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Some things aren’t made for adults like Children’s Hospital, the region’s only hospital that’s just for kids.

Children are not small adults. And when it comes to medical care, they have much different needs. At Children’s Hospital, we understand that the first step in treating a child is to make them feel comfortable and safe — and that’s something we do every day. We’re passionate about treating children. After all, we’re not just a hospital, we’re Children’s Hospital.


In This Issue... Creating Haiku: A Poetic Expression, Written From The Heart “These haiku are ways for me to stop time, as I think about my past, present, and future. I also feel a renewal, a surge of energy that comes from creating something new.”

June 2014 Volume III • Issue 6 Michael Kull and Eva Nations, Publishers Advisory Board

Contributing Writers

Sr. Mary Marta Abbott, RSM The Diocese of Knoxville

Caleb Carlton Elaine Frank Marcin Gornisiewicz, M.D. Tracey Matthews Connie Meredith, CRT-NPS Jim McIntyre, Ph.D. Erin Nguyen Mike O’Hern Kathryn Rea Smith, Ph.D. Michael K. Smith, Ph.D Barry Van Over Aaron Yarnell Bob Yost, RRT-NPS

Marie Alcorn United Way of Greater Knoxville Mike Bailey Small Business Representative Paul Parson East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Tracey Matthews Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Elizabeth Pooley Marketing Professional Lee Tramel Knox County Sheriff ’s Department

Contributing Photographers Caleb Carlton Emily Julian Mike O’Hern Web Master/ Distribution Adam Kalwas

Liza Zenni The Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville

Parent publications are GREAT places to advertise! For more information, please call: (865) 622-9680. Contact Info: Phone: 865.622.9680 Fax: 888.457.9602 E-mail: Knoxville Parent is published twelve times a year and is distributed throughout the city of Knoxville and surrounding communities. Knoxville Parent is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. No person without written permission from the publishers may take more than one copy per monthly issue. Knoxville Parent may be distributed only by authorized distributors.

Knoxville Parent, LLC PO Box 52605 Knoxville, TN 37950, phone 865.622.9680 • fax 888.457.9602 The entire contents of this publication are copyrighted and property of Knoxville Parent. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the publishers. Knoxville Parent utilize freelance writers, and the views expressed within this publication are not necessarily the views of the publishers or editors. Knoxville Parent takes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or other materials. Letters to the editor must include name, address and daytime phone number for verification. Knoxville Parent reserve the right to edit letters for space and clarity. Please keep letters within 500 words in length.


DIY (Do It Yourself) Backyard Summer Camp Ideas “Traditional summer camps are great, but how about trying out some of our fun 2014 Backyard DIY (Do It Yourself) Summer “Camp” ideas while learning something new at the same time?” Bridging Nature, Music and Technology: Smokies Storytelling “The national park is rich with stories of life, scientific discovery and human history, and we are committed to telling them.”

Contents 4

Creating Haiku: A Poetic Expression, Written From The Heart


Hallmark Moments


What You Need To Know About Asthma


Popcorn Joints


Math Teachers Should Take Japanese


What’s Around Me?



10 A Message From The Superintendent 11 Learn Something New: New Non-Fiction Titles 12 DIY (Do It Yourself) Backyard Summer Camp Ideas 13 Summer Fun In Knoxville! 14 Bridging Nature, Music and Technology: Smokies


15 Why Your Child Should Take Up Martial Arts

Become Part of the Knoxville Parent Family! Our readers, writers and advertisers all share the same purpose: To help make Knox County the best place to live and raise your family! Call (865) 622-9680 today and get involved!

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Knoxville Parent Magazine


Knoxville Parent • June 2014


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Creating Haiku: A Poetic Expression, Written From The Heart by Michael K. Smith, Ph. D.

I am nobody: A red sinking autumn sun Took my name away.


hile exiled in France and suffering from a fatal illness, Richard Wright, the acclaimed African-American author of Native Son and Black Boy, wrote thousands of haiku. Wright selected about eight hundred, and his favorites were published posthumously decades later as Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon. His daughter, Julia Wright, who was with her father in his final months, acknowledges in the Introduction that she belatedly recognized the connection between these haiku and her father’s health: “I believe his haiku were selfdeveloped antidotes against illness, and that breaking down words into syllables matched the shortness of his breath, especially on the bad days when his inability to sit up at the typewriter restricted the very breadth of writing.” Wright wrote haiku in a traditional form of three lines with the syllabic count of 5-7-5, an example of which starts this article. “I am nobody,” he writes, reflecting on his personal experience, and then he ties this reflection to nature. His daughter notes that, for her father, haiku became a vehicle for self-reflection: “A form of poetry which links seasons of the soul with nature’s cycle of moods enabled him to reach out to the black boy part of himself still stranded in a South that continued to live in his dreams.” Richard Wright’s haiku have inspired me to write my own, to attempt an act of creation, a means of self-expression, which I would never have contemplated at an earlier age. I am not ill, but I feel more intensely the limitations and insecurities that come with getting older. A novice at writing poems, I turned to a book by William J. Higginson and Penny Harter, The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku. I also heeded Wright’s advice to his daughter: “Julia, you can write them, too. It’s always five, and seven and five—like math. So you can’t go wrong.”

