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contents Vol. 2 issue 3 FEATURE 8


Expressions Of Love: Thoughtful Gifts For This Holiday Season


Ebola: What Parents Need To Know


Healthy Post-Play Snacks During The Holidays


Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent Of Miami-Dade County Public Schools


Encourage Your Kids To Practice Sports


Our Kids Create Safe Havens For Children And Families Through Foster Care And Adoptions

in every issue 12 ACTIVITIES No School? No Problem!

14 TRADITIONS Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah Milk And Cookies For Santa

20 SNACKS Frosty Donuts A Fun Easy Recipe To Make With Our Kiddos

22 PLACES Cirque Du Soleil - Amaluna

24 COOL STUFF Holiday Essentials

TOP 10 Shop In Your Area

30 BOOK REVIEWS Suggestions For Your Kids To Read This Month

31 MOVIE REVIEWS What Is New In Theaters


on the cover Credits MODELS: Blake & Ashlee PHOTOGRAPHY: Ginelle Lago

GMN Artistic


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

M-DCPS Launches Mobile App

33 FAMILY EVENTS Where To Go With Our Kiddos

credits’s just about kids

Kiddos Publisher’s Notes

Sparkling memories!



Veronica Lepere EDITOR

Paige Vignola

Ahhh! It’s that time again; I cannot believe the holiday season has arrived so quickly. It seems like a few days ago we were buying schools uniforms and supplies. Dressing up in red (a lot) and wearing a Santa Claus hat it’s always so much more fun!


Estefania Arosemena Gabriela M. Brown American Academy of Pediatrics American Heart Association Miami Dade County Public Schools Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Dr. Alberto Badia, MD Regal Cinemas DESIGN

Kiddos Creative Department

What is your favorite gift ever received? The gifts that leave the unequivocal essence of genuine love are those which mark our hearts with the sweetest of memories. Expressions of Love brings you Thoughtful Gifts for this Holiday Season, gifts that money can’t buy but our Kiddos can create! American Heart Association brings a list of healthy post-play snacks during the holidays. Our Kiddos Kid Reporter had the fantastic opportunity to interview Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools Alberto Carvalho and learn more about the school system in our district.


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

Let’s enjoy this season… decorating the Christmas tree, seeing lights around the neighborhood, listening to the Christmas songs, baking with our Kiddos, and getting together with family and friends.



Smart Distribution Services PHOTOGRAPHER

Ginelle Lago GMN Artistic

At the close of another year, we gratefully pause to wish you a warm and happy Holiday Season with lot’s of love for our Kiddos!

KIDDOS MAGAZINE P.O. Box 431492 Miami, Fl. 33243 786.260.8492 Kiddos Magazine is produced by

V&L Design LLC © 2013 Kiddos Magazine


Volume 2. Issue 3. Kiddos Magazine is printed bi-monthly in the U.S.A. copyright © 2013 V&L Design LLC. Title is protected through a trademark registration in the U’S. Patent Office. All rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |


EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE Thoughtful Gifts for this Holiday Season WRITTEN BY: Gabriela M. Brown


enerally, when you ask a friend to tell you about their favorite gift ever received, they’ll mention their child’s drawing, a moment spent with a special someone, their spouse’s love letter from a while ago, etc. The gifts that leave the unequivocal essence of genuine love are those which mark our hearts with the sweetest of memories. Here are 5 of the most thoughtful gifts money can’t buy but true love can create this holiday season:




kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

Poetry. Wait, it doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean style sonnet. It can be simple such as an acrostic: Write your loved one’s name vertically and list adjectives that begin with each letter. You, as the poet, can make it funny or very loving. Either way go ahead and get creative. This is a great one for the kids to make for family absolute favorite amongst grandparents. Present it beautifully as a priceless work of art.

Cook Book. Take your loved one’s and family’s favorite recipes and write them out. This one may take some prep time, but it’s so worth the time and effort. Here are a few simple steps to make it that much more special. Write a dedication in the front of your book. You can use a composition book and hand-write

it for a much more personal touch. This could easily become a family air loom, especially, if you give it to your child as they go to college or move out. Include photos of the dishes and of your loved one enjoying it. Your recipes will surely live on and bring a sense of warmth to the recipient.


Family Stories. Moms, dads, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are every child’s favorite storytellers. So go ahead and tell a story. Most cultures and for many years used story telling as means of enjoyment, to instill family principles, and to pass on traditions. Telling family stories helps kids develop a keen sense of uniqueness and belonging. This simple phenomenon of telling stories yet incredible may also help increase their selfesteem. The feeling of connection to their past ancestors and other family members is surely to play a key role for their own sense of family unity. Sharing stories about your childhood can be so much fun and bring about hilarious moments of laughter creating fantastic memories. Other stories will allow for learning moments about journeys, determination, and love. In fact, many of the decisions our ancestors made have had a direct impact improving our own lives and the lives our kids and merit retelling.

