Birmingham Parent's Family Guidebook 2022

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UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinics offer the full spectrum of a

including same day appointments. Plus, our clinics are backed

and advanced treatments UAB is known for – all conveniently

Family Guidebook 2022

Shop our optical stores for designer eyeglass frames. Special disc

Family Guidebook

Visit to find a clinic near yo

Birmingham’s Favorite Parenting Resource CARE THAT’S CLOSE TO YOUR HOME. FOR THOSE WHO Celebrating More than 18EYE Years in Publishing ARE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART.


UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Clinics offer the full spectrum of adult and pediatric eye care,

844-367-0045 844-367-0045

including same day appointments. Plus, our clinics are backed by the knowledge, experience and advanced treatments UAB is known for – all conveniently located near your home.

Shop our optical stores for designer eyeglass frames. Special discounts available for clinic patients. Visit to find a clinic near you.

Birmingham’s Favorite Parenting Resource Celebrating More than 18 Years in Publishing




205-477-8004 S U M M

(205) 956-9731 ext. 117



Coming Soon to Cahaba Heights



(205) 956-9731 ext. 606


CALLAHAN EYE HOSPITAL & CLINICS Call or text (844) Call or text (844) UAB-EYES CALLAHAN EYE HOSPITAL & CLINICS Call or text (844) UAB-EYES Central Alabama’s Resource for Four locations to serve you: Parents & Families 844-367-0045 Grandview | Moody

844.UAB.EYES or visit


Anniston | Roanoke

205-902-0385 Four locations to serve you:

Grandview | Moody Anniston | Roanoke


See inside for a SPECIAL OFFER from Kumon Math and Reading of Hoover

Community information, family activities, educational resources and special events. Community information, family activities, educational resources and special events.

So families can stay close when it matters most.

Provide a meal

Round-Up for RMHC

Red Shoe Run @rmhcalabama 2 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022


(205) 252-9241

205-726-2739 Birmingham, AL 35203


Be sure to support our sponors! Dr. Sheridyn Breedlove Dr. Alison McAfee Dr. Tiffany Moore Dr. Lisa Frees

(205) 978-8245

205-902-0385 www.ChristyPierce


Programs for all ages


Visit to apply, or call 205-945-0018 Ext. 317 for more information. Generously funded by:


102 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528 | 3

ed note Welcome to the New and Improved Family Guidebook 2022!

703 Logan Rd., Suite 150

As we knock on the door of 2022, I know we are ALL hopeful for a better year in so many ways! We are glad Birmingham Parent made it through another tough year, and we appreciate you, the readers, and you, the advertisers, sticking with us and supporting us.

PUBLISHERS David & Carol Evans

Now, we hope you enjoy our new and improved version of The Guide, now Birmingham Parent’s Family Guidebook 2022, full of important information, access to important numbers and websites, and a lot of good information we have never published before. We have tips for traveling with kids in “Family Travel and Day Tripping,” “Fun in the City” activities around town, “Special Kids,” highlighting some parts of the special needs community, “Shop till you Drop” with tips for buying kids’ clothing and more, and “Healthy in 2022,” something we all want for our children and entire families. We even threw in some great organizational information in “The Family Home,” to help you with some of those New Year’s resolutions – and all year long.

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lori Chandler Pruitt

Clanton, AL 35045 205-624-2405 205-624-2515 FAX


EDITOR Carol Muse Evans


Cheryl Maguire Sarah Lyons Kimberly Blaker


Also, 2022 is our 18th year of publishing Birmingham Parent. We are excited about bringing our in-person events, like Camp Expo (Feb 19, 2022), Special Needs Expo (tentatively March 19, 2022) and Happy Healthy Kids Fair (date TBD) back. You’ll see more online and social media promotions from us in 2022, as well as our great contests and giveaways! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as logging on to where you can sign up for our free weekly e-blast, The Buzz, Home Edition, from Birmingham Parent, as well as all our online communications.


Don’t miss a thing with Birmingham Parent. We are the only 7-times-a-year local, free, parenting magazine in our area! We’d love to hear from you more about what you’d like to read in BP this year. Send us a message on social media or email us at

print & web production

Thanks for reading,

Carol Muse Evans publisher/editor CORRECTION: In the November/December 2021 issue we mistakenly identified the doctors at Redmont Pediatric Associates. They should be Dr. Ashley Shafferman, Dr. Victoria Anderson, Dr. Christina Cordell and Dr. Anna Magliolo. (See their ad on p. 23 in this issue.)

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

4 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

SR. MARKETING CONSULTANT Kayla Fricks MARKETING CONSULTANTS Stacey Spence Kerrie Thompson Digtial Doo-Wop 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 (EIN200694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2022 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2021-2022 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.

Happy New Year from our team at Brookwood Women’s Center! We make birth days special with luxury suites and postpartum care, including advanced neonatal services. And as the seasons of life move forward, we provide comprehensive care for women’s health. It’s our pleasure to help you live your best life. We look forward to serving you in 2022!

Learn more or find a doctor at

Family Guidebook 2022 BY BIRMINGHAM PARENT












32 36 Healthy In 2022


Meet Our Cover Sponsors


Meet Our Page 3 Sponsors


Family Fun


Special Kids in Birmingham


The Family Home


Family Travel


Shop Till You Drop















In Case of

Emergency Local emergency authorities in any area 911 General listings of Crisis Numbers: American Association of Poison Control Centers 800-222-1222 Parenting Assistance Line – PAL – parenting support, etc. Call or text 866-962-3030 The Crisis Center Serving the Counties of Central Alabama Crisis/Suicide Line 24 hours/7 days 205-323-7777 UTalk Youth Line for Teens Call or text about anything 3-10pm every day 205-328-5465 UTalk for Kids Call or text about anything 3-10pm every day 205-328-5465

Senior Talk Line Free, confidential telephone reassurance service for senior citizens, caregivers, retirees, widowed persons, grandparents and others. 205-328-8255 Rape Response Available 24/7 205-323-7273 Veterans Crisis Line Free, confidential support for veterans, service members, National Guard and Reserve and family members/friends. Services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals offered. Available 24/7 800-273-8255 (then press 1), text 838255 or to chat online. Jefferson County Recovery Resource Center The program provides information about drug and alcohol abuse, as well as details on how to obtain help for yourself or a loved one. A list of various treatment options and available resources are also provided to callers. Available 8:30am-5pm 205-458-3377 | 7


7 Tips

for New Year Nutrition

(Or New Year New-trition) By Paige Townley

Helping your child create healthier eating habits is a recipe for long-term success


nother new year usually means new resolutions, and for many parents, included on that list is a resolution to help their children make healthier food choices. The task can be rather difficult – and daunting – especially if not-so-good eating habits have already been established. But don’t fret; positive changes can occur if the right steps are taken. Children’s of Alabama’s Clinical Nutritionist Janelle Schirmer gives us seven tips to help parents set the stage for healthy eating habits. Take the Lead. One of the very first steps for parents in starting a new, healthier course of eating is understanding their responsibility with feeding. It’s about taking the lead role and establishing what a meal time will include and when it will be served. It also goes for snack times, too. “It is easy to let it be skewed so that the child runs the show in deciding when they are hungry and what they want to eat,” Schirmer says. “But parents need to remember they are in charge and a child’s responsibility is deciding if they are going to eat the meal and how much.” Set Specific Times. Part of taking on the responsibility means setting a schedule and keeping to it as much as possible to prevent falling into the easy trap of allowing the child to graze on various foods all day long. “It’s an easy trap to fall in to, but setting specific times can help a child’s appetite when it comes to mealtime,” Schirmer adds. “That can also help them be more accepting of what they are being served because they have more internal regulation with their hunger cues.” Don’t Cater to Preferences. At mealtimes it’s easy to focus exclusively on foods that you know your child likes, but it’s important to be mindful of introducing new, healthy foods too. A good rule of thumb Schirmer shares is when introducing a new food, include at least two other familiar foods the child likes on

8 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

the plate too so it’s not overwhelming or intimidating. “They may be more willing to try a bite or two of the new food item if they know they like the other foods on the plate,” she says. Be the Role Model. It’s hard to convince anyone to try something new if you aren’t trying it yourself, so it’s even more important for a child to see the parent eating healthy as well. “Parents have to be the role models,” Schirmer says. “If you aren’t willing to eat the fruits or vegetables, your child will mimic that behavior and they won’t even have the exposure to the food.”

