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The Way Things Were

Day in the life of an Roanoke elementary student in 1950

Back to School Stress Relief

Wordless Books

& How they improve your child’s vocabulary

Stop Bullying! Previously Growing Up in the Valley Magazine

Building Communities... Together. Now Open in Cave Spring 3232 Electric Road, Roanoke

Publisher’s Note It happens every year: our back-to-school issue. Parents love it and kids hate it. It seems like it gets here more quickly each year. We start off the summer with such great plans. Vacations and day trips fill our schedules and we spend nights outside on the greenway or grilling a delicious dinner in the backyard. Then before you know it, we’re buying school clothes, planning lunches, and in our case, planning for our events in the fall and our New Year’s at Noon event. It all goes by so fast. This year, both of our daughters head off to new schools — two different schools. Like many of you, we are sending one of our children, Anika, to high school. We’re not really sure how this has happened; it was just yesterday that she was in kindergarten.

grade, like Anika, the start of the school year allows our children to make friends, learn new things, and challenge themselves to do better than the year before. For our readers who are teachers, you have a fresh roster of students to teach, encourage, and of course, get to know. You shape the minds of our future leaders while taking care of the most precious and important parts of our lives. You are so important to your students, their parents, and our communities. So, no matter which school or grade you’ll be attending (or teaching), we wish you the happiest, safest, and most successful school year ever. The Eagan Family Josh, Andrea, Anika, and Evelyn

But every family starts a new chapter when a school year begins. Regardless of whether your child is starting a new school, like both of ours, or your child is graduating to a new

Anika, Andrea and Evelyn at Anika’s Middle School Graduation.

Proud Members of the Parenting Media Association since 2013! Learn more at 7

C o n t a c t Us: P.O. Box 4484, Roanoke, VA 24015 540-251-1660


Josh & Andrea Eagan • Anika and Evelyn’s Parents

Creative Director Tracy Fisher • Charlotte and Evelyn’s Mom

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


Jacqueline Moon • High Schoolers in the House!

Sales AssistantsAni & Evie Eagan • Bauer and Chloe’s Owners


John Morris • COV Designs


Read Our Other Publications



Chris Brown • Kimberly Emory • Jamie Lober Susan Baldani • Grace Partin • Georgianne Vecellio Rebecca Mushko • Rachel Levine • Jacqueline Moon

Submit Your Ideas Share your story ideas with us by emailing

Connect With Us /growingupinthevalley

© 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.




Victor Nuñez 11, of Roanoke County

Victor is our first-place cover contest winner! He loves speed skating and is on the Omni Speed Team at Star City Skate Center. Read more about Victor in the article “A Star in Roanoke” on page 52!


inside departments 7


In the Neighborhood Things to Do Kids Eat Free


52 44


11-Year-Old Victor Nuñez and his Roanoke Adventures


EDUCATION Books School

THE WAY THINGS WERE Huff Lane School in the ‘50s


GROWING UP Toddlers Kids Teens


JUST FOR FUN Recipe Experiment Humor


valley. around town / things to do / kids eat free

the valley: around town

First Lady of Virginia visits Roanoke Pamela Northam, the First Lady of Virginia, visited the Roanoke Valley last month to discuss a $250 million competitive federal grant program called the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five. She visited Raleigh Court TAP Head Start Child Development Center, where she learned about the organization’s SwiftStart program for low-income parents. The program makes free job training available for parents and provides free child care during the training. Northam also visited Small Steps Learning Academy in Salem and Today’s Kids Inc., a day care center in northwest Roanoke.   While visiting with the children, she took some time to play with them and read stories.

The Melrose Library is Complete! The newly reconstructed space, located at 2502 Melrose Avenue, houses 15,000 square feet — now the biggest Roanoke City Library branch. It includes a teen center, a STEAM lab, and a meeting room. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.


Family/August 2019

New Restaurant in Wasena The Wasena neighborhood of Roanoke City is growing and revitalizing, and its newest addition is Bloom, a farm-to-table restaurant. Redeveloped by Garland Properties, it’s the fourth new business to open on Main Street in the past year. Since the restaurant serves in-season fare, the menu will change from week to week (or even day to day). Bloom is located at 1109 Main St SW.

Load the Bus for Kids! Donate school supplies for children at your local Walmart store. August 2: 3pm-7pm August 3: 10am-6pm August 4: 12pm-6pm

North Cross School: First day of school is Tuesday, September 3. The first day is a formal dress day, and Convocation for grades 1-12 is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

photo credit: Roanoke City Public School facebook

Community School: First day of school is Tuesday, September 3.

First Day of School Roanoke City:

Roanoke County:

The first day of school is Tuesday, August 20. Bus routes are scheduled to be posted online the week of August 5. Convocation for teachers and staff is Monday, August 12, 2019 at The Berglund Center.

The first day of school is Monday, August 12. First day of school forms can be completed online — the link and instructions can be found at the school system’s website, The final deadline to complete online forms is August 7. School supply lists are available on most individual school sites, which can be accessed via the school system’s website.

The Back-to-School Extravaganza will happen Saturday, August 17, 2019 at William Fleming High School from 9 a.m. to noon.  Each Roanoke City Schools student that attends the Extravaganza will receive a bag with basic school supplies.  Transportation will be provided from: Bluestone Park, Hunt Manor, Indian Rock Village, Jamestown Place, Landsdowne Park (library), Melrose Towers, and Pilot Street NW (Country Cookin on Melrose).  Buses will depart from the front of each community center beginning at 8:30 a.m.  Buses will leave on the half-hour and return on the hour. If you are new to Roanoke City or need to register your child for Kindergarten, register at the school your child will attend — preferably before the first day of school. School supply lists for most schools are now online at

Community High School: New student orientation is August 26-27, and orientation for all students is August 28. The first day of fall semester classes is Tuesday, September 3.

Roanoke Valley Christian Schools: Classroom visitation is on Friday, August 19 at 1:00 p.m. The first day of school is Monday, August 19 (half day).

Salem City Schools:

Faith Christian School:

The first day of school for all students is Tuesday, September 3. Bus routes will be posted at transportation. Supply lists are available on each individual school’s website.

Meet the Teacher is on Monday, August 19, and the first day of school is Wednesday, August 21 (early dismissal day). Supply lists can be found at readingandsupplies.

Roanoke Catholic School:

Lynchburg City:

Lower and Upper School open houses are on Monday, August 19 at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 20 is the first day of school for all students. Links to supply lists are available at, as is the school calendar.

Online registration is available at The first day of school is Wednesday, August 14. Elementary Backto-School Night dates will be communicated to parents by each individual school. Supply lists can be found at supplies.

Family/August 2019


One in seven children won’t be ready to start kindergarten.*

Don’t let your child be the one.

For more information, contact: Smart Beginnings Greater Roanoke | (540) 283-2778


*The Annie E. Casey Foundation: KIDS COUNT Data Center. (2010). PALS-K Scores.

the valley: around town school, inspiring and pushing them transform into mature musicians from their very first squeaky attempts on a new instrument. Each year, she tearfully bids farewell to her seniors as they prepare to move on with the talent and skill she’s toiled to build in them.

Educator of the Month

Ms. Donnini goes the extra mile, learning the strengths and weaknesses of each of her band students and then addressing the next steps with every individual musician. She keeps parents in the loop as to what needs to be done (more practicing of chromatic scales at home, perhaps) as well as the students’ great qualities (he always has a smile on his face; she pays such close attention). She will tell you that in her heart, she believes every student — and indeed, every person — has gifts and talents.

Jimmie Donnini

Roanoke Valley Family is proud to name Jimmie Donnini of North Cross School the educator of the month. As a band teacher and as a human being, Ms. Donnini is known as a shining star, the best of the best. Ms. Donnini has been teaching at North Cross for almost twenty years. She always knew she wanted to be a band director. Ms. Donnini played the flute at Bridgewater College and studied K-12 instrumental music. Right out of college, before North Cross, she taught instrumental music for twelve years in Rockbridge County. At North Cross, she has worked with many students from elementary school through graduation from high

The best part about being a band director, she said, is watching a student “light up” when he plays his first eight-measure song on his instrument. “Their talent improves with maturity, and if they stay with me throughout their years at NCS, we have good conversations about music and many other things.” Ms. Donnini’s least favorite thing about her job is when a great student makes the decision to leave band. Often this happens when students

have too many classes in their schedules, she said. “Sometimes my class gets cut because a student is on a certain track of AP classes and band just cannot fit.” Great music is more than just a part of Ms. Donnini’s job; it’s what she loves. “My students know I love anything from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. And goodness knows, they are well aware of my love for John Philip Sousa marches!” She added, “My students might be surprised to know I also listen to all types of music, from Vivaldi and Gershwin to opera (I secretly wanted to be an opera singer when I was a little girl!) to rock, late-seventies and eighties pop, country, and top-forty.” Her favorite band? Van Halen. Understandably, though, she said, “Sometimes, I just want the band music and all the other music to turn off so I can have quiet for a little while.” In her free time, Ms. Donnini loves talking with people she knows and loves, connecting with them on a variety of topics. She especially enjoys talking with her 19-year-old daughter. “I’m thankful that she doesn’t mind having a mom who asks too many questions — most of the time, anyway!” She also enjoys changing things up around her house by switching the wall art or painting a room a different color. Ms. Donnini is truly a person who treasures what is beautiful and finds ways of helping things (and maturing musicians) become even more so. We think Jimmie Donnini is a beautiful person and an amazing teacher, and are so glad she is one of the shining stars educating Roanoke’s young people.

is proud to sponsor the


The winning teacher receives a $100 gift card from Grand Home Furnishings! Valley View | Tanglewood | Christiansburg | Lynchburg Family/August 2019


the valley: around town

Taking the Path to Resilience by Jacqueline Moon


here are critical issues around us that we, as a society, want desperately to fix: homelessness, domestic abuse, drug dependency, incarceration, disease, depression and other mental illness, poverty. They’re huge issues — overwhelming, even. How do we heal such massive wounds? It can’t be a quick and easy task, of course; none of us would expect it to be. But it isn’t impossible, either. The key is hidden not in the suffering itself, but in the roots of the suffering. The problems our society faces are effects. The causes find their roots in childhood trauma. Roanoke Prevention Alliance’s


