Page 1


GoodLiving® Magazine is published by Light Shine Media Group, LLC Editor-in-Chief Pamela Se le To submit story pitches or events, To adver se or purchase bulk copies of the magazine, adver GoodLiving® Magazine P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (727) 776-3656 Edu sements included our publica ons are paid public educa on features placed by sponsors and do not reflect the opinions of Light Shine Media Group LLC or other paid adver sers.

About the Cover The cover is courtesy of the City of Safety Harbor. Children enjoy summer camp provided through their Parks and Recrea on Department each year.

Letter from the Editor Welcome to the Spring 2017 issue of GoodLiving’s Guide to Happy Healthy Kids! You will notice that in this issue we are celebrating a new and exciting partnership with Gold’s Gym Largo and celebrity chef Robert Irvine. Chef Irvine has agreed to be one of our Healthy Kids Club Ambassadors and will be a regular contributor of motivation, exercise tips and recipes. We love that he is not just investing in the gym as a business, but that he is investing himself and his brand to the health and well being of others here in Pinellas County. After meeting Chef Irvine and his business partner Ed Bogacki, I approached them with a special request to fulfill a vision I have had for several years. The vision is that parents and teenagers would bond while exercising together to get healthy. The benefits of doing this are many, and in fact you will find ten of those benefits on page 22. To encourage this vision to be reality, the owners of Gold’s Gym of Largo agreed to sponsor teenagers ages 13 to 17 with a free membership when they join with a parent. So the Team Up to Shape Up promotion was born, a Buy One Get One deal that could be a life changer for some families. Maybe it’s a parent who wants to motivate a teen. Maybe it’s a teen who needs to motivate a parent. Either way, you all now have a reason to do this, and we made it really affordable. After spending time in this beautiful gym, the positive vibe got to me too. I found myself wanting to be there, actually willing to carve time out of my already over-burdened calendar. As a mompreneur with both family and work responsibilities, I realized that I slipped into the habit of ignoring my body while taking care of everyone else. The work will never be finished. I know this to be true, so with a little self motivation to change my ways, I am going to invest in me. GoodLiving’s mission is to inspire healthier living, and we mean healthy in the holistic sense: healthy minds, healthy spirits, healthy bodies, healthy homes, healthy families and healthy communities. It’s an uphill battle for all of these, and while none of us is perfect, the quest is worth the effort. We will do better in one area than another. We will have good days and not-so-good days. In fact, we will have days when we want to completely give up. But we can’t. Life is so much better when we feel good inside and out. Take care of yourself. Invest in yourself. Be intentional about being your best self because you are worth it. I wish you love, I wish you health and I wish you a beautiful Spring! Until Next Time,

Pamela Settle

GoodLiving速 is a registered trademark and a publication owned by Light Shine Media Group, LLC. It is a free publication distributed throughout Pinellas County or is available to read online at Bulk copies are donated to local schools as a community service. To request copies, contact info@ All photographs, artwork, design and editorial are the sole property of GoodLiving速 magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission.

GoodLiving速 magazine, Light Shine Media Group, LLC and its owners are not responsible for any statements made by advertisers and writers for any consequences arising from omissions or errors. Readers should verify the advertising information of the advertisers and all specials are valid to the expiration date set by the advertiser. GoodLiving速 magazine and Light Shine Media Group, LLC reserve the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The views expressed in the publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. All rights reserved.

GOODEVENTS Celebrate a Happy, Healthy Spring! Madeira Beach Kite Day Monday, March 13 • 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. ROC Park in Madeira Beach The City of Madeira Beach is holding its Second Kid’s Kite Day featuring kid friendly activities in celebration of Pinellas County Schools Spring Break. The first 800 kids will receive a free kite and sunglasses. Additional activities and appearances by Madeira Beach Fire Department, Madeira Beach Municipal Marina, ROC Park, Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office, Gulf Beaches Public Library, Pinellas County Farm Bureau, Johns Pass Village and Boardwalk, The Alligator Attraction, free sunscreen provided by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, and free ice cream provided by the 99.5 QYK ice cream truck! This event is sponsored by Robert Alloca and family as a dedication to Juanita who lives on as a dolphin memorial in ROC Park, which was created as a beautiful space for parents to remember children they have lost.

Hook Kids on Fishing Saturday, March 25 • 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Spring Bayou/Craig Park in Tarpon Springs Anglers for Conservation (AFC) and the City of Tarpon Springs Recreation Division are the sponsors of the Hook Kids on Fishing Program. FREE for kids ages 6 to 16, and they must be accompanied by an adult. The first 40 kids registered will receive a free rod and reel to take home! Registration is mandatory by calling Tarpon Springs Recreation Division at (727)942-5628. For more information, please visit or email

Palm Harbor Spring Fling 5K and Fun Run Saturday, April 1 • 8 a.m. Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor “Elisa’s Greatest Wishes” foundation has once again generously selected Suncoast Animal League as one of the benefiting charities for its “3rd Annual Palm Harbor Spring Fling 5K Race and 1M Fun Run” at Wall Springs Park in Palm Harbor, honoring the memory of Elisa Nelson. Register at

JDRF One Walk Saturday, April 8 • 8 a.m. check in Amalie Arena in Tampa Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation One Walk has a single goal: creating a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D). We hope you’ll join us this year as we walk and raise money for life-changing research for the millions affected by this devastating disease. Register at

Largo Paw Fest Saturday, April 8 • 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Largo Central Park Largo Central Park goes to the “dogs” for the 11th annual Kid and Canines Carnival sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Largo/ Mid-Pinellas. Paw Fest will feature fun for the whole family, including the dog. The event will include inflatables, kid games, pet contests, USDTC agility demonstrations, Largo PD K-9 Murphy, clowns, face painting, food, and a Doggie Mall.

Iron Kids and Iron Girl

Saturday, April 8 and Sunday, April 9 Clearwater Beach On April 8th, the IRONKIDS Clearwater Fun Run offers young male and female athletes the unique opportunity to feel the excitement of competition while enjoying the outdoors and promoting healthy living. Children 3 -15 can choose from the a Gluten Free Expo one-mile or a half-mile course. Parents, family, and friends are Saturday, March 25 • 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. invited to cheer on the racers while enjoying the area and familySt. Pete Coliseum in St. Petersburg Come out for a Gluten-Free Day filled with food, education and fun centered event. Begins at 3 p.m. in Coachman Park. at this annual event hosted by the Gluten-Free in Florida Support The 14th Annual Iron Girl Clearwater is on April 9th, bringing together Group. National brands and local organizations come together to women of all ages by offering a supportive, energetic and empowering share samples and information for anyone who lives gluten free environment for females pursuing a healthy and active lifestyle. Even if whether by choice or medical necessity. St. Pete Coliseum located not running, they invite women to continue their wellness journey with at 535 Fourth Avenue N in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $10.00 at the Iron Girl. Half marathon and 5K. More info at door (cash or check) and children under 12 are FREE.

11th Annual Fiesta by the Bay for Autism

Camp Overnight in Largo

Friday, April 21 • 6 - 9 p.m. Ybor City Museum Garden A family friendly event with music, drinks and delicious food by La Septima Café. This year’s silent auction promises to be the best ever, benefiting the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF. Join their Fiesta by the Bay Facebook event page to get the latest information on the event including silent auction items, special guests and more. Advance tickets can be purchased online for $10 for students and $25 adults at

Friday, March 31 • 4 p.m. - Saturday, April 1 • 10 a.m. Bonner Nature Park in Largo Spend the night in Largo’s Bonner Nature Park for a night of unforgettable experiences. Enjoy a cookout, wildlife show, s’mores around a campfire, breakfast and more. Cost is $10 per person, children 2 and under are FREE. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Campers must bring a tent and camping gear. The deadline for cancellations is March 24th. Bonner Nature Park is located at 14444 143rd St N in Largo. For more information and to reserve your spot, call (727)518-3047. You can also register in person The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at USF (CARD-USF) at McGough Nature Center located at 11901 146th Street N. Don’t serves over 7,000 families and professionals across 14 counties in southwest Florida. It offers services and trainings at no cost. miss this great opportunity to spend the night under the stars!


GOODEVENTS Stop Child Abuse Run Saturday, April 22 • 7:30 a.m. Walsingham Park April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and St. Petersburg Exchange Club needs your help in raising funds for local programs. Be a part of the 10th Annual Blue Ribbon 5K Run and One Mile Family Walk for child abuse prevention, benefiting Suncoast Center’s Parent Aide Program that utilizes volunteers to mentor younger parents. Parent education can strengthen families and improve stability for children. Register at

Walk for Wishes Saturday, April 29 • 8 a.m. - noon Water Works Park in Tampa Powered by wish kids and families, volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors and friends, Walk For Wishes is a nationwide Make-A-Wish signature fundraiser that raises funds for future wishes. By participating in the Tampa Bay Walk for Wishes, you can help bring the life-changing impact of a wish to children battling life-threatening medical conditions in our community. Register at

Love our Earth! St. Pete Earth Day Saturday, April 22 • 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Williams Park in St. Petersburg Enjoy a day filled with interactive exhibits, good food, great music, shopping vendors, and the chance to learn how to do your part to create a more sustainable planet. Then, join us that evening for The Concert For The Earth and Earth Day After Party.

Green Thumb Festival Saturday, April 22 - 23, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Walter Fuller Recreation Center in St. Petersburg Celebrate plants galore at this popular annual event. Environmental and horticultural exhibits and vendors - with every kind of plant imaginable. Diagnostic soil and water sample clinic. Children’s tree climbing. Garden wagon parade, free mulch, plant auction, tree sale, Ask an Arborist, tool sharpening booth - bring your dull tools, and seminars.

