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2017 SCHOOL SMARTS GUIDE Feb /Mar 2017

Weave a Dreamcatcher Find Fun for Free! Mac & Cheese with a Zing And More!

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Kalamazoo Public Schools

are reaching higher! st 5 years la e th r e v o te ra n o ti  Rising gradua nd high a l o o h sc le d id m , ry  Rising elementa chievement school student a taking ts n e d u st f o r e b m u the n  More than doubleent courses in the last 8 years Advance Placem e tuition for g e ll o c e e fr : e is m ro  The Kalamazoo P idency & attendance requirements apply) KPS graduates (res e been or v a h ts n e d u st S P K  More than 4,200of The Kalamazoo Promise are beneficiaries 2,455 students f o th w ro g t n e m ll  K-12 enro e last 11 years th r e v o t) n e rc e p 4 (2

For enrollment or more information please contact Kalamazoo Public Schools at

269.337.0161


Who are these lovely People? See below.

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from the Ed

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Marie Leer Edito

2017 SCHOOL SMARTS GUIDE Feb /Mar 2017

Weave a Dreamcatcher Find Fun for Free! Mac & Cheese with a Zing And More!

Published by

Publisher

encore publications, inc.

Editor

M a r ie L iteoer

marie lee

Graphic Designer

Ed

alexis stubelt

Contributors

tiffany andrus, ren briggs, brian lam, anne lape, david miles, brian powers

Advertising Sales

tiffany andrus, celeste statler, krieg lee

Office Manager hope smith

Distribution mark thompson

FYI is published 6 times a year by Encore Publications, Inc. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to Encore Publications, 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI, 49007. Phone: 269-383-4433. General email correspondence to publisher@encorekalamazoo.com FYI is distributed free of charge at locations throughout Southwest Michigan; home delivery subscription rate is $18 per year. Advertising rates and specifications at fyiswmichigan.com or by request. FYI does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors; articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect FYI’s opinions or those of the FYI staff. To learn more about us visit fyiswmichigan.com

About the cover: From left, Comstock STEM Academy students Macy Cannon and Amaya Gonzalez work on a science project with teacher Karyn Medendorp. Special thanks for Comstock STEM Academy for facilitating this photo and the photo on Page 16. Photo by Brian Powers.

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Tiffany Andrus A new contributor to FYI, Tiffany offers a great craft for keeping little hands busy: making dreamcatchers. Check out this creative and dreamy project on page 14. Tiffany lives in Alamo and is the mother of two boys.

ren briggs What is better on a chilly winter’s night than warm, wonderful Mac and Cheese? Not much, and Ren, our recipe queen, gives us a zesty alternative to this muchloved family dinner staple. An Allegan mom, Ren is a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College’s Secchia School of Culinary Arts, a former baker for Alpen Rose, Via Maria and deBoer Bakery.

anne lape While Anne, a teacher, readily admits snow days are nature’s way of giving educators a “sanity day,” she is still happy to offer parents some helpful hints to keep their own sanity on days when inclement weather keeps kids at home. Anne lives and teaches in Kalamazoo and is the mother of a high schooler. KPL_FYI_RT_MAR2017.pdf 1 12/30/16 11:59 AM

brian lam Are you a Mooshie or non-Mooshie? Our Family Man columnist Brian looks at whether or not to adult when it comes to having conversations with your children. Brian, owner of Lam Creative Solutions in Kalamazoo, is the father of a 7-year-old.

David Miles

Who doesn’t want to be David Miles? He has a career that every comic-book-loving, crayon-doodling kid dreams of: He’s an illustrator who has created pictures for Zonderkidz, Highlights, Sleeping Bear Press and, now, FYI Family Magazine, where every issue offers his spot-on depictions for our Family Man column.

Reading Together 2017

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Meet The Author: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Tuesday, March 14, 7–9 pm

readingtogether.us •

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Miller Auditorium, 2200 Auditorium Dr.

Free event. No ticket required.


F e b r u a r y /M a r c h 2 0 1 7

In Every Issue 3

From the Editor

4

Our Contributors

6

Fun for Free

Family-friendly fun at no charge!

8

Make This!

Macaroni & Cheese with a delicious, zesty twist

10 Everyday Hacks

Find a little snow day sanity with these great tips

12

Is This Normal?

How to deal with unrealistic birthday expectations? You ask, experts answer

14 Creation Station

FEATURE

16

2017 School Smarts Guide Public, private, charter or other? Our guide helps make sense of school options in the Greater Kalamazoo area

Weave together a personalized dreamcatcher

PARENT TO PARENT 30 Family Man

Talking the talk, like an adult

Ac tivities 24 Family Events

The area’s best calendar of family-friendly fun!

fyiswmichigan.com •

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Fun For Free FYI

Learn to Love Winter Activities Winter is full of family fun and Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery has two programs in February to help you discover some great outdoor activities. The center will host its Just Add Snow Snowshoe Walks where you and your kids can learn how to use snowshoes and then test your skills on a walk while also learning about winter ecology. The Hatchery has snowshoes you can borrow or you can bring your own. There’s an evening lantern-lit walk available as well. The second program, Wild about Winter Activity Day, includes programs to learn about snowshoeing and ice fishing as well as a winter scavenger hunt, jig mak-

ing and hot cocoa by the fire. There will also be a bird walk presented by the Audubon Society of Kalamazoo to teach participants about the many birds that stay in Michigan through the winter.

Snowshoe Walks

When: 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. (Lantern Lit Walk) Feb. 11 Place: 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan Ages: 5 & older

More info: facebook.com/wolflakefriends, 668.2876

Wild about Winter Activity Day When: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Feb. 18

Place: 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan, MI Ages: All ages

More info: facebook.com/wolflakefriends, 668.2876

Telling Tales at Storytelling Festival You will hear stories of unity, equity and peace at the fifth annual Storytelling Festival at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. With a theme of “Searching for Peace,” this twoday festival will bring in storytellers from across the United States. The festival kicks off Friday evening with performance poet and author Terry Wooten, followed by a performance by speed painter Martina Hahn and singer-songwriter Joe Reilly. On Saturday, catch storytellers Patricia Polacca, Adam Mellema, Mark Binder, Tim Cusack, Noa Baum, Sidney Ellis and Sidney Ellis II, and Judy Sima. There will also be a vendor fair with authors, educators and visual artists.

When: 5–8 p.m. Feb. 3, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Feb. 4 Place: K  alamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St. Ages: All ages More info: kvm.kvcc.edu, 373.7990

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AND STILL WE RISE: RACE, CULTURE AND VISUAL CONVERSATIONS

Have Fun at the Baby & Family Expo With music, games, activities and family-friendly vendors of all types, the Baby & Family Expo is great way to while away a winter afternoon. The annual event, now in its 10th year, offers families not only magic shows and musical performances but crafts, a bounce castle and the opportunity to get great information from a variety of family-oriented organizations and businesses. When: 11 a.m.–4 p.m., Feb. 26 Place: Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave. Ages: All ages More info: kzoofamilyexpo.com

FYI Family Magazine will be at the 2017 Baby & Family Expo! Make sure to stop by and register for a great family portrait giveaway!

Go to a Party for Dr. Seuss It’s not every day you get to celebrate someone’s 113th birthday. But students from Portage Central High School and the librarians at Portage District Library are throwing just such a soiree to celebrate the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. There’ll be games, a photo booth, Seuss-like shenanigans and, of course, cake. When: 6:30–8 p.m. March 3 Place: Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane Ages: Kindergarten–5th grade More info: portagelibrary.info, 329.4544

JANUARY 21 – JUNE 4, 2017 FREE GENERAL ADMISSION Monday-Thursday 9 am–5 pm Friday 9 am–9 pm Saturday 9 am–5 pm Sunday + Holidays 1 pm–5 pm Closed, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Easter

230 North Rose Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.373.7990 | 800.772.3370

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees

kalamazoomuseum.org

Trusted since 1942, Constance Brown Hearing Centers, where personalized service and technology meet

Kalamazoo 1634 Gull Rd. Suite 201 269.343.2601

Portage 4855 W. Centre Ave. 269.372.2709

www.cbrown.org

fyiswmichigan.com •

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Family Dinner by

Ren Briggs

Make this! FYI

Ren Briggs

Zesty Chicken-Bacon Mac and Cheese

W

e love homemade macaroni and cheese — good old comfort food on a cold winter night — but sometimes plain old mac and cheese leaves you wanting more. So we changed things up a bit with our triedand-true recipe and — surprise! — even the kiddos loved it! Serve this with homemade applesauce and a freshly tossed salad for a delightful meal sure to please any family!

