Memphis Parent August 2023

Page 1




Rising Memphis star talks balancing school, life, & career as a traveling actor.
Girls are. Extraordinary At St. Mary’s Episcopal School, we know girls. We know how they learn best. We know what motivates them. We know how they tackle challenges in the classroom and in life. A St. Mary’s education goes beyond academics. We help girls grow into young women of integrity, compassion, and confidence. Come join the tradition. Call 901.537.1405 or visit to schedule a visit.
2AUGUST 2023 FIND YOUR pLACE TRANSFORM YOURSELF open house october 22 discover the brotherhood at AUGUST 2023 6 901 FUN Movies, festivals, goblins, and more! 8 DEAR TEACHER Teachers answer parents’ questions 10 SPORTS New funding, new opportunities 18 DAD LIBS Food Prep and Meal Planning Made Fun by Dad 26 OUTSTANDING TEACHER Celebrating unsung heroes 29 CALENDAR Family-friendly fun for months to come BACK TO SCHOOL DEPARTMENTS OUR STAFF Editor Erika Cain Art Director Neil Williams Advertising Art Director Christopher Myers Account Executives Kalon Ambrose, Sloane Taylor Production Operations Director Margie Neal Calendar Editor Abigail Morici Social Media Coordinator Kristin Pawlowski Editorial Interns Krishnav Manga Memphis Parent is published by Contemporary Media, Inc. CEO Anna Traverse Fogle COO Margie Neal Director of Business Development Je rey A. Goldberg Special Projects Director Molly Willmott Controller Lynn Sparagowski Digital Services Director Kristin Pawlowski P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 p: 901.521.9000 • f: 901.521.0129 Send advertising queries to: memphisparent memphis-parent visit us at 28 Rising Memphis star talks balancing school, life, and career as a traveling actor. By
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Memphis Parent strives to provide information of value to all who are invested in our children’s future. Cover Photo by Deen Van Meer 12 AN EDUCATIONAL LEADER IN D.E.I.B. How Concord Academy’s valuesbased mission impacts students’ lives . By
GRAND DESIGNS Sometimes, it’s the child that does the teaching. By Jon
Erika Cain


A time for trading in the beach vacations for the parent-teacher conferences.

For most families, it’s a joy to get children back in stride and on a schedule as they head towards the days full of reading circles, arts projects, school programs, and a line-up of after-school happenings. New uniforms, school-supply swag, fancy backpack and lunch-bag duos, are all part of the novelty list of must-haves for the first day of school.

Whatever your routine, just know there is a community of others—principals, teachers, fellow carpoolers, grandparents, neighbors, and a host of others in your village—ready to challenge, contribute, and sacrifice alongside your family’s journey this school year.

Education and the overall school community has certainly changed since my time in grade school in 1980-ish. We walked to our local neighborhood school campus, crossing paths with peers as they met us at the edge of their walkway, and there was no such thing as a carpool in sight. Well, unless you count the buses lined up for designated students being dropped o and picked

up. Nowadays, my entire schedule (and probably yours) is built around carpool timeframes to avoid the potential messiness of tra c and aggravated drivers ready to take flight as quickly as possible from the controlled chaos.

Aside from the before- and after-school driving adventures we face today, the operational perspective of a school’s day-to-day seemed reasonably easier back then for administrators and teachers—at least from a kid’s-eye view. I mean: students arrived full of energy and ready to learn (most had already eaten breakfast before the trek to school); we completed our bellwork and assignments (wrote complete sentences with accuracy, discovered di erences between the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf, solved a few math problems, and so on), then settled the growls of our stomachs with a hearty lunch; jumped rope during recess to burn o what we ate for lunch; enjoyed gaining some skills in music and art; packed our backpacks, and we were o to tackle chores at home. Oh, and we had the Homework Hotline for those whose parents were taken aback when trying to help with studies other than

reciting spelling words. Okay, it was a little more complex than that, but I’m just saying.

The livelihood of parenting has become drastically complicated when it comes to making the best decision for your child’s education and learning opportunities. I could go on forever about all of the modern-day approaches to education —which, don’t get me wrong, has definitely seen immense progress—and how it has impacted the equipping of students from the classroom to adulthood, and well, becoming parents themselves.

This issue of Memphis Parent is packed with all sorts of stories centered around diversity and inclusion in education, intentional family time, tips on school preparation, and the impact that parents and their support systems can have on children’s futures. We certainly hope you enjoy, and cheers to a wonderful 2023-24 school year!

Later, my friends!

4AUGUST 2023

Start the school year off right. Schedule your child’s wellness visit.

Back-to-school time is the right time to schedule a wellness visit for your child. It’s the best way to ensure your child is up to date on vaccinations and identify any potential health issues that may affect their ability to learn and participate in school activities. Plus, your doctor can provide guidance on healthy habits and nutrition to help your child stay healthy throughout the school year. Schedule a wellness visit with a Baptist Medical Group pediatrician at or call 844-837-2433. Get better with Baptist.

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT 844-837-2433 Get Better.

Movies, festivals, goblins & more!


The Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest will be dedicated to showcasing short films and videos from regional and national youth (grades 7-12), as well as filmmaking workshops with top professionals. Location TBA, August 26


5 • Saturday

Summer Splash

Overton Park Conservancy will be popping up waterslides on the Greensward.

Overton Park Greensward, August 5, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

12 • Saturday

ABC24 Reading Wizards

ABC24 morning anchor, Yvonne Cooper, will help guide K-3 students through an interactive reading experience. Participating students will take part in a mock newscast based on a book read to them. They will report, film, deliver, and watch the newscast centered around the book.

Hollywood Library, August 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Raleigh Library, August 26, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m


1 • Friday

Delta Fair & Music Festival

Carnival rides, live music, attractions, livestock shows, oh boy, there’s so much going on every day at the Delta Fair.

Agricenter International, September 1-10,

16 • Saturday

Collierville Balloon Festival

The Collierville Balloon Festival brings together more than 20 stunning hot air balloons, live entertainment, food, arts and crafts vendors, and more to provide a great time for the whole family. Maynard Way, September 16-17

23 • Saturday

Latin Fest 901

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a family-oriented festival where you can gather with family and friends to listen and dance to live Latin music, taste some Latin food and drinks, and enjoy crafts for kids, vendors, and fun for everyone in an open social space. Overton Square, September 23, noon-6 p.m.


13 • Friday

Zoo Boo

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, oh my! Halloween is taking over the Memphis Zoo for its annual haunting at LeBonheur’s Zoo Boo. Grab your boo crew, costumes, and trick-or-treat bags to make sure you score those hallowed sweets. Memphis Zoo, select nights October 13-31, 6-9:30 p.m.

28 • Saturday

Disney Junior Live on Tour: Costume Palooza! This show brings beloved Disney Junior characters and favorite Marvel Super Heroes live on stage for a jam-packed, concert-style show with singing, dancing, acrobatics, and more. Orpheum Theatre, October 28, 4 p.m.

6AUGUST 2023 6 AUGUST 2023
901 FUN
Background Photo © Tanawat Pontchour Popcorn Photos © Apiwat Saelor, Liudmyla Lysak Sticker Illustration © Liudmyla Lysak
MEMPHISPARENT.COM 7 Schedule a Tour GRADES K–12 (1100 Cherry Road) 6 WEEKS–JR. K (1106 Colonial Road) 901-767-4494 | SCIENTIST. ARTIST. CHEERLEADER. She gets to be all of these things at Harding. At Regional One Health, we are advancing cancer care through world-class expertise and personalized support. Our multispecialty oncology team is there for you so you can enjoy being there for the people you love. A new kind of cancer care. A new kind of cancer care.