Be the Role Model Be Persistent. Chances are there won’t be tremendous success the first time a healthy food is introduced. But that’s normal, so parents shouldn’t give up. It’s important for parents to continue with the same healthy behaviors by eating the new food and continuing to expose the child to healthy eating. “It could also be that you just need to try preparing the food differently to change the texture,” Schirmer says. “A child may like carrots but prefer them raw instead of cooked or vice versa. Play around with the preparation to find a way that might be more appealing.” Limit Junk Food. It almost goes without saying that parents should severely limit empty calorie foods in order to get in food with more nutrients. Children, especially younger children,

Where We Know Your Child By Name

Involve Them in the Process. Any food can feel more fun to a child if they had a hand in the process. Simple things such as letting a child help create the dinner menu, letting them select a particular fruit or vegetable at the grocery store, or helping prep or cook the food in the kitchen can turn a food they would typically turn down into one of their favorites on the plate. “Simple things like this might not sound like a big deal, but they really can make a difference,” Schirmer says. “When kids are involved, they feel a sense of ownership and are much more likely to want to try it. Another potential option is starting an at-home garden that allows them to even grow some of the produce that they will eventually see on their plate.”

Paige Townley is a Birmingham freelance writer.

Sick Visits, Immunizations, Well-Child Visits and Newborn Care Our trained team of pediatricians can diagnose and treat a wide range of acute illnesses. We accept patients ranging in age from newborn to adolescence. 2409 Acton Road, Suite171 Birmingham, AL, 35243

(205) 978-8245

SEEING CLEARLY STARTS HERE Call and schedule an appointment today. Now accepting Blue Cross, Davis, Superior, Spectera, Met Life, All Kids, Cigna, Tri Care, Avesis and many other insurance plans.

205-987-2308 | 2122 Old Montgomery Hwy. | Pelham, AL 35124


CHILDREN & SPECIAL NEEDS PERSONS  Detects Irregular Bed Movements Such as Muscle Spasms

 Sends Alert Signal to Pager  Suitable for Babies to Adults  Works with any Mattress

Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD

4823 Promenade Pkwy., Suite 101 Bessemer, AL 35022 p 205-230-9000 f 205-230-0188 | 9


have higher nutrient needs, especially with iron and calcium for growth and bone development. Children can only consume so many calories and foods in a day, and the more sugar-sweetened beverages or junk food, the less likely it will be that they get enough foods with the right nutrients.


Area Health Departments Alabama Department of Public Health 201 Monroe St. Montgomery, AL 36104 General Information: 334-206-5300 Emergency Preparedness Information 866-264-4073

Chilton County Health Department 301 Health Center Dr. Clanton, AL 35045 205-755-1287

Cullman County Health Department 601 Logan Ave. S.W. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-1030

Jefferson County Department of Health Central Health Center 1400 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-933-9110

Eastern Health Center 601 West Blvd. Roebuck Birmingham, AL 35206 205-591-5180

Western Health Center 631 Bessemer Super Hwy. Midfield, AL 35228 205-426-8103

Shelby County Health Department 2000 County Services Dr. Pelham, AL 35124 205-664-2470

10 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

St. Clair County Health Department 1175 23rd St. N. Pell City, AL 35125 205-338-3357

Tuscaloosa County Health Department 2350 Hargrove Road E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 205-562-6900



Flu & Pneumonia Vaccines Reduce Illnesses, Doctor Visits, Hospitalizations, Missed Work & School.



AREA HOSPITALS Children’s of Alabama 1600 Seventh Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100

Ascension St. Vincent’s Blount 150 Gilbreath Dr. Oneonta, AL 35121 205-274-3000

Walker Baptist Medical Center 3400 Hwy. 78 E. Jasper, AL 35501 205-387-4000

Children’s South Pediatric Outpatient Center 1940 Elmer J. Bissell Rd. Birmingham, AL 35243 205-638-4800

Ascension St. Vincent’s Chilton 2030 Lay Dam Road Clanton, AL 35045 205-258-4400

Citizens Baptist Medical Center 604 Stone Ave. Talladega, AL 35160 256-362-8111

Encompass Health Lakeshore Rehabilitation Hospital 3800 Ridgeway Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-868-2000

Cullman Regional Medical Center 1912 AL Hwy. 157 Cullman, AL 35058 256-737-2000

UAB Hospital 1802 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-934-3411 UAB Women & Infants Center 1700 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-934-5621 UAB Medical West 995 Ninth Ave. S.W. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-481-7000 UAB Highlands 1201 11th Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-934-9999 UAB Callahan Eye Hospital 1720 University Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-325-8100 Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham 810 St. Vincent’s Dr. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-939-7000 Ascension St. Vincent’s St. Clair 7063 Veterans Pkwy. Pell City, AL 35125 205-338-3301 Ascension St. Vincent’s East 50 Medical Park Dr. E. Birmingham, AL 35235 205-838-3000

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Shelby County 900 Oak Mountain Commons Lane Pelham, AL 35124 205-216-7600 Brookwood Baptist Medical Center 2010 Brookwood Medical Center Dr. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-877-1930 Birmingham VA Medical Center 700 S. 19th St. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-933-8101 Cooper Green Mercy Health Services 1515 Sixth Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-930-3200 Grandview Medical Center 3690 Grandview Pkwy. Birmingham, AL 35243 205-971-1000 Shelby Baptist Medical Center 1000 First St. N. Alabaster, AL 35007 205-620-8100 Princeton Baptist Medical Center 701 Princeton Ave. S.W. Birmingham, AL 35211 205-783-3000

12 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

Northport Medical Center 2700 Hospital Dr. Northport, AL 35476 205-333-4500 DCH Regional Medical Center 809 University Blvd. E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-759-7111 Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center 3701 Loop Rd. E. Tuscaloosa, AL 35404 205-554-2000 | 13

MEET THE COVER SPONSORS BROOKWOOD BAPTIST HEALTH Every day, our doctors and nurses work with patients who need compassionate medical care. At Brookwood’s Women’s Medical Center, we are here to care for women through all phases of life. We offer a full scope of women’s services, including obstetrics, gynecology, urogynecology, fertility, maternal fetal medicine, gynecologic oncology, pelvic pain, obstetrics ER, women’s diagnostics, robot-assisted surgeries, wom-

en’s operating room (specific for women’s surgeries), breast cancer navigator, birth navigator, Level III NICU, neonatologists, classes for new moms and dads, breastfeeding support groups, cord blood donation program and more. What makes us special? The Women’s Medical Center is a leader in gynecologic robotic surgeries. Our surgeons have conducted almost 8,000 robotic minimally invasive gynecologic

surgeries, including more than 6,000 hysterectomies. We also hold several awards and distinctions, recognized by the Joint Commission (perinatal care certification), the State of Alabama Breastfeeding Committee (Better Bama Babies), BCBS Distinction Center for Maternity Care, International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (consultant care award) and many more.

To learn more about the Women’s Medical Center, visit 844-367-0045

CHILDCARE RESOURCES Childcare Resources is a Birmingham, Alabama based nonprofit organization and United Way of Central Alabama partner agency whose mission is to make quality care and education of children happen by providing information, education, and assistance to families, providers of child care, and the community. Serving children, families, and child care providers in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker counties, Childcare Resources provides training and technical assistance for

child care providers and individuals interested in a career in early care and education. Our Supplemental Child Care Program provides financial assistance for low-to-moderate income working families with young children (birth to age 5) who meet eligibility requirements. Families searching for child care can request a free customized child care search by calling our agency or utilizing our free on-line child care search. The agency also offers Head Start/Early Head Start services

for families with children aged six weeks to five- years old in select zip codes of Jefferson County. These services promote the school readiness of children from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way at no cost for qualifying families. For more information about our Head Start Program, visit Call 205-945-0018 or visit to learn more.

CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. With more than 3.5 million square feet, it is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States. Children’s offers inpatient and

outpatient services at its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional specialty services provided at Children’s South, Children’s on 3rd and in Huntsville and Montgomery. Primary medical care is provided in more than a dozen communities across central Alabama. Children’s is the only health system in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-

profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.

