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Get tested DURING your pregnancy! Congenital syphilis is a disease that occurs when a mother with syphilis passes the infection on to her baby during pregnancy.

Congenital syphilis is PREVENTABLE Congenital syphilis can cause: • Miscarriage (losing the baby during pregnancy), stillbirth (a baby born dead), or death shortly after birth. • Up to 40% of babies born to women with untreated syphilis may be stillborn, or die from the infection as a newborn. Babies born with congenital syphilis can have: Deformed bones, severe anemia (low blood count), enlarged liver and spleen, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), nerve problems, like blindness or deafness, meningitis and skin rashes.

Get tested 8 weeks BEFORE delivery!

For more information, go to


Math & Science

2017 Summer Camp Sessions Hosted by the Alabama School of Math and Science June 5-9, June 12-16, & June 19-23 Located in Mobile, AL Grades 6-10

Launch a Rocket Kayak in Mobile Bay Build a Robot

Solve a Crime

Prepare for the ACT Day & Overnight Camp

Register Online Early to Save! Register by April 1: $360 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $260 Day Camp (includes lunch) Register after April 1: $385 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $285 Day Camp (includes lunch) The cost to stay the weekend between Sessions 1 and 2 is an additional $185 (includes trip to water park) Applications, more information, and course descriptions are online at WWW.ASMS.NET. COURSE SAMPLING ACT Prep, Algebra Review, Exploring Inner Space, Marine Biology, CSI: Mobile, Phun Physics, Using Java, Robotics, Field Biology, Psychology, Math Puzzles, Labs of Doom, Rocketry, Origami, Speak Up, Light Metals and Enameling, Apps for Smart Devices, and many more. 1255 Dauphin St. • Mobile, AL 36604 • 251.441.2100 • •

editor’s note

February is a Jam-Packed Month February, the shortest month of the year, is one of the most jam-packed months at Birmingham Parent. We are celebrating Black History Month, so be sure to check out Stephanie Rodda’s perspective on the holiday, starting on page 38. She is a white mom of black children, so she has some creative ways to share for celebrating the month. It’s also National Children’s Dental Health Month. Don’t miss our story on page 40 about preparing your child for dental visits, especially that first one. Writer Denise Yearian and Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt get a lot of great comments and suggestions from local pediatric dentists on the topic. And of course, this is our annual Camp Issue, helping you find out what you child wants to do this summer, whether it be a sleep-away camp, day camp, a specialty camp like sports or music, or an adventure camp. In addition to all the great stories in this issue, along with our annual Camp Directory, we have our Annual Camp Expo on Saturday, February 11 from 10 a.m-3 p.m. at the Riverchase Galleria. This event is FREE and includes local entertainment, great giveaways and much more for parents and kids. Visit the camp booths and take away information for your decision-making for the summer. Talk to camp counselors to see whether that sleep-away camp is a good fit for your child. Price the different programs to find the camp that is right for your child and your budget. And remember all the information is online at all year. Don’t forget to check out the Virtual Camp Expo online, too, with expanded information on each of the camps – some who can’t be at the actual expo – and links to their individual websites, even access to some registration forms, at And save the date for our Special Needs Expo on Saturday, March 4 at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. We are excited to once again bring this event to the Birmingham area, as it is much-needed by parents and it continues to grow year after year. For information on either of these events, vendor information or sponsorship information, just contact our office at 205-987-7700 or email You can also find registration online at

Happy Valentine's Day!

ABOUT THE EDITORS: Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabamabased parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in readership of the digital edition online. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also has written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Alabaster. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Alabama Media Professionals and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA). Evans also serves on the board of directors of Childcare Resources. Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent, where she is responsible for the calendar and editorial editing. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children. 4 | birminghamparent | february 2017

P.O. Box 326 (add 800 Hwy. 52 E. for pkg) Helena, AL 35080 205-987-7700 205-987-7600 FAX

editorial Publishers David & Carol Evans Editor Carol Muse Evans Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt Office Assistant Bethany Adams Hunley Calendar Lori Chandler Pruitt Contributors Lisa Beach, Charles Ghigna, Denise Yearian, Christa Melnyk Hines, Stephanie Rodda, Cheryl M. Law MD, Alyssa Chirco, Heidi Smith Luedtke, PhD, Dr. Vivian Friedman

sales Account Executives Kayla Fricks, Brittani Ellison, Amy Phillips, Jason Watson Webmaster Digital Doo-Wop

art & production Art Director Hilary Moreno Distribution T&P Deliveries E-blasts Simple Southern Lace Designs Legal Counsel Balch & Bingham LLP BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN20-0694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. www.birminghamparent. com or Birmingham Parent is © 2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2017 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.

SUMMER DAY CAMP @ OAK MOUNTAIN STATE PARK MADE FOR KIDS. BUILT FOR PARENTS. BUILD YOUR SUMMER AROUND YOU! Swimming, Arts, Sports, Hiking, Golfing, Boating, Archery, Geocaching, Nature, Outdoor Playgrounds & countless activities for campers 5 to 13 years old. Oak Mountain State Park Located in the Main Park Building & Pavilion on the Lake May 30th - August 4th $135 a week CHOOSE ONLY THE WEEKS YOU NEED SUMMER CAMP


Get $25 in Kidcam Bucks for attending Open House!

Highest Quality Programming & Care Theme-based curriculum | Extended Hours 7a - 6p Multi Child Discounts | Build Your Own Summer Sessions | Easy Drop Off Location Running Summer Camps For Over 43 Years | 23 Summer Camp Locations Nationwide

Control your summer and savings! Save 10% on 3+ weeks when you build your own summer sessions before May 9th. REGISTER BEFORE MARCH 30TH AND SAVE $10



table of contents




40 16 20 38






Preparing Happy Campers


2017 Birmingham Parent Summer Camp Directory


Note 04 Editor’s February is a Jam-Packed Month

07 8 0 44

Parenting with Dr. Friedman Short Stuff Ask the Specialist: Preparing for a Child’s Visit with the Doctor


February 2017 Calendar of Events


Poetry Party: Funny Beard Poems


Day Camp: Preparing for Adventures Close to Home

Celebrate Survivors During National Congenital Heart Awareness Week

22 5 Benefits to Sleep Away Camp




Faith and Family: Briarwood Ballet, where God, Music and Dance Meet

Self-Determination A Benefit of Summer Camp


ON THE COVER: Kiersten, age 10 and Jace, age 5, of West Blocton, cheer with Alabama Cheerleading Centers, Home of Bama Allstarz, in Bessemer and enjoy their specialty camps to hone their skills. Photo by

6 | birminghamparent | february 2017



Parenting with Dr. Friedman


My 14 year-old daughter is a procrastinator. She puts off doing everything from homework to cleaning her room until the last minute. She is up until midnight finishing

assignments for school that she has known about for three weeks. She cleans her room at the last minute when I have told her hours in advance that she cannot go out with friends until her room is clean. Why does she do this? How can we get her to change her pattern?

Almost everyone procrastinates sometimes, yet we all know people who seem not to get anything done until there are dire consequences for not finishing the task.      Simple procrastination tends to happen either because we have too many things to do and we put off some of them, or because the task is unpleasant and we would rather not do it. This may be all that is going on when your daughter doesn’t clean her room early in the day. More complicated procrastination is generally caused by a fear of failure or sometimes even by a fear of success. This has psychological roots. Those who fear failure avoid trying in order to avoid the possibility of failing. If you make no attempt to do something, you cannot be told you didn›t do it well.            Some procrastinators fear success. Religious teachings that promote the virtue of humility may lead to guilt at success. People who fear success may worry that they will cause others to envy them if they succeed. The envy is uncomfortable for them. Sometimes the fear of success comes from discomfort with breaking family patterns. There may be a family script that says that one brother is supposed to be the successful one while the other must not outshine him. This second brother is not free to succeed. Some procrastination is simple defiance. The defiant person simply won›t do what he is told to do, when he is told to do it. By putting it off, he feels that he is asserting himself against the authority that assigned the task to him.  Some procrastinators are thrill seekers. The danger of a looming deadline makes the task more exciting. Some procrastination is limited to chores that involve money such as paying bills. These procrastinators may hoard money. While they might wind up spending more when late fees are added, they simply cannot part with their cash.

Rather than relieving stress, procrastination causes stress. The person who simply does his work as it is assigned, puts the task behind him. In contrast, the procrastinator faces the task over and over again. It is always on his “to-do” list. You can help your daughter to speed up by helping her to become organized. Teach her to make a task list and to set priorities. Don't give commands in such a way as to arouse her resistance and defiance. Most children will do their chores when the parent asks them in the right way. Often doing tasks alongside the child will make the task more palatable and will lend the child the adult›s organization. Don't push achievement so emphatically that failure looms large. On the other hand, don›t make a child so humble that he cannot enjoy his success.

Vivian K. Friedman Ph. D. is a child and family psychologist at UAB, Department of Psychiatry. Send questions for response in this column to No personal replies are sent.

2017 SUMMER PROGRAMS Stimulating and engaging Summer Programs in Creative Writing, Music, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts, STEM and Computer Game Programming. See our website for program descriptions, dates, times, fees and online registration at

ALABAMA SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard

Birmingham, AL 35203 205.252.9241 | 7

short stuff

Timely Parenting Research: The Low-Down on Soaps and Sports By Lisa A. Beach Just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing figured out, new research comes along that refutes everything you’ve been doing since day one. If you’ve been debating the merits of flu mists, antibacterial soaps and whether or not your kids should specialize in a singular sport, here’s the scoop on the latest research to help you make the best choices for your family. Antibacterial Soaps You can skip the expensive antibacterial soap the next time you’re stocking up on supermarket essentials and instead buy less expensive, plain ol’ soap. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a statement that manufacturers can no longer market consumer antibacterial washes containing certain active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients, triclosan and triclocarban. Why? Because the manufacturers failed to demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” says Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data that suggests antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.” What to do if soap and water aren’t available? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Specializing in Sports Even though you’ve been grooming your soccer star since she was three with the hopes of her someday snagging a college scholarship, you might be doing her more harm than good. According to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), young athletes who specialize in just one



sport face an increased risk of overuse injuries from their highly focused training. Plus they’re more likely to experience stress and burnout from the singular focus and the pressure of performing. In the report published in the September 2016 Pediatrics, lead author Joel S. Brenner, MD, FAAP, explains that “more kids are participating in adult-led organized sports today, and sometimes the goals of the parents and coaches may be different than the young athletes.” The best advice? To minimize risk of overuse injury and boost the likelihood of being physically active into adulthood, the AAP encourages children to participate in multiple sports and delay specialization until at least 15 or 16.

Lisa Beach is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and humor blogger. Check out her writer’s website at and visit her humor blog at




F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , E M A I L I N F O @ B I R M I N G H A M P A R E N T. C O M O R C A L L 2 0 5 - 9 8 7 -7 7 0 0 8 | birminghamparent | february 2017

short stuff

SHERIFF’S CORNER Income Tax Season is Here

THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow: Building Across America



Photo courtesy of LEGO Americana Roadshow

Through February 12, the Riverchase Galleria in Hoover will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger-than-life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks.   Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of American Landmarks made completely out of LEGO bricks by LEGO Master Builders – including the U.S. Capitol Building, White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and Old North Church – will be displayed.   Exhibition hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays noon until 6 p.m. Additional highlights include a brick play area, a building activity and a scavenger hunt.

By JEFFCO Sheriff Mike Hale Income tax season is upon us. Please remember the importance of protecting your personal identifying information, including your children’s information, especially this time of year. There are identity thieves that target children’s social security numbers and use them to obtain credit cards and file false tax returns. Here are some simple rules that will help: Always deal with established companies when having your tax returns submitted. Never provide your social security number or your family’s information to anyone calling you claiming to be from the IRS, U.S. Marshal’s Service, law enforcement, banks, etc. They do not collect fees over the phone and they do not threaten arrest over the phone for you to wire them money. Always hang up and call the agency directly and verify with whom you are talking. Do not use the phone number they provided. Use common sense, and if you believe you have been scammed, immediately report it to your local police agency.



