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Volume 8 Number 11

32 Columns



Publisher’s Note Kendra Sumner


Living With Children John Rosemond

Parenting Today’s Teens

Create a Great Year for Your Family

Ways to help your indifferent teen care again.

Focus on joys rather than resolutions for a better 2018!




Kids Health Watch

sponsored by Pediatric Associates of Auburn


Parenting Today’s Teens Mark Gregston


Dave Says Dave Ramsey


Growing Up Online Carolyn Jabs


How to Choose a Private School

What to consider when making this all-important decision?

Give Your Preschooler an Edge Key opportunities to seize that won’t cost a dime!

On The Cover Gabe Frazier (14) is an 8th

A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith


Get This!

Gerry Paige Smith

Departments 5

grader at Trinity Christian School

Bits and Pieces

in Opelika. His parents are Joey


and Alexia Frazier. Gabe enjoys

School Bits

playing the trumpet in advanced band and jazz band at Trinity. He also enjoys cross country, soccer and basketball.


Family Calendar 52

Movie Reviews 1


Auburn Opelika Lee County’s Foremost Parenting Source

Do you begin the new year with a list of resolutions? Maybe you plan to hit the gym on a regular basis, spend more time with family, finish the bathroom remodel project or take that once in a lifetime trip to Europe? Does any of this sound familiar? For me, I always start with good intentions and slowly regress to my previous, old habits. I might skip the gym with a good excuse, or maybe tell myself that I will finish that DIY project next weekend, only to find another project to start. This always ends with me chastising my inner self to the point that I feel down and depressed about already breaking my resolutions. It’s not the best way to start a new year. So, this year, I have decided to plan for more joy and happiness from the beginning rather than focus on making a list of resolutions that may cause stress because of unrealistic goals. In this edition, Create a Great Year for Your Family by Focusing on Joys Rather Than Resolutions, is a great read on how to help your family refocus the new year. The author suggests gathering the family together to discuss the joys, happiness and fun the family had this past year and to decide on similar ideas and ways to work toward another happy year. Try to acknowledge and encourage each family member’s ideas and suggestion. This will be a great beginning toward a positive and joyful 2018. Also included this month, is our annual Education Focus which features informative articles, advertisers and events to help parents start thinking about their family’s educational goals for the remainder of this school year and looking forward to Fall 2018. East Alabama is fortunate to have so many educational choices for families to research and consider for their children. Lee County Schools, Opelika City Schools and Auburn City Schools are among some of the best schools in Alabama and are growing by leaps and bounds. Also, the private schools and pre-school options are among the best of the best. Check out this month’s advertisers that have included an advertorial page, which highlights some of the benefits of their learning environments. If your family is considering a private setting, you don’t want to skip our feature article, What is Really Important When Choosing a Private School. Some helpful tips included are ways to begin your research process and some areas to think about when touring schools and talking with admissions. Start with making a list of what is most important to you and then finding the best fit for your requirements and overall education goals. Take advantage of the many open house events that will be coming up in January and February. This is a great opportunity to walk in the school, ask questions, meet other students and teachers to help narrow down your decision. It’s a new year and the excitement of new adventures await. Choose to spend your days filled with positive experiences that your whole family can get on board with. Ditch the resolutions that continue to fail and focus on joy this year. Happy New Year from all of us at Auburn Opelika Parents magazine!


Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


Auburn Opelika Parents Magazine is founded on the principle that parenting is an exciting, diverse, challenging, and significant role in our community. Auburn Opelika Parents Magazine is a community advocate for families and the parenting process.

Publisher Kendra Sumner Editor DeAnne Watson Associate Editor Kelly Watson Contributing Writers Mark Gregston Carolyn Jabs Christina Katz Dave Ramsey Michele Ranard, M.Ed. John Rosemond Gerry Paige Smith Katie Wolter, M.D. Cover Photography Candy Avera

President Jason Watson Director of Sales Justin Sumner (334) 209-0552 Ad Design Tim Welch

Visit us online at Auburn-Opelika Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing, LLC. Mailing address: 475 Bennington Ct, Auburn, Alabama, 36830. The phone number is (334) 209-0552 and fax is (334) 826-7303. Auburn-Opelika Parents is copyrighted 2018 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in Auburn-Opelika Parents magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.


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LivingWithChildren by John Rosemond

Is My Toddler’s Behavior “Normal”? Q: My parents recently told me that my husband and I are letting our toddler run our family and that it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable for them to visit or have us visit with them – they live 10 miles away – because of her misbehavior. Mind you, she is only 28 months old. She throws frequent tantrums and often refuses to do what we tell her to do. That’s normal for this age, right? By the way, my parents had me when they were older and are sort of stuck in the old ways of doing things.

A: Saying that your daughter

is ONLY 28 months old may go a long way toward explaining this situation. Your parents, being “stuck in the old ways,” understand that the most advantageous time to deal with any given misbehavior on the part of a toddler is when it first appears – by nipping it in the bud, so to speak. This very active approach to discipline recognized that misbehavior snowballs downhill very rapidly. For better or worse, major disciplinary precedents are set during the third year of

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

life (24 to 36 months). These precedents determine, to significant degree, whether the child’s discipline will be relatively easy or extremely difficult from that point on. I’m going to guess that your parents are concerned that by excusing your daughter’s behavior on the basis of her age that you are creating a significant disciplinary “debt” that will create even more stress down the road for all concerned. I’m sure you want nothing more than for your daughter to be a happy child. Consider, then, that obedient, well-behaved children are much, much happier than disobedient, ill-behaved children. Common sense confirms that and so does the best research into parenting outcomes. I urge you to get a move on before your daughter becomes a full-blown family tyrant. First, create a “tantrum place” – a safe and relatively isolated place where you put your daughter as soon as a tantrum begins. A half-bath works well. When screaming


commences, in she goes until the screaming stops. Time-out does not generally work well with older children or major discipline problems, but it can be very useful with a toddler. The child’s room, assuming it is not a self-contained entertainment complex, will do. Five or ten minutes in relative confinement for disobedience sends a powerful message to a child this age. Use a timer set outside her door to let her know when her time of repentance is up. Concerning the “old” ways of raising children, which we abandoned beginning in the late 1960s and began listening to mental health professionals tell us how to “parent,” it is now plain as day that professional advice, based on psychological theory, has resulted in a parenting catastrophe. Over the past 50 years, for example, the mental health of America’s children has been in free fall, with no end in sight. The Book of Ecclesiastes, one of the so-called “wisdom” books of Scripture, says “there is nothing new under the sun.” Concerning children especially, that is spot on. Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at

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download our FREE app

334.329.5055 | 2178 Moores Mill Road, Auburn, AL 36830 Follow us @yourhomelink 5

Opelika-Auburn News Bridal Extravaganza

Join us for our spring Bridal Extravaganza, where we have everything brides need under one roof. Visit with our fabulous vendors to find whatever suits your style: from classic elegance to the latest trends. We’ll be able to help you with Hair & Beauty, Fashion & Jewelry, Cakes, Catering & Venues, Travel & Hotels, and Photography & Entertainment. You’ll definitely want to be there for our “Style for the Aisle” fashion show, featuring not only amazing attire for the bridal party but also thousands of dollars in prizes to be given away! Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. All of the ticket money goes to benefit our Newspapers in Education program. We will be accepting cash or check only at the door. Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center, Opelika. January 14, 1:00 p.m.

Racquetball Clinic and Tournament

Join us at Frank Brown Recreation Center to learn about the game of racquetball and then play in a tournament for fun! The ladies’ clinic and tournament will be held on Saturday, January 20 from 9 a.m. – noon and the men’s clinic and tournament will be held on Sunday, January 21 from 2 – 5 p.m. Each tournament will be held in a single-elimination format. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place for each tournament. Pre-registration is required and may be completed by visiting or This event is FREE and open to racquetball players of all skill levels ages 16 and older. (334) 501-2948.

“Freedom Train” at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts

Harriet Tubman was born a slave, but when she was 25 she made her perilous escape from a Maryland plantation, leaving her family behind. Pursued by dogs and relentless slave catchers, she followed an escape route laid out by Quakers — secret hiding places in churches, barns, cellars, and homes. The escape route that Harriet followed soon became known as the Underground Railroad, and she quickly became one of its most celebrated ‘conductors.’ On 19 secret trips Harriet Tubman guided more than 300 slaves, including her aged parents, to freedom. Freedom Train tells the thrilling story of Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her people, in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes that use dance, dialogue, and music of the period. January 25, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus, GA. www.

East Alabama Art presents “Cinderella”

Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA is the Tony Award®-winning musical that's delighting audiences with its surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein's most beloved songs, including "In My Own Little Corner," "Impossible/It's Possible" and "Ten Minutes Ago" in this hilarious and romantic experience for anyone who's ever had a dream. January 29 at Opelika Center for the Performing Arts, Opelika. For more info, visit their website

6th Annual Polar Plunge

Join us for the 6th Annual Auburn Polar Plunge on January 27 at Samford Pool, to support the Lee County Special Olympics! The aim of the Auburn Polar Plunge is to raise financial support for the brave athletes of the Lee County Special Olympics. You can join us by registering to take the frigid plunge on January 27. Once you’ve registered, your goal is to get as many people as possible to sponsor your plunge. There will be prizes for the people that raise the most money, as well as prizes for the winners of our costume contest. So dress up, jump in, and join us for a fun day in support of a very worthy cause! Register online at: Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


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Gamers Society at the Auburn Public Library

It’s Game On at the Auburn Public Library The Programming Room will be open every Thursday, 4:00-5:00 p.m., for Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and video games Gamers must bring their own materials The Auburn Public Library will provide materials for video game play. Games must be rated E, E10, or T; no rated M games. Ages 10-18 years. January 4, 11, and 25. Auburn Public Library.

Third Thursday Poetry Series at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art

January 18, 6:30 p.m. The spring semester group of poets visit JCSM for the spring 2018 installment of the Third Thursday Poetry Series. Alan Shapiro, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has published ten books of poetry, most recently, “Old War”. He has been the winner of the Kingsley Tufts Award and an LA Times Book Award in poetry, and has been a finalist in poetry and nonfiction for the National Books Critics Circle Award. He has received two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and the O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. Shapiro has taught at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1995.

Scale Back Alabama

Scale Back Alabama (SBA) is a statewide 8-week weight-loss contest designed to encourage Alabamians to have fun while getting healthy. Auburn Parks and Recreation is proud to host Scale Back Alabama (SBA) for the fifth year! Weigh-ins for the 2018 Scale Back Alabama program will be held Jan. 22-28. Participants signed up as part of a Scale Back Alabama Team may visit designated Parks and Recreation facilities for their official team weigh-in. A complete schedule of weigh-in days and times will be available online at facebook. com/ scalebackleeco. Citizens are encouraged to participate in this FREE program to help adopt healthier habits for 2018. For more information about the many free fitness options for SBA participants, as well as more information about Auburn Parks and Recreation fitness facilities and programs, please visit us online at www. or call (334) 501-2930.


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pediatric dentistry p.c.

Dr. Keri Miller Most major insurance accepted including BCBS and Southland. 742 N. Dean Road, Auburn, AL 36830 (334) 321-0780





Sponsored by Pediatric Associates of Auburn

How Much Juice Is Too Much? One of the most common questions I and my partners get asked at well-child visits is, “How much juice should my child drink per day?” As parents, we want to ensure that our children are receiving adequate nutrition. There has been a change regarding juice consumption recommendations in recent years. Whereas previously juice was recommended to increase the intake of specific vitamins and also to alleviate constipation, we now know that the benefits are minimal and the negative aspects, including but not exclusive to increased caloric intake, can be detrimental. Whole fruits and vegetables are much preferred sources of vitamins and minerals and are also great sources of fiber and protein which juice does not contain. Although juice is marketed as a healthy choice, in many cases it is more harmful than good. The recommendations regarding juice consumption for each age group is explored below. For infants 6 months of age or younger, they should not be fed anything other than breastmilk and/or infant formula. There is no need for juice intake at this age and it can actually lead to a decrease in breast milk/formula consumption which can lead to malnutrition. Ideally, juice should not be given to infants under 12 months of age.

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

They should receive their vitamin and mineral intake via fruits and vegetables. If it is offered, it should be given in a cup, not a bottle and the baby should not be able to “sip” on the juice throughout the day since that will lead to constant exposure of their teeth to sugar which can cause dental caries. After 12 months of age, occasional juice consumption can help supplement vitamin and mineral intake. However, whole fruits and vegetables are still the preferred vehicle for these things. If a child does have juice at this age, daily consumption should not exceed 4 ounces. Also, in cases of vomiting or diarrhea, juice does not serve as a good oral replacement fluid for electrolyte losses. It can actually worsen the diarrhea and/or cause electrolyte abnormalities resulting in serious negative health outcomes. For early school-aged children, the recommendations remain similar to those in infancy and toddler years. The consumption of whole fruit and vegetables still remain the preferred method to obtain needed vitamins and minerals along with protein and fiber. Juice should be consumed in very small quantities. Juice is very easily consumed and


tastes good therefore many children drink more than they need and therefore consume more calories than are needed to sustain healthy growth and development. Also, as mentioned before, the risk of dental caries increases greatly in children who are exposed to large amounts of juice throughout the day. For older school-aged children ages 7-18, recommendations are to keep juice consumption to less than 8 ounces per day. It is always preferred that consumption is limited to 100% juice to limit carbohydrate intake. Juice with pulp can offer some fiber but it pales in comparison to eating whole fruit or vegetables. if your child does consume juice, remember that 100% juice is much preferred secondary to its reduced carbohydrate concentration. And, as always, physical activity is another essential component to remaining healthy and to a certain degree can offset consumption of excess calories. Dr. Katie Wolter is board certified in Pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Lee County Medical Society, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, and the American Medical Association. She is passionate about breastfeeding medicine and is currently working on becoming an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). She is also a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Dr. Wolter is married to her husband, Jeremy, and has four sons. She loves to spend her free time outdoors with her family and friends.