• • • • • • •

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Some of my haiku are self-reflections:

Hands look like valleys With terraced rows of wrinkles Warmed by winter sun. Am I good enough? The wind whistles through the door Scattering my doubt. Money spent and time Lost worrying about paint Peeling off the porch. Other haiku are thoughts of my aging parents, with my father in a nursing home and my mother suffering constant illnesses:

Father in his chair Dreaming of distant glories Sun shines on his sleep. Patiently cleaning An empty chair by the wall An old woman weeps. My wife and children are also part of my reflections:

Life can be so sad When old toys are discarded And memories fade. She longs for silence Quiet places for herself Unseen by others. These haiku are ways for me to stop time, as I think about my past, present, and future. I also feel a renewal, a surge of energy that comes from creating something new. Julia Wright said that, for her father, “writing these poems kept him spiritually afloat.” I can only thank Richard Wright for his haiku, and the inspiration they have provided me. Michael K. Smith, Ph.D., is owner of TESTPREP EXPERTS ( ) which prepares students for standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT. He is also a consultant to Discovery Education Assessment. He can reached at


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Hallmark Moments by Kathryn Rea Smith, Ph.D.


ike many people, I enjoy giving cards. I especially like the challenge of finding the perfect card for the intended recipient, one that accurately captures the essence of the person while also conveying the feelings I have for them. In anticipation of my sister’s birthday last month, I perused dozens of cards, sorting them into a group of potential winners. Ultimately, I chose a very sweet card for her, one that expressed how grateful I am to have a sister as wonderful as she. When my sister read the card, she hugged me, remarking how happy she was to have a relationship in which we can give and receive beautiful cards which have warm, loving messages. My sister and I do not take the relationship we share for granted. We were not always close, and, in fact, we were estranged for several years. During that time, birthday cards were exchanged through the mail, if at all. It was difficult to find an appropriate card, one that conveyed the state of a relationship characterized by distance and lack of connection while still qualifying as a birthday card. Often it was easier not to send anything. I’ve never been estranged from my father, but selecting birthday or Father’s Day cards for him over the years has proved challenging. My dad is a good man and was always a good provider for our family. He has many fine qualities, and I love him very much. At the same time, if I am honest, I have always wished we were closer and that he were more available emotionally. In the card store each year, I wistfully reviewed the cards that described a father as a supportive listener who provides emotional validation and sage advice. In the end, I eschewed those cards in favor of ones which were less personal, or I chose a sarcastic or humorous card instead. A few years ago when purchasing a card for Father’s Day, I decided to choose one of the cards I had always avoided. The card I selected described my father as always having been there for me, and as the kind of father who helped me through challenging times with words of wisdom and comfort. At the time, I was acutely aware of my father’s advancing age, and I thought he might appreciate receiving a different kind of card from me. When my father read the card, he looked at me, laughed, and exclaimed, “Yeah, right.” As it turned out, there was no fooling him. It seems he was well aware, after all, of the type of father he has been and that the card in his hand was not meant for him. His insight regarding his limitations endeared him to me all the more. Choosing a card for someone to whom we feel a close, positive connection can be quite pleasurable. On the other hand, trying to find the right card for a person with whom the relationship is important, but complicated or disappointing, can be emotionally challenging. When we look through the types of cards we wish we could give, we experience a longing for greater connection, coupled with sadness and regret about the limitations of the relationship as it is. The card we choose will likely Kathryn Rea Smith, Ph.D. is a private practice psychologist specializing in psychological assessment and parenting consultation. Dr. Smith can be reached at

“When we look through the types of cards we wish we could give, we experience a longing for greater connection[.] The card we choose will likely represent a compromise between our aspirations and the status quo.” represent a compromise between our aspirations and the status quo. Our deepest hope is that the recipient will read between the lines and realize that, while we have not given up hope for a better relationship, we are willing to accept things the way they are today.