800.960.4778 | | 800 Greensprings Hwy., SUITE 150, Homewood, AL 35209

Receive $25 off any party package. Must book party online using code “25Parent”. Valid for any 2017 birthday party. Limit (1) per customer. May not be split. May not be combined with any other offers, specials, coupons or special events. Must go Online to book at Valid at Homewood location only. Must book party by Aug 31st, 2017. | 9


of Greater Birmingham



DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS WANT TO DO NEXT SUMMER? Saturday, February 11, 2017 • 10am-3pm • FREE RIVERCHASE GALLERIA UPPER LEVEL Booths & Sponsorships available! CALL NOW! 205-987-7700 or

2017 Birmingham Parent

Summer Camp Directory Day Camps Advent Episcopal School 2019 6th Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203-2701 205-252-2535 Camps June - July for students entering K-3rd Grade. For students entering 4th Grade to 8th Grade, Advent will offer 5 weeks of camp over the summer. Alabama Ballet 2726 First Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-322-4300 • Junior Camp June 26-July 7 Ages: 8-12 $285 -1 week or $475-2 weeks • Tutus & Tiaras July 17- July 21 July 24-July 28 Ages: 4-7 $250 weekly Two camp options with ageappropriate dance classes ballet, theatre dance, modern, tap  & jazz. Younger classes will create ballet-oriented crafts. Family performances on last day. 2017 Adventures in Summer Learning at the Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-9241 Summer Program Dates: June 5-23 Summer programs available in writ-

ing, music, theatre, art, algebra, science, computer coding and game design. See our web site for specific descriptions, fees, dates, times and registration information. Aldridge Gardens Summer Camps 3530 Lorna Rd. Hoover, Al 35216 205-682-8019  American Girls, Paper Circuity, Cool Art in the Gardens, Observing Your Observations, Engineering FUNdamentals, and Construction in Nature & more!  Campers entering 5K-5th grade.  All teachers have Alabama Certification in Education. Morning day camps, weekly June 5-June 30.  Birmingham Children’s Theatre Summer Academy of Performing Arts 2130 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-458-8181 • Wee Play Camp Pre-K – 2nd grades Jun. 5th – 9th 8:30 am – 12:30 pm Fee: $250 • Triple Threat Camp 3rd – 8th grades Jun 12th – 16th 8:30 am – 3:30pm Fee: $350 • Fairy Tellers Camp Pre-K – 2nd June 19th – 23rd 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM Fee: $250 • We Wear the Mask Camp 3rd – 8th grades June 26th – 30th 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Fee: $350 During our summer camp, theatre professionals teach a variety of exciting classes, including acting, singing, dancing, crafts, monologues, theatre games, improvisation and more! Birmingham Dance Theatre 100 Olde Towne Rd. Suite 100 Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 ​205-​822-3012 ​ Dates: June & July Ages: 2-18​ Offering beginner-advanced dance classes in hip-hop, jazz, ballet, cheer/dance team prep, tumbling, plus special Princess Camps and preschool ballet & tap classes. Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-254-2565 Summer Art Camp is the only summer experience that gives your camper immediate access to our collection of original artworks from around the world! Give your child a summer of endless inspiration! Birmingham Southern College 900 Arkadelphia Rd. Birmingham, AL 35254 800-523-5793 Whether to experience college life or summer activities for grade schoolers, BSC offers options for everyone! Explore life on our beautiful campus, work with BSC coaches or music faculty, and make friends from around the country.

Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 205.397.3877 Spring Dates: March 27-31 Summer Dates: weekly, day May 30- Aug. 4 Ages: Entering 4K -12th grade Experience up-close animal encounters, train & carousel rides, fun in the splash fountains and guided zoo tours. The best place for summer fun is a Birmingham Zoo Camp! Camp Fliptastic At Head Over Heels Gymnastics   500 Caldwell Mill Trace Birmingham, AL  35242 205-981-2720 • Gymnastics Camp, ages 5-12​​  June ​5 -9 and July​ 10-14 • Mighty Mites, ages 3-6   June 1​ 3-15 and July ​18-20 • Circus Arts Camp​, ages​ 6-14  June 1​ 9-23 and July ​24-28 ​• Ninja Camp, ages 6-12   June 26-30 • Developmental Camp, Pre-teen & up July 6-7 • Combo Camp- Circus, Gym, Ninja ​ July 31-August 2​ Daily themes, fantastic staff, creative crafts, circus arts and plenty of gymnastics make our summer camp all day fun!! Camp Indian Springs 190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs Village, AL 35124 205-260-8548

You can fill your fridge without emptying your wallet! At Sprouts, you’ll find peak-of-season produce, natural meats and wholesome grains in bulk, along with everyday groceries at reasonable prices. Visit for weekly specials.

Sprouts Far mers Market. It’s healthy living for less. | 11

Summer Camp Directory

Illustration by Melissa Schultz-Jones

Dates: June 5- August 4 Ages: 5-13 Campers are active and engaged in outdoor and indoor play as well as off-campus activities designed to entertain, develop and promote growth in each camper. Camp VST at Virginia Samford Theatre 1116 26th St. S. Birmingham, AL 35205  205-251-1228 vststars/camp-vst  • SESSION 1: June 5 – 9 ($295) • SESSION 2: June 12-16 ($295) • SESSION 3: June 19-30 (Advanced: $550) Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM Ages: 7-17  This summer theatre intensive is designed to give children the opportunity to explore all aspects of live theatre with classes in: acting, singing, dancing, Shakespeare, improv, stage-combat and more!   Family Dive Club Scuba Camp 100 Industrial Park Dr. Pelham Al 35124 205-249-2267 Ages: Girls and Boys 12-17 Sessions: 3/ Day Camps/1week Dates: June-19 - July 14 Join the adventure of a lifetime at this safe, fun, weeklong Scuba Camp. Kids learn valuable life skills and earn a PADI Open Water Certification. Highlands School Summer Camp 4901 Old Leeds Rd. Birmingham, AL  35213 205-956-9731 Dates: June 5- August 4 Ages: K-8th Arts, sports, science and more for elementary-8th grade (some for 4K). Campers continue to learn while having a great time! Traditional day camps.  Morning and afternoon extended care.  Jonathan Fuller, Acting Coach 4901 Old Leeds Rd. Birmingham, AL  35213 205-532-2967 Private acting coach for teens and adults- both monologues and scene work. Competitions or auditions, on camera or on stage. Reasonable rates. Call Jonathan for more info! Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy Summer Camp 5509 Timber Hill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242 Dates: June 1- July 24 Ages: Preschool and elementary students Offers interactive and creative summer camps designed to engage children in meaningful and fun summer activities. Relax and EXPERIENCE summer on our peaceful wooded campus. Kidcam Summer Day Camp at Oak Mtn. State Park Pelham, AL 35124 877-4KIDCAM Dates: May 30 - August 5 Ages: 5-13 Swimming, Arts, Sports, Hiking, Golfing, Boating, Archery,

12 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Geocaching, Nature, Outdoor Playgrounds & countless activities. Making Summers Rock for over 43 years! McWane Science Center 200 19th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8414 Fun and learning never end at McWane Science Center, a nonprofit, hands-on museum with aquarium and IMAX® Dome Theater. Four floors of interactive exhibits celebrate science and wonder.

Red Mountain Theatre Company’s ​Summer Theatre Camps 3028 7th Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-324-2424 education/ Dates: June 6-24, July 10-28 Ages: 4-18 Singing, dancing, acting, and more through RMTC’s summer offerings: Broadway Bootcamp, Summer Blast Camp, and our new July camps at The Dance Foundation.  Learn from theatre professionals through various offerings.

NS Dance 1519 Grants Mill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35210 205-637-7675 Dates: June 5 — June 22 Ages: 2 – High School NS Dance studio has three exciting dance camps for all ages – Boogie Babies (2-4), Dance Jamm (4-6) and Intense (7- high school). Call now for more information! ​Odyssey Early Sch​ools ​• Inverness Campus 104 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-0039 ​• Trace Crossings Campus 401 Emery Dr. Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-8829 Created by educators featuring ​ state-of-the-art facilities​, nurturing teachers ​with Education degrees, and comprehensive curriculum ​ that provides your child with age appropriate exploration into the world of learning.

​ Rhythm Camp 1012 55th St. S. 205-222-6998 Dates: June 12-16 Fee: $150 Boys & Girls, ages 8-12 Camp limited to 15 participants A whole body approach to developing a sense of rhythm. Drumming, Art, Writing, Body Percussion and Rhythm Games. Camp is at Alabama Waldorf School. SKYCAMP Sky Zone Hoover 1694 Montgomery Hwy. Suite 210 Hoover, AL  35216 205-637-JUMP SKYCAMP combines fun and fitness for pure happiness!  Get five full days of instructor-led activities, age-appropriate SkyFit, open jumping and Ultimate Dodgeball. Find the next SKYCAMP at Sky Zone Hoover.  Have fun, make new friends and start flying!  (Ages 5-12)

STREAMing Into Summer At Children’s Lighthouse 4731 Chace Circle Hoover, AL 35244 205-224-5437 205-224-5439 (fax) hooverAL Sessions: 12/weekly Dates: May 22-August 11 Ages: 5-12 Fees: $195/week STREAMing Into Summer is a fun-packed program, focusing on Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math. Call 205224-5437 for more information! Summer at Altamont The Altamont School 4801 Altamont Rd. S. Birmingham, AL 35222 Registration opens February 1  at Fee: varies Dates: June 5- July 14 Ages: 1st -12th grades Whether it’s enrichment, enlightenment, advancement or a way to burn some pent-up energy, Altamont has just what your child needs this summer- something constructive to do! The Academy of the Arts at Samford University 1939 South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-2739 ​• Bulldog Art Grades 1-5 June 26-30 ​• Art Studio for Teens Grades 6-8 June 5-9 ​• Adventures in Music Grades 1-12 June 12-16 or July 10-14 ​• All Aboard for Music Ages 3-6 July 17-21 ​• Writing camps June 19-23 or July 24-28 Samford University Academy of the Arts offers camps for art, music and writing.  The Dance Foundation  1715 27th Ct. S. Birmingham, AL 32509 205-870-0073 Campers are inspired to be creative, they gain confidence to

share ideas, and they work together and have fun! Camps are led by professional staff.  Tiger Rock Martial Arts 3417 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-823-1999 130 Corporate Way Pelham, AL 35124 205-663-0091 Tiger Rock Martial Arts - teaching life skills and personal development. Try our $38 Intro Course: 3 trial lessons and a training uniform.  Ultra Blast Laser Combat Center 157 Resource Center Pkwy., St 107 Birmingham, AL 205- 968-1740 Ultra Blast is Birmingham’s newest and largest Laser Tag venue. With 4 private birthday party rooms, a new arcade, an observation deck, and snack bar. YMCA Birmingham Downtown Location 2101 Fourth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-324-4563 Since 1884, the YMCA of Birmingham is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility with 15 local facilities.

Overnight Camps Camp Fletcher 5150 Fletcher Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-428-1059 Dates: May 30 – July 28 Ages: 1st-12th grade Resident, day & leadership camps; quality programs with activities for all ages, genders & interests. Carefully chosen staff, affordable sessions, ACA accredited. Located in McCalla, AL Camp Juliette Low 321 Camp Juliette Low Rd. Cloudland, GA  30731 770-428-1062 Dates: 1& 2 wk. sessions June 4-July 29 Ages: girls 7-17 Platform tents, outdoor adventure, traditional camping, fun and friendship since 1922!  CJL is an

independent, residential camp for girls that fosters self-confidence, independence, teamwork, & leadership. Located on Lookout Mountain. Camp of the Rising Sun 444 Lake Rd. French Camp, MS 39745 662-547-6169 Dates: June 4 – July 15 Ages: 6-17 Campers ages 6-17 come to have fun, unplug, engage creation hands on, make new friends and experience the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. Camp Stanislaus  304 S. Beach Blvd. Bay St, Louis, MS  228-467-9057, Ext. 277 Camp Stanislaus for boys and girls ages 8-15. Enjoy skiing, sailing, fishing, archery, sports and much more.  Camp Sumatanga 3616 Sumatanga Rd. Gallant, AL 35972 256-538-9860 Dates:  June 4-July 21 Ages: 4-94 Camp Sumatanga, 50 miles north of Birmingham, offers Sports camps, Grandparent/child camps, Horse camps, Mom and Me and many more. Serving over 60 years. ACA accredited. Camp Walkabout 171 Baylor School Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37405 423.267.8506 ext. 827 423-757-2878 (fax) Ages: 8-16 Sessions: 8 • Discoverers Session 1: June 12-17 Session 2: June 19-24 Session 3: July 10-15 Session 4: July 17-22 • Adventurers Session 1: June 12-2 Session 2: July 10-22 • Expeditioners Session 1: June 11-24 Session 2: July 9-22 Camp Walkabout is Tennessee’s premier outdoor camp! Come experience swimming, kayaking, climbing, paddle-boarding, hiking, camping, caving & canoeing. Enjoy the summer of a lifetime in Chattanooga!

