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November 2020


2020 Education Guide Inside

Growing Great Families Since 1986

Meet the young women advocating for change in Denver Public School's curriculum. Page 28.


Colorado Kids Making a Difference 6 Spots to See Holiday Lights Tips for Happier Family Dinners What to Know Before You Hit the Slopes 103 Ideas for Family Fun



We believe a classroom


Practicing safe, in-person learning since April. The Montessori method treats the whole world as a classroom, with a mission to create curious, self-directed learners who seek out knowledge wherever they are. Thanks to this pedagogical approach, and with the support of our highly-trained staff, our students showed remarkable resilience last spring. And as we continue in-person learning this fall, we expect them to continue thriving. When the focus of learning is to free each student’s mind from the confines of the classroom, they can find success wherever life takes them. Schedule a tour to learn more. Mayfair - Park Hill - Central Park


We breathe hope for kids of all ages. For children with asthma, allergies, respiratory and pulmonary illness, hope is right here in Denver. At National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital, our pediatric specialists incorporate the latest research and treatments to help kids of all ages get back to being kids. We breathe science, so you can breathe life. To book an appointment for your child, call 800.621.0505 or visit

Peanut Allergy? Learn how to participate in our clinical trial at




CONTENTS November 2020 features 28




Learn more about school choice during the pandemic.

Meet 10 outstanding young people changing the community for the better.

departments 6




The latest tips and news on


What We Learned




What to Know Before You Go Skiing


Our Kids Just Don't Get Along








Faces of Denver and Boulder


Education & Enrichment Guide


Early Childhood Showcase


Holiday Gift Guide

When the Show Can't Go On

Read About Writing and Arithmetic

Holiday Lights to Brighten the Season

Raise a Rockstar

11 What to Know Before You Hit the Slopes | 20 Tips for Happier Family Dinners 28 10 Colorado Kids Making a Difference | 37 2020 Education Guide 51 103 Ideas for Family Fun | 62 6 Spots to See Holiday Lights

Colorado Parent | November 2020


Make Mealtimes Meaningful


on the cover





CALENDAR OF EVENTS Our monthly roundup of local events, featuring virtual and in-person activities around town.

COVER: The young women behind the Know Justice, Know Peace resolution photographed at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College by Heather Smith

A well-kept secret: Santa is known for his home up north, but Cheyenne, Wyoming holds a little secret… the NorthWEST Pole is his old Ranching homestead. A long-time fan of wide open spaces, Santa has been visiting the Magic City during December since the days of the Wild West.

That spirit continues this winter during Cheyenne’s Old West Holiday! Downtown Cheyenne will be transformed into a Western Winter Wonderland with Santa’s favorite stops open to the public: • Pony Express stop to drop off your wish lists • Santa’s Saloon and Stables

• Mrs. Claus’ Cowboy Cookie Shop

• Kringle Ranch where you can visit Santa and tell him exactly what you’d like for Christmas!

Who knows ... You may run into the Big Guy himself ‘round town!


On the Web

Colorado Parent Online Volunteer, Thanksgiving: Getty Images. Native Peoples' Month: Sacred Voices. Crafts: Design Improvised.

10+ Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids Decorate your house with these cheerful crafts, to serve as a reminder of what truly matters.

Where to Order Thanksgiving Meals To Go Ditch the exhausting mealtime prep and order your holiday dinner from one of these local restaurants.

Celebrate Native Peoples’ History, Culture, and Resilience Connect with indigenous imagination and culture this Native American Heritage Month. Download a custom coloring page, listen to Sacred Voices poetry, visit an exhibit, and more.

Volunteer With Your Family This Season Teach your kids to give back to their community by volunteering together. Find opportunities ranging from pet care to sparking joy in assisted living facilities.





Colorado Parent | November 2020


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at GAYLORD ROCKIES WALK THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE SCENES IN AN ALL-NEW, MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCE OPENING NOVEMBER 20 A CHRISTMAS STORY, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. (s20) ELF and all related characters and elements © & ™ New Line Productions, Inc. (s20) THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20)

From the Editors

What We Learned…


EDITORIAL Editor Deborah Mock Assistant Editor Kara Thompson Editorial Assistant Anna Sutterer Copy Editor Lydia Rueger


Colorado is filled with amazing kids. Each November, we seek out stories of kids making a difference in our community and each year we are reminded of the generous spirit and courage of Colorado youth. Turn to page 28 to read the inspiring stories of this year’s honorees.


Things that inspired this issue, and what our editors discovered along the way.

ADVERTISING SALES Advertising Director Brigette Swartz Account Manager Hilary Angel Client Services Coordinator Shundra Jackson

Ski resorts are opening the lift lines. Find out what your family needs to know about skiing this season. Page 11





Though the curtain is down in most theaters, the arts have found creative ways to keep kids engaged. Page 24

Your bestie’s kids and yours don’t get along? We’ve got tips to help you navigate this hurdle. Page 14.

CREATIVE SERVICES Creative Services Director Carly Lambert Print Production Manager Megan Skolak Digital Advertising Manager Nick Stonecipher Lead Graphic Designer Chelsea Conrad Graphic Designer Caitlin Brooks Production Coordinator D'mitrius Brewer MARKETING Director of Marketing Piniel Simegn ADMINISTRATION Billing and Collections Manager Jessica McHeard DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Audience Development Coordinator Caitlin Kittrell


Printed by Publication Printers

The days are getting shorter, but holiday lights are lighting up the night. Check out our list of places to see twinkling displays, on page 62.

Please recycle this magazine. 5280 PUBLISHING, INC. 1675 Larimer Street Suite 675, Denver, CO 80202 P (303) 832-5280 | F (303) 832-0470 Visit us online at CEO & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Daniel Brogan

YOU SAID IT Kids who dine with their parents feel less stress, feel more known by their parents, and feel that they have a better relationship with them. —Anne Fishel, Ph.D., co-founder and executive director of The Family Dinner Project. Read more on page 20.

Share your feedback and ideas! Email us at


PRODUCTION Art Director Heather Gott

Colorado Parent | November 2020

VICE PRESIDENT, STRATEGY Andrea Bott VICE PRESIDENT, REVENUE Zach Wolfel Colorado Parent is published monthly by 5280 Publishing, Inc. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Additional copies can be purchased for $5.00 per issue. Call (303) 320-1000 to request additional copies. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products, or services are endorsed by the Publisher. Editorial submissions are welcome. Colorado Parent (ISSN 1937-1020) ©2020 5280 Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.

Local family gets help to buy adaptive bicycle for their son with rare disability.

Aurora VFW opens doors, receives another check from Denver7 Gives.



Family receives new van and restored hope after contacting Denver7 Gives.

Colorado family finishes home for son with disability with help from community.


What to Know Before the Ski Season Begins

Prepare your family for a winter that’s as safe as it is snowy.

Eager to get in some family time cruising the slopes? Hold your horses. Planning a ski or snowboard trip this season involves much more than deciding which Jeff and Paige album to bring for the drive. “Know before you go,” says Chris Linsmayer, public affairs director with Colorado Ski Country USA. “This is certainly the year to do your pre-arrival research.” With the coronavirus still a concern, much has changed for the upcoming season as resorts take measures to keep guests safe. Keep these tips in mind. PRE-PURCHASE YOUR TICKET. Walk-up, single-day tickets may not be available, so be sure to buy lift tickets in advance. CHECK THE WEBSITE. Keep an eye on resorts’ COVID-19 pages as policies may fluctuate throughout the season.

Skiers: Arapahoe Basin/Dave Camara.

PLAN TO BE OUTSIDE … A LOT. In an effort to mitigate crowds indoors, many resorts will open up larger outdoor seating areas at lunch hubs and may even set up portable toilets en plein air. EXPECT CHANGES TO SKI LESSONS. Ski schools will be reducing class sizes and may only offer half-day lessons (to eliminate the lunch period). PACK YOUR MASK AND PREPARE TO SOCIAL DISTANCE. Just like you’re doing everywhere else. —Courtney Holden

November 2020 |


Good to Know

Project Angel Heart: Courtesy Project Angel Heart Crayons: Getty Images. Shakespeare: Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Deliver Smiles Though in-person volunteer opportunities are limited this year, families looking for a way to serve the community can still do so—from home. Each week, Project Angel Heart delivers 1,600 medically tailored meals to more than 1,300 Coloradans who are home-bound due to severe health conditions. The nonprofit is inviting families to decorate their meal delivery bags. “Most of our clients are extremely ill and, as a result, they’re often isolated,” Amy Daly, director of marketing and communications for Project Angel Heart says. “The drawings on the meal bags are a way to bring a little cheer into their lives. It’s a good reminder to our clients that people care.” The meal bags can be picked up and dropped off (with no contact) at the Denver and Colorado Springs offices. Project Angel Heart encourages individuals of all ages to decorate the bags with crayons, markers, and colored pencils. It’s a great project for a learning pod, corporate volunteer group, or a family, Daly says, and it’s a simple way to introduce kids to volunteerism and philanthropy. “Our hope is that the meal bags bring a little joy to someone who may be going through a very difficult time,” she says.

Color Native American Art

Bring Shakespeare to Your At-Home Learning

Armond Antonio, a self-taught, Native American (Diné) artist, created the coloring page (above) and wrote the corresponding story for young readers, artists, and dreamers. His main focus and style of art revolves around the western and traditional lifestyle of the Diné people. Download the full coloring page and find more ways to engage your kids with Indigenous perspectives at –Anna Sutterer


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Late Birth When the weather begins to get cold and harvest is upon us, we are usually in for a few surprises and not just melons, corn, and squash; baby lambs as well. As the woman was herding sheep, she came upon a baby lamb that was born in midday while her flock was grazing. She called her husband over to look over the flock so she could take the baby lamb back home to safety, where it will be warm and safe from coyotes.

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) developed a virtual program for this school year and they’re making it available to families, learning pods, and homeschool groups. The performances, which are typically only available to schools, were filmed along with video workshops and are available for $25. For a next-level Shakespeare lesson, one or two CSF actors will Zoom into a home study space for a live interactive workshop, ($150, scholarships available). Call 303-735-1181 or email

Ricks Center Located on the University of Denver campus, Ricks Center is a school dedicated to gifted children. »

Preschool to eighth grade


Curriculum designed around the whole child


Flexible, differentiated curriculum


Active, engaged, hands on learning


Designated time to pursue questions and interests


Low student to teacher ratio


Teachers who know, understand, and care deeply about gifted education and each individual student

Email or Call 303.871.3715 to learn more!

November 2020 |


Good to Know | Parenting 911

Behavior-focused: Focus on the problem behaviors, not the character of your friend or their child. Instead of accusing your friend or their child by using character-defined labels, such as declaring them selfish or mean, stick to the behaviors. For example, “Johnny has Suzy’s ball and she wants a turn now. Let’s help them take turns.” This focus on behavior can help your friend hear this as an observation rather than as an attack, and therefore prevent hurt feelings. Balance: Prioritizing your child’s social-emotional growth and your own social-emotional need for connection doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing scenario. With these two goals in mind, focus on balancing compassion for everyone involved.


We Don’t All Get Along THE PROBLEM: A good friend and I were so excited to have kids around the same age. We looked forward to playdates and family gettogethers, but our two youngest kids just don’t get along. It breaks my heart. I don’t want to lose my friend, so I suggested that we do grown-up-only things together for a while. She thinks we should just power through it. I don’t know what to do. THE EXPERT: Brittni Fudge, owner and therapist at Kindred Counseling, PLLC in the Central Park neighborhood.

THE SOLUTION: Whether you’re three or 33, personality differences and hurt feelings are hard to deal with. As one of the two adults in the situation, it’s your job to talk about it directly, set boundaries, and balance the needs of your child with your need for friendship. Do so by keeping the four B’s in mind: Be Direct: Talk to your friend using I-statements to share how you feel and express what you want out of the friendship. For example, “I feel sad our kids aren’t getting along right now. I value our

Boundaries: Establish boundaries with your friend by explaining what is and isn’t okay with you. For example, “It’s okay to try to power through this as long as the kids are able to either get along or tolerate each other politely. I’ll talk to Suzy about sharing and hope that helps. If they continue to fight, let’s have a few kid-free get-togethers where we can talk without interruption.” With some time, and emotional growth of the kids, it may be possible to enjoy playdates in the future. Until then, continue to show interest in each other’s kids while still nurturing your own friendship. —Edited by Courtney Drake-McDonough

The Catalyst Center Change begins here. Invest in yourself. • • • • •

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Colorado Parent | November 2020

Illustration: Lauren Rebbeck.

friendship and want to continue spending time together, whether we can help the kids settle their differences for family hangouts or whether you and I set aside some kid-free time to connect.”

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It's easy to socially distance when you have great open spaces right at your doorstep.

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Good to Know | Good Stuff

Raise a Rockstar 6 jazzy finds for budding musicians. By Kara Thompson

The Wireless Express Sing-Along Pro Karaoke Microphone pairs with most karaoke apps when connected to a phone, computer, or tablet. Plus, the battery lasts for up to five hours before needing a charge, providing aspiring pop stars plenty of performance time. $39,

The PlanToys Double Drum comes with two drum sizes and a pair of drumsticks. Another perk: The set is made with natural rubberwood to promote a more sustainable, eco-friendly way of play. $32,

The lightweight, compact Janod Harmonica Confetti allows kiddos to bring the magic of music along with them. The brand makes a handful of other matching instruments like a xylophone and mini piano. $8,


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Background: Getty Images.

Expose little ones to a variety of beats with the Melissa and Doug Band-in-a-Box. This set comes with a tambourine, clacker, triangle, tone blocks, cymbals, and maracas—all of which can be stored in the accompanying wooden crate. $25,

Ideal for small hands, the threestring Loog Mini guitar comes with chord diagram cards and an app that helps little musicians learn how to play songs through video lessons. $79,




In recent years, Denver has made numerous appearances on lists featuring the best, most exciting places to live in the nation. So it’s no surprise that creative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs and professionals choose to call our city home. Meet some of the brains behind local businesses and leaders in various fields. These game-changers are the Faces of Denver & Boulder.




