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New in Town

Latest & greatest family-friendly attractions in OKC

Back to Class

Seasoned teachers share advice

After-School Excitement Discover a cool new activity

Stargazing Excursions

Plan a star party this fall + 197 Incredible Family Events






Your dedicated party host takes care of it all so you can relax!

Book now at MAIN EVENT OKLAHOMA CITY 405-751-4900 • 1441 W Memorial Road • Oklahoma City, OK 73114 10-person minimum. Reservations required. A 12% service charge will be added. Price does not include tax. Prices subject to change. Laser Tag and Gravity Ropes have a height requirement of 48” to play. Other restrictions apply.

Features 12 First Look New or improved familyfriendly attractions worth checking out 16 Street Kid to Safe Place How a local foster dad put his tough upbringing to use 40 What’s It Like? A glimpse into the life of a surrogate mother 42 2018 After-School Activities Guide Local ideas for extracurriculars 50 Classroom Wisdom Local teachers share advice as kids head back to school


In Every Issue 6 New & Noteworthy How local eighth graders are raising minimum wage 20 Calendar of Events 38 From the Archives Catch up with our March 2005 Cover Kids 52 Exploring Oklahoma Top spots for stargazing



Help Local Babies: While you’re out gathering school supplies this month, please consider grabbing a package of diapers, wipes and/or baby wash to donate to Infant Crisis Services. MetroFamily is helping sponsor their “Strengthen Their Start” campaign, being held now through Sept. 7. All you have to do is bring your donations to one of 12 metro locations, conveniently located in Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, Moore and Midwest City. Find all the info you need to get your family involved in giving back to this worthy cause at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/diaper-drive.

Enter both of our fantastic contests going on this month: • Win two One Pass tickets and three Sooner Jr. Kids Club memberships which grant free admission to many OU Sooner sports including women’s basketball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, baseball, soccer and more. Contest runs Aug. 1-30. • Win special VIP tickets to the upcoming Princess Ball hosted by Princess Pros Entertainment in OKC on Sept. 8. Contest runs from Aug. 13-30.

Web Exclusives Cover Kid Search Registration Opens Soon: Could your child be the next Cover Kid? We’re looking for OKC area kids ages 2 to 12 with bright smiles and fun personalities to participate in this year’s Cover Kids Search. Registration begins Aug. 13! Check out the details at coverkidssearch School Supplies Drives: Need help getting school supplies for your kids? Or would you like to help locals in need of back-to-school resources? Get connected with school supplies drives and more at back-to-school.


Find details and enter at www.





Sarah Taylor

Managing Editor Hannah Schmitt

Assistant Editor Lindsay Cuomo

Contributing Writers

Erin Page and Mae Kiggins

Contributing Photographers Emily Hart, Jacqueline Kuneman and Mark Doescher

Art Director Stacy Noakes

Marketing Director Callie Collins


Athena Delce, Dana Price

Project Manager Jessica Misun



’m going to say something really controversial. I think buying school supplies is really exciting. I know I’m making heads explode, but keep in mind I’m a mother of a toddler and have yet to actually buy a child actual school supplies from an actual list. All my school supply experiences are either my Mom buying my supplies growing up or my own annual trip as an adult to get snazzy new office supplies. Regardless of how you feel about school supplies shopping, it’s time to face the music because school is back in session. And along with the new folders and pencils, it’s time to shop around for new after-school activities for your kids. Karate, soccer and

dance barely scratch the surface of what’s available for kids in the Oklahoma City metro. There are fun options for every age at every price point and we’ve rounded up several options in our annual After-School Activities Guide. Starting on page 42, learn a little about what’s available and narrow down the list with the help of your kids. Also as you get back in the classroom groove, be sure to check out a piece on advice from local teachers on page 50. Have some advice of your own to share? We’d love you to tell our readers in our closed Facebook groups. Learn how to join at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/closed-groups. Hannah Schmitt Editor

Kathy Alberty

Contact us

318 NW 13th St, Ste 101 OKC OK 73103 Phone: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509

This Month’s Cover

Ava C.

MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2018 by Inprint Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature.

Ava, 7, lives in Oklahoma City with her parents April and Brad and her three brothers. She enjoys playing soccer with her team The Pink Cheetahs, cheerleading, softball, basketball, going to church and is currently obsessed with unicorns.

Circulation audited by

Learn more about all our 2018 Cover Kids at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/2018-Cover-Kids-Winners.

Proud member of

Also a member of Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, Edmond Chamber of Commerce & Moore Chamber of Commerce



Wage Up OKC

How Eighth Graders Are Raising Minimum Wage in OKC BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

When Haley, Kate and Sarah* began eighth grade at Westminster School in the fall of 2017, the term “living wage” wasn’t in their vocabulary. They didn’t know how poverty and homelessness affected their community. They never dreamed by the time they entered high school this fall, they would be leading a city-wide initiative to increase minimum wage and the opportunities afforded those living in poverty.


Westminster launched its community service initiative two years ago, with each grade studying a different societal issue. The 44 students in the 2017-2018 eighth grade class were assigned poverty. They learned from community organizations combating homelessness, studied poverty in their classes through novels, poetry and research and participated in a “poverty simulation” in which they struggled with issues like finding childcare and paying for groceries. “This isn’t to make them feel bad for being privileged but rather to understand real-life problems,” said Emmery Frejo, Westminster director of communications. “They have learned to empathize with others and think critically about the role they play in society.” The students were perhaps most affected by a presentation by Ranya Forgotson of the Homeless Alliance’s Curbside Chronicle, a magazine employing individuals

transitioning out of homelessness, who explained that to be “housing stable,” or afford housing, an individual would need to make at least $12 an hour, compared to Oklahoma’s current $7.25 minimum wage. “It’s not possible for people who make minimum wage to change anything about their life,” said Haley. “They can’t afford housing because of costs. It’s an endless cycle.” Sarah was shocked to learn the most common person experiencing homelessness is a single white mother. Kate realized that a single mother working full-time for minimum wage would fall below the poverty line, unable to support herself and her children. Haley educated her own family, who’d also never heard of a living wage, about why it’s important to her—and should be to them—to increase minimum wage in Oklahoma City.

