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nola family Parent Fearlessly

MARCH 2019

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nola family CONTENTS MARCH 2019

2019 annua l


FEATURES 11 French Market Get reacquainted with the landmark

12 Adoption in Louisiana Understanding the basics

17 First Time Campers

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Nominate a superhero teacher

20 Parenting Corner It’s playtime

22 Wiggle Room Lost art of cursive

24 Parenting Apps


37 Geaux Girl!

7 Teacher of the Year

Finding the right camp

Apps for easier parenting



High school senior fights boredom with poetry

26 In the Know Classes and family support

IN EACH ISSUE 9 Spotlight Dancing Grounds

15 Mom About Town Kim Singletary

21 Gear to Get Building blocks of childhood

27 Out & About Where, when, and what to do

36 From the NOLA Family Bookshelf Easter eggs and mermaids

ON THE COVER Celina Johnson, 7, and Matthew E. Robinson, 5, play games in Audubon Park. Photo by Twirl Photography.

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Contr ibutors Kimberly Bradley is a licensed pediatric occupational therapist who writes the Wiggle Room column.

nola family publisher/editor ann bower herren managing editor tim meyer  

Scott Campbell is publisher and founder of River Road Press, a local boutique publisher of local and regional authors.

Sarah Herndon is a freelance writer, mom, and frequent contributor to Nola Family.

office manager jenny ziglin advertising sales durban zaunbrecher designer cat landrum 2nd story creative edit interns erin cohn chapelle johnson

Lisa Phillips is a parent educator at the Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital who writes our award-winning Parenting Corner column. 

marketing/communications intern lara mekus ad production sara youngblood contributing photography twirl photography

Anaiyah Saulter is a senior at Dr. King Charter School and is a contributor to Geaux Girl! magazine.

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Kate Stevens is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Nola Family.


Erin Cohn and Chapelle Johnson are our amazing edit interns at Nola Family magazine. or 504.866.0555 The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and/or contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or advertisers. For reprint information, contact Business office: 8131 Oak St., Ste. 500, New Orleans, La., 70118 504.866.0555

A publication of

march 2019 volume 13, issue 2






A good teacher never goes out of style, just like an old-fashioned pizza party! Let the rest of New Orleans know about an excellent teacher and he or she could win a pizza party for the class.

SEND IN YOUR NOMINATIONS FOR TEACHER OF THE YEAR! Has your child had a truly fantastic teacher this year or in the recent past? Step up your planned “Teacher Appreciation Week” gift or activities a notch by nominating him or her for our annual Teacher-of-the-Year honor. We’ll run the winning essay, along with a picture of the teacher, in our May/June issue. Here are the details: -Nominations should be in essay form, no longer than 1,000 words. Your nominated teacher must be a fulltime teacher (not a substitute or classroom aide), preschool through 12th grade, at a public, private, or parochial school in any of the following parishes: Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard, and St. Charles. The nominated teacher must be in good standing and have been a teacher for at least five years.

Please include the following information along with your essay: • Your name, email address, and phone number • The teacher’s full name, grade and/or subject(s) taught, school name, school address, and phone number • Send via email to • Or mail to Editor, Nola Family, 8131 Oak Street, Suite 100, New Orleans, LA 70118 • Entries must be received by March 31, 2019

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From the Editor

According to my 7-year-old son, cake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast item, and I agree.

Most mornings he wants oatmeal. Great! A healthy, filling option. But one Saturday he asked for a slice of leftover birthday cake. I said no, of course. Other parents wouldn’t allow it, right? He asked why and I explained that he needed something more nutritious and filling in the morning. But, as kids do, he argued – he argued hard. Finally, he asked for the powdered doughnuts. I said sure – and that’s when I walked into a trap. “Hold up,” he said. “I can have doughnuts, but I can’t have cake? What’s the difference?” He was right. Why are doughnuts okay in the morning, but a slice of moist strawberry birthday cake with vanilla buttercream frosting isn’t? We now have cake for breakfast every now and then. Hi, I’m NOLA Family’s new full-time managing editor, which essentially means that I work for you – the parents of the Greater New Orleans area. And just like you, I’m a parent. I get that sometimes we have to concede to our kids. Model the same behavior we expect from them, and all – admitting when we’re wrong no matter how many times we’re outwitted by someone who can’t seem remember how the toilet seat works. The struggle is real. This is what I hope to bring to NOLA Family – highlight the good, but never ignore the wrestling match, both mentally and physically, that is parenting in New Orleans. And since our content is for families, I’d really love to hear more from our readers. What do you want more of and less of within the magazine? A part from being a parent in New Orleans, I’m also a New Orleans native. Most of my professional experience has been focused within the city. I’ve written for two GNO area newspapers and for a lifestyle blog and print magazine. But my most relevant experience with niche publications was as the editor of Play Meter, a 40-year-old nationally-subscribed B2B print magazine for the coin-operated amusement industry, until it ceased operations last year.

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I’m looking forward to helping NOLA Family magazine grow, and in return, helping New Orleans families grow.



g n i c n a D Groun ds n By Erin Coh

In New Orleans, you are as likely to see people dancing down the street as you are to see a yellow taxi-cab in New York. In other words, dance is as much a part of this city as the potholes and poboys. In 2012, Laura Stein and Jessi Donley noticed that New Orleans was experiencing a lack of high-quality, accessible dance programming. They immediately stepped in to fill the void, converting Laura’s bywater home into a functioning dance studio (living room), art gallery (kitchen), and performance space (backyard). True to its name, the Speakeasy Studio rapidly gained popularity through word of mouth alone. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Laura and Jessi partnered with a local property developer to build a state-of-the-art dance facility with two dance studios and a performance space on St. Claude. Dancing Grounds found itself surrounded by a vibrant community with numerous schools, and the integration of youth programming happened rather organically. Since the official opening of Dancing Grounds in 2014, they now offer over 20 adults classes per week in addition to school-based, weekend and summer youth programs. Dancing Grounds offers a unique space in which young students can learn to safely express themselves freely and without judgement. From the Junior Company, open to 3rd-5th graders, to Elite Feet, an audition-based performance group, Dancing Grounds fosters a deep love of dance while also teaching valuable life-lessons. Dancing Grounds team member Chanice Holmes fondly recalls a young member of the Junior Company, Elijah, who had never performed before coming to Dancing Grounds. When he first started he was very shy and quiet, but gradually came out of his shell as other Dancing Grounds students welcomed him with open arms. Now, Elijah has performed four or five times and engages his peers with newfound confidence.

Dance for Social Change has now evolved into a year-long endeavor due to its incredible success, with rehearsals beginning in September, a Festival Week at the end of March, and a performance tour during April and May. Dancing Grounds students and the local community come together in preparation for Festival Week, forging partnerships with social justicefocused businesses and vendors. This year’s theme is “Reclaiming Our Home: A Festival Centered on Gentrification and Displacement” and will feature various community partners addressing these issues. From the rehearsals to the final performances, Dance for Social Change gives students a platform and a voice that cannot be ignored.

Dance for Social Change’s festival week is March 23-31.

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In 2016, Dancing Grounds launched Dance for Social Change, originally a series of workshops culminating in multiple performances. Each year, students choose a social justice issue important to them to be the focus of Dance for Social Change. Since 2016, students have tackled issues such as the school-to-prison pipeline, gender inequality, and stigma surrounding mental health.



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4 New Ways to Enjoy the French Market By Tim Meyer

REINTRODUCE YOUR FAMILY TO A NEW NEW ORLEANS TRADITION. The French Market has been a part of the New Orleans cityscape for 300 hundred years. It might seem like the standard tourist trap for out-of-towners, but a facelift in recent years make it the perfect opportunity for locals to reacquaint themselves with the landmark.

GETTING FIT Thought you could only get fat off all the good food? Think again. The French Market District offers family-friendly exercise classes three days a week, all free. Move Ya Brass, presented by the Make Your Move Foundation, is a dance fitness class under the Mandeville Shed in Crescent Park every Tuesday from 5:45 pm-6:45 pm. The Jazz Yoga class offers live jazz music for a unique yoga experience. It’s held Saturdays, 10:30-11:30 am, at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Also presented by the Make Your Move Foundation, Twerk Ya Brass is a funkier, more aerobic workout class. Its offered every Thursday, 5:45-6:45 pm at the Mandeville Wharf. All classes are first come first serve.