The Face of

LANGUAGE IMMERSION EDUCATION Global Village Academies are innovative language immersion charter schools in Aurora (K-8), Douglas County (K-5), and Northglenn (K-8). Students are taught through language immersion instruction, learning core content in both English and their choice of Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese or Russian. This model enables our learners to achieve fluency and biliteracy in English and a second language, and earn the GVA Seal of Biliteracy at the end of our program.


GVA is truly a Global Village: Our teachers come from all over the world, each bringing their unique culture and language into the classroom.

GLOBAL VILLAGE ACADEMY GVASCHOOLS.ORG | (720) 353-4113 Aurora | Douglas County | Northglenn

View this section online at COLORADOPARENT.COM



The Face of

ORTHODONTICS I feel so lucky to practice what I love. When I was a kid, I don’t remember braces being this much fun, so in our office it is all about having a good time while creating smiles for our patients. This is how our team has built such a great practice with so many wonderful patients. We still believe in a little something called customer service. Voted 5280 Top Orthodontist every year 2008 to 2020. Turning frowns upside down since 1994 with Invisalign and Braces.

SCOTT OHMART OHMART ORTHODONTICS OHMARTORTHODONTICS.COM 7960 S. University Boulevard, Centennial (303) 713-1950 10146 W. San Juan Way, Littleton (303) 979-0211 25521 E. Smoky Hill Road, Aurora (303) 586-5750

View this section online at COLORADOPARENT.COM




Make Mealtimes


By Kara Thompson


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Girl at table: Sprucing Up Mamahood.

Design a cozy atmosphere and fun routine your entire family will love.

Dish Up Wisely

These three finds serve up dinner to different age groups—without sacrificing style.

• Try Bamboo Madrid and Hoback love these WeeSprout Bamboo Toddler Plates because they’re durable alternatives to plastic, and they won’t shatter if they’re dropped. Another perk: They’re dishwasher-safe, which is a must for quick clean up. $19/set of four,


Family at table: Getty Images.

t can be hard to muster up the energy to make family dinners happen after a long day, but sharing a meal with your crew is an important part of your overall well being. Anne Fishel, Ph.D., co-founder and executive director of The Family Dinner Project, says that the power of family meals lies in this: When people eat together they have a reliable opportunity to understand each other more and feel more connected. “Kids who dine with their parents feel less stress, feel more known by their parents, and feel that they have a better relationship with them,” Fishel says. “This sense of connection provides an important seat belt on the often rocky road of childhood and adolescence.” So how can you make meaningful mealtimes happen? We pulled inspiration from Eat, Laugh Talk! The Family Dinner Playbook and local Colorado families to find out how to craft mealtimes that serve up more fun than stress. De-Stress Dinner The main ingredient to making dinnertime enjoyable: Don’t overthink it. An elaborate meal isn’t required in order to sit down with your fam. Even if you get takeout or serve something as simple as sandwiches, it’s making the conscious effort to be together that counts. You also shouldn’t expect everything to go perfectly. “I think the key to making dinner fun is picking your battles,” says Kaylee Madrid, a mom and blogger from Parker. “Every child is different and not all will sit perfectly still for dinner or always eat everything on their plate, so I try to

just let it go.” Putting less focus on the little things automatically makes it more fun. Recruit Helpers Early evenings are often when everything seems to fall apart. Lean into the chaos and rely on helping hands to make dinner happen. Can your toddler wash some veggies? Can your tween grate cheese or slice potatoes? “I try to involve my three-year-old with the prep work, which he loves,” says Dana FordBuerger, a mom of two from Denver. “He salts and peppers the food, stirs when needed, and he even helps clean up messes—train them young.” If meal prep is your thing, try to find a way to involve your kids in another process. Jessi Fowler, a mom of five from Fort Collins, says her kids are responsible for handling other elements of mealtime each night. “I love my kids being a part of the process, whether it’s setting the table or doing dishes afterwards, everyone plays a part,” says Fowler. Rallying some extra hands will not only be of help to you, but it may also encourage your kids to be more engaged and willing to try new foods. “Remember that when kids contribute to family meals, whether it’s with choosing the recipe, compiling a grocery list, stirring the soup, or clearing the dishes, they become stakeholders who are more likely to eat the food and engage at the table,” says Fishel. Consider the Setting Creating a cozy dining setup will make your space feel more welcoming, and it might even score you a (Continued on page 23)

• Go Chip-Proof These dinner plates from Corelle look delicate and upscale, but they hold up to rough use surprisingly well. After run-ins with the sides of kitchen cabinets and accidental bumps against the dishwasher, they’ll still look as good as new. $7.50,

• Stick to Sectionals If your kid is picky about having their food touch, try using a plate with sections, like the EZPZ Happy Mat. Sectional plates can also teach kids how to recognize the different food groups on their plate. $25,

November 2020 |


Opt for a runner instead of a full table cloth to reduce the stress of spilled gravy or mushed peas.


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Dining room (opposite page): Sprucing Up Mamahood. Table overhead: Getty Images.

6 Dinner Games That Will

few more minutes at the table. Beth Armijo, owner of Armijo Design Group, an interior design firm in Denver, suggests dining chairs that are comfortable for kids and easy to clean, like ones made with vinyl or leather. Go for armless stools with back support if your family tends to eat at a countertop or island. They are easier for kids to get in and out of on their own. When it comes to your tabletop, Kaylee Madrid and Rachel Hoback, two moms from Colorado and co-bloggers of Sprucing Up Mamahood, steer clear of tablecloths and decorative placemats. “Table runners tend to stay cleaner because they’re in the middle of the table,” Madrid explains. If you want to add a decorative element, place a big candle or dried floral arrangement in the center of your table. You can also add seasonal touches around the holidays. While a rug can help anchor your dining space, it can also fall victim to spaghetti sauce stains and mushed up broccoli. Source an inexpensive rug to reduce worries about spills, or look for an easy-toclean option. Hoback has a jute rug in her dining room and loves that it’s low-maintenance. “It has a lot of texture so it hides stains well, cleans easily, and has a low pile so crumbs don’t get trapped in it,” she says.

your meal, take turns reading from a short book, or set up food-related theme nights. Disconnect From Tech Nancy Ruiz, the blogger behind Latina Style Co and a mom of one from Erie, looks forward to dinner with her family because they limit the distraction of electronics. In this fast-paced world, and especially with so many parents working from home, it can be tempting to check an email or reply to a text at the table, but it’s good to set boundaries and carve out time to connect with family. It’s not just about phones, there are also benefits to turning off the TV. “Research suggests that kids tend to eat more calories and fewer fruits and vegetables when the TV is on,” Fishel says. “And when the TV is on, or when family members are constantly checking their gadgets, it detracts from everyone feeling that they are important and worth listening to.” If your family is struggling to put their phones away, try making a designated “tech box” that you put your devices in before mealtime starts. You can also put TV remotes in this box and require that everything stays tucked away until after dinner.

Two Truths and a Tall Tale Each person tells two stories about the day that actually happened and one that is made up. Then, everyone tries to guess which one is fiction.

Start Traditions Sharing traditions around the table can be exciting for kids. It can also help them understand what to expect each night, and encourage them to stay present during their meal. The beauty of mealtime traditions is that you can make them entirely your own. Some low-key dinner rituals to try: let your kids pick their plates, light a candle at the beginning of

Remember Your “Why” If you find it stressful to prioritize family meals, think about why they’re important to you. When you acknowledge why it matters, it will be easier to refocus your mindset and make it happen. Once you get into a mealtime routine, you’ll have something to look forward to at the end of each day, and your kids will have warm memories of their time around the table.

Name That Dish Encourage kids to make up fun names for their dishes, then have your family vote for which was best.

Get Kids to the Table

Best and Worst Ask each person sitting at the table to share the best and worst part of their day, then talk about how tomorrow could be better. Would You Rather Keep your kids giggling and engaged with this game of outrageous options. Ask things like: Would you rather be a spoon or a fork? Would you rather climb a mountain or explore a cave? Create a Conversation Jar Download conversation starters from The Family Dinner Project website or make up your own. Some might include: What superpower do you wish you had? If you could have a character from a book or movie as a best friend, who would it be? What is your first or favorite memory? Print the questions on slips of paper and drop them in a jar on the dinner table. Pick one each night.

Play Restaurant Feed your child’s imagination at the table by letting them be the waiter and take your dinner “order.” Older kids can serve up the plates.

November 2020 |


When the

Show Can’t Go On Stage lights may be dimmed, but local organizations have come up with creative ways to share the arts with kids. By Lydia Rueger

Opener: Getty Images.


Colorado Parent | November 2020


ast March, Cassidy Rice was sitting in the Arvada West High School auditorium when she heard the news. Schools would be closing due to COVID-19, and Newsies, the school’s musical in which she was cast, would not be performed. The news came just a week out from opening night. “It was really hard, but it was better that they announced it while we were at the school instead of home, so we could all say good-bye,” Rice remembers. An eighth-grader at the time, it would have been Rice’s first experience in a high school production, alongside older students. Like so many other theater productions, choir performances, art shows, and concerts across the country last spring, Rice’s show did not go on. In the months that followed, though, arts organizations across the state came up with ways to pivot, change, and develop new opportunities for kids to interact with the arts while keeping COVID-19 safety precautions in mind. The results show that the creativity of arts organizations extend far beyond their performances.

Kids outdoors: Lydia Rueger. Stars: Getty images.

Virtual Arts Education

As of October, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) had furloughed about half of its 300 employees and their theaters were still closed to spectators. DCPA artistic director Chris Coleman spends more time fundraising than directing plays these days, but Coleman was pleased at how seamlessly DCPA’s education programs carried on. For the summer, all in-person classes were converted to online, enrolling 500 individuals for youth and adult classes. “We had to think about things like, ‘How do you direct a scene where not everyone is in the same room?’ I think people were surprised it worked as well as it did,” Coleman says. Lisa Leafgreen, education director at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, says the center’s dance and youth symphony classes transitioned online very quickly. For visual arts, Arvada Center Education Staff assembled packets of supplies for each student, then had families pick them up to use during online class sessions. The center’s online classes reached students outside Arvada, too. “We had students sign up from Guatemala; Severance, Colorado; and Estes Park,” Leafgreen says. “It really broke down geographical and access barriers.” The classes went so well, she says, that the center plans to explore more virtual or hybrid options even after the threat of the coronavirus has passed.

Gathering Outdoors

For many kids who gravitate toward the arts, it’s more than just a fun hobby; they find a community in which they feel they can be themselves. After large gatherings were shut down, “we got a letter

Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids’ Boulder location held theater camps outside on private land over the summer, due to COVID-19. from a mom saying that her daughter was in a dark place, and a [theater] camp would save her life,” says Carrie Colton, program director for Rocky Mountain Theatre for Kids and Actor’s Academy for the Performing Arts. “We felt if we could find a safe way to gather, we needed to offer it.” Also an assistant professor of theater at Metro State University, Colton says she was fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues who think like scientists and were continually sending articles on the latest COVID-19 studies. It gave her confidence to shift some theater camps outdoors safely, while still offering virtual options. The biggest challenge, Colton says, was finding outdoor spaces in Denver and Boulder that would accommodate camps. In Boulder, a family with a daughter in the program offered their spacious farm property. In Denver, they held theater camps at Bear Creek Park, a public park near South Sheridan Boulevard and West Kenyon Avenue. Colton determined that the format worked best with less than 20 kids at a time, so they broke casts into smaller groups, coordinating separate practices and separate performances. Costuming was minimal, often using what students could bring from home. Students wore masks when they couldn’t be distanced. They danced to recorded songs, relying on body language to convey the message and limit singing. When songs were performed, vocalists spread out more than six feet apart. Colton says the outdoor theater experience allowed the kids to be more creative, and she hopes to continue the option. “I had students writing, coming up with their own fairy tale creatures, and coming up with their own songs,” Colton

says. “Students had more ownership this way than when they [followed] a script exactly.” At the Denver park, they were even able to use different parts of the park for various scenes, including the nearby creek. As other theater programs look at how they can gather, Colton suggests teachers think about adapting with safety constraints in mind. “Don’t plan to open [in-person] if you plan on doing theater the way it was done before,” advises Colton. “Find a creative way to include masks. Actors can’t touch, but what can you do instead?”

New Ventures

Prior to COVID-19, the Denver Children’s Choir (DCC) served a diverse population by offering choir classes in various Denver neighborhood schools. They’re now conducting all their classes through live Zoom sessions, in conjunction with the software, My Choral Coach, “which allows kids to record themselves singing while listening to an accompaniment of the song and site reading the music,” explains Aimee Palczak, development associate at DCC. DCC also wanted to ensure that online classes would not affect their diversity outreach—they strive to make music education affordable and accessible for children of all racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic areas. Palczak reports they’re doing well: Choir enrollment currently consists of 54 percent children of color, and 46 percent who receive some sort of financial aid. In the midst of the virus, DCC added Enrichment Electives to their programming, in which they partnered with local musicians for

November 2020 |


Virtual class: Getty Images.

classes on Mexican music culture, spirituals, and many other themes. “Our incredibly talented music staff really stepped up to create some truly wonderful and thoughtful content for a wide range of audiences,” says Palczak, adding that they plan to continue the electives after the pandemic threat subsides.

Upcoming Arts Offerings

Young Voices of Colorado

Be a part of something


Accepting new singers for Spring 2021 Call or go online for information We are offering size restricted in-person classes as well as an online option.


