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Growing up Southwest & Cent ral Virginia ’s Premier Family Resource

Vol. 2, Issue 7 • May 2014

In The Valley

[color|THE|cover|CONTEST|winner] |||Choose|Your|School|] [|individual|Education||||| |||Kid’s|Games|] [|Summer|reading|lists||||

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Growing up Publisher

Josh Eagan

Southwest &Anika Centraand l VirgEvelyn’s inia’s PremiDad er Family Resource

Growing up


Andrea Eagan Anika and Evelyn’s Mom


Tracy Fisher Charlotte and Evelyn’s Mom


Ellen Prillaman Lyndsay Bella’s Mom

Southwest and Central Virginia’s Premier Family Resource! V.A.E.C.E

Rising Star Award


Natashia Pierson Royce and Raeanna’s Mom


Leigh Anne Woods Ryan, Krystal, Braydon, Kailey, Rome, and Sage’s Aunt Writers April Collini Laura Wade Teresa Martin Kim Castner Amanda Powers Lisa Cone Rachel Robinson Courtney Cutright Katie Lewis Heidi Blackwelder Photographers Jessica Farmer Amanda Robinson

We welcome reader comments, submissions and the support of advertisers. We reserve the right to refuse or edit any materials submitted to us that we deem inappropriate for our audience. Please include a self addressed stamped envelope with any submission to be returned. We do not accept responsiblity for unsolicited materials. Growing Up In the Valley and Growingupinthevalley. com 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 represnt those of Growing Up In the Valley, it’s staff or contributors. The information presented here is for informational purposes only and although every effort has been made to present accurate information, we do not in any way accept responsibility for the accuracy of, or consequences from the use of this information or for the businesses and organizations presented herein. We urge all parents to confirm any information given herein and consult with a doctor or an appropriate professional concerning any information or question. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of the publisher.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

WINNER Proud to be Part of Your Family Since 2012! This month marks a milestone for us as a magazine. We have surpassed all local magazines in distribution points, readers and fans on Facebook! With your continued support, we have become the PREMIER SOURCE for Parenting Information throughout the Roanoke and New River Valleys. With the release of this issue, we will now be available for pickup throughout Smith Mountain Lake as well! With close to 100 locations in SML, Growing Up In the Valley will surely soon become the go-to publication for all things Parenting!. On Facebook, we now have over 5,600 Likes! More then any other local publication. We love sharing new ideas with readers on Facebook. If you have not already done so, head over to Facebook and join in the conversation with the close to 6,000

parents who currently follow us. One last thing before you start flipping through the pages. We pride ourselves in being COMMUNITY partners. We want to see the community thrive and we are proud to be able to help make that happen. This spring and summer, we are excited to be helping sponsor the following community events please come out and support as many as you can! • Community School Strawberry Festival • Blue Ridge Kite Festival • Gallop 4 the Greenways • YMCA Father’s Day 5K • Hidden Valley High School Softball • Back to School Blast • Roanoke Children’s Theatre • Earth Day Roanoke Festival - The Eagan Family Andrea, Josh, Anika and Evelyn

Stars of the Valley

7 Choosing a School: Public or Private

growing up In the Valley Volume 2 Issue 7 May 2014

Which school fits your family’s need the best?

12 Individual Education Plans Navigating the world of special education

Family Fun

15 Craft Together

Let your creative side loose with your child

16 Creating Colors of Music

Cover Artwork by: Jake Dempsey, Grandin Court Elementary

Education Station

22 Music in the Class How does music affect a child’s academic performace?

Make your own colorful instruments

37 Little Chefs

Your kids will go wild for this bear-y good breakfast!

Kidz Corner

26 Kid’s Activities

Mad libs, puzzles, and games for our youngest readers!

Place: Gracie Pick d n le co Se

28 Flutter &

Woolie’s Adventures

Family Living

6 Practically Perfect Parenting Lose the Summer Learning Loss!

31 Mommy Files

what is it like being a mother in today’s world?

The Guide

34 Family Game Night

a Pl


ckson Rive : Ja

10 Media Mommy nb ar


Th ir d

Forget about BattleShip and play these 3 great games!

Reviews on the latests movies and books

39 Family Calendar

Need something to do on spring break? Check out our events this month!

38 Kids Eat Free

Find out all the details where kids dine for free

46 Party Guide

Use our guide to plan the perfect party

Family Living

Lose the Summer Loss Break the cycle of summer learning loss with these simple tips and ideas. By: Tracy Fisher

1. Summer Camps

There are hundreds of camps in the area that cater to a multitude of different interests, atheltic abilities, faiths and even educational pursuits. Our online Camp Guide has over 60 camps listed, and we’re adding more all the time. Summer camps can mask the educational aspect through high energy activities while maintaining a great curliculum. Check with your local museums, recreational centers, libraries and colleges to see what programs they offer.

2. Library Programs

Our valley has great local library programs for all ages. There are preschool story hours, craft and game clubs, lectures, demonstrations, reading programs and family fun activities. These programs will give you access to great resources to keep your family’s mind active all throughout the summer.


Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

3. Vacation Education

While on vacation this summer, your children may never think to pick up a book or prepare for the upcoming school year. Turn your vacation into an educational experience without sacrificing any of the fun or relaxation. While out and about, keep your eyes open for museums, tours, historical sites, trails and libraries. Every town has it’s own history and trivia facts that will help your children remember the trip for a lifetime.

4. Internet

While screen time limitations are a family choice- there are lots of educational websites that are fun and safe. The internet is a vast ocean of information, you just need to look out for the trash. Youtube, Wikipedia, and other open sourcess of information can be tailored to your child’s interests and strengths. Younger children may like speciality sites with educational games and videos like

5. School Programs

Your own school system knows your child’s educational needs the best. Before school lets outm listen to their teachers and find out if there are any programs to prepare for their upcoming grade, and specific areas your student needs to work on over the summer.

6. Books, Books & Books

Use the summer time to let your child explore their interests instead of always following a reading assignment. You could spend all summer studying dinosaurs, the stars & planets or finish up a new fictional series that they haven’t been able to fit into their busy school schedule. Encourage them to try new authors or book formats, read along with them or get books on tape for long car rides. Check out the American Library Association’s Summer Reading list on the next page.

Grades K-2 Actual Size

by Steve Jenkins

Big Red Lollipop

Grades 3-5 Big Nate: In a Class by Himself The Birchbark House

Boot and Shoe

by Christopher Paul Curtis

by Marla Frazee

Chirchir Is Singing

by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Jude Daly

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

by Lincoln Peirce

by Rukhsana Khan, illustrated by Sophie Blackall Viking

Grades 6-8 Axe Cop

by Louise Erdrich

by Malachai Nicolle, illustrated by Ethan Nicolle

Bud, Not Buddy

Better Nate than Ever


Bone: Out from Boneville

by Tim Federle

by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee

by Jeff Smith

Close to Famous

Chu’s Day

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

The Eagles Are Back

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnaswami,

Ender’s Game

It’s a Tiger!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Friends with Boys

I Want My Hat Back

The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, Book 1)

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!