Camp Juliette Low 321 Camp Juliette Low Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 770-428-1062 Ages: 7-17 On Lookout Mountain! A traditional girl’s camp where self-reliance, confidence and teamwork are nurtured through fun, instructional programs. Smiles and friendship abound in beautiful surroundings. Camp Woodmont 381 Moonlight Dr. Cloudland, GA 30731 423-472-6070 Dates: May 28- July 28 Special Horseback Riding Camp: July 23 – 28 Open House: May 21, 2-5pm Overnight camp for boys and girls ages 6-14, just 2 hours north of Birmingham, features horseback, high ropes, climbing, zip-line, crafts, archery, canoeing & more! Cub Creek Science Camp 573-458-2125 Dates: June 4 – August 12 1-6 weeks sessions available Ages: Boys & Girls, 7-17 With 300 animals, a 6-element ropes course, and an unbelievable variety of activities, Cub Creek is a truly unique summer camp experience! A/C cabins. 1:4 staff/camper ratio. ACA accredited. Deer Run Overnight Camps 615-794-2918 888-794-2918 Deeper Faith. Greater Adventures. Engaging outdoor activities which help your child discover strengths, explore adventures, forge friendships and complete challenges. One or two week sessions for grades 3-12. Lyman Ward Military Academy Adventure Camp & Military Leadership Camp 174 Ward Circle  Camp Hill, AL 36850  800-789-9151 If you think you’re up for the challenge of adventure and exploration, join us  July 9-15 for Military Leadership Camp  and July 16-28 for Adventure Camp. continued on following page | 13

Summer Camp Directory McCallie Sports Camp 500 Dodds Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37404 423-453-5633 For over 35 years, McCallie Sports Camp has been the South’s premiere sports camp for boys. We emphasize sportsmanship, participation and fun for all ability levels.

Riverview Camp for Girls P.O. Box 299 Mentone, AL 35984 256-634-4043 Dates: June 4- August 4 Riverview is a private camp for girls ages 6-16 on top of Lookout Mountain in Mentone. Over 16 activities to choose from for a summer full of fun.

Ponderosa Bible Camp 1018 Co. Rd. 734 Mentone, AL 35984 256-996-5141 256-634-3087 (fax) June 11-16 (ages 7-12) June 18-23 (ages 7-12) June 25-30 (middle school) July 2-7(Teens 13-19) Offering one week, overnight sessions. Bible-based lessons, pool, gym, zip-line, sky-swing, horses, canoeing, archery, riflery, field games, great food and leadership training.

Strong Rock Camp and Retreat PO Box 3409 Cleveland, GA 30528 706-348-1533 (office) 706-348-1540 (fax) ​• Mini Camp $745 (1-week session) Rising 1st - Rising 8th graders June 4-9  June 11-16 ​• Main Camp $1595 (2-week session) Rising 2nd - Rising 10th graders June 18-30 July 2-14   July 16-28  

Guided by Christian leadership, we offer a balance between active and educational activities. With so many options, there is truly something for everyone. 50% discount for all first-time campers. Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp 606 Valley View Ranch Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 706-862-2231 Dates: June 4- August 4 Ages: Girls 8-17 Horse lovers’ paradise since 1954! A’top Lookout Mountain, for 50 girls; English, Western, Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. Spend 4-6 hours daily with your OWN camp horse. WinShape Overnight Camp in North Georgia Mountains • WinShape Camp for Boys Truett-McConnell College 100 Alumni Dr. Cleveland, GA 30528 • WinShape Camp for Girls Young Harris College

1 College St. Young Harris, GA 30582 1-844-WS-CAMPS http:/ Sessions: 8 Dates: June 4- July 28 Boys: completed 1st- 6th grade Girls: completed 1st- 8th grade WinShape 1-week overnight camps provides an experience where campers grow physically, mentally, and spiritually through activities such as outdoor adventure, arts, science, sports, and worship. YMCA Camp Cosby 2290 Paul Bear Bryant Rd. Alpine, AL  35014 252-268-2007 Ages: 6-15 Camp Cosby offers a traditional overnight summer camp. Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins with highly-trained camp counselors. Activities include archery, canoeing, horseback riding, water-skiing, arts and crafts.

Corps of Cadets 2016-2017

For more information: 1-800-734-4541

Lyman Ward Military Academy

PO Box 550 174 Ward Circle Camp Hill, AL 36850 Phone: 1-800-789-9151 Email: Website:

JUNE 5-AUGUST 4 ENTERING KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 8TH GRADE Contact Gabe McCool at or (205) 956-9731 ext 105 Located on Old Leeds Rd. (I-459 exit at Grants Mill Rd) 14 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Day and Overnight Camps Adventures in Math and Science Alabama School of Math and Science 1255 Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 251-441-2152 Dates: June 5-9, June 12-16, June 19-23 Ages: Students entering the 6-10 grade Learn while you have fun! Kayak Mobile Bay. Build a smart phone app. Prepare for the ACT. Program a robot. Launch a rocket…and much more! Camp Coleman Camp Trico 105 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-980-4750 205-980-4753 (fax) Sessions: 8 Dates: June 5-July 21 • Ages: 5-17 Camp Coleman offers day camps for boys and girls in addition to overnight camp for girls. Camp Trico offers overnight camp for girls.

Camp Fletcher 5150 Fletcher Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-428-1059 Dates: May 30– July 28 Ages: 1st-12th grade  Resident, day & leadership camps; quality programs with activities for all ages, genders & interests. Carefully chosen staff, affordable sessions, ACA accredited. Located in McCalla, AL

Special Needs Programs Behavioral One 1025 Montgomery Hwy. Suite #214 Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-233-1414 (Cell) 205-703-8103 (Office) Dates: June 5-30  and July 10-28 Ages: (3 groups) 3-4, 5-8, 9-12   Behavioral ONE is an assessment and treatment center offering evi-

dence-based services in Behavior Analysis, Speech Pathology and Clinical Psychology for children with Autism, Developmental & Learning Disabilities. 

Things for Camp Applause Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL  35209 205-871-STEP Largest selection of dancewear in the Southeast. Clothing, shoes and accessories for all types of dance to fit toddler to plus size, teams and individuals. Sprouts Farmers Market • Sprouts Hoover 5250 Medford Dr., Ste. 120 Hoover, AL 35246 205-263-4970 • Sprouts Birmingham  Brook Highland Plaza 5265 US Hwy. 280 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-263-2808 • Sprouts Vestavia Hills 1031 Montgomery Hwy. #101

Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-484-0084 Good Food. Good People. You’ll find taste and quality you can trust. Prices you’ll love! Your Journey to better healthy begins here. Visit to locate a store.

Local Attractions Urban Air Homewood Trampoline Park 800 Green Springs Hwy. Ste. #150 Homewood, AL 35209 205- 206-6809 Vulcan Park and Museum 1701 Valley View Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-933-1409 Birmingham’s beloved icon, Vulcan, is the world’s largest cast iron statue. Featuring breathtaking views of the city, an interactive history museum and a beautiful public park.



The YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s sleepaway camp, Camp Cosby, offers a one-week, co-ed, safe and structured experience for children ages 6 to 16 on the shores of Logan Martin Lake. At Camp Cosby children play hard, make new friends, and have the adventure of a lifetime in a safe, fun and structured environment. Located on 135 acres nestled in east Alabama, Camp Cosby provides the perfect atmosphere for Sleepaway Camp, Outdoor Education, Family Events and Retreats. On the shores of Lake Logan Martin campers, students and guests enjoy beautiful shorelines, amazing sunsets and 10 miles of hiking trails.

Visit our website for camp details at | 15


Day Camp:

Preparing for Adventures Close to Home By Denise Yearian

Summer day camp is a place where children can stretch their minds, exercise their bodies, develop new interests and forge lasting friendships. For young children, it is a good introduction to the camp experience. For older ones, it is a way to enjoy the activities without the overnight option. Day camp programs vary from one setting to the next. So how can you help make the most of your child’s day camp experience?

1. Consider interests.

Day camps offer a host of options that include everything from one centralized activity to a variety of traditional camp fun. Talk with your child about his interests and what he would like to gain from the experience. Would he enjoy an assortment of activities or does he want to concentrate on one skill, such as soccer or art?

16 | birminghamparent | february 2017

2. Ponder program length.

Day camps range from several hours to a full day and can run from one week to an entire summer. How long your child should participate in a program will depend largely upon his age, developmental level and previous camp experience. First-time campers would do well starting in a partial- to full-week program. Experienced campers may enjoy one that runs throughout the summer. Even if your child decides to stay at camp all summer, consider allowing a few weeks break between school and camp (and vice versa) for down time.

3. Look at location. If you choose a day camp close to home, commute time will be less and your child may already be acquainted with some of the other children. A day camp near your employer, however, would give you

quick access to your child in the event of an emergency. But if your child needs additional morning or afternoon childcare, you may want to consider a program close to your sitter.

4. Ask about staff.

Find out what the camper-to-counselor ratio is. Ideally it should be six campers to one counselor, as recommended by the American Camping Association. What experience and/or training do the counselors have? How are they selected? What is the camp’s discipline policy? Are they trained to take care of health concerns such as asthma, allergies and dispensing medicine?

5. Focus on the facility. Ask about indoor and outdoor facilities. Is there ample indoor space for children to play during inclement weather? What do they do if it rains all week? Is the

outdoor equipment and grounds well maintained and safe? Are the children’s swimming skills tested before they are allowed to enter the water? Is the staff certified in lifesaving and present during water activities?

6. Investigate cost. Inquire about additional fees. Some day camps have a base price but charge extra for trips, special events and activities. If the camp you want to send your child to costs more than you can afford, find out if there is a scholarship program. Also ask about a refund policy, in the event of an illness or family emergency. 7. Arrange a pre-visit. Many day camps have open houses prior to season start up. Find out if the camp you have chosen has one. If not, make other arrangements to introduce yourself to those who will be caring for your child. Since open houses are a good time to gather information, jot down any questions you have before leaving home. If they are not addressed during this time, ask to speak with someone before securing your deposit. 8. Fill out forms. During your pre-visit, you may receive forms

to fill out. When it comes to medical forms, be thorough and specific. If your child was on a medication during the school year but will be taken off of it for the summer, make sure the camp is aware of this as it could cause an extreme change in behavior. Insect and food-related allergies should be listed too. Equally important is to share other concerns, such as if your family is going through a divorce or has experienced a recent death, as this may affect how your child interacts throughout the day. Remember, camps look out for the physical and emotional needs of your child, so the more information you provide, the better equipped they will be. You will also be asked to fill out an emergency contact form, which lists another designated individual to call if you cannot be reached in the event of an accident or illness. While it is imperative to have an appointed individual, equally important is that the person knows she is designated as such. Every year camps contact the emergency person listed and she was not informed she was “on call.” The best advice? Check with that individual before writing the name down.

9. Peruse policies & procedures. Camp should give you materials

on camp policies, procedures and planned activities. If you and your child know what to expect and what is expected of you, camp will run smoother. Most camps have a weekly schedule so parents know what the upcoming activities are. Talk with you child about what is planned. If she cannot participate due to health reasons, make sure you (not your child) inform the camp. In recent years, many day camps have developed strict policies about leaving technology items – cell phones, handheld games and other tech toys – at home. Their philosophy is day camps are designed to be enriching experiences and the children should be engaging in these activities rather than playing with electronics. If restricted items are brought to camp, they may be confiscated and returned at the end of the day in hopes the child gets the message.

Altamont Summer 2016 Day & Sports Camps | Credit Courses Grades 1-12 | June 5 – July 14 Whether it’s enrichment, enlightenment or entertainment, Altamont has what your child needs most this summer: something constructive to do.

Enroll today! Registration and course information at

Pre-School Dance • Ballet • Pointe • Jazz • Lyrical • Contemporary • Hip Hop • Tap • Clogging • Acrobatics • Voice





HIP HOP CAMP Ages 5-18





ACRO CAMP Ages 5-8


SUMMER INTENSIVE Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Clogging

THEMED BIRTHDAY PARTIES AVAILABLE: Little Ballerina - Princess - Hip Hop - Black Light Tiny Tumblers - Minnie Mouse - Frozen Characters Available Instructors & Music provided | Girls & Boys of any age

822-3012 | M-Th 11-7 & F 11-3 | | 17

10. Keep the line of communication open. Talk about camp before

Summer Camps

it even starts. Reassure your child of the positive experience he will have. At the end of each camp day, find a block of uninterrupted time where you can listen as he shares his adventures. Ask what he liked about camp and if there were any things he didn’t like. If he is having a hard time articulating what happened, break it down by activities – “What crafts did you do?” “Did you play any outdoor games that involved balls or running?” “Who did you play with at the pool?” “Who did you sit with at lunch?” Above all, encourage your child to always do his best, obey the rules and be respectful of others, and chances are he’ll have a great time.

“Wee Play” - Camp #1

Pre-K – 2nd grades

Jun. 5th – 9th - $250 -    

8:30 am – 12:30 pm

Jun 12th – 16th -$350 -   

8:30 am – 3:30pm

“Triple Threat” - Camp #2   


“Fairy Tellers” - Camp #3   

Are you licensed by the state or do you hold an accreditation or certification? What exactly does that credential mean?

3rd – 8th grades

Pre “K – 2nd

June 19th – 23rd -$250 - 

8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

“We Wear the Mask” - Camp #4   

3rd – 8th grades

June 26th – 30th - $350 -       

8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Early Bird Special!

