Page 1

september/ october


Simple Tips

for Kick-Starting the

new school Year


No More

homework hassles Back-to-School Guide Discover Fall Festivals across SJ— Fun for the Whole Family!


Fun Toddler Halloween Craft Acting Up: Teens Making a Difference! Easy Apple & Pumpkin Fall Recipes

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2 | September/October 2016



mom 2 mom 6 10 Ways to Kick Start The School Year

8 The New Girl's Night Out

moms R women 2 10 Shh...Don't Bring It Up 12 Fall Into Autumn 14 Stay Fire Safe know 2 grow 20 At Your Service: Service Dogs for Children

22 Growing a Faithful



Back to School Guide

Heart–Teens Making a Difference

24 Homework Tips from Moms Who Get It

26 Business Spotlight: Kids Kuts Voorhees

also in this issue 4 Mommy & Me 2 5 Some of My Faves 28 Buying Guide 30 Recipe Corner

September/October 2016 | 3

mommy and me 2

South Jersey MOM

September/October 2016 CEO/Publisher Christopher Ognibene • (609) 670-1794 Executive Editor Karen Ognibene • (609) 230-6280 Marketing & Business Development Specialist Michelle Scianni • (856) 986-9606 For General Advertising Inquiries Marissa Josephick • (856) 537-7089 Production Manager Lisa Celfo

witch hat treats for a halloween brew Here’s a holiday treat to make with your children this Halloween! These chocolate witch hats sit perfectly on top of a straw to make an extra special brew to sip on a spooky evening in October. You’ll need the following to make the tasty witch hats: • Fudge stripe cookies • Semi-sweet chocolate chips • Bugles corn snacks • Drink straws Melt chocolate chips in the microwave. Dip the Bugles snacks into the melted chocolate until they are completely covered. Set them aside in the fridge to harden. Next, dip the striped side of the cookies in the melted chocolate, leaving the melted chocolate side facing up. Take the refrigerated Bugles and place one over the center hole in each cookie. The Bugles will “stick” in place with the melted chocolate. Let the chocolate harden and set. Then put the “witch hat” on a straw by putting the straw in the fudge cookie’s center hole.

Contributing Writers Lisa Figuerdo, Mandi Fredericks, Samantha Gill, Brie Latini, Steve Kearney, Louisa Kopp, Deb McCarson, Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio, April Wilson Special Thanks To Camden County College Kids Kuts Virtua Kathy Repici Memorial Presbyterian Church Submit Calendar Listing

Created by Markations Adam Nichols • (215) 825-7499 Superior Graphics Print Management LLC publishes South Jersey MOM™ monthly and distributes it throughout the region. The publication is available free of charge at select locations. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without the authorization of the publisher. Superior Graphics Print Management, LLC Publisher of South Jersey MOM P.O. BOX 268 • Wenonah, NJ 08090 Main: (609) 670-1794 Fax: (856) 210-1524 All materials and services provided in this magazine are for informational or educational purposes only

Enter Your Child’s Photo to Be On Our Next Cover

Use the straw with the cookie witch hat in any beverage that you’d like – milk dyed green, hot chocolate, or orange soda are all perfect for Halloween! Louisa Kopp is a South Jersey mom and writer. Follow her blog at for party and craft ideas, recipes, and humorous parenting stories

4 | September/October 2016

Every issue South Jersey MOM features a local child on the cover. If you think you have the “Cutest Kid in Town”, send a 4x6 photo to South Jersey MOM. P.O. Box 268, Wenonah, NJ 08090. On back of photo write child’s name and age along with guardian contact info.

a letter from the EDITOR


s I write this note it’s still the dog days of summer and I’m enjoying the break from the non-stop school year schedule. What I love most about the summer is not packing lunches! The kids are fed at camp and it cuts down on my grocery bill plus I don’t have the stress of planning and executing the task. Really, this is my most dreaded task during the school year! Both my kids are teenagers and the older one hates the hassle of waiting in lines during lunch, this takes away from sitting with friends and catching up. The younger one can’t stand the lack of structure and goes to different clubs during lunch period to avoid the lunchroom completely. The older one requires boatloads of food at age 16 and I feel like I pack bags of groceries for him to get

through the school day and after school sports. When he was in kindergarten I packed him only healthy options and his kindergarten teacher gently let me know he was eating the lettuce and throwing out his sandwich and was resorting to eating food off the floor to get some tasty junk. Okay, that was red flag moment to lighten up and pack a healthy meal along with treats so he would actually eat his lunch. All I can say is… I’m still a work in progress! By the time I get closer to perfecting the parenting thing they’ll be off to college. This month is packed with tips to “Kick Start The School Year” (page 6) and “Homework Tips From Moms Who Get It” (page 24). Remember to be kind to yourself…as mom, we try to do it all, and some days it’s possible and other days all we can do is hope for a better tomorrow. Wishing you a pleasant journey into the next school year! South Jersey MOM has a lot going on so check us out on the website and like us on Facebook for contests and giveaways. Don’t miss South Jersey MOM’s -- Family Fun Fest at Duffield’s Farm on Saturday, October 22nd from 9am to 2pm. Hope to see you there!✲ Your friend & fellow MOM,

Karen Ognibene

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for great South Jersey MOM giveaways!

on the Cover

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mom 2 mom

10 ways to

Kick Start the School Year By Lisa Figueiredo

4 5 6


hile the summer months are filled with carefree days, swimming, pool parties and lazy days, the new school year seems to start as quickly as it ended. With back to school ads starting in July, preparation for the first day comes well before the eve of the big day. It can be a daunting task; buying supplies, regaining the knowledge from the prior year; getting back on schedule and figuring out meals and after school activities. There are many ways to ensure the first day of school goes out without a hitch, well at least to make it go smoother.


