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splash pads















contents SUMMER 2017

DEPARTMENTS AGES & STAGES BABIES 08 THE BENEFITS OF BREASTMILK Good for you, your baby and those infants in greatest need

TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS 10 PINT-SIZED SUMMER FUN Local enrichment activities perfect for preschoolers










14 HOW WELL DO YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR TEEN? Answer these questions to find out!



24 AVOIDING THE " SUMMER SLIDE" Encouraging learning throughout the summer months


26 LOCAL SPOTLIGHT Shoes 4 the Shoeless


12 CRACKING THE CODE Where to find coding and STEM classes for your techie kid

27 SPL ASH PADS AND SPRAY PARKS 13 Places to get soaked this summer! 28 SUMMER PROGRAM & CAMP GUIDE Find the perfect fit for your child

18 PRENATAL YOGA The benefits are much more than physical

DADS 20 BEING A FATHER TO A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Learning to embrace a different path





meet the staff Publisher Mary Wynne Cox // ASSOCIATE Publisher Katy Mark // Editor Susan Bryant // ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Katie Clark // Charity Kirtley // Advertising Coordinator Karen Ring //

Hello SUMMER! So glad you’re finally here! After a soggy,

cool spring, we promise not to complain about your heat or humidity for the next three months! (Which may be a stretch by August, but we’ll try.)

Summer officially lasts 94 days – how are you planning to spend it? Maybe a big vacation is in the works – or some local fun with a “staycation”? Are you scheduling lots of summer activities or does your family need some R & R from the busy school year? Whatever you’ve got planned, make the most of the kind of family fun that only summertime can provide. If you’re looking for ways to keep your little ones occupied this summer, try reading our article Pint-Size Summer Fun for local enrichment activities designed just for preschoolers. And for older kids, STEM classes are all the rage. Cracking the Code gives the low down on coding, programming, robotics and engineering camps available this summer.




Need a plan for when summer’s heat is just too much to bear? Head for the water! You don’t need a pool or a beach to cool off when Dayton has so many splash pads and spray parks in our area. Check out our guide on page 27 for a listing of all the places you’ll want to visit when only a cold splash of water will cure a too-hot summer day. Want to sneak in a little bit of learning over break to keep kids sharp? Five Rivers MetroParks has tons of ways to keep kids engaged mentally and physically while they’re out of school. Take a look at Avoiding the Summer Slide for places to go and things to do that are fun and educational. Here’s to summer! Every sun-soaked, water melon-eating, firefly-catching, lazy or crazy day of it! We hope you enjoy every minute.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Katie Clark // GRAPHICS ASSISTANT Maria Tancredi // DIGITAL PUBLISHER Wendy Hasser // DIGITAL EDITOR Brooke Litherland // Business Manager Roxanne Burns // CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lauren Lawson, Melissa Glidden, Claire Rogers, Kim Dinan, Andrea Limke and Lauren Lemons CALENDAR OF EVENTS Contact Us Dayton Parent Magazine is published quarterly. Copyright 2017 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





The Benefits of Breast Milk Good for you, your baby and those infants in greatest need The phrase “breast is best” is something many new moms hear – and rightfully so. With multiple benefits for both mother and child, breastfeeding is considered to be the best option when it comes to feeding baby. Just what makes this “liquid gold” so special? And what can be done for babies who need it most?

Helping babies in need Some moms have difficulty making or sustaining a supply of breast milk, especially if their infants are born prematurely. And babies who are dealing with health issues can benefit enormously from donated milk. To help these infants, Dayton Children’s has partnered with the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio to work with area moms interested in donating breast milk.


What’s in it for baby? Research shows numerous health benefits for a child that is breastfed. According to Kelly Mom, a parenting and breastfeeding website, breast milk supplies many essential nutrients, including necessary fats, proteins and vitamins and it can change compositionally to provide for the needs of a growing child. Breastfeeding also helps to lower the risk of illness, asthma and even SIDS in babies, while increasing a child’s cognitive development as well. According to the La Leche League, an international organization that promotes breastfeeding, breast milk contains thousands of different elements that support a child’s immune system. Some are very specific to protect against a particular bacteria or virus, while others have a more general function.

What’s in it for mom? From weight loss to disease prevention, breastfeeding does wonders for a woman’s body. Fit Pregnancy and Baby, a health and pregnancy website, notes that moms who breastfeed lower their risks for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, postmenopausal osteoporosis and even cardiovascular disease. Breastfeeding can even help speed up postpartum recovery by helping the uterus to return to normal size through the release of the hormone oxytocin. Health benefits aside, breastfeeding can be very economical for families – providing a savings up to $1,200 to $1, 500 a year, which is the yearly cost of formula according to the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Breastfeeding can also offer a way for moms to connect and relate to each other, as meet ups and breastfeeding support groups become increasingly popular. 08


Whether moms bottle or breast feed, this time spent together can provide a special time to bond and feel connected. For those moms who breastfeed, donating your milk can be an invaluable way to share the many health benefits breast milk provides to babies who need it most.


