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Choosing the right child care
Choosing the right child care can be quite overwhelming. All parents want someone that will keep their children safe and protected from harm while nurturing and encouraging them to grow and experience the world around them. The choice of a child care option that will support and promote your child’s healthy development is one of the most important decisions that you will make as a parent. It is up to you to do your research and make an informed decision that will protect your child and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you have made the best choice for you and your child. Currently there is a lack of available child care spaces in Ottawa, so your first call should be to Child Care Information at 613-248-3605 or visit the website at www. childcareinformation.ca. After providing some information, your name will be placed on the Centralized Waiting List. The first question to ask yourself is what type of care your child needs. Here are a few questions to help you narrow your choices: 1. Do you need child care near your home, work or school? 2. Do you need a child care subsidy? 3. Does your child have special needs? 4. What setting does your child need, a home-based program or a child care centre? 5. Where would your child be most comfortable? Try to find at least three child care options that would suit your family and start your research.
Centre-based child care
Child care centres and nursery schools are licensed and governed by the Day Nurseries Act. This ensures uniform minimum standards in areas of health, programming, nutrition, and staffing. Child care centres offer balanced programs of activities for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. Children learn and grow while making friends with other children of the same age. Centre-based staff-child ratios are set by the government based on age. Go to http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/orientation-package-en.pdf for more detailed information. Advantages of centre-based child care: • Staff includes professionals with training in early childhood education, First Aid and CPR. • Activities and the environment are designed for children at different stages of development. • More than one adult is present to care for children. Centre-based care challenges: • Maybe more costly. • Limited availability of spaces.
Carleton Heights Child Care Centre is a non-proﬁt licensed centre, in operation for 25 years. Spaces are available for Preschool, Kindergarten and School Age children ages 2 ½ - 12 years. Full fee and subsidized spaces available. 1660 Prince of Wales Dr. Please call (613) 224-8391 2 December 2012
• Bigger space means more exposure to illnesses. Visit the centre, meet the staff, ask questions and observe what is happening. You can learn a great deal from observing staff and children together. When you visit the centre, here are a few things you may want to look for: • Is the environment clean? • Is the yard fenced and is there a play area for outdoor activities? • Do educators get down to children’s eye level when speaking to them? • Do the children seem happy and busy in what they are doing? • Does the weekly menu get posted and does it adhere to Canada’s Food Guide? • Are there a variety of materials and equipment available? Arrive for your visit with questions that you would like answers for, such as: What are your hours? What training does the staff have? What is the basic cost? Are there any or will there be any additional costs? Are parents encouraged to drop in? Is a subsidy available? Is there a charge for children when on holiday or away? What does a typical day look like? What would you do if my child hits another child? How does the centre communicate with parents?
Home-based child care
Home-based child care is provided in a family-like setting for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children and comes in two types: Licensed private home child care is regulated care with an agency providing support and supervision. Home child care providers are offered training in child development and other relevant topics. Caregivers may provide care for up to five children in their home under the age of 10 including their own children. Unlicensed (informal) home child care allows for the care of a maximum of five children under the age of 10 without a license. This does not include the caregiver’s own children. Parents are responsible for screening the caregiver and choosing a reliable provider. Advantages to home-based child care: • Flexible home environment. • Cost may be less expensive. • Siblings of different ages can be cared for together. Challenges with home-based child care: • Care providers work alone and often long hours. • Unsupervised care providers may not have access to training opportunities. • Only one adult is present to handle any emergencies that arise.
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When visiting a home-based child care option, you will want to: • Talk with the caregiver. • Watch the children and caregiver and see how they interact. • Look at the physical setting, indoors and out: equipment, toys, furniture, adequate toilet facilities, and the condition of the building. • Do the children seem happy and busy in what they are doing? • Is the caregiver warm and friendly? • Ask about activities and television usage. Questions to consider: How did you get started as a home child care provider? What training or experience do you have in caring for children? Is your CPR/First Aid up-to-date? What kinds of things do you do with the children? What are your hours and are they flexible? What is the cost? Are there any additional charges? Is there a charge for children when they are away? What would you do if my child hit another child? Do you have references that I can call? Start your search early. The more knowledgeable you are, the more research you do, the better prepared you are, the more protected your child will be. For further information please contact: • Child Care Information and the Centralized Waiting List at 613-248-3605 or www.childcareinformation.ca • Child Care Connection 613-749-5211 www.ccprn.com • Parents Exploring Daycare options 613-725-2040 www.childrensvillage.on.ca • Parent Resource Centre Information Line 613-565-2467 x 222 www.parentresource.ca
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CPcaringforkids By Dr. Danielle Grenier
Keeping your busy toddler safe
Q: I have a busy two-year-old at home. He’s into and curious about everything. How can I keep him safe? A: Here are some basics to keep in mind: • Be prepared for new skills: Your child’s risk of injury depends, in part, on his physical development and thinking and remembering skills. For example, does he enjoy climbing? Can he pull a chair over to a counter or stove? Can he open the door by himself to go outside or into the bathroom? Think ahead and prepare before a situation becomes dangerous. • Actively supervise: Be aware of where your child is and what he is doing. • Monitor the spaces your child lives and plays in: What aspects of your home might pose a risk to your child? Look at your living spaces from your child’s perspective. This will help you take steps to make him safer. • Keep cords wound up and put away, electrical outlets covered with safety caps and drawers closed and latched when you aren’t using them. • Prevent access to certain areas that are more dangerous – such as a backyard pool or a home workshop that has tools in it – until your child is old enough to use them safely. • Keep hot liquids away from the edge of the counter, and off tables with a tablecloth or runner, so your child can’t accidentally pull them down. • Sharp objects such as knives and razors should always be stored out of reach. Your preschooler is becoming more coordinated and independent. He’s also gaining a better understanding of his own safety. You can talk to him about things that are safe or unsafe, and about family rules that he can understand and see everyone following. When it comes to safety, your preschooler can: • Learn basic rules and recognize when they aren’t being followed. • Learn safe or unsafe behaviours from other children. • Use “imaginative logic.” That means he might not look both ways before crossing the street at a crosswalk if he’s heard that a crosswalk is “safe.” • Tell you when he’s afraid for himself or others. But he still cannot: • Understand or recognize a new or unknown risk. • Always remember rules when excited, in a situation that requires him to process many pieces of information, or caught up in active play. • Judge the distance or speed of objects. These skills develop later. • Always control himself when he hears “no” or is asked to slow down. • Always make the connection between action and result. Introducing basic rules for safety, following them yourself, and helping your children understand them is important.