Inspired by their research, the eighth graders were the first class to turn their learning experience into action. They developed Wage Up OKC, an initiative to increase minimum wage, and partnered with Curbside Chronicle to launch a Mother’s Day floral sale. “The beautiful thing is they are pioneering it,” said Frejo. Realizing how raising minimum wage could directly impact those living in poverty, students conducted research surveys and designed a logo, collateral and advertisements for Wage Up OKC. Students began making presentations to metro businesses in May and already have a handful of partners. “Our partners agree for four years to continue to [or start to] pay $12 an hour to all full-time employees,” said Sarah. “That doesn’t include bonuses or extras.” Although the students have graduated Westminster, which ends in eighth grade, and will be continuing on to high schools around the metro this fall, they’re committed to the initiative for the next four years. Their goal is to partner with 208 businesses, one per week, until their high school graduation.

Forgotson has spoken to student groups across the metro but says she’s never seen a program like Westminster’s where students are combating poverty and she hopes it serves as an inspiration. “Young people can learn about complex topics and how to address them,” said Forgotson. “It ultimately lessens a need for programs like mine to exist in the future.” When Forgotson initially spoke to Westminster students about Curbside Chronicle, she mentioned the organization’s dream to expand its successful yearly Valentine’s Day floral sales to Mother’s Day, providing additional employment opportunities to their vendors transitioning out of homelessness. “The students said, ‘how can we make that possible?’” said Forgotson. “They conducted a business survey, covered some of the costs, produced a radio commercial, advertised on social media, selected flowers to use and participated with vendors in the floral workshops.” Inaugural Mother’s Day floral sales nearly matched Valentine’s Day, employing 39 vendors.

“Our goal was to sell 750 bouquets, and we nearly doubled it,” said Forgotson. “We are so thankful the students gave us this opportunity. They should be really proud.” When Haley, Kate, Sarah and their classmates began their eighth grade year studying poverty, they doubted their ability to make a difference. In addition to directly impacting individuals battling homelessness and the metro business community, they’ve also changed the course of their own futures. “In the beginning, we thought we were just going to donate money somewhere,” said Sarah. “But when we realized what a big problem poverty is in Oklahoma City, we realized we could do something about it long term. We have the chance to make a change.” At the time of this printing, Wage Up OKC had 32 business partners. To learn more about Wage Up OKC, or become a business partner, visit *To protect the privacy of the students, Westminster’s policy allows us to print first names only of students.


August 19-25

Check us out on


September 23-29

Cleveland County Fairgrounds State Fair Park Shop Sun 12p-9p • Mon 10a-9p • Tues-Thurs 10a-4p • Fri 10a-9p • Sat 10a-2p Sell your kids’ items as a consignor and earn up to 80%! Save money and make money with JBF! It's all here under one roof! Smart! many items HALF-PRICE on Friday and Saturday.

shop. sell. save. smart!™


These events benefit, in part, Infant Crisis Services.




The future belongs to those who dream big. And dreams can come from anywhere. Boeing is proud to support the next generation of game changers who will change the world for the better.


Diaper Need (and how you can help)


Local non-profit Infant Crisis Services reports one in four Oklahoma children struggle with hunger. But did you know three in four struggle with diaper need? ICS helps provide families in need with necessities like diapers and formula. Parents of children age 4 and under can visit Infant Crisis Services a total of five times, each time receiving a package of essentials that includes a week’s worth of diapers. Danielle Morgan, volunteer coordinator at ICS, said when parents living in poverty can’t afford diapers, they sometimes take drastic measures like washing off a diaper and reusing it or leaving the same diaper on for an entire day. “I wish people would be more open with asking for help with diapers,” Morgan said. “It’s so important. I think a lot of the time they think if they can just make it through one more day it’s going to get better. But until you can get on top of it you’re not going to get very far.” This was a need local mom Marcie Hines wanted to help. When her son Caleb was 5, Marcie set out to start a foundation that would help the local community and help instill in him the value of giving back. “I always knew I would work in some capacity serving children,” Marcie said. “Growing up without my Mom being able to get things she needed for my sister and I, I wanted to start a foundation to help.” To get inspired about how to help, Marcie and Caleb went to volunteer at the Edmond

nonprofit for babies and families, All Things Baby. Within the first 15 minutes of their visit, Marcie said, the phone rang three different times with moms asking where they could get diaper donations. Marcie knew instantly that her mission had to be to help local moms in need get diapers for their children. Marcie and Caleb founded Caleb’s Cause Foundation in 2012, a nonprofit that provided more than 7,500 Oklahoma children with diapers last year alone. They expect to serve 10,000 children this year. Diapers are not covered by federal assistance programs like WIC (Women, Infants and Children). So although diapers are still a necessity just like food, low-income parents often have to make difficult decisions about using diapers. Besides obvious health issues like diaper rash and urinary tract infections, experts report diaper need can lead to serious issues like anxiety among parents that can even lead to child abuse. Caleb’s Cause Foundation gets diapers in the hands of those who need them through 15 locations spread throughout the state. These donation sites are nonprofits like food pantries that serve needy families with food, clothing or both. Parents of children ages 0-3 can lean on these sites to get a consistent supply of diapers if they need it. Most of their sites provide diapers to families one to four times per month.

Here are two ways you can support locals in need of diapers this month: • We’re partnering with Infant Crisis Services to host a drive called Strengthen Their Start. As you go back-to-school shopping, pick up diapers, wipes and baby wash and drop them off at ICS (4224 N. Lincoln Blvd.) or any of the drop-off locations listed at • Caleb’s Cause Foundation is gearing up for their annual 5K and Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 25 at Lake Hefner. Participation supports their cause and runners are asked to bring a package of diapers size 4, 5 or 6 in exchange for a raffle ticket to win a prize. The superherothemed event will feature a touch-a-truck, activities for kids and even a superhero closet where kids can get dressed up before the race. Sign up and learn more at www. If you’re a business or organization looking to get involved in hosting a diaper drive, contact Marcie at

“The feeling you get when you share with a neighbor or help someone in need is very rewarding,” Caleb said. “It’s great to be able to help people.”