In order to volunteer, women must be: - Currently lactating - In good general health - Willing to undergo a blood test (at the expense of Mother’s Milk Bank) - Free of medication or herbal supplements (with some exceptions) - Willing to donate at least 200 ounces of milk (no requirement for bereaved mothers)

Dayton Children’s sees on average 50 very low birth weight babies each year in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU). While breast milk is beneficial for any baby, for babies that are sick or premature, it can be lifesaving. If you are interested in becoming a donor, contact the Dayton Children’s lactation consultant in the NICU at 937-641-3040. To review guidelines for donating, mothers can visit or start the process of becoming a donor by contacting the Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio at 614-544-0630. uploads/2016/03/EconomicsofBF.pdf donorbreastmilk/index.html




Pint-Size Summer Fun

Local enrichment activities perfect for preschoolers Energetic. Creative. Eager to learn. These are just some of the many ways to describe preschoolage children. At this stage in a child’s development, opportunities for learning are everywhere – and kids are excited to experience the world around them. Now is a great time to take advantage of enrichment programs designed specifically with preschoolers in mind. Here are a few Dayton area opportunities you and your child will want to check out this summer.

Learning Tree Farm 3274 S. Union Rd., Dayton

rhythmic rhymes, movement and instrument play. It’s an informal, creativityinspiring approach to expose your young child to the joy of music.

Dayton Metro Library 120 S. Patterson Blvd., Dayton

937-463-BOOK The Dayton Metro Library offers a summer reading program even for those who aren’t quite reading yet! Story times and special activities for preschoolers are scheduled throughout the summer; learn more online or visit a local branch for additional information. will teach kids not only how to swim, but instill a respect for water safety as well.

937-866-8650 learning-tree-farm-nature-preschool.html

Kids are Tops

Each month Learning Tree Farm offers a Discovery Class, designed for children ages 2 ½ to 5 and their parent/guardian. During this 4-week class, you’ll meet one day a week and explore relationships between animals, gardening, crops and the surrounding woods. Each class incorporates age-appropriate literature and art, as well as a snack.


Spark Art Studio

3126 Wilmington Pike, Kettering

Kids are Tops offers Tumble Bunny classes in their specially designed gym, created with scaled-down equipment designed for kids five and under. Morning and evening classes are available with instructors specifically trained to work with this age population.

Music Together of South Dayton

7644 Paragon Rd., Centerville

Various locations

Goldfish Swim School


671 Lyons Rd., Dayton

937-972-0177 class_description.htm Music comes naturally to children, making it the perfect enrichment opportunity. Music Together offers a mixed age class for children five and under that includes songs, 10


2017 dayton?referer=google&cid=1KK Summer is the perfect time for swim lessons – and with kids eager to jump in the water, safety is key. Goldfish instructors are expert at working with young children and


Coloring, drawing, painting – art is a favorite activity for many preschoolers and Spark Art Studio is an ideal spot to let kids nurture this interest. Different themes from animals to princesses to Legos keep kids engaged and excited to create.

MetroParks Various Locations

937-275-7275 Dayton’s wonderful MetroParks system offers a special program just for children ages 3-5 eager to get outside and explore.

The “Conservation Kids: Tikes” activities are geared toward preschool interests with topics on bugs, plants and other elements of our natural world.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery 2600 DeWeese Pkwy., Dayton

937-275-7431 The Boonshoft’s summer camps for 4-5 year-olds include “C is for Curious,” “Wild Kratts” and “Lil’ Scientists” while the younger set can take advantage of the Toddler Investigations program in the Kids Place area. Learn more about dates and times on the museum’s web site. What should you try first? Whatever you choose, enjoy the experience of opening up your child’s mind in a new way. While they’re focused on fun, you’ll know that each opportunity enriches their little world that much more.





Cracking the Code Where to find coding and STEM classes for your techie kid Interest in coding and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes for kids has skyrocketed in recent years. Computer programming has shed its former geeky persona and is riding a wave of mainstream popularity. This is due in part to the prevalence of

technology in kids’ lives, as well as a broader educational push to incorporate technology training in the classroom. The demand for coding and STEM classes for kids is high. Learning centers, schools, museums and even libraries are attempting to meet that need by offering innovative classes and camps for kids who have a passion for technology and understanding how things work. Kids spearhead fun projects like creating a video game, app or animated story, learning skills like coding, programming, computation, problem solving, logic and physics in the process. Here are a few Dayton area opportunities for your kids to immerse themselves in the world of coding and STEM.

