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c o n t e n t s All about babies This month’s features 4

8 10 14

Katie Wadington, Editor

Blending a family Parents offer advice for bringing adopted children into a home with biological children.


Words of wisdom Moms of all ages share their tips for new parents.

Spaced out A look the art of spacing out your children.

Easing kids’ fears


A New York doctor provides help to families with potty training troubles.

Children are anxious for many reasons. Here, find a few suggestions for calming worries.


Fall fun


Friends at the hospital

Events and festivals that celebrate the season.

Potty training by phone


Mexican salads Switch up your salads with these new recipes.

Mission’s child life specialists take the fear out of surgery for kids.

In every issue

Artist’s Muse ...................26

Growing Together............35 Librarian’s Picks...............36 Story Times .....................37 FEAST .............................40 Families & Relationships ..44 Calendar .........................49

At some point, as a mom, you turn a corner. You reach a point where you’re done thinking about having just one more baby and can see the light at the end of the kids-in-the-house tunnel. And in talking recently with an acquaintance who was about to have a baby, I realized I’ve turned that corner. My kids are 11 and 14, and we’ve started the high school years. Don’t get me wrong — I love babies. I’m happy to cuddle them and even change their diapers. As long as they go home to someone else’s house. Of course, having another baby now would set me up to be a subject in our story on Page 10 about how families space out their kids. This topic fascinates me, probably because mine are within days of being exactly three years apart. Pretty average spacing. How are your children spaced? Close together? Years and years apart? Another good read this month is our story on introducing an adopted child (or children) into a family with biological children. Meet a few families who have done this, starting on Page 4. “Let them eat some dirt.” That may be my favorite line ever from a story in this magazine. It’s advice offered by one of the moms in our story on Page 8 that collects wisdom from moms of many ages. Even before September arrived, fall was in the air, it seemed. Find our calendar of seasonal family fun on Page 18. I started building that list in July, when Halloween seemed so far away. Now, it’s almost time for kids to be thinking about those costumes. See you next month!

On the cover Kianni Bell-Scardino, by Kaelee Denise Photography, Photographed at WNC Nature Center,

Find us online .com

Kids page ........................55 wncparent @wncparent

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829

ADVERTISING Katy Graziano — 236-8994

Special thanks to features editor Bruce Steele and designer Val Elmore CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Sept. 10. E-mail ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the October issue is Sept. 17.




The Compton family added two boys from Ethiopia to their family. Carter and Truett, then ages 4 and 2, joined Brantley, Coleman and Barret, who were 8, 10 and 11, four years ago. /SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Adjusting to expanded family takes time

By Pam J. Hecht, WNC Parent contributor


or the Compton family of Fairview, the decision to adopt didn’t happen overnight. While Joe Compton had thought about it for years, his wife, Heather, wasn’t sure. “I was in the trenches of motherhood with three young children and just couldn’t see it,” says Heather. “But I did know that we had love in our hearts and we felt like we had more room to love someone who didn’t have a family.” In time, and with repeated spiritual signs, including families she kept meeting who had adopted from other countries, she says, she felt ready to go for it. Continues on Page 6


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Continued from Page 4

They adopted two boys from Ethiopia — Carter and Truett, at ages 4 and 2 — four years ago, when their three biological children, Brantley, Coleman and Barret, were 8, 10 and 11. For the Comptons, early preparation and discussion was key to making the transition smoother for the family. “I had told the kids that if at any time they were feeling frustrated and/or needed to talk, that no matter what, they could come to us and we would listen,” Heather says. “We talked about how our family would change and how love doesn’t divide — it multiplies.” Susan Ward is a local therapist and parent coach specializing in helping families with children who have issues related to trauma, attachment and adoption. To help biological children adapt to adopted siblings, Ward suggests families “read books about adoption and adoptedbio families and role-play possible scenarios that might come up when the adopted child joins the family. One of the best ways to foster attachment and bonding among all family members is through laughter — play board games or put on dance music and get everyone laughing and dancing.” “Be honest about differences but balance that by sharing each child’s strengths,” she adds. “Say things like, ‘Yes, that’s true that you two have different colored skin — you’re also different in that you’re great at building things and your sister is great at drawing.’” The Comptons were also realistic with the children, explaining that it wouldn’t always be easy, Heather says. “We explained how just as there are days that all three of them get along, there are days when none of them do and that this would be the same, just with more children,” she says. As their adopted sons were adjusting to a new culture and home, Brantley, Coleman and Barret would become frustrated at the attention friends and family would give their new brothers and with any differences in how they were treated, Heather adds. “We had to, at times, talk with the older kids and explain that we needed to build the relationship and love with the boys before we could be all rules and


discipline,” she says. “We would ask them how they would want a family to treat them if they had suffered the loss of everything they knew.” “Parents should implement a blend of structure and nurturing right from the start,” Ward says. “Give the adopted child expectations and rules to help them feel part of the family while at the same time, provide them with the affection and nurturing the child may have missed earlier in life.” “It has been a process but everyone is on the same page now,” Heather adds. “I think adopting Carter and Truett has made us a better family.”

Blended beginnings

Julie and Phillip Delp, of West Asheville, planned to have both biological and adopted kids in their family right from the start. “It was intentional and purposeful, to have a biological child and then adopt and then have another biological child — to weave them together into a family,” says Julie. “There will always be kids who need families, and we had space in our lives to make a home for some of them, says Julie, who was adopted herself. After having their first biological child, a girl named Morgan, 14, the Delps adopted Evan, 11, who is half Haitian. Later, after having a second biological daughter, Jillian, they adopted Evan’s half-sister, Natalie, now 5. Four years later, they also adopted Abigail, now 1, also from the same family. They adopted all three at birth. (Phillip also has a biological daughter, Madeline, 19, and the couple also consider as their son Patrice Twagirayezu, 19, a former exchange student from Africa who they are supporting through college. For the Delp family, being from different places is not an issue. “We don’t hide the fact that they are adopted and when they are old sand ready, we talk about it — it wasn’t until Evan was 6 that he figured out he was adopted, while with Natalie, she was much more aware of the differences,” Julie says. “We are always truthful and answer questions — talking about differences goes a long way.” “We explain that each child is something special and that we are lucky that we get to be their family,” she says, adding that it is important to never say anything negative about a birth parent. “We tell them that we were always supposed to be together — that takes away the feeling

TIPS FOR FAMILIES Sandy Fowler, clinical post-adoption services coordinator for Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, which provides parenting education, foster care and adoption services, shares some tips for families with biological children who also adopt: » Ask for help and support. » Know the difference between bonding and attachment and be patient. Bonding can be an instant connection but attachment - and trust - is a process that takes time.” » Talk with children about changes and their expectations. Pay special attention if your biological kids’ feelings don’t match yours. » Include biological kids in the adoption process and keep them informed of what’s going on. » Spend one-on-one time with each child and parent. » Help biological child(ren) accept new siblings. » Allow children to voice their feelings and opinions and listen to them. Create a safe space by respecting what they say. » To facilitate bonding, keep communication lines open, speak truthfully and provide fun family activities. » Help kids understand their own history and background. » Help kids process trauma, grief and loss, attachment and trust issues, keeping in mind the developmental level of the adopted child. Acknowledge that their pain is part of the healing and adoption process. Get professional support as needed. » Learn about the developmental level and background of your adopted child. Honor cultural or other differences.

FOR ADOPTION SUPPORT » Sandy Fowler, Clinical Post-Adoption Support Coordinator, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, 545-8410 or 866-449-7262. She leads a support group for adoptive parents that meets at 10 a.m. the second Friday of each month at Green Sage, 1800 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. » Susan Ward, Carolina Counseling & Parent Support, carolinamountain » To help kids and parents respond to questions from peers, extended family and others, get the W.I.S.E. Up PowerBook, published by the Center for Adoption Support and Education, www.adoption

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of being unwanted.” Talking to other parents who have adopted and are successfully raising children has also greatly helped along the way, Julie adds. “When you adopt, you realize that anyone can be your family,” she says. “Love has no boundaries.”

Getting adjusted

Not all kids who gain an adoptive sibling are on board from the start, but after they get to know their new brother or sister, “their attitudes shift and they can’t imagine their lives without them,” says Diane Delafield, director of Under One Sky Village Foundation, who runs programs for area kids in foster care and adoption and foster care recruitment and training. To help the family adjust,she advises treating everyone the same, being clear on rules and boundaries and involving the new child in family activities and chores right from the start, so they feel like a part of the family. When Debbie Cooper, of North Asheville, saw a newspaper ad for a library presentation on Chinese adoptions, it “just clicked and seemed right for us to explore this option of growing our fam-


I had told the kids that if at any time they were feeling frustrated and/or needed to talk, that no matter what, they could come to us and we would listen,” Heather says. “We talked about how our family would change and how love doesn’t divide — it multiplies. HEATHER COMPTON

ily,” she says. After careful research, Cooper says, she and her husband, Larry Weiss, chose Great Wall China Adoption ( At the time, their biological son, Jacob, now 16, was 2 1/2. Sarah, who was born in Yulin, China, is now 13. “I was perfectly happy to have a ready-made child and (from) China in


particular because the need is so great,” says Cooper, who had difficulty conceiving their first child and was over 40 at the time. Cooper’s family prepared for a second, adopted child the same as they would have if she was biological, she says. Before Sarah arrived, they “talked a lot about ‘bringing a baby sister home’ and made sure there were no secrets when discussing adoption with family and friends,” she says. “Like when someone is pregnant with a second child, we prepared our first child before the next one came home.” When they traveled to China, it was also important that Jacob stay with Debbie’s mother, because she was “someone he felt secure with,” says Cooper. When they returned home, establishing a routine was important in helping the family adjust, she adds. “Our overall values are consistent for each of us in our family, but just like adults, each child is an individual,” says Cooper. “To be an effective parent, you must parent to the child and that might be different for each child in your family (no matter whether they are biological or adopted).”



By Marla Hardee Milling WNC Parent contributor


ne thing’s for certain, when you’re expecting a baby most everyone will have some pearls of wisdom to hand to you. Whether it’s comments on labor and delivery to “sleep when baby sleeps” to breast-feeding or ways to keep your child occupied, the suggestions will run the gamut. We asked some area moms their best baby tips. Some of their thoughts might surprise you. Carole Hoffman Howell raised her two boys in East Asheville before moving to Lincolnton, N.C., where she helps care for a grandchild. She says one of the biggest pieces of advice she can give is to avoid the mindset that you have to have the latest and greatest baby gear. “You can change a baby on the bed without buying a changing table,” says Howell. “When I see the parenting magazines, I get a big kick out of the all the things they call ‘must haves’ — a $150 diaper bag, for instance. It’s just all a lot of hype


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and advertisement.” Howell says new moms can also cut back on the number of infant outfits and toys that they may only use for a short time. Kellie Case Whittemore, of Arden, raised a son and daughter and now has a 3-year-old granddaughter, Chyanna, whom she helps raise. She agrees that you can often improvise with things you have at home instead of buying all the new gadgets. “The kitchen sink is the best bathtub,” she says. “My kids loved playing with pots and pans, and I made a rattle out of jar lids and string and Chy still plays with it.” Scheduling a little quiet time in the house is a salvation for Candler mom Mindi Montgomery, who has four children — two girls and two boys — younger than 10. “If you have multiple kids, designate one hour out of each day for quiet time,” Montgomery shares. “It may be hard at first to get everyone down at the same time, but once everyone is the routine you will appreciate the hour of solitude every day. Our children are 9, 7, 4 and 2, and we have been doing this for nine years. The older ones do not take naps but they do have quiet time with books, schoolwork, art projects, or playing with their toys.” Sleep is often a key issue for new parents dealing with late night feedings and diaper changes. North Asheville mom Amy Schutz Kelso advises new moms to get a copy of the book “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc


Don’t stress on being perfect. Your baby needs your love. There is nothing else more perfect than your love. SUE MAGLEY

a Weaverville nurse and mom of two teens

Weissbluth, M.D. “Sleep begets sleep,” she says. “Use this book like a bible, and you will have kids who are good sleepers for life.” “Make sure to learn CPR,” says Sue Magley, a nurse and Weaverville mom of two teens. “Choking is a common problem. Children go into respiratory arrest before they go into cardiac arrest. The Red Cross offers affordable classes and Mission also offers new parent classes.” “Let them eat some dirt,” says Sandy Waldrop, whose daughter is now in college. While that comment sounds funny, she explains why she is serious. “We are getting our children and ourselves so clean that we are going to create super bugs. Every time I am told to use antibacterial anything I decline.” If you plan to breast-feed, Suzie Hein-


miller Boatright, of Fletcher, says it’s important to introduce formula to your infant, too. “Pick a feeding time each day to give the baby formula instead of breast milk,” she says. ”If an emergency comes up and there is no breast milk available, the baby will take the formula without a fuss because they have had the formula in a bottle. Also, another person can feed the baby, and it makes it less stressful for the baby and caregivers.” Let go of any pressure to conform to the wishes of others. Do what is ultimately best for you and your baby. Howell says she faced this lesson when she made a decision to not breast-feed her children. “When I told the lactation consultants at the hospital that I didn’t intend to breast-feed, I not only got the third degree I got a confrontation. It made me feel like a horrible mother.” April Nance of East Asheville says it’s okay to relax. “My best advice to new mothers is to resist the urge to compare your parenting style to other moms thinking they are doing everything right while you might stumble. It’s all good.” Magley agrees. “Don’t stress on being perfect,” she says. “Your baby needs your love. There is nothing else more perfect than your love.” “Make sure to rock them and hold them as much as you can,” adds Whittemore. “They are only babies for a very short time.” And don’t think you can spoil a baby, says Marcia Layton Turner. “Pick it up every time it cries. It will learn trust.”