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Autauga County Schools

Morris Avenue Christmas Service Project

Fifth Grade Student Ambassadors, Student Council members, and FCA students collaborated on a service project at Morris Avenue. Students collected items throughout the month of November and assembled the items in Christmas boxes for children in need.

Auburn University Starting Kicker Reads to Richland Students

Auburn University's starting Kicker Daniel Carlson stopped by Richland Elementary to read to students! Carlson is the all-time leading scorer in SEC football history with 440 points currently. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be a positive role model!




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Opelika High School National Honor Society Inductions

The Opelika High School chapter of the National Honor Society inducted 48 new members in November. Mr. Jamie Lowe, NHS President, conducted the ceremony for the incoming juniors and seniors. A reception catered by the OHS

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st as 2W Culinary class was held for new members and family members after the induction.

Southview Primary School Readers

7 Habits at Northside Intermediate

During the Leadership Assembly, Northside Intermediate students reviewed the

Students in Ms. Carrell's second grade class at Southview Primary love to read! They did a fantastic job with their Thanksgiving PTO program!

7 Habits. Students did a great job of conducting the assembly at this "Leader in Me" school! Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018



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Springwood Students Receive Superior Medals at Trumbauer State Theatre Festival The Walter Trumbauer State Theatre Festival was held at the University of North Alabama on November 30 - December 2. Springwood students, Hallie Miller, Curry Hoats, and Kitty Key auditioned in three Musical Theatre categories; Hallie in comedic as a novice, Curry in dramatic as a novice, and Kitty in dramatic as varsity. All three students received Superior medals at State for their performances. Kitty is the daughter of Michael and Jennifer Key of LaGrange, Hallie is the daughter of Hal and Cindy Miller of Opelika, and Curry is the daughter of Kenneth and Heather Hoats of West Point. Springwood senior, Kitty Key, auditioned in front of 12 or more Alabama Universities for scholarship opportunities on day one of the Trumbauer Festival. Each school invited her for a callback. On the second day, Kitty auditioned again with an acting piece and received a perfect 50 out of 50 from one of the judges. Additionally, Kitty Key and Hallie Miller attended a Master Dance Class and auditioned for a Broadway choreographer, Jeff Whiting. The students will receive word within a few weeks as to their selection to attend the OPEN JAR, a 2-week pre-Broadway Summer Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City. Pictured, Hallie Miller, Kitty Key, and Curry Hoats.


STEM at Jeter Primary

Students in Mrs. Overstreet's class at Jeter Primary were using tweezers and spoons as beaks to pick up marbles during a STEM activity. The activity asked the students to determine which characteristics a bird's beak should have in order to be most effective.




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Autauga CountyofSchools Career Tech Students the Semester

ACS Career Tech Director Laura Bailey and Auburn High Principal Dr. Shannon Pignato recognized the "Students of the Semester" from each Career Technical Education Cohort at AHS and AJHS such as machining, building construction, television production, aquaculture and JROTC. These students excel in their respective course study and were nominated by their teachers. Then an overall Student of the Semester is selected by a committee made up of ACS and AU Personnel. This semester's overall winner was AHS Senior Sophia Tullier (Health Sciences/HOSA). Sophia has displayed leadership skills in and out of the classroom; she is currently organizing a blood drive at AHS in the spring and recently put on a coat drive for local kids in need within our community.

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Yarbrough Teachers Love to Learn! Yarbrough Elementary teachers finished their Love and Logic book study! The exercises and tips contained in this book will help teachers orient students toward being internalized in their discipline rather than depending upon external controls--resulting in easier classroom management and more quality teaching time. Learning is fun at all ages at Y.E.S!



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Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


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Auburn HS Teacher Receives Alumni Award from Auburn University

Auburn High's very own AP US History Teacher, Dr. Blake Busbin, received the 2018 Auburn University College of Education Outstanding Young Alumni Award!

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Snow Day at Carver Primary School

Students in Mrs. Coleman's 2nd grade class at Carver Primary were having SNOW much fun at school!

The Great Outdoors at Cary Woods

Kindergarten students at Cary Woods Elementary are having the "Kinder Camp Out" as a kick-off to their “Big Backyard� theme. The kids are learning how to make s'mores, telling campfire stories/singing songs and all about animals in the wild!


Autauga County Schools

Handball at Yarbrough Elementary

The Y.E.S. 5th graders completed their annual Handball Sport Education Unit with a real championship game. They played a round-robin regular season which concluded with a playoff tournament. The games were scored with 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 5 points for sportsmanship. The championship game included scorekeepers, statisticians, sports writers, video/photo journalists, a PA announcer, ball retrievers, referees, a hostess, security guards, and parents as fans. The unit was a big success, and the students did a great job!

AEEC Students Visit Town Creek Park



Bo Oa r Da Kindergartners from Auburn Early Education Center walked over to Town Creek Park to partake in a presentation from Auburn University's Southeastern Raptor Center and a look at reptiles/fish with the help of Stan Arington's aquaculture students as a part of their "Camp Day!" This was an excellent opportunity for students to get outdoors and learn about specimens up close.

Celebrating 25 years! Li v i ng. Lovin g. Lear n in g.

Caring for your children and laying a foundation for their growth and success has been our calling for the past 25 years. Our unique, caring approach is rooted in an understanding that each child is a gift and a responsibility. These precious little ones deserve our attention, security and love. Just like home. Today, our commitment to your children continues with caring and experienced teachers, a stimulating and secure environment and an atmosphere of living, loving and learning you’ll only find at Growing Room. 334-501-2044 | 644 North Dean Road, Auburn, AL M-F 6:30am - 6:30pm | Ages 6 weeks – 12 years

w w w.grow i ngroom us a .com Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018




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Auburn High Bowlers Compete in Warrior Classic

Lee County Special Olympics Wins Flag Football Iron Bowl

Girls: The AHS girl's Bowling Team competed in the "Warrior Classic" located at Oak Mountain Lanes recently, coming in 2nd place in the semi-finals to the defending State Champion, Southside Panthers, by the slim margin of 6 pins. The current record for the team stands at 11-6. Danielle Conover received a medal for having the third highest individual score (199) among all female bowlers in the 9 team tournament field. Autumn Meredith received a medal for having the second highest individual score (204) among all female bowlers in the 9 Team tournament field. Boys: The AHS boy's Bowling Team competed in the "Warrior Classic" located at Oak Mountain Lanes and came in 2nd place of the finals to the defending state runner-up, Vestavia Rebels. The current record for the team stands at 16-3. Dan Zhang received a medal for having the third highest individual score (236) among all male bowlers in the 9 team tournament field. Dan Zhang also received a medal for having the third highest overall average (216) on the day of all male bowlers in the 9 team tournament field.

Congratulations to Lee County Special Olympics on winning the College Special Olympics Unified Flag Football Iron Bowl on Sunday, November 19th. The final score was Auburn 38 Tuscaloosa 26. A great game was played by all the athletes!

Please send school news and photos to:

2320 MOORES MILL ROAD, SUITE. 250 AUBURN, AL 36830 • (334) 887-0099











Autauga County Schools

Richland Elementary Surpasses Fundraiser Goal

Yarbrough Elementary Turkey Thief Mystery

Richland Elementary celebrated their recent Emoji Fund Run with a school-wide celebration! Since they surpassed their goal of $30,000 (they raised more than $47,000) the students and staff were treated to an "inflated hamster ball battle" between Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Conradson (go to the ACS Instagram to see the battle in action @ AuburnCityEdu).

Yarborough Elementary School’s fourth graders are hot on the trail of a turkey thief! Through inferring, questioning, and investigating, they are nearly convinced Mr. Forster may be the culprit!

Please send school news and photos to:

Auburn High School Swim Teams Win First Place at Championship

Auburn High girls and boys swim teams both won 1st place at the AHSAA Central Sectional Championship in Birmingham!

Auburn HS Student Places First at HOSA Competition

During the November BOE Meeting Auburn City Schools recognized Lina Ali (11th grader), who placed first overall at the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) State competition in Montgomery in February of 2017 and 4th place at the International Competition in Orlando, Florida this past June. She was the first student from Auburn High School to place at Internationals and the first to place top 5 in Medical Terminology from the state of Alabama.

Morris Avenue Students Take Virtual Colonial Field Trip

From the past to the present, fifth grade students at Morris Avenue Intermediate School used Google Expeditions to take a virtual field trip to Colonial America during their annual Colonial Day Festival. Students enjoyed other activities including wig making, a writing activity predicting what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke, and a codebreaking activity. Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


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Auburn Classical Academy teaching children how to think... not what to think

Auburn Classical Academy began in 2007 as a small group of likeminded home-schooling families, meeting in a home one day a week for Latin and Grammar. As these classes grew and friendships blossomed, ACA expanded, adding more classes. In 2012 ACA was chosen to partner with Highlands Latin School in Louisville, KY, one of the nation’s top schools. ACA believes in a curriculum that inspires students to appreciate and understand the intellectual tradition of Christendom and the ancient world, and to see the acquisition of knowledge and wisdom as components of a lively Christian faith. Students are carefully taught to think logically and express themselves well. The school has achieved academic success while providing a four-day school week and reasonable levels of homework to allow families more time together in this hectic world. Our genuine dedication to this mission of forming well-educated students of sound character is apparent at every level of work.

Christian ACA teaches and upholds traditional Christian morality and the Holy Scriptures as the divinely inspired word of God and cannot be separated from history, literature, mathematics, science, or any other academic discipline. Rather, every subject is taught as part of an integrated whole. In these subjects we discern the order and structure of the world that point to God as our Creator. This does not mean, however, that we will only study Christian viewpoints, thereby narrowing our students’ education. On the contrary, our tools of learning and our faith in Jesus Christ help us to confidently seek truth wherever it is found. For we know that all truth ultimately comes to us from God; therefore, we wholeheartedly seek a complete liberal arts education.

Family We believe the family is a cherished institution given us by God. We offer a shortened school week, helping to slow down the hectic pace of modern life and leaving time for quality family life. We believe it is the parents’ privilege to train their The true culture of Auburn Classi- children at home, to teach them cal Academy is best experienced by their beliefs, and that our school is seeing its students in their active a partnership with them. learning environment. The ACA Head of School and teachers will gladly answer questions as you observe classrooms. 2018 Open House Dates February 11th, 2 pm to 4 pm February 14th, 8 am to 11 Am FEBRUARY 28th, 8 am to 11 am

Traditional We believe the classical model perfectly suits modern children, with the unique challenges and distractions they face. Our goal is to provide a knowledgeable, enthusiastic teacher who carefully leads students into an understanding of each subject. Lessons are incremental, content is age-appropriate, and students learn the important skill of quality written work completed in a timely manner. Homework is moderate and is for the purpose of practicing or preparing for a lesson. We do not believe in busywork. Classical An ACA education aims at far more than practical benefits. We are classical, meaning that we employ the time-tested method of the Trivium, providing students the tools for life-long learning. This philosophy of education is the tradition passed down to us from the ancient scholars of Greece and Rome to the monasteries of the Middle Ages and further to the American schools that shaped the founding fathers.The Trivium works through a child’s natural stages of development. It consists of the first three of the seven great Liberal Arts, Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric.

17 1901-B Waverly Parkway Opelika AL 36801 334.821.7081

Autauga County Schools

Cary Woods Elementary Teacher of the Year

East Samford School Teacher of the Year

East Samford School has chosen Mr. Jeffrey Stewart as their Teacher of the Year! Mr. Stewart is in his 10th year with Auburn City Schools and currently teaches Civics/Geography on the Cheetah team at ESS.

Cary Woods Elementary School is pleased and proud to announce Mrs. Sandra Beisel as their Teacher of the Year.

Richland Elementary Teacher of the Year

Richland Elementary is proud to announce that 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Ashley Wood, is their Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Wood holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degree from Auburn University in Elementary Education has served more than 11 years in the field of education having taught both fourth and second grade students.