The gifts that leave the unequivocal essence of genuine love are those who mark our hearts with the sweetest of memories.


Good Deeds. The sense that one person can change the world lives in every child’s heart and in most of ours as well. Grant your child opportunities to practice compassion and kindness by helping the less fortunate. It is easy to find the right group and cause that connects well with your family’s intentions. So, call around to a couple of non profit organizations, churches, synagogues, community centers, etc to find out how you and your kids can participate in giving your time and/or talent. Hopefully, you will all find the joy in your giving that will make this part of your holiday traditions. Adding to existing traditions is a terrific way of making them even more meaningful.

play with your full attention on them, whether it’s to build a puzzle, dance a little, go for a bike ride, or to read a story. Reward yourself and your kids a with moment of unconditional love and affection.



Time. The best gift to give your child is your time and your undivided attention...full eye and heart contact. The hustle and bustle of our busy and hectic lives is often times what consumes us most. Challenge yourself to stop - stop everything. Allow yourself to disconnect even for a little while from all phones and mindful demands and play with your child. PLAY, it’s just about kids |




What Parents Need To Know


WRITTEN BY: American Academy Of Pediatrics

n an effort to share accurate information and tips, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clarifies what Ebola is and what parents can do to protect their children.

What is Ebola? Ebola is a viral infection, yet it is very rare and is not easy to transmit from person to person. There is a serious outbreak in West Africa, however, in part due to lack of germ prevention and access to adequate medical supplies.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Ebola? Ebola typically starts suddenly with a fever but symptoms can also include a severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising. The time from infection with the virus to the onset of symptoms is from 2 to 21 days (with 8 to 10 days being most common). A person with the Ebola virus can infect others as soon as they begin to have symptoms. Early-stage Ebola disease may be confused with other infectious diseases (e.g., flu) because the initial symptoms are similar to those seen with other viral infections.

How is Ebola Spread? Unlike the flu, Ebola is not spread through the air or water. The chances


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

of you or your children becoming infected are slim. Ebola is only transmitted through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person or from objects like needles that have been in contact with infected body fluids. This means it does not spread through air, food, water, or by touching things like money and keyboards. See Q&A’s on Ebola Trans mission on

Can You Get Ebola From a Dog or Cat? At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. The chances of a dog or cat being exposed to Ebola virus in the United States is very low as they would have to come into contact with blood and body fluids of a symptomatic person sick with Ebola. See Q&A’s about Ebola and Pets on

to learn and share. Because people in West Africa may not be able to follow these precautions and may not have access to soap and water, Ebola has continued to spread.

Important Message for Parents: It is much easier to catch to the flu or other respiratory viruses than Ebola. For example, based on the Ebola statistics we have right now, it is likely that flu will cause far more illness and deaths around the globe than Ebola will.

News Coverage Understandably, there is heavy coverage in the media about the spread of Ebola. However, it is a good idea to limit young children’s exposure to news stories about it. This way, parents can decide what information they want to share based on their child’s level of understanding.

Can Ebola Be Prevented?

Keeping Calm

Yes, killing the virus is easy. The Ebola virus can be killed with soap and water, heat, or a disinfectant or sanitizing agent.

News about the spread of diseases can be alarming, even for adults. Keep yourself well informed so that your own fears are under control. Talk with your children in ways that make sense to them so they don’t become overly concerned or afraid. k

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing hands frequently or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good precaution. This is perhaps the most important message for children

For more information about Ebola, please visit the official American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents, Article used with permission. Copyright© 2014 American Academy of Pediatrics

A letter

itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |



activities During school breaks Super Soccer Stars runs camp programming to keep your students active and kicking!

t Super Soccer Stars, dynamic coaches work with every student to develop skills, self-confidence, and teamwork in a fun, non-competitive environment. Positive reinforcement and low child-to-coach ratios ensure that each child will improve his or her soccer skills through engaging warm-ups, activities, and games—all while having endless fun. Soccer fun starts at age 2; Kick & Play, presoccer and movement parent-child program for toddlers 12-24 months; Super Soccer Stars Premier,

advanced classes for ages 5 and up. Come join the fun at one of our winter break camps this year, offered Wednesday, December 17th – Friday, December 19th; Monday, December 22nd – Friday, December 26th (No class on 12/25), and Monday, December 29th – Friday, January 2nd (No class on 1/1). All at Soccer Town Miami in Midtown: 2728 Northeast 2nd Avenue, @ NE 28th St. Mini Camps Mini Camps are 2.5 hours of soccer fun and arts and crafts for children ages 2.5-5. Camp is typically divided into 2 age groups: 2.5-3 year olds, and 4-5 year olds. Mini Camps are a great way to both introduce your youngest one to soccer, as well as develop your older child’s soccer skills in a fun and safe environment. We also offer an extended day option for the 4-5 year olds, which runs an additional two hours.

