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mar/apr

Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill one of the largest childcare Facilities in georgia Setting trends in the childcare industry >> p. 30

SUMMER AND DAY CAMPS birthday parties and events PREPARING YOUR TEEN FOR COLLEGE ANGER MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR MOM COMFORT FOODS WITH A KICK The Premier Magazine for Moms and Dads in Gwinnett County


What’s right for adults isn’t right for kids.

Children are physically different. So they need pediatric specialists. When you bring your child to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, you can be certain that they will receive care that is 100% kid-focused. Our staff consists of dedicated specialists, such as radiologists with one or more additional years of pediatric training. And everything here is geared to meet the unique needs of kids of all ages, from pre-natal diagnosis, to repairing ACL tears in 17-year-olds. So the next time your doctor recommends a specialist, ask to see a pediatric specialist. For more information, visit us online at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS.

©2007 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals who perform services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are independent providers and are not our employees.


Our Mad Scientist will amaze your kids! •Slippery Slime •Rocket Launches •Chemical Reactions • & More !!! We also offer In-School Field Trips, After-School Clubs, Summer Camps and Special Events 404-787-9889 www.madscience.org/NorthGA


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MAR/APR 2009

Table of Contents 8 Inside Gwinnett County Schools 102009 Summer Camp Guide Effective Discipline for Two 20Infant: Year Olds Schoolage: New Help For Parents 22 With Kids Who Are Struggling in School Talk: Tips For Preparing For 26Teen Your High School Graduation College Bound: Get into the Job 28 Market: 7 Success Secrets for College Students

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32Dacula Kids Village 34Feature: Celebrating Easter Feature: Great Beginnings of 36 Sugar Hill Setting The Trend In Childcare Mom: Anger Management 40Healthy Tips for Moms & Recreations: Tennis 42Sports Fitness Training - How to Start & Maternity: Should My 44Pregnancy Baby And I Try a Prenatal Massage Birthday Parties: A Guide To Great 46 Parties And Events: Inflatable Rentals For Guests Of All Ages

56



Not a matter of Gold 48Feature: Medals For Dinner: Comfort Foods 50What’s With A Kick Public Restroom and 52Fatherhood: Potty Training 54Money & Finance: Energy Saver Print: Pet Adoption A Lifetime 56Paw Commitment 60Travel: 62Local Business Directory


Lawrenceville Pediatrics “Quality Healthcare for Infants, Children & Adolescents” NEW PATIENTS WELCOME

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LawrenceviLLe 770-962-8025 980 Highway 29 South

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Local Parent

I used “I used like to to like school.“ chool.”

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eading • Writing Math Spelling Phonics • that Your child • won’t tell you he or she • is having trouble. Since 1977 parents have been using Huntington to help their children reach their full potential. Huntington will pinpoint your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses and tailor a program to improve grades and increase confidence and motivation. We can help. Your child can learn. We’re nearby and affordable. Call Huntington today.

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Writers/Contributors Ethel Carter, Thais Cuffy, Evan Wiley, Gwinnett Public Schools, Anita Saulter, Angelo Cardarelli, Tammy Peterson, American Camp Association, Tip Fallon, Purina, Debra Dawkins, Dr. Paul Willis, Greg Sawyer, Bender/Helper

Contact Information: Gwinnett Local Parent Magazine 3651 Peachtree Pkwy. #325 Suwanee, GA 30024 /678.889.9552 Q678.889.9553 ____________________ All contents of this magazine are copywritten by Local Parent Magazine and it’s licensees. No part may be reprinted, copied, reproduced, or used without written permission of the publisher. each edition independently owned and operated

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[ INSIDE GWINNETT SCHOOLS ] Gwinnett County Public School Honors Music Teacher Tiffany English of Sugar Hill Elementary has been elected to serve on the National Board of Trustees of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), a national organization for teachers of music and movement. She will be representing region IV which is the southeastern United States. In addition to serving as a liaison between AOSA and the chapters of her region, Tiffany will be actively involved in the affairs of AOSA on the national level. Tiffany is the current past president of the Atlanta Area Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association where she has also served as president, vice president, and mailing secretary. In January, approximately 300 Gwinnett students participated in the regional DECA competition hosted by Norcross High. DECA is an international association of high school students studying marketing, management, and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality and marketing sales and service. Members have the opportunity to participate in competitive events and develop leadership skills. GCPS had 150 students qualify for the DECA state competition which will take place March 6-7 in Atlanta. State finalists will advance to International Competition in Anaheim, CA, on April 29. For a complete list of qualifying students, call media relations at 678-301-6020. Meadowcreek High Senior Sandra Clavijo is the recipient of a $3,000 scholarship to the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Atlanta. She was awarded this 

scholarship at the 2009 Southern Hospitality Careers Expo Culinary Competition at the Georgia World Congress Center. For more information, call 770-381-9680. North Gwinnett High Art Teacher Debi West is being honored at 2:30 p.m. on March 10, at North Gwinnett High for being named one of the Woodruff’s Georgia Arts in Education Leaders. For more information, call 770-945-9558.

Gwinnett County Public Schools Upcoming Events McKendree Elementary will host a Fun Run/Walk on March 6 (Rain date March 9) to benefit an outdoor playground and track additions/renovations at the school. All students are invited to participate. Prizes will be awarded to three students who raise the most money overall, and to the top grade-level winners. For more information, call 678-377-8933. Berkeley Lake Elementary 4th graders will research countries for an International Day event on March 12. Students will create a booth representing their country complete with a flag, traditional costume, traditional food, and a brochure. For more information, call Julia E. Guyton at 770446-0947. Grayson High will host Taste of Grayson on March 14 from 12-2 p.m. in the Grayson High School Commons area. All proceeds benefit the Grayson Cluster Schools. Come and sample some of the delicious cuisine from many of the Grayson area restaurants and caterers. Festivities include vendors and live entertainment. Tickets may be purchased for $10 and are on sale at any of the seven Grayson cluster schools, or by contacting Diane Schatell at diane.schatell@gwinnett.k12.ga.us,or by visiting www.grayson-foundation.org.

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GCPS and the Gwinnett Interagency Transition Council will present a Transition Fair for high school students with disabilities and their families on March 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Peachtree Ridge High, located at 1555 Old Peachtree Road in Suwanee, 678-957-3103. Attendees will be able to visit with representatives from various agencies and service providers from 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Boxed lunches will be sold. For more information, call Allison Vernon at 678-301-7137, Tamra Burnette at 678-301-7132, or Chiara Perry at 678-301-7115.

a Georgia Force player, and a Falcons Cheerleader. On March 6, students and staff will dress as their favorite book characters. At 2 p.m., there will be a parade around the school led by the Gwinnett Braves mascot, Chopper, and the Harmony Radical Readers Book Club. For more information, call Teacher Marie Kennedy at 770-271-4899. Grayson High will host Taste of Grayson on March 14 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Grayson High School Commons area. All proceeds will benefit the Grayson Cluster Schools. Come and sample the delicious cuisine from the Grayson area restaurants and caterers. Festivities include vendors and live entertainment. Tickets may be purchased for $10 and are on sale at the seven Grayson cluster schools, or by contacting Diane Schatell at diane.schatell@ gwinnett.k12.ga.us,or by visiting www. grayson-foundation.org.

READ ACROSS AMERICA WEEK EVENTS – MARCH 2-6 Harmony Elementary will host a Dr. Seuss Birthday event during Read Across America Week. Guest readers include Stephany Fisher and Bill Gaines from CBS Atlanta News, Antwan Lake from the New Orleans Saints, Tony Yelk, a former Falcons player, a Gladiators player,

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[ SUMMER CAMPS ]

Five Reasons Your Child Needs Camp

T

here’s no doubt that summer camp is fun. Kids get to sing silly songs, play funny games, swim in lakes, and tell spooky stories around a campfire. This is the image of camp that has been captured and memorialized in films, books, and television programs for the past fifty years. But there’s much more to camp than just a good time. In addition to fun, parents should be aware of these five reasons their child needs camp. 1. Camp forever changes your child… for the better – American Camp Association® (ACA) research has confirmed that camps build skills necessary to prepare campers to assume roles as successful adults. Campers said that camp helped them make new friends (96%), get to know kids who are different from them (93%), feel good about themselves (92%), and try things they were afraid to do at first (74%). 2. Camp teaches your child to “move it, move it” – Camp provides children the opportunity to try new things and participate in human powered activities. According to surveys by both the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an American child is six times more likely to play a videogame on any given day than to ride a bike. An estimated 22 million of the world’s children under the age of five are already considered obese. According to research conducted by ACA, 63 percent of children who learn new activities at camp tend to continue engaging in these activities after they return home. This leads to continued physical exercise that lasts a lifetime. 10

3. Camp keeps all that hard work from going to waste - Camps understand the critical role they play in helping young people learn and grow. Many offer programs that help reduce summer learning loss, bolster academic enrichment and socialization, provide opportunities for leadership development, and ensure that campers achieve their full potential. 4. Camp allows take a deep breath and feel the nature – Camp is a great way for your child to unplug from the iPod® and plug into the world around them. According to a study by two Cornell University environmental psychologists, being close to nature can help boost a child’s attention span. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Essex in England concluded that nature can help people recover from pre-existing stresses or problems, has an immunizing effect that can protect from future stresses, and helps people to concentrate and think more clearly. In some instances, camp may be the only time a child is in contact with the natural world. 5. Camp is fun – It’s true; kids do sing silly songs and play funny games at camp. Children are allowed to play in a safe and nurturing environment, and are allowed to just be kids. Play is a powerful form of learning that contributes mightily to the child’s healthy physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development. According to an American Academy of Pediatrics report, creative free play protects a child’s emotional development and reduces a child’s risk of stress, anxiety, and depression.