What kind of background, training and experience do counselors and staff have? How are they chosen? What is the counselor-to-camper ratio? How many students are in each group? How often are the groups together? What kind of medical response is on hand? Camp nurse or CPR and first-aid certified staff?

$50 off if registered by April 1!

More info?

Are you able to administer medicine?

visit: call: 205-458-8181

What is a typical day like? How often will the campers take field trips? Where do they go? Is there increased supervision in populated setting? What other resources are available to campers, such as a pool, ice arena, farm, hiking trails, ropes course, archery, etc.? How often will my child be able to participate in these?

Fun and educational summer camps at Aldridge Gardens. For elementary ages. For all interests. Forever changed.

Are lunches and/or snacks provided? Do you offer before- and after-care? Will it be the same staff caring for my child? How often are the facilities cleaned? What alternative plans do you have for inclement weather? What does the camp fee cover? What extra fees will I be required to pay? Do you offer scholarships or financial aid? What is the refund policy and rules regarding transfer of weeks? What is your policy regarding cell phones and other technology items brought to camp?

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S


How do you handle homesickness and other adjustment issues?



What is the discipline policy? How do you handle bullying? What are your drop-off and pick-up policies?


Will you provide references?


Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.


CAMPS grades 3 – 5 grades 6 – 8 grades 9 – 12

Preteen Camps Middle School Camps High School Camps

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & CHALLENGES Giant Swing • Paintball • Climbing Tower Low & High Ropes Courses • 1000-ft Zip Lines Canopy Tours • Pedal Kart Races • Archery Tag Lake Activities (waterslide, kayaks, zip line) & more








1 TRACK CHOICE PER WEEK TO DEVELOP ABILITIES Specialized areas such as drama, fishing, self-defense, wilderness skills, percussion and ukulele … plus more

FAMILY CAMP ages 5 & up

JULY 2-8, 2017 • Life-long Memories • Outdoor Adventures • All Activities & Delicious Meals Planned for You! • Meaningful Family & Couple Time • 4th of July Extravaganza


REGISTER at • 888.794.2918 See Website for Open House Dates


Preparing Happy Campers By Christa Melnyk Hines

Summer camp is a time-honored tradition, rich with activities, newfound friendships and a lifetime of memories. Here’s a few ways to make your child's camp experience smooth sailing from start to finish.

spending time at camp....about how they seem older and more mature," says Doug Berkel, a YMCA senior program director of Youth Development Services.

communication and safety procedures, behavior management techniques (including handling the common bout of homesickness), and child abuse prevention.

S'more Than Just Fun

Avoid Camp Run Amok

First, together with your child, decide what skills you want your child to gain and choose a camp that fits her needs and interests, as well as your family's values. Check out safety guidelines in the camp's parent handbook. Look for overnight camps accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). "ACA standards are the most universal and well-known standards adopted by most camps to ensure a quality and safe program," Berkel says.  Day and specialty camps should carry a current state childcare license. Additionally, staff should be trained in emergency,

Camp Sunshine

According to the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, children who participate in summer programs, like experiential learning activities offered in an organized camp, are less likely to experience a significant summer learning slide. Camp also enhances a child's physical and emotional well-being. Activities build social skills, teamwork and independence, which all contribute to stronger self-confidence and leadership abilities.  “I often hear from parents how amazed they are when their children return home after 20 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Day camps are a practical way to introduce children, ages five to 12, to the camp experience. Most center on a theme, like sports, science, nature, technology and the arts. Ann Bowley says that when her stepson, Trevor, was younger, he enjoyed planning out the day camps he wanted to attend each summer. However, as her son got older he grew more apprehensive about starting over with a new group of kids each week.  "We talked to him about it and he never changed his plans. We just looked for school mates that might be in camp with him to help him be more comfortable," she says.

Camp Ability

Specialty camps center around one activity like music, art, sports or science. These camps provide children the space to further explore and develop a skill that interests them.

Camp Starlight

Overnight camps, typically in an outdoor setting, can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks and are generally offered for children ages 7 and up. If you aren't sure your child is ready, allow him to spend the night at friends' houses occasionally. Or, as Berkel suggests, take advantage of a weekend family camping opportunity, usually offered in the fall and spring to familiarize campers and their families with the facilities and staff.

Conquer Camp Blues

Preparation and an awareness of what to expect can ease the transition from home to camp. Before your child departs, go over a list of everything she will need. Pack a physical connection to home like a favorite sleeping bag, stuffed animal or pillow. Also, mail a card ahead of time to ensure it arrives before the end of camp. Tell your child how you look forward to hearing her camp stories, but avoid saying how much you miss her which can trigger homesickness and worry. Fourteen-year veteran Boy Scout leader, soccer coach and father of eight, John Whiteside, is a camping pro. Over the years, he and his children have participated in multiple camps, including sports, band and weeklong scout camps.

Initial nervousness isn't unusual. If your child asks to come home, Whiteside says to consider the situation, but to encourage him to discuss his anxieties with the camp counselor and take it one day at a time. “Tell him, ‘Yes, today was hard, but I think it will be better tomorrow' and usually tomorrow is better," he says. While your child may struggle at first, chances are he'll come home a happy camper with a heightened sense of self-confidence, memorable stories and a passel of new friends to boot. 

Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines is the mom of two boys who love choosing day camps each summer. She is the author of Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.

Resources: Froggy Goes to Camp by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewicz Curious George Goes Camping by H.A. Rey and Margret Rey Fred and Ted Go Camping by Peter Eastman Olivia Goes Camping by Jared Osterhold


With residential camps for ages 4-94, Sumatanga offers way more than your typical camp experience. We’ve got horse camps, sports and extreme camps, music and arts, backpacking, canoeing, day camps and more! All of our camps feature outstanding leadership and programming grounded in faith. So come, ignite your fire for Jesus, friendship, community, and adventure! | 21

SUMMER CAMP 2017 learned at home into practice. Here, kids have an opportunity to show empathy toward others in need, such as sharing shampoo or toothpaste with someone who forgot a toiletry item, or extending kindness to a camper who feels left out.

3. Make diverse friendships.

The residential camp community is the perfect platform for children to step outside their normal social circle and forge friendships with kids from other parts of the state, country – even the world. And with the widespread use of electronic communication, it’s easier than ever for these friendships to continue to grow long after camp is over.

5 Benefits TO Sleep Away Camp By Denise Morrison Yearian

Day camps are a summer staple for many families, but sleep-away camps provide an iconic outdoor setting with a wealth of ways to help children grow, expand their horizons and make memories that will last a lifetime. Here are five benefits to sending your child to residential camp this summer:

1. Foster independence.

Residential camp is an ideal place to learn independent living and self-responsibility. Out from under their

22 | birminghamparent | february 2017

parents’ shadow, campers are expected to get up, go to bed and attend scheduled events on time, as well as keep their cabin area clean. And for those who have never spent the night away from their parents, it enables them to embrace the experience as their own, without having to filter it through what Mom and Dad think or feel.

2. Practice kindness.

Sleep-away camp is a good way to put character-building skills

4. Venture out. Many residential camps offer atypical activities that may not be available at day camps, such as overnight hiking trips, mountain boarding, wilderness adventures, etc. Activities such as these challenge kids to take risks under trained supervision, using appropriate safety gear. 5. Take a tech break.

More often than not, children are instructed to leave their tech devices at home before coming to camp. This can turn into a big bonus, as it gives campers the opportunity to work on other communication skills, such as letter writing, and real “face time” with other campers, as well as ample time to enjoy planned camp activities.

Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.

BIRMINGHAM’S PREMIER DAYCARE AND PRESCHOOL From our state-of-the-art facilities to our nurturing teachers (many have 4-year education degrees), our comprehensive curriculum and activities provide your child with age appropriate exploration into the world of learning. Odyssey represents an exciting early childhood educational experience!

'BNJMZ 'BWPSJUF Call and schedule your onsite tour today

Inverness Campus: 205-991-0039

Trace Crossings Campus: 205-988-8829


THANK YOU for voting us a 5X favorite Childcare/Preschool in Birmingham Parents’ Family Favorites!

ASK ABOUT OUR $250 Birmingham Parent referral credit

cheerleading • ropes course • ARTS & CRAFTS • soccer • sports • nature • drama

Recognized as one of the South’s favorite Christian summer camps for girls! Welcome to an award winning camp experience…


Just off DeSoto Parkway on top of Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama…nestled in a bend of Little River. Adventure, inspiration, character & confidence-building are just a few of the benefits that go hand-in-hand with the activity choices. Riverview’s Christian emphasis & exciting programs are appreciated by both parents & campers! Call 800-882-0722 or visit for a FREE DVD & Information packet

Only 2 short hours from Birmingham 1 & 2 week sessions! Mother-Daughter Weekends also Available

Dr. Larry and Susan Hooks, Owners/Directors Donna Bares, Assistant Director Accredited by American Camping Association Members of Christian Camping Conference Asso.

Check us out online at

swimming • beach volleyball • archery • riding • basketball • golf • much more!

chorus • gymnastics • Dance • canoeing • tennis • GOLF

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Exciting Traditional Camp for girls ages 6 to 16! | 23



Summer Camps ART


Art Studio for Teens (grades 6–8) June 5–9, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Bulldog Art Camp (grades 1–5) June 26–30, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.


Adventures in Music Camp: Piano (grades 1–12) June 12–16, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Adventures in Music Camp: Piano and Voice (grades 1–12) July 10–14, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. All Aboard for Music Camp (ages 3–6) July 17–21, 9–11:30 a.m.


Writing Camp I (ages 11–15) June 19–23, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Writing Camp II (ages 11–15) July 24–28, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.

Registration and information: . 205-726-2739


Christ-Centered Residential Summer Camp for Ages 7-17

SESSION I June 19-23 SESSION II June 26-30


SESSION III July 10-14

Family Dive Club offers PADI SCUBA Certification and fun for the whole family through SCUBA camps Email (ages 12-17), Marine Science Camp, parent dive or call 205-249-2267 for more info. classes and a family dive trip to the Bahamas.



If you are looking for a unique, memorable, and meaningful birthday celebration, then consider having a drumming party! John Scalici is an internationally known drumming facilitator who can add meaning and value to your child’s birthday. Several options are available, so call for details. Program length is 30-45 minutes.

Register Online Today! A Ministry of French Camp Academy • 662-547-6169 24 | birminghamparent | february 2017 CRS Ad-Bham 2017.indd 1

1/5/17 9:28 AM


Camp Juliette Low On Lookout Mountain in Cloudland, GA

Summer Camps

CJL is an independent, residential summer camp for girls ages 7-17.

     


 Ropes course  Climbing wall  Pottery/crafts  Fire-building  Platform tents 

Tutus & Tiaras Camp

1 & 2 week sessions

Children ages 4- 7 Session 1 July 17- 21, 2017

June 4—July 29, 2017

Session 2 July 24 - 28, 2017 Cost-$250 per week


Schedule 10:00 am - 2:00 pm


Junior Camp


Dancers ages 8-12

Pool Hiking

June 26- July , 2017


$475 2 weeks /$285 1 week Schedule 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

For more information or to register online:

770-428-1062 Preparing Girls for Confident Living and Leadership Since 1922

More Information: (205) 322-1874 2726 1st Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233 | 25

Bham Parent February.indd 1

12/15/2016 10:06:53 AM


Self-Determination - A Benefit of SummerCamp By Heidi Smith Luedtke, PhD

won’t select his clothes, organize the contents of locker, or remind him to put on deodorant. No one will delay dessert until he eats his veggies. Independence is what camp is all about. Don’t worry. The world won’t stop if your son wears the same shirt three days in a row. His peers will speak up if he gets super stinky.            During the school year, many kids jump from one regularly scheduled activity to the The Psychology of Summer Camp             Time at camp may be all it takes to spark a little next with no unstructured time in between. self-determination in your kid. I know it sounds Camp puts kids in charge of their own activities. too good to be true. Your school-age slacker – Maybe your daughter will take a hike. Maybe the one who expects you to find his homework she’ll paint pottery. Maybe she’ll write you an and pack his lunch – might start doing some email. It is up to her to decide how she’ll spend things for himself. And your often-bored tween her free time. One thing is certain: she won’t sit might come home with more pep in her step.            around whining about having nothing to do. Psychologists use self-determination And if she does, you won’t be there to hear it.   theory (SDT) to explain why some experiences make us feel engaged and excited while others Competence             drain and deplete us. The premise is simple: The need for competence is satisfied when kids when an activity meets our needs for autonomy, learn new things and get positive feedback competence, and relatedness, we are energized about their efforts. Your kid might choose and empowered. Kids’ basic needs are no a camp focused on art, science, sports, or different from adults’ needs.             music. Or he may opt for a good old-fashioned Kids want to do things for themselves. They sleep-away experience, complete with row crave a sense of accomplishment and routinely boats and weenie roasts. Some camp activities seek feedback. (“Look what I made, Mom!”) may be outside your kid’s comfort zone. And kids thrive on connections with loved ones Stretching is good.             and peers. Feelings of belongingness boost Your child may be unsure she can cross the their self-worth. Summer camp offers loads of slippery log over the creek. She may tremble opportunities to meet all these needs. And that with excitement about her role in the theater should make kids (and the parents who love production. Peers and counselors will coax her them) very happy campers indeed.   along and give constructive advice. By the end of camp, she’ll be the star of her own adventure stories.             Autonomy             If your kid is an experienced camper, The need for autonomy is satisfied when kids control their own lives. At camp, your son will encourage him to share what he knows with have endless opportunities care for himself. Staff newbies. Being an ambassador or mentor Parents spend a lot of time trying to motivate kids. We use chore charts, checklists, reminders and rewards to get them to feed the dog, clean their rooms, and complete schoolwork. But these techniques don’t change behavior long-term. Real motivation must come from within.  

