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ed note COMING NEXT MONTH – A NEW AND IMPROVED BIRMINGHAM PARENT Next month, Birmingham Parent will begin its 17th year of publishing! To grow, you must also change, and we are refreshing our pages and reinventing our already popular monthly calendar of events, both online and in print. We will have more events listed now than ever before, we will start back our weekly calendar/ event e-blasts (sign up at it’s FREE!), and our print issue will have more than before. We STILL need your submissions to our calendar for it to be a success! You can do so online at, or you can email us at calendar@birmighamparent. com. Our readers say the number one feature they love about our magazine is the calendar, so we are trying to readers what they want! It’s also a great opportunity for local events, organizations, support groups and more to get their information out there with Birmingham Parent! This month, the magazine is full of great information. February is our annual camp issue, and we are looking forward to the 27th Annual Camp Expo at the Riverchase Galleria on February 22 from 10am-2pm. We’ve got great camp information, stories, fantastic camp opportunities with our advertisers for both day and overnight camps, as well as some good information on Black History Month in Birmingham and a fun book giveaway to go along with the same theme. Don’t forget February is also National Children’s Dental Health Month, and local dentists have weighed in on how to help your child start out right in their dental care and health. Of course, we still have our February calendar of events this month, but watch for a new format and more information in our March/April 2020 issue. This will also be our Special Needs issue and our Baby issue, all rolled into one. We are refreshing our pages and our story offerings too, so let us hear from YOU and what YOU would like to read about in Birmingham Parent. Send your ideas to me at I want to hear from YOU. And if you love our magazine and events, be sure to thank our advertisers and sponsors who make it all possible! We are grateful to them! Sincerely,

P.O. Box 326 (add 800 Hwy. 52 E. for pkg) Helena, AL 35080 205-624-2405 205-624-2515 FAX

editorial PUBLISHERS David & Carol Evans EDITOR Carol Muse Evans ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lori Chandler Pruitt CONTRIBUTORS Laura Lyles Reagan, Rebecca Mason, Tani Haas, Denise Yearian, Dr. Anu Rao, Paige Townley, Rachel Moshman



art & production ART DIRECTOR Keith Dunn DISTRIBUTION T&P Deliveries LEGAL COUNSEL Balch & Bingham LLP

Carol Muse Evans publisher/editor 205-624-2405

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. 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.

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BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN200694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2020 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2019/2020 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.



JUNE 1-5, JUNE 8-12, AND JUNE 15-19 | GRADES 6-10 Register by March 1: $370 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $270 Day Camp (includes lunch) Register after March 1: $395 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $295 Day Camp (includes lunch) Cost to stay the weekend between a session is an additional $195 (includes trip to water park)


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SUMMER CAMP 2020 our focus BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Time for Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All Men.........................10 EXPLORE NEW BOOKS FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH.............11


our features

"...Camp decreases stress, improves social skills, highlights fun and develops social and emotional learning – all amazing characteristics for children."

our regulars EDITOR’S NOTE................................4 PET PAGE ...........................................7 SHORT STUFF.................................. 8 ASK THE SPECIALIST: Heart Attack Warning Signs for Women.............................38 CALENDAR OF EVENTS............... 41


PARENTING PEOPLE: Lockett Gives Back with Yearly Mentoring Camp.............................46

CAMP: A POSITIVE EFFECT ON KIDS............................12 10 ITEMS TO PACK IN YOUR CHILD’S DAY CAMP LUNCHBOX....................................... 14 6 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME SLEEPAWAY CAMPERS – AND THEIR PARENTS............................ 16 TAKE CAMP SKILLS TO SCHOOL!........................................... 17 4 GREAT REASONS TO SEND YOUR KIDS TO SLEEPAWAY CAMP................................................. 24



BIRMINGHAM PARENT’S 2020 SUMMER CAMP DIRECTORY......................................18 NATIONAL CHILDREN'S DENTAL HEALTH MONTH Creating Healthy Dental Habits for Your Kids.....................................36

ON THE COVER: Cover Kids winners and brothers Gray, age 6, and Wes, age 5, of Birmingham are ready for summer camp! Photo by Christy Pierce Photography,, 205-902-0385. 6 | birminghamparent | february 2020




Last month I talked about safety issues between puppies and toddlers. This month, I want to share some strategies I used when my own son was little. First, never leave your dog and toddler alone together. When my son was three, I left him in the room with my dog for just a moment while I popped into the kitchen, but in that brief time, my son lost his balance, fell on the dog, and was nipped. My dog is very small, so seeing a “giant” about to fall on him, he responded defensively. This could happen to anyone when your child and dog are left unattended. If you have to leave the room, either take your child or pup with you, or place your pup in a containment pen (ex-pen) or crate until you return. Just as important as being physically present is being mentally present. Being in the room doesn’t help if you’re texting or doing dishes. You must have your eyes on your dog and child and watch for stress signals that say, “I’m not comfortable with this.” Examples include the dog yawning, licking its lips, turning away, trying to move away, opening its eyes wide, or becoming very stiff or still. Also watch for inappropriate behavior from your child, like hugging and kissing (which dogs consider a threat), grabbing, squeezing, poking, hovering over or cornering the dog, etc. Separate your dog and child if you see any of these things.

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Common safety concerns are things like the child being knocked down, or the dog licking or playfully nipping the child’s face or hands and scaring the child in the process. In situations like this, since a young pup or untrained dog isn’t going to respond to commands they haven’t been taught, management is key – which involves preventing your dog from practicing these behaviors and keeping him busy. Aside from supervision, common management strategies include: • Use an ex-pen so your pup can be in the room with you but not clobber your child. • If in the yard together, hold your child or let him sit in his stroller or high chair so your pup can’t reach him. • Utilize parallel play, where you sit between your child and dog. You and your child can play while your dog enjoys a bone or a Kong filled with xylitol-free peanut butter. • Tether your dog to a piece of heavy furniture and give him a bone so he is occupied, not lunging at barking on the leash. (Note: If tethering, it is especially important that you do NOT allow your

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child to approach your dog while he is on the tether. Your dog may feel trapped and this could result in fear-based nipping). • Make sure no one is using hands as toys or weapons. Hitting will make your dog want to bite, and using your fingers to play will make him want to nip too. Use plushies or tug toys to play, not your hands. • Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Take a walk together with your child in his stroller, or have one parent exercise the dog while the other entertains the child. Keep your child’s toys up high or in bins, or put up baby gates to keep your dog out of your child’s room. Install deadbolt locks high on the door, or install doorknob safety covers, so that the child cannot open the door and let the dog escape. Rebecca Mason is a certified dog trainer and owner of Love Them Train Them LLC in Birmingham. She is a former elementary school teacher and is passionate about working with families to channel their dogs’ energy positively.


S H O RT STU FF JEFFCO Schools and Libraries Team Up to Offer More E-books and E-audiobooks The Jefferson County Board of Education, Homewood City Schools, Hoover City Schools and public libraries in Jefferson County formed an innovative new partnership using e-books and e-audiobooks to modernize and increase access to reading materials for students. This unique collaboration provides unprecedented access to both the schools’ and the libraries’ digital reading resources in one app. The partnership provides safe access to thousands of age-appropriate titles for students’ use inside the classroom, at home and anywhere 24/7. Through the Sora app, school system students can borrow the school’s collection of classroom and pleasure reading, and also access public libraries’ juvenile and young adult digital collection. The Sora app was named one of TIME magazine’s Best Inventions 2019. The entire Jefferson County community can access public libraries in Jefferson County’s complete ebook and e-audiobook collection through the award-winning Libby app. Readers can use Libby on any major device or computer. Both reading apps are built by OverDrive and OverDrive Education. To learn more, visit and https://meet.

10 of the Best New Year Resolutions for High School Students It's 2020! A new year, a new decade! International College Counselors has a few suggestions which can launch you into a strong college trajectory.

1 Commit to getting good grades. You've been working hard to get to this point for 10-plus years. If you have lower grades than you’d like, improve them. An upward grade trend can make a big difference in college admissions. 2 Stop procrastinating. We're not sure we can tell you anything new about this that you haven't already heard. 3 Don't do it all. Concentrate on a few things and excel in them. Anyone can join 10 clubs and be slightly involved in them all. Schools are looking for passionate people who show willingness to stick with something and who make an impact. 4 Stay organized. Keep a calendar. Deadlines creep up quickly. Colleges, scholarships, federal aid and standardized testing services are not sympathetic to excuses about missing a deadline. 5 Take standardized tests early. Wait too long and there won't be enough time to retake the test. Many unexpected things can affect test scores on any given day, including anxiety, health issues, and harshly curved tests. Taking the test early will also allow time to take a test prep course, if needed. 6 Do the research. Know what the choices are when it comes to colleges. Research can be as simple as visiting 8 | birminghamparent | february 2020

a school's website. Even better, connect to the college on social media or attend a college fair to learn more. Admissions officers often give students extra credit for interacting with them and demonstrating interest.