Luke on the Loose

The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Wendell Minor

by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Jeremy Tankard by Jon Klassen

by Grace Lin

by Harry Bliss

More Bears!

by Kenn Nesbitt, illustrated by Troy Cummings

Nighttime Ninja

by Barbara DaCosta; illustrated by Ed Young

Panda Kindergarten by Joanne Ryder, photographs by Katherine Feng

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, illustrated by James Dean

Red-Eyed Tree Frog

by Joy Cowley, photographs by Nic Bishop

Scaredy Squirrel by Mélanie Watt

Shark vs. Train

by Chris Barton; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

by Rachel Renée Russell

by Orson Scott Card by Faith Erin Hicks

The Giver

by Lois Lowry

by Rick Riordan

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman

by Jason Shiga

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

by Trenton Lee Stewart; illustrated by Carson Ellis

The Lions of Little Rock

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

No Talking

One Crazy Summer

by Nathan Hale

by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Mark Elliott

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao

by Kristin Levine

by Heather Vogel Frederick by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan


by Raina Telgemeier

Out of My Mind



by Dan Santat

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

When You Reach Me

by Sharon M. Draper

by Tom Angleberger

To Dance: A Ballerina’s Graphic Novel by Siena Cherson Siegel, illustrated by Mark Siegel

Tuesdays at the Castle

We Are in a Book!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

by Mo Willems

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

by Brian Selznick

Ugly Fish

by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Scott Magoon

by Joan Bauer

by Anthony Horowitz

by Deborah Hopkinson by Rebecca Stead

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle


by R. J. Palacio

by Jessica Day George

by Grace Lin

See full reading lists & book descriptions on

Stars of the Valley

Choosing a School: Public or Private by: Rachel Robinson

Nowadays, parents are faced with many choices when it comes to their child’s education. These choices can bring about difficult questions: Public or private school? Charter school? To home school or not to home school? For how long? What about expenses? When asking parents about schooling preferences for their children, we heard everything from “Public school is a waste of children,” to “You are not helping your community if you send your child to private school.” Public school versus private school can be a controversial topic, sparking heated debates among parents and educators. Perhaps these conversations are so contentious because they say something about how we see the world, and how we want our children to experience the world. This decision says something about our financial resources and affects what we do with our money. It causes us to ask ourselves difficult questions about what aspects of our child’s education are most important to us. It prompts us to make judgments about our community and be honest about our child’s abilities and special needs. We are all coming from different school experiences-some great, some less than perfect. The decision about where your child spends over 12,000 hours per year can be an overwhelming one. So what is the best choice for your family? That depends largely on several factors, including but not limited to: your child’s special needs or abilities, the school’s academic rigor or quality of programs offered, tuition expenses/affordability for the family, and desired social and cultural experiences 8

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

for your child. The list could go on and on, but these four foundational aspects are a good place to start. Believe it or not, parents on both sides of the debate have more in common than one may think. The pro-public and pro-private can agree that they have their children’s best interest at heart. Initially, local area resident Tiffany Ferguson pulled her children out of their local public school due to her perception of lax in the system as a result of the No Child Left Behind legislation. The move to private school came with some financial implications.

The national average cost of private school tuition for 2013-2014 is approximately $9,231 per year. “It’s definitely a sacrifice,” Ferguson acknowledges. “It’s expensive but so worth it. After being in public schools for nine years, it’s a perfect fit for my kid. She is like a new person because of the sacrifice we made to send her.”

Private school can be expensive. According to The Private School Review, The national average cost of private school tuition for 2013-2014 is approximately $9,231 per year. The private elementary school average is $8,209 per year and the private high school average is $11,822 per year. Those numbers can be a little discouraging if your family is like many others living on a tight budget. Most private schools offer scholarships of some sort and those can be worth checking into if your family is interested in pursuing a particular private school. Ferguson says that her family’s decision to send her children to a private Christian school also stemmed largely from her desire that her children receive a personalized educational experience, not just academically but also on a more holistic level. She continues, “Most important is the respect and dignity that they both have gained with the love and attention that has been given to them. Each teacher has cared a lot for them. (Their teachers) cared enough to teach them the way they both needed to be taught.” This student-centered educational philosophy shows up in many parents and school systems both public and private. It seems that both sides agree that students should receive the best individualized education possible. For Ferguson and many other parents like her, this includes continued character

Stars of the Valley and spiritual components as well. This faith and moral value emphasis as a part of the curriculum seems to be a big deciding factor for many parents who have ultimately chosen private faith-based or religious-affiliated schools for their children.

Education is half of the equation and how you raise your kids is the other, On the other side of the debate, special-education public school alum, Hong Nguyen highlights the importance of familiarizing children with real world society early on in life. She believes that the public school environment emulates the job world and gives children the opportunity to be exposed to cultural, social, and economic diversity. “I believe (public school) gives kids more freedom to be in touch with reality around them, which will serve them well for the future.” Nguyen explains. She also acknowledges the fact that private school tuition would be a difficult sacrifice for her to make, though she does not knock parents who are able to fund tuition costs for their children. “(My family) agrees that academic education is one facet but education can only take you so far. Education is half of the equation and how you raise your kids is the other,” she continues. Nguyen makes a valid point regarding the time that parents spend with children outside of school. She and many other parents like her believe that what happens at home contributes heavily to the educational success and wellbeing of the child. Liberty University graduate and new mom, Christen Lucas is fusing education and child-rearing into one. She attended private school from preschool to college and says she wouldn’t trade her experience for the world.

“We will be home schooling our kids though,” she laughs. “That’s about as private as you can get.” Parents like Lucas who want to take further charge of their child’s education look to home schooling. This trend seems to be on the rise, likely because of the increased ease of access to learning that technology and the internet offer. Those skeptical about homeschooling usually argue that kids have the potential to miss out on the social skill-building opportunities that the traditional school setting provides. A recent ABC news report explains that though in previous years home-schooled families may be seen as “ultra-religious” or antisocial, most parents now recognize the importance of networking and socializing with other children and families through church activities, sports leagues, home school networking groups and other clubs such as girl scouts. Anna Johnson was home-schooled and attended private school later in her education. She eventually decided to become a public elementary school teacher. With windows into the home school, private, and public school worlds, Johnson says she has mixed feelings about each schooling route.

When it comes to school choice, there seems to be no “one size fits all” solution. “There are many things wrong with the public school system, but what I can say from experience is that despite the broken system there are some amazing teachers out there. Though private school has its pros, I’ve always found it bizarre that many private schools do not require teachers to have a degree in education. I can compare the private school teachers I’ve known and worked with to the public school teachers I know and work with, and I can see a stark contrast.” Though there are plenty of private

schools that do in fact hold their teachers to high standards, teacher qualifications and teacher education requirements are definitely worth checking on a school by school basis if you are a parent considering a private school not subject to certain requirements. “If you are paying that much, don’t you want your child’s teachers to have as much educational background as possible?” continues Johnson. She also says that if she were considering a certain private school for her child, she would have to inquire about that school’s familiarity with students with special needs. “I also feel, from some experiences, that private schools (can be) very limited in their experience with students with learning challenges and the resources they have to help them.” The availability of programs for students with special needs or abilities largely relates to the financial resources of the school and can be worth noting. Some private schools have the resources to fund sports teams, gifted opportunities and remedial programs, while other smaller schools may not be able to provide these. The Ferguson family chose a private school with music and sports programs, and though her children struggled with behaviors in the public school, she says that the smaller teacher-student ratio has tremendously helped her children improve though personalized attention and instruction. When it comes to school choice, there seems to be no “one size fits all” solution. Despite varied schooling experiences, preferences and unique desires of each family, the common thread that seems to run through each parent is the undeniable aspiration that their child receives the best educational experience possible. Deciding factors seemed to rest specifically on the school district and private options available, and weighing the pros and cons for each unique situation. Chances are, if you’re the kind of parent who is taking the time to wrestle with whether to send your child to public or private school, your kid is going to do just fine. may 2014 •


The Guide

by: Heidi Blackwelder

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 After Flint Lockwood saves Swallow Falls from the giant food storm in the first film, the island is a disaster. Chester V, Flint’s idol and CEO of Live Corp, takes on the task of cleaning up the wreckage, so Flint and the other citizens are sent to California until their town is livable again. But all is not what it seems. Unbeknownst to Flint, his food-generating invention that caused all the trouble in the first place is still operating somewhere on the island. Chester V knows this, and he intends to locate it and use it for his own nefarious purposes. So he decides to take advantage of Flint’s infatuation and sends Flint and his friends back to Swallow Falls, tasked with finding the device and shutting it down once and for all.

The Maze Runner

directed by Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn Dreamworks Animation

Little does Flint know Chester’s true intentions… Upon returning to the island, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the giant food than meets the eye. Somehow, the food has started coming to life, and an entirely new ecosystem exists where the town used to be. Chester insists that the “foodimals” are dangerous and must be destroyed, and Flint is eager to please his idol even though his gut seems to be telling him otherwise. Will Flint come to his senses in time to make the right decision? Heart-warming and funny, Cloudy 2 proves once again that the right choice often isn’t an easy one. A fun continuation of the original story.

