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

Kidʻs Market and Mom CONSIGNMENT SALE


BACK TO SCHOOL means it's time for an Adult Recess!


Mon.-Fri., Aug. 1st-5th 10a-6p

7845 Crestwood Blvd. Bʻham, AL 35210 LAST DAY 50% OFF Sat., Aug. 6th 10a-6p Tax Free Day & 50% OFF BLACK tags Laundry baskets are always welcomed for shopping Forms of payment: Cash, Credit & Debit Cards, NO Checks

Visit our website for more information Next event Fall/Winter 2016 Anyone can contribute and you make 2/3

Lee Branch/Hoover (205) 637-7777 701 Doug Baker Blvd Suite #106 Birmingham, AL 35242

Have fun with your friends or meet new ones here! Take a well deserved break from the kids and discover your inner artist.



happyhealthykidsfair2016 Presented by RIVERCHASE GALLERIA, Birmingham



Gold’s Gym

Shelby Pediatric Dentistry | 3

editor’s note

Life in an Empty Nest at Back-to-School Time

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

I have to face it. My nest is empty. Some days, it’s a little TOO quiet. My “baby” is now 23, and my oldest is 27. And as I looked at the two boys on this month’s cover at our cover shoot a few weeks ago at Briarwood Christian School, it seems like yesterday that each of mine were 12. We’ve done years of the back-to-school shopping, finding all those items on the classroom list, worrying about the right backpack and the right lunchbox, and yes, we even tried our hand at homeschooling. My oldest graduated as a homeschooler. My youngest graduated from public school. Some of the things about going back to school I miss, and some I don’t. I still love the smell and feel of school supplies, and I often shop for my own supplies this time of year since I love them and the prices are good. I don’t miss trying to find my narrow-footed daughter school shoes that would stay on her feet, especially when she grew like a weed, or my tall and slender son jeans that would fit his waist but not look like capris. I don’t miss worrying about putting one on a school bus. I don’t miss worrying that they find their way, that others will be kind to them, and if others will be kind to them. But I do miss them being at home with me now. It is corny but true; the years fly by, and you can never get them back. Ever. And no one ever says, “I wish I had spent LESS time with my child.” So moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, relish these days you are spending with your child, getting them ready to go back to school and essentially preparing them for stepping out into the world without you. Because they will someday. But if you’ve done your job, they’ll always know home is where they can come back and that YOU are a safe place to fall when they need you. We hope the stories in the pages of the August issue will help you to handle the back-to- school jitters, new places, new things, new people and more a bit better and easier. Our directory will be a keeper all year long when you need a dentist, tutor, a new school and more. Please come to see us, our sponsors and vendors at the annual Birmingham Parent’s Happy Healthy Kids Fair 2016 on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, at Riverchase Galleria from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. And don’t miss the backpack giveaway at 10 a.m. in the food court with Lock & Learn.


Happy Back to School!

Distribution T&P Deliveries

Carol Muse Evans, Publisher/Editor

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 the National Federation of Press Women, Alabama Media Professionals and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA). Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent, where she is responsible for the calendar and editorial editing. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children.

4 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Publishers David & Carol Evans Editor Carol Muse Evans Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt Office Assistant Bethany Adams Hunley Calendar Lori Chandler Pruitt Contributors Jeffery Leiken, Heidi Smith Luedtke, Ph.D, Gerry P. Smith, Laura Lyles Reagan, Malia Jacobson, Kerrie McLoughlin, Dr. Vivian Friedman, Pam Molnar, Charles Ghigna, Christopher Carter, MD

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

art & production Art Director Hilary Moreno

E-blasts Simple Southern Lace Designs Legal Counsel Balch & Bingham LLP BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN20-0694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2016 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2016 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.

n e e t n a C & Theater


Our 18-hole mini golf course is now open. Cost is $4 per round. HOURS 11:30am-9:30pm Sat & Sun 5:30pm-9:30pm Mon-Fri.


s r a t s e h t r e d n u Movies ETS


Must present this coupon and same day movie ticket to receive free mini golf play.




SA Y A D 7





INTERSTATE 20 – EXIT 140 GRAND RIVER BLVD LEEDS, AL twitter @coyoteleeds . .



BIRTHDAY PARTIES you bring the cake… we’ll do the rest !

Rates vary. Email for details

table of contents


Going Back to School!

S E E O U R 2 0 1 6 H H K D I R E C TO R Y O N PAG E 1 0


py,healthykids 32


School Ministries of Birmingham


College Corner: Are We Fostering the Wrong Kind of College Envy?


Fresh Starts: Helping Kids Embrace New Things


Help for Choosing After-School Activities


Making the Most of School Field Trips


New (School) Year, New You


28 departments


Note 04 Editor’s Life in an Empty Nest at Back-to-School Time

GHAM Your Back-to-School 42 GetPARENT’S

py,healthykids Shots with Tot Shots Clinics


32 36 34 38


Parenting with Dr. Friedman


Short Stuff


A Page in a Book Books, Beds and Sleepyheads


Ask the Specialist Sports Safety for Children


August Calendar of Events

Party: 62 Poetry Daydreaming

Honor Student Dares to Defeat Diabetes


20 Pledge to Pack a Healthier Lunchbox

28 New School? No Worries!

38 Back–to-Homeschool Tips & Traditions

ON THE COVER: Jared and Jonathan, brothers, both age 12, of Columbiana are ready for back to school. Photo at Briarwood Christian Academy. Photo by Christy Pierce Photography, LLC, 205-902-0385;

6 | birminghamparent | august 2016

with Love: 50 Sprinkled Have a Baby Shower for the Second or Third Child Travel: 54 Family Pensacola Has Everything for Families


Parenting with Dr. Friedman


Our 15 year-old daughter is deliberately cutting herself. She tells me that she does it because it feels good. I find this hard to understand. I have

bribed her with offers to buy clothes for her or take her on a trip

if she stops but she says she can’t. Why is she doing this? The frequency of self-injurious behavior – cutting, burning, and scab picking – has increased dramatically over the last several years. I saw virtually none 20 years ago. It is, unfortunately, not uncommon now. While to many parents it may appear to be an irrational or senseless behavior, most behaviors occur for a reason. Cutting is typically done to cope with intense and overwhelming feelings that the adolescent cannot bear. It continues because the self-injurer feels a dramatic drop in tension after the cut and thus the behavior is reinforced. Behavior that is reinforced is repeated. The reasons for self-harm can be grouped into three categories: regulation of feelings, communication of distress, and self-punishment. The first of these is the most common and probably is present among all self-injuring adolescents. Cutting or burning can be an attempt to bring the mind and body back to equilibrium in

the presence of overwhelmingly intense feelings. Pain can serve to relieve emptiness and feelings of unreality. It can relieve rage that the victim cannot express outwardly. It can even serve as an alternative to suicide. Cutting is not, of itself, a suicide attempt. Some cutters, who feel emotionally empty, say they use cutting to escape numbness. They do it in order to feel something. The sight of their own blood serves as a tangible reminder that they are alive. Some cutters use self-harm as a way to communicate feelings that they cannot convey in other ways. They want you to literally see their pain. When the self-injury is used to communicate it is often seen as manipulative. Cutters, like anorexics and bulimics, may cut to maintain a sense of uniqueness. They feel that they disappear if they are not special. They have no internal sense of who they are. They require constant affirmation from others.

aspire to

Some cutters harm themselves for punishment. This is often true of children who were abused. They make the passive experience of abuse active by harming themselves. This is a “trauma reenactment.” They feel they are bad and need to be punished. Many cutters use pain to divert attention from issues and feelings that are too painful to bear. The physical pain is easier to tolerate than the emotional pain and takes its place. People who cut usually have failed to develop the ability to tolerate strong feelings. They have difficulty maintaining a sense of self-worth without constant approval from others. They have trouble maintaining meaningful connections to others. Behavior therapy uses pain substitution to avoid injury.

Squeezing ice cubes, snapping a rubber band or eating a hot pepper leaves no physical mark. This works in theory, but I have not found it to work in practice. Antidepressant medication can alter the biochemistry that is thought to be a part of this problem. Insight-oriented psychotherapy is essential in helping the sufferer to understand the source of despair and to fill the empty hole inside and to provide a nurturing and supportive relationship to replace the emptiness.

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.

Open house for prospective students

Saturday, October 22

• Public education for students entering grades 7-11 • Attend a session at 9 am, 10 am or 11 am • Learn about ASFA, its curriculum and special programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Math/Science, Music, Theatre Arts and Visual Arts • Admission by audition only for the 2017-2018 school year • Questions? Email Jaronda Little at or call 205.252.9241


1800 Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205.252.9241 | 7

Photo courtesy of Joe Lockett


short stuff


SEPTEMBER 8-10 • Free admission • Delicious food • Live entertainment • Drive-thru





Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive will be held SEPTEMBER 9-18 honoring National Diaper Need Awareness Week Let us help your business, organization, or group host a diaper drive. #diaperneed

205-607-2112 sponsored by

8 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Lock & Learn’s Education Mission Starts with Backpacks Families this month will see WYDE radio’s Joe Lockett of the Joe Lockett Show in action when his Lock & Learn Program’s Operation Backpack Giveaway distributes 1001 free backpacks for back to school at Birmingham Parent’s Happy Healthy Kids Fair on Aug. 6 at the Riverchase Galleria. This talk show host says he saw a need to help families three years ago in the communities – particularly single parent households – and small business owners that wanted to help, as well. “Going back to school is expensive,” Lockett explains. So he used his platform in radio to bring together small business owners and volunteers to collect funds and donations for backpacks, along with their contents, to provide a small token to help the parents and kids in need this time of year. Now the program has grown, and Lockett says the group will give away its largest number of backpacks on August 6. “The biggest thing about Lock & Learn is it is not just for kids, but for parents, too,” Lockett says. “Single parents are learning as we do this, we are educating THEM to better manage their lives, and hopefully they will get out of the line, of needing the free backpack, in the future.” To receive a free backpack, which is targeted at kids of single parent households, while the backpack supply lasts, be at the Riverchase Galleria on August 6 in the center/food court at 10 a.m. For more information, contact


Home Security While on Vacation You’ve been waiting all year long to take that well deserved vacation. But, before you leave, plan ahead to take appropriate steps to protect your home and belongings while you’re away. Don’t broadcast your vacation on Facebook or other social media. Crooks are scouring these sites looking for an opportunity to separate you from your property. This might be the biggest mistake people make while vacationing. Wait until you return to post those photos. Hold your mail and paper. Nothing tells a thief that you’re out of town quicker that a overflowing mailbox or numerous papers on the lawn. Generally, the USPS will hold mail for up to 30 days. Make your home look “lived in.” Invest in timers to turn lights on and off. Ask a good neighbor to set out your garbage cans and pick up anything left on your door or in your yard. If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, hire a lawn care company to cut the grass and trim the hedges. Again, an overgrown yard broadcasts that you are not home. Lastly, if you don’t have a home security system, it might be a good idea to consider one. Also, tell a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on things while you’re gone and to text or call you if they see something that looks suspicious.

short stuff

Shades Mountain Christian School Athletics Department Travels to Romania for Missions

Photo courtesy of SMCS

The Shades Mountain Christian School (SMCS) Athletics Department coordinated a mission trip to Romania in June. The SMCS group consisted of 18 travelers including the athletic director, coaches, faculty, parents and nine student athletes. The purpose of the mission trip was to support the Richard Wurmbrand Christian School in Lasi, Romania. The Richard Wurmbrand Christian School opened in 1995 and is dedicated to giving hope back to Romania by educating its children for a brighter future. The school is named after the well-known Christian minister and author, Richard Wurmbrand, who spent most of his life in prison due to his Christian beliefs and speaking out against communism. The SMCS group hosted a five-day basketball camp, which included daily devotionals and Bible studies. They also provided opportunities for intramural sports and worked on the grounds around the school. The SMCS Athletics Department has a long-term goal to raise money to fund a new playground for the Wurmbrand school.

