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BACKSEAT BICKERING: How to Cope on the Way to School Rock the Next FUNDRAISER


Product Picks for Parents



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LUNCHBOX? How to Keep Lunch Healthy and Be Sure They Eat It



2015 happyhealthykidsfair2014 Presented by RIVERCHASE GALLERIA, Birmingham


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VITAL SMILES Quality general dental care is vital to your child’s health and happiness, so we work hard to make it available and affordable, for every child age 20 and under in each of our Alabama general dental offices. We are dedicated to providing your child the highest quality care and developing a positive attitude towards good dental care for life. To ensure that every child has access to our services, we accept Medicaid,


HAPPY, HEALTHY KIDS SPONSOR ALL Kids and most insurance, including Blue Cross, Delta Dental, Southland, CIGNA and Aetna. Vital Smiles also provides orthodontics–including braces, retainers and aligners in all our dental offices (except Huntsville). Orthodontia treatment makes children & teenagers look better, feel more confident, and has other important health benefits. All the Vital Smiles orthodontia treatments

ODYSSEY EARLY SCHOOLS Odyssey was created by educators who dreamed of opening an early learning center where children could be nurtured and taught by a highly trained and loving staff. That dream was realized when our Inverness school opened in 1995, and then again in 2001, with the opening of our second school in Trace Crossings. Odyssey’s goal is to create a lifelong love of learning. We have developed our own age-appropriate curriculum, specifically designed


are provided by experienced orthodontists. At Vital Smiles, our success is the result of our teams’ commitment to the values of our organization. Our values allow us to build positive relationships with patients, their families and set a standard of excellence for everyone involved. At Vital Smiles, we think of ourselves as a family, and we hope you’ll consider making us your children’s Dental Home.

@VitalSmilesBham Offices also in Huntsville & Mobile

HAPPY, HEALTHY KIDS SPONSOR to introduce each age grouping to language, reading, math, science and more, so that your child will possess a strong foundation for Kindergarten and beyond. Additionally, we guarantee teachers with four-year education degrees in all preschool classrooms and offer exceptional child-to-teacher ratios. At our schools, you can watch your child’s entire day in live, streaming, HD video over the Internet, through an individual, secure connection linked directly to

your child’s classroom. We want our parents to know what happens during their child’s day, and Odyssey is the only Over-the-Mountain daycare to offer this service. Our team works tirelessly to earn its reputation as the best childcare option for Birmingham parents, and we invite you to visit today to witness for yourself what so many other families have known since 1995! Visit for more information.

Inverness Campus 205-991-0039 Trace Crossings Campus 205-988-8829

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editor’s note 3590-B Hwy. 31 S. #289 Pelham, AL 35124 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 Charles Ghigna, Dr. Vivian Friedman, Janice Greenwood, Dr. Laura Markham, Melissa Schultz-Jones, Paige Townley, Gerry P. Smith, Andy Harris, Margot Gathings, MD

Education for Life

sales Account Executives Kayla Fricks, Brittani Ellison

(Originally published in August 2012)

It’s back-to-school time in Alabama, and though both of mine are in college now, I’ve been thinking a lot about my children’s educations. My thinking has shifted in many ways from simply that bottom line grade and what they’ll make on their ACT tests, to questions like, “Are they prepared for life?” Since they are out on their own, yet still within the safety net of two parents at home to help them if they fall, I wonder if our educational system has prepared them, but have I as a parent prepared them? Do they know how to do their laundry? Go to the doctor alone? Mail a package? Talk to a mechanic to get their car repaired? Pay bills? Cook a roast, or know when to throw it out when it’s too old to eat? Yes, I’m a typical mom. I worry about everything. Can they spot a shyster? Will they give in to peer pressure? Do they really believe the values we instilled in them, and do they have their own faith? Have I taught them a good work ethic? Do they know how to believe in a job/professional setting? Will they be on time, keep appointments and do what they say they will? Will they cheat on a test? Be leaders, or be followers? Be good friends? What am I to do as a parent? I’ve concluded that I continue to parent them, and I do a lot of praying these days! I also have to trust what my husband and I have done with them for the last 18-plus years, and hope we’ve laid a good foundation – along with the many teachers, friends, relatives and others who have been a part of their lives. Most of all, besides having a faith of their own, I want them to be good people, members of the community and good at their jobs – whether that’s as a janitor, an engineer or doctor of a stay-athome mom. I want them to have a good work ethic and know that they must work for what they have – the world does not owe them anything. I guess it’s very similar to my thoughts when they each left for their first days of school more than 12 years ago – will they do well, be safe, be kind to others, make friends? Here’s to you and your children this school year, hoping all the best for them and you.

Happy School Days! Carol Muse Evans publisher/editor Member, Alabama Media Professionals and National Federation of Press Women, member of SAPA 4 | birminghamparent | august 2015

E-BLASTS ARE YOU ON OUR FREE E-BLAST LIST? Join at – click on the top left red arrow to sign up! And congrats to our latest e-blast winner, LaVenia Williams of Birmingham, who won 4 tickets in July to Alabama Splash Adventure.

Webmaster Digital Doo-Wop

art & production Art Director Hilary Moreno Distribution T&P Deliveries 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. or Birmingham Parent is © 2015 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2011 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.

explore experience


At BSC, we prepare the professionals of tomorrow by giving our students every opportunity to apply what they learn to the real world.

Whether it’s an internship, study abroad, research partnership, or service, you’ll find your passion and learn from the very best.

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Birmingham-Southern College

table of contents FREE



22 28 36 34 10


BACKSEAT BICKERING: How to Cope on the Way to School Rock the Next FUNDRAISER Product Picks Parents 20 for LITERATURE RESOURCES To Keep Your Kids Reading


happyhe HAPPY althy HEALTHY kidsfair KIDS


LUNCHBOX? How to Keep Lunch Healthy and Be Sure They Eat It


departments Note 04 Editor’s Education for Life


Parenting with Dr. Friedman

8 Short Stuff 0 in a Book 40 AThePage Night Sky Unfolds in Books

the Specialist: 42 Ask Are You Ready for Another Child?

Perfect: 44 Party The Greatest Baby Shower of Them All!


August 2015 Calendar of Events

Party: 54 Poetry Funny Animal Poems




features Happy Healthy Kids 10 The Education Guide 2015 to Prepare for the 26 How English Section of the Redesigned SAT

8 2 30 What’s in Your Child’s Lunch box? How to Keep Lunch Healthy and Be Sure They Eat It

Homeschool Corner: Literature Resources to Keep Your Kids Reading

Bickering in the Backseat: How to Cope on the Way to School

ON THE COVER: Micah, one of our 2014-2015 Cover Kids winners, age 8, of Birmingham, is getting ready to help pack his back to school lunches by shopping with his mom and sister at Durbin Farms in Clanton for healthy lunch box items. Photo by Meredith Bridgewater and Kim Brantley. Learn more about Durbin Farms at

6 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Rock the Next Fundraiser! Back to School Food Safety Tips

Top Product Picks 36 20 for Parents Rare Disease in the 38 ANEMO Gene Affects One Local Child


Parenting with Dr. Friedman


Our 16-year-old son is an honor roll student and has never been a behavior problem at home or school. He does his chores. He helps take care of his two younger siblings when asked. He drives responsibly and has a part-time job. Other than his job he does not have any interests beyond school. He would like to spend all his time playing computer and video games. If we did not urge him to shut off the games several hours each day, he would play from the time he wakes up until late at night when he finally goes to sleep. We have talked to his friends’ parents and they are all struggling with the same issue. What is a reasonable amount of time for a teenager to spend playing computer and video games each day? Video and computer games are both relaxing and stimulating. They are also habit forming. When you become accustomed to playing computer games, you tend to go back to them. When you spend hours of your life playing games, you are not spending that time in other, more productive ways. Most of the games that teens play are “epic” games with elaborate characters and story lines. Unlike short games like Solitaire or Hearts, which can be used as a brief, relaxing break from work, these epic games promote hours of play, consuming large amounts of time. The task of childhood, from birth to age 19, is to master cognitive, social, fine motor and large motor skills. The problem is not only that your son is playing computer games for many hours but also that he is not engaged in physical or social activity for those hours he plays. The games do not have the play value of a board game where

social interaction is a key part of the play. Many computer games allow you to win all the time. If you don’t win, you can simply reset the game. This does not prepare children for life. There is no give and take. There is no win and lose. (Some role play games have a social aspect.)

Teenagers are more difficult to change. The simplest way to retrieve control is to firmly set a schedule for computer use. Decide how much time you feel is reasonable and design a schedule around his other games and activities. Yet do recognize that he needs some recreational time. No one

If you don’t win, you can simply reset the game. This does not prepare children for life. There is no give and take. There is no win and lose. Most parents agree that computer game time needs to be limited. Like most issues of discipline, this one is best addressed in the early years of life when the child wants to please the parent. By spending time with young children, you can shape their interests and activities. The child who is in band, theater or on a soccer or debate team is not playing games on the computer very often.

can be productive every minute of the day, and he is doing his schoolwork and chores, plus holding a job. It is hard to say exactly how many hours he can safely play games. That really depends upon how much free time is left after his other activities. The key is to balance this passive recreation with development in other areas.

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.

F ASA aspire to

Open house for prospective students

Saturday, November 7

• Attend a session at 9 AM, 10 AM or 11 AM • Learn what ASFA is all about and how to apply • Tuition-free public education in Creative Writing, Dance, Math/Science, Music, Theatre Arts and Visual Arts • Current 6th -10th graders can apply for grades 7-11 • Admission by audition only for the 2016-2017 school year • Questions? Call Jaronda Little at 205-252-9241

ALABAMA SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-9241 | 7

Riverchase United Methodist Day School

short stuff Carpenter’s Hands Helps Needy in a Hands-On Way Home repair ministry builds wheelchair ramp


CONSIGNMENT SALE Sign up begins Monday, August 10th DATES OF SALE:

Fri. Sept 18th 9am-6pm Sat. Sept 19 th 8am-1pm


Children’s Fall & Winter Clothing and Shoes Baby Equipment: Car Seats, Furniture, Toys & More FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL:



of Music and the Arts

John Luther, director of operations for Carpenter’s Hands, a local home-repair ministry based in Avondale, was in for a surprise when he visited a homeowner about building a wheelchair ramp. “When I went to the house, a lady came to the door who I would have estimated was about 70 years old…which puzzled me a little, because the application said the homeowner was 89. She seemed to be in excellent health, so I asked her why she needed a wheelchair ramp. That was when she let me know that it wasn’t for her, but for her mother.” The homeowner, Clairee Washington, is 89 and her mother Virginia Wright is 107 – and although Wright had been using the stairs as recently as four months earlier, she couldn’t any longer. The group built the ramp, enabling Wright to keep living with her family. “It’s a blessing to keep mother here at home,” Washington says. “We love that it makes our home both comfortable and livable for her.” Wright is still very much at home there, and still helps around the house washing dishes and folding laundry. “This is just one of many stories I’ve seen through my job in this ministry,” Luther says. “And this is really what it’s all about…just being the hands and feet of Christ by helping people who are in serious need of home repairs. Or in this case, by building a wheelchair ramp for someone who really needed it.” Carpenter’s Hands is an outreach of Canterbury United Methodist Church and a key part of Avondale Samaritan Place. It operates on donations of funds, materials and tools and depends on volunteers for the majority of its workforce. Home repairs are made at no cost for elderly and low-income families. For information, contact Luther at 205-777-2841 or email To learn more about Carpenter’s Hands, please Adam Guthrie, executive director of Avondale Samaritan Place, at 205-868-3345 or The website is www.

