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I would rather have my head in a book than my head in a cloud. - Shelby, 8th Grade

For more information visit


EDUCATION is more than YO U K N OW

Experiences in the classroom, moments in the spotlight, and lessons on the field work together at Saint James to educate the whole child, develop young men and women of character, and prepare students for life.

Please join us Sunday, January 26th! Our Open House program begins at 1:30pm and is full of fun events that will help you and your child experience the complete education offered at Saint James School. We also invite rising 6th-12th grade students and parents to visit our Pop-Up Shop at 3:00pm where families will have the opportunity to learn more about our award-winning extracurricular programs and electives and individually meet the teachers, coaches, and sponsors of those groups.





Pre-K3â&#x2C6;&#x2019;12th Grade


Saint James School

334-273-3021 or

PREPARING STUDENTS FOR LIFE Call today to learn more about merit scholarships and affording a Saint James education for your child. 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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River Region Parents I January 2020


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TUTORING Reading - Writing - Math - Study Skills Spelling - Vocabulary - Phonics


Thorough academic evaluations



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January2020 62

Volume 25 Number 1



8 Therapeutic Parenting Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP

12 Kids Health Watch sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

Mid-Year Elementary School Blues How to keep your child motivated until summer.

Finding the Right Private School

Ideas to help you discover the right fit for your child and family.

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

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



46 Autauga Education Matters by Superintendent Spence Agee

54 Elmore Education Matters by Superintendent Richard Dennis

Private School Guide

Details on River Region private schools including cost, registration dates, curriculum and more.

Family Resolutions Bring the family closer with these winter resolutions that inspire togetherness.

64 Parenting, Media & Everything in Between Common Sense Media

66 Get This! Gerry Paige Smith

On The Cover


Montgomery Academy Students: Henry Vinson (8) is the son of Jeremy and Lauren Vinson. He is in 2nd grade and plays baseball, basketball and soccer. Anaya Thomas (age 16) is the daugther of Felicia Friendly. She is in 11th grade and plays volleyball, basketball and runs track. Ella Chancellor (age 13) is the daughter of David and Ashley Chancellor and Cathy Chancellor. Ella is in 7th grade and enjoys cheering for the MA Eagles.


14 Teacher of the Month 18 School Bits 96 Calendar/Support Groups 104 Mom to Mom

Editor’sNote Happy New Year! I hope the holiday season proved to be a special time of togetherness for your family. Now that the kids are back in school and routines have started up again, making time for family connection will take a little more effort. However, the colder weather and shorter days can help family bonding time extend through the winter months. For us, the 5 p.m. darkness has helped us have more consistent family movie nights. On Sundays around 5:30, we pop some popcorn, get cozy on the couch and catch up on movies we missed during the past year. If you are looking to amp up family time, you’ll want to read Pam Molnar’s suggestions in Winter Resolutions That Inspire Togetherness. Cooking together, going tech-free after 5, and setting family goals are just a few of the ideas she shares. While January is the beginning of a new year, it’s only the middle of the school year, and maybe your kids (and you) are losing a little momentum. If so, take Sarah Lyon’s advice in Mid Year Elementary School Blues, where she shares how we parents can help our kids stay motivated through May and finish strong. On a similar note, our Common Sense Media column offers tips for helping your teen buckle down for the remainder of school, including helpful apps to increase concentration and productivity. January also marks our always anticipated Private School Issue. While many families have their educational needs met at local public schools or through homeschooling, the River Region boasts many excellent private schools as well. From independent to religious to schools for unique learning needs, you are sure to find a fit for your family if you’re considering the decision to go private. Our 2020 Private School Guide gives you details on these schools including curriculum, tuition, extra curriculars and much more. This guide along with Kimberley Spivey’s article, How to Find the Right Private School for Your Child, will assist you in making this important education decision for your family. Finally, January 2020 marks a very significant birthday for River Region Parents! We are beginning our 25th year serving local families, not only with content to help you on your always changing parenting journey, but also highlighting student/school achievements and connecting families with our wonderful community. We are thankful for your support through the years and look forward to many more. If there is something you’d like to see in River Region Parents or if you have thoughts on how we can better serve you, please email me at I would love to hear from you! From all of us at River Region Parents...Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to us!

River Region Parents Magazine is founded on the principle that parenting is an exciting, diverse, challenging, and significant role in our community. River Region 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 David Drennan, MD Dr. Charles Ledbetter Sarah Lyons Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP Pam Molnar Dr. Ann Roy Moore Gerry Paige Smith Kimberley Carter Spivey

Cover Photography Judy Barranco

Publisher Jason Watson

Associate Publisher Gena Hill Community Coordinator Savannah Bowden Digital Manager Scott Davis Advertising Opportunities (334) 213-7940 ext. 703


Ad Design Tim Welch


River Region Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing LLC, P.O. Box 230367, Montgomery, Alabama, 36123. River Region Parents is copyrighted 2020 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. opinions expressed in River Region 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.

River Region Parents I January 2020


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TherapeuticParenting by Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP

GPS Parenting I don’t think I realized how much GPS systems are like parenting until I was on the road recently and my friendly GPS assistant told me for the 5,742nd time to get in the left lane. I felt exactly like I was being mothered…and I must say…not in a good way. When our children are young it is exceedingly necessary to explain to them what is about to happen (set the route), and because they are so young it is exceedingly necessary to give them periodic reminders (In 10 miles…exit right. In 2 miles…exit right…exit right…exit right) and then it is equally important to announce to them when we are arriving at our destination. And then, of course, when we arrive we must lay down some expectations as to behavior before we go in (you have arrived at your destination – here is what happens now). And this model is good, and healthy, and builds a sense of routine, understanding and expectation within our young children. We may even recalculate a few times along the way – stop for a snack, stop for gas, pull over to change out the PJ Masks DVD, and that works because our GPS is set firmly on our destination and is equipped to gently remind and correct us along the way. Here’s the problem: as our children grow and change we tend to hold tightly to that

River Region Parents I January 2020

GPS model and we don’t grow and change along with them. We tend to approach them at 16 the same way we approached them at 6. And that’s just plain irritating. I can’t tell you how incredibly annoying it is when my GPS tells me unbelievably obvious things like, “Stay in the left three lanes” when I can clearly see that the fourth lane is marked “Exit Only”. Thanks GPS lady…I can read. Or when she feels the need to tell me 12 times to exit, and I promise I really did hear her the first 11 times. As parents we often operate just like that GPS. Don’t forget to turn in that worksheet – do you have that worksheet? I’m pretty sure you don’t have the worksheet, check again. I want to see that you have the worksheet. Yep, I got it mom. Or, make sure you take out the trash later…take out the trash in a bit… take out the trash when you are done studying…take out the trash in a minute…TAKE OUT THE TRASH. Much like I get aggravated when the GPS tells me a kazillion times to do something without giving me the opportunity to prove that I am actually following directions, our kids (especially teens) get equally, and understandably, annoyed. I would also point out that if our goal is to teach and train our children to be successful moving forward in


life, then we have to give them some room. I, for example, have woefully inadequate directional abilities. When I am certain that if I turn left I will be driving south, it nearly always turns out to be the inverse. But here’s the thing - relying solely on my GPS does not help me to be a better driver. In fact, I would argue it makes me a dependent driver. I don’t need to learn better navigational skills because I can just fall back on the GPS and let it do the work for me. Similarly, if we are constantly reminding and yes…I’ll say it… nagging our children, how are they to learn to stand up and take some control of their responsibilities? So let’s all put our GPS on mute for a bit, give some guidance, be there in case they get lost, show up with a tire iron when they get a flat, but let us allow them to drive. Odds are they will safely arrive at their destination, and if not, they can always recalculate. Sonia is a licensed social worker and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. Her clinical focus is on helping parents and professionals understand the role of the brain in behavior and how to adopt therapeutic parenting techniques to mitigate negative behaviors. She is the Director of Central Alabama for Lifeline Children’s Services and is a mother to 7 sons, 3 of which were internationally adopted and she is a foster parent.

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Leadership Montgomery Presents Arts Expo

January 14 * 5-7 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Enjoy an early evening of dance, visual arts and music. Students from Carver, Baldwin and Booker T. Washington magnet schools present a unique sneak peek of their talents and programs for the community, prospective students and parents. Attendees will also enjoy refreshments and door prizes, and have the opportunity to fill out applications for enrollment at one the several kiosks located onsite. For more info, call (334) 252-2261 or visit

2nd Annual Polar Bear Triathlon

January 18 * Bell Road YMCA. Splash, swim and dash with us! 10-minute swim, 30-minute indoor bike, 1-mile treadmill walk/run. Registration ends January 12. Costs $30 for members. For more info, contact Marcie at or (334) 271-4343.

An Expressive Evening

January 23 * 6 p.m. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Join the Muses, the Museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teen council, as they organize and host this free annual event, which includes a tableau of artistic expression presented by local students. Past acts have included poetry, vocal, dance, and instrumental performances. Participant registration deadline: January 13; dress rehearsal: January 22 at 3:30 p.m. For questions, contact Elisabeth Palmer at or call (334) 625-4333. River Region Parents I January 2020

Millbrook Revelers Hold Mardi Gras Festival & Parade

Mardi Gras in Millbrook will be held February 15. The Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival/Parade is the largestMardi Gras celebration north of Mobile. With more than 60 vendors on site, there will be something for everyone. Vendors come from Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Food items vary from alligator on a stick to gumbo, red beans & rice, smoked turkey legs and much more. Fun rides are offered for children of all ages, including pony rides, water walkers, climbing wall, train rides, zip line, and arts and crafts. Come join the Mardi Gras Umbrella Stroll at 10 a.m. around the park to fun jazz music. The Mardi Gras parade starts at noon from the Smoke House for one mile up Main Street to Air Now. Parade last about two hours. In years past, as many as 15,000 people have lined the street to catch beads, small stuffed animals, candy and other throws. This is a familyfriendly alcohol-free event. For more info, visit 10

AUM Offers ACT Complete Review

All classes meet from 6-8 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, at the AUM Center for Lifelong Learning located at 75 TechnaCenter Drive, Montgomery. ACT Complete Review will be held January 13-February 6 (no classes the week of January 20-23) If you only need the Math Review, it will be held January 13-16. Language Review will be held January 27-30. Science Review will be held February 3-6. For more info or to register, call (334) 244-3804 or visit coned.

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Automotive Know-How For Women & Men Ages 16 & Up

City Vehicle Maintenance Shop, 530 Doster Road, Prattville. Class topics may cover: changing tires, tire pressure & abnormal wear and how to air up tires; wiper blade replacement; checking fluids and how to add if needed; checking belts; recognizing unusual noises and smells of the vehicle; what certain gauges mean; and what to do if you get a warning (check engine) light on. FREE class helpful for new drivers. Class for women is January 21 at 6 p.m. Register by January 16; space is limited. Call (334) 595-0800. Class for men is January 28 at 6 p.m. Register by January 23. Call (334) 595-0800.

ASF Presents The Cat in the Hat

January 11-25 Based on the book by Dr. Seuss; adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell; and locally directed by N.D. Seibel. The Cat in the Hat recounts the rainyday adventures of Sally, her brother, and the most mischievous cat ever! From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears at their door, the Cat and his antics transform the kids’ afternoon. **Sensory-friendly performance on Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m.** Recommended ages 4+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.

STEAM Workshop for Ages 8-12

January 16 * 4-5:30 p.m. Prattville Creative Arts Center. Create a work of art while learning about one of the four STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math). This season’s workshop will focus on technology and each student will create a simplistic, functioning engine. Space is limited and registration is required. Cost: $5 per student. For more info, call (334) 595-0800.

Harlem Globetrotters 2020 World Tour

January 20 * 6 p.m. Garrett Coliseum The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their new “Pushing the Limits” World Tour to Montgomery. Globetrotters fans will experience even bigger moments and memories, including a live world record attempt at each game. Plus, many markets will feature a glow in the dark performance. Tickets start at $20 and are available at For more info, visit

Parents’ Night Out at United Gymstars

January 24 * 6-10 p.m. $25 for the first child / $20 for each additional sibling. Ages 5-12. Pizza and drinks provided. Fun games, trampolines, rope swing, tumble tracks, foam pits and more. For more info, call (334) 284-2244 or visit http://unitedgymstarsandcheer. com/. Walk-ins wel-come (until maximum capacity is reached).

Open Auditions for ADT’s Cinderella

The Alabama Dance Theatre will host an open children’s audition Sunday, January 26, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. for the full-length production of Cinderella. Auditions will be held at the Armory Learning Arts Center, located at 1018 Madison Avenue. Parts are available for boys and girls first grade and up. Those auditioning will be judged on acting, dancing ability, and musicality. The audition fee is $35 (refunded if not selected). Cinderella will be performed March 6-8 at Troy University’s Davis Theatre. For more info, call at (334) 625-2590.




One Family


Sponsored by Professional Pediatrics

MONO Lisa Lisa is a vivacious 16-year-old student who is active in cheerleading, sports and all honor classes. It is to her dismay that she awoke ill this morning, the first day of semester exams, with the following symptoms: severely painful sore throat, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, and lack of energy. She arrives at her pediatrician’s office and her doctor’s exam is positive for enlarged inflamed tonsils with exudate, swollen tender neck glands, fever of 103F, and pain in the upper left abdomen. She has no energy and wants to go back to bed, which is a definite behavioral change from her normal energetic self. Her clinician orders a rapid strep test which is negative, a backup throat culture which takes 24 hours before the results will be available, and a white blood cell count with differential which is elevated above the normal range. Her parents want an antibiotic prescribed since there are some of her peers with strep throat as well as flu this month. Her doctor suggested ordering a mono spot test on the previous blood sample and will check the throat culture before starting an antibiotic. The mono test is positive and the throat culture the next day is negative. Further school history is obtained which is significant for several members of the football team having the diagnosis of mono over the past two months including her boyfriend. Mononucleosis, (“Kissing Disease”, “Glandular Fever”) is an illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (human herpesvirus 4). This virus infects more than three million people in the United States. It is spread by sharing of in-

fected saliva thru kissing or drinking or eating after someone who is infected. Four to six weeks after exposure, the symptoms as described in Mono Lisa’s history become apparent. Though the worst symptoms usually occur between the ages 15-24yrs, young children may have only fever as a symptom. 95%of all adults have been infected by the virus but not everyone infected has symptoms. The most common symptoms and physical signs are as follows: 1) Sore throat with exudative tonsillitis (extremely red throat with pus on enlarged tonsils which may interfere with swallowing and breathing); 2) Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and all over the body; 3) Enlarged spleen; 4) Liver Inflammation (hepatitis from the Epstein- Bar virus); Systemic symptoms (headache, fever, chills, body aches, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue). The laboratory work up of a patient suspected of having mono will always include a mono spot test with sometimes a complete blood count and rapid strep/throat culture to exclude group A beta hemolytic strep. Sometimes the mono spot test is negative and there still may be concern about the Epstein-Bar virus as an etiology of the throat infection. Usually in these cases an Epstein-Barr antibody titer is drawn to clarify the diagnosis. This test will not only detect a recent infection, but also determine if there has been exposure with this virus in the past. The treatment of mononucleosis is mainly supportive since there are no antiviral drugs currently approved for Epstein-Bar infection in a

normal host. No antibiotics are indicated since this is a viral infection and antibiotics do not kill viruses. In fact sometimes a patient who has this viral infection may be placed on an antibiotic and will develop an itchy red rash all over his body. This rash is unique to having an EpsteinBarr infection combined with giving Amoxicillin. When the antibiotic is discontinued the rash disappears. The patient does not have a penicillin allergy. Rest and good hydration along with acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and body aches is indicated. Sometimes a corticosteroid may be prescribed in an effort to shrink the tonsils and possible enlarged spleen. No contact sports or heavy lifting should be done for several weeks after being diagnosed. Sometimes there may be an enlarged spleen which could rupture while playing contact sports. Since there is extreme fatigue associated with this infection, returning to school should only involve the essential courses without extracurricular activities. Plenty of time should be devoted to rest and quality of sleep. Most of these patients resolve these symptoms within two months. If symptoms persist beyond this time consult your physician. Dr. Drennen earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1975 and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. He began his private practice of pediatric medicine in Loveland, Colorado. He then practiced in Ozark, Alabama before coming to Professional Pediatrics in 1998. He and his wife Rebecca have two sons. The entire family enjoys downhill skiing and beach activities.

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River Region Parents I January 2020


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Extraordinary Academics. Extraordinary Arts. Extraordinary Athletics. Extraordinary Faculty.

All to the Glory of God. Accredited K3 through 12th Grade Independent College-Preparatory School Trinity School is Montgomeryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foremost educational institution providing students the highest quality college-preparatory education, training them in the biblical world and life view, enabling them to serve God in spirit, mind, and body. Trinity offers a rigorous academic program, award-winning fine arts program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. The Trinity Experience is extraordinary in every wayâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;an education that is as unique as your child. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact Director of Admission Jenny McClinton at 334.213.2213 or Tuition assistance is available. Discount offered to our military families.

AT TRINITY, WE... Discover the brilliance within each child. Surround him/her with a strong family atmosphere. Show him/her how to excel in more than one area. Encourage students to strive for excellence. Emphasize Christ-like character above all else. Build leaders who possess mental, physical, and spiritual strength.

One World. One School. One Family. Parents of prospective K3, K4, and K5 students are invited to Open House, January 23 at 6:00 pm. 13 RSVP at or by emailing Jenny McClinton,

Willie Jackson Resurrection Catholic School

morning his students recite the student creed, “I WILL DO MY BEST TO MAKE THIS A GREAT DAY. I WILL COOPERATE, I WILL APPRECIATE. I WILL DO UNTO OTHERS AS THEY DO UNTO ME. I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN, I KNOW I CAN!” He hopes to prepare his students for outside of the classroom by sharing the acronym, S.H.A.P.E., which stands for “Share Happiness and Practice Excellence!” Mr. Jackson goes into his classroom every day striving to be relatable and relevant. Dr. Martha W. Pettway, Principal, says, “Mr. Jackson is such an inspiring teacher who goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of students each day.” When asked how he feels about being nominated and awarded Teacher of the Month, Mr. Jackson said, “ I am honored, but all the Glory goes to my Heavenly Father.”

Congratulations to Mr. Willie Jackson for being selected as the Teacher of the Month January 2020! Mr. Jackson has been teaching for 5 years and is currently teaching 1st grade at Resurrection Catholic School. With a B.S. in Elementary Education from Alabama State University, he began the career that he thought about since 5th grade. His teacher, Mr. J. Gardner, motivated and inspired Willie to become the teacher he is today. He describes his teaching style as “student centered”. He uses innovative methods to engage his students and get them excited to learn. Mr. Jackson enjoys teaching and working with at-risk youth, coaching AAU Basketball, and mentoring, and says his favorite part about teaching is, “Seeing the ‘light bulb come on’. It’s most rewarding when you see the scholar understand and grasp the content.” Mr. Jackson works hard to help his students understand the concepts he is teaching. Each

River Region Parents I January 2020

Photo credit: Mr. Justin Tyson of Prototype Photography


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We are proud to connect with our local schools and teachers. Thank you for all you do! Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Opportunity.

334.244.9999 15 Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Opportunity.

A Second Chance There are two new years in every school year. The first day of school in August and the first day of the second semester in January. Both are important. The first day of the second semester is an opportunity for those who may have struggled during the first grading period to pick up the pace and bring up their grades for the year. This is especially important for high school students who are working to have the best possible showing for perspective colleges and financial scholarship opportunities. But getting a second chance isn’t just for students. Parents drive the academic bus for their children. Yes, the students do the

River Region Parents I January 2020

work, but parents often set the expectations for their children. When expectations are set, either by student or parent, there are things to keep in mind: • First and foremost, be realistic. The goals should be challenging but not insurmountable. If a “D” student has honestly been trying, it may be unrealistic to expect an “A” the second semester. If you set that as a goal and the student earns a “C+” he or she has shown an exceptional increase. However, if the goal was an “A”, both you and your child will be disappointed. It is better to set the goal at a realistic height, then celebrate when it is met or exceeded. • Have a plan to reach the expectations. You can’t just tell your child, “You need to work harder!” The amount of work or time spent studying is often not the issue. Many times, there is a root cause. A student may not have understood a concept from months (or even years) past


that is the basis of the current problem. It may be that he or she needs to go back to an earlier lesson to brush up. Tutoring may be needed. Or it may be as simple as having a specific time, in a specific place (free of distractions) to do homework and study. Have a conversation with your child’s teacher and together work on a plan. • And be supportive. Children are motivated by love and praise. You want them to love to learn; not learn just to avoid punishment. Don’t give up on your child. Support him or her and look for ways to help form a plan to improve. And most importantly, don’t wait. Start now – it is a great time for a second chance. 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.

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“We have life because of Baptist.” Meagan, NICU Mother

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BAPTIST HEALTH MATERNITY PATIENT When Meagan’s twins were born at 27 weeks, she never heard a cry. They were immediately whisked to the Baptist NICU where doctors and nurses quickly responded with expertise, care and compassion. When Meagan saw her babies for the very first time, it was because the Baptist nurses had pushed her bed next to the isolettes in the NICU. And now, as Meagan reflects on the difficult months her sons spent in the NICU, she will never forget the impact those nurses made on her heart.

Learn more about our COMPASSIONATE CARE at



Montgomery County Schools

Resurrection Catholic Activates New FBLA Middle School Chapter

Resurrection Catholic School activated its new Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Middle Level School Chapter. FBLA is an organization that inspires and prepares students to become community-minded business leaders in a global society through relevant career preparation and leadership experiences. Our chapter will focus on leadership development, academic competitions, educational programs, community service and awards recognition. Officers will be installed in January. Dr. Pettway and Mrs. Cole will serve as chapter advisors.

Eastwood Announces Spelling Bee Winners

Eastwood Christian School held its 2019 school spelling bee on December 6. Fourth- through eighth-grade students competed in this bee. Sophia MacLeod won first place. Matt Hodges and Caroline MacLeod won second and third places respectively.

Macon East Experiences Joy of Giving Macon East Academy kindergarten and 6th-grade classes collected coats, blankets and other winter items for the MidAlabama Coalition for the Homeless. Macon East students enjoy giving back each year through a variety of Christmas service projects.

Montgomery Academy Students Compete at District Trumbauer

Upper School students from Montgomery Academy competed in the District Trumbauer Theatre Competition sponsored by the Alabama Conference of Theatre. Sadie Sease (Comedic Solo Acting) and Alex Brewbaker (Dramatic Solo Acting and Classical Solo Acting) earned “Superior” ratings on their performances and competed in the State Trumbauer Competition in December. Students who received Excellent scores were: Sadie Sease and Elle Hughes (Comedic Reader’s Theater), Sarah Honor Campbell & Abby Baird (Dramatic Duet Acting), and Elle Hughes (Comedic Solo Acting). The Walter Trumbauer Festival has provided quality training and performance opportunities for Alabama theatre students at the secondary level since 1940.