Written by: James Dashner Delacorte Press Reccomended for Grades 7-9 Thomas wakes up in the lift, stripped of his memories, terrified, and surrounded by other teenage boys. He soon learns that this place is called the Glade, and that once a month, a new boy arrives in the lift whose memories are also gone. And outside the massive stone walls enclosing them, the Maze stretches for miles. Every day, the Runners venture into the Maze to search for an exit and to map the route, a task that’s as daunting as it is futile. They must make it back to the Glade before sundown, because every night, the doors close, the walls are rearranged, and the horrific Grievers emerge. No one has ever survived a night in the Maze. Oh, and the number one rule in the


Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Glade? No one goes out into the Maze except the Runners. Ever. For two years, this has been the life of the Gladers. Until the day after Thomas arrives, the lift comes back. And this time, there’s a girl inside, unconscious, a note clenched in her first. Everything is about to change. James Dashner’s bestselling novel is a thrilling, mind-bending ride that will leave you asking yourself, Do the ends always justify the means?

The Guide

Better Nate Than Ever

An Education that Defines a Lifetime

written by: Tim Federle Simon and Schuster Reccomended for Grades 6-8 Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster has big dreams; New-York-sized dreams, in fact. For as long as he can remember, he has longed to be a Broadway star. But in his hometown of Jankburg, Pennsylvania -- where no one appreciates his singing or Broadway knowledge except his best friend Libby -- there aren’t many opportunities offered in the musical theater department. Combine that with a sports-star older brother he has nothing in common with and the relentless bullies at school, and Nate can’t wait to put his small town roots behind him. So when E.T.: The Musical is holding open auditions in New York City, he and Libby hatch a plan to get Nate there, whatever the cost. Because they both know that this could be the difference between a dreary life in Jankburg and the sparkling Broadway big-time. All he has to do is sneak out of his house when his parents leave on an anniversary trip, hop on a bus to the Big Apple, convince E.T.’s creative team that he was born for the stage, and make it back home before his parents realize he’s gone. Sounds easy, right?

But Nate is about to discover that the Broadway process is not as simple as he thought. In fact, this might not be his big break after all. Or is it? Tim Federle’s funny and charismatic first novel explains how sometimes the path to success involves a lot of flops along the way. Join Nate on his journey to stardom, as he learns what it means to be a friend, the true meaning of forgiveness, and the importance of withholding our judgment when it matters.

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To find out more about a Christian classical approach to education, call: 540.769.5200 ext. 148 or by email at 3585 Buck Mountain Road, SW Roanoke, VA 24018

may 2014 •


Stars of the Valley

An Individualized Education Plan By: Courtney Cutright

Navigating the special education maze may seem daunting. But the process in place provides legal safeguards to make sure each of our nation’s children receive a “free and appropriate education,” or FAPE, per the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The acronyms are bountiful. The legislation is wordy and could be overwhelming to the parents of a child newly determined to be eligible for special education and related services. But the federal law guarantees services for students in more than a dozen disability categories, and it holds states and localities accountable to educate those students at no cost to parents. Danielle Custer of Roanoke County is the mother of two boys who attend Masons Cove Elementary School and have been diagnosed with disabilities. Aidan, 9, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and dyslexia last school year when he was a third-grader. Custer said her son’s academic struggles began in pre-K. “It wasn’t until the end of kindergarten that anyone actually tested him,” Custer recounted. She said it was frustrating at times because the process did not move as quickly as she thought it should. “The best advice that I would give any parents going through this is don’t take no for an answer if you feel that your child is struggling. You, as parents, know your child better than the teach12

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

ers, and they [your children] need you to be their voice,” Custer said. How the eligibility process works Any number of people can initiate the eligibility process for special education services. For example, a parent, a teacher, a school-based team, or anyone who has concerns about a child’s education can request a special education evaluation. Once the initial referral is made, a school division has 65 days to determine whether or not a student is eligible for special education services.

ly, contains information about the student’s academic achievement, measurable annual goals, and special education and related services to be provided. Special education refers to the individualized educational needs of the child with a disability; while related services may include counseling, physical or occupational therapy, psychological services, or other similar supportive services.

Any existing data on the child is first reviewed in order to determine what other data, if any, are needed to determine whether the child is a child with a disability. The data is used to make a determination of eligibility for special education services. If the child is found ineligible, then written notice is given to the parents, including the right to appeal the decision through due process hearing procedures. In the event the child is found to be a child with a disability, then an Individualized Education Program must be created within 30 days. The IEP is a written report drafted with input from a team, which usually consists of a special education teacher, a general education teacher, an administrator, parents of the student, and anyone else who may contribute knowledge or expertise to the process. The IEP, which is reviewed annual-

Aidan Custer’s most recent IEP stipulates that he is to be pulled out of the general education classroom to work one-on-one with a special education teacher for math, reading, and testing. The special education teacher joins Aidan in the general education classroom for the rest of the school day. Because Aidan, a fourth-grader, reads on a second-grade level, one of his accommodations is to have tests read aloud to him.

Stars of the Valley “He does drastically better when he is given the one-on-one testing,” Custer said.

that Colin refused to utter several of the words he had previously spoken: mommy, daddy, and kitty.

Because she had already been through the eligibility process with Aidan, Custer felt she was better prepared when her younger son, Bentlee Jones, exhibited difficulties in the classroom.

“I think something is off with Colin,” Mason recalls telling her son’s pediatrician at the child’s 18-month well visit.

Bentlee, 8, has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. Even though Custer was prepared, she said the brothers’ eligibility processes were vastly different. With Bentlee “the school and special education teachers agreed from the start and everything ran so much more smoothly,” Custer said. Bentlee’s IEP is similar to his brother’s in terms of accommodations: one-onone time with the special education teacher and oral testing. Custer is satisfied with the education her sons are receiving. “There is amazing help out there, but sometimes you have to fight for it,” she said.

The pediatrician diagnosed apraxia of speech, a condition in which the brain has difficulty moving the parts of the body needed to produce speech. The Masons began speech therapy and sign language, but Colin became more dependent on signs and even less vocal than before. “I discontinued our sessions [after] about two months. Frustration got the best of me,” Mason said. By the time Colin was due for his twoyear well checkup, Mason’s concerns had exacerbated. She spoke up again. “This time, I explained that it had become increasingly difficult to engage Colin in group activities,” she recalled. “He wasn’t refusing to participate; he just simply didn’t want to participate. He preferred alone time and playing by himself.” The pediatrician observed Colin and referred him to a child development specialist. Mason’s second series of concerns sparked tests and observations over the next year that concluded in a diagnosis of autism. Mason remembers the day the specialist and other doctors called a meeting to break the news. She was full of questions: What does this mean? What was she supposed to do? What was her next step?

A mother’s intuition Crystal Mason of Botetourt County recalls feeling paranoid, overprotective, and even afraid when she first brought up concerns about her toddler’s development. Colin was a late walker. He struggled with some of the fine motor skills Mason felt should be normal for his age. But what worried her most was

“At that moment, I had no idea what autism meant. Like many people, I watched Rain Man and all these other movies that displayed adults and children with autism as ‘mentally handicapped’ or ‘idiot savants.’ All I kept thinking was, am I going to have to change his diaper at 16? Would he ever fall in love, get married and have kids? These questions may seem selfish and of little importance at the time, but still, it overwhelmed me,” Mason confessed. The specialist suggested the Masons

consider public school special education for Colin right away. Colin was evaluated and admitted into an early childhood education program for children with developmental delays or disabilities. Public school intervention Colin’s vocabulary and verbal communication had regressed, but the diagnosis and early intervention turned that around quickly. Mason attributes the extensive improvement to the special education and related services Colin began receiving soon after his diagnosis of autism. Within two months of the autism diagnosis, Colin was enrolled in pre-K in Roanoke City Public Schools. The Masons, at the time, were Roanoke residents. “Colin began some pretty intense speech therapy at first, then occupational therapy was introduced later. And, of course, just being at school with so many children was to help with his social development,” Mason said. When Colin began school in the spring of 2010, he was three years old and he was saying about six words clearly. “By the end of the first school year, he was showing huge progress in speech and cognition,” Mason said. “We were able to understand Colin, and he was using so many more words. He wasn’t only using the words he had ‘forgotten’ but new words as well,” she recalled. Colin’s progress continued over the next year of pre-K. “He surprised not only us [his parents], but most of his educators,” Mason said. With each annnual IEP review, Colin’s therapy time decreased. He shifted from half days in speech therapy at the very beginning to only a day a week by the time he entered kindergarten. “The only reason he was having to go [to speech] once a week was to work on social skills,” Mason explained. The therapists worked with Colin on may 2014 •


Stars of the Valley appropriate conversational interactions with peers and with adults. Colin’s time spent in occupational therapy decreased too, as his fine and gross motor skills improved. Mason saw even more growth in kindergarten, when Colin learned to read. He would breeze through packs of 100 sight words; he memorized the words and he could sound them out. The teacher sent home more difficult words, and Colin mastered those too. By the end of kindergarten, Mason said Colin was consistently reading on a third-grade level, and he also was learning many fourth- and fifth-grade level words. “How amazing this was for us as parents! Remember, he was six years old at this time. Less than three years ago, he couldn’t say many of the easy words let alone read words like ‘precipitation,’” Mason said.