Helen Keller’s Successor Teaches in Selma, AL Dr. Dorothea Martin, following in the footsteps of one of Alabama’s greatest heroes, Helen Keller, has come to Selma from Albania in southern Europe to teach. Martin is mentoring new ninth graders to get ready for high school, universities and distinguished careers. Despite her disability, Martin, who like Keller was born blind, earned a doctorate. Martin’s class began last month at St. Paul Episcopal Church and will continue at the Gospel Tabernacle Church in Selma while St. Paul’s is being renovated. Martin’s classes run for eight weeks during the summer and will continue for four years via one-on-one internet mentoring during the rest of the year from her home in Albania. On June 19, Martin helped open The Global Academy for International Advancement in Selma, also known as The Genius Discovery Academy, using The Genius Finder™, the world’s newest and most accurate predictor of career success. With only 50 strategic questions, the Genius Finder™ tells the student which career the person’s mind seems designed to succeed in. For more information, visit

Riverchase United Methodist Day School


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

Fri. Sept 23rd 9am-6pm Sat. Sept 24th 8am-1pm


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


Where all the dental needs of your child can be met under one roof!

Two Great Programs for Families at BCRI

Dr. Olga Sanchez-Hernandez is dual trained as a pediatric dentist and a board certified orthodontist

Bethany Adams Hunley

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is now offering Community of Readers, a monthly literacy program that features a certain theme, guest reader, free books and more. This free program aims to close the gap between literacy and parental involvement by providing resources for parents to promote better reading habits, encouraging parents to view themselves as competent, reading mentors for their children, and showing families how books can be used as a tool to create more opportunities for family time. BCRI is distributing free books, journals, snacks and biographies to families who attend this event. While Community of Readers is a free event, reservations are encouraged. BCRI also has created Heritage Alive! It is a series of 45-minute programs for local families and young children. The main goal is to promote strong character traits in local youth. Through interactive activities, such as creative dramatics, readings, music and arts & crafts, children are given the tools to enforce positive character traits in themselves, while also learning about local and national history. Heritage Alive! is offered as a free program to school groups every Tuesday and Thursday.

SERVICES INCLUDE: Dentistry for children and adolescents Dentistry for patients with disabilities Orthodontics for children and adults We offer traditional metal brackets, as well as clear We also do Invisalign

4814 Bell Hill Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022 205-477-8004 like us on facebook WE FILE ALL INSURANCE AS A COURTESY. WE ARE PROVIDERS FOR MOST INSURANCE COMPANIES. | 9

back to school


EDUCATION & ha2016 ppy,he althykids ENRICHMENT GUIDE For Happy, Healthy Kids

Going Back to School!

Fax: 205-995-0517 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.

Alabama School of Mathematics and Science 1255 Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 251-41-2152 ASMS is a public, residential high school accepting applications from highly motivated 9th and 10th graders seeking advanced studies in math, science and the humanities.

BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S Spring Valley School

happy,healthykids 2701 Sydney Dr. Birmingham, AL 35211 205-423-8660 Mission is educating students with learning differences such as dyslexia and ADHD. Serving students from all areas of Jefferson and Shelby counties. New Location Fall 2016!

Those exhibiting at Birmingham Parent’s Happy Healthy Kids Fair (HHKF) at Riverchase Galleria on August 6, 2016, are noted.. PRIVATE SCHOOLS Indian Springs School is nationally recognized for its challenging, innovative curriculum, which prepares highly motivated day and boarding students for leading colleges around the world.

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 through 8th grade students who score among the highest on the SAT nationally.

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.

Indian Springs School  190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-988-3350

Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy 5509 Timber Hill Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242 Phone: 205-995-8709

10 | birminghamparent | august 2016

The Altamont School 4801 Altamont Rd. S. Birmingham, AL  35222 205.445.1232 The Mission of the Altamont School is to improve the fabric of society by graduating compassionate, well-educated students capable of independent thinking and innovative ideas.

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

Alabama Virtual Academy 844-255-5461 Give your child an individualized online education, K-12. Tuition-free, online public schools powered by K12 teach to each child’s unique brilliance. Certified teachers.

PRESCHOOLS & DAYCARE Covenant Classical Schools and Daycare Five locations in Birmingham • Valleydale 25 Southlake Lane Hoover, AL 35244 205-444-5437 • Trace Crossings 5390 Magnolia Trace Hoover, AL 35255 205-733-5437 • Pelham 450 Huntley Pkwy. Pelham, AL 35124 205-620-2626 • Homewood 151 Covenant Way Homewood, AL 35209 205-968-1255 • Trussville (opening November 2016) 6590 Husky Pkwy. Trussville, AL 35173 205-396-1250

Preschool and Daycare with enrollment from 6 weeks-kindergarten. We instill in every child a love for Christ, a love for others, and a love for learning. Odyssey Early Sch​ools HHKF 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 www.odysseyearlyschool. com 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 An accredited private preschool providing a premier educational childcare experience. As The Leader in Educational Child Care ®, we partner with parents to help children build the right foundation for learning.



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.

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!

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES America’s First Federal  Credit Union Come see us at the HHKF! 1200 4th Ave. N. Birmingham, AL  35203 205-320-4150 Save with our Kids 1st Club account! Visit www.amfirst. org to learn more. Available to qualifying members only. Some restrictions apply. Federally funded by NCUA. King Fundraising, LLC 800-541-1463 A full-service fundraising company focused on raising money for schools and non-profit organizations, helping support & sustain their goals, and improve the educational experience for communities.


Life Labs Come see us at the HHKF! 1741 Merryvale Rd. Birmingham, AL 35216 205-540-0363 Life Labs are fun, interactive and dynamic workshops which teach memorable life lessons children need to be successful in life. Check us out

YMCA Birmingham Downtown Location 2101 Fourth Ave. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-324-4563 Since 1884, the YMCA of Birmingham is a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility with 15 local facilities.

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.

'BNJMZ 'BWPSJUF Call and schedule your onsite tour today

Inverness Campus: 205-991-0039

Trace Crossings Campus: 205-988-8829


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

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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

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2804 John Hawkins Pkwy, Suite 100, Hoover, AL 35244 | 11

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Education & Enrichment Guide 2016 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S


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.



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.

DENTISTS, ORTHODONTISTS & ORAL SURGEONS 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. We love what we do and it shows in the care we provide!   Dr. Michael Anglin Come see us at the HHKF! Pediatric dentistry Dr. Erin Nelson Family dentistry 3825 Lorna Rd., Suite 206 Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-9800 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-6820 Dr. Anglin has provided quality pediatric dentistry to the Hoover

Open their world to the Arts!

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.

PT Orthodontics 2034 Patton Chapel Rd. Hoover, AL 35216 205-979-9480 Making braces easy and affordable with 10 locations (Hoover, Homewood/Mountain Brook, Greystone, Leeds, Pell City, Hueytown, Gardendale, Jasper, Tuscaloosa and Cahaba Heights). No down payment options, payments starting at $129.

McCalla Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry 4814 Bell Hill Rd. Bessemer, AL 35022

Sarrell Dental and Eye Center Come see us at the HHKF! 3 Greater Birmingham Locations

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


Birmingham-Southern College

12 | birminghamparent | august 2016 Fall 2015_bham parent eighth-pg_BSC.indd 1

Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry Dr. Clark Thomas & Dr. Lauten Johnson • Hoover Location 1015 Brocks Gap Pkwy. Hoover, AL 35244 205-982-0112 • Birmingham Location 721 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. New Montclair Road location!

7/15/2015 8:35:56 AM

• 2700 5th Ave. N. Bessemer, AL 35020 205- 425-1327 • 6662 Hwy. 75, Suite 114 Pinson, AL 35126 205-693-0100 • 1141 Jasper Dennis Rd. Clanton, AL 35045 205-312-0001 Sarrell Dental is a non-profit that treats the dental and optical needs of Alabama›s children. We accept all major insurances at our 17 Alabama locations. Shelby Pediatric Dentistry HHKF 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! Whitehead Orthodontics 5336 Stadium Trace Pkwy., Suite 112 Birmingham, Alabama 35244 205-988-9678 We offer state-of-the-art orthodontic care in a unique, family centered environment for adults and kids. We provide braces with a mom's touch!

HEALTHCARE AND SPECIALISTS Alabama Department of Public Health For immunization information and more. Brookwood Baptist Health Primary & Speciality Care Network  205-877-2726  Our Primary & Speciality Care Network is devoted to caring for patients in locations all over central Alabama—and backed by all the resources of Brookwood Baptist Health. Children’s of Alabama HHKF 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 Come see us at the HHKF! 1600 Fifth Ave. S. Suite 100 Birmingham, AL 35233 205-638-2751 The CHIPS Center, part of 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. Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama, P.C. 425 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. S. Suite 206 Birmingham, AL 35205 205-558-3200 With over 20 years’ experience in caring for children with kidney disease, Dr. Mark Benfield established Pediatric Nephrology of Alabama in 2010. Accepting new patients.

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Small Steps Pediatrics Dr. Shameza Boyd, MD, FAAP St. Vincent’s East Professional Bldg. 52 Medical Park Dr.E. Suite 201 Birmingham, AL 35235 205-868-3486 From routine checkups to immunizations, Small Steps Pediatrics is equipped to handle all of your child’s health needs with compassion, excellence and value.

SPECIAL NEEDS Alabama Family Trust 2820 Columbiana Rd. Suite 103 Vestavia, AL 35216 205-313-3915 844-238-4630 A nonprofit special needs trust that holds and administers money for the disabled so they are able to become eligible and maintain government benefits. Capstone Medical Resource, LLC Dr. Sharon Waltz  1976 Gadsden Hwy, Suite 206 B Birmingham, AL 35235 205-305-6018

Why King Fundraising?

• 40% profit to your school or group! • No group too big or too small. We’ve had groups raise as much as $55,000! • We raise money for: school-wide fundraisers, school groups, marching bands, cheer teams, dance studios, athletic associations and sports teams, day cares, church youth groups, children’s ministries and choirs, non-profit charities, and many others! • For groups of 200 members or more, ask about our $200 New Customer Cookie Dough Sign-On Bonus. Want your check today?

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B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Education & Enrichment Guide 2016 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S


Fax 205-409-2172 Before the school year begins don’t forget to get your child’s ADHD testing. Accepting Medicaid at our 6 locations: Bessemer, Hwy 280, Trussville, Gardendale, Jasper and Cullman.



Child’sPlay Therapy Center • Hoover: 205-978-9939 • Chelsea: 205-618-8095 Occupational, physical and speech therapy, along with a variety of special programs. Two beautiful, fully equipped facilities. Our experienced, loving staff will exceed your expectations!

DANCE & PERFORMANCE ARTS Alabama Ballet​ 2726 1st Ave. S. Birmingham, AL 35233 205-322-4300 Since 1981, changing lives through dance by promoting and fostering


michael s. anglin, d.d.s pediatric & adolescent dentistry

Preparing Tomorrow’s Heroes


Join the

erin nelson, d.d.s Family Favorite


Family Favorite


Family Favorite


Family Favorite


family dentistry Family Favorite




kids’ docs

3825 Lorna Road, Suite 206, Hoover, Alabama 35244 205-988-9800 .



14 | birminghamparent | august 2016 Join the pride 3.5x4.8.indd 1

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the development of classical and contemporary ballet through high-quality performances, dance education, and community outreach. Alabama Dance Academy 3221 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-978-6820 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. Pre-school classes. ASFA Ballet Preparatory Academy 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-252-9241 Disciplined instruction in classical ballet. Commitment to excellence in training & etiquette.  Prepares students

to audition for ASFA Dance Department.  American Ballet Theatre Curriculum. Pre-school classes. Birmingham Dance Theatre Come see us at the HHKF! 100 Olde Town Rd. 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

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 developmental skills in a safe and enriching environment for self-expression and collaboration.


personal best. Briarwood Ballet 2200 Briarwood Way Birmingham, AL 35243 205-776-5284 For 37 years Briarwood Ballet has offered excellent training to over 7,000 dancers. Our outstanding faculty serve to create an environment that is disciplined yet encouraging, both artistically and spiritually.