How Technology Can Help Ease Aging Concerns BY MAE KIGGINS PHOTOS BY JACQUELYN KUNEMAN

It’s early in the morning and Jeff wakes up to his phone ringing. “Your grandmother Lillian has fallen again,” he hears on the other end. “Nothing is broken but she is bruised and uncomfortable.” As Lillian was getting dressed after a shower she lost her balance and fell, face first, onto the floor. Luckily Lillian lives in an assisted living facility and was able to contact staff to ask for help. Unfortunately, staff is not allowed to assist residents once they have fallen. The staff contacts 911 and the family, who then come and assist. Does this story sound familiar? Are you at the point where you are starting to worry about a loved one’s safety as they age?


Whether or not this is a concern now, at some point we will all have to face the questions: “How do I help take care of a loved one as they age?” and “How can they stay in their own home for as long as feasible?”

many different technologies that make it easier for a senior or disabled person to live a more independent life.

Some may choose, like Lillian, to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home.

The cornerstone of the technology is an alert system that monitors loved ones 24/7 for falls and gives them an easy way to contact a professional if there is an emergency.

But there are many who don’t want to live in a facility or who don’t need to, even though family members are beginning to worry.

There are four basic parts to the system: the fall detection pendant, the hub, the family app and a lockbox.

If your aging family member falls into the latter category, there are options available, thanks to technology that allow loved ones to live at home but still be monitored.

The pendant will detect a fall and automatically trigger a call to a local care specialist. If the senior cannot answer the specialist or communicates they need help, the specialist will call 911 as well as the family. If there is another type of emergency, the wearer can push the button on the pendant

Cox Communications now offers a service called Cox Homelife Care which includes

and a call will be placed. The Cox pendant is the smallest and lightest on the market and is waterproof, making it convenient and comfortable for constant wearing. The hub is a small device that sits in the senior’s home and operates with its own cell phone technology to connect the device at all times, 24/7. It also contains a 24-hour battery backup so it will work in the event of a power outage. The hub is stationary but has a mic and speaker that allows communication between a user and Cox. The app connects family members to their loved one’s Homelife Care system and notifies them immediately any time the emergency system is activated. Once the emergency system is activated, the family member can use the app to check the status of the emergency. The app also allows users to program medication reminders and check the battery life of the Homelife Care devices. Finally, the system includes a lockbox for a house key to allow emergency professionals access to the house without having to break down the door. There are other “smart” devices that can be powered by Cox High Speed Internet that help seniors at home and many of those can be monitored by a family member remotely. In addition to cameras, there are devices such as automatic pill dispensers with alarms that won’t turn off until the pill box has been emptied and sensors that can be placed on cabinets and refrigerator doors that help family members know about their loved ones’ eating habits. There are even ways to monitor the oven to make sure it gets turned off in a timely manner. A quick search of the web for “smart devices” can help you identify products that would be helpful to you and your family member. If the user has an ongoing medical issue that needs to be monitored such as congestive heart failure or diabetes and their insurance approves remote care, Trapollo, a Cox Business company, provides a technology to help the senior monitor vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight, with those daily readings being fed to a medical monitor such as a nurse. A daily check-in about these vitals and tweaks to protocol or medicines may mean many fewer doctor and/ or emergency room visits. To learn more about Cox Homelife Care, schedule a meeting with a consultant to discuss your specific needs. Learn more at







We all love the tried-and-true family attractions in the OKC metro but we’re also thrilled when we see new destinations pop up. Check out these five brand new or newly renovated spots for kid-friendly fun! WORDS & PHOTOS BY MAE KIGGINS

JIM THORPE MUSEUM & OK SPORTS HALL OF FAME This museum isn’t technically new, just in a beautiful new location. If there are any college football fans or history buffs in your house, this museum is a must-see. The museum’s new location outlines famous athlete Jim Thorpe’s life, his accomplishments and also the challenges of being a Native American during his time. The rest of the museum is the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. There are more than 150 inductees recognized from a wide variety of sports including basketball, gymnastics, wrestling and rodeo. The museum is impressive and its Bricktown location is icing on the cake. Take advantage of the plethora of other family-fun attractions when you’re in the area. Better yet, keep the sports theme going by taking in a Dodgers game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.; free admission; open 10 a.m.5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday


Be consumed. CITIZEN POTAWATOMI NATION CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER This Shawnee museum explores the rich history of the Potawatomi people and their ability to overcome adversity. There is a mixture of life-sized replicas and digital interactive exhibits that tell this story. And even if you can’t seem to get your kids interested in history, the whole family is sure to love the nearby Eagle Aviary. It houses eagles that are permanently injured and cannot live in the wild. It is unique in that the design reflects cultural significance of the eagles to the Potawatomi Nation. Tours are available by appointment only. Email to schedule.

MEGALODON Largest Shark that Ever Lived; free admission; open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

May 26 – Jan. 6

MARTIN PARK NATURE CENTER Martin Park Nature Center has long been a family favorite in the OKC area but last year the facility closed its doors for a much-anticipated update. The new indoor displays highlight Oklahoma’s beautiful prairie landscape and the animals that live there. The restrooms have been completely redone (what parent doesn’t love a nice, clean restroom?) and a new boardwalk that overlooks the lake has been added to the trails.; free admission; open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday

2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, OK 73072-7029 (405) 325-4712 | Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived was produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History with support from the National Science Foundation.

Special exhibits sponsored by


MOANA 1:00 P.M.



Films are free and open to the public. General admission is separate. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations, please call (405) 325-4712.

SPRING CREEK TRAILS AT ARCADIA LAKE A brand new trail on this scenic Edmond lake beckons visitors with plenty of shade trees and picturesque water views. The new paved trail features wide biking and walking lanes that are family-friendly. The trailhead is located in Spring Creek Park, at the east end of 15th St. in Edmond. When you get to the payment booth, just tell them you are heading to the trails and you won’t have to pay.; free admission


GAMES August 4

10:00 a.m. – Noon Free for kids!