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

What You Need To Know About Asthma By Connie Meredith, CRT-NPS, and Bob Yost, RRT-NPS


sthma affects people of all ages. While it often starts during childhood, it can occur later in life from exposure to irritants. Asthma is a long-term lung problem. It causes lungs to react in an extreme way when irritated. Irritants of the lung are called triggers. A trigger can cause the muscles of the lungs to tighten, swell and create excess mucus. As a result, breathing becomes difficult, resulting in a shortness of breath and coughing. How do I find out if my child has asthma? Asthma is diagnosed in young children by looking at signs and symptoms. Therefore, your child’s health history is important information the doctor will need in order to make a diagnosis. Particularly, what happens when your child is ill, when and how often he/ she has trouble breathing and if breathing improves when given bronchodilator medicine. Three things must occur if asthma is truly your child’s problem: 1. Breathing problems will occur more than once. 2. The problems get better after using certain medicine (bronchodilators). Bronchodilators relax tight muscles in the lungs. 3. All other reasons are ruled out. Acid reflux, vocal cord problems or heart problems can all look like asthma. Allergy tests can be done to identify specific triggers. Some children with asthma have many allergies while other children may have only a few or none at all. Every child is different. A pulmonary function test (PFT) can also be done. This test measures how well air moves into and out of the lungs. Your child will need to breathe hard into a tube for about six seconds for the test.

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How does a child get asthma? Asthma can: • Be inherited from a close family member. • Result from heavy exposure to triggers, such as pollution or second-hand smoke. If smoke is constantly fi present in a home, a child’s lungs can stay swollen and I fl irritated all the time. t • Appear after a serious RSV virus infection a (bronchiolitis). h v What triggers asthma? Different children react to different triggers. Some will c have many triggers. Some may have only one or two. Surprisingly, there are often more triggers indoors than T l outside. T In addition to second-hand smoke and pollen, other p common triggers can be: fl • Mold t • Pets or other animals K • Strong odors • Intense emotions • Hot or cold air • Pollution • Lung infections • Sinus infections or allergies • Chemical fumes When exposed to a trigger, three things happen in the lung: • Lung muscles tighten (bronchospasm). • The lung makes extra mucus (phlegm). • Airway walls swell with fluid (edema). These three problems make airway openings very small. Small airways located deep in the lung may even swell shut. Oxygen can have trouble getting through the lungs and into the blood. How do I protect my child from triggers? • Learn your child’s triggers. This can be the most important thing you do for your child. You must know what your child needs to protect them. • Avoid your child’s triggers whenever possible. Help everyone who cares for your child know what to avoid. • Try cleaning your home before anything else, especially your child’s bedroom. This is the room your child spends the most time in every day. Asthma will not go away. However, with proper care and knowledge, your child can enjoy a healthy and active childhood. Learn more by visiting www. to read Children’s Hospital’s asthma handbook. Connie Meredith, CRT-NPS, a cardiopulmonary therapist, and Bob Yost, RRT-NPS, respiratory care education coordinator, provide asthma education to patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Popcorn Joints by Marcin Gornisiewicz, M.D.


ntwine your fingers together and then bend them back. Do you hear the popping sound? Chances are you do. We have all done and heard it before, and some kids do it all the time just for fun or to make their parents crazy. Knuckle cracking is a common habit. Where is the noise coming from? To understand it, you need to know a bit about joint anatomy. Joints are divided into fixed and movable ones. Most of the joints in our face are fixed, and the joints between the vertebrae of the back allow only slight movement. In contrast, other joints such as the ones in the hands, wrists, arms and legs are very flexible. The bones that make up a joint are held together by ligaments, which are like tough cords or straps. Joints are covered by a capsule, a thin, fibrous sac containing a special type of liquid called synovial fluid. This fluid acts as a thick, clear lubricant, helps the joint move smoothly and contains nutrients for the adjacent bone surfaces. A variety of gases are continuously dissolved in this fluid including oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. When you stretch or bend your fingers, the bones of the joints are forced apart. The stretching of the capsule increases the volume of space between the tissues and lowers the pressure inside the joint. This creates a vacuum which is filled by the gas. The bubbles that are formed quickly expand and then burst, creating the cracking or popping sound. It takes a while (up to 30 minutes) until the gases return to synovial fluid, which explains why the knuckles can’t be re-crack immediately. Some people can’t crack their knuckles. They are not able to relax enough to allow the bones to separate. Others can crack almost every joint in their body. Kids crack their knuckles for two main reasons: First, it just feels good as cracking

stimulates certain nerve endings and the muscles surrounding the joint relax. The joints feel more loose immediately thereafter. Second, kids realize that cracking produces a funny noise, and they often get attention. That encourages them to do it even more often. Overtime, they are not even aware they are cracking their knuckles until somebody tells them. It becomes a subconscious nervous habit. So is knuckle cracking safe? Does it lead to arthritis? Several studies have shown no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage, such as arthritis, to the joints. However, people who continue to crack their joints for a very long time can develop local inflammation of ligaments. This can lead to swelling of the hands and slightly reduced grip strength. Perhaps the biggest problem is that it can become an annoying habit and can make people around insane. Here are some recommendations if you have a kid who pops and cracks his/her joints every other minute. Try to ignore it as much as possible. Nagging and complaining about it is more likely to make it worse. Keep your children occupied. Keep their hands busy. Encourage them to stretch their hands and fingers rather then crack them, to take up a new hobby like crafting and drawing. Most importantly be patient. It will go away with time. Dr. Marcin Gornisiewicz graduated with an MD degree from the Medical School of Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland. He completed residency training in internal medicine at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. He completed fellowship training in rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, Alabama. He joined Rheumatology Consultants, PLLC ( in 2002. He is board certified in Rheumatology.