26 | birminghamparent | february 2017

affirms kids’ competence in a big way. Teaching a peer how to trim a sail or chip a golf ball out of the tall grass will take your son’s skills to a higher level. His confidence will soar in response.


Your biggest concerns about summer camp may center on the social scene. Your child may not know anyone on arrival. That’s okay. Camps create connections in many ways. Your kid will be instantly bonded with bunkmates because they share a home base. Family-style dining and friendly competitions encourage interaction, too. The pursuit of shared goals – like building a robot or putting a frog in the counselor’s sleeping bag – cements kids’ camaraderie.            Extroverted kids may make lots of friends at camp. Less sociable souls may not. What matters most is that kids have opportunities to talk, play and live with a diverse group of peers. They won’t all become fast friends. Learning to navigate the choppy waters of friendship formation is a big part of the camp experience. Your kid’s social skillset will expand – even if she doesn’t find a new BFF.             No matter what your kid takes to camp, he’ll come home with a suitcase full of memories and a renewed sense of self-determination. You’ll see it as soon as he wakes from his long post-camp nap.     Heidi Smith Luedtke is a personality psychologist and mom of two adventurous kids. She is the author of  Detachment Parenting. Learn more at




SUMMER CAMP 2017 Faith-based Programs

Briarwood Ballet: Where God, Music & Dance Meet By Carol Muse Evans

This is the story of a preacher and a ballerina, and how a church and an art form combined to create an amazing Birmingham institution. It is also a story of God’s faithfulness, and no “ordinary” ballet school. In the early 1960s, Frank Barker started Briarwood Presbyterian Church by knocking on doors in Cahaba Heights, according to his daughter Peggy Townes, executive director of Briarwood Ballet. Soon after the church started, he married Towne’s mother, Barbara Brown Barker, a ballerina. Frank Barker had grown up in Birmingham, graduated from Ramsey High School and had even attended seminary before becoming a Christian. He had gone to Auburn University, then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Barbara Barker grew up studying 28 | birminghamparent | february 2017

classical ballet in Birmingham, and went to train in New York when she was just 12 years old. She became a dancer, studying theatre at Northwestern University, and going on to dance professionally. She dated Frank, and they eventually broke up just before he went to seminary. Barbara Brown Barker spent time in Chicago and other major cities as a ballerina, led an exciting life, Towne recalls, and even dated men like Bing Crosby and Jack Valente. She says her mom still “felt empty.” After an unsuccessful three-year marriage, she returned to Birmingham, reconnected with Frank Barker, both gave their lives to Jesus, Towne explains, and married. Frank Barker started Briarwood Presbyterian Church and eventually gained his Ph.D.

“All my mom knew was dance and performance,” Towne says. “She had three kids in 2½ years. But she wanted to do more. And God had different plans than her just being a pastor’s wife. Eventually she began teaching at the Birmingham Civic Ballet, and she loved it…She believed that music and dance were to be used as a tool for worship.” The church agreed. At one point the church administration asked about starting a ballet at Briarwood as an activity for girls, and a new career for Barbara Brown Barker was officially born. She taught at the old church until moving to the new building in 1987. Each year the ministry grew. She found her calling, combining her love for God, her love for dance and the ministry, also supporting her pastor husband.

Barbara Brown (Barker) during her professional ballerina days.

Photos Courtesy of Peggy Townes

When the new Briarwood Presbyterian Church was built, they included five ballet studios, and for the last 20 years, have trained more than 450 students who have gone on to professional careers, Towne says. “Former 1995 Miss America Heather Whitestone (McCullum), was trained by my mama.” Today the ballet company is asked to travel and perform all over the states and the world, having an open door where sometimes missions are not welcome. Towne explains that for years mission teams couldn’t go to places like Russia, China, Brazil, Spain or Cuba, but their ballet dancers could. What her mom had begun was actually a ministry wrapped in art. They could share about Jesus through dance concerts. “My beautiful, faithful mama gave up everything to pursue dance, and more than 7,000 young women have come through the program, having their spirits and souls impacted by my mother,” Towne says. “And it is not the success stories that set Briarwood Ballet apart, it is that every class, from creative movement for three-year-olds to intensive workshops is in a loving environment that emphasizes dance as a means of worship and as a tool for discipleship and evangelism.” | 29

SUMMER CAMP 2017 Faith-based Programs

A young Barbara Brown becomes a professional dancer.

On any given day now you may find Barbara Barker wandering through the halls of the ballet school at Briarwood, taking in an exercise class or visiting with her daughter, the executive director. These are special moments to Towne, as he mother isn’t quite herself any more. “Five years ago we knew something wasn’t right…and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease…that was when I took over as executive director,” Towne says. Now 84 years old, Frank Barker is Pastor Emeritus at Briarwood, is involved in counseling, but was officially retired when he was 68. But you’d hardly know it as active as he is, and devoted to his wife. Today his main job is taking care of Barbara. “This is my inheritance,” Towne explains of the ballet school. “I want to keep this ministry strong as a gift to her.” For more information, visit www.

Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent. Barbara Brown Barker has spent a lifetime teaching young men and women about dance and about God. 30 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Summer Camp

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2017 | 31

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Celebrate Survivors

During National Congenital Heart Awareness Week By American Heart Association

Hannah, 4, Clay

32 | birminghamparent | february 2017

The second week in February is National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. More than 1.3 million Americans alive today have some form of congenital heart defect. About eight of every 1,000 children will be diagnosed with some form of CHD. CHD is an all-encompassing term for various forms of defects. CHD doesn’t discriminate. The cause of most heart defects is not known. Although the reason defects occur is presumed to be genetic, only a few genes have been discovered that have been linked to the presence of heart defects, according to the American Heart Association. They are likely due to a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors. That’s why it’s critical that all parents are aware of the risks of CHD so they can be prepared if their child experiences symptoms. While there’s still much to learn about CHD, scientists and physicians are making progress in the diagnosis and treatment of defects, thanks to research funded in part by the American Heart Association. For many families, their child’s diagnosis of congenital heart defects (CHD) can be met with a lot of unknowns. The American Heart Association provides numerous resources, emotional and otherwise, for families who are going through the process and raises awareness for all types of defects. To learn more about the AHA’s educational role in CHD, visit their website: The American Heart Association also is heavily involved in research efforts. Emotional support is a critical need for CHD families. The American Heart Association works to connect patients and caretakers through their online network, Patient Support Network, as well as assisting local support groups. To learn more about the Patient Support Network, visit The following families have faced CHD with their children, and now work with the American Heart Association to help others.

Hannah, 4, Clay Hannah was born in 2012 without any known issues. Yet for her first five months, Hannah struggled to put on weight, but her pediatrician couldn’t find any real issues. At five months old, Hannah caught a cold that just wouldn’t go away; when they took her to the doctor again, the pediatrician noticed she had blue lips. They rushed her to the hospital, where tests showed she had an AV Canal defect along with other concerns. Because doctors couldn’t help Hannah while she had a cold, she had to wait three weeks before they could do a diagnostic catherization, making her heart weaker and weaker. After doctors performed the catheritization, Hannah went into sudden cardiac arrest in the middle of the night. Her heart stopped for 47 minutes. “We almost lost her,” Randy Wilson, Hannah’s father, said. “The medical team performed CPR on my daughter for almost an hour to resuscitate her. We are so thankful they knew what to do, and we know that the research into pediatric CPR was funded by the American Heart Association.” Once Hannah’s heart stabilized over the next two weeks, she underwent heart surgery to repair the defect. While she went home six weeks post-surgery, her family was devastated to learn she was having infantile spasm seizures likely caused by the loss of oxygen during sudden cardiac arrest. Fortunately, Hannah was able to be treated and has been seizure-free since. She is also going through an early intervention program that helps her catch up in her development.  “Moving forward, she is now a super energetic, happy, independent and healthy four year old – an inspiration for all who know her,” Randy said.


Gabrielle Bolden, 8, Birmingham A few months after Gabrielle was born in April 2008, she was diagnosed with pediatric myocarditis, an inflammatory disorder of the heart muscle caused by a viral infection. The disease was successfully managed by medication and periodic hospitalizations until April 2015 when she caught RSV, a respiratory virus. But Gabrielle couldn’t seem to recover and doctors ultimately performed a heart catheterization. The cath revealed that the right side of her heart was severely damaged with all her other major organs enlarged. After several months in the hospital, Gabrielle was placed on the heart transplant list and began what was expected to be a long wait. Her family decided they wanted her to live as normal a life as possible as she waited for a new heart and let her start school in August 2015. Surprisingly, just a few days into the school year, Gabrielle learned a new heart was available. Surgery and recovery went smoothly and the feisty second grader was home two weeks after the transplant, ready to make up for lost time. Jeremiah, 1, Trussville James and Crystal Burford were excited to be halfway through their third pregnancy. They went to their doctor for a regular checkup, but little did they know it would be the last ordinary checkup for their son Jeremiah, who would be born fighting for his life. During the appointment, a scan revealed a severe congenital heart defect (CHD) called hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Only 1,000 babies a year are born with the condition, and 35 years ago, it would have been a death sentence. Thankfully, Jeremiah was born in a time when more than 75 percent of HLHS babies survive the diagnosis. “Early screening is a must to ensure that you can diagnose defects early,” James Burford says. “We are so thankful that technology was available early in our pregnancy so we and the medical team had time to prepare for his delivery.” Jeremiah spent the first four months of his life in the hospital hooked up to machines. He has already undergone two open heart surgeries in his year of life, and will have to undergo another within the next two years to correct the defect. Zaidan, 2, Birmingham Zaidan was diagnosed at 20 weeks in utero with an extremely complex form of congenital heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). HLHS means that the left side of Zaidan’s heart was severely underdeveloped and he would need three open heart surgeries. Zaidan underwent his first procedure at just days old. While the open heart surgery was considered successful by his medical team, Zaidan experienced a heart attack just days later. The heart attack had weakened his heart muscles past what his heart could take, and doctors said he wouldn’t survive without a heart transplant. “I can remember him having IV pumps and meds. It was just so much – very, very overwhelming. And there was a point just being honest where I thought he won’t be able to survive this. He was just a newborn baby and I didn’t know how he could survive this,” Marquita Smiley, Zaidan’s mom, said. Doctors were able to find Zaidan a new heart and he flourished. While he will likely have to have a second heart transplant as an adult, he is a normal toddler in almost every other way now. Marquita’s family hosts a community team each year in Zaidan’s honor for the Birmingham Heart Walk, raising funds and awareness for the American Heart Association’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases.

Gabrielle Bolden, 8, Birmingham | 33

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Georgia, 1, Hoover

Georgia, 1, Hoover Bo and Taylor Haynie’s daughter Georgia was diagnosed at 20 weeks in utero with an unbalanced atrioventricular (AV) canal defect, which is a large hole in the center of the heart affecting all four chambers where they would normally be divided. The defect allows blood to mix and the chambers/valves cannot properly route the blood to each station of circulation within the heart. AV canal defects account for four percent to five percent of congenital heart defects and occurs in 3 of 10,000 babies born. Despite her diagnosis, Georgia did extremely well after birth. She stayed in the NICU for only seven days and went home at a week old. Yet at her two-week checkup, tests showed she was in heart failure. “They had told us we would need to follow up with a cardiologist in four to six months. We never expected to go in at two weeks old. It all happened so fast,” Taylor says. Georgia had open heart surgery in May 2016 to repair the defect. Although she was so young, her recovery went very smoothly. She’s also not expected to need further procedures, a relief to her parents. Taylor says sometimes her family forgets that Georgia was ever sick, but there is one reminder of her heart warrior’s battle. “The biggest reminder for us is her open heart surgery chest scar. It reminds me of how special she is. She is a heart warrior, and she is stronger and braver than I could have ever imagined,” Taylor says. Jack, 5, Jasper Jack was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), one of the most complicated congenital heart defects. HLHS 34 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Jack, 5, Jasper

essentially meant the left side of Jack’s heart was severely underdeveloped. Children with HSHS normally undergo three separate open heart procedures. Jack had his first open heart surgery (called a Norwood procedure) at just a few days old, a second open heart surgery (called a bidirectional Glenn) at four months old, and his last open heart surgery (the Fontan procedure) in May 2016. Jack’s mom Crystal Odom says there was so much hope and fear wrapped up in his final open heart surgery. “When my husband Josh and I rounded the corner to see Jack the first time after his Fontan, my heart sang. My baby. Finally alive and done with surgery. It just proved to me that God still performs miracles,” Crystal says. While these procedures pushed Jack and his family to their limits – both physically and emotionally – doctors are hopeful that Jack will lead a normal life with few limitations and isn’t expected to need any more surgeries.