Botetourt County, meaning Colin would have to change schools. “Knowing that a large part of his success was the routine and familiarity of his school and teachers, we feared a relocation would possibly cause him to backslide,” Mason said. Fortunately, Mason’s fears were unfounded. Colin, who is now 7, adapted to his new school with ease. He is successful in the general education classroom with his one-on-one aide. “Colin still has difficulties, and he struggles with focusing. His aide also helps him with his auditory sensory problems,” Mason said, Colin is extremely sensitive to loud noises and commotion. The ruckus can send him into a panic, which is why Mason advocated for Colin to have alternative transportation to school. She feared Colin would go into a panic on the bus, which would be difficult for the driver to manage with a bus full of other students. Per Colin’s IEP, he is transported to and from school on a smaller bus with other students with disabilities. “This was probably the most difficult accommodation to prove,” Mason said. Become knowledgeable Mason’s advice to parents of child with a newly diagnosed disability is simple: research.

A success story The best news of all came to the Masons near the end of Colin’s kindergarten year during his IEP review. The IEP team recommended that Colin’s promotion to first grade include integration into the general education classroom with the help of an aide. “This was what we had worked so hard for … allowing Colin to live the life a typical child his age would live,” Mason explained. She was ecstatic, but also terrified. The hopes of her son leading a life filled with friends, fun, and affection were coming true. But the family was planning to move from Roanoke to 14

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

“I recommend all parents not only research their typical baby and toddler milestones, but also there are so many resources available for free that will help parents rule out or know what to monitor in regards to Autism Spectrum Disorders,” Mason said. “I was lucky in the fact that I had previous experience in parenting and saw differences that were substantial. First-time parents are not as lucky.” Mason also reiterates the importance of talking to your child’s pediatrician. “Do not be afraid to ask questions involving your child,” she said. “No question is too silly, and no parent should feel stupid or afraid.”

Dr. Colleen Kraft, professor of pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, said developmental screening is a routine part of well checkup visits at nine, 18, and 24 months of age. “We have parents fill out the questionnaire when they first come into the office, and the screen is discussed with them once the pediatrician comes into the exam room,” Dr. Kraft said. “Any concerns identified are discussed during the visit. If there are no developmental concerns, we discuss with families what next developmental milestones and behaviors to expect as their child grows.” Pediatricians are trained to look for developmental delays in four key areas: gross motor, language, fine motor, and personal-social skills. Red flags may include not achieving milestones, such as these, by a certain age: • Rolling, sitting up, pulling to stand, or walking. • Understanding words, babbling, using language to communicate, or speaking. • Reaching for objects, passing them from hand to hand, developing a pincer grasp, using utensils, or scribbling. • Making eye contact, responding to his or her name, or pointing to objects. Dr. Kraft encourages parents to speak up if they have concerns about a child’s development. “Trust your judgment. Ask your pediatrician for a developmental screening test,” she said. She notes two excellent resources in the Roanoke Valley are Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke ( and the Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia ( “If you remain concerned, do not accept reassurance unless you are satisfied your concerns are addressed,”

Family Fun

Craft Together:

Creative Activities for Kids & Their Parents

Rock Monsters


Use these monsters to protect your garden or hold down some papers on your desk!

Items Needed: Rocks • Acrylic paint • Glue • Optional: Glitter, Gems, Feathers, Googley eyes, etc.

Step 1: Find smooth flat rocks. Check by rivers or lakes for the best results.

Step 2: Wash and dry the rocks.

Step 3: Paint the rocks with acrylic paints. Use a strong glue to add on googley eyes or other decorations like feathers or gems.

Step 4: Let the paint dry then spray with a clear coat to keep the paint from flaking off. Place rocks in your garden, window sill or desk. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• You’re not into monsters? Check out these more advanced rocks we found online!

may 2014 •


Family Fun

Creating Colors of Music by: Angie Yates, Creative Starts

Have you ever thought of music in terms of sound colors? Musicians use the word timbre (TAM-bər) to describe the tone quality or color of sound made by an instrument or voice. Explore finding colors of music with your child by creating colorful instruments for the ears and the eyes.

Rainbow Water Xylophone Choose five glasses and fill with various volumes of water. To create rainbow water add food color, drink packets or dip water-based markers into each glass. Use various objects such as spoons, chopsticks or rubber spatulas to create different timbres by tapping on the glass.

Rainbow Wind Chimes

A wind chime can be made using everyday items around your house. Use old keys, large glass beads, washers, etc. to construct your wind chime. String the different items across a clothes hanger, stick or dowel rod so they rattle against each other. The chimes can be played by shaking, running your fingers across or using your breath (or wind) to blow. 16

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Family Fun

Rainbow Shaker Recycle a plastic bottle into a shaker. Simply pour rainbow colored plastic beads into the shaker and replace the lid. A rain stick shaker can be made by inserting several brightly colored pipe cleaners into the bottle before adding the beads and replacing the lid. Turn the rain stick over, as you would an hour glass, to hear the sound of rain.

coming Fall 2014

The best week of their summer is at the VMT! At VMT’s Wings & Wheels Summer Camp, kids will CHUG, SOAR, and MOVE. Museum educators will use VMT’s extensive collection as a springboard for activities that give children climb aboard opportunities for funfilled learning.

Downtown Roanoke

Wings &Wheels


Registration is now OPEN! Hurry. Spots fill quickly! To learn more, go to or email Courtney Plaster at Fuel up with fun at VMT Summer Camps!

may 2014 •


Education Station

Getting Through the Rough Spots major health issues. Since she was old enough to understand, my husband has encouraged her to never give up. This is a mantra that was picked up by our family and has helped us to stay positive.

Over the past year, my family has been challenged, as most every family is at some point. It could be worse. It could always be worse. Yet this morning, when I found out my bank account had been hacked into, and the little money we had to tide us over until pay day was basically drained, I felt like I was at my breaking point. I hated that it was spring break and here I was, on my first day off, crying. Then my son, as he ate a bowl of Cookie Crisp, looked up at me and said, “Everyone goes through rough spots, Mom. It will get better.” Somehow, that was enough to give me the strength I needed. He is right you know. Everyone does go through rough spots. Sometimes I feel guilty about worrying or stressing because I know that there is always someone worse off than me. Yet, that doesn’t change what I’m going through. Of course, neither does worrying or stressing. My son’s words made me realize something though: my husband and I must be doing something right. For my son to find that sort of positivity, when his mom, his caregiver and biggest fan, was at her breaking point, says a lot. It made me proud. I know pride is not always the best thing in the world, but this sort of pride might just be okay. Most all parents take pride in their children and feel warm and fuzzy when their child does something right or makes good decisions; this is natural, as we assume (or hope) we played a part in those decisions. I started thinking about where he got this positivity. I think part of it is due to our family’s circumstances. My step-daughter deals with some pretty

Everyone goes through rough spots. It will get better. I also think some of his positivity comes from our family’s candidness. My son’s words that morning reassured me that candidness is a good thing. I hear people say you shouldn’t talk about money issues or life’s other stresses in front of your kids. For a while, I thought this was true. My son is a worrier, just like me. The last thing I want is for him to be worried about “adult problems” at age 12. Yet, I also don’t think we should sugar coat life for our kids. They will surely be in for a rude awakening when they grow up if this is the case. Sometimes our kids need to see us worry. They need to see us stress. They need to see us cry. They simply need to see us being human. The end result will most likely be beneficial to both child and parent. Our kids need to learn how minute some of their problems are. That doesn’t mean we brush them off, but it will remind them that things aren’t so bad. In turn, watching our kids and how they respond to things reminds us of the same: things aren’t really so bad. All it took was a glance at my son and his simple words to remind me that

by: Katie Lewis everything would be okay. I managed to wipe away my tears, hop in the shower, and spend the rest of the day hanging with my favorite 12-year-old. Time with him took away my worries and made me focus on what’s important in life. Time with me helped him forget about peer pressure, having the coolest new tennis shoes, and the latest middle school drama. I’ve learned to be candid with my son. In turn, he is pretty open and candid with me. He tells me what’s going on at school, when he gets a little too mischievous, and even what girl he has a crush on. I would not want it any other way. I hope he always feels he can talk to me about things such as this. When that day stops, it’s then I will really begin to worry.

