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Scholarship Applications Available Now Saint James Odyssey Scholarships were awarded last spring for the 2017 academic year to Ellis Aday (center) for Kindergarten, Joshua Smith (right) for sixth grade, and Kira Butterbaugh (left) for ninth grade.

Saint James School prepares students for their educational Odyssey, their journey of lifelong learning. As a college preparatory, independent school, Saint James is committed to challenging and assisting students in realizing their individual potential and preparing them for lives of responsibility, service, and achievement. Students entering kindergarten, sixth grade, and ninth grade in the fall of 2018, who are passionate about their education, should apply for a Saint James Odyssey Scholarship. These division level tuition awards continue with the selected students in good standing until they advance to the next division at STJ. Applications, deadlines, and details are available at



Leading the Way Since 1955 S T J w e b . o r g Ask us about our Financial Assistance Program. Academic support for English Language Learners available. Saint James School admits students of any religion, race, gender, creed, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.


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There Is Hope Ahead. Montgomery Parents I February 2018



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Volume 23 Number 2



8 Living With Children John Rosemond

12 Kids Health Watch sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

Sing to Your Baby

How music affects your baby’s brain development, plus ways to add more of it to your home.


Budgeting After Baby Find tips for saving on new baby expenses and other ways to trim your monthly budget.



14 Montgomery Education Matters by Dr. Ann Roy Moore, Interim Superintendent

38 Pike Road Education Matters by Superintendent Charles Ledbetter, Ed.D.

41 The College Years by Lee Gonet

42 Autauga Education Matters by Superintendent Spence Agee

46 Elmore Education Matters by Superintendent Richard Dennis

55 A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith

Baby & Toddler Guide Middle Schoolers Our local guide will help meet your “new parent” needs.

8 helpful truths you can share with your middle schooler.

56 Growing Up Online Carolyn Jabs

61 Get This! Gerry Paige Smith

68 Parenting Today’s Teens

On The Cover Carey Mae Leigh is the 8-month-old daughter of Anthony and Wendy Leigh. She is happy, silly, and so much fun. She has a big bright smile that makes other people smile. Carey Mae loves to look at books and play with toys that have moving parts. She is easily entertained by watching and laughing at her family’s dogs. She has brought so much joy to so many people. Her grandfather passed away a few months before she was born, so she has been a wonderful distraction to the family. Anthony and Wendy had been married for almost 10 years before they were able to have her. They feel truly blessed by Carey Mae and she is blessed to have such a huge network of people who love her.


Mark Gregston

Departments 10 Bits and Pieces 16 School Bits 74 Calendar/Support Groups 84 Mom to Mom

Editor’sNote The River Region’s Foremost Parenting Source Few things are more precious than a newborn baby. Just take a second look at this month’s cover and I’m sure you’ll agree. And there is no greater love than the parents’ love for their child. Welcoming a new life into the world is a magical experience, but nothing quite prepares us for the magnitude of this life change. Having another human life completely dependent on you to meet his every need can be overwhelming, especially in the beginning. Thankfully, that deep love continues to grow in your heart towards your child, and it helps you weather the adjustment period of becoming a new parent and all the responsibilities the job brings. At Montgomery Parents, we devote our February magazine to new and expectant parents with our Baby & Toddler Issue. These early stages of childhood bring with them a specific set of needs for families, and we want to provide you with helpful information and advice, plus a list of local resources as you start your parenting journey. With the addition of a child comes an increase in expenses, which is often one of the main stressors for new parents. Sarah Lyons offers tips for cutting corners and saving money in her article, Budgeting After Baby. If you are a music lover, Jan Pierce says you should share that love with your baby right from the beginning. She offers evidence of the positive impact music has on baby’s brain development and gives ideas for incorporating it easily into your day. Our Kids Health column helps new parents discern what their baby is trying to tell them with an article on Understanding Your Baby’s Cry. And not to be missed is our 2018 Baby & Toddler Guide, a detailed listing of local resources including prenatal physicians, pediatricians, support services, infant classes and much more. Our

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

Founder Marty Watson (1950-2006) Editor DeAnne Watson

Associate Editor Alison Rouse Research Editor Wendy McCollum Contributing Writers Spence Agee Richard Dennis Robert Coggin, M.D. Lee Gonet Mark Gregston Carolyn Jabs Kari Kampakis Dr. Charles Ledbetter Sarah Lyons Dr. Ann Roy Moore Jan Pierce, M.Ed. John Rosemond Gerry Paige Smith

Cover Photography Maria Wiggins

advertising partners are highlighted throughout the listing with a reference for where to find their ad in this issue. We thank you for supporting our advertisers when it comes to your baby and toddler needs! For those of you who have moved past the young child stage, no worries! We have plenty for you in this month’s issue, including Kari Kampakis’ insightful article, 8 Truths Middle Schoolers Should Know. After you read it for yourself, why not lay it open on your child’s bed to find after school? Kids this age need all the encouragement they can get. Also, our Parenting Today’s Teens column offers parents do’s and don’ts for a teen spinning out of control, and Lee Gonet helps your child improve her ACT score in The College

Years. Finally, after focusing so much attention on raising your kids, don’t forget to make time for your spouse. Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity for a little extra romance, but let’s try to find ways, big or small, to show the love every day!

Publisher Jason Watson

Associate Publisher Gena Hill Digital Manager Scott Davis Advertising Opportunities Stephanie Parsons, VP of Client Services (334) 213-7940 ext. 703

Ad Design Tim Welch Distribution Manager Chris Mitchell



Montgomery Parents I February 2018


Montgomery Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing LLC, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, Alabama, 36123. Montgomery Parents is copyrighted 2018 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. opinions expressed in Montgomery 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

The “Ticket” System Q: I’ve been trying for two months with little

to no success to get your “ticket” system to work on my 4-year-old daughter. The target behaviors are ignoring me when I tell her to do something and blatantly refusing to do what I tell her to do. She has three tickets a day. When she loses one, she has to sit in a chair for 15 minutes, and if she loses all three before the day is done, she spends the rest of it in her room. One problem is that she waits until the end of the day to lose all of her tickets, meaning that she really doesn’t spend any “punishment” time in her room because it’s time for bed anyway. The biggest problem is that losing a ticket and time-out doesn’t seem to faze her. Any ideas?

A: I disagree. Losing a ticket obviously fazes her. Otherwise, she would not be cleverly waiting until the end of the day to lose most of her tickets. That tells me that she not only doesn’t want to sit in the time-out chair but also doesn’t want to spend any significant amount of time in her room.

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Before we go any further, I should explain the “ticket” system to those readers who are a tad late to the game. First, several (no more than three) misbehaviors are clearly spelled out on a “target behavior list” that’s affixed to the refrigerator door. Second, three to five “tickets” are cut from construction paper and put up on the refrigerator, next to the misbehavior list, using a magnetic clip. When a targeted misbehavior occurs, the parent closest to the scene of the crime removes one of that day’s tickets from the clip. Each time the child in question loses a ticket, she must sit in time out for a certain length of time. When all the day’s allotment of tickets is gone, the child spends the rest of the day in her room, which has been stripped of most of its “entertainment value,” and goes to bed at least one hour early. Over the years since I developed it, lots and lots of parents have told me that the ticket system has helped them solve many a discipline problem. It seems to work best with children 3 through 12. I generally do not recommend its use with a teenager. Also, as


I have said before in this column and in several of my books, if the parents’ attitude is not proper, no discipline method is going to work for long. An improper attitude includes impatience, frustration, anger, anxiety, and any other manifestation of stress. Whatever the method, discipline should be delivered dispassionately. If there’s emotional “pressure” behind it, the method in question is very likely to fail. Circling back to your question, the fact that you don’t feel you’ve made significant headway in two months with your daughter leads me to believe that your delivery is the problem. Granted, some kids are more stubborn than others, but a determined but calm enforcement style will bring even the most strong-willed child into line in a relatively short period of time. One more thing: the fact that a child acts unfazed by a consequence does not mean it’s not having any effect. Children are clever, and acting like being thrown into the proverbial briar patch is a vacation is one form their cleverness sometimes takes. Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at


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Holy Spirit Elementary Campus, K4-6 grade 8580 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36117 334-649-4404 St. Bede Elementary Campus, K4-6 grade 3850 Atlanta Hwy., Montgomery, AL 36109 334-272-3033 Middle School Campus, 7-8 grade 5350 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-2465 High School Campus, 9-12 grade 5350 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery, AL 36116 334-272-7220


Join us for Open House and experience how we prepare students to become persons of faith, virtue, and wisdom. For more information contact or call 334-272-7221 ext. 32.

Alabama Dance Theatre Presents The Little Mermaid and More

Renascence Re-entry Community Ping Pong Tournament & Party

Friday and Saturday, March 2-3 The preview party from 6-9 p.m. Friday is for adults only; the tournament from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday is for all ages and abilities. Both will be held at the Alcazar Center, 555 Eastern Blvd. The tournament benefits Renascence and the men coming out of the prison system who need a hand up, not a hand-out, as they transition into society and employment. Like a ping pong, the men of Renascence want to bounce back into productive lives. Preview party costs $45 and includes food, drinks, dance band, silent auction and opportunity to play ping pong. Tournament costs $10 for ages 19 and under; $20 for ages 20 and up. For more info or to sign up, call (334) 832-1402 or visit Shown, Jay Spenser, head of school at The Montgomery Academy, left, and Justin Castanza, principal of Montgomery Catholic, right, compete in the Principals’ Challenge Match, which opened the 2017 tournament.

March 3-4* Troy University’s Davis Theatre. (School performances March 2) Choreographed by ADT’s resident choreographer Sara Sanford, this performance is for children of all ages and the young at heart. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale about a mermaid willing to give up her life under the sea in order to find true love and happiness and gain a human soul. Performances are March 3 at 2:30 p.m.* and 7 p.m. and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15-$30 and can be purchased at *Shortened children’s matinee of The Little Mermaid only. After the shortened matinee on March 3, children are invited onstage to meet The Little Mermaid and her friends at an additional charge of $10. Special school performances available March 2 at 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Ticket prices: $7. Limited space available. Call Pamela Swan at (334) 625-2590.

March 10-11 * 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Festive environment with live entertainment, games, rides, bouncy houses, big slides, inflatables, pony and camel rides, petting zoo, karate demos, Montgomery Police K-9 presentation, live animal presentations, concessions and animals from around the world. Enjoy the many activities, fantastic food and have fun together at an affordable price. For more info, call (334) 625-4900 or visit Montgomery Parents I February 2018


Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour!

Friday, March 23 * 6 p.m. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Tickets begin at $35. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 481-5100.

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Area Mardi Gras Celebrations

The Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade will be held on February 3. The Festival grounds will officially open at 9 a.m. The Parade will begin at noon after the staging at the Mill Creek Park located behind The Smokehouse Bar-B-Q restaurant on Main Street. The crowd will be larger in the area around the Village Green. Participating vendors come from Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and of course Alabama. Food items vary from alligator on a stick to gumbo, red beans and rice, smoked turkey legs and much more. There will be fun rides for children of all ages: pony rides, water walker, a climbing wall and zip ride. Visit for more info. In Wetumpka, the 2018 Order of Cimarrón will host its Sixth Annual Mardi Gras Celebration on February 10. Vendors will be open at 9 a.m. selling food, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, metal crafts and so much more. The Parade will begin sharply at 1 p.m. and will follow the Christmas on the Coosa parade route. This is a family-friendly event. Vendors and interested groups may look us up on Facebook or visit for more info.


Alabama Nature Center’s Critter Crawl & Yeti Dash

February 10 This 5K trail run is like no other! The Critter Crawl is a trail run benefiting the Alabama Nature Center’s education programs that takes runners through a portion of the ANC’s 5-mile trail system. New for 2018 is the ANC Yeti Dash! The Yeti Dash is a 1-mile trail system run. Nature/critter costumes are mandatory for any guests who wish to participate in the Yeti Dash. Any guests who do not dress in costume will not be eligible to win a Yeti Dash medal. One medal will be awarded to the first-place finisher in each age group category. While you are here, be on the lookout for the elusive Yeti. You just might be able to snag a picture with him! Shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before January 31. Extras will be ordered but run out fast. Registration Station opens for packet pickup at 7:30 a.m.; Critter Crawl 5K Race begins at 8:30; Yeti Dash begins at 9:45; and a Trophy Ceremony will start around 10:30 once the last runner has crossed the finish line and results are in. Sign up on today!

at the Wetumpka Depot!

March 2-3 @ 7 p.m. (public performances) Directed by Kristy Meanor, with actors ranging from 10 to 18 years old. Roles include memorable characters such as The Cat in the Hat, Jojo, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mazie La Bird, Sour Kangaroo, the Wickersham Bros., the Whos, and Jungle Creatures! For tickets, call (334) 868-1440 or visit

2nd Annual Kicking for Change Tournament

February 24 * 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Lagoon Park, Montgomery. Go Kickball hosts this tournament benefitting the Family Sunshine Center and Brantwood Children’s Home. Register at montgomery or call (334) 206-2124 for more info. Cost per participant is $35.

Montgomery Half Marathon & 5K

March 10 * 7 a.m. Half Marathon starts; 7:15 a.m. 5K starts. 5K Awards ceremony will take place between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Half Marathon Awards ceremony will take place between 11 and 11:30 a.m. This annual race takes runners through some of Montgomery’s most beautiful neighborhoods and past many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Featuring live entertainment for both racers and supporters. For more info, visit http://

• • • • •



Sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

Understanding Your Baby’s Cry Crying is the only way a baby can communicate when it is born and is one of the hardest things for parents to hear. Some babies cry more than others and sometimes for no apparent reason. Figuring out your baby’s cues or cries takes time and patience, but eventually most parents can tell what their baby needs when they cry. Babies will cry to let you know that they are hungry. This is usually one of the first things parents think about when their baby cries. It is an easy fix if you feed them, however take care to not overfeed them. Sometimes they have just eaten and parents wonder if they could still be hungry. They worry that they didn’t feed them enough. One way to estimate how much your baby needs is to multiply their weight in pounds by 2.5. The answer is an approximate of how many ounces they should have in 24 hours. If your baby is eating significantly less than this number they may need more or if they are eating significantly more then maybe their belly hurts from eating so much. Either way, if you are concerned about the amount they are taking, talk with your pediatrician about it.

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Babies also cry when they are sleepy. Right after your baby is born he will sleep most of the day away, only waking about every 2-3 hours to eat. As babies grow they stretch out the number of hours between feeds and will sleep for longer periods. They begin to stay awake a while after feeds and look at the world around them before going back to sleep. Colic is another reason babies cry and one of the most difficult to treat. It usually begins in the first few weeks of life and will last up to about three months old. With colic, they have predictable crying episodes around the same time of day lasting 2-3 hours. They have no apparent reason for crying and are very inconsolable during the episode. They may also have some posture changes where they curl up their legs or stiffen their bodies. These episodes can be very frustrating for parents and make them question if they have done something wrong. Many times they feel like gas is the problem and try changing formulas, giving gas drops, and other gas relief efforts with little success. Studies have not shown any difference in the number of cases of colic between breastfed vs bottle/formula fed


babies or differences between boys vs girls. They don’t have a great explanation for what causes it or why some babies have it and others do not. It is still a mystery in progress. However, if you are struggling with a colicky baby, check out some advice by Dr. Harvey Karp M.D. He has some great soothing techniques that may help called the five S’s found in his book or video The Happiest Baby on the Block. While a baby’s crying is definitely difficult to listen to, have hope because even though it may seem at first like your baby is crying more and more each day, they usually reach a peak around 6 weeks old and start to decrease the amount of time they cry after that time. By one year of age they usually only cry for about an hour a day total. So hang in there because it is going to get better...and ask for help if you need a break. Dr. Malissa Hoy was born in Montgomery. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and earned her medical degree from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, West Virginia in 2007. She completed her Pediatrics Residency in Detroit, Michigan at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Malissa is happily married to Jade and they have two children.






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Trinity is Montgomery’s foremost educational institution, binding academic excellence with Christian values. Providing a challenging college-preparatory education, Trinity offers a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. Our extraordinary educators at Trinity strike the perfect balance as they encourage students to strive for excellence, while emphasizing Christ-like character above all else. “The Trinity Experience” produces leaders who possess mental, physical and spiritual strength. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Director of Admission, Jenny McClinton, at 334.213.2213 or Tuition assistance is available. Discount offered to our military families. Trinity admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origins to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. Trinity does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national or ethnic origins in any of the educational policies, scholarship programs and athletics, and other school-administered programs.





Meet Interim Superintendent

Dr. Ann Roy Moore

Dr. Ann Roy Moore is a teacher. For more than four decades, Dr. Moore has educated the children of Alabama. From her first post as a pre-school teacher to her administrative work as a principal, central office curriculum specialist, superintendent, and her mentoring the next generation of teachers as an adjunct professor at colleges and universities, teaching is her passion. “Even while serving as superintendent for a decade in Huntsville City Schools - I was still a teacher at heart,” said Dr. Moore. “I am always looking for teachable moments to share with administrators and staff. Perhaps more importantly, I am

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

constantly searching for the opportunity to learn and grow myself. Good teachers are also lifelong learners. Ensuring our teachers and administrators have the opportunity to continue to grow and learn while they work to educate our students is critical.” Before becoming the superintendent for Huntsville City Schools, she served in several roles there including deputy superintendent, elementary education manager, principal, and teacher. Dr. Moore also worked as a teacher, and later an assistant superintendent, for Florence City Schools. Her professorships include work at Alabama A&M University, Athens State College, Shoals Community College, and the University of North Alabama. “I am so pleased to have been named the Interim Superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools,” said Dr. Moore. “We have many challenges, but there is great potential here. We have a supportive board, caring teachers, strong administrators, and most of all, people with a passion to make


our schools the best they can be. We are going to work hard to help our students reach their potential.” Dr. Moore earned a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from Hampton University, a Master’s in Elementary Education and an Education Specialist Degree from the University of North Alabama. Her Educational Doctorate in Curriculum Leadership Personnel and Early Childhood Education is from the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. She also earned A and AA Certification and K-12 Superintendency Certification from Alabama A&M University. She has earned numerous awards for her work in education and in the community including being named the Alabama Superintendent of the Year in 2008. Dr. Moore is also an accomplished musician – serving as her church’s organist. Dr. Moore will serve as interim superintendent through May of 2018. She can be contacted by email at superintendent@


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Montgomery County Schools

Troy Coach Neal Brown Speaks to Middle School Football Honorees

Catholic Students Receive National Flight Academy Scholarships

Two Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School students have received scholarships from The Gathering of the Eagles Foundation for their interest in science, math and technology. Senior Lizzie Londell and eighthgrader Cody Harris were two of just 25 students in Montgomery who received scholarships on January 10 from the GOE-Foundation and the National Flight Academy at Montgomery’s City Hall. The Gathering of Eagles Foundation is a private, non-profit organization that aims to preserve the United State Air Force’s legacy through the celebration of 70 years of Airpower. The GOE Foundation exists to provide financial support to enhance Air Command and Staff College’s Gathering of Eagles program, an annual educational event geared to allow the ACSC student body to learn from and honor men and women who have made significant contributions to air, space and cyberspace power. For more than 30 years, Eagles have shared their stories with ACSC in an effort to inspire today’s military leaders to achieve greatness in support of their country. Londell and Harris were selected to attend a “cruise” at the National Flight Academy in Pensecola, Florida February 17-19. The scholarship includes tuition, lodging, food and transportation. Students are chosen from a pool of essay applicants from around the Montgomery area. The experience will include three days of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-focused education and fun. Both Londell and Harris will attend the “Codebreakers” program. Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Troy University Head Football Coach Neal Brown delivered some words of wisdom for young Montgomery Public Schools athletes as the keynote speaker at a middle school football awards banquet. Brown, who led the Trojans to an 11-2 record, a signature win over SEC powerhouse LSU, and a Sun Belt Championship in 2017, talked to the middle schoolers about what it takes to play football for a Division I school. His keys to success include character, discipline, academics and football fundamentals. The students from the eight MPS middle schools received certificates for being named to the 2017 All-City Team during the banquet at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church sponsored by the Capital City Optimist Club. Brewbaker Middle Coach Terence Vaughn was presented with the Coach of the Year Award during the ceremony. The following students were named to the All-City Team: Tight End: Trey Monte Richardson, Goodwyn Offensive Tackle: Yvonte McKitchen, Georgia Washington; Johntarius Harris, McKee Guard: Dimitri McKee, Capitol Heights; Robert Collier, Bellingrath Center: JaQueze McLemore, Capitol Heights Quarterback: Marcus Wheat, Goodwyn Running Back: Antarrio Hubbard, Capitol Heights; O’rande Henderson, Georgia Washington Wide Receiver: Rakia McCall, Brewbaker; Andreaus Smith, Carr Place Kicker and Punter: Brian Thomas, Carr Defensive End: Kylon Griffin, Goodwyn; Rodney Powell, Capitol Heights Defensive Tackle: Orande Henderson, Georgia Washington; Robert Collier, Bellingrath Linebacker: Ira Davis Jr., Georgia Washington; Terry Mitchell, Bellingrath; Daquarious Dudley, Goodwyn Defensive Back Secondary: Tryavon Rudolph, Brewbaker; Karl Gaid-Ligon, Georgia Washington; Jourdan Thomas, Bellingrath; Demontae Washington, Goodwyn

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents The Rising Star Road Show featuring BTW Choir

Harkening back to the days when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis took the world by storm, the Rising Star Road Show brings together the next big artists of multiple genres in front of one all-star backing band, creating a dynamic, familyfriendly musical variety show. The Rising Star Road Show also invests in each community it visits, working with students and schools to foster the rising stars of the next generation through music and mentorship. For this concert, held on Saturday, February 17, at 8 p.m., the RSRS has partnered with Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and will be collaborating with its choir while raising money for the BTW music program! Tickets begin at $17. For more info, visit or call (334) 481-5100. 16



Montgomery County Schools

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FMMS Spanish and Band Dept. Sends Christmas Gifts To Child Protect

Floyd Middle Magnet students from the Spanish Club and Band Department teamed up once again to send Christmas gifts during the holidays to the children of Child Protect. Child Protect is a non-profit organization that counsels children suffering from physical abuse. The event was sponsored by Sra. Henley and Mr. Woodson. The wrapped gifts contained basic necessities like toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, soaps, books, stuffed animals and toys. Students were encouraged to “give back� to the less fortunate. Jannah Bailey from Child Protect also came to the school to present information about Child Protect and the impact of helping those in need. The students had the opportunity to have an open discussion and ask questions. It also gave the students the opportunity to help others during this season of giving.

