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LRSD Offers Innovative Learning Opportunities for Students

The Little Rock School District is committed to offering innovative learning opportunities tailored to the interests of students and dedicated to preparing students for college and career success.

Toward that goal, the district opened two new specialized academies in 2014: • Geyer Springs Gifted & Talented Academy for gifted and talented students in grades 2-5 • Forest Heights STEM Academy, a K-8 school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math

Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, these programs are offered across a continuum of feeder schools to enable students to participate in the magnet program from the time they enter elementary school through high school graduation.

Magnet School Continuum #1

• Elementary Schools GIBBS Magnet School of International Studies and Foreign Languages and WILLIAMS Traditional Studies Magnet Elementary School •

Middle School DunBAR Gifted & Talented/International Studies Magnet School

LRSD’s Magnet Program offers students the opportunity to participate in a variety of instructional programs from elementary to high school. Each school program emphasizes a specialized theme: • Arts, Math and Science • International Studies and Foreign Languages • Gifted & Talented • Traditional Studies

High School CEnTRAL High School International Studies Magnet Program

Middle School HoRACE MAnn Arts & Science Magnet Middle School

Any student who resides within the Little Rock School District attendance zones is eligible to apply for assignment at one of the District’s eight magnet school programs.

High School PARKVIEW Arts & Science Magnet High School

Magnet School Continuum #2

• Elementary Schools BooKER Arts and CARVER Math Science Magnet Elementary Schools

Open Enrollment for the 2015-16 school year is

January 26 - February 6, 2015

Little Rock School District PERFORMANCE WORKPLAN


The NEW Little Rock School District. Where WE Put Children First


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Working on this issue, which includes profiles of five amazing local teens, it was pretty much impossible not to think back to when I was their age. When I was a senior in high school I had a job at the movie theater, I worked on the school newspaper and had a fairly large cellular phone plugged into the lighter outlet in my little Nissan Sentra. I knew I wanted to work for a magazine, but I didn’t know how to go about that other than going to college and majoring in English and journalism. It was 1995, the year the Internet was commercialized. Fast-forward 20 years to a generation of kids who have never known life without the Internet and who, like most of us, always have a smartphone within reach. Meeting a group of five high school juniors and seniors, you assume that some of those negative stereotypes that accompany millennials would be present. I’m happy to say that was not at all the case. Self-absorbed? Hardly. These guys and girls are committed to their friends, their families and their communities. Determined? Absolutely. Sydney and Jase are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit that has taken flight around the state over the past several years. Already an elite-level marksman, Grace is determined to continue honing her skills to reach the very pinnacle of her sport. And Robert and John Mark are taking the civic-minded impression their dad has made on them and are making an impact in a variety of arenas. All five are planning for their futures in college and beyond, and I have no doubt we will be seeing great things from all of them. Their profiles begin on page 26, and writer Dwain Hebda did a wonderful job showcasing their individuality. February is National Heart Month, and in this issue you’ll find a profile of Kim Kullander, a Little Rock teacher who survived two heart attacks at only 47. Kim shared her story with me, and I hope, as she does, that it will help raise more awareness about women and heart disease. This month’s NOSH features a great selection of heart-healthy foods full of nutrients that will help protect your cardiovascular system. As for what we need to avoid, don’t pass up the info from the American Heart Association on how to manage your sodium intake. Lastly, if you’re considering private school for your child, you’ll want to check out our guide, which begins on page 36. We’ve got all the details on admissions and financial aid, plus what to expect from Montessori and parochial schools. Before we go, I’d like to take a minute to thank our art director Patrick Jones for his amazing work on Savvy. This is Patrick’s last issue, and while we’re excited for him to start the next chapter in his career, we will miss him terribly! Good luck, Patrick!






How To Access Us CORRECTIONS Friendship Community Care, Inc. No matter how hard they try, sometimes our copy For a no charge assessment 24 hours a day, 7 days 908 a week, North Reynolds Road, Bryant elves mess up and use incorrect information, miss a typo, 501-847-9711 orsimply worse, forget to include someone all together. We made call us at: 501-316-1255 or 800-264-5640 or fccare.org a few mistakes in the Savvy Special Needs Resource Guide us on theFollowing web at: www.rivendellofarkansas.com. The programs at Friendship Community Care support in visit the January issue. is the correct information for four of our guide entries. The complete, updated list is the planning, development and implementation We offer a mobile assessment that is available ofin most areas services, which include evaluation, audiological also available online at thesavvymoms.com. services, speech, physical and occupational therapies, by appointment. developmental therapy, family training and nutrition services for infants and toddles who demonstrate developmental delays. FCC is a nonprofit organization that serves both children and adults, with additional Allied Therapy locations around the state. 1500 Wilson Loop Road, Ward 501-941-5630 Lonoke Exceptional Development Center 5532 JFK Boulevard, 518 NE Front Street, Lonoke North Little Rock (New Location) 501-676-2786 501-588-3211 205 Plaza Boulevard, Cabot allied-therapy.com 501-628-0063 Allied Therapy is a pediatric therapy group 207 West Plaza Boulevard, Cabot specializing in providing developmental, speech, 501-628-5580 occupational and physical therapy in the child’s lonokeexceptional.org natural environment, as well as direct intervention The Lonoke Exceptional Development Center and consultation services for children with various is a nonprofit organization licensed by Arkansas disabilities ranging from six weeks to 21 years of age. Developmental Disability Services. Services at LEDC Allied Therapy recently relocated its Sherwood office to include early intervention, occupational, speech and North Little Rock. physical therapy, developmental day treatment for

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contributors FEBRUARY 2015



here for all stages of a woman’s life

is a writer and public relations practitioner in Little Rock. She owns Flywrite Communications, Inc., a public relations agency, and is the PR director for Mass Enthusiasm, a full-service marketing communications firm in Little Rock.


is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife Darlene are the parents of four grown children. The empty-nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.

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is a licensed marriage and family therapist for the Arkansas Relationship Counseling Center.





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I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND Navigating first loves and lasting lessons in the Internet Age B Y D WA I N H E B D A

Of all the phases and life challenges families navigate, few rival the emotional and developmental complexity of the dating years. Sure, we all look fondly back at those first exciting tidbits of independence in our own lives, but when our youngster moves from watching Disney movies to being escorted to the movies, our perception becomes decidedly skewed. And with good reason: With dating come the additional worries parents know all too well, from the benign broken heart to the more serious issues of sex or dating violence. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports about 40 percent of high school seniors have ever dated, but word from the front lines is that dating, at least in mindset, germinates much earlier. “I think in elementary school it’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, we’re girlfriend-boyfriend’ and they’ll just hang out,” says Aaron Izaguirre, 17, a senior at Parkview High School in Little Rock. “Then in middle school, they’re starting to understand and then high school is when it finally clicks.” During that time, young people undergo enormous change on almost all fronts—physical, emotional, mental and social. As they do, they seek mechanisms to help process this information says Dr. Barry Wingfield, marriage and family therapist and director of The Care Clinic in Little Rock. “We tend to define adolescence as the second decade of life, roughly from age 11 to 19, and there’s three things going on in these years. There’s growth, discovery and independence,” he says. “You can really break those down into two dimensions


within each: Physical growth, discovery and independence, and you also have what I call EMR—emotional, mental and relational growth, discovery and independence. “As the young person takes on the physical characteristics of adulthood, including sexual characteristics, they begin to try to discover what that means for them emotionally, mentally and relationally. Dating is a socially defined way of discerning these things about oneself, often by way of comparison of others going through the same discovery process through the dating relationship.” As a means of managing these changes, Dr. Wingfield says, dating is a healthy, probably inevitable, tool by which young people decode this complex formula. Talk to teens today and you soon discover just how fine the social lines are often drawn. Such distinctions may sound minor, but they are actually very useful to a parent wanting to keep tabs on how the relationships their child maintains progress. “If you’re with your group of friends and you’re with your boyfriend or girlfriend, you wouldn’t call that a date, you’d call that hanging out with friends,” says Sophie Rudder, 16, a junior at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock. “It’s only when you’re with the other person and you guys are by yourselves, whether to a movie or dinner or whatever, you’d call that a date.” Thus, the gaggle of teens who come over for pizza or who meet at the football game may not pair off, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t couples in the mix. Conversely, one-on-one relationships aren’t always what they seem either. “My parents are a little bit older and they honestly thought that dating was, like,

nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE going out to dinner, actually getting a person that you’re going off into the happily ever after with,” says Sarah Hylton, 17, a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy. “They don’t understand that it’s a lot of hard work just to keep a relationship.” “When we date it’s not necessarily looking for someone to marry,” Rudder says. “None of us are thinking about who were going to marry someday. We don’t think that far ahead, usually.” In many ways, Rudder and her boyfriend, Zachary Petrey, a senior at Little Rock Catholic High School, are poster children for modern teen relationships. They met as part of a church youth group and the time spent there evolved into one-on-one dating. They express strong feelings for one another, but admit other things now and on the horizon of life often take priority. In other respects, they are very different from their peers, having been together for 18 months and preferring phone calls to texting. “When I started off in high school, I got a lot of peer pressure from my friends because they were finding girlfriends and going out on dates, most of them unsuccessful,” Petrey, 17, says. “It’s very different for men and women because guys, we encourage dating and our friends going out and finding girls. Girls obviously see it a little different.” Dr. Wingfield agrees, saying there are pervasive societal pressures when it comes to dating, and not just from one’s peer group. “Ready or not, our society tends to pressure both young girls and young boys to become interested in the opposite sex about by the age of 11 and sometimes sooner,” he says. “Feeling forced into the ‘dating scene’ in adolescence can create different issues for boys and girls. For boys, the pressure tends to be to have as many dating partners as rapidly as you can and go as far physically as you can and somehow anything less is less manly. “For girls, the pressure is to always look good for the boys, or better than the girls around you, and above all else, avoid the fate that’s worse than death, which is being alone or isolation.”

Dr. Wingfield says in recent times there appears to be a noticeable minority of teens who successfully dig in against such pressures, who either choose to stay out of dating altogether or hover somewhere near platonic in favor of other activities and interests. “With my group of friends, there’s not really a pressure to date. So when I did start dating everyone was like, ‘Whoa, what are you doing?’ It was sort of like the opposite,” says Breanna Racher, 14, a freshman at Mount St. Mary. “I think my dad definitely thought (dating) was more serious than it was. Sometimes it’s just hanging out and just being with the person or whatever and it’s not so serious. It’s just fun.” Savvy sat down with a panel of teens to get their best advice for parents looking to deal with the dating years. Here’s some of what they told us: “I think a lot of things parents don’t understand is there’s a lot more texting and phones involved.” --Aaron Izaguirre, 17 “My mom says just make sure and tell her know what’s going on always. And that’s always been like that. (Dating) is just kind of the test, I guess, of how well you’ve raised (your kids). Until they do something wrong you have to trust them.” --Katelyn McKinney, 14 “Make sure your child is aware that you’re aware of what can happen, but not putting an over-emphasis on it. Things happen and there’s stuff that probably shouldn’t happen at such a young age, but don’t just cut everything off. I mean if they haven’t done anything yet, then why worry about it?” --Breanna Racher, 14 “(Remember that) for some people, dating is just not important at all. Like for me personally, if I had a boyfriend, honestly, I would probably blow him off just to study. I wouldn’t have time for it.” --Sarah Hylton, 17

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When Thelma Forté leaves home for school each day, she transforms into Master P.

Evan Lewis


rincipal of Union Elementary DaVinci Magnet School in Texarkana, Arkansas, Forté’s experience in teaching, managing and, most of all, children is what makes her a master. “My official title changes as the day progresses,” Forté said. “At the beginning of the day, I am simply Mrs. Forté. My students who get a skinned knee at recess are quick to call me mommy, and my fourth grade students refer to me as ‘Master P’ because I am a designated master principal. I wear and accept all of my official titles with great pride.” Among her duties, Forté supervises curriculum and instruction, and she also is responsible for the implementation of projectbased learning integrated with a focus on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics. In fact, Union Elementary DaVinci Magnet School specializes in liberal arts and technology instruction such as graphic arts, drumming, broadcasting and coding, and its step team is a particular source of pride. Prior to being a principal at Union Elementary, Forté was an assistant principal at Arkansas High School and an elementary teacher at Vera Kilpatrick Elementary. For two decades, Forté has committed herself to her life’s calling: teaching. “Some individuals live for a lifetime, and they never discover their purpose and their gifts,” Forté said. “I enjoy my career most because I know I have been called to teach. Educators who are called to the profession have a gift that allows them to reach and teach every individual student. Serving as a principal gives me the opportunity to foster change for an entire school.” Forté’s passion for education was born from a family legacy. Her father was both a teacher and a coach, and her mother, two sisters and two aunts are teachers, too. “When you add all of our years of in education, we have 236 years of experience,” Forté said. “My mom and dad instilled the importance of becoming a member of my professional organization, and my dad told me, ‘The two most important documents you can sign as an educator are your contract and your AEA membership form.’ I can remember my family discussing the benefits of being a member of AEA, which was a large part of my parents’ ability to purchase their first car and home and to obtain affordable insurance for all of us. We’d also talk about the lobbying power of AEA and how hard they worked to make sure the teaching profession remains attractive for future generations of teachers who will accept the call and

the challenge of educating our students.” Forté believes the AEA serves as her voice when it comes to protecting her rights as an educator and individual. She knows there is always someone who is working to ensure she receives compensation for the rising cost of living, and she particularly appreciates that the association doesn’t just work for the benefit of teachers, but also that of students. “As professionals, it’s important that we become a part of our professional organization. AEA provides so many resources for educators to keep us abreast of the most current research-based instructional methods, and educators have an opportunity to have their voices heard. It is reassuring to know that AEA is a professional organization willing to work for its members to give us some much deserved rest and peace of mind.”

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nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE

SEE MOM DATE Navigating new relationships with children in the mix BY CHARLIE SIMPSON, LPC, LMFT

Reentering the dating scene can be a challenging endeavor once an old relationship has ended. What’s even more challenging is when children are a part of the process. With Arkansas having one of the highest divorce rates in the U.S., there will be ample opportunity to begin a new love life. However, with kids involved, dating becomes a bit more complicated. Kids can be greatly impacted in negative and positive ways by a dating parent—and by the way a parent adjusts to new dating dynamics. Going S-L-O-W is one of the most important approaches to this type of dating. The acronym SLOW is used here to help navigate this new and different social landscape. If you find yourself venturing into blended family territory take heed to the guidelines below. SELF. Knowing “thyself” can make the difference between dating to rebound and starting a healthy relationship. Dating too quickly, trying to force relationships or disregarding kids’ needs are all signs of rebounding. Going through a divorce or serious break-up requires an intense grieving process and adjustment phase. If you skip the process of accepting the past, you may carry it into your future. Children will struggle with your rebound, especially if they are adolescents. Ask yourself, “Have I grieved the divorce or break-up?” “Have I adjusted to being a single parent in a healthy way?” or, “Am I dating to cover my hurt?” This will help you focus on honest emotional self-assessment. LOVE. This guideline is all about the kids. In order to help children adjust to divorce/break-up and start a blended family, they must complete their grieving process and get to acceptance as well. Age is a major factor in how kids adjust. For instance, young children usually have an easier time adjusting to a dating parent; adolescents tend to struggle with loyalty issues between biological parents and stepparents. It is extremely important to understand that no matter how much you want the stepparent and stepchild to get along, love and


nurturing must be provided for a child to develop. Remember, attempting to punish a stepchild without a relationship leads to rebellion (no relationship + punishment = rebellion). Instead of feeling loved, a child can be pushed into a dangerous area if this occurs. OPENNESS. If your child and new significant other don’t get along, then how do you move forward? This answer requires a lot of openness. Side with your child and you may lose a potential partner; side with your partner then the child may feel neglected. Difficult situations similar to this dilemma may call for professional help. Blending a family in a healthy way requires understanding and boundaries. For example, it’s ok for the stepparent and stepchild to not adjust well, but understanding why is necessary for adjustment later. Some examples of poor adjustment may include the child or biological parent not healing from divorce, a stepparent’s feelings of helplessness trying to bond with a stepchild, or the biological parent forcing the stepparent and child to attach. If the people in your new family feel hopeless blending as a family, anxiety and stress may increase if not addressed. WAIT. The best time to introduce someone you are dating to a child is when the situation is more than causal. Constantly seeing a new person while a parent adjusts to the dating process is the last thing a child needs. According to research, what’s even worse for the child is moving in with someone you’re dating without developing a serious commitment. Maneuvering carefully and patiently will assure the best decisions for you and the kids. Make sure there is a commitment and the patience will be worth the wait. Charlie Simpson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for the Arkansas Relationship Counseling Center. http://arkansasrelationshipcounseling.com