Children’s of Alabama is ... l The

third largest pediatric hospital in the United States

l Licensed l The

for 332 beds & 48 NICU bassinets

first LEED-certified hospital building in Alabama

l One

of the Top 20 employers in Alabama with more than 4,700 employees across the state

l The

pediatric teaching hospital for the School of Medicine at UAB

l Home

to the Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center of Alabama, where more than 450 cardiac surgeries are performed annually

l Site

of the only pediatric kidney dialysis program in the state — one of the largest in the country

Russell Campus

l Home

205.638.9100 1600 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233 Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Lowder Building McWane Building Children’s on Third Outpatient Center Children’s Park Place

to one of the largest burn units in the Southeast

l One

of the largest pediatric rheumatology programs in the nation and the only one in Alabama

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care for more than 90 percent of Alabama children with cancer and blood disorders

Children’s South

205.638.4800 1940 Elmer J. Bissell Road, Birmingham, AL 35243 Outpatient surgery services, Pediatric Imaging Center, laboratory services, specialty care clinics and After Hours care

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


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Drake Middle Teacher of the Year

AEEC Teacher of the Year

Cate Sagastegui has been named the Drake Middle School Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Sagastegui has been teaching for 5 years, all at DMS. She coordinated the successful “Book It For Books” 5k this year, works tirelessly to facilitate book clubs for her students, and created the new Breakfast Club. DMS is so proud of Mrs. Sagastegui!

Auburn Early Education Center has named Glori Lammons their 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Lammons received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Auburn University, her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Georgia State University, and her Educational Specialist Degree in Instructional Leadership from the University of West Alabama. She has 17 years teaching experience in grades K, 1st, and 2nd and is in her fifth year teaching 2nd grade at AEEC.

Wrights Mill Road Elementary Teacher of the Year

Trinity’s Choral All-State Winners

Congratulations to Trinity Christian School's 2018 Choral All-State winners. Pictured left to right: Margaret Anne Gunter, Evelyn Boone, Curt Johnson, and Sarah Brown.


Wrights Mill Road Elementary School is proud to announce their Teacher of the Year is Dr. Brittney Duncan. Dr. Duncan has worked at WMR for 8 years serving as a 3rd, 4th, and Title One Teacher. Dr. Duncan received her B.S. and M.Ed in Elementary Education, M.Ed in Instructional Leadership, EdS and PhD in Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education from Auburn University.

Auburn Classical Academy Art Students Study Cezanne

Mrs. Goodenough’s art students draw inspiration from Paul Cezanne as they work on their chalk pastels on black paper with oil pastel background.

Autauga County Schools

Workforce Roundtable at Auburn Jr. High

Local industry leaders gathered today for a tour of the machining shop located Auburn Junior High before holding a roundtable discussion on how to increase workforce efforts in Lee County. Mike Brogan, Auburn High's Machining Instructor, gave the tour of the shop highlighting what his students can do when it comes to welding, computer coding and metal manufacturing. The roundtable panel was led by Cary Cox, the Director of Workforce Development for the City of Auburn, Laura Bailey, ACS Career Tech Director, Gary Weaver, Regional Workforce Director for the Alabama Community College System, and Jeff Lynn, Vice Chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development for the Alabama Community College System. Many ideas on the modern-day worker were shared as well as a discussion of the challenges that exist in our ever-evolving community. Thank you to the Mr. Brogan and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce as well as the sponsors (Alabama Power, BBVA Compass, Wilson Investment Group and CSP Technologies) for hosting this group and allowing a conversation to be created of how to better serve students in our area.

Please send school news and photos to:

The Next Great Americans

The Liberty Learning Foundation celebrated the graduation of all the ACS 3rd Grade Super Citizens in the auditorium at AJHS! Not only was this the culmination of their citizenship lesson plans it was also an opportunity for students to recognize role models in the community as they presented local heroes with kind words and a memento made from the same material as the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The local heroes included Kathy Powell with State Farm Insurance, Coach Reginald Smith at Yarbrough, Coach Quenton Mosley at Ogletree, Coach Chuck Coopper at Pick, Nurse Kristina Woody at Wrights Mill and Media Specialist Anne Lipscomb at Wrights Mill. Libby's Legacy aligns with the mission of Auburn City Schools to educate, inspire and empower our students.

Auburn HS Scholarship Signings

Auburn High School had the privilege of hosting two golf signings recently! The first was Anna Claire Little, who signed with Women’s Golf at Troy University. Pictured (seated): Pearson Little (brother), Keith Little (father), Anna Claire Little, Robyn Little (mother), Harrison Little (brother). Standing: Coach Adam Byrd, Golf Mentor Buddy Alexander, Athletic Director Clay McCall, Patsy McKenzie (grandmother), Swing Coach Ricky Smallridge. The second was Connor Newton, who signed with Men’s Golf at Coastal Carolina University. Pictured (seated): Debbie Newton (mother), Connor Newton, Jimmy Newton (father), Savannah Newton (sister). Standing: Coach Billy Ramsey, Ryan Newton (brother), Ashton Payne (cousin), Judy Newton (grandmother), Athletic Director Clay McCall.

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


Wacoochee Students Selected for Legends Club

These students at Wacoochee Elementary School were recently selected to be in the Tim Hudson Foundation’s Legends Club. They were selected by teachers based on the character and integrity that they have shown throughout the school year. Two former Atlanta Braves players, Cory Rasmus and Anthony Lerew, who now work with the Tim Hudson Foundation, came to speak with the group of students. They were rewarded with a full Thanksgiving meal for their family to enjoy.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving at Trinity

Mrs. Battles's first graders at Trinity Christian School had such a fun time sharing the Thanksgiving story with family and friends! Look at all the happy pilgrims!



St. Michael Christmas Parade Manger Scene

The kindergartners at St. Michael Catholic Preschool and Kindergarten prepare for the Christmas parade by trying on their costumes for the manger scene. Some may not know this, but in Auburn, the manger scene is complete with an “eagle” soaring over to protect Baby Jesus!


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Autauga County Schools

Opelika High School FBLA Raises Awareness & Money for March of Dimes

Local and national March of Dimes and Future Business Leaders of America chapters enjoyed a successful partnership raising awareness and funds during the month of November for premature babies. Throughout the years, FBLA has raised millions of dollars for the March of Dimes and, in turn, the March of Dimes has reached hundreds of thousands of people with its health education and mission messages. Since September, Opelika High School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter has worked hard to raise money for the March of Dimes foundation and awareness about the plight of babies who are premature. With the combined efforts of our FBLA advisers and members, as well as through the support of our OHS teachers and staff, the Opelika High School chapter has been able to raise over $1300 this year. The Opelika High School chapter is holding multiple activities this year to raise awareness and funds including Blue Jeans for Babies, the March of Dimes walk, student coin collection competitions, and other activities. Pictured are members who worked to park cars before the Auburn University vs. Georgia game to raise funds for the March of Dimes. Left to right: Kiandra Jones, Lauryn Marshall-FBLA President, Mattrice Harris, Mandi Edwards-FBLA Adviser, Linda GrossMarch of Dimes Development Manager, and Austin Crowley. FBLA-PBL is the premier business education association in the country. The mission of FBLA-PBL is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. A national association of middle school, high school, career and technical, community college, college and university students interested in business and business- related careers, FBLA-PBL has nearly 250,000 members and more than 15,000 chartered chapters throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe.


Opelika High Theatre Society Wins Multiple Awards at State Trumbauer Competition

Congratulations to the Opelika High Theatre Society for their success at the State Trumbauer Theatre Festival in December in Florence, AL. Awards were won by many individuals including Aquerrah Cannon who was named to the All-Star Cast (One Act). Other individual award winners include: Aesha Patel-3rd Place Stage Manager and 2nd Place Sound Design; Jarki Brooks and Kelyn McIntyre-3rd Place Contemporary Dramatic Duet Acting; Wesley Herring-3rd Place Varsity Dramatic Male Monologue; Daniel Gay-2nd Place Novice Dramatic Male Monologue; Caleb Eason and Bo Williams1st Place Reader’s Theatre Comedic. The Opelika High Theatre Society in under the direction of Mr. Revel Gholston.

Northside Intermediate Art Club

Northside Intermediate students enjoyed making crafts during Art Club in December.

Using 3D Printers at Morris Avenue

Students at Morris Avenue love using their Chrome books to design items to Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


be printed on the 3-D printer.

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Egypt Day at Trinity

Trinity Christian School 3rd graders created their own Egyptian sarcophaguses! The top 4 will be displayed on Egypt Day in the Spring.

Auburn City Schools Earns RAVE Award

ACS was presented with the Alabama RAVE Award (Recognition of Accountability, Verification, and Excellence) for counseling efforts at Auburn Junior High School. Since 2004, the RAVE is a continuous improvement document that gives a school counseling program an opportunity to demonstrate effective communication and a commitment to implementing an outcomebased, data-driven program. Modeled after the Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Model for Alabama Public Schools (State Plan), the Recognition of Accountability Verification & Excellence Award (RAVE) has been developed by an advisory group of Alabama school counselors, counselor educators, system/district supervisors and the Alabama Department of Education. Pictured: Maegan Vick ALSCA President, Sheryl Smith, Pat Frazier, Ross Reed (Not pictured is Sally Pickens and Donnie Payne).

T r i n i T y

D i s T i n c T i v e s

TradiTion For over thirty-five years, Trinity has been committed to a biblical Christian world-view, and its classical educational philosophy has been proven through thousands of years of learning experience.

A Classical and Christian Academy 745-2464


Autauga County Schools Back in Time at Pick Elementary! Colonial Day provides an opportunity for our 5th graders to celebrate Colonial history and build an appreciation for our American History!

Students at Auburn Classical Academy Dissect Sheep Heart

As part of their study of the circulatory system and the history of medicine, fifth graders at ACA dissected a sheep heart. Students replicated the earliest doctor’s study of the heart by observing and dissecting a sheep heart as well as tracing the flow of blood through the heart.

Trinity Students Attend Shakespeare Festival Show

Trinity's 7-12th graders recently enjoyed a day at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, where they saw a stunning production of Charles Dickens's “A Christmas Carol”!

Auburn HS Students Share Knowledge of Science

Auburn High School Aquaculture students gave presentations on Aquatic Biology at Lee County's Sanford Middle School! They were equipped with a variety of specimens including live and preserve aquatic organisms including snakes, stingrays, turtles and puffer fish. During a two day visit, AHS students gave a total of 28 thirty-minute presentations for students, teachers and community members.

Growing Lettuce at Cary Woods Elementary

The Cary Woods Explorers harvested their 2nd crop of lettuce and used it make tacos!

Entrepreneurs Share Tips with Auburn High Students

The Auburn Chamber of Commerce held a lunchtime panel discussion for students at Auburn High that highlighted success stories of local entrepreneurs! This effort gave students the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the hard work and dedication it takes to own and operate a business. The guest panel was made up of Jim Storbeck from Initial Outfitters, Allie Weingarten from True40 Fitness Studio, Harrison Evola from FetchMe Delivery, Sarah Barnett Gill from Mama Mocha's Coffee Emporium and Tim Spicer from Spicer's Music. The panel shared that there are always ups and downs of starting a business, but they encouraged students to follow their dreams and when asked "why Auburn?," the consensus of the panel was the strong support of the Chamber of Commerce and the sense of community that exists in our city.

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018




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Autauga County Schools

Trinity Students Visit Biblical History Center

Mrs. Taylor’s 3rd graders took a trip to The Biblical History Center in LaGrange, GA. They made shepherd’s bread, saw amazing artifacts, and became junior archaeologists!


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Carver Family Fun Night

Carver Primary School students and parents had a great time with Mr. Tim Cooper of the Lewis Cooper Memorial Library in December at Family Fun Night.

Please send your school news and photos by the 20th of each month to:


org t ©2017 Kumon North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

This year, give your child an academic advantage. Schedule a Parent Orientation & FREE Placement Test today!

Kumon Math & Reading Center of Auburn-Opelika 1550 Opelika Rd, Suite 36, Auburn, AL 36830

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Math Night at Morris Avenue Intermediate

Morris Avenue Intermediate School welcomed parents to a fun and engaging evening of Math games and demonstrations. Parents were excited to learn about new trends using number lines that help with addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Auburn Classical Academy Field Trip

The 4th grade class had a blast on their Macroinvertebrates Field Trip to Wood Duck Heritage Preserve and Siddique Nature Park! Students worked with Alabama Water Watch to assess the water quality of the stream by collecting and identifying various aquatic organisms. Some students were inspired to clean the stream by removing an old tire and trash.

Working With Robots at West Forest

West Forest students were plotting the track for their robots during class to see if they would stay on track. 27

Autauga County Schools

Raising Awareness for a Cause

Friday, November 17, has been proclaimed by Mayor Bill Ham as March of Dimes World Prematurity Awareness Day in Auburn. The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign aims to reduce premature birth in the United States and to give every baby a fair chance for a healthy full-term birth. Yet this fair chance is not reality for all babies. The preterm birth rate rose to 9.8 percent in 2016, up 2 percent from 9.6 in 2015, marking the second consecutive increase after steady declines over the previous 7 years. In support of and to raise awareness for prematurity issues, Auburn High School Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) wore purple on Friday, November 17 to bring awareness of the efforts of the March of Dimes in fighting premature births. March of Dimes committee Chair, Sejal Srivastava and members worked diligently to prepare for this and other activities to raise funds for the March of Dimes. Activities included the Prematurity Photo Booth and Biscuits for Babies. FBLA Adviser Audrey Marshall said, “It is a delight to see our members actively engaging in activities that not only raise awareness of the needs of others but also allow them to gain key skills in organizing efforts that reach BEYOND the school walls. AHS FBLA members annually participate in events/activities that support the March of Dimes and have in the past 5 years raised over $5,000 towards this cause. Members, advisers, and community members are also invited to join our chapter as we participate in April in the East Alabama March of Dimes March for Babies to be held May 18, 2018." Group photo left to right: Russell Johnson (FBLA Adviser), TaNisity Smith, Kelly Kim, Christine Wu (FBLA Secretary), Sarah Yun (FBLA President), Mayor Bill Ham, Nikitha Sridhar (FBLA Vice President), Sejal Srivastava (March of Dimes Committee Chairperson), Lance McLean, Michael Dowdell, (FBLA Treasurer), and Audrey Marshall (FBLA Adviser).