Ingredients

• 16-oz. box elbow macaroni • 1/2 lb. bacon, chopped • 23-oz. jar white queso con salsa • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese • 1 cup milk • 1 tsp. garlic powder • 1 Roma tomato, diced in ¼-inch pieces (optional)

6. Boil macaroni according to directions on packaging. 7. When cooked, drain the macaroni, rinse and return to pot.

Ren Briggs

• 1/2 lb. chicken, chopped (about 2–3 chicken breasts)

8. Add queso, shredded cheeses, milk, garlic powder and diced tomato (if desired) to pot and stir well.

• 1 cup Japanese-style panko bread crumbs

9. Put macaroni mixture in a casserole dish or 9- x 13-inch pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Tools

10. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs evenly over the top.

• Large stock pot for cooking noodles

11. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until heated through.

• Medium skillet

Hints

• Casserole dish or 9- x 13-inch pan • Non-stick cooking spray • Cutting board • Knife

How To

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the macaroni. 3. Cut chicken and bacon into 1/4-inch pieces. 4. C  ook bacon and chicken together in skillet until done. 5. Place cooked meat on paper towels to drain. •

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• You can find queso in the grocery store’s chip aisle. Try queso without the salsa for a less zesty option. • Panko breadcrumbs can be found in the grocery store’s Asian food section. • This recipe can be made a day ahead and refrigerated before you bake it. Bake at 45–50 minutes at 350 degrees or until heated throughout. • Add other veggies such as peas and broccoli. • For extra zest, add a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies. • Change up the meat: use 1 lb. cooked and drained ground beef or 1 package of sliced hotdogs or kielbasa.


Everyday Hacks FYI

Snow Day Survival by

Anne Lape

The prospect of harsh winter weather brings

anticipation and superstitions designed to secure the certainty of a Snow Day: ice cubes flushed down the toilet, pajamas worn backward and spoons tucked under pillows. (That’s just what teachers do; kids probably have their own snow day superstitions as well.) In Michigan, however, the glittery sparkle of a snow day can wear off quickly (even for teachers); work still has to get done, childcare arrangements need to be made and, eventually, often sooner than later, the two most grating words to the parental ear are heard: “I’m bored!” To help save your snow day sanity, keep the kids busy without becoming their referee/playmate and maybe, just maybe, keep screen time to a minimum, here are some hacks to try to help you manage the impossible:

Tasks Before Screen Time This is a great hack for summer vacation, too. Develop a list of activities that needs to be accomplished before your kids can lay eyeballs on a screen. I use a modified version of it with my 16-year-old on weekends. Try a list something like this: BORED? Have you: Been creative? Outside play? (This might not be possible on a snow day, but older kids could shovel.) Read for 20 minutes? Exercised? Done something helpful? Post the list where your kids will see it, such as on the refrigerator or (gasp!) on the screen of their favorite device. If you are a working parent whose kids are home for the day, text them your list and then ask them to text back with photographic proof as each task is completed. Here are some suggestions for different ways they can accomplish those BORED tasks:

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Be Creative Being creative on a snow day can take some preplanning, but then the activities should take care of themselves. A trip to a dollar store can fill a box with art supplies like foam sheets, craft sticks, poster board, tape and markers for a day of creative crafting. While you’re there, grab a shower curtain and some dry erase markers. The shower curtain can double as a crafting mat and a giant dry erase board. Pulling cardboard boxes out of the recycling can also add to the crafting fun. If you have board games that have lost pieces or the kids have outgrown, keep a box of those old game parts so kids can create games of their own.

Play Outdoors If weather does permit the kids to go outside, spray bottles filled with water tinted with food coloring are beautiful and fun new snow toys. The kids can spray designs in the snow, paint faces on snowmen or snow angels, or just turn a winter wonderland into a rainbow-colored landscape.

Read Public libraries are often also closed on snow days. Good news: you can take a trip to the library without leaving the house. Check out your public library’s digital resources. Your library may have ebooks, audio books and music available that you can download to your computer or the


kids’ digital devices. Your library may also have databases or educational resources that can help with homework. Learn a language: Okay, you’re not going to learn French in one snow day, but you can challenge your kids to learn phrases in a new language and try them out at dinner that night. My teen loves all things Japanese and enjoys teaching us new words in Japanese. Suggest your kids learn new words that go with your family’s culture or a culture or country they are interested in. And guess what? They have to read to find the words.

Exercise Our third-floor apartment gets small, even after a few hours, and when we entertain active kids, we have to get creative to keep small bodies busy and everyone getting along. When restlessness threatens, we turn to the Internet. A quick Internet search turns up great videos to get the wiggles out: anything from five-minute dance videos of your kids’ favorite songs to calming yoga designed for kids. With a little research ahead of time, you can have a playlist ready to go on your laptop or Internet-capable TV. Lip-sync battles: Though not exactly exercise, older kids could probably be convinced to pull some of their favorite videos up on the computer and engage in a lip-sync battle. They’re sure to get their heart rates up trying to outdo each other with the best dance moves.

Something Helpful A snow day can be a good day to tackle an organizing project, and depending on the ages of your kids, they can be great helpers. I know that sounds crazy, but as long as you aren’t asking kids to clean up their own stuff, they often have great ideas about how to tackle household projects. Younger children can help organize all those single socks that roam freely about the house. Older kids can be given a closet or a cabinet to tackle. Snow days are a certainty of Michigan winters, but just like Michigan winters, they are unpredictable. We may get a few well-placed snow days, or we may get so many snow days that the children are going to school until August. But with a few hacks in your repertoire, you can get through all of them with your sanity intact.

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Is this normal? FYI

You Ask, Experts Answer

Q:

Big Birthday Expectations

My 10-year-old daughter recently attended big birthday parties for classmates. One party was for 20 kids at an inflatable park; another was a princess makeover for 15 girls. We don’t have the money to host that kind of an event for her birthday. But she keeps asking what we are going to do for her party and has already made up a “guest list” for 15 kids. How do we lower her expectations? — Mattawan Mom

A:

It can often be a difficult time when children begin to compare themselves to others, and the concern with “fairness” arises. In general, having a conversation with your child about the difference between fair and equal can be helpful. It is important to explain that two people can receive different things that are not equal but KPL_FYI_TFF_MAR2017.pdf 1 12/30/16 11:56 AM are still fair based on the situation.

For example, one child forgets a coat and another forgets a pencil. It is fair to give one a coat and the other a pencil, even though the items they receive are not equal in value. Therefore, based on a family’s situation, what a family has in the budget for a party can be fair without being equal to what another family has in the budget for a party. That said, it is always disappointing when people realize their expectations are not going to be met. So keeping that in mind when you talk with her may help you empathize with her reaction to your discussion about her party plans. It is also important to give her time to re-adjust her expectations before her party, in order to let go of her previous plan and get excited again with more realistic expectations. Once she has had time to process the loss of her first party plan, give your child a general budget for her party and help her decide how she wants to spend the money. You could guide her toward realizing she may be able to do more with fewer friends than with 15. This is a great opportunity to assist your child in seeing that happiness and fun can come from many other ways than spending money. Questions answered by Nichole Holliday, MA, LLPC, LLMFT, Private Practice at Child & Family Psychological Services Portage, and Alyssa Noonan, LLMSW, Private Practice at Child & Family Psychological Services Kalamazoo

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“There’s an art to listening. The more a physician knows their patient, the more they can tailor their care and help their patients feel comfortable and safe.” Dr. Sonia Eden, Neurosurgeon Michigan, we’re listening. You want even more compassionate care. That’s why we’re coming together as Ascension®. So we can give healthcare a better name.  We are Ascension.

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Creation station FYI

Weave a Dreamcatcher by

Tiffany and Landen Andrus

How To Make the ring: 1. Have your child trace the inner circle on a paper plate, about two inches from the outer edge. 2. Using scissors, cut out the inner circle of the plate and remove it, so the plate resembles a large donut. Depending on your child’s age, you may need to assist with this.

A

merican Indian tribes from the Midwest have been making dreamcatchers for thousands of years as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares. My own great-grandfather, Sam Keway, the last chief of Little Traverse Bay of Odawa Indians, taught me to make dreamcatchers when I was a child, weaving our family’s patterns with fishing line and beads onto a willow branch similar to the pattern woven into snowshoes. My 5-year-old son Landen and I spent a snowy Sunday celebrating our ancestry while having fun with this easy craft, which you and your little ones can also enjoy. And once it’s done, hang the dreamcatcher near your child’s bed to capture any bad dreams.

