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Indy’s Child JANUARY 2018


5 Things You May Not Know About Our Public Schools How local schools adapt and innovate to serve Indy’s kids


questions to ask when interviewing a private school

indoor playgrounds Where to go when it's too cold to play outside

SKIING & snow tubing destinations

5 spots close to home for winter fun

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January 2018 INDYSCHILD.COM 03


contents J ANUARY 2 0 1 8 departments. AROUND TOWN

12 Start the New Year with New Moves PARENTING

32 Ask the Teacher TRAVEL

14 Let's Go Skiing and Snowtubing LOCAL SPOTLIGHT

36 Exodus Refugees IN EVERY ISSUE

06 Editor's Note 07 Our Social Network 08 Community Spotlight 10 Indy's Children RESOURCES & CALENDARS

34 Preschool & Education Guide 38 January Events



5 Things You May Not Know About Our Public Schools


The Benefits of Afterschool Programs

43 Fun & Wacky Calendar SPECIAL NEEDS

24 Educating Extended Family Members About Autism 26 Planning for a Positive Future 28 Special Needs Guide 30 Back to School with a Smile 31 Special Needs Events

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How local schools adapt and innovate to serve Indy's kids

So much more than meets the eye

20 Considering a Private School?



Questions to ask when evaluating your options


Indy Indoor Playgrounds

Where to go when it's too cold to play outside





Out with the Old,

In with the New Happy New Year! There’s nothing like opening up a new calendar and seeing all those blank pages to motivate us into making some changes for the upcoming year. What’s on your agenda? At Indy’s Child we decided it was time to shake things up a bit with a fresh look to our magazine and a few new pages we think you’ll like. First, be sure to check out Indy’s Children on page 10. We asked our Facebook readers to send in their cute pics of kids and their pets and we weren’t disappointed. (These furry family members are definitely well-loved!) We’ve also started a new column highlighting the people and organizations who make a positive impact on children and families in our area. With this Local Spotlight we hope to bring attention to the good works of so many people in and around Indianapolis. If you have someone in mind we should cover, let us know!

Also, take a look at Let’s Go – our new travel feature, because who doesn’t love a road trip? Each issue we’ll pick a new destination or type of activity we think your family will enjoy. This month we chose places to go skiing and snow tubing – it’s going to be winter for a long time still, so why not take advantage of it? We hope you enjoy the new additions we’ve made. Our hope is that you continue to find our magazine an informative and helpful parenting resource. As always, we thank you for picking up Indy’s Child and wish your family a wonderful start to the new year.

FOUNDING PUBLISHER Barbara Wynne Publisher Mary Wynne Cox Editor Susan Bryant SALES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Jennica Zalewski BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Brooke Litherland Advertising Coordinator Karen Ring CREATIVE DIRECTOR Katie Clark DIGITAL PUBLISHER + EVENTS Wendy Hasser Business Manager Roxanne Burns INTERN Meg Wynne CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Maggie Loiselle, Deb Krupowicz, Kim Dinan, Sara Rust, Emmaleigh Badeaux, Tracy Gale and Christina Nesslage CALENDAR OF EVENTS Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2018 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary or services herein.

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the indy's child



We’re chatting up a storm over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Come find us for quick laughs throughout the day, parenting tips, must-sees-in-the-city, giveaways and more!

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follow us. @INDYSCHILD

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upcoming guides on

Best Indoor Playgrounds If cabin fever is setting in, don't despair. We have you covered with plenty of indoor spaces in Indy where little ones can burn off a whole lot of energy.

A Guide to Indoor Pools Think swimming is just for the summer months? Think again! We've compiled a guide to indoor pools and aquatic centers in Indy, many of which offer amenities like zero depth entry and waterslides.

Top 10 Spots for Sledding If outdoor winter fun is more your speed, check out our top 10 picks for sledding hills across town - it's your guide to an action-packed afternoon in the snow!

be on the lookout for

this month's online contests. Disney on Ice Tickets, COSI Tickets, A Stay at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Beef & Boards Dinner Tickets

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comm u nity

SPOTLIGHT what to look for in january.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On January 15 a number of museums around Indianapolis will open their doors for free in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is the perfect time to take advantage of all these museums have to offer while honoring this incredible man who did so much for our nation.

Enjoy free family fun at your local library

Eiteljorg Museum Admission to the Eiteljorg Museum is also free with the donation of a non-perishable food item to Gleaners Food Bank. Visitors will enjoy a last chance to see the amazing model train exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, plus kid-friendly fun in R.B. Annis Western Family Experience.

When cabin fever kicks in and you are looking for quality family time that won’t break the bank, you won’t have to look far. With 24 branches located throughout the city, The Indianapolis Public Library offers the perfect indoor escape, seven days a week. Inspire your child’s love of reading by browsing for new books or take part in one of the many activities – from story times for all ages to art workshops, yoga classes, dance parties and family game nights. You’ll find a number of library events in our calendar on pages 38-42. For a complete list of library events, visit

Monday, January 15, 10:00 am-5:00 pm 500 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

Conner Prairie


Disney's Princesses take to the ice

Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare to Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow-covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza featuring beloved characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella. January 17-21 Banker’s Life Fieldhouse

Indianapolis Zoo Parking and admission to the Zoo are free on this day with the donation of a non-perishable food item for Gleaner's Food Bank (minimum donation of one item per person). Although the Zoo is usually closed on Mondays in January, weather permitting, they are open for this special day. Monday, January 15, 9 am-4 pm 1200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

The Indiana State Museum The museum in its entirety is open to the public, free of charge (with the donation of one non-perishable food item per guest). Visitors will enjoy special programming, including f luorescing mineral demonstrations, paper f lower crafts, Indiana trivia, an inf latable game from the Indianapolis Indians, various characters roaming the building and more. Monday, January 15, 10:00 am-5:00 pm 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis

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Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by joining Conner Prairie for theatrical performances, family games, archaeology activities, art and more. While you’re there, explore the museum’s indoor areas Create.Connect, Craft Corner and Discovery Station. Admission is free for all guests. Monday, January 15, 10:00 am-5:00 pm 13400 Allisonville Rd., Fishers

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Celebrate the life, achievements and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with storytelling and performances by The Griot Drum Ensemble. Monday, January 15, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis

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indy’s children There’s something special about the bond between kids and their pets – as you can tell from these pictures! Thank you to all our readers who sent in these shots of their furry and feathered family members.

Harper and Ellie

Brookelyn and Pepper

Hope and PJ

want to see your cute kids on this page?

Kindell and Benson

next month

J.J. and Millie

we’re looking for siblings! Send in your best pictures of brothers and sisters (with ages and first names) to

and your shot may be selected to appear here!

Ashton, Phoenix and Sparky

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Faye and Chico

Hank and Sarah Jane

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BROUGHT TO YOU BY Christina Nesslage OF The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Start the New Year

with New Moves

Getting yourself active can be tough in the winter months, and motivating your child can be even more challenging. Exercise is especially important for their growing bodies though, helping with muscle and bone growth, circulation and even sleep. (And we all know how important nap time is.)

How to play NEWSPAPER BASKETBALL: • Set up a small basketball court in an area of your home that has some open space. Use a laundry ham per or a recycling bin as the “basket.”

• Take turns shooting the objects into the basket. • Try changing how far away from the basket you shoot, or play a game of HORSE.

As a parent, you can set a good example for physical activity by finding ways throughout the day to be active that wouldn’t necessarily be called exercise, such as taking the stairs instead of using the elevator or choosing a parking space further from the store entrance. When it comes to your children, telling them that pushups or jumping jacks will make them strong probably won’t be persuasive enough to have them start moving. But, talking about how playing a sport or participating in a physically engaging game is exercise can help motivate them. When the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis opens this spring, children of all ages can be active by playing their favorite sport or have fun trying a new sport. By modifying some sports, you can have a fun and safe indoor activity that keeps everyone in the family engaged. Newspaper basketball is a great option.


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• Use crumpled up newspaper or junk mail as the ball.

The Riley Children’s Heath Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will open on March 17, 2018.

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WORDS BY Susan Bryant

Let’s Go

Skiing and Snow Tubing

5 spots close to home for winter fun!

There are officially 90 days of winter (which can seem like a long time) so why not embrace the cold and snow and make the most of what this season has to offer? There’s no better way to enjoy a winter day than racing down a hill on skis or a snow tube with your children squealing in delight. And finding a place to go within driving distance is easier than you might think. Check out these destinations for a snowy good time your kids won’t soon forget.

Koteewi Run Snow Tubing 11800 Koteewi Drive, Noblesville, IN (317) 776-9199 If it is snow tubing you are after, you won’t have to go far! Noblesville’s Strawtown Koteewi Park is now home to central Indiana's only groomed snow tubing hill. Slide 700 feet down groomed lanes in custom snow tubes to a soft landing, and then ride the tow line back to the top for another run. There is no experience necessary – just bundle the kids (and yourself) up for the winter weather and head out for a day of snow-filled fun. Koteewi Run is open daily through February 25 (into March, if conditions allow). Both single day tickets and season passes are available.

Perfect North 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, IN (812) 537-3754 Distance from Indianapolis: 1 hour 45 minutes Find a mix of diverse terrain at this 22-acre ski and tubing resort. Child, adult and adaptive lessons are offered, with a lesson included for first-timers with every lift ticket purchased. Feel the need for speed? Sign up for racing lessons. Training and practice sessions are available for ages 7 and up. Don’t leave without taking a ride down one of their 23 tubing lanes, including “super lanes” that allow your entire family to slide down together.

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Paoli Peaks 2798 West County Road 25 South, Paoli, IN (812) 723-4696 Distance from Indianapolis: 2 hours Spend the day skiing or tubing at Paoli Peaks, which offers 15 trails, 8 lifts and a natural hill with a 300-foot vertical drop. Test out the “The Bonk” terrain park with boxes, rails, steel benches and small jumps for an extra thrill on the slopes. Ten lanes of snowtubing, each 700 feet long, are available with specially constructed inner tubes at their Arctic Blast Snow Tube Park.

Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area 13421 Mann Street, Jones, MI (269) 244-5635 Distance from Indianapolis: 3 hours and 25 minutes Swiss Valley is perfect for both the novice skier and seasoned pro, with 11 runs (including 4 for beginners) and 2 terrain parks, all of which are geared for both skiing and snowboarding. Access to the beginner area is just $10 per person per day. Lift tickets start at $21 with the option to switch from skis to a snowboard/blade or vice versa for an additional $5. Sunday Fundays, held every Sunday afternoon from 2-7 pm, offer the perfect learn-to-ski package for all ages. Or opt for the Valley Kids learn-to-ski program that allows kids to learn while their parents enjoy some free time on the slopes.

Valley’s Edge Snowtubing 8295 St. Rt. 121, New Paris, OH (937) 437-1386 Distance from Indianapolis: 1 hour and 20 minutes Just over an hour away, Valley’s Edge Snowtubing offers affordable family fun close to home. Even when there’s no snow on the ground, there’s still snow at Valley’s Edge as they’ll make the white stuff even when Mother Nature won’t. Go on a Thursday night and pay just $6 for everyone in your family.

So grab the snowsuits, hats, gloves, boots and scarves (and your courage) – and head for the hills! A day spent skiing, snowboarding or tubing is a perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors with your crew this winter.

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5 things

You May Not Know About Our Public Schools How local schools adapt and innovate to serve Indy’s kids

Public schools are an integral part of our society and have been educating our children for centuries. In fact, the first public school in the United States was founded in Boston in 1635, 181 years before Indiana even became a state. You may think you know all there is to know about public schools, but our local districts continue to adopt new programs that benefit our students. Read on to learn what a few of these schools are up to. (You might just wish you could go back as a student and do it all over again!)


Our public schools offer a wide breadth of programming. Times have changed, and gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all classroom. In Wayne Township, the district offers over forty-one programs that prepare students for the workforce. “We have a cooperative career and technical center, an early college high school, virtual online learning opportunities and options to earn associates degrees while at the same time earning a high school diploma,” says Dr. Jeff Butts, Superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of

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Wayne Township and the President of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents. “And that’s at no cost to our students.” Dana Altemeyer, Coordinator of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing at Metropolitan School District, Lawrence Township, says, “We offer everything from STEM education to bilingual education. In fact, Lawrence Township has the number one Spanish Immersion program nationally. The breadth of offerings is a big deal in our

district. And that’s preschool through grade twelve.” Altemeyer also notes the wide range of advanced placement classes that they are able to offer their students. Carrie Cline Black, District Spokesperson for Indianapolis Public Schools, shares an interesting new program they have implemented. “We are the only school in the state of Indiana and one of the only high schools in the nation to offer health informatics classes at the high school,” she says. “It’s a relatively new career choice but quickly growing. Students look at problems in the healthcare industry and then develop and design solutions that improve the process.”



Special education services are available to all students.

There’s a lot of choice in public schools.

“We have special education pre-K through high school,” says Cline Black “Including a collaborative kindergarten program where we integrate students with special needs or unique challenges into a classroom with other students.” In these classrooms there are two teachers, the lead teacher and then a secondary teacher that provides kids with special needs one-on-one attention. And, unlike other schools that have entrance exams, public schools accept everyone. “We don’t pick our students,” says Altemeyer. “We don’t give them an entrance exam. We take them where they are and we educate them to the best of their ability.”

“I think one of the misperceptions of public schools is that people go to public schools when they can’t go other places,” says Dr. Butts. “But Indiana makes sure that isn’t the case with things like vouchers and opportunities for students to go to different schools. We have 16,300 children whose parents chose to send them to our school today.”


The competition level is very high.

5. The choice offered at Indiana public schools is not just in the classes they elect to take, but also in the location and specific focus of the school. “Not every child goes to the school that is in their neighborhood,” says Cline Black. “Families can choose throughout the district based on each school’s specific programming.” From Spanish immersion programs to action-based kinesthetic schools, where students walk on treadmills, ride stationary bikes or jump on mini trampolines while doing their times tables or memorizing their vocabulary words, there’s a school to fit almost every interest or need.

Times have changed, and gone are the days of a one-sizefits-all classroom.

Many public schools have the advantage of larger populations, which can allow for competition on a larger level. “We have intermural programs, B teams and JV, so everyone has an opportunity to participate. But the top performers, whether athletics, performing arts or speech and debate, they compete at a higher level,” points out Altemeyer.

In fact, in the future, high schools in the Indiana Public School District will be transitioning to 100% choice. Cline Black says students will “now choose their high school programming and Indiana Public Schools will provide transportation to that high school.” The purpose is to ensure that students are learning the subjects they’re most passionate about and in the way that best works for them. “When students are engaged in something that interests them they are more successful,” she says.

Public schools are a microcosm of the real world. A diverse student population is another asset to attending public school that Altemeyer sees. “We serve extremely poor students and extremely wealthy students. We also have a lot of diversity as far as race and ethnicity.” Because of that diversity, she says “students experience an environment that is much more comparable to the world we live in.” That sort of diversity is a benefit to students, says Dr. Butts. “You may be learning around children that are just like you or you may be learning with children that are growing up with a different background, different cultures and customs and religions than you. You become a more well-rounded, diverse person yourself as you learn in that environment.” Do you know other things about our public schools that you’d like to share? Send your comments to and let us know!

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the benefits of

afterschool programs So much more than meets the eye WORDS BY SARA RUST

Now that the holidays are over and the cold winter months are here to stay, are your kids getting restless and looking for something new to do? Now may be the perfect time to consider enrolling your child in an afterschool program. With the variety and quality of enrichment programs available today, they are bound to be exposed to interesting experiences and develop new skills. According to the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), involvement in afterschool programs has been shown to improve kids’ test scores at school, while also contributing to reading and math achievement among at-risk youth. In addition, drug and alcohol use, as well as teen pregnancies, are lower in students who participate in evening programs. Another benefit to participating in an afterschool activity is the effect it can have on a child’s self-esteem. Tatyana Komarova, Executive Director of the International Talent Academy in Carmel, says, “We help students by involving them in our theater, public speaking and leadership classes and lead them towards developing their confidence, presentation and speaking skills.” She adds that they do not hold auditions and make sure that every student gets time on stage. After participating in the program, Komarova says that parents are often amazed with the boost in confidence they see in their children.

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The right afterschool setting can help a child develop important social skills in a safe environment. Nikki Sayer, whose daughter participates in acting programs around Indianapolis says, “My daughter is an only child. This caused her to be a bit of a loner. Theatre programs have helped her open up so that she’s more outgoing and confident.” The Indianapolis area is abundant with enrichment programs – from art, dance, karate, gymnastics, drama, music – even improv classes. Tom Robertson, an improv instructor for an afterschool program through IndyProv at IPS schools, says, “Improv is not something students would ordinarily study in school, but provides them skills that are so applicable to their lives in many areas.” Robertson says that most people think improv requires people to be funny, but it’s also great practice in listening. Afterschool programs that focus on physical activity get kids moving and help them see the benefit of a healthy lifestyle. The camaraderie of teamwork and working toward a mutual goal can be an important experience for children, as well as seeing how practice and determination improve their ability. What else can afterschool programs do for kids? Oftentimes, children are exposed to new people and situations that they may not otherwise have the benefit of experiencing. Trying something new can develop a burgeoning interest or spark a new one. And more than anything, afterschool programs are fun! With so many possible benefits available from various enrichment activities, it may be hard to choose just one. Start with a program that interests your child and you might just see them advance their social skills, improve their health and even become better students.

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considering a

Private School


If you’re thinking about enrolling your child in a private school, it’s likely you have several criteria you’d like met to ensure a good match. Here are a few questions to ask when evaluating potential schools.

How are parents involved with the school? How is technology used at school? Are students required to obtain certain devices?

What is your educational philosophy or mission?

How does the school help support both gifted children, and children with academic, social or emotional difficulties?

How do you incorporate this philosophy or mission into the school day?

Are advanced placement or honors classes available at the high school level?

Does this school have a particular focus (such as STEM or the arts)?

What sort of professional development opportunities do teachers have?

What is the average class size? What is the school’s approach to discipline, bullying and safety?

What statistics can you provide regarding your high school graduates – where do they go to college, what kind of scholarships have they received?

What is the school’s philosophy or approach to homework?

Can I speak with other parents who have children attending this school?

What kinds of extracurricular activities do you offer?

Is it possible to have my child spend a day shadowing a student at your school?

How much is tuition and are scholarships or financial aid available? What is staff turnover like?

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Educating Extended Family Members About Autism Tips for informing – and engaging – those close to your child We’re all told that it takes a village to raise a child, but what if the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that make up your village don’t really understand what your family is going through? That’s the dilemma that parents of children with autism often face when they go looking for support – but first must educate, dispel misinformation and provide a library of resources about their child’s diagnosis in an effort to engage extended family. “I think every parent who has a child with special needs is going to encounter some type of ignorance when they are discussing their child’s diagnosis,” says Bonnie Fisher, an autism resource specialist with Easterseals Crossroads and mom of a 5-year-old on the spectrum. “This Thanksgiving, my husband’s aunt told me, ‘She doesn’t look autistic.’ I feel that part of our job as a parent of a child with special needs is to advocate, and part of advocating for your child is educating other people.” The key, of course, is to find a way to do this in a way that works for you. Talking openly about autism, providing simple resources and inviting family members to take part in events that are important to your family can help.

Talk about it Keeping lines of communication open about your child’s diagnosis, including his or her progress and setbacks, is a good starting point, experts say. “You have to talk about it. You have to talk about what autism is, what autism means to your child and how autism impacts their life. What I’ve found is that most family members want to know and understand,” says Kelly Pence, senior autism ally with the Autism Society of Indiana and mom of two teenaged sons on the spectrum.