Montgomery Parents I February 2018


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Bethany Christian Salutes Veterans!

Students at Bethany Christian Academy were thrilled to host retired Master Sgts. Sonya Mills McCall and Benjamine Stevenson in an assembly honoring veterans. Both shared their military experiences and the encouraged students admired and applauded the service of members of all Armed Forces.


Saint James Speech & Debate Team Rolls Through UA Forensics Tournament

The Saint James School Forensics Team competed at the University of Alabama Tournament January 12 and 13 and walked away with several prestigious student accolades. Saint James senior Nathan Ashner was awarded first place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and fifth place in Original Oratory. Sophomore Jack Branham was awarded fifth place in Extemporaneous Speaking. Freshman Will Wales and sophomore Alexander Whisenhunt reached the semi-final round of Novice Public Forum Debate and Wales was recognized as the 4th best novice public forum debate speaker at the tournament. The STJ Speech and Debate competitors shown here include, back row from left: Alexander Whisenhunt, Jack Branham, Joey Etheredge, Trevor Otis and JB Ramsey; front row: Hamilton Cunningham, Will Wales, Nathan Ashner, Paige Hemmer, Sidnee Beavers and STJ Speech & Debate Coach Dr. Ian Turnipseed.

Snow Makes for Great Catholic Science Lesson

The snow and ice event in mid-January left Montgomery Catholic St. Bede campus second-graders excited to get back to school and play in the leftover snow after a midweek break. They were especially excited when Principal Laurie Gulley joined in the fun. They asked her to build a snowman and she was happy to help burn off a little energy after being inside for a few days!


Montgomery County Schools

Lady Knights Receive State Rings Macon East Academy volleyball players received their AISA AA State Championship rings on January 11. With a 32-3 season record, the Lady Knights defeated the Glenwood Gators in the championship match at Faulkner University. The team, led by Coach Codi Moon, had broken their five-year title streak in 2016, but recaptured the top spot this season. Junior Madisyn Kennedy was named MVP at the state tournament as well as’s player of the year and AISA All-Metro player of the year. Kennedy had 398 kills and 92 aces for the year. Sophomore Emily Brooks and junior Ariel Brown were also named to the State all-tournament team. Brooks was named to the’s best of the best list and the AISA All-Metro team with 502 assists, 267 kills, and 163 aces. The Lady Knights lose just two seniors from this year’s team (Madison McKee and Bailey Dees) and are looking forward to another successful season in 2018.

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Churchill Research Projects Begin

Churchill Academy high school students spent January kicking off the research report component of their year. Instructor Judy Hall guided research efforts covering an era of each student’s choosing and the impact of that era on America then and now. Students were given opportunities to collaborate in small groups as well as to take advantage of one-on-one direction from Hall through their research projects. Oral presentations will be made in March upon completion of the projects.

MPACT Open House Set for February 15

Montgomery Preparatory Academy for Career Technologies (MPACT) will hold an open house for students in 9th through 11th grades and parents of prospective students on Thursday, February 15, from 4-7 p.m. All families who are considering MPACT and career technology programs are welcome to attend. You will have an opportunity to tour our facility and meet our instructors and learn more about our programs. MPACT currently has eleven majors for students to choose from: Advertising & Design, Building Science, Welding & Metal Fabrication, HVAC & Refrigeration, Electrical, Industrial Systems, Public Safety, Fire Science, Information Technologies and Health Sciences. We also offer a limited 9th-grade course on Introduction to Computer Coding. MPACT is an excellent program for students who are considering going straight into the work force after high school, plan to serve in the military, attend secondary vocational programs or attend a four-year university. 21

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Montgomery County Schools

Holy Cross Hosts Open House

Holy Cross Episcopal School, located at 4400 Bell Road in Montgomery, hosted its annual Open House January 28. Families dropped in to discover how their child can receive a strong academic elementary foundation, which combines daily chapel, solid academics and a full array of enrichment classes for pre-kindergarten through 6th grade in a unique learning environment. While parents toured the school, children were invited to participate in learning experiences in the school’s computer lab, STEM lab and preschool classrooms. Holy Cross is currently enrolling students 4 years old through 6th grade for the 2018-2019 school year.

Hooper Academy Fifth-Graders Graduate from D.A.R.E Program

Chapel • Ar t • Music • Spanish • STEM • Librar y • Spor ts Theatre • 21 st Centur y Computing • Accelerated Reader

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4400 Bell Road | Montgomery, AL 36116 | 334-395-8222 |

Holy Cross Episcopal School is accredited by AdvancED (SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools We are a proud member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools



MA Provides Christmas For Brantwood Kids

The Montgomery Academy Community Service Club, H.E.A.R.T. (Helping Eagles Are Right There) provided 29 residents at Brantwood Children’s Home a very Merry Christmas! Under H.E.A.R.T.’s coordination, Middle and Upper School students, faculty and staff members shopped, wrapped and delivered gifts from each child’s “wish list” just in time for Christmas morning. This is the eighth consecutive year Montgomery Academy has been a part of this special project.

Montgomery Catholic Hosts Day in the Life

Sixth-grade students from around the River Region participated in Montgomery Catholic’s 14th annual “Day in the Life of a Middle School Student.” Student visitors were greeted in carpool by Middle School Principal Justin Castanza and Assistant Principal Julie Wood before being introduced to a current middle school student who showed them around the campus, escorted them through their daily schedule, and introduced them to other students and teachers throughout the day. Middle School students look forward to this event each year. Catholic seventh-grade student Esa Gancayco is shown with her guest Kodi Lynn Opperman.




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Montgomery County Schools

MA Honors First Female Commandant of Alabama National Guard

The Montgomery Academy Athletic Department recently recognized a historic achievement by one of our state’s finest citizens, Major General Sheryl E. Gordon. General Gordon also happens to be the sister-in-law of Montgomery Academy’s Associate Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach Julie Gordon. General Gordon was commissioned in 1981 through the Alabama Military Academy and has served in numerous command and staff positions including: maintenance, logistical and personnel staff officer, chemical battalion commander, commander of the Detachment 1/200th Theater Support Command, garrison commander at the Fort McClellan Training Center, and commander of the 62nd Troop Command–the largest major command in the Alabama National Guard with more than 5,000 soldiers. In addition, she served on the task force that helped secure the coveted F-35 fighter jets for the 187th at Dannelly Field. On August 1, 2017, General Gordon assumed the duty as the Adjutant General of Alabama. As the adjutant general, she advises the governor on military affairs and commands the Alabama Army and Air National Guard, along with its more than 12,900 citizen soldiers and airmen. Montgomery Academy’s Head of School Jay Spencer presented General Gordon with a commemorative basketball during halftime of a recent varsity boys basketball game to honor her on becoming the first female commandant of the Alabama National Guard.

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BTW Artists Have Works Chosen For Exhibition at Southeast Competition

Judges chose works by several Booker T. Washington Magnet High visual arts and photography students for exhibition at the 2018 Southeast Regional High School Art Competition hosted by Birmingham Southern College. The featured student artworks were selected from more than 300 works from 30 high schools throughout the Southeast. The biennial competition and exhibition provides students with cash awards and exhibition opportunity. The students were recognized in an awards ceremony at Birmingham Southern’s Durbin Gallery. Jordan Clayton had two works chosen, including an Honorable Mention; Jordan Brazell had two works chosen, including an Honorable Mention and an Award Winner; Alanna Johnson’s selection was an Award Winner; and works by Susie Kim and Erika Lewis each were Honorable Mentions. The other BTW artists with artworks selected for exhibition were Heli Patel, Katherine Myrick, Aubrey Askew, Gia Paolini, Grace Walz and Myles Beasley.

Macon East Field Trip Fun

Macon East Academy fourth-graders recently went on a field trip to Segrest Farms to pick cotton and to the Milstead Gin Company to get a first hand look at how cotton was cleaned, graded and baled to send to market. Students learned that every part of the cotton plant was used. Later they enjoyed a pizza lunch and a presentation by Tes Jolley on Creek Indian artifacts. Montgomery Parents I February 2018


Brew Tech Robotics Cracks World Rankings

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High’s robotics program has cracked the world rankings after a competition in Gulf Shores. The Brew Tech robotics team of William Sumlin, Trevor Taylor and Will Percival scored 147 points during its combined skills run at Gulf Shores Middle School’s “Bots on the Beach” VEX Robotics Competition. That score places them currently at 22nd in the world. The world’s top 50 teams receive an automatic bid to the VEX Worlds Competition in March. In addition to the VEX Robotics World’s Skills Award, Brew Tech students also brought home two Tournament Champion Awards, a separate Skills Award and the Judges Award. Sumlin, Taylor and Percival won one of the Tournament Champion Awards and the separate Skills Award. The team of Ashton Taylor, Blake Deaton and Ty Hooks won the other Tournament Champion award. The Tournament Champion Awards go to the top two-team alliance, making them the overall winners of the competition. Meanwhile, the Judges Award, given to the team judges decide is worthy of special recognition, went to the team of Collin Lawlor, Elijah Weston, Landon Thompson and Adam Luckie.

Students Prepare for College at ACA

High school students, especially seniors, at Alabama Christian Academy are tasked with preparing for college – academically, mentally and spiritually. Tammy Evans works full-time as the college and career counselor at ACA. She works one-onone with each senior to help make his or her college decision and aids in helping students find and apply for scholarship opportunities. The College and Career office at ACA also helps underclassman begin the college preparation process by offering the Stanford Achievement Test (grades 6-9), PLAN and PSAT testing, ASVAB testing, and ACT/SAT information and assistance. Evans helps students leave the College and Career Office prepared for their next step.





Montgomery County Schools

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc. Hosts Essay Scholarship Contest

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc., Mu Chapter presented its 2017 American Education Week Essay Scholarship Contest winners. The essay theme was “Great Public Schools– A Basic Right and Our Responsibility: What Role Does Social Media Have in Today’s Educational System?” This year’s winners were RaeAna Thomas (Park Crossing High School), Isaiah Thomas (Evangel Christian Academy), KeShaye Savage (Meadowview Elementary School) and LaPerial Auls (Honorable Mention - McKee Middle School). The winners each received a monetary award. The annual essay scholarship contest is open to all high school, middle school and elementary school students located within Montgomery County.

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Montgomery Academy Studies Microorganisms

Fourth-graders at The Montgomery Academy are getting an up-close view of the world around them. As part of their study of microorganisms, teacher Ellen Wood introduced the students to the concept that, like everything else on earth, they too are made of cells. Students viewed their own cheek cells through a microscope. The students had reference pictures on their iPads of dyed cheek cells so they would know that what they were viewing through the microscope was correct and in focus.

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Macon East Names Wendy’s Heisman Nominees

Seniors Madison McKee and Bryson O’Malley were selected as Macon East Academy nominees in the Wendy’s High School Heisman Scholarship program. Since 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman program has honored student-athletes who maintain a 3.0 or above GPA and are role models in their school and community.



STEM at Alabama Christian Academy

Middle School math classes at Alabama Christian Academy participated in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) building activity. Each class was divided into teams of four. Students were given six Solo cups and a rubber band with four strings attached. Without using their hands except to hold the strings, teams had to stack the cups into a tower. If the cups fell on the floor, the students had to use teamwork to figure out a way to get the cups back onto the table without picking them up with their hands. Prior to the start of the activity, each team was given five minutes to plan their strategies. This activity involved problem solving, critical thinking and some engineering skills to successfully stretch and release the rubber bands at the right time. After the activity, students were given a chance to share their strategies and discuss what could have been done differently. 27

ACA Player Named Player of the Year

The Montgomery Quarterback Club announced Alden Stroud as the Private School Player of the Year. Stroud was honored at the Club’s Annual Awards Banquet on December 12. Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, was the featured speaker. Stroud, a senior running back, rushed for 1,830 yards on 239 attempts for a 7.6 yards per carry


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Evangel Christian Academy

c o a d Q ta in ic a

Evangel Christian Academy exists to partner with Christian parents to provide their child with a Christ-centered education. Our desire is to help each child achieve their God-given potential through providing activities designed to foster spiritual, academic and social growth.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:11

Accredited: ACTS, AISA, SACS, Advanced ED, NCPSA 3975 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-272-3882

For a FREE Educational Success Consultation please contact the school office

average and 17 touchdowns. Stroud had 2,767 all-purpose yards with 19 total touchdowns. Stroud helped lead Alabama Christian to its first-ever 10-win season, first quarterfinal in 27 years, and set the school rushing record and all-purpose yardage record. “He just has an indomitable spirit,” said ACA head coach Nate Sanford. “He brings it every single day in practice. Against Andalusia (in the 4A quarterfinals), he played scout team running back in practice to help us get ready to play Andalusia. There are not a lot of 2,000-yard rushers that would do that in Week 13. He has such a competitive spirit, he does not know how to do anything else but fight tooth and nail.” Send Your School News by the 12th of each month to: editor@

Montgomery Parents I February 2018






Holy Cross Episcopal Students Attend Snow Queen at ASF

Holy Cross kindergarten, 1st-grade and 2nd-grade classes recently attended the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s performance of The Snow Queen, which is an original fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. It has become one of his longest and most highly acclaimed stories in all of his collections. Before attending the performance, students studied in their classes that the tale was first published in 1844. The story centers on the struggle between good and evil as experienced by Gerda and her friend, Kai. The students also discussed similarities and differences between the Disney movie, Frozen, and The Snow Queen. They learned that it was very similar to the original fairy tale but with slightly different characters. It has been transformed into the now-famous motion picture musical, Frozen, filled with iconic songs which have now become forever favorites of children and adults worldwide.

Macon East Students Give Back

Macon East Academy students look forward to sharing with others throughout the month of December. The lower school and junior high classes worked together on a variety of service projects including coats and gloves for area homeless, pet supplies for the Montgomery Humane Shelter, Scholastic Book Clubs’ book and pajama drive, and Heritage Baptist Church’s toy drive for local families in need. A group of 6th-grade students delivered a trailer full of non-perishable food items collected by the entire lower school to WSFA and Dixie Electric’s 12s Day of Giving. Shown are the K3 and K4 classes with pajamas for the pajama drive as they enjoyed their own Pajama Day at school. 29

Montgomery County Schools

River Region ‘Future Eagles’ Receive Aviation Scholarships

2018-19 Registration Begins for Churchill Academy

Churchill Academy is registering students for the 2018-19 year. The school offers a low student/teacher ratio, specializes in teaching unique and exceptional learners, and believes that every student has the utmost potential. Churchill effectively addresses areas of weakness while celebrating the strengths of each student in an environment that focuses on social and academic needs. Interested families may begin the application process by calling (334) 270-4225 for more information.

At the Montgomery City Hall auditorium on January 10, twenty-five scholarships were awarded to local River Region youth allowing these students to participate in STEM-based curriculum taught at the National Flight Academy. The students were selected after participating in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-focused essay competition hosted by the 2018 Gathering of Eagles program. The scholarships will send 14 middle school and 11 high school students from River Region schools to STEM-focused aviation and cyber camps at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida, in an effort to promote the continued study and education in aerospace-based curriculum. The Gathering of Eagles Foundation’s Future Eagles Scholarship Program aims to enhance the understanding of air, space and cyberspace throughout the River Region with its community outreach efforts to local students. In addition to providing these scholarships, in 2018 the foundation will also sponsor two, $2,000 Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarships for Alabama ROTC members attending college. Scholarships were presented by Richard Harr, Gathering of Eagles Foundation’s Future Scholarship Program lead. For more information on the Gathering of Eagles program and former Eagles, visit or

ACA Players Named to All-Metro Teams

Holy Cross Buddies Work Together

Holy Cross Episcopal School fifthgrade students gathered with their pre-K buddies to solve a mystery. This activity was based on Caralyn Buehner’s book, Snowmen At Night. Together, they made fluffy white snowmen with a large orange “carrot” for a nose and two big black pieces of “coal” for eyes. The theme of the book presented the question, just what DO snowmen do at night when we see them again the next morning and find they look different than when we last saw them? Pre-K students solved the mystery: snowmen read, ate cake and skated at night! Buddies Sanai Burton and Phoebe Osborne are shown. Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Alabama Christian Academy’s fall athletic programs had one of the most successful years to date. Varsity volleyball made it to State semifinals and varsity football made it to State quarterfinals. Many athletes were named to the Montgomery Advertiser All-Metro teams. Junior Gracie Shaddix was named first team Montgomery Advertiser All-Metro. She finished the season with 32 aces, 465 kills, 12 blocks and 142 digs. Seniors Natalie Faulkner and Carli Schofield were named honorable mention. Faulkner finished the season with 61 aces, 234 kills and 224 digs and Schofield finished with 334 kills and 130 blocks. Senior Alden Stroud was named All-Metro Player of the Year for Football. David Coulter, Ty Taveras & Reece Solar all made the All-Metro Team. Coleman Harrison, Grayson Evans & Dawson Lockleir were honorable mention! Head Varsity Football Coach Nate Sanford was named Coach of the Year. 30

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Saint James School Hosts Annual Open House

MA Supports Children’s Hospital

For The Montgomery Academy’s Lower School holiday service project, students, faculty and staff donated items to the Sugar Plum Shop at Children’s Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. The Sugar Plum Shop is a program for patients and their families who must spend the holidays at the hospital. This in-hospital toy store allows parents of currently hospitalized patients to “shop”—free of charge—for gifts for their patient child and siblings. The school collected 558 items for this cause. Mrs. Josey coordinated this project.

January 21 was a beautiful day for a campus tour, a little outside play, and an opportunity to learn more about pre-school and kindergarten at Saint James School. All area prospective families were invited, parents and students, who are interested in pre-K3, pre-K4, and kindergarten for fall 2018. School administrators, including Head of School Dr. Larry McLemore and Academic Dean Susan Atkins, spoke to the general assembly of parents before breaking into smaller groups to tour and interact with classroom and enrichment elementary school teachers. Saint James student ambassadors interacted with the students in arts and crafts, inflatables and more. The parent information session provided a comprehensive overview of the complete education offered at STJ by Saint James School Dean of Admissions Cathy Pearson and special remarks were delivered by senior Claudia Hubbard and her kindergarten buddy, Keagan Cantrell. The Saint James Jazz Band performed as the guests arrived prior to the general assembly session and one of the first-grade classes sang the school’s alma mater for the crowd. Admissions and tour information, scholarships, and financial assistance details for Saint James School are available at Shown, Sabrina Hubbard’s first-grade class performed for prospective families. Front row from left are: Olivia Willis, Ava Claire Robinson, Giana Castaneda, Ava Bernardi, Kate Saxon, Elliette Barton and London Wright; and back row: Rowan Covert, Will Roark, Jesie Chinoski, Zoe Godwin, Sawyer Stabler, Anna Catherine McDaniel and Jordan Williams.


Montgomery County Schools

Holy Cross First-Graders Enjoy Annual Bird Study

Holy Cross Episcopal School first-graders began their annual study of birds recently. Teacher Leisa Harrison says her students enjoy learning about all types of birds and look forward to studying about them each winter. Throughout the year, the class enjoys watching an array of songbirds and migrating seasonal birds at a beautiful feeder right outside the classroom window. Students began their bird research by learning about a bird’s bone structure and were excited to learn that birds bones are hollow to make flying easier. They also studied that birds communicate using visual signals and through calls and songs. Since a bird’s usual diet includes fruit, plants, seeds and nuts, the students went to work and layered pine cones with peanut butter and rolled them in birdseed. Harrison and the class chose one of the most beautiful ornamental trees on the campus, and hung the pine cones they created from the branches for the birds to enjoy. Each day, the class watches the tree and sketches and studies the different variety of birds that stop by to taste the pine cone treats.


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Bethany Christian’s Primary Department Salutes Local Heroes

Bethany Christian Academy students in grades K-2 visited the Forest Avenue Fire Station in celebration of Fire Prevention Month as well as Community Helpers. BCA says thank you to all who sacrifice so much to keep us safe and protected!

PRESENTED BY of Greater Birmingham



Free face painting, entertainment, giveaways & MORE FREE ADMISSION to Camp Expo. Admission charged for McWane Science Center Adventure Halls; the first 100 guests to register at get two FREE admissions to the Adventure Halls that day! For Camp Expo enter through the special events door on Level C of the parking deck. SPONSORED BY

Montgomery Parents I February 2018


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Academy Speech Coach Named Year’s State Educator

Jay Rye from The Montgomery Academy has been named the 2017-18 Alabama Educator of the Year. From more than 5,000 member coaches and teachers across the country, Rye was selected because of his unwavering commitment to speech and debate education. His passion for speech and debate has enhanced the quality of education in Alabama and beyond. To be nominated for this award, educators must coach and teach speech and debate, have a minimum of five years’ experience in the classroom, demonstrate broad contributions to the field of education, provide support and mentorship to the speech and debate community, and model the established NSDA Coach Code of Ethics. Each State Educator of the Year award winner is considered for the 2017-18 National Educator of the Year Award, which will be announced on National Speech and Debate Education Day March 2.

Macon East Awards Lower School Fall Sports

The pee wee football team and elementary cheerleaders at Macon East Academy each received trophies at their annual awards ceremony. The pee wee Knights enjoyed a great fall season preparing them to play on future JV and varsity teams. Macon East’s four elementary cheer squads cheer on the Knights at the pee wee games as well as halftime of the varsity home games. The cheer squads will continue their season providing halftime entertainment at Macon East home basketball games. We thank all of the coaches and volunteers who help make our elementary athletic programs a huge success.


