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nola family Parent Fearlessly

December 2019

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Holiday Holiday Gift Guide Teas & Fun!


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& Presenting Sponsor

: 1st PlaycFeamily

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Lil’ Mary P e: oppins Felicity H artdegen , age 2


nola family CONTENTS DECEMBER 2019

Uncommon Construction builds homes and futures for New Orleans youth P. 43

A FEW WORDS 7 From the Editor



9 It’s Tea Time Holiday Teas and

3 Halloween Costume Contest Winners Gotham City Rules!

10 Eco-Anxiety Part 2

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The Burden of Climate Change on Schools


14 Have a Green Christmas

Dining With Santa

23 Winter Holiday Camps When School’s Out, but Work Isn’t

30 Top-Notch Docs Family-Focused Doctors and Practices

Earth-Friendly Gifts and Decor Ideas

44 Learning Years Moody Kids

16 Holiday Gift Guide

46 Parenting Corner Holiday Spending

From the List to Under the Tree

25 Parenting Blind Adapting to Challenges

38 The Importance of Selfcare Don’t Get Burned Out

47 In the Know Family Classes & Resources

IN EACH ISSUE 28 Pull-Out Calendar ‘Tis the Season for Family Fun

36 From Our Bookshelf Holiday Tales

40 Hip Grannie Prickly Teenagers

42 Dad About Town Robert Burke

43 Spotlight Uncommon Construction

49 Out & About Who, What, When, & Where Family Fun

ON THE COVER Juliet, 4, and Owen, 6, wander around the The Plant Gallery in Metairie looking for the perfect Christmas tree. Photo by Twirl Photography.

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publisher/editor ANN BOWER HERREN  

Contr ibutors  

managing editor TIM MEYER  

office  manager   JENNY ZIGLIN 

DR. PAT BLACKWEL is a licensed developmental psychologist who has worked with families for over 30 years, and is the author of Nola Family’s awardwinning “Learning Years” column. 

advertising  sales   DURBAN ZAUNBRECHER 

SCOTT CAMPBELL is publisher and founder of River Road Press, a local boutique publisher of local and regional authors.



LAURA CLAVERIE, also known as Nola Family’s Hip Grannie, is a journalist who has written for local, regional, and national media.

ad production SARA YOUNGBLOOD  contributing photography   TWIRL PHOTOGRAPHY  

SARAH HERNDON is a freelance writer, mom, and frequent contributor to Nola Family.

For reprint information, contact  Business Office: 

PAMELA MARQUIS, a freelance writer, has lived in New Orleans for more than 40 years.

8131 Oak St., Ste. 500, New Orleans, LA 70118    

504.866.0555 LISA PHILLIPS, a licensed social worker and

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A publication of  


december 2019 volume 13, issue  9  The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and/or contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the magazine or its advertisers.  

parent educator at The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital, is a contributor to the award-winning “Parenting Corner” column. She can be reached at 504.896.9591;

THYME HAWKINS is our amazing edit intern at NOLA Family.


A Tale of Two Christmases Christmas morning is all about rushing to get ready: we wake up, open presents, maybe eat some toast, and then it’s off to a marathon of visiting, eating too much, eating some more, gift exchanging, then crashing at home in the evening — and probably eating one more time before bed. My son doesn’t even get a chance to enjoy any of his new stuff. My mom’s family and my in-laws usually have Christmas lunch scheduled at the same time, noon. My family will never reschedule (don’t even ask), while my in-laws have tried Christmas dinner instead, but that hasn’t stuck yet. We have to decide which one we’re going to visit first, which means spending the least amount of time with before heading to the next location. My family is much larger, and the scene is always chaotic. You grab a plate and sit wherever you find space (and try to avoid a full conversation with Aunt Karen — every family has an Aunt Karen. We love you, Aunt Karen.). Trying to leave is like enduring the receiving line when meeting the royal family, but instead of just saying goodbye to grandma and grandpa, each aunt, uncle, cousin, your cousin’s new baby, and family friend (shout out to Uncle E!) all need a proper send off too. This alone could take an hour. This is known as the “Southern Goodbye,” For those parents not from around these here parts.

I may complain that this splitting of Christmases is stressful and unfair, which it is, but I love this marathon. I’d like to say I love it because it’s a chance to see family that I don’t often do or the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, but that’s not it. I love it because it reminds me that I have a nice, quiet, relatively clean house to come home to at the end of the day.

Sitting comfy on my own couch,

Tim Meyer

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My in-laws, on the other hand, host a (usually) peaceful sit-down meal at the dining room table, but by the time we arrive, everyone has already eaten and are watching TV. I mean, we totally eat again, especially if there’s pie; well, I look for pie. My mother-in-law always makes sure that there’s something for everyone. We do get a chance to relax for a bit before it’s gift-exchanging time, but this takes no where near as long as the goodbyes do at my family’s Christmas gathering.



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Tea Party for the Dolls

e m i T a e Holiday T With & Dining


Nutcracker Holiday Tea St. Tammany Art Association, 320 N. Columbia St., Covington. Join the Art Association for Nutcracker Tea, complete with ballet dancers and a special visit from Santa Claus. Admission includes The English Tea Room’s High Tea service with finger sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. All proceeds from this event benefit STAA. $50/person. Dec. 7. 2–4 pm;

Santa's Breakfast Tea The English Tea Room, 734 E. Rutland St., Covington. Bring the kids for a Christmas Eve treat! The family will all enjoy the breakfast and tea set menu. Plus, kids can talk to Santa Claus in a special meet and greet. Call 985.898.3988 to make reservations. $30/adult and $15/child. Dec. 24. 9–11 am.

Teddy Bear Tea The Roosevelt New Orleans, 123 Baronne St. Delicious food, specialty teas, and tasty pastries, as well as sparkling wine and mimosas available for purchase for the grown-ups. Children receive a Roosevelt Teddy Bear after a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 1, 7–8, 14–15, and 19–24. Times and ticket prices vary by day;

BB’s Stage Door Canteen, 945 Magazine St. The Annual Teddy Bear Tea will feature delicious food, lively music from the Victory Belles, a visit from Santa Claus, and a special teddy bear gift. $65.99/ person nonmembers or $60.99/person for members. Children under 2 are free. Dec. 7, 14, and 21. 9:30–11:30 am and 2–4 pm;

Pictures with Santa Baby’s Corner, 70448 Highway 21, Covington. Photographer Alli Cheatwood will be taking pictures of your little ones with Santa. No age limit or appointments necessary. $15 for emailed photos. Dec. 7, 11 am–3 pm and Dec. 8, 12–3 pm; 985.892.5300.

Pancakes and Pjs with Santa The Berry Barn, 56188 Holden Circle, Amite. Santa and his friends will be coming to The Berry Barn to have breakfast. Jump out of bed, leave your pjs on, and come have some fun. The menu will consist of breakfast items, but don’t worry, mimosas will be available for adults $30/person. Children under 2 are free. Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, 9–11 am;

Breakfast with Santa Dave & Buster’s, 1200 Poydras St. Join for the annual Breakfast with Santa. Includes breakfast buffet, $10 Power Card with unlimited video game play, holiday themed arts and crafts, and photos with Santa. $24/person. $15/person without game card. Dec. 14, 9 am–noon; 504.226.3206.

Kingdom of Sweets Nutcracker Tea La Petite Palace, 5928 W. Metairie Ave. Suite 3, Metairie. Enter the Kingdom of Sweets filled with treats and traditional Nutcracker dance lessons. Activities include storytime and ballet lesson with a Nutcracker ballerina, coloring, photos, creating your own Nutcracker ornament, and personalizing a tea cup and saucer. $28/child with accompanying adult. Open to children 2 and up. Dec. 22, 3–4 pm;

Royal Teddy Bear Tea Royal Sonesta Grand Ballroom, 300 Bourbon St. It’s a magical Royal kingdom featuring a visit from Santa, storytime with Mrs. Claus, a sing-along with Rudolph, the Sugarplum Fairy, and

Family Holiday Tea Longue Vue House and Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road. Join Santa in celebrating the holidays with an afternoon tea, a festive holiday craft, and good cheer. Loupe Photography will be available to capture the joyful spirit of the season for an additional fee. $50/adults and children (members), $60/adults and children (nonmembers). Children under 2 are free. Dec.14, 1–3 pm;

Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel Creole Queen, Riverwalk/Canal Street dock. Join Papa Noel, Mrs. Noel, Gaston the Gator, and other jolly Cajun characters during this enchanting family festivity. Classic holiday tea with tempting treats, storytelling, face painting, magic tricks, children’s activities, and merriment while cruising the mighty Mississippi. $62/adults, $42/ children, $10/ages 2 and younger. Dec. 14–15, 10 am–noon and 1:30–3:30 pm;

Papa Noel Tea The Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St. A special holiday celebration with an appearance by Papa Noel. Children will enjoy cookie decorating, viewing The Ritz-Carlton’s oneof-a-kind gingerbread display, and other holiday surprises. $70/person. Dec. 7–8, 14–24, 11 am and 2:30 pm; 504.262.5048

Build Your Own Gingerbread House The Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St. Children of all ages are invited to build a festive gingerbread house. Price includes one gingerbread house with all the decorating essentials and holiday refreshments. $160/table. Dec. 7–8, 14–23, Noon and 3 pm; 504.262.5048.

Deanie’s Candyland Christmas Show Deanie’s Seafood Restaurant, 841 Iberville St. Rockin’ holiday fun for the kids with Vince Vance and the Valianettes! Enjoy a full buffet breakfast, complimentary photos with Santa, face painting, and arts and crafts. $50/person. Children 3 and under are free. Dec. 7–8 and 14–15, 9 am; 504.421.2252,

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Teddy Bear Tea

Beauregard-Keyes House, 1113 Chartres St. Kids can bring their favorite dolls to enjoy a Victorian Christmas. Activities include a sing-along, storytime, displays of the house’s antique doll collection, and a visit from Santa. $10/person. Dec. 14, 1–4 pm;

Marching Toy Soldiers. VIP admission: $75/ adults, $49/children ages 2–11; general admission: $59/adults, $34/children ages 2–11. Dec. 15, 19–23, times vary by day,


Photo by Twirl Photography.

Eco-Anxiety: The Burden of Climate Change on Schools

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The second part of our series asks how are local schools teaching climate change. Part One appeared in the November 2019 issue and covered the impact of climate change on the mental health of children in New Orleans.

Sarah Dunn, a teacher, and Isabel Rees, a junior, have both taken on the duty of helping Sacred Heart students recognize the impact of man-made climate change.

Academy of the Sacred Heart, an Uptown all-girls Catholic school, wants to empower students with a focused education on global environmental issues. The school doesn’t just want their students to excel academically, but to become conscientious citizens who see the environment as their responsibility.

Dunn moderates. “I see this as a really good thing to be thinking about, because it may not necessarily be that my generation is the one that is only affected by this,” Rees says. “It’s going to be the next generation and the generations after that. We need to make sure that our environment is well preserved.”

Sarah Dunn teaches environmental science to juniors and seniors at Sacred Heart where climate change is a large component of the curriculum. “Climate change itself is a natural phenomenon, but what we want to focus on is the human-induced climate change, and there are a lot of factors that contribute to that,” she says.

One project that Rees is involved with is a student-generated flyer called “In the Know While You Go.” It informs students about current environmental issues or endangered animals. The one-pagers are taped to bathroom stalls so that all students have a chance to read them.