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Pence also stresses that parents shouldn’t feel like they have to know everything about autism, especially early in their family’s journey. “If you’re fairly new to the diagnosis, you may not really understand it yourself or don’t know how to explain it, so it’s a struggle. I’m pretty adept in talking with people and opening up that conversation, but I wasn’t like that when my sons were little. We just tended to avoid things,” she says. “I know now that it’s okay to say to family members, ‘I don’t have all the answers. I’m still learning about autism, too, but here are some resources.” The Autism Society of Indiana’s website ( offers a wealth of easy-to-understand information. Pence also notes that the organization’s autism allies, a statewide network of support personnel with personal experience with autism, are available to answer questions family members may have.

Extend an invitation For those people who you would especially like to be a part of your child’s life, including them in activities related to autism, whether that’s a regular support group, fundraising walks or local special needs family nights, can help boost their familiarity and understanding of autism. Easterseals Crossroads hosts an Autism Grandparents’ Support Group on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7:30 pm. This is scheduled at the same time as the Parent Support Group, at the organization’s north side headquarters (4740 Kingsway Drive). “I think that grandparents benefit from hearing how other grandparents support their child in child rearing,” says Fisher. “For family members of individuals with an (autism spectrum disorder) diagnosis, having someone with similar experiences to talk with is very therapeutic.” Pence says attending a support group can also help those who struggle to understand an autism diagnosis. “At a support group, extended family members might hear something explained in a different way that makes more

Empower yourself Of course, the time and energy needed to continually educate extended family members about autism may seem like too much. But experts say that parents are actually helping themselves in the long run when they do put forth this effort.

sense to them,” she says. “Fellow parents are one of the best resources, so if you can manage to get grandma and grandpa to go with you to a support group, you’ll have a whole set of people who will help get them on board.”

“I can say from experience that when your child is first diagnosed, you may feel like you have lost all control over the future of your child’s life,” Fisher says. “But by educating yourself and others and advocating for your child, you will gain so much confidence that you will no longer feel powerless.” *The Easter Seals Crossroads Family Resource Center maintains a library of books related to autism that anyone is welcome to check out. Below are Fisher’s top picks.

recommended reading for helping family members understand autism Autism Spectrum Disorders: What Every Parent Needs to Know by Alan I. Rosenblatt and Paul S. Carbone A basic overview of the diagnosis and available treatments

Neurotribes by Steve Silberman The history of research on ASD and where it’s headed

The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders by Mary Barbera and Tracy Rasmussen A basic outline of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

I See Things Differently: A First Look at Autism by Pat Thomas Explaining autism to children

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Planning for a Positive Future

Preparing your child with special needs for a successful transition to adulthood “Begin with the end in mind.” This advice, coined nearly 30 years ago in the popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, remains relevant today – especially for parents of children with special needs. While the day-to-day challenges and celebrations of raising a child with special needs often occupy parents’ thoughts, their child’s eventual transition to adulthood can also loom large, feeling like it’s both ages away and just around the corner. That’s why Karen Rusk, an expert in transition planning with IN*SOURCE, an organization that provides special education parent support across Indiana, encourages families to start thinking about an end goal for their child sooner rather than later. “There’s so much stuff out there that transition can feel overwhelming, but what we all want for our children is for them to be able to live as independently as possible,” says Rusk, who has three sons with special needs. “If we’re beginning with the end in mind, we need to start thinking about that transition early on and working on skills that will help toward that goal.” Whether your child is starting kindergarten or heading to high school, here are some ways to keep on top of transition planning.

Push to start earlier Federal education law requires that your child’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) include transition planning services by the age of 16. But ideally, experts say those services should begin a few years earlier., a popular website about special education law and advocacy, suggests parents research transition needs for their child’s specific disability and then use that information to make the case to their IEP team about why transition planning should begin earlier.

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Involve your child Rusk stresses that parents should involve their child in the process as early as possible. “As parents, we’re so used to looking at a situation and making a decision by ourselves that we don’t start early enough to consider that students should be involved in their transition,” she says. “I’m not saying that I expect a kiddo to sit through their entire case conference in first grade. But you can talk to your child about school and ask, ‘What are you good at? What’s really hard for you?’ What we don’t want is for them to be sitting in their very first case conference when they’re in high school and they’re expected to do all of these things.” Involving your child early in the process can also help them better understand his or her disability and what he or she needs to be successful, which are two main goals of transition planning, experts say. The PACER Center, a national advocacy organization for children and young adults with disabilities, has this advice on its website: “All young people need a strong sense of their strengths, abilities, interests and values. If students have a disability, they should also be aware of how it might affect them at work, in the community and in their educational pursuits, and they should be able to explain it to others.”

Start early with basic skills Helping kids master everyday tasks is not only confidence-boosting, but helpful to the whole family. Rusk says parents are amazed when she says that she hasn’t done laundry in years. Instead, she taught her boys how to do their own laundry early on in an effort to get a head start on independent living skills. Other basic competencies, such as bathing and dressing, waking up to an alarm clock, shopping for groceries and using a cellphone can also be worked on when children are young to help lessen the learning curve around transition time.

“Maybe your child won’t learn to drive, but can they call an Uber? Can they do laundry or make a trip to the grocery store?” Rusk asks. “While they may be in a learning environment with students who are just like them, we don’t have special grocery stores; we don’t have special churches. We still have to prepare them to live and work within a community.”

Stay the course No matter what setbacks you face in your child’s transition journey, keep pushing forward. Rusk say she’s a firm believer in staying f lexible and having a plan B in place. “We can have the greatest plan for our kids. We’re going to try for that general education classroom all the way, he’s going to go to college! But if that doesn’t happen, don’t think of it as a failure; it’s just a change in plans,” Rusk says. “Even if parents do everything 100 percent right, they’re still going to have failures with their kiddos. We can’t let our failures stop us from trying.”

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SPECIAL NEEDS guide ABA Autism Services by Damar ABA provides proven research-based treatments and interventions for children with Autism and their families, ensuring that children learn, gain confidence and purpose, and engage in meaningful interactions in their everyday lives. 9905 Fall Creek Road, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Kristin Dovenmuehle, Director, Phone: 317-813-4690, Email: info@damar. org,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism The Applied Behavior Center for Autism is Indiana's longest running ABA provider. With over 20 years of service, ABC is building brighter futures every day. Each of our center offers unique attributes that allows us to provide high quality treatment to children and teens with autism spectrum disorder. With locations in Greenwood, Carmel, Castleton, Terre Haute, Richmond, and West Indianapolis we offer ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, diagnostic testing, special needs swim lessons, and so much more! We are now enrolling for part-time and full-time schedules. Find us on social @ABCforAutism to learn more. 7901 E. 88th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Jane Grimes, Phone: 317-849-5437 Ext. 104, Email: Jane@AppliedBehavior,

BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS CENTER FOR AUTISM BACA uses the principles and procedures of ABA to teach language, social, self-help, academic, daily living and life skills to individuals with autism and related disorders. BACA was established in 2009 by Carl Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and a group of highly trained BCBAs. Located in Fishers, Zionsville and Elkhart, IN. 9929 East 126th Street, Fishers, IN, United States, Phone: 317-436-8961, Contact: Colin Clayton, Email:,

BEHAVIORWORKS ABA We work with you! BehaviorWorks provides Early Intervention for Autism and Indiana Medicaid Waiver Behavior Support Services. BehaviorWorks is a team you can grow with. We use the evidence-based strategies of ABA to create effective behavioral solutions. Are you looking for a fresh perspective? Take action for positive change with BehaviorWorks. 618 N. High School Road Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46214-3684​, Contact: Ann Baloski, Executive Director, Phone: 317-731-7777, Email:,

Bierman ABA Autism Center We work with children with autism spectrum disorders up to the age of 13. We specialize in providing early intervention, personalized and intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Speech & OT programs. Our early intensive intervention programs (EIBI) are designed to help children learn skills across many different developmental domains in order to be happy and successful in any environment, whether that be in the home, community or the classroom. Whether your child was just recently diagnosed or has been in a traditional school setting but unable to make adequate progress, we deeply believe every child is capable of learning with the right programming in place. We are positive our dedicated and talented team can make a difference. Locations in Broad Ripple, Westfield and Avon. 6060 N College Avenue, Indianapolis IN 46220, Phone: (317) 815-5501, Email: info@;

The Children's TherAplay Foundation One of the few clinics in the country providing physical and occupational therapies on horseback (hippotherapy) for children with special needs. Serving kiddos, ages 18 months to 13 years, with diagnoses including cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and developmental delay. In-network with most major health insurance carriers and Indiana Medicaid. 9919 Towne Road, Carmel, Indiana. Phone: (317) 872-4166; Email:; www.childrens

Children's Therapy Connection The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level with eating by exploring and discovering the different properties of food and allowing a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. This program is founded on 20 years of clinical research led by Dr. Kay Toomey, a pediatric psychologist. CTC’s Discovering FOOD feeding group follows the principles of the SOS Approach to Feeding, utilizing a team of therapists to help guide you and your child through the process from exploring different foods to enjoying mealtime. Participation includes a comprehensive feeding and nutrition evaluation and weekly therapy sessions, including parent education. Whether you have a picky eater or a problem feeder, Discovering FOOD is the answer for you! Children will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. All participants must meet inclusion criteria. Parent participation is a vital and required aspect of the program. Please contact our office at info@ or (317) 288-7606 for additional details. 7478 Shadeland Station Way, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Phone: 317-288-7606, Email: info@,

Disability & Autism Services of Indiana Disability and Autism Services of Indiana (DASI) has proudly supported Indiana families since 2008. Our mission is to provide the highest quality ABA therapy and supporting speech therapy to children on the Autism spectrum. DASI understands the importance of learning in the natural setting, and we come to you to meet your needs. With over 75 years of combined experience, our families choose DASI because of the care and customized services we provide. Our passionate and professional team will tailor fit your child's ABA therapy to target individual learning and behavior change. We utilize the most effective research-based 1:1 behavioral interventions and specialize in maximizing learning opportunities and outcomes. With Fishers & Greensburg, Indiana locations; we offer in home, school, clinic and community based ABA therapy. 732 N Broadway St, Greensburg, IN, Phone: (812) 663-2273; Email:;

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EasterSeals Crossroads Offering comprehensive disability services for people of all ages. Early Intervention, Autism Services, PT, OT, Speech Therapy, Feeding/ Swallowing issues, Augmentative Communication, Assistive Technology, Multisensory Therapy Rooms, Summer Camps, Life/Social Skills Groups, Deaf Community Services, Autism Family Resource Center. 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46205, Phone: 317-466-1000, Email: info@, http://www.