Summer has wound down, and it’s back-toschool time. Preparing for the first days of the new school year will yield benefits to both you and your children. Start working on this at least a couple of weeks before school resumes, whether your children are just starting school, going to a new school, or returning to the same school.

Tips to Reduce Anxiety

It’s perfectly normal for both children and parents to experience some anxiety before the start of a new or first school year. After all, what the new school year will be like is unknown. Don’t borrow trouble by anticipating what could go wrong. And, be sure not to voice your concerns to your children which could add to any anxiety they may have.

Instead, discuss any worries you may have with other adults. You certainly can talk to your children about what excites them and what worries them about the school year while expressing empathy and encouragement.

All children are likely to have some anxiety about facing new teachers and classmates. The best antidote to this is preparation, which will make the first days of school much easier.

Here are some things you need to do:

• Make sure your children are familiar with the environment of any new school, whether they are entering preschool, elementary, or middle school. Quite often, it is possible for children to visit schools and see where their classrooms, library, gym, or lockers will be. This is most important for young children.

• Perhaps the easiest way to reduce any anxiety your children may have is to help them reconnect with friends. Having a buddy to talk over the upcoming year and even going to school together the first day can be extremely helpful.

• Make sure plans are in place for how your children will get to school and where they will be after school, and that your children know what these plans are. Also, have contingent plans if after-school plans cannot be followed on a given day.

Preparation is Key

Preparing your children for the new school year is essential – not optional. It will let them be relaxed and confident during the first days of the new school year.

• Do your children need new backpacks? If the school has sent a list of supplies, get them.

• Do new shoes, clothes, athletic equipment, or music equipment need to be purchased or rented?

Establish a School Routine

Ah, those lazy days of summer are about to disappear. No more staying or getting up late. No more hours and hours on electronic devices, playing games, or seeing what friends are doing on Instagram. The transition to school should not be abrupt. School routines should be eased into at least several days before the first day. Routines should include:

• While your children will not be enthusiastic about starting a “waking up” or

• “sleeping ” schedule a few days before school starts, it will pay dividends in making their first days easier.

• Do a dry run for arriving at school, whether they will walk, bus, or you will drop them o .

Checklist of Other Things to Do

• Review how the children will handle homework – times, places, and rules. (A contract can help.)

• Establish the number of activities your children will pursue. Have a realistic cap on the number.

• Organize a routine that gets the children out the door promptly and without too many reminders.

• Discuss with the school nurse or administration any medical conditions or allergies they should know about.

• Read the school handbook if you have been given one so you are aware of attendance, dress, COVID, and behavior policies.

• Think long and hard about the need to establish any rules about the time spent on electronic devices.

• Discuss with your children whether they will be buying or taking lunch.

• The older your children are, the more they should be involved in establishing the routines that work for them.

One Caution

Here’s one more thing to think about. If you plan to put cute pictures of your children’s first day at school on social media, be sure to limit the information: no full names, school or teacher names, or pictures that include your address. Remember, there is no limit to the number of people that will see your posts.

Photo © Monkey Business Images Parents should send questions and comments to, and visit to learn more about helping their children succeed in school.
MEMPHISPARENT.COM 9 A new school year is the perfect time for an eye exam. Ask if your child (age 8 and up) may benefit from trying contact lenses at any of Southern College of Optometry’s three clinics. 1225 Madison Avenue, in the Midtown Medical District 9 01-722-3250 | 1350 Concourse Avenue | Suite 264 at Crosstown Conacourse 9 01-252-3670 | V. Lane Rawlins Service Court Building, University of Memphis Campus 9 01-252-3697 |


neighborhood organizations. “Enhancing our field will not only improve visitor experience,” says Webb, “but it will also directly impact the self-confidence of students and players – knowing they are receiving and enjoying the same highquality accommodations as those of their peers.” Helping shepherd use of the revitalized field will be new athletic director, Dion Barry.

The Tennessee Titans are certainly excited about their new home, with plans for a $2 billion stadium underway. But the Titans understand the importance of having a nice home, and through a partnership with the NFL, have set their sights on giving a group of Memphis footballers a better environment to play in. Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the National Football League (NFL) Foundation, Freedom Prep Academy Charter Schools in Whitehaven can look forward to a revitalized athletic field.

The grant is part of the NFL’s Grassroots program, conducted in tandem with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which has strived to support the construction and renovation of football fields nationwide since beginning its operations in 1998. “Interscholastic athletics play a key role in the growth and development of young people, and the Titans are continually committed to increasing access to high-quality training and facilities,” says Josh Corey, director of marketing, youth, and community engagement for the Tennessee Titans. “We are proud to partner with the Whitehaven neighborhood as they welcome the new Brownlee Road Campus Stadium and utilize the field for years to come.” To date, the NFL Foundation has granted $61.8 million to 431 football fields in underserved neighborhoods, and improvements are generally focused on irrigation systems, bleachers, lights, scoreboards, turf, and goal posts.

The $50,000 earmarked for Freedom Prep Academy will be used specifically to install new bleachers, lighting, and a scoreboard at its Brownlee campus for middle and high school. “We are grateful to the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program, as well as the Tennessee Titans and LISC, for this generous donation, which benefits our students, their families, and our community as a whole,” said Roblin Webb, founder and CEO of Freedom Preparatory Academy. “Since the inception of our charter school network, our mission is for all our students to have the same competitive advantage as the most privileged children in America.”

Freedom Prep prides itself on being one of the highest-performing school networks in terms of growth and proficiency, per TNReady assessments. But the NFL grant signals a push for both athletic and recreational achievement, as the new field won’t simply be for Freedom Prep athletes. While the safety improvements and field enhancements will make football games even better for the team, the school envisions the finished project as a recreational space for all 840 students, as well as visitors. The upgraded facilities will boost additional youth sports e orts, and will also play host to various Whitehaven

The Freedom Prep project is actually the second such Shelby County grant that LISC has overseen in conjunction with the NFL and Tennessee Titans since opening its local Memphis o ce in 2020. The first, a turf field renovation, was awarded to the Memphis-Shelby Police Activities League in 2022, with additional fundraising and preparation for a stadium overhaul already underway at the organization’s Frayserbased stadium. LISC has a presence in 38 cities around the United States, and focuses most of its work on community redevelopment e orts. Founded in 1979, the organization has invested $26.7 billion towards a ordable housing and the development of educational, retail, and community spaces. Their e orts in Memphis, however, have had a large e ect on youth sports.

Both of LISC’s NFL grant projects are part of a concerted push to boost youth sports and recreational activities in underserved Memphis communities. “This investment [at Freedom Prep] is much more than support for new seating and a scoreboard,” says Kathy Moore Cowan, executive director of LISC Memphis. ”The field renovation gift will assist Freedom Preparatory Academy in promoting success for young people while providing a refreshed asset that surrounding neighborhood residents can enjoy.

“By contributing to positive experiences for youth, LISC Memphis is working collaboratively to increase opportunities for healthy engagement and socialization, and improve quality of life in Whitehaven, Shelby County, and beyond.” 