Materials Needed • Paper plates • Crayons, colored pencils or paint • Colored craft string • Sequins • Glitter gel pens • Feathers • Plastic pony beads • Glue • Scissors • Hole punch

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3. Have your child decorate the ring with crayons or colored pencils, sequins, glitter gel and drawings that represent favorite parts of life and things to dream about. They can decorate one or both sides of the ring. 4. Stop for a snack to allow the glitter and glued-on decorations to dry. 5. Once the decorated ring is dry, use a pencil to mark nine evenly spaced dots around the circle frame about a 1/4-inch from the inner edge. 6. Let your child use the hole punch to make holes where the dots are. This is great for practicing hand-eye coordination. 7. Have your child pick which part of the decorated plate will be the top of the dreamcatcher. Mark and punch two holes 1/4-inch from the ring’s outer edge at the top (for attaching the string the dreamcatcher will hang from). 8. Mark and punch three holes 1/4-inch from the outer edge of the bottom of the ring. Weave the pattern: 1. Cut 3 feet of string. Thread one end through a hole in the inner part of the ring and tie off so that the knot sits between the inner edge and the hole. 2. Making sure to cross the open center of the ring every time, let your child weave the string


through each hole, creating a web. Add beads to the string at random points while weaving it through the holes.

3. Create a loop for hanging by tying each end of the string to the two top holes of the plate. 4. Voilà! Hang the dreamcatcher near your child’s bed and let the good dreams begin.

3. Once the string is woven through each hole of the inner circle, return to the hole you started from and tie the loose end of the string off.

Hints

Hang feathers: 1. Cut two strings 8 inches long and one 12 inches long.

• Parents should supervise all of the cutting and hole punching. Even older kids may need help starting to cut out the inner circle.

2. Help your child tie a feather to one end of each string, • Paper plates work much better than styrofoam or plastic adding pony beads to cover the knots. plates. Plastic plates can have sharp edges once the inner 3. Carefully thread one of the 8-inch strings to the left- circle is cut out. side hole on the bottom of the ring and tie off. Do the • When tying off knots and weaving the string pattern, be same with the 12-inch string in the center hole and finish sure to gently tighten the string to avoid ripping or bendwith the other 8-inch string in the right-side hole. ing the paper plate. Attach the hanging string: • Allow enough time to complete this project — it is also 1. Cut a 6-inch piece of string. something than can be done in several stages over the 2. Choose eight or more beads and thread the beads course of a day or several days (depending on your and your child’s attention spans). onto the string.

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• Study & learn in a positive & supportive atmosphere with professional, enthusiastic, experienced, university-trained teaching artists including Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Artists-in-Residence • Private instruction on strings, woodwinds, brass, piano, guitar, percussion, voice, theory & composition • Crescendo Fiddlers • Chamber Ensembles • Workshops & Masterclasses • Community Voices ensemble for teens & adults with mental & physical challenges • Orff Studio classes for ages 5 & up • Music Together® classes for infants, toddlers, & preschoolers Epic Center, Suite 12, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall information@crescendoacademy.com www.crescendoacademy.com 269/345-6664

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Brian Powers

School Smarts P

2017

ublic schools? Your neighborhood school or one near your work? Private school? Charter school? Virtual school? Home school? There have never been more options for Kalamazoo-area families looking for the right educational options for their children. Understanding a little more about those options is the goal of FYI’s 2017 School Smarts Guide. The guide provides a list of the schools and school districts in •

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the Greater Kalamazoo area serving kindergarten through 12th grade. Each listing includes the school’s or district’s enrollment and a brief description of what it offers. In addition, we include a short primer with some of the terms — such as virtual school, charter school, Schools of Choice — families often hear when they look into school options. And, no, there won’t be a quiz at the end.


Public Schools Kalamazoo County has 10 school districts that enroll more than 35,000 students. Climax-Scotts Community Schools 372 S. Main St., Climax 269.746.2400, csschools.net Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 510 This rural district offers 1 elementary school, a combined junior-senior high school that encompasses grades 6–12 and an alternative education program. Comstock Public Schools 3010 Gull Rd., Kalamazoo 269.250.8900, comstockps.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 1,898 This district offers 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 2 high schools (one is an alternative high school). Comstock started a STEM academy in 2013 serving kindergarten through 8th grade. See ad on page 19. Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools 1076 N. 37th St., Galesburg 269.484.2000, g-aschools.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 1,028 This district has 1 elementary school, 1 middle school and 1 high school.

From left, Comstock STEM Academy students Macy Cannon, Amaya Gonzalez, and Shelby Alexander and teacher Karyn Medendorp work on a mechanical project in the school’s science lab.

Gull Lake Community Schools 11775 East D Ave., Richland 269.488.5000, www.gulllakecs.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 3,138 Gull Lake Schools has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 2 high schools (one is an alternative high school). Gull Lake also offers the Home School Partnership and a virtual middle school and high school program.

Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC) 600 W. Vine St., Kalamazoo 269.337.0004, kamsconline.com Grades: 9–12 Enrollment: 300 The Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC) provides an accelerated education in mathematics, science and technology to selected high school students in Kalamazoo County. Admission is competitive for the half-day program. Kalamazoo Public Schools 1220 Howard St., Kalamazoo 269.337.0100 kalamazoopublicschools.com Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 12,624 Kalamazoo Public Schools is the county’s largest school district with 17 elementary schools, 5 middle schools (including an alternative middle school), and 4 high schools (this includes an alternative high school and KAMSC). The district offers students the Kalamazoo Promise, which is free in-state college tuition for its graduates. See ad on page 2. Mattawan Consolidated School 56720 Murray St., Mattawan 269.668.3361, mattawanschools.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 3,844 Mattawan Schools has 2 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school. Parchment School District 520 N. Orient St., Parchment 269.488.1050, parchmentschools.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 1,672 This district has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 2 high schools (one is an alternative high school).

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Portage Public Schools 8107 Mustang Dr., Portage 269.323.5000, portageps.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 8,666 This district has 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and 3 high schools (one is an alternative high school). Portage Public Schools offers the International Baccalaureate program in high school. See ad on page 21. Schoolcraft Community Schools 551 E. Lyons St., Schoolcraft 269.488.7390, schoolcraftschools.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 1,068 Schoolcraft Schools has 2 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school. Vicksburg Community Schools 301 S. Kalamazoo Ave., Vicksburg 269.321.1000 vicksburgcommunityschools.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 2,683 Vicksburg Schools has 3 elementary schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school.

Charter Schools Evergreen Academy 2121 Hudson Ave., Kalamazoo 269.488.6324 oneamazingclass.org/evergreen-academy Grades: K–6 Enrollment: 71 With an emphasis on core academics, this school is managed by the Foundation for Behavioral Resources in Augusta and authorized by Grand Valley State University. Forest Academy 5196 Comstock Ave., Kalamazoo 269.488.2315 oneamazingclass.org/forest-academy Grades: K–6 Enrollment: 174 With an emphasis on core academics, this school is managed by the Foundation for Behavioral Resources in Augusta and authorized by Grand Valley State University. •

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A Primer on School Choices A

s families consider their kids’ educational options, there are a number of terms you may come across in the process that are new to you or that you’ve wondered about. We explain some of those most frequently asked-about terms here:

Charter Schools

The term “charter school” is most often used to denote a public charter school, which is a publicly-funded, privately-run educational institution offering an alternative to traditional public and private schools. Like public schools, charter schools are funded by tax dollars and are subject to a performance review every three to five years. Created in 1992 under a law that allows them to receive public funding, charter schools are open to the public.

Home School

Michigan law allows home schooling, which means that a child’s parents or legal guardian can educate the child at home in an organized educational program in the subject areas of reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature, writing, and English grammar. Home schooling is regulated at the state level, and if a family chooses to home school, they will be under the authority of the Michigan Department of Education. Always consult the state code, available at michigan.gov/mde, for the most accurate legal information about home schooling.

KRESA

An acronym for the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, KRESA is a central coordinating organization that provides support and services to improve student achievement to nine area school districts and four charter schools. KRESA provides a wide spectrum of services includ-

ing early intervention and childhood education programs, special education services, and Education for Employment and Education for the Arts programs in local high schools. KRESA is governed by its own superintendent and Board of Education.