8th Annual Eco Fest Saturday, April 22 • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Lowry Park Bandshell Area in Tampa Celebrate green living with live music, workshops, demonstrations, informational booths, products and services. Plus meet local artists, green businesses, environmental organizations, alternative health practitioners and renewable energy specialists. Organic farms and gardens will have produce. EcoFest 2017 is a community event organized by Learning Gate Community School, the City of Tampa and the USF Office of Student Affairs. 7525 N. Boulevard in Tampa. Admission to the event is FREE.

Island Earth Days Saturday, April 22 - 23, • 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin Two days of fun, food, art music and more at this gorgeous state park, all in celebration of the natural beauty found preserved at this state park, one of the only remaining undeveloped beaches in Florida. Children’s events. Pets welcome. Event sponsored by Friends of The Island Parks. $8 per car. More at



Pete O’Shea is now on

Pete O’Shea and his co-host Wade Williams are pulling you into their fun and inspiring world every day for three glorious hours of entertainment. They are getting famous guests like Ray Romano and country music legend, Aaron Tippin, plus many more inspirational folks who are making a positive impact on our world. This is an upbeat, topic driven comedic ride with expert regulars and empowering interviews. You will laugh a lot, tear up from time to time and you will realize that there is much more in the way of good people and things out there than traditional talk shows would have you believe. Pete is a veteran broadcaster and stand-up comedian as well as a motivational speaker and author of the book, Pain Was My Friend. Wade has starred in several films such as “The Investigator,” “A Prayer” and “An Encounter with The Messiah.” He is also an accomplished singer/songwriter and a Praise and Worship Leader.

About The Choice Network LISTEN download the free app on your device: The Choice Radio Network



The Choice Radio Network is a unique and exciting brand of good news talk shows along with the best in independent music artists. Internet radio is the future and provides crisp sound that can be enjoyed on any of your favorite devices. You can download the free app or listen live on our website at You can also watch the live video stream on The Choice Radio Network Facebook page. There will be an eclectic mix of shows and talented people on The Choice Radio Network including: The Adam Smith Show • weekdays from 9 - 11 a.m. “You Are Not Alone” is Adam’s mantra to everybody and he gets amazing guests that will uplift you. You will love his heart. The Brothers Farris • weekdays from 1 - 3 p.m. Jon and Christian Farris will battle it out every day and take on the taboo subjects and provide a platform for the voiceless



Palm Harbor Rocks with Kindness As part of GoodLiving® Magazine’s mission to inspire daily caring and kindness, we bring you the story of the common rock.

Pinellas Education Foundation Recognizes Excellence

At the Pinellas Education Foundation’s Evening of Excellence, And some uncommon people who were moved to share emotions by the foundation recognized excellence in education. The winner for painting rocks, an act that has inspired a movement that is catching the 2016 Outstanding Educator is Sarah Dobes, an 8th grade on in the Tampa Bay area. Language Arts and English 1 Honors teacher at East Lake Middle School in the Academy of Engineering. But first Palm Harbor Rocks, a page on Facebook that brings together a diverse collection of rock hounds who are painting rocks with happy The Outstanding Educator Fan Favorite Award was given to pictures and affirming words, and then hiding them for others to find as Dr. Alicia Isaac, a 9th grade AP Human Geography and 12th grade they go about their normal activities. The hope is that the person will post AP Government and Politics teacher at Boca Ciega High School. the picture on their page so the painter, often times a child, can see that For business support of the foundation, they recognized the following the rock has been found. Started by Jennifer Harnage, who after learning businesses: Double Tree Beach Resort, Franklin Templeton about the rock movements from a cousin in Lakeland Rocks, wanted to and Achieva Credit Union. Thelma Rose Pearlman Rothman, spread the positive activity in Palm Harbor. Her grandchildren started co-founder of Kane’s Furniture, was inducted into the Hall of Honor. with a few rocks that were found by Casey Wilson’s daughter. Now At a separate event, they awarded Stephen DeMaris their Mentor Jennifer and Casey are the page admins, but more importantly, friends on this journey of spreading kindness and joy. Says Casey, “After finding of the Year as part of their Take Stock in Children program. the rock in Wall Springs Park, we were instantly hooked. We got supplies DeMaris mentors 11 students, with five of them at Clearwater the very next day and started painting and hiding rocks, too. My kids love High School. The program reaches 2,300 students a year, and those students who have mentors have a 96% graduation rate. seeing their rocks found because they know they made someone’s day.” The goal is to inspire a smile as the rock is found by a gas pump, grocery store, bank or park. The rules are simple: keep it clean and no rocks inside a business or anywhere it will damage a lawnmower. Casey says there are groups in Dunedin, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs and Safety Harbor, among many others, so if you ever find a painted rock, go to Facebook and look for a page named for the city plus the word “rocks.”

Also recognized was Chuck Coward as the Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year. Coward volunteers at Enterprise Village and Finance park, plus he tutors multiple students and advocates for the foundation through the Gulf Beaches Rotary Club.

At their Career Education Luncheon, they recognized schools and educators that are excelling in the district’s highly successful career education program. Cathleen Ryan, Chef Instructor at Tarpon Springs The rock movement was started by a couple whose children were High School. Jacobson Culinary Arts Academy was named the 2017 tragically hit by a car and killed in their own front yard. In order to Career Educator at the High School level. Dr. Doug Williams, Business cope with their grief, they started the “Love Rocks” movement as a way to gift painted heart rocks to strangers in their daughters’ memory. Education Teacher at Dunedin Highland Middle School, was named the Now people young and old are following their example and using this 2017 Career Educator at the Middle School level. simple gesture as a way to spread happiness and smiles. “I’m personally The 2017 Academies of Pinellas Achievement awards went to Seminole loving seeing my kids be creative and choose nature over technology,” High School, with Principal Dr. Thomas Brittain accepting, and Palm added Casey. We agree that this is a win-win for parents! Harbor Middle School, principal Ms. Victoria Hawkins accepting.


GOODNEWS Retail News Two local moms are expanding their popular retail businesses to help other moms. Breanna Fuino, owner of the Posh Tot has moved the store to a new, larger location opening in March. Her boutique for infants and toddlers features apparel, shoes, accessories and baby gear not found in other stores. Stop by the new location in the Seminole City Center (by the new Earth Fare) and wish her well! Stella Myers, known for her baby and children’s resale stores, Stellie Bellies, is opening a new store! Curv Exchange Plus Size Resale Boutique is coming to 5661 34th Street North in St. Petersburg. The store will do trade every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday for curvy clothes size 14 and up and shoes size 8 and up. At the grand opening on March 11th, Stella is screening the movie, Embrace, an empowering film by the founder of The Body Image Movement, a woman who believes that your body is not an ornament, but instead is the vehicle to your dreams. Stella’s new store will encourage women to love their curves and themselves, while offering a new shopping experience. GoodLiving® encourages shopping at independent stores that are owned by our local residents. These stores support our local economy with tax dollars, jobs and gift certificates for your school fundraisers. We can’t afford to lose our local shops so please support them all year long!

Leila Davis Elementary students create mural to beautify campus Student artists have created, glazed and designed clay pieces for a 65-foot mosaic on the school’s campus. They worked with mosaic artist, Heather Richardson.

Ridgecrest Elementary named a School of Character This school was elected as one of 80 schools nationwide to be designated as State Schools of Character for 2017. Each year, selects schools that demonstrate character development that has a positive impact on academic achievement, student behavior and school climate.

Belleair Elementary transforms media center into collaborative work space for community A new makerspace has been created in the media center, which is a place where students and adults can investigate, create and innovate using a variety of materials. It is open before school, during lunch and after school for students and families to read, explore and relax with activities such as building circuits, practicing coding and creating towers from magnets.

Jamerson Elementary’s Lukas Hefty wins prestigious national honor Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School magnet coordinator Lukas Hefty has been awarded the prestigious Milken Educator Award. He is one of 35 honorees nationwide to receive the designation this year.

Clearwater High School and Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary each receive awards for family involvement Both schools received the “Spark Plugs” Family and Community Involvement Award, as awarded by the Florida PTA, the Florida Department of Education, State Farm Insurance and Wells Fargo. The campaign promotes and recognizes exemplary school practices that increase family and community involvement.

New Florida Hospital ER Opens in Palm Harbor

Carwise Middle School’s scores classroom makeover courtesy of Extra Yard for Teachers

The College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers has awarded Bronwym Main, the media specialist a classroom Florida Hospital North Pinellas opened it’s new Palm Harbor ER, a free-standing facility on Highway 19 just north of Nebraska Ave. This makeover. The fully funded makeover of the school’s library will brand new, state-of-the-art 24-bed emergency room is open 24 hours a include new furniture, technology and more. day, seven days a week, and provides comprehensive adult and pediatric Kings Highway Elementary rolls out emergency care. Board-certified emergency physicians. Onsite national nutrition program X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound. Lab and pharmacy services. Ambulance A national grant as part of “Smart Start for Student Success” will transport. Bariatric room, Trauma room and Pediatric room. fund a Grab ‘n’ Go breakfast cart, a food demo table to show how “We are proud to bring the residents of Palm Harbor and the meals are made, local supermarket educational trips, flyers, posters, surrounding communities better access to first class emergency care,” and student and parent monthly meetings. In addition, the grant said Patricia Williams, President & CEO at Florida Hospital North will fund recreation items such as basketballs, soccer balls and Pinellas. “From cuts and broken bones to chest pain and stroke hydration stations. Good nutrition and healthy habits have been symptoms, this new ER will provide comprehensive emergency proven to impact a children’s cognitive function, math and reading services to community members when they need it most.” scores and better attendance and behavior at school.


a note from

Pinellas County Schools Research shows that early education leads to better outcomes in school and in life. Children who attend high-quality prekindergarten programs are less likely to use special education services or be held back in school. They’re also more likely to graduate, attend college and be successful in their careers.