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LILBURN IDOLS CAMP

Ballet Jazz Tap Singing arts & crafts A performance will be on Friday at the studio, where our own idols will sing and dance with an art exhibit to enhance their show, which they themselves will create.

COME

AND JOIN THE FUN!

June 15th - 19th 6 yrs - 12 yrs 9am - 3pm 4 & 5 yrs Old 9am - 12pm

Simply Dancing

Keeping Dance an Art Form Since 1990

770-921-6669

5330 Lilburn Stone Mountain Road Lilburn, GA

www.gosimplydancing.com


[ SUMMER CAMPS ] Fortson 4-H Center Ages 9-19. June 1-July24. One-week sessions. Georgia’s 4-H summer camping program, administered through the county offices of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, offers a 4-H summer camping experience unparalleled in the nation. Ropes Course, Health Rocks, Survival/Campfire Cooking, GPS Geo-caching and Archery. We will also have units on ecology and herpetology as time permits. FUN beyond compare! 770- 946-3276 www.fortson4h.org

able), Gymnastics, Zip line, Infalatables, Swimming, Team games and much more... 927 Killian Hill Rd, Lilburn 770921-5630 www.wowgymnastics.com Club Scientific Ages 4-13. June 15July 25, One-week sessions (discount for two or more sessions) 9am-4pm (extended hours avail.). 10 Locations throughout Georgia including Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, 5100 South Old Peachtree Rd, Norcross GA 30092, 678-880-6460 www.clubscientific.com

Gwinnett Gymnastics Ages 4-12, age 4 half day only, May 21Aug. 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (extended hours avail-

Dance Arts Centre Ages 3 and up. We’re offering week-long workshops in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap and

www.anitasar tscool.com

Drawing, Painting & Clay Classes Ages 5 and Up • Summer Camps • Birthday Parties

678-230-4937 • www.anitasartscool.com

Located in Historic Buford • 179 Moreno Street, Suite D, Buford, GA 30518

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Ballet. No dance experience is needed for these workshops, and you may take multiple sessions for a discounted price! For experienced dancers, we’re offering Intensives that are both challenging and a lot of fun! 1300 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. NW, Suwanee 678-765-7347 www.danceartscentreatl.com

Camp Jam Ages 7-17. June 8-July 24. One-week sessions. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Includes songwriting/ recording, drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and vocals. Greenfield Hebrew Academy, 5200 Northland Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30342 800.513.0930. www.campjam.com

The Ridge Summer Camp Ages 20 months - 7th grade, June 1-Aug 7, Weekly camps 9am2pm (full day care available 7:30am5:30pm). Summer musical, space adventure, mad science, wet and wild animals, acting & drama, grossology and many more! 4346 Ridge Road, Buford 770-904-7105 www.myridgechurch.com

U.S. Martial Arts Summer Camp Program Ages 5 to 13. 7am6pm, Academics, Field Trips, Swimming, Martial Arts Training, Games & Sport Activities, Arts & Crafts, Library Reading Program and much more. 5510 Spalding Dr., Ste. A., Norcross, 770-263-1300 www.usmartialarts.info

Please Join Us At Our Open House Sunday, March 22, 2009 1 PM - 4 PM

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[ SUMMER CAMPS ] Lilburn Idols Summer Camp Simply Dancing Ages 4-12; age 4 & 5 for half day. June 1519, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Ballet, Jazz, Tap Singing and Arts & Crafts. Our Idol will have a performance on Friday. 5330 Lilburn Stone Mountain Road, Lilburn, 770-9216669 www.gosimplydancing.com Anita’s ArtsCool Ages 5-12 June 1-July 31 10am-2pm; Ages 13-18 June 7-Aug 9, 2:30pm-4:30pm or 7pm-9pm. Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Multi Media and more... 179 D Moreno Street, Buford, GA 30518, 678.230.4937 www.anitasartscool.com

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Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill Ages 4-14. May-August. 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. 1191 Level Creek Rd., Sugar Hill. 770-945-3995. www.greatbeginningslc.com Breve Music Centre Ages 1 ½-16, Kindermusik Adventures for ages 1 ½-5. Music, movement, storytelling, drama, art and more. Music Around the World for ages 5-7. 8 a.m.-4 p.m, 10360 Medlock Bridge Rd., Duluth, 404-474-1146 The Spanish Academy Ages 2-8, Total immersion thematic Spanish camps with games, art, music and movement, outdoor play, snacks and more. 5000 McGinnis Ferry Rd., Alpharetta 770-751-3646

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Wesleyan School Sports Camps Ages 6-18, Camps in fastpitch softball, baseball, football, wrestling, band soccer, basketball, speed and strength and volleyball, 5405 Spalding Dr., Norcross, 770-448-7640 Atlanta Botanical Gardens The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers several day camp programs for children ages 4-12. 404876-5859 ext. 2557

1RZ$FFHSWLQJ1HZ 6WXGHQWV “Making a Difference One Black Belt at a Time� Great for Kids, Adults or the Whole Family! Quick Start Program only $19.95

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Best Friend Park Gym6XJDUORDI3DUNZD\‡/DZUHQFHYLOOH nasium 1RUFURVV‡6SDOGLQJ'ULYH‡6XLWH$ 6224 Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Norcross, 770.417.2212 Bethesda Park Aquatic Center 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville, 678.924.6334 Bogan Park Aquatic Center 2725 N. Bogan Road, Buford, 770.614.2063 Bogan Park Community Recreation Center 2723 N. Bogan Road, Buford 770.614.2060 - Community Center; 770.932.4421 -Gym

678-880-6460

Collins Hill Park Aquatic www.gwinnettparents.com

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[ SUMMER CAMPS ] Center 2200 Collins Hill Road, Lawrenceville, 770.237.5647 George Pierce Community Center 55 Buford Hwy, Suwanee, 770.831.4173 Gwinnett Senior Center at Bethesda Park 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville, 770.564.4680 Hudlow Tennis Center at Best Friend Park 6224 Jimmy Carter Blvd, Norcross, 770.417.2210 Lawrenceville Female Seminary 455 South Perry St, Lawrenceville, 770.822.5178 Lenora Park Gymnasium 4515 Lenora Church Road, Snellville,

770.978.5271 Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center 4651 Britt Road, Norcross, 770.822.8840 McDaniel Farm Park 3251 McDaniel Road, Duluth, 770.814.4920 Mountain Park Aquatic Center 1063 Rockbridge Rd, Stone Mountain, 770.564.4650 Pinckneyville Community Center 4650 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Norcross, 770.417.2200 Rhodes Jordan Community Center & Gym 100 East Crogan Street, Lawrenceville 770.822.5414 - Community Ctr;

Gwinnett Gymnastics Center 927 Killian Hill Rd. • Lilburn , GA 30047• (770) 921-5630

Register Today!

Summ er Gy mnas Ages tics C 18 Mo lasse nths & s Summ Up er Se s sion June 2 - Ju ly 30 Summ er Olym pics Summer Aug. Day Camp: 1st

Wow Wow West Spring Break Day Camp:

Age 4: 1/2 day Only Age 5-12: 1/2 day or full day April 6-10, 2009 9AM – 4PM (full day) (half day) 9AM - 12:30PM OR 12:30PM - 4PM Early drop-off/Late Pickup available upon request

May 21 - August 7 Zip 9AM – 4PM Lin e Wacky Wednesday Theme Friday Ages 4 - 1/2 day ONLY Ages 5 - 12 - 1/2 day or full day

ata Infl

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Gwinnett Local Parent Magazine

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WOW BIR THD AY PAR TIES

Gymnastics, Zip line, Inflatables, Swimming, Team games and much, much more daily! Early drop-off/Late Pickup available upon request.

www.wowgymnastics.com

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770.822.5150 - Gym Camp Aurora Ages 6-10, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville, 678-2266226. Fairhope Stables Riding Camp Ages 7-17, 2755 Bunten Rd., Duluth, 770-8131287 Gwinnett Family YMCA Camp New Heights Ages 5-15, Gwinnett Family YMCA, Vines Botanical and Tribble Mill Park. 770-513-5956. Atlanta Thrashers Hockey School Ages 6-16, Duluth Ice Forum and Town Center Kennesaw, 404-8274480

U.S. Martial Arts Since 1972

Master Bai, 30 years of professional marital arts training.