Montgomery County Schools

Southlawn Elementary Students Discover Fun of Science

Forest Avenue Holds Successful Open House

Forest Avenue Academic Magnet School hosted its second annual Open House for prospective kindergartners and their parents. The event gives families an opportunity to meet teachers and staff and to learn more about the school’s amazing academic program.

A first-year teacher at Southlawn Elementary is making sure math and science come alive for his students. Tyler Merriweather said he is always looking for ways to spark student engagement with project-based learning. In a recent classroom exercise, the fifth-grade students were exploring and describing how a new substance forms when you mix baking soda and vinegar. The gas that was formed filled up the balloon that they had attached to a water bottle. This exercise meets state science standard 5.1 and is part of the students’ continuing study of the different characteristics of the states of matter.

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Montgomery Parents I February 2018



MEA Attends Troy Leadership Day

Holy Cross STEM Lab Simulates How Animals Survive in the Arctic

Holy Cross Episcopal School’s STEM lab provides a very complex study for students of many topics and scientific studies and discoveries. Recently, firstgraders have been learning about Arctic animals and in STEM Lab, they actually did a hands-on exploration in which students were able to experience just how blubber helps keep arctic animals warm in the extremely cold environment. They learned that mammals that have evolved to live in the very cold waters such as whales, seals, sea lions and polar bears, commonly have a layer of blubber and it is vital to their survival. To experience this with a sensory experiment, students sampled the frigid ice water with their hands submerged into extremely cold water without gloves that were insulated. The water temperature was very similar to the temperatures experienced by arctic animals, making it an excellent example. After their initial sampling, one hand from each student was coated with a layer of shortening (this acts as blubber) and re-gloved. They sampled the water with their insulated “blubber” glove. Students noticed almost immediately that it was not as cold with the insulated “blubber” glove on their hand. This experiment simulated the 50% of body fat that is crucial to subfreezing temperatures arctic animals depend upon for survival. From left are Rowan Osborne and Patrick Frye.

A PRIVATE PREPARATORY SCHOOL FOR GRADES K3 - 12 We are located just a few minutes east of Chantilly Parkway. You are always welcome, so please get in touch with our Admissions Office and come for a campus tour. We would love to show you around!

334.277.6566 15396 Vaughn Road Cecil, AL 36013

Scholarship opportunities are available. 35

Four Macon East Academy juniors attended Troy University’s High School Leadership Day along with MEA college counselor Kelley Newell. Students Dawn Johnson, Madisyn Kennedy, Cody Nesbitt and Bailey Nyberg were chosen to attend based on their leadership positions in the Student Government Association and National Honor Society. The goal of the conference was to enhance the leadership abilities of high school students, because Troy strongly believes in training young leaders now in order to prepare them for the future. The students attended break-out sessions where they learned new ideas to bring back to campus along with enriching their leadership skills. Participants were given insight into making future college choices, enjoyed a walking tour of Troy, and experienced a bit of campus life. Cody Nesbitt, Dawn Johnson, Bailey Nyberg and Madisyn Kennedy are shown.


Macon East Academy focuses on providing a family environment in a small school atmosphere. It is a place where students feel at home and know that every faculty member has a genuine interest in their education and personal achievement on and off the campus. The Macon East experience is designed to nurture and develop wellbalanced, responsible, and dedicated young people. Macon East seeks to enroll students who are capable of achieving success inside the framework of a college preparatory curriculum. Our accelerated elementary classes are supplemented with offerings for all ages in music, Spanish, technology and both visual and performing arts.

Montgomery County Schools

SUA’s Original Voice for School Choice

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The combined music ensembles of Success Unlimited Academy brought an original sound to this year’s National School Choice Week observance at the Alabama Capitol lawn celebration. The choir performed a song written by the school’s Fine Arts instructors and students called, “Only You” – which encourages students to use their unique voice to make a difference in the world around them. The nationally celebrated event, which urges state politicians to provide more publicly funded educational options for Alabama’s children, drew thousands of parents and students from across the state.

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Macon East Fifth- and Sixth-Graders Visit Atlanta

Macon East Academy fifth- and sixth-graders recently spent the day visiting Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium. The students agreed their favorite experiences were the dolphin show and whale shark feedings. The field trip also included a tour of the new Atlanta Braves baseball stadium.

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334-272-4900 MAIL@KINGRYORTHODONTICS.COM 8101 SEATON PLACE, MONTGOMERY, AL 36116 31 BRIDGE ST, THE WATERS, PIKE RD, AL 35064 Montgomery Parents I February 2018


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Saint James School Announces Campus Expansion

Saint James School launched a capital campaign in the summer of 2017 to construct a new School Commons. This new space will fulfill the school’s need for a large communal gathering place at the school, as well as the need for a school-wide dining facility. The Commons will provide a variety of nutritious meals to more than 1,000 individuals on campus daily—including students, faculty and staff. “We believe that the health of our children is vital to their overall success in life,” said Samarria and Kendall Dunson, campaign co-chairs. “This campaign is a way for us to facilitate the development of the whole child—physically, academically, and emotionally.” To date, just over $1,300,000 has been gifted or pledged to the capital campaign, which is approximately 65% of the campaign goal. The school family celebrated this milestone in a public announcement event on January 11, 2018, at the school. Campaign Chairs Samarria and Kendall Dunson and Jennifer and Glenn Crumpton presented a check to the Saint James School Board of Trustees. School leadership plans to break ground for the new Commons this spring. Additional features currently being planned for the facility include: An enhanced performance space for elementary students New elementary art and music classrooms; music will have direct stage access A private dining room that also serves as a flexible meeting space A-la-carte, grab-and-go, healthy food options for students and faculty New location and more convenient access to the Wooden Horse, the school’s gift shop Outdoor gathering spaces for collaborative learning opporutnities A community organic garden for students to create and maintain—and for the dining service provider to use in preparing meals for the school community

also provide collaborative opportunities for our school community and our local community. With the interior spaces and outdoor green spaces, we will be able to offer the ideal setting to share ideas and work together.”

“It is our desire to see the school continue to grow and provide valuable resources for all students,” said Jennifer and Glenn Crumpton. “The Commons will reinforce the bond between all aspects of the Saint James community – current students, their families, the faculty, and alumni. This new space will touch every student of every grade and have something special to offer everyone.” Dr. Larry McLemore, Saint James Head of School, added, “This new facility will enhance our campus. The Commons not only features an indoor gathering space for our campus, but it will 37

February is upon us and we are in the meat of the academic year. We recently hosted our first AdvancED (formerly known as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) visit and it went extremely well. While we are awaiting our official notification from AdvancED on our accreditation status, the team members, two of whom had over 100 accreditation visits each, said Pike Road Schools was the best accreditation visit they had ever had! It was particularly pointed out that Pike Road students could articulate what they were learning and why they were learning it better than any students they had ever

interviewed. The team also noted that our teachers engaged students in their learning and involved students in using technology better than any school system they had seen. They were highly impressed by the support of the town and parents, and complimented the school system on the quality of our teachers and administrators. We are thrilled at the feedback from the review team and look forward to receiving our official notice! February brings a close to winter sports, and it has been an exciting season. Our girls and boys basketball teams actually played and won some varsity basketball games despite us not having any students above 10th grade this year. We also saw our wresting program get started, complete with youth wrestling, and are excited to watch it grow. February also means spring sports are gearing up, with baseball, golf, boys and girls soccer, softball, tennis, and track all get-

ting started. We look forward to a great season of spring sports. This time of year involves many of our co-curricular programs as well, such as band and other performing arts, agriculture (FFA and 4-H), engineering and IT, and other career interest courses. We are growing both our course offerings and the co-curricular contest opportunities in these areas. We also are preparing for dual enrollment and Advanced Placement courses as we head into next school year, our foist year with juniors. We encourage you to come see the great things that are happening in Pike Road Schools. Chuck Ledbetter has been an educator for 28 years. He has earned a B.A. in history from Auburn University; a Masters of Education in history from AUM; and a doctorate in educational leadership from Auburn University. Chuck Ledbetter was a history teacher for 11 years, an assistant principal, a middle school principal, a high school principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and for finance, and is in his ninth year as a superintendent. He is married to Kim and has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Agape proudly welcomes speaker

Sean Dietrich

Columnist and Novelist “Sean of the South� to our 4th Annual Connecting Hearts Fundraiser to Help Children Sean Dietrich is a columnist, humorist and novelist known for his commentary on the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, South Magazine, and many more outlets. He has also authored seven books and will be releasing his eighth book soon.

27 FEB 2018 Alley Station Warehouse, downtown Montgomery 5:30 pm Reception | 6:30 pm Featured Event

For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit

Montgomery Parents I February 2018










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Pike Road Students Participate in Duke TIP

These students were all recognized as qualifiers for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. The mission of Duke TIP is the dedication to being a global leader in identifying academically talented students and providing innovative programs to support the development of their optimal educational potential. Programs for students, families and educators will be of such excellence that they will become models for the education of academically talented students worldwide.


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Future Farmers of America at Pike Road

Future Farmers of America (FFA) is an intracurricular studentled organization for those interested in agriculture and leadership. Students must be enrolled in an agriscience class to become an FFA member. There are several opportunities in FFA for students.


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They include obtaining different state and national FFA degrees, gaining experience in leadership and future careers, and putting those learning experiences to the test by competing in career development events. The FFA Mission says: “FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” For more information about FFA, visit or Shown for Central District Eliminations are Pike Road FFA’s horse-judging team and small engines team.



P Pike Road School Names 2017 Reflections Art Competition Winners

The following students’ artwork won at the school level and has been sent on to be judged at the county level: Primary (K-2nd) Visual Arts: 1st place Elena Lim, 2nd Jennifer Jo, 3rd Isabella Park/Zoey Swanson and Honorable Mentions Kayla Jang, Jane Oh and Jung Min Lee Intermediate (3rd-5th) Visual Arts: 1st Rebecca Yoo, 2nd Ava Crowe, 3rd Yujin Ung and Honorable Mention Chloe Lim Middle School (6th-8th) Visual Arts: 1st Olivia Finlay/Sieun Baik, 2nd Jin Lee, 3rd Emily Restad/Hilda Cortez and Honorable Mention Catalina Quimby/ Jea Woo Jung Middle School (6th-8th) Graphic Arts: 1st Brandon Holley, 2nd Jaidyn Biggs, 3rd Caden Bishop and Honorable Mention Vizion Jordan Middle School (6th-8th) Photography: 1st Delaney Hawthorne, 2nd Emma Rice and 3rd Andrew Shum/ Katherine Granger Middle School (6th-8th) Literature: 1st Kaylee Gill and 2nd Megan Hogge Middle School (6th-8th) Film Production: 1st Abbie Roach High School (9th-12th) Visual Arts: 1st Emily May High School (9th-12th) Graphic Arts: 1st Stella Burton, 2nd Jennifer Little and 3rd Trenton Bowen High School (9th-12th) Music Composition: 1st Parker Allen


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Students Win Canned Food Drive

Ms. Glassford’s mentoring class won the recent canned food drive contest! Students enjoyed a pizza party for collecting the most food for donation.


PRHS Students Participate in Future City Class

Future City, led by Christy Glassford, is a project-based learning program where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades imagine, research, design and build cities of the future. It answers the question, “How can we make the world a better place?” Several 7th- and 8th-graders from Pike Road High School are participating in this course and have been working very hard on designing a city of the future. The 2017-18 Future City theme is “The Age-Friendly City.” Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design (using SimCity); a 1,500-word city essay; a scale model; a project plan, and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January. Regional winners represent their region at Finals in Washington, DC in February. The PRHS Future City team also attended the regional competition on January 13.

Send Your school news to: Montgomery Parents I February 2018

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TheCollegeYears Preparing Teens for Life Outside the Nest

by Lee Gonet

How to Improve Your ACT Score Most test-prep advisors tell you to set goals, know what to expect, prepare mentally and physically, pinpoint problem areas, and don’t give up trying to improve. These are all general words of wisdom you should apply. However, I am going to give you tips you can directly implement on practice tests, which have been successfully proven to raise scores.

Tip # 1: Practice! Practice! Practice!

Your best results will be obtained if you take an official test immediately following several practice sessions. Practice tests should be timed, just like the real ACT, with only a ten minute break between Math and Reading. Take two to three tests at home the week prior to the formal test. This practice generates improved speed and a relaxed attitude to the timed pressure. Taking multiple practice tests at home not only removes test anxiety, but also creates a familiarity with the material and format.

Tip # 2: Rework Your Errors

After each practice test, have someone else mark your incorrect answers, and then you should rework all missed problems. Take your time and try your best to understand why you missed the question the first time. Rescore your test: this second result is what you could actually make on the ACT if it were not timed! Afterwards, review and study all questions you missed twice. Look at the correct answers, read the explanations, seek help in weak areas or for confusing answers. This process gives your mind an opportunity to self-correct obvious mistakes and builds confidence. When you are simply told the correct answers, you can see your errors (and feel bad about them), but often you will make the same habitual mistakes over

and over. However, when you figure out the errors for yourself, your brain recognizes and corrects these problems on future tests, and your confidence will improve.

Tip # 3: Identify English & Math Weaknesses

Learn to recognize the types of errors you make habitually. Do you know your punctuation rules? Are you mixing up your verb tenses? Is redundancy a problem? Can you differentiate between geometry formulas? Are you confusing negative numbers with positive ones? Every student is weak in specific areas which can be identified and strengthened. When reworking errors, ascertain the category of mistakes you are making, and learn the necessary principles. An infinite number of practice tests won’t help if you haven’t learned the basics!

Tip # 4: Read the Reading

Four sections are presented and always in the same order: Fiction, Social Science, Humanities, and Natural Science. Every student is weak in a different type of analyzing; therefore, save your weakest area for last. If you score well on only three sections, you can still score up to a 27! Always read the sections before answering the questions and as you are reading, underline unusual words, names, statistics, etc. while reading. This process stops your mind from wandering and helps you stay focused on the passage. Practice speed reading. Try to finish reading each passage in three minutes. 41

Tip # 6: Don’t Read the Science

Go straight to the questions and do not read any of the material until necessary because the majority of the answers are found in the charts, graphs, and images. Save the comparison section for last as it requires the most reading.

Tip # 7: No Blank Bubbles

Fill in the scantron completely, bubbling all answers. Statistically, no penalty exists for guessing wrong answers.

Tip # 8: Set a Goal Score

You need an attainable “end” to your efforts. What are your prospective colleges’ entry score requirements? Scholarship scores? Will the college create a composite from your highest individual scores?

Tip # 9: Use Princeton Review Guides

I consider the PR to be the best testprep program on the market and use its materials myself.

Tip # 10: Seek Direction Through Experience

Sometimes, gaining experience in the workforce will give you an edge on the ACT through increased responsibility, improved critical thinking, and a more focused attitude. Unless you have a strong area of interest and a specifically planned purpose for your degree, consider taking a gap year and gaining experience in a field of interest. I hope this information helps improve your scores. You might also consider joining one of my ACT Boot Camps this summer. More to come on Test Prep & Classes in future issues of Montgomery Parents! Lee Gonet is an avid learner, speaker, educator, and world traveler. She loves challenging teenagers to excel beyond what society considers possible by teaching young people to think deeply, learn intensely, and act purposefully outside the classroom box. For example, her daughter worked abroad by 16 and her son earned his Engineering Master’s by 20. Dreams do come true.

We have had a fantastic start to our second semester! The academic accolades keep coming for the 2018 Autaugaville, Billingsley, and Marbury High School seniors! A combined 15 seniors scoring 26 or higher on the ACT were recognized during the January 11th board meeting. Congratulations to Jordan Benefield from Autaugaville School! Congratulations to the following students from Billingsley School: Shelby Bevan, Maryssa Foshee, Emily Williams, and Sarah Wilson! Congratulations to the following students from Marbury

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

High School: Dylun Cassar, Savannah Corbin, Savannah Duncan, Carrista Givens, Thomas Hilbish, Hayden Ingram, Justin Jackson, Jared Johnson, Janie McCord, and Tiffany Shivers! With the start of the second semester, we begin to plan for another fantastic school year. The 2018-2019 school calendar committee worked hard to create a calendar for the upcoming school year. I would like to thank the following members of our calendar committee: Tisha Scott-Addison from the Central Office, Board Member Eleanor Ballow, MJ Ballard from Marbury High, Wendy Baxley from Prattville Elementary, Ty Bolden from Prattville Junior High, Laura Burton from Prattville Primary, Wyteria Ellis from Autaugaville, Conchita England from Second Chance, Laura Fennell from Pine Level Elementary, Gail Greer from Prattville Intermediate, Laura Harp


from Daniel Pratt Elementary, Shannyn Meadows from Prattville Kindergarten, Neal Murphree from Prattville High, Jennifer Reid from Billingsley, Stacey Roberts (a parent representative), Scarlett Turner from Marbury Middle, and Brandon Wise from the Technology Center. The board approved the 2018-2019 school calendar on January 11, 2018. I take great pleasure in sharing the accomplishments that our schools, staff members, and students receive with the citizens of Autauga County. With so much news to share, take a moment to like “Autauga County Schools� on Facebook! Spence Agee is the Superintendent of Education for Autauga County Schools. He is a third generation educator with an ED.S. in Educational Leadership. He has 20 years of experience in the education field as well as 29 years of military experience. Agee is an active member at First Baptist Church in Prattville. He and his wife, Cesily, who is also an educator, have two daughters, Abby and Addison.





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P Autauga County Schools

Prattville High Recognizes ACT Scores of 30 and Up

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On January 23, Prattville High School recognized some of the seniors who scored a 30 or higher on the ACT. Shown from left are Autauga County Superintendent Spence Agee, Olin Finch, Daniel Chapman, Kristopher Hinton, Katie Kroft, Daniel Ashurst, Matthew Boone, Stephen Guerrero, Wesley Domsalla, Sarah Foster, Brittney Hatfield, Landon Kramer, James Durbin and Prattville High School Principal Brock Dunn.

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Marbury Senior Releases Studio Album

Marbury High School senior Abigail Douglas has completed her first studio album, Caught Up in the Grey, which has been released for download on iTunes and Amazon music. Once she graduates, Douglas plans to attend Belmont University in Nashville and major in music in the field of songwriting.

Autauga County Accreditation Team Visits PJHS

In mid-January, the Autauga County School District went through accreditation (which occurs every five years) through the nationally acclaimed AdvancED. Members of the accreditation team came to various schools to observe classrooms; interview teachers, students and parents; meet with the leadership team; review data, etc. All are necessary to assess the instructional program at the school. The accreditation visit at Prattville Junior High School was incredible and representatives enjoyed meeting the evaluation teams, comprised of educators around the Southeast. These students represented PJHS so incredibly well. We are grateful to have students who work hard and know their education is of paramount importance!

Local Veteran Visits PJHS

Retired Lt. Col Partridge stopped by Prattville Jr. HIgh School recently to present a signed copy of his book My Story...and I’m Sticking to It...I Think to the PJHS Library/Media Center. Students and staff had a delightful conversation with Lt. Col. Partridge about his time in the military, his favorite places he has lived, famous people he has met, and tough times he endured. He presented this book to Shaliya Brown, LMC student aide. As a part of “The Greatest Generation,” he taught everyone a little about the military and a lot about life. Thanks to men like him for paving a way for the rest of us! Montgomery Parents I February 2018

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PCA President Conferred Doctorate in Education

Prattville Christian Academy’s president Ron Mitchell recently completed his doctoral studies at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn. A Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) with an emphasis in leadership and strategic change was conferred in December 2017. His dissertation entitled, “Classroom Strategies and Behaviors Facilitating Continued Scholastic Growth,” focused on best practices that increase teacher effectiveness and student learning. “This program expanded my knowledge in the ever-changing field of education and will help me keep PCA on the leading edge of student learning,” Mitchell said. “A doctorate has been a goal of mine for many years. I am blessed to be able to use it now to influence lives.” Mitchell moved to Prattville to become the president at PCA in 2004. Prior to PCA, he was a senior partner of a business consulting firm in Houston, Tex. Mitchell is also retired from the United States Air Force with 22 years of service.

PJHS Science Teachers Employ LTF Training

Educators have known for years that hands-on activities help students learn in tangible ways and increases their ability to apply relevance to their learning. Science teachers at Prattville Junior High School have gone through LTF (Laying the Foundation) training through the A+ College Board and have incorporated almost-daily labs into their instruction. The difference has been amazing. Students are highly engaged in activities as they learn and apply information. PJHS welcomes and encourages any donations of or toward science equipment. 45


February is National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. I would like to take this opportunity to share some information about the outstanding CTE programs we provide to our students in Elmore County. CTE is education that directly prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers and covers 16 different fields, including health care, information technology, advanced manufacturing, hospitality and management and many more. A primary goal of CTE is to align programs with employer and workforce needs as well as postsecondary institutions so that all students graduate from high school with the necessary skills to be college and career ready. CTE encompasses many different types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. We are very proud of the Elmore County Technical Center (ECTC) where we offer 10 programs including Automotive Service Technology,

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Computer Technology, Construction Technology, Electrical Technology, Hospitality & Tourism, Medical Sciences, Plumbing & Pipefitting (new for 2017-2018 school year), Pre-Engineering & Design, Public Safety & Law, and Welding Technology. In addition to the programs offered on the ECTC campus, each of our four high schools offer some or all of the following CTE programs: Agriconstruction; Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); Food, Wellness, & Dietetics; Business Management and Administration; Marketing, Sales & Service; Restaurant and Food and beverage Services; Finance; Advertising Design; General Agriscience; and Sports Medicine. JROTC is offered on the campuses of Stanhope Elmore High School and Wetumpka High School; Elmore County High School and Holtville High School students may participate in this program at Wetumpka High School. Two brand new programs will be offered at ECTC beginning in the 2018-2019 school year to meet workforce demands in the high-need areas in our region. We are pleased to partner with Auburn University in developing our Aviation Technology program and with professional organizations and local businesses to establish our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program.


