CharlottesvilleFamily BLOOM Guide to Education Fall 2020

Page 1

Bloom Family’s

at Home! Guide to Education • Fall 2020

Preschool & Private School Guides


TALKING WITH KIDS ABOUT RACE This digital issue is sponsored by

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Just Between Us…

volume 21 issue 4 fall 2020 PUBLISHERS

Robin Johnson Bethke Jennifer Bryerton


Dear Friends,

SENIOR EDITOR Sarah Pastorek Short ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ellen Sewell

Our house is bursting at the seams with remote-learning kids, ducklings in a makeshift brooder, plants in every window and working-from-home parents.


Barbara A. Tompkins

There is rarely a quiet moment, and with everyone home non-stop, the kitchen


is working as hard as a 24-hour diner. I’m not sure what school is going to look

like this year except—as most everything is now—very different.


It is overwhelming sometimes, and I find myself taking a deep breath and

Carter Schotta, Jenny Stoltz


Rick Epstein, Elizabeth Helen, Jody Hobbs

Hesler, David Lerman, Christa Melnyk

Hines, Krissy Millar, Katharine Paljug,

cavalry is coming. Our teachers have been getting ready for months, and we

Mandy Reynolds, Bob Taibbi,

can count on them. This year’s curriculum is reading, writing, arithmetic and

Whitney Woollerton Morrill


BOOKKEEPER Theresa Klopp

saying I’m only responsible for right here and right now. It’s okay if the laundry gets put off and, once in a while, we can have cereal for lunch! Best of all, the

I’m so looking forward to having lessons and routines again, someone else to help remind them that they should read every day... and play fewer video


Christine DeLellis-Wheatley

INTERN Claire Netemeyer

games. Our youngest, like many younger siblings, has enjoyed relaxed rules and more screen time than the other kids were allotted at his age. He dreams of being a game tester as his future profession, which sounds a lot like what he does now. While I’m glad he is so happy, I’m advocating for becoming a game designer. I’m sure remote instruction will have its glitches and growing pains, but I’m looking forward to a little guilt-free time knowing they’re gainfully occupied, even if it means just a little uninterrupted time for work or time on the exercise bike for me. Be well, stay strong and parent on. We will get through this together,

CharlottesvilleFamily™ Bloom Magazine and CharlottesvilleFamily. com™ are published jointly by Ivy Life & Style Media.™ is published weekly online at www., the weekly Newsletter is distributed via email, and the Magazine is published in print format 6 times per year along with a™ Directory. The views and opinions expressed by the writers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of CharlottesvilleFamily magazine, its officers, staff or contributors. The information presented here is for informational purposes only and although every effort has been made to present accurate information, we do not in any way accept responsibility for the accuracy of or consequences from the use of this information or for the businesses and organizations presented herein. We urge all parents to confirm any information given herein and consult with your doctor or an appropriate professional concerning any information of question. All images not credited are property of and provided by iStock by Gettyimages. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of the publisher. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved.

We welcome reader comments, submissions and the support of advertisers! Please direct all correspondence to Ivy Life & Style Media 4282 Ivy Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903 voice 434.984.4713 We reserve the right to refuse or edit any materials submitted to us that we deem inappropriate for our audience. Include a SASE with any submission to be returned. We do not accept responsibility for unsolicited materials.

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Fall 2020

Contents TABLE OF


News 8


LIVING WELL New Mom 26 Homemade Baby Food


Dear Bob 28 Your Parenting Questions Answered

2020 Back to School Section 38

The Buzz Around Town 10 Do you plan to make changes

to how your family lives after COVID-19?

Healthy Family 30 COVID School Stress Solutions

Educators & Heroes 42 Stories on How Charlottesville Teachers Are Going Above & Beyond

Tips & Trends 32 Fabulous Finds and Fun


Talking About Race 14 Tips for Talking to Kids, Helpful Resources and More

Things To Do 16

Virtual Events, Family Field Trip Ideas & More

Editor’s Pick

Apple Fun 22 A Craft, Recipes & Local Apple Picking

As we continue in a season of change, we wanted to arm you with a multitude of resources, from tips on talking to kids about race (pg 14) and advice on handling school stress (pg 30) to at-home experiments (pg 50) and guides on private schools (pg 44) and preschools (pg 62).

Tips & Lists for a Great School Year

Flick of the Wrist 50 5 At-Home Experiments for Your Science and Wizard-Loving Clan

Photo Scavenger Fun 54 Capture Your Adventures on Camera Positive Parenting 60 The Secret to High Self Esteem


Private School Guide 44

The Inside Info on Area Schools

Area Preschool Guide 62 Local Resources for All Ages

HOME & GARDEN Home & Garden 34 Adding An Outdoor Fire Pit

Lawn Games 36 Local Family Shares Their Own Game


Guide to After-School Activities 65 Sports, Arts, Virtual Activities & More

UNTIL NEXT TIME Stealing Her Sister’s Car 70 A Dad’s Humorous Tales

So Love This! “The ‘wizardry’ science experiments (pg 50) are fun to do, no matter what age you happen to be. Enjoy!” — Barbara, graphic designer



{our town community}


local buzz

CharlottesvilleFamily proudly sponsors: Ishan Gala Foundation’s Splash for A Cure

Monticello’s Heritage Harvest Festival

Virtual August 29

Virtual September–December

BRHBA Virtual Parade of Homes

Foxfield Races

Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival

Charlottesville October 3–4 & 10–11

Foxfield October 4

Virtual October 10

Bringing the Museum Home

Although the Virginia Discovery Museum (VADM) continues to be closed due to COVID19, the learning and fun does not have to stop. VADM has created activity and craft kits you can purchase and take home, and has posted numerous science experiment ideas on their website for you to try at home using your own materials. The museum debuts a new kit each week, ranging from designing your own superhero costume to building a car that uses wind power for speed. Those interested can order online and use contactless pickup or delivery: Plus, starting in September, keep an eye out for free virtual programs like Storytime and A-B-STEAM for all ages, as well as pre-registered virtual Discovery Workshops for kids 4 and older.


Fall 2020

Less “Remote” Learning at the YMCA The Brooks Family YMCA is offering a remote learning center for kids in grades K–5 this fall. As all Albemarle County and Charlottesville City schools are using virtual learning modes, kids with working parents can come to the YMCA and complete their classes, homework and other online learning activities. Registration for the YMCA location is full and a waiting list is available, but stay tuned for information about another remote learning center at Walker Upper Elementary School. For more info, visit

New Local Book Free for Families

Be A Helper & Get Help No Family Should be Hungry • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank 434-296-3663 • Loaves & Fishes Food Panty 434-996-7868

Every Family Should Have A Safe Home • Charlottesville Rental Relief 434-970-3170 • Piedmont Housing Alliance 434-817-2436 • Salvation Army 434-295-4058 • Shelter for Help in Emergency 434-293-8509

Every Family Deserves Support • Charlottesville Area Community Foundation 434-296-1024 • Monticello Area Community Action Agency 434-295-3171 • Partner for Mental Health 434-977-4673 • Thomas Jefferson Health District 434-972-6244 • United Way 434-972-1701 • Virginia Career Works 434-529-6828 • Virginia Employment Commission 866-832-2363

The coronavirus pandemic has not only affected adults and their daily lives and schedules but also children and their activities, too. University of Virginia Doctors Ebony Jade Hilton and Leigh-Ann Webb have created We’re Going to be O.K., a helpful book of tips and information on how to talk to kids about COVID-19, with fun illustrations by Ashleigh Corrin Webb. The book provides advice for kids on how to stay safe and healthy, help others and track how they are feeling each day in order to make the most of their time at home. A free PDF of the book can be found here: globalhealth. emory. edu/_includes/ documents/ sections/ebookcompetition/ goingtobeok.pdf.

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{our town community} The


Do you plan to make changes to how your family lives after COVID?



50% say “yes” “When anything new comes along you adapt to it. We would make what changes are necessary to safely continue daily life.” – Shelly B., Mom of two girls “Honestly, the answer is I don’t know. With uncertainty everywhere right now, we have no idea what the world will look like after COVID-19. No one really knows how long we will have to social distance, how long we will have to wear masks, when a vaccine or cure will finally be available, and once it is, getting it to everyone will be another big issue to tackle. We are taking it one day at a time at our house and just trying to flow with the roller coaster ride.” ​– Liz B.

50% say “no” “We were already teaching our kids about hygiene and sanitation. So beyond keeping up the hand-washing routines, if life goes ‘back to normal’ after an effective vaccine is found then we’ll be right there with the ‘normal.’ We all miss things like playgrounds and the library and trips down to Amazement Square, and long weekends away and seeing family. But if, or when, a new threat comes along, we’re definitely better prepared and won’t feel obliged to wait for an official order to keep us and others safe.” ​– AH, Charlottesville Momma to two boys “Obviously some changes have already been made like washing hands more, mask wearing, distancing, etc. However, I hope whenever there is a vaccine we will be able to move on from this and return to ‘normal’ life.” ​– Mom of two in Crozet

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Fall 2020

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UVA Athletics’ Cutest Fans Two of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) youngest fans have spent the extra time at home recreating some of UVA’s recent sports photos. Matt Riley, resident photographer for the university’s Department of Athletics, has been recreating some of his favorite images with his sons Carter, 7, and Evan, 4. Riley came up with the idea in an effort to keep his sons active and involved during this stay-at-home time. The #WorkFromHome series of images are featured on Riley’s Instagram account (@mattrileyphoto).

A Virtual Parade of Homes This October 3–4 and 10–11, The Parade of Homes, sponsored by Nest Realty, can be experienced in a whole new way. Free and open to the public from 12–5pm each day, all Parade Homes will allow limited numbers of groups into each home to practice social distancing guidelines. The homes will also be featured in a Virtual Parade of Homes Tour, sponsored by AirLens, LLC. The Virtual Tours will be available through the end of October for viewers to glimpse inside beautiful houses of all price points in the Charlottesville area from the comfort of their own home. The Blue Ridge Home Builders Association is taking necessary precautions to keep both the public and the builders safe by requiring face coverings, provided by Dominion Energy, and sanitizer provided by Guaranteed Rate in all of the Parade entries. Find out more information about the 2020 Parade and access the virtual tours by visiting

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{our town community} OPENINGS & RELOCATIONS The Wool Factory at Historic Woolen Mills opened at 1837 Broadway St.

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Three local businesses have moved to the Barracks Road Shopping Center. Green Bean Baby Boutique has moved to the North Wing, Spring Street Boutique has moved from the Downtown Mall to Barracks Road, and The Party Starts Here is also set to open at Barracks Road.

CLOSINGS Crozet Running, 1159 Crozet Avenue

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OB/GYN Associates, 1101 E. Jefferson Street #1


Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery, 2025 Library Avenue, Crozet

The Little Gym of Charlottesville, 2075 Bond Street #140 Wild Wing Café, 820 W. Main Street Zinburger, Barracks Road Shopping Center, 973 Emmet Street N., Suite A

ANNOUNCEMENTS Massage Therapist Dominique Clothiaux of Birth & Biodynamic Midwifery LLC is retiring from massage therapy to pursue a career in midwifery.

Be an InsIder Get the latest updates on area fun and news!