Churchill Ballroom Dancers Share with Community

Churchill Academy high school students have daily ballroom dance instruction as part of their school day and use December as a time to share their artistic expression with the community. Students were excited to visit three local senior living facilities to share in the holiday spirit. Churchill is very proud of their hearts for serving others and for the abilities we have seen grow within this class. Ballroom dance students are instructed by Judy Hall. River Region Parents I January 2020







Montgomery County Schools

ACA Classes Hold Blanket Drive

Lanier Partners Reward Students With Cookout Henry Tellis’s 11th-grade students at Lanier High received a reward they could really sink their teeth into after making academic gains on their assessments. Lanier’s community partners at First Baptist Church once again came through for the Poets as they fired up the grill to feed the students lunch.

Send Your School News by the 12th of each month to: editor@

Alabama Christian Academy’s 4th-grade classes collected more than 100 blankets after reading the book, The Family Under the Bridge. The blankets were donated and delivered to a local shelter just in time for the holidays. Students attending ACA are continually reminded that generosity is for any age. These blankets may seem insignificant to some, but for many they will be a huge blessing or even an answer to prayer.


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Montgomery Catholic Donates Canned Goods For the Holidays According to, one out of every six people in the state of Alabama struggles with hunger, including one in four children. The Society of St. Vincent De Paul, a Catholic lay organization, hopes to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable among us through works of charity, especially those who are hungry. Each fall, the organization holds a food drive to bring much-needed nourishment to needy families during the holiday season. The students at Montgomery Catholic helped the Society of St. Vincent De Paul by collecting nearly 7,000 canned and non-perishable food items, which were sorted and distributed throughout the community just in time for Thanksgiving.

BrewTech Has 6th Robotics Team Qualify For State Championship

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High Robotics had another successful tournament with Bots in the Lab-II. The BrewTech team of Charlie Longmire, Carlos Ricardo, Jason Wang and Justin Tang won the Skills Championship Award and one of two Tournament Champions Awards. This team is now qualified for the Alabama VEX Robotics State Championship, which will be held Feb. 27 at Auburn University. BrewTech Robotics now has six teams qualified for the state championship.


Montgomery County Schools

LAMP High Swim Team Wins Central Section Meet

JD Students Complete ASF Playwright Training

The LAMP High boys’ swim team took first place in the AHSAA Central Section Team Swim in Birmingham. The team advanced to the state swim meet along with LAMP female swimmers Kathy Hammond and Sara Foshee, who swam as individual competitors. From left are Jim Cha, Brian Hammond, Jeong Heo, Daniel Niu, David Hammond, Alex Park, Eric Samelo, Ayush Singh and Alex Jeong.

Four Jeff Davis High students have completed playwright training with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and submitted a script in the hopes that it will be chosen to be performed at ASF in May. Nykel Wood, Breyli Barkum, AdaMary Garcia and Ja-Miyah Hurry joined JD theatre arts instructor Euri Townsy-Carr in the 10x10 Southern Writers’ Festival Residency with ASF. The group completed 10 sessions of playwright training under the direction of Betsy Huggins, ASF’s director of education and community engagement. They then submitted an original 10-minute play that will be considered for publication and performance.


MA Students Chosen for All-State Chorus

Three Upper School Chorus students from Montgomery Academy have been selected for the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA) AllState Chorus. Kareena Singh, Sadie Sease, and Carlyle Chandler will perform at the BJCC with hundreds of students from across the state during the All-State Festival in March.

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Montgomery Academy Partners with Dream Court

Cornerstone Presents Comedy & Carols

The Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy Drama Club and Rhetoric School (9th-12th grade) Drama Class recently hosted a “dinner theatre” showcasing the talents of various students. The Drama Club, composed of students in grades 7-12, performed a scene from The Velveteen Rabbit, while the Drama Class performed a comedic Christmas scene involving lamprey pie. Between the two productions, various students showcased their musical talents by singing Christmas carols and a school-specific version of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” All proceeds from ticket sales, which included a soup supper, will be used toward the drama program’s spring production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

As part of this year’s public service partnership with Dream Court, Upper School students from Montgomery Academy volunteered at Dream Court’s annual Christmas Party and Volunteer/Athlete Recognition on December 5. MA’s support started weeks before the event with Ms. Deal’s art class creating tennisthemed centerpieces and H.E.A.R.T. members folding place cards and stuffing stockings for the Dream Court athletes. Coach Bethea and Coach Hill kindly donated tennis balls for the centerpieces. On the day of the event, senior H.E.A.R.T. and SGA officers volunteered during their free period to help with setup and decorating. During the event, Upper School students greeted guests, served food, distributed Christmas stockings, participated in the celebration (even Ferdinand, service dog-in-training) and cleaned up. Seniors Martha Ernest, William Robertson and Coleman Speir were recognized for their support of Dream Court. MA students were among the first to arrive and the last to leave this amazing event!

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Montgomery County Schools

Resurrection Catholic Celebrates 2019-2020 Royal Court

Resurrection Catholic School’s 2019-20 Royal Court was presented at an evening celebration December 7. Our Royal Court consisted of: Pre-Kindergarten Little Miss Resurrection Dallas Harrison, Little Princess Ryann Furlow, Little Mr. Resurrection Cayson Webster and Little Prince Caydon Webster; Kindergarten Miss Resurrection Kennedy Johnson, Mr. Resurrection Kameron Gadson, Miss Kindergarten D’Riah Hood, Mr. First Grade Ja’Veon Young, Mr. Second Grade Mason Osborne and Miss Third Grade Zariya Smith-Grace.


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Mrs. Claus Visits K3 Students At Macon East Academy

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Dunbar Ramer Teacher Takes Trip to Guatemala

In a remote mountain village in Guatemala, a Dunbar Ramer School teacher learned that children are truly the same all over the world and that love is the universal language. Monica Powell joined a team of 21 from Eastmont Baptist Church on a trip to the Central American nation over Thanksgiving break. She taught small groups of Vacation Bible School students in Jalapa. The children were on their summer break, which in Guatemala is October to January. Powell took a two-hour bus ride to reach the village, where there was no running water and clothes were hand-washed outside. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The experience was one of a lifetime,â&#x20AC;? Powell said.

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ECA Kindergartners Celebrate Thanksgiving

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After learning about the first Thanksgiving, the kindergarten classes at Evangel Christian Academy celebrated with a special feast. The K5 students made Native American outfits and the K4 students made pilgrim costumes. The two classes met in the lunchroom for a special Thanksgiving lunch.



Montgomery County Schools

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Eastwood 10th Grade Hosts Math Fair

Math can be fairly fun! Eastwood Christian School’s tenth-graders hosted a math fair for kindergarten through second-graders at Eastwood Christian School and Montgomery Christian School. The students learned and practiced math skills by engaging in math games such as adding with dice, making patterns with gummy candy, and playing with “pizza” fractions.

Montgomery Catholic Middle School Students Participate in Wreaths Across America

MEA Students Compete In Scholars Bowl

The Macon East Academy middle school Scholars Bowl team competed at the AISA district event on December 4, finishing in third place after a tiebreaker round. Team members were 8th-grade students Jameson Byrom, Ethan Jones, Jaden Rossell and Anna Watson. Jones led the team as captain and top scorer. The Scholars Bowl teams are sponsored by Erica Hammonds.

River Region Parents I January 2020

On the morning of December 14, at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, a busload of Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Middle School students stood amongst hundreds of volunteers in somber remembrance of those whose headstones they would adorn with wreaths. Wreaths Across America is a volunteer organization whose mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom. Once a year, volunteers from across the United States, at sea, and abroad gather at military cemeteries to lay remembrance wreaths onto the graves of our country’s fallen heroes from all branches of service. This is the 11th year that the Alabama National Cemetery has held this event. The Wreaths Across America event attracted hundreds of volunteers from across the state of Alabama. With the many hands available, placing wreaths on all 6,000 grave markers was light work. For all in attendance, it was an unforgettable event, and hopefully, it will raise awareness of the importance of remembering all veterans. MCPS theology teacher Tom Riello and history teacher Hollis Johnson accompanied the 30 students on the trip. Riello joined his 7th-grade son, Peter, who had signed up to help that day. “It was such a privilege to be a part of a ceremony that acknowledged the heroic sacrifice of those who gave everything they had for the cause of freedom in the United States and around the world,” said Riello. Peter saw Wreaths Across America as a unique opportunity to honor those who had dedicated their lives to service to our country. “I wanted to honor veterans and pay my respects to them for all they’ve sacrificed for us,” he said. “My brother served in the Navy, so this was a special day for me. I really enjoyed hearing stories about the veterans during the ceremony and learning about what they were willing to do in defense of our citizens. My favorite part of the day was when I got to place wreaths and say a prayer for each person.” For Johnson, who is a veteran himself, this trip had an even more significant meaning. “I loved participating in Wreaths Across America so much last year I couldn’t wait to do it again this year,” he said. “Being a Marine Corps veteran, I find it very moving to honor those veterans who are no longer with us.” Although there are federal holidays that pay tribute to members of the military, Wreaths Across America aims to bring attention to the service of veterans and acknowledge the importance of remembering them, especially through the winter holidays. And for Johnson, it was an opportunity to recognize brothers in arms. “Last year, I looked for brother Marines to lay a wreath at their graves,” he said. “I found two Vietnam War Marines, saluted them, then prayed for each and their families. It’s touching to know that they are not forgotten; someone knows they are there. Semper Fidelis, ‘Always Faithful.’” The wreaths will remain in the cemetery until January, at which time the MCPS Middle School students will return to help clear the cemetery. More info about Wreaths Across America can be found at 26

Montgomery Academy Art Students Work in Bicentennial Exhibition

Eleven Upper School Art students from Montgomery Academy had work selected for the “3-D Stories of Alabama Exhibition” that was on display in the Alabama State Capitol through November. Montgomery Academy was selected along with fifteen other schools from across the state as part of the Alabama Bicentennial initiative celebrating the history of Alabama through the Arts.

ECA Holds Annual Iron Bowl Pig Race

There was a feeling of excitement as pig mania spread like wildfire over Evangel Christian Academy’s campus. It was once again time for the annual “Iron Bowl Pig Race.” The annual pig race is held each year at ECA to mark the anticipation of the Iron Bowl. The elementary students lined the hallway as the pigs stood at the starting line. As the race began, the students cheered as their pig sprinted down the hall. In the end, the Auburn fans won bragging rights for the next year as their pig waddled to victory.










Montgomery County Schools

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Churchill Middle Schoolers Stuff Stockings for Homeless

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Classroom G students from Churchill Academy stuffed stockings for the Homeless United Groups Services during the month of December. Churchill Academy is proud of these middle school students who serve with a smile. These leaders know that leading with love and service is always a game changer.

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Gifted Students from Three MPS Schools Learn About Waterways

Gifted students from Seth Johnson, Fitzpatrick and E.D. Nixon elementary schools gathered at Johnson to learn all about the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterways. Johnson gifted teacher Kiyomi Moore-Oliver invited Kasie J. McKee from the Alabama Division of Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries and Dr. Bill Deutsch, author of Alabama Rivers: A Celebration and Challenge, to speak to the students for this special in-system field trip.

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River Region Parents I January 2020



Montgomery Catholic Middle Schoolers Learn to Craft by Design

This year, Montgomery Catholic middle school science teacher Karla Gier introduced a new elective class, Craft by Design, and many students are learning that working with their hands can be hard work, but the results are beautiful and rewarding. The craft projects are seemingly simple—a drawstring bag, an origami mobile, a pillow with buttons, a friendship or paracord bracelet—but each project introduces a different challenge in fine motor skills, planning and design, and finishing touches. Sometimes the students pick the skills up easily, and sometimes the tasks can be time-consuming and difficult. But the main goal of the class is for the students to learn something different that is tactile and takes some skill and patience to accomplish. When coming up with the curriculum, Grier aimed to teach lessons that used a broad spectrum of skills. To assist in some of her lessons, she enlists the help of people who are advanced in their crafts, such as a faculty member with Japanese heritage to help with origami, and the ladies from the Dorcas Society at St. Bede, a group who knits and crochets projects for various charities in the area, to help with crochet. At the end of each quarter, the classes will have completed several projects that they can display, wear, or use. The students seem to enjoy the class, despite the challenging nature of each project. “It’s really hard, and you have to be really precise,” said 7th-grade student Sophia Lopez about the origami project. 8th-grader John Scott Jackson agreed, but with a caveat. “It’s hard at first, but once you figure it out, it becomes really easy and it’s interesting.” After completing each project, the students feel a sense of accomplishment, in spite of the initial difficulty. Lopez affirmed that completing tasks and having a tangible product at the end is rewarding.“It feels really good because I achieved something,” she said.

MEA Seniors Compete At All-Star Game

Macon East Academy senior athletes Cephus Cleveland, Derrick Hooks, Will Heary, Coleby Jordan, Dawon Strickland and Parker Whittle were selected to represent the Macon East Academy football team in the annual AISA All-Star football game at Cramton Bowl December 6. As part of the West team, Cleveland and Hooks were voted among their peers as captains for the game. The East defeated the West 31-13, and Cleveland received the West’s Most Outstanding Offensive Back award. MEA varsity cheerleaders Kayla Boroff and Taylor Anne Surles were on the sidelines as part of the AISA West All-Star cheer squad. The girls competed and received this honor during their summer camp at Troy University. The all-star week events included team practices, the all-star participants and parents’ luncheon, and many memories made with teammates from rival schools.


February 13 through May 10, 2020 Come see the varied patterns and themes of traditional quilts in over 20 examples on view from quilters Plummer T. Pettway, Mary Maxtion, Yvonne Wells, Norah Ezell, Mary Lee Bendolph, and more. Preview the exhibition at Mary Maxtion (American, 1924–2015), Hotel Window, ca. 1996, cotton, cotton/polyester blend, wool, and taffeta, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Gift of Kempf Hogan in honor of Nadine and Walter Ludwig, 2004.20.4



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Jeff Davis Places in First Tech Competition


Evangel Christian Academy Encouraging each child to achieve their God-given potential

AISA Blue Ribbon School

The new Jeff Davis High Engineering program scored a big win at the TechMGM Raspberry Pi competition. Out of the seven schools competing, these brand-new tech competitors brought home third place. JD senior Kadarius Thomas and sophomore Joshua Moye modeled and presented a technology pitch by coding a Raspberry Pi, which is a small computer. Their creation was a new system to help JD identify and record key student information with QR Droid symbol recognition.

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

3975 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL 36106 334-272-3882

Accredited: ACTS, AISA, SACS, Advanced ED, NCPSA

Cornerstone Holds Evening of Excellence

One of the highlights each fall semester at Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy is the Logic and Rhetoric School’s (grades 6-12) “Evening of Excellence.” Through “Evening of Excellence,” classes and individual students showcase some of what they have learned, and their God-given talents through recitation and song. Among other acts, the 8th-grade Latin class sang a beautiful rendition of “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace), the 6th grade recited the Declaration of Independence and the Women’s Chorale began the evening by signing “Oh, How Good It Is.” After the performances, attendees partook in a reception where the art classes and art club displayed some of their works. River Region Parents I January 2020


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Resurrection K5 Teacher Chosen WAKA’s Golden Apple Award Winner

Resurrection Catholic School kindergarten teacher LaToya Berry was nominated and selected as WAKA’s Golden Apple Award winner. She has worked at Resurrection for six years and is an outstanding, nurturing and caring teacher whose classroom is very conducive to inspiring young minds. “It is most rewarding for me as a kindergarten teacher to have my students come to kindergarten at the beginning of the school year knowing very little skills and see how much they have gained at the end of the school year,” she says.

Bear Exploration Artists Display Work In Bicentennial Exhibit

Isabella Baker Signs with South Alabama

Montgomery Academy senior Isabella Baker signed a letter of intent to continue her track & field career at The University of South Alabama. Baker is the #6 returning pole vaulter in the state of Alabama and is MA’s record holder with a jump of 11’3”. She was part of the MA Girls’ track team who finished second in Class 4A last season. This is the second year an Eagles track and field athlete has signed a Division I athletic scholarship. Last year, Isabella Rowland signed an agreement with Campbell University in North Carolina. Other MA track and field athletes have competed at Davidson, Mississippi State and Sewanee.

Bear Exploration Center students had their art on display in a special Bicentennial Youth Art Exhibit sponsored by the Alabama Arts Alliance at the Alabama State Capitol. The art celebrated Alabama and combined three-dimensional paper art, drawings, and literature. Shown are Olivia Nguyen, Addie Liveoak, Matthew Craymer, Millianne Hooks, Lulu Gunnells, Abraham Yang, Jackson McIntyre and LaNyiah Carter.

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Montgomery County Schools

ACA Swimmer Competes at State Meet

Jalen McDade, a junior at Alabama Christian Academy, swam in the State Swim Meet at Auburn University. He raced in the 50-yard freestyle for the 1A-5A heat and came away with 3rd place. McDade swam his personal best with a time of 22.72.

Trinity Kindergartners Perform Christmas Program Audiences were thrilled to witness a Trinity Presbyterian School family favorite—the Kindergarten Christmas program, where Jesus Christ takes the stage as a newborn baby and a precious kindergarten class performs “The Joy of Christmas!” Continuing this beloved Trinity tradition for the 45th year, the kindergarten students performed for the middle and upper school, the lower school, and for parents, grandparents and friends.



 For more information, call (334) 213-0803 Admissions Office

2328 Fairlane Drive River Region Parents I January 2020

Academy Location

4500 Vaughn Road

AdvancED Accredited | AISA Blue Ribbon School



Developing young men to their fullest potential academically and athletically in a Christ-like environment.


Montgomery Catholic Principal Named 68th YMCA Man of the Year

On December 9, 2019, the YMCA of Greater Montgomery held its 68th annual Man of the Year Award ceremony. Nominated by a panel of youth from the River Region, candidates are each recognized for their outstanding service to young people through leadership and volunteer work in the community. This year’s recipient was Justin Castanza, principal of the Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School Middle and High School campuses. “For years I’ve been going to this banquet and have seen recipient after recipient earn a red jacket and sit at the front,” said Castanza. “So now, to be part of this incredible group of men and women is a real honor. These are the men and women whom I’ve looked up to for the last 20 years. To know that those people who have pushed me and have driven me and have been mentors for me are now my peers is quite a recognition.” Nominees for Man of the Year were selected by student organizations and clubs from around the River Region. Castanza was nominated by the Montgomery Catholic Youth in Government Club, led by teacher Haley Hart and students Anna Sadie, Rachel Rodriguez, Allie Berg and Gracie Barranco. After the nominees were presented by their nominating committees, the Man of the Year was voted on by committees of students from around the River Region. Senior Anna Sadie, a committee co-chair, explained why the students chose to nominate Castanza for the honor. “Mr. Castanza exceeded all expectations in every category we based the award off of,” she said. “We are not only lucky to have him in our school community, but also our Montgomery community. The time and effort he puts into everything he does is unmatched and we are blessed to have him as a community leader.” Castanza is a native of Montgomery and 2001 graduate of Montgomery Catholic and 2005 graduate of Mississippi State University. Being no stranger to service, Castanza worked as a camp counselor at Camp Chandler for 14 consecutive summers before becoming camp director in 2009. After transitioning to Montgomery Catholic in 2014, he started as a math teacher and dean of students at the High School Campus before assuming the role of principal of the Middle and High School Campuses in 2015. Castanza has served the YMCA over the years by serving on several executive boards and helping at Camp Chandler. He also serves as the youth catechetical leader at Holy Spirit Catholic Church and leads pilgrimages to Italy, Guatemala, and the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. He is married to Meg Castanza, and together they have three children: Vincent, Natalie and Sal.


Eastwood Celebrates Thanksgiving

Eastwood Christian School fifth-grade students, as a part of their study of early American history, built replicas of the Jamestown settlement. At the conclusion of this unit of study, students led Eastwood’s Thanksgiving chapel. Throughout the day, students enjoyed a Thanksgiving celebration. Students dressed in period costumes, made crafts, played games, and shared a delicious Thanksgiving feast. Students ended the day with a time of fellowship while roasting marshmallows over a fire pit.

BrewTech Track Star Breaks Record

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High student Chanice Spicer set a new meet record at the Showdown at the Birmingham Crossplex. Her 60-meter time was 7.63, beating the old record of 7.69.


Montgomery County Schools

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ACA Athletic Ambassadors Assist with Variety of Sports Tournaments

Every year, the Alabama Christian Academy Athletic Ambassadors volunteer at the Super Regional Volleyball Tournament at the Cramton Multiplex. In addition to assisting with the tournament, students volunteer at the AHSAA All-Star week checking athletes in and out of the dorms at AUM to help them get settled. They also hand out coachesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; gifts to the coaches coming to their training and clinics. These students help facilitate the baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, football and soccer All-Star games. In February, the ACA Athletic Ambassadors will also help with the wrestling tournament and later in the spring they will assist with the upcoming Softball State Tournament.

Churchill Military Dad Returns for Christmas

Churchill Academy helped roll out the best gift in December as Lieutenant Colonel Ernest Scott came home for a surprise Christmas visit. His daughter Skylar was able to see her dad for the first time in six months as he surprised her at a school assembly. Churchill is grateful for the Scott familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s service, and was so excited to play a role in surprising Skylar as the family welcomed her dad home for Christmas.

River Region Parents I January 2020


Dozier Elementary Students Learn About Rosa Parks

Dozier Elementary third-graders in Mary Booneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s class celebrated Rosa Parks Day, learning all about how Parks helped launch the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the American civil rights movement. The students toured historic downtown Montgomery, including the new statue of Parks on Dexter Avenue, the Rosa Parks Museum, and more.

Cornerstone Classical 7th Grade Enjoys Narnia Feast

The Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy 7th grade was recently treated to a feast straight out of C.S. Lewisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Chronicles of Narnia, complete with Lamppost and Turkish Delight. The students came dressed as characters from the book series. Among the attendees were a unicorn, a minotaur, a family of beavers, talking trees and many other mythical creatures. In addition to dining on a spread which included roast beef, deviled eggs and an assortment of pies, the students decorated their own drinking goblets and exchanged gifts with one another.






Montgomery County Schools

Resurrection Catholic School PTO President Receives Humanitarian Award

Anthony Keith Golson received the Humanitarian Award during the Royal Court Celebration on December 7. Golson is recognized for his untiring efforts and works undertaken to make a difference in the lives of students, faculty and staff at Resurrection Catholic School.