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nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE



Fashion | lifestyle | health


More women are having heart attacks at an earlier age. This is one woman’s story of survival and looking ahead to the future BY MEL JONES

Six year ago, Kim Marble Kullander was like most busy moms. She was working full time as a high school math teacher at Pulaski Academy, she was head of the math department, attending grad school, involved with her church and other organizations, and had a busy family life with school and sports. “I thought I had it all together, but there wasn’t much time for sleep, exercise or eating correctly,” she says. “However, I felt good about all I was accomplishing.”


nest | Thrive | NOSH | CULTIVATE While she had experienced a few episodes of high blood pressure at routine doctor visits, and was taking medication to regulate her blood pressure and cholesterol, having a heart attack never crossed her mind. But in December 2008, at the age of 47, that changed. With just a few days until Christmas, Kim was trying to finish up her shopping, and was angry with her family for bickering over trivial matters. “After setting my family straight, I felt a heavy pressure and deep pain on the left side of my chest, like severe menstrual cramps in my heart,” she says. “I had an aching pain down my left arm, and the left side of my neck and jaw also ached.” Kim knew almost immediately that she was having a heart attack, but the difficult part was convincing her family. Husband Mikel thought it was a panic attack because of the stress Kim was under, and because of how angry she was before the attack. Daughter Mary Katherine, however, recognized the symptoms almost immediately. Mary Katherine had just completed the American Heart Association Sweethearts program, and got the medical encyclopedia out to convince her dad. “We told him to take me to the emergency room, and if it was a panic attack we would laugh about it later,” Kim says. Unfortunately, this trip to the ER at the Arkansas Heart Hospital was no laughing matter. Within minutes of being hooked up to the monitors, Kim was told that she was definitely having a heart attack. She was admitted and after undergoing an angiogram, was diagnosed with vasospasm. According to the National Institutes of Health, a vasospasm, or coronary artery spasm, is “a temporary, sudden narrowing of one of the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart). The spasm slows or stops blood flow through the artery and starves part of the heart of oxygen-rich blood.” Kim started medication to help control the spasms. But one week later, she was startled from her sleep by a loud sound and went through the same episode again. Following the second heart attack and subsequent angiogram, she received a stent, and over the next few months her medications were adjusted

and she was using nitroglycerine to control the spasms. The spasms, Kim says, felt like a pulling sensation, like a stretching rubber band in her heart. “After a third angiogram and the correct combination of medicines, my life and health slowly got back to normal,” she says. Kim points out that her case was different than most, and credits her doctor for “calling in many other doctors to help evaluate my case.” Her treatment plan included “a long list of medications” to take daily, and to reduce the stress in her life. Taking a daily regimen of pills is pretty easy, but the stress part? “I wasn’t sure how to reduce the stress in my life. I had always been happy to be very busy, to work hard and to be in control. I slowly started letting go of unnecessary responsibilities and leadership positions,” Kim says. “When asked to help on committees or projects, I said ‘no.’ This was difficult for me, but I knew I needed to de-stress my life, and my biggest stress was daily commitments that monopolized my time.” Today, Kim says that although she still works too many hours each day, she tries hard to schedule routine exercise and eats healthy. She still takes her medication and hasn’t had any more heart events. The entire ordeal, she says, has put things in perspective. “Since my heart episodes, I try to put more time and energy into connecting with family and friends. These relationships are most important to me and give me the most joy,” she says. “It’s good for my heart!”


Being aware of your family’s heart health can help you and your doctors determine your risk. Kim’s paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather and uncle all died from heart attacks at a young age. It wasn’t until after she suffered her heart attacks that she discovered her grandfather was 47 when he died.

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BEANS & GRAINS & THINGS These 19 foods and drinks are full of nutrients that can help protect your heart BY MEL JONES PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA BLANCETT REEVES


2 5



We know that a steady diet of cheeseburgers and fries—no matter how delicious it may be—is most definitely not the definition of a heart-healthy lifestyle. So what is on the menu when it comes to keeping our cardiovascular system happy and protected against high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood clots and other conditions that can lead to heart disease? Foods that have nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce blood clots, lower blood pressure and protect against heart attacks; B-complex vitamins like folate and niacin that protect against blood clots and arthrosclerosis, and


help increase “good cholesterol; and antioxidants like alphaand beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and polyphenols (which include flavonoids), all of which help protect blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and help reduce “bad” cholesterol. The list of healthy, nutrient-rich foods that can benefit your cardiovascular system is long and filled with fresh fruit and veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and fish such as tuna and salmon. Here, we’ve gathered more than a dozen delicious options that will provide a myriad of snack and meal options that are tasty and good for your heart.

1. KIDNEY BEANS—Full of B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, kidney beans make for a nutrient-packed soup or side dish. 2. BARLEY—Full of fiber that can help lower overall and LDL cholesterol, barley is gaining in popularity and is available at most grocery stores. Use it like you would rice, or use it to make soups, stews and even casseroles, with the added bonus of whole-grain goodness. 3. BLACK BEANS—Like kidney beans, the flavorful black bean provides B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, calcium, soluble fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. 4. FLAXSEED—Also known as linseed, this ancient seed comes from flax, one of the world’s oldest fiber crops. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, manganese and phytoestrogens. Ground flaxseed is easier to digest and allows the body to absorb its nutrients better. If you buy it whole, as shown, just use a coffee grinder before adding it to cereal, yogurt, smoothies and even baked goods. 5. BROWN RICE—Packed with B-complex vitamins, fiber, niacin and magnesium. Mix in some heart-healthy veggies like broccoli, asparagus, spinach and red bell peppers for a delicious lunch or dinner. 6. BLUEBERRIES—Fresh blueberries are a favorite snack around the Savvy office, and they pack plenty of nutrients, including beta-carotene, lutein, anthocyanin, ellagic acid, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. 7. ORANGES—Squeeze up a fresh glass of OJ and get carotenoids like betacryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene, lutein, flavones, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber. 8. ALMONDS—A perfect on-to-go snack to keep in your bag for that afternoon slump, almonds boast plant omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, fiber and phytosterols. 9. SUNFLOWER SEEDS—A filling little treat to keep on hand, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of vitamin E, which can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, which can lead to blocked arteries, heart attack and stroke. Sunflower seeds also boast magnesium for helping to lower high blood pressure, and phytosterols that can reduce cholesterol. C ONTIN UED O N PAGE 23

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10. ACORN SQUASH—This cool-weather favorite is rich in beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex and C vitamins, folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber and potassium. 11. RED BELL PEPPERS—Whether you add them to salads or sandwiches or keep them sliced and ready for snacking, red bell peppers will provide you with B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, lutein, folate, potassium and fiber. 12. ASPARAGUS—Tossed with olive oil and a dash of sea salt, pepper and lemon juice and then oven-roasted or grilled, asparagus is a great alone as a side or mixed with other veggies in a salad or stir fry, and is rich in B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, lutein, folate and fiber. 13. TOMATOES—Positively packed with nutrients, including beta- and alphacarotene, lycopene, lutein, vitamin C, potassium, folate and fiber, tomatoes are a healthy diet essential. 14. SPINACH—Replace the lettuce in your salad with spinach and get a bowl full of B-complex vitamins, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fiber. 15. SWEET POTATOES—For vitamins A, C and E, fiber and beta-carotene, bake or roast a side of sweet potatoes. 16. SOY MILK—Accompany your oatmeal (another heart-smart option) or wholegrain cereal with soy milk, and you’ll get isoflavones, B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phytoestrogens. 17. RED WINE—To your health! Red wine has catechins and reservatrol, which could improve HDL, or “good” cholesterol, so have an occasional glass with dinner. 18. TEA—Whether you prefer a tall glass of iced tea or Earl Grey, tea offers catechins and flavonols, which are antioxidants that protect blood vessels, lower blood pressure and lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. 19. DARK CHOCOLATE—When you’ve got a craving for something sweet, reach dark chocolate with a 70-percent or higher cocoa content and you’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and get a dose of the antioxidants reservatrol and cocoa phenol.