1600 7th Ave. South, Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-9100


Highlands School’s Higher Degree of Learning does not end when the school year is over. We

offer a quality summer program as well. Highlands summer camp offers challenging activities, talented teachers and the great variety that you have come to expect from Highlands School. • Online registration starting in early February • Half days or full days available (Enrichment and Traditional) • Come for one week or all seven • Early drop-off and late pick up available

14 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

Our Enrichment camps include active, artistic, academic and just plain fun choices. Be sure to note that we offer morning sessions, some afternoon sessions and some full day camps! We also offer full day Traditional Day Camp which includes weekly themes and trips to the pool. Open to Kindergarten through 8th grade from June 6-July 29, 2022 (no camp July 4th week).



4901 Old Leeds Road Birmingham, AL 35213 Summer Director, Lisa Camp, (205) 956-9731 ext. 606

MEET THE COVER SPONSORS THE DAUPHIN ISLAND SEA LAB The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a centerpiece in the state of Alabama’s marine research and education programs and a center for transformative oceanic and coastal research. DISL programs reach all corners of the state and beyond to research and educate about the changes in the marine environments. Located on the eastern tip of Dauphin Island, a barrier island in the northern Gulf of Mexico, DISL is surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound, and the waters of the Gulf, making it a perfect location to conduct a wide range of marine science

activity. DISL’s Discovery Hall Programs include academic year classes for K-12 students, summer overnight and day camps, professional development workshops, and public outreach. The BayMobile, DISL’s traveling science classroom, visits underserved schools throughout the state of Alabama which do not have the opportunity or the means to visit the DISL on a field trip. The Alabama Aquarium at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab highlights the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mo-

Growing Independence Behavioral Services

bile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands, and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. DISL’s University Programs consists of two parts: summer undergraduate and graduate courses and year-round graduate programs. The summer program consists of three summer sessions with about two dozen courses offered. The graduate program offers a variety of disciplines for Ph.D. and master students to choose from as they continue their studies., 251-861-2141 101 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, Alabama 36528

CLINIC LOCATIONS Birmingham – Anniston THE LEARNING TREE – Montgomery - Mobile ADVERTISER The Learning Tree, Inc. serves children with intellectual disabilities and autism. More than 700 children are served each year primarily from across Alabama and the southeastern region of the country. Programs include preschool services, residential, educational, clinic-based applied behavioral analysis Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Growing Independence services,assessment and consultation serCurrent programs are loBehavioral treatment for Services preschool andvices. school-aged children cated in Huntsville, Birmingham,

with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Anniston, Jacksonville, Tallassee, Montgomery and Mobile. Growing Independence Behavioral Services, outpatient clinics for applied behavior analysis (ABA) services, are located in Birmingham, Anniston, Montgomery, and Mobile. For Clinic services call our referral line at (334) 425-6418 or for other inquiries visit our website at

Birmingham - Anniston Montgomery - Mobile For Clinic services call our referral line at (334) 425-6418 or visit

• Licensed Behavior Analysts MCCALLA ORTHODONTICS & PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY • Private pay patients accepted

At&McCalla Orthodontics and Pemany health insurance plans.and orthodontics to allow for all the diatric Dentistry, Dr. Olga Sanchez dental needs of our patients to be Hernandez and staff, provide den- met under one roof. The dental care for patients from the ages vices needed are provided, while • 334-425-6418 of 1 to 18 years of age, and hand- at the same time the development icapped patients. Our services in- of an adequate occlusion is moniclude preventive, restorative, and tored closely. This allows for orthoemergency treatment. Dr. Sanchez dontic treatment to be provided Hernandez also provides ortho- in a timely manner increasing the dontic treatment for children and quality of service. Our staff operadults. ates as a team and is committed to We combine pediatric dentistry high quality service with emphasis

on individual needs in a comfortable environment. Our hygienists are especially qualified to deal with children and adolescent specific needs. All of our personnel are kept abreast of the latest developments through continuing education courses. Come visit our website at and take a virtual tour of our office.

Dr Olga Sanchez Hernandez 205-477-8004

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 life-long love of learning. We have developed our own age appropriate curriculum, specifically designed to introduce each age grouping to lan-

guage, 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 info. INVERNESS CAMPUS 205-991-0039 TRACE CROSSINGS CAMPUS 205-988-8829 | 15

MEET THE COVER SPONSORS PEDIATRIC SMILES Dr. Tabitha J. Gatrey, a native of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is a board-certified pediatric dentist. She is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She went on to receive her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry with Research Honors. While serving as Chief Resident, Dr. Gatrey also com-

pleted her residency in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. During residency Dr. Gatrey completed training with special needs persons and medically compromised children at the Sparks Dental Clinic. Visiting the dentist at Pediatric Smiles is a fun adventure. We like dental visits to be a positive experience for future visits that last through

adulthood. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

​4823 Promenade Pkwy. Suite 101 Bessemer, AL 35022 205-230-9000



NEW ADDITION TO OUR GRANDVIEW LOCATION! Dr. Faye Knowles is a proud Caribbean Native, born in the island of Antigua with family roots in the neighboring island of Saint Lucia.

She remained in the Caribbean for medical school, attending St. George’s University in the beautiful island of Grenada. Dr. Knowles completed the clinical portion of her training in Brooklyn and Queens, New York. She then moved to neighboring New Jersey for Pediatric Residency at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, graduating from that program in 2015. Dr. Knowles is passionate about fitness and the physical, emotional and spiritual wellness

that can result from regular exercise. Dr. Knowles became Board Certified in Pediatrics in 2019 and will be working towards Obesity Medicine Certification in the next few years. Dr. Knowles is married to her husband Thierry, and they have two fur children: ‘Kitty” and her canine sister “Khaleesi”. In her free time, you will find Dr. Knowles exercising in a wide array of forms, anything from running, Olympic weightlifting, yoga or kickboxing to name a few!

Four locations to serve you: Grandview | Moody Anniston | Roanoke

ANGELICA ROHNER PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Dr​. Angelica Rohner ​​is a specialist in the field of Pediatric and Adolescent Dentistry. What’s so special? Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry, dedicated to the oral health of children, ranging from infants to teens. Dr.​Rohner and​her highly trained staff work hard to make each child’s dental visit fun and exciting, resulting in a great attitude toward dentistry and, ul-

timately, oral health. On a daily basis we hear our patients say, “I love the dentist!” We take pride in great clinical and conversational experiences with our patients. We realize that taking care of our patient’s guardian is equally important. Our office works with you to schedule appointments that work best for your child and their schedule. Our convenient location makes a

trip to the dentist easy. We also supply text, email and/or phone confirmations and communication pathways. It is an honor for our patient’s parents to trust us with the well being of their children. This is never taken lightly and is evident in the time that the doctor takes to speak with each parent at every dental visit. Let Dr. Rohner ​and her dental team take care of you​and your child.


RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF ALABAMA Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA) serves 73 families every night, providing them with a “home-away-fromhome” while their children receive medical care in Birmingham. In addition to providing a comfortable bedroom with a private bathroom, we surround families with love and support from volunteers, staff and other guest families who share the same hopes and fears. We provide volunteer-provided meals, family

program and activities, indoor and outdoor play areas, laundry facilities, WiFi and much more so that our guest families can concentrate on what is most important – their child’s health. Our two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms, located at UAB Women & Infants Center and DCH Regional Medical Center (Tuscaloosa), provide an inviting oasis of calm for families, while increasing their ability to advocate for their child. They

16 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

can find comfort, care and support without leaving their child’s side. We may not be able to make the medicine taste better or take away painful treatments. But by keeping families together and close to their child’s medical team, RMHCA and its supporters can help lessen the burden and ensure families have the stability and resources to get and keep their child healthy and happy. Learn more at


Coming soon to Cahaba Heights next to TrustCare’s Urgent Care Clinic at 3965 Crosshaven Drive.