THE RIGHT TIMING Families find perks, downsides to kid spacing

By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor


o, kids close together or far apart? There are advantages and disadvantages to both schemes. Amy Burle and her husband had two daughters — both planned — before they were surprised by two sons. The first son, now 2, was born six years after his younger older sister. The second son was born in mid-June. Having the older girls to help out, “I feel like a celebrity with a nanny,” said Burle, who lives in Candler. The girls are happy to pick up the baby or get a bottle. Which is good, because having another child after the last one starts school brought Burle back to the slow, pokey days where getting everything together and everyone in the car takes forever. “All that gear and waking up every two hours again — you’ve


fallen out of the habit of doing that,” she said. It takes a while to get back into a rhythm. So it’s great to have the older children to help out. “I remember my oldest daughter when we had our first son, she said, ‘I love him so much I can’t stand it,’” Burle said. “The girls are old enough to feel like little mommies. There’s that little bit of extra love that you don’t feel if you’re nearly as young as your siblings. The girls fight as much as they play together. But they’re different with the boys.” Rachael Stephenson, who has a 12-year-old daughter and a 2-yearold son, said there are “a bunch of good reasons and a bunch of bad reasons” to have children so far apart. Not that she planned it that way, the Black Mountain resident said. That’s just the way it worked out for her and her fiancé. The good reasons are that the daughter takes care of the son, and the son looks up to her, Stephenson said. The bad ones include him wanting to do what she’s doing, and

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her not always wanting him around. “Like we went to the water park this summer, me and my fiancé with my children and my daughter’s best friend,” she said. “The girls wanted to go on the roller coaster. And the baby, he wanted to but he can’t. If Sissy’s going somewhere and he can’t, he gets upset. And if she wants my attention, but I can’t give it to her because I’m watching him, she gets upset. When you have kids that are 10 years apart, you have to split your days up sometimes. Sometimes it’s difficult, and sometimes it’s easy.” It’s easy for developmental things in which Sissy can act as a mentor. When she’s brushing her teeth, little brother wants to brush his as well. It’s easy when it’s companionable, like when she’ll watch a movie he’s watching, or when he’ll climb up on the bed to watch a movie with her. But then there are days when he gets on her nerves and Sissy kicks him out of her room and locks the door, said her sympathetic mother. “Some days, it’s like cat and mouse — they’re going at it from morning to dusk,” Stephenson said. Those are the days when she gets wistful when she sees parents with children close in age. Renee Naisang’s family is like that. Naisang and her husband, resi-

dents of Fairview, planned to have one child a year, and now they have six who are seven and a half years apart. When children are closely spaced, “you have built-in best friends,” Naisang said. “There have definitely been advantages, like moving from one stage to the next as a group.” Naisang saw how close kids close together could be when she was a nanny in college at N.C. State University. The family she worked for had five boys and an “awesome” mother that Naisang wanted to be like. “She said to me, if you want a big family, have them as closely together as possible,” she said. But there’s a big downside to close spacing, and it’s financial. Right now, she and her husband have two children heading off to college. “That’s frightening,” she said. “Most likely they’ll graduate with college loans. That’s definitely one reason to space out your children. The college burden is huge.” And don’t get her started about the costs of prom or gassing up the Chevrolet Suburban. But right now her kids are such big friends that she wouldn’t change a thing, even if their 10-year-old son (“the most photographed kid on Instagram”) would Continues on Page 12



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like to be less adored by his college-bound sister, she said. Naisang believes her brood will always be good friends. “It really has worked for us, and we love it,” she said. Julie Adkins’ two children are four grades apart. This year they’ll be at the same school, which is really convenient. She and her husband, who live in North Asheville, didn’t plan a just-over-three-year gap between children — “that’s just how nature worked out,” she said — but it’s been good. Their daughter was pottytrained and independent when their second came along. And she was getting ready to start preschool, a fortuitous development that allowed Adkins more time with the new baby. Negatives, she said, include they’re being at different schools from here on out. And whereas before the younger son, now in school, readily went


along with his older sister’s wishes, he’s not so compliant now. There’s a lot of arguing. “He realizes that he doesn’t always have to play what his sister wants to play,” their mother said. Like most of her friends, Adkins and her husband had planned to have children two years apart. “You’re sort of led to believe that if you have them two years apart, they’ll grow up closer together,” she said. “They could be playmates and friends.

And you get through all the baby stages in one big chunk rather than spreading it out more. If you go from a kid in diapers to another kid in diapers, they’re in a same place. They’re in the same play category. They have the same interests.”

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Tattoos, bands warn of allergies By Lindsay Friedman USA TODAY

Parents whose kids have severe food allergies know they can’t be too careful — in a child allergic to peanuts, one taste of peanut butter could cause a deadly reaction. So parents are coming up with ways to remind new teachers, classmates and babysitters to be extra careful. Michele Walsh, a mother of three from Baltimore, created SafetyTat after having to write safety information on each of her kids’ arms during a family trip. The company sells brightly colored temporary tattoos or long-lasting writeon stickers ($19.99 from that can be placed prominently on a child’s arm, with notices such as “ALERT: NUT ALLERGY” or other critical information. When you leave a child in someone else’s care at school or camp, “no matter how many times you fill out the forms, you’re still taking a leap of faith,” Walsh says. “This is like my voice with my son

SafetyTat ( sells colorful temporary tattoos and long-lasting write-in stickers to put on kids’ arms to alert others to food allergies and other medical conditions. SAFETYTAT

when I’m not there. It’s almost like teaching them ‘stop, drop and roll...’ They know exactly what to do.” Other available alert products include medical alert wristbands, necklaces and T-shirts. Lauren’s Hope creates metal and silicone medical alert bracelets for both boys and girls, and a company called Allermates offers allergy education tools, stickers, alert bracelets and other products for kids.


Allermates was created by Iris Shamus, inspired by her son’s multiple allergies and an incident at school. “When you have a child with a food allergy, you’re always worried. It’s just part of your life,” she says. “I wanted to have something a little more personalized for him to remind teachers and babysitters.” It began with a fun necklace, then a wristband and a large selection of products accompanied by cartoon characters such as Nutso, a charming peanut, to help her son understand, remember and confidently discuss his allergies. More than 3 million kids have been diagnosed with food allergies, according to 2012 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 200 deaths are reported a year. “Anything that can help educate the patient about their problem and continue to make them aware about it is helpful whether it’s a temporary tattoo or a warning bracelet,” says Stan Fineman, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist in Atlanta.




By Betty Lynne Leary, WNC Parent contributor

s parents, we are both blessed and cursed with perspective. Your teenage daughter’s meltdown over a friend’s teasing about her new hairstyle may seem trivial when compared to looming job cuts at work and a stack of unpaid bills. For you, it’s an unpleasant exchange soon forgotten. For her, it’s a devastating betrayal that may lead to anxiety and self-doubt. “Relationship dynamics are a big anxiety issue, especially with teenage girls,” says Shannon South, an Asheville-area licensed professional counselor, author and speaker. “And when differences exist, kids often don’t have a strong enough sense of self to navigate these waters.” Relationship issues are but one anxiety trigger for children and teens. Moving to a new town, starting in a new school, or even moving up a grade with a tougher course load can bring on anxious feelings. Children who live in fear for their physical or emotional safety may experience even deeper levels of anxiety. “The physical symptoms of anxiety may run from digestive issues like stomach aches to headaches or a heavy chest feeling,” South explains. “Others may have shortness of breath, grind their teeth, be irritable, or display nervous habits like pulling their hair.” She notes that a lack of sleep can exacerbate the problem. “If kids are anxious or if there is too much change in their lives without communication from the parent, having too little sleep can become a huge issue,” she says. “When a child rests, it allows him to integrate the



day and his nervous system can recover.” South encourages parents to be a calming presence with anxious children to help them process and integrate their experiences. She also recommends teaching relaxation

methods such as aromatherapy, using warm packs, and other self-soothing techniques to help kids dispel anxiety. Carl Mumpower, a clinical and family psychologist in Asheville, notes that children who are anxious very rarely look that way. “They mask it much like adults. A parent really has to pay attention and be engaged and concerned to note the signals,” he explains. “I encourage parents to remember the anxiety triangle of worry, fear and self-criticalness. When you see evidence of all three, it's a good indicator of an anxiety condition.” Mumpower notes that kids and teens may seem distracted, worried, insecure or detached when they are anxious and may be more susceptible to drug abuse or other addictions. Other red flags to watch for include a change in patterns of behavior, trouble communicating or making eye contact, moodiness, or a fear of trying new things. “Children and teens are walking on a slippery and melting bridge as they struggle toward adulthood. They need our persistent help, encouragement, and nudging to get across,” Mumpower says, adding that parents need to stay connected and engaged with their children to help with this journey. Above all else, Mumpower recommends love. “Love is the great compensator for all difficulties of the heart and mind. Life is hard for everyone, but it is easier when you have a buffer of love from someone who believes in you,” he says. “Anxiety is a messenger telling us that things are not OK. If we listen to that messenger and fix what’s broken, he goes away. If we don’t, he'll stay for a lifetime.”