10AUGUST 2023 10 AUGUST 2023
Memphis Parent wants to highlight the region’s top student-athletes. Know a rising sports star? Submit your nomination at Photo © Pixabay Whitehaven’s Freedom Prep Academy scores a touchdown with a new NFL Foundation grant for improved facilities.
MEMPHISPARENT.COM 11 Non-Discrimination Policy Briarcrest Christian School admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. BCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, and national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. “Being able to do a lot of what I do now–performance and studio work–in high school has helped me immensely in my professional career. Briarcrest gave me opportunities to build on, not just in music but also faith and academics. They taught me to persevere and strive for excellence as an extension of worship.” We’ve been performing for fifty years. 901.765.4600
Germantown, East Memphis, Arlington, Bartlett, Southaven, and Olive Branch 901.623.3323 | Care for the Entire Family • Now with 6 Convenient Locations! Over 6 Million Children Suffer from Allergies We Can Help! • Environmental Allergies • Asthma • Food Allergies • Insect Allergies • Drug Allergies • Recurring Infections • Hives, Eczema & Contact Dermatits
Jonathan Chu, Class of ‘99 World-Touring Violinist, Studio Musician



Concord Academy, a small school with a big heart, prepares students with learning di erences for lifelong success.

Founded in 1983, Concord Academy is celebrating 40 years of educating students in a unique learning environment from 6th12th grade.

Concord Academy is a special gem in the education arena with a commitment to lead its mission through paving a way where every student, regardless of their di erences, is equipped to lead a thriving path, even in their life after Concord.

Cece Palazola joined Concord Academy as executive director in 2019, during what turned out to be one of the most challenging times in education – the COVID-19 pandemic! Palazola and her team wear many hats as a small school, and she has seen her share of roadblocks but has jumped right in to face them because of Concord’s promise to students and families. She works to balance casting the vision for the school alongside day-to-day operations: business, finance, HR, and community relations, to name a few. Palazola is fortunate to have a mighty sta who often work outside of their o cial roles to ensure the school’s success.

Palazola is charged with ensuring teaching and learning opportunities lead to the success of students with learning di erences - academically and socially. “Understanding how individuals learn has always been intriguing to me, and supporting students with learning di erences quickly became a passion,” says Palazola. “I started my career as a special education teacher in the Memphis City Schools District, and later developed curriculum to lead learning programs for nonprofit organizations. I feel like I’ve come

full circle in this position, combining my leadership experience with what I’ve learned about education into one role.”

Concord embraces a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) culture that is important for teachers and students in their learning environment. Palazola believes that leading with empathy and understanding is key. “Embracing di erences opens our minds and hearts to the idea that everyone brings some value to our community,” says Palazola. “Our students

12AUGUST 2023 12 AUGUST 2023
How Concord Academy’s values-based mission is impacting students from middle school to college, and even life after. (Above) Cece Palazola Photo by Memphis Parent (Left) The Bowman Family Photo by Courtney Bowman (Below) Illustration © Igor Zubkov

help create the culture and we commonly see them advocating for themselves and for each other. In creating a safe and caring learning environment, emotional safety is as important as physical safety. We have a behavior analyst and counselor on sta who assists students and has regular check-ins with teachers to address students’ mental and behavioral health.”

Concord puts student success at the forefront in a unique learning space, setting themselves apart from traditional classrooms. “Our sta is committed to success for every student, and that looks di erent for each individual child,” says Palazola. “Listening to the student and their family is essential to finding a way to understand their specific needs to create an e ective learning plan and support system. It may sound strange, but our students need structure and flexibility at the same time.”

All of Concord’s teachers have a Tennessee educator license with an endorsement in special education. “We serve students with a variety of learning di erences and styles, so a one-size-fits-all approach would never work at Concord,” says Palazola. “Each student has a unique history and needs that have not always been well supported in other learning environments. Teachers must know their subject matter and have a deep understanding of how disabilities can a ect learning as well.”

Concord is a place where students are encouraged to discover their strengths and find workarounds for the areas where they’re not as confident. This is supported through a structured transition program. “All Concord high school students engage in a curriculum that includes classroom activities, simulations, and real-world experiences designed to prepare them for the transition to life after Concord,” says Palazola. “The process of self-discovery leads to more competence and confidence in our students, helping them understand that a learning di erence can sometimes be an asset in a life or work situation.”

Courtney Bowman, a 7-year employee at Concord, began her role as a high school teacher, and later became the transition director. Bowman has a great challenge for ensuring students are not only successful

Continued on pg. 14



OFF your

10% OFF your Glasses Purchase (with valid prescription)

We have over 30 year of experience

We have over 30 year of experience

Making sure your children can clearly see the wonders of their world

Making sure your children can clearly see the wonders of their world

A customized day full of imaginative adventures for them. A stress-free party for you, or in other words an

It’s time for school!

The Little Gym of Germantown is the worlds premiere enrichment and physical development center for kids 4 months through 12 years. Our trained instructors nurture happy, confident kids through a range of non-competitive programs including parent/child preschool and grade school gymnastic classes, plus enjoyable extras like camps, Parents Survival Nights and Awesome Birthday Bashes.

The Little Gym of Germantown, TN • 901-755-1323 6645 Poplar Ave. Suite 103 Germantown, TN 38138

At a The Little Gym Awesome Birthday Bash, your child and their friends will have the whole place to themselves for fun activities created especially for them Plus we’ll handle everything from
Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus
Estate Place
Offering the LARGEST selection of children’s eyewear in the Midsouth …conveniently located within the office of Dr. Flinn
Pediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus 773 Estate Place
Offering the LARGEST selection of children’s eyewear in the Midsouth …conveniently located within the office of Dr. Flinn
Glasses Purchase (with valid prescription)

Continued from pg. 13

during their years of adolescence, but posthigh school and adulthood as well. She is tasked with exposing students to real-life experiences and coordinates events such as college fairs, career exploration, workplace and college tours, internships, and mock job interviews for seniors.

Concord focuses on three key areas of student development: academic, social/ emotional, and transition into life after high school. “Our well-trained special education teachers set personalized academic goals

for each student and work closely with them toward success in the classroom,” says Bowman. “Our high school transition program teaches students to understand their di erences and be a self-advocate. Classes also provide financial literacy, adultliving skills, and etiquette for workplace success.”

A wealth of resources is utilized to equip students during their transition period. Students take a Career Interest Assessment at the beginning of each year to help them see their strengths and get an

idea of which careers might be a good fit for them. “All students are required to perform community service as part of the Concord experience,” says Bowman. “We require service hours so that students may develop empathy and leadership skills and see how their actions can have a positive impact.”

Other opportunities o ered to students include planning, cooking and cleaning skills (even laundry), pre-ACT, team-building field trips, in-school clubs, and intramural basketball games.

Bowman is not only part of the Concord Academy team but is also a parent of a thriving former student that has excelled in transitioning from high school to adulthood. “I was a Concord parent before I was an employee, and I could not be more grateful for Jake’s experiences here,” says Bowman. “As Jake got older in public school, the di erences between him and his grade-level peers became more pronounced. By fifth grade, he was being bullied daily. Enrollment at Concord in sixth grade was immediately di erent. His classes were very small, and the students were completely accepting. His teachers were able to provide more one-onone help while holding him accountable for performing to his abilities. I truly believe that a great deal of the success he is experiencing now is because of his time at Concord.”