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Join the American Heart Association and break up with salt Americans eat too much salt, and most have no idea how much they are eating, according to new consumer research by the American Heart Association. Nearly all of the 1,000 people surveyed (97 percent) either underestimated or could not estimate how much sodium they eat every day. Too much sodium in the diet can increase risk for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and other major health problems. Most people who underestimated their sodium consumption in the survey were off by around 1,000 milligrams. That’s a significant amount, considering the AHA recommends 1,500 milligrams a day for ideal heart health. Most Americans consume more than double that. In an effort to help people better understand and limit their sodium intake, the AHA has launched a new awareness campaign called “I Love You Salt, But You’re Breaking My Heart.” Limiting salt in the bigger picture—the U.S. food supply—is an important goal of the campaign. That’s because 75 percent of Americans’ sodium consumption is from processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods—not the salt shaker. “It’s challenging for Americans to stick to sodium intake recommendations because most of the sodium we eat in this country is added to our food before we buy it,” says AHA president Elliott Antman, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior physician in the Cardiovascular Division of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “In order to really make a



difference in the health of all Americans, we must reduce sodium in the food supply through the support of food manufacturers, food processors and the restaurant industry.” Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor. One-third of American adults have high blood pressure, and about 90 percent of American adults are expected to develop high blood pressure over their lifetimes. Children, too, are at risk of developing heart disease and elevated blood pressure at an earlier age. Nearly 80 percent of 1- to 3-year-olds and more than 90 percent of 4- to 18-year-olds eat too much sodium. “America’s health could take a turn for the better if more Americans focused on their sodium intake,” Antman says. “The American Heart Association encourages people to reduce their sodium intake by comparing product labels and selecting the option with less sodium, limiting the consumption of processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods, and by substituting salt with herbs, spices, citrus juice, or vinegars to season food.” Reducing current sodium intake by 1,200 milligrams a day has been estimated to prevent between 44,000 and 92,000 deaths per year and save between $10 billion and $24 billion annually in healthcare costs. To learn more about the “I Love You Salt, But You’re Breaking My Heart” campaign, visit http://www. heart.org/sodium, and sign up the pledge to break up with salt.





TEEN Left to right: Robert Stodola, Grace Hambuchen, John Mark Stodola, Jase Burton and Sydney Brazil.







Glazed & Enthused Sydney Brazil sells the hole truth and nothing but

The most surprising thing about The Hole Thing founder Sydney Brazil isn’t being a successful business owner at the tender age of 16, although that does grab one’s attention. The most startling thing about the North Little Rock native and eStem High School junior is that she never considered business ownership prior to launching her donut hole bakery. Her selection to her school’s Noble Impact program, a nonprofit organization that engages students in public service through entrepreneurship in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service, changed all that. “Honestly, school is something that is really important to me so when I was selected I wanted to be the best I could,” she says. “What I found out was entrepreneurship was more than just about business, I was really about finding something to be passionate about.” Once she had set her mind in entrepreneur mode, the nature of her endeavor was not far behind. While the food business is notoriously competitive, Brazil was undeterred, convinced that even as donut shops continued to proliferate, few of them elevated the donut hole to its rightful place. Brazil’s obsession with the ping pong ball-sized treats seems to know no bounds. The Hole Thing’s menu lists nearly 20 gourmet varieties of the treats and she encourages visitors to the bakery’s website (thewholethinglr.com) to suggest even more. She haunts local donut shops for inspiration and to broaden her already considerable knowledge of the pint-sized pastry. If wine has its cork dorks and technology has its computer nerds, then Brazil is the donut hole world’s equivalent—a hole mole perhaps, a spherical savant. Glazed and enthused. “I’m a really firm believer in being passionate about what you’re doing,” she says. “I got into this thinking even if it doesn’t last a really long time, it’s something I can be proud and honored to do.” Brazil’s passion for the business, the plan for which she concocted with eStem classmate Jase Burton, helped propel the venture to third place in the 2014 Y.E.S. 2.0 (Youth Entrepreneur Showcase) competition’s best business plan category. Y.E.S. 2.0, open to students in grades 9 through 12, and its companion Y.E.S., open to students in grades 5 through 8, encourages young people’s entrepreneurial efforts. From there, she’s worked hard to bring her prize-winning plan to life. “Before Y.E.S. 2.0, Sydney did not have a background in business,” says Marie

Bruno, executive director of Arkansas Economic Acceleration Foundation, which sponsors the competitions. “Now, she has a formal business plan that has permanence and can be refined and built upon as she moves forward. Sydney added that the plan is always there to help her remember the original vision for the company.” There have been other reminders that The Hole Thing has moved well off the drawing board and into the real world of business. Brazil, daughter of Renea and Ken Brazil and older sister to Kenny, calls the myriad paperwork that comes with running a company the hardest thing to get used to. “Now that I’m legally registered with the state I have all of this stuff that needs to be turned in,” she says. “When I started, I spent a lot of my time just using my own money to buy things and making holes for whoever and just getting very good at my craft. Now, I have to turn in legal things, making sure everything’s documented. That was the hardest thing for me. It’s easier for me to do things on a whim versus actually documenting that process.” The Hole Thing has benefited from a ream of local press and recently got another big boost when Brazil entered into an arrangement with Little Rock’s Copper Grill. The deal puts the company’s donut holes on the restaurant’s dessert menu, plus allows her to have business cards and signage on premises and use Copper Grill’s kitchen to fill her growing catering orders. She said the arrangement is an example of how the “grown up” business community has embraced her. “Honestly, what surprised me the most was that the adults who I’ve come in contact with — SYDNEY BRAZIL and been involved with take me more seriously than other high school students,” she says. “You know, when you look at getting into college or with other activities there’s a lot of competition and so it’s easier for you to look at a peer and feel threatened by their success versus an adult who’s looking at it more as a mentorship opportunity.” The growth of her business aside, Brazil finds time for other interests as well. She’s involved with competitive dance and is a self-described Netflix junkie. As well, she’s recently been collaborating with Burton on a young entrepreneur’s podcast, (Noble) Impact on Air. The Hole Thing hasn’t quite reached the level of hiring her first employee, but she does get a boost from extra hands here and there. “I get a lot of friends to help me out just by promising to give them free donut holes,” she says.

“I’m a really firm believer in being passionate about what you’re doing.”




Social Butterfly Marketer, entrepreneur Jase Burton focuses on the big picture

Jase Burton doesn’t sound like most teenagers. The 16-year-old junior at Little Rock’s eStem High School speaks with the confidence of someone much older, because in business years, he is. “It seems like my whole life I’ve started businesses,” he says. “I remember being 7 years old, I started a frozen pizza company and then I got bored with that and the next week I started a cookiemaking company.” The ventures didn’t last long, but they revealed something to the Little Rock native about what the future held. “Starting all these businesses and failing and giving up within a week or a month’s time, I wondered am I really into these things,” he says. “I figured out I wasn’t really into making cookies or frozen pizzas. I found out I was actually just creating companies to have the opportunity to market a company. “I didn’t know that marketing companies were actually a thing that existed so when I found that out, it just kind of made my life.” By the time his high school offered the Noble 101 program, there was no doubt that Burton would be among its inaugural class. The course, sponsored by Noble Impact in partnership with the Clinton School of Public Service, leads students to public service through entrepreneurship. In its second year at eStem, Noble 101 is not only part of the school’s permanent curriculum, it’s expanded to other grades there. It was also in that class Burton partnered with Sydney Brazil and together the duo would come up with the business plan for The Hole Thing, a gourmet donut hole bakery. That plan took third place in last year’s Y.E.S. 2.0 competition and today Brazil has brought their plan into a reality. Burton said while he is not officially involved with that venture, he’s not far away. “Every now and then I’ll do small marketing favors, but other than that we’re best friends,” he says. “I’m in the kitchen most of the time just hanging out.” That is not to say that he’s been idle on his own entrepreneurial front. Five months ago, he launched his own marketing firm, The Burton Agency (@theburtonagency). Like all new ventures, the company has taught him a lot in a very short period, including how to land clients when you’re barely old enough to drive. “Yeah, I get (the age thing) a lot. That might be my biggest adversity to have to overcome as a high school entrepreneur,” he says. “So I’ve made it a priority not to just walk in and introduce myself and give a business pitch, I like to kind

