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contents This month’s features 6


Backyard fun

Keeping kids entertained outside at home is easier than you think.

Car camping 101

Pack up the automobile and head to a campground.


Camping gear 101


Easy hikes


New to camping? Here’s a guide to what you’ll need. WNC offers several quick and easy hikes for families.

Zipping for a cause

The second-annual Zipping for Autism is recruiting teams.



Go diaperless

Asheville’s Andrea Olson is leading the charge on elimination communication.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices .....................14


Watching over teen drivers

New apps help parents keep an eye on young drivers.


Drink your veggies

Juicing is a great way to get your vitamins.


Java in the recipe

Coffee adds flavor to beans, barbecue and dessert.

On the cover

Dad’s View ......................28 Nature Center Notes.........31 Making Connections ........34

Find us online .com

Divorced Families ............35 FEAST .............................38 Librarian’s Picks...............46 Story Times .....................46 Kids Page ........................48 Calendar .........................53

4 wncparent @wncparent

Katie Wadington, editor

In November, I went tent camping for the first time in about 30 years. My Cub Scout and I slept under the stars on a pack trip to Stone Mountain, Ga. And after only a few hours, I could easily see how families get so into camping. Even with the overnight temperature dipping to 45 or so, it was a good time. And the gear! I’d start a camping habit just to have a reason to buy some of the compact, durable supplies, items I never even knew I needed. If you’re thinking of becoming a camper, you’ll find out in two stories that start on Page 8 that camping is pretty easy. You don’t need much. And car camping is completely practical for families, even those with small children. If you’re not much of a camper, but enjoy a good hike, read about a few quick adventures you can take in our story on Page 12. One problem parents run into in the warmer months is keeping kids entertained outside. The story on Page 6 is chock-full of ideas on backyard fun — and much of that fun can be had with little or no expense. I was skeptical when I heard about Andrea Olson, a mentor and author who advocates elimination communication. EC, as it is called, is the idea that you can potty train your child from birth. Can you imagine never having a messy diaper to clean up? Read more about Olson and EC on Page 19. I’d like to say thank you to the hundreds of you who voted in our annual Family Choice Awards. With voting wrapped up, I’m off to tabulate the winners, which you’ll read about in the June issue.

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer

Special to WNC Parent

Artist’s Muse ...................22 Growing Together............30

Time to get outside

WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829

GENERAL MANAGER Shannon Bullard — 236-8996

Special thanks to features editor Bruce Steele, designer Val Elmore and web developer Jaime McKee. CALENDAR CONTENT Due by May 10. E-mail ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the June issue is May 21.

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ON A BUDGET It just takes a little creativity for kids to have fun without leaving home By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor


ou don’t have to spend a fortune to make your backyard an enticing place for kids. When it comes to outdoor fun, a little goes a long way, says Kris Kaufman, healthy living and youth development director, YMCA of Western North Carolina.

Use what you have

Ronan Geoffrey, 9 and Grace Geoffrey, 7, have a playhouse in the yard that their father, Jarrod Jacobsen, built out of mostly recycled materials. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT


Set up an obstacle course, for use either with or without a timer, for fun that also builds balance, cardio and motor skills, Kaufman says. Walk a jump rope or garden hose, crawl on a tarp or under a broom placed in between two chairs or tree branches, weave through cones or large rocks and jump hopscotch-style into hula hoops. Keep balls in a laundry basket for ball toss and fill a milk crate or other easily accessible outdoor container with a variety of play items like Frisbees, bubbles, horseshoes, bats and rackets. A tent can serve as a playhouse and a set of old dishes and cups can inspire a spontaneous garden tea party. An outdoor plastic easel and paint or a music wall with old pans and other things hung on a fence with spoons for banging

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can also inspire creativity. “Paint” pictures on a patio floor with water and brushes. “Like many parents of young children, we just had to have yard equipment for our kids,” says Rae Geoffrey, of Candler. So her husband, Jarrod, built a swing set and playhouse using recycled building supplies and the kids hung old sheets for doors and painted the walls with leftover paint. But as son Ronan, 9, and daughter Grace, 7, got older, she says, they began abandoning the swings and playhouse for other backyard fun. “Most days they can be seen rolling down our hill, playing (complex) imaginary games” or doing other outdoor activities, says Geoffrey.

Nature’s toys

The Geoffrey family spends a lot of time in the backyard, she adds. Ronan and Grace can often be seen throwing a ball to their two dogs, herding chickens into their coop, gathering eggs or gardening in their large raised garden beds. Some of the vegetables and berries the Geoffreys grow end up as part of the dinner the family takes every Sunday to “Granny,” a neighbor who is like a grandmother, and this year, they are also planting extra for MANNA FoodBank, Geoffrey adds. Grace and Ronan turned a pile of dirt into a fairy village, and they regularly make changes and additions to “their miniature world,” says Geoffrey. Families could keep an area or bin filled with pine cones, sticks and rocks. If your yard is hilly, kids can dig out a “stream,” to experiment with water flow. Hide small toys, marbles or faux gems from a dollar store in a pile of dirt or sand on a tarp and kids can dig for treasures with shovels or sticks. For the littler ones, throw in some large kitchen utensils, plastic action figures and construction trucks to create roads and villages. Or fill containers with dirt, sand, gravel, rice or beans.

can be fun for balancing. A wood beam balanced on a tree stump can serve as a homemade seesaw.

Water fun

Melody Shaffer, 10; Aryelle Jacobsen, 12; and Cayden Jacobsen, 10, use the Jacobsen kids’ homemade solar oven for outdoor cooking in their backyard. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Aryelle Jacobsen,; Chloe Proffitt, 8; Gracie Green, 7; Ashley Sexton, 10; Sophie Poulos, 9; and Kayleigh Needer, 9; play with their homemade balloon chain in the backyard. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Kids can make their own forts out of branches or hay bales. Doral DavisJacobsen, of East Asheville, says son Cayden, 10, and his friends have used scraps from trees cut down by the power company, with fabric draped over them, she says. Hang a tire swing or hammock to the trees. Keep handy magnifying glasses, bug catchers and binoculars. A large log


The tried and true Slip n’ Slide is always a big hit with kids, as are lawn sprinklers or water spray toys that attach to a hose. Put down a shower curtain or large tarp with soapy water, flour or homemade slime for more slippery, messy fun. Make an outdoor bubble bath with a kiddie pool. Davis-Jacobsen’s daughter Aryelle, 12, and her friends have hours of fun with a selfinvented balloon chain, filling long balloons and connecting them by twisting the balloon ends together. For younger kids, fill plastic bins with water, plastic cups for pouring and dishes to “wash.” For bubble-making fun, fill a container with water, eco-friendly dish soap and corn syrup or glycerin (go online for exact measurements) and use old wire hangers as the frames for bubbles.

Outdoor cooking

The Jacobsens made a solar oven (with a lesson from YouTube) and “had a blast trying” to bake a pie in it for an East Asheville Recreation Center contest, also experimenting with eggs, toast and grilled cheese. The family also enjoys using an ice cream ball — theirs was $20 from Bed, Bath & Beyond, she says. After filling the ball with rock salt, cream, sugar and flavoring, her kids enjoy tossing it around outside and after about 30 minutes of play, enjoy an ice cream picnic.

Lawn games

Set up lawn bowling with bottles from your recycling bin as the pins or toss games with hula hoops laid flat. Set out a simple badminton or volleyball net and for croquet or golf, dig little pots into the ground and use any type of improvised putter and golf balls to play. Use brooms and a beach ball for lawn hockey or hang a basketball hoop. Bring games like Twister outdoors and store in waterproof containers. And don’t forget to show kids how to organize and store their outdoor equipment, so it will be ready, at a moment’s notice, to use again.





Enjoy the outdoors without a big outlay By Paul Clark

WNC Parent contributor


oading up the kids for a weekend of car camping may seem hard if you’ve never done it before. But anyone who gets the kids ready for a trip to the grocery store already has the skills, family campers said. “You don’t need as much stuff as you think,” said Melissa Steele, general manager at Diamond Brand Outdoors in Arden. She often car camps with her family at public camping areas in Mills River, Mount Pisgah and Roan Mountain. With car camping, less is more, she said. “The whole point is to be outside and checking out the river or the creek. You don’t need a whole lot to do that,” she said, Being outside, away from electronics, helps children become sensitive to nature and gives them confidence in living in the larger world. By helping set up camp and preparing meals, they have the opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of life — food and shelter. And just as important, camping helps them see their parents and peers as distinct human beings who aren’t defined by their jobs, schools or pastimes. Everything is different outside. And that is generally for the better. Setting aside family routines like homework and schedules changes the way a family relates and can freshen up relationships as well, Steele said. Everyday concerns like practicing piano and picking up clothes are pointless exercises in the woods. That can relieve a lot of tension. Families that camp say there’s nothing


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better for family dynamics. “I’ve had camping trips where the only thing I wanted to do with my kids was let them cook s’mores and sit by the fire,” Steele said. “Another trip was all about listening to the night. I want my kids to enjoy was I enjoyed as a kid.” Steele grew up in Memphis, Tenn., camping with her parents and two sisters on some family property nearby. Other relatives camped as well, and she had cousins about her age to play with. “Everybody would hang out, play, get dirty and be outside, from the moment the sun came up to the moment the sun went down,” she said. It was glorious. “When you’re home, there’s laundry, homework, yard work and you forget about the opportunities you have for being together,” Steele said. “Little ‘life’ things might not happen because you’re doing the dishes. But when you’re camping, you have moments to be free where the thing you focus on is being with each other.”

Camping is easy

Taking the family camping is far easier than it might seem. You don’t have to spend a fortune getting basic gear (see the Camping Basics story on Page 10). Decide whether you want the kids to sleep in your tent or have their own, Steele said. Make sure you have warm sleeping bags that aren’t too warm. Decide whether you’re going to cook over a stove (easy) or a fire (not hard with a good bed of coals). It’s amazing how few diversions your children need when the whole outdoors is their playground. A couple of toys, plus maybe a favorite sleeping buddy, and your kids will be content to build roads in the gravel of your camp space and tiny playhouses for the bugs they see on the ground. Many car camping sites have water and electricity right there, so if you have to have your electronics, you can keep them charged. With an extension cord and a small, inexpensive lamp, you don’t need to buy a battery- or fuel-operated lantern (though they’re fairly cheap). Less is more when it comes to meals as well, Steele said. Everything tastes great when you’re camping, so you don’t need to bring a fancy kitchen or exotic fare. Wrap potatoes in foil and throw

FAMILY CAMPING CLOSE TO ASHEVILLE » Lake Powatan, 375 Wesley Branch Road, Asheville. 670-5627. » French Broad River Campground, 1030 Old Marshall Highway, Asheville. 658-0772. » Bear Creek RV Park & Campground, 81 S. Bear Creek Road, Asheville. 253-0798. » Julian Price Park, Milepost 297, Blue Ridge Parkway, between Boone and Blowing Rock. 877-444-6777. » Linville Falls, Milepost 316, Blue Ridge Parkway, near Linville Falls. 877-444-6777.

them in the coals (kids love to do that). Fire up the camp stove and heat up a can of something (they’ll eat it up, guaranteed). “We’ve done a couple of camping trips where it was nothing hot, just packed sandwiches, fruit and granola bars,” she said. Her husband and son have started backpacking and brought to family camping trips something that’s as flavorful as it is easy — ground chuck, potatoes and veggies wrapped in foil and thrown onto a bed of embers. It smells delicious. Everything can be “play” when you’re camping, Steele said. Washing up after breakfast can be a game of rememberwhen. Gathering twigs for the fire can be a treasure hunt to see what else you find. “You just get to ‘be,’” Steele said. And by not having the usual strictures in place, you can discover something new about each other. “For parents, it’s not all about ‘do this, do that,’” she said. “Things are a little bit less scheduled. It’s cool when that happens. It’s a bit of adventure.” Camping is relaxing, inspiring adults to share stories with their children about their own childhoods. Children tend to forget that their parents were once young, so it’s good to hear that they too were unsure and scared at times. “And it’s good to see mom flying kites and fishing, that it isn’t all about work and school and everything being sched-



uled,” Steele said. Being outside and out of your routine has a tendency to open children up to sharing what’s going on in their world. “It gives them a moment to feel comfortable to tell you what’s going on with their friends and how their lives are going,” Steele said. “They know they have your undivided attention. “The only thing I ever regretted camping was once I forgot the coffee. That was the only time I was just bummed.”