They discuss ecological footprints and delve into the “tragedy of the commons,” which Dunn explains as “the idea that humans tend to think of their individual needs and not the needs of the greater good or the whole community when using a natural resource.” A recent poll conducted by NPR/Ipsos found that 86 percent of teachers support climate change being taught in schools, however, it is rarely included in the curriculum. Over half of the teachers surveyed said that they do not teach the subject or even discuss it with their students. Most said that it was outside of their expertise. However, this is not the case for some local New Orleans schools, such as Sacred Heart, who are not only teaching about climate change, but are implementing programs to make their campus greener.

A Big Deal

When the students first start discussing climate change, there is an initial feeling of anxiety and helplessness. “The more inventive they can be and the more they can be part of the solution, that turns it around for them,” Dunn says. Isabel Rees, a junior, is currently enrolled in the environmental science class. She is also a member of the school’s environmental club, which

The school even participated in the Global Climate Strike Day in September when over 7 million people worldwide, a lot of them students, took to the streets and protested for climate action. Instead of taking to the streets, Sacred Heart dedicated chapel time so the upper school girls had a safe space to voice their anxieties about climate change. “We felt the girls needed that dedicated time and mature space, and rather than stepping out of our campus and striking on the streets, we wanted to bring them in and have a productive discussion,” says Meg LaBumbard, director of communications at Sacred Heart. The school’s Conservation Communicators Club also led an assembly for the lower school students, during which each student took a pledge to respect every living thing and to protect the earth. “It was nice to get together and take the pledge because it’s kind of like saying ‘Good job for cleaning the earth,’” says Courtney Habetz, a fourth grader. “It’s nice to have a clean environment, and it’s fun to do activities to help.”

Changing the Conversation Benjamin Franklin High School, a Gentilly charter public school, also teaches climate change in its AP environmental science classes. “There are specific objectives that address both climate science and the environmental and economic impacts of climate change,” says teacher Kady Clincy. “We look at the impacts to coastal communities like New Orleans.”

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Recently, Dunn has been working on a project with her students called Fast Fashion, which looks at the behind-the-scenes impact of the fashion industry on the environment. Students learn that textile production releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. To tie the lesson together, students designed gowns made out of completely recycled materials and hosted a fashion show in the school’s courtyard.

“It is a big deal to be learning about this stuff so we know how to help, even in little ways,” she says.


“... they are also angered and annoyed that adults waste time debating that there is a problem.” And while most students are very aware of climate change before taking her course, they are also angered and annoyed that adults waste time debating that there is a problem. “They believe the problem is obvious,” Clincy says. “Some students may be despondent or feel helpless, but I encounter a righteous anger more often than helplessness. Anger and outrage is the most common emotion since the US left the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Third grade students at Lycee Français, an Uptown French immersion public charter school, plant trees during a field trip to the Audubon Nature Center in November as part of the school’s focus on environmental education. Photo by Kelly Galjour.

Clincy is a sponsor of the school’s Green Society, which has been ardently promoting school-wide sustainability for over 25 years. They educate the student body on recycling, host an annual drive for difficult-to-recycle items such as batteries and ink cartridges, and help maintain the school’s diversity garden. Yet, this year, students in the Green Society wanted to make a broader, more significant impact. They partnered with Loyola University and hosted an environmental forum for New Orleans Districts 91 and 98 candidates for state representative. “Students felt it was very important to make sure that progressive candidates in safely democratic districts went on the record about issues such as coastal erosion, catastrophic flooding, and alternative energy,” Clincy says. ”It felt like prior to the forum, they weren’t hearing anything about environmental issues from most of the candidates. Students felt like they helped change the conversation.”

Taking Root

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In 2016, the International High School of New Orleans, concerned about flooding and water retention on their property, built a rooftop garden. They were the first school to implement this idea in a city that receives around 64 inches of rain each year.


Kinder Haus Montessori, a preschool in Mandeville, began composting to combat the high amount of waste it produced. Students observe how piles of leaves, banana peels, and napkins turn into soil for the school’s garden.

“The garden came as an initiative to manage water better in our building, but then we realized all of the benefits and the academics that we could also tie into the garden in our science department,” says Jenny Carreno, assistant principal at IHSNO. Although climate change is not a direct part of their curriculum, students still learn about their impact on the environment and the importance of taking care of it. A gardening club takes care of the maintenance and upkeep of the garden. The environmental class learns about storm water management and water conservation. And the biology can observe actual pollination and germination taking place.

The Edible Schoolyard at Phyllis Wheatley Community School helps to arm younger students with an awareness of environmental responsibility.

“We want them to think globally and we want them to think that everything they do is going to actually impact their future,” Carreno says.

Environmental Awareness Charlotte Steele is a lead garden educator with the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, a project of the network of FirstLine charter schools. She supervises the garden team at Phyllis Wheatley Community School in Treme, as well as teaches the lower school’s garden classes. “We are not specifically using language like global warming and climate change, but one of the main goals of our program is to foster environmental awareness and caring,” Steele says. “We are definitely meeting those goals that completely fall in line with preventing climate change and protecting the environment at large.” The class covers topics like habitat loss, ecosystems, pollination, and the importance of eating foods grown locally. The students are currently harvesting papaya, sweet potato, kale, and radishes. They are proud of the amount of food they grow, Charlotte says, eating it in classes and giving it away to families in the community once a week. Makai, a fourth grader at Phillis Wheatley, enjoys working in the worm bin the most. He sees firsthand how worms enrich soil to enable plants and food to grow in the garden. He has also learned that a radish is his favorite food. “Especially living in a city, where our experience doesn’t stray far from the concrete and the buildings that we are interacting with — to have students zoom in on a tiny ladybug or caterpillar and really notice and elevate those aspects of our community is really cool,” Steele says. “They get so excited about everything in the garden class.”

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

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h t r a E e h t Gift y a d i l o H N a G R E E N this holiday season REE Go red, white, & G cor ideas. de d an ft gi y dl n ie fr hrt ea e es with th ing paper, candles, cards, and ously wasteful. Wrapp g The holiday season is notori terials, but buying or makin more mess than reusable ma e duc pro en oft . ns int tio tpr ora foo dec ironmental can clean up this season’s env the right holiday trimmings



A chronic problem with holiday gifts is: REQUIRES BATTERIES, SOLD SEPARATELY. Instead of stocking up on a bulk size box of AA, look for gifts that don’t use batteries. Batteries produce chemical waste, which is often not properly disposed. Minimize toy waste by choosing toys that don’t require extra energy or use rechargeable batteries.

Holiday trees add seasonal charm to the house, and decorating the tree is a tradition beloved by many families. Check out our guide to finding the right tree for your family without adding to the end of the season waste.

PERSONALIZE Think about what gifts will mean the most to your child before reaching for the last, endlessly packaged gadget on the shelf. Shadow boxes display all your child’s school and activity mementos, cooked dishes always help fill up holiday appetites, and gifting an experience like tickets to a sports game or concert requires no physical waste and little to no wrapping.

HAND ME UPS Nearly half of US consumers said they would consider giving used apparel as a present this year, according to a study from Accenture. Even more would welcome gifts from the resale market themselves. Instead of lugging around plastic shopping bags, visit your closet and regift that still nice jacket you’ve out-grown,

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When you print or buy your holiday cards, opt for cards made from recycled paper and leave a note to encourage the recipient to recycle. Also, e-cards send sweet sentiments with a variety of animations and images available without producing any paper waste.

WRAP IT UP Large sheets of wrapping paper should be salvaged for another use instead of going to the landfill. Unfortunately, most wrapping paper won’t last, so use eco-friendly wrapping paper. String Theory, Wrappily, Root Cause, Second Coat, Got You Covered, and Pretty in Ink are a few of the brands offering eco-friendly, recycled wrapping papers.

OUTSHINE THE SEASON LED lights use less energy and last longer than other bulbs. These bulbs will help you cut down on wire and glass waste each year, and they will lower your electric bill. Plus, turning off your lights overnight saves energy, prolongs bulb life, and saves your bill.

WAX AWAY THE TIME Whether you use candles as a central part of your holiday tradition or to brighten the house, pay attention to the wax blend used. Instead of using paraffin blends, check out beeswax, palm, soy, or olive oil candles. Also, LED menorahs and kinaras made with wooden or recycled materials reduce waste year after year.

LOCAL FIRST When preparing your holiday meals, check out local farmer’s markets first. New Orleans is a hub of markets including the Bucktown Harbor Farmers Market, Old Metairie Farmers Market, Crescent City Farmers Market, and the French Market.

ORGANIC OPTIONS Key ingredients in your favorites dishes have organic choices found in your grocery store. Organic potatoes, ham, and fixings can replace mass produced foods.

y l d n e i r F o E c s Tree Guide

Christma s

Southern Christmas proud members of the are t tha ms far e tre as fields of fresh pine eral Christm perience of traveling to Louisiana is home to sev ex ing nd bo the s ilie farms allow fam of these farms. Tree Association. These ir homes. Below are a few the for e tre ct rfe pe the and choosing



56459 Dollar Rd., Angie. Cut your own tree at this farm that plants more than they cut down each year. They support recycling trees into mulch or using trees to help with Louisiana coastal restoration. The farm also features hayrides, a gift shop, and more fun for the family during your visit. Visit for more information.

18075 Tiger Branch Rd., Covington. A choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm featuring Carolina sappmarhire, Leyland cypress, Murray cypress, and Virginia pine trees. Call 985.893.5520 for more information about their 2019 tree season.

SHADY POND TREE FARM 37226 Pine St. Ext., Pearl River. Keep a living Christmas tree in your home this year. This farm offers families the option to cut their own tree or keep a live, potted Christmas tree. Potted trees allow you to plant your tree after the season is over, so there is no post-season waste. Visit for the 2019 tree season hours.

COUNTRY PINES 81332 Jim Sharp Rd., Covington. Travel to the Northshore for an all-inclusive tree-cutting experience at this choose-andcut farm. Families select a tree in the field, and they can cut their own tree or let the staff cut it for them. The trees are $7/foot. Once cut, the staff prepares the tree for its journey home. Open 8 am–5 pm every weekend after Thanksgiving. Call 985.260.0165 for more information.


If possible, select a PVC-free tree. PVC-free trees do not use the same chemicals that give off gases from petroleumbased plastics. If you don’t find a PVC-tree that fits your lifestyle or budget, consider buying a used tree. Previously used trees already released their gases. LED trees are the better pre-lit options, too. Your tree should save you from shopping for a new one each year, so find one that matches your home and decorations the best to prevent throwing it out next year. When you do tire of your tree, consider donating it or selling it to another family instead of throwing it away.

Believe it or not, it is possible to capture the charm of a Christmas tree without a plastic or pine tree in your home. Multipurpose crafts and decorations can be fashioned into a tree shape during the holidays, and there are a lot more options out there, so feel free to get creative when you’re getting festive this year. Upholstery fashioned to Christmas tree-shaped cardboard is entirely recyclable, lightweight, and easy to store. Pick out your favorite holiday print, or ask the kids to choose, and make the tree that fits your style. Plus, darker fabrics can layer on top of lighter fabrics, so you can change up the pattern next year to keep your Christmas style fresh. Consider the wall and floor space as tree space by hanging lights in a swooping pattern to brighten the room with some Christmas spirit without filling it with prickly branches. Chalkboards also offer interesting possibilities as a tree drawing can be covered in new and unique ornaments each day. Many chalkboards and wall panels are magnetic, so you can hang decorations across your wall tree, too, to give it a little three-dimensional pop. Decorate your tree with the love and holiday wishes from your loved ones. A simple triangular backing with thread stretched across it can be used to hang holiday cards like ornaments on a tree. Wooden plank trees can take many forms. Attach sturdy wooden planks to the wall shortening in length as you go up to create shelves that also function as the silhouette of a tree. Fill each wooden shelf with favorite Christmas photos, cards, ornaments, and decorations. These shelves can be altered during the year to provide year-round storage.