Visit us at and sign up for our weekly E-Newsletter packed with calendar highlights, daytrip ideas, and much more! TM


Fall 2020

The Blue Ridge Mountain Maze, a new fall festival in Nelson County from September 26–November 8, will take place next to Wood Ridge Farm Brewery and include a five-acre corn maze, pumpkins, a night maze and a country store with local products. The Boys and Girls of Central Virginia will be reopening a couple facilities in Charlottesville and Albemarle County starting Sept. 14. Kasaundra E. Blount has been appointed as Burley Middle School’s new principal. Charlottesville City Schools filed three new administrative positions:

BIZ BITS Dr. Katina W. Otey as Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Keith P. Hubbard as Director of Human Resources and Mr. Pat Cuomo as Director of Technology. Sixteen school divisions in Virginia, including Charlottesville, added a high school-level elective course that will survey African-American history from pre-colonial Africa through modern times and will include concepts from the early beginnings in Africa through the transatlantic slave trade, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Civil Rights and into present day. Gail Lovette and Bill Therrien, professors in UVA’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, worked on the Flint Water Crisis case, analyzing how increased exposure to lead in Flint’s municipal water supply affected children’s learning. The case resulted in a $600 million settlement that includes at least $9 million in new funding for special education programs in surrounding school districts that educate students on the water lines. Kimalee Dickerson, a postdoctoral research associate with UVA’s Equity Center and Youth-Nex, helped organize “Returning to School With Equity in Mind,” a four-part webinar series that brought together UVA experts and local educators to discuss Trauma-responsive teaching, mental health, equitable learning spaces, and virtual learning. The Virginia Department of Health will be conducting a pediatric coronavirus disease serology study in Northern Virginia with Inova Health System in an effort to measure the proportion of children and teens with antibodies to COVID-19. The Mid Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center named the Virginia Institute of Autism as runner up for its 2020 “Breaking Barriers Through Telehealth” Award.

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UVA Alum Highlights Diversity in Children’s Book What began as a personal Black History Month project for University of Virginia graduate Vashti Harrison eventually became a New York Times bestselling children’s book. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, a picture book which Harrison wrote and illustrated, highlights the lives of 40 influential African American women, including activist Rosa Parks, lawyer Charlotte E. Ray and journalist Gwen Ifill. What makes the book even more interesting and unique are the illustrations of young girls dressed like these heroes before them. More information about Harrison and her projects can be found at


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Tips on Talking to Kids About Race When teachers and parents avoid talking about the questions and concerns kids have around race and racism, it can lead to misunderstandings and biases. So, it’s important to engage in open, honest discussions about race and racism with your children. Many of us are worried about saying the “wrong” thing or not having the “right” answers. To help ease your anxiety and examine your own understanding of race, try reading books about race and racism, talk with and listen to experts, watch documentaries, learn how to address such topics and practice what you want to say before you say it. The following 10 Tips on Talking to Kids About Race and Racism was originally shared by PBS (pbs. org/education/blog/10-tips-on-talking-to-kids-aboutrace-and-racism).

1. Examine your own understanding of race. If race wasn’t discussed in your household growing up, first do some research on your own and reflect on what it brings up because the more you understand what race means and how it permeates our society, the better equipped you are to teach your children about it. 2. Become comfortable with terminology and familiar with how certain concepts are used. For example, race and culture are not synonymous. It’s important to be explicit and provide children with accurate terms so they can learn how to apply them. 3. When your child brings up a topic related to race, don’t be afraid to keep the conversation going. This lets children know it is okay to talk about what they notice. Instead of telling kids to keep quiet, refrain


Fall 2020

from using particular words or make specific observations out loud, talk to them. Ask them what they noticed and discuss it. 4. Find opportunities to ask questions. For example, when reading a book to or with your child, ask them why someone is being treated a certain way? Is it because of their gender or skin color? Let this lead into a rich conversation. 5. Let children take the lead. Parents should intentionally initiate conversations about race and racism, but children will often bring up their own thoughts, too. It’s important to spend time on what they’ve noticed. Validate their questions or observations (“that’s such a great observation…”) and then move into a discussion. Statements and questions such as, “I’d love to hear more about that,” “That’s really interesting, what made you think of this?” or “How did that make you feel when that happened?” are helpful

ways to deepen your conversations. 6. Involve your children in activities to help them learn about their own cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds. This will help them develop a greater sense of who they are, which will then enable them to create more positive interactions across various racialethnic groups. 7. Help your children to think critically. It is common for children to focus on concrete and visible features to describe others, such as skin color or assumed gender. Challenge them to think about other important personal dimensions. For example, if your child refers to a friend as “my white friend” or “my Brown friend,” ask them to tell you more about their friend (e.g., “What does your friend like to do?” and “What kinds of things do you play together?”).

Additional Resources for Talking About Race These sources can help parents jumpstart their conversation about tolerance, race and equality with all ages.

Local Books & Games How area parents are creating hands-on fun to represent our diverse community.

Teaching Tolerance Child Development Institute Scholastic American Academy of Pediatrics NPR Radio Embrace Race PBS Let’s Talk Series PBS Book Lists

8. Recognize your child’s limits and know when to stop. Depending on age and attention spans, conversations with children about these topics may only last a minute or two. 9. Initiate a book club or conversation group with other parents who are interested in learning how to talk with their children about race. Sharing challenges you encounter will normalize the difficulty in talking about socially charged topics. 10. It’s OK to make mistakes! Many parents did not grow up discussing race or racism, so there is quite a steep learning curve. You will stumble over your words and may share wrong information. Let your child know you are still figuring out how to talk about these important topics too, that learning is a life long process which you are committed to and that you are so happy you get to have these conversations together.

The Girl Who Carried Too Much Stuff by Marc Boston, illustrated by Anne Wilkinson The girl in this story loves collecting things and carrying them with her wherever she goes. But, she soon realizes that carrying all her things may not be as fun as she thought. Charlottesville author Marc Boston has created this adorable children’s book with the message that sharing and caring is ultimately more fulfilling than consumerism and material items. Signed Copy Available for $20 at

Musical Crossroads Memory Game This adorable matching game for kids encourages cognitive brain development as well as being able to play well with others. This musical game is fun for all ages and comes in a sturdy box to help make onthe-go fun easier. Learn your instruments, practice memory skills and some families have even adapted the rules to make their own creative games. Created by a D.C. mom and UVA alumna, this game was designed to create diversity in toys for all children. Available for $16 at

Sport Go Fish! Memory Game Playing Cards Use this game both to encourage child cognitive brain development as well as learn how to play nicely with others. The sports theme is perfect for any little boy or girl who loves playing or watching sports. This deck is fun for all ages and easy to travel with in a sturdy box for on-the-go fun anywhere. Little Likes Kids was created by a DC Mom and UVA Alumni in an effort to diversify children’s games. It’s important for all children to be able to celebrate their own culture and experiences and we love the inclusive neighborhood represented in their products. Available for $9 at


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Things Do

FALL 2020

Click on the boxes below to go to our online calendar for virtual events!

Events y l i m a F r o Click f Festivals &

Click for Seas onal Fun


Click f or Kids & Activ ’ Classes ities 16

Fall 2020

ass l C t renties a P r tivi o f k Ac Clic &

Cast your vote! Favorite Awards 2020

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Because there most likely won’t be any school-organized field trips this year, we’ve compiled a list of some educational attractions for your family to explore together virtually and in person. Here are a few ideas, broken down by subject/interest. Be sure to inquire ahead of time about reservations and current safety guidelines. And, for even more field trip ideas, virtual tours and inspiration, check out our 2020 Ultimate Go-To Guide.


photo: Monticello

photo: Science Museum of Richmond


Fall 2020

• Presidential Homes. This is a no-brainer, especially when the Charlottesville area features three presidential homes— Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland and James Madison’s Montpelier. Students studying U.S. history will have plenty to discover at these historical homes. Perhaps your older kids haven’t visited since they were younger. Take advantage of this time to revisit with them. All three presidential homes have added impressive new exhibits and programs. • Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. This organization works to preserve the heritage and legacy of the local African-American community. Their permanent exhibitions include that of Vinegar Hill and John Henry James, and they feature many rotating special exhibits throughout the year. The space is also home to an art gallery that currently highlights the work of Ernest Withers, a freelance photographer during the Civil Rights Movement. • Berlin Wall Installation at UVA. The Grounds of the University of Virginia is home to four panels of the Berlin Wall, making it the largest known Berlin Wall

installation in the United States. The display features the “Kings of Freedom” mural by graffiti Artist Dennis Kaun and is certainly a site to see. • Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center. Young history buffs and nature lovers can experience “Where Journeys Begin” at this unique space full of hands-on learning activities. Unfortunately, the center is still closed due to COVID-19, but keep it on your list for when they reopen. • Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia. Head down I-64 to Richmond, where history students can experience all the BHMVA has to offer. Current exhibitions include “Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello.” Can’t make it to Richmond? They offer many online programs and events, including the Voices For Change community conversation. • Virginia Holocaust Museum. Can’t make it all the way to the Holocaust Museum in D.C.? This museum in Richmond is a must-visit for any student studying this time period. The museum takes visitors chronologically through the events of the Holocaust and features 300 artifacts from that time. • American Civil War Museum. While in Richmond, students can also learn about


Elegant Selections From Virginia’s Wine Country 4282 Ivy Road, the Village of Ivy Monday-Saturday 10-6


Enjoy a video tour of The Inside World with Henry Skerritt, curator, via The Fralin’s website. The Inside World presents 112 memorial poles by 55 artists from remote Aboriginal communities in the tropical northern region of Australia known as Arnhem Land.

Color me!

The Inside World: Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Memorial Poles originated at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada and was organized by Henry F. Skerritt, Curator, Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia. This exhibition is made possible through generous funding from The Fralin Museum of Art Volunteer Board, The UVA Arts Council, The Embassy of Australia, UVA Arts Endowment and Arts$. We also wish to thank the Mapping Indigenous World Lab of the Institute of the Humanities & Global Culture for their programming support to this exhibition. The Fralin Museum of Art’s programming is made possible through generous support of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.


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photo: Virginia Discovery Museum

the significance of the Civil War and how it influences our current time at the American Civil War Museum.

NATURE & SCIENCE • Virginia Discovery Museum. The ultimate place for young kids to discover and learn in Charlottesville, the VADM features interactive exhibits in literacy, science, math and the arts. The museum

is currently closed until at least August 31; but in the meantime, check out their incredible collection of at-home activities and resources. • Natural Bridge Zoo. Get up close and personal as you see and learn about some of the world’s most endangered species of animals—right here in Central Virginia. • Wildrock. This nature play and discovery center in Crozet is home to a plethora of activities for kids. Enjoy the Nature Playscape and then one of the trail programs with your little ones. The folks at Wildrock have even developed various virtual learning programs to help with online learning during this time. • McCormick Observatory. Young astronomers can explore the skies during

animals, lab demos and more. Add it to your list, and be sure to take your young scientists when it reopens. • The Robins Nature Center at Maymont. Calling all animal lovers, Maymont in Richmond is offering a new “Run of the River” exhibit to help teach families all about the ecology of the James River. While there, check out Maymont Farm and Wildlife Habitats for even more educational animal fun.

the observatory’s public night program. Although the public night and educational programs are currently canceled, they will reassess the situation when the University returns to normal operations, so be sure to keep this on your list. • Science Museum of Virginia. This museum features it all—exhibits, artifacts, technology, films, programs, live photo: Natural Bridge Zoo







Fall 2020











Please call for Fountain Cave Adventure tour information!


photo: UVA Art Museum-The Fralin

LITERATURE • The Poe Museum. Any teenagers studying Edgar Allan Poe must travel to Richmond to see the largest collection of Poe memorabilia in the world and learn about the latest in Poe research. • Edgar Allan Poe’s Range Room at UVA. While attending the University of Virginia, Poe lived in a room on the West Range, a room that remains open for visitors to view it as it was when Poe resided there.

• The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA. This museum features a variety of exhibitions and programs for kids and families. Although currently closed, you can enjoy their online programs, activity booklets and more virtually. • The Paramount Theater. Take the kids to see an educational movie or performance at this historical theater in downtown Charlottesville. Upcoming movie showings include “Selma,” and performances include “Russian Ballet Theatre Presents: Swan Lake” and “Exhibition on Screen – Frida.” • Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of UVA. This museum is home to one of the finest indigenous Australian art collections in the world, and their exhibits are always changing. They will soon reopen for visitors by reservation only. • McGuffey Art Center. One of the oldest artist-run cooperative art centers in the country, this space features impressive local works of art in all kinds of forms. McGuffey Art Center is set to reopen on September 15.