Join Young Voices 303.797.7464


Colorado Parent | November 2020

The Arvada Center plans to reopen its theater season in February 2021, as long as they can do so safely. They’re planning a reduced schedule of two musicals and two plays. In addition, they’ve assembled an innovation task force “to talk about ways we can pivot safely,” says Leafgreen. The Center’s task force developed the Front Porch Series last summer, during which local musical acts performed outdoors on a plaza while the audience enjoyed food and beverages. They are also producing two radio plays (audio-based theater) this fall, hosted on Vimeo with captions. “I think people are sick of looking at screens,” says Leafgreen. “This allows us to go back to the time when families would gather around the radio. You can get back to theater, but in your imagination.” A conservative estimate for Broadway theater to return to the DCPA is summer 2021, with other productions opening in November 2021, says Coleman. “I tend to be a purist when it comes to live theater, but...our CEO told us the story of when her grandma was dying and she couldn’t go to church, it was so important that she could listen to it on the radio,” Coleman says. “And that was like a lightbulb moment for me. We are not trying to replicate

the theater experience, but we can provide a link to the experience.” The DCPA strives to do this by generating more online content, including a once-per-month artist series and short weekly videos featuring clips from past performances, with behind-the-scenes interviews. Even after the DCPA opens, patrons who are not ready to come back will have another option. Coleman says they are experimenting with streaming and capturing fulllength live performances for people to watch from home.

School Switch-ups

When it comes to the arts in Colorado schools, not all are making the same decisions in how they’re moving forward—some programs are fully online while others are in-person. At Cassidy Rice’s high school, she’s currently receiving in-person band and choir instruction. For band, “if we are practicing longer, we move into the auditorium and sometimes outside,” she says. While Colorado band competitions will not be happening this fall, Rice and her classmates will enter a virtual competition in which they will compete against bands from other states. For choir, “If we sing longer than 40 minutes, we move into the prefunction space where we can spread apart,” she says. Masks are required while singing, and her fall and holiday choir performances will be virtual. “I love making music in person, and getting energy from physically being there,” Rice says. “It’s really nice to be back, even if socially distanced, and everyone is doing a great job.” Lydia Ruger is an Arvada-based freelance writer, mom, and author.


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Colorado Kids Making a Difference Meet 10 young people showing us a better future By Anna Sutterer


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Photo: Fortuitous Photography

Four teens from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College discuss topics of race, justice, and strengths during their Know Justice, Know Peace "The Take" podcast.


nspired by personal experiences and stories of loved ones, these young Colorado activists, advocates, and fundraisers are tackling issues in their schools, community, and world. Cycling for Cancer Research Micah Gruenwald, 12

Fighting for Inclusive, Empowering Education

Group of girls: Fortuitous Photography. Micah: Melanie Gruenwald. Doodles: Getty Images.

Kaliah Yizar, 15; Alana Mitchell, 17; Dahni Austin, 15; and Jenelle Nangah, 18 Donning their brilliantly-colored “African Queen” dresses, four young women, students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, read the Know Justice, Know Peace resolution to the Denver Public Schools board on September 24, 2020: “Whereas DPS is committed to…providing all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our diverse society…” (the district must revise its curriculum) “to lift the voices and experiences of the Black community, and systemically marginalized communities in a transformational, humanizing, anti-racist, and asset-based manner,” they read. As Black Lives Matter protests arose in Denver’s streets, Jenelle Nangah, Dahni Austin, Kaliah Yizar, and Alana Mitchell took action at their school, a place they could safely and bravely affect change for themselves and other students of color. The foursome launched Know Justice, Know Peace: DMLK’s "The Take" podcast on July 4. On episodes of the podcast, they’ve shared accounts of stress and trauma, analyzed systemic racism, and

gathered community members to talk strengths and strategies. The resolution, written by the young women and bearing the same name as the podcast, urges a comprehensive curriculum in all subjects, going beyond “sprinkles of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and slavery,” says Kaliah. “If I’m learning just about slavery or just about the Civil Rights Movement, that means I’ll always have to face struggles,” she adds. “If we see examples of Black kings and queens, and Black artists, and Black musicians, and Black people who have succeeded, that empowers us more to overcome those struggles that we face every day.” The same goes for their Latinx, Indigenous, and peers of color who are under-ormisrepresented in teachings in all subjects, said Dahni during the resolution reading. DPS Director Tay Anderson, co-sponsor of the resolution, tweeted the resolution should pass when voted on October 22. Watch and listen to “The Take” at Read more of the girls’ story at

Micah Gruenwald pushed off on a long bike ride from his home on July 12. Trained legs, the memory of young Koby Gruenwald, and the support of more than 60 companion riders powered his pedals—65 miles later, Micah completed his longest and perhaps most successful ride for the Courage Classic, benefiting Children’s Hospital Colorado. Micah started riding for Children’s Colorado in 2017, joining the Wheels of Justice team that raises funds for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) clinic. The Gruenwalds rode in support of Koby, Micah’s brother who was fighting glioblastoma, an incurable brain tumor. After Koby died in 2018, Micah set goals to break his distance records at the Courage Classic each year. He began training with the Front Rangers, a youth biking club, in 2019. This year, though the Classic looked different with a virtual format, Micah was determined to ride longer and raise more funds in his brother’s memory. He created a 42-mile ride in and around Denver and recruited riders and donors, raising over $25,000 by the day of his ride. To celebrate, he added an extra 23 miles. “Our family is part of a large community and everyone loved Koby,” Micah says. He sent emails and posted a website and gathered support from his cycling group and Dr. Dan Hyman, one of the administrators at the hospital. “I spoke about Koby and what the CCBD did for him and our family. So much was canceled this year due to COVID-19, and I was determined not to give up this opportunity. People like to listen to a 12-year-old with big goals and were eager to join the effort!” During the ride, Micah enjoyed friends cheering along the sidelines and a stop at Children’s Colorado to meet nurses from the CCBD clinic. As of August 21, Micah had raised more than $42,000 for Children’s Hospital’s Courage Classic, becoming the second highest fundraiser for the entire 2020 ride. For more information about Micah’s efforts, visit

November 2020 |


Giving Abundantly in the Holiday Season Tristan Williams, 17


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Breaking Through Mental Health Stigma

Kate Hartman, 12

The feeling of shame should never exist around mental health issues, says Kate Hartman, who receives psychiatric services and occupational therapy at the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Kate loves drama and aspires to be on TV or in movies, but when it comes to her anxiety, sensory integration disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), she’s all about full transparency; no acting. “We should all be able to talk about it,” affirms Kate. “When there’s a stigma, then people are less willing to talk about their feelings, and that could mean more suicide attempts.” In elementary school, Kate experienced relentless bullying by some classmates and, despite her parents’ best efforts, she got to the point of thinking about suicide. Kate was nine years old. Specialists at Children’s Colorado helped Kate’s parents create a safety plan alongside managing her mental health conditions. Since her hospital visit at age nine, nearly three years ago, Kate’s been on a mission to mend the mental health system and inspire

other kids to find their voices and get help. She’s shared her story with physicians at Children’s Colorado, and even took her story to the state capitol, addressing the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in support of the SB 18-195 bill, which passed and helped establish Colorado’s Behavioral Health Task Force. “When I spoke to the Senate, I realized this is what I am meant to do,” she says. “I have learned how much impact I can have on the world and people at a young age. It helps one to find out their strengths and grow as a person, but the most important thing is the impact on the community.” As a patient ambassador for Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, Kate continues to share her story. She’s also witness to the power of vulnerability in her friendships, finding them strengthened when sharing about mental health challenges. “If everyone was comfortable asking for help, our society would realize the significant need to treat mental health as importantly as we do physical health,” says Kate. “I want to encourage families to speak up for what they believe. I want them to stay true to themselves, [and] take care of themselves.”

Tristan: Lisa Williams. Kate: Scott Dressel-Martin

It’s not going to be a planter box, or a shed, or a bench, thought Tristan Williams, who was determined to go a different route with his Eagle Scout project than his constructionminded peers. Tristan had been volunteering with Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing for seven years, and remembered the group’s annual Race Against Kids Cancer partnership with the Morgan Adams Foundation (MAF). Through them, he found his service opportunity: the 2019 Holiday Gift Drive with Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children. Tristan visited schools, businesses, and other community locations to set up collection boxes. He gathered donations in follow-up visits and emailed even more folks to get involved. In the end, he raised $2,100 and more than 1,000 gifts were collected and purchased. Almost 200 families were served that holiday season with gifts for pediatric patients and their parents; and there are still gifts ready for distribution when needed. “As a person with significant special needs myself, this project was an excellent opportunity to get involved in the community, helping other kids who are sick,” Tristan says. “I did get lots of help from my family and Boy Scout community to make this project the success it was.” In total, Tristan and his helpers logged 500 service hours for this project, far exceeding the average 130, he says. Each volunteer worked with a smile spread across their face, and each patient had “beaming light emitting from them when they got to choose their toys and gifts,” Tristan says. Having completed his successful Eagle Project, Tristan feels he raised the bar—even changed the bar—for future troop projects. He’s also considering another gift drive effort with MAF and Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children this year.

Providing an Affordable Sports Camp Dante Lechuga, 12

Dante, sports camp: Geno Lechuga. Aerith: Jess Braverman.

More than 1,000 smiling faces; that’s why Dante Lechuga organizes an annual, affordable two-day sports camp for kids. Camp Found has served that many young people over the course of five years, becoming a significant event in Dante’s town of Firestone.

Speaking Up for Kids in Foster Care

Aerith Braverman, 9

“I love my new mom, and it was a big relief when she adopted me,” says Aerith Braverman. “But it was also a lot of other emotions, too. I was sad, and angry that I had to be adopted. If I could go back to my bio family, I’d totally go any minute.”

It all started with a day at the park. An agility course Dante’s father set up with balls, cones, and ropes entertained them so much, they had to do it again—and bring lots more friends. Soon, Dante and his family were partnering with an athletic organization and their local

Aerith was in foster care for 910 days. She spent time in four different households until being adopted in January. In a video shared by Foster Source, a local organization that educates folks in the foster system and the general public, Aerith describes the disorientation of being disconnected from everything and everyone before entering the system: school, neighborhood, friends, pets, house, family. She first experienced this just before her sixth birthday. With self-assurance, humor, and honesty, Aerith speaks on behalf of children in the system, sharing what those kids might want their foster families to understand, even if it’s hard to hear. “We’re not lucky to be with you, even if your house is very big and you have lots of toys for us, even if you think your neighborhood school is the best, and your family and friends are ready to love us up,” she says in the video. Mental health services, patience, privacy, and an awareness of the trauma of foster care could help kids adjust, emphasizes Aerith.

church to help with registration, facilities, funds, and insurance. Dante and his sister, Ava, hand out fliers to businesses, network with friends, and gather volunteers each year. Their father, Geno, is a businessman and has helped along the way. “We have grown a good brand and companies have accepted our mission,” Dante wrote in his essay to the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which he won as a 2020 state honoree. “Throughout the years, we have received many emails from parents expressing their gratitude toward our camp and how much our camp impacted their lives.” Campers engage in two days filled with soccer, lacrosse, football, and agility. They also receive a T-shirt, Chick-Fil-A meal, and access to top coaches in the area. By offering camp for $12 per child, Dante's team tries to make cost a nonissue. “I have learned that I really enjoy helping others and sports can be more than just for yourself, it can be helping others,” says Dante. Being a camp leader is by far the most fun part, he adds; he gets to make immediate connections with kids at school and in the community. This year’s camp was canceled due to the pandemic. Next year, however, Dante hopes to have more obstacle courses and invite athletes such as Colby Ross (Coloradan and point guard for Pepperdine University) to come and help out. Potential volunteers, sponsors, and participants—kids between kindergarten and fifth grade—can contact Rocky Mountain Christian Church at 303-652-2211 or for more information.

“[If you] help me understand that I’m not the only one having big reactions and behaviors, I will feel less alone,” she says. “Sometimes I might throw things or yell, or even run away. I may not want to do those things, but my red brain takes over because I feel unsafe. Sometimes I might need space, sometimes I might need you. Sometimes you have to be a good mommy or daddy detective. I know you can do this.” Foster Source posted Aerith’s speech on their Facebook page in May, during National Foster Care Month. Renee Bernhard, founder of Foster Source, and her team take Aerith’s comments into serious consideration as they work to improve the child welfare system. “Aerith's outreach efforts are extra special because it's so rare that we get to hear from [a] child in the system who is that young who is able to articulate so well what her experience was,” notes Bernhard. Find more information at

November 2020 |


Baking for Friendship and Hope Dana Perella, 10


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Cookies4Cures, Dana’s nonprofit, was soon established. In 2020, Dana launched Cookies4SMA to fund research into spinal muscular atrophy, a rare disease that her friend, Ben, has. She met him at the Global Genes RARE Patient Advocacy Summit where she was honored as the Rising Star Champion of Hope. This summer, Dana started Cookies4Sophie for a new friend who has a rare bone disease called Multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis syndrome (MCTO). Her dream is to someday have a campaign for every rare pediatric disease. “Each campaign starts with a kid and a story,” Dana says. “They are real people and real friends, and each one means the world to me. When I’m hanging out with them, I focus on

being a good friend and I don’t think too much about their disease. If I think too much, I get really scared and sad. I know I could lose them, but I don’t dwell on that. I prefer to focus on hope and action.” Dana loves talking to folks at cookie pop-ups, telling patrons to, “Take what you want. Leave what makes your heart feel good.” Word has gotten around; people are reaching out for help starting their own Cookies4Cures campaigns. “Changing the world means making the impossible possible,” Dana says. “It means having a vision, setting big, scary goals, and accomplishing them. It means believing in yourself no matter what.” Find more information at

Dana baking: Rebecca Stumpf.