Thyme Hawkins is an editorial intern with Nola Family and our sister publication, Nola Boomers. She is a student at Loyola University, class of 2021.

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Unfortunately, artificial trees are not wholly eco-friendly or recyclable. However, many families may need to opt for artificial due to allergies or size restrictions. In this case, consider the best options for your family when buying an artificial tree.



Holiday Gift Guide

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2 0 19


Toys and clothes and books - oh my!

2 1


4 5 6 1. Kids Imperial Tartan Pajamas

4. Wireless Express Mini Boom Box

Petite Plume Pajamas 2T–14 ($58); Gowns 12/18–14 ($48); and Rompers 3/6M–18/24M ($48).

Includes Bluetooth, FM radio, led lights, dancing speakers, stereo sound, headphone jack, aux input, SD/USB input, remote control, rechargeable battery, and charger; more colors available ($69.99).

Banbury Cross,, 100 Atherton Dr., Metairie.

Relax muscles and smooth wrinkles with this natural, non-toxic collagen alternative spray ($36). Kismet Cosmetics,

Le Jouet Toy Store,, 1700 Airline Dr., Metairie.

5. Ride-On Llama Ideal for developing fine motor and balance skills, this llama can either be ridden or pushed. It also includes a shape sorter; ages 1+ ($89.99).

3. 5-Piece Drum Set

Magic Box Toys, 504.899.0117, 5508 Magazine St.

Perfect for young rock stars, this drum set incorporates many of the same features as a professional set; red or blue ($249.99).

6. Prank Toys

Le Jouet Toy Store,, 1700 Airline Dr., Metairie.

Who doesn’t love a surprise? Magic Box’s selection of prank toys is a favorite of any family prankster ($2.49–$5.99); featured: trick box. Magic Box Toys, 504.899.0117, 5508 Magazine St.

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2. Perky Spray



7 9

10 11

12 7. Roman Candy Pajamas

10. Billybandit Hat & Scarf Set

Make Christmas morning extra sweet with these 100% organic cotton pjs ($34).

This grey hat and scarf set is knitted in a double layer of super soft cotton blend. The hat has a blue and red knitted lining, a neon orange pom-pom, and eye-shaped holes to look through ($64).

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Nola Tawk,


8. Beignets for Breakfast (hardcover) Let the playful rhyming verse and vivid illustrations in “Beignets for Breakfast” transport children to one of the greatest cities in the world ($19.95).

Sayings Kids,, 5611 Marcia Ave.

11. Fancy Monster Eye Drawstring Bags Going to a sleepover or grandmother’s for the night, this soft and furry glitter-eyes backpack is just want you need ($30).

Octavia Books,, 513 Octavia St.

Sayings Kids,, 5611 Marcia Ave.

9. Copenhagen Coat

12. Smart Beat Monitor

From Peach’s Nordic Lights Winter ‘19 Collection, the oversized coat makes a statement that is cozy, warm, and stylish; XXS-XXL, color: blush ($139).

Smart Beat is so precise that parents can see the depth and duration of each individual breath as it analyzes by sight with no electronics in the crib or on your baby ($249.50).


Smart Beat,

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13 15



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13. Candy Cane Pants & Alligator Tees

16. Sven Rocking Horse

Locally designed, these printed tees and pants get you in the New Orleans Christmas spirit; pants: 6M–5 ($24), tees: 2–12 ($24).

Kids can now have their own Sven from Disney’s new movie, “Frozen 2” ($69.99).

Two Sprouts,, 103 Focis St., Metairie.

Only at Target,

14. Glow Battle

17. Paintable Sneakers

Use glowing foam swords to battle friends, foes, and family. With 28 glowing game pieces, the kit is designed for playing 10 organized games such as Gladiators, Knights of Old, Vampires, and more; ages 8+ ($49.90).

Perfect for expressing yourself, Bobbi-Toads Paintable Sneakers can be painted with any nail polish over and over again; seven designs available, sizes 11–6 ($49.95).

Starlux Games,

15. Robotics STEM Kit


18. Louisiana Children’s Museum Membership

Build and rebuild endless robotic creations with a single kit. Build doodling robots, power electric model cars, add motors to Legos, and more; ages 8–12 ($59).

Available in Family 1: admission for one adult and one child ($100); Family 2: admission for two adults and 3 children or guests ($150); and Family 3: admission for two adults and six children or guests ($225).

Tinkering Labs,

Louisiana Children’s Museum,, 15 Henry Thomas Dr.

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19. Clutches & Handbags

22. Holiday Bath Bomb Cards

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Custom made clutch or crossbody handbags ($99).

Kiss boring greeting cards goodbye with the brand new Hello Fizzy collection featuring a bath bomb in every card ($6.99–$8.99).


Mirabella’s,, 605 Metairie Rd. Ste. C, Metairie


Mirabella’s,, 605 Metairie Rd. Ste. C, Metairie

20. Slippers Fuzzy and adorable slide on slippers ($104)

21. Convertible Trike The Doona Liki Trike S3 is convertible and portable for kids 10 month–3 years ($249.99). ZukaBaby,, 701 Metairie Rd., Ste. 1A-109, Metairie

Little Pnuts Toy Shoppe & Party Boutique, littlepnutstoyshoppe. com, 400 Harrison Ave.

23. Madeline Gift Basket Containing a delectable variety of Aunt Sally’s treats, this gift basket is perfect for the pecan lovers in your life ($65). Aunt Sally’s Original Pralines,, Uptown and French Quarter

WINTER Holiday Camps It might be cold outside, but here are winter break camps to keep the kids warm while school is out. Art Camp 504 Winter Break Camp

Church’s Karate Winter Break Camp

Franco’s Tennis Christmas Camp

Ages: 5–14

Ages 4–12

Ages: 5–13

Cost: Before Dec. 1: $270; after Dec. 1: $295; aftercare: $75 for 6 days; drop-in available $15/day.

Cost: $45/day, includes before/after care; teacher and sibling discounts available.

Cost: $50/day for members and $60/day for nonmembers; $10 sibling discount

Dates/Times: Dec. 23, 24, 26, & 27; Dec 30–Jan. 3, 8:30 am–3:30 pm

Dates/Times: Dec. 23–24, 26–27, 30–31, & Jan. 2–3, 8 am–5:30 pm, beforecare available

Contact:, 504.517.8268

Contact: 985.792.0205

Dates/Times: Dec. 23, 26–27, 30, & Jan. 2–3, 8:45 am–3:15 pm Contact:, Campers learn about the unique art and culture of New Orleans in the form of mixed media portraiture. The first three days focus on photography and xerox transfer. Campers will visit a professional photo studio and learn photography basics. The next three days explore collage technique where campers will study shape, contrast, assemblage, and texture while arranging their portrait elements.

Ages: 5 and older

Culinary Kids Holiday Camp Ages: 5–12 Cost: $75/day plus tax, before/aftercare available

Cost: $80/day, $5/hr for before/aftercare

Dates/Times: Dec. 27, 30–31, & Jan. 2–3; 9 am–3 pm, before/aftercare available

Dates/Times: Dec. 23, 26–27, 30, & Jan. 2–3, 9 am–3 pm; before/aftercare available

Contact: 985.727.5553,

Contact: 504.891.2246 Enjoy riding, crafts, games, and learning about horse care.

Kids cook their meals, perform wild science experiments, enjoy indoor/outdoor games and exercises, make crafts, enjoy the gardens, feed the chickens, and meet guest visitors.

Kids spend fun-filled days at Franco’s in groups suited to their age. Activities include holiday arts and crafts, outdoor pool play with inflatables, making edible desserts, and exercise. Lunch and snacks are provided fresh from the grill daily.

JCC Winter Mini Camp Ages: K–5th grade both locations, preschool 3–5-year-olds Metairie only Cost: Members only, $50/day Dates/Times: Uptown: Dec. 20; Metairie & Uptown: Dec. 23–24, 26–27, 30–31, & Jan. 2–3; 9 am–3 pm; before/aftercare available. Contact:, 504.897.0143 Uptown; 504.887.5158 Metairie It’s time for the annual Winter Camp. Play with old and new friends while enjoying art and games. Bring a bagged lunch and closed-toed shoes so you can take part in all of the fun.

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Cascade Stables Winter Riding Camp

A full-day camp experience that is equally educational as it is exciting and fun. It is sure to be a safe, positive, and motivational camp adventure where your child is guaranteed to obtain physical and mental fitness. Campers participate in activities including karate, parkour, gymnastics, arts and crafts, board games, and legos.


Ochsner Fitness SoFAB’s Winter Break Kidsports Holiday Camp Mini-Culinary Camp

X Fusion’s Mini Fusion Kid’s Camp

Ages: 3–12

Ages: 7–11

Ages: 4–15

Cost: $45/day, $40/day advance, $7/beforecare, $10/aftercare; $8/lunch

Cost: $130 for the whole week, $110 members

Cost: $40/day; $105/three-days; $140/full week

Dates/Times: Dec. 23, 26, 27, & 30, Jan. 2–3, & 6, 9 am–3:30 pm, before/aftercare available Contact: 504.733.1200 Holiday mini-camps offer fun in a two-story Adventure Challenge maze, discovering the ins and outs of the pirate ship playground, bouncing in the spacewalk, swimming in beautiful outdoor pools, and creating arts and crafts.

¡Vamonos NOLA! Espanol Winter Camp Ages: 5–12 Cost: $200/session

Ages: 4.5–12

Contact: or 504.495.2345

Contact: or 504.469.0148 NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. Learn the basics of safely handling, grooming and good balance riding a pony or horse - appropriate to age and experience. Many other fun activities no matter the weather (inside and out) like crafts, driving pony cart and more!

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Play food games and make winter comfort foods from every color of the rainbow

Dates/Times: Dec. 23–27/Dec. 30–Jan. 3; 9 am–3:30 pm, before/aftercare available, drop-in rates available also

Dates/Times: Dec. 23–24, 26–27, 30–31, Jan. 2–3, & 6; 9 am–3 pm. Before and aftercare available.

Contact:, 504.267.7490

Pony Tales Holiday Camp Cost: $59/day, $55/day for 2–4 days, and $48/day for 5+ days


Dates/Times: Dec. 30–Jan. 3; 9 am–12 pm

¡Vamonos NOLA! is your Spanish Language Vacation Camp Destination. Your camper will make friends and build memories while laying a foundation of multilingualism.

Dates/Times: Dec. 23, 26–27, 30, and Jan. 2–3, 7 am–4 pm, aftercare available Contact: 985.327.7167 Kids will learn to be resourceful, healthy, and strong through project-based learning and set individual goals while integrating a classroom-style learning climbing environment.

Jenice and Scott Heck’s two kids aren’t deterred by their mother’s vision impairment; to them “Mom is Mom.” Photo by Creative Images Photography



Decades ago, Jenice Heck met her husband Scott at her church’s youth group. Then, as a young adult, she left New Orleans to further her education and to live a “bit of life,” but she decided to return home when she was ready to settle down. “When I got here, I wanted to help out with my old youth group,” she says. “Turns out, so did Scott. We were so happy to see one another again. People at that reunion said they could see the sparks fly between us.”

Jenice is simply a normal parent, who happens to be blind. She was born with Leber’s congenital amaurosis — an eye disorder that primarily affects the retina.