A good safety rule is: • Simple, clear and ageappropriate, so that your child understands. • Consistent. If a rule isn’t applied in the same way over and over, your child will think it has no meaning and will be less likely to follow it. • Reasonable. A random rule – which can’t be easily explained or doesn’t seem to have a cause or effect/consequence – is easy to forget and may not matter much. • Reinforced. When your child behaves safely without prompting, offer praise: “Great job picking up these toys,” or “Thanks for looking out for your little sister by picking up your toys.” • Shared. Everyone in the family knows the rule, follows it and helps others to follow it too. • Positive. Say, “We walk when we’re at the wading pool,” rather than “No running.” If a child hears “no” more than “yes” when you set safety rules, he’ll be more tempted to test them. Also, it’s helpful to tell children what they should do, rather than just what they should not do. • Not scary. A child shouldn’t be discouraged or scared into behaving safely. • Has consequences if not followed. If restating a safety rule with a gentle warning doesn’t work, remove your child from the activity. Be sure to follow through on consequences. Teach your preschooler to follow these basic safety rules: • “Stop, look and listen” when his name is called out loud. Listening and following your instructions are important first steps. “No” means “Stop and look at me.” “Okay” means “Go.” This rule is especially important around traffic, in the playground, on outings or during water play. • Don’t cross the street without an adult. • Hazard symbols mean “Danger. Stay away.” Ask your child to come and get you if he finds a product marked this way:
• Prevent trips and falls by picking up toys after play and keep the stairs and hallway floor clear of toys, clothing and shoes. • Hold the handrail and turn on a light before going up or down stairs. • Turn the cold water faucet on first when washing hands at the sink. • Ask an adult before opening bottles or containers. • Keep small objects and toys (anything small enough to fit inside an empty toilet roll) away from a younger child. • Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, but take it off before playing on a playground. • Don’t ever go into water (for example a pool, lake or river) without an adult. • Avoid climbing or pulling on big pieces of furniture. • An adult needs to be present to use the oven or the stove. • Ask for help if you need to plug something in. Your preschooler loves to learn. He will be very open to basic safety routines if they are part of a family activity, talked about, practised and shared. Dr. Danielle Grenier is a general paediatrician in the Ottawa area. She is Medical Affairs Director for the Canadian Paediatric Society. For more information on your child’s growth and development, get answers from Canada’s paediatric experts www.caringforkids. cps.ca or www.soinsdenosenfants.cps.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter @CaringforKids or on Facebook www.facebook.com/ CaringforKids
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CPthebearfacts www.capitalparent.ca PUBLISHER MARK SUTCLIFFE firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR JAYNE ROONEY 613-238-1818 Ext. 279 email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO THE CANADIAN PAEDIATRIC SOCIETY CITY OF OTTAWA PREGNANCY & CHILD HEALTH PROGRAM THE ADLERIAN COUNSELLING & CONSULTING GROUP THE PARENT RESOURCE CENTRE KATHARINE FLETCHER Sheryl Bennett-Wilson GRAPHIC DESIGN and PRODUCTION Cover Photo BILLIE MACDONALD ADVERTISING Mike Beard 613-238-1818 Ext. 270 V.P. SALES TERRY TYO 613-238-1818 Ext. 268 firstname.lastname@example.org CAPITAL PARENT IS PUBLISHED BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MARK SUTCLIFFE PRESIDENT MICHAEL CURRAN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER DONNA NEIL OFFICE LOCATION: 250 CITY CENTRE DRIVE SUITE 500, OTTAWA MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 3814, STATION C OTTAWA, ON K1Y 4J8 4 December 2012
Rev up your child’s immune system Another way to help your child stay healthy is to make sure that she gets moving! “Studies show that regular, moderate exercise does wonders to boost the immune system,” says Dr. Colley. “Try to aim for 90 minutes of physical activity per day.” But it doesn’t have to be 90 consecutive minutes of soccer or hockey. Activities such as walking to school, playing at the park, kicking a ball around or even just dancing, get your heart pumping and all add up.
Liam opened his lunchbox and cried with joy! In it he had found all the sugary snacks and gooey fake fruit he’s grown to love. Sitting next to him, Sophie opened her own lunchbox and happily found a thermos of chicken and rice soup (her favourite!), some whole grain crackers, a few carrots, some raisins and a container of milk. Now, guess which child has the better odds at staying healthy during flu season? “Healthy lunches help ensure healthy kids,” says Dr. Rachel Colley, a Research Scientist with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute. “Your child’s immune system needs all the help it can get to stay healthy and fight off germs, and good, healthy food goes a long way towards achieving that.” One place to start is by replacing sugary drinks (fruit cocktails) and pop with milk, soy milk or good old water. “That’s an easy switch that children won’t notice too much but it will have a positive effect on their bodies,” adds Dr. Colley. “Another idea is to increase the fibre content in your child’s lunch by replacing white bread with whole wheat pita, bread or wraps.” Dr. Colley recommends that you should try to aim for at least one serving of vegetables (cucumbers, carrot sticks, celery, peas in a pod, broccoli or cauliflower) and one serving of fruit (think an apple or unsweetened apple sauce, banana, melon, grapes, dried cranberries or apricots) in each lunchbox. A serving size of fruit is a medium-sized apple or banana. For vegetables, aim for 125 mL (or 1/2 cup) – the size of a hockey puck. And if you add some protein in the form of a piece of chicken, some hummus, tuna, a little ham or a hard-boiled egg, then you are doing everything you can to help your child’s mind and body perform as it should.