Respect and honesty go a long way in any relationship. I’m not suggesting that you become your child’s best friend. We still need to be firm authoritarians and offer some tough love every now and then. In fact, I think it is this that has helped my relationship with my son. Respect and honesty go a long way in any relationship, and it should be no different with our children. While we don’t want to see our kids worry about our problems, letting them get a glimpse might just help them pick themselves up a little quicker when they get knocked down. We all know we can’t prevent the fall, but we can surely help with the recovery. After all, they manage to help us, don’t they? may 2014 •


Family Living

Choosing the mouth guard that’s right for your sport. by: Dr. Corey Sheppard

Sports accidents reportedly account for 10 to 39 percent of all dental injuries in children and are most often caused by direct hits with a hard object, such as a puck or ball, and player-to-player contact. The Academy for Sports Dentistry, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association recommend that all children and adults engaging in organized sports or recreational activities should wear comfortable, well-fitted mouth guards that do not restrict breathing, resist tearing and are easy to clean. Organized sports include, but are not limited to, football, wrestling, basketball, baseball, volleyball, ice and field hockey, softball and soccer. Recreational sports include cycling, inline skating, skateboarding or any activity in which the face could come in contact with a hard object, another person or the pavement. Protective equipment including a mouth guard should be used for all sports and recreational activities.

Five tips to help prevent facial injury: 1.       Wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports: Mouth guards are significantly less expensive than the cost to repair an injury, and dentists and dental specialists can make customized mouth guards that hold teeth in place and allow for normal speech and breathing.

decrease the risk of oral injuries, why is it not mandatory in every sport for kids to be required to wear them. Keep it simple and use protective gear.

2.       Wear a helmet: Helmets absorb the energy of an impact and help prevent damage to the head. 3.       Wear protective eyewear: Eyes are extremely vulnerable to damage, especially when playing sports. 4.       Wear a face shield to avoid scratched or bruised skin: Hockey pucks, basketballs and racquetballs can cause severe facial damage at any age. 5.       Make protective gear mandatory for all sports: Athletes who participate in football, hockey and boxing are required to wear mouth guards.  If mouth guards have been proven to significantly

To get the most of your mouth guard, you’ll need to take proper care of the device. Wash it in cool soapy water and rinse it off well before and after each time you use it. For even better protection against germ build up, brush the guard with a toothbrush and toothpaste before and after every use. Also, don’t chew on the mouth guard or wear removable retainers with your mouth guard, and be sure to replace your mouth guard when it shows signs of wear and tear. Because different sports involve risk and potential injury, talk to your dentist or dental specialist before selecting a mouth guard that meets the needs of your child’s specific activity. For more information contact the pediatric dental office of Anderson & Sheppard at (540)989-3639.

SUMMER CAMPIN’’’ IN THE CITY Let’s put the memories of Old Man Winter behind us and start thinking about summer sun and fun. Our parks and recreation staff has an exciting collection of sports, outdoor and learning camps that will get your youngster’s mind and body active throughout the summer. Let your kid explore the globe with our unique Continental Kids Camp that will navigate children through different cultures and countries from around the world. For more info on this and many other summer camp opportunities, call (540) 853-2236 or visit

Roanoke Summer Camps Football, Adventure, Swimming and more!

We’ll Move You!

Kids Fun Camp (grades K-5) | Educational Camps (grades K-5) | Outdoor Adventure Camps (Ages 8-15) Soccer Camps (ages 2-18) | Football Camp (ages 6-15) | Swim Camps (ages 6-17) | Lifeguard Camps (ages 13-15) 20

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Get Sports Physicals on Your Schedule No appoiNtmeNts Needed Playing sports and going to summer camp are all about having fun, but you want to make sure your child is ready for physical activity. VelocityCare is now offering both sports and camp physicals at all five locations. Please bring any necessary forms with you when you come in for your visit.

Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Blacksburg | 540-961-8040 215 Gilbert St. Christiansburg | 540-382-6000 434 Peppers Ferry Road Daleville | 540-591-9440 46 Wesley Road Roanoke | 540-772-8670 4035 Electric Road, Suite A Westlake | 540-719-1815 13205 Booker T. Washington Highway

Physicals are also available by appointment at all Carilion Clinic primary care locations. J2153 VelocityCare Sports Phys_Growing Up in the Valley_8 125x10 25.indd 1

4/10/14 5:17 PM

Education Station

Music and Its Impact on Academic Success

by: Maria Smith Melody Makers

There are so many programs, sports and activities available for children at all stages of development. As a parent, it is hard to know which activities to choose for your child. One choice that has long term benefits is music education. No matter what the age, there are music opportunities for your child whether it is classes, lessons or band/choir. And research is showing that the longer your child is in music, the better the results. The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) has recently reviewed an extensive 22

Growing Up In the Valley • May 2014

amount of research on music and its effects on academic performance. After the review, they have reported that students participating in music education programs have increased abilities in several cognitive areas. First, students are better prepared to learn. Music training provides students with enhanced fine motor skills as well as better memory and thinking skills. Also, students perform better in academic achievement. Many studies have concluded that a background in music helps students both in verbal and math areas. Students perform better on SAT scores as opposed to

students without a music educational background. Finally, the report suggests that music education helps develop creative capacities for a lifetime of success. Students with a music background have increased attentiveness, perseverance, creativity and better study habits. There is also evidence of a boost in self-esteem as part of a musical education. For more information about their findings or the vast amount of research that was analyzed in their report, visit http://www.aep-arts. org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Music-Matters-Final.pdf.

Here are some ways to involve children with music at any age Music Classes There are many programs available for children ages 0-6. Toddler and preschool music programs offer children skills such as singing, rhythm, expression, creativity, dramatic play, and memory building. Consider a music class for your young one to introduce them to the joy and fun that music brings.

Camp As summer comes, look for an opportunity to enroll your child in a musical camp. These can be a week of fun, educational experiences to introduce them to musical concepts that can further be developed with lessons or trainings.

Voice If your child enjoys singing, you might consider voice lessons to enhance their ability.

Piano/Instrument Lessons As your child moves into elementary and middle school, there are many opportunities for music lessons and an introduction to a musical instrument. Let your child experiment with many instruments to see what they enjoy.

Orchestra/Symphony/Band Take your child to an orchestra, symphony or band performance to get them interested in music. Sometimes you can even watch a practice of a performance at a discount or for free.

Since music is an important part of stimulating brain development, it can easily be a part of your home life too. Singing songs, playing music, using homemade instruments are all things you can do to enhance creativity and memory skills in your child at home. Fingerplays are a great educational tool to use in language development and early math skills. Also, at the elementary level, songs can be used to help students memorize important facts for academic tests. Also, encourage your child to perform songs and programs to the family as a way of building self-esteem. As schools work with limited budgets and make cuts year after year, it is important that music and fine arts remain a part of a well-rounded academic program. The long term benefits of music education far outweigh the costs of the program for students at all ages. And research even indicates that the longer a child is involved with music the better the results. So, don’t waste any time – find music opportunities for your child today! *Arts Education Partnership, Music Matters: How Music Education Helps Students Learn, Achieve and Succeed, Washington D.C., September 2011.

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Kids Korner

Fridge Door

Color the Cover Edition We received over 1,000 entries for our 2nd annual Color the Cover Contest - THANK YOU! We loved all of the entries but we could only choose a few to display! Here are just a few of the many that we loved!