7 Try something new. If you want a certain internship, call an employer and ask if they have any room for an eager high school student. Or, try a new sport or activity. Students are not expected to leave high school knowing exactly what they want to do, but this is a chance to start narrowing down any interests. 8 Be excited. Whatever college you attend, there will be new people to meet, new things to learn, and great times to be had. 9 Get help. If your grades are slipping in any class, seek help from a teacher or tutor. There are many valuable resources. If you need help choosing classes, extracurriculars, and/or finding the right colleges, seek the help of your school's college advisor or learn more about hiring an independent college advisor. 10 Banish self-doubt. You know you are capable of great things. Don't hold yourself back! Courtesy of International College Counselors,

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the first academic partner to support the Birmingham Promise scholarship in providing Birmingham City School graduates an opportunity to attend the university with a one-to-one tuition scholarship match. Superintendent Lisa Herring, Ed.D.; UAB The scholarship will be President Ray L. Watts; City of available to students who are Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin admitted to UAB as first-time, full-time freshmen in the academic year following high school graduation from a Birmingham City School. In order to qualify for the Birmingham Promise scholarship at UAB, Birmingham City School students must:

· Be eligible for UAB admission, which for fall 2020 is a minimum 20 ACT score and a minimum of 2.75 GPA. Learn more about admission requirements at UAB at

· Be admitted to UAB as a first-time, full-time freshman in the fall semester of the academic year immediately following their high school graduation.

· Complete the FAFSA form and UAB application by Feb. 1, 2020. After this year, the deadline will be Dec. 1.

The Birmingham Promise scholarship at UAB will cover tuition and may be awarded for up to five years of full-time study at UAB. To maintain eligibility, a student must be enrolled at UAB full time and demonstrate progress toward a degree by passing 67 percent of hours attempted and maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or higher.


Photo courtesy of Birmingham City Schools

UAB Partners with the City of Birmingham to Fulfill the Birmingham Promise



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 | 9

Black History Month:

Time for Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward All Men By Laura Lyles Reagan

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes abound this time of year. For Black History Month, perhaps it’s worthy to go back to his last, but timeless Christmas sermon, where he says, “The Christmas hope for peace and goodwill toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopia. If we don’t have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power.” Regardless of your politics on the issues of the day, race is on the evening news. Our children are often exposed to very adult conversations about race. This reality may beg the question: How do I talk about race with my child? As with any issue, behaviorists tell us, the first rule of thumb about discussing race with children is to model the behavior you want. Here are some tips: Practice diversity. Demonstrate positive race relations in practical ways in your own life. Do

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you have friends of other races? If most of your friends are from your own race and culture, you may want to consider opportunities for you and your child to interact with other races and cultures. Attend a different church on Sunday. Observe how they worship. Find something to appreciate about it and comment on it to your child. If you see a television program about a different culture, use the opportunity to discuss a different way of life and worldview. Find one thing you like about it and state it out loud. Listen first. Don’t assume shared understandings about race. Sociologists say that children construct differences and similarities differently than adults. Children notice differences quite early developmentally, but it may be for reasons that interest children and not as adults that define the difference. For example, a teacher noticed that six-year-old girls on a playground were not playing with one girl in particular who was African American. The teacher listened first before intervening and found that the majority of the girls preferred to play with girls who wore their hair with ribbons instead of girls who didn’t use ribbons. The African American girl didn’t use ribbons in her hair. She was excluded from conversations and games. The girls were not excluding her because of race but because of ribbons. To adult eyes, the game looked racist but to the children controlling the game, it made sense. The teacher then noticed one girl sharing her ribbons with the African American girl. The teacher chose to intervene

in that moment and praised the sharing and inclusive behavior. Answer your child’s questions about race and culture in an age-appropriate way. Psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint, M.D, states that there are two critical development ages when race and culture questions are likely to occur. They are at ages six to eight years old, and the teenage years. These stages are times when the child’s world is expanding and their values are forming or solidifying. Responding to a child’s questions at these stages in simple, honest terms is important. Even a response of “I don’t know” or “Let’s read about that” can show you are open to learning about different cultures, customs and communities. When your child comes home and declares a classmate has an Asian mom and a black dad and says, “Isn’t that weird? You may choose to say, “Not weird, just different.” When your teen asks what you think about his school renaming their sports teams because Native Americans find “redskins” to be offensive, you can use it as an opportunity to discuss your own believes about racial slurs while demonstrating respect that others might not see it the same way. Laura Lyles Reagan is a freelance writer.

Resources Some resources for parents to discuss raise and diversity with their kids include:

Great Books


EXPLORE NEW BOOKS FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH Black History Month is an excellent time to introduce new books about black culture and history to children and young adults. From picture books to chapter books, here is a listing of recently-released books:

Black is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes, (Roaring Brook Press)

A poignant and powerful picture book, Black is a Rainbow Color gives children ages 3-6 the language and exposure to discuss ethnicity/ race/culture and incline them to curiosity and not fear; self-love and not shame. A child reflects on the meaning of being black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Holmes, this book is a celebration of powerful black leaders told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words.

A Dream So Dark by L.L. McKinney (Imprint) For ages 13 and up, this is the highly-anticipated second installment in L.L. McKinney’s The Nightmare-Verse series – an Alice in Wonderland re-telling starring a black Alice. This is a richly layered fantasy series from McKinney, creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear and active member of the kid-lit community. His breakout debut A Blade So Black earned buzz from several magazines.

For Black Girls Like Me

by Mariama Lockington (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) This remarkable debut novel for ages 8-12 is inspired by events in Mariama Lockington's own life as a transracial adoptee. Keda's story will resonate with readers because it feels so real. This book is topical right now as it focuses on issues of race, female identity, and finding your own voice. Great for fans of Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Helen Frost. There are about 1.5 million adopted children in the US and 135,000 kids are adopted on an annual basis. Transracial adoption is also more common and can be seen in many popular TV shows. Told in short, poetic chapters and sprinkled throughout with Makeda's song lyrics – she also is a budding songwriter – this novel amazes page after page

Black Girl Unlimited

by Echo Brown (Henry Holt and Co.) For ages 17-18, a largely autobiographical young adult debut based on the author’s teen struggle with racism, poverty and depression. The novel features a powerful thread of magical realism in the vein of American Street and The Astonishing Color of After. Brown confronts real trauma through an element of fantasy – in this case, wizardry. Brown is an African-American writer, performer, and playwright and the first female college graduate in her family.


WIN THESE BOOKS FOR YOUR LIBRARY! Send your name, address and phone number to by FEB. 14, 2020. We’ll choose a winner and announce it on Facebook Feb. 14, 2020. | 11



"...Camp decreases stress, improves social skills, highlights fun and develops social and emotional learning – all amazing characteristics for children."

12 | birminghamparent | february 2020

The American Camp Association (ACA), which includes more than 3,100 camps and camp professionals representing all types of camps, has just finished a five-year research project looking into the effects of camp on their campers and how summer camps prepare youth for college, careers, and adulthood. Long story short, the  ACA's research  suggests that experiences made at camp can impact young people’s lives for the better, particularly in assisting the transition into adulthood. The study indicates that camp decreases stress, improves social skills, highlights fun and develops social and emotional learning – all amazing characteristics for children. Here’s a little more information about camp’s positive effects, according to the study: • Positive effects of mindfulness. An appreciation for being present in the moment is something attendees identify as an outcome of camp years after their camp experience. Mindfulness is shown to promote academic and social skill development as well as overall healthy psychological functioning. • Stress reduction. There is a distinct stress reduction element that can potentially change how campers grow as individuals. It is very different from school, and often is not so regimented. Attendees reported enjoying having weeks of calm and fun. • Focus on fun. Being present in the moment is not just about the absence of stress; the data suggest that fun plays an important role in helping campers feel free from worry and connected to the moment.

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• Technology. Interestingly, a handful of participants discussed the separation from technology as something that helped them feel present in the moment, but this was not a strong theme in and of itself. Screens and their effects on learning are well documented in the research, which means we can be pretty confident that technology-free experiences at camp have an impact on the extent to which campers develop important social, emotional and learning skills. For the full study, go to resource-library/research/camp-impact-study. -Courtesy of the American Camp Association


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10 Items to Pack in

Your Child’s Day Camp Lunchbox By Rachael Moshman

My daughter plays hard at day camp and spends long hours in the heat. She comes home filthy and exhausted. She was also coming home absolutely starving until I figured out what to pack in her lunchbox to keep her fueled all day. The standard lunch I'd been sending to school just wasn't cutting it for camp. Here are some suggestions for items to pack in your camper’s lunchbox to keep them satisfied all day.


Two sandwiches. One just wasn't enough! She's having light bologna with mustard and two percent American cheese this week. Last week, it was ham, cucumber, avocado and carrots rolled up in a tortilla.