“And another very important part to rev up your immunity against viruses or germs is sleep,” adds Dr. Colley. “Make sure that your child gets all the ZZZZZ’s he or she needs, since our bodies need to sleep to stay healthy and fight illnesses.” For a child between the ages of one and three, that would mean somewhere around 10 to 13 hours of sleep (naps and night time). For preschoolers, it’s around 10 to 12 hours; school-age kids will need nine to 10 hours and teens require at least eight hours and sometimes up to nine or 10 hours. “In the end,” adds Dr. Colley, “remember that Sophie’s lunch is a balanced meal, and provides her with a lot of the nutrients and vitamins her body
All children and youth deserve to have forever families and lifelong connections they can count on. What is a forever family? It’s a lifelong, permanent connection to an adult through adoption, legal custody, kinship care (care by a relative or someone known to the child), or customary care. Having this connection is extremely important as it provides an adult to turn to through all of life’s celebrations and challenges; it’s a safe place to come home to, and a sense of stability, all of which are so important to the development of a child. There are more than 8,000 children and youth in the care of Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies who are looking for their forever family. The majority of these children are between the ages of 13 and 18, yet they represent a small percentage of those being adopted. Last year, this age group represented 61% of the 8,000 children needing permanent families, yet only 3.6% of these children were adopted through Ontario’s public adoption system. Regardless of their age or situation, all children need a permanent connection, so last June the government of Ontario announced subsidies to families who adopt or become legal custodians to sibling groups, and/or youth over the age of 10. Some of the children needing forever families are siblings hoping to stay together. Farion and
Tracy knew they wanted to grow their family but didn’t know how special the connection to their children would be. “Although we are grateful to have each other, somehow we felt that something was missing from our lives. Like a puzzle that isn’t quite complete without the last piece. That is until we met siblings Katie and Barry. “Having these children to share our lives with is such a great gift. At the end of the day we want our children to know that they will always have a place where they feel safe and loved. We’ve found the piece that was missing from our puzzle,” says Farion and Tracy. Other children needing forever families are children with special needs. For Becky and Mitchell*, adoption came as an unexpected surprise. “One of the students in a special needs class I came to work at was living in a foster home, the same home he had been living in since he was a year old. When the placement suddenly became disrupted, he was abruptly moved to a new home and his world turned upside down. David returned to school after this a very scared and confused little boy. He would make comments about just wanting a family to love him, and didn’t want to go ‘home’. Mitchell and I knew David had to be a part of our family.
needs; as opposed to Liam who will get hungry shortly after his meal because he has nothing to truly sustain him. And too much sugar and fat will actually work against his immune system.” So, if you feed you kids healthy meals, encourage them to aim for at least 90 minutes of physical activity per day, and ensure that they get a good night’s sleep, you will help their little bodies strengthen their immune system and help keep them healthy and strong during flu season. • For more information on healthy lunch ideas, visit: www.eatRightOntario.ca and www.dietitians.ca and look for the “Cool lunches that kids will eat” factsheet. • For more information on raising active kids, visit: www.activehealthykids.ca and www.phacaspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/fitness • For more information on HALO, visit www. cheori.org
CHEO is looking for nominations for the Healthy Kids award
Adoption is an option
Do you know someone in the community who helps and encourages children and youth, or advocates on their behalf? If you do, now is your chance to make a nomination for CHEO’s Healthy Kids award. Winners can include coaches, teachers, students, volunteers, community groups, advocates, health service providers, social service agencies or companies who are going the ‘extra mile’ to help kids be healthy and safe. Individuals can nominate themselves or another important person in the community who continues to promote healthy living and has made a difference in children’s lives. The deadline for applications is Jan. 31, 2013. Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and will be honoured on March 21 at the Healthy Kids awards ceremony. For more information or to make a nomination please visit www.cheo.on.ca/healthykids
Farion and Tracy with adopted siblings Katie and Barry. “Later we met Sam who has cerebral palsy. Of course, Mitchell and I couldn’t resist falling for Sam as well, and we started making inquiries about adopting him in the fall of that year. We wouldn’t change the path that let us to be the parents of these amazing people.” For information on adopting through Ontario’s public adoption system visit www.useyourvoice.ca To read the announcement on Government of Ontario subsidies for sibling groups and/or children over the age of 10 visit http://bit.ly/SVRE9z *Names have been changed to protect privacy
Cover story by Sheryl Bennett-Wilson
When Michel Bourgeau purchased a Wiggles DVD for his two-year-old daughter Mimi, in his wildest dreams he never thought that some eight years later she would be dancing on their next DVD! He originally thought: four guys in coloured tops? She’s not going to like this. But Michel and his wife Anne couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did Mimi love it, she started dancing and singing to the music. She also began learning English words from the DVD. A few months later, Michel took his dancing daughter to a Wiggles’ show. Not only did the family get to meet all the Wiggles, but they really hit it off with Anthony, the blue Wiggle. Mimi was in heaven! Now, of course, they had to keep going to shows and the Wiggles always remembered Mimi and would wave and say “Hi” from the stage. They even dedicated a Celine Dion impression to the family and two years ago invited Michel up on stage to play guitar. And when the Wiggles arrived back in Ottawa for a concert last month, they phoned Mimi and her parents. But it was more than a hello call. Michel went out for dinner with Anthony and the new Wiggles, including Emma Watkins, the first woman Wiggle, and found out that Emma and Mimi had something in common – ballet. While at dinner, Anthony asked Michel if he thought Mimi would consider dancing on a new DVD with the Wiggles.