1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sun, Noon – 5:00 p.m. (405) 478-2250

BREAKAWAY INDOOR PLAYGROUND “Weather alert! Temperatures to hit record high this week.” Sound familiar? We seem to be hearing that a lot lately and there are only so many museums you can visit before the kids just need some place to be loud and run free. Breakaway is an indoor playground in Edmond that allows them to do just that. For the little ones, there is an infant/toddler play area and for the bigger kids, there is a threelevel, 2,000-square-foot playground for ages 12 and under.


Added bonus for parents: sitting area with TV, free WiFi coffee and the playground was built to accommodate adults. So whether you like joining in the fun or just relaxing, this playground has you covered. They also offer buy-one-get-one-free admission on Thursdays.; age 1 and under, free; ages 1-12, $10; open 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday & Saturday; 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sunday

OKC RATTLESNAKE MUSEUM Twenty-six exhibits housing 35 venomous snakes have just opened in Oklahoma City’s Stockyards City district and even if you squirm at the thought, the museum curator has a lot to teach visitors about safety around the slithering creatures. Carl Sandefer, a former Oklahoma City Zoo employee, opened

the museum to be both educational and entertaining. Visitors can learn how to identify dangerous snakes in the wild and see an assortment of reptiles all in one place.; free admission; open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends


MEGALODON EXHIBIT AT SAM NOBLE MUSEUM What kid isn’t fascinated by a shark with teeth bigger than their hand or a jaw so large it could swallow an adult whole? Sam Noble Museum in Norman gives them a chance to feed that fascination. Megalodon was the largest shark to ever live and this exhibit gives all the details including a life-size model (yep, it stretches over half the length of the room) and several jaws that have been reconstructed using fossilized teeth.; kids, $5; adults, $8; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Exhibit open through Jan. 6.

SANCTUARY ASIA EXHIBIT AT THE OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO The Zoo’s been working on a brand new way to encounter exciting Asian animals that’s slated to open Aug. 31. This new exhibit will expand the habitat for the Asian elephants but also include red pandas, an Asian rhino and many other exotic animals. Inside this six-acre expansion to the Zoo is the two-story Lotus Pavilion which offers food, beverages and stunning views of the entire zoo.; ages 3-11, $8; adults, $11; open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily




A lot of things make Peter Habyarimana unique. He’s a single foster dad, for example, and he’s traveled to 101 countries and every major city in the U.S. But what trumps them all is his unbelievable upbringing. Habyarimana was born in Uganda in a level of poverty he said is hard to even explain. “You wake up in the morning and you never know if there’s going to be a meal for you that day,” he said. “No one in your life has ever said you would amount to anything because it’s a life of survival.” He went on to explain that because half of all the babies born in his village didn’t live to their second birthday, his mother had a difficult time even getting attached to him as an infant. Habyarimana said by the time he was 4 he realized the odds were stacked against him even more than he thought. He began to fear that if he didn’t die of starvation, his abusive Dad might actually kill him. Around age 10, he decided he couldn’t take it anymore and he fled 500 miles to the nearest city and became a street kid. On the street, he stole to stay alive. One day, a man approached him and offered him food. That man approached him with food over and over again for a year. “Then one day he came and asked me if I wanted to go to school,” he said. “I thought, ‘My own father would not feed me, why would you come here and offer for me to go to school?’ But of course, he kept asking. And for the first time, someone saw me as a


human being. I was the garbage of all, but he said there was value and potential in me.” The man was the Ugandan leader of an international ministry for children in poverty. He enrolled Habyarimana in boarding school, where he performed so well he got a scholarship to study in England before becoming employed by the very ministry that helped save his life as a boy. Habyarimana has worked tirelessly helping children across the globe through the organization and working to show donors the life-saving work they’re helping to fund. On a trip a few years ago to the Dominican Republic, he met a donor from Oklahoma City who planted an idea in his head that if he ever tired of traveling the world, Oklahoma would be a good place to land. So after 12 years of traveling the world, Habyarimana now lives in Oklahoma City where he flips houses for a living. But with a heart dedicated to helping others, he knew it wouldn’t be long before he found another way to serve. A world away from the life he once knew, Habyarimana found himself living alone in a three-bedroom home. “I’d just walk by those two empty bedrooms and feel like there was something I should be doing for other people,” he said. “Can I really call it (my home) a blessing if I’m not using it to help other people?”

So he signed up to be a foster parent. “His compassion level is through the roof,” said Jessica Ward, Habyarimana’s caseworker at Angels Foster Family Network. “He shows compassion in every aspect of the definition. He uses his history and how he grew up to change the lives of kids.” And although his difficult past helps fuel his compassion in a lot of ways, Habyarimana said it sometimes makes it difficult to fit into American culture. “When you come from poverty, it’s very hard to live in the United States,” he said. “There’s a lot of guilt. You have to deal with people with a lot of money and attitude. You can have so much and never feel you have enough. That’s really tough for me to see.” Still, he’s adjusted by remembering to just approach people from their own cultural perspective, just like people have done for him over the years. “I just try to understand where they’re coming from first,” he said, “and I try to love them in the context of their culture.” METROFAMILY’S FOSTER CARE SERIES IS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY



Perspectives on Fostering You’re a single foster dad. What is it like to take on this responsibility without a partner? Single people usually have extra money and time, so why not use that for someone else? Just because you don’t have a family doesn’t mean you can’t be part of a family. In Africa, we say “it takes a village to raise a child.” Americans need to start thinking that way. It takes a community, single men and women included, to make families successful.