Jake Bowman, 2018 graduate, attended Concord Academy in middle and high school. Jake completed TigerLIFE at the University of Memphis in 2020, a diverse program for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, o ering a curriculum designed to help young adults succeed in obtaining and maintaining employment and live independently as citizens in Memphis and Shelby County.

Jake has excelled in so many areas, including working at Whitmor, Inc., but he has also overcome large obstacles along the way. “I have Williams Syndrome and have had lots of surgeries,” says Jake. “The hardest one was when I had my spine fused because of scoliosis. It took two surgeries and two weeks at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, and it was a painful recovery. I had physical therapy, and it was really hard. I had to learn how to push through the pain because I knew I would never get better if I gave up.”

14AUGUST 2023 14 AUGUST 2023
The Bowman Family Photo by Courtney Bowman

Jake and his mom attest to how Concord helped shape him into the person he is today. “Concord gave me lots of one-onone help,” says Jake. “My teachers wanted to learn about me and my disability so they could help me deal with my problems and be successful. At Concord, I learned that not everyone will be a bully and I can trust people to help me.”

Jake shares one of his favorite memories from Concord: “A family friend was stationed in Afghanistan, and they flew a flag over their camp in honor of me on my birthday because of the things I’ve overcome. I didn’t know about it until they came to school the next year and presented it to me in front of everyone. I was so honored, and I keep that flag in a case in my bedroom.”

Student life at Concord for Jake included good and bad days, but he remembers having a lot of fun. “I made some really good friends that I still talk to,” says Jake. “We went on some amazing overnight field trips in high school and did lots of projects in class. I was chosen to greet students who were visiting and show them around, and I loved helping at all our fundraisers.”

When asked about his biggest dream or goal in life, he added “I just want to be happy and independent, and help people as much as I can.”

To learn more about Concord Academy, visit 

Open House for Prospective New Students 12 months to Kindergarten Early & After Care Available "...for children, play is serious
901-754-3607 see dates Where boys thrive. Presby terian Day School Where boys thrive Presbyterian Day School • 901.842.4600 Serving boys from 2-years-old through 6th grade for 75 years.
Illustration © Igor Zubkov |
learning.” -Mr. Rogers

I’m here to set the record straight that we can also contribute to positive and healthy meal planning for the family. Not to mention, adding a little fun and flavor to the mix as well.

For me, I always try to get my girls involved in the kitchen. They are both curious and enjoy the process of seeing a project or recipe through to completion. Typically, we work in the confections category – of course we do – but we can also venture into healthy snack planning. Sometimes it involves cutting up Granny Smith apples and drizzling honey over them. Other options include cucumbers with ranch dressing, or even pasta with black olives. Most dishes are made simple, as that’s what they prefer at this time in their young palettes. Let’s be honest, I didn’t always love tomatoes or linguini with clams. It came with time, and it will with them as well.



From theme nights, to gardens and cooking clubs, dads share their experiences of bonding with children over cooking up good eats.

“When the kids want to be involved, it’s even better”, says Matt. “My two girls have a subscription to Raddish Kids, which was given by my father for a holiday. It’s a cool monthly kit for food-curious families, including three themed recipes a month, shopping list, a gadget used in the meal, and instructions that challenge kids, but still can be done in an hour.”

“Having access to kitchen tools and utensils is also helpful for the kids,” Matt added. “Some ideas that tend to work and are garnering rave reviews are Taco and Shawarma Bars as they o er many new taste options.”

Because this topic is so interesting and supposed to provide ideas for other families, I decided to crowdsource some responses from the interwebs and social media.

For single dad, Zack Adcock, cooking time has always been a bonding opportunity with his daughter, Tessa.

“I feel like that’s had her grow up appreciating that food doesn’t just show up and that it’s often a product of our work, planning, and decisions,” says Zack.

Zack also adds that keeping things healthy should involve talking about how food helps our bodies, and isn’t just about momentary taste gratification. Limiting unhealthy snacks and meals at home as much as possible is also a key to success.

For head chef and food-curious aficionado, Matt Timberlake, it’s all about planning ahead and keeping up-to-date and new ideas found in magazines like Cook’s Illustrated and Milk Street

“Another way I pull them into the task is the garden. From May to November, we always have something growing in our yard that appears in the meal,” says Matt. “In the end, it’s hard to always make everybody happy every night of the week, but we manage it often enough with planning ahead, noticing where their tastes lead them, and occasionally challenging them with new things.”

For dad veteran, Warren Oster, he remembers when his boys were in primary school and they had a phase where they were fascinated with fast food and Lunchables. Inspired by the wacky packages he remembered from the 1970s, for taco night, he printed some bogus “Taco Hell” wrappers that looked just like the real ones to wrap their healthy home-cooked versions, and the “Munchables” with cookie-cutter cheese and lunch meat packed in cool bento boxes were a hit at school.

“It’s all about presentation at that age,” says Warren.

Good luck, Dads! 

18AUGUST 2023 18 AUGUST 2023
Dads sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to preparing healthy meals and helping in the kitchen.
By Je Hulett
Je Hulett is a freelance writer, musician, and PR consultant in Memphis. He lives in the Vollintine Evergreen neighborhood with his wife Annie, two girls Ella and Beatrice, and dog Chalupa. Photos by Je Hulett
MEMPHISPARENT.COM 19 Memphis Children’s Clinic is all about Knowledge. Quality. Compassion. Continuity. Visit us today at Excellent Care for over 70 Years! whitehaven 901.396.0390 germantown/collierville 901.755.2400 bartlett 901.379.0092 kirby/hickory hill 901.795.9193 southaven 662.349.2555 olive branch 662.890.0158


Rising Memphis star talks balancing school, life, & career as a traveling actor.

Jaylen Hunter in The Lion King Photo by Deen Van Meer

Meet Jaylen Lyndon Hunter.

Some of you may know him for the thrilling adventure he took us on as Young Simba, a prince who loses and then reclaims his kingdom after learning from his mistakes and regaining his sense of self, in The Lion KingMusical. With the help of his family, friends, and mentors, Simba discovers inner strength and his place in the world - a connection Jaylen exhibits with his real-life community.

Jaylen is no stranger to performing in front of major audiences, leaving a lasting impression of people wondering “who is that kid?” He was just 11 years old at the start of the tour. The now 13-year-old Memphian, is topping the charts with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Not too long after wrapping up his 20-month tour schedule with The Lion King - Musical, Jaylen learned he was cast as Little Marlon in the first national tour of Tony Award-winning MJ the Musical, centered around the making of Micheal Jackson’s 1992 Dangerous World Tour, o ering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Jackson into legendary status. The MJ tour kicks o in August; its first stop…Chicago.

Off-stage, Jaylen’s true circle of life starts at home with a foundation of faith, love, support, and pursuing purpose. Amid his busy work schedule and traveling, Jaylen still has to manage his academics, sports, and hobbies. From working alongside mainstage actors, traveling the world, and just enjoying life as a regular kid, Jaylen shares a little glimpse of his journey - one that still comes with amazement each day.

