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Midlands’ Magazine for Smart Families Summer-Fall 2012

Cool Parents! Sharing Your Creativity with Your Kids



life & learning


Arts Academy, Karate

Eating Well, Eating Local

Girls Will Be Girls

Books! Music! Movies!

A better way of building for your today, and their tomorrow.

Lexington County Recreation Aging & Commission


contents feature

Cool Parents!


Sharing Your Creativity with Your Kids, p. 17

29 Events and Programming

ctivities a 7 Kids Rock Out at Columbia Arts Academy 11 Karate for Kids 13 Listings

33 Getting Ready for Kindergarten 35 Girls Will Be Girls 39 Listings

health 21 Eating Well, Eating Local 23 Listings

Published by Portico Media SC 1534 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 765.0707

life & learning

media 41 Book Reviews 45 Music and DVD Reviews 46 Listings

EDITORIAL EDITOR: Dan Cook | ext. 133 LISTINGS EDITOR: Patrick Wall CONTRIBUTORS: Allison Caldwell, Heather Green, Kevin Oliver, Sean Rayford, Melissa Robinson, Katie Alice Walker, Rodney Welch


ADVERTISING ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Kerry Powers | ext. 128 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Adam Cross, Zach Johnston, Ginny Kuhn, Richard Skipper, Brian Wingard ADVERTISING ASSISTANT: Melissa Kyzer CLASSIFIED SALES MANAGER: Cale Johnson CLASSIFIED ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Jason Stroman



Portico Media SC Frank Dubec, Group Publisher

Bill Chapman, Chairman


The CMA is for families. Passport to Art This FREE open studio program for families features creative art projects with a new theme each month. Come to the studio and make some art!

Join us to:

Make your own art project Explore the galleries Check out an art explorer backpack loaded with activities Play in the interactive education gallery Passport to Art: Pick a Chair, Any Chair Sunday, August 12 Noon - 3:00 pm

Family Programs Sponsor:

Passport to Art: Feathery Friends Sunday, September 9 Noon - 3:00 pm

Passport to Art: Spooky Spaces Sunday, October 14 Noon - 3:00 pm

1515 Main Street in the heart of downtown Columbia

803.799.2810 |

Kids Rock Out at Columbia Arts Academy



Lessons Are Fun, Build Confidence and Music Skills

By Rodney Welch


or Lewis Taylor, who teaches guitar at Columbia Arts Academy, the key to musical instruction is pretty simple: Keep it fun, and keep it simple.    On this particular day, he is teaching 11-year-old Michaela Driggers how to play Jimmy Eat World’s song “The Middle.” The song plays on a computer through the Guitar Pro software program, which allows Taylor to adjust the song’s normally quick pace, to literally bring it down to where a beginner can learn it. “I bump up the speed week for week,” he says, “so students don’t always notice they’re getting faster.” Taylor said his first question of new students is, “What music do you like?” From there, he tries to break down their favorite song into simple chords. He also teaches them to visually associate chords with finger positions: the diagonal of C, the triangle shape of D. “I love to see the look on kids faces when they finally get it,” Taylor says. “There’s nothing better than that feeling.” He also keeps the practice schedule light — 10 to 15 minutes a day.

Make it Fun Like most of the teachers at the Rosewood Drive school, Taylor’s democratic approach reflects that of founder Marty Fort. Fort, who has a master’s degree in classical guitar from the University of South Carolina, has little use for the idea that learning music is all grinding hard work. “It really drives me nuts when people tell others what they can’t do,” Fort says. “I am not a musical elitist. I don’t have elitist teachers.” From Fort’s perspective, every student has at least a little musical talent, whether they are adults who want to play songs by Johnny Cash, or kids like Michaela who want to play Top 40 hits.

When to Start Music Lessons? According to the Children’s Music Workshop (childrensmusicworkshop. com), the ideal time for children to begin learning music is age 3 to 4. That doesn’t mean children should start private music lessons this early, though. Toddlers can start with class-

Eleven-year-old Michaela Driggers takes guitar lessons at the Columbia Arts Academy. Photo by Sean Rayford

“There’s such a thing as an easy version of a song by Metallica or The Pixies,” Fort says.

Setting Realistic Goals That is not to say everyone is equally talented. Not everyone can sing opera, he says, “but you can improve your voice through voice lessons.” “I’ve had students come in with unrealistic goals,” he says. “Some want to audition for the Army band, because it’s a good, paying gig. But if you can’t read music at a high level, there’s no chance.”

es such as Music Play at the University of South Carolina’s Children’s Music Development Center ( or those at Palmetto Children’s Music ( Music Play develops musical skills through group activities such as singing, chanting and moving. Starting at age 5, the Children’s Music Workshop recom-

The same goes with American Idol auditions. “We can help you in 12 months,” he says, “but not six weeks.” Fort said some students have been at the Academy for eight years. “You have to give it time,” he says. “If you want to be good, give it at least a year.” The school began as Columbia Rock Academy, partly inspired by the 2003 hit movie School of Rock. Since then, it has evolved into Columbia Arts Academy, where 35 teachers give private lessons in voice, guitar, piano, bass and drums; some students also partici-

mends group lessons with children of the same age, followed by private lessons beginning between the ages of 5 and 7. Some music educators recommend one year of piano or keyboard instruction before moving on to another instrument, as the piano provides a strong foundation in basic musical concepts and notation.

l usica M The

Illustration by Becky Laff

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For more information Columbia Arts Academy 3630 Rosewood Drive, 787-0931, The Columbia Arts Academy is the largest school offering music lessons in the state of South Carolina, with more than 625 students. The academy has more than 35 teachers and offers lessons in acoustic and electric guitar; electric bass; drums; voice; and piano.

Pierce McLaughlin, 9, at his drum lesson. Photo by Sean Rayford

pate in group lessons or rock band classes. Some 600 students from around the state arrive for weekly lessons.

What Will it Cost? A weekly 30-minute lessons costs $24. Beginning age ranges start at 5 (piano), 7 (guitar) and 9 (drums.) The instruments themselves need not be expensive: a basic guitar, a full keyboard, or, for drummers, a practice pad and sticks and you’re good to go. “We’re on the parents’ side,” Fort says. “They don’t have to shell out a ton of money.” Students also perform in public each May and December at the USC Recital Hall. That

“gives them a goal to work toward,” Fort says. Rock bands also perform every March at Jillian’s in Five Points. “There’s a musical benefit,” Fort says, “but it also teaches conflict resolution, because the show has to go on.”

Confidence Builder — or Career? Vocal coach Megan Miller — who fronts the almost-all-girl local band, Chick Flix, with drumming teacher Jason Summers providing the backbeat — has kept a full schedule of classes since arriving at the Academy six years ago. The economic downturn, she said, hasn’t made a dent in it.

A few of her students come in with a specific goal in mind, she says. Sometimes they just want confidence. “A lot of the ones who come in are insanely good,” Miller says. “They just want to sing in front of people more.” Others might have an audition coming up, or they’ve been inspired by American Idol. “They think, ‘If they’re making it, why can’t I?’”            Confidence is exactly what 9-year-old Pierce McLaughlin experienced when he started playing drums. The young headbanger, who likes Metallica and Iron Maiden, now knows what he wants to do when he grows up. For other students, music is just an enjoyable social activity. Timmy Golden, 16, sees playing guitar as “a side thing, but not a main career.” Ditto for Sarah Fabrizio, 13, who loves singing Beatles songs, but thinks a career in it is  “too unpredictable,” and isn’t going to let it stand in the way of becoming a United Nations ambassador. Taylor says about 90 percent of the students just like the idea of playing an instrument, while the rest are more serious and focused. “I have a few rock stars that will totally shred,” he says. “If I live long enough, I will see them on TV.” “The classes are really fun,” says future shredder Michaela. “It’s the one thing I really look forward to all week.”



Local Martial Arts Programs Capital Karate 2728 Rosewood Dr., 212-7111 Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness 239 Two Notch Rd., Lexington, 356-9755 Columbia School of Karatedo 604 Meeting St., West Columbia, 794-3908 Fortress Martial Arts and Fitness 1812 E. Augusta Hwy., Lexington, 957-9208 Genova Family Karate Northeast Columbia (Pontiac) and Lexington locations, 736-4777 Irmo Family Karate 7530 Woodrow St., Irmo, 653-4000 D’Artagnan Woods works on his skills at Capital Karate in Rosewood. Photo by Sean Rayford

Karate for Kids

Samurai Karate Studio 2000 Clemson Rd., 462-9425

Programs Instill Confidence, Self-Discipline

By Allison Caldwell


nrolling your child in a quality martial arts program is more than just a trendy addition to your family’s event calendar. In addition to overall strength and fitness, the study of martial arts offers a wealth of intrinsic benefits such as improved focus, self-confidence, courtesy and respect — and everyone knows the general populace could use more of these positive traits. An Eagle Scout, veteran and graduate of the Darla Moore School of Business, Michael Bank is a fourth-degree black belt. After being recognized for his work as a martial arts instructor with the U.S. Air Force and teaching classes for several years at another local studio, he opened Capital Karate on Rosewood Drive in December of 2006. “I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid and begged Mom to put me in karate, but I had some anger issues and she thought fighting would make them worse,” Bank says. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he says. “Within two months, I knew I wanted to teach someday. I started assisting at age 14, earned my black belt and started teaching on my own at 16, and decided it was time to open my own studio after returning home from Iraq. On a weekly basis, we currently run 170 stu-

Lifeforce Karate and Fitness 7808 Garners Ferry Rd., 783-5425

dents (ages 4-60) in full-time programs, plus an additional 200 through satellite programs in nine different schools.”

Role Models Worth Following While not yet a parent himself, Bank is serious about being a positive role model for his young students. “Who you put your children around is who they’ll want to emulate,” Bank says. “For martial arts or any program, go in and meet the staff, observe them for a while, and ask: ‘Do I really want my child to be like them or not?’” “At Capital Karate, we’re a secondary force for parents,” Bank says. “We try not to use negative correction, but our kids know we’ll be disappointed if they get in trouble or get a bad grade. An instructor, a parent and a teacher all have to sign off in order for a student to earn the next belt, which reinforces positive behavior here at the studio, at home and at school.” When developing character in young students, Bank says he tries to keep things simple with two basic rules: the One Rule, and the Zero Rule. “The One Rule means we should only have to ask them to do something one time. The

Tony Thomas Family Karate 130 Fontaine Center Dr., 754-2333

Zero Rule refers to things we know we’re supposed to do — things we should never have to be asked or told to do. We work closely with parents and teachers to make sure what they’re learning here transfers to home and school.” Sensei Chris Feldt owns Samurai Karate Studio on Clemson Road. An adjunct instructor for USC’s physical education department, he says his sons are responsible for getting him involved in martial arts. “I had always wanted to take karate, but when I was growing up it wasn’t available like it is today,” Feldt says. “When my boys were old enough, I decided to do karate with them. I loved it so much that I decided to open my own school.” With every student, Feldt also seeks to instill positive changes that carry over into all areas of life.