of build that relationship first.” Case in point: Burton’s first client, Little Rock bike shop Spokes, grew out of frequent visits to the shop and the casual conversations he had with the business owner that had nothing to do with a sales pitch. “I was the regular customer, I’d come in, get coffee, you know, have conversations with the owner. And eventually he asked me, ‘How’s school going for you? Where do you go to school?’ and so then I told him about what I did. “He actually asked me about my company and that’s when I ended up giving the pitch. So I kind of established that trust and built that credibility first.” The Burton Agency generated additional industry buzz covering social media for Startup Weekend Little Rock, an event for aspiring entrepreneurs that featured a slate of speakers, mentors and judges from across Little Rock’s business spectrum. “That was a huge opportunity and that kind of got the word out,” Burton says. “And then Sydney and I were featured on FOX 16’s Good Day Arkansas and that was huge publicity. Other than that, I market the company at networking events and on social media, of course.” “We’re very proud of Jase and the other Y.E.S. 2.0 competitors across Arkansas, not only for what they’ve accomplished, but also for their passion and enthusiasm—what we call the entrepreneurial spirit,” says Marie Bruno, executive director of Arkansas Economic — JA SE BURTON Acceleration Foundation. “Arkansas is a very exciting place to be for entrepreneurs of all ages and we are excited to see what our high school students will be bringing to our state’s economy and livelihood in the future.” Speaking of the future, Burton is no less ambitious on this front than he is in his business pursuits. His goal is to attend Princeton University following graduation, pursuing a degree in either economics or marketing. And, he’ll bring his company along for the ride. It’s a tall order but as Burton points out, the problem with many people is the fear they have of failure that keeps them from trying anything at all. “I get a lot of my confidence from all the small failures that I’ve had,” he says. “I used to be afraid to fail, until I realized that each time I had a small failure, it helped me grow more and more into the person I am today. I don’t fear failure anymore.”

“I get a lot of my confidence from all the small failures that I’ve had.”



Robert Stodola and John Mark Stodola


Team Stodola Twin brothers make community service a priority

Last Thanksgiving, when families all over the country were gathering around the dinner table, the Stodola men—Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and his twin sons, Robert and John Mark—were touring a downtown church that served the homeless. At one point their guide, the ministry’s coordinator, ushered them into a large rec room where some of Little Rock’s less fortunate had gathered for warmth and a meal. “He paused and he told all the people there, ‘Hey everyone, this is our mayor— he cares,’” recalls John Mark. “That was just a really cool thing to see and it really made me want to give back to the community.” The Stodola brothers, now seniors at Little Rock’s Catholic High School, say such examples were everywhere while they were growing up and have been powerful influencers on what it means to be civic-minded. “Dad being the mayor opened us up more to opportunities to be involved and just being exposed to things that go on in the community,” John Mark says, although the brothers point out that the decision to embrace these opportunities was entirely theirs. “I feel even if dad wasn’t the mayor, I still would’ve been involved in the community and just try to make the community a better place,” says Robert. “Dad never pressured us into anything, really.” The twins found their calling in service, nonetheless. Both have been members of the Little Rock Mayor’s Youth Council, which performs monthly volunteer and community service projects throughout the city. As juniors, both also stepped up to a subgroup of the council, the youth leadership program. “The youth leadership program is basically the Mayors Youth Council on steroids,” Robert says. “You learn much more about the city and what goes into running the city. At the end of this program we were able to visit Newcastle, England, which is a friendship city of Little Rock. Our role was to go there as youth ambassadors and to experience a new city and make a bond that unites the two cities across the pond.” The brothers also found an outlet for service by serving six summers as counselors at Camp Winnamocka in Arkadelphia. Last summer, their quick thinking helped save a camper’s life after she was bitten by a poisonous snake, but even the routine interactions with campers are experiences they

call life-changing. “You get to relate to these kids and affect their lives because they look up to you as a counselor,” John Mark says. “I have these kids tell me that I was their favorite counselor and hearing that is one of the best things you can ever hear. It just means the world. Being a camp counselor has helped me grow into a great adult.” The brothers also have activities that have helped forge them as individuals. John Mark has participated in the school’s Broadcast Journalism Club, responsible for morning announcements and producing funny on-air skits. He also made the transition from recreational to competitive runner as an upperclassman for the Catholic High crosscountry team and middle distance on the track team. Running also afforded him unique coming-of-age moment. “Before the Little Rock Marathon and Race for the Cure, Dad sits up in a little bucket like what they use to trim tree branches,” he says. “I remember when we were really little, me and Robert and my dad would squeeze into this tiny bucket and wave to the runners. “What was even cooler was last year I got to see it from a runner’s standpoint. I was running in the Little Rock half marathon and I got to see my dad waving down from the bucket.” Robert has stepped outside his comfort zone—twice—to take the stage, appearing in school productions of “A Few Good Men” as a junior and the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” last fall. “I had never acted before and so I was really surprised I got a part,” he says. “I had over — ROBERT STODOLA 150 lines and it improved my public speaking. Then, in my senior year…I was cast as this crazy, sadistic dentist, which was something special for me because the guy is my complete opposite. But it was a lot of fun. It’s more fun playing the bad guy.” Robert was also part of Catholic High’s inaugural mock trial team as a sophomore and has participated in the activity ever since. He says mock trial has helped kindle an interest in the law, although he’s still undecided about his college and career choice. One thing, though, is certain. “In whatever profession I go into, I know I want to help people,” he says. “Honestly, I think that’s why we’re here is because we’re supposed to help people become who they want to be and in doing that, we’ll become who we want to be.”

“I feel even if dad wasn’t the mayor, I still would’ve been involved in the community.”