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A breakfast bar or muffin. My daughter is usually too sleepy or rushed to sit down for breakfast in the morning. Throwing something she can easily munch on once she gets to camp has worked out well. It's also


a good mid-morning snack on days that she does eat breakfast at home. I have a big batch of homemade carrot/ zucchini muffins in the freezer and either toss one of those or an oats and fiber bar in her lunchbox.


Protein rich snacks. Peanut butter on whole grain crackers, slices of lunch meat, turkey jerky and pistachios are commonly found in my daughter's lunchbox. Yogurt, hardboiled eggs and string cheese are also good options.

4 Fresh veggies. My daughter is so hungry at camp that she'll even eat whatever vegetables I throw in there! I have given her celery, baby carrots, bell pepper slices and grape tomatoes. The baggie almost always comes home empty. 5

Frozen grapes. They help keep the lunch cool and are defrosted when it's time to eat. I throw in other fresh fruit as well.


A treat or money for the concession stand. Sometimes I'll give her a brownie or small bag of chips. Other days, I toss in a dollar and let her choose something from the concession stand. She's active and burning off the calories, so I don't worry about her enjoying a treat.

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7 Extra ice packs. Most camps don't have refrigerators available and the lunches are sometimes outside for a long time before it is time to eat. No one wants to eat a warm lunch in the heat of summer. Invest in a good quality insulated lunchbox and ice packs. 8 Sunscreen. Putting it in the lunchbox helps remind kids to reapply it. It also keeps it cool, which feels refreshing on hot, sweaty skin. 9 Love notes or mementos from home. My daughter loves camp, but she misses home more than she does during a school day. Little notes or trinkets help her get through the day without too much homesickness. 10 A refillable water bottle and flavor packets. Fill the bottle with ice and water. Throw in some single serving pack drink mixes (lemonade, fruit punch, etc.) This will encourage your child to stay hydrated throughout the day. Playing outside in the hot sun all day takes a lot of energy. Most children need more food and hydration than normal. Pack plenty of healthy snacks and drinks, in addition to lunch, to keep them going strong.

Rachael Moshman is a mom, freelance writer, educator and family advocate. Find her at

What are your kids doing this summer? Try something new, dive deeper, have fun, all in the relaxed environment of Altamont in the summer.

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6 tips

for First-Time Sleepaway Campers – By Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

And Their Parents

There are few things more exciting in a kid’s life than their first sleepaway camp. How do you prepare a kid – and yourself – for this big event? Drawing on my own experiences as the parent of a 15-year-old boy who’s a happy camper, as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve identified six things you should do. 1. PREPARE FOR CAMP TOGETHER. You want your kids to take ownership of this exciting experience. To do that, prepare for camp together. Shop together for all the stuff on the packing list and pack jointly using luggage that isn’t too difficult to carry. You should also build excitement by talking to your kids about all the incredible things they’re going to experience, and explain the rules and expectations of the camp. 2. HAVE A SLEEPOVER – OR TWO. Your kids are going to be away from you, possibly for the first time, for an extended period of time. Some kids have absolutely no problem adjusting; others might need to dip their feet in the water slowly, so to speak. Organize a couple of sleepovers with their friends – and do it at their friends’ houses – to get them used to being away from you. 3. SPEAK TO PARENTS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. No matter how confident your kids are that they’re going to be just fine without you, it’s always a good idea to bring them some comfort from home to camp. Reach out to other parents from your kids’ school or your neighborhood to see if they plan on sending their

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kids to the same camp. Most camps let parents request that their kids bunk with one or more of their regular friends. They’re going to meet lots of other kids and make lots of new friends as well. 4. COMMUNICATION AND CARE PACKAGES. Find out what the camp’s policy is when it comes to communicating with your kids via email, letters and care packages. Are you allowed a certain number of emails or letters? How many care packages are you permitted to send, and are there rules about what you can and can’t send? If you’re allowed to include toys in the care packages, choose things that your kids can enjoy together with the other campers, like Frisbees and playing cards, instead of toys that only they can enjoy themselves. For our son’s first sleepaway camp, my spouse and I sent several decks of playing cards with the first care package. The kids ended up playing cards with the camp counselors until late at night. 5. DON’T HANG AROUND TOO LONG WHEN YOU ARRIVE. When you finally arrive at camp for the drop-off, do yourself and your kids a favor and leave once they’re settled in. Bring them to their cabin, help them unpack if necessary, and then extract yourself as quickly as possible. Your kids are eager to meet all the other kids, and there’s nothing as embarrassing as a parent who lingers for what appears to be no good reason. Let them start bonding to and connecting with their counselors and the other kids. 6. DON’T WORRY; THEY’RE GOING TO BE FINE. Once you’re back in the car, take a deep breath, and then head home. Your kids are going to be fine and so will you. Trust me. Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.

Take Camp Skills

to School! Many parents chose camp for their child because of the immense benefits of the experience. Not only does camp foster making new friends and learning life skills like independence, problem-solving, and teamwork, but it’s also fun! As the summer fades and children return to school here are a few helpful hints to remind parents to pack a few extra items from camp in the school backpack:

Over 25 academic enrichment courses for grades 4–12

CONFIDENCE —Children and youth have tried new activities and been successful; they feel empowered. CURIOSITY — Camp has given children and youth the chance to explore, study, and observe in an experiential learning environment. CHARACTER — Camp has challenged children and youth to develop character — through fostering respect for each other, a sense of community, and the ability to solve problems.

How can parents help transfer these skills into the classroom? ACA suggests the following tips: REMEMBER TO REMIND —When campers come home, they often keep the spirit of camp alive for a week or two, and then things trail off. Use positive reinforcement to remind campers that you appreciate the positive attitude and willingness to help that they developed at camp. BECOME CAMP-LIKE — Families can set the example by demonstrating a willingness to change something at home in order to sustain some of the changes campers have made. Bob Ditter, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, suggests: “Parents have to make a decision. Are they willing to change something in their practice at home in order to sustain some of the changes their kids have made, such as having a job wheel that you put up on the wall outlining chores?” EVERYONE GETS A SAY — At camp, children help determine how their day is spent. Their advice is actively sought, and they feel like equal players. Emulating this environment at home allows them to continue to stand up for themselves and feel like a contributing member of the household. AVOID THE NEGATIVE COMPLIMENT  — Don’t inadvertently sabotage efforts by pointing out differences in behavior. Instead of saying, “you never did this before,” praise the behaviors in a genuine way. For example, “I noticed how patient you were with your little brother.”

Use the summer to explore! SUMMERATSPRINGS.ORG

- Courtesy of the American Camping Association, | 17


Birmingham Parent’s 2020 Summer Camp Guide DAY CAMPS The Academy of the Arts at Samford University 1939 South Lakeshore Dr. Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-2739 *Adventures in Music (Grades 1-12) Session I (PIANO ONLY) June 8-12 Session II (PIANO or VOICE) July 6-10 *Art Studio for Teens (Grades 6-8) June 1-5 *Bulldog Art Camp (Grades 1-5) Session I June 15-19 Session II July 13-19 *Jazz Camp (Grades 6-12) Dates TBD *Music & Art for Minis (Ages 4-6) July 20-24 Writing Camp (Ages 11-15) June 22- 26 Samford University Academy of the Arts offers camps for art, music and writing. Register NOW! For more

information on each camp, visit our website at go/aota. Aldridge Gardens Summer Camps 3530 Lorna Rd. Hoover, AL 35216 205-682-8019 Dates: June 1-June 26 Ages: 5K- 5th grade American Girl Dolls, Music Makers, Cooking & Booking in the Garden, the Art & Math of Origami, Let's Hear it! Music!, Engineering/Construction in Nature, & more! All teachers have Alabama Certification in Education. Auburn Youth Programs 301 O.D. Smith Hall 135 South College St Auburn University, AL 36849 334-844-5194 Choose from a variety of summer camps and programs designed for nearly every interest while experiencing life at Auburn University. It's more than camp; it's campus life!

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens 2612 Lane Park Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 205-414-3950 Dates: May 26 - July 31 Ages: Age 4 - 6th Grade Summer Garden Chefs, Young Artists in the Gardens, Japanese Garden Exploration and more! Our camps promote creativity and the joy of discovery in this unmatched natural setting. Family level and higher members receive camp discounts! Birmingham Children’s Theatre BCT Players Summer Camp Programs 2130 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N Birmingham, AL 35203 205-458-8187 Dates: June - July Ages: PreK- 12th grade One of the nation's oldest & largest professional theatre companies for young audiences offers camps for all ages. The Imaginarium (4-7yr), Players Studio (8-15yr) and BCT Players Youth Performance Series (ages 8+ with audition, title TBD).