Are there advantages to being a single foster dad? The majority of people in roles helping kids are women. The boys are looking for those male role models, though. They’re looking for a guy to just sit with them, hang out with them. The oldest foster kid I’ve had was 11 and the youngest was 4. They’ve all walked in and accepted me right away because they’re really in need of male leadership. How does your background influence the way you foster parent? I’ve learned not to come at things from a judgmental attitude. Most people with kids in the foster system have been mistreated in some way and told they are useless as parents. But someone once pursued me and told me I was worth something and it changed my life. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since becoming a foster parent?

on drugs.’ Many things happen in life and sometimes kids happen to be in the midst of it all. A foster parent has the opportunity to foster the whole family and really help them be successful. We shouldn’t give up on people so easily and we shouldn’t judge a situation until we’ve lived in it ourselves. Will you continue to foster? As long as I have room and they will allow me, I’ll have them. I will always be a foster dad until I run out of space. Editor’s Note: This is part of a series on foster care. Find the rest of the series along with tips for how to get started fostering at


I thought I was compassionate. Now, I know what compassion is. I thought I was kind. But you really learn who you are through the kids. Now, anything I wish my Dad could have done for me, I can give to someone else. As a whole, I think foster kids are misunderstood. These are some of the sweetest, smartest kids I’ve ever met. There’s a stigma here but people need to remember kids do not choose where they are born. You’d never choose to be born in an abusive home or to a drug addict. And parents don’t usually just wake up and say, ‘hey, I’d like to have a lot of kids and be

s r e w o P r Supe “What about ed r i u q e R t my sister?” No “Will we be able to

Give hope. stay together?” Change a life. Become a foster parent.

Learn more at 1-877-263-1890 or call 877-263-1890 18 METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / AUGUST 2018

Let us take the journey alongside you. Statewide Toll Free | 866-978-2956

WORKING AT KIMRAY TUITION REIMBURSEMENT Kimray believes in the value of education. Regular, full-time Kimray team members are eligible to receive reimbursement for tuition, books, and fees for any course or certification resulting in a “C� average or better. This includes courses at a vocational school, community college, accredited university, or professional organization unless they are recreational in nature. For undergraduate courses, tuition and eligible fees may be approved for reimbursement up to a maximum of five-thousand two-hundred and fifty dollars ($5,250) per calendar year.





OKC Family Fun sponsored by

11 FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest 18 Cat Video Festival 24 Fiesta Friday (photo by Tango Public Relations) 25 Caleb’s Cause Foundation 5K







Free Back to School Bash at Capitol Hill Baptist Church from 4 – 6 p.m.

Free First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.



Free An Accordion Affair at Yukon Czech Hall from 2:30 – 4:30

Free Howl at the Moon at Myriad Gardens from 8 – 10 p.m.



Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at the State Fair Park Pavilion from noon – 9 p.m.

Free Art Moves at various locations in downtown OKC at noon



Chaparral Family Sundays at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark at 5:30 p.m.

Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens from 8 – 9:30 p.m.


perfect for preschoolers


great for teens

worth the drive


date night idea










Free SONIC Summer Movies presents Oklahoma! Singa-long at Myriad Gardens at 7 p.m..

Free Summer Thursdays at Oklahoma Hall of Fame at 10:30 a.m.

Free Midwest Summer Fest at Charles Johnson Park from 7 – 11 p.m.

Oklahoma Tax Free Weekend






Free Stop, Drop and Roll Fire Safety Education at the Moore Library from 2 – 3 p.m.

Free Art in the Park at Mitch Park from 10 – 11 a.m.

Free Severe Weather Science with 4Warn Storm Team Meteorologist Emily Sutton at the Norman Central Library from 2 – 3 p.m.

Free PAW Patrol Live!: Race to the Rescue at Cox Convention Center at 6 p.m.

Free FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest in Shawnee from 6:45 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.






Free Wheeler Criterium Toddler Story & Craft at the Wheeler Ferris Time at Unpluggits Wheel from 5 – 8:30 p.m. at 11 a.m.

Third Thursdays at Oklahoma City Museum of Art from 5 – 10 p.m.

Free Meet Me at Main in Yukon from 6 – 10 p.m.

Free Cat Video Festival at Myriad Gardens from 7 – 11 p.m.






Free Kickoff Party at Kerr Park from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Kate Barnard Living History Program at Oklahoma History Center from 1 – 3 p.m.

Free Family Game Night at The Station Recreation Center from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Free Fiesta Friday in Historic Capitol Hill from 7 – 10 p.m.

Caleb’s Cause Foundation’s Annual 5K at Lake Hefner Parkway at 8:30 a.m.





Free Opening Day of the Payne County Free Fair

LAST WEEK for Bricktown Beach

Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy from 7 – 10 p.m.

Izumicon at the Reed Conference Center from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Find these events and hundreds more at



You see cute. We see promise.


Aug 1-5

FREE K12 Public School at Home Tour (various locations) features an interactive mobile unit that showcases six distinctive areas designed to introduce parents and students to the programs, curricula and opportunities offered through a virtual K12 program. Attendees are welcome to come and go. No RSVP needed. See website for schedule and locations.

Aug 3

Peter Rabbit Tea Party at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a craft and silly game about Peter Rabbit, as well as tasty treats and tea during story time. Preregister. Best suited for ages 4-8. Members, $7; non-members, $9. 2-3pm. 445-7080,

FREE Dancing in the Gardens at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features Country Western dancing with a live DJ. 7-10pm. 445-7080, FREE Midwest Summer Fest at Charles Johnson Park (29th & Mid-America Blvd, Midwest City) features live entertainment, a movie in the park, yard games, food trucks and more. 7-11pm. 739-1293,

A safe and fun environment with experienced teachers who inspire children to be the best they can be.

Family Favorites

Better Than Parr Parenting Seminar at Edmond’s First Baptist Church (1300 E 33rd St, Edmond) features specialist Dr. Steve Parr, author of Why They Stay. $15 per couple or individual. 7-9pm. 3410253,

Aug 3 & 4

Quilting Tomorrow’s Heirlooms at Oklahoma Christian University (2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond) features a quilt show with more than 100 juried quilts on display as well as vendors and an artisan market. $7. 9am-5pm. 562-3578,

Aug 3 - 5

Oklahoma Tax Free Weekend. Certain clothing and shoe purchases are exempt from sales tax. Qualified items are exempt from state, city, county and local municipality sales taxes.

