Growing Up In the Valley April 2019

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S O U T H W E S T A N D C E N T R A L V I R G I N I A ’ S P R E M I E R F A M I LY R E S O U R C E

growing up Volume 7 Issue 8 • April 2019 • Take One

In the Valley


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Leading Off This issue features all of the winners of our annual Family Favorite Awards! We pulled in more than 45,000 votes during the competition, and we’ve tabulated everything to come up with a list of winners in 52 categories. These winners are the absolute favorites of Roanoke Valley Families. This award means quite a bit for these local businesses, as the recommendation of a fellow parent goes a long way. Please take the time to check out the winners on page 30, and read about some of our featured winners like North Cross, which won in three categories: Favorite Private Elementary School, Favorite Private Middle School, and Favorite Private High School.

Publisher’s Note

We also have some big news: After 72 Issues as Growing Up In the Valley, we’re changing our name! We’ve published more than 750,000 copies of our magazine over the past eight years, and after all of that, we have officially GROWN UP. We’ll tell you more in the May issue— our first as Roanoke Valley Family Magazine! Until then, enjoy the beautiful weather, and thanks for your support!

The Eagan Family

Andrea, Josh, Anika and Evelyn

C ont ac t Us :

P.O. Box 4484, Roanoke, VA 24015 540-251-1660 Proud Members of the Parenting Media Association since 2013! Learn more at

Publishers • Josh & Andrea Eagan • Anika and Evelyn’s Parents

Creative Director • Tracy Fisher • Charlotte and Evelyn’s Mom

Sales Executive • Betsy Day • Hayden and Brady’s Mom

Sales Assistants • Ani & Evie Eagan • Bauer and Chloe’s Owners

Community Relations • Jeanne Lawrence • Parker and Connor’s Mom

Associate Editor • Jacqueline Moon • Elijah’s Mom, and Luke and Blair’s Stepmom

Webmaster • John Morris • COV Designs

Evelyn and Anika getting ready to leave for Bolivia!


Tina Rennick • Kimberly Emory • Jamie Lober Beth Farnsworth • Georgianne Vecellio • Georgianne Vecellio Rachel Levine • Jacqueline Moon • Susan Baldani

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© Copyright 2019 Mofat Publishing


We welcome reader comments, submissions, and the support of advertisers. We reserve the right to refuse or edit any materials submitted to us as we deem inappropriate for our audience. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with any submission to be returned. We do not accept responsibility for unsolicited materials. Growing Up In the Valley and are published by MoFat Publishing. Growing Up In the Valley is published monthly. The views and the opinions expressed by the writers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Growing Up In the Valley, its staff, or its contributors. While multiple businesses, schools, and organizations are represented in our pages, and magazines are often distributed to students according to the policies and procedures of each school district, this is not a publication coordinated or endorsed by any public or private school district, nor is it a publication with any religious or political objectives. As a mass media outlet, it is our oath and responsibility to communicate with due diligence, through our content, the plurality of views and opinions reflected in our audience of Central and Southwest Virginia. Readers are strongly encouraged to verify information with programs and businesses directly. Parents are urged to thoroughly research any decisions involving their children. Copyright 2019 by MoFat Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. All material, including artwork, advertisements, and editorials, may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the publisher.



On The Cover

Nolan Farnsworth, 9, Adrienne Farnsworth, 6, and Raelyn Farnsworth, 4 of Roanoke rolling around Kids Square Children’s Museum at Center in the Square.

Coming in May NEW E T I R O V A F NAME Same Great Magazine 7 Issue 8 Volume 9 April 201




, Ea ping Shop e Go, s to and Mor e c e Pla hcar rite Favo ls, Healt o Scho



Museum Favorite UARE KIDS SQ

New Features - New Look - More Content

April 2019 30 Roanoke Family Favorites Discover the best local businesses for your family as voted by readers!


Become a Fitness Role Model

You can be a healthy example of fitness for your children.


Minimalist Mom

Learn how to live with less.


Drug Take Back Day


Dangers of Underage Drinking

Disposing of unused drugs properly keeps them out of the wrong hands and our waterways.

Children who begin drinking are more likely to abuse alcohol— learn how to protect your child.


About Shingles


It’s Time for Preschool

Shingles is more than an annoying rash.

Do you know what questions to ask on your preschool tour?

In Every Issue: 38 Science Experiment 55 Book Recommendations 47 Family Event Calendar

it’s all smiles at Kids Square Children’s MuseumRoanoke Family Favorite Winner!

56 Kids Eat Free Guide

word on the street

New Roanoke Hospitality House New lodging is in the works for families and caregivers of individuals receiving inpatient care at Roanoke medical centers. The Roanoke Hospitality House is a project in its infancy—still in need of a location—but, once established, will provide an affordable, comfortable place to stay. According to its website (currently a temporary Wix site at terriannejulian.wixsite. com/website), day guests will be able to use common areas for food, laundry, television, or computer use, and staff and volunteers will be on site to assist families and outpatients who stay at the House.

Franklin Road Bridge Opens Roanoke mayor Sherman Lea spoke to a crowd gathered at the ribboncutting ceremony for the newly rebuilt Franklin Road bridge. Originally constructed in 1936, the highly-trafficked bridge connects the Old Southwest neighborhood of Roanoke City with South Roanoke, crossing over eight train tracks. The project started in January 2017. The original bridge, which had been rehabbed

twice during its lifetime, was completely demolished, and a new one built in its place. The new bridge is wider, includes bike lanes, and is lined with sidewalks. You can go to roanokeva. gov/2040/Franklin-Road-BridgeReplacement to watch an eight-minute time-lapse video of the entire process from beginning to end, taken from the Cambria Suites Roof Cam.

Roanoke Valley Gives Success Roanoke Valley Gives 2019 was a huge success. On March 13th, people across the region donated a total of nearly $841,000 to Roanoke Valley nonprofits. The organization with the most money raised overall was Roanoke Catholic School, which received $125,665. Of the organizations classified as medium in size, Lake Christian Ministries raised the most, with $43,295. Of small-size nonprofits, the Prevention Council of Roanoke County was the top recipient, with $16,900. More than 160 organizations were represented on Roanoke Valley Gives day. If you missed it, it isn’t too late to donate to one of these organizations that exist to make our community a better place. Just go to, where you can browse causes by category, learn about the work each organization does, and make secure donations.

The Roanoke Hospitality House’s founder, Terrianne Julian, seeks to team with Roanoke and surrounding communities to make the project a reality through sponsorships and donations of time and money. Information on how to get involved can be found on the House’s website.

Twenty-First Century Farming Virginia Western Community College will be offering an associate’s degree in agriculture starting Fall 2019, according to the school’s website. The flexible, individually tailored program can be transferred to four-year college, “where students can pursue career paths such as extension work, agricultural education, agribusiness and veterinary medicine, for example.” Or, the program can be modified to include technical skills that would be beneficial in home agribusinesses. “The Roanoke Region has a robust agricultural history and we are excited to be offering this truly outstanding program to students,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. By helping individuals develop the skills they need to succeed in a twenty-first century farming and agricultural landscape, he said, the program will have a lasting positive economic impact on the region. The website notes that Western will host a launch event for the new program, featuring guest speakers that include Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Bettina Ring and Delegate Terry L. Austin.

“The Roanoke Region has a robust agricultural history and we are excited to be offering this truly outstanding program to students,” Dr. Robert H. Sandel President of VWCC

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options, job opportunities, shopping, dining, and entertainment choices, and chances to enjoy art and music, all within a short walk.” The benefits, the County says, are healthier lifestyles for residents, environmental responsibility, and having a center of knowledge and innovation. See the entire plan at, and then share your thoughts on the project by April 5th at

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Many studies have shown that abused prescription drugs are accessed from family or friend’s medicine cabinets. That’s why, in 2005, the Drug Enforcement Administration created the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day across the country—to give people an opportunity to prevent drug addiction and overdose fatalities.


Pill abuse can start as young as the age of twelve, so it’s better to err on the side of caution—be responsible with your medications and keep them locked up,


Growing Up

April 2019

In the Roanoke Valley, “National Take Back Day started about nine years ago as a joint effort between RAYSAC [Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition] and the Western Virginia Water Authority. It was a natural partnership, because we want to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and out of our waterways,” said Tracey Coltrain, director of RAYSAC. The events are biannual, every April and October, the last Saturday of the month from ten a.m. to two p.m. There are now thirteen sites in the Roanoke Valley where citizens can return unused, unwanted, or expired drugs.

Prescription Drug Take Back Day isn’t only about prescription drugs—you can also return over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or antacids. “It’s a great way to educate the public about the importance of not flushing your medicines down the toilet or throwing them away,” said Coltrain. At the event, drug disposal kits are handed out and families are taught how to safely dispose of the medication if they cannot wait for a takeback day. “We also teach people about the importance of having any prescription drug that is highly addictive or abused, like hydrocodone, OxyContin, or Xanax, and the importance of locking them up and not leaving them sitting out on a countertop or in a medicine cabinet,” said Coltrain. Pharmacies also provide safe disposal boxes for medicines. Take precautions for kids’ medications as well. “Some children are prescribed Adderall for ADHD, which is highly sought-after because it’s an upper—it can give you lots of energy and help you lose weight,” said Coltrain. Remember not to leave substances in your child’s possession, because it isn’t uncommon for another child to steal them and sell them at school. “If you’re a parent who is prescribed a painkiller or Xanax, your child is likely more aware of what they are and how they can be used to get high than you might think. So don’t leave your medication on the countertop, dresser, or medicine cabinet,” Coltrain said. Be sure to lock up your drugs, and be sure your child and his or her friends don’t have access. Remember also that there are other ways to get rid of medications besides boxes or take back days. “The last resort is to soak them in water and pour them in kitty litter or coffee grounds and throw them away that way,” said Coltrain.

education about alternatives like massage, using heating pads or ice packs, or alternating between acetaminophen and ibuprofen,” Coltrain said. Unfortunately, our country isn’t doing well in terms of drug abuse. “The United States consumes ninety-seven percent of the world’s opioids,” Coltrain noted, “while other countries don’t use them, finding other ways of dealing with pain.” One fact about opioids is that using one substance can escalate into using harder ones. “Four out of five heroin addicts were actually prescribed an opioid by their doctor for wisdom tooth extraction or a sports injury, and that’s how they developed their addiction to heroin,” said Coltrain. It’s a good idea to invest in a lockbox for your medications, even if it’s just for Tylenol. “Pill abuse can start as young as the age of twelve, so it’s better to err on the side of caution—be responsible with your medications and keep them locked up,” Coltrain said. Also, Realtors need to keep their guards up. “There are people who go to open houses and pretend to look at the houses, but go into bathrooms to look through medicine cabinets,” said Coltrain. The elderly population, in particular, is targeted. Here in the Roanoke Valley, we are fortunate to have many community partners working together, as well as prevention coalitions, law enforcement, and even veterinarians and real estate agents helping to kick this problem. There are solutions everyone can participate in. You can easily get a coded lock box or pill pod—pill pods have a knob at the top with a four-number code, which is easy to use even for older clients, Coltrain pointed out.

“We want to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and out of our waterways”

People are starting to ask about alternatives to opioids. “Just because you are prescribed an opioid for pain doesn’t mean you have to take it. We provide

Always keep medications out of your child’s reach, and while you should try to attend a take back day this April, you are now empowered with even more safe strategies to dispose of unnecessary medications year-round.