Birmingham Zoo 2630 Cahaba Rd. Birmingham, AL 35223 205-397-3877 education/zoo-camps/ Spring Dates: March 23-27 Ages: 4K - 5th grade Summer Dates: weekly, day June 1- August 7 Ages: 4K - 5th grade & 6th- 12th grade (select weeks) Experience up-close animal encounters, hands-on STEM activities, and nature play. The best place for summer learning, exploration, and fun is a Birmingham Zoo Camp! Please see the camp planning guide at www.birminghamzoo. com/education/zoo-camps/ for more information. Camp Fliptastic At Head Over Heels Gymnastics 500 Caldwell Mill Trace Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-2720 *Mity Mites (Ages 3 - 6) June 2 - 4 and July 7 - 9 *Camp Fliptastic (Ages 5 - 12) June 8 - 12, July 13 - 17 and July 20 - 24

*Combo Camp - Circus/Gymnastics/Ninja (Ages 6 - 14) June 15 - 19 and July 27-29 *Ninja camp (Ages 6 - 12) June 22 - 26 Daily themes, fantastic staff, creative crafts, circus arts and plenty of gymnastics make our summer camp all day fun!! Since 1979, we’ve been committed to providing the best in children’s gymnastics, activities, health and fitness. Camp Indian Springs 190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs Village, AL 35124 205-260-8548 Dates: May 26 – July 24 Ages: 5-13 Campers are active and engaged in outdoor and indoor play as well as off-campus activities designed to entertain, develop and promote growth in each camper. Register by 2/14 for early bird discount! Camp VST at Virginia Samford Theatre 1116 26th Street S. Birmingham, AL 35205 205-251-1228 www.virginiasamfordtheatre. org/vststars/camp-vst SESSION 1: June 1-5 SESSION 2: June 8-12

SESSION 3: June 15-19 $325 per session Scholarships & sibling discounts Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM Ages: 7-18 This summer theatre intensive is designed to give children the opportunity to explore all aspects of working in live theatre with classes offered in: acting, singing, dancing, stage makeup, improvisation, stage-combat and more! 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 selfexpression and collaboration. Discovery Hall Programs Day Camps 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, AL 36608 Day Camps: Ages 5-13 Overnight Camps: Grades 5-12 And Extended Summer Programs for high school students! Reel in a hands-on adventure with Discovery Hall Programs Day Camps! Check out our website for more information!

Highlands School Summer Camp 4901 Old Leeds Rd. Birmingham, AL 35213 205-956-9731 Dates: June 1 - July 24 Ages: K - 8th grade Arts, sports, science and more for elementary-8th grade. Campers continue to learn while having a great time! Traditional day camps. Morning and afternoon extended care. Check out our Counselor-in-Training program! Kidcam Summer Day Camp at Oak Mtn. State Park Pelham, AL 35124 877-4KIDCAM Dates: May 26- July 31 Ages: 5-13 Kidcam Day Camp offers 10 weeks of summer fun. With easy transportation to and from the entrance, you’ll find campers exploring trails, playing sports, swimming, visiting the petting farm, boating, and enjoying specialty choice activities. Mason Music Studio BLUFF PARK / HOOVER 761 Shades Mountain Plaza Hoover, AL 35226 205-582-2238

CAHABA HEIGHTS 3187 Cahaba Heights Road Birmingham, AL 35243 205-908-7059 GREYSTONE 5406 Hwy 280 E Suite B103 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-874-9800 MOUNTAIN BROOK 2903 Cahaba Road Birmingham, AL 35223 205-874-9596 We offer guitar, piano, voice, drum and violin lessons for all ages and skill levels, beginner to expert. All teachers and staff are background-checked and professionally trained, offering our students an experience worth talking about! McWane Science Center 200 19th St. N. Birmingham, AL 35203 205-714-8414 Dates: June 1- July 31 Half Day: PreK & Kindergarten Full Day: 1st - 7th Grade An unforgettable adventure! In one week of camp, your budding scientist can discover a dinosaur, travel into outer space or explore the ocean floor. Various themes and activities allow children to experience something new daily.

JULY 1-JULY 24 No camp the week of July 4th.


Check out our CIT (Counselor-in-Training) Program Contact Gabe McCool at or (205) 956-9731 ext 105 Located on Old Leeds Rd. (I-459 exit at Grants Mill Rd) | 19


Odyssey Early Sch​ools *Inverness Campus 104 Heatherbrooke Park Dr. Birmingham, AL 35242 205-991-0039 *Trace Crossings Campus 401 Emery Dr. Hoover, AL 35244 205-988-8829 Created by educators featuring ​state-of-the-art facilities​, nurturing teachers w ​ ith Education degrees, and comprehensive curriculum ​that provides your child with age appropriate exploration into the world of learning. Voted Favorite Day Camp & Summer Program! Summer@Springs Indian Springs School 190 Woodward Dr. Indian Springs, AL 35124 205-988-3350 Dates: June 1–July 24 Ages: Grades 4-12 Share experiences. Expand horizons. Sharpen your mind in a beautiful setting. Offering a wide range of courses designed to be fun and adventurous for students who want to make the most of their summer breaks.

Summer at Altamont The Altamont School 4801 Altamont Rd. S. Birmingham, AL 35222 205-879-2006 Dates: June 1 - July 2 Ages: 3rd -12th grades Try something new, dive deeper, have fun, all in the relaxed environment of Altamont in the summer. For more information, email VISION GYMNASTICS 3314 Old Columbiana Rd. Hoover, AL 35226 205-979-7969 Week 1 (June 1 - 5) On the Farm Week 2 (June 8 - 12) Don't Bug Me! Week 3 (June 15 - 19) Going Camping Week 4 (June 22 - 26) Jungle Safari Week 5 (July 13 - 17) Ocean Wonders Week 6 (July 20 - 24) Up, Up & Away Week 7 (July 27 - 31) A Trip to the Zoo Week 8 (Aug 3 - 10) Under the Big Top Summer Camp at Vision Gym-

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nastics promises to get kids moving and having fun! Camp will include crafts, trampoline fun, pit play, games, gymnastics and more. Summer camp is for kids ages 4 and up. Half day and full day programs. YMCA Birmingham Day Camps Hoover-Gwin Elementary Northeast Pelham Shades Valley Trussville-Paine Elementary ymcadaycamp@ymcabham. org Youth Center Dates: May 26- July 31 (dates vary by location) Ages: Rising 1st-8th grade (Must have completed Kindergarten) Registration Dates: Feb. 3- April 30 There’s no place like Y Day Camp. A home away-from home where children laugh, learn, explore and grow. Over 1900 kids in the Birmingham

area attend our camps - to belong, achieve and build relationships.

OVERNIGHT CAMPS Camp Arrowhead P.O. Box 248 Tuxedo, NC 28784 828-435-0591 Mini Camp - rising 1st - 5th graders (geared towards first time campers) June 7-12 July 26-31 Two-Week Sessions - rising 2nd to 10th graders June 24-26 June 28-July 10 July 12-24 Family Camp Aug. 7-9 Camp Arrowhead is a boy's overnight camp in the mountains of North Carolina. Activities range from the traditional to wilderness trips, all while focusing on core values of self-reliance, leadership, outdoor adventure, and self-expression. Camp Juliette Low 321 Camp Juliette Low Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 770-428-1062

Camp will include crafts, trampoline fun, pit play, games, gymnastics and more! Dates: 1 & 2 wk. sessions June 7- August 1 Ages: girls 7-17 Platform tents, outdoor adventure, traditional camping, fun and friendship since 1922! CJL is a private, residential camp for girls that fosters self-confidence, independence, teamwork, and leadership. On Lookout Mountain, just 2 hours north of Birmingham. Camp of the Rising Son @ French Camp Academy 444 Lake Rd. French Camp, MS 39745 662-547-6169 Dates: June 7 – July 18 Ages: 7-17 Join us this summer for an unforgettable adventure with wild themes, incredible activities and memory-making awesomeness, all while building new friendships, experiencing next-level intentionality and learning about the love of Jesus Christ! Riverview Camp for Girls P.O. Box 299 Mentone, AL 35984 256-634-4043 Dates: May 31- July 31 Ages: Girls 6-16 Located only 1½ hours north of Birmingham on top of breathtaking Lookout Mountain. With over 20 activities choices and recreational opportunities, campers and parents will be pleased with the quality of our program. ACA accredited. Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp 606 Valley View Ranch Rd. Cloudland, GA 30731 706-862-2231 Dates: June 7- July 31

Ages: Girls 8-17 Horse lovers’ paradise since 1954! A’top Lookout Mountain, for 50 girls; English, Western, Barrels, Vaulting, and Trails. Spend up to 6 hours a day riding and caring for your OWN camp horse. WinShape Overnight Camp in North Georgia Mountains • WinShape Camp for Boys at ClevelandTruett-McConnell University 100 Alumni Dr. Cleveland, GA 30528 Sessions: 8 Dates: May 31 – July 24 Completed Grades 1-8 • WinShape Camp for Girls at Young Harris Young Harris College 1 College St. Young Harris, GA 30582 1-844-WS-CAMPS Sessions: 7 Dates: May 31 – July 17 Completed Grades 1-8 • WinShape Camp for Girls at Cohutta Springs Cohutta Springs Conference Center 1175 Cohutta Springs Rd. Crandall, GA 30711 1-844-WS-CAMPS Sessions: 4 Dates: June 7 – July 3 Completed Grades 9-12 Created by Chick-fil-A’s Founder, WinShape Camps are 1-week overnight camps that provide growth physically, mentally, and spiritually through activities such as outdoor adventure, performing & visual arts, science, sports, and worship. Register at!