405-348-3377 420 S. Santa Fe in Edmond

Visit our website for more information


Aug 4

FREE Feeding 5000 & More at OKC Faith Church (800 S Portland Ave) features backpacks full of school supplies to kids in PreK to 12th grade while supplies last. Donations can be made online or at the church. 8-11am. 948-7100, FREE Back to School Round Up at Alameda Church of Christ (801 E Alameda, Norman) features a family fun day offering free backpacks with school supplies, lunch and an information fair for parents and kids’ activities. 9am-noon. 321-0788, FREE Yoga in the Park at Earlywine Park (3101 SW 119th St) features an outdoor session of yoga open to the community. All ages welcome. 9am. groups/yogaintheparkmoore FREE Dads & Donuts Story Time at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features stories, a craft and donuts. Best for ages 3-6 with a caregiver, but all ages welcome. 10-11am. 9792200, FREE Saturday for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features a variety of school-themed activities that explore the history of the American West. Visit Prosperity Junction, a turn-of-the-century frontier town and enjoy some 1890s style schoolyard games, back to school activities and more. For ages 4-12 and accompanying adults. Activities available while supplies last. 10am-noon. 4782250, FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. Also held: 8/18. 528-2122, FREE Superhero School at New World Comics (6219 N Meridian Ave) features a different amazing hero each week and on occasion a villain or two as well. All ages welcome. 10:30amnoon. Also held: 8/18. 721-7634, www.

FREE Tools and More with The Home Depot at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Participants will get hands-on experience with various power tools, review the most useful tools for simple home maintenance tasks and chat with the Home Depot DIY Workshop Captain. Best suited for teens and adults. Preregister. 2-3pm. 7935100, FREE Ice Cream Social for the Hearing Loss Association of America Central Oklahoma Chapter at Lakeside Methodist Church (2825 NW 66th St) features a community ice cream social. Bring your favorite ice cream, some cookies or other dessert to share. The event is open to the public. 2-4pm. Owl Pellets at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Participants dissect the pellets of Oklahoma owl species and learn how an owl consumes its prey. For ages 8-12. $5. Preregister. 4-5pm. 2971429, FREE Red Brick Nights Street Festival in Downtown Guthrie (2nd & Harrison Ave, Guthrie) features rotating popup shops, food trucks and live music. 5pm. Also held: 9/2. 282-1947, www. Oklahoma City Boys Ranch Town Back-to-School Dinner Event at Embassy Suites (2501 Conference Dr, Norman) features a meal, entertainment and a kids’ back-to-school fashion show. Benefits Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children campuses. $20 & up. 5:30pm. 463-5516, www. Summer Meltdown: Ice Cream Festival at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an end-of-summer celebration with a selection of vendors serving up icy treats, music from DJ Brian Smith and a variety of water play and other activities including oversized games and an Imagination Playground. Free to attend; prices vary for ice cream & activities. 6-9pm. 445-7080, Blacklight Slide at Remington Park (1 Remington Park) features a glow-

in-the-dark slide party with music from top DJs. $20-$50. 7pm. Sliders must be at least 5 years of age and 42” tall. 424-1000, www.blacklightslide. com/locations/oklahomacity/ FREE Back to School Bash at the Bethel Foundation (13003 N Western Ave) features free back packs and school supplies, food, snow cones, face painting, inflatables and more. Parent or guardian must accompany children to receive supplies, which are first come, first serve. Quantities are limited. 11am-1pm. 2863700,

Aug 5

Sensory Sensitive Sundays at Chuck E. Cheese (2201 Interstate Dr, Norman) features less crowds, dimmed lighting, the music and show turned down or off and limited appearances from Chuck E. Prices vary. 9-11am. 366-8200,

FREE Back to School Event at The Good Fight Church (500 E Main St, Yukon) features free school supplies, food, live music, games, and a short word from the pastor. 5-8pm. 628-3191, Gypsy Glam Roadshow Kid’s Fest at OKC Farmer’s Public Market (311 S Klein Ave) features children’s boutiques, inflatables, food trucks, games, prizes, make & take art, live entertainment, face painting and henna tattoos. Ages 5 & up, $5. 11am-5pm. 602-1851, FREE Back to School Bash at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (304 SW 134th St) features free school supplies, inflatables, games, food and drinks. Supplies are for children present in grades PreK-12th, while supplies last. 4-6pm. 799-9799,

Aug 6

FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum (2401 S Chautauqua, Norman) features complimentary admission for kids 17 years old and under. General admission applies to guests 18 and older. Adults (18-64), $8; seniors (65+), $6; kids (17 & under), free. 10am5pm. 325-4712,



ManyThanks for voting us the past 6 years:

Best Gymnastics Facility and Best Birthday Party Venue • Camps and Clinics • Parent-Tot Classes • Preschool Gymnastics (boys & girls) • Recreational Classes • Tumbling Classes (boys & girls) • Competitive Team • Youth & Adult Aerial Silks • Private Lessons • Birthday Parties • Play Group Outings • Easy online enrollment

Enroll today! 848-5308 7420 Broadway Ext., Suite A OKC, OK 73116 AAU Competitive Team Training Center (Suite F) email: Co-Owners: Sarah Blackledge Brawley Carol Blackledge Lee


Aug 7

FREE Stop, Drop and Roll Fire Safety Education at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore) features fire safety taught by a professional firefighter. Parents and children will learn how to protect against fires, what to do if there is fire and what to do if your clothing catches fire. 2-3pm. 7935100, FREE Stop, Go and Tell: a Safe Kids Program at Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) presents an age-appropriate and interactive way to teach children about personal space and boundary rules. Child must be accompanied by an adult. 3-4pm. Also held: 8/9 from 4:30-5:30pm. 979-2200, FREE Wizards Rock: Harry and the Potters at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features live music, crafts and more. All ages welcome. 6:30-8pm. 231-8650,

FREE Moore National Night Out at the Target parking lot (720 SW 19th St, Moore) features local community organizations including the library, police and fire departments and more for a communitybuilding event. Enjoy fun activities, safety demonstrations and giveaways. 7-9pm.