Growing Up

April 2019


Dangers of UNDERAGE


by Jamie Lober

Young people who begin drinking before age 15 are four times more likely to develop alcohol dependence and are two and a half times more likely to become abusers of alcohol than those who begin drinking at age 21.


ome parents believe that while it isn’t a good idea for youth to drink, it’s not bad for them. However, this couldn’t be further from reality. “Especially in younger folks, we know that alcohol is one of the first drugs they start off with. We find that especially in Roanoke City, alcohol and marijuana are the two drugs of choice,” said Melanie Morris, director of the Roanoke Prevention Alliance at RAYSAC (Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition). The earlier you start the conversation about underage drinking, the better. “We know through research that if you start talking to your child about healthy behaviors, it can change the trajectory of how his or her life will go,” said Morris.

the danger, in fact, is greater. When kids use substances at an early age, Morris explained, they can become addicted quicker since their brain is still developing. They are more susceptible.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention name shortterm health risks from drinking, including injuries, violence, alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviors, and miscarriage, as well as long-term health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, digestive problems, various cancers, learning and memory problems, mental health problems like depression and anxiety, social problems, and alcohol dependence or alcoholism. Kids face peer pressure and influence from their friends, so you want to make sure you know who your teen is spending time with, as well as who those kids’ parents are.

“The community will be stronger as a whole, and we can potentially see less poverty, less violence, and less homelessness.”

You may feel uncomfortable talking about underage drinking, and that’s normal. “We know these are awkward conversations to have, but alcohol is very normalized in the community. When you have normalization, there is more usage and the perception of harm can be lowered,” Morris said. And



Often, kids think they know about alcohol and other substances, but they may not know the facts. “It’s good to remind them




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Growing Up

April 2019

that alcohol is a powerful drug that slows down the body and brain——and it’s illegal for anyone under the age of twenty-one,” said Morris. Set clear rules in your home so your child knows what is expected. You should also talk about how to say no in peer pressure situations and be sure he knows he can call you at any time. Open communication makes a difference, so be willing to answer her questions. “Your child may ask exactly what alcohol does to you, but the main thing we want them to know is that you should not use any substances before age twenty-five, because the brain is still developing and it can cause adverse effects on development, anxiety and behavioral issues, and issues with decision-making skills,” Morris said. Be attentive to your child. Take notice if he is disconnecting himself from friends or hanging out with a different crowd that he doesn’t want you to know about. “If he gets in trouble, there has to be consequences, like volunteering or doing community service to help him know that he did not make the right decision,” said Morris. Getting your child involved in activities like drama, music, or sports can help steer him away from using substances and encourage him to succeed. Simply being aware is beneficial as a parent. “The trends we are

seeing are the rise in e-cigarette usage and vaping, alcohol usage, and marijuana—with states legalizing it, the perception of harm decreases,” she said. Focus on building resiliency. “Children are sometimes affected with adverse childhood experiences, which can drive them towards using substances as a coping mechanism,” said Morris. You want to be sure your child is able to conquer adversity and be empowered, supported, and cheered on. Encourage your child to make better choices by letting her know she is good enough and is loved. That is how she will be able to overcome some things that have happened in her life that she may not have had control over.

conversation. You may want to even roleplay situations to see how he may respond to instances of peer pressure. Try to coach him rather than control him. Once you have done so, encourage other parents to have the same talk. Last, but not least, don’t forget to be a good role model. Know that no matter what you’re doing, your child is watching and possibly planning to follow your lead when it comes to healthy decision-making.

With resilience comes positive changes in the substance use rate and in the environment at large. Morris said, “The community will be stronger as a whole, and we can potentially see less poverty, less violence, and less homelessness.” Get involved in your child’s life and have this

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April 2019


In the Neighborhood Cassy Childress loves teaching children. She’s been working to educate kids in the Roanoke area for the past sixteen years—fifteen of which have been spent with Roanoke City Public Schools. Cassy has taught in several capacities: At Breckinridge Middle School, she spent nine years as a sixth grade science teacher and taught English and math. Now, she serves as a kindergarten teacher at Fallon Park.

Cassy Childress “It is a greater work to educate a child, in the true and larger sense of the word, than to rule a state.” - William Ellery Channing

More than anything, Cassy loves to see the smile on a child’s face when he or she learns to read for the first time. The “Voice of the American Teacher,” Robert John Meehan, said that a teacher who loves teaching teaches a child to love learning, and that’s a perfect description of Cassy Childress. “I truly love each and every kiddo I teach as if they were my own,” she said. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to instill the joy of learning in each and every one of my students.” If she could give one piece of advice to a child about to enter kindergarten, it would be this: “Kindergarten is a magical experience—don’t be scared!” When she’s not teaching, Cassy, who was born and raised in Vinton, loves to spend time with her family. She and her husband, Jason, have two young children: Payten, who just turned eight, and Jackson, who is four. She enjoys watching both Payten and Jackson in their dance classes, loves anything that has to do with being outdoors, and is a huge Virginia Tech fan.

Favorite Movie: Footloose You’d be surprised to learn Cassy worked in the automotive industry for twelve years, and has even built an engine!

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April 2019


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Growing Up

April 2019

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85% of a child’s core brain structure forms before the age of 5,* yet we invest only 4% in early education.

It doesn’t add up.

85% of a child’s core brain structure forms before the age of 5,* yet we invest only 4% in early education.

The first 5 years of life represent the single greatest chance we have to impact a child’s future. Yet we spend the least on our children when they need it most. Investments in early childhood development help reduce teen pregnancies, improve dropout rates, lower crime, and produce a stronger, more productive future workforce.

United Way of Roanoke Valley

It doesn’t

Our children are worth the investment. Help make sure our community makes early childhood development a priority.

*Source: Child and Family Policy Center & Voices for America’s Children, Early Learning Left Out: An Examination of Public Investments in Education and Development by Child Age, 2004

The first 5 years of life represent the single greatest chance we For more information, Beginnings have to impact aplease child’s contact: future. YetSmart we spend the leastGreater on our Roanoke children when they| (540) need it283-2781 the most.| Investments in early childhood development help reduce teen pregnancies, improve dropout rates, lower crime, and produce a stronger, more productive future workforce.

About Shingles by Jamie Lober While you may not hear a lot about shingles, the condition is more common than you might think. “The shingles vaccine is currently difficult to get because it’s new, it’s much different from the original vaccine, and has only been out since about 2017,” said Bill Cundiff, pharmacy director at Friendship Health and Rehab Center. It has changed drastically over the years, he said; it started as a souped-up form of the chicken pox vaccine. “They just made it stronger with the zoster vaccine, and it was better than not getting a shot,”

said Cundiff. Unfortunately, in elderly patients, it tended to wear off over time. So the companies worked to develop a stronger vaccine called Shingrix, and currently, the demand for it is so great that the company can’t make enough of it.

This is a condition that should not be ignored

It’s a good idea to see if you can access this vaccine. “Shingrix is better, does not wear off, and you don’t need a booster at any point down the line,” said Cundiff. When you know what to expect, it goes more smoothly. Cundiff explained that the vaccine

is injected into the muscle, so there is a little bit of pain involved, but it’s minimal compared to the pain that shingles can cause. If you have shingles, you can see and feel it. “It’s a painful rash with a distinctive pattern that runs along a nerve ending. You feel sick, like there’s something going on” that isn’t right, said Cundiff. The chicken pox virus comes back out through the nerves, which is why there is a nerve pattern to the rash. “In years gone by, people tended to ignore things like shingles and didn’t go to the doctor, but it can cause some long-term pain issues if you don’t get it treated up front,” Cundiff cautioned. Be proactive and do your best to take care of yourself—the virus can come back when you’re under stress. The location of shingles can vary. “Typically it will be on your trunk, but it has been seen on the face before and you can get it in your eyes,” he said. If you have questions or concerns about shingles, talk to your doctor. “The recommendation in the United States is that people age fifty and older get the vaccine. Your body does better with the vaccines the younger you are,” said Cundiff. The idea is that while you are younger, your body is generating the immunity you want from it. You’ll probably be sore in the muscle where you receive the immunization, and doctors recommend you take acetaminophen before you even get the shot. But that isn’t a reason not to get the vaccine. There’s no surefire prevention for shingles other than getting the shot and trying to keep stress to a minimum. Be sure to talk to friends and neighbors about the importance of the vaccine and perhaps even try to go together so you have support. “This is a condition that should not be ignored, and anyone over fifty should ask their doctor about it and go ahead and get it,” said Cundiff. We have to respond proactively, since, unfortunately, shingles isn’t going anywhere. “They haven’t been able to eradicate chicken pox, so I think shingles will be around for a while,” said Cundiff. “The vaccine is important.”

Growing Up

April 2019


Roanoke is Everyone:

How SVH Services Integrates Citizens with Learning Challenges into the Community by Jacqueline Moon

About one in six children in the United States is diagnosed with a developmental disability, ranging from mild impairments in speech or language to serious intellectual disabilities. In the past ten years, services have increased in number and in quality for kids with autism and other intellectual or developmental issues—and those services will continue to get better as we learn more about the disabilities and bring awareness to the public. It’s easy to forget, though, that kids with disabilities grow up, and as adults, they’re still in need of help. Many individuals on the autism spectrum both have the desire and the capability to work, to be involved in society, and to live independently. The problem arises when the rest of the community fails to realize their potential. “We serve a great community of people,” said Angie Leonard, CEO of St. Vincent’s Home Services in Roanoke and parent of an adult with autism. SVH Services is a broad and expansive nonprofit that meets the needs of individuals of all ages who have intellectual or developmental learning challenges. The historic organization has its roots as a boys’ orphanage founded in 1893; since then, it has evolved to care for a wide gamut of special-needs people.


Growing Up

April 2019

SVH Services is an umbrella for three organizations—one of these, BRAAC (the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center) is well-known in the community, and the other two are newer: SVH Adult Services and SVH Family Services. Within these organizations are a plethora of support programs—if there is a need, SVH likely has a program to fill it. The programs help in areas like employment for adults with autism, assistance with independent living, daily living skill development, assistance with social activities, in-home support, special education day schools, a community hangout, after-the-diagnosis family training, and more. Right now, SVH Services assists about 250 families in the Roanoke Valley and surrounding areas, and nearly every program has a waiting list.

employee from Adult Services—it’s completely risk-free. An SVH staff member is trained in the job requirements, and then in turn trains the special needs individual. There is a threeday trial period to make sure the employee can handle the necessary tasks, and once employed, SVH services is a phone call away to help deal with any issues that arise. “Give our people a try,” said Leonard. “You’d be surprised at how awesome and great they are. Just include them.”

“Wouldn’t it be great if people could walk down the streets of Roanoke without drawing stares because everyone’s just so included?”