Improved Self-Discipline and Self-Confidence “The two biggest areas of change I consistently see in children are in self-discipline and self-confidence. Most parents enroll their children for these two reasons,” says Feldt. “Many times, kids will have a difficult time

12 activities standing still, following directions and paying attention,” he says. “The structure of our class helps children focus in a way that is similar to school. They are rewarded for great self-discipline and self-control, and work very hard to improve in those areas. A nice side benefit is a better attitude in school, which often leads to improved grades.” “On the other hand, many of my parents enroll their child because they are shy and timid, which quite often leads to being bullied,” Feldt says. “Our program is designed to build confidence by learning how to defend yourself, having Olivia Harvey works with kamas at Capital Karate. Photo by Sean Rayford the self-control to walk away from conflict, setting short-term teens on the autism spectrum. Feldt currently goals and achieving them through our belt has students with ADD, ADHD, Asbergers program. Time and again, that shy, timid stuand other diagnoses on the autism spectrum. dent blossoms into a confident young man or “Several years ago, I started working with woman.” a family whose son was severely autistic and nonverbal,” Feldt says. “While he was very challenging at first, he was so much fun to Programs for Children with Autism work with. Every class we would see some imIn addition to programs for women, adults provement either in his balance, in his handand community workshops, Samurai Karate to-eye coordination, or [in] his fitness level. Studio also offers programs for children and He started developing basic martial skills by

Building Life Skills For children and adults, the practice of martial arts offers benefits beyond most traditional sports or fitness programs. More than just punching, blocking and kicking, martial arts training from a reputable studio also provides invaluable life skills and character development that affect every area of life. Students of all ages can expect to see dramatic improvements in the following areas: s Focus and concentration skills s Goal setting, self-discipline and selfconfidence s Courtesy, humility and cooperation s Honesty, integrity and loyalty s Courage, optimism and perseverance

copying what I did.” “I have several autistic children in my program now, and they are such wonderful students,” he continues. “Each one is highly intelligent and has such a passion for training. Martial arts training can help these children develop better social skills, particularly in making eye contact, speaking in a confident voice and developing better self-control. Whether on or off the mat, these kids always end up teaching me about dealing with adversity and having great perseverance!”


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Columbia Museum of Art 1515 Main St. 799-2810, Yes, the Columbia Museum of Art brings in top-flight traveling exhibitions and features a stellar permanent collection. But your kids are bored to tears by that. Luckily, the museum offers plenty of fun programming for kids, from its Passport to Art semi-monthly open studio program to its weekly Wee Wednesday art exploration sessions to its summer camps and school programs.

Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum 301 Gervais St. 737-8095, For more than a century, the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum’s has collected and preserved the military history of this state.

Congaree National Park

Columbia Marionette Theatre

Photo by Austin Price


ith the myriad options for children’s programming on television these days, it’s tempting to plop your kid down in front of the flatscreen to keep him or her occupied. But kids like to be active, and we know you dig that whole quality-time shebang. So we at FT Parent have put together a select list of places where you and junior can play … and play together.

776-4396, This 22,000-acre park boasts the largest old-growth, floodplain forest on the continent. It’s also an International Biosphere Reserve, a Globally Important Bird Area and a National Natural Landmark. Activities include hiking, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, nature walks and more. Located in Hopkins, 20 miles southeast of Columbia.

Cottle Strawberry Farm 2533 Trotter Rd. 695-1714, This 30-plus-year-old strawberry farm tucked in Southeast Columbia is open to the public every spring — usually from April through May, and sometimes into June. Mmm … freshly picked strawberries.

Dreher Island State Recreation Park Bouncerific 921 Longtown Rd. 865-7939, No, Bouncerific isn’t a place to send your kid to learn to be a doorman; it’s an indoor party and play center for kids and families. Inflatable bouncers, slides, dress-up, games, more.

Carolina CrossFit 1804 Blanding St., Offers kids’ crossfit classes.

Challenger Learning Center 2600A Barhamville Rd. 929-3951, The Challenger Learning Center of Richland County School District One is an aeronautics- and space-themed learning program designed to provide interactive learning experiences, integrating science, technology, engineering and math curricula with 21st century life skills.

Chuck E. Cheese’s 1775 Burning Tree Dr. 772-0435, The motto of the nationwide family entertainment center chain: Where a kid can be a kid. Often home to birthdays,

play groups and school fundraising events, Chuck E. Cheese’s features games, rides, prizes, food and entertainment for all ages.

City of Columbia Parks & Recreation Family-friendly Columbia boasts 52 public parks where your wee ones can run and jump and skip and play, plus a host of community gardens, three swimming pools, one splash pad water park, and a public skate park. The city also offers a host of youth sports — baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball — and outdoor environmental programs.

Colonial Life Arena 801 Lincoln St. When Disney princesses and the Sesame Street gang come to Columbia, this is where they play.

Columbia Arts Academy 787-0931, The largest music school in the state of South Carolina, the Columbia Arts Academy boasts a large and qualified staff to train your kids in electric and

acoustic guitar, voice, piano, bass, drums and year-round rock band classes.

Columbia Blowfish 254-3474, Take ‘em out to the ballgame: During the summer months, Capital City Stadium hosts the Columbia Blowfish, which play in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate wood-bat summer league. And, yes: They sell peanuts and Crackerjack.

Columbia Children’s Theatre 3400 Forest Dr, 691-4548 Professional theater company for young audiences and families.

Columbia Marionette Theatre 401 Laurel St., 252-7366 Founded in 1988 by famed puppeteer Allie Scollon and her son John, the Columbia Marionette Theatre has established itself as a premiere children’s theater in South Carolina. Its mission is to entertain and educate children and adults through the long-standing tradition and artistry of puppetry.

3677 State Park Rd. 364-4152, Located 30 miles northwest of Columbia in Prosperity, the Dreher Island recreation area consists of three islands encompassing 12 miles of shoreline on Lake Murray. Especially popular for fishing and boating, Dreher Island also offers lakefront camping, cabin and villa rentals, water skiing and picnicking.

Drew Park Splash Pad 2101 Walker Solomon Way Sure, there’s a playground, a jogging track and a gazebo, but you’re coming here to get wet in the gigantic spray pad and lighted fountain. (Many of the city’s public parks offer smaller spray pools, too.)

EdVenture Children’s Museum 211 Gervais St. 779-3100, The South’s largest children’s museum, with more than 70,000 square feet of cool stuff to keep the kids occupied.

Frankie’s Fun Park 140 Parkridge Dr. 781-2342, This Harbison-area entertainment



center packs three go-kart tracks, three 18-hole mini-golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, an arcade, a 5,000-square foot multi-tiered laser tag arena and a super-tall drop zone that says “In your face, gravity!” into 14 acres filled with fun for all ages. What, do you hate fun or something?

Harbison State Forest 896-8890, If you didn’t know it was there, you’d never expect to find 2,177 acres of forest along the sprawling mess that is Broad River Road. But there it is — one of the largest public green spaces inside the city limits of a metropolitan area in the eastern United States. Features more than 16 miles of roads and trails (popular for biking) and a canoe landing.

Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission The Irmo-Chapin Recreation Commission offers kids sports, programs and activities at Crooked Creek Park, Saluda Shoals Park and Seven Oaks Park.

Laugh N Leap 647-960, Need to buy or rent an inflatable bounce house, water slide, dunk tank or obstacle course? Laugh N Leap has you covered.

Lexington County Recreation Commission Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Lexington County.

Lexington County Soccer Club Live in Lexington Country? Think your kid’s the next Ronaldo? Sign him or her up with this club team, which offers playing options from recreational to elite traveling squads.

Little Gym 2005 N. Beltline Blvd., 738-1115 The Little Gym is an experiential learning and physical development center offering children’s physical activities centered on movement, music and learning.

The Mad Platter 3101 Millwood Ave. 771-8080, Art, studies have shown, makes kids smarter. So take your tykes here, a paintyour-own pottery studio, where they can throw clay, paint plates and explore their creative sides.

Monkey Joe’s

Palmetto Falls Waterpark

171 Newland Rd. 788-1102, For kids, Monkey Joe’s offers a place to monkey around, with wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps, climbing walls and obstacle courses. And for parents, there’s comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, concessions and sports on large, flatscreen TVs.

3381 Marion Ave., 751-3475 Tucked just inside of Fort Jackson’s Gate 2 entrance, Palmetto Falls Water Park offers a 10,000-square foot family pool, two water slides, a 600-square foot splashdown pool, a 2,500-square foot kiddie pool, a lazy river stretching 800 feet, and a snack bar. Open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays.

My Gym 110 Forum Dr., 788-1230, A non-competitive gymnastics and play center keeping children healthy by making fitness fun.

Owens Field Skate Park Jim Hamilton Blvd. The 14,500-square-foot custom concrete park, when it opened in 2010, replaced a small skate park many local skaters considered bogus. Ramps, bowls, rails, more.

Palmetto Children’s Music Offers Music Together classes — Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for infants through five-year-olds and the grownups who love them.

The Patch 3807 Augusta Hwy., 359-3276 This Gilbert strawberry patch is open for picking during strawberry season, typically April through May.

Patchwork Playhouse 1508 Columbia College Dr., 333-0372 A long-running children’s theater featuring child-sized puppets and actors.

Plex Indoor Sports There are two locations of this local indoor sports complex franchise: The Sandhills location, by the Village at Sandhill, offers indoor soccer, basketball courts and a skate park; the Irmo location, off the Peak exit on I-26, features an ice rink, an indoor soccer field and an remote-controlled car track. Both locations offer summer camps, birthday party packages, after-school programs and youth sports.


Owens Field Skate Park

Richland County Recreation Commission Offers youth sports, programs and activities at parks, playgrounds and activity centers in Richland County.

Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens 500 Wildlife Parkway 779-8717, It’s a natural fact that kids love animals. And Riverbanks Zoo — one of the nation’s finest, according to TripAdvisor — offers plenty of ‘em, from elephants to gorillas to ibexes to an aquarium and reptile complex stocked with fish, frogs, lizards are more. Riverbanks also offers myriad educational programs, day camps, overnight adventures and other fun kids’ events.

Saluda Shoals Park 5605 Bush River Rd., 731-5208, Situated on 270 acres downstream from the Lake Murray Dam, Saluda Shoals features a popular water park, an environmental education center, canoe trips, nature hikes, biking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, art exhibits, summer camps, health and wellness programs, meeting facilities and more. Good trout fishing, too, if your wee ones are into that.