Connected Camps For kids who have developed an interest in coding thanks to the popularity of games like Minecraft, the Summer of Minecraft Camp or Coding Camp lets them pursue that passion. In this online summer camp program, kids learn beginning and intermediate coding, game design and engineering in a safe, multiplayer environment.

Classroom Antics Tech Camp Newspring Church of Springboro, Ohio will be hosting summer technology camps from Classroom Antics Tech Camps for the 2017 summer camp season. Summer Tech Camps are offered in video game design, LEGO robotics, stop-motion animation and Scratch computer programming for kids ages 7-14. The week-long summer camps will run during either a morning or afternoon session for three hours each day.




Sylvan Learning Center Sylvan offers innovative camps for elementary and middle school students at all Dayton area locations. Robotics Camps Working with a buddy, your child can enjoy fun, hands-on projects building, programming and animating robots using LEGO®. Each session encourages creativity and imagination as kids brainstorm, build and experiment with robots. Coding Camps & Classes

Air Camp USA This Sunday-through-Friday residential camp for students entering grades 7-9 provides hands-on, experiential learning. During the week, students explore the world of STEM through the medium of aviation and aerospace subjects and experiences. Topics include the introduction to the physics of flight; aviation chart navigation and aircraft operations; unmanned aerial vehicle operations and flights; flight simulators; an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Air Force Research Laboratory; a personal tour of an operating air traffic control tower and international airport airfield operations – all culminating in the student actually flying a general aviation aircraft. Space is limited and student selections to attend Air Camp are competitively evaluated. Email:

Kids learn computer programming through engaging, hands-on projects and can animate stories and create video games to play with friends. Engineering Camps Participants design, evaluate and redesign machines and super structures. Every project has a clever theme to spark kids’ imaginations and turn problem solving and skill building into a fun game.

Waco Air Museum Robotics Camps & Teams These STEM focused Robotics Camps are designed to teach concepts in science, technology, mechanics, engineering and computer programming by building a robot with LEGO bricks, gears, axles, motors and sensors. The students program the robot to complete certain tasks with their newly acquired computer programming skills and the use of sensors. Though the student will not be able to take the robot home, they will demonstrate their accomplishments to parents on the last night of camp. Students interested in joining a WACO Robotics Team (which meet the months of September - December) will be selected from the robotics camps. Got a kid in your house that loves technology? Feed that passion with one of these experiences and see what your child creates!





How Well Do You Really Know Your Teen? As a parent you probably have a pretty good guess about what your teenager would name as his or her favorite food, color, entertainer or TV show. When it comes to more in depth topics however, do you have a sense of what’s going on in their world? See if you can answer these questions regarding your child. If you get stumped, use them as conversation starters next time you’re together!

What is your teen most proud of?

What would they consider to be the best compliment they could receive? Does he or she have a favorite family tradition? Is there anyone your child really dislikes at school or has a problem with?

Would your child change anything about their physical appearance if they could? Or their personality? Does your teen have a habit he or she is trying to break or start?

What your first job was

What is your child’s favorite class at school? Least favorite?

What the town you grew up in was like

If they had to pick a job or career right now, what would it be?



Who you consider to be lifelong friends

Does your teen have a best friend? What quality does he or she think is most important in a friendship?

Does your teen have a celebrity crush? Or a crush on someone at school?

What is your teen’s biggest fear?

What would be your teen’s favorite way to spend a free day?

The music or bands you grew up listening to

What movie can he or she quote word for word?

What your college major was

What relative do they like the most? Least? What would they say their favorite vacation was? What does your teen find embarrassing?

What causes or social issues are important to your teen?

How Well Does Your Teen Really Know You? You may be surprised by what your kids don’t know about you – and how interested they are in the subject. How many of these subjects have you shared with your child?


Something that scared you when you were younger

What would your child consider to be the worst punishment you ever gave them?

Does he or she have a pet peeve?

What does he or she worry about?

When was the last time he or she cried?

What your personality was like as a child or teenager How you met their other parent

The basics of what you do for a living Who you voted for in the last election Why you chose their name and what other names you considered What you worry about regarding them, and what your hopes are for them What makes you proud to be their parent









WORDS BY // Kim Dinan

Prenatal Yoga The benefits are much more than physical Expectant mothers will attest that pregnancy is a time filled with excitement and anticipation, but those nine months are not always without stress. From hip and lower back pain to the emotional strains of preparing for a little one, a growing number of pregnant women are turning to prenatal yoga for some relief.

energy levels. Schmidt says that at the beginning of her class she has each woman introduce herself by sharing her name and how far along in her pregnancy she is. She also encourages each woman to express any concerns she might have. This creates a sense of belonging. “Most women don’t have a lot of opportunity to be around other pregnant women,” she says.