When it comes to employment, SVH Adult Services is there every step of the way. Leonard explained, “We get them employed, and then we provide the services to interview, land a job, and train on the job.” Employers don’t need to feel nervous or unsure about bringing in an

As one parent of a working adult with autism put it recently, people with disabilities are educable, and they’re employable; it just requires patience and a little outside-the-box thinking. Inclusivity is a necessary and important concept with the LGBTQIA+ community, with race, ethnicity, and religion—and is just as necessary and important with the disabled community. “Wouldn’t it be great if people could walk down the streets of Roanoke without drawing stares because everyone’s just so included?” Leonard said. Her vision is absolutely possible and worth striving for. Community engagement is a big focus of SVH Adult Services. “If they want to

go shopping or go do a project together, we’ll take a group out into the community and help make that happen. It’s about community integration,” explained Leonard. And in-home services get people set up in housing and check in on them. “We make sure they’re paying their rent, make sure their food isn’t expiring. We’re in there as much as they need us to be.” SVH Adult Services’ newest program addition is The Hub, an eclectic, technology-rich hangout space in downtown Roanoke. It’s a place for developing social relationships, honing job skills and resumes, and accessing community resources. Similarly, Katie’s Place is a day program that provides education on how to cook, clean, do laundry, garden, and even care for backyard chickens. This program also sets individuals up with half-day volunteer projects at local nonprofits. “They’ll do whatever is needed,” said Leonard, “so the

nonprofits get volunteers, and our people get job skills.” “When you’re over eighteen, services are more scattered than they are when you’re a minor. Simply put, there aren’t enough,” said Leonard. If you happen to be fortunate enough to have a Medicaid waiver, you’re more able to access day-support programs like employment and in-home services. Unfortunately, access to waivers are first-come-first-served, and there is a twelve-thousand-person-strong waiting list for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. “Our state legislators are choosing not to adequately fund the waiver system,” she said, “so people sit on a waiting list with no help. What we do is take people who don’t have a waiver; the money we raise through fundraisers like Run for Donuts helps facilitate their ability to take part in our programs.” The third annual Run for Donuts 5K will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Sherwood Memorial Park in Salem, and registration is now open at (the 5K run is $25 until September 29, when

it will go up to $30 per runner; the Fun Run is $15, and will increase to $20 after September 29). This fundraiser has been a huge hit the past two years; it includes a costume contest and, of course, donuts at the finish line. The proceeds benefit all three SVH Services organizations equally. In addition to Run for Donuts, SVH Services will be hosting the celebratory Light it up Blue for World Autism Day in Elmwood Park on April 2. Let’s show our support and our commitment to inclusivity by being willing to employ adults with unique needs, by making an effort to meet and understand those who are differently abled, by spreading the word about and donating to the programs SVH Services provides, and by hitting the pavement in the Run for Donuts 5K!

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Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir Newcomer Auditions May 2, 3, 4 at Bethel Baptist Church in Salem.

Auditions are open for boys and girls ages 7-17. Singers should come prepared to sing the first verse of, “My Country Tis of Thee”. The audition is quick and fun and takes about 5 minutes. Come and be a part of the excellence and beauty of this award winning, Nationally Recognized youth choir.

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(540) 724 – 6787 • Growing Up April 2019 21


Restroom Review by Georgianne Vecellio

You’re living your life, everything’s good, when suddenly ... the “check engine” light comes on, or you hear a strange thunka thunka sound and end up spending a few hours waiting for your car to be repaired. There are many reasons why you might choose a dealership over a smaller, specialized repair shop, or vice versa. If you can drop your vehicle off and go home (or elsewhere), the customer restrooms might not be much of a consideration. Recently, I found myself in not one, but two automotive repair businesses in one week. The first stop was Thompson Tires on West Main Street in Salem. I needed new brakes, and I wanted someone to check out an odd sound. That required a more than an hour wait, but I hadn’t made arrangements for a ride and I was stuck. I’d also had a couple cups of tea that morning; hence, sooner or later, I needed to find the restroom. Thompson Tires has a comfortable customer lounge, and from my seat I could see the arrows pointing to the restrooms. I went through the doors into the shop area and found the women’s room. It’s a fairly clean, single-occupant restroom with the basics, and there is sufficient room for a stroller. There is no coat hook, but there is a table near the toilet where you can set a coat or bag. A cool thing about the table: it looks like it’s from a funky ‘70s nightclub! Unfortunately, it isn’t sturdy enough to use as a changing table if needed, and it’s the only surface in the room. Its placement in front of the toilet could potentially cause problems with accessibility. Paper towels and the


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trashcan are near the door for those of us who prefer to use a towel to turn the doorknob. I could admonish Thompson Tires for the dim light, cobwebs, and whiff of smoke in their restroom, but I won’t, because their service is great, and they will tell you themselves that it’s better to drop your car off and come back for it later. The next day, I went to Haley Toyota near the intersection of Williamson Road and Orange Avenue to have a new key made. They needed access to my vehicle so that the computer in my engine could “talk” to the technology in the key fob. What I thought would take under an hour became a two-hour job—they were trying to save me money, so I won’t complain, but I did have to visit the restroom eventually. Haley’s lounge is large, and the restroom is down the hall from the children’s area. It’s clean and well lit, done in a neutral beige with a cheerful floral print on the wall. There are four stalls, and the handicapped-accessible stall is big enough to accommodate a mom with multiples! The soap and towels are in wall-mounted dispensers, but unfortunately, the trash is set in the wall across from the door. If you use a paper towel to open the door, you need to throw it six feet or so and hope it goes in. The verdict: Nobody wants to spend a chunk of their day waiting around for their vehicle, but both Thompson Tires and Haley Toyota made my wait comfortable by providing decent restrooms.




by Tricia Mikesell

How can a Mom with three small children also be a minimalist? That’s a question I asked myself two years ago when an acquaintance pitched the idea. Did I own way too much stuff? Yes—don’t we all? Was my chaotic clutter and lack of organization adding stress to my life? Absolutely! I was optimistic about the idea, but not overly confident in my ability to adapt to this lifestyle. After a few weeks of researching various online blogs and books, I realized that I could indeed tailor a minimalist lifestyle to work for my family. We could simplify and learn to live with less stuff while keeping the right balance to raise our children. The next four months were intense, to say the least. I decluttered every area of my home. My family was quite suspicious of what items I was discarding, but my husband did enjoy the income generated from selling items. In one weekend, we made three hundred dollars selling items we hadn’t used in years.

not because they needed to change or loved them. I will admit that the sock situation was overwhelming. I did splurge in this area; I discarded all socks and started over with the kids. Each child now has a specific sock style easily identifiable to her—no more mismatched piles to work through week after week. This was a thirty dollar splurge that I highly recommend you take! Throwing away a pile of mismatched socks was one of the most satisfying feelings of the entire process. This journey inspired me to reach out to my social media friends and start a group for other parents intrigued by minimizing on a realistic level. The group is called Minimalist-ish Moms, and my first post included photos of my entire home. I offer tips, articles, advice, and support they can use to simplify their own homes.

One thing I know without a doubt is that my family can live with so much less without even noticing.

My kids loved the simplicity of their clean, spacious rooms that came with a much faster clean-up time. My friends began to notice how clean my home was and regularly complimented the spaces. I cleaned out cabinets, closets, drawers, and shelves. I filled up at least ten construction bags of items to give away or discard, and totes of items to sell. I used my garage as a storage space for anything that did not serve a purpose or hold meaning in our home. Reducing wardrobes to enough clothing for two weeks per season was hard, but reduced laundry for my house of five by at least two loads per week. My kids were wearing clothes because they had them,

Minimalizing has transformed my life. I clean less, buy less, save more, and play more. I love being in my house. I’m continuously finding new inspiration for spaces and adopting a more modern decorating style. Have I relapsed? A little—there are times I can see the house accumulating new clutter. Minimalism is an ongoing process. Step one is removing the clutter, and step two is preventing it from returning. It’s a balancing act. When I shop, I have to ask myself all the time whether this item is something we really need and will use, or whether I can hold off buying it. Is this something I can borrow instead? One thing I know without a doubt is that my family can live with so much less without even noticing. My children love simplicity. When I come across an overwhelmed mom balancing everything, I know this is one area where I can help that will have a huge impact on her life. I simply ask: Have you considered becoming a Minimalist-ish Mom?

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Growing Up

April 2019


The New Parent Dilemma by Vicki Honer


n my experience with new parents as a Lamaze instructor and lactation consultant, some questions are very common, like: How often should the baby be fed? Is the latch correct? Should the baby be awakened to feed? When should I start to pump? How much volume should I be pumping? From changing diapers to feeding, most new mothers want to know if they are “doing it right.” Very often, the answers are not cut and dried. If you’ve noticed the number of book titles on the subjects of parenting, baby care, and breastfeeding, as well as the number of websites and blogs, there are myriad sources created by “experts” who all claim to have the best anwers. Of course, family, friends, and medical personnel can all add to the confusion. The more questions asked, the more

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April 2019

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varied and conflicted the answers can become. Advice is often disseminated according to the speaker/writer’s own experiences and observations, which may not fit perfectly in the new family. In truth, this is probably an age-old issue that’s renewed each time a new family is formed. What is a new parent to believe, which path should be followed?

Several top baby carrier/sling companies had to close their businesses.

After many years in perinatal education, I firmly believe that basic education in the form of birth and breastfeeding classes are most helpful in preparing new parents for their journey. If both parents start out on the same page with basic information, they will be better equiped to deal with all the new issues a baby brings.

And, of course, the ever-discussed “bedsharing” continues to be a controversial topic. “Swaddling” was another popular subject that has survived for parents to use, or not, as they see fit. Some babies thrive using this method, others just efficiently kick out of the swaddle and do their own thing. So again, what are parents to do?

In my opinion, such education is best done in a class setting. This can be online if one can find a well-designed class and is disciplined enough to stick to it. A traditional teacher/student setting is ideal, though, as questions can be discussed in depth as needed. The trend over the past few years shows fewer classes being offered in the traditional way, as exemplified by reduced number of classes offered at hospitals, perinatal groups, and midwives/doulas.

Most new parents feel inadequate. Many young people have not had direct experience with babies. Families tend to be smaller these days, so the opportunity to care for younger siblings is much less. (I am told it isn’t easy to find a teen babysitter these days, as well.)

In addition, the accepted “parenting style of the day” also influences the decisions new parents make. For an example, “babywearing” became a thing in the early 2000s. Almost immediately, baby carrying was the rage—until 2008, when one unfortunate incident in which an infant died in a carrier (and an inferior carrier at that) prompted government action. In 2010, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of the “bag style” sling involved in the death. Other incidences were investigated, resulting in a strong warning against sling carriers, which nearly wiped out the industry.

One of the best-designed slings has never returned to the market. Thankfully, some companies have survived to sell slings and wraps today. Support groups abound online to advise new parents about use of these beneficial items.

One thing is for sure: The natural instincts of new mothers/parents end up being the correct way to proceed with an issue. However, this is often the least traveled road, as inexperience prohibits trust. Since both parents and child are learning about each other, as in any new learning experience, time and repetition bring insights. As time goes on, parents begin to figure out their new little one’s personality and become more confident in which actions to take. It has become clear to me that no one knows their own baby better than the parents of that baby. When discussing issues with a new parent, I have found that the questions I ask and the answers I receive are often the answers needed. Doctors certainly know how to

diagnose illnesses; midwives, lactation consultants, and doulas can share useful support information from their experiences. But what a new mom feels in her gut is important and often correct. That is what cues her to pick up her baby when he cries, feed him when he’s just finished a feeding twenty minutes earlier, and call the MD when things “just aren’t right.” In our “get it done NOW” society, knowing everything needed to care for a new baby cannot be so simple as just Googling it. Any relationship, adult or not, takes time to develop, and this is particularly true of knowing your newborn. As infants grow and change, the old adage, “Just when you get used to your child’s routine, it changes” is so true. It is also necessary, as growth means change and what you learn about your infant will grow into new insights and actions. If natural instincts are acknowleged, common sense is employed and baby is thought of and treated as a tiny human being (Does a friend need to tickle your feet or chin when you’re not eating your meal?), then understanding of the child will grow and be just right for you and your family. All families differ; there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer to the journey. However, all families need encouragement to grow in confidence, and that’s something easily shared by us all. Vicki Honer is a 30+ year veteran childbirth educator and lactation consultant and owner of Lacation Connection, located at 3142 Brambleton Avenue in Roanoke, VA. She specializes in fitting nursing bras, teaching private birth and breastfeeding classes, and, especially, encouraging new parents.

