by Smart Start of Buncombe County. Activities include songs, puppets, dance, games, crafts, and hands-on activities. Registration required. New participants may register by e-mail ( or phone (350.2904) starting at 8 a.m. Jan. 19. If slots are still available, returning participants may register at 8 a.m. Jan. 26. Please do not call the school to register. Attendance is required at four of eight sessions. Younger siblings may attend with their families, but materials are not provided for them. For information, call Marna Holland at 350-2904.

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calendar of events

Jan. 20-21

Exploring Our Five Senses

Hands On! A Child’s Gallery offers the first session of Exploring Our Five Senses. Children will explore sense of sight, touch and sound. Runs 10:30-11:30 a.m. for ages 2-3 on Jan. 20 and ages 4-5 on Jan. 21. Cost is $15 ($12 for members). Call 697-8333 or visit The museum is at 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville.

Jan. 21

Asheville Christian Academy open houses

For more information on either event, call 581-2200 or visit ◆ Explore Kindergarten: 10-11 a.m. Meet the teachers and learn about the school’s approach to kindergarten. Parents will be giving campus tours and guests will have the opportunity to observe classes in session. ◆ Drop-In Open House: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for all grades. Please come experience ACA’s liberal arts approach to a college preparatory education distinguished by a biblical worldview. ACA is fully accredited and serves K4 through 12th grade.

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The Blue Ridge Agility Club of Western North Carolina hosts an American Kennel Club agility trial Jan. 22-24 at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher.



calendar of events

Chocolate 10K and Kids Hill Climb. Register online at

Continued from Page 57

Jan. 25

Breast-feeding class

Mommy and Me group

Learn the art of breast-feeding. Class covers breastfeeding basics to help give moms a good start. From 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee Hospital, education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866-790-WELL. Free. Registration is not required.

Park Ridge Hospital’s Baby Place offers a Mommy and Me group at 10 a.m. Call Angie Collins at 231838-4853 for more information.

Helpful ideas and tips for dads during the labor and birth process. At 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee Hospital, Video Conference Room, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Free. Registration not required. Call 866-790-WELL.

Veritas Christian Academy High School students will be presenting speeches in the final round of this year’s Declamation Competition. Declamation is concerned with taking an idea of great value and presenting it to others by using another writer’s words. The presentations will be at 7 p.m. at Fletcher First Baptist Church, at Hendersonville and Cane Creek roads. Call 681-0546 for more information.

Daddy Duty class

Jan. 22-24

AKC Dog Agility Trial

American Kennel Club’s Dog Agility Trial at WNC Agricultural Center McGough Arena in Fletcher runs 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day. Dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speed. Free. Spectators welcome (but leave your dogs at home). Call 697-2118.

Jan. 23

Hot Chocolate 10K, Kids Hill Climb Isaac Dickson Elementary’s PTO sponsors the Hot


Veritas Christian Academy Declamation Finals

Jan. 26

Knitting groups

◆ Black Mountain Library Knitters: knitting and needlework for all skill levels, 7 p.m., at 105 Dougherty St. Call 250-4756. ◆ Leicester Library Knitters: knitting and crochet for all skill levels, 6:30 p.m., 1561 Alexander Road. Call 250-6480. ◆ Weaverville Library Sit and Knit: knitting and needlework for all levels, 6 p.m., 41 N. Main St. Call 250-6482.


Girls try out archery at National Girls and Women in Sports Day. This year’s event is Feb. 13.

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calendar of events

Starts Jan. 26

SAT preparation course

UNC Asheville offers SAT preparation courses in three-week sessions. Cost is $275. For more information and registration information, call 250-2353 or e-mail

Jan. 27-28

Exploring Our Five Senses

Hands On! A Child’s Gallery offers the second session of Exploring Our Five Senses. Children will explore sense of sight, touch and sound. Runs 10:30-11:30 a.m. for ages 2-3 on Jan. 27 and ages 4-5 on Jan. 28. Cost is $15 ($12 for members). Call 697-8333 or visit The museum is at 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville.


Rich Brown dances with his daughter Delaney at the Father-Daughter Dance in Fletcher. This year’s dances are Feb. 13.