Private Schools

Private schools, also known as independent schools, are not administered by local, state or federal governments and have the right to select their students. Private schools often follow a particular educational philosophy or viewpoint, with most private schools in the U.S. operated by religious organizations. Private schools generate their own funding, which can come from tuition, grants, fundraising, and funding from organizations or private individuals.

Public Schools

The vast majority of Kalamazoo County students attend one of the area’s public schools. Financed through federal, state and local taxes, public schools are part of a larger school system, which functions as a part of the government and must follow the rules and regulations set by the goverment.

Schools of Choice

The Schools of Choice law provides families more choice in selecting a public school to attend. The Schools of Choice law has two options, referred to as Section 105 and Section 105c. Under Section 105, districts can accept students who live in other (continued on page 22)


YouTube.com/ComstockPS

Facebook.com/ComstockPS

Twitter.com/ComstockPS fyiswmichigan.com •

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Kalamazoo Covenant Academy 400 W. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo covenantacademiesfoundation.org Grades: 9–12 Enrollment: Not available Scheduled to open in 2017, this school will serve students ages 16–22 and up to age 26 for special needs students. The school targets students who have dropped out of school, who are at risk of dropping out or who need help overcoming barriers to finishing school. The school is managed by Covenant Charter Academies and authorized by Grand Valley State University. Oakland Academy 6325 Oakland Dr., Portage 269.324.8951 oneamazingclass.org/oakland-academy Grades: K–6 Enrollment: 180 With an emphasis on core academics, this school is managed by the Foundation for Behavioral Resources in Augusta and authorized by Grand Valley State University. Paramount Charter Academy 3624 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo 269.553.6400 paramountcharteracademy.org Grades: K–8 Enrollment: 364 With an emphasis on virtues and college preparatory academics, this school is managed by National Heritage Academies and authorized by Bay Mills Community College.

20 • feb /mar 2017

Private Schools Catholic Schools of Greater Kalamazoo 1000 W. Kilgore Rd., Kalamazoo csgk.org This nonprofit school system is affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo and offers a faith-based education for students from preschool through high school at its three schools: • Hackett Catholic Prep 1000 W. Kilgore Rd., Kalamazoo 269.381.2646, hackettcc.org Grades: 9–12 Enrollment: 258 • St. Augustine Cathedral School 600 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, 269.349.1945, stakzoo.org Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 342 • St. Monica Catholic School 530 W. Kilgore Rd., Kalamazoo 269.345.2444, stmonicakzoo.org Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 288 Gagie School 615 Fairview Ave., Kalamazoo 269.342.8008, gagieschool.com Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 224 K–8 A for-profit, independent school with a 39-year history. Greta Berman Arbetter Kazoo School 1401 Cherry St., Kalamazoo 269.345.3239, kazooschool.org Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 109 This nonprofit, independent school began in 1972 and is accredited by Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). See ad on page 23.

Heritage Christian Academy 6312 Quail Run Dr., Kalamazoo 269.372.1400, hcaeagles.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 224 This nonprofit school has an emphasis on serving in the community and is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International. Kalamazoo Christian School Association 2121 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo 269.381.2044, www.kcsa.org This nonprofit offers Christian faith-based education at its three schools with Spanish immersion for Preschool–5th (must begin by 1st grade). Schools are: • Kalamazoo Christian Elementary School 3800 S. 12th St., Kalamazoo 269.544.2332, kcsa.org Grades: PreK–4 Enrollment: 442 • Kalamazoo Christian Middle School 3800 S. 12th St., Kalamazoo 269.544.2332, kcsa.org Grades: 5–8 Enrollment: 226 • Kalamazoo Christian High School 2121 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo 269.381.2250, kcsa.org Grades: 9–12 Enrollment: 223 Kalamazoo Country Day School 4221 E. Milham Ave., Portage 269.329.0116 kalamazoocountryday.org Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 100 This nonprofit, independent school has an emphasis on technology, math and science with a strong underpinning of liberal arts and is accredited by ISACS. See ad on page 21.


www.portageps.org

TheFuture ofLearning

PPS.1/4 page AD Draft 2.indd 2

1/3/17 10:21 AM

The greatest gift you can give your child! For 40 years, we have served as a non-profit, private education institution for children ages 3–12. Our highly trained, credentialed teachers nurture and cultivate the curiosity of children from preschool to 6th grade while providing a strong foundation for continued academic success. Learn about the Montessori philosophy and the gifts The Montessori School has to offer your child today!

www.themontessorischool.org | (269) 349-3248 Kalamazoo, 750 Howard Street | Richland, 6274 N. 32nd Street

fyiswmichigan.com •

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Kalamazoo Junior Academy 1601 Nichols Rd., Kalamazoo 269.342.8943 kalamazoojunioracademy.com Grades: K–10 Enrollment: DNP* This nonprofit school is affiliated with the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The Montessori School 750 Howard St., Kalamazoo & 6274 N. 32nd St., Richland 269.349.3248 themontessorischool.org Grades: PreK–6 Enrollment: 146 With an emphasis on the education philosophies of Maria Montessori, this nonprofit school offers PreK–6 at its Kalamazoo school and preschool and kindergarten at its Richland facility. See ad on page 21. Prairie Baptist School 11210 East PQ Ave., Scotts 269.626.8101, prairiebaptistchurch.org Grades: PreK–12 Enrollment: 30 This nonprofit Baptist school is a member of the Michigan Association of Christian Schools. Providence Christian School 100 Pratt Road, Kalamazoo 269.385.4889 michiganchristianschools.com Grades: K–9 Enrollment: DNP* This is a nonprofit, faith-based school. Reformed Heritage Christian School 700 N. Fletcher, Kalamazoo 269.383.0505, refhcs.org Grades: K–12 Enrollment: 33 This is a nonprofit, faith-based Christian school.

22 • feb /mar 2017

St. Michael Lutheran School 7211 Oakland Dr., Portage 269.327.0512, stmikeschool.org Grades: PreK–8 Enrollment: 170 This nonprofit school is affiliated with the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church but open to all. See ad on page 23. Vineyard Academy 8510 M-89, Richland 269.629.7253, vineyardacademy.org Grades: PreK–10 Enrollment: DNP* This is a nonprofit, faith-based school operated by lay Catholics.

Home School The Kalamazoo area has a strong home schooling community. In addition to the Home School partnership at Gull Lake Community Schools, there are organizations that provide information, networking and support for home-school families. Kalamazoo Area Home School Association kahsaconnection.com This secular organization provides information and contacts for homeschooling families. Homeschool Kalamazoo facebook.com/homeschoolkalamazoo A network providing information and resources for homeschoolers in the Kalamazoo area. * Did not provide Sources: Enrollment information as of Dec. 1, 2016 came from individual school districts, individual schools, and MI School Data, mischooldata. org/DistrictSchoolProfiles

Primer (continued from page 18) school districts but are within the same intermediate school district that the district is in (called intra-district choice). This also includes the opportunity for students to move from one school to another within the boundaries of an individual school district, provided there are available seats. Under Section 105c, school districts can accept non-resident students who live in counties that border the school district or Intermediate School District that the district falls under (called inter-district choice). School districts can choose whether or not to participate in Schools of Choice. In Kalamazoo County, most of the districts abide by a countywide non-compete agreement restricting individual districts’ participation in Schools of Choice. Check with individual school districts and schools to determine their level of participation in Schools of Choice.

Virtual Schooling

Virtual schooling delivers educational content online with certified teachers and a set curriculum that allows students to attend school from home. Many school districts offer virtual schooling options and there are private virtual schools, such as the Michigan Virtual School (mvhs@ mivu.org), which offers middle and high school courses online for a fee. Virtual schools are held to the same accreditation and regulations as traditional public schools.

The information provided above is not intended to be legal advice and is distributed for information purposes only. For more information on these topics and education options in Michigan, check the Michigan State Department of Education’s page at michigan.gov/mde.


The Greta Berman Arbetter

K azoo School Creativity. Curiosity. Confidence.