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Saint James Takes State Title in Cross Country

The Saint James girls’ cross country team, with front runner junior Presley Miles, took the Class 3A State Championship title in early November. Miles recorded the best time of all the female competitors at the event. “Presley was the fastest girl in Alabama by 25 seconds,” said Saint James Coach Kevin Madden. “Presley is an amazing competitor, but she was also leading a team that stepped up and achieved their best when it counted the most. Cross country competitions include the top five performers, and with those included, Saint James was able to take Westminster Christian by 13 points. I’m very proud of Presley Miles, Kendal Wright and Hannah Richardson for earning All-State. Everyone contributed to the team championship including the ‘Blazing Bennetts – Breanna and Brooke.’ They produced mightily for their team and are just in 7th grade!” The 3A Cross Country Championship this fall marks a first for Saint James; however, it is the third state title for Miles and her teammates in 2019. The STJ Girls earned two titles in the winter and spring: Indoor Track State Champions and Outdoor Track & Field State Champions. The Saint James School 2019 3A Cross Country State Champions are shown. River Region Parents I January 2020



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Eastwood Winners of Roxie Lancaster Holiday Writing Contest

Each year Eastwood Christian School students enthusiastically enter the Montgomery Pubic Library-sponsored Roxie Lancaster Children’s Holiday Writing Competition. Students are given an opportunity to showcase their love of creative writing with Christmas or winter-themed stories. The competition is open to students from both public and private schools in Montgomery. ECS is excited to announce five of its 4th- and 5th-grade students received awards! In fourth grade, the 2nd-place winner was Sophia MacLeod. In fifth grade, honorable mention awards were given to Kate Hankins and Owen Strickland. Third place went to Will Birchfield, and Bianka Miller won 1st place.

ECA Holds Annual Veterans’ Program

Evangel Christian Academy recently honored veterans of all branches of the military with a Veterans’ Day chapel service. Students from elementary and high school sang several patriotic songs. The high school drama class also performed. The students’ artwork honoring those who served was also exhibited. Several active duty and retired military personnel were present and were recognized by the students and guests. 37

Montgomery County Schools

Baldwin Choral Students Selected for All-State Choral Festival

Churchill Holds Annual Winter Program

Churchill Academy’s annual winter program was held at Thorington Road Baptist Church in December to kick off the holiday season. Lower school and middle school students performed to the tunes of The Great Big Holiday Bake Off under the direction of Nelda Williams. High school students served as helpers and CAPA hosted a lovely winter reception for families after the performance.

Twenty-seven Baldwin Arts and Academics Magnet choral students will represent the school in Birmingham at the 2020 Alabama All-State Choral Festival in March. The AllState Choral Festival is an opportunity for students with outstanding ability and initiative to receive public recognition, to sing under the direction of a nationally recognized choral clinician, and to perform choral literature of the highest quality. Each student auditioned with the Alabama Vocal Association and they were selected based on knowledge of music and vocal performance. Twenty of the students will sing with the Middle School SATB/Mixed Choir and seven will sing with the Middle School Treble Choir. Choral director is Traci Fuller. Front row from left are: Martha Crayton, Micaiah Gourdine, Triniti Fuller, Kayla Jenkins, McKenna Speigner, Aiden Hooks, Spencer Guy, Kai Lavender, Kameron Johnson, Amiyah-Sarea Goshton, Kennedi Powell-Bowie, Aniya Thomas, Ayla Smith and Ella Grace Klein. Back row from left are: Mary Margaret Henderson, Emily Cutler, Keira Underwood, Zariah Washington, Gavynn Surles-McCorvey, Nkhil Pochana, Rayyan Haque, Kingston Brannon, Joseph Smith, Mia Dunlap, Bella Tyus, Elizabeth McCrory and Abigail Campton.


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Floyd Spanish Students Help at Montgomery Area Food Bank

For the holidays, Sra. Henley’s Spanish students at Floyd Middle Magnet used the skills they learned in class to help distribute canned foods and provide translation services for Acts of Peace, who teamed up with the Montgomery Area Food Bank on Dec. 13. The students then went to Chick-fil-A for lunch.

Trinity Students WOW At Annual Performance

Students in grades 6-12 in Fine Arts classes presented Trinity Presbyterian School’s annual ‘Twas the Night performance to two sold-out audiences and then again for the entire student body. Dancers in levels 1-6 presented ballet, jazz and modern selections while the middle school choir, the Trinity Singers, and the Guys and Dolls Show Choir sang and danced to both new and traditional Christmas tunes. Students in the Visual Arts department showcased their works in the winter wonderland transformed lobby of Willett Hall. This annual tradition is a Trinity favorite, getting everyone in the spirit of the season. River Region Parents I January 2020

Resurrection Catholic Teacher Attends Math & Science Conference Resurrection Catholic School teacher Irma Cole attended the Ron Clark Academy Conference for Math and Science Teachers in Atlanta. This conference focused on math and science manipulatives and techniques through the use of demonstrating transformative methods. 38

Air Force General Visits Cadets at Alma Mater, Lee High School



Capitol Heights Middle Rising Achievers Visit Camp Chandler

The YMCA Rising Achievers of Capitol Heights Middle headed into the great outdoors at Camp Chandler to take part in team-building exercises. While there, they learned about cooperation, communication, trust, leadership and plan development. The Rising Achievers is a mentoring program for young women that Dr. Tiffany Barlow said is making a huge impact on the school’s culture.

2600 Bell Road Montgomery, Alabama 334.277.6690

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Sam Barrett has been around the world as he has risen through the ranks of the military, but the foundation of his success was built at Robert E. Lee High School. Barrett returned to his alma mater recently to let AFJROTC cadets know that they all are capable of the same level of success and more. A Montgomery native, Barrett participated in the Lee AFJROTC program, learning from his father, Col. Sam Barrett. He also earned All-State honors on the Generals football team and received a scholarship to the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is now the 18th Air Force commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. He is shown here holding a miniature Lee Generals football helmet that Lee Principal Antjuan Marsh presented to him during his visit. Gen. Barrett and his father are both members of the Lee Hall of Fame.

460 McQueen Smith Road Prattville, Alabama 334.358.6411

Dr. John H. Payne IV • Dr. David Stanley • Dr. Davis Denney • Dr. Rob Owen 39

Montgomery County Schools

Author Alumna Visits Montgomery Academy

Montgomery Academy alumna Ellen Davis ‘07 and Margaret Lowder recently visited the Lower School to share their most recent collaboration, A is for Amos, with the kindergarten and second-grade students. Lowder is the author of The Amos Book Co. series and Davis is the illustrator. Students enjoyed hearing the process for how these books are taken from concept to print, and MA parent Sam Wootten brought the story to life in a dramatic reading.

BrewTech Medical Academy Students Tour CDC

Brewbaker Technology Magnet High Medical Academy students toured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Museum in Atlanta. The students and teachers had the opportunity to learn more about the CDC and how the organization helps people all around the world.

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• Riding - English, Western, and Jumping • Swimming • Heated Pool • Ropes Course • Climbing Tower • Outdoor Nature Skills • Sports • Soccer • Basketball

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Best of Parenting WINNER 10


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Susan & Larry Hooks, Owners & Directors Donna Bares, Assistant Director


River Region Parents I January 2020


• Beach Volleyball • Tennis • Canoeing • Golf • Archery • Gymnastics • Cheerleading • Dance • Chorus • Drama • Arts & Crafts • CIT Program • Campfires every night • Optional trips & more!

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Happy New Year! As we welcome in 2020, things are moving in a positive direction at Pike Road Schools (PRS).  We have many things on the horizon as we plan for our first graduating class and as we upgrade and improve our facilities to better serve our students in the future.  We had our very PRS first athlete to sign a D1 scholarship during the early signing period in December. Aubrey Grace the kicker and punter for Pike Road Patriots signed with Alabama State University on December 18th. We expected to have several more athletes and academic scholars to sign during the February signing period. Construction on our schools continues to progress. The gym at the Georgia

River Region Parents I January 2020

Washington Campus is complete. We will begin hosting home basketball games in the beautiful new facility this month. The classroom renovations at the Georgia Washington Campus are closer to completion and the slab for the additional classrooms at the Historic Campus has been poured. Pike Road Schools welcomed our amazing teachers and staff back from the winter break with a big country breakfast and held our first employee service recognition awards. PRS opened the doors for learners five short years ago. It was very exciting to recognition the employees that began the journey five years ago. We honored approximately 30 employees for their five years of service with a token of our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This year Jamie Shelton, first grade teacher at Pike Road Elementary School and Hannah Bradford, ELA teacher at Pike Road High School were nominated to


represent Pike Road Schools as teacher of the year at the elementary and secondary level. PRS is so fortunate to have active and engaged faculty and staff at all levels. We will be celebrating our school board members this month as we recognize School Board Appreciation Month. Pike Road Schools is grateful to our Board of Education members for their service to our learners and our system. Our board members are active, involved citizens who voluntarily give up their personal time to support our students, staff and system. We appreciate their commitment and thank them for their dedication.

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.

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Book Illustrator Spends the Day With Pike Road Learners

Ellen Davis, illustrator of the popular childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books about Amos the Dog, spent the day at Pike Road Elementary School sharing her passion for drawing with the PRES learners. Davis talked about the process of creating illustrations that capture the story the author writes. She took time to demonstrate how to draw Amos the Dog and then read learners her favorite Amos story. Learners were given time for Q&A. It was a great opportunity to learn from a real-life illustrator as well as spark interest for a new passion.

PRMS Girls on the Run Finish First, Carry Out Community Impact Project

Marley with Pike Road Middle School Girls on the Run finished first out of 228 participants. PRMS Girls on the Run also planned and implemented a community impact project. The girls collected 34 coats, some of which went directly to a family who has already been placed by the Sunshine Center. Others were given to Frazer UMC clothes closet, whivh provides clothing to Sunshine Center families.



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Pike Road Schools Nominate Teachers of the Year

This year Jamie Shelton, first-grade teacher at Pike Road Elementary, and Hannah Bradford, ELA teacher at Pike Road High, are being recognized as the PRS Teachers of the Year. Shelton, top left, is in her 23rd year of teaching. This is her fifth year with PRS. She holds an Early Childhood Special Ed, Bachelors and Masters from Auburn University. Her philosophy of teaching is that all children can learn and learning should be fun. “When I realized that I received this nomination, I realized that I could use this opportunity to encourage teachers,” Shelton said. “In a time when teaching is more difficult than ever before and the expectations for the classroom teacher continue to become more and more and more, I feel like I can encourage teachers to stay in it for the students. I want to remind teachers to use their creativity and resourcefulness to open up new worlds for learners. Do not be confined by curriculums that call for fidelity. Teachers need each other, so find someone that challenges you and encourages you to find JOY in every day that we are given.” Bradford, bottom left, is in her tenth year as an educator. She majored in English at Auburn University. Before coming to Pike Road, Bradford taught at Prattville Christian Academy and South Montgomery Academy. She believes that each student has a contribution to make to the world. “My job is to help each student find and strengthen their voice so that they can effectively communicate their ideas and turn them into positive change,” Bradford said. “I am really excited to see many in education turning more toward learner-centered practices and hope this trend continues with learner needs and interests at the forefront. I was honestly blown away by this nomination. I work with such incredible, dedicated, passionate educators who I look up to in so many ways, and I serve intelligent, thoughtful, creative students who inspire me every day. Being selected to represent our school is such an honor and motivates me to strive to one day live up to that honor.”

PRHS Punter/Kicker Commits to D1 School

Aubrey Grace, a senior punter/kicker for the Pike Road Patriots, is the first Pike Road High School football player to commit to a D1 school. Grace committed to Alabama State University in December. “We are extremely proud of Aubrey, being the first athlete to sign a Division 1 scholarship at PRHS,” said Patrick Browning, head football coach for PRHS. “Aubrey has been an extremely important part of our program the past four years, and we are looking forward to seeing him play at the next level. He has been an exceptional leader for our entire school, and I want to say thank you for setting the standard of excellence at Pike Road.”

River Region Parents I January 2020

PRHS Senior Honored At Montgomery QB Club

Easton Wilcoxson, a senior at Pike Road High School (PRHS), helped lead the Patriots to a winning season. The Patriots finished the season with an 11-1 record, earning the 3A Region Championship and the second round of the ASHAA 3A playoffs. Wilcoxson played defensive back, with 108 tackles and four interceptions this season. He is shown third from left with Pike Road High School Head Football Coach Patrick Browning; ESPN senior writer Ivan Maisel, who was the keynote speaker; and PRHS senior football player Aubrey Grace, who introduced Wilcoxson. 44

PRS Offers Growing Robotics Program

Because of the many aspects involved with robotics, robotics has the potential to engage all learners in complex yet fun ways, encouraging them to use critical thinking skills to solve specific tasks. Robotics requires students to develop mechanical and electrical knowledge as well as an understanding of computer programming, teaching students how to design, prototype, and troubleshoot, all while working together as a team. PRS believes that robotics is one of the most valuable academic activities a school can provide learners in preparation for life. At our Georgia Washington campus, we have three high school VEX VRC teams, one middle school VEX VRC team, and four middle school VEX IQ teams. At our historic campus, we have four brandnew middle school VEX IQ teams. The most visible difference in teams is between our IQ teams and our VRC teams. VEX IQ is a plastic snap-together robotics system including motors and sensors which provide experience with the fundamentals of robotics design and programming. On the other hand, VEX VRC uses aluminum and steel parts for a more authentic design and building process. Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented in the form of a game. Teams of students build innovative robots and compete in a variety of tournaments from October to April, reflecting and revising after each competition. Team members collaborate on the design process, programming and driving skills during before- and after-school work sessions Tuesday-Thursday. Our more experienced teams compete in at least three competitions a year with an opportunity to qualify for additional tournaments at the state and world championship level. Beginner teams often participate in several school-based competitions and only one or two official tournaments. Three of our robotics teams have recently qualified to compete in the VEX state competition.

Pike Road Cheerleaders Take Third At UCA Regional Competition

The Pike Road High School (PRHS) competition cheer team placed third in the Universal Cheerleaders Association Regional Competition held at the BJCC in Birmingham November 23. The PRHS cheer team competed in the Game Day competition and earned a bid to the UCA Nationals in Orlando to be held February 7-9.

PRES Holds Successful Read-a-Thon

The Pike Road Elementary School Parent Teacher Student Association came up with a Read-a-Thon as a way to raise money for the purchase of new books for the PRES library. Learners in grades K-4 were encouraged to read and to solicit sponsors. The number of minutes that learners read were logged on the read-athon website and counted toward incentives. The incentives included: read 230 minutes = ice cream with the principal; read 330 minutes = lunch with the media specialist; and read 500 minutes = lunch with the principal The learner with the greatest number of reading minutes per grade level and the two learners that raised the most money received a limo ride from the school to town square and got to meet with Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone. They also enjoyed lunch at Subway and went to see Mr. Matt at the Pike Road library. The Read-a-Thon efforts raised a whopping total of $22,886.91 toward new library books!


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Worship with us Sundays at 8, 9:30 or 11am as we kick off 2020 with a teaching series on how to love our city. Come be a part of what God is doing at Frazer to transform Montgomery and the River Region!

6000 Atlanta Highway in Montgomery | 45

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is ready for a fantastic 2nd semester. What better way to start off a new year than with good news? Santa Claus came early for some teachers during the Autauga Education Foundation Grant Reception on December 3 at the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce. I would like to congratulate the following teachers who received grants: • Cesily Agee (DPES) – Trade Books • Megan Anglin (PLES) – 5-year License for Quaver Music Curriculum • Christy Johnson (PHS) – Reporter Kit

• Amy Reeves & Cindy Mitchell (PHS) – STEAMstacks Program

and Positive Attitudes in Keeping a Job Curriculum

• Mandy Jamison (PIS) – Qball Throwable Microphone

In Autauga County, we are always focused on the future! During the November board meeting, Mr. Mark Hindman was elected to serve as board chairman for the 2019-2020 year, and Mr. Jim Manderson was elected to serve as the vice-chairman. We are blessed to have such an outstanding group to serve on the Autauga County Board of Education. I look forward to working with the board as we strive to increase our students’ academic achievement. I am looking forward to the many blessings that 2020 has in store for us. I take great pleasure in sharing the accolades that our schools, staff members, and students receive with the citizens of Autauga County.

• Tessa Brown (PJHS) – Chemistry on Camera, Physics on Film • Athenia Weldon (PJHS) – ColorPro Poster System • Denise Syslo (PPS) – Revibe Connect Wrist Devices • Darren Denney (SC) – Site License for NewsELA • Conchita England (SC) – STEM Kit for Mathematics • Ashley Ramspeck (SC) – Outdoor Climbing Unit • Brenda Stokes (SPED) – Project Discovery Advanced Small Engine Repair Kit

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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Autauga County Schools

Billingsley Engineering and Robotics Team Competes at Auburn

Daniel Pratt Names Teacher of the Year

Andrea Myers, center, Daniel Pratt Elementary Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Teacher of the Year, is a 10-year veteran teacher in math, science and history. She began her teaching career at DPES, and this is in the same district where she received her own kindergarten to high school education. Myers enhances student learning through classroom strategies such as story-telling through historical reenactments, musical math, and various STEM activities so that students maintain full engagement in her student-centered classroom.

River Region Parents I January 2020

The Billingsley Engineering and Robotics Team (BEAR) recently competed against the top 68 teams from five different states in the Southeast Region in the Boosting Engineering Science & Technology (BEST) Competition at Auburn University. The students had to create a robot to accomplish a task, write an engineering notebook, develop and deliver a marketing presentation, design a trade show exhibit, create a webpage, show spirit and sportsmanship, design a t-shirt, and create a video. Billingsley placed third in Team Wear Design, fifth in spirit, and 25th overall. Through this competition, students are able to gain real world skills that will prove valuable to them for their future. BEAR also hosted a mobile robotics training lab from the Alabama Robotics Technology Park in Huntsville. This lab is used to foster awareness and interest among students to motivate them to consider careers needed in the skilled industrial robotic workforce. Students were able to observe a 3-D printer, collaborative and noncollaborative robots, and use welding and forklift simulators.



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PCA’s Hanson, Montgomery Sign Softball Scholarships

Pine Level Music Teacher Receives AEF Grant

Prattville Christian Academy is proud to announce another class of Lady Panthers to sign athletic scholarships to play softball at the collegiate level. Madison Hanson, bottom left, and McKenzie Montgomery, bottom right, were instrumental pieces of the program’s state championship win in 2018. During recent ceremonies, Hanson signed with Shelton State Community College and Montgomery signed with Louisiana College. Hanson has been a major contributor to PCA’s program since her seventh-grade year. She has been the Lady Panthers’ offensive spark plug since 2016. As the leadoff batter, Hanson sets the tone with her ability to get on and steal bases. Defensively, she anchors the team as the centerfielder making critical catches. Hanson received All-State honors in 2018. “Madison is determined to be the best player on the field,” said Randy Stough, head softball coach. “She always sets big goals and has high ambitions. I have no doubt she will be successful at Shelton State.” Montgomery transferred to PCA during her eighth-grade year. Since entering the program the following year, she has been a steady defensive player at second base. Offensively, Montgomery has steadily improved every year and has made some timely hits in the program’s multiple state championship runs. She was named an All-State Honorable Mention in 2018. “McKenzie is a lead by example player,” said Coach Stough. “McKenzie’s versatility allows her to play wherever we need her. She will be an asset to Louisiana College.”

Mrs. Anglin, music teacher at Pine Level Elementary, has done numerous fundraisers over the past five years to raise $10,000 in order to purchase Quaver Music Curriculum, a technology-based, highly desired music curriculum. After raising $5,000 through various fundraisers and grants, Anglin recently received an additional $5,000 from an Autauga Education Foundation Grant. Now a music curriculum for Pine Level Elementary students can be purchased!

BReaK out of the educational BoX Experience Prattville Christian Academy’s individualized approach to education that allows students to learn according to their unique skills and abilities at an upcoming Panther Preview Open House.

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Autauga County Schools

Prattville Intermediate Offers After-School Art

Once again, Prattville Intermediate School has teamed with P’zazz Art Studio of Prattville to offer after-school art classes to 5thand 6th-grade students. Participants learn a variety of art techniques including watercolor, chalk pastel, and acrylic painting.

PCA Students Place in Local Art Contest

Daniel Pratt Students Decorate Secretary of State’s Tree

Mrs. Jones’s fourth-grade class at Daniel Pratt Elementary had the honor of decorating the Christmas tree in the office of the Secretary of State. The tree was up for visitors to see and enjoy during the holiday season.

PPS Hosts Student Conferences

Prattville Primary School hosted studentled conferences. Students explained their reading and math goals to their parents. They shared their successes and achievements. Students also informed their parents of the areas they were wanting to improve. Students are tracking their attendance, reading goals and math goals as well as several personal goals.

Prattville Christian Academy students showcased their creative talents by participating in The Arts Council of Montgomery’s Doing Our Own Thing (D.O.O.T.) visual arts contest. D.O.O.T. is a day of education and expression as well as an art show for students in grades 9-12 from across Montgomery, Autauga and Elmore counties. Joy Cathey and Cole Swarts placed in the juried art contest. Cathey’s opaque painting submission of a realistic portrait received an honorable mention and Swarts’s mixed media submission of a beautifully adorned Japanese Geisha placed second among the hundreds of entries. This year’s group of 23 art students placed third in the sidewalk chalk competition with a stunning collage of the River Region’s rich history. The design features silhouettes of a Native American chieftain, Richard Montgomery, Daniel Pratt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks.

Dr. Jones and the Prattville Junior High Beta Club held a canned food drive to help those in need over the holiday season. Students brought non-perishable items for the Autauga Interfaith Council to distribute. Our students are learning to give back to the community through service learning. 50

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PJHS Cats Give Back

River Region Parents I January 2020


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PJHS Teachers Benefit from AEF Grants

The Autauga Education Foundation held a grant reception for recent recipients. Tessa Brown and Athenia Weldon of Prattville Junior High both won grants that will help our students in a variety of ways. We look forward to more science experiments and a way to display student work through the funding of these grants.

Prattville Elementary Teacher of the Year

Karen Cooper was recently selected as Teacher of the Year for Prattville Elementary School by the Alabama Education Association and Autauga County Education Foundation.

PJHS All American Cheerleaders

Three Prattville Junior High students represented the Cats in Orlando over Thanksgiving as All American cheerleaders. They work to keep all our Cats enthusiastic in athletic competitions, behavior pep rallies, and academic endeavors. 51


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Autauga County Schools

PJHS Leadership Class Collects Toiletry Needs

Each semester, Prattville Junior High School supports an enrichment program called CATalyst. This past semester, the leadership class designed and executed a plan to collect toiletry items for those in need. The students orchestrated every facet of the drive and have helped meet a basic need for many in our community. They learned a lot through the process and encouraged others to participate in random acts of kindness.

Autaugaville Champion Readers

Autaugaville Eagles were ready to rumble and READ during the 2019 Be a Champion Reader contest. One hundred students tackled 934 books and read their way to victory! Kindergarten-5th grade earned points for their classes and favorite teams, then posted a football on an Auburn vs. Alabama wall display for each book read. When they successfully read six books by scoring an 80% or higher on the corresponding Accelerated Reader Test, their names were placed in a drawing to win Iron Bowl tickets sponsored by the Alabama Education Association. Top readers were honored and recognized at a Champion Tailgate Celebration. From left are Jacorey Howard, Hakeem Howard, Jordan Bryant, RaCquel Howard, Kamiya Reese, Kennedy Perry and KaDashia Lee.


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PJHS Theatre Mock Sets

Prattville Junior High theatre students created mock sets to learn how to include all necessary components of a play. When students completed the activity, judges came to choose the best ones and to make recommendations of how to improve. This is a great learning experience for students to see all sides of putting on a performance.