MUSIC In a music city like New Orleans it seems ludicrous for such a recognizable place as the French Market not to take its own plunge into the scene. For about 30 years, award winning children’s musician and author Johnette Downing has been entertaining French Market patrons. But did you know that the Market also offers a variety of other concerts? Its Holiday Break Concert Series happens every December offering almost two weeks of live music from various bands and musicians. Other musical events include the free weekly indoor Piano Hour and the Winter Concert Series, which concluded last month.



The French Market’s Flea Market might be the most touristy tourist trap around, other than Bourbon Street, but new vendors are added all the time. There’s always something new to discover, either locally-made wares or worldwide-sourced goods.

Want to impress family or friends from out of town with a homemade dinner created with local fare? Start by taking them to the farmers market in the Rusty Rainbow to shop for local produce, then take them home to cook up a truly New Orleans-made meal.

With six blocks of vendors offering everything from cheap sunglasses to alligator skin luggage and from Chinese puzzle boxes to vintage toys and furniture, the French Market’s Flea Market is the perfect place to let the kids run amok searching for unique, and cheap, christmas gifts for the grandparents or for teacher appreciation week.

The Wednesday Crescent City Farmers Market (weekly 3-7pm, October-June) is full of local food, art, and crafts, as well as daily farmers market vendors with fresh local foods. Not only does French Market offer the farmers market, but its French Market Fare stage has also presented cooking demos or other food presentations from local chefs and restaurants.

Did you know: The French Market District encompasses six blocks from the Upper Pontalba on Jackson Square to the Flea Market on Barracks and N. Peters Street. Included in these blocks are: Washington Artillery Park (across from Jackson Square), all the riverside retail stores and restaurants on Decatur Street from Café du Monde to the Gazebo Café at 1016 Decatur Street. Dutch Alley, LaTrobe Park, New Place de France, and the Farmers and Flea Markets make up the rest of the French Market District. It has recently adopted the Bienville Park at Conti and Decatur Streets and oversees the maintenance and upkeep of the park and its statue. It also operate three parking lots: along the river, off Esplanade, and off Elysian Fields.

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By Sarah Herndon

Chanel Labat had always felt a maternal tug on her heart, especially since her nieces and nephews were born. But still unmarried at 46, she figured her chances for having children of her own were beginning to fade. After settling back into the Gentilly area after Hurricane Katrina in 2013, Labat decided it was time and she began researching local adoption agencies.

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“It was something in my heart that just never went away,” she says.


Her first attempt was discouraging. The agency turned her away because of her age even though there is no legally-set maximum age limit. Still determined, she finally started the adoption process with another agency. She began receiving phone calls about prospective adoptees, yet each opportunity came up empty again and again. Still, Labat pushed forward. She drove several hours to Mississippi only to turn right back around. The birth mom had changed her mind. Refusing to give up, Labat found the Decolores Adoptions agency. They had a mom in Lake Charles who was to deliver a baby boy in a little over a month. Labat and the birth mom met and formed a strong bond, even deciding the baby’s name together -- Harrison. Three days after he was born, Harrison’s birth mother signed the necessary paperwork that terminated her rights as his legal mother. Labat left the hospital holding her newborn son.

THE FIRST STEP Adoption can unequivocally change for the better the life of a child and the life of the adoptive parents. However, the process can be daunting, and there are a lot of legal requirements and jargon to decipher. Donna Usner is a licensed social worker and adoption specialist who has been working with families in the New Orleans area for over 25 years. She knows that a lot of anxious people might go online seeking children to adopt, but she strongly encourages them to first seek out adoption professionals such as a lawyer, a reputable agency, or a social worker. “There are entirely too many scammers on the internet that pray on the vulnerability and emotions of families who can’t have children,” Usner says. There are three different types of domestic adoption in Louisiana: private or open (with an attorney), agency (with a state or a private agency such as Decolores), and intra-family (within the family such as a stepparent). With the exception of an intra-family adoption, a home study is the first step in the process, usually before a child/parent match is made. Usner helps facilitate these home studies, which makes sure that the placement is in the best interest of the child. During this process, different parameters must be met including interviews, announced home visits, questionnaires, blood tests, and a final report before adoption approval is given to a family.

It can take between three and six months to complete, and at times it could seem rather invasive, cites, an online resource for adoption education. “However, more often than not, agencies are looking for ways to rule families in rather than rule them out,” it states.

WHO CAN ADOPT The financial requirements necessitate that the income of the adopters must be twice the poverty limit. “Part of what they are trying to accomplish is taking people out of need of service,” Usner says. “They are trying to move them from high-risk into a more stable financial situation.” While there is no real age limit besides being over 21, the adopters must be healthy enough to actively parent, meaning that any existing health issues have to be and continue to be treated by a doctor. Usner recently helped a 63-year-old man through a successful adoption. Background checks are also required for not only the individuals seeking to adopt, but also for anyone over 18 living in the home. These include federal, criminal, and child abuse registries. A felony or a crime of violence automatically disqualifies someone from adopting. After a home study is completed and approved, families can either contact an adoption attorney or find an agency that can connect them with a child.

Labat holds her adopted newborn son for the first time.

Finalizing the adoption after the child enters the new home is different depending on how the placement was made. The child is monitored by a social worker through announced and unannounced home visits for six months if through an agency and one year if placed through a lawyer. Once that time frame is completed, the court is petitioned for approval of the adoption and a new birth certificate is issued listing the adopters as the legal parents. Jennifer Womble is an adoption attorney in private practice in New Orleans and believes that Louisiana “has some of the best adoption laws in the country.” She has counseled adoptions for the past 20 years. She stresses that it is something that should be taken seriously and with a lot of forethought. “Adoption is a wonderful thing -- this is creation of a family,” she says.

The law is fairly black and white when it comes to who can and who can’t adopt in Louisiana. Either married persons or a single person can adopt a child. The state does not recognize a common law marriage, meaning that two single people living in the same home cannot jointly adopt the same child at the same time. “There is no such thing in Louisiana,” Womble says. “You are either legally married or you are not married, and to adopt you have to be able to prove your marital status.” In a case where an unmarried couple wants to adopt, only one of them can be the legal parent. The non-adopting person would be

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“The law is fairly black and white when it comes to who can and who cannot adopt in Louisiana.”


subject to background and health checks since they are residing in the same home, but he or she has no legal parental rights. Since same-sex marriage became legal across the U.S. in June 2015, these couples now fall into the same category as other married persons and can now jointly adopt. Both individuals would then be listed on the child’s birth certificate. Same-sex couples who adopted first, then married, can petition the court for an intra-family adoption. “Gender and sex does not matter anymore in Louisiana,” Usner says. “If you are legally married, it does not matter whether you have a traditional marriage or not. The same rules apply.”

The Labat family celebrates Harrison’s “Gotcha” day -- the yearly anniversary of the day his adoption was finalized.

THE COST OF ADOPTION Of course, nothing is free and adoptions come with a price tag -- usually a pretty hefty one between $20,000 and $40,000 after everything. There are lawyer, court, and agency fees. Sometimes, a birth mother requests that the adopters supplement her income while she’s pregnant or a lump sum once she’s terminated her rights as the mother. A Louisiana law, Act 562, or the Protection of Adoption Act, passed last year means to lessen this burden by limiting adoption costs to $7,500. It also makes lying about the pre-natal expenses a crime punishable by up to a $50,000 fine and 10 years in prison. A federal tax credit can also be applied for once the adoption is finalized. “From my understanding, it is the least taken-advantage-of adoption credit because a lot of people do not know about it,” Womble says.

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The tax credit will cover up to $13,500 of related expenses. However, it is complex. Womble advises speaking with a certified public accountant about how to apply.