“We enrolled because of our desire for our child to be taught according to an uncompromised Christian worldview. We know that the world wants our child’s heart and mind. RVCS is on the same page with us in fighting for our child’s heart to belong to Christ.” RVCS Offers: Renovated School Buildings Smaller Class Sizes Dual Enrollment Opportunities International Exchange Student Program Christian-based Education

(540) 366-2432 ext. 127 | | 6520 Williamson Road, Roanoke, VA 24019 Growing Up

April 2019


is followed by a Q&A session—led by local health professionals—that focuses on issues presented in the play. In the case of The Boy at the Edge of Everything, the issues are close to home for many teens (not to mention adults) today: Is it okay to have moments of nothing? Is there anything to be gained by being bored? How busy is too busy? What is a good balance when it comes to time?

RCT4Teens: Connecting With Young People Through Theatre by Jacqueline Moon

One twelve-year-old boy has too much to do. He’s overscheduled. Overstressed. Overeverything. Meanwhile, in a far-off corner of the universe, another boy has nothing to do. He’s bored. Lonely. With nowhere to be. One day, the two boys meet, and neither of them will ever be the same. The play The Boy at the Edge of Everything is a perfect example of why “children’s theatre” doesn’t necessarily mean “kid stuff.” Last month, RCT4Teens presented this internationally beloved play at the

Jefferson Center to two crowds of parents, grandparents, and young people. During the show, there were several moments of gut-busting laughter and other scenes in which you could hear a pin drop. It was sometimes silly, sometimes bizarre, and always on-target for our times. And that’s what RCT4Teens is going for: enjoyable performances that speak to social issues facing young people. Each play Roanoke Children’s Theatre presents through RCT4Teens

Since 2009, RCT4Teens has been presenting one issue-based play per year, both at venues like the Jefferson Center and at area schools. Pat Wilhelm, Roanoke Children’s Theatre artistic director, said, “The productions are a unique approach to connecting with teens about issues in their lives. And in the schools, especially, kids really open up in the Q-and-A workshops afterward.” The plays effectively communicate issues teens deal with in a way that’s relatable and low-pressure. Past shows have focused on texting and driving, eating disorders, teen pregnancy, substance abuse, depression, and other pertinent subjects. The next RCT4Teens show will be an original written by local playwright Samantha Macher, and will focus on internet safety, internet predators, and internet addiction. The production, The Fakes, is set to perform for the public at 7 p.m. on February 27 and 28, 2020, and will also be presented to all ninth grade classes in Roanoke City and Roanoke County public high schools. You can learn more about RCT4Teens at

Call us today and schedule your

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at our Roanoke and Westlake locations

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Growing Up

April 2019

It’s Time for Preschool! What you need to know to make the best decision for your child. by Susan Baldani

A good preschool has been shown to provide a strong foundation for learning, and has also been proven to increase a child’s academic success for years to come. In addition, it’s usually a child’s first experience with structured education and leaving home for hours on end, so parents want to make sure the choice they make is the right one. Here are some things to focus on when choosing a preschool for your child:

Teachers The strength of any program is going to depend on the teacher. Requirements differ by state—while one may not require a bachelor’s degree, other states may. Find out what the qualifications are that the school itself requires of their teachers. What kind of certifications or experience do the teachers have? At a minimum, they should have a certificate such as the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Even better is a bachelor’s or master’s degree in early childhood education. Also find out if there are teacher’s assistants or aides in the classroom, as well, and if so, what their qualifications are.

Class sizes


Many studies have shown that the lower the student-teacher ratio, the better the academic outcome. To ensure that children get the proper attention, states have strict guidelines in place for how many children a certified teacher can oversee and how many adults, such as aides and assistants, have to be in a classroom. Most early-childhood educators believe that younger children do best in classes with fewer than 15 students.

Educational philosophy While some schools focus on structure, others allow for discovery-based learning. While structure is important in every grade, many studies encourage more free play during preschool, which allows children to make choices in their learning. “You don’t want to be telling [the children] what to do all the time,” said Deborah Stipek, a professor and former dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. “You want to make sure there are experiences all kids get because they’re important, but it’s also important

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April 2019


to let them bring themselves to the task.” Parents should also look for schools that welcome parental visits, have open communication, and provide feedback on their children’s day-to-day activities. Even though they are young, this is the age when developmental delays and learning issues may present themselves. In the article “Tools for Parents: What to look for in a preschool program,” Lillian Mongeau, membership manager of the Hechinger Report, a resource that covers inequality and innovation in education, said, “Several well-established assessments of social and emotional growth and academic preparedness are available to early childhood educators. These non-academic assessments help parents and teachers measure important developmental traits, such as self-esteem, whether children understand what adults are telling them, a child’s ability to keep trying a new


task (like rebuilding a tower that’s fallen down), and fine motor skills.”

Classroom setup and safety Preschool classrooms should have open floor plans with low tables, small chairs, and low shelves. Toys, books, blocks, and other items should be neatly organized into play centers and within reach of the children. Look around the classroom to make sure the room and materials are clean and the environment is safe. Stipek stated that “parents should look for general cleanliness as well as safety features like covered electrical sockets, toys without sharp edges, and safe storage of potentially dangerous materials, including paint and cleaning supplies.” Everyone on staff should be trained in CPR and first aid, and the school should also have an emergency plan in place. Also ask about background checks. Does the school perform those?


Discipline Find out how children are disciplined and what kinds of rules they are expected to follow. How are children encouraged to follow these rules? Positive reinforcement should be used, such as reward charts or stickers, and praise from staff. If the child does not follow the rules, does the teacher use time-out, redirection, or some other kind of behavior modification techniques? Other things to ask: Do children take naps during the day, and if so, for how long? Who provides the food and snacks? Does a child have to be fully potty trained in order to attend? Can the school provide references or the ability to speak with other parents? Of course, cost is another factor that parents need to know up front. Some states provide free preschool, whereas many others still do not. However, there may be programs that help offset the cost for low-income families. Lastly, parents should follow their instincts. Does the school feel like a positive place to learn, do the children look happy, and are the teachers warm and inviting? Would they feel comfortable leaving their child there? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” they can then be secure in the fact that they have found the best place for their child.




Four Camp Locations Near You!


CAMP BOCO Botetourt Family YMCA



Woodrow Wilson Middle School

Discover the best businesses in the neighborhood — chosen by our readers!

Roanoke Family Favorites DINING Favorite Food Truck Mama Crocketts Donuts 500 5th Street, Lynchburg, VA (434) 215-3275

Perfect Pizza Benny Marconis 120 Campbell Ave, Roanoke, VA (540) 400-8818

DOUBLE WINNER! Favorite Children’s Clothing Store & Consignment Shop

ONCE UPON A CHILD ELECTRIC ROAD The Once Upon A Child - Electric Road location has been locally owned by Renate and H.D. Kemp for more than 25 years. Mr. Kemp is actively involved in all of his stores, which include Once Upon A Child Christiansburg and Plato’s Closet Roanoke and Christiansburg. He is the best salesperson around and loves learning about his customers. Mr. Kemp’s top priority is to give hardworking parents quality items at prices they can afford and rave about.

Best Burgers

Romantic Date Night Restaurant

Carlos Brazilian International Cuisine 4167 Electric Rd, Roanoke, VA (540) 776-1117

Delicious Kids Menu

Famous Anthony’s Multiple Locations throughout VA (540) 772-1023

CELEBRATION Best Party Entertainment

Burger in the Square 3904 Brambleton Ave, Roanoke, VA (540) 400-8645

Bounce Roanoke 3424-C Orange Ave NE, Roanoke, VA (540) 345-7867

Favorite Family Restaurant

Favorite Party Spot

Famous Anthony’s Multiple Locations throughout VA (540) 772-1023

Best Ice Cream Blue Cow Ice Cream 1115 Piedmont St, Roanoke, VA (540) 400-8558

Bounce Roanoke 3424-C Orange Ave NE, Roanoke, VA (540) 345-7867

Top Cakes/ Cupcakes Bubblecake 2073 Colonial Ave. Roanoke, VA (540) 343-2253

WINNER! Favorite Museum

Kids Square Children’s Museum The Don and Barbara Smith Children’s Museum—Kids Square—exists to further Center in the Square’s mission to enhance education, economic development, and quality of life by providing a premier destination where curiosity is stimulated. Families are motivated to explore, play, and learn together in a hands-on learning environment. Kids’ Square serves as a necessary community resource that is well-funded and wellsupported by the community. The 15,000-square-foot museum is home to a kidsized town, a forest, a theater, a building zone, an 811 zone, a sensory cove, a blacklight exhibit, and more.

DOUBLE WINNER! Favorite Family-Friendly Gym & Best Summer Camp

photo credit: YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Facebook

YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Camps at the Y share one thing: they’re about discovery. Kids have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. Most importantly, campers attending Y Summer Camps will have the BEST SUMMER EVER! Y Summer Camp offers five camp locations for children in preschool rising 8th grade in Roanoke, Salem, Botetourt, and Lexington. (Ages vary by location.)

Favorite Photographer Kevin Hurley Photography 1360 Maple Ave SW, Roanoke, VA (540) 345-3055

CULTURE Favorite Museum Kids Square 1 Market Square, Roanoke, VA (540) 342-5777

Top Performances for Children Roanoke Childrens Theatre 541 Luck Ave SW, Roanoke, VA (540) 345-2550

Favorite Festival Strawberry Festival Elmwood Park, Roanoke, VA

Best Weekend Trip

Smith Mountain Lake 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy, Moneta, VA (540) 721-1203

Favorite Sports Team

Salem Red Sox 1008 Texas St, Salem, VA (540) 389-3333

Top Attraction & Entertainment Venue

Berglund Civic Center 710 Williamson Road Roanoke, VA (540) 853-2241

SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Favorite Summer Camp

YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge 5 Locations throughout SWVA area

Best Youth Sports Organization Soccer Shots 3624 Aerial Way Dr. Roanoke, VA (540) 632-4407

Perfect Gymnastics/Cheer Gym Prestige Gymnastics 2726 Lee Hwy., Troutville, VA (540) 759-1403

Top Dance Studio

Floyd Ward 1221 E. Washington Ave,Vinton, VA (540)345-1633

Best Martial Arts Studio

Roanoke Taekwondo Tanglewood Mall, 4244 Electric Rd, Roanoke, VA (540) 989-6765

Favorite Music Program

Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir 1601 S Colorado St, Salem VA (540) 676-7265

Favorite FamilyFriendly Gym YMCA of Virginia’s Blue Ridge 5 Locations throughout SWVA area

Best Music Lessons Hale Music Salem, VA (540) 397-0707

WINNER! Family Favorite Therapist & Counseling

Roanoke Valley Counseling Center Lasting positive changes are the primary focus of counseling at Roanoke Valley Counseling Center. We invite only the best therapists to join our firm, based on counselling excellence and career specializations. This allows our clients to learn, gain professional insight, experience personal growth, and bring joy back into their lives and relationships. With specialties in EMDR, trauma, anxiety, depression, Christian Counseling, electronic dependency, grief, loss, life-cycle issues, marriage, and relationship counseling, we have extensive experience in our chosen areas of expertise. Our commitment to excellence gives us the opportunity to pass that knowledge on to you and your loved ones. Call us today at (844) 782-2863.