2 3

Plan before you shop Come armed with a list of required school supplies. Many schools sent them out at the end of the school year with your child’s reports card. Some schools will even include that list on their website. Asses your child’s clothing needs. Take a day to donate old clothes. It’s a good idea to shop early to avoid stress of not being able to find things. Also, be sure to discuss budget with your child to avoid drama in the store. There is always a certain thrill that comes with putting together that super special new first day of school outfit, a great way to create excitement for a fresh year. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Your child would be at their best without a full night of sleep. Maintaining regular bedtimes and wake-up routines before school starts is a crucial step to prepare your child for class and a practical way to cut down on first-day stress. It is also a good way to ensure they are at maximum capacity for learning all school year long. Create a family calendar A dry erase board works great. You can keep track of practices, games, meetings, parties and family events. This will help in scheduling and meal preparation. Posting the schedule in a central location will keep everyone on track in the hustle and bustle of life.

6 | September/October 2016

7 8 9 10

Fuel their mind While it may not be practical to set aside time for a family breakfast every day, start the year off with high protein nutritious breakfast and set your children up for success. Be sure to include fruits and vegetables, milk and yogurt in their school lunches. Younger children will find cut out shapes and animal shaped sandwiches a cool way to start the year. Take a practice run If your child is starting a new school, they may have orientation. If not, take a trip to the school. Walk to the bus stop or time the trip from the parking lot to the front door of the school. Be sure to get to the bus stop early to avoid stress of rushing. Post bus schedules in an area where everyone can find it. Take a drive to the school to see how long it will take, during rush hour. Talk about it It may help to discuss with children just starting school or changing schools any concerns they may have about the new school year. Avoiding some uncertainty may ease some of their stress. It’s also a good way to get them excited about new experiences. Create excitement According to mother of three Kelly Citrone, a preschooler, kindergartner, and 6 month-old baby, “I let them choose their favorite back pack and pick out special clothes. We do their hair and talk about the fun they are going to have and why it is so important to listen and learn new things.” Capture the moment Get your child excited about the big day, by setting up a photo shoot. You can use a chalk board or card board apple to display name and grade or even what they want to be when they grow up. You can chronicle the years for a memory that will endure. Develop a Partnership with your Child’s Teachers If possible try to set up a meeting beforehand. It’s a good idea to stay actively involved in your child’s learning throughout the school year. Attend parent teach conferences. This will help you get to know your child’s teachers, their schedule and academic expectations. You can establish communication with your child’s teacher to monitor their performance throughout the school year via email or phone. Get involved in your child’s education by attending PTA meetings. Plan ahead With a bit of preparation you can avoid the stress and rush on the big day. Make meals ahead of time, pack book bags, set the alarms, and plan week night meals around activities. While even with lots of preparation there will be first day drama, by following a few key steps you can ensure your child will have a successful first day and school year.✲

Inspira Medical Group Welcomes...

Dr. Dave Aderholdt!

Dave Aderholdt, D.O. has returned home to join Inspira’s Family Medicine office in Millville and provide area families with complete primary care for all ages alongside Nicole Zucconi, D.O., and Samantha Aderholdt, P.A.-C.

“As a lifelong member of Cumberland County, I'm proud to serve my hometown community by returning to practice medicine,” said Dr. Aderholdt.

Meet Our Medical Team

Accepting New Patients! (856) 641-6272 Visit us online at: Dave Aderholdt, D.O.

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To find an Inspira Medical Group family medicine doctor or specialist near you, visit

September/October 2016 | 7

The NEW Girls Night Out Camden County College Offers Evening Alternatives for Parents So often, as parents, we find ourselves responsible not only for our children’s well-being, but also for their entertainment. And while snuggling up and reading a few books, exploring the park, or playing an imaginative game with our children can be extremely rewarding, it can also be exhausting. For parents who are students, it can mean the difference between passing or failing a course. Online classes allow one to work from home, but when a child wakes up and needs mom or dad, we have to walk away from the computer. So what’s the alternative? How about on campus childcare? Camden County College has contracted with Kiddie Junction to offer award-winning childcare right on the Blackwood campus. Six years in a row, Kiddie Junction was named the Reader’s Choice for Best of South Jersey by the Courier Post. With locations in Berlin, Magnolia and Blackwood, Kiddie Junction Childcare & Preschool Centers are family-owned childcare centers that have been in operation since 1993. They take care of children ages six weeks to 12 years. And, for some parents, stipends are available to pay for the childcare.

In addition to on-campus childcare and mothering support, CCC also offers many other amenities for both daytime and evening students including: lactation stations, Starbuck’s, evening café hours, quiet study areas, and evening administration hours. Student Navigators are available until 8 p.m. in the Taft Hall One-Stop Student Center to help with everything from course selection to financial aid. Career counselors are also on hand to help with job placement or job changes.

“Camden County College provides a warm and welcoming environment for students, but also for their children. With the addition of evening hours at Kiddie Junction, parents can now drop their children off for age-appropriate play time while they focus on getting an education, or even taking personal enrichment courses,” states Executive Dean of Enrollment and Student Services, Dr. Jim Canonica.

Whether students are looking for “me” time with a yoga class, a degree, or adult conversation just for personal development, the College supports the community’s needs.