Being a blind parent certainly comes with a few extra challenges, but according to Jenice, who is also Lighthouse of Louisiana’s vice president of Vision Rehabilitation Services, the most difficult logistical challenge to work around is finding access to practical and affordable transportation.

She also says it’s essential to plan things out and try to be three steps ahead of any scenario. “If your kids say, ‘I need a poster board for a project tomorrow,’ you just have to say, ‘Sorry guys, we can’t go to Walmart now. You should have planned better,’” Jenice says. Some visually-impaired parents even think not being able to drive has a few advantages. They believe their children are more independent, and they’re certainly not afraid of using buses or Uber. Walking places is healthy for them, and children learn the importance of paying more attention to their surroundings. However, Jenice says that not being able to drive is a disadvantage, but she also knows owning, insuring, and maintaining a car can be a disadvantage, too.

Some might think that the biggest challenge for a blind parent would be caring for an infant or toddler, but that wasn’t Jenice’s experience. “The infant part is easy,” she says, jokingly. “When I left them some place, they were still there when I got back.” When the babies turn into toddlers, many parents put bells on their children’s shoes or get a pair of Pip Squeakers, shoes with little

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They have now been married for 16 years, and she’s raised two healthy and thriving children. She’s facing all the challenges parents face: sleepless nights, screaming tantrums, scary high fevers, and all the assorted scraps, bruises, and broken hearts along the way.

“You can’t be the stereotypical soccer mom driving your kids to ball games, field trips, ballet, and friends’ houses,” she says. “Sometimes you have to rely on others to pick them up or drop them off, and you and your children certainly have to become efficient using public transportation.”


“OF COURSE IT’S HARD, BUT ONLY BECAUSE BEING A PARENT IS HARD.” squeakers built into them. Some parents have found that pulling jogging strollers behind them is easiest, so they can still use their canes or guide dogs. How does a blind parent effectively take care of a sick child? The answer is with the help of adaptive aids, things such as tactile markers on the medicine’s syringe, thermometers with audible responses, and medication directions in braille or with audible markings. Jenice believes one of the big advantages her blindness has afforded her children is that it increased their verbal skills. For example, instead of pointing at things, they had to tell her what they wanted. “You also rely on what all mothers rely on — your maternal instincts,” she says. “Your instincts are based on a lifetime of experience, and they alert you that something you can’t see may be going on.”

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She also says her children are extremely compassionate and keenly aware that being different or having a physical challenge doesn’t mean a person is less than others. Her children respect Jenice, and they do not take advantage of her by purloining a piece of cake or “borrowing” a bit of money.


“We decided it wasn’t right to take advantage of my mother’s disability, so we just don’t do things like that,” says her daughter Kaley, 11. Her son Andrew is a 14-year-old freshman at Brother Martin High School, and he really sees his mom as just as capable as any of his friends’ moms. “She’s not really that different,” he says. “When I look at her, I never see a mom with a disability. She cooks and cleans and helps me when I need help. I mean, Mom is Mom. ” “The only things she can’t do are drive and check her makeup, but that’s it,” Kaley says. Jenice thinks one of the hardest things for blind parents to do is to resist believing the people who say you can’t do it. “Of course it’s hard, but only because being a parent is hard. You learn to adapt. To be a good parent you do what any parent does, you get things done, you get through it and you love your children. ”

Pamela Marquis, a freelance writer, has lived in New Orleans for more than 40 years.

RESOURCES “Twin Vision” books allow parents to participate in one of the joys of parenting: bedtime reading. The books have braille on one side with print on the facing page. Illustrations have braille captions. The Blind Parents Connection podcast’s cover such topics as feeding, traveling, and back to school basics, which help blind parents with day-today parenting tasks; The Hadley’s Family Education Program offers courses ranging from child development, independent living, braille reading and writing, and adjustment to blindness; Lighthouse Louisiana offers a variety of services to help individuals of all ages who are blind, visually impaired, and have other disabilities. It provides more than 6,000 services annually that help individuals regain and maintain independence;

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Fassbender Center, 2508 20th St., Kenner. Join for a day of snowmanthemed painting and leave with a finished product! All supplies and snacks included. 6–8 pm.

City of Mandeville. The Winter on the Water Santa Parade begins on Lakeshore and Jackson and travels to the Gazebo where live music, face painting, bell chorus, and lighting of the oaks are waiting. Don’t forget your cameras for pictures with Santa. 4–6 pm.

Winter on the Water Santa Parade Jingle Bell Run Audubon Park. Be a part of this holiday-themed 5K race and fight to conquer arthritis. $35/person. 7:30–11 am.


Rivertown Heritage Park, 415 Williams Blvd., Kenner. Featuring ice skating, Santa’s workshop, food and shopping, a Christmas tree lot, performances, and a biergarten. Free. Continues Fridays and Saturdays until Dec. 28.

Kenner Christmas Village


Spons ored b y: IN & O UT URGE NT CA RE


Audubon Zoo. Stroll through the zoo decorated for the holidays. Children under 2 admitted free. $13/person for members or $18/person for nonmembers. $3 discount for purchasing in advance online. 6–9 pm. Continues on select dates throughout December.

Zoo Lights


Downtown New Orleans. Get in the holiday spirit with the New Orleans annual Christmas parade featuring creative holiday floats, marching bands, stilt walkers, and many Christmas characters. 1 pm.

Krewe of Jingle

Pintsize Paint Party: Snowman

Jones Park, Gulfport, Miss. Visit a winter wonderland with over 1.2 million lights, the famous dancing Christmas trees, and more. Pictures with Santa are free with admission. 5:30–9:30 pm. Continues until Dec. 31.

New Orleans City Park. Visit a stunning Christmas Wonderland and enjoy the sight of magnificent light displays strung across the oaks. 6–11 pm. Continues until Jan. 1.


Gulfport Harbor Lights

Celebration in the Oaks




, p. XX a t n a S h it W g in e and Din im T a e T r, p. XX a y d a n d li le o a c H t u o See b A the Out & in n fu y a d li o h e r Find mo


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! n o s a e S e h t s i ‘T

DEC 24 Bonfires on the Levee Lutcher, La. More than 100 bonfires are lit along the Mississippi River to show the Cajun Santa Claus, Papa Noel, where to fly and land as he soars across southern Louisiana. Begins at dusk.

DEC 22

Chabad-Chanukah at the Riverwalk

Riverwalk Spanish Plaza. A public menorah lighting and grand Chanukah celebration. Kosher food, Jewish music, children’s programs and entertainment, and Chanukah materials. 4–6 pm.

Saenger Theatre. Watch the Christmas classic performed on stage with music arranged by an award-winning songwriting team. Tickets and showtimes vary by day. Repeats daily until Dec. 22.

merry christmas

DEC 25

Note: Schedules subject to change.

The parade will begin at the intersection of Elysian Fields Ave. and Decatur St. The United States Air Force Honor Guard will march and the Mardi Gras-style parade will feature floats, bands, and much more. 2:45 pm.

Allstate Sugar Bowl New Year’s Eve Parade

DEC 31

Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Experience a holiday winter wonderland complete with the Kringle Carousel, Winter Whirl, Snowy Summit Climbing Wall, and more. $20/person weekdays or $25/person weekends. Times vary by day. Continues until Dec. 31.

NOLA Christmas Fest

“A Christmas Story: The Musical”


Lafayette Square. Celebrate the holidays all weekend long in the park with illuminated installations, digital sculptures, video-mapping projections, and art animated by technology. Free. 6–10 pm.

DEC 20

DEC 17

DEC 12

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Meet local healthcare professionals and practices — all dedicated to family health, including psychology, speech and hearing, dental, psychiatry, brain injuries, autism, and more.

UPTOWN PE DIATRIC DE NTISTRY Uptown Pediatric Dentistry is a boutique pediatric dental practice located in the heart of the medical corridor in Uptown New Orleans. Dr. Susan Fallahi and her team provide personalized care for children focusing on comfort, individualized attention, and prevention. Children of all ages are welcomed, including infants and those with special needs. The practice offers a range of services from cleanings and exams to sedation options for more challenging treatments.

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The mission at Uptown Pediatric Dentistry is to provide a welcoming and calming environment for children and their families. A lower volume patient roster allows Dr. Susan and her team the time to familiarize themselves with the needs of each individual patient and ensures a more relaxing experience for everyone involved. The office is equipped with the latest technology and has a multitude of ageappropriate entertainment options for children to enjoy before, during, and after their appointments.


DR. SUSAN FALLAHI Uptown Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Fallahi, a board certified pediatric dentist, stays up to date with the latest advancements in the field through on-going continuing education. She maintains memberships in several professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Louisiana Dental Association. Dr. Fallahi attended her residency at Louisiana State University after graduating from the College of Dentistry at The Ohio State University and completing a pediatric dental fellowship. Her passion for working with the pediatric population is evident when you step into her office. 3715 Prytania St. Ste. 380,, 504.896.7435

HARCH HYPE RBARICS WHAT IS H BOT? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment for wounds in any location in the body and of any duration. It uses increased pressure and increased oxygen in a fully-enclosed chamber to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, grow new tissue, and repair wounds.


DR. PAUL HARCH Harch Hyperbarics Dr. Paul Harch is a world-renowned hyperbaric doctor who specializes in precision dosing of hyperbaric oxygen to treat neurological conditions. He is especially known for his work with pediatric patients, veterans, dementia patients, and patients with traumatic brain injuries. In the past 35 years, patients have traveled from over fifty countries for treatment at his Marrero clinic. This private clinic has been the source of Dr. Harch’s groundbreaking hyperbaric medicine research, over 35 scientific articles, and the respected “Harch Protocols.”

Dr. Harch has been treating acute concussion patients since 2001 when he directed the treatment of NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski of the Denver Broncos. Since then, he has treated professional athletes, student athletes, car accident victims, and others with acute concussions. Dr. Harch found that with proper HBOT dosing, as few as one to two treatments can resolve symptoms and prevent post-concussion syndrome. The vast majority of Dr. Harch’s experience, however, has been in the treatment of chronic traumatic brain injury of all severities. He pioneered a treatment in 1989 with Louisiana boxers and has shown that patients with traumatic brain injury can experience improvement with HBOT 50 years after their injury.

B I RTH I N JURY/CE RE B RAL PALSY Dr. Harch has been treating patients with cerebral palsy since 1992. Cerebral palsy mainly affects the motor system and is caused by a variety of different injuries to the brain that can occur during pregnancy, at birth, or in early childhood. Under Dr. Harch’s care, patients typically see improvement in alertness, movement of arms and legs, hand function, tone, cognition and speech, oral motor function, temperament, vision, and balance. Over 75 percent of children with cerebral palsy treated with HBOT will see a noticeable improvement.

AUTISM While treating multiple children with neurological disorders in the 1990s, Dr. Harch treated his first child with autism in 1995. This success was followed by a series of HBOT-treated cases that he presented to a US House of Representatives Hearing on Autism in 2002. Other HBOT studies have also demonstrated an improvement of symptoms for children with autism. Parents of children with autism have rated HBOT as one of the top five most effective therapies. Dr. Harch has found that, with proper dosing of HBOT, 80 percent of these patients will experience noticeable improvements in their symptoms.

DROWN I NG,, 504.309.4948

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Drowning is a type of anoxic brain injury that causes a complete loss of blood supply to the brain and is the most devastating type of brain injury. In 1989, Dr. Harch treated his first nonfatal drowned child. Over the next 27 years, he treated 41 more with modest results. In 2016, he treated 2-year-old Eden Carlson 11 weeks after nearly drowning with a lower dosing that changed everything. After 40 hyperbaric treatments, a regrowth of brain tissue was demonstrated on an MRI, a phenomenon never before seen in medicine. Her case was reported in a medical journal and went viral on a national and international level. Since then, Dr. Harch has treated another 50 similar cases with this lower dosing protocol, achieving neurological improvements that defied doctors’ dire predictions. There is now hope for drowned children that never existed before.