NO REGRETS As a single person adopting, Labat felt the financial strain that can accompany adoption. She had put aside some money, but in the end she had to transfer money out of her 401K. But she has no regrets. “If you are seeking it, you should definitely pursue it,” Labat says. “It’s not for the faint of heart and you have to go in knowing that, but the end result of it is well worth it,” Harrison is turning six this year and is thriving in a home filled with unconditional love. Labat does not hide Harrison’s adoption from him, explaining it in a way that his young brain can understand: “Most babies grow in their mommy’s tummy, but some babies grow in their mommy’s heart. And you grew in your mommy’s heart.”





Kim Singletary

Southern California transplants (by way of Canada, Washington, Colorado, and Nebraska) Kim Singletary and her husband George, parents to daughter Avery, 8, found their perfect home in the land of beignets, zydeco, and no snow when George, a physician, was drawn to the city for a job eight years ago. A professional journalist, Kim has been the managing editor of Biz New Orleans magazine since its launch in the fall of 2014.

Milk Bar, 710 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans

“The cooler weather -- mixed with Avery being old enough now that she wants to actually play games by the rules, not just throw strangers’ balls across the course -- has made this spring finally a fun time for mini golf. It’s also solidified that I am definitely the competitive one in the family.” City Putt, 33 Dreyfous Dr., New Orleans, City Park


“This will be our first year missing Mardi Gras, but we’ve decided to take off for nine days to the southern part of Costa Rica, driven by the hope of seeing tons of monkeys and sloths and reconnecting on some beautiful beaches. This is their high (and dry) season, but I was shocked at how affordable a trip it is.”

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“I tried the whole adult coloring book thing as a form of active meditation and it just wasn’t for me. I wanted something at the end of my efforts that I could actually use, so I’ve been learning crochet through YouTube videos. So far, I’ve made a cozy headband for running on chilly mornings and a warm hat, which my daughter immediately stole so now I’ve had to promise her one in yarn that she gets to pick out.”

“My daughter has been working on her biking skills and I bought myself a pair of roller skates for Christmas, so we’ve been hitting the Lafitte Greenway trail. It’s flat and straight -- which sets us both at ease -- and since we park right by the Baskin Robbins and Rouse’s market on Carrollton, it makes it easy to finish up with a treat and maybe picking up a few groceries, too.”



“If we’re having a hectic weeknight, Milk Bar has become a go-to spot to pick up dinner. I’m in love with their ‘Christmas in July’ sandwich -- which is basically more Thanksgiving as a sandwich, and even our super picky daughter will happily take down one of their ham and cheese croissants with a bag of Voodoo chips and a fruit smoothie.”



Summer Camps:

for Better or for Worse Like it or not, summer is right around the corner. The season comes with its own perks -- summer vacation -- and it’s own obstacles -- summer vacation. What do you do with kids who can’t stay home alone? New Orleans has a huge selection of summer camps with all kinds of activities and themes, and we asked NOLA Family readers what makes sending their kids to summer camp so awesome and not-so-awesome.

“I love letting them spread their wings and gain some independence while learning how to live by someone else’s rules. The worst part is paying for it.”

“I agree. I love that my kids can get out and experience new things and stay in routine. It's paying for it that kills us during the summer.” DeeDee Willard

Amy Wallace Cowan

“Best part is that summer camp is just pure fun! A break from those tightly scheduled school days. Worst part -- the cost.”

Preach it, sister.

Tracy Quintero “Worst would have to be that I have to go to work instead of going on field trips and swimming. Best is the camp wearing my son out.” Julie Scelson-Gibson

“Least favorite are the the pools, and oh, the price (so expensive). Most favorite he’s usually around kids he knows from school or makes new friends and gets worn out.” Sara N.

“I would say the best part would be them leaving and least favorite would be them coming back. We haven’t sent ours to a camp yet, but I am sure it will be their future at some point.” KC C.

KC must be shivering with antici…...pation.

“Camp is the best. Camp is expensive.” Amanda M.

“[My son] loves camp where he can choose some of the activities and they don’t always travel as a whole group. He picks things then that interest him. Also, water activities like boating and fishing. Things that we don’t do on a regular basis.”

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Felissa G.


“I love that we don’t have homework to worry about. I hate that I STILL have to make lunch every day.” Ann Herren “We only did day camps. Not sure if Audubon Zoo still does their camps, but they were great” Angie Arguello

There’s a pattern here.

A mom of few words – or she’s moming so hard that she’s broken.

“Favorite things: new experiences and new friends. Least favorite: driving further and expenses (some give early discounts).” Michele Dambowsky Cappetto “Good: giving them experiences. Bad: price and worries.” Ashley Wambsgans Breaux

Didn’t really answer the question, Angie, but thanks for the input all the same. Editor’s Note: submissions have been edited for clarity and length.

By Kate Stevens In a city like New Orleans, parents have more than just a few options for summer day camps, but how do you know when you’ve found the right one? Last summer, Kenner resident Michelle Roberie sought a different camp experience for her two youngest children, Maks, 8, and Elizabeth, 7. A previous academic camp had left the kids burned out and Roberie wanted something less physical than the karate, gymnastics, and dance classes the kids already attended. “I wanted them to have a more creative experience,” Roberie says. She researched summer camps in the metro New Orleans area and decided to make an appointment to visit each candidate. Number one on Roberie’s list was Upturn Arts Summer Camp where children gain experience and confidence in dancing, music, acting, and art. Within minutes of stepping inside the studio, “I just knew this is our place,” Roberie says. “This is where we’re going to be.”

Local summer camp experts and parents who have already experienced the pain – or joy – of sending their kids to day camps say there are a few tips to help parents choose the right camp. Roberie did her research and planned on visiting each summer camp to find the best fit for Maks and Elizabeth. She liked that the teachers, guest artists, and campers at Upturn Arts reflected the diversity of New Orleans. The best part? Her children begged to come back after visiting.

Dana Reed, Upturn Arts executive director, says it’s important for parents not to give up if the first camp their children attend turns out to be a bust. “It’s important finding a camp or camps that offer a variety of things for your child to do,” Reed says. “I think we live in a city where that’s a luxury we have. There’s just not one kind of camp out there. Your first choice actually might not be a fit for your child. Don’t let that frustrate you.” Another tip for first-time day campers and parents is to learn as much as possible about the camp’s schedule. Some campers are more comfortable when they know exactly what to expect each day and how long each activity will last, says Carolyn Harari, camp and children’s director at the Jewish Community Center Uptown. “As much as parents can show their camper what their day is going to be ahead of time, the better off they will be,” she says. Broadmoor resident Aden Burka Wright has sent her two children, Britton, 5, and Lyla, 4, to day camp at the JCC for two years. Wright encourages parents to arrange a playdate for children attending the same camp as their children to build a relationship. Parental involvement with the camp activities and open communication with counselors or teachers can also soothe worried nerves, she advises.

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Selecting a summer day camp can be overwhelming for parents who may be nervous about letting their little ones try new activities. It can also be difficult to know if your child is ready to experience a little freedom.

“I didn’t check any camps after that,” Roberie says. “And I did have a top-five list.”


Parents also have to be willing to let go. “You have to realize your kid is willing and able to do things on their own,” says Harari, who graduated from Tulane University where she studied early childhood psychology and education. Jennifer Weitzel Homberg, a self-described “hovering, overprotective” mom of four-year-old Charlotte, found herself immediately comforted by the open communication, descriptive calendar, and tight security at the Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Summer Camp last year. “I knew what she was doing at every part of every day,” she says. She also knew Charlotte was ready for summer camp because she seemed so comfortable attending preschool at Academy of the Sacred Heart. “I think she was ready,” Homberg says. “She was growing up.” The summer camp business is very competitive in New Orleans, but Homberg calls the ASH Summer Camp a “top-notch” extension of the school. ASH Summer Camp Director Meliss Saltaformaggio said the school’s summer camp started in 2006 with programming available only to girls. Since then, the camp has opened programming to boys as well, and includes sports, theater, music, plus much more. For younger children, Saltaformaggio recommends parents not linger after camp drop off, which only prolongs potentially painful goodbyes. Gary Alipio, director of marketing and web design at Academy of the Sacred Heart, said he personally enjoyed ASH Summer Camp’s flexibility because it’s sometimes tough to really know what your child will enjoy.

