ParentingNH February 2020

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Inspiring young leaders

NH’s Kid Governor program

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INSIDE features







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Civics in the Granite State

Taking the lead: NH’s Kid Governor program Hands-on civics education NH Primary FAQ


16 Rooted in flavor Root veggies your kids will eat

23 Winter carnivals & festivals listing


Mista McDonnell, x5114 EVENT & MARKETING MANAGER:




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departments 2 From the editor’s desk 4 The short list 6 I want that 20 Tween us parents 29 My turn 30 Dad on board

31 32 34 36

Never a dull moment House calls Out & about Time out

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ParentingNH® is published by McLean Communications, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101, (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, LLC.: ParentingNH disclaims all responsibility for omission and errors.

ON THE COVER: This month’s cover features New Hampshire’s second-ever Kid Governor Suzy Brand. Fifth-grader Brand was sworn in on Friday, Jan. 17, at the State House. Justice Robert J. Lynn administers the oath as Suzy’s mother Keri and Gov. Chris Sununu look on. Photographs by Kendal J. Bush (

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from the editor’s desk CLOSER TO THE HE(ART) “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time,” writer and religious scholar Thomas Merton said in his 1955 book of essays, No Man is an Island. I started to think about the relationship of art to humanity recently because I was trying to figure out why I was profoundly sad over the death of a musician and writer I had never met. Since my early 20s, there’s been one band for me: the Canadian trio Rush. When I got word on Jan. 10 that the band’s drummer and lyricist Neil Peart had died, I was really upset. Like what-the-hell-is-wrong -with-me type of upset. That was followed by a mourning period that hasn’t ended yet. I found out through social media I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. I read hundreds of tributes and you couldn’t miss the common thread. The lyrics Neil wrote spoke to them on a deeply emotional level. I can tell you that if you were (are) an introverted misfit, one who never felt like they quite belonged, who spent a lot of time alone with their noses in books, you related strongly to the words. Art plays a critical role in our lives — it comforts and heals; it creates community; and it helps us learn about ourselves. That can be forgotten in the era of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education, but where the arts are concerned, it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation, and it shouldn’t be. Think about your own life and its relationship to the arts. The movie you saw last weekend, the book you read, the music you streamed while at the gym. All of those endeavors required artists — singers, writers, actors — creative people collaborating to entertain, inform and connect you to your senses. Art brings joy and it brings understanding. While we must have an educational system that teaches the skills to navigate the 21st century economy, we must also encourage and support our young painters, dancers, visual artists and musicians. We need to send the message that artists are just as important as engineers to our society and that your value as a person does not correspond to the number of zeroes on your paycheck. Parents of artists worry their kids won’t be able to support themselves through their art. But I can tell you that no matter what your child is interested in, if it makes them happy, long-term success will follow. I hesitate to think what my world would be like if Neil’s parents dissuaded him from following his path. His lyrics — and later his books — connected me to a world I never imagined, one full of big ideas and lofty ideals. As a young writer, I sought out his influences and knowledge on the subjects he wrote passionately about. Most importantly, through his words, I found permission to be my deep-thinking, introverted, misfit self. That’s the influence an artist can have on a person. And perhaps why it is a loss so profoundly felt.


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contributors • FEBRUARY KRYSTEN GODFREY MADDOCKS is a former journalist and marketing director who now regularly writes for higher education and technology organizations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Mom to 5-year-old Everett, she has lived in the Seacoast for over 20 years.

MICHELLE LAHEY is a food writer who has been writing about (and eating) food in New Hampshire for more than 10 years. In addition to focusing on food, you can find her sipping on a good IPA, correcting other people’s grammar, or hiking in the White Mountains.

KATHLEEN PALMER is an award-winning editor and journalist, marketing/communications content writer, and occasional comedic actress. Nothing makes her happier than making people laugh. She is a single mom to a teenager, so naturally she enjoys a glass of wine, or two.

BILL BURKE has been writing the awardwinning Dad on Board column since 2008, and is the author of the Mousejunkies book series. Bill is also the managing editor for custom publications for McLean Communications in Manchester.

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the short list



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We are looking for talented kids from NH to bring color and personality to ParentingNH’s summer camp issue. On a 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of white paper in landscape orientation, have your child age 6 or older draw and color in a summer camping scene. Let their imaginations fly as they draw what they love about camping and/or the outdoors. We will choose the most creative entries to feature in the March issue. Parents: Mail the drawing, along with your name, child’s name and age, address, phone number and email. Deadline to enter is Monday, Feb. 10. Mail entries to ParentingNH Editor, McLean Communications, 150 Dow St., Manchester, NH 03101 or email the entry as a PDF to editor@ Questions? Email Feb. 10 ne!

American Presidents: Life Portraits on display at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport American Presidents: Life Portraits, a presidential portrait exhibit presented by C-SPAN, Comcast and the White House Historical Association, will be on display at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport through Feb. 18. The exhibit’s visit coincides with the New Hampshire Primary. The collection of portraits will be open to the public and located on the first floor, near airline ticketing. This area of the airport is open to the general public. American Presidents: Life Portraits features the only complete collection of American presidential oil portraits by one artist, renowned North Carolina painter and sculptor Chas Fagan. Accompanying the Fagan portraits are biographical sketches of all 44 presidents and each president’s first lady. The redesigned exhibit also features photographs contributed by the White House Historical Association that capture each president’s time in the White House, as well as audio and video that visitors can access through their smartphones.

Ice Castles return to NH

After 17 years, Salem has a movie theater once again. Cinemark Rockingham Park and XD opened at the Mall at Rockingham Park in December. The theater features 12 screens, including an XD theater, which has a screen that stretches floor to ceiling, and state-of-the-art surround sound and digital projection technology. For more information, go to COURTESY PHOTO

One of New England’s most popular winter attractions is open in North Woodstock. The acre-sized interactive experience features frozen tunnels, fountains, slides, and cascading towers of ice embedded with color -changing LED lights. Guests can also add on sleigh rides through the forest or a digital photography package that includes a highquality photo with professional lighting emailed to you after your visit. This is the sixth season Ice Castles has built in New Hampshire. The castle is one of six Ice Castles locations in North America. For more information, go to www.

Cinemark open in Salem


Nashua and Exeter high school students named to U.S. Senate Youth Program In January, Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut announced his selection of Nashua South senior George Eid and Exeter senior Sawyer Rogers to participate in the 2020 U.S. Senate Youth Program. The two students will join Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan in Washington, D.C. for the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, March 7-14. Each will also receive a $10,000 scholarship for undergraduate study. Edelblut selected Eid and Rogers from students nominated by teachers and principals across the state. They will represent the Granite State in an intensive week-long study of the federal government. Tatum Metzler from Pinkerton Academy and Kyle Duffy from Timberlane Regional High School have been chosen as alternates to this year’s program.

NAMI NEW HAMPSHIRE AWARDED FIVEYEAR, $3.6M GRANT FOR YOUTH SUICIDE PREVENTION The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced Jan. 13 that NAMI New Hampshire (NAMI NH) was awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Grant for Youth Suicide Prevention. The 5-year, $3.6 million grant will enable NAMI NH and its project partners to deploy a cross-systems, collaborative approach to reduce suicide incidents among youth by improving pathways to care and offering comprehensive training to identify, screen, refer, and treat at-risk youth. As a grassroots coalition of people living with mental illness/ serious emotional disturbance, their families, and survivors of suicide loss, NAMI NH has over 35 years of service to children, transition age youth, adults and older adults. The grant project will focus on youth/young adults ages 10-24 in the Capital Region and North Country/Carroll County, as recent rates of suicide in those regions were higher than in other areas of the state. To learn more about NAHMI NH, go to www.

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I want that


If you like it spicy Naked Hot Sauces, based in the Granite State, are all-natural and locally sourced, with no preservatives. Look for the “Garden Variety” hot green chile sauce, along with Naked’s other products at local expos and fairs, or go to

Doggie devotion

Sweet treats

Get in the spirit

Feels like home

Do you want to show some love to your pooch? Barkin’ Biscuits in Bedford makes healthy treats for your dog, even dogs that have special dietary needs. They look so good you might be tempted to try them yourself! Choose from Pumpkin paws, Carobcovered peanut butter bones, “biscotti” and more.

Artisan chocolates from KRM Chocolates based in Salem are now available online. The handmade gourmet specialty chocolates are created in small batches and delivered fresh. Try the Fruit & Wine Chocolates. Each chocolate contains a solid center handmade from a blend of fruit, chocolate and real wine.