Kick It Camps Kick It Camp is 4 hours of soccer fun for kids ages 6-12. Camp is typically divided into 2 age groups: 6-8 year olds, and 9-12 year olds. A typical camp day includes a warm-up, tag games, relay races, team building activities, skill building activities, partner, individual, and group activities, and concludes with a game of World Cup! Kick It camp is a great way for your older child to build confidence and learn teamwork while improving their soccer skills! k

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For more information about Super Soccer Stars, please call 305-777-7077or email

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Hanukkah, oh, Hanukkah

Milk and Cookies for Santa

Photography Ginelle Lago GMN

A traditional upbeat children’s song Festival of Lights

The twinkling lights, the letters to Santa, the stories and carols are all part of the tradition that marks Christmas as a very special time.

Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah, come light the menorah. Let’s have a party, we’ll all dance the hora Gather ‘round the table, we’ll give you a treat spining tops to play with and tastey things to eat And while we are playing, the candles are burning low One for each night, they share a sweet light To remind us of days long ago One for each night, they share a sweet light To remind us of days long ago.

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In every part of the world, kids prepare a plate of cookies for Santa’s snack when he visits their homes on Christmas Eve. It’s hard for children to sleep that night anticipating his visit, but good little boys and girls know he won’t come until they’re tucked snugly in bed with eyes shut! The tradition of leaving cookies for Santa is believed to have started at the time of the Great Depression by parents wanting to inspire their children to share with others, especially during a time of great need. Now kids happily leave cookies and milk for Santa…and often a carrot for his reindeer to share, knowing in the morning there will be just a few crumbs on the plate, and an empty glass signifying that the jolly old man enjoyed his treat!


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Healthy Post-Play Snacks During The Holidays WRITTEN BY: American Heart Association


he holidays are a time full of tradition, feasts, and tons of delicious sweets to complement every social gathering. As nearly 1 in 3 kids and teens in the U.S. are overweight or obese, it’s important for parents, friends and family to make sure kids have access to healthier foods—including post-play snacks during their holiday break.

of the American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. All too often, kids are rewarded with unhealthy foods and sugary full-calorie drinks, but there are lots of healthier choices that not only taste great, but are better for them too! Healthier choices in the foods kids eat help their bodies to grow, run, walk, think, move, sleep, and fight off germs.

“With busy, on-the-go lifestyles, many Americans have lost touch with their kitchens and thrown in the towel on eating healthy, which is key to prevention of heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, R.D., Chairperson

So, the next time your child finishes their football game, ballet class or playing outside with family or friends, try giving them one of these healthy post-play snacks. k



Sugar-sweetened beverages

•Fat-free of 1% fat milk •100% fruit juice •Low sodium vegetable juice •Water

Full calorie chips and crackers

•Unsalted sunflower seeds •Whole-grain crackers (fat-free or low fat) •Fat-free, 1% fat or low-fat cheese sticks •Unsalted rice cakes •Apples or orange slices •Bananas •Carrot or celery sticks •Unsalted walnuts or almonds •Plain, fat-free, 1% fat or low-fat yogurt

Sweets and baked goods

•Canned fruit in their own juice, with no sugar added •Fresh or dried fruit •Frozen bananas or grapes •Raisins •Baked apples •Fat-free, 1% fat or low fat unsweetened fruit yogurt •Sugar-free ice pops

For more information about this topic please visit or call 1-800-242-8721 16

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the kiddos kid reporter Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools WRITTEN BY: Estefania Arosemena


Alberto Carvalho is an inspirational educator and current Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

ur Kiddos Reporter had the fantastic opportunity to learn more about not only Florida’s 2014 Superintendent of the Year, but also an admirable human being who has considerably improved the school system in our district. Specialized magnet programs, in-classroom new technologies, and parents coaching guidance are only a few of the transformations Carvalho has fought for in his quest to elevate the educational system in Miami Dade. He believes that one of life’s most important investments is the power of education and everybody should respect the value that exists behind it. Recently selected National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, Carvalho shared with us some of his personal experiences, aspirations, and influential supporters behind his utmost purpose as an educational leader, teacher, and parent.