Harper, 3, Dora “Looking at Harper, you would never know anything was wrong,” Harper’s mom, Jenna Hill, says. At just a week old, the pediatrician detected a heart murmur and low oxygen levels at Harper’s regular checkup. Further testing revealed a shocking diagnosis of multiple heart defects, including a single ventricle and pulmonary stenosis. “Thirty years ago they would have told us enjoy your baby; you’ve got two years with her,” Harper says. After an open heart surgery before her first birthday, Harper’s heart is repaired but not fully fixed. She may need

Harper, 3, Dora

more surgery later in life. Her family is always on a mission pushing for more research and funding. Congenital heart defects cannot be prevented, and anyone can be at risk for CHD. Survival rates for all congenital heart disease is greater than 95 percent, up until 18 years of age thanks to the advancement of technology and research funded in part by the American Heart Association.

Mending kids’ hearts It’s what we do best. Our team of more than 250 pediatric professionals is recognized for its excellence by U.S. News & World Report. From tiny babies to teens, we care for Mei Mei and Hannah and every child as if that child were our own. b 22 Board-certified physicians and surgeons b 425 cardiac surgeries annually b 31 heart transplants over the past four years, with a greater than 90%one-year survival rate

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Jeremiah, 1, Trussville

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Beaux, 4, Hoover Shellie and Lauren Waites couldn’t wait to meet their new baby boy in 2012. The Waites had done the regular prenatal tests, and doctors had no concerns. Everyone expected Beaux to be a healthy, happy baby, but just minutes after he was delivered, he was whisked away to NICU. They had no idea what was happening until a doctor informed them that Beaux had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, pulmonary hypertension and multiple heart defects, including an atrioventricular canal defect (AV). Half of all babies born with Down syndrome also have an AV canal defect. Beaux would need open heart surgery before he was six months old. Lauren says the news was shocking not only to her and her family, but to their doctors as well. “Our OB even went back after finding out to double check all the tests and scans, and still couldn’t find anything. It was definitely God’s plan to keep him a special secret to us until the time came,” Lauren says. The surgery had been complicated, repairing a valve and patching three holes in Beaux’s heart. Beaux stayed in a heart block for seven days after the surgery, meaning his heart wasn’t able to beat in rhythm by itself. Just before doctors were about to go in and put in a pacemaker, his heart started working all on its own. “His charge nurse said they had never seen a heart come out of heart block so far from surgery before. It was a good thing I had pushed for surgery as early as possible because we later found out his heart was enlarged and filled the whole chest cavity. He was in fact in heart failure. That’s one reason why I think it’s so important to advocate for your health,” Lauren says. At his most recent cardiovascular appointment, Beaux was cleared to only receive heart checkups once a year. Beaux still has moderate leaking in his right valve, a mass growing in his mitral valve, and will need another heart surgery around 10 years of age. Yet, his parents are so thankful and say he is living the life that they never thought he could have. 36 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Beaux, 4, Hoover

National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week February 7-14, 2017 Tiffany, 29, Pelham Tiffany Chance Bell was so excited to be a new mom again. She had just had her second child and was adjusting to being a family of four when she began experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. Because she had been educated on warning signs of heart attacks for women by the American Heart Association in the past, Tiffany and her husband followed AHA’s advice to go to the ER immediately. When she arrived, ER doctors told her all her tests were clear and attributed her symptoms to her being postpartum. But the symptoms got worse. So she returned to the ER for more tests, but doctors still couldn’t find anything wrong. After a few more trips with no answers, Tiffany visited a cardiologist and asked for a full workup. That’s when doctors discovered a hole on the top of Tiffany’s heart – a congenital heart defect that had been undetected since birth. “I was shocked. I didn’t think an adult could be diagnosed with CHD since it’s something you’re born with. But my pregnancy had enlarged my heart and started causing heart symptoms for the first time in my life,” Tiffany says. “I was so thankful that I continued advocating for my heart health even when no one could figure out what was wrong; it’s the reason I’m alive today.”

Courtesy of American Heart Association All photos by Stephanie Fisher Photography, | 37

black history

Celebrating Black History Month WHY WE SHOULD AND HOW WE CAN By Stephanie Rodda

As a white mother of black children, I’ve intentionally changed how I live my life in many ways. I’ve had to stretch myself and step out of my comfort zone on purpose so that I can be the best parent I can be to my children. Decisions about where we live and which church we attend have been among those changes. This year I’m determined to change the way we celebrate Black History Month. Rather than the perfunctory observance, I want to do better for my children and for myself as well. Learning and exploring new things is a great way to spend time together as a family. In my case, with adopted children, some of whom joined the family as older children, I am eager to make memories with them that we can call our own. It is also important to me that my children feel confident in who they are. I want to foster a sense of pride in their birth heritage which is different than mine. For more than 40 years, every president of the United States has declared February as Black History Month, but its roots reach back over 90 years when historian Carter G. Woodson promoted Negro History Week which was to be observed the second week of each February. That week was significant because it fell between the birthdays of two significant men, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

38 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Why should we celebrate Black History Month? Black History Month is about celebrating the accomplishments of African-American people. A prime example is the Tuskegee Airmen. Many people aren’t aware of the first African-American flying unit who was trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. One squadron, the 332nd Fighter Group, who fought in the European theatre during World War II, was one of the Army Air Forces’ most decorated escort groups. This isn’t a celebration only to be observed by African Americans, but by all Americans. Black history is a part of our Alabama history and also a part of American history. And let’s face it, history matters. History matters because it reminds us of our mistakes so we can do better in the future. History matters because it reminds us of our victories and how far we have come. Black History Month is an ideal way to grow closer together as a family, to increase your understanding of a culture that may be different from your own and to show respect for a people group who has not always been treated fairly or equally. We as parents can promote tolerance and diversity in our children by participating in meaningful ways in the observance of Black History Month. Observing in Creative Ways Black History Month doesn’t have to be all about facts and serious moments from the past. There are plenty of ways to play and dance and sing in your observance. One of our favorite family games is Mancala. Mancala is a traditional game that is a fun way to enjoy black history and quite possibly the oldest game in the world. The wooden game with colorful game pieces can be purchased at many retail stores. It can also be made as a fun craft project out of such materials as egg cartons and sunflower or pumpkin seeds. This game promotes strategic thinking and is appropriate for young children while still challenging to adults. Why not create a new family tradition of cooking and eating dishes that are new to you and considered traditional soul food such as sweet potato biscuits? Or perhaps a recipe such as sesame cookies because in Africa, sesame seeds are thought to bring good luck. How much fun it would be to listen to the blues and trace the history of this unique style of music from its beginnings in the fields of the south to its global impact today? Perhaps focus on

a music legend like B.B. King or Ray Charles. And while you’re listening to those soulful tunes, don’t forget to find a few gospel artists like The Blind Boys of Alabama. Then of course there are many female artists worth noting such as Mahalia Jackson, Cece Winans, and present-day Mandisa. A simple internet search of African dance will find a large variety of resources such as videos and tutorials. Lively music, free-form dancing, energetic fun, it’s a win-win for the whole family. There are several web pages that are geared specifically for children. Have you ever heard of the quilts of Gee’s Bend? The ladies who created the quilts produced unique and impressive works of art. They’ve become Alabama legends. What they managed to accomplish with limited resources is worth knowing about. No matter how you decide to go about it, enjoy it. Make memories, explore new things and start new family traditions celebrating Black History Month.

RECOMMENDATIONS Many of the most memorable moments of the Civil Rights Movement occurred right here in Birmingham, and we have a variety of notable locations to visit locally. Birmingham is full of opportunities to celebrate Black History Month. Alabama has a rich history of moments to remember. Visit: • Birmingham Civil Rights Institute • Sixteenth Street Baptist Church • Kelly Ingram Park • 4th Avenue Business District • Bethel Baptist Church If a family outing of this sort isn’t possible, there are other fun and meaningful ways to acknowledge the rich culture and heritage of African Americans. After all, there’s more to black history than the Civil Rights Movement. A visit to your local public library or favorite bookstore can provide many educational books about black history. You might look for such titles as these. These are only a few of the many such books that are available. • Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine • This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt • Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson • Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford • Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson | 39

photo courtesy of Dr. Andrew Richardson, Cahaba Heights Pediatric Dentistry

Preparing Your Child for Dental Visits By Denise Morrison Yearian

Jane and Drew Tamassia love going to the dentist. Perhaps words like “tickle toothbrush” and “sugar bug remover” make these preschoolers giggle. Maybe it’s the Disney decorations that draw them in. “I think they like going because I started them early and chose someone who knows how to work with children,” says Suzanne Tamassia, whose own childhood dental fears drove her to find a dentist who works with specifically with children. Getting children in at an early age to see the dentist is key. “Our recommendation falls in line with the national recommendation made by the American Dental Association,” says Dr. Angelica Rohner of Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry. “We recommend that children have their first visit by at least the age of 1, a visit that is as much for the parent as the child. We discuss everything from good brushing routines to daily diet and how to handle tooth trauma.”

Dr. Michael Anglin, a pediatric dentist, agrees. “There are so many things that can affect speech and chewing that we look for as well,” he adds. “Plus, starting the routine early always helps.” Dr. Sory “Chuck” Shannon, D.M.D., says that age one is best for that first visit, as well. “We see a large number of children with bottle decay. We stress the cleaning of mouth with the parents.” Dentists recommend parents ask close friends and family members for recommendations on the best dentist for their child, and they welcome parents to make an appointment before treatment to meet the dentist and staff. Children should see the dentist at least every six months, so being comfortable with the choice is important. Pediatric dentists often offer a more “fun” environment than a general or family dentist’s office, even though many general dentists are great with children. That’s why

40 | birminghamparent | february 2017

both photos above courtesy of Dr. Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry

it’s key to ask those you trust and get good recommendations. “Pediatric dentistry is a specialty of dentistry that focuses on the oral health and unique needs of infants, children and young adults,” says Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz, pediatric dentist with Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz Pediatric Dentistry and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. “After completing four years of dental school, a pediatric dentist has an additional two to three years of formal specialty training.” Even before that first appointment, there are things parents can do to prepare their child for their visit. “I advise parents to avoid four-letter words like “hurt,” “shot,” “pull” or “pain,” says Dr. Andrew Richardson of Cahaba Heights Pediatric Dentistry. “The best thing is to encourage them about how easy the visit will be and how great they will do. We have great ways of talking kids through procedures at our office without having to go into details that can make them worry.” Dr. Clark Thomas of Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry urges parents not to talk about or convey their own fears and experiences with dentists. “Try and use positive words and phrases like counting your teeth and brushing your teeth,” he adds. “Try and read encouraging books about going to

the dentist; make sure the books are updated, as some of the old ones can be a bit too much. Also, there are some great dental apps to get kids involved.” Most dentists also encourage parents to come into the exam room with their child, which can create a more relaxed atmosphere. “We want parents to trust us and be able to see everything that goes on during a procedure,” says Dr. Lauten Johnson of Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry. Most first visits do not involve any discomfort, but dentists say children should feel free to ask their dentist about it,” Rohner says. “Your pediatric dentist and hygienists are trained to answer this question honestly but age-appropriately,” she adds. “Kids are often anxious about new experiences and we are able to break the visit down into small parts and explain to our patients every step of the way.” Even if it’s a routine visit, crying can set in, especially in very young children. Dentists expect this, but also recommend parents make appointments when the child will be most active and alert, not during what would be a normal naptime. “When the child is active and alert, they can interact more with their caregiver,” Anglin says. “Even if they are a busy body, we can use that energy to get them more involved in the appointment.”

Working together as a team to provide compassionate and exceptional oral surgical care to every patient who walks through our doors.

Lisa L. Miller DMD, MD of Birmingham, AL is a board certified surgeon who practices a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from corrective jaw surgery to wisdom tooth removal.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month

“Children and adults have different views of pain,” Shannon adds. “We just explain to a child that they will feel different.” Richardson adds that mornings seem to be a good time for young children to come in, “before they wear themselves out having fun and are closing in on naptime.” Parents should encourage good dental care of brushing and flossing early to make it a habit, but to keep in mind young children should receive plenty of guidance. “Many kids cannot effectively brush their teeth until age 8,” says Johnson. “Be engaged with your child, and remember a healthy diet aids in the prevention of cavities.” Denise Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren. Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt contributed to this story with local comments.

