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Our certified nurse midwives provide care and expertise to women at low risk for complications during preconception, maternity and post-partum, while focusing on the importance of patient participation and commitment to low intervention.

Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato Call 507-933-0094 to schedule an appointment.

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s t n e t n o

6 Peeps

Erin Herding


Say What


Unique Clubs & Sports Build Confidence

What is Your Favorite Things To Do At A Art/Street Fair?

15 After School Programs

20 Be Healthy

Healthy Moms Mean Healthy Kids

Cover Kid: Keyun Wu

22 How Do You Do It?

Candice Deal-Bartell

24 Historical Feature

There's A Club for That?

26 Mankato Area

42 DIY Craft

52 Super Dupa

Public Schools

Vex Robotics East/West HOSA Club Lancers Edition

30 Kid Writer


32 Healthy Kids

Let’s Talk About Poop

34 The Children’s Museum

40 Meet the Author

Lisa Bolt Simmons Happy Birthday: Writers Born in March and April

2 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Easy Modern Spring Wreath


Spring Time Blues

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 3




ids, and adults, like to bond over common interests. That can mean joining a sports team, a dance team or taking up scouting. But some area kids have interests that are a little less common. In this issue of Kid-Oh! you can read about kids that have taken up fencing, archery, billiards, drama and more. If you have a passion for an activity, it’s likely you can find a club or group to fulfill that passion. And if by chance there isn’t a club for it, maybe you can take the initiative to start one, because if you are interested in doing something, there’s more than likely other people out there with the same interest. One of the places that you can explore and learn new activities is through after-school programs. Our area schools are chock full of clubs and activities that can help you discover something new. From math and science clubs to drawing and painting, you can learn about and take up a new hobby. Which, is welcome on a snowy winter like the one we’ve had so far this year. This issue of Kid-Oh also has all of your returning favorites including our kid author, E. M. James’ latest story, which is the first part of a serial that’ll be spread out over the next few issues. Check out her first installment on page 30. We also have kid artist Kasyn Zuehlke’s latest comic strip on page 52. Both of these kids have a passion for creativity and are sharing it with our readers. If you haven’t found your passion yet, maybe you’ll find it in this issue. Thank you for reading! Steve Jameson

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Christina Sankey CONTRIBUTORS Candice Deal-Bartell Blue Earth County Historical Society District #77 Erin Herding E. Madelyn James Heather Fisher Julie Schrader Marianne Carlson Mankato Clinic Health System Mayo Clinic Health System The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota PAGE DESIGNER Christina Sankey ADVERTISING SALES Danny Creel Joan Streit Jordan Greer-Friesz Josh Zimmerman Marianne Carlson Theresa Haefner ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Barb Wass ADVERTISING DESIGNERS Christina Sankey Sue Hammar CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Justin Niles

Kid-Oh! Magazine is published by The Free Press Media bi-monthly at 418 South Second St., Mankato MN 56001. For editorial and advertising inquiries, call Jordan Greer-Friesz 507-344-6337, To be included in future Kid-Oh! mailings, call 507-625-4451, ext. 7

4 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

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Erin g n i d r e H Occupation:

American Heart Association

What is your favorite part of your job?

I work for the American Heart Association. Part of my job is to Kick Off our fundraising program KIDS HEART CHALLENGE (aka Jump Rope For Heart). I’m either in front of a gym, on a theater stage or in some random school space “pumping up” the students to be excited about donating to our cause. This involves dancing with them, making them laugh, being silly, etc. I walk away laughing at myself because it’s SO ME! I love little kids and connecting with them so that part is right up my alley. My own kids would just cringe if they watched – ha ha!

How long have you lived in Mankato? Born and raised – almost 43 years!!! What did you want to be when you grew up? I believe my mom said I wanted to be a fire truck. Hmmm? What I clearly remember wanting to be is a mom. When I was in elementary school I would arrange my bedroom like it was my home or apartment. My baby, Beth, had her own “room”. When I’d leave for school I’d say “I’ll be home after work” and when I got home I would love to just stay in my room and play house. Kinda weird. Even in Junior High my friends would tease me that I was the “mom” of the group. I did grow up to be that!!!

About Me:

What is your favorite thing to do in Mankato for fun? Dinner and drinks with friends, Kiwanis Lights with my youngest son, Blues on Belgrade with my whole family watching Grandpa Dave play on stage, watching my boys ski at Mount Kato, shopping Old Town, Football Games at West HS, Running the Red Jacket Trail, Art Crawl with our friends, Riding motorcycle with my husband on Judson Bottom Road………..WOW! So much to do!!

The last 5 years or so I’ve had some life changes that lead me to hop around so to speak when it came to my career. I’d like to think landing at the American Heart Association was all kinds of fate because I absolutely love what I do. Working with volunteers, being in the school environment, hearing the stories of families that deal with the effects of heart disease every day and the team that I work with. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have a job that was such a perfect fit! I have 3 children but I love 5. My husband and I and our blended family are in a place of watching children launch into adults and teens trying to figure it all Clay, Miles, Riley, Tr oy, Erin, Jack and Cole out. We are enjoying (almost) every minute of it! 43 and blessed. 6 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

We Asked some Kid-oh’s..... What’s your favorite Things to do at a Art/Street fair?


F C PaiA ntinE g


Age: 12 My favorite thing to do is Age: 5 get my face painted. Eating kettle corn.


Age: 12 Seeing all the different types of booths and getting my face painted.



Age: 5 Likes to buy pretty things.

Age: 8 I love all the crafts. If I can make something to take home that is awesome. I also really like cotton candy.

Amelia Age: 8 Daring rides.


Age: 7 Doing crafts.


Breckyn Age: 7 Doing the arts and crafts.

Age: 10 Find the candy and snacks.


Age: 11 I like to go on rides and eat the food - then I like to fall asleep in the car on the way home.


Age: 3 Eating all the yummy food. March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 7



Story & Photos by Marianne Carlson

s parents we try to find an outlet for our children outside of school, something they can fall in love with, an activity that helps them grow and discover a secret passion inside of themselves. Every single kid wants to be good at something. For some kids, that passion will come from competition and friendships formed from participating in sports. For others, academic success will help them build character and self-esteem. But what about the rest of them? The Mankato area has so many wonderful opportunities for kids to learn and grow. Community Education and Recreation and other local organizations offer a wide variety of sports, clubs and activities that can help children explore physical and mental challenges and express themselves creatively.

A wide variety of unique clubs and sports help area children connect with like-minded students from around the district as well as strong adult role models.

8 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Fencing Boys and girls of all sizes, ages 8 to 11, are dressed in white fencing jackets. They sit quietly on the floor of the gym at Kennedy Elementary School, holding their helmets in their laps, patiently listening to their instructor Brian Combs. Brian asks the students if this is their first fencing class. He smiles as he realizes almost every one of them are returning fencers. He runs through the safety rules and demonstrates some basic footwork. “We don't swing the sword back and forth like this,” he says slashing the sword through the air. “Your movements will be much smaller which will allow you to be quicker.” Brian has been teaching fencing in the Mankato & St. Peter area for six years. Fencing is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. This recreational sport of swordplay is a lifelong sport. Fencing can be enjoyed by people of any age, and it has tons of benefits. Fencing is both a physical and a mental workout, in which fencers learn to hone their strategies against opponents of varying skill levels, and build up physical endurance, agility, and accuracy. The sport of fencing has been around since the 14th Century and has been a part of every Summer Olympic Games since the birth of the modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens. Women's fencing made it's debut at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Brian credits the Youth Enrichment League (YEL) for the rise in popularity in Minnesota. “Traditionally, fencing has been done in clubs with a set physical location,” Combs said. “But YEL is a mobile/ transportable fencing club/class and we provide all the equipment and the instruction.” Melanie Schmidt, Youth Development Program Coordinator with the Community Education & Recreation Department for Mankato Area Schools said the Youth Enrichment League is what makes these fencing classes possible. “If it wasn't for YEL, we might not be able to offer fencing classes because the equipment alone is a big investment,” Melanie said. “We are so thankful to be able to partner with them.” Bridges fourth grader, Evelyn Kovalchuk, age 10, has been taking fencing for over two years. After seeing the Dreamworks action/ adventure movie “Puss in Boots” about a sword wielding cat, and with a little nudge from her mom, Evelyn signed up for fencing in the fall of 2017 and has been in love with it ever since. In those two years, Evelyn said she has learned “focus, footwork, safety, balance, technique, reaction, patience and strategy.” On Wednesday night Evelyn was paired up with another girl about her same height and weight but that is not necessary, she said. In fact, all of the students will eventually fence each other, Evelyn explained. “Fencing is not like other sports where being bigger is better,” she said. “Actually, being small might be to your

advantage. If you are smaller, the scoring zone is smaller which makes it harder for opponents to score points.” Fellow Bridges classmate, fourth grader, Samuel Anderson, said he couldn't agree more. “Sometimes being smaller allows you to be a little quicker and get closer than your opponent realizes,” he said. “You can fake a lunge and catch them off guard. If you can catch them in a blocking position you can almost always score a point. Sometimes having longer arms can be an advantage but if you are an experienced fencer you can easily counter.” Evelyn said her favorite part of fencing is “getting to go up against new kids.” “It is so much fun to learn their techniques and try and guess what they are going to do,” Evelyn explained. “The more people you fence against, the more you teach each other. I love learning other people's styles and strategies.” Like Evelyn, Samuel was inspired to try fencing because of a movie. For Samuel it was the “Princess Bride.” “There are some great sword fighting scenes in that movie,” Samuel said with a laugh. “At first I was like sword fighting sounds cool, but then I realized fencing is so much more than that. It is a formal sport.” This is Samuel's third year of fencing and he has really seen his hand-eye coordination improve over the years, he said. It is not just discipline that keeps Samuel coming back year after year. Fencing is fun, he said with a smile. “When you describe it, people think it is taking swords and slashing them at each other, but actually it is more like jousting without a horse,” Samuel explained. “You are poking at each other. You are not swinging your sword around all crazy. It is a safe fun sport. All of the gear, even the fencing sword is designed to be as safe as it can be. If the rubber tip falls off of the sword, you have to yell and let everyone know.” At the end of the lesson, Coach Combs encouraged all of the students to watch YouTube videos on fencing footwork. “Simply watching can be a great way to learn,” he told them. Both Evelyn and Samuel said they would eventually like to compete in a tournament but so far the timing hasn't been right. Both students are hoping that this year their spring schedules will allow them the opportunity to compete. “There is a lot of equipment that we have to wear and it can get super hot,” Samuel said. “But you get used to it. We work hard but we also play games and at the end of the lessons we do a little tournament. The person who wins the most points and the most rounds gets the gold.” Samuel said he has made some really good friendships and would definitely recommend fencing to anyone looking to try something different. “To do this you have to be really focused,” Samuel said. “Fencing is complicated and simple at the same time. It can be hard when you are first learning, but once you learn it – it sticks with you.”

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 9

Archery Five targets line the back wall of the gym at the Lincoln Community Center. Students stand in a single file line waiting for the whistle command that signals it is time for them to pick up their compound bow. Each bow is numbered and set to a specific draw weight for every student. The students line up in front of their target and rest one end of their bow gently on the ground. Another series of tweets from a whistle signals that it is time to shoot. Each archer shoots their five arrows at the target then returns their bow to the rack. After each archer has finished shooting and the

bows are returned to the rack, more whistle commands let the students know that they are clear to retrieve their arrows from the targets. Lead archery instructor Rob Groebner moved to the Mankato school district five years ago to teach science at West High School. Shortly after starting his new job, Rob decided to get certified to teach archery with the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP). These classes are offered through Community Ed & Recreation. “Archery is a fun way for girls and boys to get involved in something new,” said Melanie Schmidt, Youth Development Program Coordinator with the Community Education & Recreation Department for Mankato Area Schools. “Our program utilizes the NASP curriculum and

Sixth grader Marissa Curry takes aim and releases her arrow. 10 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

equipment and will teach the basics of using a compound bow. Classes are taught by a certified NASP instructor, and provide a safe and fun introduction to the sport of archery. Commands, signals, techniques and shooting challenges are all part of the program. The students learn about equipment, and participate in a low-pressure and supportive environment.” According to Hitting the Bullseye: Reel Girl Archers Inspire Real Girl Archers a study conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Archery is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States. Today, 21.6 million Americans participate in archery, including 4.7 million women and girls. The number of people participating in archery has increased dramatically over the past few years, with female and youth archers driving this trend, the study revealed. Overall, archery participation rose 86% from 2013 to 2014, while women’s participation rose 105% during that same period of time. Also, during an era where youth participation in sports is in decline due to greater use of online technology, youth membership in archery increased over 200% from 2012 to 2015, according to the study. In 2012, girls’ participation in national archery competitions doubled. This study focused on the role of entertainment media in the recent, rapid growth of archery. Journalists and archery experts speculated that more young people especially women and girls are taking up archery because of Hollywood representations of female archers in such movies as The Hunger Games series and Disney’s animated film Brave. Both movies were released in 2012 and featured prominent female archers. The study discovered that archers in popular film and television programs inspired people to take up the sport. 7-in-10 girls say that Katniss from the Hunger Games and Princess Merida from Brave influenced their decision to take up archery. The study also revealed that across age groups and genders, both boys and girls said that fictional archers in film and television influenced them to take up the sport including Robin Hood, Legolas from The Lord of the Rings, Hawkeye from The Avengers

and Green Arrow from the Arrow television series. Sixth grader Marissa Curry said fictional movie characters like Katniss and Merida might have gotten her through the door, but she has continued with the sport because she really loves it. But that wasn't always the case. “Marissa had a tough time her first class and she got pretty upset that she wasn't doing very well,” Rob recalled. “But she stuck with it and by the end of her second class, she was hitting the target.” “Mr. Rob taught me how to adjust my aim,” Marissa said with a smile. “That made all the difference.” If there is anyone out there thinking about signing up for Archery class, Marissa aid, “Just do it. Learning something new can be hard, but if you power through it, you will improve. Remember, no one is perfect. Once you get the hang of it, it is really fun.” Fifth grader Matthew Biehl said although he likes the archers in many of the popular movies, it was his grandpa that inspired him to try Archery. “My grandpa would let me use his bow in the backyard and it was fun,” Matthew said. Matthew said they spent the first class learning terminology and whistle commands. “We made practice bows out of rope and we worked on our draw,” Matthew said. “We learned the different safety instructions and we learned proper form. Mr. Rob said the worst thing that has ever happened in his class was that someone got a paper cut. They want us to feel safe.” Michelle Sorenson said enrollment in Archery has been very steady. “Our beginner classes always fill up, with our returners coming to our Intermediate or Teen classes,” Michelle said. “It is a different offering than your typical sport or academic club. It has something to offer all youth, from those who are there for target practice to those who are perfecting the skill.” Archery is challenging both physically and mentally, Michelle said. “It is also an individual sport that requires a lot of discipline,” Michelle said. “But if you work hard at it, it is a sport that anyone can try and can excel at.”

Fifth grader Olivia Enrico (left) and fellow classmates create quirky animals for their Drama Kids class.

Drama Kids

What if you could take your children to a fun and safe environment where they were allowed to explore their creative identity while connecting with others and become self-confident, empathetic and effective communicators? Well that is exactly the mission of Drama Kids, a class offered through Community Ed & Recreation, taught by Ray Smart. Drama Kids is an international child development program with roots in Australia, Ray explained. Bridges fifth grader Olivia Enrico was asked to invent an animal and then to transform herself into that animal. “I was a frog but I didn't want to be a normal frog so I made this mini phone out of paper and I was selfieobsessed tree frog,” Olivia said with a laugh. Olivia's mom Shaun signed her up for Drama Kids. “She is so funny and quick witted,” Shaun said with a smile. “I thought this would be a great creative outlet for her.” Olivia said her dream is to become a comedic actor like Kristen Bell in the television show “The Good

Place.” Ray is originally from Pierre, South Dakota. He spent most of his adult life creating and working with kids. His undergraduate degree is in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. He later earned a Master’s degree in Education and spent 10 years in the classroom. In addition to teaching Ray is a musician and writer. He has written 10 studio albums, 12 volumes of poetry, and two screenplays. When asked what inspired him to start a local chapter of Drama Kids, Ray said, “My children are highly creative and love to play dress up and pretend. I thought they would really thrive in a drama program. While researching Mankato and the surrounding areas for a program, I stumbled on the Drama Kids program. The more I researched it, the more I fell in love with it. As an Educator, the standards driven curriculum really appealed to me. As a very creative person and a parent who wants to see my children thrive, I absolutely loved the approach that Drama Kids uses in developing children.” Ray bought the rights to the Drama Kids curriculum in March of March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 11

Each school will have two performances in the spring, Ray said. The first is a short play performed strictly for parents or caregivers. The second is a much bigger presentation held at the end of the year. It will be held in the child’s home school and everyone is invited. In order to help his students truly grow, Ray said that kindness is at the core of everything they do in the classroom. “I offer a positive environment that meets the needs of all children, no matter their race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, socio-economic status, skill set, or confidence level,” Ray said. “I very deeply love working with children and try to match the joy they bring to my life.” Fifth grader Siale (Jace) Tonga, is a seasoned young actor. He said he loves pranks and overthe-top physical humor. With several Prairie Fire Theater ds. Ki a am Dr productions under his belt, he at fun the Acting silly is all part of said he loves Drama Kids. This is his second time taking the class last year. His first class was in and he said he definitely plans to September of last year. continue with the program. “I have worked very closely with “It's a lot of fun,” Jace said. “I've Community Ed to help me get this made some good friends.” program into the schools,” Ray said. Ray said he believes we are living “Community Ed is an incredible in an age of polarization and organization of people who truly conflict. There is so much selfishness want to enrich the lives of children and anger in which few are willing in our community. They have been or able to try to understand a amazing in this process. Together we viewpoint other than their own, he launched this in five schools and the said. response has been amazing. It has “Drama Kids has given me a great been so well received that every opportunity in that I can help shape elementary school in the district will my small corner of the world by have a class beginning next fall.” modeling love and kindness,” Ray Drama Kids is a yearlong said. “I am able to help develop program. In the fall, they lay the empathy and understanding. I have foundations of speech, the chance to enrich the lives of characterization, blocking, creative children and prepare them for the improvisation, and all the important world by working on speaking and pieces to performing for an communication skills. All of this is audience, Ray explained. done in a high energy, incredibly fun “The brilliance of the program is environment. It is a beautiful that we use drama as a vehicle to melding of all of the gifts I have been develop life skills,” Ray said. “The given and I get to live every day with majority of the children taking the my mantra: Look for kindness, lead class will not go on to work on with love.” Broadway or in film; that is not the goal of Drama Kids. The goal is that they will take with them incredibly valuable tools that will serve them for the rest of their lives. All of this work culminates in a presentation in the spring to showcase their growing confidence and speaking skills.” 12 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Pool Brian Streit and Steve Burge gather around the pool table to show their sons, Jacob Streit and Hunter Burge how to handle a difficult shot. Brian returns the cue ball back to it's origin and has each of the boys try their best to leave the other player with no shot. They each try several times, experimenting with technique and the amount of force to put behind the ball. “There is no way to make this shot, so the next best thing you can do, is to keep the other guy from making a shot,” Brian said. “The idea is to leave them with nothing.” Jacob and Hunter are on the same team in the junior pool league run by C&N Sales. Brian has been playing in the adult league for 29 years and Jacob has been playing in the junior league for seven years. Pool is a life long sport and everyone is constantly learning, Brian said. “It is not just getting up there and hitting the ball around,” Steve said with a laugh. “There are so many different aspects of the game. You never really stop learning.” The whole point of the junior league is to teach the kids how to play pool, Brian said. The atmosphere is relaxed and meant to be fun for everyone. “The older kids teach the younger kids, even during the league matches,” Brian explained. “We have a master pool player who helps us,” Jacob said. “They offer us advice during the games. And you can go in an hour before any league games and practice. You can ask them questions while you are getting warmed up. Basically it is like getting a free lesson.” “Brian and I still ask the master player advice,” Steve said. Even on the adult league, Brian said they still offer each other advice. “We always tell each other what we see on the table,” Brian said. “What is so cool is that everybody sees the shot differently,” Bob Schlueter said. “We all get better by sharing what we see and offering up ideas.” Bob and Brian have been on the same pool team for 29 years. The junior league plays at Hooligans Restaurant every Sunday.

Each team has four kids. Normal league play runs from October to April with several tournaments during that time. “I love tournaments,” Jacob said with a smile. “We get a lot of playing time and I always feel like I learn a lot.” “The camaraderie between all of the kids is really cool,” Brian said. “They all get along and have a great time.” “When one of them makes a good shot, they are all cheering for each other,” Bob said. “Even if they are on a different team. They are all rooting for each other.” People who are good at math can do really well at pool, Hunter said. “There is a lot of geometry involved with the banks and cuts.” “Don't be afraid, if you are thinking about learning to play pool,” Jacob said. “It's a great sport and everyone is really supportive. And you might make some awesome new friends.” Josh Raines, owner of the Kato Cue Club in Mankato started playing pool 15 years ago. He started playing competitively 13 years ago. Josh said he was inspired to learn after “seeing the great players pocket balls and move the cue ball like they were magicians.” The Kato Cue Club is geared to fit the casual player to the next superstar, Josh said. Kato Cue Club offers lessons for kids and adults alike. Josh said he has a lot of families that come in and

Improved balance, stretching, coordination, problem solving and precision are some of the benefits of playing pool. Pool is a life long sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. play pool together. “I encourage kids to play. They will be the future of the sport,” Josh said. “Some families are competitive and others just enjoy the quality time together.” When asked, 'What kinds of people make the best pool players?' Josh said, “The ones who want it the most. In my experience, the personalities with little to no ego can and will reach higher results.” No matter what it is, when you find something you are passionate about, Josh said he always tells kids “submerge yourself in it. Give it all you got and let your heart lead the way.” March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 13

Samantha Harris holds up one of her drawings that she completed in Drawing Club at Prairie Winds Middle School. 14 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

After School Programs Help Students Find and Strengthen New Interests Story & Photos Marianne Carlson


here are no mistakes just happy little accidents,”Atisa Hampton said with a laugh quoting painter Bob Ross. Atisa is a member of the Painting Club at Prairie Winds Middle School, part of the new Middle School After School program offered through Community Education and Recreation. Right now Atisa is working on a large abstract painting using a wet on wet technique. She uses her paint brush to spread clear water from her glass onto one area of the paper. Then she dips her brush in paint. When the paint touches the damp paper, it slowly stretches in all directions. Painting instructor, Casey Rose shows the students how to control the paint by soaking up excess water or even by adding more water depending on what each student is trying to accomplish. “We always start with small technique and apply it to a larger project,” Casey said. Casey had the class create several miniature paintings using this specific technique before beginning their large painting. She said it helps them get a handle on the materials and try out several ideas in a short period of time. “We are all working on a random abstract painting,” Casey explained. “I'm not asking them to paint a 3-dimensional picture of a zebra. There is no wrong way to do this type of painting.” Painting Club is one of several clubs offered through the Middle School After School program at both Dakota Meadows Middle School and Prairie Winds Middle

School for students in grades 6-8. The program runs Monday - Thursday from 3-5:15 pm at each school, said Melanie M. Schmidt, Youth Development Program Coordinator for Mankato Area Public Schools' Community Education & Recreation Department. Students participate in a "Student Union" option from 3 – 4 p.m. where they can work on homework, participate in special events and socialize with friends. They also get a snack at check in, which is obviously important to hungry kids at the close of a busy, school day, Melanie said. After Student Union, students attend unique clubs to fit their interests. New clubs are offered each quarter giving youth the opportunity to experience joining activities, forming friendships, and even getting opportunities to compete in age/grade appropriate contests and competitions to excel in their area of interest, Melanie said. Casey, the Painting Club instructor at Prairie Winds Middle School is actually a Science teacher. “This is a trend we want to see more of in Middle School After School,” Melanie said. “We want to see school day faculty, leading clubs after school. This is an effort in the direction of youth seeing a connection to their school day and after school life. This is also relationship building we value. A teacher that you have in the classroom is connecting with you on a different level after school. Ideally, this would improve school performance through relationship building. At this point, our club advisers are not exclusively district or building staff. We also use community volunteers and college students. It is a nice variety of experts that have the same March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 15

Painting Club is one of the most popular clubs in the Middle School After School program.

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16 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

interests as our youth.” “I love art,” Casey said. “I do a lot of art on my own time. Science is clearly what I teach and what I do for my job but art is the other part of my life.” Casey also teaches Drawing Club at Prairie Winds Middle School as well. She begins each drawing class with small technique just like painting class. “Some kids come in and they are already good at drawing,” Casey said. “But by doing a specific technique, we all get to start together at level 1.” Casey said some of the kids in Drawing Club like to look at the computer, find a drawing they like and do their best to copy it. “This week we focused on different shading techniques and they were not allowed to use their phones or their chrome books,” Casey said with a laugh. “They were kind of upset, but I want them to learn something new not just do what they already know and are comfortable with.” Melanie said that right now, the most popular clubs at both schools are Drawing and Painting.

Atisa Hampton and Samantha Harris work on abstract watercolor paintings. The club offerings change every quarter. Current club offerings include: DMMS Science Club I Love Math Club Drawing Club Painting Club Drama Club Scarlet Leaders PWMS Chess Club Drawing Club Painting Club Drama Club Cougar Leaders Prairie Winds seventh grader Samantha Harris wants to be an artist and animator. She said she loves both the Painting and Drawing Clubs. “These clubs are a great way to try something different or get better at something you already like,” Samantha said. “If you are interested in art but don't think you are very good, don't be intimidated,” Atisa said. “Just come and check it out. You will learn and the more you do it the better you will get.”

Mankato 2019 Summer Dance Camps Celebrating Our 35th Year Teaching the Art of Dance as a Non-profit organization

Free Frozen Camp ages 3-6 To all new students or students who bring a friend June 24-26 3 Day Camp 3:00-3:45 pm $40 **Featuring Ana, Elsa and Olaf

Moana’s Beach Party ages 3-5

July 22-25 4:00-4:55 pm $40 *Featuring Moana

Princess Dance Camp ages 3-5 **Featuring Cinderella, Snow White, and other Princesses July 28-July 31 5:00 -5:55 $40 August 12-15 4:00 -4:55 $40

Candy Land Camp ages 3-5 June 24-27 4:00-4:55 pm $40 July 15-18 4:00-4:55 pm $40

Hip Hop Try It ages 6+

*Free for NEW students or if you bring a friend June 24-26 3 Day Camp 4:00-4:45 pm $40

**Any Frozen Camper may take a Princess Camp or Moana’s Beach Party for $35 per session!**

June 24-27

4:00-4:55 Tumbling $40 5:00-5:55 The Sleeping Beauty: Ballet Beginner 5+ $40 5:00-5:55 Leaps & Turns Tech Camp $40 6:00-8:00 Boot Camp $85

July 15-18

July 29- August 1 5:30-6:55 Arms, Leaps & Turns Camp $50

August 6-9 4:00-4:55 Tumbling $40 or $10 per class 6:00-8:00 Boot Camp $80

August 12-15

4:00-4:55 Hip Hop Beginner ages 5+ $40 5:00-5:55 Tap/Jazz ages 6-10 $40 5:00-5:55 Modern/ Contemporary Camp $40 6:00-6:55 Boot Camp $85

5:00-5:55 Cinderella: Ballet Beginner $40 5:00-5:55 Tap Tech $40 5:00-5:55 Ballet Tech $40

July 22-25

ages 8+ June 24-27 7:00-7:55 pm $25

5:00-5:55 Try Out Camp: Dazzler Hopefuls $40 5:00-5:55 Hip Hop Beginner ages 5+ $40 6:00-6:55 Pop Star Dancers ages 6-9 (Jazz & Tap) $40 6:00-8:00 Boot Camp $85

Boys Tap/Jazz Camp Boys Hip Hop Camp ages 6+ June 24-27 6:00-6:55 $25

For all the full summer schedule, please visit our website Completed Registration forms may be emailed to 1400 Madison Ave Suite 318, Mankato, MN 56001


Session Classes *Ballet Ages 3-5 Ballet, Jazz & Tumbling

June 5, 12, 19 & 26 5:00-5:55 $40

*Ballet Ages 6+ Ballet, Jazz & Tumbling

Aug 7, 14, 21& 28 4:00-4:55 $40

*Hip Hop Ages 5+ Hip Hop & Tumbling

July 10, 17, 24 & 31 5:00-5:55 $40

August 19-22

5:00-5:55 Improv Skills/ Broadway Skills $40 6:00-6:55 Turns & Leaps Tech Camp $40 7:00-7:55 Ballet Technique $40 Early registration is encouraged to secure your spot in our summer camps. Space is limited.

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 17

Making a difference... one child at a time. Pediatric Therapy Services has been making a difference in the lives of children for the past 27 years. We continue to provide physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language therapy for the children in a kid friendly environment. As we have grown, our mission remains unchanged: Making a difference…one child at a time.

FREE Development Screenings for children from infancy through adolescence.

Call to schedule today

Satellite Clinic Main Clinic 150 St. Andrews Ct, Suite 310 Pediatric Therapy Services Mankato, MN 56001 Children’s Health Center Phone: 507-388-KIDS (5437) 1421 Premier Drive Fax: (507) 388-2108 Mankato, MN 56001 General E-Mail: Therapy sessions at Satellite office are by appointment only. Pediatric Therapy Services, Inc. Making a difference... one child at a time

18 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019


Saint Peter High School Auditorium

Performances at 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 19

Healthy moms mean W

healthy kids

ith so much emphasis on the Holt says kids notice the behaviors of health and well-being of chiltheir caregivers — including daily actividren, the health and well-being ties such as sleep and nutrition — but also of mom can easily get overlooked. Moms things like unspoken moods. “Kids pick often struggle with lack of sleep, grabup on those vibes,” says Holt. “If you’re bing food on the go and finding time for happy and healthy or stressed, those feelphysical activity — all of which can have ings can also show up your kids, even if an impact on their children. they aren’t able to articulate it.” Katie Holt is a nurse practitioner Katie Holt, a nurse practitioner in pediin pediatric and adolescent atric and adolescent medicine with Mayo medicine with Mayo Clinic Health Be your best self Clinic Health System, says the takeaway Most moms tend to be mindful of their System in Mankato at Eastridge. is simple: moms need to take care of health during pregnancy, but after the themselves too. baby is born, Holt says it can be hard to prioritize their “I understand the balance is hard,” says Holt. “It’s difown health over their child’s. Postpartum depression — ficult to give broad recommendations for moms and kids, which can happen to any new mom — is something health because overall health depends on the unique needs of care providers look for early on, knowing it can have a each family.” long-term impact on baby and mom. 20 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

“With newborn moms, we check in with an informal screening looking for signs of postpartum depression,” says Holt. “We want to make sure new moms have a good support system and are ready to be their best self. This is especially important during such a big change in a woman’s life.”

Create your own bedtime routine

Even though it’s hard, Holt says moms need to prioritize sleep as much as possible, suggesting that even 15 extra minutes of sleep can help. “It’s much easier to deal with a toddler having a temper tantrum when you’re well rested,” says Holt. “Sleep helps regulate moods and allows moms to make better decisions — if your kids have a bedtime routine, why shouldn’t you?”

Healthy Moms Series at the YMCA

The ABCs of ZZZs — March 6 Label Detective, Healthy Snacks for Kids — April 3 Is My Child Clumsy – or Something More? — May 1 All programs are 9:30-10:30 a.m. and are free and open to all — membership not required. Each session will include a health-related topic presented by Mayo Clinic Health System, followed by 20 minutes of movement and five minutes of guided relaxation. Child care is also available at no cost. To register, please call 507-345-9813.

JOIN the MAGS FAMILY! • Recreational Classes for Boys and Girls! • Competitive Teams! • Birthday Parties and Gym Rentals! • Private Lessons! • Open Gyms Friday and Saturday evenings!

Model healthy eating

As for nutrition, Holt says to take inventory of where you are — as a mom and as a family —right now. While the goal is five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, Holt says if you are currently not eating any fruits or vegetables, start by trying to eat one or two servings per day. “In general, if you’re trying to make healthy choices for your kids, think about yourself, too,” says Holt. “It’s also helpful to focus on making healthy choices throughout the week, instead of beating yourself up each day on what you did, or didn’t eat.” Regarding picky eaters, Holt reminds caregivers it’s the parent’s job to offer the food, but it’s the kids’ job to choose whether or not to eat it. “It depends on the child of course, but forcing kids to eat can often backfire,” says Holt. “Instead, focus on modeling healthy eating.” Holt says she and other health care providers recognize it’s sometimes hard to know when it’s time be seek support from a professional about these or other topics. The general consensus, she says, is that parents know themselves and their kids best. “There’s a difference between knowing you should adopt healthy habits and being worried about your health,” says Holt. “If you’re worried, it’s time to reach out to your health care provider. The goal, of course, is to keep everyone in the family healthy.”

Winter Session Dec.3- March 9 • Spring Session March 11- May 25

Call to Register Today! 507-625-6260

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March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 21

How do You do it? A

By Candice Deal-Bartell

bout two years ago, I had an opportunity to go through a leadership program in Atlanta with one of my colleagues. I gladly accepted the location (Atlanta at the tail end of MN Winter sounded nice to me), but begrudgingly accepted the mission of attending yet “another leadership seminar.” Prior to boarding my redeye flight for Atlanta, I decided to take a pregnancy test. We had been trying to get pregnant for 6 months, and, quite honestly, I had low expectations that this test would be positive. Well, lo and behold, I was pregnant! I snapped a million pictures of 22 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

the test, quietly kissed my daughter and husband goodbye, and left the house in pitchblack morning for the airport. After arriving in Atlanta, I found the nearest MARTA station and plopped myself and my luggage in a seat in preparation for the long trudge across Atlanta. For those readers that have experienced the MARTA before in Atlanta, you’ll know how crazy and long the routes can be. I was on the MARTA when I decided to break the news to my husband that we were pregnant. I’m pretty sure he had to ask me to repeat myself a couple of times as he couldn’t hear over the person yelling next to me: “Guess what, I’m pregnant” “What? What did you say? Can you say it again” ...forget it, I thought. So, I did the next best thing: I sent him a text message. Think about this for a minute...I texted my husband that we were pregnant (big slap to the forehead)!

It might have just been my guilt speaking to me, but during the entire leadership seminar, we talked a lot about connection. And, I realized in those moments, how disconnected I had been with my husband and family. As a working parent, business owner, and a general yes-person, I am often putting my work and other peoplepleasing priorities above connecting with my family. At that moment, I decided that I had to learn to be more intentional about establishing deep connections. So, like most people, I bought all the books I could find about being a “connected parent” (Amazon one-click is AMAZING). What has been the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout my imperfect journey of parenthood so far is the concept and practice of connection. For many families this looks different, but, for mine, I found that any moment spent in the present allowed for deep connection with my children and my husband. Usually during the day, I’ll find time to connect with my husband; to find out how his day is going, to see what he needs support with. When I pick up my children from child care, I intentionally tuck my phone away and work at being present with children. When we get home, we pile into the door and either head to the kitchen to cook a meal together or find the “doctor” kit and start playing patient/doctor. And, every night, we read books, sing songs, and embrace each other until we fall asleep. These moments are priceless. We often mask how difficult it can be for working parents to transition from career to parenthood. While I’ve struggled with this (and continue to), I’ve found that allowing the present moment to wash over me has helped me appreciate the beauty and chaos of my life. It’s allowed me to look at my husband with endearment rather than frustration. It’s allowed me to appreciate the playfulness and imagination of my children. And, ultimately, it has allowed me to become a better leader. Deep connection (not just the connect through text method) is often the most challenging in our busy lives but is certainly the most rewarding. How do you connect?





Early Childhood to Grade 8

• Preschool and extended care • Christ centered education • Strong classical academic curriculum • Small classes, personal attention • Affordable Tuition & District 77 busing 2101 Lor Ray Drive, North Mankato • 507-388-4336 Call for a personal tour

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 23







here is a huge variety of clubs and activities in and around the Mankato area, but one that truly stands out, is Vex Robotics. This is a program where students must build and program a robot from scratch in order to compete in a game that changes every year. As a senior at Mankato West I have experienced first hand the effect that Vex can have on people. It is truly amazing to see how far Vex has come from its beginning, the wide variety of things to do, and the many life skills taught in the program. Vex Robotics is a program in which students build robots to accomplish a variety of objectives. The program started in a garage in Greenville, Texas and has since expanded to encompass the entire globe. Over the course of about 11 years, Vex has continued to expand and evolve so that participants can now compete in middle school, high school, and college (they recently started Vex IQ which is for elementary age). Vex reached Mankato West about 6 years ago when it was started by the coach Mark Zenk with around 4 participants. Since then, it has expanded to 58 students in high school alone (this not counting the middle school participants and the elementary students). Over the years, the Mankato West program has enjoyed a large amount of success, acquiring a large amount of trophies and awards. The past 2 years have seen West teams winning the state tournament and becoming State Champs. In addition to this, West has also sent a number of its teams to Worlds, which is the Vex tournament down in Louisville, Kentucky in which teams compete against teams from 30 some countries around the world (in 2016 it was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest robotics competition). In addition to West, Mankato East also started the program around a similar time and Loyola has recently started too. Overall, Vex originally started as a simple program to get kids interested in engineering, but has since expanded a very popular robotics competition for kids of all ages around the world. One thing that sets Vex apart from other clubs and activities is that this has

26 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

something for everyone. If people think of robotics, they generally think of the people building the robots, however there are many more jobs than just building. Another essential role is that of the programmer. They must program all the movements and controls for the bots and must also program the bot to run itself for certain periods in matches. Another hugely important part is the notebooker.

This is the person that records the plans and blueprints for all the iterations of the bot. The idea is that if someone were to look in the notebook, they would be able to make the bot themselves. The notebook is also important for many judged awards such as Excellence and Design which are the two highest level judged awards you can receive. One other job includes working on online challenges which can

507-387-1868 • Facebook Twitter feature a variety of different tasks such as recycling old game pieces to create something with a new purpose, making a promotional video for the team, or even taking apart some kind of mechanical object to dissect it. These are all just a few jobs available for people to do in the program (I didn’t even cover all the different jobs at tournaments), however, they show how if someone isn’t good at one thing, there is plenty of other positions they can try. As I said earlier, there truly is a place for everyone. One final, unique aspect behind Vex is the life lessons that people can learn from the program. There are many kids who come into the program who are pretty shy and don’t like talking to strangers. This typically changes after a year in Vex. The simple reason is that communication is a very important in succeeding in Vex. The truth is, when first starting Vex, a kid most likely won’t know what they are doing or how to do something. This is when it is important for kids to learn to simply ask for help from the upper classmen or people with more experience. In my school’s program, the coach doesn’t help us much with creating the bots, which means we are largely independent from any adult help and instead we must all rely on each other. There are online forums in which some of my teammates have become friends with teams from other states as we

bounce ideas off each other. This leads into my next point with how communication is important at tournaments. In the finals at tournaments, teams must create alliances with other teams to help each other in the elimination rounds. These can help be set up by the team scouts, who are the people who go talk to other teams in order to help create those connections. One final important life skill that was already kind of talked about is how your team is largely independent from any adult help. This means that there is no one pushing teams to meet any deadlines, and therefore, teams must step up and take responsibility themselves. Teams learn that they get out what they put into the program. If they put in the effort and apply themselves, it is likely they will do very good and will become successful. If they don’t put in the effort then they will fail. This is important in how it teaches kids to take responsibility for their own work and how to apply themselves so that they can handle the real world when no one is telling them what to do. All in all, Vex is important in the way it teaches important life lessons that can help prepare students for the future. In conclusion, Vex is a unique program that is truly set apart from other groups. Vex started as a small group and has since grown and continues to grow as it spreads to even more countries around the world and even more schools here in

the US. Another unique aspect is the way the program is open to a wide variety of kids. Sports like Football or Basketball, are very popular but they don’t allow for a wide variety of talent. Comparing this to Vex, there is far more available positions in Vex which mean that if someone isn’t good at one job, they can still participate by trying some of the many other jobs. The final trait that set Vex apart is simply how useful it is for real life. Participants can learn many important lessons that can help them prepare to deal with the real world. All this considered, Vex really is a unique program that has touched many people’s lives and will continue to do so for years to come.




tudents that are interested in the world of medicine, research, and working with patients, the club HOSA - Future Health Professionals is the way to go. Here, students are able to interact with real job skills in their area of interest like being an EMT/Paramedic, Dentist, Nurse, or Veterinarian or test their knowledge in tests about medical terminology, pharmacology, or legal and social interactions in healthcare. Many of our club members also interact with their peers in group competitions like HOSA Bowl where they test their knowledge in a way like a team Jeopardy, find new ways to solve daily issues in Creative Problem Solving or learn about a career that interests them in a Health Career Display.

Here is a picture of East Senior Monica Montejo, a State Officer practicing her CPR skills at one of our learning camps called MRC, Medical Reserve Corps. In this group, students learn skills about first aid, disaster response, and spend time at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, MN.

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 27



he breathing echoes throughout the street in a rhythm with utmost distinction. The cheering roars as loud as a lion. They are playing among the best in the state with Drumming, Trumpets, Symbols, and The color guard! This article will openly talk about the Lancers in a way you have never heard of, so prepare yourself as we unfold the truth of THE CULT! In the summer of 1978 Mark Sivanich founded the lancers. Ever since from generations beyond, have called the Lancers a cult. They are not a group they are much more, they are a insane, intense and determined cult. Spending hours and days every single summer throughout there Mid-Middle School and HighSchool years. Within the early editions of the Lancers included field shows, parade marching, stand up concerts and even a polka band. The Cult only started there! Every year consists of different themes and songs within the Lancers to perform. Wars started to form within the Band over the years. The fight over each position of the Band was corruption from the beginning, Why was it war? Positions like center snare, are honorable and extremely important spots, that are reserved for only the best musicians. People like Emily SchanBacher(center snare of 2018) in the 50th edition of the lancers. Also part of

28 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

5 other bands and DCI groups. She went years practicing and fighting in and out to prosper and achieve Center Snare. The center snare keeps the beat for the entire Band, in a constant rhythmic sequence. Emily SchanBacher started out underneath everyone else, constantly on fear of losing this spot each year. War is only a fight meant to win according to Emily. The Lancers after each performance surround the Center snare as they sing the traditional hymn. Has the Cult traveled beyond Mankato to perform? One place is not enough for this cult, as they have traveled all over to perform for the people. Last year(2018) the Lancers traveled to Champlin Mn, Benson Mn, Lake Crystal Mn, Chicago, and many more. Each year they take a trip at the end of the season to a destination. Last year was Chicago, in 2017 it was California and beyond. The Lancers are one of the best community bands within Minnesota! Shooting for the insight of the Lancers. We discussed The cults history, Wars within the Band, and places of travel. More information is held on the Mankato Lancer Website. As well as all the illumini from past generations. So look upon the truth and come attend one of the events in the summer of 2019! Lancers is more than a Band, it’s a Cult.

507-387-1868 • Facebook Twitter

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 29

Ordinary N

By E. M. James

July/August 2018 30 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

ormal was a word that constantly floated around my household. “No, you look fine!” my mom would say. “Why would you do that? Nobody else would do that.” My brother would tell me. So, I left. I left that home for good. This story takes place over the course of six days, aka, six parts, aka, six more people in one place rebelling. Just, stick around. Monday: I slept at a bus stop the first night. And woke up with a cold. One of those really bad colds with a fever and runny nose. I knew the neighborhood well, so I went to a drugstore I’d never been inside, but had seen more than a few times. I opened the door and the little bell above me rang. I shivered and walked up to the counter. A buff sort of man smiled at me and asked me what I needed. Through chattering teeth I asked for a bottle of cold medicine. He frowned. “You sick?” I nodded. He smirked and motioned for me to come behind the counter. I hesitantly ducked under the swing door and stood in front of him. He grabbed a blanket from the back

room. “Here, I can’t give ya anything without parents here, but you can stay here till they come and getcha. What’s your momma’s phone?” I shook my head. “I-I’m a r-rrunaway.” I shivered. He laughed. “Another one, aye? Welp, that’ll be company for T.” He wrapped the blanket around my shoulders and walked off. T? Who’s T? I somehow fell asleep, and woke up to a yellow sunset. I felt somewhat better. I saw the counterman fiddling with two knitting needles. He glanced over at me. “Aye! You’re awake!” I smiled. “T’ll be back soon.” I brushed my feet against the ground. “Who’s T?” He laughed. “He’s a runaway like yourself, kid. Left his grandparent’s home ‘bout three months ago. Kept criticizin’ his clothes, his hair, his eye color! I swear these pe-“ he stopped mid-sentence as the bell rang and a thin, black-haired boy with green eyes walked in. I thought I’d just laid eyes on Harry Potter himself. “Hey, Walt. Who’s this?” he said grudgingly. The counter-man, who apparently was named Walt, chuckled. “This is… well, I don’t

think I ever learned your name, kid,” Walt nudged his head toward T. “This one could be your Monday!” He whispered excitedly. “This one? I don’t know,” T walked up to me and reached out his hand. “The names Tuesday, but everyone just calls me T.” I hesitantly reached out my hand and shook T’s. “Why Tuesday?” T looked at Walt, who shrugged. “Well, my real name is Caden, but I’m starting a group of runaways and I need six more, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. And, you, kid, could be my Monday.” I smiled. “Oh?” he nodded. “Sure, why not?” And that, dear reader, is how I started a life of ‘crime’? Is that what I should call it? Anyways, On Monday, well, on the day I got my name, I slept in Walt’s back room on a blowup mattress with Tuesday, which is how I will refer to him for the rest of the story. And for simplicity’s sake, I will refer to all the ‘days’ by their names, therefore, you will call me Monday, T Tuesday, ect.. Thanks for reading this far, hope you’re as excited for Tuesday, aka the next day, as I am.

I ns p i r e. E n g a g e. Co n n ec t .

Blue Earth County History Center 424 Warren Street, Mankato Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Explore an 1880s Mankato diorama, visit a pioneer cabin and barn, do history in the Discovery Lab and discover new exhibits throughout the year. Fun for all. Check out Young Historians free hands-on history kids workshops 2nd Saturday of each month. | 507.345.5566 March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 31

Dr. Kara Sullivan sees children experiencing digestive issues at Mankato Clinic Children’s Health Center.

Let’s talk about poop W

By: Kara Sullivan, MD, Mankato Clinic Gastroenterology and Children’s Health Center

hen your little one is born, you spend the first days of life making sure she is eating, sleeping and pooping! You breathe a sigh of relief when you get through potty training and accidents. Sometimes though, children have pooping problems and accidents when they get older. In fact, 25-30 percent of us have pooping issues. Many parents feel very alone when their older children are having accidents. Nobody talks about it on Facebook or among friends. Really, pooping is just another bodily function. I spend one afternoon a week at the Mankato Clinic Children’s Health Center. Chronic constipation is one of the most common problems. What’s surprising is

32 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

chronic constipation often results in fecal leakage and “poopy pants.” Here’s how. It’s common for children to “hold it” instead of going when they first feel the urge. This leads to constipation and children may pass a large, hard bowel movement. When this happens repeatedly, the rectum gets stretched out. Children lose the urge to poop. When poop first enters the colon it is liquid so when it meets the hard poop in the colon, the liquid poop slides past. Children don’t even feel it and cannot control it. The accidents are very embarrassing and stressful for school-aged children. It can also be stressful and frustrating for parents and siblings. Some children have stomachaches and their bellies

may be hard to the touch from the backed-up waste. They may feel crabby, bloated and upset about their accidents. I tell parents that we are all part of a team and together we can successfully treat this issue. Here’s how. We need to reset the colon and the brain to restore normal function. Treatment starts by cleaning out the bowel with laxatives and a clear liquid diet. Next parents use a simple chart to track their child’s stool. Treatment includes mild laxatives and sitting on the toilet after breakfast and dinner. Children go to school and resume normal activity. Sometimes, we work with school nurses to schedule medications and bathroom time at school. Diet changes like reducing dairy products, drinking more water and eating more fruit and fiber may be encouraged. Treatment can take six to 12 months so patience and follow-up are essential! I work with parents and children to understand the condition. We watch the video “The Poo in You” which explains it in a simple way. When it comes to soiling, parents can help younger children and older children may clean themselves. I advise parents to be consistent and provide gentle support. Now, let’s talk about resetting the brain. The brain and gut are highly connected. In fact, your stomach and intestines have their own nervous system and contain more receptors for brain chemicals than the brain itself! To help children retrain their brains, we offer behavioral health services at Children’s Health Center. Clinical social worker Crystal Dubbelde, MSW, LICSW, is available to help kiddos make changes. Crystal and I work closely with our patients’ primary care providers. If you notice constipation or accidents are interfering with your child’s daily life, talk to your primary care provider or contact the Mankato Clinic Children’s Health Center. By treating the condition early, you can help your child get back on track sooner.



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! s r u o New H

DATE NIGHT! 3rd Friday of Every Month

Book your birthday party online! March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 33

d e n u T Stay ! g n i r p for S

Minnesota winters can get very long and, after a while, we all get tired of cold weather, staying inside, or very limited outdoor play. Most of us have already used up all arts and crafts ideas, as well as played all the board books, and more! What else can we do while we wait for the warmer weather? Head over to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota to see all that is new!

What’s coming to the AgLab?

Beavers, Beavers, Beavers!

During the month of March, come explore a beaver den as the Beaver Builders exhibit returns to the AgLab. Come touch and feel a table with a pelt and a skull, investigate how beavers use their tails for steering, propping, and warning, and learn more about how they harvest trees. Did you know that the North American beaver is the largest rodent in North America and that it is found throughout the state of Minnesota? On Thursday, March 7 at 10 am, join Scott Kudelka, Minneopa Naturalist, for a program about special characteristics of a beaver.

Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota 224 Lamm Street, Mankato, MN 56001

507.386.0279 34 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

What’s in a Pond? A set of large tanks will be set up in the AgLab in April. Come see what kind of pond life they contain! Make sure to explore nearby ponds and look for these reptiles or amphibians near your home, too.

Viva Vivaldi: Final Family Series

Don’t forget the last of four shows in the current Family Series! Join the Mankato Symphony Orchestra at the Children’s Museum on April 29 at 3 pm for a concert designed to introduced children to the delights of classical music. Come see musicians and actors, and participate in storytelling and musical activities. Arrive to the Museum an hour ahead of the performance to explore exhibits and galleries at no cost!

The week leading up to the concert will be all about music: in Cecil’s Imagineering Loft, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in activities around coding and decoding connections to music. This project is funded by the Xcel Energy Foundation.

A Healthy Me

From Tuesday, April 9th through September of this year, the Museum’s rotating exhibit space will be filled with hands-on exhibit components focusing on the well-being of children and families. A Healthy Me, the Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit, includes a doctor’s office, a giant sneezing nose, as well as a variety of activities that will explore mental health, medical technology, healthy lifestyle choices, assistive devices, dental health, and more. The Museum’s young visitors (and their adults!) will have an opportunity to perform surgeries, explore germs, try out braces and wheelchairs, learn about 7 Super Skills to Help a Friend, and role play as nurses, patients, doctors, or parents.

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 35

Inspired by Play The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota is very, very grateful for all its community partners that help stretch the Museum’s resources. One of them is Malterer Mechanical, Inc, a locally-owned business that specializes in sales, design, and installation of a wide variety of plumbing and HVAC systems in commercial and residential settings. Recently, Malterer Mechanical, Inc. gave a significant in-kind donation to the Museum which, along with the funding support from the Mardag Foundation, allowed the Museum to improve its shop space. This much-needed expansion of the Museum’s fabricators’ workspace makes their daily flow much easier, allowing them to continue to bring new experiences to children and families in Southern Minnesota. The Museum is very thankful for all the HVAC and plumbing work Malterer Mechanical, Inc. did in this project! Mike Malterer and Mark Prange visited the Museum with Morgan, Mike’s daughter, and Parker, Mark’s grandson. They were so kind to sit down with us and talk about the importance of play.

Mike and Mark, what did you like to play when you were children. Why?

MIKE: I liked Legos. I lived on a farm and also did a lot of building with wood and metal. I was taking toys apart, too, as I wanted to know how they worked. I would usually have all toys taken apart within a week of getting them. MARK: I liked everything outside, especially snowmobiling and playing hockey on the river.

Why is play important?

MIKE: It inspires imagination and makes you think outside of the box. It’s a different way of looking at the world. MARK: Play teaches us creativity. It feeds the need to go outside and entertain yourself.

What advice about the importance of play would you share with children?

MIKE: To respect others. In our family, we ski together, it’s what we enjoy the most. It is so important to have a time to set down the phone and enjoy life. MARK: I’d like to tell adults to take the time to play with children. Go camping, skiing, just go outside. My grandson Parker loves horses and four wheelers, and I enjoy spending time with him as he plays.

How has play influenced your life as an adult?

MIKE: There are no manuals for everything – play allows you to use your imagination. When you want to do something, just think it through and you can figure it out. I love plumbing because it’s just like one huge tinker toy and now, as an adult, I live in a bigger tinker toy setting! If I were to choose a career again, I’d do the same thing. MARK: Play teaches people to be creative and I’ve needed this creativity so many times in life, while figuring out all the oddball situations. I learned how to fix a lot of things through play as I lived on a small farm. 36 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Toddler Wednesdays

Wednesdays, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30 am Did you know that the Children’s Museum offers a weekly program geared towards the Museum’s youngest visitors? Children are naturally curious, and in Toddler Wednesday, that curiosity is embraced and nourished. These weekly sessions enhance Museum experience by encouraging children to move around and take a closer look at things that are going on. There is no worry about making it through the whole session, or showing up at the very beginning. Your child will sometimes get into it, and sometimes they won’t, which is perfectly okay. On Wednesday mornings, you can pick up your “ticket” at the front desk as you check in and take it to the Rotary Education Center at the beginning of a session you will be joining. Participation in Toddler Wednesday programs is included with Museum membership or daily admission.

No School, No Problem! On Mankato Area Public Schools no-school days, the Children’s Museum usually offers drop-in activities developed for students age 6 and beyond. During Spring Break, your way to Cecil’s Imagineering Loft and check it out! During the week of March 25 (Monday through Sunday), the Loft will be open from 10 am - 12 pm and 1 - 3 pm, and visitors will have an opportunity to explore amazing mazes. STEAM in the Loft activities are included with Museum membership or daily admission.

Special Needs Accessibility Playdate

Are You Smarter Than the 5th Graders? Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mark your calendars for the upcoming event, scheduled for Friday, April 26, when children with special needs and sensory challenges are invited to explore the Museum’s exhibits and galleries at a time fewer visitors are present. This event is free of charge.

It’s time for the Museum’s 6th annual Are You Smarter Than the 5th Graders? event! Mark your calendars for a night of questions, answers, team work, and classroom prizes. Come watch local celebrities compete with 5th graders from area schools! Buy your tickets at

Friday, April 26, 2019 4:30 – 7:30 pm


1351 Mankato West High School Auditorium, S Riverfront Drive, Mankato

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 37

Museum Insider: Chris Chris became a Playworker in June of 2017, then took additional responsibilities as a Museum Educator, and recently became the Museum’s Education and Program Manager. Besides his work at the Children’s Museum, Chris also wears many other hats and seems to enjoy being asked random and not so random questions! Chris, what is your favorite part of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota? The Loft. It’s a place that has the least amount of direction, allowing a visitor’s experience to be what it wants to be. What do you enjoy the most about your new position? I love it that I can help other people help kids. My ability to benefit children and families in the area has increased through this role. I can work with people to empower them to help others. Why do you work at the Children’s Museum? The Museum was recommended by the graduate program I was in and I came to check it out. I kept working there because I continuously see the superpowers kids have, and I enjoy making a difference in the community. Grad school brought me to the area and I stayed because I believe I can do great things here. What was your favorite moment at the Museum? There are so many to pick from! I think it was when I was hired as Museum Educator. It was a very interesting interview process, where I was able to facilitate something and play in a different way. 38 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

What was your most interesting job ever? Coach for the circus. I was in high school and I taught middle schoolers fire-eating, roller skating, trapeze, human stacking, box juggling, how to be a clown, and more. How about your favorite place you’ve worked as an educator? Wind River Range in Wyoming, where I taught backpacking. There was something magical about that place.

What is your favorite age to work with? Middle school. I like this age for the same reason I like working with kids under the age of five. Both age groups are ready to experience the world, and they do it in their own way. This amazing force that drives children gets kind of pushed out, or slowed down around age 5, then resurfaces when they enter middle school, but this time through rebellion. Kids have superpowers and it’s an amazing thing to see before it gets eradicated. How does that happen? How do children lose their superpowers? For far too many children, formal education (and standardized testing that go with it) suppresses natural curiosity. The Children’s Museum is a beautiful refuge of discovery for all children, but especially those that don’t get this in other experiences.

What was your favorite toy as a child? My Superman cape. It was a pink towel with a letter “S” that my mom put on it. I wore underwear over my pants and I could do anything in the yard! So who is your favorite superhero? Superman. I even wrote a senior thesis on Superman in my undergrad program, and presented it at an academic conference. What is your favorite toy as an adult? My Playstation. I have traveled a lot and it’s allowed me to stay in contact with friends and family as we play together. I like it much better than talking on the phone. The Playstation allows me to know what is going on in the lives of my family and friends. If you could be anything, what would you be? Falkor, from the Neverending Story. A dragon with a dog head who can speak in a British accent! What else would you ever want to be?!

Mayo Clinic at the Museum Because your family’s health and well-being is a priority, Mayo Clinic Health System is proud to support health and wellness programming at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota. A Museum’s new exhibit, “A Healthy me,” monthly Toddler Wednesday programs featuring Mayo Clinic health providers, and special summer activities all focus on healthy ways to keep your family healthy. Whether it’s learning about new foods or how play benefits your child, Mayo Clinic at the Museum events are a simple way to get tips you can incorporate into your family’s routine. March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 39

Meet LISA BOLT SIMONS By Julie Schrader Tell us about yourself, Lisa.

I was born Catherine Elizabeth Bolt…almost. My dad convinced my mom to name me Lisa, since she wanted to call me Lisa. I was born at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada, but moved to Colorado Springs when I was 7. I went to college in Iowa and have been living in Minnesota for more than 26 years; my husband and I moved from Colorado to Minnesota only a couple of days after our wedding. We have boy/girl twins who just turned 21. I’ve published 43 books and am looking forward to publishing a lot more!

What are your hobbies?

I love to read, of course, but I also enjoy scrapbooking and traveling.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, we have two English setters that look like Dalmatians.

What other jobs do you have or have you had?

that job…I was a waitress and hostess at a diner all four years of college at Drake University. I’ve also been a Subway sandwich maker, a bookstore bookkeeper, and the University of Minnesota’s Goldy the Gopher. Right now, I’m a full-time Literacy Coach at my twins’ old elementary school. I work with all 21 classes K-5.

What was your favorite childhood book/books?

I honestly don’t remember childhood books. My dad, an Air Force pilot, was killed when I was 3½ years old, and what I remember most about that time in Las Vegas was watching Sesame Street. My mom tells me she read to me, but after my dad died, I don’t know how much time she had. As I grew older, I enjoyed the Little House on the Prairie books, the Nancy Drew series, and Judy Blume titles. I read Gone with the Wind in 7th grade.

My first job as a teenager was a busser at Perkin’s. I did NOT like

Author of

You may have read sports books before, but you’ve never read one like this. You’re the main character! These books are interactive stories where the reader gets to make decisions and goes to different pages depending on their choices. The transitions are seamless and the stories are captivating. 40 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Lisa Bolt Simons

(Photo by Jillian Raye Photography)

Who is your favorite author as an adult?

This question is not fair, since I have a lot of favorite authors. My “top shelf ” books include authors Kim Barnes, Rebecca Skloot, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan, Anthony Doerr, Matt de la Peña, Sue Grafton, and Holly Hobbie.

How did you get started as a writer?

I don’t remember not writing. One thing I know I did a lot was write letters—after my dad died, my brother and I spent summers with my grandparents in Florida. I wrote my mom letters home. When I got home to Colorado, I’d write my grandparents.

Why do you like writing for kids?

I’ve been a teacher for about 25 years, mostly at the elementary level working with English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Because so many of the schools I’ve worked in have large free-and-reduced-lunch participants, I started writing books for children that could be found in schools and libraries, so that they’d be free for kids.

What is the name of your first book and when was it published?

My first book is called The Story of the Minnesota Wild. It was published in 2009. Sadly, it’s out of print now.

How do you get ideas for your books and what kind of research do you do to prepare?

Most of my books are work-for-hire. This means that the publisher already has the idea and tells the writer what to write. I do a lot of research for my books, from looking on the Internet to checking out already published books to interviewing people. My ideas for my picture books seem to mostly come from things that have happened in my life. I don’t have to do a lot of research for those books.

What do you do when you get stuck for ideas? When I get stuck, I work on a different project, or I read.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

An average isn’t possible for me. For some of my short children’s books (like 75 words), it can take me a week. This time frame would include research but does not include revising after the editor and a consultant have read the manuscript. I’m working on a book now that was once a picture books, but Marion Dane Bauer told me at a Loft Literary Center (in Minneapolis) class that I really needed to write it as a young adult novel. That was about 10 years ago… the length of the book and if it’s fiction or nonfiction determines how long it takes me to write a first draft.

Have you won any awards for your books?

I haven’t won any awards for my books, yet, but excerpts of manuscripts have awarded me grants and the like.

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? I’m a teacher now, but I think I’d love to be a travel agent. I enjoy planning trips near and far, and I wouldn’t mind earning free trips around the world!

What is your next book about?

Currently, I’m in the process of sending out several picture book manuscripts to publishers. I also hope to find an agent soon.


A LOOK AT WRITERS BORN IN MARCH & APRIL Celebrate by reading a book or attending a birthday party! Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. Theodor, famously known as Dr. Suess, is the author of The Cat in the Hat and 40 other books for children noted for their nonsense words, playful rhymes, and unusual creatures. Quote by Dr. Suess: Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Marjorie ‘Midge’ Gerlach was born March 6, 1892 in Mankato, Minnesota. Although not an author herself, she was the best friend of author Maud Hart Lovelace and the character of Thelma ‘Tib” Muller in the Betsy-Tacy books. Wanda Gag was born March 11, 1893 in New Ulm, Minnesota. She is the author and illustrator of Millions of Cats, The Funny Thing, and several other children’s books. Wanda became a famous artist with her prints and drawings in many museums. In 2018, Wanda was honored posthumously with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York. You are invited to a Birthday Party for Wanda Gag Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the New Ulm Public Library from 1 pm to 3 pm 17 No. Broadway St. in New Ulm For more information, visit or call 507-359-8331

Kate DiCamillo was born March 25, 1964 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is an author of children’s fiction for all reading levels and is one of six people to win two Newbery Medals, recognizing her novels The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses. Her new book, Louisiana’s Way Home, is a finalist for the Minnesota Book Awards this year. Quote: Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift. Maud Hart Lovelace was born April 25, 1892 on Center Street in Mankato, Minnesota’s historic Lincoln Park neighborhood. She is the author of the beloved Betsy-Tacy book series, several other children’s books and historical fiction novels. Maud met her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney, when she was five years old. Soon another little girl, Marjorie “Midge” Gerlach, moved into the neighborhood and the three became friends. This trio of friends would one day be known as Betsy, Tacy and Tib, characters in the children’s books written by Maud in the 1940s. Maud used her childhood memories to tell stories about her friends and their adventures growing up in Mankato in the early 1900s. You are invited to a Birthday Party for Maud Hart Lovelace Saturday, April 20, 2019 at the Betsy-Tacy houses from 1 pm – 4 pm 332 & 333 Center Street in Mankato For more information, visit or call 507-345-9777 March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 41


n r e d o M Easy

g n i r p S h t a e Wr Hoop wreaths are all the rage this spring and can be made inexpensively and easily.

Materials: • Metal Hoop in any size • Variety of Spring Artificial Floral Stems • Miniature Zip Ties • Hot Glue Gun • Scissors • Ribbon • Embellishments of your choosing 42 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Brought to you by


Step 1

Select the artificial floral stems you plan to use and cut them away from the main stalk

Step 3

Start by placing the stems you would like at the “back” of the arrangement with the understanding that you will build layers of them, working down the hoop from there. Use several mini zip ties to secure the base stems to the hoop and trim the “tails” of the ties. Continue zip tying the flowers working your way to the center as you build your wreath. *Note, try to hide the zip ties behind leaves so that they can’t be seen after the wreath is complete

Step 2

Loosely arrange the stems around the hoop to design your layout. The more stems you use, the fuller the wreath will look. I used minimal stems because I wanted a modern look.

Step 4

Once you are satisfied with the flower placement, add the embellishments of your choice. I used chicken wire and grapevine to add some interest to the wreath. *Note, You could hot glue artificial eggs, bunnies, larger flowers or anything that works in your home décor.

Step 5

Add a ribbon by threading a zip tie through the back and zip tying it to the spot where the stems of the flowers connect

Step 6

Hang your wreath from a ribbon or hook

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 43

Paper Dolls

Carefully Cut-Out Paper Dolls

44 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

To make your paper dolls more durable: First look in the recycle for an old cereal box and glue the page of paper dolls on the cereal box. Next, when the glue is dry, carefully cut out dolls and outfits. Now you should be ready to play!

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 45


Does February like March?


A. No, but April May.

Why did the farmer plant a seed in his pond?


What season is it best to go on a trampoline?

A. He was trying to grow a water-melon.

A. Spring time.




What month of the year What kind of garden is the shortest? does a baker have?

What did the big flower say to the little one? A. You’re really growing, bud!


What’s a baby chick’s favorite plant?



A. May (only 3 letters).

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole? A. A hot cross bunny.

Why is the letter A like a flower?


A. A “flour” garden.



A. A bee (B) comes after it!

Why are frogs so happy?

A. They eat whatever bugs them.

Q: What do you call it when it rains chickens and ducks? A. FOUL weather!

46 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Q: What falls but never gets hurt? A. The rain!


Q: A. EGG-plants!



What is your favorite book?

Connect the dots to complete the picture.

48 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Solution on Page 53

Copy the Ladybug

HIDDEN BUNNY EGGS Help the bunnies find the right path to the eggs.

50 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Solution on Page 53

March/April 2018 | Kid-oh! • 51

Supa Dupa Comics By Kasyn Zuehlke, age 11)


52 • Kid-oh! | March/April 2019

Draw your comic here



HIDDEN BUNNY EGGS Help the bunnies find the right path to the eggs.

March/April 2019 | Kid-oh! • 53


Please join Mayo Clinic Health System and the Mankato Family YMCA for a fun new way for moms to explore top-of-mind health topics in a relaxed, family-friendly setting. Following presentations by Mayo Clinic Health System experts, there will be 20 minutes of movement and five minutes of guided relaxation. Free and open to all — you don’t have to be a member of the Y to participate. YMCA Child Watch is available at no cost. The ABCs of ZZZs | Wednesday, March 6 Label Detective: Healthy Snacks for Kids | Wednesday, April 3 Is My Child Clumsy — or Something More? | Wednesday, May 1 All programs take place at the Mankato Family YMCA, 1401 S. Riverfront Drive, Mankato from 9:30–10:30 a.m. Please RSVP if you will be using child care by calling 507-345-9813.

For more information, visit

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