BASICS Just starting out? Here’s what you’ll need in the woods By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor


o what do you need to camp with the kids? Some basics, but beyond that, not much.

Tent Like kids, tents come in all shapes and sizes. Let’s assume that there are four of you. You can certainly buy a four-person tent, but it’s going to be tight in there. The general rule of thumb for spaciousness while car camping (you wouldn’t believe how much stuff ends up all around) is to buy a tent that has room for two more people than you actually have. So your family of four would want a six-person tent. Sounds big, but it’s not. A six-person tent with poles, rainfly and stakes bundles into a sack about the size of a collapsible festival chair (you know, the ones with cup holders). It’s not the tent you’d want if you were backpacking, but you’re not — you’re car camping, which means you can afford a little extra weight. Walmart online ( has some pretty cool sixperson tents, some by the stalwart camping supply company Coleman, that currently list from $197 to $279. Within that price range are tents designed for up to 10 people.

Coleman’s Sundome 6 tent is a classic dome-style, two-pole tent with space for six thanks to the 10- by 10-foot floor. It retails for $139.99. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Sleeping bags Now that you’ve gotten off the ground, you’ll want to think about sleeping bags and pads. Don’t get more warmth than you need (nothing’s worse than sweating inside your sleeping bag, unless it’s freezing because you’re sweating). For most family outings during the summer and warm parts of spring and fall, you won’t need a bag rated for less than 32 degrees. Three-season bags with polyester covers can be pretty inexpensive and surprisingly comfortable – as long as you have something cushy beneath you. Inflatable mattresses run the gamut of prices, but if you’ll regret scrimping if you don’t get a good night’s sleep. Some families use naked foam rubber pads, while others opt for thinner, yet every bit as supportive, sleeping pads, some made of crushable foam, some self-inflating with air. Coleman’s Adjustable Comfort sleeping bag has a zipper that crosses in front of you and a sheet that allows you to cover your feet, chest or both. The versatility makes the bag good for temperatures between 30 to 70 degrees. It retails for $49.99 (and is also available in a big and tall size). SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT


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Cook stove No doubt you’ll want a hearty breakfast when you wake up. Two-burner models (coffee AND pancakes) start around $50 and can easily top $250. Pots and pans you probably already have (cast iron is hard to beat when you’re camping). Buy an inexpensive set of plastic plates, bowls and cups, and you’ll be fine. A six-cup coffee maker will perk you up. The Gsi Outdoors Glacier 6 Cup Perc, $29.50 at Diamond Brand Outdoors, is made of marine-grade stainless steel and, when you get home, is dishwasher safe.

Furniture The kids probably won’t mind sitting on the ground or on the picnic table (if you can get them to sit at all). You, however, are going to want something that’s comfortable and maintains your dignity. REI online has its Flex Lite Chair, for $69.50. Designed


New for 2013, Coleman’s Triton series InstaStart two-burner stove puts out 22,000 BTUs of heat and runs for a full hour on high using one propane cylinder. It retails for $99.99, and lights without matches. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

for backpack portability, this fabric and aluminum camp chair sets up quickly and folds back into a stuff sack. REI online also offers the ENO DoubleNest Hammock, a nylon hammock built for two that packs up to the size of a grapefruit. It sells for $69.95.


A lantern or two will not only make your site safer (so you don’t trip) but also more inviting as you wander back from the comfort station. Most lanterns are LEDs now (some with USB ports), so you’ll need extra batteries (though some are solar This Egear powered). You Grenade lantern can still buy has three modes lanterns that of light: high, burn fuel and low and flashing. use mantels SPECIAL TO WNC (many people PARENT prefer them for their gentler light). Don’t forget matches, flashlights, bug spray and sunscreen. Folding chairs are nice. Diamond Brand Outdoors in Arden has a pocket-friendly 5-inch-tall Egear Grenade lantern that burns for up to 50 hours on AAA batteries.



QUICK HIKING ESCAPES By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor


s a teenager at North Buncombe High School in the mid 1990s, Jordan Mitchell discovered the thrill of mountain biking in Western North Carolina. Over the years, Mitchell took up hiking as well but was often discouraged by the lack of reliable, online information about trails. Now, as a 30-year-old with a wife and 4-year-old daughter, Mitchell continues to explore the area and chronicles information on hiking and biking opportunities. A network of information compiled by Mitchell can be found at “It’s much easier to keep an online reference up to date compared to a book,” he notes. “My goal is to have comprehensive information on every trail and waterfall in the western part of North Carolina.” With a full-time job and his young


daughter in tow, Mitchell is especially interested in trails that are accessible to children and that offer a quick retreat from the hustle and bustle of town. “Having a child makes you see everything from a different perspective,” Mitchell says. He stresses the importance of getting kids outdoors to reconnect with nature. “Kids are overstimulated by things that just aren’t very real, including TV, the Internet and its requisite advertising,” Mitchell says. “Getting outdoors brings kids back into the real world where their natural curiosity allows them to observe nature and learn about the way things actually work.”

Hike suggestions

For parents looking for a short escape into the woods with small children, Mitchell suggests the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center Loop, which is part of the Mountains to the Sea Trail.

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Jordan Mitchell takes his daughter, Harper, for a hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center Loop, a good hike for kids. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

“There is a tunnel under the parkway that kids love to walk through, plus one small bridge,” Mitchell says. The trail is 1.2 miles and starts from the back of the Visitor Center parking lot. Mitchell notes

that the loop aspect and close proximity to facilities makes this a perfect place for children to start hiking. Toms Creek Falls is a lesser known hike that features a tall waterfall — a great motivator for kids who like a reward at the end of the trail. Or for spectacular views, Mitchell recommends the Balsam Nature Trail located in the Mount Mitchell State Park. “This is a great high-mountain hike with views and is great in the summertime thanks to the cooler temperatures you experience at higher elevations,” he says. “There are interpretive signs along the short loop trail you can read to your kids, and concessions and restrooms are available at the parking area, too.”

Kids in Parks

When a 2007 study showed that less than 10 percent of visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway brought young children with them, the Kids in Parks program was formed to promote the health of children and the parks. “Networks of trails have been created that provide families with opportunities to connect with parks and public lands,” says

TIPS FOR HIKING WITH KIDS » Always have a goal in mind — a view, waterfall, bridge, even a big tree — to keep kids moving forward. » Look for treasures along the trail — pine cones, rocks and other non-living things. » Bring plenty of snacks and water. » Bring a comfort item, a stuffed friend perhaps, that can get dirty if necessary. » Give the kids a disposable camera to record their adventure. » Keep them involved by looking and listening along the way. » Invite a friend.

Source: Jordan Mitchell

Jason Urroz, director of the Kids in Parks program. “Hopefully, this puts a dent in the 7.65 hours per day, on average, that kids are plugged in to electronic media.” The TRACK Trails program offers familyfriendly hiking, biking and disc golf trails on various public lands, including national and state parks, city parks and even some private land. Each trail has a series of brochures designed to turn an ordinary walk in the woods into a self-guided ad-


venture. “Kids who TRACK their trails on our website — — earn incentives designed to make their next outdoor adventure more interactive and meaningful,” Urroz explains. “Kids who register their first TRACK Trail adventure receive a nature journal and a trail sticker.” For each additional trail, kids earn a corresponding sticker and can also earn larger prizes such as a backpack, bandana, magnifying lens or a walking stick medallion. An online nature journal helps kids track the trails visited, the number of miles hiked and allows children to make notes about their adventures. There are eight TRACK Trails in the Asheville area and more than 20 in Western North Carolina. A full list can be found at Some quick jaunts for families include Orchard at Altapass TRACK Trail found at Milepost 328 and the Asheville Visitor Center TRACK Trail at Milepost 384. “By providing the self-guided materials for kids, we make hiking more fun for them,” Urroz says, “and that helps them connect with the natural, cultural, and historical features found along the trail.”


kids’ voices

Mother’s Day wishes

Ahead of Mother’s Day, we asked the students in Jamie Padgett’s second-grade class what they would get for their moms, if money were no object. Here’s what they said: “If I had all the money in the world, I would travel to Hawaii to get my mom a mansion for Mother’s Day. I would buy her this because she’s the best mom ever!” Keira, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a robot that does all of her work for Mother’s Day so she won’t go home and work on dinner every night and she will go home and take a nap and I don’t want her to cook dinner every single day.” Toby, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a huge candy heart about 10 feet tall for Mother’s Day. I would buy her the big huge candy heart because my mom really truly loves chocolate.” Savannah, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a jeep. She has wanted it for a long time and she is a great mom.” Keebryn, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a mansion for Mother’s Day! I would buy her this because my mom says that she wants a BIG BIG house and she wants a big house because she wants a swimming pool in the mansion.” Riley, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a museum for Mother’s Day. I would buy her this because I love her so much!” Evan, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom the spiciest piece of candy. I would buy her that because she LOVES spicy food and she would never stop hugging me!” Jadeyn, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom 40 gift cards to Cyndee’s and an elliptical for Mother’s Day. I would buy her that because she loves Cyndee’s and LOVES to run on the elliptical.” Addison, 7

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a mansion for Mother’s Day. I would buy her this because she is the best ever.” Maverick, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom Disney World and we would live there. We would ride everywhere in a limo and she would have another mansion! I would buy her all this on Mother’s Day. I would buy her all this because I love my mom and she has done a lot of nice things for me.” Cole, 7

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom an amusement park with every ride in the world and a roller coaster that is shaped like the words ‘I love you’ for Mother’s Day. I would buy her this because she has been dying to go to one.” Bryson, 7

“If I had all the money in the world, I would make my mom a movie star! I would buy my mom a huge heart ring, too!” Karen, 7


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“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom a pink giant big turtle with a baby turtle on its back that is green for Mother’s Day because she is such a great mom to me.” Killian, 7 “If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mother a necklace for Mother’s Day. I would buy her this because she does everything for me.” Kaitlyn, 8 “If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom tickets to Disney World for Mother’s Day because my mom loves to go on the roller coaster.” Trevor, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would travel to England and buy my mom a huge mansion for Mother’s Day because I love her.” Bryn, 8

“If I had all the money in the world, I would buy my mom for Mother’s Day the biggest dining room with a butler and he would serve her anything she wanted to eat. I would give her a limo and I would put her in the magazine. I would give her the biggest pool! I would buy her this because she does everything for me and she is the best mom ever.” Payton, 8



Zipping FOR


Registration now open for the annual team fundraiser in June at Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures

By Karen Chávez,


t was a little terrifying and made her tummy turn flips, but Donna Gilsdorf is already getting excited to go ziplining again this year, to see the bellyaching views of the Asheville skyline while also helping children with autism. Last year, Gilsdorf, her husband, Greg, and eight other friends and family members formed a team for the inaugural Zipping for Autism event at Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures. While hanging by just some nylon straps and a carabiner 50 feet in the air


and soaring through towering tulip poplars over the Crowne Plaza Resort’s old golf course didn’t at first sound like fun, Donna Gilsdorf said it was ultimately “exhilarating.” She and her team will take on the challenge again June 2 for the second annual Wells Fargo Zipping for Autism event, a fundraiser for the Autism Society of North Carolina. As a member of the organizing committee, Gilsdorf wants people to start forming their teams now, since April is Autism Awareness Month. “Our son Luke is on the autism spectrum, so this is a cause very near and dear to our heart. We had a pas-

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sion for being involved,” said Gilsdorf, who lives in Mills River. “I’m not someone who normally goes zipping. I am scared of heights, so if I can go ziplining, anyone can do it. It’s safe, and it’s fun to do with your family. Mark it off your bucket list and help the community at the same time.” Zipping for Autism is the creation of Jeff and Sheena Greiner, owners of the canopy adventures, who wanted to give back to the Autism Society, which has served their 10-year-old son, O’Reilly, who is on the autism spectrum. All proceeds raised by individuals and teams will go to the Autism Society of North Carolina to offer respite, increase advocacy and services, and to assist families in the region. “The money we raise is important because there is not enough funding for services to meet the needs of children in

our area. There is an increase in prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in our state,” said Sheena Greiner.