Play! Learn! Grow! Pinellas County Schools Pre-K and VPK Pinellas County Schools is starting a new, more convenient online application process for Prekindergarten for 3 year olds and Voluntary Prekindergarten. In the past, parents had to visit elementary schools to apply for a seat. From March 20 - April 9, parents will be able to apply online for Pre-K 3 and VPK for the 2017-18 school year. Pre-K 3 is for children who will be 3 years old on or before September 1, 2017. VPK is for children who will be 4 years old on or before September 1, 2017.

How to Register: Families interested in VPK will need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (voucher) from the Early Learning Coalition at If you have questions, call (727)400-4411. You will not need a voucher for Pre-K 3. 1. Get a PCS User ID and Password. Go to any district school with your government-issued ID to obtain a user ID and password (if you don’t have one for another child). 2. Apply at from March 20 - April 9. 3. Logon to beginning April 25 to find out if your application was selected. 4. Enroll at your assigned school from April 25 - May 9. Bring the required documents listed on the district website. For information about Pre-K 3 visit or call (727)588-6000 ext. 2184. For information about VPK visit or call (727)588-6513.

Why is Prekindergarten Important? The early years are a significant time for learning and development. Prekindergarten programs help provide the foundation for healthy development and more advanced learning. In Pinellas County Schools high-quality prekindergarten programs, children: • develop social and emotional skills • build language, literacy and communication skills • explore math and science • discover the joy of learning

Pinellas County Schools Pre-K and VPK programs are guided by the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards. They provide a full day of activities in a safe and nurturing environment. Most classes are staffed with a certified teacher. Onsite before- and after-care is available. Pinellas County Schools programs provide a smooth transition to kindergarten, developing familiarity with the campus and school resources.

What is a Typical Day Like in Pinellas County Schools Prekindergarten Programs? Activities include a morning circle, center-time choices, outside play, rest and closing circle. This structure offers children balanced opportunities to learn through play, exploration and real-world experiences. Center-time choices allow children to select activities such as blocks, dramatic play, art, construction toys and science. Outside play offers children time to run, play and extend their learning in the outdoors. Children also participate in physical education classes. Teachers play alongside children to encourage physical, social, and cognitive development.

How Much Do Pinellas County Schools Prekindergarten Programs Cost? Pre-K 3. The cost is $75 per week plus a non-refundable registration fee of $105 that is applied to tuition. At select locations, the Pre-K 3 program is supported with Title I funding. Qualifying families at Title I schools do not pay tuition. VPK. Pinellas County Schools VPK program is free for the first three hours of the day. The program can be extended for an additional three hours through a tuition fee of $65 a week and a $91 non-refundable registration fee, which will be applied to the last two weeks’ tuition. The district calls this VPK+3. At select locations, the VPK+3 program is supported with Title I funding. Qualifying families at these schools do not pay tuition.

Tips to Get Ready for Prekindergarten • Plan to attend school events to learn more about your child’s prekindergarten program and meet your child’s teacher. • Establish a bedtime and morning routine a few weeks before prekindergarten starts. • Read books about preschool. • Listen to your child’s concerns. • Talk with the school’s nurse if your child has allergies or special medical needs. • Prepare for a bit of separation anxiety the first few weeks. • Visit or for child development tips.


a note from

Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County Investing in Children. Strengthening our Community.

All Kids Matter! We have seen more news coverage recently in the Tampa Bay area about infant co-sleeping deaths, in Pinellas and Polk counties in particular. These stories bring to light a very tragic but little known fact: more infants die in adult beds than anywhere else. Since 2010 in Pinellas County, a total of 63 babies have died from sleep-related suffocation or asphyxiation. This was either due to where infants were put to sleep (in an adult bed, futon, sofa or air mattress) or the position in which they were put to sleep (on their tummies or sides, instead of the approved sleep position which is on their backs). Co-sleeping in an adult bed ranked as the number one culprit. How prevalent are these deaths? According to the District 6 Medical Examiner’s Office, about as many children die from sleeprelated causes from birth to age one, as die from all other causes of preventable death combined between ages 1 to 17. This includes drownings, car accidents, suicide and gunshot wounds. The Juvenile Welfare Board has joined forces with the Pinellas County Health Department, District 6 Medical Examiner’s Office, Pinellas Healthy Start Coalition and other nonprofits and community leaders to form the Pinellas Preventable Child Death Planning Team. Together with partners across Tampa Bay, the Warning Signs campaign was launched to raise awareness. All parents, relatives, and caregivers are urged to follow and share these LIFE SAVING safe sleep tips for baby’s first year of life. Join us in putting an end to infant sleep-related deaths which are 100% preventable. Together, let us celebrate every child’s first birthday!


TIPS Always put babies to sleep alone on their backs in their own bassinets, cribs, or pack-n-plays. Use a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheet. Remove all toys, blankets and bumper pads from baby’s crib. Room share – DON’T bed share. Move baby’s crib or bassinet into parent’s room for the first year. Use a sleep sack or one-piece sleeper to keep baby warm – NOT a loose blanket.

Learn more at:

Dr. Marcie A. Biddleman Executive Director Juvenile Welfare Board

Art Heals WHEN WORDS FAIL… Arts Heals is an annual event honoring and supporting sexual abuse survivors. The artistic process allows the survivor to convey feelings and thoughts without the need for words. Even very young children can communicate and express emotions through the creation of art. With the right artistic medium, the visual representation of feelings about the abuse can help move the trauma out of the body. This can initiate and promote the healing process. Please join us in recognizing and standing alongside the survivors in our community. ART HEALS is a powerful exhibit featuring artwork created by survivors of sexual violence, in partnership with several of St. Pete’s artists and arts organizations. When: Saturday, April 8, 2017 | 5 – 9 p.m. Where: The Gallery, 200 Central Avenue Ste#111  St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (Corner of 2nd Street and 1st Avenue South) Who: Presented by Suncoast Center, Inc. Cost: FREE community event More Info:


How to help a friend experiencing domestic violence (1)

Let them know you will always support them, whether they stay or leave. There are many reasons that people stay within an abusive relationship. It often takes seven or more attempts to leave before a person can break free of abuse.


Avoid judgmental statements, while affirming that everyone has a right to be safe. Talk about the situation, not the person (abuser). Criticizing the abuser can backlash.


Identify and admire your friend’s strengths and achievements. Abusers demean the victim and try to isolate them. A good friend keeps connecting and complementing.


Help them make a safety plan. Have the local and national hotline numbers and web sites available, as needed.


Don’t try to “save” them. The last thing they need is another person trying to control them. Support them to make their own decisions in their own time.

GOLD’S GYM opens in Largo Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine hosted the grand opening of Gold’s Gym in Largo, on Saturday, January 14. As co-owner, he and partner Ed Bogacki cut the ribbon on the 18,000-square-foot facility, which boasts a full complement of programs and amenities for members of all ages. At the grand opening, Irvine led members through the 22 push-up challenge, raising awareness for the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Irvine runs his own non-profit, The Robert Irvine Foundation, who’s mission is to support individuals and organizations committed to enriching the lives of our military personnel (active, retired and veterans) and their families. Gold’s Gym made its name during the Golden Age of Bodybuilding when Arnold Schwarzenegger and his contemporaries trained regularly at Joe Gold’s original location in Venice, CA. Today’s Gold’s, according to Bogacki is family friendly and ideal for busy professionals. The Largo facility is new and state-of-the-art, with a large openspace free weight training area, a huge assortment of the latest cardio machines, a functional training area on artificial turf outfitted with kettlebells, weight sleds, and battle ropes, a suspension training area, cycling studio, a childcare center packed with activities, plus a large group fitness studio that hosts all manner of classes, including offerings from Les Mills. Personal training is available. Join today! 2178 E Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33771 • Mention GoodLiving and join for only $1 plus their low monthly membership fee.

LARGO Top: Robert Irvine and Ed Bogacki, owners of the Gold’s Gym Largo cut the ribbon to officially open. Bottom: Robert Irvine encourages a veteran during Gold’s Gym Largo’s Grand Opening push-up challange. Photo Credit: Matthew Tuthill

The GoodLiving® Healthy Kids Club and Gold’s Gym Largo want to help you and your teenager get healthier together with the Team Up 2 Shape Up BOGO offer!

Buy One Get One Free Gold’s Gym Annual Membership For parent and a teen child (13 - 18) to work out together at the new Gold’s Gym in Largo. Mention this offer when signing up!

Gold’s Gym Largo is the new headquarters for family-friendly fitness. And by family, we mean your family. You and your teenager. Working out together brings a new dynamic to quality family together time. Challenge each other to weight training competitions. Chat about the day while working on the cardio machines. Burn calories together in a class. If you’ve never pictured yourself exercising with your teenager, focus in on what the positive results can be!


Being a GOOD role model helps to establish good habits that last. 2. Spending valuable time together is an investment in each other. 3. Establish a deeper bond by working on a common goal. 4. Keep each other company and hold each other accountable. 5. To transform a non-athletic teen into a physically fit teen. 6. More physical activity helps students perform better academically. 7. Physical conditioning builds confidence and reduces stress. 8. A health conscious teen is less likely to smoke, drink or take drugs. 9. Our state-of-the-art fitness center in a safe, clean and friendly environment. 10. The Gold’s Gym legacy of fitness training, nutrition coaching and support.

Make Gold’s Gym in Largo your Gym Home Stop by Today and Join! 2178 E Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33771 (727) 240-1400 Sheryl Hansbury with her son Conner are working out together at Gold’s Gym in Largo.


As a co-owner of Gold’s Gym in Largo, Chef Irvine is investing in our community. He believes in weight training for people of all ages and is looking forward to inspiring you! Chef Irvine on why should people do weight training: “Building muscle improves your health in so many ways it’s hard to name them all at once. In short, building muscle speeds your metabolism, reduces joint pain, helps you sleep better, gives you more energy in the day and stimulates your mind to make you more productive at whatever it is you do. No matter how old you are, no matter what your starting point, you can benefit from starting weight training today. Don’t wait for the perfect day! It will never come. Start today.”