Less than half of the 19 community colleges in New Jersey offer on-campus childcare and only a few offer evening hours. Camden County College is the only community college in South Jersey to offer this service. In speaking with students and faculty, the College learned that some students were struggling with managing their classes at home, and it was actually more convenient for them to come to campus and use on-campus childcare than it was to take an online class. So the College administration asked Kiddie Junction to stay open later. Many faculty and staff members use Kiddie Junction for their own children. “I leave my children [four-years-old and three-years-old] at Kiddie Junction knowing they’re in great hands,” states one CCC employee. “My kids really enjoy their time there and are learning so many things.” 8 | September/October 2016

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moms R women 2

Shh...Don’t Bring It Up


he topic of pregnancy loss is one that many people don’t talk about, but it happens to many people. Sadly, most of us know someone who has experienced it, but has likely never mentioned it. Miscarriage is the most common type of loss, occurring before 20 weeks of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control over 3 million women miscarry in the U.S. every year. While stillbirth -- a loss after 20 weeks -- occurs in 1% of all pregnancies, or 24,000 annually. So why don’t people talk about it? First, pregnancy loss often happens suddenly and is always devastating no matter where the mother is in her pregnancy. Typically, from the very first positive pregnancy test, the couple begins planning their child’s entire future. “Will it be a boy or girl?” “Will he play baseball? ‘’ “Will she grow up to be president some day?” And then of course there’s the ultimate question: “When should we tell everyone?” Understandably, many moms are nervous for the first 12 weeks, knowing the risks of miscarriage. Week 13, they take a sigh of relief, thinking the risk is gone or at least lessened. As the pregnancy continues, the bonding continues. Then, in an instant, those dreams and bonds are shattered. If parents never get the chance to share their ‘happy’ news with anyone, they usually don’t want share their ‘unhappy’ news either. If family and friends don’t see a baby it’s like they never existed. Sadly, some parents have even been told that they shouldn’t grieve for a “person” who never took a breath, so they end up painfully grieving in silence. Second, infant loss is not socially acceptable. People can’t understand the depth of the grief felt by parents who experience a loss. They often feel alone, not only in their sadness, but also because others avoid

10 | September/October 2016

Virtua’s Perinatal Bereavement Program helps parents who have experienced a loss, or whose baby has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, endure a sad, difficult and confusing time.

them simply because they don’t how to comfort the couple and don’t know what to say. Family, friends, co-workers, even doctors and nurses are afraid of saying something that will upset them. Ironically, just saying that you don’t know what to say followed by “I’m here if you need me” can be enough. Virtua’s Perinatal Bereavement Program helps parents who have experienced a loss, or whose baby has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, endure a sad, difficult and confusing time. Our team show families how they can honor their child with love, dignity and respect, and discusses options with couples whose child is not expected to live long after birth. In addition, we offer support groups for parents after pregnancy/infant loss and beyond. • HOPING (Helping Other Parents in Normal Grief) is a support group for parents and families with a loss from conception through one year of life. Many group participants have met lifelong friends who share in their sorrows and happiness with subsequent pregnancies. • Rainbow Babies is our newest support group for parents with a pregnancy after a loss to offer them support and techniques to help them relax and lessen the stress a new pregnancy brings after a loss. While there are many facets to Virtua’s Perinatal Bereavement Program, one of its primary goals is to help people feel more comfortable with the subject of grief. The loss of a child is not an easy topic for anyone to discuss, but we are here to let everyone know that it is okay to “bring it up.”✲

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September/October 2016 | 11

Fall into Autumn Amanda Fredericks


Head out to one of the local farms for a hayride to pick your favorite y favorite season is upon us. I have so many wonderful mempumpkins and apples. Then you can have fun decorating your pumpkins ories of fall as a child: jumping into piles of leaves, the crisp and also whip up some homemade apple pie. There is something to be cold air, the beautiful colors, and of course, the holidays. Fall is said about baking in the fall. There are so many recipes, and with Thankspacked with holidays and special occasions, Columbus Day, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. It’s certainly a season giving around the corner you can really get creative. Be sure to include the kids and make a fun activity out of it. They love to be a part filled with gratitude, scented candles, and enough tasty treats to fulfill your sweet tooth. The scent of the finished product and they are learning mathematics at the same time. There are also many great no-bake dessert in the air alone is enough to lift your mood, although all I need is a Pumpkin Spice recipes they can make by themselves or with little suLatte to put a smile on my face. There pervision. MAGAZINE is something so nostalgic about the fall Now on to my personal favorite fall activiand I get just as excited for the season ty…the festivals. Be sure to check your local area now as I did when I was a kid. for listings because you don’t want to miss them. Now that I have a family of South Jersey MOM will be at Duffield’s Farm my own, I make sure we fill our fall Market on October 22nd with vendors, food, days with family fun and memories. music, kids activities and, of course the corn There are so many exciting things maze & fabulous pumpkin picking. Oktoberfest to do across the South Jersey area in in Historic Smithville is one we always attend. the fall. When the leaves change, that The village is hopping with crafters, a food court, is the best time to get out into nature, music, kids’ activities, train rides. Halloween at take a walk along a hiking trail and obBatsto, “Haunting of the Pines,” is also great fun for Rain date Saturday, serve the beautiful colors with your chilthe kids and occurs on the Sunday before Halloween. Oct 29th dren and explore. Pick up some acorns, decThe kids get to dress up in their costumes and trick-ororate them, and put them in a glass jar. Collect treat throughout Batsto Village, enjoying games and activcolorful leaves and preserve them so you can enjoy ities. The cost of admission is free, not to mention the food at the beauty of the autumn months long after the season these festivals is amazing. has ended. The changing fall foliage is always a delight and never fails to Overall, there’s tons of family fun to be had by all in the fall, so be impress. Now is a good time to really tap into your crafty side. If you’re prepared to grab your sweater, hot chocolate, and S’mores, and take advantage of the spectacular season!✲ not super-crafty have no fear! You don’t have to look too hard to find easy, fun projects to do with the kids. Painting pinecones and making Mandy Fredericks is a local South Jersey homeschooling mom who enjoys pinecone bird feeders is something we really enjoy, and the pumpkins, exploring and new adventures with her two boys. You can follow her blog at or join her Facebook group SJ Mom’s Time Out. oh the pumpkins! There is definitely no shortage of farm activities across South Jersey, pumpkin patches, hayrides and corn mazes are abundant.