Sesquicentennial State Park 9564 Two Notch Rd., 788-2706, This 1,419-acre park features a 30acre lake surrounded by trails, picnic areas and campsites. Also offers boating, fishing, swimming, meeting facilities and trails. Trails include a 6.1-mile mountain bike trail, a 1.9-mile nature trail, and a 3.5-mile walking and jogging trail.

File photo

South Carolina State Museum 301 Gervais St. 898-4921, The South Carolina State Museum, named one of the top three museums in the Southeast by readers of Southern Living, offers a wide variety of kids programming, such as camp-ins, birthday parties, summer camps and living history re-enactments.

Talbot Swim School 792-7298, Before you can run, you gotta walk, right? Well, before you go to the pool, you gotta learn to swim, and Talbot Swim School offers private lessons year-round.

U.S. National Whitewater Center 5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., Charlotte, N.C., 704-391-3900 OK, so the U.S. National Whitewater Center isn’t in Columbia; it’s a little more than an hour north in Charlotte. But it’s worth the trip up I-77: An official Olympic Training Site for whitewater slalom racing, the nonprofit U.S. National Whitewater Center is a huge outdoor adventure and environmental education center dedicated to promoting healthy and active lifestyles and developing environmental stewardship. Offers whitewater rafting and kayaking, flatwater kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, zip lines and more.

YMCA The YMCA in downtown Columbia was one of the first 50 Ys in the United States. It now has five branches — including locations in Northeast Columbia, Lexington, Irmo and Orangeburg —with which to provide childcare, camps and after-school programs.

BUILDING A “FUNDATION� Afterschool at the Y engages kids in physically active, learning and imaginative activities that encourage exploration of who they are and what they can achieve. Our kids participate in interactive learning models that help build healthy habits, active lifestyles and continued learning. Visit us online at to learn more about Afterschool!



Cool Parents Passing Your Creativity On to Your Children By Katie Alice Walker


hether you’ve had children for years, you hope to some day or you’re a soon-to-be-parent, there’s always more to learn and share about parenting. And who better to share some of their thoughts than parents who value creativity and try to instill it in their kids?

In a town where there’s a church on every corner and the second religion is football, creativity and the arts don’t always get top billing. So, we asked arts-oriented parents how they make sure their kids are getting exposed to the values and activities they want them exposed to. Read on to find out how some of Columbia’s coolest parents incorporate fun, learning and their own family values into their parenting every day.

On Instilling Values and Getting Kids Engaged Jen Ray is a working artist, currently focusing mainly on illustration. Her newborn son is Luke. Well, I love football, so that part is great. Go ‘Cocks! When I made the decision to leave New York City and come back down South, there was a lot to consider. Yes, there were some opportunities and events I, and eventually my kid, would miss out on, but there’s also an amazing richness down here that I can’t be without for long. There’s great stuff going on here, too, you just might have to dig a little to find what you want! We’ll teach our son the values we feel are important. He’ll be faced constantly, as I was, with a lot of people who disagree and have very different values. It’s a great opportunity for him to learn tolerance and love and how to get along with (almost) everyone.

music that’s being played in the background, to the art on the walls and, most importantly, to the content of the conversations that occur over dinner. I try to provide Ian with an intellectually stimulating and inspiring environment. For me, this means considering as many different perspectives and approaches to experiencing existence as possible, whether we’re talking about the arts, the sciences or religion. Ian’s mother, Nyna Dalbec, strives to create this type of atmosphere in her home, too, so he’s really getting this from both of us. It’s also important to be aware of what’s available in the community. Ian’s mom and I have both been active in the arts scene for years, which has helped in knowing what’s out there for him. There are summer art camps he’s gone to, theater and dance classes, music lessons, the orchestra at his middle school, etc. We take him to art openings and other


cultural/arts events whenever we can, and we include him in our conversations with our adult friends, many of whom are artistic, freethinking types.

Heather Green, a librarian with Richland County Public Library, and Josh Green, who works in operations at a call center, have two children. Isaac is 5 years old and Vivian is 2. Josh Green: Exposure is the key word. Children need physical and mental stimulation to develop, so I think that exposing them to as many different things as you can is important. In Isaac’s case, he plays T-ball, takes karate and takes piano lessons. There is no telling if he will keep doing these things when he is older, but I think that activities teach important lessons at a young age. The discipline needed to practice and learn music for piano; the need to get along with others and the concept of teamwork with T-ball; the need for mental and physical focus for karate; and so on. Vivian is a little young for organized activities, but she already sees what her big brother does and copies everything he does, so hopefully she will pick up his good habits. 

Heather Green: My husband and I met at New Brookland Tavern — this is a running joke in our household. Music is really important to us and we knew we’d pass that on to our kids. As soon as Isaac was old enough to take lessons, we signed him up for piano. He’s excited that when he’s older, he can graduate up to drums or guitar. We expose our kids to all kinds of music and I love to take them to go see bands when it’s appropriate. My daughter loves to dance, so we have dance parties in our living room pretty often. We also expose our kids to what diversity there is in a small, Southern town. Teaching them that everyone is different and that’s

Tim Bedford, a longtime bartender at Art Bar, recently moved into the counseling field after completing a graduate degree at USC, where he leads group and family therapy with at-risk youth and their families in Richland School District Two. His son, Ian Dalbec-Bedford, is 13 years old. It definitely begins in the home. I’m very intentional with what goes on at home, from the

Jen Ray with Luke

Courtesy photo



OK is so important to me. I work in public service every day and see so many different types of people — each one with unique needs. I feel really lucky to be able to work with so many different types of people, all with special talents, and I make sure that I let my kids see that diversity is a great thing. 

Deborah Adedokun is a full-time student raising her son, Gabriel, and working part-time in a nursery. I love Columbia, and I’m so happy to be raising my child here. For all its problems, there are so many great people here doing amazing things and I try to surround myself with them. But I’m convinced that the hardest part about being a parent is figuring out what it is you want your child to be exposed to and then figuring out how you want them to be exposed. I worry about being too overbearing, but I also don’t want to leave him free falling his way through life without any help or direction. In the end, all I really want for my little man is for him to learn to love well — to love God, to love himself and to truly love others. I want him to have good judgment and make sound decisions, but not be judgmental of others. The only way I can see to expose him to this successfully is to try to live that way myself. Gabriel is growing so much every day and more and more our relationship is becoming more of a dialogue than a one-way conversation. So as he grows, I’m banking on the fact that we will be making all our major decisions together. Granted, my vote will count twice. Ha ha.

Molly Ledford and Jay Barry are both members of the popular children’s band Lunch Money, which just put out its fourth CD, Spicy Kid. Their children are Henry, 8, and Lucy, 6. I think Columbia is a pretty great place to raise kids and I have this giant handwritten list of things I hope to remember to do with them this summer. A lot of that revolves around being active, being inquisitive and being together. So even just from loading up on summer reading at RCPL to swimming lessons at the Sumter Street Y to riding bikes at Saluda Shoals or the River Walk, we’re busy and happy. Then I remember things like The Big Mo are only a short drive away, and I start scribbling on that list!

Gabriel and Deborah Adedokun Photo by one:thirty one photography

Nuggets of Parental Wisdom Jen Ray: Well, he’s 10 days old as of this

writing so it would definitely be presumptuous of me to offer any advice. I have no idea what I’m doing here. But my constant advice to myself already is to release the grip, let go and relax. He’s already his own little person and I want to try to be there with all the love and good food and crayons he can handle and stay out of the way as much as possible.

Tim Bedford: Expose them to as much as possible but try not to ram things down their throat. Let them explore who they are and find what resonates with them. It’s tempting as parents to try and have our children fulfill our unrealized dreams, or walk in our footsteps. But if we try to force our vision onto our children, they’ll most likely push against it and resent us for it. So, share with them your passions and values and then step back and give them enough room to manifest their own passions. We all want our kids to be happy, and a good part of being happy comes

from living authentically and pursuing that which makes us feel excited to be alive.

Heather Green: One major promise I made to myself was that I wasn’t going to lose my whole self in mothering. Yes, I love and provide for them, educate them, and support them, but I wasn’t going to give up all of my interests for them. If there is a dinner or a happy hour, then I make plans to be there. In return, I have date nights with my kids. It’s taken me some time to find a balance, but I think I’m finally getting there. I’ve made some mistakes along the way but all parents make mistakes, as it’s a learning experience.  Josh Green: Children emulate the actions of their parents. So I think it is important that you exhibit the qualities that you want your children to possess. Hug your spouse, partner, or significant other in front of your kids. Hug your children a lot. Your kids will grasp that hugging is a good thing. Smile at your children a lot. They will pick up that smiling is good. Smile at other people. They will see that smiling at others is a good thing. Make sure you tell each of your family members that you love them when you are all together in front of each other so that habit

develops as a practice among your kids. You will have to ask these questions again in 10 years to see how it all turned out.

Jay Barry: I don’t think I’ve been doing this long enough to really have any ‘wisdom’; it’s a constant learning process but I’m always amazed and surprised at how funny, clever and smart our kids can be. Molly Ledford: I was surprised to realize how much listening is involved in being a parent. I mean, kids can talk your ear off. I really try to hang in there as long as I can and listen. Even about Lego Ninjas. That can be tough. Deborah Adedokun: To be honest I don’t really have any nuggets of wisdom that spring to mind at the moment — except that patience and a good sense of humor are a must. Eric Greenwood: Having three kids can be pretty chaotic, so it’s easy to slip into that “just getting through this” frame of mind. So my wife and I try to stay as engaged with them as possible without resorting just to “keeping them occupied.”


Eric and Campbell Greenwood

Vivian and Isaac Green

Eric Greenwood is a network administrator for a law firm and plays bass in a local band. His wife manages the IT staffing program for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. They have three children: girl/boy twins, Campbell and Eric, who are 4-and-a-half and Lilly, who is 10 months old. Eric Greenwood: We’ve been lucky in that my wife is a member of a local mother-of-twins club, and so a lot of cultural activities have been built into being members of that. They plan creative parties and field trips. Lots of EdVenture and trips to the State Museum. Columbia has a pretty impressive array of kidfriendly places from parks to the puppet theater to the zoo to various festivals throughout the year. It’s been eye-opening discovering all the things Columbia has to offer kids, but you’d never notice if those sorts of things aren’t on your radar.