TrustCare Kids will offer pediatric primary care and walk-in urgent care for children (birth through college). No appointment or existing patient relationship is required. Lighted panels and benches in the waiting area, animal exam tables and interactive smart panels in all rooms entertain children and help them feel at ease. Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, including

nights and weekends. TrustCare Kids experienced pediatric specialists will provide quality, compassionate care, communicate with your pediatrician’s office as needed, aim to get you in-and-out within an hour, and help your child Feel Better Faster. To learn more, visit

Coming Soon to Cahaba Heights

UAB CALLAHAN EYE HOSPITAL & CLINICS For nearly 60 years, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics has focused on delivering innovative eye care and pioneering breakthroughs in the preservation and restoration of eyesight. Backed by the knowledge, experience, and advanced treatment UAB is known for, we are one of only three Level 1 Ocular Trauma Centers in the nation with a 24/7 eye emergency department, and we are the only dedicated hospital in Alabama specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of the eye.

Our top-notch pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists specialize in eye care for your youngest family members – starting from birth. Our practices are sensory inclusive, certified through KultureCity, and our providers are expertly trained to know just what to do to make the eye exam experience comfortable for everyone. With nearly 20 clinic locations throughout Alabama, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital & Clinics is your home for comprehensive and specialty

eye care for the entire family, regardless of where you live. We are committed to providing your family with vision services, including eye exams, eyeglasses, contact lenses, and cataract and strabismus evaluations, and many of our locations offer full-service optical stores, where patients receive 15 percent off. To schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations, please call or text 844.UAB.EYES or visit UABMEDICINE.ORG/EYE.

URGENT CARE FOR CHILDREN When your child is sick, you don’t want to spend hours in a waiting room. At Urgent Care for Children, we understand this and constantly strive to serve every patient with compassionate, quality care that is affordable and accessible. Urgent Care for Children (UC4C) was founded by a group of physicians who saw a need to provide a continuum of care for local pediatricians and offered an affordable alternative to the emergency room. As parents them-

selves, they understood that children’s illnesses or injuries don’t follow normal business hours. UC4C operates seven clinics statewide in addition to a telemedicine portal that brings our clinic to you. Our licensed, on-site pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners offer acute diagnostic and treatment care for children ages 0-21 with non-life-threatening needs during the day, after-hours and on weekends, 365 days a year.

• Fever, allergies, sore throat/ coughs/colds, asthma, flu • Sprains/strains, earaches, bruises & lacerations • Insect bites/stings, minor burns, rashes • Vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea Urgent Care for Children is also equipped with on-site laboratory and x-ray services, as well as an in-house pharmacy. We offer COVID, strep, and flu tests for adults and children.

Birmingham | Vestavia | Trussville Huntsville | Madison Tuscaloosa | Montgomery


Check website for location hours.

KUMON OF HOOVER — REAL & VIRTUAL CLASS OPTIONS Kumon is an after-school math and reading enrichment program that unlocks the potential of children, so they can achieve more on their own. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration, and develop better study skills. Kumon has 26,000 centers in 50 countries and more than four million students studying worldwide. As the world’s largest after- school math and reading program, Kumon accelerates your child’s learning –

from as young as three years old all the way through high school. Kumon goes beyond tutoring, by actively developing critical thinking skills as children progress independently through a carefully crafted math and reading curriculum. Kumon’s timetested self-learning program uses engaging worksheets and guidance from an on-site instructor to present new concepts and materials, giving children an academic advantage in the classroom – and throughout life.

As a result, many Kumon students study above grade level. Parents are encouraged to attend a free orientation at the Kumon Math & Reading Center of Hoover to find out more about enrolling their children in the Kumon Program. For a limited time, enjoy 50% OFF REGISTRATION! Call for details: 205-444-9485, visit our website, or email

WE MAKE YOUR SMART KID EVEN SMARTER! Kumon Math and Reading of Hoover 205-444-9485 205.444.9485 • | 17

MEET THE PAGE 3 SPONSORS BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S THEATRE Birmingham Children’s Theatre (BCT) exists to educate, entertain and enrich the lives of children through the magic of professional theatre. Established in 1947, BCT has touched the lives of over 13 million children throughout its seven-decade history. Each year, BCT produces between 8 and up to 14 professional productions designed for families and young audiences, including shows for children as young as 18

months old. BCT believes in curiosity, imagination, and learning through interactive experience; and, each show is crafted to engage with youth at every stage of their mental and emotional development while providing a joyful and fun day at the theater! BCT also offers classes and camps for ages 4-18 years in our BCT Players programs. From early childhood learning in the Imagination Party to fully produced youth

theatre productions with our teen ensemble, BCT’s classes provide children of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to engage with the theatrical process. Stories have incredible power and the impact of arts enrichment reaches far beyond what is often immediately recognizable. At BCT we use the tools of theatre to empower youth and artists by encouraging them to discover, imagine, empathize, create, and be.

MON AMI CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE Mon Ami, a children’s boutique in English Village, caters to boys and girls learning to style themselves during the awkward period between childhood and teenage years. It offers fashionable clothes and accessories for sizes 4-16/18 in both boys and girls clothing. Mon Ami doesn’t just sell clothes, though. According to owner Aja Powanda, it provides “fashion, style, comfort and confidence to the tween and emerging tween, helping them to create their own

style during a sometimes-awkward stage in life.” Aja Powanda opened Mon Ami, her first fashion boutique in 2019, with the hopes of building a clientele of confidently fashionable young members of the greater Birmingham community. Since she opened her doors, Powanda has been dedicated to providing excellent service to all of her young clients and their families. “We are here for the customers!

We deliver in the local area to their door. We can stay late or open early. We have opened for families on an off day. We will make private appointments,” she says. Powanda has also become very involved in the community surrounding her boutique. She’s a member of the Junior League of Birmingham and the Mountain Brook Chamber of Commerce. She also supports the Chris Hammond Youth Foundation.

school diploma and are prepared for a career or higher education. Alabama School of Fine Art’s culture is equal parts challenging and nurturing. ASFA is a hub for talented people of diverse backgrounds to come together to create, to practice, to perform, to invent, and to push themselves further than they ever imagined they could go on their own.

40 Church St. Birmingham, AL


ALABAMA SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) is the only tuition-free school for the arts and sciences serving the entire state. ASFA is for students who strive for excellence in the arts and sciences in one of six specialty areas. Students can focus on creative writing, dance, math-science, music, theatre arts or visual arts. The school also offers comprehensive core academic classes. ASFA’s nationally acclaimed faculty provides

unmatched pre-professional arts and college preparatory training. Students have an extended school day with morning academic classes and three hours of specialized instruction in the afternoon. A wide range of in-depth courses are available. Their specialty work and performances are on a college and preprofessional level. At the end of their senior year, students have met all requirements for an advanced Alabama high

(205) 252-9241

Birmingham, AL 35203

Parents... sign up your children at • •

The club is FREE for kids turning 16 years old and younger. On their birthday, Members of the Birthday Club will receive special gift offers from our sponsors, and also receive an e-mail PRIOR to their birthday to help them plan the celebration!


18 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

MEET THE PAGE 3 SPONSORS ACTON ROAD PEDIACTRICS Acton Road Pediatrics is where Birmingham children come first, and where pediatricians and patients work together to provide exceptional medical care for kids in the area. We know how hectic life can be and are committed to making our practice convenient and accessible for your family. We want you to feel confident that when you choose us as your child's primary physician, you're working with professionals who

are qualified, experienced and caring. Our goal is to provide routine care starting at the newborn visit all the way through age 18 (or graduation from high school whichever comes first). We also aim to take care of any medical issues that may arise outside of the routine checkup. These issues may range from medical problems, including special needs, to social, developmental,

behavioral, nutritional, or school problems. Acton Road Pediatrics has been a staple in the metro Birmingham area for 14 years. It has been and continues to be our privilege to care for the children in our community and to be a part of their journey to adulthood.

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-5:00pm

Where We Know Your Child By Name

Dr. Sheridyn Breedlove | Dr. Alison McAfee Dr. Tiffany Moore | Dr. Lisa Frees 2409 Acton Road Suite 171 Birmingham, AL, 35243 (205) 978-8245


Gadsden and Etowah County, ideally-situated in northeast Alabama along the Coosa River and at the foot of Lookout Mountain, are full of outdoor fun. View the majestic 90-foot Noccalula Falls, ride the train or play mini-golf at Noccalula

Falls Park. Mountain-bike or hike the Black Creek Trails, fight spotted-bass on Neely Henry Lake, flick a fly for Rainbow Trout on Black Creek, or go for a birdie at Twin Bridges or Silver Lakes golf courses. Festivals like Glencoe’s Celebration in the Park or Attalla’s Heritage Day, along with Gadsden’s First Fridays will keep you busy throughout the year. Make sure to put the first Thursday through Sunday in August

on your calendar so you won’t miss the “World’s Longest Yard Sale!” This historic sale begins at Noccalula Falls Park and travels up Scenic Lookout Mountain Parkway to Chattanooga and beyond for over 600 miles to Michigan. Bargain hunters and yard-sale junkies travel across the U.S. to Gadsden for this funderful sale each year! Come visit us!

