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baystateparent FREE

Massachusetts’ Premier Magazine For Families Since 1996

APRIL 2017






T R A Vacation Week Workshops Tuesday-Friday April 18 – 21, 2017

April Art

Ages 3-17

Reach for the stars this April school vacation! Paint weather, tell stories with manga, test your wits in the Imagination Lab, dream up sky-scapes. Or...maybe it's time to make a space monster! There's lots more!

WAM's April vacation studio art program for youth and teens is packed with fun challenges. Lunch and extended day options available. Proceed to the Outer Limits of Art and have a blast!

To register visit 2 APRIL2017

That moment in the ER when you realize you could


We understand that waiting in the ER is no fun. That’s why we’re offering an online check-in service at to reserve your time online and comfortably wait at home. It’s quick, easy and you’ll be seen by a healthcare professional within 15 minutes of your scheduled time.

ER CHECK-IN ONLINE If you have a life threatening emergency, call 911.

Client ID: SVH InQuicker Project Number: SVH030617

Component: Space Ad Colors: cmyk

Flat Size: 9.25x11 Finished Size: 9.25x11


Announcing The 2017 Theatre Camp Shows

grades 8-12 - including recent high school graduates. This camp will take your teen to a higher level in theatre! They will produce and act in THEIR OWN show - separate from the younger campers! Join in this exciting adventure!

grades 2-7 Learn the importance of teamwork, make friends for life, experience being part of a show from start to finish!

July 10th - July 30th

Grades 2 -12 including recent high school graduates • 5 days! Mon.-Fri. • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Camp show performances on July 29th & 30th Your child will enjoy a summer of music, art, drama and dance at our 3 week, state certified theatre camp held in Worcester. Campers will also produce a full show for family and friends at the conclusion of camp. Students will learn all the aspects of producing a show from acting, singing & dancing to set building, costumes and more!

For all information, call 978-602-6288 or register online at

4 APRIL2017

Cornerstone Academy Educating all learners in grades K-6 An elementary preparatory school that celebrates the individual.

TOURS: April 25 • 9 a.m. Sign up on our website

Don’t miss the most important beginning to your child’s education... ...Our Kindergarten Program

Think Creatively

Learn Deeply

A Healthy Balance of Personalized Learning, an Outdoor Classroom and Play Affordable Full Day Kindergarten Program.

Act Compassionately

Live Fully

5 Oak Avenue • Northboro, MA 01532 • 508-351-9976 BAYSTATEPARENT 5

After 15 years, our “kids” have grown up, and we will continue to be there for them! We now provide transition planning and adult care.

The Child Development Network is pleased to announce the founding of the Adult Development Network. We dedicate the same commitment to providing excellent diagnostic assessments and consultation for adolescents, young adults, and adults with developmental, attention, and learning concerns.

The ADN & CDN network of doctors provides expert clinical care

Adult Development Network, Inc.

6 APRIL2017

Lexington, MA • 781-861-6655

Child Development Network, Inc.

table of contents APRIL 2017 VOLUME 21




in every issue

things we learned

while making the april issue

Chemical-based cleaners were developed to aid the efficient cleaning of tanks, ships, and guns in World War II. It wasn’t until after the war ended that the products, now without a demand, were marketed toward American housewives. Head to page 30 and read about one Massachusetts mother whose crusade for toxic-free household has gone nationwide.

2. 3.

Spending time outdoors isn’t just good for children physically. Time in nature helps children better manage emotions, pay attention, and learn because being outdoors in nature creates an ideal state for sensory integration to happen. On page 34, learn more about this and other critical reasons why time outdoors benefits children developmentally.

meet team publisher KIRK DAVIS

associate publisher KATHY REAL 508-749-3166 ext. 331


OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: April Calendar Of Family Events


VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE: Mass Study Aims to Simplify Sleep Apnea Diagnostic for Those with Down Syndrome


CIRCLE OF FRIENDS: Area adoption events


APRIL’s CHILD: Meet Jovani

51 52

DIVORCE & CO-PARENTING: Plan Now for Summer Programs


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) affects 1%-4% of the neurotypical pediatric population, compared to 55% to 97% of the population of individuals with Down syndrome. On page 24, read about a Massachusetts-based project that hopes to make it easier to diagnose OSA in people with Down syndrome.




Sixteen months after state education officials approved a new standardized test for Massachusetts third through eighth graders, it’s ready to hit 400,000+ desks this spring. However, officials won’t detail the exact makeup of the exam. Turn to page 26 to learn why this is rankling critics.


9 10

ADD TO CART: Our favorite April product picks

ASK THE EXPERT: Can Snoring Disrupt My Child’s Growth? REEL LIFE WITH JANE: April’s top family movie releases TAKE 8: Emmy- and Tony-winning Actress, Singer Kristin Chenoweth

JOIN US ONLINE! Twitter @baystateparent


editor in chief MELISSA SHAW 508-865-7070 ext. 201

director of sales REGINA STILLINGS 508-865-7070 ext. 210

is published monthly with a main office at 22 West Street Millbury, MA 01527

creative director PAULA MONETTE ETHIER 508-865-7070 ext. 221

account executive KATHY PUFFER 508-865-7070 ext. 211

It is distributed free of charge throughout Massachusetts.

senior graphic designer STEPHANIE MALLARD 508-865-7070

account executive JUDITH NEEDELL-MINTZ 508-494-5868



The Green Issue

Features 12 22 26

7 Ways to Harness Spring Optimism Rockwell Museum Celebrates the Art of Saturday Morning Cartoons State Education Officials Vague on New MCAS 2.0


Massachusetts Mom’s Green Cleaning Crusade Goes National


Inside the Critical Reasons Why Children Need to Be Outside


21 Easy Ways Families Can Go Green


Tom’s of Maine Launches Free, Mail-In Toy Recycling Program


New Environmental Museum Opens for Families

Ripe 40 42

Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in the Kitchen Bites: Strawberries, Spinach Top List of Pesticides in Produce; Halifax Girl Wins Gardening Contest; The Water Bottle for Families on the Go

This month’s cover model: Teagan, 9 Spector Photography

LAST CHANCE FOR DISCOUNTED MEMBERSHIP! Stop in to our PreSale office at 287 Washington St., Suite 5 Attleboro or call 508-916-6903


APRIL CONTRIBUTORS Jane Boursaw is the film critic and editor-in-chief of Her reviews and work have been published in Family Circle, Parade, New York Times, Variety, People, and more. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College, and the founder and clinical director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. ( a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center. Marshal D. Haneisen is a freelance journalist, writer, and creative writing instructor. She lives in Fitchburg with her husband, son, and a variety of pets. Her son has a dual-diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism, and her experience as a parent of a child with special needs inspires some of her writing for various publications, as well as for her blog, Information about Marshal’s writing and workshops can be found Alex Khan is a freelance multimedia reporter and writer. Khalid Ismail, MD, is director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program, co-director of the Mycobacterial Disease Clinic, and a pulmonary attending physician at Tufts Medical Center. He is an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Attorney Andy P. Miller is the managing attorney of Miller Law Group, P.C.  A father himself, he focuses on children and their best interests by helping guide parents through the divorce process. Having practiced in nearly every county in Massachusetts, he has a wide understanding of the various courts in Massachusetts and experience before many judges.

Doug Page is a Medfield father of two and award-winning writer whose newspaper career started in high school. He’s written stories, sold ads, and delivered newspapers during the morning’s wee hours.  He’s covered stories as shocking as the crash of Delta flight 191 in Dallas many years ago to the recent controversy involving Common Core and standardized testing in Massachusetts.

Michelle Perras-Charron is a freelance writer and mother to four school-aged boys in Western Mass. A Navy brat and also the wife of a retired Air Force Captain, she loves writing about people and all topics related to parenting. She also enjoys running and a strong cup of coffee.

Martha Ruch is the owner of Simply Delicious Personal Chef Service, helping busy families come together at the dinner table since 2007. Find pictures, recipes, cooking tips and more at; on Facebook @ SimplyDeliciousPersonalChefService; and on Twitter @chefmartha

JOIN US ONLINE! Twitter @baystateparent BAYSTATEPARENT 9

add to CART The coolest stuff we found online this month

If you’re in the market for a soft, safe animal friend for the little person in your life, look no further than Bears for Humanity. The company’s 12” and 16” organic teddy bears are hand-sewn in the U.S., hypoallergenic, and made from organic cotton, which means they’re free of harmful plastics, chemicals, or dyes. For every bear purchased, Bears for Humanity donates one to a child in need. If your child wants a pal who’s a touch more exotic, the company’s Animal Pals collection offers 14 options, everything from a shark or dinosaur to a penguin or patriotic eagle, all made from the same organic materials as their teddy bear peers. $25.

Lights…camera…creativity! Spark some big-time dreams in your child with Smartphone Movie Maker by Bryan Michael Stoller. This unique kit offers a 48-page essential guide to making movies on a smartphone, outlining easy-to-follow tips, techniques, and instructions for ages 8-12. Even better, the box transforms into a lens-fitted film projector into which you slot a smartphone and show the film. Also included in the kit are a storyboarding book to sketch out a shot-by-shot breakdown; card sheets to make a retro popcorn box; and pre-printed tickets to invite family and friends to the premiere. $22.99.

The toy farm is a staple of many play rooms, so why not purchase one that is a little more Earth- and childfriendly? Green Toys’ Farm

It’s the next generation of protective outlet covers, but with a new twist. Easy-to-install, SnapPower SafeLight transforms any outlet

into a child friendly nightlight with a built-in sensor that automatically turns on and off based on lighting in the area. The SafeLight is equipped with sliding outlet covers, which help prevent children from electrical shocks and hazards, yet keep your outlets available when you need them. $17.

Playset includes a barn, pick-up truck, farmer, fences, and animals, and it’s made in the U.S. from 100% recycled plastic without BPA, phthalates, or PVC. Even better, all pieces fit inside the barn for easy cleanup, it’s packaged with recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy inks, and it’s even dishwasher safe! $49.99.

The How To Draw Cool Stuff series by art teacher and professional artist Catherine V. Holmes guides readers through the basic principles of illustration by concentrating on easy-to-learn shapes that build into complex drawings. The series — How To Draw Cool Stuff; How To Draw Cool Stuff: Shading, Textures and Optical Illusions; and How To Draw Cool Stuff: Holidays, Seasons and Events — offers lessons on creating shading and texture for more realistic artistic renderings; step-by-step tutorials on drawing fun and beloved characters; valuable lessons in how to make drawing easier and more fun; and more. $18.99 and up.

10 APRIL2017


7 Ways to Harness Spring Optimism BY DR. SANAM HAFEEZ

We set the clocks ahead for daylight savings last month and many of us woke up to a darker sky feeling sluggish thanks to a one-hour loss of sleep. If you hit the snooze button and pulled the covers over your head, still feeling bummed out about your waistline, bank account, or career, you’re not alone. Despite more daylight, our worries will still be there. So, how do we spring into spring, a season that’s all about new beginnings and rebirth? Here are 7 ways: 1. Focus on the good A daily exercise I often have my patients do is keep an appreciation or gratitude journal. When you focus on all the things to be happy about in your life, more great things come. Think generally and use your senses. What do you appreciate seeing, smelling, touching, tasting, and listening to? Write it down. Within a few weeks you’ll train the mind to pivot to an appreciative thought when faced with a negative one. 2. Make plans Making plans to see relatives, a new exhibit, a movie, or travel gets our mind moving toward something positive that we can be hopeful and optimistic about. Make plans to do three things per month for the next three months. Choose things that you know will bring you joy and then go do them! Feeling excited about what is coming and talking about how fun it will be keeps us optimistic and forward moving. 3. Control what you can, delegate the rest! We get pessimistic and worry about the worst possible outcomes when we realize that we cannot control every detail. This leads to anxiety and an even stronger feeling of having to control conditions — and even others. This is a trap. Figure out what needs to get done, what actions you can take. Then let go of anything else that is beyond your control with faith that everything will turn out fine. Envision the desired outcome. 4. Limit your news watching and avoid it before bed There is a very common pattern. People awaken and immediately reach for their smartphone for headlines. Then they turn on the TV news as background noise. They listen to news in their cars, have news alerts going off on their phones all day, catch the evening news, and then the 11 p.m. news before bed. No wonder they’re less optimistic! What you choose to look at will impact your mood. Remember, good news doesn’t get ratings. 5. Don’t snooze: Instead, just breathe When the alarm goes off, give yourself a few minutes to just lay there, eyes closed, focused on your breathing. Breathe in counting to 4 and then breathe out. Do a mental scan of your entire body from head to toe thanking your cells for restoring you as you slept. Deep breathing is a form of meditation, and in the morning, you have a small window of opportunity to decide what kind of day you want it to be. 12 APRIL2017

6. Distract yourself with something that requires focus The key here is to pick something you truly enjoy doing, and do it daily. It can be painting, coloring, yoga, a 20-minute walk or jog, or listening to music and dancing around your living room. When you are fully engaged in something, you can’t ruminate, which leads to pessimism. 7. Make feeling good top priority When you commit to feeling good, you instantly start to think more optimistically. When you’re mindful of your own negativity and shift to a better-feeling positive thought, you feel powerful. You’ll feel like you can conquer anything when you can master your own mindset. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at Columbia University Teacher’s College, and the founder and clinical director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. ( a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center.


Photo courtesy Worcester Art Museum


Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! - dr. seuss

Photo courtesy Providence Children’s Museum

Photo courtesy Creative Arts

Puppet Playtime: Bugs in the Garden. April 8. Creative Arts, Reading. 14 APRIL2017

Photo by Samara Vise, courtesy of the MIT Museum

Star Wars Day. April 15. Worcester Art Museum.

Farm Friends. April 14. Providence Children’s Museum.

Cambridge Science Festival. April 17. MIT Museum, Cambridge.


1 Saturday

MELTDOWN WARNING: Before you pack up the mini-van, please confirm your destination. Although we’ve done our best to ensure accuracy at press time, things can and do change.

Especially for Me! Sensory-Friendly Afternoons. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Explore the entire campus at your own pace. During these events the Museums are open to the general public, but group visits and birthday parties are not scheduled in order to avoid crowding and to support exhibit accessibility. Quiet spaces are available during this time. Preregistration (with free admission) required at, as space is limited.

Family Tour at WAM. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.11 a.m. Explore the galleries with your family on a docent-guided discovery tour, featuring facts, stories, and time together. Free. Beyond the Spectrum: Precious Materials and Embellished Objects. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Enjoy this adventure in art for children on the Autism Spectrum as we scour the museum to explore jewels and precious materials from around the world, before heading back to create your own necklace, keychain, or accessory using beads, gemstones, and twisty wire. For ages 8 to 12. $9. Karen K and The Jitterbugs. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 11 a.m. Come bug out with Karen K and her Jitterbugs, as they create an unforgettable, crowd-engaging, theatrical show, featuring Karen K’s totally catchy tunes and her Jitterbugs hilarious personalities. Adults $10, children $8. Families @ WAM Make Art. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 11 a.m.11:30 a.m. Drop-in for some fun, intergenerational time in our galleries, where we provide the materials and the inspiration. Free. Boston Children’s Chorus. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Join us for a choral concert performed by 50 children, uniting singers ages 7 to 18 across different races, religions, and socioeconomic statuses, to discover the power of music in the celebration of shared humanity and love of music. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Harbor Seal Encounter. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 100 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 2 p.m.2:30 p.m. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the harbor seal exhibit and feed the stars of the show, seals Action and Bubba. Register ahead. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $15, children ages 2 to 12 $10, children under 2 free. Dancing With the Stars Evening. Burgess Elementary School, 45 Burgess School Rd., Sturbridge. 7 p.m. Fashioned after the TV show of the same name, local stars are teamed with professional dancers and will be performing for the coveted “Star” award. Tickets $20 adults, $15 for seniors and kids under 12.