Jaylen will enter 8th grade this fall at Laurel Springs School, an online private school designed to help students grow and excel academically and personally, while maintaining a flexible schedule. As a former student at Evangelical Christian School (6th7th grade) in Memphis, Jaylen mastered his studies as a virtual student while on the road.

“I was excited to attend the last month of school in person and meet my classmates,” says Jaylen. “I’m excited to see what the online private school is like. I was ready to play sports, but I booked another tour.”

Jaylen’s love for acting began at an early age, singing and dancing at home. He had a talent that even he didn’t dream would

Do you want your child prepared to pass a test or prepared to face their future calling?

Westminster Academy faculty and parents create a unique community with one goal: to graduate wellprepared students who have a love for learning and for the Lord.

Come find your people!

Our aim is higher than higher education. JK-12 | CLASSICAL | CHRISTIAN | 901.380.9192 | WAMEMPHIS.COM

land him in a role cast for Disney. Spending his summers at Young Actors Guild Dance and Theatre Company (YAG), founded by Memphian Chrysti Chandler, led to his start with stage plays and performances. “Ms. Chrysti Chandler saw something in me that I didn’t during summer camp,” says Jaylen. YAG’s vision to impact youth through the arts has helped more than 30,000 youth across Memphis with many of them performing on Broadway, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and the Apollo Theatre.

Jaylen’s biggest supporter and advocate, Crystelle Jones, his mom and manager, attests to YAG playing a huge part in Jaylen’s success. “While working for the City of Memphis in youth services, I discovered the Young Actors Guild,” says Crystelle. “After meeting with Chrysti Chandler, I knew this was where he should be. She told me Jaylen had all the tools and was ready. I took it from there.”

Jaylen played Young Simba in Disney’s The Lion King Jr. with YAG at the Cannon Center in Memphis, and his mom decided to send his audition video to Disney. To her surprise, they responded. She was so shocked they reached out that she had to triplecheck for legitimacy. “While everything was shut down during the COVID pandemic, I searched for how to submit an audition for Young Simba and sent it in,” says Crystelle. “When we got a response, I had to research to see if it was real. He got a final callback, and he killed it. I had no idea they would call me a few hours later to o er him the part.”

Jaylen recalls the moment the news came in: “I remember my mom screaming for me to come down the stairs a few hours after my audition. They flew us up to New York. That’s when I realized it was real.”

Receiving the role as Young Simba for The Lion King - Musical was a huge honor for Jaylen. “It’s a feeling that I will never

forget,” says Jaylen. It gives him pure joy to know there are people not only from his hometown, but across the world that support his acting career. “I love to see people smile and laugh,” says Jaylen. “There is nothing like live theater. The expressions on their faces when I’m on the stage is priceless. When we came to Memphis, my school and Young Actors Guild came on the same night. It was electric. I had over 250 supporters in the audience, and they met me after the show. It was amazing. I also enjoy reading the comments and reviews after each city.”

Telling the story of Young Simba is pretty similar to Jaylen’s own life. “I feel like I’m just like Young Simba,” says Jaylen. “I’m very curious and I love to take chances. Playing the role taught me that it’s not always smart to not listen to your parents. It taught me to make wiser decisions in life and stay focused.”

One of Jaylen’s favorite memories from

22AUGUST 2023
The Hunter family Photos by Crystelle Jones

The Lion King - Musical tour was being able to have quality time with his mom, hanging with his new adult friends who treated him to ice cream and dinner, and being part of an extended family. “They all looked out for me,” says Jaylen. “It was all love. Christmas on the road with my family in Denver and Chicago was priceless, too.” On the other hand, his biggest challenge was being on the road away from family and friends. His stepdad would often visit, bringing his little sister to spend time with him.

Crystelle not only tackles managing Jaylen’s career and traveling cities with him, but she’s also a wife and busy mom of two. Crystelle shared that while she would not trade the experience at all, “the most di cult part is being away from our family, especially my daughter.” She still has to plan for events that involve her entire family, and now that includes gearing up for the school year again. Back-to-school planning and preparation looks very di erent for Crystelle and her family. “This fall, both of my children were going to attend Briarcrest Christian School, where Jaylen was planning to play sports,” says Crystelle. “He has an equal love for acting and basketball. We were very excited to finally have them at the same school, but Jaylen booked another tour. I had to fi nd a school for him that would be convenient while traveling on the road. It was a quick last-minute switch.”

EDUCATING FUTURE LEADERS GRADES 2K- 8 2100 N. Germantown Parkway Cordova, TN 38016 901•388•7321
I remember my mom screaming for me to come down the stairs a few hours after my audition. They flew us up to New York. That’s when I realized it was real.”

Crystelle shared a few tips for parents on what works for her routine of managing and balancing school schedules and activities, especially for children involved in pursuing their dreams or goals outside of school. “Sticking to the schedule I have made out for the week,” says Crystelle. “If I do one thing di erently, my whole day is o . They laugh at me because I have an old-school planner. Seeing those black dots in the calendar on my iPhone can be overwhelming. I like to write things down. I also make sure I add a day to rest. That’s so important. I meditate a lot. When I open my eyes, I know it is time to get things done. I wake up very early before everyone to make sure I have everything I need to start the day. It was a di cult decision to put Jaylen’s career before mine. I’m so glad I did.”

Crystelle is proud being mom to such a cool kid who not only achieved a huge breakout season of acting, but also maintained a

stellar academic record in school. “It is a wonderful feeling to see your child display what they have been taught,” says Crystelle. “Jaylen grew up in a household where we pray about everything. He is someone with lots of faith. He says what he wants, we talk about it, and he executes. I always remind him that education is first. I still can’t believe that he managed to maintain straight A’s and work at the same time. He had an amazing tutor who kept him on task.”

Jaylen’s advice to other young people pursuing their dreams: “Don’t let anything stop you from staying focused on your goals and dreams. Stay away from negative energy. Think positive and put out good energy. Make a schedule for yourself so that you have balance. Keep your grades up, because you can’t perform if they are not good.”

Best wishes to Jaylen and his family in their new chapter of memorable events and making history. 

24AUGUST 2023
Jaylen Hunter’s headshot
For Parents of Preschool-Age Children Anchor Library, 250 Lemaster Visit to RSVP Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. Every HERO needs a mentor, every mentor needs a GUIDE.
Photo by Marcus Porter


Dr. William Skoog, an esteemed professor at Rhodes College, has received the prestigious Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Activity.

“It is an honor and a humbling experience to have received this prestigious award,” says Skoog. “We have esteemed, respected, prolific colleagues in our academy who are making significant and substantial contributions in scholarship to many diverse and important disciplines. To have received this award in the company of such friends and colleagues is indeed an honor I shall value, be ever grateful for, and am humbled by.”

Dr. Skoog’s exceptional teaching abilities, extensive research, and creative projects have earned him this honor. “The projects that led to this recognition were focused on works by esteemed national and international composers and musicians,” says Skoog. “The research and creative projects highlighted were essentially grounded in my work as a conductor.”

Growing up in a musical family, Skoog’s love for music was nurtured early. “They say I sang before I could speak,” says Skoog. “I started piano lessons at the age of five and have never known a day of my life without

music.” His training as a pianist, singer, and conductor gave him a deep understanding of the intricacies of musical compositions.