Week 1 (June 1 - 5) - On the Farm Week 2 (June 8 - 12) - Don't Bug Me! Week 3 (June 15 - 19) - Going Camping Week 4 (June 22 - 26) - Jungle Safari Week 5 (July 13 - 17) - Ocean Wonders Week 6 (July 20 - 24) - Up, Up & Away Week 7 (July 27 - 31) - A Trip to the Zoo Week 8 (Aug 3 - 10) - Under the Big Top

Jodie Juneac

General Manager

(205) 979-7969

Full day ($275/week) • 8:00-4:00 1/2 day ($175/week) • 8:00-11:30 or 12:30-4:00 Summer Camp is for boys and girls 4 years old and up. Children must be fully potty trained and able to use restroom independently.







YMCA Camp Cosby 2290 Paul Bear Bryant Rd. Alpine, AL 35014 252-268-2007 Dates: June 1- July 24 Ages: 6-15 Camp Cosby offers a traditional overnight summer camp. Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins with highly-trained camp counselors. Activities include archery, canoeing, horseback riding, water-skiing, arts and crafts.

DAY AND OVERNIGHT CAMPS Adventures in Math and Science Summer Camp 1255 Dauphin St. Mobile, AL 36604 251-441-2152 Dates: June 1-5, June 8-12, and June 15-19 Ages: Students entering the 6-10th grade Learn while you have fun! Kayak Mobile Bay. Build a smart phone app. Prepare for the ACT. Program a robot. Launch a rocket…and much more! Applications, more i nformation, and course descriptions are online at

iDTech Camp at University of Alabama 888-709-8324 Dates: June 15 - July 17 Ages: 7-19 World leader in STEM education - 450,000 alumni and over 20 years of experience. Programs at 150 campuses including NYU, Caltech, and Imperial College London. Students build skills in coding, game development, robotics, & creative arts. Discovery Hall Programs Day Camps 101 Bienville Blvd. Dauphin Island, AL 36608 Discovery Hall Programs summer camps range from single-day programs to residential camps and academic courses. Depending on the camp, activities can include expeditions through Dauphin Island’s diverse habitats, exploring Mobile Bay, and marine technology.

THINGS FOR CAMP Applause Dancewear 1629 Oxmoor Rd. Birmingham, AL 35209 205-871-STEP

22 | birminghamparent | february 2020 Largest selection of dancewear in the Southeast. Clothing, shoes and accessories for all types of dance to fit toddler to plus size, teams and individuals.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS High Point Climbing and Fitness Birmingham 4677 Hwy 280 Birmingham, AL 35242 205-981-9190 https://highpointclimbing. com/birmingham/ High Point Climbing and Fitness Birmingham brings world-class climbing to Alabama with 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing surface featuring walls up to 52+ feet tall. 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.

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4 Great Reasons To Send Your Kids To Sleepaway Camp

Photo by Amanda Traywick

By Tanni Haas, Ph.D.

There are so many great reasons why you should consider sending your kids to sleepaway camp this summer, and it’s not only because they’ll have a whole lot of fun. Based on my experiences as the parent of a 15-year-old boy who loves summer camp, as well as conversations with other parents, I’ve learned that sleepaway camp can be character-building. Here are four different ways that summer camp can help your kids develop and mature. INDEPENDENCE. For most kids, sleepaway camp is the first time they get to experience real independence. They’re away from their parents and other adult family members for an extended period of time, and they have to quickly learn how to take care of themselves, from getting themselves ready in the morning to choosing their daily activities. Of course, there are counselors who’re responsible for the overall welfare of the kids, but unlike

teachers who tell kids what to do, camp counselors act much more like older brothers and sisters who’re on a joint adventure with the kids. I’ll never forget the first time my spouse and I picked up our son f rom sleepaway camp. He acted like a completely different person than the one we’d left behind only a few short weeks earlier: independent, mature, and with a confident, knowing demeanor. ORGANIZATION. Sleepaway camp teaches kids how to become better organized. From the moment they wake up in the morning to the moment they go to sleep at night, they have to make many choices that require them to organize themselves and their time. For example, in the morning they’re supposed to wake up, get dressed, brush their teeth, make their beds, and walk to the dining hall at the same time and together with all the other kids they’re bunking with. But unlike in school where teachers tell kids exactly what to do and when, camp counselors expect that kids figure it out themselves. And that includes not forgetting to put their dirty clothes in the hamper on laundry day.

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FRIENDSHIP/COMMUNITY. Kids also learn some very valuable lessons about friendship and being part of a community. Camps often let parents request that their kids bunk with friends from home. Yet, they’ll also bunk with many other kids, often from different states and countries. This will teach them how to get along with and enjoy the company of kids with very different backgrounds than their own. Most camps are aware of this and organize activities aimed at creating a strong sense of camaraderie and community, including evening camp fires, sing-a-longs, and the ever-popular camp Olympics. CONFLICT RESOLUTION. Sometimes, despite camp counselors’ best efforts, conflicts do occur over who bunks together,

who sits next to whom at meal times, and who plays with whom. After all, kids often live in cramped quarters at camp, with unfamiliar roommates. But that’s not such a bad thing. One of the most important skills kids learn at sleepaway camp is how to solve interpersonal conflicts on their own. Camp counselors certainly step in to solve serious conflicts, but they’ll typically let the kids solve the small ones. And learning how to solve conflict is a great skill kids will bring home with them and use long after the camp is over. Tanni Haas, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College.






Odyssey Early Schools | 25



Tips to Choosing the Right Day Camp By Denise Morrison Yearian

Summer day camp is a place where children can stretch their minds, exercise their bodies and develop new friendships and interests. Following are 10 tips on how you can choose the right day camp for your child.


Talk with your child to find out what his interests are. As you do, get a list of camps, show him what the options are and ask if any of these interest him. If there is a camp fair, take your child along and visit the tabletop displays. Also talk with people whose children previously went to a camp you are considering to see if they had a good experience.

2. VALUE IN VARIETY. Ask your child if he wants to do one activity or have a variety of experiences. A lot of parents think they have to be tied down to one camp, but it is okay to send your child to different places. Enroll him in a traditional camp for several weeks then a specialized camp for a week or two then maybe a scouting camp. This adds variety and makes the summer more exciting.

3. CONSIDER YOUR FAMILY’S NEEDS. If you have two working

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parents with set schedules, check to see if the program you are considering has before care and after care. Also ask friends in similar situations if they want to put their kids in the same program so you can coordinate rides.


Friendships are an important part of camp so factor that into your decision. The focus of day camp is to have fun and teach skills, and a lot of that is done through face-to-face interaction with peers. Have your child go with a friend, but encourage him to make new friends there.


families want a camp close to home or work or one somewhere along the way, but convenience shouldn’t be the only consideration. If your child has a specific interest and there isn’t a program close by, it may be worth driving five to ten miles out of the way to get what you’re looking for.


LENGTH. Day camps run from several hours to a full day, so consider your child’s participation level in light of his age and developmental level, as well as previous camp or group setting experience. Find out how many activities he will be doing in a day and determine if he can keep up the pace. If you still have reservations, ask the camp director what he suggests.

7. ASK KEY QUESTIONS. Safety is a top priority, so find out

what the counselors-to-camper ratio is. The American Camping Association suggests 1 to 8 for ages 6 to 8; 1 to 10 for ages 9 to 14; and 1 to 12 for ages 15 to 18. Also look at hiring practices. How old are the staff? What kind of background checks have been done on them? How many hours of camp training do they have? And how many are CPR and safety certified? Many times, accreditation or certification by an overseeing organization covers health, safety and staff issues, as well as the quality of the program. Ask if the camp is certified or accredited then find out exactly what that means.


8. CHECK OUT COST. When examining fees, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Some day camps have a base price but charge extra for field trips, special activities, materials, registration and food. Also ask about a refund policy or transfer of weeks if there is an unforeseen illness or emergency. If the camp is more than you can afford, find out if there is a scholarship program for those with limited resources.

9. PLAN A PRE-VISIT. If an open house is available try

to attend, even if your child previously went to this camp. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss things with your counselors. If that’s not possible, give yourself a few extra minutes at the start of camp to meet the staff and share information you think is important. This establishes a good relationship and increases the chance of open communication if a problem crops up.


have a parent handbook or policies and procedures manual. If you are undecided on a camp, ask for a copy to see if you agree with the rules and regulations set forth. Equally important, go over this information with your child so he knows and agrees to the expectations.