Top Grocery Store Kroger Multiple locations throughout VA

Best Real Estate Company MKB Realtors 3801 Electric Road SW, Roanoke, VA (540) 989-4555

Top Realtor Lori McCarren 1202 Electric Rd, Salem, VA (540) 819-7388

Favorite Car Dealer First Team Auto Mall 6520 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke, VA (540) 362-4800

Best Bank Member One Multiple locations throughout SWVA Area (540) 982-8811

FASHION Best Children’s Clothes Once Upon A Child - Electric Road 4092 Electric Road, Roanoke, VA (540) 774-3639

Favorite Cleaning Service A Cleaner Wold 679 Brandon Ave SW, Roanoke, VA (540) 345-2634

WINNER! Best Ob/Gyn Practice

photo credit: Physicians to Women Facebook

Physicians to Women Physicians to Women provides women’s health care to adolescents, women of reproductive age, and menopausal women in the Roanoke Valley. As the only privately owned Ob/Gyn practice in the area, we can provide you and your family the best health recommendations, regardless of hospital affiliation. Our office has on-site mammography, ultrasound, minor surgical, and laboratory services. Our board-eligible and certified physicians can help you by answering your individual care questions during the day and your emergencies at night. We recognize establishing and continuing care with a medical practice is an important decision and appreciate those who choose better health with us.

she loved

oh how

to be HOME


VALLEY VIEW 1945 Valley View Blvd.

LYNCHBURG 5401 Fort Ave

TANGLEWOOD 4235 Electric Rd.

TRIPLE WINNER! Best Private Elementary, Middle, and High School

North Cross Founded in 1944, North Cross School is an independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school located in Roanoke, Virginia, that serves children from early childhood through twelfth grade. North Cross provides a rigorous academic curriculum, competitive with the best college-preparatory schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. While we explicitly recognize the importance of intellectual development and academic achievement, we also strive to promote personal integrity, empathy, and responsibility to self and community. Through this, our graduates will act as leaders in the local and global communities, persons of intellectual and moral courage, and scholars in the service of others. The School also houses the CrossWalk Program which, through the Orton-Gillingham approach, teaches students with diagnosed languagebased learning disabilities the necessary methods and strategies to thrive in their traditional classrooms. The School offers a boarding program, housed in the historic Boxley Building in downtown Roanoke, for its students in grades eight through twelve.

Favorite Womens Clothes Loft 4802 Valley View Blvd, Roanoke, VA (540) 265-0096

Top Consignment Shop Once Upon A Child - Electric Road 4092 Electric Road, Roanoke, VA (540) 774-3639

Best Consignment Sale LFA Kids Held twice a year at the Berglund Civic Center

Favorite Family Hair Salon Zees 121 Duke of Gloucester Street, Roanoke VA (540) 345-7737

photo credit: North Cross School Facebook

MEDICAL Favorite Pediatrician

Physicians to Children 21 Highland Ave SE #100, Roanoke, VA (540) 344-9213

Best Ob/Gyn

Physicians to Women 21 Highland Ave SE, Roanoke, VA (540) 982-8881

Favorite Pediatric Dentist

Roanoke Pediatric Dentistry 6112 Peters Creek Rd, Hollins, VA (540) 563-1660

Best Orthodontics

Lenk Orthodintics 228 Commons Pkwy, Daleville, VA (540) 966-3990

Top Optometrist Vistar Eye Center Multiple locations throughout SWVA area (540) 855-5100

Top Allergist Dr. Thomas Fame 1002 Apperson Dr, Salem, VA (540) 404-9598

Favorite Chiropractor Cotton Chiropractic 117 Sheraton Dr, Salem, VA (540) 765-2990

Favorite Family Counseler &Therapist Roanoke Valley Counseling Center 2727 Electric Rd suite 103, Roanoke, VA (844) 782-2863

EDUCATION FavoriteTeacher Katlyn Oldham - Community School 7815 Williamson Rd, Roanoke, VA (540) 563-5036

Best Child Care Children’s Nest 504 Dexter Rd, Roanoke, VA (540) 563-4333

Top Preschool First Baptist Preschool 321 Marshall Ave SW, Roanoke VA (540) 224-3357

Favorite Private Elementary School North Cross 4254 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA (540) 989-6641

Best Private Middle School

North Cross 4254 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA (540) 989-6641

Top Private High School

North Cross 4254 Colonial Ave, Roanoke, VA (540) 989-6641

Top Pet Training

High Hopes 1713 Arlington Rd SW, Roanoke, VA (540) 343-3849

Favorite Vet

Vinton Veterinary Hospital 1309 E Washington Ave, Vinton, VA (540) 342-7821

Favorite Tutoring Service

Learning and Behavior Specialists 820 Apperson Dr, Salem, VA (540) 389-2223

PETS Best Pet Boarding

Aspen Grove 7373 Franklin Rd, Boones Mill, VA (540) 776-7656

WINNER! Best Orthodontist

Lenk Orthodontics Dr. Misty D. Lenk launched her own dental business from the ground up. Lenk Orthodontics provides care to patients of all ages, from seven to 70 years old. They provide all forms of orthodontic care from braces to aligners to fixed functional appliances. Dr. Lenk values her education and strives to continue the learning process to provide her patients with the most modern and proven types of orthodontic treatment.

WINNER! Best Financial Institution

Member One Local, member-owned, and 120,000-members strong, Member One has been investing in southwest and central Virginia since 1940. The credit union provides financial tools for individuals and independent businesses at every stage—from checking accounts to mortgages, from personal loans to business loans, from credit cards to a full range of savings and investment options. In addition, Member One consistently supports the communities it serves with financial sponsorships and employee volunteer efforts.

Dr. Lenk also dedicates between 60 and 80 hours every school year, giving back to the community in various ways. As a mom of four, she empathizes with struggles of our modern families. Her office strives to run and finish treatments on time, make treatment as affordable as possible, offer numerous payment plan options and provide individualized and gentle care. Her fun, family-friendly office is open to patients five days a week and it is a convenient location for people not only in Botetourt County but in all surrounding areas.

HomeMade Rain Gauge Article Provided by:

With spring comes spring showers, but have you ever wondered how to measure the amount of rain that falls?

Supplies: - Two-liter bottle with labels removed - Scissors - Ruler - Permanent marker - Masking tape - Pebbles - 1 cup of water


Try this:

With an adult’s help, remove the bottle cap and cut off the top of the bottle just below where it starts to get wide.

Try catching more rain by changing the size of your funnel. Can you design something that will make your rain gauge collect more rain?

Place a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the bottle. Pour water into the bottle until it reaches the top of the pebbles. The water and pebbles together will make sure that your rain gauge doesn’t blow over in the wind. Place the cut-off top of the bottle inside the bottom part, so that the top is upside down inside the bottle, forming a funnel. Tape it in place. (Since the edges can be sharp, you can also tape all around the edges.) Place a long piece of tape in a vertical line from the top edge of the bottle to the bottom. With the permanent marker, make a line on the tape at the top of the pebbles and water. Line up the ‘0’ of your ruler with the pebble/water mark and draw and label lines every centimeter on the masking tape line. This will create a ruler on the side of your bottle.

What’s happening: Rain gauges measure the amount of rain that falls by collecting it over a small area throughout a specific amount of time. Meteorologists (scientists who study the weather) use one of a few different types of rain gauges. The one we have built is closest to a standard rain gauge. Standard rain gauges all use a very specific funnel size and collection container size, which lets scientists compare their measurements. If you alter the size of the container or the funnel, then two things can change: the height of the rainwater you measure and/or the amount of rain you collect. A lot of people want to collect rain over a large area because they harvest rainwater to reuse it. One inch of rain may not seem like much, but if it is collected over an entire roof, then the amount of water might be enough to fill a third of a swimming pool!

Find somewhere outside that you can put your rain gauge where there are no trees hanging overhead. Double-check your rain gauge every so often to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated and still reaches all the way to your ‘0’ mark. Check your rain gauge after it rains and see how high the water is. That’s how much it has rained! Try comparing this with the weather report in the newspaper, on TV, or online to see how accurate your measurements were. To reset your rain gauge, pour out the water until it only reaches to your ‘0’ mark.

Physicians to Women has specialized in obstetrical and gynecologic care in Roanoke, Virginia since 1940. We serve patients in the Roanoke Valley, Salem, Vinton, Botetourt, Franklin County, and outlying areas. | (540) 982-8881

Family Favorite - OB/GYN

Growing Up

April 2019


What to Do

by Tanii Haas

When Your Kids Are Stressed What do you do when your kids complain about being stressed out? How do you help them cope with it? Experts agree on the following points: Listen to Your Kids: What’s Going On? How Are They Feeling? It’s important to sit your kids down and ask them what’s happening and how they’re feeling. Listen calmly and non-judgmentally to what they say. “Children learn (and take cues) from the adults around them,” says Dr. Lyn O’Grady, a child psychologist, “so it’s important for adults to be mindful of how they approach stressful situations.” If you overreact to what they’re telling you, they most likely will overreact, too. But if you stay calm and collected, you’ll have a much easier time helping them cope with whatever it is they’re dealing with. As Dr. Barbara Greenberg, a clinical


Growing Up

April 2019

psychologist, succinctly puts it, “No child wants to talk to a parent who is losing her cool.” Katie Hurley, a child and adolescent psychotherapist and author of The Happy Kids Handbook, says that “knowing that you will listen and help them empowers them to work through their stress, instead of stuffing it down and potentially making it worse.” Remember that your kids are not looking for you to solve all their problems once and for all. Rather, they’re looking for you to truly listen to them as a way for them to work through their problems on their own. “Sometimes,” says Dr. Jamie Howard, a clinical child psychologist, “parents avoid having conversations with kids because they’re worried they won’t say the right thing or they won’t know how to answer their questions.” But the truth is

that there’s no such thing as the one right answer. The only wrong thing is failing to make yourself available to your kids when they need you the most. Reassure Your Kids That They Are Strong and Capable Listening to your kids is an important first step, but you also need to reassure them that they’re able to cope with whatever it is that’s stressing them out. Experts agree that you should try to convince your kids that it’s better to confront their stressors head-on than to shy away from them. “If a child faces his or her fears,” says Dr. Amy Przeworski, a professor of child psychology, “the child will learn that the anxiety reduces naturally over time.” Przeworski says it’s also important to cultivate as positive an outlook as possible,

since stressed kids have a tendency to get lost in negative thoughts and self-criticism: “They may focus on how the glass is half-empty instead of half-full and worry about future events. The more that you’re able to focus on your child’s positive attributes and the good aspects of a situation, the more that will remind your child to focus on the positives.” It’s useful to give your kids some perspective by reminding them of how they dealt with similar situations in the past that turned out all right. When confronted by a stressful situation, it’s easy for kids and adults like to lose perspective and forget the previous times they confronted something like it, and that the outcome hadn’t been so bad after all. Help Your Kids Experiment With Various Coping Techniques Once your kids are reassured that they’re truly capable of handling stressful situations, try to experiment with various coping techniques. A one-size-fits-all strategy for dealing with stress doesn’t exist, but certain time-tested techniques have proven effective. One useful coping technique is to have your kids write down what’s causing them to be stressed. It teaches them to articulate what’s bothering them instead of bottling it up, and it helps them work through the problem and what to do about it. Hurley suggests they write down their stressors “on a piece of paper, read them

to you, and then tear them up and throw them away for the night. This helps kids say their worries out loud and let go of them.” Another useful coping technique is to aim for balance in your kids’ lives. Instead of insisting your kids do well at school at all costs, emphasize that to be happy and stress-free, kids also need time for play and physical exercise. Greenberg suggests parents sit down with their kids “and come up with a well-balanced schedule that includes all three of these important aspects of life.” When engaged in play or physical exercise, kids have the time to let their minds be free to come up with creative solutions to their sources of stress. Make Sure Your Kids’ Physical Needs are Met Finally, make sure your kids are getting all their basic needs. As Greenberg puts it, “none of us at any age can deal with pressure effectively if we’re exhausted and hungry.” This last piece of advice applies to you as much as it does to your kids. If you’re not well-rested and satisfied, you won’t be able to listen to and support your kids as much as you need to, since your mind and body will be focused on other things. Tanni Haas, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders at the City University of New York – Brooklyn College