Jan. 28

Asheville Catholic School open house

Asheville Catholic School hosts an open house from 8:30-11:30 a.m. The school, which offers Pre-K through eighth grade, is at 12 Culvern St., Asheville. Call 252-7896 or visit

Infant care class

Pardee Hospital offers a course on infant care from A

to Z. From 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Pardee, education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Free. Registration not required. Call 866-790-WELL.

ties, a chili cook-off, pet show, hayrides and more. For details and a schedule, visit

Jan 28-31

Blowing Rock Winterfest

Four days of winter events including children’s activi-

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calendar of events Continued from Page 59

Jan. 30

Altamont Theatre musical workshop

The Altamont Theatre Conservatory welcomes Tony Award nominee Paul Shierhorn, teaching a musical theatre performance workshop, master-class and Q&A on song preparation for performance and auditions. Open to students ages 7 and older, as well as adults. From 10 a.m.1- p.m. at 5 Points Studios, 6 E. Chestnut St., Asheville. Prepare a short song section, bring sheet music. Space is limited. RSVP required. Call 274-8070 or visit

The Little Gym open house

The Little Gym is celebrating its fifth birthday with an open house, 2-4 p.m., with games, refreshments, prizes and more. Open to the public. The gym is at 1000 Brevard Road, Asheville. Call 667-9588 or visit

Jan. 31

Asheville Catholic School open house

Asheville Catholic School hosts an open house from noon-2 p.m. The school, which offers Pre-K through eighth grade, is at 12 Culvern St., off Beaverdam Road in North Asheville. Call 252-7896 or visit for information.

Feb. 8

Veritas Christian Academy open house

Veritas Christian Academy, a classical Christian school educating students pre-K through 12th grade, will host a community open house from 5-6:45 p.m. Tour the school, see the curriculum and talk with the faculty. Veritas Christian Academy is at 17 Cane Creek Road in Fletcher, at the corner of Hendersonville and Cane Creek roads. Call Darla Hall at 6810546 for more information.


Destiny Bryant participates in an experiment with electricity during Super Science Saturday at The Health Adventure. The museum offers the program each Saturday.

Feb. 13

Father-daughter dance

Fletcher Parks and Recreation hosts its annual Father-Daughter Dance at Calvary Episcopal Church. There are two dances: 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Tickets go on sale Jan. 4. Tickets cost $12/father and $6/ daughter for Fletcher residents; $17 and $8 for nonresidents. Buy tickets at Fletcher Town Hall. Advance purchase is required for both dances as space is limited. For more information, contact Cheyenne Youell at 687-0751.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day

A community event designed to expose women and girls to a variety of activities that will inspire them to lead active, healthy lives. This year’s event is open to women and girls (ages 6 and older) as a chance to try a new sport or fitness class, or build skills in a sport of interest. Registration ends Jan. 29. Cost is

$12 per person. Late registration is $15/person. Fee includes four clinics, T-shirt and goody bag, healthy lunch, door prizes, and a ticket to the Women’s Big South Tournament at UNC Asheville that day. Runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information or to register, contact Allison at the Stephens-Lee Recreation Center at 350-2058 or

Feb. 16-17

Wee Trade consignment sale drop-off

Drop-off items for sale at Wee Trade Best Made from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. at Expo building at WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Visit for guidelines and details. Consignor pre-sale is 5-9 p.m. Feb. 18. Public sale is Feb. 19-21.


Super Science Saturday

Experiment with science during Super Science Saturdays at The Health Adventure, from noon-2 p.m. each Saturday. Programs feature hands-on activities led by museum facilitators. For specific activity descriptions or for more information, visit The museum is at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square.

Tiny Tot Adventures

Montford Community Center offers this free class 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April. No class when Asheville City Schools are out. At 34 Pearson Drive. Call 253-3714.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 60

Kindermusik classes

Spring session registration is going on now for classes that run January-May. Register your child, newborn to age 7, for a musical play date every week. Four unique curricula promote creativity, listening skills, self-esteem, problem solving, vision and focus, language and literacy, hand-eye coordination, emotional and social skills, balance and coordination — all the while providing a joyful introduction to music. Call area licensed educators: Lora Scott, 649-2320, (Biltmore Village); Beth Magill, 298-9350, (downtown Asheville); Yvette Odell 253-4000, (North and South Asheville); Debra Huff, 206-3145 or 6891128, (Madison County); Sonja Gorsline, 883-8538 (Brevard).

Trinity Presbyterian Church Mothers Morning Out

The Mothers Morning Out program is enrolling children ages 6 weeks-6 years for care/preschool for the school year (through April). Offered 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Learning, dance, music and more. Register at the church, 17 Shawnee TrailEast Asheville. Call Tina Robinson at 299-3433, ext. 308, or visit

Tots On Toes ballet, tap classes

Build self-confidence and increase creativity through


Family Support Network of WNC offers several support groups for families. For more information on the network and specifics on the groups below, call 213-0033. All groups below meet in the evening and provide child care with advanced notice. Meetings are at Mission Reuter Children’s Center, 11 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Asheville, unless noted. Groups and meetings are: ◆ Autism Spectrum Disorders, fourth Monday each month. ◆ Down Syndrome Parent Group, second Tuesday of each month. ◆ Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Parent Group Meeting, second Thursday of each month. ◆ Homeschooling Children with Special Needs Parent Group, third Tuesday of each month. ◆ Latino Parent Group, fourth Thursday of each month. ◆ Latino Parent Group, first Wednesday of each month, Hendersonville. ◆ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) parent group, meets in the Mission Hospital NICU throughout the month. ◆ Special Healthcare Needs (physical, cognitive or developmental delays or health concerns), third Monday each month. ◆ ADHD Parent group, first Monday each month. ◆ Madison County Parent group, second Thursday each month, Marshall.