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018



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ParentingToday’sTeens by Mark Gregston

When Your Teen Just Doesn’t Care “I don’t care!” Ever heard that phrase pop out of your teen’s mouth? My guess is 99.9 percent of all teens have expressed their indifference to mom and dad. It can be maddening to watch a child shrug their shoulders or roll their eyes at something we say. I mean, how did kids get to be so apathetic today anyways? Typically, apathy is the symptom of a bad attitude. So the way we try to get past a teen’s indifference is to point out the obvious—your attitude needs to change! But how do you get an indifferent teenager to care again?

Fear-Based Apathy

The apathetic teen is not a kid without emotions. In fact, I’d say that a kid who says he “doesn’t care” may actually care a whole lot! What I’ve found is that you have to look past the attitude to see what is driving a child’s apathy towards life. Often, an indifferent teen is struggling with fear—a fear of life and the world. He hates going to school, is afraid of social events, or angry about the state of the world. This outlook is common among kids who look around at things like famine, war, disease, murder, inequality and think, Hey, this is not right! I don’t know if I really care about this world after all. It’s a pretty crummy place. So they develop an attitude of apathy and try to block everything out. Even though they give their best effort to appear shielded, apathetic teens are still struggling to express anxiety, worry and fear over situations in their life. For the teen who is trying to overcome their anxiety through a cavalier attitude, you have to help them put life into perspective. Talk about the things worth celebrating. Show your apathetic son or daughter that life has more joy and happiness than what he or she can see at the moment. And let your teen know you believe in them. Many teens fear they don’t have what it takes for learning, for working, or succeeding in life. They compare themselves to others and refuse to try to do something they don’t think they can do—or do well. So here’s where you can guide them into places and projects where they can experience sucAuburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

cess and satisfaction—a part-time job, a new sport, or a fun project that you can even do alongside them. This will help them overcome the fear of failure that many apathetic teens face. It is easy to feign apathy rather than admit fear. That’s why it’s important to create a safe relationship with them. Let them know that you, too, have fears that you must face. Being vulnerable with them and allowing them to process their real feelings will go a long way in releasing them from their fears. And it will equip them to face future fears as they arise.

Grief-Based Apathy

As teenagers begin to face the realization that the world isn’t the happy and carefree place they once thought it was, they might experience a deep sense of sadness and grief. Coming face-to-face with death and tragedy causes a loss of innocence. Sometimes a traumatic experience in a teen’s life can be a secret source of grief. As parents, we don’t know everything that is happening in our child’s life. My parents didn’t know everything I did as a teenager. And I’m guessing it was the same for you. So you can be sure that you don’t know everything your teenager is going through either. If grief is fueling their apathy, then we need to help our kids learn to process and deal with that emotion in a healthy way. Be attentive to your teen. Notice the little and big things that indicate what he or she is really experiencing. Have patience and encourage him or her to not only express his sadness, but his anger, and frustration, too. Show them that there are healthy ways to express all the emotions they feel. A friend who worked with me at Kanakuk Kamp in the ‘80s made a statement that has stayed with me through the years. He said, “The moods of a lifetime are often set in the all-but-forgotten events of childhood.” If your son holds on to his grief instead of processing it and moving past it, that grief may become the “mood of a lifetime.” And being apathetic may be your daughter’s way of trying to navigate these difficult feelings, when 30

she really needs your help to process them in a safe and respectable way.

Anger-Based Apathy

There is nothing wrong with being angry. When we see acts of cruelty, scenes of chaos, or loss of life, it’s natural to feel anger and rage over a fallen world where bad things happen to good people. But in the same way that adults need to channel their anger into appropriate outlets, teen anger must be dealt with or it will grow into an “I-just-don’t-careanymore” attitude—or even something more destructive. So direct your teens to acceptable ways of expressing anger. Show them appropriate ways to let off steam. You can write a letter, go for a run, listen to music, paint a picture, build something, or even talk it out. Encourage them to use those angry feelings to do something, rather then let them boil inside. I’ve found the best way to break an apathetic attitude is to get your teen to serve others. Apathy is really a preoccupation with yourself. So when you take a kid on a mission trip, serve a soup kitchen, visit a nursing home, or make dinner for your sick neighbors, you are replacing a teenager’s self-obsession with a focus on helping others. When our kids say, “I don’t care,” the easy response is to say, “You’re being apathetic!” But pointing out a kid’s bad attitude doesn’t change it. Breaking your son or daughter out of their indifference requires getting to the root of the problem, and addressing those feelings. It also may require changing your own attitude. Do you complain about problems at work, church, or at home, but never take steps to get involved in making change happen? Would you rather talk than take action to do something? Apathy can be infectious. So if you’re dealing with a teen who doesn’t care, make sure you do! And make sure it shows in your actions. Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder of a residential counseling center for struggling teens located in Longview, Texas. Mark’s passion for helping teens can be seen in his 40 years of involvement with families as a youth pastor, Young Life area director, and now, as the Executive Director of Heartlight, where he has lived with and helped over 2,700 teens. To find out more about Mark and his ministry to parents and teens, you can visit or



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Your Under No Obligation Q. Our son is about to graduate from law school. He took out a loan to cover the cost, but we’ve always been debt-free and have been paying on it to help him out while he finishes his studies. The balance on the loan right now is around $30,000. He has a job waiting for him after he graduates, so we’re thinking about telling him it will be his responsibility to finish paying off the loan at that point. Is that wrong? A. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a young law school graduate earning a living and paying off his own debt. I hope he appreciates how generous you both have been, but you shouldn’t feel as if you’re obligated to continue making these payments after he finishes school and begins working. Now, if you decide to pay it off for him as a gift for successfully completing law school — and you’re in a financial position to do so without hurting yourselves or your

future — that’s fine, too. It would be another incredibly generous act. And in my mind, generosity of that magnitude should be met with gratitude and appreciation of equal measure. If you choose this route, let him know how and why you were able to give him this gift. Don’t hold it over his head or beat him up with it, but stress the importance of being wise with money, saving and investing, and staying out of debt in the future. Let him know if he’ll follow your example, he might be able to do the same kind of thing for his kids someday. That would be a wonderful thing to see, wouldn’t it?

Used car mileage Q. I know you advise most people to buy used cars. Do you have a rule of thumb for a mileage limit when it comes to buying a used vehicle?

A. No, not really. Sometimes mileage alone can be a good indicator of the quality of a used vehicle, but that’s not always the case. I would also advise doing a little research, and maybe letting a trusted mechanic have a look to determine if there are any issues that might give you trouble soon. The more inexpensive, and cheaply made a car is, the more likely it becomes that it would be worn down by higher mileage. Some vehicles start to get a little ragged at 100,000 miles, while others — some of the better makes — are just getting a feel for the road at that point. Of course, a lot depends on your budget, too. Overall, I would advise you to look for something that has a good reputation, a solid history, and as little mileage as possible. There are good, used cars out there that will last for years!


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This year, resist external messages de-

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January 1st. But unless parents are clear that

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Here are a few family discussion topics that will help you focus on building your family up rather than on tearing each other down. Because, of course, when you feel critical of yourself, nit-picking your kids swiftly follows. Instead, start discussing these topics and watch the never-good-enough season transform into the joyful New Year every family craves. Discuss what was joyful last year. What choices did family members make that brought them joy? Were there some decisions any family members made that created disappointment? You can learn as much from what did not work as you can from what did work, so don’t be afraid to admit to any mistakes you feel you may have made. A balanced year is full of ups and downs.

Express feelings of joy. Have a deeper conversation about choices you made last year that brought you joy. What were the smartest decisions you made from your perspective? How did these positive choices make you feel? Would you make these same choices again? One of the best ways to milk more joy out of last year is to spend time discussing last year’s happiest moments. Imagine the new year as even more joyful. Ask each family member


to make up a story about what an even more joyful year would look like. They can make the story as ambitious or inspired as they like. For example, maybe one family member wants to get admitted to a college of her choice while another simply wants to maintain a long-time enjoyable activity. Remain nonjudgmental. Joy is not a competition and each person’s joy is unique to them. Each family member can tell the story that makes them feel the most content, and no one else in the family should interject their ideas or expectations.


Affirm each other’s visions. After



everyone has shared, family members will feel motivated to help each other. First

affirm the validity of each family member’s dream. Make sure everyone feels supported by each other. Stressing teamwork in achieving shared individual goals can help reduce sibling rivalry. Kids who are empowered to be authentic don’t have to compete with anyone. Parents can take whatever actions they can throughout the year to support each family member’s dreams. And parents should expect support for their dreams, as well. Don’t sit back and let the kids have all the fun! You are the creator of your family traditions; you don’t have to go along with 33

the crowd. So celebrate the New Year in positive, constructive ways that build family members up, rather than a negative, critical ways that tear family members down. When you teach your family members to use joy as a touchstone for making choices this year and every year, you give them the keys to creating personal satisfaction in their lives and you get to watch your family grow closer than ever every year. AOP Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz strives to live a joy-centric life, despite whatever else is going on in the world. She knows there is nothing more important to pass along to future generations.

Making YouTube Kids Safer for Your Children Kids love videos—the sillier the better. And it’s a rare parent who hasn’t used them to secure a little quiet time. Today YouTube is, by far, the largest source of videos of all kinds. When they created an app for children in 2015, many parents assumed the content would be carefully curated and reliably child-friendly. Much of it is. YouTubeKids lets even young children happily swipe through a vast collection of content, much of it featuring familiar characters like Winnie the Pooh, Peppah Pig and PAW Patrol. Education clips are also plentiful, many from reputable sources like Khan’s Academy and PBS Kids. Mixed into this stew are videos created by users which vary enormously in content and quality. A small percentage include bizarre and even traumatizing images, sometimes of those same beloved characters doing lewd and violent things. How does this happen? Google uses artificial intelligence to decide whether a video is suitable for children. Although AI has come a long way, it doesn’t always spot problems that would be glaringly obvious to people. It may, for example, miss the nuance that distinguishes adult satire from the innocent content it’s meant to mock. And it’s often oblivious to trolls and clickbait—content created simply to lure clicks that generate revenue. In its defense, Google warns that children may encounter inappropriate content and asks that parents flag such material so other kids won’t see it. Of course, that’s a significant change. In the past, parents could assume children’s media was created with the wellbeing of kids in mind. On YouTubeKids, at least some of the videos are created to satisfy algorithms, stringing together content associated with key words in ways that are at best nonsensical and at worst disturbing. Google keeps changing its policies in an effort to stay Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

ahead of so-called bad actors, but often it seems the robots and their handlers are playing catch-up. Even when content is properly curated, parents need to be aware that children see a lot of commercial messages on YouTubeKids. The Red subscription may be free of paid advertising, but children still have access to entire channels created by companies like Hasbro or McDonalds. They’re also likely to encounter unboxing videos, short segments in which someone breathlessly unwraps a toy or a sweet, a process that seems designed to incite cravings in kids. Unfortunately, the parental controls for YouTubeKids are very limited. Parents can’t set their own filters for content or create playlists of acceptable videos such as those reviewed by Common Sense Media ( youtube-reviews). Most kids will still explore by swiping, so it’s good to know about these options: Change the password. Find the Grownups only section in the YouTubeKids app, and unlock it by using the random four digit passcode. The numbers are spelled out so pre-readers can’t use the code. For any child at the edge of literacy, find the “Set my own Passcode” button and do it. Disable search. Searching for videos increases the likelihood that children will see something unsuitable. Google allows parents to set up a profile for each child, so search can be enable or disabled depending on the child’s age and self control. Off should be the default. Tap the lock icon in the lower-right, enter the password, choose settings, create or find your child’s profile, and toggle off search. Review history. Because YouTubeKids doesn’t have filters, parents can’t necessarily keep kids from seeing something they 34

don’t want them to see. The app does make it easy to review history which at least allows a conversation, after the fact, about why a video is objectionable. Block videos you don’t want your child to see. If you see something unsuitable for your child, block the video or the entire channel. Just tap the triple-dot button for the video and then tap block. Report videos no child should see. Reporting gets the attention of human screeners who are actually counting on conscientious parents to let them know about unsuitable content that slipped by the robots. Think of this as a public service. If you see something, say something by tapping the triple-dot button and then Report. Set limits. To its credit, YouTubeKids does include a timer. Once it’s set, a colored progress bar lets your child see how much time is left in a session. When the clock runs out, a “Time’s Up” animation appears and the app locks until a parent enters the access code. Consider other options. Last but not least, consider other options. YouTubeKids may have the largest collection of videos but, when it comes to kids, quality is preferable to quantity. Companies like Disney, Nick Jr, and PBS Kids have brands to protect so they are likely to be more careful about what appears in their apps. For other possibilities, consult the list of video alternatives compiled by Common Sense Media ( lists/streaming-video-apps). Regardless of where your child watches videos, talk often about what your child is seeing and ask questions that develop critical thinking skills. Why does your child like certain characters? Are they behaving in a way that would be OK if a real person did it? Why is something funny? Did your child learn anything from the video? Is someone trying to get them to buy or do something? Having these conversations helps children become more discerning about what they watch, a skill that will be only become more valuable as they get older. Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart. Available at Amazon and Cooperative @ Copyright, 2018, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.