Our claSS will give yOur children… • FOcuS & cOncentratiOn • SelF eSteem & cOnFidence • diScipline & SelF cOntrOl

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Creative ClayHouse 593 Main St, Suwanee, 678-546-7806 Adrenaline Climbing Camps Ages 8-16, 460 Brogdon Rd., Suwanee 770-2711390 Academic Plus Ages 4-12, 3320 Centerville Hwy. 125, Snellville, 678-344-0405

15–19, JuneJune 8–12, sessions: June 15–19, 8–12, June 66 sessions: July 20-24 13–17, JulyJuly 22–26, July June 22–26, July 20-24 13–17, 6–10, July6–10, June

y SCHOOL HIGH AcAdem SPRINGS eld Hebrew NORTH Greenfi

GA 30328 GA 30342 Roswell Road ne, Atlanta, 7447 northland dr Atlanta, 5200

Atlanta Hawks Basketball Ages 8-17, 1 CNN Cenwww.gwinnettparents.com

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[ SUMMER CAMPS ] ter, Atlanta, 404-827-3815 Camp All-American Ages 3-14, 9500 Medlock Br. Rd. Johns Creek, 678-405-2266 Do Jo Karate Camp Ages 5-12, Duluth 770-623-4100, Dacula, 770-614-8788 Hudgens Arts Center Summer Art Camps Ages 5-12, 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth, 770-623-6002, ext. 103 Georgia Gymnastics Academy Summer Camp Ages 4 and up, 145 Old Peachtree Rd, Suwanee 770-945-3424 Imagine That! Ages 3-14, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Duluth, Norcross, Roswell. 770-392-1627 iD Tech Camps Ages 7-17, Emory University, Atlanta. 888-709-8324 Kids-N-Technology Camps Ages 8-17, Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta. 866-5133007

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Robert D. Fowler Family YMCA Camps Ages 5-16, 5600 W. Jones Bridge Rd., Norcross, 770-246-9622 Integrating Pathways for Children Therapeutic Ages 4-12, 2140 Buford Hwy., Buford, 678-482-4554 The Actors Scene Summer Camps Ages 4-18 4300 Buford Dr., Buford. 770904-6646. New School of Music Ages 3-12 4125 Buford Dr Ste B, Buford, 678-482-2884 Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Preschool Ages 2-5, 3700 Pleasant Hill Rd, Duluth, 770-476-8716 McDaniel Farm Park Ages 6-11, 455 S. Perry St., Lawrenceville, 770-822-5178 Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders Ages 5-17, CW Davis Middle, Flowery Branch, 770-965-3115 Fernbank Summer Day Camps Ages 5-11, 767 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, 404-929-6379

Red Clay Theatre Summer Drama Camps Ages 8-14, 3116 Main St., Duluth. 770622-1777

Clay My Way Ages 4 and up, 3685 Braselton Hwy., Dacula 770-904-6011

Tumbletots Preschool Ages 2-6, Peachtree Corners 770 7299660

Cybercamps Oglethorpe University, Ages 7-18 888904-2267

MusicLifeStudio Ages 8-16 3435 Medlock Bridge Rd., Ste. 205, Norcross. 770-417-1555

Emagination Computer Camps Ages 8 to 17, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA, 877.248.0206

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GameBreaker Lacrosse Camps Girls, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. (800) 9447112 Smokerise Summer Day Camp Ages 6-16, Smokerise Baptist Church, 5901 Hugh Howell Rd, Stone Mountain, 678-469-1377 Valley View Ranch Equestrian Camp Girls, Ages 8-17, 606 Valley View Ranch Road, Cloudland 706862-2231 Addidas Tennis Camp The Darlington School, Rome, GA Branch Christian Academy Ages 5-15, 1288 Braselton Hwy., Lawrenceville. 770-277-4722.

Since 1977, SwimAtlanta has been the leader in swim instruction in the metro Atlanta area.

Language Discovery Academy Ages: 5-12, 770-2058014

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The Little Gym Ages 3-12, 4835 Sugarloaf Parkway, Ste. 500, Lawrenceville 770-2369200 Young Chefs Academy Ages 5-15 Duluth, 770814-0656

$10.00 off a session of swimming lessons Expires 10/31/09

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[ INFANTS & TODDLERS ]

Effective Discipline for Tw o Ye a r O l d s

T

he “terrible” twos are a time of great change for most children. They are learning how to be independent and often defy their parents, yet this newfound freedom sometimes frightens them. They can understand far more complex concepts than they can express verbally, leading to frustration and tantrums. They are endlessly curious about the world around them but they have not developed a sense of personal safety, so they don’t understand why certain activi20

ties are off limits. With all the conflicting advice parents receive about discipline, it’s easy to forget that the word “discipline” means “to teach.” Many situations requiring discipline at this age can be turned into learning experiences for both you and your child. Approaching difficult situations with that concept firmly in mind can help you discipline even the most difficult pre-

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schooler.

consequences.

For example, the dreaded word “no” causes automatic tension in most parents of two-year-olds. Your instinct may be to engage in a battle of wills or simply pick up the child and make them do what is required. However, if you allow the child to say “no” to your request, you will often get a “yes” if you ask again in a few minutes. Allowing a child to say “no” once in awhile shows them that you respect their growing independence.

The most important tool in your discipline toolbox is consistency. By imposing the same discipline every time your preschooler misbehaves, you’re teaching them that their actions have predictable consequences. If you allow a behavior one day and punish it the next day, your child will be very confused. Children at this age are too young to understand special exceptions so you should stick carefully to your routines as much as possible each and every day.

Another opportunity to teach proper behavior arises when your child deliberately makes a mess for you to clean up. Most parents can tell the difference between a genuine accident and willful misbehavior. For the latter, parents can use the incident as an example of cause and effect. If your child deliberately colors on the walls after you have told him not to, having him help you clean up the mess can teach a valuable lesson about responsibility and

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Finally, if all else fails, preschoolers are generally very receptive to redirection. If your child does not want to go to bed, instead of arguing with her and insisting that it’s time for bed, change the subject and ask what doll she wants to take to bed with her or which bedtime story she wants to hear. This teaches children that some behavior is not negotiable and shows them acceptable alternatives.

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[ SCHOOLAGE ]

New help for parents with kids who are struggling in school

D

r. Richard Selznick coined the term “shut-down learner” to describe some children.

Dr. Selznick, who has spent over 20 years of clinical experience assessing thousands of children has come to the conclusion that many of them are visual thinkers. In fact, it’s a mode of thinking that is far more common than people ever imagined. As many as 40 percent of all children in America experience problems learning to read and write and a significant proportion of them are spatial learners - they learn best and even will thrive if they are given hands on tasks requiring them to use their eyes and hands.

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But they will often fail miserably if they have to read and write. “Unfortunately,” says Dr. Selznick “the educational system is often at odds with the shut down learner’s style. If you have a Shut Down Learner, you are in for a really rough time unless you identify and address your child’s special learning needs.” Dr. Selznick says that the Shut-Down Learner style becomes increasingly apparent in the upper elementary grades, although there are indicators in preschool and kindergarten. You can identify the early warning signs of a ShutDown Learner style by noticing what he calls the “cracks in the foundation.”

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These cracks include: • Difficulty with learning letters • Trouble with playing rhyming games • Difficulty following directions • Resistance to early reading activities and instruction How would you know if your child is a ShutDown Learner? • A sense that the child is increasingly disconnected, discouraged, and unmotivated (shut down) • Fundamental skill weaknesses with reading, writing, and spelling, leading to lowered self-esteem • Increased avoidance of school tasks such as homework • Dislike of reading • Hatred of writing • Little to no gratification from school • Increasing anger toward school Dr. Selznick offers a number of strategies to deal with a child who is showing the signs of being a shut down learner: 1. Identify the cracks in the foundation as early as possible. Find a professional who knows the red flags to identify for early learning problems. So much heart-ache can be avoided if you address the skills weaknesses www.gwinnettparents.com

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23


early. 2. If you as a mom are worried, usually there is good reason. Most of the moms that I meet are right about their concerns. Don’t let professionals tell you he’ s fine you know how boys are. Check it out. Maybe you’re wrong, but usually I find the moms know their kid is struggling. 3. If the cracks are widening, seek outside help if possible. Don’t be passive and wait for the schools to intervene. They may, but it’s often a long process. Many of the children I see are not bad enough to warrant the school’s intervention. It’s a negative snowballing effect. Use word of mouth in your community to find people who can intervene. 4. Know what you are targeting. There are essentially two types of reading problems. In the first type the child has trouble decoding the words and reading fluently. This type is the largest majority of the struggling kids. In the second type, the child can read fluently, but has great trouble understanding what he/she has read. Get clear on what you are targeting!!!! Don’t scattershot your remediation. 5. Take the heat out of the interaction. For most of the struggling kids, the daily ritual of yelling about school is a constant. Households are tense. Lots of blame goes around. Pecking at your child, nagging and yelling are not working. Why continue? 6. If you have a spouse, get your husband on board. The dads can be tough. They often don’t see the problem and will tell you typically that you are making a big deal out of nothing. This leads to more confusion and arguing. If you can find a professional to explain things in clear terms to 24

both of you, it helps to get both of you on board together. 7. If you are in a divorced situation, it’s even more important to try and work together. The differences between you can really lead to huge emotional problems for the child. These differences result in a lot of anger and it is this anger that leads to classic shut-down learner behaviors. 8. Find the child’s true strength and help kid embrace it. The shut down learners that I know do not feel very good about themselves and they do not see their strengths. Most of these kids are very solid in the visual spatial dimension of ability. This is often not valued in school. The kids need to learn to value this trait and see it as a potential. 9. Find someone to connect & mentor your child in school. If your child is older, push the kid to have one adult in the building as a mentor. It should be someone that your kid can form a relationship with. Too often SDL kids go through their school experience not bonded to anyone. This is tragic. 10. Keep Your Humor. Try not to let school problems become all consuming. Go out for an ice cream sundae with you kid even if he hasn’t done his homework! School problems can be so all consuming - don’t lose touch with the good qualities he/she has. Dr. Selznick is a psychologist, a nationally certified school psychologist, a graduate school professor and an author. He is Director of the Cooper Learning Center at Cooper University Hospital www.cooperlearningcenter. org.

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St. Jude patient Chartavious with his sister

Honor a friend . . . Remember a loved one.

Honor the accomplishments of a friend or remember a loved one by making a donation in their name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the premier pediatric cancer research center. Give the gift of life to children around the world. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memorials and Honors P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142 Memphis, TN 38148-0142 1-800-873-6983

www.stjude.org/tribute


[ TEEN TALK ]

Tips For Preparing For Your High School Graduation

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reparing for your high school graduation is one of the most exciting, rewarding and also, emotional times in your entire life. Faced with many important and life-changing decisions such as work, college, and living arrangements, getting through graduation itself can be hectic and frustrating. However, there are several simple things that will better prepare you for this transitional period in life. 26

It ‘s a wise idea to begin preparing for your high school graduation as soon as your senior year begins, if not sooner. A meeting with the school ‘s guidance counselor at the beginning of the year will answer questions about graduation eligibility requirements. It ‘s not uncommon for students to be surprised at the end of their school year when they learn that they haven’t fulfilled all of the requirements needed to graduate. The requirements that are set forth by the schools may vary by location but generally state that a certain number of classes or credits must be completed before a student is given their diploma or even allowed to attend the gradua-

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tion ceremony in some schools.