CHEF IRVINE’S TIPS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE SWEAT EVERY DAY You won’t always have an hour to go to the gym. But pushups, bodyweight squats, pull ups, sit ups and running—are all free. Don’t stress about sets and reps and total duration. If you’re sweating, you’re doing it right.

THE RULE OF THREE Every complete workout program needs three things – a push, a pull and a squat. Examples of pushes: bench press, dumbbell bench press, pushups. Examples of pulls: pull ups, dumbbell and barbell rows, and rowing machines. Examples of squats: bodyweight, barbell, dumbbell, and all variety of lunges. Make sure your program has a healthy balance of all three and you’ll avoid imbalances and injuries.

LOVE THE PROCESS Write those three words on a piece of paper and tape them to your mirror. Having a fitness goal is not an end-point, and the words “love the process” will help you remember that. You could do a lot of things you hate to achieve a goal, but how sustainable do you think your progress will be if you hated it every step of the way? You need to find ways to enjoy the process of getting there. As you eat healthy food, visualize it making you stronger and healthier. As you lift weights and run, visualize your body as you want it to be. Every step of the way gets you closer. You don’t have to hate any part of the goal.

BE THE WEIRD ONE It’s okay! Really. People in your workplace might think it’s strange to see you doing pushups or bodyweight squats (or replacing your traditional desk with a standing desk) but you can let them snicker all they want. Break every two hours for a few quick sets! If you ask me I think it’s much stranger to sit in the same chair all day long. Not only do all those short sets add up over time, it will give you a better boost of energy than another cup of coffee or a snack from the vending machine ever could. When they see that it’s keeping you healthy and fit and making you more productive at your job, they won’t be laughing. They’ll be coming to you for advice. Fit Fuel 37 Recipes. 100s of Fitness Tips. And a little bit of Robert Irvine TOUGH LOVE.

JUST GET TO THE GYM Even on days where your energy levels are low and you think you can’t do much at the gym, just go and plan to do 10 or 15 minutes on the treadmill. If that’s all you wind up doing, fine. But chances are by the time you get your heart rate up and the endorphins start to flow, you’re going to want to stay and do more than you planned. If you just show up, it’s amazing what can happen.

FIND A STRONG PARTNER Too often we look for partners—in the gym, at work, and in life— who are “on our level” rather than looking for people who can push and inspire us to elevate our game. In the gym, this is simple: link up with someone who’s stronger and fitter than you. Will you be able to do everything that they’re doing? No. But you will push yourself harder and further than you ever would alone. Apply this to all areas of your life and watch what happens.

Get more recipes and fitness advice from Robert Irvine every month by downloading his free digital magazine at Two of his recipes from the book can also be found in the Good Eating section on page 43. Stay up-to-date with the Healthy Kids Club by joining at

Photos by Ian Spanier


directors would like to do more for their city’s families such as adding scholarships for large families, adding more specialty camps, increasing Summer camp is much more than fun for today’s families. It’s a environmentally focused field trips, providing outdoor adventure camps necessity for working parents who need a safe, reliable and affordable or implementing safe transportation. The common thread to those who place for their children to spend the 8 - 10 weeks during summer break. we contacted is that more families need affordable camps than can be While private camps are available throughout the county, it’s the cities provided at current funding levels. There is more demand than supply. in our county that provide the bulk of the day camps through the Parks And only city commissions can change that. and Recreation Departments. Often times, the city camps are more affordable because the costs are part of a larger budget and cities can utilize existing staff members and facilities. And for those who can’t afford the $100 or so weekly fees, most all cities have some sort of scholarship program. Without these camps, there would be more latch-key kids in the neighborhoods, or kids out running around unsupervised. Families depend on these programs year after year for peace of mind, and the camp experiences become a string of happy memories for the children. Mary Cuizio’s daughter Trinity has been attending the Dunedin summer camps since 2009. “My daughter’s favorite part of summer camp is building long-term relationships with other camp goers and building friendships with those who attend other schools in the community,” she said. This year Trinity is 13 and has aged out of day camp, which is a big disappointment. “As a parent, I would feel more secure with my child in a camp and Trinity was very sad to hear she aged out.” However, recreation department budgets are maxed out when it comes to camps, so they do the most they can with what they are given by the city commissioners during the annual budget process. Many recreation




Safe, fun, affordable and all inclusive camps give parents peace of mind and kids that love to come to camp! -Joan Byrne, City of Largo’s Park Director

Joan Byrne, director of recreation, parks and art for the City of Largo is also the president elect of the Florida Recreation and Parks Association. She suggests that families who would like to see an increase in camp options for their city should make sure their city commissioners and mayor know about it. Those in unincorporated areas of the county, like Palm Harbor, should contact the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. City camps tend to fill very quickly, so if interested, start the registration process now to get the weeks you need. It can be possible to attend a camp in another city, so if you see something you like, contact that city recreation department and ask their policy. It may just be a slightly higher cost.

City of Dunedin

Summer Camp Stats by City St. Petersburg

Pinellas Park

Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available General Camps Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation


3,411 $90 per week N/A Yes Elementary and Middle School Technology Lessons offered as part of general camp No Yes Yes Jr. Leader Volunteers, Assistants


( 500 children per week $20/day, $100/week $25/day, $125 week Yes General Day Camps Lessons Available No No 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Camp Counselors

Number of Campers in 2016 80 Cost per week Member $60 per week Cost per week Non Member $70 per week Scholarships Available Yes for members Special Skills Camps General Day Camps Swim Lesson Camps N/A Weight Loss Camps N/A Special Needs Camps N/A Before and After Camp Services Yes Teenage Participation Camp Counselors




( Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

235 children per week $56 per week $56 per week No General Day Camps Included with Day Camp Daily morning exercise Camps are inclusive 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. N/A

Tarpon Springs


Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation


136 $430 for 8 weeks $340 for 6 weeks Yes for residents only General Day Camps Included in Day Camp No No After care only Summer Junior Counselors

Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

2,670 $85-$120 $100-$135 Yes Dance, Archery, Paddling & Kayaking, Babysitting, Sailing Yes No Camps are inclusive Yes N/A

City of Largo


- Mike Lockwood, Clearwater’s Recreation Superintendent

Safety Harbor

A connection to the community would be lost if we didn’t offer summer camp. One of our goals is to provide high quality programs at an affordable price point, so we can keep kids busy throughout the year.

Treasure Island (

Largo ( Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps

Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

1,300 $79 $98 Full and Partial Babysitting, Dance, Musical Theater, Cartooning, Cooking, Cake Decorating, Pottery, Animation, Art, Puppets, Songwriting, RC Flight Training, Karate, Photography, Fishing, Basketball, Volleyball, Flag Football, Cheerleading, Golf, Soccer, Sand Volleyball, Baseball, Hockey, Technical Theater Production, Tennis, Creative Writing, Triathlon, Kayak, SUP Boarding Yes No No Yes N/A

Palm Harbor CSA ( Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps

Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participaton


1,133 $120 for full week camp, prices vary for skills half day camps same Yes based on need Art, Baseball, Computer Skills, Cooking, Dance, Fishing, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Multi-Sports, Soccer, Tae Kwon Do, Tennis, Volleyball No No No 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. included in price Junior Counselors for volunteer hours

Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

168 $90 per week/$400 for 10 weeks $120 per week/$800 for 10 weeks Yes Tennis No No No Yes Camp Counselors

Safety Harbor ( Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps

Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

2,313 $100 for a full week $100 for a full week Yes for residents only sports: Skateboarding, Speed & Agility, Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, Volleyball, Flag Football, Karate, Baseball, Pickleball, Softball educational: Spanish, Adventure in Engineering, Nature Explorations, Living History, Discover Florida, Green Thumb Kids creative: Woodcarving, Cooking, Young Rembrandts, Film, Fashion Sewing, Art Animation, Photography, Cartooning, Transformers Art, Traveling, Landscape water: Stand up Paddle Board, Pram Sailing, Kayak, Fishing No Be a Fit Kid, Adventure Fitness Camp Freedom Sailing, Autism Aspirations 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., included in registration fee Counselors in Training, Teen Leaders

Seminole ( Number of Campers in 2016 Cost per week Member Cost per week Non Member Scholarships Available Special Skills Camps Swim Lesson Camps Weight Loss Camps Special Needs Camps Before & After Camp Services Teenage Participation

175 per week $65 (K-5), $75 (6-9) $75 (K-5), $88 (6-9) No Yes Yes, starting in May No No After Care only, $10 res/$12 non-res Teen Intern

City of Safety Harbor

Animals Touch the Hearts of Kids by PAMELA SETTLE

The Humane Society of Pinellas has programs in place that help develop the hearts of children toward service and giving. Kids love pets, and even though younger students can’t officially be a volunteer, there are options available because children can get involved with the help of parents and a little imagination. A personal example comes from our family. My son’s 5th grade teacher assigned a community service project. His first impulse was, “I want to help animals,” and so we went in search of a project idea. We met some Humane Society volunteers at a local event who told us about Senior Pet Connection, a program that delivers pet food to elderly people who cannot afford to buy food on their own, yet still need to keep the love of their companion animal. The thought of an older person giving up a cat or dog and being lonely broke my son’s heart and so he went to work on this project. With my help, he created a social media campaign and collected money in the community to put toward getting seniors off the waiting list. The most rewarding part was going on some deliveries and meeting the people, the real people, who benefit from this program. Pictured here is Jeri, a lovely woman with two cats and a dog. Clearly they are her companions, and this program gives her peace of mind as well as a monthly visit from a volunteer. This is just one example of how a child can take on a project and make a difference, even when it’s not part of a school assignment. Doing so

Get Involved!

builds a sense of value, importance and confidence as well as developing a heart that knows what it feels like to give to others in a caring way. GoodLiving® Magazine’s ongoing message is one of spreading kindness and caring, and one way to do that is to start at home with the family doing a project like this. The Humane Society will work with you to develop a project that fits the interest of your child. Visit them at 3040 State Road 590 in Clearwater, call or go to their website. (727) 797-7722.