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What have been some of the most successful learning initiatives you implemented at Miami-Dade schools this year? Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: Some of the most important initiatives that I am proud of as a Superintendent, teacher, and parent have to do with elements that have improved the school system, for example, Choice: creating new magnet programs, allowing parents and students like you to choose the type of program that you want to study. Therefore, if you like law enforcement, or medicine, or science, or performing arts, or have any other vocation pref-


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

erence we’ll create programs like that for you. The second one is the Investment in Technology, ensuring that all teachers and students have access to laptop computers, Promethean boards with sound, and access to the Internet everywhere on campus, which to me is very important. The fact that we increased the graduation rates dramatically was also very significant. Lastly The Prizes we have gotten, like for example this one right here, which is the equivalent of the “Nobel Price” or “The Olympic Gold Medal” for a large district like Miami Dade - the 4th largest in the country - makes me very proud of the various initiatives that

have recently taken place. I am very proud of the principals and the teachers that lead the way and students like you that has put Miami Dade at the very top.

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What advice would you give children to be more productive at school?

The Kiddos Kid Reporter: What advice would you give parents to improve student home environments? Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: You know, that is probably one of the most important questions we can ask because we can do everything right at school, but if the home learning environment is not there, if there isn’t the parent or grandparent who provides some coaching, modeling, tutoring, or mentoring to children, then I think the whole child is not being educated. So how can we improve it? We have a remarkable initiative called “The Parent Academy.” This is a school for parents that helps them to understand how to access resources in the school system, get better jobs by training themselves in vocational programs, and by helping them to really make decisions about issues that have impacted dramatically in the community like for example, how to open a checking account, how to plan for the future, how to secure scholarships for students by the time they graduate from High School, but also by connecting parents to resources that exist. They can actually help students do better in school, help with homework, dial the teacher, and access digital content on the computer to help students like you perfect reading, math, science or writing, so the whole learning

environment is one that depends on the assistance that we as a system provide parents, but it also depends on parents showing up and doing their part in helping their children after the last bell in school. The Kiddos Kid Reporter: Did you know you wanted to be an education activist since you were young? Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: No, well actually when I was your age (9 years old) I was very poor and all I thought about were things such as: what am I going to eat? Where am I going to sleep? And do I get to actually finish school? So I wasn’t really not contemplating education as a career, but the moment I came to this country I realized that education is very important in order to do the things you really want, accomplish things for others and for yourself. You really can’t do it without education. I initially thought I was going to be a “Medical Doctor,” but I like to talk and heal people more with ideas and words rather than with medicine. So I made a decision to begin teaching and I became a science teacher. I taught physics and chemistry as well as mathematics and then after that I felt, “you know, education really could improve and should improve quickly and rather than simply helping thirty or forty students in one classroom, let me try to help many more other students in a school and then if I help those students in an entire school, let me try to help now all students and teachers in an entire school system like Miami Dade.” So that’s how I went from being a poor kid who had no interest in education to somebody who believed he wanted to heal people with medicine to somebody who believes, as I do today, that he can actually help and heal more people through education.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: Be focused! I think today one of the biggest challenges that young people face are the distractions right? The TV is on, there are cellphones and ipads everywhere, streaming programing, texting and tweeting, instagraming and Vine, and then there are video games that are all consuming. I think so much of that space that we have to live is consumed by so much of that, which can incite us to forget to pay attention to the important things. Back in the day when I went to school there were no computers. Did you know that? There were no cellphones and my TV was a black and white tiny one, so you know what I did? I read books, as many books as I could possibly read. Today is different because you are born and are growing up in what they call a “hyperconnected era,” because you are connected to your phone, to a computer at home that is connected to the Internet and you are always living a connected life. You access information, you play games and you do a lot of things via the Internet or your mobile phone. Isn’t that true? Back in my day that didn’t happen, so I was allowed to be more focused because the distractions were not as evident. Today it is a little bit different, so “focus” is important, respecting a teacher as somebody who is the ultimate “sage” to influence students, and respecting the value behind education and knowledge. The Kiddos Kid Reporter: Can you describe Alberto Carvalho in 3 different words? Superintendent Alberto Carvalho: Yes, I can because I have actually been described that way and I like it. I think I have 3 dimensions. One I would say is: I take every opportunity to be a teacher; I have the ability to teach somebody something. Secondly, I take the opportunity to be a learner because you should never let an opportunity pass by to learn something. And third, sometimes I am a fighter because you want to fight for what is right, you want to fight for those who have weaknesses associated with them, and for those who are fragile and invisible. So I want to be a “teacher,” a “learner,” and a “fighter” for the good things to help human beings. k Credits: The Kiddos Kid Reporter Clothing: Peek kids at Village of Miracle Park Photography: : Simply Chic Photography Location: Miami Dade County Public Schools For more information about M-DCPS please visit it’s just about kids |




Frosty Donuts A Fun easy Holiday recipe to make with our Kiddos!