Skoog’s work as a conductor was beneficial in his research and creative projects, allowing him to analyze, prepare, and perform choral works with a profound understanding of the text and composer’s unique style. “Each work becomes a Rubik’s cube of its own - a puzzle to be taken apart, analyzed, understood, comprehended; then shared, taught, rehearsed, performed; and then communicated with an audience, conveying the message from each composer for a given work,” says Skoog. By partnering with renowned composers such as Jennifer Higdon and Dave Brubeck, Skoog could showcase his musical talents globally and nationally, presenting debut performances of fresh compositions. These experiences broadened Skoog’s artistic perspectives and enriched Rhodes College and Memphis by introducing significant music and acclaimed composers to the scene.

As someone who has studied classical

and jazz piano, Skoog was captivated by the fusion of these genres and its impact on his musical understanding. “An important attraction for me in coming to Rhodes was the deep and important arts community here, especially regarding music,” says Skoog. Skoog uncovered music’s pivotal role in Memphis, encompassing not only classical institutions such as the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Memphis, and Ballet Memphis, but also the soul-stirring realms of jazz, blues, and the flourishing theater scene. As a musician immersed in this unique environment, he can’t help but feel an immense sense of pride.

The internationally renowned musical artist and scholar has conducted choral festivals and performed at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, enriching his role as a professor. Skoog believes in the importance of sharing these experiences with students, helping them understand the connections music creates and broadening their perspectives.

This month’s Outstanding Teacher, Dr. William Skoog, receives Clarence Day Award for Musical Mastery and Inspiring Education. Dr. William Skoog Photo courtesy Rhodes College

As part of the Rhodes Singer Tour, Skoog embarked on a transformative journey to Europe with his students, aiming to harness the power of music and bridge the gap between the small Memphis campus and the diverse communities they encountered. “How is it that I am so lucky to have just had that experience sharing incredible music with souls from all over the world, connecting us in those moments? Music is a universal language, to be sure”, says Skoog. “It is a completely soulful and spiritual experience for me, and I truly hope for them [students] as well.” By bringing his students on this journey, Skoog seeks to cultivate a sense of empathy, cultural appreciation, and social awareness among the participants.

Students have praised Skoog as a motivating and inspiring professor, with many considering their time with him a highlight of their Rhodes career. He strongly believes in the importance of music in society and advocates for the integration of arts in education. “I have a compelling fire in my belly for the art form - its necessity to have a healthy society - and I make no secret about my feelings in this regard to members of my ensembles or students in my

Tutoring for Success

classroom,” adds Skoog. Skoog’s teaching approaches involve encouraging students to reflect on their goals and contributions to the ensemble, engaging them in critical listening exercises, and fostering a sense of community among the performers.

Looking ahead, Skoog plans to continue significantly impacting Rhodes students and the broader musical community. He aims to further his research, exploring new focus areas, and collaborating with other musicians and scholars. Skoog’s dedication to sharing his experiences and insights with students ensures that future musicians will benefit from his profound understanding and passion for music.

His commitment to sharing his knowledge, fostering a love for music, and creating a sense of community among his students have left a lasting impact on Rhodes College, and the broader musical society. 

We want to shine a light on your child’s teacher, or even a teacher who made a di erence in your life. Submit your nomination today by emailing

Photo © Zdravinjo
30 years helping students learn Pamela Palmer, M.S., M.A., Ed.D. 901.331.6082 • NOW TUTORING ONLINE Math — Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry ACT, SAT, GRE, PRAXIS, ISEE and more “Students Learn to Succeed” Born to be thrilled. At Bornblum Jewish Community School, students become intellectually curious learners, critical thinkers, and socially responsible community leaders with a life-long connection to their Jewish identity. All while having fun. Scan the QR Code to learn more or visit


leaving New Orleans going north at 53 mph.

Don’t get me started on school calendars, which still seem to be designed to allow breaks for planting and harvesting seasons. If it was good enough for the ancients, who are we contemporary city folk to complain? I suppose we reap what we sow.

I shouldn’t have to complain, since as a grandparent, I don’t have to stress too much over the details. That’s what parents are for — choose a school, meet Miss Trunchbull, wrestle with schedules, go to PTA meetings, sign permission slips. Those of us at the grand level are happy to be available for the o -routine events, such as pitching in on sick days, getting videos of school plays and science presentations, and tailoring school uniforms (military training in sewing buttons comes in handy for that).

Recent years have upped the ante, though. You might remember a certain pandemic that kept local kids away from inperson learning. Family members pitched in to help students and it was just like home schooling, except that it wasn’t. I was delighted to have a first grader at the house where we could go over the assignments and we could tackle things together, like Common Core math.

My grounding in Common Core, unfortunately, was nonexistent. None of my college education, none of my military training, none of my world experience, none of my charm would work to figure out a new method of calculating how long it would take a train leaving Memphis and traveling south at 67 mph to pass a train

Now it’s true that the first grader in my charge didn’t have to figure that out. For her, it was more like adding 17 and 14, which involved stacks of 10 or something like that. I was utterly ba ed, but didn’t want her to see that, so I counseled her that a perfectly acceptable alternative was to stack the numbers, add 7 and 4, carry the 1 and then … “But Abuelo, we don’t carry the 1.”

I was not going to be defeated that easily. It was clear that I had to go high-tech, so I went immediately to the App Store and downloaded a nice program that was so simple, even a grandparent could work it. I still have it somewhere on my phone, practically unused. My granddaughter, clever enough to see that I was going to be of no use whatsoever, hunkered down and figured it out. Without carrying a single 1. While she properly stacked her 10s and 1s, I let my mind wander to something I could handle: figuring out where those trains would pass each other. And typically, I got to thinking that the track between Memphis and New Orleans is a single track and they would be unlikely to pass each other without one of them stopping in McComb and if they were passenger trains, they’d have to pull over anyway for the freight trains that have priority, and … Anyway, she worked it out and I nodded sagely.

I did manage to be useful when it came to dealing with my granddaughter’s schoolissued tablet. I will put my ability to reboot it up against any other grandparent who doesn’t have a technical background. And I got to be really good at it because that

kludgy device and its inelegant software was an ongoing mess.

But I couldn’t do a thing about the process when the teacher (who was infinitely patient), had to administer a test to her class. Keep in mind that her students were all over the place, in homes, or in study areas provided largely by nonprofits. Doing routine assignments as they could was not a big problem. But for testing, the drill was that she had to give it to all the kids at the same time, which is not such a big deal when all the little scholars are in a classroom together. However, she had to get a group of remote first-graders all seated and focused on the tablet. Which had to be working. And they had to be on the same page. And understand the instructions. And no talking, or eating, or goofing around. And no grandparents giving the answers. A 20-minute test could take a couple of hours just to complete.

At the time, few people were contemplating reading proficiency issues that would come when these first grade children would be getting mandated testing in the third grade. It didn’t cross my mind, but I also figured that every once in a while, we could put the tablet down, pick up a book, and dive right in. No glitches, no reboots, and snacks were perfectly all right, thank you very much. 

28AUGUST 2023
Here we are in the dead of summer, which means school is about to start.
Sometimes, it’s the child that does the teaching.
Photo by Jon W. Sparks FEATURE By Jon W. Sparks



Overton Park Conservancy will be popping up waterslides on the Greensward.


5 • Saturday

2023 Train Heritage Day

Enjoy model train displays by the TCA Casey Jones Chapter, chat with local railroading groups, and learn about railroad safety. The event extends to the Depot Visitors Center on Town Square where you can see the Blu City Benders’ N-scale model railroad display and climb aboard three historic railcars.