The Humane Society of Pinellas has two programs for children ages 7 - 12 to teach about animal care, behavior, current events and animal careers: The Kids Club and Summer Day Camp. The Humane Society of Pinellas’ Kid’s Club meets one Saturday a month. Each week is a different curriculum, providing like-minded youth with presentations, hands-on animal interaction, crafts and fun -- all to build a foundation of compassion towards animals. Come once for $10 or join for the year for $50. Summer Day Camp is much like the Kid’s Club, and is available by the week or the whole season. Each week is a unique session, designed by their Humane Education and Outreach Coordinator, Lucy Monette, a certified Humane Educator, who has significant teaching experience and a passion for sharing her love of animals with children.


School Choice: Finding the Right Fit

by PAMELA SETTLE We’ve come a long way since the days of walking miles to the one-room schoolhouse with a lunch tin and a chalk board. But if you think about it, those days weren’t that long ago in terms of history. American education, a system that is open to all students regardless of wealth, race, religion and ability, is still a relatively new concept on the world stage and is still evolving. It began with the settlers to the colonies who brought their systems with them from Europe, which meant that parents did most of the schooling. Then eventually religious organizations, including the Catholics, the Dutch Protestants and the German Lutherans, took on the task of educating their community’s children. Also springing up were schools for Native Americans and freed blacks in the south. The idea of government supported schools started in about 1890, a movement that had more steam in the urban areas of the northeast. Consider that in 1920, only 32 percent of American youth ages 14 17 were enrolled in a secondary school. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a high school diploma was widely sought. It wasn’t until the 70s that racial segregation had been eliminated and that disabled children were given the rights to an education. That was just 50 years ago! Between 1900 and 2000, the system and the population have exploded. And so have the complications of a single public system for all of

America’s diverse communities, families and children. As a result, parents are returning to the old ways, educating at home, turning to religious schools or finding private schools that suit a particular need. Here in the densely populated Pinellas County, we have the seventh largest school district, educating nearly 100,000 students in K - 12. There are 97 elementary and middle schools plus 18 high schools. But for many in our county, those schools don’t meet their needs. Like Samantha, whose daughter’s dysgraphia made school extra challenging academically and socially. Like Jenny, whose son’s anxiety disorder was made worse in a large school setting. Like Maria, whose son was being bullied and she feared for his safety. Like Andrew and Liz, who wanted their children taught in an environment that matched their beliefs and values. Like Rosemary, whose daughter was showing signs of stress from math classes and state testing.

Each of these families, plus more like them, have had their own personal reasons to seek out alternatives, and fortunately here in Pinellas, we have a wide variety of choices available to them in these categories: virtual school, charter school, homeschool, unschool and private school.

AaBbCcDdEeFfGgHhIiJjKkLlMm 30

Virtual School Through Pinellas County Schools, children K-12 can enroll in either part-time of full-time virtual school. Pinellas Virtual School courses are free and the curriculum is aligned to district standards. PVS offers a wide array of courses, including honors classes and popular electives. The courses are taught by qualified Pinellas County Schools teachers who are able to offer personalized attention and one-on-one instruction to virtual students. Students must take the final exam (if required by grade level) and complete all assignments, activities and assessments in order to receive credit. The state requires that state tests and End-of-Course exams be taken in person so they can be monitored.

Charter School A charter school is sanctioned and funded by the county school district, therefore they must comply with state testing requirements for students. The schools, however, run independently from the district with their own administration, faculty and class offerings. New charters have begun with science and math as their specialty, some focus on the arts and others contain more cultural influence. Many county charters have long waiting lists, showing the popularity of these choices. To see the variety of options, visit their websites, take a tour and get your name on the waiting list.

Home School Home school parents use curriculum to teach subjects to children while sticking to a routine that follows the school year. Homeschoolers have an almost endless array of choices and the flexibility to customize a child’s education to child’s interests and abilities. May 25 - 27, the Florida Parent Educator’s Association will hold their annual expo at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, attracting more than 17,000 families and holding a high school graduation ceremony for its members. Home schooling has changed in the last decade and is enjoying a rich collection of special events, classes, cooperatives of families, educational travel, support systems and online discussion forums, as well as access to the newest and most sophisticated curriculums. Local parent groups and co-ops are active throughout the county to assist both new and existing families.

Unschool Unschooling takes homeschooling to a different level. These families forego formal curriculum and let the world be the educator based on the child’s talents, aspirations and abilities. A family who unschools may have a child who early on shows a penchant in one direction, and so that family will use all their time and resources to help that child move in that direction. For example, take a family who’s headed by an artist, a musician or an entrepreneur. Their reasoning for unschooling is ‘why should I hold my child back for 18 years of school, when they can begin their life at a much earlier age?’ These are families who devote a great deal of time with their kids and have the resources to provide them with the experiences the children need to succeed. If you’re curious, do an Internet search of unschooling and Florida.

Private Schools Pinellas County has a wide variety of private schools, more than a 100 of them, and many offer their own scholarships to help students. They range from very small independent schools that specialize in a hands-on, personalized education to larger institutions with a full slate of classes and activities. Some have a religious component, some have high academic standards and some specialize in working with children who have learning, behavioral or medical needs. Each one is unique, making shopping for the right school either an exhilarating exercise in choice or overwhelming. Testing remains a hot issue in Florida education with more changes proposed during this year’s legislative session. Parents continue to opt out of testing permanently by seeking private schools, which are not legally bound to Florida’s common core curriculum and the Florida State Assessment tests. Many of them do still adhere to the Florida State Standards (Common Core) as guidelines, but they are not required to use state approved curriculums nor do they have to administer the same tests required

for public, charter and virtual school students. This flexibility of scheduling makes room for more arts, music, recess and PE into the daily schedule. Right now Pinellas County public schools have PE three days a week and no recess. Being an intentional parent means not rolling with the tide, but instead knowing what your child needs and making sure he or she gets it, regardless of the kind of school the child attends. At the end of this article, we will leave you with a list of important questions to ask schools. Going through this list will give you an opportunity to think about the right kind of school environment for your child.

Catholic Schools The Diocese of St. Petersburg has early learning, elementary and high schools throughout Pinellas County, and they are led by superintendent of schools, Dr. Chris Pastura. The mission of Catholic Schools is to provide a faith-filled community where students can grow spiritually, academically, and socially. They reflect the richness, diversity and strength of the Catholic church.

AaBbCcDdEeFfGgHhIiJjKkLlMm 32

Christian Schools Christian-based schools range from very small to large, and they vary widely as to how much religion is incorporated into their school day. At their core, most Christian schools look to develop character and a spiritual awareness as part of their academic instruction through teaching, outreach and a strict set of behavioral requirements. There are many quality Christian schools in the county.

Independent Private Schools Additionally, there are independent private schools that are not affiliated with a religious institution. Again, some of them are very small and intimate, and others are large with an impressive list academic programs and athletic teams to meet a variety of different tastes and needs.

Montessori Schools Montessori schools have their own unique structure based on the theory of founder Maria Montessori. It is characterized by

an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical and social development. Typical for a Montessori program are mixed age classrooms, student choice of activity, uninterrupted blocks of work time and freedom of movement.

Waldorf Schools In Waldorf schools, students are divided into three developmental categories and taught accordingly. There is one Waldorf elementary school in the county.

Special Needs Schools Regardless if it’s autism, ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorders, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or other diverse and challenging conditions and disabilities, being in a school surrounded by peers and specially trained teachers can be the best environment for a student. If you have a child with an exceptionality, it’s worth to at least visit schools and learn what options you have.

NnOoPpQqRrSsTtUuVvWwXxYyZz 33

Dollars and Sense

Virtual school and Charter schools have no tuition costs to the families. Homeschool families purchase their own curriculums and extra-curricular activities. Private schools require the most out-of-pocket money, however two state scholarship programs are available and many have sliding scale options or their own scholarships to make it more attainable. The first option is called a McKay scholarship. If your student has either an IEP (individual education plan) or a 504 plan for medical needs, your family can apply. If you believe your child is eligible for an IEP or a 504, talk to your school and ask for an evaluation. The period to file a letter of intent for the McKay for the 2017-2018 school is open now. The very last day for any filing for the first quarter is July 3rd, but it’s not recommended to wait until then. Filing the letter does not obligate you. Each student receives a different dollar amount based on their own matrix score and you will not know that until after you apply. The next step is to research the private schools in the county to see if you can find the right fit. Many of those schools can help you navigate the process. Read more about eligibility and file your intent at The second is the Step Up For Students scholarship program. This program, based on financial income, provides scholarships to Florida students who seek a private education. For example to apply for next year, a family of four cannot exceed $4,050 gross monthly income. A student may receive up to $5,886 to help cover private school tuition and fees, and there are some private schools that have tuition near that range. If you feel you may qualify, go to to learn more. The deadline to apply for the 2017-2018 school year May 1, 2017.


Question to Ask Choosing the right school is important to a child’s future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! What is the total enrollment here? By grade level? What is the teacher-to-student ratio? When was the school founded? Is the school accredited? By whom? What types of credentials are required for teachers? What is the teaching staff turn-over rate? Do teachers stay after school to help students? Are parents allowed in the classroom? What is the homework quantity? How are report card grades calculated? What are the most common discipline issues? How are they handled? What types of academic support is available? What types of emotional support or social skills classes do you offer? What curriculum or curriculum type is used in each subject area? Do you use Common Core curriculums? What kind of standardized testing is administered? What types of technology do you offer to students? How do the teachers teach? Lecture or interactive? What outdoor facilities and playgrounds are offered? How often is recess for each grade level? What sports programs do you offer? At what level do your teams play? How much time is devoted to art, music and other creative activities? What clubs and other extra curricular offerings do you have? Do you offer any internship, mentorship or exchange programs? What types of service opportunities do you offer for students? How are parents involved? How active is the parent volunteer group? What percentage participate? How much fundraising is required? Any other requirements? What sets your school apart? (indicators of excellence) What high school transition classes or support do you offer? What kind of meals are served at school?