Prattville Primary Names Teacher of the Year

Denise Syslo, second from left, was chosen Teacher of the Year from Prattville Primary School by Autauga County Education Association and Autauga Education Foundation.


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PCA Honored as Blue Ribbon School

Prattville Christian Academy was honored as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School at the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Ceremony in Washington, D.C. The coveted National Blue Ribbon School designation affirms the passion of PCA’s faculty and staff members, the dedication of the family unit and the local community in supporting PCA’s mission, as well as the students who work tirelessly to master challenging and engaging content. 53

Happy New Year! The first half of 2019-2020 school year has flown by and we look forward to accomplishing great things in all our schools during the second semester. At our December board meeting, the Elmore County Board of Education unanimously approved a $50 million bond issue that will be used to address criticalneed projects on our five-year capital plan, and several of these will be completed by the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The Elmore County Technical Center will add a new facility to increase student capacity and provide state-of-the-art classroom and lab spaces. Planned completion date is August 2021. Airport Road Intermediate School will add a wing to provide eight new classrooms; estimated completion date is December 2020. Stanhope Elmore High School will add a band and choral

River Region Parents I January 2020

classroom with a capacity of approximately 300 students. A new baseball and softball complex will add a fieldhouse to include locker rooms, storage space, a covered porch, and laundry facilities. As the school system has grown, so have the demands on our Maintenance Department. A new maintenance facility will be added to provide adequate storage and workspace to meet the increased demands on this department. Finally, we are excited to begin the planning and design stage for the new Redland Middle School which will house approximately 32 classrooms to accommodate 800 students. Our school system is growing, and we are working diligently to provide the best facilities possible for our students to learn and thrive. Two of our principals were recently recognized for their leadership efforts. Dr. Bonnie Sullivan, Wetumpka Elementary School Principal, was nominated by the Alabama Association of Elementary School Administrators (AASEA) as a Distinguished Principal. She is one of ten principals in the state selected for this award and was hon-


ored at the AASEA Conference in October. Dr. Robbie Slater, Wetumpka High School Principal, was voted District 4 Principal of the Year by the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals sponsored by the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools (CLAS). Congratulations to these very deserving principals! Our 2020-2021 Board-approved school calendar is now available on our website at under Publications. Calendar highlights include 175 attendance days for students with an additional 12 professional development days for teachers. The first day of school is set for Monday, August 10, 2020, and the last day is May 24, 2021. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m looking forward to 2020 and the great things our students and staff will accomplish in the new year! 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.

Elmore County Schools

HES Student Council Collects for Fire Dept.



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SEHS Seniors Receive Prudential Spirit Awards

The Holtville Elementary Student Council organized a “Fill the Boot” drive to collect money for the Holtville/Slapout Fire De-partment. The Student Council members collected money in boots during the week long drive. Shown are Student Council Sponsor Jean Broom, Student Council officers and Todd McCarley of the Holtville Fire Department.

Stanhope Elmore High School seniors Jimmie Reeves and Maggie McDaniel are representing the school as the 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Honorees. Reeves and McDaniel were chosen from a list of wonderful nominees who give their time to make their community a better place. They will now advance to state-level judging. The Prudential Spirit of Community awards are sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Since 1995, the program has honored more than 130,000 youth volunteers at the local, state and na-tional level.

ECTC Computer Students Work as Paid Interns Computer IT students at the Elmore County Technical Center are employed by Elmore County Schools’ IT Services Department as paid interns as part of their program’s senior pathway. Students gain real-world experience installing and repairing computer and networking hardware, troubleshooting issues, and assisting the IT staff with system-wide technology projects.


Elmore County Schools

Wetumpka Scouts Work On Redland Nature Trail

Eclectic Students Visit Wetumpka Health and Rehab

On December 7, two Wetumpka Boy Scouts came with a team of 30 volunteers to work on the Redland Elementary nature trail. Jace McLaughlin and Rhett Pinkston chose Eagle Trail as the site for their Eagle Scout projects. McLaughlin began building an outdoor classroom where teachers may take their students to read, study environmental science, conduct experiments, etc. Once the roof is added, his project will be complete. Pinkston posted markers with arrows along the trail so that students and teachers won’t get lost when using the space. Plans for a second outdoor classroom are in the works. Funds for the projects were donated by family members of the Scouts, Commissioner Mack Daugherty, Rep. Mike Holmes, First Community Bank, local attorney Jeff Courtney and Lowe’s. Many thanks to them and to Redland Principal Chad Walls and RES GATE teacher Leslie Mattox for having a vision of the difference an outdoor space could make for our students.

Eclectic Elementary kindergartners and Elmore County High School Key Club donated to every Wetumpka Health and Rehab resident a gift bag filled with a blanket, chap stick, stuffed animal, fuzzy socks and candy. Music Teacher Mr. Campbell led the singing.

Redland Read-a-Thon Has Successful Year

Redland Elementary School PTO Read-a-Thon fundraiser raised more than $18,000 this year. The students also enjoyed morning dropoff with their favorite book and movie characters, such as

Captain Underpants. Kindergartner Aubrey Sayre, above, from Ms. Lynch’s class won the Top Fundraiser prize— a Nintendo Switch! Kindergartner Mason Gordon, below, from Ms. Johnson’s class won the 2nd place fundraising reward—a camera and accessories basket!

Wetumpka High Robotics Places First

The Wetumpka High School Robotics team won first place in the Raspberry Pi Jam!


Holtville High School Coordinates Play-Doh Drive

Bulldog Ambassadors and Holtville High School DECA teamed up together to coordinate a Play-Doh Drive. HHS students donated more than 1,800 cans of Play-Doh to give to Children’s Rehabilitation Services. This Play-Doh will be distributed all over Alabama in occupational and physical therapy clinics. Thank you to all who gave and worked to make this a great success for children all over Alabama. River Region Parents I January 2020


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Local Church and Volunteers Donate Unique Toy to WES Playground Wetumpka Elementary is thankful for the volunteers from Ridge Church for building the “Pallet Bus.” They came one Saturday morning bright and early, and students were eager to test the finished product.

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Cotton is King for Area Homeschoolers

As a fun way to cap their study on Alabama’s cotton industry, the third- and fourth-grade Alabama history students handpainted their own cotton T-shirts at Academy Days Homeschool Co-op in Millbrook. Showing off their original designs are Joanna Dias, Cian Martin, Levi Baughcum, Dawson Halbrooks, Isabelle Baughcum, Mady Kay Segrest, Jill Newell, Michaela Dannelley and Emma Meeks. In addition to history, the Academy Days Co-op offers more than 35 homeschool classes in such various subjects as creative writing, art, religion, economics, science, technology, and PE for preschool through high school. Visit for more information. 57

Elmore County Schools

WES Student Gives Classmates Handmade Ponchos

Each student in Mrs. Robertsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s class at Wetumpka Elementary was gifted with a poncho courtesy of their classmate, Uriel, and his family. The students complimented Uriel each time he wore his poncho to school and he shared these compliments with his family. His mother and sister made each student their very own poncho. A special thanks to Olga and Chantel Diego for a very special gift indeed!


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Airport Road Dancers Perform at Harvest Festival

Airport Road Intermediate School Dancers made this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first appearance at the Annual Harvest Festival held in October. This group is composed of 3rd- and 4th-graders of Airport Road Intermediate School and the girls are coached by Chelsea Chambers and April Moody.


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River Region Parents I January 2020



Elmore County Schools

Career Tech Groups Showcase Culinary Skills

Two career tech groups in Elmore County teamed up for a project to showcase their talents at the Main Street Alabama meeting held in Wetumpka in October. Holtville High School’s culinary arts students prepared the lunches while hospitality & tourism students from the Elmore County Technical Center plated and served the meals at the meeting.

Eclectic Elementary December Students of the Month

Kindergarten: Paris Kendrick, Skylar Luster, Emma Moore, Skye Allie, Riley Roney and *Ethan Gullatte 1st Grade: Roman Slay, Brooklyn Spain, Karsyn Phillips, Dallas Oliver and Makenzie Taylor 2nd Grade: Kenzie Hearn, Tuff Rowe, Alec Houts, Jacob Cousins, and Mackenzie Worden 3rd Grade: Kaylee Ann Carter, Brantley Martin, Kenlyn Avant, Kaya Petty and Molly Kate Justice 4th Grade: Isaiah Williams, Aubrey Ogles, Keith Roberts and Jaymeson Davis * Not pictured

WMS Celebrates Dance Team Coach

The Wetumpka Middle School Dance Team recognized Coach Alicia Yarboro’s last game of the season and her final season as the WMS Dance Team coach. Thank you, Coach Yarboro, for all the years of love and dedication that you have given to these girls!

WHS Sophomores Chosen for HOBY

Abigail Wright and Mason Hines have been chosen to represent Wetumpka High School at the 2020 HOBY Leadership Conference. Each spring, more than 10,000 high school sophomores from across the country join one of HOBY’s 70 state leadership seminars to hone their leadership talents and apply them to become effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace, and community. Wright and Hines were selected based on their response to an essay describing the most rewarding and challenging aspects of being a leader in your school and community.

Airport Road Intermediate Starts New SunKidz Club

A new club is on the horizon at Airport Road Intermediate School. The SunKidz Club is a new and exciting club founded by guidance counselor Lacreshia Brown. The purpose is mentoring centered on building self-awareness, self esteem, and self confidence. SunKidz Club is also co-sponsored by Kristin Peacock. 59

Elmore County Schools

Airport Road Intermediate Collects Food for Charity Through the months of November and December, the Student Council of Airport Road Intermediate School collected a total of 1,963 canned food items. All goods were donated to the W.E.L.C.O.M.E Center in Millbrook. We are a small school making a huge impact in our community.



WHS Volunteers Help at HIPPY Christmas Party Some Wetumpka High Theatre Guild elves volunteered at the annual Elmore County Pre-School H.I.P.P.Y. Christmas party.

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ECTC Automotive and Welding Students Take Business Tours

Automotive service and welding students from the Elmore County Technical Center visited industry partner Four Star Freightliner and Trenholm State Community College in October for tours.

$40.4M in Scholarships

Eclectic Elementary November Students of the Month

over the past 5 years

Numerous Ministries

Kindergarten: Easton Davis, Daniel Jackson, Aliyah Milam, Brayden Ledbetter, Kensley Calloway and Marvella Wilkinson 1st Grade: Dallan Irvin, London Culpepper, Walker Terrell, Abigail Zinn and Peaches Moseley 2nd Grade: Alyson Brewer, Channing Mann, Kynlee Murphy, Trever Thornton and Aaron Harris 3rd Grade: Daughtry Jones, Ella Till, Caleb Baltazar, AJ Gantt and Ansli Dales 4th Grade: Maeleigh Futral, Caitlyn Stone, Hannah Wiggins and Carley Walls

supported worldwide, from the River Region to Guatemala and Uganda 2 Jimmy Hitchcock Award Winners

for Christian leadership in athletics in the past 3 years

36 All-State Honor Band Members

and 86 All-District Honor Band members in the past 5 years

1 World Robotics Competition Team,

1 State Finalist team, and 8 State Competition teams in the past 3 years

ARIS Choir Performs for Christmas


Airport Road Intermediate Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2019-2020 Choir is gearing up for an exciting year. Students participated in a Christmas performance at ARIS on December 12. 61


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Packing lunches, doing nightly homework, studying for spelling tests, and scrambling about during the morning rush; the thrill of a new school year has worn off and kids start to drag their feet a little more on school mornings as they return for the start of the second semester.

How do you keep kids motivated to finish out the last months of the 62school year strong?

River Region Parents I January 2020

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Set goals

K4 — 12

It’s important to let your child know you have high expectations for them throughout the year, not just first semester. Work with your child to set goals for success and reward them for meeting their goals. Some kids may need an academic goal, while others need goals such as no tardies for the quarter or turning all assignments in on time. Communicate with your child’s teacher to come up with some beneficial goals for your child. Rewards could include a special outing as a family, going out for ice cream, picking out a special toy, or extra screen time.

Variable Tuition Now Available WE’RE MAKING IT EVEN EASIER TO


Stay positive


As parents who are tired of packing lunches and reminding children to put their shoes on for the fifth time in one morning, it can be hard to stay positive. However, a positive attitude can go a long way for both parents and kids. Focus on the excitement of learning, seeing friends, and upcoming events to encourage your child that school is still as fun as it was back in August. Your positive attitude will become contagious and your child will start to get excited about school again too.

Show an interest One thing that can have a huge impact on your child’s excitement about school is their parents’ interest. When your child returns home from school ask him about his day, his friends, and the highs and lows of the day. Listen attentively and ask questions. When it is homework time, be available to help and answer questions. When parents are excited and interested in the goings on at school, kids will be too.

Christian Faith Instruction

Get involved

Specialized Extracurriculars

Kids who are involved in school activities tend to be more excited about school. Encourage your child to join clubs and after school activities where they will be around school friends. Parents can also get involved at the school to break up the midyear blues. When kids see their parents working at the school, it shows them that you value their time there. Check with your school to see what volunteer opportunities are available.

including Music, Robotics, Visual and Performing Arts

Rigorous Academics

serving multi-faceted students, with honors and college-credit AP courses available

Mission Work opportunities to aid education, healthcare, and wildlife in underdeveloped countries

Continue healthy habits Encourage your child to get a good night’s rest, eat a healthy breakfast, and focus on good study habits. An after school routine to complete homework and chores will help your child fall back into the school schedule after winter break. Set aside time for free time as well. Host a play date, have a movie night, go to the park if weather allows, and schedule time for fun and relaxation so kids don’t get too bored with their routine.

Over 30 Athletic Teams with

foundational skills taught at the elementary level

If the mid-year blues are still getting to your child, don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher to discuss a plan to get your child back on track. Soon enough the days will begin to get longer, the temperatures warmer, and school will be out for summer once again. rrp


Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and has been published in more than 140 parenting publications.


For the teen who says, “I just want to check Instagram really fast … “

Hack the Remainder of the School Year

Help Your Teen Buckle Down

Work Mode. Do you think Mark Zuckerberg would be where he is today if he checked his Instagram every five minutes? OK, bad example. But for kids whose Achilles’ heel is social media, Work Mode might be a real gift. It blocks all your feeds, so you can’t hop on and off to see what your friends are doing. Flipd - Keep Focused. With this app you can not only prevent yourself from getting distracted by locking particular apps, but you can also compete with -- and support -- your friends who are also trying to have more “time well spent.” In addition, there are resources like guided meditations and music to help you focus.

Multitasking, distractions, procrastination -- these aren’t problems only adults have in a digital world. Kids have to fight to stay focused, too, especially when the task at hand is homework and IMs, texts, games, and whatever’s going on outside the window keeps them from making progress. When business folks need to speed through boring stuff like reports, taxes, and paperwork, they install productivity tools. If your teens have trouble concentrating, use these apps and plug-ins to fight their objections. For the teen who says, “But I barely waste any time!”

For the teen who says, “One device just isn’t enough.”

RescueTime. Before you start shutting things down, get a sense of what’s up. Designed to improve work-life balance, this plug-in tracks how much time you spend on certain sites, generates reports about productivity, and lets you set limits to either totally block sites or allow a set time for certain activities. No one can argue with the hard data. Screen Time or Digital Wellbeing. Depending on the type of device your kid has, there are features built right in to help them -- and you -- know how much time they’re really spending overall and using certain apps. Both offer easy ways to get information about device use without downloading anything extra.

Freedom. This tool works across devices, so if your teen loves to jump from computer to phone to tablet, it might be the one to try. You can restrict specific apps and sites, block the internet entirely for dedicated homework time, and schedule internet sessions that end at a predetermined time. Evernote. This oldie but goodie is available across devices and allows you to collect and track notes of all kinds: text, audio, images, links, and more. This is great for the kid who jots things down all over the place and can’t find what they need later.

For the teen who says, “I feel so overwhelmed!”

For the teen who says, “But what’s in it for me?”

Dayboard: New Tab and Site Blocker. As kids move through high school, their schedules and schoolwork get more demanding. Dayboard is a plug-in that can be helpful for anyone who needs a simple, visual reminder of what they need to do. Just enter a total of five tasks and you’ll see them every time you open a tab on your internet browser. That means whenever you launch Google Chrome, for example, to search for outfit ideas when you’re supposed to be researching the Vietnam War, you’ll see your list. For teens who are still distracted, there’s also a site blocker to help keep them focused. Purp To-Do List & Goal Tracker. There are lots of ways for you to keep track of tasks, but having one go-to app can be helpful, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Busy kids can arrange their tasks and goals into preset, color-coded categories or create their own. They can track their progress over time and earn virtual badges as incentives. It’s also possible to use across devices. River Region Parents I January 2020


Forest: Stay focused, be present. Unlike other site blockers, Forest offers a virtual reward for staying focused. As you work, a digital tree grows, and at the end of your session, you can add the tree to your collection. If you click out of the app, however, bye-bye tree. You can see how often you stay on task just by looking at your virtual forest. As an extra incentive, you earn coins that you can use to buy different types of virtual trees or donate to an organization that plants real trees. Habitica: Gamified Task Manager. Habitica turns habit building, habit breaking, and productivity into a gaming experience. The app rewards you when you maintain good habits and break bad ones, and it subtracts points when you slip. If your kids are motivated by racking up points on video games, beating enemies, and checking leaderboards, Habitica may be a good option. 64

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United Gymstars & Cheer Ends 2019 on High Note

2019 was an amazing year for the girls’ compulsory gymnastics team at United Gymstars and Cheer. This group of superstars made quite a statement at this year’s State Gymnastics Meet in Huntsville December 6-8. The Level 1 team was the first-place small team in Alabama. The Level 2 team was the first-place large team in Alabama. The Level 3 team was the second-place large team in Alabama. This group put in a huge amount of hard work, and their coaches and parents are very proud of them. United Gymstars had 12 all-around state champions: Elliette Barton, Elisa Holtzclaw, Chloe Bass, Aria Martinez, Avery Williford, Molly Phillips, Alexa Anderson, Elena Holtzclaw, Kinsley Hogans, Carly Vaughn, Ma’Niya Nicholas and Destini Fortson. There were also many event champions: Vault State Champions: Elliette Barton, Elisa Holtzclaw, Molly Phillips, Alexa Anderson, Ajah Tuggle and Lauren Meighan





Bars State Champion: Elliette Barton, Elisa Holtzclaw, Chloe Bass, Aria Martinez, Molly Phillips, Morgan Hinson, Elena Holtzclaw, Kinsley Hogans, Carly Vaughn, Mary Handley Trotman, Khamya Hicks and Addison Weston Beam State Champions: Elliette Barton, Elisa Holtzclaw, Ellie Averrett, Avery Williford, Alexa Anderson, Carly Vaughn and Kate Chapman Boyd Floor State Champions: Elliette Barton, Elisa Holtzclaw, Aria Martinez, Molly Phillips, Elena Holtzclaw, Kinsley Hogans, Alayna Johnson, Jaida Grace, Ma’Niya Nicholas and Destini Fortson

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The Benefits of Balance Toys

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

Whether it’s the first time an infant steadies their head upright or the breakthrough moment when our toddler stands unassisted, we celebrate balance-driven milestones in our kids. Children learn balance through experimenting with body movements, coordinating their physical behavior with sensory signals to keep things in line. Building this equilibrium helps kids move toward milestones like walking, stacking objects, feeding themselves and more. Good balance not only protects them against falls and injuries, but also allows them to improve their response to changing forces, surfaces and elements. Give your kids a steady boost with the following products and encourage the exploration of balance through play.

by Gerry Paige Smith

Teeter Popper

Y Velo Balance Bike

Simply-designed and easy to use, how children play with the versatile Teeter Popper balance toy is entirely up to them. While kids balance, twist and turn on the Teeter Popper, its suction cups grip and release against hard surfaces, generating a hilarious popping accompaniment to their play. Every play option fosters improved core strength, stability, balance, coordination, and gross motor skills. The sturdy plastic body holds up to 110 pounds and the durable silicone suction cups stand up to hours of play. The handle grips on each end also ensure stability and safe play. Stand, sit, rock, tilt, wobble, wiggle, and spin... kids’ balance benefits from the wild moves that emerge with the Fat Brain Teeter Popper!

Skipping training wheels, balance bikes are perfect preparation for children with their eyes on the prize of pedal bicycling. The Y Velo Balance Bike allows kids to practice with a stable double-width wheel before switching to a single wheel as they build confidence. Larger wheels and higher ground clearance are designed for safer play and easier riding on uneven surfaces. The dual rear wheel (three-wheel design) guarantees more stability for beginners with unrefined balance. Ensuring a best fit for a growing child, the seat height and handlebar height can be adjusted to ‘evolve’ with your rider. Available in vibrant colors of red and blue (and two child sizes), Yvolution’s Y Velo Bike is the best balanced choice for beginning bikers.

(Fat Brain Toys)


Walkaroo Beginner Stilts

Heavy Duty Swivel Seesaw

Giving little ones a leg up in the balance game is fast and fun with Walkaroo Beginner Stilts. Combining whole body effort with a simple step up, stilt walking is a great physical confidence booster. With footrest and handle positions that can be adjusted for a custom fit, these stilts grow with kids as they get taller. When children gain confidence and improve their skills, the foot rests can be raised from the very lowest level to more challenging heights. Constructed from strong tubular steel, the ergonomic handle design and grippy foot pads offer a quick and safe step up into stilt walking. Ideal for training core and extremity muscles, the Walkaroo Beginner Stilts lift kids’ balance to new heights.

The Heavy Duty Swivel Seesaw adds a twist to the regular up and down with a swivel function that takes riders full circle. The durable double steel frame, soft, easy-grip handles and comfortable molded plastic seats make this rotating seesaw a backyard favorite for kids. This heavy-duty version of Pure Fun’s seesaw features double-steel tubing that can support up to 175 pounds per seat, making it the best choice for kids of all shapes and sizes. A secure stopper with rubber bottom is attached under each seat for added safety. Its durable powder coat finish ensures this seesaw will stand up to the elements to provide years of outdoor fun. In addition to fostering physical development, playing on the Heavy Duty Swivel Seesaw turns a balancing act into pure fun!


(Pure Fun)

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

River Region Parents I January 2020



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Deciding to send your child to private school requires significant consideration and research. Many schools are available that offer a variety of components you may be looking for, such as its philosophy and mission, quality of academic opportunities, or for the religious education it provides. After determining whether to send your child to private school or not, the next potential challenge is determining the best school suited to your child. River Region Parents I January 2020



Consider the reputation and achievements of the school in the community.

“Instead of just looking at the raw data, parents should instead ask themselves what type of schooling they are looking for, for their child,” says Mark Dynarski of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institute. He also notes, “If you have a child who wants to study the arts, theater, music, or other such subjects, a private school may be a better fit.” Though choosing a private school for your child can be overwhelming, there are things to consider to make the process easier. Here are some tips to get you started with the process.