High-flying good time for great cause

At the Zipping for Autism event, teams of 10 will raise a minimum of $790 to fly through a two-hour zipline “urban canopy” tour. Zipline canopy rangers will assist all participants with “ground school” training and safety gear, which will be scheduled for specific time slots throughout the day between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. New this year is an opportunity for teams raising $1,000 to explore the new Treetops Adventure Park, where they can climb, zip, walk, jump, swing, and rappel over 30 towering trees and poles Continues on Page 18

Jeff Greiner, bottom, of Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures and his son O’Reilly, top, zip down the lines at the Crowne Plaza Resort. Teams are now forming for the Zipping for Autism fundraiser in June to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina. BILL SANDERS/WSANDERS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM



RUN/WALK FOR AUTISM The eighth annual Run/Walk for Autism 5K will be at 9 a.m. Sept. 14 at UNC Asheville. The 5K race and the 1K fun run/walk is a benefit for the Autism Society of N.C. For more information, visit

WANT TO ZIP? The second annual Wells Fargo Zipping for Autism will be June 2 at the Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventure, adjacent to Crowne Plaza Resort in West Asheville. Teams of 10 that raise $790 or more will receive a two-hour zipline experience, by appointment. Teams will be scheduled for time slots from 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Teams must register online by May 22. For more information or to sign up, visit For more information on the Autism Society of North Carolina, call 800-442-2762 or visit

Jeff Greiner of Asheville Zipline Canopy Adventures and his son O’Reilly, 10, prepare for ziplinging at the Crowne Plaza Resort. O’Reilly, who is on the autism spectrum, will have his own team for the Zipping for Autism fundraiser on June 2. BILL

ZIPPING Continued from Page 17

in the wooded park. Last year’s event was a huge success, Jeff Greiner said. “We had 24 teams of up to 10 people, and we raised $31,000,” Greiner said. “We will always hold the event on the first Sunday of June to be near our son’s birthday, June 4.” O’Reilly Greiner will be 11 this year and will captain another team. Last year, his team was the top fundraiser with a haul of $2,613.76. There are prizes for team accomplishments, including most money raised. Those who don’t wish to zip can sign up a team to raise money to donate a ziplining experience for children and adults in Asheville who have autism spectrum disorder. This year, the first team to raise $790 gets a free tour with Asheville Brewery Tours. Greiner said the goal this year is to raise $50,000, all of which will go to services for children with autism and their families in Western North Carolina. “Our commitment is that 100 percent of the money raised from teams goes to the Autism Society and stays in WNC,” Jeff Greiner said.

What is autism?

According to the Autism Society, autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong developmental disability that typically appears by age 3. It is a brain disorder that impacts communication, social interaction and behavior. Individuals with ASD typically have difficulty understanding verbal and nonverbal communication and learning appropriate ways of relating to other people, objects and events. No two people with ASD are the same. While it is estimated that up to 1 out of every 88 children born today in the United States has some form of ASD, recent studies estimate that up to one of every 70 children born in



North Carolina will be affected by ASD, said Simone Seitz, regional development associate with the ASNC. She said there estimated to be 60,000 on the spectrum in North Carolina. There is no known cause and no cure. Experts say the biggest benefit to those on the spectrum is early intervention. “The funding (from Zipping for Autism) is specifically earmarked for children in WNC for early intervention, advocacy and respite care, helping out the families,” Jeff Greiner said. “Early intervention and advocacy is so critical. Learning to spot the signs, like hand flapping and toe walking. Those are red flags that my wife noticed early on in O’Reilly.” Greiner said O’Reilly is doing very well in school because of services he has received, but the challenges are growing as he does. “His biggest challenge is transitioning into higher expectations of social norms. Middle and high school are already hard for kids, but for kids who are on the spectrum, they also struggle with keeping social norms and being able to fit in. He’s more sensitive to anything he thinks might make him stand out.” Donna Gilsdorf said the Autism Society, which will also host a sensory-friendly movie night this month and a 5K race in September, works to help people on the spectrum, as well as providing much-needed respite services for family member and caregivers. “We’ve been helped through the Autism Society’s services. They have been critical for our son,” Gilsdorf said. “He has progressed in an amazing way. He has made an incredible amount of progress. He’s a champion. I don’t know if without those services, he would be where he is today.”

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Toss out the diapers — forever

Andrea Olson is a local force behind elimination communication By Katie Wadington WNC Parent editor

Andrea Olson has never dealt with a poopy diaper. As an advocate for elimination communication — essentially potty training your child from birth — the Asheville mom and author of “EC Simplified: Infant Potty Training Made Easy” trains parents around the globe to go diaper free through her book and website, Olson, 34, who has 2 1/2-year-old son and is due in October with a girl, is also a mentor for Diaper Free Baby, a forum that promotes EC. “My goal with is to make it accessible for parents of children of any age to be done with diapers,” Olson says. “How can we make EC more accessbile to the regular, day-to-day parent who wants to save money, help lessen the landfill and deepen their connection with their baby, and do it within a busy lifestyle?” WNC Parent sat down recently with Olson to learn more about EC and her experience. Here’s an edited version of our conversation. For a longer version, visit Question: What is elimination communication? Answer: It’s so misleading. It’s definitely not having a naked baby running around all the time or peeing all over the place. It is a gentle, noncoercive way to respond to a baby’s natural potty needs. They are born with an instinct to not want to soil themselves, their bed or their caregiver. This way of responding to her needs enables her to follow her instincts to stay clean. They have a really strong instinct for hygiene. So oftentimes when a baby is crying, Continues on Page 20



Diapers Continued from Page 19

and you’re trying to figure out what’s wrong... and you look in the diaper and, “Oh, he went to the bathroom,” you think, “Oh, they’re crying because they want changed.” But early on in infancy they’re wanting to not have to go in this thing that is strapped onto them or in their clothing or on you or on the bed. So they really throw a fit. And we interpret those cues as, “Well, they’re just dirty and they want to be changed,” because that’s our perspective because we’re using a diaper. Then we, over time, teach them to go in the diaper. The current guidance from the American Pediatrics Association is that babies don’t have sphincter control until 18 months. But my experience with my son was he had sphincter control at 2 weeks. Q: How do you determine that? A: He would hold it until I got off his diaper because he wants to not soil himself. He would let me know by crying, I would take the diaper off and take him and say “wait,” and then put him in position and make a “sss” noise — that’s what they use all over the world — and he would go. Sometimes it would be every other time — I wouldn’t do all the time, it’s crazy to try get them all. They pee every 15 minutes. Q: How do you do this at night? A: They wriggle like crazy in the middle of the night when they’re already wet and they don’t want to wet themselves again. Usually you would change them. A lot of people choose to do (EC) at night. It’s not a necessary thing. You don’t have to do it at night at all. You don’t really have to do it all day. EC’s not that crazy, when you think about it. Q: If you’re a brand new parent, you’re trying to balance breast-feeding and sleep schedules. With EC, that’s so much to think about. But if you can do it part-time, that helps. A: So many parents wing it, and that makes it impossible to start and actually maintain. You have to have a starting point. The best way to start is to get some good instruction. That’s why I wrote my book. There wasn’t really good visual, multimedia instruction. Find a really clear way to start, and then do the steps to get a grasp on a few major things. These are the major things you’re going to want to learn: » Your baby’s signals, if any. Right before they go, what do they do? Some


Andrea Olson and her son Kaiva, 2. Olson helps parents get youngsters out of diapers with toilet training at a younger age. BILL SANDERS/WSANDERS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

cry out, some get really still. ... There’s at least a hundred different signals. » Learn her natural rhythm. Some babies poop once a day, right in the morning. Some babies poop 10 times a day, during breast-feeding. » Learn when babies usually need to pee. And that’s at a diaper change, or after being taken out of a car seat, because they usually hold it. » Intuition. EC helps you learn to connect with your intuition, and learn to connect with your baby on another level. Q: How did you learn about this? A: It was years ago, I lived in Cali-

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fornia and I heard a friend of a friend had a baby, and they don’t use diapers, they hold her over the sink. And I was like, “What in the world?” And I started thinking about. What do other cultures do in other parts of the world where they just don’t have diapers? And then I thought back to when I was in Africa for a month in 2000. I was in Ghana, and I never saw a single diaper, but I never paid attention to what they did. So I looked into a little bit and said, when I have a baby, I’m going to do this. I researched it, and it was hard to start. But I figured it out.



artist’s muse

Bending and twisting By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

Wire is an amazingly fun material. I find it challenges students to think in more abstract language — even when trying to create something realistic. It allows students to use their fingers and hands in ways other art mediums and tools don’t require, and creates the opportunity for natural exploration of many elements of art and design. Wire is a medium that is accessible to all ages. You can find wire and wire cutting supplies at your local hardware store. When choosing wire, remember that wire that is super easy to bend is actually harder to control. We typically use 18-gauge aluminum wire (more flexible and easy to bend) for detailed works with older students, and 24-gauge steel galvanized wire (less flexible and harder to bend) for simple abstract designs with younger students. Another type of wire that is fun is CAT 3 or CAT 5 wire. These are used to run Internet lines in homes and can be purchased in a long coil at a hardware store. All you have to do is strip the outer casing off to discover multicolored wires inside. These wires are very pliable, and fun to use. For younger students a base material, such as clay or Styrofoam, could be used to anchor the wire while the students manipulate their designs. Students can also look at images of animals and objects for inspiration. Younger students can try to make a contour (outline) of what they see, and older students can be challenged to make a freestanding three-dimensional object or animal. Just wait — you too will be surprised by what is possible! Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art, which offers visual art classes for all ages. Email her at or visit


Middle-schoolers work with wire. For detailed work with older children, 18-gauge aluminum wire is recommended. GINGER HUEBNER/PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Wire is a medium that is accessible to all ages.

Younger children may want to use a thicker wire for abstract designs.

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guest columnist

Praise effort, not intelligence By William George Special to WNC Parent

In an article titled “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids,” author Carol Dweck summarized decades of educational research on student motivation and achievement by saying, “Hint: Don’t tell your kids that they are (smart). More than three decades of research shows that a focus on effort — not on intelligence or ability — is key to success in school and in life.” Really? Really. For over 30 years I have noticed that a small fraction of students sail through the elementary school years and when they reach middle school they face struggles and sometimes shut down. They usually recover, but often they never return to the level of academic proficiency they once had in their early years. Dweck says this is due to a false understanding of talent. As a society, we tend to worship talent and rarely consider what it took to become talented. As a culture, we tend to see intelligence as a fixed state. The elementary school student who sails through the early years and hits a wall in seventh grade, for example, has been told over and over again how smart, how gifted, how intelligent he/she is, as if this were something that exists independently of effort, work and failure. Dweck goes on to say that when children are told they are gifted or really smart, it makes them see challenges, mistakes, “and even the need to exert effort as threats to their ego rather than as opportunities to improve. And it causes them to lose confidence and motivation when the work is no longer easy for them.” What is the right way to view the ability and mind of a child (and adult)? Dweck: “Our studies show that teaching people to have a growth mindset, which encourages a focus on effort rather than on intelligence or talent, helps make them into high achievers in school and in life.” She cites study after study of how students who were praised for their hard work and effort worked longer at problem solving and rarely gave up.

In the U.S., we tend to see intelligence as a “fixed mindset,” and thus when faced with mistakes, failures and increased challenges, we tend to give up because we think we have run the limits of our ability. This fixed mindset, which is rampant among all of us, tends to produce children who shun effort because having to work hard means they are not gifted and instead may imply they are “dumb.” What can we learn? We need to confront deficiencies and establish a home and school culture of addressing deficiencies instead of ignoring them. That is the job of parents and teachers. We must believe our children can improve through effort. We must continually remind our children that hard work is normal in life and that “getting ahead” requires hard work. Teachers and parents must encourage, insist on, and reinforce the idea of a “growth mind-set” as normal and expected. In my experience in college preparatory schools, nearly every National Merit Scholar Finalist has demonstrated an incredible work ethic that underlies achievement. This is also true of my observation of student graduates who have been accepted at top tier colleges and universities. These students demonstrated a robust work ethic through their years in school. We also know that when students hit that wall of difficulty in their lives, they may turn toward other activities and behaviors that are not healthy and can seriously alter their trajectory. We need to be those helpers who create a culture of effort, creative problem-solving, and persistence in our homes and schools. Let’s remember to praise effort, not achievement, for praising effort reinforces hard work, which feeds better achievement and work ethic. It also reinforces persistence and a no-quit attitude in the face of struggle and even failure. Parents, don’t be quick to give easy praise to your child. This may actually undermine future success. William George and his wife Lynn have been married for 32 years and are the parents of six grown children. William has been the head of school at Asheville Christian Academy for 21 years.