Sure Shot Maumelle teen’s goals are right on target

Arkansas produces some of the sport’s top caliber talent (four women and one Like a lot of high schoolers, Grace Hambuchen of Maumelle is hearing a lot about “aiming high” and “hitting whatever you set your sights on,” these days. man placed in the top 10 at the national JO contest last summer) but there’s still room to grow. Grace’s elite status has turned her into an ambassador for And while that’s never not good advice, in her case it’s a little redundant. As an elite young trap shooter, Grace, 17, has hit well more than her share of competitive shooting at the high school level. Last year she participated with where she sets her sights. In fact, in one round of USA Shooting’s National Junior Little Rock Catholic High School’s team, making it all the way to state alongside Olympic Shooting Championships last summer in Colorado Springs, she drilled a her younger brother, Anderson. She’s also spearheaded efforts to get a shooting team started at Mount St. perfect 25 of 25 targets, one of only four perfect scores in the women’s competition. She was so deadly she ultimately placed second only after tournament officials Mary, where she is a senior, to an enthusiastic response. “It surprised me, honestly. I expected a bunch of girls saying, ‘You went to a series of tiebreakers. shoot with boys? You’re doing a boy’s sport.’” she “I’m just happy I made the Junior Olympic says. “But there’s actually a lot of girls who go team,” says the vivacious 17-year-old. “It was the out and hunt every weekend with their family. best week of my life.” I’ve had a lot of other girls come to me and say, It probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that a ‘Grace will you please take me hunting, I’ve hunting-heavy state like Arkansas would produce never been, but I really want to go.’ ” such marksmanship. Grace’s introduction to The reaction hasn’t always been so positive. shooting was like a lot of youngsters’—first BB During a period when her family lived in Boston, guns, then pellet guns. Family lore puts her first a period she coincidentally made the switch from firing of an adult weapon at around age 7. pistol to shotgun, she discovered just how different “The first time I actually shot a real gun was in the local culture was from her native Arkansas. my grandpa’s back field,” she says. “I picked up “There were people at my school that would this tiny little .410 shotgun—they’re itty bitty, walk up to me and be like, ‘My parents don’t they’re like a pellet gun—shot it, and cried for like you because you shoot guns,’” she says. hours because I thought a mule had kicked me. “So, shooting has made me more educated in I shoot a huge 12-gauge shotgun now so it’s worldviews. Hearing all these gun activists nothing. My brother always makes fun of me, that are like, ‘We don’t believe you should ‘You cried the first time you shot a gun.’” carry a gun, especially children carrying guns,’ Today, her firepower is considerably more just really made me more open to everybody sophisticated. Elite competitive shooters (and those — GRACE HAMBUCHEN else’s political views about gun rights. And, who aspire to be) are very selective about their it’s also given me very good arguments to take sporting arms. Grace’s Krieghoff K-80 12-gauge is a other places.” splendid example—sleek, polished and tailored to fit her like a fine suit. One such place will be college. Grace will attend the University of St. Louis Of course, the best gun in the world is useless without natural ability honed by dedication and hours and hours of practice. In international trap shooting— in the fall with thoughts about studying history, perhaps ultimately studying the kind contested at the Olympics—competitors try to hit a flying clay disk law. Her shooting career has earned her friends nationwide so she already has smaller than a salad plate moving in excess of 60 miles an hour. Fifteen fixed a social circle waiting for her at college. And, there’s always the opportunity to traps—three per shooting station—are programmed to launch the targets more head to the range if she gets homesick. “Actually, I cannot wait to go to college,” she says. “I mean, I love high school than 80 yards at varying heights and in random order so the shooter can’t fall and I love the Mount, but also love trying new things and meeting new people. into predictable flight patterns. “I just have to train really hard,” Grace says. “I would love to be able to compete I definitely think having shooting with me and knowing I can do that wherever overseas, and I would love to make the national team and someday make the I go is really comforting. Plus, it’s fun and it’s a nice stress reliever and I’ll need that in college, too.” Olympic team. That would be fantastic.”

“I would love to make the national team and someday make the Olympic team. ”








Independent and private schools offer opportunity for Arkansas children BY KD REEP

Let’s be honest: When today’s parents think of independent/private schools, visions of Tooty, Blair, Natalie and Jo in plaid skirts and knee socks running around Eastland School in “The Facts of Life” flood our minds. But, Mrs. Garrett, the blazer crests, impossibly high standards and exclusivity we’ve identified with “private school” have given way to more opportunity for more students in central Arkansas. Private, or as the Arkansas Nonpublic School Accrediting Association refers to them, independent, schools in central Arkansas include a variety of mission-based instruction, including religious and parochial schools, college preparatory academies and Montessori institutions, among others. If a family has a particular goal for their children—for example, an education based in the tenants of their faith—a private school can provide them an environment and instruction to meet that goal. While public schools cannot discriminate on the basis of religion, race, ethnic origin, gender, disability or any other consideration unrelated to education, they may not be the right fit based on a student’s needs. Independent/private schools offer different options based on their vision and mission and may provide parents better options to meet their student’s needs and skills. “One difference between public and independent/private schools is that independent/private schools have more flexibility in designing its curriculum based on the mission of the school,” says Gregg R. Ledbetter, head of enrollment and financial aid at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock “This allows independent/private schools to offer curriculum and programs that are more relevant to the wants and needs of the local community. Conversely, public school curriculum and programs are more restricted due to state and federal government guidelines and regulations.” Another difference is admission to the school. By law, public schools much accept all children. While this may seem straightforward, as parents in central Arkansas know, it can be incredibly complicated. Parents and students can choose to attend any school in the district in which they reside; however, there


is no guarantee they will get the first school of their choice, and many times, not even the second. Whereas, independent/private schools have specific admissions standards set by board- or trustee-approved policies and guidelines that a student must meet in order to be admitted to the school. Different schools have different admissions standards based on the mission of the school. While the admissions process is more involved, if the student meets or exceeds that school’s admissions policies or guidelines, and there is space available in the student’s grade, that student is most likely to be accepted and able to attend the school. “Pulaski Academy is an independent, college preparatory, non-sectarian school, which embraces all faiths, races and cultures,” Ledbetter says. “As a college preparatory school our focus is on relevant and innovative academics and character development. We create an environment for students to hone their unique talents to prepare them for college and life. Our admissions process requires an application for enrollment, two years of grades, an admissions test as well as standardized tests, teacher recommendations, writing samples and an interview or observation visit. Our mission is to inspire students to explore, create, contribute and achieve. I recommend any parent wanting to find the best educational opportunity for their child to research a school’s mission and if they think his or her child could benefit from that school’s curriculum to contact the school and visit with the admissions person.” The bottom line for families in central Arkansas: Don’t think that private schooling isn’t an option for your student. With a variety of options for preK, elementary, middle and high schools in college preparatory, Montessori or parochial and religious-based institutions, independent schools expand the choices for families who want the best possible educational environment for their student’s unique needs and talents. “Private schools are accessible to more students than most people think,” Ledbetter says. “With some research and direction, parents and guardians can take advantage of the mission-based education an independent/private school can provide.”









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FINANCIAL AID Funds available to help students attend private schools BY KD REEP

The mystique of private school as an exclusive educational option for only the few who can afford it is fading, and fast. While tuition is a consideration for families planning the most optimal education for their children, there are myriad financial aid options available to make private school affordable for almost every budget. About a fifth of private school students receive some form of need-based financial aid. This includes merit-based financial aid, which is less than five percent of those students receiving monetary assistance. Generally, most financial aid is provided by the schools themselves, in particular scholarships made in someone’s honor and only available at that specific institution. According to the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), an association that provides services to more than 1,700 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including 1,400 independent private


K-12 schools in the United States, the median tuition for their member private day schools in the United States is $17,441. Parochial schools are even more affordable. The National Catholic Educational Association, the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing 150,000 Catholic educators serving 6 million students in Catholic elementary and secondary schools, in religious education programs, in seminaries, and in colleges and universities, reports that the mean tuition for parish elementary schools is $2,607 and $6,906 for the freshman year of secondary school. The NAIS offers these options when seeking assistance in funding tuition for private school. Need-based financial aid is used to offset tuition costs and do not have to be paid back. The school gives out grants based on a family’s financial need. They can range from small amounts to full tuition, depending on the availability of

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There are a variety of scholarship and voucher programs for private and parochial schools. financial aid funds and the family’s demonstrated need. Grant money comes directly from the school’s budget and demonstrates the school’s commitment to having students who are socioeconomically diverse. Merit awards or scholarships are usually offered to students who demonstrate a certain skill or talent the school is seeking, such as art, music or academics. Generally, these are not given on the basis of financial need, although some scholarship awards are. Scholarships may be awarded once, annually or as long as the student meets the scholarship criteria. There a re a variety of scholarship and voucher programs for private and parochial schools, including Children’s Scholarship Fund, an organization providing scholarships to families in need so children can attend the K-8 schools that are the best fit, regardless of their ability to pay or where they live; and Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Tuition loans, on the other hand, usually have to come from a private lender

as most schools do not run their own loan programs. If you decide to borrow, keep these tips in mind: • Remember that you don’t have to borrow for the entire amount of tuition; you can use a loan to fill in a financial gap or to cover expenses a grant might not cover, such as a laptop computer. • Realize that you have to be credit-worthy to borrow from a private lender; the bank or loan company will apply the same standards it uses for any other personal loan. • As with any loan, you should choose interest rates and terms that fit your needs. You may also want to make sure you can increase the amount of the loan if you need to. • Look carefully at repayment plans, including the short-term and long-term costs of borrowing the amount you need. • Consider working with a loan company that has a track record of providing educational financing for college as well. With such a company, it may be easier to refinance or consolidate payments when your child reaches college. Payment plans allow you to break up one or two lump-sum payments for tuition into monthly payments, which makes tuition easier to manage. Typically, payments are coordinated between a financial services company and the school and offered to families for a relatively small fee. Ask each school if it recommends certain plans or providers. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot work directly with a payment plan company the way you can with a tuition loan program. Be sure to check with the school to determine which payment plan provider it works with. Finally, sibling discounts are an independent school’s way of bundling savings. Based on the number of children enrolled in the same school, sibling discounts may not be offered at all private schools, and the discount may be small. However, any amount saved on the cost of tuition can be a help to families of all financial backgrounds.

every day is an

OPEN HOUSE Please call (501) 372-1194 and schedule your personal visit and tour at a time that is convenient for you!