2 Sunday Welcome Baby Brunch. Hip to Heart— Butterfly Baby, 100 Washington St., Canton.

Baa-Baa Baby. Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Help the farmer take care of the sheep and visit with the newest baa-baa babies. For families with children ages up to 7. Register ahead. Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50.

5 Wednesday Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME. April 14-16. DCU Center, Worcester.

10 a.m.-12 p.m. Bring your baby for a fun and informative morning with other local families. Mingle over a light breakfast, learn techniques to calm your baby using massage and reflexology, and get some advice on introducing early foods to your baby. Register ahead. Families $10. Light It Up Blue: World Autism Awareness Day. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 10 a.m. In support of World Autism Awareness Day, with the goal of increasing autism awareness and celebrating the abilities of individuals with autism, our mascot Bessie is looking to show her blue, too. Come help paint Bessie a lovely shade of blue, so she too can Light It Up Blue. Additionally, resources about early diagnosis and intervention will be available. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Pinkalicious: The Musical. LSJCC, 333 Nahanton St., Newton. 11 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy as New York’s multi-awardwinning Vital Theatre Company presents the delectable new musical Pinkalicious based on the popular children’s book, as Pinkalicious’s pink cupcake consumption leads her to the doctor’s office with a case of Pinkititis. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Members $15, nonmembers $18. Happy Birthday Simon. Willard House & Clock Museum, 11 Willard St., Grafton. 1 p.m.4 p.m. Enjoy this special birthday celebration of

Simon Willard and his legendary clock, filled with fun, festivities, and activities in this wonderful museum exploring the heirlooms of a famed clockmaking family. Free. Pippin. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 6:30 p.m. Enjoy this high-flying, death-defying hit Broadway musical full of extraordinary acrobats, wondrous magical feats, and soaring songs from the composer of the hit musical Wicked. $39-$74.

3 Monday Bilingual MFA Playdates: Trip to the Zoo. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11:15 p.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time and looking activities in the galleries followed by artmaking, as we look into the theme of animals and creatures with the guidance of the Pine Village Preschool. Recommended for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, ages 7 to 17 $10, children 6 and under free.

4 Tuesday Going to Find Some Mud. Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. Mud season is a wonderful squishy time of year between winter and spring when melting snow uncovers mountains and molehills of marvelous mud. For families with children up to age 5. Register ahead. Members $6, nonmembers $8.

Spring Woodcock Watches. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 7:15 a.m.-8:15 a.m. Enjoy an hour of nature-themed fun with your youngster, as you read an engaging storybook, make a craft to take home, and walk on one of the sanctuary’s beautiful trails with lead educator Chris Eaton. For ages 2.5 to 5. Register ahead. Member children $2.50, nonmember children $3.50, adults free. Stroller Tours at WAM. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. A museum teacher engages with caretakers and their infants and toddlers with art and stories in the galleries. Tea, coffee, juice, and snacks follow the tour. Designed for ages up to 3. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, ages 4 to 17 $6, under age 4 free.

7 Friday #popscope. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Look up and join the folks from #popscope as we use a telescope to look for stars, planets, and other features in the night sky. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6:30 p.m. Enjoy as talented young musicians from one of Boston’s premier youth orchestras perform interactive programs. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. Golden Dragon Acrobats. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy as these artists BAYSTATEPARENT 15

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! decorate eggs with natural dyes, enjoy an egg Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt. Faneuil Hall hunt, and search for clues that spring is near. Marketplace, 4 South Market Building, Boston. Member children $10, nonmember children $13, 11:30 a.m. Pick up your Easter basket and clue adults free. sheet then solve the clues to figure out which businesses around Faneuil Hall are hiding all the Puppet Playtime: Bugs in the Garden. candy-filled eggs! This event is free and meant Creative Arts, 25 Woburn St., Reading. 10:30 for children ages 1-13 years old, accompanied a.m. Join Brenda, Phil, and Bella on a musiby an adult. Supplies are limited, advance cal adventure into the garden featuring fun registration recommended. Free. children’s songs and original music, as we events/1009575125841050. meet marching ants, Aesop’s the Ants and Special Puppet Performance with Italian the Grasshopper, and even The Very Hungry Puppeteer Mariano Dolci. The Eric Carle Caterpillar, all through puppetry magic. $5. Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Dolci brings over 30 years of puppetry to The Eric Carle Wonderful Oceans: Life Beneath the museum, as he delights guests by taking unlikely Waves. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 objects and creating characters and stories from Oxford St., Cambridge. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Join them. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Free us for a deep dive into the lives of ocean animals with admission. Adults $9, children $6, children as we learn about current marine research and under 1 free. conduct experiments to learn more about the creatures who make the salty waters of the ocean Make a Mini Manga Workshop. Boston their home. For ages 8 to 13. Members $10, Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1 nonmembers $20. p.m., 2 p.m., & 3 p.m. Workshops provide guidance in the art of Manga. Free with admission. Tanglewood Marionettes: Fairy Circus. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 1 free. 11 a.m. Enjoy as over 20 beautifully handcrafted marionettes come together to dance, play Slow Art Day. deCordova Sculpture Park and instruments, juggle, contort, transform, and fly Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 2 p.m.through the air with the greatest of ease to the 3 p.m. Visitors at the museum around the world best loved music of favorite composers. Adults are urged to slow down and engage deeply with $10, children $8. the art they experience first-hand, as we take up this world wide challenge. Register ahead. Free Easter Egg Hunt and Fun Day. Chapel of the with admission. Members free; nonmember adults Cross, 160 Flanders Rd., Westborough. $14, children 12 and under free. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Enjoy thousands of eggs, free hot dogs and snacks, bounce house, face painting, Especially for Me! Free Autism-Friendly crafts, games, and more, as we collect non-perEvening. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main ishable food items for local food banks and enjoy St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Join in all the fun the Easter season. Free. and explore the entire campus during this special free evening for families with members on the NanoDays 2017. Museum of Science: Boston, autism spectrum. Dinner, including a gluten-free 1 Science Park, Boston. 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. option, will be provided. Pre-registration required Imagine, discover, and explore a world that’s too at as space is small to see during this museum-wide celebration limited. of nanoscale and quantum science, filled with hands-on and special presentations. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, children 3 to 11 $20, children under 3 free. Gustafer Yellowgold’s Show. Coolidge

represent the best of a time-honored tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago, combining award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music, and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty. $26-$42.

8 Saturday Breakfast With the Bunny. Fitchburg Senior Center, 17 Wallace Ave., Fitchburg. 8 a.m.10:30 a.m. Bring a camera and get a picture with the Easter Bunny. All kids who attend will be entered to win a bicycle. There will also be an arts and crafts table run, and after breakfast there will be an Easter Egg hunt in Monument Park. Tickets are $5 adults, $3 children and are available at City Hall, Senior Center, and at the door. Family Promise 8th Annual Walk to End Homelessness. Natick Community Senior Center, 117 East Central St., Natick. 9 a.m. Join 105.7 WROR and walkers of all ages for music, raffle prizes, and a 5k walk around the community as we help raise awareness and end the cycle of homelessness in Massachusetts. To fundraise, register ahead. Morse Institute Library 20th Anniversary Celebration. 14 East Central St., Natick. 10 a.m. Celebrate the 1997 renovation of the Morse Institute Library, as we present performances of Jojo the Magician, the Greg Hopkins Sextet, and interactive presentations, behindthe-scenes tours, refreshments, and more. Free. Spring Festival at the Carousel Village. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 100 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Welcome spring at the Roger Williams Park Zoo Carousel Village as we host the Eastern Bunny, enjoy animal encounters, take unlimited carousel rides, and enjoy endless jumps in the bounce house. Registration suggested. Advance $7, at-door $8.

9 Sunday

Spring Egg-stravaganza. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 10 a.m.-11 a.m. & 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Learn how to

Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Grammy-nominated songwriter and cartoonist Morgan Taylor returns with his wildly original and humorous music and animation concert for all ages. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Adults $13, children $10. Easter Egg Hunt. Oh My Gosh Antiques @ The Cider Mill, 15 Waushacum Ave., Sterling. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Egg hunt, Easter Bunny, refreshments. Paper Caper. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Fold and crease papers to create whirligigs, design gliders, and fashion other fabulous flying contraptions, before sending them soaring through the air. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. Music Fair with Northeastern Engineering Students. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m.3 p.m. Engineering students from Northeastern share musical instruments, sound sculptures, and auditory games they designed and built themselves. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Greenhouse Drop-In. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Accompany a naturalist in caring for the greenhouse, and learn about the unique and exciting varieties of plants that live there. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $5, children under 2 free. Zolotoj Plyos: Russian Folk Concert. Museum of Russian Icons, 203 Union St., Clinton. 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Join us for an afternoon of music that will put smiles on the faces of the whole family, featuring a mix of folk songs and instrumental pieces from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia. Advance members $20, nonmembers $30; day of members $25, nonmembers $35.

JOIN US FOR A DAY-LONG Homecare WOMEN’S HEALTH AND WELLNESS EVENT Private Care Over 100 Years of Healthcare Excellence Homecare Private Care Community VNA Palliative Care Community VNA Palliative Private Care Care Saturday, April 29 • 9:30 am to 3:30 pm Hospice Care Palliative Care UMass Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester Hospice Care Care Alzheimer’sHospice Disease Care Alzheimer’s Disease CareCare Free Health Screenings and Assessments • Free Parking and Shuttle Alzheimer’s Disease Adult Day Health Care To register, visit Day Health Adult DayAdult Health Care Care or call 508-856-4001.

Over 100 100 Years Years of ofHealthcare HealthcareExcellence Excellence Over



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11 Tuesday Celtic Woman: Voices of Angels. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Enjoy as multi-platinum international music sensation Celtic Woman presents a captivating new show for 2017 showcasing angelic voices, talented musicians, and skillful dancers. $45-$105. Folk Open Mic. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 8 p.m. Enjoy as performers from across the region take their talents onto the stage for an evening showcase open to all. Members free, nonmembers $5.

12 Wednesday ARTfull Play. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 51 Sandy Pond Rd., Lincoln. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Engage with art, stories, materials, nature, and new friends during multisensory activities. Recommended for ages 2 to 5 with an adult. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children 12 and under free.

13 Thursday The Emperor’s New Clothes. Berklee

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., we take care of the chickens, examine eggs, Boston. Enjoy as the Musical Theater for Young and use natural materials to dye an egg to Audiences and Contemporary Musical Theater take home. For families with children ages 2 initiatives at Berklee present an original musito 10. Register ahead. Members $13.50, noncal written by Assistant Professor of Voice Rene members $16.50. Pfister, featuring a score mixing funky pop with jazz. $5. Farm Friends. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Join Classroom Cantatas. Boston Children’s Rhode Island farmers and 4-H club members to Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 12:30 p.m. meet farm animals, including bunnies, sheep, Join us for a special concert as children from four and pigs, in the Museum’s Children’s Garden. local schools sign music of their own composition, Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers created after 6 months of study and analysis. $9. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Block Party @ Boston Black. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Enjoy this block party including Chickens and the Fox. Drumlin Farm Wildlife music, arts and crafts, dance, storytelling, and Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 more. Free with admission. Members free, nonp.m.-5 p.m. Visit with the chickens and bring a members $1, children under 1 free. bostonchildpresent from them to the fox, as we try to start a long-friendship, or just fowl play. For families with children up to age 8. Register ahead. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Members $12.50, nonmembers $15.50. Presents Circus XTREME. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 7 p.m. Be astonished by unexpected circus spectacles you’ve never seen before and can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth. Through April 16. Tickets $10 and up. Egg-citement. Drumlin Farm Wildlife

14 Friday

Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Celebrate spring’s arrival with an egg fest, as

The Northeast Food Allergy Product & Resource Expo

Russian National Ballet: Cinderella. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts,

2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 8 p.m. Music Worcester presents the timeless classic set to the music of Prokofiev as a maid transforms into a princess through the help of her fairy godmother. $39-$55.

15 Saturday Star Wars Day. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Come dressed as your favorite Star Wars character and join Jedi Knights and the Imperial Stormtroopers for a day of ‘Force-full’ fun, as we create Star Wars-inspired art, compare Stormtrooper armor to that of a Gothic knight, watch a light saber battle, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, ages 4 to 17 $6, under age 4 free. Central MA Science Festival. Boys and Girls Club of North Central Mass, 365 Lindell Ave., Leominster. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Grab your lab coat and get ready for a day of learning and fun. Families and children of all ages will enjoy a range of STEAM-related activities and workshops in 3-D printing, robotics, Lego building, aviation, coding, origami, and more. All ages. Free. MFA Playdates: Trip to the Zoo. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave.,

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Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center Marlborough, MA. Sunday, April 30th 10am - 5pm



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ADVENTURES! April 17 – 21 & July 10 – Aug. 11 Enroll your child for an unforgettable, costumed adventure for ages 6 and up! Activities may include: • Hearth cooking

• Creating art

• Sewing

• Militia reenacting

• Woodworking

• Outdoor exploring

• 19th-century playing

• Greeting animals

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Boston. 10:15 a.m.-11:15 p.m. Bring your toddler to enjoy story time and looking activities in the galleries followed by artmaking, as we investigate the theme of animals and creatures. Recommended for ages 4 and under. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, ages 7 to 17 $10, children 6 and under free. Despicable Me. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10:30 a.m. Get ready for a minion laughs in this Golden Globenominated animated comedy following a supervillain as he hatches a plan to steal the moon but finds himself with three newly adopted children. Adults $9, children $7. 24th Annual Newton Heartbreak Hill Road Race. Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Before the Boston Marathon, take a one-mile run up and down historic Heartbreak Hill. Register ahead. $10-$15. Wild About Reptiles. Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary, 280 Eliot St., Natick. 1 p.m.2:30 p.m. Meet some of the species of reptiles found around Broadmoor. Learn about our wonderful scaly friends and take a short walk to see more reptiles in the wild. For families with children ages 4 and up. Register ahead. Member adults $13, children $7; nonmember adults $15, children $9. Helping Wildlife: Big Night and Vernal Pool Ecology. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Meet some of our local species, explore some sanctuary vernal pools, and find out what you can do to help as frogs and salamanders migrate back home. For ages 2.5 to 5. Register ahead. Member adults $7, children $4; nonmember adults $9, children $5. Critter Days: BugWorks. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 2 p.m.4 p.m. Meet a millipede or mantis, investigate invertebrates, and get up close and personal with all kinds of bugs from around the world. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Happier Family Comedy Show. Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton. 4 p.m.-5 p.m Enjoy this family-friendly improv comedy show, featuring the zany antics and influence of the entire audience. Recommended for ages 5 to 12. Adults $10, children $5, ages 3 and under free.