CONGRATS and Great Job to All Entrants! 26 Growing Up In the Valley • MAY 2014

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Flutter’s Word Flury Beach Flowers Memorial Summer Bicycle Greenway

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coming Fall 2014 may 2014 •


Kids Korner

Flutter and Woolie’s Adventures Hey kids! It’s me Flutter! Boy do we have a story to tell you about today! Woolie and I volunteered with the Clean Valley Council a few weeks ago and it was such a cool and fun event! We helped clean up the waste that humans (and other litter bugs) leave around our beautiful Valley. Help Flutter and Woolie keep the Valley clean and safe for you and your family! Find out how you can help! Visit today!

Our friends at St. Paul’s Episcopal church helped us pick up litter! Do you see me? I am by the girl with the dotted back pack on!

Clean Valley Day is a community effort where everyone gets together and picks a section of their neighborhood that needs some cleaning. Woolie and I picked a section of Mud Lick

This volunteer is trying to find Woolie in the cans and bottles. Woolie was stuck! Don’t worry- we found him!

Creek near Garst Mill Park. We met an awesome family that has adopted this area to clean every year! The little boys in the family put on rubber pants called waders and climbed into the creek to get out all the trash. When they weren’t looking, Woolie tried to put these pants on, but they were so big he fell right in! Sometimes that guy thinks he is bigger than he is! The family, along with our new friends from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church worked super hard cleaning up after some very inconsiderate people. You would not believe the stuff some people toss in the stream! Tile, cans, tires, tarps and more! It was disgusting! The family even found hundreds of plastic bottles in and around the stream! Woolie found one and tried to lift it himself. He fell in that too! Check out the picture I included of a volunteer looking for where Woolie’s cries for help were coming from! We got him out - don’t worry! He was in the bottom of a milk jug! We came across two ladies who were examining the creek and trying to see if it was healthy. Woolie asked them why they weren’t checking the creek’s temperature! I laughed so hard, I almost fell in! They were looking to see how many macro invertebrates were in the creek. They can tell if the creek is healthy by how many species are living there. Of course, Woolie still wanted them to use a thermometer! I think it would be great if you can help Woolie and I next Clean Valley Day! In fact, why wait until then? Learn about the Clean Valley Council at their super cool event - the Recycle Regatta on May 24th at River’s Edge. We will be there, If I can get Woolie out of that bottle he just fell into again! Woolie, haven’t you learned your lesson?

Why would people do this to our Valley? It is so sad to see so much trash just discarded. Woolie and I are too small to pick up tires, but we still did our part to clean up, and you can too! Help the Clean Valley Council today! 28 Growing Up In the Valley • MAY 2014

Story by: Josh Eagan Photos courtesy of: Clean Valley Council

Family Living

On the Path of Passion and Purpose Discovering Our Dreams by: Laura Wade One of the things we want most for our children is for them to be happy. Don’t you love when your children wake up excited about the day ahead? And when they grow up, wouldn’t it be great if they do what they love, serving others by sharing their gifts? We want our children to live their dreams, but we forget about ours sometimes. Parents, especially mothers, may have dreamed of having children in addition to having other dreams. Once a parent, those other dreams tend to get shelved, or filed in the “someday” folder. We forget who we were before becoming parents. Our daily lives are filled with meeting the needs of our children. Even if we have a job outside of the home, we are most devoted to our role as a parent. It is wonderful to be a devoted parent. Yet, all too often, we identify with only that role, and forget that we harbor hopes and dreams not only for our children, but for ourselves as well. I know I did. Many of the things that had been important to me for years were tossed aside in an attempt to be the best mom I could be. I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mother because I it was important to me to put my child first. Two years later, I had twins and not only did I want to put my children first, I had no energy left to do anything else. Eventually, I felt as though somewhere along the path of parenthood, I had gotten lost. I did have a desire, though, a longing to contribute in other ways. So, I read a book called The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood. The first exercise in the book has you list everything that matters deeply to you and through a process of prioritizing, pick the five that are most important to you right now. Upon doing that, I discovered that my children were a top 30

Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

priority which was not a real surprise, but I also realized my desire to inspire others to live their dreams. Having been a mentor in the past, I realized I still longed to make a difference in that way. It wasn’t easy at first. Just as we encourage our children to learn to take one toddling step, and then another until they can walk and later run, that is what I had to do. In doing so, it allowed me to be there for my children as well as express myself in my life’s work. As parents, we model many things for our children. Our beliefs and values are passed to our children more by what we do than what we say. If it is important for us that our children live their dreams, it is important for us to show them how. While it is sometimes easier to encourage our children to follow their path than it is for us to follow our own, I invite you to begin by exploring your passions, those things that make your heart sing. Knowing your passions is the first step toward living them, and creating a fulfilling life. Laura Wade is a mother of three, including twins. She is a Life Alignment Educator, Certified Passion Test Facilitator, speaker, and writer. She is passionate about helping other people discover their passions and align their lives with their purpose. Laura is available for meetings, keynotes and workshops, and can be reached at 540-7931902 or

7815 Williamson Rd. Roanoke Va. 24019 540.563.5036

Is my child on track?

Complete an Ages & Stages Questionnaire

via the Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke Family Access Page Because your child's first 5 years of life are so important, we want to help you provide the best start for your child. The Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ3), can help you keep track of your child's development, ages birth-5. The ASQ-3 includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social skills. Once the ASQ is completed, SBGR will send you the results, along with age-appropriate activities for optimal development. If the results indicate any areas of concern, you will be provided with additional information and resources available to parents with young children in the Roanoke Valley.

To get started, visit or contact us at #540-777-4211

Family Living

The Mommy Files PART 3 - The Working Mom by: Amanda Powers

Although every mom is a “working mom” in the truest sense of the words, I am specifically referring to mothers who hold jobs outside the home. It can be challenging to keep life running smoothly with children, add a “job” and the pressure doubles. Not only do you have expectations at home (my children don’t NEED baths, do they?), you have them at work as well. However, this does not mean that having both is impossible. In fact, I hope not, since it is the life I currently live! There are a few things I have learned that make doing this a little easier. First, let it go. I don’t mean to take from a popular movie when I say that, but it’s true. You can’t do everything. It’s not worth even trying to do everything, so don’t. Some things are not worth the stress. Let the dust stay an extra day (or month). Have macaroni and cheese for dinner a few nights. It’s ok! You can be a perfectly good parent without being perfect. On the same note, let daddy help. Especially if you are both working parents, it is a necessity to share


Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

responsibilities. No one person can handle everything on their own. Until we figure a way to grow extra arms and go weeks with no sleep, we need the help of others! My husband and I frequently tag team when it comes to bed time routines. One bathes, the other dresses. One reads and tucks, the other cleans up the mess around the house. Even simple chores can become overwhelming to a working parent who is trying to do it all. Third, elicit help! Grandma, aunts, uncles… there is something great about having extended family. If you are blessed enough to have some local, be thankful. This makes the job of a working mom so much easier. From afterschool care to some extra hands when things get crazy, family is the way to go! Fourth, make a point to get organized. Keep a calendar of events, days off, extracurricular activities and meetings in a central location. We use the refrigerator at my house. If it is not written down there, it will surely be forgotten! Having this helps keep

Family Living everyone’s lives more in sync. It helps plan ahead and make life a little bit calmer. Along with organizing your schedule, it helps to organize other things as well. Having your pantry, freezer, and papers organized also make life simpler. Bills can get lost and food can be forgotten. Having all this separated and in its own space helps keep things running smoothly. Speaking of bills, I have learned that I forget less if it’s set up to automatic payment. It is a great benefit of many banks to set up payments through online banking. If your bank (or the companies you are paying) offer an option to do so, it may help stream line that aspect of your life. The other major issue I have noticed with being a working mom is keeping my house together (and when I say “together,” I mean clean.) This is probably the hardest part of my job! By the end of the day I am already tired, and I still have to take care of kids. When they go to bed the last thing I want to do is clean. There is two methods

I employ related to this subject. The first I noted above, “let it go” and the other is “never let your house get more the fifteen minutes away from being presentable”. I read somewhere a long time ago about this woman’s motto about never letting her house get past that point. It stuck with me. I feel like if I can at least do that, I’m doing better than nothing. As kids get older and can help more, this becomes easier. My boys are both still young, but if your kids are old enough, get them involved. Children can help keep up with daily household chores. Older children can even help cook and care for younger siblings. Not only does it help the household run smoothly, it teaches them responsibility. In that way, you’ve gotten two for one! If you are an over achiever like me, I have found numerous other things useful as well: • Planning Menus Ahead of Time • Precooking and freezing meals This is especially useful for breakfast

since it is the craziest part of our day! • Setting out clothing for the entire family the night before.