‘s realizing that this is the final step into adulthood and into the stressful but rewarding world of responsibilities, duties, and obligations. Learning personal survival skills are as essential in preparing for your high school graduation as are getting good grades and SAT scores. Although, getting good grades and taking as many electives as possible without compromising those grades is a great way to prepare yourself for graduation, and ultimately, for college and life in the ‘real world’ as an adult.

Viewing your transcripts before you have to think about sending them off to colleges and universities will give you a better picture of your academic performance thus far. In addition, this will allow you to see if there are areas that need improvement during your senior year. Also, keep close tabs on your GPA or Grade Point Average, as this will be one of the most important deciding factors for being accepted to a college or university. After taking care of the academic portion of your graduation experience, you’ll want to focus on the lighter side such as the celebrations, and the parties. Many graduating seniors choose to send out pictures and announcements letting everyone know they are about to graduate even if they aren’t having a party. If a graduate is sending out notices just to spread the good news and isn’t looking for gifts, then be sure to include ‘No gifts please’ at the bottom of the announcements to avoid confusion and also to follow proper etiquette.

Personal survival skills are those vital, necessary tasks that self-sufficient people must do for themselves in order to survive. Some of these include getting a part-time job before graduation if possible, getting a driver ‘s license, volunteering in the community, and learning the basic financial skills needed to function in life such as balancing a checkbook. A ‘part-time job’ can include household chores and various tasks such as babysitting, mowing lawns, shoveling snow and doing odd jobs for friends and neighbors. Many high schools offer work-study programs that are beneficial to students in that they allow them to earn money while working toward their graduation and college goals.

The choices for graduation parties are pretty much endless and you are only limited to your own imagination. Decide whether you’d like to have an open house type of party with a lot of friends and family milling about or if you’re interested in a more intimate gathering. Perhaps a formal dinner or brunch is more your speed, or alternately, a graduation picnic or cookout can be a great way to celebrate the end of your high school career. If you’re headed to college, consider decorating for your party with the school ‘s colors and serve foods that are specific to the local area.

Once a graduate-to-be is sure that they are capable of taking care of themselves without help from their parents or family, they should be confident in their abilities to succeed in college as well. By learning the basic skills that are necessary to function as a responsible adult before graduating from high school you’ll be prepared for college, work, and life in general. You’ll also be able to attend your graduation with the confident knowledge

Preparing for your high school graduation is actually a lot more than just choosing the invitations and the color of the balloons for the party. It www.gwinnettparents.com

that you’re ready to successfully take on all of life ‘s exciting challenges.

Gwinnett Local Parent Magazine

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[ COLLEGE BOUND ]

Get into the Job Market:

7 Success Secrets for College Students By Tip Fallon

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ollege guarantees the opportunity to party, make friends, experience selfdiscovery, and enjoy loads of fun activities. But in today’s economy, graduating from college does not guarantee a job. Here are seven effective strategies to come out of college with a degree, fond memories, and increased chances of getting a desirable job (so you can pay off that debt!). 1. Plan your work, and work your plan. The best way to increase your likeliness of getting the job you want is to develop a “job plan” and follow it. There are two simple parts to this plan: 1) Figure out what type of job you want. 2) Figure out what you have to do to get it. The most effective way to do this is to include someone—maybe a friend or parent—who can keep you motivated and help you navigate challenges along the way. Of course the third part of the plan is to work at it. By planning out how you’re going to get a job and www.gwinnettparents.com

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working at it with a partner, your chances of getting a job can increase drastically. 2. Deliver results. Regardless of your GPA, what school you went to or what you majored in, employers want to know one thing: whether or not you will deliver results when you work for them. If you did not deliver results in college, you seem less likely to deliver results in the real world. Identify specific results you accomplished through your cover letter, resume, and interviews. Some examples may be doubling the membership for a student organization, serving as Resident Advisor and having zero incidents, winning an award, or producing tangible gains at a job or internship. Make a list of the results that you have driven. Think of three more results you can deliver in the coming year, and how you can do that. If you’re a recent graduate – also think of ways you can continue to drive results– perhaps through volunteering in the community or creating a project for yourself. 3. Connect with professors. Professors can open doors to research projects, internships and provide powerful recommendations for employers. Keep in mind their job is to help you succeed! The better you do in college and after – the better it makes them look. Don’t be shy in reaching out to professors to build relationships and gain more opportunities. They can help you get a job in more ways than you can imagine. And they’re usually pretty interesting people, too! 30

Make a list of three professors you would like to connect with. Then drop them an e-mail, go to office hours, or chat with them after class and start building a relationship. A basic opening question can be “I’m interested in XYZ, could we chat some time about research or career opportunities in that field?” If you are a recent graduate, it’s never too late to reach back to a professor! 4. Take responsibility. When you apply for a job, employers will consider wonder why they should give you responsibility over something in their business. You have to show them you are capable of managing responsibility. You can demonstrate this through research projects, internships, student organizations, or volunteering. You want to be able to say to employers, “You can trust me to handle your business because I have shown I am responsible in these specific endeavors…” How can you increase your responsibility in the coming semester and year? For recent grads – look around your community for ways to take responsibility: mentor, coach a little league team, or volunteer on a political campaign. 5. Make future-based decisions. When you are in college, think about that “future you” that you dream being – whether it’s a doctor, entrepreneur or musician. Then ask, “What would that person do in my position?” A future entrepreneur would network as much as possible, or start a business on campus. A future lawyer would get involved in student judicial board. It can be tempting to simply follow

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[ DACULA KIDS VILLAGE - 1152 Auburn Rd. Dacula, GA 30019 ] the crowd until graduation, but that will get you to where others end up – not where you want to end up. If you start making decisions like the person you want to be in the future, it is only a matter of time until you get there. Who do you want to be in the future? What are three decisions that person would be making in your shoes today? This applies to recent grads as well. 6. Let go. To be successful in the real world you continually have to grow during college. This means letting go of things that are not bringing you growth or fulfillment. While you may do something because it is a comfortable or routine, that does not mean it is making you a strong candidate for getting a job. Find out what you are doing now that is not moving your forward and begin to let go of those activities so you can focus your energy on things that add value to you in the long run. What do you have to let go of to make space for things that will bring you more growth, meaning, and success? If you’re a recent grad – this applies the same for you.

Think about where you want to be in the future and what specific experiences you need now to get there. Then find a way to get those experiences. If you haven’t been able to get an internship or aren’t interested in the ones through your career center – ask around at local businesses. They may be more than happy to have you come in to shadow an employee and be an assistant. Do not simply accept the options presented to you. (This is where having a team and “job plan” helps!) Just because you’re in school does not mean your opportunities end at the campus gates. Think of opportunities you want, then list three ways you can create them. If you’re a recent grad, try looking for internships, or contract work online through Elance. com, or Craigslist to keep you moving forward. This is a great time to be a college student or recent graduate. Even though the job market is competitive, you have more resources and information available to you than any generation before you. Use these seven strategies to propel yourself forward in your journey towards the real world and the workforce!

7. Create your own opportunities when necessary. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Tip Fallon is founder of Speaking for Change, a consultancy that advances the success of college students through speaking engagements, consulting, coaching, and blogs. As the director of a nonprofit that serves disadvantaged teens, Tip uses his leadership skills to help young adults excel in college and the real world. He is currently working on “Beyond the Books,” a guide to help college students succeed. To reach him for speaking, consulting or coaching, email: TipFallon@ Speakingforchange.com.

www.gwinnettparents.com

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Convenience is key at Dacula Kids Village, the newly developed play and shopp Parents can drop off their kids for baseball practice or swim lessons, then dine at or get a manicure while they wait - without ever leaving the complex.

Dacula Kids Village boasts 55,000 square feet of play and retail space on 5.5 acr dynamic playground in the courtyard area, with a baseball diamond in the back. T and Jack City Sports Center, which offer lessons in swimming, baseball, softball, f and more. Other businesses include Monkey Joe’s, Play My Way, Wee Monsters Jerry’s ice cream, Sweet Repeats consignment store, Belle Nails, World Champio

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res, built in a unique shape that features a The complex is anchored by Swim Atlanta football, basketball, soccer, weight training s Play Systems, Green Tea Diner, Ben and on Tae Kwon Do and Biggby Coffee.

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[ FEATURE ]

Celebrating Easter!

E

aster is just about here and one of the fun activities is to decorate Easter eggs. It’s easy and enjoyable to decorate; you just need to buy an Easter egg coloring kit. PAAS kits make it easy for everyone. Their 2009 kits helpp everyone egg-spress their creativity: Chalked Up – Decorate eggs over and over with PAAS Chalked Up kit. If you want to change a design, simply wipe off chalk with the felt eraser for a clean slate. Funky Foil – Add a layer of sparkle using fun foil patterns. Flower Power – Easter eggs will be in full bloom this spring with the PAAS 3-in1 Flower Power kit. Embellish with multicolored flower sequins and stickers, and display decorated eggs in a flowerpot for a festive look.