How about a game of cribbage? Pine Trail Woodworks in New Boston makes handmade pine cribbage boards in the shape of New Hampshire with a custom designed track. No two are exactly the same. If you aren’t one to play games, Pine Trail also makes wall art, cheese boards and signs for your home.



Flag Hill was known as a winery first, but if you are ready to try something different, pick up a bottle of its Straight Bourbon Whiskey made in Flag Hill’s distillery. According to Flag Hill, “Aging in the ever changing New Hampshire seasons allows the whiskey to mature at a different rate than other parts of the world.” Find it at a New Hampshire Liquor Store location or visit Flag Hill in Lee. FOR MORE INFORMATION: WWW. FLAGHILL.COM

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New Hampshire’s Kid Governor for 2020, Suzy Brand, center, with Executive Council, from left, Patrick Lavoie, J.T. Pourby, Kasey Fitzgerald and Ameya Kharade. Calvin Sarnie, also an Executive Councilor, is not pictured. PHOTO BY KENDAL J. BUSH

Taking The 2020 NH Kid Governor Program inspired young leaders, while teaching civics BY KRYSTEN GODFREY MADDOCKS

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the lead T

o be governor, you need to show leadership, passion, and a desire to represent your constituents. You also need to run an effective election campaign and persuade people to vote for you. And if you are a fifth-grader running to be New Hampshire’s Kid Governor®, you should champion a platform that your peers can really rally behind. Last year, New Hampshire’s fifth-graders elected Lola Giannelli, 11, of Nashua, to be New Hampshire’s first-ever Kid Governor. Giannelli’s platform, ending animal cruelty, resonated with her peers across the state, who voted for her based on a two-minute video she submitted as part of the program’s election process. On Jan. 17, Giannelli stepped down when Suzy Brand, 10, of Concord and a fifth-grader at Sant Bani School in Sanbornton, was inaugurated as New Hampshire’s Kid Governor for 2020 at the State House. Her platform, outdoor education, was inspired by Brand’s own school experience. Sant Bani School is a private school with about one-and-a-half hours of outdoor time built into the day, which includes recess, lunch time, after-school enrichment, and walking to different buildings for class. Having that extra time allows students to decompress and better focus on their schoolwork, Brand said. “I based it off of something I learned when I switched schools,” Brand said. “This school has almost two hours of recess every day. That’s part of the reason I wanted to come here. I think if everyone had at least 30 more minutes of outdoor time in a day, what a big difference that would make.” In the opening of her campaign video, Brand shows fidgeting, sleepy classmates slumped over their laptops. Standing outdoors, she outlines her platform and three-point plan. She will use her year-long term to raise money and gather donations for outdoor gear, share outdoor challenges on her blog, and work on a bill to get students more time outdoors during the school day. Her friends rally around her at the end of the video, holding signs and yelling, “Vote for Suzy!”

A teaching fellow helped film and edit the video, while members of the class participated. Brand’s teacher, Cate Huynen, said students were respectful and supportive of the six students who ran, including Suzy. After Brand won the school primary, students were eager to work on her campaign video. Brand said she never expected to win. She’s excited about collecting gear so that kids across the state can get outdoors during the school day. “I am thinking I’d like to start a chain, in every school, of somewhere to go if kids don’t have winter clothing. A lot of the time, you might go to the nurse for that sort of thing and come up with two mismatched things from the Lost and Found,” Brand said. “(Having snow gear) makes playing in the snow more of a choice. Some people can’t afford to buy snow pants or stuff like that.” Huynen, who is a second-year teacher at Sant Bani, said she would participate in the Kid Governor program again. In addition to providing lessons about the branches of government, it also taught kids that they don’t have to wait until they are adults to make an impact on the world around them. “Kids get involved in government now and feel that it’s not a far distant thing in the future,” she said. Outgoing Kid Governor Giannelli plans to remain politically active, thanks to her newfound political experience. Last year, she followed through on her campaign to protect animals, by making pet toys for animal shelters, collecting pet supplies through donation drives, and working on House Bill 1388, a bill sponsored by Rep. Katherine Rodgers (D-Merrimack- District 28) and four other representatives to stop the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores. She visited the New Hampshire Humane Society, wrote a blog on how to help animals, took part in a library tour where she discussed her platform, and met Gov. Chris Sununu twice. “I am going to keep pushing for the bill,” Giannelli said. “When this ended, I didn’t want to just drop everything — I want to keep fighting.”

BRINGING THE KID GOVERNOR PROGRAM TO NH New Hampshire’s Kid Governor program, sponsored by the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College, has completed its second year in participating schools. Last fall, 21

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schools opted to teach the civics education program, and students from 14 schools officially ran for office and got a taste of what it might be like to run for New Hampshire’s top job. In its inaugural year in 2018, only three schools submitted candidates said Luane Genest, New Hampshire’s Kid Governor coordinator. A former teacher in the Nashua School District, now retired, Genest said the national Kid Governor program includes a curriculum that teaches students about the three branches of government, the election process, and the importance of civic participation through holding real-life elections that take place in November. It also fills a gap in many schools, where the fifth-grade social studies curriculum might not include a specific unit on New Hampshire government and the election process. “I always felt like social studies was the one area where we didn’t get extra resources, because they were going to reading, math and science,” Genest said, adding that New Hampshire’s Kid Governor program helps teachers fill gaps in the civics education part of the curriculum. The goal of Kid Governor is to increase and improve civics education in New Hampshire schools, said Martha Madsen, a certified principal and executive director of the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education. The program came to New Hampshire after Madsen met Brian Cofrancesco, manager of educational programs & Kid Governor at the Connecticut Democracy Center. Kid Governor was created by the Connecticut Democracy Center in 2015 and expanded to Oregon in 2017, before New Hampshire became its third state affiliate. Free toolkits, resources and lesson plans are tailored to each state’s government and Constitution and are available to all fifth-grade classrooms. “At first, I was dubious, because I didn’t want it to be about one kid. I took a careful look at the curriculum and what it really has in it. It teaches kids about the branches of government in New Hampshire and the The first-ever Kid Governor, Lola Giannelli of Nashua, was elected in November 2018. Her platform focused on animal cruelty prevention.

Students vote for New Hampshire’s Kid Governor. COURTESY PHOTO

Constitution,” she said. “Teachers talk to their students about leadership, New Hampshire voting rights, and the checks and balances of government.” Each school can nominate one candidate who must produce a short video focused on a community issue and describe a threepoint action plan to tackle that issue. The program’s advisory board then narrows the field to seven candidates who are then voted on by participating fifth-graders. Even if a student doesn’t want to run for governor, students work together to examine issues in the community that they care about and create possible ways to address that problem. “It’s been well-received by the kids. It’s not only positive for the kid who wins, but equally powerful for the kids who engage with this process,” Madsen said.


INTRODUCING THE NEW HAMPSHIRE’S KID GOVERNOR EXECUTIVE COUNCIL New Hampshire’s Kid Governor also garners support from an Executive Council made up of state-level finalists who ran for office. New Hampshire’s Kid Governor 2020 finalist Kasey Fitzgerald, 11, who attends the Pollard School in Plaistow, chose bullying as her platform because she’s seen a lot of people get bullied and “it’s just not right.” Her three-point plan includes creating a “non-bullying” bulletin that allows classmates to write kind notes about others. She also suggests the fifth-graders sign a pledge not to participate in bullying and commit to holding a “Kindness Day” at their school each year. Although she didn’t get elected Kid Governor, Fitzgerald still expects to fulfill her campaign promises.

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Suzy Brand pictured The 2019 New Hampshire’s Kid Governor, at her school,2020 SantNew Bani Lola Giannelli, congratulates School in Suzy Sanbornton, Hampshire Kid Governor, Brand. COURTESY PHOTOwhen she became Governor-elect in November 2019.