The Academy of the Arts at Samford University Come see us at the HHKF! South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-4049 205-726-2810 Music for children & adults at Samford University in Homewood. Preschool piano; Kindermusik; private & group piano, voice and strings lessons.

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. Christy Pierce Photography, LLC 205-902-0385 Christypiercephotography@ Memories fade but photos last forever! No sitting or session fees! Outdoor and in studio available. Ask about my pricing magazines. Book your session today! Dawson Music Academy 1114 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-7324

Briarwood Ballet ...investing in lives for 37 years

Enrolling now for 2016-17 Classes ages 3 - high school

Ballet Tap Modern Jazz For more information: 205-776-5284 A ministry of Briarwood Presbyterian Church 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, AL | 15

B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Education & Enrichment Guide 2016 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S





Asbury United Methodist Church 6690 Cahaba Valley Rd Birmingham, AL 35242

Children’s clothing/shoes toys/books — baby furniture and much more!


Fri., Sep. 9th, 8am-6pm Sat., Sep. 10th, 8am-1pm (1/2 off select items on Saturday) Beginning August 1 at 8pm, consignors and volunteers can register online at Partial proceeds benefit the Asbury UMC youth programs and mission groups.

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram AsburyGigglesAndGrace Instagram: AsburyGigglesandGrace Dawson Music Academy 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.


Ages 3 & up

Call or Email NOW for more information 205-252-9241 ext. 2233 1800 Reverend Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35203

16 | birminghamparent | august 2016

astic local artists. Leave with a one-of-a-kind creation to cherish for years!


Gold’s Gym HHKF SPONSOR • 1090 Montgomery Hwy. Birmingham, AL 35216 • 3427 Colonnade Pkwy. Birmingham, AL 35243 • 2244 A Pelham Pkwy. Pelham, AL 35124 205-823-4653 Gold’s Gym has been the leader in fitness for over 50 years. We offer three convenient Birmingham locations to help you get started getting strong!   Head Over Heels Gymnastics 500 Caldwell Trace Park Painting with a Twist Birmingham, AL 35242 701 Doug Baker Blvd., 205-981-2720 Suite #106 Hoover, AL 35242 Helping children gain fitness, 205-637-7777 gymnastics skills, confidence self-esteem for over 20 mingham-hoover                                   years! Take classes and celeInvite your friends, and enjoy brate birthday parties at our step-by-step instruction with 14,000 square foot gymnasour experienced & enthusitics facility. Kindermusik with Michele Mulder Available at two locations: • Dawson Music Academy 1114 Oxmoor Road  Homewood, AL 35209   • Canvas Academy of Music & the Arts 2250 Blue Ridge Blvd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-568-6702 Kindermusik classes help children develop language, social, emotional, and physical skills...ALL in the context of joyful, musical rich play! Ages birth to 7 yrs. old. 

Airwalk 7010 Champion Blvd. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-637-3347 Birmingham’s first extreme air sports facility. !6,000 square fee of open jump, dodgeball and foam pits. American Cheerleading Centers Come see us at the HHKF! 4400 Valley Rd. Trussville, AL 35235 & 3104 Morgan Rd. Hoover, AL 35022 205-985-1330 We are a family oriented program with Christian values that produces champions on and off the competition floor. Our routines are crowd pleasers, fun and entertaining at every level! Tiger Rock Martial Arts Come see us at the HHKF! 5426 Hwy. 280, Suite 10 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-7777 Tiger Rock Martial Arts provides the best martial arts


Ballet TRAIN Alabama School WITH , THE professional, PROS! ballet company. The OFFICIAL school

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B I R M I N G H A M PA R E N T ’ S

Education & Enrichment Guide 2016 BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S

happy,healthykids with Michele Mulder Family Favorite




Find out why Kindermusik is Birmingham's #1 Family Favorite Parent & Child class!

training for your whole family! Visit our website or call to schedule a free introductory class today!


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.



JOURNEY AWAITS! VESTAVIA 1090 Montgomery Highway Birmingham, AL 35216 205-823-4653 COLONNADE 3427 Colonnade Parkway Birmingham, AL 35243 205-583-4653 PELHAM 2244 A Pelham Parkway Pelham, AL 35124 205-358-1330 18 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Giggles & Grace Fall Consignment Sale  Asbury United Methodist Church  6690 Cahaba Valley Rd. Birmingham, AL 35242  www.asburygigglesandgrace. com Children’s clothing, shoes, toys, books, baby furniture and much more! Fri​day, Sept. 9, 8am-6pm ​ and ​Sat​urday​, Sept. 10, 8am1pm (1/2 off select items on Saturday.)  Kids Market and Mom Consignment Sale 7845 Crestwood Blvd.  Birmingham, AL 35210 Back to School Sale! Mon. Aug. 1st- Saturday, Aug. 6th 10a-6p. LAST DAY 50% off (Sat., Aug. 6th) - Tax Free Day & 50% OFF BLACK tags.

Riverchase United Methodist Day School T-N-T Kid’s Consignment Sale 1953 Old Hwy. 31 Hoover, AL  35244 205-989-8070 TNT is a fundraising event sponsored by Riverchase Day School. Children’s consignment sale held Friday, September 23rd ~ 9am-6pm and Saturday, September 24th ~ 8am-1pm.

MUSEUMS AND ATTRACTIONS Birmingham Children’s Theatre 2130 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-458-8181 One of the nation’s oldest and largest professional theatre companies for children, BCT produces high-quality, professional theatrical entertainment and curriculum-relevant arts education experiences for children & families. 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.

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism 23685 Perdido Beach Blvd. Orange Beach, AL 36561 877-475-1528 Find your memorable family vacation with time to relax, explore and enjoy our 32 miles of uncrowded whitesand beaches, variety of attractions/accommodations and great seafood. 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. 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.


back to school In stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt. With motor running, add 2 tablespoons oil and warm water. Switch paddle attachment to dough hook. Add oat bran and mix until combined. Add wholewheat flour a little at a time and stop when slightly sticky ball forms. Continue to run mixer 1 minute. Brush ball of dough with remaining olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and place somewhere warm to rise 1 hour. Heat oven to 450 F. Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray. Photo courtesy of Family Features


HEALTHIER LUNCHBOX If good eating habits have fallen by the wayside during the summer break, you can kick off this school year right by pledging to guide your family toward healthier lunches. “Back to school is a great time for families to make a healthy resolution they can carry on through the duration of the school year,” said Trish James, vice president, Produce for Kids. “As a mom of two boys, I understand the challenges parents face when packing a healthy, nutritious lunch for their children and for themselves. The Power Your Lunchbox Pledge was designed to help families tackle this universal challenge.” The initiative gives parents tools and tips - such as this time-saving make-ahead pizza pocket recipe - to achieve a great start for back to school, while giving back to children in need. Every online pledge results in a $1 donation to Feeding America programs that support families and children. Find more creative ideas and join the discussion on Instagram and Twitter using #PowerYourLunchbox, and learn more about the program and its sponsors at

FREEZABLE PIZZA POCKETS Prep time: 90 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 1 hour & 45 minutes 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1

teaspoon quick rise yeast


teaspoon sugar


teaspoon salt


tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon, divided


cup slightly warm water


cup uncooked oat bran hot cereal


cup whole-wheat flour


cup no-salt-added tomato sauce


cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese


slices pepperoni, quartered


mushrooms, sliced


mini sweet peppers, sliced

Punch down dough. Dust counter lightly with flour. Roll out half of dough to 1/4-inch thick, dusting with more flour if too sticky. Use 4-inch round cookie cutter to cut rounds. Spoon 1 teaspoon tomato sauce into middle of each round. Add 1/2 tablespoon cheese, 4 quarters of pepperoni, mushroom slice and 2 pepper rings. Moisten edges of dough with water. Fold dough over filling and press to seal. Use fork tines to crimp and further seal edges. Place pizza pockets on baking sheet and poke top of each with fork. Bake 15 minutes, or until tops are browned (some cheese may leak out). Once cool, freeze in single layer on baking sheet. Once frozen, wrap individually in plastic wrap and transfer to freezer bag. Notes: If placed in lunchbox frozen, even with ice pack, they will defrost by lunchtime. Serve with 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons hummus and a clementine. Courtesy of Family Features

Shameza Boyd, MD, FAAP

Evening &Saturday appts. available • Free Parking On site Lab and X-Rays

We Are Accepting New Patients! NEWBORN TO

18 YEARS OLD St. Vincent’s East Professional Building 52 Medical Park Drive East, Suite 201 . Birmingham, Alabama 35235

20 | birminghamparent | august 2016

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

Come Dance With Us! In our 55th year of dance instruction BIRMINGHAM DANCE THEATRE


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822-3012 . FOLLOW US ON

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Alabama Family Trust is a unique public service that helps parents administer special needs trusts for their loved ones; providing a safe haven for financial resources, and helping assure important government benefits for their future.

2820 Columbiana Road, Ste 103 Vestavia, AL 35216 205.313.3915 • 1.844.238.4630 | 21


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.

In the 12 years since opening Vulcan Park and Museum, educational programs have grown to fit the needs of our community. Vulcan Park and Museum is the only comprehensive institution in the Birmingham area dedicated to sharing regional history, preserving a natural park, and investing in K-12 education. Vulcan Park and Museum offers students and teachers more than just guided tours that align with the Alabama Course of Study. By collaborating with local organizations, enticing educational programs like Thank-A-Vet, Living Legends of Leadership and an Egg Drop competition are offered throughout the year. Local Girl Scouts are invited to participate in any of four patches offered through the Camps & Clubs program in the spring and fall, and, Birmingham History on the Road, is available for regional high schools. Additionally, the annual Education Symposium and workshop, this year to focus on civic education, will be held on November 2. Expansion of the educational programs at Vulcan Park and Museum will begin in the 2016 fall semester. A new Life in Industrial Birmingham Traveling Trunk series will be introduced offering three themed “trunks” at no cost to educators. These trunks will be sent to schools and will focus on: The People, The War, and S.T.E.M. Each will provide teachers with a full week’s lesson plan and students will be able to see and hold tangible artifacts while learning about how these items relate to our history. The S.T.E.M. trunk will delve into the science of Birmingham’s history specifically related to the iron and steel industry.

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?

To learn more about the educational programs at Vulcan Park and Museum or to book a tour, email or call 205-933-1409 x.112. More information can also be found at

Educational Program Coordinator 205.933.1409 x112 1701 Valley View Dr Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 933-1409 • 22 | birminghamparent | august 2016

900 Arkadelphia Rd, Birmingham, AL 35254 (205) 226-4600

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 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.

MICHAEL S. ANGLIN, D.D.S., P.C. Your child deserves a bright, healthy smile that will last for the rest of their life. Dr. Michael Anglin has provided high quality pediatric dentistry to the Hoover and surrounding communities since 1993. We have a reputation for excellent care in a family-oriented, welcoming environment. By providing individual care to our patients, we design treatments around your child’s unique needs. We offer state-of-the-art dentistry in order to cut down on treatment time and cost to you, including digital X-rays, Lumineers®, fillings, teeth cleaning, space maintainers, and hospital dentistry. Dr. Anglin’s experienced and talented dental team is committed to working with you and your family to create a comfortable, stress-free, and rewarding dental experience every time you visit our practice. Dr. Anglin is a multiple winner of Birmingham Parent’s Family Favorites for favorite dentist.