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Sand Blast – PAAS Sand Blast kit features three bags of multi-colored sand to decorate plain or colored eggs. Galeggsy – This kit helps to create an outof-this-world decorating egg-sperience! Send your imagination into orbit with space themed stickers and glow-in-thedark pen, and display them in the galactic egg stands. Color Squirt –PAAS Color Squirt kit provides an easy way to give eggs a unique tie-dye look. Simply fill spray pumps with the provided paints and let the creative juices flow. Hard-Boiled Hardware – Easter eggs will shimmer and shine with PAAS Hard-Boiled Hardware. Paint eggs in metallic shades of copper and silver and then decorate

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them with glitter pen and stickers.

children. Be sure to hide the eggs where the kids can find them, but you don’t want to make it too easy.

Brilliant Beads – For an egg-stra special touch, add multi-colored beads and glitter for fashion-forward eggs.

Easter is just like any other celebration. Make plans to cook this Easter holiday; celebrate by decorating eggs and playing games. It is a time to get together with family and friends, celebrating, laughing and enjoying the children playing with one another and [that] is what makes for a very happy Easter.

Deggorating Party – This kit allows you to decorate a dozen eggs a dozen different ways! Perfect for any Easter egg-stravaganza, this kit has everything needed to create a variety of effects including speckle, stamp and stencil. After decorating your eggs with Paas kits, no Easter is complete without an Easter egg hunt for your family and friends. You want everyone to enjoy themselves; therefore, hide your decorative eggs inside the house for your younger children and outside in the yard for the other

www.gwinnettparents.com

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[ CHILD CARE FEATURE ]

GREAT BEGINNINGS OF SUGAR HILL Setting The Trend In Childcare by Evan Wiley

T

he child care industry is one of increasing homogeneity and facelessness. Facilities are increasingly becoming indistinguishable from one another. Where there once were kindly professionals who saw this manner of work as their life’s vocation; there are now corporations more interested in their bottom lines with a constantly revolving staff. Children are being given the exact same cookie cutter level of attention, regardless of needs. In an industry where there seems to be an emerging uniformity of product, Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill is a breath of fresh air. At Great Beginnings, the development of children in all aspects of life is at the forefront of their goals. Each child is given a nurturing environment in which to grow

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from educational, physical, and social stand points. Owners Patty Perdue and Jim Newton come from teaching and coaching backgrounds respectively and have sought to differentiate their facility from the others by providing a high quality experience for both parents and children. At the helm on a day to day is Charlotte Sigler. While her background is in Child Psychology her interest in Great Beginnings is not purely academic. Charlotte is a working mother of four kids. This allows her to be especially attuned to the needs and concerns of today’s parents and kids. Always available, and always smiling, she is the face of Great Beginnings and a maverick in her own quiet way. First and foremost, Great Beginnings is not a filing cabinet for a working parent to

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stash their kids for those hours between school letting out and getting off of work. The children here have the best teachers in the area. Many of the child care professionals having been here since the facility’s inception, some thirteen years ago! An atmosphere of nurturing is available throughout. Each age group has separate playgrounds tailor made with their specific physical demands and abilities in mind. The pre-K teaching staff are all certified teachers, with a few holding master’s degrees in education. Children have access to a myriad of activities from computers to field trips. The health and safety of the children is also of the utmost importance. Top quality meals are provided. Each day a breakfast, hot lunch, and three snacks are served. These meals are home cooked, with the home made chicken noodle soup being a big favorite among the kids. Fresh fruit and other healthy snacks are the norm, rather than the exception. In addition, every effort is made to be accommodating to children with special dietary needs. Those with food allergies or vegetarian diets can expect the same level of quality, nutrition, and love put into each meal as the rest of

code or be buzzed in by a member of the staff. Speaking of the staff, they are all CPR and First Aid certified. During the hiring process the staff is subjected to an extensive background check, finger printing, and must undergo Department of Human Resources Training. Finally, all kids need to be immunized before they are allowed to attend. Sick children are picked up in a effort to keep the sharing of germs to a minimum. The facility accepts kids of all ages from six weeks to fourteen years of age. Children are always around others of their own age groups, the purpose is two fold: they interact with others on their level and it allows the care providers to become more specialized in their activities. The groups break down as follows: 0-6 months, 6 months-Standing, Standing-Walking, Toddlers 17 months-24 months, Toddlers 24 months-30 months, two groups of 3 year olds, two groups of 4 year olds, five Pre-K classes, Kindergarteners, First and Second Graders, Third and Fourth Graders, with 5th graders and older having a group to themselves. The Pre-K is a point of pride for great Beginnings. The teachers are some of the finest in the state, some holding advanced degrees. One need only ask local kindergarten teachers about the

the student body. Secondly, the facility is very secure. The play areas are all fenced. There are cameras throughout the facility. People that wish to enter must have an access www.gwinnettparents.com

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Conveniently located across from the Mall of Georgia

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results of the Pre-K. Great Beginnings’ kids simply excel upon their entry to public/private school, achieving standardized test scores that exceed those of kids from other Pre-K programs. In the next few months, Great Beginnings will embark upon a summer camp program. Through the duration of the program children will be treated to daily field trips with locations ranging from Braves games, to the Fox theatre, to the Elachee nature center. In short, there is no better place to send your children for a nurturing experience than Great Beginnings. They service the following schools: Buford Elementary, Buford Academy, Buford Middle, Harmony, Sugar Hill, Patrick, Ivy Creek, Riverside, Level Creek, Suwanee, Old Suwanee Christian, Sugar Hill Christian, Lanier Middle, Hope Springs, The T. Carl Buice Center and the soon to be open White Oak Elementary and White Oak Middle Schools. Conveniently located in Sugar Hill, they are currently accepting students. Come by or call today and speak with Charlotte Sigler about how Great Beginnings can provide the best possible environment for your children. Great Beginnings of Sugar Hill is located at 1191 Level Creek Rd, across from the T. Carl Buice Center. You reach them by phone at 770-9453995.

www.gwinnettparents.com


[ HEALTHY MOM ]

Anger Management Tips for Moms

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nger - it sounds like a dirty word, but the more we try to avoid it, the more we feel it. Is anger so bad? Is there a positive way we Moms can learn from our anger and model productive ways to express feelings? Firstly, there is nothing wrong with anger. Anger, like all emotions, is merely a messenger. Anger is there to alert you to something wrong in your environment. Perhaps you’ve been ignoring your feelings of frustration, annoyance, or burden far too long. Anger is likely to be the result. Psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott once said that “Humans can be a little nicer than they feel, but not a lot.” I agree with that statement! So if you feel anger welling up, what can you do to avoid exploding, especially on someone nearby? 1- Leave the situation As soon as possible, take your leave for a moment. Explain to the person you’re with that you need a moment, but don’t ask for their permission. Walk

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away. If the person you’re talking to is a very small child, you might not be able to leave them alone, but you can turn around and remove your attention for a moment. While you’re having your “timeout”, do something productive. Practice deep breathing exercises. Take a walk. Pray. Rehearse what your next words will be so you have more control over your response. Don’t just dwell on your negative feelings, find something positive you can

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do to restore your emotional balance.

starting on this room?�

2- Try laughter Humor can diffuse a situation like nothing else. So if you are steaming, think of something amusing. Your favorite line from a funny movie, something silly your child did, whatever it is. Laughter helps put things into perspective and can turn around your mood quickly.

4- Analyze your anger If you lose it and blow up, try to explore what led to it. It might be helpful to write down what was happening in the hours leading up to the explosion. Was someone really pushing your buttons and instead of setting a boundary, you let them continue? Has it been way too long since you’ve had some time to yourself? Had it been many hours since you and everyone else had eaten? What could you do differently next time? Is there an area where you could change your routine for everyone’s benefit?

3- Decide on your response ahead of time. It’s helpful to decide ahead of time what you’ll do when you feel yourself getting angry. If you’re a yeller, make a pact with yourself that you’ll whisper when you get angry. If you’re dealing with a manipulative person, rehearse a phrase like: “That deserves consideration. I’ll think about it and get back to you on that.� to put yourself back in control.

Every parent loses their temper from time to time. It’s not helpful to wallow in guilt or beat yourself up. Anger isn’t an unacceptable emotion. What’s unacceptable is how it’s sometimes expressed. Hopefully these tips will you learn to express your anger in a way you and your family can live with.

Or write your feelings in a note. This works really well with children. For example, if your teen promised to clean the kitchen but never got around to it, tape a note to the fridge that says: “A Dirty Kitchen Makes Mom Start Witchin� Signed, The Management. Be determined to focus on the behavior that triggers your anger, not the person, and inform them what they can do to make things right with you. Instead of saying: “You lazy, greedy brat!� try “I am so angry that you decided to play video games instead of clean up your room. In the future, I expect you to keep your promises to me. When will you be www.gwinnettparents.com

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41


[ SPORTS & RECREATION ]

Tennis Fitness Training How to Start

T

ennis is a very exciting and popular sport. It can help improve your overall fitness, and provide you with hours and hours of enjoyment. You can play the sport alone, with just one opponent, or you can play tennis in doubles. You often see tennis professionals competing on live television telecasts, and they make it look so easy. The sport looks easy because professionals play full time tennis, and they have the opportunity to practice every single day. However, if you are just picking up the sport, you will quickly realize that it’s not an easy sport at all. If you are not mentally prepared, you may even give up the sport altogether. Here are some tips on how to get you started with tennis fitness training. Tennis basic rules.

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The rules of tennis are simple. You can play the game in sets of three, or sets of five. The player who wins the most sets, will win the match. In each set, there are a total of 6 games. To win a set, the tennis player must win more than 3 games. If both players win the same number of games (e.g. 6-6), this forces a tie breaker. The set will continue until a player has won at least 2 games more than the opponent. In each game, a sequence of points will be played. For beginners, the scoring system may seem a little confusing. The first point will be recorded as 0-15, the second point as 0-30, and the third point as 0-40 (game point). If the player goes on and scores a forth point, he or she wins the game. Again, if both are tied at 40-40, there will be a deuce. The deuce will continue until one player wins at least 2 points ahead of the competition.