• IX Art Park. Explore this walk-through, sculptural and mural wonderland free of charge. IX’s one-of-a-kind immersive art museum, The Looking Glass is the perfect place for young creative minds.

Soundtrack of Central Virginia since 1922


2020 OUR 98TH SEASON! Our Summer SeaSOn haS changed! pleaSe viSit facebOOk.cOm/cvilleband and cvilleband.Org fOr updated infOrmatiOn


{fall activities & fun}

Capturing Fall

Local Apple Picking Guide For a list of local orchards for picking your own, see our online guide at

Charming Apple Suncatchers

words and photos by Krissy Millar

September is the month where a welcomed crisp breeze makes you breathe in a little deeper, exhale a little longer. Fading sunshine bathes trees as they begin their metamorphosis into their fall glory. Apples, symbols of both fall and school days, are ready to be picked. This craft celebrates September and can easily be enjoyed and completed with your children. With just a few supplies, you can create apple-shaped suncatchers topped off, literally, with the subtle scent of cinnamon. Note: I highly recommend using an outdoor grill instead of an oven for this craft, because the smell of melting plastic will overwhelm your home if you do it indoors. If you must do it inside, your oven should be set at 400° for 20–25 minutes.

MATERIALS • Translucent pony beads (a large multipack from your local craft store) • Muffin pan • Outdoor grill • Oven mitts • Skewer or toothpick • Cinnamon sticks • Washi tape, green • Scissors • Suction-cup hooks (optional)


MELT Heat your grill on medium-high. Place the muffin pan over the grill. Watch the melting beads, which will take about 10–12 minutes on the grill to melt completely. Once the beads are melted, but before you remove them from the heat, use a skewer to make a small hole at the top of each apple. (You will string your apples through this hole.) Use oven mitts to remove the muffin pan from heat. After the muffin pan cools completely, turn the pan over and pop out your apples.



Have your child arrange pony beads by desired color and pattern in the muffin pan. Add a few clear to make the apples “glisten” more in the sun.

Your cooled apples are ready to hang! Cut an 8- to 12-inch piece of string for each suncatcher. Tie one end to the apple with a double knot and the other end to a

Fall 2020

cinnamon stick. To hang two suncatchers to one cinnamon stick, first tie two strings of different lengths to the suncatchers and then tie towards the ends of the stick.

EMBELLISH & ENJOY Add leaves by folding a 3-inch piece of green washi tape in half around the string near the top of each apple. Use scissors to trim the tape to look more like a leaf by rounding the edges. Hang with a suction-cup hook or tape to a window and enjoy the gorgeous September light. Krissy has come to peace with the fact that, although she tries, she will never have it all together, especially while mothering and homeschooling two girls, being a wife and running a business. Her work can be seen at


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{fall recipes}

Apple Slaw with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Freshen up your coleslaw with crisp apple and green onions, tossed in a simple dressing featuring honey and spicy brown mustard!


• 3 tablespoons honey • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar • 1 teaspoon Gulden’s® Spicy Brown Mustard • ½ teaspoon salt • 2 tablespoons Pure Wesson® Canola Oil • 1 cup tri-color coleslaw mix • 1 cup chopped Gala or other red skin apple • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions


Stir together honey, vinegar, mustard and salt in large bowl until combined. Whisk in oil until blended. Add all remaining ingredients; toss gently to mix. Keep chilled.

Quick & Easy Apple Cookies Try these quick and easy festive treats!


• 2 cups All-Purpose Flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1 teaspoon ground cloves • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg • ½ teaspoon salt • ½ cup softened butter • 1 ½ cups brown sugar • 1 egg • 1 cup chopped walnuts • 1 cup chopped apples • 1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, cream softened butter until light and fluffy. Mix in brown sugar and egg, beaten. Stir in flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Fold in walnuts, apples and raisins. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheets about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake for 12–14 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Sweeten them with a sugar glaze! In a small bowl, mix 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar with 1 tablespoon milk to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over cooled cookies.


Fall 2020


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{living well new mom}

Homemade Baby Food What to Feed Baby When He’s Ready for Some Solids

New Mom

The age of 4–6 months is a magical age for babies. They are not only sitting up, smiling and sleeping for longer stretches but also ready to start solid foods. Parents should first check with their pediatrician to ensure baby’s ready to expand his diet. According to Rita P. Smith, a Registered Dietician at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, babies younger than 4 months old aren’t physically ready for more than breast milk and formula. ​“Before 4 months,” Smith notes, “it’s difficult for infants to coordinate their tongues to push food down. They’re physically not as capable, and their digestive track hasn’t grown up enough to handle more complicated food. The nutrients ... will just pass through to the diaper.” ​It’s also essential that babies are old enough to sit up without much support to prevent choking. O ​ nce baby’s reached the right age, parents should start with a single-grain cereal—preferably rice because it’s hypoallergenic. (Also, metering by Whitney Woollerton Morrill baby’s exposure to one new food at a time makes tracking potential allergens easier). Smith advises, “Be sure to use rice cereal specifically formulated for infants because it’s iron-fortified, and babies are at risk for iron-deficiency.” ​M ix breast milk or formula into infant cereal at a ratio of 4:1 to start, so that it’s thin and soupy for baby to swallow, and familiar in taste. With time, cereal can evolve to a thicker consistency. ​Smith stresses that cow’s milk or goat’s milk shouldn’t be used as thinners until after their first birthday. ​Parents can then introduce individual fruits and vegetables. Jarred baby foods are a convenient and healthy option for busy parents. But, baby can also enjoy some homemade foods. ​Fruits. Mash soft, ripe bananas or avocados with a fork into a smooth consistency. Peaches or mangoes can be purchased frozen and then pureed with water. Apples are another good choice, when peeled, diced, cooked with water on the stove, and For more advice on making then pulsed in a blender for an even texture. baby food and establishing ​Vegetables. Steam, boil, microwave or oven-roast any of healthy eating habits, visit: these: green beans, peas, carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, and and sweet potatoes. When fork-tender, puree with a little water for a smooth texture. Smith’s blog, ​P rotein. Cube thoroughly cooked-chicken and puree in healthybites. blender/processor with some water. Vegetarian options can include pureed or mashed chickpeas, cannelloni beans or tofu. ​A lways check that food is cooled to prevent scalding. Microwaves, in particular, are known to produce hot spots. ​It’s best to keep food simple. Smith explains, “Their taste buds are very sensitive and become easily overwhelmed.” For this reason, parents should not only forego sweeteners like honey but also salt, pepper and other seasonings. Later, when baby’s older, a few mild herbs can be added in. ​Homemade baby food can be prepared for each meal, or made in batches and frozen for later use. Frozen homemade baby food is generally good for two to three months, and fresh food is safe in the refrigerator for one to two days. M ​ eals are one of the best family times, so be sure to model healthy habits right from the start by always eating with baby at the table so food is associated with a place.


Whitney is an architect who designs and writes for families. Her blog is


Fall 2020

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{living well dear bob}

Expert Advice

Dear Bob

Your Parenting Questions Answered

My spouse and I are constantly receiving feedback and unwanted advice on our parenting from both sets of parents. We want to do things differently with our kids than how our parents did. How can we bring this up to them without hurting them? ​I can’t tell you how often I hear this complaint from parents. I get the impression at times that tight-lipped grandparents are the exception. Of course, their intentions are good. They love their grandkids, worry too easily perhaps, and want to pass on their years of knowledge and experience. But you’re right, you want to develop your own style and values as parents. While you can have a face-to-face conversation about this, I’m partial to sending an email. This does not avoid talking in person, but it sidesteps your parents from feeling put on the spot and getting defensive. It also gives you space to say all that you want to say. Load it upfront with positives, such as that you appreciate their interest and involvement with your kids and you understand their suggestions come from wanting to share their experience and concerns. Then, say that you as parents need to find your own style of parenting, that this is not in any way a by Bob Taibbi criticism of your own childhoods, but rather a blending of each of your backgrounds and values. Finally, offer them another role instead of a parenting coach, one that focuses on spending quality times with your kids. End it saying that your intention is not to hurt their feelings, but that this is what you both need most. The goal is to be clear yet gentle. Send it, but follow up with a visit or phone call within a couple days. Listen and mop up around any misunderstandings. My son has anger-management problems, and he’s getting so much bigger. How can I prepare myself for his teen years and troubleshoot major scenes/problems? ​Good for you for being on top of this. To rephrase your question, however, the issue is less about you preparing yourself and more about helping your son manage himself. This is about learning to self-regulate. Those who struggled with self-regulation tend to have employment and relationship problems later in life. So your concern is warranted. ​How to help? The starting point is to serve as role models. Kids imitate what they see around them. If you or your partner is Email your parenting concerns blowing up, it’s easy for your son to learn this is acceptable. The and queries to editor@ other starting point is having a conversation with your son about his anger, when neither one of you is upset. Let him know you don’t Yours might be included in like the arguing, and that you are worried about his temper. an upcoming issue! ​People who are angry and upset often seem to pick a fight to relieve how they are feeling inside. They also tend to blame others for making them angry. Once someone gets angry, the rational part of your brain literally shuts down, you get tunnel vision and the problem you were talking about is no longer on the table. The problem now in the room is the emotion itself. You want to help your son put out the fire. T ​ he best way to do this is to try and help him catch this as early as possible. Once your son reaches a certain level, it’s hard for him to rein it in. If he is getting irritable, for example, point out to him in a calm tone that he seems to be getting upset and ask him if he can tell. Suggest he take a few deep breaths to help calm down, or separate and circle back. T ​ he goal is to not engage in the argument but to help him calm down and then solve the problem so it doesn’t keep coming up. Finally, if none of this seems to work, consider counseling.


Author of 11 books and more than 300 articles—including the regular “Ask Bob” column in this magazine—Bob has 44 years of experience in couple and family work and is in private practice in Charlottesville (


Fall 2020

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{living well healthy family}

COVID School Stress Solutions

Healthy Family

Helping Children Manage Their Mental Health Adults aren’t the only ones who need to protect their mental health. Accelerated development causes stress for many young children. “This means pressure to grow up too fast, [including] less recreational time and play-based activities in school,” says Dr. Emily Boshkoff, a clinical psychologist and behavior analyst who works with children and teens at Poehailos, Dupont and Associates. ​Recent Causes of Stress. Being absent from school for an extended period of time can cause stress and anxiety for kids when it’s time to return. They may be worried about their relationships with peers and teachers, have trouble adjusting to a changing routine, or struggle to catch up with academics they have missed. More recently, all children have experienced a lack of connection to school during by Katharine Paljug COVID. Some ways to help your child manage their stress includes: Answer questions in an age-appropriate way; don’t overshare your own concerns; work together to balance learning and playing; support kids with their academic work; facilitate virtual socializing with friends; give children time to explore their own interests; make time for outdoor play and exercise; and encourage lots of reading. In such an unprecedented situation, the best thing parents can do is continue to be open and honest with their children, while still giving them space to act like kids. “The one positive thing I keep telling people is that we are all in this together. Whatever your child is experiencing is likely similar to many other children.” ​Signs and Symptoms. Children of any age often show stress physically with stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, irritability and changes in sleep or eating habits. Stressed or anxious teens often pull away from family or friends. “This is a hard one because for teenagers it is developmentally typical… to put distance between themselves and their parents,” says Boshkoff. ​Talking to Your Child. Parents can help children identify and manage stress. These talks should be open, honest and developmentally appropriate. With younger kids, Dr. Boshkoff says, “You can often follow their lead when answering their To find a local business who questions, talking about issues as they naturally come can help support your child’s up at school.” Be reassuring, and use language they can mental health, see our Family understand. For older children, parents may need to prompt Health Services page on these conversations. Use what’s going on in your child’s life, such as a friend who is bullied or a big test that doesn’t go well, to initiate a discussion. ​During these talks, focus on listening. When teenagers tell us about stressors, we feel pressure to use it as a teaching opportunity. But, that can shut down communication with your child. Instead, be attentive and validate their feelings. “Be a listener, not a lecturer,” she adds. ​When to Seek Help. Signs that a child may be experiencing significant stress, anxiety or depression include: Changes in sleep or appetite; weight loss or weight gain; losing interest in activities or friends; extreme irritability; crying spells; worry; intrusive thoughts; talking about suicide or self-harm; and statements like “I feel like it would be easier if I weren’t here.” If ​​ you notice any of these warning signs, talk with your child’s doctor. A pediatrician can suggest next steps or recommend a therapist who works with children.