In addition to the CTE programs offered at ECTC and on the high school campuses, dual enrollment opportunities in both technical and academic areas are offered on the ECTC campus. Several technical courses are offered in the areas of manufacturing technology and welding. Academic courses offered include English Composition I and II, American Literature, English Literature, Psychology, and Music Appreciation. An integrated – and essential – component of all CTE courses is the related student organization for each career area. Career Technical Student Organizations (CTSO’s) extend teaching and learning through innovative programs, business and community partnerships, and leadership experiences at the school, state, and national levels.

CTE has truly evolved since its inception in the early 1800’s, and Elmore County is committed to providing multiple avenues for our students to achieve success in school and in life. CTE…it’s not just a “shop class” anymore!

Richard Dennis is the Superintendent of Education for Elmore County Schools. He is a 1983 graduate of Holtville High School. He served 21 years as a high school principal at Holtville High, Wetumpka High and most recently, Prattville High. He and wife, Leslie (also an educator) have three sons and a daughter.

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Elmore County Schools

Eclectic Elementary Spelling Bee Winners

Shown below are Eclectic Elementary Spelling Bee winners, 4th-grade winner Ethan Vance and 3rd-grade winner Gavin Eason.

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Airport Road Student Council Collects for Local Food Bank

Holtville Collects Christmas Food Donations

The Airport Road Intermediate School Student Council spent the months of November and December collecting canned goods for their local food bank, The Welcome Center located in Millbrook. The classes had a friendly competition to see who could collect the most food. ARIS strives to help all students become kind and compassionate members of the community. Thanks to all who helped make the food drive a success.

The Holtville Elementary Student Council led a drive for non-perishable food items. As shown here, numerous items were collected and given to those in need just in time for the holidays.

Send Your School News to: editor@ Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Wetumpka High Makes Top 10 List for Athletes

What Alabama schools are the best for athletes? Niche, a website that grades high schools on everything from academics to diversity, has used its data to rank the 2018 Best High Schools in Alabama for athletes. Rankings are based on several factors: student and parent reviews of athletic programs; student participation in athletics; and the number of sports offered at the school. It’s important to note the rankings don’t factor in performance by individual teams, facilities or the number of athletes the programs send to the college level. Wetumpka High School received the number-10 spot, the only school in the River Region to make the list.

WES Holds Breakfast with Santa

The students at Wetumpka Elementary School enjoyed eating breakfast and visiting with Santa! 48


Local Meteorologist Visits Victory Class

Meteorologist Ryan Stinnett from the Alabama News Network visited the third-grade class of Victory Baptist School. Students have just begun studying about the weather in science, and the meteorologist visit gave the class the opportunity to ask questions. His knowledge of the weather piqued their interest in meteorology.

Holtville Choir Performs at Christmas Event

Holtville Elementary School recently held its first Candy Cane Christmas event. It was provided for our community to come to the school and participate in fun activities, such as a candy cane walk, balloon find, pin the nose on Rudolph, snowball toss, letters to Santa, and Santa himself was even there for pictures. Also, as part of this fun night our very own Superintendent Richard Dennis read a Christmas book aloud to students and their families. To finish up the night, the HES Choir sang a multitude of Christmas songs for those in attendance.

Redland Staff Participates In Arts Teambuilding

On January 5, the entire staff at Redland Elementary School participated in a teambuilding workshop presented by AIEA (Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts) Executive Director Randy Foster, Cathy Wright (retired director of arts with Montgomery Public Schools) and Angela Dickson (director of theatre with Faulkner University), where they provided two rotations for the RES faculty and staff to learn about incorporating engaging theatre activities in the classrooms and coding with dance activities. The teachers worked in small groups to create their own skits to perform, and they also worked in small groups to create a dance following a coding chart. All of the teachers received resources that can be used in their own classrooms throughout the year.





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W Elmore County Schools

Students Win Redland Geography Bee

Eclectic Elementary December Students

2018 Redland Elementary School Geography Bee winners include Kaleb Sikes, 1st place, and Levi Sites, 1st Runner Up.

Edgewood Academy Kindergarten Celebrates 100th Day of School

Kindergarten: Sophia McKinnon, Ally Daniels, James Kelly, Elliott Kennedy, Daniel Quinn and Aiden Smith; 1st Grade: Molly Kate Justice, Gabrielle Henderson, T.J. Esco, Noah Bracknell and Braylen Brabham; 2nd Grade: Sophia Vittore, Savanna Brewer, Conner Lanier, Bella Vice and Bella Donahey; 3rd Grade: Lacy Martin, Baleigh Wilson, Scott Smith, Wilson Buckley, Rebeca Diego Mateo and Ayden Graham; and 4th Grade: Jordan Pollard, Sam Diego-Mateo, James Hand and Jonathan Jupiter.

Send Your School News to: editor@

Montgomery Parents I February 2018


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Wetumpka Middle Tuba Players Enjoy Unique Opportunity

From left, eight-graders Connor Scheeren and Logan Oakley, members of the advanced band at Wetumpka Middle School, went to Huntsville before Christmas and played their tubas with a whole group of strangers. The two learned seven songs in 90 minutes and then performed a concert for a packed church. The ages of participants in this group ranged from 11 years old to mid-70s. The boys’ band instructor is Diana Frazier.

Edgewood Preschool Enjoys Baby Animal Study

Edgewood Academy Preschool has been learning all about baby animals. Recenty, the children learned about different ways mother animals carry their babies including in a pouch like kangaroos and on their chest like otters. They also learned why staying close to a parent is important for both us and for baby animals!

ARIS Names 2018 Spelling Bee Winners

Airport Road Intermediate School’s first-place winners will represent ARIS in the Elmore County Spelling Bee. From left are 3rdgrade runner-up Gavin Palmer, 3rd-grade winner Bailey Bankson, 4th-grade winner Kasen Christopher and 4thgrade runner-up Hayden Anderson.


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Sing to Your Baby:

Music and Brain Development By Jan Pierce

The sweet interaction between a mother and her baby when the mother sings to the infant is a universal behavior. And researchers now know that this simple, most natural activity is mutually beneficial to both mother and child. Singing provides the sensory stimulation that helps baby to focus attention enabling learning, and the mother feels empowered as she creates a positive bond with her baby. Montgomery Parents I February 2018


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Benefits of Musical Experiences

Studies are showing that a broad array of musical experiences can build connections in the brains of young children aged 0-6 and these connections are vitally important for later learning of all kinds. Incorporating music into the fabric of your daily family life can bring social and educational benefits to your children in surprising ways. • Soft music can calm and soothe children from fussy babies to high-strung older children, serving as a stress-reducer. • Music can help children focus attention, a necessary skill in any learning process.

Ideas from Local Moms We put a Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen and turn it on (and up) while we cook! It makes it fun! - Julie Dapprich

I played the guitar and sang at VBS and the church choir while I was pregnant and both of my children now play musical instruments and can sing. - Teresa Treloar

• Hearing music and responding to it accelerates brain development, especially in language acquisition, reading and math skills. • Music provides healthy ways to interact with others, both adults and peers. • Moving to music builds motor skills and allows healthy self-expression. • Music interactions build memory skills. • Music provides a vehicle for the expression of many emotions, especially joy. 53

Early Brain Development

Neuroscientists now believe that crucial brain development takes place in the early years between ages 0-6. These years offer a window of opportunity to build connections in the brain that will serve the child throughout a lifetime. New connections are made in the brain based on what the child sees, hears and touches. Music is a key way to introduce new learning experiences to your child in both fun and productive ways. We now know that children who engage in musical activities from birth to age six have a head start on social competence, cognitive skills and emotional well-being. Besides, music is fun! Here are some games and activities to bring more music into the culture of your family life: • Play music for babies and toddlers. Encourage them to sway, bounce, clap and otherwise respond to the rhythms. • Make up songs as you go about your daily routines. They might relate to bath or nap times, meal times or play times. “It’s time for your bath, bath, bath,” to the tune of a favorite song. • Sing familiar songs and insert silly words. “Mary had a little ____.” • Play music and provide household items or simple rhythm instruments for your children to play. • Learn songs to sing together as a family. These work wonders during commute times in the car. • Sing “movement” songs to build simple dance routines. “Wiggle, hop and turn around.”


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Let music of all kinds form a backdrop to your daily family life. Have some musical fun with your kids and build their brainpower. mp Jan Pierce, M.Ed., is a freelance writer specializing in education, parenting and family life topics. She is the author of Homegrown Family Fun and Homegrown Readers. Find Jan at

Montgomery Parents I February 2018



A Page in a Book Perfect Picks for Pigeon Pals One of the most common birds in our everyday lives, pigeons move around our feet in parking lots, perch along power lines and flock above our heads in all seasons. Pigeons are one of the first birds that young children interact with as they allow closer proximity than most wild birds. This nodding acquaintance with pigeons expands when kids learn more about these amazing avian wonders. From carrying vital messages among the allies in World War II to understanding abstract math on a level with primates, pigeons lead the flock of feathered wonders. The following books celebrate the mighty pigeon with tales that will enchant the littlest bird-watchers!


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Pigeon P.I.

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by Meg McLaren (Clarion / Houghton Mifflin) When a frantic little canary appeals to P.I. Pigeon for help finding her missing flock of friends, he reluctantly takes the case. While the eager canary wants to learn the ropes of detective work, Pigeon insists on working alone sending her on her way. But his client’s subsequent disappearance spurs an investigation that takes P.I. Pigeon to the seedy side of town as he plucks out clues that may crack the case like an egg. Rich with puns, this title offers hidden treats with each reading. The hard-boiled investigator-for-hire’s dialogue follows the style of a classic noir tale with wonderfully nostalgic results. Featuring end papers with charming tips on detective work this title deserves repeat investigation.

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by Leila Rudge (Candlewick Press) Gary lives, eats and sleeps with his flock of friends, a team of racing pigeons. But when the team hits the road for races, Gary doesn’t get to travel with them; he can’t fly. Instead, Gary collects souvenirs, he records the team’s discussions of the courses and follows their progress on maps. His home-bound status suddenly shifts when he and his scrapbook accidentally fall into the team travel basket. Transported across town, the basket lid lifts and his team bursts into flight, racing back to their roost. Left behind and unable to fly, Gary’s collection of souvenirs and notes reveal more than one way to get back home. Exploring the variety of ways that birds of a feather can flock together, Gary takes the prize for tenacity in the face of unique challenges.

King of the Sky

by Nicola Davies, Illustrated by Laura Carlin (Candlewick Press) Feeling out of place in a new land, the soft cooing of pigeons is one of the few things that reminds a young boy of his native home in Italy. The old man who keeps the racing birds shows the child how pigeons can travel great distances and still find their way back to the roost. When a big race sends the flock all the way to Rome, the true test of the birds’ drive takes form as they navigate thousands of miles through stormy skies. As the man and boy wait and watch, their faith becomes power as they look to the heavens for the flock to arrive home. Pairing the uncertainty of many immigrant journeys with the unswerving path of pigeons returning to their roost, King of the Sky gently transforms longing for where you were... into belonging where you are.

Find more reading recommendations at


Teaching Kids to Be Kind Online No parent plans to raise an unkind, much less a cruel, child. In fact, most of us put considerable effort into polishing our children’s manners and teaching them to respect other people. Unfortunately, many of those lessons are being undercut online. Our culture, as a whole, is going through a rude and disrespectful era, a problem that seems to be amplified in and by online communication. Recent research by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported that one in four adults have experienced online harassment and 66% have witnessed it. The numbers are even higher for young people. The Pew Study also pointed out that there’s widespread disagreement about what kinds of speech are unacceptable and what kinds of responses are appropriate. Some argue that in a free society, people have to be able to say whatever is on their minds, no matter how vile, and other people should just “shake it off.” Plenty of others feel that the culture itself is being degraded when citizens mock, deride and attack each other. They favor more involvement by service providers and even law enforcement. Many people oscillate, defending strong language when it’s used in defense of ideas that matter to them and criticizing it when it’s used by opponents. Civility in the culture isn’t likely to be restored unless individuals commit themselves to respectful communication regardless of the venue. Parents can play a part by helping kids think through what they experience and do online. Sometimes that that may mean encouraging kids to protect Montgomery Parents I February 2018

themselves by disengaging from conversations and even communities in which abusive language is the norm. Other times parents may want to support children who want to take a stand on behalf of peers who are being mistreated. ( and provide specific ideas and kid-friendly materials that can be deployed in the battle against online harassment in all its many forms.) Before they can engage in that kind of advocacy, kids need to be grounded in the fundamentals. These principles may seem a little old-fashioned, but they aren’t obsolete. They survive because they are the basis for healthy, respectful relationships at home, in school and eventually in the workplace and the larger community. No slurs of any kind---ever. Make it clear through your rules and your own habits that you have zero tolerance for words that denigrate people because of their race, sex, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. The pain of others isn’t funny. Steer kids away from television shows, movies and online videos that ask them to override their natural feelings of compassion and laugh at someone else’s misfortune. Don’t spread rumors. Teach kids not to repeat—or forward--unkind things they hear about other people. This is rule is especially important if, for some reason, they don’t especially like the other person. Appreciate privacy. Help your child understand that a message or photo sent by a friend should be treated as confidential. Online communication should not be forwarded or posted without permission from the person who sent it. 56

No tantrums. Offline, if your child doesn’t like something another person does or says, they can express their opinion but they aren’t allowed to scream and curse. A dispute online is no different. No ranting. No offensive language. No personal attacks. Be careful about humor. Offline, sarcastic comments are often accompanied by a smile or a laugh so the other person knows you’re not serious. Online, it’s much harder to differentiate between a comment that’s meant to be funny and one that should be taken seriously. Emoticons and other visual cues may help but they, too, can be misinterpreted. Think twice about insults. Everyone seems to use them as a way of being clever. Some parents even tease their kids with putdowns. The question we all have to consider is why it’s amusing to undermine another person’s self-esteem. Online, especially, it may be time to revive the old-fashioned rule: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Perhaps the most helpful thing parents can do is help children visualize the person on the other end of online communication. Imagine saying the same thing face to face. What feelings would the other person have? What expressions would be on his or her face? Now, ask your child to turn the conversation around. What if another person said to you what you were thinking about writing in a text or posting on Snapchat? How would you feel? What would you want to do? These questions are, of course, a new way of getting kids to think about the very ancient and universal moral rule—“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This simple principle survives because it helps people recognize cruelty and practice kindness--two capabilities that are crucial in every human interaction regardless of where it occurs online or in the three dimensional world. 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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AGAPE Holds Fundraising Event to Help Foster and Adoption Families

AGAPE of Central Alabama will hold its 4th Annual Connecting Hearts event with special guest Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South) on Tuesday, February 27. Sean is a columnist and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, Good Grit, The Tallahassee Democrat, South Magazine, Yellowhammer News, the Bitter Southerner, Thom Magazine, The Mobile Press Register and he has authored seven books. A mediocre sailor and fisherman, a biscuit connoisseur and barbecue competition judge, when he’s not writing, he spends much of his time aboard his fourteen-foot fishing boat (The S.S. Squirrel), along with his coonhound, Ellie Mae. The Connecting Hearts event will take place at the Alley Station Warehouse in downtown Montgomery. Reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the main event starts at 6:30 p.m. All ticket holders participate in the reception and V.I.P. ticket holders will have the chance to meet and greet with the speaker. Your support of this event will impact children and teens throughout Central Alabama. Agape of Central Alabama is a ministry that helps children by connecting hearts through adoption and foster care. Agape sets out to match children with permanent homes with nurturing Christian families. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority Inc. Hosts Fitness Day

Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., MU Chapter hosted a Fitness Day recently. The event was dedicated to bringing awareness of healthy habits, exercise techniques and nutritional eating. During this event, a Zumba Exercise Dance Session was held and led by Ms. Kim West. The session started with light stretching and built into a few dynamic dance moves. The participants sweated away a few pounds to the beat of Latin up-tempo music. The event was held at the Downtown Library in Montgomery and was such a success, several participants requested this event to occur on an annual basis. The event concluded with Patricia Thomas showcasing a healthy lunch; which included turkey sandwiches, carrot sticks, pretzels, cheese sticks, fruit smoothies and grapes.

To share news about your group’s special events, e-mail by the 12th of each month.


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Life is sweet. Many people have a sour taste in their mouth when it comes to the church. They think they know what Christianity is all about, and it’s not good. Yet the Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” If God doesn’t seem good to you, maybe you’ve been given a distorted view of the message of Jesus. That’s why at Frazer we’re in the midst of a year-long emphasis on reading the Bible for ourselves. We believe opening ourselves up to listen to the voice of God’s Spirit can be a radically transforming, life-giving experience, far beyond mere “religion.” If you’re willing to explore that journey with us, we invite you to worship with us in Sundays at 8, 9:30 or 11am. Or just open a Bible and read the story of Jesus for yourself. Taste and see—you just might be surprised at how sweet it is!




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Babies cost a lot of money!

Generic diapers are another great way to save and they are typically comparable to name brand.

Diapers, formula, clothes, and baby gear can


take a huge chunk out of your monthly budget.

Breastfeeding is not always an option for families for a variety of reasons and formula is pricey. Coupons and rebates are readily available from the manufacturer. Go to the manufacturer’s website and sign up for additional coupons and have friends and family do the same. You can also ask your obstetrician and pediatrician for free formula samples.

Some families find that with the cost of child care or reducing to a single income makes the adjustment even more difficult than expected.

Here are some tips to cut down on spending.

Baby gear

Car seat, stroller, high chair, bouncer, swing and more. There sure is a lot of gear for someone so small and it seems each item costs $100, often more. It’s wise to buy a new car seat that meets current safety standards but all the other items can be purchased gently used and later sold again when your family no longer needs them. Be sure to check for any recall information on used gear.


To save on diapers, consider switching to cloth. Modern cloth diapers are easy to use and come in cute designs. The initial cost is typically $10-20 per diaper, but they can be reused for years. If cloth diapers aren’t for your family, there are still ways to save money on disposable diapers. Check manufacturer websites for high dollar coupons and combine with store sales. Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Baby clothes

Babies grow fast! It doesn’t make sense to spend a lot on several cute baby outfits when your child outgrows them only a 58

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few weeks later. Consider buying gently used clothing and/or asking friends for hand me downs. The River Region boasts several consignment stores and seasonal sales. If you want new items, buy less than you think you will need because they are used for only a short time.

Child care

To save money on childcare, you have to get creative. Ideas include having a family or friend watch the baby at a lower rate, trading babysitting with another family, or alternating shifts with your partner to reduce time in child care. Some companies offer flexible spending plans to pay for child care with pre-tax money.

Trimming Other Areas Wardrobe

The key to saving money on adult clothing is to shop for versatile pieces that can be worn many different ways. A solid color top can be worn with jeans, slacks, or a skirt and paired with a scarf, necklace, jacket or worn alone for a variety of looks. Once you have your key pieces, only buy clothing when you really need them.


There are several ways to cut costs in this area. Purchasing groceries with coupons, on sale, or generic brands can save money. Also, consider making items from scratch and eating out less to help trim your food budget. A quick Google search will provide you with several $5 meals ideas.


Just because a new baby is in the house doesn’t mean that you have to stop enjoying entertainment, but you might need to approach a night out in a new way. You do not have to go without movies, concerts, or area attractions but you should check deal sites to see if there are any options available to you. This will require planning ahead to make sure it fits into the budget and that you have childcare covered, if necessary. Also consider if items like cable or streaming subscriptions are necessary. Choose to pay for the entertainment you use and enjoy.


Our homes are filled with items we 59

Local Parent Perspective Don’t buy everything that is advertised as something you must have. Most of the time you really don’t. They are only tiny for a very short time. - Donna Howard Hopkins Consignment shop! Hand-me-downs! Breastfeed! - Emily Hassett Henry


We get a new baby (or two or three) every year.... so we save money by saving the clothes, in an organized way, and reusing them for the next little one. - Meloney Gwin, Foster Mom It makes a big difference if you quit eating out. - Brad Armagost

rarely use. Consider selling these items to put extra cash in your hand that can be used for all those new baby expenses. Have a garage sale, utilize consignment sales, or sell items in online marketplaces.

Trim expenses

Look at the family budget and evaluate where you can easily trim expenses. Do you belong to a gym, have club memberships, subscriptions, or other monthly bills that you do not use enough to justify the expense? Discuss with your partner whether some of these items can be cut to free up the money for other expenses. Bringing home a new baby is an adjustment in many ways and financial priorities may have shifted in your family. In time, you will adjust to your new lifestyle and budget and you will feel comfortable with budgeting after baby. mp Sarah Lyons is a stay at home mom of six children, including two year old triplets. She has learned to cut costs and save money in a variety of ways over the years as they added to their family.

Montgomery Parents I February 2018




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Gearing Up for Glow-in-the-Dark Fun There’s a natural sense of enchantment that comes along with find-


ing light in the darkness. From the full moons to fireflies, our eyes are drawn to the marvel of illumination emerging from the night. Children are especially entranced by these contrasts, fascinated by things that glow among the dark. The following items deserve glowing recommendations for bringing a bit a brilliance to play time. Tip for observing glow-in-the-dark materials: Closing your eyes for a moment as you drop

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

the lights allows the pupil to expand before the lid opens on darkness. The softer light of glow-in-the-dark materials will appear more vivid and distinct to a prepared eye.

by Gerry Paige Smith



Crazy Forts! Glow-in-the-Dark

Glow-in-the-Dark Full Moon Wall Decal

Making a blanket fort comes with the understanding that a light source will be needed for the interior (that’s part of what makes blanket forts cool). But what if the fort’s construction materials include their own ambient light? The Crazy Fort kits feature round nodes that serve as the joins for sturdy rods. The node holes enable a range of versatile framing possibilities (dome, square, etc.). The Glow-in-the-Dark version offers an extra layer of awesome with nodes that render about two hours of gentle illumination inside a newly constructed tent. Whether kids are building from the ground up or crafting a blanket tent on the bed, these interior glowing orbs are just the thing to move a blanket fort to blanket fantastic!