Connecting with other parents in the community is a great way to determine how a school is performing. If you know parents whose children are attending private schools of your interest, communicating with them regarding their reputation and achievements could provide you with a lot of insight. Based on conversations, you can gain valuable information to assess how the school is functioning, and if it’s potentially the right fit for your child/children. Additionally, it’s a good idea to find out about professional development opportunities for teachers that impact learning in the classroom. What ways do teachers collaborate that shows a team effort for the success of the institution? Also, find out what are some of the school’s greatest accomplishments. Do they have an overall high percentage rate for SAT and ACT scores, do they have competitive programs in which a high percentage of students excel? Though determining the positive aspects of any private school is reassuring, it’s also important to find out some of the biggest challenges a school faces. These are probing questions that are significant to consider while evaluating the accomplishments of any school.

Do your research and visit multiple schools. With so many prestigious schools to consider, it’s easy to receive advice from the people you know and trust within your community. Though this could be a practical and trustworthy approach, relying solely on word of mouth could potentially be risky. It’s also important that you, as the parent(s), determine the best decision for your child/childrens’ education. Become familiar with each school of interest and its daily operation. Visit the schools’ websites before your in-person visit. While visiting multiple schools, certainly, you can assess if a school is operating efficiently. Also, if the grounds and facilities are well maintained, it’s a friendly and professional environment—those are common things to consider. However, going beyond what’s visible is crucial. Ask detailed questions such as: how long has the headmaster or headmistress been in office, is there a strategic plan in place, when was the school last accredited, how large is the endowment, what is the number of faculty with advanced degrees, and what is the staff turnover?

Look at the variety and quality of extracurricular activities. Having a wide variety of activities offered at private schools ensures that every student’s area of interest is fulfilled. There are several ways your child can benefit by participating in extracurricular activities. Participating in activities that they’re passionate


expenses. Along with that, avoid eating out, limit driving, and cut down on entertainment costs.

about can increase their brain function, concentration, and time management. Thus, increasing grade performance. Likewise, engaging in activities boosts self-confidence and social opportunities. For example, if your child is good at math and is encouraged to be part of a math club and realizes how good they are, it gives them confidence and opportunities to meet friends.

Decide what’s best for your family. While every aspect might point to private school as being the right fit for your child, consider the various implications on your family and you. The decisions that impact your household should be discussed with your immediate family—your significant other and children. Though it’s rational to solicit advice from extended family and friends, the outcome will not directly impact their family. Every family’s situation is different, and what works for another family may not work for you. Selecting the right solution for your entire family will be a benefit for everyone involved, so weigh your options carefully.

Make your decision. Finally, after you’ve done your research and considered everything that’s involved (the pros and cons), make an informative decision. Keep in mind, if you’ve thoroughly researched and planned, take comfort in knowing that you’ve made the right decision. Choosing the best school can be successful if you prepare early and prioritize your child’s needs. Be sure to ask a lot of applicable questions and learn as much as you can about each school of interest. The more knowledge you have will allow you to make an informative decision based on your findings. rrp

Evaluate the financial obligations. Private school tuition can be expensive, especially for families on a budget. While choosing the right school that your child can thrive in, it’s essential to evaluate the costs that could potentially impact your household obligations. Investing in your child’s education not only requires serious consideration, but planning as well. Here are some ways to afford private school tuition. Get on a payment plan. Paying an entire year of tuition could be extremely overwhelming. Instead, requesting a payment plan alleviates the stress of paying one lump sum. Look for ways to save money. If private school tuition is going to leave you in financial distress, it’s necessary to create a detailed budget that includes living

River Region Parents I January 2020

Kimberley Carter Spivey is a freelance writer, blogger, educator, and entrepreneur. When she’s not working at her alma mater, Auburn University at Montgomery, she’s busy freelancing, blogging, or toiling away at her soon to be published first book.






“Alabama’s High School ”


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FEBRUARY 14, 2020

Alabama 9th & 10th Graders Can Apply Free at





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ASMS is a public residential high school for academically talented sophomores, juniors, and seniors seeking advanced studies in mathematics, science, and humanities.

• Early College Experience • Dedicated Instructors • Diverse Community • Leadership Opportunities • Experiential Learning

Find out how the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science can lead you on a path to success. Applying to ASMS is FREE – and so are tuition, room, and board if you are admitted! Apply online at ASMS students have access to hands-on, experiential learning focused on research and collaboration. Students take a variety of college-level courses in Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science, History, English, Communication, Physical Education, and Fine Arts. Many people ask, “Do I have to be a ‘genius’ to be accepted to ASMS?” Answer: Absolutely NOT! ASMS is made up of students who are intelligent and work hard for academic success. Current Alabama 9th or 10th graders can apply. Questions? Email or call 251.441.2100.





River Region Parents I January 2020




River Region Parents I January 2020




River Region Parents I January 2020





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River Region Parents I January 2020




Th e M o n t g o m e r y A c a d e m y


hat if your child could learn and grow in a warm, welcoming community surrounded by bright, curious and motivated students and inspirational teachers? At The Montgomery Academy your child will soar! Here, we challenge our students with a strong college preparatory curriculum, as well as the chance to explore the world beyond academics. We offer an environment that builds a strong moral character that allows each student to be a leader in their community. Our carefully crafted program is designed to develop the full and unique potential of each and every student.

The Montgomery Academy provides an exceptional K-12 education: — A supportive, challenging and joyful learning environment that cultivates academic, artistic and athletic excellence — Meaningful and lasting relationships between teachers, students and parents — Strong belief in developing servant leaders who recognize their responsibility to help strengthen their communities — Active parent engagement in the learning process and in volunteer opportunities — Full-time college advising office, with 100% of our graduates going on to college and admitted to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation — Students are nurtured, engaged and empowered to reach their maximum individual potential. The best way to experience MA is to come tour our campus and meet some of the people who help make MA extraordinary. Contact the Admissions Office at 334-273-7155 to schedule a personal tour.

The Pursuit of Excellence




River Region Parents I January 2020





financial assistance is available to students in grades

Saint James graduates earned

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18 national merit


Program Finalists and Commended Students in the past 8 years

Scholarship Applications Now Available!

Combining academic excellence and financial need, Odyssey Scholarships provide the most complete education to identified exceptional students.

As the leader in independent school education, Saint James School is committed to providing the most complete education to students in Central Alabama. Blending superior academics and state-of-theart technology with absorbing enrichments, exploratory classes, and innovative electives, the college preparatory curriculum nurtures and develops the individual potential of students for a life of responsibility, service, and achievement.

Pre-K3−12th Grade


Saint James School

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Call today to learn more about merit scholarships and affording a Saint James education for your child. Academic support for English Language Learners available. Saint James School admits students of any religion, race, gender, creed, color,


national, Iand ethnic origin at the school. River Region Parents January 2020to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students

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Lower Campus | Grades K4-8 | 4500 Vaughn Road
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2:47 PM


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River Region Parents I January 2020


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Advertorial 2019-20_Layout 1 11/5/19 1:49 PM Page 1

TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN SCHOOL 1700 East Trinity Boulevard Montgomery, AL 36106 334-213-2100

OPEN HOUSE: Thursday, January 23, 2020. Intended for prospective parents of K3, K4, and K5 students. For more information, contact Jenny McClinton, Director of Admission,

to Lower School students. They practice leadership, problem solving, collaboration with others, time management, and communication. Trinity believes that while completing community service projects, students develop real-world skills that will help them succeed in middle school, high school and beyond.

ENROLLMENT: Approximately 700 students K3-12. MISSION: Trinity School provides students the highest quality college-preparatory education, training them in the biblical world and life view, thus enabling them to serve God in spirit, mind, and body. The “Trinity Experience” is extraordinary in every way, and is an education that is unique as your child. Trinity offers a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. 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. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary institutions, with many attending some of the finest colleges in the nation. Offering the only full-time dance program at a Montgomery independent school, Trinity’s award-winning fine arts program offers state-of-the-art areas for dance, choral, instrumental, visual arts, and speech. An athletic program with a long-standing tradition of championship-level teams, many Trinity athletes play at the next level in several sports. Athletics play an integral part in Trinity’s educational program, which is designed to develop the whole person—spirit, mind, and body.

TECHNOLOGY: Trinity was the first school in the River Region to be recognized as a Apple Distinguished School. Trinity’s inaugural CyberPatriot Team placed second in the State of Alabama in the 2018 cyber defense competition, where students act as IT professionals protecting corporate and small company networks. Trinity’s curriculum offers several technology courses, including Coding, Robotics, Broadcasting/Digital Video, College Tech Basics, and Computer Graphics. Dedicated to a learning environment utilizing the tools and resources of the 21st century classroom, Trinity was the first school in the River Region to implement a grade-wide laptop initiative, providing students equal access to technology. Every student in Grades 6 to 12 is issued an Apple laptop for use during the school year. Macbooks and iPads are available for lower school students to use daily in the classroom. ARTS: Trinity’s theatre department produces a full-scale musical each spring with a cast of more than 125 Upper School students. Trinity’s Art Department provides opportunities for exhibition and collaboration between emerging student artists and professional artists through events such as the Pop-Up Art Gallery and Collaborative Studio. Show Choir and band students perform locally as well as throughout the country and state each year. Trinity is the only independent school in Montgomery that offers a full-time dance program and offers a superior, multi-faceted band program that provides a variety of musical and performance opportunities. The award-winning Wildcat Pride Marching Band continues their record of excellence, receiving straight superior ratings at statewide competitions. The Middle School Concert Band and the Symphonic Band allow students to increase their proficiency through rehearsing and performing concert band literature.

ACADEMICS: Trinity graduates have received over $35 million in merit-based scholarships over the last 5 years. A 2019 and 2018 Trinity graduate were named a National Merit Finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary institutions, with the majority of students attending their first choice of a college or university. Trinity School offers over 34 Advanced Placement (AP) courses and Honor courses. Two 2018 Trinity graduates were named National Speech and Debate Association Academic All Americans. The Lower School STEAM Studio is inspiring critical thinking in students (K3-5th grade), where they are engaged by stimulating curriculum that increases achievement and creates positive attitudes towards the study of STEAM-related fields—science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics. The Lower School Media Center encompasses a library and an innovation lab, providing project-based learning activities to Lower School students. SERVICE: Serving others is paramount at Trinity. From the first day of Lower School to the last day of Upper School, Trinity’s focus is on putting others first. Trinity’s school-wide (K3-12) mission project, Change 4 Change (C4C), has donated over $125,000 in the past five years to charitable organizations in Montgomery and throughout the world. Trinity’s junior and senior classes annually serve over 1,100 hours of community service with local organizations, such as Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, and The Salvation Army. Trinity believes students benefit greatly—both academically and emotionally—from volunteering their time and giving to make the community and world a better place. Therefore, a variety of service opportunities are provided


ATHLETICS: The Athletic Program at Trinity fields 36 interscholastic sport teams and is designed to provide opportunities for competitive athletics while enriching the total educational experience of each student-athlete. Both men’s and women’s teams have excelled in the middle school, junior varsity, and varsity levels capturing many CCC and area titles. Trinity has a long-standing tradition of championship-level teams, and many Trinity athletes play at the next level in several sports. Trinity has won 27 AHSAA state championships—5 in the last 4 years—the 2018 Girls Soccer State Championship, the 2017 Girls Golf State Championship, the 2017 and 2015 Boys Cross Country State Championships, and the 2015 Baseball State Championship. Over 84% of students in grades 7-12 compete in at least one sport at Trinity. Trinity has produced more Jimmy Hitchcock Award recipients than any other school in Montgomery, most recently in 2016 and 2017.

Independent Alabama School of Math and Science ad on page 71

1255 Dauphin Street, Mobile, 36604 Mission: Mission Statement: The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science’s mission is to provide academically motivated Alabama students with exceptional preparation in the fields of math, science, and the humanities, empowering them to improve their community, state, and nation. Grades: 9th - 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Girls/boys basketball, Cross Country, tennis, soccer and girls volleyball and Pep Squad. Arts: Choir and band. Over 35 clubs on campus (Key Club, Allies, Anime, Black Student Union, Environmental Science Club, Cooking Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Chess Team, Future Engineers’ Club, Yearbook, German Club, Off the Leash, IGNITE, IMPACT, Lab of Learning, HOSA, Heroes of Health, Red Cross Club, Technalliance, Origami Club, Movie Club, Scholars Bowl, Weightlifting Club, Women of the World, Multicultural Student Union, Swing Dance Club, Yoga Club, Ultimate Frisbee). Other: Debate team, Robotics team, Mathematics team, Science Olympiad & SGA. Additional Info: Requirements: Application and Interview, Application Deadline: February 14, 2020, Accreditation through COGNIA, Tuition, room and board are free. (251) 441-2100

Macon-East Academy ad on page 9, 76

15396 Vaughn Road, Cecil, 36013 Founded: 1995 Curriculum: College Prep, Honors and AP Leadership: Headmaster: Glynn Lott Grades: K3 – 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, golf, track, softball, volleyball and cheerleading Clubs: Student Government Association, National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, International Thespian Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Students, Drama Club and Yearbook Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Tests given to K4, K5 & 1st grade; standardized scores 2-12 Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED), Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS), and Alabama Independent School Association (AISA) Other: Teacher-student ratio: Preschool: 12; K-6th: 18; grades 7-12: 24 Tuition: Please call for rates. Uniforms are required for 1st – 12 graders

(334) 277.6566

Montessori at Mulberry ad on page 19, 77

2034 Clubview St, Montgomery, 36106 Curriculum: Each child is encouraged to reach his/ her full potential in all areas of life. The specific needs of individual children are met at each developmental level. Our curriculum, which is challenging, interdisciplinary and real world related, provides a strong academic bridge to elementary school. Leadership: Director: Terri Jackson Grades: 12 months through Kindergarten Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open as space permits. Testing Requirements: Personal interview. Tuition: Please call for information. (334) 265.7733 Facebook: Montessori at Mulberry

Montessori School at Hampstead ad on page 24

5251 Hampstead High Street, Suite #111, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 2011 Curriculum: Montessori Leadership: Melanie Morrison, Head of School Grades: 12 months – Kindergarten Extra Curricular: Other: On-site educational farm with school garden, music, yoga, and Big Green Bus. River Region Parents I January 2020


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Additional Info: Accreditation & Affiliations: Affiliated with AMS (American Montessori Society) and IMC. Religious Affiliation: Interdenominational Registration Deadline: Rolling. Open House: We schedule school tours for 9:00am or 11:00am on school days by appointment. Testing Requirements: Parents required to tour (when geographically possible) and allow for an onsite visit/observation for their child in the classroom. Tuition: $100 non-refundable application fee; program fees and costs can vary based on program options selected so please contact the office for details. (334) 356-1969 Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:

Saint James School ad on page 1, 82

6010 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 1955 College Preparatory Pre-K3 through 12th grade (including all-day and half-day Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 options). Advanced Placement, Honors, and advanced classes are offered in 27 areas, encompassing both middle and high school. Leadership: Head of School: Dr. Larry McLemore High School Principal: Dr. Michael Gaylor, Middle School Principal: Mrs. Shelaine Taylor, Elementary Principal: Mrs. Andrea Harris Grades: Pre-K3 through 12th (including all-day and half-day Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 options) Extra Curricular: Sports: 47 competitive sports teams, including football, basketball, baseball, tennis, equestrian, cross country, track, soccer, golf, wrestling, volleyball, softball, cheerleading, and indoor track. Won 4 state championship titles in 2019: Girls Indoor Track, Girls Tennis, Girls Outdoor Track & Field, and Girls Cross Country. Clubs: Campus organizations include: Student Government Association, Key Club, Interact Club, Tri-Hi- Y, Chess Club, Government Club, Science Club, Drama Club, Latin Club, French Club, Spanish Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Students, Drama, Band, Color guard, Cheerleading, Dance Team, Bridge Builders, Choir, Speech and Debate, Math Team, Science Olympiad, Tri-M, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Peer Leaders, Student Ambassadors, Spanish National Honor Society, Latin National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Junior Classical League, student newspaper, yearbook, photography, and Media Club. Additional Info: Other: Challenging academics, competitive athletics, and nationally recognized arts classes combine to create Central Alabama’s most engaging independent school environment at Saint James (STJ). Montgomery’s oldest independent private school, Saint James provides the most well-rounded course offerings in the area, blending superior academics and state-of-the-art technology with absorbing enrichment, exploratory, and college elective classes. Since its founding in 1955, Saint James School has always focused on educating the whole child. And with this focus, programs embracing STEM, STEAM, and STREAM have always been part of the Saint James curriculum every day, at all grade levels. These skills, along with writing across the curriculum, make Saint James the premier college preparatory school in the Montgomery area. Saint James School envelops students in a 21st-century learning environment, providing iPads® for Grades 3 12, and regular access to technology in lower elementary and preschool classes. The school’s talented and dedicated faculty is a vital component of the learning equation, creating a welcoming yet challenging atmosphere to help students from Grades Pre-K3 - 12 reach their highest potential. As the students make great strides academically, they also grow personally, learning to become young men and women of character who are self-motivated, intellectually curious, reflective, and articulate. Graduates of Saint James have received more than $39.6 million in merit-based college scholarships over the past six years. Tuition Includes: Daily Lunch prepared in the Saint James Commons by Flik Independent School Dining for All Grades (excluding half day Pre-K3 and half day Pre-K4); Individually Assigned Technology Devices for All Students Grades 3 - 12 and Technology Fees for All Grades; All School Supplies for Pre-K3 through Eighth Grade*; Consumable Books for Pre-K3 through Eighth Grade; Day Field Trips for all grades; Fall School Pictures for all grades; Junior & Senior Class Fees; Most Middle School Textbooks; Parent Association (PA) Dues for each family; Student Admission to all Home Sporting Events; Iliad Yearbook for all students. *Calculator, ear buds, and iPad stylus are not included in tuition.

(334) 277.8033

their physical and social-emotional development. Beginning in ninth grade, our course offerings include twenty-two Advanced Placement sections offered in all core areas. Mission: Mission: The Montgomery Academy develops leaders committed to honor, scholarship, service and the pursuit of excellence. Leadership: Head of School: John McWilliams Director of Admissions: Rachael Gallagher Grades: K - 12th Extra Curricular: Extra Curricular: Arts: Our Speech & Debate program is ranked in the top 1% in the nation and has won 17 state championships, more than any other public or private school in Alabama. Both Lower and Middle School Choruses have earned statewide accolades and have been invited to participate in festivals across the southeast. Our Upper School Chorus has earned superior ratings at district and state competitions, including winning first place the past four consecutive years in a national choral competition. The black-box theater on the Vaughn Road campus is where students in grades 6-12 may participate in full-length productions during the year. Every single child in grades K-5 participates in a performance each year. Student actors compete and are honored annually in the State Theater Festival. Our K-12 Visual Arts program submits pieces to exhibits across the River Region, the state and nationally, winning at every level. Athletics: Athletic teams at The Montgomery Academy have earned 73 state championships (as of fall 2019), more than any other public or private school in the River Region! Both our boys and girls athletic teams have achieved success. Sixty-six percent of Middle and Upper School students participate on one of our athletic teams. Our students have also been honored over the years by receiving the Jimmy Hitchcock Memorial Award, the Jimmy Hitchcock Freshman Award, and Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete award. Several Academy student-athletes have gone on to participate at the collegiate level. Students in grades K-9 participate in physical education every day. Clubs: Students learn leadership skills both in and outside the classroom. Many participate in organizations like Student Council, Youth in Government, Mock Trial, Model UN, and various community service organizations. With over 23 clubs offered in the Upper School, from cooking to coding, student government to STEM, there is something for every student’s interest. Additional Info: Other: Montgomery Academy students are recognized annually as National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists. Students have earned Advanced Placement Scholar Awards and have been recognized as AP Scholars, AP Scholars with Honor, AP Scholars with Distinction and as National Scholars. A majority of our seventh grade students qualify to participate in the Duke University Talent Identification Program. Open House Dates: Our Kindergarten Preview, “K-View” allows families to visit our school on their own time while experiencing a typical Kindergarten day. To schedule your K-View at a time that works for your family, visit For our Grades 6-12applicants, our shadow day experience pairs prospective applicants with a current student buddy for a day in the life at MA. Shadow Days are scheduled for January 21, February 11, March 31. What better way to experience “the MA Difference” than to be an Eagle for a day! Tours of both campuses are available at any time. Registration Deadline: Initial decisions for Admissions are made in early March. Kindergarten testing should take place by February 13, 2020, and Grades1-12 testing should take place by February 20, 2020, to be considered in the first round of decisions. After the February deadline, we will accept applications and consider applicants as space permits. Accreditation: The Montgomery Academy is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and is jointly accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Southern Association of Independent Schools. The Academy is also a member of The College Board, Educational Records Bureau, School Scholarship Service, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Cum Laude Society, and the National, Southern, and Alabama Associations of Independent Schools. Tuition: The tuition package at the Academy includes the enrollment deposit, admission to all home athletic events, a hot nutritious lunch, snacks in grades K-5, most extracurricular and athletic team fees, a yearbook and all technology fees. The Academy does not charge new family fees or building fees. Please visit our website or call the Admissions Office (334) 273-7155 for more information on tuition, financial assistance and our scholarship opportunities, including Renaissance and Millsap Scholarships. (334) 272-8210

The School at Sylvan Learning Center

The Montgomery Academy

ad on page 78 and Back Cover

Upper School (Grades 6-12) 3240 Vaughn Road Lower School (Grades K-5) 1550 Perry Hill Road, Montgomery, 36106 Curriculum: Our K-12 college preparatory curriculum seeks to educate the whole child by focusing not only on each child’s academic development but also on

ad on page 35, 84

4240 Lomac Street, Montgomery, 36106 Mission: The School at Sylvan strives to provide a safe, personal, quality education. Our primary goal is to educate all students so they may reach their full academic potential. Through individual instruction and a detail to meeting the needs of each student, The School at Sylvan commits to providing an education that will prepare students for higher education and enter-


Montessori Academy

ing the workforce to become productive citizens. Grades: 1st-12th Grades Extra Curricular: Partnerships with Homeschool Organizations to provide support services (sports, clubs, enrichment etc.) Additional Info: The School at Sylvan Learning Center is a SACS (Southern Association of Colleges & Science) Accredited school program. By offering a low student to teacher ratio, we are able to individualize and meet the educational needs of each student. We offer: Half Day Schedule (8:30 – 12:30) with a Full Day option (8:30-3:30) for 6th grade and below. We accept Alabama Affordability Act scholarships. Opportunity to participate in Tim Tebow Law Degreed Teachers, Science Lab, Wide Variety of on-campus / independent electives. (334) 262.0043

1025 South Hull Street, Montgomery, 36104 Founded: 1982 Curriculum: Montessori Curriculum- includes language, pre-reading, reading, math, science, history, art, and music (AMS affiliated). Leadership: Director of Admissions: Erin Kilgore Grades: 12 months through Kindergarten/Montessori age-appropriate academic program Extra Curricular: Sports & Clubs: Ballet, Spanish, and Tumbling Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open as space permits. Testing Requirements: Personal interview Other: Celebrating 36 years of Quality Education for the Crucial Early Years. Lead Directresses are American Montessori Society Certified or International Montessori Council Certified teachers. Tuition: Please call for information.