Growing Up

April 2019



How to be a Fitness Role Model by Kimberly Emory

s parents, what do we want for our children? While some parents might name specifics like getting a good education, acquiring job skills, and finding friends, most parents would say that, in general, they want their kids to be happy and healthy. We often focus on the happiness of our children—taking fun vacations, having them participate in sports and other extracurriculars they enjoy, and getting tutors for them when they’re struggling in school. But how many of us think about the healthy aspect of that phrase as much as the happy? As parents, it’s our job to teach and model good habits and behaviors for our children, and that includes health and fitness. Since being healthy also supports overall happiness, it is especially important that we cultivate these habits early.

How are kids influenced by our health and fitness habits? “They’re sponges!” said Jason Gordon, elementary PE teacher and owner of PlayFit StayFit fitness studio. “They are a product of their environment, and if you live with unhealthy habits, they will pick that up.” Robin Goodpasture, nutrition coach at FitStudio in Salem, went on to remind us that we shouldn’t expect kids to develop habits we don’t have ourselves. While kids do get health and fitness education at school, they get more from home, Goodpasture said. “This journey is lifelong, so start early!”

“If kids see parents committed to taking care of themselves, it creates a desire for them to do so, too.”


Growing Up

April 2019

How do you involve kids in your health and fitness routines? “They need to build off what their parents are doing,” said Gordon. “Involve them in your own activities. Go for family hikes, take them to playgrounds. Find things to do with them.” At PlayFit StayFit, Gordon allows kids to workout alongside parents, and once they reach age ten, they can do classes on their own if they choose. “It’s a family atmosphere here,” he said. Goodpasture took it a step further, saying that while sometimes kids will want to do what you’re doing, just shoving them out the door and telling them to be active is not usually the best way to develop the habit.

Find out what kind of exercise activity they would like to try, and then do it together! “You might have to do a bit of research to find the types of activities they’re interested in, but there’s almost always something out there a child would like to try.”

Do our exercise habits have any impact on our kids’ health or perception of fitness? Goodpasture said that “if kids see parents committed to taking care of themselves, it creates a desire for them to do so, too.” Seeing parents exercising regularly also encourages them to discover the why behind the habit: “You are worth being taken care of! Here’s how we do that.” Gordon’s take is that “we show them what good habits are and give them a basis of what mommy and daddy do. That helps them later when making their own decisions.”

Is it true that what kids eat doesn’t matter as much as adults? Gordon said that to an extent, yes. “Kids have higher metabolisms, so they can eat a bit more unhealthily and still benefit” without feeling the effects as much as

adults do. Goodpasture agreed that “kids can get away with eating stuff that adults can’t.” However, she encouraged asking yourself the question, “If I wouldn’t put it in my body, should the kids?” “Remember,” she said, “they are growing and need nourishment, so we need to instill good eating habits that last.” While the temptation is always around us, unhealthy foods are okay only from time to time. Goodpasture described the conversation we need to have with kids when we do go for those unhealthy options: “We are going to have this food as a treat today. We will enjoy it, but it’s a treat, and we only have treats occasionally.” Goodpasture encouraged making mindful, intentional decisions about health and wellness, especially when it comes to food. Since parents are in control of the food available at home, they need to provide opportunities to make good, intentional choices. She suggests keeping veggies cut up and readily accessible at all times, teaching portion control by using small containers for snacks, sitting at the table/counter to eat, and reading labels and nutrition guides on food packaging and deciding together whether or not to eat that particular food based on the contents.

How can I improve this area of my life for my kids? Gordon’s experience is that as kids get older, they often get involved in more video games and screen time. “Go outside and play! It sounds simple. But kids need safe, unstructured play whenever possible.” Goodpasture emphasized that small changes and baby steps lead to success. “If you’re trying to get healthier, tell your kids! Place the emphasis on losing body fat and not weight, and let them know you’re doing this so you will be healthy and able to do more with them. If you make it a family affair, your kids will often hold you accountable!” Goodpasture summed it up this way: “We as parents are one of the top influencers of our children’s health. We are concerned about their well-being and want them to be actively healthy. Focus on one thing at a time, intentionally and mindfully instilling healthy thoughts and processes. Trust the process.” Parents, let’s advocate for our kids’ health as well as our own, and take the initiative to make wellness a priority for ourselves and our families. Our future, and the future of our children, depends on it!

Growing Up

April 2019


A Holistic Wellness Routine for the Whole Family

The secret is out—having a true comprehensive and holistic wellness routine means including emotional and energy balancing work along with a balanced diet and exercise program. As parents, we all want to support our kids and teach them the best skills we can to help them grow into healthy, happy, and confident adults. However, the tricky part for most of us is knowing how to bring all these pieces together. If you Google mindfulness or energy work for kids, you’d better be prepared for information overload—and, quite frankly, several conflicting points of view and opinions! Personally, I felt tons of stress and pressure trying to figure out which was the “best” method to support my kids holistically. Even though I’m a Reiki master and teacher, a certified mindfulness coach, and an Eden Energy Medicine practitioner, I still felt unsure how to help my children learn and embrace the concepts of body, mind, and spirit. Here are a few tried and true resources I’ve found to be really helpful, not only with my kids but with our clients at Unbridled Change in our Equine Partnered Psychotherapy and Learning sessions. First, mindfulness and meditation. Today’s mindfulness classes are not typically geared toward creating little monks; they instead focus on stress reduction, developing executive functioning skills, and creating positive brain changes through a meditation practice. A new study from the Max Planck Institute found that meditation training is linked to positive changes in three different brain regions. Practicing meditation, even for

by Michelle Holling-Brooks

just a few months, literally increases your brain’s ability to focus your attention, access compassion and empathy, and become more aligned a non-judgmental mindset that understands the perspectives of others. This study is exciting, because it suggests we can nurture social and emotional intelligence in our children, rather than relying solely on nature. The second piece of the puzzle is the body, taking the mindfulness skills into movement. Did you know that your body is full of energetic pathways and systems that store information, thoughts, and

Negative emotions and stressors, like worry, anxiety, fear, and generally feeling overwhelmed can build up in the body and create physical symptoms of disease. feelings? There are tons of body-based movement practices out there that kids love which are designed to help move and release “trapped energy.” They range from yoga to various types of martial arts. One resource that combines mindfulness and movement is kirawilley. com. My youngest loves Kira’s fun music and guided mindfulness practices. Another great resource with activities that support both the physical body and the body’s energy systems is Eden Energy Medicine

( Lastly is the spirit. Emotions, self-esteem, and feeling connected to our “Wise One Within,” as I call it with my kids, all fall under spirit. Negative emotions and stressors, like worry, anxiety, fear, and generally feeling overwhelmed can build up in the body and create physical symptoms of disease. Clearing and releasing these from our body’s energy systems can help us feel connected to our higher selves. One of the best ways to help the body balance and clear those negative frequencies is through tapping, or the emotional freedom technique (EFT). If you’re new to tapping, check out The site has tons of amazing free resources, videos, and tapping scripts for the whole family, including a section just for kids and teens. I have taught both of my girls how to tap, and nothing warms my heart more than watching one of them start tapping on their own to help them overcome a difficult emotion or stressor. To give you an ideal jumping-off point, my staff and I at Unbridled Change have put together the “greatest hits” of our go-to activities for our kids and clients. We use the different practices and activities included in this free mini-series to teach regulation, how to overcome stress, and mindfulness and movement. For instant access to the free mini-series, simply sign up at Sending you light and love on your journey to developing a holistic wellness routine for your family!

Do you have room in your heart and your home? BECOME A FOSTER PARENT STARS is a collaboration between Roanoke City and Roanoke County/Salem Departments of Social Services and Youth Advocate Programs. We provide ongoing support and training for foster families providing care to children with higher medical, emotional and behavioral needs, including:


24/7 on-call support from YAP

Respite services

Access to Licensed Professional Counselor for foster parents

Individualized services and training to meet to family and child's needs

Seasonal celebrations and recognition

Monthly support group meetings

Growing Up

April 2019


Kristin Rickman, Roanoke City


Ben Jones, Roanoke County


fur mom or dad? Try our newest adventure, Doggie Daycare at Nature’s Emporium! Call 540-772-1980 for more info!


5 OFF YOUR NEXT $30 PURCHASE! (code: GUmar19)


3912 Brambleton Ave | Roanoke, VA 24018 | Mon-Sat 9-9, Sun 12-6 | 540-772-1980 |

FRIDAY, MAY 3RD Tickets available at, 1-800-745-3000, or the Salem Civic Center Box Office.

10 discount for groups of 10+ available at the Box Office.


Family Calendar wildly exciting idea. With a little compassion and a lot of understanding, this unexpected pair learns to embrace their differences and creates a line of sturdy stilettos unlike any the world has ever seen! But in the end, their most sensational achievement is their friendship. This huge-hearted hit is inspiring audiences around the world to LET LOVE SHINE! Tickets begin at $37.

Songs from “The Sap of Life” Virginia Tech Squires Center April 12 • 7:30 PM Jump into springtime fun!

Theater & Live Shows Mamma Mia!

Mill Mountain Theatre March 25 - April 14

Fly in for a fABBAulous time at Mill Mountain Theatre this spring. Mamma Mia! tells the story of Sophie, a twentyyear-old bride-to-be who longs to have her father walk her down the aisle. The problem is she has no idea who her father is! After reading her mother’s diary, filled with her mom’s adventures in love, Sophie invites each of the three potential fathers to her

wedding. With nonstop laughs and exhilarating dance numbers set to the iconic music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has been a global smash hit since its premiere on Broadway in 2002. Notable songs include “Take A Chance on Me,” “Super Trouper,” “Dancing Queen,” and more! Tickets start at $15.

Choir, under the direction of Kimberly Ruse Davidson, will be presenting their 32nd Annual Spring Concert. Musical selections will include classical, folk, gospel, Broadway, and patriotic.The concert finale will include all 250 choristers singing selections from Once on This Island, choreographed by Kevin Jones. Both concerts will close with a patriotic salute that includes band members from Hidden Valley High School. Admission begins at $16.