Hold your kids accountable. Check written assignments and supportively correct spelling and grammar mistakes with them. Listen carefully when your children speak. When your daughter says, “Me and Sara ate cookies,” don’t let it slide. Break those bad habits now! Here’s a quick grammar lesson for I versus me: remove the “and + other person” and try again. “I ate cookies” or “me ate cookies”? (Cookie Monster, I still love you.) Smooth it out by reversing the order to “Sara and I ate cookies.” by KIMBERLY SANTAMARIA With the rise of texting and social media, people have learned a new shorthand for writing casual communications. On top of that, technology has given us automatic spelling and grammar editors to help filter mistakes, but those are just editing tools and not a replacement for good writing skills. Yet for some reason, it doesn’t seem that schools are emphasizing grammar like they once did; sentence diagramming is a thing of the past. So where does that leave our children? Where does that the future of the written English language? To me, it is not looking GR8. With such advanced editing technology, one may argue, does it matter? To answer this question, imagine your child as an adult as you read the following statistics. Spelling and grammar knowledge can affect success in the workplace. A 2014 survey by Jobvite showed that 66% of hiring managers view poor spelling and grammar as a strike against a job candidate. Another study revealed that just one spelling error on a website could cut sales in half. Spelling and grammar may affect social lives as well. A 2016 survey by an online dating service revealed that 48% of dating singles consider poor grammar a deal-breaker while 72% find spelling errors to be a turn-off. Maybe you don’t care at this point whether your son will get a date, but you will likely care if he can’t get a job!

Don’t write it off. Cursive, that is. Most schools are not teaching that skill now, so set time aside to work with your child so he can at least sign his name—a skill that’s still important. Concerning high schoolers, the essay portion of the SAT and ACT tests are handwritten; your child won’t have access to spellcheck, and his handwriting must be legible. A solid foundation in writing and grammar is essential not only for standardized tests but also for college, the workplace, and beyond. Have fun with it. In your daily travels, be on the lookout for grammar mistakes and point them out to your children. Watch the checkout lines: observe Walmart’s incorrect “Speedy Checkout for 20 items or less” versus Publix’s properly phrased “Express, 10 items or fewer.” (Note: if you can count the items, use fewer instead of less.) Don’t endorse bad grammar. I once refused to visit a food truck because of its sign, “HOT-DOG’S.” When did they teach us in school to create a plural form by adding an apostrophe before the S? Never. My children beat me to the punch when they spotted an ice cream parlor’s six-foot-high advertisement with the wrong its/it’s in the headline: “its the berries.” These teaching moments are everywhere! By doing your part as a parent, you can make a difference with your children’s grammar—and their futures.

Here’s the bottom line. Using incorrect grammar impacts someone’s credibility and ultimately distracts from the intended message. Writing correctly is an essential life skill. There is a right time and a right place for proper writing and speaking skills, and so we should want our kids to be successful both in the workplace and socially. In honor of National Grammar Day, let’s think about this dilemma (yes, it’s a thing; President George W. Bush made National Grammar Day official in 2008). There is no denying that social media’s abbreviated vocabulary increases efficiency, but speed should not be at the expense of knowing correct usage. Although Instagrammers may not choose to use correct grammar online, they still need to know how to approach academic and professional writing appropriately. Here’s what you can do as a parent. Instead of fighting against social media, raise the bar for good grammar at home. Model proper English. Chances are that you know the mechanics of proper English but perhaps aren’t careful with its usage in everyday life. Children learn by example. Let them know that correct grammar matters to you. To brush up on your own skills, grab that dusty grammar book off the shelf or enroll in a refresher course.

Wri ng Coaches of America, Inc., (Wri offers one-on-one online coaching for wri ng and grammar to teens and adults across the United States and overseas. Sessions can be either general in scope or targeted to a specific test’s essay (SAT/ACT/GRE/SSAT). Its mission is cleaning up America... one comma at a me.® ABOUT THE AUTHOR St. Petersburg resident Kimberly Santamaria is passionate about wri ng and grammar. She is the president of Wri ng Coaches of America and the mother of 11th and 12th graders.


Cultivating Kindness in Your Kids by REBECCA THOMPSON HITT, MS, MFT They were up on the Ropes Course at MOSI. My son was about 9 years-old at the time and he was fearlessly navigating the twists and turns with ease about 30 feet off the ground. I was down on the ground observing, in awe of his skill. He saw her first. She looked about five and was on the ropes course by herself. She lacked the physical ability to move her rope around the large structural poles, so she was stuck, unable to go forward or backwards. From the other side of the course, my son quickly made his way over to help her. No one prompted him. No one told him to help her. He saw that she needed some help and did it. I would love to say that it was all the wonderful parenting I’ve done with him, but it’s more complicated than that. As I’ve watched parents interact with their kids around kindness, manners and other social skills, I’ve learned a thing or two that may be helpful on your parenting journey, as well. Children pay more attention to what you do and to who you are than the words you say to them. Be who you want them to be. If you want them to be kind, be kind to them and to others. Model it. Be the best you that you can be. Hold the door for strangers yourself. Notice someone who needs help and help. Do what you want them to do. Be who you want them to be. You won’t always be able to do this. You’re human. So take the opportunity when you haven’t been kind to your child or to anyone else to repair and reconnect. This shows that everyone makes mistakes, even parents! By saying out loud, “I didn’t handle that very well. I wasn’t nice to our neighbor. I’m going to tell him I’m sorry and find a way to make that feel better.” Or if it was with your child, something like this: “I’m sorry that I (raised my voice, spoke harshly, was rough with you). I can imagine that was scary for you (or whatever feeling you think they may have been feeling). I’d like to try that again in a way that feels better for both of us.” In the book, Connection Parenting, Pam Leo talks about Rewind-RepairReplay. So rewind what just happened, repair by saying you’re sorry and try it again the way you wanted it to go. Being kind won’t be an all the time thing for anyone unless you’re a saint, so figure out how to repair and reconnect. It’s good for everyone.

connections, the learning is deeper and more meaningful. Punishing someone who isn’t kind models power-over (someone bigger hurting someone smaller) which is the opposite of what we’re striving for here. This doesn’t mean that you need to be unkind to them so that they can feel what that’s like. But help them to think of a time when someone wasn’t kind to them and have them connect with that experience. You can ask them what they needed when someone wasn’t kind to them and ask if the person they weren’t kind to might need the same thing. So if your child says that he needed a hug, ask if the child they were unkind to might need the same thing. Consider a kindness observation journal. This cultivates awareness of kindness without it needing to be a direct lesson. When they notice what it’s like when someone else is kind to them, they’re more likely to find opportunities to be kind to others.

When it comes down to it, kindness is really about empathy. It’s the ability to put oneself into someone else’s shoes and that begins with your relationship with them. We are hard-wired within our brains to connect with one another and to feel what someone else is feeling. Cultivating kindness is about nurturing what is already in us, helping our children to connect to themselves and learning to repair Notice when they’re kind and help them connect with how it feels for them. Instead of praising them, help them make their own when we don’t handle things the way we want. connections with how good it feels to be kind. This helps motivation I’d love to hear how you’re able to apply these ideas in your family. to come from within them (intrinsic motivation) rather than relying Please feel free to email me and share! Together, we can cultivate on external motivation (rewards and punishment) to continue those kindness in the world one family and one child at a time. It matters. kinds of behaviors. As an example, when my son came down off the ropes course, my first instinct was to praise his kindness. I resisted ABOUT THE AUTHOR and focused on repeating what I saw him do. “I saw you notice the Rebecca Thompson Hi , MS, MFT, is a holis c little girl was having a hard time. You went across to help her. How family counselor and the founder and execu ve did that feel?” This allowed him to make his own connections and director of The Consciously Paren ng Project, Inc. internal dialogue about what he had done. She has two boys, 12 and 17, and two grown stepchildren. She’s passionate about helping create, When they’re not kind, help them connect with how it feels nurture and repair healthy families using current to them when someone isn’t kind to them. When we can help neuroscience and a achment research. them make feeling/heart connections rather than just head/thinking




Children Active

Indoor Rock Climbing and Trampoline Centers For the child who is sensitive to temperature and prefers to be indoors, consider indoor rock-climbing, a sport that develops concentration, coordination, builds strength, builds confidence and creates a sense of accomplishment. It can be done alone or with friends. Also, indoor trampoline centers can provide a high-energy experience of jumping. Just jumping! No rules, no points, no pressure.

Disc Golf ...or foot golf, which is the soccer-like course found in Largo. Older kids and teens who are detail-oriented and appreciate a little competition should try a course of disc golf or foot golf. Disc golf requires the player to throw a plastic disc toward a metal basket. Kids can move through the course at their own pace, playing at a level that suits them. Foot golf requires kicking a soccer ball into a large hole. Being outdoors and walking the course will burn calories and build stamina. Add one or two friends to make it a social experience.

Irish Dancing Dance is popular activity for many kids, but Irish dance pulls upon different skills than ballet or jazz. Children enjoy learning the steps and routines made from various combinations of ball changes. This dance style is high-energy, works the cardiovascular system and builds bone, muscle and coordination. Dance schools in the Dunedin area offer lessons.

Horseback Riding If you have kids in school you know that their free time for play or fitness activities is more limited than it has been in the past. Yet the experts say that every child should get their heart rates up every day... the “getting pink cheeks and sweaty” kind of activities. For children who like organized sports, there are multiple opportunities for school sports teams or after-school sports leagues. But what about the children who don’t like team sports like baseball, soccer, hockey or cheerleading, or the ones who aren’t naturally athletic, are shy or have physical coordination issues? What’s out there for them?