We Make Reading Possible Specializing in literacy development since 1974

• PK – 8th Grade • Kalamazoo’s only Reggio Emilia-inspired PK classroom • Strong sense of community • Small class sizes = more individual attention • Nurturing, child-centered approach • Indoor-outdoor learning experiences in Kleinstuck Nature Preserve • Each child is known, cared for, and respected

kazooschool.org

269-345-3239

Specialized support for literacy success in and out of the classroom. * Tutoring * Professional Development * Parent Workshops

www.sldRead.org 269.345.2661

St. Michael Lutheran School Christ for Kids Childcare Center 7211 Oakland Drive  Portage, MI 49024 St. Michael Lutheran Church LCMS

 Preschool – 8th Grade  Class sizes allow for more individual attention  Programs are open to all  Tuition Assistance is available for those who qualify  Proven academic excellence  Convenient wrap-around childcare including infants and toddlers

www.stmikeschool.org School (269) 327-0512 Christ for Kids (269) 327-4889 Church Office (269) 327-7832

Education with Christ at the Heart fyiswmichigan.com •

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ONGOING

WHERE IS?

Addresses, phone numbers & websites of venues frequently appearing in the calendar: Comstock Township Library — 6130 King Highway, 3450136, comstocklibrary.org Kalamazoo County Expo Center — 2900 Lake St, 383-8778, kalcounty.com/parks/expo Kalamazoo Institute of Arts — 314 S Park St, 349-7775, kiarts.com Kalamazoo Nature Center — 7000 N Westnedge Ave, 381-1574, naturecenter.org KalamazooValley Museum — 230 N Rose St, 373-7990, kalamazoomuseum.org KPL-Alma Powell — Kalamazoo Public Library-Alma Powell, 1000 W Paterson Ave, 553-7960, kpl.gov KPL-Central — Kalamazoo Public Library-Central, 315 S Rose St, 342-9827, kpl.gov KPL-Eastwood — Kalamazoo Public Library-Eastwood, 1112 Gayle Ave, 553-7810, kpl.gov KPL-Oshtemo — Kalamazoo Public Library-Oshtemo, 7265 W Main St, 553-7980, kpl.gov KPL-Washington Square — Kalamazoo Public LibraryWashington Square, 1244 Portage Rd, 553-7970, kpl.gov Parchment Library — Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org Portage Library — Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544, portagelibrary.info Richland Library — Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St, 629-9085, richlandlibrary.org

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Thru March 12, Out of the Fire: Masterworks of Ceramics, exhibition featuring works by some of the finest ceramics artists in the U.S., Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, all ages, regular admission Thru March 17, In My Backyard, children’s entertainer Fred Penner explores the Earth, moon, planets & constellations, 11 am Mon–Fri, 2 pm Sun, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, $3 Thru March 17, Ice Worlds, explore the role of ice in the universe, 1 pm Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, $3 Thru March 17, Eclipse 2017, see a simulation of the upcoming Aug 21 solar eclipse, 3 pm

WEEKLY Events listed are those available at presstime. Please check local websites for other events posted since publication. Mondays Playtime at the Point, indoor playtime for toddlers, 9:15– 11:30 am, The Point, 2595 N 10th St, thepointkalamazoo.org, ages 0–5 with caregiver, FREE Baby & Toddler Storytime, (March only), flannel stories, fingerplays & movement, 9:30 & 10:30 am, Portage Library, ages 0–23 mo, FREE Time for Twos, (Feb only), interactive stories, songs & movement, 10 am, Portage Library, age 2, FREE 1-2-3 Play with Me, (Feb only), play, make friends & talk with child development specialists (registration required), 10:30 am, KPL-Oshtemo, ages 1–3 with parents, FREE 1–3 Year Olds Storytime, stories, songs & activities, 10:30 am, Comstock Library, ages 1–3, FREE Play & Learn, play for early learning, 5:30–7 pm, KPL-Eastwood, ages 1–5, FREE Tuesdays Baby & Toddler Storytime, (Feb only), flannel stories, fingerplays & movement, 9:30 & 10:30 am, Portage Library, ages 0–23 mo, FREE Family Storytime, (March only), stories, rhymes, music & a mystery letter, 10 am, Portage Library, ages 2–5, FREE

Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, $3 Thru March 19, Luminescence: From Salvage to Seascape, sculptures created from repurposed objects by Sayaka Ganz, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, all ages, regular admission Thru April 9, The Wizards of Pop: Sabuda & Reinhart, a pop-up book exhibit with 63 framed pieces, museum hours, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, FREE Thru June 4, And Still We Rise: Race, Culture & Visual Conversations, works that draw on the tradition of storytelling thru quilts, museum hours, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, FREE Feb 17–March 4, To Kill a Mockingbird, a coming-of-age story about the effects of racism &

fear of the unknown, 7:30 pm Fri & Sat, 2 pm Sun, Civic Auditorium, 329 S Park St, ages 10 & up, call for ticket prices March 10–19, Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, a sixth grade boy learns to believe in magic, friendship & love, 7:30 pm March 10 & 17, 4 pm March 11 & 18, 2 pm March 12 & 19, 1 pm March 18, Shaw Theatre, WMU, 387-6222, wmich.edu/theatre, ages 5 & up, $20 adults, $10 students March 24–31, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast Jr., Civic Youth Theater musical about Belle & a prince trapped by a spell, 7:30 pm March 24 & 31, 1 & 4 pm March 25, 2 pm March 26, 9:30 am & noon March 29 & 30, Civic Auditorium, 330 S Park St, all ages, call for ticket prices

Toddler Tales, stories, rhymes & songs, 10:15 am, Parchment Library, ages 2 & 3, FREE 1–3 Year Olds Storytime, stories, songs & activities, 10:30 am, Comstock Library, ages 1–3, FREE Toddler Storytime, songs, movement & stories, 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 2–3, FREE Baby & Me Time, lap bounces, rhymes & songs, 11:15 am, Parchment Library, ages 0–24 mo, FREE Wednesdays Playtime at the Point, indoor playtime for toddlers, 9:15– 11:30 am, The Point, 2595 N 10th St, thepointkalamazoo.org, ages 0–5 with caregiver, FREE Baby Lapsit, (Feb only), songs, bounces & rhymes, 9:30 am, KPL-Central, birth to walking, FREE Animal Encounters, story, coloring & a live animal, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 0–5, regular admission plus $2/ child Family Storytime, (Feb only), stories, rhymes, music & a mystery letter, 10 am, Portage Library, ages 2–5, FREE I’m a Big Kid Now: Independent Storytime, (March only), stories, rhymes, music & a mystery letter, 10 am, Portage Library, ages 3–5, FREE Preschool Pals Storytime, stories, songs & fingerplays, 10:15 am, Parchment Library, ages 3½–5, FREE Toddler Talk, toddlers play & adults share with a parent educator, 10:15 am, KPL-Oshtemo, ages 1–3, FREE

3–5 Year Olds Storytime, stories, songs & a craft, 10:30 am, Comstock Library, ages 3–5, FREE Baby Steps, (Feb only), rhymes, songs & books, 10:30 am, KPLCentral, walking to 24 mo, FREE Baby Talk, talk infant care with Carolyn Call, RN, 1:30–3:30 pm, KPL-Oshtemo, birth–12 mo, FREE Thursdays I’m a Big Kid Now: Independent Storytime, (Feb only), stories, rhymes, music & a mystery letter, 10 am, Portage Library, ages 3–5, FREE Time for Twos, (March only), interactive stories, songs & movement, 10 am, Portage Library, age 2, FREE Family Style Storytime, stories, songs & fingerplays, 10:15 am, Parchment Library, ages 2–5, FREE 3–5 Year Olds Storytime, stories, songs & a craft, 10:30 am, Comstock Library, ages 3–5, FREE Family Storytime, stories, songs & activities, 10:30 am, KPLOshtemo, ages 0–5, FREE Play & Learn, (Feb only), play for early learning, 10:30 am–noon, KPL-Eastwood, ages 1–5, FREE TechGyrls, (Feb only), science experiments & robotics for girls (registration required), 4:15 pm, KPL-Alma Powell, ages 9–13, FREE Fridays Family Storytime, stories, songs & activities, 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 0–5, FREE