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Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Math Teachers Should Take Japanese By Mike O’Hern, Center Director of Mathnasium of West Knoxville


“Like any other language, a word or symbol may have different meanings, or at least different nuances. My son is an officer on a ship called the USS Asheville.” (True, but it’s a submarine, so they call it a boat.)”

eople who want to be math teachers should be required to take Japanese at some point, don’t you think? After all, math is, for the most part, no more than the language we use to describe the world around us. Like any language, you can’t use it until you learn it. But why Japanese? Why not Spanish? Because Japanese uses different symbols than English and it would be good to remind us teachers that our students don’t just automatically “get it” without some patience and practice. After all, a “+” or “!” or “/” is just chicken scratch until we start learning the language. Like any other language, a word or symbol may have different meanings, or at least different nuances, depending “Equal to”. Fine, but the young learner doesn’t even upon the context. “Ship,” for example. (Proud dad alert!) know what that means. How about “the same as”? Closer, “My son is an officer on a ship called the USS Asheville.” but could be a bit misleading. If your problem is “if one (True, but it’s a submarine, so they call it a boat.) In another menacing silver-backed wolverine costs $10, how much would LTJG Aaron O’Hern, Engineering situation, “I’m going to ship my product to China.” Learning Office of the Watch, USS five menacing silver-backed wolverines cost?” You don’t really a language well will mean understanding context and nuance, Asheville mean that menacing silver-backed wolverines are the same as which is to say understanding more than just one definition dollars, right? So maybe “the same value as”? of a word. Okay, that works quite well, and is true and accurate in general, but when Let’s take a simple example. The equal sign, “=”. How many different ways we start solving equations in algebra it might become clearer to a student to can it be described? Probably more ways than I can come up with, but I can think of the equal sign as a balance. That is, you may take something off of think of quite a few. one side, but then it won’t be balanced unless you take the same thing off of the other. It’s the same concept, of course, but remember that we’re talking about learning a language so a different nuance for the word can help the understanding. “Is that all you’ve got, Mr. Mike?” Not a chance. How about “together,” E R O M “combined,” or “total?” S& , MOV IE ’S D C , • Sam weighs 20 pounds less than Al. Together they weigh 280 pounds. O OK S USED B How much does each person weigh? • George is twice as old as Helen. Their combined age is 51. How old is Helen? • Kyle earned twice as much on Tuesday as he did on Monday. His total 230 Papermill Pl Way earnings were $60. How much did he earn each day? Knoxville RE S & MO IE V O Each of these words translates into math in the same kind of way. Now ,M 7734 Lee B Hwy KS, CD’S D OO I’ll quickly interject that I’m not an advocate of telling our student to watch E S U Chattanooga for specific words to translate in solving word problems, but as we practice NEXT TO THUNDER CREEK HARLEY DAVIDSON our new math language we will see more and more how to use it in varying situations. STORE HOURS What’s the best way to learn a language? Hang around people who speak 9am-9pm Mon-Thurs it. Practice it with people who will listen to your limited use and help you 9am-10pm Fri/Sat gradually expand your vocabulary and fluency. How much Spanish do you 11am-7pm Sun remember from taking it in high school? Yeah, that’s what I thought. If you’re (SEASONLY STORE going to really become fluent and be able to use the language try something HOURS WILL VARY) more like immersion – practice, practice, practice!

y a K Mc y a K Mc

explore with your child!


As owner and director at Mathnasium (a math learning center with locations in West Knoxville and Chattanooga ( for the past five years, Mike has extensive experience teaching children and young adults the foundations of math concepts that are crucial to building their confidence and engagement with math throughout life.


Je Fu

Knoxville Parent • June 2014

What’s Around Me?

A wa fro co for wh ou tha mi wa

Technology to help you find what you’re looking for this summer

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by Lieutenant Aaron Yarnell, Knox County Sheriff ’s Office