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To score a point in the game, a player must use the tennis racket to hit the ball before the ball bounces twice. The goal is to hit the ball back into the opponent’s court. Of course, the tennis ball must land within the boundaries of the court. If it’s a singles game, the inner lines at the side mark the boundaries. If it’s a doubles game, the outer lines at the side mark the boundaries. You can use a variety of tennis strokes to score in the game. These include the fore hand stroke, the back hand stroke, the overhead stroke. If you hit the ball before it touches the ground, it’s called a volley. Tennis is a great sport for fitness training because you have to run and move around in the court to play the game. The movements involve exercising your arms and legs. You also get a great cardiovascular workout. You don’t need a lot of equipment to get started with the sport. Just a basic tennis racket, some tennis clothing and a pair of tennis shoes and you are good to go. www.gwinnettparents.com

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[ MATERNITY & PREGNANCY ]

Should My Baby And I Try a Prenatal Massage? by: Greg Sawyer

Ah-- the joys of having a baby! What’s frustrating though is that along with your “little bundle” come uninvited side effects like aching lower backs, hips, legs, migraines, swollen feet & lets not forget about the throwing up. What if I told you there was a massage therapy exactly for women who are pregnant that is intended to eliminate some of the discomfort related with pregnancy and even facilitate their labor and delivery? Expecting moms don’t comprehend that their system is now not only holding them up...but it’s also carrying their unborn child too. This extra weight can have serious consequences on your body. A professional prenatal massage therapist can direct those muscles that have been stressed to relieve some of the ten44

sion and strain associated with carrying a child. This stress reducing technique can go along way when you are coping with the flood of emotions and hormones that come with your pregnancy. What Do Physicians Have To Say Regarding This? You might find it intriguing that Studies at the University of Miami, School of Medicine, show that just 20 minutes of pre-natal massage twice a week for five weeks: a) Diminishes stress hormones in your body, b) Regulates mood swings c) Assists to promote better sleep d) Reduce your anxiety and back pain. But that’s only a few of the benefits... these studies report expecting moms who

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received regular massages during their pregnancy:

Do Experts Advocate It For All Women That Are Expecting?

· Experienced lower rates of premature birth, · Fewer obstetrical complications, · Babies had fewer of postnatal complications.

Most specialists think it’s best if you wait until your second trimester so that your body can get adjusted to the pregnancy. Prenatal massage is perfectly safe during your second and third trimester. The funny thing is the further along you are... the more you’ll appreciate the benefits!

What Are The Benefits Of Prenatal Massage Therapy To A Pregnant Mom And Unborn Child?

Now please do not forget when you are pregnant, you should always talk with your doctor before experimenting with any new treatment or procedure.

The latest research show that they prenatal massage may: a) Alleviate the worried anxiousness and despair that go hand in hand with the hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy. b) Relieve stress on lower back, pelvis, and ankles, which are not in the habit to carrying a baby c) Get rid of back, shoulder neck pain caused by your muscles being out of balance. d) Lessen back, shoulder neck pain caused by your muscles being out of balance. e) Improve your blood and lymph circulation, which in turn helps to lessen swelling and improves the baby’s oxygen supply. f) Unwind muscle knots that cause cramping, tightening, and stiffness. g) Lessen your aches and pain and at the same time encourage relaxation, which can actually speed up your labor h) Improve muscle and skin tone i) Help you sleep more soundly so you don’t have to toss and turn all night

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If they think its OK to begin, contact a local pre-natal massage therapist and enjoy your massage. You deserve it! Greg Sawyer, Certified Massage Therapist (NMT), Certified Massage Therapy Instructor at Inner Health And Beauty Of Buford 404-328-8674

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[ BIRTHDAY PARTIES ] for hours on end, inflatable bouncers are the answer. After all, the energy from the super-sugary cake and ice cream has to go somewhere. Bigger Kids: Ages 8-14 At some point, kids need more excitement than hours of bouncing, and this is where the inflatable Slip and Slide saves the day. Just turn on the hose and kids will hurl themselves through an inflatable slippery slide. If you don’t have access to water, the gigantic 22 foot tall inflatable slide is another winner with this age group. Teenagers and Young Adults: 1325 It takes a lot to enInflatable Rentals For tertain teens, but inflatable rentals Guests Of All Ages can handle the job. When you need lot of people seem to think that inparty activities that flatable rentals are just for kids. It’s can satisfy the thrill seeking personalities true that inflatable bouncers have of a group of teens, try inflatable boxing, become a staple for children’s birthday human bowling, and for a real laugh, a parties, but inflatables aren’t just fun for wrestling mat where guests try to knock the little ones, there are inflatable games each other over while wearing gigantic infor fun-loving people of every age. We’ve flatable sumo suits. These are the kinds sorted the most popular inflatable rentals of activities that create fantastic memories into age groups so that you can easily find that are talked about for years to come. the one to spice up your next party. Thrill-Seeking Adults: Small Fries: Ages 2-10 Just because we get older doesn’t mean You know when someone is having a birth- that we stop craving fun-loving exciteday in the neighborhood when the inflat- ment. We just don’t get the opportunity to able bouncer appears in the yard. If you’re do many fun things outside of our normal looking for a way to entertain young kids mundane activities. To really spice up a

A Guide To Great Parties And Events:

A

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party or company picnic, have some activities that will really bring out the kid again in your guests. This crowd has a blast with activities like inflatable jousting, an inflatable obstacle course, or the inflatable bungee bull. More Mellow Adults: At some point, most of grow out of thinking that being hurled down an inflatable bowling alley inside of an inflatable bowling ball is “fun”. But there are lots of more relaxed inflatable games and activities to appeal to this crowd. Inflatable rentals like the inflatable sports center, the inflatable rock climbing wall, and the super-sized inflatable slot machine are always a big hit.

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Not matter the age group of the people attending your event, there are inflatable rentals that appeal to all ages and tastes. It seems that we never really outgrow the thrill of stepping inside of a gigantic, pillowy inflatable rental, whether that be racing a co-worker through a big inflatable obstacle course or challenging friends to a dual in oversized inflatable sumo suits. If you want to really make an impression on your guests and put on an exciting and memorable event, don’t overlook the inflatable rentals!

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[ FEATURE ]

Not a matter of Gold medals…

W

hen the Willis family started their adoption process for a baby Chinese girl, they were not quite aware that the waiting would be so long … Almost 3 years later, following bureaucratic and intermediated steps, they were finally notified that they would be traveling to bring their little girl home soon. Although the wait was long, they had to be ready … ready for action 48

with passports, governmental clearance, physical examinations, and suitcases packed. From the time the Chinese government authorized and gave them notification to travel, to the actual departure date to China, it was only 3 short weeks to tie up all the loose ends that would bring the Willis’s that much closer to the much expected day when Alaina Claire would be home.

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The process involved more paper work back-and-forth, presents to be sent to the orphanage, quick planning for the trip, hours waiting at the airport and the uncertainty of departure on the flight that they had booked (it had to be the day Delta cancelled most flights for maintenance of their fleet). Finally, the Willis family arrived in Beijing at the end of March. They stayed several days in Beijing filling their schedule visiting Chinese governmental offices to file paperwork, getting used to the 12 hour time difference and getting to know a bit of our “soon to be” daughter’s country, the impressive -–in many ways—China.

there was a crib waiting. A three year process of adoption “labor pains” had ended. A life long journey of loving a daughter was beginning. With a feeling of strong satisfaction and gratitude the family arrived back in Georgia in mid-April 2008. At that point, we were starting a process of getting Alaina adapted to our American life and routine with our new family of five. Things have been running relatively smoothly since we arrived home with our daughter, considering that suddenly we have a 28 month old child that has always been awake when we were asleep and shared her crib with another baby back in China. As we settle in we share the certainty that this was meant to be, she was meant to be ours and that all the waiting was very much worthwhile.

In the Willis’s own words: With our sons Christopher (age 16) and Spencer (age 13) at our side, we set out to explore this wonderful country of 1.3 billion people and their culture. Everywhere we turned there was something new to see and something wonderful to taste as the sites and sounds of China were overwhelming with the streets full of pedestrians, food vendors and bicycles carrying everything from live chickens to electronics.

As you can see in some of the pictures of the family, Alaina is a happy and fun loving, well adjusted child and Dr. Willis proudly hangs pictures in the waiting room of his office ProHealth – where Dr. Willis’ offers Medical and Chiropractic services in Lawrenceville. Alaina’s mother, Lisa is getting used to having and infant around again and is relishing every moment she spends with her new daughter at home in Suwanee where Alaina likes to keep busy exploring her surroundings.

From the cold and damp city of Beijing we flew south about 3 hours to the warm and tropical city of Guangzhou. It was there that we would be receiving our long awaited gift the very next day. Like children anticipating a visit from Santa Claus, we all found it difficult to sleep that night feeling that the next day was the biggest Christmas day of our lives. Finally there she was…Alaina Claire Willis, the daughter whom we’ve dreamed of so many nights. We were holding her, hugging her, laughing, crying and feeling like she had been a part of our family forever.

Most of us have been recently astounded by the Olympic Games in China where massive structures, impressive organization and highly skilled manpower at the opening and closing ceremonies were awe inspiring. Those images have now become just memories of a much anticipated and controversial Olympiad. The Willis’s memories are just beginning, and I wish them all the nicest future with their angel, full of moments to be cherished, instead of games and competition, because this is not a matter of gold medals but of love, patience and understanding.