Family/August 2019

Resiliency Collective describes traumatic events as a pair of ACEs: adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments. Growing up in a household where there is emotional abuse, for instance, is childhood trauma, as is not having enough food to eat, being discriminated against, and being neglected. The Collective works to take action in the lives of Roanoke’s young people who have experienced or are experiencing trauma. They exist to educate the community that addressing these issues while individuals are young helps prevent serious problems down the road. Since 2017, the Collective has been

educating people about the effects of traumatic childhood events and the importance of building resilience; at Roanoke Valley Family’s first Family Talk in June, Melanie Morris, the RPA director, sat down for a roundtable discussion about resilience with members of the community. Resilience — being able to bounce back from difficult situations — is a powerful tool kids (and all of us) should have at our disposal. Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child has studied resilience and describes it like this: “One way to understand the development of resilience is to visualize a balance scale or seesaw. Protective experiences and coping skills on

one side counterbalance significant adversity on the other. Resilience is evident when a child’s health and development tips toward positive outcomes — even when a heavy load of factors is stacked on the negative outcome side.” Protective factors include things like having caring friends, living in a safe neighborhood, and having good connections to caring adults. At the Family Talk, Morris shared insights into the power of resilience and how to build it in our children. With instruction based on the influential book The Yes Brain, by Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, Morris and the participants talked about how any adult in the life of a child can make a difference in that child’s level of resilience. “Increase their exposure to adults who care about them,” Morris said. “Nobody raises a child in social isolation. Kids always notice people who are in their corners cheering them on.” The group discussed nurturing optimism, which is one of the characteristics of resilient people. Don’t invalidate how your child feels if he is seeing things pessimistically, Morris read. Acknowledge those feelings, but show him a new way of thinking about what’s going on. Focus on what is left, rather than what has been lost. “For example,” she said, “You can say, ‘Yes, it’s raining and that is disappointing. But what could we do that we probably wouldn’t do on a sunny day?’ In other words, help them reframe challenges.” And model resilience. Imitation is a powerful way to learn. “How do you deal with disappointment, sadness, the sense of feeling stuck?” Morris asked. “When those experiences and emotions are normalized for them, it allows kids to explore what they mean more safely.” We can

tell our children, for instance, “I’m disappointed I didn’t get the job, because it was important to me. It’s nice to strive for things that are important to you, even if it doesn’t end the way you want. I did my best in the interview, and I know I’ll be okay. I just need to keep trying and be patient.”

practice in the community.

Using the results of their trauma and resiliency needs assessment, the Resiliency Collective has developed “Path to Resilience” toolkits — one for local organizations that deal directly with kids, like United Way of Roanoke Valley and Blue Ridge

Lisa Denny, director of child abuse prevention at Children’s Trust, was trained in the toolkit and will be providing the training in turn to the Children’s Trust staff. She said that “the combined mission of both the Resiliency Collective and Children’s Trust is to make the Roanoke Valley more trauma-informed and resiliency-aware. “We hope, collectively, that community members will become more educated on how trauma impacts individuals and move towards helping people build resilience,” she added.

Because the idea of resilience in the face of trauma has not yet been widely discussed, many people aren’t aware of its power or importance. The goal of the Collective is to educate the community on why it’s important and how to build it.

Caitlyn Cline, Public Information Official and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Roanoke Police Department, says the department is looking forward to exploring how the Path to Resilience toolkit and training can help officers. RPD is one of several organizations with representatives on the Resiliency Collective’s board of directors. Behavioral Healthcare, and one for members of the community, with actionable ideas presented in layman’s terms. These toolkits provide information about exactly how to instill resilience in kids and build resilience up in ourselves and others. May 1 was the first “Train the Trainer” course in Path to Resilience. Twentyone attendees from organizations across Roanoke received training and information packets that they could then take back and use to teach their staff in resiliency awareness and

“Reducing the impacts of trauma for our residents will greatly impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods and city as a whole. This will hopefully increase the effectiveness of our community policing efforts and strengthen the ties between law enforcement and our community partners,” Cline said. “We hope everyone takes advantage of the training and the toolkit the Resiliency Collective has to offer. We can all work together to make Roanoke a more resilient community.”

Family/August 2019


the valley: around town

Rating Area Restrooms on a Five TP-Roll Scale by Georgianne Vecellio


aving just reviewed some local Sheetz locations, I wasn’t planning on investigating another gas station restroom soon. However, the Exxon at 351 Wildwood Rd in Salem boasts clean restrooms — it’s on their sign, catching my attention every time I go by. Right off I-81 at Exit 137, the Exxon is a convenient place to stop if you need to use the facilities. When you walk in the door, the women’s restroom is just inside and to the left, behind the counter. The manager was friendly and helpful, and directed me to the women’s room as soon as I entered. The restroom is serviceable, but not fancy. There is one

standard stall and one handicappedaccessible stall. The accessible stall is nice and roomy, but the standard stall is tiny. The colors are neutral, there is no décor, and the space is cramped, but, yes, on the day of my visit, the toilets were clean (I used one, but checked both). There was also plenty of toilet paper, soap, and paper towels, and the changing station was well-maintained and clean. The floor was free of litter, and there was no funky smell. All of the above counts for a lot; this Exxon is a safe bet if you are in need, but there are some things you need to be aware of: The floors are stained, which did not matter much to me, but I would cringe at the thought of a toddler crawling around on them. There are also some stains on the walls near the toilet in the accessible stall — I didn’t investigate further, because I don’t want to know what they are. If you are taking small children in here, give them something to keep them occupied while you are taking care of business so that they don’t touch anything in the stall. I had some issues with the standard stall: first, the latch was missing from the door, making it impossible to keep the door shut while I was using the toilet. That was frustrating, but it wasn’t the only problem:


Family/August 2019

the door to the stall swings inward, but the stall is so small that the door hits against the toilet. There is hardly any room in front of the toilet when the door is closed, but if it swings open when you are sitting on the toilet, it will fall into you. I’m petite, and I felt claustrophobic in that stall. If you carry a large bag and hang it on the door, you will feel crowded. The sink presents another problem: I couldn’t even find it at first! It’s located between the two stalls, which is convenient, but it was completely obscured by the handicapped-accessible stall’s door. This door swings outward, and when it is wide open, it completely blocks access to the sink. (Yes, the accessible stall door was blocking access to the sink. I love irony, but not when I want to wash and go.) I could just imagine someone flinging the stall door open and whacking a person who was standing at the sink washing their hands. I really wanted to give this restroom a fantastic review because the manager was polite and I found the toilets to be clean and the supplies well-stocked, not to mention the absence of any foul odors. Unfortunately, the other issues in the space prevented me from doing so. I’m torn between giving it three or four toilet paper rolls . . . I guess that makes it three rolls and a few extra squares.

f! f O 0%



Assorted Brands and Styles

f! f O 0%



Engraved Key Chain & Backpack Tags


Assorted Customized Tumblers

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the Valley: things to do


Things to do

Ongoing Events The Little Mermaid Jr.

Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke July 31 - August 11 Journey under the sea with Ariel and her friends in Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. In a magical underwater utopia, mermaid Ariel’s only wish is to live on land. But first she’ll have to meet a prince, defy her father, and strike up a deal with an evil sea witch! Classic songs will appear in this one-hour version of the story we all know and love. This fully produced production featuring local youth is perfect for the whole family.

Party in Elmwood Elmwood Park, Roanoke Every Thursday Night

All of your favorite bands and jams every Thursday night! Enjoy music, friends, food, and drinks in the region’s most vibrant and exciting destination: Downtown Roanoke. Bring your lawn chair and relax in Elmwood Park. Admission is $5 per person at the gate. Kids under 12 are free!

Celebrating America: Opening Night September 28 • 7:30 PM

Berglund Performing Arts Theatre

Mozart & Strauss Celebration November 16 • 7:30 PM November 17 • 3:00 PM Shaftman Performance Hall

tickets and information at


Family/August 2019


Summer Matinee Series Grandin Theatre, Roanoke August Fridays & Saturdays at 10 AM

Come enjoy a free showing of The Road to El Dorado on August 1-2 and ‘90s Mashup on August 16-17.


Saturday Night Campfire & Craft Explore Park, Roanoke August Saturdays at 6 PM

Whether you’re camping at Explore Park, or just want to get away from it all, we invite you to warm up by the fire. Staff will be on hand with marshmallows and a craft for the kids. Bring a song or story to share and relax in the beauty of nature. Drop by for any part of this event and join the fun. Located at the campfire ring near the Visitor Center.

Salem Red Sox Home Games

Hayley Toyota Field, Salem 8/2-8/8, 8/138/15, 8/23-8/25, 8/30-9/2 Join the Salem Red Sox as they wrap up their 2019 season with some fun home games! Some fun themes including

Star Wars Night on the 3rd, Pirate & Princess Night on the 23rd, and Firework Fridays!

Let’s Go To the Movies Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke August 23-24 Sit back and enjoy all of your favorite songs from Hollywood’s Greatest Blockbusters! You will not want to miss the journey of music through the golden age of cinema at Mill Mountain Theatre.

Legally Blonde - The Musical

Showtimers Theatre in Roanoke August 9 - 25, 2019 LEGALLY BLONDE – THE MUSICAL is a fabulously fun-filled awardwinning musical based on the adored movie, Legally Blonde. The musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. Actionpacked and exploding with memorable songs and dynamic dances – this musical is so much fun, it should be illegal! Admission is $7$18.

PAW Patrol Live! Salem Civic Center September 10-11

No job is too big, no pup is too small. PAW Patrol Live! “Race to the Rescue,” an action-packed, musicfilled production will visit the Salem Civic Center! Tickets start at $21.

August 9 FREE!

National Book Lovers’ Day Read-a-Thon 9 AM through 5 PM at the Salem Public Library

Celebrate National Book Lovers’ Day with Salem Public Library! Sign up at the desk, then read for 30 minutes in the library and earn a fancy finisher’s medal. Open to ages 0-10.


Movies in the Market 6 PM at Market Square, Roanoke

Enjoy FREE, family-friendly entertainment in Market Square! Bring a blanket or lawn chair, some snacks or stop by a great Downtown restaurants for something to eat! A concessionaire will also be on site. The movie begins at dusk, with FREE kids activities beginning around 6 PM. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is rated PG.