16 Sunday Stick Structures. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 10 a.m.3 p.m. Build huge three-dimensional structures from wooden dowels and rubber bands, including 18 APRIL2017

those that are large enough to climb inside. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. Boston Area Chantey & Maritime Sing. USS Constitution Museum, Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 22, Charlestown. 2 p.m.5 p.m. Listen, learn, and lift your voices, as you participate in your maritime heritage by joining a rousing chorus of sea chanteys at the USS Constitution Museum. Free.

17 Monday Meet the Scientists! The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. What’s it like to be a scientist or engineer? Find out in this special drop-in program where you can talk to real scientists and engineers and do the hands-on activities they’ve developed to showcase their work. Discover why they find STEM cool and exciting while learning about their research and interests. Free with admission. Members free; nonmembers $12.50, children under 1 free. Party for the Planet. Roger Williams Park Zoo, 100 Elmwood Ave., Providence. 10 a.m.4 p.m. Enjoy activities, demonstrations, and performances that children and parents can enjoy as we meet with animal ambassadors, watch the animals party in their exhibitions, and celebrate the planet during this week of fun. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $15, children ages 2 to 12 $10, children under 2 free. Cambridge Science Festival at the MIT Museum. MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy a weeklong festival celebrating the impact of science and technology in our lives, with a week full of science-related programs for young people and adults, including hands-on interactive activities, gallery demonstrations, workshops, and behindthe-scenes tours. Through Sunday. Free with admission. Adults $10, youths $5, children under 5 free. Southwick’s Zoo. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.12 p.m. & 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Join us for a live animal show presented by Southwick’s Zoo, as we see an exciting variety of animals with scales, fur, and feathers. Members $7, nonmembers $10. Butterflies, Bugs, and Spiders. Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, 65 James St., Worcester. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Join us for a drop-in craft, story, and activity, as we open our doors during Massachusetts’s April Vacation Week. Free. Animal Experiences. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 11:30 a.m.-

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! 2:30 p.m. Meet an awesome assortment of live animals, as you come into contact with dozens of furry friends, slithering snakes, and other incredible creatures, and learn fascinating facts about them from animal expert Dave Marchetti of Animal Experiences. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9.

Home of the Fairies. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Don your wings, grab your crowns, and come play in the Fruitlands woods as Louisa May Alcott and her friends once did, as we build fairy houses along the path outside. Member children $5, nonmember children $10, adults free.

Historic Games. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Join us during April School Vacation Week for some staycation fun. All kinds of toys and games replicated from the 1800s come out of their boxes and into play at the Wayside Visitor Center, from tabletop bowling to marbles, to spinning tops, and more. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children ages 5 to 13 $6, children under 5 free.

Movement Storytime with Urbanity Dance Company. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 2 p.m. Join us for a special April Vacation storytime featuring the Urbanity Dance Company. Through Wednesday. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free.

18 Tuesday Morningstar Access. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 8 a.m.10 a.m. Enjoy this special time in which we limit guests to 100, and provide access and enjoyment of the museum for children with special needs. Register ahead. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Wingmasters. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 10 a.m.2 p.m. Learn about majestic birds of prey with licensed raptor rehabilitator Julie Collier, while meeting a red-tailed hawk, a falcon, a tiny owl, and other magnificent raptors. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. National Marionette Theatre: Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Master puppeteers bring to life one of the most famous of the Grimm Brothers’ stories with exquisitely crafted marionettes, scrolling scenery, and the beautiful music of Englebert Humperdinck. Register ahead. Free. Super Cool Beans Concert. Millis Town Hall, 900 Main St., Millis. 11 a.m. This children’s music group featuring Chili the Cool Blue Bean, Emma the Go-Go Green Bean, Bobo the Funky Purple Bean, and more create a new brand of interactive fun, featuring super cool dance moves and music with original pop, groove, and folk tunes for all. Recommended for ages 2 to 8. Free. Dogs & Cats. Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, 65 James St., Worcester. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Join us as we offer crafts and coloring pages for children of all ages and parents, as we celebrate favorite family pets. Free.

19 Wednesday Imagination Playground. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Come stack and build with big blue foam blocks, wheels, spools, tubes, and a variety of loose parts to construct forts, castle, and inventive structures. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. Music and Movement. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 10:30 a.m. Enjoy a time to stretch, listen, move about, and enjoy the morning, during this special class at the museum. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Stroller Tours at WAM. Worcester Art Museum, 55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 10:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Join us as a museum teacher engages with caretakers and their infants and toddlers with arts and stories in the galleries. Tea, coffee, juice, and snacks follow the tour. Designed for ages up to 3. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, ages 4 to 17 $6, under age 4 free. Journal Making. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Create your own diary, journal, or notebook, and learn what Abigail Alcott meant when she told Louisa May Alcott that her diary should be the “epitome of your life.” Member children $5, nonmember children $10, adults free.


DAY April 12

• Step back in time • Celebrate crafts and trades • Hands-on studios and programs available • Visit the newly re-interpreted Bixby House

SCOUT DAY April 8 & November 4

• Exciting activities, crafts, and performances in the Village included with the price of admission! • Hands-on badge workshops for Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts for an extra fee of $5 – $15 • Extend the fun with our Hop into History Overnights!

20 Thursday No Time to Waste. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn what’s so funny about trash during an interactive family comedy that gives a light-hearted look at the three Rs of protecting the environment: reducing; reusing; and, recycling. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. BAYSTATEPARENT 19


The Ultimate Children’s Discovery Farm

OPEN SCHOOL VACATION WEEK! Acres Of Family Fun Await you!

Special Farmland Events

OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! Word Play Puppet Show. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m. & 12 p.m. Come on down to the museum as we play with language and the art of puppetry in a charming show to delight the entire family. Through Friday. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Let’s Go Fly a Kite. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Take to a hillside for a kite-making craft that will inspire outdoor play for the whole family. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $14, children ages 5 to 13 $6, children under 5 free.

21 Friday Scavenger Hunt Challenge. Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard. 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Adults and children are tasked to work together to follow clues around the grounds and museum buildings for prizes and fun. Member children $5, nonmember children $10, adults free. MIT Toy Lab Play Testing. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6 p.m.8 p.m. Before they can hit the shelves, all toys must be tested, so try your hand as we explore the toys presented by MIT’s Toy Lab. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free.

April 16th Easter: Join Moo Moo in an Easter Parade and Easter Egg Hunt. April 29th Teacher’s Appreciation Day: Davis Farmland celebrates teachers with FREE admission to Davis Farmland for licensed teachers AND their immediate family.

The Music Man. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy as Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, comes to life through Assumption College’s Department of Art, Music, and Theatre, as a swindler comes to town encouraging family to buy their children uniforms and instruments without having any actual musical ability. Through Sunday. $28.

Teachers MUST present at the time of admission one of the following: • EEC Certificate • a valid school district ID listing your name and your position as a teacher • MTA or AFT card or state teaching license. (978)422-MOOO (6666).

22 Saturday

*Adults must be accompanied by a child 12 years or younger.

Once Upon a Time: Princess Tea Party. Higgins Armory Building, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Join us in a royal castle as we enjoy tea and scrumptious snacks, princess hair styling from the Fairy Godmother’s Bow’tique, Fanciful Face Painting station decoration, with parades, vendors, princess stories, and more throughout the day. Tea with a princess $40 for 2. Castle entrance, adults $20 at door, $10 online; children ages 4 to 12 $10 at door, $5 online; ages under 4 free. ©2017 Davis Farmland

FREE! $3 Souvenir Cup of Animal Feed! One per family. Exp 4/30/17 Not valid with other offers, discounts, packages or special events. BSP4 S T E R L I N G ,


20 APRIL2017 DFL BSP4 4.5x11 AD 3-4-17.indd 1

3/6/17 7:05 PM

Family Friendly Earth Day Cleanup. Brookwood Community Farm, 11 Blue Hill River Road, Canton. 10 a.m.-noon. Pick up trash and spruce up the farm in general for spring planting. Bring water, snacks and gloves, if so desired. Donations of trash bags

appreciated but not required. Bring your creativity and sense of humor! There will be a trash scavenger hunt, contest for the weirdest find and recycled art challenge. All ages, no registration required. Free. events/1622306771410815/ Spring Discovery Day. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Join us for a day of hands-on exploration as we experience the fun of the season. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $5, children under age 2 free. Kite Day at Cogswell’s Grant. Cogswell’s Grant, 60 Spring St., Essex. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Come fly a kite at Cogswell’s Grant, as you bring your own or build one and watch professional kite flyers from Kites Over New England. Hampshire Theatre Seedling Presents New Kid. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst. 1 p.m.3 p.m. Find what happens when a new kid arrives in town during this piece about immigration, acceptance, and the concept of home, presented by the Hampshire Theatre Seedling Productions. Members $3.50, nonmembers $4. Earth Day: Animal Story Time. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 1:45 p.m. & 2:15 p.m. Enjoy as author Anita Sanchez of Karl Get out of the Garden, joins us on Earth Day for this special animal story time. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Especially for Me! Free Visually Impaired Family Evening. The Discovery Museums, 177 Main St., Acton. 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Join in an evening for families experiencing a visual impairment. Accommodations are made to many spaces and exhibits increasing accessibility for those with visual impairments. Dinner, including a gluten-free option, is provided. Pre-registration required at as space is limited.

23 Sunday Bolshoi Ballet: A Hero of Our Time. Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline. 10 a.m. Follow Pechorin, a young officer, as he embarks on a journey across the majestic mountains of the Caucasus, on a path set by his passionate encounters and find out if he really is a hero. $23. Eco Explorers. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. In celebration of Earth Day, come try a variety of activities exploring conservation in Discovery Studio, the Museum’s hands-on art and science


Day of Dance. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Join us for dance all day, including a morning filled with 70 students of renowned Haitian choreographer Jean Appolon and afternoon performances by Urbanity Dance. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $16, children under 1 free. Chemists Celebrate Earth Day. Museum of Science: Boston, 1 Science Park, Boston. 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Find out what role chemists play in promoting a healthier environment, featuring hands-on activities by local chemists under the theme of “Chemistry Helps Feed the World.” Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, children ages 3 to 11 $20, children under 3 free. Chrome String Quartet. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 3 p.m. Enjoy as the New England Conservatory brings forward a string quartet of violinists, a violist, and a cellist. Members $20, public $25.

24 Monday Maker Mondays: The Learning Hub. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Put on a lab coat and enter the Maker Lab as you join Giselle from Learning Hub to create new things and discover the world around you. For ages 9 to 12. Free.

25 Tuesday Bubble Time. Habitat Education and Wildlife Sanctuary, 10 Juniper Rd., Belmont. 10 a.m.11 a.m. Make a special bubble brew and bubbles of your own, play games, and create bubble art for a good popping time. Recommended for families with children ages up to 5. Register ahead. Members $6, nonmembers $8. Where’s the Milk? Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, 208 South Great Rd., Lincoln. 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Lend a hand with afternoon chores in the barn as we feed the cows their evening hay and then try our hand at milking. For families with children ages 3 to 8. Register ahead. Members $13.50, nonmembers $16.50.

26 Wednesday Masters of Minecraft. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Play Minecraft on the library’s servers as we deploy our parkour maps, adventure maps, open creative mode worlds, and more. For ages 8 to 17. Free.

MegaSlam 2017. Worcester Public Library: Main Branch, 3 Salem Sq., Worcester. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Celebrate National Poetry Month as we host this raucous and fun poetry slam with poets competing from local organizations. Free. Morse Library Poetry Slam. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7 p.m. Join the Morse Institute Library for an evening of fast-paced competitive poetry slam, inviting local poets to the stage to share their original work for a chance to win prizes and take the title for their age category. Free.

Photo courtesy The Discovery Museums

exploration space. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9.

27 Thursday Pajama Party in PlaySpace. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 7:30 p.m. Wear your pajamas and join us for games, songs, and picture stories. Recommended for toddlers. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. Stories Under the Stars: Planet Tales. Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science: Boston, 1 Science Park, Boston. 9 p.m. An evening of live storytelling, radio, and music that unfurls amidst immersive visuals projected on the dome. $15.

28 Friday KidsJam. Boston Children’s Museum, 308 Congress St., Boston. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Join us for our family dance party featuring a live DJ, dance lessons, free dance, games, and fun. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $1, children under 1 free. Sip N Shop Vendor Fair. Dudley Gendron American Legion, 156 Boston Rd., Sutton. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Raffle Baskets, 15+ vendors including LuLaRoe, Lip Sense, Pampered Chef, ThirtyOne Gifts, handmade artisans, and more. Proceeds to benefit the R&R Gymnastics Parent Association.

29 Saturday Muddy River Cleanup. Emerald Necklace, 125 The Fenway, Boston. 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Be part of something big as you join the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and hundreds of volunteers for our annual clean-up along the Muddy River and throughout the parks, with a picnic to follow. Register ahead. Free. Teacher Appreciation Day. Davis Farmland, 145 Redstone Hill, Sterling. 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The attraction celebrates teachers with free admission for licensed teachers and their immediate family. Teachers must present at the time of admission one of the following: EEC Certificate, a valid school district ID listing your name and

Meet the Scientists! April 17. The Discovery Museums, Acton.

your position as a teacher, MTA or AFT card, or state teaching license. Play Date: Uncovering Artists’ Stories. The Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Dr., Boston. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The museum will be filled with fun, creative, and even zany activities for kids and adults, as we take on the exhibition Nari Ward: Sun Splashed and create artmaking investigations based on the themes and techniques featured in it. Free. 30th Annual Sheepshearing Festival. Gore Place, 52 Gore St., Waltham. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Enjoy this family-favorite tradition consisting sheep-shearing, dog herding, spinning, weaving, and gardening demonstrations, as well as games, farm animals, a craft fair, food, and plenty of entertainment. $20. Art in Bloom. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. This joyous rite of spring pairs fine art with floral design with offerings of free guided tours and workshops among MFA treasures. Through Monday. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youths age 7 to 17 $10, children under 7 free. Sheep Shearing Open House. Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary, 113 Goodnow Rd., Princeton. 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Learn how sheep are sheared and how those fleeces eventually become warm hats and mittens, during this day of vendors, crafters, kids’ activities, and more. Register ahead. Member adults $7, children $4; nonmember adults $9, children $5.

Healthy Kids in Nature Day. South Shore Natural Science Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Through music, nature walks, vendors, and hands-on activities, learn how families can experience healthy living and a healthy planet. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $5, children under 2 free. Capturing Big Cats and Dogs with Pencil and Paper. Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge. 2 p.m.3:30 p.m. Explore the world of big cats and dogs from wolves and coyotes to leopards and lions, as we use close observation and various realistic drawing techniques to capture these animals and bring them to life on the page. For ages 9 to 13. Register ahead. Members $25, nonmembers $35. Rock Off Main Street. TCAN: Center for Arts, 14 Summer St., Natick. 7:30 p.m. Enjoy as the best of pop, emp, punk, ska, hardcore, and indie bands from across the Boston-area come out of their garages and basements and onto the stage, in this eclectic showcase for the community. $8.