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Alipio enrolled his daughter, a budding artist, in an ASH summer art camp last year, which she promptly wanted to drop when she saw other friends loving the water slides, swimming, and


field trips offered in another ASH summer camp held at the same time. Alipio says he was able to switch camps for her, which is an advantage at ASH. “From a parent’s perspective, how do you get your children ready?” Alipio says. “Sometimes you really don’t know.”

There isn’t an exact moment that signals every child is ready for summer day camp, but children who express interest in new activities or who are coming out of their shells at school may be ready, says Harari. A good transition year is between pre-k and kindergarten because summer day camp is a great way to prepare that child for a full day of school. “Our kids come back from camp exhausted, but in a good way,” she says. Christine Cassolino, Audubon’s Zoo Summer Camp director, says if a parent plans on sending their child to a camp that takes field trips or holds programming among the public, like the zoo camp does, it is a good idea to practice being in large crowds. “Our number one thing is safety,” Cassolino says. “If you can’t trust your child to remain with a group or if your child runs from you when at the grocery store, then maybe zoo camp and others like it isn’t the best option.” One final tip? Parents can help shape their child’s attitude towards camp. “I think if the parent has a positive attitude towards camp, I think that will translate into the child’s willingness to accept the change and transition,” Saltaformaggio says..

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A Great Place to Play By Lisa Phillips

Playtime is important, but it’s how it’s structured that makes all the difference. When you reflect on some of your most enjoyable memories of playing as a child, what kinds of experiences come to mind? For me, these are memories of playing at my grandparents’ homes. One grandmother set aside some of her costume jewelry and old house dresses, along with a few pairs of high heels and hats that I donned and clomped through the house wearing. My other grandparents’ home did not have a lot of toys or childcentered activities, but I clearly remember spending hours making paper dolls and designing their elaborate paper outfits. Interestingly, adults do not figure prominently in these memories, although I do have a vague recollection that they were nearby. What makes these experiences so memorable is the sensation that I lost myself in the play for long periods of time.

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Environments that encourage spontaneous activity spark creative play, opportunities for social relationships, physical mobility and strength, and problem-solving. But what inspires a great play experience?


Certainly, a great place for a 9-year-old may be different for a toddler. For a child under age 3, a safe place with easily enforced boundaries and adult supervision gives her the freedom to explore and learn about cause-and-effect with the environment: “I can nest all these metal mixing bowls in the bottom cabinet! And then dump all my blocks out of the laundry basket! Wow, that makes a great noise!” For older preschoolers, a little more room to explore and a higher level of a challenge is necessary to stave off boredom. Play spaces might include building materials and crafts, as well as a few simple props -- blocks, small figurines and cars, play household items, dressup clothes, big cardboard boxes -- that give children the opportunity to make up and act out stories.

Research indicates that children who are better at pretend play are often highly skilled at problem solving and figuring out solutions. However, boredom can be an underrated experience. Watching clouds drift by with a 5-year-old and talking about what pictures they form can lead to long conversations or just quiet thoughts. There are certain aspects that make play spaces more likely to be used. If an activity is easily cleaned up or put aside, a parent is more likely to encourage that kind of play. For example, limiting play dough to the kitchen counter makes it a more acceptable and spontaneous activity. Create a spot where ongoing projects are safely out of the way but can be worked on regularly to keep an activity going for days. Having a few clear bins that are organized by type of toy, as opposed to dumping everything in one box, makes cleanup easier and toys more inviting. When your child is ready, set up a self-serve art area with materials such as paper, markers, safety scissors, tape, stickers, for long stretches of creative activity. If you, as a parent, feel overwhelmed by the clutter that seems to come along with playtime, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. It’s fine, even desirable, to limit the amount of toys out and available to children at one time. Do some culling, or put many of your child’s toys in a box and rotate them every week. Your child will play more with what is available. Include a safe place to throw, jump, run and dance (for gross motor activity), along with art materials, books, and imaginative toys and props, for some variety in play options. And of course, include your child in some daily cleanup rituals so the responsibility becomes part of the routine. Running out of ideas? There are many books and online resources with ideas for age-appropriate play ideas. Or visit the many play spaces around town designed for young children.

The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital 504.896.9591


Shouldn’t 21st century kids play with 21st century toys? These new building blocks-esque toys build on more than just your kid’s imagination.



Build fun animals, objects, and more during play that pairs early math and fine motor skills with creativity and critical thinking. MathLink Builders includes 100 MathLink Cubes in 10 colors and activity guide with 10 challenges.

With the help of the 10 included challenges, kids craft their own 2D and 3D shapes during STEMfilled play sessions that boost early geometry, critical thinking, and fine motor skills.

Ages 5+, $14.99,

Ages 5+, $14.99,

FLIGHTGEARS Kids build critical thinking and other STEM skills as they create their own moving, flying machines with propellers, wheels, and more. Pieces work with all existing Gears! sets, encouraging open-ended play and offering multiple build possibilities. Ages 4+, $14.99,

MYSTERY MAKERS Mystery Makers is a blind purchase construction toy with a twist -- while you can see what color pieces you’re getting, you don’t know what it will build. Once you choose your Mystery Maker and open the box, scan the QR code for a “swipe-tobuild” online experience or use the enclosed stepby-step instructions. Ages 5+, $4.99

Four new items include the Astronaut (70 pieces), Lunar Lander (70 pieces), Saturn V Rocket (240 pieces) and Lunar Landing Baseplate Builder - launched in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969. Includes three new colors: metallic gold, metallic silver, and glow-in-the-dark. Ages 5+, $6.99-$14.99

SUPER TUBES Over three feet of fun, the Super Tubes each contain over 500 pieces for the ultimate in creative, portable play. Available in basic, neon, and pastel. Ages 5+, $24.99

march 2019 |




The Lost Art of

Cursive Handwriting By Kimberly Bradley

Until recently, public schools were not required to teach cursive handwriting, but is it too late for the rest of us? As a pediatric occupational therapist I am often called a “handwriting expert” by parents, teachers, and other professionals. Many of them are looking for help with a child’s handwriting. Throughout the years, I have seen a drastic decline in the numbers of adults that use or have the ability to write in cursive. I have witnessed parents in a panic because they cannot demonstrate a cursive “f,” and even more so when it involves cursive capital letters. I have also found that as the millennial generation enters the workforce and as postgraduate occupational therapy students begin their training with me, they have no idea how to write a single cursive letter. The first week of clinicals is often spent teaching them cursive letter formation. As recent as one and two generations ago, cursive was standard handwriting practice, and was used by everyone. It was so

prominent then that we would be able to recognize our parents and grandparents handwriting from a birthday card, thank you note, or recipe card if shown present day.

Almost Forgotten Cursive is often taught in the third grade, or as early as mid year through second grade in most private and public schools. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. As common core was initiated and the importance of standardized test scores rose, cursive instruction was disregarded and almost forgotten. Instruction time for handwriting was not crucial and schools were not required to teach cursive handwriting, much less encourage or enforce students to write in cursive. Technology started to take over, and more and more tasks were beginning to be done on computers. Improving test scores hijacked the majority of classroom time. Lawmakers around the country and in Louisiana pushed for a change. Approved in 2016, but enforced in July 2017, Louisiana mandated that all public and charter schools teach and reinforce cursive handwriting for all students 3rd through 12th. Unfortunately, students in the 4th grade onward missed those crucial early years that are important to learning cursive letter formation. By the time a student is in 4th grade, writing habits are already strongly developed and it is much harder to achieve permanent motor memory (such as automatically forming cursive letters) with an everyday skill such as writing.