Date Night Ideas Legally Blonde - The Musical August 9-25

Showtimers Theatre of Roanoke

Black Jacket Symphony - Fleetwood Mac September 7 • 8 PM

Berglund Performing Arts Center Family/August 2019


the Valley: things to do Salem After 5

5 PM at the Salem Farmers’ Market 540-375-3057 This month, come out and see The Kings perform on the Salem Farmers’ Market stage. Gates open at 5 p.m., the music starts at 6, and all proceeds benefit Salem-Roanoke Co. Food Pantry & Feeding America – Southwest Virginia. This month’s food truck is Rick’s Wrap It Up, so grab a Philly cheese steak or vegan wrap and enjoy the show! The Kettle Cooker Express and Salem Ice Cream Parlor will also be there. Admission: Adults $5, children 12 and under are FREE. There will be a children’s play area set up in the Market. Coolers, outside food, drinks, rollerblades, skateboards, and pets are not allowed on the premises.


Family/August 2019

August 10


Salem/Health Focus of Southwest Virginia Distance Run

10 AM at the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke

8 AM at Longwood Park, Salem

Run the oldest road race in Salem for the 45th anniversary of the Salem Distance Run. The 5k and 10k races begin on Main Street and finish at Longwood Park.

Microfestivus XXII Noon at Downtown Roanoke Ages 21+ ONLY

Now in its 22nd year of bringing craft beer to the Roanoke Valley, Microfestivus continues to strive to improve upon the past events. This year, enjoy over 200 craft beers and double the food truck options as last year!

Free Movie: Bonnie & Clyde

As part of our Classic Film Series, we will have a free screening of the film “Bonnie and Clyde”! Come to see this American biographical crime film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway!

August 16 FREE!

Movies in the Park

7 PM at Longwood Park, Salem Bring a blanket and chairs and enjoy a movie under the stars! There will also be a Harry Potter themed costume contest, arts & crafts, and face painting before the movie. Admission is FREE, and FunTimes will bring inflatables for the kids. There

will also be a concessions stand selling food. Movie starts at dusk.

August 17 Breakfast with the Animals

8:30 AM at Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke Join Mill Mountain Zoo for a light breakfast buffet and meet one of the zoo’s education outreach animals. Followed by a special chat with zookeepers as you get amazed with more fun and educational facts about our animal residents. An intimate experience to learn more about various animals’ diets, behavior and personalities. Plus, there will be a child-focused activity. Guests will Whet Their Appetite with Aquatic Critters. Cost $11-$18

Downtown Roanoke 1 August

Party in Elmwood presented by Amtrak

Upcoming Events

Every Thursday, 5:30pm - 8:30pm - Elmwood Park

Member One City Market Saturdays

Every Saturday, 11:00am - 2:00pm - Market Square

9 August

Movies in the Market - E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

6:00pm - Free Activities, Movie at Dusk - Market Square

Downtown Roanoke Sidewalk Sale presented by The Roanoke Times 10:00am - 4:00pm - Market Street

16 August





Scotty McCreery with Drake White and the Big Fire - Budweiser Summer Series

Gates open 5:00pm - Elmwood Park

Farm to Feast Dinner supporting The Historic Roanoke City Market 5:30pm - 8:30pm - Market Square

For details, visit

18 August Family/August 2019


the Valley: things to do



10 AM at the NRV Mall parking lot in Christiansburg 5th Annual Touch-A-Truck event is back! Kids will get their imaginations in gear as they climb in the driver’s seat to honk horns, sound sirens and learn about the big trucks that come with some cool careers. The event will be horn and siren free from 10am - 12pm.


Strengthening Families Community Resource Fair 10 AM - 2 PM at Boones Mill Baptist Church The Community Resource Fair will highlight community resources to help with family strengthening, foster care, and adoption resources in Boone’s Mill, Martinsville, Henry, Franklin, Patrick, and Roanoke Counties.


Family/August 2019

August 23 FREE!

2019 Appalachian Laser Tag Festival Caldwell Fields, Blacksburg August 23-24

This event provides fun for all! Come for a morning, afternoon, evening, or the entire event. Laser tag games will be played outside in the woods and are similar to airsoft or paintball games. The Laser Tag Club at Virginia Tech will provide all equipment. Playing and camping are free though AA battery and cash donations are always appreciated. Free camping is available Friday and Saturday night for anyone interested (no running water or electricity). All ages are welcome, but event organizers will not assume responsibility for youth under 18 years of age. As such, a parent or designated guardian/group leader should be present.

August 24 Light Up the Night 5K 9 PM in Downtown Roanoke

Come Out and Light Up the Night for a great cause for the 8th Annual fundraiser to support Square Society’s mission of raising money and awareness for Center In the Square. After the race, join for a post-race celebration on the Market. This is a fun event for all!

Roanoke Wing Fest

Noon at Dr. Pepper Park in Roanoke Roanoke’s largest one-day food festival is back celebrating 10 years of deliciousness! Featuring great live music, tons of wing vendors, a Cornhole Tournament, contests and more throughout the day!


Sept. 28, 12:30pm & 7:30pm Sept. 29, 1:30pm



Tickets available at


© 2019 Spin Master All Rights Reserved.

the Valley: things to do BOCO BBQ & August 27 Country Fest

3 PM at Jeter Farm in Botetourt The 6th Annual Bank of Botetourt BOCO BBQ & Country Fest goes to Bonsack! Expanding to the 5th generation Jeter Farm in Botetourt County for an unforgettable setting alongside our country music, southern BBQ and fun to benefit Council of Community Services!

Acoustic Fest at the Zoo 1 PM at Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke

Join Mill Mountain Zoo for a relaxing day filled with live acoustic music. There will be a food truck, activities for kids, free apple juice and local vendors on-site!


Roanoke Valley Family Talk Series

September 7 2nd Annual Virginia Steak Festival

6 PM at CoLab in Roanoke Climate Justice in the Valley: How the Climate Crisis Impacts Our Children’s Future - with Mothers Out Front.

5 PM - 10 PM at the Vinton Farmers Market

Join us for your favorite food trucks, restaurants and caterers dishing out their best steak dishes plus full steak dinners, and a huge country music concert! Plus craft beer, sangria on draft, activities for kids, vendors and more! Entry cost is $5 per person kids 12 and under are free! Food and drink are at an additional fee.

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

More happens here.



Family/August 2019

The Black Jacket Symphony Fleetwood Mac

8 PM at the Berglund Performing Arts Theatre in Roanoke 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. Tickets start at $25.

September 8 Roanoke Hike for Hospice

1:30 PM at Explore Park in Roanoke The day begins with a personal hike through the heart of Explore Park to the main event area. At the main event hikers will enjoy catered BBQ lunch, Homestead creamery ice cream, live bluegrass music, vendors including Music and Massage booths representing Good Sam’s own Complementary Therapists, a yoga demo facilitated by Uttara Yoga Studio instructors, and

games such as jumbo jenga and corn hole. The day will conclude with a raffle prize drawing and a moment of reflection with a dove-release. This year’s Roanoke Hike for Hospice coincides with national Grandparents Day! In honor of the guidance and love that grandparents bring to our families, Good Sam will have a “Wisdom Sharing” booth setup and fall themed complimentary family photos at this year’s event. Funds raised from the 5th annual Roanoke Hike for Hospice will support Good Sam’s extensive bereavement program, serving Roanoke Valley residents who are coping with loss and grief. Registration starts at $20

Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr

September 17 2019 Annual Spay-ghetti NRV

4:30 PM at Christiansburg Presbyterian Church Mountain View Humane is excited to announce the 2nd annual Spay-ghetti NRV supper! The course available with each ticket will be spaghetti, sauce, bread, salad (or salad bar for those who dine-in) and a beverage. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.

July 31 - August 11

On the Trinkle MainStage

One-Hour Version "Part of That World", "Under The Sea", "Kiss the Girl", "Poor Unfortunate Souls", and more!

Get Your Tickets! 540-342-5740

FALL CLASSES Sept Sept 33 -- Oct Oct 28 28

OFFERINGS FOR PRE K - ADULT Classes in Acting, Music Theatre, Dance, Voice, Shakespeare, and Technical Theatre.


Family/August 2019


the valley: kids eat free

can Re a l A me r i or N i nj a Wa r r i Op e n ! C o u rse N o w

Kids Eat Free cheap or

Every Day 1300 Intervale Drive Salem VA 24153


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Family/August 2019


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

• 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

• Denny’s 4 PM - 10 PM • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult All Locations Roanoke & Salem (540) 389-5074

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

• Macado’s 4 PM - 9 PM • 12 & under, $1 child meal per paid adult All Locations in Roanoke & Salem (540) 776-9884

• 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


• 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 • Ruby Tuesday 5 PM - Close • 11 & under, 1 child per paid adult Electric Rd., Roanoke (540) 265-9301 • K&W All Day • 12 & under, 1 child per paid adult Hershberger Rd. Roanoke (540) 563-4977

Wednesday • Dogwood 4 PM - Close • 10 & under, per paid adult 106 E. Lee Ave., Vinton (540) 343-6549 • 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 Roanoke (540) 344-7711 • The Roanoker 4:30 PM - Close • 10 & 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!

Saturday • Tokyo Express 11 AM - 3 PM • 4 & under free buffet per paid adult 1940 W Main St., Salem (540) 389-6303 • Famous Anthony’s 12 PM - Close • 1 child per adult meal All Locations Roanoke, Salem, Vinton (540) 362-1400

• 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 • Rodeo Grande All Day • 12 and Under 1 free per paid adult Valley View, Roanoke 540-206-2296 • Lew’s Restaurant SW All Day • 12 and Under 2 free per paid adult Walnut Avenue, Roanoke 540-682-5925

Sunday • Pizza Den 5 PM - 8:30 PM • 10 & under free buffet per paid adult buffet and drink purchase Salem (540) 389-1111


& 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

• 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 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

Roanoke Valley Family Magazine publishes these deals for informational purposes only. A Listing here does not guarantee a discount at any of the mentioned restaurants. Promotions often change without notice and we recommend calling the restaurant to confirm any discount before arrival.