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Stay Fire Safe By Deb McCarson


ire prevention week is celebrated each October, commemorating the date of the great Chicago fire, which burned from October 8-10, 1871, and is considered one of the greatest American disasters of the 19th century. There’s a good chance your children will be participating in fire safety activities in school during this week. While they’re engaged, it’s a good time to discuss fire safety tips and facts as a family.

Mind the Children • According to the US Fire Administration, children of all ages set over 35,000 fires annually. Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children. Children can also start fires with a magnifying glass which seems “really cool” and very tempting to try. Explain to children that fire is a tool, not a toy, and that it’s dangerous to play with it. In the Kitchen • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Always use a kitchen timer and stay in the kitchen if the stove is on. • Don’t cook if you’re sleepy or drowsy. • Do not wear loose hanging sleeves when cooking or place flammable materials near an open flame. See that the flames stay underneath the pot you’re cooking in. Overreaching flames can melt handles and cause burns. General Safety Tips • Don’t overload electrical sockets with extension cords. • Keep flammable materials at least three feet away from portable heaters. • On average, 42 home candle fires are reported every day. If you burn candles, place them securely in an appropriate holder, at least 12 inches from anything that can burn. • Extinguish candles after use. Don’t go to bed with candles still burning. • Never use a candle where medical oxygen is being used. • Don’t use candles for emergency lighting. Use flashlights instead. • Don’t force a three-prong plug into a two-slot outlet. • Use power strips that have internal overload protection. • Don’t use light bulbs that exceed the recommended wattage on fixtures. • Avoid putting cords under rugs, across doorways or where they can be damaged or pinched by furniture.

• Electrical work should be done only by a qualified electrician. The US Fire Administration recommends calling an electrician if you experience any of the following: • Recurring problems with tripping circuit breakers • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance • Discolored or warm wall outlets or switches • Flickering lights • Sparks from a wall outlet Appliances • Replace damaged appliance cords immediately. • Place all items securely in the dishwasher. Loose items can land on the heating element and cause fires during the drying cycle. • Clean your clothes dryer lint screen after every use. Make sure your vent hose isn’t crushed or kinked, and your vent line isn’t restricted or clogged. Have your dryer serviced periodically. In Case of Fire • Escape first, and then call for help. Develop a home fire escape plan and practice it with your family. Designate a meeting place outside. Make sure everyone in the family knows two ways to escape from every room. • Never stand up in a fire. Always crawl low under the smoke and try to keep your mouth covered. Never return to a burning building for any reason. • Teach children not to be afraid of firefighters who may be wearing equipment that looks scary. Remember, having a working smoke alarm dramatically increases your chances of surviving a fire.✲

Your child can win a personal computer by entering the Fire Prevention Poster Contest sponsored by the NJ Department of Community Affairs Division of Fire Safety and the NJ State Fire Prevention and Protection Association. This Year’s Theme is “Don't Wait–Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarm Every 10 Years". You can download contest rules and an application at

14 | September/October 2016

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ack-to-school, already?!? You can almost hear the whining that summer’s over and excited squeals that school is about to begin! Time to buy school supplies, set your alarm clocks for early mornings at the bus stop and polish apples for the new teacher. And time to peruse South Jersey MOM’s special Back-to-School section for after school programs, educational support services and healthy lifestyle activities. Learn where to go and who to contact to make your child’s education effortless and extracurricular activities easy. Find programs to help your family have a smart, healthy, and stress-free school year.

KID COUNTRY Ages 6 weeks to 6 years old State Licensed facility, open year round with full time and part time rates Chris Schaper Owner/Director 856-378-7423; 618 Kenyon Ave, Rosenhayn, NJ. Like us on Facebook: MATHNASIUM A new school year brings a fresh start – and Mathnasium is here to help set the stage for success. Our unique teaching method is designed to help students reach their full potential, boost confidence, and ultimately, make math make sense. 856-875-1234; washingtontownship ONCE UPON A PAINTING Once Upon a Painting is a mobile paint party company that brings the art studio to you! We offer unique, creative ideas for children, teen and adult parties in your home, facility, business, daycare, or restaurant. We hold public events too! Check out our website for our online schedule. 609-680-2819

YMCA CAMP OCKANICKON YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford. Save the date! Open House, Oct. 23, 1 to 4 p.m. Learn about Teen Leadership and adventure opportunities for Summer 2017. 609-654-8225;

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16 | September/October 2016

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September/October 2016 | 17


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Register Online:

Cherry Hill Robotics Club

ARMSTRONG PEDIATRIC DENTAL... Our mission is to provide the BEST and most CARING dental health service possible for your children

Summer Camps • Evening & Saturday Sessions

Our Robotics Club is geared for grade school and middle school boys and girls. We bring “STEM”(Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to your child in a fun camp type atmosphere.

The camp is run by NJ Certified teachers

• LEGO,VIRTUAL and VEX Robotics • New Young Engineers for 6-8 year olds • Competition Teams now forming 2050 Fairfax Avenue • Cherry Hill

856.424.2777 •

“There are no small parts, only small actors.”

We are ew n acceptingts! patien

Visit our NEW location: 7 East Main Street Moorestown, NJ 08057


• Host a Party and Earn Free Clothes • Fundraisers • Open Shopping Hours to Shop My Boutique

–Konstantin Stanislavisky

Act Smart, Act Now


Audition Preparation • Improvisation • Monologues • Private Sessions Visit our website for more information: Renee Weisband, Artistic Director x 609.220.7537

18 | September/October 2016

Cindy Goldberg • Independent Fashion Consultant


w Birthday Parties starting September 10th–

“Our Parties are The Best!” w Day time Class Programs for students


ages 2½–6 starting September 6th Style w Evening Class Programs for students Obstacle ages 2½–16 starting September 8th Courses & Flip w USAIGC and USAG Team Programs Classes w Cherry Hill Youth Cheerleading You can register by calling 856.795.4599 or visit us at 5 Larwin Road • Cherry Hill


Located in beautiful Fairmount Park, just off I-76, Please Touch Museum is the perfect day trip for your school group.