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ERs treat 34 kids a day for choking By Michelle Healy USA TODAY

More than 12,000 children under age 14 are treated annually in hospital emergency departments for nonfatal choking involving food — about 34 children a day, a new study says. Kids younger than 4 are most often endangered, and hard candy causes the most nonfatal choking episodes (16 percent) among all children under age 14, followed by other types of candy (13 percent), meat other than hot dogs (12 percent), bones (12 percent), and fruits and vegetables (10 percent), says the study in Pediatrics, published online last month. “Other high-risk foods, such as hot dogs, which can totally block the airway of a small child, or seeds and nuts, which can be difficult for them to chew, are more likely to lead to hospitalizations,” says Gary Smith, senior author of the study and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. In 10 percent of these cases, children had to be hospitalized and often had to undergo a bronchoscopy — “a serious, invasive procedure” — to have the food removed from their airway, he says. The study, conducted in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, analyzed hospital emergency department data from 2001-09 from the federal government’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program. » Kids under age 4 accounted for 62 percent of all nonfatal food-related chokings; kids under age 1 accounted for 38 percent of cases. » Boys accounted for 55 percent of cases. » The top four food types alone accounted for more than half of all choking episodes. “The main thing with these cases is that they are almost always preventable,” says David Walner, a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.



guest columnist

Let the school year begin! By Susanna Barbee WNC Parent contributor

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m the spawn of two educators, or if it’s because I am an educator myself, or because my husband is a principal. Perhaps it’s because I truly embraced my own school experience. Whatever the reason, I love the beginning of the school year. When the seasonal shelves at the retailers switch from beach chairs and patio furniture to pencils and notebooks, I feel a child-like giddiness. I know it’s crazy that I’m seemingly choosing school over the beach, but it’s the way I feel, and I’m sticking to it. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been teaching part-time and freelance writing part-time so that I can be home


more with my two little boys. I quit teaching entirely for about six months when my youngest was an infant, and the only time I felt an ounce of regret about that choice was when the buses started rolling, the bells started ringing, and I was at home instead of in my classroom meeting my new group of students. Teaching is a hard job. The legislation is constantly changing, the pay is abysmal, and there is never enough funding for anything. Further, countless unpaid hours are spent at night and on weekends grading, planning and worrying about an exchange with a student or whether or not a child has eaten during the time he’s been away from school. With that being the reality, why do teachers like me get so excited about the new school year? It’s a fresh start. It’s a time to try new things. It’s a year to watch a child or young adult learn and grow. This coming year I am excited to be working as an instructional coach part-

time. My children are only 4 years and 19 months old, so they are not in “big boy” school yet; however, I still bought my little one his first backpack with his name monogrammed on it and my older child a big boy lunch tote with his name on it. I know what’s going to happen. I’ve been an educator for almost a decade. This beginning-of-the-year giddiness will wane relatively quickly, and then the dreaded cold and dreary months begin. Teachers have to dig to the depths of their creative souls to stimulate and excite students. This is a rough time for educators and students alike. But those frigid, grueling months are eons away. For now, I am extremely excited for this new school year, a time to rise early, work hard, and make it count for each and every student. Susanna Barbee is a local mom, writer and educator. Find more on her blog, Reach her at

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guest columnist

Do you know the budget’s impact? By Michael Miller Special to WNC Parent

Through my involvement in public education over the last 17 years, whenever I became aware of various pieces of education legislation being considered, I often wondered if legislators had a true understanding of how their bill would impact students. Even more importantly, I have wondered how aware parents are of the impact that certain bills would have on their children, once they were passed. For the sake of this piece, let us take a look at a particular set of provisions in the budget that impact your student directly. These provisions will serve to reduce the number of highly qualified educators in North Carolina. Many will move to another state, but there will also be a substantial number of educators living in counties adjacent to neighboring states who will simply look for a teaching position across the

state line where they will earn a salary higher than in their home state of North Carolina. Here is a summary: 1. Absolutely no pay increase for any teacher. Last year, N.C. was ranked 46th in teacher pay. Expect to be even lower this year. How does this impact your child? 2. Beginning next school year, the state will not pay a teacher with an advanced degree (master’s) any more than a teacher with a bachelor’s degree. So, how does this impact your child? 3. Elimination of Teaching Fellows Program. This program trained future educators for work with students in North Carolina. This was a great way to recruit aspiring teachers right out of high school to go through our state universities and return the favor by being fantastic teachers in our public schools. How does this impact your student? These provisions not only remove incentives for current teachers to im-


prove their practice by pursuing advanced training, but they remove incentives for future teachers to enter the education field in North Carolina. And these provisions make it more difficult for someone who teaches to be able to pay their bills. What will happen to the quality of instruction if quality teachers realize they cannot make a living by teaching in the classroom? Sure, one might note that I am an educator, and I have a certain bias. However, if one just takes a logical view of these provisions, it isn’t hard to see that when you eliminate any pay increase, and you remove a revolutionary program from our state teacher education programs, your classrooms will suffer from a reduction in quality teachers. How does that impact your child? I encourage you to sit down with his or her teacher and ask. Michael Miller is the principal at Asheville Catholic School,



HICKORY NUT GAP FARM: Visit the Fairview farm 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Pumpkin patch, apples, tricycle rides, food trucks, more. $7 adults, $5 children 3 and older, free for 2 and younger. Admission covers all farm activities for the day. Visit

Sept. 6-15

NC MOUNTAIN STATE FAIR: Family oriented agricultural fair with competitions, displays, midway games, food and more at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher. Hours: 9 a.m.-1 a.m. Sept. 6 and 13; 9 a.m.midnight Sept. 7; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 8; 3-11 p.m.


The racing pigs continue to draw enthusiastic fans at the Hogway Speedway as the Mountain State Fair at the WNC Agricultural Center. This year’s fair is Sept. 6-15. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

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Sept. 9-12; 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 15. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-12 and 65 plus. Group discounts available. Visit

Starting Sept. 6

ELIADA FIELDS OF FUN CORN MAZE: Corn maze over 12 acres of campus of Eliada Home in West Asheville. Maze has two storybook trails. With other activities like haybale maze, hay ride, pumpkin patch, barrel train, giant tube slides, corn cannons and more. This year’s theme is “Love Asheville Give Local.” Open 4-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 6-Oct. 27. $9 for ages 12 and older, $6 ages 4-11. Visit

Sept. 7

KIDFEST: Guided hikes, games, storytellers, music and more at Grandfather Mountain. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Visit

Sept. 8

ORGANICFEST: Annual celebration of everything organic and green. Free. With organic eats, live music, drawings, marketplace, wellness services and more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Pack Square Park. Visit

Sept. 20-21

SOUTHEAST TRIBES FESTIVAL: Eighth-annual event at Cherokee Fairgrounds. Visit

Sept. 21

FALL INTO THE FARM: A free family festival including square dancing, dairy goat demonstrations, bird walks, nature tours and more. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, Flat Rock. Visit FUN FEST: Free outdoor festival for families, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in parking lot at Dancing Bear Toys, 518 Kenilworth Road, Asheville. Showcases 16 kidfriendly businesses and community organizations, with disc golf, face painting, crafts, giant games and a Lego table. Also a bike rodeo and safety check; kids can borrow a bike or bring their own. Visit MOUNTAIN LIFE FESTIVAL: Demonstrations including making of soap, apple cider, hominy, sorghum molasses and more. At Oconoluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit SMOKIN BBQ AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Cold Mountain Corn Maize, Canton. Visit or call 648-8575. YOUTH ARTS FESTIVAL: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Jackson County Green Energy Park, Dillsboro. Visit

Sept. 21-22

FLOCK TO THE ROCK: Learn about the birds of Chimney Rock. Weekend of birding events including guided walks, workshops ranging from bird photography to hummingbirds, hawk watches, family nature walks and kids activities, free with admission. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 21 and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 22.


Early Bird Migration Watch on Sept. 22 is $20 for adults, $5 for passholders. Visit HERITAGE WEEKEND: 33rd annual event at Folk Art Center with sheep shearing demonstrations, experts on beekeeping, rifle making, coopering, heritage toy making, natural dyeing, spinning and more. World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle competition is 2-3 p.m. Sept. 21. Visit

Sept. 27-Nov. 2

GHOST TRAIN: Tweetsie Railroad’s 24th annual celebration, 7:30-11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 2, in Blowing Rock. Ghost train rides, haunted house, Halloween shows, 3-D maze, trickor-treating. $28 per person. Visit .

Sept. 28

OLD TIMEY DAY: 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Henderson County Curb Market, 221 N. Church St., Hendersonville. Sausage and ham biscuits cooked on a wood stove, music, antique display, demonstrations and more. Call 692-8012 or visit MOUNTAIN HERITAGE DAY: Western Carolina University, Cullowhee. Celebrating traditional Appalachian culture with shapenote singing, Cherokee stickball games, chainsaw competition, children’s activities, more. Visit

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fall festivals

CORN MAZES BLUE RIDGE CORN MAZE: Six-acre maze at 1605 Everett Road, Pisgah Forest. Self-serve hours. Instructions are posted at the gate to send visitors to the field, then more instructions help people navigate the maze. $7 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Group rates. Visit or call 226-0508.

WNC Nature Center hosts the 37th annual Hey Day on Oct. 12. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the WNC Nature. COLBY RABON/WNC PARENT PHOTO Continued from Page 19

traditions of the region.

Oct. 1-5

Starts Oct. 5

101st ANNUAL INDIAN FAIR: Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds, U.S. 441, Cherokee. Entertainment, midway games, food, traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Visit

Oct. 5

FARM CITY DAY: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jackson Park, Hendersonville. Antique and modern farm equipment, music, square dancing, clogging, food, petting zoo, more. Visit GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH EXPRESS: Weekends starting Oct. 5, Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s Bryson City depot. Meet the Peanuts characters, listen to “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” select a pumpkin, hay rides, temporary tattoos, campfire marshmallows, more. Wear costumes and trick-or-treat. Starting Oct. 5, train rides 3 p.m. Fridays (starting Oct. 11), 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $55, $31 age 2-12. Visit or call 488-7000 or 800-872-4681. LUNSFORD FESTIVAL: Mars Hill College. Honoring Bascom Lamar Lunsford and the music and dance


STINGY JACKS PUMPKIN PATCH: Fall festival featuring Stingy’s Illuminated Pumpkin Trail created by local artists out of pumpkins that light up when the sun goes down. Pumpkin Cariving Contest for ages 13 and older each weekend. From 5:30-10 p.m. Oct. 5, 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26. At Mountains & Meadows Events Center at Turkey Pen, 324 McGuire Road, Pisgah Forest. Visit

Oct. 5-6

AUTUMN AT OZ PARTY: Beech Mountain Resort, Banner Elk. 20th annual festival with expanded venue, with more activities, concessions and sights. Open 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. with trips each hour until 5:30 p.m. Tour the old Land of Oz theme park. Take the ski lift or bus to mountaintop to meet Dorothy, visit museum, tour Dorothy’s house, stroll the yellow brick road. Music, dancing, food, hay rides, petting zoo, bonfire and more. $20 advance, $25 at gate, free age 2 and younger. Property not accessible for wheelchairs or large strollers. 387-9283 or JOHN C. CAMPBELL FOLK SCHOOL FALL FESTIVAL: 40th annual festival

with fine crafts, craft-making demonstrations, music and dance performances, kids’ activities, more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the school in Brasstown. $5, $3 age 12-17, free age 11 and younger.

Oct. 12

FALL BY THE TRACKS: In Black Mountain. Old Depot Association hosts 16th annual festival. Fall by the Tracks 5K Fun Run starts at 10 a.m. With local arts, crafts and festivities in a familyfriendly setting. Visit HERITAGE DAY: Make apple butter at the fire ring, Cold Mountain Corn Maze, 4168 Pisgah Drive, Canton. Visit HEY DAY: At 10 a.m. at WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. The 37th annual fall family festival with face painting, pumpkin painting, performances, animals and more. Call 298-5600 or visit MINERAL CITY HERITAGE FESTIVAL: Food, crafts, children’s activities and more, Spruce Pine. Visit MOUNTAIN GLORY FESTIVAL: Street festival with arts and crafts, food, quilt show, children’s area, more. 9:30

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COLD MOUNTAIN CORN MAIZE: 4168 Pisgah Drive, along N.C. 110, south of Canton. Opens Sept. 14, 1-9 p.m. Runs until Nov. 2. Admission $8 for ages 4 and older, $2 for hay rides. Haunted maze in October. Group rates. Call 648-8575 or visit www.themaize. com. ELIADA FIELDS OF FUN CORN MAZE: Corn maze over 12 acres of campus of Eliada Home in West Asheville. Maze has two storybook trails. With other activities like haybale maze, hay ride, pumpkin patch, barrel train, giant tube slides, corn cannons and more. This year’s theme is “Love Asheville Give Local.” Open 4-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 6-Oct. 27. $9 for ages 12 and older, $6 ages 4-11. At 2 Compton Drive, Asheville. Visit HICKORY NUT GAP FARM: Visit the Fairview farm from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through October. Try the maze, pick a pumpkin, buy organic apples, hold a baby chick, visit with animals and more. New culvert slide from orchard to barn. $7 adults, $5 children 3 and older, free for 2 and younger. Hayrides $3, horse rides $7. Visit



fall festivals Continued from Page 20 a.m.-5 p.m., downtown Marion. Visit

Oct. 12-13

OKTOBERFEST: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sugar Mountain Resort, 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Banner Elk. Bavarian music, German and American food, lift rides, children’s fun center, hay rides, craft fair, winter sports shop sale, performances by Avery Smooth Dancers & Mountain Laurel Cloggers. Free admission and parking. TRYON ARTS AND CRAFTS FALL FESTIVAL: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 13, Tryon Arts and Crafts School, 373 Harmon Field Road, Tryon. Artisans, demonstrations, kids activities. Free admission but donations accepted. Call 859-8323 or visit

Oct. 17-20

CRAFT FAIR OF THE SOUTHER HIGHLANDS: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 17-19 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 20, U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St., Asheville. Crafters from around Appalachia show and sell their work. $8, free to ages 11 and younger. 298-7928. LAKE EDEN ARTS FESTIVAL: Weekend of art, music and outdoor fun at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain. Visit


Oct. 19

APPLE HARVEST FESTIVAL: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in downtown Waynesville. The 25th annual event with arts, crafts, entertainment, food and apples. Visit

Oct. 19-20

OOLLY WORM FESTIVAL: Celebrate the coming of the snow season, Oct. 19-20 in downtown Banner Elk. Arts and crafts, music, food, the woolly worm races and more. Visit or call 898-5605.