Hands in Autism HANDS in Autism® works to provide unique learning opportunities designed to improve understanding of the process and ability to work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a range of other developmental and behavioral challenges through hands-on and coaching experiences and building bridges of information, resources and collaboration across family, educational, medical and community systems. The Center provides innovative, research-based, and practical training and technical support to school staff, medical and service providers, primary caregivers, and individuals with ASD within Indiana and globally based on the HANDS training model.The HANDS in Autism® Center also focuses on identifying and meeting specific community needs as well as fostering: collaboration and networking across medical, school, family, and community settings; reciprocal sharing of information within and across communities; increased dissemination and awareness of resources and information; and increased training opportunities within, relevant to, and informed by the specific community. 1130 W Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (Fesler Hall 302l), Phone: 317-2742675, Email:, www.HANDS

LITTLESTAR ​ABA THERAPY LittleStar A ​ BA Therapy is Indiana’s first center-based, therapeutic applied behavior analysis (ABA) service provider serving children, teens and young adults with autism. Since 2002, this professional team has impacted the lives of hundreds of learners affected by autism by building skills and helping them achieve milestones once believed impossible. LittleStar's statewide centers are located in Carmel, Bloomington, Lafayette, West Lafayette, Clarksville and Newburgh. LittleStar ​ABA Therapy also provide in-home ABA services. 12650 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN, 46032, Phone: 317-249-2242, info@, www.littlestar​ABA​.org

technology, including sophisticated hearing aids and cochlear implants, give children with significant hearing loss access to sound. With appropriate speech therapy, auditory rehabilitation and language training, children are able to develop spoken language skills. St. Joseph Institute offers a variety of Listening and Spoken Language programs including: early intervention services, internet therapy, full-time preschool program, mainstream support, ongoing consultation, and comprehensive educational training opportunities for families and professionals. With over 175 years of experience, we are professional leaders in the field of Listening and Spoken Language education. Visit our website for more information. 9192 Waldemar Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268, Phone: 317-471-8560,

St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf (SJI) is Indiana's only full-time school dedicated to helping young children (birth to age 8) who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy skills with the focus of transitioning into their local, community school. Dramatic advances in



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SPECIAL NEEDS WORDS BY Emmaleigh Badeaux, M.A., and Tracy Gale, Psy.D., HSPP, Easterseals Crossroads

Back to School with a Smile Returning to school can be difficult for both children and parents. During the holidays, the routines that you crafted so diligently are interrupted, and this can make the transition back to school challenging. The following strategies can help ease this transition.

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• Reestablish your pre-holiday routines. Pay attention to your most helpful routines, keeping in mind why they were successful. If a routine has multiple steps, provide extra support for your child. This can be done through visual or verbal means. • Maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Turn off electronics early in the evening and begin the bedtime process. Turn off the lights throughout the house to indicate to your child that others are sleeping, activities are finished, and it is time for rest.

• Practice. Think back to the beginning of the school year. What skills has your child acquired since this time? Children often struggle with their recentlyacquired skills, so it is helpful to practice. Rehearsing your morning routine will remind your child of what is expected of them, without the pressure of the morning. • Plan ahead, and include your child. As much as possible, let your child help in planning their breakfast, their outfit and their after-school snack. Giving choices can be very empowering and help your child feel included.

• Motivation. Have rewards for appropriate behavior during this time of transition. Tell your child what they can earn, how they can earn it, and when they will be given a reward for their behavior. Most importantly, be patient with yourself and your child! Remember that everyone in the family is readjusting to the end of the holidays and the beginning of a new year. With time and patience, the return to school can be successful for the entire family.




SAT 13

SAT 20

Tykes Night Out Tykes Night Out is a respite event sponsored by BACA Charities and serves young children with disabilities. Children that attend get to enjoy a fun night with friends. Activities include playing group games, eating dinner and watching a movie. Each child will receive individualized attention. To register for an event, contact Michelle Yadon at myadon@carmelclayparks. com. This event is for ages 2-5.

An Afternoon of Fun and Games Join Buttermilk Mountain, an Indianapolis-based organization that helps guide parents of children with special needs, and Mt. Bethel Apastolic Church for Domino's pizza, games and more. All abilities are welcome! RSVP by Jan. 6 to More info: www.buttermilkmountain. org/

Location: Monon Community Center East, Time: 6:00- 7:30 pm, Phone: 317-8433877

Location: Mt. Bethel Apostolic Church, Time: 1:00- 3:00 pm, Phone: 317-9878450

FRI 12


Addressing the Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health Needs of Our Students Sponsored by the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community and offered in conjunction with the Crown Point Community School Corporation Learning Center. The goal of this workshop is to delve deeply into how stress and adversity affect brain architecture, therefore affecting behavior and learning. Attendees will walk away with strategies that they can begin to implement immediately in their classrooms and schools. The cost is $90. Register at: www.iidc.indiana. edu/pages/addressing-the-socialemotional-behavioral-and-mentalhealth-needs

FUSE- D A monthly event of FUSE – Families United for Support and Encouragement – which provides information, resources and support to Indiana families raising children with special needs. The evening will be hosted by two FUSE Dads, Rich Emery and Rusty Schaekel. Rich and Rusty plan to keep it casual, just giving dads a chance to meet one another, share a meal and talk about their families, man to man. Mozzi has a pizza buffet available in the evening for $7.99 for those who want to eat. Dads will be responsible for their own food and drink costs.

A Life with Stress, Balance and a Plan Parents of children with special needs live with added emotional, medical, social and financial challenges. These extenuating circumstances can often lead to feelings of loneliness, depression, marital and family problems and health issues. This training will focus on identifying types of stressors, identify coping mechanisms and providing ways to incorporate them into everyday life, and the importance of good communication. This training is limited to family members of children with special needs. Cost per family member is $10. More info: contact Cindy Robinson at asktraining@ or 800-964-4746 and visit training/training-calendar/a-life-withstress,-balance-and-a-plan-jeffersonvi/

Location: Crown Point Community School Learning Center, Time: 9:00 am- 3:00 pm, Phone: 812-855-6508

The Independence Academy Winter Showcase Come learn more about The Independence Academy, a nonprofit, state-accredited private school in Indianapolis dedicated to serving families with students in grades 5 to 12 who have high-functioning autism. More info:

Location: Mozzi’s Pizza, Time: 6:30- 8:30 pm, Phone: 317- 462-9064

FRI 19

Location: Rolling Fields Church, Time: 12:30- 2:30 pm, Phone: 800-964-4746

SUN 21 JMFitness Adaptive Swimming JMFitness Swimming encompasses adaptive swimming lessons that are proctored for each individual swimmer. The six, 45-minute classes are available for children ages 4 to 21 at five locations – Jordan YMCA (North Side/ Broad Ripple), Ransburg YMCA (East Side), Hendricks YMCA (West Side), Baxter YMCA (South side), and Irsay Family YMCA (Downtown). All lessons will be held on Sundays – Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18, and Feb. 25. Times TBA. Children of all abilities (siblings, friends, relatives, etc.) are welcome. The cost of the season is $60 per swimmer. More info: contact Cory Hernandez at or 317-525-4438 or log on to

KILN CREATIONS SPECIAL NEEDS/ AUTISM FRIENDLY PAINTING Join us for a special needs and autism friendly painting event. The pricing is simply the price of the pottery piece or pieces selected. Pottery ranges from $10 – $100, with most of the pieces between $15 and $40. Walk ins are welcome or feel free to RSVP and tell us more about your family so we can accommodate you better. Contact us via phone (317-774-8982) or email ( for reservations. Visit www.kilncreations. net for more information on the studio. Location: Kiln Creations, Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm, Phone: 317-774-8982

SAT 23 The Villages Foster Parent Info Night In Indiana, there are twice as many children who need a home in the foster care system than homes available. With 29,000 children currently in the foster system, the need for families is greater than ever. The Villages of Indiana hosts free foster parent information sessions. Hoosiers who love to parent, and want to learn more about the responsibilities and joys of becoming a foster or adoptive parent, call The Villages, at (800) 874-6880 or visit www. Location: The Villages of Indiana, Time: 6:00-8:00 pm, Phone: 800-874-6880

Location: Various Locations, Time: see website for times, Phone: 317-525-4438

Location: Independence Academy of Indiana, Time: 7:00 pm, Phone: 317-9260043

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Ask the Teacher

Project-based learning, test anxiety and speaking up to a teacher


My eighth-grade son claims he never has any homework, saying he has completed everything at school. I am concerned that he is going to have a rude awakening when he gets to high school. Should I be worried?


In an education era of project-based learning and passion-driven projects, there has been a marked shift in what many students are expected to learn and the way they are expected to learn it. The emphasis of learning has largely become processoriented: deep research, collaboration and product development. Your son will likely see a continuation of this approach in high school, but more emphasis will be placed on content mastery as well. To help prepare for this transition, engage your son in active reflection on what he is working on at school. Ask him to discuss the topics and content behind the projects. What "big ideas" is he forming based on what he has learned? What people has he learned about and how have they impacted the world around them? What historical events has he studied and what effects do these events continue to have today? What has he learned from the projects others have done? Ask for his observations about the projects he has participated in. How has he made the greatest contribution? What aspects of collaboration are a struggle for him? What have others contributed that has impressed him? This facet of a project-driven learning environment can be overlooked or under-emphasized in the classroom in the interest of time. By encouraging this conversation with your son, his understanding will be deepened by drawing conclusions and making important inferences about his learning. (And don't let him off the hook with simplistic answers!)