Family/August 2019


the Valley: things to do

Get Ready for the

Star City Arts Festival! by Jacqueline Moon


erhaps you’ve enjoyed Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s event Symphony Under the Stars in past years — RSO puts on a great (and free!) show at the Elmwood Park amphitheater to kick of their season each year. And it’s always been a super event for families, with its pre-concert arts


Family/August 2019

performances and kids’ activities.

magnified by a hundred.

But this year, things are different. This year, RSO and the City of Roanoke have decided to go all-out and make the event a full-blown festival. This month, August 24 (mark that calendar!), is the first annual Star City Arts Festival. It will have all the things you loved about Symphony Under the Stars,

David Crane, RSO’s executive director, said the idea was born in part when RSO board of directors member Lori Strauss was inspired by “An Occasion for the Arts,” an annual local arts celebration in Williamsburg. The Star City Arts Festival concept continued to grow when the City’s arts organizations got together last year for a strategic planning workshop sponsored by the Roanoke Cultural

The Star City Arts Festival Elmwood Park, Downtown Roanoke August 24, 3:30 - 7:00 p.m. Endowment. A day full of local visual artists, culinary artists, cultural artists, bands, art vendors, local food and beverage vendors, fun things to do and try and make — this not only sounded like something Roanoke could do, it sounded like something with Roanoke’s name all over it! “The arts sector is massive,” said Crane, “more than many people realize.” Indeed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, “the arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, which represents 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP — a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, agriculture, and construction” (AmericansForTheArts. com). And it’s certainly vibrant in Roanoke — some of the amazing organizations participating in the Star City Arts Festival are The Taubman Museum of Art (who will have their ArtVenture tent set up), The Grandin Theater, the Jefferson Center Music Lab, Roanoke Public Libraries (with a book giveaway!), Opera Roanoke, CoLab, the Transportation Museum, the Harrison Museum, and Center in the Square. Roanoke Ballet Theatre, Roanoke Children’s Theater, Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, Mill Mountain Theater Conservatory, and Southwest Virginia Ballet will give performances. AND there will be two stages set up with three fantastic local bands

performing — blues guitarist and singer JoJo Stockton, afro-cuban jazz band Jstop Latin Soul, and gospel band Larnell Starkey & the Spiritual Seven. Plus, there will be more than 20 local artists participating in a sidewalk art show and giving handson demonstrations. Don’t forget the city’s top food, wine, and beer trucks, too! Sponsored by the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the City of Roanoke, the Roanoke Cultural Endowment, Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, and Downtown Roanoke Inc., the festival promises an eye-opening experience of the art culture that surrounds us in the Roanoke Valley. And it’s only going to get better and better over the years! Shaleen Powell, executive director of the Roanoke Cultural Endowment, said, “It’s RCE’s hope that the Star City Arts Festival will evolve and grow throughout the years to become an anchor event for arts and culture in our region. It is surrounded by the concepts of inclusion and participation.” Not only are the arts a fun and interesting part of Roanoke — and a great reason to have a festival — they’re incredibly important. “The arts have a huge social impact,” said Powell. “A high concentration of arts and culture in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social

Culminating in the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s annual Symphony Under the Stars at 7:00 at the Elmwood Park Amphitheater Entry to the festival and Symphony Under the Stars is FREE!

cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates. This festival will highlight the wealth of arts and culture organizations we have for a city our size! It’s a great opportunity to learn more about Roanoke’s arts and culture offerings, get more involved, and have a great time with family and friends.” Family/August 2019


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education. teachers





education: books

Rachel’s Reads

The new school year is upon us! It’s time for new pencils and notebooks, new teachers, and yellow school buses. Help your kids get excited to start school again by sharing some fun school-themed books together. And keep a look out for copies of Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges in Little Free Libraries around Roanoke!

Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish Children have loved Amelia Bedelia and her goofy ways for more than 50 years! Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School is another joyful contribution to her legacy. Amelia is excited to be starting school and enthusiastically does everything her teacher asks. The only problem is that she takes everything her teacher says literally. This misunderstanding leads to lots of silly moments. Come and join in the fun of singing like birds, running like cheetahs, and having eyes bigger than your stomach!

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Make Thaler First- to third-graders tend to have a love for the gross and macabre. If your child fits that description, you should check out The Teacher from the Black Lagoon. Teacher Mrs. Green is a fire-breathing crocodile who strikes fear in the hearts of her students. Her students might end up as globes, frogs, or even a midday snack! Or will they? Read this goofy book to find out!

School Bus by Donald Crews All vehicle lovers will love School Bus by Donald Crews. The bright yellow color, the red moving stop sign, the huge size, and all the young faces in the windows can make school buses irresistible to toddlers and preschoolers. Feed their passion and follow the daily journey of school buses doing their jobs in School Bus. The bold illustrations will wow any school bus aficionado.


Family/August 2019

Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges Federal courts ordered Little Rock, Louisiana, to integrate their schools by September 1960, a full six years after the ruling of Brown vs. Board of Education. Ruby Bridges was the first African-American student at her school in Little Rock, and she faced intense verbal abuse and isolation from her white neighbors and school administrators for it. In her award-winning memoir for fourth- through seventhgraders, Through My Eyes, Ruby Bridges tells of her struggles and how she found the strength to persist amid horrible persecution. Through My Eyes is a powerful book that shouldn’t be missed.

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex School’s First Day of School is a great book for a child dealing with some new-school-year jitters. Frederick Douglass Elementary School is brand-new and has no idea what it means to be a school. What does a school do? Will the kids be nice? What will the kids do during the day? Will the kids like the school? Frederick Douglass Elementary is VERY nervous about starting the school year, but after a few hiccups, the school finds that it loves learning and loves the students. It turns out that being a school is a wonderful thing!

Messing Around on the Monkey Bars by Betsy Franco Get ready for the school year by sharing some schoolthemed poetry! In Messing Around on the Monkey Bars, Betsy Franco explores bus rides, homework, cafeteria lunches, recess, the mysterious lost-and-found, and more. Franco’s fun rhymes and fabulous rhythm made this book a joy to read. As an extra bonus, the poems are written in two voices and can be read in tandem with your child!

Family/August 2019


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






Nutcracker Dancers


SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 | 3 - 5 PM


SEPTEMBER 8, 2019 | 2 - 5 PM


Certificate of Recognition

Presented to

Southview Preschool Southview Preschool Southview Preschool Southview Preschool Southview Preschool 3539 Peters Creek Road For your involvement in an improvement initiative to advance the care and services provided at Carilion Clinic. Thank you.

Carolyn Chrisman Senior Vice President, Quality Integration and Improvement

Ministry of Southview United Methodist Church Since 1979

Age Ages 2-5 2,3, and 5 Ministry of Southview United Methodist Church 1979 Our p and 5 Since day Classes Pre2,3, Roanoke, VA 3539 Peters Creek Road s 24019

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education: school

Back to Stress? How to Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed During the School Year (for Both You and Your Child!) by Chris Brown, MA, LMFT, CCLS


ow that summer is almost over, it’s time to turn our focus to school supplies, clothes shopping, and starting to gear up for the new school year. The emails and phone calls for our kids to join sports, music, and after-school programs start to flood our inboxes. It won’t be long until the homework starts to pour in and practice schedules need to be balanced with work demands. As the to-do list grows longer for both kids and parents, it seems like everyone can feel the stress of fall. So how can we help not only our children, but ourselves, during the academic year? One way to keep stress at bay is by keeping a little bit of summer in your school year schedule. Kids look forward to the summer break. They enjoy the lack of structure that summer provides. Children of all


Family/August 2019

ages enjoy being able to sleep in and spend more time with their friends and family on vacations, sleepovers, and summer outings. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that free time, especially unstructured time, is incredibly healthy for kids and teens. Equally, there is information that also points to the fact that kids, and even more so, parents, are chronically sleep-deprived. Keeping summer habits of rest, fun, and unstructured time can provide much needed relaxation and downtime for kids, as well as parents, when there are so many demands during the school year. Another way to help both you and your child with stress is to involve your son or daughter in making decisions as to what activities they are involved in during the school year. After-school activities teach discipline, follow-through, and

commitment. Oftentimes these activities are chosen by us, the parents, and not the other way around. Deciding together what clubs and sports your children participate in can help them use reasoning and communication skills that will help them when they become adults. Including kids in decision-making can also give you, the parent, a powerful conversation starter to learn if your child is overwhelmed by practice, homework, and school. Allowing our kids to help make the choice also puts ownership on them for taking part in the activity, helps with buy-in, and can motivate your son or daughter to attend practices and rehearsals— instead of resorting to bargaining and fighting over attending. It’s also okay for you, as the parent, to reduce your workload and stress during the school year by putting

more responsibility on your child to turn in work, put away bookbags, and do chores to help out around the house. Chores can help children with personal responsibility and self-help skills. When kids take on some of the household chores, it also takes the burden off of you to do everything during the school year. As soon as children become school-aged, they can start to help out. It can be an effort at first to manage and teach them how to do things, but the benefit is worth it. Many parents tie chores to an allowance or screen time in order to help with buy-in and participation. Letting your child choose what chores or responsibilities she or he does will also help with follow-through. Being able to accomplish a task or chore can also increase your child’s selfesteem and independence, which are important traits for school-aged children as well as teens. How do you know if your child is overwhelmed by activities, school, and even too much responsibility?

Depression and anxiety can look very different in children than adults. Physical complaints such as headaches and stomach aches, as well as irritability, crankiness, and loss of concentration, can be a sign that your child is not only stressed out, but could have anxiety or depression. If your child is showing some of these signs, first go to your child’s pediatrician to rule out any medical conditions that could cause these symptoms. If no physical reason can be found, don’t hesitate to contact a local mental health professional in order to help both you and your son or daughter acquire skills in order to more effectively handle stress at home and at school. School, activities, and homework are an important part of every family. Success in each of these areas can bring feelings of accomplishment, joy, and satisfaction not only for kids, but for parents. For most of us, there comes a time when the pressure to do better or to maintain a high level of

success causes us to feel overwhelmed. Whether your child struggles with success or maintaining success in school and activities, balance is always key. When we shift to any extreme, adults and kids can start to feel trapped or boxed in. Sometimes, in the pursuit of something, we forget the value of doing nothing. Both parents and kids deserve downtime. Lessening the load for both you and your child can improve everyone’s health and happiness, freeing up some muchneeded time alone, and also providing more time together as a family during the school year. Chris Brown is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Roanoke. He provides counseling to children, teens, adults, and couples at the Roanoke Valley Counseling Center.