ACADEMY OF THE ARTS AT SAMFORD UNIVERSITY Samford’s Academy of the Arts offers art and music classes for all ages. Visit our website to register and start learning something new in 2022.

• Fused Glass

Academy of the Arts offers: • Art for Children and Teens • Drawing • English as a Second Language Classes • Foreign Language Classes

• Pottery

• Music Lessons • Painting • Photography • Private Music Lessons • Stained Glass • Summer Camps

(205) 726-2739

CHRISTY PIERCE PHOTOGRAPHY, LLC You deserve something special when it comes to your photos. I am someone who connects easily with people and I want them to feel comfortable getting their photos taken. After all, I believe that the best smile is a natural smile. Photography should capture the individualism of a person. I am very creative, have photo editing expertise, integrity and high energy to capture and preserve your moments for years to come. Every family, couple and child is different and I value the

time, patience and energy that goes into your photography session. I have flexible options to help you select the best collection of services for you and your budget. Contact me today for a consultation. I look forward to meeting and working with you and I look forward to helping you preserve this special moment in your life and capturing your memories to make them last forever!

205-902-0385 | 19

Fun in the City By Becky J. Beall

Family Activities

Children and animals go together like peanut butter and jelly, and Birmingham is fortunate to have one of the state’s most popular attractions, the Birmingham Zoo available to families. Check out everything from red pandas, lions and giraffes to orangutans, rhinos, bear, elephants, sea lions and more spread out across a sprawling 122-acre property. Enjoy lots of special events (check their calendar online) and learn about animal care, conservation initiatives and Species Survival Plans on your visit. The Zoo is a must-visit attraction for any family fun day!

McWane Science Center 200 19th Street North Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8300

Oak Mountain State Park Petting Zoo (Demonstration Farm) 200 Terrace Dr. Pelham, AL 35124 205-620-2520 (office) demonstration-farm

If you are looking for kid-friendly ideas for weekend fun and frolic, we’ve got you covered! Up the ante in your parenting game by choosing an agenda complete with kid-approved meals, shopping and activities that the whole gang will enjoy. Remember, some spots still have abbreviated or different times due to Covid. Check and plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

McWane Science Center operates under the mission to “spark wonder and curiosity about our world through hands-on science.” A compilation of hands-on learning experiences partnered with a myriad of permanent exhibits (Itty Bitty Magic City, Explore! Collections Center, Alabama Dinosaurs, Fox 6 Weather Lab, Sea Monsters and an IMAX Dome Theater just to name a few) creates the perfect play date for parents and children and is loaded with educational value. McWane is a year-round venue serving families in more than science. A science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning environment is all part of the available offerings at McWane Science Center where kids are allowed to learn by doing. It is a valuable asset to the Birmingham community, and a prime spot for family fun!

Oak Mountain State Park’s Demonstration Farm is home to many animals like goats, chickens, roosters, pigs, peacocks, donkeys, sheep and more! Visit the Petting Zoo Thursday through Monday (they are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) and watch as the children enjoy learning about and visiting with these sweet farm babies.

The Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Road Birmingham, AL 35223 205-879-0409

Other fun things to do includes horseback riding, swimming and the beach, archery, watersports, geocaching, hiking, biking and fishing. Something for everyone in your party awaits at Oak Mountain State Park.

20 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

While you’re there, check out other offerings available to the public such as the Alabama Wildlife Center – Alabama’s oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation and education center. AWC rescues, rehabilitates and releases about 2,000 native birds every year and is home to Shelby the Bald Eagle and the Eurasian Eagle Owl (the world’s largest owl species).

Photo by Becky J. Beal



What a way to spend the day or even part of the day! Families are loving the 15,000 square-foot playground and 7,000 square-foot splash pad with an all-inclusive design that meets the needs of folks with disabilities and mobility issues. There are age-appropriate play structures with 43 elevated play elements and 34 ground level play elements. Unique features of the playground include the central feature, Carly’s Clubhouse (17 feet tall); a roller slide; Rockin’ Robin (a cozy spot); parallel play Double Zip Track and a Roxall (unique to Alabama); a musical play area with chimes and musical flowers); sensory features; swings accommodating all ages and abilities; incorporated shady spots and much more!

Fun Eateries Davenport’s Pizza Palace 2837 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook, AL 35223 205-879-8603 If you let the kids choose, they’ll likely pick pizza! Davenport’s Pizza Palace has been around for more than 50 years and makes their dough and sauce from scratch daily. The atmosphere is super family-friendly and the food is great! There are also some old school video games in the back for a nostalgic challenge to parents (and the kiddos will also enjoy). Savage’s Bakery 2916 18th Street South Homewood, AL 35209 205-871-4901 Start your fun-filled day with a special trip to Savage’s Bakery! Choose from fresh-baked pastries like old fashioned cinnamon rolls, bear claws, pull-apart breads and their famous orange rolls. Don’t forget to grab some Liza’s Lemonade and if you should find your family there at lunchtime, there’s a kid’s menu with grilled cheese, PBJs and other kid favorites.

Shopping Sometimes kids and shopping just don’t mix, but choosing a bookstore, toy store or specialty shop just might be the ticket to successful shopping with children. Check out some of the places listed below. Homewood Toy & Hobby Shop 2830 18th Street South Birmingham, AL 35209 205-879-3986 Barnes & Noble Patton Creek Shopping Center 171 Main Street Hoover, AL 35244 205-682-4467 Smith’s Variety 45 Church Street Mountain Brook, AL 35213 205-871-0841 Also, don’t pass on the gift shops at the Birmingham Zoo and McWane Science Center. Both are excellent! And here are a few more spots to check out: Aldridge Botanical Gardens 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019, 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, | 21


Hoover Met’s Explore Playground and Splash Pad 5508 Stadium Trace Parkway Hoover, AL 35244 205-739-7364


Alabama Wildlife Center 100 Terrace Dr., Pelham. 205-663-7930. American Village Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535, Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy., Leeds. 205-298-9040, Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham. 205-414-3900, Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. N., Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181,

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-328-9696, Birmingham Museum of Art 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565, Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435, Moss Rock Preserve Preserve Pkwy., Hoover. 205-739-7141, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264, Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park 12632 Confederate Pkwy., McCalla. 205-477-5711, Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Dr., Birmingham. 205-933-1409,

Join us in our 75th year! Shows, classes, camps and so much more!

Email us or visit our website at 22 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

Dr. Ashley Shafferman | Dr. Victoria Anderson | Dr. Christina Cordell | Dr. Anna Magliolo At Redmont Pediatrics we believe in excellent pediatric care in a warm and friendly environment. We focus on knowing our patients well and believe that the best quality pediatric care is achieved through a family centered approach that emphasizes the importance of a child as an individual and as and integral member of his or her respective family. We also believe that it is a joy and a privilege to be able to care for patients from birth through adolescence and every step of the way in between. Watching a child grow and realize their full potential is an amazing honor. We value the relationships with our families and strive for our patients to be as healthy and happy as possible.