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.

In 2012 Dr. Erin Nelson, who specializes in Family Dentistry, joined our team and offers parents the opportunity of one convenient location for the entire family’s dental needs. Dr. Anglin and Dr. Nelson look forward to welcoming children, adolescents and adults to our dental family and we cannot wait to help create a beautiful, healthy smile for everyone in your family! Inverness: 205-991-0039 • Trace Crossings: 205-988-8829




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.

You want to take care of your loved ones. Special needs disability trusts (also called supplemental needs trusts) help accomplish that goal, and help you provide for your loved ones in perpetuity – with honor, dignity, and compassion.

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.

As a unique public service created by state law, we shelter and protect assets for persons with disabilities of all ages including the elderly in a skilled nursing home so the person may maintain eligibility or achieve eligibility for any government benefits that may be available to him or her. We also protect the person from financial exploitation or fraud from people that would otherwise abuse the disabled person.

JBMA currently serves toddlers to the 8th grade.

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

At the Alabama Family Trust, we understand your needs. That’s why we offer the highest levels of professionalism, cost efficiency, and management for all special needs disability trusts for the families we humbly serve.

The Alabama Family Trust has a proven track record of having all our trust documents accepted by SSA and Medicaid.

2820 Columbiana Road, Ste 103, Vestavia, AL 35216 (205) 313-3915 . | 23

back to school

A CHRISTIAN EDUCATION IN PUBLIC SCHOOL? School Ministries of Birmingham brings Biblical teaching to public school students By Carol Muse Evans

Some parents of children in public school may have dreamed of giving their child a “Christian education,” but budgets and time constraints may have ruled out a Christian school or even home schooling. And of course, we all know you cannot have prayer and Bible study in public school, right? Not necessarily. School Ministries of Birmingham launched their education program at Spain Park High School last semester with great success, and they are bringing it back this fall, while also having permission to eventually bring the class to Hoover High 24 | birminghamparent | august 2016

School as well. The organization is raising funds to expand to other schools, says Erica Faircloth, its executive director and a board member. In fact, they hosted their first fund-raising gala in April, and more are planned. What makes this Biblical World View class as taught by School Ministries of Birmingham “legal” in public school are three things, Faircloth says: • Classes must be held off campus. • The program must be self-funded/funds privately raised. • Parents must give permission for their child to take the class. In the case of Spain Park High School, the child must also have an open class period in which they can leave campus to take the class, i.e., be released from school. The course does not replace any core classes but does take the place of an elective, serving as a nonclass credit. Faircloth says these “released time education programs” have been around more than 100 years and have withstood a Supreme Court challenge three different times. In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court said (Zorach v. Clauson 343 U.S. 306) that released-time education is constitutional if it meets the three criteria. According to the School Ministries website,, the program was started in 1914 in Gary, Indiana by a public school superintendent, and is now functioning in at least 32 states, serving an estimated 250,000 students nationwide. Faircloth was challenged to start the organization here, she says, when a new pastor at her church learned of her after-school


Bible class she had taught for several years. The class was a program she put together herself, as her ministry, across the street from Rocky Ridge Elementary and hosted by Lakeside Baptist Church, serving ages K-5. The Bible class grew over the years to about 80 children and served the families once a week in five-week classes. “My new pastor said if I could do this (my Bible class), I could bring the school ministry to Birmingham,” Faircloth says. After some time of thought, prayer and discussion, a non-profit was begun and incorporated. The organization had to contact every school board, raise funds, find a place for class close by the schools and find teachers and pay for them, Faircloth says. “I prayed ardently about it for two years – but in the fall of 2014, I knew it was time.” After much interviewing, Faircloth says Yannick Christos-Wahab, a British-born graduate student pursing his Master of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, was hired to teach the Biblical World View class to Spain Park High School seniors and juniors who joined the class. Christos-Wahab taught the inaugural class of seven students. It’s a start, Faircloth says, and they are already taking applications for this fall in what will be a seventh period Biblical World View course. “This program is by far the most strategic ministry opportunity I have been involved in,” Christos-Wahab says. “Quite simply, it enables us to teach the Bible in public high schools during school hours to people who otherwise may have little to no contact with the Gospel. I do not believe that there is a more efficient use of the church’s resources than close engagement with kids who are about to go to college and are often unsure about the basics of their faith.” Long-term plans are to offer the program to other schools in Jefferson and Shelby counties, Faircloth says.






Schoiosltries Min of

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There are valuable lessons involved in learning how to use a microscope.


14 lished 20

“We want to be an asset to churches in our area, and our hope is that SMB will empower your child to be a witness for Christ in their school and invite their friends to join them in the SMB class,” the SMB website states. “SMB will help students to intellectually understand Christianity and teach students how to apply it to their life.” For more information on the program, visit www. Carol Muse Evans is publisher and editor of Birmingham Parent.



Infants – Private Kindergarten & After School

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 Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2016 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail. | 25

back to school


By Jeffery Leiken

According to many who work with youth and their academic endeavors, brand prestige from an Ivy League name doesn’t necessarily suit the needs of individual students. Jeffrey Leiken, CEO of Evolution Mentoring International, agrees. He provides mentoring for teens and young adults, going beyond the typical work of a therapist by building a relationship so that they come to see Leiken as a trusted confidant who answers their late-night text messages and isn’t quick to label them. “We continue to be obsessed with being associated with the top 1 percent of anything, whether it’s wealth, looks, social media followers or achieving that Ivy League status,” says Leiken, author of “Adolescence is Not a Disease: Beyond Drinking, Drugs and Dangerous Friends – The Journey to Adulthood” ( “Far more important is not the school’s brand and our cultural obsession with it;

rather, it’s helping to ensure that every student who attends any school gets closer to reaching their potential.” What criteria should students and parents look for when determining where to apply for college? Leiken offers some guidelines:

SEEK A COLLEGE WITH PROGRAMS THAT MAY HELP WITH LIFELONG SKILLS. Self-awareness, self-leadership, self-actualization – those qualities are often overlooked when considering higher education. Learning the tangible skills for a future job is important. However, those requirements change over time. Coursework, professors and other programs that speak to a student’s ethical intuition, however, make up the educational gold that is enduring. LOOK BEYOND THE TYPICAL MENU OF SCHOOLS.  There is a common denominator among millions of 17-year-olds: an anx-

ious balance between their “reach” schools and their “safety” schools. It turns out that many college counselors guide these kids to a similar list of “reach” and “safety” schools – about 50 of them. Between public and private institutions, there are thousands of other schools from which to choose!  

ASK YOURSELF, “WHERE WILL I FLOURISH?” Learn more about the culture of these institutions. There are two distinct stages for young adults in college life: the time where students adjust to a new environment and, later, when students realize they are becoming independent adults. A name-brand school isn’t necessarily the best place for millions of kids to best reach maturity. “Just as we don’t all wear the same size clothing,” Leiken says, “the intellectual development of young adults doesn’t always fit into the same small box of name-brand schools.”  

Jeffery Leiken ( is the CEO of Evolution Mentoring International and is co-founder of HeroPath International. Leiken also is author of “Adolescence is Not a Disease: Beyond Drinking, Drugs and Dangerous Friends – The Journey to Adulthood.” 26 | birminghamparent | august 2016

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.

That’s the pathway to success.

are you ready?


Birmingham-Southern College | 27

back to school


NO WORRIES! By Heidi Smith Luedtke, Ph.D.

If your child is starting a new school this year, he may be concerned about finding his classroom, getting along with his teacher or making new friends. Academic pressure increases those anxieties. As a parent, you can help your child confront and conquer new-school jitters. Here are 10 ways to help kids get comfortable. 28 | birminghamparent | august 2016

FIND FRIENDS. “Don’t make a kid go in cold,” says early childhood education specialist Maureen Taylor, Ed.D. “Spend your summer finding and introducing your child to students their age or younger who will attend the same school.” Even one familiar face can go a long way to increase confidence.    CHECK YOURSELF. “Sometimes kids pick up on parents’ worries about sending the child to school,” says clinical psychologist Lawrence Levy, Psy.D. Monitor your own anxiety and be vigilant of signals you send. Talking with the principal, teacher and other parents can calm your fears and prevent them from amplifying school-related stress.   VISIT THE SCHOOL. Attend orientation or create your own self-guided tour. Walk around the buildings and grounds with your child. Give him a campus map if one is available. If students must walk from one class to another between periods, practice the shortest route so your child knows he can get from gym to English class in the time allotted.   TALK IT UP. The stories kids tell themselves about their new-school transition have a major impact on their emotions. Count down the days until school begins with X’s on the calendar or using a paper chain in the new school colors. Create a sense of anticipation and excitement. Use optimistic words and phrases to give her story a positive tone.   MEET THE STAFF. Head to campus before school starts to meet the principal, teachers and other personnel – including coaches, the nurse and the office staff – if possible. Many staff members go back to work several weeks before the first day of school.    continued on page 30


Family owned and operated for 35 years.


Over 2700 square feet of unique dancewear, shoes, tights, liturgical and tutus from the top industry brands.

Sunday,October 2 Program: 2-4 p.m.

• Pre-K - 8th Grade • State Math Champions • Accelerated Curriculum • Representing 44 Zip Codes

Toddler to Adult sizes Professional Shoe Fitting

1629 Oxmoor Rd | Birmingham, AL 35209 | 205-871-STEP

Start Here Go Anywhere


A customized treatment program for children with ADD/ADHD Uses current technologies of Interactive Metronome and Integrated Listening Systems to build neurological pathways that enhance overall functional abilities.

Improves ability to sustain ATTENTION & minimize distractibility Promotes Motor and Cognitive PLANNING Develops THINKING skills for improved academic performance

205.978.9939 •


advent episcopal school

2019 6th Ave North | 29

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BE A PLAYER. Pack a picnic lunch and go to the school playground just for fun. Spend unstructured time in your child’s soon-to-be stomping grounds. Familiarity with the outdoor environment and play equipment makes recess and lunch time less intimidating for school-age kids.   TEAM UP. “Make your child a participant in back-to-school preparations, instead of doing things for him,” says Levy. Shop together for supplies, clothing and athletic gear. Let your child express his personal style and favorite hobbies with a special backpack or book covers. Kids gain a sense of control and independence when they assist with back-to-school prep.   STACK THE DECK. Work with your child to list appropriate get-toknow-you questions and personal facts she can use during early (and sometimes awkward) peer interactions. Favorite movies, hobbies, sports and magic tricks are interesting things to share with new friends. Knowing what to say eases fears about the social scene.   ANTICIPATE ACADEMIC CHALLENGES. The level of difficulty, class schedule or homework load may be different at your child’s new school. Tune in to kids’ concerns. Help your child create a plan to keep track of assignments and complete work on time. Look for tutors in subjects that are most challenging for your child. An academic plan of attack can relieve the performance pressure your child may feel.   TAKE A TOKEN. Kids feel more secure when they have a comfort object tucked away in their book bag or locker. Let your child select a small token to take with him to school – it can be his secret worry-busting weapon. A tiny toy, a favorite piece of clothing, or a silly photo of the family dog can bring a smile to a nervous new student. New school transitions are harder for some students than others – you know your child’s temperament best. “Some kids breeze into a new classroom as if they did it every day,” says Taylor. “Others are anxious and withdrawn whether they are five years old or 11.” Offer extra reassurance and be patient while your student adjusts. Before long, she’ll be singing the school fight song and looking forward to the upcoming carnival.   Heidi Smith Luedtke is a personality psychologist, former educator and mom of two. She is the author of Detachment Parenting.