Heather Green: I knew I wanted my kids to be exposed to the arts, books and music. I’m not sure I realized how much time and effort this exposure can take. Working full-time and getting him where he needs to be is sometimes exhausting. When my daughter begins these activities, I will probably need a free personal assistant. A wise person once said to me that getting our kids to the creative outlet — music, arts, sports — is a parent’s job. Letting the child figure out what he loves, is his job. Jay Barry: I hoped, and still do hope, that exposing them to interesting things that we’re into — whether it’s music or art or whatever — that eventually it will all seep in. And it’s

Has Parenthood Changed Your Grand Intentions? Jen Ray: Get back to me in another couple of years and we’ll see! But really, as a “creative” myself, I’m pretty devoted to the cause. Fostering imagination and creativity in my kid, in whatever capacity it manifests for him, is of the utmost importance to me. I’ll take his lead and will try to make sure he has the resources and supplies he needs to make anything he dreams up happen. Tim Bedford: Not really. I think I always just hoped to expose him to as much as possible and give him lots of options. There are always things we miss out on, time and money simply doesn’t allow us to pursue everything, but I try not to beat myself up over it. We’re doing the best we can, which is all we can do, until we’re able to do better.


also important to give them opportunities to let them explore what they’re into. Lucy is very much into art, so we make sure there’s always plenty of paper and materials around for her to work with.

Molly Ledford: I’m terribly addicted to grand ideas ... they just don’t all get done. But just a glance at my library record would tell you I mean us to be learning sign language and doing science experiments at night and creating our own graphic novels. Ha! I think my kids are hitting a nice sweet spot in ages, though. This summer I have felt, at times, more like their babysitter as we are sitting around talking. They make me feel young. Deborah Adedokun: Before he was born, I thought that once Gabriel was old enough to walk and talk that I would bring him out with me to shows at New Brookland Tavern. Yeah, I don’t know what was thinking! As much as I want Gabriel to be exposed to great live music, I don’t think Ill let him go out to shows until he is at least 16. If he’s especially precocious I’ll try and hold him out ‘till 18. I also thought I would want to travel with him a lot, but now I feel bad keeping him in the car as long as it takes for us to get from Rosewood to Harbison and back. We do travel a bit. We go to New England at least two or three times a year and try to go to the beach as much as we can, but other than that we pretty much stay in downtown. Eric Greenwood: Honestly, we were so overwhelmed by the thought of having twins that all of our grand ideas about what to expose our kids to quickly turned into survival mode. Sort of a “how do we entertain two at once?” mentality. In a similar way, we were determined not to be “chicken finger” parents. We started off buying only organic foods, but pretty quickly the kids began to dictate what they would and would not put in their mouths. And you can only fight that battle so often without going crazy. So, chicken fingers it is.

Molly Ledford and Jay Barry with Lucy and Henry




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803-520-5580 803-520-5580 1223 South Lake Drive

Lexington, SC 29073 1223 South Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29073 1223 South Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29073


Eating Well, Eating Local



Options Growing for Healthy Family Meals By Melissa Robinson

Additional Resources 14 Carrot Whole Foods 5300 Sunset Boulevard, Lexington Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun 1-6 p.m.

All-Local Farmers Market 711 Whaley St., Sat 8 a.m.-noon; Wed 4-8 p.m.

Brown Box Veggies A mostly local fruit and vegetable service that delivers to Columbia, Northeast, Lexington and Irmo. Pickup location and times vary; see website for details.

Cayce Farmers Market 2329 Charleston Hwy. Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m Nicole Bell likes to take her children, Brooks (6), Maddie (5) and Dylan (2), to the NOMA Community Garden. Photo by Melissa Robinson


o your kids ever ask where their food comes from? Sometimes the answer is “this box!” — and you might always not want to push any further than that. Other times, though, it can be eye opening to track the journey from farm to table. You might try to tell your kids a story that starts at some locale south of the border and includes a truck, a warehouse, another truck, an airplane, a third truck, a second warehouse, a train, a fourth truck and, finally, the grocery store. Whew! Who can blame kids for being wary of trying some of what we serve up? In recent years, Columbia parents have become more and more interested in making more nutritious meals and feeding their kids more and better fruits, vegetables and meats. Over the next year, we will see the addition of two new healthy grocery store chains: Whole Foods on Garners Ferry Road and Trader Joe’s in Forest Acres. That’s on top of the healthy grocery stores Columbia already has: Rosewood Market, Earth Fare, 14 Carrot and the Fresh Market, plus the vendors at the All-Local Farmers Market.

Community Gardens There are also plenty of opportunities for producing your own food. The City of Columbia provides access to six community and neighborhood gardens —

NOMA, Hyatt Park, Granby, Ensor Forest, Ben Arnold, and Lyon Street Community — with a total of 88 5-foot-by-20-foot garden plots where soil, compost and water are provided to gardeners for just $20 per year. The NOMA Community Garden is one of the newest and is located on River Drive in Earlewood, where it serves as a place for neighbors of all ages to learn about gardening and healthy food options. Nicole Bell leased one of the raised beds at the NOMA Community Garden just after it was built last year. She and her three children, all under the age of 7, regularly visit the garden together, which is located less than a mile from their front door, to pull weeds and pick their haul. “The kids will come out and pick green beans and just eat them raw,” Bell says. “It’s a big change from what they would eat before. Just being able to watch it grow has made a big difference.” The reaction of Bell’s children to seeing where their food comes from is pretty common. “Children are more likely to consume fruits and vegetables that are locally grown because it’s fresher; they get more excited about it,” says Erika Kirby, director of DHEC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “Kids that are engaged in growing it — they can touch it and feel it and get excited about

City of Columbia Community Gardens

Earth Fare 3312 Devine St., Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Farmers in the Forest Wednesdays 3 to 7 p.m. through October, in the parking garage at Richland Mall on the corner of Beltline Boulevard and Forest Drive.

The Fresh Market 4840 Forest Dr., Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Healthy Carolina Farmers Market Open select Tuesdays in spring, summer and fall; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Davis Field beside the USC Russell House.

Rosewood Market 2803 Rosewood Dr., Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sandhills Farmers Market 900 Clemson Rd., Tue 2-7 p.m. through Nov. 20.

State Farmers Market 3483 Charleston Hwy. Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun noon-6 p.m.

22 health

Easy Meal Ideas Emile DeFelice, market manager of the AllLocal Farmers Market, credits his parents for setting the foundation for his passion for good food. “I grew up with a gardener dad and chef mom, traveling and living in Europe for a spell, where we ate great food,” he says. Now a parent himself, DeFelice says his children will try just about everything and as they grow older and are more athletic they are increasingly adopting his own ideals regarding food. Here, he shares a few simple, healthy, easyto-prepare meals.

Quinoa and Quail In a rice cooker or skillet, make quinoa, adding your favorite veggies. Meanwhile cook some (local!) Manchester Farms quail breasts

the fact that they grew something.” The Farm to School Program — a multiagency collaboration among DHEC, the S.C. Department of Agriculture, the S.C. Department of Education and Clemson University — has seen real success with its initiative to feed students fresh, local foods for lunch, according to Kirby. “For children to establish lifelong healthy habits, we need to start early,” Kirby says.

in the skillet or even toaster oven. Another delicious meal that is high in fiber and protein, and low in fat and starch.

Sweet Potatoes and Eggs Crock-Pot potatoes overnight on low. Fry eggs in a pan and put over lightly buttered and salted potatoes. A healthy, delicious breakfast that sticks to your ribs.

Corncakes and Peas Caramelize onions; add celery, carrots, and fresh peas or beans. Cover with stock and water, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for an hour or two. In the meantime, mix fresh corn, Anson Mills cornmeal, flour, a few eggs plus an extra yolk, and butter to make a batter that you can fry on the skillet; think corn pancakes. It’s inexpensive, addictively delicious and aggressively healthy.

Local Markets But maybe your thumb tends toward some hue other than green. Luckily, Columbia is increasingly becoming a place where you can source locally grown meat, dairy and produce directly from farmers at any number of markets held throughout the week. One of the most popular downtown markets is Emile DeFelice’s All-Local Farmers Market, which not only sells local and often

organic produce, dairy, seafood and meat, but also offers hot food from local restaurants and food trucks and high quality handmade goods. Part of what makes this market special is its sense of community. Regular shoppers visit every week, creating a social, family friendly atmosphere. Pop-up markets are fun and can be a great tradition, but you can also find local produce any day of the week at the long-running Cayce Farmers Market. The Cayce market has a great selection of Certified SC Grown fruits and veggies, as well as such items as honey, sauces, pickles and preserves. There are even pint-sized grocery carts to help keep little ones entertained while shopping. Don’t be surprised to see one of the market’s pet roosters mingling with customers while you’re there. And eating local doesn’t have to end when the weather turns cool. In South Carolina, it’s possible to keep a garden going almost yearround. “I found the winter garden almost more enjoyable because you don’t have to worry about all of the bugs and heat,” says Bell. “Really it was just easy: Lettuce, spinach, collards ... I had stuff going all winter.” Melissa Robinson is a mother to three sparkling young children and runs the familycentric webzine Soda City Kid. Find her online at



Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina Downtown: 1910 Gregg St., 931-0100 Hardscrabble: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 227-7777 Irmo: 7611 St. Andrews Rd., 724-1100 Lexington: 3630 Sunset Blvd., 239-1600 Northeast: 1721 Horseshoe Dr., 788-7884 Southeast: 813 Leesburg Rd., 783-4433 Private family practice group.

Five Points Pediatric & Walk-in Care 1228 Harden St., 748-7002, Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

Hutchinson Family Dentistry 209 W. Main St., 359-0566,

Kids First Dental 2700 Broad River Rd., 772-4949,

The Kids Group 206 Medical Cir., 796-9200,

Kool Smiles 5422 Forest Dr., 753-8064,

Lake Murray Pediatric Dentistry 740 Old Lexington Hwy., 345-2483

Lexington Family Practice


f your kid has a legitimate emergency, you take him or her to the emergency room. If your kid has a bad case of the sniffles, you go to an urgent care facility. But for check-ups, vaccines, boosters and general wellness, you’ll need a family practitioner or pediatrician. Here’s a list to help get you started, along with a list of dentists, orthopedists and other places to keep your kids fit as fiddles.

Ballentine: 1846 Dutch Fork Rd., 781-3843, Irmo: 7037 St. Andrews Rd., 732-0963 Lake Murray: 2006 Augusta Hwy., 785-4747, Lake Ridge: 557 Columbia Ave., Lexington: 122 Powell Dr., 957-0780 Northeast: 76 Polo Rd., 699-7255, Sandhills: 811 W. Main St., 358-6420, Spring Valley: 229 Longtown Rd., 419-4949 West Columbia: 3314 Platt Spring Rd., 791-3494, White Knoll: 5535 Platt Spring Rd., 951-1880,

Ballentine Pediatrics

Chapin Family Practice

11134 Broad River Rd., 732-0920

1612 Chapin Rd., 345-3414

The Lexington Family Practice network is an umbrella group of the Lexington Medical Center.