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Every time our fifthgrade daughter has a test or a quiz, she freaks out. She is convinced she can't learn the material, and we spend a lot of time trying to calm her down rather than studying. What can we do to help lessen this stress for her?


Learning to prepare and take tests is a process, and there are many ways to help the process go smoothly. The most important hurdle is to understand that completing daily tasks and assignments is only one piece of the learning puzzle. Beyond homework, require your daughter to spend 15-20 minutes each night studying – even if there is not a test scheduled. Rather than focusing only on what must be turned in, your daughter should review what she is learning every single day. For each subject area, she should re-read her notes, skim the summary section at the end of text chapters and/or practice a problem. It is important that she notes what may be confusing her and ask for clarification as soon as possible. A quick daily review will build understanding and develop a stronger connection to the content. Doing something as simple as making flashcards of key concepts as she goes through a chapter or doing a bulleted summary will not only deepen her comprehension and solidify her understanding of what she is learning, but it will also ease tensions when a test is announced.


Asking the teacher questions is such a problem for my second grader. She just refuses to let the teacher know when she does not understand something. Should I contact the teacher with the questions she has?


Being able to ask for help is a lifelong skill that every child must learn, so it is important to find a way for your daughter to do this independently. Begin by helping your daughter identify what she does not understand. Often not knowing what to ask is the biggest obstacle when going to the teacher. Is it the directions, or a vocabulary word, or the order in which steps are to be taken? Have your daughter write down her question.

Talk with your daughter about how she should select a good time to approach the teacher. Remind her not to interrupt her during a lesson or when she is working with another student. Role-play the actual asking of a question, with you taking the role of the teacher. Emphasize respectful word choice and tone of voice when asking so that the question does not sound like an accusation or a demand. Sometimes the tension the student feels in this situation can result in an attitude or tone that sounds disrespectful. Reiterate that the teacher is there to help your daughter learn, and specifically to answer questions when she does not understand.

Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four who holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Deb has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at

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EDUCATION guide carmel Carmel Montessori Schools, Inc. Carmel Montessori School is located on the NE corner of Main St. and Meridian in Carmel. Our directress is American Montessori Certified with 18 years head-teaching experience and we a a full member of the American Montessori Society. We offer a beautiful, peaceful and positive Montessori learning environment. Extended days available.

partnerships and three on-site Discovery Centers – an indoor Eco Center, Time and Space Center with a planetarium and an urban farm. 3020 Nowland Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46201 Contact: Peggy Purvis, 317.775.6660,,


1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Emily & Scott Rudicel, Phone: 317-580-0699, Email:,

Fishers Montessori

KinderCare Education

12806 Ford Rd and 131st and Allisonville Rd., Fishers, IN 46038, Contact: Peggy White, 317-849-9519 or 317-580-1850

Our Early Foundations® curriculum sets the industry standard for excellence in education. Our Nationally Accredited Center with a staff of dedicated teachers ensures that children get the positive learning experiences they need to grow up happy and confident. Visit, call or email for additional information. Enrolling Fulltime and Part time schedules. 1001 S. Rangeline Road, Carmel, IN 46032, Phone: 317-844-3464, Email:,

Clay Montessori A Montessori school offering morning, afternoon, and full-day programs. Available for ages 3-6 years old. Call for more information. (Affiliated with Fisher’s Montessori) 463 East Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Peggy White, 317-849-9519 or 317-580-1850

Starting Line Preschool The Right Start for A Lifelong Love of Learning! Our strong academicbased curriculum prepares and encourages your child to succeed in school while discovering learning is fun! All of our classes focus on an introduction to colors, number and letters with exciting art and science projects. Math, social studies and sight words are taught in the older classes.Develop Social Awareness & Friendships, Build Confidence and Master Academic Skills for Kindergarten. 110 Third Ave NE, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Diane Atkins, Phone: 317-753-9397, Email:, http://www.starting

DOWNTOWN Paramount School of Excellence Paramount School of Excellence is a tuition-free K-8 charter school that educates students in an innovative environment that instills high expectations for success. Paramount accomplishes its mission and teaches the mastery of Indiana State Standards through an emphasis on rigorous academics, technology and the environment. Integral to the school’s approach to education is school-wide use of computer technology, a green initiative, project-based investigations, community

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A quality learning environment offering preschool, kindergarten and elementary. Certification through American Montessori Society.

Children’s Circle Preschool at Second Presbyterian Church Children’s Circle Preschool is a developmentally appropriate, activity based, Christian preschool. We offer classes for children ages 9 months to 5 years old. We meet the needs of the whole child in a creative and loving environment. Our experienced staff embraces excellence in education by nurturing the whole child- physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Please call for more information or to set up a tour. 7700 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Cara Paul, Director, 317-252-5517,,

Children’s Day In Nursery School and Traditional Preschool

indianapolis – north Beth-El Zedeck Early Childhood Center OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Full Academic Curriculum and Innovative ArtsEnrichment. Our Program recognizes that intellectual, social, emotional and physical development are interwoven. Our children will thrive on exploration, creativity, curiosity, discovery, spontaneity and more important, lots of love! Type of School: Early Childhood Cost/ Tuition: Please call or email for full brochure Hours/Dates: Flexible Hours. Full Time/Part-Time available. Ages/Grades: 12 months old+, 18 months old+, 2s+, 3s+, 4s+, Pre-Kindergarten (Kindergarten Readiness Class)(3 day or 5 day option) Before/After School Care: Before and After School Care always available as needed. Early drop off as early as 7:30 am and late pick up anytime up until 6:00pm/5:30 pm on Fridays. 600 W. 70th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Joanie Waldman, Phone: 317-259-6854, Fax: 317-259-6849, Email:,

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School You are invited to visit the only Catholic Jesuit school in the state of Indiana that has been educating students in the Jesuit tradition for more than 50 years. Brebeuf Jesuit’s Mission Statement: Brebeuf Jesuit, a Catholic and Jesuit school, provides an excellent college preparatory education for a lifetime of service by forming leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious and committed to promoting justice. Fostering a culture of understanding and dialogue, Brebeuf Jesuit seeks and welcomes students from diverse religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students at Brebeuf Jesuit are called to discover and cultivate the fullness of their God-given talents as a responsibility and as an act of worship. CORE VALUES: Education of the Whole Person, A Caring and Diverse Community, The Greater Glory of God. 2801 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact: Liz Otteson, Director of Admissions. Phone: 317-524-7090. Email:,

Children's Day In Nursery School and Traditional Preschool is a fully inclusive early childhood program with an emphasis on Christian values and learning through play. It is designed to offer children ages 9 months to 5 years a positive and developmentally appropriate first school experience in the care of experienced and loving caregivers. We play and learn! Classes are offered weekdays from 9 am to 2:30 pm. For the older kids, our program includes weekly Christian Life Skills, Music class taught by Indianapolis Children’s Choir instructors and Book Club. Please call, E-mail or visit for further information and registration forms. Tours are individually set up at your convenience! 5500 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Christy Whaley, Phone: 317-253-0472,,

Early Childhood Center, The Church at the Crossing Our Parents Day Out (16-35 mos) and Part Day Preschool (3 yrs-PreK5) provide relaxed, secure, playful environments that nurture creativity and the exploration of God’s world. A variety of learning materials & readiness skills are woven into each unit. Various days, 9am-2pm. Some extended days. Need longer hours? Try our Neighborhood Child Care ministry designed for 16 mos – Pre K5 with class times 6:30am-6pm. 9111 N. Haverstick Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: John Drake, Phone: 317-575-6508, Email: or

Fall Creek Montessori Fall Creek Montessori Academy is a culturally diverse environment where children grow and develop their unique talents and gifts. Through child-centered learning, children excel physically, emotionally, and academically. Conveniently located at Hague Rd. and 88th St., FCMA serves children at all levels, from infancy through kindergarten. Programs are available two to five days per week, with before and after care available. 7770 E. 88th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46256; info@fallcreekmontessori. com;

Heritage Christian School

Sycamore School

Established in 1965, accredited through ACSI and NCA, HCS is the choice in college preparatory discipleship Christian education for 1,400 students each year grades Preschool-12. Advanced, Honors and AP classes. Full Fine Arts and 2A IHSAA ATHLETICS. HCS is training up the next generation of Christian leaders through challenging, Biblically taught curriculum including internships and service to others. Bus transportation available. Schedule a tour today!

At Sycamore, teachers trained in gifted education deliver a curriculum designed to challenge and engage gifted learners. Art, music, Spanish, PE and technology are taught at all levels. Extensive field trips, athletics, child care, financial aid, and a wide variety of after school activities are offered.

6401 E. 75th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46250. Contact: Admissions Department, 317-849-3441,,

The Orchard School The Orchard School, an independent, non-sectarian, progressive school, emphasizing experiential learning. Orchard teachers engage the natural curiosity of children, develop academic excellence, and provide leadership experience through well-rounded education. Orchard’s diverse community and commitment to multicultural education inspires responsible, global citizenship. Founded in 1922. NAIS, ISACS, NAEYC accredited. 615 W. 64th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Jennifer Bostrom, Director of Institutional Advancement, Phone: 317-713-5705, Fax: 317-254-8454, Email:,

St. Mary’s Child Center at the IMA Through a partnership with St. Mary’s Child Center, the Indianapolis Museum of Art offers a preschool for children ages 3-5. Anchored in Reggio Emilia inspired teaching, every day the children experience original works of art at the IMA, explore the gardens and grounds, and work on projects inspired by their environment. St. Mary’s Child Center at IMA is a half-day preschool running five days a week from 9 – 11:30 am for the IPS school year. With a low child to adult ratio (6:1), St. Mary’s Child Center at IMA provides personal attention to ensure optimal social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development of the child. - See more at: 4000 N Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, Indiana 46208, Phone: 317-9231331 ext. 283,

1750 W. 64th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Dr. Susan Karpicke, Director of Admissions. 317-202-2500, Fax: 317-202-2501,,

indianapolis – northeast FORTUNE ACADEMY Fortune Academy is a not-for-profit private school serving students First-12th grade with language learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory processing difficulties and ADD/ ADHD. Students may also have difficulties with organization and time management. Fortune Academy educators are trained in the Orton-Gillingham (OG) Approach to serve these unique learners. Fortune High School offers three academic paths: Honors Diploma, Core 40 Diploma, and General Diploma. Fortune Academy is accredited by AOGPE, IDA and ISACS. Fortune also ranked 18 in the top 50 best special needs schools in the country by Masters in Special Education Guide. Now enrolling. Call today to schedule a tour at 317-377-0544. Visit our website at www. 5626 Lawton Loop E. Dr. Indianapolis, IN 46216. 317-377-0544.