Mimi was ecstatic, hugely surprised and a little intimidated. She was going to have to learn the moves from Katarina, the Wiggles choreographer, quickly. The minute-and-a-halfpiece was a bit challenging to learn, but as Mimi says, “I’ve been taking ballet lessons since I was four. Now I’m doing competitions. So I just focused like I focus for competing. But I was still a bit nervous!” Emma did a short interview with her in French and showed Mimi a picture of her taking her Grade Four ballet exam. Mimi told Emma how she Photo: Michel Bourgeau would be doing her Grade 11-year-old Mimi Bourgeau of Gatineau Four exam next March. performs with the Wiggles on a new Then the ballet piece was shot with all DVD which will be released in late 2013. the Wiggles participating. Needless to say, Mimi says this has really boasted her confidence in her dancing abilities. She says it’s kind of nice to be congratulated by the staff and students at the Greta Leeming School of Dance where she also takes tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. So, has the idea of dancing professionally crossed this well-grounded 11-year-old’s mind? Sure. But right now Mimi just does it for fun. But who knows where dancing might lead when that Wiggles DVD 1 her FREE comes out in late 2013!
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Suicide is a tragic reality – especially among the youth population. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, suicide is the second leading cause of death of youth between the ages of 10 and 24 in Canada. The teenage years can be a difficult time of much change and transition and with that comes many additional stressors. Unfortunately, being unable to deal with these additional stressors can cause youth to turn to suicide. But suicide is never the answer. Some of the warning signs that may indicate suicidal thoughts include: • Withdrawal from family and friends. • Lack of interest in school, work or hobbies. • Behaviour that is out of character. • Increase in risky behaviour. • Substance abuse. • Increased mood swings, aggression and “flat” mood. • Giving away prized belongings. • Dark themes in poetry, art $or 10 flwriting. oat registra • Feelings of depression, hopelessness and helption fee* lessness. • Changes in sleeping, eating or personal hygiene. • Talking about death or suicide. • Having a plan on how to commit suicide.
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If you see any of these warning signs, there are things you can do to help: • First, confront it. If you suspect suicidal thoughts, don’t be afraid to ask directly if he or she is considering suicide. You cannot make someone more suicidal by asking about it. Suicide is not an idea you can put in someone’s head. • Listen with an open mind. Do not judge. • Don’t lessen or dismiss any of his feelings. • Tell him that you really care about him. Express that he matters to you. Clearly tell him that you want to help in any way that you can. • Do not promise to keep his thoughts of suicide a secret. When a life is at risk, you must tell someone. • Getting outside help is critical. Contact your family doctor, a mental health professional, a crisis line, or go to the closest emergency room. If there is immediate danger, call 911. • Stay in contact. Check in to see how he is doing. Be sure to offer praise for his courage to get help. Suicide will not go away unless we create an open dialogue, and support those in need. If you or someone you know is in need, please do not hesitate to contact the following: • YSB 24/7 Crisis Line: 613-260-2360 • Distress Centre Ottawa and Region: A $ A Reg ctreFas 10 fl 613-238-3311 Act Reg ct Fas istr gistt, oat Reg Outaouais F t, Lim ati rat is • Tel-aide – Gatineau: istr ast, ited feoen* ion Lim trati 819-775-3223 Lim 613-741-6433 ati ited on * Ottawa: o ite n *
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Creating balance and self-care for the holiday season
By Marion Balla, The Adlerian Team
In the busyness of preparing for the holiday season, do you wonder why it has become so complex and so stressful? Is there time to reflect on the meaning of all of the traditions, rituals and the people connected or disconnected from you since last year? The holiday season is about teaching the next generation the meaning of family, of being generous to others, of supporting family members who may be struggling with health, financial or emotional stress. It’s about learning that there are many different ways to celebrate holidays, at different times of the year based on very different belief systems. It’s about gratitude for the people, the possessions and the gifts as well as the completion of another year filled with joy, pain, struggles and celebrations. It’s about simplicity and knowing that it is the little things that make the difference. It’s about recreating some of the rituals from our childhood homes so they can be passed on to the next generation. It’s about laughter at how silly our expectations are to do it all, be it all, and have it all. It is important to review your expectations as you begin planning your “to do” list. How many “shoulds” are on your list? How many choices are you making that allow you to enjoy and pace yourself throughout this season? Here are some questions that you can ask yourself which may create balance for yourself
and assist with difficult decisions: “What is the worst thing that will happen if I do not do this task?” “How can I simplify my life today?” “What can I eliminate or delegate?” “What am I doing that is fun and uplifting in my planning and preparations?” “With whom am I spending time who makes me laugh, gives me perspective and helps me feel good about what I do accomplish?” Self-care is an essential part of this hectic time. Some strategies for self-care could be creating lists that are realistic, letting go of trying to make everything perfect for others at your own expense, involving others to share in your lists (even if they grumble) and laughing at your dream to finish everything early this year. Being fully present each day and celebrating what you do accomplish will make this time a positive and rewarding experience. The holiday season is a time of reflection and cherishing the gifts we frequently take for granted – our loved ones, our health, our learning, our persistence, our growth, our strengths and our commitment to making the world a healthy and loving place for ourselves and others. Enjoy the moments of this holiday season and keep it simple and loving! Marion Balla is President of the Adlerian Counselling and Counselling Group, Inc. where she offers individual, couple and family counselling to the community. Further she facilitates workshops, courses and seminars focused on constructive approaches to human relationships in the family, workplace and community. Please write to us at email@example.com, or call 613737-5553 with your suggestions, reactions or ideas for this column. We are located at The Adlerian Centre at 1729 Bank Street, Suite 205, Ottawa, K1V 7Z5. www.adleriancentre.com
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Canadian Dolls for Canadian Girls!