EveryVisit Day is an Open House us online at www.episcopalcollegiate.org to learn more.

Jackson T. Stephens Campus | Serving Grades PreK3-12 1701 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, Arkansas Episcopal Collegiate School welcomes students of any race, color, religion and national or ethnic origin.



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LEARNING FOR LIFE Montessori schools offer unique way for children to learn BY KD REEP

Each of us learns in a unique way, and traditional classroom processes may not be the best fit for your child. Montessori school recognizes that children learn in different ways, and it makes accommodations for all styles of learning. Formulated in 1907 by Italian physician Maria Montessori, the Montessori method was born from an urban renewal project in a low-income area of Rome. Dr. Montessori recognized that children need activities to help them to understand themselves and to find their place in the world, not just theory and practice. According to the International Montessori Index, this method offers children opportunities to develop their potential as they step out into the world as engaged, competent, responsible and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life. This means Montessori students develop their creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities while managing their own time. In particular, Montessori prepares children to become fulfilled people, participate in and contribute to society, and care for the environment. It’s a distinctive approach to education, and one that makes Montessori the fastest growing and most successful method of education today. “What Dr. Montessori did was to teach children in such a way that it brings about their very best,” says Vera Chenault, the founder of the Urban Garden Montessori, located on Main Street in downtown Little Rock. “The Montessori method is a model which serves the needs of children of all levels of mental and physical ability as


they live and learn in a natural, mixed-age group, which is much like the society they will live in as adults.” According to one of the first Montessori schools in central Arkansas, Little Rock Montessori, Montessori method students are respected as individuals, and because of this principle, he or she learns to assume responsibility for his or her own actions. Since the students are part of a community of children, they learn to respect the feelings and ideas of others, sharing with them in work and play. The Montessori method focuses on two age groups: birth to three years of age (or the Assistants to Infancy program), and ages 3 to 12 and older. The birth to three years approach provides children during their earliest and most impressionable years with a sense of security, a positive self-image, excellent social skills, habits of concentration and creativity, and a superior level of physical and intellectual development. Given over two full summers, the Assistants to Infancy program includes work in the intervening nine months, which parents, grandparents or other adults in the child’s life can be do at home. After the Assistants to Infancy program, the Montessori method groups children in mixed ages and abilities in three to six year spans: 3 to 6 years old, 6 to 9 years old, and 9 to 12 years old. Kids older than 12 are grouped 12 to 15 years old and 15 to 18 years old. Throughout, there is constant interaction,

problem-solving and child-to-child teaching. “Whenever children are in Montessori school, they are never bored,” says Lien learn what he or she needs in order to improve. It’s done through observation and record-keeping of each student, and it’s an incredibly positive experience for the students, teachers, parents and everyone involved in the process.” If Montessori sounds like a viable option for your school-age child, visit http://www.privateschoolreview.com/state_montessori_schools/type/10/ stateid/AR or contact any of these schools in central Arkansas: ARKANSAS RIVER VALLEY MONTESSORI 1509 North Pierce Street Little Rock, AR 72207 501-603-0620 http://www.arvmontessori.org/ CHENAL VALLEY MONTESSORI SCHOOL 14929 Cantrell Road Little Rock, AR 72223 501-868-6030 http://www.chenalvalleymontessori.com/ JOHNSONS MONTESSORI SCHOOL 2 Van Circle, Suite 6 Little Rock, AR 72207 501-614-3860

1 First/2 off TuitiYoears n

Now The2015-2016 2014-15 School Year NowEnrolling Enrolling For the School Year ✟ Preschool – High School ✟ Nationally Accredited and State Licensed ✟ Academic Excellence In A Small Class Setting ✟ Affordable Tuition ✟ Before and After School Care Available ✟ Extracurricular Activities and Clubs Available

Avilla Christian Academy Christ Centered, Grace Driven

(501) 408-4631

LEVY CHRISTIAN KINDERGARTEN 5124 Camp Robinson Road North Little Rock, AR 72118 501-758-5466 http://www.levychurchofchrist.org/ LITTLE ROCK MONTESSORI SCHOOL 3704 North Rodney Parham Road Little Rock, AR 72212 501-225-2428 http://www.lrmontessori.org/ LITTLE ROCK MONTESSORI SOUTH 12015 Hinson Road Little Rock, AR 72212 501-225-2428 http://www.lrmontessori.org NORTH LITTLE ROCK MONTESSORI SCHOOL 900 Mission Road North Little Rock, AR 72118 501-753-5157

302 Avilla East, Alexander, AR   www.avillachristian.org

Must Be a Mount Girl!


t all-girls schools like Mount St. Mary Academy, girls occupy every role - star athlete, mathlete, student body president, entertainer. Girls see each other learning, leading, growing into the individuals God wants them to be, and that’s why these “Mount Girls” seek opportunities to achieve great things. Congratulations to Grace Hambuchen, member of the Junior Olympic International Trap Shooting team.

THE CHILDREN’S HOUSE MONTESSORI SCHOOL 4023 Lee Avenue Little Rock, AR 72205 501-664-5993 http://www.chmlr.org/ URBAN GARDEN MONTESSORI SCHOOL 610 Main Street Little Rock, AR 72201 501-712-3185 http://www.ugmontessori.com

501.664.8006 | www.mtstmary.edu 3224 Kavanaugh Boulevard, Little Rock THESAVVYMOMS.COM | FEBRUARY 2015


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LIFE LESSONS Parochial schools instruct the soul as well as the student BY KD REEP

In the heart of the Bible belt, it stands to reason that Arkansas would have a variety of parochial and church schools for students whose families seek a balance in secular and faith-based education. Originally, parochial schools were the education arm of the Catholic Church within the local parish. Today, “parochial” is used to describe independent faithbased schools, regardless of Christian religious affiliation. For parents who want their child’s education to be based in the principles of their faith, parochial school is an excellent choice. Some of the reasons parents have for sending children to a private Christian school instead of a public institution are the family’s values, emphasis on safety, individual attention from teachers and staff, and academic achievement, among others. One example is Central Arkansas Christian Schools. Founded in 1971 by a small group of families who shared a vision for a school where their children would be taught in a Christ-centered environment. The first year, the school opened its doors in the education building of Sylvan Hills Church of Christ with 156 students in first through sixth grades. Today, CAC educates more than 800 students from pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. “Maintaining a strong relationship with God is a guiding principle of CAC, and it serves as the cornerstone of all our educational programs,” says Lexi Stutzman, CAC’s director of communications. “We also believe that the primary responsibility of educating and rearing children belongs to parents. Our job as educators is to partner with parents in order to support and encourage student growth and success.” In addition to daily chapel and Bible class, CAC offers pre-advanced and advanced placement classes, foreign language studies including Latin and Spanish, dual-credit courses, college preparatory classes and electives in music, art, drama and others. “We want to cultivate in our students the desire to reach his or her full potential, spiritually, academically, socially and physically,” Stutzman says. “Part of that is helping them develop a strong sense of self-esteem and an appreciation for excellence in other people.” Similarly, Mount St. Mary Academy is dedicated to building a strong moral


and intellectual foundation in order for its students to become women of wisdom, compassion and integrity. Founded in 1851, Mount St. Mary is an allgirl academy that prepares young women for college, to serve their communities, and to become leaders and innovators. “Mount St. Mary’s history of building strong women started with a strong woman,” says Sarah Johnson, director of communications at Mount St. Mary. “Catherine McAuley, a devout Irish Catholic, was dedicated to serving the sick, poor and uneducated in her hometown of Dublin. An employer who Catherine devotedly served for many years admired her work with the poor so much that she received a large inheritance upon his death. She went on to found the Sisters of Mercy, and one of its missions was to train young girls for employment and to instruct poor children. When Arkansas’ first Catholic bishop wanted to support Catholic settlement in Arkansas prior to the Civil War, he traveled to Ireland and persuaded the Sisters of Mercy to send four sisters and five postulants to Little Rock. When they arrived, the sisters formed a school that is now Mount St. Mary Academy.” Another component of parochial school is service, which educators and parents believe help children grow spiritually, academically and culturally. The approach to the mind, body and spirit, or what independent religious schools refer to as the “whole child,” is attractive to parents and students who view faith as the basis of all other aspects of their lives. Mount St. Mary Academy offers a service-learning program that is incorporated into the curriculum to provide ongoing, hands-on experience at a community service assignment. The school’s emphasis on service and global perspective plays an integral part in the school’s most rigorous academic program, the International Baccalaureate Program, as well as school initiatives like the annual canned food drive and Mercy Day, a day of all-school service to the community. “To see each student and their unique gifts and talents as a reflection of God’s image and to nurture those abilities for the betterment of our community and the world is what we teach and represent to students,” Johnson says. “It’s what makes faith-based schools a great resource for people who place a priority on their spiritual values.”