• Using hooks and baskets for coats and shoes This allows kids to care for and find things themselves, even at a young age. • Cleaning check lists • Daily organizing check lists • Shopping lists This saves money and time! I am a huge fan of lists. They help me keep my life and expectations in order. You can go anywhere in my house and find one of my lists. Not all people work that way though. In the end, all that matters is that you and your kids are happy and healthy. If you are that far, you’re doing it right! Don’t compare your family to others. Every situation is different. Every family is different. Every mom is different!

REACH EVERY MOM IN SWVA FOR PENNIES The Largest Reach of ANY Publication

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The Guide

[family|Game|Night] Has your family burned through Candy Land and Scrabble and started looking for a new challenge? These lesser-known games are perfect for kids and adults alike!

Forbidden Island Matt Leacock Ages 10+ 2-4 Players iOS App Available

This game is unique in that you will never play the same board twice. Tiles make up a spooky and mysterious island where the players must collect four treasures while avoiding the rising flood waters. Can your party make it to the helicopter with all the treasure before the island is lost in the sea? While the game is simple to learn, the variable diifculty levels make this a great game for parents too!


MindWares Ages 6+ 2-4 Players iOS app Available Ever imagine what would happen if Scrabble made a game with Dominos? Qwirkle is that game. Players try to build lines of 6 with matching colors or shapes, all while blocking other players from doing the same. Children as young as 6 will be able to pick up on the game’s strageties and it reinforces color & shape recognition.

Mensa Select Award Winner!

Family Fluxx

Looney Labs Ages 6 + 2-4 Players iOS app Available From the creators of the famous Fluxx, is Family Fluxx. The game starts off simply enough- just draw one card and play one card. But soon, the cards begin the change the rules- you may have to draw 4, play 2 and make sure your hand never has more than 5! The family edition has the fun addition of cards that give bonuses or extra rules to the parents, children, or other relatives. This deck can be combined with classic Fluxx or any other Fluxx expanisions.


Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Family Fun


Super Sparker


by: Franklin Stinston Science Museum of Western VA


Roanoke Valley

Montessori Summer Camp Program

Tape the bent piece to the center of the pie tin (2). Now you have a handle! Rub the bottom of the Stryofoam tray on your hair (3). Rub it all over, really fast. Put the tray upside down on a table or on the floor.

Use the handle to pick up the pie tin again. Touch the tin with the tip of your finger. Wow! You get another great spark. Drop the pie tin onto the Styrofoam tray again. Touch the pie tin. Another spark! Use the handle to pick up the pie tin. More sparks! You can do this over and over for a long time. If the pie tin stops giving you a spark, just rub the Styrofoam tray on your head again, and start over.

What does all this have to do with lightning?

•Year Round Programs •Hands On Learning • Ages 0-12 e th


h e Fu t

Now--very slowly--touch the tip of your finger to the pie tin (4). Wow! What a spark! (Be careful. DON’T touch the Styrofoam tray. If you do, you won’t get a spark.)

and learning collide.

t to

Use the handle to pick up the pie tin. Hold it about a foot over the Styrofoam tray and drop it.

After the electrons jump to your hand, the pie tin is short some electrons. When you lift the pie tin away from the Styrofoam plate, you’ve got a pie tin that attracts any and all nearby electrons. If you hold your finger close to the metal, electrons jump from your finger back to the pie tin, making another spark. When you put the pie tin back on the Styrofoam plate, you start the whole process over again.

Where summer fun

a t i on i s

Cut a piece off one corner of the Styrofoam tray, as the picture (1) shows. You’ll have a long bent piece that looks a little like a hockey stick

What makes the Super Sparker spark? When you rub Styrofoam on your hair, you pull electrons off your hair and pile them up on the Styrofoam. When you put an aluminum pie tin on the Styrofoam, the electrons on the Styrofoam pull on the electrons. Some of the electrons in metals are free electrons --they can move around inside the metal. These free electrons try to move as far away from the Styrofoam as they can. When you touch the pie tin, those free electrons leap to your hand, making a spark.



How does it work?:



Scissors Styrofoam tray from your supermarket or restaurant Masking tape Aluminum pie tin

Our camps emphasize discovery and investigation with direct hands on experiences that are enhanced with an ongoing Montessori curriculum that will keep children engaged and happy. Activities will include arts, crafts, cooking, music, drama, field trips, guest speakers, science, spanish, and much more!




Explanation / Overview:

Make and store static electricity with easily available items.

2040 Apperson Drive Salem, Virginia 24153

(540) 989-3096

The lightning bolt is a dramatic example of static electricity in action. You see lightning when a spark of moving electrons races up or down between a cloud and the ground (or between two clouds). The moving electrons bump into air molecules along the way, heating them to a temperature five times hotter than the surface of the sun. This hot air expands as a supersonic shock wave, which you hear as thunder. may 2014 •


Give your baby the best at

Lactation Connection

Useful items for Nursing Mothers Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator International Board Certified Lactation Consultant 3142 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke at Classic Image 540-774-7202 •

Our ASHA certified & state licensed Speech Language Pathologists evaluate, indentify, and treat individuals of all ages with communications Boat Races • kid’s Activities • Stream School • Snorkeldifficulties. Ecology


Paddleboard Demos • Fly Fishing Demos • Kayak Demos These Include: River Shuttles • Rain Barrel Demos • Trout Release Accent Modification LSVT LOUD® Watershed Education • Food • Music • FUN!! Apraxia Pragmatics/Social Skills Articulation

Speech Generating

Central Auditory Processing

Stroke Rehab

Language Delay/Disorders Learning Disabilities

Traumatic Brain Injury Voice Disorders

Autism T o r eg i s t e r yo u r t e am , vSpectrum i s i t wDisorders w w. c le aDevices n va l le y . or g Partners: Festival In The Park, Roanoke City Parks & Recreation, VirginiaDisorders Department of EnvironmentalSwallolwing Quality, Upper Difficulties Roanoke River Roundtable Fluency Sponsors:

2030 Colonial Ave.,Roanoke, VA • 540-343-0165

Family Fun

A Bear-y Good Breakfast What do you need?

Instead of Peanut Butter, you can use butter, sugar and cinnamon. Substitute Raisins for Blueberries.

Make a round bear face by using a bagel!

Directions If you are using the sugar/cinnamon mixture, mix sugar with cinnamon. Toast bread lightly. Spread with butter while hot. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture. If using peanut butter, simply spread desired amount on bread after toasting. Slice banana and use one slice for the bear’s nose. Place two blueberries for the eyes and one for the black nose. Finish the bear with two banana slices for the ears. Serve and enjoy!

FREE Prizes for all kids under 12 years every Fri & Sat in May! Webkinz and Matchbox Toys Available A

Appliance Outlet New Location!!

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Dishwashers Starting at $199 No Interest Financing! No Credit Check!

Mon - Fri: 9am to 8pm Sat: 9am to 6pm Sun: By Appointment may 2014 •





Family Calendar


Need something to do this month? Classes, Festivals, Movie Nights & Story Times- we have them all! View our complete listings and submit your own events at


Blacksburg Chocolate Festival May 10, 2014 11am-4pm Blacksburg, Virginia

The Rotary Club of Blacksburg is presenting an exciting event happening Saturday, May 10, 2014 in downtown Blacksburg, VA on the College Avenue Promenade. The festival will take place from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM and will feature a wide variety of Chocolate Tastings, Entertainment and Fun! It will be a perfect event for families to enjoy an afternoon full of chocolate! Tickets are available online at as well as a limited number of tickets on the day of the event. Ticket prices range from $1-$35 depending on the event activity.