Katharine is a freelance writer, Bloom’s Family Health Editor and mother to one busy toddler. You can see more of her work at


Fall 2020

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{living well tips & trends} Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon

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TRENDS by Mandy Reynolds

All Things Plant-Based 1. Meatless Mondays. Try making one dinner a week meatless. For ideas, take a look at for recipes that satisfy the kid’s need for hearty comfort food by former pro triathlete and firefighter, Rip Esselstyn. Esselstyn authored the bestseller Engine2 books about plant-based eating and how he converted his fellow firefighters into more plant-based eating.

2. Get a quick overview. Watch “Forks Over Knives” and “The Game Changers” on the plant-based movement. These documentaries outline the scientific benefits to a more plantbased diet even for those interested in just cutting back on meat. Note, we recommend parents preview these films before sharing with their children due to language and graphics.


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Fall 2020


The FAQs of A Plant-Based Lifestyle What health benefits come from eating more greens? While it may sound intimidatingly vegan, many people interpret the term “plant-based lifestyle” as being a plan which merely focuses on plant foods, but they also consume meat or dairy products. Research suggests that upping your intake of plant-based foods is linked to many health benefits, including weight management, diabetes prevention, lowering the risk of heart disease and more. Not only does increasing your daily veg amplify your overall health, but also studies have shown that switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change.

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{living well home & garden} photo by Purple Cherry Architects

"We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun." – Winnie the Pooh

Adding An Outdoor Fire Pit


​Looking for a reason to get outside more during the cooler months? An outdoor fire pit will not only allow you to get far more use out of your outdoor area but also provide a visual focal point to your space. No matter whether you have acres of space to play with and want to create a built-in fire pit or have a small patio that you’d like to get more use out of in the cooler months, adding a fire pit to your space can be a fun and go-to place for the family, where you can roast marshmallows and share fond memories under the star-lit sky. ​While they’ve become a popular addition to outdoor living spaces, backyard fire pits should be handled with care and acknowledged for their dangers. Fires and burns are the obvious injuries, so practicing fire safety is of utmost importance, and

other structures, what kind of protective and supportive base might need added. If space on your patio isn’t as expansive as you would like, consider selecting a fire pit/table combo that can be covered up when not in use but can still used for games or dining outdoors. If you want to designate a space in the yard for a pit, take into account how many chairs can fit comfortably around it while still being at a safe distance. And, if your outdoor space has built-in seating or a designated lounge space, fire pits can create the perfect centerpiece. Another way to help your space feel more constant, consider adding a multi-purpose bench that has room underneath for storage. You’ll also want to have an emergency extinguisher

even more so when young children are around. Children should always be supervised around an open flame, and should never stoke or tend to the fire. If your unit comes with a protective spark screen, ensure you use it. ​Also, when picking where you want to add a fire pit, consider whether the area is suitable—is the ground flat, is it away from

nearby, perhaps a place to store a cover to protect it from the weather and even somewhere you can stash pillows and blankets. What better way to spend more time together than beneath the beautiful Virginia sky surrounded by friends and family.

Fall 2020

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{living well home & garden}

Lawn Games Local Entrepreneur Family Shares Their Own Game

September is Charlottesville’s last gasp of summer, and what better way to hold on tight than getting outdoors and playing games with your children and friends.

by David Lerman

The kids have returned to school, so getting outdoors is that much more needed this time of the year. Here are a few things you can do outdoors … after the homework is done, of course. Denny Weston, a local game designer, entrepreneur and educator, and his wife spent the last few years creating Kingdom’s Lawn Game. Combining elements of fantasy with a new variant of

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Fall 2020

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bowling, players attempt to conquer one another by knocking down each other’s blocks (known as castles) by throwing the balls (known as armies) behind a designated line (known as the battle

line). The last player with the castles standing is declared the victor. This game will develop hand-eye coordination in conjunction with imaginative team play and strategy. More information can be

found at Other terrific and simple lawn games for all ages include beanbag toss or cornhole, ladder ball and Frisbee dunk. If you’ve got the room, set up a court and play games like Newcomb ball (goes great in a town with Newcomb Hall), volleyball or badminton. To burn off a little more energy and to engage a larger audience, don’t forget good old-fashioned fun like Red Rover, land-based Marco Polo, egg tosses or clue! If finding flat lawn space to play is a challenge, games like bocce ball adapt particularly well to three-dimensional challenges. If late summer swelter hits, build a steeplechase course with sprinklers and other obstacles, get out a timer and whistle, and you’ll have the kids out shrieking and running laps for as long as you want. David lives, loves and gardens with his wife and son just south of Charlottesville. For the past couple years, he has also coordinated the Piedmont Virginia Community College community garden.

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{resources back-to-school}


Fall 2020

Tips for Back-to-School Success It’s an exciting new school year, and we’re all going to be learning new things and in new ways. Strong partnerships between parents and teachers and parents and their kids have become even more important this year. For those kids attending school in-person, there are changes for which they need to be prepared. So, as the school year begins, here are some tips for getting off on the right foot and how you can help set up your child for success, no matter whether he or she will be learning virtually or back at school in a very different environment.

ESTABLISH A WORKSPACE Make sure you have a workspace away from distractions, and set aside ample time each night for completing homework assignments that weren’t completed during the day. If your child doesn’t already have a desk, try to find a second-hand one to fix up together. Then, let them deck it out with school supplies and decorate however they want.

STAY ORGANIZED The morning routine should be a bit more manageable with the kids at home since moms and dads won’t be scrambling to get everyone out of the house. That said, make mornings easier on you by still doing things like laying out clothes at night, having easy-to-grab items for breakfast, and consider having a basket or cubby for each child containing everything they need for at-home learning. Keeping materials in one place will help prevent morning stress.

REESTABLISH A ROUTINE No matter whether your children will be learning at home or in school, set regular bedtimes and wake up at a consistent time. Remember those clothes that were laid out the night before? Even if kids are in a virtual classroom, it’s important that they dress as they would for in-person school.


Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night can help boost kids’ energy and concentration. Encourage reading before bed instead of allowing too much TV time that will over-stimulate their minds and can inhibit them from falling asleep. If they are learning at home, they’ve probably spent enough time in front of a screen for the day anyways.

RETEACH ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS Listening to a teacher via Zoom or listening to teachers and friends talk while wearing masks both come with a new set of challenges. Listening intently will be even more important since speakers will be either on a computer or muffled by a mask. Practicing listening by playing games like Simon Says or the Telephone Game can be fun ways to refresh their listening skills and more quickly get them into a successful rhythm.

ENCOURAGE HYGIENE HABITS If your kids are returning to school, teach proper hand-washing practices. You won’t be at school reminding them to wash hands several times a day, and all good habits start at home.

Use time outside of school to get your child accustomed to wearing a mask. Gradually build up to wearing the mask for an extended period of time, just as they will be doing in the classroom. Make it more fun by involving your child in picking out a mask that they are more inclined to want to wear. Make sure it fits comfortably, and consider buying a lanyard that the mask can be clipped to so that your child does not lose it during mask breaks and lunch, and to avoid dropping it to the floor. And, of course, talk about the importance of social distancing. Although easier said than done, it will be even more important to not touch other people’s belongings and to keep their hands to themselves.

TALK ABOUT FEELINGS Are your kids nervous or worried about virtual learning or sad because they will be missing friends? Are they anxious about going to school in-person? Teach them to share how they are feeling and suggest ways they can best cope with their emotions.

Overall, whether your kids will be learning virtually or in school, be sure to discuss the differences they can expect this year. This school year will be different and challenging for many reasons, but we are not alone, and together we can do our best to make school a positive experience while keeping our kids excited about learning.


{resources back-to-school} PARENT PORTAL Stay connected throughout the school year by creating an account on the Parent Portal site, available for all Charlottesville City and Albemarle County Schools. There, you can check grades, attendance and more. See either or www.

PARENTS’ LATE-SUMMER CHECKLIST • Adjust bedtimes. Prior to school starting, get your kids back on the school-year schedule so their bodies have time to adjust. • Reinforce routines, such as chores, so that the idea of timely task completion is already in place when the school work starts. • Stimulate brain power. Puzzles and word and number games after dinner are a great way to stimulate your child’s mind before restarting school work again. • Read together. Those quiet family reading times and shared bedtime books set the stage for success.

REMINDERS For more back-to-school info, visit us online! Check out our Facebook at charlottesvillefamily to share back-to-school tips and stories, learning-at-home resources/activities and questions.



Fall 2020

Mark your calendar with these (tentative) important dates for Charlottesville and Albemarle County Public Schools. • First day of school: September 8 • Winter break: December 21–January 1 • Spring break: April 5–9 • Last day of school (if no make-up days): Albemarle County: June 15 / Charlottesville: June 11

SCHOOL LUNCHES WITH A TWIST Packing or prepping lunches ahead of time can also help streamline the morning routine and limit mid-day interruptions for those learning virtually. Having a packed lunchbox ready and waiting for them to grab will help them learn independence and limit the interruptions for working-at-home parents. Check out these ideas for quick and easy lunches. KEBOBS Pair chunks of cheese with fruits like grapes and pineapple, or go savory with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and cheese. SKIP IT! Skip the bread and use crackers, a pita or tortillas, or cut the sandwich into different shapes to give it a fun new look. HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX Mix up mini-pretzels, cereal, nuts, dried fruits and maybe a handful of chocolate chips. For even more fun, let your child create their own mix for the week using all their favorite healthy munchies.

SIMPLE PROTEINS In a rush? Don’t despair. Grab some pre-cooked shrimp out of the freezer; they will thaw in time for lunch. Boiled eggs and a handful of nuts will also give your student sustenance to power through the afternoon.

PERSONAL PIZZA One upside to virtual learning at home, is maybe you will have time to eat lunch with your kids! Consider joining the kiddos in making personal pizzas for lunch, then sit down and catch up on the day together.

SWEET TREATS Mini-muffins are just the right size for little ones and can be frozen in individual bags until needed. Another favorite is a quick homemade yogurt parfait—basic yogurt with a layer of frozen berries in the middle and a sprinkle of granola or nuts on top. By the time lunchtime rolls around, the fruit will be defrosted and make for a delicious post-lunch treat.

LEFTOVERS Another upside? If kids are home, they can eat dinner leftovers for lunch! No more lasagne or tuna casserole wasting away in the fridge.

Free & Reduced Lunches You can still apply for free and reduced lunches through the Charlottesville City and Albemarle County School systems. Visit and nutrition/ for information on how to apply and what you might qualify for this year. To apply for your entire household, visit the Food & Nutrition Service (U.S. Department of Agriculture) website at

SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE The Salvation Army is collecting school supplies for local students. Items include: Backpacks 3-Ring Binders Marble Notebooks Subject Dividers Lose Leaf Paper No. 2 Pencils They also accept check donations. You can drop off donated school supplies at the Salvation Army office at 207 Ridge Street. Organizers of the drive say it’s a great way to make sure parents have everything their kids need for the school year. 434-295-4058


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Educators and


Stories on How Charlottesville Teachers Are Going Above & Beyond


Fall 2020

by Jody Hobbs Hesler

​​ we could have a regular Halloween this year, If I would want to see lines of kids marching up to my door dressed as teachers, grocery store clerks, doctors and nurses, because these are the superheroes of right now. When the pandemic first struck, we thought we’d be able to shut down regular life for a few weeks, flatten the curve and hop right back into “normal.” Instead, six months out, we’re still wrestling with the best practices for how to meet our community’s most basic needs.