First, there was Cookies4Mila. Dana Parella started on her seventh birthday, selling cookies around her neighborhood out of a red wagon; she raised $1,000 in three months for her friend, Mila, who had a rare disorder of the nervous system called Batten disease. By the end of the year, she had accumulated $56,000 with the assembly of more kid bakers, multiple sales, and a GoFundMe. The money helped fund the first ever treatment for Mila’s form of Batten disease. Next, there was Cookies4PANS. Dana’s friend Ollie had been diagnosed with Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS), and she knew how she could help. Alongside friends, Dana baked again, raising more than $30,000 to help the Stanford PANS Clinic hire a new postdoctoral researcher.

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EDUCATION AURORA CedarWood Christian Academy 11430 E. 19th Avenue, Aurora 303-361-6456

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DENVER Colorado Academy 3800 S. Pierce St. 303-914-2513

For more than a century, CA has provided the most relevant, preparative, and highest value-added Pre-K-12 education possible. Our mission is to create curious, kind, courageous, and adventurous learners and leaders. Now taking applications for 2021-2022.

French American School of Denver 2280 E. 16th Ave. | 720-506-4589

Welcoming students in grades K-3 (K-8 at full build-out) from all language backgrounds, the French American School of Denver is a tuitionfree DPS charter school offering a proven, research-based bilingual French/English immersion curriculum.

International School of Denver 7701 E. First Pl., Unit C 303-340-3647

We are more than a school—we are an inclusive, globally-minded community that develops compassionate and curious global citizens through language and culture. Our remarkable, diverse students, from Pre-K to grade 8, are at the heart of all we do.


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Montessori Children’s House of Denver Mayfair, Stapleton, and Park Hill campuses 303-322-8324 MCHD is a private Montessori school for toddlers through middle school. We help children develop a strong academic foundation, self and community awareness, and a love of learning. MCHD is not just a school, it’s an investment in your child’s future.

Ricks Center for Gifted Children 2040 S. York St. | 303-871-3715 |

Located on the University of Denver campus, Ricks Center is a school, preschool to eighth grade, dedicated to gifted learners. Flexible, differentiated curriculum designed around the whole child. Teachers who know, understand, and care deeply about gifted education and each individual student. Low student to teacher ratio.

ENRICHMENT ART artSPARK Creative Studio 2630 W. Belleview Ave., Ste 160 303-795-7897

A unique art making and sewing space for ages one to adult. artSPARK teaches you to think and work like artists through techniques, process, and play. Purchase themed playdough kits and enroll in School Break Camps and Seasonal Workshops.

COOKING Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios 2030 E. County Line Road, Highlands Ranch 720-656-9405 Our weekly classes offer a hands-on kids cooking experience and recipes to try at home. Your Lil’ Chef will gain skills that are designed to appeal to the abilities of most children. Tuition includes recipe handouts to take home, and all supplies.

MARTIAL ARTS ATAFMA 4510 S. Reservoir Rd., Aurora 303-690-0560 |

Traditional Martial Arts classes for ages four & up. We focus on teaching discipline and respect in a fun, active environment. ATAFMA has reopened and is operating under the State Safety Guidelines. Join us as we celebrate 25 years of service.

Tiger Kim’s Academy Taekwondo & Tang Soo Do 1480 Steele St., Denver | 303-388-1408

Our mission is to inspire each member to strengthen their mind and body through taekwondo, tang soo do, and hapkido, striving for excellence. We provide individualized attention through understanding student needs and encouraging them to attain their best.

SINGING Young Voices of Colorado 99 Inverness Drive East, Suite 150 303-797-7464 | Be a part of something AMAZING! 6 choirs where children sing & learn with peers in a meaningful way. 2 Options: HYBRID (45 min. in-person limited class size and 45 minute Zoom) and ONLINE (live stream class and 45 min. Zoom). Join YVC!

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Quick Facts


EDUCATION GUIDE Illustration: Getty Images.

Look inside this special guide for information on school choice, find outstanding Colorado schools, discover books that get kids excited about math and writing, and more. 38 Read to Me 40 School Choice in the Time of COVID-19 46 Early Learning Center Showcase 48 Exploring Learning Styles

November 2020 |



By Bethany Barton (Viking, 2019)

This book opens with: “If you ask me, math is not very lovable,” cleverly placed near a pie chart showing how many Americans hate math. The pages that follow show how math is used in space exploration, baking, music, and other areas of life that are definitely not boring.


Reading about Writing and Arithmetic By Lydia Rueger

How to Write a Story

By Kate Messner; illustrated by Mark Siegel (Chronicle Books, 2020)

Guide young storytellers through the joys and challenges of the writing process. A companion book to How to Read a Story, this leads readers through 10 steps, from choosing a setting to creating a problem for the character to solve.

There’s no skipping out on learning writing or math in school, even if your child struggles, or just doesn’t love those subjects. But the way kids learn about these topics can change. Supplement their lessons with these books, guaranteed to make them see challenging concepts from a new perspective.

A Bunch of Punctuation

Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illustrated by Serge Bloch (Wordsong, 2018)

Learn grammar from the points of view of punctuation marks, in a land where the exclamation mark is the superhero and the comma lets you pause to enjoy the weather. Through a lively collection of poems by well-known poets, kids will learn what types of punctuation to use when they are writing.

100 Bugs! A Counting Book

By Kate Narita; illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2018)

Dozens of Doughnuts

By Carrie Finison; illustrated by Brianne Farley (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2020)

LouAnn the bear makes dozens of doughnuts, and, one by one, her friends show up. She divides the doughnuts evenly among them, giving kids a delicious visual for math concepts with a bonus lesson on sharing.


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Flibbertigibbety Words

By Donna Guthrie; illustrated by Åsa Gilland (Page Street Kids, 2020)

In a story inspired by the writings of William Shakespeare, young William opens his window and words fly in. When the words escape, a peddler suggests that the next time the words fly in William’s window, he use a pen and paper to capture them. Famous lines from Shakespeare’s plays are woven through the illustrations.

Recommended by Denver Public Library children’s librarian Gigi Pagliarulo, this story demonstrates all the different combinations that can add up to the number 10. There are four ladybugs by the rafters and six ladybugs by the asters to make 10; then nine katydids by the woodbox and one katydid by the white phlox to make 10. Kids will be introduced to a variety of plant and flower names in the process.

I’m Trying to Love Math: Penguin Random House. Punctuation: Boyds Mills Kane. 100 Bugs!: Macmillan. Flibbertigibbety Words: Page Street Publishing. Dozens of Doughnuts: Penguin Random House . How to Write a Story: Chronicle Books.

I’m Trying to Love Math


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School Choice

in a Time of Covid-19 How the selection process might look different this year. By Priscilla Blossom


Colorado Parent | November 2020



very fall, just as kids across the nation return to school, parents in Colorado begin the task of trying to figure out the best school options for their children for the following year. Some of them are choosing a kindergarten or high school. Others need to find new schools as they relocate to new neighborhoods. And still others are merely weighing their options after having negative experiences at their neighborhood schools. They sign up for open house nights, meet with principals and teachers from prospective schools, and even go on tours with their kids to explore their future houses of learning. But amid a worldwide pandemic, Coloradans are facing a much more complex experience in regard to school choice. Just as COVID-19 has completely altered our kids’ education, so too has it changed the ways in which families research prospective schools, leaving them with even more challenges. Here are some things that parents should consider as they contemplate learning options for next year.

Boy at school: Getty Images.

CAN WE VISIT? The SchoolChoice application is still expected to open on January 15th, but, says Laurie Premer, Director of Choice and Enrollments at Denver Public Schools (DPS), they’ll continue “monitoring influences that could negatively impact participation.” “As of now, we don’t anticipate any changes to our SchoolChoice application process for the 2021-22 school year,” says Premer. There will, however, be some changes in how parents are able to research prospective schools. “Most notably, we normally host a series of school expos in mid-January as a way for families to meet and talk to school leaders in person. We have canceled the expos for this year,” says Premer. However, DPS is currently working on alternatives to the expos. Keely Buchanan, owner of Preparing for Denver Kindergarten, bridges the gap between prospective families and the school choice process across Colorado. She helps navigate the school search at all grade levels, for both public and private schools. While she is an expert for DPS, she has completed consultations for almost every district in Colorado. “This is a difficult time to navigate an already overwhelming process,” Buchanan, who has already begun exploring the changes COVID-19 has prompted among schools around the state, says. “First and foremost, touring is up in the air, and parents may have to complete Round 1 choice without touring any of the schools on their choice form in person.” Buchanan thinks public school may begin to offer virtual tours via their websites, and that some may

November 2020 |



even opt to allow cautious in-person tours if early childhood education (ECE) through fifth-grade students, who returned in DPS Oct. 21, stay in person without a lot of quarantine breaks. She has noticed that some private schools already created virtual tours, though in-person options are not available. “Overall, I am seeing very few (if any) in-person tours offered at elementary schools. Private schools typically have school overview videos available on their websites (even before the coronavirus), and many have responded to COVID-19 by creating virtual tour videos, as well,” says Buchanan. One public school that’s working on providing more information virtually is Swigert International School, in Denver’s Central Park neighborhood. According to Amy Beltzer, Swigert’s community liaison, Swigert will offer virtual open houses, where school administrators will give a detailed presentation of the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as well as curriculum, electives, gifted and talented, special education, homework philosophy, and more. The school will also provide a fact sheet that contains much Student/Faculty Ratio 9:1 Enrollment 965serves of the same information, “but PreK–12 more as a way for prospective fami(303) 914-2513 lies to compare basic information on each school,” Beltzer says.

due to the pandemic, but may re-enroll her next year if the pandemic is waning. “We have spoken about still entering the school choice lottery since she would be going to a new school in sixth grade anyway. Virtual school was absolutely not working for her,” she says. Beltzer reminds families that have opted to homeschool their kids this year with hopes of returning to their choice schools that they’ll need to choice in once more (by submitting a SchoolChoice application during round 1).

NEW SELECTION CRITERIA “During the pandemic, it is very important to us that our school has a clear plan for student safety and has a high quality remote learning program to support students while they are not able to attend in person,” says Ariel Taylor Smith, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Transform Education Now (TEN), a parent-run organization that provides data about school performance and seeks to create more equity around education. TEN also runs a school choice counseling program. For this school year, Smith says A PreK-12 independent school with an exceptional campus community she opted to send her four-year-old son to Rocky Mountain Prep, a public charter school in Denver Public CHOOSING AN ENTIRELY WE INSTILL Schools, due to their strong academNEW PATH ic program and community involveWE INSPIRE WE TEACH motivation and critical thinking Due to the pandemic, thousands of ment. Smith says the pandemic has critical thinking courage, kindness, and through altered the way she looks at school families have also self-discipline opted to pull their and creativity with empathy through and creativity the Talent of kids and turn to homeschooling choice now and in the future. Innovative Curricula Character Education our or unschooling in hopes ofTeachers finding “We want a school with clear themselves in a better situation for procedures, responsive staff and a the 2021-22 school year. In the local commitment to creatively adapting Facebook group, Colorado Secular to ensure that students are not Homeschoolers, many parents new falling behind during COVID-19 WE PROMOTE to the community report that while learning disruptions,” she adds. courage, kindness, WE DEVELOP teamwork andnever initiative they planned to attempt it, A strong virtual option also and empathy leadership and resilience throughthey’re the breadth choosing to stick with it seems to be tantamount for many through Experiential Ed and depth of ourthe pandemic. But others even after families looking into schools right and Outdoor Trips Arts say and they’re still looking into school now. Some parents report having Athletics Programs choice for next year. technical issues, others share Enrollment 1,010 “We do have concerns over not concerns over the amount of screen Student/Faculty Ratio 9:1 seeing a school in its ‘normal’ state time involved, while others are 10 Bus Routes serving 66 zip codes Visit to learn more about CA. Admission Parent Preview October and November Families from all backgrounds, cultures, of operation and25 not being able to 3. simply struggling to make it all faiths and resources are welcome at CA see how they are handling COVIDwork for them—and these worries 19, ” says Tamara Haverty, a will carry over into the school Visit Denver-area mom whose daughter choice process until the pandemic is or call 303–914–2513 to learn more will be entering middle school next officially behind us. year. Haverty pulled her daughter “Having an organized, Now Taking Applications for 2021-2022 out of DPS and is homeschooling communicative, transparent, and

think, create, innovate!

think, create, innovate!




Colorado Parent | November 2020


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November 2020 |



Mother and daughter: Getty Images.

Teaching students to REASON, DISCERN & ASPIRE through a classical Christian education

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Open House 8:30am - 10:30am Nov. 5, Dec. 3, Jan. 14 Schedule your visit today! (303) 346-4523 Highlands Ranch | Lone Tree



Welcoming students in grades K-3 (K-8 at full build-out) from all language backgrounds, the French American School of Denver is a tuition-free DPS charter school offering a proven, research-based bilingual French/English immersion curriculum shown to enhance academic achievement in all disciplines.


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Colorado Parent | November 2020

collaborative school leadership team and a committed staff have been crucial during the pandemic,” Beltzer says. “We don't typically have many questions about strength of leadership during tours, but based on the many adaptations schools have made this year, it should be given greater consideration.” In that vein, families should do their best to ask prospective schools about their overall policies regarding the pandemic and make their choices accordingly. National School Choice Week has partnered with MCH Strategic Data to offer additional insight into these matters, broken down by school districts.