Aug 7 & 8

FREE VIP Monthly Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store (1901 NW Expressway). Build a LEGO snail. The mini model must be completely built in store. Registration is on a first come first serve basis and quantities are limited. 5pm. 840-9993,

Aug 8

FREE Art in the Park at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond). Enjoy art in the park and use nature and a popular children’s book as inspiration. Preregister. For ages 2-12. 10-11am. 359-4630, FREE Back-to-School: DIY School Supplies at the Norman West Library (300 Norman Center Ct, Norman). Teens and tweens can make pencil cases, earbud holders and emoji magnets. All supplies provided. Preregister. Best


suited for ages 12 & up. 2-3pm. 7012644,

Aug 9

FREE Severe Weather Science at Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman) features 4Warn Storm Team Meteorologist Emily Sutton. She will explain how severe weather forms and why Oklahoma is a bulls-eye for weather extremes. This event is limited to the first 200 people who arrive. 2-3pm. 701-2600, Canterbury Youth Voices Auditions at Oklahoma City University (2501 N Blackwelder Ave) features auditions for the 2018-2019 season. Choirs are open to singers entering grades 2-12 from all over the metro area. Auditions are kid-friendly and require no prepared materials. Preregister. 4-6pm. 2327464, FREE Stop, Drop and Roll Fire Safety Education at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features fire safety taught by a professional firefighter. Parents and children will learn how to protect against fires, what to do if there is fire and what to do if your clothing catches fire. 4:30-5:30pm. 793-5100,

Aug 9 - 12

Oklahoma City Dodgers vs Memphis Redbirds at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 Mickey Mantle Dr). $8 & up. Thursday – Saturday, 7:05pm; Sunday, 6:05pm. Also held: 8/17-19 vs Iowa, 8/21-23 vs Omaha, 8/24-27 vs Colorado Springs. 218-1000,

Aug 9 - 25

Sense and Sensibility at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park (2920 Paseo). Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel is full of humor, emotional depth and bold theatricality. $20; students, $15. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm. 235-3700,

Aug 10

FREE Enchanted Fairy Tale Forest Story Time at the Moore Library (225 S Howard Ave, Moore). Meet Belle, the Big Bad Wolf, and Humpty Dumpty and enjoy

stories, games, treats, crafts and more. Preregister. All ages welcome. 10am-noon. 793-5100, FREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) is a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6-9pm. FREE Bethany Back to School Bash at Garrison Park (6800 NW 19th St, Bethany) features a Stuff the Bus event to raise school supplies for Bethany students, food and drinks, Touch-a-Truck, movie night and more. 5-10pm. 789-2146, bethanycommunitydevelopment/ FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday of the month. 6-10pm. FREE Movie in the Park at Moore’s Central Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a screening of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Concessions available. Activities start at 7pm.; movie begins at dusk. FREE Movie Night @ the Park at the MAC Amphitheater at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features a screening of Paddington 2. Admission is free and concessions are $1. Movies begin at dark. 359-4630,

Aug 10 & 11

Museum Playdate at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features playtime for the kids, complimentary coffee for the adults and gallery activities. The program also includes museum admission so you can explore with your little one after the program ends. Members, $5; non-members, $12. 10amnoon. 278-8213, FREE Firelake Firelight Balloon Fest at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow (Heritage Parkway, Shawnee) features air balloons, amusement rides, a petting zoo, live entertainment and more. See website for a complete schedule of events. www.

Aug 10 - 12

PAW Patrol Live!: Race to the Rescue at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features Ryder, Marshall, Chase, Skye, Rubble, Rocky, Zuma and Everest in a live theater adventure to rescue Mayor Goodway. $24 & up. Friday, 6pm; Saturday, 10am & 2pm; Sunday, noon & 4pm. 602-8500,

Aug 11

FREE Will Rogers & Wiley Post Fly-in at Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch (9501 E 380 Rd, Oologah) features more than 100 small aircraft, children’s activities, a Cherokee storyteller, a classic car show, food vendors and free tours of the Will Rogers Birthplace home and Amish barn. 7:30am-1pm. 918-341-0719, will-rogers-wiley-post-fly-in Hurts Donut Run at Stars and Stripes Park (3701 S Lake Hefner Dr) features a run for all ages and abilities. This year’s theme is retro 80s. Costumes encouraged.

(405) 820-6851

Great Location near Kilpatrick Turnpike & Wilshire Blvd.

Enter the costume contest for a chance to win prizes. Freshly brewed coffee and hot donuts will be served along with other refreshments. Benefits the Multiple Sclerosis Society. $25-$35; kids (8 & under), free (does not include shirt or donut). 10am-noon. Carousel Carnival Day at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features carousel rides, carnival games and more. Free to attend, prices of attractions vary. 10am-1pm. 4457080, FREE Rush Springs Watermelon Festival at Jeff Davis Park (E Main St, Rush Springs) celebrates the watermelon harvest and includes a seed spitting contests, arts & crafts, carnivals rides, live entertainment, Watermelon Run, free watermelon and more. 9am-9pm. 580-476-3103, rushspringswatermelonfestival/ Fruit Tree Hike and Sorbet at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St)

Playground and Pool Yukon Schools



features a walk in the park to look for fruit plants and a cool down inside to make some tasty fruit sorbet. For ages 7-12. Preregister. $5. 9:30-11am. 297-1392, FREE See You Saturdays at Oklahoma Hall of Fame (1400 Classen Dr) features themed experiences and learning opportunities for families to enjoy together including crafts and guided tours. All ages welcome. 10am-5pm. 235-4485, Sprouting Chefs: Salsa Garden at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave). Families will learn how easy it is to make homemade salsa right out of the garden including a basic tomato salsa and a unique watermelon salsa. Everyone will get to taste and take home samples of each salsa creation. Best suited for ages 8-11. Preregister. Members, $12; non-members, $14. 10-11:30am. 4457080,

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Hwy 9, Norman) features local food trucks, live entertainment and local vendors. 6-11pm. 322-6000, www.