Family/August 2019


Back to School Must-Haves We’re talking supplies beyond backpacks, pencils, and book covers. Start the new school year with great toys that educate even the youngest students, games that teach strategy, craft kits that allow your little ones to explore STEAM methods, and so much more!

Lucky Unicorn Lunch Box Rule the playground with our standout washable insulated kids lunch boxes. Elevate mealtimes with smart design details like a removable insert for quick cleaning, and a messenger/ backpack strap for unburdened ease of movement. Oh – and don’t forget to write your superhero name on the inside tag! Luck is on your side with our enchanting Unicorn, who’s always ready to take you on your next magical adventure. $30, ages 6- 10,

Canta las Letras

Mason Jar Science

Latin Grammy-winners present 38 songs – bright and catchy – to learn all about letters and letter sounds in Spanish. There is a song for every letter, plus consonant blends and more. With rhythms from electronica to salsa, families will be dancing from A to Z. The album is crafted as a musical learning tool for families who speak Spanish at home, as well as those who are learning it as a second language. $15 CD, $8.99 digital, ages 4-8, product/canta-las-letras/

Mason Jar Science is with filled with 40 experiments that can be completed using materials often found in your house or backyard. Projects include water fireworks and soda stalactites to a caterpillar hatchery, a balloon barometer and much more. These fun, foolproof, and fascinating science experiments can all be conducted in a glass canning jar. Great for parents and  grandparents to do with kids. $14.95, ages 8+,


Family/August 2019

Smithsonian Mega Science Lab Learn about volcanos, weather, outer space and more. The Smithsonian Mega Science Lab is six different STEM kits in one. Observe the process of crystal formation; assemble and paint a model of the earth and moon; and erect and erupt your very own volcano. Create an Eco Dome Habitat where you can catch, collect and study bugs. Assemble and install your own weather station and start logging temperature, wind direction and speed, barometric pressure, humidity, clouds and precipitation. Put on your safety goggles and chisel away at your sand block as you excavate bones that you

can assemble into a model dinosaur. This kit is a science sampler that offers six amazing adventures that are safe and easy to do. Detailed instructions are included. $34.99, ages 10+,

Butterfly Counting Pal Enjoy a flutter of color with the Butterfly Counting Pal™ plush learning toy. Five colorful number buttons play a variety of songs to teach colors and numbers. A kaleidoscope of color, Butterfly’s light-up wing shows the colors of the rainbow. She also helps your baby fall asleep with soft, classical melodies. Each segment of this onthe-go toy features a dangling toy that rattles, squeaks, turns or crinkles to help develop fine motor skills. Learn at home or on the fly by using the included straps to secure the butterfly to infant carriers and strollers. $17.99, ages Birth+,

POWERUP Toys 2.0 Free Flight Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit POWERUP Toys is taking paper airplanes to new heights with the POWERUP 2.0 Free Flight. The powered propeller transforms your paper airplane into a soaring electric aircraft with more than 30 seconds of flight. It’s as easy as folding a paper airplane, clipping on the propeller, and launching it into the air – just like a normal paper airplane. $19.99, ages 8+, products/powerup-v2

PAW Patrol Learning Watch (Chase, Marshall, Skye) Join the PAW Patrol and protect Adventure Bay with the PAW Patrol Chase Learning Watch™, PAW Patrol Marshall Learning Watch™ and PAW Patrol Skye Learning Watch™. These

interactive watches include four exciting games you can play to recognize patterns, identify animal tracks and pick the right tool for the job with the PAW Patrol. Hear Ryder call the pups into action, cool sound effects and popular phrases from the show. Each watch includes a clock, timer, stopwatch and alarm. With the PAW Patrol, no job is too big, no pup is too small! $14.99 each, ages 3-6, category/infant/pawpatrol

The Game of Wolf Which is stronger? The Lone Wolf or the Pack? Find out in this strategic trivia game where friend quickly becomes foe! As the Wolf, pick your pack members based on their knowledge of the subject or go Lone Wolf for a chance at double the points! The Pack or Lone Wolf that answers the most correct of the five questions wins the point for that round! Will you go it alone, Wolf? Or will you choose strength in numbers? These are the critical choices you’ll make to be top dog in The Game of Wolf! Ages 14+. $24.99

Reviews Courtesy of Elena Epstein

Family/August 2019


education: school

Stop Bullying by Susan Baldani

Despite all the media attention and parents and schools doing their best to eradicate it, bullying still continues to be a huge problem. And, there’s no escaping it. Years ago, once a child was done with school for the day, he or she could get away from the harassment. In today’s world, with the popularity of social media, bullies can have 24hour access. What defines bullying? According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can occur in person or through technology. For victims, being bullied can cause low selfesteem, feelings of worthlessness, and depression, which can continue long after the bullying stops. At its worst, it can lead to suicide: many recent news reports show that more and more kids are taking their lives in order to put an end to their suffering. Victims of bullying are between two and nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims,


Family/August 2019

according to studies by Yale University. So, what advice can parents give their children to help deal with bullies? Here are four tips:

1. Avoid the bully. If your child knows where the bully is more likely to hang out — for example, the pizza place down the street — tell him or her to stay away from it when the bully is most likely to be there.

2. Walk away. While this is easier said than done, most bullies are looking for some kind of reaction. If one isn’t given, they might lose interest. Explain to your kids that this doesn’t make them weak — quite the opposite. To not engage is sometimes harder than fighting back, and ignoring the person is a rejection of their behavior. If the bully follows or continues to taunt, let your kids know they should tell the bully to stop it in a firm, clear voice and continue to walk away. Teach them how to be assertive and stand up for

themselves. Role-play with your kids so can they learn how to respond to someone who is harassing them. Knowing how to react to a bully can give them the self-confidence they need to confront one. Instructing children to fight back physically is usually not a good idea, since bullies usually pick on kids who are smaller and weaker. Your child could be hurt and left even more fearful than before. He or she may also face disciplinary actions if the school has a no-tolerance policy.

3. Stick with a buddy. Ask your child to enlist a friend to walk with him or her from class to class or to the lunchroom. Bullies are more likely to go after a lone victim than one with a friend or in a group. Help your child find friends by opening your house to other kids, allowing sleepovers, and hosting game nights. Enroll your child in sports or other organizations so they can meet kids with similar interests.

4. Communicate. Let your kids know that they should inform their teacher(s) and others in charge so they can also help intervene and watch for signs of bullying. Most teachers and staff today are trained to handle these types of situations. Sarah Dickinson, a Virginia mother of two young boys ages 3 and 7, has already had to use some of these techniques to deal with a bullying situation with her older son, Aiden. “He stood up to a bully who was making fun of his friend last year. We’ve told him to stand up for himself or his friends by telling the person to stop, to walk away if it escalates, and to tell a teacher and us immediately,” said Dickinson. However, if none of these techniques work, then it may be time for you, as the parent or

guardian, to get involved. How can you do this? Recognize that your child is being bullied and take steps to handle the matter as soon as possible. Don’t expect it to resolve on its own, or just accept that these things happen between peers. Children need to feel that their parents are going to support them and help them solve the problem when they cannot. Ask the school about their bullying policy; almost all schools have one in place these days. There should be certain steps a school follows once bullying is reported. The child doing the bullying and his or her parents should be brought in to meet with school administrators to see if they can solve the problem with the family. If not, the bully may have to be disciplined or even expelled. If the bullying still continues after every other recourse is taken, request that the bully be transferred to another school. If the school refuses, you may, unfortunately, have to find a new school for your child. While this may not be easy or fair, the most important thing is to find a place of learning where your child can feel safe and secure. Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and can be female as well as male. “Girls can be bullies too. The aggression of girls has been vastly underestimated because it takes a different form. It is a far more subtle and complex means of meanness than the overt physical aggression boys engage in,” said Hara Estroff Marano, the editor-atlarge of Psychology Today and writer for The New York Times. Bullying is a form of abuse, and not just “children being children.” Teaching your child how to handle these difficult situations and advocating for them when they need help can enable them to feel protected and loved.

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U Can Dance LLC 540-915-7259 4254 Colonial Avenue Roanoke, VA 24018 Family/August 2019


education: school


Anxiety by Jamie Lober


Family/August 2019

A new school year can bring on many emotions ranging from excitement and curiosity to worry and apprehension. Some unanswered questions that may linger in your child’s mind include whether he will like his teachers, if her friends will be in her classroom, if he will get lost in the building, or whether she will be successful. Back-to-school anxiety can affect kids of all ages, from kindergarten through college. It’s important to get to the bottom of what’s causing your child to worry — or to go as far as avoiding school. Through its research, the American Academy of Pediatrics found that some kids struggle emotionally with issues like fear of failure, problems with other kids, anxieties over using a public bathroom, a perceived meanness of the teacher, threats of physical harm like from a school bully, or actual physical harm.

start time. This means going to bed earlier every night, as well. You can create a workspace or study area that your child likes to spend time in with good lighting and a comfortable, supportive chair. Your child can decorate this area with his favorite colors, hobbies, sports, or photos of friends. Don’t forget to include a calendar so he can write down important dates. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to point out the positive aspects of starting school, such as seeing old friends and meeting new ones, to create positive anticipation. You may want to find another child in the neighborhood to accompany your child on the bus or walk with her. The AAP also mentions how having the right backpack can make a huge difference. The best backpack is one with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, and one that is packed lightly. A rolling backpack is a great option if permitted.

Be sympathetic & understanding if your child tells you why he finds the start of school to be stressful.