As schools begin to reopen—a lot of them virtually—it’s the perfect time to reflect on the extraordinary efforts teachers have been making, and will continue to make, to meet the needs of our children. ​Back in March, teachers had only a few weeks’ warning that they would have to recreate the remainder of their carefully planned school year into an online format. Faced with new technologies to master, special community needs to meet and a myriad of challenges that come with working from home, teachers dove into creativity, bent over backwards with flexibility and figured out how to be present for their students. The near-instant switch to a virtual classroom challenged educators to master new technology and adapt lessons to the venue at breakneck speed. “It was a quick learning curve with some ups and downs,” says Children’s Specialist Anne Lindberg, who is also the interim branch manager at the Scottsville branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library, as she recalls having to manage Zoom’s ins and outs to be able to continue library programming. For Lindsay Lowdon, a sixth through ​ eighth grade language arts teacher at Charlottesville Catholic School (CCS), “I had to learn how to have meaningful conversations on Google Chat with kids


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Fall 2020

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[and] to learn quickly what would … be positive and worthy learning exercises for these kids, since I couldn’t be in front of them and get a dialog going.” How can you teach kids who can’t ​ access that technology at home though? “We’re glad that our outside area, with tables and chairs, allows [Scottsville-area] families Internet access if they need it,” Lindberg says. ​When Elena Kryzhanovskaya, an ESL teacher at Walker Upper Elementary School, learned other teachers were handing out Chromebooks to their students, “I realized I could do that, too. I started delivering Chromebooks and Wi-fi hotspots.” Just as inspired when she heard other teachers were delivering lunches, “I went to the distribution centers and handed out face masks to our kids and adults,” says Kryzhanovskaya. Another major hurdle for teachers ​ and their students was the loss of human contact. “I really miss seeing the look in the kids’ eyes as they walk through my door,” says Lowdon. “It tells me volumes about how available they are as learners on that particular day.” For Kryzhanovskaya, “the biggest things I was missing were the hugs and smiles.” Tina Panella, a lead teacher for Head Start at Hollymead Elementary agrees, adding, “The classroom becomes so intimate by March.” Even at the libraries, “Our storytimes are based on … the ‘mood in the room,’” says Lindberg.

​Lots of screen time can be fatiguing, too. Charlottesville Day School rising sixth grader Sid says, “At first, it was really annoying because being online for so long can give you big headaches, but I figured you wouldn’t get headaches if you went outside and laid down.” Yet, this kind of flexibility often turned pandemic lemons into lemonade. LEMONS INTO LEMONADE Making the most out of the virtual ​ capabilities, teachers and librarians collaborated and worked towards bringing learning opportunities to students at home. One collaboration among local children’s’ librarians yielded a special aquarium “visit.” “During normal times,” Lindberg says, “this would’ve been a live visit with a few creatures in a tank. The live virtual version enabled hundreds of people to attend, and it was also possible to see some of the animals that the presenter wouldn’t have been able to bring to an in-person program.” Opening up the chat feature on Zoom also allowed participants to ask lots of questions. ​For her Hollymead students, Panella turned her class’s weekly online newspaper into an interactive platform where parents posted videos of students completing assignments, which in turn motivated other students and gave them a chance to see each other. Panella also launched “Science Fridays,” where she would do an easy experiment. “I’d always use food coloring because it made it more fun,” she says. “It created opportunities for families to see … ways we can learn with everyday objects in the home.” Over time, Lowdon found that the ​ virtual dynamic prompted her to deepen the discussion questions she prepared for her classes, yielding some profound student responses to George Orwell’s Animal Farm. “I thought up questions they could relate to modern day events,” she says. When she assigned them to

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{resources education} write allegories of their own, she says, “I learned so much about the issues that were foremost in their minds, issues related to bullying or climate change or fears associated with that—some of these very personal causes these children champion.” For Kryzhanovskaya, “The most ​ creative thing I did was make videos of American History topics, like the American Revolution and the Civil War. My own kids [ages 5, 8 and 10] were the actors,” which kept her kids entertained (and learning) and was a huge hit with her students. Kryzhanovskaya also took part in a special Google Meets event, where she and other ESL teachers talked about their own cultures, building on an annual fall tradition of International Day where students celebrate their cultures of origin. “I was able to share about Pysanky eggs, which I had just decorated for Easter,” she says. Originally from Kiev, Kryzhanovskaya was an ESL student herself at Venable Elementary.

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Fall 2020

PERSONAL TOUCHES ​Teachers spent a lot of energy finding ways to make their virtual classrooms more personal. “Teachers are personal,” Panella says. “Teaching is personal. I zoomed with one kid just to watch him ride his scooter around the room.” Nurturing these individual bonds is central to the work. “I’ve reached out to families to find out what books they might … want, and since [they] can’t come into the library to browse [at the time of the interview],” Lindberg shares, “I’ve picked out books for them, allowing us to introduce more children’s titles to families than they might’ve normally known about.” ​Lowdon says, “I added extra learning sessions during the course of my day. If I put out certain assignments and made myself available … when they worked on it, that added time really made a difference. Sometimes, I’d just offer a kid … a chance to work on something [oneon-one] together if it was a particularly hard assignment.” Sharing books with students was ​ another way Kryzhanovskaya reached out. Well into the summer at the time of this interview, “I’m still going once a week to a student’s front yard to hear her read

Tips For Parents & Caregivers Many thanks to the educators who contributed to this helpful list: Elena Kryzhanovskaya, ESL Teacher at Walker Upper Elementary School; Anne Lindberg, Children’s Specialist and Interim Branch Manager at the Scottsville branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library; Lindsay Lowdon, sixth- through eighth-grade Language Arts Teacher at Charlottesville Catholic School; and Tina Panella, a Lead Teacher for Head Start at Hollymead Elementary School.

• Follow a school-day schedule. Kids like structure, and it helps them succeed. • Build time into the schedule for exercise, going outside and getting away from screens. • Set up a workspace for your child. It can be quite simple, but a specific space can invite them in and help them focus. • Whenever possible, be available when they’re working on their schoolwork and encourage them.

• Ask your children about what they’re learning and reading. • Motivate them with little rewards. • Communicate with teachers yourself, and encourage your child to reach out to teachers when they need help and to keep in touch. • It’s okay for kids to get bored. Encourage them sometimes to figure out how to solve that problem without resorting to screens.

• Partner with your child positively about schoolwork, using a mutually agreed upon approach, so your child feels supported and motivated. And, remember: It’s okay to get frustrated and to lean on each other. So, let’s collaborate, support each other and communicate.

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Fall 2020

to me and to talk about books I bought her. That’s something fun, for me and for her. She knows that I’m coming to check on her. She’s not alone.” Grander moments begot grander ​ displays, too. Remember all those signs that cropped up in yards of graduating students across our community? For CCS students, “Every middle school teacher got in his or her car and created a caravan and literally went to every eighth grader’s house,” says Lowdon. “We put a sign in the yard and a bag of gifts, and stood in their front yard and called out accolades. We drove for 9 hours straight… from inner Charlottesville to North Garden to Waynesboro to Gordonsville to Keswick.” Charlottesville ​ Day School celebrated its end of the year with families caravanning by campus. “Teachers would be spread out around the sidewalks, and they’d make signs and have balloons and cheer for people as they drove past,” says Sid. ​Not every pivotal event stems from a happy one, though. After George Floyd’s death sparked international outrage and infused new energy into ongoing movements for racial justice, Kryzhanovskaya instituted a special summer read-aloud program featuring BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) authors and characters, and she plans to extend antiracist reading programming into the future.

LOOKING FORWARD ​Many area schools will kick off their new years virtually. This time, teachers and students will face the challenge armed with experience, earned wisdom and fresh ideas. Among other new programs, Lindberg hopes “to introduce a format for kids to review books and recommend them to other kids.” Kryzhanovskaya is “looking forward to incorporating some mindfulness strategies with my students, mainly because I am going to need them!” ​Like many teachers, Panella says, “I greatly prefer the classroom, but I saw families banding together. I saw parents really working hard with their kids. We can do this.” So, families, reach out to your teachers. “Teachers will be very open to that,” Panella says, and with that participation, “there’s a lot of room for success and a lot of happy surprises.”

Jody wishes she could’ve squeezed all the passion, heart and creativity that these educators shared into this article. Let’s all celebrate and thank our community’s frontline workers as often as possible!

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A Flick of

the Wrist

5 At-Home Experiments for Your Science and Wizard-Loving Clan

​ eeping kids engaged can be a real K struggle, but these fun wizardry experiments are the perfect way to get your child excited to learn some of the science behind the magic. by Elizabeth Helen


Fall 2020

Transfiguring Oobleck

Inflation Charm

Dry Ice Crystal Ball

Turn your kitchen into a wizarding classroom with this ooey gooey lesson in transfiguration. Oobleck is a great way to teach your little wizard about the states of matter—solid, liquid and gas. Although it may seem like the work of a magic spell, the ability of oobleck to shift between solid and liquid states is actually due to pressure and viscosity (thickness). Certain liquids, called non-Newtonian liquids, will change thickness based on how much pressure is exerted on them. If you quickly hit the substance, the cornstarch particles will be pushed together and make it feel hard like a solid. But, if you slowly slide your hand in, the oobleck will feel just like any other liquid because the particles have time to spread apart.

Practice your charm spells at home and make a balloon inflate all by itself. Behind this impressive charm is the power of chemical reactions. Because vinegar is an acid and baking soda is a base, they create a chemical reaction when combined. This reaction produces carbon dioxide gas, which does not have a specific shape or volume like a solid or liquid. Gases expand to fill whatever container they are in, so once the carbon dioxide has filled the bottle, it begins to fill the balloon and you can see it inflate.

Maybe reading tea leaves isn’t for everyone, but come on, we’ve all wanted to stare into a crystal ball and see the future at one point or another. This “crystal ball” is made up of dry ice or frozen carbon dioxide and water. Because the dry ice is so much colder than water, it causes a reaction and the dry ice turns from solid to gas. This process of skipping the liquid state is known as sublimation and is what causes all the spooky vapor you see. When you create the soapy film over top, the gasses are trapped inside the bubble and produce a magical “crystal ball.” Transport yourself to divination class and test your fortune-telling skills with this mystical experiment.

Materials • Mixing bowl • 1 cup of water • 1–2 cups of cornstarch • Food coloring (optional) Procedure 1. Pour one cup of cornstarch into the mixing bowl. 2. Slowly pour the water in and mix the substance as you go until it gets thick and hardens when you tap it. Add more water if it seems too thick and more cornstarch if it’s still runny. (If using food dye, mix with water before adding to cornstarch.) 3. Now it’s time to get messy! Dip your hands in slowly and then try hitting the surface and see what happens. Test how the oobleck responds to different movements and speeds. What happens if you run your fingers through quickly? What if you pick up some and hold it in your palm? What if you squeeze it or roll it around in your palms? After you’ve finished exploring the magical properties of oobleck, make sure to add extra water to the substance before pouring down the drain for clean up.

Materials • Small water or soda bottle • Funnel • Teaspoon • Baking Soda • Vinegar • Balloon Procedure 1. Pour one third of a cup of vinegar into the bottle using a funnel. 2. Completely wash the funnel before inserting it into the mouth of the balloon. 3. Scoop two tablespoons of baking soda into the funnel and let fall through to the bottom of the balloon. 4. Remove the funnel from the balloon and without letting any of the baking soda fall in yet, attach the mouth of the balloon onto the top of the bottle. 5. Lift the end of the balloon up and drop the baking soda into the bottle. 6. Watch the balloon magically inflate all by itself!