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RESOURCES TO PREPARE CHILDREN FOR THEIR VISIT WITH THE DENTIST Barney Goes to the Dentist by Linda Cress Dowdy; Publishing Lyrick The Berenstein Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan & Jan Berenstein; Random House Brush Your Teeth Please Pop-Up by Leslie McGuire; Reader’s Digest Curious George Goes to the Dentist by Margaret Rey; Houghton Mifflin Doctor DeSoto by William Steig; Farrar, Straus & Giroux Going to the Dentist by Fred Rogers; Putnam Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brushing His Teeth? by Jamie McClaine; Partners Publishing Group How Many Teeth? (Let’s Read-and-Find Out Science 1) by Paul Showers; HarperCollins Publishing Just Going to the Dentist by Mercer Mayer; Golden Books Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist (Dora the Explorer) by Christine Ricci; Simon Spotlight/Nick Jr. “Smile” Says the Crocodile by Jane Belk Moncure; Child’s World The Tooth Book (Bright & Early Board Books™) by Dr. Seuss; Random House

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A Trip to the Dentist Can Be Lots of Fun! (Videorecording) by Robert Wortzel and Rob Garner; Night Media Group, Inc. A Trip to the Dentist Through Pinatta’s View (Videorecording); Boggle-Goggle Enterprises What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist (What to Expect Kids) by Heidi Murkoff; HarperFestival



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family & cosmetic dentistry Sory “Chuck” Shannon, D.M.D. practices pediatric dentistry from infancy to college age within Birmingham, Alabama. Our long-term and caring staff is very child-friendly, so trust us with your child’s dental care. Dr. Shannon specializes in pediatric dental care to help your child relax and decrease anxiety. We teach your child good oral hygiene to give them the proper tools to continue to care for their mouth and teeth. As an active part of the Children’s Hospital of Alabama, we also perform hospital dentistry. For your convenience, we accept all insurance and are a preferred provider for Blue Cross™, Delta™, and Medicaid.



Family Favorite


Family Favorite


Family Favorite


Family Favorite




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ask the specialist

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Preparing for a Child’s Visit with the Doctor By Cheryl M. Law, MD

Dr. Cheryl Law is primary care physician with an interest in children’s medicine and is located at the Brookwood Baptist Health Clinic in Hueytown.

44 | birminghamparent | february 2017

A sense of dread can come over a parent when preparing for a child’s doctor’s visit, even if just for a routine check-up. Getting a child to play with your smartphone? That’s the easy bit. But getting that same kid enthused about going to a place often associated with painful pricks? Well, that’s a whole different ball game and as a new mom, I definitely feel for you! So how do you conquer the challenges associated with your child’s doctor’s visit? I recommend starting with a positive outlook. Confidence is one of those few contagious things we docs don’t mind you spreading! Smile and make eye contact when explaining the purpose of the upcoming appointment to your son or daughter. If going for a routine examination, explain that the doctor will be checking to make sure their body is healthy. It may also be helpful to mention that other friends and family members also get routine check-ups. Ask your child how they feel about going to the doctor. This can help you direct your conversation to their particular concerns. If going to a specialist for a specific condition, talk in terms your child can understand. Be honest about potentially uncomfortable or painful procedures that may occur but do so with a calm tone to your voice. Remember, you

are dealing with the same child who enjoys smartphones and other forms of play so consider bringing a favorite toy to the office. Introducing and playing with medically-themed toys may reduce pre-visit tension.

A sense of dread can come over a parent when preparing for a child’s doctor’s visit, even if just for a routine check-up. Getting a child to play with your smartphone? That’s the easy bit. But getting that same kid enthused about going to a place often associated with painful pricks? Well, that’s a whole different ball game and as a new mom, I definitely feel for you!

Whether choosing a family medicine or pediatric physician, it is important for your child to trust their doctor. Reassure your little one that their doctor is there to make them feel better. Let them know that going to the doctor is not a punishment.

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Colonnade 3500 Blue Lake Dr., Suite 340, Birmingham, AL 35243 Bessemer 517 18th St. N., Bessemer, AL 35020 Trussville 1976 Gadsden Hwy., Suite 206B, Birmingham, AL 35235 Gardendale 2603 Decatur Hwy., Suite 207, Gardendale, AL 35071 Cullman 409 2nd Ave. SW Hwy 31 Cullman, AL 35055 Jasper 204 19th St. East Conference Room B Jasper, AL 35502


Behavioral ONE is an assessment and treatment center for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities


During the summer break we will be offering several Social Skills small groups and classes daily. Groups and classes will be taught utilizing evidence-based curriculums and strategies designed to promote skill acquisition and generalization. • Impulse Control and Decision Making • Peer Interaction and Cooperative Play Comprehensive Care for the Entire Family For more information & scheduling, please contact Billy Richardson | 205-703-8103 | 45

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VOTE NOW in the 2017 Birmingham Parent’s Family Favorites Awards!

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VOT I N G E N DS AT M I D N I G H T O N A P R I L 25 , 2 017.

Look for the family favorites award winners in the June 2017 issue of Birmingham Parent. You must vote in at least 20 categories for your vote to count, and if you wish to be entered in the random drawing, we must receive your complete contact info. Information may be shared with prize sponsors.


Valentine’s Day with Your Kids Valentine’s Day is for the whole family. Here are some ideas to make the day extra special for all. 1. Get a sweet start. Show your special sweethearts how much you care by preparing a Valentine’s Day breakfast. Get creative! 2. Wear your heart on your sleeve (or your shirt). If you have a little girl who loves pink, this is the day for her to shine with a little help. 3. Make handmade valentines. With the right materials, they can be easy to make. Cut hearts out of colored construction paper and let your kids decorate them with stickers, glitter and candy conversation hearts. 4. Spread the love. Spread the love a little further by delivering some of the cards to a local nursing home or children’s hospital. 5. Write letters of appreciation.  Take the tradition card father and writing letters of appreciation to the important people in your lives.

6. Get heart healthy. February is American Heart Month, so use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to educate your kids about the importance of exercising for a healthy heart.   7. Decorate your home. You decorate for Halloween and Christmas, so why not Valentine’s Day?   8. Plan a kid-friendly party. Invite a few of your children’s friends (or just their stuffed animals) to a party. Find free printable templates for games and other ideas online.      9. Make chocolate-covered strawberries.  Buy a container of microwavable dipping chocolate, and kids can (almost) make without help. Wrap up these sweet treats to give as a gift, or enjoy together.         10. Go on a scavenger hunt. Create a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt for the whole family by writing clues on paper hearts and hiding them all over your home.

Let our family care for yours.

By Alyssa Chirco

11. Encourage a love of reading. Read Robert Sabuda’s Saint Valentine, which tells the story of the ancient Roman priest and physician for whom Valentine’s Day is thought to be named.     12. Commit Random Acts of Kindness. Did you know that Valentine’s Day falls during Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 12-18)? Spend February 14th performing kind gestures in your community.   13. Enjoy a Family Date Night. Skip the reservation for two and take the whole family out for a night on the town instead. Be creative!   14. Say “I love you.” No matter how else you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there’s no better way (or day) to let your children know how just how special you think they are.      Alyssa Chirco writes about parenting and family life for publications throughout North America.  Read an expanded version of the story at

We’re there when your busy schedule catches up with you and the hot tea stops doing the trick. We’re there for back-to-school vaccinations, physicals, fevers, coughs, and everything in between. We’re your neighbors and your friends, and now we are Alabama’s newest progressive healthcare network. Brookwood Baptist Health Primary Care is more than just a network of doctors' offices. It's an extension of our physician family, conveniently located in offices all over central Alabama — and still backed by all the resources of Brookwood Baptist Health. Book Online at | 47

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FEBRUARY calendar highlights

Calendar sponsored by

February is a very interesting month for many reasons. It’s Black History Month, which gives families the chance to learn even more about the numerous contributions


that African-Americans have made to this country; while there are at least three such events in our calendar, check with your

Don’t miss the 25th Annual Birmingham Parent’s Camp Expo at the Riverchase Galleria from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Great giveaways, local entertainment and more. Swag bags to the first 200 visitors at the BP booth. FREE.


library and museums for more programs. It’s also Valentine’s Day, where we celebrate the ones we love. We will observe Presidents’ Day this month, and that elusive groundhog


Black History is No Mystery with the Burks At 6pm Tuesday, February 21 at the Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster, retired educators Winfield and Elinor Burks will present their hands-on approach to helping kids learn and enjoy science and history. In fact, they have co-produced more than 50 programs in the metro area. Children in grades 3 and above. Sign up at the library or 205-664-6822.

will predict whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter. And don’t miss a chance to explore camps and summer programs at Birmingham Parent’s annual Camp Expo on Sat, Feb. 11. Find out what your kids want to do this summer. Whatever your choice, there are many events that offer fun and learning this month!

Candyology McWane Science Center. Celebrate Valentine’s Day all day at McWane with cool public programs featuring the science of candy! 205-714-8300,



Groundhog Day at the Zoo! From 9-11am at the Birmingham Zoo on February 2, find out if Birmingham Bill sees his shadow. Find out if we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Kid-friendly games, special wildlife show and more. Find the schedule at www. | 49


Calendar sponsored by

Groundhog Day at the Zoo! From 9-11am at the Birmingham Zoo on February 2, find out if Birmingham Bill sees his shadow. Find out if we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Kid-friendly games, special wildlife show and more. Find the schedule at


2 THURSDAY Groundhog Day Groundhog Day at the Zoo! 9-11am, Birmingham Zoo. Will Birmingham Bill see his shadow? Join the zoo for his prediction and find out if we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Kid-friendly games, special wildlife show and more. Harry Potter Book Night: The Professors of Hogwarts 6:30-8pm, Homewood Public Library. The whole family is invited to enjoy an evening of wizarding fun to celebrate the magic of Harry Potter books.

3 FRIDAY AHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championships 8am-4pm, Birmingham Crossplex. This two-day meet features the best athletes in the state. Admission and other information,

Full Life Ahead Foundation Family Weekend Children’s Harbor, Lake Martin. (February 3-5). The Full Life Ahead Foundation takes families with teens and young adults who have disAbilities on Family Weekends. Agendas for teens/young adults while parents enjoy their own separate educational sessions. Children’s Harbor donates their facilities for a weekend full of fun, learning and sharing that include camp activities such as boating, arts and crafts, a Saturday night karaoke party, campfires, putt-putt and more! Cost is $30 per person and includes meals, accommodations, programs and activities. For more information or to register, call 205-439-6534 or visit www.

The Winter Market at Pepper Place 9am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S, inside the Pepper Place Pop-Up Shop.


Southeastern Outings Dayhike 9am, Locust Fork River near Cleveland, AL. A moderate 3-mile day hike and picnic along the lovely Locust Fork River in Blount County. View and drive through the genuine and newly-restored wooden covered bridge, then hike along the river from the bridge and have lunch right beside Powell Falls. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older welcome. Depart 9am from the Kmart Green Springs building or 10am from the Cleveland Chevron. Francis Rushton, 205/290-5557.

AHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championships 8am-4pm, Birmingham Crossplex, see February 3.

Lego Club 10-11am, North Shelby Library. Families welcome to drop in to build spectacular creations,

which will go on display in the Children’s Department! All ages welcome. 205-439-5504. Spanish Enrichment Program 10:30am, Homewood Library. Free Spanish enrichment for 3rd-5th graders. Registration required at Beaker Bash: Are We There Yet? 5-8pm, McWane Science Center. McWane’s annual family-friendly event will creatively explore the science of transportation and the amazing innovations that help us travel around the planet. Fundraiser for the center. Tickets, 205-714-8414,

5 SUNDAY Southeastern Outings Dayhike 1pm, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Join SEO for a moderately strenuous, 3.4 mile hike in the 1000+-acre Ruffner Mountain

PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the March 2017 print issue is February 6. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to calendar@BirminghamParent. com; or enter directly to the online calendar at Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information cannot be accepted over the phone. Birmingham Parent publishes a calendar 11 times a year. January events are included in the December issue. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail 50 | birminghamparent | february 2017


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Nature Preserve, one of the largest in-city nature preserves in the country. This trip will involve considerable elevation gain hiking from the lowland section of the park to the top of Ruffner Mountain. Please bring water. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 8 and up welcome. Depart 1pm from the Ruffner Road Ballfields Trail Head. David Shepherd, 205/240-4681, davidshep2@

7 TUESDAY Lego League 6-6:45pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Kids of all ages can come build with bricks of all sizes! Kids age 6-under must be with an adult. Valentine Craft Night 6:30pm, Homewood Library. Valentine’s cartoons, snacks and crafts for an evening of family fun!

8 WEDNESDAY Homeschool Hour Jr. Goes Wild 1:30pm, Homewood Library. Learn about and meet different reptiles. Ages 10-under suggested.