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by calling reservation Make your or emailing 215.578.5146 .org chmuseum @pleasetou groupsales

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Parents...I am Here to Help! Are you frustrated that your child’s special needs are not getting met at school? I can advise you about your child’s rights for special education eligibility & services. Let me be your advocate.

4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA 19131 215-578-5146

ELLEN G. TOPIEL, M.A., Board Certified Education Advocate 609.410.2674

It’s Lunch Time!

Even the choosiest kids will love these lunches. Shake up your kitchen and get your kids to try some new foods by making it fun. Get saucy! Marshmallow and Strawberry with Chocolate dipping sauce

The Moo Turkey, Pepperoni, Olive, Bread, Cheese and Red Pepper

The Cat’s Meow Cheese, Egg, Carrots, olive and Cucumber

Caterpillar Fun Tomato and Mozzarella Bites on bed of Spinach September/October 2016 | 19

know 2 grow

At Your Service: Service Dogs for Children by Samantha E. Gill


very Sunday at 8am you will find me, my 7 year old Audrey, my 5 year old Addie and her 2 year old service dog Data, sitting in a pew at Church. Well, let me rephrase that: I am sitting in a pew a church. Audrey fidgets, and Addie is laying on top of Data under the pew. Having special needs and sitting through most tasks (any) can be taunting. However, having a service dog (aka: Super-Data) can make all the difference. So, where did this super-hero of sorts come from? How does a child like Addie get a service dog? Data came from Xenia, Ohio from an organization called 4 Paws For Ability. (see: It’s a non-profit organization that states that, “service dogs should be made available to any child with a disability who wishes to have the love, companionship, and independence.” Addie has a mild brain malformation, seizures, and a chronic lung disease. She is a delight. She is a happy child and she also has needs: special needs. Sometimes these needs are best met by thinking outside the box. This is what led me to 4 Paws For Ability and Data. Here are some things that having a service dog (like Data) does for a child: u Hello World: Who knew there was so much to do out there? Like, you know, go outside and stuff. No, seriously, if you’re a parent of a special needs child, you’re probably cracking up reading that, as you probably don’t do much “stuff”. The mall? Shopping? Zoo? (stop laughing) but the truth of it is – it is HARD to go OUT THERE. Having the service dog makes this possible for your child, your well child(ren) and YOU. Data goes everywhere with us. Out to eat, day trips, you name it. And he helps with each situation that arises: she lays on him, pets him, etc. u

Dos and Don’ts For Being Around A Service Dog: 1. Don’t offer any food please: I know it’s hard, but no doggie treats or human food. It’s a distraction and can deter some service dogs from their ‘work’. 2. Do keep your dog at a safe distance at first: Always ask the child’s handler of their service dog if it’s okay first. Another dog is a distraction and/or we would want to avoid an unforeseen altercations. 3. Don’t pet a service dog without asking: I know this one is super-hard, they’re SO cute! The dog has a job and is at ‘work’ and may be in the process of doing a command or completing a task when you’re walking up, so please always ask. 4. Do speak to the handler, not to the dog: I am a dog lover, who wants to talk to the handler, right? But, it’s important, the dog and the handler are a team working for the child. The dog listens to the handler. There’s an important system going on. So please address the handler and not the pooch. 5. Don’t think that a sleeping dog is off duty: All dogs nap. When a child is at school napping, sitting, learning or even at home and napping, the dog naps too. Don’t assume a sleeping dog is off-duty. They’re still working and will be up at a word’s command. More information: please visit

20 | September/October 2016



Red Alert!: Data has become our little detector. He will alert preseizure activity by licking her face and ears, pacing and then will bark. Moreover, he inadvertently started alerting to her ear infections, as she has ear tubes and the infections drain out of the tubes. He will start licking and smelling her ears . Doctors Hospitals and Surgeries, oh my!: Thanks to an awesome doctor at Children’s Hospital, Dr. Alan Schwartz, who happens to also like to think outside the box, he included Data in Addie’s care plan, pre- and post-surgery so that he could help calm her. This kept her buddy with her for as long as possible. The result was magic. Anesthesia was suddenly a breeze! Where’s your girl? Although, there is so much more he can do and does do for her, one of the BIG things he does for her is: tracking. Addie likes to run and then we don’t know where she goes. “Tracking” has become a crucial task for these service dogs to perform successfully. If I realize that Addie has run off, I say the command “where’s your girl?” to put Data into action and that begins our work as a team to find her.

In 2015 “Addie’s Law” was signed by Governor Christie in the state of NJ in Addie and Data’s honor. We all traveled to Trenton for this honor. Now service dogs have the right to ride school buses in the state of NJ. We continue to spread the word to provide education about children and service dogs,while they enjoy being best furever friends.✲ Sammy Gill is a full time Social Worker and a full time divorced Mom to 7 yr old Audrey and 5 yr old Addie. Addie has learning disabilies and a mild brain malformation with focal seizures; she owns and loves Data her 3 yr old service dog ( who helps navigate these "un-challenges". Our tribe loudly exists in Northfield, NJ where they love to surf, sing, dance and live. Life is Gill Good.


Smarter. Stronger. Safer.

Get in the pool this back-to-school season! Now open in Mount Laurel, Goldfish offers swim lessons for kids ages 4 months to 12 years old. In addition to learning a life skill and increasing confidence, studies show swim lessons help children perform better in the classroom!