The brightest object in our night sky, a full and radiant moon never fails to capture our imagination. It’s easy to bring this fascination indoors with Judek’s large moon decal that adheres to most flat, smooth surfaces. Under normal lighting conditions the phosphorescent material ‘charges up’ during the day so when the lights go out, the moon gently glows in the darkness. Highly detailed and larger that most decals (18” diameter), the moon’s mares, mountains and other lunar features offer additional appeal for watchful observers. Ideal for kids who need a bit of night light to fall asleep, the moon sticker provides a subtle and soothing illumination. The Judek Glow-in-the-Dark Full Moon Decal is a unique gift for sky-watchers, young and old.

SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop

Puzzle Doubles Glowin-the-Dark Dinos

Adding a bright twist to bedroom basketball, the SKLZ glow-in-the-dark hoop lights up the action. Exposed to normal lighting conditions, the backboard, ball and the eight-loop net store enough energy to illuminate basketball action after darkness falls. Featuring a shatter-proof 18” x 12” backboard this set includes door mounting hardware that helps minimize impact from game play. The springmounted steel hoop also allows for ‘break-away’ action when the dunk shots go hard. While young players may not need a nightlight anymore, the gentle illumination from the SKLZ Pro Mini Glow-in-the-Dark Basketball Set is guaranteed to spark new hoop dreams in kids long after the lights go out.

Puzzle play, dinosaurs and x-ray vision all come together in one fantastic resource that will light up play time in shining style. Extra large at 3’ x 2’ feet with 100 pieces, this prehistoric puzzle fosters focus and fine motor skills as little hands assemble the scene under normal lighting conditions. When the dinosaur puzzle is complete, the final surprise is revealed when the lights go down. Embossed with phosphorescent materials, the dinosaur skeletons hidden in the puzzle graphics emerge in darkness. It’s a single puzzle with double the reward! The Learning Journey also offers glow-in-the-dark puzzles with additional themes including sea life, outer space and wildlife so the illuminated puzzler journey can continue!





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


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Consignment Sales

Infant Classes


Children’s Clothing Exchange

Swim Prep, LLC

Motherhood Maternity

ad on page 21

2260 Eastern Blvd. (nextdoor to Harbor Freights), Montgomery February 9-14. Consignment sale held twice a year with quality items at bargain prices. Children’s used clothing, furniture, equipment, toys and accessories. 462.2591

My Kids Attic ad on page 27

401 Coliseum Blvd (Eastbrook Shopping Center), Montgomery February 10-17. Children’s clothing, toys, furniture, learning aids and everything you need for the little one. 270.1456

Kids Carousel

4367 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery Dates to be Announced. Montgomery’s original and largest children’s semi-annual consignment sale with over 400 consignors and thousands of square feet of GREAT bargains to be found. 272.5263

Mom’s Marketplace

ad on page 31

Teach your baby or toddler to rescue themselves in an aquatic emergency. Jeffrey Nichols is the only Certified Infant Aquatics Instructor within a 100-mile radius and certified in adult, child & infant CPR | First Aid | Red Cross Certified Lifeguard | Automated external defibrillators or AED. He has over 500 hours of in-water training with 150+ children. Sessions Registering now: February 19, 2018 {Prattville & Montgomery} April 2, 2018 {Prattville & Montgomery} May 14, 2018 {Prattville Location Only} These are Private One on One Lessons. Ages 6 months to 7 years old. 375-2023

Kindermusik of Montgomery

Montgomery Music and Movement classes for children. Newborn -5 years. 271.3264

YMCA Tot Swim Classes

2435 Bell Rd and 3407 Pelzer, Montgomery 271.4343 or 272.3390

616 Hwy 82 West, Prattville (Inside Prattville Pickers Event Center), Prattville April 14-22. Prattville’s Seasonal Consignment Sale for Moms.

Lactation Consultants


Baptist Medical Center East

Ob/Gyn Associates of Montgomery PC ad on Inside Front Cover

495 Taylor Rd., Montgomery Midwives: Vicki Brooksand & Melissa Hatter 279.9333

Sweet Kiss Fertility Postpartum Doula and Fertility Awareness services for the River Region! Learn the Fertility Awareness Method for effective and natural birth control, maximizing chances of conception, or to better understand your hormonal health. 354-6730 s or

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

All Kids- Children’s Health Insurance Program

A low-cost, comprehensive healthcare coverage program for children under age 19. Benefits include regular check-ups and immunizations, sick child doctor visits, prescriptions, vision and dental care, hospitalization, mental health and substance abuse services, and much more. Women, Infants and Children (WIC), 1(888) 942.4673, a supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, women who had a baby within the last six months, infants, and children under the age of five. One must meet income requirements and have a nutritional risk that proper nutrition could help to improve. Plan First Family Planning for Women- 1-888-737-2083, Alabama’s Plan First Program is a family planning program for women ages 19 to 55. Family planning can help you and your family have a better life. 1(888)373.5437

Baptist Health Centering Pregnancy Classes ad on pages 3, 43

ad on page 43

E. South Blvd, Montgomery Offers breast feeding classes, Information on pump rentals and Lactation consultants.

Jackson Hospital Mom & Baby Center ad on Inside Back Cover

1725 Pine Street, Montgomery Offers breast feeding classes and pump rental information. 293.8485

Parenting Programs


Baptist Medical Center South


Taylor Road, Montgomery Offers breast feeding classes, Information on pump rentals and Lactation consultants 244.8360


Childbirth Preparation Boot Camp: A fast paced one-day class that includes the same information offered in our weekly series. Maternity Area Tour is also included as a part of this class. Fee is $60 per couple (includes 2 box lunches) payable at class by cash or check. Space is limited. Registration is required. Prenatal Breastfeeding Class: Class provides expectant mothers with information about breastfeeding including various factors influencing lactation, advantages of breastfeeding, basic anatomy and physiology of milk production, specific techniques to promote a successful breastfeeding experience and breastfeeding equipment and supplies. Classes are taught by IBLCE instructors. Partners are encouraged to participate in this class. This class is $20 per couple. Space is limited. Registration is required. Maternity Area Tour, Baptist Medical Center East: A tour of the Labor and delivery area and Recovery, Postpartum and Nursery Areas. Space is limited. Registration is required.

ad on page 3

Doulas & Midwives

7052 Eastchase Parkway (The Shoppes at EastChase), Montgomery We offer a large selection of maternity clothes at affordable prices. Something for every occasion.

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Caring For Your Newborn:Our newborn care class helps new families become familiar with the basics of caring for your infant in the first six weeks after birth. This interactive class covers routine hospital newborn procedures al g with bathing, diapering, swaddling and soothing, normal infant behavior, and appearance and sleep patterns. Partners are encouraged to attend. This class is $20 per couple. Space is limited. Registration is required. 273.4445

Alabama Dance Theatre presents

The Little Mermaid and more!

Jackson Hospital Mom & Baby Center

Saturday, March 3, 2:30 pm

ad on Inside Back Cover

Saturday, March 3, 7:00 pm Sunday, March 4, 2:30 pm

1725 Pine Street, Montgomery PreNatal Tours: Free Prepared Childbirth Class: Understanding Birth – so you will understand the role of the labor support person, the process of labor and delivery as well as coping with the pain of labor. Sessions taught throughout the year. Fee per class. Breastfeeding Class: Breastfeeding instruction, taught by a certified lactation consultant. Fee for class Lactation Support: You may encounter problems during your breastfeeding. We make lactation support available to you after delivery by phone of appointment. FREE Infant CPR: Taught by a certified instructor, so you have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any situation. Fee for class 293.8600

(shortened children’s matinee)

Troy University’s Davis Theatre

Tickets: Information: (334) 625-2590 Sponsored by

Wind Creek Hospitality, Jim Wilson & Associates, LLC, Regions Bank, Loree & Owen Aronov, Pickwick Antiques, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, The Daniel Foundation, Montgomery Advertiser, Cumulus Broadcasting

La Leche League of Montgomery

6880 Winton Blount Blvd. (East Montgomery Imaging Center), Montgomery Morning Series meeting in Montgomery, 3rd Friday of the month at 10-11:30 a.m. at 6880 Winton Bount Blvd. Babtist East Imaging Center. Leaders are experienced breastfeeding mothers who have completed an accreditation program and are familiar with breastfeeding management techniques as well as current research. Meetings are free and open to all women. Expecting moms, babies and children are welcome. If you need information before the next scheduled meeting, please visit our Facebook page at La Leche League of Montgomery.

This performance is funded in part by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Parenting Assistance Line

A collaborative service of the University of Alabama Child Development Resources and the Alabama Children’s Trust Fund. When callers call the toll-free number, a parenting resource specialist will answer the phone, listen to you, then offer helpful information and support .Parenting is tough! Call for FREE confidential help. Parent Resource Specialists are available from 8:00am8:00pm Monday- Friday.

(PAL)-1(866) 962.3030



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Pediatrics-Montgomery Professional Pediatrics ad on page 12

4154 Carmichael Rd., Montgomery Dr. C Allen White, Dr. Robert L. Coggin, Dr. David W. Drennen, Dr. Malissa K. Hoy, D.O. Provides physical, mental and social health care for infants, children, and adolescents. We offer the following services: X-rays, Medical Laboratory, Surgical of minor lacerations, routine newborn immunizations, Health maintenance exams for older children and teenagers, Sports and camp physical exams, Pre-college exams and forms, Blue slips


Montgomery Pediatric Associates PA

420 Cotton Gin Road, Montgomery John Sumners, M.D., James Rabon, M.D. Provide primary health care for infants, children and adolescents. 260.9129

Partners in Pediatrics

for school admission, In office Emergency Care on week nights, Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons, Pulmonary function testing, Hearing testing and tympanometry, Vision screening, Evaluation of Attention Deficit Disorder and Nebulizer treatments for asthma. 271.5959

All About Kids

2921 Zelda Rd., Montgomery Dr. Michael Doyle, M.D.; Dr. Nicole Sheffield, M.D Diagnose and treat children for illnesses, injuries, conditions and developmental issues. 277.5431

East Montgomery Pediatrics

337 St. Lukes Drive, Montgomery Dr. Elmer Roque. Provides primary healthcare for newborns to eighteen years of age. 356.1411

Physician’s to Children

470 Taylor Rd., Suite 210, Montgomery M.D., Cheryl Fekete, M.D., Dr. Karen Doles, M.D., Alicia Hughes, M.D., Dina Winston, M.D., Dr. Kendra Gillis Colvin, M.D. and Dr. Olivia Garcia, M.D. Services provided: Infant, child and adolescent health care, Sick and well visits, Developmental problems and immunizations.

8160 Seaton Place, Montgomery Catherine Woods, M.D., Susan Brannon, M.D., Cheryl Outland, M.D., Lamenda Blakeney, M.D., Elizabeth Diebel, M.D., Rama Mukkamala, M.D., Melissa S. McNally, M.D. and Dr. Danielle Speight, M.D. Services offered: Sick and well care visits, pediatric and adolescent medicine, Vaccinations, “On-Call” service each night and on weekends for urgent medical matters, “Nurse line” service for minor illness and general well being, “Blue Slip” service and a prescription line.


Pediatric Healthcare

Partners in Pediatrics


4700 Woodmere Blvd. , Montgomery David Morrison, M.D., Den Trumbell, M.D., Jeffrey Simon, M.D.; Joseph Sadler, Jr., MD Provide quality care for infants, children, adolescents and to assist parents in the endeavor of rearing their children to reach their optimal physical, emotional and spiritual development. 273.9700

Pediatrics Twilight

7026 Sydney Curve, Montgomery Norma Davis, MD, Developmental Pediatrician We are an after-hours pediatric urgent care. Dr. Davis treats pediatric patients who have urgent illnesses or injuries and offers an alternative to long waiting periods at the emergency room. 213.1361

William E. Sumners, M.D.

2161 Normandie Drive, Montgomery Quality health care for newborn, child and adolescent. Sick and wellness visits, immunizations, child development, sport and camp screenings and more. 288.8222

Pediatrics-Prattville 136 E. Main Street, Prattville Catherine Woods, M.D., Susan Brannon, M.D., Cheryl Outland, M.D., Lamenda Blakeney, M.D., Elizabeth Diebel, M.D., Rama Mukkamala, M.D., Melissa S. McNally, M.D. and Dr. Danielle Speight, M.D. Services offered: Sick and well care visits, pediatric and adolescent medicine, Vaccinations, “On-Call” service each night and on weekends for urgent medical matters, “Nurse line” service for minor illness and general well being, “Blue Slip” service and a prescription line.

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Abby Nixon, CRNP. Provide sick and well child visits, immunizations, child development, sports screenings and more. 361.7811

Pediatrics-Wetumpka Carlile Pediatrics

78 Cambridge Court, Wetumpka Provide complete and personal health care services for infants, children and adolescents. 567.6915

Wetumpka Pediatric Clinic

815 Jackson Trace Rd., Wetumpka Provide neonatal care, care for newborn - adolescence, sick visits, child development, well visits, immunizations and more. Please visit us on Facebook under Wetumpka Pediatrics. 567.2882

Photography Lola Fine Art Photography by Maria Wiggins ad on page 53

2001 Mulberry Street, Montgomery Certified Professional Photographer Specializing in Maternity, Babies, Children and Family Portraiture 551.2700

Prenatal Physicians Ob/Gyn Associates of Montgomery PC ad on Inside Front Cover

495 Taylor Rd., Montgomery 630 McQueen Smith Road, Prattville 6992 Winton Blount Blvd., Nurse Midwife Location Gregory Waller, M.D.; Allen Dupre, M.D.; Keith Martin, M.D.; Joseph Desautels, M.D.; Mathew Phillips, M.D.; Benjamin Griggs, M.D.; Natalie Needham, M.D.; Paula Sullivan, DO; Robert Beaird, M.D.; William Thomas, MD; Dent Williams, MD; Vicki Brooks, CNM; Charla Smith,CNM; Brittney Mount, CRNP; Terri Singletary, CRNP; Della Fuller, CRNP; Megan Brown, CRNP; Tracey Mendelsohn, CRNP; and Michelle Aplin, CRNP Specialize in Gynecology, Obstetrics, 4-D Ultrasound and High Risk/Low Risk pregnancy. 279.9333

Central Alabama Ob-Gyn Associates PA

2024 Chestnut Street, Montgomery Roger S. Duggar, M.D.; Christopher R. Duggar, M.D.; Edward W. Reed, M.D.


Glen Saucer, M.D. FACOG

1722 Pine Street, Suite 603, Montgomery Services offer in Gynecology & Obstetrics 264.2422

The Montgomery Women’s Primary Care 8134 Seaton Place, Montgomery Dr. Roosevelt McCorvey Services offered: Gynecology & Obstetrics 356.4873

Latoya Clark, M.D.

1758 Park Place, Suite 301, Montgomery Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Accepting new patients. 284.1500

Montgomery Obstetrical & Gynecological Associates

Whittington, Kouri and Gentry P.C.

Montgomery Women’s Health Associates Specialize in Gynecology & Obstetrics, Female Infertility and Surgery 265.3543 or 215.3400

Central Alabama Women’s Care

2055 East South Boulevard, Suite 806 and 2455 Bell Road, Montgomery Henry Johnson, M.D. FACOG; Dr. Rossevelt McCorvey, M.D.; Julien McIntyre, M.D; Dr. Victor Pena; Dr. Cheryl Zimmerman. Central Alabama Women’s Care are here to serve your obstetrical, gynecologlical and other female needs. 288.3400 or 284.2355

Dent Williams, M.D.

7045 Sydney Curve, Montgomery Specializes in Obstetrics, including 4-Dimensional Ultrasound Technology, Gynecology and Infertility. 409.9550

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

470 Taylor Rd., Suite 300, Montgomery Dr. Joe D. McClinton, M.D.; James R. Dockery, Jr., M.D.; Judi A. Jehle, M.D.; Rebecca S. Miller, M.D.; Valerie Waddell, MD; Brent Whiddon, M.D.; Katie Sanderson, CRNP Routine prenatal care, High risk prenatal care including non-invasive prenatal testing, In-office ultrasound, In-office nonstress testing and biophysical testing, VBACs for patients who want to try and meet guidelines for trying, External cephalic version. 281.1191

290.4200 or 491.4200






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Potty Train with Pinky Bear ad on page 23

Take the stress out of potty training with Pinky Bear! Bring fun and excitement into your child’s potty training experience. When your toddler is ready, Pinky Bear is here to help make the experience FUN by rewarding your child with hugs, praise, and prizes as you embark on this journey together. Find us on Facebook and visit our website for ordering information.



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Physicians for Women

287 Mitylene Park Drive, Montgomery and 645 McQueen Smith Rd., Prattville Ralph M. Garrard, M.D.; Byron P Lawhon, M.D; Winston M Ashurst, M.D.,; Al Newman III, M.D.; Dr. Jennifer J Logan, M.D.; W McCain Ashurst II, M.D. Gynecology & Obstetrics, Female Infertility and Surgery

548 Lar bed

1758 Park Place #201, Montgomery Kim Whittington, M.D. FACOG, David Kouri, M.D. FACOG and Jason Gentry, M.D. FACOG Services offered: Gynecology & Obstetrics, Infertility and Low/High Risk

2173 Normandie Drive, Montgomery 284.2355

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The Shoppes at My Kids Attic ad on page 19

401 Coliseum Blvd., Eastbrook Shopping Center, Montgomery Gifts for all occasions. Engraved & monogrammed gifts, Children’s couture and much, much more. 270.1456


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Babies R Us (Located inside Toys R Us) 5484 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery Large selection of baby clothes, baby accessories, bedding, baby furniture and equipment. 272.6706

Baby Gap 7064 Eastchase Parkway, Montgomery Sweet knit booties, cozy bundlers and adorable extras for that special baby. Wide selection for infants and toddlers. 395.5703

Barb’s on Mulberry 1923 Mulberry St, Montgomery Children’s fashions, Original Art, Gifts and Toys 269.2272

Born Children’s Boutique 3014 Zelda Place , Montgomery Clothing, gifts, diaper bags, burp clothes, cribs, crib, toddler bedding and much, much more. 215.9140

Carter’s 2524 Berryhill Rd, Montgomery Baby & kids’ apparel brand known for its colorful, basic clothing & accessories. 279.5347

Children’s Place 7044 Eastchase Parkway, Montgomery Anything to cover your newborn, baby girl or baby boy. Large selection of fashionable clothing for your little one. 215.8888

Namedropper / Storkland

7107 East Chase Parkway, Montgomery The Name Dropper carries all your favorite children’s designer clothing, shoes and accessories. Storkland sells the finest in baby furniture, care seats, strollers, clothing and unique gifts.

277.7118 or 277.BABY


Help Me Grow (HMG) Alabama

Once and Again

4141 Highway 14, Millbrook We are a children’s consignment shop that specializes in lightly used children’s clothing, toys, books, nursery décor and accessories, maternity clothing, and nursing supplies. 290.0150

families during their child’s stay in the NICU and encourages them on their difficult journey. “We now offer “The House of Hope” residence for out of town families. If you know a NICU family that needs to be ministered to please contact Kim Wilson.

Facebook page at Once and Again Millbrook

Patty Cakes International Inc. Consultant Maria Wiggins

2001 Mulberry Street, Montgomery Shoe and miscellaneous bronzing, Patty Paws and Patty cakes. 551.2700

Support Services Footprints Ministry

Montgomery A 501(C) 3 organization that assists families with children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. They serve Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville. Footprints distributes gift bags to NICU families that contain many items to provide hope and comfort. Footprints also assists with hotel stays, gas cards and funeral expenses. Footprints walks alongside NICU


HMG is a free resource for children birth to age eight and their families. It provides age-appropriate developmental screenings for children, which can help with detection in any area of concern for early child development. HMG also has local care coordinators around the state who provide information and follow-up to families to help connect them to local resources. Parents or caregivers just dial 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow. 2-1-1

Honoring Angels Like Owen, Inc. (HALO)

Halo offers family-oriented, Christian-based grief support groups that meet monthly. These groups are for families who have lost a child from 20 weeks gestation up to the age of 2 years old. Our parents’ group is for mothers and fathers. Our siblings’ group is for children ages 6-15. Both groups meet at the same time and place. These groups offer faith-based healing through sharing and emotional support. Meetings offer an outlet for sharing your child’s memory and your day to day struggles, while receiving support of others who have been in similar situations. Please feel free to bring photos of your child to share. HALO also offers free professional photography for families facing the loss of a child up to the age of 2 years old and needsbased financial assistance for their burial. 328.1202 mp



by Mark Gregston

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The Teen “Spin Cycle” There is nothing worse than living with a teen spinning out of control, and no worse feeling than the hopelessness parents experience in the process. It is difficult to know what to do and how to react when your teen daily reaches new lows in disobedience, dishonesty, and disrespect, and chooses every wrong thing. Your teen is caught in what I call, “The Spin Cycle,” and he or she needs you to intervene. The downward spiral can have tremendous destructive potential with lifelong consequences, or even bring a young life to a quick end. When teens spin out of control, they need a responsible adult to respond, even if they do everything they can to keep you out of it. In fact, you must! You cannot ignore or overlook inappropriate behavior, or simply do nothing. If you’re caught in that cycle with your teen, then my advice is to act now. Don’t wait and don’t ignore the evidence that your teen is spinning out of control. Act today based on what you know is true – your faith, your own beliefs, and what you know is best for your child. And, by the way, I’d like to help you as well!

So, Where Do You Begin? You can start with a simple truth and consequences message, “Honey, we’re not going to live like this anymore.” Or, “I will no longer stand by and watch you destroy yourself, we’re going to address what’s going on, get some help, and get through this together.” Make the message clear, “The negative behavior we’re seeing will no longer be allowed or tolerated in our home, and if it doesn’t stop, you will not be able to live here.” The point is not to kick them out so you don’t have to worry about them anymore (neither can you if they are underage), but Montgomery Parents I February 2018

you can use the threat of losing the comfort of your home as a tool to get them thinking about the consequences of continued inappropriate behavior. There are many programs and schools designed to deal with struggling teens and keep them safe, like our Heartlight residential program in Texas. If you need help with finding such a program, simply give me a call and I’ll help you find the right program. Fact is, just having a boarding school, boot camp, military school or wilderness therapy program materials on the counter for your teen to see may be enough to get them to sit up and take notice that you are serious about making a change. Don’t expect your teen to like the fact that you are calling a halt to their inappropriate behavior. They probably won’t appreciate your attempts to deal with their bad behavior. Their first response will most likely be anger or resentment. But the time your child may spend hating you is short, and compared to the entirety of a life, it’s just a blip on their radar. Secretly, he or she may feel relieved and thankful you cared enough to intervene, giving them a good excuse to say “No” to their peers when asked to participate in the wrong things. Usually, a teen figures out that life will be much easier if they change their behavior so they can stay at home and work things out with their parents, but not always and not always right away.

Then What? Once you start down the path of responsible parenting, don’t stop, and don’t be pulled down to their level with childish fighting. Stay calm and focused on what you want for them and deal with the heart of the issue. Give them permission to struggle with things knowing that your love for them will never change. But set the limits and boundaries you know he or she needs, and above all be firm. 68

DON’T Don’t – Act out of anger. Don’t – Get physical – if tempers flare and voices are raised, take a break, keep it cool. Don’t – Ignore what is happening in hopes it will just go away, it won’t. Don’t – Build monuments to your grief, or park yourself in the valley. Don’t – Give in when you know you should stand your ground.

DO Do – Act on the truth. Do – Seek help from qualified professionals and connect with support outside your family. Do – Handle yourself in a manner that keeps your relationship with your teen alive, as it may determine the kind of relationship you’ll have 10 years from now. Do – Change your own bad habits when it’s obviously your fault. There’s never a good time in our busy lives to be faced with a crisis like dealing with a teenager caught in the spin cycle. It can be very difficult, but keep in mind that more parents of teens are going through the same thing with their own teenager. Seek them out and find a place where you can share your feelings and gain strength and support from each other. The struggle may seem endless, and you may feel hopeless at times, but the time to act is now, and it may very well save your teen’s life. Doing nothing is not an option for a caring parent. 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


Pink and Pearls for Girls Hold Annual Tweens Luncheon

The annual Pink and Pearls for Girls “Pretty in Pink” tweens luncheon got off to a great start with scrubs, facials, and tween skin care notes. Thank you to Mrs. Mona TaylorDavis of the Gift of Life Foundation and Mrs. Rebecca Callaway Strange of Mary Kay Montgomery for sponsoring this event.

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To share news about your group’s special events, e-mail by the 12th of each month.

Alabama 4-H Members Hunt with Jackie Bushman

Two outstanding Alabama 4-H youth were selected to participate in a sponsored deer hunt with Buckmasters Inc. January 19. Tamara Phillips is a homeschooled sophomore, and Drew Dunn is a junior at Elmore County High School. Both are members of The River Region Rifles 4-H Shooting Sports Club of Montgomery. Phillips harvested her first deer, a six-point buck, and Dunn harvested his first buck, an eight-point. In the 4-H Shooting Sports project, youth not only learn about safe, responsible firearms handling and ownership, they learn that hunting is an important wildlife management tool, wild game is a healthy nutritious way to feed family, and is a great way to learn conservation principles. Look for the hunt to air in the fall 2018 on The Jackie Bushman Show, via The Outdoor Channel. A special thanks to Jackie Bushman, CEO of Buckmasters Inc.: guides and cameramen Chris Chastain and Elliott Allen; Dennis Adams, owner of The Briar Patch Hunting Lodge; 4-H shooting sports coach Ed Boyett; and 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent Shannon Andress. The River Region Rifles 4-H Shooting Sports Club of Montgomery meets every Monday at 6 p.m. at the Montgomery County Extension Office, 5140 Atlanta Hwy. The Club has open enrollment for youth age 9-18, and membership is free. 4-H Clubs are administered by America’s Land-Grant Universities through the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, and there’s a 4-H program in every Alabama county. To learn more about this or other Alabama 4-H Clubs, visit or and call the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s county office or call (334) 270-4133.

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they loved middle school. Even people with positive memories never tout it as the best years of their life. Simply put, it’s an awkward season. It’s a time of constant changes, social shakeups, and swinging emotions. If I’ve learned anything from my work with adolescent girls, it’s how hungry this age group is for comfort and reassurance. So, middle school kids, let me assure you that life picks up. There’s a bigger, more promising world beyond your current of passage. In the meantime, I have a few truths to center you. I hope they bring you peace and a little friendly guidance. Montgomery Parents I February 2018



Truth #8: Today’s most awkward moments will be tomorrow’s funniest memories. Keep a sense of humor. Those braces on your teeth that collect food? That acne on your face that miracle creams can’t cure? That giddy rush you get when your crush walks by, and you can’t think straight? One day these things will be really funny! They’ll be the memories you rehash over and over with your siblings and oldest friends. Eventually you’ll have a dazzling smile, clear skin, and someone to love. Your current problems will have closure. So stay mindful of the big picture, and remember that even your worst experiences will pass.

Truth #7: You don’t want to peak in middle school (or high school or college, for that matter). The worst goal you can have is popularity. What often makes adolescents popular – running with the fast crowd, dominating peers, living a superficial life-

style – eventually leads to problems. A successful person gets better with time. You go from being version 1.0 of yourself to version 2.0, 4.0, 6.0 and so on. But when you chase popularity, you peak early. You stop growing because you’re stuck in instant gratification mode. Seek to peak later in life. Make good choices that set you up for a bright future. If you’re not a superstar now, that’s okay. This simply means there are better things ahead.

Truth #6: Technology makes it easier than ever to ruin relationships and reputations. We live in an age where people post everything online – feelings, emotions, and pictures. Technology used wisely is great, but too often, it’s used impulsively. Our fingers jump ahead of our brains, and within seconds, we can trigger pain and misunderstandings. So please, think twice before texting, emailing, or posting on social media. Cool off before giving someone a piece of your mind, reacting out of jealousy or anger, embarrassing someone, or sending an


inappropriate photo. Use the Internet for good, not as a dumping ground.

Truth #5: Surrounding yourself with good company is imperative. Yes, you’re called to love everyone, but not everyone deserves a place in your innermost circle. Some people you love up close and personal; others you love at arm’s length because inviting them into your life invites disaster. Sooner or later, a bad influence will rub off. You’ll either make choices against your better judgment or wind up in a bad predicament. Your closest friends should lift you up. They should have goals, values, and a genuine desire to see you reach your full potential.

Truth #4: It’s okay if you don’t have your life planned out. You probably know kids with immense talent and drive. They’ve trained for years and know exactly what they want in life. Deep down, you may fear you’re getting left behind. Why do they have their act together, and you don’t?

interests. Just set goals for yourself, use your gifts, and head in a good direction. Set a positive trajectory so that when you do discover your “thing”, you’re ready to soar.

Truth #3: Applause can be misleading. Even a huge mistake can get you cheered on wildly.

But even the best plans will face curveballs. Even driven kids will wind up on different paths than they originally envisioned. So if your future isn’t mapped out by 9th grade, take heart! You’re young and have plenty of time to explore your

Through social media, popularity is quantifiable. You can gauge your performance by how many “likes”, comments, and shares you get. But remember, numbers alone can be misleading. To get the full picture, you must measure numbers against the truth. After all, Jesus Christ had 12 followers. Adolf Hitler had millions. These figures speak for themselves. Live for the quiet peace inside you. What makes you feel good about yourself? What helps you rest easy at night? You know the truth by how you feel deep down. And when you seek your applause from within, you don’t need the applause of public approval.

Truth #2: There’s a difference between helpful advice and hurtful criticism. Be careful who you listen to. Some people want you to succeed. Others don’t. Develop a strong filter for whose words you take to heart – and whose words you ignore.

Truth #1: You’re AWESOME. Truly, you are. And all these crazy changes are leading to something amazing. In the grand scheme of life middle school is just a blip, so keep it in check. Have fun, dream big, and make good choices. One day you’ll look back and laugh at the absurdities, and if you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy some humor in it now. mp Kari Kampakis is a Birmingham mom of four girls, as well as an author, speaker, blogger, and columnist. Her books for teen girls, LIKED and 10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW, have been used widely across the country for small group studies. You can find Kari on Facebook and Instagram, visit her blog at karikampakis. com or contact her at


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Paddington 2

The Commuter

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: A Violence: BSexual Content: AProfanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: A The MPAA has rated Paddington 2 PG for some action and mild rude humor. Paddington Bear returns to the big screen in this sequel, which is even more enjoyable than his charming first adventure. As this film opens, we see the lovable marmalade-eater (again voiced by Ben Whishaw) is now right at home in Britain with Mr. and Mrs. Brown (Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins), and their children Judy and Johnathan (Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin). Still, the bear’s thoughts often turn to his Aunt Lucy back in his childhood home. With her 100th birthday just a few weeks away, Paddington wants to do something special for this motherly caregiver, who sacrificed her own dreams of travel while tending him as a young cub. And he finds the perfect gift in Mr. Gruber’s Antique Shop: A pop-up book featuring London’s famous landmarks. Unfortunately, the unique book is rather expensive. Not dissuaded, Paddington undertakes a series of odd jobs to earn the cash needed to buy the present. Yet before his coin jar is full, a scoundrel breaks into the store and steals the rarity. Paddington’s attempt to catch the thief instead have him mistaken as the criminal. Arrested in handcuffs, charged and tried in court, the defenseless bear ends up behind bars. The story may be a bit too emotional or frightening for the youngest of cubs, especially when they see the loneliness of a locked-up Paddington or watch his often-perilous plight. Yet older children will likely be fine and even adults are sure to be amused in the engaging scavenger hunt that unfolds. With messages of love and looking for the best in people, Paddington 2 is as sweet as marmalade.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B+ Violence: C Sexual Content: AProfanity: CAlcohol / Drug Use: BThe MPAA has rated The Commuter PG-13 for some intense action/violence, and language. Liam Neeson’s character, Michael MacCauley, is a former cop turned insurance salesman. And he has just had a very bad day at the office. After a decade of successful service the 60-year-old is suddenly handed his walking papers. The bad news in compounded by the fact that he already lost his nest egg in the 2008 recession and is barely able to keep up with bills and paying his kid’s university tuition. After downing a few beers with Alex (Patrick Wilson), his buddy and former partner in law enforcement, Michael boards the homebound train, still not sure how to break the news to his wife (Elizabeth McGovern). But one thing is certain, when Liam Neeson hops on your usual ride home from work, the trip is bound to be anything but mundane. Ripping a page from the Alfred Hitchcock school of filmmaking textbook, The Commuter uses confinement within an always moving train to generate tension and suspense. And, if you can forget about a few cracks in the plot, the setup delivers a typical thriller product that involves an unstoppable vehicle, a ticking clock and a herd of innocent people who should have run screaming from the carriage the moment they saw Neeson’s face. This trip may offer a fun ride for older teens and adults thanks to virtually no sexual content and fewer profanities -- although a sexual expletive and crude finger gesture still make their way into the scant script. Action violence is the only other concern.

Forever My Girl

Maze Runner:

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B Violence: B+ Sexual Content: BProfanity: B Alcohol / Drug Use: C+ The MPAA has rated Forever My Girl PG for thematic elements including drinking, and for language. Usually when the small-town boy leaves, becomes famous, and returns home, he’s greeted with streamers, handshakes and kisses. Sadly, Liam Page (Alex Roe) didn’t understand the importance of first making a graceful departure from his tiny Georgia community. And nobody was more surprised with his sudden exit than Josie (Jessica Rothe), his grade school sweetheart who was about to walk down the aisle with him when she was informed her groom had gone AWOL. When Liam returns home for a friend’s funeral, Josie’s initial anger toward Liam fades fast and we discover she has a seven-year-old daughter named Billy (Abby Ryder Fortson) who has never met her dad. Thankfully, for Liam, his father is the town pastor. With this support, Liam begins to work through some momentous issues and embraces the opportunity to be a dad. Although Billy was the result of a pre-marital sexual relationship and we see Liam wake up with one of those aforementioned fans in his hotel room, there is no other sexual content in the film. And mild profanities, terms of deity and name-calling are also infrequent. Mid-January romances are rare in movie theaters and so are PG ratings. Although sentimental and predictable, this story may be just the ticket to please teens and adults looking for a little love to warm up their winter.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: CSexual Content: AProfanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: AThe MPAA has rated Maze Runner PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, language, and some thematic elements. The Death Cure is the final edition of Maze Runner franchise. At the end of movie two, the original crew hides out in the hills with a rebel organization called the Right Arm, until their whereabouts is revealed to WCKD by turncoat Teresa (Kaya Scodelario). Apparently, she didn’t believe the organization’s unfortunate acronym represented its true intent. In movie three we are hoping to discover if Teresa’s decision was in the best interest of her friends. Most of the cast returns in this concluding chapter. Not only must Thomas and crew face the obvious problems, they must also ascertain who is wicked and who is good. And it’s these shades of grey that make the plot the most interesting. Parents should know that while traditional guns still exist in this depiction of the future (we see numerous people shot with blood effects), other popular weapons use Taser-like techniques that leave characters writhing on the floor with electrical arcs roving their bodies. Other content includes roughly twodozen profanities, scatological expletives, a crude finger gesture and terms of deity. Best suited for older teens and adults, by the time we’ve worked through what feels like three conclusions, this maze has more than run its course.


The Death Cure

FamilyCalendar Thursday, February 1

Wetumpka Depot Presents Greater Tuna Through February 17 7:30 p.m. performances and a 2 p.m. matinee February 11. Directed by Kristy Meanor and adapted for the stage by Phillip Grecian. Twenty-two characters, forty-two costume changes. Greater Tuna is a hilarious comedy about Texas’ third smallest town, where the Lions Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies. The eclectic band of citizens that make up this town are portrayed by only two performers, making this satire on life in rural America even more delightful as they depict all the inhabitants of Tunamen, women, children and animals! For tickets, call (334) 868-1440 or visit

Friday, February 2

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Fly: Inspired by the Story of the Tuskegee Airmen Through February 11 With a focus on hope, endurance and accomplishment, Fly tells the story of the first African-American Army Air Corp fighters known as the Tuskegee Airmen who flew over the skies of Europe and North Africa during World War II. Fly dramatizes the historic contributions made by the Tuskegee Airmen to the desegregation of the American military and the furthering of civil rights. Recommended ages 11+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

Saturday, February 3

Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade The Festival grounds officially open at 9 a.m. The Parade begins at noon after the staging at the Mill Creek Park located behind The Smokehouse Bar-B-Q restaurant on Main Street. The crowd will be larger in the area around the Village Green. Food items vary from alligator on a stick to gumbo, red beans and rice, smoked turkey legs and much more. There will be fun rides for children of all ages: pony rides, water walker, a climbing wall and a zip ride. Visit www. for more info.


Call (334) 872-8058 for more info or visit www.ahc. or $8 per person. Home Depot Kids’ Workshop 9 a.m.-noon. Ages 5-12. Free workshop teaches children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. Today’s project is Valentine bean bag toss. Once the project is built, your child can decorate it with stickers and paint. In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron and an achievement pin. For more info, visit Michael’s Kids Club -- Also February 10, 17 & 24 10 a.m.-noon. $2 per project. Supplies included. Ages 3 and up. Each session is 30 minutes. Parent or guardian must remain on premises. Feb. 3 is Valentine’s Day Lovebugs; Feb. 10 is Valentine’s Day Cards; Feb. 17 is Kindness Crafts; and Feb. 24 is Spring Butterflies/Birds. For more info, visit www. AUM Offers Free Mandarin Classes -Every Saturday Auburn Montgomery’s Confucius Institute continues to offer free Mandarin classes to the community. To register, send the student’s name, age and contact information to Civil Rights Walking Tours -- Every Saturday and Sunday 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. start times. Tours start from The Village Gallery. Come explore Montgomery’s history walking from different historical sties and engage in profound moments from slavery, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement. This tour highlights pioneers and unsung heroes who contributed to a new era. Cost: Adults - $10; 12 & under - $5; 4 & under FREE. Book your tour by calling (334) 595-9243.

Artful Yoga at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Also February 21 Noon-1 p.m. Does your yoga practice need a little artistic inspiration? Join us for this new program to stretch, reflect and relax. Each Artful Yoga session will draw inspiration from collections and exhibitions of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Led by instructor Nancy Beale. The class is free and suitable for all levels; beginners are welcome. Bring your yoga mats and wear comfortable clothing.

Thursday, February 8

Union Springs Red Door Theatre Presents Walking Across Egypt -Through February 11 Adapted by Catherine Bush from the book by Clyde Edgerton; directed by Kim Mason. Upon discovering a stray dog on her back porch, Mattie Rigsbee decides she’s too old to keep a pet and calls the dogcatcher. Little does she know that the dogcatcher, Lamar Benfield, will open her eyes to a whole world she never knew existed, a world that includes car theft, prison breaks and a juvenile delinquent named Wesley who is as desperate for a family as she is. Tickets are $15 and may be ordered at (334) 738-8687 or Cloverdale Playhouse Theatre Presents A Doll’s House -- Through February 18 7:30 p.m. performances Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Nora, vibrant housewife and mother of three, appears to enjoy living the life of a pampered, indulged child. Nonetheless, she suffers from a crippling dependency on her husband. Henrik Ibsen’s classic work examines fundamental inequalities surrounding gender roles, power, independence and money. Recommended for ages 14 and up. For more info,

Find a listing of Public Library Storytimes and Events at!

Pike Road FatherDaughter Dance 6-9 p.m., St. James United Methodist Church. Tickets are $20/person. For more info, visit http:// or call (334) 272-9883.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Snow Queen -- Final Performance The fairy tale that inspired Disney’s Frozen and the White Witch character in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe comes to magical life on ASF’s Octagon 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 her faith and loyalty, Gerda proves that love can always triumph over evil. Recommended ages 4+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353. Old Cahawba Cemetery Walking Tour 10-11 a.m. Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, Ala. The decaying ruins of Alabama’s first capital. Join us for a one-hour guided tour as we visit one of Cahawba’s three cemeteries.

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Sunday, February 4

First Sundays at One -- Also March 4 1-2 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about the traveling exhibitions as well as the Museum’s Permanent Collection in these FREE docent-led tours the FIRST Sunday of each month. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit

Wednesday, February 7

Capital City Master Gardener Association Lunch and Learn Series Open to the Public The first Wednesday of each month, noon to 1 p.m. Sessions are held at the Armory Learning Arts Center, 1018 Madison Avenue, Montgomery, next to the Curb Market. Related handouts from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service are provided each session at no cost. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches to each event. Iced tea and water will be provided.


visit or call (334) 262-1530. Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre Presents Driving Miss Daisy -- Through February 25 After opening at 7:30 p.m., subsequent performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. This Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry is directed by Sam Wallace. Tickets are $10 in advance/$12 at the door (if not sold out). Charge tickets online at or by calling (334) 595-0854. You can also get tickets at the Special Events Office with check, cash or credit (MasterCard and Visa accepted).

Friday, February 9

The Black Jacket Symphony presents Led Zeppelin IV 8 p.m. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. Tickets begin at $25. Visit or call (334) 481-5100.

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FamilyCalendar Dream Women’s Conference -- Through February 10 St. James United Methodist Church. Sponsored by Renew Women’s Ministry. Begins at 6 p.m. Friday and ends at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Featuring Pastor Alex Seeley and renowned worship leader Meredith Andrews. Tickets are $69. For questions or discounted registration for groups of 10 or more, e-mail Ticket required for entry. All tickets will be scanned upon entry to the conference. All sales are non-refundable! For more info, visit Elmore County Homeschool Organization Also February 23 Elmore County Homeschool Organization is a nonprofit support group for homeschooling families. We provide a positive socialization environment for homeschooled children & support and encourage their parents in the homeschooling process. We typically meet the second and fourth Friday of every month year-round from 10 a.m. to noon at Harvest Fields Community Church, 4280 Deatsville Hwy, Deatsville. Membership is free and is open to all homeschoolers in the tri-county area. For details, visit

Saturday, February 10

Crossroads Theater Presents In Her Own Fashion by Dolores Hydock 7:30 p.m. Pike Road Town Hall. Sponsored by the Pike Road Arts Council, this story play relays the funny, irreverent, true story of Ninette Griffith, who was fashion coordinator for Loveman’s Department Store in Birmingham in the 1950s and ‘60s. Tickets are $20, and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, stop by Town Hall, call (334) 272-9883 or e-mail Patty Payne at

Wetumpka’s 6th Annual Mardi Gras Celebration Hosted by the 2018 Order of Cimarrón. Vendors will be open at 9 a.m. Food, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, metal crafts and so much more. The parade will begin sharply at 1 p.m. and begins on the West side of the Coosa River and will follow the Christmas on the Coosa parade route. This is a family-friendly event. Visit or find us on Facebook for more info. Critter Crawl 5K and Yeti Dash 7:30 a.m. registration station opens; 8:30 a.m. Critter Crawk 5K begins; 9:45 a.m. Yeti Dash begins. The Alabama Nature Center Critter Crawl is a trail run benefiting the ANC education programs that takes runners through a portion of the ANC’s 5-mile trail system. New for 2018 is the ANC Yeti Dash, a 1-mile trail system run. Nature/critter costumes are mandatory for any guests who wish to participate in the Yeti Dash. Any guests who do not dress in costume will not be eligible to win a Yeti Dash medal. Shirts are guaranteed for participants registering before January 31. For more info, visit www.alabamawildlife. org/ or call (800) 822-9453. Sign up on Basic Photography Class with Keith Farrar 9 a.m.–noon. Prattville’s Creative Arts Center, 342 Chestnut Street. This workshop will cover a brief history of photography, anatomy of a camera, basic

exposure control, camera controls, basic shooting tips for specific lighting conditions, shooting for output, and developing your own photographs. Cost is $30 and space is limited. To register or for more info, call (334) 595-0854. Animal Enrichment Day at the Montgomery Zoo 10 a.m.-2 p.m. From zoo animals to our pets at home and even including us, we all need enrichment. A chance to smell a new scent, taste a new flavor, play a new game or figure out a challenging puzzle or game. The result is to stimulate behaviors resembling those for that species found in the wild. It is a lot of trial and error, but it is always fun. For more info, call (334) 625-4900 or visit Cultural Crossroads XVII: Early Alabama Historians 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Alabama Dept. of Archives & History, 624 Washington Ave. Discover how early travelers and historians studied Alabama’s landscape and culture to develop the stories and collections we share today. Presented by Landmarks Foundation of Montgomery. Free to the public, registration required. $25 for lunch and refreshments. For more info, call (334) 240-4500. Brantwood’s 5K Love Run 8 a.m.-noon. Paterson Field, 1215 Madison Ave., Montgomery. Proceeds from the run go to Brantwood Children’s Home. Register and find out more by visiting Whole Foods Second Saturday Kids Club 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Whole Foods, 1450 Taylor Rd., Montgomery. Looking for something fun to do with

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FamilyCalendar the kids? Each second Saturday, Whole Foods will host fun, hands-on craft activities to teach kids about healthy eating. It’s totally free, and every participant gets a piece of fruit and whatever they make in the workshop! For more info, call (334) 523-2940 or visit Dads and Daughters Saturday (D.A.D.S) Calling ALL Fathers and Daughters for storytimes, fun and laughs, 11 a.m.-noon every 2nd Saturday at the Juliette Hampton Morgan Memorial Library. There will be singing, dancing and arts & crafts. So come visit us and have an enjoyable time! For more info, visit /?source=1. Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women Montgomery Country Club, Azalea Room, 3800 Narrow Lane Road. 9 a.m.-noon. 3-hour workshop that is offered monthly, designed to help participants explore the legal, financial, and emotional issues of divorce and gain a greater understanding of the process. Cost to attend is $20 per person and preregistration required. For more info, please call or e-mail Sommer Morris at (334) 612-1086 or sommer. You may also visit www. AMC Theaters Offers SensoryFriendly Movietimes -- Also February 24 For guests and families living with autism or other special needs, AMC partners with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where we turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! This program is available on second and fourth Saturdays (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes, and don’t forget to share your family fun with #AMCSensoryFriendly.

Sunday, February 11

Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents Aaron Neville Quintet with special guests The Dirty Dozen Brass Band 7:30 p.m. Celebrating 40 years since their founding in 1977, New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including Bebop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul. Tickets begin at $35. For more info, visit www.mpaconline. org/ or call (334) 481-5100.

Tuesday, February 13

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Cash, the Killer, and the King -- Also February 14 7:30 p.m. Take a walk down memory lane to the greatest era of rock ‘n’ roll music with three iconic legends: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. Enjoy classic songs, such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Hound Dog,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire” and more! For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353. George Washington Carver Lecture Series 8:30 a.m. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 120 Madison Ave., Montgomery. Event that initially began as part of Tuskegee University’s year-long celebration in 2014, marking the 150th anniversary of Dr. Carver’s birth and honoring his 47-year legacy of scientific

Montgomery Parents I February 2018


achievement during his tenure at Tuskegee University. General admission is $25. Students are admitted free. For more info, call (334) 727-8453 or e-mail One Billion Rising 5:30-7 p.m. Alabama State University Acadome, 915 S Jackson Street, Montgomery. The Family Sunshine Center is hosting a free Zumba class in coordination with the international awareness campaign for violence against women. Registration is free and can be completed by going to Tshirts can also be purchased by visiting the site. For more info, call (334) 206-2124. Wetumpka Boy Scout Troop 13 Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper 5:30-7 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Wetumpka. Open to the general public! Free supper prepared by Boy Scouts including delicious pancakes with butter and syrup, sausage, bacon, coffee, juice and milk. Donations appreciated.

Wednesday, February 14

Central Alabama Master Gardener (CAMGA) Lunch & Learn Program Noon-1 p.m. Held at the Elmore County Extension (ACES) facility on Queen Ann Road in Wetumpka, these free events for the public are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch and learn. Beverages are provided by CAMGA. For more info, call 567-6301 or visit Prattville Community Chorus Singing Valentines Send a singing Valentine to your special someone on Valentine’s Day. Valentines include three songs, a rose, special sweet treat, and a card with your personal note. Cost is $25 and the schedule is limited, so make your reservations (City of Prattville only) early. For more info or to reserve your Singing Valentine, call (334) 595-0854. Capri Theatre Presents Sleepless in Seattle 7:30 p.m. A recently widowed man’s son calls a radio talk-show in an attempt to find his father a partner. The classic starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. For more info, visit or call (334) 262-4858.

Thursday, February 15

Food For Thought Noon-1 p.m. The Alabama Dept. of Archives & History, 624 Washington Ave. Bring lunch and and join us every third Thursday for these FREE lectures sponsored by Friends of the Alabama Archives. Drinks are complimentary. Today’s topic is “Alabama’s First Reconstruction Legislature,” presented by Richard Bailey. Call (334) 353-4726 or visit www.

Friday, February 16

19th Annual Black History Program at Doster Community Center in Prattville 6-8 p.m. Guest speaker Circuit Judge Bill Lewis, 19th Judicial Circuit, as well as a host of entertainment. This event is free to the public.

Saturday, February 17

Art With A Heart Soup Event 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sponsored by the Prattauga Art Guild as a fundraiser for the Autauga Interfaith Care Center food bank. There will be a Soup Cook Off with teams and individuals competing for the Golden Bowl Award and soup from local restaurants. For a donation of $5 you get a cup of soup from one restaurant sponsor, for a donation of $10 or more you get a cup of soup and a handmade bowl by a


local artist. For info about participating in the Soup Cook Off or for general info about the event, call (334) 595-0854. Fort Toulouse/ Fort Jackson Living History Weekend Wetumpka. Admission $2/ adult & $1/child. For more info, call (334) 5673002.

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Third Saturday @ Art Museum 1-2 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about the works of art on view at the Museum in these FREE docent-led tours offered the third Saturday of each month. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit Farm in the City: Garden Planning & Propagation at E.A.T. South 9-11 a.m. 485 Molton St. Where should your garden grow? We’ll cover garden planning from finding the right place for your garden to how to rotate your crops. We’ll also talk about seeds, where to find them and how to get them started. Register at Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents The Rising Star Road Show featuring Jamie Kent with Anthony Peebles and Tim Jackson 8 p.m. Harkening back to the days when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis took the world by storm, the Rising Star Road Show brings together the next big artists of multiple genres in front of one all-star backing band, creating a dynamic, family-friendly musical variety show. The Rising Star Road Show also invests in each community it visits, working with students and schools to foster the rising stars of the next generation through music and mentorship. For this concert the RSRS has partnered with Booker T. Washington Magnet High School and will be collaborating with its choir while raising money for the BTW music program! Tickets begin at $17. For more info, visit or call (334) 481-5100.

Tuesday, February 20

Joe Thomas, Jr. 3rd Tuesday Guitar Pull 7-9 p.m. Three or four regional songwriters perform original music on the Cloverdale Playhouse’s intimate stage. Tickets are $10 at the door. Call 262-1530 or visit

Thursday, February 22

Newcomers Club of Montgomery Monthly Luncheon The Newcomers Club of Montgomery invites all women of the River Region to attend our monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Country Club. Cost is $18 and reservations must be made by noon Monday, February 19, to Suzanne Lowry at (334) 396-5368 or zanzuzan@ Visit for more info. Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Much Ado About Nothing -- Through Feb. 25; April 25; May 5-6 At the heart of this Shakespearean comedy is the delightfully antagonistic relationship of Beatrice and Benedict, who enjoy a witty repartee that skewers the character of the other until they have to join forces to save the day when innocent young lovers are threatened by a common enemy. Recommended ages 11+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

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FamilyCalendar Millbrook Community Theatre Presents Sister Act -- February 22-25; March 1-4 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Directed by Angie Mitchell; music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater. When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and uptight Mother Superior. $12 advance/$15 at the door/$8 ages 12 and under. Call (334) 782-7317 or visit

Friday, February 23

TRAXXAS Monster Truck Tour -Also February 24 See these incredible 10,000-pound, car crushing giants compete in racing, wheelie contests, and then rock the house with amazing freestyle action during the TRAXXAS Monster Truck Tour! Plus, you can meet the drivers and see the trucks up close at the pre-event Autograph Pit Party. For tickets or more info, call (334) 356-6866 or visit 2018 Home Building and Remodeling Expo -Through February 25 Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Cramton Bowl Multiplex, 220 Hall Street, Montgomery. Three-day event that will highlight the latest and greatest in home building and remodeling trends

and technology. This year’s featured guest will be Clint Harp from HGTV’s hit show “Fixer Upper” and DIY Network’s new show “Wood Works.” Regular admission is $6; Military Free Friday. Buy one get one free admission on Friday and Sunday. $1 off regular admission on Saturday. Coupons for the discounted days will be on the website Call (334) 277-7766 for more info.

Saturday, February 24

Silk Dyeing Workshop 9 a.m.-noon. Prattville’s Creative Arts Center, 342 Chestnut Street. Instructor Peggy Raines. Use your imagination to create a beautiful flowing silk scarf. All supplies are furnished and the cost is only $45. To register for the class or for more info, call (334) 595-0854. 9th Annual Russell Forest Run – 10K & 5K 7:45-11 a.m. The Russell Forest Run to benefit the Alexander City Schools Education Foundation kicks off at 7:45 with a cannon shot for the 10K, followed at 7:55 by the 5K. The Russell Forest Run has become famous for a couple of steep climbs, including a trip to Heaven on the back side of the 10K, plus the Grits Bar and post-race party held in The Stables at Russell Crossroads. Registration is $40 per runner. For more info, visit or call (256) 496-4232. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre Presents Jonny Lang 8 p.m. Since the release of his debut album, Grammy Award-winning Lang has built a reputation as one of the best live performers and guitarists of his generation. He has shared the stage with The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, Aerosmith and Buddy Guy, whom he continues to tour with today. Tickets begin at

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$23. For more info, visit or call (334) 481-5100. Farm in the City: Seedy Saturday Seed Swap and Celebration at E.A.T. South 10 a.m.-noon. 485 Molton St. Celebrate the wonderful diversity of seeds. Bring seeds to swap. Take home new varieties to try. Activities for kids and grown-ups. Free! For more info, visit eatsouth. Montgomery Red Dress Dash 7:30-10:30 a.m. Baptist Health - East Campus DeBoer Building, 301 Brown Springs Road, Montgomery. The Montgomery Red Dress Dash is a 5K benefiting the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, nationally sponsored by Macy’s and CVS Health and locally sponsored by Baptist Health - Central Alabama and Classic Buick GMC Cadillac. Advance registration is $25. Day of registration is available for a $35 donation. For more info, call (228) 604-5316 or visit Campfire Cooking at Alabama Nature Center 11:30 a.m. We will learn how to not only start a successful campfire but how to cook on a fire! These are handy skills to know for your spring camping trips! We are providing the food! Guests will learn how to prepare various types of food over a campfire as well as enjoy some tasty foods. For more info,


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LocalClasses visit or call (334) 2854550 to add your name to the list. 2nd Annual Kicking for Change Tournament 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Lagoon Park, Montgomery. Go Kickball hosts the tournament benefitting the Family Sunshine Center and Brantwood Children’s Home. Register at or call (334) 206-2124 for more info. Cost per participant is $35.

Sunday, February 25

Family Art Affair and Jazz Jams at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 2-4 p.m. Music will fill the Museum and get your creativity going as you visit the studio and complete a FREE make-and-take art project. This program has specific themes related to Museum exhibitions and is sure to be fun and engaging for the whole family. Create your own piece of art inspired by live music and the works in the “Uncommon Territory” exhibition. For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

Tuesday, February 27

AGAPE of Central Alabama’s 4th Annual Connecting Hearts Event Alley Station Warehouse in downtown Montgomery. Reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the main event starts at 6:30 p.m. with special guest Sean Dietrich (Sean of the South). Dietrich is a columnist and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. All ticket holders participate in the reception, and V.I.P. ticket holders will have the chance to meet and greet with the speaker. Agape of Central Alabama is a ministry that helps children by connecting hearts through adoption and foster care. For more info or to purchase tickets, visit

Wednesday, February 28

Book Talk at the Alabama Dept. of Archives & History Noon. He Calls Me By Lightening: The Life of Caliph Washington and the Forgotten Saga of Jim Crow, Southern Justice, and the Death Penalty. Presented by Jonathan Bass. For more info, call (334) or visit www.archives. Alabama Council for Technology in Education Holds Regional Technology Fair Prattville Christian Academy, 322 Old Farm Lane North, Prattville. This event is for 3rd-12th grade students in public and private schools within the central region, including the counties of Autauga, Elmore and Montgomery. Registration deadline is February 14. For questions, contact Brigitte McCawley (ACTE Central Regional Director) at (334) 285-0077 (ext. 222). For more info and/or to register, visit https:// home.

Thursday, March 1

Art Auction 2018 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 6-10 p.m. The Museum’s 14th biennial Art Auction will be one evening, a combination of past years’ Silent Auction and Live Auction events. The Art Acquisition Committee has gathered artwork from New York, Santa Fe, and Charleston, and this year, they have selected a large number of works from

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

prominent New Orleans galleries. This year’s Auction will also include artwork selected by the newly formed Contemporary Committee, a group focused on finding contemporary artworks by regional artists priced for the beginning collector. For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

Friday, March 2

Renascence Re-entry Community Ping Pong Tournament & Preview Party -- Also March 3 The preview party from 6-9 p.m. Friday is for adults only; the tournament from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday is for all ages and abilities. Both will be held at the Alcazar Center, 555 Eastern Blvd. The tournament benefits Renascence and the men coming out of the prison system who need a hand up, not a hand-out, as they transition into society and employment. Like a ping pong, the men of Renascence want to bounce back into productive lives. Preview party costs $45 and includes food, drinks, dance band, silent auction and opportunity to play ping pong. Tournament costs $10 for ages 19 and under; $20 for ages 20 and up. For more info or to sign up, call (334) 832-1402 or visit Art On The Square 2018 6:30-9 p.m. Court Square-Dexter Avenue. FREE community event commemorating the 53rd Annual Selma to Montgomery March. This year, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Art By Kevin King and many others have joined in to make this year’s event more impactful with social art pieces. This year’s theme is WALK IN. WADE IN. SIT IN: THE DEATH OF A KING, honoring contributions of men, women and children that made human rights possible in Montgomery. Call (334) 242-4076 for more info. Special School Performances of The Little Mermaid and More! 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. Troy University’s Davis Theatre, Montgomery. Special ticket prices: $7. Limited space available. Call Pamela Swan at (334) 625-2590. Wetumpka Depot Presents Seussical the Musical Also March 3 7 p.m. performances. Directed by Kristy Meanor, with actors ranging from 10 to 18 years old. Some of these roles include memorable characters such as The Cat in the Hat, Jojo, Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Mazie La Bird, Sour Kangaroo, the Wickersham Bros., the Whos, and Jungle Creatures! For tickets, call (334) 868-1440 or visit

Saturday, March 3

Alabama Dance Theatre Presents The Little Mermaid and More -Also March 4 Troy University’s Davis Theatre, Montgomery. Choreographed by ADT’s resident choreographer Sara Sanford, this performance is for children of all ages and the young at heart. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale about a mermaid willing to give up her life under the sea in order to find true love and happiness and gain a human soul. Performances are March 3 at 2:30 p.m.* and 7 p.m. and March 4 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets range from $15$30 and can be purchased at *Shortened children’s matinee of The Little Mermaid only. After the shortened matinee on March 3, children are invited onstage to meet The Little Mermaid and her friends at an additional charge of $10.


7th Annual Pike Road Art Market 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pike Road Town Hall, 9575 Vaughn Road. Browse a variety of handmade gifts from local and regional artisans and crafters. For more info, call (334) 272-9883 or visit

Friday, March 9

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents Bear Country -- Through March 25 The Southern Writers’ Project world-premiere production of Bear Country returns to the ASF stage for a limited run. Meet the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant as he reminisces about the career that turned him into an icon and dispenses his particular brand of life coaching, which made him a champion to his players on and off the field. Recommended ages 11+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

Saturday, March 10

Montgomery Half Marathon & 5K 7 a.m. Half Marathon starts; 7:15 a.m. 5K starts. 5K Awards ceremony will take place between 9 and 9:30 a.m. Half Marathon Awards ceremony will take place between 11 and 11:30a.m. This annual race takes runners through some of Montgomery’s most beautiful neighborhoods and past many of the city’s most famous landmarks. Featuring live entertainment for both racers and supporters. For more info, visit Montgomery Zoo Weekend -- Also March 11 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Festive environment with live entertainment, games, rides, bouncy houses, big slides, inflatables, pony and camel rides, petting zoo, karate demos, Montgomery Police K-9 presentation, live animal presentations, concessions and animals from around the world. Enjoy the many activities, fantastic food and have fun together at an affordable price. For more info, call (334) 625-4900 or visit


Breastfeeding Class Designed to prepare the expectant mother for breastfeeding her newborn. Also includes troubleshooting common problems to establish a successful breastfeeding experience. Jackson Hospital, Classroom 1. Cost is $15. Class schedule is subject to change, so please call 293-8497 or e-mail liz.owen@ to register or for more info. Breastfeeding Class This one-time class at Baptist Health provides expectant mothers with information about breastfeeding including various factors influencing lactation, advantages of breastfeeding, basic anatomy and physiology of milk production, specific techniques to promote a successful breastfeeding experience and breastfeeding equipment and supplies. Classes are taught by IBLCE instructors. Partners are encouraged to participate. Class fee: $20. Registration is required. E-mail smallwonders@ A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. Caring For Your Newborn Taught by Baptist Health Newborn Nursery nurses, this one-time class helps new families become familiar with the basics of caring for your infant in the first six weeks after birth. This interactive class covers routine hospital newborn procedures along with

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Classes bathing, diapering, swaddling and soothing, normal infant behavior, appearance and sleep patterns. Class fee: $20. Registration is required. Please e-mail for more info. A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. Childbirth Basics Class Provides childbirth information for those who choose to have pain relief during labor and delivery. Sessions are taught throughout the year at Jackson Hospital, Classroom 1. Cost is $25. Call 293-8497 by your 4th month of pregnancy to register. Childbirth Preparation (Four Sessions on Monday Nights) This four-session class is taught by Registered Labor and Delivery Nurses on the campus of Baptist South. This class for new mothers covers topics ranging from how your body changes during pregnancy to signs of labor to the benefits of breastfeeding and what to expect during your birth experience. This class is complimentary. To register, call (334) 2863466. Childbirth Preparation Boot Camp (One Day Saturday Class) This fast-paced one day class taught by Baptist Health’s experienced Labor and Delivery Registered Nurses prepares families to welcome their new addition. All aspects of Labor and Delivery from our hospital admission process through postpartum care are covered during class. Additional topics include Cesarean sections, medication and anesthesia options along with coping and comfort measures. Breathing and relaxation techniques are also introduced. Maternity Area Tour is included as a part of this class. Class offered select Saturdays of each month. Fee: $60 per couple and includes lunch. Please e-mail for more info. A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. ID required. Chinese Language Classes Auburn Montgomery’s Office of Far Eastern Initiatives offers Saturday classes for children and adults. The one-hour weekly courses are provided free-of-charge as a service to the community. For more info or to register, contact April Ma at 244-3018 or ama@aum. edu. Cloverdale Playhouse Rep Class Series First Mondays every month from 6:30-8 p.m. in the Cloverdale Playhouse Rehearsal Hall. This is a safe space to work on your craft, develop your audition skills, share your newest piece, or just get feedback on your latest artistic endeavor. Guest panels and rotating faculty ensure constant growth and a variety of insight. Even if you don’t perform every time - you can learn a lot by observing! There will be a sign-up sheet if you would like to work. Call (334) 262-1530 with questions. CPR & First Aid The American Red Cross offers classes in adult and infant/child CPR as well as first aid and babysitting classes monthly. Call 260-3980. Diabetes Education --Prattville Baptist Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education services available Wednesdays by appointment at Prattville Medical Park. Call 747-7700 Option # for more information. Diabetes Education --Baptist Outpatient Nutrition and Diabetes Education services available weekdays by appointment. Call 747-7700 Option # for more info. Family Nutrition Classes Fun, hands-on 3 or 6-week in-person or online course developed by well-known pediatrician Dr William Sears. Classes focused towards parents of children age 3-12. The goal is to learn simple ways




management, medical procedures, cesarean birth. Note: This class is a basic overview of the labor and delivery process and does not prepare someone for “natural” or unmedicated childbirth. Cost: $25 (covers mother and support person). Class size is limited. Please try to register by the 5th month of pregnancy for the best selection of available class dates. Call (334) 293-8497 or e-mail: liz.owen@

to improve the health of your child through lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition. Fee includes materials, activities and a snack. A 2-hour preview class is available. For more info, contact alissabethtaylor@ or visit Foster Parent Training Classes Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries sponsors foster care training classes in the Tri-County Area. For more information on foster care or to register for the classes, please contact Bobbi Olson, Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, at 334-430-7569 or e-mail bolson@ Infant Safety/CPR This one-time class sponsored by Baptist Health will teach parents and grandparents the American Heart Association’s Family and Friends CPR for infants and children including care of the choking infant, infant rescue and breathing with hands on practice using ACTAR CPR dolls for class participants. This class will also help parents with creating a safe environment for their child. Classes are taught by certified CPR Instructors. This class is not a certification class. Fee: $10 per person. Registration is required. Please e-mail A 10 percent class discount is available to Baptist Health employees and members of the military. Maternity Area Tour Only Baptist Medical Center East maternity area tour for expectant mothers and families not attending Childbirth Preparation Class or Boot Camp. This tour is complimentary and is offered on select Saturdays of each month. Space is limited. Registration is required. Please e-mail smallwonders@baptistfirst. org for more info. Maternity Area Tour Baptist Health’s Maternity Area Tour is for parents not attending Childbirth Preparation Boot Camp. Tour is offered on select Saturdays of each month and is complimentary. Tour is for adults only. Space is limited. Registration is required. Please e-mail for more info. Pre- and Post-natal Fitness Classes Includes water aerobics, step-floor aerobics and strength training. SportsFirst. Call 277-7130. Pregnancy Nutrition Classes Interactive 3-week series of classes developed by well-known pediatrician Dr. William Sears. Classes focus on lifestyle choices, attitude, and exercise at any stage of pregnancy; optimal nutrition before, during and after pregnancy; transition from pregnancy to motherhood. Courses can be taken separately or as a series. Jump in any time! Materials and snack provided with fee. For more info, contact or visit www.Facebook. com/LeaninCentralAL. Prepared Childbirth Class (Understanding Birth) Jackson Hospital. Preregistration required. Topics include: pregnancy, labor, birth, options for pain

Montgomery Parents I February 2018

Sibling Preparation Class One-hour class is designed for expectant “big brothers and sisters” ages 3 to 8. They will learn about the arrival of their new baby through an introduction to the hospital experience and the early days at home. Parents should plan to attend with their child. Baptist Medical Center East. Registration is required. Call 273-4445 or e-mail smallwonders@ Slow Flow Yoga Classes are held at Old Alabama Town on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11:30-12:15, and 12:30-1:15. Beginners welcome! No registration needed; just come to Molton South Building. Enter through the Rose House, located on Columbus St. between N. Hull and Decatur. Parking is available along Decatur and N. Hull. Drop in fee: $12; 5-class pass: $50 (exp. 60 days). Monthly unlimited: $65. Mat rental: $1. For more info, call (334) 240-4500 or (334) 207-0909 or e-mail Tales for Tots Join us for this FREE introduction to art in storybooks and in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts galleries for young children and their families. Each time a different work of art and special story will be presented. Next classes are February 21 from 10:30-11 a.m., and 11-11:30 a.m. Call 240-4365 or visit www. for more info.