Children’s Choice Pediatrics

Lexington Medical Center

3533 Dreher Shoals Rd., 732-3001

6108 Garners Ferry Rd., 647-1265

2720 Sunset Blvd., 791-2000, A frequent winner of Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

Camden Family Care

Children’s Dental Group of South Carolina

1017 Fair St.,424-1260

7210K Broad River Rd., 781-5141

Capital Children’s Dental Center

Chrysostom Family Dentistry

Midlands Orthopedics

655 St. Andrews Rd., 252-7775

3308 Platt Springs Rd., 350-9124,

1910 Blanding St., 256-4107,

Carolina Children’s Dentistry

Colonial Family Practice

Milestones Pediatrics

7701 Trenholm Rd., 736-6000

3930 Devine St., 256-1511 Part of a Sumter-based practice group.

120 Wildewood Park Dr., 788-7882

Ballentine Family Dentistry

Carolina Pediatrics Downtown: 2113 Adams Grove Rd., 256-0531 Irmo: 7033 St. Andrews Rd., 376-2838

Dr. Samuel J. Marsh Pediatric Dentistry 2302 Bush River Rd., 798-8675

Medcare Urgent Care Center 110 Medical Cir., 509-7316,

Moore Orthopaedic Clinic Columbia: 14 Medical Park, 227-8000 Columbia: 114 Gateway Corp., 227-8000 Lexington: 104 Saluda Pointe Dr., 227-8000

continued on page 26


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26 health Health listings, continued from page 23

Northeast Children’s Dentistry 147 Summit Cir., 865-1421

Palmetto Health A frequent runner-up for Best Hospital in Free Times’ Best of Columbia poll.

Palmetto Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic

Smile Columbia

Downtown: 140 Park Central, 779-4001 Harbison: 16 Woodcross Dr., 732-0140 Lexington: 1970 Augusta Hwy., 358-2370 Northeast: 74 Polo Rd., 788-4886 Rice Creek: 300 Rice Meadow Way, 788-6360

690A Columbiana Dr., 781-9090,

Affiliated with Richland, Baptist, Palmetto Richland Children’s and Lexington Hospitals.

Palmetto Smiles

South Carolina Dental Center 2020 Laurel St., 254-4543

South Lake Family Dental 1223 S. Lake Dr., 520-5580,

139 Whiteford Way, 951-9100,

Sterling Sharpe Pediatric Center

7 Richland Medical Park Dr., A state-of-the-art children’s hospital with comfortable family-centered spaces, age-appropriate play areas and therapeutic diversions to help reduce stress and encourage healing.

Pediatric After Hours Care

4605 Monticello Rd., 252-7001, Part of the Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers.

114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-4900 Open 6-10 p.m., Mon-Fri; 2-8 p.m., Sat-Sun.

USC Family Medicine Center

Palmetto Health Family Medicine Practices

8905 Two Notch Rd., 788-9353

3209 Colonial Blvd., 434-6113 Offers complete care for children and adults with a focus on prevention.

Providence Hospitals

USC Sports Medicine Center

Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital

Harbison: 190 Parkridge Dr., 407-3857 Irmo: 190 Parkridge Dr., 749-0693 Lakeview: 1316 N. Lake Dr., 358-1191 Northeast: 115 Blarney Dr., 736-6262 South Hampton: 5900 Garners Ferry Rd., 695-5450 Twelve Mile Creek: 4711 Sunset Blvd., 356-3609 University: 4311 Hardscrabble Rd., 419-6334 Family practice wing of Palmetto Health.

Pediatric Dentistry

Downtown: 2435 Forest Dr. Northeast: 120 Gateway Corporate Blvd. Another of Columbia’s top-flight hospital systems.

Providence Northeast Family 300 Long Pointe Ln., 462-7193

Rice Creek Family Dentistry 101 Rice Bent Way, 788-2676,

Two Medical Park, Suite 104, 434-6812 Open to athletes at all levels — recreational to high school, college and professional.

Wellspring Family Medicine 114 Gateway Corporate Blvd., 865-9655

Wild Smiles 203 N. Lake Dr., 356-1606,


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Eat, Drink and Watch Movies: Graphic Novel Heroes on the Big Screen Richland County Public Library, Southeast Regional,

July 28. Thor and Iron Man, backto-back in their badness. Pizza served during first film.

Guitar Club Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

July 26. Bring your guitar and participate in a group or individual lesson to get you started with a great instrument.

Lullabies by Moonlight Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

July 30. Enjoy bedtime stories “under the stars” and sounds of tranquility with flutist Teri Forscher-Milter.

Monday Afternoon at the Movies Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

July 30. Today’s feature: Tangled.

Sarah Dippity Richland County Public Library, Wheatley Branch,

EdVenture Children’s Museum

Photo by Daniel Coston


his is by no means a comprehensive list — institutions like the Columbia Museum of Art, EdVenture Children’s Museum, Riverbanks Zoo and the Richland County Public Library and the parks departments of the City of Columbia and Richland and Lexington County offer myriad events for kids on a daily basis.


The Patchwork Players

Blooming Butterflies

Performing children’s theatre group; visit website for performance venues and schedule.

EdVenture Children’s Museum

Through Oct. 6. Come explore the world of the butterfly! Visit EdVenture’s living exhibition and explore the world of these fascinating insects!

From Here to Timbuktu EdVenture Children’s Museum

Through Nov. 15. Kids learn about the foods, customs and cultures of the fascinating region of West Africa.

Moneyville EdVenture Children’s Museum

Through Sept. 9. See money — and math in a whole new way. Discover that money is really all about making choices — with the power of math.

Ongoing Events Parents’ Survival Night The Little Gym

Fridays. Parents call it a break from the kids. Kids call it a break from their parents. That sounds like a win-win situation.

July Columbia Blowfish v. Gastonia Grizzlies Capital City Stadium

July 26. Sarah Dippity brings even more fun, magic, storytelling and puppets to the library.

August Back to School Bash Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Aug. 6. How can your library help you succeed during the school year? Complete this scavenger hunt to find out ... and win a prize!

Back to School: Get Research and Career Ready Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Aug. 14. Learn about the resources the library has available to help with research for school assignments and to help in planning your future career.

City of Reptiles Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Aug. 14. Join reptile specialist David Bookman and his city of reptiles from snakes to iguanas.

July 28. Play catch on the field! Bring your ball and glove and play catch on the field with Blowfish players.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

The Commedia Pinocchio

Aug. 14. For ages 6 and above. Rain, snow, sleet, wind or clear. How do you know? Join WIS meteorologist Ben Tanner and learn about the weather.

Columbia Children’s Theatre

July 26. Told in the commedia dell’arte style by a zany troupe of traveling “Italian” actors.

EdLympics EdVenture Children’s Museum

July 27-Aug. 4. Calling all EdLympions! Show your strength and athletic ability during an exciting week of high jumps, long jumps, water balloon shotput, archery, noodle fencing, bad mitten, EDDIE’s Big Climb, and basketball!

Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Countdown to Kindergarten EdVenture Children’s Museum

Aug. 10. The first day of kindergarten is right around the corner! To celebrate this milestone, EdVenture Children’s Museum and United Way invite all South Carolina rising kindergartners and their families to the ninth annual Countdown to Kindergarten Celebration.

Guitar Club Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

Aug 16. Bring your guitar and participate in a group or individual lesson to get you started with a great instrument.

Hands on Art Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Aug. 3. Simple art fun for the very young. Dress for a mess! For 2-5 year olds.

Humans vs. Zombies Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Aug. 4. There’s been an outbreak! Avoid zombification at all costs – keep the undead at bay and work as a team, or get bitten and switch teams. Will be played outdoors and canceled if there is rain.

Jazz Roundtable Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Aug. 9. An informal introduction to jazz and its style. Hosted by Eboniramm, jazz vocalist and RCPL Literary Resident.

Junie B. Jones Celebration! Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Aug. 7. Celebrate the first grader who is not a crook, loves handsome Warren and has a big fat mouth.

Movies Under the Stars Saluda Shoals Park,

Aug. 11. Bring your lawn chair or picnic blanket and join us for a familyfriendly outdoor movie: The Lorax.

Night Time Nature Detectives Richland County Public Library, Wheatley Branch,

Aug. 1. Join Stacey from Sesquicentennial State Park and learn how to recognize owls and other animals that come out at night.

Of Thee I Sing Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Aug. 22. Lend us your ears as we present an evening of patriotic vocal performance. Students from Richland District one will raise their voices in salute to the sweet land of liberty

Pinocchio Columbia Marionette Theatre

Through Aug. 4. The classic tale of Pinocchio, told with marionettes. Visit website for showtimes.

Showtime Carousel Denny Terrace Community Center

Aug. 1. Creative Spark Center for the Arts, Inc. featuring Wona Womalan African Dance & Drum.

Summer Reading Wrap-Up Party Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Aug. 18. Wrap up the summer with music, fun and prizes for the whole family. Bring your beach chairs and join us for an outdoor concert featuring nationally known children’s rock sensation Lunch Money.

31 Splash & Dash Aquathalon

LEGO Madness!

Junie B. Jones

Read-A-Rama: Spooktacular

Northwest Family YMCA

Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Koger Center,

Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Aug. 10. A fun, noncompetitive, and fast-growing sport that combines running and swimming. Its purpose is to introduce youth to the multi-sport lifestyle in a fun and healthy atmosphere. All participants will receive a medal when completing the event.

Sept. 17. Create robots, cities, creatures and more using LEGOs!

Willy Wonka Jr.

Sept. 29. Tips and tricks for operating at the top of your game in work and school.

Columbia Children’s Theatre

Aug. 2-12.

September Ample Architecture Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Living Healthy: Work and Study Skills for Success Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Sept. 14. Experience the zoo that few get to see: the zoo at night. Behind-thescenes tours, overnight zoo stay.

Fall in Your Library

Soggy Doggy Day Saluda Shoals Park,

Talk Like a Pirate Day Sept. 18. Join us for pirate stories, crafts and a hunt for treasure.

October Architectural Design Workshop: Dream it. Design it. Digitize it. Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch

Four Days of Anime Film Festival

Boo at the Zoo

Sept. 8, 22. Watch movies with English dubbing and the original Japanese.

Guitar Club Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

Riverbanks Zoo,

Oct. 19-30. Family-friendly Halloween festival. Children 12 and under are invited to wear costumes for a spook-fest complete with Frankenstein’s Foam Zone, an eeky freaky DJ dance party and a trick-or-treat trail with candy and much more.

Sept. 20. Bring your guitar and participate in a group or individual lesson to get you started with a great instrument.

Four Days of Anime Film Festival

Hansel & Gretel

Oct. 6. Watch movies with English dubbing and the original Japanese.