At Atlas Psychiatry, we provide attentive, comprehensive, and confidential mental health care to children, adolescents, and families in a private and elegant setting. Our child and adolescent psychiatrist, psychologists, and social workers work together, harnessing a wide range of expertise to deliver the best care possible.

LAUREN LAROSE, MD Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

LAURA NIDITCH, PHD Clinical Psychologist

We offer a full range of services, including medication, psychiatric genetic testing, psychological testing, educational testing, psychotherapy, play therapy, group therapy, family therapy, parenting skills training, and behavioral intervention planning. We provide evidence-based treatments for a wide variety of issues, ranging from mild concerns to severe mental illness. Our dedicated and caring team of clinicians will do whatever it takes to help your child and family. Dr. Lauren LaRose is a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, qualified to treat individuals from young childhood into adulthood. She uses evidence-based medicine to address presenting symptoms while also focusing on the child’s functioning at home, school, and in other activities of daily life. Her goal is to provide a warm, trusting environment where children and families can actively participate and collaborate in treatment. Dr. Laura Niditch is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in psychological assessment for children, adolescents, and adults. Her mission is to provide each patient with a roadmap to address current concerns and move forward. She provides diagnostic evaluations for a variety of issues, including autism, ADHD, learning disorders, anxiety, and depression, as well as evaluations for school admission and giftedness.

DANIELLE WRIGHT, DSW Clinical Social Worker

ANNIE BACHRACH, LCSW Clinical Social Worker

Dr. Danielle Wright is a licensed clinical social worker with expertise in the areas of trauma, toxic stress, infant mental health, and social and emotional learning. She specializes in working with young children and families navigating through a broad range of issues, including disorders of attachment, depression, anxiety, grief/loss, and trauma.

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Dr. Alexandra Sims is a licensed school psychologist with expertise in diagnosis of ADHD, learning disorders, anxiety disorders, and stress and trauma-related reactions in children. She provides assessment services for children and adolescents, including psychological testing, psycho-educational testing, gifted testing, and school admissions testing.

Annie Bachrach is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in child and adolescent mental health. She is able to help children and adolescents with a wide range of struggles, including inattention, anxiety, poor self-esteem, self-injurious behaviors, trauma, social skills deficits, identity development, and adjustment to life changes.

Carly LeBlanc is a licensed clinical social worker with expertise in treating a wide range of issues, including anxiety, depression, suicidality, psychosis, and transgender issues. She also provides group therapy for teenagers focused on building coping skills and reducing anxiety.


ALEXANDRA SIMS, PHD School Psychologist

CARLY LEBLANC, LCSW Clinical Social Worker, 504.899.1682


AUDIOLOGY NOSHC’s Audiology Department has two certified and licensed audiologists offering comprehensive evaluations, screenings and unsedated diagnostic auditory brainstem response testing, auditory processing disorder testing, and hearing aid services and treatment. Diagnostic services are performed in sound-treated booths using state-of-the-art equipment.


The New Orleans Speech and Hearing Center has served the speech, language, and hearing needs of the entire family for almost 90 years. Currently, the NOSHC has three locations: Uptown, Metairie, and New Orleans East. NOSHC employs two audiologists and 18 speech-language pathologists and assistants to meet the needs of the community. In addition, several staff are bilingual (SpanishEnglish). Services are also offered in the community and in schools.

Eighteen certified and licensed speech-language pathologists from diverse graduate programs conduct evaluations and provide remediation/therapy. The clinicians treat children with speech (articulation) disorders, receptive and/or expressive language disorders, autism spectrum disorder, and teach language/listening/ processing skills. NOSHC understands family support is important for the success of the child and involvement in the therapy process is encouraged. The Speech-Language Pathology Department collaborates with psychologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals and makes appropriate referrals when warranted. Specialty services for reading disorders, dyslexia, literacy, and phonemic/phonological awareness are provided by specially-trained speech language pathologists.

SUM M E R PROGRAMS Led by speech-language pathologists and assistants, the Social Language Expedition for children aged 4–9 is designed to improve the pragmatic language (social communication) skills of children who have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and those who are not diagnosed but experience issues with social communication. During the two-week expedition experience, campers improve their communication skills to give and ask for information more concisely and meaningfully, to understand and express complex age-appropriate intentions and to read/and or use body language for nonverbal communication. This camp-like experience includes group participation games, creative play, arts and crafts, and snack time. Parents report improved communication skills and new friendships for their children.

During his 34 years as CEO, Lesley Jernigan has helped the NOSHC grow and expand to meet the changing needs of the community. Additionally, with 45 years’ experience as a speech-language pathologist, he continues to advise the clinicians and provide therapy to clients, helping fulfill NOSHC’s mission: To improve the communication of children and adults who are affected by speech, language, and hearing disorders in order to improve their quality of life and help them connect with others. 1636 Toledano St. - Uptown Main Office, 504.897.2606

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Power of Play, a program based on building a strong academic foundation through play, was created by a NOSHC speech-language pathologist and focuses on “Going Back to the Basics” and teaching these skills through games.


J E FFE RSON N EUROB E HAVIORAL GROUP Dr. Kevin J. Bianchini is a board-certified neuropsychologist and clinical psychologist who has been in practice in Louisiana for 23 years. He has helped the rehabilitation of patients with acquired brain injury and pain throughout his career. He has been actively involved in research and has published more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals on psychological factors and work-related injuries, neurological rehabilitation, brain damage, neuropsychological assessment, and symptom validity assessment. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at Tulane University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, and at the University of New Orleans, Department of Psychology. He is the team neuropsychologist for the New Orleans Saints and NOLA Gold Rugby. Since its founding in 1996 by Dr. Bianchini, the Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group has been providing clinical psychology, neuropsychology, and behavioral medicine services for adults, adolescents, and children, living in the Gulf South. The following two companies are under this umbrella. Family Behavioral Health Centers provides a comfortable and friendly clinical environment where families can find professional understanding and practical solutions to a wide spectrum of behavioral, physiological, emotional, and educational challenges.

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DR. KEVIN J. BIANCHINI Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group Managing Partner


Gulfsouth Autism Centers provide comprehensive treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders. Gulfsouth Autism Center’s clients range from 18 months to 12 years of age and beyond. Developed by a team of regionally and internationally renowned psychologists, the Gulfsouth Autism Center programs are structured around Applied Behavior Analysis. 2901 N. I-10 Service Rd. E., Ste. 300, Metairie - Main Office,, 504.780.1702

TH E RAPEUTIC LEARN I NG CE NTE R Jenny Domiano, founder and owner of the Therapeutic Learning Center, has worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in a variety of practice areas, including mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, ergonomics, and pediatrics - where she found her calling. She has worked extensively with patients at Children’s Hospital and as an Early Steps provider for the state of Louisiana. She has also provided occupational therapy services at her clinic and in schools throughout greater New Orleans. As a mother of two, she knows how important it is to make therapy both enjoyable and meaningful for the whole family. TLC is an innovative pediatric occupational, speech, and physical therapy practice dedicated to improving the well-being of children throughout the Greater New Orleans area. TLC’s occupational therapy services focus on fine motor and coordination skills, developmental milestone delays, sensory integration and processing, play participation, handwriting, and socialization. TLC’s speech therapy service consists of feeding therapy, literacy and reading comprehension, articulation, cognitive communication, and more. Physical therapy services include interventions for gross motor delays, neurological disorders, motor coordination, gait training, orthopedic injuries, and more.

JENNY DOMIANO M.O.T., L.O.T.R. Therapeutic Learning Center

Therapy services are provided at TLC’s outpatient clinic located in Old Metairie as well as applied behavior analysis centers, daycares, preschools, and schools across the Greater New Orleans area, including private and charter schools, in one-on-one and group settings. Providing therapy in a child’s educational setting allows real-time observation, collaboration with the child’s education team to ensure carryover of skills, and decreasing disruption of the family’s schedule. T​ he TLC team’s 40 plus years of professional practice and experience has led them to utilize a progressive team approach involving a child’s entire family and education team. TLC is changing the way therapy services are provided in order to unlock children’s full potential. 3329 Metairie Rd., Metairie,, 504.565.7300

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FROM THE nola family BOOKSHELF By Scott Campbell

LOUISIANA HOLIDAY TALES Christmas is in trouble and a maiden seeks a suitor.

LOUISIANA NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS By Rickey E. Pittman • Illustrated by Alexis Braud

MADEMOISELLE GRANDS DOIGTS: A CAJUN NEW YEAR’S EVE TALE The time has finally arrived, we have a brand new Louisiana Christmas book — Mrs. Claus and the animals of Louisiana save Christmas. This book is cleverly written, wonderfully illustrated and covers the entire state. The Louisiana author/illustrator team of Rickey Pittman and Alexis Braud have done it again! Their first book, “Cajun ABC,” was an instant Louisiana classic. This, their second collaboration, looks destined for similar status. The story opens down in the swamps of Louisiana, Papa Noël has a big problem. He’s hit his head and forgotten who he is. How will the good boys and girls of Louisiana get any presents this year? Not to worry, the critters of the bayou are here to help!

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Mama Noël puts the animals and elves to work. The nutria, raccoon, pelican, and even the Catahoula have important roles to play in making sure that Christmas still comes to Louisiana this year. Working throughout the night, using every paw, wing, fin, flipper, and feather, Mama and her krewe travel across the state, guided by levee bonfires and determination. Mama’s team of animal helpers are rewarded with delicious treats: pralines and a plate of red beans (or maybe a hot bowl of gumbo).


Local children and their parents will love this new take on Christmas, with humorous references to what makes this time of year so special in Louisiana. Rickey E. Pittman is an award-winning storyteller, author, and folk singer. Pittman presents his stories, music, and programs at schools, libraries, organizations, museums, historical reenactments, restaurants, banquets, and Celtic festivals throughout the south. An adjunct college English instructor with an M.A. from Abilene Christian University, he has 12 published books and four music CDs. Alexis Braud is a Cajun native. She celebrates the stories, creatures, and the people of Louisiana in her work. She is a full-time artist and author, and has written and illustrated many successful books including “Cajun ABC;” “Bayou Ballet;” “One, Two, Rougarou,” and others. She is a graduate of Nicholls State University and lives along Bayou Lafourche with her family.

By Johnette Downing • Illustrated by Heather Stanley Author Johnette Downing and illustrator Heather Stanley, who worked together on the much beloved “Petite Pierre and the Floating Marsh,” are back at it again with “Mademoiselle Grands Doigts: A Cajun New Year’s Eve Tale.” The tale is a little haunting and the illustrations complement the well-written text with an almost hazy look, which captures the mood of the story. Once upon a time in the Cajun prairie, there was a beautiful young maiden with lovely hands and a kind heart. On the night of a New Year’s Eve party, suitors lined up to kiss her perfect hand. But instead of attracting a husband, she attracted a terrible curse. The next morning, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts’ beauty had vanished, replaced by warts and gnarled fingers. Ashamed, she runs to her attic, never to be seen again. Now, every New Year’s Eve, Mademoiselle Grands Doigts finds nice children and fills their shoes with treats, proving that pretty is as pretty does. Johnette Downing is an award-winning and internationallyrecognized singer and songwriter. Her many accolades include the 2017 Louisiana Writer Award, Parents’ Choice Awards, and iParenting Media Awards. She wrote and/or illustrated “Who Got the Baby in the King Cake,” “Ten Gators in the Bed,” “Bugs on the Rug,” “Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud,” and more. Heather Stanley is a New Orleans illustrator and graphic designer. Born in Maryland and raised in Louisiana, her illustration and design work was shaped by her studies at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. She is currently the director of creative services at Audubon Nature Institute.