Support Groups Adoption Support

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) This group provides education and social interaction for adoptive families. Montgomery Group meets 3rd Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m., Room 8114 at Frazer Memorial UMC. For more info, call Jill Sexton at 409-9477. Birth Parent and Adult Adoptee Support Group Children’s Aid Society hosts a free support group for adult adoptees and birth parents. This group provides emotional support for people at all stages of the life-long adoption process. Meetings held at Children’s Aid Society, 2141 14th Avenue South in Birmingham. For class dates and times, call Kathy King at (205) 943-5331 or e-mail Panda Pals is a support group for families who have adopted or in the process of adopting children from China. We have playdates, family nights and get-togethers to talk about raising our children from China. If you would like to join our group, just e-mail or call Tracie Singleton at 395-8215.

Divorce Support

DivorceCare meets Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. at Frazer Memorial UMC. Come to the Library area. This group will provide support & guidance to assist you in working through the issues, pain & pressures surrounding divorce. For more info, call 495-6350 or e-mail Divorce Care for Kids meets Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. January 9-April 3, 2018 at Frazer Memorial UMC. Children of divorce or separation find hope, help and healing. Call 495-6350 or e-mail jan@ for more info.


DivorceCare meets at Vaughn Forest Church on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. It fosters a weekly supportive and caring environment to heal the hurt of separation and divorce. The DivorceCare experience involves a dynamic video presentation, group share time, and personal workbook exercises. Facilitators for DivorceCare are Todd Smith, Wendy Timbie and Becki Harrison. To register or for more info, call 279-5433. DivorceCare and DivorceCare 4 Kids First Baptist Church Montgomery, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 (scholarships available). Contact Kathy Cooper at kcooper@montgomeryfbc. org or 241-5125. Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for Women Montgomery Country Club, Azalea Room, 3800 Narrow Lane Road. 9 a.m.-noon. This is a 3-hour workshop that is offered monthly, designed to help participants explore the legal, financial, and emotional issues of divorce and gain a greater understanding of the process. The cost to attend is $20 per person and pre-registration is required. For more info, please call or e-mail Sommer Morris at (334) 612-1086 or sommer.morris@morganstanley. com. You may also visit

Grief Support

Bereaved Spouses Support Group A new ministry of Cornerstone Christian Church, USA (Unavoidably Single Again) Ministries is designed to offer ongoing support, social events and fellowship to those who have lost their spouses to death. The group is open to ALL widowed individuals, regardless of age, religious beliefs, or length of marriage or widowhood. Meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays at the church’s building, 301 Dalraida Road. Please e-mail farauthor@ for more info. Bereavement Group, Hospice of Montgomery office, 1111 Holloway Park. This group is intended to address those affected by a recent loss (0-12 months after death). Through meeting with others who are walking a similar journey, you will be encouraged to work through the complications of your loss, understand your pain, and adjust to your new reality. For more info, call 279-6677. Compassionate Friends, Eastmont Baptist Church, 4505 Atlanta Hwy, first Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Compassionate Friends is a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child. For more information about the group, call (334) 284-2721. Grief Recovery Support, Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy., Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Rm. 3105. Call 495-6350 for more info. GriefShare meets weekly at Vaughn Forest Church on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. This program is non-denominational and features biblical concepts for healing your grief. Three key parts make up your GriefShare experience: video seminar; support group time; and workbook study. GriefShare will be led by Howard and Carol Payne and Jim Williams. To register or for more info, call 279-5433. Grieving With Hope, St. Mark UMC, meeting weekly on Tuesdays from 1-2 p.m. The group offers a place to share, care and heal from the losses of life. Facilitated by Dr. Lennie Howard and Marie Parma. Contact the church at 272-0009. Honoring Angels Like Owen, Inc. (HALO) offers family-oriented, Christian-based grief support groups that meet monthly. These groups are for families who have lost a child from 20 weeks gestation up to the age of 2 years old. Our parents’ group is for mothers and fathers. Our siblings’ group is for children ages 6-15. Both groups meet at the same time and place. HALO also offers free professional photography for

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SupportGroups families facing the loss of a child up to the age of 2 years old and needs-based financial assistance for burial. Visit or call (334) 328-1202.

event is open to the public and is sponsored by the Montgomery City-County Public Library and Dreamland Barbeque. For more info, call Ron Simmons at (334) 777-8596.

Mourning to Morning is a Christian growth group for mothers who have lost a child, from before birth through adulthood. We normally meet the last Thursday night of each month at Grace Baptist Church in Wetumpka, 304 Old Montgomery Highway. For more info, contact Alice Scarborough at (334) 462-4775 or Gwen Ellis at (334) 567-8754 or e-mail us at Join us on Facebook--Mourning to Morning Group.

La Leche League of Montgomery Area has served local mothers since 1984. Women who are pregnant, interested in breastfeeding and nursing mothers are invited to attend our free mother-to-mother support meetings or e-mail with breastfeeding questions. Join us with your babies. Children of all ages are welcome. We currently have morning and evening meetings. For more info, e-mail LLL.Montgomery. or visit llli*group*montgomery or “like” us on Facebook.

River Region Survivors of Suicide Loss meets on second and fourth Thursdays (excluding holidays) at Cornerstone Christian Church, 301 Dalraida Road in Montgomery from 6:30-8 p.m. This is an open group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide and welcomes anyone regardless of religious beliefs. Contact Cheryl Vinson at with questions or for more information.

Homeschool Support

ECHO (Elmore County Homeschool Organization), Harvest Fields Community Church, 4280 Deatsville Hwy, Deatsville. 2nd and 4th Fridays yearround from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a support group for homeschooling families in the tri-county area. Membership is free. For more info, please visit http://

Parent Support

D.A.D.S. (Dad and Daughter Saturdays) Second Saturdays at the Juliette Hampton Morgan Library in downtown Montgomery at 11 a.m. D.A.D.S. gives fathers and daughters an opportunity to read together to create fun, educational memories. This free

Mom2Mom is a playgroup to connect mothers of children ages birth-5 years at Frazer United Methodist Church to share fun and inspiration in our journey together, with our children, and with Christ. E-mail for more information. Moms’ LIFE (Living In Faith Everyday) First Baptist Church, Prattville. Meets twice monthly from 8:30-11:45 a.m. in the chapel at First Baptist Church in Prattville August through May. For moms of all stages and ages of life. We offer a time of fellowship, Bible study, musical guests, special guest speakers and a lot of fun! Cost is $5 per meeting. Childcare provided by reservation. For more info and to reserve your spot, call Kelley Manning at 361-7919. The Montgomery Multiples Club is a non-profit organization offering support to the mothers and families of twins, triplets, and more in the Central Alabama region. They have a mom’s night out with dinner once a month. They also have a yard sale twice a year, in the spring and again in the fall. For

more info, visit MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), First Baptist Church, 305 S. Perry St., Montgomery. 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., September through May. Moms, need a little break? We have educational speakers, great conversation, and fun activities. Free childcare is provided. Visit MOPS or contact Tiffany Alewine at 241-5165. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), Vaughn Forest Baptist Church, 8660 Vaughn Road, Montgomery. 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Are you in need of a time-out? MOPS joins mothers together by a common bond, to be better wives, moms and friends along this journey in the trenches of motherhood. Childcare is provided. For more info, e-mail or visit http://

Pregnancy Loss/Infertility

Hannah’s Prayer, Prattville First United Methodist Church, 2nd Thursdays and 3rd Sundays. Support group for women dealing with pregnancy loss/infertility issues. Call (334) 365-5977. Post-abortion Support Group, Saint James United Methodist Church. Do you have a secret you have promised yourself “you are taking to the grave?” Come and listen to stories of others who were scared to surrender their secret. Come and find healing and peace that you never even knew you needed. Come and learn about the One who came to set you free. Join us in a study of “Surrendering the Secret” by Pat Layton and know that you are not alone! (Learner guide and digital download sessions.) For more info, e-mail annpemberton@

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SupportGroups Sav-A-Life conducts a HOPE GROUP for women who have experienced the emotional aftermath of an abortion. Groups meet eight consecutive Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. and are facilitated by women who have experienced abortion. The “Forgiven and Set Free” Bible study is used. Confidientiality is assured. Please call Kathy at 260-8010 for information.

empowering single parents and their families through information, encouragement, and many family-oriented events throughout the year. We meet the last Wednesday or Thursday of each month. For more info, e-mail Join us on Facebook for daily restaurant specials, area kid-friendly events, and tips/ideas for families on a budget.

Special Needs Support

“Take Heart,” Room 116 at Eastmont Baptist Church, first Mondays of each month at 6 p.m. Support group for women dealing with infertility and/or miscarriage. Contact Melissa at (205) 913-2667 for more information.

Single Parents Support

God Will Make a Way, Frazer UMC, Tuesdays from 6-7:30 p.m. Learn to follow God’s principles to thrive relationally, emotionally, and spiritually in 12 key areas of life and use God’s wisdom to cope with your most difficult problems. Call 495-6368 or e-mail for more info. Single Moms’ Care and Support Group, Perry Hill United Methodist Church, 910 Perry Hill Road (corner of Perry Hill and Harrison Roads). Meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays from 6:15-8 p.m. Free snack supper provided to moms and children. Child care for infants-16 years. Call 272-3174 for more info. SWAK (Single with Amazing Kids), Maxwell / Maxwell Gunter AFB. This network is connecting and

Alabama Angels Pageant, a nonprofit pageant for males and females of any age with special needs. Participation is free. 2016 pageant date TBA. Visit and look for us on Facebook! Central Alabama Autism Support Team (C.A.A.S.T.), St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Hwy. 31 in Prattville from 6-8 p.m. 3rd Thursdays quarterly (Feb., May, Aug., Nov.). Visit or e-mail for more info. Montgomery Area Down Syndrome Outreach, Vaughn Park Church of Christ, 2nd Fridays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. We have activities, speakers and special events throughout the year for the parents, siblings and children with Down Syndrome. Childcare provided. Visit www.montgomeryareadownsyndrome. com or visit our Facebook page (MADSOG) for more information. Contact MADSOG at for more info. Montgomery Area Hearing Loss Support Group meets monthly at the Wesley Building of the First

Methodist Church in Montgomery on 2nd Thursdays at 4 p.m. It is affiliated with the nationally recognized non-profit advocacy group, Hearing Loss Association of America. The purpose is to bring together all adults and parents of children who would like to know more about hearing losses, its causes and its possible corrections. Refreshments at each meeting. For more info, contact A Parent’s Perspective A therapeutic and educational group for parents of children with physical/emotional needs that provides direct support through shared experiences and coordinated by a trained facilitator. For more info and a free consultation, contact Julie Cox, LMSW at (334) 310-1649 or You can also “like” A Parent’s Perspective on Facebook. Traumatic Brain Injury Support, cafeteria at HealthSouth on Narrow Lane in Montgomery. 2nd Thursdays at 6 p.m. Sponsored by Alabama Head Injury Foundation for anyone with a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or related disability. For more info, contact Holli at (334) 290-0646 or e-mail: ahif_ Visit

Teens/Families Support

Call Family Guidance Center of Alabama at 2704100 for information about current classes. Support Group for Teens with difficulties communicating with parents and friends. Contact Felicia Pressley at Pressley Counseling by leaving a message at (334) 625-0159.

Please send calendar info to

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We know that readers consider our advertisers as valuable a resource as the editorial content in Montgomery Parents. We hope this directory saves you time as you refer to the magazine throughout the month. Page numbers follow the advertiser’s name.

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Evangel Christian Academy, 28

My Kids Attic, The Shoppes of, 19

Family Guidance Center, 66

New Hope Academy, 46

First Presb. Kindergarten, P’ville, 45

New Park, 47

Adventure Sports II, 69

Franchise Connection, 82

OB/GYN Assoc. of Montg., Inside Front

Agape of Central Alabama, 38

Frazer Christian Kindergarten, 60

OB/GYN Montgomery, Dr. Desautels, 53

Alabama Christian Academy, 18

Frazer Memorial UMC, 57

O’Connor Tennis Lessons, 71

Alabama Dance Theatre, 63

Frazer Sonshine Soccer, 25

Pet Palace Hotels, 20

Alabama School of Math & Science, 2

Guild Mortgage, 15

Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 65 Alabama World Travel, 11 Armory Athletics, 71 ASKIN/Synergy House, 82 Autauga/Western Elmore Arc, 28 Baptist Health, 3, 43 Beth’s Heirloom Sewing, 35 Birmingham Parents Camp Expo, 32 Bradford Health Services, 4 Burn Boot Camp Montgomery, 33 Chapman Orthodontics, 21 Children’s Clothing Exchange, 21 Children’s Hospital of Alabama, 64

Potty Training with Pinky Bear, 23

Holy Cross Episcopal School, 22 Hooper Academy, 37 Jackson Hospital, Inside Back Cover K Lynn Ice Skating School, 23 Kingry Orthodontics, 36 Learning Tree Child Care, 75 Lola Photography & Portrait Studio, 53 Macon East Academy, 35 Major Organizers, 82

Prattville YMCA, 57 Pretty Inside and Out, 82 Professional Pediatrics, 12 Pump It Up Party, 45 River Region TV, 50 Riverview Camp for Girls, 77 Rockin’ Jump, 79 Royal Home Services, 8 Saint James School, 1

Mathnasium 33 Med.Art.Talk Afterschool Program, 60 MEOW Academy, 59 Memorial Presbyterian Childcare, 67

Sea Dragon Pirate Cruises, 7 Spotless Cleaning Services, 39 Success Unlimited Academy, 51

Montessori @ Mulberry, 17

Swim Prep, 31

Churchill Academy, 42

Montgomery Catholic Schools, 9

Sylvan Learning Center, 29

Cupcake Castles Travel, 67

Montgomery Dermatology, 31

Taylor Road Baptist Church, 81

Dentistry for Children, 46

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 63

The Montgomery Academy, Back Cover

Docarmo’s Taekwondo Center, 29

Montg. Pediatric Dentistry/Ortho, 49

Trinity Presbyterian Childcare, 34

Down with the Pounds, 72

Montgomery Storks and More, 27

Trinity Presbyterian School, 13

Dr. Kendall Dunn-Orthodontist, 34

Montgomery Uniforms Plus, 54

Tru-Cut Lawn Care, 81

Dynamite Magic & Balloons, 14

Montgomery Zoo, 26

United Gymstars & Cheer, 59

Edward Jones-Lane Easterling, 14

My Kids Attic Consignment Sale, 27

Vaughn Park Mom’s Day Out, 69


- daily Bible reading, study and prayer. With an infant and several little ones, that sometimes means I’m reading off of a Bible app while holding or nursing the baby.  But, the best is when I have a little extra time and two free hands to read from my Bible and research with other study tools.  The second is for my physical health – exercise.  The boot camp I attend is a 30-minute workout and I try to go at least four times a week.  I enjoy exercise, and while I used to only do it at home, over the past year I have gotten an extra boost from doing boot camp and pushing myself a little more than I did at home.  It has been very helpful having older children in the house who will keep things going while I step out of the house for a short time.

Leigh Johnson

MP: You’ve had to push against your laid-back personality to be more organized. What things do you do to help yourself run the home efficiently? Leigh: I am a list maker…with pen and paper. I still have not gotten the hang of using an app on my phone for lists and reminders. I like the feel of writing things down and making little extra marks on the paper for emphasis or just fun. If I remember to check my list, we do pretty good with staying on task and getting things accomplished throughout the day.  My husband is the one who keeps us moving forward though. He’s good about sending a reminder to the older children and myself at some point during the day concerning certain things that must get done.  Derek and I tend to be complete opposites for the most part.  I am a starter, he is a finisher.  I enjoy making the lists of all that needs to be accomplished, but he is the one who pushes and nudges us across the finish line each day.  Everyone from the oldest to the youngest knows what needs to be done each day to keep the house somewhat in order and education happening. Over the years I’ve tried all different kinds of chore charts and schedules, but what seems to work best for us is flexibility and simply everyone pulling together, taking on a task and getting it done. 

MP: Did your parents set boundaries for you? Chores, curfews, etc.   If so, do you find that you do the same with your family? Leigh: My sister and I really didn’t have many “boundaries” growing up. There was a lot of trust between us and our parents, and it was up to my sister and me to either keep that trust or break it. I think we knew that and that directed a lot of what we chose to do. We were very close to our parents, especially our mom. They both supported us in the things we wanted to do throughout our schooling years and have continued that support in our adult lives. We always talked about everything…nothing was taboo, nothing was shocking or considered an unmentionable to our mom.  We didn’t have set chores or curfews. When it was time to clean, we cleaned. Well, I was really good at playing and my sister was really good at cleaning and organizing so, I am ashamed to say, I let her do most of the work. Once Derek and I got married, I had the stark realization that no one was going to do the work for me! It has not come easy, but I have had to learn and train myself to be tidy and organized.  Orderliness has come through necessity, not through natural ability.  Because it has been such a struggle (when Derek and I married, I didn’t even know what a water bill was!), we have tried to ensure that our children know how to clean, cook, manage money, care for other people, and care for animals. They will at least know more than I did.

MP: What do you think your kids will remember about you when they are grown? Leigh: Out of curiosity I asked several of them this question, which led to lots of laughter. Some of the things they mentioned were how I make up songs spontaneously for different circumstances, stories that I tell about my childhood, and how I can take a situation and push it “over the top” as in bigger, funnier, sillier than it really is. While I might have been hoping to hear something that sounded more mature and serious, I am thankful that we have a home where laughter and fun is expressed and appreciated. I am hopeful that when our children are adults they will continue to remember these things, but that they will also remember how much I love the Lord, their Daddy, and each one of them.  I hope they remember that I failed a lot, that I asked for their forgiveness when I failed, but that I never quit trying to be a better wife and mom.

MP: Your parents’ unconditional support and love has impacted you. In what ways do you replicate that with your own children?

MP: Finally, what advice can you share with our readers who may be new moms?

Leigh: We have an array of personalities in our crew. The bottom line is all of our children, while different in personalities, still want to be heard, respected, and protected. I try to seize every opportunity that works with each child to hear what they have to say…that may be in the car, sitting on the sofa at home, while cleaning, or sitting in a waiting room somewhere.  MP: What are some things you do just for yourself so that you can “fill your cup” in order to be able to “pour out” on your family?

Leigh: I would encourage any new mom to accept that role of Mama to the fullest. As a new Mama of a biological child or an adoptive child, it is a precious time to stay home, snuggle, and rest.  Don’t give in to any pressure to jump right back in to social activities.  And while you’re accepting that role of Mama to the fullest, trust yourself.  Lots of folks have lots of advice, but what works in my home won’t necessarily work in your home.  Appreciate another’s experience, but listen to your God-given maternal instincts and do what works best for your baby and you. 

Leigh: There are only two things I do “just for myself”, but even these two things hopefully benefit the family as well. The first is for my spiritual health

Leigh and Derek have been married for 21 years and they have 8 children: Julie Anne (18), Seth (16), Douglas (14), Sarah Kathryn (9), Spencer (7), Mary Elizabeth (4), Mac (2), Katie Mac (4 months).

Montgomery Parents I February 2018


At the new




Recent graduates are attending


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in Alabama as ranked by

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STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 1 of only 4 programs in the state





by national speech & debate organization

more than any other in the River Region


HALL OF FAME COACHES more than any in the state

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UPPER SCHOOL CHORUS Heritage National Choral Competition in New York

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1/5/18 3:21 PM

Montgomery Parents February 2018  

All things Baby and Toddler in this special issue!!

Montgomery Parents February 2018  

All things Baby and Toddler in this special issue!!