Public Schools. While the coronavirus is on Thompson’s mind, it’s not her main concern. “The COVID-19 protocols used in each school will certainly be an aspect of my decision if we have to continue these protocols in the fall of 2021,” she says, however, her greatest concern overall is school safety. “We had numerous school shootings and lockdown procedures prior to COVID-19...Seeing as (shootings) are a real threat here in Denver, how each school handles these threats is going to be very important to my decision.” Overall, parents need to keep more than just the usual academics and activities in mind when researching schools for this year’s choice. And with more options than ever before thanks to the addition of virtual NOT ENTIRELY DIFFERENT programs as well as the popularizaAmanda Thompson is a Park Hill tion of alternatives like homeschoolmother of two searching for a new ing and unschooling, it’s clear families school for her daughter, who will have their work cut out for them. Just be entering middle school next remember as you research, be flexible year. She is looking for a school that when it comes to gathering informareduces their morning commute, as tion from the schools. All this is new well as one with at least a 6 out of 10 to school faculty and staff as well, and rating on Great Schools, a nonprofit they, too, are learning as they go. that helps families review and learn more about local schools. She is also Priscilla Blossom is a freelance writer seeking a “Blue” School via the local specializing in travel, parenting, pop culSchool Performance Framework, ture, and wellness, who enjoys exploring a rating system created by Denver Colorado with her small family.




The Denver Preschool Program offers tuition support to lower your child’s preschool costs. If you’re still looking for the right school, we also offer tools to help you find a quality preschool that best meets your family’s needs. Every Denver family with a child in their year before kindergarten qualifies.

Get started today at


“I know that when chlorophyll breaks down in leaves they change color, but why do some turn red and others yellow?”

Saving parents from having to look up random facts.

Boulder’s Premier K-8 IB World School 6717 S. Boulder Rd., Boulder, CO | 303.554.2011

Visit to view our upcoming admissions events. November 2020 |



Special Advertising Section

Early Learning Center Showcase

Auraria Early Learning Center

Choosing the right early learning center can be a challenge. We've curated a mix of preschools to help you find one that best fits the needs of your child.

950 9th Street Park, Denver, CO 80204 303.556.3188 |

Iliff Preschool 4140 E. Iliff Ave., Denver, CO 80222 303.757.3551 |

The Auraria Early Learning Center, a 5-star Colorado Shines rated center, provides fulltime programs for children 12-months and walking to 5-years-old.

Est. 1963. Year round play based programs focusing on social development and academic enrichment for toddlers through Private Kindergarten. Popular Summer Adventure Day Camp for post kindergartners-age 12. Enrollment forms online.

Jacob Academy

Sunshine House

St. Mary's Academy

1020 S. Flower St., Lakewood, CO 80226 10790 W. Jewell Ave., Lakewood, CO 80232 1139 S. Alkire St., Lakewood, CO 80228 303.988.0020 |

Schools throughout Northern Colorado

4545 S. University Blvd., Englewood, CO 303.762.8300 |

Mackintosh Academy Littleton

New Horizon Academy

First Plymouth Learning Center

7018 S. Prince St., Littleton, CO 80120 303.794.6222

720.419.3353 |

Your child will learn, play, explore, and grow in our award-winning PreK-8th grade International Baccalaureate school. Hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum offered in safe, small classes. Full and half day programs available.

New Horizon Academy is a family-owned and operated company that has been providing high-quality care and education to young children for more than 45 years. While focusing on developing a healthy sense of self in each child, New Horizon Academy also strives to provide your child with the necessary skills to succeed not only in school, but in life.

3501 S. Colorado Blvd., Englewood, CO 303.762.9355 |

Children’s Garden Montessori School

Montessori Children’s House of Denver

Bethlehem Lutheran Church & School

444 Detroit St., Denver, CO 303.322.0972 |


2100 N. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, CO 303.238.7676 ext. 118 |

A childcare facility that is committed to offering a great value for working families. We offer preschool education and quality care with loving excellent staff.

Using Montessori philosophy as a foundation and Reggio Emilia philosophy as inspiration, we serve children ages 18 months to six years in a community-focused environment.

Experience award-winning educational childcare, preschool, and afterschool. Get peace of mind your child is safe, learning and having fun in a healthy, supportive environment. On-site e-Learning for school-agers; observing advanced health and safety measures.

MCHD offers a nurturing environment that fosters a bridge between home and school, while setting children on a path to lifelong learning and success. MCHD is not just a school, it’s an investment in your child’s future.

48 | November 2020 | Early Learning Center Showcase

St. Mary's offers full-day pre-kindergarten with twoperson teaching teams and a creative curriculum. Our classes are limited to 16, allowing time for daily play and a quiet period for rest. In order to protect our teachers and students, we have a full-time health staff.

We proudly serve children 15 months to five years of age. We have many schedule options for the school year. Small class sizes create a strong community at FPLC. We offer before and after school care. We look forward to meeting you!

Bethlehem Lutheran Learning Center provides a Christian-based learning environment for your child ages 2 through 5 years old. Full-day and half-day options available as well as before and aftercare.





What’s not to love? Sarah has fun, her teachers care, and the School is held to the highest standards of cleanliness.

23 LOCATIONS IN THE DENVER AREA 1-800-GODDARD • Infant Through Pre-K • Private Kindergarten* Kids Club: After-School* • School-Age Support*

*At participating locations. The Goddard Schools are operated by independent franchisees under a license agreement with Goddard Systems, Inc. Programs and ages may vary. Goddard Systems, Inc. program is AdvancED accredited. © Goddard Systems, Inc. 2020

Forming faithful disciples today to be strong leaders tomorrow. • Offering Preschool through 8th Grade with a licensed faculty • Rigorous curriculum • Christ-centered, Catholic faith formation • Comprehensive community service program • Exceptional faculty and staff involvement • Before and After care available • Extensive selection of extracurricular activities including a strong athletic program

Proudly serving Colorado since 2005, Primrose Schools was voted the Top Ranked Early Childhood Education Provider. Enhanced health and safety measures have been put in place for a secure and sanitary school. Enrollment for 2020–2021 School Year Open Now! • Learning to Lead • Ages 6 weeks–12 years • Full Day Private Kindergarten • Certified Teachers

• New Full Day School Age Virtual Program with High-tech Equipment for Your Student to Thrive!


Contact Marie Young for a private tour or information | 303-951-8334




November 2020 |



Try an adventurous approach to education to enrich your child's life and your own. By Christina Katz


chool should be an adventure in learning, and so should life. But if you have not taken the time to observe how your child learns best, your child might be struggling unnecessarily in school. Identifying prominent learning styles in children is crucial in helping them identify their strengths and overcome their weaknesses as they progress into a more diverse spectrum of courses grade after grade. We often needlessly separate creativity from learning. But when parents help children understand their dominant learning styles, they can both use the knowledge to improve a child’s experiences, not only in school, but also in life. Most people use a combination of learning styles. Do you know yours? Generally speaking, there are six types of learning styles you want to explore: visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic, tactile, and logical. Knowing my own learning styles helps me become a better lifelong learner and a better learning coach for my child. You don’t have to go get tested to find out what kind of learners are living in your house. You simply have to be willing to reflect on what makes each of you tick. Where do you see a family member leaning in and where do you see a family member leaning out? This is usually enough information to help you experiment with learning styles and see how they benefit each member of the family. Under each category below, I’ve listed approach-


Colorado Parent | November 2020

es for test-driving each type of learning style. Invite the whole family to explore their learning styles and report back on what they discover. You’ll learn things about yourselves and each other that will make your adventures in life and learning more enjoyable. VISUAL • Draw pictures, doodle or color. • List both sides of an argument. • Make a mind-map on paper to spoke off associated words or ideas. • Use flashcards for memorizing. • Make a lesson into a comic strip. • Search for and read fun, visual blogs. • Do something visual like playing a video game or flipping through a magazine as a break from learning. AUDITORY • Use music in the background while learning. • Read work out loud into a recorder or to the dog. • Listen to lectures or stories in audio format. • Write down what you notice as you listen or after you listen. • Listen to the opinions of others to help sharpen your point of view. • Enjoy discussion, dialogue, and debating. • Turn what you are learning into a rhyming poem or song lyrics.

Children at school: Getty Images.

Exploring Learning Styles

• Listen to some upbeat or moving music while taking a break from learning. VERBAL • Read up on topics of interest, highlighting any points to remember. • Look up word definitions to spark ideas. • Talk through your thoughts with another person. • Build an argument on an opinion you feel strongly about. • Play with acronyms (make up a story using every letter in one word as the first letter in a part of the story). • Play with verbal forms such as stories, poetry, articles, lists, commercials, etc. • Immerse yourself in reading as a break from learning. KINESTHETIC • Physically act out ideas you are trying to under stand. Play all the parts. • Draw your ideas out on large sheets of paper or on a whiteboard. • Memorize information while you are in motion. • Use storyboarding techniques. • Get outside and get your hands dirty to integrate thinking. • Teach other students what you’ve learned. • Take frequent breaks when sitting for long periods to stretch or move. • Clear your mind by going for a walk or a run or by doing chores. TACTILE • Incorporate art projects into your assignments. • Build an argument the way you would build a log cabin. • Use flashcards for memorizing. • Keep your hands and fingers moving while learning. • Trace words or images to help you study. • Watch video demonstrations for greater understanding. • Work with clay, putty, or dough when stuck or integrating ideas. • Build a model or bake some cookies as a break from learning. LOGICAL • Notice patterns in whatever you are studying. • Classify or categorize things. • Break information out into small chunks. • Set goals and track your progress on spreadsheets. • Pose a word problem and solve it. • Appreciate timelines, diagram, and flowcharts. • Tidy or organize things as a break from learning. • Play word games like crossword puzzles or word search puzzles, or keep a jigsaw puzzle going. Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz loves to take a creative approach to learning and a learning approach to creativity.


Holiday Gift Guide





Aren’t Enough

1. For 60 years, ENSTROM CANDIES has been celebrated for their Almond Toffee. Today, Enstrom Candies remains a family business in its fourth generation. Every batch of Traditional Almond Toffee is still handcrafted in Grand Junction, Colorado, with just five ingredients, using granddad Chet’s original recipe. 701 Colorado Ave., Grand Junction, CO 81501 800.367.8766 | 2. SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT BOOKS. Curate the holidays with a local, hand-selected book subscription with surprise goodies shipped directly to your home for one, three, six, or 12 months. 1545 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO 80210 303.733.3773 |

1. PA R E N T L I K E A P R O


Search for easy at home craft ideas! Plus, online learning resources for every age, new ways to use imagination, creative ways to get your kiddo up and moving—and a whole lot more! DON’T MISS THIS! YOU CAN NOW READ THE FULL ISSUE OF COLORADO PARENT ONLINE.

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Our Picks For Little Ones


For Kiddos

Hands: History Colorado Center. Mammal: Majestic View Nature Center.


For Tweens




Lend your hand for this timely collective sculpture at the History Colorado Center. Nov 14.

For Teens

Hand Casting for We The People Sculpture Second Saturdays, 10:30am-4:30pm. This election year brings a reminder that individual people have limited power, but the collective can help build a better nation. Join local artist Rian Kerrane in this work of art by casting your own hand in plaster to contribute to the sculpture. History Colorado Center. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.


November 2020 |


Calendar | November

VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Airplane Safari

3:30-4pm. Spread your little wings and soar like all kinds of different aircraft, including a B52 and Flight for Life Helicopter. Join Wings Over the Rockies in this educational and interactive program. Age 5 and under. Register online.

Calendar What’s Inside




Urban Market 11am-7pm. Urban Holiday Market on Nov. 7 and 8. Visit Denver's premier open air marketplace featuring local arts and crafts sold direct by the artist, clothing, jewelry, antiques, furniture, food, and music. See online for health and safety details. Vendor prices vary. Skyline Park, Denver.






VIRTUAL Founding Our Future: An Arts Declaration of What’s Possible 1-2pm. Ask your high



school educators to sign up for this virtual field trip complete with a teaching guide from Youth on Record and classroom discussion following the event. The digital experience showcases collaborative performance from youth, amplifying untold histories of Colorado through poetry, dance, music, video, sound-art, and storytelling. Tune in to the live broadcast via the John F. Kennedy Center’s Facebook Live, YouTube, and their digital stage website.

59 HEADS UP! Events may change after publication deadline. Please phone ahead to confirm important information.

Get listed! Items to be considered for the monthly printed calendar must be received at least six weeks before the month of publication. Email event information to Information cannot be accepted by phone. See our calendar online at and use it to post your own events at any time.


Blood Drive Nov. 3 and 17. 10:30am-2:45pm. Lie back, relax, and share your life-saving power with up to three people in need. Each blood donation can save up to three lives, and every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Make an appointment online (preferred) or walk in. YMCA of Metro Denver.


VIRTUAL Pee Wee Art: Crepe

Paper Canvas Art 9am-4pm.

Preschoolers unleash their inner abstract artist designing a work of art using a canvas and variety of crepe paper colors. Follow along with The Curtis Center’s instruction video. Ages 3-5. Register online. Supplies kits can be picked up between 9am and 4pm. $15. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village.


Colorado Parent | November 2020


Launch! 1pm. Did you watch the

Perseverance rover launch in July aboard the Atlas V rocket? It’s on its way to Mars. Tune in to this home science program to learn more about rockets and how engineers come up with their clever design choices. Find corresponding activities online. Tune in on YouTube. VIRTUAL Foster Care Informational Meeting 6-8pm.

Denver Human Services’ Foster Care Informational Meetings will guide folks through the first steps in certification and offer valuable information with an opportunity to hear from specialists about the experience. Contact 720-944-4000 or with any questions.

Urban Market See Nov. 6. VIRTUAL Annual LaTEENa Conference 8am-4pm. This day is

full of workshops facilitated by local professional Latinas. Presentations may include topics such as: Financial Literacy, Healthy Life Style Choices, Art Expression, Be Your Own Boss, Social Justice, and Social Media. Parents are invited to attend

HOT TIP National Parents as Teachers Day, Nov. 8. What a year to celebrate all you’ve done as parents and teachers through the challenge of education amidst a pandemic and social revolution. Take some time to reflect and find more ways to teach your children something new; organize with others and improve your community.

Craft: Getty Images.