Morton Museum of Collierville History, August 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Explore Memphest

Enjoy free food from The Check-In, live music from local bands, learn about what your libraries and community organizations have to o er, and for inspiring entertainment, go on a Storywalk with your child at this family-friendly event.

North Library, August 5, 1-4 p.m., Free

Cereal & Flicks: Family Movie Night

As part of the Crown Me Royal Film Fest, families are invited to an outdoor movie night featuring student films by the Black Girls Film Camp, plus an old school feature film and a special performance.

Location TBA, August 5, 7:30-9 p.m., Free

8 • Tuesday

Memphis Zoo Storytime and Animal Meet and Greet

Connect Crew will host a family storytime event at the Memphis Zoo, and zoo sta will bring two to three animals out for a meet and greet.

Memphis Zoo, August 8, August 22, September 5, September 19, 3-4 p.m., Free

Meet the Author: Hayley Arceneaux

In Wild Ride: My Journey from Cancer Kid to Astronaut, the youngest American to ever orbit the Earth — cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux — shows young readers that when we face our fears with hope and faith, the extraordinary is possible. Meet Arceneaux and have your books signed at Novel.

Novel, August 8, 6 p.m.

12 • Saturday

ABC24 Reading Wizards

ABC24 morning anchor, Yvonne Cooper, will help guide K-3 students through an interactive reading experience. Participating students will take part in a mock newscast based on a book read to them. They will report, film, deliver, and watch the newscast centered around the book. Hollywood Library, August 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Raleigh Library, August 26, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Back to School Fest

Join Whitehaven Library in this lively kicko to the school season and get the supplies you need for this school year. Expect activities and crafts for all ages and skill levels along with snacks, music, face painting, and much more!

Whitehaven Library, August 12, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Way They Play

MoSH’s The Way They Play spotlights special guest musicians — Robert Allen Parker on August 12, and Gerard Harris on September 16

— in discussions and demonstrations of iconic styles, tricks, techniques, and quirks.

Museum of Science & History, August 12, September 16, 2 p.m.

Night at the Museum

What if sundown brought art to life? If sculptures danced and portraits talked? It’s not a dream: it’s Night at the Museum! Explore the Dixon galleries like never before as works step out of the canvas for an evening of special performances and music, activities, and much more.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, August 12, 5-8 p.m., Free

16 • Wednesday

Let’s Rap About It!

Teens are given an opportunity to discuss issues a ecting them. Teens can join this program in person.

North Library, August 16, 4-5 p.m.

19 • Saturday

Wild Walks

Take a walk on the wild side at Memphis Botanic Garden for a self-guided activity designed to get your kiddos outside and exploring the great outdoors. The Wild Walk on August 19 will be centered around water and the water cycle, and the walk on September 16 will center around the power of plants.

Memphis Botanic Garden, August 19, September 16

Laser Live

MoSH presents Laser Live where Memphis musicians will perform live in the full dome planetarium, accompanied by a full laser light show - Al Kapone on August 19, and Tropical Fusion Latin Band on September 30.

Museum of Science & History, August 19, September 30, 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m., $18/adults and youth

Overton Park Greensward, August 5, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Photo Courtesy of Overton Park Conservancy

CALENDAR By Abigail Morici

25 • Friday

Lake and Lodge: Movies by Moonlight

Enjoy a social and experimental outdoor movie experience like no other, screening Jumanji on August 25, and The Princess Bride on September 16. Explore the science hidden in these movies with fun hands-on activities and demonstrations. Immerse yourself in nature before the movie, play pre-show movie trivia, and compete in movie-themed costume contests.

Lichterman Nature Center, August 25, September 16, 7-10 p.m., $15

26 • Saturday

Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest

The Indie Memphis Youth Film Fest will be dedicated to showcasing short films and videos from regional and national youth (grades 7-12), as well as filmmaking workshops with top professionals.

Location TBA, August 26

Splashin for a Cause

Memphis Zoo hosts a special after-hours event to help save dusky gopher frogs. Memphis Zoo, August 26, 6-9 p.m.

27 • Sunday

Rich Sounds

Join Memphis Botanic Garden for a performance by Stax Music Academy to coincide with the garden’s “Rich Soil” exhibition. Memphis Botanic Garden, August 27, 2-5 p.m.

31 • Thursday

Whet Thursday

Whet Thursday is a free after-hours event held at the Metal Museum. Enjoy games on the lawn, food truck fare, live music, metalsmithing demos, and more. Be sure to grab a drink and enjoy the sunset from the best view along the Mississippi River!

Metal Museum, August 31, 5-7 p.m., Free


1 • Friday

Delta Fair & Music Festival

Carnival rides, live music, attractions, livestock shows, oh boy, there’s so much going on every day at the Delta Fair.

Agricenter International, September 1-10,

2 • Saturday

S.T.E.A.M. 101: A Lesson in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math

Teens along with family members are asked to join North Library in a fun steam activity which will allow them to use their critical-thinking, problem-solving, and creativity skills.

North Library, September 2, October 14, 4-5 p.m.

8 • Friday

Overton Square Music Series: School of Rock

Enjoy a free live concert in the Overton Square Music Series! Grab a chair or blanket and rock out under the stars on the courtyard stage, located on Trimble Place o Cooper Street. Overton Square, September 8, 6:30-9 p.m.

9 • Saturday

Rainbow Family Story Time

Rainbow Family Story Time is an inclusive space for all families and will feature stories, songs, crafts, and more.

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, September 9, 11 a.m.-noon

16 • Saturday

Collierville Balloon Festival

The Collierville Balloon Festival brings together more than 20 stunning hot air balloons, live entertainment, food, arts and crafts vendors, and more to provide a great time for the whole family. Maynard Way, September 16-17

Cooper-Young Festival

Festival-goers can expect the usual art, music, and crafts that make the fest a hallmark tradition to look forward to.

Cooper Young Historic District, September 16

17 • Sunday

Goat Yoga

Goat Yoga is where you can relax your body and mind while surrounded by little goats. Some goats will even jump up on you while doing yoga poses! But don’t worry, the goats are lightweight and very friendly. You’ll be sure to have a lot of laughs and leave feeling relaxed and entertained. Goat Yoga is not recommended for children under the age of 6.

Overton Park Shell, September 17, 4:30-7 p.m.

22 • Friday

51st Annual Pink Palace Crafts Fair

Explore a variety of eclectic pottery, jewelry, paintings, woodwork, leatherwork, sculpture, woven goods, and so much more.

Audubon Park, September 22-24, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

23 • Saturday

Memphis Comic Expo

Memphis Comic Expo is one of the few remaining creator-focused conventions that shines a spotlight on artists and writers in the world of comics. The expo features lots of comics, one of the best comic-creator lineups in the south, a cosplay contest, panels, vendors, voice actors, artists, writers, and more!

Agricenter International, September 23-24

Pancakes for Primates

Build your own pancakes and dine with the zoo’s primates. Plus, attendees can enjoy a Primate Keeper Chat, a primate feeding, and fun primate enrichment.