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“Starting in January when we get back from vacation, I am going to do my non-bullying bulletin board. Students having a hard day can feel a little better,” she said. Fitzgerald’s social studies teacher, Jo Ann Robichaud, who has taught for 31 years, said she will definitely involve her students in the program next year. Every student had a part in researching community issues important to them and realized that they had the power to make change, even though they were fifth-graders. “What I liked most and excited the kids was this was not a mock election. It was a real election. The kids were more involved because they really were going to carry out their platforms,” she said. Other New Hampshire’s Kid Governor finalists included Ameya Kharade, Bicentennial Elementary School, Nashua (college and career awareness); Calvin Sarnie, Charlotte Avenue Elementary School, Nashua (pollinator loss); J.T. Pourby, Andover Elementary/Middle School, Andover (save the sea turtles); Patrick Lavoie, James Faulkner Elementary School, Stoddard (underage tobacco use); and Taina (Nina) Anaya, Sunset Heights Elementary School, Nashua (Catie’s closet, a clothing and toiletries resource for students in need). New Hampshire teachers interested in participating in New Hampshire’s Kid Governor program next school year may sign up to receive a newsletter at The newsletter will alert them about upcoming trainings, including New Hampshire’s Kid Governor Boot Camp, which will take place on Aug. 17, 2020. They can also learn more about the program by going to or by contacting Luane Genest at Krysten Godfrey Maddocks has worked as a journalist and in marketing roles throughout the Granite State. She now regularly writes for New-England based higher education, business, and technology organizations. Mom to preschooler Everett, she has enjoyed calling the Seacoast her home for more than 25 years.

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Kelly Moss, with husband, James, and their sons, Lincoln, Parker and Weston. COURTESY PHOTO


part i

Teach children civics by getting them involved in the political process. Here’s how. BY KRYSTEN GODFREY MADDOCKS

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elly Moss, 35, of Salem, was not politically involved as a child growing up in Massachusetts. But after the 2016 Presidential election, Moss said the divisiveness and hate spurred by the election frightened her and prompted her to get involved.

“I wasn’t a fan of either candidate, and I am concerned that year over year, that it’s becoming more polarized,” she said. “It’s not just about voting every four years. It’s knowing the candidates and meeting them and being actively involved in making a decision. You can’t make a decision if you aren’t informed; and you can’t become informed until you get out there and talk to people.” Because Moss works during the day for a medical device company and spends her evenings caring for her young children, she thought she would have trouble getting to campaign events related to the 2020 presidential primary. “Then I thought, why can’t I take the kids? There is no reason why I can’t introduce them to the political process early,” she said. In April 2019, Moss started bringing her children to campaign events. Today, Moss’s three sons — ages 9, 7, and 6 — can name up to five candidates running for President and have seen presidential candidates including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Mass. Gov. Bill Weld and entrepreneur Andrew Yang speak at various events. The kids don’t have a political stance, but understand

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what a primary is now, Moss said. A lifelong independent, Moss ran unsuccessfully for state representative last year in Salem on the Democratic ticket, coming in 10th out of a field of 18, where the top nine candidates won seats. She said she enjoyed meeting people from both sides of the aisle and tried to run an “anti-partisan” campaign. Her sons got involved by making signs for her and standing outside the polls on Election Day. There are plenty of age-appropriate ways parents can get their kids involved in the political process, she said, either at the national or local level: • TAKE YOUR KIDS WITH YOU TO A CANDIDATE EVENT. There is a perception that these events aren’t kid-friendly, Moss said, but often when she has attended her children have seen other kids. It’s also great for the candidates to “remember working families exist,” Moss said, adding that most events tend to attract retired people or college students. Smaller events held in coffee shops or smaller venues are a good start. “They are generally not very divisive events,” Moss said. • USE TV ADS AND DEBATES TO SPARK PRODUCTIVE CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR KIDS AT HOME. If your family can’t attend events, there are plenty of opportunities for them to watch the candidates and learn about the issues. Exposing your older children to different sides of an argument, and then connecting those viewpoints to data or what they are learning in science can get them involved and interested, Moss

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NH’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner with a copy of the commemorative centennial poster at the State House in November 2019. COURTESY PHOTO

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When is the New Hampshire Primary? Voters will head to the polls for the first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 11, 2020.

What if I’m not registered to vote? You may apply to your town or city clerk’s office or qualified individuals may register to vote, at any election, at their polling place on Election Day. No matter when or where you register to vote, you will be required to fill out a New Hampshire voter registration form. You will be asked to show proof of identity, age, citizenship and domicile. This proof may be shown in paper or electronic form. If you do not have proof with you when registering, these qualifications may be established by signing affidavit(s).

Where do I vote? To find out your polling place, check with your city or town clerk, go to your town or city’s website, or go to the Secretary of State’s website:

Where can I find more information about voting in New Hampshire? The Secretary of State’s office: or call 271-3246.

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said. If you can find personal experiences in their lives to connect to the issues, it can engage them more in the process, she said. • AVOID GIVING YOUR CHILD ONLY ONE SIDE (YOUR SIDE) OF AN ARGUMENT. Let your older child watch and gain an understanding of the issues. “It’s important for them to see how a debate works, particularly in a time when having an effective conversation is not something they typically learn at school,” Moss said. You can also use social media as a tool and let your kids differentiate facts from opinion by asking them to research facts that back up these opinions they find on the internet. “Ask them to form an opinion on their own. You should never take one source of information but look at different sources and two different sides of any issue. Even if you disagree, it’s important to understand where someone else is coming from,” she said. • LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO DON’T SHARE YOUR POLITICAL OPINIONS. It’s important for adults and children to consider the viewpoints of others, no matter how strong their political stance may be.

Like Moss, Martha Madsen, executive director of the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education, encourages parents to spark dinner time conversations about local and state issues with their children. It also provides parents a good opportunity to better understand the concerns their own kids have. Madsen is a former teacher, school counselor and a certified principal. The mission of New Hampshire Civics is to engage students in civics education through teacher education and school-based programs like New Hampshire’s Kid Governor. “A lot of times kids notice the things that we don’t notice that are really sources of trouble,” she said. Last year, one New Hampshire student happened to be upset by the amount of cafeteria food waste in his school. He then created a plan to share unwrapped food at a table for students who were hungry. “We should encourage kids, let them know they have a voice and that they can speak up to solve a problem,” Madsen said. Madsen agrees that parents can positively expose their children to the political process.

Town meetings can be particularly fruitful opportunities because students can listen to issues that directly affect them and their towns. Because New Hampshire holds first-in-the-nation Primary status, students have the unique advantage of seeing and listening to many presidential candidates who pass through the Granite State. “Civic learning shouldn’t only happen in school. We encourage kids to join groups outside of school that are working toward something they believe in. It’s a good opportunity to learn cooperation and teamwork skills,” she said. Overall, parents provide strong examples to their children when it comes to engaging in democracy. One of the best ways parents show kids they are part of the political process is by casting their vote — something children can experience with them at an early age. “Voting is a habit just like any other habit. They don’t weigh whether or not they will do it — they just do it. If parents vote, then when a child turns 18, he or she will vote. It is important to bring your children to vote with you whenever possible,” Madsen said.

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Rooted in flavor Prepared right, these are vegetables your kids will want to eat



here’s not much that’s appealing about winter. It’s cold, it’s icy, and it is seemingly dark 23 hours a day.

But this long, dreadful season has at least one redeeming quality: root vegetables. From carrots to rutabaga, these gems are popular during the colder months here in New England. They are hearty and easy-to-store (perhaps you’ve heard the term “root cellar”), perfect for when fresh vegetables grown above ground are hard to find. Root vegetables are a treat for many reasons, including their winter cold-fighting nutritional benefits. Because they grow underground, they absorb an impressive number of nutrients from the soil, packing them with antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C, and even iron. In addition to the nutritional punch they pack, root vegetables can also be used in a wide variety of dishes. “The carrot is incredibly versatile — juice it, shred it, dice it, raw, steamed, roasted. It’s a true staple in my fridge,” said Kath Gallant, chef and owner of Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter. “I have been enjoying slow-roasting whole rainbow carrots for one-and-

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Raw or roasted, as seen here, root vegetables can be used in a wide variety of dishes or served on their own.

a-half hours and serving them with a chimichurri as a vegan entree alternative.” Even family-favorite side dishes can be given a facelift with varying root vegetables. “Rutabaga can be made kid-friendly by preparing it mashed with a little sour cream and fresh dill,” said Kasia Lojko, co-owner of All Real Meal in Manchester. If you’d rather stick with the humble potato, they, too, are in abundance this time of year, with purple, sweet, and fingerling varieties being just a few you can find in your local grocery store. Potatoes can even take on an entirely different flavor depending on how they’re prepared. “Potatoes, in general, are so fun to work with because each one has a unique flavor, color, texture, etc., and there are limitless ways to prepare them,” said Lojko. “Roasting is probably our favorite way to prepare [them] because that process brings out the natural sweetness, which creates loads of fla-

vor when combined with some salt.” Roasting any root vegetable is not only a super easy way to prepare them, but this cooking method also yields some exceptionally delicious results. “My favorite way to prepare pretty much any root vegetable is to roast it,” said local food blogger Heather L. McCurdy at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond ( “Baking them at a higher temperature means they cook faster (hit with mom) and it also brings out the natural sweetness in them (bigger hit with kids).” While carrots, onions, and potatoes are typical staples in most home pantries, there are some root vegetables that are mistakenly underutilized in many home kitchens. Vegetables such as rutabaga, parsnips, yuca, celery root, and kohlrabi, to name a few. “The hidden gem in root vegetables for kids is the quirky,

| FEBRUARY 2020 17


Honey Roasted Carrots

Courtesy of Heather L. McCurdy at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond 1 pound carrots (baby carrots or carrots cut into sticks) 2 tablespoons oil, divided 1 tablespoon honey ½-1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Tiny Trotters: June 29 – 30 • July 14 – 15 Aug. 4 – 5 and Aug. 18 – 19

Young Riders: (ages 6–16) July 6 – 10 • July 20 – 24 Aug. 10 – 14

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease large cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Put carrots in a bag or bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil and honey over them. Toss together until lightly coated. Spread on baking tray. Sprin-

kle salt and pepper over top. Bake 10 minutes, then turn. Bake another 10 minutes and check for preferred doneness. If they aren’t quite as soft as you’d like, roast another 5-10 minutes. Baby carrots will take a little longer than carrot sticks.

Week includes daily riding lessons and many fun activities & games focusing on horsemanship, health care, and barn safety.



Hollis, NH 03049






Kolrabi 18 | FEBRUARY 2020

Potatoes Sweet potato

Carrot Apple Parsnip Soup

Courtesy of Kath Gallant, chef and owner of Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter. Serves 8 ¼ pound butter (or non-dairy alternative) 1 large onion cut in eighths

CAMP PONEMAH at Hampshire Hills Athletic Club Milford, NH

2 cups apple cider 3 pounds carrots, cleaned, unpeeled, and cut in one-inch chunks 1 pound parsnips, unpeeled and chopped 1 tablespoon maple syrup 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 4 cups water 1 ½ teaspoon salt

r Happy Place Where Kids Find Thei

Pinch cayenne 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt butter over medium to low heat. Add chopped onion and one cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes until onions are clear and fragrant. Add carrots, parsnips, apple cider, garlic and salt. Raise temperature to bring mixture to a sweat (you are softening, not browning), stirring occasionally. Add water as needed to keep from browning.

When mixture is steaming, add water, cider and maple syrup. Simmer at a gentle boil, uncovered for one hour. Cool to room temperature. Puree half broth, half veggie batches in food processor, running each batch about 30 seconds. Return to soup pot and heat. Adjust salt and cayenne to taste. Add chopped parsley and enjoy!

kind of ugly kohlrabi,” Gallant said. “At one of last year’s winter’s markets there was a tasting of root vegetables, and the kohlrabi won….The kohlrabi is easy to grow from seed, crisp and crunchy, with a hint of apple – it’s a delicious addition to any salad.” McCurdy points out that many root vegetables, whether familiar or not, can be prepared in kid-friendly ways – without losing much of the vegetables’ nutritional value. For instance, she suggests “ricing” carrots as a lower-carbohydrate alternative to rice, frying vegetables into “nuggets,” and hiding root vegetables in soups and stews. “Chop those veggies small and they’ll have no idea. In fact, that’s one of the key ways I always got my kids used to new ingredients,” McCurdy said. “I added them in subtle amounts pureed or minced so they could start acclimating to the flavor, then slowly worked my way up to them eating [the vegetables] as a main component.” No matter which root vegetable you choose, and how you choose to prepare it, there’s no more delicious way to get through the winter. Michelle Lahey is a food writer who has been writing about (and eating) food in New Hampshire for over 10 years. Outside of food, you can find her sipping on a good IPA, correcting other people’s grammar, or hiking in the White Mountains.

Lasting Friendships

Exceptional Staff

Celebrating O ver 30 Year s of Fun! Full Day/4*-12 YrslHalf Day Little Warriors/2*-5 Yrs Bus TransportationlEarly Drop Off/Late Pick Up Swim & Tennis Lessonsl Weekly Themes & Field Trips Wide Variety of Games & Activities


| FEBRUARY 2020 19



This month’s discussion question:



Advice and tips on raising older kids If you’d like to participate in a future Tween Us Parents roundtable, email The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of ParentingNH.

At what age should kids be allowed to date? COMPILED BY KATHLEEN PALMER


s much as we would sometimes love to hold back the years and keep our tweens and teens from advancing into adulthood — and all it entails — milestones will come along that parents must accept and deal with in a rational way. Dating is one such cringe-inducing (for some, like me) milestone. What even constitutes dating in the 21st century? Some kids use it

as a label only; they don’t “go” anywhere. They spend most of their interactions via FaceTime or texting, often never even together at school. So what’s the harm? And could there even be benefits to these early forays into learning how to be in a relationship, of any kind?

Our panel: Cecilia U. of Nashua Kathy G. of Bedford Larry W. of Amherst Liz B. of Milford

self-conscious about his body and looks, so he waited until this year (he is now 16). I feel like 15 is a decent age — with clear boundaries and

Cecilia U.


Mom to two sons, ages 16 and 21

having “the talk.” I feel like if you aren’t ready to have the talk, then you aren’t ready for your kids to date. There is more information out there and kids know things much earlier than we did, so I feel it’s better to come from the ones they trust if you

ALLOWING THEM TO DATE seems like you are somehow giving permission for them to “kiss” (in their eyes). I’ve said 15 is a

can keep it from becoming awkward. And the intimidation came from me being a single Latina

good age depending on behavior and academics. Although, I

mother, letting them know that if they ever wanted to bring a girl

somehow intimidated my oldest and he never admitted or

home they needed to introduce me to them because I wouldn’t

brought a girl home until 10th grade. Then at 18 they became

allow it any other way. Me having boys probably also played a

pregnant and had a baby.

part in my decision. If I’d had a girl, she’d probably still be

My youngest wasn’t really into girls or dating, as he was more

20 | FEBRUARY 2020

locked in the basement!

Kathy G.


Mom to two sons, ages 12 and 15

I DIDN’T HAVE MY FIRST DATE until I was 17. I don’t remember there being any rules about a specific age when I could start dating, but any guy I dated had to pass

Liz B.


Mom to a son, age 17

the “four older brothers test.” They would line up with their arms

I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PUZZLED by this question. I started

crossed leaning against the kitchen counter, and the potential date

hearing it when my now 17-year-old son was 9 or 10 years

would be interviewed.

old. The cute TV shows on Nickelodeon and Disney show

My initial response to this question now, as a mom, would have

“boyfriends and girlfriends” at young ages — and the kids

been 16. However, my older son, age 15, has become really good

are watching. Kids have wanted to grow up quickly since the

friends with a girl with whom he does karate. She’s a really nice girl

beginning of time and they practice, pretend and role play

and she actually came over the house to visit this weekend. I used to

throughout their whole childhoods.

feel strongly about no dating until 16. The extenuating circumstance

My son exhibited a strong attraction to girls from a very

that changed my mind is the fact that she’s really, really sweet. She’s a

young age and always had very close friends that

nice girl and has really nice parents. She seems like she’d actually be

he was “going to marry” when he got older

a positive influence on my son. Plus she has a car, so she can tote him

(Sydney, we still miss you). So we


weren’t surprised when, at age 11, he

As far as my younger son goes, he is 12. I feel the same way about

asked to take a girl on a “date.” Our

him: no dating until age 16. That could also have something to do with

answer was a resounding yes. We

the fact that every time I look at him, I see an 8-year-old boy.

picked up his date, he went to the door by himself, his date’s mom came to the car and met us, we sat at the

Larry W.


Dad to two daughters, ages 12 and 8

THIS ISSUE HAS ALREADY COME UP at our house this past year — at the age of 12. What we permitted was an hour of “hangout” at the

back of the movie theater, and he and his date sat at the front. The “relationship” lasted a few weeks of FaceTime chats and seeing each other at summer camp. When kids are young, they are learning how to be in this

school — say, the skateboard park, the basketball hoop. I was

world. It is important for them to learn about relationships

informed that there was some hand-holding on the bus during a field

and communication. At that young age, it’s just practice.

trip; I was frankly thrilled to even be told this information. And that

They’re not having adult interactions; they’re learning how

[hand holding] is age-appropriate.

to be friends, how to talk to each other and how to treat a

But then there were the requests for movie dates, specifically for us to pick up, drop off

partner. If dating is taboo, if you need to wait until you’re “old

and then go get her and the boy after the

enough,” it teaches kids that relationships are age specific

movie. That got the kibosh. We were also

and they can’t have one with someone they’re attracted to

asked if they could walk around the mall

until a specified date in the future. They are missing out on

unsupervised, which was also a “no.”

learning about so many things important to a successful

I was surprised to hear how much actual dating was taking place in seventh grade. I

relationship. My son has been dating (if that’s what you want to call it)

guess my husband and I are slightly more conservative than other

for several years now, and his relationships are maturing.

parents. We considered having our daughter’s crush over to watch a

The parents of the girls he dates have always told me how

movie in the living room. Allegedly other households were allowing

much they like him, how respectful he is, etc. I believe it’s

movies in unsupervised finished basements. One family had taken

because he knows how to be a good partner, is respectful

along their child’s crush on a weekend vacation in Cape Cod.

and has learned from his own experiences.

Bottom line, we were OK with minor afterschool “dating” and hand-holding, but high school seems the most appropriate time to start dating for real, to us. But it will depend a lot on her behavior and maturity.

| FEBRUARY 2020 21

WANTED A D Creative kids! WE ARE SEEKING TALENTED NEW HAMPSHIRE KIDS TO ADD COLOR TO THE PAGES OF OUR MARCH ISSUE! Are you age 6 or older? Then we want you! Just grab your markers or colored pencils and start drawing. Think back to summertime and capture your favorite camping scene on an 8 ½ x 11 inch piece of white paper. We miss summer too — and can’t wait to see what you send us. Plus, one lucky entrant will be selected at random to win a birthday party for 10 jumpers at Altitude Trampoline Park in Pelham. That’s something to get “hoppy” about.


22 | FEBRUARY 2020

Carnivals, festivals and family fun

Bundle up and hit the road


n February, there are a number of

family-friendly winter carnivals and festivals being held in New Hampshire. Before you head out, make sure the weather hasn’t postponed the fun. Some carnivals and festivals were rescheduled from their original January dates due to a lack of snow.

Winter Carnival

White Park, Concord The annual winter carnival includes sledding, an ice skating race, a best snowman contest, face-painting, bonfire and more. SATURDAY, FEB. 1; 1 TO 4 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: FACEBOOK

Keene Ice and Snow Festival

New London Winter Carnival

Various locations Enjoy ice skating, music, magic show, broomball, wagon rides, snowshoeing, s’mores and fireworks. Don’t miss the dinner with Jack Frost on Feb. 7, which takes place outdoors under tiki torches. All families are welcome. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 5 TO SUNDAY, FEB. 9

Central Square, Downtown Keene This family-friendly winter event includes snow sculpting, ice carving and plenty of hot cocoa and s’mores.


SATURDAY, FEB. 1; 10 A.M. TO 4 P.M.

Dartmouth College, Hanover This annual winter carnival is open to Dartmouth College residents, as well as locals and visitors. Annual festivities include a snow sculpture contest, snow golf, discounts and special races as Dartmouth Skiway, a polar bear plunge and dogsled racing.


Auburn Winter Carnival

Skating rink at the Auburn Safety Complex This annual event features skating, a DJ, the annual burning of the Christmas trees, roasting marshmallows and hot chocolate to warm you up. SATURDAY, FEB. 1; 4 TO 7 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: FACEBOOK

Dartmouth College Winter Carnival



The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, Kensington Winter fun for everyone. Activities for kids, a live band, food truck, free samples, farm

animals and fire pits. Rock out to the live band or enjoy a free horse-drawn sleigh or wagon ride. If there’s snow, the hill will be open for sledding (bring your own). SATURDAY, FEB. 8; 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M. FOR MORE INFORMATION: WWW.EASTMANSCORNER.COM

Frozen Farm Festival

Stonewall Farm, Keene Featured activities include sledding into the cow pastures (bring your sled), guided snowshoe hikes, activities for kids, sleigh rides, food and a hot cocoa bar. Also help the community create one huge igloo. SUNDAY, FEB. 9, 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: FACEBOOK

Newport Winter Carnival

Various locations This year marks the 104th annual winter carnival in Newport. Fun includes a fishing derby, ice hockey games, ski joring, murder mystery dinner, fireworks and more. WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12 TO SUNDAY, FEB. 16 MORE INFORMATION: WWW.NEWPORTREC.COM

| FEBRUARY 2020 23

Squam Lakes Winterfest

Squam Lakes Association, Holderness From skating, pond hockey, cross-country skiing, sledding, mini golf, to a bonfire and live animal programs with the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, this event is not to be missed. Try one or all of the styles of chili during the Chili Contest.



Derry Frost Festival

Alexander-Carr Playground Free event features petting zoo, ice sculptures, sledding (bring your own), puppet show, food trucks, games and music. Silly Solutions will be there twisting balloons and painting faces. SUNDAY, FEB. 16; 11 A.M. TO 3 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: FACEBOOK


Amherst, Bedford, Concord, Dover, Londonderry, Manchester, Nashua, New London, Pelham, Portsmouth, Salem


Alton Bay Winter Carnival

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Check out the pancake breakfast, ice fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee, snowmobile races and more. SUNDAY, FEB. 16; 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.ALTON.NH.GOV

Annual Nansen-Milan Winter Festival

Nansen Ski Club, Berlin Enjoy the best of winter fun and sports including the Burning of the Greens on Friday night, Art Sled Rally and all-ages Bump-Jump on Saturday, and free open ski on Sunday with food, drinks and bonfire.



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McLane Center, Concord

24 | FEBRUARY 2020


North Hampton Winterfest

North Hampton Recreation Dept. A day of winter fun — fireworks, food truck, bonfire, children’s games, entertainment and more. SATURDAY, FEB. 22; 8 A.M. TO 6 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: FACEBOOK

Ice Harvest and Winter Carnival

Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm in Tamworth This is a signature event for the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm. Enjoy family-friendly outdoor winter games and indoor crafts; try your hand at ice carving and harvesting; meet and greet with animals from the farm; and enjoy a scavenger hunt. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 MORE INFORMATION: REMICKMUSEUM.ORG

Winter Carnival

Wasserman Park, Merrimack This fun-filled free day features snowman building, snow art, games and crafts, youth ice fishing, snowshoeing demos and more. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22; 12–3 P.M. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.MERRIMACKPARKSANDREC.ORG

Wolfeboro Winter Carnival: Winter Wonderland Various locations, including Abenaki Ski Area Events include a big air competition, free ice skating, snowshoeing workshop, sleigh rides, pancake breakfast, as well as ski and snowboard races. SATURDAY, FEB. 22 AND THURSDAY, FEB. 27 TO SATURDAY, FEB. 29 MORE INFORMATION: WWW.WOLFEBORONH.US

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Workforce development continues to be an ongoing challenge in all sectors throughout New Hampshire, which means the job market remains excellent — providing candidates have the skills employers need and want.

OUR EXPERTS: Luckily, there are a number of adult learning options that can train workers to prepare them for good-paying jobs in new careers. We reached out to three experts who can help provide guidance along the path to a new career: • Lauren Osowski, Director of Adult Education at the Adult Learning Center, in Nashua. • Samantha Belcourt, CTE, Coordinator of Continuing Education, at Nashua Community College. • Steve Kossakoski, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School.

Adult Learner Education. Benefit from up-skilling with classes that enhance your existing skills and experience. Improve your chances for a job or promotion, or embark on a new career.

Realize Your Purpose! Whether you’ve been out of college for two years or two decades, we can help you earn your degree. We’ll work with you to

A c c e l e r a t e d l e a r n i n g opp o r t u n i t i es f o r a d u lt or n o n-traditio nal s t udent s . INFO SESSIONS: 2/10, 3/23, 4/27, 5/25 @ 5 PM Samantha Belcourt | CTE Enrollment Specialist | 603.578.8943 |

26 | FEBRUARY 2020

create a manageable and affordable education.


O RCE DEVELOPMENT What should I look for in an adult education program? Belcourt: “Because students seeking continuing education programs are often working adults with family and other responsibilities, it’s important for the program to be flexible. Nashua Community College addresses this by offering continuing education programs in the evenings, online, and on Saturdays to accommodate students’ work schedules.” Osowski: “We work hard to make sure our classes and programs are accessible and flexible in order to meet the needs of our students. Students who are looking for adult education classes should feel comfortable speaking with staff about their needs and goals. In classes, we cover soft skills and computer skills in addition to academic material. If a student’s needs cannot be met with class alone, we offer a tutoring program for personalized lessons. Adult education is very nimble, so students should find a program they feel comfortable in and not be afraid to ask for help.”

In what ways are your programs focused on working adult students? Kossakoski: “Our customized learning model provides students with a tremendous amount of flexibility. Students can access courses and instructors wherever they can connect to the Internet. We are an open enrollment school which means that students can begin working in a course on any day of the year. And, students can work at a pace that meets their needs. For example, if a student struggles with math and needs more time and support to complete an assignment, we can make that happen. Stu-

dents who are New Hampshire residents, under the age of 21, and have not completed a high school diploma can attend our high school free of charge. For adults, our tuition fee structure is designed to allow them to create a schedule that will help them meet their goals. Adults only pay for the courses they need based on when they will have time to learn.”

What are the benefits of enrolling in an adult education program? Belcourt: “Continuing education programs are affordable, accessible and flexible. Programs offered through the Community College System of New Hampshire, which includes Nashua Community College, have the lowest tuition in New Hampshire. For-credit programs are covered by financial aid, and students — especially adult learners — may be surprised to learn how many grants and scholarships are available to them. The flexible hours offer broad accessibility no matter what your work schedule looks like.” Osowski: “Most adult education classes are free for students. Dedicated teachers work hard to make sure all students feel valued and comfortable, and they use a very individualized approach in class. We also have additional supports outside the classroom to help students be more successful. We have counselors to assist with finding resources to overcome barriers, exploring college and career options, and learning to navigate the community. We also offer a volunteer tutoring program for students who need help with specific academic or workplace goals.”

CUSTOMIZED LEARNING. Anytime. Anywhere. We are a flexible 100% online program, where students work at the time, pace and place that works best for them. Also, our students work directly one on one with a course instructor. We really value the relationships we build with our students. We find that these relationships help us to best support our students which ultimately helps them to be successful. Our competency-based approach means there are no traditional deadlines; students work until they understand and master competencies.



• • • • •

• Are you 21 or older and need a high school diploma? We can help. • Would you like to enroll in courses to help with job advancement, preparation for college, or just for fun? We can help. • Low-cost pay-as-you-go tuition rates

Are you looking for fun and exciting learning opportunities? We can help. Do you want to get ahead or “make up” a course? We can help. Would you like to become a full-time student with us? Contact us anytime. FREE Tuition for New Hampshire Residents Affordable tuition for non-NH residents

Contact VLACS for more information: • 603.778.2500 •

| FEBRUARY 2020 27


What are some of the Adult Learning Center’s most popular/most successful programs? Osowski: “Our most popular classes are our ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. We offer six different levels of class to accommodate all levels of English learning and morning and evening classes to accommodate different schedules. Another popular program is our HiSET (High School Equivalency Test — formerly GED) Preparation. The leveled classes help students prepare for the test at their own pace with a supportive group of classmates, teachers, and counselors.”

What are some of Nashua Community College’s most popular/most successful continuing education programs?

Nashua Adult Learning Center Helping adults build their skills and improve their lives for more than 45 years!

Main office 4 Lake Street Nashua NH 603-882-9080

• Free Adult Basic Education Classes • Free English as a Second Language Classes • Free Citizenship Preperation Classes • HiSET Preperation Classes and Testing • Adult Tutorial Program • College Transitions Programs • Office Technology Classes for Certification • Medical Coding and Billing Classes for Certification

Belcourt: “The most popular certificate and associate degrees students select are: Business Administration programs, which includes Accounting, Management, Entrepreneurship, and Paralegal. Other top choices are Human Services, Computer Networking, Cybersecurity Networking, Data Analytics, Manufacturing, and Electronic Engineering Technology. Each program offers the option of an associate degree or certificate. Classes are offered in the evenings, online, and weekends.”

What makes VLACS different from other online learning programs? Kossakoski: “Relationships and flexibility. Our instructors care about their students and take the time to learn about their needs and goals. We also understand that adults have busy lives so we designed a learning model that can be accessed anywhere at any time. Our pricing model is also flexible. Some of our students register for four weeks to refresh their math skills while others may enroll for two months to complete an English course.”

Who can take part in Virtual Learning Academy’s adult education programs, and how will it help me prepare for college? Kossakoski: Anyone who is twenty-one years of age or older is welcome at VLACS. While most of our students reside in New Hampshire, we have helped students from many states. We have a complete array of college preparatory courses in English, history, biology, mathematics, and more. We also have numerous elective courses such as photography, nutrition, and web design.”

I haven’t been in a classroom for some time. As a non-traditional student, will I feel welcome/comfortable?

Westwood Park YMCA 90 Northwest Blvd., Nashua

28 | FEBRUARY 2020

Osowski: “Yes! In adult education classrooms, all students are in some way ‘non-traditional.’ All students are welcome regardless of their background, nationality, race, ethnicity, age, first language, learning style, abilities, etc. We currently have 1,000 students from 70 different countries. Although our students come from different backgrounds, all our students and staff come together to support each other. This diverse learning environment creates a positive space for everyone!” Belcourt: “This is a very common concern. I regularly meet with non-traditional students to share campus and community resources geared toward adult learners, or non-traditional students. This group actually makes up the majority of our student body as ‘non-traditional student’ represents anyone who has taken a break between high school and college, as well as veterans, parents, and anyone working while attending college. It also includes those with past college experience returning to finish a degree. Most adults don’t realize how close they are to actually finishing a degree — they are probably closer than they think. “Say someone wants to complete a business degree, and has experience working in management. They can take a prior learning assessment to see if the institution can award them any credits for their experience. There is a national movement called ‘Degrees When Due’ that addresses this degree gap for students with prior college experience.”

My Turn is an occasional feature in ParentingNH. If you are a reader interested in sharing your parenting journey, please email The views expressed by the writers of My Turn do not necessarily reflect the views of ParentingNH.

Helping kids handle the tough lessons in can’t erase the past, our history We but we can empower kids to make a better future


BY CYNTHIA PELOQUIN y husband discovered a cartoon about the Revolutionary War. He’s a history

buff, so he was psyched to sit and watch it with our kids, who are five and seven. By the time I got back from errands, it was off, and my daughter was telling me how she hated

it because they were so mean to a man.

Cynthia Peloquin is a high school English teacher. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, daughter, son, and their boxer/lab, Capone.

The debate about whether tarring and feathering is appropriate for a children’s show is a discussion for another day. The fact is, my seven-year-old had just learned about tarring and feathering, and it was haunting her thoughts. It was still on her mind as she got ready for bed, and she was in tears. We talked about how that show took place a long time ago, but that bad things do happen in this world, and that stinks. We talked about how that was a kind of bullying, and we talked about what she would do if she saw bullying at school. Then, we had to figure out how to get her brain to relax enough to fall asleep. Round one: Reading happy, easy books (for her, that’s I Can Read books). I gave her 5. She was still wide awake. Round two: Listening to music, specifically The Lion King. This required me finding a CD player in the attic, and the CD. She’s glad to have a CD player in her room, but no dice on falling asleep. Round three: Reading a hard book that would tire her out. Enter Bad Kitty. She read the whole thing. Still awake. Round four: I cuddled her for a bit. Our kids never fall asleep if we lay down with them, so I knew staying wouldn’t help, but I figured she needed to

talk more. She said she was just so sad that had ever happened to anyone. I told her that I’m sad anyone ever experienced that, too, and I hate that there’s nothing I can do to change things in the past. As we talked, my mind went to the school shootings and climate change and migrant children in camps, and I started wondering if I’d fall asleep. How do I slow down when my mind is racing with things that make me sad? I figure out what I can do around that issue and resolve to do it. I try to make my little pocket of the world better. I thought that might work for a first-grader, too, so I suggested that Ginny think of nice things she could do at school the next day. I told her that it stinks that you can’t change all the bad things in the world, but you can try to make the world a little better again through your actions. I suggested that she lay down and think of the nice things she could do at school to make the world better again -- could she help a classmate? Compliment her teacher? That was the last time I had to go into Ginny’s room. I think brainstorming nice things to do makes you feel a little more in control when the world feels out of control, and the truth is, the better you make the world, the easier it is to live in it. That’s going to be our new mantra at our house, because that protective bubble we put them in as babies and toddlers is just going to keep popping, and one day they’ll learn about slavery and the Holocaust and 9/11. I struggled to sleep for days after Sandy Hook. There will be other tough nights. Instead of counting sheep, I’ll encourage my kids to brainstorm ways to make their classroom, their town, and their world a little better. It’s my responsibility to give them strategies to get a good night sleep, because tomorrow, I want them to get out there and change the world.

| FEBRUARY 2020 29

Announcing Our Grand Opening

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Open 7 Days/Week ★ Book Online Come in and meet our staff. (603) 554-1097


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NHPBS PUPPY LOVE SKATE PARTY Strawbery Banke’s Puddle Dock Pond

Sunday, February 16 9-11 AM


185 Elm Street #2, Milford, NH (Located in the Fitlab Plaza – Right of Dollar Tree)

dad on board

It’s no secret that parenting is a trying experience that could force you to one day face uncomfortable facts about your child. Our family recently had one of those moments. I don’t want to write this, but it is her truth: my daughter is not a Boston Bruins fan. It’s not that she dislikes the Bruins; it’s that she’s ambivalent about them. We can point fingers and assign blame, but after sleepless nights spent wrestling with this unexpected tribulation, her mom and I have to be comfortable with the idea that we tried our best to instill important ideals in her. My daughter can tell you that life around our house grinds to a halt around 7 p.m. on game nights, and Terry O’Reilly, the greatest Bruin of all time, is someone you should pattern your life after. (You think it’s Bobby Orr? You get your own column.) That’s the extent of her allegiance to the “Black and Gold.” In other words — she’s definitely her own person. She actually played hockey for a few years. She started as a forward and ended her career between the pipes — just like her mom. That’s where the fracture in our household begins. I grew up a fanatic, playing youth and high school hockey (enthusiastically, but poorly) and her mom has been a goalie for more than 25 years, once recording a shutout in a women’s professional game in Toronto. My 17-year-old, however, called it a career when she discovered music. She put down the goalie stick, climbed up on a stool next to an upright bass and forged her own path. I can’t say I was crushed because driving to rinks in Saugus, Mass., wasn’t among my favorite things to do. And truth be told, it’s been great to see her embrace her own passions. Jason Isbell (an artist I tried to foist upon her, as well) sums up these kinds of hopes in his lyric: “Just find something that makes you happy and do it ‘til you’re gone.” Besides, I know my job as her dad isn’t to share interests with her, but to encourage her to find her own. If a 17-year-old girl and her 30-yearold father liked all the same things, it would be odd. And you don’t know that I’m not 30 except if you can do math and have seen the headshot at the top of this column. Happily, she’s found that kind of joy through music, drama and comedy. The enthusiasm that bursts out of her after a performance or a show is practically tangible. Her mother and I only hoped she would someday find something that brought her that kind of happiness and fulfillment. If the Bruins are not that — it’s OK. As long as it’s not the Canadiens. Bill Burke wants none of that stinkin’ root beer. He lives in southern New Hampshire with his wife and daughter and is the Managing Editor of Custom Publications for McLean Communications.

30 | FEBRUARY 2020

never a dull moment

Never underestimate the power of the scribbles and the amazing imagination of children.


I was informed by my friend and local celebrity Mike Morin that Jan. 5 is the number one online dating day of the year. It was hilariously coincidental because I had already decided on that very day my column would focus on the travails of being a single parent. February marks my own completion of another rotation around the sun, and it also heralds Valentine’s Day. When I made the commitment to bring a life into the world “on my own” (I have family and friends who have been invaluable in the care and feeding of said life) I put the pursuit of a mate on hold for a while. Part of the reason I felt confident enough to do this was that I was convinced finding a man to help me raise my child would be no more difficult than finding the previously endless string of suitors in my past. Pardon me while I double over with laughter. OK, I’m done. My delightfully delusional childless self failed to factor in my new level of exhaustion, apathy in my changing appearance, lack of free time, and a significant dearth of eligible bachelors in my age range who fulfilled my desired, and, I like to think, reasonable requirements. I can’t say I have tried too hard to meet anybody. I dipped a toe a few times into the online dating pool, only to recoil pretty quickly. As a journalist, I interviewed matchmakers who offered meetings with their clients; no sparks were ignited. I’ve done the ol’ “Do what you love and you’ll surely meet someone like-minded!” thing but at many museums, art galleries, live theater and music shows that I’ve attended, I’m always the soloist among couples. I’m glad that I have been able to raise my tween daughter in a way that she (hopefully) sees that despite personal, professional and financial struggles we always have a roof over our heads, electricity and food in the fridge. It’s not easy, and I need help sometimes, but I’m still making it happen — on my own. I hope that she sees me less as a damsel needing rescuing, although those days do exist, and more as a hard-working woman who would enhance a partner, not rely upon him. I hope she sees that instead of “needing” a man that I would simply enjoy having one around, occasionally, to ya know, fix the toilet and stuff. So maybe this leap year, I will take a leap of faith and make another foray into the dating pool. But I am not wearing a swimsuit.

Open Registration for 2020-2021 PROGRAMS OFFERED: (12 months to 5 years) • TODDLERS (12 to 35 months) • PRESCHOOL & *PRE-KINDERGARTEN • ALL CLASSES OFFER FULL OR HALF TIME

181 Route 13 BROOKLINE NH 603-721-5531 •

Kathleen Palmer is an award-winning editor and journalist, marketing/communications content writer and occasional comedic actress. Nothing makes her happier than making people laugh. She is a single mom to a teenager, so naturally she enjoys a glass of wine, or two.

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Amoskeag Health


Quality care to keep you smiling.

We take pride in explaining the importance of proper dental care to our patients of all ages. Amoskeag Health refers patients with dental issues to our local agency partners. At Amoskeag Health, we provide quality and compassionate primary care, behavioral health, and specialty services to all ages, regardless of insurance status, at 4 locations in Manchester.

Did you know that taking an antibiotic for a viral infection will not cure the infection, keep other people from getting sick or help you or your child feel better? You should only use antibiotics when needed. If you use them when not needed, your body can become resistant to their helpful effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( offer these tips for when you need and do not need antibiotics, how to protect your family if someone does get sick, including how to set up a sick room. When antibiotics are needed To fight infections caused by bacteria, such as: • Strep throat • Lyme disease

When antibiotics are not needed To fight infections caused by a virus, such as: • Cold • Flu (influenza) • Bronchitis


• Urinary tract infection • Pneumonia

• Most coughs • Stomach flu • Some ear infections • Some sinus infections

Your primary caregiver can provide other options to help with symptoms. If you have a cold or the flu, follow these tips to help prevent spreading it: • If you are sick, stay home and if your child is sick, keep them home from school or child care center. • Avoid hugging, kissing or shaking hands while sick. • If you need to cough or sneeze, move away from others. Use a tissue and throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper-shirt sleeve making sure to cover your mouth and nose completely. Then wash your hands. • Make sure to disinfect surfaces and objects that are often touched, such as toys and doorknobs.

Now Enrolling for Fall 2020



. - 5:30p.m. 0a.m 7:0 n e Op

year ’rou nd




Sweet taste of victory



2019 Family PARENTINGNH.COM Favorites

32 | FEBRUARY 2020

Create a separate “sick room”: • If possible, give someone who is sick their own room. If more than one person is sick in your household, have them share the sick room. • If you have more than one bathroom, have someone who is sick use one bathroom and those who are not sick use the other. • Give everyone their own drinking glass, washcloth and towel. Here are some items to have on hand in the sick room: • Tissues • Trash can with lid, lined with a plastic trash bag • Alcohol-based hand rub • Cooler or a pitcher with ice and drinks • Cup with a straw or a squeeze bottle • Thermometer • Humidifier • Disposable facemask to wear when you leave the sick room or are around other people. Hyunouk Hong, DO, MPH, is in Internal Medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Manchester. SPONSORED BY


ADMISSION! Saturday, March 14 10 a.m.-1p.m.

EXPLORE YOUR CHILD’S OPTIONS FOR SUMMER FUN! Meet with representatives from area summer camps and programs.


The Falls Event Center 21 Front Street


Saturday, March 21 10 a.m.-1p.m. Courtyard by Marriot 2200 Southwood Drive


After the Expos Go to for a list of summer camps and programs. View photos, videos and more to find the perfect fit for your child! For more information and a current list of exhibitors: For more information and a current list of exhibitors:

| FEBRUARY 2020 33

out & about



Ice Harvest & Winter Carnival • 22 SATURDAY TAMWORTH VILLAGE -- Remick Country Doctor Museum & Farm, 58 Cleveland Hill Road. For the 17th year, Remick Museum is hosting a day of winter fun for the entire family. Celebrate winter with outdoor and indoor activities and games, meet and greet farm animals in their winter coats and surroundings, see demonstrations of on-ice step-by-step ice harvesting, and more. Admission: $10, age 11 and older; $5, age 5-10; age 4 and younger get in free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a complete list of this year’s activities, go to

CHARLOTTE’S WEB 5 WEDNESDAY CONCORD – Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 South Main St. Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem, though — how to avoid winding up as pork chops. Charlotte tries to fool Farmer Zuckerman by creating a “miracle,” a solution that makes Wilbur a prize pig and ensures his place on the farm forever. For children in kindergarten through Grade 5. Tickets: $7. Shows at 10 a.m. and noon.





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LINCOLN – Loon Mountain. Held the first Friday of February for the last 20 years, Loon provides a free day on the slopes with full access to the mountain’s activities for CASA volunteers and their families. In addition, the public is invited to join by purchasing tickets through CASA for this day of fun. For $105, you receive an all-day lift ticket, continental breakfast, buffet lunch by the Common Man’s Foster’s Boiler Room and apres ski party complete with raffles, food, live music and more. For more information, go to






KENSINGTON – The Farm at Eastman’s Corner, 267 South Road. Winter fun for everyone. Activities for kids, live band, food truck, free samples, farm animals and fire pits. Enjoy a free horsedrawn sleigh or wagon ride. The animal barn will be open and Farmer Lis and Farmer Rose will introduce you to our goats and pigs. If there’s snow, the hill will be open for sledding (bring your sled!). Free. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

PORTSMOUTH – Puddle Dock Pond, Strawbery Banke, 14 Hancock St. Grab your skates and helmet. Clifford the Big Red Dog is coming to Puddle Dock Pond to skate with you. In addition to PBS KIDS’ most lovable red dog, there will be a craft or two to entertain little ones who need a break, and there’ll be hot cocoa and cookies for purchase. The event is free and skates are $5 a pair (bring your own if you have them). 9 to 11 a.m. Go to Eventbrite to register.

Admission: $9 per person, members; $15 per person, non-members. Children age 1 and under get in free. 9:30 to 11 a.m. www.

FULL MOON HIKE 9 SUNDAY AUBURN – Massabesic Audubon Center, 26 Audubon Way. Native Americans used the moon to track the seasons, and names were often given to each month’s moon. Traditionally, the moon we see in February is called the Snow Moon due to the heavy snowfall of February. Celebrate the full moon with a nighttime hike to Battery Point. Join Jake King with Thrive Outdoors for the hike, a campfire, hot cocoa, marshmallows and a telescope for some moon and star-gazing before the hike. Bring your own snowshoes or rent a pair for $5. Advanced registration required. Cost: $12, members; $15, nonmembers. 6 to 8 p.m. 668-2045;

VALENTINE’S DAY T-REX TEA PARTY 9 SUNDAY DOVER – Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St. Celebrate your love of dinosaurs with a Valentine’s Day T-Rex Tea Party. Join TEA-Rex for a special event with someone you love. Do some festive Valentine’s crafts, enjoy tea or apple juice, and listen to dinosaur story books with our friend the T-Rex. Fancy, whimsical or prehistoric attire is encouraged. Pre-registration is required for this event.


SILENT RAVE 14 FRIDAY NASHUA – Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St. Calling all introverts: This is for you! Let’s spend Valentine’s Day with those we love most . . . ourselves. Bring your music device and headphones. Jam out to your music, in the dark with glowsticks. There will be pizza, too. For ages 12-17. Free. 4 to 5:30 p.m.

ANNUAL CARDBOARD SLED RACE 15 SATURDAY CLAREMONT – Arrowhead Recreation Area, 18 Robert Easter Way. Create a cardboard sled and try to complete the race in one piece down Arrowhead’s tubing lanes. Trophies for fastest, most creative and more. Costumes are encouraged, but it all comes down to speed. Don’t want to participate? Come and cheer on our racers. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For rules or to register:

NASHUA – Nashua High School South, 36 Riverside St. The Nashua High School Arts Honor Society and other volunteers make more than 600 ceramic bowls, secure donations of food, beverages, and bread from local establishments and solicit donations for the accompanying silent auction. In addition to delicious food and fun bidding, guests are treated to the impressive NHS Jazz Band. Select your bowl starting at 5 p.m.; event is 6 to 8 p.m. $15 donation per bowl. To purchase your bowl, go to

WINTER FORTS AND FIRES 22 SATURDAY HOLDERNESS – Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, 23 Science Center Road. Participants will build forts, play games, and then warm up around a fire with cocoa and toasted marshmallows. The group moves inside to meet a live animal

ambassador with special adaptations for winter survival. Dress to be outside with insulated snow boots and warm layers. Bring an extra pair of gloves. If needed, snowshoes are available at no extra cost or participants may bring their own. For families with children age 4 and older. Cost: $9, member; $11, non-member. 10 a.m. to noon. 968-7194;

MAMMA MIA! STARTS FEB. 28 MANCHESTER – Palace Theatre, 80 Hanover St. On the eve of her wedding, Sophie sets out to discover the identity of her father, bringing three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs such as “Dancing Queen,” “Take A Chance On Me,” and, of course, “Mamma Mia!” propel this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship with explosive dancing and non-stop laughter. Tickets: $25$46. Show times through March 29. For more information, go to

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f you are feeling a bit nostalgic for the 1980s, put down that Rubik’s Cube and back away from the Atari, and get ready. The 1980s are back in a major way. Several events in February (and beyond) are paying tribute to the decade of excess, large hair and MTV. Book your babysitter, get out the acid-washed jeans and hair spray, and motor out to one of these totally tubular events.

Be cool at the Ice Bar

They’ll be there for you

The Catskills are calling

Enjoy 1980s music, martini bars with specialty cocktails, a whiskey bar and a beer and wine bar, and lots and lots of ice. Warm up in the Great Hall and enjoy an assortment of snacks and desserts available for purchase with tokens.

Check out a live performance by Living on a Bad Name — a Bon Jovi tribute band based in Boston. For two hours, you’ll enjoy hearing all of the hits. And unlike the real Bon Jovi, you can meet these talented musicians after the show.

Bedford Village Inn, Bedford Jan. 30 - Feb. 1 • 6 to 10 p.m. • purchase tickets at Eventbrite

Tuscan Kitchen, Portsmouth Saturday, Feb. 1 • 8 p.m. • purchase tickets at Eventbrite

Head to Chunky’s because you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to spend another evening with Patrick Swayze’s Johnny Castle. Chunky’s dancing partner for its 21-plus Dirty Dancing viewing party is ABSOLUT vodka. You’ll have the time of your life. Chunky’s locations in Manchester, Nashua and Pelham Thursday, Feb. 13 • doors open at 7 p.m. • www.

Pop culture

Date night

Jessie’s Girl has mastered stunning renditions of the world’s most vibrant songs, all while dressed up as the unforgettable characters of that decade. Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and many more come to life right before the dazzled eyes of the crowd. It is theatre, meets live music, smothered in 80s glitz.

Harry Burns and Sally Albright (Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan) negotiate friendship… and maybe more? The classic 1989 rom-com from Director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron never goes out of style. A great datenight pick for Valentine’s Day.

Palace Theatre, Manchester Thursday, Feb. 13 • 7:30 p.m. •

The Music Hall, Portsmouth Friday, Feb. 14 • 8 p.m. • www.themusichall.orgy

Après Ski party Headed north? Bretton Woods is teaming up with Boston’s Mix 104.1 and Schofferhofer to hit rewind for its Blast from the Past Après Ski Party. Safety Dance, anyone? Slopeside Pub and Restaurant, Bretton Woods Ski Area Saturday, Feb. 29 • 3 to 5:30 p.m. •

Also, don’t miss these upcoming 1980s-themed events: Better Off Dead: An 80s Dance Party at the Shaskeen in Manchester; March 29 Back to the 80s Bash at Zorvino Vineyards in Sandown; April 3 80s Day at Loon Mountain Resort; April 4

36 | FEBRUARY 2020

St. Joseph Hospital Pediatrics Extended Hours Care Monday through Thursday until 7:30pm. Saturday and Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to noon. Call Ahead to Reserve your Child’s Seat! 603.889.6671 | Nashua NH

Congratulations to the St. Joseph Hospital Pediatrics team!

Selected as the Family Favorite Winner by ParentingNH Readers

| DECEMBER 2020 3

A great way to get prenatal care Join a small group of other mothers-to-be and learn about topics that matter most to you and your baby.

Studies show Centering moms are up to 47% less likely to have a preterm birth than those who receive traditional prenatal care

Group members have higher breastfeeding rates

Convenient schedule and more time with your health care team

To reserve your spot or for more information, contact: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (603) 653-9300 Cheshire Medical Center (603) 354-6640

4 | DECEMBER 2020