For age 4 – 6th grade | May 26 – July 31, 2020 With fun themes from Summer Garden Chefs to Young Artists in the Gardens to Japanese Garden Exploration— and more!—our summer camps promote creativity and the joy of discovery in the unmatched natural setting of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Members receive priority registration and discounts on camp registrations. Join us!


If you feel comfortable with the information you have received, the staff meets your expectations and your child is enthusiastic, chances are it’s the right program and your camper will have a wonderful experience.

Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren. | 27


Beating the

“End of Camp” Blues Camp is an action-packed adventure. Each day brings new and exciting opportunities for growth and accomplishment. At the same time, strong bonds of friendship and community are developing. It truly is a life-changing experience. And when the embers of the last campfire have cooled, and campers make their way home, often children experience a mild case of the “end of camp blues.” The blues are not uncommon, causing some children to be tired, moody, quieter than usual, or even irritable or grumpy. The American Camp Association® (ACA) recommends the following tips for families to help ease the transition from camp to home: • Help them relax and adjust to the slower pace of non-camp life. Suggest they take a warm shower and get plenty of rest. Plan to have an "old favorite" for dinner. • Encourage reconnecting with friends from home. Volunteer to set up play dates and get-togethers to help re-establish a sense of belonging with friends they haven't seen in a long time. • Allow your child to write, email, or call camp friends. Many camps encourage campers to exchange e-mail and IM addresses with one another. Parents should make sure to oversee their child's online activities, and make sure that all camp policies are being followed. • Be open and available to talk about camp. Allow your children to reflect on their friends, their favorite moment at camp, and what they miss most about camp. Sharing experiences and feelings will help them feel connected to you, and will make the transition easier. • Organize a small “reunion.” Getting together with local camp friends can help reassure your child that though his or her friends are out of sight, they are not out of mind! If your child gets the blues, remember that they miss camp because they had fun – and they enjoyed taking healthy risks in a safe and nurturing environment. And, it is normal for them to miss their camp family the same way they missed their home family at camp. By being supportive and understanding, families can ease the sadness and help campers adjust to life at home. And, families can help campers remember that next summer is not that far away. Courtesy of the American Camping Association,

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

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Camp Juliette Low On Lookout Mountain in Cloudland, GA

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Preparing Girls for Confident Living and Leadership Since 1922 | 31



they will “fall out anyway,” the fact is, baby teeth are important to a child’s development. Baby teeth help children eat, and they also help children develop their speech. Another role of baby teeth is that they help guide permanent teeth into position.

Baby Teeth vs. Permanent Teeth It’s a mistake to think that baby teeth aren’t as important as permanent teeth. On average, most children begin to develop baby teeth between the ages of six to 10 months old. While it may be easy to think that taking care of baby teeth isn’t as important because

Start the Brushing Early Don’t wait until teeth are fully in to begin brushing. Start brushing as soon as you see them, notes Dr. Angelica Rohner. For infants, Rohner suggests using a wet washcloth to gently clean the teeth and gums. Once a child has four to eight teeth, she recommends

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Photos courtesy of Dr. Angelica Rohner

When it comes to parenting, there’s always lots of questions. Is that safe? What food should we be feeding baby? Does that cough mean we should go to the doctor? Is our child reaching milestones on time? What can sometimes be overlooked, at least with younger children, is dental hygiene. Healthy teeth are important to anyone’s overall health, and that includes children. Whether a child is an infant or an adolescent, keeping their teeth clean and healthy is a must. Creating those healthy dental habits while your child is young can set them on the right path for a healthy mouth in the future. Here’s a rundown on what you need to know to keep your children’s teeth healthy and create a lifetime of positive dental habits.

parents begin gently brushing them with a toothbrush twice a day. “Unfortunately, we are seeing cavities in children as young as 12 months,” she adds. “This means it is important to start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as possible. Brushing at an early age not only helps with avoiding cavities, but also makes it easier as they get older since you’ve already started the routine.” Schedule Dentist Appointments According to the American Dental Association, children should have their first dentist appointment by their first birthday. The first dental visit should at least coincide with the age at which their teeth are erupting, Rohner says. “Be sure to take your child to a pediatric dentist – pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of children’s teeth. It is imperative to choose a dental home at a young age to make sure that they grow up with a positive outlook toward oral health,” she says. Children should also visit their pediatric dentist twice a year.

Get Enough Fluoride Fluoride is important for teeth: it helps strengthen the enamel, thereby protecting their teeth. If your child drinks water, there’s a good chance they are getting some fluoride because many communities incorporate fluoride into the water supply. Regardless, fluoride toothpaste should eventually be introduced. Dr. Clark Thomas recommends switching from training toothpaste to fluoride toothpaste around the age of two or when the child is fully capable of spitting out the toothpaste. Don’t Forget to Floss Dental floss is beneficial in cleaning areas of the teeth that a toothbrush can’t get, and that goes for kids too. Wherever teeth are very close together, floss is needed to clean those contacts in order to prevent cavities. “Our saying is that wherever teeth touch, we have to floss daily,” says Olga M. Sanchez-Hernandez D.M.D., M.S., M.S. of McCalla Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry. “One is never too young to start flossing if the teeth need it.” Flossing should be done once a day, every day. “For children under six years old, parental help is most definitely needed,” adds Sanchez-Hernandez. “Your dentist can give you tips on how to position yourself to best help your child and what flossing products are available that can better fit your needs.” Create Healthy Food Habits Healthy food habits can mean a healthier mouth for children. That means limiting sugary foods and beverages that can erode enamel and lead to cavities, which includes juices, chocolate milk, and gummies—including gummy vitamins, Thomas notes. While you can’t always keep children from enjoying those items, it’s important to at least make sure they brush and floss whenever they do eat or drink sugary treats. Parents should especially make sure those sugary drinks and treats are avoided at night after kids have brushed their teeth. “It’s extremely important that when children go to bed, their teeth are clean and they do not come in contact with any substance that contains sugar (like milk, juice, sweet tea, and soft drinks) through the night,” adds Sanchez-Hernandez. “If they get thirsty after teeth are brushed at night, they can have water.” Lose the Pacifier As most parents know, there are many benefits to letting a child use a pacifier – it’s an easier habit to break than thumb sucking – but when it comes to dental care, there aren’t any benefits of it. If used too long, a pacifier can affect how a child’s teeth lineup and even change the shape of their mouth. Thomas recommends getting rid of a pacifier by the age of two. “But if the child starts sucking their thumb, give it back and work toward no pacifier,” he explains. continued next page

Where all the dental needs of your child can be met under one roof! Dr. Olga Sanchez Hernandez is a dual trained and board certified pediatric dentist and orthodontist.

4814 Bell Hill Rd., Bessemer, AL 35022 205-477-8004 • Like us on Facebook

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CREATING HEALTHY DENTAL HABITS Build Interest in the Topic Have a child that just isn’t interested in brushing their teeth? Then make it fun and interesting! Explain why it’s important and illustrate the process – maybe even let them “practice” by brushing the teeth of their favorite stuffed animal. Make your child feel part of the process by letting them pick out their own toothbrush. And if they still aren’t very interested, find a way to make brushing a fun game for them. Paige Townley is a freelance writer.

Specializing in Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry

Starting First Visits at age 1 Dental Insurance providers for: BCBS of AL, Southland, MetLife, Delta Dental, Guardian, and Cigna. (205)870-0892


Pediatric Therapy Associates, Inc. Individual Physical & Occupational Therapy, Early Intervention, Schools, Outpatient Specializing in: • Developmental motor skills • Neurological delay • Orthopedic surgery rehab • Strength and flexibility limitations • Pilates and rehab for sports injuries • Yoga for special needs and scoliosis Over 35 Years of Pediatric Therapy Experience • Fine motor skills including handwriting

205-823-1215 34 | birminghamparent | february 2020



CHILD’S TOOTHBRUSH INJURY PROVIDES GOOD LESSON FOR PARENTS Research shows toothbrushes cause most common airway injury in children Reese White is just like any other second-grade girl. As the youngest of David and Kelley White’s four children, Reese is the only one in the household who isn’t tall enough to look at herself in the mirror above the bathroom sink. Reese was getting ready for bed on March 18, 2018, using the mirror on the back of her parent’s door to help her brush her teeth. Kelley quickly opened the door into Reese, knocking the toothbrush through Reese’s mouth and into her throat. “She didn’t start screaming or freaking out right away,” Kelley says. “She just went into my son’s room, and I heard him say, ‘What’s wrong with her? She’s bleeding!’ I ran into the room, and there was just blood everywhere.” Upon arriving at the hospital, they discovered that Reese had a puncture wound in the back of her throat, close to the carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain. Any damage to that vessel could cause a life-threatening hemorrhage. “That’s when we realized it was serious, and we got really scared,” Kelley says. Christopher Sampson, MD, a physician at the University of Missouri Health Care’s University Hospital, treated Reese. While the Whites considered Reese’s injury a “freak accident,” Sampson has seen enough of them that he wondered how

common these cases are nationwide. He researched toothbrush injuries from 2006-16 and published his findings in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine earlier this year. Sampson discovered 257 toothbrush incidents in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database. Based on the sample size, the NEISS database estimated there are more than 850 toothbrush injuries in the U.S. each year. “We found most of those injured by toothbrushes were 4 years old and younger,” Sampson explained. “A majority were seen in the emergency department and then discharged. But we found a significant number of cases that required sutures or surgery.” Toothbrush packages contain a warning label recommending adult supervision for children 3 and younger. “Parents should make sure young children don’t wander away from the sink while brushing,” he says. “There are always risks if you are walking around or running with a toothbrush in your mouth. Just stand by the sink and focus on the job you’re doing.”