“Many women are drawn to prenatal yoga for the physical benefits like flexibility and working with changing ligaments and anatomy,” says Amy Chavez, a yoga instructor in the Dayton area who has been teaching prenatal yoga since 2004. According to the Mayo Clinic, research shows that prenatal yoga provides a wide array of physical benefits including improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, increased flexibility and a decrease in common pregnancy discomforts like nausea, lower back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome. Prenatal yoga can also help women through labor. “It increases their capacity for staying present through comfort or discomfort and helps them with the practice of anchoring the breath and using the breath as a tool which is both helpful and necessary in labor,” says Chavez.

Poses are modified with the pregnant body in mind, often focusing on positions that will help with labor and delivery like hip openers and breathing exercises. But, as Chavez points out, prenatal yoga is about so much more than that. “Prenatal yoga is great for managing pain and increasing the capacity of your breath but it also gives pregnant women the resources to move their body and to ask for support – those are also yogic principles.”

But prenatal yoga practitioners often find that the physical benefits for expectant moms are secondary to other less-anticipated rewards like learning the fundamentals of meditation and strengthening the bond between mother and baby. “The poses are geared toward pregnancy and deepening the connection with mom and baby,” says Devon Schmidt, the owner of Day Yoga who has been teaching yoga for eight years. Is prior yoga experience necessary before joining a prenatal class? Not at all, says Schmidt. “We have a lot of women that come into prenatal yoga having never done yoga before. All levels are welcome and no previous experience is required.” Chavez agrees. “Prenatal yoga is a great way for women to be introduced to yoga. It’s how I got involved in yoga. I took a class during my first pregnancy.”

Every pregnancy is different and every pregnant woman is different too, of course. A typical prenatal yoga class will be made up of participants at different stages of their pregnancy, each coping with different discomforts and 18



One of the greatest benefits of prenatal yoga is the supportive community that many pregnant women find in their prenatal yoga classes. Chavez says that one of her favorite things about her thirteen years of teaching prenatal

yoga is how it brings women from all walks of life together in a place where women can just be women. “A farmer and a lawyer might have very different lifestyles and in different circumstances they wouldn’t normally connect,” she says. “But they meet in class and they build community together and that often continues into raising their kids.”

Women interested in taking a prenatal yoga class should make sure that their instructor is certified to teach prenatal yoga. “Not all prenatal yoga classes are the same,” says Chavez. She advises talking with the instructor beforehand about their teaching philosophy and what they bring to the class.

Prenatal yoga can help pregnant women not only manage the short-term changes happening to their physical and mental state but also continue to serve them long after their baby has been born. As Chavez explains, “The concepts that come from yoga about being present in the moment and in the body really are the foundation of not only labor but also motherhood.”


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WORDS BY // Melissa Glidden

Being a Father to a Child with Special Needs Learning to embrace a different path As every parent knows, raising kids comes with its own set of challenges – sometimes daily ones. For families of kids with special needs, these ups and downs can be particularly difficult. And while many moms may view reaching out for help as an easy and natural step, dads may be more reluctant to seek the support they need. One of the first hurdles is often just accepting what parenting a child with special needs will look like. Dennis Grant, Executive Director of United Rehabilitation Services, says that fathers who are new to caring for a child with special needs may have to start with altering some of their expectations. “A dad who had thoughts of playing ball with his son or watching him on the football team or soccer field may now have to adjust to what the future really looks like, for example.” Local dad Paul Golembiewski has found a way to focus on the positive. “Gracie is my little partner in crime,” he says of his youngest child, age 4, who was born with arthrogyposis multiplex congenita (AMC), a condition that can severely limit her mobility. “We’re always getting in trouble together,” jokes Golembiewski about his close relationship with Gracie. “She is quite possibly the happiest kid I’ve ever met.” Golembieski is a stay-at-home dad whose wife Amanda serves in the U.S. Air Force full-time. Their family relies on the support of United Rehabilitation Services along with dozens of other parents in the area. The center provides in-house physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as full-time day care for both kids with special needs and their siblings. According to Youth Services Manager Tracy Pohlabel, it’s also one of the only centers in the area to provide aquatherapy.

Involving dads Pohlable says that, as some may expect, moms often take on a more visible role in the care of their children with special needs. But, she adds that “I’ve had more parent involvement here than at any center I’ve ever worked at. Moms are normally the primary caregivers, but I do have a lot of dads who are very active, many of whom come in for tours or to our open house events.” Grant agrees with this observation. “We see a lot of dads, and a lot of evenly-shared roles between moms and dads.” This description fits the Golembiewski family. Giving Gracie the extra care she needs, along with caring for their other four children, Paul says, “We don’t have defined roles as far as mom versus dad. We try to split everything 50/50.” Golembiewski tells dads that it’s okay, and often necessary, to reach out for support. “Without my wife, parents, brothers and the whole family, things would be that much harder,” he says. “Everyone is always looking to help however they can. United Rehabilitation Services hosts a group called Parent’s Café, which Pohlable says both moms and dads alike take full advantage of. “Parents take the opportunity to talk about how to deal with stressors, and while we do see a majority of moms, it’s great to have dads come in too, and talk about what they’re experiencing and feeling.”