The University of North Carolina is releasing what it calls the first researchbased app for parents of teen drivers, which focuses not on restricting behindthe-wheel cellphone use but on helping novice drivers gain valuable experience in a variety of driving conditions and situations. “What it does is set goals for parents and teens to work toward during that learning stage to make sure they get lots of practice in a wide variety of settings,”


says Arthur Goodwin, senior research associate at UNC’s Highway Safety Research Center in Chapel Hill. “We’ve been studying this for 15 or more years, and we found that there were teens who were getting a license who had never driven at night, never driven in bad weather or on the interstate.” Studies have shown that the initial phase of driving alone is the deadliest time for new drivers; the risk decreases sharply as they gain experience. UNC’s app, Time to Drive, is available for iPhone users for $3.99 in the Apple iS-

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tore; researchers are working on an Android version, Goodwin says. It lets parents and teens set goals to gain experience in a variety of situations, such as at night, on interstates, in bad weather, etc., and track progress toward those goals, he says. The app doesn’t work while the car is being driven; the parent or teen opens it later and logs experience, and the information can be shared on more than one device. The new app comes as teen road deaths are rising again after several years of decline. Worried parents are searching for ways to shepherd their

children safely through those risky early driving years: A survey last month of 2,093 teens and parents from The Allstate Foundation found that 64 percent of parents were “actively looking for resources to help manage their teen’s driving experience.” Among the things they’re trying: » Insurer Esurance, the nation’s 29thlargest automobile insurer, is teaming up with Baton Rouge, La.-based Cellcontrol to offer a free distracted-driving app to its teen customers. It prevents users from receiving or sending text messages or surfing the Web while the car is in motion. Chris Henn, managing director of products for Esurance, says the app uses Bluetooth technology and will work with Android, BlackBerry and most Windows phones; it’s not yet available for iPhone users. “We’re intimately familiar with auto accidents and the carnage they can cause,” he says. “We really want to be on the side of the angels in being able to prevent these tragedies.” » Tire Rack Street Survival, a national nonprofit that aims to improve young driver competence through hands-on experience in real-world driving situations, is working to host 105 programs around the USA this year.

In 2012, the daylong, $75 program, which is taught by volunteers from local members of car clubs such as BMW Car Club of America, Sports Car Club of America and Porsche Club of America, trained over 1,900 drivers, says Matt Edmonds, vice president of Tire Rack, the primary sponsor. » OrigoSafe is a new ignition interlock system that requires drivers to secure their phones in a docking station before the vehicle will start. Rolled out last month, the system is generating significant interest among parents in the Roanoke, Va., area, where Origo is based, says inventor and President Clay Skelton. It costs $279, plus installation, but there is no monthly fee, he says. » Telecommunications giant Sprint offers a couple of options: Sprint Drive First is a service available for $2 per month per phone line that detects when a vehicle is moving more than 10 mph and disables a user’s ability to text. DriveCam allows parents to install or have installed a camera that notifies them in real time when a driver is breaking rules by speeding, swerving or leaving a particular area, says Matt Carter, president of Sprint Emerging and Wholesale Solutions.



‘My Parent Has Cancer’ helps kids deal with the unthinkable

By Liz Szabo USA TODAY

There are lots of books about cancer, but few are aimed at teens whose parents are sick. And even fewer include instructions for repairing a hole in the wall. “We included that because almost every boy we interviewed punched a hole in the wall,” says Marc Silver, co-author, with daughter Maya Silver, of “My Parent Has Cancer and it Really Sucks: RealLife Advice from Real-Life Teens” (Sourcebooks, $14.99). The book, written after interviewing 100 teens, aims to help teens cope in a less destructive way. “These kids feel so isolated, because no one understands,” Marc Silver says. About 2.85 million children under 18 are living with a parent with cancer, according to the journal Cancer. About one-third are teens. A parent’s cancer can stir up complex and conflicting emotions, Marc Silver says. Teens typically focus on themselves and crave independence. But fear for a parent’s health can make them needy, as cancer draws them back to a family from which they are trying to break away. “There’s this pull,” says Maya Silver, now 26. “You want to be out of the house and on your own, but then you’re pulled back in” by cancer. The authors know the subject all too well. In 2001, Marsha Dale — Marc’s wife and Maya’s mother — was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maya was 15, and her sister Daniela was 12. Marsha is now in good health. Three years later, Marc Silver published a guide for men, “Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond.” When he decided to write a book for teens, he says it seemed natural to include Maya, also a writer. They say the new book bares emotions that many teens won’t acknowledge out loud. Maya Silver says she tried to “leave cancer at home,” rarely mentioning it to friends. When her mother was sick with chemo, “it was hard to be around her. I didn’t


Marc Silver worked with an expert on the subject: daughter Maya, who was 15 when her mom got cancer. “It was hard to be around her,” Maya says. DOUG KAPUSTIN, FOR USA TODAY

want to see my mom in so much pain.” Teens describe feeling overwhelmed by their new adult responsibilities, something the authors call “parentification.” Some teens are openly annoyed that a parent is no longer able to drive them to the mall. Or angry that their friends look at them with “pity eyes.” Others are embarrassed by a parent’s new appearance. Some feel jealous of all the attention. Some feel guilty, because they wish it was the other parent who got cancer. Kids who lose a parent may be overcome with grief. The book describes kids who repeatedly call a deceased parent’s cellphone, just to hear their voice again. The book shows teens that they aren’t the only kids to feel this way, says Christopher Friese, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. For many teens, reading a book at their own pace may be easier than joining a support group or confiding in their family, Friese says. Elissa Bantug says her mother’s cancer and parents’ subsequent divorce prompted her to act out.

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“There was no supervision,” says Bantug, now 31. “There was no one to check in with me and ask how I was doing. My parents stopped parenting when I was 12. And I was like, ‘Wow, there’s no one here to supervise me. I can go out to bars.’” Bantug herself was diagnosed with cancer in her 20s, as a single mother. She’s now healthy. But during Bantug’s second round with breast cancer, her own daughter didn’t want her friends to see how her mom looked. Her daughter, then 6, would ask, “Can you please not drop me off at school?” While acknowledging that these feelings can be painful, Marc Silver says it’s critical for parents and kids to communicate. Families who have trouble talking face-to-face can try texting, or talking in the car, they suggest. “Marsha and I learned that we did some things right and some things wrong,” Marc Silver says. At a time when he and his wife were worried and exhausted by her sickness, he says, “I never once asked, ‘Maya and Daniela, how are you doing with this?’”



dad’s view

In search of quality media for kids By Scott Tiernan

When I was 5, media meant the “Smurfs” on Saturday mornings and “The Empire Strikes Back” whenever possible. Based on these, the criterion for quality kid media seemed obvious. It 1. Pitted Good against Evil (Luke vs. Vader), 2. Featured memorable creatures and characters (Jabba and Smurfette), 3. Translated to creative play (think light saber battles and blue face paint gone bad), 4. Was funny (C3PO) and 5. Promoted question-asking (Is Gargamel ever going to find Smurf Village?). Today, our children have access to a more diverse platform. We want them to consume media that sparks the

imagination and stretches the brain. But how do we choose with so much to choose from? For the past five months, with my 5-year-old daughter as a test subject, I performed unscientific research on what constitutes quality media for young children. I put together a random sampling of movies and TV shows for Sophia to consume (I’ll leave the apps and video games to someone else), with the hope that her response to each would offer some insight. Here are the results … “Happy Feet.” Sophia’s class has been studying Antarctica, so I expected rave reviews. Wrong. The animation held her attention for a while, but the voices were hard to understand. After 45 minutes — “Can we watch something else?” — and not another word was spoken about it. Perhaps “March of the Penguins” would have been a better choice. Grade: C.


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WNC Parent contributor

“My Little Pony” (various episodes). A solid combination of adventure, loyalty and visual stimulation. Sophia devoured them and requested coloring printouts after. Then came imaginative play starring Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. I expect PP to be a Halloween finalist. Grade: B+. “Home Alone.” Had high hopes, but Sophia was discouraged. “They were so mean to the boy” and, “Would you and Mommy ever leave me at home?” Plus, the movie is really LOUD. No sequels in our future. Grade: C+. “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Expected Sophia to be bored, but I wanted her to see a slow, deliberate movie. She didn’t love it, but she liked it. It prompted questions about black and white movies, a discussion of rabid dogs, a request to be rolled down the street in a tire, and a search for a Boo Radley tree with storage space for trinkets. All good things. Grade: B+.

“Lord of the Rings.” Yes, PG-13, with enough graphic images and battle scenes to scare little kids, but Sophia loved every minute. Most popular bits: Gollum (rings are now referred to as “My Precious”) and Legolas (“How does he always have so many arrows?”). A stage production followed that included a Mordor set with performances by Frodo, Gollum and Ents. Grade: A. “The Great Race.” The 1960s slapstick comedy starring Jack Lemmon came highly recommended from my mom. I had little hope. Sophia loved it. Became obsessed with it. Started talking and laughing like Lemmon’s character, Professor Fate, and consulting maps for around-the-world driving routes. Her favorite character, Maggie Dubois, breaks the ranks of the male-dominated reporting world and breaks a few hearts along the way. A good female role model and stiff Halloween competition for Pinkie Pie. Good call, Mom. Grade: A+. “Les Miserables.” Sophia enjoyed

“Master of the House” and Little Cosette, but her enthusiasm for the movie was stunted by her grandmother repeatedly groaning, “How could they have picked Russell Crowe?” Grade: B-. What can we take away from this experiment? Simply, that quality media for young kids need not always be intended for young kids. Some “kid-appropriate” movies and TV shows lack substantive plots; others are littered with impoverished language like sarcasm and put-downs. It’s this type of language that creeps into classrooms and playgrounds.


Adult-centric movies and TV shows (that feature appropriate language and content), on the other hand, boost kids’ vocabulary, force them to untangle stories and present them with positive role models (and models of bad behavior). They delay gratification with more complex plotting and present grayer versions of Good and Evil, which makes it harder for kids to blindly take sides. They don’t always let the good guy win (Atticus Finch), and bad things happen to good people (Fantine). Finally, they have staying power. Kids carry around pieces of them. They roll these pieces over, rearrange them, reimagine them and apply them to make meaning of novel experiences. Last week, I had to explain to Sophia why I threw the milk away, which led to a discussion of the word “spoiled.” Sophia’s conclusion: “The milk is like Gollum.” Scott is an education specialist with Lexercise.


growing together

Is your kid bullying mine?