Memphis Zoo, September 23, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

30AUGUST 2023 30 AUGUST 2023
Photo (Buttons) © Natalyka Photo (Below) © Oksix

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a family-oriented festival where you can gather with family and friends to listen and dance to live Latin music, taste some Latin food and drinks, and enjoy crafts for kids, vendors, and fun for everyone in an open social space.

Overton Square, September 23, noon-6 p.m.

30 • Saturday

Black Child Book Fair Tour

The Black Child Book Fair Tour promotes books with positive images and stories of Black children and Black life.

Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, September 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


7 • Saturday

Art for Elephants

Watch as the Memphis Zoo’s elephants take to the canvas.

Memphis Zoo, October 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert Relive the film that started it all. Watch the wand choose the wizard, a troll running amok, and magic mirrors in high-definition while a live orchestra performs John Williams’ iconic score. Orpheum Theatre, October 7-9, 2 p.m.

13 • Friday

Zoo Boo

Ghosts, goblins, and ghouls, oh my! Halloween is taking over the Memphis Zoo for its annual haunting at LeBonheur’s Zoo Boo. Grab your boo crew, costumes, and trick-or-treat bags to make sure you score those hallowed sweets. Memphis Zoo, select nights, October 13-31, 6-9:30 p.m.

14 • Saturday


Repticon Memphis is a reptile event featuring vendors o ering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free ra es for coveted prizes. Exciting, educational, family-oriented fun for everyone!

Landers Center, October 14-15

21 • Saturday

Bluey’s Big Play

When Dad feels like a little bit of Sunday afternoon time out, Bluey and Bingo have other plans! Join them as they pull out all of the games and cleverness at their disposal to get Dad o that bean bag. This is Bluey as you’ve never seen it before, brought to real life. Orpheum Theatre, October 21-22, 3 p.m. & 6 p.m.

Trusted Programs for Children

Arthur Wild Kratts Peg + Cat Molly of Denali Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Ready Jet Go! Nature Cat Stream at and the WKNO App


22 • Sunday

2nd Annual Honey Community Music Festival

With a diverse lineup of short performances, guests can expect a wide range of musical genres and styles, showcasing the versatility and skill of the students. In addition to the performances, the festival provides interactive concerts encouraging audience participation and engagement, educational opportunities, face painting, balloon art, and Memphis’ favorite mascot Pouncer.

Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center at the University of Memphis, October 22, 1-6 p.m.

28 • Saturday

Día de los Muertos Festival & Parade

Honor your ancestors and celebrate the cycle of life and death with this festival at the Brooks o ering art-making activities, face painting, music, costumed performers, dance performances, and more.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, October 28, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Disney Junior Live on Tour: Costume Palooza!

This show brings beloved Disney Junior characters and favorite Marvel Super Heroes live on stage for a jam-packed, concert-style show with singing, dancing, acrobatics, and more. Orpheum Theatre, October 28, 4 p.m.


Mudpie Mondays

Join Memphis Botanic Garden for a mud-tastic time. Children can dig in and craft their own mud pie using natural materials.

Memphis Botanic Garden, Mondays through August 28, 10 a.m.-noon

Mini Masters (ages 2-4)

Introduce your little ones to the arts and nature with crafts, movement, and more.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.11:15 a.m., Free/members, $8/non-members

Kaleidoscope Club (ages 5-9)

Each week, participants will enjoy an art or horticulture project that sparks creativity and critical thinking.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m., Free/members, $8/non-members

Twilight Thursdays

Explore the Memphis Botanic Garden after hours. The second Thursday of each month will also feature food trucks.

Memphis Botanic Garden, Thursdays through October 26, 5-8 p.m.

Story Time

Enjoy stories, songs, art activities, and creative play that connect with Collierville history every Friday at the Morton Museum.

Morton Museum of Collierville History, Fridays, 10:30 a.m., Free

Project Pop-up! (all ages)

Pop in to the Dixon for a pop-up like no other! Each month, participants explore a new part of the Dixon with an inspiring project for all ages. Supplies are provided.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, first Saturdays of the month, 10-11 a.m., Free

Super Saturday

The first Saturday of every month at the Brooks is Super Saturday! From 10 a.m.-noon, the museum will have free admission and artmaking led by art educator, Mrs. Rose.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, first Saturdays of the month, 10 a.m.-noon

Family Day at the Stax Museum

On the second Saturday of each month, the Stax o ers free admission as well as special programming for young people including live music, arts and crafts, snacks, games, activities, and more.

Stax Museum of American Soul Music, second Saturdays of the month, 1-4 p.m., Free

Kids in the Garden (ages 7-10)

This fun, hands-on gardening workshop teaches kids the basics about horticulture and the flora around them.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, second Saturdays of the month, 10:30 a.m.-noon

Kid’s Yoga

Stretch, breathe, move, dance, relax, create, and have fun! These classes will include ageappropriate yoga and movement — including breathing, poses, games, stories, music, relaxation, meditation, and more. Please bring a yoga mat and water.

Shelby Farms Park, Sundays, 1 p.m., Free

“Sense-ational!: The Art of the Five Senses”

Explore how artists convey sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch in their masterpieces. This interactive exhibit will highlight art from Memphis’ art collection ranging from floral watercolor to Cubist prints.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, on display through August

“Ocean and Me”

Spend a day in our imaginative underwater play with fun interactives including a sunken ship, submarine, and a deep sea diver.

Children’s Museum of Memphis, on display through August 13

H2Oh! Splash Park

This garden-themed exhibit features 40+ sprayers including jet streams, mists, geysers, and water tunnels. Escape the summer heat. Lawn chairs are welcome. Make kid-sized bubbles at Bubble Gardens stations.

Children’s Museum of Memphis, through September 3, $5

America at the Crossroads: The Guitar and a Changing Nation

Explore the guitar’s influence on American history, culture, and politics.

Museum of Science & History, on display through October 22

Grind City Picks: The Music That Made Memphis

Explore the iconic instruments, ri s, and guitarists that put Memphis on the map. Museum of Science & History, on display through October 22

Twilight Tours

Discover what goes on once the zoo gates close for the evening. Guests will enjoy an animal visitor and a light snack before their Ed-venture begins. Make sure to have your sneakers laced up for a trek around the zoo during this 2-hour event and uncover what other animals are moving around at dusk. Memphis Zoo, Ongoing, $30/members, $35/non-members

Zoo Crew: Nature Club

Nature Club is a multi-week program that will foster a new appreciation for the outdoors, with an emphasis on this year’s theme: Food Chain Fanatics. Children, ages 6-12, will develop observation, creativity, and advanced motor skills while exploring di erent food chains and the relationships of the animals in it. Participants will also get to meet some animals that might interact with each other in their own food chains. Memphis Zoo, every other Saturday, March 25thMay 20th, $349/members, $399/nonmembers

Zoo Snoozes

Zoo Snoozes are a great way to get your group out of the house for a night to participate in evening escapades all while learning about some nocturnal creatures! These Zoo Snoozes include an evening hike, a possible behind-the-scenes peek, pizza dinner, an animal visitor, light breakfast, and a morning trek before the Zoo opens. Memphis Zoo, Ongoing 

32AUGUST 2023 32 AUGUST 2023
Sticker Illustrations © Tanjaru

SoundWaves™, the nation’s first truly upscale indoor/outdoor resort water attraction, is the perfect hangout with four acres of thrill rides and chill vibes for adventurers of all ages.

more thrills
more connection