“It seems that every time we go out of town on vacation, or even if we are just on the other side of town, the biggest question from my kids is, ‘What are we going to eat’”


opefully, you are you excited about the summer vacation months that are finally approaching, or perhaps you just want to get out and enjoy something different right now, something that you may not yet be aware of. If thoughts like these have entered your mind, then do I have a great app just for you! It seems that every time we go out of town on vacation, or even if we are just on the other side of town, the biggest question from my kids is, “What are we going to eat?” As parents, we have all heard this before. Invariably, I turn towards my spouse in the car and ask, “What would you like to eat?” Then, I hear the indecisive answer I already knew would come: “It’s up to you.” The heat is on, but now, if I want to do something different or new, I look like a pro, and so can you! Simply grab the smartphone or tablet and jump onto your App Store. There is a great app called Around Me by Attorno A Me S.R.L. Around me does just as it sounds. It is an app that uses your phone’s GPS location to tell you what is in your general area. The app is free (a payment option will get rid of advertising). The beauty of this app is the simplicity of the design into categories and also the color schemes. Categories consist of anything from restaurants, hotels, parks, theaters and even parking lots and ATM machines! The list continues and there seems to be a category for almost anything you might be looking for, including hospitals and pharmacies. The neat part about this app is how a map becomes populated with venues from the selected categories. I have personally used it for both areas that I am in already, as well as unfamiliar areas that I will be going into. So be a pro! Always know what is around you, and be the hero of your traveling adventures! Lt. Aaron Yarnell oversees the Special Investigations unit of the Knox County Sheriff ’s Office, where he and his unit utilize crime analysis and technology to investigate crime trends and pursue career criminals. Lt. Yarnell’s career includes working as a patrol officer, property crimes detective and major crimes investigator. He is a 19 year veteran of the Sheriff ’s Office.

No do wo

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Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Dear Knox County Schools’ Families


hope everyone has a great summer break! For many, the summer months mean plenty of time to relax, but these weeks may also offer learning time. What better time to learn something new than during the relaxing months of summer? Students can learn new things as they explore the great outdoors, try new activities or hobbies, play sports and by taking time to read. As our students and many of our teachers take a well-earned break from classes, the Knox County public libraries offer opportunities to continue to learn. Reading programs are an important way to reduce the probability of summer learning loss. If your child takes just 20 minutes a day to read—or if you read to your young child, it will pay tremendous dividends in helping your child experience academic enrichment and success and help prepare them for the new school year. Over the summer, the Knox County Schools will transition to a new online student information system that will help families access student and classroom information more easily using different types of devices. This improved digital connectivity should enhance student learning and strengthen collaborative communication between the Knox County Schools and parents and community. In addition to improved digital connectivity and ease of use, our new web page will provide students, families and staff with greater functionality and real-time access to students’ grades, attendance and other important information. We believe the web page will be of great benefit to our students, parents, teachers, staff and community. The process of transferring data, however, is complex and requires that some functions on the Knox County Schools website be inactive during June. This means that 2014-2015 class schedules for middle and high school students will be slightly delayed and mailed to students and parents in July, not in June. Specifically, middle school student placements and schedules will be mailed

“For many, the summer months mean plenty of time to relax, but these weeks may also offer learning time. What better time to learn something new than during the relaxing months of summer?” through U.S. mail in mid-July, and high school schedules will be mailed in late July. School staff will be available to work with students and parents in cases where adjustments might be necessary. As always, classroom assignments for elementary school students will be posted at the schools in early August. We know this transition period will be an inconvenience for some families as our online communication tools have become incredibly important. In fact, in 2014 we have had close to 16 million page views, which is an average of more than 107,000 per day! We hit a record last August—historically the busiest month for our website—when we received more than 5.4 million page views, and total views in 2013 totaled more than 42 million. To put this in perspective: Our 2014 total page views are equivalent to every citizen in Knox County visiting our website 36 times! It’s very clear that our stakeholders rely on our website, and we want to continue to provide an effective tool that enhances student learning, provides opportunities for community feedback and encourages robust interaction to help us make more informed decisions for our students. The new web site is one of the many important initiatives under way in the Knox County Schools. Our summer is, indeed, one of learning and preparation, and as we prepare for another successful year, we wish you and your family a safe, fun and learning-rich summer. Sincerely, Dr. Jim McIntyre Superintendent, Knox County Schools


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Learn Something New: New Nonfiction Titles Compiled by Erin Nguyen

Children’s Department, Knox County Public Library

Music Everywhere! by Maya Ajmera, Elise Hofer Derstine, and Cynthia Pon PreK-2nd Children all over the world make music, and this book shows the wide variety of instruments and styles they play through bright, colorful photographs and simple text.

Time to Sign: Sign Language for Kids by Kathryn Clay 3rd-6th This kid-friendly guide to American Sign Language introduces sign language with clear text and cartoon illustrations.

The Beatles by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom 4th-6th This brief introduction to the legendary music group begins with the early lives of the members, follows their meteoric rise to superstardom, and touches on their lives following the breakup of the band.

The White House for Kids: A History of a Home, Office, and National Symbol by Katherine L. House 4th-7th Readers will learn all about the White House in this book filled with information, stories, and photographs that also includes 21 ideas for hands-on activities for further learning.