By Chris Worthy

Is your child a bully? Think about that before you answer, please. Do you tolerate namecalling or teasing, you know, because that’s what kids do? I have several friends whose children have been the victims of verbal abuse and even physical assaults recently. We know the victims. We sympathize with their parents. But someone is throwing punches and hurling insults. Is it your kid? I don’t ask this in jest. I think every parent needs to ask that question about their children. If you can’t be objective (and I would argue that few of us can be objective about our child’s behavior), ask a friend to be brutally honest with you. What’s the talk? Is your child an outcast, a rebel, a popular kid, a jock? (Rewatch

“The Breakfast Club” if you need a refresher.) I know some bullies. We all do. Left unchecked, mean kids can turn into cruel teenagers who turn into intolerable adults. Bullied kids often bully others, establishing a pecking order that can damage all involved. Hurt people hurt people, as they say. Is your child a victim? If so, don’t ignore it or shrug it off as a rite of passage. When I heard the first story of bullying this school year, I was appalled. When I heard the second account and the third, I wondered if home-schooling — yes, we are home-schooling for high school — had changed my perception of the world. I now expect parents to know what their children are doing and to have a handle on discipline. I expect teenagers to treat adults and peers with respect. I demand it, actually. The Golden Rule isn’t an outdated concept, and it’s not impossible to impress that mindset on your children. Unless your child is independently wealthy, you probably pay for the cell-


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WNC Parent columnist

phone and Internet access. Those privileges exist at your discretion. If your child uses them to spread gossip or hurl insults, revert their communication methods to stone tablets. You control the clothing budget. If your child is defining herself by what she thinks she must wear, it’s time to change that. Talk about peer pressure, true friendship, dignity and justice. It’s not OK to excuse cruelty. If you were bullied by a parent or a teacher or a classmate, that was wrong. You can stop the cycle. Don’t let your children make fun of others, ostracize people who are different or fall into the trap of cliques. Teach them to love mercy. Model inclusion of those who are different from you. Speak words of acceptance to and about your children. Be kind and insist on nothing less than that from your kids. Make today the day you ask the hard questions. The answers can change the world. Email Chris at

nature center notes

Saving WNC’s unique animal species By Hannah Epperson Special to WNC Parent

The red wolf hasn’t been seen in the wild in the Smokies since 1998. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Which animals in our Appalachian mountains would you like your children’s children to be able to see? How about the playful river otter? Or the salamander-smile of the slimy eastern hellbender? These animals roam our hills and rivers — but there are some animals our grandparents might have seen that are missing from these mountains now. The last gray wolf in North Carolina was shot in Haywood County in 1887, and the critically endangered red wolf was last seen in the Smokies in 1998, when a reintroduction attempt was declared unsuccessful and the surviving animals were recaptured. And in 2011, the eastern cougar was declared extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because of habitat loss and predator control, these species are gone from


this part of the country. For our area, this May marks the birthday of four red wolf pups born at the WNC Nature Center last year, contributing to the continued revival of this critically endangered population. This May also marks an important month in recognizing the role of endangered species. May 17 is Endangered Species Day, a special time for people young and old to learn about everyday actions they can take to help protect our nation’s endangered species. Consider which animals in our mountains — and worldwide — need your attention to ensure their continued survival. If you need ideas, stop by the Nature Center’s celebration of Endangered Species Day on May 17 for special programs and activities — including a presentation on our red wolves and their incredible return from the brink of extinction. WNC Nature Center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Visit



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making connections

Good behavior starts at home By Nicole McKeon

WNC Parent columnist

Why is it that most of us simply accept the fact that kids bully each other in middle school? Is it our “fallen nature” that makes us think that it is a normal progression that kids will be cruel to each other? I have been truly shocked by the level of cruelty and violence that has been reported on the news and discussed at our dinner table — things that are happening, not just “out there” or “up north,” but here, locally. I have always believed in the truth that kids “learn what they live.” So it follows that these kids are learning these behaviors at home. Now, many of you will argue they see it online and on TV and in the movies, but the truth is, those things are rooted in society. Our kids are


a reflection of us, and I am scared. I recently learned what “tea-bagging” is. Since this is a family magazine I won’t go into details, suffice it to say, it’s gross. This behavior is happening in our schools. When I heard this, I felt like my head was just going to spin right off. For goodness’s sake, if this level of disgusting behavior had happened in my high school, you better believe heads would have been rolling. Why have we become so complacent? I think it is several different things. We are more isolated than ever before. You disagree? You think we’re all connected by the World Wide Web? Sure. But, the Web lets you become invisible — you can re-create yourself to be whatever you want; you can be anonymous. As an adult I had to realize that I should not use email to respond to any crisis situation, because I never knew how my tone would come across. I felt able to say things on paper I would never say face to face. That is a dangerous thing for

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adults. It’s doubly dangerous for kids. We used to live in neighborhoods. We weren’t afraid to send our kids down the block to play. Now, we have to arrange play dates. Sleepovers become a planning effort worthy of a military operation. And a lot of kids would prefer to play on game systems or text than go outside and get dirty. I think we need to teach our kids kindness. Maybe you think you already are teaching kindness, but I suggest you actually sit down with your kids and have a discussion about bullying, cruelty and the importance of standing up for what’s right. You might be surprised where the conversation takes you. I certainly was surprised. If kids get the love and attention they need in their homes, it logically follows they will carry that love out into the world with them. Let’s get started.

Email Nicole at

divorced families

Take time to unplug and get out By Trip Woodard

WNC Parent columnist

Unplugged. That is what one of my therapist friends, Sophia Brooks, calls it when kids are off their electronics and engaged in more real activities like engaging people, nature or animals. I admire the concept. Truly. But, let’s face it, at best it can be a lopsided battle for a lot of children. Even on a beautiful, blue sky day, some would much prefer to play video games or text. If this does not apply to you, consider yourself lucky. It is an unfortunate reality in today’s world that electronic socialization is encouraged by peers, media and even school. Let’s look at two approaches that solidly don’t work: » Rant and rave against it. That re-

minds me of when the Dutch threw their wooden shoes into windmills to stop their progress. It didn’t work for them, and I doubt it will work for you. The best outcome you can expect from this strategy is for your kids to write you off as old fashioned or to use it as a platform for a power struggle that you will ultimately lose. » Ignore it and maybe it will go away. This strategy might work if you move to a desert island. And should you meet Mary Ann on that island, let me know. I had a childhood crush on her. So, you may ask, what should I do? I don’t know. I was still thinking about Mary Ann on that island. (Just kidding.) First, don’t fight it — compete with it. Make an outdoor outing an event including your child’s friends. Make it a cookout and take some Frisbees. Most important, pick an area with little or no cell coverage (yes, a few still exist) like Mount Mitchell or Mount Pisgah. Do a water activity. Go swimming at


Lake James or visit Sliding Rock. Surprisingly, electronics don’t like water. I’ve found this out the hard way. Try to pick activities with a lot of stimulation like rock climbing, kayaking or mountain biking. It is hard to bike and text at the same time. Again, with a little research, you should be able to find groups that can hook you up. Finally, lead by example. I have more and more children complaining they can’t get their parents’ attention because their parents are texting. Seriously, I have to coach some parents to put away their laptops or cellphones to be available to their children. Try these ideas, but don’t forget me if you do the island thing. Just in case Mary Ann is available. Trip Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.


guest columnist

Healthy eating isn’t difficult By Dr. Susan Mims Special to WNC Parent

Making sure your kids get the proper nutrition isn’t only about cutting out the bad stuff like junk foods that contain excess fat and sugar. As a parent, you should also focus on providing enough of the good stuff — the nutrients your kids need to grow and develop, to focus at school and to prevent health problems in the future. Luckily, there are some small changes we can make to help our kids be a bit healthier. Keep in mind this easy slogan: 5-2-1almost none. » 5: You and your children should be eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.


» 2: No more than two hours of screen time, including cell phones, per day. » 1: One hour of vigorous exercise each day. » Almost none: The amount of sugar and sweetened drinks you and your kids should drink, including sodas, sports drinks and even sweet tea.

More fruits, veggies

Most children do not get the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. As a general rule, half of the plate at each meal should be fruits and vegetables. All fruits and vegetables count. They may be fresh, canned, frozen, dried, whole or cut-up. One helpful tip is to keep fruits and vegetables on hand at all times. Place oranges, apples and bananas in a bowl in the kitchen. You may be surprised to find hungry kids munching on a piece of

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fruit when they arrive home from school. Fruit can also serve as the perfect on-the-go breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Breakfast boosts metabolism and brainpower, making it easier for kids to focus and retain information at school. According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult and lead to overeating throughout the day.

Plan meals

Whether it’s a hectic weeknight or an important holiday, meals planned, prepared and eaten together at home tend to be healthier and more balanced than restaurant meals or fast food. Planning healthy meals for the week also makes it easier to stick to your goals and less likely that you and your kids will end up at the drive-thru.

Rethink your drink

Studies have shown that eating in front of the TV can lead to overeating. Put down the electronics and turn off the TV for a family dinner around the kitchen table. Eating meals together at the table means eating less and offers opportunity for some great conversations.

Portion control

Portion size is important. We tend to eat larger portions than are recommended and we tend to offer larger portions to our children, teaching them to overeat. One reason kids may not be eating appropriately sized portions is because they don’t recognize what a reasonable portion look like. Does your child know what a half-cup of pasta looks like? Or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter? The good news is that kids don’t need a measuring cup or scale to measure the portions they should eat. Have them visualize appropriate portions by using familiar objects that are similar to recommended serving sizes. Here are some examples from » 1 ounce of bread: a CD cover » 1 cup of cereal: a baseball


» 1/2 cup of pasta: half a baseball » One portion of oranges, apples or pears: a tennis ball » 3 ounces of lean beef or chicken: a deck of cards » 2 tablespoons of peanut butter: a ping pong ball » 1 teaspoon of butter: a standard postage stamp


Repeat after me: water, water, water! Our bodies require water constantly and getting enough is essential to your child’s health. Water keeps you hydrated and helps you maintain both a healthy weight and normal organ function. Try substituting water for sugary drinks. Carrying a water bottle with you throughout the day is a great reminder to drink more water. Many teachers will let students keep water bottles at their desks, so think about buying reusable water bottles for your kids to take to school. While many people think sports drinks are healthy, they actually contain added sugars and empty calories and should be replaced with water. With a few small changes, you and your family will be on your way to living a healthier life. Susan Mims, M.D. MPH is vice president for women’s and children’s at Mission Hospital and medical director for Mission Children’s Hospital. She is also a member of the Western Carolina Medical Society.


Students in Asheville Middle School’s IRL class taste some greens and as they decide which ones to add to a stir fry. Kids can be scared of unfamiliar vegetables. Spring is a great time of year to introduce children to new foods fresh from the garden. KATE JUSTEN/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Take time to introduce new veggies By Kate Justen WNC Parent columnist

Think back to your childhood. Did you ever hear these words spoken in your house? “Stop playing with your food.” I know I did. The dinner table was a pretty serious place. Mom worked hard preparing the meal, and we were supposed to sit and politely “clean your plate.”


Vegetable caterpillars Cherry tomatoes Cucumbers, sliced Snap peas, halved Sweet bell peppers, cut about the size of a postage stamp Zucchini, sliced Lettuce leaves Toothpicks

Place cut vegetables in bowls or on a cutting board in the center of the table. Give each person a few toothpicks. Put

Now, I would challenge you as a parent to start encouraging your wonderful young ones to begin playing with their food. I am not talking about re-enacting the scene from “A Christmas Story,” when Randy is building a mashed potato sculpture. The dinner table is still a place to eat a meal as a family with polite manners and, yes, clean your plate as long as it is full of yummy veggies. One of the most common responses I

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vegetables on the toothpicks to create a multicolored caterpillar. Place caterpillars on lettuce leaves and serve. Tips: » Let kids eat as many of the veggies as they want while creating the caterpillars. Kids will say the do not like certain veggies but will end up munching on them while working. » Let older kids cut the vegetables for the younger children » Take or draw pictures of the finished product before you eat.

get with new FEAST classes is “I’m scared.” Now, who ever heard of being scared of fresh vegetables? I will admit that some of them can look a little strange the first time you see them. Kohlrabi is my favorite strange looking vegetable, and it is also a good prop for alien stories. As parents, we need to do our part is exposing our children to fresh produce so they at least know what it is. Many children do not feel comfort-

Sesame kohlrabi greens 1 bunch kohlrabi greens 1 clove crushed garlic or 1 garlic scape, minced 2 teaspoons sesame oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce (tamari for gluten free) 1/4 cup sesame seeds 1 hot pepper, minced (optional)

Clean kohlrabi greens and remove stems. Boil water in a large stock pot, enough to cover greens. Remove greens when wilted. Rinse, drain and chop greens. Sauté oil and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add greens, peppers and soy sauce cook for an additional 3 minutes. Top with sesame seeds, serve hot or cold Tips: » Save the water from the stock pot, after it cools use it to water the garden » Add broccoli, green beans, onions or any other veggies and serve over brown rice for a complete meal » Serve leftover sesame greens over eggs for breakfast » Change the flavor by changing the spices, such as curry powder, basil, oregano. » Raw kohlrabi is very high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. » Kohlrabi can be eaten raw, roasted, boiled, pureed or made into pickles.

able trying new things because they do not know what will happen when they do. It is very frustrating to have your child grow up as a picky eater. When introducing new vegetables, let children experiment with them. Spring is a great time to start doing this because produce is less expensive. Large quantities of locally grown fruits and veggies are now coming out of our own gardens, community gardens and local farms. It is a great time to try something new because it is not a large financial investment. Young children especially like to use their five senses to learn about the world around them. Encourage them to do this with vegetables as well. Whether it is in the garden, at the grocery store or at home take a few minutes this spring to have some fun with fresh produce. Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Contact her at or visit




Dislike fruits, veggies? Try drinking them

jump-starts nutrition

By Karen Fernau, Gannett


enerations of mothers have urged their children to eat their vegetables. Today, they are able to offer an alternative: Drink your vegetables. Juicing concoctions such as beets and kale flavored with pears, lemons, fresh ginger or cayenne pepper are nuzzling their way into the American diet. The reason for the surging interest in veggie-and-fruit juices is twofold: They are healthy and convenient. Juice is a quick way of getting a lot of nutrition. And for kids or adults who eat like finicky kids, juice is a way to drink a vegetable they might never eat on a plate.