Resources: Cuddle up with books that address school and separation anxieties. We like these reads:   GRADES K-1:    I Am Absolutely Too Small for School by Lauren Child   The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain   The Invisible String by Patrice Karst   I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas and Priscilla Burris   GRADES 2-4:   Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail   What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner   Wilma Jean and the Worry Machine by Julia Cook   GRADES 3-8:   The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions by Dr. Lynda Madison Understanding Myself: A Kid’s Guide to Intense Emotions and Strong Feelings by Mary C. Lamia, Ph.D.   A Smart Girl’s Guide to Starting Middle School by Julie Williams Montalbano 30 | birminghamparent | august 2016

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FRESH STARTS: By Malia Jacobson


The secret to a happy life? It may involve an adventurous spirit. According to research from Winston-Salem State University, engaging in a wide variety of experiences increases positive emotions and minimizes negative ones. But that can be problematic for children who resist trying new things. Whether you have a toddler who rejects every food except pasta, a grade-schooler who’s scared to join an after-school club, or a teen who’s learning to navigate a new job, helping children learn to embrace fresh experiences can pave the way for a more fulfilling adulthood. Here’s how to start.


Helping children learn to try new things often begins at the table, where they can experience new tastes and textures daily. But encouraging dietary variety can be a struggle. According to Colorado State University food and nutrition researchers, preschoolers often go through a stage of neophobia, or fear of new things – namely, new foods. Don’t give up too soon. In one study, parents offered babies a new food every day for eight days straight and found that by day eight, the baby was consuming three times as much as on the first day.  The Colorado State University researchers confirmed that toddlers and preschoolers may reject a food up to a dozen times before giving it a try. And remember that for little ones, visual appeal is key, says Jennifer Eiseman, co-founder of Modern Table Meals. “Presentation is everything! Introduce new foods with things your kids already love. It also doesn’t hurt to put everything on a fun plate, too!”


From band to soccer to coding club, the school years’ flurry of extracurricular activities provides plenty of opportunity to try new things – which can ramp up pressure for kids leery of novel experiences. If your child wants to be a joiner, but ends up on the sidelines, there are ways to help, says Charlotte, NC-based parent educator Tara Egan, D.Ed., founder of Charlotte Parent Coaching. “First, indicate that you have an expectation that they will participate in a new activity. Prepare them by speaking in general terms, ‘Honey, I’d like you to pick an after-school activity to try this fall. Some activities that your school offers are volleyball, flag football, technology club, and LEGO club. I’d like you to think about which of those sounds the most fun.’ Consider finding a friend to participate, too.” Finally, Egan says, set the expectations that the child will commit to the activity for at least one session or season. Once the season is over, they can decide whether or not to participate. 32 | birminghamparent | august 2016


Teens are hard-wired to want to try new things – evolutionary scientists say that teenagers have a heightened appetite for risk that encourages them to spread their wings and eventually leave the nest. But they may lack the frontal-lobe planning and organizing skills to fully think through the risks involved. Egan says that parents can encourage a healthy attitude toward trying new things and taking risks that includes an awareness of healthy and safe limits. “Parents should recognize that teens are going to engage in unsafe behaviors sometimes, despite their best attempts to prevent it,” she says. Here, knowledge is power. Make sure – never assume – that teens know where you stand on topics like guns, drugs, vaping, sex, and alcohol. And resist the temptation to let teens party unsupervised because “you trust them.” Teens often make poor decisions simply because they have the opportunity, notes Egan. “Many poor decisions are made without forethought or calculation.”

Malia Jacobson is an award-winning health and parenting journalist and mom of three. Her latest book is Sleep Tight, Every Night: Helping Toddlers and Preschoolers Sleep Well Without Tears, Tricks, or Tirades.

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34 | birminghamparent | august 2016

The intense demands of school work may cause you to hesitate when it comes to after-school time. Although you don’t want to overload you child’s schedule, the academic, social and physical benefits of extracurricular programs are hard to ignore.         The Afterschool Alliance, an information clearinghouse and advocacy group, reports kids who participate in after-school programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations about graduation and college attendance. They’re less likely to use drugs or get into trouble with police, and – because they log less screen time – kids in after-school programs are at lower risk of obesity. Kids also develop social and leadership skills in after-school programs, as they interact with peers in cooperative roles and mentoring relationships. Now that’s an impressive list of benefits.   Before signing up, do your homework. These guidelines will help you sort the best from the rest:

CONTENT. If possible, let kids choose activities based on their personal interests, says Susan Kuczmarski, Ed.D., author of  The Sacred Flight of the Teenager: A Parent’s Guide to Stepping Back and Letting Go. Help your child find activities that reflect who they are and what they want to learn, instead of imposing your preferences on them. Kids flourish when they’re deeply engaged.  

Kids also develop social and leadership skills in after-school programs, as they interact with peers in cooperative roles and mentoring relationships.

QUALITY. After-school programs aren’t created equal. The best programs offer much more than homework help, says Sara Hill, Ph.D., senior consultant for the National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Discipline-based activities that allow kids to create a quality product over a period of time are best, she says. For instance, kids might learn math and science by building a boat or practice art and leadership by putting on a play or musical.  

MOVEMENT. After-school sports show kids the value of practice and encourage persistence. But the benefits of exercise are even bigger. John Ratey, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of  Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, prescribes exercise for kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (and everyone else) because exercise boosts mood, improves learning and memory, and relieves stress. Being a jock is anything but dumb.  

STAFFING. You’re looking for more than a babysitter. Staff members should be professionals with bona fide skills and experience. Programs with strong community connections usually have the best resources, Hill says. Kids may get to work with artists, scientists, and athletes from local organizations, like museums and colleges. These opportunities expose kids to real-life role models.

LEADERSHIP. Extracurricular activities, including sports and clubs, are ideal places for kids to explore and practice what it means to be a group leader, says Kuczmarski. When kids take responsibility for organizing group work and producing results, they learn valuable social skills. Encourage your child to take on leadership roles whenever possible.  

LOGISTICS. Rather than causing burnout, after-school activities can provide balance to a class schedule that is overly academic, Kuczmarski says, if locations and timing fit your lifestyle. It’s okay to keep kids busy, but avoid signing on to so many programs that you’ll be scrambling from one to the next. Pay attention to cost as well. Good programs don’t necessarily cost big bucks. Many quality programs receive funding from grants and community partnerships.  As you weigh the options, keep in mind this goal: You want your child to be a well-rounded citizen and a healthy, happy person, says Hill. After-school activities can provide enrichment, adventure and variety. They shouldn’t be driven by high-stakes testing and they shouldn’t be box-fillers for college applications. Kids don’t want to participate in programs that are just more school after school.                 Heidi Smith Luedtke, Ph.D is a freelance writer

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Parents Can Make a Difference


PARENTS CAN BEEF UP SECURITY Safety concerns may arise on field trips but preparation can minimize potential problems. Increased adult to child ratios can also minimize safety issues. Therefore, volunteer to chaperone for field trips! If you can’t volunteer, there are some things you can do to help keep your child safe on field trips. · Make sure your child knows their contact information (phone numbers, addresses, where parents work). · Emphasize to your child how important it is that they stay with their group.

By Laura Lyles Reagan

· Wash their school shirt ahead of time so your child is wearing the same color as their group.

Teachers affirm that a well-planned school field trip make topics of study

· In a calm manner, prepare your child for what to do if they are separated from their group. You may want to make several suggestions, like return to the zoo entrance or ticket office and ask that an adult page your teacher over the loud speaker or tell your child to look for a uniformed security guard or museum docent to ask for help in locating the class.

come alive by helping them associate concepts learned in the classroom with real world applications. Students retain information on the subject as a result of field trips and they demonstrate a greater interest in learning more in-depth study on their own. There are good academic reasons to take field trips and important

· Remind your child to go to the restroom with a buddy or small group.

social ones also. Parents have a vital role to play. Parents can help enhance

· Play a brief reminder game about Stranger Danger  and what to do. Praise your child for remembering.

learning outcomes, address related safety issues and ensure the fun!

· Carry a first aid kit.


PARENTS CAN BOOST THE FUN FACTOR AS COOL CHAPERONES The following are a few suggestions to help boost the fun factor on field trips and avoid behavior issues by keeping students engaged. Parents can also help create social learning opportunities. · Use name tags so new parent chaperones learn student’s names quickly. · Chaperones can ask students what they think they will see when they arrive at their field trip location, while students are riding on the bus. · Sing songs on the bus drive to the field trip location. · If permissible, give your child an old fashioned disposable camera to take their own photos on the field trip. · Talk to students throughout the field trip about what their favorite part is. · On the bus drive back to school, play a sequence game about what students saw first, second, third and finally, last on the field trip.


PARENTS CAN BOOST LEARNING OUTCOMES Ask your child the following. · Why are you going on this field trip?

· What have you been studying in school that relates to the field trip? · What do you expect to see on the field trip? · I know you will have an assignment to do after the field trip. How will you remember what information you need for your report or project? 36 | birminghamparent | august 2016

· Remember to catch students being good and affirm random acts of kindness that you see. Be sure to pick up your child from school on time, especially on field trip day and get ready to hear all the good things they learned. Laura Lyles Reagan, MS is a parenting journalist and family sociologist. She can be reached for teen-parent communication coaching through her website,

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Many people ask, “Do I have to be a ‘genius’ to be accepted to ASMS?” Answer: Absolutely NOT! ASMS is made up of students who are intelligent and work hard for academic success. In 2016, the 72 ASMS grads earned $11.5 million in merit-based scholarships with an ACT composite class average of 29.0.

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Sure, homeschooling is a bit different from brick-and-mortar school, but some things are certainly similar. Here are some things to consider when you are getting your child ready for a new homeschool year:


It’s important for your entire family (and friends and neighbors too!) to know when school is starting. Vacations and events should be scheduled around the first day of homeschooling. 2. GO BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING. If you are enrolled in a virtual school, they will send most everything a kindergarten student would need, including watercolors, jumbo crayons and pencils, construction paper, math manipulatives and more! For the older kids, they make sure to include plenty of scratch paper for writing and doing math problems. No matter what curriculum you are using, your kids might enjoy some new things to call their own, such as a colorful fabric bin to keep all their homeschooling goodies and projects in, or a new set of markers or special notebook.   3. PLAN SOME FREEZER MEALS. You’ll want to focus on figuring out the routine and rhythm for your kids and for yourself. Having some freezer meals (or the pizza delivery place on speed dial) ready to go, will save your sanity and help you focus on the lessons each day during those first few weeks. 38 | birminghamparent | august 2016

PLAN SOME EXTRACURRICULAR, ACTIVE AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES. Add in plenty of time to play and socialize during the school year by putting events in your planner or on your calendar so the kids can look forward to them. Plan some field trips with other families or groups so your kids can meet up with other homeschooled kids while you get some time to meet other homeschooling parents. 5. HALF PRICE BOOKS OR OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL, FUN TRIP FOR GOODIES. Put a line in your budget for a bookstore visit or trip to some other type of curriculum store for some learning supplements your kids will enjoy.   6. REVIEW THE CURRICULUM AHEAD OF TIME. Take some time to check out the curriculum so you are prepared to teach the first week of lessons. Fill in a lesson plan book for the first week to set your mind at ease.   7. START THE DAY RIGHT. Prepare a special breakfast to get that brainpower going for the whole family.   8. DON’T FORGET TO TAKE A FAMILY PHOTO. The photo of the first day of school is always one to treasure and look back on with fondness.   9. CELEBRATE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. You might want to go a little bit light and ease into your first day of school, which is a wonderful benefit of homeschooling. After you’re done for the day, consider going out for ice cream or heading to a park so you can all blow off some steam. You could even have your fellow homeschooled friends over for a potluck picnic dinner in the backyard!   10. FINALLY, HAVE YOUR STUDENTS KEEP A JOURNAL FOR THE YEAR. This can be an inexpensive spiral-bound notebook or in something fancy your kids create and decorate themselves, but the point is to try to jot something down daily throughout the school year. Even little ones can draw a picture of how they are feeling or of something they did that day. Kerrie McLoughlin is the chaos-loving, homeschooling mama of five. You can find her (and all her offshoot projects) at


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Forget Jan. 1. Parents know the real new year begins when you can smell the fresh pink erasers and hear the clatter of brand new pencils on still-smooth notebook covers. Even if you don’t have kids in school, the end of summer and the beginning of fall is a great time to reassess, realign, hit the restart button and make resolutions that will help carry your family smoothly through until next summer – or at least until the holidays. Here are some tips from parents about resolutions they’ve made for the coming school year:

LEARN TO LOVE MORNINGS My Life and Kids blogger Anna Luther says she used to hate mornings. “It was a disaster,” she says. “There was a lot of yelling, a lot of missing socks, a lot of arguments about eating a good breakfast - it was just not the way to start a productive, happy day.” Luther decided to turn the first - and worst - hour of her day into one of the best by waking up earlier, exercising and turning on music. Luther also changed the way she looked at breakfast. “It doesn’t have to be from scratch,” she says, “but it does have to have protein - and be fast. We love frozen breakfast burritos, for example.” EMPOWER THE KIDS Luther says that another thing that made mornings exhausting was that she tried to do everything herself, from finding socks and brushing hair to heating up healthy breakfasts. 40 | birminghamparent | august 2016

But kids are eager to help, she says. Just like adults, they feel empowered when they can do things for themselves. Luther decided to empower her kids and simplify her life at the same time by creating “Get Ready Buckets,” which hold everything they need to get moving in the morning, from hairbrushes to socks. That same message of empowerment can simplify and improve other stressful times of day. Do the kids walk in the door hungry and cranky and leave you feeling the same way? Stock the freezer with hearty snacks, such as frozen taquitos, that kids can heat up on their own.