What Was America’s Deadliest War? and Other Questions about the Civil War by Martin W. Sandler 3rd-6th This entry in the “Good Question!” series takes an informative look at the history of the Civil War written in question and answer format. world. Gladiators: Fighting to the Death by Alix Wood 3rd-6th Part of the “Why’d They Do That?: Strange Customs of the Past” series, this title explores the brutal life of ancient gladiators.

Chasing the Storm: Tornadoes, Meteorology, and Weather Watching by Ron Miller 5th-8th Budding scientists and weather enthusiasts will be fascinated by this look at extreme weather and the meteorologists who study it.

3-D Art Lab for Kids: 32 HandsOn Adventures in Sculpture and Mixed Media by Susan Schwake 4th-8th This hands-on guide to art focuses on working with paper, clay, textiles, sculpture, and jewelry through specific projects accompanied by interviews with professional artists in each area.

For library information in your area visit:

1 Year, 100 Pounds: My Journey to a Better, Happier Life by Whitney Holcombe 8th-12th Blogger and author Holcombe details her inspiring, personal journey to boost her self-esteem and take charge of her health at the age of 15, while also providing practical tips for readers about proper nutrition and exercise.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Going Vegetarian by Rachel Meltzer Warren 8th-12th Author Warren provides an insightful look into the reasons for being a vegetarian as well as practical, healthy tips for those considering making the change to a vegetarian diet.


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Learn Something New and Have Fun: DIY (Do It Yourself) Backyard Summer Camp Ideas

By Tracey Matthews, Supervisor, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement Contributing Writers: Kiera S. Alston, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement, University of Tennessee Graduate Intern and Zachary Seay, Knox County Schools Family and Community Engagement, University of Tennessee Intern


raditional summer camps are great, but how about trying out some of our fun 2014 Backyard DIY (Do It Yourself) Summer “Camp” ideas while learning something new at the same time? We have created two themed DIY Summer Camp experiences that, if explored in four- to six-week intervals, can carry you through the entire summer! They are not only educational but also adventurous and exciting! These camp activities can be carried out in your own backyard, house or neighborhood. 1. Camp “Green” Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! While summer should not be a time for learning to cease, the type of learning can be less formal. For example, let the environmentalists in your family see what first steps they can take to help preserve Mother Earth: •

Begin an at-home recycling project. City residents can get on the waiting list for City of Knoxville’s Household Curbside Recycling Program by visiting County residents can take advantage of a multitude of waste and recycling centers located in Knox County. Visit for more information. Go to a local park or other frequented area in your community and pick up trash and recyclable items in separate containers. This initiative can become a year-round project for your family or your community.

• • •

Create posters that focus on methods of “going green” and post them in neighborhood businesses (with permission). Create a list of “green” ideas to share with neighbors, and try to begin a “Green Neighborhood Project.” Visit to learn how material recovery facilities use gravity, magnets and air to sort, bundle and process recyclable materials.

2. Summer Olympics Camp The 2014 Winter Olympics ended earlier this year, but the Backyard Summer Olympics can begin this summer! Warm weather provides a perfect opportunity to begin taking physical activities to a new and creative level. You can add to the fun by purchasing a bag of toy medals in the party section of most stores. This “camp” involves exploring less-traditional activities—not often experienced at school—to see if new interests can be nurtured and developed. You never know if you have a future gold medalist right in your living room! •

The 2016 Summer Olympics will likely feature 28 sports, 41 disciplines and 306 events. Take advantage of many ways to explore them and learn about lesstraditional activities: 

View them on DVDs, YouTube and sports channels.

Seek locations in which the sports are practiced to see them performed live (soccer fields, tracks, pools, etc.).

Visit your local library to research games from yesteryear (i.e., Marbles, Kick the Can, Red Rover, etc.) that are not traditionally practiced today but could be fun and interesting.

Create opportunities to research and practice fun Olympic and traditional sports and games of yesteryear in your own backyard: 

Triathlon: Set up an obstacle course in your backyard using lawn furniture, old tires and anything else you can find that your Olympians have to maneuver around, climb under or over, push, pull, and/or go through.

Relay Race: How about a relay race around the house? Use any safe object as the passing baton.

Archery: Search on the Internet for “making a bow and arrow” and “an introduction to archery” to explore the sport of archery (

Bowling: Create a bowling center in your backyard using a basketball or soccer ball and two-liter bottles filled with water.

Hopscotch: Use sidewalk chalk to create boxes on the driveway/sidewalk.

Tug of War: Tie a knot in the center of a rope and create a “crossing line” on the ground with tape. The first person (or team) to cross the line loses. How about pitting siblings against some of the adults in the family? Go, kids!

Other Olympic experiences that could be new to your child include cycling, equestrian activities, curling (a winter sport), the pentathlon, etc.