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Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018



As you begin exploring schools for your child, you begin to realize that you have dozens of options. And they are all a little different. It’s rather bewildering looking at all these web sites especially if you have never visited a private school before. They are all so different. How can you ever decide which one is best for your daughter? Start with a very basic strategy, a game plan if you will. Let’s look at what really matters when it comes to choosing a private school for your child.

Your requirements Start with your requirements. Your requirements trump everything. So have a family discussion. Be relaxed and openminded because your requirements as a parent are going to be different from your daughter’s. You are thinking the best educational experience. She’s thinking about her life and her friends and the reality that she will have a whole new situation to deal with. That’s scary for a young person. But you can make it an adventure and get her to buy into going to private school if you are patient, informative and, above all, a

listener. Dictating to your child will probably get you nowhere in a hurry. So, what’s really important? Ponder these questions and then develop some answers after having that family discussion. • Are you looking for a traditional college prep school experience or something else? • Is your religion a major determining factor? • What about sports? Arts programs? Extracurricular activities?


If college preparation is your goal, think about the kind of college your daughter is likely to attend. Note that I said “likely to attend” as the dream you may have of her attending on of the Ivies simply may not be realistic. I know that four or five years in the future seems like an eternity but try to project your thinking and expectations as far ahead as you can. Then focus on the quality of the academic curriculum at the private schools you are researching. Look at the faculty. Do they have degrees in their subjects? Masters or doctorates? Is there breadth and depth in the course offerings? Do you require strong sciences? A rich array of languages and humanities? What about the enrichment programs offered? If you are looking for a military education or a progressive approach, that will narrow the field considerably as there are far fewer military and progressive schools out there. Ditto with regard to your religion. If you have very specific requirements, that too will narrow the field of choices. Other considerations are arts and sports programs. If your child is really good at a particular sport, then inspect schools closely to see if they fit your needs. A

strong inter-school athletic program will probably be a requirement for most sports. Plenty of performing opportunities in the music program would be a requirement on the arts side. The important thing is not to take these for granted. Inspect and verify. Now you are beginning to see how your organizational skills fit into the school search process. Now we start to get into more nebulous territory. This is where you have to trust your instincts. What do I mean? After looking at all those school web sites and filtering out schools based on your requirements, you will probably end up with several schools which meet your requirements fairly well. This is where you will fine tune those choices. The way you do that is by visiting the schools. Remember: it is not enough to rely on what you are seeing online. You actually must set foot on the campuses of schools which interest you and see how they work for you and your child.

Finances If financial aid is a factor in your school choice, work that component in at this stage. The amount of financial aid a school offers could possibly eliminate some of the schools on your list. Are you

discounting the idea of a private education for your child simply because you think you cannot afford it? I suggest that you ask about financial aid first. Then make your decision based on the facts which may pleasantly surprise you.

Setting and location Private schools come in two main locations: urban/suburban and in the middle of nowhere. If the location and setting matter greatly to you - and it should - look closely at this and determine which schools are most practical for you.

Philosophy You looked at the school’s philosophy when you were discussing your requirements. But educational philosophy is such a subtle thing that you need to circle back and examine each school on your short list very closely with regards to educational philosophy. After all, the school is pretty much casting the die for your child in those critical high school years. Make absolutely sure that the school’s educational philosophy meshes with your own. If you are not sure about what is being taught, read the text books and understand their point of view. Ask questions.

Visiting the school The process of choosing a school is much like buying a house. You wouldn’t buy a house sight unseen. Same thing with choosing a private school. Visit every school on your short list. Satisfy yourself firsthand that it meets your requirements.

What’s not important In education, rankings are not important. What your child learns is the only thing besides her happiness which matters. First of all, there are no private school rankings. You can safely ignore beauty contest listings of private schools which appear in the press. I don’t recall ever seeing one article which purported to rank private schools that made any sense. Titillating reading, possibly. Sensible information? No. If you want to know where one school fits in relative to another, ask your educational consultant. She will point out important facts and data to consider. But even she will not rank schools except in a casual, anecdotal way. Ranks are not important. The fit with your requirements is. Find a couple of schools which are good fits and you will have a happy child. That’s all that matters. AOP Contributed by Robert Kennedy. Please visit


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Come see us at our new office!

719 North Dean Road • Auburn Proudly serving the community for over 10 years Call us today to schedule your complimentary evaluation! Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

334-501-7000 38


A Page in a Book



Grateful for Good Reading


A child’s introduction to expressing gratitude usually comes first with our own example, and later with our first whispered ‘Say, thank you’ as we teach them to voice appreciation. When our children are treated with kindness, offered a gift or receive help, we want to teach them the ways to respond with thankfulness. But even more important than appreciative words are the profound and sincere feelings of true appreciation. The following titles take a deeper dive into our ‘thank you’ moments and bring to the surface the richer reasons for gratitude in our lives.


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Thank You, Mr. Panda

by Steve Antony (Scholastic Press) Wearing his constant expression of stoic endurance and trailed by his friend Lemur, Mr. Panda ventures out with gaily wrapped presents specifically tailored for each of his friends. When he solemnly gifts Mouse with a sweater, the response isn’t ‘thank you’ but rather, ‘It’s too big’. Lemur helpfully interjects ‘It’s the thought that counts!’ Mr. Panda’s gift of six socks for Octopus spurs an exclamation of ‘But, I have eight legs. Lemur is nearby to point out the thought that counts with each almost perfect gift Mr. Panda offers. When a last present emerges for Lemur, will Mr. Panda finally get the thanks he deserves? If you’re looking for a primer on helping children receive gifts with grace, even if it’s the wrong size, shape or color, this title is just right.

Ten Thank You Letters

by Daniel Kirk (Nancy Paulson Books / Penguin) When Rabbit drops in on his friend Pig, he finds his pal writing a ‘thank you’ letter to his Grandma. Encouraged by Pig’s thoughtfulness, Rabbit asks to borrow paper and pen as he embarks on a mission to thank those who have positively affected his life. From his favorite author to the crossing guard, Rabbit remembers many people who deserve thanks for the things they do. Pig is glad to see Rabbit’s enthusiasm for writing letters, until it exacts an unfortunate toll on his supply of stamps. It may take one last important ‘thank you’ to remind both friends about the importance of gratitude. Encouraging kids to recognize the broader gifts in their lives, this celebration of a formal ‘thank you’ is welcome reading!

Thank You For Me

by Marion Dane Bauer, Illustrated by Kristina Stephenson (Simon & Schuster) Peeking into the diverse lives of children, ‘Thank You For Me’ is a sensory exploration of all the ways little ones experience their personal world with gratitude. Hearing daddy’s ‘Hush-sh-sh-sh’, seeing mama’s face, tapping toes and clapping hands join a list of gifts that receive special thankfulness from children. From the nose that smells the rain to the skin that fits exactly right, everyone is born with aspects and abilities that are worthy of appreciation. While children are encouraged to express their thanks for gifts and kindness that comes their way, this heartwarming title gently reminds kids of all the moments that deserve acknowledgment and thankfulness every day.

Find more reading recommendations at


Kids with Keys to the Car

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

Safely secured in their pumpkin seat, children typically meet a car when they take their first ride home from the hospital. For many kids this is the beginning of a life-long love affair with cars and the independence they represent. But relegated to the back seat for most of their youth, a child’s curiosity about cars is amplified and their desire to explore all things automotive, magnified. The following toys let kids explore the driver’s seat, grab the keys, kick the tires and take the wheel as they explore the familiar machine that moves them through their lives.

by Gerry Paige Smith

V-Tech Beep & Go Keys

Whisper Ride II (Step 2)

(V-Tech Baby)

Kids take the next step toward driving independence when they transition from being pulled along as a passenger in a wagon, to taking the wheel in the push cart design of the Whisper Ride II. With an adult hand managing speed and direction from behind, little operators can confidently take the lead as they occupy the driver’s seat in front. Featuring automotive decals, seat belt, under-hood storage, a working horn and cup holders (for both adult and child), this ride is ready for every off-road expedition. Perfect pairing parent-child transportation for neighborhood walks, festival outings, park adventures and more, the Whisper Ride II from Step 2 is ready to roll out in style.

Sat Nav Steering Wheel

Theo Klein Service

Car Station

Simulating a realistic driving experience either at home or in the car, Casdon’s Sat Nav Steering Wheel is the perfect choice for the serious driver-in-training. With simulated driving sounds and realistic design features, kids can learn right from left as well as the principles of acceleration while they navigate the course suggested by the Sat Nav. Handeye coordination and decision-making are also supported by the responsive design of this steering wheel as kids develop real-world navigation skills in a safe and engaging environment. Enjoying a realistic and responsive experience behind the wheel, young car enthusiasts’ will be engaged and entertained as they explore the fundamentals of driving with the Sat Nav Steering Wheel.

For children who seek a deeper understanding of the workings inside a car, the Theo Klein Car Station offers a closer look into the workings of an automobile. Built for tinkering, this station lets little ones open the hood and give the engine a once (or thrice) over. From changing the oil and tire to rebuilding the engine, young mechanics are equipped with tools to manipulate and manage the various working of a simplified car engine. Using a handful of AAA batteries, the Service Car Station also features working headlights, horn and realistic engine sounds. The only thing missing is an oily mess. Providing an excellent primer on a car’s familiar functions, this toy is top choice for the young automobile fan who wants to get up under the hood.

Dangling from parents’ hands like forbidden fruit, jingling with a siren’s call that small children can’t resist, our real keys to the car are the most perfectly imperfect toy for little kids. Thankfully, there’s an easy replacement for legitimate keys that will not only keep kids occupied, but also provide additional entertainment and learning opportunities in the mix. With an electronic motion sensor and buttons that generate more than 30 sounds, songs and phrases, V-Tech Beep & Go Keys offers hours of play for little hands. One of the keys is rubberized for additional teething action as well! For every parent of toddlers whose car alarm mysteriously goes off, and their toddler is the key-in-hand prime suspect, this interactive set is the ideal answer.


(Theo Klein)

Gerry Paige Smith is a syndicated columnist recommending the best products for kids and their families. Discover more at

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018


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Key Opportunities to Seize Won’t Cost a Dime! by Michele Ranard, M.Ed.

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If you are anxious to provide your preschool-aged child with opportunities leading to later academic success, you are in good company! Opportunities certainly exist; however, as well-meaning parents we may be vulnerable to thinking “inside information” or alternative fast tracks are the key. In reality, current research and expert advice on emerging literacy are far more reliable than the latest hype. The advice often won’t have a sexy ring to it, but the foundation for success--those steps that lead your child to the point she is ready to read—comes from daily experiences at home. Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018



8 Opportunities to Seize Right Now In Carl Dunst’s Children’s Learning Opportunities Report (2000), he conceptualizes the opportunities for language development and early literacy in terms of incidental and intentional opportunities. Incidental opportunities might include watching leaves blow while on a walk, blowing on food when it’s too hot, or talking about body parts during bath time. Intentional activities might include story hour at the library or a trip to the zoo. Dunst says children need activity settings matched to their interests and competencies to practice existing skills and learn new abilities. Here are 8 opportunities Dunst suggests seizing:

Identify your young child’s


• What makes your child smile or laugh? • What makes your child happy and feel good? • What are your child’s favorite things? • What is enjoyable to your child? • What does your child work hard at doing?

Identify your young child’s


• What gets and keeps your child’s attention? • What is your child good at doing? • What “brings out the best” in your child? • What does your child like to do a lot? • What gets your child to try new things?

Everyday Repetition and Rituals.

It’s the everyday stuff! Repetition during meal time, bath time, diaper changes, and bedtime story routines primes young children for later school success. Sound lazy or too simple? It’s huge. Rosenkoetter and Barton’s Bridges to Literacy (2002) encourages parents to think of building bridges to literacy by providing experiences that include print, responsiveness, repetition, modeling and motivation, and oral language.

Think PRINT.

Reading time may be brief but must occur every day. Listening to stories helps kids explore new worlds, laugh across generations, and learn about amazing and ordinary things. Sharing stories can be a balm for irritable or fussy children. Rosenkoetter and Barton indicate “Shared reading also provides security and calms children’s restlessness.” Reading together should be relaxing and fun. It is not just about the exposure to language, it’s about creating happy reading memories which set the stage for a love of reading.


For early literacy, you want your child to learn: language is fun, she can do it well, and get results from using it. When your child speaks, help her feel successful by giving her attention and lots of positive affirmation.

Repeat Key Phrases.

Provide routine schedules that use familiar phrases (such as “let’s have some lunch” or “scrub-a-dub-dub”) and cues at key times


during the day. Nap and bedtime routines should be kept the same, and reading the same book over and over helps strengthen the foundation for later academic success.

Be a consistent MODEL and MOTIVATOR.