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

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This idea of self-care is often tossed around flippantly. You can find endless articles recommending that you take some me-time, get a massage, or do some yoga. But self-care (and the lack of it) goes much deeper than that. When self-care is lacking, everything else can feel like it’s falling apart. When you have neglected your own needs for too long, a candlelit bath seems like a bandage instead of a real solution. So what can you do?

Establish Realistic Expectations We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. We think that we need to sleep less, enrich our kids more, cook healthier meals, work harder, be more fit; and we think that we need to do it all with a smile. After all, isn’t that what everyone else is doing?

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We consistently compare our own weaknesses to other people’s strengths while underestimating our own super powers. We consistently see the struggle in others while neglecting our own. We consistently feel like we are falling short, when in reality we are doing a pretty amazing job.


All of this is normal, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take strides to change things. We should take credit for all of the amazing things that we do and start to simplify our lives as much as we can. No one is capable of doing it all — at least not long term. We can only be everything to everyone for so long until it takes it toll.

Recognize the Signs of Burnout Burnout is probably much more common than we realize. It is also much more serious than we realize. If we are going through life by frantically jumping from one task to another without any time for reflection or creative outlets, we are on the quick path to burnout. Many times we hear about burnout in the workplace, but it can also happen at home. It is possible to experience burnout in various areas of our life. Simple things like packing lunches can start to feel daunting when burnout has set in.

What is Burnout? The symptoms of burnout are caused by being in an ongoing state of stress and include emotional and physical exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of being ineffective or unaccomplished. More detailed symptoms of burnout include:

• Feeling drained and tired most of the time. • Feeling a sense of dread about what the day has in store. • Struggling with insomnia. • Becoming more forgetful or having trouble staying focused. • Physical symptoms such as palpitations, headaches, and others. • A weakened immune system. • Feeling more worried or irritable than usual. • Increasing feelings of guilt. • Tending to be more pessimistic than usual. • Shutting yourself off from others and becoming less social. • Ignoring tasks and avoiding things you should be doing. For many of us, these probably sound all too familiar. It’s important to remember that burnout occurs on a spectrum. The severity of what we are experiencing can vary, but at any stage it is important to address. These symptoms tend to creep up on us, and we don’t recognize them until they have gotten to the point where it is making it difficult to function on a daily basis. Our goal should be to recognize these symptoms earlier before it gets to such a dark and difficult place.

Be Proactive As soon as you start to recognize these symptoms in yourself, you should begin to take action. We tend to think that we should power through and buckle down and make things work, but sometimes taking a step back from it all can be the best remedy. Figuring out what you truly need is an important step in this process, but there are no quick fixes. We need to care for ourselves enough to recognize when we are trying to push ourselves beyond our limits. Working on balance and self-care means that you will be able to be a better parent, partner, and employee. Why would you push that to the back-burner?

Trying to get you r message out? You could try making a wish...

As a good first step, write down all of your responsibilities. Every tiny little thing that you keep in your head and manage for yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and your work. Just get it all down on paper. Doing this simple task will help you realize just how much you do on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. You will start to understand why you are feeling overwhelmed.

Shari Medini is the co-owner of the parenting website She can be contacted at

or you could call us at nola family and reach everyone that matters! (not that we’re knockin’ fairies) to advertise with us, call 504.866.0555 or email us at

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Simply acknowledging the stress, overwhelmedness, and burnout can be therapeutic. But don’t let it stop there. What is most important to you? What has to happen? What do you love doing? Are you making those the priority? Or are they getting lost in the rest of less important noise? You, for the most part, are in control of your own life. You call the shots and make changes as needed. Keep recognizing the signs and keep working on how you can avoid full-blown burnout. Because the world needs you functioning at your best.




p u c

e a Y r s e n i





Grandparents are cool

until the grandkids become teenagers Just before our first grandchild, Rylan, was born, a veteran grandmother friend of mine told me, “Spend as much time as you can with your grandchildren when they are little. Grandchildren grow up a lot faster than our own children did.” I took her advice to heart.

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And in a blink, that cute little baby with outrageous hair is now a teenager. His younger sister, Amelia, is now in the double digits. My friend was right; it happened in fast-forward time.


We should have seen it coming. After all, we’ve had 13 years to prepare for it. The signs of teenager-dom and tweens were right in front of us. That adorable little toddler who used to stand on the front porch and jump up and down until we opened the door, now flips me the peace sign through the window. That precious little girl who used to spend the night (on the top bunk!) at every opportunity, now weighs her weekend options before making a commitment to spend time with us. Really? Are we chopped liver? Or obsolete? Of course, Papa and I had teens of our own at one time, so most of this is not news to us. But times have changed and we needed a refresher course. So to prepare for this (and preserve what is left of our self-esteem), I bought a book about tweens called “How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years,” by Julie A. Ross. Ross gives us reminders of what teenage and parental relations look like today and, in a somewhat chilling fashion, she discusses the difficulties teens and tweens of today have that didn’t exist a generation ago.

When my kids where tweens, the most high tech thing they owned was a beeper, and I’m not even sure why they had these contraptions. According to Ross and a study by the Kaiser Foundation, today’s teens spend an average of 44 hours a week, or 6.5 hours a day on the computer. The only activity that takes more of a teen’s time than this is sleeping. Let that sink in. She goes into detail about the pressures on kids — at younger and younger ages — to experiment with alcohol, drugs, and sex. She’s pretty sure that by the time most parents get around to discussing these issues with kids, it’s too late. Yep, start educating these guys before middle school, she advises. Our own kids thought Papa and I were the two most boring parents on earth, and they were probably right. We were navigating those teen years blindfolded at times, as most parents do. When we got stuck on an issue, we made friends with a family therapist or two. We set limits and boundaries and did our best to ensure that somehow, some way our kids wouldn’t end up ax murderers. They made mistakes and so did we. We’ve apologized for being idiots and so have they. Here we are twenty years post teenage years in our house, and we’re all still speaking to one another. We call that success. The one big message we tried to get through to our teens was: we love you no matter what. Sure, they tested us during those years. A lot. But they both emerged from their adolescent chapter as responsible, hard-working, good adults. I don’t think it was an accident. So, Papa and I are buckling our seatbelts and strapping on our helmets for the next few years, just in case. The teen years are here again, and we are ready. Or as ready as two loving, concerned porcupine grandparents can be.

Laura Claverie is Nola Family’s Hip Grannie. She is a local mother, grandmother, and writer.

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5Robert Burke DAD ABOUT TOWN





My favorite passion is feeding my kids’ interests. Adelaide loves Indian dance and basketball; Ellis loves fishing and soccer. Mum and Dad love trying to keep ahead of their curve.


It’s not so much a vocation as it is a calling. I have been immersed in music since childhood with my mother and I dancing to the radio in the kitchen. Most recently, I performed with Paula and The Pontiacs at Jazz Fest and Mason Ruffner at Crescent City Blues and BBQ. My favorite musical pursuits “Mason Ruffner Live,” are original artists trying to 2005, Maldoror Records, make a mark; recently, I have been working with Ghalia Volt with Ruf Records.


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A lover and performer of every imaginable genre of music, Robert Burke is a drummer/percussionist with a master’s degree in music performance. Originally Canadian, he has lived in New Orleans for over 25 years, and has performed and studied in Europe, Japan, Canada, and throughout the US. He’s held faculty positions at several universities, but is currently enjoying the freelance music world of New Orleans. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his children, Adelaide and Ellis, who attend Lycee Francais, and his wife, Amber.

My kids have trained in capoeira for years now and can probably take me down if they wanted. Biking, tennis, soccer, swimming, and basketball are all in rotation. A favorite hangout is Penguin Ice Skating inside Esplanade Mall. Penguin Ice Skating, Esplanade Mall,, 1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner

READING My wife and I have always loved exotic food, and the family has watched all the cooking shows on Netflix twice over. Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, and Japanese restaurants are our go-tos. We have managed to convince our kids to make some meals here and there with their killer cucumber/avocado sushi they learned to make at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Southern Food and Beverage Museum,, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

We embrace reading hardcover books; we all have library cards. My son and I are presently engaged in a contest to see who can read 1,000 hours first. We are far behind mum and daughter, as they are reading fiends. I’m presently reading a biography of the composer and pianist Leo Ornstein. “Leo Ornstein: Modernist Dilemmas, Personal Choices” by Denise Von Glahn and Michael Broyles

The father of an apprentice joins his daughter on a build site in the Treme neighborhood. Family members and friends are invited to lend a hand on a case-by-case basis.


Building a blueprint for the future of New Orleans students



Construction industry professionals are aplenty in New Orleans, but the next generation may be thinning out when it comes to future jobs. Local public schools lack the resources necessary to offer students hands-on courses in carpentry or other trades. Aaron Frumin founded Uncommon Construction to meet the needs of these students.

Apprentices from different schools connect in the pre-lunch circle on their first day of the semester at a build in the St. Roch neighborhood

“Career technical education programs work, and these programs work for diverse students,” Aaron says. The absence of construction industry training programs for students in New Orleans inspired him to close that gap. Uncommon Construction forges connections between industry personnel and high school students in an integrated apprenticeship program.

BUILDING SKILLS Uncommon Construction partners with six local schools to provide hands-on training for pay, class credit, and scholarship funds. Students participate for a minimum of one semester in the fall, spring, or summer. Each Saturday, the students build houses. Every other Saturday, they build alongside industry professionals giving them mentorship opportunities. On Thursdays, Uncommon Construction strengthens leadership and career skills with professional development lessons called “framing experience.” “The work site environment is intimidating to adults, let alone teenagers, so the way they take it on is incredible,” Aaron says.

SKETCHING CAREERS There are 25 student spots each semester, and the program has a high retention rate. Uncommon Construction reaches roughly 120-150 students annually.

Through the connections she made as an apprentice, Kesia became comfortable meeting new people and starting to work. The mentors gave her adult role models and hope for finding a job. The build site was a safe space for Kesia regardless of her life at home.

job supplies, or whatever the student needs to help ease their transition into the workforce. The average equity award is over $1,000.

FROM THE GROUND UP Uncommon Construction functions as a construction developer that builds houses to sell on the market and is available for hire to help with other projects. Some houses built are sold speculatively on the market, and others built through partnerships with nonprofits as affordable housing. The program focuses on building responsibly, which often leads to naturally occurring bottomline, affordable housing. The learning process, including the students using their skills to build projects, makes up for 70 percent of the funds needed for the program. Grants, foundations, and individuals fund the rest of the program’s needs. Currently, Uncommon Construction is promoting a $1 million capital fundraising campaign to create a campus, which will help the program include more youth each semester and integrate more mentors into their mentorship program. For more information, visit

“The youth is powerful,” Kesia says. “They can be successful if people let them be successful, and Uncommon lets them be successful.” While students work, the nonprofit pays them for their work and keeps earnings for the students in a savings account. They receive their savings upon graduation as an equity award towards college, technical schools,

Thyme Hawkins is an editorial intern with Nola Family and our sister publication, Nola Boomers. She is a student at Loyola University, class of 2021.