Columbia Marionette Theatre

Opens Sept. 22. The classic tale of Hansel and Gretel, told with marionettes. Visit website for showtimes.

Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

The Fresh Beat Band Township Auditorium,

Hola, Libros!

Oct. 3. Nickelodeon’s popular preschool music group and stars of the hit TV series of the same name.

Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Guitar Club

Sept. 29. Bring the family to enjoy bilingual stories and songs.

Hooray for Granny and Grandpa! Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Sept. 9. September 9 is National Grandparents Day. Join us for stories, songs and crafts that celebrate the many ways grandparents touch our lives.

Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

South Carolina State Fair

Sept. 19. Celebrate autumn with stories all about this changing season, and make a “leafy” craft. Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Scissors Cut Paper

Let’s Get Physical Fitness Festival

Sept. 22. Can you survive a shipwreck? Head outdoors to build shelter, find food and water, and see if you have what it takes to make it back alive.

Oct. 24. What does your dream house look like? How about your dream career? Come to the library and try your hand at digital architectural design and explore some possibilities.

Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

LEGO Madness!

Richland County Public Library, Northeast Branch,

Cooper Puppet Playhouse

Riverbanks Zoo,

Oct. 12. School performance by the Columbia Classical Ballet.


Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Family on Safari

Koger Center,

Oct. 17. Spend some time listening to literary tales and cut out some art of your own.

Sept. 30. Bring your canine companion out to cool off on Saluda Splash and enjoy exhibitors and activities.

Sept. 20. Join us for the latest production of the Cooper Puppet Playhouse.

La Bayadere Prince of India

Oct. 30. Calling all young ghouls and goblins! Celebrate Halloween early with the best spooky books we could find. At Read-a-Rama every participant receives a free book. For ages 3-12.

Oct. 15. Create robots, cities, creatures and more using LEGOs!

Sept. 29. Discover how the world around you was designed into being, including some of the world’s most famous buildings, then begin designing your own project using practical and digital materials. Richland County Public Library, Cooper Branch,

Oct. 30. Presented by Classic Productions for Students.

Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

Oct. 25. Bring your guitar and participate in a group or individual lesson to get you started with a great instrument.

Halloween Haunted House and Carnival Dutch Square Mall

Oct. 28.

Finlay Park,

Oct. 28.

Outrageous Origami Richland County Public Library, St. Andrews Branch,

South Carolina State Fairgrounds

Oct. 10-21. Food, rides, games — do we really need to tell you what the South Carolina State Fair is?

Oct. 1. Yummy, tasty, juicy, bright, shiny, glossy. Celebrate apples with stories, a craft and games.


Pete’s a Pizza!

RCPL Teen Idol: All Starz

Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Richland County Public Library, Main Branch,

Oct. 16. Celebrate national pizza month with yummy stories and crafts.

Nov. 1. Talented teens will give their all to become RCPL’s next Teen All Starz.

Rain Makes Applesauce Richland County Public Library, Southeast Branch,

Oct. 1. Yummy, tasty, juicy, bright, shiny, glossy. Celebrate apples with stories, a craft and games.

Tips for Getting Ready for Kindergarten

life & learning

By Heather Green


indergarten is a fun and scary time for kids — and, let’s be honest, for parents, too. I just recently registered my 5-year-old son for kindergarten and, even though I know he’ll be just fine, getting out of the car to go into the building took some self-cheerleading on my part — and that was just for registration. How can we prepare ourselves and our children for the big first day? Here are some helpful hints.

Do Your Research When it came time to pick a school for my son, I wanted to make sure that he was going to a school that fit his needs. Education is important, of course, but I also wanted to make sure that the school offered art programs including music. Our family loves music, and my son takes weekly piano lessons, so I wanted to make sure that the school supported his artistic interests. What is important to your child and family? Most school report cards can be found online via their website or district site. Make sure you do your own homework.

Tour the School A few months ago, my husband and I scheduled an appointment to tour the school. Most schools offer a tour during school hours so that parents can actually see an average school day. We sat in each of the three kindergarten classrooms for about 10 minutes and teachers offered us a daily schedule and shared class expectations. This tour really

helped relieve some of the parental anxiety I was feeling.

Be a Cheerleader Even if you are anxious, don’t let your child know. When talking about a big change such as kindergarten, show enthusiasm and excitement. One thing we did was take our son to his new school, showing him the new playground and showing him how exciting big school can be. He got to see his new classroom, the new media center, the music room and cafeteria. He also got to meet several kindergarten teachers. If your child sees how excited and calm you are about the process, it will ease his or her fears as well.

Get Involved Volunteer at your child’s school with PTO, tutoring or being a reading buddy. If he sees you involved, he will want to get involved to!

Read There are tons of children’s books that talk about the first days of kindergarten. Come to the library and check them out! These are some of the tools that I have used to get my son — and myself — ready for the big day. Heather Green works at the Ballentine Branch of the Richland County Public Library.


Books for Easing the Transition Audrey Vernick, Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? (Balzer & Bray, 32 pages) School is a place where we meet diverse friends and learn that everyone has unique qualities. This really cute book, about a buffalo joining a kindergarten class, presents this life lesson headon. The buffalo has a hard time during arts and crafts and causes some laughs at lunch, but the students soon realize that the buffalo is the same as they are — a little nervous about going to school, but excited at the same time.

Philemon Sturges, I Love School (HarperCollins, 32 pages) This is a simple but lovely book that takes little ones through a typical day in kindergarten. Written in rhymes and with appealing illustration, it gives kindergartners a glimpse of what it’s actually like at school. This is just one of many I Love books by Sturges. All of them are fun.

Rosemary Wells, Yoko Writes Her Name (Hyperion, 32 pages) There’s talk around the class that Yoko won’t graduate from kindergarten because she cannot write her name — she only scribbles characters. But those characters are Japanese, and Yoko can’t wait to show her class how she writes her name. Yoko soon begins showing everyone in the class how to write their names in Japanese and they show her in English. Not only does this book explore diversity, but it also gives parents the opportunity to discuss how to handle peer pressure and making friends. Wells, creator of the popular Max and Ruby series, explores one of life’s greatest moments — writing your own name.

Anntoinette Portis, Kindergarten Diary (HarperCollins, 32 pages) Children will love reading all about Annalina’s journey in this funny and pictorially clever book. What happens to the kids in room 2K through the first month? After reading, your rising kindergartner will realize that nothing scary happens — only that there are fun adventures ahead.

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life & learning

Girls Will Be Girls Raising Healthy, Happy, Self-Confident Women By Allison Caldwell


Resources “Information is power,” says Linda Salane, executive director of The Leadership Institute at Columbia College. “Don’t stand idly by and let the world raise your daughter. As a parent, family member or guardian, you are their biggest ally. Talk with her, find out what is going on in her life and be as actively involved as possible. Seek help and advice from other parents, teachers, counselors or religious clergy.” These local resources can help. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Columbia

Oldest and largest youth mentoring organization in the United States. Serves children ages 6 through 18.

Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands

Formed in 1959, operates 31 clubs, eight summer camps and a teen center serving youth and families from Fairfield, Lexington and Richland Counties.

Carolina Teen Health


ugar, spice and everything nice — if only things were that simple. If you’re the parent of a pre-teen, tween or teenage girl, you know how challenging it can be to successfully navigate the often treacherous and unpredictable waters of young womanhood. Fortunately, there are several outstanding programs and resources to help parents and guardians along the way. Columbia College offers leadership programs throughout the academic year and intensive summer leadership institutes for high school girls. The college is active in all local school districts, using leadership development to teach workplace, personal and life skills that help young women thrive.

“Although pre-teen and young teen girls face many of the same challenges of previous generations, girls today face them in the technological age of the 21st century. Those challenges are on steroids.” — Linda Salane, executive director of The Leadership Institute at Columbia College “These programs give us a unique insight in today’s teenage girl,” says Linda Salane, executive director of The Leadership Institute at Columbia College. “We listen to and hear their concerns, so we can assist in their development and give them tools to become more confident adults.”

“Although pre-teen and young teen girls face many of the same challenges of previous generations, girls today face them in the technological age of the 21st century,” Salane says. “Those challenges are on steroids. They are bigger, more powerful, and in real time — happening instantaneously, thus having greater and more immediate consequences.”

What A Girl Wants: Issues Affecting Young Women Salane agrees with what researchers and media suggest are the biggest concerns facing adolescent girls today: girls want to be liked and feel that they belong; they are searching for perspective on who they really are; they are more savvy yet more vulnerable than ever; and they tend to judge quickly. “Young women are constantly bombarded with messages that are negative, confusing and sometimes dangerous,” Salane says. “The impact of media on the way they should look, behaviors that make them popular, brands they should wear and the way they should act are powerful influences.” The barrage of messages can stifle girls’ social development. “Society dictates that girls can’t be too smart, too dumb, too pretty, too ugly, too aggressive, too defenseless, too much of anything as an individual,” Salane says. “If a girl is too much of anything, she fears that others will be jealous, intimidated or mean. So young women conform — stifling their individuality,

Questions about sex and STDs answered in a teen-oriented format.

Girls on the Run, 864-723-1962

Inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident through a fun curriculum that creatively integrates running.

Leadership Institute at Columbia College 786-3748

Girls Empowered and LEAD residential programs.

Richland County Public Library

Presents numerous events and opportunities for teens to become engaged in the community.

South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Provides information and resources for teens, parents, educators and community organizations.

Teen Talk 296-2273

Offers numerous resources for teens, including Teen Talk newsletter, peer-to-peer discussions and an ask-an-expert program.

United Way/South Carolina 211

Just as 911 is for emergencies and 411 is for directory assistance, 211 is a one-stop service for connecting with local service providers. Dial 2-1-1 anytime, 24 hours a day.

Youth Voices, Inc., 467-9090 Seeks to reduce teen pregnancy through education, awareness, advocacy and leadership.


life & learning following the crowd and hoping for the best.” Karen Dukes, executive director of teen pregnancy prevention program Youth Voices, Inc., and a family and community coordinator with Richland School District One, agrees. “Technology is changing so fast that parents and adults in the field of youth development must scramble to keep up with current trends,” Dukes says. “Gone are the days when parents could see trouble on the horizon and circumvent the situation. There are too many gadgets now, constant access and too much information. As a result, girls in particular often put themselves at greater risk of being exploited and victimized.” Dukes also says a “mean girls” epidemic is spreading like wildfire, partially as a result of reality television. “These shows send a pronounced message that being mean is the new nice,” Dukes says. “Viewers, especially young women, are often blind to the fact that these so-called celebrities are paid to act out, and the more outrageous the better … I’ve spoken to many teens over the past few years, and being mean is becoming the norm.” “Girls receive conflicting messages about how they’re supposed to look and act, and often feel pressured to live up to other people’s standards,” says Mary Lohman, council director of Girls on the Run of Columbia, which offers programs at over 30 locations in the

Greater Columbia area. “Negative peer pressure and bullying are still common, but girls are exposed to them in even more ways with today’s technology,” Lohman says. “Girls from all walks of life tell us how overwhelmed or powerless they feel, whether from school, problems with friends or family issues. We want to provide the tools they need to reduce that stress and keep it from causing problems in other areas of life.”