Remembering the big picture Although it can be easy to focus on what sets your child with special needs apart from other kids, simply seeing them as a child first, before their disability, can help maintain a larger perspective. “Your child may have special needs, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re still a kid, and you can still have fun with them. You just learn to adapt and modify things,” says Golembiewski. Gracie, for example, has




learned to color pictures by holding crayons and markers in her mouth, an activity she enjoys doing regularly with her dad. As Pohlable says, “Bottom line, they’re still kids. They just want to be loved, and they’re going to learn at their own pace. Keep loving them, working with them and letting them be kids.”

Tips for parents • Plan for the future, but live in the moment. Many of the things you worry about will never happen. Always thinking about the “what ifs” detracts from enjoying the positive things that are happening today.

• Embrace your child for who they are. He or she has their own unique personality, likes and dislikes, sense of humor and way of seeing the world – just like every kid. Remember to view them beyond their disability.

• Share what you’ve learned, what’s worked for you and your challenges and triumphs with other parents going through similar circumstances. The smallest connection you make can have a profound impact on someone else.









WORDS BY // L auren Lemons, Community Engagement Coordinator, Five Rivers MetroParks

Avoiding the “Summer Slide” Using nature to encourage learning throughout the summer months Parents and children alike look forward to summer break to decompress after the busy school year comes to an end. But while this freedom is fun (and necessary), completely checking out of activities that cultivate inquiry, spark the imagination and get the body active can be detrimental for such an extended period. During a long summer away from the classroom, it is essential for children to participate in fun opportunities that keep their minds and bodies active to avoid “summer slide” – a term that refers to the learning loss children experience during summer break. According to Oxford Learning, the summer slide can result in: • A loss of 2.6 months of math skills and one month of overall learning skills • A six-week catch-up in the fall to re-learn old material Students who have experienced summer learning loss throughout the years are an average of two years behind their peers by grade six. Despite the additional free time and abundant options for outdoor fun during the summer, children are still more likely to develop unhealthy habits over this timeframe, such as consuming more sugary foods and engaging in more media, according to a study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Children in lower income households are disproportionally affected by the negative impacts of obesity-related habits and summer learning loss, making overcoming these summer challenges more difficult for parents who have limited resources. What is one way to combat this issue? “Parks are the perfect venue for parents who want to help their kids beat the summer slide,” says Lauren Asquith, Five Rivers MetroParks Education Coordinator. “You are never more than 15 minutes away from a MetroPark in Montgomery County, and all MetroParks’ park destinations are free year-round.” Here are a few ways to take advantage of all that these parks offer.

ON THE FARM Visit Possum Creek MetroPark and learn how you can grow healthy food. Get up close to goats, turkeys, chickens and other farm animals. Make a day of it and visit the remnants of the Argonne Forest amusement park, splash in the creek and explore nature before enjoying a picnic lunch. Take a living history lesson by visiting Carriage Hill MetroPark. Featuring a historical farm with farm animals and period demonstrations, children have the opportunity to learn what life was like on a 1880s farm. Before leaving, visit the Carriage Hill riding center for a pony ride. Follow up: Ask your child to draw a picture or write a creative story about their outing. Kids who were inspired by the gardens at Possum Creek MetroPark will enjoy creating a garden of their own. While planning your garden, explore teachable moments involving science and math that make gardening fun.

EXPLORE NATURAL SPACES Visit the nature play areas in Englewood, Hills & Dales, Sugarcreek and Wesleyan MetroParks for an active afternoon of outdoor play. Children can climb, splash, balance and build to get their minds and bodies moving. Follow up: Encourage young explorers to jump, run, climb and discover in their backyard or local green space. According to the Children & Nature Network, unstructured time in nature enhances educational outcomes by improving children’s academic performance, focus, behavior and love of learning.

KEEP IT WILD Cox Arboretum MetroPark is a must for parents with curious kids. Visit the Butterfly House to learn about native butterflies and view them in all stages of metamorphosis. Featuring species such as spicebush swallowtail, pipevine swallowtail, black swallowtail, a variety of moths and more, the Butterfly House gives children the 24




Rivers MetroParks

opportunity to learn about the importance of pollinators and experience the beauty of nature.

Visit for more information and a list of upcoming programs.

Another fun-filled destination for young learners is the Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark which features interactives that entice the senses and encourage learning through play. Children can visit the Music Maze to play musical games, and then head to the sandboxes to dig, build and play with natural materials.


The Children’s Discovery Garden will also offer pirate-themed activities this summer. Visit for a schedule of pop-up programs, such as treasure hunts, number games crafts and story times. Follow up: Kids who want to take outdoor learning further can register for MetroParks’ Conservation Kids programs. These programs encourage children to explore nature and empower them to be good stewards of the environment.

Asquith also suggests that parents embrace the tech devices their children love, and download apps that encourage kids to participate in real-world citizen science projects, from monitoring light pollution to snapping pictures of local wildlife. Visit to find dozens of great citizen science projects.

“There’s a lot to be said for ‘ just playing’ outside,” Asquith says. “Kids keep their minds active, and learn so much about teamwork, risk-management and caring for living things. Playing in nature is critical for developing problem-solving skills, motor skills – and kids don’t even realize they’re learning because they are having fun.”




WORDS BY // Kim Dinan

Shoes 4 the Shoeless Meeting an often unrecognized need for disadvantaged children Shoes 4 the Shoeless is a non-profit organization that provides brand new gym shoes, socks and underwear to kids living in poverty. Founded in early 2011, Shoes 4 the Shoeless has helped approximately 58,000 local children – over 13,000 in 2016 alone. Dayton Parent spoke with Shoes 4 the Shoeless founder Kris Horlacher about the need in our community. There’s no other program like Shoes 4 the Shoeless in the country. Where did the idea come from? Poverty is so pervasive in our community and shoes and socks are the biggest unmet need among children living in poverty. These children lack food, coats, clothing, safe housing – the list goes on. But there is usually at least one resource in the community that can help in those areas. There was no resource for shoes and socks. I was running a mentoring program for children who had been moved out of the homeless shelter and put into subsidized housing. I was with the kids day in and day out, but it took me three years to realize that the kids needed shoes and socks. The reason you don’t notice shoes and socks is because you are drowning in their other needs. You don’t have the time or bandwidth in your brain to think, I wonder if their shoes fit? The day I noticed it, it took my breath away. I thought, how did I sit across the table from that kid for three years and not notice?

How did you get started? I called my friends and asked for $10. With that money, I initially helped 17 kids. After that, I called school nurses and asked how many kids needed shoes. It grew from there. Now, we come to schools and set up a shoe store in a big truck. Kids can’t estimate their shoe size so we partnered with students at the University of Dayton and invented our own measuring device. The kids come in and are paired with a volunteer who measures their feet. Then the kids get to choose shoes and socks that they like. The underwear is left with the school nurse.




Which parts of the community does Shoes 4 the Shoeless serve? We work in seven counties. Most of the work we do is in Montgomery County but we also go to Preble County and Warren County. There is so much work to do.

How can a prospective volunteer get involved? We utilize 200-400 volunteers each month. We always need volunteers. People interested in volunteering can fill out a volunteer application on our webpage. Volunteers need to be willing to be immersed in poverty. It’s not easy, so volunteers have to be able to tolerate poverty in a loving way and touch that child’s foot.

What does your organization most need right now to continue to serve the community? We need people and money equally. You can donate shoes directly to us, but the most efficient thing to do is donate money. We get deep discounts from retailers. If you give us $20 we can buy two pairs of shoes with that. Donations can be made directly through our webpage or you can mail us a check.

This is a full-time job for you. What keeps you motivated to press on? Shoes 4 the Shoeless isn’t just about providing shoes that look good. We do this so that children can run normally. Some kids wear flip-flops or snow boots all year long. Before I started Shoes 4 the Shoeless, I was never a community activist. But when I realized the need I thought, that’s my kid – those are my kids. I started this as a mom.

Find out more about Shoes 4 the Shoeless on their website at http://


4 the Shoeless

Splash Pads

and Spray Parks 13 places to get soaked this summer! Hot summer afternoon? Kids with energy to spare? Save the day and make everyone happy with a trip to the splash or spray park! All those fountains, buckets, pipes and nozzles releasing gallons of cool water are a sure-fire way to make the most of a summer day. And with the variety of parks available in our area, there’s no shortage of saturated, soaked, sopping wet fun to be had!

DAYTON Island MetroPark Spray Ground 101 E. Helena Street

RiverScape MetroPark 111 E. Monument Avenue

Washington Park Spray Park Second Street at Garland Avenue

Memorial Day through Labor Day

Memorial Day to Labor Day

Orchardly Park Splash Pad 2599 Delaine Ave. Oakwood

Fountain 11 am – 8 pm daily

Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Memorial Day to Labor Day

Snack Bar 11 am – 6 pm daily

Mallory Park Spray Park Germantown at Burwood Memorial Day to Labor Day

Daily, 10 am to 7 pm Fairview Spray Park 2262 Elsmere Avenue Dayton Memorial Day to Labor Day Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

McIntosh Spray Park Riverview at Edwin C. Moses Boulevard Memorial Day to Labor Day


Five Oaks Spray Parks Homewood and Five Oaks Dayton Memorial Day to Labor Day

KETTERING Kennedy Park Splash Pad 5073 Bigger Rd. Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend 8 am to 8 pm

Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Memorial Day through August 14


Mon. - Sat. 11 am to 7:50 pm, Sun. 1 – 7:50 pm

Activity Center Park 221 N. Main St.

August 15 through Labor Day

Memorial Day weekend through early September

Mon.- Fri. 4 pm to 7:50 pm, Sat. 11 am - 7:50 pm, Sun. 1 pm - 7:50 pm

Walnut Hills Spray Park 2300 Block of Wayne Ave. Memorial Day to Labor Day Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Daily, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm

HUBER HEIGHTS Thomas A. Cloud Park Splash Pad 4707 Brandt Pike Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend 11 am to 8 pm

Stuart Patterson Park-Spray Park 238 Baltimore St. Memorial Day to Labor Day Daily, 12 pm to 8 pm

Grab the bathing suits (and plenty of towels) and head out for a day of wet, watery fun!





CAMP GUIDE Air Camp Dayton, OH 937-304-5264 – Air Camp is a unique camp that features hands on learning in an exciting curriculum. Core values of scholarship, leadership and citizenship are embodied in an intensive schedule that puts science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the context of aviation and aeronautics. Day Camp: (attending in the fall) 3,4 and 5 grades Resident Camp: 7, 8, and 9 grade. Day Camp: June 26-30 and July 17-21 Resident Camp: June 18-23, July 9-14, July 23-28

Asian Arts Center 1630 E. Stroop Rd. Dayton, OH 937-395-0333 – This fun camp will cover basic to advanced martial arts techniques and is appropriate for martial arts students from any style and children who have not taken a class yet. This is also great way for current martial arts students to polish up on their requirements to test to higher levels. We will also play games, have team and individual challenges, and lots of fun activities to make new friends. Camp starts at 9 am and is over at 3 pm. June 5-9, June 19-23, June 26-30 July 31-Aug 4

Aqua-Tots Swim Schools Fast Track 716 N. Main Street Springboro, OH (Beavercreek location opening soon!) 937-496-5388 – Fast Track is a fast-paced program that runs Monday - Thursday for 2 weeks with eight 30-minute lessons. Class sizes are small with a 4:1 student/instructor ratio. Private Fast Track lessons available for additional cost. Ages 2.5+ June 5 - August 10, 2017

Beavercreek Goddard 1423 Grange Hall Road, Beavercreek, OH 937-427-2966 – This year we will be doing several 1-week long “Mini Camps”. Every week we will change themes allowing our children (and teachers) to have lots of fun! This years’ themes include “Road Trip USA”, “Kitchen Chemist”, “Authors in Training”, “Engin-uity” and “Paint. Draw.Sculpt., along with several others! Each “Mini Camp” is supported by outside visitors, field trips (for our school agers) and special activities. Your children will learn to make their own books, how to play soccer, what the earth’s layers look like, how to make mini-robots and so much more!

Camp Jabez Xenia, OH 937-223-4513 – Campers will participate in a weeklong variety of activities to explore and appreciate the outdoors in a biblically informed way. Programs




can include a time of wilderness education, map reading/orienteering, games, gardening, fishing, archery, and horse riding/training. Bible instruction and reflection is included to encourage a daily walk with Christ and appreciation of his word. A climbing wall, paddleboats, a planned zip-line and giant swing, or exploring our woods provide an outlet for excess energy in a non-harmful way. Ages 5-16, 6/5/178/11/17, 8:30 am-3:30 pm

Camp Quest Clarksville, OH 513-601-9701 – Camp Quest provides an educational adventure shaped by fun, friends and freethought, featuring science, natural wonder and humanist values. Welcoming to all, we are primarily geared towards children from nonreligious families and combine traditional camp programming with an environment that is supportive of critical thinking and skepticism. Ages 8-17, June 18-24 and July 16-22

East Dayton Christian School 999 Spinning Rd Dayton, OH 937-252-5400 – East Dayton Christian School offers Volleyball and Basketball Sports Camp opportunities for students in grades 2-6, junior high, and high school. Located 1/2 mile from the properties at Wright Field, EDCS strives to equip students for leadership and service.

Five Rivers MetroParks Dayton, OH 937-275-7275 – From horseback riding to kayaking, Five Rivers MetroParks offers outdoor adventures for youth ages 7 to 17. Children spend their summer exploring nature, being active outdoors and embarking on new adventures. With weeklong, three-day, single-day and half-day programs, there is a MetroParks camp experience to fit your family’s summer schedule. June through July

Five Seasons Summer Camp 4242 Clyo Rd. Dayton, OH 937-848-9200 – Kids who attended first through sixth grade will have a blast at our all day camp. Activities will include sports play, swimming, and fitness based training. Throughout the week they will also participate in fun educational activities such as photography, tie dying and more. Special visits will be made by local professionals. Open to members and non-members preschool through elementary. May 29 through August 11, 9 am to 4 pm with before and after care available.

Kumon Math and Learning Center 6 locations in Dayton 800-222-6284 –

Kumon is an individualized math and reading program that will allow your child to reach their full potential. Whether your goal is to catch up to or study ahead of grade level, the Kumon Program fills in gaps and builds strong math, reading and grammar skills so that your child will be successful and confident in school. Free Placement Testing and Free Parent Orientation provided.

Marmon Valley Ministries 7754 State Route 292 S. Zanesfield, OH 937-593-8000 about-us/m.v.-ministries.html Marmon Valley Ministries is a Christ-centered horse camp for boys and girls ages 7-17. We specialize in residential half-week and week-long camps for horse crazy kids of all experience levels. In addition to daily riding time, campers have the opportunity to try adventurous activities like archery, vaulting, and rock climbing. We also have Insight Camp for Children that are Blind or Visually Impaired. Camps are offered mid June- early August.

Primrose Summer Adventure Club 1380 N Fairfield Rd Beavercreek, OH 440-552-9598 – At the Primrose Summer Adventure Club, children enjoy exploring interesting topics and continue learning through purposeful play. We build Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts® through engagement, activities, fun and discovery. Children have the opportunity to play with ideas, build friendships, exercise their imaginations and explore new places through weekly field trips and exciting in house activities! Ages 5-12 June 5 - August 11

Settler Survival Camp at Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard Dayton, OH 937-293-2841 – Step back in time and experience life from an early settler's perspective. Children enjoy hands-on activities while learning what the earliest Daytonians did to survive and thrive in the Miami Valley in the early 1800s. This camp instills a strong appreciation for the history of the region and a glimpse at life in a simpler time. Activities included are woodworking, hearth cooking, candle dipping, heirloom gardening, historical activities and crafts. July 10-14, July 24-28, July 31-August 4 9am-4pm Ages 8-12

Soccer Shots Miami Valley Dayton, OH 937-245-29011 – Soccer Shots is pleased to announce that we are offering 5-day camps throughout the months of June and July. Our engaging children's soccer program focuses on basic and advanced individual skills, while also focusing on character development. Our half-day camps are held on our indoor field at the Soccer Shots office located at 39 S. St. Clair St., Dayton, OH 45402. Ages 5-12 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm

Spark Art Studio Summer Camp Series 3126 Wilmington Pike Kettering, OH 937-640-34231 – Our 'Best of Dayton' nominated Summer Camp is back! Camp themes change weekly & include: painting, printmaking, sculpture, tie-dye, mixed media, combined with art history through story

telling! Each camper gets their own custom t-shirt & sketch book, plus snack daily! Fridays culminate in an art show to showcase our work! Weekly: May 22 - August 18 (excluding July 3-7), 9:00-12:00 (after care until 5:00pm available) and ages 3-7 & 8+ (students must be potty trained)

Star City Music Studios Summer Music Camp 20 North 2nd Street Miamisburg, OH 937-265-2164 – Various camps available for beginner and intermediate music students on piano, strings, brass, and voice. Instrument sampler camps also available for beginner students and Musikgarten early childhood classes for ages birth to 5. Check website for specific camp details. Camps are ages 0-16.

TWIGS Kids Gymnastics, Swimming, & Cheer 1900 S. Alex Road West Carrollton, OH 937-564-8013 – Gymnastics, Swimming, Slip-N-Slide Mountain, Weekly Group Devotional, Team Games, Crafts, Two Weekly Field Trips and much more! Every Wednesday Pizza lunch will be provided. $165 weekly tuition or single day tuition of $40 for non-field trip days, $50 for field trip days. Siblings receive 10% off tuition. Register for the whole summer and save $250! $30 registration for summer camp (covers t-shirt, bag, and water bottle). Take $5 off registration if registered by April 1st! March 27-31, April 14, April 17-21, June 5-August 11 (Closed July 3rd & 4th)

Washington Township Recreation Center STEM camps (Robotics, Engineering and Coding) at Centerville and Beavercreek Sylvan Learning 441 Miamisburg Centerville Road, Centerville, OH 937-435-0222 – Sylvan is offering STEM camps in Robotics, Coding, and Engineering at our Beavercreek and Centerville locations. We have a variety of course offerings and times available throughout the year. Your student will be introduced to basic robotics building using Legos, basic engineering principle with bridge building, and introductory coding! Grades 1-8

895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd. Dayton, OH 937-671-4328 – Tune into summer! Our fantastic camps offer plenty of great activities and field trips to keep your kids logging in for more. Sports, Games, Field Trips, Canoeing, Swimming, Theatre, (Varies depending on Selected Camp). Preschool through Grade 8, Dates: 5/8-8/11












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