PRODUCED BY KOBA ENTERTAINMENT
Max & Ruby © Rosemary Wells. Licensed by Nelvana Limited. NELVANA is a registered trademark of Nelvana Limited. CORUS is a trademark of Corus Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
Maplelea Girls and NEW Maplelea Friends
December 18 Centrepointe Theatre
18-inch vinyl play dolls with over 180 accessory sets. Each of the six Maplelea Girl characters comes with a 64-page story journal that is different from the journal of the other ﬁve Maplelea Girls. The twelve new Maplelea Friends come with a ﬁll-in journal for you create her own story.
FLAT FEE SHIPPING $9.00
Any size order, anywhere in Canada! Products sold by catalogue and online. Not available in stores.
ON SALE NOW
Call 613.580.2700 or 1.866.752.5231 or visit www.centrepointetheatre.com www.MaxAndRubyOnTour.com
Maplelea GirlsTM – Canadian Dolls for Canadian Girls
www.maplelea.com 1-800-668-4339 December 2012 7
CPadventurezone By Katharine Fletcher
Learning about birds
With the holiday season fast approaching, children’s excitement is growing exponentially. What to do to keep our kids active, outdoors? It’s easy: youngsters love animals so it’s time to get outside, in your backyard, to welcome birds to feeders. Want to head outside and find them in our urban parks? Head to the Arboretum and the adjacent Fletcher Wildlife Garden at the Central Experimental Farm, super destinations where you’ll discover many birds. Both places have an abundance of trees and shrubs providing both food (seeds, fruit, nuts) and shelter for birds – and many are clearly labelled. Why feed birds? This summer’s drought prevented some trees and shrubs from producing their normal blossoms, seeds and fruit. Hence, wildlife will have to compete all the harder for food this winter. And so it means feeding birds makes a lot of sense.
Photo: Eric Fletcher
Kids are interested in animals, so we can channel some of their energy into an ongoing winter learning project, where they learn about species of birds, and how different species need different types of food. When you think about it you’ll realize how different birds are. For example, common Ottawa species such as downy woodpeckers don’t resemble chickadees or mourning doves, so it’s no wonder they prefer different types of feeders as well as food. Woodpeckers: Two woodpecker species (downy and hairy) are common. The downy is smaller than its cousin, but both feed on insects, and you can observe them drilling their sharp short beaks into the bark of trees. While woodpeckers primarily feed on insects, I’ve seen them noshing on sunflower seeds – and they adore suet, as do chickadees, American goldfinches, and nuthatches (those little birds that hunt “upside-down” on tree trunks for insects). Tip: Don’t feed suet to birds in a plastic mesh bag. I once found a bird’s leg entangled in the mesh – the poor thing had torn its leg off, trying to escape. Instead, buy a plastic-covered wire container specially designed to hold a cake of pressed suet, which you’ll find at many grocery, hardware, and garden stores. Finches: American goldfinches adore niger (also spelled nyger, nyjer) seed. Because they are so tiny, they require special light-weight, tube-shaped feeders easily suspended from tree branches – or another feeder. Perches stick out of the clear plastic, enabling the finches to eat from little slits in the tube. Other niger seed feeders can fit onto a window with suction cups. Chickadees, cardinals, blue jays: Who says Canadian birds aren’t exotic? Scarlet cardinals and brilliant blue jays offer stunning colour on a bleak winter’s day, while perky black-capped chickadees delight children with their cheerful-looking antics. All like sunflower seeds.
A platform (flat-bottomed) or else a suspended feeder dispenses sunflower seeds to these birds. Blue jays also like peanuts. Tip: Beware of offering peanuts because they’re a special magnet to squirrels, which can become pests nesting in attics, digging up tulip bulbs come spring, and so on. So give feeding peanuts careful consideration. Mourning doves: These ground-feeding birds are named for their mournful-sounding call. Look at their shape, which resembles a streamlined pigeon, and you’ll realize they cannot cope with tubeshaped hanging feeders. Instead use a platform feeder, however their preference is to feed on the ground. Do you or your neighbours have cats? If so, take care! It’s not fair to put food on the ground if cats can ambush and kill the birds. Tip: Hang flat-bottomed feeding stations away from dense shrubs which can camouflage cats. Speaking of shelter … do consider how to attract and shelter your bird guests. For instance, if you celebrate Christmas, recycle your tree by placing it in the snow beside your feeder. This way, birds can flit from the tree to the feeder – and your children will realize that the Christmas tree can have an extended life. Silhouette on window: A window-mounted feeder allows children to get a close-up view of chickadees, finches and other birds while they jostle for the best seeds. However, birds can fly into a window pane because they cannot see it. Injuries can be reduced by putting an owl or hawk silhouette on your window. You can purchase one, or have a craft day and make a silhouette with your kids. Height of snow = feeder’s height: Snow can be deep here, so plan ahead how high to hang feeders. Remember you’ll need to be able to reach them to restock the food! This can be troublesome for adults, let alone height-challenged youngsters, so be ready with a sturdy stepladder to help. Or, devise a rope pulley system which you and your older children can design and install.
n today’s busy world, we, as parents, often try to give our children all we can. As adults we don’t often realize that what children need most is love, discipline and education. At Future Scholars Montessori Academy Inc., the staff offers all three. We follow in the teachings of Maria Montessori in offering the children freedom and independence to explore their environment and draw their conclusions about the world. In order to prepare the children for a world of tomorrow, we at FSMA instill the children with a sense of self, discipline, independence and most importantly curiosity about the world. Future Scholars Montessori Academy Inc. offers Montessori education to three levels of students, Infant (6 months through 18 months), Toddler (18 months through 3 years) and Casa (3 years through 6 years). FSMA supplements the full Montessori curriculum, by offering its Casa students lessons in gymnastics and swimming. Children in all age groups will enjoy lessons in Kindermusik.
Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary Grades Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary Grades Preschool, Kindergarten, Grades Before & after school supervisionElementary To register or arrange a school Extended program Before &French & after after schoolsupervision supervision tour, please call or email Before school To register or arrange Independent, non-profit co-ed school Extended French program Extended French program tour, please call or em Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, Independent, non-profit co-edschool school Independent, dance, science, jiunon-profit jitsu & violin co-ed email@example.com Low student-to-teacher ratio Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, www.fernhillottawa.com Advanced preschool literacy program dance, science, science, jiujitsu jitsu violin dance, jiu &&violin Diverse international student community principal@fernhillott Low student-to-teacher student-to-teacherratio ratio Low 50 Vaughan Street, Flexible full & half day programs Advanced preschool literacy program www.fernhillotta Advanced preschool program Ottawa, ON K1M 1X1 Enriched curriculum: Music,literacy Art, IT, French, Spanish
Diverse international internationalstudent student community Diverse community Flexiblefull full&&half halfday dayprograms programs Flexible Enriched curriculum: Music, Art, French, Spanish Enriched curriculum: Music, Art, IT,IT, French, Spanish
To register or arrange a school tour, please call or email
613.746.0255 For more information call (613) 613-244-FSMA (3762) www.futurescholarsmontessori.com 1000 Brookfield Avenue (off Heron at Kaladar) 8 December 2012
firstname.lastname@example.org www.fernhillottawa.com 50 Vaughan Street, Ottawa, ON K1M 1X1
50 Vaughan Stree Ottawa, ON K1M 1
CPparenteducation Compiled by The Parent Resource Centre
For Parents The Baby Group: Looking for a relaxed place to meet other new parents? Want to find out about other resources in the community? Need support with your new parenting role? Join the Baby Group. We provide a welcoming space for parents to connect and share their stories. Thursdays, 1:30-3 pm, Parent Resource Centre 300 Goulburn Private. Info: www.parentresource.ca Contact: Erin 613-565-2467 x 226 From Baby Food to Table Food: Wondering how much food your older baby needs? What are some of the feeding challenges? Looking for recipe ideas? For parents of babies aged 10-18 months at the time of the workshop. Mon., Nov. 19, 1:30-3:30 pm, OEYC Carleton, 2 MacNeil Court. Info: www.wocrc.ca Contact: 613-591-3686 x 545 Active Parents – The Middle Years: This interactive, multi-model approach will go over topics such as: communicating effectively with children, encourage the development of selfesteem and character, redirect misbehaviour and sidestep power struggles and explore and encourage non-violent conflict resolution. For parents who have children aged six-12 years. Tuesdays, Nov. 20 to Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Michelle Crogie 613-820-4922 x 3323 Parenting with Confidence: If you are a parent who is involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa and you have children between the ages of six and 12, come and join us to talk about: managing stress, successful communication, discipline that works and lots more. Wednesdays, Nov. 21 to Jan 30 (Dec. 26. excluded), 6:30-8:30 pm, Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Info: www.familyservicesottawa.org Contact: Intake 613-725-3601 x 207 Caring for a Sick Baby: Learn from our Registered Nurse what to keep in your medicine cabinet, how to assess, comfort and treat a sick baby and what signs indicate it is time to visit the doctor or hospital. Better to be prepared! Ideal for parents of children aged less than two years. Wed., Nov. 21, PinecrestQueensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Michelle Crogie 613-820-4922 x 3323 Boys and Learning: Boys learn differently from girls. They like different toys and books and they simply engage the world in their own way. This workshop will explore the different ways that parents can develop their boys’ interests and strengths using an inquiry-based approach to learning and is perfect for both men and women. Thurs., Nov. 22, 6:30-8 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Parenting your Anxious Child: Topics include: understanding anxiety, childfriendly strategies to reduce anxiety, coping strategies for parents, where to go for more
resources. Mondays, Nov. 26 to Dec. 10, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Fee: $75. Info: www.familyservicesottawa.org Contact: Intake 613-725-3601 x 207 Girls Learn Differently: The way that girls learn is often different from the way that boys learn. This workshop looks at the ways that girls learn and offers parents practical tips on how to promote learning. As part of the discussion, we will examine literacy, numeracy and science. Thurs., Dec. 6, 6:30-8 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0
For Parents/Caregivers (children aged birth to 6) Limits Help Children Grow: Setting limits help children grow and develop. Mon., Nov. 19, 6:30-8:30 pm, OEYC Carleton, 2 MacNeil Court, Kanata. Info: www.wocrc.ca Contact: 613-591-3686 x 545 Healthy Eating For Young Children: Come and join a community dietician in discussing ways to help your child to develop a healthy relationship with food. Wed., Nov. 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, OEYC Ottawa-South, 2330 Don Reid Drive. Info: www.afchildcare.on.ca Contact: 613-737-6369 Talking Kids: This workshop is useful for families who have specific concerns about their child’s language development and focuses on the speech and language milestones of children 0-five years. Childcare can be provided if needed, please inquire when registering. Wed., Nov 28, 6-8 pm, OEYC Ottawa-South, 2330 Don Reid Drive. Info: www.afchildcare.on.ca Contact: 613-737-6369 Choosing Child Care: This workshop is designed to help parents searching for child care in the city of Ottawa. Child Care Information will offer an overview of the different child care options available. We will also provide tools to assist parents in making an informed decision and also how to register your child on the centralized waiting list. Wed., Nov. 28, 7-8:30 pm, 105-240 Centrum Blvd, Orleans. Info: www.crcoc.ca Contact: Rita 613-830-4357 x 302 Caring for a Sick Child: Join us for this workshop and learn what to do when caring for a sick child, when to call the doctor etc. Tues., Dec. 4, 9:30-11:30 am, OEYC Carleton, 2 MacNeil Court. Info: www.wocrc.ca Contact: 613-591-3686 x 545
For Parents/Caregivers and their Children YOGA: Our multimedia yoga class provides a fun and uplifting space for parents and children to enjoy a new and relaxing activity together. You will do various yoga poses, breath work, mediation, singing, art, movement to music, drama, storytelling and props are used to engage the children. For children aged two to six years. Mon., Nov. 19, 2-3 pm, Mothercraft
Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Zumba With Kids: This workshop is for moms and dads and children aged two to six years. A dance-fitness workout that gets kids moving and having fun! Wed., Nov. 21, 2:15-3:15 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Postnatal Zumba: Classes feature exotic rhythms set to high-energy Latin and international beats. For parents and babies aged 0-12 months. Bring water and a towel. Wed., Dec 12, 1-2 OR 2:15-3:15 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa,475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0
Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga for Mom and Baby: Me and My Baby Series. Mom will stretch muscles used while nursing and carrying baby. Work on postpartum toning. Learn tools to relax and deal with lack of sleep. Baby will enjoy songs and gentle exercises for relieving gas and strengthening tiny muscles. For infants up to the creeping stage. Mon., Nov 19, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Baby Talk: Me and My Baby Series. Learn about Speech and language milestones. Concrete ways and activities to promote your baby’s speech and language development. Mon., Nov. 26, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Prenatal Breastfeeding: Me and My Baby Series. Given by a Lactation Consultant, you will learn: tips to help start breastfeeding, breastfeeding positions, signs your baby is breastfeeding well, general breast care, expressing milk, storing breast milk, encouragement to get breastfeeding off to a good start and what to do if you run into problems. Wed., Nov 28, 6-8:30 pm, PQCHC, 1365 Richmond Road. Info: www.pqchc.com Contact: Michelle Crogie 613-820-4922 x 640 From Baby Food to Table Food: Me and My Baby Series. Learn strategies to successfully transition children from baby food to table food. Mon., Dec. 3, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Sexuality During Pregnancy & Post-Partum: Join us for an opportunity to learn and discuss some of the physical and emotional changes that might occur and a few solutions. A safe and private group for women only. Thurs., Dec. 6, 6:30-8:30 pm, Mothercraft, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0
Sleep and Routines: Me and My Baby Series. Join us and learn tips on nap and evening bed time routines. Teach your child to self-soothe and how to deal with night wakening. Mon., Dec. 10, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819
Parent/caregiver training A Safe Home Environment: If you have children or look after children, providing safety in your home and around your property is very important. Discover the newest safety products and procedures available to you. Adult participants. Wed., Nov. 28, 6:30-8 pm, 1099 Longfields Drive. Please arrive 10 minutes before starting time. Contact: 613-825-5990
Students’ art to fly high in Canada’s Capital
Students in Grades 5 through 8 (Elementary 5 through Secondary 2 in Quebec) are invited to create and submit a one-of-a-kind banner design to the “Raise Your Voices!” National Student Banner Contest 2013. Designs should represent an issue or topic of importance to Canadian youth. The National Capital Commission (NCC), in partnership with Classroom Connections and the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, is kicking off the fourth edition of “Raise Your Voices!” a cross-Canada classroom public art project. “Through this contest, our youth can share the views that are close to their hearts,” said Guy Laflamme, Senior Vice-President, Capital Experience, Communications and Marketing at the NCC. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2013. The seven winning banners will be professionally produced by the NCC and fly in Major’s Hill Park from May to October, 2013. New this year, the artists who create the top three banners, along with their classmates, will meet with the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, via videoconference, to discuss their banners and how they can participate in building smarter and more caring communities, as well as to share their hopes for the future. To see this year’s winners, and for details about how students can participate in this exciting challenge, visit www.canadascapital.gc.ca/ bannercontest.
December 2012 9
Toy-rrific for 2012 By Marcia MacQuarrie
Match & Explore City (2-5, VTech, $19.99)
Toy shelves are overflowing and ready for holiday shopping – what are you going to buy? Our little toy-testing elves have a few suggestions and here’s a sampling of the best toys from over 350 play-tested this year. Topzy Tumblers Tubtime Boat (6m+, FisherPrice, $19.99)
A fabulous nine-piece “puzzle”. Click each piece into place to hear sounds and fun facts about adult helpers and the places they work. Parents love that once clicked into place, the pieces don’t fall out – great for easy storage. “My son (age two) waits for the “click”, and if the piece doesn’t click he tries a different spot.” – Dorothy Czylyski (parent)
A favourite water toy for a wide age-range. Versatile and popular enough to follow our kidtesters throughout the day from pool to sandbox, and then be back in their hands again at bath time.
Super Hero in a Box (3+, Reeve + Jones, $19.99)
LEGO Friends (6+, LEGO, $various)
A well-made super hero outfit complete with matching cape, cuffs and eye gear. Incredibly popular with our testing families, especially the generic theme that encourages little superheroes to ‘manifest’ different powers as needed. (SAFETY NOTE: Play away from obstacles that might trap a flying cape and pull at your child’s neck.) “I like how the cape is long because it is good for flying and jumping, and it swirls behind my back when I run.” – Chloe (age four) Disney Princess Cinderella Royal Ball Game (3+,Wonderforge, $24.99) A cute twist on matching games. Instead of a spinner, there’s a rotating dance floor, which is so much more magical and fun! Our testers loved collecting character cards and watching to match them to the dancers who stop in front of them. “Added bonus of counting beyond 10! Super cute, and suits a busy lifestyle – took only 10 minutes to play.” – Lisa Gohm (parent)
Don’t Rock the Boat (5+, Patch Products, $19.99)
Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle (3+, Fisher-Price, $79.99)
Easy Steer Sportster (18m+, Step2, $89.99)
Way better than a stroller walk! Parents love the seatbelts, storage areas, quiet-ride wheels and swivel option which makes steering easier. Kids love having their own pretend steering wheel and handy spot for snacks. “This has given us the opportunity to go for long walks again. My son (22 months) no longer tolerates his stroller, but he enjoys riding along in the Sportster while we walk!” – Kim Greenwood (parent) 10 December 2012
Totally awesome! The castle incorporates tons of features to explore, and the toy itself inspires years of imaginative play. But what’s super special about this toy is the way it interacts with addon accessories like the Dragon and Ogre (sold separately @ $50 each). As either approaches the castle, it ignites its own flurry of menace-specific responses as guards call out warnings in heavy Scottish brogue: “Dragon! … Don’t be dinner!” or “Ogre, is that all you’ve got?”… and so on. “The castle is big and you can play with lots of things. I really like when the dragon [sold separately] comes close to the castle and the men yell.” – Ryan (age six)
“I like that I can use my other markers with it because I have more colours. It’s really easy to use and makes really nice drawings.” – Aliyah (age six)
What makes this game a little more challenging than other balancing toys is that the heftyweight penguins make placing them extra tricky. Being even slightly off the optimal spot exaggerates the tippiness of the boat. A fun game with a spark of challenge to keep kids engaged. “The concept is easy, but for young minds it is challenging to figure out where the weight should go to keep the boat balanced.” – Orietta Mirand (parent and teacher) Crayola Marker Airbrush (6+, Crayola, $25.99) Very cool and totally kid-powered! Works like a manually pumped cooking oil sprayer to turn everyday markers into spray art. Best of all, even preschoolers can make it work all by themselves.