You want to address your child’s thoughts and feelings and not ignore or make light of them. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that when anxiety in kids goes untreated, they are more likely to perform poorly in school and miss out on important social experiences. The best way to alleviate fears is to talk about what to expect. Be sympathetic and understanding if your child tells you why he finds the start of school to be stressful. Validate his feelings and let your child know it’s okay. It can help to practice the school routine prior to the first day. This means getting up earlier than usual, having the bookbag packed, and enjoying a nourishing breakfast. Some schools have orientations or tours where you can find the classrooms and get to meet the teachers in advance. Make back-to-school shopping a fun experience by involving your child in the decisions of backpacks, supplies, gym shoes, and clothes. You can gradually adjust the alarm clock so your child wakes up earlier instead of suddenly having a new

Find out about the extra benefits your child’s school has to offer and discuss them with her. There may be an extracurricular activity like a club or sport where she can participate and gain independence and confidence. Staying active as a family can be beneficial, as well. When you help your child get to know his new surroundings and talk about what lies ahead, the school year becomes easier to approach. The American Psychological Association says that parents should get to know members of the school and community that can help support their child in the transition. If the back-to-school anxiety becomes too much for you and your child to handle on your own, you may want to reach out to a trustworthy and knowledgeable pediatrician or counselor for further guidance. Now, it’s time to mark your calendar with a smiley face on the big first day.

Have a HAPPY SUMMER For more information please contact:

COMMUNITY HIGH School of Arts & Academics 302 Campbell Avenue, S.E. Roanoke, Virginia 24013 (540) 345-1688 ww Family/August 2019


The Way Things Were Huff Lane School in the ‘50s by Becky Mushko


uff Lane Elementary School was built in 1950 and quickly filled with kids whose families lived in Dorchester Court, the new housing development across the road from the schoolyard and one street behind where I lived. There was no kindergarten, only grades one through six. I attended Huff Lane for all six grades. The day after Labor Day in September 1951, when I was

a week away from turning 6, I started first grade. Mama walked me the three blocks to Huff Lane — few mothers drove back in the day, and the only kids who rode the bus lived a half-mile or more away. She left me at the door of Mrs. Willhide’s room and told me she’d wait in the front hall. Sure enough, Mama was there to walk me home for lunch, and at three p.m. she was

Family/August 2019


would be invented?), so forget secretarial work. The only career left was teaching, and I’d gotten used to being in a classroom. Before that first week was out, I learned that Mama lied. One day she was running a little late, and I caught her walking up the sidewalk. I should have gotten suspicious because (1) lunch was always ready when we got home at noon and (2) I never saw any other mothers in the hall. My faith shaken, I refused to walk with her and ran ahead. Before long, she found a sixth grader who lived on Dorchester Drive to walk with me in the mornings and afternoons.

In the 1950s, we kids ate a hearty breakfast before we went to school — eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham — that would stick to our ribs. There was no such thing as a breakfast served at school in those days. there again to walk me home for the day. I figured there must have been a place — maybe near the big kid classes upstairs — where mothers waited because I didn’t see her in the hall mid-morning when Mrs.Willhide lined us up and walked us to the restrooms near the front hall. I was unimpressed with my first day of school. There was too much lining up and too much raising of hands. I didn’t even learn to read as I had hoped. The only noteworthy thing that happened was a girl named Jean wet her pants. As I walked home with Mama, I asked her when I could quit school. She said when I was 16, so that’s what I planned to do. Too bad I had to be bored for another ten years and a week. Later that afternoon, after I’d changed


Family/August 2019

out of my good school clothes and into my play-clothes, I was riding my tricycle on the sidewalk when Mrs. Wertz from up the street came by. “How did you like your first day of school?” she said. “I hate it!” I said. “I’m going to quit when I’m sixteen.” Although I meant what I said at the time, it turns out I lied. I didn’t quit. When I turned 16, I figured I could hang on for two more years. A year later, I started thinking about college, even though I wasn’t sure what I’d be. Female career choices were mostly limited to nursing, secretarial work, and teaching. I hated the sight of blood (a condition I’ve since gotten over), so nursing was out. I hated the thought of being trapped behind a desk where I’d have to pound a typewriter (who knew computers

I took my lunch for a while, at least until I was pretty secure about how to get home by myself. Then I started walking home for lunch again. I didn’t have much choice of a route: right on Huff Lane (a gravel road) for a block, then left onto Floraland for two blocks; or straight on Dorchester, right onto Grandview, and left onto Floraland; or straight on Dorchester and left at our vacant lot behind our house. All of the ways meant crossing two streets, but there was almost no traffic. Sometimes I didn’t see a car at all. I liked the adventure of going home for lunch because the Huff Lane cafeteria was pretty depressing. The linoleumcovered tables and benches folded out of the wall because the cafeteria was really a “multi-purpose room.” There was a stage with red curtains at one end where we had assemblies. The benches were unfolded for those, but not the tables. Sometimes we had the equivalent of PE in the cafeteria — or at least dancing. One year, our class learned to do the heel-and-toe polka there. Another year we learned to square dance. Those activities were more fun than sitting on a hard bench. The lunch ladies made the hot lunch from scratch, so sometimes the cafeteria smelled pretty good. This

was decades before low-fat insanity eventually overtook the nation, so the food was real — not processed — and tasted good. Kids were encouraged to drink whole milk, but I didn’t like milk. I never bought a school lunch because it came with milk. If I didn’t go home for lunch, I carried my lunch in a paper sack (and later in a Roy Rogers lunchbox) but would sometimes pay a nickel for a Dixie Cup or a chocolatecovered ice cream bar. We didn’t have mid-morning snacks at Huff Lane. In the 1950s, we kids ate a hearty breakfast before we went to school — eggs with bacon, sausage, or ham — that would stick to our ribs. There was no such thing as a breakfast served at school in those days. In first grade, my main accomplishment was moving from the second reading group to the first. I think I’d been put in the second group because I was so shy that I never volunteered to read. I also rarely raised my hand because it didn’t seem to matter — Mrs. Willhide eventually called on everyone, regardless of whose hands were waving wildly or not waving at all. I knew my turn would come, and it generally did. But every time I was asked to read aloud, I had no trouble “sounding out” the words in the “Dick and Jane” reader. I read fast and fluently. Aside from reading, my favorite parts of school were library time and recess. Once a week in the library, we could pick out a book to borrow and take home. One of the first books I borrowed was Billy and Blaze, by C.W. Anderson. Reading about Billy and his pony was a lot more exciting than reading about whatever Dick and Jane did. Recess always involved physical activity on the playground. Sometimes we played group games, such as drop the handkerchief, and sometimes we played on the swings, sliding board, teeter-totter, or jungle gym. Because

girls wore skirts or dresses, we didn’t have the freedom to play that boys did. We tucked our skirts demurely around our legs before we got onto a swing or slid down the metal sliding board, and we confined our climbing to the bottom of the jungle gym. Modesty — or perhaps the teachers — prevented us girls from swinging by our knees from the bars. On the backside of the schoolyard, where the asphalt playground ended, was the edge of the civilized world — and a huge field where Pete Huff’s farm began. Sometimes wheat grew in the field, sometimes corn, and sometimes alfalfa, but the field was always forbidden territory to us kids as we played on the playground. From the top of the jungle gym or the metal sliding board, we could catch a glimpse of the dairy barn and the cows in the distance. One November afternoon, when I was in the third grade, my teacher Miss Driscoll announced we’d be taking a field trip to that dairy farm. We put on our coats, lined up, and followed our teacher outside. I remember I wore my gray wool coat with a fur collar — a coat I’d inherited from my older cousin Marty and would eventually pass on to my younger cousin Judy. In the early 1950s, hand-me-downs were a fact of life. The coat kept me warm on that frosty day as my classmates and I stepped off the edge of our known world and tromped across the cutover cornfield to the barn. There we had a close-up view of the Holsteins munching hay while milking machines made strange noises. Someone must have explained the process of getting milk from cow to store, but I don’t remember that. What I remember most is the field itself. Walking across Pete Huff’s field ruined me for all future field trips. For years after that third grade excursion, I believed a field trip should actually

involve walking across a real field. Consequently, all the other field trips I went on — which involved climbing onto a bus, travelling a few miles, and eventually going into a building — were disappointments. One morning in late spring, while we sang “America the Beautiful,” I looked out the window and actually saw the “spacious skies.” They were bright blue. I looked at Pete Huff’s field — now planted in wheat — and saw the “amber waves of grain.” Beyond the field, I saw the “purple mountains’ majesty” of Fort Lewis Mountain and Brushy Mountain in the distance. In front of the mountains, the breeze rippled through the field, which might possibly have been a “fruited plain.” That day, God indeed “shed His grace” on me and gave me a glimpse of the America we sang about. Things have changed since I attended Huff Lane School. In the 1970s, I-581 bisected Pete Huff’s farm. In the 1980s, land that used to be the farm became Valley View Shopping Center. For a while, the school became “Huff Lane Microvillage.” Then it became Huff Lane Intermediate School, and the primary grades went to Round Hill Elementary. By the 1990s, the asphalt playground had been replaced by grass. The jungle gym and sliding board were gone. A high gray wall with mountains painted on it separated what was left of the playground from what was no longer farm. A few years ago, the school closed and was razed to build a motel. Whenever I drive through Valley View Mall, where Pete Huff’s farm used to be, I pass close to where my former school once was, and I feel a little sorry for kids who’ll never get to see the world the way I once did — and who can never step off the edge of a playground and take a real field trip.

Family/August 2019


Roanoke Valley Family’s Guide To Daycare, Preschools, & Private Education ROANOKE CATHOLIC SCHOOL

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Quality Education For Children 6 wks - 12 yrs Fresh and Healthy Meals and Snacks

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621 N. Jefferson St. Roanoke 540-982-3532 • Ages: 3-18 Preschool, K-12, After School

We are dedicated to excellence in education and to the spiritual development of youth within the framework of the Gospel and the tradition of the Catholic Church. Our mission is the education of the whole persona, blending learning with faith and faith with daily life.


4225 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke 540-989-0144 • Ages: 6 Weeks -12 Years Preschool, Day Care, After School  Come join us at Childcare Network #65! We pride ourselves on being the working parent’s best friend!