Oct. 20

HARDLOX: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Pack Square Park, downtown Asheville. Jewish food and heritage festival, with traditional music and dance, crafts, food, children’s activities. Visit

Oct. 24-26

FALL HARVEST DAYS: Vendors, farm tools, 28th Antique Engine and Tractor Show, more. Tractor parade daily at 3 p.m., weather permitting. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at WNC Agricultural Center, Fletcher. $8 per day, children under 12 free with paid adult. Visit

Oct. 26

BEARY SCARY HALLOWEEN: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Grandfather Mountain, Linville. Crafts, nature program, costume contest and more. Visit

W N C PA R E N T | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 3 HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL: Kate’s Park, Hendersonville Road, Fletcher. Games, face painting, prizes and costume contest for ages 11 and younger. Call 687-0751 or visit PUMPKINFEST: Hayrides, trick-or-treating, a pumpkin roll, more, in downtown Franklin. Call 524-2516 or visit HALLOWEEN CARNIVAL: Carver Community Center, Black Mountain. Candy, carnival games, magician, bounce house, crafts, food, more. Free. Visit HALLOWEENFEST: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., downtown Brevard. Great Pumpkin roll, costume parade, trick-or-treat, family activities, more. Flight of the Vampire 5K Run starts at 9 a.m. Call 884-3278 or visit HOWL-O-WEEN: 10 a.m. at WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Games, presentations, crafts and moreVisit or call 259-8080.

Oct. 31

TRICK-OR-TREAT STREET: 4:30-7:30 p.m. at gazebo on Main Street, downtown Hendersonville. With Halloween costume contest at 5:30 p.m. Visit

Nov. 10

Rosmary Acker tastes Jewish foods at the Asheville Jewish Community Center's booth during Hardlox, Asheville’s Jewish Food and Heritage Festival, last year. This year’s event is Oct. 20. JOHN FLETCHER/WNC PARENT PHOTO


JCC CRAFT FAIR: 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Asheville Jewish Community Center, 236 Charlotte St. Call 2530701 or visit


guest columnist

Making the hospital less scary By Kendra Jarvis

WNC Parent Contributor


manda Suhrke has a special job. She works with a puppet, carries around a stuffed animal named Josh, has access to numerous toys and knows her way around a surgery center. Suhrke is a child family life specialist at Mission Hospital’s Asheville Surgery Center. Recently my 5-year-old daughter had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids, and although more than 530,000 of these procedures are performed in the United States each year, my husband and I were nervous. We didn’t know how to answer our daughter’s questions, how we could prepare her for surgery, or how to assure her that she would be OK. We were grateful that Asheville Surgery Center had a child life specialist on staff. Child life specialists are professionals who are trained in helping children and their families overcome challenging events such as cancer treatments, surgery and other medical procedures. Many specialists work in a medical environment, but others are employed at schools and even funeral homes. “A common fear parents have is they want to protect their child, and they’re not sure exactly how to tell them what’s going to happen,” says Tara Horan, manager of Mission Hospital’s child life department. “We want to make sure families always know they can reach out to Mission Hospital’s Child Family Department for help.” She reports that Mission’s Children’s Hospital serves more than 20,000 children a year in nine locations. In order to help kids understand medical procedures, Mission’s child life specialists use iPads, donated by the Glass Foundation, to show kid-friendly pictures and explain the procedure. Depending on the child’s age, they may use puppets or a surgical doll. “Kids can practice medical procedures on the doll prior to their own procedure to help them feel more comfortable with what’s going to happen,” Horan says. “Sometimes we use expressive art activities, such as music and art for chil-


Amanda Suhrke shows child-friendly explanatory photos to Anna Grace Jarvis on an iPad at Mission Children’s Hospital. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

dren who don’t have the verbal ability to express their anxiety.” At Asheville Surgery Center, Amanda took us on a tour of the center, introduced us to staff and explained where each part of the procedure would take place. She also spent time with our daughter, showing her pictures of a puppet getting his tonsils removed, and let her play dress up with a surgical mask and a scrub cap. Before we left, Amanda gave our daughter a book titled “I’ll Be O.K.,”

along with a plush golden retriever puppy named Josh, who’s a character in the story. The book explained what happens during surgery, and Amanda encouraged us to read the book together. In addition to the iPads, MRI goggles — funded by a Berger Foundation grant — are the newest device in the child life specialist’s toolkit. The goggles, known as Cinemavision, have no metal components, allowing children to wear them during an MRI procedure and watch a movie. MRI procedures can last up to 45 minutes, and staying still can be difficult for small children. The video goggles help take the patient’s mind off of the procedure. Mission Health employs nine child

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PREPARING YOUR CHILD FOR SURGERY The following tips for parents were provided by Mission Children’s Hospital: » Provide accurate, age appropriate information. » Allow your child to ask the doctor and nurses questions. » Present a calm attitude, so your child will be calm too. » Bring a favorite toy to the hospital. » Request a child life specialist.

GET INVOLVED » If you are interested in donating to or volunteering at Mission Hospital’s Child Life Department, call 213-1055 or visit » To make a donation to Josh and Friends visit friend.php.

life specialists and one child life assistant. The specialists have a background in psychology and child development. “Our job is to come along side the medical staff and share the experience with kids and their families,” Horan says. Mission’s child life specialists work to help ease fears and anxieties before or during a medical procedure through education, equipment procedure demonstrations, step-by-step explanations of what to expect during a procedure, surgery tours and the teaching of coping skills through play. Mission’s child family department was founded in 2005 and serves children and families in each Mission location serving child patients. “We are here to help families have an exceptional experience,” Horan says. “Kids don’t cope and learn the way adults do. They need to play though their worries.” With the economy still in a slump and medical costs rising, many families are struggling financially — but the child life specialists are a free service. “We never charge families for our services,” Horan says. “The Josh kits (the plush toy and book), toys, iPads and MRI goggles are all funded through grants and donations.” The day of our daughter’s surgery, Amanda met us at the front desk with my daughter’s favorite toys and books. Knowing she was there to walk us through the next few hours made everything OK.



artist’s muse

Trust can lead to creativity By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

As we all head back to school, I am reflecting on our school’s amazing summer of experiences engaging our students in many different creative disciplines — from visual art, to music, to dance, and even balloon twisting! The one word that continues to resurface is TRUST. I have found that — especially with our youngest students — allowing them to feel your trust helps to propel their discovery of their own creative spirit. Trust with real art materials and supplies. Trust with mark making that is all their own — not guided or template driven. Trust with color and subject choices. Trust to try something new — completely on their own. Trust to work in a group and collaborate on a project without any help. These types of experiences are the foundation to building the confidence that is so important in problem solving, decision making, and working together with others. One such project this summer was creating a monster through drawing and painting with our 3- to 5-year-olds. It was a simple project. However, the process and results were incredibly powerful. I walked the students through a discussion about what makes a monster a monster. We reflected that there are many more types of monsters than just scary ones. Each child had an idea of what shape, color, number of eyes, arms, legs, etc., their own monster would have. And then we sat down with our materials. Each child had a large sheet of paper and their choice of colored Sharpie marker. We walked through a series of questions or tasks — all with a drawing response. For example: “What shape is your monster? Take up as much room on your paper as possible!” And with each new question or task, the students traded Sharpie markers with their neighbors. The last piece of the drawing was


Summer students used Sharpie markers and watercolors to create their vision of a monster. PHOTOS BY GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

adding small details with a fine-tip black Sharpie marker. Then we went on to adding colors using watercolor paint. The students could add paint wherever they felt like their monster needed it. What I loved about the results were how completely different EVERY one was. And how each monster truly represented his or her “artist owner” perfect-

ly. Do not hesitate to TRUST in your own child’s creative abilities. They will never fail to amaze you! Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design, offering visual art and design education for all ages. Email her at or visit

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By Karen Weintraub Special for USA TODAY

Lea Lewis Lepiarz, 10, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was swinging on the higher of the uneven parallel bars when her fingers slipped. Instead of a graceful arc around the bar, she crashed headfirst to the ground as her mother, Lisa Lewis, watched in horror. Lea got back up, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. But the next morning, she awoke feeling lousy, and an hour into the school day, Lea was at the nurse’s office, complaining of nausea, dizziness and headache. She was later diagnosed with a concussion and told to give her body and brain a rest for a week. That week stretched into two, as her balance problems and moodiness lingered. “It was scary,” Lewis says. Fear of concussions is rampant in gyms and along the sidelines of playing fields, and parents are increasingly concerned about longterm effects. Lewis, a professional circus acrobat, says she’s taken plenty of knocks on the head herself but was anxious for her daughter. “For my child to stay right-sideup for a week is a challenge,” she says. “Telling her not to do homework is fine. Telling her she couldn’t flip or turn a cartwheel wasn’t easy.” Most kids, like Lea, bounce back after a few weeks of rest. For others, recovery can take months. And tales from the world of professional athletics are shocking, with reports of increased risk of suicides and an Alzheimer’s-like condition linked to repeated concussions. No one knows how many blows to the head it takes to cause these problems, but doctors say they’re generally more concerned about the second and third concussions than the first.


Lea Lewis Lepiarz was flipping around the uneven parallel bars when her fingers slipped. Her landing left her with a concussion. ROBERT DEUTSCH/USA TODAY

Studies show it takes longer to recover from a second concussion if it follows soon after a first; once someone has one concussion, he is more likely to get more. But scientists aren’t yet certain that the second is always worse. It’s possible that after the first, people are simply more likely to recognize and seek medical treatment when it happens again. Avoiding concussions isn’t easy. Accidents will always happen. But there are ways to minimize risk. Coaches need to teach kids how to minimize head-injury risks whenever possible — such as tackling in football — and enforce safety rules already on the books, says Dennis Cardone, Lea’s doctor and a sports medicine specialist at NYU’s Comprehensive Concussion Center.

Neurosurgery professor Robert Cantu of Boston University says some sports need to change their practices to reduce concussion risk. He thinks kids should not be allowed to head a soccer ball until at least age 14; ditto for playing tackle football. Helmets are great at protecting against skull fractures and catastrophic head injuries but can’t prevent concussions, Cardone says. Treatment generally consists of taking it easy for a few days or a few weeks, depending on the severity of the concussion. Everyone’s recovery is different, so there are no set guidelines for how much rest is enough. Jeffrey Kutcher, a sports neurologist at the University of Michigan, says some doctors overdo the

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SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUNG ATHLETES » A visit to the doctor is in order after any hit to the head that results in headache, nausea, dizziness or a change in consciousness — getting knocked out, feeling dazed or having amnesia of the event. Some states, such as Massachusetts, require a doctor’s signature before a student athlete is allowed back on the playing field after a concussion. » Rest is the best treatment for the first few days after a concussion. Get a professional opinion about when symptoms have abated enough. » Try to avoid repeat injuries after a concussion, particularly in the first few months. Increase safety precautions, retrain in sports to protect the head and ask coaches to be more vigilant about safety. » Consider a neurologist visit if symptoms don’t resolve within a few weeks. But beware those who stress rigid rules (“All concussions must be treated like … ”) rather than individualized care. » Don’t cut practice time in an attempt to protect your student athlete. One recent study suggested that concussions are much more likely to happen during games. Practice time is when children learn the skills they will need to play safely.

rest. For most people, two to three days should be enough. “You should rest until you can essentially tolerate routine daily activities without getting a lot worse,” he says. “If your headache increases a little bit, that’s not the end of the world. If you can’t stand it, that’s a different story.” Experts are thrilled that coaches and parents are now taking concussion seriously, but they say the fear has perhaps gone too far. “I am so happy to have raised awareness, but I think we’re driving people over the edge,” says Gerard Gioia, a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington. Lewis says she’s had to learn to cope with her fears since Lea’s accident, insisting that the coach spot Lea on the bars and making Lea wear a helmet when riding her scooter. Lewis was tempted to put an end to Lea’s gymnastics career, but it’s her daughter’s “heart and soul,” she says. “I’m terrified, but what am I going to do — put her in a box?”







By Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, Gannett


tacy Arinsberg was skeptical of a new treatment that promised to help her 5-year-old become potty-trained in four days. Over the phone. Her increasingly frequent visits to hospitals for her daughter Julia’s chronic, painful constipation and her refusal to use the potty had proved fruitless. In April, browsing the Internet for information on stool withholding or encopresis, Arinsberg came across, a telephone coaching service offered by Dr. Frederic Daum, a Harvard-trained pediatric gastroenterologist who lives in Larchmont. At first, the claims by the doctor, the chief of the division of pediatric gastroenterology at Winthrop University Hospital on Long Island, seemed too good to be true. “I didn’t really believe it, but I wanted to give it a try,” said Arinsberg, of Sellersville, Pa. The method would cost $450, and didn’t include a single face-to-face interaction with the doctor. The very first call reassured her. “He asked so many questions. It was very intense. He wanted to know everything about Julia and our family from the time of her birth,” Arinsberg said. “He was trying to figure out the behavioral issues.” Most other doctors she had been to would prescribe a laxative for a few days, “But that never really


worked,” she said. What Daum required from Arinsberg was a total commitment for four days, and an unusually tough stance as a parent. Apart from a regimented system of oral laxatives administered under his guidance, the child would spend the first three days entirely in the bathroom. Arinsberg, who works as an office manager, picked the Memorial Day weekend to begin the treatment. A television set was brought into the bathroom. The space was filled with toys. And all Julia was allowed to wear was a long T-shirt — no underwear, no diapers. Arinsberg would remind her to sit on the toilet every hour. The next day, it was Julia’s responsibility to set an alarm to use the toilet every hour. All through the four days, and for several days thereafter, there was much hand-holding over the phone by the doctor. “He would call every few hours, just to check on the progress,” Arinsberg said. By the end of two days, Julia was asking to go the bathroom. But the accidents didn’t completely stop. “We had to tell her this was not acceptable. We took toys away from her,” said Arinsberg. “It was tough love. One day she sat in the bathroom with no toys and nothing to do.” By the fourth day, Julia was allowed to move back into her bedroom. She also started using the bathroom.

Frederic Daum, above, is a Dr.Dr. Frederic Daum, a Harvard-trained Harvard-trained provides consultapediatric gastroenterologist, provides consultations over the phone with tions over the phone with parents to parents helpchildren’s with potty training. help withtotheir problems. JuliaJOE Arinsberg, 5,JOURNAL was one of his LARESE / THE NEWS phone succeses.

“It ended up taking a little longer than four days, but it worked,” said Arinsberg. Apart from his 45 years in the field, and specializing in encopresis, his own experience with one of his five children is what led to his ap-

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proach, said the 71-year-old Daum. He started with a seminar called “All About the Toilet” at Winthrop more than a decade ago. The prevalence of encopresis, however, is difficult to quantify. “This population is underserved, under-diagnosed and under-treated,” Daum said. “The embarrassment and the anxieties for families dealing with the problem prevent them from seeking attention until there is a major social crisis. These patients are seen initially by primary-care doctors and nurse practitioners who infrequently keep data.” Among his patients now are children in Europe, Saudi Arabia and Mumbai. “I toilet train parents,” he said. “In a way, it is teaching parenting skills.” Dr. Daniel Miner, a pediatrician on Long Island, has recommended many of his patients to Daum over the years. “Kids who are not toilet trained by age 3 are what we call potty-refusers. They know what to do, however they will fight you every step of the way,” said Miner. “It’s where potty training has turned into a power struggle. It’s a battle a parent can never win.” Traditional treatments such as enemas may be very traumatic to the child, said Miner. Sometimes, older, previously toilet-trained kids struggle with encopresis, which is usually brought on by stress. “The treatment has to tackle the behavioral issues that underlie a lot of the difficulties that lead to the refusal,” said Miner. “What Dr. Daum does is quick, but it’s not easy.” What surprised Phyllis Prater, a grandmother from Tempe, Ariz., was the barrage of negative comments she said her daughter was subjected to when she posted her successful experience on a Facebook page dedicated to encopresis. “They think she’s a plant,” said Prater, 71. “It seems so foolish to me, but I think it’s because they feel so helpless, like when you have a child who is an alcoholic, and you are just not able to get through to them.” Arinsberg said Julia remains on a low dose of laxatives, and she checks in with Daum often. The thought of starting kindergarten in September was no longer filled with dread. “She’s a lot happier now. You can see it in her face, her body language and her appetite,” said Arinsberg. “It was hard, and if Dr. Daum hadn’t been checking in with us, we would have given up after the first day.”




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Children of obese moms face later risks By Kim Painter

Special to USA TODAY

Middle-aged adults whose mothers were obese or overweight in pregnancy have increased risks for developing serious cardiovascular problems and dying young, a new study shows. The study, based on the health records of more than 37,000 people born in Scotland between 1950-76, does not explain why a mother’s weight would affect the health of an adult child decades later. Genes and upbringing may play roles. Still, results also add to growing evidence that adverse conditions in the womb might have profound effects long after birth, says the study, published in the British medical journal BMJ. “It’s very difficult to tease out” causes and effects when it comes to intergenerational health problems, says lead researcher Rebecca Reynolds, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Yet she says the results lend credence to a theory that


“overnourished” fetuses may develop differences in their brains, blood vessels, hearts or metabolisms that make it more likely for them to become obese, unhealthy or both. The study focused on adults ages 34-61 and linked their records with those from their mothers’ first prenatal doctor visits. After accounting for socioeconomic status, mothers’ ages and other differences, researchers found that those born to obese women were 35 percent more likely to die, for any reason, and 29 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular problems, compared with adults with normal-weight mothers. Cardiovascular diseases and cancer were the most common causes of death. More modest increases in illness and death were seen among the grown children of women who were overweight but not obese. The researchers defined overweight and obese by body mass index, a measure that takes weight and height into

account. Mothers were considered obese if their BMIs were 30 or higher and overweight if their BMIs were between 25 and 29. The study did show that the results held up whether or not babies were born heavy, Reynolds says. The study “is certainly intriguing,” though it lacks crucial information “on what happens between birth and midlife,” when children are raised by overweight and obese mothers, says Pam Factor-Litvak, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. There already are many good reasons for women to enter pregnancy at healthy weights and not to gain too much during the pregnancy, says Jeanne Conry, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obesity among pregnant women has risen 70 percent in just the past decade in the U.S., she says. Reynolds notes that just 4 percent of the moms in her study were obese but 35 percent of reproductive-age U.S. women are obese; rates are similar in Europe.

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growing together

About those racy lyrics... By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

“Sometimes you tell the day by the bottle that you drink.” Name that tune. Somebody explain to me how we’ve gone from Winnie the Pooh singing, “I’m just a little black rain cloud, hovering under the honey tree” to Bon Jovi. By the way, my son pointed out with great drama that Jon Bon Jovi is FIFTY-ONE, as if that’s as old as anyone could ever be. He’s practically riding that steel horse into the tomb, people. When my not-so-little boy was just a tiny, squirmy babe, he heard music all the time. “Sweet Baby James” was a favorite — though the cowboys were

“thinking ’bout puppies and glasses of milk” instead of women and beer. And I, unable to carry a tune with a handle on it, sang Winnie the Pooh songs on a loop when necessary to get the boy to sleep. This one has the gene though. It’s definitely a paternal contribution. We knew it was time to look into some lessons when he picked up a very beginner (read: cheap) guitar and started picking out the “Harry Potter” theme. Now, it’s the Beatles and Aerosmith. My now-teenaged son loves music of all sorts and we frequently crank up the classic rock station in the car. It has been a complete education for me. I know all the words and yet, I find myself constantly saying, “Wait. Does that mean what I think it means? What! Don’t sing that!” I swear those songs have been rerecorded with all new lyrics. It’s all fun and games until a 10-yearold at a wedding reception belts out


“Don’t Stop Believin.’” Take a minute to sing it in your brain. Yep. There you go. “A singer in a smoky (smoke-ay) room. A smell of wine and cheap perfume. For a smile they can share the night...” It was not my best moment as a parent, but it was certainly one of my funniest. I try to keep it all in perspective. I have a brief mental freak out before realizing that, as I did at his age, he just likes the song. The guitar solo is what he cares about, not what happens in the smoke-ay room. And one day, when he swears to his child that somehow, someone changed the words to all the songs from his childhood, I will smile and tell him to calm down. There’s always Winnie the Pooh.

Chris Worthy is an attorney who took down her shingle to be a stay-at-home mom. Contact her at


librarian's pick

National Geographic’s ‘Animal Encyclopedia’ dazzles Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

For 125 years, National Geographic has been inspiring readers of all ages with its vivid accounts of cultures, histories and environments. The company’s trademark up-close photography and compelling writing makes it a natural purveyor of children’s educational materials. One of National Geographic’s most recent publications, “Animal Encyclopedia” by Lucy Spelman, is another gem in its brilliant crown. There are countless animal encyclopedias for children on the market. Some of them are quite good. “Animal Encyclopedia” is stellar. The book covers all manner of animals, big and small, winged and finned, gentle and fierce. The book is divided into six chapters: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and fish. The animals featured are from all over the world. Some, such as cheetahs and chimpanzees, will be familiar to children. Others, such as tapirs (a hoofed mammal) and longnose gars (a type of fish) are likely to be unfamiliar — at first. Within each chapter is a wealth of information report-writers need. There is information on sizes, diets, geographical ranges and habitats, all presented in an engaging, accessible writing style.


Each chapter concludes with a twopage spread of superlatives. For instance, the largest amphibian is the Chinese salamander: “Measuring up to six feet in length and weighing 24 pounds, the giant Chinese salamander can grow to be roughly the length of an adult human. This weird and wonderful amphibian has prehistoric origins, with a family lineage dating all the way back to the age of dinosaurs.” The photographs, in traditional style of National Geographic, are high-resolution, vivid, and utterly captivating. Texture and color are obvious in each photograph. Photographs of penguins often make them look sleek. The photographs in this book have such high resolution readers can see plainly the fine feathers that cover penguins. Even the texture of spiders is evident — the jumping spider of Africa looks as hairy as a bear. Part of the appeal of the photographs is the photographers’ use of scale. The animals are pictured by trees, shrubs, flowers or other things that give readers an idea of how big or small the animals are. So, while the photograph of the jumping spider makes the furry guy look as big as a human head, his position on a delicate leaf conveys to readers that in reality he is quite small. From beginning to end, “Animal Encyclopedia” is a colorful, thorough collection of animal facts. While the book has definite appeal for young report-writers, kids and adults of all ages will find much among the pages to admire and ponder. Well-done, Nat Geo. This book is available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit

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area story times Buncombe County Libraries Visit Mother Goose 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Thursday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Pack; 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Monday, West Asheville. Toddler 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Enka; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Fairview; 10 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, South Buncombe; 10 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Thursday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, West Asheville. Preschool 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday, East Asheville; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Enka; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Leicester; 11 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, South Buncombe; 11 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Thursday, West Asheville. Reading Corner (ages 6-12) 3:30 p.m. first Wednesdays, Pack.