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Kesia Brown, the current Build Day Coordinator, is an alumna of Uncommon Construction. Before participating, she had never had a job. She built houses during the school year and a boardwalk celebrating Black History month during the summer semester over her five semesters in the program.

Apprentices work with industry partner Gibbs Construction on a home in the St. Roch neighborhood.






LEARN CLUES AND STRATEGIES TO RECOGNIZE AND DISRUPT MOODY BREAKDOWNS AND BLOW-UPS. Sudden escalation of anger in response to small incidents is a common trait of moodiness at any age. Excessively moody children are very challenging to parent because they develop an automatic pattern of behavioral reactions. Consequently, parents become cautious and walk on eggshells to prevent dramatic, and sometimes, destructive outbursts. Despite the challenges, there are helpful, proactive steps that help break the pattern of automatic, emotionally-based outbursts. Many cues forewarn the escalation of mood. Children should be encouraged to tune in to their bodies, thoughts, and behavior in order to calm down before they get too upset. It is also crucial for parents to tune in and look for signals (hunger, stress, illness, or time of day) that a volcanic eruption may be in the forecast. Some people with mood issues cycle in and out of bad periods. When a child is in a bad cycle, parents may back off with unimportant details while still maintaining essential rules, limits, and routines. Caution does not equate to catering to bad behavior, but rather choosing battles wisely.


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Responding, rather than reacting, to a child’s escalating mood is a sensitive business. Sometimes little tactics can deescalate a blowup, but other times it must run its course.


Moody kids may “throw their feelings” at someone rather than processing them on their own. Anxiety expert Christopher McCurry calls this “throwing the hot potato.” Another way to put this is that the child externalizes negative emotions (lashing out) rather than owning them and working them out. Parents are not obligated to catch the hot potato; they can step aside and use validation to get the moody child to take ownership of their feelings. A good on-the-spot strategy is validation. A validating comment shows the child that you are tuned in. Use a question to help the child identify thoughts and emotions. Try saying, “It looks like you may be having some frustrating thoughts, but I’m not sure.” Never tell a child what he or she is feeling. When someone on the brink of a meltdown takes a moment to describe their thoughts or

feelings, this can derail an automatic reaction such as yelling or aggression. The child can then make a better choice or problemsolve rather than blow up. Always keep validation brief and never let it become a lecture.

SLOWING DOWN Moody children must regularly practice soothing skills. The child may not readily embrace daily relaxation practice, but it can become a habit. A comfort corner is a refuge or safe space for children to go to calm down, reflect, and practice mindfulness. This space should not be confused with time out and should never be a punishment. This space is a proactive measure that will help children deescalate. Children should be encouraged to enjoy this area regularly, and not just when they are upset. Parents may increase a child’s enjoyment of this space by playing with him or her in the area regularly (or just hanging out with an older child). Parents and children may read about emotions, practice deep breathing, try yoga, or visualize comforting places. A comfort corner may be helpful in multiple environments, including home, school, and wherever the child is cared for regularly (the home of a grandparent).

MAKE THE PROCESS YOUR PRACTICE Stress is most manageable before the child is too aroused. Parents can help children tune in by saying what they are observing (regarding patterns of behavior), validating the child’s distress, and inquiring about thoughts and feelings. The child should then be redirected to the comfort corner to think things over and calm down. When this process is repeated, moody children can learn to regulate their emotions and behavior.

Dr. Pat Blackwell is a licensed developmental psychologist who has worked with families for over 30 years, and is the author of Nola Family’s award-winning “Learning Years” column.

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The Season of Spending Money HOW TO BROACH THE ANNUAL HOT-BUTTON TOPIC OF SPENDING MONEY DURING THE HOLIDAYS WITH YOUR KIDS. ‘Tis the season … to talk about money. It may seem contradictory to think about discussing financial literacy with children during the holidays, but the time of shopping, list-making, and gift-giving provides many opportunities for children to learn some important skills and lessons. Money is a source of stress for many people; parents may inadvertently avoid discussions on this topic, but financial literacy is important. As you and your family are both giving and receiving this holiday season, here are some tips to boost understanding and help communicating about this topic with your children.

Start Early Like many important issues, you will need to approach the subject more than once, and in different ways as your child grows. Even though money is an abstract concept for preschoolers, they can help count and sort coins (with supervision), put loose change in a glass jar and watch it accumulate, and talk with you about what you will do with the money when the jar is full. The end of the year might be a good time to add it all up and donate it or buy a special gift for someone outside the family.

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Budget Lessons


Around age 6 or 7, children can understand the concept of money well enough to begin an allowance. Some parents use allowance to teach delayed gratification and charitable giving by insisting that children divide their allowance into three parts: a third for immediate spending; a third for saving for a long-term goal; and a third for donating to a cause or organization of the child’s choice. Alternatively, children might be encouraged to make or buy a small gift for a special person in their life during the holidays. It is important to be clear what your child’s allowance financial responsibilities are: a young child might be expected to buy his own candy or treats with his allowance, but an older child who receives a larger amount

might be expected to purchase his own clothes or pay for entertainment. Children will sometimes spend their allowance impulsively, and may end up with “buyer’s remorse.” This valuable lesson, however, is not effective if mom or dad frequently rescues a child from their own mistakes by giving them more money before the next allowance is due.

Communication Most parents’ favorite adage to repeat to their children about money is that “it doesn’t grow on trees,” but we need to go a little deeper than that. Teach young children to care for toys, clothes, and property carefully because they are not always easily replaced. Children and teens may sometimes take certain expensive items for granted (tablets and smartphones, anyone?), and the cost should not be hidden from them. Rather than always telling children, “We can’t afford that,” consider explaining, “We are saving for some other things right now. We have to make choices.” Distinguishing between needs and wants is valuable as well. Saying, “I really like these shoes, but I don’t really need a new pair right now” shows your child that making thoughtful decisions and prioritizing is important. These kinds of conversations about making spending and saving decisions can help guide your child’s future financial habits.

Lisa Phillips, a licensed social worker and parent educator at The Parenting Center at Children’s Hospital, is a contributor to the award-winning “Parenting Corner” column. She can be reached at 504.896.9591;

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 Rd., Kenner. Wednesdays, 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. Tuesdays, 3–6 pm. Walk-in or call 504.893.6250 for an appointment. Free.

East Jefferson General Hospital For more information or to register, call EJGH HealthFinder at 504.456.5000.

Breastfeeding Class Achieve a successful breastfeeding experience both in the hospital and at home. Dec. 16, 6:30–8:30 pm. Free.

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

Breastfeeding Class Includes benefits, early feeding, positioning, latching on and milk production. Dec. 2, 7–8:30 pm. Free. Happiest Baby on the Block Learn techniques to calm and soothe a crying baby. Dec. 4, 6–7 pm. $25.

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

Snuggles & Struggles Provides information and socialization with new parents and babies. Tuesdays, 10:30 am–noon. Free.

Touro Family Birthing Center For more information or to register, call 504.897.7319 or visit

Happiest Baby on the Block The parent educators at Children’s Hospital Parenting Center will teach pregnant couples, new parents, and caregivers techniques to calm crying and boost infant sleep. Dec. 14, 10 am–noon. Free. Prenatal Breastfeeding Class Designed for moms who already know they want to breastfeed and for moms who want to know more about breastfeeding. Dec. 19, 6–8 pm. Free.

Tulane Lakeside Hospital for Women and Children For more information or to register, call 504.780.4641.

Safe and Sound Characteristics of the newborn are reviewed, as well as basic care, safety, and newborn health. Dec. 5, 7–9 pm. Free. What to Expect...For Dads Veteran dads provide hands on demonstrations of burping, changing, and swaddling the newborn. Dec. 12, 7–9 pm. Free..

West Jefferson Medical Center Most classes are free, unless otherwise noted. Registration is required. Call 504.349.6200.

ABC’s of Breastfeeding Discusses basics and concerns. Dec. 10, 7–9:30 pm. Free. Caring for Your Newborn A registered nurse discusses newborn behavior and care. Oct. 26, 1–4:30 pm.

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

Growing Up for Boys (10–13 years) Information for boys and their fathers including male and female anatomy, physical and emotional changes during puberty, and hygiene issues. Uptown. Dec. 4, 6:30–8:30 pm. $20/child. Focus on Children Divorce Program helps lessen the impact of separation and divorce on children. This class stresses the importance of coparenting skills. Dec. 11, 6–8 pm. $25/class. Growing Up for Girls (9–12 years) Information on female anatomy, puberty, body image, menstruation, and hygiene is presented in an informal, fun manner. Uptown. Dec. 17, 6:30–8:30 pm. $20/child.

West Jefferson Medical Center See listing above for registration information.

Sibling T.L.C. For children 3 years and older. Prepares them for arrival of mom’s new baby. Dec. 7, 2:30 pm. Mother-Daughter Rap Breakfast Discussion for mothers and pre-teen girls. Dec. 28, 9–11 am. $25/couple. december 2019 |

Grandparents Class Learn about skin-to-skin, rooming-in, the latest on the labor curve, breastfeeding, and safe sleep. Oct. 10, 6:30–8:30 pm. Free.

Breast & Bottle: Infant Feeding Clinic An informal support group led by a certified lactation counselor. Fridays, 9 am–noon. Free.



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Witness the New Orleans Ballet Theatre’s largest cast yet with its premier of “The Nutcracker” on December 15.

Out & About DECEMBER SUN 1

A Mer ry Canteen Chr istmas

signings by local authors. A Holiday Reflections Children’s Tea will feature storytelling, musical performances, theatrical characters and visits with Santa. 12–5 pm.


Michael Scorsone Presents

St. Tammany's Holiday Festival of Arts

DIY Art Attack: Felt Woven Heart

300–400 Blocks of North Columbia St., Covington. Browse more than 50 booths from local artists and arts organizations, cooking demonstrations, live music, literary readings, storytelling and book

East Bank Regional Library. Learn how to make traditional Danish little heart baskets. Children should hang them on Christmas trees to be filled with candy. One craft per person, first come first served. 3–8:30 pm.

Pelicans vs. Dallas Maver icks Smoothie King Center. Cheer on the Pels as they take on the Mavericks. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 6:30 pm.


East Bank Regional Library. Musician and teacher Michael Scorsone presents young musicians. 7–8:30 pm.

Yuletide Celebration Pontchartrain Convention and Civic Center. Share the holiday spirit with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in their performance of holiday classics featuring local student choirs. Ticket prices vary. 7:30 pm.

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(repeats on select dates throughout December) National World War II Museum. The Victory Belles share the holiday spirit in song. Ticket prices vary. Discounts available for members. 11:30 am–2 pm.



GRAMMY Museum and Best Buy Career Pathways Program Main Library. Join the winter session of the teen career pathways program that focuses on electronic music production. Registration required. 4–5 pm.


Yuletide Celebration Columbia Theatre, 220 E. Thomas St., Hammond. Share the holiday spirit with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in their performance of holiday classics featuring local student choirs. Ticket prices vary. 7:30 pm.

Sesame Street Live (continues all weekend) UNO Lakefront Arena. Let’s party with the cast of Sesame Street in an interactive show. Tickets start at $15/person. Time varies by day.

''Annie'' (continues on weekends until December 15) Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Dr., Metairie. Experience the heartwarming story of little orphan Annie as performed by the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. Tickets start at $20/person. Time varies by day.

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Teddy Bear Tea (repeats on the next two Saturdays) National World War II Museum. Santa and the Victory Belles share holiday joy with young museum visitors. Food, sweet treats, and a teddy bear are provided to all children in attendance. Children under 2 years old are free. $65.99/person for nonmembers. $5 discount for members. 9:30–11:30 am and 2–4 pm.