There’s a reason we have several equine therapy centers in the area. Horseback riding is great for children who have special needs. This activity is outdoors and builds trusting relationships with the animal and other riders. More importantly, there is a development of core strength, balance and rhythm. A child who responds well to structured environments will appreciate the rules and timeless traditions inherent to the sport.

Roller Skating

While some kids crave structure, others respond better in an environment with loose rules. Roller skating provides an aerobic workout in a social space. Rent skates and take a few classes to learn the moves. Or take it on the outdoor trails with rollerblades, or put Here are some suggestions for activities that may spark their interest in being physical, a GOOD habit that can lead to a happier and healthier life. it on ice by learning to ice skate at our numerous skating arenas. Skating can be an activity that will grow with the child.


We are fortunate to live in a county that is surrounded with blueways trails, or places to kayak. This can be a solitary sport for a teen or tandem with a parent for younger children. The paddling moves build upper body and grip strength while sitting for a less stressful workout. Vendors who rent kayaks are numerous around Pinellas County, so venture out and explore new trails. Related to this is Stand Up Paddling, which as its name suggests is standing up on a board and paddling around shallow waters.



Whatever it is, taking time to find physical activities and sports suited to a child’s personality will be worth it, especially if the child feels frustrated or left out because he or she doesn’t play in the afterschool sports leagues. It may help with making new friends, building self-confidence and more importantly, learning that recreation and sports comes in all types for all types of people.

For a child who shies away from high-speed activities, he or she may enjoy the peaceful calm that comes with yoga or yoga-inspired classes where breathing and mindfulness are the focus along with stretching, strengthening and developing balance. Check recreation centers for classes.

Bowling is a sport of repetition and is exact -- which will appeal to a certain personality. It can be a solo or a team sport, or fun with friends and family. It is indoors and feels less threatening than a field sport, but still requires concentration and commitment. Local lanes offer youth leagues and plenty of open bowling times for a relaxing night out with the family.


Spring Update Well, the winter holidays and the New Year have come and gone... how are those resolutions doing??? I am admittedly not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, they just seem so finite and tied to the start of the year. Plus, people tend to get caught up in the notion of one set back equals failure. I’m here to offer an alternative to these pie-in-the-sky ideals - try making just one simple change each week. Drink only water for one week, eat a salad each day for a week, walk or run 20 minutes each day for a week... these are simple things that can make a big difference. Check out some other ideas to help make 2017 your healthiest and most productive year yet!

Set a Good Example Girls on the Run 5K Presented by UnitedHealthcare inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experiencebased curriculum, which creatively integrates running. This group provides opportunities for 3rd-5th grade girls to be exposed to a healthy lifestyle, culminating with a celebratory 5K. Even if you don’t have a daughter participating at one of the nearly 40 sites across Tampa Bay, you can still join them for the Sparkle in St. Pete event on May 6th. Sparkle Runners are always needed to accompany each GOTR participant at this event!

Be a Heart Hero The elementary school years are an amazing time in a young child’s life to not only establish healthy habits, but also to learn about compassion and helping others. These two efforts are combined in the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart campaign. Across Tampa Bay and the country, kids are learning how to keep their hearts strong and also how their donations can help those with sick hearts. Kids really grab onto the idea of directly helping someone else and making a difference. If your child’s school does not currently offer Jump Rope for Heart, be sure to talk to their PE teachers and administrators about participating in the future.


Fight for What is Right Recess. A break in the day. Free, unstructured playtime. Connecting with peers. Building problem solving skills. Daily physical activity. All of these elements are critical in an elementary school student’s day. After all, our 5-11 year-old children learn best through play. However, we are in the aftermath of increased testing mandates and pushes for more computer test prep screen time. This has manifested into a repercussion no one anticipated - a decline, and sometimes an absolute abolishment, of recess. This is a pivotal time for students in Florida and parents need to continue to fight and contact our legislators. Join our Facebook group, Pinellas Parents for Healthy Schools, for updated information and calls to action:

Take Time for You After helping others, providing for your family and ensuring that your children are healthy and happy... it’s time to take moment for yourself ! In order to be the best parent possible, it is imperative to practice self care. YOU need to be at 100% before you can give your all to your kids. Exercise is a vital way for parents to be at their daily best, and my #1 tip is to do what works for you. Run, walk, bike, swim, Zumba, kickbox - do what makes you happy and makes you come back for more. If you are looking for a change, I am teaching some new classes in the St. Petersburg area this year. Follow me on my new blog to learn more. That new blog is called Keep up with me regarding these programs, my classes, tips and encouragement. Between my experiences as both a personal trainer and a mom for the past 11 years, one thing I’ve learned is that resiliency is key. My blog will relate stories and share ideas about perseverance and getting past the point when things in life get hard. I’m looking forward to connecting with you online!

Women Helping Women There is something special that happens when women come together to support one another, and Jessica Rivelli, founder of Working Women of Tampa has found the right formula for making that “special something” happen every week across Tampa Bay. Jessica’s vision was to create an organization of women, for women and by women who are either in business for themselves or working for another organization. Her vision was members that would not just get together and network over coffee, but would also offer support to one another through education, fellowship and encouragement. Now in it’s eighth year, Working Women of Tampa Bay, lovingly known around the bay area as WWTB is a powerhouse network, and because of its popularity, has expanded to Orlando and other cities in the U.S. By going to, you can see the wide variety of upcoming events, from coffee connections, entrepreneur exchanges, power lunches, VIP events, leadership training and more that happen throughout the Tampa Bay area. Working women, including working moms, are invited to join in. Here’s what some members have to say about being a member: Trimeka Benjamin, President, Swim Digital Group I believe in the importance of encouraging my fellow women every chance I get. WWTB is a group of women that share this same goal. Because of this, I never feel like I meet a stranger when I meet a member of WWTB.

Michele Norris, Founder, Navigen Leadership, LLC Working Women of Tampa Bay is grounded in the tenet that women support other women. This is not a “competitive” organization but one that respects and celebrates the diversity of its membership. Jessica has created an abundant culture that embodies lifting each other up. Whether you are an entrepreneur, work for an organization, or desire to explore a new path, WWTB is a place for you to feel welcome and part of a sisterhood of support and growth.

Effie Santos, Commercial Relationship Manager, TD Bank I like WWTB because of the positive environment it brings to woman. There are a variety of events, luncheons and coffees that women can choose from to build their business along with their confidence.

Rita Lowman, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Pilot Bank Working Women is an organization that assists all women in the workforce. I have found events, luncheons and networking that fit each level of associate from entry level to executive. The organization has assisted me in connecting with women who are making a difference in our community.

Yvonne Fry, CEO, Fryed Egg Productions Women supporting other women through networking with intention is powerful. By looking for ways to help, connect and lift others, our bucket always overflows. This is the essence of Working Women of Tampa Bay which has created a culture of support and resources to help women reach their fullest capacity. ABOUT THE PHOTOS Left Check presentation from the Working Women Foundation to Fine Feather Health. Seed money for women startups is raised among the WWTB membership. Middle Members enjoy a night out with a WWTB Happy Hour. This one in Brandon at Tibby’s Restaurant. Right: Rita Lowman speaks on a panel at the Women of Impact Summit in April 2016.


EDITORIAL by PAMELA SETTLE It’s dance season in Tallahassee. That time from March to May, when all eyes are on the state house and senate. Who gets invited? Who will dance with whom? Whose song requests will get played? Who will go home in tears? And who gets the last dance? I’ve been watching this for years as a person who cares about what happens to Florida’s families, its children and our education system. I wish I could say that advocates for children and families come away from the dance humming a happy tune. Instead they take what they can get as part of the dance called, “one step forward and two steps back.” As parents we must watch our lawmakers and provide them with our feedback. A few tips about contacting your representatives in writing: 1) one issue per email; 2) be concise and direct; 3) be honest but not offensive; 4) include your name and address; and 5) include the bill number if there is one. During this session, several issues regarding education are of concern and should be watched: budget cuts, changes to testing requirements, teacher compensation and mandatory recess. The education writers at the Tampa Bay Times do a good job of staying on top of the issues. Also, on Facebook, the groups called Pinellas Parents Advocating for School Improvements and Pinellas Parents for Healthy Schools are a good source of current news links. For issues on early child education and children’s health insurance, follow The Children’s Movement of Florida by subscribing to their newsletter. Another group called The Children’s Campaign sends out a regular email detailing every bill that impacts children and families and its current status. Sign up for those emails at When you see a bill you want to support or oppose, it’s important to communicate with your representatives. Here is the list of our current Senators and Representatives for Pinellas County. Find your representatives based on your address, and then monitor their activities at and Senators Jeff Brandes Jack Latvala Darryl Rouson Representatives Larry Ahern Chris Latvala Kathleen Peters Chris Sprowls Wengay Newton Ben Diamond


Local Women Advocate for Policies that Benefit Children and Families Recess Moms Continue the Fight The Mandatory Recess bill is back on the move thanks to the persistence of the “recess moms” from around Florida. Pinellas County’s Stephanie Cox and Christie Bruner, along with MarieClare Leman from Leon County met with Representative Jamie Grant (District 64) to obtain his support for the bill. Pinellas County lawmakers have been supportive, but it’s still important to let them all know if you want to guarantee recess for all elementary students.

Working to Make Diapers Tax Free Torrie Jasuwan from St. Petersburg, founder of the Babycycle Diaper Bank recently went to Tallahassee to lobby on behalf of the National Diaper Bank Network. She spoke to the Senate Committee on Consumerism and Tourism, which voted unanimously to pass Bill 252, exempting diapers and wipes from sales tax. A similar bill will most likely go through the House soon and Babycycle plans to lobby for that bill as well.