“Some people who would never touch a salad will drink the equivalent of one because it tastes different and fits into their busy lifestyle,” said Sydney Krager, juice chef and manager at S.E.E.D. Cafe at the Madison Improvement Club, a new yoga and spin studio in Phoenix. Unlike the 100 percent carrot juices popular during the 1960s hippie-era health craze, Krager’s blends are carefully crafted balances of tart, sweet and bitter flavors. The all-natural juices also are made with no sugars, preservatives or artificial flavors. “You don’t want a juice that’s healthy but one you have to choke down,” she said. “Juice should be a refreshing treat, something that actually tastes good.” Juicing evangelists say drinking

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blends of fruits, vegetables and herbs boosts your energy level and immune system, flushes toxins from your body and fills you up without a lot of fat, salt, sugar and calories. The liquid contains most of the vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in whole fruit, and no healthy enzymes are destroyed by cooking. Nutritionists offer a few caveats. The definition of “juice” is removal of fiber, known for its cancer-fighting properties. To get plenty of fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables are the better choice. “There’s no sound scientific evidence that extracted juices are healthier than the juice you get by eating the fruit or vegetable itself,” said Jennifer

The reason for the surging interest in veggie-and-fruit juices is twofold: They are healthy and convenient. Juice is a quick way of getting a lot of nutrition. JOHN SAMORA/GANNETT

Nelson, a Mayo Clinic nutritionist. “On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy eating fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing may be a fun way to add them to your diet or to try fruits and vegetables you normally wouldn’t eat.” Ryan Rabish, of Phoenix, is one such person. He prefers to drink his broccoli for breakfast.

“I like to begin my day with a healthy juice. I like knowing that I am doing something nice for my body. I spend the time and money on the juice but save time and energy by taking care of myself,” said Rabish, who orders his “Ryan’s Remedy” juice of broccoli, kale, spinach, apple and ginger at least six times a week from S.E.E.D. Cafe.


Unlike baking, juicing is not an exact science. Krager urges home juicers to experiment with combining different kinds of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices for taste and nutrition. Popular combinations include leafy vegetables like spinach or kale mixed with celery or cucumber, with beets, carrots or apples added for sweetness. Krager leaves the peels on all juicing ingredients, including fresh ginger and apples, and removes only the bitter-tasting rinds of citrus fruits. Juices taste best straight from the juicer, but it lasts a few days in the refrigerator. Other tips: » Juices are only as good as their ingredients. Use the freshest available. Also, select produce without bruises or blemished skin. » Wash and dry all ingredients before juicing. » Use as many in-season, organic vegetables as possible. » Don’t throw away the pulp. Use for garden mulch or fold into muffins and other baked goods. » Juicers are available in different sizes and price ranges. Buy the best you can afford.




Coffee is much more than a steaming cup to start your day. Here, coffee adds depth to baked beans. JOHN SAMORA/GANNETT

Grounds perk up food savory, sweet

By Karen Fernau, Gannett

Coffee is so much more than a steaming brew to kick-start the day. Whether bold or mild, the drink traced to 9th-century Ethiopia adds rich, nuanced flavors to savory and sweet dishes. This daily brew brings an earthiness to baked beans, barbecue sauce and crepes. “Coffee tastes as good on the dinner table as in the cup. It’s a Continues on Page 44


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COFFEE Continued from Page 42

wonderful, versatile ingredient,” said Stephan Germanaud, chef at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix. Because of coffee’s powerful and complex taste, he recommends pairing it with equally strong flavors, from chile powder to jalapenos and molasses. In desserts, sugar and cream provide the necessary balance. Freshness, blend strength and quality of coffee matter. The goal is to capitalize on the robust, not-bitter side of the bean. Fresh coffee begins turning bitter 15 minutes after it’s made, so brew just before folding into a recipe. As with wine, it’s important to match the coffee with the dish. Dark-roasted


Coffee baked beans 1/4 cup strong coffee 1/4 cup cider vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon molasses 2 teaspoons powdered dry mustard 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) brandy 1 large can (about 14 ounces) red kidney beans, drained 1 large can (about 14 ounces) pinto beans, drained 1 sweet onion, sliced thin

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine coffee, vinegar, butter, molasses, dry mustard, garlic, salt, liquid smoke, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Bring to a slow boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in brandy. Place beans in a glass casserole dish and top with sauce. Stir to combine. Top with sliced onions. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. Makes about 6 servings. Source: Wrigley Mansion chef Stephan Germanaud

Bananas and Nutellain coffee-infused crepes 1 cup milk 2 eggs 1/2 cup cold, strong coffee 4 tablespoons sugar 1/3 cup flour 2 tablespoons melted, cooled butter plus 1 teaspoon butter for pan 2 tablespoons chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella) 1/2 banana, sliced


In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, coffee and sugar until well incorporated. Add the flour slowly, making sure no lumps are left. Stir in butter and coffee mixture to make batter. Heat 1 teaspoon butter in a crepe pan or nonstick saute pan. Pour in batter to form a light layer on the pan bottom. Cook crepe 30 seconds per side, then transfer it to a plate. Spread evenly with Nutella and top with banana slices. Fold crepe in four to serve. Makes 1 serving. Source: Wrigley Mansion chef Stephan Germanaud

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and strongly brewed coffees pair well with beef and hearty dishes. Lighter roasts complement poultry and seafood without overwhelming the flavors. One of coffee’s best-known roles as an ingredient is in tiramisu. Its present-day version is believed to have been created in the 1960s by chef Carminantonio Iannaccone in a restaurant in Treviso, Italy. According to food historians, he cooked up a dessert based on regional flavors -- strong coffee, creamy mascarpone, eggs, Marsala and ladyfinger cookies. Tiramisu, which means “pick me up,” was a hit. So are many of the other coffee-infused dishes finding their way to tables at home and in restaurants. And for the same reason. Coffee is loved equally for its ability to jolt and comfort. “It wakes us up and soothes us at the same time,” said Amy Briskin, a spokeswoman for, a website of the National Coffee Association that features recipes.

Coffee barbecue sauce 1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong, dark coffee 1 cup ketchup 1/2 cup cider vinegar 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 2 cloves garlic 3 fresh jalapeños 2 tablespoons hot dry mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon warm water 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons ground GANNETT cumin 2 tablespoons chili powder

In a small pot, stir together coffee, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, garlic, jalapeños, dry mustard mixture, Worcestershire sauce, cumin and chili powder. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat so the mixture is just simmering; let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let the mixture cool, then puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Makes about 2 cups. Source: Wrigley Mansion chef Stephan Germanaud


Espresso rub 1/2 cup packed dark or light brown sugar 1/4 cup ancho chile powder 1/3 cup finely ground espresso 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Combine all ingredients in a blender or spice mill and grind to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container in a cool area for 3-4 months. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Source: The Arizona Republic


librarian’s pick

Smile can affect the world By Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

Pass it on. Pay it forward. Kindness counts. The Golden Rule. Regardless of its name, the idea that one small act of kindness can generate a waterfall of kindnesses is powerful. In “Because Amelia Smiled,” veteran children’s author and illustrator David Ezra Stein provides readers with a simple, effective homily on the unexpected perks of doing something nice. On a rainy day in New York City, little Amelia skips down the sidewalk and smiles. A neighbor, Mrs. Higgins, sees Amelia, and she smiles, too. Those five seconds in time reverberate around the world. What follows is a cumulative story about individuals, families, neighborhoods, towns and countries. After seeing Amelia smile, Mrs. Higgins bakes cookies and sends them to her adult grandson, Lionel, in Mexico. When Lionel receives the cookies, he eats one and shares the rest with the students in his adult education class, and he teaches them an English song about cookies. Because Lionel was such a good teacher, one of his students, a kick-boxer named Sensacia, decides to be a teacher, too. In addition, Sensacia has her cousin record her kick-boxing. Sensacia posts the video online. Zesta, a ballet teacher in England, sees the post and is so inspired by it that she decides to add some of the same movements to her class’s upcoming recital. And so it goes. Then the ripple effect is felt on a stage in Israel, then in a baby’s nursery. The effect ripples on to Paris, France and Positano, Italy, then winds its way back to

area story times Buncombe County Libraries Visit Black Mountain, 250-4756: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday; Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday East Asheville, 250-4738: Preschool: 11 a.m.


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New York, where it wafts through the subway and then to a pizza parlor. Wonderful things come of Amelia’s smile. A baby sleeps through the night. A man proposes to a woman. A rumba dancer treats her band to a day at the salon. A lady knits a scarf for her niece. A man thinks fondly of his deceased grandmother. Ultimately, the story comes around to Amelia again. If there was enough paper and ink, the story could play out again and again with countless variations. Stein’s illustrations were done in pencil, water soluble crayon, and watercolor. Stein’s trademark kinetic style complements this story perfectly. Not only do bold strokes of bright colors add definition to the muted layers of watercolor, they add a sense of energy and motion as well. In each scene, there are a host of details that encourage readers to linger and look. A baby’s nursery is illuminated by the soft white light of the moon and pale purple light of the star-shaped night-light. The rumba dancer’s bedroom is outfitted richly in fringed drapes, fresh flowers and art. Amelia, of course, is unforgettably sweet with her wind-blown blonde hair and infectious smile. “Because Amelia Smiled” is a great story to share with kids and adults of all ages. This book is available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit

Wednesday and Saturday

Enka-Candler, 250-4758: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Fairview, 250-6484: Mother Goose, 11 a.m. Tuesday; Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday; Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday Leicester, 250-6480: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday North Asheville, 250-4752: Preschool: 11 a.m.

area story times Wednesday; Toddler: 10 a.m. Wednesday; Mother Goose, 10:30 a.m. Tuesday Oakley/South Asheville, 250-4754: Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Thursday; Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday; Preschool: 10 a.m. Wednesday Pack Memorial Library, 250-4700: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Mondays; Mother Goose: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays; Reading Corner (ages 6-12): 3:30 p.m. first Wednesdays Skyland/South Buncombe, 250-6488: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Swannanoa, 250-6486: Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday; Toddler: 10 a.m. Thursday; Mother Goose: 2:30 p.m. Thursday (starting April 18) Weaverville, 250-6482: Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Wednesday; Toddler: 11 a.m. Thursday; Preschool: 11 a.m. Tuesday West Asheville, 250-4750: Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Monday; Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday; Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday

Haywood County Library Visit

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

Henderson County Library Visit www.henderson. No storytime during May.

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 296-7335: 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Saturdays; Biltmore Park Town Square, Asheville, 687-0681: 11 a.m. Saturdays

Blue Ridge Books

152 S. Main St., Waynesville, 456-6000: 10:30

a.m. Mondays, ages 3 and under.

Dancing Bear Toys 518 Kenilworth Road, Asheville, 800-6598697: 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 11:30 a.m. Thursdays,

through May.

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop 21 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 232-2228:

10:30-11 a.m. Saturdays, ages 4-7.

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



kids page



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calendar of events

David Shipman is the new Barnum & Bailey Circus ringmaster. The circus comes to town May 9-12. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Things to do

Items for the June calendar are due May 10. Email information to

Register by May 7

PERMACULTURE CAMP: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 17-21 and 24-28, at Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, 574 Haywood Road, Asheville. Registration closes May 7. Design landscapes, plant trees, shrubs and other edible plants, learn to tend them, create garden buckets to take home or sell, swim, tube, canoe, group art projects, more. For middle and

high school students. $210 per week, $200 if enrolled both weeks. Call 258-9264, ext. 10, or email

May 7

THE RESONANT ROUGES SHOW: 6:30-7:30 p.m. May 7, The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Sparrow Pants on viola, saw, accordion and banjo, and Keith Smith on guitar, with debut. With ragtime, gypsy jazz and old-time folk. Visit or call 254-2224. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: May 7-30, Reuter YMCA, Biltmore Park, South Asheville. Starts at $45. Four-week session of Tuesday/Thursday lessons for parent-child through youth. Register by May 2. Call 651-9622 or visit WEE NATURALIST: See May 6.