Goldfish Swim School — Mount Laurel 2036 Briggs Road | Mount Laurel, NJ 08054



September/October 2016 | 21

Growing A Faithful Heart—

Teens Making a Difference By Brie Latini

This summer, the teens of TGIF took part in Triennium. Hosted by Perdue University in Indiana, the TGIF teens mingled with 5,000 other Presbyterian teenagers from around the world. The theme for the 2016 conference was “Go,” encouraging youth to move purposefully though life, as both a steward to their community and a representative of their church. Back at home in New Jersey, TGIF enjoys group outings that range from sporty to mind bending. Zip-lining, scavenger hunts, and an Escape The Room party are just a few of the activities that the teens have enjoyed. This fall, TGIF will launch Code Blue Ministries, aimed at protecting those vulnerable to the harsh winter temperatures.


n Southern New Jersey, there is a group of young individuals who are making a big impact on the community. Teens Growing In Faith (or TGIF) is a service group comprised of young congregants of the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Wenonah. Comprised of students in grades 7-12, TGIF focuses on creating caring bonds for others while being in service for the community. The teen years can be tricky to navigatepeer pressures, academic goals, and other external stresses can make the teen years tough. TGIF offers guidance and strength through weekly bible studies and twice-monthly get-togethers. During these gatherings, the teens are able to engage in honest conversations about everything from personal challenges to current events. This is a large part of the group mission statement, ensuring that teens have a safe place to explore their relationship with their peers as well as their relationship with their Creator. Teens Growing In Faith have taken part in a number of diverse, meaningful missions; service projects they have completed have ranged from cooking and serving breakfast for the homeless (in conjunction with Seeds of Hope in Camden) to assisting with cleanup following Super Storm Sandy. The community-minded teens have also been involved with volunteering for The Red Cross, arranging Easter baskets for Angels of God in Pitman, and packaging thousands of meals for Stop Hunger 22 | September/October 2016

Now. TGIF has committed to beautifying our surroundings through their work with Clean Communities, keeping our parks and roadways clutter free. TGIF has even reached out to our furry friends, assembling toys and treats for the Animal Welfare Association.

While the work TGIF is doing is beneficial to the community, there is a component that is also beneficial to the teens themselves. Being part of a group such as TGIF can help young people develop personal and interpersonal skills, allowing them to gain self-confidence as well as self-esteem. Teens involved in these types of peer groups are less likely to become involved in unsafe activities, such as using drugs and alcohol.

“TGIF focuses on creating caring bonds for others while being in service for the community” The TGIF teens are led under the guidance and dedication of Youth leader Kathy Repici. Married to her husband, Tom, for 14 years, Kathy balances her full time job in the financial services industry with the work that she sees as a calling. Kathy and Tom had always been led to mentoring teens, a path that eventually led to TGIF. “It’s such a privilege to be involved with these teens and watch them grow intellectually, spiritually and physically throughout these important teenage years, Kathy shares. “They constantly surprise me with their ability to contribute to this world at an early age. “ If you are interested in learning more about this dynamic group of teens, please visit TGIF online at, or contact Kathy at 856-723-3610. Your family does not have to be a member of the Memorial Presbyterian Church to become a member of Teens Growing In Faith- all are welcome!✲

Color. it’s all we do.

$25 Towards your nexT service.* $99 Monthly unliMited Blowouts. 856-352-0887 201 Egg Harbor rd - WasHington toWnsHip, 08080 Consultations alWays WElComE! *Must present coupon at service.


The 24-Day Challenge is a comprehensive supplementation and nutrition program designed to give your body the jumpstart it needs to help reach your goals. • Supplements • Various Meal Plans • Food Lists • Grocery/Recipe Reccommendations • 1:1 Coaching & Accountability Throughout


DAY 25

Dr. Samantha Sagot, DC AdvoCare Independent Distributor


September/October 2016 | 23

Homework Tips from Moms Who Get It By April Wilson


sk most moms about homework and you are bound to kick off a rant about the stress, the fights, the tears, and the time it takes. It’s not just your kid who yells “I can’t do it!”, or who pretends he hasn’t learnt that yet, or who rushes through the assignment to go play. Luckily, there are moms out there who’ve found secrets to success and now you can use them too.

Don’t Let Them Get ‘Hangry’ Before is even considered, make sure they eat a snack. Keep it simple and nutritious, such as an apple with peanut butter or yogurt and fruit. Let Them Decompress The school day can be taxing, so give them time to relax first. Active play is a good option, since it relieves stress and burns energy.

Clarify the Instructions Make sure your child understands the instructions. Highlight the directions, and use different colors if there are multiple steps. Create a Routine Children thrive on routine. It lets children know what to expect and keeps them organized. Create a checklist or visual schedule.

Play With Timing Some kids do best if homework is done within a half hour after school, while other kids prefer to wait until after dinner. Pay attention to when your child is able to focus best.

Set Up a Homework Station Make sure all the materials needed to complete homework are organized and accessible to avoid the frantic search for glue or a pencil sharpener in the middle of a project.

Break It Into Chunks Some kids freak out just thinking about all the homework they have to do. Help them tackle it by breaking it into manageable chunks. Creating a to-do list is helpful.

Start a Conversation Work together to solve homework hassles. Talk to your child about the homework routine. Ask when and where they want to do homework. Listen to their concerns and input.

Know When to Take A Break If you or your child are completely overwhelmed, stop. Take a break, and try again later. It can also be helpful to set a timer and take periodic breaks while working on long assignments.

Motivate Them There is nothing wrong with a good reward system. Parents report using candy, stickers, and extracurricular activities to motivate their children to do their homework.