GOODEATING Our new Healthy Kids Club Ambassador, Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine has shared two of his high protein meals to keep you on the go. These recipes and more can be found in his healthy living manual, Fit Fuel: A Chef ’s Guide to Eating Well, Getting Fit, and Living Your Best Life. Purchase the book at

Puttanesca Tuna Burgers serves 8

Butternut Squash Barlotto serves 6 YOU’LL NEED: 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth 2 cups pearl barley 1 bay leaf 1 medium butternut squash 5 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, minced 1 garlic clove, sliced 2 cups maitake mushrooms, sliced 2 cups oyster mushrooms, sliced 2 cups crimini mushrooms, quartered ½ cup white wine ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated 2 tbsp fine herbs (chopped chives, parsley, tarragon) Salt and pepper MAKE IT Bring 5 cups chicken broth to a boil and add the barley and bay leaf. Cook for 30-35 minutes. Spread on a sheet pan to cool.

YOU’LL NEED: 3 ½ lbs fresh raw tuna 3 tbsp capers, minced 3 tbsp raisins, minced 1 tsp garlic, minced 3 tbsp black olives, minced 3 tbsp red onion, minced 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp red pepper flakes 1/3 cup parsley, chopped 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and Pepper Nonfat, nonstick cooking spray 8 whole-wheat hamburger rolls 8 tbsp basil pesto 8 slices red onion, grilled 1 cup roasted red peppers MAKE IT Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Dice tuna, then put it in a food processor and give it a rough mince, about 15 seconds, so it can be molded. (It should not be puréed.) Remove tuna from food processor and place in a chilled mixing bowl. Mix all other patty ingredients in with it by hand. Season with salt and pepper, then portion into eight 7-oz patties. Spray each side of patties with cooking spray. Place patties on grill and cook 4 minutes on each side; this will yield a medium (pink) center. If desired, grill rolls for 1 minute. Spread 1 tbsp pesto inside each roll. Place patties on buns, and top with onion and red peppers. THE MACROS Calories: 585 Protein: 68 g Fat: 26 g Carbs: 22 g

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel the butternut squash. Cut off the bottom, split it down the center, remove all seeds, then dice. Toss the squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, then place on a baking sheet. Cook in oven for 15-20 minutes. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil, shallots, and garlic. “Sweat” the shallots and garlic, then add the mushrooms. Saute until tender. Deglaze the pan with white wine (heat until sauce forms). Add 2 cups chicken broth, barley, and squash and continue to cook over medium heat. Once the barley begins to thicken, add cheese and finish with fine herbs.

Join the GoodLiving® Healthy Kids Club by signing up at and enter to win an autographed copy of Chef Irvine’s book! See his story on pages 22-23.

THE MACROS Calories: 579 Protein: 24 g Fat: 14 g Carbs: 87 g


GOODEATING Combat Childhood Obesity WITH DR. YUM According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 out of every 5 school age children is obese, which is a number that has more than tripled since the 1970s. In fact, the CDC refers to childhood obesity today as a serious problem. Pediatrician Dr. Nimali Fernando of Virginia founded the Dr. Yum Project to give parents a good road map for introducing a lifelong love of healthy food, “because obese children grow up to have many health problems when they become adults.”

Parents gain in-depth knowledge about parenting the whole child, understanding the sensory system, healthy feeding at every stage of development, navigating the school cafeteria, food allergies, and more. To purchase Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating or learn more about The Doctor Yum Project or Dr. Fernando, visit their site at

In addition to founding The Doctor Yum Project, Dr. Fernando also co-authored a book with Melanie Potock, a pediatric feeding expert. The book has become a popular tool among parents who are searching for simple ways to help their children learn to embrace healthy eating. The book features such helpful information as: • Advice and tips tailored to every stage from newborn through school-age • How to combat picky eating and raise an adventurous eater • Real-life stories of parents and kids they have helped • Wisdom from cultures across the globe on how to feed kids • Helpful insights on the sensory system, difficult mealtime behaviors, and everything from baby-led weaning to sippy cups • And seven “passport stamps” for good parenting: joyful, compassionate, brave, patient, consistent, proactive, and mindful.

Busy moms who want to save time while preparing healthy meals, we have a tool for you! This convenient online resource adds efficiency to your meal planning and helps you save money on your grocery bill. As a member, you will get a weekly meal plan with recipes and instructional videos, mobile-friendly shopping lists, nutritional information, printables and much more. Learn more at

GOODEATING STRAWBERRY TIME It’s that Strawberry time of year here in Central Florida, one of the sweetest things to look forward to all year. Strawberries are tasty, healthy, beautiful and versatile. Laura York from Tampa, an award-winning cook, television culinary host, cookbook author and founder of So Simple Recipes, has created a new cookbook, So Simple Recipes - Strawberries! It features a wide variety of strawberry recipes from breakfast to dinner, soups to salads, desserts galore and even a Spicy & Sweet Strawberry Bar-b-que Sauce. It’s a tasty addition to the library of anyone who enjoys strawberries. Bonus – they’re all So Simple Recipes! Laura’s new convenient E-book is available beginning March 1, 2017 on Amazon. Also join her on her Facebook page, So Simple Recipes, and visit her website, Pictured: Laura York

Superb Strawberry Almond Tart yield: 8 servings TART SHELL: 3/4 cup flour ½ cup almonds, finely ground 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar ½ cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces ALMOND FILLING: 1/3 cup sugar ¼ cup almonds, finely ground 3/4 cup whipping cream 1 egg, beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ almond extract ¼ teaspoon salt STRAWBERRY CROWN: ½ cup apricot preserves 1 Tablespoon almond liqueur 1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved 1 cup whipped cream 1 strawberry, whole with cap For the tart: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a food processor,* combine flour, ½ cup almonds and powdered sugar; mix well. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Quickly press mixture firmly into an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack and loosen slightly. For the almond filling: Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and ¼ cup almonds; mix well. Add whipping cream, egg, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt; mix well. Pour mixture into cooled tart shell. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until browned. Cool tart in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour. For the strawberry crown: In a small saucepan, combine apricot preserves and almond liqueur; mix well. Place over medium heat and stir until blended, removing any large pieces of apricot. Arrange strawberry halves on top of tart with cut sides down. Spoon the apricot mixture over the strawberries. Remove tart from pan. Spoon dollops of whipped cream around the edge and place one dollop in the center. Top center dollop with a whole strawberry. * You can use a pastry blender to make the crust but a food processor makes it a snap.



It’s a story that no one could have ever predicted. After 17 years in the foster care system with numerous placements in foster homes and group homes, Davion Only had finally found his forever family! It came after taking a big chance and standing up in front a local church to ask for “someone...anyone to please adopt him.” The story hit the news and Davion was an overnight sensation with a reported 10,000 potential families calling to become his family. Both he and his adoption advocate, me, appeared on The View and the world watched with anticipation Davion get his family. But there is much more to the story and the resulting “The Davion Effect.” Davion was a child the system had forgotten over the years. As a baby, he lived in his first foster home for over seven years before it was closed down for issues of neglect and abuse. At that point, Davion was moved from home to home and he struggled with anger and feelings of being lost and unloved. After all that, eight years later, he was determined to find the family he had always dreamed of. At times he doubted anyone would come, but Davion’s faith in God kept him strong and he did not give up. When the story went viral, Davion felt special, like this was going to change his life for the better. But he didn’t get that fairy tale ending. He got the nightmare instead. The agency did find him a home, and so he moved to Ohio. But after a short time, it didn’t work out and he was sent back to Florida, alone. In this case forever wasn’t forever at all. The next few months were the loneliest because Davion was placed far away from anyone and anything he knew, including me and his best friend, Taylor. Taylor is another foster boy who lived with me and my daughters and became my adoptive son. Davion and Taylor had become friends while in the system together and shared that bond. So in a last effort to find lasting love within a family, he called me and asked if I would adopt him, too. It was a huge leap of faith for both of us. He simply asked, “Will you adopt me now?” And I said “yes.” His faith and resilience led Davion to our unique family, and he got what we always wanted, a mom who unconditionally loved and accepted him. There was no planning here. But we are sure it was meant to be.

Above: Connie with all of her children. Below: Bestfriends and brothers Taylor and Davion Going (photo by Bob Croslin).

He acknowledges that entering family life as a teenager with a lifetime of pain in the past has been a challenge. Learning to trust is the hardest and there are still moments Davion thinks no one cares and that this could all disappear in a flash. But as the trust in “forever family” increases, these moments of fear decrease. For me, nothing prepared me for the challenges of adoption, even though I worked in child welfare for more than 25 years. The truth is that I am a single mother of two daughters who adopted two teenage boys. We take it day by day, and support each other along our mutual journey as an adoptive family the best we can. Through it all, there is immense joy in watching my family grow.

My story leads me to this next chapter and my new non-profit called The It’s been nearly two years and Davion is now 19 years old and the Adoption Advocacy Center. Taking from my professional and personal Going Family is a family of five. A single mother family of five, and so I experiences, my work is dedicated to creating supports for adoptive want to encourage women out there to know that they can do this, too. families because it’s important for them to know they are not alone. I believe the key is attachment, nurturing and creative flexible parenting, Davion wants to tell other foster kids to never give up and never and so I consult with and help other adoptive families. I also want to say lose hope when it comes to finding a family. He and his brother that children who survive the foster care system have twice the amount of Taylor are bonded not only by their difficult times in foster PTSD than our War Vets. They are not there because they volunteered. care, but by the new challenges of living together as family. One They are there through no fault of their own. There are 100,000 or more moment they’re playing, making up for lost childhood, and the children waiting for an adoptive family. My hope is that we will all come next day they are standing in front of a room full of professionals together to find families who are supported and educated. sharing their stories with the wisdom of adult survivors. Davion dreams of college and becoming a firefighter. It suits him. He likes helping others and as his mom, I know he has a gentle heart.


In the end, Davion found love and his forever family. Together as the Going Family, we all hope to change the world, one child at a time.

Spring 2017  

GoodLiving's Guide to Happy Healthy Kids for Spring 2017

Spring 2017  

GoodLiving's Guide to Happy Healthy Kids for Spring 2017