(334) 262.8685

Autauga Academy

497 Golson Rd., Prattville, 36067 Founded: 1969 Religious Affiliation: None Curriculum: College Prep Mission: Our mission is to ensure a quality education for traditional students, provide a family environment that embodies Christian values, with small classes, a qualified faculty, and a fully accredited academic program, ensure postsecondary success by offering a general and college preparatory curriculum. Leadership: Headmaster: Larry Pickett Grades: K3 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, basketball, track, cheerleading, baseball, soccer, golf, softball & volleyball Clubs: Beta, Science, Math, Yearbook, SGA, FCA, computer and School Newspaper. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Entrance/admission exam Registration Deadline: Now accepting applications Accreditation: AISA and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Academic scholarships available for grades 2nd-11th. Tuition: Please call for rates. Extended Care Fees: Call for information.

Alabama Christian Academy ad on page 34, 72

4700 Wares Ferry Rd, Montgomery, 36109 Founded: 1942 Religious Affiliation: Church of Christ Curriculum: College Prep Leadership: Head of School: Dr. Misty Overman High School Principal: Mrs. Julie Taggart Middle School Principal: Mrs. Julie Taggart Elementary Principal: Doug Black Grades: K3 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Track, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Cheerleading, Swimming, Cross Country Clubs: Key Club, National Honor Society (Elementary, Middle School and High School), FCA, SGA, Math, Drama, Chorus, Band, Color Guard, Theatre, Scholars Bowl, Pep club, Spanish National Honor Society, FCS, Bass Fishing Team, Capture Club. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Evaluation of scholastic record, standardized test scores and placement tests. Registration Deadline: Open Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Tuition: Please call for prices. Tuition breaks for multiple children. Uniforms Required.

Edgewood Academy

P.O. Box 160, 5475 Elmore Rd, Elmore, 36025 Curriculum: Offers 2 diplomas - standard, dual enrollment; including advanced placement courses. Mission: We provide students with a comprehensive college preparatory education in a safe and supportive environment, preparing students for a future of lifelong learning and productive citizenship. Leadership: Headmaster: Jay Adams Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, cheerleading, peewee cheerleading, Golf, track and Pee-Wee/Termite football. Clubs: National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, SGA, FCA, Spanish, Youth in Government, Drama, Beta, First Priority, and Math Team. Additional Info: Testing Requirement: Admissions test & evaluation of scholastic record. Registration deadline: Applications accepted all year; testing begins January on a first-come, first-serve basis. Accreditation: AISA since 1974 and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED), NCPSA and CITA Tuition: Please visit our website or call the school for tuition rates.

(334) 277.1985


ad on page 28, 73

125 Calhoun Rd, Montgomery, 36109 Religious Affiliation: Ministry of Morningview Baptist Church. Curriculum: Testing Requirement:

380 Fischer Rd., Hope Hull, 36043 Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Non –secular Curriculum: Advanced and standard diplomas, K5-6th - ABEKA Mission: Our missions is to provide a balanced and quality curriculum, which allows each student the opportunity to achieve full potential and maximize mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual growth. Students will be provided opportunities to develop self-confidence through knowledge, applied skills, and desirable character traits acquired in a sound academic environment. Leadership: Headmaster: Dr. Liz Norman Grades: K5 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Include football (grades 3rd-12th), volleyball, boys and girls basketball, baseball, track, softball, dance, cheerleading, and soccer. Clubs: Scholar’s Bowl, National Honor Society, Science Club, Math Team, SGA, Performing Arts, Yearbook/Journalism, FCA, and Spanish. Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Based on availability. Accreditation: AISA; COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED); AAIS. Extended care program available. Licensed Day Care program available on campus. Tuition: K-12.

Entrance Test required for all grades Registration begins in February. Open House Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m. Mission: Cornerstone Christian Academy’s ultimate objective is to glorify God by preparing students spiritually and intellectually for life-long service in His kingdom. Leadership: Headmaster: John Bradley Grades: K5-12th Extra Curricular: Clubs: Yearbook, Hand bell and Hand chime Choirs, Upper School Choir, and Photography Additional Info: Accreditation: Meet criteria for accreditation with the Association of Classical Christian Schools. Registration deadline: Open Registration begins February 1st and continues through May 31st. Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Uniforms required.

(334) 356.7788

Eastwood Christian School

Lowndes Academy

215 South Broad Street, Lowndsboro, 36752 Curriculum: Elementary A Beka; college prep Leadership: Headmaster: Barry Mohun Grades: K3-12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football (Pee-Wee, Jr. High & Varsity), Girls Volleyball, Baseball, Softball, Golf, Basketball, and Cheerleading, Clubs: Beta Club, FCA, SGA, ACE, Key Club, Spanish and Mathematics Additional Info: Testing Requirements: None; Registration deadline: Open Accreditation: AISA; COGNIA (formerly known at AdvancED) Other: After school care, music, dance, gymnastics, piano, yearbook staff. Annual Deer Hunt for school fundraiser. Tuition: Please visit website.

ad on page 74

1701 E. Trinity Blvd, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1996 Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian; Westminster Confession of Faith Curriculum: Lower school/ Sing, Spell, Read and Write; Harcourt Math; Spelling; Grammar; Bible, History, Science and Handwriting; Upper school/ Varied Classical Christian, Latin, Logic and Rhetoric

(334) 278.3366

River Region Parents I January 2020

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Cornerstone Classical Christian Academy

Hooper Academy

(334) 288.5980



(334) 365.4343

(334) 567.5102

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Success Unlimited Academy

Mission: Offers classical approach to Christian education with a biblical worldview dominating all subjects. Our shorter day (7:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) for grades K4-6th offers more family time and individual activities. Leadership: Interim Head of School: Susan Gaines Grades: K4 - 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Basketball, volleyball, JV baseball, cross country, soccer and tennis Clubs: Drama, Beta Club, SGA, and Spanish Club Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Placement test/interview Open House: K4-12 is January 13, 2020 a t6:30 p.m. in the Eastwood Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. Registration: Begins January 13-February 7, 2020 for new students. Waiting list registration is on Admissions page of website. Please call Head of School to schedule an appointment. Call for availability. Tuition: Please call for tuition prices. Annual Registration fee of $400 Uniforms required. (334) 272.8195

ad on page 32, 83

2328 Fairlane Dr., Montgomery (9th-12th grades, Night School & tutoring) 4500 Vaughn Road, Montgomery (K4-8th grades), Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 2000 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka, Bob Jones, HoughtonMifflin, Silver Burdette Gin, and Glencoe Mission: SUA provides a safe and loving environment where students feel accepted and are challenged by educational excellence, instilled with loyalty to our country, and developed through spiritual growth. We believe all students can be a success through Christ who strengthens them. Leadership: Headmaster: Susan Alred, M.Ed., Vice Principle: Lauren Morgan Grades: K4-12th Extra Curricular: Athletics: Registered with AISA, Football, Boys’ and Girls’ Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Golf, Track and Cheerleading Clubs: Praise Band, Choir, Guitar, Art, Drama, FCA, FCS, Builders Club, Chess Club, Career Start, Key Club and Yearbook Club. Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open Testing Requirements: Consultations and Evaluations provided at time of enrollment. Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Other: School offers morning classes, evenings and through Distance Education and Night School. Tutoring is available Monday-Thursday at our Fairlane Drive Campus. Tuition: Please call for tuition information. Uniforms Required

Evangel Christian Academy ad on page 30, 75

3975 Vaughn Rd, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1995 Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Purposeful Design, ACSI, and McDougal Littell Mission: Evangel Christian Academy exists to be an extension of the Christian family in training and developing of Christian students for committed service to our Lord Jesus Christ. Through quality academic instruction, the impartation of Biblical values and providing activities designed to foster spiritual, academic, and social growth, ECA works to help each student reach their potential in Christ. Leadership: Administrator: Bobby Johnson Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, track and cheerleading. Clubs: SGA, FCA, Booster Club, National Junior Honor Society and National Honor Society, Praying Parents, Drama, ACT Prep, Spanish, Speech, Creative Writing and over 30 more high school electives. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Testing is required Registration Deadline: Open in February to all Accreditation: AISA (Blue Ribbon School), COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED), ACTS and NCPSA. Tuition: Please call for tuition information. Uniforms required. (334) 272.3882

(334) 213.0803

Trinity Presbyterian School ad on page 13, 85

1700 East Trinity Boulevard, Montgomery, 36106 Founded: 1970 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: Accelerated, College Prep Mission: Trinity is Montgomery’s foremost educational institution, binding academic excellence with Christian values. Providing a challenging college-preparatory education, Trinity provides a rigorous academic program, committed educators, outstanding athletics, and a nurturing family environment. 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 posses mental, physical and spiritual strength. One hundred percent of Trinity graduates are accepted to post-secondary institutions, with many attending some of the finest colleges in the nation. Offering the only full-time dance program at a Montgomery independent school, Trinity’s award-winning fine arts program offers state-of-the-art areas for dance, choral, instrumental, visual arts, and speech. An athletic program with a long-standing tradition of championship-level teams, many Trinity athletes play at the next level in several sports. Athletics play an integral part in Trinity’s educational program, which is designed to develop the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Leadership: Interim Head of School: Mr. Merle Henkel Grades: K3 - 12th Extra Curricular: Extra Curricular: Sports: Trinity fields 36 interscholastic sport teams, including football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, track, cross country, and swimming. Electives Clubs and Activities: Art, Band, Choral, Dance, Drama, Forensics, Speech, Theatrical Design and Production and much more. Additional Info: Additional Info: Registration deadline: Open registration Open House: Thursday, January 23, 2020. Intended for families of prospectiveK3, K4 and K5 Kindergarten students. Accreditation: Trinity Presbyterian School holds dual accreditation from the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). It holds membership in the Alabama Association of Independent Schools, The College Board, National Association for College Admission Counseling, Southern Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Coalition of Lighthouse Schools. Extended Care Program: Trinity offers an extended day through the Wildcat Club Program. This program is designed to be a true extension of the school day and provide more than just childcare. The Wildcat Club encourages students to learn and thrive in a relaxed and fun environment. Tuition: Please call for rates. Uniforms Required.

Prattville Christian Academy ad on page 49, 80

322 Old Farm Lane North, Prattville, 36066 Founded: 1997 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: PCA offers a 1:1 digital learning environment with a focus on preparing Christian leaders for life. Honors, advances placement and onsite dual enrollment classes are offered along with a Healthcare and Engineering Academy. Mission: Prattville Christian Academy seeks to create a meaningful difference by preparing Christian leaders for life. All subjects are presented with a Christian worldview by dedicated faculty and staff members who have a personal relationship with Christ. Non-denominational daily Bible classes and weekly chapel is required for all students. Leadership: President: Ron Mitchell Grades: Pre K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: PCA is a member of the Alabama High School Athletics Association (AHSAA) and offers competitive sports programs for boys and girls that offer a connection with a small group of students with similar interests. Sports include football, fishing, golf, volleyball, wrestling, baseball, basketball, track, cross-country, cheerleading, indoor track & field, swimming, soccer, and tennis. Clubs: With more than 25 extracurricular options, there is something for all students and areas of interest. These activities include Ambassadors, Creative Writing, Science Olympiad, Band, Choir, Speech and Debate, Presidential Leadership Team, Engineering Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Government Association, and many others. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: SAT and ACT Registration Deadline: None, applications accepted daily- tours available Accreditation: Prattville Christian Academy is accredited by the National Christian School Association (NCSA) and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED). Tuition: Tuition is approximately $6,500 (subject to change) plus fees that vary depending on grade level. Tuition includes textbooks for all students and school supplies for grades K3-5. Family discounts available. Uniforms Required

(334) 285.0077

(334) 213.2100

Adullam House Christian Academy

7469 Georgia Road, Wetumpka, 36092 Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational Curriculum: Abeka Mission: The objective of AHCA is to provide a nurturing, Godly environment where children can reach his/her full potential. It is our desire to teach our children integrity and high standards of conduct to equip them for success! Leadership: Headmaster: Rachel Harborth Grades: Preschool-12th


New Hope Academy

Extra Curricular: Sports: Cheerleading, Volleyball, Basketball, Track & Field Clubs: Elective classes offered in Art, Computer and Music. Dual Enrollment with Central Alabama Community College Additional Info: Testing Requirements: 4th Grade and up, entry test required Registration Deadline: March. Uniforms required. Tuition: Please call for rates

301 Water Street, Prattville, 36067 Curriculum: We serve students with individual learning differences, including learning disabilities, autism/Asperger’s, ADD/ADHD, physical issues, etc… Our curriculum is individualized to each child’s learning needs. Examples of curricula used include TouchMath, Handwriting Without Tears, Reading Mastery, Excel Math, Explode the Code and Spectrum Writing. Mission: New Hope Academy provides innovative programs and teaching strategies in a supportive environment. Our curriculum is designed to improve students’ academic and social skills, which leads to a better quality of life opportunity. Our instructors help students overcome challenges through structured classwork and individual attention. Leadership: Principal: Tina Halbert, M.Ed., NBCT Grades: K-12th Additional Info: Testing Requirements: The director will test for academic levels upon acceptance to the school. Registration deadline: Enrollment is on a yearround basis. Tuition: Please see website for more information

(334) 478.3888

Bethany Christian Academy

1765 Highland Ave., Montgomery, 36107 Founded: 1899 Religious Affiliation: Seventh-day Adventist Leadership: Principle: Jerlene Johnson-Thorne Grades: Kindergarten to 8th Extra Curricular: Clubs: Music, Global Missions trips, Environmental Camp, Computer and Pathfinders Additional Info: Accreditation: AASAS, NCPSA, SUCOE, COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Testing Requirements: Admission test. Registration Deadline: Open registration Other: Before and After school care. Tuition: Please call for rates and registration fees or visit our website. Uniforms required (334) 264.1078

4230 Hwy 14, Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1979 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: A BEKA, Bob Jones, Glencoe, Apologia, Alpha Omega, and Saxon. Leadership: Principal: Gepetta Rogers Grades: K-3 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, softball, and Volleyball Clubs: Jr. and Sr. Beta Club, Art Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Additional Info: Accreditation: National Private Schools Accreditation Group Testing Requirements: Screening test to determine student readiness. Registration: open enrollment at the end of January Tuition: Call for more information. (334) 285.5615

2600 East South Blvd., Montgomery, 36116 Religious Affiliation: Generic Bible Base Teaching Curriculum: A-Beka Leadership: Headmaster: Prof. Maggie McElroy-Washington, MBA; MGMT, MKTG Grades: Grades: Pre K-12th Extra Curricular: Activities/Clubs: Acting, Choir, Drum-Line, Debate, Student Government Associate, Dance Team, Modeling and Weight Training Additional Info: Testing Requirement: IOWA Standardized Registration Deadline: Open enrollment. Must have a 3.20 GPA to enroll. Other: Certified teachers, School Days are Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., (after school tutorial) Open to the community: 3:30-6:00 p.m., Summer Enrichments, Credit Recovery. Tuition: Please call for tuition rates. Uniforms Required.

1320 Old Ridge Road, Prattville, 36066 Founded: 2002 Religious Affiliation: Christian/Southern Baptist; Ministry of East Memorial Baptist Church Curriculum: ABEKA, Bob Jones, Apologia and Positive Action for Christ Leadership: Director: Bryan Easley Grades: K-4 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Volleyball, football, cross-country, color guard, majorettes, basketball, cheerleading, track, baseball and softball Clubs: National Junior Beta Club, National Senior Beta Club, National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Student Government Association, Drama, Yearbook, Band, Art, Spanish and Choir. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Records reviewed and interview Registration Deadline: Open Accreditation: AISA, COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Other: Daycare and Pre-school on site, 6 wks.-4 yrs. Call 358.4110 Tuition: Call for rates. Uniforms required.

(334) 517.1717

The Rock School

3401 Harrison Road, Montgomery, 36109 Founded: 1996 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: College Prep, A Beka, Bob Jones and Saxon Leadership: Leadership: April Cash, M.Ed. Grades: K-5 through 12th Extra Curricular: Extra Curriculars: Athletics: Member, Alabama Christian Sports Conference; varsity and junior high basketball, varsity and junior high volleyball and dance team. Activities/Clubs: Student Government, Choir and Flag Detail Additional Info: Accreditation: Accreditation: National Private School Accreditation Alliance/ “Class A” School. Testing Requirements: Interview for admission. Registration deadline: Open

Frazer Memorial Christian Kindergarten

6000 Atlanta Hwy, Montgomery, 36117 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: Blended; A Beka Leadership: Director: Jill Struthers Grades: Ages: 6 wks. To 2 yrs. Mothers Morning Out, 3 yrs. - K4 & K5. Hours: 8:30 - 12:30 a.m., Monday-Friday Additional Info: Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Registration deadline: Main registration for each fall is in January. Other: Early drop off and Extended Day available for all ages. Music, field trips, chapel, physical education. Strong faculty with unwavering interest in your child. Tuition: Call for details.

(334) 260.0984

Valiant Cross Academy

301 Dexter Avenue (located inside of River City Church), Montgomery, 36104 Founded: 2015 Religious Affiliation: Non-denominational Curriculum: AL College and Career Standards and Alabama Course of Study Mission: Our mission, our purpose is to help raise young men up to be supernatural. Men who will learn from their youth, to let go of self, to let the Holy Spirit raise them to new heights. Courageous men, righteous men, committed men, loving men who will rise up to lead, to serve, to inspire. We will provide the armor to help them rise above. To rise above with Honor, with Discipline, with Integrity, with Excellence with Love. Leadership: Head of School: Anthony Brock Grades: 6th grade - 10th grade Extra Curricular: Sports: Track, Football, Basketball and Golf Additional Info: Registration Deadline: Open enrollment in January Accreditation: COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) and AISA Other: After-school enrichment and tutoring, Tuition: Please call for more information on tuition rates. Uniforms required.

Lighthouse Christian Academy

3570 Bell Rd, Montgomery, 36116 Founded: 1987 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A BEKA Leadership: Principal: Pastor Gene Ziesel Grades: K-2 through 10th Extra Curricular: Sports: Basketball and Volleyball Clubs: Band, Choral, Fine arts and Computer Class Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Interview, Registration: Begins in February, Accreditation: Accredited through ACEA and AACS Other: Before and after school care; Christ oriented education. Summer fun program. Tuition: Please call school for more information Uniforms required for K5 – 9th. (334) 271.4200

Montgomery Christian School

(334) 694.9200

3265 McGehee Road, Montgomery, 36111 Curriculum: Singapore, Handwriting Without Tears, Purposeful Design, ABEKA, Houghton Mifflin and Positive Action for Christ. Mission: To provide an academically challenging Christian education to children in inner city Montgomery. Leadership: Principal: Kathi Atkins Grades: Kindergarten K -5th Additional Info: Testing Requirements: None, Interview and assessment Registration deadline: Open, Accreditation: ACSI, Tuition: Based on family income and the number of children in the family. Uniforms required.

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Victory Baptist School

3151 Highway 14 , Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1971 Religious Affiliation: Baptist Curriculum: A Beka and Bob Jones Leadership: Principal: John Lopez Grades: K4 through 12th Extra Curricular: Sports: Football, baseball, boys& girls basketball, girls volleyball, girls fast pitch softball and cheerleading Clubs: Yearbook, Drama, and Government Additional Info: Testing requirements: Interview for admission.

(334) 386.1749

River Region Parents I January 2020

TEA Academy (Talent Education & Art Christian Academy, Inc.)

East Memorial Christian Academy

(334) 279.0271


New Life Christian Academy

4711 Chapman Rd., Millbrook, 36054 Founded: 1994 Religious Affiliation: Christian Curriculum: A Beka, Bob Jones and South Western Publishing Co. Mission: Providing a traditional education in the minimum amount of time. A Christian curriculum is used and a Christian world view is taught. Leadership: Principal: Jon Chapman Grades: K4-12th Additional Info: Accreditation: National Association of Private Schools Testing Requirements: Grade level testing performed upon entry. Tuition: Competitively priced with other schools in the area. Please call for rates.

(334) 358.4085


(334) 361.9505

Chapman Christian Academy

(334) 285.5354

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Extra Curricular: Sports: Cheerleading and basketball available Clubs: Student Council, Male and Female Mentor Programs, Dance, STEM Club, Book Clubs, Home Economics, and Choir. Additional Info: Testing Requirement: Placement Pre K - 8 Registration deadline: Please call for dates. Accreditation: Advanced Ed. (Formerly known as SACS) Other: Google School, Acellus, Weekly Mass service, Partnership with Cleveland YMCA Sports, Public Speaking Readiness, AR Star Program, FREE, First Class Prek4 program and Summer Enrichment and Feeding Programs. Tuition: Affordable; call for more information. Family discounts available. Uniforms Required.

Registration deadline: Enrollment for new students is year round Accreditation: AACS and MSA-SCESS. Other: After school care provided by daycare until 6 p.m., I pads and Chrome Books accessible to all students, Smart Boards available for classrooms. Tuition: Please check website for updated tuition. Uniforms required. (334) 285.0211

Roman Catholic

(334) 230.1970

Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School

Unique Learning Needs

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Churchill Academy

Saint Bede Campus, 3850 Atlanta Highway, Holy Spirit Campus, 8580 Vaughn Road, Middle School & High School, 5350 Vaughn Rd., Montgomery The oldest continuous non-public K-12 school in the state of Alabama, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School was founded in 1873 by the Sisters of Loretto. Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic, all classes attend weekly Mass Curriculum: College preparatory, Honors and A.P. courses available. Religion is a core class. Mission: A K4-12 regional Catholic school in Montgomery with 146 years of educational excellence, Montgomery Catholic strives to help each student reach their God-given potential by offering the opportunity to grow in faith, with rigorous academics and opportunities to perform athletically and artistically. Mission: Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School is an integral part of the Catholic Church’s mission to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. As an adult community, we share in the responsibility to prepare students for college and beyond while helping them grow to become persons of faith, virtue and wisdom. Leadership: President: Anne Caesar Elementary Principal St. Bede Campus: Laurie Gulley Elementary Principal Holy Spirit Campus: Nancy Foley Assistant Middle School Principal: Julie Wood 7-12th Principal: Justin Castanza Grades: Saint Bede Campus (K4-6), Holy Spirit Campus (K4-6), Middle School Phone (7-8), and High School Phone (9-12). Extra Curricular: Sports: Cross country, football, volleyball, soccer, cheerleading, golf, wrestling, indoor track, outdoor track, basketball, baseball, softball, and tennis. The Arts, Clubs and Service: Concert Band, Marching Band, Color Guard, Choir, Drama, National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club, Government Club, Forensics Club, Science Olympiad, Math Club, Pro-Life Club, Ambassadors Club, Chess Club, Pep Club, Drama, SGA, Yearbook, VEX Robotics, Cyber Patriots, Young Women’s Leadership, Boys Leadership, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Girls on the Run. Students have service opportunities throughout the year through Advisory classes and the Encounter program, helping them to share the Light of Christ in the community. Additional Info: Testing Requirements: Placement test (February, June and August.) Registration deadline: March of preceding year. Open House: Sunday, January 12, 2020 from 2-4 p.m. at all campuses. Families are invited to visit the school and meet our faculty and staff and learn more about our program. For more information, contact Director of Admissions, Julie Lopez: 334-318-3777, Montgomery Catholic Preparatory School offers athletics and drama summer camps. Students in grades 9 -12 participate in a one-to-one Apple laptop program. Tuition: Approximate K4-6: $6,300-7,800; 7-12: $7,200-9,900, MultiChild Discount Offered. Rates subject to change. Uniforms required.