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 Canton, 648-2924: Family story time, 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Rompin’ Stompin’ story time, 10 a.m. Thursdays

Henderson County Library Visit www.henderson. Bouncing Babies (0-18 months) 11 a.m. Thursday, Main Toddler Time (18 months-3) 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Main; 10 a.m. Wednesday, Fletcher. Play & Grow (birth-2 years) 10:30 a.m. fourth Friday, Main. Preschool (3-5) 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Main; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Fletcher Family 10 a.m. Monday, Mills River; 10 a.m. Thursday, Green River; 10 a.m. Tuesday, Etowah; 10 a.m. Monday, Edneyville. 4 O’Clock Club (K-5) 4 p.m. Thursdays, Main

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 younger.



‘Gluten-free’ food labeling finally has some teeth By Jane Lerner, Gannett

Sometimes Maria Roglieri feels like a sleuth when she sets out to shop. She carefully analyzes labels, looking for any sign that a food is not as gluten-free as it appears. Barley? Forbidden. Rye? Forget about it. Soy sauce? Maybe. “You have to be very, very careful,” said Roglieri, who, along with her teenage daughter, has celiac disease, a serious digestive disorder triggered by gluten. “Even the smallest amount can make you sick.” The explosive rise in people who eat gluten-free food as a dietary preference has been a mixed blessing for those who suffer from celiac disease,


which can only be treated through total abstinence from gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. The popularity of such a diet added more and more products to the market labeled “gluten-free.” But it also created uncertainty about what “glutenfree” really meant, since there was no uniform standard applied to the term. That’s why patients like Roglieri are pleased with long-awaited Food and Drug Administration regulations announced in August that now require foods labeled “gluten free” to have only trace amounts of the protein. For them, the new regulations will make

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The Food and Drug Administration is at last defining what a “gluten free” label on a food package really means after more than six years of consideration.

buying food safer and less complicated. “It allows us to breathe a little easier,” said Gabrielle Simon, founder of a support group at Nyack Hospital for families of children with celiac disease. For those with the condition, gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients. As more people follow a gluten-free diet by choice or necessity, food manu-

facturers are adding more products to meet the demand. Last year, sales of gluten-free products hit $4.2 billion, nearly triple what they were in 2008. Sales are expected to rise to $6.2 billion by 2018, according to industry predictions. “A lot more foods are available, but you have no idea if they are really safe or not,” said Chris Spreitzer of Crotonon-Hudson, who leads the Westchester


Celiac Sprue support group. “If you have celiac, you really need to know.” The new FDA regulation has been in the works for a long time, starting with a proposal sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., in 1999. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act became law in 2004. It required food packaging to clearly list the top eight ingredients that cause allergic reactions, including milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. It also required the FDA to issue standards for the term “glutenfree” — a task that took nearly 10 years to accomplish. Under the new guidelines, only foods containing 20 parts per million of gluten or less can be labeled and marketed as gluten-free. Experts generally agree that it is not possible to remove all trace of gluten and the standard is small enough not to provoke a reaction in most people. Food manufacturers have a year to comply. “It’s been a long time in the making,” said Roglieri, a professor at St. Thomas Aquinas College and the author of travel guides for people who avoid gluten.



By Kate Justen WNC Parent columnist

Breakfast for dinner! Let’s face it, we are back to school and most weekday mornings are a blur of cereal, toast and hopefully some fruit before you run out the door to get your kids to school and you off to work. Preparing a breakfast meal does not always take a lot of time but there is some planning and attention that must be paid to the mixing, measuring, pouring, cooking, baking and, of course, cleaning. This whole


process would be a lot easier if we didn’t have to clean up after ourselves! With all of that said, some weekday mornings are not the ideal time for eggs and pancakes. Since breakfast is considered one of the most important meals of the day, why not have it for dinner? Breakfast helps to kick start your energy level because it often includes whole grains and fruits. This can have the same effect in the evening; when you eat these slow-burning foods for dinner, you will have the energy to get through the evening homework routine and may be less likely to snack on high-calorie

foods before bed. Planning and managing your time in the kitchen is one of the keys to eating healthy when you have a busy life of school, work and extra-curricular activities. Plan to make the larger dinners when you have more time. Do not feel rushed, and do the easier meals on the busy nights. When you have more time, double your recipe so you have dinner as well as breakfast for the next morning. It is easy to prepare a frittata or egg scramble for dinner at the same time you bake some egg muffins to let cool and refrigerate for the next morning. You can also double-batch pancakes to freeze for a quick breakfast later in the week. Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Contact her at or visit

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ewer kids ate school lunch last year after new nutrition standards put more vegetables and fewer french fries on their plates. But breakfast consumption at schools rose as more places started offering the meal in creative ways and often at no charge.


Government data show that average daily participation in school lunches decreased about 3 percent from 31.9 million students a day during the 2011-12 school year to 30.9 million during the 2012-13 school year. The biggest drop came in students who pay for their lunch, not those who get it free or at a reduced price. Meanwhile, participation in school


breakfast — which is getting a nutrition makeover this year — went up by about 2.5 percent during that same time period. The number of kids eating school breakfast daily increased from 12.81 million in 2011-12 to 13.15 million during 2012-13, partly because of the increase in children getting free breakfasts. Continues on Page 42


BREAKFAST Continued from Page 41

Schools are offering grab-and-go breakfasts, breakfast in the classroom and second-chance breakfasts as well as traditional breakfasts served in the cafeteria. Buncombe County Schools offer free breakfast to students. “We are seeing more and more school districts offering breakfast at no charge to all kids,” says Janey Thornton, a deputy under secretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “That’s becoming a trend across the country, although nowhere near all school districts are doing it. It makes breakfast in the classroom easier to administer if everyone gets it. You don’t have a cashier that’s taking money. “In some places, the school districts are picking up the difference that isn’t covered by USDA reimbursements because they recognize that kids who are well fed are ready to learn, and in the long run, they may save educational dollars.” Thornton says there are many rea-


sons why kids come to school without having breakfast. Often with kids if it’s a choice between eating breakfast at home or squeezing in more time to sleep or get dressed, they choose the latter, she says. Some kids aren’t hungry when they get up or they have a long ride on the bus. “I don’t think it’s because we have lazy parents,” she says. Starting last year government standards for school lunches required cafeteria staff to serve more variety and larger portions of fruits and vegetables and put limits on the calories that can be served at meals based on students’ ages. Plus, there were limits on the amounts of grains and protein (meat or meat alternate such as cheese, peanut butter or tofu) that can be served over the course of a week. Schools are required to meet the standards to get federal meal reimbursements. Lunch participation was “down a little this past year, and it probably has to do with the kids getting used to a little different, healthier options,” says Leah Schmidt, president of the School Nutrition Association, a nonprofit professional organization representing school foodservice professionals. Some more affluent schools may have opted out of the

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Students select food items from the lunch line of the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y., last September.

program because they either couldn’t or didn’t want to meet the government’s nutrition standards, she says. School districts are looking for easy ways to weave breakfast into students’ busy schedules. For instance, Schmidt plans to have a breakfast cart at the

entrance to the junior high so students can grab a bagged breakfast on their way to class such as a whole-grain muffin, yogurt, juice and low-fat milk. Deborah Taylor, director of school nutrition services at Shawnee (Okla.) Public Schools, is taking the grab-and-go


breakfast one step further and offering a bagged breakfast to young children as they wait with parents in the car pool line at a pre-K--kindergarten school. One typical breakfast: 1 percent white milk or fat-free chocolate milk, apple slices and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole-grain bread. And Dora Rivas, executive director of food and child nutrition services for Dallas Independent School District, offers breakfast in the classroom at many schools. Hot meals are delivered to the classroom most days — everything from whole-grain biscuits with egg and turkey sausage to bean and cheese burritos, served with 1 percent milk and fruit or juice. Kids eat and then use a wet wipe to clean their hands and desks. It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes, and kids who’ve already had breakfast before they came to school get started on their work, she says. Some school principals prefer that kids pick up their meals at a kiosk in the hallway, she says. Teachers and principals say that when kids have breakfast they are able to focus better and they aren’t so hungry “that they running to the cafeteria at lunch time,” Rivas says.


families & relationships

Helping children grasp mental illness By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

According to some mental health research group out there, one in four Americans struggles with mental illness. This means that if you are standing in a group of three other people, and they aren’t mentally ill, it is you. With all seriousness, it is hard to befriend someone with a large family and not hear that a member of the family struggles with some form of mental illness. It is not unusual for this to be treated as a “badge of shame” and for people to see to see otherwise. This secrecy and lack of information can really affect children. So what happens is that their minds fill in the blanks


with information that is often worse than reality. I simply can not emphasize how important it is that children are adequately debriefed at an age-appropriate level about what is going on in their family, especially if the police, DSS or a medical unit gets involved. Now, there are plenty of organizations on the Internet that can supply you with decent information about specific mental illnesses. This includes NAMI and NIMH. Here are some common and general worries young children have about mental illness and what you can say to them: » Your child is way too young to understand anything about specific mental illnesses. All they know is that there is something seriously wrong with mommy or daddy (it could be anyone in the family) that makes them act funny and sometimes have to go to the hospital. For those children, I may say some-

thing like, “You know how sometimes you get a tummy ache? Well, believe it or not, some adults get tummy aches in the head, and medicine, along with talking to special helpers, will help with this. Even when they have this tummy ache, they still love you.” » Your child may be worried if the family member has is contagious or might kill them. To this, you can simply reassure them that the answer is “no, it is not something that can be caught like a cold” and that they “will not die, but get help instead.” » Your child may unfortunately witness a family member doing something scary, violent or involving self harm. In this case, your child or children may themselves need therapy to deal with whatever they have witnessed. Specialized therapies, like EMDR, can rapidly help children resolve this kind of

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problem if they are having nightmares or changes in their normal behavior. What you can say to this child might be something like this: “Remember that tummy ache that I said some adults may have? Sometimes, when they have them, the tummy ache might make them do bad things, but now it is being helped.� Strangely, like a divorce, you have to remind your children that they are loved, that what is going on is not their fault and that house rules still apply. This is particularly important if it should turn out that the parent is not coming back home. I can not tell you how many times as a therapist, I wish there was something magical I could do to make a child’s pain, loneliness and hurt go away. But, all of us who have lived long enough tend understand that life can be very unfair. Our responsibility to enable our children not to be defined by the terrible things they see or experience, but to believe in themselves despite it and to know that they can have a good life. 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.