FEBRUARY Wednesday, February 1 Teen Game & LEGO Club, video games, comics & build with LEGOs, 4 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE Thursday, February 2 Harry Potter Book Night, Potterthemed trivia, crafts & activities, 4:30 pm, KPL-Oshtemo, all ages, FREE Friday, February 3 Ice Breaker Festival, ice sculptures, chili cook-off, ice skating, & cardboard sled race, downtown South Haven, southhaven.org, all ages, FREE Storytelling Festival Kickoff Concert, poet Terry Wooten at 6 pm; Martina Hahn, speed painter, creates a live painting with Joe Reilly at 7 pm, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, FREE Cooper’s Glen Music Festival, performances & workshops by touring groups, 7–11 pm, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W Michigan Ave, greatlakesacoustic.org, all ages, $40–65 adults, 16 & under free w/adult Saturday, February 4 Ice Breaker Festival, ice sculptures, chili cook-off, ice skating, & cardboard sled race, downtown South Haven, southhaven.org, all ages, FREE Storytelling Festival: Searching for Peace, storytellers from across the U.S. explore unity, equality, diversity & inclusion, 10 am–5 pm Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, FREE Cuentos y Canciones, bilingual stories, songs & special guests, 10:30 am, KPL-Central, all ages, FREE LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 10:30 am, KPL-Oshtemo, all ages, FREE Tumble Toddlers, movement & music (registration required), 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 1–2, FREE Creature Feature: Rabbit, see animals up close & ask questions, 11 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Winter Snow Party, snowmanbuilding & cardboard contests, noon–3 pm, Oakland Drive Park, 7650 Oakland Dr, Portage, portagemi.gov, all ages, FREE Cooper’s Glen Music Festival, performances & workshops by touring groups, 1 pm–midnight, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W Michigan Ave, greatlakesacoustic. org, all ages, $40–65 adults, 16 & under free w/adult Escape the Library, decipher codes & solve clues that lead to escape (registration required), 2–4 pm, KPL-Central, grades 5–12, FREE First Saturday @ KPL, stories, activities & door prizes, 2 pm, KPLCentral, all ages, FREE

The Mystery of the Silver Cutlass, All Ears Theatre presentation, 6 pm, First Baptist Church, 315 W Michigan Ave, 342-5059, kalamazooarts.org, all ages, FREE Sunday, February 5 Ice Breaker Festival, ice sculptures, chili cook-off, ice skating, & cardboard sled race, downtown South Haven, southhaven.org, all ages, FREE Winter Sports Demo Day, learn outdoor activities, 2–4 pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Monday, February 6 From the Heart, make Valentines for nursing home residents, all KPL locations, all ages, FREE; see website for details Anime Club, watch anime & check out manga, 4:30–6 pm, Parchment Library, all ages, FREE SHARE Book Club, discussion of March, by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin (registration required), 6 pm, KPL-Central, grades 5–12, FREE Tuesday, February 7 From the Heart, make Valentines for nursing home residents, all KPL locations, all ages, FREE; see website for details Story Corner, a story about the winter world, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 0–5, regular admission Movie & Snacks, view Selma, about Martin Luther King Jr’s campaign for voting rights, 4:30 pm, KPL-Alma Powell, grades 7–12, FREE Tech Tuesdays, experiment with 3D printing, 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, grades 5–12, FREE Wednesday, February 8 From the Heart, make Valentines for nursing home residents, all KPL locations, all ages, FREE; see website for details LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 4:30 pm, KPL-Alma Powell; 6:30 pm, KPL-Washington Square, all ages, FREE Thursday, February 9 From the Heart, make Valentines for nursing home residents, all KPL locations, all ages, FREE; see website for details Winter Family Fun, wintery games & activities, 6:30 pm, Portage Library, all ages, FREE Friday, February 10 Musical Storybooks w/the KSO, KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet leads an interactive musical lesson of They All Saw a Cat (registration required), 1 pm, Portage Library, all ages, FREE Friday Teen Night, art-making, museum-strolling & pizza, 6–8 pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, teens, FREE Full Moon Snowshoe Hike, a guided hike thru moonlit woods & prairies (registration required),

6:30–9:30 pm, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, 701 W Cloverdale Rd, Hastings, 269-721-4190, cedarcreekinstitute.org, all ages, $6 adults, $3 children Saturday, February 11 Small Wonders: Creature Colors & Camouflage, interactive nature stations, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 0–5, regular admission plus $2/child Sweet Baby Blues, dance, sing & play w/Bluesy Suzy from Palamazoo Puppets, 10:30 am, KPLCentral, ages 3–8, FREE, but ticket required Art Detectives: The Art of Dirt, dabble in dirt & explore the world of clay, 11:00 am–12:30 pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, ages 4–8, FREE Snowshoe Walks, learn to snowshoe and take a walk, 3 pm & 6 pm, Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan, facebook.com/ wolflakefriends, 668.2876, ages 5 and older, FREE Gold Company: Royally Dunn, WMU’s vocal jazz ensemble pays tribute to retiring WMU president John Dunn, 2 & 8 pm Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium. com, ages 4 & up, $25 Sunday, February 12 Once Upon a Raptor, learn about the lives & habits of four unique birds, 2 pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Monday, February 13 Little Scientists, stories & science (registration required), 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 3–6, FREE Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra: Romance, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto w/Stulberg Bronze Medalist Austin Haley Berman, 4 pm, Chenery Auditorium, kalamazoojuniorsymphony.com, ages 4 & up, $15 adults, $5 students Musical Storytime, songs, stories & special guests, 6:30 pm, KPL-Oshtemo, ages 1–11, FREE Tuesday, February 14 Small Wonders: Creature Colors & Camouflage, interactive nature stations, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 0–5, regular admission plus $2/child Bookworms, a book club for kids & their grown-ups: Donavan’s Word Jar, by Monalisa DeGross (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Oshtemo, ages 6–11, FREE Powell Teen Book Club, discuss a book over pizza (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Alma Powell, grades 5–12, FREE Speak It Forward Presents, a bimonthly poetry writing workshop for teens & tweens, 4:30 pm, KPLCentral, grades 5–12, FREE Jumping the Broom, celebrate Valentine’s Day by remembering an African-American ceremony, 6 pm, KPL-Alma Powell, all ages, FREE

Millennium Park Valentine’s Skate Date, private skate, live music & dinner on the ice (registration required), 6 pm, Millennium Park, Portage, portagemi. gov, all ages, $17 Wednesday, February 15 Preschool Play & Learn, literacybased games & toys, 1 pm, Portage Library, ages 3–5, FREE Teen Game & LEGO Club, video games, comics & build with LEGOs, 4 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE La’Ron Williams, award-winning storyteller, 4:30 pm, KPL-Washington Square, ages 6 & up, FREE Thursday, February 16 Preschool Explorers: Bears, experience the natural world & go for a hike, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 3–5, regular admission plus $2/child LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 4:30 pm, KPL-Eastwood, all ages, FREE Annie, Broadway musical about a girl growing up in an orphanage, 7:30 pm, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium.com, ages 4 & up, $47–72 Friday, February 17 Car Seat Checkup Event, have a certified safety technician check your child’s car seat, 10 am–noon, Comstock Fire, 1960 River St, Kalamazoo, 345-2113, FREE LEGO Club, build & imagine (registration required), 4–5:30 pm, Comstock Library, all ages, FREE Traxxas Monster Truck Destruction Tour, 7:30 pm, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Dr, 3451125, wingseventcenter.com, all ages, $10–28, 2 & under free on adult lap Saturday, February 18 Sensory Showtimes: LEGO Batman Movie, a welcoming environment for guests with special needs, Celebration Cinema, check website for times, 6600 Ring Rd, Portage, 324-7469, celebrationcinema.com, all ages, regular ticket price Shipshewana on the Road, indoor market for the family, 9 am–6 pm Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 979-8888, shipshewanaontheroad.com, all ages, $4 adults, 12 & under free Wild about Winter Activity Day, learn to snowshoeing & ice fish, winter scavenger hunt, jig making, and a bird walk, 10 am-4 pm, Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan, facebook.com/wolflakefriends, 668.2876, 5 and older, FREE Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo, buy, sell or trade reptiles, amphibians & small mammals, 10 am–3 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 779-9851, kalamazooreptileexpo.com, all ages, $5 adults, $2 children, under 6 free