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395 Ray Thorington Road, Montgomery, 36117 Mission: Churchill Academy strives to define success individually within the structure of a supportive, nurturing environment, focusing on the uniqueness of the learners social, emotional, and academic needs; resulting in students demonstrating self-advocacy and reaching their full potential.” Leadership: Director: Kaye Pair, M.Ed. Grades: K -12th Extra Curricular: Clubs: Scouts and academic tutoring Additional Info: Registration: Begins January Testing Requirements: Previous diagnosis of learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder or other, and average to above average intellectual functioning, however Churchill will also conduct a testing evaluation to gather more up to date and relevant information to assist in placement. Accreditation: National Independent Private School Association and COGNIA (formerly known as AdvancED) Tuition: Please call for tuition prices. Scholarships available. Uniforms required.

(334) 270.4225

Homeschools Huntington Learning Center ad on page 4

Additional Info: One on one instruction in a specific course (334) 277.9200

Broad Church Academy

Leadership: Deborah Nichols (205) 687.8474

Dayspring Academy/High School Leadership: Donna Mitchell


Evangel Christian Academy

Leadership: Rachelle Whatley Additional Info: A ministry of Evangel Temple (334) 272.3882

Saint Bede Campus: (334) 272.3033, Holy Spirit Campus: (334) 649.4404 Middle School Phone: (334) 272.2465, High School Phone: (334) 272.7220



Everest Academy

Leadership: Deb Spradlin



(205) 433.9828

Resurrection Catholic School

Ezekiel Academy

Leadership: Maretta Oswald (334) 315.0010

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New Hope Academy

2815 Forbes Dr., Montgomery, 36110 Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic Curriculum: Basic; strong traditional skills core curriculum with extensive enrichment & acceleration. Religion classes required; technology emphasized; enrichment in arts & conversational Spanish; strong accelerated reading program in place. After school care, hot breakfast and lunches, computer technology. Mission: Resurrection Catholic School is committed to continuing the Catholic tradition of providing an environment of academic excellence in which students can grow intellectually, spiritually, physically, and socially. Leadership: Principal: Dr. Martha Pettway Grades: Pre K4- 8th

Leadership: Tina Halbert

(334) 361.9505

Outlook Academy

Leadership: Carren Joye Additional Info: Ministry of Tri County Community Church in Millbrook (334) 290.0919

River Crest Academy

Leadership: Tanya Murphy (334) 398.2008



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River Region Parents I January 2020



Winter is a quiet time for reflection. As the embers of holiday cheer fade, it allows us to see the things that need to be fixed. No, I am not referring to that cabinet door in the kitchen or the leaky faucet in the bathroom. According to a recent survey, the average family spends only 34 minutes together on weekdays. If you are surprised to find your own family fits into that statistic, there is no need to panic. Take advantage of winter’s slower pace to reconnect with each other. If need some inspiration, take a look at these 12 ideas.

1. Volunteer together – Working to-

gether for a cause makes a family closer. Whether you have been touched by a foundation’s work or just want to make a difference, it is nice way to spend time together as a family. Try running a family friendly 5K or support your local Ronald McDonald house by preparing a meal.

2. Engage in creativity together

– Gather around the kitchen table and work on coloring pages. Build houses out of Legos or take a painting class together. Expressing yourself through art not only helps to relieve stress, but it’s a fun activity that you can do over and over.

3. Go outside – No matter what the weather, find time to connect with the family outdoors. On sunny days, you can go for a bike ride or play soccer in the backyard. If you live near snow, build a snowman. If it’s raining, grab your umbrella and take a walk. Taking in the fresh air will clear your mind of everyday distractions and make room for new memories.

4. Several cooks in the kitchen –

Think back to the holidays when everyone was working together to prepare a meal you would all enjoy. Cooking dinner together helps the picky eaters to see what ingredients go into the meal and gives the normal cook a few extra hands.

5. Unplug after 5:00 – Work emails, social media and random texts interrupt family time unnecessarily. With the exception of online homework or a FaceTime call with Grandma, there is no reason that a family has to spend the evening staring into their phones. Make it a habit to unplug before dinner and make your only communication be face to face. 6. Practice random acts of kindness – Doing a kindness to some-

one, especially someone not expecting it, will make both the giver and receiver feel good. Help the people in your house by doing a chore without being asked, handing over the TV remote to someone else or giving up the best seat in the car.

7. Date nights – While this may not sound like a family event, it is equally important for families to have one on one time with each of its members. This is true for the adults in the family as well as Mom and Me type dates with each child. Be sure to double the family fun by planning a special evening at home for those staying behind. 8. Slow down – There is something to be said about the families of yesteryear who sat around the radio and listened to the story. They had to use their own imagination to visualize the characters. Try to


recreate the same impact by listening to a book on CD and putting together a puzzle together while you listen.

9. Spark conversation at dinner – Go beyond “How was your day?” to

ask and answer thought provoking questions like “What features do you think will be on cars in ten years?” You can also play a game asking everyone how well they know each other. Ask the family if they know the name of Joey’s tutor or what Dad’s job title is.

10. You plan it night – Once a week,

one person will plan the way the family will spend the night together. They will choose the menu and an activity (all within a set budget, of course). Even elementary aged students can make a shopping list from a recipe and look online for movie times.

11. Set a goal to work on together

– Winter resolutions often include changing a bad habit. Let everyone set their goal – lose 10 lbs, go to the gym 3 times a week, bring my math grade up – and once a week at dinner check in to see how everyone is doing. Share the ups and downs of your progress.

12. Visit with extended family –

Continue to grow the family ties long after the holidays are over. Plan outings with the cousins, a couple’s dinner with the aunts and uncles or a regular game night with the siblings. If you live far apart, try a Friday night Face Time or play video games together over WIFI connection. rrp

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. Their family likes to reconnect over home cooked meals and board games. Follow her on Pam’s Party Printables on Etsy.

Newtopia Rewards Motivated Students

Newtopia’s GON Scholarship ceremony was full of laughter, smiles and happy children. On December 10, Newtopia awarded more than 10 children as well as high school and college students with scholarships totaling $10,000. This year’s winners included Grace M. and Ms.Howell’s class rom Alabama Christian Academy. The Newtopia GON Scholarship stands for “Go to the next generation.” Newtopia strongly encourages students to take advantage of their education opportunities to prepare a great future for themselves. The scholarship winners are chosen from Newtopia’s pool of School Champion students as well as online entries. Ms. Howell’s entire class was awarded $500 to spend on their classroom. Last year’s winners, Leah S. and Georgia P., handed over the scholarship check to this year’s winner, Grace M. The Newtopia GON Scholarship will reopen next year for motivated students to apply.

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Johnson’s Martial Arts Academy Competes Locally, Internationally

On November 2, Johnson’s Martial Arts Academy owner David Johnson, above, and his students Chase Chisholm, Byron Dixon and Kenny Baxter competed and won karate championships in their fighting, forms and weapons divisions at the 40th Annual Southern Regional Open Karate Tournament held in the Dothan Civic Center. In addition, Johnson’s Martial Arts Academy student and assistant instructor Briana Jackson, below third from left, recently competed with the United States Martial Arts Team in London, England, at the World Martial Arts Games. Jackson spent 10 days in London where she received specialized training with her USA teammates, visited local tourist attractions, participated in team bonding excursions, and competed with her team. The competition took place over an intense three-day span, challenging Jackson to push beyond her limits. She competed in five divisions and won four medals, bringing home one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals. The next World Martial Arts Games will be held in Mexico in 2021, where Jackson has already set her sights on representing the USA and Alabama for a third time.


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Salvation Army Soup Kitchen Volunteers

Pink and Pearls for Girls and Man To Man volunteered at The Salvation Army’s soup kitchen. The students served more than 60 meals. Afterward, the teens cleaned and completed closing down procedures for the next day.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: BViolence: BSexual Content: B+ Profanity: A Alcohol / Drug Use: C Cats is back, adapted for the big screen. As I sat through the movie, watching the colorful images splash across a massive screen and listening to the unforgettable music pour out of the surround sound speakers, I wondered why this production lacked the enchantment of the stage performance. After two hours musing in a dark theater, I came up with some answers. This production’s most obvious problem is the appearance of the cats themselves. In the stage show, the cats are obviously humans dressed in costumes and the audience accepts them as such. But in this movie adaptation, the actors are covered in CGI fur making them look part human/part cat. Cats also has massive problems with pacing; the entire first half of the movie is almost unwatchable. I spent the first 40 minutes or so squirming like I was attending a bad high school musical. The film only hits its stride when Judy Dench and Ian McKellan appear on screen at the halfway mark. This duo, along with Jennifer Hudson, who plays the melancholy, despondent Grisabella, finally bring a solid emotional core to the film and give the audience something to care about. Sadly, even the wonderful musical score doesn’t have enough charm to save the film. There’s not a lot of serious negative content, but if the number of bathroom breaks taken by the kids sitting in front of me is any indication, this isn’t a movie for young viewers. There’s no point spending good money for your kids to get bored - they can do that for free at home. We don’t have nine lives and don’t need to waste the one we get on a charmless film.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: C+ Violence: C Sexual Content: A Profanity: B+ Alcohol / Drug Use: AI’m going to begin this review by warning you that I’m obsessed with Star Wars. I’ve seen the movies, I’ve read the books, I have Wookiepedia bookmarked on my browser, and I have a Millennium Falcon keychain, for goodness sake. To put it bluntly, I’ve got nerd cred. You don’t have to share my nerdiness to be irked by the sloppy writing in the final episode of the final Star Wars trilogy. And this is a problem because there’s a lot going on here. The Rise of Skywalker has to tie up plot lines from the trilogy while also completing the narrative arc between antagonists Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) of the evil First Order and Rey (Daisy Ridley), the young Jedi. While George Lucas has never been famous for good writing - awkwardly florid dialogue is more his style – at least his macro-scale character writing is surprisingly good and he provided his characters with consistent personality traits and motivations. The sequel trilogy? Not so much. As far as the content goes, there isn’t anything here you don’t expect. There’s virtually nothing to worry about in the areas of sex, booze, or swearing. Just the usual stylized sci-fi violence – but there’s lots of that as light sabers whip around and spaceships explode. Much like the rest of the franchise, this probably isn’t suitable for young kids, as there are some frightening images and general peril. To sum it up, stagnating on recycled plots and characters, Star Wars finishes less on a bang than a whimper.


Spies in Disguise

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: BSexual Content: B+ Profanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: A After escaping from Jumanji, a game that comes to terrifying life, Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Anthony (Ser’Darius Blain), and Bethany (Madison Iseman) agreed to destroy the game to prevent anyone else from being sucked in. Secretly, Spencer decided to keep the pieces, and reassembled the game for another chance to be the muscular Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) in a virtual world. When his friends try to rescue him, they accidentally bring along Spencer’s grandfather Eddie (Danny DeVito) and his old friend Milo (Danny Glover). With such an unlikely cast of heroes, what hope do they have of rescuing Spencer? I seem to recall the comedy being a little stronger in the first film, but this doesn’t reach failed-comedy levels of aggravating. About three-quarters of the jokes landed, which is better than most dumb action comedies I’ve seen. The content is cleaner than most as well, with almost no sexual content (barring Ruby Roundhouse’s silly outfit), little profanity more significant than “hell” or “damn”, and violence that is firmly in the “slapstick” category. If you saw the last entry in this franchise, you’ll have a good idea what to expect here. Another case of “second verse, same as the first”, Jumanji: The Next Level still manages to be a reasonably entertaining way to kill two hours. I was actually expecting to be frustrated with this movie, since my sequel fatigue is approaching terminal levels, but the film is sufficiently sincere and well intentioned.

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: AViolence: B Sexual Content: B Profanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: BLance Sterling (Will Smith) is the best spy in the world - famous, attractive, suave, and dangerous. But when he is framed for the theft of a prototype assassin drone, the only person he can turn to for help is Walter Beckett (Tom Holland). Walter is everything Lance isn’t - awkward, gangly, short...and brilliant. Intrigued by Walter’s latest experimental concoction, Lance impulsively chugs it down, turning himself into a pigeon. Now the bird and the boy genius will have to work together to prevent the malicious (and subtly named) Killian (Ben Mendelsohn) from unleashing the assassin drone. This movie came as a pleasant surprise for me. After seeing the uninspiring trailer, I arrived at the theater pessimistically mulling over witty one-liners to use if the film turned out to be as bad as I feared. Much to my delight, my snarky comments turned out to be unnecessary. Spies in Disguise is goodhearted, funny, and well-paced. Color me shocked. Although there are a lot of scenes involving cartoon violence and various perilous scenarios there is little else to worry about. This film teaches kids that they should be kind even to people who haven’t been kind to them. And it encourages audiences to find non-violent solutions to problems. Spies in Disguise is fun for most adults and it’s short enough that even if you hate slapstick you won’t be in the theater long enough to get too aggravated by it.

The Next Level


FamilyCalendar Thursday, January 2

Winter in the Studios at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts -- Also January 3 10 a.m.-noon. Families are invited to spend time in the Museum studio creating their very own winter-themed art projects! Both studio days will feature a different theme and project. This activity is free, and pre-registration is not required. Supplies are limited, so come early! For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333. Earth’s Heart: Connecting Cultures -Also Jan. 9, 16, 23 & 30 2:30-3 p.m. ArtWorks at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Explore the arts of different cultures. ArtWorks Educator Kelly Bazan will introduce young learners to the basic greetings, visual arts, music, clothing, and traditions of the country in focus (this month is Austria). Connections will also be made to works in the Museum’s galleries. Classes are limited to 25 students. First come, first serve. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit The Civility Paintings -- Through February 15 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Alabama State Capitol, The Old Supreme Court Chamber, 600 Dexter Avenue. The Civility Paintings by Alabama artist Sarah West are presented by the Alabama State Capitol in collaboration with the Alabama Historic Commission. Familyfriendly and open to the public. For more info, call (334) 242-3935. Gatsby’s Here -- Through February 29 10 a.m.-3p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum, 919 Felder Ave. Gatsby’s Here is a new exhibit on the history and influence of The Great Gatsby. The exhibit will feature memorabilia from the original 1926 stage play and silent film, as well as the 1949 film starring Alan Ladd, the 1974 production starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, in addition to a tuxedo and Gatsby Pink Suit on loan from Brooks Bros. from the 2013 Warner’s Bros. production. Admission: $10 per person. For more info, call (334) 264-4222 or visit

Saturday, January 4

The Black Jacket Symphony Presents Led Zeppelin IV 8 p.m. Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. Tickets begin at $30. For more info, visit www.mpaconline. org/ or call (334) 481-5100. Monster Jam Triple Threat Series -- Also Jan. 5 Various times. Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Legacy Arena. Tickets begin at $15. For tickets or more info, visit or call (205) 458-8400. Home Depot Kids’ Workshop 9 a.m.-noon. All locations. Ages 5-12. Free workshop teaches children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. Jan. 4 project is a mini hockey game. Kids develop hands-on skills with sanding, nailing and applying stickers. Each child also receives a kid-sized orange apron and an achievement pin. For more info, visit Guided Nature Hike at Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook -- Also February 1 10 a.m. Hike some of Lanark’s 5 miles of trails with an experienced ANC naturalist by your side. Learn how to bird or ID plants and animals, splash through the creek, or catch insects in the meadow! General admission applies: $5/person with a $20 maximum per family. For more info, visit www.alabamawildlife. org/ or call (334) 285-4550.

River Region Parents I January 2020


Sunday, January 5

Prattville’s Way Off Broadway Theatre Holds Auditions for Little Shop of Horrors -- Also January 6 5:30 p.m. Sunday; 6 p.m. Monday. Cultural Arts Building in Prattville. Actors should prepare a 1-2 minute monologue as well as 16-20 bars of music. No numbers from the production should be performed. There will be a short, choreographed group piece and possibly cold readings from the script as well. Practices will begin on January 14. Little Shop of Horrors, book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, is based on the film by Roger Corman. The production is directed by Joey B. Fine and will run Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays April 16-May 3. For more info, call 334-595-0850 or visit

Wednesday, January 8

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 (334) 5676301 or visit Capital City Master Gardener Association Lunch and Learn Series Open to the Public Noon-1 p.m. Normally the first Wednesday of each month. 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 at no cost. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches to each event. Iced tea and water provided.

Thursday, January 9

Art After 5: Signs of Lift 6-8 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Young adults and the young at heart are invited to join the Museum’s Junior Executive Board for this new, themed-evening series of art, music, activities and more. Participants will enjoy works of art and take home their own refrigerator masterpieces! Participants can also stretch out in the galleries with yoga while enjoying the sounds of a local band with friends. This series is a free night of fun and entertainment. This month’s yoga is led by Frank Smith from Breezeville Yoga; glass activity led by local Alabama artist Tara Sartorius. For more info, call (334) 240-4333 or visit

Friday, January 10

Elmore County Homeschool Organization Meets 10 a.m.-noon at Harvest Fields Community Church, 4280 Deatsville Hwy, Deatsville. Elmore County Homeschool Organization is a non-profit 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 (except during November and December). Membership is free and is open to all homeschoolers in the tri-county area. For details, visit

Saturday, January 11

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents The Cat in the Hat -- Through January 25 Based on the book by Dr. Seuss; adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell; locally directed by N.D. Seibel. The Cat in the Hat recounts the rainy-day adventures of Sally, her brother, and the most mischievous cat ever! From the moment his tall, red-and-whitestriped hat appears at their door, the Cat and his antics transform the kids’ afternoon. **Sensory-friendly


performance on Saturday, January 18, at 10 a.m.** Recommended ages 4+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353. Animal Track Casting at Alabama Nature Center 10 a.m. Here we will learn about the types of tracks different animals make such as raccoons, foxes, deer, and turkey! Bring the kids and even make your own cast of an animal track to take home. For more info, visit or call (334) 285-4550. Auditions for Sleeping Beauty at Tallassee High School 3:30 p.m. Tallassee High School auditorium. The Missoula Children’s Theater will be in Tallassee January 13-18. All area students, grades K-12 are invited to be a part of this year’s production, Sleeping Beauty. Auditions, rehearsals and the performance will take place in the Tallassee High School auditorium. For more info, contact Donna at AMC Theaters Offers Sensory-Friendly Movietimes -- Also January 25 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! Please check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes. 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 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. Second Saturdays at Old Alabama Town 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. Second Saturdays bring special programs for the whole family including crafts, music and lectures! This month we celebrate Montgomery’s Bicentennial with blacksmiths, artists, children’s crafts and homemade products. For info, call (334) 240-4500 or visit EdTech Academy Parents Night Out Event 6pm-10pm for children ages 6-12. The cost is $25 per child, $15 for each additional sibling. Food, fun, and beverages are included. Call or text (334) 296-2393 for more information.


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FamilyCalendar Sunday, January 12

Second Sundays at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 2-4 p.m. Families and friends are invited to spend the second Sunday of each month at the Museum enjoying the sounds of live music, making an art project in the studio, or taking a short docent-led tour—or all three! Drop in anytime between 2 and 4 for this free offering. For info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

Monday, January 13

ACT Complete Review Begins Classes meet Mondays through Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. at the AUM Office of Continuing Education located at 75 TechnaCenter Drive in Montgomery. Math Review begins January 13; Language Review January 27; and Science Review February 3. For more info or to register, call (334) 244-3804 or visit

Tuesday, January 14

Leadership Montgomery Presents Arising Arts Expo 5-7 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Enjoy an early evening of dance, visual arts and music. Students from Carver, Baldwin and Booker T. Washington magnet schools will present a unique sneak peek of their talents and programs for the community, prospective students and parents. Attendees will also enjoy refreshments and door prizes. For more info, call (334) 252-2261 or visit

Wednesday, January 15

Artful Yoga at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts -- Also February 5 Noon-1 p.m. Each Artful Yoga session will draw inspiration from collections and exhibitions of the Museum. Led by instructor Nancy Beale, the class is free for members ($10 for non-members) and suitable for all levels; beginners are welcome. Bring your yoga mats and wear comfortable clothing. For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

See Me: Animals in Art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts 1 p.m. Led by ArtWorks Educator Kelly Bazan, individuals with different abilities (ages 6 and older) are invited to explore the galleries, point out animals in art, and then create a mixed-media artwork of an animal. Free but registration required. Call (334) 625-4365.

Thursday, January 16

Friends and Newcomers Club of Prattville/ Millbrook 9:30 a.m. at the Bradford Branch YMCA, 972 McQueen Smith Rd., Prattville. General meeting every third Thursday. All ladies welcome. Guest speaker this month is Barbara Gaston of the Prattaugan Museum. For info, contact Nancy at (334) 414-8185 or ARTtalk at the MMFA 6-8 p.m. This friendly critique led by Museum educators is an opportunity for artists to share and receive feedback from their peers. Get an up-close look at artists, their work, and the creative process in this unique program designed for artists in the area. Participants are invited to bring one work of art to each session for discussion. Enjoy light refreshments and networking

with other professionals whether or not you choose to bring artwork. ArtTalk is free to attend, but registration is required. To register, please contact Brandy Morrison at or call (334) 625-4365. 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 Shifting Frontier: Creek and Anglo-American Conflict,” presented by Daniel Dupre. Call (334) 353-4726 or visit www.archives. STEAM Workshop for Ages 8-12 4-5:30 p.m. Prattville Creative Arts Center. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). Create a work of art while learning about one of the four STEM subjects. This season’s workshop will focus on technology and each student will create a simplistic, functioning engine. Space is limited and registration is required. COST: $5 per student. For more info, call (334) 595-0800.

Friday, January 17

Open Gym at The Armory 7-9 p.m. For ages 5-18. Students do not have to be a member but must have a waiver signed by parent. $10 per student due at registration. Last day to register is 7 p.m. Thursday prior to the event; may not register day of event. For more info, visit https:// or call (334) 625-2789.

Saturday, January 18

Really Wild Animals Presentation at Alabama Nature Center 10 a.m. Want to get up close and personal with some of

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the ANC’s really wild educational animals? Join us as we get hands on and learn about salamanders, frogs, turtles, snakes, alligators and more. Some of these animals you will even get to touch! General admission applies and includes this awesome program! For info, visit www. or call (334) 285-4550.

a tableau of artistic expression presented by local students. Past acts have included poetry, vocal, dance, and instrumental performances. Participant registration deadline: January 13; dress rehearsal: January 22 at 3:30 p.m. For questions, contact Elisabeth Palmer at or call (334) 625-4333.

Highlight Tours 1-2 p.m. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Learn more about the works of art on view and latest exhibitions at the Museum with docent-led tours offered the third Saturday of each month. These tours are free and open to the public, no reservations required. For more info, visit or call (334) 240-4333.