These simple holiday dessert recipe, made with Mrs. Freshleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s powdered sugar mini donuts and a few extra ingredients, provide a semi-homemade twist on holiday classics and are a great choice for our Kiddos parties as they require minimal prep and have a fun, festive look. Ingredients

mini chocolate chips to the donut for the snowmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eyes and mouth. Stack three donuts and apply the candied coated chocolate pieces for buttons. Place the donut with the snowmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face on top of the three stacked donuts. Insert two peppermint sticks for the snowmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s arms and use a piece of red licorice for the snowmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s scarf.

1 Family pack of Mrs. Freshleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s powdered sugar mini donuts 1 Bag of Candy Corn Mini chocolate chips Mini candied coated chocolate pieces Peppermint sticks Red Licorice Vanilla icing Directions Press the large end of a piece of candy corn into the center of one donut. Use the vanilla icing to adhere the



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This Holiday Season Cirque Du Soleil

Returns to Miami with Amaluna

fter the remarkable success of TOTEM in 2013, Cirque du Soleil returns to Miami with one of it’s newest touring shows, Amaluna, which will premiere on December 11 under the iconic blue and yellow Big Top at Sun Life Stadium. Written and directed by Tony Awardwinning director, Diane Paulus, Cirque du Soleil’s 33rd production Amaluna is a celebration of love and a tribute to the work and voice of women. AMALUNA Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal,

rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next. In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men washes ashore the island, triggering an epic and emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test and the couple must face numerous demanding trials before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony. Amaluna is a fusion of the words ama, which refers to “mother” in many languages, and luna, which means “moon,” a symbol of femininity that evokes both the mother-daughter relationship and the idea of goddess and protector of the planet. Amaluna is also the name of the mysterious island where this magical story unfolds. A TRIBUTE TO THE WORK AND VOICE OF WOMEN For the first time in Cirque du Soleil’s history, Amaluna features a cast that comprises 70% women, with a 100% all-female band. “Amaluna is a tribute Tickets are available now for purchase visiting Or by calling 1.877. 9 cirque


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

to the work and voice of women”, explains Director of Creation Fernand Rainville. “The show is a reflection on balance from a woman’s perspective,” he adds. Writer and Director Diane Paulus, winner of a 2013 Tony Award (Pippin) and recently named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2014, says: “I didn’t want to build a ‘women’s agenda’ show. I wanted to create a show with women at the center of it, something that had a hidden story that featured women as the heroines.” Paulus drew from a series of classical influences when creating the concept of the show, including tales from Greek and Norse mythology, Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Shakespeare’sThe Tempest. k

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Join your favorite chefs and culinary personalities for two fun-filled days of food, fitness and learning at Fun and Fit as a Family sponsored by Carnival featuring Goya Kidz Kitchen at Jungle Island. This family-friendly event allows parents and kids to learn the basics of a healthy lifestyle with Food Network personalities and renowned chefs. Kids will explore the food garden, play sports on the beach and get their hands messy in the interactive kitchen while visiting with the animals of Jungle Island.

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cool stuff


Toys & Accessories

at Toy Town

Essentials Children’s Shoes

at Bobbi-Toads

t̓You can paint the “toes” on these Original Bobbi-Toads with any nail polish t̓Bobbi-Toads Light-Ups by Jacquelynn Rae are all the flash without the splash! The "toes" light up in five different colors with each step!" Available at Use code KIDDOS for 30% off and free shipping thru 12/31.

Christmas Cards

and ornaments

t̓Drummer Boy Ornament By Davian Age 11 t̓Quilt Tree Card By Maria Paz Age 7 t̓Tangled Lights Card By Regan Age 14 Available at 24

kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

t̓Giant elf from Elf Magic tMindstorms from Lego t̓Micro Kickboard Available at

Children’s Book The Day An Angel Ran Into My Room

el día que un ángel se apareció en mi habitación

English and Spanish Versions by Anabelle Valenzuela-Alarcon Ages 2 to 10 Available at


itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just about kids |


games / sports

Encourage Your Kids to Practice Sports WRITTEN BY: Dr. Alejandro Badia, MD


ncouraging children to get involved in sports is one of the best things parents can do for their kids. Sports offer a magnitude of benefits. They keep kids active and provide them with a healthy lifestyle that will prevent disease in the future. In addition, playing sports gives kids a sense of belonging making them feel accepted by their peers, and in turn, more confident, which will help in school and in life. Playing sports also teaches discipline and determination, and these will be reflected in everything they do in life. Dr. Alejandro Badia, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of OrthoNOW®, the only Orthopedic Urgent Care Center franchise in the country with locations in South Florida including Doral and now Weston, shares the following tips: •Take family time outside—beaches, parks, etc. The family that plays together, stays together! •Take your child to a live sporting event so they can get caught up in the adrenaline. •Provide active toys that will make kids go outside to play with them. However, Dr. Badia advises parents to ensure their kids are physically ready to practice specific sports. One way to do this is by doing a pre check-up, or Sports Physical, before kids start a new sport. An important preventative method is performing a Concussion Baseline Test which is an exam available at Or-