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LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 10:30 am, KPL-Central, all ages, FREE Creature Feature: Musk Turtle, see animals up close & ask questions, 11 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Pokemon Party, Pokemonthemed games, crafts & snacks (registration required), 11 am, Comstock Library, all ages, FREE Story Quilts, discover textile stories & create your own, 1–4 pm Kalamazoo Valley Museum, all ages, FREE Chase Marlow: U.S. Marshall, All Ears Theatre presentation, 6 pm, First Baptist Church, 315 W Michigan Ave, 342-5059, kalamazooarts.org, all ages, FREE Traxxas Monster Truck Destruction Tour, 7:30 pm, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Dr, 3451125, wingseventcenter.com, all ages, $10–28, 2 & under free on adult lap Sunday, February 19 Shipshewana on the Road, indoor market for the family, 10 am–5 pm Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 979-8888, shipshewanaontheroad.com, all ages, $4 adults, 12 & under free Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Family Discovery Series about a young boy & a magic traveling truck, 3 pm, with pre-

concert activities at 2 pm, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S Westnedge Ave, kalamazoosymphony.com, ages 4 & up, $5 Monday, February 20 J-Pop Club, enjoy the latest from Japanese culture, 4 pm, KPL-Central, grades 6–12, FREE Maker Mondays, drop in for tinkering, creating & exploring different projects (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, ages 6–11, FREE Tuesday, February 21 Story Corner, a story about the winter world, 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, ages 0–5, regular admission National African-American Read-In, read, listen & share books by African-American authors, 4 pm, KPL-Alma Powell, all ages, FREE Wednesday, February 22 Game Central, tournament game play, 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, grades 5–12, FREE Portage Page Turners, a book club for kids with dinner, discussion & games, 5:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 3–5, FREE Harry Potter Science by Chemical Kim, discover the science behind Harry Potter’s magic (registration required), 6:30 pm, KPLWashington Square, ages 5–11, FREE

Thursday, February 23 Drive-In Movie, decorate a cardboard box “car” & view a short movie (registration required), 10:15 am, Parchment Library, ages 0–5, FREE Bookworms, a book club for kids & their grown-ups: Donavan’s Word Jar, by Monalisa DeGross (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, ages 6–11, FREE Create-a-Craft, (registration required), 4:30 pm, Parchment Library, grades 1–4, FREE LEGO Club, build & imagine, 4:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 2–5, FREE DRUMLine Live, the showstopping attraction of the beat & energy of the marching band drumline, 7:30 pm, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium. com, ages 4 & up, $25–45 Friday, February 24 Winter Fest Family Fun, cardboard classic, penguin slide, snow-sculpting, costumes & volleyball, 10 am-10 pm,Timber Ridge, 7500 23 1/2 St, Gobles, timberridgeski.com, all ages, FREE Pop-up Art Workshop, create 3-D art, paper sculptures & poppup images, 1 pm, Portage Library, grades 3–5, FREE Saturday, February 25 Garage Sale Art Fair, art at bargain prices, 9 am–4 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 383-

8778, garagesaleartfair.com, all ages, $5 adults, children free Winter Fest Family Fun, cardboard classic, penguin slide, snow-sculpting, costumes & volleyball, 9 am-10 pm, Timber Ridge, 7500 23 1/2 St, Gobles, timberridgeski.com, all ages, FREE Family Nature Club: Maple Syrup Treasure, learn to tap maple trees & collect sap (registration required), 10 am, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, $25 per family Cuentos y Canciones, bilingual stories, songs & special guests, 10:30 am, KPL-Washington Square, all ages, FREE Sweet Baby Blues, dance, sing & play w/Bluesy Suzy from Palamazoo Puppets, 10:30 am, KPLOshtemo, ages 3–8, FREE, but ticket required Mardi Gras Mask Making, create a mask (registration required), 2 pm, KPL-Central, ages 6–11, FREE Arabian Nights, Kalamazoo Concert Band, 7:30 pm, Chenery Auditorium, kalamazooconcertband.org, all ages, free with ticket Sunday, February 26 Portage Winter Blast Half Marathon, 10K & 5K, run thru Portage’s trail system & local roads, 8 am, Portage Central High School, portagewinterblast.wordpress.com, all ages, $35–65

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Simply put, print makes it personal. A heartfelt gift given from the hand of a lover to the hand of a beloved makes a tangible bond we see, feel, hold, and cherish like a keepsake.

First Friday, 5-8 pm

FEBRUARY 3 + MARCH 3

CRAFTERNOON! 2-4 pm FRIDAY TEEN NIGHT SUNDAY, MARCH 19 Art making with artist Sayaka Ganz, and free admission all day thanks to Stryker.

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Adults $5 / Students $2 Children through age 12 and KIA members are FREE

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FEBRUARY 11 + MARCH 11

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When it comes to expressing your true feelings, print works wonders. Any day can become a special occasion with the power of print. If you want to make someone feel special this month, let us know. We’ll make sure to find the right way to say it, so that they will cherish it forever.

FEBRUARY 10 + MARCH 10

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Winter Fest Family Fun, cardboard classic, penguin slide, snow-sculpting, costumes & volleyball, 9 am-8 pm, Timber Ridge, 7500 23 1/2 St, Gobles, timberridgeski.com, all ages, FREE Baby & Family Expo, music, games and family-friendly vendors, 11 am-4 pm, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave, kzoofamilyexpo.com, all ages, FREE Deep Sleepers, learn about animals that hibernate, 2 pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Monday, February 27 Family Fun! With Crossfit AZO, run, jump, spin, climb, crawl & leap, 10 am, Portage Library, all ages, FREE Maker Mondays, drop in for tinkering, creating & exploring different projects (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, grades 5–12, FREE LEGO Club, build & imagine, 6 pm, Parchment Library, all ages, FREE Musical Storytime, songs, stories & special guests with Mr. Bill, 6:30 pm, KPL-Central, ages 1–11, FREE Tuesday, February 28 Musical Storybooks w/the KSO, KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet leads an interactive musical lesson of They All Saw a Cat (registration required),

9:30 & 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 3–6, FREE Family Fun! Just Move Storytime, stretch, move & dance, 10 am, Portage Library, all ages, FREE Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, a novel by Bruce Coville, with Western Michigan University Theatre (registration required), 4:30 pm, KPL-Central, ages, 6–11, FREE Speak It Forward Presents, a bimonthly poetry writing workshop for teens & tweens, 4:30 pm, KPLCentral, grades 5–12, FREE Black Lives Matter Exhibit & Reception, celebrate Black History Month with artists Gerald King & Kierstin Arnett, 6 pm, KPLAlma Powell, all ages, FREE Teen Cupcake Wars, decorate cupcakes for prizes (registration required), 6:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE

MARCH

Wednesday, March 1 Musical Storybooks w/the KSO, KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet leads an interactive musical lesson of They All Saw a Cat (registration required), 9:30 & 10:30 am, KPL-Central, ages 3–6, FREE Family Fun! Bitty Ballet Class, simple concepts, rhythms & positions of ballet, 10 am, Portage Library, ages 2–5, FREE

Teen Game & LEGO Club, video games, comics & build with LEGOs, 4 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE Thursday, March 2 Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss Program, celebrate Dr Seuss’ whimsical, nonsensical books, 10 am, Portage Library, all ages, FREE Musical Storybooks w/Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet leads an interactive musical lesson of They All Saw a Cat (registration required), 10:30 am, KPL-Alma Powell, ages 3–6, FREE Friday, March 3 Family Fun! Jump, Turn, Dance & Learn, music, props & creative movement, 10 am, Portage Library, all ages, FREE After Hours Dr. Seuss Party, celebrate the author’s 113th birthday, 6:30 pm, Portage Library, grades K–5, FREE Saturday, March 4 Sensory Showtimes: Rock Dog, a welcoming environment for guests with special needs, Celebration Cinema, check website for times, 6600 Ring Rd, Portage, 324-7469, celebrationcinema. com, all ages, regular ticket price LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 10:30 am, KPL-Oshtemo, all ages, FREE NxMW Film Festival #EpicScreening, a day-long screening

highlighting filmmakers’ creativity on small budgets, Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, 343-2211, publicmedianet.org, teens & adults, FREE Steeple Chased, All Ears Theatre presentation, 6 pm, First Baptist Church, 315 W Michigan Ave, 342-5059, kalamazooarts.org, all ages, FREE Monday, March 6 Anime Club, watch anime & check out manga, 4:30–6 pm, Parchment Library, FREE Wednesday, March 8 Kaboomistry, Michigan Science Center demonstrates why things explode, 6:30 pm, Portage Library, ages 4 & up, FREE Friday, March 10 Midwest RADFest, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, 342-4354, midwestradfest. org, see website for details Friday Teen Night, art-making, museum-strolling & pizza, 6–8 pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, teens, FREE Saturday, March 11 Midwest RADFest, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, 342-4354, midwestradfest. org, see website for details Maple Sugar Festival, 9 am–5 pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission

Exclusively brought to you by:

FEBRUARY & MARCH SHOWS

Feb 4 The MYSTERY of the SILVER CUTLASS

VISIT

KalamazooArts.org

Funding provided by

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Mar 18 The TIME MACHINE (2 part show) Back in the “Golden Age” of radio, weekly radio programs brought families to their living rooms to listen to adventurous, mysterious and comical tales. Dedicated to promoting this rich history, All Ears Theatre performs newly scripted radio programs for live audiences, complete with old school sound effects. Shows are later broadcast on 102.1 WMUK-FM. Performances are at 6:00 pm at the First Baptist Church and are FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

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Mar 4 STEEPLE CHASED

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Feb 18 CHASE MARLOW: U.S. MARSHAL

MILLER AUDITORIUM Saturday, March 11, 2017 | 3pm

TICKETS:

269.387.2300 or KalamazooSymphony.com Presentation licensed by Walt Disney Music Company, Pixar Talking Pictures, Buena Vista Concerts, a division of ABC Inc., and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Non-Theatrical © All rights reserved

fyiswmichigan.com •

27 •


Art Detectives: Surprise Supplies, create with a unique assortment of fun materials, 11:00 am– 12:30 pm, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, ages 4–8, FREE Disney – Pixar Ratatouille in Concert, view the Academy Awardwinning film as the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra performs the musical score, 3 pm, Miller Auditorium, WMU, kalamazoosymphony. com, ages 4 & up, $10 Sunday, March 12 Midwest RADFest, Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, 342-4354, midwestradfest. org, see website for details Maple Sugar Festival, 9 am–5 pm, Kalamazoo Nature Center, all ages, regular admission Wednesday, March 15 Teen Game & LEGO Club, video games, comics & build with LEGOs, 4 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE Saturday, March 18 Kalamazoo Living History Show, re-enactments, craftspeople, dealers & history buffs, 9 am–5 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 765-563-6792, kalamazooshow.com, all ages, $7 adults, 12 & under free LEGO @ the Library, build, race & imagine, 10:30 am, KPL-Central, all ages, FREE

Spring Graham Cracker House Craft, (registration required), 11 am, Comstock Library, all ages, FREE Ballet Arts Ensemble Spring Concert 2017, 2 & 7 pm, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S Westnedge Ave, balletartsensemble.org, all ages, call for ticket prices The Time Machine, All Ears Theatre presentation, 6 pm, First Baptist Church, 315 W Michigan Ave, 342-5059, kalamazooarts.org, all ages, FREE Sunday, March 19 Kalamazoo Living History Show, re-enactments, craftspeople, dealers & history buffs, 9 am–4 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 765-563-6792, kalamazooshow.com, all ages, $7 adults, $10 weekend pass, under 12 free Tuesday, March 21 Teen Prank Wars, compete in silly “Minute to Win It” competitions, 6:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 6–12, FREE Thursday, March 23 LEGO Club Grades 2–5, build & imagine, 4:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 2–5, FREE Friday, March 24 Cinderella, Broadway musical with a contemporary take on the classic tale, 8 pm, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium.com, all ages, $47–72

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Lamb of God, Easter celebration, 8 pm, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S Westnedge Ave, 337-0440, cheneryaud.com, all ages, call for ticket prices Saturday, March 25 Sensory Showtimes: Beauty & the Beast, a welcoming environment for guests with special needs, Celebration Cinema, 6600 Ring Rd, Portage, 324-7469, celebrationcinema.com, all ages, regular ticket price Kalamazoo’s Ultimate Indoor Garage Sale, 9 am–3 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 9035820, loriesevents.vpweb.com/ all ages, $2 adults, kids free Spring Expo & Craft Show, 9 am–4 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 903-5820, loriesevents.vpweb.com/ all ages, FREE Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo, buy, sell or trade reptiles, amphibians & small mammals, 10 am–3 pm, Kalamazoo County Expo Center Room A, 779-9851, kalamazooreptileexpo.com, all ages, $5 adults, $2 children, under 6 free Cinderella, Broadway musical with a contemporary take on the classic tale, 2 & 8 pm Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium. com, all ages, $47–72 Organist Cameron Carpenter, Fontana presents the former child prodigy, 7:30 pm, State Theatre,

fontanamusic.org, all ages, $35 adults, $5–15 students Lamb of God, Easter celebration, 8 pm, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S Westnedge Ave, 337-0440, cheneryaud.com, all ages, call for ticket prices Sunday, March 26 Cinderella, Broadway musical with a contemporary take on the classic tale, 1 pm, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium.com, all ages, $47–72 Tuesday, March 28 Speak It Forward Presents, a bimonthly poetry writing workshop for teens & tweens, 4:30 pm, KPLCentral, grades 5–12, FREE Wednesday, March 29 Portage Page Turners, a book club for kids with dinner, discussion & games, 5:30 pm, Portage Library, grades 3–5, FREE Events may change without notice. FYI Family Magazine makes all reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of the events listed here, but makes no warranty for the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the events information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of the information.


Family Man (continued from page 30) I also want to mention that I don’t talk to my daughter about things she would clearly not understand or that are inappropriate for her age. She’s seven. Babies get in a woman’s stomach by God. End of story. Whether it be in content or delivery, I made the decision a long time ago to talk to my daughter in a more mature fashion because it just felt like the better fit for me. When she asks about anything, it feels natural for me to tell it like it is and not get big-eyed and flowery. A perfect example of this happened recently when we were watching America’s Got Talent. An 11-year-old singer was the show’s winner. My daughter likes to sing and she’ll often pause the show to start singing. “Do you think I could win America’s Got Talent?” she asked. “The singers on that show have practiced a lot,” I said. “I think if you really focused and practiced a lot, you could be a good singer some day.” “No, but do you think I could win?” she asked. “No. Not even close right now,” I said. “But, if you practice a lot, then still probably not, but you could still be very good. Again, with years of practice.” Judge if you want, but the net result is that my girl now sings all the time and is insisting on voice lessons. Maybe it’s

just to spite me or maybe it’s because I set reasonable expectations with actionable steps. Yeah, it’s more likely spite. It would be very interesting to be able to go to a parallel universe to see what would have happened if I had responded, “Of course you’d win! You’re the besty-westy singer in the whole wide world!” Would that have empowered her, boosted her confidence, made her practice even more? Would it have yielded the same result as the delivery I gave originally? Or would it have just checked some sort of box and sent her looking for a new thing to be told she’s the best at? I’m not sure. Again, ultimately, it probably doesn’t matter. I just make sure she knows I love her and want the best for her. There are a lot of different ways to show it. Almost as many ways as there are awesome animal videos dubbed with human voices.

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29 •


Family Man FYI

Talking the talk by

Brian Lam

L et’s talk about talking. Spe-

cifically, the way we parents talk with our kids. Since I don’t claim to be an expert on being a dad — except when editors of a Kalamazooarea publication geared toward parenting ask me — I try to be very observant of how people parent. One of the aspects I give a lot of thought to is how parents talk to their children. There seems to be a wide range of approaches on this subject, and what makes it tricky is that the way we talk to our children is often a blend of long-term conscious decision and in-the-moment response. At one end of the spectrum, you’ve got the “Mooshies.” Mooshies are those parents who use high, sing-songy tones when they speak and words coupled with rhyming variations of said word: “Cutesy-wootsie” or “Snug-bug.” I’ve observed some parents speaking to their almost-teenage children about their “ouchies.” At the opposite end, are parents who talk to their children as if the kids are just another adult in the room. It’s not an “ouchie,” but a “minor laceration,” and it won’t feel better if Dad kisses it, because that would increase the chance of infection as people’s mouths have germs and those shouldn’t be touching an open cut. And stop crying, you’re almost three. I’m sure there is a ton of research on the pros and cons of each approach,

30 • feb /mar 2017

and I fully intended to delve into it one Sunday. By “delve into it,” I was going to do a quick Google search of it. When I did Google it, some videos of little kids saying hilariously cute things popped up and so I watched those and then Google recommended that if I like those then I might like some videos of animals moving their mouths with human voices dubbed in, so then I watched those. And then it was Monday. If you’ve read the Family Man column before, you know that a common punchline for me is that there is a happy medium in many of the parenting aspects I’ve written about. So, it may

surprise you that on this particular issue I actually choose a side: I fall very firmly in the “talk to your kid like an adult” camp. Now, I should say that it’s not a judgment issue. I didn’t make that choice because I feel it’s the “right” choice. I’m pretty sure if I had actually taken the time to do any research, I would have found that it really doesn’t make a big difference. I’m sure there are isolated case studies that authors use to sell books, but overall I don’t feel like the success levels of adults are striated by the floweriness of their parents’ interactions with them. (continued on page 29)


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FYI Family Magazine Feb/March 2017