REFRESHER COURSE These Mexican creations combine traditional flavors, seasonal delights

By Karen Fernau Gannett

Mexican food is typically described as spicy and hefty, seldom as light and refreshing. That is, unless traditional flavors are tossed with fresh, seasonal produce. Salads packed with pepitas, tomatoes, roasted corn, watermelon, jicama, avocados, chiles, salty cheeses and black beans capture the traditional flavors of Mexican food without requiring a siesta after the meal. They offer summertime alternatives to plates filled with redchile beef and refried beans turned creamy with a dollop of lard. Add a protein like shrimp or chicken, and a side salad becomes a meal. Grilled seafood, poultry or meats are the best choices, especially when seasoned with chile powder or adobo. In a pinch, use store-bought roasted chicken or cooked shrimp. Like all salads, Mexican salads are extremely flexible. Substitute diced tomatillos for tomatoes, Cheddar for Cotija cheese, olives for corn, pintos for black beans, flank steak for chicken breasts. The best salads include a mix of contrasting flavors and textures, from


A Mexican salad of watermelon, jicama, and mint. JOHN SAMORA/THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC

creamy avocados to crunchy pumpkin seeds. The lighter the dressing, the more refreshing the salad. A vinegar- and oil-based dressing also allows the flavors

of the salad to shine. For an easy, allpurpose dressing for any Mexican salad, whisk 1 tablespoon of a favorite salsa, 1 tablespoon of red-wine vinegar, 4 to 6 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, and

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MEXICAN-SALAD STAPLES Keep your pantry stocked with: » Adobo: This garlic, herb and spice seasoning is typically used to flavor seafood, meat and chicken before tossing in a salad. » Beans: Black, pinto and red kidney beans work best. Rinse well and dry before tossing in a salad. » Chile peppers: Use fresh or pickled jalapeños. Be careful because heat varies. Too many hot chiles can overpower the other flavors of a salad. Tomatillos are a small green Mexican fruit that are part of the tomato family. Substitute for red tomatoes. » Coriander: Also called cilantro, its fresh leaves are often used as garnish. The fragrant seeds, which are toasted, ground or whole, can be added to any salad dressing. » Diced nopales: Often called cactus paddles, nopales are the leaves of edible cactus. They are available fresh, cleaned and cut into squares for tossing into a salad. » Lemons and limes: These citrus regulars are salad-dressing staples. Fresh is always best. For additional citrus flavor, add a pinch of zest to the salad dressing. » Pepitas: These edible pumpkin seeds add flavor and crunch to Mexican salads the same as croutons do for Italian salads. They are available with or without the hulls, and raw, roasted and salted. When the hulls are removed, a dark green, delicate flavored seed remains that is even more flavorful when roasted and salted. » Queso panela: This soft white cheese absorbs other flavors easily. » Queso fresco: Usually made from a combination of cow’s and goat’s milk, it tastes like a mild feta cheese. It crumbles easily. » Queso Cotija: Known as the Parmesan of Mexico, this sharp, firm cheese is perfect for grating into a salad.

salt and pepper to taste. Along with veggies, these south-ofthe-border salads capitalize on seasonal fruits like watermelon. Pair with jicama and a citrus dressing for a side dish or dessert. All three salads are quick to make, each taking less than 20 minutes. We share a few tips we learned while making the salads: » These salads require quite a bit of chopping. Make the job easier and safer by using a sharp knife and large cutting board. » Always wash and dry produce well before dicing. » Selecting a flavorful, ripe waterContinues on Page 48



SALADS Continued from Page 47

melon can be a challenge. Buy watermelons with a round, yellow patch on the skin, a sign the fruit ripened on the ground. These will taste the best. » Prep as much in advance as possible and store in separate baggies or bowls. Toss just before serving to prevent the colors of the food from fading into each other and the cheese and other soft ingredients from turning mushy. » The chicken or shrimp can be served hot or cold. » Be careful slicing jalapeños. The juice easily burns fingers. Wear plastic gloves while dicing, or use paper towels to protect your fingers from the sting.


Mexican Caesar salad 1/4 cup roasted pepitas (shelled green pumpkin seeds) 11/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp 5 tablespoons olive oil (divided use) 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 small head, or 6 cups, torn romaine lettuce 1/2 small jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes 1/2 cup crumbled Cotija cheese

To roast pepitas, heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pepitas on a rimmed baking sheet and roast

in oven, tossing once, until fragrant, 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon oil and the cayenne, salt and pepper. Grill until opaque throughout, 2-3 minutes per side. For the dressing, combine vinegar, Worcestershire, jalapeño, garlic and remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a mixing bowl. Mix until well blended. To serve, combine the lettuce, jicama, radishes, toasted pepitas and grilled shrimp in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle with Cotija and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 455 calories, 25 g fat, 275 mg cholesterol, 40 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 486 mg sodium, 50 percent calories from fat. Source: Arizona Republic

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Mexican watermelon and jicama salad 1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces 4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size chunks 1/4 cup roughly torn fresh mint leaves 1/2 cup orange juice 1/4 cup lime juice 2 tablespoons honey Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Place jicama, watermelon and mint leaves in a salad bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together orange and lime juices, honey, salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing on watermelon-jicama salad and toss well. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 164 calories, 1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 71 mg sodium, 4 percent calories from fat. Source: The Arizona Republic

calendar of events

Things to do

Register now

PLAY AND LEARN: Registration begins Aug. 29 at all locations. Parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care may attend a free 8-week series 45-minute classes, focusing on pre-literacy and school readiness skills. Activities include songs, puppets, games, hands-on activities, and crafts. Must be age 3 by class start date. Younger siblings may attend, but materials are not provided. Register by email or phone. Contact Marna Holland at 350-2904 or Dates and school locations include: » Emma Elementary: 9 a.m. Thursdays, starting Sept. 19. » Asheville City Schools Preschool: 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays, starting Sept. 10; 11 a.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 11. » Hominy Valley Elementary, 9 a.m. Mondays, starting Sept. 16.

Continues on Page 50



calendar of events Continued from Page 49 » Johnston Elementary, 10:30 a.m. Mondays, starting Sept. 16 » Leicester Elementary: 9 a.m. Fridays, starting Sept. 20.

Deadline Sept. 30

KIDS’ ART CONTEST: Enter by Sept. 30. Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road, hosts Character Portraits: 3rd Annual Kids’ Art Contest. Kids can imagine what it would be like to be a part of their favorite book by creating a portrait of themselves as the main character and entering it in the contest. Portraits can be no larger than 18-by-24 inches. Three age categories. Three winners will be chosen from each category. Winning entries will be based on originality and creativity. Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble. For complete rules, visit the library or call 250-6485 or email

Sept. 3

ASHEVILLE AREA MUSIC TOGETHER: Fall classes start Sept. 3. Music and movement classes for birth to age 7. Offered at several locations around Asheville. Visit

Sept. 4

READING CORNER: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 4, Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Reading Corner returns with a book-based activity group for kids ages 6-12. For first program, Asheville’s Stormwater Quality Specialist Ms. Keisha brings her Enviroscape, a handson model of the environment, for some fun learning about water run-off, pollution, and where all that rainwater ends up. Contact the library at 250-4720 or email TINY TYKES: 10 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays, Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Drive, Asheville. Program resumes for the fall. Organized crafts and active play. Great way for you and your toddler to socialize. $1/class for toddlers and parents. Visit

Sept. 5

BACK ON TRACK WORKSHOP: 6-9 p.m. Sept. 5, Girl Scouts Service Center, 64 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Asheville. $55/$85 Rudy Rodriguez offers workshop for adults with ADHD. Participants will learn practical strategies for successful time management and organizational management with ADHD. The workshop will address key ADHD challenges including: prioritizing, routine and structure, procrastination, distraction, overwhelm, and managing projects more effectively. Visit BREAST-FEEDING CLASS: 4-5 p.m. Sept. 5, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. With Henderson County Department of Public Health breastfeeding peer counselor Tammie Bogin. Free. Visit or call 697-8333. Call to register; space is limited. CLAY AND MIXED MEDIA EXPLORATIONS: 4-5 p.m. Thursdays, Sept. 5-Dec. 5, South Side Studios, 3 Mulvaney St., Asheville. Roots + Wings School of Art offers art and design classes for grades K-5. $150 for


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

SEPT. 6 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.

SEPT. 13 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 St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 698-9960. REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights of fun and games, taking place every second and fourth Friday of the month. Includes craft, movie and snacks. 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.

SEPT. 27 REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights of fun and games, taking place every second and fourth Friday of the month. Includes craft, movie and snacks. 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.

full semester or $55 per month. Register online at For info, call 545-4827 or email INFANT MASSAGE CLASS FOR CAREGIVERS: 11 a.m.-noon Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26, at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Four-class series teaches

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Kids’ page




calendar of events Continued from Page 50 caregivers massage techniques for baby’s tummy, chest, legs, arms, back, and face, with special attention given to reducing colic/gas, nasal congestion and teething pain. Caregivers may be parents, grandparents, or anyone else in caregiver role. $80 for four classes. Contact Wendy Flynn at 989-0125. ROSH HASHANAH FAMILY SERVICE: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 5, Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. A special family service featuring songs, prayers, stories, shofar blowing, and tashlich. Followed by a holiday buffet meal. Reservations required. Call 505-0746 or visit VISITING THE STATE FAIR STORY TIME: 11 a.m. Sept. 5, Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. With stories about going to the fair and safety tips. For preschool-age children. Call 250-6486 or email for more information.

Sept. 7

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: 10:30 a.m. Saturdays starting Sept. 7, Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 W. State St., Black Mountain. Free. Museum storytellers will read from “Rascal” the story of a mischievous raccoon. Readings to through end of October. With activities related to the story. Parents must remain at museum. Call 669-9566 or email info@swannanoa COMMUNITY YARD SALE: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 7,


For the full family-friendly calendar, visit To submit events, email details to

Montford Recreation Center, 34 Pearson Drive, Asheville. More than 25 vendors sell their gently used items. Call the center if you are interested in being a vendor, 253-3714. FANTASY BOOK EVENT: 7 p.m. Sept. 7, Malaprop’s, 55 Haywood Road, Asheville. Free. A triple threat author event for young adults with Sarah Maas, Erin Bowman and Susan Dennard. Visit MOVIES ON THE MEADOW: 7 p.m. Sept. 7, Chimney Rock State Park, U.S. 64/74-A, Chimney Rock. Watch “The Hunger Games” on the big screen. Seating starts at 7 p.m., movie at 8. $12 per car, $8 for passholders. Afternoon activities before the movie include archery with Archery Tag foam tipped arrows, costumes and photo ops with look-alikes, offered free with admission. Pack a blanket or camping chair and a flashlight. Concessions will be available. Visit RAILWAY HERITAGE WEEKEND: Sept. 7-8, Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock. Visitors can learn more about Tweetsie’s steam locomotives and their history. Activities include documentaries, photo sessions, Cherokee dance performances, chance to ride in cabin of locomotive. For a schedule and more information, visit

Sept. 8

CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR WORLD: 7-8:30 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 6, Rainbow Community School, 574 Haywood Road, Asheville. New approaches to life, love and happiness. Includes guided meditation, a talk and discussion. $8/5 students/seniors. Everyone welcome. Drop into any class. RAILWAY HERITAGE WEEKEND: Sept. 7-8, Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock. Visitors can learn more about Tweetsie’s steam locomotives and their history. Activities include documentaries, photo sessions, Cherokee dance performances, chance to ride in cabin of locomotive. For a schedule and more information, visit

Sept. 9

HENDERSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHOIR: 4 p.m. Sept. 9, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2101 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville. Registration for the fall season with the first rehearsal immediately following from 4:30-5:30 p.m. choir is open to children and teens, treble voices, ages 6-18. Rehearsals from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Sept. 9-Dec. 16. Several community performances through the semester, and featured at the Hendersonville Symphony’s Christmas Concert. $40 per semester with an $80 family cap. To register or for more information, visit or contact director Kristen Walter at 674-2724. STROLLER STRIDES: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 9, 11 and 13, Carrier Park, Rotary Centennial Pavilion, Amboy Road, Asheville. Week of free classes of this hourlong fitness program that moms can do with babies or

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stroller-age children. Taught by nationally certified instructors. Visit TEEN COMMUNITY DESIGN LAB: 4-5 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 9-Nov. 25, SouthSide Studios, 3 Mulaney St., Asheville. Roots + Wings School of Art offers art and design classes for grades 6-9. $150 for full semester or $55 per month. Register online at www. For info, call 545-4827 or email

Parents generally participate in the meetings and younger siblings are welcome. For more information, email

Sept. 13

Sept. 10

ART BUZZ KIDS: 4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 10-Oct. 15, Wine and Design Asheville, 640 Merrimon Ave., Suite 208, Asheville. After-school art classes in six-week sessions, $75. This sesson’s theme is “Art around the World.” Call 255-2442 or visit

Sept. 11

VISUAL ART ADVENTURES: 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 11-Dec. 4, at Cathedral of All Souls classrooms, 9 Swan St., Biltmore Village. Roots + Wings School of Art offers art and design classes for ages 3-6. $150 for full semester or $55 per month. Register online at For info, call 545-4827 or email

Sept. 12

CATCH A FALLING LEAF: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. Make a leaf journal with Master Gardener Suzanne Wodek. Learn about the art of leaf pressing and creating leaf journals. Bring leaves from home or use some that will be

Stroller Strides of Asheville fitness program meets at Carrier Park twice a week. Try a class for free on Sept. 9. CITIZEN-TIMES PHOTO

at the library. Free. For ages 8 and older. Contact the library at 250-6486 or DAY OF CARING: Sept. 12, various locations. Annual community day of service organized by Hands On Asheville-Buncombe. Visit to find a volunteer opportunity. TARHEEL JUNIOR HISTORIANS: 3:30 p.m. Sept. 12, Smith-McDowell House Museum. Sponsored by the N.C. Museum of History, the Smith McDowell House chapter of the Tar Heel Junior Historians Association is open to school-age children and meets the second Thursday of each month. Members receive two magazines per year from the NC Museum of History and there are opportunities in the State Contest program. $10 registration fee ($5 for each eligible sibling).