Freret Market

Yuletide Celebration

Freret St. and Napoleon Ave. Listen to music, check out local food and art vendors, and spend some time outside with friends. 12–4 pm.

Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 2nd St., Slidell. Share the holiday spirit with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in their performance of holiday classics featuring local student choirs. Ticket prices vary. 7:30 pm.

Ringing in the Arts Gretna Market, 301 Huey P. Long Ave., Gretna. Stroll through displays of over thirty art vendors, listen to live music, and enjoy refreshments to ring in the holidays. 5–9 pm.

Kids' Night Out New Orleans Jewish Community Center Uptown. Kids spend the night eating pizza, making crafts, watching a movie, and playing games while parents enjoy a night off. $35/child nonmembers. $30/child members. 6:30–10 pm.

Celebration in the Oaks Run/Walk City Park. Race in the holiday season with a 2 mile run followed with hot cocoa, pictures with Santa, holiday costume contest, and more. Registration prices increase closer to race day. 2–4:30 pm.

Teddy Bear Tea at the Roosevelt (repeats on select dates throughout the month) The Roosevelt Hotel, 123 Baronne St., New Orleans. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for tea with pastries, holiday food, and sparkling wine and mimosas for parents. Children under 2 admitted free. Tickets start at $55/ child. Time varies by day.


Har ry Potter Yule Fest East Bank Regional Library. Experience holidays in Hogwarts style at the third annual Harry Potter Yule Fest. 1–4:30 pm.

Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Cheer on the Saints as they take on the 49ers. Ticket prices vary. Kickoff at noon.

Kidz Bop World Tou r Saenger Theatre. Join the Kidz Bop kids at Saenger Theatre for family-friendly singalongs to your favorite pop music. Ticket prices vary. 4 pm.


Pelicans vs. Detroit Pistons Smoothie King Center. Cheer on the Pels as they take on the Pistons. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 7 pm.


Disney Junior Holiday Party Saenger Theatre. Go to a musical wonderland with your favorite Disney Junior friends where children and their families can sing and dance along to their favorite Disney Junior songs plus holiday classics, plus a special visit from Santa Claus! Ticket prices vary. 6 pm.

Make Me: Stenciled Pillows East Bank Regional Library. Create your own one of a kind stenciled pillow. You get the chance to design your own stencil using freezer paper to create a unique creation for yourself or as a gift. Supplies are provided, first come first served. Open to teens in grades 6th–12th. 4–6 pm.

WED 11

T(w)een Craft Ser ies: LittleBits Musical Circu its

world that has changed forever. Rated PG13. 4–7 pm.

FRI 13

Kids' Night Out New Orleans Jewish Community Center, Metairie. Kids spend the night eating pizza, making crafts, watching a movie, and playing games while parents enjoy a night off. $35/child nonmembers. $30/child members. 6:30–10 pm.

Children’s Resource Center Library. Create electronic music by connecting LittleBits circuits. 3:30–4:30 pm.


Latkes w ith a Tw ist Press Street Station, 5 Homer Plessy Way, New Orleans. Join the Jewish Children’s Regional Service and Frank Brigsten of Brigsten’s for a night of latkes, Hanukkahthemed drinks, live entertainment, and a silent auction. $36/person. 7 pm.

Ballet Lou isiane Presents ''The Nutcracker" (repeats on Saturday) Loyola University, Louis J. Roussel Hall. Lelia Haller Ballet Classique will present their 13th annual production of the holiday dance classic, “The Nutcracker.” $30/adult, $20/child (11 years and under). Times vary by date.

SAT 14

Teen Screen: ''Sp ider Man: Far From Home"

Lights on the Lake Holiday Bash

East Bank Regional Library. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a

New Canal Lighthouse, 8001 Lakeshore Dr., New Orleans. Celebrate the holidays and the beauty of Lake Pontchartrain during this event. Price and time TBD.

Jingle Bugs Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Celebrate the holidays with activities and treats for the whole family. Admission is free for Audubon members. Regular ticket prices apply. 10:30 am–4:30 pm.

Chr istmas Past Festival Old Mandeville Shops and Restaurants and Mandeville Trailhead. Explore a classic Christmas festival featuring a Children’s Village with arts and crafts, food court, live musical performances, train rides, horse and carriage rides, carolers, roaming holiday characters, and Santa Claus. 10 am–4 pm.

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SUN 15

WED 18

Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic Smoothie King Center. Cheer on the Pels as they take on the Magic. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 2:30 pm.

New Orleans Ballet Theatre's ''The Nutcracker" (repeats on Dec. 16, 22, and 23) The Orpheum Theater. New Orleans Ballet Theatre will present six performances of the classic Christmas tale, “The Nutcracker.” This year will mark the fourth year the company will collaborate with The Orpheum Theater and a local artist for the poster artwork. With its biggest cast to date, over 150 local children and professional dancers will be sharing the stage. Ticket prices vary. Times vary by day.

Trans-Siber ian Orchestra Smoothie King Center. Spread some holiday cheer with the multi-platinum progressive rock group during their winter tour. Ticket prices vary. Show starts at 7:30 pm.

Little Acorns City Park. Children 18 months–4 years are welcome to join this group under the Alferez oak tree for storytime, activities, and a snack. Bring your own blanket. $3/ child with adult chaperone. 10–11 am.

FRI 20

Great Southern Gun and Knife Show (continues on Sunday) Pontchartrain Convention and Civic Center. Visit the gun and knife show when it comes to New Orleans for the weekend. $2/child ages 6–11. $10/person. Time varies by day.

R+L Car r iers New Orleans Bowl Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Watch a college football bowl game live in the dome as the championship teams from the Sunbelt Conference and Conference USA play for the title. Ticket prices vary. Kickoff at 8 pm.

UNO Pr ivateers vs. Sam Houston State University Bearkats UNO Lakefront Arena. Cheer on the Privateer women as they take on the Bearkats in basketball. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 2 pm.

NPS Ar rowhead Band Presents Holiday Celebration Kids in the Kitchen: Cookies and Hot Chocolate ! Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Whip up some holiday cookies at a decorating station with hot chocolate for dipping. The session concludes with a cookie contest. Children ages 7–11 are welcome. $30/kid. $10 discount for members. 10–11:30 am.

MON 16

Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Celebrate the holidays in New Orleans style with the NPS Arrowhead Jazz Band’s holiday performance. Noon–1 pm.

Green Wave vs. Texas Southern Tigers Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. Support Tulane Green Wave women’s basketball as they take on the Tigers at home. For more information, visit

SAT 21

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Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Cheer on the Saints as they take on the Colts. Ticket prices vary. Kickoff at 7:15 pm.


Smoothie King Center. Cheer on the Pels as they take on the Nets. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 7 pm.

(repeats on Sunday) Jefferson Performing Arts Center, 6400 Airline Dr., Metairie. Attend the classic holiday ballet “The Nutcracker” as performed by Jefferson Performing Arts Society. Tickets start at $20/person. 2 pm.

Green Wave vs. Colorado Buffalo Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. Support Tulane Green Wave women’s basketball as they take on the Buffalo at home. For more information, visit

''The Nutcracker''


Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets

The Nutcracker

Piety in Exile Holiday Market New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. Browse a special edition of the Piety in Exile market during the holiday season. Live music and food also available. 11 am–4 pm.

(repeats on Sunday) Mahalia Jackson Theater. Watch the classic holiday ballet as performed by Delta Festival Ballet and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information, visit

SUN 22

SAT 28


Zoo Year's Eve Community Chanukah Celebration New Orleans JCC Uptown. Begin your Chanukah celebration at the JCC with musical guest the LeeVees and join together to light the menorah. Food including fried chicken, latkes, and special Chanukah treats will be provided. 4–6 pm.

Pelicans vs. Indiana Pacers

Audubon Zoo. Ring in the new year at the zoo with music, games, and prizes. Countdown to noon to celebrate the new year. Bring your own chairs and blankets. Admission is free for Audubon members. Regular ticket prices apply. 10:30 am–12:30 pm.

Smoothie King Center. Cheer on the Pels as they take on the Pacers. Ticket prices vary. Tipoff at 6 pm.

WED 25

Mer ry Chr istmas

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Ongoing Every Other Satu rday: Grow ing Gardeners City Park. Learn how to grow plants native to Louisiana in a kid-friendly gardening class. Open to children ages 6–9 at $17/child. 10 am– noon. Repeats every other Saturday.

Fr idays: Bucktown Harbor Farmers Market Bucktown Harbor, 325 Hammond Hwy, Metairie. Try some local produce and meats or buy the whole family a meal from a local vendor. Live music, crafts, and activities will keep up the kids’ appetites. Repeats every Friday. 3–7 pm.

STEM Satu rdays w ith Dr . Mackie Milne Center, 5420 Franklin Ave., New Orleans. Dr. Mackie teaches kids and parents new information from STEM NOLA each month. 8:30 am–12 pm.

WTUL's Kids Show

Old Metair ie Farmers Market Bayou Metairie Park, Metairie. Browse local vendors and listen to local music at this monthly, open-air farmers market. Free. 3:30–7:30 pm.

Free Wednesdays at the Audubon Natu re Institute Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and Louisiana Nature Center. Through 2019, the Audubon Institute’s Community Connect program is offering free admissions for Orleans Parish residents and four guests on alternating Wednesdays.

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

Free Admission to the Botanical Gardens City Park, 5 Victory Ave. Louisiana residents receive free admission on Wednesdays courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Twelve acres of gardens and art awaits 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.

Satu rday Craft Jane O’Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library. A new holiday-themed craft is provided each week for children of all ages. Repeats every Saturday. 2:30-3:30 pm.

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, storytime, and more. 8–10 am. Saturdays.

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Storytime and Craft

Chinese Stor ies

Jane O’Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library. Come out to the library during December for free holiday-themed storytimes and crafts. Open to children ages 3-7. Wednesdays. 10:30-11:30 am.

East Bank Regional Library. Elementary school age and younger children learn Chinese and a story in a bilingual storytime with paper crafts. Free. Repeats on the second Saturday of the month. 2:45-3:30 pm.

Preschool Storytime

Storytime and Snack

East New Orleans Regional Library. An interactive story time geared towards children ages 3–5 and their caregivers. Siblings welcome. Repeats every Tuesday. 5–6 pm.

Children’s Resource Center Library. Children of all ages and their caregivers are welcome to attend this story time. A light snack will be provided. Repeats every Tuesday. 10:30–11:15 am.

Crescent City Reading Buddies Book Club Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center and Kids Ground Coffee Shop. Middle school students pair with children ages 2–7 one-onone to build early literacy skills. Repeats every month on the first Tuesday at the library and every third Tuesday at the coffee shop. 4–5 pm.

Reading to Thor

Baby and Toddler Storytime

Algiers Regional Library. Thor, a licensed therapy dog, provides a patient and receptive audience for reluctant readers and dog lovers to practice reading aloud.

Algiers Regional Library. An interactive story time geared towards children from birth to two years and their caregivers. Siblings welcome. Repeats every Tuesday. 10:30–11:30 am.

Note: Schedules subject to change.

december 2019 |


Profile for nola family magazine & nola boomers magazine

Nola Family Magazine - December 2019  

Eco-Anxiety - the Burden of Climate Change on Schools, Parenting Blind, Holiday Teas & Fun, Holiday Gift Guide, plus our newest section, Top...

Nola Family Magazine - December 2019  

Eco-Anxiety - the Burden of Climate Change on Schools, Parenting Blind, Holiday Teas & Fun, Holiday Gift Guide, plus our newest section, Top...