12 SUNDAY Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike 1pm, Oak Mountain State Park. Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon. This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors. Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails. There will be some ups and downs. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles and complete the hike are welcome. Depart 1pm from the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot. Bring $5/person ($2 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink. Edd Spencer, 205/317-5868.

13 MONDAY Homeschool Happening: Birds of a Feather 10-11am, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Ansel Payne, Ph.D, of the Audubon Society visits. We’ll learn about local birds, bird watching, and more. Kids in grades 1-12, sign up at 205-6646822. Children 6-under must be with an adult.

YA Throwback Thursday 4:15pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Tweens and teens can get ready for Valentine’s Day by making cards, making friends, and eating sweet treats. Kids 11 to 18 years old. Sign up at 205-664-6822.



Woo at the Zoo 6-9pm, Birmingham Zoo. Discuss “love” in the animal kingdom! Sip and stroll through the zoo’s predator building and enjoy live music, animal encounters and keeper chats. Reservations include hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and a souvenir champagne flute and photo. Advance tickets only and tickets are limited. www.

The Winter Market at Pepper Place 9am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S, inside the Pepper Place Pop-Up Shop. The 24th Annual Birmingham Parent’s CAMP EXPO 10am-3pm, Riverchase Galleria. A free, day-long exhibition where families can learn about travel, volunteer opportunities, health issues, education, camps and more. On-stage entertainment and more! Information, Alabama Wildlife Center’s Wild About Chocolate! 7-10pm, The Harbert Center. This 13th annual fundraising event benefits the center and offers a variety of delicious chocolate and savory creations and beverages from Birmingham’s finest restaurants and caterers. Live music, silent and live auctions. Admission,


Candyology McWane Science Center. Celebrate Valentine’s Day at McWane with cool public programs featuring the science of candy! 205714-8300,

15 WEDNESDAY Homeschool Hangout 1-2pm, North Shelby Library. An exciting program aimed at school-age kids to learn from a member of the community! Ages 7-12. Registration required; 205-439-5504,

16 THURSDAY Homeschool Hour – The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 1:30pm, Homewood Library. BCRI representatives discuss

the history of Birmingham during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Ages 10-up suggested. Online registration required at

17 FRIDAY Vulcan Camporee 8am-4pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Three-day (Feb. 17-19) event for Vulcan District Boy Scout units. Families and friends welcome to come for the day Saturday to watch the Boy Scouts in action in skills competitions and demonstrations. Information, schedule, guidebook, www.vulcandistrict. com/camporee/. Giselle 7:30pm, Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University. The Alabama Ballet performs this significant Romantic ballet of Giselle, an innocent girl who is misled into believing the words of her charming admirer. Shows through Feb. 19. Tickets, 205-202-8142,

18 SATURDAY The Winter Market at Pepper Place 9am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S, inside the Pepper Place Pop-Up Shop. Big Machines Day 10am- 4pm, McWane Science Center. Get your motors running for a truckload of fun! Climb aboard incredible machines like excavators, bulldozers, fire trucks, and more! 205-714-8300, Tiana’s Mardi Gras Ball 10:30am, Homewood Library. Celebrate Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras with a Princess and the Frog themed party! Giselle 2:30pm, 7:30pm, Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University, see February 17.

19 SUNDAY Giselle 2:30pm, Wright Fine Arts Center, Samford University, see February 17.


PRESIDENTS DAY Sensory Storytime 10-10:30am, North Shelby Library. A snack-free storytime for children with special needs

with caregiver support, featuring fun picture books and songs, along with fine and gross motor movement activities. Special supports available to help children be successful. Registration required. 205-439-5504, Neuroscience Café 6:30pm, Hoover Library. Topic: “When Food is a Four-Letter Word: The Challenges of Treating Obesity.” Presenters are Taraneh Soleymkani, MD, assistant professor of nutrition sciences, UAB; and Mary Katherine Ray, graduate trainee in the department of psychology and the Nutrition and Obesity Research Center. FREE. 205-444-7840.

21 TUESDAY Black History is No Mystery with the Burks 6pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. Winfield and Elinor Burks return with their hands-on approach to helping kids learn and enjoy science and history. They have co-produced more than 50 programs in the metro area. Children in grades 3 and above. Sign up at the library or 205-664-6822. Birmingham SCI Café 6-8pm, John’s City Diner, Birmingham. Come interact with researchers and enthusiasts from different science fields.

22 WEDNESDAY Southeastern Outings Weekday Hike 9am, Cahaba-Irondale River Walk, Irondale. Enjoy a beautiful, well-maintained trail through the woods alongside the Cahaba River. The trail runs from the Grants Mill Bridge canoe landing to near Overton Road. Depart 9am from the Sam’s Club parking lot on Kilgore Memorial Drive in Irondale. Reservations not required. Acyenith Alexander, 205529-2253, Engineering Showcase 9am-4pm, McWane Science Center. To celebrate National Engineers Week 2017, McWane Science Center will host engineers from many different fields, such a civil, mechanical, structural, and biomedical engineering. Learn what it means to be an engineer in today’s world. 205-714-8300,


Calendar sponsored by

are available. Proceeds from the sale are used to pay the consigners, and to the Asbury UMC children’s and youth programs and various mission groups in the area. FREE admission. American Girls Club 4pm, Albert L. Scott Library, Alabaster. To mark Black History Month, girls will read the play “Friendship and Freedom: A Play about Addy.” No memorizing necessary. The play is about Addy, age 9, who has escaped from slavery. The action takes place in Philadelphia in 1864. There are six female roles and girls who aren’t actors can be in the audience – and so can their dolls! Family members can be in the audience, too but all children in the audience under age 7 must be with an adult. Girls 7-older, sign up at the library or 205-664-6822.

CAMP EXPO — Saturday the 11th Don’t miss the 25th Annual Birmingham Parent’s Camp Expo at the Riverchase Galleria from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Great giveaways, local entertainment and more. Swag bags to the first 200 visitors at the BP booth. FREE.

23 THURSDAY “Marvel, Magic & Myths” 10am, Wright Center, Samford University. Young People’s Concerts presented by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Grades 3-6. Carlos Izcaray, conductor. Tickets $8.

24 FRIDAY American Traditional Archery 8am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. Three days of fun flingin’ arrows!

Outdoor archery, 3 courses, 36 3D targets, Gate admission $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 children; 5 and under, free. Registration fee. 205-822-3563, http://www. Asbury Giggles and Grace Consignment Sale 8am-6pm, Asbury United Methodist Church, 6690 Cahaba Valley Road. Two-day sale occurs once in the spring and once in the fall. Children’s clothes, youth clothes, toys, books, shoes, baby furniture, and many more items

Check out our baby clothes & gifts! See the latest in trendy clothing including tops and tunics, trendy must-haves, fun and fashionable jewelry and other accessories. Check us out at or on instagram @BeckysGiftsAL $10 OFF a purchase of $50 or more.

One coupon/person. Does not apply to previous purchases, sale or clearance items.

52 | birminghamparent | february 2017

Sensory Storytime 4pm, Homewood Library. All-ages storytime introduces stories and songs in a variety of engaging ways in a sensory-friendly atmosphere.

25 SATURDAY American Traditional Archery 8am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, see February 24. Asbury Giggles and Grace Consignment Sale 8am-1pm, Asbury United Methodist Church, see February 24. The Winter Market at Pepper Place 9am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S, inside the Pepper Place Pop-Up Shop.

Teens and Tech 5-9pm, McWane Science Center. An after-hours event for students in 6th-12th grade, focusing on a single topic that is related to science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. Games, fun and food provided. Younger siblings may not attend. Seating is limited. To reserve a spot, please contact the Reservations Department at (205) 714-8414.

26 SUNDAY American Traditional Archery 8am-5pm, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, see February 24. 2017 disAbility Conference Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Convention Center, Montgomery. The Arc of Alabama, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to advocacy and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers, in partnership with the 26 chapters statewide, hosts this three-day conference. Information,

27 MONDAY 2017 disAbility Conference Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Convention Center, Montgomery, see February 26.

28 TUESDAY 2017 disAbility Conference Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa Convention Center, Montgomery, see February 26. Mardi Gras Party 4-5pm, Pelham Public Library. Celebrate Mardi Gras with snacks and crafts! All ages welcome. Register, 205-620-6418. FREE.

events & attractions

Calendar sponsored by

Aldridge Botanical Gardens 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019,

McWane Science Center

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame 1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham. 205-254-2731,

Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd.

Alabama Sports Hall of Fame 2150 Richard Arrington Blvd. N., Birmingham. 323-6665,

Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-663-7930.

Albert L Scott Alabaster Public Library Story Times: • Tunes & Tales: Wednesdays at 3:30pm in Library Meeting Room, all ages • Toddler Tales: Fridays at 10:30am in the Library Meeting Room, 2 and 3 year olds 100 9th Street NW, Alabaster, AL, 35007. 205-664-6822,

American Village Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535,

Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205-298-9040,

Birmingham Botanical Gardens When visiting the Gardens, be sure to download the treasure map to take with you! www. treasuremapforweb.pdf 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900,

Birmingham Museum of Art Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am-1pm. Bart’s Books. A storytelling program for children ages 4-7. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565,

Birmingham Zoo In-park Special Attractions: • Giraffe Feeding & Keeper Chat, Saturday & Sunday 11am-12pm & 2-3pm, $3. See Griffin, the first giraffe born in a North American accredited Zoo in 2014! • Sea Lion Training, Daily 10am & 2pm • Predator Zone, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am & 3:30pm 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409,

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

Birmingham Children’s Theatre

1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435,

1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181,

McWane Science Center

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute In addition to its regular schedule during the week, BCRI will be open on Mondays through February 29. 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696,

Going Places. Planes! Trains! Rockets! Cars! Explore this exhibition and discover the technology of transportation. Fly a plane, ride a hovercraft, learn to fly an airship! Member Mondays. Every Monday, McWane Science Center members receive extra perks while visiting! Includes a special

gift for kids when checking in, 30 percent discount on gift shop purchases, $1 small popcorn at IMAX concession stand and a free members-only evening event each month. Also, on the second Monday of each month, McWane opens its doors from 5-8pm for its members. IMAX Movies: National Parks Adventure. Travel over exposed rock faces, down steep mountain cliffs and through other-worldly realms found within America’s most legendary outdoor places. Through March 31. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. Extreme Weather. This movie takes you to the frontlines where few have gone. Travel to the edge of 300-foot-tall glaciers collapsing to massive wildfires and more. Dream Big. This movie showcases engineering’s impressive impact on our world and our lives. From Dubai’s record-high skyscrapers to bridges soaring through clouds, experience the massive scale and forces of nature that challenge engineers. Opens February 22. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300,

Moss Rock Preserve Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141,

Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-620-2520,

Roy Downs Calera Library Story Times: • Family Story Time: Tuesdays at 10am • Sweet Pea (0-2 years old): Thursdays at 9am • Calera Kids (3 and up): Thursdays at 10am • Summer Reading Program: Tuesdays at 5:30pm 9700 Highway 25, Calera. 205668-7200.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264,

Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226,

Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. 205-477-5711,

Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, | 53

poetry party

by Charles Ghigna

Funny Beard Poems Beards have suddenly become all the rage! That means hairy chins are very popular right now. Do you know someone with a beard? Your father? Uncle? Neighbor? Did you know that goats and some animals are born with beards? Sometimes it’s fun to wear a fake beard! Will your friends recognize YOU?

HIDIN’ IN A BEARD Is that you a-hidin’ Inside that big ole beard? I wish you’d hurry up an’ say, I’m getting kinda skeered. Mama said you growed some hair, But I ain’t sure it’s true ‘Cause from out here I cain’t be sure If that in there is YOU! Here’s a poem about bearded goats!

GOATS Goats like kicking Up their heels. Goats like eating Junkyard meals. Goats like playing In the sun. Goats like butting Just for fun. Goats like showing off Their grins Just above their Bearded chins. What else looks like it is wearing a beard? Have you ever seen Spanish moss hanging from the limbs of trees?

SPANISH MOSS Gray as a beard, Curly and thin, It hangs from the trees And blows in the wind.


For more poetry activities, visit the Father Goose website at

Look around. See if you can find

Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines

something that looks like a beard.

that publish poems written by children: • http://www.

Write a bearded poem! 54 | birminghamparent | february 2017,


Explore the technology of transport DESIGNED AND PRODUCED BY




BECAUSE EVERYONE DESERVES TO FEEL AWESOME! The YMCA of Greater Birmingham believes that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, millions of youth today are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.


YMCA of Greater Birmingham

Birmingham Parent Magazine - February 2017 Issue  

Read the February 2017 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues. This issue includes our 2017 Summer Camp Guide and more!

Birmingham Parent Magazine - February 2017 Issue  

Read the February 2017 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues. This issue includes our 2017 Summer Camp Guide and more!