E Edition - February 2021

Page 16

Sellers’ Market: How savvy sellers can help themselves and their bottom line before listing a home By MAREN JAMES What home buyers want today is simple, but not necessarily straightforward. According to Terry Young, Founder and Buyer Specialist of the Young Team, a seller in the know thinks of their house as a canvas that’s mostly blank. “Most people can’t visualize a house any other way. Buyers, looking at a particular carpet or paint color can only see the seller in that house. They can’t see themselves living there, so that obstacle has to be removed,” she says. The kitchen, as the heart of the home is the most important area to update. The next priority is the master bath. After that, curb and indoor appeal both depend largely on the house configuration, its updates and frankly, the owner’s savoir faire. “We have to go on a case by case basis,” Young says. But here’s a hint – the interior is more important than the exterior.

Young mentions houses in which everything is looking great except for maybe the pantry, or a half bath or the super-used family room. “If you go someplace where the hardwood is scratched or the floor is stained most buyers are thinking it’s not well maintained and the dollar signs go off in their heads. They’re thinking ‘I’ll have to carpet the whole house,’ even though that’s not true,” she adds. “Everything needs to look crisp and fresh in today’s colors, very much like a model home.” But let’s face it – many families, empty nesters and aging singles are entirely content with well-worn, comfortable (if dated) surroundings, until it’s time to sell. And then the questions begin. Does the entire kitchen need a makeover? Does the bath or master need a redo? The floors? The walls? Before a home owner flips out over the potential cost concerns, Young mentions how just a few clever additions or

subtractions can make a big difference. “If the kitchen cabinets are in good shape, and the whole room is fairly updated, the owner might just need to switch out the hardware or change the countertop, which creates a whole new look. It doesn’t have to be a total makeover. If a room seems dark or cold, buy more lamps.” Similarly, a bedroom can be transformed with a new spread and a bathroom can have a different feel just by changing the color or pattern of the towels. Young likens buying a house to buying new clothes. “I ask people ‘can you see yourself living here?’ and I watch them trying on the house, just like a person trying on clothes in front of a mirror. Are they a baker – can they see themselves in the kitchen with enough counter space? Can they see their four children at the breakfast bar? If there’s too much clutter like coffee pots or decorations they can’t see

Dancing Classrooms of Northeast Ohio has pivoted to provide needed break By PEGGY TURBETT Like Mardi Gras celebrations and the St. Patrick’s Day parade, anti-Covid protocols have suspended another regional tradition this spring. Tango teams and fox-trotting fifth graders will have to sit out the Colors of the Rainbow competition once again. Yet, Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio is energizing more students than ever. With innovative thinking, program flexibility and some green-screen ingenuity, the grade-school dancing program tripled the number of students physically moving while teaching core values of belonging, respect, hope and trust. Minding social distancing, the program has stretched into and beyond regional classrooms, across the United States and overseas to the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. All because, in this age of computer screen classrooms, everybody needs a break. In pre-Covid 2020, the Dancing Classroom Northeast Ohio organization engaged 102 classrooms in 52 schools throughout Northeast Ohio, according to JoJo Carcioppolo, executive director. But then the specter of Covid 19 shut down in-class teaching last March, making the essential physical aspects of dancing the waltz and merengue impossible under Covid compliance. “None of us knew how students would be learning. We knew it wasn’t going to be the traditional program,” said Carcioppolo. She turned to the principals and teachers in the DCNEO program, asking what they needed. The survey returned a resounding response: “We need brain breaks.’” “Yes, we need breaks,” said Carcioppolo. “But how do we take DCNEO’s goals and the schools’ goals and accomplish them through smaller doses throughout the day?” Enter DCNEO program manager Anna McGonigal, who partnered with Carcioppolo to create BREAK Dance, a virtual curriculum for the hybrid, in-person and remote learning models used this year. “We looked at our traditional program and identified our core values – belonging, respect, hope and trust – and with those in mind created the BREAK Dance experience,” said Carcioppolo. Even the title is an acronym for reinforcing the positive effects of intentional pauses: Breaks Reset Engagement Attention and Knowledge. The two dance veterans blocked out a series of BREAK Dance video lessons, lasting from three to ten minutes each. To distribute the lessons, they moved from blackboard to green screen and from classrooms of boisterous students to a cartoon setting. “We knew we’d be on a set that is drawn,” said Carcioppolo, describing the illustrated settings of familiar rooms used for the dance breaks. She tapped the budding talent of several colleges and universities, establishing a team of 11 interns to produce the segments. Animators, video edi-