Toddler and mother: Getty Images.

Calendar | November

VIRTUAL Neurodiverse

the Parent Cafecito, where they’ll receive tools to help their student navigate high school advanced placement and early college preparation. Register online for this year’s virtual event. VIRTUAL Virtual Little

University: Kids Concert

10:30-11am. Rock out with Rocky Mountain Aardvarks, a musical entertainment and education group sure to get babies bouncing and toddlers twirling. Age 5 and under. Register online.

SCWBI Quarantine Book-aPalooza 10:30am-4:30pm. Party with local children’s book authors. Celebrate the unsung book birthdays of 2020 with this series of panels and Q&A's with creators. All ages. Find a list of panel times online. Books available with RSVP. Free-$20. rmc. VIRTUAL Roots of Our Identity

Sat, 11am-noon. Dig deeper into the history of Halloween and how it’s become the holiday it is today. Then, use watercolor, ink, and research to conduct search into your own identity. Join the Bemis Art School for this three-week course online. Ages 12-16. See website for registration and a supplies list. $105, $90 FAC member.


VIRTUAL Home Sweet Home Concert Series 4pm.

Opera Steamboat presents this live-streamed performance by Stephanie Ball, American Soprano and singer/storyteller, right to your home. Register online for the free; donations suggested.

Exploring Life in the Prairie 10-11:30am. Get away from screen time and participate in a nature adventure. Age 2 and up. Register online. Pronghorn Natural Area, Aurora.

Virtual Women's Suffrage Walking Tour 11am. 60 minute walk. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage and the role women in Colorado played in securing the right to vote 25 years before it was adopted by the nation. Visit the buildings that served an important function in the movement, use photographs and video to bring the story to life. Internet access needed to enjoy this experience on a virtual platform. $9 per person. Register online. Locations across downtown Denver.

Special Families

Dungeons & Dragons Club Through Dec. 18, Fri, 6-8pm. Games Worth Playing presents an open adventure in Dungeons and Dragons available to all abilities and levels. Newcomers welcome, veterans can bring a character no higher than level 3. Email for the link. Ages 8 and up. Every Friday on Zoom. $5.

each month. Through Jan. 9, 6-8pm. Join Autism Community Store’s parent support group where you’ll share challenges and triumphs of being a caregiver of someone on the autism spectrum. Laugh, cry, and spend time with people who just get it. Join the live event on Zoom. autismcommunitystore

Sibling Clubhouse First Saturday of every month. Through Jan. 2, 4-5pm. Hang out with other kids who have siblings with autism and understand the dynamic. Autism Community Store creates space for this peer moderated group. Participants should be old enough to have a meaningful conversation about being a sibling of someone with Autism. Email support@ autismcommunitystore to get on the sibling clubhouse email list. Autism Community Store, Aurora.

VIRTUAL Virtual Grupo de Apoyo: Aurora Second Sat, Through Dec. 12, 12:30-3:30pm. El Grupo de Vida - Aurora es un grupo de apoyo para padres con niños, jóvenes, y adultos con habilidades diferentes o necesidades especiales. Únete a El Groupo Vida en línea. The Aurora Life Group is a support group for parents with children, youth, and adults with different abilities or special needs. Join El Groupo Vida online.

Special Needs Tae Kwon Do Nov. 3-24. Tue and Thu, 3:504:30pm. Designed to help students improve balance, concentration, self-control, and confidence, this class is open to all ability levels. Belt testing is determined by the certified instructor and requires a separate fee. Northridge Recreation Center, Highlands Ranch. VIRTUAL Spectrum Parent Adventures Second Saturday of

VIRTUAL Virtual Grupo de Apoyo: Broomfield Third Sat, through Dec. 19, 12:30-3pm. El Grupo de Vida-Broomfield es un grupo de apoyo para padres con niños, jóvenes, y adultos con habilidades diferentes o necesidades especiales. Únete a El Groupo Vida en línea. The Broomfield Life Group is a support group for parents with children, youth, and adults with different abilities or special needs. Join El Groupo Vida online.


VIRTUAL Bilingual Storytime 10:30-11:15am. Join

Second Star to the Right Bookstore on Instagram live for a celebration of the Spanish language and hispanic culture. This special storytime will

November 2020 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | November

Parent University: Jordyn Linnell.

include songs, activities, and stories in Spanish and English for kids of all ages to enjoy with their parents or caregivers! ¡Celebra el idioma Español y la cultura hispana. ¡Sera una hora especial que incluirá: Cuentos e historias, canciones y actividades en español e inglés para que los niños de todas las edades disfruten con sus padres o cuidadores! VIRTUAL Diversión en español: Baila con las Reinas, Queenz of Hip Hop 3:30-4pm.

Dance with the Queenz of Hip Hop, las Reinas de Hip Hop. Muevete los pies y siente el ritmo. Move your feet and feel the rhythm. Age 5 and under; ideal para niños de 0 a 5 años. Todo en español. Instruction will be in Spanish.


VIRTUAL Dome to Home:

A Space Voyage 1pm. Learn about health in space and see what it takes to train like an astronaut. Even with these elements of wellness, humans still can’t do a flight to Mars like the Perseverance rover. Tune in to this discussion about interplanetary space on YouTube.


VIRTUAL Parent University: Keep Your Kids Talking to You 9:30-11:15am.

Checking in on tweens and teens is an important part of maintaining healthy connections. Learn how to keep communication lines open as kids grow, and put an end to arguing, in this Aspen Academy Parent

Join parents talking about keeping healthy communication lines open with kids as they grow, at Parent University on Nov. 12 University session. Register online. VIRTUAL Music, Race, &

Social Justice Visiting Artist Series: Aisha Fukushima

some big deep breaths in this fun yoga movement workshop with Denver Public Library. Ideal for ages 5 and under. Register online.

2:30-4pm. Catch the final keynote in a series of spotlights on BIPOC musicians, performers, and scholars. Singer, speaker, educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist) Aisha Fukushima joins MSU Denver Department of Music staff in a talk about weaving music and social justice. Fukushima is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman who has done lectures and performances in the United States, France, Morocco, Japan, South Africa, and beyond. This event will be live streamed on the MSU Denver University Event Livestream.


VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Family Yoga

Roots of Our Identity See Nov. 7.


Nov. 14, Dec. 5, 9:30am. The CU Wizards program has presented, for 40 years running, a free monthly show to entertain and inform children about the wonders of science. Join professors at the university for interactive presentations once a month hosted online via Zoom. All ages welcome. Topics for the remainder of 2020 include the physics of sound, the science of perception, gravity, and air.

3:30-4pm. Move your body and take

Movie Moments Aircraft Carrier: Guardian of the Seas Through Feb. 17, 2021. Showings every hour on the half hour. Stop in the Wings Over the Rockies theater for a short documentary about the mission of naval aviation. Learn how the engineering behind the modern U.S. carrier and the personnel conducting flight operations are


key to success in defending the world’s oceans. Included in museum admission. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. VIRTUAL All the Student Council’s Men Through Nov. 8. Keep up with the Council at Eagleton High, where a trespassing, election season, social media, and investigative journalism weave into this 12-minute short film filled with teen drama. Catch this and others on Denver Film’s virtual platform during its annual

Colorado Parent | November 2020

VIRTUAL Virtual Little University: Leaf Prints

10:30-11am. Make beautiful fall-themed prints with objects found in your surroundings. Pick up a Little University Take & Make kit at select Denver Public Library locations and the Bookmobile while supplies last. All participants will need to supply their own leaves or other found objects. You do not need to register for this program to get a kit. Age 5 and under. Register online or find self-guided supplies and directions lists. VIRTUAL BookKid Book Club: Doodleville 10:30-11:30am.

Art and literature enthusiasts will love this month’s meeting of BookKid club. In Doodleville, protagonist Drew creates mischievous drawings that walk the world outside. It’s all well and good until Drew makes her most powerful piece yet. Young readers ages 8-12 are invited to discuss the book together.

festival. $12 Denver Film member, $15 non-member.

and senior. Denver Museum of Nature & Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Journey to Space 3D Through Nov 5. Showings daily, 1pm and 4pm. In the past half century, humans have punched through the stratosphere, walked on the moon, and lived continuously in orbit. In the coming decades, our unquenchable curiosity will take our species beyond the cradle of Earth to touch the face of another world. Strap in for the next giant leap. Next stop ... Mars! $7 adult, $6 youth

Park Lights & Movie Nights: The Karate Kid Nov. 5, 6:30pm, Drive-in gates open at 5:30pm. Inspire your young grasshoppers by introducing them to Mr. Miyagi’s wisdom. Root Daniel on against the Cobra Kai as they spar across the big screen. Food trucks will be on site offering delicious bites for sale. $10 per car. Arapahoe Park Racetrack, Aurora.

Calendar | November

Email to sign up. VIRTUAL Foster Care

Informational Meeting See Nov. 4.

VIRTUAL Fall Follies 7pm. Sing the night away as the leaves fall like confetti; celebrate autumn with this dance-y variety show. Mile High Freedom Bands will take the stage along with small group acts. Join on Facebook Live.


Crownworkshop To the Roots of Beauty: Hair and Nutrition 11am-12:30pm. Curly girls needing community and activities that teach them to love curls, kinks, and their natural beauty are invited to this discussion on health and nourishing foods for the body. Presented by Curls on the Block, a nonprofit for girls of color that engages them in STEAM activities. Register online.

Senac Scientists: Hibernate, Migrate, Adapt, or Die! 1-2:30pm. Explore nature around the Aurora Reservoir and learn how animals respond to the changing seasons. Ages 6-10. Register online. $2. Aurora Reservoir, Aurora.


VIRTUAL Mammal Detectives

4-5pm. Keep those eyes peeled and you’ll find clues about Colorado mammals that will help you move through online challenges. Ages 6-12. $5. Register online.


VIRTUAL Dome to Home: Carrying out the Mission.

1pm. Make a paper Mars helicopter or take the robotic arm challenge. These activities and more accompany Fiske Planetarium’s discussion on the Perseverance Mars rover’s sidekick helicopter, Ingenuity, and the pair’s challenges on a planet 50 million miles away.


Kindness Club 4-4:30pm. Connect with folks online for a discussion about how to be kind on social media. All are invited, children should have an adult with them. Register online.


VIRTUAL Virtual Little

University with Rocky Mountain National Park

3:30-4pm. Gather round the National Park ranger as they help students explore animals’ survival strategies in the Colorado winter: hibernating, tolerating, and migrating. Bring a stuffed animal friend to share and get ready to move and make animal sounds. Register online for this Zoom hosted event. For kids birth to pre-K.

Money Education Start early. Save more. Spend the right way. Skills for life!


VIRTUAL Reflective Life Writing Workshop

3-4:15pm. Tell a story from your life while creating a supportive space for others in the community to do the same. Connect over personal struggles, joys, and moments of resilience. StoryCenter facilitators will help participants through trauma-informed methods. Accessibility options available. Ages 14 and up. Register online. VIRTUAL Turkey Trivia

5:30-6:30pm. Compete with other families, while brushing up on your autumn knowledge. All ages welcome. $5 per family. Register online.


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VIRTUAL Serving Up Hope

11:30am-12:30pm. Connect, collaborate, and find inspiration from the work of the Food Bank of the Rockies. Support their ongoing service to folks who are food insecure by joining the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado in fundraising. Enjoy live musical entertainment throughout the night. Register online. A donation of any amount.


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November 2020 |


Calendar | November

Marine Biologist: Colleen Shipley.

COLORADO PARENT DIGITAL EDITION IS LIVE! As the world continues to change, we change with it. We want to bring you all that Colorado Parent has to offer—and now you can have it right at your fingertips! NOW YOU CAN READ THE FULL ISSUE FOR FREE ONLINE!

Take a crash-course in marine biology at the Downtown Aquarium, Nov 27 and 28.


The Behavior Exchange Early Start program sets the table for success. B.E.E.S. is similar to a preschool, where children with autism and other developmental delays can strengthen communication, language,and foundational academic skills that will help them succeed in the classroom. Children learn through the proven science of ABA therapy and a fun,interactive curriculum, complete with sing-a-longs, arts and crafts,music and movement, and circle time. Once in school, if your child has a hard time making friends, the low-pressure learning environment of our Social Skills Groups (and a little time and practice) can do the trick!

P.S. We offer Telehealth ABA therapy in case circumstances related to Covid-19 interfere with a client’s ability to attend therapy in person.



Boulder, CO | Plano & Frisco, TX

Colorado Parent | November 2020


Let's Talk Turkey 10-11am. Find out what the fuss is over this big bird this season. Take a hike and enjoy an interactive outdoor program. Age 6 and up. $2. Register online, limited spots available. Morrison Nature Center, Aurora.


VIRTUAL History in the Baking: Thanksgiving Traditions 2-3pm. Slip on those

oven mitts and aprons, it’s time to learn Thanksgiving culinary traditions. Join Golden History Museum for this interactive Facebook Live program and finish the event with a surprise holiday treat.


Fall Break Camp: Thinking Games with Grey Havens Nov. 24-25, 9:30am-12:30pm. Think critically, young campers, for you’ll need your sharp brain to get through these two days of collaborative games, storytelling, and multi-media art. Sign up for one or both days. The cost of each camp includes a custom supply kit for pickup at the Longmont Museum the week before camp. Ages 10-13. $35 each day.


Fall Break Camp: Thinking Games with Grey Havens See Nov. 24.


VIRTUAL Estes Park 13th Annual Turkey Trot Take

the family out for a thankfulness in movement moment with this virtual Turkey Trot by YMCA Estes Park. Use the Strava app and run the 5K anytime during the day on Thanksgiving.