Benefits for Writing in Cursive

| march 2019

Although it can be challenging for students beyond 4th and 5th grades, it is never too late to learn cursive. It may not be the preferred method of written communication, but there are some significant benefits to writing in cursive:


• Connecting letters with fluid motions to write words is often much quicker. For some, it may be more efficient and faster than print or typing. • Students who have difficulty with reversal letters in print handwriting, such as mixing up “b” and “d,” often do not struggle with reversals in cursive. • Cursive is an excellent left-right brain exercise and activity. It improves brain development and motor memory skills. • Spacing improves -- cursive writing creates spaces between words automatically and naturally.

• It increases the ability to read different styles and types of writing more fluidly. • It can help expand the creativity and artistic abilities of the writer. • The development of a signature can enhance a sense of individuality and personality in a student. • Cursive writing can be more beneficial and easier for children with dysgraphia and dyslexia than print.

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march 2019 |



By Chapelle Johnson

It sounds like an oxymoron -- “easier parenting” -- so let's call this list “apps for assisting parents who need a little help every now and then,” which is everyone all the time, right? Despite the gruesome and brutal sci-fi movies released each year, technology can be our friend. Millions of smartphone apps are available right now that can help users find dates, listen to music, play augmented reality games, and a lot more. What about those apps that aid parents in their various roles as policeman, doctors, counselors, cooks, and even spies? Below is a list of apps that will assist parents with staying sane.


First Aid - American Red Cross

Fit NOLA (NOLA Local)

Virtual CHNOLA (NOLA Local)

This official American Red Cross first aid app provides instant access to expert information and advice. It gives step-bystep instructions, detailed videos, and animations to coach parents through everyday emergencies, or it will connect to 911 in more dire situations. The app also offers interactive quizzes to enhance the user’s first aid knowledge. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

Staying fit and eating healthy is hard in a food-centric city, but Fit NOLA makes it easier by connecting the whole family with local nutrition and health resources. The app lists menus from local restaurants, free weekly fitness classes, and community services. Users can also receive personalized guidance with diet preferences, chronic diseases, life stages, weight management, and healthy menu options based on location. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

Can’t afford to take a day off work to take a sick child to the doctor’s office? The Virtual Children’s Hospital of New Orleans app can connect parents directly to healthcare providers after hours and on weekends. Using secure live video streaming, parents can consult with pediatricians for minor conditions like allergic reactions, asthma attacks, rashes, pink eye, sinus infections, and more. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

| march 2019



Cloud Baby Monitor

FBI Child ID


This unlimited range baby monitor has numerous features like noise/motion alerts, a nightlight, and high-quality video monitoring from multiple devices. Leave one device with the baby and watch her sleep from another device. Also, its cost is cheaper than traditional baby monitors found in stores. Available for $3.99 only in the App Store.

Created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the app lets parents securely store photos and other identifying information of their children in case they are kidnapped or go missing. The information is only released by the parents when the authorities need to be notified. Other features include safety tips, checklists, and shortcuts to dial 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Free to download only from the App Store.

Options like flexible location sharing, weekly driver reports, and crash detection and emergency response make communication and safe driving a priority for families with kids on the road. Life360 is not only helpful for ensuring that all family members are safe while driving, but it also simplifies communication with those added to the private group. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

O R G A N I Z AT I O N / S C H E D U L I N G



Life too cluttered? This award-winning easyto-use organizer helps families tidy up their hectic schedules with features like sharing grocery lists in real time, keeping activities and appointments in one place, storing recipes and meal plans, and more. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

With Winnie, users can search for local daycares and preschools, join a community of local moms and dads, find suggestions for family activities, and much more. Winnie is also a great resource for parents who want to exchange helpful tips and advice. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

WDSU Parade Tracker (NOLA Local) This year-round parade tracker monitors the schedules and routes of the more than 70 parades rolling during Mardi Gras and other holidays. GPS technology shows the realtime location of the front of every parade so users know if it has started on time or has reached a certain location. Plus, the app updates route changes and cancellations. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

S C H O O L S / E D U C AT I O N A L

Khan Academy



Winner of the 2018 Google Play Best Social Impact Award, the app offers thousands of videos and assignments for math, science, economics, computing, grammar, history, politics, and more. Practice questions get instant feedback and step-by-step hints, making it a perfect companion to classroom learning. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

This award-winning app makes the daunting task of math homework more manageable. Users can take a photo of a math problem with the smartphone and Photomath computes the answer. But it doesn’t simply just give the answer, it also provides the steps and instructions on how to get the answer. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

College-bound high school students and their parents can now breathe a sigh of relief. With a subscription, Scholly saves time through a searchable and customizable database of more than 20,000 college scholarships. The app also keeps track of the application process in one place, including totals and deadlines. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.



Over 50 snoball stands across the Greater New Orleans area can be found using the Peter Mayer-powered New Orleans Snoball Finder. Launched last summer, the app also offers search and filtering options for flavors, operating hours, and more. Users can save their favorite stands, and new locations can be added by user submissions. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

Yummly The more this recipe finder app is used, the more personalized it becomes for the user, like remembering allergies and dietary restrictions. With over 2 million recipes paired with video tutorials and guides, there are plenty of everyday, party, and healthy recipes to choose from. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

march 2019 |

BigOven is a recipe and meal planner app that makes cooking simple. With this app, users can plan meals, make grocery lists, reduce food waste, and more. BigOven offers a little more than 350,000 recipes that range from simple quick meals to the extravagant. Free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

New Orleans Snoball Finder (NOLA Local)


In The Know

We have complete listings on our dedicated ‘classes’ calendar just go to and click on ‘Calendars.’

Louisiana State Police Troop B Child Safety Seat Inspection Station 2101 I-10 Service Road, Kenner. Every Wednesday, 1-4 pm. Walk in or call 504.471.2780 for an appointment. FREE.

Louisiana State Police Troop L Child Safety Seat Inspection Station 2600 N. Causeway, Mandeville. Every Tuesday, 3-6 pm. Walk in or call 504.893.6250 for an appointment. FREE.

Ochsner Medical Center – Baptist Registration is required for all classes. Visit

Happiest Baby on the Block Parents learn techniques to calm and soothe a crying baby. Mar.. 6, 6-7:30 pm. $25.

| march 2019

Touro Family Birthing Center

Ochsner Medical Center – Baptist

For more information or to register, call 504.897.7319 or visit

See listing above for registration information.

Kohl’s Happiest Baby on the Block Learn how to turn on a baby’s “calm reflex.” Mar. 9, 10 am-noon. FREE.

Sibling Class For ages 3-10, the class prepares sibling(s) for their new brother or sister. Mar. 18, 5:306:30 pm. FREE.

Baby Food Making Learn the basics of baby food, including when and how to introduce solids. Mar. 11, 6-7:30 pm. FREE. Prenatal Breastfeeding Class For moms who already know they want to breastfeed and moms who want to know more. Mar. 21, 6-8 pm. FREE. Understanding Your Newborn For first time expecting parents, learn the skills needed to care for your newborn at home. Mar. 25, 6-8 pm. FREE.

Prenatal Refresher Class Reviews key points concerning labor, birth, and the newborn baby. Mar. 21, 6:30-8:30 pm. FREE.

Diapers to Desk Equips new moms with the confidence and support needed to return to work from maternity leave. Mar. 26, 9:30-11 am.

Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner

Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children

Baby Care Basics Discusses basic baby care like normal behavior, comforting techniques, and safety. Mar. 20, 6-8 pm.

Call 504.780.4641.

Ochsner Medical Center – West Bank Campus

Safe and Sound The characteristics of newborns are reviewed. Mar. 28, 5:30-7 pm. FREE.

Registration is required for all classes. Email or call 504.391.5529.


Grandparents Class Learn the latest trends to help support your children. Mar. 14, 6:30-8:30 pm. FREE.

To register, call 504.464.8365.


Positive Discipline Explore ways of encouraging cooperation and redirecting the behavior of preschoolers. Three sessions: Mar. 18, 25, & Apr. 1, 6:30-8 pm. $50/members, $60/nonmembers.

Baby Basics Includes basic infant care including feeding, sleeping, bathing, safety, and more. Mar. 11, 6-8 pm. FREE.

Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital To register, call 504.896.9591 or visit

Snuggles and Struggles Provides learning opportunities and socialization with new parents and babies newborn-6 months. Tuesday, 10:30 am-noon.