Miranda Lambert at BJCC 7 p.m. Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center Legacy Arena. Tickets begin at $23. For tickets or more info, visit or call (205) 458-8400.

2nd Annual Polar Bear Triathlon Bell Road YMCA. Splash, swim and dash with us! 10-minute swim, 30-minute indoor bike, 1-mile treadmill walk/run. Registration ends on January 12. Costs: $30 for members. Contact Marcie at or (334) 271-4343 for more info.

Monday, January 20

Harlem Globetrotters 2020 World Tour 6 p.m. Garrett Coliseum. The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters will bring their new “Pushing the Limits” World Tour to Montgomery. Globetrotters’ fans will experience even bigger moments and memories, including a live world record attempt at each game. Plus, many markets will feature a glow in the dark performance. Tickets start at $20 and are available at For more info, visit

Tuesday, January 21

Joe Thomas Jr. Guitar Pull 7-9 p.m. Cloverdale Playhouse. The Singer/Songwriter Series is a great night of original music and songwriters talking about how they craft their music and performing original works on the Playhouse’s intimate stage. Tickets are $10 at the door. Call (334) 262-1530 or visit www.cloverdaleplayhouse. org/ for more info. Automotive Know-How for Women Ages 16 & Up 6 p.m. City Vehicle Maintenance Shop, 530 Doster Road, Prattville. Class topics may cover: changing tires, tire pressure & abnormal wear and how to air up tires; wiper blade replacement; checking fluids and how to add if needed; checking belts; recognizing unusual noises and smells of the vehicle; what certain gauges mean; what to do if you get a warning (check engine) light on). FREE. REGISTER by January 16; space is limited. Call (334) 595-0800.

Thursday, January 23

Newcomers Club of Montgomery Monthly Luncheon All women of the River Region are invited to attend our monthly luncheon from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Arrowhead Country Club. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Elijah Gaddis, an assistant professor of history at Auburn University. He will present a program on “Southern Food and Culture.” Luncheon cost is $18 and reservations must be made by noon Monday, January 20, to Janie Kennett at (813) 309-0300 or Visit www. for more info. An Expressive Evening 6 p.m. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Join the Muses, the Museum’s teen council, as they organize and host this free annual event, which includes

River Region Parents I January 2020

Friday, January 24

Parents’ Night Out at United Gymstars & Cheer 6-10 p.m. 6100 Brewbaker Blvd, Montgomery. $25 for the first child / $20 for each additional sibling. Ages 5-12. Pizza and drinks provided. Fun games, trampolines, rope swing, tumble tracks, foam pits and more. For more info, call (334) 284-2244 or visit Walk-ins welcome (until maximum capacity is reached).

Saturday, January 25

Alabama Nature Center Rocks! 10 a.m. 3050 Lanark Road, Millbrook. Ready to “Rock Out?” Come visit us to search for and paint some nature scene rocks. This program will be informal and will be good for children and adults alike. All materials supplied. Feel free to hide your rock around the ANC once you are done, or take it home as a souvenir. For more info, visit or call (334) 285-4550.

Thursday, February 6

Wetumpka Depot Players Present Big River -Through February 22 7:30 p.m. performances except for a 2 p.m. matinee Feb. 16. A musical featuring the adventures of Huckleberry Finn with a large and diverse cast. Written by Mark Twain and directed by Kristy Meanor. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 868-1440.


Adoptive Parent Training Classes Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections recruits, prepares, and supports parents adopting waiting children in Alabama’s foster care. For information on adoptive parent classes or to register for classes in Alabama, contact our team at (866) 803-2722 or visit Baby and Me Young children (ages 10 to 36 months) and their caregivers are invited to join us in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts studio for visual stimulation and connection to the art world. This new class focuses on colors, textures, and shapes and will help set a foundation for curiosity and art basics. Next classes are January 14 and February 4 from 10-10:30 a.m. and 10:30-11 a.m. Call 240-4365 or visit for more info.

Alabama Dance Theatre Hosts Open Children’s Audition for Cinderella 5:30-6:30 p.m. Armory Learning Arts Center, located at 1018 Madison Avenue. Parts include pages, mouse family, pumpkins, petals, bumblebees, birds, fireflies, fairy attendants and horses and are available for boys and girls first grade and up. Those auditioning will be judged on acting, dancing ability, and musicality. The audition fee is $35 (refunded if not selected). Cinderella will be performed March 6-8 at Troy University’s Davis Theatre. For more info, call (334) 625-2590.

Automotive Know-How for Men Ages 16 & Up 6 p.m. City Vehicle Maintenance Shop, 530 Doster Road, Prattville. Learn the simple things that make your vehicle run smooth that all men need to know. Various car maintenance topics covered including how to change a tire, changing your oil, checking fluids, changing wiper blades and more. Great for beginner drivers. FREE. REGISTER by January 23; space is limited. Call (334) 595-0800.

Thursday, January 30

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Presents The Agitators -- Through February 13 Written by Mat Smart; directed by Logan Vaughn. The Agitators tells of the enduring but tempestuous friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. The play follows the young abolitionists after they meet in Rochester in the 1840s, full of hopes and a common purpose. As they grow into cultural icons, their quests for freedom and equality collide, which tests their friendship. They agitated the nation and each other, and by doing so, helped shape the course of American history. Recommended ages 13+. For tickets or more info, visit or call (334) 271-5353.


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Baptist East Maternity Area Virtual Tour We invite you to visit our hospital from the comfort of wherever you are. A personal tour of Baptist Medical Center East’s Maternity Area is now just a click away. This virtual tour is designed to answer any questions you may have regarding our “familycentered maternity care.” Receive an inside look at our Labor and Delivery Suites, Newborn Nursery, Post-Partum and NICU units. From admission to discharge, this video provides all of the information you and your family needs to know. Visit www. 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. 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


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FamilyCalendar 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 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 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) 286-3466. 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 hos-

pital 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.. 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 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 or visit LeaninCentralAL. 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 334430-7569 or e-mail Infant Car Seat Safety Inspection Baptist Health’s Certified Car Seat Safety Technician will help set your mind at ease. Expectant parents can register for a one-on-one car seat installation session tailored to your vehicle. Our goal is to ensure your confidence in a safe ride home from the hospital. Space is limited. Pre-registration required Must provide your own car seat! $10 per car seat payable at the time of inspection by cash or check. Visit or e-mail 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 smallwonders@ 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 for more info. Pre- and Post-natal Fitness Classes Includes water aerobics, step-floor aerobics and strength training. SportsFirst. Call 277-7130.









FamilyCalendar Pregnancy Nutrition Classes Interactive 3-week series of classes developed by wellknown 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 Prepared Childbirth Class (Understanding Birth) Jackson Hospital. Preregistration required. Topics include: pregnancy, labor, birth, options for pain 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: Preparing For A Natural Birth (One Time Class) Baptist Medical Center East. Please bring two bed pillows and a floor mat to class for breathing and relaxation exercise. This class equips expectant parents with natural childbirth options providing them with tools, techniques and coping skills for their labor and delivery experience. Participants will practice breathing and relaxation exercises along with other comfort measures. This class is most

beneficial when your support person attends. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Class fee: $20 (couple or single) payable at class by cash or check. Please email or call 273-4445. Wetumpka Line Dance Classes held at A Chance to Dance, 68 Queen Ann Road, Wetumpka. Country and Non-Country Music for All Ages! CURRENT CLASS SCHEDULE: Mon. Beginner 7:15 p.m.; Wed. Beginner 10 a.m.; Wed. Senior 2 p.m.; Wed. Intermediate 7 p.m.; Fri. High Beginner/Intermediate 7 p.m. *Open Dance to follow class. For more info, call (334) 452-0293 or find us on Facebook.

Support Groups Adoption Support

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) This group provides education and social interaction for adoptive families. Our Adoptive Family Group will start back Thursday, August 8, from 6-7:30 p.m. at Vaughn Forest Church, 8660 Vaughn Rd. We will be starting a three-part series based off the book From Fear to Love by Bryan Post. RSVP is required for this event no later than August 5. Please include number of adults attending and NAMES AND AGES OF ANY CHILDREN.

River Region Parents I January 2020

Full dinner, childcare and CEU’s will be provided! For more info, contact Jill Sexton at 409-9477 or jsexton@ 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 lifelong 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 gettogethers 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.

Cancer Support

American Cancer Society, including Montgomery, Elmore & Autauga Counties: **To access or sign up for these programs, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345. Look Good…Feel Better is an American Cancer Society program in which trained volunteer cosmetologists help female cancer patients deal with the side effects of treatment. Patients are taught beauty techniques to enhance their appearance and self image during or after treatments, including ways to disguise hair loss and skin changes. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 for more info. OTHER PROGRAMS/SERVICES OFFERED BY THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Reach to Recovery matches newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors on a one on one basis. Free wigs and other supplies for cancer patients Free rides to treatment through our Road To Recovery program (where volunteer drivers use their cars and time to take in need cancer patients to treatment) Free lodging through the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham (if patients are sent to Birmingham for treatment) On-line cancer information classes and support group through Information anytime and trained specialists at 1-800ACS-2345. Cancer Patient and Caregiver Support Group 1-2 p.m., Tuesdays, Montgomery Cancer Center, 4145 Carmichael Road. The group is facilitated by professionally trained health care providers and other members of the support care team. It’s free and open to all cancer patients and their caregivers. Call (334) 273-7000. General Cancer Support Group held at Christ Church, 8800 Vaughn Road, Tuesday afternoons at 1 p.m. This is an open group. For more information, please call Christy Holding at 531-1390 or Debbie Diemayer at 467-4578. Women of Hope Breast Cancer Support, Frazer Memorial UMC, 2nd Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Room 8114. Provides education, awareness and mentoring for breast cancer patients/survivors, family or friends. For more info, call 220-4599 or e-mail womenofhope@


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 jan@ DivorceCare and DivorceCare 4 Kids First Baptist Church Montgomery, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $15 (scholarships available). Contact Kathy Cooper at 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. You may also visit www.

Gambling Support

Gamblers Anonymous Meetings in the River Region Area: Saturdays @ 6 p.m. and Mondays @ 6:30 p.m.: meet at Cedarwood Community Church, 10286 US Hwy. 231 N in the Wetumpka/Wallsboro community. The church is 1 1/2 miles past Tutweiler prison on the same side of the street. Sundays @ 5 p.m.: meet at Mental Health of America, 1116 South Hull Street, Montgomery. For more information about the GA meetings, call (334) 399-6918. For information about counseling services or to request a guest speaker, please call the Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling at (334) 277-5100.

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 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. GriefShare meets on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the parlor of First United Methodist Church Prattville. Led by Michael Beatty. For more info, call the church office at (334) 365-5977. GriefShare meets weekly at Vaughn Forest Church on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. This program is nondenominational 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.

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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.

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

Illness Support

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers Support Group meets 1st Thursdays from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in room 3103 at Frazer Memorial UMC. For more info, call 495-6350. Alzheimer’s and Memory Loss Support Group Meets at 6 p.m. third Wednesdays at Trinity Episcopal Church in Wetumpka. Group is for those living with or caring for someone with memory loss. This will be a monthly event that will provide information, a time to share and listen to others experiencing what you are, a time to be supported in your struggles and to share your victories. All are invited. Sometimes caregivers just need to talk with those that understand their struggles. For more info, call (334) 235-4151 or visit The Gathering Place Community Respite on Facebook. Montgomery Area Mended Hearts, First floor of Montgomery Cardiovascular Institute on the campus of Baptist Medical Center South. For anyone who has experienced cardiac illness. Third Mondays, alternates between 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. Call 286-3410 for more info. NAMI Montgomery (National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides understanding, education and information to family members and friends of those who suffer mental illness. The NAMI Montgomery Family Member Support Group meets second Mondays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in room 7205 at Frazer Memorial UMC. Call Mary Jo Logan (271-2280) for details. NAMI also presents a 12week series of free classes on mental illness. These classes are for family members living with or supporting individuals with mental illness. To register, call Pat Cobb at (334) 279-8331. NAMI Connection (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a support group for individuals with mental illness. It meets every Thursday from 6-7:30 p.m.


SupportGroups in room 3103 at Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Hwy. Call Pat Cobb at (334) 279-8331 for more info. OCD Support Group (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) Long showers, multiple hand-washing, rituals, checking the stove, hoarding and symmetry. This support group is open to anyone who has struggled with OCD. You’re not alone anymore. Meetings are held at 5500 Ash Grove Circle, Montgomery. Call Donald at 220-7555 for more info. Ostomy Support, Frazer Memorial UMC, 6000 Atlanta Highway. Meets every other month on 2nd Sundays at 1:30 p.m. in Room 3101. 2018 meetings are in June, August, October and December. Call 4956350 for more info. Overeaters Anonymous, Millbrook City Chamber of Commerce meeting room, 34531 Main Street in Millbrook. Saturdays at a.m. Trouble with food? Do you worry about the way you eat? Overeaters Anonymous can help. It’s not a diet club; it’s a fellowship of people who don’t want to suffer anymore. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively. There are no dues, fees, or weigh-ins. Visit our new meeting in the area. All are welcome! For more info, call (662) 425-2010 or visit Parkinson’s Support, Frazer UMC Activity Bldg. Room 8114, on 4th Thursdays at 6 p.m. Group is for Parkinson’s patients and their family members. For more info, call 495-6350.

Parent Support

Century Church Strong Moms 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesdays. Different host homes in Pike Road’s The Waters community. The focus of this group is to build relationships between moms through Bible study, play dates, prayer and encouragement. Childcare provided for ages 2-5 years old and babies are welcome! For more info, visit strong-moms. 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 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. GirlTime at East Memorial Baptist Church 9:30-11:30 a.m. 2nd Tuesdays at various locations in Prattville. GirlTime is open to ladies of all ages. Visit or call the church office at (334) 365-7500 for info. Childcare is provided at the church. 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. Mom2Mom is a Bible study community for moms of preschoolers. It is a Frazer United Methodist Churchsupported ministry to reach moms of the community through encouragment and prayer during these early years of raising our kids. Join us for weekly Bible studies focusing on parenting, marriage, women’s studies and more. Childcare provided for newbornK5. For more info, e-mail

River Region Parents I January 2020

Moms in Prayer International is a Christ-centered interdenominational prayer ministry made up of moms, grandmothers, aunts or any woman who wants to gather to pray for their children and schools. Meets every Sunday afternoon from 3-4 p.m. at St. James UMC, 9045 Vauhgn Road. Call Annette Jones at (850) 529-4730 or e-mail Montgomerymipac@ for more info on joining us or training to start your own group. 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.

Pregnancy Loss/Infertility

First Choice Women’s Medical Center conducts a HOPE GROUP for women who have experienced the emotional aftermath of an abortion. Groups meet for one weeknight over eight consecutive weeks and are facilitated by women who have experienced abortion. Confidientiality is assured. Please contact Kathy at (334) 260-8010 or kkay@firstchoicewmc. com for more details and information about upcoming groups. 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@ “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

Single Moms Support Group, Landmark Church of Christ, Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. in Classroom 118. For more information call 277-5800. 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 empowering single parents and their families through information, encouragement, and many familyoriented 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

Alabama Angels Pageant, a nonprofit pageant for males and females of any age with special needs. Participation is free. 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. D.A.T.S. M.O.M. (Disability as an Ability Toward Success: Moms on the Move), a non-profit parent empowerment organization for parents of children on the autism spectrum (or with related special needs challenges) that focuses on inspiring, equipping and motivating parents to move their child’s disability to an ability. Follow DATS MOM on Facebook, Twitter and Periscope for live sessions and discussion. E-mail for more information. 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 HearingInfo@ 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: Visit www.

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.




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We know that readers consider our advertisers as valuable a resource as the editorial content in River Region 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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First Baptist of Prattville, 46

Newtopia, 41

Frazer Memorial UMC, 45

Night To Shine, 33

2211 Playzone, 35

Gogue Performing Arts Center, 47

OB/GYN Associates, 52

Adventure Sports II, 70

Guardian Credit Union, 15

OB/GYN Montgomery, Dr. Desautels, 37

Alabama Christian Academy, 34, 72

Guild Mortgage, 2

O’Connor Tennis Lessons, 23

AL Dept. of Health, Inside Front

Huntingdon Learning Center, 4

Pike Road Dental, 43

Ala School of Math & Science, 71

Jackson Hospital, 67

Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 57

Jeff Dickey, New Waters Realty, 69

ASKIN/Synergy House, 25

Judy Barranco Photography, 51

Autauga County Library, 70

Just for Grins - Orthodontist, 60

Autauga/Western Elmore Arc, 51

KLynn Ice Skating School, 93

Baptist Health, 17

Kingry Orthodontics, 37

Bush Pediatric Dentistry, 16

Kreative Moments, 20

Chapman Orthodontics, 53

Lakeview Baptist Church, 20

Children’s Clothing Exchange, 25

Larry Chapman, ALFA Insurance, 42

Children’s Hospital of Alabama, 53

Learning Tree Child Care, 22

Churchill Academy, 21

Lil’ Priss Parties, 54

Cornerstone Classical Academy, 28, 73

Macon East Academy, 9, 76

Dentistry for Children, 24

Mathnasium, 58

Docarmo’s Taekwondo, 7

Memorial Presbyterian Childcare, 54

Dynamite Magic & Balloons, 99

Montessori @ Hampstead, 24

Eastwood Christian School, 74

Montessori @ Mulberry, 19, 77

EdTech Academy, 70

Montgomery Catholic Schools, 61, 63, 79

Tru-Cut Lawn Care, 23

Edward Jones-Lane Easterling, 60

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 29

United Gymstars & Cheer, 65

Evangel Christian Academy, 30, 75

Montg. Pediatric Dentistry/Ortho, 39

Vaughn Park Mom’s Day Out, 69

Eye Center South, 27

My Kids Attic, 21, 31

Vaughn Road Preschool, 97

Family Guidance Center, 48

New Park, 3

We Care Therapy Services, 8

Prattville Christian Academy, 49, 80 Prattville YMCA, 46 Professional Pediatrics, 12 RR Dermatology and Laser, Inside Back Resurrection Catholic School, 55, 81 River Region Straw, 30 Riverview Camp for Girls, 40 Saint James School, 1, 82 Spotless Cleaning Services, 11 Success Unlimited Academy, 32, 83 Sylvan Learning Center, 35, 84 Taylor Road Baptist Church, 99


The Herb Shop, 36 The Montgomery Academy, 78, Back Cover Trinity Presbyterian School, 13, 85

partner with Juice Plus+ along with Health Coaching. This partnership allows our family to get the 7-13 fruits and vegetables in our diet most days through the Juice Plus+ products and education. My rule on food: eat whole foods as much as you can; avoid packaged foods as much as you can; eliminate high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and artificial colors and flavors. Eat, Sleep, Drink Water, Exercise. RRP: Do you meal prep for your family? If so, how? Lynn: I meal prep with salad jars for me and my husband most weeks. I fill 5 mason jars for me and 5 for my husband each week for lunch. It has really helped my husband eat more salads and we have both felt the health benefits. I also make big pots of soup on a regular basis to have on hand in the refrigerator and freezer. My favorite is good old-fashioned chicken soup. It’s great to have on hand when schedules get busy and family members are feeling depleted. I love making smoothies. I make one packed with fresh ingredients most mornings for me and the family. Lastly, I always serve a fresh vegetable and/or a fruit with every meal, preferably both. Breaking bad habits and implementing good habits will help your family with lifelong health.

Lynn Peck RRP: Have you set any resolution goals for 2020? Lynn: My goal for the new year is to focus on balance in my lifestyle, exercise, attitude, and nutrition. My main goal for 2020 is to purge closets, rooms, the garage, and attic spaces. I’ll be donating unused items and discovering new uses for things forgotten.

RRP: What is something you hope your children have learned from watching you? Lynn: Love for family, faith, the importance of good friendships over material things, hard work and earning your way, eating right and exercise. These are all things that I learned from my parents. RRP: Are you looking forward to an “empty nest”? What preparations are you making for that season of life? Lynn: My husband was a busy military commander when the kids were young, with several deployments and remote assignments. I decided to not work in my professional field full time as an accountant and committed to be the stable force at home. I have loved being the stable parent at home for our family. It hasn’t always been easy, but I know I was where God had placed me – it made it all worth it. I plan to work and/or volunteer after my daughter leaves for college. My husband and I do plan to work in some traveling with our extra freedom.

RRP: How would you describe your parenting style? Lynn: The main points I try to get across in my parenting include: truth and respect for yourself and others, eating real food, having one true friend, being involved with at least one activity/group (sport, dance, youth group, scouts), getting good sleep, drinking plenty of water, keeping up with your schoolwork, learning from your mistakes, knowing you are loved, faith in God, giving yourself downtime, and making goals and a plan. We are learning this parenting thing as we go. None of us attended college to major in parenting. Many days I succeed, and others I fail. When something works, we take it, when something doesn’t, we try again. I love the book The Power of a Praying Parent, by Stormie Omartian. It grounds me and brings faith into my parenting. The best parenting resource I’ve found are other parents with whom to talk out issues.

RRP: If you could relive one stage of your children’s lives, just for one day, what would it be? Why? Lynn: I really would want to relive the toddler stage of my childrens’ lives. As I said before, we live and learn as a parent. I have more knowledge and experience now about early childhood nutrition, encouragement, compassion, and love. I understand the importance of patience and love in the early stages of childrens’ lives. I wish I could go back to one of those days to just hug, play, and love on them.

RRP: Lynn, you are intentional about living a healthy lifestyle. Where did that desire come from?

Lynn Peck is a LEAN Health Coach and Juice Plus Sales Distributor. She is mom to Adam (20) and Lauren (17) and stepmom to Stephanie (37) and Daniel (34). She has been married for 22 years to Lt Gen Allen G. Peck, USAF, Retired.

Lynn: My mother is a great cook and always had fresh vegetables on the table. It was a family joke that mom would slam on the brakes when she saw a roadside vegetable stand. She inspired me and was a good example of what healthy living looks like. I

River Region Parents I January 2020

Photography by Studio Panache.


River Region




the skin you’re in. Dr. Porcia Love Brittany Boylan, CRNP Jo Shuford-Guice, MSN, FNP-BC



River Region Dermatology & Laser 2060 Berryhill Road · Montgomery, AL 36117 (334) 676-3366 ·


What does an MA graduate look like? Diverse in every way, yet sharing surprisingly similar qualities. As early as kindergarten, The Montgomery Academy looks ahead to the kind of qualities a young adult needs to succeed. Programs are structured and experiences are designed around creating life-long learners who challenge themselves. Co-curricular involvement is planned to champion honor, ethics, diversity, and service. We do all this. But if you ask a third grader what they did in school today, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably tell you about the amazing playground.

Th e M o n t g o m e r y A c a d e m y The Pursuit of Excellence in K-12 Education Contact Rachael Gallagher, | 334.272.8210 |

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River Region Parents January 2020  

The 2020 Education Issue is here!

River Region Parents January 2020  

The 2020 Education Issue is here!