We invite you and your family to come grow with us! Located on the 4th floor of the Ortho Sports Tower at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. 805 St. Vincent’s Drive, Suite 430, Birmingham, AL 35205

Phone: 205-939-1250 Visit us on Facebook at: | 23


Your One-Stop Source for Birmingham’s Kids with Special Needs: A Highlight of Resources There are a variety of services offered by organizations throughout the state for parents with children with disabilities, from inclusive school care programs to sports teams and music classes. The following is an abbreviated list of local resources and services for Alabama children with special needs. We have highlighted some great organizations here, but there are many others. You can find a more complete, inclusive list at Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services 334-293-7500 The Alabama Department of Rehabilitative Services (ADRS) is a state agency created to serve children and adults with disabilities. With its “continuum of care” approach, ADRS offers services for individuals of any age through four main programs among all 67 counties in the state. Early Intervention serves children with developmental delays from birth to the age of three through a variety of coordinating services. Children’s Rehabilitation is for children with special healthcare needs from birth to 21. Its largest program, Vocational Rehabilitation, focuses on teens and adults to provide education- and employment-related services and training. Independent Living seeks to help individuals with the most significant disabilities with help in education, assistive technology, training, and home-based services to help them gain more independence. Alabama Family Trust 205-313-3915 Alabama Family Trust is a nonprofit organization that assists in establishing trusts for children and adults with disabilities and special needs. The organization focuses specifically on three types of trust: disability trusts, elderly trusts, and trusts for children. In addition to helping establish the trust, the organization helps with disbursement of the funds in a way that complements government programs such as SSI and Medicaid. The trust also offers other significant advantages, including protection from abuse and mismanagement of assets and the potential for lower administrative fees.

Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind 205-761-3530 The Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) is the world’s most comprehensive education, rehabilitation and service program specifically serving individuals of all ages who are deaf, blind, deaf-blind and multi-disabled. Founded in 1858, the AIDB serves more than 30,000 infants, toddlers, children, adults and seniors throughout Alabama each year with six campuses and eight regional centers. Autism Society of Alabama 1-877-428-8476 One of every 54 families are living with autism spectrum disorder, and the Autism Society of Alabama exists to help those families and improve the services available to them. The nonprofit advocacy group does so through autism safety initiatives, providing resources and education, and even hosting an annual camp. Behavioral One 205-991-2584 Comprehensive behavioral support and service for children, teens, and their families can be found at Behavioral One. The organization’s team works alongside families every step of the process, from the initial concern to the assessment process and treatment plan development to the provision of services and therapy. The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs 205-879-3417 The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs has been providing early intervention services to children at risk of developmental delay since 1984. Located in Birmingham, the center offers a variety of services for children from infant to toddler dealing with a variety of special needs and diagnoses ranging from cerebral palsy and Down syndrome to autism and rare genetic disorders. The services are provided by transdisciplinary teams that include a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist, and an early childhood special education teacher. Boost Kids 205-767-9207 A therapist-run company, Boost Kids seeks to help kids achieve independence through improved skills, learned strategies, environmental modifications, and caregiver education. The team utilizes evidence-based research to put together the best, most comprehensive treatment plans for each child, all of which are carried out in the company’s downtown Birmingham space.

24 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

Children’s Aid Society of Alabama-APAC Program 205-933-3004 The APAC Program is a collaborative effort between Children’s Aid Society and the Alabama Department of Human Resources. The statewide program exists to provide education and support to Alabama families waiting to adopt, as well as empower adoptive families and help build strong bonds within adoptive families. In addition to helping families prepare for adoption, the program also offers services such as support groups, family counseling, and even an annual four-day camp for adopted children and their siblings to spend time together and with others in similar circumstances. Children’s of Alabama 205-638-9100 Children’s of Alabama ranks as one of the best pediatric medical centers in the country. The hospital has provided specialized medical care for children in Alabama and around the country since 1911. Children’s serves patients from not only every county in Alabama, but also nearly every state in the country. It’s one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States. Dance Without Limits 251-610-4969 Dance Without Limits is focused on providing professional dance instruction to individuals with special needs. During classes, dancers receive a helper to assist or at the least lots of encouragement. The class helpers range in specialty, whether it be students in occupational or physical therapy schools, Camp Smile volunteers, special education teachers, and sometimes even mothers. Down Syndrome Alabama 205-988-0810 Down Syndrome Alabama serves individuals living with Down syndrome and their families by increasing awareness, promoting acceptance, and advancing advocacy. The organization also focuses heavily on providing all sorts of needed resources to help Down syndrome families care for their loved one. Their goal is for people with Down syndrome living meaningful lives as productive members of their communities through all stages of life. Easterseals of the Birmingham Area/Easterseals of Alabama 205-942-6277 334-395-4489 Easterseals has been supporting individuals with disabilities or special needs and their families for almost 100 years. The organization as a whole supports more than one million individuals with disabilities each year through services including pediatric rehabilitation, workforce development for

The Exceptional Foundation 205-870-0776 The Exceptional Foundation strives to meet the social and recreational needs for children and adults living with special needs. By meeting these needs, the organization seeks to enrich their lives and their families’ lives, as well as promote healthy living, social relationships, and needed life skills, all while promoting community involvement. Family Voices of Alabama 877-771-3862 Achieving family-centered care for children and youth with disabilities or special needs is the goal of Family Voices of Alabama. The organization meets that goal by providing families with the right tools to make informed decisions, advocating for improved public and private policies, and building partnerships with families.

Mitchell’s Place 205-957-0294 Established in 2005, Mitchell’s Place specializes in helping children with autism and other developmental abilities. The organization’s highly-skilled team utilizes diagnostic, educational, and therapeutic services to improve the lives of each child and their family. Caregivers create comprehensive, individualized treatment plans for every child as they seek to help with social, communicative, adaptive, and academic behaviors and issues. Service Dogs Alabama 334-676-3733 Service Dogs Alabama trains medical and psychiatric assistance dogs for children, adults, and veterans with disabilities. The nonprofit focuses especially on training for diabetic and seizure alerts, mobility and wheelchair assistance, PTSD intervention, and autism intervention. Special Siblings 205-568-7919 Being a sibling of a special needs child can present challenges, and Special Siblings exists to support these siblings. Special Siblings is a support group for children with special needs siblings to help them understand and address the many unique challenges that comes with.

United Ability 205-944-3900 United Ability is a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower those living with disabilities. They do this by providing innovative services that connect people with disabilities to their communities. They work with both children and adults. Hand In Hand Early Learning is for children from six weeks to four years of age and it provides a place for children to play, learn, and grow together. Hand In Hand Early Intervention helps infants and toddlers with delays in development or diagnosed disabilities with services and intervention to facilitate development. Ability Clinic offers comprehensive, coordinated care to help children with disabilities. Unless U 205-460-1550 Founded in 2014 and inspired by the founder’s brother, Unless U seeks to change the way adults with developmental disabilities are viewed within the community. Hoping to promote independence for these individuals, the nonprofit organization works to serve these adults and their families through a variety of ways.

Compiled by Paige Townley

Birthdays in Birmingham Your local birthday party resource Loved by Parents since 1997 Places to Go  Entertainment Party Supplies & Rentals  Facilities  Coupons | 25


teens and adults, and camping and recreation, as well as advocacy for the disability community. Specifically for children, the organization offers a variety of programs, including speech-language therapy, pediatric feeding therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, a sensory room, and even a medical assistance grant, which helps families pay for medical equipment and necessary home modifications.


By Paige Townley

Alabama Family Central

Providing Alabama families the help they need, when they need it There are a variety of organizations throughout Alabama aimed at helping families in a variety of situations – but finding the help when it’s needed is not always easy. Making it as easy as possible for families to get the organizations they need when they need it is the goal of Alabama Family Central. Alabama Family Central is a collaboration of state agencies and partners that exist to support parents, families, and caregivers in Alabama with a variety of resources and services to support the health and well-being of children. It does so through a comprehensive, easyto-use website that essentially serves as an all-in-one resource for the services Alabama families may need on everything in the categories of childcare, education, family services, and health services. After the Department of Children’s Affairs was created in 2001, Alabama Family Central had since been a goal. The website was announced in September of last year by Gov. Kay Ivey. “Alabama Family Central was created with Alabama families at the very heart,” says Malissa Valdes-Hubert, Alabama Department of Mental Health public information officer. “There was no centralized database to search critical community, regional, or state resources for the needs of a family. This free, comprehensive source is an open door to essential services. The Alabama Family Central website came online just as the pandemic began and what an opportune time! We were so thankful to share important resources during a time when individuals and families needed them most.”