Birth and Beyond Reviews stages of pregnancy, labor, and types of anesthesia. Mar. 14, 7-9 pm. FREE.

Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital See listing above for registration information.

Active Parenting Now Parents will learn techniques for better harmony at home. Rosa Keller Library. Four sessions: Mar. 12, 19, 26, & Apr. 2. 5:30-7:30 pm. FREE. Focus on Children Divorce Program Helps divorcing parents lessen the impact on their children. Uptown. Mar. 13, 6-8 pm. $25. Growing Up for Girls Girls ages 9-12 will receive practical information about female anatomy, what happens during puberty, and more. Girls can attend with mothers or caregivers. Uptown. Mar. 19, 6:30-8:30 pm. $20/child. Active Parenting of Teens Gives parents a handle on dealing with teens effectively. Four sessions: Mar. 26, Apr. 2, 9, & 16, 8:30-10 am. $15 materials fee.

Touro Family Birthing Center

West Jefferson Medical Center

See listing above for registration information.

Most classes are free unless otherwise noted. Registration is required. Call 504.349.6200.

Sibling Class Children 4-11 will learn what to expect when a new baby enters the family. Mar. 16, 9-10:30 am.

Caring For Your Newborn A registered nurse discusses newborn behavior and care. Mar. 9, 1-4:30 pm. FREE. Grammy-Mommy-Me A discussion for moms-to-be and grandmas-tobe. Mar. 9. $25/couple.

West Jefferson Medical Center See listing above for registration information.

Siblings T.L.C. Prepares kids ages 3 and older for the arrival of a new baby. Mar. 2, 2:30 pm.

t u o b A & t Ou MARCH

Krewe of Orpheus

Krewe of Isis

Mandeville, 7 pm.

Metairie, 6:30 pm.


Krewe of Ir is Uptown, 11 am.

Krewe of Centu r ions Metairie, 6:30 pm.

Mardi Gras Mask Market

Krewe of Tucks Uptown, 11 am.

Krewe of Hermes Uptown, 5:30 pm.

Krewe d'Etat

Mandeville Lions Car Show

Krewe of NOMTOC Westbank, 10:45 am.

Krewe of Endymion Mid-City, 4:15 pm.

Krewe of Morpheus Uptown, 7 pm.

Krewe of Selene Slidell, 6:30 pm.

Mandeville Lions Club. Last year, over 50 cars and trucks entered the show to compete for Best in Show along with other categories. Cold drinks, burgers, hot dogs, and other delights will be sold by Lion’s members throughout the day. There will be raffles and door prizes along with music. Proceeds will benefit the Louisiana Lions Eye Foundation and the summer Louisiana Lion’s Children’s Camp. Free.

Krewe of Athena Metairie, 5:30 pm.

Krewe of Pandora Metairie, 6:30 pm.

march 2019 |

Uptown, 6:30 pm.

French Market. Mask vendors from around the country converge at the French Market to sell their artisan masks during Mardi Gras. The market will also host live music daily. 10-4 pm. Continues through March 4.



Krewe of Proteus Uptown, 5:15 pm.

Marigny, New Orleans. Krewe of Red Beans struts the streets of the Marigny each year on Lundi Gras to pay homage to New Orleans’ Monday culinary tradition: red beans and rice. Free. 2 pm.

Krewe of Okeanos Uptown, 11 am.

Krewe of Mid-City Uptown, 11:45 am.

Krewe of Thoth Uptown, 12 pm.

Krewe of Bacchus

| march 2019

Uptown, 5:15 pm.


Parade of Red Beans

Krewe of Orpheus


Uptown, 6 pm.

33rd Annual Lundi Gras Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza. The 2019 celebration is particularly special as Lundi Gras also marks the official re-opening of the renovated Spanish Plaza. It features live music, local food and drink vendors, and a fireworks display. The event culminates with the arrival of Rex, King of Carnival, and his entourage aboard elegantly decorated vintage railroad cars. Free. 12-6:30pm.

Krewe of Argus Metairie, 10:00am.

Krewe of Elks Jefferson

Krewe of Crescent City

Metairie, follows Krewe of Argus.

Uptown, follows Krewe of Elks Orleans

Krewe of Jefferson

Krewe of Lyra

Metairie, follows Krewe of Elks Jefferson.

Covington, 10 am.

Krewe of Zulu


Uptown, 8 am.

per day/members, $55 per day/nonmembers. 9 am-3 pm. Continues March 8.


Toronto Raptors at New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

Utah Jazz at New Orleans Pelicans


Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.


Krewe of Rex Uptown, 10 am.

Krewe of Elks Orleans Uptown, follows Krewe of Rex.

School's Out Day Camp Longue Vue House and Gardens. Spend one or two whole days at Longue Vue exploring the gardens, making nature-themed art, playing games, and learning about plants and insects. For children ages 5-10. Before and aftercare available for additional fee. $45

Bubble Run The Shrine on Airline, 6000 Airline Dr. The BUBBLE RUN is like running through Willy Wonka’s factory. Clad in white t-shirts, adults, kids, and strollers run, walk, dance, and play across three miles of absolute fun. At each kilometer, participants will run through Foam Bogs where there is enough colored foam to cover runners head to toe. $50/ adults, free for kids 4 and under. 8 am-12 pm.

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march 2019 |

If you love our magazine and have some ad sales experience, we’d love to talk.


Zac Brown Band


Smoothie King Center. Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band is bringing their “Down the Rabbit Hole Live Tour” to New Orleans. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

Saenger Theatre. Hamilton is the story of America’s Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War. Ticket prices vary. 7:30 pm. Continues through March 31, showtimes vary.

11 MON

15 FRI

Lego Night River Ridge Library, 8825 Jefferson Highway. Come get creative with Legos at the library. For ages 3-12. Free. 6:30-7:30 pm.


Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

16 SAT

Middle School STREAM Day at Mount Carmel Academy 7027 Milne Blvd. Fifth and sixth grade girls are invited to MCA for a day of exciting, hands-on activities in science, technology, religion, engineering, art, and math. Lunch

Many of these children in developing nations never undergo the necessary life-saving surgery and will not survive to see their first birthday.

| march 2019

In Louisiana children born with Congenital Heart Disease are treated at Children’s Hospital, regardless of their ability to pay. Through HeartGift, kids from around the world can have the same high level of care.


To provide life-saving heart surgery to children from around the world where access to specialized treatment is scarce or nonexistent. 5500 Prytania Ste. 306 New Orleans, LA 70115 504-676-4323 For more information:

Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

17 SUN

Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

One in every 100 children is born with a congenital heart defect.


Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans

Portland Trail Blazers at New Orleans Pelicans

…mending hearts one gift at a time.


provided, limited spots available. Contact the Admissions Office at 504.288.7630 or 9 am-12:30 pm.

ST. PATRICK'S DAY Allstate Sugar Bowl St. Patr ick's Day Classic Hosted by the Crescent City Classic, runners run down Metairie Rd. before the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The 2-mile course will finish at Frisco where a post-race party will take place. Kids are free under 3, $25/ general registration. 10 am-1 pm.

Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday City wide. The largest and most popular of the festivities is the procession staged by the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council in the Central City neighborhood beginning at A.L. Davis Park.

20 WED

After School Vue Crew

St. Patr ick's Day Parade


The annual Metairie Rd. St. Patrick’s Day Parade will start in front of Rummel High School on Severn Avenue, then proceeds to Metairie Rd., and finishes at the parish line. Free. 12 pm.

Enrique AlfĂŠrez Oak, New Orleans Botanical Garden. Join them for storytime, activities, and a healthy snack. Bring a blanket. Children ages 18 months-4 years old. $3/child; adult chaperone required at no cost. To register contact Lindsay at 10-11 am.

P!NK: Beautiful Trauma World Tou r

Wednesday at the Square Concert Ser ies

Smoothie King Center. After incredible success and demand, esteemed performer and international pop icon P!NK announced that her Beautiful Trauma World Tour has extended into 2019 with 37 additional dates across North America. Ticket prices vary. 7:30 pm.