Materials • Large bowl with lip on rim • Strip of cloth • Dish soap • Water • Dry ice (sold at most big grocery stores) • Gloves Procedure Caution! Always wear gloves when handling dry ice (this should be done by an adult) and avoid directly breathing in the vapor. 1. Carefully place the dry ice into the bowl and then add water. It will produce a lot of vapor and look like a brewing cauldron. 2. Mix together water and dish soap to make a soapy mixture and then soak the strip of cloth in it. 3. Run the cloth around the lip of the bowl and then drag it across the top to form a bubble over the dry ice. 4. Sit back and gaze into your crystal ball! You can let the bubble slowly expand until it pops on its own or you can do the honor yourself and repeat the experiment as much as you want.


{resources activities}

Click here to find more fun at-home science experiments at

Disappearing Eggshell

The Flying Bag

Ever wondered what the inside of a dragon egg looks like? Use your potion skills to make the shell disappear and reveal the inner membrane. This experiment utilizes the reactions of acids and bases. When the acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the eggshell, it produces carbon dioxide gas and dissolves the eggshell. While the shell disappears, the membrane is left intact and keeps the egg from falling apart.

Time to test your pronunciation of “levitate-eossa” and make a plastic bag levitate. The secret to this magic trick lies in the power of static electricity. When you rub the towel on the balloon and plastic band, it transfers a negative charge to both objects. Because opposite charges attract and like charges repel, the negative charges of the balloon and band push against each other, causing the band to float.

Materials • Raw egg • White vinegar • Glass jar with lid

Materials • Balloon • Cotton towel • Plastic bag • Scissors

Procedure 1. Place the egg into a jar with a large opening as the egg will expand. 2. Pour in enough vinegar to fully cover the egg and then a little bit more. 3. Observe the little bubbles that immediately start to form on the eggshell. These are tiny bits of carbon dioxide formed from the chemical reaction. 4. Put on the lid and let sit for a few days. 5. Remove the egg from the vinegar and gently wash off any remaining eggshell to reveal the naked egg.

Procedure 1. Use the scissors to cut a strip off of a plastic grocery or trash bag in the shape of a ring or band. 2. Blow up the balloon and secure the opening. 3. Take the towel and rub it over the surface of the balloon for about 30 seconds. 4. Place the plastic band on a flat surface and rub it with the towel for about 30 seconds as well. 5. Hold the band about a foot above the balloon, let go and watch it float!

*Disclaimer: All activities should have adult supervision with proper safety precautions when following directions for recipes and experiments. We recommend always wearing gloves and safety glasses while conducting experiments.


Fall 2020

Beth enjoys all sorts of hands on projects and is an expert at hosting magical birthday parties.


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O T O H P enger v a Sc FUN Capture Your Adventures on Camera Dreaming of an adventurous safari outdoors is a common imaginative exercise for kids, but you don’t have to go far to engage a sense of wild curiosity. A photography safari, or photo scavenger hunt, is a creative, interactive way to usher your kids away from screens and out into nature and learn about the ecosystem. A local park, a nearby zoo or your own backyard can be transformed into an exciting adventure that allows kids to explore nature in a fun and captivating way.

by Christa Melnyk Hines


Fall 2020

Getting kids outside is more important than ever. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that kids are spending upwards of seven hours a day with screen technology, which means less time outside playing. According to a nationwide poll conducted by The Nature Conservancy, only about 10 percent of children spend time outdoors every day. In the poll, kids said they either aren’t interested in being outside, they don’t have access to parks or outdoor recreation, or they’re uncomfortable outdoors. But spending time outdoors has

numerous mental and physical health benefits. Research finds that kids who spend time outside are more creative in their play, more physically active and have enhanced attention spans. And as they get older, children who’ve spent time outdoors show a greater appreciation for the environment. I found that by taking my 9- and 11-year-old sons out on a photography safari at one of our local parks, we were able to slow down and intentionally observe nature’s quiet rhythm, including wildlife, insects, seasonal plants and colors. Here’s how to plan a photography safari with your family: 1) Select a location. Parks with nature trails, botanical gardens, nature centers and zoos provide plenty of material

for a safari. You can even use your own backyard if you want to stick close to home. Photo safaris can take place nearly anywhere, but make sure you plan accordingly to the locale you select. • Forest Hills Park • Greenbrier Park • Greenleaf Park • Ivy Creek Foundation • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens • Luray Zoo • Maymont Gardens • McIntire Botanical Garden/Park • Meadow Creek Gardens • Open Gate Farm • Pen Park Nature Trail • Quarry Park (stop on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail) • Richmond Zoo • Riverview Park & Rivanna Trail (stop

on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail) • Shenandoah National Park • Wildrock • Wintergreen Nature Foundation 2) Consider the time commitment. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour. Or, if you’re on vacation, turn the safari into a multi-day event where snapshots are collected over the duration of your trip. Be aware of the duration of your safari so that littler ones don’t get tuckered out too quickly or lose interest. Tackling in small segments is best. 3) Gather your supplies. If you don’t have a digital camera and you’re uncomfortable with your child borrowing your phone or iPad, check out inexpensive, kid-friendly digital camera options available online and at large discount


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stores. A disposable camera can also do the trick. Be sure to pack sunscreen, bug spray, water, snacks, masks and hand sanitizer. 4) Construct your list. Do some advance research of your destination to

how you will structure your hunt. For example: can one person help another; is there a time limit to complete the list; can they only shoot natural objects or are man-made subjects game, too; and how competitive do you want the hunt to be.

wintering birds, animal prints in snow, wild grasses, and stick-like tendrils of ivy that will resume its climb when spring arrives. You can even compare photos from different photography safaris to review how the changing seasons impact

decide what to include on your list. Maybe you plan to hike in a forest or camp at a national park this summer. Make a list of animals, plants, birds or landscapes to be on the lookout for. Decide how many and what types of items to put on your list according to the age of your child. You can make the list as broad or as specific as you like, but remember to plan according to your locale. 5) Types of lists. If you’re going to the zoo, you might craft a list of adjectives that describe different animals. For example, look for animals that are striped, have tusks, swim, waddle, fly, etc. I opted to keep my list for the park general and stuck to having my kids search for particular colors, shapes and textures. To challenge kids who are already handy with a camera, you might have them hunt for interesting angles, lighting and reflections. To satisfy the budding scientists, you can try keeping track of each species of plants, insects and animals you encounter on your safari to compile a list of all your unique finds. 6) Establish ground rules. For our safari, we decided that we couldn’t choose the same subjects to photograph. Consider

The rules you make can encourage your kids to use critical thinking and problem solving skills throughout the safari, so get creative! 7) Decide if you want friendly competition. I opted not to make our safari a competition with prizes at the end, but you could. Dollar stores offer a variety of inexpensive prize options. You might award prizes to teams who captured the funniest, most striking or creative images. 8) Review and discuss. Go through your photos together and share what you like about each other’s photos. Ask your kids about their favorite shots and why they like them. This is a fun way to encourage a love of the outdoors and include the whole family in a recap of the safari. For the photography enthusiasts, you can also use this discussion for future photo scavenger hunts by reminding your kids how using certain angles, lighting and framing techniques affect a shot. 9) Make it seasonal. Help your kids see the beauty of the changing seasons through the eye of their cameras. They may be surprised about how much nature has to offer, even in the winter. Look for

the area’s wildlife. My sons and I began to see all kinds of various shapes and interesting colors that we’d never before noticed when we’d visited the park in the past. We watched a goose swimming gracefully across the lake, a fisherman casting his line and a kayaker paddling smoothly across the water. We peered over a bridge and marveled at the geometric design engineers used to build the lake’s dam. And best of all, while we walked side-byside, cameras in hand, we simply enjoyed each other’s company.

Fall 2020

Christa is a nationally published freelance journalist who loves to find creative ways to hang out with her sons. Christa’s latest book is Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.

Planning Your Outing Pack wisely. Pack your bag the night before, so you’re not rushing around the morning of trying to remember what all to bring. An old backpack with granola bars, water, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit, masks, hand sanitizer, crayons and a notebook has rescued many a strained moments with tired cranky travelers. Try packing individualized portions of snacks so each child can have his or her own bag. Also consider packing a bag with toys that will encourage your kids to burn off

Want More Adventures?

excess energy such as a jump rope, a few pieces of sidewalk chalk or a couple of inflatable beach balls that are perfect to use during a quick pit stop at a rest area.

Car rides can be fun, too! Even if you have more than an hour’s drive, the trip doesn’t always have to be boring or unbearable. Games that keep your kids entertained, such as word search puzzles, Sudoku and even just a handful of crayons and a coloring book, can change the whole dynamic of the car ride. If you have a portable DVD player

or one in your car, try renting DVDs at the library—they’re cheaper and will most likely have some titles you don’t have! You can also bring audio books or load an iPad with free audio stories for children (try Storynory). If your kids are old enough, give them each a job for the day. For example, one child could be the “Navigator” and be in charge of the directions while another could be the “Banker” and monitor the budget. This not only will give the kids a sense of responsibility but also will teach them valuable life skills.

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Click activitie downlo and

Color Bumble and his friends in the land of sweets!

This belongs to: _____________


Fall 2020


on these es pages to oad, print d color!

Can you find Bumble? This belongs to: _____________



{resources parenting}

positive parenting

The Secret to High Self Esteem by Bob Taibbi

“​ If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” As parents, this is our task, to help our children imagine and dream about all they are and all they can be, to help them believe in themselves, to trust in others, to discover their own unique purpose on this journey we call life.

Finding the Activity That’s Right for You


Fall 2020

​Annie was struggling. She had a hard time at school staying organized, seemed always to be forgetting her homework, would lose papers and was falling behind. Unlike her older brother, she wasn’t athletic; unlike her younger sister she wasn’t as popular at school; and unlike her best friend Sarah, she didn’t think she was very smart. Some days were better than others. But on a lot of days, she really didn’t like being her. It’s painful for parents to see their ​ child this way—so discouraged, so critical of themselves, always feeling as though everyone else was bigger, better and stronger. This perhaps is our biggest challenge as parents, namely, helping our children feel good about themselves and life, and seeing it as a wonderful adventure rather than some burden that they have to shoulder. ​There’s been a good deal of research in the recent years on what makes confident, positive people. It starts, not surprisingly, with love and support from parents. Our children truly do see themselves as they are reflected in our eyes, but it doesn’t stop there. Good self esteem also requires that our children develop a realistic sense of their strengths and weaknesses, where strengths are not inflated but built upon, where weaknesses are not sources of continual self criticism but challenges to accept and work to overcome. It also appears that self confidence and self esteem blossom in an environment of deliberate risk-taking. Approaching what seems a bit scary, doing it anyway, and discovering that the consequences, and your performance, are never as bad as you first thought. And, oftentimes better than you imagined. Experiences like these don’t take away all the fear and anxiety that comes with the new, but it makes them more familiar. Rather than running from anxiety, the confident child comes to learn that it is part and parcel of overcoming a challenge or trying something new. ​This all sounds good, but how do you help your child develop these skills and perspectives? Here are some guidelines to help you help your kids:


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Area Preschool


Charlottesville City Schools 434-245-2400 See ad page 65

The Covenant School Pre-K–Grade 12, 434-220-7330 See ad page 49

Frost Montessori School Ages 21 months–6 years 434-979-5223 See ad page 68

Grymes Memorial School

Ages 21 months–6 years 434-295-0029 See ad page 64

North Branch School Preschool–Grade 8 540-456-8450 See ad page 48

Park Street Christian Preschool Ages 2 ½–6, 434-296-8922 See ad page 68

Pre-K–Grade 8, 540-672-1010 See ad page 57

Playful Learners Preschool

Hillsboro Christian Preschool

Infant–Age 10 434-956-4312 See ad page 65

Ages 2½–5 434-823-5342 See ad page 64

The International School of Charlottesville Ages 2–5, 434-984-2174 See ad page 46

JABA Shining Star Preschool Ages 2–5 434-817-5266 See ad page 67


Montessori School of Charlottesville

Fall 2020

St. Anne’s-Belfield School Ages 2–Grade 12, 434-296-5106 See ad page 45

YMCA Early Learning Center Ages 6 weeks–5 years, 434-202-0118 See ad page 63

*This guide is advertiser only. Be sure to check school websites for updates on admissions and school schedules.