APPRECIATE OTHERS Blogger Kristyn Merkley of Lil’ Luna, has resolved to show the teachers in her life how much she and her family appreciate them. “Our teachers put so much time and effort into their jobs,” Merkley says, “and we’re so grateful for that.” While she usually gives teachers a gift card at the end of the year, she doesn’t wait until then to send notes and emails with a simple, “thank you.” She also makes sure to say thanks in person - and in front of her kids. MAKE FUN A PRIORITY There are plenty of must-dos on your list every day, but is fun one of them? Merkley says it should be, and she’s making family fun a resolution this school year. She collects activities on her blog that kids and adults can do together and plans family fun nights around them. “When we laugh and make things and learn things together,” she says, “we’re making memories. I want my kids to remember their childhoods as more than just getting to school on time and cleaning their rooms.”

BE A TEAM Kristy Denney, of the Boys Ahoy blog, is raising three wild boys, as she calls them. But even the wildest of kids wants to know that you’re on their team – and they’re on yours. Denney and her husband, Brett, chose a family motto for the school year so that everyone on their family team knows what they’re working toward. As their motto, the Denneys chose, “Work hard and be nice.” It’s simple, succinct and sums up what they want for their family. FUEL UP WITH REAL FOOD Kids have to eat, and most insist on eating three or more times a day. Denney says she loves to cook from scratch, but she doesn’t want time in the kitchen to keep her away from her family. So, this year, she’s resolving to focus on what’s important: real ingredients. “Sometimes I’ll buy the ingredients myself to cook from scratch and sometimes I’ll look for foods I recognize on the label,” she says. MAKE SNACKS WORK HARD Jess Kielman, who writes the blog Mom 4 Real, says that snacking can sometimes be a problem in her house. Kids (and adults) sometimes snack because they’re bored - or just out of habit, so she’s reining in snack time and making snacks work just as hard as meals. “Protein and real food - that’s what I’m going to look for in afternoon snacks,” she says. “Something that fills the kids up and gets them ready to get back out the door and play, or buckle down and do their homework.” For more breakfast, snack and dinner ideas to help you keep your family resolutions, visit Courtesy of Family Features


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at our NEW LOCATION Sunday, Aug. 14 at 3 pm

We provide a multi-sensory environment enabling students to learn at their maximum potential. Spring Valley School knows that for young people with a language-based learning disability, like dyslexia, school can be frustrating and overwhelming. For our students, grades 2-12, school is about experiencing an individualized academic program every day, building skills to make learning beneficial and meaningful, playing sports, exploring visual arts, theater... and feeling confidence for the first time ever. Spring Valley School admits students with average to superior intelligence who have been diagnosed with learning differences such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and AD/HD. We are accredited through SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

Come visit. We invite you to contact us to set up an interview and a tour of the school.


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GET YOUR BACK TO SCHOOL SHOTS WITH TOT SHOTS CLINICS The Jefferson County Department of Health offers free vaccination clinics monthly to children younger than 19 who have no insurance. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and must bring their immunization records. Call 205-930-1450 or go to for more information on your child’s eligibility, and call ahead to make sure the clinic will be held that day.



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back to school Photos courtesy of Briana Kinsey


DEFEAT DIABETES Briana Kinsey is a 23-year-old University of Alabama honors graduate with plans to work toward a master’s degree in biomedical sciences and eventually, become a pediatric endocrinologist. As a pageant contestant, defeating diabetes is her platform. She has held the titles of Miss Leeds Area 2016, Miss North Jefferson Area 2015, Miss Marble Valley 2014, Miss Hoover 2013, Miss Birmingham 2012, Miss Jefferson County’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Birmingham’s Outstanding Teen. She was first runner up to the title of Miss Alabama 2015 and preliminary talent winner. She has received the Champion to Stop Diabetes Award, among many other accolades, for her work. Her goal to defeat diabetes is personal, too. Her mother has type II diabetes, and the disease runs in her family. So along with all of those accomplishments, she stays busy with her job as a medical assistant at St. Vincent’s Hospital and is president and founder of the non-profit organization Daring to Defeat Diabetes, which serves to advocate, educate and raise funds to ultimately defeat type I and type II diabetes. 44 | birminghamparent | august 2016

“Diabetes made a major impact on my mom’s health, so I saw an opportunity to help her and others,” she says. “Alabama has the number one rate of diabetes in the United States, and is the sixth leading cause of death for Alabamians. Our three main goals with this organization is to educate, advocate and raise funds. We work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Diabetes Association to get information out and to host fundraisers.” In August, the organization is involved in the Tour de Cure + Step Out Walk 2016, an American Diabetes Association event to raise funds. It will be held Saturday, August 20 at Railroad Park in Birmingham. Participants can form teams or individually pledge to ride bicycles on routes that range from five miles to 100 miles; or can walk other distances. Also each November for the past five years, Daring to Defeat Diabetes has hosted a fundraiser at the Riverchase Galleria where dance teams from local high schools compete and raise money for diabetes research, Kinsey says. People can donate and vote for the number one dance team. And, her program also is part of a Girl Scouts patch program to increase girls’

By Lori Chandler Pruitt

understanding and knowledge of diabetes. The newest component of Daring to Defeat Diabetes is training students at different high schools to be ambassadors, giving out information to students and others on diabetes, she says. “I can’t be everywhere at once, but there are others who can help, too,” she says. “Everyone can be involved in this fight.” For more information about Kinsey’s organization and event information, go to Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.



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book review

A Page in a Book



Books, Beds and Sleepyheads Preparing children for a good night’s sleep can include a variety of routines and regimens, all designed to help kids relax and settle into the bedtime groove. Warm baths, dimmed lights, and soft pajamas create soothing transitions from active play to relaxation. Best among these comforting routines is the time-honored bedtime traditions of finding just the right books to settle in with before lights out. The following titles are recommended for winding down wound-up kids with simple text, soft-edged illustrations and sweet progressions toward sleep.

Rock-a-Bye Romp

By Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Simona Mulazzani (Nancy Paulsen / Penguin Random House) Taking inspiration from the ‘Rock-a-bye, Baby’ lullaby, this baby’s journey toward slumber departs from the treetop and takes a round-a-bout tour before the last goodnight. Rendered with almost dreamlike detail, baby leaves the cradle in the boughs and soars through darkening skies, floats along rivers of stars, and ambles across peaceful pastures. Animals met along the way all seems to be guiding baby toward a sleepy destination. The journey ends when the child finally lands in mother’s arms, and makes the last stop of the night in baby’s own bed (under a swaying mobile featuring many of the child’s fellow travelers on the journey toward sleep). With rhyming text that perfectly syncs with the original lullaby, readers may also use this gentle selection to sing the way toward slumber.

Good Night Like This By Mary Murphy (Candlewick)

Dusk arrives with gorgeous color as animal parents prepare their young for evening slumber. Rabbits, bears, fireflies and squirrels all snuggle in with their babes as twilight looms, calming and cuddling their little ones. Each two-page spread features a split page insert that shows the moments just before sleep, then turns to reveals the sleeping family. The evening hues shift from dusky orange, through violet to blue as the progression toward bedtime sees the departure of the sun and the arrival of starry skies. Children reading along will enjoy identifying the shadowy silhouettes that say “good night” while chiming in with their own “like this” refrain after each animal closes its eyes. 46 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Sheep Go To Sleep By Nancy Shaw, Illustrated by Margot Apple (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Five sheep are back from their latest adventure and heading home to hit the sack. They’re ready for sleep in their snug beds of hay, but nighttime noises are keeping them awake. Enter the loyal collie who has just the thing to soothe restless sheep. Helping with a hug for one, a drink for another, the collie has something to offer each sheep as they countdown toward slumber. Nursery rhyme fans will also smile when they discover where an exhausted dog ends up after getting the herd to bed. With simple rhyming text and soft-edged illustrations, this title is the perfect for little ones who are just beginning to count sheep as they go to sleep.



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Evans Publishing LLC, DBA BIRMINGHAM PARENT is looking for a motivated individual who likes to help businesses market themselves to families for an outside sales account executive position. You must be driven, hard-working, dependable, work well independently, comfortable talking to strangers and making warm and cold calls, able to use web and Word-based programs for reporting and customer management, comfortable taking on the phone, and available to work at least 30 hours per week. Generous commission based pay with bonuses for success. Your success each month increases your paycheck! Flexible hours, but must be able to make sales calls in person, go to staff meetings and special events. Can sell print advertising, web, event and sponsorships. Advertising sales experience strongly preferred. Can work from home base, but not a “work from home” position. E-mail your resume to, or fax to 205-987-7600. Health insurance, dental and life insurance after 90-day successful probationary period.

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Sports Safety for Children By Christopher Carter, MD

Christopher Carter, MD, is a family practice/sports medicine specialist and located at the Brookwood Baptist Health Grand River Clinic in Leeds, AL.

48 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Children + Sports = a winning combination. Regular exercise through sports can help kids develop strong bones, control weight, decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, improve sleep, be academically motivated and build self-confidence. Playing sports also can be fun, but it does have a downside. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.6 million children ages 0 to 19 years old are treated in the emergency department each year for sports and recreation-related injuries. This is why it is so important for parents to take an active role in sports safety for their children. Some of the most common sports-related injuries are sprains and strains. Children also can experience growth plate and repetitive motion injuries, as well as heat-related illnesses. Injuries can be either traumatic, such as a broken bone caused by a single application of force, or chronic, which result from repetitive training over a period of time. Injuries can occur for a number of reasons, including accidents, improper training or lack of appropriate gear. Choose age-appropriate sports. For toddlers and preschoolers, unstructured free play that helps develop important motor skills is best, such as tumbling, running, throwing, catching, and swimming. As their coordination and attention spans improve, children ages 6 to 9 can begin participating in organized sports, such as soccer, gymnastics, T-ball, swimming, tennis, or martial arts. By age 10 to 12, children are typically ready to take on complex skill sports, such as football, basketball, hockey, and volleyball. Before allowing your child to participate in a contact sport, consider his or her age, maturity, and physical size. Some sports injuries are inevitable, but parents can take steps to minimize

risk while encouraging their children to participate in regular physical activity. Those include: • Children should have a physical examination before beginning an exercise program or training. • Gradually increase the time and intensity of workouts to avoid overuse injuries. • Choose activities appropriate for the child’s developmental level. • Teach children how to follow the rules of the game. • Provide the necessary gear that protects, fits properly and is appropriate for the sport. • Make sure every exercise routine has a warm-up and cool-down period. • Provide plenty of water or sports drink while playing to ensure proper hydration. • Use sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer that can occur later in life. • Do not allow children to play when they are very tired or in pain. If an injury does occur, seek professional medical treatment if necessary. Make sure the injury heals completely before playing again. Start playing slowly and protect the injured area with a brace or special equipment. From neighborhood soccer teams to high school football teams, more than 38 million children participate in organized sports in the United States. Even more are involved in recreational activities, such as biking or hiking. Parents should help their children select sports that match their personalities and fitness levels so they will want to practice more and improve their abilities. This physical competence can, in turn, help build both confidence and self-esteem.