From the orphanage we traveled to the grocery store to buy provisions…baby food, diapers, wet wipes and snacks and then went back to our hotel room where www.gwinnettparents.com

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[ WHATS FOR DINNER]

W

hen the temperature goes up and down, it’s natural for thoughts — and cravings — to turn toward soothing and hearty comfort foods. There’s nothing like a good casserole or a bowl of hot chili to make you feel good all over. To kick up the fun in your favorite meals, try some comfort foods with salsa added into the mix. Salsa and picante sauces are convenient ways to add different flavors and heat up the whole family with a satisfying meal. These recipes are fast and easy, making them great weeknight dinners for the busy cook. Monterey Chicken Tortilla Casserole Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 40 minutes Makes: 4 1 cup coarsely crumbled tortilla chips 2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR cooked turkey 1 can (about 15 oz) cream-style whole kernel corn 50

3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce 1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese Chopped green pepper OR red pepper Tortilla chips 1. Layer crumbled chips, chicken, corn and picante sauce in 1-quart casserole. Top with olives and cheese. 2. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with peppers. Serve with chips. Chipotle Chili Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 8 hours Makes: 8 1 jar (16 oz) Pace Chunky salsa 1 cup water 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1/2inch pieces 1 can (about 19 ounces) red kidney beans rinsed and drained Shredded cheddar cheese (optional) Sour cream (optional) 1. Stir salsa, water, chili powder, chipotle pepper, onion, beef and beans in a 3 1/2quart slow cooker. 2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

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Chipotle Chili

Mexican Four Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

*Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

1 cup Pace Picante sauce 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, cut up 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn 3 cups cooked elbow pasta 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese Sliced avocado Sour cream 1. Cook beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat. 2. Add picante sauce, chili powder, tomatoes and corn. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and heat until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado and sour cream.

2-Step Beefy Taco Joes Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 10 minutes Makes: 8 1 pound ground beef 1 can (10 3/4 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Tomato soup 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 8 Pepperidge Farm Sandwich rolls, any variety 1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Pour off fat. 2. Add soup and salsa. Heat through. Top with cheese. Serve on rolls. Mexican Four Cheese Potatoes au Gratin Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 50 minutes Stand: 10 minutes Makes: 6 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Mexican Four Cheese salsa con Queso 3/4 cup Swanson Chicken broth 1/4 cup heavy cream OR half-and-half 3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups) 1. Stir queso, broth and cream together in medium bowl. 2. Put HALF of potatoes in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour HALF of queso mixture over potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and queso mixture. 3. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Turn Up the Heat! Here are some more ideas from Pace Foods to help you put some zip into your favorite foods. Zesty Grilled Cheese Dip your grilled cheese sandwich into chunky salsa or picante sauce for a full-flavored, zingy kick. Fiesta Meat Loaf Use chunky salsa or picante sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup for a juicy, zesty meat loaf. Just before serving, top with more salsa. Soup Toppers Stir any delicious flavored salsa into your soup for a fresh new taste. Try it in black bean, tomato or vegetable soup. Fiesta Rice Tired of making the same old side dishes? To freshen up any meal, stir chunky salsa or picante sauce into your cooked rice for a lively side dish the whole family will love.

Mexi-Mac Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Makes: 4 1 pound ground beef www.gwinnettparents.com

2-Step Beefy Taco Joes

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[ FATHERHOOD ]

Public Restroom and Potty Training

B dren.

eing a good father and husband involves taking part in the duties of raising and and training up our chil-

I pride myself in being the kind of husband and father that takes an active part in helping care for my children. If they woke up in the middle of the night or needed fed or diapers changed, I would help out as often as I could to take the burden off my wife. So when we were on a family outing to the local shopping mall and my son needed to go potty it was only natural that I should take him. I had taken him several times at home as he was making the all important switch from diapers to big boy underwear. We were both pretty comfortable with the routine. There would only be one teeny tiny little difference this time. This time it would be a public restroom experience. Thinking back on my own crucial steps toward manhood, I thought this might be a little intimidating for my little man. When I was his age my family used to go to the drive in theater (remember those?). Mom would put me in my pajamas before we left

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home. When we arrived at the show, I would consume large quantities of juice and before long I was in need of relief. My dad would dutifully escort me from the car, through a seemingly endless maze of vehicles, up and down the hills, lit only by the images flashing across the giant screen, to the public restroom at the snack bar. I can still remember dad being perplexed by my need to go so bad while in the car, then taking so long to go once we actually reached the restroom. Sitting my naked behind on a strange seat in a row of booths with strangers on either side, it was all just too much. Even worse was waiting in a long line of strangers, dancing around in my pajamas holding my crotch while I waited to attempt to go in the totally open public peeing trough. Forget about it.

With this in mind, I intended to make this as easy as possible for my son . He seemed eager. He was excited by this whole ordeal, this giant step from baby in diapers to manhood. He was ready to make that step. He charged right into the men’s room with me right beside him. I took him into the first empty stall got his pants down lifted his little bottom up onto the seat. The first obstacle was that the hole in the seat was a bit larger than the one at home and it was not the complete circle of comfort he was used to at home. At home he had a little plastic doughnut that made the hole a little smaller complete with a front deflector shield that made the process relatively fool proof. Now he had to balance on the edge of an abyss, use one hand to aim and the other to hold on to daddy. That extra inch of clearance on each side was the difference between sitting comfortably and struggling to keep from getting his bottom wet. I held him steady so he could relax. Which he did. So relaxed in fact that he took the opportunity to look around. It didn’t take long for him to notice feet in

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the stall next door. “Hey, there’s somebody over there,” He announced in his outdoor voice. Actually the whole indoor/outdoor voice thing sort of escaped his understanding. If he had something to say, there was no sense being shy about it. “It’s okay,” I answered in my lets not wake up mommy voice. I took a glance down at the strangers feet myself and noticed that they were at least three inches longer than my own. “How’s it coming there son?” Trying to keep my son focused. “Are you going potty over there too?” my son inquired of the mysterious feet. “Just let the nice man go potty and you go potty too,” once again attempting to remind him we did come in here for a reason. “Are you about done little man?”

hoping that this would all be over soon. Finally he was finished. As he was bending over so I could wipe his little tush, his head got down below the adjoining wall. Still using his one-volume-fits-all voice he asked, “Do you want my daddy to come and wipe your bottom too?” Mercifully the owner of the feet next door did not feel the need to answer. Thankfully, those feet and their owner just stayed put while I wiped, zipped, buttoned and packed my son out of there like a thief stealing a loaf of bread. I kept him tightly tucked under my arm and I didn’t set him down again until we were back beside my wife. “Is everything okay, you look a little flustured?” my wife asked looking at me. “Well sure, yes, it went fine, but if a really big guy starts coming toward us I’ll meet you back at the car,” I said. “Why, what’s wrong?,” she inquired out of genuine concern. “Well it’s nothing really except our son just asked a very large pair of feet if he wanted his daddy to come and wipe his bottom too... By the way, next time he needs to go, itís your turn.”

It was quiet for a moment and I thought perhaps the worst was over. But no. The man next door made a sort of sloppy sound. The kind of sound that you just hate to make in a public restroom. That was a sound you really only wanted to make in the comfort and confines of your own private bathroom at home. If you have to make such a sound in a public restroom, you really hope no one else hears it. Unfortunately public restrooms these days are designed Southeastern Railway by the same people that Museum make concert halls so they have roughly the same acoustics. Not only Southeastern RailwayHistory Museum Georgia’s Official Transportation Museum did my son hear it, he felt obligated to comment. Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum • Train rides on He said the same thing I x Georgia’s largest land transportation museum. restored cabooses had said to him when he Overplace 10 kinds • A great for of rail cars to experience and made that sound, “Hey, 28,000 square feet of indoor exhibits. family outings or sounds like DIARRHEA!” x QCC field trip outlines/activities available to help corporate events. Diarrhea, was not even a plan your course work. • Special Events public word when I was x Picnic areas available for lunch year round growing up. Now we have x Caboose train ride complimentary with to hear about it on televi• Gift shop with admission or group tours. sion commercials. Even Thomas® & other x Field trips & guided group tours available by so, it is still a word you train souvenirs. appointment. Please call (770) 495-0253 x2 just do not want to hear One free child admission with a paying in public. I looked again 10am – this 5pmad. Call Today! adult with at those gigantic feet. I Thursdays – Saturday -- April - December thought, if he stood up (770) 476-2013 Saturdays only -- Jan-Mar he could probably punch 3595 Buford Hwy • Duluth me right over the top of www.srmduluth.org 770-476-2013 www.srmduluth.org the stall. “Are you about done there son?,” I asked

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[ MONEY & FINANCE ]

W

ith the volatile economy Americans are looking for ways to lower energy bills and extend natural resources now more than ever. Because petroleum is ingrained in our everyday lives — from transportation and tires to computers and every day goods such as diapers — many Americans are interested in options that will help reduce dependence on foreign oil as well. Here are a few helpful tips to lower energy bills and increase e n e r g y efficiency both at home and at the pump. Don’t Warm Up Your Car The best way to warm your vehicle is to drive it. Idling gets you zero miles to the gallon. More than 30 seconds of idling on cold days wastes fuel and increases emissions. Conduct Regular Car Maintenance Simple things such as properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage by about 3 percent. Replacing clogged air filters can improve gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. It also is important to use your car manufacturer’s recommended blend of motor oil. Using a different oil can decrease gas mileage by 1 to 2 percent. 54

Fill Up With Ethanol Using gasoline with 10 percent ethanol is a key component to lowering high gas prices and stretching petroleum supplies. Experts recently noted that ethanol has lowered gas prices by 15 percent, saving drivers some $70 billion at the pump this year alone. The production of just one barrel of ethanol replaces 1.2 barrels of petroleum. In total, the use of ethanol in gas and E-85 will displace the equivalent of 52 large oil tankers filled with imported crude this year. The production of ethanol and the abundance of corn positions corn growers to lead America’s transition into a new era of energy based on alternatives to fossil and imported fuels. Check your owner’s manual to find out about ethanol usage. Hybrid or Flex Fuel Vehicles The interest in highly fuel efficient vehicles will not go away anytime soon. Save money at the gas pump and help the environment by investing in a hybrid or a vehicle that runs on E-85, an 85 percent ethanol blend. Buy Locally Grown Foods Support your local farmers by choosing local

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Use Fluorescent Light Bulbs Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use 75 percent less energy than incandescent.

meat, milk and produce when possible to eliminate the costly transportation bill. Packaging, transportation, energy, advertising and profits account for 24 cents of the food dollar — energy costs have an even greater impact with high oil prices.