Polly Panda Preschool Polly Panda provides a safe and healthy environment which enhances each child’s total growth. Our theme-based hands-on preschool program provides a wide-range of experiences that foster learning, creativity and problem solving in all areas. A child’s sense of self-worth, independence and growth in social skills are developed through positive interaction with peers and our well-qualified and loving staff. Now enrolling for summer. 2944 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Contact: Gail Hacker and Tammy Clark, Phone: 317-257-9127, Email:,

indianapolis – SOUTH Center Grove Montessori and Indiana Montessori Community School Center Grove Montessori Program offers: Hands-on learning, multi-aged students learning together, a key element to the Montessori philosophy, a focus on the intrinsic motivation of children, carefully prepared classrooms balancing children's choice with structure, large blocks of uninterrupted time for learning and building concentration, peace education through global awareness, structured, self-directed learning. 1674 West Smith Valley Rd., Greenwood, IN 46142 and 531 US 31 S, White land, IN 46184, Contact: Brenda Enderle, Phone: 317-833-0335, Email:;info@centergrove montessori. com,

westfield Montessori School of Westfield, Inc. Located on 3 wooded acres in Central Indiana, the Montessori School of Westfield adheres to the academic traditions of Montessori while serving the present day child. The Montessori School of Westfield serves children from Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield, Sheridan, Noblesville, Cicero and Tipton. We serve children ages 18 months to 15 years. 800 E. Sycamore Street, Westfield, IN 46074, Contact: Mary Lyman, Directress, Phone: 317-867-0158, Fax: 317-896-5945, Email:, www.montessorischoolof

childcare Peanut Butter and Jelly 24/7 Childcar​e ​ B&J is a childcare that is safe, nurturing environment where your P child will get the attention and care that he or she eeds. We are licensed and always working to meet anexceed all health and safety guidelines. You can rest assured that your child will be cared for with the utmost kindness, love and respect . Open late for lots of flexiblity. Stop in for more info. Follow us on twitter @pbj247childcare. 5501 E. 71st Street, Suite 4, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Contact: Anita Beck, Phone: 317-205-9211, Email:,



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Local Spotlight: Exodus Refugee Extending Hoosier help to those in need Exodus Refugee is a non-profit organization that works with the federal government to help resettle refugees in the Indianapolis area. Exodus provides a full array of services to our newest Hoosiers. We spoke with Executive Director Cole Varga about the important role his organization plays in our community. What is a refugee and what does your organization do to help refugees resettling in Indianapolis? Refugees are people fleeing political or religious persecution or ethnic discrimination. It’s a very specific status. All of the refugees that come to the US have UN refugee status and are also vetted through the US system, so it’s a double certification kind of thing. It’s actually the hardest way to get into the US, through the refugee program. After the refugee goes through the security screening process, they are invited to the US. For those that find out they’ll be living in Indianapolis, Exodus meets them at the airport. We have an apartment set up for them, provide food for a couple of weeks while they get on food stamps, help them get to a doctor, get a social security card, find their first job and get their kids into school. Can you SHARE a bit about the history of your organization? We were founded in 1981 around the time of the Mariel boatlift of Cuban refugees. There are about 200 cities and 300 agencies like Exodus across the US that do similar work.

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How many immigrants and refugees has your organization served? Thousands. In the past ten years alone, we’ve served about 7,000 people. In our 36-year history we’ve served refugees from more than 33 countries. What challenges do refugees face in the USA? A lot of the challenges have to do with language access and transportation. Indianapolis is a very affordable city, which is great, and there are also a lot of available jobs right now. But getting to the jobs is a different story. A lot of the jobs are on the periphery of the city, so getting out there is pretty difficult.

PHOTO CREDIT Exodus Refugee

We’ve also got people speaking dozens of different languages so trying to navigate interpretation and translation systems is difficult, too. And the cultural adjustment is greater for some than others. But the resilience that refugees have is unmatched. The things they’ve been through already in their lives and the fact that they’ve made it this far- they’re capable of amazing things. When you start to see them blossom in their new lives here it’s really amazing. How can the community help your organization? With so much skepticism of the program by our national leaders, advocacy for refugees and for refugee resettlement is really a top priority. That means understanding where refugees come from and why they’re coming. Remember, they aren’t immigrating here because they want to but because they are literally fleeing for their lives. So, advocacy and letting your elected officials know that you support refugee resettlement [is helpful.]

Why is what you do so important? Refugee resettlement really demonstrates that best of who we are as Americans. We are taking in people from all over the world who have fled persecution, injustice and war and only want to start a new life for themselves and their children. To help others in their time of need is something we’ve historically done as Americans and historically done as Hoosiers. And it’s something that must continue in the face of this massive global refugee crisis of nearly 23 million people.

To learn more about Exodus Refugee visit their website at www.exodus



Indy Indoor Playgrounds Where to go when it’s too cold to play outside! If cabin fever has officially kicked in at your house, never fear. Indy is home to a number of indoor play spaces that will keep your kids from bouncing off the walls this winter. Here are a few of our favorites: North Carter’s Play Place This innovative play space is ideal for both children with special needs across all age groups and neurotypical kids from infant to 10 years old. The 4,000-square-foot space is filled with everything from swings and slides to a zip line and a spring-free trampoline. Classes and birthday party packages also available. Location: 17219 Foundation Parkway, Suite 100, Westfield Cost: Pricing varies and membership packages are available Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:30am-4: 30pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-6pm For more information: cartersplay

Cornerstone Lutheran Church This indoor playground offers plenty of climbing opportunities for the older kids and a separate area with toddler-friendly equipment, making it a safe and inviting space for all ages. Location: Cornerstone Lutheran Church, 13450 E. 116th Street, Fishers Cost: Free Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-1pm and 4-7pm; Sun noon-3pm For more information: fishers.

Discovery Station at Conner Prairie Discovery Station will delight kids through the age of nine. Here they can create, climb, explore, play and pretend. Activities include a Kids Playscape, fort-building zone, craft area, reading nook and more. There is even a special area devoted to infants.

The Park at Trader’s Point Christian Church

Hours: Thurs-Sun 10am-5pm (plus MLK Day and President’s Day)

This expansive space is separated into zones, including a preschool play structure, a larger play structure for older kids, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall and a quiet zone for kids who may become overstimulated. There is also an oasis where you can take a break and have a snack.

More info: {317} 776-6000 or visit

Location: Trader’s Point Christian Church, 6590 S Indianapolis Rd, Whitestown

Location: 13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers Cost: Included with admission; free for members

West The Center at The Well Community Center This indoor play area was made by an Earth-friendly community using only re-purposed toys, furniture and even carpet tiles. Best of all, it is free to the public and open to children of all ages. Release forms are required and can be completed online or when you arrive. Location: Well Community Center, 554 Pit Road, Brownsburg Cost: Free Hours: Mornings, Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 9am-1pm. Evenings, Mon and Fri 5-8pm (closes early last Fri of each month) More info: {317} 244-3974

Cost: Free Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-8pm; Sat 8am-noon; Sun 3-7pm More info: Email or visit

Central Playscape at The Children’s Museum Kids ages 5 and under can learn through sensory exploration. There are separate spots for toddlers and babies, with a climbing pod, sand area, water play and much more. Private nursing areas and family restrooms are an added plus. Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis Cost: Entrance is included with paid general admission; free for members Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm More info: {317} 334-4000 or visit

East Playland at Brookville Community Church This padded playground features slides, tunnels, and a special area for children under 2, making it a safe place for tots to tumble and kids to climb. Children up to third grade are welcome. There is an eating area perfect for taking a lunch break. Location: Brookville Community Church, 7480 US-52, New Palestine Cost: Free Hours: Mon, Wed, Thurs 9:00am5:00pm; Tues 1:00-5:00pm; Friday 9:00am-noon More info: {317} 861-3880 or visit

IncrediPlex This place is intense! It has everything, including massive bounce and climb arenas, a Euro bungy that propels you more than 20 feet in the air, a bowling alley, arcade games, laser tag, sport courts and tons more. Pricing is based on the area you visit in the complex. It is also a great place to host a birthday party! Location: 6002 Sunnyside Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46236 Cost: Varies depending on the activity Hours: Mon-Fri noon-10pm; Sat-Sun 9am-10pm More info: Call {317} 823-9555 or visit January 2018 INDYSCHILD.COM 37


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calendar J ANUARY 2 0 1 8 MON 01


MON 15

January Scavenger Experience Occurring until January 31 Announcing January's Scavenger Hunt Experience at The Urban Chalkboard. Enjoy activities in the cafe and earn a stamp. Each child can earn stamps. Completed Scavenger Hunt cards can be redeemed for a FREE cupcake at The Flying Cupcake. Hunt begins January 1st and ends January 31st. Pick up a scavenger hunt card at the front desk. One card per child. Play - Learn – Reward. *Ongoing Location: Urban Chalkboard, Time: All-day, Time: 317-815-5711

MON 01 – SUN 07


SAT 27

38 INDYSCHILD.COM January 2018

Indiana Chinese Lantern Festival Produced by Tianyu Arts and Culture, Inc., the Lantern Festival will illuminate the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center with 33 sets of larger-than-life lantern displays

and more than 1000 LED light components. Each display is handmade and custom built by dozens of Chinese artisans who travel the world to keep this centuries-old tradition alive. The festival also features nightly performances by Chinese acrobats, traditional Chinese handicraft demonstrations, and the flavors of traditional Chinese cuisine. Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Time: Sunday-Thursday: 6:30 pm & 8:00 pm Friday & Saturday: 6:30 pm, 8:00 pm, & 9:00 pm, Phone: 317-927-7500

TUES 02 – SUN 07 Jolly Days Winter Wonderland Celebrate family traditions and holidays with Jolly Days Winter Wonderland! Enjoy favorites like the two-story Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, and visits with Santa. Location: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Time: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Phone: 317-344-4000

WED 03 Atrium Snowball Fight The holiday season means it’s time for an indoor snowball fight! Experience the joy of throwing snowballs at your family members. Test your snowball fighting skills with different challenges created by the referee. Challenge your family to a snowball fight today! Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Time: 11:00 & 4:00 pm, Phone: 317-334-4000

THURS 04 Music For the Royal Fireworks Baroque master Nicholas McGegan and the ISO ring in the New Year with Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto with dazzling young soloist, Karen Gomyo. Location: Hilbert Circle Theatre, Time: 11:00 am-noon, Phone: 317-262-1100

FRI 05 Pajama-Rama Put on your cutest pair of pajamas, grab your favorite teddy bear, pack up an old blanket, and join them for Pajama-Rama! Families looking for a fun program to enjoy with their toddlers and preschoolers will love the music educator from Moriah Music, who will lead you in songs and stories about some of their favorite animals.