4225 Brambleton Ave. Roanoke, VA 24018


5220 Starkey Rd, Roanoke 540-797-1456 • Ages: 6 Weeks -12 Years Preschool, Day Care, After School Country Bear Day School has a 30 year tradition of offering an exceptional program for children ages 6 weeks - 12 years.  A child’s happiness and development is our main objective, offered in a secure, nurturing environment with opportunities to grow. Your child’s well being is not only your top priority--it is ours as well. Please visit us soon to see why we lead in creative educational programs, parental service and an environment that is loving, safe and secure.   


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


Multiple Locations in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, Wirtz and Christiansburg. (540) 344-4543 Ages 6 weeks-12 years Preschool, After School HoneyTree Early Learning Centers is the leading Early Childhood Provider in the Roanoke Valley for children ages 6 weeks - 12 years of age. We are locally-owned and operated and have been serving generations of families since 1979. Expect your child to receive the best, quality educational experience. We hope to have the opportunity to provide you and your family with all the pieces for a happy, healthy childhood.


4524 Colonial Avenue, Roanoke 540-989-6641 • Ages 3-18 years Preschool, K-12 North Cross School is an independent, nonsectarian, college-preparatory school that serves children from early childhood through twelfth grade. North Cross provides a rigorous academic curriculum,


Family/August 2019

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.


3585 Buck Mountain Rd, Roanoke 540-769-5200 • Ages: 4-19 years Preschool, K-12, After School At Faith Christian School students are encouraged to love God and be captivated by His created world. Check out our new indexed tuition program, private education may be more affordable than you think!


2660 Brambleton Avenue, Roanoke 540-524-2491 • Ages 2-5 years Preschool Grandin Court Baptist Church Preschool partners with families to provide a high-quality learning environment and to begin fostering an understanding and appreciation of God’s presence in each child’s life. As a VA Quality participant, we achieve this goal by providing environments and student-teacher interactions which promote a child’s natural curiosity and we delight and encourage them in their discoveries.  


2011 Brandon Avenue, SW, Roanoke 540-982-2254 • Ages 12mo - 5 years Preschool Noah’s Landing Preschool offers Mother’s Morning Out (MMO) as well as classes for 2, 3, and 4 year olds (Pre-K). Space is limited due to small pupil/ teacher ratio per class. Our philosophy of education is based on the belief that children learn and grow best through hands on experiences.


7060 Williamson Rd, Roanoke 540-366-2432 119 • Ages 2-18 years Preschool, K-12, Before/After School

Roanoke Valley Christian Schools (RVCS) was established in 1973 by Shenandoah Baptist Church and now recognizes over 1,200 alumni. Its mission is to develop disciples of Christ who will influence the world for the glory of God. RVCS accomplishes this through a partnership with each family. We serve preschool, ages 2 through grade 12 and offer both an advanced program and resource program that can come alongside each student’s individual needs.


3539 Peters Creek Rd, Roanoke 540-362-1767 • Ages 2-5 years Our purpose is to provide a warm, nurturing, yet challenging atmosphere in which children can learn and develop physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and creatively. We offer Lunch Bunch, Curbside Drop Off and Pick Up, Music, Weekly Chapel, Field Trips, Multiple Child Discount, and Referral Discounts.


7815 Williamson Rd, Roanoke 540-563-5036 • Ages 3-14 years Preschool, K-8 We provide education of the highest quality for children of all racial, cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. Community School provides a program that is unique in the Roanoke Valley and a rarity statewide, a haven for those who value experiential education over standardized test results. Our school nurtures children’s individual learning styles and fosters creative and analytical thinking. Our students develop personal responsibility for their education and a passion for learning.                                                                               



42 E. Main Street, Salem 540-389-4087 • Ages 18mos-5 years Preschool

St. Anne’s curriculum is based on developmental learning and the Virginia Foundation Blocks of Early Learning. We are dedicated to the total development of each child; intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical.  Our desire is that each child knows that he/she is loved and accepted.  Registration is now open for the 20182019 school year! 


125 W. Main St., Salem 540-389-5144 • Ages 1 - 4 years Preschool “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52 This is the verse on which we base our preschool. Our State LIcensed Preschool’s purpose is to help your child grow cognitively, physically, spiritually , and socially/emotionally. We know that young children learn best through play, so all of our learning activities are planned to be educational and fun!


4845 Cloverdale Rd, Roanoke 540-977-0485 Ages 2.5-11 years Preschool, After School

107 Corporate Blvd., Salem 540-387-1521 • Ages 6 weeks-12 years Preschool, k-6

Bonsack Preschool/After School is a faith-based, developmentally appropriate program focused on Kindergarten Readiness for preschoolers, half and full day. After School Care for Bonsack, Cloverdale and Colonial Elementary Schools offered with priority on gym time, devotions, creativity and homework completion. Summer Camps available for both Elementary and Preschool.

Salem Montessori School - Bringing Joy to Learning! Children are eager, spontaneous learners, curious about the world around them. The primary goal of a Montessori education is to help every child reach their full potential in all areas of life. Montessori educated children become self-confident young people, who face future challenges with optimism and who enjoy a lifetime love of learning!


3743 Challenger Avenue, Roanoke 540-977-1282 • Ages 0-12 years Preschool, Daycare, After School We offer social development, preschool education, and after school enrichment for our community in a safe and engaging atmosphere. Our curriculum builds upon the Virginia Foundation Blocks of Early Learning to fully prepare children to be successful upon entering Elementary School.


4120 Challenger Avenue, Roanoke 540-798-6061 • ages 5-14 K –8

Roanoke Adventist Preparatory School (RAPS) has been offering quality Christian education at family-friendly prices in the Roanoke area for over 75 years. RAPS mission is to foster academic excellence, passionate spirituality and outstanding character in each student. Our school is a small classroom environment where students receive grade-level appropriate individualized instruction. RAPS is fully accredited and key learning standards are available by grade level. Tuition rates are highly competitive and scholarship opportunities are available. 


Campbell Avenue, Roanoke 540-345-1688 • Grades 9-12 High School


1030 Bible Ln, Vinton (540) 890-4465 • Ages 1-16 years

It is our goal at Mineral Springs Christian School to provide your child with an affordable Christian education. Mineral Springs Christian School is one the most important ministries of our church. The school has been serving families for 25 years. Mineral Springs Baptist Church felt the need to provide a ministry of alternative and affordable Christian education to their church members and the community.                     

Education Innovation Exploration Progressive education for children ages 3 through middle school since 1971. 540-563-5036 Family/August 2019


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growing toddlers






A Star in Roanoke by Jose Israel Nuñez, Jr.


ictor R. Nuñez was born on August 19, 2007, in Heidelberg, Germany into a military family, which was constantly moving from location to location (bases in Heidelberg and Stuttgart,


Family/August 2019

Germany, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, and Fort Eustis in Virginia). By the time he was ten years old, Victor had already moved six times. He’d had a wonderful childhood overseas, which involved

many European adventures as well as making memorable outdoor opportunities, when he finally arrived in the United States. At the early age of two and a half,

Victor was diagnosed with autism, which was the beginning of the family’s journey towards aiding and supporting him. He began speech therapy, occupational therapy, a special-needs preschool program, and applied behavior analysis (ABA). Early intervention toward supporting Victor’s developmental needs were the priority. Victor quickly began learning with the team of professionals in his life. He grew out of his shell and has grown into an exuberant and loving kid. In 2018, his family made the decision to retire in Roanoke in order to support both Victor and his older brother, Jose, who attends the Virginia Military Institute. This final move has been a busy time for the entire family, but Victor has particularly embraced what Roanoke has to offer. He has always loved exploring the outdoors in areas like Explore Park, enjoying being physically active, with hands-on interaction with his surrounding world. His family has made sure to encourage these interests through creating a regimented weekly schedule for his passions. Victor’s favorite parts of his week involve speed skating and tae kwon do. Victor trains as a part of the Omni Speed Team taught by the nationally accredited coach “Buggy” Allmond at the Star City Skate Center. In addition to training, Victor routinely enjoys listening to music while leisurely skating at the Skate Center of Roanoke Valley, which is a source of happiness in his busy weeks. He was also recently enrolled at Roanoke Tae Kwon Do America at Tanglewood Mall, which is taught by Master Sean Abbott. In both programs, Victor has received incredible support and encouragement from his coaches and peers. This support is extremely important in order for him to develop social skills and learn how to maintain positive relationships. His skating has greatly improved over the last year, and he is training to compete in

this year’s Virginia Special Olympics representing Roanoke (Area 8), which will be held in November in Virginia Beach. Last year was his first competition, and he earned gold and silver medals in multiple events. Victor is continually seeking other community events to improve his mental well-being by visiting Roanoke County public libraries, youth groups, and school clubs. The South Country library has become a home away from home for Victor: he checks out books, plays on the computer, reads comic books, completes homework, plays chess, and is currently participating in their summer reading program. He will undoubtedly continue his trips to the library due to the multitude of programs it offers for people of all ages. He has also fallen in love with social programs such as Bricks4Kidz, located at the Towers Shopping Center, and he has come to love playing with other kids. He has also recently followed in his older brother’s footsteps and has taken up piano lessons. Victor has always had an astounding memory, and being a part of Anderson Music Therapy Services is helping to further expand his growing mind. The director, Mrs. Noel Anderson, MMT, MT-BC (board-certified music therapist) has personally helped the Nuñez family and supports the special needs community in Roanoke. Such activities were a big part of Victor’s life before Roanoke, but since the family’s recent move, he has truly come to love all the opportunities presented to him.

The Nuñez family has loved encouraging Victor and watching him enjoy, overcome, and persevere in his new environment.

The Nuñez family has loved encouraging Victor and watching him enjoy, overcome, and persevere in his new environment. They are taking advantage of and engrossing Victor in the many “adventures” in the Roanoke community. They are extremely dedicated to finding new opportunities for Victor, and so far, their time in Roanoke has proven it’s a wonderful place to live.

Family/August 2019


growing up: toddlers

A Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words How Wordless Books Can Improve Your Toddler’s Language Skills by Tanni Haas, Ph.D.


ike most parents, you probably remember fondly the first time you had your toddler in your lap, reading a children’s book with big, beautiful illustrations and simple words, like Goodnight Moon or Brown Bear, Brown Bear: Where Are You? I remember how exciting it was to trace the words on the page with my


Family/August 2019

toddler’s little, stubby fingers and showing him how those words were connected to the illustrations. But here’s the thing: Strangely enough, researchers have discovered that when it comes to improving your toddler’s language skills, you’re better off reading illustrated books without words

than books with pictures and text. The reason is when you read a picture book with only a few words, you probably do what I and most other people do: you describe how those words relate to the illustrations, like saying “This is a house,” and then asking your toddler, “Show me where the house is.”

When parents read wordless books, they create rich, complex stories from those illustrations and end up talking with their toddlers about all kinds of things. For example, instead of asking their kids to “show me the house,” they ask, “What does our house look like? Who lives there? What can you see when you look out the window?” As a result, researchers have found, toddlers end up with a broader vocabulary and better word comprehension, and they learn how to use language to describe events in their lives. There’s nothing wrong with reading picture books with simple words. Clearly, it’s smart to introduce your toddler to words at an early age and explain how they can use words to describe themselves, others, and the world around them. But as they get closer to school-age, it’s important to expose them to more sophisticated language, and strong wordless books do that. As Professor Daniele O’Neill,

the author of one recent study, puts it, “Reading picture storybooks with kids exposes them to the kind of talk that’s really important for children to hear, especially as they transition to school.” What are some great wordless books you should consider reading with your toddler? Here are three modern classics that’ll inspire great conversations: Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley This book has beautiful photographs of dioramas and tells the story of a stuffed animal named Frank, who finds the egg of a hummingbird, takes care of it at home, and then returns it to its nest to hatch. Your kids will relate to how vulnerable the small hummingbird is, and you’ll find yourself speaking with them about taking care of others. Inside Outside, by Lizi Boyd This wonderfully illustrated book will stimulate many conversations about

the fun things to do inside and outside your home and during the changing seasons. Featuring a kid who plays with various animals (a bird, cat, dog, mouse, and a turtle), you can talk about those animals, where they live, and more. Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage This is the story about the adventures of an adorable walrus who has escaped a zoo, with the zookeeper hot on its trails. Along the way, the walrus meets different people, including artists, firefighters, and shopkeepers. This fun book can lead to conversations about the different jobs people have and what your kids would like to do when they grow up. 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.

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Bringing Award - Winning Smiles to SouthWest Virginia

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Family/August 2019


growing up: teens

My Home Away From Home by Grace Partin


very summer, my family enjoys traveling. Sometimes we visit old friends, sometimes family, and sometimes new and exciting places. With all this traveling, we hardly have time to relax at home. That’s fine


Family/August 2019

with me — I’ve always enjoyed every aspect of traveling and am constantly looking forward to future trips. With so many new and fun destinations, it is perfectly reasonable to long for your own warm and soft bed.

Oftentimes, I find myself counting down the days until I am able to arrive back home. However, there are some places that we routinely visit that truly feel like a different home. When we used to live in Ohio, I

attended one of the greatest summer camps ever. Every year, my parents make the seven-hour-long journey to Bath, Ohio, just so that we can visit the sweet and memorable campus of one of my favorite places. This is why Camp Christopher in Bath, Ohio, is really an excellent home away from home for me. I first learned of Camp Christopher when I attended Our Lady of the Elms, a Catholic all-girls’ school in Akron, OH, and was promptly sent there the summer after hearing about it. I still remember the first day I drove up to its welcoming gates. We got my paperwork filled out, got me checked for lice, and went through possible medical needs before I got a good look at camp. To say I was nervous would be the understatement of the century. Every camper is sorted by age and gender to a certain cabin. Most of the cabins are named after important people, such as Hernando De Soto and Juan Ponce de León, and I was put into cabin EAST, the youngest cabin of the week. EAST stood for Elizabeth Ann Seton Townhouse, and I was soon mingling with my other cabin mates. My parents left me then, and I shared a tearful goodbye. I LOVED my first year at camp, and ever since then I have continued going. Recently, I completed my seventh year of attending camp, and am eager to begin my eighth and final year next summer. Unfortunately for me, the oldest age to be a camper is sixteen. However, I can begin training to be a counselor the very next year, which would be absolutely wonderful. As I mentioned before, I heard about camp while I was attending a Catholic school. It would be wise to assume that this camp, named after a saint, would also be Catholic. Camp Christopher is indeed a Catholic camp, but the religious aspect hardly interferes with the fun of camp. All the remotely religious activities that we do is a short prayer service

or a mass every morning before first period. The rest of the day, all you have to worry about is praying before and after meals, but even then, the prayers are hardly prayers themselves. For example, one of the prayers, the “dinosaur prayer” goes like this; “BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! ROAR! YUM YUM! Amen.” Most of

the week is solely devoted to fun and competition. That’s why being non-Catholic, like I am, really didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of camp. At camp, there are many activities that we can participate in. Some of the activities include the high ropes and zipline, fishing, swimming (which is every day), crafts, stables, low

Family/August 2019


growing up: teens

Camp Chris has always been one rock-hard constant for me, and I can confidently say that it’s the best thing to have ever happened to me.


Family/August 2019

ropes, and even more. My personal favorites are stables and crafts, and without camp, I would have never been exposed to horses. The camp’s campus is massive and has amazing rock formations, beautiful creeks, long winding trails, and even a natural bridge. Every day, the counselors and LCs (leadership campers, or counselors in training) take you around the camp to enjoy each activity. There are six periods in a normal camp day — three before lunch and three after, with a nightly activity with the whole camp. Each counselor is given a schedule, and campers can normally read this on the door leading to the counselor quarters in their cabins. Each period is about an hour of pure fun and teambuilding. Summers at camp are broken up into seven weeks, and each week there are certain competitions. A particularly sporty camper who wants a fun challenge needs to look no further than the Triathlon. Cabins each week compete for spirit points, which are given by the staff to cabins who follow rules, cheer and yell loudly, and participate in most activities. At the end, the Spirit award is given to one cabin in all of camp. Every morning, there is morning inspection, which involves keeping a clean and regulated cabin. This ensures that each cabin isn’t reduced to complete chaos by the end of the week. Cabins who remain clean can win the Golden Dustpan. Both this and the Spirit Award guarantee the cabin’s inclusion in the big staff party, with ice cream and cheesy songs. There are many different awards within camp that are camper-specific, like the Golden Arrow, Sportsmanship, and the Excellence in All Departments. There is one recipient for each of these

awards from each cabin, and the lucky campers will also get to attend the big staff party. Every summer, I walk into those same gates that welcomed me seven years before. Next summer, I will be staying in Old James Gibbons, the closest to the stables and furthest from any showers, with a group of teary-eyed campers who will cry alongside me at closing campfire. Camp friends are friends for life, and seeing one from a prior year in the same week as you is always refreshing. Everything about camp is special, including the many bugs that reside in the girls’ bathroom. You can’t truly enjoy a warm shower until you have experienced a very cold “Christopher Shower,” which involves shutting off the water after rinsing yourself, and turning it back on to rinse off soap and shampoo. It may sound miserable, but to those who have ever attended camp, it feels wonderful. The bugs at camp are cause for curiosity rather than horror. Losing your voice from screaming is considered a mark of heroism and true spirit. The chants and songs you learn will remain with you always, and eventually you’ll learn to love the “song time” that the counselors force you to attend. Camp Christopher has shaped me into the person I am today. There, I learned my love for crafts and horses, and I learned to not mind moths that manage to sneak into my house. I learned that it’s okay to be different, and to try and enjoy most outdoor activities. Since I have moved a lot in my life, Camp Chris has always been one rock-hard constant for me, and I can confidently say that it’s the best thing to have ever happened to me.


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Wyatt’s Ideal Smoothie by Wyatt Martin

Ingredients: ½ of a mango, sliced 10 each of raspberries and blackberries 7 strawberries (caps cut off and cut in half) 2 cups honey-flavored lowfat Greek yogurt

Directions: Put all ingredients into a blender and pulse for 30 seconds. Check to see if all fruit has been macerated. If not, keep pulsing in 30-second increments until the smoothie reaches its desired consistency.

½ cup low-fat milk

Family/August 2019


just for fun: experiment

Kid Science: Air Resistance Provided by:

Supplies: • Two identical toy cars • Two strips of cardstock or other sturdy paper which are both as wide as the cars and a little bit longer • Tape • Book or board which can serve as a track for both cars at the same time

• Stack of books • Blow dryer or fan

2. Plug in the blow dryer and place it at the bottom of the ramp.

Directions: 1. Stack the books and place the board on top such that one end is balancing on the books and the other is on the floor. This should create a ramp or inclined plane.

3. Tape the edge of one of the pieces of cardstock to the front end of one of the cars and bend it over the top so that it creates a curved cover to the car. Secure it with tape underneath. This car should now have a silhouette

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Family/August 2019

or shape that looks like an arch.

to compare.

4. Tape the other piece of cardstock to the front edge of the other car and bend it into a right angle, securing it to the top of the car. This car should now have a silhouette or shape that looks like a block.

9. Place both cars at the top of the ramp and let go. Does one of them reach the bottom faster now? Did your results change?

5. Make a prediction: if both cars race down the ramp, which will reach the bottom first? 6. Place both cars at the top of the ramp and let go at the same time. What happened? Did one of the cars reach the bottom first or did they both reach the bottom at the same time?

What’s happening? Have you ever been in a moving car and stuck your hand out the window? If you do that and change the shape of your hand — making curves and holding your hand up — you might find that the air pushes back on your hand

when it is upright but goes over your hand when it is a curve. This has to do with aerodynamics, which is what this experiment explores. Aerodynamics talks about how air moves around things. Shapes like curves are more aerodynamic — air moves faster and easier around them. Shapes like blocks are less aerodynamic — air does not move around them as easily so they experience drag or resistance. This happens with our cars, too — the block shaped car experiences more drag and so is slowed down more when the fan or blow dryer is turned on.

7. Make another prediction: will the same thing happen if there is air pushing on both of the cars? 8. Turn on the fan or blow dryer and make sure that the air is able to reach both cars at the same time. If you are using a blow dryer and the air current is too narrow to reach both cars, then you will have to do each car individually and time them

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Profile for Roanoke Valley Family Magazine

Roanoke Valley Family August 2019  

Volume 7, Issue 12

Roanoke Valley Family August 2019  

Volume 7, Issue 12