Kinky Boots

Berglund Performing Arts Theatre April 8 • 8 PM

Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir Presents “A Little Spring Music” Jefferson Center April 7 • 1:30 PM

The Roanoke Valley Children’s

Based on true events, Kinky Boots tells the heartwarming story of two people with nothing in common—or so they think! Charlie is a factory owner struggling to save his family business. Lola is a fabulous entertainer with a

Written in 1961, The Sap of Life is a coming-of-age story that opened off-Broadway; it has not been performed since the 1960s. This workshop performance will feature songs and scenes from the show, presented by students that have had the opportunity to work with the writing team of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire in their residence at Virginia Tech.

Next to Normal Showtimers April 12-28

Next to Normal is a stunning musical that opened on Broadway in 2009. It’s the story of a typical American family traumatized by mental illness, and it also explores the issues of teenage addiction, family & marital strife, and even death. It’s a complex piece that speaks to the dark secrets all families can relate to, while raising the need in all of us for hope in the face of adversity. Tickets start at $7

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Radford University Pridemore Playhouse April 16-21

Taunted by a strange prophecy and urged on by his power-

Growing Up

April 2019






2013 2014 Celebrating 10 years of



2016 2017

MAY 4, 2019



who will we honor this year?

See our full calendar online at hungry wife, the once valiant and trustworthy Macbeth turns traitor and tyrant. He ascends the heights of his ambition only to plunge to the depths of madness and mayhem in Shakespeare’s chilling The Tragedy of Macbeth. Tickets are $10, with student and child discounts available. rutheatretickets.

Sister Act

North Cross School April 26-27

Where is nightclub singer Doloris Van Cartier? Will the Holy Order of the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith keep her safe from her mobster boyfriend Curtis Shank? Will the nuns be safe from Doloris? Or, will Doloris and the nuns be singing a new tune? You’ll love the music and your belly will hurt from laughing. Featuring a talented cast of North Cross’ high-school and middle-school students, we’re excited to offer this production for two nights!

Festival of the Bands Virginia Tech Moss Art Center May 5 • 1 PM

Enjoy a full day of Virginia Tech band music with the Campus Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Highty-Tighties, and the Blacksburg Community Band. This year’s performances will feature the music of Virginia Tech music faculty member James Sochinski to celebrate his retirement. In addition, guest artists Jay Crone (trombone) and the Escape Ten percussion duo will join the Wind Ensemble for their performance. Come for just a part or spend the whole afternoon! $10 general or $7 student.

The Sound of Music Berglund Performing Arts Theatre May 1 • 7:30 PM

The Sound Of Music features music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, suggested by The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp. The beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award®–winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,”“Edelweiss,” and the title song. The Sound of Music Live! aired on NBC in December, 2013 and was seen by more than 44 million people. 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history. Tickets start at $35. t

Festivals & Fairs Roanoke Valley Comicon Tanglewood Mall April 6 • 7 PM

Come out and enjoy comic books, toys, all things Star Wars and Star Trek, action figures, anime, manga, collectible card cames, magazines, and more! Admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and under FREE with paid admission.

39th Community School Strawberry Festival

Berglund Performing Arts Theatre May 4 • 8 PM

The Black Jacket Symphony offers a unique concert experience through recreating classic albums in a live performance setting. A selected album is performed in its entirety by a group of handpicked musicians specifically selected for each album, with no sonic detail being overlooked—the musicians do whatever it takes to musically reproduce the album. The performance is separated into two sets. The first set features the album being recreated as a true symphonic piece. The second set, which features a selection of the album artist’s “greatest hits,” opens in full contrast to the first set with an incredible light display and the symphony being much more laid back. The tone is set very quickly that the show will feature the high level of musicianship of the act being covered and will also be accompanied by all the bells and whistles of a major rock and roll show. Tickets start at $26.

Classes & Library Events Roanoke Author Invasion 2019 Tanglewood Holiday Inn April 6 • 10 AM

Join bestselling authors of contemporary and paranormal YA fiction! This is a FREE, family-friendly event for readers! Enjoy an afternoon of books, giveaways, and more as you get the latest releases from your favorite authors and discover new voices! see our full list of authors at

Elmwood Park May 3-4


Family Calendar

FREE two-day family-friendly event celebrating the strawberry and signaling the beginning of festival season in the Roanoke Valley. Entering its 39th year as a fundraising event for Community School, the festival draws attendees from all over the Mid-Atlantic region. Enjoy kids’ games, artisan vendors, musical entertainment, and so much more.

64th Annual Vinton Dogwood Festival

Various Locations in Vinton April 25-28

The Vinton Dogwood Festival features a variety of familyfriendly entertainment including an annual parade, carnival, craft show, business showcase, free Kids’ Zone, antique car show, festival food court, entertainment stages, concerts, and crowning of Miss Dogwood Festival and presentation of court. The free Kids’ Zone is full of activities for 2- to 12-year- olds. The carnival is appropriate for all ages, as are the parade, entertainment, and car show. Visit the festival website for times and locations of activities.

Ravishing Raptors Mill Mountain Zoo April 18 • 5:30 PM

Join us in welcoming Falconer Philip Bailey and Dr. Kerri Cooper-Bailey back to Mill Mountain Zoo, along with a number of their beautiful bird companions. Meet a variety of species and get the chance to chat with these avian experts. You won’t want to miss it! Member Admission: Adult $12/Child $10. Non-Member Admission: Adult $15/Child $12


Hollins University Eleanor D. Wilson Museum May 4 • 1 PM

KIDS MAKE ART is a once-permonth, first-Saturday program offering opportunities for the whole family to connect with an art museum and respond creatively! By turning a viewing experience into a time for hands-on participation, children of all ages can enhance their observation skills and use their total brain, all while having fun working on a project with their parents, guardians, and peers! Local artist and educator Polly Branch designs and leads educational activities to bring you and your family together.

Growing Up

April 2019


Think outside the book. NORTH CROSS SCHOOL was founded on the belief that a classroom is a concept, not a room. With small groups, teachers are inspired and empowered to curate lessons, not follow them. Children pursue their best in a community that supports and respects curiosity and innovation.

With programs designed to engage, question and surprise, every North Cross graduate is a product of our ceaseless evaluation of what works—and, a commitment to embrace what’s next.

BEST OF 2018

Voted Best Private School, Preschool, and Supplemental Learning Program in the Valley three years running.

More happens here.


Roanoke Prevention Alliance

It’s not okay. Talk to your kids.

Kids are less likely to use marijuana if they know their parents disapprove.

“This poster was developed, in part, under grant number [SP021444] from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions, expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS.”

Run the Blue Ridge Marathon on April 13!

KIDS MAKE ART is free and for the whole family. Registration not required. Children require parent/guardian supervision at all times, and we encourage everyone to take part in the activities—adults and children alike!

Wild Thing Series

Explore Park Visitor Center April 13 • May 11 • June 8

Join us on the second Saturday of every month for an instructional program with our staff naturalist at the Explore Park Visitor Center. Upcoming topics: April 13 Butterflies, May 11 - Birds and Nets, June 8 - Tiny Creatures

Excercise & Sports Star City Cornhole Tournament Dr. Pepper Park April 27 • 11 AM

Be part of the fun again this year at the Star City Cornhole Tournament at Dr Pepper Park! GATES OPEN AT 11 a.m., and the Bags Fly at 1 p.m. Team registration is $50 per team. VIP Plus is $70 per team and includes one on-site parking space and food and beverage service throughout the tournament. Spectator Admission is $5. We will have food and beverages available at the event. There will be a kids’ area presented by Northwest Ace. Kids 12 and under are FREE if NOT playing.

Blue Ridge Marathon Downtown Roanoke April 13 • 7:35 AM

The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon Series has earned its title as “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” by challenging runners with over 7,430 feet in elevation change—more than any other road marathon in the U.S. This race runs along the famously scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and proceeds from this non-profit event benefit the parkway and local charities. The full, half and 10k all prove equally challenging yet rewarding on this mountainous course, and all runners are rewarded with a unique finishers’ medal, a tech-tee, live music and local craft beer at the festival-like finish in downtown Roanoke.

Family Calendar connecting with other runners and race organizers. In lieu of the standard race shirt, every runner will receive a Slow-K coffee mug, free coffee, and well-earned donuts at the finish line. The 5K course along the Roanoke River Greenway will also include a few other surprises to keep participants from overexerting after running mountains the day before.

Roanoke Half-K Race Parkway Church May 18 • 8:30 AM

It’s the race for the rest of us! Do your stretches, eat your carbs, have your donuts and coffee and get ready for 500 yards of pure walking (well, we guess you can run—if that’s your thing)! Register at runsignup. com/Race/VA/Roanoke/ SpiritFMFamilyFunRun to get the full race experience: the bib, the pictures, the post-race snacks, AND it all goes to help Spirit FM continue to change lives! Everyone is a winner!

Community & Service

Roanoke Greenway April 14 • 9 AM

The new Blue Ridge “Slow K” will give runners one more opportunity to run with America’s Toughest community in an event that’s designed to help celebrate everyone’s accomplishments and get some well-deserved recovery. We’ve dubbed the Blue Ridge Slow-K “America’s Slowest 5K,” and after running on the Blue Ridge course, you’ll understand why. This fun run will be un-timed and have a leisurely start of 9 a.m. The idea is to create a format where everyone isn’t looking at their watches, but rather slowing down and

Grandin Chillage Grandin Village April 26 • 6 PM

Join us every month at the Famous Grandin Chillage Community Block Party! Enjoy local food trucks, live music, games, face painting, and more every month. New this year: in an effort to cut down on waste, we will be offering $2 off the price of admission when you bring your own steel pint cups, and will be offering our Grandin Chillage steel pints for only $8 at the gate. $5 Admission, 12 and under free, under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Leashed, friendly pets welcome. So bring your chairs and your people, and let’s have a real good time!

Cars And Coffee Vrginia Western Community College April 13 • 8 AM

Virginia Family Expo Salem Civic Center April 6 • 10 AM

Blue Ridge Slow-K

live performances, inflatables, face painting, fire safety, scavenger hunt, character appearances, and much more!

Growing Up In the Valley is the LARGEST & most TRUSTED source for parenting information in the area. The Virginia Family Expo will give attendees the opportunity to visit with over 150 family-friendly area businesses and have some FUN doing it for FREE! Gather information and samples from local businesses that specalize in all things kids and family— sports & fitness, learning devices, health & nutrition, day cares & schools, camps, safety products, and so much more for kids of all ages! Along with the many exhibit booths, the expo is about FUN for the kids. That’s why there will be so many FUN themed, intereactive features that everyone in the family can enjoy, things like:

Cars and Coffee Roanoke is an informal social gathering for fellow automotive enthusiasts to meet and discuss everything automotive-related, while surrounded by the company of great vehicles, great people, and great coffee. All vehicles welcome—hot rods, roadsters, classics, muscle cars, exotics, luxury, rat rods, sports cars, tuners, cycles, and more. This is a cruise-in style event with no admission fee. It’s free to all vehicles and spectators! Invite your friends and bring your family—we look forward to seeing you!

Growing Up

April 2019


Professional Balloon Artist Speaker / Author / Big Kid at Heart Gospel Presentations - Shows - Parties - Events



10 off


$40 or more purchase Expires May 31st

Valid only at Roanoke - Electric road and Christiansburg locations. Coupon can Not be copied and has no cash value.