Open the Shades Open the shades or blinds and let the sun shine in during the day to naturally heat your home. Don’t forget to close them at night to help insulate against the cold. Following these easy tips can help lower your energy bills and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil sources.

Turn Your Home Off According to the United States Department of Energy, 75 percent of the electricity used in the average home is consumed while products are off. Unplug your appliances or use a power strip to cut off the electricity when you aren’t using it. Screen Savers Don’t Save Screen savers do not reduce the energy your computer uses. Instead, switch computers to sleep modes or simply turn off monitors to save energy. Set Your Thermostat at 68 For every degree you lower the thermostat in the 60 to 70 degree range, you’ll save 5 percent on your home’s heating costs. Set the temperature even lower at night to save an additional 5 to 20 percent.

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Join your Sesame Street friends as they team up with Mr. Earth to host their first Earth-a-Thon and find out what happens when Abby Cadabby accidentally turns Elmo the color GREEN - and can’t remember how to change him back! Below is more information on a title that would be perfect for readers this spring and Earth Day. Arriving on DVD April 7 SRP $14.93

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[ PAW PRINTS ]

H

ow much will owning a pet cost? How much time do I really need to devote to a pet? These are questions potential pet owners should ask prior to adopting. However, not everyone takes the time to assess the responsibilities and requirements associated with pet ownership, increasing the likelihood a pet will be surrendered to an animal welfare organization. Sometimes a pet is given up for hardship reasons 56

such as displacement after a natural disaster or home foreclosure. But one of the biggest and more controllable factors affecting pet relinquishment is a lack of knowledge on the owner’s part. The good news is pet relinquishment is often preventable through education. Potential pet adopters who truly evaluate their situations and get answers to important questions before bringing pets

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into their homes can increase their chances of a permanent pet adoption. Adopt-A-Pet.com is North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption Web

tant things pet adopters should consider to ensure they have a successful adoption experience.

Making a lifetime commitment is key

According to the survey, the number one thing a prospective pet owner should consider to ensure a permanent adoption is whether they’re ready to make a real commitment to care for the

site, with more than 5,766 public and private animal welfare organizations posting information on adoptable pets. Their vast resource of shelter and rescue organizations provides thousands of pets with loving homes each year. These organizations serve as local experts to anyone in search of the perfect furry friend. Recently, Purina Pets for Pet People surveyed more than 180 AdoptA-Pet animal welfare organizations nationwide to develop a “Permanent Pet Adoption� checklist of the Top 10 most imporwww.gwinnettparents.com

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new pet for its entire life, just as they would with a child. Another important factor to consider is that a pet affects other parts of their lives, such as housing and travel, for as long as they have the pet, up to 15 years for dogs and 20 years for cats. More tips from the “Permanent Pet Adoption” checklist can be found at Adopt-A-Pet.com.

Victoria Stilwell, a respected dog trainer, author and host of the television program “It’s Me or the Dog,” believes that potential pet owners need to ask the right questions prior to adopting, so they are prepared for the rewards and challenges that come with pet ownership.

Permanent Pet Adoption Checklist

A Purina Pets for People survey of the Adopt-A-Pet network of pet-shelter employees and rescue workers revealed the Top 10 most important things pet adopters should consider prior to adoption to ensure a permanent match. Before you adopt — give this list some thought: 1. When you adopt, you need to make a real commitment to care for your pet for its entire life, just as you would with a child. 2. Be prepared for a pet to affect other parts of your life for as long as you have the pet, which can be up to 15 years for a dog and 20 years for cat. Your pet’s well-being will have to be considered in all decisions, including travel, social life, relocation, adopting other pets, having children, etc. 3. Verify in advance you’re allowed to keep a pet where you live, especially if you rent or belong to a homeowners’ association. 4. Make necessary modifications to your yard and fence, if you have one, to provide for your pet’s safety and to prevent your pet from escaping. 5. Never give a pet as a gift. 6. Choose a pet appropriate to your living situation and lifestyle. Figure out what size, age and energy-level pet is most appropriate. 7. Never adopt a pet on a whim or because it’s love-at-firstsight. Do research and carefully consider every aspect and implication of adopting before you make a decision. 8. If you’re adopting a pet for your kids, understand the responsibility is yours. Kids often tire of things that were once new and exciting, and this includes their pets. You will most likely end up being the one who provides most of the pet’s care. 9. Plan for a several-week adjustment period during which there will be challenges. 10. Provide sufficient exercise and stimulation. For example, walk dogs according to individual need, provide playtime and appropriate toys, spend time just petting and talking to your pet, and include your pet in family activities. 58

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“Education prior to adoption is one of the best ways to reduce the number of pets surrendered by their owners,” says Stilwell. “Prospective pet owners need to clearly understand how a pet will fit into their lives for the long term, and whether or not it’s a good fit before they adopt. It’s my goal to keep as many deserving dogs and cats in forever homes as possible, and it starts with proper education.”

Deserving of a permanent home

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 5 to 7 million pets enter shelters every year. They are not typically bad pets, but often victims of unfortunate circumstances or a lack of education on the part of their former owners. The solution for keeping pets in forever homes lies in education, and

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the “Permanent Pet Adoption” checklist can be a valuable resource for potential pet adopters. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy cites proactive educational efforts as essential to reducing the number of pets that are relinquished to shelters and rescue organizations.

owners can download the “Permanent Pet Adoption” checklist and watch a video featuring Stilwell offering pet adoption tips. Current pet owners, who have made the commitment to have permanent pets in their homes, can keep an eye out in their local papers for Purina Pet Lover Savings coupons on pet food and treats.

“Selfless animal welfare organization workers are extremely knowledgeable on the pets in their care,” says Brenda Bax You can’t of Purina Pets for People. “Whether understand they’re mixed or why his grades breed-specific organizations, they are slipping. can offer advice, resources and valuable information to anyone interested in adopting a dog or cat. The better eduNearly 1 in 4 children suffer from an cated prospective undiagnosed vision problem that may affect adopters are about the pet they are their learning. bringing into their Is Your child one of them? lives, the greater the chances that Many vision problems go undetected during routine the pet will have a school eye screenings. Even a child with 20/20 vision loving permanent may suffer from an undetected vision problem such as farsightedness or lazy eye. home.”

Neither can he.

Current and prospective owners can visit Adopt-APet.com to search for adoptable animals in shelters and rescue organizations in their area. While visiting the Web site, potential pet www.gwinnettparents.com

That’s why it’s important to bring your son or daughter into TOTAL VISION EYECARE for a comprehensive eye exam. Our experienced team of professionals can ensure your child can SEE properly which means your child can LEARN to their greatest potential. Call TOTAL VISION EYECARE today at 770-963-0370. We believe in healthy vision for healthy learning.

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[ FAMILY TRAVEL ]

Selecting A Family Travel Destination: No Need To Forgo Hip Or Charm by: Angelo Cardarelli

S

mall hotels are adapting to family needs, and becoming an attractive alternative to resorts and large hotel chains.

ered how to make an adult environment work for kids and may be more child welcoming than those that bill themselves as child-friendly.

Out of guilt or a need to maximize the amount of time we spend with our children, we have convinced ourselves for years that a family vacation requires sacrificing the interests of the parents to satisfy the needs of the kids. Thus whether traveling half way around the world or driving a mere two hours from home many of us are heading to the same location: a child-friendly resort.

Not surprisingly, smaller hotels, inns and lodges - many of them luxurious - are leading the pack. The atmosphere is cozy and the service, more personalized. In addition, your family will probably get more exposure to the local culture - not to mention cuisine - in a smaller hotel than is possible in a big international resort.

This need not to be the rule. Many independent hotels and lodges have discov60

Children profit the most. Many cultures embrace kids. Thus a large part of the experience in countries such as Argen-

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tina and Turkey is the interaction with the locals. Exploring other cultures provides children with a unique education; it broadens their horizon and helps them to learn more about life. Things to keep in mind ●Some smaller hotels may not offer round-the-clock service or traditional in-room services, such as minibar, tv and video games but are likely to be more spontaneous, warm your baby’s bottle with a smile or offer your child a dish that is not on the menu. ● Children’s meals may mean that kids are not allowed in the dinning room. Aside from providing parents with a reprieve, kids-only meals usually offer food they like and give them a chance to make new friends. ● No kids clubs. Relax. While it may take a day or two and a bit parental encour-

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agement, kids will rediscover how easy it is to make friends and create fun, on their own. ● If the environment is relaxed, children will be relaxed as well. ● In a smaller hotel, you are likely to feel comfortable allowing your kids to explore on their own. Rules of thumb ● Review the hotel?s website. Find out if it belongs to a local or an international association. Is it recommended by your travel agent or a leading tour operator? Has it been rated? ● If the website does not mention children, they may not be welcome. A telephone call or email will avoid unwanted surprises. LP

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