Free. Location: Cool Creek Nature Center, Time: 7:00 pm, Phone: 317-774-2500

Indy Fuel vs. Fort Wayne Komets Watch the Indy Fuel as they take on the Fort Wayne Komets. Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Time: 7:30 pm, Phone: 317-927-7500

Preschool Fridays The museum opens up to welcome preschool-age children and their families for an hour of special programming and access to the Santa Claus Express and other holiday fun. Location: Indiana State Museum, Time: 9:00-10:00 am, Phone: 317-232-1637

SAT 06 Christmas Bird Count for Kids Whether your child is curious about the natural world and loves to go birding or has never birded before. Amos Butler Audubon volunteers will help your child discover birding and hopefully light the curiosity for nature within them. This workshop is great for scouts working on badges. The FREE event will include a session on birding basics, 90 minutes of birding fun, data collection, wrap up and awards ceremony. Bring a bag lunch and binoculars or field guides if you have them. Dress for cold

weather and hiking. Registration is required as space is limited. Free. Location: Zion Nature Center, Time: 8:30 am-1:00 pm, Phone: 317-873-5410

Peanut Butter & Jelly Series: Global Rhythms with Kwesi Brown Master drummer Kwesi Brown and band blend sounds from his homeland of Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, the Caribbean, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil with Soul and Western Pop. The musicians layer rhythms of different cultures to create a global sound that is unique, upbeat, and jubilant. Designed for children ages 1 through 7, encourages young children to become engaged in the performing arts. Please reserve tickets at box office. Location: The Palladium in Carmel, Time: 10:30 am, Phone: 317-843-3800

SUN 07 Dinosaurs Up Close Discover the stories hidden within one of the largest fossil displays in the nation! Use fossil clues to discover what life was like 65 million years ago! Compare yourself to their dinos to see how you measure up. Discover new things about your favorite dinosaur or a prehistoric creature you’ve never even heard of before! Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Time; 12:30 pm & 2:00 pm, Phone: 317-334-4000

MON 08 Log Cabins, Flags and Roses: Lincoln in Quilts Explore how Abraham Lincoln’s life and political career are reflected in unexpected ways through the popular medium of quilts. The exhibition features styles Lincoln would have been familiar with growing up, including one made by his cousin in 1827; those directly associated with Lincoln through the use of campaign ribbons, silks

from his wife Mary Todd’s dresses or those of her friends; Civil War quilts; and memorial quilts as well as a range of campaign and other textiles. Location: Indiana State Museum, Time: 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Phone: 317-232-1637

TUES 09 Out of This World Science! Kid scientists ages 6-12 are invited to explore outer space science through books, experiments, games and more. Call to register. Location: Glendale Branch Library, Time: 5:30-6:30 pm, Phone: 317-275-4410

WED 10 Nature Kids Preschool Gathering Bring the little ones to explore nature! The program starts by learning about a specific nature topic and then head outside to explore the woods and prairie at preschooler speed. Parents join in to encourage discovery alongside their child. Dress for the weather – they will try to go outside every meeting! Give your children the love of nature. Ages: Best for preschoolers, ages 3 to 5. Free. Location: Cool Creek Nature Center, Time: 10:30-11:30 am, Phone: 317-774-2500

THURS 11 Preschool Story Hour Join them for their monthly preschool story hour. Story hour includes a craft, activity and of course a story! Free. Location: Taylor Center of Natural History (Noblesville), Time: 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Phone: 317-774-22574

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire The Harry Potter™ Film Concert Series continues with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™. The legendary score will be performed with a live symphony orchestra as the film is projected simultaneously on the big screen. Location: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Time: 7:30 pm, Time: 317-262-1100

FRI 12 Baby Bebop Babies up to 18 months and an adult are invited to rock out during this music activity that will focus on tempo, beat, rhythm and dynamics. Each session will feature instruments, songs and a story. Call to register. Location: InfoZone, Time: 10:00-10:30 am, Phone: 317-275-4430

SAT 13 Shopkins Live! Shop it Up! Shopkins Live! is finally here! The #1 kids toy in North America is live and on stage in Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Your beloved Shoppies make their theatrical debut in an original new live show featuring musical performances! https://butlerartscenter. org/event/shopkins-live-shop-it Location: Clowes Memorial Hall, Time: 4:00 pm, Phone: 317-940-9697

Kids’ Night Out – Pike YMCA Give your kid’s a break and let them enjoy a night out at the Pike YMCA playing games, having dinner and snacks and spending time with their Y friends! Location: Pike YMCA, Time: 3:00-7:00 pm, Phone: 317-544-1274

January 2018 INDYSCHILD.COM 39

20th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Festival A community festival to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s theme “celebrating black excellence” features the Black Farmers Market, a Black Business Bazaar put on by Don’t Sleep, and much more. Enjoy music, art-making, poetry, peace games, family yoga and the presenting of the “Power of Peace” award! Location: Christian Theological Seminary, Time: 11:00 am-3:00 pm, Phone: 317-327-7144

Secrets of Snowflakes No two are alike! Discover the secrets of snowflakes; how they form, different types of crystals, and how to preserve them so you can view them later. Bring warm clothes in case it snows! Location: Zion Nature Center, Time: 8:30 am-1:00 pm, Phone: 317-873-5410

MON 15 The Original Harlem Globetrotters The Globetrotters will face a revamped Washington Generals team, which recently launched a more competitive profile, making an appearance in The Basketball Tournament over the summer. The tournament-tested team is looking to snap a 47-year losing streak against their world famous rivals during their 2018 tour. Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Time: 2:00 pm, Phone: 317-917-2500

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at White River State Park Admission White River State Park (WRSP) venues is FREE on this day with the donation of a non-perishable food item to Gleaners Food Bank. Drop off your donation at any WRSP institution and experience all the park has to offer. Free. Location: White River State Park (participating venues), Time: 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Phone: 317-233-2434

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at Conner Prairie Join Conner Prairie for the day to honor King’s vision of what could be achieved through non-violent protests. Enjoy theatrical performances, family games, archaeology activities, art and more. Free. Location: Conner Prairie, Time: 10:00 am, Phone: 317-776-6000


FRI 19

Homeschool Hikers (Dissecting Owl Pellets) Plan a break from the books to learn about nature and get your kids outside. Start the day with a discussion and then explore the woods and prairie. Kids that spend time in nature are happier, healthier and smarter!

Let it Snow Come celebrate the snow with this Prairie Tykes class, featuring a snow craft, songs, play in fake snow, and more. Prairie Tykes is custom made for preschoolers (ages 2-6) and parents or grandparents! Connect one-on-one with your little ones while you make crafts, dance, sing and take part in the special activity of the day! Younger siblings are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult at no charge.

Location: Cool Creek Nature Center, Time: 1:00-2:00 pm, Phone: 317-774-2500

WED 17 – SUN 21 Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, -produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow-covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza when beloved characters from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Frozen, Tangled and Cinderella. https://www. Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Time: see website for times, Phone: 317-917-2500

THURS 18 Homeschool Adventures Homeschooled children ages 6 - 12 are invited for activities designed to entertain and educate as a supplement to their homeschool curricula. Parent educators are encouraged to attend and collaborate as Miss Karen and Miss Kasey will present activities for ages 6 - 12. Location: Franklin Road Branch, Time: 1:15 pm, Phone: 317-275-4380

Location: Conner Prairie, Time: 9:30 am & 11:00 am, Phone: 317-776-6000

Mommy & Me: Snow Give your toddler a fun and interactive introduction to nature in their Mommy and Me classes! Each month will focus on a different topic and will feature live animal encounters, stories, crafts, and nature exploration. Due to school being in session, parking is not available at the Zion Nature Center. Location: Zion Nature Center, Time: 9:3010:30 am, Phone: 317-873-5410

SAT 20 Syrups and Teas with White Pine Wilderness Academy In the dormancy of winter, wild medicinal plant preparations can support immunity and respiratory health when you need it most. In this workshop led by community herbalist Greg Monzel of White Pine Wilderness Academy, participants work together to prepare and enjoy herbal tea and honey-based herb-infused syrup. They will discuss the individual herbal actions, indications, and contraindications, as well as appropriate dosage and use of the preparations. Everyone will get to take home samples of the syrup and tea blend to use at home. Free.

Location: Taylor Center of Natural History, Time: 1:00-4:00 pm, Phone: 317-774- 2500

Location: The Well Counseling & Consulting Group, Time: 10:00 am- noon, Phone: 317-525-7083

SUN 21 Hot Jazz With Cool Kids! Families with children of all ages are invited to the first in a series of fun and educational performances by Indy's leading jazz musicians held in Central Library's Clowes Auditorium. The free programs are presented in association with the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Indy Jazz Fest. This program will feature a performance by the Farrelly-Markiewicz Jazz Quintet. From bebop to pop, attendees will discover what makes jazz swing! Location: Central Library, Time: 3:00 pm, Phone: 317-275-4100


Toddler & Preschool Storytime Children ages 2 through 5 and an adult are invited for stories, songs and movement activities. Location: Nora Branch Library, Time: 10:30 am, Phone: 317-275-4470

THURS 25 & FRI 26 Gracious Groundhogs During this class, come learn all about what animals do in the winter. Play games with your shadow, make a groundhog craft, and enjoy a special snack. Prairie Tykes is custom made for preschoolers (ages 2-6) and parents or grandparents! Connect one-on-one with your little ones while you make crafts, dance, sing and take part in the special activity of the day! Younger siblings are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult at no charge. Location: Conner Prairie, Time: 9:30 am & 11:00 am, Phone: 317-776-6000


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40 INDYSCHILD.COM January 2018

Mother Daughter Vision Board Workshop Creating a vision board is the perfect way for you to get clear on your goals for 2018. The Roots and Wings Mother & Daughter Vision Board Workshop takes it to a whole new level, giving you a space to share this process with your daughter!

Winter Walk Come explore the quiet beauty of Strawtown Koteewi Park in winter. Afterwards, they will gather indoors by the bird feeders and share some hot cocoa. Please dress for the weather. Free. Location: Taylor Center of Natural History, Time: 1:00-2:00 pm, Phone: 317-774-2500


SAT 27

Indy's Baconfest Dig in to bacon and pork inspired dishes from some of the best restaurants and chefs in the Indianapolis area. Enjoy plenty of beer, several bars and free parking! Location: Pavilion at Pan Am, Time: 11:00 am-3:00 pm, Phone: 317-500-4333

Monthly Dog Walk They are starting a New Year’s Resolution here at the Zionsville Parks by offering a monthly dog walk throughout 2018. Grab your favorite pup and meet at the Zion Nature Center to explore the sights and smells of nature in winter. Location: Zion Nature Center, Time: 1:00-2:00 pm, Phone: 317-873-5410

Lucas Oil Family Night Starting at $18 each, your family can get a ticket to any of the Pacers’ designated games plus a unique gift and Family Meal for free! In January, watch the Pacers take on the Orlando Magic. Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Time: 7:00 pm, Phone: 317-917-2827

SUN 28 Meet at Raptor Discover the world of raptors! Meet one or more of the special birds of prey and learn about what makes them "raptors." Location: Eagle Creek Discovery Center, Time: 2:30 pm, Phone: 317-327-7110

TUES 30 Paws to Read Beginning or reluctant readers are invited to read to a non-judgmental registered therapy dog who loves to listen to stories! It's a great way to improve a child's reading skills and self-confidence. Call to register. Location: Glendale Branch Library, Time: 6:00-7:00 pm, Phone: 317-275-4410

WED 31 American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture Reminisce about fads or pop culture events that affected your life and learn what shaped those things into becoming hot or hip. American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture will showcase American TV shows, movies, music, and fashion that can bring everyone together across generations. American POP is a new permanent exhibit that will explore how popular culture has influenced our daily lives in the past and the present, and imagine how it may shape the future.

*Ongoing Location: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Time: 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Phone: 317-334-3322

ongoing events. The Power of Poison Occurring until January 25, 2018 Discover the toxic species that live in a remote Colombian forest, where poisons are just one of many tools in the struggle to survive. Learn about a variety of evolutionary strategies and see live animals up close. Find out which familiar tales of illness, enchantment or death by poison contain kernels of truth. Explore some of history’s most intriguing poisoning cases, many of which remain puzzling today. Location: Indiana State Museum

Native Art Now! Occurring until January 28 Native Art Now! is a traveling exhibition of contemporary Native American art. It features some of the nation’s best contemporary Native art, created by artists who were recipients of the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship over the past 20 years. Location: Eitlejorg Museum

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A Raisin in the Sun January 10-February 3 After years in a crowded, run-down, inner-city apartment, the Younger family dreams of a better life in the green, sunny suburbs. But when opportunity comes along, will they agree on the best route to get there? And will the gates be open to them? Location: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Time: see website for times, Phone: 317-635-5252

Celebration Crossing Occurring until January 7, 2018 This year’s Celebration Crossing comes alive with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands, bell and vocal choirs and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will entertain visitors in their cozy home through Dec. 24. Early risers may join Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and Santa’s Elves for breakfast and late sleepers may join Santa for supper. Children of all ages may ride on the Santa Claus Express, make crafts to take home and take advantage of a playscape for pre-school and primary elementary aged children in Santa's Playground. Festival of Trees Occurring until January 6, 2018 Take a step back in time with the Indiana Historical Society and witness holiday trees decked out in ways you’ve never seen at the Festival of Trees. The event has expanded again, featuring 80 trees representing unique themes like Santa’s Library, Making Smiles Bright and A Picture-Perfect Christmas. Location: Indiana History Center,

Museum INvasion Every Saturday Don’t just visit the museum, invade it. Wear practical shoes—they’re the only practical thing on the tour. From the odd to the shocking to the just plain eye-opening, a Museum INvasion tour turns the traditional museum experience on its head. Museum INvasion tours are intended for adults, but suitable for children ages 10 and up. To reserve your spot on this tour, please give them a call! Walk-ins are welcome when space is available. Time: 1:30 pm, or by appointment (Saturdays), Location: Indiana State Museum, Phone: 317-232-1637, group-visits

City as Canvas - New York City Graffiti from the '70s & '80s Occurring until January 28, 2018 Traveling to the IMA galleries from the Museum of the City of New York, City as Canvas features more than 100 works from the Martin Wong Collection and chronicles the origins of graffiti and its evolution from a creative outlet—viewed by many at the time as a public nuisance—to an accepted form of art. With intricate drawings, colorful works on canvas, and photographs of graffiti writing that have long since been erased, this exhibition includes a variety of seminal works by pioneering graffiti artists such as Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, and FUTURA 2000. Location: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Time: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Phone: 317-923-1331

Winterlights Occurring until January 7, 2018 Create a brand-new family tradition with Winterlights at Newfields, a dazzling outdoor light experience celebrating the holiday season. Foods and drinks available include Newfields beer from Taxman Brewery, s'more kits sold by local Girl Scouts, hot apple cider. Tickets: $20-$25, adults; $12-$17, youth 6-17; $15-$20, adult members; $8-$13, youth members 6-17; free, children 5 and under. Location: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Jolly Days Occurring until Jan. 7, 2018 Head to The Children's Museum of Indianapolis for winter fun without the chill. See sparkling lights, skate in socks on an indoor "pond", climb and slide in the Snow Castle and visit with Santa himself. And, be sure to take a trip down the Yule Slide while you are there! Location: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Time: Tues-Sun 10 am-5 pm. Phone: 317-334-4000

American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture Occurring until March 31 Reminisce about fads or pop culture events that affected your life and learn what shaped those things into becoming hot or hip. American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture will showcase American TV shows, movies, music, and fashion that can bring everyone together across generations. American POP is a new permanent exhibit that will explore how popular culture has influenced daily lives in the past and the present, and imagine how it may shape the future. Location: Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Time: See museum hours, Phone: 317-3343322

42 INDYSCHILD.COM January 2018

Science at Play Now through January 2018 Chemistry sets and science toys contained much more than their parts. Savvy marketing slogans played to parents’ hopes for the future success of their children and to the children’s own desires for fun and excitement. Science at Play, the first major museum exhibition to explore the many facets of these miniature laboratories for children, draws from the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s collection of more than 250 science kits and toys. Location: Indiana State Museum, Time: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, daily. Phone: 317-232-1637

In Their Honor Now Through May 2018 This new contemporary art exhibition is a tribute to five Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellows who have passed: Allan Houser, George Morrison, Harry Fonseca, John Hoover and Rick Bartow. Location: Eiteljorg Museum, Time: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Phone: 317-636-9378

Gingerbread Village at Conner Prairie Occurring until January 7, 2018 See a variety of gingerbread masterpieces created by both amateurs and professionals. Enter your own gingerbread house for a chance to win great prizes. Entries are due by Nov. 10 at 5 pm. Free with General Admission. Location: Conner Prairie, Time: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm, Phone: 317-776-6000

Jingle Rails Occurring until January 15 Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure is a journey to the Great American West – the real West and the West of the imagination. The popular locomotive wonderland and Indianapolis family tradition opens Saturday, Nov. 18. New this year: Hollywood! Location: Eiteljorg Museum. Time: Mon-Sat 10 am-5 pm, Sun noon-5 pm. Phone: 317-6369378

PLEASE NOTE At Indy's Child, we work hard to ensure our calendar and guide information is accurate. Occasionally, event specifics change after we go to press. Therefore, we encourage our readers to call locations or visit them on the web to verify information.

WACKY FUN & calendar J ANUARY 2 0 1 8


mon 1

New Year’s Day

Bobblehead Day


Dress Up Your Pet Day

2 Science Fiction Day




9 Static Electricity Day

Bubble Bath Day


16 Hot and Spicy Food Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day



23 Measure Your Feet Day

Sweatpants Day

weds 21


fri sat




Spaghetti Day ChocolateCovered Cherry Day


Houseplant Appreciation Day

17 Kid Inventor’s Day

Fruitcake Toss Day

Bird Day

11 Step in a Puddle and Splash Day

18 Winnie the Pooh Day



Belly Laugh Day

Opposite Day ayD eppositO


12 Kiss a Ginger Day

19 Popcorn Day


Peanut Brittle Day


Rubber Duckie Day


Penguin Awareness Day

27 Chocolate Cake Day

Hot Sauce Day




Puzzle Day Kazoo Day

31 Backward Day

Croissant Day


January 2018 INDYSCHILD.COM 43

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