May 8

HALOTHERAPY STORY TIME: 10-10:30 a.m. May 8, The Salt Spa of Asheville, 473 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. $8. Storytelling during halotherapy for children. Halotherapy can support respiratory health and offer relief for allergies, asthma, cystic fibrosis


and more. Adult must accompany children. Call 505-1838 or visit MACFC OPEN HOUSE: 10:30 a.m.-noon May 8 at Mountain Area Child and Family Center, 2586 Riceville Road, Asheville. Nonprofit early care and education center serves children 6 weeks to 5 years with full day and part day care. Tour facility, meet staff and enjoy a Rainbow In My Tummy lunch. Now enrolling children for fall. RSVP by April 30. Call 298-0808 or visit STROLLER STRIDES: 9:30 a.m. May 8, Rotary Centennial Pavilion, Carrier Park, Amboy Road, Asheville. Free total fitness class for moms looking to get in shape, meet other moms and have fun with your child. After class there will be crafts for kids and goody bags and raffle items for moms. RSVP at

May 9-12

RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS: “Fully Charged, Gold Edition” at U.S. Cellular

Continues on Page 54


calendar of events Continued from Page 53 Center. Visit for information and tickets.

May 9

FAMILY FUN NIGHT: 6:30 p.m. May 9, Pack Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Free. “Celebrate Friendship with Frog and Toad,” with Asheville Creative Arts, an innovative theater for children. With story, song and play. All ages. Call 250-4720 or email

May 10

‘FREE TO BE... YOU AND ME’: 7:30 p.m. May 10, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. $5. Youth production class performs musical based on the children’s book by Marlo Thomas. Visit KIDS’ NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: 5-9 p.m. May 10. Colburn Earth Science Museum, Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. $20 nonmembers, $16 members and siblings. Activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on science lessons. This month, learn about “Water Wonders.” For grades K-4. Register by phone at 254-7162. Visit PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: 6-9 p.m. May 10. Fired Up! Creative Lounge, 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main St., Hendersonville. $25. Kids ages 5-12 paint pottery, have pizza and play games. Each second


Friday of the month. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 698-9960.

May 11

‘THE ARTFUL PARENT’: A HANDS-ON EVENT: 3 p.m. May 11, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Free. Jean Van'T Hul presents her book “The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family's Life with Art and Creativity,” which includes more than 60 engaging art and craft projects for children ages 1-8 — all projects that encourage children to explore art materials, techniques, and ideas. Visit or www.theartful CAMP CEDAR CLIFF OPEN HOUSE: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 11. Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, 1 Porters Cove Road, Asheville. Get a taste of summer camp with activities including archery, BB guns, zip line, climbing wall, inflatables. Illusionist Bill Grimsley will perform at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Also, tour The Cove and 106.9 The Light. Visit ‘FREE TO BE... YOU AND ME’: 2:30 p.m. May 11, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. $5. Youth production class performs musical based on the children’s book by Marlo Thomas. Visit INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. May 11. Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah

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National Forest. $5 for adults; 15 and younger free. Learn about birds and their conservation, with guided bird walk at 8:30 a.m.; mist netting demonstration at 11 a.m.; 2 p.m. live raptor program; crafts and games, 3-4:30 p.m. or 877-3130. FINS & GILLS CLASSIC FISHING TOURNAMENT: 8

a.m.-2 p.m. May 11, Asheville Outdoor Center, 521 Amboy Road, Asheville. $10 for 13 and older, kids free. First 100 kids get free fishing rod and tackle. Proceeds benefit WNC Alliance and Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Three ways to fish: long trip, short trip or from the bank. With activities for kids from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kayak rides, raft rides, casting contest, playground, horse shoes, more. Visit MOTHER’S DAY FLOWER AND PLANT SALE: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 11 to benefit Providence Christian Academy. At four locations: Patton Avenue next to Dairy Freeze; 48 Woodland Hills Road at New Stock Road exit; Tractor Supply in Weaverville; HomeTrust Bank in Weaverville. MOTHER’S DAY WILDFLOWER WALK: 11 a.m. May 11, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock. $16 adults, $8 children ($3 passholders, $2 Grady’s Kids Club members). Hike along multiple trails to see park wildflowers. Visit PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: 5:30 p.m.-midnight May 11. Hahn’s Gymnastics, 18 Legend Drive, Arden. $15 for the first child, $10 each siblings for enrolled children; $20/$15 for unenrolled children. For ages 3-12. Gymnastics-related games and activities, with pizza dinner. Call 684-8832. Visit START FROM SEED PANCAKE BREAKFAST: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 11, The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., Asheville. $10. Second-annual event celebrates Mother’s Day, International Doula Month and nonprofit Start From Seed. SFS provides comprehensive birth services to pregnant women throughout Buncombe County. Admission includes stack of

pancakes, eggs, fruit and drink. Visit www.startfrom

May 12

‘FREE TO BE... YOU AND ME’: 2:30 p.m. May 12, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. $5. Youth production class performs musical based on the children’s book by Marlo Thomas. Visit

May 13

CELEBRATE PREGNANCY CLASS: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 13. At The Health Adventure, Biltmore Square Mall, 800 Brevard Road. $65. The Baby Place at Park Ridge Health offers a twist on a normal childbirth class, covering important labor process and support techniques, dealing with pregnancy ailments, breast-feeding and newborn care. Includes a massage voucher with the registration fee (scholarships available). Call 681-2229 or visit to register. DOLLYWOOD’S PENGUIN PLAYERS: Dollywood’s Penguin Players return with a new musical production, Tony Buzzeo’s “One Cool Friend.” It brings the delightful antics that result when young Elliot takes a penguin home from the aquarium. “One Cool Friend” is a lively 20-minute production filled with sing-along songs, including music written especially for the Penguin Players by Dolly Parton. Preschool age and older. » 10:30 a.m. at Pack Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. » 3:30 p.m. at Black Mountain Library.


WEE NATURALIST: 10-11 a.m. May 13, N.C. Arboretum, 20 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville. $5 online registration, $6 drop-in. Program for ages 2-5 with nature lessons, stories, crafts and visits from classroom animals. Explore classroom starting at 9:30 a.m. or at 11 a.m. Younger siblings and adults free when accompanied by paid participant. Free parking for registered participants. Visit to register. Contact Michelle Pearce at 665-2492, ext. 243, or

May 14

CANYON CREEK BLUEGRASS SHOW: 6:30 p.m. May 14, The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Members of Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, Town Mountain and Larry Keel join forces for an evening of upbeat bluegrass. Visit or call 254-2224. DOLLYWOOD’S PENGUIN PLAYERS: See May 13 for description. » 11 a.m. at Leicester Library. » 4 p.m. at Weaverville Library. GOLF CLINIC: 4:30 p.m. May 14, Country Club of Asheville, 170 Windsor Road. Free. HomeTrust Bank Better Kids Clinic is a free opportunity perfect for future golf stars. In conjunction with the LPGA’s Friends of Mission Charity Classic, Symetra Tour players will provide instruction on chipping, putting, and driving. For registration, call the Country Club of Asheville’s Golf Shop at 258-9762. WEE NATURALIST: See May 13.

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May 15

CHABAD'S SHAVUOT CELEBRATION: 5 p.m. May 15, Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Everyone is invited to celebrate Shavuot with the Chabad House of Asheville. The date commemorates the 3,325 years since God gave the Jewish people the Torah on Mount Sinai. Hear the Ten Commandments, enjoy cheesecakes, blintzes, and light dairy refreshments. All ages. Free. RSVPs greatly appreciated; walk-ins welcome. Call 505-0746 or visit DOLLYWOOD’S PENGUIN PLAYERS: See May 13 for description. » 10:30 a.m. at Enka-Candler Library. » 3:30 p.m. at North Asheville Library.

May 16

AUTISM PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: 6:15 p.m. May 16. Autism Society of North Carolina office, 306 Summit St, Asheville. Buncombe County Chapter of the Autism Society of NC offers a parent support group, open to all parents, caregivers and advocates. Meetings are the third Thursday of the month. Child care provided upon request. Contact chapter leader Lisa Pickering at DOLLYWOOD’S PENGUIN PLAYERS: See May 13 for description. » 10:30 a.m. at Skyland/South Buncombe Library. » 3 p.m. at Oakley/South Asheville Library. HELP, THE GRANDKIDS ARE COMING: 10-11 a.m. May 16, Historic Johnson Farm, 3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. $5. Wondering how to keep your grandkids entertained? Or are you new to the area and looking for things to do? An experienced grandmother, former teacher and regional tour guide with discuss things to do with kids in the area. Complimentary guidebook. Call for reservation, 691-6585. Visit

May 17

DOLLYWOOD’S PENGUIN PLAYERS: See May 13 for description. » 11 a.m. at West Asheville Library. » 2:30 p.m. at East Asheville Library. PARENTS’ MORNING OUT: 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. May 17. Asheville Downtown YMCA, 30 Woodfin St. $15 members, $23 nonmembers, with sibling discount. Ages 6 weeks-7 years. Includes swimming, circle time, crafts, movement, music and games. Send swimmers in bathing suits and bring a towel. Snack provided. Register by 5 p.m. the Wednesday prior. Each third Friday of the month. Visit

May 18

BLACK MOUNTAIN GARDEN SHOW: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 18. Monte Vista Hotel, 308 W. State St., Black Mountain. The eighth-annual Black Mountain Garden Show and Sale. Vendors will sell perennials, annuals, herbs, vegetable plants, native trees, shrubs and garden accessories. Silent auction from 9 a.m.-2


The N.C. Arboretum’s Wee Naturalist program wraps up for the school year this month. It meets Mondays and Tuesdays. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

HAPPY MAMA CONFERENCE AND RETREAT Happy Mama Conference & Retreat is a weekend getaway aimed at stressedout, overwhelmed, overworked, tired and under-nurtured mothers of a children with ADHD, ADD, OCD, SPD, PBD, FASD, autism, PDD, or any number of other brain-based differences. It is July 12-14 at Rock Barn Club and Spa in Conover. Registration ends June 30. Visit for more information.

p.m. Free. CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK: 3 and 5 p.m. May 18, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Free. At 3 p.m., meet Audrey Penn, author of “The Kissing Hand” and its sequels, along with illustrator Sherry Neidigh. At 5 p.m., meet author J.E. Thompson, who wrote “The Girl from Felony

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Bay.” Visit FACE PAINTING AND BALLOON ART: 1-5 p.m. May 18, Asheville’s Fun Depot, 2 Roberts Road, Asheville. Free face painting and balloon art. No purchase necessary, tips appreciated. Call before arriving to verify event, 277-2386. Visit OLD FARMER’S BALL — YMCA SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE: 6-10 p.m. May 18. Asheville YMCA, 30 Woodfin St. Community event with contra dancing, square dancing and similar kinds of traditional folk dance, rooted in old-time Appalachian music and other styles of traditional fiddle music. Family dance for families with kids ages 5-11 is 6-7:30 p.m. Contra dance for teens and adults is 8-10 p.m. with beginner lesson at 7:30. Visit SPRING GO FESTIVAL: 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. May 18, Chimney Rock Village, Chimney Rock. Free admission. With pancake breakfast ($7.50), Olde Timey Mountain Parade, arts and crafts booths, pie bingo raffle and more. Visit

May 19

CELEBRATE PREGNANCY CLASS: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 19. Park Ridge Health, 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. The Baby Place at Park Ridge Health offers a twist on a normal childbirth class, covering important labor process and support techniques,

dealing with pregnancy ailments, breast-feeding and newborn care. Includes a massage voucher with the $65 fee (scholarships available). Call 681-2229 or visit to register.