While these sets have tremendous appeal, they were quite challenging for our six-year-old testers – all of whom needed help to construct the models. Some would have preferred a set that they could build on their own, but our testers reflected their overall enjoyment by giving these pink and purple LEGOs high marks. “I never used LEGO before, but I really like this one because I like what you have to make and I love the colours of the LEGOs.” – Camilla (age seven)
Monopoly Millionaire (8+, Hasbro, $29.99) The first new Monopoly version our testers actually preferred over the classic original. The biggest attraction is that it plays quick, so you can actually complete a game without playing all night. But this version also introduces a few twists to add interesting new dynamics to an old favourite. “I like how this is a faster game, because you can get it done and have an actual winner.” – Andrew (age 10) Say Anything Family (8+, North Star Games, $24.99) A great game to help create your own entertainment. Players take turns judging the answers fellow players give to questions like “What doesn’t taste better with ketchup?” “Where’s the worst place to lose a contact lens?” and “What should never be put in a toaster?” Then everyone guesses which answer the judge picked, scoring points for a correct guess and for authoring the judge-picked answer. Lots of laughs. Marcia MacQuarrie is the former toy editor for Today’s Parent Magazine (1998-2009) and past Chair of the Ratings and Awards Committee for the Canadian Toy Testing Council. She shares more than 25 years of expertise with parents looking for the best toys they can find. She launched The Noise on Toys website last year and looks forward to making it a definitive voice on children’s playthings in Canada. Visit www.thenoiseontos.com for independent reviews of the best kid-picked and parent-approved toys on the market. To date, there are about 2,000 toys profiled, as well as over 500 new reviews each year. Users can search for specific toys, or generate a list of gift ideas to suit a child’s age and interests – and the purchaser’s budget. TOY TESTERS NEEDED: We’re always looking for more toy-testing families. To find out more, visit www.thenoiseontoys.com/testing
Rentals starting at
Compiled by Jayne Rooney
The Christmas Quiet Book
By Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Renata Liwska (Ages 4+) Published by Houghton Miffin Harcourt The holidays are filled with joyful noise. But Christmas is sometimes wrapped in quiet: “Searching for presents quiet,” and “Hoping for a snowy day quiet.” Soft coloured pencil illustrations of bunnies, owls, bears and more paint a magical holiday picture. Companion to the bestsellers The Quiet Book and The Loud Book!
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A Porcupine in a Pine Tree A Canadian 12 days of Christmas
By Helaine Becker, Illustrated by Werner Zimmerman (Ages 3-7) Published by Scholastic Canada/North Winds Press “Four calling moose, three beaver tails, two caribou and a porcupine in a pine tree . . .” Celebrate Christmas Canadian-style with this hilarious tongue-in-cheek re-setting of the popular Christmas carol. You’ll find squirrels curling, puffins piping, hockey players-aleaping and more.
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The Story of Hanukkah
By David A. Adler, Illustrated by Jill Webber (Ages 4-8) Published by Holiday House No celebration of Hanukkah would be complete without recounting the events of more than two thousand years ago that the holiday commemorates. With simple yet dramatic text and vibrant paintings, the story of the courageous Maccabees and the miracle that took place in the Temple in Jerusalem is retold. For readers who want to continue the festivities, a recipe for latkes and directions for playing dreidel are included.
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A Bit of Applause for Mrs. Claus
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By Jeannie Schick-Jacobowitz, Susie Schick-Pierce and Muffin Drake-Policastro (Ages 4-8) Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky Uh-oh! It’s Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is under the weather! Can Mrs. Claus save Christmas? This is a delightful tale about the woman who deserves a round of cheers for making Christmas possible. Readers will join Mrs. Claus as she hustles and bustles to save Christmas night. From wrapping the last presents to trimming the trees, Mrs. Claus, does it all, just in the nick of time.
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The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate
By Janice Cohn, D.S.W., Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth (Ages 7-11) Published by Albert Whitman & Company It’s Hanukkah, and menorahs glow in the windows of the Schnitzer home in Billings, Montana. Then suddenly, a rock crashes through the window of Isaac Schnitzer’s bedroom. “But why?” Isaac wants to know. “Because we are Jews,” his father tells him. Christmas lights shine in the Hanley home, where Isaac’s friend Teresa and her family decide to do something brave so that the Schnitzers can celebrate their holiday without fear. Janice Cohn’s powerful narrative tells how two children, two families, and a community resolve to stand together against bigotry and acts of hatred. Based on real events that happened in Billings in 1993.
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December 2012 11
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12 December 2012
Published on Nov 20, 2012