24 | September/October 2016

Learning Should Be Fun Consider starting a study group with your child’s friends, or make homework into a game. Bonus points if you can turn an assignment into an active activity. Ask The Professionals Sometimes no matter what you try, it is not enough. There is no shame in asking for help. “Students often refuse to listen to their parents’ advice or complain that’s not how they do it at school. The truth is how most of us learned isn’t how they are teaching subjects today,” advises Stephanie Buchanan, Center Director of Mathnasium of Cherry Hill. “While the teacher is the obvious first choice as a tutor, sometimes the child is too eager to please, and afraid to ask questions when they don’t understand. The job of resources such as Mathnasium is to be that approachable adult that is knowledgeable of how they are learning in school and that also can teach the child in a way that makes sense to them.” The days are too short to spend fighting over math problems or crying over spelling words. With the right strategies, homework doesn’t have to be a battle every night.✲


The Fit Kids Program Offers Children Opportunities to Learn, Grow and Stimulate Fine and Large Motor Skills in a Fun, Safe, and Encouraging Environment

• Ages 4 months – 8 years old • Dance, Gymnastics, Swim, Mention this Mommy & Me and more! ad to receive • Morning, evening & $15 OFF weekend classes TUITION! • Discounts are available New members only for siblings and multiple class enrollment 1855 Hurffville Rd • Sewell, NJ 08080

856.401.8111 Check out our Facebook page for updates, special offers, and a visual copy of our Fall class schedule:

September/October 2016 | 25

business spotlight

for First Cuts

Salon specializing in children’s hair for over two decades By Steve Kearney


aking a child to his/her first haircut can be a harrowing experience for child and parent. From the child’s perspective, you are taken to a place you have never been before, placed in a seat and instructed not to move because the nice lady, who you have never seen before, is going to cut your hair with that scary buzzing thing and those sharp scissors, which you’ve been told numerous times to stay away from because they can hurt you. What kid wouldn’t throw a tantrum? As a parent, you know a tantrum is possible. Heck, it’s quite likely to happen so be prepared. The best way to prepare is to research and pick a salon that is geared towards children. For 25 years, Kids Kuts of Voorhees has specialized in the cutting, trimming, buzzing and styling of children’s hair in South Jersey. New owner, Sherrie McLaughlin, worked at Kids Kuts twenty years ago and has come back full circle to provide the area’s next generation with great hairstyles. 26 | September/October 2016

Parents have been bringing their children some as young as four weeks - to Kids Kuts of Voorhees for first haircuts. For each first haircut experience, the Kids Kuts staff strives to make the child and parent comfortable. They want to provide not only a great haircut, but also a memorable experience. “There are many places parents can take their children for haircuts,” said owner Sherrie McLaughlin. “At Kids Kuts of Voorhees though, children and parents will receive the patience and attentiveness that has been learned through years of experience in cutting children’s hair.” You and your child will be greeted with a cheerful welcome and bright colors when you walk in. If there is a wait there are toys, charac-

ters on the walls and cartoons on TV to occupy your child’s attention. Your child can choose to have their hair cut in a red car, a red monster truck, on a frog, a horse or a pink motorcycle. “I have been bringing my six-year-old twin boys to Kids Kuts since their first haircut,” said customer Heather McGinnis. “The atmosphere really puts them at ease. They don’t view getting a haircut like they do going to the dentist or doctor’s office. They know it will be a fun time.” The store is not all for the little ones. The tweens, teens and college-aged will be happy at one of four salon stations in the back and the free Wi-Fi. A haircut for children under two years old is $12.00; $15.00 for children two to nine years old; $16.00 for boys over 10 years old; and $18.00 for girls over 10 years old. Braids and buns can be done for as low as $5.00. Curls for as low as $10.00. Kids Kuts is very active on social media. The schedule of stylists are posted to Facebook on a daily basis. Discounts are posted periodically as well and there is always a $2.00 discount for military veterans and their families. Kids Kuts of Voorhees is located in the Echo Shoppes, 300 White Horse Road, Unit #4, Voorhees Township 08043. Just a few minutes from the Voorhees Town Center and I-295. 856-770-9292;; Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM Monday-Friday; 9:00AM – 2:30 PM Saturday; Closed Sunday.✲

Crock Pot Meatloaf INGREDIENTS • 2 eggs, beaten • 3⁄4 cup milk • 3⁄4cup dry breadcrumbs

• 1(1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix • 2 lbs lean ground beef

Nutrition—SERVINGS 6 DIRECTIONS In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, bread crumbs, and soup mix. Mix well, then add meat. Mix thoroughly, then shape into a rectangle or oval that won't touch sides of crock. Place in crock lined with tinfoil. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

September/October 2016 | 27

buying guide

Bixbee Monkey Backpack & Lunchbox (A) Your child will love heading out to school with this delightful animal backpack and lunchbox. Various animals to chose from that kids love.; $28 (backpack), $18 (lunchbox)

Sun-Staches Sun Glasses (B) As seen on Shark Tank Season 6 these super fun sunglasses are for the whole family in a wide selection of characters and national sports teams. There is something for everyone! The newest line this year is for kids ages 3 to 9 years of age. There are Marvel and Nickolodeon characters for boys and girls.; $13

AlternaVites Kids Vitamin C (250 mg) (C) Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and antioxidant that can help support immunity, which is very important for growing and developing children. Specifically formulated for children ages 4 and older, alternaVites Kids powder can be poured on the tongue where it melts in the mouth (think pixie stick) or mixed into foods or drinks.; $16 Lunchbox Love for kids (D) Parents and caregivers will love this easy yet meaningful way to stay connected with their children throughout the school day. Positive words on the front inspire while fun trivia & jokes on the back entertain. Each volume contains 12 cards–10 with different phrases and fun facts or jokes and 2 blanks so you can add a personal message.; $12 WAFF Combo (E) Super fun journal for kids that sparks creativity it comes with alphabet letters in pack of 100 to create endless words & 2 clips to keep the journal closed. There are 120 pages of lined paper for your child to fill up with thoughts and drawings…perfect for the creative kid!; $13 Snapper Rock Bag (F) Sporty drawstring bag that is made of tough waterproof nylon with a drawstring cord that can be worn as a backpack has an inner zipper pocket and a name pouch. Perfect for extra-curricular activities!; $20 STEPHEN JOSEPH BACKPACK & Lunchbox (G) This fun all-over-print backpack is totally cool for school. Perfectly holds full size 28 | September/October 2016


folders with an inside pocket for special papers or artwork. Backpack features include mesh side pockets and cushioned adjustable shoulder straps. Comes in 6 fun colors!; $30 (backpack), $16 (lunchbox) Petite Namaste (H) This beautiful reversible quilt is the perfect item to grow with your baby from newborn to toddler. Use it as a sleep cover, play blanket, picnic blanket or for tummy time. Hand block printed and hand quilted.; $110