It’s important your child sees you reading. “Such routines demonstrate that reading is important in the lives of older people and draws attention to the value of reading for coping with everyday life.” At home, point out that you are reading the newspaper or a recipe. On car rides, be intentional as you point out signs on the road or the names on store fronts. It’s also important to write and draw with your child. “When children draw pictures, their verbal comments should regularly be written on the page and read aloud.”


Quantity matters so talk a lot. You want to expose your child to as many words an hour as possible. Talk to your child during work and play. Chitchat has a big payoff and translates into broader vocabularies and higher levels of reading later. In Learning to Read the World (Zero to Three, 2004) Rosenkoetter and Knapp-Philo write “From this foundation of basic learning and subsequent daily explorations with everyday people and objects, the young child builds many other understandings of self and others…young children begin to ‘read their world’ and to have wider and greater impact upon it.” AOP Michele Ranard is a former preschool teacher with a master’s of education degree in counseling.


FamilyCalendar Thursday, December 28 Preschool Time Preschoolers and their favorite adults enjoy 30 minutes of interactive stories, songs, movement rhymes, and a fun craft during Preschool Time Stay afterwards to socialize and play! 3 – 5 years. 9:3010:00 a.m., 10:30-11:00 a.m. or 1:00-1:30 p.m. Totally Sports Covington Rec Center, Opelika. Sports, sports and more sports! Come enjoy flag football, basketball and more! Fee: $25 ages 5-12; 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 334-705-5560. National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest (Dec. 26-30) “Wild Life” and “Cars 3”. 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Columbus. Looking for something to do with the kids during Winter Break? The films are FREE to the public! Admission is on a first come, first seated basis. Concessions will open prior to the first showing. Specials will be available, including a Snack Pack (popcorn, fruit snack, and 16 oz. drink) for $5. S’mores n’ More Gather around the fire pit on the A·T Ariccia Trattoria, Auburn patio to sip on hot chocolate while building your own gourmet s’more with smorgasbord of toppings. S’mores n’ More is every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in December from 5 - 8 p.m. 334-844-5140. Totally Sports Covington Rec Center, Opelika. Come enjoy flag football, basketball and more! $25, ages 5-12. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 334-705-5560. Holiday Safari Join Cooper Library, Opelika, 10:00 a.m. for a Holiday Safari program featuring 6 live animals. Participants will select a present from beneath a small Christmas Tree containing a clue which corresponds to one of the surprise guest animals. All will have an opportunity to get hands-on during this special program. The event is free, but registration is required. Email or call 334705-5378 to register.

Friday, December 29 National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest See Dec. 28 for details. Live Jazz at Ariccia Auburn Hotel and Dixon Conference Center, Auburn. Join Piccolo within the Hotel at Auburn University every Friday and Saturday evening for live jazz from 8-11 p.m. Holiday Safari See Dec. 28 for details.

Saturday, December 30 Young Eagles Day Columbus Airport, 3250 W. Britt David Road, Columbus, Ga. 8:30-11:30 a.m. (weather permitting). All kids ages 8-17 are invited to take a

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

Free airplane ride over Columbus! Most flights last 20 minutes. The goal is to provide a fun and educational aviation experience. 706-324-2453 Saturday STEM Storytime Auburn Public Library. Preschoolers - 2nd grade children and their caregivers are invited to join us for a storytime on Saturday mornings that is all about STEM. 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math This storytime will focus on these concepts in a fun, interactive, story-driven format Please note: Some activities may involve messy fun! (334) 501-3296. Eye Spy Camera Scavenger Hunt at FDR State Park Pine Mountain, Ga. Team up for our on-site scavenger hunt with your camera or phone. Pick up checklist/rules at the park office any time. Pictures must be brought to park office with checklist by 4 p.m. Winners notified by phone to pick up prize. National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest See Dec. 28 for details. Holiday Safari See Dec. 28 for details. Live Jazz at Ariccia See Dec. 29 for details.

National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest “Rock Dog” and “Despicable Me 3”. See Dec. 28 for details. Lego Robotics at Bricks & Minifigs Columbus, Georgia. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Experience the cutting edge of technology with this introduction of LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3® Robotics. Jan. 2 - 5.

Wednesday, January 3 Toddler Time Auburn Public Library. Toddlers and their favorite adults enjoy 30 minutes of interactive stories, songs, movement rhymes, and a fun craft during Toddler Time. Stay afterwards to socialize and play! Ages 18 months-3 years. 9:30-10:00 a.m. or 10:30-11:00 a.m. or 1:00-1:30 p.m. library.

S’mores n’ More See Dec. 28 for details.

Sunday, December 31

Lego Robotics at Bricks & Minifigs See Jan. 2 for details.

The Great Xscape Tour Philips Arena, Ga.

Bricks 4 Kidz Mashup Camp See Jan. 2 for details.

New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring Fantasia & Bell Biv Devoe BJCC, Birmingham.

Thursday, January 4

Monday, January 1 Overlook Loop First Day Hike Pine Mountain, Georgia. 1 p.m. Hike with guides from the Pine Mountain Trail Association across the narrow ridge of Pine Mountain. Miles of great views through and over mixed hardwood forests. Easy to moderate 3.4 mile hike. Meet at the Callaway Gardens Country Store Overlook Parking Lot. $5 parking. 706-663-4858. New Year’s Brunch Ariccia Trattoria, Hotel at Auburn and Dixon Conference Center. 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. www. Hank Williams 65th Memorial Montgomery. Oakwood Cemetery Annex at 10 a.m. for the annual wreath-laying at Hank Williams’ gravesite. Everyone is invited to join us at the Museum for live music until 1 p.m. www.

Tuesday, January 2 Baby Time Auburn Public Library. Babies and their favorite adults enjoy 20 minutes of stories, songs, bounces, and tickles during Baby Time. Stay afterwards to socialize and play! Ages birth - 24 months. 9:30-10:00 a.m., 10:00-10:30 a.m. or 1:00-1:30 p.m.


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Bricks 4 Kidz Mashup Camp Columbus, Georgia. 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Features our most popular camps inspired by Pokemon, Mine Craft, and Ninjago! Each camper will build their very own LEGO minifigure to take home. Jan. 2 - 5.

National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest “Rock Dog” and “Despicable Me 3”. See Dec. 28 for details.

Holiday Safari See Dec. 28 for details.

Pre See

Gamers Society Auburn Public Library. It’s Game On at the Auburn Public Library The Programming Room will be open every Thursday, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., for Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and video games Gamers must bring their own materials The Auburn Public Library will provide materials for video game play. Games must be rated E, E10, or T; no rated M games. Ages 10-18 years. Brick Builders Opelika Public Library, Opelika. 3:30 p.m. All ages. If you love creating with Lego bricks, then this is the place to be! Open to all ages, but geared towards school-aged children, your creativity will take the spotlight as you build whatever you can imagine. Lego bricks provided. Code Club Opelika Public Library, Opelika. 4:30 p.m. Code Club at the Lewis Cooper Jr. Memorial Library is going to teach your kids how to make website, apps, and games in a fun environment. Give them much needed exposure to STEM education and let them get ahead of the crowd. Bring your own laptop if you have one, but it is not required. Meets weekly.


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FamilyCalendar Preschool Time See Dec. 28 for details. National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest “Rock Dog” and “Despicable Me 3”. See Dec. 28 for details. Lego Robotics at Bricks & Minifigs See Jan. 2 for details. Bricks 4 Kidz Mashup Camp See Jan. 2 for details.

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Friday, January 5 Audubon’s 118th Christmas Bird Count Pine Mountain, Georgia. Join us and Callaway Gardens for a day in the gardens, fields, and woods counting our feathered friends in selected groups. Birding experience suggested. Bring picnic lunch and snacks. Call 706-663-5155 or email plcolli@ $5 parking. 706-594-0578. Story Time and Craft Opelika Public Library, Opelika. 10 a.m. Ages 0-5 years. Each week you will hear a new story with a related craft. This is a GREAT way for preschoolers to practice those fine motor skills so vital in school. Meets weekly.

National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest “Rock Dog” and “Despicable Me 3”. See Dec. 28 for details. Lego Robotics at Bricks & Minifigs See Jan. 2 for details.

Alabama Dance Festival See “Ongoing” section of calendar for details.

Sunday, January 7 Monster Jam Triple Threat Series See Jan. 6 for details.

Bricks 4 Kidz Mashup Camp See Jan. 2 for details.

Saturday, January 6 Eye Spy 20 Camera Scavenger Hunt Pine Mountain, Georgia. Team up for our on-site scavenger hunt with your camera or phone. Pick up checklist/rules at the park office any time. Pictures must be brought to park office with checklist by 4 p.m. Saturday. Winners notified by phone to pick up prize. $5 parking. 706-663-4858. Monster Jam Triple Threat Series Jan. 6 - 7. BJCC, Birmingham. Price Range: $16 - $65. Additional fees are applied at Checkout. Prices subject to change. Ages 2+ must have a ticket. No professional cameras/no recording. For Groups call 888-305-9550 or emailbirmingham@ Saturday STEM Storytime See Dec. 30 for details. National Infantry Museum Kids Free Winter Film Fest “Rock Dog” and “Despicable Me 3”. See Dec. 28 for details.

Story Time Opelika Public Library, Opelika. Join us for an interactive and engaging preschool program that is sure to delight and entertain. They won’t even know they are learning! Meets weekly. Ages 0-5 years. 10:00 a.m.

Monday, January 8 WWE SmackDown Live Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery.

Tuesday, January 9 WWE SmackDown Live BJCC, Birmingham. Family Discovery Walk: Groundhogs Kreher Preserve& Nature Center, Auburn. 3:30 p.m. Learn something new each month about plants,


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FamilyCalendar wildlife and nature with a trained naturalist who will offer your family fun opportunities for hands-on learning, exploration, and exercise! Discovery Hikes are offered the second Tuesday of each month from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. For families with children ages 5 to 12. Free, donations are welcomed. Cancelled in the event of Adult Nature Hike: Groundhogs Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, Auburn. 8:30 a.m. Join our guides for a peaceful morning walk as you take in the many sights and sounds of the preserve. Nature Hikes offer excellent opportunities to socialize and learn, while enjoying fresh air and exercise in our beautiful outdoors. Hikes are for adults only and offered the second Thursday of each month from 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Canceled in the event of rain. Free, donations are welcomed. Baby Time See Jan. 2 for details. Cold Weather Treats Covington Rec Center, Opelika. Easy cooking fun for preschoolers! $10 resident, $11 non-resident. 3:30 p.m..,

Wednesday, January 10 Toddler Time See Jan. 3 for details.

Thursday, January 11 Code Club See Jan. 4 for details. Jerry Seinfeld BJCC, Birmingham. Gamers Society Auburn Public Library. See Jan. 4 for details. Preschool Time See Dec. 28 for details. Brick Builders See Jan. 4 for details. Riverdance RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. The international Irish dance phenomenon is back by popular demand with Riverdance – The 20th Anniversary World Tour.

Friday, January 12

be a chili taster (able to judge all chilis) or a heat challenger (eat hot peppers ). Meet at the Large Group Camp Dining Hall. $5 Chili Tasters & Hot Pepper Heat Challengers; $10 Chili Cooks; $10 Chili cookers. $5 parking. 706-663-4858.

Birmingham Boat Show Jan 18 - 21. BJCC.

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Friday, January 19


Second Saturday at Pioneer Park Loachapoka. On the second Saturday of every month, a group of history re-enactors gather at the LCHS Museum in period attire to demonstrate their arts and crafts. The Whistle Stop Pickers dulcimer group meets at the Museum at 1 p.m..

Birmingham Boat Show Jan 18 - 21. BJCC.

Second Saturday at Columbus Museum 1251 Wynnton Road, Columbus. 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Free Admission. Drop by the art cart with your children and grandchildren each month to explore various mediums of art, enjoy art related stories, and participate in gallery hunts at the Museum. Saturday STEM Storytime See Dec. 30 for details.

Sunday, January 14 Pink Bride Wedding Show BJCC, Birmingham. Opelika-Auburn News Bridal Extravaganza Auburn Marriott Opelika Hotel & Conference Center, Opelika. 1:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. All of the ticket money goes to benefit our Newspapers in Education program. We will be accepting cash or check only at the door. Story Time See Jan. 7 for details.

Monday, January 15 Free Fee Day at Talladega and Tuskegee National Forests

Tuesday, January 16 The 20th Anniversary Tour of Riverdance BJCC, Birmingham. Baby Time See Jan. 2 for details.

Wednesday, January 17

Saturday, January 20 Eye Spy 20 Camera Scavenger Hunt See Jan. 6 for details. Miranda Lambert: Livin’ Like Hippies Tour Duluth, Ga. Free Racquetball Clinic and Tournament Jan. 20 - 21. Join us at Frank Brown Recreation Center to learn about the game of racquetball and then play in a tournament for fun! Ladies’ clinic and tournament: Saturday, January 20 from 9 a.m. – noon. Men’s clinic and tournament: Sunday, January 21 from 2 – 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required and may be completed by visiting or auburnalabama. org/parks. This event is FREE and open to racquetball players of all skill levels ages 16 and older. (334) 501-2948 • activeauburn@ Columbus Symphony Orchestra Open Dress Rehearsal RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. 12:30-3:00 p.m. Family Dress Rehearsals are Open Dress Rehearsals with an informal and all-inclusive atmosphere. Bring your kids & family to listen to great music! Our doors are open to people ages zero & up! Columbus Symphony Orchestra: Unusual Percussion & A Little Rach 6:30 p.m. RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. Never have recycled cans, hubcaps, and bottles of all shapes and sizes sounded so amazing. Pair it with Rachmaninoff’s lush, lyrical, post-Romantic symphony and you have a concert experience you will never forget. www.rivercenter. org.

Toddler Time See Jan. 3 for details.

Saturday STEM Storytime See Dec. 30 for details.

Thursday, January 18

Birmingham Boat Show Jan 18 - 21. BJCC.

Story Time and Craft See Jan. 5 for details.

Third Thursday Poetry Series Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. 6:30 p.m. The spring semester group of poets visit JCSM for the spring 2018 installment of the Third Thursday Poetry Series.

Saturday, January 13

Code Club See Jan. 4 for details.

Eye Spy 20 Camera Scavenger Hunt See Jan. 6 for details.

Brick Builders See Jan. 4 for details.

Chili Challenge and Tasting V Pine Mountain, Georgia. Sign up to enter the fifth year of this amateur cooking contest or register to

Preschool Time See Jan. 4 for details.

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

Story Time and Craft See Jan. 5 for details.

Super Saturdays at LaGrange Art Museum 112 Lafayette Pkwy, LaGrange, Ga. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Free family art day! Spend the afternoon at the Museum. Families, neighbors, and friends can tour the current exhibit and explore an art activity.

Sunday, January 21 Free Racquetball Clinic and Tournament See Jan. 20 for details. Birmingham Boat Show Jan 18 - 21. BJCC.


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FamilyCalendar Story Time See Jan. 7 for details.

Wednesday, January 24

Preschool Time See Jan. 4 for details.

Monday, January 22

Toddler Time See Jan. 3 for details.

Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details.

Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details.

Friday, January 26


Scale Back Alabama Jan. 22 - 28. (SBA) is a free, statewide weight-loss contest designed to encourage Alabamians to have fun while getting healthy. Auburn Parks and Recreation is proud to host Scale Back Alabama (SBA) for the fifth year! Weigh-ins for the 2018 Scale Back Alabama program will be held Jan. 2228. A complete schedule of weigh-in days and times will be available online at scalebackleeco. or call (334) 501-2930.

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Tuesday, January 23

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Baby Time See Jan. 2 for details.



Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details.

Thursday, January 25 “Freedom Train” RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. The thrilling story of Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her people, in a fascinating series of highly theatrical scenes that use dance, dialogue, and music of the period. Gamers Society See Jan. 4 for details. Brick Builders See Jan. 4 for details. Book Talk by Author Emily Blejwas Pebble Hill, Auburn. 4 p.m. Join the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities and the Auburn Public Library for a book talk by Emily Blejwas, author of “Once You Know This”. The event is free, open to the public, and will be followed by refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing. The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Pebble Hill is located at 101 S. Debardeleben Street, Auburn.

Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival Jan. 26 - 27. Troy. The festival begins at 6:30 on Friday night with supper and stories at the We Piddle Around Theater in Brundidge and continues with three storytelling concerts on Saturday (10 a.m., and 2 and 6:30 p.m.) at the Trojan Center Theatre (Troy University) in Troy. Call 334-685-5524 to find out more. East Alabama Arts: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Opelika Center for the Performing Arts, Opelika. Tine Thing Helseth is a Norwegian trumpet soloist specializing in classical repertoire. For more info, visit their website Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details. Story Time and Craft See Jan. 5 for details.

Saturday, January 27 Eye Spy 20 Camera Scavenger Hunt See Jan. 6 for details.

Code Club See Jan. 4 for details.

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FamilyCalendar Shen Yun Jan. 27 - 28. BJCC, Birmingham. Callaway Gardens Marathon/Half Marathon/5K Enjoy the marathon and half marathon entirely within Callaway Gardens on one of the most beautiful courses that you’ll ever run! 5K is around Robin Lake - flat and very fast! Birmingham Feline Fanciers CFA Allbreed Cat Show Jan. 27 - 28. Birmingham. Annual CFA Allbreed and Household Pet Cat Show at the beautiful Zamora Shrine Temple, located at 3521 Ratliff Rd in Irondale, Alabama. 9-5 Saturday and 9-4 Sunday. $8 Adults, $5 Seniors (60 and up), $4 Children under 10. Look for coupons online, at our website and in newspapers. www.

Sunday, January 28 Shen Yun See Jan. 27 for details. Birmingham Feline Fanciers CFA Allbreed Cat Show See Jan. 27 for details. Preschool Time See Jan. 4 for details.

Story Time See Jan. 7 for details.

Monday, January 29

Young Eagles Day Columbus Airport, 3250 W. Britt David Road, Columbus, Ga. 8:30-11:30 a.m. (weather permitting). All kids ages 8-17 are invited to take a Free airplane ride over Columbus! Most flights last 20 minutes. The goal is to provide a fun and educational aviation experience. 706-324-2453.

5th Annual Alabama Oyster Social Alfa Pavilion (Big Red Barn) in Auburn. Riverdance RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. Sip and Paint Pottery For adults 21 years and older, sit back, sip a BYOB beverage and enjoy painting a watercolor version of our lovely state of Alabama using underglazes on a bisque mug. Fee includes all supplies needed to create a ceramic mug, snacks and firing fees. Ceramic work will be available for pick up two weeks after the class. Participants must provide a valid ID to confirm age when the class meets. $35/participant.ccleckler@ Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details. 6th Annual Polar Plunge Samford Pool, Auburn. 9:00 a.m. The aim of the Auburn Polar Plunge is to raise financial support for the brave athletes of the Lee County Special Olympics. Once you’ve registered, your goal is to get as many people as possible to “sponsor” your plunge. There will be prizes for the people that raise the most money, as well as prizes for the winners of our costume contest. Register Online: CityofAuburn?season=1694803

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

Feb. 2: Family Discovery Walk: Heart Healthy Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, Auburn. 3:30 p.m. See Jan. 9 for details. Feb. 2: Adult Nature Hike: Heart Healthy Kreher Preserve & Nature Center, Auburn. 8:30 a.m. See Jan. 9 for details. Feb. 2, 9, 16, 23: Story Time and Craft See Jan. 5 for details.

Scale Back Alabama See Jan. 22 for details.

Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival See Jan. 26 for details.

Saturday STEM Storytime See Dec. 30 for details.

immersive entertainment extravaganza of magic, comedy, and music perfect for the entire family.

East Alabama Art: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” Opelika Center for the Performing Arts, www.

Tuesday, January 30 Baby Time See Jan. 2 for details.

Wednesday, January 31 Toddler Time See Jan. 3 for details.

February Feb. 1: Classic Albums Live: Creedence Clearwater Revival Classic Albums Live brings back the 20 greatest hits ever performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22: Brick Builders Opelika Public Library, Opelika. 3:30 p.m. All ages. If you love creating with Lego bricks, then this is the place to be! Open to all ages, but geared towards school-aged children, your creativity will take the spotlight as you build whatever you can imagine. Lego bricks provided. Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22: Code Club See Jan. 4 for details. Feb. 1, 2, 3, 9, and 10: The 29th annual Daddy Daughter Date Night All dance nights will be held at the Clarion Inn & Suites on S. College Street. Daughters, dads, granddads, and uncles are invited to dance the night away and enjoy refreshments, door prizes, dance contests, keepsake photos, and an evening of memories. This year’s theme is “A Night with Pops”. Visit Feb. 2: The Illusionists Present The Magic of Adam Trent RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, Columbus. An


Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26: Story Time Opelika Public Library, Opelika. Join us for an interactive and engaging preschool program that is sure to delight and entertain. They won’t even know they are learning! Meets weekly. Ages 0-5 years. 10:00 a.m. Feb. 10: Mardi Gras Parade Downtown Auburn. 4:00 p.m. www.krewedetigris. com.

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Feb. 12: East Alabama Arts: The Hot Sardines Opelika Center for the Performing Arts. The Hot Sardines are on a mission to make old sounds new again and prove that joyful music can bring people together in a disconnected world. For more info, visit their website Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Heart Hike Preserve & Nature Center, Auburn. Bring your special someone (sweetheart, spouse, child, friend) out for a unique interactive hike in the forest to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Walkers will share sweet memories and make some new ones. This self-led hike will be set-up by 10 a.m. Feb. 16 - 17: Mother/Son Blue Jean Ball Opelika. 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Covington Recreation Center. $25 PER couple $5 for each additional son. Must pre-register by Feb. 12. www.opelikasportsplex. com. Feb. 16 - 17: Dandy Dads Dinner Dance Opelika SportsPlex. A special night out for fathers and daughters. 6:00-8:00 p.m. Admission is $30 per couple, $10 for each additional daughter Registration required by Feb. 11th. Includes meal, corsage, boutonniere, activities and entertainment. If any tickets are available after the registration deadline registration will reopen, but the fee will increase to $50. Feb. 17: 28th Annual Love Your Heart Run/Crank Your Heart Ride Chewacla State Park, Auburn. 6:30 a.m. New for 2018, we will be offering a new 15-mile bike ride to go with the classic 10k run. As always, we will have the 1 mile fun run! To register for a race or to make a donation, please visit For questions about this year’s races, please contact the race director at Feb. 17: Girls, Glitz and Glamour Covington Rec Center, Opelika. All things girly! Nails, makeup, hair and lunch! $15 residents, $17 nonresidents. 10 a.m.

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FamilyCalendar Feb. 24: Zumbathon 2018 Boykin Community Center, Auburn. 120 minutes of fun-filled dancing designed to get you in shape! 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. This event is FREE and open to the public. Children ages 8 and older are welcome with parent participation. activeauburn@auburnalabama. org.

“The Color Purple” Feb. 2 - 18. Red Mountain Theatre, Birmingham.


“The Great Gatsby” Jan. 25 - 28, Feb. 1 - 4. Springer Opera House.

Alabama Dance Festival Jan. 6 - 21. Birmingham. Admission charged with some events free. Various locations. An annual dance festival including dance classes, workshops, performances, and community residency activities. Big Apple Circus Jan. 26 - Feb. 26. Alpharetta, Ga. Chick-fil-A Family Night at Tigertown Every Thursday night. Expressions of a BraveHeart Program A fine arts program for teens and young adults with special needs (ages 11–21), sponsored by Opelika Parks and Recreation, utilizing Auburn University faculty and students, as well as community volunteers. Two 30-minute sessions of art, dance/ creative movement and music will be offered and participants will select 2 of the 3 classes. Expressions meets every 2nd and 4th Monday twice a month for 1.5 hours. Opelika Sportsplex, 334.705.5560. www. Meditation Garden and Labyrinth Come and Find the Quiet Center... in the Meditation Garden and Labyrinth, provided as a community service by Village Christian Church, 700 East University Drive, (across from Auburn Early Ed.). 334-887-5111. Try the practice of walking meditation or simply sit and enjoy the sights and sounds. The garden and labyrinth are always open and guests are always welcome.

“Fly” Jan. 26 - Feb. 11. Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery.

“Kinky Boots” Jan. 5 - 7. BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster. com. “Snow Queen” Jan. 6 - Feb. 3. Alabama Shakespeare Theatre, Montgomery. The fairy tale that inspired Disney’s “Frozen” and the White Witch character in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, comes to life on stage. Children will be spellbound as Gerda struggles to free her friend Kai from the clutches of an evil queen with a frozen heart. With the help of faith and loyalty, Gerda proves that love can triumph over evil. Recommended for ages 4 and up. “The Ugly Duckling” Jan. 27 28. Presented by The Academy Series: Performances for the very young. NEW! “WiggleProof Performances” featuring lots of audience participation and a short length specifically geared towards our youngest theatre goers. This new series will feature modern adaptations of well known fairy tales. Appropriate for kids age zero and up. www. “The Wheels On the Bus” Jan. 27 - 28. Presented by The Academy Series: Performances for the very young. NEW! “Wiggle-

Proof Performances” featuring lots of audience participation and a short length specifically geared towards our youngest theatre goers. Appropriate for kids age zero and up. The Wonderful World of Disney On Ice Jan. 24 - 28. BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster. com.

Support & Parenting Groups A2Z Local Homeschooler’s Association For homeschooling families in the Auburn/Opelika Lee County area of Alabama. A2Z Loop is an allinclusive support group open to all homeschool families in the Auburn/Opelika area regardless of differences in beliefs, cultures, nationality, race, religion, or method of home schooling. For more information call 334-728-1162 or email: Alabama Mentor’s Foster Parent Training Classes Offered in the Opelika Auburn area. Call 334-7058877 x 18 to register or email: Auburn UMC Children’s Day Out Program Every Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.–12 noon. $10 per child for the entire morning, $2 each additional child. Attendance will be on a first come-first served basis. Contact Barbara Dawsey at 826-8800 for more information. Auburn United Methodist Church. Auburn Mommies, a fun group of moms in the Auburn/Opelika area that meet weekly for playgroups and Mommy and Me walking twice a week. We also have a Mommies Night Out once a month. Http:// auburnmommiesinalabama/. Auburn Mommy and Me Big Dog Running Co, Auburn. 10–11 a.m. Social

Winter Show Feb. 2 - 25. Jasmine Hill Gardens, Wetumpka. Winter Flower Show, includes camellias and winter blooming azaleas. Enjoy statuary which is nestled into the flowers. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m.

Performances Atlanta Ballet 2’s “Beauty & The Beast” Feb. 8 - 11. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta. “Chicago” Feb. 15 - 24. Telfair Peet Theatre, Auburn University. “Chicago” Jan. 25 - Feb. 11. Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham. 7:30 p.m. www.virginiasamfordtheatre. org.


FamilyCalendar time, story time, music/movement, arts & crafts. Ages 9 months–3 years. Free! 334-209-2580. Auburn MOPS 1st Wednesday of each month, September-May. 9–11:30 a.m. Trinity United Methodist Church,

GRACE - Post-Abortive Support Group Are you struggling with feelings of regret or sadness from having a pregnancy termination in your past? Do you feel like you can’t share these struggles with anyone? Would you like to find healing and forgiveness? You are not alone. Women’s Hope

S MOPS of Auburn We meet the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month at Auburn United Methodist Church from 9:30 - 11:30. Childcare is provided, although we ask that you make reservations if possible. Meetings are open to mothers with children ages 5 and under. mopsofauburn Opelika-Auburn Newcomers Club A club for new women in town which offers fun social activities, meets for lunch on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Call Joan at 501-4974. Parent Educational Workshop - Autism Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy. 2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 800 2nd Avenue, Opelika. Parent Support Group - Autism Lee County Autism Resource and Advocacy meets the 1st Monday (unless national holiday), 9:00-11:00 a.m. and the next evening (Tuesday) from 6-7:30 p.m. Visit for complete information. Email or call 334-740-0716. Single Moms Outreach of East Alabama Single Moms Outreach of East Alabama offers 2nd Saturdays, group classes, and more. Contact Penny Messer at 334-444-6827. Email smoea@bellsouth. net. Website or find us on facebook.

Opelika. Meetings open to moms with preschool children ages 5 years and under. $5 per meeting; childcare $5 per child. $25 yearly membership dues. Weekly playdates, monthly moms night out, resources, and more. AuburnOpelikaMOPS; Bible Study Fellowship Held at Parkway Baptist Church, Thursdays at 10 a.m., (334) 546-1386. Bosom Buddies (a breast cancer support group) Meets at The Health Resource Center the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. (334) 528-1260. Breast Feeding class meets the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon on EAMC’s third floor. Call 528-1260 to register. Caregiver Support Group Caring for a family member or friends can be rewarding, but it’s not easy. Whether you are the caregiver for your parents, spouse or a dependent child, this group is for you! Learn ways to cope with every day stresses of caring for someone you love. Gain tools and resources to help you on your journey. This program is supported by the Opelika Sportsplex, Lee-Russell Agency on Aging and HomeInstead Senior Care. This group is open to the public. Meets the last Monday of each month at 12:30 p.m. at Opelika Sportsplex AAC. Instructors are: Valeri White (Sportsplex), Bridgette Sager (Home Instead Senior Care), Lisa Askew (Lee-Russell Council of Gov). Food Allergy Support of East Alabama The Food Allergy Support of East Alabama group offers support through the sharing of information and resources. We are also working to increase awareness of food allergies in the state of Alabama. For more information, visit our website at www. or call Barbara at 334826-3082;

Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018

Medical Clinic wants to help you! You are invited to take part in our GRACE abortion recovery group. This confidential group gives you the opportunity to process the grief of your termination in a safe and non-judgmental setting. If you would like more information about the times, dates and location for this group, call or e-mail Sherry at Women’s Hope: 334.502.7000 or Don’t let the regret of the past rob you of the joy in the future. Call us today. We are here to help. La Leche League, a support group for nursing moms, meets the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. @ Cornerstone Family Chiropractic, Airport Plaza, 323 Airport Road Suite E, Auburn. For more information call LLL of Auburn/Opelika, Leader, Josie Ettinger (h)334-257-3950 or (c)334-740-8780. Lee County Department of Human Resources Now recruiting foster/adoptive families. To learn more about fostering and adoption please call our office at 334-737-1100. Please join us in this endeavor to help our foster children. Lee County Parents of Chinese Children helps children understand, see and grow up with other families that look like their family (white parents/ Asian child). The group is 100% free! We try to eat out at Asian establishments monthly and have playdates. Families that are waiting to adopt are welcome! We accept any families with adopted children from all Asian countries. Contact Melody at for more information. Miracle League To volunteer or for more information, www. or MOMS Club of Auburn, a group of stay-at-home moms that meets about twice a week to provide support for each other and fun interaction for kids. New website is


Teen Moms (for moms under 20) is a ministry that connects trained adults with pregnant girls and teenage moms. Support meetings, classes, job preparation, devotions and games. Call Laura Fuller at laura@ or 334-501-5637. Therapeutic Foster Care Program Foster a Child’s Future Today - Become a Therapeutic Foster Parent! Certification classes are free. Please call Joanna Fisher Champagne at Lee County Youth Development Center’s Therapeutic Foster Care Program. (334) 749-2996, Ext. 311 - You can make an eternal difference in a child’s life! Trinity UMC (Opelika) Mom’s Morning Out Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:45–12. $15 per child, $5 each additional. Trinity United Methodist Church.

Sports Auburn Baseball Feb. 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25. Auburn Men’s Basketball Dec. 30, Jan. 6, 9, 27, Feb. 3, 7, 14, 21. Auburn Women’s Basketball Dec. 28, 31, Jan. 7, 14, 28. Feb. 8, 12, 15, 25. Auburn University Gymnastics Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 2, 16, 23. Auburn University Swimming & Diving Jan. 12, 13, 14, Feb. 2, 3, 4.

Please send your calendar events to Kendra@! We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

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Signs a Tutor Might Be Necessary School is not always easy, and some students struggle as they transition from grade to grade. As students get older, some who may have experienced smooth sailing as youngsters may find they need some extra help grasping the material as coursework becomes more complicated. Those who need some extra clarification and reinforcement may first turn to their parents. But parents may not be familiar with certain subjects or capable of explaining certain concepts in terms kids can understand. In such situations, tutors can prove to be valuable resources to get kids back on the right academic track. One-on-one attention from a tutor can benefit all types of learners. Students who discover newfound success under the guidance of a tutor may have more self-confidence in the classroom. Parents wondering if a tutor can help their children may want to consider the following indicators that students may need tutors. Consistently falling grades: Tutors may be necessary for students whose

grades are gradually on the decline. First speak with your child’s teachers, who may recommend tutors that specialize in certain subjects. Confusion in and out of the classroom: Some kids struggle to grasp certain concepts, and such confusion can sometimes be remedied with the kind of intense study available in tutoring sessions. Low confidence: Some kids’ confidence wanes when their grades suffer. Kids whose grades have been on the decline may feel a sense of defeat even before they take a test or work on an assignment. Tutors can help restore confidence by creating small victories that slowly build up to larger successes.

Indifference to coursework: No student will be captivated by every subject he or she studies, but there should be some subjects that students find engaging. Students battling indifference toward their coursework may benefit from a dynamic tutor who can present subject matter in new ways and revive students’ interest. Students who are struggling in the classroom may need some extra help outside the classroom, and many tutors are adept at reviving interest in subjects kids are studying at school. Some teachers may recommend certain tutors, while others may do some tutoring work themselves.








Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi

Ferdinand MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B+ Profanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: A The MPAA has rated Ferdinand PG for rude humor, action and thematic elements. The Story of Ferdinand is a children’s book by American author Munro Leaf. Published in 1936, the tale of gentle Ferdinand, a bull who prefers sniffing flowers to fighting others, was accompanied with detailed black and white illustrations by artist Robert Lawson. It quickly earned a devoted following of kids and grownups alike, including Walt Disney, who produced an animated version in 1938. If you grew up with this story, you may leave theaters feeling rather uninspired. Unfortunately, the 2017 screen adaptation has more in common with mediocre Saturday morning cartoons than it does with classic children’s literature. Fortunately, besides the lackluster quality of the writing, the movie is mostly harmless for youngsters. With the typical messages about friendship, being yourself, and treating others with kindness, it manages to pull off a sweet, if entirely unrealistic, ending. Violence is limited to slapstick situations, mild bullying and roughhousing. Perilous situations are handled carefully, avoiding the blood and gore that usually accompany packing plants and bull fights. Still, the acknowledged death of Ferdinand’s father and the uncomfortable reality of animal mistreatment may be troubling to some. In a world where conflict and misunderstanding often drive decision making, it’s refreshing to see a main character who rejects those philosophies, and a pity that the movie couldn’t do justice to the concept.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Runtime: 150 minutes Overall: B+ Violence: CSexual Content: AProfanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: B The MPAA has rated Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence. After awakening the force in Episode VII of the Star Wars saga, the battle is on between The First Order and The Resistance. Facing conflicts from within and without, fate flickers on the spark of hope that was supposed to ignite the galaxy in a joint effort to extinguish the dark. Will Luke really be the last Jedi? Is it still possible to rekindle the light side of the Force? These doubts and challenges provide the screenplay with many opportunities for violent clashes. Lightsabers slash, impale and dismember. Spaceships shoot, bomb and collide. Supernatural powers toss and choke opponents. Injury, death and mass destruction are seen and implied. And it becomes difficult to tell the good-guys from the bad-guys. For fans of the franchise, the action sequences will be sure to impress (although they do seem more lengthy than necessary). And the fluctuating motives add welcomed complexity to the good-vs-evil story. Even though some of the plot points may feel familiar (similar situations are depicted in past movies), the dashes of humor, special effects and questions about the survival of the Jedi will likely keep Star Wars aficionados sufficiently satisfied.


The Greatest Showman

Welcome to the Jungle MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: C+ Sexual Content: B Profanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: BThe MPAA has rated Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language. Jumanji used to be a board game with the power to suck players into the action. The first few minutes of this sequel portray the transformation of the antique amusement into a video version, and the unfortunate consequences that befall the teen (Nick Jonas) who loaded the game into the console the four students are presently toying with. Following its usual format, Jumanji vacuums up the quartette, and places them within its jungle environment. Each of them now find themselves within the body of their game character: Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) is the invincible hero, Fridge (Kevin Hart) is his mousy sidekick, Martha (Karen Gillan) is a sexy, mix-martial-arts fighter, and Bethany (Jack Black) is a pudgy, middle-aged man. The only way back to their real lives is to beat the challenges of the virtual world. The script has fun with this concept, deriving humor from the juxtaposition of the characters’ personalities with those of their avatars. Amidst profanity shrapnel, some teen drinking and the glossing over of serious infractions like cheating on homework and lying to parents, this movie tries to teach the importance of team work. The characters also are forced face their fears, examine some of their hurtful interactions and consider changing their behavior – if and when they get back to their former lives. Thanks to these commendable moral messages, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle isn’t just all fun and games.

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: AViolence: B- Sexual Content: ALanguage: AAlcohol / Drug Use: C The MPAA has rated The Greatest Showman PG for thematic elements including a brawl. The Greatest Showman is a fanciful reinvention of the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, a 19th Century businessman who defined the entertainment industry, and whose influence survives to this day. I say fanciful because this film is not committed to historical accuracy -- and doesn’t even want to be. Instead it relishes the anachronisms. It’s full to the brim with modern music and clever choreography that adds a playfulness that’s very fitting. After a childhood of poverty, P.T. Barnum, (played by Hugh Jackman,) is anxious to provide the comforts of life to his wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and their two daughters (Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely). Motivated by love for his family, and his need to prove himself to Charity’s wealthy parents, Barnum buys a rundown museum in New York City and transforms it into a lively circus. This musical takes a sympathetic look at the universal longing for acceptance, despite underprivileged backgrounds or the limitations of physical appearance. And these themes stay strong in a screenplay that avoids most content concerns. If you don’t go in expecting a documentary, then you’ll find The Greatest Showman to be a vibrant, entertaining spectacle that carries its message of tolerance, kindness, and self-acceptance with sincerity. Auburn Opelika Parents I January 2018



Math & Science

2018 Summer Camp Sessions

Hosted by the Alabama School of Math and Science

Launch a Rocket Kayak in Mobile Bay Build a Robot

Solve a Crime Prepare for the ACT

June 4-8, June 11-15, & June 18-22 Located in Mobile, AL

Day & Overnight Camp

Grades 6-10

Register Online Early to Save! Register by April 1: $360 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $260 Day Camp (includes lunch) Register after April 1: $385 Overnight Camp (all inclusive), $285 Day Camp (includes lunch) Cost to stay weekend between a session is an additional $185 (includes trip to water park)

COURSE SAMPLING ACT Prep, Algebra Review, Exploring Inner Space, Marine Biology, CSI: Mobile, Phun Physics, Using Java, Robotics, Field Biology, Psychology, Math Puzzles, Labs of Doom, Rocketry, Origami, Speak Up, Light Metals and Enameling, Apps for Smart Devices, and many more. Applications, more information, and course descriptions are online at WWW.ASMS.NET.


1255 Dauphin St. • Mobile, AL 36604 • 251.441.2100 • •




Auburn Opelika Parents January 2018  
Auburn Opelika Parents January 2018  

The 2018 Education Spotlight is in this issue! Plus, what's important when choosing a private school, what to do when your teen doesn't care...