30 Sunday A Day of Community Service. Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Kick off NewtonServes Week with volunteer projects, ice cream sundaes, coffee, and more. Registration suggested. PJ Pioneers Spring Chickens Hike. Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy, 78 Ridge St., BAYSTATEPARENT 21

Winchester. 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Strap on your little cargo and join other new parents on a special hike just for you, as we show your baby the chickens and goats before embarking on a guided hike through the Wright-Locke farm and Whipple Hill conservation area trails. Register ahead. Free. Art in Bloom: Community Day. Museum of Fine Arts: Boston, 465 Huntington Ave., Boston. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Celebrate Art in Bloom with a day filled with family-friendly programming and entertainment. Free with admission. Members free; nonmember adults $25, youths age 7 to 17 $10, children under 7 free. Engineer It: Materials Challenge. Providence Children’s Museum, 100 South St., Providence. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Complete different engineering challenges using simple household items, as you build amazing structures using only cardboard squares, construct towers with popsicle sticks and clothespins, and create contraptions from paper tubes and straws. Free with admission. Members free, nonmembers $9. New England VegFest. DCU Center, 50 Foster St., Worcester. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. This free festival brings the local community together to celebrate all things vegetarian, from kids activities, to cooking demos, to speakers and raffles, and of course, plenty of food. Free. Nature Egg Hunt. Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon. 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Explore the forest and wetlands of Moose Hill for any and all kinds of eggs, meet a costumed character as you learn about Moose Hill’s diverse egg-laying inhabitant, and have fun searching for eggs. For ages 3 to 12. Register ahead. Members $6, nonmembers $9. An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth celebrating The Art of Elegance. Symphony Hall, 301 Mass. Ave., Boston. 7 p.m. Emmy- and Tony-award winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth brings her boundless talent and charisma to Symphony Hall for an unforgettable evening of personal favorites: Broadway, pop, songbook classics, and more. Tickets $62 and up. celebrityseries.or

Your Event + Our Calendar = Awesome Want your event listed in our comprehensive monthly listing of Massachusetts family fun? Send the details to by the first week of the month. For example, May events should be submitted by the first week of April. 22 APRIL2017

Rockwell Museum Celebrates the Art of

Saturday Morning Cartoons By Alex Khan

For 47 years across 321 covers, The Saturday Evening Post was defined by the artwork of Norman Rockwell. Yet just hours earlier and transmitted into houses across the country emerged a wholly distinct cannon belonging to Americana — the Saturday morning cartoon. Pulling back the curtain on one of the studios responsible for propelling animation into the cultural zeitgeist is the latest exhibit to arrive at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning. The exhibit is the brainchild of Jesse M. Kowalski, the curator of exhibitions at the museum, who pitched the idea in March 2015, shortly after being hired by the Stockbridge institution. “I tried to communicate the story of how cartoons evolved in society,” Kowalski says, “from film shorts to hosted TV programs, to 30-minute series in syndications, then to Saturday morning cartoons, and then primetime.” Highlighting this evolution begins early on, with a television monitor playing Bill Hanna’s first short, 1936’s “To Spring”, before another monitor segues through three openings the animation house produced for the television series Bewitched. And just like Elizabeth Montgomery’s Bewitched character Samantha Stevens, the museum exhibition contains layers of nuance that individuals must unlock over time. These are presented to visitors through a vast assortment of materials, compiled from 14 different lenders and the Hanna-Barbera Archives at Warner Brothers — the current owner of many of the characters’ copyrights — as well as a digital database in which visitors can encounter the classic cartoon characters. In total, 249 pieces of original artwork, 2 videos, 300 toys and collectibles, and nearly 30 individual archival objects have been spread about four galleries and 2,900 square feet. “I wanted to remind people of the quality and vast quantity of materials produced by the studio,” says Kowalski, who also took time to catalogue what societal events were occurring in tandem with particular HannaBarbera productions. Being a curator, Kowalski found herself needing to decide what amongst the vast quantity of work represented Hanna-Barbera’s “Golden Age.” She consulted animation experts and four decades’ worth of cartoonists and artists who worked for the company from the 1960s to 1990s.

Photo courtesy of Norman Rockwell Museum


“In 1957, when MGM closed their animation unit, Hanna and Barbera began hiring the best talent — men who had worked on Betty Boop, Popeye, Fleischer’s Superman, Disney, and Looney Tunes,” Kowalski says. “When you look at the ranking of cartoons by animation experts, many of these men created the greatest cartoons of all time.” And while it may be called the Golden Age by the exhibition, the pinpointed timeframe between 1958 and 1969 may be more easily recognized by Huckleberry Hound to Scooby Doo — a time when many animation production houses were ceasing production. By presenting an exhibition in which Rockwell’s realism is exchanged for eccentricity, the museum envisions its hallways populated by visitors of all ages. “I also want to bring younger audiences into the museum so they can experience the artwork of Norman Rockwell, in addition to the temporary exhibit,” Kowalski says. “Perhaps someone who liked HannaBarbera, but wasn’t familiar with Norman Rockwell, will leave with a different outlook.” Building an infrastructure connecting education with entertainment also pushed the museum to expand its programming. A monthly Saturday morning cartoon program orchestrated by Kowalski is now featured as part of the museum’s offerings, and former HannaBarbera animator Bob Singer, known for his work on The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, and more, will give a talk at the museum on May 13. “I think, to me, the richness of character design and sense of reckless abandon made me feel like cartoons had a life of their own and were somehow more than just the sum of their parts” says Scott Lincoln, a cartoonist and frequent instructor at the museum. He notes that cartoons, like jazz, are a distinctly American art form: “What better place to showcase them than the home of one of America’s most beloved artist/illustrator, Norman Rockwell?” But at its core, the exhibit is made to elicit the feelings and memories that old and young audiences hold around the iconic characters and the themes of laughter, friendship, and family defining Hanna-Barbera. “One woman told me she’d never been so happy to be in an art museum,” recalls Kowalski, “and another said her face hurt by the end from smiling so much.” Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning will be on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum until May 29. For more information, visit

d l i u B e m o C

o T e m o C • y a l P e m o C •

May 6th & May 7th

At the Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center Marlborough, MA. Sat: 11:00am - 4:30pm • Sun: 11:00am - 4:30pm



• Putt • Build • Guess • Photo Opps • Bounce • Shop • Derby • Go Fish • Cornhole • Ring Toss

• Trains • Star Wars • Great Ball Contraption • Bionicle • Milatary • City • Popculture • Midstorms

! e r o m h c and so mu Advance tickets available until Friday, May 5th. To purchase online go to

$15 Per Person. Ages 3 and under are Free. The pay-and-enter line is always open; we strongly encourage you to allow at least 90 minutes in the show. Please allow yourself at least 90 minutes to enjoy the show. BrickFair celebrates only LEGO brand products - no clones. BrickFair is not affiliated with The LEGO Group. Strollers are not permitted in BrickFair; it stinks, we know, we’re sorry.



Mass Study Aims to Simplify Sleep Apnea Diagnostic for Those Diagnosed with Down Syndrome BY MARSHAL D. HANEISEN


team of Massachusetts medical professionals is leading the way in creating an innovative screening approach that would identify Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) in people with Down syndrome. OSA occurs when a person’s airway is restricted or blocked by a physical feature during sleep. Individuals with OSA may stop and resume breathing during sleep, and the resulting reduced oxygen supply can cause significant medical problems. OSA occurs more frequently in children and adults with Down syndrome than in neurotypical peers. “Because of differences in their craniofacial features, people with Down syndrome are more prone to obstructive sleep apnea,” said Dr.

Brian Skotko, MD, MPP, and co-director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Program in Boston. He is leading the team studying OSA and Down syndrome. Data indicates that OSA occurs in 55% to 97% of the population of individuals with Down syndrome, compared to 1%-4% of the neurotypical pediatric population. Because of the physical and cognitive challenges of a person with Down syndrome, the effects of OSA can be more damaging. “In addition to exacerbating medical conditions like hypertension, untreated apnea can lead to short- and long-term loss of cognitive abilities. As I explain to my patients’ parents, their sons and daughters with Down syndrome work so hard in school, I would hate

for apnea to undo some of their well-earned cognitive gains,” Dr. Skotko said. Parents may assume OSA would present clues via symptoms such as snoring, restlessness, or frequent waking in the night. Consequently, they may be tempted to wait until a child displays signs of OSA. However, Skotko explained that sleep apnea is often silent, with no warning symptoms. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that all children with Down syndrome undergo a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram, by age 4, and annually thereafter if findings indicate OSA. Yet, many parents resist coordinating a sleep study for a variety of reasons:

• A presumption that the child will not cooperate and study results may be inconclusive. • The child might be rigid about a bedtime routine. • The child may be anxious about sleeping away from home. • The child might find the monitoring equipment unsettling. Laura Hardiman of Haverill is mother to a 21-year-old son with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. He has been a restless sleeper since early childhood. “Alex is nonverbal, and when his brain switches on, he is up and about,” she said. As a toddler, he began climbing out of his crib at

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night. Like many parents, Hardiman adopted the practice of using a child safety gate to ensure that her son would not leave his bedroom and wander through the house during the night. That child safety gate became an important part of his bedtime routine. Now, at 21, he wants the gate in place at bedtime. He has never tried to climb it, but identifies it as part of his bedtime environment, she said. This is one example of how a child may have a bedtime routine that is difficult to replicate in a hospital setting for a sleep study. Alex has sensory issues, which she believes contributes to his restless sleeping. Around age 16, he began piling pillows around himself when he went to sleep. “As he got older and heavier, I think he was propping them up to open his airway,” Hardiman said. “He often sleeps sitting up, sometimes he sleeps on his side or on his back. But if he is on his back, he will snore.” Hardiman suspects her son has OSA. But after two attempts at a sleep study, she is no closer to an answer on that question. The first attempted sleep study was held at Boston Children’s Hospital when Alex was around 10. His adenoids and tonsils had previously been removed, but he was still restless at night. Hardiman was hoping to learn if apnea was contributing to this restlessness. But he is a very light sleeper, and the gel pads, wires, and even the oxygen monitor on his fingertip all prevented him from sleeping, she said. They attempted a sleep study for a second time this summer at Massachusetts General Hospital. Again, the study could not collect enough data for an accurate assessment. “He is bigger and stronger and more aware of his anxiety,” she said. “As soon as he woke up and got out of bed, he was done.” Geography is another reason parents delay on coordinating sleep studies. Sleep studies can usually be scheduled through Down syndrome clinics, where children and adults with Down syndrome receive comprehensive medical care by a variety of specialists and experts. However, Skotko stated that only about 5% of all people with Down syndrome are followed by a Down syndrome clinic. Geography is sometimes a factor. The three Down syndrome clinics in Massachusetts are located at Massachusetts General Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston, and UMass Medical Center in Worcester. However, according to the website for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, only 33 states in the country have at least one clinic. Even when a state has a clinic, it can mean families drive hours to a

medical facility for the study. Cost and complications in obtaining insurance coverage are other factors influencing the scheduling of sleep studies. According to Dr. Skotko, out-of-pocket costs to a family for a sleep study can be $3,000 or more. Insurance companies or Medicaid coverage may require prior authorization, which can involve a lot of paperwork. Dr. Skotko’s team combined a range of assessment tools — including questionnaires for parents about their children’s sleep, evaluation of vital signs, blood data,

and urine tests, three-dimensional digital photography of craniofacial features, lateral cephalograms, physical examination, dental examination, and measurement of metabolic markers — to determine which tests were most helpful in diagnosing or ruling out the presence of OSA. The team has completed the first round of research; the second round is in process. If the validation round of testing is successful, it may result in a tool primary care physicians will be able to use to conduct a preliminary screening to

determine if a sleep study should be scheduled. The vision is to create a webpage primary care physicians can use to enter the variable data. An algorithm would then predict the likelihood of OSA. Patients with Down syndrome who have negative results on the assessment probably could avoid a sleep study, Dr. Skotko said. In the meantime, he encourages families to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for sleep studies to identify OSA.


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1/27/2017 4:46:06 PM


State Education Officials Vague on New MCAS 2.0 BY DOUG PAGE


assachusetts students in Grades 3 through 8 will take a new standardized test this month, but it’s unclear how new the test really is. Dubbed “MCAS 2.0” in October 2015 by Mitchell Chester, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the new test was proposed by Chester as a compromise between the aging MCAS and the controversial Common Core-aligned PARCC exam. When suggesting a hybrid test, Chester said it would be a combination of Common Core-based questions, like those found on the PARCC, along with those not aligned with Common Core standards. At the time, critics predicted that MCAS 2.0 would be akin to a wolf in sheep’s clothing — a backdoor way to administer the PARCC test to Massachusetts public school students without the critical backlash of adopting the PARCC outright. “This is a political deal that was made in order to pretend that we’re not doing PARCC,” Massachusetts Teachers Union President Barbara Madeloni stated following the BOE’s November 2015 decision to adopt MCAS 2.0. “We’re hiding PARCC in MCAS.” Now, 16 months later, with the English and math tests hitting 425,000 student desks across the Commonwealth this spring, Chester and DESE officials refuse to release a breakdown of the test and state which percentage of questions are 26 APRIL2017

based on Common Core standards/ PARCC and which are MCAS-like, refueling critics’ claims. “The source of the majority of questions on the tests varies by subject area and grade level,” DESE spokesperson Jacqueline Reis said. “On some tests, the majority of questions are from MCAS. On some tests, the majority of questions are from PARCC. Each year, we’ll look at the pool of questions and figure out what the best questions are to include in our tests.” “If this is just a shell game to hide PARCC within MCAS, then it will add

much of a hybrid test MCAS 2.0 would be. Just prior to its November 2015 vote of approval, BOE members heard an impassioned plea for the new, hybrid exam from state Secretary of Education James Peyser: “By incorporating the best of both MCAS and PARCC, we can develop, maintain, and improve a stronger assessment system than would be possible with either test on its own.” For nine months, baystateparent has been requesting a MCAS 2.0 breakdown from DESE, inquiring

“The speed at which it’s being designed suggests that they’re not formulating new questions and not entirely designing a new test. I wouldn’t be surprised if [MCAS 2.0] is the PARCC test.”



to the brewing discontent with the accountability systems,” Madeloni said recently. “The speed at which it’s being designed suggests that they’re not formulating new questions and not entirely designing a new test. I wouldn’t be surprised if [MCAS 2.0] is the PARCC test.” “I haven’t heard anything more about it,” said Tom Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, when asked if knew how

how much of the test is comprised of PARCC and MCAS questions. The department, which is in charge of all Massachusetts K-12 public schools and has the final say on the test’s design, has not provided specific percentages. When adopting MCAS 2.0 in November 2015, the BOE didn’t put any stipulations on the ratio of PARCC to MCAS questions, leaving that open to interpretation by DESE.