May 20

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Half session for pre-K and youth, Mondays and Wednesdays, May 20-29. Registration deadline is May 16 (with late registration fee of $20). Starts at $45. Call 210-9605 or visit WEE NATURALIST: 10-11 a.m. May 20, N.C. Arboretum, 20 Frederick Law Olmstead Way, Asheville. $5 online registration, $6 drop-in. Program for ages 2-5 with nature lessons, stories, crafts and visits from classroom animals. Explore classroom starting at 9:30 a.m. or at 11 a.m. Younger siblings and adults free when accompanied by paid participant. Free parking for registered participants. Visit to register. Contact Michelle Pearce at 665-2492, ext. 243, or

May 21

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: May 21-30 at Asheville YMCA, Half session for pre-K and youth, Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 21-30. Registration deadline is May 17 (with late registration fee of $20). Starts at $45. Call 210-9605 or visit GAGGLE OF GIGGLES YOUTH IMPROV TROUPE: 6:30 p.m. May 21, The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Chris Martin’s youth improv troupe makes its monthly appearance. Expect a night of family laughter. Contact Martin at Visit or call 254-2224. SLEEP SOLUTIONS: 6-7 p.m. May 21 at The Health Adventure, 800 Brevard Road, Asheville. $25 per couple (scholarships available). In-depth workshop by Sleep Expert Meggan Hartman to help parents understand how to establish good sleep habits and a healthy schedule for their babies and themselves. Registration required at TEACHABLE TWOS-DAY: 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. May 21 at Hand’s On! A Chidls’ Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with admission. Class for ages 2-5 will explore educational boxes from the Early Learning Center of the Children and Family Resource center. Visit or call 697-8333. WEE NATURALIST: See May 20.

May 22

BOOK ‘N CRAFT: 11 a.m. May 22 at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with admission. Read “What I Like About Me” by Allia Zobel-Nolan and do a craft. Visit HALOTHERAPY STORY TIME: 10-10:30 a.m. May 22, The Salt Spa of Asheville, 473 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. $8. Storytelling during halotherapy for children. Halotherapy can support respiratory health and offer relief for allergies, asthma, cystic fibrosis and more. Adult must accompany children. Call 505-1838 or visit

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May 24

CRITTER CRAFT: All day, May 24 at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with admis:sion. Practice shape and color recognition, counting and fine motor skills with gluing. Drop-in activity. Visit MOUNTAIN SPORTS FESTIVAL: May 24-26, Carrier Park, Asheville. With kids’ events, adult competitions and races, music and more. Visit www.mountain

May 25

AUTHORS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: 3 p.m. May 25, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. Celebrate children’s authors with May birthdays with activities and story times. Recommended for ages 4-10, but all are welcome. Visit MOUNTAIN SPORTS FESTIVAL: May 24-26, Carrier Park, Asheville. With kids’ events, adult competitions and races, music and more. Visit www.mountain NESTING PARTY: 2 p.m. May 25 at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Free. Learn all about cloth diapering, baby wearing, swaddling and more. Call 258-1901 to RSVP. Visit

May 25 and 26

GARDEN JUBILIEE FESTIVAL: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 25 and 26, with Lowe’s Kids Clinic from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Historic Downtown Hendersonville, Sixth Avenue to Caswell Street. Lawn and garden show with more than 150 vendors on Main Street. Hands-on children’s activities at Visitors Information Center, 201 S. Main St. Visit

May 26

MOUNTAIN SPORTS FESTIVAL: May 24-26, Carrier Park, Asheville. With kids’ events, adult competitions and races, music and more. Visit www.mountain

May 28

PARENTS’ NIGHTS OUT Need a date night? Here is a roundup of upcoming parents’ nights out. Have an event to submit? Email information to


REUTER FAMILY YMCA MORNING OUT: Includes a healthy snack, games and crafts. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register.


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

MAY 10

COLBURN EARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM: Kids’ Night at the Museum with activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on science lessons. For grades K-4. $20 nonmembers, $16 members and siblings. 5-9 p.m. in Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Call 254-7162 to register. Visit for more information. FIRED UP! CREATIVE LOUNGE: Kids paint pottery, have pizza and play games, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month. At 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main

May 30

CRIPPS PUPPETS: 6:30 p.m. May 28, The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Asheville puppeteer Madison J. Cripps returns with an unparalleled performance featuring his handmade storytelling puppet creations. Visit or call 254-2224.

CRAZY CHEMISTS: At 10:30 a.m. May 30 at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with admission. Make sidewalk chalk. Ages 3 and older. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit

May 29

May 31

XPLORE USA INFO SESSION: 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 29, Rainbow Mountain School, 574 Haywood Road, Asheville. Local organization Xplore USA welcomes 13- to 17-year-old students from Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Hungary and Austria to Asheville this summer (in two separate three-week stays) to experience life with an American family. Xplore USA is looking for hosts. Contact Jens Behrmann or Sarah Jane Casciato for more information at 651-8502, or visit


SKYLAND LIBRARY BOOK SALE: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 31 at Skyland Library, 260 Overlook Road, Asheville. Quarterly sale. Also 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 1 and 3.

June 1

GOLDSTEIN FAMILY BAND: 6:30 p.m. June 1, The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free. Familiy of five from Asheville has been entertaining audiences

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St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 6989960. REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights include a healthy snack, dinner for an additional fee, games and crafts. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 6:15-9:45 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional child for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register.

MAY 11

HAHN’S GYMNASTICS: Gymnasticsrelated games and activities, with pizza dinner, 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Ages 3-12. For kids enrolled at Hahn’s, $15 for the first child, $10 each siblings; unenrolled children, $20 for the first child, $15 each sibling. Call 684-8832. At 18 Legend Drive, Arden. Visit

MAY 24

REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights include a healthy snack, dinner for an additional fee, games and crafts. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 6:15-9:45 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional child for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register. WOODFIN YMCA: Neighborhood Y at Woodfin offers Parents’ Night Out the fourth Friday of each month, 6-9 p.m. Themed nights include healthy snacks, games and crafts. $12 member/$18 nonmember, with $2 sibling discount. Ages 2-13. Register online at or in person at 40 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 101, Asheville. Call 505-3990.

for years. Jonas, Meryl and their three boys play an eclectic mix of songs from their favorite rock, pop, blues, modern and liturgical tunes. Visit or call 254-2224.


MUSIC TOGETHER: 3:30 p.m. Fridays, Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Visit a class for free ages 8 months to 5 years. Call 258-1901 or visit HEALTH ADVENTURE PROGRAMS: At the museum, in Biltmore Square Mall, at 800 Brevard Road, Suite 620. Call 665-2217 or visit » Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home: Exhibit encourages families to spend time

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calendar of events Continued from Page 58 together outdoors and inspires children to discover and care for the natural resources that sustain our world — our home sweet home. The exhibit was developed by The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum of Milwaukee in collaboration with the US Forest Service. Through May 26. » Nano Mini-Exhibition: “Nano” is an interactive exhibition that engages family audiences in nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Hands-on exhibits present the basics of nanoscience and engineering, introduce some real world applications, and explore the societal and ethical implications of this new technology. Through June 3. » Science Wonders on Wednesday: 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Enjoy science demonstrations of all kinds, on topics from electricity, sound, the human body and more. » Story time: 3:30 p.m. Monday and Friday. » Preschool Play Date: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Interactive fun just for preschoolers. » Science Wonders on Weekends: Noon and 3 p.m. Saturdays. Experiment with science through hands-on activities led by museum facilitators. All ages. MUSIC WORKSHOP: Singer/songwriter Sonia Brooks hosts free music workshop for children, 11 a.m.-noon Saturdays at Grateful Steps Bookstore, 159 S. Lexington Ave. Walk-ins welcome. Donations



Parents should call the school their child will attend to schedule an appointment. Times vary by school. » April 29: Leicester, West Buncombe » April 30: Estes » May 1: Woodfin » May 3: Black Mountain Primary, Emma, Glen Arden, Williams » May 6: Bell, Fairview, Haw Creek, Johnston, Oakley » May 10: Barnardsville, North Buncome, Weaverville Primary » May 13: Candler, Hominy Valley, Pisgah, Sand Hill-Venable

accepted. Call Sonia at 380-0275 with questions. CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Early bird enrollment open for Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts, a combination Sunday School and Hebrew School Program, for 2013-14. General registration through Aug. 15. Early registration and sibling discounts available through July 15. For ages 3-13. Sundays 10 a.m.-noon. September-May. At the Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746 or visit NATIVITY PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN: Registration is open for half-day programs in 2013-14, for ages 15 months through kindergarten. At Lutheran Church of the Nativity, 2425 Hendersonville Road, Arden. Contact Janine Webb at or 687-8381, or visit Nativity Preschool and Kindergarten admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color,, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan

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programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. CONNECT: INCREASING SOCIAL FLEXIBILITY THROUGH ACTIONS AND THOUGHTS: Class at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St., Hendersonville, to learn how thoughts, actions and reactions affect social situations. Classes are interactive, age appropriate and fund. Curriculum incorporates social thinking lessons and characters, uses evidence-based practices, games, role play and skits. Call 693-4223, ext. 21, for information. St. Gerard House provides services for children with autism spectrum diagnosis but a child and/or adolescent taking this class does not need to be diagnosed. PARENTS’ MORNING OUT: Enjoy a few hours to yourself each week while your child develops valuable social and play skills in a small group environment. Now accepting children from 6 months-4 years old. At St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St., North Asheville. For information, call Jennifer Leiter at 450-1922 or PMO directly at 254-5193, ext. 25. PRENATAL BONDING: Relaxing 1-hour weekly program in West Asheville with prenatal specialist. Donation suggested. For more information, contact Emma at 255-5648 or SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHESS CLUB: Meets 2-4 p.m. Thursdays at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., Waynesville. Players of all levels welcome. Call 456-6000. THE TREE HOUSE DROP-OFF: Hourly service for ages 12 months-8 years. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. $8 per hour, siblings $6 per hour; threehour maximum. At 1020 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit or call 505-2589. STEPHENS-LEE RECREATION CENTER PROGRAMS: At 30 George Washington Carver St., Asheville. Through Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts. Call 350-2058. » Afternoon Adventures: After-school program for grades K-5, 2:45-5:30 p.m. Homework help and recreational activities. $13 per child per week. » Tiny Tykes: Toddler program with crafts, manipulatives and centers, along with active play in the gym. 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday and Friday. $1 per class. Join the Tiny Tykes Club for multiclass rates. For more information, contact Jessica Johnston at 350-2058 or

MOMS’ GROUPS A sampling of support groups for moms in WNC. Asheville Stay-At-Home Moms Playgroup: Visit Arden Moms Meetup Group: Visit or contact Susan Toole at Meet and greets for moms while kids play. Two sessions, 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays at The Hop Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Asheville 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. Call 444-AMOM or visit Biltmore Baptist MOPS: Group for all mothers of children from infancy through kindergarten. Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month, September-May at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Call 687-1111, email or visit Hiking with Preschoolers: Visit La Leche League of Asheville/Buncombe: For all those interested in breast-feeding. Nursing babies, toddlers and pregnant women welcome. Meetings are second Monday of every month, 10-11 a.m., at First Congregational Church, Oak Street, and third Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m., Awakening Heart Chiropractic, Ravenscroft Drive. Please call a leader for more information or directions: Susan 303-6352 or Adrienne 603-505-0855. Visit 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. Call 3883598. Mommy and Me: Park Ridge Hospital offers a support group for moms at 10 a.m. the fourth Monday of the month. Contact Amy Mast at 216-7244. 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. Moms Club of Hendersonville: A support group open to mothers of all ages in the Henderson County area, including mothers who have homebased 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. Call Toni McDonald at 702-0433 or visit MOPS at Mud Creek: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faithbased atmosphere for moms of infants through kindergartners. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., September-May, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Drive, Hendersonville. Email Melissa Thorsland,, or or visit North Asheville MOPS: Meets 9:3011:30 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Maranatha Baptist Church, 1040 Lower Flat Creek Road, Weaverville. Contact Amy at 658-0739 or Liban at WNC Mountain Mamas: Moms and kids can meet up and play at 11 a.m. Wednesdays the Hop Ice Cream Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Enjoy half-priced coffees and ice cream. Encompassing, supporting and uniting WNC families. Visit




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W N C PA R E N T | M AY 2 0 1 3

WNC Parent - May  
WNC Parent - May  

May issue of WNC Parent