Zoologist for a Day Nov. 27 grades 9-12, Nov. 28 grades 5-8, 9am-2pm.. Learn how the aquarium handles and trains creatures that live outside of the ocean. Help prepare food and participate in positive reinforcement training. $65. Registration required 2 weeks in advance. Downtown Aquarium. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. Marine Biologist for a Day Nov. 27 grades 5-8, Nov. 28 grades 9-12, 9am-2pm. See if you have what it takes to be a Marine Biologist. Help prepare food, feed some exhibits, and learn how biologists take care of the animals. $65 per child. Registration required 2 weeks in advance. Downtown Aquarium. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Christkindl: Denver Christkindl Market.

Calendar | November

Holiday Fun

Blossoms of Light Nov. 17-Jan. 3, 5-9:45pm. Closed Nov. 26. Twinkling lights and gardens are a perfect match to bring beauty and wonder this holiday season. Start your celebration with this extravaganza featuring treats, warm drinks, and plenty of photo opportunities. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. Castle Rock Starlighting Nov. 21, 2-7pm. Gather for yet another lighting of the star, a community event dating back to 1936. This year includes hot chocolate, nonprofit information booths, entertainers, and more. Check online for health and safety updates. Historic Wilcox Square, Castle Rock. Catch the Glow Festival of Lights Nov. 27-Dec. 5, weekends, see website for updates. Flip the script on a classic parade; now you and the family are the ones promenading through Estes Park. Enjoy lights, holiday scenes, and music on your FM radio as you drive through this stationary parade. Estes Park Events Complex, Estes Park. Christmas in Color Nov. 20Jan. 3. Mon-Thu, 5:30-9:30pm; Fri-Sun, 5:30-10am. Water World will sparkle once more this holiday season with Christmas in Color, a drive-thru light show. Take your time rolling through lit tunnels and past awesome trees. They’ve added new fixtures and music this year. $29 per car. Find tickets online. WaterWorld, Federal Heights. Christmas in Color Nov. 20Jan. 3. Mon-Thu, 5:30-9:30pm; FriSun, 5:30-10am. You’ll not want to speed through this race track during the holidays; go slow through the winter wonderland filled with about 1,000 LED lights set to music. $29 per car. Purchase tickets online. Bandimere Speedway, Morrison. Denver Christkindl Market Nov. 20-Dec. 23, Thu-Sat, 11am-9pm; Sun-Wed, 11am-7pm;

Gander at intricate trinkets, gulp hot chocolate, and dance to German folk music at the Christkindl market, Nov. 20 through Dec. 23. special hours on Thanksgiving and close to Christmas. Sip warm Glühwein (mulled spiced wine) or hot chocolate, shop artisan gifts, and savor holiday treats this season with the German American Chamber of Commerce- Colorado Chapter’s market. They’re setting up in Civic Center Park this year to allow for more social distance. View complete health and safety measures online. Vendor prices vary. Civic Center Park, Denver. VIRTUAL History in the Baking: Thanksgiving Traditions Nov. 24, 2-3pm. Slip on those oven mitts and aprons, it’s time to learn Thanksgiving culinary traditions. Join Golden History Museum for this interactive Facebook Live program and finish the event with a surprise holiday treat.

Holiday Lane at Island Grove Nov. 27-28. Roll through Island Grove park to see dozens of light displays and floats from your cozy car. Tune in to a local radio station to jam to holiday music along the way. Prolong your lighted evening at Lincoln Park all lit up by Sat. November 28. $5 per car, $10 vans/large vehicles; cash. Island Grove Park, Greeley. Hometown Holiday Experience Nov. 27-29. Usher in

the holidays in downtown Parker where you’ll find photo-ops by the town tree, holiday lights, enchanting music, and other seasonal accents. Activities throughout the weekend include ice sculptures along Mainstreet, lit up with holiday colors at night. Downtown Parker.

Colorado Railroad Museum, Golden.

Mile High Tree Nov. 20Jan. 2. Step inside the massive and magnificent Mile High Tree immersive art installation to experience a light show set to music. The tree moved to the 16th Street Mall this year, leaving its previous spot with the “Dancers” outside DCPA. 16th Street Mall, Denver.

Trail of Lights Nov. 27-Jan. 3, 5-9pm, Fri-Sun, Nov. 27-Dec. 13, 5-9pm; Nightly, Dec. 18 -Jan. 3, 5-9pm. Wind through Chatfield Farms as glistening lights guide you along enchanting paths. A shorter route takes visitors through the children’s play area where synchronized music will add to the experience. An extended route covers the Green Farm Barn and silo area as well. Enjoy the three-sided light tunnel, illuminated tractors, and hot beverages you can pair with nuts and kettle corn. Chatfield Farms, Littleton.

THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride Nov. 7-Dec. 23, Wed-Sun, 5-9pm. Climb into a scene from the popular Christmas movie, The Polar Express, with this special musical show and train ride complete with hot cocoa, cookies, and carols. Of course, a silver bell is included to help you ring in this magical time of year. Don your coziest pajamas and most festive mask. Reduced capacity and ticketing in pairs will be enforced for health and safety. $190 per pair (must be purchased in pairs), free for lap riders age 2 and under; $475 first class table of four plus up to two lap-riders.

Winter Wonderlights Nov. 14Jan. 1, 5-9pm. Cozy up to your family, walk through the park, and enjoy 80,000+ lights blinking back at you. Winter Wonderlights employs string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, and illuminated sculptures, and a 30-minute music and light show each night. Visitors are encouraged to donate canned food to benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County or unwrapped toys to benefit Santa Cops of Larimer County. Health and safety measures will be in place to keep families physically distanced. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Loveland.

November 2020 | Colorado Parent


The following locations are referred to frequently in the calendar. Annual passes are available at many venues. Note: Check websites for the latest health and safety information.

Aurora History Museum Tue-Fri, 9am-4pm. Free. No more than 10 visitors will be allowed inside the museum at any one time. Reserve tickets for a 1 hour and 20 minute visit. 15051 E. Alameda Pkwy., Aurora. things_to_do/aurora_history_museum Butterfly Pavilion Daily, 9am-5pm. $13 adult, $11 seniors, $9 ages 2-12, free under age 2 and members. Timed-tickets reserved online are required in addition to face coverings. 6252 W. 104th Ave., Westminster.

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus Thu-Sat, 8:30am-4pm. Four 90-minute play sessions each day. $12 ages 1 and 60+, $14 ages 2-59, $1 Explorer Pass, Free members and under age 1. Reservations and face coverings required. Only The Art Studio, Joy Park, and Water exhibits are open, toys and props are available for check-out play. Grab-and-go food from the cafe is available. 2121 Children's Museum Dr., Denver.

CU South Denver Temporarily closed. Denver Art Museum Daily, 10am-5pm; $10-$13 adult, $8-$10 senior, military, and college student, free age 18 and under. Timed tickets reserved online are required along with face coverings, social distancing and hand washing. The cafe and coat check are currently closed. 100 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy., Denver.

Denver Botanic Gardens York Street Daily, 9am-5pm. $15 adult, $11.50 senior and military, $11 ages 3-15 and student, free age 2 and under. Reserve tickets online, wear masks, maintain social distance. Mordecai Children’s Garden is closed. 1007 York St., Denver.

gallery; wear a mask and follow social distance guidelines. 830 Kipling St., Lakewood.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science Daily; 9am-5pm, open until 9 p.m. on Fridays. $18.95 adult, $15.95 senior, $13.95 ages 3-18, free age 2 and under. Purchase timed tickets online for $2 off each admission. Face masks required. The Coffee Lab and TRex Cafe will offer prepackaged food and beverages. 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver.

Denver Zoo Daily; 8:30am-5pm Mon-Thu, 8:30am-6pm Fri-Sun. $20 adult, $17 senior, $14 child ages 3-11, free age 2 and under. Reserve timed tickets online. All purchases on the campus are cashless, and pathways are one-way. 2300 Steele St., Denver.

Downtown Aquarium Daily, 9:30am-8pm. $23.50 ages 12-64, $22.50 senior, $17.50 ages 3-11, free age 2 and under. The 4D theater will not be available until further notice. 700 Water St., Denver.

Four Mile Historic Park Fri-Sun, 10am-4pm. $5 ages 18-64, $4 senior and military, $3 ages 7-17, free age 6 and under. Small groups with timed tickets. Special hours reserved for high-risk populations: Friday 10am-noon. 715 S. Forest St. Denver.

History Colorado Center Daily, Monday members only; 10am-5pm. $14 adult, $12 senior, $10 ages 16-22 and student, $8 ages 5-15, free age 4 and under. Timed tickets for purchase online. Face coverings required.1200 Broadway, Denver.

Lookout Mountain Preserve and Nature Center Temporarily closed. Majestic View Nature Center Closed for walk-in visitors, online tickets for limited in-person programs available. 7030 Garrison St., Arvada.

Museum of Boulder 9am-5pm Sun, Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat; 9am-8pm Wed. $10 adults; $8 seniors, youth, students; free children under 2 and members. Masks required, and finger cots available for hands-on activities. Find admission tickets online. 2205 Broadway, Boulder.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center open Wed-Sun, 9am-4pm. Grounds open daily 6:30am-6:30pm. 6550 Gateway Rd., Commerce City.

$16.95 ages 17-64, $12.95 senior and military, $9.95 ages 4-16, free age 3 and under. Two-hour time limits and guest capacity. Face coverings required. Simulators are closed. 7711 E. Academy Blvd., Denver.

Denver Firefighters Museum TueSat, 10am-4pm. $9 adult, $8 senior, military, and student, $7 ages 3-12 and firefighters, free age 2 and under. Walk-ins are now welcome. Masks are required. 1326 Tremont Pl., Denver.

WOW! Children’s Museum Tue, Thu, Sat;

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys Fri-Sat, 10am-4pm, Sun 1pm-4pm.

Colorado Parent | November 2020

$8 adults, $5 students/seniors, free 3 and under and members. Hands-on areas of the Museum, including the third floor Longs Peak Room treehouse, will remain closed at this time. 400 Quail Rd., Longmont. departments/departments-e-m/museum

Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum Mon-Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm.

at 4:30pm). $7 adults, $5 seniors and students, free members and children 12 and under. The Children’s Play Area is closed. 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Rd., Littleton.


Longmont Museum Tue-Sat, 9am-3pm.

University of Colorado Museum of Natural History Temporarily closed.

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Daily, 9am-5pm (entrance gates close

$5 adult, $4 child and senior, free age 3 and under. Purchase advance tickets to walk the

Littleton Museum Tues-Sat, 9am-3pm. Walkways will be open and the farm’s livestock will be available for viewing, but the historic buildings will not be open and no interpretive programming will be presented. Call to make a reservation. 6028 S. Gallup St., Littleton.

Get your head in the clouds; learn about the world of aviation at Wings Over the Rockies.

10am-noon, 1pm-3pm. $5 adult, $10 child, free members and under 1. Reserve a timed ticket online, admission is capped at 50 total. Each family will use an individual WOW! Pack of items. Costumes and some fabric exhibit pieces have been removed. Bring a water bottle, and leave food and snacks in the car or at home. 110 N. Harrison Ave., Lafayette.

Wings Over the Rockies: VISIT DENVER.

Where the Kids Are

Calendar | November

Ongoing Events Band: Youth On Record.

classes through the school year. The SCD Enrichment Program presents this virtual course opportunity for middle and high school gifted and talented students. Ethnic and cultural history is crucial to understand while growing up to resist all types of oppression. Enroll your child in an SCD Enrichment course to strengthen their history education throughout the school year. $20, scholarships available. VIRTUAL Family Fridays

with Rachel Barton Pine

Rock, vibe, and share your artistic abilities with other teen girls at FEMpowered. NATURE PROGRAMS AND CLASSES

Nature Nerds Family Club 10:30am-noon. First Sat, 10:30am-noon. Gather your curious kiddos and take note of what’s going on in nature during this workshop with the Butterfly Pavilion. Get your pressing questions answered and take home a craft! Best suited for families with children ages 4-10. Register online. $6-$14 adults, $4-$6 children ages 2-12, includes admission to Butterfly Pavilion. Butterfly Pavilion. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. CLASSES, CLUBS, AND PROGRAMS

Amaryllis Kids Yoga Sat, 9-9:45am. Kids enjoy yoga as an imaginative experience that helps them connect with their minds and bodies. Teacher Kendra, a doctor of pediatric physical therapy, engages kids in a holistic practice designed to build flexibility, strength, and confidence. Ages 4-11. First class is free. Yoga mats provided. $10$15 sliding scale. Amaryllis Therapy Network, Denver. VIRTUAL Art & Sip: Boho Holiday Decoration Series

Nov. 5-19. Thurs, Sip, make, and connect with other decorators in your community with this crafting series. Make one wreath that can be styled for the fall to winter holidays. Build

three different types holiday garland strands. Try your hand at ornament and snow globe constructing. Register online. $10 for one class, $30 for all three classes in the series. VIRTUAL CAMP@HOME with UNICEF Kid Power

Young do-gooders can log on to UNICEF’s Kid Power programming to find more than 75 short videos guiding them in sports, crafts, cooking, campfire songs, and more. They’ll be inspired to play and build skills on-screen then go make an impact off screen. VIRTUAL Comic Book Creation Enrichment Program

Eight-week programs through the school year and summer. Contact for updated schedules. Participants create a superhero combating a villain who embodies their identified mental health concern through virtual software. Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization Enrichment Programs teach youth the skill of their choice while changing the negative narrative of mental health stigma. $150 per session. Flexible packages available. VIRTUAL Elevated Mind Rooted in Culture Homeschool Class Rolling

Fri, 10:30am. Dive deep into violin music history and enjoy expertly played compositions with Rachel Barton Pine. Each week, she’ll cover a different theme such as American fiddling, classical guitar renditions, and pioneers in the art of violin. The 20-minute free weekly show streams live on Facebook and YouTube.