Lafayette Square Park, S Maestri St. A series of free outdoor concerts by wellknown local artists, sponsored by the Young Leadership Council of New Orleans. Free. 5-8 pm. Continues every Wednesday through May 22.

Longue Vue House and Gardens. After a bit of free play and a snack, Vue Crew kids will engage in activities that blend the worlds of nature and art. Projects include planting and caring for spring crops, investigating insect life-cycles, and creating works of art inspired by ecological findings. $175/ members, $200/nonmembers. 4-6 pm. Continues every Thursday through May 9.

2019 Lou isiana Crawfish Festival 8245 W Judge Perez Dr., Chalmette. The Louisiana Crawfish Festival, originating in 1975, is located in beautiful and historical St. Bernard Parish. Enjoy authentic Cajun cuisine, boiled crawfish with all the fixins, music, arts and crafts, and carnival games. $5/person. 6-10 pm. Continues on March 22, 12-11:30 pm, and March 23, 12-9 pm.

march 2019 |


23 SAT

Fete Francaisee Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle-Orléans. This annual outdoor fest celebrates French heritage and culture with food, music, art, and entertainment. For one day during the year, a portion of Uptown New Orleans transforms into a Parisian getaway. Free. 11 am-5 pm.

Easter Bunny Ar r ival Celebration Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie. Come and celebrate the arrival of the Easter Bunny. 8-10 am.

Children's World Fair Louisiana Children’s Museum. This year, the museum will celebrate the 21st year of the Children’s World’s Fair. Travelers (ages 2-12) will delight as they enjoy lively, cultural performances and explore games, music, literature, native attire, crafts, flavors, and more. $30/Early Explorer, $20/general admission nonmember, $16/general admission LCM members, $100/family fourpack. 10 am-4:30 pm (Early Explorer) or 124:30 pm (general admission).

24 SUN

YEP Fest MLK Jr. Blvd. to St. Andrew Street. Third annual community street fair with music, food, and drinks. The main attraction is a series of pedicab races among YEP sponsors with a special guest announcer. Free. 1-4 pm.

NOMA Egg Hunt and Family Festival The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, City Park. A family-friendly egg hunt that also features a petting zoo, face painting, spacewalks, crafts, a juggler, a magician, and more. $12/nonmembers. Children under 2 enter for free. 10 am-1 pm.

Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans. Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 6 pm.


Atlanta Hawks at New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

Have an event our kids should attend?

| march 2019

let us know about it at


27 WED

29 FRI

Hogs for the Cause Tennessee Williams Literary Festival 938 Lafayette St., Suite 514, New Orleans. The annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is named after the world-famous playwright who made New Orleans his home during one of the most creative periods in his life. The event will take place at venues around the French Quarter featuring speakers, contests, and special celebratory events. Ticket prices vary. Continues March 28, 29, 30, and 31.


Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

6801 Franklin Ave. This event is all about good BBQ, friendly competition, live music, and the cause: raising funds for families fighting pediatric brain cancer. General admission tickets range from $30-$100, early purchase discount available. 3:30 pm. Continues March 30 at 11 am.

Movies in the Park: Wonder Woman (2017) A.L. Davis Park. Enjoy pre-show fun, including field games and activities, beginning at 5pm. Concessions available at select events. Picnics, lawn chairs, and blankets are welcome. Rain site: Lyons Rec Center. Free. 5-9 pm

Disney's Dumbo" Opens Prytania Theatre. A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. Showtimes and tickets vary.

30 SAT

Big Bass Fishing Rodeo and Fishtival New Orleans City Park will host its 72nd annual Big Bass Rodeo, the oldest freshwater rodeo in the country. Be sure and visit the free Fishtival with exhibitors, vendors, raffles, fishing tackle for sale, and more. Entry Fees: Big Bass: adults: $10, kids (12 and under): $5, Boats on the Bayou: $15/ person pre-registration and $25/person day of registration. Battle for the Bass: $5/ person pre-registration and $10/person/ day of registration. 6 am-12 pm.

Congo Square New World Rhythms Festival Louis Armstrong Park. Presented by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, the festival offers Mardi Gras Indians, African dance, brass bands, jazz, soul-funk, and Garifuna music from Honduras and West African highlife. Free. 11 am-7 pm. Continues March 31.

march 2019 |


Parents Night Out!

Sp routs: Sp r ing has Sp rung Longue Vue House and Gardens. Spark a curiosity for nature in kids as they play, learn, and grow in the Discovery Garden. With activities like seed planting, arts and crafts, microscope observation, and storytime, Sprouts is for kids of all ages to explore the wonderful world of the garden at their own pace. $5/nonmember adult, $5/nonmember child, free/member child. 9:30-10:30 am.

New Orleans Boulder Lounge, 2360 St. Claude. Parents Night Out is an opportunity for parents to enjoy a night out on their own while the kids have a fun, active evening at the climbing gym. Ages 6-14. $20-30/person. 6:30-9:30 pm.

| march 2019


Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans Smoothie King Center. Ticket prices vary. 5 pm.

Monster Jam Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Monster Jam is adrenaline-charged family entertainment providing jaw-dropping displays and gravity-defying feats of giants monster trucks. Ticket prices vary. 7 pm.

31 SUN

Family Day Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Explore the Ogden Museum’s Self-Taught exhibition, Vernacular Voices, with a day of art activities, music, food, and performances. Free and open to the public. 10 am-2 pm.

style. Do one or do them all. Besides painting, kids and adults can enjoy games/ prizes, lunch, and more. $7/painter, free/ adults. 12-4 pm.

Kids Paint Fest! UpStage, 663 Brownswitch Rd., Slidell. Kids can enjoy painting activities while having tons of fun. They’ll have different paint sections where kids can pick their artistry

Ongoing Drop In & Play

courtesy of the Helis Foundation. The CAC is a multidisciplinary arts center that is dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of contemporary art. 11 am-5 pm. Sundays.

Milton H. Latter Memorial Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue. Meet new friends and enjoy sharing toys and puzzles with your child. No registration is needed. Ages 1-5. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 10-11 am. Fridays.

Free Admission to the Botanical Gardens

Rivertown Farmer's Market LaSalle’s Landing, Kenner. Shop local fresh produce and goods. Bring the kids to check out cooking demos, special events, and more and expose them to all the beauty and health of fresh fruits and vegetables. 8 am-1 pm rain or shine. Saturdays.

Free Admission to the Contemporary Arts Center

City Park, 5 Victory Ave. Louisiana residents receive free admission on Wednesdays courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Twelve acres of gardens and art await you. 10 am-4 pm. Wednesdays.

Art for All Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Admission to the museum is free for Louisiana residents courtesy of The Helis Foundation. 10 am-5 pm. Thursdays.

900 Camp St., New Orleans. Louisiana residents get free admission to the Contemporary Arts Center every Sunday

FIT4MOM NOLA Playgroup Laurence Square Playground, Napoleon Ave. Everyone is welcome: parents, caregivers, friends, and of course, the kids. Enjoy fun games and activities, as well as a space for families to connect with each other. 10:3011:45 am. Fridays.

Toddlers at Ten Louisiana Children’s Museum. The museum hosts activities for children ages 3 and under and their parents or caregivers. Free. 10-11 am. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Community Capoeira for Kids The Capoeira & Brazilian Cultural Arts Center, 1016 N. Broad St. Unit C. Capoeira is Afro-Brazilian martial art, dance, and music. Children in the 7th Ward, Treme, and Mid City are invited to classes, workshops, and performances, including drumming and dance styles. Free. 1:30-2:30 pm. Saturdays.

Storytimes & Other Activities WTUL's Kids Show

Wiggles and Giggles Storytime

1700 Airline Dr., Metairie. Le Jouet offers storytime in their store every Thursday. Come in for a free story and fun. Free. 10-11 am. Thursdays.

91.5 FM or stream online at www. This weekly radio show is hosted by DJ LizE and broadcasted live from Tulane’s campus features kid-friendly music, jokes, a storytime, and more. 8-10 am. Saturdays.