26 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

The Alabama Family Central website features a comprehensive compilation of resources around the state in a directory-style format so that parents and families can easily find the particular support they may need. There are more than 350 services and programs listed, and the resources are broken down into the four categories – childcare, education, family services, and health services – and can easily be navigated directly from the site. And best of all, the website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that parents and families can seek out help any time of day they may need it. The website also houses the latest new information parents, families, and caregivers need to know in order to best protect their children – everything from COVID-19 updates and guidance and information about the how to get the flu vaccine to the state’s COVID-19 School K-12 dashboard and how to apply for childcare grants. The Alabama Partnership for Children, a statewide public/private partnership that seeks to develop and strength systems, strategies, and public awareness for early childhood programs in the state, heads the Alabama Family Central Project, and there are a variety of state agencies included in the partnership. Those include Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Alabama Department of Education, Alabama Department of Human Resources, Alabama Department of Mental Health, Alabama Department of Public. Health, Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, Alabama Medicaid, A+ Education Partnership and the State of Alabama Office of Information Technology. Paige Townley is a Birmingham freelance writer.

We work tirelessly to help kids get well because the world needs to see what Natalie dreams up. WE DO WHAT WE DO BECAUSE CHILDREN HAVE DREAMS.


WHat we treat MINOR ILLNESSES AND INJURIES SUCH AS: -Fever -Allergies -Coughs & Colds -Sprains & Strains -Vomiting -And More

CHILDREN’S DOWNTOWN 1 6 0 0 7 T H AV E N U E S O U T H BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 (205) 638-9100


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THE FAMILY HOME By Cheryl Maguire

The Joy of Decluttering “Does this spark joy?” I asked myself. Cradling an apple spice candle in my hand, I sniffed the top of it. The scent is gone probably from sitting in the attic for 15 years, I thought. It definitely isn’t sparking any joy. I tossed it in the overflowing trash pile. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, a book by Marie Kondo, had been a best seller for 86 weeks when I first discovered it. That discovery prompted a month-long marathon decluttering of my house. I emptied every drawer, closet and bin which resulted in eleven bags for donation and ten for the garbage. I consider myself a “neat freak,” yet if I wrote a book how I “clean up,” it would end up in the clearance bin. My three children get annoyed with my “neat freak” ways. When they’re eating a meal, I’m right there wiping away the crumbs. Labeled bins hold their toys, clothes, or sports gear. If they don’t put their things in the proper place, they going to deal with my wrath. When I first heard of this book, I couldn’t figure out how she sold so many copies of a book about the least exciting topic I can think of. But as I read her book, I hung on every word. It was more captivating than the psychological thrillers I usually read. The deeper I delved, the clearer the central theme of the book became – to have the reader analyze their relationship to material items. 28 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

In the book Kondo states, “Putting things away creates the illusion that the clutter problem has been solved.” Even though everything I own is neatly stacked or stored in a bin, I rarely get rid of things. Like Kondo says, I was under the delusion I was living a clutter-free life. “You will never use spare buttons,” Kondo states. She’s right – I’ve never sewed a button on a shirt in my life, so why did I have a pile of buttons in my drawer? I could no longer ignore the clutter. “If you see an (electrical or cable) cord and wonder what on earth it’s for, chances are you’ll never use it again,” Kondo states. When I looked at the bag of unidentified cords I owned, I realized I had not used any of cords since I created the collection. The book got me to think about how I acquired each object I owned and why I held on to it. I realized that there was a pattern to why I kept items. I worried I might need it in the future or felt guilty about never using it. It was time for me to initiate step one in her book: “start discarding, all at once, intensely and completely.” This process should focus on “what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” She suggests you do this by holding each item you own and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” At first this question seemed ridiculous to me, but I tried it despite my misgivings. “If you only keep the items which spark joy, then you surround yourself with things that make you happy,” Kondo says. This reorganization of your material things can lead to a transformation in your life and perception. For me, the biggest transformation came through discarding my unused items and unworn clothing. Kondo refers to this as “the magic


effect of tidying.” She recommends saying to yourself, “Thank you for teaching me what doesn’t suit me.” This simple reframing thought process helped me to take my unworn red shirt with the tags on it and place it in the donation pile. Kondo says when you are done tidying, “You can see quite clearly what you need in your life and what don’t, and what you should and shouldn’t do.” She says it will increase your confidence since the process involves making decisions about whether to keep items. You are also forced to confront decisions you made in selecting your possessions and to hopefully learn from poor decisions. When I finished tidying, I felt a sense of accomplishment. Opening a drawer and finding a pen without any useless buttons, gave me pride in my ability to get rid of unnecessary things. I experienced a life transformation as well. In the fourth grade I wrote my first book which my teacher typed using a typewriter and a cloth to create a cover. I found this book while cleaning. It was a reminder of my love for writing which I had dabbled in throughout the years.

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Once I “cleaned house” I decided to actively pursue freelance writing which has led to publishing my writing in publications such as The New York Times, Parents Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Upworthy, Twins Magazine and other publications. Being a stay-at-home mom can feel isolating. Writing has allowed me to meet other people and feel connected to them. Like Kondo says, I put my space in order, in a way that changed my life forever. Cheryl Maguire holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, National Geographic, and Your Teen Magazine. You can find her at Twitter @ CherylMaguire05


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Leeds City Schools 1517 Hurst Ave. Leeds, AL 35094 205-699-5437

Area Public School Systems Jefferson County Jefferson County Board of Education 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-379-2298 Bessemer City Schools 1621 Fifth Ave. N. Bessemer, AL 35021 205-432-3000 Birmingham City Schools 2015 Park Place N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-231-4600 Fairfield City Schools 6405 Ave. D Fairfield, AL 35064 205-783-6850 Homewood City Schools 450 Dale Ave. Homewood, AL 35209 205-870-4203 Hoover City Schools 2810 Metropolitan Way Hoover, AL 35243 205-439-1000

Midfield City Schools 417 Parkwood St. Midfield, AL 35228 205-923-2262 Mountain Brook City Schools 32 Vine St. Birmingham, AL 35213 205-871-4608

Cullman County Cullman County Schools 402 Arnold St. N.E. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-2933 Cullman City Schools 301 First St. N.E. Cullman, AL 35055 256-734-2233

St. Clair County

Tarrant City Schools 1318 Alabama St. Tarrant, AL 35217 205-849-3700

St. Clair County Schools 410 Roy Dr. Ashville, AL 35953 205-594-7131

Trussville City Schools 113 N. Chalkville Rd. Trussville, AL 35173 205-228-3000

Pell City School System 3105 15th Ave. N. Pell City, al 35125 205-884-4440

Vestavia Hills City Schools 1204 Montgomery Hwy. Vestavia Hills, AL 35216 205-402-5100

Tuscaloosa County

Shelby County

Tuscaloosa County Schools 1118 Greensboro Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-758-0411

Shelby County Board of Education 410 E. College St. Columbiana, AL 35051 205-682-7000

Tuscaloosa City Board of Education 1210 21st Ave. Tuscaloosa, AL 35401 205-759-3700

Alabaster City Schools 10111 Highway 119 Suite 200 Alabaster, AL 35007 205-663-8400 Pelham City Schools 3160 Pelham Pky. Pelham, AL 35124 205-624-3700

Chilton County Chilton County Schools 1705 Lay Dam Rd. Clanton, AL 35045 205-280-3000

30 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

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Travel Tips for

Family Trips By Sarah Lyons

Whether you take a two-hour plane trip or a 14-hour car ride, traveling with kids can be stressful. While a family vacation is a great way to spend time together, relax, and make memories, you must make the journey there first. Here are some tips for making traveling with kids a little more enjoyable. Fight hunger. Hunger can affect kids’ behavior and attitude. During travel, pack easy snacks for the car like grapes, smoothies, and crackers. This is a great time to purchase those individually wrapped snacks you usually don’t. They are easy for the adults in the car and seem like a treat for the kids. Stephanie Pratt, mother of two, suggests planning lunch stops that allow kids to burn off energy, like a restaurant with a play area or a picnic for the park. “Much like you need to stretch your legs, kids need to move,” she says. Timing. Timing is everything when you are traveling with little ones. Try to plan travel around normal naptimes or bedtimes so that kids will rest during most of the drive. Plan enough breaks and recognize that a trip with kids is going to take longer. Leave extra time in your travel schedule for impromptu stops, as well as planned ones. Websites like can help you find attractions and hidden gems along the way. Get the kids involved. Cut road trip boredom by getting the kids involved. Use games like license plate bingo or car color bingo. Encourage kids to keep a trip journal. Have them write down or draw favorite memories from each stop and add stickers and ticket stubs. “Make a checklist of cities you will drive through with a fun fact about each or what you will do there. It helps cut down on the ‘Are we there yet?’ questions” says Kara Thomas, a Colorado Springs mom. Surprises. It is always nice to have a few surprises up your sleeve