​Load up the positive. Researchers on marriage have found that couples need to give each other three positive comments to every negative one in order for the relationship to feel supportive and for the negative ones, when they come along, to be better heard. Your relationship with your children is no different. To give your positives more punch, make them both individual and specific like: “Tommy, you did a wonderful job getting all your toys off the floor” rather than a general “Good job.” Life really is in the details, and specific comments will mean more to your children and be better absorbed. ​Say it like it is. Being positive doesn’t mean you shy away from stating the truth. Part of your job as a parent is to set the bar for expectations (is the floor really clean or only half done?), which helps your child see his strengths and weaknesses for himself. Just as you want your positive comments to be specific, you want your negative ones to be the same. Character cuts or personality punches (e.g., you’re clumsy or are never helpful) are not only mean and destructive to a child’s sense of self but also provide no guidance in ways your child can do better. ​Annie’s mom, for example, may say to Annie, “You seem to have a hard time remembering your homework. We need to figure out some things we can do to help you remember.” Or, “I think you are really smart at school, but I know you have a hard time with staying organized and remembering your homework. Let’s see if there are some things you can do about these so you don’t feel so discouraged.” Talking in a calm, concerned voice about how you see your child struggling, while focusing on the problem and possible solution rather than on criticism and character, helps your child feel supported and energized for change rather than feeling defensive, cornered and resistant. ​​Encourage your child to ask for help. This is important for a couple of reasons. By seeking help from even one person, a problem “goes public.” The goal is to avoid suppressing something, because it can potentially become a source of shame or acting out, and instead, help the problem become what it is, namely, something to be acknowledged and

worked on. Even more importantly, perhaps, by experiencing the process of going to others for help, your child learns humility, empathy for others and, above all, trust. The world is less frightening and your burdens less heavy when you know they can be shared with others. ​E ​ ncourage risk-taking. While asking for help builds trust in others, risktaking, as mentioned above, builds trust in oneself. But, don’t confuse risk-taking with being reckless. You don’t need to jump out of planes or drive 100 miles an hour to build confidence. All your child needs to do is move against his own grain, feel the anxiety and, with your support, keep going. If your child is shy or slow-to-warm, for example, the risks and steps will be smaller, slower and require more of your support than if your child is outgoing and rambunctious. ​Your skill as a parent comes in laying out challenges that inspire rather than overwhelm. You want to encourage, not force, your child to take that one more step when he or she begins to hesitate. For your preschooler, it may be 150 YMCA Cville Family ad 7x4.625 #1_Layout 1 7/8/20 9:37 AM Page 1

Childcare for working families Jefferson School Early Learning Center Ages 0–5 ● Licensed child care ● 8 am – 5:30 pm ● Scholarships available

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Register NOW . 434-974-9622


{resources parenting} ZOOM THE TUNES! O N L I N E VIOLIN LESSONS

During these difficult times, taking private violin lessons the usual way is NOT an option, but your child CAN take lessons online! • • • • • • •

Certified violin/viola teacher in Charlottesville for 30 years Taught at UVA Performed in the C’ville University orchestra Managed a string program in Albemarle County Significant orchestral experience in US and Europe Considerable experience with lessons online Enjoys working with children and adults

Contact Richard Baritaud at

Hillsboro Christian Preschool (ages 2 1/2 - 5 years)

Pre-K Spanish Enrichment Friendly, Loving, and Experienced Staff Nurturing, Christian Environment

434-823-5342 •

Celebrating our 44th Anniversary this year! Now taking applications for the 2020 school year! Serving children ages 21 months - 6 years

Cutler Lane & Gordon Avenue | 434-295-0029 |


The Kohl’s Hoo’s Fit Program is a UVA® Children’s Fitness Clinic initiative whose mission is to promote healthy eating and active living among area children. It includes innovative nutrition education and fitness programs provided in schools and community centers.

Kohl’s Hoo’s Fit • UVA® Children’s Fitness Clinic® 434.982.1607 • 64

Fall 2020

encouraging him to go talk to the other boy by himself at the playground or to slide down the big slide. For your middle schooler, it may be trying out for the school play or the soccer team. For your teen, it might be asking the girl in homeroom to go to the basketball game on Friday night, or to go ahead and actually run for class president rather than just talking about it. If your child begins to balk and shut down, just offer more support. Help solve the smaller problems that are creating the anxiety, or let it go and look for other opportunities later. What you don’t want is a power struggle, criticism or pressure. Instead, your goal is to introduce possibility and support. By simply trying, your child is successful and her psychological muscles are strengthened. ​​Be a good role model. You’ve heard this before, “It’s not what you say but what you do,” and when it comes to self esteem, it boils down to how well you treat yourself. Are you forgiving, optimistic, kind to yourself? Are you realistic and accepting of your own talents and weaknesses? Are you able to voice your fears when facing challenges, yet still able to march ahead? Are you curious, do you see life as an adventure?

AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES GUIDE ALL AROUND SPORTS & FITNESS Piedmont Family YMCA 434-974-9622 See ad page 63 ACAC, 434-978-3800 (Alb. Square) Alb. Co. Community Education, 434-975-9451 Albemarle County Parks & Rec, 434-296-5844 Charlottesville Parks & Rec, 434-970-3260 Ch’ville Therapeutic Rec, 434-970-3264 Special Olympics, 800-932-4653 UVA Intramural – Recreation Sports, 434-924-3791

ARTS & CREATIVITY Virginia Discovery Museum 434-977-1025 See ad page 67

Access Arts Charlottesville/Albemarle, 434-970-3264 Amazement Square, 434-845-1888 Crozet Arts, 434-964-6770 Glass Palette, The, 434-977-9009 Hive, The, 434-253-0906 Lazy Daisy Ceramics & The Pottery Paintin’ Place, 434-295-7801 Light House Film Making Studio, 434-293-6992 McGuffey Art Center, 434-295-7973 Watercolor with Lee Alter, 434-760-9658 Woodworking with Children,

Jefferson Area Girls Softball, 434-242-8923 Charlottesville Babe Ruth Baseball, 434-878-0712 McIntire Little League, 434-817-5100 Monticello Little League, 434-296-1251 Northside Cal Ripken League, 434-980-1256 Peachtree Baseball League, 434-823-7183


See ad page 63


Charlottesville Parks & Rec, 434-970-3271 Scottsville Youth Basketball, 434-286-3612 Virginia Basketball Academy, 434-242-7729

American Legion Baseball, 434-977-1050 Albemarle Redbirds Softball, 540-649-1234 Cove Creek Baseball & Girls’ Softball, 434-970-2255

BASKETBALL Piedmont Family YMCA 434-974-9622

A safe, nurturing, age-appropriate learning environment for children that fosters inquiry, exploration and reflection.

Now Enrolling Infant | Toddler | Preschool | School Age


The 2020–21 school year will start off online, but whether we are virtual or face-to-face, we will meet the academic and emotional needs of our students. Call Today: 434-956-4312 Learn more at

325 Rivanna Plaza Drive, Charlottesville, VA

434-245-2400 •

Every Learner. Every Day. Everyone.


{resources parenting}

Looking For kiDS CLASSES & ACTiViTiES? Visit


National Grandparent’s Day! September 13


Fall 2020

Can you ask for help when you need it? Work on being the kind of person you want your child to become and your child is three quarters there. Support your child’s interests. No, ​​ you don’t want to spend money on the $800 drum set that your kid decides he absolutely has to have after driving back from the rock concert. You also don’t want your child bouncing from one thing to another without settling or giving his latest fascination a decent try. At the same time, you also don’t want to kill off your child’s fledgling ideas with your own first-response pessimism and rationality. When it comes to self esteem building, its better to err on the side of going for it, provided its reasonable rather than fantastical, as well as communicate a clear understanding about what’s expected on your child’s end. By exploring his interests, your child discovers what he likes, what he doesn’t, what’s he’s good at and what he’s not— all valuable information that helps him understand what makes him tick and how he’s unique. ​​While following these guidelines can help you keep your child on the path of good self esteem, already discouraged children like Annie usually need a dose of something more to get them on track. It’s important to resist your own inclination to be overly protective of your discouraged child and instead find ways to increase self initiative and risktaking. You may need to work harder to

help your child hear about and discover their own uniqueness, as well as to help correct the negative ways he may see himself, his abilities and his challenges. ​A conversation about your concerns is often a good place to start. Tell your child that you are worried about the way he always puts himself down, seems afraid to try new things, or seems to be easily discouraged or frustrated. Tell him you want to help him feel better about himself. The goal is to get the problem on the table, to let your child know that you are concerned, sympathetic and aware, and that the problem is solvable. By leaving room for your child to talk about how he feels, the problem is already starting to be solved. By brainstorming small possible changes, a small but important forward step is being taken. ​Next, you can follow up by consistently and specifically by pointing out to your child his uniqueness (“Boy, you’re the one in our family who really likes spicy food” or “I don’t know how you’re able to remember all those words to the songs”). When your child starts to ‘disasterize’ a situation, feels overwhelmed and becomes self critical, be ready to help put things into perspective, break the problem down into smaller pieces and find ways to encourage action rather than complaining. When Annie slips into her put-down—I’m-not-as-goodas-my-sibs mentality—it’s her parents’ challenge (not scolding) to this type of thinking that is important. Without

CLUBS 4-H, 434-872-4580 Air Raid Juggling Club, 434-974-9699 Blue Ridge Young Birders, 434-242-5859 Boys & Girls Club, 434-977-3514 Boy Scouts of America, 540-943-6675 Cavman’s Crew, 434-982-5600 Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council, 540-777-5100 Junior Achievement, 804-217-8855 Poetry Club, 434-977-1025 Science Club, 434-977-1025 Table Tennis Club, 434-973-2931 Tech-Girls, Wednesday Music Club, 434-973-2931 Young Life, 434-806-1253

DANCE & MOVEMENT Albemarle Ballet Theatre, 434-823-8888 Ashtanga Yoga of Charlottesville, 434-531-5441 Balletschool, 434-975-3533 Barre Tots (at Barre[d] Fitness Studio), 716-474-5633 Bend Yoga, 434-296-2363 Blue Ridge Irish Music School, 434-409-9631

Charlottesville Ballet Academy, 434-973-2555 Charlottesville Royalette Baton Corp., 434-242-8311 Flydog Yoga, 434-964-1964 FootNotes Studio, 434-242-0605 Jazzercise, 434-974-6221 Scott Boyer Teaches Dance, 804-798-9364 The Civility School, 434-242-0153 Wilson School of Dance, 434-973-5678

ETIQUETTE Jefferson Cotillion, 434-242-0153 The Civility School, 434-242-0153 The Etiquette School of the Commonwealth, 434-996-4903 Southern School of Etiquette, 434-531-8677

FOOTBALL Piedmont Family YMCA Flag Football 434-974-9622 See ad page 63 Pop Warner Football, Thomas Jefferson Youth Football,

GOLF Anytime Golf, Birdwood Golf Course, 434-293-4653 Glenmore Golf Course, 434-817-0506 x10 Greene Hills Club, 434-985-7328 Highlands Golf Park & Pirate Pete’s Miniature Golf, 434-985-2765 Kandi Comer Golf, 434-531-8650 Lake Monticello Golf Course, 434-589-3075 Meadow Creek Golf Course at Pen Park, 434-977-0615 Old Trail Golf Club, 434-823-8101 Putt-Putt Golf, 434-973-5509 The First Tee of Virginia Blue Ridge, 434-987-0165

GYMNASTICS & CHEERLEADING AIM Cheer/Pom Program, 804-372-3331 Classics Gymnastics, 434-978-4720 Cross Roads Gymnastics, 434-589-7655 Friendship Gymnastics, 434-589-5867 Pop Warner Cheerleading,

Shining Star PRESCHOOL

A creative learning environment with an intergenerational emphasis for children ages 2-5.