FEMpowered 4-5pm, bi-weekly virtual meetings; 4-6pm, in-person Nov. 4 and 18, Dec. 9. Hone your artistic abilities, collaborate on pieces, and learn skills relevant to the music industry. Teens ages 14-20 who identify as femme are invited to Youth On Record’s virtual and in-person space (with masks and social distancing). For more information contact Youth on Record, Denver. VIRTUAL Kaleidoscope Season

Recordings available from purchase to January 2021. Ovation West Performing Arts presents a fall lineup of favorite Broadway songs performed by Denver actors and brought to you at home, online. Catch any one or all five of the events closing out the year. Songs include “Infinite Joy,”“All That Jazz,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Find tickets and schedules online. $18 single viewer, $32 two or more viewers. Fall Season Pass (5 events): $50 single viewer, $80 two or more viewers.

Kids Art Nite First Fri, 6-8pm; third Sat, 5-7pm. Kids grades 1st-5th can enjoy self-led creative experiences while parents enjoy a relaxing evening out. Register online. $35. artSPARK, Littleton.

VIRTUAL Kids Yoga Fri, 10-10:45am. Join Guided By Humanity via Zoom for an all-abilities kids yoga class. Ages 5-10. Participants will join in mindful and focused based activities, accessible kid friendly yoga poses and opportunities to relax both the body and mind. Register online. VIRTUAL Middle Grade Book Club Last Sun of every

month, 2-3pm. Do you have opinions? Second Star to the Right would like to hear them! Join the Middle Grade Book Club, a safe space for folks ages 8-13 (ish) to read and discuss books before they’re published. Meetings typically held on a Sunday at the end of the month via Google Meet. Sing up for the newsletter to receive each month’s date and link.

Music Together Demo Class Ongoing. Plant the seeds for musical growth through singing, movement, and instrument play. Mixed age classes; sibling welcome. For infants-age 4 with caregiver. Reservations required. Free for first class. Boulder Piano Gallery, Boulder. VIRTUAL Not So Straight On Til Morning Third Sat, 3-4pm.

Join Second Star to the Right’s LGBTQ+ Book Club! Enjoy snacks and conversation about queer and trans representation (or lack thereof ) in Young Adult books, and suggest titles to read throughout the year. Hateful speech or actions will not be tolerated in this safe space. Meetings are typically every third Saturday. VIRTUAL Prenatal Yoga Days and times vary. Ease tensions, strengthen your body/mind/heart, and find joy in this amazing time in your life. Join the mama’hood online for a guided breath-work, centering, asanas, sounding, and relaxation. Be prepared to share authentically from your heart in a one of a kind community of women. Open to all levels and stages of pregnancy. $20 drop-in.

November 2020 | Colorado Parent


Calendar | November

Ongoing Events VIRTUAL Tick Tock Book Club Last Thu, 6:30pm. For parents

host a small, fun, creative event for you to share with close friends and family in the studio or off-site. Fill out the request form to schedule. Ages 3 and up. $240-$360+ depending on number of attendees and time reserved. artSPARK, Littleton.

busy with kids, pets, school, work, and after-school activities, this book club offers quick-read explorations. Discover the power of a 200-page and under novel. Join Second Star to the Right Books the last Thursday each month.

Observational Drawing for Kids 4:30-6pm. Fridays. Participants

VIRTUAL Well Read Black Girl Book Club Second Mon,

in this after-school program will take a three-dimensional object and learn how to turn the object into a twodimensional drawing. They’ll learn the fundamentals of art: composition, contrast, highlights and shadows, depth, and color application. Ages 9-12. $50, register online. Curtis Center for the Arts, Greenwood Village.

6:30pm. The goal of the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is to "support diverse voices and emerging writers of color." Local chapters, like the one at Second Star to the Right Bookstore, connect indie booksellers, readers, and authors in a unique community of their own. This group meets second Mondays online, and includes Black women, non-black allies, adults, and tweens/teens. Most books read/ discussed are adult-level but there are a few young adult titles mixed in.

VIRTUAL Read and Rant

Third Mon, 6:30-8:30pm. This book club by the Athena Project, a women in the arts empowerment group, explores plays written primarily by women. Read two or three scripts in a month then discuss with the group. Learn what makes a good script, how reading a play is different from a book, a movie, or spoken word, and converse with invited guests. Register online. VIRTUAL Reading with River Second Wed of every month,

10-10:30am.Second Star to the Right bookseller and educator Alethea is joined by licensed therapy dog River for a relaxing morning storytime to help kiddos practice their reading skills as the gentlemanly River listens and soothes any read-aloud nerves. VIRTUAL Story PlayTime with Mr. Paul Wed, 10:30-11am.

Timbuk Toys has brought Story PlayTime with Mr. Paul to young audiences for four years. Now, they bring the fun to Facebook Live every Wednesday morning, engaging kids in song, magic, stories, juggling, slap-stick silliness, and puppetry.

VIRTUAL Virtual Discovery

Days Wed-Fri, 10:30-11am

and 12:30-1pm. Discovery Days encourages children ages 2-6 and their caregivers to learn together through monthly, live online Virtual Crafting and Storytime Sessions. Register online for the craft kits, and receive your invitation to drop-in to the virtual events. Scholarships are available. November: Foods, Farms, & Harvest. $27, $24 members MUSEUM MEANDERINGS Breakfast Fly-In 8-11am. First Saturdays. Planes, pilots, and breakfast are a perfect combination for your time at Wings Over the Rockies. Enjoy Barrett and Pratt Provision food truck goodies, watch aircraft fly in, talk with pilots, and explore interactive exhibits and simulators. All ages. $10 adult, $8 senior and military, $4 ages 4-16, free members. Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight, Englewood.

Citizenship: A Practice of Society Through Feb. 14. Head to the Museum of Contemporary Art


Colorado Parent | November 2020

Mr. Paul: Paul "Mr. Paul" Belden.

Private Workshops at artSPARK The artSPARK studio can

From his set full of toys, stories, and instruments, Mr. Paul delights children in an interactive Facebook Live each Wednesday. for this politically-engaged display of works from more than 30 artists and organizations. The pieces date only so far back as 2016, and are responses to news events as well as art world trends. $10 adult, free age 18 and under. MCA Denver.

game of "Jeopawdy!" Find tickets for the museum including this exhibit online. $6-$9 plus museum admission, free age 2 and under. Denver Museum of Nature & Science. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Colorado Backyard Through

Through Jan. 14. Take a journey through internationally renowned artists’ works of painting and photography to gain an understanding of the Mexican national identity and creativity post-1920 revolution. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Lola Alvarez Bravo, and more are featured at the DAM. Find tickets online. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Dec. 31, 9am-5pm. Butterfly Pavilion’s interactive exhibit invites guests to enjoy indoor play structures, live animals, a virtual reality experience, and a rotating exhibit area. Connect with unique invertebrate habitats in Colorado's ecosystems, including those in your backyard. Reserve entry tickets online. $13 adult, $9 child, $11 senior, free age 2 and under and members. Butterfly Pavilion. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. VIRTUAL Director's Storytime and Craft Third Tue,

10-11am. Get together with other young train enthusiasts for stories with a railroad theme, followed by a craft. Find the virtual program on YouTube.

Dogs! A Science Tail Through Jan 3. Dig into the world of dogs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s exhibit all about our canine friends. Find out how dogs see, hear, and smell their surroundings while testing your own skills. Identify the connection between humans and dogs, and how these pets strengthen communities. Finally, test your pop-culture knowledge during a

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism

Hecho en Colorado Cafecitos Fri, 9-10am. History Colorado welcomes guests to join curated intimate tours of the Hecho en Colorado exhibit. Groups of 10 or less will gather for some coffee and socialization followed by a guided tour from the founder of the Latino Cultural Arts Center and exhibit curator, Adrianna Abarca. The exhibit features art from Chicano, Mexican, and Native artists from across the state. $12. History Colorado Center. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Live From Boulder: A Snapshot of Boulder's Musical History Through Nov. 30. Reflect back on the good old days filled with live music with this exhibit zooming in on

Boulder’s historically rich music scenes. Learn more about the Macky Auditorium, the Fox Theater, and Folsom Field, and how the city’s groove impacted the community’s trajectory. Museum of Boulder. See Where the Kids Are page 58.

The Light Show Through Mar. 7. See the exhibit that focuses on the quest by humanity and artists to understand physical light in the natural world as well as metaphorical, spiritual, and divine representations of light. Included with admission. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. VIRTUAL Playzeum

Ongoing. The Museum of Boulder invites you to remember your playful self. Explore the Playzeum exhibit featuring a rainbow forest of musical steps, curiosity cabinets, and more imaginative ways to play. Young ones will discover age-appropriate opportunities to develop cognitive, social, emotional, and physical skills. The exhibit is in a phased opening beginning in July, with family input guiding the museum’s continued operations. The exhibit is built with pre-K to 8-year-olds in mind. Museum of Boulder. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Raíces y Ramas: Roots and Branches Nov. 21 - Feb. 28 Marvel at master expressionist Tony Ortega’s artwork celebrating identity and tradition from Mexico to the U.S. Ortega explores the Chicano experience in American culture. Find it in the Gardens’ Freyer-Newman Center gallery. Denver Botanic Gardens York Street. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Shantell Martin: Word and Lines Sat-Thu, 10am-5pm;

Fri, 10am-8pm. See a multimedia installation featuring the work of London-born, New York-based contemporary artist Shantell Martin. The exhibition features Martin's signature black and white drawings, an interactive wall with triangular boxes that rotate, and an animated video projection. Included with admission. Denver Art Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 58. VIRTUAL Women of Color on the Front Lines

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Through Jan. 3, 2021. Honor the work women of color have done in health care by moving through this virtual exhibit. This project showcases physicians from around the country donning PPE, their portraits rendered in watercolor, pop art, and cross-stitch by local artists.

Women Behaving Badly Members only on Mon through Aug. 31. Step into the mezzanine of the History Colorado center to find watercolor, photography, news clippings, and text highlighting women who’ve made history. Denver artist Adri Norris, who created the exhibit, says she hopes people see themselves in the stories and consider how to think differently about women in general. History Colorado Center. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

WWII and You Exhibit Through Dec. 31. 75 years later, explore World War II’s lasting impact on life today. Take in the sights: aircraft, vehicles, and even a retro living room, that will take you back to this pivotal time in history. $16.95 adult; $12.95 seniors 65+, military, first responders. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. See Where the Kids Are, page 58.

Learn about landmark music venues like the Fox Theater at the Museum of Boulder.

November 2020 |



Blossoms of Light: Scott Dressel-Martin.

Holiday Lights to Brighten the Season

Stroll the Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street for luminous sights around every bend.

Ooh and ahh at the shimmering splendor of these events. By Anna Sutterer


veryone looks good in twinkly lights—especially with their eyes wide and a delighted smile spread across their face. Bask in the warmth (real or metaphorical) from thousands of lights at these glorious displays. Drive through, stroll, or snuggle close to your family for a festive pic.

BLOSSOMS OF LIGHT November 17-January 3, 5-9:45 p.m. Closed November 26 Twinkling lights and gardens are a perfect match to bring beauty and wonder this holiday season. Start your celebration with this extravaganza of light displays featuring treats, warm drinks, and plenty of pretty photo opportunities. Purchase timed tickets in advance online. $18-21, $16-19 members, free ages 2 and under (no ticket required). Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street, Denver. TRAIL OF LIGHTS November 27-December 13, Fri-Sun, 5 to 9 p.m.; December 18-January 3, Nightly, 5 to 9 p.m. Wind through Chatfield Farms as glistening lights guide you along


enchanting paths. A shorter route takes visitors to a children's play area with synchronized music. An extended route covers the Green Farm Barn and silo area as well. Enjoy hot beverages you can pair with nuts and kettle corn. Find timed tickets online. $12.50 adult; $10.50 member, senior, military; $9 ages 3-12, $8 ages 3-12 member, free ages 2 and under (no ticket required). Chatfield Farms, Littleton. WINTER WONDERLIGHTS November 14-January 1, 5 to 9 p.m., performances every 30 minutes Cozy up to your family, walk through the park, and enjoy more than 75,000 lights blinking back at you. Winter Wonderlights employs string lights, twinkling bulbs, LED mappable snowflakes, and illuminated sculptures, and a 30-minute music and light show

Colorado Parent | November 2020

each night. Donate canned food to benefit the Food Bank for Larimer County or unwrapped toys to benefit Santa Cops of Larimer County. Health and safety measures will be in place to keep families physically distanced. Free. Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, Loveland. CASTLE ROCK STARLIGHTING November 21, 3 to 6 p.m. Gather for the lighting of the star, a community event dating back to 1936. This year includes hot chocolate, nonprofit information booths, and entertainers. Find your place at one of three locations set up for social distancing: Castle Rock Adventist Hospital Briscoe/ Alexander Parking Lots, PS Miller Park Amphitheater, and Douglas County Fairgrounds Outdoor Arena. Free. Castle Rock.

CATCH THE GLOW FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS November 27-December 5, weekends, see website for updates Flip the script on a classic parade; now you and the family are the ones promenading through Estes Park. Enjoy lights, holiday scenes, and music on your FM radio as you drive through this stationary parade. Free. Estes Park Events Complex, Estes Park. MILE HIGH TREE November 20-January 2 Step inside the massive and magnificent Mile High Tree immersive art installation, in its new location on the 16th Street Mall. Watch thousands of lights choreographed to seasonal music. Free. 16th Street Mall, Denver.

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Denver Public Library is still here for you and your family with access to Children’s eBooks, audio and video storybooks Curbside pickup ■ Live Storytimes at ■ Phone-a-story anytime in multiple languages (720-865-8500) ■ Online Homework Tools ■ ■

Visit for high-quality online resources for reading, playing and learning at home with kids of all ages – from babies to teens! Many of our branches are now open to the public. See for details.