32 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

to break up the trip. Try packing up the kids’ backpacks and have them waiting in the car. When they get bored, pull out a few surprise items – new magazines or books, crayons and a new coloring book, special snacks, small activities, and maybe some new movies to watch. Websites like Pinterest are full of ideas for traveling with kids. “Paint a cookie sheet with chalkboard paint and give the kids magnets to play with,” suggests Darcy King, Kansas mom of two. She also suggests gluing magnets to the back of puzzle pieces to use with the magnetic cookie sheet. Electronics. For most families, the go-to solution for road trip boredom is electronics. DVD’s and video games are a great way to kill time in the car. “Loosen electronics time while traveling, but when you get there, restrict time more than usual. Without a gadget in their hands, they will get more out of your vacation time.”” Thomas says. Summer vacations teach kids to explore what is outside their hometown, the importance of family time, and to make downtime a priority. Best of all you will create memories that last a lifetime. Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and mom of six kids.

Hiking & Biking the Black Creek ­Trails

Noccalula Falls

Fishing the Coosa River & Neely Henry Lake

Fly fishing in Black Creek


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90 Walnut St. • Gadsden, AL 35901 •



@GreaterGadsden #GreaterGadsden

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First Fridays Downtown Gadsden


Tips for


Family Packing By Sarah Lyons

Family vacations are a great way to enjoy time away from the daily routine and create lasting memories. But if you are anything like me, packing for a family trip can be overwhelming, especially if you have multiple kids to pack for. As a mom of six, I’ve learned the hard way how to make our vacation packing more efficient. Start by making a master list. If you don’t have a list, you are bound to forget things. I have a list on my computer that I can copy, paste, edit, and print each time we are going out of town. I have additional lists for the type of trip. For example, we would need to bring different items if we are camping versus staying in a hotel. If you edit this list after each trip, it will become perfectly tuned to your family. Once you have a list, begin to delegate. My older kids receive a copy of their list and are told to pack their own bag. “Everyone gets a master checklist of items for the trip. We go over the bag they pack together to make sure they have everything.” says Jenny McKeever, mom of two. “This gives kids choices selecting items along with becoming responsible for packing, with just a little guidance from you.” This helps to reduce the amount of packing the parent has to do. For the most efficient packing, items can be packed by outfit. One option is to place a shirt, pants, underwear, and socks together and place in a zip top bag and seal. When you arrive at your destination, kids can grab a bag for the day. Dirty clothes can be placed back into the bag as well. “I am a roller.” says Holly Searles, mom of four. “I take an outfit, pants, shirt, underwear, and socks and then tightly roll. I often use a hair tie to secure the girls outfits.” Whatever method you choose, remember to place the outfits needed first on top. Another way to make packing more efficient is to bring fewer items. Make sure you only bring what you absolutely need, or you may find that the family vehicle is bursting at the seams. “I do not bring a lot of 34 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

stuff for the car ride. My kids do very well with a small toy, coloring book, small activity book, reading book, and the DVD player going.” says Sarah Imbierowiz, mother of seven. Remember that most items that are forgotten can be bought, borrowed, or gone without for a short time while you enjoy your vacation. The most important thing to remember is to plan ahead of time. If you have a complete list and you start working on packing well in advance, it should go smoothly, and you will be able to enjoy your vacation without dreading the packing that goes along with it. Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and mother of six children.

Four Tips for Today’s Fashion at an Affordable Price By Kimberly Blaker

We Have You

Kids grow quickly, and before you know it, they need new clothes. Because fashion is often an integral part of a child’s self-image, a new wardrobe often comes at a high cost. But with advance planning, your kids can still wear the latest trends at a price that fits your wallet.


ut with the old? To keep costs down, make the most of your kid’s current wardrobe. Eliminate outgrown or outdated articles and save basic or classic pieces that still fit. Inspect these items and replace missing buttons, mend seams, patch tears, and remove stains. If shoes still fit, increase their life by replacing worn heels, broken eyelets, and dirty shoelaces. Then freshen them with a good shoe cleaner and brightener or polish. For clothing that has lost its vibrancy, or if your kid just no longer likes the color, try dyeing to a new color. Powdered Rit dye is inexpensive. Style is important to kids. Create new fashionable outfits by pairing an old basic shirt with a new pair of jeans and a stylish belt. Or mix a pair of old but still good jeans with a shirt in one of fall’s new colors. Finally, determine what garments have something to match and which are incomplete, then carry a list of needs when you shop.


et your budget. Before you shop, go over your list and explain the budget to your kids. If designer label battles start, offer your kids the option to pay the difference above what has been budgeted for that item.


Mon Ami, a children’s boutique in English Village, offers fashionable clothes and accessories for sizes 4-16/18 in both boys and girls clothing. 40 Church St. Birmingham, AL


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Clothing Kids for Less:


Avoid buying clothing sets. Instead, select versatile pieces. Look online or in the weekend edition of your metropolitan area newspaper for sales and coupons. Then compare store prices before heading out to make sure it’s the best deal.


econdhand savvy. Today, families in all income brackets are reaping the benefits of secondhand shopping. Depending on your child’s age and personality, you may need to alleviate any fears and objections. Assure your child or adolescent that no one will know the clothes are secondhand unless they choose to disclose it. Also, point out the savings could result in a larger, and possibly better, wardrobe. When you shop secondhand, inspect clothing thoroughly for stains, tears, broken zippers and snaps, frayed pant cuffs, and other damage. Check for body odor and mildew smells that may be difficult to wash out. And try on clothes before taking it home since it may not be returnable. Secondhand clothes can be found at garage sales, thrift stores, consignment and resale shops, and even online. Prices vary, so explore all the options in your area. Kids’ shirts typically range between $2 and $10 and jeans between $4 and $15 depending on size, condition, label, and the store. A no-cost option is to form a clothing swap with family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Each person should label the boxes of clothing according to gender and size. Then get together for the exchange and watch your child’s new wardrobe grow.


lothes that last. Make your kid’s new wardrobe last by following washing instructions, especially for teen girls’ clothing. Some fabrics will shrink beyond recognition if not laundered correctly. Boys are especially hard on pants knees. Give pants extra wear by sewing a fun patch on each knee (after making sure your child is okay with it). Unless shopping for the less-choosy younger set, have your kids approve all purchases. Otherwise, the duds will hang in the back of their closet. While regularly worn shoes should fit properly, purchase articles such as rain gear or dress shoes that’ll seldom be worn one-half to a full size larger to get through an extra season. When selecting rain gear in this manner, choose a style that will not cause your child to trip or obstruct her view. Kimberly Blaker is a freelance parenting and lifestyle writer. She’s also founder and director of KB Creative Digital Services, an SEO content agency, at

36 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022




Find out what your kids want to do this summer 2022! Great camps and summer programs for kids - adults, fun games, giveaways and more. Swag Bags full of goodies to the first 200 at the Birmingham Parent booth. SAVE THE DATE! Join us for Birmingham Parent’s Camp

Expo 2022, Saturday, Feb 19, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the McWane Science Center lobby. FREE Admission to Camp Expo. (Does not include admission to Adventure Halls. Discount

tickets will be available for entry to the museum.)



Booths and Sponsorships available! Space is limited. Register online at ... or contact your marketing consultant, or email us at or call 205-624-2405. PRESENTED BY





Fun activities, booths for parents to visit with programs and services for all types of special needs, cradle to college ages. Swag bags full of goodies to the first 200 people at Birmingham Parent booth. Great giveaways!

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Don’t miss being a part of this event! 38 | Birmingham Parent | THE FAMILY GUIDEOOK JANUARY 2022

ASMS ASMS is the state’s only fully public and totally residential high school for academically talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors seeking advanced studies in mathematics, science, computer science, and humanities. Find out how the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science can lead you on a path to success. Just like its tuition, meals, room, and board, applying to ASMS is FREE! If you are a current Alabama 9th or 10th grader, start your online application at

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