What a Girl Needs: How to Combat Negative Influences “Parents and other adults have a huge responsibility to not only have meaningful conversations with their teens, but also model appropriate responsible behaviors,” Dukes says. “Otherwise, we run the risk of allowing this reality-show mentality to become socially acceptable for younger generations.” “Girls like expectations to be clear,” says Salane. “Unfortunately, they often find themselves in situations where there are no clear answers. With the ever-evolving family unit, parents may not have time or opportunity to know their child’s peer group — which now extends to virtual communities as well. It’s more critical than ever that parents, teachers, coaches and other adults serve as role models and guides to help them navigate the rough waters of the teen years.”


“Until we establish a culture of openness, teen pregnancy will continue to be an issue,” says Talarria Jackson, program manager of Palmetto Health’s Maternal and Child Health Initiative. The initiative facilitates Teen Talk, a weekly small group discussion offered to middle and high school students in Richland and Lexington counties. “Parents and adults should have open and honest conservations with their teens about love, relationships, and sex,” Jackson says. “Create an open dialogue where teens feel comfortable asking questions. Share family values when talking about relationships, and be honest. Use teachable or real life moments to bring relevance.” “Listening is one of the best things parents can do,” says Lohman. “All too often, adults are in such a hurry that it can be hard to really stop and listen. Girls often have great ideas about how to handle their problems, and just need a parent or another adult to validate their experiences and support them in their decisions. Other times an issue is out of a girl’s control, and taking the time to listen allows her to reach out for help. At Girls on the Run, we strive to teach girls that we’re all part of a team, and we can go farther with each other’s support. Sometimes we just need to reach out and ask for it.”

life & learning


Richland County: 2711 Colonial Dr., 726-9300 Alcohol and drug abuse authority offering a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs, including child and adolescent programs.

Mental Health America of South Carolina 1823 Gadsden St., 779-5363

NAMI Mid Carolina Local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Palmetto Counseling Associates 1911 Gadsden St., 254-9767

Pearson Professional Centers


ife is full of tough questions. How best does your child learn? Is your 4-yearold ready for a sleepover? Should your 12-year-old be on Facebook? How many sports are too many? How do you talk about sexting — and when? To help your kid learn — and learn how to live — check out the following.

Aim High Education

is the best way to prevent abuse, neglect and unintentional injuries.

4801 Hardscrabble Rd., 788-6894 Customized after-school education programs and tutoring.

Christian Counseling Center

ASY Counseling Services 1825 St. Julian Pl., 254-1210 Providing quality mental health services to children and families in the Columbia area.

Behavior Consulting Services 3227 Sunset Blvd. Serves children with a variety of special needs, including autism spectrum disorders, behavioral difficulties and academic difficulties.

Bright Start 720 Gracern Rd., 929-1112 Provides quality comprehensive services to all individuals with special needs and developmental delays

Children’s Chance 609 Sims Ave., 254-5996 Children’s Chance’s mission is to improve the quality of life of children and families who are dealing with the trauma of pediatric cancer.

Children’s Trust of SC 1634 Main St., 733-5430 Aims to promote healthy, nurturing relationships between children and adults — because strengthening families

1500 Lady St., 779-1995 Offers counseling on a variety of topics; also offers spiritual and religious counseling. Offered by First Presbyterian Church.

Columbia Counseling Center 900 St. Andrews Rd., 731-4708 A Christian perspective on counseling.

Crossroads Counseling Center 130 Whiteford Way, 808-1800 Counseling for adults, adolescents, children and marriages.

Discovery Program of South Carolina 8807 Two Notch Rd., 419-0126 Noted as a program of excellence with the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD), the Discovery Program helps those struggling to learn — whether via learning disabilities or other learning disorders — to become independent students.

Family Connections of South Carolina 2712 Middleburg Dr., 252-0914 Statewide organization of parents helping parents of children with disabilities, developmental delays, and chronic illnesses.

107 Westpark Blvd., 798-3001 Offers GMAT testing.

Personal Pathways to Success Provides educational and career planning resources.

REACH Family Service Center of South Carolina 2712 Middleburg Dr., 733-5450 A multi-service non-profit agency offering adoption services, consumer credit counseling, child dental clinics, an eye care clinic and more.

Head Start 1400 St. Andrews Rd., 898-2550 A comprehensive school readiness program serving kids 0-5 that has a strong focus on ensuring that they start school ready to learn.

Lake Murray Counseling Center A support group for Columbia-area home schoolers; provides information and activities, offers information about academic resumes and transcripts.

Study SC StudySC is a website that provides online content to support K-12 South Carolina-specific curriculum standards.

Sylvan Learning Center Irmo: 1270 Bower Pkwy., 781-7323 Northeast: 130 Forum Dr., 741-0999

7511 St. Andrews Rd., 781-1003 Offering counseling for children’s and adolescent issues.

Franchise supplemental learning centers providing personalized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills, homework support, and test preparation for college entrance and state exams.

Lango South Carolina

Three Rivers Behavioral Health At Lango, your child will learn another language, make developmental strides, explore other cultures. At various Midlands locations.

The Language Buzz 1921 Henderson St., 252-7002 A unique foreign language learning center that promotes the early command of languages through language immersion, contextualized learning, and the learning and acceptance of different cultures.

Lexington-Richland Anti-Drug Abuse Council Lexington County: 1068 S. Lake Dr., 726-9400

West Columbia: 200 Ermine Rd., 791-9918 West Columbia: 2900 Sunset Blvd., 796-9911 Provides comprehensive residential treatment for children and adolescents providing treatment for psychiatric and chemical dependency related illnesses.

University of South Carolina Speech and Hearing Research Center 1601 St. Julian Pl., 77-2614 Provides a variety of evaluation and treatment programs for individuals of all ages.

Looking For A Great After School Program For Your Child?

Come in, tour our facility and register your child today! Offering the Most in After School Care at Reasonable Rates!

• • • •

After school pick-up from Lexington/Richland Five and Richland One Schools Early Release Pick-Up & Open for Holidays Homework Completion and Healthy Snacks Fit Kids’ Exercise, Etiquette, & Manners Classes

(803) 732-0230

7250 Woodrow St., Irmo

Cooking with Math & Science

Arcade, Gym, Movie, and Outdoor Zone Summer, Winter-Break & Spring-Break Camps! Monthly Kids’ Nite Out Program

• •



interest in his question — and, with the aid of several girlfriends, Kevin hears more than he wants to know about bad boyfriends. Complicating his love-struck situation is the new boy in school who starts flirting with Tina. Why is Kevin so clumsy when Tina is nearby? Will he ever get up the courage to ask Tina out? Gary Paulsen has written another gem for young readers. This book has it all: humor, believable characters and a slightly flawed hero. This is a great addition to Kevin’s previous quests in Liar, Liar and Flat Broke. Reviewed by Becky Dickey, Southeast Regional Branch, RCPL.

Here are some recent books selected and reviewed by Richland Public Library staff members.

Sue Macy, Wheels of Change: How Women Rode The Bicycle To Freedom (With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way) (National Geographic Children’s Books, 96 pages, $18.95) Age and reading level: Teens and older


n everyday tool often has unusual origins that seem amazing compared to how simple the tool is. Take the bicycle, for example: It’s just two wheels spun with pedals. How strange could that be? Sue Macy has an answer that will surprise you in Wheels of Change: How Women Rode The Bicycle To Freedom (With A Few Flat Tires Along The Way). From the middle 1800s through today, bicycles represented freedom of several kinds for those who rode — freedom to go where you please, from relying on others for transportation and from containment. Naturally, these freedoms clashed with the social norms regarding women in the 1800s, and bicycles aided women’s rejection of the image of helpless girls who need permission and a ride to go somewhere. Bicycles can be found alongside women at several turning points in society: the transition from horses and carriages, the abandonment of restrictive dresses in favor of practical clothing, and the liberation of women’s daily lives into whatever paths they choose to ride. In the tradition of National Geographic’s colorful research, each phase of the bicycle’s history is beautifully rendered with historical documents. Look no further for feminist inspiration than Annie Oakley, pictured reading a book next to her bicycle and a pair of shotguns.  Reviewed By Thomas Maluck, Northeast Regional Branch, RCPL.

Gary Paulsen, Crush: The Theory, Practice and Destructive Properties of Love (Wendy Lamb Books, 144 pages, $12.99) Age and reading level: 8 and up; grade level 4 and up


ighth grader Kevin Spencer is back in his third quest to solve life’s great problems. Kevin’s crush on Tina Zabinski leads him to


devise experimental situations in which he can observe and analyze the workings of romantic relationships. Unfortunately, his investigations always seem to lead to disaster. When Kevin sets up an unannounced romantic candlelit date night for his parents, a small fire ensues. Next Kevin decides that observing teens on a blind date would be an appropriate test model. So he sets up an impromptu party for his brother’s hockey team and some pretty figure skaters. Will his older sister share her knowledge about being a good boyfriend with him? She actually takes an

Summer Reading Challenge There’s still time to join the Friends of the Richland County Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge. Summer reading keeps your mind sharp and helps young readers avoid the “summer slide.” Children, teens and adults can participate in the library’s Summer Reading Challenge through Aug. 18. Stop by any library location and tell a librarian you want to challenge yourself to read every day. Return your completed reading records to any RCPL location throughout the summer. Children will be presented with a reading medal to celebrate their success, and two lucky readers — a teen and an adult — will win a Kindle Fire (sponsored by Geiger Carolinas O’Cain Advertising). 