The problem with PARCC Teachers, parents, school administrators, and even elected officials across Massachusetts and the U.S. have railed against Common Core standards, and by extension the PARCC exam, over the past several years. The standards were proposed by the federal government to level the playing field in the quality of education offered across the country. Its goal: that a student in Alabama, for example, would have the same quality of instruction as one in Massachusetts. While the federal government cannot mandate state education, it can place stipulations on those states accepting federal money for education. In July 2010, Massachusetts was one of many states that accepted federal money (a $250 million Race to the Top grant) from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in exchange for adopting Common Core standards in its public schools. The Massachusetts BOE — not the state legislature or Bay State voters — was empowered with this decision, a move that didn’t sit well with critics who think the issue should be up to more than 11 BOE members. Common Core standards have come under fire from critics (parents, educators, and elected officials) across the nation who say education should not be standardized. It is too rigid, removes creativity, and leads to “teaching to the test,” in which a teacher teaches only what will be on the annual exam, they claim. The adoption of Common Core standards meant that the state’s current annual exam (the MCAS, given annually since 1998) was technically out of date because it did not reflect the new standards. This left the state to find — or make — a new test: enter the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). The PARCC was a ready-made, Common Core-aligned standardized test, yet outcry against its potential adoption led to five hearings, held by the Massachusetts Board of Education around the Commonwealth throughout spring and summer 2015. At these public forums, BOE members heard testimony from Common Core supporters and critics.

Meet MCAS 2.0 The MCAS questions were developed by Measured Progress, a Dover, N.H.-based testing company that designs and develops MCAS 2.0, DESE spokesperson Reis said, while the PARCC questions were obtained from Pearson, PLC, a multi-billiondollar British company. The MCAS

questions were reviewed by Bay State educators, experts and DESE staff, while PARCC questions were reviewed by educators, experts, and education officers in various states around the country, Reis noted. DESE recently signed a new, fiveyear, $150.8 million contract with Measured Progress to create the MCAS 2.0 test. According to PARCC’s federal tax documents, the testing consortium — comprised of eight states, plus the District of Columbia — made two payments to Pearson, in 2014 and 2015, totaling just over $50 million. Inquiries to PARCC officials regarding payments to Pearson were unanswered.

Chester’s preference The commissioner has stated a preference for PARCC questions. In December 2016, baystateparent caught up with Chester at a public forum at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and inquired again about the content of MCAS 2.0. He provided emphatic support for PARCC questions, saying on English, “that PARCC-type items ... elevates the kind of critical thinking and writing skills we’re asking our students to do.”

On math, Chester said, “... PARCC has a much greater emphasis on open-ended problem solving, applying your math skills to novel and real-world situations than the MCAS did, so it elevates the expectation for what students can do.” Chester also declined to answer the ratio of MCAS to PARCC questions on MCAS 2.0. It’s hard to say whether PARCC or the older version of MCAS is a better predictor of a student being college and career-ready — one of DESE’s objectives with the new test. Just prior to the BOE’s vote approving MCAS 2.0, the results of a study about both tests, conducted by Princeton, N.J.-based Mathematica Policy Research, was released. The study reported both exams were in a dead heat for predicting student success in college English and math. “It’s important to know that the accountability system we have in place overvalues standardized test scores in a way that’s entirely out of balance for what the test score actually represents,” the MTA’s Madeloni said. “It’s a high-stakes test. The score on that test [MCAS 2.0] has consequences for evaluating teachers and school districts.” In addition, a child’s ability to think critically and their “ability to articulate themselves and enter the world with a broad view is being narrowed by a standardized test,” she said.

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Massachusetts Mom’s Green Cleaning Crusade Goes National BY MELISSA SHAW, PHOTOGRAPHY BY ELIZABETH BROOKS

Northbridge mom and nationally known green cleaning expert Leslie Reichert is on a crusade to get mothers to ditch their bleach wipes and chemical cleaners for safer, healthier alternatives. Her mission has led to books, a weekly radio show, her own TV show, a magazine, podcasts, and numerous appearances on national media, such as The Dr. Oz Show and Martha Stewart Living Radio. Her fight against good intentions and bad chemicals began more than 20 years ago, a time when Reichert owned a large home cleaning service that used the toxic products

she’s now urging people to abandon. Pregnant with her second child and also cleaning homes, Reichert came down with a mid-winter case of poison ivy on her legs — and no idea how she got it. After her daughter was born, Reichert was diagnosed with pneumonia. She went to her doctor, who believed her immune system was compromised, noting that she could have had poison ivy in her system, but a healthy immune system would have been able to fight a breakout.

Reichert attributed the problem to the heavy-duty cleansers she was using in clients’ homes. They were powerful, and they worked, but at a price. “You could always feel it,” she says. “It was in your throat, in your eyes. We figured out that that broke down my immune system.” That left Reichert to research alternative cleaning products. At the same time, she stumbled across some valuable family history: “I found the recipe to my great-grandmother’s laundry soap in her Bible.” Families kept their most valuable records in the good book, and if a 100-year-old laundry soap recipe sounds out of place, remember the time period. In previous generations, clothes were handmade, expensive, and needed to last. When they were washed, they were extremely dirty because they were washed less frequently than today. “I found the ingredients [soap flakes, baking soda, washing soda, and Borax] and made it. I used it, and it ended up working really, really well,” she says. “And I thought: If that works, I wonder if those other old-fashioned recipes work?” This discovery unexpectedly led Reichert, a native of Western Pennsylvania, back to familiar territory: chemistry. Though she graduated college with a degree in political science, she was a chemical engineering major for three of her four years in school. “I set up a science project in my kitchen,” recalls the mother of three. “White vinegar is a natural acid, baking soda is a natural base, and salt is a natural scrub and a lifter. I started doing the research behind those old-fashioned recipes.” And they worked. These retro recipes, using materials found in most kitchen pantries, cleaned and disinfected — toxin- and chemical-free — throughout the house, leading Reichert in the late 1990s to write a green cleaning “cookbook” featuring 101 DIY cleaning recipes,The Joy of Green Cleaning.

“We teach children not to go under the sink because that’s where cleaning products are held. If they’re dangerous, why are we letting them near food?” 30 APRIL2017

Spreading the word By this time, Reichert had sold her cleaning business and was running a shop in Uxbridge selling vacuums and green cleaning products and tools she discovered through her research. Thanks to a burgeoning Internet that was giving small businesses big reach, she made contacts with other green cleaning businesses, mostly grassroots enthusiasts who were importing environmentally friendly products already well-known and used in Europe. “That’s when I met the girls from Skoy,” Reichert says of the small, reusable cloth that’s the equivalent of 15 rolls of paper towels ( “They were just two moms who came from Europe and wanted to bring what they used in Europe over here. e-cloth [a general purpose cleaning cloth that requires only water] came over from Sweden. All these little companies were trying to bring European products [into the U.S.]. They fought the fight to try and get people to stop using chemicals. Those guys were the pioneers.” When running her shop, Reichert had an epiphany: “I’d spend all my days teaching people how to use things, not ‘Use this,’ but ‘Use this and this is how you do it.’ I ended up spending all this time teaching. I said, ‘I’m a coach,’” which gave way to her preferred title: Green Cleaning Coach. “I found out there’s a whole generation of young people who don’t know how to clean; they were taught how to clean by TV commercials. It’s generational. My mom liked to clean, but she didn’t want anybody around when she did it. We were given chores, she would show us real quick, and it was, like, get it done and get out. My generation was the generation where we started hiring cleaning people. Nobody likes to clean, and part of the reason is they don’t know how.” Reichert began giving public talks about green cleaning throughout Central Massachusetts at libraries and organizations. She gained the attention of Channel 5, who sent a crew out to do a story. Reichert still remembers one young mother who was interviewed, stating she didn’t know how to clean and confessed she was using Scrubbing Bubbles bathroom cleaner to clean her kitchen counters. “When I saw her interview, I said, ‘That’s it. I can’t let people keep doing this; they’re going to end up like me and get sick.”

The rise of chemicals in the kitchen Prior to World War II, Reichert says women were using inexpensive, non-toxic ingredients, such as baking soda, vinegar, water, and salt, to clean their homes. Yet when the U.S. entered the war, and in light of a water shortage in Europe, the government asked chemical companies to make cleaners to ship overseas to efficiently mass clean and disinfect guns, ships, and tanks. As the war ended, so did demand for chemical cleaners. Until, Reichert said, the companies decided to market their products, via radio and the exciting new medium of television, to American housewives, creating a lucrative new market that continues to thrive today. “We teach children not to go under the sink because that’s where cleaning products are held. If they’re dangerous, why are we letting them near food?” Reichert asks. And, in fact, if you use today’s products, the chemicals are everywhere you clean: floors, clothes, cabinets, coffee tables, countertops,

sinks, showers, toilets, and more. “Cleaning products affect us; you’re washing your clothes with it and you’re wearing it all day. If there’s something in there that’s leeching through your skin and your body doesn’t like it, that can create skin allergies and skin issues,” she notes. Reichert argues that vigilance about the use of chemical cleaners — and, more importantly, what’s in them — should equal the rise in consumer consciousness regarding food and pesticides, and ideally mirror the growing popularity of organic food. “You don’t know what’s in your cleaning products. They don’t have to tell you what’s in there. It’s not mandated like the food industry. [Chemical companies] have what’s called a proprietary item. If I tell you what’s in my cleaning product, you’ll just go out and copy me.” Companies, she says, state their ingredients are proprietary, so they don’t have to disclose them. For example, she cautions people to be careful of the word “fragrance” found on the label of a cleaning product: “You can have something that says, ‘Vinegar, Baking Soda, Essential Oils, and Fragrance’, and that can hide all the other things that are in the product.”

access markets across the country. “I took it from local to state to national, just doing the same thing,” she says. “No one is telling anybody this. I never used to like talking in front of people. When you have a passion, you have a mission, and you have to get the word out, your fears go in the backseat. When I find good things, I want to share. When I find people doing good things, I want to share it.” Which begs the question: Why not produce and market her own line of green cleaners? “There’s not one cleaner that works for everybody,” she notes. “Some people have different sensitivities, different smells, different things they like — that’s why there’s hundreds of choices. I just want to help people find their right choice, not the one I would make money on.” Instead, Reichert says she prefers to simply coach — part cheerleader, part teacher, part researcher: “That’s what I’m trying to do, to get someone to have that ah-ha moment: ‘The stuff that I’m using isn’t good for my kids? What can I do instead?’”

Does green cleaning work? Over the past 15 years, the rise of superbugs, viruses, and worried parents have led to canisters of disposable bleach-soaked wipes and ubiquitous hand sanitizer in most homes. Yet Reichert says inexpensive, everyday ingredients work just as well — and are far less dangerous to children, adults, and pets in the home. She points to the recipe for her DIY all-purpose “Happy Hour Cleaner,” which was tested on The Dr. Oz Show in front of Oz and three other experts, including Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner. Reichert mixed vinegar, lemon juice, vodka, essential oil, and castile soap in a spray bottle and cleaned a dirty surface on national TV. Oz’s staff determined the surface had a germ level of 201 before cleaning. After being sprayed with Happy Hour Cleaner, the germ score dropped to 9. (You can watch the appearance and get the DIY recipe at With the right ingredients and materials, Reichert says you can make windows crystal clear with just water, mop your floor without a bucket, and clean and sanitize your bathroom without harmful, toxic chemicals. “The message is getting out there,” she adds, noting that Pinterest’s #1 category isn’t cooking or crafting, but DIY cleaning recipes. And Reichert is doing a lot to help spread the gospel of clean, healthy homes. She’s closed her brick and mortar shop, essentially moving it online, spreading her expertise and enthusiasm far beyond that small store in Uxbridge. Now she shares news, how-tos, new product and cleaning discoveries, and more via her website (greencleaningcoach. com); books (The Joy of Green Cleaning and The Joy of Green Cleaning for New Parents – a free ebook); a podcast and weekly radio show (Clean Green Talk); and an online magazine, Clean Green Living, in addition to an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Her TV show, Clean Green Living, can be found online (, or in more than 130 public BAYSTATEPARENT 31

Attention Crafters!

Try Reichert’s Favorite Green Cleaning Products

16th Annual

Apple Blossom Festival Attention Crafters!!!! Craft Fair The Friends of Sholan Farms will be hosting a craft show at the May 20,Blossom 2017 Festival Annual Apple am-4 pm 10:00-4:00 Saturday10 May 16, 2015 14th

(Rain Date May 17, 2015)

Rain date May 21

at Sholan Farms, 1125 Pleasant Street, Leominster MA $

40.00 Fee

erested crafters must complete the application below and submit to:

“Friends of Sholan Farms” Apple Blossom Festival – Craft ForShow more P.O. Box 632 information, please call 978-840-327601453 or Email Leominster, Massachusetts Woolzies — Woolzies is a founded small business offering a line Interested crafters can ers will be asked to make a $40.00 reservation fee non-member, $25.00 reservation of 100% eco-friendly household products. It’s best known for its Woolzies r members. Fee must accompany application orthe your application is not considered apply using form All Natural Dryer Balls, which replace the use of fabric softeners and dryer ete. Refunds are only given to Crafters who are not able to set-up on the rain date and below, or on the website sheets, reducing static and drying be requested by Crafter. time and eliminating wrinkles and

chemicals. (Use discount code woolparking space will be given to you that morning. zies15 at for 15% off your entire purchase.) e check-in with attendant in the handicapped parking lot. es are filled Name___________________________________________ according to arrival time. es cannot be assigned in advance. Address_________________________________________ es are 12 ‘xTel 12#___________________Email____________________ ‘. Your exhibit must be fully within your own space. must supply your own table, chair and tent. of Craft________________________________ vehicle mayDescription stay at the booth space. ________________________________________________ p time – 7:30AM – 9:30AM. estival is held outdoors. this form to: her – be prepared forReturn the possibility of windy conditions. ers Confirmation noticesof willSholan be sent when the reservation has been accepted. Friends Farms vendors/crafters provide ServSafe insurance certificates. Food may not be Applemust Blossom Festival - Craftand Show red at the festival unless you have P.O. Box 632 a permit through the City of Leominster Health Dept. Leominster, MA 01453

e any questions, please call Joanne DiNardo at 978-870-5555. 32 APRIL2017

e-cloth – e-cloth is a European microfiber cloth with more than 3 million fibers per square inch that lifts dirt and bacteria off surfaces and releases bacteria when it’s rinsed. Consumers have been told to use chemicals and kill bacteria, but Reichert says this is a much safer way to get bacteria off a surface, thanks to technology. (Use discount code CleanGreen20 at for 20% off your entire purchase without restriction, April 1-30, 2017.) DuopMop — Reichert says there is no better way to wash a floor than with a DuopMop and her “bucketless mopping” technique. Using this mop will cut your floor cleaning time in half, she says — with less water and chemicals — and it will look like you washed it on your hands and knees. (Use discount code cleangreen15 at for 15% off.) Force of Nature — Force of Nature has created a new appliance that turns salt, vinegar, and water into a cleaner that is as powerful as bleach. This small appliance takes an initial investment of $60, but will save people hundreds on cleaning products, as well as remove toxic cleaners from their homes. It uses the technology of electrolyzed water that the commercial cleaning industry has used for years. (Use discount code SAFECLEAN at for $35 off a Force of Nature system and free shipping.)