North Kenner Library, 630 W. Esplanade Avenue, Kenner. A fun time every Wednesday morning at the library with stories and activities for children ages 2-5 years old. Free. 10:30-11:30 am. Wednesdays.

Storytime and Craft Main library branch, 219 Loyola Avenue. Enjoy a story and a craft at the main library. Open to all families and caregivers with children ages 7 and younger. Free. 12:30-1:30 pm. Fridays.

Storytime at Magic Box Toys 5508 Magazine St. Join Magic Box Toys for their free weekly storytimes. They feature different books every week. Free. 10:30am. Wednesdays.

Storytime and Craft Harahan Library, 219 Soniat Avenue, Harahan. Stories and creative activities for children ages 3-7 years old. Free. 3:30-4:30pm.

march 2019 |

Storytime at Le Jouet


FROM THE nola family BOOKSHELF By Scott Campbell

As Spring approaches, thoughts turn to Easter eggs – and mermaids. Fortunately, we have book recommendations that cover both of these subjects perfectly.

THE MERMAIDS OF NEW ORLEANS University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press This is a magical story of the mermaids who reside in the Mississippi River, surrounding the Big Easy. These citizens of the sea are much like their land counterparts, culturally and ethnically. They play in “bass” bands, eat “roeballs” in the summer, and have their own parades (with floats that really float). True to mermaid lore, the mermaids are allowed on land one day each year. New Orleans mermaids, of course, choose Mardi Gras, where they blend in with vibrant and decorative costumes. Watch for plenty of fun cameos by beloved locals, along with favorite foods, festivals, and more.

The Author

The Illustrator

Growing up on a small farm in Washington State, writer and photographer Sally Asher has called New Orleans home since 1994. Asher has been the public relations photographer for Tulane University since 2008 and is the author of various New Orleans history books. She holds two master’s degrees from Tulane University. Recent recipient of the New Orleans Press Club’s First Place award for feature reporting, Asher frequently lectures on New Orleans history.

Melissa Vandiver is a New Orleans-based artist specializing in painting. Growing up in South Carolina with an artist mother, she’s been drawing and painting since she can remember. In an attempt to do something practical with her life, she studied architecture at Clemson University, and came to New Orleans shortly thereafter.

THE TEMPESTUOUS TRIAL OF MAYBELLINE MERIWETHER River Road Press Written and illustrated by an unbelievably talented mother-son team, Maybelline is a very unusual story about a very unusual bird who has been put on trial for the most heinous of crimes – stealing an egg from another bird’s nest. A riveting courtroom drama ensues led by attorney Atticus Peck. Maybelline is rich with revelations, cross examinations, and flighty admissions. Beautifully (and cleverly) written, told in alliterative style, and referencing more than fifty bird species, Maybelline’s tale is one to be enjoyed by readers of all ages – feathers or not.

| march 2019

Maybelline is an enjoyable and fun read for all ages, and a perfect gift for Easter baskets.


The Author

The Illustrator

As an undergraduate at the University of Southern Mississippi, Michael Hewes shared the hallways of his dorm with a chicken named Maybelline. Ever since, memories of the old banty have popped up now and then. Michael went on to pursue a career in law, and on the way home from a deposition he began to wonder what would happen if a chicken were put on trial for stealing another bird’s egg. By the time he got home, the first two stanzas of this book were written. Michael is also the author of the novel Watermark. A retired JAG officer, Michael practices law in Gulfport, Mississippi, where he lives with his wife, three boys, two dogs, and a cat. No chickens though.

Her mama used to say that Sarah Hewes picked up a pencil when she was three and never put it down. Sarah received her first art award in first grade and has never looked back. Her love for nature is reflected in her work and she has spent the majority of her career painting birds, although this is the first time she has adorned them with pants. Sarah’s work hangs in corporate and private collections throughout Mississippi and Louisiana, and her art has been published in two books. She is the mother to three sons, has nine grandchildren, and has fostered twenty-one dogs, so far.

Scott Campbell is founder and publisher of River Road Press, which focuses on a mission to publish local and regional authors, with a focus on history, children’s books, and Southern culture.

When Boredom Strikes, I Write Everybody’s getting put down It’s guns and violence now Like when will this madness end? Can’t we all get along and walk hand in hand? This community needs unity. Let’s be one and strive for a greater world! They say children are the world, and that they control the future

By Anaiyah Saulter

But how do we move forward when society is pulling triggers Not just bullets in a gun It’s the pain of running and running and running… Tired, exhausted, but getting stronger As we sing Amazing Grace and hold on longer Together we can, together we will, overcome some day. I never thought I’d say this but I don’t want to go to school It’s not cool how I don’t feel safe now The unexpected is expected… Black on black crimes like boys fighting girls Gang fights and so much more I don’t want to go to school, the abuse isn’t cool Is this what Dr. King fought for? For African Americans to walk away from pressure? New Orleans schools are not nations. No one works together and many don’t know their obligations Yes, obligated to teach, to learn Yes, obligated to overrule NO! NO! NO! Life in New Orleans consists of No kindness nor mercy Thus, I push through all cruelty “There’s no progress without struggle” So I remain strong and keep my hustle Work hard and play harder That’s the motto to go further… This community has taught me how to deal with pressure And I kind of like it because it pushes me to work harder And play smarter. Yes, growth, that’s my only oath I promise to fulfill this pledge, I shall not get knocked off the edge I promise to allege. Yes, assert to be true

march 2019 |

As I take a seat to enjoy the ride, I look to my side and see


True to who I am and true to my past My past is the reason “I’m flying first class” There’s no justice for me I do not want any sympathy I demand justice! Is it here for me? Society wants me to remain humble No! I shall not crumble nor stumble Nowadays it’s okay for black women to get put down In New Orleans society constantly makes us frown Right now I’m 10 toes down The only strength I have is to shout “I will not stop fighting” With or without a doubt There’s no justice for me I do not want any sympathy I demand justice! Is it here for me? I lied to myself saying everything was all right Knowing I was crying every single night But this, the fight I chose, how will I make it? Only God knows I consider the fight within emotional, spiritual, and physical All fights will create me to be phenomenal And all those who wish I never rose? Will applaud me on all 10 toes Only God knows Dare you not know who I am? Dare you not know where I stand? I am an African Queen wishing we all could walk hand in hand My authority, power, and history has created the Queen I am Yes, I said Queen and I’ll say it again! Queen, I am…

Anaiyah Saulter

march 2019 |

is a senior at Dr. King Charter School who wrote this poem during her junior year. Here is what she said about what inspired her:


Contributed by Geaux Girl!, a nonprofit magazine created for and with New Orleans teen girls to inform, inspire, engage, and empower.

“I have my own saying, ‘when boredom strikes, I write.’ I decided to name my writing after my saying. #WBSIW is a movement to help kids embrace their talents. My inspiration is rooted in pain and my family’s history. You see, I am blessed to say that I am the 5th living generation, and that my great-great grandmother is still alive at 97 years old. I have a family full of women, which isn’t easy but doable. My family’s wisdom, strength, and courage motivate me to grow and strive further. Aside from my family’s past, I was born to be phenomenal. The most significant experience and most important thing to impact me was the death of my aunt Joann. No matter what she went through in life, she always wore a smile. Her positive attitude inspires me because I know what she would expect of me.” This poem was a finalist in the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation’s arts competition 18 in ’18. The competition celebrated the tricentennial of New Orleans by showcasing the creative talent of New Orleans high school students and their special connection to the spirit and culture of New Orleans. Visit to see all of the submissions—which include poems, essays, videos and other visual arts!

For more writing by and for NOLA girls, visit and follow Geaux Girl! on social media at @geauxgirlmagazine!

Profile for nola family mag & nola boomers mag

Nola Family Magazine March 2019  

Our BIG Summer Camp Guide is here! Plus, tips for first-time campers, adoption in LA, and apps for easier parenting!

Nola Family Magazine March 2019  

Our BIG Summer Camp Guide is here! Plus, tips for first-time campers, adoption in LA, and apps for easier parenting!