John J. Bonk, Madhattan Mystery (Walker Children’s, 304 pages, $16.99) Age and reading level: 8 and up; grade level 4 and up

This wonderfully exciting mystery has madcap situations and colorful characters. Maxi and Kevin are sent to stay with their Aunt Roz, who is pursuing an acting career in Manhattan. This causes the siblings to feel less valued and shunted away while their father and his new bride are honeymooning in Europe. Since their mother’s death, 12-year-old Maxi has taken on the motherly role. Ten-year old Kevin is suffering from phobias since he was in a freak accident. They are not happy about a new person trying to take their mother’s place in the family. In the Big Apple, they meet the landlord’s 13-year old daughter, Kim Ling Levine. Kim is a typical savvy New Yorker with quick wit, sharp humor and aspirations to become an investigative reporter. In Grand Central Station, Maxi overhears two men discussing sto-

media len jewelry at the Whispering Gallery. When she sees a newspaper article reporting a heist of Cleopatra’s Jewels, it is enough to send the children into an investigation. The kids ditch their summer camp activities and carry on a lively chase through closed subway tunnels, museums and Central Park. During this adventures Maxi and Kevin learn some truths about themselves and begin to make peace with their new family situation. Reviewed by Becky Dickey, Southeast Regional Branch, RCPL. Oliver Jeffers, Stuck (Philomel, 32 pages, $16.99) Age and reading level: Beginning and early readers (3 and older)


tuck by Oliver Jeffers follows the misfortune of a boy whose kite becomes stuck in a tree. In an effort to retrieve his kite, Floyd throws his favorite shoe to knock it loose. Jeffers’ de-


n addition to its fantastic Children’s Room and million-plus book titles, the Richland County Public Library offers downloadable eBooks and music, reading discussion groups, children’s events and more. Visit for more information and a schedule of events.

lightful illustrations and Floyd’s increasingly ridiculous attempts to free his kite will appeal to both children and their parents. Reviewed by Alexis Geiter, Northeast Regional Branch, RCPL. Peter McCarty, Chloe (Balzer & Bray, 40 pages, $16.99) Age and reading level: Beginning and early readers (3 and older)


eter McCarty’s most recent picture book, Chloe, is about a family of rabbits and Chloe who “was in the middle with 10 older siblings, and 10 younger ones.” One night, Chloe’s father brings home a new television. Unsure of the family’s new way to spend time together, Chloe intercedes and the result is surprising fun for Chloe’s brothers and sisters. Reviewed by Alexis Geiter, Northeast Regional Branch, RCPL. Sheri Castle, The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, & CSA Farm Boxes (UNC Press, 456 pages, $35)

Age and reading level: Expert and beginning cooks


heri Castle is a food writer, recipe tester and cooking instructor from Chapel Hill, N.C. She is passionate about celebrating local foods


and eating what’s in season and in her first cookbook, she shares this passion with her readers. The recipes are grouped by vegetable or fruit, from apples to zucchini. Each category contains a variety of recipes, ranging from simple to slightly more complex, that give great ideas on what to cook with the fruit or vegetable. The instructions for recipe preparation may appear a little long, but in fact, they are filled with helpful details on how to successfully make the dish. Among the delightful features of the book are the stories that accompany many of the recipes. In these stories, Castle shares her earliest memories of helping in her grandmother’s kitchen in a small community in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Don’t miss the story about how her Summer Vegetable Potato Salad earned its family nickname of Compost Salad. The book contains beautiful photographs of selected recipes and a useful index organized by ingredient, recipe name and category of dish. This is a cookbook that can be read for pleasure as well as used as a guide for preparing the many local foods we all have access to. This book is can be used by both expert and beginner cooks. Reviewed by Jennifer Walker, Main Library, RCPL.


Music & DVD Reviews By Kevin Oliver

Agent 23 Skiddoo, Make Believers Underground Playground Records


oo much music for kids aims for a cute, happy blandness in the name of not offending any potential listeners, parental or otherwise, but Charlotte ‘kid-hop’ artist Agent 23 Skiddoo’s take on the genre is heavily informed by his previous career in hip-hop. Make Believers is 23 Skiddoo’s third collection of funky, old-school, hip-hop-inspired songs for children, and it shows the influence of his previous association with artists such as Run DMC, Talib Kweli, and P-Funk Allstars. Not afraid to re-imagine the classics, opening track “Magic Beans” takes the Jack and the Beanstalk story and infuses a retro style that’s Grandmaster Flash funky; Lunch Money’s Molly Ledford takes a guest vocal turn on the sweeter nursery rhyme sound of “Snowforts and Sandcastles” before 23 Skiddoo interjects his own rapping into the mix. Elsewhere, “Make The Future” combines 311’s rock-ska and Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys on a call to action for girls growing up the right way. One of the perils of parenthood is the embarrassing need to rock Barney or his ilk in the car to keep the kids quiescent. Play 23 Skiddoo’s latest and not only will little ears perk up agreeably, I’ll bet nobody notices you’re

not bumping to your own alternative hip-hop playlist. Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band, A Potluck Rainy Day Dimes Music


ack when I first had children, I swore I would raise them on the music that I loved while a DJ at WUSC, the University of South Carolina’s campus radio station. But if the new album from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band had been around then, I could have just popped it into the CD player instead. A Potluck is an appropriate title for this new collection as it contains a church supper table’s worth of different sounds and styles that run the gamut from zydeco to twee-pop, rockabilly and points between. The subject matter is typical kid’s album fare, from lemonade stands to bicycles, squirrels, cookies and friends both real and imaginary; what makes the material


memorable is the endearingly sincere method of delivery from the principals involved. Diaz and primary musical partner Alisha Gaddis display an indie-pop sensibility that’s not too far from Those Lavender Whales on songs such as “Monkey Jones,” and the full band arrangements include horns, melodica, accordion and more in a swirling, homemade recipe any current or former collegiate radio connoisseur would find mighty tasty. Mo Willems’ Pigeon and Pals, Complete Cartoon Collection Vol. 1 & 2 Scholastic Storybook Treasures


here are few more popular children’s books than the series from author and illustrator Mo Willems featuring The Pigeon, a simply sketched yet complex character that finds itself in hilarious situations in each successive book in the ongoing chronicles. This two-DVD collection includes two of those stories — the original Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and one of the sequels, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog — and they are as entertaining to watch in this equally simple animated form as they are to read. Also included are two Knuffle Bunny stories, modeled after Willems’ own family and his daughter Trixie’s stuffed animal fixation. Drawn atop grayscale photographs and set to a mellow jazz soundtrack that echoes the classic Peanuts television specials, the artwork and animation are slightly more sophisticated but the storylines are just as simple and humorous. Willems enlists his family to provide the character voices for these two, giving them an even more realistic tone. Throw in the not-so-subtle lessons imparted in the other stories, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and Leonardo the Terrible Monster, and you’ll have plenty to keep the kids entertained. For more, check out the mini-documentary and interview with Mo Willems also included, plus a tutorial on how to draw the pigeon and a “You Yell!” version of the original Pigeon story.

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e know we just said, not three listings sections ago, that active kids are happy kids. But the mind and imagination are to be nurtured, too, and here are a few places where you can do just that.

multitasking and can promote exercise and social play. There are some 15 GameStop locations in Columbia, so buy Junior that Zelda title if he does well in school, OK?

Heroes and Dragons 510 Bush River Rd., 731-4376 Like video games, comic books, too, provide benefits, stimulating the imagination and creativity. So don’t toss your kids’ Avengers comics.

Lexington County Library

Richland County Public Library, Main Branch. Courtesy photo

Barnes & Noble

Books Revisited

Forest Acres: 3400 Forest Dr., 787-5600 Harbison: 278-A Harbison Blvd., 749-9009

7366A Two Notch Rd., 865-9990 A quality source for quality used books; also hosts storytimes, book clubs, writing workshops and more.

The mega-chain bookstore stocks tons of reading material for kids, sure, but it hosts kid-friendly events — storytimes, games, etc. — too.

The Book Dispensary 710 Gracern Rd.,798-4739 The best books, often, are ones that have been treasured and cared for, and Columbia’s oldest specializes in preloved books.

Books-A-Million Forest Acres: 4840 Forest Dr., 782-4475 Harbison: 275 Harbison Blvd., 749-9378 Northeast: 164 Forum Dr., 788-4349 The mega-chain bookstore stocks tons of reading material for kids, sure, but hosts kid-friendly events — storytimes, games, etc. — too.

Ed’s Editions 406 Meeting St., 791-8002 This quaint, family-owned bookstore is a nigh-yearly winner in the Free Times Best of Columbia awards.

GameStop A recent study, ABC News reported, from the Education Development Center and the U.S. Congress-supported Ready To Learn Initiative found that a curriculum that involved digital media such as video games could improve early literacy skills when coupled with strong parental and teacher involvement. The key was having educational video games, but video games also improve hand-eye coordination, teach basic skills, improve

Main Branch: 5440 Augusta Rd., 785-2600 Batesburg-Leesville: 203 Armory St., 532-9223 Cayce-West Columbia: 1500 Augusta Rd., 794-6791 Chapin: 129 NW Columbia Ave., 345-5479 Gaston: 214 S. Main St., 791-3208 Gilbert-Summit: 405 Broad St., 785-5387 Irmo: 6251 St. Andrews Rd., 798-7880 Pelion: 206 Pine St., 785-3272 Swansea: 199 N. Lawrence Ave., 785-3519 South Congaree: 200 Sunset Dr., 785-3050 Books are invaluable to a child’s development. The 10-branch Lexington County Library system stocks tons of books for kids, but will also help your child understand them, too. Offers classes, book clubs, homework help, kids’ events and much more.

Rainy Day Pal Books 711 E. Main St., 951-2780 Located on the bottom floor of Lexington’s historic Old Mill, Rainy Day Pal Used Books is known for its wide selection, and it specializes in children’s books.

Richland County Public Library Main Branch: 1431 Assembly St., 799-9084 Ballentine: 1321 Dutch Fork Rd., 781-5026 Blythewood: 218 McNulty Rd., 691-9806. Cooper: 5317 N. Trenholm Rd., 787-3462 Eastover: 608 Main St., 353-8584 North Main: 5306 N. Main St., 754-7734 Northeast: 7490 Parklane Rd., 736-6575

Sandhills: 1 Summit Pkwy., 699-9230 Southeast: 7421 Garners Ferry Rd., 776-0855 St. Andrews: 2916 Broad River Rd., 772-6675 Wheatley: 931 Woodrow St., 799-5873 For many years running, the Richland County Public Library won the Best Place to Expand Your Mind category in the Free Times Best of Columbia awards. Like the library system across the river, the 11-branch Richland County Public Library system stocks tons of books for kids, but will also help your child understand them, too. Offers classes, book clubs, homework help, kids’ events and much more.

Rolling Video Games Rolling Video Games delivers what it promises: a mobile video game theater stocked with the latest titles available for birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, whatever.

Silver City Comics 538 Knox Abbott Dr., 791-4021 Remember what we said about Heroes and Dragons? Ditto for Silver City.

South Carolina State Library 1430 Senate St. The South Carolina State Library is home to the South Carolina Center for the Book, which co-sponsor adult and adolescent literary events, such as the South Carolina Book Festival, the State Library Read-In, Letters About Literature, and many workshops.

Thomas Lee Hall Library 4679 Lee Rd., 751-5589 Military kids don’t have to go off-post to find a great library.


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