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BAYSTATEPARENT 33 7/11/14 10:09 PM


Inside the Critical Reasons Why Children Need to Be Outside BY MICHELLE PERRAS-CHARRON

“Let’s go outside for some fresh air,” I find myself saying to my 4-year-old. It is cold and blustery, not an ideal outdoor day. Yet I utter these words out of desperation for he is moody, unhappy, bored, and uncooperative. I sense we are on the verge of a major meltdown; he’s simply had enough — of everything. He likes my idea, yet struggles and complains as we put on his snowsuit for warmth. He stomps his way across our brown, grassy yard, still unhappy with me. However, as we move from the grass to the edge of the woods where twigs begin to snap under our boots, I see his frustration melting away. He picks up his pace and begins to chat excitedly over the sounds of treetops whipping and cracking in the wind. He even smiles at me as he picks up a large stick. It’s like someone flipped a switch on my child — yet all I did was open the front door for him. 34 APRIL2017

Unfortunately, fewer parents are opening doors. Inarguably, children spend more time indoors today than ever before, leading to what one author coined “naturedeficit disorder.” Whether we point the finger at sprawling suburbia, busy roadways, technology, overscheduling, or parental fear, the result is the same: a lack of outdoor time. “Children under 7, especially, have this intrinsic connection to the outdoors. The connection is already there, it just needs to be unleashed,” says Barbara Erickson, president and CEO of The Trustees of Reservations. The Trustees, as it’s known, is a 125-year-old Massachusetts non-profit that preserves, for public use and enjoyment, 116 properties of scenic, historic, and ecological value throughout the state. Erickson is waging a war on nature-deficit disorder, increasing family programming at The Trustees from 15% of its programs five years ago to a whopping 50% today. “We’ve seen a real change in the way children experience childhood compared to generations before them,” she notes. “Children today are over-programmed and over-focused on educational goals. Increases in technology have severely reduced the ability for kids to be outside in unstructured play. We know that, on average, children engage in 4 to 7 hours of screen time a day — and we’re worried about it!” Erickson is not the only one concerned. After the 2005 publication of his novel Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, author Richard Louv and peers co-founded the Children & Nature Network, a non-profit that fuels the movement to reconnect children and

their families to nature by supporting worldwide grassroots efforts. “Time in nature is as important as sleep or good nutrition,” says Sarah Milligan Toffler, executive director of the Children & Nature Network ( Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder,” which is not intended as a medical diagnosis, but rather as a description of the human costs of alienation from nature, and it’s a phrase that seems to resonate with many, she adds. Time spent outdoors can impact everything from physical and mental health, as well as education in the form of better concentration and social-emotional outcomes, while also providing preventative benefits in the form of stress reduction, she adds. “Even views of trees have been shown to reduce cortisol levels,” she says. “Yet within the last 30 years, childhood has moved inside.” Time outdoors also benefits conservation efforts by providing children with a connection to the natural world. “It’s hard to care for something that you’re not emotionally connected to,” she notes. In an effort to connect children and families to the natural world, The Trustees strive to make it easy for families to enjoy all the Commonwealth has to offer. On May 20, the organization will hold a free, statewide, open house at 10 historic sites ( things-to-do/special-events/homesweet-home.html). It also recently announced a new library pass program, which will enable libraries to offer patrons passes to many diverse Trustees properties. “The Trustees does everything it can to get families outside,”

Erickson says. “There’s something for everyone — you don’t have to be a naturalist to get out in nature and enjoy our programs.”

The developmental jackpot “We actually already know, intellectually as well as intuitively, that time in nature is critical for physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual health,” explains Donna M. Denette, director and co-founder of Children First Enterprises, a non-profit childcare organization in Granby (childrenfirstofgranby. org). “For children, reduced time in nature [i.e., outdoor play] hinders their development, their health, and their happiness.” The fact that outdoor play is beneficial for children is nothing new to most parents, but the magnitude of these benefits — and the science behind it — may surprise them. For example, spending time outside can help children better manage emotions, pay attention, and be able to learn, as Children & Nature Network’s Milligan Toffler noted. This occurs because being outdoors in nature creates an ideal state for sensory integration to

happen, explains Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook, a Barrington, N.H., camp that seeks to reconnect children with nature ( Sensory integration is the organization of the senses and the organization of the brain. But sensory organization can only happen when multiple senses are engaged, and when we are in a calm, but alert, state, she says. “Organization of the senses and organization of the brain, in general, are found to help children cope with emotions, pay attention in school, and be able to learn,” says Hanscom, whose work focuses on sensory and attention issues in children. And the stimuli children experience while outside is very different from that indoors, she adds, noting that while the smells, sounds, and colors of nature (blues, greens, browns) all have a very calming effect, one must also be in an alert state while outside. For example, footing could be uneven or a small animal could dart in front of you at any time. Multiple senses are engaged, and our body is in a calm, yet alert, state — sensory integration is taking place. Hanscom explains that during sensory integration, our senses receive stimuli from our environment. Our brain then processes this informa-

tion and organizes it, thus enabling us to respond and interact with our environment appropriately. For example, when outside, the sounds of birds cause you to orient your body to the space around you; this is spatial awareness in action. Additionally, Hanscom says, outdoor play stimulates the vestibular system. There are tiny hair cells in our inner ear, and as we move our heads side to side, the hair cells move and help develop our vestibular senses, also known as our balance system, she explains. By moving their bodies in different directions — whether jumping, running, rolling, spinning, or swinging — a child’s balance system is stimulated and develops. “The whole balance system is really critical and can affect everything,” she adds. “In order to develop a strong balance system, kids need to move their bodies in all directions. The outdoors offer ample space to move and play; movement is restricted when kids play indoors.”

The importance of trust Allowing our children more time in nature seems simple enough, however, it can be a leap of faith for

many of today’s parents. They are over-involved in their children’s outdoor play (and indoors, too), which does not allow children the free, unstructured, and sometimes risky play that is essential to healthy child development. Every time parents say, “Slow down,” “Be careful,” “Don’t climb on that,” or “Make sure you share,” they are interfering in their child’s play. This is a disservice, as it doesn’t allow children to work through problems on their own or experiment with their own limits. The message sent: “We don’t trust you.” “We think we’re doing the right thing, but really we’re causing harm,” Hanscom says. “Fear-based parenting inhibits healthy growth and development,” Denette adds. “When we don’t trust our children, they don’t learn to trust themselves. When they don’t ‘fall,’ they don’t learn how to get back up or try a different strategy.” Hanscom describes an interaction she observed between a group of children at her TimberNook camp, which illustrates the important developmental benefits independent play can offer children. A group of girls were building a teepee in the woods, when a boy began yelling at the girls, “You have to let me play!” The girls did not want to let him play. The boy had a pair of scissors, which he used to cut a string that was attached to their teepee, then he stole some “jewels” from the girls and ran off. The girls chased him, until finally he gave up and said, “Fine, you have them.” The boy took off to sulk by a tree, while the girls rebuilt their teepee. Afterwards, one of the girls approached the boy. From a distance, staff could see the boy was yelling at the girl, at which point she would simply put up her hand as if to tell him to stop. The two went back and forth a few times, then the girl invited the boy to play with her and the others. Not only did he join in that day, but he played with them for the rest of the week, Hanscom says. There were several moments when staff could have intervened to problem solve for these children. However, had staff done so, they would have deprived the boy and the girls of many developmental opportunities. During this example, which involved conflict, the girls learned how to stand up for themselves. The boy learned that yelling and whining is not the best way to communicate his needs. The girl who invited him to play also learned empathy, while the boy discovered he must regulate his emotions and anger, Hanscom says. “Had we intervened early on and told the girls, ‘You need to play with him,’ both the boy and the girls would have resented each other,” she says. Aside from intervening in our

child’s play with other children, parents today are simply hesitant to allow children adequate, unstructured time outdoors in nature — climbing, swinging, rolling, spinning, and jumping — unencumbered by our adult fears. “While no one wants their child to get hurt, the fear of it is disproportionate to the reality of what might occur,” Denette notes. “What are you really afraid of?” Hanscom asks. Strangers? Get to know your neighbors so children can play together in groups, she suggests. Dirt? Stop by a thrift store and pick up extra play clothes for outside. Ticks? Educate yourself about ticks and make a habit of checking your children when they come in from playing outdoors. “It is incumbent upon us to change the course of fear-based parenting, as well as overly restrictive regulations, in order to allow children the breadth and depth of play experiences in nature that are best for their full and healthy development. It’s like allowing them to breathe,” Denette says.

Easy ways to enjoy the outdoors Getting the kids outside in nature does not have to be an orchestrated event. It can easily be worked into our daily routines, where it belongs. Here, Denette provides simple ways parents can get their children outdoors more often: • Go for a walk, bike ride, or hike • Play in puddles • Allow them to get dirty (that’s what hoses and baths are for) • Build a fort with sticks and sheets • Have a picnic • Nap in the sunshine • Draw with chalk on the sidewalk • Learn to identify things in your yard (trees, birds, plants) • Stake out a 1’x1’ square in your yard and explore the micro world of nature with a magnifying glass • Go on a photo safari walk • Try geo-caching • Consider kayaking, camping, or fishing • Visit a state park “It doesn’t have to be complicated — nature is everywhere,” Children & Nature Network’s Milligan Toffler says. “It’s about following your child’s lead. It’s a matter of creating that interest, wonder, and connection.” Sometimes, it’s as simple as opening the front door.



21 Easy Ways Families Can GO GREEN BY MELISSA SHAW


Get outside at one of 15 National Parks throughout the state.

nvironmental experts agree: Any small effort you can make to help Mother Earth matters. And, over time, small gestures can turn into big results. By adopting one — or several — earth-friendly family habits that best fit your lifestyle, you’re helping the environment today — and tomorrow. Here are nearly two dozen easy ways to support Mother Nature as a family.

Avoid plastic with this 21oz stainless steel water bottle from Hydro Flask.

Mason jars can hold much more than food with lids such as these from reCap.

36 APRIL2017

Reusable bags: Over the past 15 years, reusable bags have revolutionized the way we shop, and have led many Massachusetts communities to limit or ban plastic shopping bags altogether. The #1 key to reusable shopping bags: Don’t leave them in the car. Want to take it one step further? Bring one wherever you go. Many companies make full-size shopping bags that stuff into themselves, becoming smaller than a cell phone (The Original Bag at is one example of a bag that has a small footprint but expands to carry a big load). Keep one in your glove box, purse, work or diaper bag, and you’ll always have a way to carry purchases without extra plastic or paper. Duct tape bags: You can recycle plastic shopping bags — many grocery and big box stores offer bins for that purpose at their entrance. However, if you want to make them reusable, turn them into a tote with duct tape.

This is a fun, easy, inexpensive craft parents and kids can do together in less than an hour, and the personalization options are endless thanks to the variety of duct tape available today. Search “DIY Duct Tape Tote Bag! - Do It, Gurl” on YouTube for an easy tutorial. Use one water bottle: Look in your cabinet: How many water bottles do you have? How many do you really need? Save a favorite for each person in your house and recycle the rest. If you don’t already have a favorite, consider buying a quality stainless steel water bottle. Many families are moving away from plastic bottles to those made of stainless steel as they’re engineered to keep liquids colder longer and won’t leach chemicals. Many stainless steel water bottle manufacturers, such as Klean Kanteen ( and EcoVessel (, are making kids’ lines, so everyone from toddlers on up can have their own. Hydro Flask (hydroflask. com) offers an all-insulated bottle lineup covering everything from hydration and coffee to beer and food. Its bottles keep liquids cold or hot for hours without sweating, and come with a lifetime guarantee. Drinking more water is good for your family’s health and reduces your soda, juice, or coffee consumption — and expenses. Plus, if they’re not

drinking those juice boxes, you’re not endlessly picking up those annoying straw wrappers. Say sayonara to the straw: And speaking of straws: Plastic straws are terrible for Mother Earth. Yet here in the U.S., they’ve been culturally adopted to the point at which 500,000,000 are used each day in our country. They’re used once and thrown out, pollution forever. “No Straw, Please” campaigns are urging people to say that when they’re pre-

Reusable snack and sandwich bags from Bumkins mean less plastic in a lunchbag – and landfill. sented with the opportunity, either drinking without one or carrying a glass or stainless steel one of their own. You can make a difference by putting your family on the No Straw, Please path. More information and

ideas can be found at and Use less plastic: Plastic is a convenience in the kitchen, but at what cost? Five years ago the FDA banned the chemical BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups, fearing it can seep into food or drinks and potentially harm infants. Since then, the label “BPA-free” has become a major addition to the packaging of plastic containers, water bottles, and anything that may touch food or drink. While some are content with BPA-free assurance, others are transitioning away from plastic altogether. The resurgence of Mason jars has attracted

to reducing waste, Bento boxes also save kids time opening bags, containers, and lids, meaning they have more time to eat during that quick lunch period. Popular Bento companies include Bentology (, PlanetBox (, and ECOlunchbox (

drop and express themselves without breaking the bank. Brand-conscious kids will find more name brands than they’d think, along with funky shirts, jackets, shoes, and more. It’s the one place you can tell kids, “Buy whatever you want” and not cry when you hit the register.

Consignment stores: They’ve been around forever and are a parent’s dream: good-quality gear and clothes with a lot of miles left for low prices. They are great for everyday clothes, but especially wonderful for those items that aren’t worn as often, yet are expensive one-season wonders: snow boots, snow pants, ice skates, dance shoes, holiday dresses, and

Your local library: Raising a reader can be expensive if you buy every book. Despite the rise in all-tech, all the time, local libraries are thriving. Many in Massachusetts belong to library networks, which means if your library doesn’t have what you need, one of their sister locations will, and it will usually be in your hands within days. Kids can try out new authors, series, or genres without a penny leaving your pocket (or a new book cluttering your already full bookcase). If your child loves an author or series, or wants to reread a title over and over, search for used book stores in your area. You can get what you’re looking for for pennies on the dollar, and you’re supporting a small business. Want to make a day of it? Head to one of Massachusetts’ famous used bookstores, like the Montague Bookmill in Montague (, The Shire Book Shop in Franklin (, the 192-year-old Brattle Book Shop in Boston (, or Federal Street Books in Greenfield (

National Park Service sites offer free family programming and education. people to its many storage uses, and perennial glass favorite Pyrex is a popular choice for food storage. reCap ( makes pour, flip, and shaker lids that instantly turn Mason jars into storage containers in the kitchen, bathroom, craft rooms, and throughout the house. Moving to more glass also means fewer plastic containers (and their lids) cluttering up your cabinets. Here’s 100 easy ways to go plastic free: Ditch sandwich bags: How many plastic snack and sandwich bags are in your kid’s lunchbox each day? Multiply that by 5, then 4, then 10. That is a lot of plastic thrown away over just one school year. Reusable sandwich and snack bags will keep plastic out of your local landfill. Companies such as Bumkins make them for babies through big kids, or head to and support small business crafters who offer dozens of options in either size.

more. (Pro tip for snow pants: Unless you only have girls, resist pink or purple and buy black. That way you can hand them down to all siblings without argument.) Thrift stores/Goodwill/Savers/ Salvation Army: Thrift stores are hot. Kids through adults can find inexpensive clothes on the cheap. They’re a perfect place to buy summer clothes that are going to get worn heavily, and a great place for tweens and up to shop ’till they

Yard sales: The old Saturday morning staple is still going strong and can be a goldmine for purchases you’ve been meaning to make. However, be careful: It’s very easy to buy more than you actually need (especially if you have the kids with you), so be as judicious as you can with what you actually take home. Facebook yard sale groups/Craigslist: Craigslist quickly became the go-to place for selling used items over the past

Klean Kanteen’s 12 oz classic bottle with spillproof sippy cap brings stainless steel water bottles to the younger set. 15 years, everything from clothes and electronics to motorhomes, vacation rentals, and even houses. You can find (or sell) pretty much anything, and if what you’re looking for isn’t being sold in your regional group, the site will search other area Craigslist groups for you. As always, be extremely careful when setting up a transaction — insist on cash and meeting in a public place (a police station parking lot is always a safe spot). While Craigslist is still doing brisk business, Facebook yard sale groups have become super hot for smaller items, especially kids’ toys, clothes, and gear (many are created just for parents). This ensures money for a

The Original Bag from ChicoBag shrinks from full to pocket size for easy transport.