Services We Provide: • Early Intervention Services • Therapy Evaluations • Speech/Language Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy

Supportive Programs: • Sensory Integration • Feeding & Swallowing • Hippotherapy • Aquatics • Special Olympics

17706 I-30 Frontage Road • Benton


www.KidsourceTherapy.com Offices in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Benton, Arkadelphia and Malvern Easy Referral Process · Professional Staff Family Oriented · Assistance with Funding Options


Snell Laboratory's network of nine offices located throughout the state is especially important for individuals like Preston Breshears. As a cattle rancher living in rural Missouri, Preston can visit Snell’s community-based facility in Mountain Home for adjustments and maintenance so that he rarely has to travel to the main office in Little Rock.

Statewide Toll-Free:1-800-342-5541 • www.snellpando.com Offices located in Little Rock, Russellville, Fort Smith, Mountain Home, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, North Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Conway.



THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS 2015 WORLD TOUR FEB. 5, 7 P.M., VERIZON ARENA, NORTH LITTLE ROCK Celebrating their 89th year, the Harlem Globetrotters brings their star-studded roster featuring Big Easy Lofton, Ant Atkinson, Hi-Lite Bruton, Thunder Law, Bull Bullard, Firefly Fisher and Moose Weekes—plus female stars TNT Maddox, T-Time Brawner and Sweet J Ekworomadu—to North Little Rock to take on the Washington Generals. The Globetrotters will even sign autographs and take photos with fans after the game. Prices vary. Visit verizonarena.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

JESSICA FELLOWES— A DISTINGUISHED LECTURE FEB. 5, 7:30 P.M., REYNOLDS PERFORMANCE HALL, CONWAY Jessica Fellowes, best known for her work as author of the #1 best selling The World of Downton Abbey and its follow up The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, will take audience members behind the scenes and through the history of one of the world’s most popular and beloved television shows. Fans will love learning more about their favorite characters and the actors who portray them. Sponsored by the Arkansas Times.




HAPPENINGS OUR PICKS FOR COOL TO-DOS AROUND CENTRAL ARKANSAS for a complete calendar of events, visit our website at thesavvymoms.com.

Experience “Camelot’s” “one brief shining moment” as Lerner and Loewe envisioned it in one of theatre’s most legendary musicals. Recount the time-honored legend of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Knights of the Round Table in an enchanting fable of chivalry, majesty, and brotherhood in this four-time Tony Award® winning show. Celebrity Attractions recommends “Camelot” for audiences ages 11 years and older. Visit celebrityattractions.com for more information and to purchase tickets.


This month’s Little Beginnings program will include fun activities and a story from the children’s book Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom! Programs are for children ages 2-4 accompanied by a parent. Each month the class highlights a different topic and promotes learning through hands-on activities, music making, movement and storytelling. Admission is free; no day care or school groups please.

ARGENTA ARTS ACOUSTIC MUSIC SERIES: MIKE DOWLING FEB. 19, 7:30 P.M., THE JOINT THEATER, NORTH LITTLE ROCK Support live music and join the Argenta Arts Foundation for the inaugural season of its Acoustic Music Series, featuring performances of national touring artists on the third Thursday of each month through November. Tickets are $20 per show, or $180 for season tickets. Visit argentaartsacousticmusic.com for tickets and information.


The PediaTric clinic, P.a. of norTh liTTle rock

Over 50 Years of


Accepting New Patients Birth Through Adolescence Most Insurance Accepted Lourie Battles, MD • Robert Choate, MD • Kim Clinton, MD Anthony Elias, MD • Kim Hurlbut, MD Stephen Fiedorek, MD • Eric Fraser, MD • Gary Fowler, APN Bishawn Morris, MD • JoAnne Wilson, APN Tina Jones, MD • Nicole Turner, APN 3401 Springhill Drive, Ste. 245 North Little Rock • 501.758.1530 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-6 PM WALK-IN SICK CLINIC: SATURDAY 8 AM 203 B Plaza Boulevard Cabot • 501.843.0068 CLINIC HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 AM-5 PM

Autism Waiver Provider. Helping Hand was one of the few facilities selected in the central Arkansas area to be a part of the Autism Waiver Program. This program provides Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) treatment to children 18 months to 7 years of age. Services are provided in the home and the community, and must include parent participation to be successful. Contact Helping Hand for more information on how to get your child started.


25 1990-2015








Occupational Therapy | Physical Therapy | Speech-Language Therapy Day Habilitation: 6 weeks – 5 years old OUTPATIENT SERVICES: Birth to 21 years old

www.Helpinghandcc.com • 501-791-3331 4901 North Shore Dr • North Little Rock Helping Hand Learning Center Is A 501 (C)(3) Non-Profit






can set my own hours to accommodate my family, and it has given both of our children the opportunities to work in the restaurant and catering business. IF I COULD ONLY EAT ONE DISH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I WOULD CHOOSE…steak and pasta. ONE THING THAT MAKES OUR NEW RESTAURANT DIFFERENT IS…One difference from Cheers is the size! We actually have

space to create our most popular recipes from over the last 18 years of catering. We’ve also been working with wineries in Napa and Sonoma on kegging the wines for the new restaurant and bring the best California wines into central Arkansas. MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT HAVING TEENAGERS IS…I love a

full house! Teenagers are very entertaining. I love their laughter, their funny stories, staying up late with them and then cooking a big breakfast for them in the morning. ONE THING I LOVE TO DO WITH MY KIDS IS…Fly fishing and kayaking on the Little Red River in Heber Springs. MY FAVORITE PICK-ME-UP ON A STRESSFUL DAY IS…A long

bike ride with two of my favorite girls, Janet and Jamie. IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT AND I’M HOME ALONE, SO I…Sit by the fire,

open a great bottle of Pinot Noir and watch a good comedy on TV.


Tyson® Grilled & Ready® products give you an effortless way to make healthy, homemade meals. They’re fully cooked and perfect for your busy family schedule.

Start collecting labels today! Learn more at projectAplus.tyson.com

Look for the Tyson Project A+™ label on other Tyson® products.

Keep collecting labels and you could earn Bonus Books with labels submitted between 1/1/15 and 3/31/15!

* Void where prohibited. Offer opens January 1, 2015 and ends 11:59:59 PM ET on the earlier of: (a) depletion of supplies or (b) March 31, 2015. TO ENTER: Send 100 Tyson Project A+ labels along with the Redemption Form found at projectAplus.tyson.com to the address provided on the form to receive 10 free Scholastic books. ELIGIBLE: U.S. or D.C. Coordinators of day care centers and schools with children pre-school through grade 12. For complete Terms & Conditions and a list of eligible products, visit projectAplus.tyson.com. ® / TM / © 2014 Tyson Foods, Inc. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | FEBRUARY 2015


When families become stressed by behavioral issues, they need a caring environment. Pinnacle Pointe is the largest children & adolescent behavioral care hospital in Arkansas.


“TRICARE” is a registered trademark of the TRICARE Management Activity. All rights reserved.

1-800-880-3322 | www.pinnaclepointehospital.com 48 FEBRUARY 2015 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM

11501 Financial Centre Parkway | Little Rock, AR 72211

Profile for Arkansas Times

Savvy - February 2015  

Savvy - February 2015