Jo Jo Carcipolo, executive director, left, and Anna McGonigal, program manager, teach steps to the Baby Shark song in the BREAK Dance illustrated school gymnasium during a segment in the new series developed by Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio. Photograph courtesy Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio tors, graphic designers, and social media specialists from a bevy of colleges and universities earn academic credit for their work developing the series. “We got a studio kit from Amazon that came with lights,” said Carcioppolo. But the green screen backdrop, on which a kitchen or living room would be projected, was too narrow. So they extended the backdrop to give space for dance steps. “We McGuyvered a studio set in an empty room in our office building.” The curriculum was created with fifth graders in mind but designed to span interests from fourth to eighth grades. BREAK Dance sessions in the hybrid learning model are up to ten minutes; the “@Home” home adaptations are three minutes or less. All the ‘brain breaks’ allow students to physically get up and move in an organized manner and still adhere to pandemic-related guidelines. The lessons incorporate social emotional learning goals and core values while encouraging the students to have fun with familiar music and dances. Signature moves like “The Floss” from the video game Fortnight, offer action and readily recognizable steps. “We start with some form of movement to warm up,” said Carcioppolo. “Then we go into a full movement, and every break ends with our ABCs.” That is, Applause, Breath (deeply), and Class (as in, get back to…) The signoff is comparable to the traditional in-class program ender: curtsy and bow. The consistent formula establishes a sense of security

and comfort. “From that ritual experience, the students know what to expect,” said Carcioppolo. “There is routine. There is structure. That is a component of creating a safe space, in which they feel comfortable engaging in a new experience. What’s the scariest part of taking a new class? The unknown. With the expected structure, the students can relax and lower their guard.” The comfort builds as the sequence continues. The inperson/hybrid option uses a sequential approach in nineweek units, presenting six pre-recorded lessons each week. The first theme is dancing in line, with students learning 15 different line dances by the end of the series. The @Home virtual learning option includes 10 pre-recorded lessons varying in length from one to three minutes. To the multitudes experiencing bleary eyes and foggy minds of never-ending Zoom sessions, taking any break can be priceless. But for this initial school year, DCNEO is not charging any fees for its BREAK Dance series. “As an organization, we made the decision to offer this new program to all schools free of charge throughout the ’20-’21 school year,” said Carcioppolo. “Students need social emotional learning programming now more so than ever, and it was needed a lot before. To date, we have more than 310 classrooms who’ve signed up for this programming – triple the amount of students we’ve ever previously served in a single school year.” Looking toward the post-pandemic era, The DCNEO program is eager to bring ballroom dancing back into the classroom and stage the springtime Colors of the Rainbow competition once again. But the hiatus has its own silver lining in BREAK Dance, said Carcioppolo. “We have the ability to serve even more.” For more information or to sign up for the free BREAK Dance series, contact: DCNEO.org., email BREAK@DCNEO.org or phone 440.230.5170.

where their coffee pot or their things are going to go.” She acknowledges house sales are robust these days and circumstances don’t always allow buyers to make all the preparations they need. But as a general rule, time and money invested in the house pays off. “The more time you have to prepare your house for sale, the better the chance you’re going to get more money for it, not to mention it will sell more quickly,” she says. “Just organize the space and make it appealing so that a potential buyer can picture their life in that space. The Young Team was founded in 2003 by Terry and her husband Jeff, a builder. Subsequently joined by their sons Ryan and Josh, the team has more than 20 employees and is affiliated with Keller Williams. “I certainly have a passion for what I do,” Terry says. “I still love it.”

The Bonfoey Gallery Opens ‘Nevertheless, She Created,’ an exhibition celebrating regional artists In support of Women’s History Month, The Bonfoey Gallery will be opening “Nevertheless, She Created” on March 5, 2021, running through April 3, 2020. An all-day opening will be open to the public by appointment from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday, March 5. The show will feature the work of nine well-established, regional artists: Ryn Clarke, Kristen Cliffel, Lane Cooper, Liz Maugans, Dana Oldfather, Jenniffer Omaitz, Pat Zinsmeister Parker, Pam Pastoric, and Susan Squires. Women’s History Month was officially recognized in March of 1987 and has since been acknowledged as a national commemoration of the achievements women have made over the course of American history. Despite any trials and tribulations faced by women and society at large, these artists have continued to create a collection of work that expands across numerous mediums. The show will feature photography, ceramics, paintings, printmaking, and metalwork. “Nevertheless, She Created” will open Friday, March 5 with an all-day opening event. In order to adhere to CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19, we ask that you please schedule an appointment to visit the gallery and view the show. Appointments are available from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. To view available appointment times, or to find more information, visit www.bonfoey.com. For more information please visit www. bonfoey.com or contact The Bonfoey Gallery at 216.621.0178 or gallery@bonfoey.com.

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February 18, 2021 www.currentsneo.com