Go Bento: Another way to avoid the use of plastic sandwich or snack bags is by using a Bento box — a divided container with a latched lid that separates and stores food. In addition BAYSTATEPARENT 37

A Bento Box, such as this set from Bentology, provides easy access to lunch.

to paint it. Plastic or heavy cardboard? Grab some funky duct tape and let her go to town, turning it into a new storage space. Before you throw something out, try to remember to ask yourself: Can this serve another purpose? Get outside: To appreciate Mother Earth, parents need to introduce their children to her. That is, get them outside. The more kids experience nature, the more sensitive they will be about litter, recycling, thoughtful consumption of goods, and more. The best part of getting outside is it is almost always free.

seller without paying a cut to a consignment store and good, used gear for a buyer. Most of these usually private groups require that you be approved by a moderator to join. Make sure you read and follow all of the rules of posting, buying, and selling. Upcycle old stuff: Did your child outgrow her Disney Princess toy box? Instead of throwing it away, help her upcycle it into a theme she will love now. If it’s wooden, show her how

Walking trails & bikeways: Massachusetts is full of these hubs for cyclists and walkers — 76 to be exact. This list breaks them down by city/ town, length, surface, and much more: Hit one nearby or go on an adventure and discover a new favorite. National parks: Massachusetts is home to 15 different National Parks Service sites (, ranging from the Cape Cod National Seashore to the

ences to area families through the preservation of woodlands, historic homes, working farms, and more. The private organization preserves and protects more than 100 cultural and natural spaces or properties (which it calls “reservations”) spanning Park Passport nearly 25,000 acres Program: across the state. Massachusetts’ The Trustees (thetDepartment of offers Conservation and special programRecreation offers ming geared toward this cool scavenger families and children hunt-like program in many locations in 76 state parks. monthly. Admission Download a free is charged for some passport at mass. events, though it gov/eea/agencies/ may be waived or dcr/massparks/parkreduced through a passport, visit a parfamily membership ticipating park, find to the organization. the passport box at Get out and get moving at the park, and stamp one of Massachusetts’s Mass Audubon: Mass your passport with 76 state parks. Audubon’s wildlife the stamp found in the sanctuary network (massaudubon. box. Get a stamp from all the parks org) includes approximately 100 in one of the five regions (Greater properties across the state. More Boston, Northeast, Southeast, than half are ready to be explored, Central, and Western) and get a free with trails, maps, signage, and often T-shirt from the DCR. Kids can earn a nature centers or museums with shirt from all five regions. trained naturalists leading programs. Many offer a bustling scheduling of The Trustees of Reservations: youth education and family events, The Trustees is a 126-year-old from summer camps and vacation Massachusetts organization founded programs to hikes and more. to bring indoor and outdoor experistate’s western-most border with New York. Many of the parks offer special programming throughout the year; each has its own website and calendar of events, which you can access at the earlier URL.

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Photo courtesy “e” inc.

Tom’s of Maine Launches Free, Mail-In Toy Recycling Program

New Environmental Museum Opens for Families


oston environment science learning and action non-profit “e” inc. last month opened the doors of its new museum: the “e” inc. Environment Science, Discovery, and Action Museum ( The inaugural exhibit, Weather and Climate: Our Changing World, is geared toward children ages 8 to 13, and is open for school field trips during the week and open to families on Saturdays through July 2017. Hands-on learning is emphasized throughout the exhibit, which features experiments, demonstrations, and investigations. Children and adults will leave understanding how to make a difference for themselves and their community. “Visitors will discover how weather and climate change are related, but also that they are very different phenomenon, with the latter now affecting lives across the planet,” says “e” inc. Executive Director Dr. Ricky Stern. “The new exhibit is a great opportunity to dig in on the science of this topic. The activities offer so many unique kid-focused, hands-on experiences that our young visitors are sure to get a jumpstart in understanding climate science in a special and interesting way.” From the first steps into Weather and Climate: Our Changing World, visitors are involved in interactive learning about Earth’s climate. Children can investigate how scientists learn about climate by dating their own mud cores, simulating those from millions of years ago. They will also discover how humans have created the current warming of the Earth, how animal behaviors are already being affected, and how citizens can take part in altering its course. To provide the best science experience to families, “e” inc. will use timed entries for all visits. To reserve a time, visit Admission is $3 per child and $10 per adult.

Natural products company Tom’s of Maine is partnering with the recycling experts at TerraCycle to offer the #LessWasteChallenge toy recycling program. Families can visit to download a free shipping label that they can use to mail in broken toys for recycling, doing their part to reduce the amount of toys that end up in landfills each year. “Knowing what to do with broken toys is a challenge because as parents we don’t want to be wasteful and throw them away. We want to show our kids there are better solutions,” said Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine. “The act of recycling a toy together can be a way for parents to start a conversation with their kids about what we can all do to take care of the planet for generations.” Families can send in their broken toys directly to TerraCycle by following four steps: • Visit lesswaste. • Enter contact information to receive a free UPS shipping label via email that can be printed at home. • Fill an old box with up to 10 pounds of broken toys. • Attach the free shipping label to the box and drop it off at UPS.

“Toys are a waste stream people don’t think about that often, but the amount of broken toys sent to landfills is significant, and there hasn’t been a way to dispose of them,” said Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle ( “Parents can now feel good knowing that broken toys can be 100% recycled or reused, which helps Planet Earth.” Beyond toys, another way families can help the earth is the #LessWasteChallenge pledge, which asks families to reduce their household waste by 1 pound per week. To date, consumers have pledged to keep more than 200,000 pounds out of landfills since 2016. In addition to taking the pledge and downloading their free shipping label, visitors will also be able to find fun DIY projects that get the entire family involved in reducing waste. Tom’s of Maine is taking its own #LessWasteChallenge by having a goal of zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine. The company has also partnered with TerraCycle to create the Natural Care Recycling Program, which has 8,590 participating locations. The program collects personal care packaging from any brand, helping to keep 700,000 pieces of packaging out of landfills since the program began in 2012.



Easy Ways to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle in the Kitchen BY MARTHA RUCH

“Green living” is this generation’s phrase for a concept that is rooted in the past. From the Victory Gardens many started during World War II to the milkman who delivered milk in glass bottles to my childhood home, to my mother, who saved and reused everyday items like string and wrapping paper, and mended holes in socks, sweaters, and pants rather than discarding and replacing them, we lived “green” without even knowing it. Today, we are a nation of increasingly conscientious consumers, many of who also happen to be time-strapped parents juggling the never-ending demands of work and family. So while we may want to reduce our weekly trash and recycling, the reality is we forgot to bring our reusable grocery bags to the store, where we bought juice boxes, individually packaged snacks for the lunch box, and Cryovac-ed organic chicken for dinner. When we got home, we tossed out the paper and plastic grocery bags, as well as the empty juice boxes and Starbucks cup(s) from the car. And so it goes: The waste seems to be an inevitable by-product of our fastpaced 21st century lives. A little mindfulness can go a long way toward cutting down, even just a bit, on your kitchen-based trash and recycling. Every purchase large and small has an impact on the environment. Here are some suggestions, based on the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” theme, which may inspire you to leave a smaller environmental footprint.

Reduce Reduce packaging: Buy meat, fish, and poultry from the butcher counter or fish counter, where it will be wrapped in paper, rather than the shelves, where it’s usually

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encased in multiple layers of plastic and often Styrofoam. Bonus: The products sold from the counter are usually fresher, and you can get the exact quantity you need. Any product you can avoid buying in individual serving sizes (cookies, crackers, yogurt, cereal) will help reduce trash and recycling, as well. Reduce trash: Bulk items such as oats, rice, dried fruit, nuts, grains, cereal, and coffee can be purchased and stored in glass jars at home, reducing the number of cardboard boxes, jars, and cans in your recycling bin. Reduce trips to the store: Planning meals and shopping lists ahead can save you precious time and money by helping you get in and out of the store quickly, while also avoiding impulse buys. In addition, you’ll use less gas making fewer trips to the store. Reduce bags: Keep your reusable shopping bags in the car (or by the door so you remember to put them in the car). A reusable mesh bag can hold produce rather than using the plastic bags provided.

Reuse Reuse cups and bottles: How many paper and plastic cups and water bottles do you throw away each week? A washable, reusable water bottle (and coffee cup) for each member of the family goes a long way toward a greener environment. Reuse utensils: Keep a set of utensils in your desk drawer or car rather than relying on plastic-ware for meals and snacks on the go. Reuse cardboard boxes, egg cartons, and paper towel tubes: Check

to see if your child’s preschool or local art center can use these items for crafts or projects. You may also want to keep them around the house for rainy day craft projects or make-believe play. Reuse plastic deli containers: These containers are food-safe and may be reused at home to store food, or brought back to the store for refilling. You don’t have to keep them forever, but even one or two re-uses will help reduce waste.

Recycle Recycle food: Keep a small, covered bucket on the counter or under the sink for food scraps that can be turned into compost for your garden, in which you can grow herbs and vegetables. There are numerous websites and books with information on composting. Recycle kitchen equipment: Just because you don’t need that pizza stone, cookbook or lobster pot anymore doesn’t mean it needs to end up in a landfill. When you decide to de-clutter, there are neighborhood yard sale sites, swap shops and donation centers that may be eager for your “treasures” (see link below). Recycle leftovers: Maybe you don’t need to order a pizza tonight. Take a look at what’s in the fridge and freezer and get creative with leftovers. You might have the ingredients for a hearty homemade soup, quick pasta dish, or loaded nachos that will hit the spot for dinner. For more tips on recycling, composting, and donating in your city or town, check out: agencies/massdep/recycle/reduce/

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Upgrade Your Mason Jars With a Simple Hack By Jade Mitchell

Bites Photo courtesy of Bonnie Plants

Halifax Girl Wins Gardening Contest

Snag an empty Dole Cup and repurpose it as a salad dressing container! A Dole Cup fits perfectly in a wide mouth Mason jar, and you can use it to keep your dry and wet foods separate. In addition to salad dressing, you can fill it with a variety of toppings such as nuts, fruits, cheeses, and sauces. Cap it off with a reCAP Flip or Pour lid for a low profile, nospill solution. Fiesta Chicken Salad: A fiesta in a Mason jar Featuring reCAP Mason jar lids ( and the Dole Cup hack Tired of your standard salad for lunch? Take a tasty fiesta to go in a Mason jar! One key to maintaining a healthy salad regime is to keep it interesting. Change up your salad ingredients, flavors, and textures to add some variety. With plenty of fresh veggies, crunchy add-ons, and lean protein, this Fiesta Chicken Salad is tasty, filling, and loaded with protein! Prep a few ahead of time to keep in your refrigerator for your busy week.

Chicken Fiesta Salads Fills 4 pint-sized Mason jars

Evanthia Chapman of Halifax has won a $1,000 scholarship and Best In State honors as part of the Bonnie Plants 3rd Grade Cabbage Program. More than 9,300 Massachusetts third graders participated in the nationwide program, which is open to any third grade classroom in the contiguous U.S. and is now in its 14th year. Each year, the Alabama-based company trucks more than 1 million O.S. Cross variety plants to participating classrooms around the country. O.S. Cross plants are known for producing giant, oversized heads; Chapman’s weighed in at 14 pounds. The program awards a $1,000 scholarship to one student in each participating state. At the end of the season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the “best” cabbage, based on size and appearance. Winners are chosen by each state’s Department of Agriculture. “The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is a wonderful way to engage children’s interest in agriculture, while teaching them not only the basics of gardening, but the importance of our food systems and growing our own”, said Stan Cope, Bonnie Plants president. “This unique, innovative program exposes children to agriculture and demonstrates, through hands-on experience, where food comes from. The program also affords our youth with some valuable life lessons.” For more information on entering the program, visit 42 APRIL2017

Ingredients 1 cup of your favorite salsa 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce 12 ounces cooked, diced Southwestern-seasoned chicken 1 cup black beans (from a 15-ounce can), drained and rinsed 1 cup corn (can use fresh, frozen, or canned & drained) 1 cup halved grape (or cherry) tomatoes 1 cup (4 ounces) fine shredded Mexican cheese 4 (16 ounce/pint-size) Mason jars 4 Dole Cups Optional: A few handfuls of crushed tortilla chips

Strawberries, Spinach Top List of Pesticides in Produce Strawberries remain at the top of the Dirty Dozen list of the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, with spinach jumping to second place in the annual ranking of conventionally grown produce with the most pesticide residues. EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70% of samples of 48 types of conventional produce were contaminated with residues of one or more pesticides. USDA researchers found a total of 178 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples they analyzed. The pesticide residues remained on fruits and vegetables even after they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.

Instructions 1. Cook your taco-seasoned chicken or buy pre-made Mexican chicken in the frozen foods section of your grocery store. 2. Add ingredients to your Mason jars, layering in the following order: chicken, black beans, corn, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce. Add some crushed tortilla chips on top of the lettuce. Be sure to leave a little extra space at the top for your Dole Cup. 3. Pour salsa into Dole Cups. 4. Rest the Dole Cup on top of the lettuce. 5. Cap off your Mason jar salad creation with a reCAP Mason jar lid to take it to-go. Jade Mitchell blogs for reCAP Mason Jars (masonjars. com), a Pennsylvania-based company that designs and produces reusable lids for Mason jars, aimed at reducing waste, making Mason jars more useful, and aiding the environment. reCAP’s blog provides inspiration, recipes, and solutions to do more with Mason jars.