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

in school and in life.”

thoNOW®. This test provides a cognitive view of the child’s current balance and brain function (memory skills, learning, paying attention, thinking or problem solving and more). Results are stored in a national database - IMPACT, and can be accessed from any major healthcare facility for use as a comparison to similar tests. Dr. Badia explains that the results can be used for suspected concussions. By comparing the baseline test to test results after an injury,

the health care professional is able to identify the effects of the injury and make a more informed decision. If a concussion is suspected, education should be provided to athletes and their parents about:

Mention Kiddos when making your

•Danger signs and when to seek immediate care •How to reduce risk for future concussions •Tips to aid recovery

For more information and to schedule a Baseline Concussion Test for your child today call 305.537.7272 or visit


it’s just about kids |




Create safe havens for children and families through foster care and adoptions WRITTEN BY: Our Kids Of Miami-Dade/Monroe


hat is Our Kids? Our Kids is the nonprofit Community Based Care (CBC) agency that oversees and leads the child welfare system in Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys. Our Kids creates safe havens for children and families through foster care and adoption. What is the role of Our Kids? We provide a comprehensive range of foster care and adoption services, including those that were previously performed by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), such as prevention, case management, adoption, independent living services for transitioning foster care youth, and many other related programs. How many years has it been providing services? Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. was established in 2002 and began providing services in 2005 to abused, neglected and abandoned children and their families in Miami and the Florida Keys.


kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

What is Our Kids’ mission? Our Kids mission is to oversee and lead a coordinated system of care in order to deliver excellence to abused, abandoned, and neglected children and their families in Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys. What is Our Kids’ vision? Our Kids’ vision is that every at-risk child in Miami-Dade and Monroe will grow up with a safe, loving, nurturing, and permanent family.

Be a Hero. Foster - Adopt Volunteer How Foster Care works? Foster care is when a child has been removed, through no fault of his/her own, from their home and family due to concerns for their safety; the child may have been abandoned, abused and/or neglected and is in need of a temporary home placement. Whenever possible, they live with relatives or non-relatives familiar with the child; when that is not

possible, the child is placed with a foster family in a Licensed Foster Home. The basic requirements to become a Foster Parent include: being 21 years or older; being financially self-supporting; and also include fingerprinting for Federal, State and Local background and abuse records checks; as well as the ability to work with many community partners (including the birth family). The licensing process requires a minimum of 21 hours of training, a health and safety inspection of your home and a home study assessment of your family. The background screening, training classes and process to become licensed are all free of charge. How Adoption Works? Legal adoption means that the child becomes a member of your family and is no longer a part of the Foster Care System. As an Adoptive Parent, you make all decisions for your adopted child, just as you would for your biological children.

Most adults who can provide a stable, loving home for a child or children can adopt. There is a great need for adoptive families who have the patience and ability to parent teenagers, large sibling groups and children with special needs. Volunteer Volunteering your time in support of a cause that you believe in can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial experiences of your lifetime. Our Kids, its agencies and partners, are in need of volunteers who are committed to giving back and making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable children in Miami-Dade and Monroe communities. Jackie Gonzalez as its new CEO “In a short amount of time, Our Kids has set the standard for child welfare in Florida and nationwide and I am honored to have been selected to take on the leadership of the organization,” said Gonzalez. “I look forward to building on its success and to continue acting as a champion for children in our community.”

The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, in partnership with Our Kids The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery, is a web-based, museum-quality exhibit featuring portraits of children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system who are available for adoption. This initiative is a collaboration between The Children’s Trust and Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe. This site is dedicated to increasing awareness of the more than 150 foster care children in Miami-Dade who are in need of permanent homes. k The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery visit

Miami-Dade/Monroe fostering and

Looking for Children’s Health Information You Can Trust? Visit the Official American Academy of Pediatrics Web Site for Parents

Register today for customized information based on the ages of your children, a free e-newsletter, special offers, and more! It’s quick, easy, and free!

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Suggestions for your kids to read this month

1. The Polar Express By Chris Van Allsburg For twenty years, The Polar Express has been a worldwide bestseller and Christmas classic. A perfect keepsake for any family, this beautiful edition can be handed down to each new generation of readers. In 1986 The Polar Express was awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal and hit the New York Times bestseller list. Since that time, more than six and a half million copies have been sold, and every December it faithfully reappears on national bestseller lists For children 4 to 8 years old.

2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! By Dr. Seuss “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. No holiday season is complete without the Grinch, Max, Cindy-Lou, and all the residents of Who-ville, in this heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit on even


the smallest and coldest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays. For children 3 to 7 years old.

3. El Día Que Un Ángel Se Apareció En Mi Habitación By Anabelle Valenzuela-Alarcon Lea lo que pasa cuando una niña de seis años conoce a un ángel y por medio de este encuentro descubre su mágico mundo interior. A la hora de dormir, Alessandra le pide a su mama “solo cinco minutos más”. Es entonces que se le aparece un visitante inusual: su angelito guardián, Angelisse. El ángel se parece a la niña, haciéndosele fácil a Alessandra relacionarse con el angelito. El ángel le explica a la niña lo importante que es cada persona en el universo, como cada acción causa una reacción y la importancia de la visualización, entre muchas otras cosas mágica. Para ninos de 3 a 9 anos

4. Alphabet Anatomy – Meet the lower case letters By Linda Ann Jones For the first time ever, the alphabet letters come to life based upon

kiddos | December 2014 • January 2015

their unique graphic features so learning all about them has never been easier! A fun rhyme and clever illustration for each letter helps kids understand not only the letters’ sounds and shapes but also provides innovative handwriting instruction. Meet Letter A: “A has a point at the top of her head. Under her belt, she hides apples so red. A – Apples” Recite the rhymes during play to facilitate letter recognition and use them as a tool to accelerate letter mastery. For children 2 to 7 years old.

5. The Nutcracker By Teresa Johnson On Christmas Eve, a young girl’s nutcracker doll transforms into a prince who battles an evil Mouse King and escorts the girl to the magical Land of Sweets. The popular ballet’s story is simplified for young readers and accompanied by incredibly beautiful illustrations. This is the perfect gift to share with children before they see The Nutcracker. Everyone who has seen the ballet will cherish it—as will anyone who enjoys stories where love triumphs. For children 4 to 8 years old.

6. Olive, the Other Reindeer By J.otto Seibold, Vivian Walsh This beautiful deluxe edition marks the tenth anniversary of J.otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh’s modern Christmas classic, and the story of a little dog named Olive with big reindeer dreams! When the book was first published in 1997, it enjoyed great reviews and has since sold more than 1 million copies. This new edition is a larger version of the original book, and it features flaps to lift, spots to scratch and sniff, and a pop-up grand finale. Designed to be a perfect holiday gift, this edition will appeal to Olive’s many fans. For children 4 to 8 years old.

7. The Snowman and the Snowdog By Raymond Briggs In this holiday picture book, a companion to Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, a little boy builds a snow puppy next to his snowman— in hopes of getting a real puppy for Christmas. That night the Snowman comes to life and takes the boy and the Snowdog on an adventure to the world of Snow People. For children 4 to 8 years old.


movie reviews


From acclaimed director Ridley Scott comes the epic adventure “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.


Annie is a young, happy foster kid who’s also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they’d be back for her someday, it’s been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan. But everything’s about to change when the hard-nosed tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks - advised by his brilliant VP, Grace and his shrewd and scheming campaign advisor, Guy - makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.


This final battle brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide: unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.


Literature professor Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) leads a secret life as a high-stakes gambler. Always a risk-taker, Bennett bets it all when he borrows from a gangster and offers his own life as collateral. Staying one step ahead, he pits his creditor against the operator of an illicit gambling ring while garnering the attention of Frank (John Goodman), a paternalistic loan shark. As his relationship with a student (Brie Larson) deepens, Bennett must risk everything for a second chance.


Get ready for the wildest and most adventure-filled Night At the Museum ever as Larry leaves New York City for London, uniting favourite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.


Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people – a dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, and led to President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

go until he marries the girl of his dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting), Doug is referred to Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart), owner and CEO of Best Man, Inc., a company that provides flattering best men for socially challenged guys in need. What ensues is a hilarious wedding charade as they try to pull off the big con, and an unexpected budding romance between Doug and his fake best man Jimmy.


Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. k


Doug Harris (Josh Gad) is a loveable but socially awkward groom-to-be with a problem: he has no best man. With less than two weeks to

For more information about showtimes visit

it’s just about kids |





iami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) recently launched a new mobile application to provide parents, students, and employees faster access to up-to-date school information. The official Dadeschools Mobile App is now available to download for FREE for iPhone and Android devices.

ability to view school location on a map; ability to send text, email or Twitter post of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s information; ability to receive notifications from M-DCPS; information about The Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Inc. (FNEI); log in using Dadeschools Portal username and password to receive personalized information tailored to parents, students, and employees.

The mobile app features: student class schedules, bus route information, and report cards; school breakfast and lunch menus; list of all Miami-Dade public schools by school type; school information including school website, photos, school address, phone number, enrollment, school colors, and school hours; functionality to contact school via phone or email;

Parents, students and employees can also find information about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program including which devices qualify and how to connect from your school. Additional features: Additional features will be added throughout the school year.

Distractions are a factor in up to 8 in 10 crashes

Nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16+ text or email while driving

kiddos | December 2014 â&#x20AC;˘ January 2015

Distraction contributes to more than 5,000 traffic fatalities each year


Drivers spend more than half their time focused on things other than driving

Texting and driving is ILLEGAL in Florida 32

For more information about M-DCPS Mobil App, please visit


fa ea mt iul ry e e v e n t s

where to go

with our



Cirque Du Soleil returns to Miami with Amaluna December 11th to January 24th Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Written and directed by Tony Award-winning director, Diane Paulus, Cirque du Soleil's 33rd production Amaluna is a celebration of love and a tribute to the work and voice of women. Tickets are available now visiting Sun Life Stadium.


2014th-2015th The Polar Express Train Ride at The Gold Coast Railroad Starting December 4th In the story, all the children taking this magical train ride are awakened from their bed on Christmas Eve. Join the fun by bringing your children in their pijamas. Adults are also welcome to join the PJ party fun. The train will be coming for limited boarding. For tickets information and schedule visit or call 305.253.


2014th-2015th Nights of Lights at Pinecrest Gardens December 12-14, 19-21, 25 January 1-3, 2015 From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Many of the evenings will be featuring entertainment for children including storytelling, pony rides, puppetry, music and more. Celebrate the season in our tropical winter wonderland at Live Like Bella®Nights of Lights. General Admission: $5 11000 S Red Rd, Miami, FL 33156



Kidgits Cookies with Santa at The Falls Center Court From 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Children will have the opportunity to make sure they are on Santa’s ‘nice’ list as they mingle with Santa during a milk and cookies social. Visit The Falls Guest Services to join the Kidgits Kids Club!

Holiday Concert on the Coral Gables Museum Plaza 6:30 p.m. Take time out from the holiday rush to enjoy an open air Holiday Concert on the Museum Plaza featuring musicians and singers from around the globe doing their best to get you into the spirit Join us for this fun, festive, holiday evening on the Museum’s Plaza, beautifully decorated for the holiday season.




Family Day at Coral Gables Museum From 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Children will love our snow machine, a special visit from Santa, holiday arts and crafts, and a holiday musical performance by talented students from the Coral Gables Preparatory Academy Chorus group! Join us in spreading the holiday love by donating a toy for a family in need! Drop box is located in the Museum Lobby.Free event



Sporty Momma’s 2nd Annual Toy Drive and Holiday Bazaar From 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. This year will feature 5 mommy owned businesses. Come out for a night of fun! So get ready to sip, shop and socialize with Sporty Mommas! For more information please email The Sidebar @Town 7301 SW 57th Ave. Miami, Fl. Admission: $10 or unwrapped toy


19th-21th Santa’s visit Gymboree Palmetto Bay Parents will have a chance to take as many pictures they wish to keep as precious memories. Every child will receive a gift and have their own private time to sit on Santa’s lap. Event fee: Member $27/Siblings $15 – Non member $33 per child For reservations and details call 305.232.3399 Email:


JANUARY 2015 SATURDAY 24th 5th Annual Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism & Expo From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Sun Life Stadium For more information please call: 954.368.6000


23th-25th 8th Annual International Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens From 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Calling all chocolate lovers! This weekend is all about chocolate at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens. Featuring cooking demonstrations and samplings as well as lots of activities for kids, learn how chocolate is made and hundreds of ways to cook with chocolate. Tickets $25 for adults, $18 seniors +65, $12 children 6-17 Free for Fairchild Members. More info and event schedule:

calendar submissions Submit your event information for Feb-March calendar before Jan 10th to Include event name, location, address, date and time, cost, a brief description and contact. Events will be listed based on availability and have to be kid and family related. it’s just about kids |



kiddos | December 2014 â&#x20AC;˘ January 2015

m . m .co or H rf C Pe P.M e, O iz it T i m is pt e V ,O r st Mo Te rn a Le


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Kiddos Magazine Issue 9 - Sparkling Memories  

Ahhh! It’s that time again; I cannot believe the holiday season has arrived so quickly. It seems like a few days ago we were buying schools...

Kiddos Magazine Issue 9 - Sparkling Memories  

Ahhh! It’s that time again; I cannot believe the holiday season has arrived so quickly. It seems like a few days ago we were buying schools...