The Great Roanoke River Duck Race May 31, 2014 10am-2pm Roanoke, Virginia Join the Roanoke Rotary Club as they set sail at Smith Park on the Roanoke Greenway! You can buy a duck for a buck through several local organizations such as the Girls Scouts of Virginia Skyline and Center in the Square. Each duck is a chance to win! For more info visit:

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs June 5-15, 2014 Dumas Center, Roanoke Virginia A.Wolf finally gets to tell HIS side of the story and YOU determine the ending of the play in this rock Hip-Hopity musical that will blow the hair right off your chinny chin chin! Show times are 7 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, 3 PM & 5 PM on Saturdays, 3 PM on Sundays with a special preview showing on Thursday, June 5 at 7PM. Tickets are $12-$18 and available online. For more infornation check out Full Calendar on next page


CALENDAR OF EVENTS Share your own event for free on

• •• • • • • • • • ••••••••••••••••••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •• • • • •

Saturday • May 10 FREE Silly Story Gainsboro Library 10:30 am – 11:30 am Ages 0-5 Free


Gallop for the Greenway 5K River’s Edge Greenway 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM All Ages

Come listen to silly books and do a fun simple craft. Please register in advance by calling 853-2540.

Join the Gallop for the Greenway 5k and the Roanoke River Beach Party! Admission to the after party is FREE!

Blacksburg Chocolate Festival

Thursday • May 15

Downtown Blacksburg 11:00 AM- 4:00 PM All Ages Free to attend. Activity tickets start at $1 Enjoy sweet chocolate and fun family friendly activities all day in Blacksburg! Purchase tickets in advance on

FREE Car Seat Safety Roanoke City Fire Station #6 4:00 PM– 6:00 PM


Motor Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children, and 8 out of 10 children in car seats are not properly restrained. Locally, Carilion Clinic Safe Kids and Roanoke City Fire/EMS (both non-profit agencies) hold a car seat safety check the 3rd Thursday of each month from

4-6pm at Roanoke City FIre Station #6, located at 1333 Jamison Ave. This is a free service for anyone in the community who transports children.

Friday • May 16 Me at the Museum

History Museum of Western VA 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Ages 3-5 Free for members/$3 per child 540.342.5770 This 45-minute program is designed not only to expose your child to history in a fun and creative way, but to provide an opportunity to create meaningful experiences that will promote lifelong learning. We will read a story and do a couple of activities relating to a monthly theme that your little one will take home!

FREE Smart Start Raleigh Court Library 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Ages 0-5 Free


Enjoy stories and activities appropriate to your toddler and preschool age children!

Tuesday • May 20 Friday • May 23 FREE Preschool Gainsboro Library 10:30 AM – 11:15 AM Ages 0-5 Free


Come share magical stories at the Gainsboro Library’s storytime.

Saturday • May 17 Thursday • May 22

Spectacular Saturdays FREE

Taubman Museum 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM All Ages Free

Featuring gallery treasure hunts, arts & crafts, special musical guests and performances and more! Participate in an array of exhibition-related programming for adults and children. Enjoy a variety of creative projects and fun, exploratory activities every Saturday.

FREE Smart Start Storytime Williamson Road Library 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Ages 6 mos-3 Free Introduce babies ages 6months to 3 years old to books, fingerplays, music, and physical movement. Must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. Siblings are welcome!

Kid’s Night Out

Limited Honeytree Locations 6:30 PM – 11:00 PM Ages 0-12 Prices range from $15/child-$25/child HoneyTree offers Kids Night Out on Fridays from 6:30 – 11:00 pm. You do not have to attend HoneyTree regularly to take advantage of this program. Bring the kids to HoneyTree for an evening designed especially for them. Call us today to make your reservation, then make reservations of your own!

Saturday • May 31

FREE The Great Roanoke River Duck Race Smith Park, Roanoke Greenway 10:00 AM -2:00 PM All Ages Free to attend. Ducks $1/ea

There will be fun, food, family activities and cash prizes for the winning

Because, admit it... you need a better plan for Father’s Day. FATHER’S DAY 5K & COOKOUT 5K • 1 mile run • Cookout • FUN!

Sat • June 14, 2014 • 9:30am • Salem Family YMCA Take a walk or run with dad & chow down at our cookout. Join in our family friendly games, activities & photo booth. Compete for “Best Golfer,” “Fastest Dad” or “Highest Jumper.” 1 Mile Run/Walk 9:30am 5K Run/Walk 10:00am Cookout & Fun 11:00am

Members: $15 / Non-Members: $20 Members: $30 / Non-Members: $35 FREE with registration $5 to add a meal

BENEFIT: Proceeds benefit the YMCA’s Safe Kids initiative: “Keeping kids safe in the pool and afterschool.” REGISTER: at your YMCA branch or at SPONSORED BY:

ducks! Enter a duck (or increase your chances and enter a few!) into the 1st Annual Great Roanoke River Duck Race. You can purchase a duck at: • Blue Ridge Land Conservancy • Center in the Square • Blue Ridge Literacy • Bradely Free Clinic • Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline • Serve First: Youth Tennis

2nd Annual MedExpress Kidz Day FREE

Williamson Road Library 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM All Ages Free

Come out and enjoy the second annual MedExpress Kidz Day! There will be free games, activities, and giveaways. All proceeds benefit Star City Reads.

June 5-15

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

Dumas Center, Roanoke Virginia Times listed below. All Ages Tickets $12-$18 Show times are 7 PM on Thursdays and Fridays, 3 PM & 5 PM on Saturdays, 3 PM on Sundays with a special preview showing on Thursday, June 5 at 7PM. Tickets are $12-$18 and available online.

Do you want to share your event with over


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people in the Roanoke and New River Valleys? OF COURSE YOU DO! Post your event on our free online calendar

5K RACE 1M Walk

+Free Live Music Superhold Band

Feet Kids’Camps Fun Run Kids Run FREE! In the Fleet Roanoke Summer Football, Adventure, Swimming and more! 5pm on May 10: Roanoke River Greenway

Soccer Camps (ages 2-18) | Football Camp (ages 6-15) | Swim Camps (ages 6-17) | Lifeguard Camps (ages 13-15)

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The Guide

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Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Advertise your business to EVERY MOM in the region! All for as little as $50 an issue! Contact Ellen

The Guide

Keep It Simple Cleaning Services ASHLEY MULLEN 540-312-7556

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Give your baby the best at

Lactation Connection

Useful items for Nursing Mothers Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator Teresa Martin International Board Certified Lactation Consultant 3142 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke at Classic Image 540-774-7202 •


Newcomer Auditions for the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir As a member of the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, you’ll find the confidence that you can be a part of something amazing. You’ll find a great new group of friends. You’ll find an appreciation for music you may have never heard before. Singers should come prepared to sing the first verse of “My Country Tis of Thee” and a short song of your choice. The audition takes about 5 minutes. To schedule an audition, please call the choir office at 6767265 after April 1, 2014 to set up an appointment. Auditions are open for boys and girls ages 7 through 17 on May 13 &15 from 3:30-8:30 PM and again on May 20 from 6:308:30 PM. Auditions are held at duPont Chapel at Hollins University

may 2014 •


The Guide

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Growing Up In the Valley • may 2014

Birthday Parties STart at just $120


Melody Makers Only $150 for a 45 Minute Party

Have a Melody Makers Birthday! Tons of Music Fun with Puppets, Rhythm Instruments, Streamers and More!

Statistics show students lose 2-3 months of retention over the summer months. Enroll today to prevent summer learning loss! • Reading • Writing • Math Roanoke Center 540-344-2941 Christiansburg Center 540-394-3392

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Avoid Summer Learning Loss! Sign your child up for the ultimate action-packed summer camp experience 10 Tribal Camps serving the Roanoke Valley

•Team Sports Challenges •Swimming at our Private Aquatic Center •Weekly Swim Lessons Available

•Survivor Island Excursions •Adventurous Learning Activities Open 6:15 am - 6:30 pm The Hive Summer Camp is for children that have completed kindergarten- 12 years old 540.344.4543 Free Camp Registration

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Growing Up In the Valley - May 2014  
Growing Up In the Valley - May 2014  

May 2014 - Volume 2 Issue 7