Courtesy of University of Missouri Health Care


Dr. Tabitha Jarman Gatrey, DMD

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

Did you know you can sponsor a baby's diaper need for as low as $10/month? Visit and signup for a recurring monthly donation to BLESS A LOCAL FAMILY Businesses, local organizations & individuals all welcome!

205-607-2112 | 35



in the 2020 Birmingham Parent’s Family Favorites Awards! Visit to vote online for your favorite party place, kids meal, toy store, radio station & more. SPONSORED BY

Vote for your favorites & be entered to win a GRAND PRIZE getaway to OWA,

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OWA has been named one of Alabama’s Top Attractions. Visit TWO 2nd prizes will be awarded. We will give away two one-year family passes to include $100 each to McWane Science Center.


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Discover the science of sound. The exhibit features a Guinness Record breaking guitar visitors can play themselves. This exhibit creates meaningful connection with the guitar through touchable equipment, performance video, and electrifying audio that is guaranteed to thrill everyone from the old roadies to the littlest fans.


Celebrate the unique diversity of cultures and creative innovations that characterize America, as told through the story of its music. Discover the unique collision of cultures that gave birth to such electrifying art forms as jazz, the blues, country, rock and roll and hip-hop! | 37 | 37


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Heart Attack Warning Signs for Women By Dr. Anu Rao

Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Little boys are made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails. Even from the start, little boys and little girls are different. As we grow into adults those differences continue, including how our bodies react to a heart attack. Heart attack symptoms in men and women are often different. When a woman has a heart attack she may not experience chest discomfort. Her warning signs of an impending heart attack could just include shortness of breath, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. She may only have overwhelming fatigue and dizziness. Because these symptoms are often chalked up to stress, women have reported that they have a harder time getting their doctors to recognize these early warning signs. Women also wait longer before seeking medical care. With a heart attack, minutes matter. Seeking help sooner and being proactive about your care can help save heart muscle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is especially true for women and heart disease. Admittedly, some heart disease risk factors are beyond our control, such as family history and age. After menopause, a woman’s chance of developing heart disease soars because her body’s production of estrogen drops. But you can take an active role in preventing cardiovascular disease by managing your risk. • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products at all • Maintain a normal weight or work on weight loss through a healthy diet • Exercise regularly and stay active throughout the day

38 | birminghamparent | february 2020

• Manage your diabetes, if you have the condition • Avoid soda • Treat sleep disorders and make sure and get enough sleep • Make sure depression is treated. • Know your blood pressure and seek treatment if elevated Having even one risk factor for heart disease can be dangerous. But having multiple risks is even more serious because risk factors tend to intensify the effects of others and increase your chances of developing a heart condition. If your doctor has prescribed medications, be sure to take them exactly as advised. Tell your doctor if you experience any unpleasant side effects. You may be able to adjust the dosage or change to another medicine. Severe chest pain or blood vessel blockages may be surgically treated by coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass graft. Just as for men, women should call 9-1-1 if experiencing symptoms that seem to be life-threatening. For more information about women and heart disease, check with your doctor or visit the Women’s Heart website at

Dr. Anu Rao is a skilled cardiologist and Director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Center at Cardiovascular Associates affiliated with Brookwood Baptist Medical Center. Her 20-year expertise in Women's Cardiology is unique in the Birmingham area. Their office is located in Birmingham and their number is (205) 510-5000.

Heart attack symptoms in men and women are often different. When a woman has a heart attack she may not experience chest discomfort. Her warning signs of an impending heart attack could just include shortness of breath, nausea, indigestion, vomiting, and back or jaw pain. She may only have overwhelming fatigue and dizziness.


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calendar highlights FEBRUARY It’s a smaller month packed with punch. In this leap year, we get one more day in February, February 29, and Birmingham Parent will host its 2nd Huntsville Special Needs Expo on February 29. Valentine’s Day comes along February 14. It’s Black History Month, and Birmingham is rich in history. Always check your local library for programs and activities. Also, check the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (, which each year hosts several events surrounding this month. And don’t forget Birmingham Parent’s 27th Annual Camp Expo on February 22 at the Riverchase Galleria!

Feb. 22 – Birmingham Parent’s Camp Expo 10am-2pm, Riverchase Galleria, Birminghamc

Sunday, Feb. 2 Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day: The Winter Wake-Up ­— 9am-2pm, prediction 10am, The Birmingham Zoo. Join the zoo for a Hibernation Celebration. Due to resident groundhog Birmingham Bill going through hibernation, one of the zoo’s owls will be predicting this year’s weather outcome! Animal photo opportunity at 10:30 am.

See what your child wants to do this summer, from camps to summer programs to vacation Bible schools and more, all under one roof. Upper level of the Galleria. Lower level has great local entertainment. Don’t miss the giveaways! Swag bags to the first 200 at the Birmingham Parent booth. FREE. Sponsored by Odyssey Early Schools and WDJC.

Feb. 29 Birmingham Parent’s 2nd Annual

Huntsville 10am – 2pm, Jaycee Community Building on Airport Road, Huntsville

Comin g in t he Mar ch /A p r il 2 0 2 0 Birmingham Parent's

NEW AND IMPROVED CALENDAR OF EVENTS both in print and online at

Even more fun stuff for families! Upload your great events at or send to | 41

february calendar


Valentines Day

1 Saturday

Harry Potter Coding Club 4-4:45 p.m. Room 102, Homewood Public Library. Learn coding basics while practicing your spell work! Wands (and laptops) will be provided. Grades 3-5. Register online. FREE. www.homewoodpubliclibrary. org.

Family Yoga 10:30-11:15am, Homewood Public Library. All ages. Spend quality time together with stretches and breathing exercises that the whole family can enjoy! FREE.

The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 29th St. S. Rain or shine! www.

Rapunzel and the Rabbit 10am, noon, Birmingham Children’s Theatre. A lighthearted tale of bravery and adventure! Recommended for ages 2-7. (Feb. 8 at noon is a sensory-friendly performance). Admission charged.

Huck Finn 2:30pm, Birmingham Children’s Theatre. One special performance of BCT’s newest touring program. Runaways Huckleberry Finn and Jim team up for adventure on the mighty Mississippi and learn lessons of integrity, dignity, and friendship, uniquely adapted from Mark Twain’s classic American novel. Great for ages 6-plus. Admission charged.

view and drive through the genuine and newly-restored wooden covered bridge.W ellbehaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older welcome. Info: Dan Frederick, 205-631-4680.

2 Sunday

Groundhog Day

Hikes for Tykes 10 am, Vulcan-Kiwanis Trail. This toddler-sized “hike” focuses on preschool children and their families. There will be storytelling and lots of hands-on activities geared towards how small children learn. Be prepared to build fairy houses! A great STEAM activity for all ages. FREE; $5 per family donation suggested. Located on the trail just below the Vulcan statue on the Birmingham side. Register at

Southeastern Outings Dayhike 9: 45am, Dayhike along the Locust Form river from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Fall near Cleveland, Alabama. We’ll

42 | birminghamparent | february 2020

3 Monday Storypalooza

10:30-11am, Homewood Public Library. (Preschool) Join Ms. Cristina for an interactive and playful story time to start off the week! www.

Free Tutoring 3:30-⁠4:30pm, Homewood Public Library. Get help in K-12 subjects from Homewood High School Peer Helpers and surprise guests from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. www.

8 Saturday The Market at Pepper Place Groundhog Day: The Winter Wake-Up 9am-2pm, prediction 10am, The Birmingham Zoo. Join the zoo for a Hibernation Celebration. Due to resident groundhog Birmingham Bill going through hibernation, one of the zoo’s owls will be predicting this year’s weather outcome! Animal photo opportunity at 10:30 am. Admission charged.

7am-noon, Pepper Place, 29th St. S. Rain or shine!

Rapunzel and the Rabbit 10am, noon, Birmingham Children’s Theatre. Noon is a sensory-friendly performance! Recommended ages 2-7. Admission charged.


Birmingham Parent’s 27th Annual Camp Expo 10am-2pm, Riverchase Galleria.

9 Sunday

Special Siblings

14 Friday

Valentine’s Day

3:30-4:30pm, Homewood Public Library. (K-12 Grade) This support group for siblings of special needs children is a place to share ideas, experiences, and the everchanging needs of having a sibling with special needs. FREE. www.

Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike 12:45pm, Oak Mountain State Park. Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon. This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors. Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles without complaining and complete the hike are welcome. Meet at. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot. $5/person ($2.00 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink. Info: Randall Adkins, 205-317-6969.

10 Monday Storypalooza

10:30-11am, Homewood Public Library. (Preschool) Join Ms. Cristina for an interactive and playful story time to start off the week! FREE. www.

Free Tutoring 3:30-4:30pm, Homewood Public Library (K -12 grade). Get help in K-12 subjects from Homewood High School Peer Helpers and surprise guests from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

15 Saturday

Big Machines Day ALL DAY, McWane Science Center. Get your motors running and join the McWane Science Center for a truckload of fun. Spend a constructive day getting up close and personal with some big machines. ADMISSION CHARGED.

Rapunzel and the Rabbit 10am and noon, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, see Feb. 1.

Book Signing with Laynie Bynum



1-2pm, Pelham Public Library.


Hikes for Tykes


10am, Oak Mountain State Park, Alabama Wildlife Center. Show love to your feathered friends! Walk along the trails and listen for birds. Afterwards, tour the Alabama Wildlife Center where birds are rehabilitated. FREE; $5 per family donation suggested. Register,

Southeastern Outings Day Hike 8:45am, Bankhead National Forest. Approximately 6-mile hike follows a beautiful trail which runs from the Brushy Creek Bridge along the creek. Carefully-supervised, well-behaved children 8 and older welcome. Bring a picnic lunch and water. Meet at Hayden/Corner Park and Ride to leave at 9am., 205-631-4680.


No Sitting or Session Fees! Family Favorite


In studio or outdoor photography available 205-902-0385 www.ChristyPiercePhotographyLLC. | 43

february calendar 2323

Side by Side Concert Telescopes, Planets, and Stars: Oh My! 3pm, Alys Stephens Center. 6:30-7:30pm, Homewood LibraryThe (back parking lot). OrAlabama Symphony chestra & Alabama SymphoAll ages. ny Youth Orchestra perform. ADMISSION CHARGED.

The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 29th St. S. Rain or shine!

22 Saturday

Birmingham Parent’s 27th Annual Camp Expo

17 Monday Presidents Day

Storypalooza 10:30-11am, Homewood Public Library. (Preschool) Join Ms. Cristina for an interactive and playful story time to start off the week!

10am-2pm, Riverchase Galleria. See what your child wants to do this summer and enroll while space is available! Meet camp counselors and summer fun organization face to face and ask questions. GREAT giveaways, local entertainment. Sponsored by Odyssey Early Schools and WDJC. https:// camp-expo-exhibitors/ FREE.

24 Monday Storypalooza

10:30-11am, Homewood Public Library. (Preschool) Join Ms. Cristina for an interactive and playful story time to start off the week!www.

Free Tutoring 3:30-4:30pm, Homewood Public Library (K -12 grade). Get help in K-12 subjects from Homewood High School Peer Helpers and surprise guests from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

The Market at Pepper Place

29 Saturday

7am-noon, Pepper Place, 29th St. S. Rain or shine!

2nd Annual Birmingham Parent’s Special Needs Expo – Huntsville

23 Sunday

Side by Side Concert

10am-2pm, Jaycee Community Building, Huntsville.

Great vendors, all under one roof. Lots of family fun and giveaways! Sponsored by WAAY, Children’s of Alabama. Sponsorships and booths still available. directory/special-needs-expo/.

The Market at Pepper Place 7am-noon, Pepper Place, 29th St. S. Rain or shine! com" www.

Hikes for Tykes 10am, Vulcan-Kiwanis Trail. Join Dr. Jason Heberling for a fascinating tour of the geologic history that shaped Birmingham from the red iron ore to ancient fossils, revealing the earthen gifts that built the Magic City. FREE; $10 donation per family suggested. Meet on the trail just below the Vulcan statue on the Birmingham side. Register,

3pm, Alys Stephens Center. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra & Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra perform. ADMISSION CHARGED.

PLEASE NOTE: Calendar information should be uploaded to our calendar at If can also be mailed to Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; fax to 205-624-2415; e-mail to Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information will not be accepted over the phone. Birmingham Parent publishes a calendar 6 times a year. Deadline for the March/April 2020 issue is February 10, 2020. 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 205-624-2405 or e-mail You may also fax information to 205-624-2415.

44 | birminghamparent | february 2020

area events & attractions Aldridge Botanical Gardens 3530 Lorna Road, Hoover. 205-682-8019,

program for children ages 4-7. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-254-2565,

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

Birmingham Public Libraries

1631 Fourth Ave. N., Birmingham. 205-254-2731,

Find a library near you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

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.

American Village

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

Birmingham Botanical Gardens treasuremapforweb.pdf 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900,

Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181,

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 16th St. N., Birmingham. 205-3289696,

Birmingham Museum of Art Celestia Morgan: REDLINE. This exhibit features photos and small sculptures by local artist Celestia Morgan that explore redlining in Birmingham. Through February 16. FREE. Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am-1pm. Bart’s Books. A storytelling

Special Saturdays. On the second Saturday of each month from 10-11am for ages 8-up, the Birmingham Zoo and KultureCity presents a series of zoo-based learning experiences for children and adolescents with cognitive or physical disabilities. Caregivers must attend all classes. FREE; space is limited to 10 students per class. Information, Roger Torbert, 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409,

Christy Pierce

Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535,

Birmingham Zoo

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-6683435,

Jefferson County Library Cooperative Find a library close to you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

McWane Science Center Home School Day! On the first Monday of each month, home school students and their families can come for special programs, live science demonstrations, giveaways and a discounted ticket price. FREE for home school parents, $7 kids, $6 for accompanying adults. 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. Blue Star Museums Military Discount. Blue Star Museums offers FREE admission to active duty military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, National Guard and Reserve

members, with up to five family members. To learn more visit Offer does not include IMAX movies or parking. IMAX Movies: America’s Musical Journey Musical stories come together to create a soundtrack that showcases our diversity and collision of cultures. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. Superpower Dogs An inspiring true story about Halo, a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet Henry, Reef, Ricochet, Tipper and Tony, too. Narrated by Chris Evans. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300,

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

Shelby County Public Libraries Find a library near you for all kinds of fun events and enrichment!

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

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

Moss Rock Preserve

Vulcan Park

Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141,

1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409,

Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205-620-2520, | 45

Photos Co

ur tesy of

Joe Locket




Some five years ago, Joe Lockett, founder and CEO of Lockett iN Media, motivational speaker and host of the Joe Lockett Radio Show, was thinking about how he could “give back” to the community. He wanted to help kids stay out of trouble while at the same time creating a vision for what their lives could be. He decided talking to these kids and mentoring them was the way to help. So, his vision became reality with the JL Mentoring Camp and Joe’s Lock & Learn program, now in its fifth year. “We offer an opportunity… we bring in folks to teach them about work and who are willing to offer them a job later,” Lockett explains of the Mentoring Camp. “It’s important to plug kids into mentoring. They can see their options, opportunities and what life is truly about. I want to plant a seed.” The Mentoring Camp takes boys or girls ages 8-16 for 3-5 days and brings in mentors from across the city to share and teach the kids. The city of Birmingham’s Henry Crumpton Recreational Center has been the site for the past few years. For a small fee of $10, kids can register online at www. Space is limited. 46 | birminghamparent | february 2020

In addition to learning about jobs and career paths, Lockett says they learn simple manners, how to look someone in the eye when talking to them, a handshake, how to dress for jobs and the job interview, how to tie a tie, how to be respectful, say “yes sir,” and “no sir” and much more. They’ll learn how to carry themselves, how to sit, personal hygiene, and so much more. “They learn the ‘man code,’” Lockett adds. And once a child has been through the camp, Lockett says they can return as an “ambassador” of the program. “We live in a society where people need to pay more attention to each other, especially the kids,” Lockett reflects. “In some communities, if kids make mistakes, they can die. We want them to know anybody can make a difference if they work hard. We need to care more about people than politics and religion – we need to be better people,” Lockett adds. The mentoring camp isn’t the only way Lockett is giving back. His Community First: The Joe Lockett philosophy would be nothing without giving back to the community, he

says. His Lock & Learn program has given away over 4,000 book bags over the last three years. In 2016 Joe created the JL Mentoring Camp for girls and boys, which served 30 families as a result of the free camp. Lockett also has created his own sock line, Walking In Faith-JL Signature socks (, in which 25 percent of the proceeds goes to charity.  Lockett has received numerous awards, including the Who’s Who in Birmingham, Men of Influence Award, Mayor William A. Bell Sr. Small Business Award, and William Robertson 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Lockett has three children. For more information about the summer mentoring camp, visit https://www.facebook. com/JLMENTORINGCAMP/. Carol Muse Evans is publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent.

Profile for Birmingham Parent Magazine

Birmingham Parent's February 2020 issue