Now enrolling 434-817-5266 OPERATED BY

674 Hillsdale Drive, Charlottesville (near Fashion Square Mall)


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Come join our small, fun-loving Christian environment that’s full of learning opportunities! All safety and health guidelines set forth by the CDC and VDH are being strictly adhered to. We would love the opportunity to tell you more about our program.

Give us a call today!




Camp Friendship 800-873-3223 See ad page 23

Big Brothers Big Sisters, 434-244-0882 Big Siblings (Madison House), 434-977-7051 Computers 4 Kids, 434-817-1121 Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at UVA, 434-982-2361 Young Women Leaders Program, 434-924-9732

Barracks, The, 434-293-6568 Brookhill Farm Horseback Riding, 434-906-5049 Carriage Hill Farm, 434-296-2672 Charlottesville Area Riding Therapy, 434-823-1178 Graves Mountain Lodge, 540-923-4231 Grayson Farm, 434-286-4130 Hidden Creek Farm, 434-985-4309 Hoof & Woof 4-H Club, 434-872-4580 Horse as Healers, 434-882-3610 Infinity Acres Ranch, 276-358-2378 Mechums View Farm, 434-882-1323 Millington Stables, 434-823-5109 Montanova Stables, 434-295-2905 North Garden Equestrian Center, 434-882-1841 Rodes Farm Stables, 434-325-8260 Shadowfax, 434-200-4641 The Pony Academy, 434-823-6929

LANGUAGE Han Studio Chinese Classes, 434-327-9573 La Alliance Francaise, 434-260-0640 Speak Language Center, 434-245-8255

LEARNING Mindworks, 434-989-1481 The Hunt Course, 866-425-7656



7 Tigers Taekwondo & Hapkido, 434-296-9933 AIM Self-Defense, 434-979-0282 Aldridge Karate Institute, 434-985-2049 Charlottesville T’ai Chi Center, 877-880-2479 Ch’ville Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 434-825-6202 Ch’ville Judo Academy, 434-825-6202 Gracie Charlottesville, 434-688-4482 International Black Belt Center, 434-973-8885 L M Karate Academy, 434-589-5282 Laughing Dragon Kung Fu, 434-973-0318 MMA Institute, 434-975-6624 Mountain Kim Martial Arts, 434-245-0202 Sabor Force Academy, Shotokan Karate Club, 434-409-2126 Ssal Shin Jo Judo, 434-531-2951 Superior Martial Arts, 434-973-3000 UpLevel Martial Arts, 434-973-0855 Fall 2020

MUSIC Blue Ridge Music Together 434-293-6361 See ad page 27 Richard Baritaud Violin Lessons 434-977-4332 See ad page 64 B# Music, 434-806-3515 Bailey Lessons, 434-242-9743 Blue Ridge Irish Music School, 434-409-9631 Brooke Dezio Piano Studio, 434-981-2271 Charlottesville Municipal Band Youth Ensemble, cmb.youth.ensemble@ Charlottesville Performing Arts School, 434-293-2727 Children’s Choir of Central Virginia, 434-260-1180 Fingerdance Studio, 434-466-1024 FootNotes Studio, 434-242-0605 Lisa Luria Piano Studio, 434-987-5637 Music Education Center, 434-973-1032 Music Resource Center, 434-979-5478 Music Teachers Association, Richardson Guitar Studio, 434-293-4017 Scottsville Center for Arts and Nature, 434-286-2806 Specialty Guitars Plus, 434-979-3800 Stacy’s Music, 434-974-1555 The Front Porch, 434-806-7062 The Music Emporium, 434-973-2931 VA Consort Youth Chorale, 434-244-8444 Youth Orchestra of Ch’ville-Albemarle, 434-974-7776

MORE SPORTS & ACTIVITIES Albemarle Girls Field Hockey and Lacrosse League, Bounce Play-n-Create, 434-973-1111 Cavalier Wrestling Club, 540-649-2015 Highlands Golf Park, 434-985-2765 Jump Trampoline Park, 434-284-8248 Kegler’s Youth Bowling League, 434-978-3999

this dose of reality and adult thinking, the child is left alone with his own selfreinforcing distorted views of himself and the world. ​Be ready to support any kind of self initiative. The discouraged child all too often copes by either being passive or defiant, or bouncing off and building around others, rather than stepping forward on his own. Any time your child moves away from these styles—shows interest, shows responsibility, thinks about what she wants rather than what others will think—both notice and encourage but don’t pressure. By exploring those wisps of curiosity, she’ll, over time, come to see herself as an explorer in life and learn to focus on what she does have versus what she doesn’t. Let your kids know that mistakes are part of learning and that they can try new things without worrying about how it has to turn out. Finally, ​ consider getting some professional help if your efforts don’t seem to be helping, other behavioral problems are developing or if you’re stuck on what to do next. Sometimes, the cautious or discouraged or angry child is actually dealing with underlying depression, may have learning problems or be struggling with an attention deficit disorder. A consult with your family doctor or a few visits to a counselor may give you and your child a new perspective. For our growing children, we’re ​ the coach and the guide. So, lead and encourage, and let them know what might be ahead, while always keeping in mind that the path must eventually become their own.

Author of 11 books and more than 300 articles — including the regular “Ask Bob” column in this magazine — Bob has 44 years of experience in couple and family work and is in private practice in Charlottesville (

Rocky Top Climbing Gym, 434-981-3306 Seminole Boys/Girls Lacrosse, University Dive and Hobby Center, 434-296-6306

SCIENCE & NATURE Fan Mountain Observatory, 434-924-7494 Hike It Baby, Ivy Creek Foundation, 434-973-7772 Leander McCormick Observatory, 434-243-1885 Maymont, 804-358-7166 Open Bio Labs, 434-878-2355 Scottsville Center for Arts and Nature, 434-286-2806 Wildrock, 434-825-8631

SOCCER Piedmont Family YMCA 434-974-9622 See ad page 63 SOCA 434-975-5025 See ad page 10

TENNIS ACAC, 434-978-7529 Boar’s Head Sports Club, 434-972-6031 Fairview Swim and Tennis, 434-973-7946 Matilda Blue Adaptive Tennis Program, 434-973-7946 Quickstart Tennis,

THEATRE The Paramount Theater 434-979-1333 See ad page 20 Accessible Theatre Project, Black Box Players, 434-970-7600 DMR Adventures, 434-227-4710 Empowered Players, 434-996-7874 Four County Players, 540-832-5355 Gorilla Theater Productions, 434-547-7986 Jefferson Youth Theatre, 434-249-2803 Light House Filmmaking Studio, 434-293-6992 Live Arts, 434-977-4177


Monticello United Soccer Club, 434-974-4625 Scottsville Org. for mKids’ Sports, 434-286-2366 West City Soccer, 434-430-0378

SWIMMING YEAR-ROUND ACAC, 434-978-3800 (Alb. Square) Charlottesville Parks & Rec, 434-970-3260 YMCA, 434-974-9622 Virginia Gators,

Charlottesville Test Prep 434-409-9935 See ad page 48 Georgetown Learning Centers, 434-296-5111 Madison Learning Center, 540-738-2617 Tutor Doctor, 434-422-3595 *This guide is not comprehensive and includes businesses and groups also doing virtual activities, so be sure to check their websites and reach out for more information.

UVA pediatric cardiologists offer advice on kids, teens returning to sports. Click to read more (


{until next time humorous reflections}

Stealing Her Sister’s Car

A Dad’s Humorous Tales by Rick Epstein

Two of my daughters are away at college, but their car is still here. The dark green ‘03 Dodge Intrepid is parked out front, gathering dust, dripping fluids and waiting for someone to come home. ​My oldest daughter, Marie, bought the car for $1,600 during her senior year of high school with money she made waiting tables at the Greasy Fork Cafe. When Marie went to college in a big city, her car stayed here for her use when she came home on break. She has no money

it’s hers. Remember when she took my headphones to summer camp without asking and then lost them? Now she wants to take my car away to camp.” ​“She will if you don’t stop her,” I said, brushing aside any notion that I should get involved. I save all my waning strength for dealing with our eighth-grader and let the two big girls run themselves. After all, I won’t always be around. They need to develop the interpersonal skills that they’ll need for squabbling over my estate. So, I just

anymore, so I’ve been paying for its upkeep. Then her younger sister, Sally, got her learner’s permit last winter and began slowly stealing it. I came home from work one day and found the ​ Intrepid’s trunk open and Sally pulling out bedraggled garments, obsolete CDs, squashed notebooks and other odd bits of junk and tossing them into a big box. ​“What are you doing?’ I asked. ​“Cleaning out my car,” she said. (I would like to put “my” in italics so you’ll notice it, but Sally made a point of not emphasizing the word. Sally was not one to speak carelessly; for her, language is a tool for sculpting reality into shapes that ​After Marie went back to please her.)​ “YOUR car?” the city, Sally complained to I asked. me that Marie was going to “Yes; I’m re-naming ​ her Esmerelda.” charge her rent for the car. “That’s Marie’s car … except for the brakes and the tires, which are mine.” She just smirked and ​ continued dumping Marie’s belongings into the box before putting it into the garage and vacuuming the empty trunk. I​ wouldn’t say that Marie is a slob, but she does like her living spaces covered with a comfortable layer of personal debris. The interior of her car had already been emptied and vacuumed, including Marie’s lavender head-bobbing cat from the dashboard. Except for the paintings on the ceiling, it could’ve been anybody’s car. ​The next time Marie came home for a visit, she told me, “I’m kind of mad at the way Sally borrows my stuff and then it becomes hers. She’s been doing it for years with my clothes and jewelry, and now she’s doing it with my car. I don’t really NEED the car, but that doesn’t mean

listen and advise. If Sally wants to drive off in her sister’s car, I won’t stand in her way. ​“I don’t especially want to stop her,” Marie said. “I just want her to know that the Intrepid is mine. I love that car. And, its name is The Phantom Cruiser, NOT Esmerelda!” ​After Marie went back to the city, Sally complained to me that Marie was going to charge her rent for the car. “She wanted $100 for the summer,” said Sally, “But I got her down to $50. It doesn’t matter though; I’m not paying her.”​If Sally paid, she would be acknowledging that Marie has basic property rights. That would reach far beyond Esmerelda/Phantom Cruiser and cost her more than $50. It could snatch the clothes right out of her closet, the earrings out of her ears and, eventually, the car out from under her thieving butt. ​The state motor vehicles department dealt Sally a setback, though. She is what my dad used to call “a real operator,” which doesn’t mean she is qualified to operate a motor vehicle. When Sally took her driving test in June, her weak parallel-parking skills proved to be a dealbreaker. Then, before she could practice and take the test again, her tight schedule whisked her away to camp for the whole summer. ​Sally, still with no license, is now at college hundreds of miles from home, plotting her next move. The Intrepid lies becalmed in front of our house, awaiting a breeze. And that weather system is named Sally. Although I get a kick out of watching Sally get ​ what she wants, I’m going to advise Marie to do what Napoleon did with Louisiana: Sell it while she still can. Because if Marie waits too long, she’ll be left with only a dusty box of junk as a reminder of her beloved car, her sister’s ruthlessness and the fleeting nature of the things we cherish.


Fall 2020

Rick can be reached at

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