4092 Electric Road, Roanoke 360 Arbor Drive, Christiansburg

STEAM Ahead to Summer Fun. Kids College is our summer enrichment series which offers unique workshops for rising 2nd – 10th graders that are designed to teach new skills, develop new interests and hobbies, and explore future career opportunities.

VWCC Workforce Services Department • 540.857.6076

Star City Little Library Need a Book? Take a Book. Have a Book? Leave a Book.

Little Libraries are a great way to spread literacy and entertainment throughout our communities. Every month Growing Up in the Valley will restock the little libraries with great books for your whole family and we welcome your donations as well! Stop by our locations to see what surprises we have in store, and maybe leave a gently used book for someone else to enjoy.

Locations: Roanoke Ballet Theatre – 1318 Grandin Rd SW – Roanoke, VA 24015 Launching Pad – 1300 Intervale Dr – Salem, VA 24153 LewisGale Medical Center – 1900 Electric Rd – Salem, VA 24153 Amtrak Station – Downtown Roanoke Kirk Family YMCA Lower Entrance – Downtown Roanoke Roanoke Main Post Office - 419 Rutherord Avenue - Roanoke, VA 24022 Bounce Roanoke - 3424 Orange Avenue - Roanoke, VA 24012 Smart Beginnings/United Way - 325 Campbell Avenue SW - Roanoke, VA 24011 Prestige Gymnastics - 2726 Lee Highway - Troutville, VA 24175 CHIP Roanoke - 1201 3rd Street SW - Roanoke, VA 24016

Rachel’s Reads

Book Reviews by Rachel Levine

April is National Poetry Month, the perfect excuse to explore poetry with your children! Julie Bogart, the founder of the Brave Writer program, suggests families have weekly poetry teatimes where they enjoy a sweet treat and read poetry together. Our family has

The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews

time one day a week. We try

Hey, Diddle Diddle, Humpty Dumpty, and Pat-a-Cake are quintessential for preschoolers and toddlers. Nursery rhyme books are plentiful, but The Neighborhood Mother Goose stands out from the crowd with Nina Crews’ absolutely gorgeous photographs of children and families playing together. The joy and love in the photographs are contagious and make sharing nursery rhymes with little ones even more meaningful.

to make the snacks a little

When We Were Very Young

done this for the last five years, and it’s one of our favorite things we do together. Like all families, we’re busy, so this often means simply reading poems over dessert or at snack

special—maybe by adding sprinkles to our ice cream or whipped cream to our hot chocolate. Here are some wonderful books of poems that you can use to create your own memories. And look for Hip Hop Speak to Children in the

by A.A. Milne

Few have captured the essence of childhood as well as A.A. Milne. His collection of poems, When We Were Very Young, speaks to what it’s really like to be a preschooler. The poem titled “Independence,” where a child bemoans constant safety warnings from adults, made my daughter shout, “YES! That is exactly how I feel!” With whimsy and keen insight, When We Were Very Young is sure to find a special place in your heart.

Little Libraries around town

Hip Hop Speaks to Children

this month!

Hip Hop Speaks to Children is a vibrant and toe-tapping poetry collection edited by Nikki Giovanni, award winning poet and Virginia Tech professor. It’s a powerful celebration of African American culture,

Edited by Nikki Giovanni

music, rhythm, and strength in the face of oppression. From Langston Hughes to the Sugarhill Gang, and with several marvelous poems by Nikki Giovanni, Hip Hop Speaks to Children has incredible breadth and depth. Making the collection even more phenomenal is an included audio recording of many of the poets and musicians performing their work. I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming is completely and gloriously ridiculous. Aimed at elementary-aged kids, this book will have your kids guffawing. Can you imagine a dramatic poem about avocados or a birthday party with piranhas instead of a pinata? There is also some poking fun at grownups involved, which makes kids love it even more. Harris’ zany poems tickle kids’ funny bones and make this an absolute favorite. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

A Light in the Attic is a must for any child’s poetry collection. The creative absurdity of Silverstein’s poems delights kids and adults alike, whether they’re about a dysfunctional homework machine, forgetting your pants, or a library book that’s forty-two years overdue. Silverstein illustrated his work with simple and wonderfully strange illustrations that further add to the fun.

can Re a l A me r i or N i nj a Wa r r i pen ! O w o N e s r Cou

Kids Eat Free 1300 Intervale Drive Salem VA 24153



Every Day


• Mama Maria’s 11 AM - 2 PM • 3 & under free buffet with paid adult W. Main St., Salem (540) 389-2848

• Country Cookin’ 4 PM - Close • 10 & under, 2 children per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke (540) 774-0199

• Golden Corral All Day • 3 & under free buffet with paid adult 1441 Towne Square Blvd., Roanoke (540) 563-8826

• Famous Anthony’s 3 PM - Close • 1 child per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke, Salem, & Vinton (540) 362-1400

IHop 4PM-10PM • 12 & Under All Locations

• Buffalo Wild Wings 4 PM - 9 PM • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult All Locations (540) 725-9464

• Shoney’s All Day • 4 & under, free kids meal with adult entree purchase. Drink not included 2673 Lee Highway, Troutville (540) 992-6400

• El Rio Mexican Grill All Day • 10 & under, 1 child per paid adult 4208 Electric Rd., Roanoke (540) 685-4343 • Firehouse Subs All Day • 11 & under, 2 children per paid adult combo,dine in Blacksburg

(540) 961-0371 • The Green Goat All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 802 Wiley Dr. SW, Roanoke (540) 904-6091

Tuesday • Brambleton Deli 11 AM - 9 PM • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 3655 Brambleton Ave., Roanoke (540) 774-4554 • Denny’s 4 PM - 10 PM • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult All Locations Roanoke & Salem (540) 389-5074 • Macado’s 4 PM - 9 PM • 12 & under, $1 child meal per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke & Salem (540) 776-9884

• McAlister’s Deli 5 PM - Close • 2 children per paid adult 2063 Colonial Ave., Roanoke (540) 204-4407 • Town Center Tap House All Day • 12 & under, 2 children per paid adult 90 Town Center St., Daleville (540) 591-9991 • Firehouse Subs All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult Colonial Ave, Town Square & Salem only (540) 345-3131 • Pizza Hut 5 PM - Close • 10 & under, free buffet per paid adult 1016 Hershberger Rd., Roanoke (540) 362-3834

Roanoke (540) 344-7711 • The Roanoker 4:30 PM - Close • 12 & under, 2 children per paid adult 2522 Colonial Ave., Roanoke (540) 344-7746

• Jerry’s Family Restaurant 4 PM - Close • 6 & under, 1 child per adult meal purchase 1340 E. Washington Ave., Vinton (540) 343-4400

Friday See Everyday Deals!


4869 Valley View Blvd., Roanoke (540) 362-1475 • Jimmy V’s Restaurant All Day • 4 & under kids meal only $2.50 3403 Brandon Ave., Roanoke (540) 345-7311 • Moe’s Southwestern Grill All Day • 1 free per paid adult All Roanoke & Blacksburg locations • Firehouse Subs All Day • 12 and Under 1 free per paid adult Keagy Road, Roanoke 540-204-4471 • O’Charley’s All Day • 10 and Under 1 free per paid adult Valley View, Roanoke 540-563-9870

• Ruby Tuesday 5 PM - Close • 11 & under, 1 child per paid adult Electric Rd., Roanoke (540) 265-9301

• Tokyo Express 11 AM - 3 PM • 4 & under free buffet per paid adult 1940 W Main St., Salem (540) 389-6303

• Rodeo Grande All Day • 12 and Under 1 free per paid adult Valley View, Roanoke 540-206-2296

• K&W All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult Hershberger Rd. Roanoke

• F.P.S All day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 611 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke (540) 400-6879

• Lew’s Restaurant SW All Day • 12 and Under 2 free per paid adult Walnut Avenue, Roanoke 540-682-5925

(540) 563-4977

Wednesday • Dogwood 4 PM - Close • 10 & under, per paid adult 106 E. Lee Ave., Vinton (540) 343-6549 • Pizza Pasta Pit 4 PM - 9 PM • 1 child per paid adult. Drink not included. 1713 Riverview Dr., Salem (540) 387-2885 • The Quarter All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult 19 Salem Ave., Roanoke (540) 342-2990

Thursday • CiCi’s Pizza All Day • 10 & under .99 cents child buffet per adult buffet

• Famous Anthony’s 12 PM - Close • 1 child per adult meal All Locations Roanoke, Salem, Vinton (540) 362-1400

Sunday • Pizza Den 5 PM - 8:30 PM • 10 & under free buffet per paid adult buffet and drink purchase Salem (540) 389-1111 • Local Roots 5 PM -7 PM • 5 & under eat for free, discount for ages 5-7 per paid adult 1314 Grandin Rd., Roanoke (540) 206-2610 • T.G.I.Fridays All Day • 12 & under 1 with paying adult

These listings are for informational purposes only and do not guarantee a discount. As restaurants change promotions often, we recommend calling ahead.


& More! Basketball Dodgeball Jousting Pit Fidget Ladder Airbag Pit Launch Tower Arcade with prizes Bumper cars Flight Training Wall NEW! American Ninja Warrior Course Snack Bar 5 Party Rooms


PRE-K PASS Kids ages 3-5 enjoy free admission all season in 2019 with a FREE Pre-K Pass, which includes family favorites like Soak City, Great Pumpkin Fest and WinterFest. Register online at by May 27 and visit the park before June 23 to activate.

Hunting for an Easter Egg Hunt beyond your imagination?

Kids Square camps promise to offer a summer of fun! Campers will enjoy themed weeks such as Super Hero Camp, DIY Camp and much more. Participants will also enjoy water fun outside on the market, on our roof, or at the park, two days a week (weather permitting).

Camps will begin May 29th Camps for Ages 3-4 & 4-6

Please visit our website for full camp information and to reserve your spot today! Price: $135.00/members $160.00/guests

Kids Square staff members are EGGCITED to give you an Easter basket (while supplies last) and an adventure card! Our EGGSPLOSIVE Easter adventure card sends you on a treasure hunt for hidden, fizzing, glowing and even magnetized eggs throughout the museum. Then join in more fun with our special Easter activities. The Easter Bunny appears with us onstage for EGGSPLOSIVE EGGSPERIMENTS at 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm and 3:30pm. Top off your visit with your picture with the Easter Bunny! Roanoke Catholic Pre-K-2nd grade in uniform, will receive FREEE ADMISSION (students only). You really don’t want to miss this EGGSTRA special event. See you then! Prices for Members: Adults FREE; Children $3.00 Prices for Guests: Adults Admission Ticket Only; Children Admission Ticket + $3.00

Left to right: Adam Johnston NMLS 290827, Holly Carwile (NRV), Allison Wolf NMLS 713078, Vanessa Moore NMLS 713067, Tessa Rider NMLS 196577, Ryan Stenger (NRV) NMLS 568834, Frank Miller, Paula Brown (standing) NMLS 414569

In the market for a home? Freedom First has the friendliest mortgage professionals in the Valley. With over 75 years of combined experience, our team provides expertise in Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, VHDA, Jumbo loans, and the Affordable Housing Loan Program. All with local processing and underwriting. Contact Frank Miller in Roanoke (540) 339-3868 I Contact Holly Carwile in NRV (540) 378-8977 (540) 389-0244 (866) 389-0244

Federally insured by NCUA.


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