“If you don’t want to feed your family food contaminated with pesticides, the EWG Shopper’s Guide helps you make smart choices, whether you’re buying conventional or organic produce,” said Sonya Lunder, an EWG senior analyst. “Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is essential no matter how they’re grown, but for the items with the heaviest pesticide loads, we urge shoppers to buy organic. If you can’t buy organic, the Shopper’s Guide will steer you to conventionally grown produce that is the lowest in pesticides.” Lunder said it’s particularly important to reduce young children’s exposures to pesticides. “Even low levels of pesticide exposure can be harmful to infants, babies and young children, so when possible, parents and caregivers should take steps to lower children’s exposures to pesticides while still feeding them diets rich in healthy fruits and vegetables,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. The 2017 Dirty Dozen list: 1. Strawberries 2. Spinach

3. Nectarines 4. Apples 5. Peaches 6. Pears 7. Cherries 8. Grapes 9. Celery 10. Tomatoes 11. Sweet Bell Peppers 12. Potatoes Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce. Pears and potatoes were new additions to the Dirty Dozen, displacing cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from last year’s list. By contrast, EWG’s Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues includes sweet corn, avocados, pineapples, cabbage, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplant, honeydew melon, kiwis, cantaloupe, cauliflower and grapefruit. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues on them. More information can be found at

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own Spy Gadget Alarm Box! Local educators lead a week of hands-on activities that fuel children’s 21st century skills. Early registration discounts are available so don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity. Visit or call 800.968.4332 for information. Use promo code INNOVATE15 by May 1 to save $15 on registration.

C A M P WAY S I D E FULL AND HALF-DAY SUMMER PROGRAMS FOR AGES 4–12 TENNIS & SWIM: A morning program featuring supervised tennis drills and games and a swim lesson with Red Cross certified swim instructors. Participants are split into groups based on ability and skill level. PLAY AND LEARN (P.A.L.): A fun-filled afternoon program of classic camp activities including sports, arts & crafts and free swim. STEPPING STONES: An exciting, full-day program that combines the fun of Tennis & Swim in the morning with Play and Learn in the afternoon.


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Jovani is an easygoing 9-year-old boy of Caucasian and Hispanic descent. Those who know him describe Jovani as very calm and rational. He loves being active and playing outside. Jovani is a lover of sports, his favorites being soccer and basketball. Jovani is resilient and adjusts well to change. He is even-keeled emotionally and typically doesn’t seem to let things get to him. He has been through a lot, but has a good sense

of humor. Jovani is in therapy to help address any stressors related to past trauma. He is a big support to his younger sister who, he lives with at this time. A pre-adoptive family must support their continued connection. Jovani is intelligent and does well in school. He has no educational needs and gets along well with his peers. Legally free for adoption, Jovani would do well with any type of family with or without other children. The family will need to be open to continued visits with Jovani’s biological mother and support ongoing contact with his siblings who are also in care. For more information regarding Jovani, please contact Department of Children and Families (DCF) Adoption Supervisor Eileen Griffin at 978-353-3629. The Worcester DCF Office hosts monthly informational meetings on the second Wednesday of each month for those wishing to learn more about the adoption process in general. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 1h from 6 – 7 p.m. The DCF Adoption Development & Licensing Unit’s Office is located at 13 Sudbury St. in Worcester. Please call (508) 929-2143 to register and for specifics about parking. In case of inclement weather, please call to verify the meeting is still taking place.

Circle of Friends Tuesday, April 4: Western Region Adoption Info Meeting — Department of Children and Families, 140 High St., 5th Floor, Springfield. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (413) 452-3369. Wednesday, April 5: Northern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Jordan’s Furniture: 50 Walkers Brook Dr., IMAX Conference Room, Reading. 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. For more information, contact Stephanie Frankel, ADLU supervisor: stephanie. Wednesday, April 12: Central Region Adoption Info Meeting — ADLU Worcester. 13 Sudbury St., Worcester. 6 p.m.-7 p.m. (508) 929-2413.

Wednesday, April 19: Boston Region Adoption Info Meeting, DCF Boston, 451 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester. 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. (617) 989-9209. Thursday, April 20: Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Morton Hospital, 88 Washington St., Margaret Stone Conference Room, Taunton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP: (508) 894-3830. Monday, April 24: Southern Region Adoption Info Meeting, Canton Police Department Conference Room, 1492 Washington St., Canton. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. RSVP: (508) 894-3830.

If your group or organization is presenting a program for adoptive families, and you would like to include it in baystateparent magazine, please send information to

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Plan Now for Your Children’s Summer Programs

Contact Cherie Ansin at 978/368-4804 or


Though spring officially began just a few weeks ago, it’s already time to start planning ahead for summer — especially if you’re a single parent looking for ways to keep your children occupied once school lets out in June. It’s important to begin researching options as soon as possible, given that many summer camps and programs fill up early. It’s also important to realize that many of these operate on schedules that aren’t conducive to those of working parents, so make sure to take into account childcare needed for extended hours. Start by asking family members and friends for recommendations, and contact your school or local recreation department for other suggestions. Many communities offer summer camp programs with extended-day options that serve as a fairly affordable source of childcare. Community organizations, including churches, YMCAs, and Boys & Girls Clubs, also offer affordable programs — some with financial aid for qualifying families. Private camps and organizations may offer summer-long programs, in addition to camps that run for a week or more. Many colleges also offer lowcost, one-week day camps in specific areas of interest. The key is finding a program that offers activities that are of interest to your child, at a price you can afford, and also provides the childcare you need while school is out. Also check to see which programs

Therapeutic and recreational riding.

offer meals and transportation, since those can add to the overall expense, as well. Ideally, both parents should agree on summer plans for their children and share those expenses. But, in reality, unless it’s spelled out in your parenting agreement, you may be forced to pay these expenses yourself unless you can secure your co-parent’s cooperation in sharing the costs. Your best advice is to do your research early and present your coparent with two or three options, listing all camp or program details, as well as how it will benefit your child or children. Invite him or her to be part of the decision-making process. The ultimate goal, for both co-parents, should be to ensure your child is supervised, while also being able to enjoy the summer vacation in a safe, fun environment. That’s why it’s important to find the program, or combination of programs, that works best for you and your child, as soon as possible.



Rein in a Dream

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Attorney Andy P. Miller is the founder and managing attorney of Miller Law Group, P.C. As a father himself, Miller focuses on children and their best interests by helping guide parents through the divorce process. Having practiced in nearly every county in Massachusetts, he has a wide understanding of the various courts in Massachusetts and experience before many judges. BAYSTATEPARENT 51 Untitled-1 1

2/28/2017 11:46:27 AM


Can Snoring Disrupt My Child’s Growth? BY KHALID ISMAIL, MD

Our 4-year-old snores, and it seems like a lot for a little kid. Given children grow while they sleep, I’m concerned it may be stunting his growth (he’s about 20% for height and 40% for weight) and he could have sleep apnea. Can children get that? I’ve only heard about it in adults. Can it stunt growth? Any disruption to a child during sleep can be a cause for concern for parents. Proper sleep is important to a child’s growth — both physical and mental. During deep sleep, growth hormone production peaks, a necessary boost for growing kids. Most children around 4 years of age require 10 to 13 hours of sleep a day. If your child is not getting enough sleep, or perhaps not able to get the quality of rest they need, other concerns can arise. Problems may include loss of appetite, behavioral problems, and growth complications. When dealing with snoring, most often we are talking about an issue related to the upper airways. If your child has a cold or sounds congested, snoring can be expected, as long as it goes away once


the cold is gone. However, if it persists, your child may be dealing with allergies or enlarged tonsils; it is worth talking to your child’s pediatrician. Long-term snoring in a child could be — but is not necessarily — a cause for concern. And, while children can experience sleep apnea, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. When someone has sleep apnea, their tongue can fall back and block their throat, so their levels of oxygen drop while they are asleep. That added stress can cause a child to be roused from sleep and can become very disruptive. More than one episode of throat obstruction per hour of sleep is considered abnormal and may be diagnosed as obstructive sleep apnea in children. The severity of the sleep apnea depends on the

number of times these episodes occur and awakens the patient during sleep. Although most likely related to large tonsils in children, sleep apnea, like in adults, can be more common in overweight children. If you choose to reach out to your child’s pediatrician, it will be helpful if you have specific information about your child’s snoring and sleep behavior, particularly related to the extent of their snoring, whether they are waking up at night, or even talking in their sleep. Specifically, you may want to ask the pediatrician to check your child for enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Enlargement of either the tonsils or the adenoids could obstruct airways and be the cause of your child’s snoring. Depending on initial testing and diagnosis, the

doctor may pursue any number of options, including nasal allergy medicine at bedtime, a sleep study, or potentially even surgery, if necessary. You’re most familiar with your child. If their daytime behavior seems off, they are unfocused, or if they have a hard time following instructions — outside of the ordinary — this could mean their sleep is being disturbed. Reaching out to their doctor for a visit is always the first and best plan of action. Khalid Ismail, MD, is Director of the Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program, Co-Director of the Mycobacterial Disease Clinic, and a Pulmonary Attending Physician at Tufts Medical Center. He is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

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Smurfs: The Lost Village New family movies coming to theaters this month By Jane Louise Boursaw

Gifted • Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, and some suggestive material • OK for kids 13+ • In theaters April 7 • Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy, his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace), in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the 7-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

Spark • Rated PG for some action and rude humor • In theaters April 14 • OK for kids 7+ • Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels The action-packed, humor, and heart-filled “Spark” follows a teenage monkey Spark, voiced by Jace Norman (Nickelodeon’s “Henry Danger”), and his friends Vix, a battle-ready fox voiced by Jessica Biel, and Chunk, a tech-savvy warthog, as they embark on a mission to take back the besieged Planet Bana from the power-mad General Zhong. Spark’s dangerous odyssey leads him to the farthest reaches of the universe and to the secret of his true identity.

• Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor • In theaters April 7 • OK for kids 6+ • Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels In this animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her best friends Brainy, Clumsy, and Hefty, on an exciting and thrilling race through the Forbidden Forest to find a mysterious lost village before the evil wizard Gargamel does. Embarking on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger, the Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history! Directed by Kelly Asbury, this cute installment features the voice talent of Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Julia Roberts, and more.

Jane’s Reel Rating System • One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it. • Two Reels – Coulda been a contender • Three Reels – Something to talk about. • Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick! • Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of. BAYSTATEPARENT 53


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Thank You to the following businesses who support our publication each month! Please support them as well. Without them, we wouldn't be able to bring you this FREE magazine!

Big Joe Productions 55 Big Y Foods, Inc. 11 Bonaparte Magic 54 Boston Paintball 55 BrickFair 23 Camp Clio 45 Camp CRAFT Lancaster 44 Camp Invention 44,48 Charlotte Klein Dance Centers 46 Children’s Development Network, Inc 6 Community VNA 16 Cornerstone Academy 5 Crayola Experience 43 Danforth Museum of Art 45 Davis Farmland 20 Digital Media Academy 46 Driscoll Productions 55 Ecotarium 13,47

Fletcher Tilton PC 24 FMC Ice Sports 21 Gymnastics Learning Center 40 Happy Face Painting 54 Heywood Hospital Shamrock Performance Field Hockey 44 Sholan Farms 32 Shrewsbury Children’s Center 50 Signarama 27 SkyRise Children’s Theater 54 Springfield Museums Corp. 17 St. Vincent Hospital 3 Summer Fenn/The Fenn School 48 Swings N Things 50 The Children’s Workshop 49 UMass Memorial Medical Center 16,27,60 Usborne Books & More 55 Violet the Clown 55 Wachusett Theatre Company 4 Wayside Athletic Club 49 Whale Camp 46 Worcester Art Museum 2,59 Worcester Center for Crafts 49 Worcester JCC 38 WXLO 28 YMCA Central Branch 47


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with Kristin Chenoweth Whether it’s starring as Velma Von Tussle in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, her turn as Maleficent in Disney’s Descendants, originating the role of Glinda in Broadway’s legendary Wicked, or her slew of TV and movie credits, Kristin Chenoweth is a performing idol to fans tall and small. Admirers can experience the Emmy- and Tony-winning soprano in person this month as she brings her concert, An Evening with Kristin Chenoweth celebrating The Art of Elegance, to Boston’s Symphony Hall on April 30 (

I would like to show the audiences who I am as a person; and the way I get to do that is through my music. I also want people to walk away inspired to leave their mark on this world and not to be afraid to, whatever that is. To go for it…we have a short life.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from your parents?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.



Growing up, who were your performing idols?

Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, Bernadette Peters, Dolly Parton, Sally Field, Sandi Patty, Madeline Kahn…you see that I have quite diverse taste.

There’s a really touching photo on your Facebook account: you’re kneeling at the feet of [Broadway legend] Barbara Cook with a look of complete adoration on your face. That photo could easily be recreated with any of your fans. What is it like to hold that level of esteem and awe — especially with younger fans who grow up idolizing you?

It doesn’t go unmissed by me when a fan says that I’ve changed their life, or influenced their music, or made them want to be a singer. It just completely fills me up because I literally know exactly what they mean because I have women that I looked up to and admired, as well.


Sure, a little bit. I can remember when I was little, some people would ask me in a hushed tone or whisper if it was true, if I was really adopted. Today, it seems like people don’t make that big of a deal of it. It’s more widely-understood. One of the reasons I loved the movie Lion this year was because of the theme: The mother just wanted her child to find his peace, his DNA, his history. She loved him so much and wanted him to feel safe about it. It’s movies like this that we should be talking about, not in a hushed tone, but in a way to understand things better in this world. I always appreciate it so when someone wants to know about my adoption because it’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve never felt embarrassed or bad about it. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; I was raised by the family I was supposed to be raised by. My birth mother loved me so much that she gave me an opportunity that I might not have otherwise had.



What is it about Wicked that makes it continue to resonate so heavily with audiences? Do you recall when you realized the show was transcending “Broadway smash” and moving into “seminal musical influence of a generation”?

I think Wicked holds the themes in life that a lot of us value: friendship, forgiveness, and heartbreak and love. It’s definitely something we understand and relate to — no matter who you are — whether you’re green or full of glitter, over-confident or insecure, it resonates still. I think the first audience we ever had in San Francisco told me that I was going to be a part of a big hit.

What is your advice for young performers who want to pursue the stage or screen? What might surprise them about the career path?

There’s a lot of “business” in the “show business” part of it. So you’re kidding yourself if you think it’s just about talent. That being said, if you can see yourself doing anything else and being happy: Go do it; this is a hard life. But if you cannot see yourself doing anything else and being happy, then you should go for it with everything that you have, because it is also such a rewarding life.


You’ve always spoken freely about being an adopted child and the blessing it has been in your life. Have you seen the perception of adoption change since you were a child, and how so?

A look at your social media reveals that you spend a lot of time working, but seemingly just as much time involved with charities supporting children, performing arts, the LGBTQ community, animals, and much more. How has charity become such an obviously important part of your life, and why is it so important to you to make time in your life for them?

I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to understand how important it is for us to leave our legacy and leave our mark. Of course I want people to know I’m a good singer and a good actress, but now I’d rather people talk about what I’ve left behind. And maybe I can inspire someone to do something big with their life. I’d rather people talk about my character; I guess it just comes with age.

58 APRIL2017


Photo by Gian Andrea Di Stefano


What is the message you want to impart to your audience through your concert performances?

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