Geospace Sequin Art (I) Geared to both kids and adults, Sequin Art lets the artist inside of you create shimmering and majestic creations. Just place the velvet design on the frame and attach the glittering colorful sequins using the pins provided to complete a vibrant; $21 LEGO City Van & Caravan (J) Pack up the van, connect the caravan and head off for a camping adventure in LEGO® City, with a grill and sausages, 2 mini-figures, a dog and other accessories. Super fun for the imaginative child!; $20 HydroChic Active Wear (K) The long pants are sleek and slimming. These versatile pants can be used for exercise, or all activities both in and out of the water. Perfect for the triathalon MOM ready to compete! Made from same light-weight material as bathing suit, dries super quick! $62 Livionex Dental Gel (L) Plaque sticks to your teeth like glue, making it extremely difficult to remove. This gel is designed to clean teeth without scrubbing the tooth surface with abrasives and detergents. You will enjoy a gentle foam-free brushing experience that feels lighter in your mouth and provides a long lasting clean you can see and feel!; $20 Just Solutions Rain Scarf (M) Wear a reversible scarf that can keep you dry if it starts to rain or keep you protected against the sun. A smart multipurpose fashion accessory perfect for the mom-on-the-go! Simply invert the scarf to get the rain proof hood, then flip it inside out again to stash the hood away. Super generous 75"length to keep you dry and hair in place.; $25








September/October 2016 | 29

recipe corner


all is here, and with it, the harvest season of two favorite superfoods, apple and pumpkin. Many know the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you know just how “good for you” apples and pumpkin are? Both contain an impressive list of antioxidants, fiber, minerals such as calcium, potassium, and numerous vitamins and other essential nutrients required for good health. Pumpkin can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and it’s chock full of healthy nutrients that you can feel pleased about serving to your family. So happy fall ya’ll, hope you enjoy these recipes, especially the pumpkin soup which is a recipe I came up with for my husband who loves soup, and pumpkin, so it’s the perfect match!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

• 1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
 • 2 tbs. raw sugar or brown sugar
 • 2 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
 • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
 • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
 • 1 cup milk or almond milk
 • 1/2 cup applesauce • 1 egg
2 tbs. melted butter • 1 apple, peeled and chopped fine
 In a bowl; whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl; whisk together milk, applesauce, egg and melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in the chopped apples. Heat skillet over low-medium heat, melt a tablespoon of butter on heated skillet. Once butter has melted, add about 1/3 cup of batter per pancake to the pan. Let cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface and bottom is lightly browned. Carefully flip pancakes with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans, if desired.

Lisa’s Sweet & Spicy Pumpkin Soup

• 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin • 1 cup heavy cream • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional • 1 - 2 tbs. pure maple syrup • Sea salt, to taste • Black pepper, to taste Add broth to a saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Add pumpkin, mix well and reduce to simmer. Add heavy cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, salt and pepper and simmer for about 15 minutes. Note: Top with croutons, cooked crumbled turkey bacon, pumpkin seeds or an additional dash of cinnamon before serving if desired. As always, Bon Appetit!

Apple Maple Crisp

• 4 1/2 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples • 3/4 cup brown sugar • 2 tsp. lemon juice • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup • 3/4 cup rolled oats • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon • 4 tbs. butter Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly spread the apple slices in the prepared dish. Pour the lemon juice over the apples, then drizzle apples with the maple syrup, and sprinkle with cinnamon. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour, oats, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the apples. Bake 30 minutes or until the apples are tender and the topping is lightly browned.

Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is the author of “Seasoned With Love,Treasured Recipes” & “Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II”, and the children’s book, “Snicker Learns An Important Lesson.” Visit her blog http:// or Facebook page

30 | September/October 2016

very child “Ehas a gift.

We excel at helping to unwrap it.

Sometimes,itstartswithatwinkleintheeye.Justalittlesparkofcuriositythatsoon blossomsintoajourneyofdiscovery,learningandachievement.That’sbecauseatour privatespecialeducationschools,weseebeyondachild’sdisability,andawakenthe joyandcreativeexpressionwithin. Our schools are welcoming places where students feel at home and are able to enjoy a rich and rewarding social life. Our students feel cherished, well cared for and respected for a very good reason—it is part of our mission and our commitment. Students at our special education schools experience a school day as it should be—filled with discovery, achievement, learning and friendship. Here, they have people they know they can count on— outstanding teachers, therapists, counselors, psychologists and job coaches who constantly encourage and support them. With individualized attention, on-site therapies and vocational training, our schools deliver unparalleled services for students with special needs. Our New Jersey Department of Education certified special education teachers, licensed therapists and counselors provide expert, advanced instruction and support … along with plenty of smiles. These unique services are provided at NO COST for families.

Find out if private special education is the right fit for your child.

Our staff can help answer your questions. To find out more about what programs may be right for your child, call us at 1-800-697-8555 or visit

• Brookfield Schools • Garfield Park Academy • HollyDELL School • Kingsway Learning Center

• Larc School • St. John of God Community Services/ Archbishop Damiano School

Copyright ©2016 Coalition of Special Education Schools

September/October 2016 | 31

September 2016 - South Jersey MOM Magazine  

The September 2016 issue of South Jersey MOM Magazine

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