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“Sprinkled” with Love Have A Baby Shower for the Second or Third Child By Pam Molnar

When our first baby was born after years of trying, our family, friends, neighbors and coworkers shared our joy. They hosted baby showers, sent flowers to the hospital and gave our daughter countless sentimental gifts after her arrival. Two years later, we were blessed with our second child – another daughter – yet her arrival did not receive the same fanfare the first child got. As a mother, I did not think my second child’s arrival was any less miraculous, joyful or worthy of celebration. Sadly, no one planned a second shower for us as they thought we had everything we needed (including pink clothes). The gifts our second daughter received just didn’t have the same personal touch that went into the first child’s gift. It seemed unfair to take our younger daughter out in stained hand-medowns and use blankets and toys that were clearly no longer new, but that’s what happened. As any seasoned mom will tell you, don’t let your second or third child start life in the shadow of her older sibling. Instead, throw a mini shower, known as a “Sprinkle”, to celebrate her arrival in a special way. Not sure what to do? Here are some ideas to get you started.

BEFORE THE PARTY: Have Mom Register – Give the nursery a facelift with new bedding, curtains and lamps. Not only will it make the room look fresh and new, but it will also make the transition easier for the older child to see the new baby in his room. Mom might also like to pick out a double stroller or choose something she wished she had with her first baby. She can also go through her inventory of what baby items she needs to replace the second or third time around.

SPRINKLE PARTY ACTIVITIES: Make a Time Capsule – If you did something special for your first baby at your shower, be sure to do something similar at your Sprinkle. Make a time capsule to be opened on her 18th birthday and have everyone bring something to add to it. Include newspapers, fashion magazines or trendy items for a good laugh down the road. Mom of Two Survival Tips – A mom with a new baby and a toddler feels overwhelmed and outnumbered. Set up a station at the party with stationary, envelopes and colored pens. Ask the guests to give Mom words of wisdom, survival tips or coupons for free babysitting and a night out. Get a Head Start on Scrapbooking – It’s hard to find time to put together a scrap book for the first baby, but when you have two children, it’s close to impossible. Help Mom out by creating a scrapbook for her. Have the guests select a baby’s first – tooth, solid food, trip to the zoo, or Fourth of July. Each guest will decorate a page, leaving room for Mom to just add the photos later.

Games! – Keep the guests entertained with simple games like Nursery Rhyme Pictionary, a Watering Can Relay Race or Find the Sprinkle. You can find printable Pictionary game cards online at Etsy. Create a relay race using a watering can to soak a sponge and then squeeze the sponge in a glass to the marked line. Lastly, in Find the Sprinkle, challenge guests to find ten blue (or pink) sprinkles from a multi colored shaker. Pick up the sprinkles with tape wrapped around your fingers and knock off the colors you don’t need. Food – Since this is a Sprinkle, let that be your food theme. Add sprinkles to the rim of the glasses when you serve punch or the cups used for fruit salad. Combine them with bowls of Chex Mix or popcorn. And remember, not all sprinkles are candy. You can make colored coarse salt with a few drops of food coloring to use as a topping. Get creative with cheese, chives or other spices to sprinkle on each dish. Party Favors – Give your guests something to take home and a note from the new baby “Thanks for making my day special. I hope you enjoy watching me grow.” Or, make a Mom’s Night Jar with a mini bottle of wine, a Red Box coupon and fill the rest of the jar with chocolate to enjoy later. Is the older sibling present, too? – Make the day special for him, too. Bring something for him to unwrap, such as a book or a backpack with toys and treats to eat while visiting Mom and baby in the hospital. Make a special box filled with “No babies allowed” toys that are unsafe for babies to play with. This is for days when the new big brother needs some alone time away from crawling younger siblings.

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. She enjoys planning parties as much as her guests enjoy attending them. Follow her on Etsy at PamsPartyPrintables. 50 | birminghamparent | august 2016

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COMING IN SEPTEMBER - OUR SECOND SPECIAL NEEDS ISSUE 2016 • Learn About Kulture City • Hike It Kids Comes to Birmingham

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ISSUE 52 | birminghamparent | august 2016

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Pensacola Has Everything for Families Make that last beach trip of summer, or try the fabulous fall at the beach By Carol Muse Evans

Each time I get to visit Pensacola I am amazed by all it has to offer families. Sugar white, clean sand beaches and beautiful water on the island, great hotels, condos, homes for rent; and great food, and fun and educational activities for the family. It can figure into simple entertainment on a vacation, or a great focus for that homeschooling family or family interested in taking in a few educational attractions. This area is rich with history, and Pensacola knows how to present it to kids in fun and informative ways. 54 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Photo by Carol Muse Evans

The Holiday Inn Pensacola Beach was terrific, equipped with fridge and microwave, daily maid service, free Wi-Fi in room, beautiful balcony overlooking the pool and beach, a restaurant on site (with a great breakfast buffet), and an incredible pool complete with lazy river that pleased all of us, especially the eight-year old boy in our party. A bar and restaurant were also available pool side, along with floats for the lazy river and plenty of space for the crowd that was there our weekend. The theme here is “pirates,” and swashbucklers often visited around the pool and posed for photos with kids, as well as entertained them with a few swordfights. Find out more at ( hotels/us/en/pensacola-beach/pnspb/). My favorite thing for families, though, was proximity to the beach. When traveling with kids, you often carry a LOT to the beach. In some resorts, it seems like you walk a mile and climb a lot of steps to just get to the beach. Here at the Holiday Inn, the trip was short and easy – my kind of beachfront. Many people visit Pensacola simply for the beach, but if it rains, or you need some time away from the sun and sand, consider some of the great attractions Pensacola has to offer. Downtown Pensacola has great shops, art, restaurants, and two museums I particularly like – the T.T. Wentworth Jr. Florida State Museum and the Pensacola Children’s Museum. Check out for more information, hours, admission and a

way to get one ticket for all seven of the museums in the area! The National Aviation Museum is free (they accept donations), and is a fascinating look at both military flight and the history of flight. If your child loves seeing the big planes up close, you can spend an hour here or an entire day. For information, visit And while you are at the museum, you can take in the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum nearby, climb the 177 steps and get the best view in Pensacola of the City of Five Flags, where flags for Spain, Britain, France and the Confederacy of the U.S. have flown. Admission charged for lighthouse. See Another “don’t miss” is a trip to the Gulf Islands National Seashore,, whether you just go there for a walk or to spend a day at the beach. Enjoy the beautiful sand and waters of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and take in Fort Pickens, Fort Barrancas and the Advanced Redoubt, all located there. We also took in a terrific dolphin cruise with Key Sailing ( You never know what you’ll see, but we saw several groups of dolphins and simply enjoyed the gorgeous evening ride on the water. For more information on visiting Pensacola Beach, Florida, visit or call 800-874-1234. Carol Muse Evans is publisher of Birmingham Parent. She and her family love the beach.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO PENSACOLA WITH THESE GREAT UPCOMING FALL EVENTS IN MIND: Sept. 23-24: Taste of the Beach ( Sept. 24: Ghost Hunt ( ghost-hunt) - Hunt for ghosts and hear why the Pensacola lighthouse is one of America’s most haunted (recommended for children aged 12 and over). Photos courtesy of Visit Pensacola.

Sept. 30-Oct. 2: 39th Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival  ( - The festival hosts an array of family-friendly activities centered on great food. Oct. 1-2: 27th Annual Peanut Fest ( - Live entertainment, arts, crafts, games and of course, peanuts. Oct. 1: Shindig on the Sand ( - This music festival boasts 70 musical acts and more than 200 musicians. Live music and great food. Oct. 7-9: Greek Festival ( - This festival showcases some of the best aspects of Greek culture. Delicious food, live entertainment, traditional dancing and more. Oct. 7-9: 35th Annual St. Rose of Lima International Fall Festival (http:// - Held at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in West Pensacola, the festival celebrates the diverse cultures that have made the city their home. There will be a myriad of cuisines as well as live entertainment, wine tasting, arts and crafts and fun kids’ activities. Oct. 20-30: Pensacola Interstate Fair ( - a fun-filled day for the whole family. Food, thrilling rides, games and more. Nov. 4-6: Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival ( - The festival will display some of the nation’s best painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers, graphic artists, craftsmen and other artists. Live entertainment and food vendors. Nov. 5-6: Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show ( - After a series of air shows across the country, Pensacola’s Blue Angels will take to the skies for a special homecoming.   Nov. 30-Dec. 4: 4th Annual Snowball Derby ( The racing event takes place at the 5 Flags Speedway.




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 | 55

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Calendar sponsored by

calendar highlights Do you like attracting butterflies and bees to your garden? The Native Plant Group at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens will host the Native Plant Sale from 9am-noon on August 9 from 9am to noon. Featuring native pollinators. Great selection of butterfly host plants/nectar plants, also good for bees.


It’s back to school! Time to buy new school supplies, school clothes and backpacks! Even with the flurry of preparations, summer isn’t quite over yet. Check out this month’s calendar for outdoor fun. Go to a farmer’s market, check out a baseball game, or go visit one of the many attractions Birmingham has to offer. Be sure to shop on tax-free shopping weekend, Aug. 5-7, and visit Birmingham Parent at the Happy Healthy Kids Fair at the Riverchase Galleria on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10am to 4pm.

Here’s a fun way to get back into the back to school swing! From 1-3pm on August 21 at McWane Science Center, come to Words are Our World – Back to School Bash! Having a good vocabulary is the key to success, and no one knows that better than Vocabby, the Words are Our World mascot! Meet Vocabby and enjoy educational programs, a drum circle, arts and crafts, caricatures and more! Program for early learners.


While you are out shopping during the state’s taxfree weekend, head over to the Riverchase Galleria for the Birmingham Parent Happy Healthy Kids Fair from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, August 6! It’s a free, day-long exhibition where families can learn about health care, nutrition, sports, exercise, volunteer opportunities, education, camps, insurance and more for kids of all ages. Don’t miss the giveaways! Swag bags to the first 200 at the Birmingham Parent booth! www.

6 | 57


Calendar sponsored by

9 TUESDAY NATIVE PLANT SALE 9-noon, Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

1 MONDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies 7:05pm, Regions Field. YP Monday. Pelham Public Library Book Sale Pelham Library. The library’s largest book sale ever! Hundreds of items for sale, most selling for $1 or less. Proceeds benefit the library’s building fund. Through August 20. 205-620-6418,

2 TUESDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies 7:05pm, Regions Field. Kids hat giveaway, 50-cent hot dogs, social media night. www.barons. com.

a showcase on Saturday, August 6 from 4-5:30pm. Several classes offered in a variety of dance genres. Please bring a bagged lunch. Register, information, www. FREE. Birmingham Barons vs. Tennessee Smokies 7:05pm, Regions Field. AAA Wednesday.