located conveniently off I-65 in Hoover

Private or group music lessons including camps & band leagues, private or group art lessons Sandy (205)327-7287 First 25 signups receive FREE registration

Canvas Academy also presents


Kindermusik with Michele Mulder is excited to offer music classes for children birth to 7 years old

Visit and enroll online Michele (205)-568-6702 Mention this ad & receive $30 OFF tuition

8 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Birmingham Botanical Gardens to Receive $700,000 in Improvements Along with earlier announcements of improvements along the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ roadway perimeter, more improvements are coming. The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens announced it will invest more than $700,000 in improvements that focus on three main goals: pedestrian connectivity, improved security and an improved visitor experience. While all improvements will feature universal design, the most noticeable changes will come on Cahaba Road, the road that separates the Gardens from the Birmingham Zoo. A pedestrian entrance will accompany new signs, bike racks, a map and complete renovation of the gates. On the Lane Park side of the Gardens, a new pedestrian crosswalk will be installed, and a barrier-free path will connect to The Garden Center and areas beyond. New fencing is already in progress. Throughout the Gardens there will be new trash and recycling receptacles, new signage, path repairs, swings and water feature repairs. The Southern Living Garden will receive a new barrier-free path with partial funding from Time, Inc.

short stuff Heads Up, Text Down and Other Safety Ideas for Back to School By JEFFCO Sheriff Mike Hale

Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Opens in Vestavia Hills Healthy Eating Active Living, or HEAL, recently opened its world headquarters in Vestavia Hills. HEAL is a physical education curriculum used in schools across Alabama. HEAL Alabama was formed as a nonprofit in 2007 by founder Christy Swaid with a mission to measurably improve children’s health. In 2015, HEAL served more than 80 schools and 15,000 children in Alabama with an interactive curriculum for physical education teachers.

Birmingham Zoo Receives Grant for New Komodo Dragon Exhibit The Birmingham Zoo was recently awarded a grant from AutoTec, LLC for the zoo’s capital campaign to fund the new Komodo dragon exhibit in the new Asian Passage. The Komodo dragon is one of several new animal exhibits to be included in the Asian Passage.  AutoTec companies provide insurance, credentialing, vehicle history, vehicle inspection and claims administration services to automotive companies. “AutoTec is proud to have been a part of the Birmingham community for over 100 years and we recognize what an asset the zoo is for our 130 employees and their families,” says Charlie Adams, AutoTec director of business development. To date, the zoo has raised $12.3 million of its $15 million goal. In light of this initial success, there is a challenge for the community to “stretch” this goal to $18 million to build out Phase 2 of the Asian Passage, which will include a new tiger exhibit, says Dixon Brooke, campaign chair and retired CEO of EBSCO. “In view of the initial success of our campaign, this stretch goal will make it possible for the zoo to accelerate development of the $2.5 million tiger exhibit, bringing joy to countless numbers of visitors in the years to come.”

As summer draws to a close, backto-school season will soon be in full swing. Remember to safely share the roads with school buses, pedestrians and bicyclists, and provide children with the necessary knowledge to stay safe while walking or driving to and from school. Today, technology and social media play an important part in a young person’s life. But, that same technology can also create safety issues. Sixty-One children are struck by cars everyday. One of the major causes is “distracted walking.” Have them practice “Heads Up...Text Down” when walking to and from school. Teach them to be aware of their surroundings. Nothing is more important than making sure your children arrive safely at home. “Heads Up...Text Down” extends not only to teenage drivers, but to all drivers, especially when in a school zone. It only takes a moment of inattention to result in dire consequences. Let’s all make an extra effort to ensure this year there are zero accidents involving school children. Ensure your children have the knowledge and training to remain safe going to and from school, whether walking or driving.

CONSIGNMENT Upscale Children’s Clothing



BACK TO SCHOOL 33 yrs in business hours: Tues - Sat 10 - 4



Red Mountain Park Begins Segway Tours Red Mountain Park is hosting guided Segway tours along beautiful and historic trails and mining sites. A Segway is a two-wheeled motorized personal vehicle that has a platform for the feet mounted above an axle and an upright post with handles. Tours take off from the Kaul Adventure Tower inside the park, and reservations may be made at 205-2026043 or by visiting This new addition to the park is courtesy of Schaeffer Eye Center. The park is located at 2011 Frankfurt Drive, Birmingham.

Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD

5751 Pocahontas Rd. Suite B Bessemer, AL 35022 p 205-230-9000 f 205-230-0188 | 9


happy,healthykids EDUCATION GUIDE 2015


photo by Kim Brantley


PRIVATE SCHOOLS Advent Episcopal School 2019 Sixth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-2535 Advent, located in downtown Birmingham, offers an advanced curriculum to bright 4K - 8th grade students with superb academic results.  School care offered from 7:15am- 6:00pm. Alabama Waldorf School 1220 50th St. S Birmingham, AL 35222 205-592-0541 The developmentally appropriate, arts-integrated Waldorf curriculum empowers children to become

ing, innovative curriculum, which prepares highly motivated day and boarding students for leading colleges around the world. Integrity Christian Academy 216 Roebuck Dr. Birmingham, AL  35215 205-833-4416 Preschool, kindergarten and elementary classes. ABEKA academic, Bible curriculum and training. Character development and discipline. Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy 5509 Timber Hill Rd.  Birmingham, AL 35242 Phone: 205-995-8709 For 30 years JBMA has equipped children with the essential skills and knowledge they need to thrive as a successful adult. Enrolling toddlers - 8th grade.  Spring Valley School 605 Hagood St. Birmingham, AL 35213 205-423-8660 Spring Valley School’s mission is educating students with learning differences, such as dyslexia and ADHD. Serving students from all areas of Jefferson and Shelby counties. 


confident, capable graduates who know how to think for themselves. Hoover Christian School 2113 Old Rocky Ridge Rd. Hoover, AL 35126 205-987-3376 Solid academics, personal attention, safe environment – Hoover Christian School offers an affordable private school option with a Christ-inspired approach. Fully accredited. Fantastic test scores. Indian Springs School  190 Woodward Dr.  Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-988-3350 Indian Springs School is nationally recognized for its challeng-

10 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-9241 ASFA is a public school for students enrolled in grades 7-12. Admission is by audition in writing, dance, music, theatre arts, visual arts or math and science.

PRESCHOOLS & DAYCARE Covenant Classical School and Daycare Four locations• 25 Southlake Lane Hoover, AL 35244 • 5390 Magnolia Trace Hoover, AL 35255 • 450 Huntley Pkwy. Pelham, AL 35124 • 151 Covenant Way Homewood, AL 35209 205-444-5437 205-620-2626

Prep school with enrollment from infants-kindergarten. We maximize each child’s early school experience to develop well-rounded individuals equipped to succeed at the next level. Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center 2118 Fourth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-322-8310 The Elizabeth Perry Rushton Child Development Center, established in 1995, serves children ages 6 weeks through 4 years, and is accredited by NAEYC. Kindercare 3160 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-822-8110 www.kindercare.com301334/ our-centers/hoover/al/ Dedicated to developing our students to their full potential-physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. We nurture their development with developmentally appropriate hands on activities. La Petite Academy Birmingham locations • 2041 Brookwood Med. Ctr. Dr.  205-879-7615 • 5640 Chalkville Mtn. Rd.   205-856-0948 • 2330 John Hawkins Pkwy.   205-988-4551 • 5198 Valleydale Rd.   205-991-5391 Pelham location • 2825 Hwy.31 S   205-663-4011 Much more than just daycare! At La Petite Academy, we offer developmentally appropriate programs and specialized curriculum for a range of ages, infants and beyond. Odyssey Early Sch​ools EVENT SPONSOR • 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. 

Primrose School of Liberty Park 1800 Urban Center Pkwy. Vestavia Hills, AL 35242 205-969-8202 Primrose School of Meadowbrook 4855 Meadowbrook Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-3020 Primrose School of Riverwoods 501 Riverwoods Ct. Helena, AL 35080 205-685-1905 Accredited private preschool providing premier educational childcare experiences. As The Leader in Educational Child Care ®, we partner with parents to help children build the right foundation for learning.

205-582-9220 For as low as $15, the LRC provides afterschool care, homework help and tutoring to help boost grades and self-confidence in and out of school. Kumon of Hoover 3744 Lorna Road Hoover, AL  35216 205-444-9485


Mathnasium The Math Learning Center 410 Inverness Corners Birmingham, Alabama 35242 (205) 437 3322 Our goal is to significantly increase your child’s math skills and overall school performance, while building confidence and a positive attitude towards math.

Birmingham Southern College 900 Arkadelphia Rd. Birmingham, AL 35254 800-523-5793 Founded in 1856, BSC, a liberal arts school, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools ITT Technical Institute 6270 Park South Dr. Bessemer, Al 35022 205-497-5700 A leading provider of post secondary education degrees in Information Technology, Nursing, Computer Aided Drafting and Design and Medical Assisting and Administration.

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES Alabama’s CollegeCounts 529 Fund 6811 South 27th St. Lincoln, NE 68512 866-529-2228 Alabama’s 529 college savings program. Save any amount that fits your budget. Contributions are Alabama state income tax deductible up to $5,000 (single) and $10,000 (married filing jointly). HHCC: The Learning Resource Center 7001 Crestwood Blvd., Suite 806 Birmingham, AL 35210

Kumon of Greystone 270 Doug Baker Blvd. #400 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-994-7200 The Kumon Method was created to help children of all ages and academic levels succeed— in the classroom and in life.

Spirit of Math Vestavia Hills Campus Now Open! Campus at Birmingham International Church Directly across from Pizitz Middle School 1380 Montgomery Hwy. Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-460-3907 Grades 1 to 8. Exciting, fastpaced after school math classes for high-performing students. Children with above average grades are considered for acceptance. Classes filling quickly, register now! The Tutoring Center 2804 John Hawkins Pkwy. Suite 100 Hoover, AL 35244 (near Academy Sports) 205- 987-9577 One-to-one tutoring designed to help your child develop stronger academic skills, earn better grades, score higher on standardized tests, while gaining confidence, motivation and focus.

OPEN HOUSE August, 11th 2015 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Setting the Standard for over 25 years 43 locations across North America and growing 4927 Placements on International Math Competition Honor Rolls in the past 5 years

Register Now!

Classes begin August 13th, 2015. For 1st - 8th Grades

Classes at: Birmingham International Church 1380 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills 35216. (across from Pizitz Middle School) For Open House RSVP. Email: Phone: 205-460-3907 To Promote Cooperation, Inspire Confidence and Release the Genius in Every Child®

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!

Age appropriate curriculum with individual weekly themes. Internet Video Monitoring provides live streaming video of your child’s classroom. Outstanding play environment, featuring infant, toddler & preschool play structures, overhead awnings, and water features.

Call and schedule your onsite tour today

Inverness Campus: 205-991-0039

Trace Crossings Campus: 205-988-8829


THANK YOU for voting us a 4X favorite Childcare/Preschool in Birmingham Parents’ Family Favorites!

ASK ABOUT OUR $250 Birmingham Parent referral credit | 11

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Happy, Healthy Kids Education Guide 2015 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S


Alabama Pediatric Dentistry Dr. Michelle Bajjalieh 3500 Independence Dr. Homewood, AL 35209 205-802-7277 IRMINGHAM PARENT’S Dr. Bajjalieh strives to make this new journey for your child a fun & rewarding experience. Beautiful new office environment, convenient location. Accepting new patients


Angelica Rohner Pediatric Dentistry            2045 Brookwood Medical Center Dr. Suite 21 Birmingham, AL  35209 205-870-0892 Dr. Rohner is a specialist of pediatric and adolescent dentistry. Our doctor and her professional staff strive to make each dental visit fun and exciting! Dr. Michael Anglin Pediatric dentistry Dr. Erin Nelson Family dentistry 3825 Lorna Road, Suite 206 Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-9800 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-6820 Dr. Anglin has provided quality pediatric dentistry to the Hoover and surrounding communities since 1993. With Dr. Nelson, they offer excellent care for children, adolescents & adults. Lisa Miller Oral Facial Surgery 1 Inverness Center Pkwy. Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-789-5075 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. McCalla Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry 4814 Bell Hill Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-477-8004 Dentistry for children, adolescents and patients with disabilities. Orthodontics for children and adults. We offer traditional metal brackets as well as the clear Invisalign option. Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry Dr. Clark Thomas & Dr. Lauten Johnson • Hoover Location 1015 Brocks Gap Pkwy. Hoover, AL 35244 205-982-0112 • Birmingham Location 3918 Montclair Rd. Suite 206 Birmingham, AL 35213 205-879-6150 Your child’s path to optimum dental health starts here with our kid-friendly staff. Options for in-office sedation or general anesthesia at Children’s Hospital. Pediatric Smiles, LLC 5751 Pocahontas Rd., Suite B Bessemer, AL 35022 205-230-9000 Dr. Tabitha Gatrey provides dental care for children of all ages, including those with special needs. Now accepting new patients. Most insurance accepted.

PT Orthodontics 2034 Patton Chapel Rd. Hoover, AL  35216 205-979-9480 A Smile Can Change A Life!  No down payment options, payments starting at $129 and 8 convenient locations (Hoover, Mountain Brook/Homewood, Greystone, Leeds, Pell City, Hueytown, Gardendale and Jasper). Shelby Pediatric Dentistry EVENT SPONSOR Dr. Richard Baxter 2490 Pelham Pkwy. Pelham, AL 35124 205-419-7444 Our goal is to provide exceptional oral healthcare for infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special needs in a fun & compassionate environment. Now accepting new patients! Vital Smiles EVENT SPONSOR • Midfield 111 B.Y. Williams Sr. Dr. Midfield, AL 35228 205-923-3172(General dentistry) 205-923-3175(Ortho) • Center Point 2302 Center Point Pkwy. Center Point, AL 35215 205-853-9170 • Vital Smiles Orthodontic Office: 2525 Center Point Pkwy. Center Point, AL 35215 205-854-8093 Vital Smiles believes every child deserves a dental home. We strive to make quality general dental care affordable and available to children, 20 years of age and younger.

Open their world to the Arts! Visit us in our new, more convenient location, at the intersection of Hwy 31 & Old Montgomery Highway!

HEALTHCARE AND SPECIALISTS Brookwood Care Network 205-877-8800 An extension of the Brookwood physician family, caring for patients in locations all over town – and backed by the resources of Brookwood Medical Center. Let our Family Care for Yours. Children’s of Alabama EVENT SPONSOR 1600 Seventh Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100 Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient, outpatient, and primary care services throughout Alabama. CHIPS Center 1600 Fifth Ave. S. Suite 100 Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-2751 The CHIPS Center (Children’s of Alabama), approaches child abuse with healing and hopeful hearts. CHIPS provides non-emergency forensic medical exams, counseling and prevention services for free. Med Center Hoover Urgent Care-Family Medicine 1575 Montgomery Hwy. Hoover, AL 35216 205-822-1150 Serving patients in Hoover and surrounding area, our physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine & family medicine. Offering care and treatment for non-life threatening illnesses & injuries.

Enroll them in Birmingham-Southern College’s Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts Lessons are available in piano, voice, violin, guitar, band and much more. Preschool Music Classes are available for 15-month to 5-year-olds. | 205/226-4960

Dr. Michelle Bajjalieh 3500 Independence Drive, Homewood 802-7277


Birmingham-Southern College

12 | birminghamparent | august 2015 Fall 2015_bham parent eighth-pg_BSC.indd 1

7/15/2015 8:35:56 AM


85% of core brain structure is developed by age four.

Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama, P.C. 1425 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S. Suite 206 Birmingham, AL 35205 205-558-3200 With over 20 years of experience in caring for children with kidney disease, Dr. Mark Benfield established Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama in 2010. Accepting new patients.

SPECIAL NEEDS Birmingham Anxiety and Trauma Therapy Dr. Diana Paulk 3499 Independence Dr. Suite 111 Birmingham, AL 35209 205-413-8789 We love children at Birmingham Anxiety & Trauma Therapy! Let our counselors help you with your parenting and improve your children’s lives. Child’sPlay Therapy Center 3057 Lorna Road, Suite 220 Birmingham, AL 35216 205-978-9939

Occupational, physical speech and music therapy, along with academic tutoring. Beautiful facility designed just for kids. Our experienced, loving staff will exceed your expectations! Family Voices of Alabama 1050 Government Lane Mobile AL 36604 251-635-9178 Family Voices of Alabama is the state affiliate of Family Voices, a national grassroots network of families, friends & professional partners who care about children with special healthcare needs. Focal Point - Child’sPlay Therapy Center 3057 Lorna Road, Suite 220 Birmingham, AL 35216 205-968-4157 Focal Point is a program developed to specifically target improved processing, organizational and attention skills for children with ADD or ADHD utilizing cutting edge technologies.


Recommending the right activity at the right time is child’s play. REGISTER NOW FOR FALL 2015! Primrose School at Liberty Park 205.969.8202 |

Primrose School of Meadowbrook 205.991.3020 |

Primrose School of Riverwoods 205.685.1905 | Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and The Leader in Early Education and CareSM are registered trademarks and service marks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2015 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail. | 13

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Happy, Healthy Kids Education Guide 2015 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S

happy,he ykids althAND DANCE


Alabama Ballet​ 2726 1st Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-322-4300 IRMINGHAM PARENT’S Since 1981, changing lives through dance by promoting and fostering the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high-quality performances, dance education, and community outreach.


Alabama Dance Academy Alabama’s Premier Dance School 3221 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-978-6830 A state-of-the-art dance instruction facility in the disciplines of ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical/contemporary and Pilates. Founded by professional ballet dancer Pamela Merkel in 1995. Birmingham Dance Theatre 100 Olde Town Road Ste. 100 Vestavia, AL 35216 205-822-3012 BDT is devoted to aspire all ages to excel in dance. Our purpose is to nurture, educate, guide and encourage all to their personal best. Head Over Heels Gymnastics 500 Caldwell Trace Park Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-2720 Helping children gain fitness, gymnastics skills, confidence and self-esteem for over 20 years! Take classes and celebrate birthday parties at our 14,000 square foot gymnastics facility. JamJev Gymnastics 5539 Parkwood Circle Bessemer, AL 35022 205-426-6550 We specialize in excellent training at JamJev Gymnastics. We offer recreational tumbling, competitive, Parents Night Out and birthday parties. The Dance Foundation 1715 27th Court S. Homewood, AL 35209 205-870-0073 Our non-competitive dance education nurtures creativity, engages the imagination, and promotes social and developmen-

tal skills is a safe and enriching environment for self-expression and collaboration.

ART AND MUSIC The Academy of the Arts at Samford University South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-4049 205-726-2739 Art, Music, and Photography for all ages. Drawing, painting, photography, antiques; Kindermusik; private & group piano, voice, strings lessons, saxophone, clarinet, flute and harp. Birmingham Girls’ Choir 2050 Long Meadow Lane Hoover, AL 35216 205-365-5123 Birmingham Girls’ Choir is auditioning for new members! Contact Pam Walston at birminghamgirlschoir.walston@gmail or www. Come sing with us! BSC Conservatory of Fine and Performing Arts 900 Arkadelphia Rd. Birmingham, AL 35254 205-226-4960 Lessons in piano, voice, violin, guitar. Preschool classes available. Dawson Music Academy 1114 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-7324 Provides a Christian environment for students of all ages to learn about music. Private music lessons for all instruments, Kindermusik and Music League group classes. Kindermusik with Michele Mulder and Canvas Academy of Music and the Arts 2250 Blue Ridge Blvd. Hoover, AL 35226 • Kindermusik: 205-568-6702 • Canvas Academy: 205-327-7287 Kindermusik- Premier Music Program for Children- birth to age 7. For private music/art lessons, call Sandy at Canvas Academy of Music and the Arts.

14 | birminghamparent | august 2015

CHILDREN’S APPAREL AND RETAIL SERVICES Applause Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-STEP Applause has the largest selection of dancewear in the Southeast. Clothing, shoes and accessories for all types of dance that fit toddler to plus size, teams and individuals. Escape Day Spa 100 Broadway Street Homewood, AL 35209 The Korduroy Krocodile Consignment 2912 Linden Ave. Homewood, AL 35209 205-879-0030 For 33 years, Korduroy Krocodile has provided friendly, personalized service in Downtown Homewood. Upscale and affordable kids’ consignment clothing. Open Tues. -Sat. 10am to 4pm. LJ’s Boutique 21 Weatherly Club Dr. Suite 100, Alabaster, AL 35007; 205-746-5158 inside Durbin Farms Market at 2130 Seventh St. S., Clanton, AL 35045; 205-755-1672 We have an undeniable love for everything fashion and will be your new addiction. Inside Durbin Farms-Clanton and around the corner from Joe’s Italian in Alabaster. Riverchase Galleria 2000 Riverchase Galleria Hoover, AL 35244 205-985-3020 Riverchase United Methodist Day School T-N-T Kid’s Consignment Sale 1953 Old Highway 31 Hoover, AL  35244 205-989-8070 TNT is a fundraising event sponsored by Riverchase Day School. Children’s consignment sale held Friday, September 18th ~ 9am6pm and Saturday, September 19th ~ 8am-1pm.

MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205.254.2565 Bart’s ArtVenture combines high tech art-making tools with hands-on creation stations to let kids and families develop their art education in a creative, communal environment. 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. 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.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Christy Pierce Photography, LLC 205-902-0385 Studio/onsite photographer covering the entire state of Alabama & open to travel if needed. Specializes in Family/children & wedding photography. Kim Brantley Photography 615-812-6427 A graduate of Nossi College of Art in digital photography, Brantley works for record labels, modeling agencies and does freelance work in Nashville and Birmingham.

TELEVISION & RADIO Alabama’s ABC 33/40 EVENT SPONSOR 800 Concourse Pkwy Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35244 205-403-3340 WDJC – 93.7 FM EVENT SPONSOR 120 Summit Pkwy., Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35209 205-879-3324 office 205 –327-9352 studio line

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

Dawson Music Academy





The Dawson Music Academy has a place for you!

Individualized lessons with our talented instructors occur 7 days a week. Lessons may be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or evening at the time and frequency to meet your scheduling needs.

In a fun, interactive setting, students explore new ways of making music. Groups range from introductory to advanced, encouraging students to form musicianship skills and make new friends.

Areas of Concentration Brass • Cello • Guitar • Harp Percussion • Piano • Viola Violin • Voice • Woodwinds

Areas of Concentration Drum Circle • Improvisation iSing • Praise Band Basics String Ensemble

We welcome students of all ages and all levels of ability, from the beginner to the advanced. Registration is open year-round for all ages. To register or learn more, please visit DMA at:


Dawson Family Of Faith 1114 Oxmoor Rd . Birmingham, AL 35209 871-7324 . Prayer Line: 795-PRAY

Dawson Family Of Faith • 1114 Oxmoor Road • Birmingham, Alabama 35209 (205) 871-7324 • Prayer Line: (205) 795-PRAY •

Math Help

Math Enrichment

Test Prep

Homework Help

We make math make sense.

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.

“Dr. Miller answered all my questions and made me feel at ease about my child’s surgery. Staff was wonderful. The waiting room has an iPad loaded with games and mega blocks to entertain waiting children.” —ECC

One Inverness Center Pkwy Suite 200, Birmingham, AL 35242 205-789-5075


Call us today for a free trial! Exp. 8/31/2015

410 Inverness Corners Birmingham, Alabama 35242 (205) 437 3322

Fall Classes Begin Saturday, August 15, 2015. | 15

BIRMINGHAM-SOUTHERN COLLEGE BSC: Preparing the professionals of tomorrow You can go anywhere for a college degree. At Birmingham-Southern College, we’re committed to offering you the hands-on experiences you’ll need to succeed—no matter what field you choose. Our unique January term gives you four weeks of flexibility to pursue your dreams, and our top-notch academic programs will give you the skills to succeed. At BSC, you’ll: EXPLORE the world and discover your own passions. You’ll find your own path, all while building the skills today’s employers want. EXPERIENCE learning in a new way. Tackle challenges you never imagined, then take what you learn beyond the classroom. Whatever you choose—an internship, research with a professor, a one-on-one mentorship, a service project, or your own invention— you’ll get the tools you need. EXCEL before graduation and beyond. Our students are among the very best, and our alumni exceed all expectations. U.S. senators, museum directors, prize-winning authors, NASA scientists, attorneys, entrepreneurs, physicians, and more credit BSC for their success. They’re also eager to help you meet your goals. With more than 50 areas of study, we have countless routes to your future. Come see why Forbes magazine so often ranks BSC No. 1 in the state, and the book “Colleges That Change Lives” lists BSC among just 40 schools honored, calling it “what college ought to be.” ARE YOU READY?

900 Arkadelphia Rd, Birmingham, AL 35254 (205) 226-4600 16 | birminghamparent | august 2015

JOSEPH BRUNO MONTESSORI ACADEMY Our educational practices are built around the belief that children are born with the need to explore, discover and a strong desire to learn. We treat their curiosity and creativity with great care, allowing them to explore their interests from an early age. Lessons provided make learning exciting and stimulate desire to find out more. Lessons are given to small groups or individuals, so that they can understand the concepts presented. Our students are our first priority, and we take time to listen and help them find answers. Older students learn through seminars, lab experiments, and hands-on projects. Reading, research, and discussion are important parts of our curriculum. At Bruno Montessori Academy, we encourage our students to develop independence, responsibility, resourcefulness, and organizational skills. In the Lower Elementary, students learn to use individual work plans listing their weekly goals. When you visit JBMA, you see students working individually and cooperatively, enjoying the total learning experience. The enthusiasm must be seen to be believed! Children learn the importance of respect for one another and for their class environment. Our high expectations for the students teach them to set higher standards for themselves. JBMA currently serves toddlers to the 8th grade.

205-995-8709 or visit 5509 Timber Hill Road, Birmingham, AL 35242

SPIRIT OF MATH Over 25 years later and after much development, Spirit of Math is growing stronger. From its beginnings in the basement of Kim Langen’s home in Canada, it has grown to over 5,500 students at more than 40 campuses across Canada and has now branched into the US with 3 campuses. Students studying math using the unique Spirit of Math method continue to place on National and International contest honor rolls, some receiving perfect scores every year. This last year alone there were over 1500 placements on these honor rolls. At Spirit of Math, students learn more than just math; with the combination of problem solving, drills, an intense core program and corporative group work, students are being developed to be future leaders. Just to be considered for the program students must have a B+ or higher overall average. Spirit of Math classes are held for grades 1 through 8 in Vestavia.




Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is a dental specialty, focused on surgical treatment of disorders in the head and neck region, specifically the mouth and teeth. 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. Dr. Miller’s team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of surgical care and customer service for all of her patients. From your initial appointment through your final follow up visit, we are committed to exceeding your expectations. We look forward to meeting you soon!

One Inverness Center Pkwy, Suite 200, Birmingham, ​​ AL 35242 205-789-5075 -


virtual education expo Find a great school, educational resource or after school activity all school year long with our

VIRTUAL EDUCATION EXPO online at education_guide/ Want your business or service listed here with a virtual booth?

Contact us at or call us at 205-987-7700.

For 111 years, Vulcan has embodied the story of Birmingham. At Vulcan Park and Museum, we bring this story to life for students through tours, exhibits, and live theater performances. Enrichment activities and outreach programs enhance the experience. Our educational programs excite students through inquiry-based learning and serve students of all ages and learning styles. Guided museum tours allow students to explore the Birmingham’s history through grade-appropriate instruction and indoor and outdoor activities. Aligned with the Alabama Course of Study, content covers several classroom subjects, with an emphasis on social studies. Each group has the chance to ascend Vulcan’s observation tower for an unforgettable view of the region. Vulcan Park and Museum is committed to carrying its educational mission beyond the boundaries of the park and offering assistance to resource-challenged schools. The Camps and Clubs program is ideal for camps, scouts and after school programs. Each session lasts two hours and includes an opening craft, a thematic tour and a hands-on, minds-on activity. Teachers select from five program themes including History Mysteries, Going Green, Vulcan’s Visionaries, Building Birmingham, and Iron Kids. Guided Tours and Camps and Clubs should be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Bookings are made on a firstcome, first-served basis. Please contact the Educational Program Coordinator at or 205.933.1409 x29. Vulcan Park and Museum is a great place for educational activities and field trips and should be a students’ initial gateway to learning our region’s history. Schedule your visit today and introduce your class to Birmingham’s biggest ambassador!

Educational Program Coordinator 205.933.1409 x29 1701 Valley View Dr Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 933-1409 • | 17

What’s in Your Child’s

LUNCH BOX? How to Keep Lunch Healthy and Be Sure They Eat It By Carol Muse Evans

18 | birminghamparent | august 2015


It’s great to let your children help pick healthy items for their lunch boxes, and farmers’ markets like Durbin Farms in Clanton are fun places to do it.

With the return to school comes the return of the dreaded “school lunch” dilemma. What can I put in my child’s lunch box that will be both something nutritious, and my child will actually EAT? Experts say with a little creativity and you child’s input, you can make lunch time and the lunch box an enjoyable adventure and eliminate the trading and throwing away of food sent to school.

Make Sandwiches and “Finger Foods” Easy to Handle “Children and adults alike love to eat with their hands,” says Janet Little, nutritionist for Sprouts Farmers Markets. “Think of finger food, and think small….smaller sandwiches on whole wheat bread with lean chicken or turkey slices, small bean and cheese burritos.” Rainie Carter, registered dietician, Children’s of Alabama, suggests using sandwich or cookie cutters to make those little sandwiches both easy to handle and appealing to eat. “Also, prepackaged lunches/lunch meats tend to have extra fat and sugar,” Carter points out. Try to go with low-fat luncheon meat for better nutrition. And don’t feel limited to sandwiches. If a child doesn’t like a sandwich, pieces of string cheese, low-fat meat, fruits and vegetables along with crackers or whole wheat bread make an excellent lunch. There is nothing “magical” about a sandwich. “Hummus, tortillas and wraps can be other great ways to present lunch,” Carter adds.

Small peppers, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and edamame all make wonderful foods that can be dipped in hummus, and most kids love hummus.

Pack Color Beautiful fruits and veggies in many colors can be both nutritious and offer a lot of variety. Blueberries, grapes, tomatoes, little peppers – all these can be beautiful to look at and fun to eat. “Kids love things on a stick,” Carter says. Consider making a kabob of fruits, vegetables or even cheese cubes, etc. “Kids like to scoop, too,” Little adds. “Small peppers, baby carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and edamame all make wonderful foods that can be dipped in hummus, and most kids love hummus.” Little reminds moms and dads that if fruit is sent to school but not cut up, many children will not eat it and it may end up in the garbage. “Cut up fruit in bite-sized pieces, or buy pre-cut fruit to ensure your child will actually eat what you send with them,” Little says. A little lemon juice will keep fruit from turning brown. Pack Snacks that Pack a Punch While many of the items mentioned here would also make great snacks for snack time and even after school, other items that are great for both the lunch box and snack time are dried fruits, such as raisins, cranberries, dried mangoes, dates and other interested foods, Little points out. Sprouts and other stores offer the bulk items in large bins. Little says this can be a great place to buy these snacks and try small amounts of new items, too. “Trail mixes, peanut butter, almond butter (but be sure of your school’s policy on nuts), granola bars, yogurt, whole grains – all of these are great snacks,” Carter says. | 19

Helpful Sites for Recipes and More:

Keep Drinks Healthy Nothing is healthier than water, says Carter. Sending water to drink is both healthy and easy to keep safe. “Some parents are trying to get their children’s vitamins through juice, but it is better to actually eat the fruit rather than drinking because it has less sugar, and more fiber that will keep them full,” Carter says. A great way to make water more appealing is by freezing berries and putting them into the water, Keefer says. “It gives the water color, flavor and keeps the water cool. “When sending juice, be sure to choose 100 percent juice,” Little says. “With milk, go with fat free or 1 percent milk. Don’t send sodas.”

How to Pack It Food safety is very important. Neglected it can mean illness for your child. Both Carter and Little suggest using an insulated lunch box and a freezable ice pack throughout the year, along with maybe a small thermos for soups in the winter. “A great way to pack a lunch is with the bento-style lunch containers,” says Amanda Keefer, director of marketing communications for Produce for Kids, an in-store campaign by Publix supermarkets. “These containers have compartments so you don’t have to deal with a lot of baggies.” Another safe way to go with sandwiches, Little adds, is by not using mayonnaise. “Consider a spread for a sandwich such as avocado or hummus, “she says. “Your child may like the taste better; it will offer more nutrition and be safer.” Freeze a water bottle or even yogurt as an “ice pack,” Carter adds. “This adds a cold drink to the lunch and makes the yogurt almost like a dessert – but much more nutritious.”

Make It a Family Affair Getting your child involved in choosing lunch items means a better chance of them not only eating their lunch, but maybe even trying some new things. “Take your child shopping with you when you can,” Little says. “Let them make some of the selections for their lunch box.” “I know taking your child to the grocery store may not be the greatest idea,” Keefer adds, “but consider a trip just to purchase lunches…when kids have helped build something, they are more likely to be proud of it and eat it.” “Give your child options,” Carter adds. “Dessert doesn’t have to be every day and you don’t have to send it daily in a lunchbox. You can give them choices, but maybe offer two options of fruit from which to choose, etc.” If you child is a fan of prepackaged “lunches” with ham and cheese, for example, you can even create and build your own, Keefer adds, giving them more nutritious ingredients, and those that they like. Carol Muse Evans is publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent.

For information about food safety, see page 30. For great lunchbox recipes, visit

SCHOOL PARENTS ALWAYS INVITED BACK WITH THEIR CHILDREN Conveniently located next door to Valley Elementary on Hwy. 31

2490 Pelham Parkway • Pelham, AL 35124 RICHARD BAXTER, DMD, MS

205-419-7444 • 20 | birminghamparent | august 2015 Call 205-987-3376 to arrange a personal visit. You’ll discover a school where Christ-inspired creativity & compassion lead to academic success.

2113 Old Rocky Ridge Road Hoover, Alabama 35216




Welcoming children 6 months & older.


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1015 Brocks Gap Pkwy Hoover, AL 35244

3918 Montclair Rd. Suite 206 Birmingham, AL 35213


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• Reading Intervention with CALT Specialist • Small Class Sizes 8:1 Student Ratio • Educating Students with: Dyslexia, Language-based Learning Differences & ADHD • Openings Available 2nd - 12th grade

Dr. Laura Fiveash, Executive Director


Learn more about us - visit our website

Lupus | 21

Illustration by Melissa Schultz-Jones


BACKSEAT: How To Cope On the Way To School By Dr. Laura Markham 22 | birminghamparent | august 2015

It’s finally the first day of school. Your children are so excited that they took forever to fall asleep last night. They struggled this morning over what to wear. They barely picked at that healthy breakfast you got up early to make for them. Their excitement is tinged with nervousness, naturally. And who better to take it out on than their brother or sister, sitting next to them in the back seat?


“I wonder what Mrs. Jones will be like. Is she strict?”

SAVANNAH: “She’s mean. All the kids say so.” MASON:

“Oh, no! I hope she’ll like me.”

SAVANNAH: “She won’t. Nobody likes you.” MASON:

“They do, too! Last year, Mrs. Wright liked me!”

SAVANNAH: “That’s because you’re a goody two-shoes. And they don’t really like you.” MASON:

“Mom! Do people like me?


“Of course they do, Mason. Savannah, stop being mean to your brother. Let’s everybody be nice and have a nice drive to the first day of school.”

SAVANNAH: “I’m just telling the truth.” (Makes a nasty face at Mason.) MASON:

“You meany!” (Shoves at Savannah)

SAVANNAH: “Mooommmmm! He hit me!” MOM (Yelling): “Okay, that’s it! No TV tonight for either of you. And no more talking! If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!” | 23

How to put that all together? Let’s rewind. MASON:

“Mom! Do people like me?”


(Taking a deep breath and intentionally calming her voice) “Mason, it’s natural to be a little worried on the first day of school. You had a great year last year with Mrs. Wright. She loved having you in her class. You can make it a great year this year in Mrs. Jones’ class, too, even though there will be new things to get used to.”

(Setting the limit and empathizing at the same time) “Savannah, I hear you saying things that could be hurtful to Mason. I wonder if you might be a little worried, too. The first day of school is hard on everyone. I would love to hear how you’re feeling about starting fourth grade.”

SAVANNAH: “Mom, I’m just telling the truth. Some of the teachers ARE mean.” MOM:

Before you know it, you’re yelling. By the time they get out of the car, the kids are sullen. Your plans for a peaceful start to the day just evaporated before your eyes. Backseat bickering can completely ruin your morning. Luckily, there are things you can do to turn the tide when the tone gets tense in your car. Calm yourself. It’s natural to get angry when your children are mean to each other. But indulging your temper just inflames the storm. Instead, remember that your goal is restore a sense of safety for both children. So take a deep breath and remind yourself that there’s no emergency. Your tone will be warmer and more soothing, which gives you a chance to calm the storm.

SAVANNAH: “Mom, fourth grade is hard. They give you lots of homework. That’s what all the kids say.” MOM:

Get your kids laughing by saying something ridiculous. When kids are anxious, they tend to lash out. Take the edge off their worry by getting them laughing, which transforms their body chemistry, reducing stress hormones and increasing “feel-good” neurotransmitters. Of course, you don’t want them to feel ridiculed, so first empathize with their concerns. And make yourself the object of the humor, so they’re not laughing at each other. This also helps your children work through the universal fear that they themselves might get laughed at.

(Empathizing and reassuring, but encouraging Savannah to share more concerns) “It could be worrisome, to hear that from the other kids. Don’t worry, I will help you to manage your homework. What do you know about your teacher?”

SAVANNAH: “Mr. More? The kids say he’s funny. But mom, what if he’s mean?” MOM:

Connect with both children, using empathy. Most of the time, kids bicker when they’re worried, bored, or still mad about something that happened previously. If you address the reason, you can stop the fight before it starts. Set limits and enforce family rules about kindness. Every home needs a few clear rules about how people in the family treat each other, and “we’re kind” is one of the most important. Interrupt unkind remarks to set a clear standard for civility. All children will get mad at each other – conflict is a part of every human relationship – but they can be encouraged to express their needs and wants without attacking the other person. Of course, when you set the limit, stay kind yourself. Children learn from our role-modeling how to handle the problems they have with other people. And they’re more likely to follow your limits if you can stay connected while you set them.

“I understand that not all the teachers are as nice as Mrs. Brown from last year. But all of them want to help you learn…Savannah, it sounds like you might be a bit nervous about what YOUR new teacher will be like.”

“That’s scary to think about….But he could turn out to be great, your favorite teacher of all. We just don’t know yet. It’s okay to be a little worried, but why not hope for the best? I have an idea for both of you. Why don’t we all take three deep breaths, and make a loud ahhh when we let them out? That will calm us down. Then you can go into the school feeling more hopeful.”

MASON AND SAVANNAH (together): “Mom, you’re weird!” MOM:

“That’s me….the optimistic weird mom! Do you think I should come into the school and sit and do my deep breathing in the front hall? Would that calm everyone’s first day jitters?”

MASON AND SAVANNAH (laughing): “Mom, that’s crazy! Don’t you dare!” MOM:

“Okay, I won’t do that. But let’s do it now... three deep breaths. I want to hear your loud ahhh when you let your breath out, okay? Can you two work together to make a louder noise than me?”

Notice what Mom did here to turn this around? She set a limit on the mean teasing. She empathized with both children, even the one who was starting the fight. She got them laughing to defuse the tension. And she gave her kids a tool to manage the emotions that were otherwise driving them to fight with each other.

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life. You can find her online at 24 | birminghamparent | august 2015




r ies cc e ss o Dan A cewear & Your One Step to All 1629 Oxmoor Rd Birmingham, AL 35209 Your Dancing 205-871-STEP Needs!

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Offices also in Huntsville & Mobile | 25

college corner

How to Prepare for the English Section of the Redesigned SAT By Janice Greenwood

Many students in Alabama take the ACT, but depending on where your child desires to go to school, the SAT may also be a necessity. Starting in spring 2016, the College Board will be redesigning the format of the SAT. Because many students elect to prepare for the SAT well in advance, students who will be taking the new test may wonder how best to prepare for the changes. In addition to extracurricular activities, college admissions essays, and the rigor and selection of high school courses, SAT scores are an important aspect of a college admissions application. In A is for Admission, Michele A. Hernández , the former assistant director of admissions at Dartmouth College, writes that SAT scores can often be granted greater consideration than a high school transcript, particularly in cases where high schools do not release ranking data, or when students hail from smaller schools. Hernández further explains that the SAT gives admissions officers a national standard by which to judge students. While an “A” in a school in Alabama might not mean the same as an “A” in a school in Florida, where standards may be different, a 2200 on the SAT means largely the same thing.   In the past, many students preparing for the English portion of the SAT memorized long lists of vocabulary words and took mock tests. A student’s 26 | birminghamparent | august 2015

vocabulary could make a huge difference on whether a student broke the 700 barrier. To this end, many students learned word roots and etymology. Popular test preparation books such as The Princeton Review and Barron’s included vocabulary lists of thousands of words. So, how has the English test been changed? For one, students will no longer have to memorize long vocabulary lists. According to the College Board, vocabulary will still be tested, but starting in 2016, a student’s vocabulary will be assessed in the context of reading passages, rewarding students who are close readers, and who have the ability to understand complex sentences and texts from a variety of sources. Students may still choose to study word roots and etymologies, but being a skilled reader able to identify context clues will have more success on the 2016 SAT. According to the College Board, students will also be required to provide support to substantiate their answers, meaning that the test will evaluate a student’s ability to read closely, gather evidence, and identify key points in a text. Students will be required to select a quotation from the passage that best supports answers to prior questions. The College Board also announced that the SAT will also use founding documents, such as the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers. The inclusion of these texts takes out some of the guesswork

about the kinds of passages that will be found on the test; it also gives students preparing for the test a clearer reading list to study. So, what are the best ways to prepare for the English sections of the redesigned SAT? For one, the College Board encourages students who are taking the redesigned SAT to stop using flashcards to memorize esoteric words. Instead, students should focus their attention on becoming better close readers. One way students can prepare themselves is by reading the founding documents that will appear on the test and also to focus their attention on English classic literature. Students should also choose books that are appropriately challenging, with sufficiently new vocabulary that can allow them to challenge their reading for context skills. When a student encounters unfamiliar words, he or she should use context clues, when possible, to make an educated guess about the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Afterward, the student should look up the word in the dictionary. One good way to build vocabulary organically is to keep a personal word journal in which new and unfamiliar words are recorded and defined. Over time, a student can build his or her vocabulary significantly using this method. According to the popular guide, Admission Matters written by Sally P. Springer, Jon Raider and Joyce Vining Morgan, the SAT has received criticism for being culturally biased and a poor predictor of college success. In the document Test Specifications for the Redesigned SAT, the College Board explains that its primary motive for redesigning the SAT is to provide a test that can show how likely students are to succeed in college without the need of remedial help. The College Board’s redesign is motivated by the desire to make the test a better predictor of college success and a more valuable tool for admissions officers. The redesign will change the way students study for the SAT, but good study and reading habits also go a long way. By reading challenging books, and by learning new words organically and through the use of context clues, students not only become better readers, but will also improve their SAT scores in the process.   Janice Greenwood is a freelance writer and private college admissions tutor. She graduated from Columbia University with an M.F.A. in creative writing.



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ROCK the Next Fundraiser! By Kerrie McLoughlin

I have to admit I roll my eyes when it’s fundraising time … again. Schools and organizations often hold several fundraisers per year, which ends up being a lot of work for us and for our kids. However, it’s possible for your kid to rock the next fundraiser while saving you the burnout symptoms! Check out these ideas:


I make my son a “cheat sheet” with a written spiel to say to potential buyers/donors in case he gets nervous. On the back are answers to basic questions donors might ask, such as, “When will I get my popcorn? Mid-November. Can I pay you later? Yes.” Know what the fundraising goal is (playground or sports equipment, computers for the classroom, getting to camp, etc.) and answers to questions like, “Who should I make the check out to?”


Set goals. If your child has a goal of selling 100 candy bars and has sold 75, he should tell customers that. You might find someone (like me!) who will buy those last 25 because they want to help your kid out.


Have your child talk to friends in the neighborhood who are selling the same thing so they can each map out their territory instead of inundating every house. Or they could go together (with a parent) and split the sales.


Get together with a group of kids (and parents) selling the same item, and hang out outside a church or grocery store (call and ask first!). Then split the credit for the sales.


Email may seem like the best way to raise funds, but it’s too easy for the recipient to hit the “delete” button. The personal touch will get more sales, even if it does seem a little scary for your child to make phone calls or go door-to-door. And if you dread going door-to-door with her, do what I do when I’m hugely pregnant: go the lazy route and drive!


Repeat after me, kids: “It never hurts to ask.” I admittedly have a soft spot and an open wallet for kids who come to my house to sell in person (see safe fundraising sidebar, please!) because I think it shows courage. Dealing with rejection can be tough, so explain reasons people may say no, like they might be on a special diet, out of work or paying off debt, or they have been inundated with kids coming to their door and have already bought too much.


A lways carry fundraising materials with you. Hit people up when you go to the dentist, doctor, family events, your mom and/or dad’s workplace.


Parents, decide now if you want to make your child solely responsible for fundraising. I take my kid to his dad’s work to have him sell, but it does take a lot of time because everyone likes to chat him up. We go around lunchtime to hit up the workers who are staying in, and then maybe again after work is getting out. This may totally annoy your coworkers, so you may want to just put an order form in the break room if that is allowed. 28 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Repeat after me, kids: “It never hurts to ask.”

OUR PASSION IS OUR PURPOSE Christ-centered Character Development and Classical Education for Children


Keep good records to make the next fundraiser a snap. Copy order forms before turning them in, then make notes on your copy about who was open to donating and who should be skipped next time. If your child comes across someone who just can’t get enough coupon books, for instance, (maybe they purchase many of them to give away as Christmas gifts) approach that person first when the next coupon book fundraiser comes along.


I make sure my sons tell every potential donor that they have the option of writing a check directly to the organization and foregoing something they might not need. After all, the purpose is not to earn prizes, but to raise money for a worthy cause or goal.


Finally, consider rockin’ just one fundraiser per year instead of hiding from the principal, coach or head of the organization all year trying to skip out on every single fundraiser. Your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers will likewise not hide from you all year! Kerrie McLoughlin is the mom of 5 and author of “Make Money to Write About Your Kids.” She also blogs

Dealing with rejection can be tough, so explain reasons people may say no, like they might be on a special diet, out of work or paying off debt, or they have been inundated with kids coming to their door and have already bought too much.

Safe Fundraising Don’t ever sell alone (this goes for tweens and teens, too). Do not go inside any house, no matter who lives there. Trust your gut and run away if something feels uncomfortable. Don’t sell after dark, even with a parent. Don’t carry cash. Give it to your parent to stash away until it’s time to turn it in.



30 | birminghamparent | august 2015

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SEND US YOUR SCHOOL NEWS We welcome photos, too, but be sure you have the rights to the photo before sending and include any caption or photo credit we should include. There is no guarantee about what news items we will use – we are limited by our space restrictions, but will try to include all we can! Deadline each month is the 10th prior to the month of the magazine.



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homeschool corner


to Keep Your Kids Reading By Andy Harris

Literature is one of the pillars of any educational system, and of course the key to literature is reading a lot of books. Fortunately, many of the great books we often want our children to read and hear are available for free if you know where to go. There is certainly value in traditional paper books, but it’s also possible to supplement traditional materials with e-books and other online resources. You do not need a specialized e-book reader to read literature online. Most of the resources I describe in this article can be read on a computer, a tablet, or even a phone. U.S. copyright law allows books to be released into the public domain sometime after the author has died. (The exact time span has changed through the years, but is now 70 years after the author’s death in most cases). This means that a book that was written before the 1930s may be available free. Not every book that is in an electronic format is available free. However, there are many resources for purchasing e-books online legally, including, the iTunes store, and more. For this article, I will focus on the free resources you might not already know about.

Near the borders of a large forest dwelt in olden times a poor wood-cutter, who had two children—a boy named Hansel, and his sister, Grethel. They had very little to live upon, and once when there was a dreadful season of scarcity in the land, the poor wood-cutter could not earn sufficient to supply their daily food. One evening, after the children were gone to bed, the parents sat talking together over their sorrow, and the poor husband sighed, and said to his wife, who was not the mother of his children, but their stepmother, “What will become of us, for I cannot earn enough to support myself and you, much less the children? what shall we do with them, for they must not starve?” “I know what to do, husband,” she replied;

“early to-morrow |morning we will take the 34 | birminghamparent august 2015

children for a walk across the forest and leave them in the thickest part; they will never find

Project Gutenberg Any discussion of literature on the web must begin with Project Gutenberg. The basic idea of this project is to gather all the literature that is in the common domain and make it available to anyone. The result is an excellent online library consisting of thousands of books in many languages. Check out the site to get a feel for the various offerings on this incredible site. Most of the books on this site can be downloaded in a number of formats that can be read on a normal computer or any e-reader. Since the site focuses on books in the public domain, these tend to be older books. Many of the classic books you may want to assign for a literature class will be available on this site. Note that the

site offers a wide variety of books, and not all topics are suitable for children. You will definitely want to be with children as they look for materials on the site. (There are no objectionable images or words on the site itself, but there are some works with prurient content in the archive). Baldwin Online Children’s Literature Project This wonderful resource contains hundreds of children’s books (mostly from the 1930s and earlier). Although most of the titles will not be not familiar to modern readers, you are likely to find interesting books to read together. The history section is especially interesting.

Life Success through Academics and the Arts – Early Childhood through Grade 8 – LibriVox Audio Books This site offers an interesting alternative: free audio books. While these books are available as downloads that are quite a bit larger than their more traditional cousins, audio books can offer lots of fun for long car rides or while you are commuting. All of the books are read by volunteers, so the quality can vary, but reading part of a classic book to add to the archive might be a very interesting project. It’s possible to download an entire book at once or to subscribe to it as a podcast. Bibliomania Bibliomania is an interesting site that gives you access to a number of the same e-books that are available on the other sites. The most intriguing part of the site consists of the other resources, including a teacher’s research center, study guides (many written by Oxford scholars), and research resources. Free Video Lectures A number of universities have begun releasing videos of popular courses online for free. The website has complete courses on a number of interesting literature topics, from Dante to the New Testament.

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Study Guides There’s always debate about whether students should read study guides. Personally, I think they can be helpful after reading a book but are no substitute for reading the actual work. Still, they can be useful, and students will definitely find them, so parents or teachers should know about them. This site features nice guides for many works. Each book includes overviews, character summaries, and discussions of themes and concepts in the book at hand. Shakespeare Resource Center A study of Shakespeare’s works is important in any literature program, and additional resources can help students get a more complete appreciation of those works. The Shakespeare Resource Center offers a number of helpful tools for studying these works, including synopses of every play, a detailed biography of Shakespeare, a series of resources about Shakespearean language, and a number of interesting essays and articles about the Bard of Avon and his works.

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Andy Harris is a homeschool dad, father of four great kids, and husband to the greatest homeschool teacher ever. He has taught all ages of students, from kindergarten to university level. Harris is the author of a number of well-known books, including HTML/ XHTML/ CSS: All in One for Dummies, Game Programming— The L Line, PHP6/MySQL Programming for the Absolute Beginner, and Beginning Flash Game Programming for Dummies. For more information, visit | 35

36 | birminghamparent | august 2015 | 37

your child’s health

Photos courtesy of Julie Brasher

A Rare Disease in the NEMO Gene Affects One Local Child By Paige Townley

For most any first-time parents, adjusting to life with a newborn means sleepless nights, uncertainty and constant worry. For Julie Brasher and husband George Metcalf, welcoming baby Braxton into the world was also met with the discovery of a rare disease. “My whole pregnancy, no one had any idea that he was sick,” says Brasher. “By my last month of pregnancy, he just stopped growing. He wasn’t gaining any weight. But I

Children’s of Alabama and found that, again, his white blood cell count was extremely high. While they were able to get that count down and send Braxton home, it wasn’t long before he had another issue that required readmission to the hospital. “About every two weeks or so Braxton was being readmitted into the hospital,” Brasher says. By February 2014, doctors discovered that Braxton’s recurrent health problems

“We know that Braxton will not be able to do a lot of things that most children do, but we are just hoping that the bone marrow transplant will help Braxton live a half-way normal life — we’re hopeful that he can improve. And we’re hoping that his experience can help another child one day.” delivered and everything looked fine.” While Braxton was born a little early – at 36 weeks in November 2013 – no problems were noticed at first. “While still in the hospital he got an infection and his white blood cell count was extremely high – off the charts high,” Brasher explains. “Then just over a month later, he got a small scratch on the top of his head and it turned into a staph infection.” Doctors quickly admitted Braxton into 38 | birminghamparent | august 2015

could be the result of NEMO syndrome, a rare and complex disease caused by genetic mutations in the NEMO gene. After two months of waiting for the results to come back, the couple received the news that Braxton did have NEMO syndrome. “I got the phone call saying it was positive for NEMO and to bring Braxton back to the hospital,” Brasher says. “It was quite a shock. We were in denial at first that it was so serious, but we finally came to terms with it.

When you go into labor and have your child, you just expect to take him home a few days later and everything be okay. But that’s not what we got to do. We have practically been in the hospital ever since. It’s extremely hard, both emotionally and physically.” While NEMO syndrome is actually in all cells of the patient’s body, it severely affects the immune system, making the patient more susceptible to infections. The incidence rate of the newly discovered disease is approximately one in a million, says Dr. Frederick Goldman, Braxton’s doctor. “The severity of a patient’s symptoms is dependent on the amount of NEMO protein they have,” he says. “A patient with a very low amount of NEMO protein will have much more severe symptoms presented much earlier in life and have a more serious prognosis. In severe cases like Braxton’s, it’s picked up early on in life because of the recurrent infections that he continued to have despite what seemed to be adequate treatment.” There is no definitive cure for NEMO syndrome, but in the last five years doctors have discovered that a bone marrow transplant can help. “The bone marrow transplant is to help the immune system fight off infections caused by NEMO,” he says. “Immune deficiency patients, including NEMO patients, could not survive without the transplant. They would be too susceptible to infections. We believe the bone marrow transplant helps control

the infections patients are predisposed to. Our hope is that the patient will experience fewer infections after the transplant.” While the transplant can help the immune system fight off infections and even cure that one particular issue, Goldman also notes that the transplant cannot fix all problems caused by the disease, such as skin problems, thin hair, poor growth and misformed teeth. “With NEMO, every cell of the body is impacted by the lack of the NEMO protein, and the bone marrow transplant is specifically for helping the immune system,” he says. “It’s important to remember that with a syndrome you have an association of multiple problems. There are many aspects with NEMO that unfortunately aren’t able to be cured.” Because NEMO is such a new and rare condition, Goldman estimates that there have been approximately 30 NEMO patients that have received bone marrow transplant in the world. Braxton was added to that list in August 2014. While he is still experiencing infections and other issues, and still spending much time in the hospital, his family remains hopeful that the transplant will help Braxton’s condition eventually improve. “We know that Braxton will not be able to do a lot of things that most children do, but we are just hoping that the bone marrow transplant will help Braxton live a half-way normal life,” Brasher says. “We’re hopeful that he can improve. And we’re hoping that his experience can help another child one day.” Paige Townley is a Birmingham-area freelance writer.

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By Gerry P. Smith

The Night Sky Unfolds in Books While evening cloaks the details of the world from sight, the glowing objects in the night sky offer perpetual wonders for human eyes – young and old. It’s a moving moment when our children spy the moon for the first time, small hands pointing toward something constant yet so very distant. As their awareness of the night sky grows, they begin to discern stars and the patterns they form as our small blue dot tumbles through the cosmos. Following in the footsteps of astronomers from ancient times to the present, a child’s fascination with celestial bodies can introduce them to universal knowledge and undiscovered marvels. The following titles celebrate the night sky and will have young readers looking up from the pages to find their own stories written in the stars.

Moonday By Adam Rex (Hyperion / Disney)

Hello, Moon! Can we talk? I get lonely down here sometimes. What I want to know is... Hello, Moon! By Francesca Simon and Ben Cort (Scholastic)

While the moon in the sky is a common sight that is shared by everyone in the world, it’s not uncommon to sky watchers to feel a singular connection with it – as one person looking up at one moon. For one lonely little boy, seeing the moon through his bedroom window ignites a host of questions about what the moon sees and does. He wonders if the moon likes animals (the boy does). He asks if the moon can see the sea – and under it. The boys want to know if the moon has friends among the constellations. While the moon smiles gently down, no answers are forthcoming. And that’s okay. Simply being a constant and familiar presence in the boy’s life, the moon provides the quiet comfort for the boy to ask the questions that spark his own imagination as he drifts off to sleep. Hello, Moon! is an ideal bedtime read for a full moon night! 40 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Gazing out of the car’s back windows on a night ride home is familiar territory for young passengers. But when one young girls spies the moon keeping pace during the drive home, her sleepy musings of a bright orb that follows her home becomes all too real. She awakes to find the moon looming large in her backyard, and her town is caught in a day without morning. No one in her community is fully awake, tides laps into the neighborhood, and only another night journey with her family can put the moon back where it belongs. Rex’s artistic gifts with illumination come to the fore against the dark of this extended night. Combined with his eclectic style of storytelling, Moonday is a sumptuous feast for both the eye and the mind. A brilliant inspiration for young stargazers, this title is likely to launch endless lunar journeys in the imagination of every young night rider.

Henry’s Stars By David Elliot (Philomel / Penguin)

Ancient astronomers looked toward the night skies discerning patterns among the stars, and they named these constellations after animals and heroes familiar to them (which, of course, varied from culture to culture). With a nod to the history of heavenly perceptions, this title opens with a stargazing pig named Henry who begins to connect the evening stars and discovers “The Great Pig in the Sky.” With enthusiasm, he runs to his neighbors on the farm to share his revelation. But as he encourages them to look skyward, each animal sees something different. From “The Great Sheep” to the “The Starry Cow” each barnyard friend sees the constellation through his own frame of reference and names it thus. As Henry leaves the animals arguing about the stars they see, his joy over his discovery is dimmed. But when he’s alone again and looks up, his own eyes confirm what he knew all along. Ideal for kids who want to make their own connections with the night sky, Henry’s Stars will encourage them to make their own celestial discoveries!

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If you would like your kid to be a Birthday Kids contestant, complete and send this form, along with a recent photograph of your child (photos will not be returned) to Birthday Kids, Birmingham Parent, 3590-B Hwy. 31 S., #289, Pelham, AL 35124. Child must be 13 and under to win. By entering, contestants and their parents or legal guardians release the photo to Birmingham Parent with no further obligation to Birmingham Parent, and give consent to Birmingham Parent to reproduce and publish any photographs submitted whether or not the entry is chosen as the winner. All entries must be signed by parent/guardian. Employees of Evans Publishing and contest sponsors are not eligible. Sept. entries much be received by Aug.12, 2015. Entries can be sent ahead for later months.

Child’s Name _______________________________________________ Child’s Age __________ Birthday ______________________________ Address ___________________________________________________ City _______________________________ Zip ____________________ Phone _____________________________________________________ Email _____________________________________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature __________________________________

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Are You Ready for Another Child? By Margot Gathings, MD

After your first child was born, you probably learned to sing “Rock a Bye Baby” and recite the entire book Good Night Moon from memory. You stayed up countless nights and changed more diapers than you care to count. Are you ready to go through it all again? For some parents the answer is a resounding “yes.” But for others, that question may be a bit tougher to answer. Here are a few things to consider when deciding to add to your family. SPACING BETWEEN PREGNANCIES Parents with children who are close in age enjoy having them play together and be interested in the same activities. As an added plus, parents get all their childrearing done in the shortest time. Alternatively, parents may want to space children further apart so each child gets more one-on-one parent time. From a research perspective, according to studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, women who became pregnant less than 18 months or more than five years since their last pregnancy had a higher chance of giving birth prematurely.

Margot Gathings, MD

PREPARING FOR A NEW SIBLING An ideal time to bring home a new baby is when the first child is under age one or over four. Most babies less than a year old are not aware they have their parents’ undivided attention so they are less likely to take exception to a new sibling. Children over the age of four have already enjoyed being the center of their parents’ attention and usually are beginning to have a life of their own by going to school and making new friends. PLANNING FINANCIALLY Being able to afford another child can be the deal-breaker for some parents since raising a child to the age of 18 costs approximately $241,080, which translates to about $301,970 when adjusted for inflation. GETTING OLDER Age matters, especially for women. One in seven babies today are born to women over 35. Most have uneventful pregnancies and healthy babies, but compared to younger women they may have a harder time getting pregnant and run a higher risk of having a baby with certain birth defects. Their risk of miscarriage is higher, they are more likely to have Cesarean delivery and they run a higher chance of developing complications during pregnancy, such as gestational diabetes, placental problems or premature birth. It is important that both parents agree on having another child. Whether you are thinking about having your second (or sixth) baby, caring for a newborn brings added responsibility and, yes, the return to sleepless nights. In the end, the decision is yours. It is one that cannot be determined by dollar signs or diapers, but in the intangible rewards of parenthood.

42 | birminghamparent | august 2015

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party perfect

THE GREATEST BABY SHOWER OF THEM ALL! Talk about a fun afternoon “Under the Big Top!” Guests gathered to celebrate a sweet mommy-to-be at a vintage circus baby shower. Guests couldn’t stop talking about the chance to indulge in the showstopper dessert table that included marquee letters to highlight the area. The dessert table was full of circus goodies including popcorn balls, peanuts, chocolate bars and beautiful cookies that displayed tightrope walkers, circus animals, and the baby’s initials. While those goodies were a big hit, it was the cake that caught everyone’s attention. “This was definitely one of my favorite cakes to decorate, and it goes to show just how elaborate baby shower cakes have become,” says Kristal Bryant, owner of K & J’s Elegant Pastries. “The elements in this cake were very distinctive, and guests were left wondering “is it edible or just for décor?’” At seven layers high, this one-of-a-kind cake definitely lived up to the circus hype! While the dessert table set the tone for the 44 | birminghamparent | august 2015

decor, the guest tables held their own as well, with bright red linens to coordinate with the red, black, and teal color scheme. The tables were topped with vintage black/white striped umbrellas to create an “Under the Big Top” setting. And what’s “Under the Big Top?” The circus! The serving tables were lined with cute vintage circus trains. For the round tables large animals were displayed on platforms just like the ones seen at the circus. Each place setting included a top hat with the saying, “Put on your top hat, we’re about to have a ball!” In front of each top hat were pens that looked like magician’s wands to bring in another cool element from the circus. If you would like to create some of these fun elements for your own circus bash as a baby shower or party, visit online vendors such as Oriental Trading and Windy City Novelties. For more information on this soiree and other events, visit

RESOURCES: www.karaspartyideas. com/2014/06/diy-jungle-animalcandle-cupcake-toppers.html https://blog.zazzle. com/2013/05/19/diy-baby-showerseries-flyer-candy-bar-wrappers

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tiny tales

A Charming New Series by Charles Ghigna

Loved by Parents since 1997 Places to Go  Entertainment Party Supplies & Rentals  Facilities  Coupons

a ladies boutique with stylish and affordable fashion

Come see the latest in trendy clothing including Piko tops, tunics and other fashion must-haves, as well as fun jewelry and other accessories. Becky’s at Brookwood Village. Find Becky’s on Facebook at $10 OFF a purchase of $50 or more.

One coupon/person. Does not apply to previous purchases, sale or clearance items. Expires 7.31.15. | 45




Book your appointment online at, or call 877.2880


national classified ads ADOPTION A CHILDLESS Married couple seeks to adopt. Will be hands-on mom/ work-from-home dad. Financial security. Expenses PAID. Lucy & Adam 1-844-275-0355. SAPA A childless young married couple (she 36/he 37 seeks to adopt. Will be hands-on mom & devoted dad. Financial security. Expenses paid. CALL / text Nikki & Adam 1-800790-5260 A UNIQUE ADOPTIONS, LET US HELP! PERSONALIZED ADOPTION PLANS. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, HOUSING, RELOCATION AND MORE. GIVING THE GIFT OF LIFE? YOU DESERVE THE BEST. CALL US FIRST! 1-888-637-8200. 24 hour HOTLINE. SAPA A LOVING, hands-on, childless couple seeks to adopt. Warm, laughter filled home. Financial security. Expenses PAID. Judi & Jamie: 1-888-492-6077 SAPA

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THE ABOVE ADS HAVE NOT BEEN SCREENED BY THE SOUTHEASTERN ADVERTISING PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (SAPA) or BIRMINGHAM PARENT; Therefore, any discrepancies thereof shall not be the responsibility of the aforementioned association or this publication. Your publisher has agreed to participate in this program and run these ads as a service to the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association.

46 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Calendar sponsored by

august highlights BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S

happyhealthykidsfair2015 It’s here! The 2nd Annual Birmingham Parent’s Happy Healthy Kids Fair will be held August 8 from 10am to 4pm at the Riverchase Galleria. Held during tax-free back to school weekend, this event features information about children’s health, activities, insurance, nutrition, baby care, sports safety and more. Free swag bags to first 200 visitors. FREE admission. www.birminghamparent. com. Sponsored by ABC 33/40, WDJC, Children’s of Alabama, Odyssey Early Schools, Vital Smiles & Shelby Pediatric Dentistry.

Photo courtesy of BMA


The Birmingham Museum of Art is presenting Black Like Who? Exploring Race and Representation through November 1. This exhibit surveys a variety of historical and contemporary works by white and black artists, and explores how various representations of blacks in American art have been influenced at particular moments by specific political, cultural and aesthetic interests, as well as the motives and beliefs of the artists.

Have a high schooler to home school? The Homeschool High School Workshop will be held August 29 from 1-4pm at Chelsea City Hall. Informational afternoon covering high school preparation, classes, testing and college prep! Free, but donations appreciated to cover printing costs of materials and the time of presenters. Please make arrangements for young children; teens are welcome to come with parents. Register at 205-2010327, https://homeschoolhighschool. FREE.


The Arc of Shelby County Parent Workshop gives parents the tools they need to help their children navigate “real life” topics and situations. The workshops from 6-8pm August 17 are ideal for parents and family members who have individuals with developmental disabilities to become successful and empowered in their communities. 205-664-9313, FREE.

17 | 47


Calendar sponsored by


Great produce abounds at farmers’ markets like Durbin Farms Market.

1 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 1130 22nd St. South. Rain or shine. Fresh produce and much more.

East Lake Market 8am-noon, East Lake United Methodist Church. Farmers market.

Book Bag Giveaway 9am-noon, Canaan Baptist Church, 824 15th St., Bessemer. Children will receive free book bag with school supplies (while they last, child must be there to receive, first come first served), refreshments, local vendors, face painting, games and more. Benefits grades K-12. canaanbaptistchurch@ymail. com.

Mt Laurel Farmers Market 8am-noon, Town of Mt Laurel. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, 4601 Valleydale Road. McCalla Walla Arts and Music Festival 9am-8pm, Tannehill State Park, 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. Grass-roots arts and

music festival benefits the community and Sugarbelle Foundation, a non-profit helping keep pets and people together. Features talented local/regional artists and musicians, food, fun, children’s activities and more. Tickets $10 adults, $5 children ages 5-12. 205-914-3514. Hikes for Tykes with Fresh Air Family 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Fun and learning for preschool children and their families. www.freshairfamily. org. FREE.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Festival 10am-8pm, Hoover Public Library. A celebration of all things sci-fi and fantasy! Author programs, discussion panels, game playing, nerd trivia, costume contest and more. 205-444-7820. FREE. Down’s Syndrome Alabama Family Fun Day 11am-2pm, Precision Chiropractic, 104 Owens Parkway, Birmingham. Free event in parking lot includes hot dogs, Frios pops, Kona Ice, inflatables, games and more!

PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the September 2015 issue is August 5. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, 3590B Hwy 31 S #289, Pelham, AL 35124; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to calendar@; 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, fund-raisers, 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 48 | birminghamparent | august 2015

calendar Lots of door prizes. All proceeds from raffled items benefit Down’s Syndrome Alabama. FREE.

7 FRIDAY Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist Church Kids’ Conference 6:30-9pm, 6495 Rock Mt. Lakes Road, McCalla. Event extends to Saturday. Craft activities, games and prizes. FREE. Registration online at

8 SATURDAY The 2nd Annual Birmingham Parent’s Happy Healthy Kids Fair 10am-4pm, Riverchase Galleria. Held during tax-free back to school weekend, this event features information about children’s health, activities, insurance, nutrition, baby care, sports safety and more. Free swag bags to first 200 visitors. FREE admission. www.birminghamparent. com. Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 1130 22nd St. South. Rain or shine. Fresh produce and much more. East Lake Market 8am-noon, East Lake United Methodist Church. Farmers Market. Mt Laurel Farmers Market 8am-noon, Town of Mt Laurel. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, 4601 Valleydale Road. Rock Mountain Lakes Baptist Church Kids’ Conference 9am-2pm, 6495 Rock Mt. Lakes Road, McCalla. Craft activities, games and prizes. Lunch provided. FREE. Registration online at Southeastern Outings Easy River Float 9am, Locust Fork, Cleveland, AL. Float in the river from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls. Bring a substantial float, picnic lunch, drink, towel and sunscreen. Wear swimsuit and sturdy foot protection. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 7 and up able to swim welcome, but parents are responsible for all risks to their children. Depart 9am from Cleveland Chevron. Information, Dan Frederick, 205-631-4680, seoutings@ Hikes for Tykes with Fresh Air Family 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Fun and learning for preschool children and their families. FREE.

14 FRIDAY Southern Writers 10:30am-noon, Levite Jewish Community Center. Join instructor William Gantt, civil defense lawyer and founder/director of the Southern Library Trail, the nation’s only tri-state literary trail. Learn about the beginnings of the trail and the South’s most celebrated writers. FREE.

15 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 1130 22nd St. South. Rain or shine. Fresh produce and much more. This Saturday: The Great Alabama Tomato Recipe Contest, 10:30am. East Lake Market 8am-noon, East Lake United Methodist Church. Farmers Market. Mt Laurel Farmers Market 8am-noon, Town of Mt Laurel. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, 4601 Valleydale Road. Hikes for Tykes with Fresh Air Family 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Fun and learning for preschool children and their families. FREE. Robert Randolph & The Family Band 8pm, Alys Stephens Center. Funk and brilliant pedal steel guitar playing by Randolph, named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Tickets $38. 205-975-2787, www.

17 MONDAY The Arc of Shelby County Parent Workshop 6-8pm, The Arc of Shelby County. Parent educational workshops cover “real life” topics for parents and family members who have individuals with developmental disabilities to become successful and empowered in their communities. 205664-9313, FREE.

18 TUESDAY Birmingham Science Café 6pm, science trivia, 6:30pm, speaker, John’s City Diner. Learn from scientists in a laid-back atmosphere! event/science-cafe-10/.

21 FRIDAY Rickie Lee Jones 8pm, Alys Stephens Center. The Grammywinning singer-songwriter returns to




BY BECKY The only voice in travel that MATTERS! Catch The Travel Voice by Becky on Saturday’s in Shelby County on FM 99.9 APH Radio at 11 a.m. and anytime on iHeart Radio! Great travel information, special deals, awesome guests, spectacular on location LIVE events and amazing giveaways!

For more information, visit | 49


Calendar sponsored by

23 SUNDAY Southern Bridal Show Noon-5pm, BJCC. The South’s elite bridal event since 1990! Meet face-to-face with wedding professionals and find everything you need to plan your dream wedding. Tickets $15; $10 if purchased earlier. Fashion show at 4pm. 800532-8917.

25 TUESDAY Third Annual Taste of Pelham 6-8pm, Pelham Civic Complex. The Pelham Public Library and the Pelham Library Guild present this popular event with dozens of caterers and restaurants showcasing their food. Advance tickets $25 can be purchased from any library guild member, the library and Iberia Bank in Pelham. Tickets will be $30 at the door. All proceeds benefit the library building fund. 205-620-6418.

29 SATURDAY SATURDAY, AUGUST 8th: Southeastern Outings Easy River Float 9am, Locust Fork, Cleveland, AL. Float in the river from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls.

Birmingham. Tickets $29, $39 and $49. 205-975-2787, www.

22 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 1130 22nd St. South. Rain or shine. Fresh produce and much more. East Lake Market 8am-noon, East Lake United Methodist Church. Farmers Market. Mt Laurel Farmers Market 8am-noon, Town of Mt Laurel. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, 4601 Valleydale Road. Alabama Families of Prisoners Conference Dumas Wesley Community Center, Mobile. Needed

support for families through breakout sessions, exhibits and resources, guest speakers and panel discussions. A special Kids Conference for ages 6-15 will take place during the event, and child care available for children ages 5 and under. Hosted by Healthy You, Inc. Visit for more information and to register for the event. Hikes for Tykes with Fresh Air Family 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Fun and learning for preschool children and their families. www.freshairfamily. org. FREE. Festival: Hip Hop and You Don’t Stop Noon-4pm, Birmingham Museum of Art. Enjoy dance performances, try spinning and scratching with a DJ, test your

50 | birminghamparent | august 2015

drawing skills with activities in comics and animation and enjoy special tours of BMA artworks influenced by modern culture. FREE. Fairy Tale Ball 6-8pm, Cahaba Grand Ballroom. An evening gala for the entire family! Benefits Childcare Resources. Live dance band, gourmet hors d/ oeuvres, adult and children’s beverages, a “candy bar” and interactive entertainment. Fairy land activities, silent auction and more. Family ticket for four (two adults, two children; or one adult, three children) $200. Additional children’s tickets available; children two and younger free. Information, 205-945-0018, x306, mhunt@

Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 1130 22nd St. South. Rain or shine. Fresh produce and much more. East Lake Market 8am-noon, East Lake United Methodist Church. Farmers Market. Mt Laurel Farmers Market 8am-noon, Town of Mt Laurel. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon, 4601 Valleydale Road. Homeschool High School Workshop1-4pm, Chelsea City Hall. Informational afternoon covering high school preparation, classes, testing and college prep! Free, but donations appreciated to cover printing costs of materials and the time of presenters. Please make arrangements for young children; teens are welcome to come with parents. Register at 205-201-0327, https://homeschoolhighschool. FREE.


MedCenter HOOVER

Urgent Care • Family Medicine 1575 Montgomery Hwy Hoover, AL 35216 Next to Golden Rule BBQ NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY

Be Sure Your Kids Vaccines are Up to Date for Back to School

Open Everyday until 7pm . (205) 822-1150

The Jefferson County Department of Health offers free vaccination clinics monthly to children younger than 19 who have no insurance or whose insurance does not cover vaccinations. Children must be enrolled in the Vaccinations for Children program, a federally-funded program that provides vaccines at no cost for eligible children. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and must bring immunization records. Call 205930-1450 for more information and for information on your child’s eligibility to receive no-cost immunizations. HERE IS THE CLINIC SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST: 2-4pm August 3: Eastside Baptist Church, 558 Gadsden Highway, Roebuck. 2-4pm August 11: St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 2061 Patton Chapel Road, Hoover. 2-4pm August 17: Garywood Assembly of God, 2730 Allison Bonnett Memorial Parkway, Hueytown. 3-5pm August 27: First Baptist Church, 910 Main Street (family life center), Gardendale.

Bring b a lanket or lawn chair

Enjoy rides and inflatables for kids, tweens and teens! Visit our sponsors for fun freebies! Family Movie will begin at Dusk. Visit for more info.

Park at Cahaba Heights United Methodist and take the free shuttle to Oliver Square.

Rain Date: August 15 | 51

events & attractions

Calendar sponsored by

Bart’s Art Cart at the Birmingham Museum of Art

Aldridge Botanical Gardens 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019, www. 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, departments/library American Village Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535, www. Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205298-9040, www. Birmingham Botanical Gardens Be sure to download the treasure map to take with you! www.bbgardens. org/documents/ treasuremapforweb.pdf 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900, Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696, Birmingham Museum of Art Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals at Talladega College. This exhibit has six large-scale murals depicting landmark events in the rise of AfricanAmericans from slavery to freedom. Organized by the High Museum of Art and Talladega College, it has toured the U.S. for the past three years and is on display through September 6. Black Like Who? Exploring Race and Representation. This exhibit surveys a variety of historical and contemporary works by both white and black artists, and explores how various representations of blacks in American art have been influenced at particular moments by specific political,

52 | birminghamparent | august 2015

cultural and aesthetic interests, and well as the motives and beliefs of the artists. Through November 1. Family Tours: Fun in the Sun! 10:30-11:30am, August 1, 4, 11, 18, 25. Explore artworks that capture all things summer! FREE. Bart’s Art Cart: Set Sail! 11am1pm, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. Drop-in art program for kids and families. August craft: Create a sailboat! FREE. Bart’s Books: Saturday, August 15. A storytelling program for ages 4-7, presented by Publix Supermarket Charities. FREE. August book is The Music Box: The Story of Cristofori. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-2542565, 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 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205668-3435, McWane Science Center TOYTOPIA. Stage Nine Exhibit Design presents this highly acclaimed exhibition, an immersive and interactive exhibition focusing on the various histories and legacies of toy makers throughout the past century of toymaking. Learn about the origins of toys, who made them and why they are fun and dear to us. Through September 7. www. Itty Bitty Magic City. This 10,000-square-foot area allows children newborn to kindergarten to learn in a fun and playful environment. 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: Horses. Horses takes you on a spectacular journey through Argentina, British Columbia, Chile, Mexico, Morocco, Spain and Texas to meet vaqueros, gauchos, baqueanos and cowboys – all part of a single global horse culture, an unbroken trail stretching back 1,500 years. Ocean Oasis. Ocean Oasis, a giant-screen film, is a fascinating journey into the bountiful seas and pristine deserts of two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds — Mexico’s Sea of Cortés and the Baja California desert. 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, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264, www. Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226, www. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 12632 Confederate Parkway, McCalla. 205-477-5711, Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409,

Learn. Play. Hurray! COME VISIT!

200 19th STREET NORTH • BIRMINGHAM, AL • (205) 714-8300 • WWW.MCWANE.ORG

poetry party

by Charles Ghigna

Funny Animal Poems I love reading and writing funny animal poems! I’ll bet you do too! Here are a few poems from my books ANIMAL TRACKS and ANIMAL TRUNK.

What Does A Puppy Dog Do All Day? He eats. He sleeps.  And then he snores. He wakes and begs for out-of-doors. He barks.  He growls.  He chases birds. He loves to hear you say kind words. He runs.  He jumps.  He fetches sticks.  He finds your face and then he licks. He gets his pets.  He gets his pats. He gets his kicks chasing cats. He sniffs.  He tracks.  He likes to roam. He finds your lap when you are home.

Pigs Pigs are playful. Pigs are pink. Pigs are smarter Than you think. Pigs are pudgy. Pigs are plump. Pigs can run But never jump. Pigs are loyal. Pigs are true. Pigs don’t care For barbecue.

A Possum In The House A possum got inside the house. I thought it was a giant mouse. It ran and hid beneath the bed And then pretended he was dead I waited by the bedroom door. The possum ran across the floor


Think of your favorite animals and write a funny rhyme or two about them!

For more funny animal poem activities click on “It’s a Jungle Out There” at Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines that publish poems written by children: • http://www.,

54 | birminghamparent | august 2015

Possums look a lot like rats, Except they are the size of cats. With fifty teeth inside a snout, It’s always best to let them out! (Possums really DO have 50 teeth. Look it up!)







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We have an undeniable LOVE of everything FASHION and will soon be your new ADDICTION!


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Birmingham Parent Magazine August 2015 Issue  

Birmingham Parent Magazine August 2015 Issue It’s back-to-school time in Alabama! In this issue ... how to deal with Backseat Bickering, Lit...

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