These ideas can be enjoyed by all family members and implemented by adults, older siblings and even babysitters. You might even share a few of these ideas with your daycare providers. Even if your children participate in a formal summer camp experience, we hope that you will try some of these ideas to create treasured summer memories for the whole family. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You, too, can come up with great experiences for some super, summer family fun!


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Summer Fun In Knoxville!

Compiled by Elaine Frank, City of Knoxville Office of Special Events


he City of Knoxville’s Variety Thursdays Concerts on the Square continue throughout June on Market Square,the schedule is as follows:

June 5 -- Knoxville Live (JD Bradley & Johnny Newcomb; Subtle Clutch; Laurel Wright) – 6:00-9:00 p.m. June 12 -- Old City Buskers - 7pm-9pm June 19 -- Baseball the Band - 7pm-9pm June 26 -- Kelsey’s Woods - 7pm-9pm

THURSDAY, JUNE 26 Patriotic Bike Parade: Market Square at 6:30pm The City of Knoxville’s Office of Special Events is holding a Patriotic Bike Parade on June 26th at 6:30 p.m. The parade will begin on Union Ave at Market Square and parade down Gay Street to Magnolia and back down Gay St. We will be having a best decorated bike contest for the best decorated business, family, child 7-12, & child 6 & under. Judging for the best decorated categories will begin at 6:00pm on Market Square in front of the stage. Businesses must pre-register to be judged; families and children can pre-register and register on-site. You can pre-register online at city-of-knoxvilles-patriotic-bike-parade. Please register by June 24th. BIKE PARADE SCHEDULE 5:30 PM: Best Decorated Bike registration and check-in

6:00 PM: Judging begins for best decorated bike contest on Market Square 6:15 PM: Begin lining up for parade on Union Ave by Market Square 6:30 PM: Parade steps off 7:00 PM-9:00 PM: Live performance by Kelsey’s Woods on Market Square

FRIDAY, JULY 4th Festival on the Fourth: Worlds Fair Park from 4 pm - 10 pm The City of Knoxville’s free Festival on the Fourth begins at 4 p.m. and ends at approximately 10 p.m. at the conclusion of the fireworks display. This event is Rain or shine. Throughout the day festival goers will be treated to good music, good food, good fun and good times on the Festival and Performance lawns of the Worlds’ Fair Park. Regal’s Kids Zone is sure to please kids of all ages. Starting at 4pm The Coveralls will be performing on the Festival Lawn, followed by Brad Blackwell at 6:15pm. Starting at 8 p.m., the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will begin the KSO 30th Annual FREE Pilot Flying J Independence Day Concert on the World’s Fair Park’s Performance Lawn. The two-hour show features the KSO performing a mix of patriotic and Americana pieces. Conducted by KSO Musical Director Lucas Richman, this medley will be the perfect accompaniment to the fireworks spectacular. Fireworks start at 9:35 p.m. Free Parking Available, No Pets - No Alcohol, No Personal Tents / Tent Canopies. For more information, call the Knoxville Office of Special Events at 865-215-4248.

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Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Bridging Nature, Music and Technology: Smokies Storytelling by Caleb Carlton, Media and Outreach Specialist, GSMI at Tremont.


“Next, the students/teachers/ campers record vocal performances of their lyrics and, finally, film a music video to visually express their concept in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

ave you heard? There are 18,200 known species of life in Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Estimations put the actual number of species in the national park between 80,000-100,000! Do you know that there are more than 1,600 black bears currently living the park? Do you realize that in the 1960’s, the black bear population almost went extinct in the Smokies? Can you believe that the monarch butterflies you see in Cades Cove in September are on their way to central Mexico for the Photo by Emily Julian Civil War, metamorphosis, climate change, seasonal winter? changes and countless others are here, in the mountains, Storytellers-in-training rehearse by the river at The forming of a national park in the Great Smoky waiting to be discovered and told. We want you to come Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. Mountains created many benefits for the region: and discover for yourself, but in the meantime, we have tourism, clean headwaters, good fishing, beautiful decided to bring the stories of the Smokies to life for vistas, prime wildlife viewing, and so much more. Preserving the natural and cultural you – so that you can learn from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in your history of a place also means that the stories of that place are kept alive. The stories home, on your phone, and even in your children’s schools. of the black bears, the salamanders, the Native Americans, the pioneers, the logging The national park is rich with stories of life, scientific discovery and human history, boom and countless others linger within the national park. and we are committed to telling them. But how do we bring these stories to life for We learn so much from interacting with protected and preserved places. you, right there on your iPhone or laptop? First of all, we are letting the thousands Interacting with those places is what we do at Great Smoky Mountains Institute at of students, teachers, and summer campers who come to Tremont each year be the Tremont. Through our interactions, we find that stories of migration, ice ages, the storytellers - minds learn best when they are sharing and teaching. And how do we