YOUTHEATRE AUDITION: 5-7 p.m. Sept. 13 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 14, YouTheatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, 1855 Little River Road, Flat Rock. “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” performance dates are Nov. 14-24. For ages 10-18. Adults, especially men, may audition for possible roles. Actors will learn a short song from “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” in groups, then perform it separately. Singing is required. Audition will include reading select scenes from the script. “A Christmas Story” seeks boys ages 6-14 and girls 9-12. Performances Dec. 4-22, rehearsals Nov. 11-Dec. 3. No singing required. Visit

Sept. 14

AFTERNOON TEA WITH LLAMAS: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sept. 14, Cradle of Forestry, U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Meet these fascinating pack animals, each with their own personality. During programs presented by Challenge Adventures, learn about the special adaptations llamas have for the trail. Then take turns leading a llama on a 2-mile trail walk along the paved Forest Discovery Trail. Llamas carry your lunch & snacks. Ice tea will be provided. $5 adults; under age 16 free. Call 877-3130 or visit ROALD DAHL DAY STORYTIME & CELEBRATION: 3 p.m. Sept. 14, Malaprop’s, 55 Haywood St., Asheville.

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Continued from Page 57 Swashboggling storytime, gloriumptious activities and wizzpopping Dahl-licious snacks. Also celebrate the birthdays of Jack Prelutsky, Robert McClosky, and Alexandra Day. Costumes encouraged. Free. Visit WNC RUN/WALK FOR AUTISM: 9 a.m. Sept. 14, UNC Asheville campus. Eighth-annual event benefitting the Autism Society of North Carolina. Also features a familyfriendly festival with fun zone, refreshments, vendors and more. Visit or call 236-1547. YOM KIPPUR CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sept. 14, Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. A special children’s program during Yom Kippur services for ages 3-13. Reservations required. Call 505-0746 or visit YOUTHEATRE AUDITION: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 14, YouTheatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, 1855 Little River Road, Flat Rock. “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” performance dates are Nov. 14-24. For ages 10-18. Adults, especially men, may audition for possible roles. Actors will learn a short song from “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” in groups, then perform it separately. Singing is required. Audition will include reading select scenes from the script. “A Christmas Story” seeks boys ages 6-14 and girls 9-12. Performances Dec. 4-22, rehearsals Nov. 11-Dec. 3. No singing required. Visit

Sept. 16

YOUTHEATRE OPEN HOUSE: 4-6 p.m. Sept. 16, Flat Rock Playhouse YouTheatre, Robin R. Farquhar Education Center, 1855 Little River Road, Flat Rock. Fall session starts Sept. 16. Visit

Sept. 17

GO FISH!: All day, Sept. 17, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. New exhibit opens. Visit

Sept. 18

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 18, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister. Enjoy a book and fishy craft. Free with admission. Visit BUZZY BUZZY BEE: OUR FOOD AND POLLINATORS: 11 a.m. Sept. 18, East Asheville Library, 902 Tunnel Road. Come find out how bees and other pollinators produce every third bite of food we eat. Learn about honeybees and how they pollinate apple trees as we pretend to be worker bees pollinating the orchard. Free. Ticketed event and limited to 25. Pick up a free ticket at the library. Recommended for ages 3-6, but all are welcome. Contact the library at 2504738 or email

Sept. 19

CRITTER CRAFT: All day, Sept. 19, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Create a fishy pet to take home and learn more about fish at the new exhibit, “Go Fish!” Visit

Sept. 21-22

ASAP FARM TOUR: 1-6 p.m. Sept. 21-22, at 31 Appalachian Grown-certified farms across WNC. ASAP’s annual selfguided Farm Tour offers to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh products, meet farm animals, and shake hands with the community’s food producers. Advance passes are on sale for $25 at and at select


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 388-3598. 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 home-based businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects benefiting needy children in the community. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome. Call Toni McDonald at 702-0433 or visit Moms’ Support Group: For new moms (children ages 0-5 years) who cope with depression. This group focuses on challenges of parenting, building positive coping skills and sharing experiences in a safe, private environment with professional guidance. Next session begins the first week of July, meets weekly in the evening. Email for more information. MOPS at Mud Creek: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faith-based atmosphere for moms of infants through kindergartners. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., SeptemberMay, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Drive, Hendersonville. Email Melissa Thorsland,, or or visit http:// North Asheville MOPS: Meets 9:30-11:30 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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area businesses and tailgate markets (a list of vendors can be found online). One pass admits an entire carload to any participating farm both days. Passes can also be purchased the day of the tour at the first farm stop for $30, or individual farms can be toured for $10. Farm Tour guides are available online and from pass vendors. Guides include a map, directions, and tips. New this year, farm listings also include details about children’s activities. Families and school groups taking the tour can find information just for them at ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School website,

Sept. 22

BRING BACK THE MONARCHS: 2 p.m. Sept. 22, Cradle of Forestry, on U.S. 276 in Pisgah National Forest. Naturalist, educator and conservation activist Ina Warren presents a multimedia program on monarch butterflies: their biology, migration, and conservation. Learn how you can help. Visit the Cradle’s Monarch Waystation as Conservation Specialist Joyce Pearsall explains her work developing this special butterfly garden. $5 adults; under age 16 free. Call 877-3130 or visit

Sept. 24

DRUGLESS THERAPY FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Earth Fare, 1856 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Learn about drugless therapy for ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Free talk about how the brain processes information, and how the problems can be permanently corrected

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calendar of events for information.

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Sept. 28

in adults and children. Improve the ability to learn, remember and focus. RSVP to 216-4444 or Visit

Sept. 25

ALPHABET-MANIA!: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 25, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Kids use child-friendly stamps to create their name, phrases and much more. A kinetic way to learn the alphabet. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Visit

Sept. 26

FALL FLOWER FESTIVAL: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Sept. 26, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. All ages will enjoy creating flowers using the left behind paintings from our art area. Create beautiful flowers to put in a vase, wear in your hair, or give to others. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Visit

Sept. 27

TEEN AWESOME GROUP: 4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. Calling all teens! The Teen Awesome Group is a library teen group serving ages 11-17. Monthly meetings through the school year. New members welcome any time. Call 250-6482 or email weaverville.library@buncombe-


MICHAELMAS FALL FESTIVAL: Sept. 28, West Asheville Trinity UMC, 587 Haywood Road. Azalea Mountain School’s sixth-annual festival with puppet show, kids crafts, apple cider press, and more. Everyone welcome. Visit or call 575-2557. PUPPYFEST: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 28, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville. Family-friendly event, “American Idol with Paws,” filled with pet-oriented activities. Anyone can bring a puppy (up to 8 months old) to enter into the contest. Crowd will get a chance to play with all the puppies and give input. $10 for adults, $5 for children 12 and younger. Sponsored by the Asheville Humane Society/Animal Compassion Network and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. A portion of the proceeds go to these and similar charities. Visit RUMMAGE SALE: 7 a.m. Sept. 28, U.S. Army Reserve Center, 224 Louisiana Ave., Asheville. Gently used baby clothes, children’’s clothes (plus old kids’ sizes too), toys, books, equipment, maternity clothes, adult clothes and yard sale items (large and small, including furniture). Cash and credit cards only. Early bird sale with $1 admission, 7-7:30 a.m.; regular sale is 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; halfprice sale is 2:30-3:30 p.m. STORYTELLER LYN FORD: 11 a.m. Sept. 28 at Weaverville Library, 3 p.m. Sept. 28 at Pack Memorial Library. “Affrilachian” storyteller Lyn Ford presents two shows. In Weaverville, she will share traditional stories of the Southern Appalachians through the experience of our African-American communities. At Pack, her performance will have a special focus on stories for adults and older children. A featured teller at the National Story-

telling Festival, Ford brings the stories to life with audience participation, song and a variety of voices. For more information, call Weaverville Library at 250-6482 or Pack Library at 250-4700 or email TAILS AND TRAILS 5K ADVENTURE RUN: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 28, Buncobme County Sports Park, 58 Apac Circle, Candler. Open to adults, children and dogs of all ages. Register by Sept. 13. $20 adults, $10 children, plus two cans of dog food for donation. Visit

Sept. 29

‘HOLDING DOWN THE HOMEFRONT’: 3-5 p.m. Sept. 29, Fletcher Feed & Seed, 3715 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher. Storytellers, humorists and historians tell tales from World War II of “shortages, submarines, saboteurs and war bonds.” With a display of period photographs, patriotic posters and memorabilia. Free and open to the public, donations welcome.

Oct. 6

ROYAL BOOK CLUB: 4 p.m. Oct. 6, Spellbound Bookshop, 21 Battery Park Ave. Asheville. Free. Discuss “Rose Under Fire” by Elizabeth Wein. Anyone 18 and older welcome, no RSVP required. Visit


SWIM LESSONS: ISR Survival Swimming Lessons for infants and children are taught weekday mornings at

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the Asheville Racquet Club Downtown location, year round. Limited number of scholarships available. Visit ANIMATION WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY: 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Asheville Pizza & Brewing, 675 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Bring a digital camera with USB cord and thumb drive and learn the art of stop motion animation including claymation, papermation, and legomation. All other supplies & instruction provided. Ages 10 and older. $10. More info at and www. MUSIC TOGETHER: 3:30-4:15 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 PARENTS’ MORNING OUT: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. MondayThursday starting Aug. 5, St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St., Asheville. Bilingual program that provides a nurturing environment that promotes growth and learning through learning centers, manipulatives, creative arts, music, circle time and outdoor play. An integrated classroom with a special program for children 3 and older to prepare them for preschool. Accepts ages 6 months-4 years. For more information, call Jennifer Leiter at 254-5193, ext. 25, or 450-1922. CELEBRATION SINGERS: Thursdays, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Celebration Singers of Asheville Community Youth Chorus invites singers ages 7-14 to join. Rehearsals are Thursdays; Canti Dolci from 6-6:45 p.m. and Canti Spiritu (older group) from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Contact artistic director Ginger Haselden at 230-5778.

KIDS YOGA: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Black Mountain Yoga, 120 Broadway St., Black Mountain. For ages 4-9. $9 each or $7 for each additional sibling. Drop kids off for an hour of mindful, creative play and movement with a different theme each week. For more information or registration visit www. ASHEVILLE CLOGGING AND DANCE COMPANY: Classes for all ages and skill levels. Visit or email Ashley Shimberg at CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Enrollment open for Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts, a Sunday School and Hebrew School Program, for 2013-14. General registration through Aug. 15. Half off for new children. Free trial class available. For ages 3-13. Sundays 10 a.m.-noon. September-May. At the Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746, email or visit T-BONE’S RADIO ACTIVE KIDS: Stories, music, contests, interviews and all things for families in the Asheville area. 8-10 a.m. Saturdays on 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. HAPPINESS GROUP: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 1528 Smoky Park Highway, Candler. $20 per session. Who is the happiest person you know? If you have ever thought about increasing your own level of happiness this group is for you. This six-week group is led by a licensed psychologist and allows for dialogue and support among group members. It offers you proven methods to create lasting happiness; helpful strategies to fit your personality and lifestyle; and ways to increase your motivation and commitment to positive change. Registration required by calling 761-1017 or visiting 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 accepted. Call Sonia at 380-0275 with questions. PRENATAL BONDING: Relaxing 1-hour weekly program in West Asheville with prenatal specialist. Donation suggested. For more information, contact Emma at 255-5648 or emma@gentletouch 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. SPANISH 4 KIDS: An enjoyable and effective way to learn Spanish by exposing children ages 3-5 to the language sounds. Taught by Monica Bastin, a native of Peru. With games, singing, dancing, storytelling and lots of fun. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Thursdays at Movement Center, French Broad Food Co-op. Email or call 335-2120.



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WNC Parent September 2013  

WNC Parent September 2013 edition

WNC Parent September 2013  

WNC Parent September 2013 edition