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calendar of events dance in a noncompetitive environment. Classes at the Stoney Mountain Activity center in Mountain Home, just south of Fletcher. Preschool, kindergarten-second grade, third-fifth grade and sixth-eighth grade classes available. Classes are $30 per month with a $15 registration fee and $20 recital fee due upon registration. For a complete schedule and more information, contact Dory Jones at 684-9201 or 242-6643, e-mail or visit

Joyful Noise classes

Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center is enrolling for private music lessons, drama classes, visual arts, and clogging and flatfooting dance classes. Classes in Weaverville, Marshall and Mars Hill. Call 649-2828 or visit

Women’s Wellness and Education Center classes

Classes including prenatal yoga and Mamatime mother-baby classes at the Women’s Wellness and

Education Center, 24 Arlington St., Asheville. For information, call 505-7505 or visit

‘My Mom Is Having a Baby’

A free program to help children ages 3-8 understand, accept and anticipate the changes that will happen as the family prepares for the birth of the new baby.

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Mommy and Me for Babies

This is a free group that meets weekly in two locations to provide an opportunity for new parents to gather. On Mondays, meet at the new Woodfin YMCA. Mommy/baby yoga for pre-crawlers is 11-11:45 a.m.; forum is noon-1 p.m. On Tuesdays, meetings are at Reuter Family YMCA in the Mission Wellness Resource Center Room. Mommy/baby yoga for precrawlers is at 10:30 a.m.; guest speaker/open discussion is at 11:30; walk and talk starts at 12:45 p.m. Please call 213-8098 or e-mail ! to register.

Toddler Fun

Toddler Fun is a free group that provides an opportunity for parents to have some structured fun with their children ages 1-3 including 45 minutes of songs, x stories, finger-plays, parachute play and more. At 10 a.m. Mondays at the new Woodfin YMCA and 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays at the Reuter Family YMCA. To register, call 213-8098 or e-mail

Swim lessons in Spanish

The YWCA of Asheville, at 185 S. French Broad Ave., now offers beginning swimming lessons in Spanish. Classes for 2- and 3-year-olds are 10:30 a.m. Mondays. Students can sign up at any time. New participants can try the class one time for free. One parent must accompany his or her child in the pool. To sign up, or for more information, call 254-7206, ext. 110, or go to

Wee Naturalist program

Wee Naturalists at the N.C. Arboretum is a hands-on, outdoor learning experience for pre-kindergarten children. Each lesson includes age-appropriate activities for ages 3-5 (2-year-olds are also welcome) such as nature walks, garden exploration, stories, crafts and visits from classroom animals. Runs 10-11 a.m. most Tuesdays, October-May. Parent or guardian must attend with child. Participants should dress for an outdoors program. Contact Jonathan Marchal at or 665-2492, ext. 228. Visit

Kidz Swim Club

Improves fitness levels through swimming and swimming performance enhancement. For ages 8-13; all participants must be proficient swimmers. 4:30-5:15 p.m. Mondays, Haywood Regional Health and Fitness, Clyde. Free to members, $20 for public per month. Call 452-8080 to register.

Celebration Singers of Asheville

Community children’s chorus for ages 7-14. Rehearsals are 6:30-7:45 p.m. Thursdays at First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., downtown Asheville. For audition and performance information, call 2305778 or visit



calendar of events Continued from Page 63 Program runs 4-5 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays at Mission Hospital. To register, call 254-6373. Visit and click on the “Programs” tab.

Grove Park Inn programs

The Sports Complex at the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa offers two programs for children. Children will enjoy playing games and sports, making arts and crafts, swimming, eating pizza and watching a movie. For reservations, call 252-2711, ext. 1046, or e-mail ◆ Kids’ Night Out: 6-10 p.m. each Friday and Saturday, for children ages 3-12. Cost is $45 per child. Advance registration required. ◆ Cub’s Adventure Camp: A full-day (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) or half-day (9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-4 p.m.) program on Saturdays. Lunch included. Cost is $65 for full day; $45 for half-day morning with lunch; $30 for half-day afternoon.

Solutions to puzzles on Page 49


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WNCParent January 2010  

The January Edition of WNCParent