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empower our storytellers to reach out to Knoxville and beyond from the depths of a national park? Music videos! Our storytellers first learn more about a concept or topic and then rewrite the lyrics to popular songs to tell the story of their chosen concept. Next, the students/teachers/campers record vocal performances of their lyrics and, finally, film a music video to visually express their concept in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Screen shot of the music video “We When all is said and done, audiences Are Bears” Photo: Caleb Carlton can learn from, sing-along with, dance to and laugh with the storytellers and their stories. What better way to learn – for both the storytellers and the audience! Discover the stories of black bears, salamanders, invasive species and more by viewing the music videos created by students this spring at Tremont. You can browse all of the videos at: www.themiddleprongpress. com/music-vids.html, or by looking us up on Facebook at GSMITremont. If you’d like to know more about the project or sign a group Screen shot of the music video “All The up to participate, please email Caleb at Salamanders” Photo: Caleb Carlton Caleb Carlton is the media and outreach specialist for Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. He coordinates Tremont’s music video project. Caleb received his B.S. in Environmental Studies from Michigan State University and has worked in environmental education since graduating in 2008.


Knoxville Parent • June 2014

Why Your Child Should Take Up Martial Arts By Barry Van Over, President of Premier Martial Arts International

Reason #1: They (and You) Will Get More Active This is the obvious reason kids should do martial arts in this day and age - to get active and moving. In case you haven’t noticed, we have an epidemic when it comes to our nation’s obesity problem. We’re also increasingly unfit in addition to being overweight. The problem is particularly alarming as it relates to our kids. Youth sports and physical education programs are great, but not every kid is an athlete, and many schools no longer offer PE. The martial arts offer many benefits, but when it comes to fitness, becoming a true martial artist means becoming a supremely fit person. When I was practicing boxing or Muay Thai kickboxing on a daily basis, I was in the best shape of my life by a long shot. Martial arts can help your child get fit and healthy. Reason #2: They’ll Learn to Find Focus and Stillness Of the many challenges that parents face today, one is that we are constantly “plugged in.” While there are many benefits to the Internet, there are many more benefits in stillness and silence. Unfortunately, stillness and silence seem to be rare. At some juncture in life, every one of us comes to learn that the greatest obstacle we face in this lifetime is ourselves. That battle is fought in the stillness of our hearts and the willingness to confront ourselves. As Bruce Lee pointed out, “Behind the punches, kicks, and knees, a true martial artist learns to sit with himself and see where his weaknesses are.” In years of martial arts classes, I remember many challenges, breakthroughs and setbacks. What I do not remember are distractions or gimmicks like one often sees at the local health club. At the martial arts studios and boxing gyms where I trained, there was no loud music, no flat screen TV, just hard work and sweat equity. As a martial artist, your child will learn what it is to be still, challenged and focused. Reason #3: They’ll Gain Self Confidence and Self Respect Setting goals to earn belt ranks or attending competitions will help a child gain a tremendous amount of confidence. Of course, playing with the big kids can also provide a little reminder of humility - someone is always bigger and stronger. The right martial arts school will teach your child that there are no tough guys. Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others come from a deep sense of self-knowledge. Reason #4: They’ll Connect Their Mind and Body What they don’t teach you at your local health club is how to really listen to your body. To listen to your body is to also see your thoughts and have heightened awareness of your emotional construct. A martial artist is taught to see, feel and listen - both internally and externally. Tapping into intuition, fear and courage are all examples of being able to put the physical reality together with the mental. How often have we heard the phrase “being paralyzed with fear?” Being able to combat such a thing is what you learn in the martial arts. Reason #5: They’ll Learn Conflict Resolution Barry Van Over is the owner and president of Premier Martial Arts International, of which there are currently over 80 location nationwide. Mr. Van Over has two locations in the West Knoxville area and been empowering families lives through the martial arts in the Knoxville community for over 20 years. Mr. Van Over and his local studios can be reached at

“Every martial artist ultimately learns this sense of respect and true confidence. Your child will learn that confidence and respect for others comes from a deep sense of selfknowledge.” People often ask me whether I have ever used my martial arts and boxing training in a fight. Indeed, I have used the skill sets learned from martial arts many times to resolve conflict, but thankfully, never in a physical altercation (outside the ring, of course). One of the first lessons I was taught was words were never grounds for a fight. That advice right there has saved me many times. In the martial arts, you learn that there is no such thing as “fighting” words. Instead, you learn to respond without reacting in the martial arts. These are just a few of the many ways martial arts helps adults and children whose parents who have seen the potential benefits form the martial arts. Martial arts and the life lessons they provide are truly gifts that keep on giving. Whether parents are thinking of enrolling their child or considering taking up training for themselves, an increase in quality of life in many aspects will ensue.

Knoxville Parent Magazine - June 2014  
Knoxville Parent Magazine - June 2014  

The greater Knoxville area's educational resource for parents in print and online, featuring articles on education, health and well being, m...