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PARENT A P R I L 2 0 1 4 // F R E E









// APRIL 2014




C O M M E N TA R Y & PA R E N T I N G 14



THOSE IN THE KNOW Preschool teachers


NEARBY TO TRY Music classes


PETE GILBERT, STAY-AT-HOME DAD Death by a thousand kid songs


















Ingesting button batteries poses a serious health threat to children







Support and understanding of ASD continues to grow

Tips for handling a child’s restrictive dietary requirements

The many benefits of a camp experience

Simple ideas to encourage “being green” in your home

So much to explore just a few hours from Cincy

Pushing past “awkward” to convey what kids need to know













MEET THE STAFF P u b lish er Mary Wynne Cox • E D I TO R Susan Bryant • M A R K ET I N G / / C R E AT I V E DIRECTOR Katie Clark • A DV E RT I S I N G / / S A LE S DIRECTOR // EV E N T S CO O R D I NATOR Jennifer Baum • ACCOUN T E X E CU TIVE Katy Mark •

Finally... SPRING!


hat a winter for the record books! At last the first brave flowers have peered out from the frozen ground and a few warm breezes have teased us with a hint of the nicer weather just around the corner.

For many people, the first warm days mean one thing – road trip! And we have some perfect suggestions for hitting the highway in Four Great Family Road Trip Destinations. This month families will also be celebrating spring with Earth Day and Raising Eco-Friendly Kids gives parents some easy ideas for incorporating a greener lifestyle in their homes. April marks Autism Awareness month as well. Even if your own family isn’t personally affected by autism, it’s likely you know someone who is. Advances for Autism discusses the many ways our understanding and support of autism has increased in recent years. Something every parent can relate to is the awkwardness of discussing sex with their children. Although we know it’s important to talk about, sometimes the



uncomfortableness of the topic gets the best of us. Check out Kids and Sex Ed for some tips on starting – and keeping – the conversation going. Do you have a child recently diagnosed with celiac disease, Crohn’s or colitis? If so, you may be wondering how you will ever navigate the complicated restrictions these conditions require. Try reading Managing Difficult Diets for suggestions from the experts on making food choices your child can get on board with. As always, we’re excited for you to crack open our latest issue and tell us what you think. We hope you find lots of useful information and fun ways to spend time with your family. Have an idea for a future issue? Let us know! We love to hear our readers’ thoughts on how to make our magazine an even better resource for Cincinnati families.

ACCOUN T E X E C UTIVE Melissa Wittenbaum • A dvertising Coordinator Karen Ring • W E B E D I TO R Wendy Cox • GR A P H I C S A S S I S TANT Maria Tancredi • E ditorial A ssistant Wendy Schrepferman • B u siness M anager / / Acco unting Roxanne Burns • CO N T R IBU T I N G W RITERS Sarah McCosham, Michelle Shirk, Jennifer Garcia, Rebecca Hill, Katrina Anne Willis, Pete Gilbert, Deb Krupowicz, Kelly Blewett, Ivy Flynn of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital C A LE N DA R O F EVENTS Contact Us 9435 Waterstone Blvd., Ste. 140 Cincinnati, OH 45249 P: (513) 444-2015 • F: (513) 444-2099 CO P Y R I GH T Cincinnati Parent Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2014 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. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more visit



spotlight. E ART H DAY E XCI T E ME N T A PRE SIDE N T I AL PREDIC A ME N T During the month of April, Cincinnati area bookstores and libraries are partnering for a one-of-a-kind challenge to celebrate a one-of-a-kind picture book!

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, The Blue Marble, The Blue Manatee, WordPlay Cincy, and The Bookshelf are partnering with The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County and Kenton County Libraries to encourage over 500 Cincinnati and northern Kentucky kids to read a new picture book from award-winning author Mac Barnett. The book, President Taft is Stuck in the Bath, follows President William Howard Taft as he tries, with the help of his wife and Cabinet, to extract himself from the bath. Each bookseller will host exciting themed story times and events throughout the month!

The events schedule for the Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration is out of this world! Guests will experience drum circles and other live music, scavenger hunts, a recycled costume contest, games, a kids fun zone, a mascot parade, an animal showcase and several fascinating environmental lectures. The event is pet-friendly and commences rain or shine. Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m. Sawyer Point, Cincinnati | FREE

NEW P ORT TAK E S TOP HONOR S US City Traveler recently ranked The Newport Aquarium 9th best in the country! In its continuous efforts to provide guests with new experiences, the aquarium just opened Turtle Canyon. The exhibit features more than 14 turtle species from three continents, including two of the largest in the world: a 650 pound Galapagos tortoise named Bravo, and a 118 pound, 100 year old turtle named Thunder. Splash over to the Newport Aquarium today! Newport Aquarium, One Aquarium Way, Newport, Kentucky 1-800-406-3474 |

LET T HE D OGS OU T Washington Park’s popular “Yappy Hour” events begin this month. Adults and canines are invited to these doggy-themed happy hours to enjoy beer, cocktails and interactive programs tailored for dog owners and their canines. Program titles this month include: Socialization: Your Dog and You, Playtime with Kong Toys, and Therapy Dogs. Thursdays April 10th, 17th and 24th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Washington Park | FREE (cash bar) 08


AU T ISM A ND SPECI AL NEEDS E X P O COME S TO CINCINNAT I This free event, sponsored by Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will offer families an opportunity to gather a wide range of important information about autism ser vices in the community. In addition to information sessions to connect patients with doctors, therapists and other local service providers, the expo will offer exhibits, a comprehensive provider guide and many family oriented activities! Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sharonville Convention Center 11355 Chester Road, Cincinnati Visit to register | FREE






Tickets to Sesame Street LIVE: Elmo Makes Music

facebook & weekly e-newsletter contests


Do you make a separate meal for the kids? Or, do they eat what the grown-ups do?

Tickets to The Childrens Theatre of Cincinnati’s Willy Wonka, JR


Eat what is prepared. I'm not a short order cook. As I tell my kids "the law says I must provide you with food, not make you eat it. If you get hungry enough you'll eat what I provide." – Melanie P. Well, my son is only 4 months old so obviously right now he doesn't eat what we eat but I was raised on "you eat what I make or you don't eat." I plan on raising my son the same way. – Skylar H. No way! My kids at least TRY everything. I think it’s ridiculous the kids who only eat hot dogs and chicken nuggets... – Shannon F.

Tickets to the Cincinnati Zoo

Mine eats what we eat (like it or not) and we have always raised him to because there are so many people that don’t have anything, so he should be grateful for what he gets. – Carol P. I am not a short order cook! And I do not like picky eaters. So they eat what the grown ups eat. Which isn't a problem in our house because they don't know anything different. They usually like whatever is prepared. – Katharine M. “ L ike ” us on

F acebook to J oin the C onversation

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Tickets to the 2014 Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory






Those Batteries! // Ingesting button batteries poses a serious health threat to children Ivy Flynn, MSW, LSW, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital



e’ve all been there, standing in line at the grocery store, fussy toddler in tow.

The first thing that comes to mind to calm your child is handing them your keys to entertain them. Yet, you never realized your key ring also contains your remote car key. Suddenly, your child has the key in his mouth and has opened the case, revealing a shiny silver disc, the size of a small piece of candy. This disc is typically called a coin lithium button battery and can cause serious harm to your child if swallowed.

Every year 2,800 children are treated in emergency rooms in the United States after swallowing button batteries. The number of serious injuries or deaths has increased nine fold in the last 10 years as a result of button battery ingestion (source: www.thebatterycontrolled. com). Locally, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center sees many children in the emergency room to treat button battery ingestion. Children come to Cincinnati Children’s from around the country to seek surgery to repair the damage caused by button batteries. These surgeries can be long, painful and very involved. The key to stopping this epidemic is to

prevent the injuries from occurring, and understanding what to do if you think a child has swallowed a battery.

We live in a technological age, where there is an electronic device for every piece of equipment in the home. In the U.S., children’s toys are required to have a battery enclosed in a compartment that is difficult for tiny hands to open. Most parents and caregivers are unaware of the many items around our homes that are easily accessible to young children that contain small batteries. These items include: • Car key remotes • TV/DVD/CD player remotes • Hearing aids • Musical greeting cards • Flameless or tea light candles • Children’s thermometers • Calculators • Digital scales • Watches • Flashing holiday jewelry and shoes

If swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in the throat where saliva can generate an electrical current. This might cause severe burns to the esophagus in as little as two hours after being swallowed, and can continue to cause damage after the battery is removed. Children can usually breathe with the battery in their throat, and this makes it difficult to spot the ingestion.

The symptoms of swallowing a battery in a child can include: • Coughing that doesn’t stop • Drooling, or more drooling than usual • Throat pain

If you think your child has swallowed a battery: • Go to the emergency room right away • Do not let your child eat or drink until a chest x-ray is taken • Do not induce vomiting • Call the 24 hour National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 202-625-3333 for additional treatment information

Prevention is critical to keeping small children from ingesting button batteries. Always keep devices with button batteries out of the reach of children, especially if the battery compartments aren’t secure. Search your home, and any place your child goes, for devices that may contain small batteries. Secure these devices so they are out of sight and reach of your child, and keep extra supplies of batteries out of children’s reach.

Pass this vital information on to grandparents, sitters and other caregivers

Spread the word to keep kids safe!

of small children.





Every parent needs a place where they can close the door and just relax. I imagine some parents

// Sloppy little kingdom Kelly Blewett

Thoughts from the margins of a mom's life

have elaborate on-suite bathrooms where they while away the hours soaking in a tub. Others likely luxuriate in some kind cozy sitting room, perhaps with a fireplace crackling in the background. I know these spaces exist, because I’ve seen them on HGTV. For me? I’ll take my basement. No, it’s not actually a finished basement, technically. And there are no spa treatments or aromatherapy. My basement, like most basements, serves multiple purposes: off-season clothing storage, Christmas decoration depository, guest room, laundry room…and Mom’s little getaway. I come down to the basement, snap on the lamps, gaze upon my always-in-progress laundry, and settle atop the guest bed

Photo by: Lisa Hezlep



with my laptop perched on a pillow. Black coffee is next to me in a Valentine’s Day mug. I survey my surroundings and I’m enormously grateful. Grateful I know where the Christmas CDs are, and where I can find all those mix-tapes I made with friends during high school. Grateful for the pictures of my family and friends perched around the room in old frames. Grateful for the wooden desk that we will move to my son’s room when he gets old enough. And grateful for the peace and quiet! I love this sloppy, little kingdom with all its layers of my past and my future. And though I’m at once its Queen and its Scullery Maid, I’ll embrace both jobs wholeheartedly – and try to guide the little people in my court as best I can. I feel reoriented, typing down here in my basement retreat, more sure of who I am and where I’m going. I could spend hours down here, and maybe I should. I might be a better person for it. And I’ll go upstairs, really, in just a minute. I just need a few more sips of coffee.



m e et the 2014



march for babies // Join the March of Dimes in their efforts to give babies a healthy start


s a parent, having a child enter the world with a healthy start is a top priority. For many families however, this simple wish is not always a reality.

Three-year-old Jasmin “Jazzy” Leadon has never spoken a word, yet captures your heart. Born 10 weeks early on January 18, 2011, her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Jazzy weighed just over three pounds. She underwent her first surgery on her third day of life to drain fluid from her lungs. The next six months spent at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center became a dizzying time of tests and surgeries. The diagnosis was grim… Chronic Pulmonary Disease, vocal cord paralysis and possibly Hypo myelination Peripheral Neuropathy, a condition that keeps Jazzy from walking or moving. Through it all Jazzy remains strong, inspiring those around her. Her family attributes her continued progress to their faith, her doctors and the research funded by the March of Dimes. On Sunday, April 27th, Jazzy and her family will be honored as a March of Dimes ambassador family for the Greater Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky March for Babies walk. Walkers will step off at 9:00 a.m. from Paul Brown Stadium and finish at Sawyer Point.

New this year is the March of Dimes Community Donation Day & Expo on Thursday, April 24th from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott Rookwood/Midtown at 3813 Edwards Road in Cincinnati. At this event, teams and individuals can turn in their fundraising donations, pick up “Walk Day” packets and visit with participating exhibitors. Walk Day packets include a goody bag, route card, coupon book, wristbands and exhibitor items. Throughout the day, participants can sign up for various raffles and enjoy music provided by Big Daddy Walker Productions. Be sure to come as March of Dimes incentive T-Shirts and Top Walker Items will only be available this day! This spring, be a part of this great Cincinnati tradition and show your support for the many families who have been impacted by the efforts of the March of Dimes!

Many families find themselves impacted by the work of the March of Dimes. Jay and Melanie’s pregnancy was routine until Melanie reached 31 weeks. On the morning of January 7, 2010, her third trimester ultrasound showed that daughter Sienna had died in the womb. Sienna Jeane was delivered that day weighing just under three pounds. Participating in March for Babies has turned Jay and Melanie’s devastation and loss into a memorial for Sienna that helps other families. Since Sienna’s passing her parents were blessed with two healthy children, Attisen, two years old and Maddox, 12 months. Melanie’s pregnancies were closely monitored and both babies arrived early. Attisen at 38 weeks spent two days in a Special Care nursery due to breathing issues and Maddox at 37 weeks suffered feeding issues and jaundice. Although each of Sienna’s siblings were premature, they continue to grow healthy thanks to March of Dimes research. Jay and Melanie will be the Clermont County March for Babies’ family ambassadors on Saturday, May 10th in Milford at Miami Meadows Park. March for Babies is the largest fundraiser for the March of Dimes with the money raised helping babies have the best start possible in life. Supporting this great cause is easy. Participants can walk alone or as in teams. Register online at or call (513) 769-3588.

Page Left: The Leadon Family of Cincinnati // To The Right: Jay, Melanie, Attisen and Maddox Rubenstein of Clermont County



Sarah McCosham

Advances in


// Support and understanding of ASD continues to grow


pril is Autism Awareness Month – and it’s quite possible you know someone whose life is impacted by autism. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in 88 children is affected by an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which includes Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder and autism.



Fortunately, many great local resources are available for families living with ASD. Between state-of-the-art treatment, extensive support networks and a growing acceptance from the general population, there are numerous reasons to be hopeful about the future for those dealing with autism.

N ew approaches Patty Proctor, Executive Director of the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati, says that today’s approach to treating autism is more comprehensive than ever, combining speech, occupational and physical therapy. “The difference now is that we are building on our knowledge of a few years ago, and have evidence to support the practices we use,” she explains. As a result, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy has emerged as the most common approach to autism treatment, says Proctor. ABA Therapy works to modify various forms of behavior, including language, socialization and daily living skills. Because ABA therapy has been so widely researched and studied, many insurance companies now cover this form of treatment. In terms of speech therapy, Janine Shapiro, a speech language pathologist and board certified behavior analyst at Cincinnati’s Applied Behavior Center for Autism, explains that alternative and augmentative communication, which helps those with limited verbal skills, is becoming more popular. “Research indicates that alternative and augmentative communication is more likely to lead to vocal communication than speech therapy that targets vocal communication directly,” she says. Perhaps the biggest change in autism treatment today is the emphasis on early diagnosis. Shapiro explains that when parents are noticing language delays, they often ask their pediatricians about the possibility of autism, and “pediatricians today are less likely to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach, as the evidence in support of early intervention is so significant.”



P U B L I C S U P P O RT Awareness for autism has grown significantly in recent years. Due to the number of children being diagnosed, it’s likely that neurotypical kids have shared a classroom with a student with ASD. Vivian Overcash, Marketing Director of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, explains: “The increased incidence of autism has raised awareness and understanding in the community. As a community we are more educated and are better prepared.”


The increased incidence of autism has raised awareness and understanding in the community. As a community we are more educated and are better prepared.




Proctor adds that the early diagnosis of children with ASD has also changed public perception. “We are identifying children younger and getting them into intervention services earlier. Because of this, schools are able to offer better services at an earlier age, which has proven to be better in the long run.” As such, Proctor explains that the conversation about people with ASD has shifted from knowing the cause of autism, to how to best support a child or adult with autism and developing resources for them within the community.

B U I L D I N G CO N N EC TI O N S Families living ASD today have the support of a very extensive community. Cincinnati “has made great improvements in developing and expanding services for children and families affected by autism,” says Overcash. “We are in the process of analyzing community needs to identify areas for better support. For example, The Children’s Home of Cincinnati currently offers an alternative education program for students ages 14-21 with ASD.”

Additionally, the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati (ASGC) offers support groups for parents, movie nights for kids and special events for families. In fact, the Cincinnati Autism Connection recently merged with the ASGC, which has resulted in greater resources for the Cincinnati autism community: “This spring, The Cincinnati Autism Connection will be launching a call service that will offer Certified Information and Referral Specialists to work with families to answer questions, share resources and connect them to family support services in Cincinnati,” explains Proctor. Because of public support, awareness and advances in autism treatment and therapy, the future is looking brighter than ever for those affected by ASD. Concludes Shapiro, “As a community, it’s important that we all continue to educate each other and look for ways to support all families of children with special needs.”




Difficult diets T i ps

fo r

Julie Costakis


lanning meals the entire family will happily eat is a challenge. If your child is diagnosed with a dietaltering health condition, the task can seem overwhelming. “Parents need to take heart knowing that changes will become manageable, embracing hope that their child will soon feel better,” offers Allison Rueff, registered dietitian with The Christ Hospital Wellness Services in Cincinnati. “Explain the condition to your child in a way she can understand. Dietitians can connect you with support groups, books, food suppliers and websites.” In agreement is Alison Cassin, MS, RD, LD, pediatric dietitian with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “Following a special diet for medical reasons is daunting, so immediately find resources and tools to make changes easier.” Organization is key. Parents can start a notebook to keep materials easily accessible. Dedicating a few cooking supplies, a cutting board, a cabinet and


h a n d li n g a c h i ld ’s r e s tri c t i v e d i e ta ry r e q u i re m e n t s

refrigerator shelf for “safe” foods is also a good idea. Be sure to speak with school personnel to make sure your child’s needs are understood and met while he is away from home as well.

Gluten intolerance Glutens are proteins found in specific grains of wheat, rye, oats, malt and barley and are often hidden in processed foods and restaurant meals. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which ingesting gluten damages the small intestine and reduces nutrient absorption. Treatment is 100% avoidance of gluten for life. “Ask your child to list their favorite foods, and make these a priority to duplicate with GF (gluten free) ingredients,” says Rueff. Involving her in food choices will increase compliance and acceptance. Keep a list of allowable snacks, foods and restaurants to share with anyone who may feed your child. Ask what is being served at class parties, team meals or outings so that you can provide alternatives.


Infl ammatory bowel disease

Mu lti ple food allergies

Crohn’s and colitis are two major chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract. Each patient has a unique treatment. The goal is to control inflammation and achieve remission. If you have a child with one of these conditions, work closely with a nutritionist who will develop a diet to help reduce symptoms, replace lost nutrients and promote healing. “Anticipate situations where food is involved, particularly when traveling or dining out,” Cassin advises. “Use Chef Cards to communicate diet restrictions to restaurant staff. If possible, dine at off-peak hours so they can adequately accommodate your needs.” (A Chef Card is a personalized card that describes the foods one cannot eat, gives other names for the ingredient and provides instructions on how your food must be prepared. Find them at www. php.)

As some allergies are life threatening, educating everyone who has contact with your child about their dietary restrictions is imperative. Always be mindful of “hidden” allergens. “Mobile apps exist for scanning barcodes to list allergens, yet re-check labels as ingredients can change without warning; the database may be outdated,” reminds Cassin. “A parent’s best resource is a registered dietitian. Often restricted diets require the removal of multiple foods, eliminating nutrients important to the growing child. Children with multiple food allergies may not grow as well as their peers. A dietitian can ensure your child’s food intake is nutritionally adequate and appropriate.”

Being sensitive Strict diets can be a source of embarrassment and frustration for kids. Be discrete when speaking to waiters or providing food substitutes at public activities. “Because food is such an integral part of social events, we often see

children with food allergies withdraw socially, avoiding events involving food,” says Cassin. “Keep a watchful eye, and encourage your child to attend parties, sleepovers and school events despite their dietary restrictions. Coordinate with the host to make sure your child will have a safe treatment available.” Although it may seem easier to feed a child with a difficult diet by himself, this approach can backfire. “Don’t be tempted to feed a child with special dietary needs separately. Children learn social skills, expand vocabulary and practice mindful eating at mealtime. Slow schedules down and prioritize dinner together,” suggests Cassin. A family’s positive approach to this new challenge can set the tone for success and the child’s acceptance of “a new normal.”

For more information on managing difficult diets, check out these resources.

Local grocers: Jungle Jim’s, Bigg’s, A Forkable Feast, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Kroger, Meijer

Support Groups/Events: Contact local Crohn’s/Colitis Foundation for all support group locations/dates


Internet grocers:

Southwest Ohio Chapter of CCFA or 513.772.3550

Websites: Books: Kids with Celiac Disease: A Family Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy, Gluten-free Children by Danna Korn Cilie Yack is Under Attack: A Story About a Boy with Celiac Disease by Caryn Tatly 2014 Gluten-Free Buyers Guide by Josh Schieffer

IBD/ CROHN’S/ COLITIS Websites: (Free download: Crohn’s Q & A Book) (Free download book: IBD & Me: Activity Book for Kids) Books: The First Year: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by Jill Sklar, MD

Cincinnati Support Groups: Raising Our Celiac Kids; Barb Rothwell (secretary@cinciceliac. com)

Toilet Paper Flowers: A Story for Children about Crohn’s Disease by Frank Sileo, PhD and Martha Grandisher

Cincinnati Celiac Support Group (

Crohn’s and Colitis for Dummies by Tauseef Ali, MD

MU LT I P L E F O O D A L L E RG I ES Websites: (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, FAAN) Books: Food Allergies for Dummies by Robert Wood, MD Allergy Support Group: (Contact Dana@foodallergyaids. com or 740.657.8802) Local grocers: Amy’s Natural Nutrition, Susan’s Natural World



with so m a ny o p pOrt unities,

why ca m p ? // The many benefits of a camp experience The American Camp Association


amilies today have more options than ever before – a buffet of movies, museums, picnics, parks, classes, vacations and so much more. With all of these options, why should families choose camp?

choose to learn Camp is an experiential education like no other. Children learn life lessons like independence, leadership and selfconfidence in an environment designed specifically for them. Camp is made up almost entirely of teachable moments. Through fun and hands-on experiences, campers have the opportunity to grow and develop the skills needed to be productive, successful adults. “Childhood is not passive, and children are natural learners when provided the appropriate environment,” says Peg Smith, chief executive officer for the American Camp Association. “Camp serves as the solution to many of the gaps in our current education system – teaching values such as self-esteem, teamwork and caring.” And because of the hands-on nature of camp, everyone, not just the "A" student and the athlete, has the opportunity to thrive and enjoy the process of learning. Camp is fundamental in the national discussion around the need for highquality summer programs to keep students engaged in learning, and encourage them



to develop new skills and previously unseen talents. According to the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and research conducted by Johns Hopkins sociology professor

outside. They walked to school, rode their bikes and walked barefoot through the grass. Childhood was characterized by innocence, imagination, wonder and laughter.”

Karl Alexander, intentional summer programs, like camp, help stem summer learning loss – providing experiences that challenge children, develop talents, keep them engaged and expand horizons.

Today’s generations are losing more than just time in the outdoors. In a study by two Cornell University environmental psychologists, findings show that being close to nature can help boost a child’s attention span. And studies show that time in nature can help reduce stress and protect children from future stress. In some instances, camp may be the only time a child is in contact with the natural world.

The camp community is committed to providing positive experiences for all children. It is projected that ACA camps provide more than $216 million annually in tuition assistance. There is a broad range of camps that serve every interest and every family situation – there is literally a camp experience perfect for every child.

choose nature Camp also provides critical contact with the natural world. In her article, “A Field Guide to Preserving Childhood,” Smith writes, “For generations, children grew up

choose powerful play Kids often spend over seven hours each day plugged in to some kind of electronic medium. That’s more time than they spend doing anything else besides sleeping. With schedules packed with homework, chores, music lessons and organized sports, children are losing time to play. Emerging research continues to show that good, old-fashioned play is important to physical and psychological development.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, free and unstructured play is healthy and, in fact, essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones, as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.

choose camp Camp allows children the opportunity to relax and just be kids. They can unplug from electronics, and plug into the world around them – taking time to really invest in developing relationships with peers and mentors. Camp teaches that friends come in all shapes and sizes, and from all backgrounds. ACA research indicates that 96 percent of campers made new friends, and 93 percent of campers met people that were different from them. The camp experience helps develop authentic friendships and a sense of community, while making children more aware of the world around them. For over 150 years, camp has been about making memories, honoring traditions and being a part of something bigger. Why should families choose camp? Because it’s good for life!

how can families begin their own camp experience? By visiting ACA’s family resource site, www., families have access to information and guidance as they search for the perfect camp experience. ACA’s Find A Camp search allows families to look for a camp based on region, activity, cultural focus, budget, session length and much more! In addition, families can follow ACA on Facebook and Twitter for helpful hints and camp information.

The American Camp Association® (ACA) works to preserve, promote, and enhance the camp experience for children and adults. ACA-Accredited® camp programs ensure that children are provided with a diversity of educational and developmentally challenging learning opportunities. There are over 2,400 ACA-Accredited camps that meet up to 290 health and safety standards. For more information, visit





P ROGR A M DAY CA MP S Academy Kung Fu Tai Chi

4927 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45238, Phone: 513-481-4406, Email: academyofkungfutaichi@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Sports Dates: Session 1: June 9th-June 13th, 10a-2p M-F; Session 2: June 16th-June 20th, 10a-2p M-F; Session 3: July 7th-July 11th, 10a-2p M-F Cost: $170/session Real Kung fu techniques. Tien Shan Pai & Northern Shaolin Kung fu taught by certified Kung Fu instructors. Building life skills, only school in Cincinnati that is member of United State Kuo Shu (Kung Fu) Federation. 2 World Certified Judges,11 members made the United States Kung Fu Team 2000-2009. It’s something you always wanted to do.

ADVENTURE DAYS ON THE FARM 11896 Old Lexington Pike, Walton, KY 41094, Contact: Mary Benton Marcum /Director, Phone: 859-485-7000, Email: Hours: Monday-Friday 9:45am-2:45pm Dates: Farm Camp offered only these weeks due to this being a working farm. Session 1: June 23rd-27th, Session 2: July 7th-11th, Session 3: July 14th-18th Ages/Grades: Ages 5-13 Cost: $195 per week Adventure Days on the Farm is just a kids dream week of making new friends and learning so much in one week. Kids will learn to fish, by the end of week be baiting their own hook, hayrides to look for arrowheads, plant seeds, pick vegetables, nature crafts, music, scavenger hunts, hiking, we dig our own earthworms and on Friday we have our sheep/goat costume class and handling show where parents can attend and see how well all the kids have done with their animal of the week! And did I mention we learn to fish, learn to milk a cow, and lots of farm fun games. Friday is a big day for the kids! Awards of best milker, best shearer, biggest/tiniest fish caught, and so much more. See our website. Join our Facebook pages and meet our incredible staff. Requirements of Campers: Parents will be interviewed to be sure your child is ready for farm life! Activities Included: Campers will be assigned a sheep/ goat the first day. The camper will be responsible for its care for the week, bathing, grooming, shearing, and walking it for exercise. We will learn all the farm chores and be assigned daily.



Autry Academic Summer Camps 8078 E. Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45255, Contact: Dr. Davis, Executive Director, Phone: 513-474-7407, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Academic/Pre-college, Special Needs, Traditional, Winter/Spring Break Programs Dates: June and July 2014 Ages/Grades: Grades 1-12 Cost: $450-$750 Academic summer camps focusing on improving content knowledge. Camps are offered in the areas of Language Arts / Reading, Math (Algebra, Algebra II, Calculus, Trigonometry, etc), Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) and many more! Individual ACT / SAT and HSPT prep sessions also offered.


7900 E Kemper Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45249, Contact: Megan Smith, K-7th grade Camp; Joanie Weghorst, Preschool Camp, Phone: (513) 489-7575, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Adventure/Tripping, Sports Dates: June 9 - August 22, 2014 Ages/Grades: 3yrs-7th grade, (8th & 9th Graders are eligible for Leader in Training Program *requires application) Cost: $259 per week (K-7th) - includes lunch, field trips, t-shirt and backpack! With 108,000 square feet of children’s sports activities under one roof, Kids First is the premier destination for summer camp! Camp-a-Palooza offers a full day summer camp for K-7th graders and our early learning center, The Campus at Kids First, offers a preschool camp for 3-5 year olds. There truly is NO summer camp like it!

Camp at the J

8485 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236, Contact: Nikki Sandor, Camp at the J Operations Manager, Phone: 513-792-5657, Email: nsandor@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: Sessions offered from June 9 - August 15, 2014 Ages/Grades: For children entering grades K - 8. Cost: Dependent upon number of weeks child attends.


Camp at the J provides great social, educational and cultural opportunities that foster friendships and features good old fashioned fun. In addition to traditional activities such as swimming and archery, Camp at the J also offers programs such as recycled art, silly science, social action projects and more!

Camp Chabad 7587 Central Parke Blvd., Mason, OH 45040, Contact: Rabbi Yanky Majeski, Phone: 513-731-5111, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Religious - Vacation Bible School, Traditional Dates: June 23 - August 8, 2014 Ages/Grades: 2-14 years Cost: $150-$200/week ACA Accredited. Cincinnati’s premier Jewish Day Camp, held at the Chai Tots Early Childhood center for ages 2 - 4, and at the Campus Recreation Center for ages 5 - 14. Enjoy a wide variety of activities and field trips with outstanding, nurturing staff unique to Camp Chabad! Lunch & Transportation included. Camp runs from June 23-August 8; sign up for all 6 weeks or “mix and match” any week. Morning & after care are available.

CCDSummer 6905 Given Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243, Contact: Tina Moulin, Coordinator of Summer Programs, Phone: (513)979-0365, Email: Basic Category: Traditional Dates: June 9 - August 1, 2014 Ages/Grades: 18 months - grade 12 Cost: $150 per week (half-day) - $1,200 for 4-weeks (full-day) Our weekly day camps are led by degreed and experienced teachers who provide engaging activites that foster academic and social experiences for children 18 months - grade 6. Weekly courses are available for students age 5 - grade 12 in the areas of arts, athletics, and academics. Some courses are available for high school credit.

Central Montessori Academy 1904 Springdale Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231, Contact: Cheri Hauer, Phone: 513-742-5800, Email: Kpatterson@centralmontessoriacademy Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional

Dates: June 9 - August 8, 7:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. Ages/Grades: Ages 3-6 years Cost: Weekly rates range from $120 Central Montessori Academy’s early childhood and elementary Montessori summer programs are designed to nurture children’s curiosity, creativity and intellect. These goals are met through many outdoor activities (like playing on our NEW Natural Playground), special theme weeks, project-based learning opportunities, inspiring learning environments and our energetic teachers. Activities Included: Summers at CMA are based in our Montessori approach to learning and discovery. Each week offers unique opportunities that facilitate children’s growth and provide endless opportunities for fun and exploration!

Cincinnati Art Museum ARTventures Classes 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202, Phone: 513-721-ARTS, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Arts Dates: June 17-August 14, 2014 on Tuesdays & Thursdays Ages/Grades: Ages 5-8 and 9-12 Cost: $10/session- members $20/session- nonmembers, series pricing also available Delve into art with eight weeks of classes packed with exciting art projects, gallery games, and more! Each week, children will discover all aspects of visual art through various themes and activities.

Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center 4244 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223, Contact: Sharon Said /Co-Owner, Phone: 513-591-2332, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Arts Dates: June 9 through August 16, 2014 Ages/Grades: 3 to 5 Cost: $10/class Dinosaurs, outer space, under the sea, bugs & bubbles - each week will be a new theme that preschoolers love to explore!

Cincinnati Museum Center Camps 1301 Western Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45203, Contact: Jamie Robertson, Manager, Youth Public Programs, Phone: (513)287-7021, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: Weekly, June 16th – Aug. 8th, 2014 Ages/Grades: 2nd-7th grade Cost: $200-$250 (Various themes available. Check website for details.)

Cincinnati Parks’ Summer Nature Day Camps Day Camps are located at Ault Park, Burnet Woods, California Woods, French Park, LaBoiteaux Woods and Stanbery Park, Contact: Diane Wente, Phone: 513-321-6208 ext 11, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed



Basic Category: Animals, Arts, Traditional Dates: June 9 - August 2, 5 different camps each week Ages/Grades: Ages 3-50, plus! Cost: Fees range from $45 - 80 per camp week Our summer camps are voted “Best of the City” by you for the best value in educational, fun-filled outdoor activities… and economical too! The most popular “Nature Camps in the Parks” camp serves ages 5-12 every week and their preschool siblings can attend Discovery Mornings at the same park during the same week! NEW CAMPS: Harry Potter, H2Whoa! and “BIG” Kid Camp for ages 50 plus. Camp activities are new for your child each year! Online registration at: Activities Included: Beyond our themed camps with special activities, all camps include trail hikes, arts and crafts, outdoor games, interactions with live animals, and many more fun, hands-on activities!

Cincinnati Recreation Commission Sports Camps at Lunken Playfield Lunken Playfield: 4744 Playfield Lane, 45226, Phone Number: 513-352-4000 Basic Category: Sports Dates: various dates in June, July and August 2014 Ages/Grades: Pre-K through elementary school age Cost Range: $75 - $250 Just Added! Sports Camps at Lunken Playfield are offered for boys and girls of different ages and include camps for Lacrosse, Kayak, Outdoor Adventure, Youth Multi Sport, Preschool Multi Sport and Flag Rugby. Various camp dates in June, July and August. Camp fees range from $75 - $250 for the week.

Cincinnati Recreation Commission Summer Day Camps Located at various CRC recreation centers, Phone Number: 513-352-4000 Basic Category: Traditional Dates: June 2 - August 15, 2014 Ages/Grades: School age Cost Range: $110 per week - $95 per week CAMP CRC Summer Day Camps are offered at many Cincinnati Recreation Commission recreation centers. Camps run 11 weeks – June 2 through August 15. Themed activities include trips and outings, swim lessons and pool time and outdoor play and sports. Camps fees range from $110 per week (Dunham, Mt. Washington, Oakley & Pleasant Ridge) to $95 per week (College Hill, Corryville, Hartwell, McKie, North Avondale, Sayler Park & Westwood Town Hall) All camps are 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Cincinnati Reds Baseball/ Softball Camps Located at Beechwood HS in Ft. Mitchell, KY; Summit Country Day in Cincinnati, Mason HS in Mason; Harrison HS in Harrison; Reds MLB Urban Youth Academy in Cincinnati, Contact: Tim Rappe, Executive Director, Phone: 855-846-7337, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Sports Dates: Beechwood HS: 6/2-6/6, Harrison HS: 6/16-6/20, Mason HS: 6/30-7/4, , Reds Urban Youth



Academy: 7/21-7/25, Centerville HS: 7/28-8/1, Summit Country Day: 8/4-8/8 Ages/Grades: Ages 6-14 Cost: $395 Official Camps of the Reds. 30 hrs. of World Class baseball/softball training and unforgettable Reds experience. Meet a top player at GABP. 30 hrs. of instruction. Bring a buddy and save $25. Maybe the best baseball camp in America. Camps sold out last year so register early. Activities Included: VIP trip to Great American, full Reds uniform, 4 game tickets.

Circus Mojo Summer Camp 326 Elm Street, Ludlow, Ky 41016, E-mail: info@, Phone Number: 859-360-7757 Basic Category: Traditional Dates: June 9th - August 11 Ages/Grades: 7-17 (ages 4-6 June 16 & July 14) Cost Range: $200-$225 Circus Mojo is a circus arts program that teaches juggling, trapeze, gym wheel, hat tricks, partner acrobatics, plate spinning tightwire walking, ball and stilt walking, and character development through theatrical clowning. In this multidimensional class, combining humor, grace, and athleticism, students are encouraged to conquer doubt and learn a variety of skills in a non-competitive environment.

CMH Summer Camp 927 O’Bannonville Road, Loveland, OH 45140, Contact: Michelle Meder, Phone: 513-683-4757, Email: meder@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Adventure/Tripping Dates: Week of June 16, June 23, July 7, July 14, July 21, 2014 Ages/Grades: 3-12 year olds Cost: $120/half-day program All of our camps are open to EVERYONE, not just CMH students. Morning camps run from 9-12, Afternoon camps from 1-4. If the camper is staying all day, they are welcome to bring a packed lunch, no nuts allowed, and will be supervised to eat and play until the afternoon session begins. If you need Early Bird (8-9) or Aftercare(4-6), we offer those each week. For specific week activities, check out all of our camp listings at

CompassQuest 2014 9370 Waterstone Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45249, Contact: Laura Carr, Executive Director, Phone: 513-683-8833, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: School Programs (Before/After), Traditional Dates: June, July, August Ages/Grades: Ages 6-12 Cost: $210/week Each weekly theme will offer a unique exploration, with arts & crafts, food, games, and more. What could be more fun than weekly visits to the swimming pool with your friends as well as entertaining field trips related to the theme-of-the-week? We’ll also enjoy guest speakers, shows, recreation, sports, and more.

Creative Tots Mason Preschool 6408 Thorberry Court, Mason, Ohio 45040, E-mail:, Phone: 513-770-6776 Basic Category: Academic/Pre-College, Animals, Arts, Traditional Dates: June 9 - August 1 Ages/Grades: 18 months to 7 years Cost Range: $66 - $165 per week We offer seven exciting summer camps. The program is divided into “weekly” camps featuring different themes and activities. Some highlights include Frozen in Arendalle, Mini Chefs, Paint Like Picasso, Lego Camp and Mad Scientists! Our Pre-K (5-7 year old) Word Wizards Camp focuses on honing reading and writing skills through individualized instruction, small group and large group instruction. Join us for adventure and learning all rolled in one!

Creativities Summer Camps 7010 Miami Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45243, Contact: Christine Parker, Phone: 513.272.1500, Email: christine@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Arts Dates: June through mid-August Ages/Grades: 6 - 18 Cost: $150- $200 In the heart of downtown Madeira in a lovely 1800’s Victorian with porches, yards and gardens. The best camps in the city for kids & teens that want to paint, build, design, write, garden, cook and create! Indoor and outdoor activities from Fine Arts to Fashion Design. Featured in Midwest Living and Cincinnati Magazine’s “Best of the City!” We’ll take wonderful care of your children.

Fitton Center Camp Creativity 101 S. Monument, Hamilton, OH 45011, Phone: 513-863-8873 Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Arts, Traditional Dates: June through July Type of Camp: Half-day Spend your summer with the arts! The Fitton Center for Creative Arts presents Summer Camp Creativity, the perfect destination for children who love to be creative and artistic. Watch their talents shine as they jump into camps that focus on visual art, music, photography or drama!

Gorman Heritage Farm – Farm Camp 10052 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241, Contact: Jamie Stoneham, Camp Director, Phone: (513)5636663, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Animals Dates: June 2-August 15, 2014/ sessions vary by age and theme; parents should register early! Ages/Grades: Camps for children ages 4-15 Cost: $60-$230/week Be a farm kid! Camp activities include: interacting with

barnyard animals, exploring the woods, garden fun, games, hiking, crafts, music and more. Special themed camps for wilderness, art, cooking, vet & science. Camp sessions scheduled by age group; please see our website for full brochure. Thyme for Farming Fun!

Great Outdoor Camps 10245 Winton Rd., Cincinnati, Oh 45231, Phone: 513-521-PARK Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Adventure/Tripping Dates: June 9-June 13, July 7-July 11 and July 21-July 25, 2014 Ages/Grades: 8-14 Cost: Early Bird Price: $280, Regular Price: $300 Five fabulous days in the park! Enjoy the different outdoor experiences of Winton Woods and a visit to Miami Whitewater Forest. Activities include low ropes course, horseback riding, golfing, hiking, canoeing or kayaking, rock-wall climbing, wetland exploration and more! The adventures are endless with Great Parks! Different experiences all day, every day.

Greenacres Summer Camps 8255 Spooky Hollow Road, Cincinnati, OH 45424, Contact: Andy DeLay, Education Director, Phone: 513-891-4227, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: Varies by camp Ages/Grades: Varies by camp Cost: Varies by camp Greenacres Summer Camps offer something for everyone! We have art, environment, equine, garden, culinary, and aquatic adventure camps various times throughout the summer season. Each of our camps are hands-on, small group camps led by a caring professional staff. Log onto today to view our 2014 Summer Camp Guide. We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Hubbard Family Swim School Kids First Sports Complex: 7900 E. Kemper Road, (East Kemper Rd. & Reed Hartman Hwy), Cincinnati, OH 45249, Phone: 513.530.0123 Basic Category: Sports Dates: Year round, indoor Get ready now for summer camp - work on your swim skills! Our priority is to teach children to love and respect the water. We are committed to providing swim lessons that build confidence and teach water safety skills in a child centered environment. Our international reputation for excellence in teaching has grown as a result of our passion for teaching and our learn-to-swim techniques. As our students grow from babies to toddlers to pre-teens we focus our lessons on teaching skills to help your child excel.

Indian Springs Academy Music Camps 9690 Cincinnati-Columbus Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241, Contact: Sheila Vail, Phone: (513) 779-7070, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Arts, Traditional



Students will enrich their musical knowledge and have a wonderful experience in our age appropriate Summer Camps for Guitar, Violin, Music Theory, Music Harmony and History!

iSPACE Summer Camps 3254 East Kemper Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241, Contact: Sue Hare, Education Project Manager, Phone: 513.612.5786, Email: share@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Academic/Pre-college, Arts iSPACE award winning programs transform campers into robotics engineers and rocket scientists as they take part in a thrilling summer adventure. Our engaging, hands-on programs make learning exciting and build the skills students need for success. iSPACE is a not-for-profit organization that provides science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs.

Lazer Kraze Spring Break Camps 7082 Columbia Rd, Maineville (Mason), OH or 1335 Donaldson Hwy, Erlanger, KY, Contact: Maggie, Phone: 513-339-1030 or 859-371-5729, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Hours: 10am-3pm Dates: April 8-10 in Erlanger Ages/Grades: 7-12 yrs Cost: $99 Campers 7-12 yrs will have a great time working with each other in a program designed to increase leadership, social and team skills. They’ll sharpen their teamwork skills with unlimited laser tag and get the ultimate in exercise with two 30 minute jump sessions each day in the Trampoline Park.

Mad Science Located at The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School: 4460 Berwick Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227 AND Other assoted Tri-State locations, Contact: Eugene Wulsin, Phone: 513-793-6784, Email: MadSciCin@aol. com Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Academic/Pre-college, Traditional Dates: Weeks of June 16, June 23, June 30, July 7, July 21 & August 4, 2014 Ages/Grades: Ages 5-12/ Grades K-6 Cost: $100.00-$250.00 Interactive, hands-on science programs for ages 5 - 12. Half- and full-day programs at locations throughout the area, June through August. Content is correlated to State of Ohio Education standards. Children enjoy “make and/ or take home” projects and activities each day. Programs range from $10 - $15 per classroom hour. Sibling and early registration discounts available.

McNicholas High School Summer Camps 6536 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, Oh 45230, Contact: Angie Noble, Director of Communications, Phone: 513-231-3500 ext.5824, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Sports, Traditional Dates: June 9-June 27, 2014 Ages/Grades: Grades 1-9 Cost: Beginning at $60 Launch into Summer 2014 with the Rockets! McNicholas High School is excited to again offer summer day camps for students entering grades 1-9! Camps run the weeks of June 9, 16, and 23 and include over 25 options for our Rocket Athlete Champ Camps and our Blast Off for Fun Camps.

Premier Athletics Cheer Camps/ Little Explorers Preschool Camps 1610 Dixie Highway, Park Hills, KY 41011, Contact Name/Title: Amanda Steffen, E-mail: asteffen@, Phone: 859-431-7190 Basic Category: Sports Dates: Various dates June-August Ages/Grades: 2-12 years old Cost Range: $80-$100 Preschool Tumbling Camp and Cheer Day Camps available.

Premier Tumbling and Dance Summer Camps 679 Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland, OH 45140, Contact: Angie McNeil/ Choreographer, Phone: 513-677-1240, Email: Basic Category: Sports Dates: Weeks vary June - August Ages/Grades: Ages 3 & Up Cost: $125-$225/week each child We have 4 weeks of pure fun planned for your camper! Our studio will be transformed to showcase each week’s theme! Take a trip to a Princess Castle, join a circus, or jump on board a cruise ship in one of our themed camps! OR become a lost boy in our Musical Theatre Broadway camp production of Peter Pan!

School of Rock Mason Summer Camps 755 Reading Road, Suite 1, Mason, OH 45040, Contact Name/Title: Tim Garry, General Manager, E-mail:, Phone: 513.770.1257 Basic Category: Arts Dates: June 16-20 and 23-27; July 7-18; August 4-8 Ages/Grades: 7-18 Cost Range: $400-450 per week Put on a concert in a PERFORMANCE CAMP (Led Zeppelin June 16-20 and Hard Rock June 23-27). Make a CD in two-week SONGWRITING & RECORDING CAMP (July 7-18). Just starting off ROCK 101 CAMP (August 4-8)



Springer School and Center 2121 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45208, Phone: 871-6080 ext. 402 Gender of Campers: Coed Dates: June 16 - July 11, 2014 “Adventures in Summer Learning” is designed for students of at least average potential who are not making expected progress. The morning program helps children become confident in the basic skills through small group instruction. The afternoon program consists of specialized courses in math, writing, social skills, and creative expression.

Summer At MVS 5151 Denise Dr., Dayton, OH 45429, Contact: Angela York, Director of Summer Programs, Phone: 937-4344444 ext. 301, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Academic/Pre-college, Adventure/Tripping, Animals, Arts, Sports, Teen Tours/Travel Dates: June 16 - July 25, 2014 Ages/Grades: Age 3 through twelfth grade Cost: $260 - $325 per week Summer At MVS offers fun, enriching day camps, athletic clinics, academic camps and special interest programs for children from age 3 through high school. Our camps offer opportunities for innovative learning, inspired by curiosity and active exploration. They provide a safe, loving and encouraging environment. The strength of our camps comes from small group sizes, personal attention to every individual, and an experienced, professional staff committed to enriching students’ lives.

Summer Challenge Mason Location: 7818 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason, OH 45040, Email:, Phone: 513-336-7799 West Chester Location: 6860 Fountains Boulevard, West Chester, OH 45069, Email: center191@sshouse. com, Phone: 513-779-0003 Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: Mason: June 9 to August 6; West Chester June 4 to August 20 Ages/Grades: For ages 5-12, Junior Camp for children under 5 Cost: Contact center for details The Sunshine House is one of the largest childcare and early education providers in the country and has been educating young children for 38 years. We know summer is all about fun, adventure, discovery and meeting new friends – and that’s what Summer Challenge is all about! Your camper will have tons of new experiences while going on exciting field trips, engaging in fun activities both indoors and out, and meeting special guests. Summer Challenge also features the popular NFL Play 60 and the Think Stretch Summer Learning Program! Schedule a tour of our school to experience the difference today!



The Kinder Garden Schools BLUE ASH:10969 Reed Hartman Highway, Blue Ash, OH 45242, Phone: 791-4300; WEST CHESTER: 5900 West Chester Road, West Chester, OH 45069, Phone: 874-3100 Grades: 6 weeks through kindergarten Together with interaction of child, staff and family, we develop the complete child. In our Kinder Garden, we provide formative encouragement and knowledge with hands-on staff taking a personal interest in family and holistic education decisions for the child. Kinder Garden School is devoted to growing a child’s wish to flourish and learn by cultivating curiosity and problem-solving proficiency in a full supportive, fertile, fun setting. ENLIGHTENMENT IS OUR MISSION.

The Seven Hills School Summer Program

5400 Red Bank Road, Cincinnati, OH 45227, Contact: Jill Romerill, Co Director, Phone: 513-728-2380, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Academic/Pre-college, Adventure/ Tripping, Animals, Arts, School Programs (Before/ After), Sports, Traditional Dates: June 16, 2014 - August 8, 2014 Ages/Grades: Ages 3-18 For ages 3 to 18, sessions include arts, technology, field trips, sports, and academics — half-day or full-day — led by Seven Hills’ faculty or by professionals from our community. Early Childhood programs feature weekly themes that spark imagination and natural curiosity through hands-on learning experiences. Early Bird and After Care.

Tippi Toes Princess Camp

Located at West Chester Activity Center, Blue Ash Rec Center, and Evendale Cultural Arts Center, Phone: 513-578-1280, Email: Gender of Campers: All-Girl Dates: Various dates throughout June and July Ages/Grades: Ages 3-7 Cost: $100 Once upon a time, Tippi Toes planned an enchanting Princess Dance Camp. Young campers will dance, relax at the beauty parlor, make crafts, play games, and receive wonderful gifts. At the end of their time, they will invite their families to attend a dance performance, award ceremony, and tea party!

SUMMER CAMPS AT THE Wyoming Fine Arts Center 322 Wyoming Ave, Wyoming (Cinci Suburb), OH 45215, E-mail:, Phone: 513-948-1900 Basic Category: Arts Dates: June 9 to August 15 Ages/Grades: Ages 5 to 17 Cost Range: $90 - $300 Summer Camps with focus in Music , Visual Arts and Music and Movement. Day camps in: Rock Music, Musical Theater, Art, Piano, Strings. Early drop-off and late pick-up available. Also available: year-long programs,



private music instruction and Musik Kids. A non-profit 501(c)3 Community Arts Center, est. 1995. Open to all!

YMCA Camp Arrowhead

6703 Yankee Rd, Liberty Twp, OH 45044, Contact: Joey Ayers, Phone: 513-779-3917, Email: Joe.Ayers@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: June 2 - August 15, 2014 Cost: Members: $135.00 day, $170.00 extended, $110.00 CIT; NonMembers: $175.00 day, $210.00 extended, $140.00 CIT Camp Arrowhead is designed to provide campers with a variety of experiences in a well supervised camp setting. Each week will include a special theme. Don’t miss a great opportunity! Registration begins March 9, 2014. Join us for an open house on May 20th.

YMCA of Greater Cincinnati Summer Day Camps 2014

12 locations throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, Phone: 513-362-YMCA Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: Registration begins March 1, 2014. Camps run May through August; dates for each camp are available on the website. Ages/Grades: Ages 3-15 Cost: Cost varies depending on each camp. Pricing and camp brochures are available on our website. Overnight, day, and specialty camps at the Y are all about discovery. Kids have the opportunity to explore nature, find new talents, try new activities, gain independence, and make lasting friendships and memories. And, of course, it’s fun too! (Themed Day Camps, Preschool Camps, Teen Camps, Counselor-in-Training programs, Specialty Camps, and Sports Camps)

ZOO Camps 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Oh 45220, Phone: 513-559-7767, opt. 4 Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Animals, Traditional Dates: March 24-April 18, and May 26-August 15, 2014 Ages/Grades: Varies per camp Cost: Register before March 24th and SAVE $15 per participant! If you are looking for a fun, safe, and educational camp during spring or summer break, the Zoo’s got it! All Zoo Camps are age-appropriate and are guaranteed to be a WILD time. Featuring age-appropriate topics weekly! Half-Day Camps (Summer only) and Full-Day Camps (Spring Break & Summer) available.

RESIDENTIAL CAMPS Camp Invention Contact: Customer Service, Phone: 800.968.4332, Email:

Ages/Grades: Rising 1st through 6th graders Cost: $195-$220 Led by local educators, the weeklong Camp Invention experience immerses elementary school children in hands-on activities that reinvent summer fun. Children spend their time building original prototypes, creating a personalized motor-powered vehicle and taking apart electronics to construct a pinball machine. Discounts available - register today!

Falcon Camp

4251 Delta Rd SW, Carrollton, OH 44615, Contact: Dave Devey, Phone: 800/837-CAMP, Email: info@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: 2,4,6,8 week sessions available from June 15 – August 9, 2014 Ages/Grades: Ages 6 - 16 Cost: $2225 to varies Ohio’s premier summer camp since 1959. Boys and girls enjoy wide variety of activities with outstanding staff. “Fun for Now, Skills for Life” is motto and environment created at Falcon. Located on beautiful 8 mile Leesville Lake in hundreds of acres of woods, great food, great fun, lifetime of memories. Activities Include sailing, horseback riding, riflery, archery, tennis, crafts, drama, woodslore, canoeing, swimming, basketball, softball, sports, overnight camping, dances, creative arts, video, mountain biking and much more!

Falcon Young Adventure Camp

4251 Delta Rd SW, Carrollton, OH 44615, Contact: Dave Devey Director/Owner, Phone: 800/837-CAMP, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: July 27 - August 2 and August 3–9, 2014 Ages/Grades: Ages 6 - 9 Cost: $1100/wk A unique and exciting introduction to overnight camping for boys and girls ages 6 -9. These one-week programs are designed with care to guide the campers in being successful with their first great “Young Adventure” away from home. 1:2 staff/camper ratio provides individual attention, instruction and parental oversight. (Program same as Falcon Traditional Camp) activities include horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, archery, air rifles, crafts, sports, fishing, nature study, sailing and much more.

Israel Travel and Overnight Jewish Camping Grants

8499 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236, Contact: Karyn Zimerman, Overnight Jewish Camping & Israel Travel Grant Administrator, Phone: 513-985-1534, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Study Abroad/International, Teen Tours/Travel, Traditional Ages/Grades: overnight camp age - age 26 Our kids are our future. This summer, give them a strong Jewish identity, pride in their heritage and a personal connection to Israel. The Jewish Foundation of

Cincinnati, in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, offers generous funding for overnight Jewish camping and Israel travel grants and associated programming.

Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps

Located at Xavier University, Kenyon College, The College of Wooster & Case Western Reserve University, Contact: David Schilling, President, Phone: 330-333-2267, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Sports Dates: June and July 2014 Ages/Grades: 8-18 / Grades 2-12 Cost: $375 - $735 Beautiful college campuses set the background for the Wilson Collegiate Tennis Camps. It’s here where boys and girls, ages 8 – 18, experience a structured curriculum. Catering to all skill levels, our camps offer 51⁄2 – 6 hours of tennis everyday. Each camper is exposed to personal instruction as well as various formats of match play.

YMCA Camp Ernst of Cincinnati

7615 Camp Ernst Rd, Burlington, KY 41005, Contact: Megan Gierhart, Program Director, Phone: 859-586-6181, Fax: 859-586-6214, Email: Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: One week sessions June 8-Aug 9; Also offer ranch adventure camp, 24 hour overnights as well as a Half-Week sessions Ages/Grades: Ages 6-15 Cost: $505-690 A co-ed residential summer camp, YMCA Camp Ernst is your child’s ultimate summer destination! Steeped in tradition and built on positive values, YMCA Camp Ernst hosts campers, ages 6-15, who enjoy top-notch counselors and make friends doing a wide variety of activities including a 100-foot water slide, zipline, the BLOB, archery, horseback riding, giant swing, and a banana boat. While participating in our 24 daily activities, your child will also develop in spirit, mind, and body. Come see why people are calling us “The Best Camp On Earth”!

DAY & R E S I D E NT I A L C A M P S YMCA Camp Kern

5291 State Route 350, Oregonia, OH 45054, Contact: Roy Harriman, Phone: 513-932-3756, Email: rharriman@ Gender of Campers: Coed Basic Category: Traditional Dates: June 1st- August 9th, 2014 Ages/Grades: Ages 5-16 Cost: $265-$665 YMCA Camp Kern is a year round facility offering a various range of experiences in the outdoor world. Our Summer Camp Program runs as individual one week sessions throughout the eight week summer. We have a variety of programming from Day Camp and Residential Camp, to Teen programs and fully themed Literary Camp such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Rangers Apprentice and Star Wars!







t h o s e

IN THE KNOW // preschool teachers It’s important to remember that every child is different; parents shouldn’t worry about “shaping” their child to be ready for preschool.

Preschool provides an

|| How will I know if my child is ready for preschool? I’m on the fence whether I should send him next year or not, and it seems like the decision I make now will affect the rest of his schooling. Many parents question whether or not their child is ready for school. Being ready for preschool is very different than being ready for kindergarten, as there are no prerequisites.


Preschool provides an opportunity for children to build skills necessary for future school experiences: it fosters growth across all areas of development (social, emotional, cognitive and physical) in a nurturing environment, instilling in children a love of learning and a sense of confidence as a learner. All children between the ages of 3-5 can be successful in preschool. The question is finding a high-quality preschool that’s the best fit for each child and family. Many parents have anxiety about this decision – some parents worry their child doesn’t have strong academic skills or that he or she has separation anxiety.


However, there are things parents can do to ease the transition from home to school, such as attending smaller group play situations like playgroups and library story times, and spending time together in the child’s new classroom. Positive, safe, play-based, quality early education will have beneficial effects on future schooling because the child will be equipped with the social skills and learning disposition to be successful. Preschool is a wonderful environment to support the holistic development of each child. – Submitted by Rachel Konerman, Early Childhood Education Specialist, Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center

|| My daughter is very shy and having a hard time participating in activities at school and making friends. What can her teacher and I do to help her?

When considering school options, parents should first seek an environment that supports opportunities for the teachers to involve a shy child in the life of the classroom through activities that demonstrate meaningful work. Meaningful work that engages your child in a task such as preparing snacks or watering plants can lead to reasons to interact with other children. Such interactions with a defined purpose create “baby steps” for a shy child that are not as threatening or overwhelming as suggestions like “Go play with those children.” For example, “Here is Susie to help us. Can you give her these cups to place on the table?” Similarly, during creative free play, a teacher can invite other children into a brief, clear exchange, and provide words and read cues as needed: “Let’s ask Susie if she would like to buy one of your mud pies.” Gradually, the teacher can step back as your child begins to learn the social cues of classmates.

Parents can help by making play dates, but keeping them limited and guided as a way to provide scaffolding for the social learning your child is working on. Meeting in a neutral territory like a park is generally better than in either child’s home

at first. An activity like exploring a creek or hands-on museum can offer many opportunities for brief, guided interactions between the children. – Submitted by Jodi Harris, Grade School Teacher, and Carmy Malora, Preschool Teacher, Cincinnati Waldorf School

|| I will be interviewing potential preschools soon. When I walk in the door, what should I be looking for that would indicate that this will be a good setting for my child? While selecting a preschool, it is important that the program fosters and advances the natural curiosities of children in a safe, nurturing environment. The preschool’s teachers should have degrees in education and have been at the school for a long duration – high teacher turnover is never a good sign. The curriculum should be evolving and based on current educational trends and multiple intelligences to reach a variety of learners, prompting the enthusiasm necessary for your child to excel in the many years of school ahead. The core curriculum should be enhanced through numerous enrichment programs and community partnerships. It should provide the opportunity for young learners to interact and appreciate the various fields of study in our community, and experience cultures that may exist beyond school and home. Children should get opportunities to explore the arts with special guest speakers from local area programs that are incorporated throughout the year.

Offering these things in a context meaningful to children develops a strong sense of self and a healthy respect for others and their community. By focusing on academic fundamentals, a child will gain learning experiences that will challenge and nurture them into successful learners for the years of school ahead. – Submitted by Emilie Parry, Owner, Creative Tots Preschool



raising eco-friendly kids Jennifer Garcia

Simple ideas to encourage “being green” in your home

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — The Lorax Many parents first heard the environmental message of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax when the book came out in 1971. Encouraging these same “green” ideas for our children today is easier than one might think. Before kids can learn to take care of the world around them, they have to learn to love it. That's why environmental education experts encourage families to get outside and play in nature in order to build an appreciation for the environment. “Allowing children time to play and explore in nature will certainly help them learn about the environment,” says Eve Smallwood, Certified Interpretive Guide and Family Program Coordinator at the Cincinnati Nature Center. “As adults and role models, we can encourage this by showing interest in the outdoor things they are interested in, and by allowing them to pick things up, dig and get dirty.” Children are hands-on learners, so making a game out of environmental lessons helps these messages sink in. 38

Kids can aid with recycling by smashing cardboard boxes, and sort cans and bottles by color, size or recycling numbers. With a parent’s help, they can shred junk mail and repurpose it into paper mache art. Working together with your children provides an opportunity for you to talk about how our actions impact the environment, in good and bad ways.

a fort or simply let their imaginations run wild. You may be amazed at what your child will do with a little green space of their own.

• Use reusable food containers to pack your lunch.

Try some of these fun activities to get kids out and enjoying nature:

• Write an “Earth Day Pledge” with your children, promising to follow through on whatever actions you decide to take as a family.

“Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.” — The Lorax

• When possible, walk or ride a bike instead of driving.

Kids who spend time outdoors not only develop an appreciation for nature, they also boost their own personal development. “Research has shown that frequent unstructured play in nature can benefit children emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually,” says Smallwood. “Allowing children to spend time outdoors and make that positive bond with nature is critical for healthy child development.” Foster your child’s love of nature by giving them a portion of the back yard and allowing them the freedom and responsibility to manage the space. They can plant flowers or vegetables, build


• Plant a butterfly garden and watch the insects flock to your yard. • Make a bird feeder out of used plastic containers.

• Make compost out of table scraps and have fun preparing an “earthworm picnic.” • Install a rain barrel and use it to water their garden. • Volunteer to help clean a park or river.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” — Horton Hears a Who Children – and parents too, for that matter – may feel that their efforts are too small to make a difference against a challenge as big as saving the environment.

But there are many things families can do that really add up to significant change. • Turn water off while brushing teeth. • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning products. • Change incandescent bulbs to LED light bulbs.

• Use reusable bags at the grocery. • Turn off lights, computers and electronic devices when not in use (and play outside instead!)

“It’s not about what it is; it’s about what it can become.” — The Lorax How can you relay to small children the big picture of how their actions today can change the world around them? By choosing to model the positive behaviors that you would like to see them embrace. “Don’t simply teach your child to reduce, reuse, and recycle, also teach them why this is important,” Smallwood says. “Parents and caregivers are the best role models to help children connect with nature. It is important for adults to model positive behavior and allow time for children to forge that positive connection with nature.”

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (Tuesday, April 22), the Cincinnati Nature Center will host an Earth Day Celebration April 12, 13 and 22. Admission to the Center will be free, and activities will include programs on native birds and bees, tree planting and a plant sale, composting education, and games in the Nature PlayScape. Visit to learn more.

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to try

// music


From childhood to old age, music is something we enjoy our whole lifetime. And learning how to create music on one’s own – what a gift. Whether it’s playing an instrument or expressing oneself through song, incorporating music into a child’s life adds an element of creativity and satisfaction hard to beat in many other activities. Starting music lessons early opens the door to a lifelong pleasure. Consider beginning your child’s musical journey with one of the many qualified instructors in our area.

ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND DANCE, WEST C HESTER The Academy of Music and Dance in West Chester offers programs for all ages, from the youngest babies in the Music Pups program all the way up to the senior citizens, who recognize the benefits of participation in the arts. Dance classes include competitive and non-competitive ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, Bollywood, and more. Music lessons are offered for most instruments and voice. Early childhood options include a variety of age specific dance and music classes. Week-long summer camps are offered throughout the summer. A risk-free introductory lesson is offered for all programs, so call today to check it out! 8374 Princeton Glendale Rd, West Chester, OH 45069 (513) 829-2345 |

Angel’s Hou se of Music

Indian Springs Academy of Mu sic Private lesson instruction with professional teachers. Lessons available for Piano, Voice, Violin, Viola, Cello and Guitar. Summer Camps for Violin, Guitar, Music Theory and History. 9690 Cincinnati–Columbus Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241 Contact: Sheila Vail, Director (513) 779-7070 |

Little Songbird Music S tu dio Musikgarten classes for children 0-8. We teach children music the same way they learn language, so music is a natural part of who they are their whole life!

Voted Best of the East 2014. Angel’s offer private lessons for Piano, Voice, Guitar and most Instruments. Est. 1996 by Margaret Angel. Angel’s encourages the love of music while providing quality lessons. Each instructor is college educated in their field.

7420 Montgomery Rd. Cincinnati, OH & 240 Main St. Florence, KY

180 Cemetery Rd. Milford, OH 45150

Queen C ity Music Studio

(513) 831-119 |

Baldwin Music Education Center offers unique, age-specific curriculum taught by degreed and trained group music educators. Classes offered year around for ages 6-months on up. 50+ years of experience, convenient location and family discounts. The oldest, preeminent preschool and group piano program in the city! BMEC believes Every Life Needs Music!

Queen City Music Studio is located conveniently off the Mt. Lookout Square with private parking lot. We offer specialized One-on-One & Group (In-Studio and In-Home) Violin, Piano, Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, Little Mozarts Class for 3-6 year olds, Drums, Cello, Viola, Brass and Wind Lessons for students from 3-Adult. We are open 7 days a week by appointment only. We offer affordable Monthly Lesson Plans and there is NO Registration Fee! New Students are welcome to start lessons anytime. We also offer SUMMER CAMPS and FREE TRIAL LESSONS on Fridays. Call us at 513-201-8593 or email us at info@ to reserve your FREE Trial Lesson.

3799 Hyde Park Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45209 Contact: Rachel Kramer, Email:

1021 Delta Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45208 Email:

(513) 351-11090 |

(513) 201-8583 |

Baldwin Music Education C enter



(513) 655-6570 & (859) 547-8765 |

RILEY SC HOOL OF IRISH MUSIC Founded in 1996, the Riley School meets on Saturdays September through May to teach children and adults to play music in the Irish tradition. Classes offered include Fiddle, Flute, Guitar, Irish Harp, Singing, Tin Whistle, and more. Open Houses each quarter for new and prospective students —see website for details. 3718 Eastern Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226 (513) 549-3780 |

School of Rock Mason School of Rock Mason gets students performing live on stage at real rock venues. It offers private lessons, performance programs, summer camps and workshops. Programs for children and adults, beginner to advanced. Call for a tour and free trial lesson. 755 Reading Road, Mason OH 45040 (513) 770-12575 |

The Mu sic Factory Celebrating 10 years of teaching music education to children 6 months - 5 years in Cincinnati! Our 30 minute award-winning classes lay musical foundations through seasonal activities, creative movement, singing, and rhythm instruments. This musical environment also enhances listening, language development, and gross motor skills. NOW LOCATED IN LOVELAND MUSIC ACADEMY! 209 W. Loveland Ave Loveland, OH 45140 (513) 545-7125 |

University of Cincinnati CCM Preparatory Department The CCM Preparatory Department offers lessons in all musical instruments, classes and performance opportunities in music, theatre and dance for students of all ages and abilities. Ensembles include jazz, band, orchestra, choir, and chamber music. There is a preprofessional ballet company and an annual spring musical open to CCM Prep students. Convenient classes and lessons in music and acting are offered at UC Blue Ash College. Summer workshops and programs are offered at both the Clifton campus and UC Blue Ash. University of Cincinnati CCM Preparatory Department Contact: Elizabeth Boland, Assistant Director Email:

Other music PLACES to consider:

Cincinnati Music Academy Clifton Cultural Arts Center Gymboree Play & Music Evendale Cultural Arts Center Musik Kids at the Wyoming Fine Arts Center Pied Piper Academy of the Arts Toedtman School of Music

(513) 556-9467 |



FOUR GREAT family road trip Michelle Shirk

// So much to explore just a few hours from Cincy


hose living in the Cincinnati area are fortunate to have tons of great destinations within easy driving distance. We’ve rounded up a few of the best so you can start planning your summer vacation! FRENCH LICK, IN (2 hours, 40 minutes) Step back in time by booking a room at one of two historic hotels at the French Lick Resort ( The French Lick Springs Hotel offers eight eateries, a bowling alley and organized children’s activities. The more upscale West Baden Springs Hotel boasts seven additional restaurants, an awe-inspiring atrium and a Saturday afternoon tea service. Visitors can also explore five miles of hiking trails or sign up for horse/pony rides at the onsite stable. If your kids love the water, set aside time for Big Splash Adventure Indoor Water Park & Resort (www., with its pirate-themed tube slides, body slides and lazy river. Day passes are limited but can be reserved in advance. For drier fun, board the French Lick Scenic Railway (www. to enjoy a 20 mile round-trip journey through Southern Indiana.


SPENCER COUNTY, IN (2 hours, 56 minutes) While this area is best known for Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari (, Santa Claus’s holiday-themed amusement park, there are plenty of additional reasons to visit. Those wishing to remain in the Christmas spirit can pick up some gourmet candy canes at Santa’s Candy Castle (www. or write a letter to the big guy at the Santa Claus Museum & Village (www. For a more educational experience, the Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial ( commemorates the 14 years Abraham Lincoln spent in Indiana. Visitors can watch a short film about Lincoln’s youth and tour a simulated 1820’s homestead. The journey into history continues at Lincoln Pioneer Village (www. in Rockport.

SEVIER COUNTY, TN (4 hours, 17 minutes) If you haven’t visited the Pigeon Forge/Sevierville/Gatlinburg region lately, make this your year! Tom Adkinson, representative of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, clued us in to what’s new in the area.



A family-friendly roller coaster called “FireCatcher Express” will join Dollywood’s (www. already impressive lineup of attractions this season. Fun-seekers should also check out the mile-long, self-controlled Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

(www. smokymountainalpinecoaster. com). When it comes to excitement, though, it’s tough to top the natural wonders at Great Smoky Mountains National Park ( Visitors can enter the park via Gatlinburg or nearby Townsend. The new Island in Pigeon Forge

( complex offers calmer forms of entertainment including shopping and dining. The Island is home to the popular Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville will be opening there this summer. No Sevier County vacation would be complete without some great food! For “down home” cuisine including free apple fritters with every order, head to Sevierville’s Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant & Farmhouse Grill


ST. LOUIS, MO (5 hours, 16 minutes) The 630-foot tall Gateway Arch ( is probably the city’s most famous

spot. In addition to snapping a photo out front, families can go underneath the arch to view two different films, tour the Museum of Westward Expansion or travel by tram to the top of the arch for dramatic views. Quirky City Museum (www., another St. Louis must-do, offers tons of places for kids to explore, including a multi-storied cave, “Skateless Park,” art studio and more. Finally, top off your trip by getting up close and personal with penguins and hippos at the St. Louis Zoo (www.stlzoo. com). Admission is free, but parking costs $15.00 during peak season.

Ready to hit the road yet? Wherever your travels take you this summer, we hope you have a fabulous time!

Drive times are calculated from Cincinnati using GoogleMaps. Some listed attractions operate seasonally, so call ahead to avoid disappointment.

kids & SE X ED // Pushing past “awkward” to convey what kids need to know

mean that parents aren’t talking to their kids about sex, it could mean that we need to get better at it.

Beyond school sex ed

Rebecca A. Hill


f you are like many adults, your first introduction to the topic of sex came from a book handed to you from an embarrassed parent or an awkward one-time conversation on the subject from mom or dad. Likely, the important messages they wanted you to understand were never conveyed because of their own uncomfortableness with the situation. Although talking to a child about sex may never be easy, the stakes of not having the discussion are too high to ignore. How should parents approach this vital topic?

Start early Talking about sex is easier if you begin when your kids are small and curious about their bodies. “I think the most important thing is to start the conversation when they are really young,” said Dr. Julie Tiemeier, Clinical


Psychologist at the Cincinnati Children’s’ Hospital Medical Center, “because as the child grows up, you are going to add aspects of sex education.” It’s also key to remember that a question from a young child like “where do babies come from” doesn’t require great detail at this age. Tiemeier says that answering a two or three year old’s questions openly and honestly will set the stage for her to come to you later with bigger questions, rather than going to a friend for answers.

More than just “The Talk” A single conversation on the subject of sex can’t cover the many facets of sex education kids need to understand. As children grow, more questions come to light, which makes maintaining an ongoing conversation critical. When Cincinnati Parent’s Facebook readers were asked for their input on the subject, Sarah


B. said that talks about sex with her child started before school and before puberty. “He asked me a lot of questions and listened very thoroughly.” Alaina P. said that she felt strongly that the topic should cover more than one talk, and that a parent should give honest information as questions arise. Dr. Heidi Kloos, Assistant Professor in Psychology at the University of Cincinnati, agrees. “An openness to this topic inside the home is important in case kids run into trouble and need to talk to somebody about it.” Looking at the statistics however, one wonders how many parents are having these conversations. According to the Guttmacher Institute’s Facts on American Teens’ Sources of Information about Sex, most teens initiate sex in their late teen years and most sexually experienced teens did not receive formal instruction about contraception before they initiated sex. While this doesn’t

Many parents let the topic of sex education become the responsibility of their child’s school. Dr. McCarthy however, is adamant that school sex education is not a substitute for parent-child conversations. “While they supplement and often say things that parents can’t say, kids need to hear things from their parents.” Sex education at school does cover basic information and can be a great jumping off point for parents, says Dr. Tiemeier, but can’t cover the values parents will want to impart on the subject. Parents should discuss the emotional aspects of having sex, mutual sexual respect, sexual orientation and abstinence. When parents put in the time to address these topics with their kids, their messages do stick. Research shows that teens who talk to their parents about sex postpone sexual activity – especially risky behavior. Studies also show that parents are more influential in their children’s attitudes about sex than any other person.

The take-away from all this? Although it may be uncomfortable at times, establishing an ongoing conversation about sex with your kids pays off in the long run. They’re listening.


true confessions

stay-athome dad. of a

// Death by a thousand kid songs

Pete Gilbert

It’s naptime. Scratch that, it’s supposed to be naptime. Instead of sleeping my two-year-old daughter is working on her own version of “What Does the Fox Say?” As she’s up there reciting the chorus over and over and over again I’m reminded of all the bad music my children have listened to over the years. Of course I take no blame for this. The only musical influence I’m responsible for is my son’s love for Queen. He loves to walk around the house singing “We Will Rock You” and “Another One ‘Busta Dusta.’” No, the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of my wife. Currently, the two favorite songs in our house are “What Does the Fox Say?” and “Gangnam Style.” Then, of course, with YouTube not only do you have to listen to the original version, but there are plenty of other horrible versions out there as well. For example, what’s worse than “Gangnam Style”? How about the Chipmunks singing “Gangnam Style”? The SpongeBob version isn’t much better. Have you ever seen videos of peoples’ Halloween decorations set to the beat of “What Does the Fox Say”? I have probably 25 times. Once was enough. The blame for the latest musical obsession around our home goes to Disney. Ever since seeing Frozen my two-year-old is obsessed with the song “Let It Go.” Anytime we turn on music she demands we change it to “Ready Go” as she says it. I noticed the YouTube video has over 100 million hits. Unbelievable. Doubtful it’s been seen by over 100 million people, more likely it’s a million households like mine that have watched it 100 times each. Maybe I should stop resisting the Frozen soundtrack and just go along with it. “The cold never bothered me anyway.”



DA I LY E VE NTS // A P R I L 2 014


// A P R I L 2 0 1 4



Location: US Bank Arena Monster truck racing, freestyle and a pit party.

0 6 S U N D AY “Not a Box” Party (a party with boxes!) Price: $8 per child Phone: (513) 731-2665 Location: Blue Manatee Children’s Bookstore What can you make out of a box? Anything! Get inspired by a story time featuring books about boxes, then we’ll make our own special box craft. Ages 4-8. Pre registration is required, as space is limited. Please call (513)731-2665 to register by Friday, April 4.

0 1 T U E S D AY

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April Fool’s

Spring Break Farm Fest: Pretty Pony Package

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr.

Price: $6/child, $4/adult, register by 4/1 Phone: (513) 521-3276 Location: Parky’s Farm Brush and decorate a real pony and learn how to care for it. Package includes time to play in Parky’s Playbarn and a wagon ride.

Through Sunday, April 6th & April 12th Phone: 513.569.8080 ext. 10 Location: Taft Theatre Roald Dahl’s timeless story of the world-famous candy man and his quest to find an heir comes to life in this stage adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which features the songs from the classic family film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Cincinnati Reds Opening Night

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0 5 S AT U R D AY

Price: Varies Phone: (513) 765-7000 Location: Great American Ballpark Come support the Reds as they take on the Cardinal Opening Night! The 2014 Team Calendar is free to the first 20,000 fans. Plus, be there for a special celebration of the season’s first night game featuring fireworks, live music from The Rusty Griswolds and a special pregame red carpet player appearance in the Kroger Fan Zone. Post-game fireworks show with soundtrack starting approximately 15 minutes after the end of the game.

Through Saturday, April 5th Price: Tickets from $25 Phone: 513-381-3300 Location: Music Hall For the first time ever, the Cincinnati Pops presents “Pixar in Concert,” with visually stunning clips and memorable scores from Pixar’s 13 feature films including Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and its latest release, Brave. All of your favorite Pixar characters come to life on screen in this high-flying, heart-pounding concert weekend.

Price: Free Location: Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve Phone: (513)521-7275 Can you separate fact from fiction? Celebrate all that is weird in the natural world during this interactive program.

0 2 W E D N E S D AY


Pixar in Concert


Family First Saturday: Going Green Price: FREE Phone: (513) 721-2787 Location: Cincinnati Art Museum What’s going on? A lot, and then some more! This month we’re celebrating planet Earth with a special scavenger hunt, Happen, Inc., local artists, wild performances and much more.

Monster Jam Through Sunday, April 6th Price: Front Row - $51.50, Gold Circle - $26.50, Rest of House - $21.50, Kids - $11.50 Phone: (513) 421-4111

Kite Day Price: Free Phone: (513)521-7275 Location: Woodland Mound Celebrate kite month at the park. Bring your own kite or purchase one from Nature’s Niche Gifts & Books, and let’s see how many kites we can have flying near the nature center.

Sleeping Beauty Price: Free with RSVP Phone: 513-761-7500 Location: Mayerson JCC An enchanted spindle curses Sleeping Beauty to 100 years of sleep. Although protected by her fairy godmother, will anyone be able to save her? ArtReach, a division of the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, brings the classic fairy tale by Charles Perrault to life in this enchanting adaptation.

0 9 W E D N E S D AY Be Smart, Eat Well and Move More Price: Free Phone: 513-369-6034 Location: Corryville Branch Library http://kidspace.cincinnatilibrary. org

Learn more about exercise, good nutrition, and feeding your brain with good books while completing the 26 miles of the Flying Pig marathon on your Hog Log. Robin Pendery, Coordinator of Youth Fitness and Nutrition for the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, will help kids get ready to “fly” with fun activities and information about healthy bodies and the Flying Pig Marathon at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 9, at the Corryville Branch, 2802 Vine Street.

“Where Smiles and Teamwork Rule the Day” A national D.I.T. (Do it Together) family-friendly obstacle course/adventure race series based on the tv show THE AMAZING RACE and designed for adults and kids grades K-12. It’s way more fun than a 5K and a perfect birthday party idea Friends, family members, neighbors and co-workers pair up to complete a 1 mile course of challenges requiring teamwork. Run, jog or walk. Qualify for Championship Race and $2,000 Prize.

1 0 T H U R S D AY

Families Create “Picture Perfect Plusses”

Keeping Academic Skills Fresh Price: $10 Phone: 513 871-6080 ext. 402 Location: Springer School and Center Summer learning loss has long been of concern to educators and parents. It is difficult to maintain hard-won gains during the school year without repeated practice in the summer. But, that sounds boring! Learn about options in the community, online resources, and creative ways to engage your reluctant scholar this summer (field trip opportunities, public library/park resources, and tips from other parents).

Price: $5 per child Phone: (513)977-4165 Location: Weston Art Gallery Artist Anita Douthat may not need a camera for her images, but she does use positive and negative space. Learning more about these elements while making your own art equals fun! Families Create! is a popular series of workshops designed to introduce art techniques and concepts to children ages 5–12 years and their families. Participants meet the exhibiting artists and explore the world of art through gallery talks, tours, and hands-on activities with take-home art projects.


Macy’s Arts Sampler 2014

Through Saturday, April 12th Price: $7 per person Phone: (513) 321-5186 Location: Cincinnati Observatory Center The Red Planet is back. Mars, always a crowd favorite, will be the featured planet for a viewing extravaganza called Marsapalooza. The Cincinnati Observatory will open its doors and telescopes to the public while Mars is at its closest for the year. There will be Q&A about Mars, tours of our amazing buildings and history, and viewing through the two vintage 1843 and 1904 telescopes (weather permitting). We’ll have tips on how to observe the upcoming April 15 lunar eclipse too.

1 1 F R I D AY Cincinnati Cyclones vs. Wheeling Nailers Price: See website for ticket pricing Phone: (513) 421-4111 Location: US Bank Arena It’s Faith Night and Cincy’s Largest Fish Fry! Come on down and cheer on your Cyclones as they take on the Wheeling Nailers!

1 2 S AT U R D AY Cincinnati 2014 Great Amazing Race Price: $40.00 per team Phone: 513-518-0528 Location: Voice of America Park or

Phone: 513.871.2787 Macy’s Arts Sampler returns in 2014 with three Saturdays of free art all across our region. Discover the arts that make Cincinnati amazing with free theater, music, dance, crafts, museum tours and more. This annual event is generously sponsored by our friends at Macy’s. Visit website for a full schedule of events around the city.

Asian Culture Fest Through Sunday, April 13th Phone: (513)287-7000 Location: Cincinnati Museum Center Learn about the rich histories, arts, and traditions of China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and The Philippines through an assortment of performances and cultural activities. Demonstrations, storytelling, dance performances, workshops, cultural displays and an Asian marketplace with authentic Asian merchandise are staples of this culture festival.

1 3 S U N D AY Family Gardening Workshop Price: FREE Phone: 513-532-9267 Location: Baby Boon! An all-ages, hands-on family event teaching basic seed planting in water and soil techniques. If you think you have a black thumb, think again Anyone can grow a healthy garden to feed their family Kids learn to eat their veggies when they are involved in planting and taking care of a garden. sponsored by Tower Garden and Juice Plus+.



Sensory Sunday: Stories, Songs and Fun for you and your Little One Also on Sunday, April 27th Price: Free & includes a snack Phone: 513-722-7245 Location: Gymboree of Mason Private interactive play groups, featuring the popular Miss Meliss, who keeps babies and their parents engaged and entertained with her unique brand of fun. Play dates are open to families in the Jewish community with children two years and younger in which at least one parent is Jewish. Plus, two families will each win a $50 Target Gift Card at every event. RSVP online. Sensory Sunday is a program of Shalom Family, an initiative of The Mayerson Foundation.

1 4 M O N D AY Cincinnati Reds VS Pittsburg Pirates Price: Varies Phone: (513) 765-7000 Location: Great American Ballpark Come support the Reds as they take on the Pirates! And it’s Bark in the Park Day #1! Ticket packages available for dogs and their owners with pet activities, samples and more in the Kroger Fan Zone. Dog packages must be purchased in advance of game day.

1 6 W E D N E S D AY Nest Price: $35.00 Phone: 513-271-2793 Location: Cheers to Art of Madeira Perfect sign of SPRING... paint your eggs pink, blue or whatever color you choose!.

1 8 F R I D AY Spring Jamboree Price: $6/child, register by 4/16 Phone: 513-521-7275 Location: Woodland Mound Bring your 3–5 year-old to this month’s jamboree. Through crafts and activities, we will learn all about the season of spring.

1 9 S AT U R D AY Cincinnati Earth Day Celebration Price: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Location: Sawyer Point krohn-conservatory Presented by Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition Celebrate Earth Day with variety of eco-friendly vendors and exhibitors, music, educational lecture series, food, petting zoo and more.

Easter Egg Hunt Price: Free Phone: (513)352-4080 Location: Washington Park Group 1: ages 3-5. Group 2: ages 6-8. Group 3: 9-12.

2 0 S U N D AY Community Easter Egg Hunt Price: Free Phone: 513-662-2048 Location: Cheviot United Methodist Church For ages 2 years to 6th grade. Hunt for eggs & join the Easter celebration! Easter Sunday Celebrations of Worship: Sunrise (7 a.m.), Traditional (9:20 a.m.) & Contemporary (11:20 a.m.).

2 1 M O N D AY Sprouts Institute: Joy of Art Price: $5 per child, per session for Members; $7 per child, per session for non-Members. Museum admission is not included Phone: (513)287-7000 Location: Cincinnati Museum Center Celebrate the joy of art while letting us clean up the mess! Join us for creative, hands-on activities while learning how to encourage and understand your child’s artistic point of view. Jamie Muenzer, of Visionaries + Voices, leads this workshop with a V+V artist! Designed for children 2 to 5 years old.

2 4 T H U R S D AY March for babies Community Donation Day Location: Courtyard Marriott, Edwards Road



NEW THIS YEAR! Fundraising Ideas for your team: Cincinnati Zoo Tickets and Cincinnati Reds Tickets. All participants will receive t-shirt incentives and walk day packet, which includes goody bag, coupon book, wristband and route card available this day only (not available day of walk). Contact Victoria Grooms @ 513-769-3588 to find out all the details.

Bright Ideas: Create-A-Kite Price: $5/child for Members; $7/ child for non-Members; Museum Admission not included Phone: (513)287-7000 Location: Cincinnati Museum Center Get outside and fly a handmade, one-of-a-kind kite designed by YOU!

2 5 F R I D AY Madcap PuppeTs present... Aladdin & Friends Price: $10/ members; $12/ non-members; Children 16 & under FREE with adult ticket purchase Phone: (513) 863-8873 Location: Fitton Center for Creative Arts Enchanting stories from around the world are bursting out of a giant coat in this Madcap classic. Popping out from the pockets come hilarious puppets and actors who use the coat as a magical setting for their marvelous tales. Part of Fitton Family Fridays program!

2 6 S AT U R D AY Keeping Honeybees Price: Free Phone: (513) 521-3276 Location: Parky’s Farm Learn the basics of the honeybee lifestyle and what it’s like inside a hive. If the weather permits, we’ll open the hives and look inside. For ages 7 and up.

2 7 S U N D AY CINCINNATI March for Babies Phone: (513) 769-3588 Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Gate D A fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. There’ll be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends - it’s a great feeling knowing we’re all helping real families. Join our event and walk with us to raise money for babies right here in our community! We look forward to seeing you there! Finishes at Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way.

Red Bricks and Roses Carriage Parade Price: Free Phone: 513-967-6687 Location: City of Oxford, Downtown Presented by The Carriage Association of America Decorated old-fashioned carriages and elegant horses parade down cobblestones of High Street in uptown Oxford historic district.

2 8 M O N D AY Cincinnati Reds VS Chicago Cubs Price: Varies Phone: (513) 765-7000 Location: Great American Ballpark Come support the Reds as they take on the Cubs!

3 0 W E D N E S D AY Wee Wednesday: April Showers Price: FREE Phone: (513) 721-2787 Location: Cincinnati Art Museum You and your preschooler will be showered with art as we explore rain and weather in our collection. Wander through the galleries with your little ones and be sure to stop at our interactive storytelling stops. Recommended for ages 5 and under. We’re sorry, but we are unable to accommodate school groups for this program.

At Cincinnati Parent, 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.


// O N G O I N G E V E N T S Tunes & Blooms

Painted Pots


Occurring Every Thursday in April

Occurring Mon-Sat, April 18th Through May 2nd

Occurring Daily Beginning April 12th Through April 27th

Phone: (513)521-7275

Price: Members, free; nonmembers free with daily admission.

Occurring Daily Through April 20th

Phone: 513-831-1711

Location: Main Library on Vine St.

Price: Admission is free after 5pm; Parking is $9 Phone: (513)281-4700 Location: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden See a collection of Cincinnati’s finest and most respected music veterans playing together in the Zoo’s beautiful gardens, for FREE! Why tip-toe through the tulips when you can rock the garden? Enjoy the Zoo Blooms while you’re here!

Location: Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve Help decorate clay pots for the Painted Pots Weekend. Decorate a clay pot and leave it for others to enjoy for no fee, or pay a small fee to take it home with you. Staff will hang the pots in trees throughout the park where they will remain through mid-May.

Easter Bunny Express ZOO Blooms Occurring Daily through April 30th Price: Included with admission: $15, $11 ages 2-12, free under age 2 Phone: (513)281-4700 Location: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Look for bright yellow and white daffodils blooming throughout the park. Many varieties of red and yellow tulips are the first to bloom followed by the main bloom. More than 100,000 tulips provide every color you can imagine. Complementing the blooming bulbs are thousands of blooming trees and shrubs. This is just a sampling of the variety and beauty that can be found at the Zoo! Plan a visit and enjoy the abundant beauty in our Garden!

Occurring Every Fri, Sat & Sun Beginning April 12th Through April 19th Price: $18.50, $15.50 ages 62 and up and ages 5-15, $8.50 ages 2-4, free under age 2 Phone: (513)933-8022 Location: Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad

Hop aboard the LM&M Railroad’s Easter Bunny Express! Enjoy a train ride to the LM&M Junction for a special visit with the Easter Bunny. All children will receive a special gift and have the opportunity to take part in an Easter Egg Hunt! Parents be sure to bring your camera to capture this special moment! Can’t find your Easter Baskets? No worries, LM&M will provide each child with an LM&M bag to use during the Easter Egg Hunt!

Diana: a celebration Daily through August 17th Price: Varies Phone: (513)287-7000 Location: Cincinnati Museum Center More than 15 years after her death, Princess Diana’s memory still stirs interest and emotion. The exhibition presents the life and humanitarian work of Princess Diana through nine galleries containing 150 objectsranging from her royal wedding gown and 28 of her designer dresses to family heirlooms, personal mementos, paintings and rare home movies and photos. Showcases the life and work of one of the most remarkable women of her time.


The Short Tree and the Bird That Could Not Sing Occurring Every Fri, Sat & Sun Beginning April 11th Through May 18th Phone: (513) 421-3888

A wacky and charming fable of an unlikely friendship between a tree that resents its roots and a spunky, unflappable bird with a horrible singing voice. As their relationship builds around the joys of music, storytelling, the weather and the stars, the friends must navigate the ups and downs of getting to know one another, growing closer and suddenly finding themselves apart. For ages 5 and up. Part of the Off the Hill program by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; check website for local times and your community arts center schedule.


Location: Rowe Woods

Stock up on books to read on spring break and summer vacation. Books with nature, science and wildlife themes will be available for preschool and elementary school children.

Pura Vida: Butterflies of Costa Rica Occurring Daily (except Mon), April 12th Through June 22nd Price: $7, $4 children, free ages 4 and under. $12 unlimited admission pins Phone: (513) 421-4086 Location: Krohn Conservatory krohn

Join us as thousands of butterflies are free to fly throughout the show room in a specially-themed garden. Lush tropical hideaway celebrates animals, plants and ancient cultures found in this abundantly diverse country.

Cincinnati Public Schools City Wide Art Exhibition Price: FREE Phone: 513-369-6900

Visit the Main Library to view works by some of the city’s most talented young artists. The Cincinnati Public Schools City Wide Art Exhibition will showcase artwork, including drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs, from Cincinnati Public School students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The exhibit is presented in partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools and will be on display in the Main Library’s Atrium from March 1 through April 20. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

JOURNEY TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC Occurring Daily Through October 16th Price: $8.50, $7.50 seniors, $6.50 children, plus parking Phone: (513)287-7000 Location: Cincinnati Museum Center

4th Annual Camp Canine at French Park Occurring Each Saturday Beginning April 5th Through May 3rd

Story of hope and celebration highlights importance of protecting the ocean and its inhabitants above and below the sea.

Price: $35 Phone: 513-861-3435

Half Pint Kids Club

Location: French Park

Occurring Each Wednesday

Phone: 513-398-9358

At last, a camp for you and your best friend Camp Canine has everything Exercise for you and your pooch on a 30 minute guided hike each Saturday, we offer both easy and moderate hiking groups. Special guests share information and techniques to ensure the well-being of your dog. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and have a 2014 dog license, a good temperament, and current vaccinations. Camp size is limited; one dog per person. Register online today!

Location: Whole Foods of Mason mason

Each class engages young children to make healthy eating fun with crafts and other activities. For kids age 3-9.

For more fun ONGOING events, visit

FUN &WACKY C I N C I N N AT I PA R E N T // A P R I L 2 0 1 4










Cincinnati Parent | April 2014  
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