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STARS presents Beauty and the Beast Jr. Virginia Samford Theater. This classic story directed and choreographed by Carl Dean. Performances through August 7. Information, tickets,

5 FRIDAY The FILES Arts Project Dance Workshop and Showcase 10am-5pm, The Carver Theatre, see August 3. Rocky Ridge First Fridays 5-8:30pm, Rocky Ridge Square/ Rocky Ridge Plaza, Vestavia Hills. This monthly event offers arts and crafts, bands, demonstrations, games, kid zone, outdoor family movies, specialty foods and more. Parking available at Vestavia Hills High School with shuttle service. 14th Annual Heart of the House Gala Sheraton Birmingham. Event benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. 205-6387263,

6 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon.

Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Southeastern Outings River Beach Party 9am, Barton’s Beach, Perry County, AL. Swim and picnic on a beautiful, fine-grained sand beach. Located on the Lower Cahaba River next to the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Laboratory and Perry Lakes Park near Marion, AL. Bring swimsuit, towel, picnic lunch and drink. Must be able to swim. Optional dinner following. Depart 9am from McDonald’s, Riverchase Galleria. Dan Frederick, 206-631-4680, Birmingham Parent Happy Healthy Kids Fair 10am-3pm, Riverchase Galleria. A free, day-long exhibition where

PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the September 2016 print issue is August 5. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; 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. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail 58 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Calendar sponsored by

Goodbye Summer Fiesta at CHOM! 10am-4pm, Children’s HandsOn Museum, Tuscaloosa. Sample fiesta foods courtesy of Jalapeno’s! Folklore, crafts, pinatas and dancing! All activities included in admission. 205349-4235, www.chomonline. org. The FILES Arts Project Dance Workshop and Showcase 10am-5:30pm, The Carver Theatre, see August 3.



10 WEDNESDAY Meet James Spann 10am, Springville Road Library. Spann will offer insight into the science of meteorology and give advice for severe weather preparedness. Target audience: children. 205-226-4085.

11 THURSDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 7:05pm, Regions Field. Thirsty Thursday, concert series. www.

Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. www. Baby Steps Memorial 5K/1Mile Fun Run 7am, Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park, McCalla. All proceeds from the run benefit The Amelia Center at Children’s of Alabama. Team and individual registration. Refreshments, door prizes, awards and balloon release. Children age 5 and under “race” free with paid registration of a parent. Register, 205-603-6049, www.

Sept. 27-Oct. 21

Nov. 15-Dec. 18

Jan. 31-Feb. 24

Apr. 4-Apr. 28

Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205-408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Southeastern Outings Dayhike/Swim 9am, DeSoto Falls, DeSoto State Park. Walk to the falls, swim and float. Some rock and root climbing to bottom. Bring picnic lunch, water, swimsuit, river shoes and floatation device. Must be able to swim; well-behaved, properly supervised children eight and up welcome; parents responsible for all risks. Showers ($2 per person) available and optional dinner afterward. Depart 9am at Applebee’s Trussville. Information, David Freeman, 205-491-8845. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. www.freshairfamily. org. FREE.

Aug. 30-Sept. 16

Nov. 29-Dec. 16

Jan. 10-Jan 28

Feb. 28-Mar. 31

for “wee folks” up to age 8

Native Plant Sale 9-noon, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The Native Plant Group at the gardens will host this sale that features native pollinators. Great selection of butterfly host plants/nectar plants, also good for bees.



Big Wheels & Brews 2pm, Cahaba Brewery. Fundraiser for the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center’s healthy lifestyle initiative. Big Wheel race! For information on this event, Beth Lovett, blovett@ or Stephanie Salvago,

Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 7:05pm, Regions Field. Mini football giveaway, Friday night fireworks, FIAT Friday, football kickoff night.

ages 8 and up

Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. www.freshairfamily. org. FREE.



families can learn about health care, nutrition, sports, exercise, volunteer opportunities, education, camps, insurance and more for kids of all ages. Great giveaways and swag bags to the first 200 at the Birmingham Parent booth! It’s also the taxfree shopping weekend! www.

P.O. Box 1362, Birmingham, AL 35201 (205) 458-8181 — | 59


Calendar sponsored by

the Words are Our World mascot! Meet Vocabby and enjoy educational programs, a drum circle, arts and crafts, caricatures and more! Program for early learners.

20 SATURDAY INNOVATION DAY 10am-4pm, McWane Science Center.

Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 3pm, Regions Field. Salute to Armed Forces.

25 THURSDAY Homeschool Hour – Beekeeping 1:30pm, Homewood Library. Local beekeeper Jack Jones will explain how beekeeping works and show off some of his beautiful bees in a demonstration hive. Suggested 4th grade and up. Online registration required at Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 6:30pm, Regions Field. Pyro Palooza IX, Little E. www.barons. com.


Third Annual Block Party 5-8pm, Homewood Library parking lot. The Homewood Library Foundation fundraiser is filled with food and fun for the whole family! Adults can enjoy adult beverages while sampling food from several local restaurants; kids can enjoy bounce houses, climbing wall and more. Adult food tickets $30, children’s tickets (ages 4-up) $10 and include food/unlimited access to activities. Information, 205-3326621, Heather Cover, hcover@


14 SUNDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 3pm, Regions Field. Salute to Armed Forces.

15 MONDAY Birmingham Barons vs. Chattanooga Lookouts 7:05pm, Regions Field. YP Monday.

16 TUESDAY Birmingham Science Café 6-8pm, John’s City Diner. Join other science geeks and novices for an exciting presentation, lively discussion and a little science trivia. Topic: Dazzling diamonds – history and potential medical applications, by Aaron Catledge Ph.D., UAB physics department.

Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Field. AAA Wednesday. Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Field. Thirsty Thursday, koozie giveaway, parrot head night, concert series.

19 FRIDAY Kid Coderz 3:30pm, Homewood Public Library. Introductory one-hour coding class for grades 3-6. Laptop is not required, but participants urged to bring their own. Online registration required at www. Chirps and Chips 7-10pm, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Alabama Wildlife Center’s junior board, Raptor Force, is hosting this fifth annual event featuring a fun-filled, casino-themed night to benefit AWC. Silent auction, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. Tickets $50 per person. 205663-7930x8, Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 7:05pm, Regions Field. Friday night fireworks.

20 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine.

60 | birminghamparent | august 2016

Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205-408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. FREE. Innovation Day 10am-4pm, McWane Science Center. Bring out your inner inventor at this celebration of creativity through science! www., Birmingham Barons vs. Jackson Generals 6:30pm, Regions Field. Diamond Dig, Pink Out for breast cancer awareness.

21 SUNDAY Words are Our World – Back to School Bash! 1-3pm, McWane Science Center. Having a good vocabulary is the key to success, and no one knows that better than Vocabby,

27 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205-408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. FREE.

29 MONDAY Scholastic Book Fair Levite Jewish Community Center. Visit the book fair for children of all ages in the LJCC main lobby and library. All proceeds benefit the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center and will provide new books for the preschool classrooms. Through September 2. Information, 205-879-0411,, btraweek@

events & attractions

Alabama Wildlife Center

2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-2542565,

Birmingham Zoo

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,

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

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

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

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

Birmingham Botanical Gardens When visiting the Gardens, be sure to download the treasure map to take with you. www. 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 Hope in Motion: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. ACMHR was founded in 1956 by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and other Birmingham ministers after Alabama banned the NAACP from operating in the state. The exhibit features rarely seen photographs and is made possible with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. It highlights key moments from December 1955 to January 1957. Through December 31. 6th St. N., Birmingham. 205-3289696,

Birmingham Museum of Art Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am-1pm.

Half Price Summer Fun Days! Visit the zoo 9am-7pm, August 6-7 to take advantage of halfprice admission,, half-price rides, discounted gift shop merchandise and $1 hot dogs in the cafes! Also enjoy 50 percent off Dino Discovery! In-park Special Attractions include: • Giraffe Feedings, 9:30-11:30am; 1-3pm, daily. $3. • Train Rides, 9am-5pm Monday-Sunday, $3. • Children’s Zoo Fountains daily. • Carousel Rides, 9am-5pm daily. • Sea Lion Training, Daily 10am & 2pm • Lorikeet Feedings, 10am-4pm, daily. $1.50. • Predator Zone, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am & 3:30pm. • Children’s Zoo Goat Show, 2pm daily. 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409,

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435,

McWane Science Center Hall of Heroes: Discover Your Super Powers. Learn the circumstances that create superheroes, discover the ideals that heroes uphold and push boundaries as to what it truly means to be heroic! Exhibit features the five disciplines that are the basis for all super powers: body, mind, mastery, gadgets and the elements; and a half scale replica of the 1960s Barris Kustoms’ Batmobile and much more. Member Mondays. Every Monday, McWane Science Center members receive extra perks while visiting! Includes a special gift for kids when checking in, 30 percent discount on gift shop purchases, $1 small popcorn at IMAX concession stand and a free members-only evening event each month. Also, on the second Monday of each month, McWane opens its doors from 5-8pm for its members. IMAX Movies: National Parks Adventure. A trio of adventurers’ quest to

experience America’s wildest, most historic and most naturally beautiful places becomes the ultimate off-trail adventure. Narrated by Robert Redford. Wild Africa. Come on a spectacular ride across, over and through the magical realms of the most dramatic continent on earth. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300,

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

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

Roy Downs Calera Library Story Times: • Family Story Time: Tuesdays at 10am • Sweet Pea (0-2 years old): Thursdays at 9am • Calera Kids (3 and up): Thursdays at 10am Summer Reading Program: Tuesdays at 5:30pm 9700 Highway 25, Calera. 205-668-7200.

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

Southern Museum of Flight The Jennys to Jets: Birmingham’s Military Aviation History. In conjunction with the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, this exhibition commemorates and pays tribute to 100 years of worldwide aviation service by the men and women of the Alabama (Air) National Guard. Through August 1. 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226,

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

Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, | 61

poetry party

by Charles Ghigna

Daydreaming The end of summer is a good time to daydream. ANY time is a good time to daydream! Some of our best ideas come from our daydreams. Where is YOUR favorite place to daydream? Here’s mine.

Daydreaming Out in the woods Behind my house Where no one goes (Except a mouse), I’ve made myself A hiding place Where no one knows My name or face. That’s where I go Each day to dream Out in the sun Beside my stream. I close my eyes And let the breeze Come carry me Beyond the trees. I dream about The jets I’ll fly Beyond the clouds Across the sky. I dream about My flying soon Beyond the earth Up to the moon. I dream about My trips to Mars Beyond the glow Of evening stars. I dream about A world of fun Beyond the sight Of earth and sun. I dream each day. And just like you I’ll dream until My dreams come true.

NOW YOU TRY IT! Write about your favorite daydreams and where you like to dream them! 62 | birminghamparent | august 2016

For more poetry activities, visit the Father Goose website at Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines that publish poems written by children: • http://www.,

Come play the jungle way in Nashville May 27 - September 5, 2016 Summer fun inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book from one spectacular resort! • • • •

Nine acres of indoor gardens and waterfalls set the stage for jungle-themed adventure Family events like scavenger hunts, animal encounters and even an indoor jungle cruise Pool parties, movie nights and an array of live entertainment Dining events, relaxing spa treatments, award-winning golf course, nearby attractions and more!

Book Your Summer Getaway Today! AQUAFINA is a registered trademark of PepsiCo, Inc.

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We’re for Youth Development The YMCA of Greater Birmingham believes that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, youth throughout Birmingham are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.

Register Today for Fall Programs • Afterschool Academy • Kindergarten Readiness

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is proud to be chosen as a Family Favorite by the readers of Birmingham Parent.

• College & Career Prep • Youth Sports • Swim Lessons

Learn more online

Birmingham Parent Magazine August 2016 Issue  

Read the August 2016 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues.

Birmingham Parent Magazine August 2016 Issue  

Read the August 2016 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues.