Epic Kids, March 2022

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PAGE2020 10 January


Vol. 1 • No. 1





Extraordinary ARRIVING SOON Gifted Academy Coming to Las Brisas Come See Las Brisas Elementary School and learn about the new gifted programs coming next school year!

You’re Invited

Gifted Academy Preview Night

April 19 from 5:30 - 7PM 5805 W Alameda Rd, Glendale, AZ 85310

Enrollment Open Now for the 22-23 School Year

Sign up for updates: www.dvusd.org/LBinfo | Learn More: www.dvusd.org/LB 2 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS



2550 W. Union Hills Drive, Ste. 350-9433 Phoenix, AZ 85027

XTREME GYMNASTICS Ages 6 months - 16 years



Beginner to Competitive Boys & Girls


Submissions and suggestions: Press Releases: Submit press releases via email to hello@epickidsaz.com.

Events Calendar: Submit press releases or event listings including all details to hello@epickidsaz. com. The deadline for the April issue is April 1.


Contact the sales department by phone at 888-313-7916 or by email at advertising@egpublishing.com.

Where to Find Us:

Epic Kids is distributed each month directly into the backpacks of children in K-8 charter and private schools. You can also find us placed in racks where kids and their families are out and about. To see a full list of locations, visit our website.

Stay Connected:

facebook.com/EpicKidsAZ @epickidsaz


Natasha & Brian Beal / Publishers Sondra Barr / Editor Shannon Carrillo / Production & Design Erica Odello / Ad Design


Every effort is made to avoid errors, misspellings and omissions. If, however, an error comes to your attention, please accept our sincere apologies and notify us.

EPICKIDSAZ.COM This newspaper is recyclable, biodegradable and contains recycled materials. Copyright 2022. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be printed or reproduced without the publication’s permission. EG Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material.



» Ages 3-12 years

Risk FREE Trial »All Ages

Ninja Zone Ages 3 - 12 years

Energy into Ambition Ninjas develop lifelong skills like focus and confidence by learning Beginner-Competitive Boys & Girls to safely spin, roll, flip Ages 3-12 and kick through a combination of martial arts and gymnastics training. Risk Free Trial » All Ages

» Ages 3-12

Fit-N-Fun Day Cam Camps

camps NEW Socially Distancedday Curriculum with Enhanced Ages 3 - 12 yearsHealth and Sanitization

Health & fitness while having a blast!

Camps promote health & fitness while having a blast!

14000 N. Hayden Rd #102, Scottsdale School Recess (480) 596-3543 | xtremegymnastics.com Dates

Summer Break (480) 596-35 (480) 596-3543 • xtremegymnastics.com xtr 5821Scottsdale, N. 7 tsdale, 14000 N. Hayden Rd. #102, AZ AZ

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 3


ow many kids like to box? How kids. This training has inspired them to Take, formany example, the other ones who would do it if it’s offeredhad at their beenschool? bullied by other kids. stand up for themselves because it gives them trainingWhat has inspired them to Will it attract girls as wellThis as boys? more self-confidence and actual self-defense stand up for themselves because would it do to stop bullying? Well, Heath Kerskills when a bully might try to overwhelm them. gives them ley who runs The Old SchoolitBoxing Clubmore in self-confiNot only that, but it’s also “very difficult and and actual Phoenix is teaching boxing todence the children at self-defense very demanding,” Mr. Kerley tells us. When they skills whensummary a bully might try atoclass, they’ve had a real workout and a AmeriSchools Academy. Here’s a little finish overwhelm them. of what’s been going on. feeling of accomplishment and inspiration that Heath suggested to Sheryl “It’s Bristow, a secoffers more than many team sports. also very difficult and very ond-grade teacher at AmeriSchools, that she When a boyHeath or girl is inowner the class, develop Kerley, of Thethey Old School demanding,” Heath says. “When might want to try and presentthey boxing lessons to a comradeship that stays with them throughout finish a class, they’ve had Boxing Club, instructs students in For starters, Heath proposed the students at the school. And after she heard the school day. They respect one another more. a real workout and a feeling of boxing fundamentals at AmeriSchools. charging the itkids $40do, pershe se- got the program moving. what would They make new friends. They learn that real acaccomplishment and inspiration mester forFor twostarters, hours aHeath week.proposed charging the tion is vital and important. In this sport, the kids offers more than many team The price is reasonable and thefor twothat kids $40 per semester hours a week. get a lot more direct involvement in an activity. According to Heath, it’s important sports.” fact thatThe theprice parents are paying is certainly reasonable and the fact And it encourages them, not for parents andonly kidstotodefend realize that instead that of getting it for free “Whenofa getting boy or girl the the parents are motipaying instead it is in themselves butboxing to feelismore comfortable about a lot safer than many vates them to support theirthem kidsto insupport class, their they develop for free motivates kids in a friendship being socially involved with other students. other sports. Proper instruction learninglearning how to box. that stays with them throughout how to box. Another thingtrains that’sthem important parents in the for stance and and how the school day. They respect They’ve it at AmeriSchools for kids to realize to is that boxing is a lot safer than The program has been been doing running protect themselves. The kids one another make two semesters now and the students havemore. beenThey many other sports. Whenso they start teaching at AmeriSchools for two semesare taught thoroughly that they new friends. They learn that real excited about it, the girls as well as the boys. a kid, they train them in the stance and how ters and the students have been usually don’t partake in an actual action is vital and important. In As a matter of fact, some of the girls have really to protect themselves. The kids are taught so excited about it—the girls as well bout for about six months. this sport, the kids get a lot more excelled atall, thethe sport. thoroughly that they usually don’t partake in an as the boys. All in pro-All in all, the program has School Boxing has encourdirect says, involvement in an activity. been very popular. “So far,” Heath “we’ve actual bout forOld about six months. gram has been very popular. “So And it encourages them, aged the kids AmeriSchools not had a total of of 2121 kids gogo through the process, In short, Old School Boxingathas encouraged far, we’ve had a total kids to be proud of what theyaccomcan only to defend themselves but ranging in age from 7 to 12.” the kids to be proud of what they can through the process, ranging in accomplish and they end up with feel more Take, comfortable about have been very to interesting. plish and end up with feeling a strong surge in age from The 7 to results 12,” says Heath. strong surge in self-worth and being socially with otherandasociability. for example, the ones who had been bulliedinvolved by self-worth

AmeriSchools program brings AMERISCHOOLS boxing lessons to students.


ow many kids like to box? How many would do it if it’s offered at their school? Will it attract girls as well as boys? What would it do to stop bullying? Well, Heath Kerley who runs The Old School Boxing Club in Phoenix is teaching boxing to the children at AmeriSchools Academy. Heath suggested to Sheryl Bristow, a second-grade teacher at AmeriSchools, that she might want to try and present boxing lessons to the students at the school. And, after she heard what it would do, she got the program moving.

The results have been interesting.

Your Child’s Success is Our Priority!

Let them Experience The AmeriSchools Difference



Enroll Your Child Now for Fall 2022!


• Personal Relationships come first • Character Development, Positive Social Development & Anti-Bullying Policies


• Non-Graded, Integrated, Proven – promotes creative abilities & positive self-image


• Multi-Age, Skill-Based, Individualized • Challenging Environment – empowers students to promote their advancement on their own timetable • Low Student-Teacher Ratio – enable more direct student instruction to accelerate student learning • Secure Internet Resources


www.AmeriSchools.org Call: (602) 532-0100

AmeriSchools Academy

4 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS


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Nicholas is ready for spring with his favorite spring gear.


i! I’m Nicholas, your Epic Kids columnist. I’m a second grade CEO, and this month I’m sharing four of my favorite gear finds for spring. 1. Unbreakable sunglasses Ro-Sham-Bo Shades is a company that sells colorful and comfortable sunglasses for all ages. What makes them super special is that they’re unbreakable—you can twist, turn, and drop them and they don’t break. They can also float and come in many different colors—you can choose your frame and lens color. My favorite is the Mcfly Red shades with green polarized mirrored lenses. 2. Stylish sun-safe swimwear Tom & Teddy sells swimwear for boys (you can even get matching trunks for dad!). The swimwear is sun safe with UPF50+ protection so


you don’t get burnt. Choose between a bunch of designs like palm trees, turtles, starfish, stripes, and more. You can also buy t-shirts and flip-flops. 3. Cool spring clothes A company that sells neat kid’s clothes is Hanna Andersson. From babies to big kids, Hanna Andersson offers the softest clothes ever made of organic cotton (which my mom says is a good thing). I really dig their graphic tees and sun block hoodies. My baby brother, who’s shark-obsessed, loves the shark-inspired terry jacket.

4. Waterproof bags I love taking pictures, especially in the pool or at the beach, so I found a super cool bag that can be worn around the waist—and it’s waterproof. It keeps things (like cameras, iPhones, and toys) from getting washed away or damaged from water. The bags are from Booe, and when used right, no water gets inside! Plus, the bags float, so in case they slip off, they won’t sink. Join me on my epic journeys via Instagram @creationsbynicholas and creationsbynicholas.com.

Nicholas and his two brothers enjoying a moment in the sun.

FREE MUSIC LESSON Make your own happy notes! New group music lessons for kids are starting this January. East Valley: evyamahamusic.com North Phoenix: npyamahamusic.com (480) 926-4441

CLASSES INCLUDE Keyboard, Solfege, Singing, Movement, Ensemble, Reading & Music Appreciation

Yamaha Teachers have music degrees and are specially trained by Yamaha

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 5

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YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS For Hodge sisters Addison and Devin, the spirit of entrepreneurship runs in the family. Instagram page and it took off money. Sometimes I want to buy farmers market. My bracelets Addison Hodge from there! certain beads but I try to keep were a big hit! People really like Age: 12 What skills did you learn to Grade: Sixth start your own business? My parents made me create a School you attend: business plan. That was hard Homeschool but it helped me a ton. I have Where did you get the idea learned how to take an idea for Clean Core Bracelets? and turn it into something. I’ve I got the idea a couple of years learned how to talk to people, ago during the pandemic. I how to market, doing research saw the positive impact that to find the best products to use, not driving was having on the and then I’ve taken classes to environment. So when I saw the keep getting better at making impact we had from not driving jewelry. Talking to people about I realized that I could do somemy business has helped me gain thing to help. I always liked more confidence. I also have making bracelets and being had to learn how to budget my artistic so I did some research and found some recycled beads to make these bracelets. I decided I wanted to donate a portion of my proceeds to an environmental cause. Then Addison I made some bracelets for my selling her sisters and some friends to bracelets at start wearing. It helped me a farmers test it out and people really market. liked them and wanted them. So, I decided to make an

my costs down so I can keep the bracelets affordable. Where do you source your materials and how did you know where to look to find vendors for these materials? Some of the items I have found online. We also found a local store, Bead World, that sells beads and they have been so good to me! They have helped me find recycled beads and have encouraged me to take classes and do local farmers markets. They have encouraged me to start an Etsy business, which I have not started yet. What has been the response from the public? I started selling at a salon called Stash House. My aunt introduced me to them and they have both been so helpful to me. That gave me the courage to ask another salon if I could sell there as well. In December of 2021 I did my first

Devin Hodge

liked baking and it is easy for me to understand and it’s fun! I feel confident because I know what I am doing when I bake. When I have a hard time with school, I can go to the kitchen and it feels good to know that I can do really great things in the kitchen. Baking Devinstrations is a clever name. How did you come up with it? One night I was talking with my sisters and we were pretending to do a YouTube show and I said, I was going to do a Devinstration. My sisters and I thought it was really funny and it just stuck.

Age: 10 Grade: Fourth School you attend: Homeschool What inspired you to start baking? I really liked baking with my mom and then I started watching baking shows. I like Kids Baking Championship, Barefoot Contessa, and Chopped. Every year for birthdays we make homemade birthday cakes for my family and that’s when I can be creative and really love doing it. 6 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS

How old were you when you first picked up a spoon to start baking? I was probably 3 or 4 when I first started baking. I always made cookies with my mom. We made chocolate chip cookies, snicker-doodles, no bake cookies, sugar cookies, all different kinds. You’re dyslexic; how has baking helped you manage your dyslexia? I think I am really smart but there are some things that are hard for me to understand and might take me some extra time or I may have to try to learn it another way. I have always

the story behind my bracelets and the packaging as well (all recycled materials).

What’s been the most challenging part about having your own business? Being a kid, sometimes people question if I am really doing all this work or if I buy the bracelets and resell them. Sometimes people don't take me as seriously as I would like. But I love making the bracelets myself and it’s fun when people believe in what I do and finding such great people to support me. What do you want to be when you grow up? I think I want to be a pediatric nurse when I grow up. I like the idea because I want to help kids in need and make a difference. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a baker. I want to have my own bakery and I want to sell cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies, tarts, brownies, blondies, pretty much everything!

Devin with a birthday cake she created.


Fit K i ds


H e a d li n e rs

The weather is not too hot yet. This is a great time to get outside with your family for some fitness and fun.

Stretch It Out!

Buddy push-ups (you need a partner for this one) Face each other and do a push-up. At the top, high five your partner with your right hand. Do another push-up and high five with your left hand. This is one rep. Try to reach 15 reps.

Here’s a great stretch for hips, back, hamstrings, and shoulders. First, sit on the floor with your legs straight and your feet as wide as they will go. Next, reach your arms out in front of you and lower your chest toward the floor. Hold for 20 seconds.

Muscle Up!

Endurance: Soccer field sprint routine This is my favorite sprint routine to do with my dad. Find a rectangle shaped field and start in the corner. Walk the width of the field and sprint the length. Do five total laps around field and you will have completed 10 sprints. As always, remember to study hard, stay hydrated, and eat healthy. See you next month!

Fitness is a Family Affair!

Youth of the Year candidates (from left) Robin Ramirez, Hollyn Kadlec, Sydney Franks, J.P. Cahill, Tara Feeney, and Tafani Donaldson-Whaley



ongratulations to Sydney Franks! A sophomore at Desert Mountain High School, she was named Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale's 2022 Youth of the Year.

Ages 6-14 years old Prescott, Arizona

Sydney was chosen from a field of six candidates named at Night of Lights held at the Virginia G. Piper Theater at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. BGCS President and CEO Ivan Gilreath announced that Sydney was chosen by a panel of five judges to serve as the 2022 Youth of the Year and go on to the state competition.

Camp Dates

SESSION 1: June 19 - 25 SESSION 2: June 26 - July 2 2-WEEK SESSION: June 19 - July 2

Linkan Marler is a 12-year-old fitness enthusiast. EPICKIDSAZ.COM

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Mara Windsor, DO, FACEP, saves lives in more ways than one. Dr. Mara Windsor

What type of training do you need to do your job? It takes a lot of school to be a doctor, and I had a long, unique path. I went to community college and two different universities for my undergraduate degree. Then I had to take extra premed classes (extending my time by two years) because I decided to be a doctor after being in a car accident. I then did five years of medical school and a fouryear residency program.

wanted to go into medicine when it’s so high-stress, but it’s what I’m passionate about. One fun fact NOT about your job? I’m really bad at singing! I tried out for choir every year at Xavier College Preparatory where I went to high school and after my third attempt they told me not to try out anymore. My grandma was not happy!

What’s your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of being a doctor is being able to actively change someone’s life—not just by saving lives but by giving people a resource or words of encouragement they might need. My favorite part of being a nonprofit founder is mentoring others and supporting them so they can achieve their goals.

Dr. Mara Windsor Profession: Emergency physician and founder of L.I.F.E. nonprofit Age: 46 What do you do for a living? I’m an emergency room doctor as well as the founder of a nonprofit that aims to reduce the amount of stress and burnout experienced by frontline medical workers. 8 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS

What did you want to be growing up? I wanted to be a veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals, and still love them, but I realized I would have wanted to take them all home with me! Then, before I decided to become a doctor I’d planned to work in psychology. What advice would you give to a kid who wants to have a similar career? With any career goal, you have to make sure your career path is something you’re passionate about because that will keep you going despite the stressors it causes. People ask why I

Dr. Mara Windsor changes people’s lives.



A summer of music fun awaits. Campers have the opportunity to learn new skills, make friends, and have fun using musical instruments and gear, while exploring weekly themes like instrument exploration, music around the world, and more. TYPE: Day camp WHERE: Phoenix Conservatory of Music, 1316 E. Cheery Lynn Rd., Phoenix AGES: 7 to 17 CONTACT: Call 602-353-9900, or visit PCMrocks.org


Camp Tuku is a traditional sleep-away camp with a mindfulness approach! Located in Prescott, they welcome girls and boys ages from all over the country to their home away from home for the summer. In everything they do––from yoga, innovations, archery, low ropes, arts & crafts, swimming, horseback riding––they do it mindfully; always integrating the mind, body and heart to build resilience in their campers! TYPE: Sleep-away WHERE: Prescott, Arizona AGES: 6 - 14 CONTACT: Call 928-224-5855, or viisit camptuku.org


Happiness is the goal at this one-of-a-kind summer camp! Hosted at Arizona State University, the Logic, Leadership, and Life Skills summer program is the only place where teens can complete licensed professional development training. We’ve taken collegelevel curriculum and turned it into a fun and interactive 4-day course. Students will set new goals, learn leadership skills, and get individualized attention from our certified teen life coaches. Save $25 with promo code “NEWS.” TYPE: Day Camp (sleep-away option available) WHERE: ASU (Tempe, Glendale, & Mesa) AGES: 12 - 18 CONTACT: Call 480-779-8592, or visit leadaz.org/summer EPICKIDSAZ.COM


Join the family owned Thunderbird FC for its fun six-week spring rec soccer league! TYPE: In-person league twice a week for six weeks WHERE: Practices and games held at 32nd St and Thunderbird AGES: Ages 4-14 for all skills levels CONTACT: Call 602-829-6861, or visit thunderbirdfc.org


FIT-N-FUN camps promote health and fitness, while having a blast. Each week, children enjoy gymnastics, trampoline, group challenge activities, obstacle courses, team sports, relay races, inflatables, and much, much more! The Xtreme Gymnastics staff is high energy, USA Gymnastics Safety Certified, with complete background checks. Their facility is state of the art and fully air conditioned. TYPE: Day Camp WHERE: Xtreme Gymnastics, 14000 N. Hayden Rd. Suite 102, Scottsdale AGES: 3 - 12 CONTACT: Call 480-596-3543, or visit xtremegymnastics.com


Campers love the variety of sports, games, and participate in a theme each week. This makes it fun for campers with different interests and exposes campers to sports and games they may have never tried. Exceptional staff work hard to create an environment in which campers feel safe emotionally, physically and socially. Play and fun makes campers want to return each week! TYPE: Day Camp WHERE: Multiple locations AGES: 4 1/2 - 14 CONTACT: Call 602-786-6789, or visit camphubbardaz.com

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ince 1949, St. Joseph’s Youth Camp has provided summers of fun and adventure for thousands of kids. As a traditional youth camp and nonprofit organization, St. Joseph’s Youth Camp provides youth ages 7 to 17 with a weeklong overnight opportunity to get outdoors, learn from nature, and have fun. Located just 23 miles southeast of Flagstaff, the 19-acre camp is nestled within the Coconino National Forest at Mormon Lake. Temperatures at this rustic overnight camp average just 79 degrees and offer a refreshing change from Arizona’s hot summers. For over 70 years, they have been changing Arizona, one child, one generation at a time. It’s their mission to provide positive and impactful outdoor, traditional camp experiences for Arizona youth.

10 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS

What Makes St. Joseph’s Youth Camp Unique • Unlike other summer camps, St. Joseph’s Youth Camp enrollment is limited to just 60 to 80 campers per week. • Campers receive more individual attention with camper to counselor ratios of just four to one. • All staff members are background checked and certified with CPR, First Aid, and AED Training. • Each week also includes an onsite camp nurse available 24/7. Weekly program activities include horseback riding, kayaking, zip-line course (Teen Week Only), trail hiking, archery, shelter building, astronomy activities, insect and animal discovery and education, campfire and telescope nights, arts & crafts, outdoor volleyball, tetherball, kickball, basketball, and soccer, indoor foosball, checkers,

chess, board games, and much more. A week of camp includes all lodging and meals, roundtrip transportation from Phoenix, a camp t-shirt, and memories that last a lifetime! 2022 Summer Camp Schedule Cost: $800 Per Week ($750 if you register before March 31) Week 1: June 12 – 18

| Ages 13 - 15 (Teen Week)

Week 2: June 19 – 25

| Ages 7 - 12

Week 3: June 26 - July 2 | Ages 7 - 12 Week 4: July 3 – 9

| Ages 7 - 12

Week 5: July 10 – 16

| Ages 7 - 12 (Catholic Week)

Register Today at SJYCAZ.com


Meet a former St. Joseph’s Youth Camp camper turned camp counselor Name: Raksha (Roxy) Vikram Aditya Age: 16 Grade: 11th School: BASIS Chandler What was your favorite memory from attending St. Joseph's Youth Camp?

My favorite memory was the night when all the counselors slept out in the field. We laughed and enjoyed the starry night, while lying in our sleeping bags.

What activities at St. Joseph's Youth Camp did you enjoy? I enjoyed a lot of activities at camp such as hiking, kayaking, and horseback riding. Those were the activities that helped me get to know the campers more and have fun with them. Not to mention, the views at the end of the hikes were breathtaking.

Want to be a camp counselor this summer? Teens ages 15 to 17 can participate in St. Joseph’s Youth Camp Counselor Training Week, designed to inspire teens to be stronger leaders and mentors. They will learn skills like team building, leadership, and receive training and certification with CPR and AED. If selected, counselors in training will be asked to return as counselors for the five camper weeks that follow to put their skills into action by leading kids ages 7 to 15 at no additional cost. Also, counselors have an opportunity to earn 94 community service hours for each week they attend summer camp! Cost: $225

Counselor Training Week: June 5 – 11 | Ages 15 - 17 Register Today at SJYCAZ.com

What parents say about St. Joseph’s Youth Camp “My kids, younger and older, love SJYC. This has been the greatest experience for them. They love the staff and love the togetherness SJYC provides. SJYC has been a summer tradition in my family since my now adult boys were small and now my youngest just attended his first year this past week. Thank you SJYC.” - SJYC Parent “My son loved it so much that he wants to go again next year. That’s how much fun he had.” - SJYC Parent “It is the best kids' summer camp around. The kids learn camaraderie, teamwork, friendships, and nature. It teaches them that there is life outside of their cell phones and iPads.” - SJYC Volunteer & Supporter “My girls have been going for many years and love it! Now two are counselors and one was staff last year. It’s a great way to spend summer. They always have great stories and memories year after year.” - SJYC Parent



EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 11

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fun and stay active during the months they’re out of school, they also teach kids important life lessons like how to make new friends and gain independence.

exercise? Learn a new skill? and recreation venues, Grow academically? Improve community centers and he summer months are their musical or artistic libraries, and online offerings coming and parents are abilities? Pick a camp that for lower cost options for looking for ways to keep meets the goals you have for summer camp. their kids busy while they’re your child. • Be Aware of Time out of school. One solution is • Know Your Child’s Interests: Constraints and Locations: summer camp. Here are some How to Pick the Right Camp Discuss the different camps Summer camp can be a big tips for finding the right one. for Your Kid available with your child help to working parents There’re many options for Why Summer Camp is and see what things interest who need a place for their parents and kids to choose them. Understand the age kids during the summer Important from when deciding which range suggested by the break, but note the drop Camp is a place where kids camp and any skill sets your off and pick up times to can safely roam and play in a type of camp to pick. You can choose anything from child may be required to make sure they work with way they often aren’t allowed traditional overnight camp, to have. You can broaden their your schedule. Also be sure to in their own neighborhoods. science camp where kids go horizons by letting them try to plan around any known In a virtual environment, daily to conduct experiments new things, but be aware vacation or time off you summer camp provides kids and learn about different of their limitations and the have. with entertainment, learning, STEM-related topics, to soccer, things they don’t like. • Start the Search Now: and stimulation outside of art, gymnastics, theater, • Know Your Budget: The time to start doing their routine. karate, basketball, and more. Summer camp can cost a homework for the right camp Whether they’re at day camp lot of money. Be sure that for your kid is now, before all summer, specialty camp Some things to consider: you consider all of the camp schedules get booked for a week or two, online • Know Your Goal: Do you expenses involved, including up and vacation time is camp, or overnight camp, kids need ongoing care for your equipment, meals, and planned. Do your research, can let loose and have fun child every day, or do you extras. There are also a read the fine print, talk to with other kids outside of a just want to get them out of variety of options that you your child, and make sure school or home environment. the house for a while to have can make work to fit your that the camp or camps you Summer camps are a great fun with other kids? Do you budget. Look for nonprofit pick work best for everyone way for your kids to have want them to get plenty of organizations, public parks in your family.




ongratulations to 8-year-old Alexi Mrvichin for sharing a favorite camp memory. Randomly selected out of all the submissions, Alexi wins $50. Here’s Alexi’s favorite camp memory: “I really like going to R-C summer camp. I like that they have different stations and games. I also like the food! The spaghetti is so good. It is hard to decide

12 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS

what my favorite part was. I liked the nature center a lot because I got to hold a tarantula! Other things that were also really fun were shooting BB guns, horseback riding, and catching crawfish in the creek. Archery was probably the best part of camp. I learned the parts of the bow and how to shoot. I can’t wait to go back again this summer!" EPICKIDSAZ.COM

B r a i n P lay




2. While water is heating, rip up a few hat’s better than cabbage leaves of the cabbage and place in and rainbows in March? Well, blender. boiled cabbage may be an 3. Add 2 cups of boiling water into acquired taste (and smell!) this time blender and turn on. Blend until the of year, but you can try your luck and leaves are a fine pulp. Add more some science magic to enjoy this red water if needed. cabbage activity. It won’t yield a pot of gold, but you'll get to create a rainbow 4. Pour your cabbage juice through a strainer into the bowl/pitcher. of kitchen chemistry and fun! Discard the cabbage pulp (it’s safe Here’s what you need: to add to your compost pile!). • 1 head red cabbage 5. Repeat until you’ve used all of your • Safety glasses water. One head of cabbage can • 6 cups boiling water make more than a gallon of juice, so • Blender it’s up to you if you want to use all of • Strainer it. • Large bowl or pitcher 6. Allow the cabbage juice to cool. • Measuring cups Store in a sealed container in the • Measuring spoons refrigerator if not using immediately. • Large sealable container to store 7. Fill all five glasses at least ½ full with cabbage juice (clean 2 liter bottle, cabbage juice. Make observations: milk carton, etc.) what does it look like? • 5 clear drinking glasses 8. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to • Lemon juice (fresh or bottled) one of the cups of cabbage juice • White vinegar and observe. • Baking soda 9. Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to a • Laundry detergent separate cup of cabbage juice and • Spoons or sticks for mixing observe. • Optional: Milk, antacid tablets, 10. Continue this for each of the ammonia, soda/soft drinks, other materials you want to test (vinegar, fruit juice, sports drinks, etc. laundry detergent, milk, etc.), adding Directions: only that material to the cabbage 1.Put on safety glasses and with an juice. Leave one glass of cabbage adult’s help, bring six cups of water juice with nothing in it as your control. to a boil.

What did you observe? What color was your cabbage juice to begin with? Red cabbage contains a pigment called anthocyanin, which causes it to appear purple in color. This chemical changes color depending on the pH of its environment, so we call it a pH indicator. This means when we add something acidic, like lemon juice, to the neutral purple, it will change color to a lighter and brighter pink or red. When we add something more basic or alkaline, like baking soda or ammonia, it will turn blue, green, or even yellow! Try testing some other materials in your kitchen, like milk or soft drinks and make predictions about what color you think they will turn. What did you observe? When you’re done testing, try organizing your colors into most acidic to most basic and snap a rainbow picture. Sari Custer is a life-long science junkie, and the Chief of Science and Curiosity at Arizona Science Center. In addition to serving as the public spokeswoman for the Science Center, Sari is also host of the video series, Sari on Science, which fosters excitement about science for viewers of all ages

DID YOU KNOW: A popular tea made from the purple Butterfly Pea flower also has these same color changing properties since it contains anthocyanin pigments. What other foods do you think might have the same properties? EPICKIDSAZ.COM

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 13

B r a i n P lay


AUTHOR: Kelly Barnhill GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy AGES: 9+ RATING: A A A A A SYNOPSIS: Every year, the people of the Protectorate

leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise swamp monster named Glerk and a perfectly tiny dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families in the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this magical girl, who she calls Luna. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE FROM THIS BOOK: “Knowledge is power, but it is a terrible

power when it is hoarded and hidden.”

MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS BOOK: I loved how unique the magic system is! I

have never read a book quite like it before.

MY FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK: My favorite character is Xan because she

is described as a scary witch by the people of the town but turns out to be very kind and welcoming.

FANS OF THIS BOOK MAY ALSO LIKE: A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell Avery, 15, is an avid reader and book reviewer. When not reading, you can find her playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, or with one of her pets! Follow her on Instagram and TikTok at @readbyfin.

14 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS


AUTHOR: SJ KING AGES: 6 - 8 SYNOPSIS: In this fun, fact-filled children’s

book, space expert Roshni and geology expert Cheng blast off into outer space on a mission to the moon. There, they must navigate the dangerous terrain to clear up space debris before it can interfere with a lunar mission!


AUTHOR: Kelly Yang AGES: 9 - 12 SYNOPSIS: From the New York Times

bestselling author of Front Desk comes a poignant middle-grade novel about courage, hope, and resilience as an Asian American boy fights to keep his family together and stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus.



Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine is this heartfelt middle-grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat.


just ffo or fun B r a i n P lay

JOKES AND FUN FACTS FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY. How many months have 28 days?


Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise it will digest itself.

e dim has

e he

dge .


Why are elevator jokes the best?

What has three letters and starts with gas?

ri d g e 118

un aro d t

Cat urine, in particular, glows very brightly under ultraviolet light. Urine glows under a black light primarily because it contains the element phosphorus. Urine also contains broken down blood proteins that glow under a black light.




The colors of a rainbow always appear in the same order, which is, from top to bottom: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"

is an English-language pangram— a sentence that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet. 1. All of them. 2. A car. 3. Because they work on so many levels.

make us chuckle!

Email a joke or far out fact, along with your first name, age, and the school you attend, to hello@epickidsaz.com EPICKIDSAZ.COM

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 15

E a ts

C is for C


Cave into cookie cravings at three tasty spots.


By Gretchen Pahia

here’s no shortage of delicious cookie options for families seeking sweet treats. Check out these hot spots.

Twisted Sugar

twistedsugar.com The award-winning cookies at Twisted Sugar are as delicious as the name suggests. Each month they feature new cookie creations, which change depending on season or holiday. There are also signature cookie flavors available every month including chocolate chip, lemon sugar, frosted sugar, oatmeal chocolate chip, and more. Specialty soda mix drink options are also on tap, along with a list of create your own sodas, lemonade, iced tea, energy drinks, and sparkling waters. Amazing ice cream is also served up, along with gourmet cookie sandwiches, and Twisted Sugar Twisters—like a shake, only better. With a number of Valley locations open and several more planned to open in 2022, you’re never far from a sugar rush. Ask about their fundraising options for Valley schools! Information on locations, flavors, hours, and fundraising are available on the website.

Mary’s Mountain Cookies

marysmountaincookies.com Talk about a big cookie with even bigger flavor. Mary’s Mountain Cookies pack a big punch with larger-than-life sized cookies. Each cookie is a delicious treat with everyday flavors from chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, peanut butter, s’mores, monster, and several others. There are also seasonal favorites and rotating cookie flavors. Mary’s Mountain also offers ice cream and edible cookie dough, yum! There are platter offerings as well that you can order ahead for birthday parties, classroom parties, school meetings, etc. There are currently two locations in the Valley. One is owned by a local mother daughter duo—Mitzi Moore and Kayla Randell—and is located in Glendale at Park West Shopping Center. The other store is owned by the Selden family and is in Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Hours and flavor options vary by store and location, so check online.

Crumbl Cookies

crumblcookies.com One of the most popular cookie spots right now is Crumbl Cookies. They have over a dozen locations throughout the Valley. Changing up their flavors weekly gives Crumbl an edge and is motivation to go back again and again to test out the unique flavors offered for a limited time. Not to fear, you can always count on Crumbl mainstays and perennial favorites—frosted sugar and milk chocolate chip. Ice cream is also available to pair with your cookie purchase. Open Monday through Saturday, hours and availability of flavors vary by location. Visit their website for locations and cookie flavors.

16 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS


E a ts

SOUTH OF THE BORDER Los Sombreros offers an authentic taste of Mexico.

By Gretchen Pahia hen it comes to Mexican food in the Valley, options abound. However, if you’re on the hunt for something special, Los Sombreros is your spot! Los Sombreros is not your average Mexican restaurant, and offers original Mexicanstyled cuisine on the menu for everyone in the family. With three Valley-wide locations, no doubt there’s one close by. The menu itself is quite large with several unique items to choose from. Starting with the kids’ menu, there are a number of choices including cheese quesadilla, bean tacos, or nachos. Each dish



comes with your choice of seasonal fruit or rice & beans and a drink option. The kids’ menu is a great deal too, each meal is only $5 per child. For adults, there are tasty food options and great drink options. A range of appetizers to start off the meal include shrimp cocktail, ceviche, or a delicious house-made guacamole and elote. Main dining options include carnitas served with pico de gallo and guacamole, lamb adobo, pollo con espinacas, smoked chicken enchiladas, vegan enchiladas, and more. All of the amazing and unique main dishes come with your choice of two sides—rice, refried beans, black beans, or veggies. The menu is extensive and also features weekend traditional brunch offerings with a Mexican twist. Every dish is freshly prepared, made-to-order, cooked to perfection, and served with a smile by Los Sombreros’ gracious staff.


322 E. Camelback, Phoenix 602-601-6390 2534 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale 480-994-1799 1976 W. Southern Ave., Mesa 480-534-6742



Plant Early Seeds of Good Financial Habits By Dale L. Shafer, CFP®, APMA®, CDFA® Financial Advisor

another was happy to build up a larger savings amount.

earning to manage financial resources at a young age can dramatically improve financial outcomes later in life. A natural place to begin is teaching your child how to save. When our children were younger, we found success with a simple approach using three buckets. We used envelopes, but you get the point.

Once the Later savings reached a target amount, say $25, we deposited the money into an interest-bearing savings account so they could experience a small compounding effect. If the fun money envelope held above a certain amount, part of that may have also gone into the savings account.


Each child had their own cubby space in our office area where their respective envelopes lived. We showed them how to keep simple accounting with money in and out of each envelope. We believed in the importance of teaching how to approach income as a resource to serve three primary purposes: others, future you, and current needs/wants.

As they reached their teen years and began working after school, we adjusted the strategy to help them understand the taxes on their earned income. They also began participating in certain expenses, like auto insurance, gas, and routine car maintenance.

While there are no hard and fast rules for how to do it, it’s important to find what As such, envelope #1 was for the benefit of works for your family and begin planting others; envelope #2 was for later savings; early seeds of good financial habits. and envelope #3 was for fun money, with The views expressed here reflect the views of Dale L. Shafer, CFP®, CDFA® as of January 20, 2022. These views may change as some oversight of course. We allocated as AMPA®, market or other conditions change. Actual investments or investment decisions made by Ameriprise Financial and its affiliates, whether follows: for its own account or on behalf of clients, will not necessarily • Benefit of others: 10% • Later savings: 40% • Fun money: 50%

reflect the views expressed. This information is not intended to provide investment advice and does not account for individual investor circumstances. Investment decisions should always be made based on an investor's specific financial needs, objectives, goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Past performance does not guarantee future results and no forecast should be considered a guarantee either. Clients should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses associated with a 529 Plan before investing. More information regarding a particular 529 Plan is available in the issuer’s official statement, which may be obtained from an Ameriprise financial advisor. Investors should read the 529 Plan’s official statement carefully before investing.

These percentages can be fluid depending on the dollar amounts each child earns and eventually saves. You may have one products are not insured by the FDIC, NCUA or any child more charitably inclined, or one who Investment federal agency, are not deposits or obligations of, or guaranteed any financial institution, and involve investment risks including tends to spend as soon as cash hits their bypossible loss of principal and fluctuation in value. pocket. This was our experience as one Investmentin. advisory products services are made available Putting the needs of clients first is the approach I believe I’ll work withand you to find through Ameriprise Services, LLC, a registered investment of our children needed extra helpyou with the right financial solutions to help plan for your unique goals.Financial And together, we’ll adviser. Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC. track your progress over adjustingwhile your plan along way to help get you where delayed gratification andtime, spending, © 2022 the Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. you want to go.

Renee A. Hanson CFP®, CEP®, CDFA®, CFS®, ChFC®, APMA® Private Wealth Advisor Affinity Wealth Advisory Group A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC

602.923.9800 7010 E. Chauncey Ln Ste 200 Phoenix, AZ 85054 renee.a.hanson@ampf.com affinitywealthadvisor.com

Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Member FINRA and SIPC.

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 17

What's Happening

March 2022

SURVIVAL OF THE SLOWEST WHEN: Through Aug. 7 WHERE: Arizona Science Center, 600 E. Washington St., Phoenix WHAT: Sometimes being slow, small or weak can have its advantages! Survival of the Slowest, Arizona Science Center’s latest exhibition, looks at the often overlooked species that have used their disadvantages to help them survive—and even thrive—in a world where large, strong and fast animals are often at the top of the food chain. INFO: azscience.org

Nurture their Inner Musician Phoenix • Scottsdale In Person or Online www.musictogetherinphx.com (602) 363-8202

18 | MARCH 2022 | EPIC KIDS

CHANDLER CHAMBER OSTRICH FESTIVAL WHEN: March 11 through March 20 WHERE:Tumbleweed Park, 745 E. Germann Rd., Chandler WHAT: Grab your friends and family and get ready to shake your tail feather with our favorite feathered friends, the ostriches! The Ostrich Festival features live ostriches, national and local entertainment, thrilling stage shows, over 50 exhilarating midway rides and games, classic festival food, interactive activities for all ages, and much more. INFO: ostrichfestival.com KIDS DAY AT THE DOWNTOWN CHANDLER FARMERS MARKET WHEN: Through May 7 WHERE: 100 W. Boston St., Ste. 5, Chandler WHAT: Get up, get out and play during Kids Day at the Downtown Chandler Farmers Market! The first Saturday of the month, children of all ages can revel in free family fun as they play alongside Chandler Parks & Recreation at 9 a.m. with life-size games and fun swag. INFO: downtownchandler.org/events/ farmers-market

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HOOP DANCE CONTEST WHEN: March 26 - 27 WHERE: Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix WHAT: Top American Indian and Canadian First Nations hoop dancers will compete at the Heard Museum for the prestigious World Champion title and cash prizes. At this twoday competition, men and women compete on an equal field. The art of hoop dance honors the cultural traditions from multiple indigenous communities that first employed hoop dance as a healing ceremony. INFO: heard.org/event/hoop EPICKIDSAZ.COM

On Deck: April with

SUPER SPRING FESTIVAL WHEN: March 26 WHERE: Arizona Boardwalk Courtyard, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale WHAT: Family Fun Arizona is putting on the most SUPER Event in town! At this free event, you'll meet superheroes like Captain America, Wonder Woman, Batman, scale giant rock walls, and enjoy interactive stage entertainment, bounce houses, face painting, coloring contests, music, games, and tons of prizes! INFO: azboardwalk.com/event/freesuper-spring-festival

PHOENIX MARICOPA COUNTY FAIR WHEN: April 6 through April 10 WHERE: Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1826 W. McDowell Rd., Phoenix WHAT: The Maricopa County Fair is held annually at the Arizona State Fairgrounds. It features the largest county fair carnival in Phoenix with over 35 rides. INFO: maricopacountyfair.org





BUG FEST WHEN: March 27 WHERE: Butterfly Wonderland, 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale WHAT: The Butterfly Wonderland Foundation presents the biggest bug bash of the year, the 5th Annual Bug Fest! Enjoy cockroach races, butterfly and ladybug releases, insect petting zoos, crafts, edible insect treats, and more! Free event. INFO: azboardwalk.com/event/free-bug-fest EPICKIDSAZ.COM

BUNNY BALLOON BLAST WHEN: April 15 WHERE: Salt River Fields, 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale WHAT: The whole family is invited to experience hot air balloons, candy for the kids, a free Kids Zone with tons of inflatables and rides, tethered balloon rides, and of course, the Easter Bunny! $15, $10 for ages 3 - 12, free for ages 2 and younger. INFO: bunnyballoonblast.com

1751 W Indian School Rd Phoenix AZ 85015 602-265-4707 phoenixchristian.org

Enrolling Now!

EPIC KIDS | MARCH 2022 | 19

CREIGHTON SCHOOL DISTRICT OFFERS FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN FOR OUR FAMILIES! Now enrolling for the 2022-2023 School Year. Our full-day program is filled with adventurous learning, discovery and joy as your child works and plays in an environment that is warm, safe and challenging. Check out our website to learn about our nine schools! www.CreightonSchools.org

NOW HIRING Creighton School District is seeking staff members who share our belief of inspiring students to become adventurous thinkers, collaborative learners, and kind-hearted leaders.

Apply online today at www.CreightonSchools.org • (602) 381-6000 2702 E. Flower St. Phx, AZ 85016 See what fun we’re having at:

2702 E Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-381-6000 | www.CreightonSchools.org


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