FREE The Horny Toads of Tinker AFB at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). A biologist will share about the Horny Toad research and conservation occurring at Tinker Air Force Base. All ages welcome. Preregister. 10am. 297-1429,

Oklahoma City Energy FC vs Real Monarchs SLC at Taft Stadium (2501 N May Ave). $11 & up. 7:30pm. Also held: 8/25 vs Seattle. 2355425,

FREE Summer Film Series at Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features free screenings of popular family films throughout the summer, including Moana. 1pm. 3254712, FREE Family Make + Take Art Project at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) features an art-making project inspired by works of art on view at the museum. All levels of art-making experience welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult.1-4pm. 9510000,

Neon Trees in Concert at Frontier City (11501 N. I-35 Service Rd). See website for times. 478-2140, www.

Aug 11 & 12

FREE Beats & Bites Festival at Riverwind Casino (1544 W State

To A New Children’s Consignment Sale at the Edmond Downtown Community Center (28 E Main St, Edmond) features a semiannual sale with gently-used and like-new maternity, baby and children’s items ranging from clothing, toys, furniture and accessories. Free to attend. Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 1-4pm. 514-2363,

Just about ANYTHING

can happen at the Oklahoma History Center!

Enjoy classes, special events… and much more!

(405) 522-0765 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr./OKC



Aug 12

FREE An Accordion Affair at Yukon Czech Hall (205 N Czech Hall Rd, Yukon) features a free concert with Lucas Ross as emcee. Doors open at 2pm; concert, 2:30-4:30pm. 949-0394, Chaparral Family Sundays at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features mascot meet & greets, player autograph sessions, inflatables, face painting and craft stations. Kids also get to run the bases following the game. Activities begin 30 prior to game time. $9 & up. 1:05pm. Also held 8/19 & 8/26. 218-1000,

Aug 13

FREE Howl at the Moon at Myriad Gardens Dog Park (301 W Reno Ave) features a pet-friendly social evening with food, beer, corn hole and more. For ages 21 & older. 8-10pm. 4457080,

St. Eugene Catholic School

St. John Nepomuk Catholic School

Christ the King Catholic School

PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.751.0067

PreK3 - 8th Grade Yukon, OK 405.354.2509

PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.843.3909

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School

St. James Catholic School

PreK - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.789.0224

St. Philip Neri Catholic School PreK3 - 8th Grade Midwest City, OK 405.737.4496

Rosary Catholic School

National Blue Ribbon School PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.525.9272

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School PreK3 - 8th Grade Edmond, OK 405.348.5364

Secondary College Preparatory Grades 9 - 12 Oklahoma City, OK 405.631.8865

Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Secondary College Preparatory Grades 9 - 12 Oklahoma City, OK 405.842.6638

Cristo Rey OKC Catholic High School Secondary College Preparatory Grades 9 & 10 Oklahoma City, OK 405.945.9100

PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.636.6810

Bishop John Carroll Cathedral School PreK - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.525.0956

St. Mary’s Catholic School PreK3 - 8th Grade Guthrie, OK 405.282.2071

All Saints Catholic School PreK - 8th Grade Norman, OK 405.447.4600


Aug 14

Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features songs, games and interactive fun to learn about gardens. Preregister. For ages 2-5. 10-11am. Members, $3; nonmembers, $4. Also held: 8/28. 4457080,

Aug 15

FREE Touch, Learn, Create - Farm Animals at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St). Explore and play at numerous sensory-themed activity stations. For children ages 2-6. 10-11:30am. 9792200, FREE Back to School Board Game Bonanza at the Capitol Hill Library (327 SW 27th St). Expand your critical thinking and problem solving skills with board gaming. 4:30-6:30pm. 634-6308,

Aug 16

(5600 NW 122nd St) features a camp that will engage kids in the science inquiry and engineering design processes using fun, hands-on activities with Ruff Ruffman and his friends. Preregister. For ages 12 & under. 2 & 4:30pm. 606-3580, FREE Kids Celebrate Black History at the Southwest OKC Library (2201 SW 134th St) features a story time with award-winning author, Gwendolyn Hooks, a book signing and craft. The first 30 attendees can take home a copy of her book, If You Were a Kid in the Civil Rights Movement. 4:30-5:30pm. 9792200, Third Thursdays at Oklahoma City Museum (415 Couch Dr) features musical performances, art activities, a special menu at the Museum Cafe, full bar on the Roof Terrace and access to the museum’s galleries, including special exhibitions. $5. 5-9pm. 236-3100,

FREE Ruff Ruffman’s Sensational Science Camp at the Northwest Library

FREE Escape the Library at the Warr Acres Library (5901 NW 63rd St, Warr Acres). Kids ages 12 & up can use clues and solve puzzles to see if they can escape before the time runs out. 6:308pm. 721-2616, Mysteries of the Overholser Mansion Tour at Henry Overholser Mansion (405 NW 15th St) features an afterhours tour of the mansion, the chance to examine archival materials and hear amazing stories. Preregister. $20. 7-8:30pm. 525-5325,

Aug 17

FREE Meet Me at Main at the 10 West Main Shopping Center (10 W Main St, Yukon) features live music, shopping, vendors, food trucks, face painting and children’s activities. 6-10pm. 823-2429,

Aug 17 & 18

Tag-Along Tours at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a tour designed for adults with babies

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in tow. Bring your stroller or baby carrier and join fellow art-lovers on a one hour docent-led tour of museum exhibitions. Crying babies and tired grown-ups welcome. Preregister. Members, $5; non-members, $12. 1011:15am. 278-8213,

Aug 17 – 19

FREE Oklahoma City Renovation & Landscaping Show at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features remodeling, building and landscaping experts as well as exhibits and informative seminars. Friday, 2-7pm; Saturday, 10am-7pm; Sunday, 11am5pm.

Aug 18

FREE Love OKC One Day Outreach at State Fair Park Expo Hall (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features a one day event for the community. Children and families can get food, health services, haircuts, family portraits and more, all completely free of charge (while supplies last). Volunteer opportunities available for ages 12 and up. 9am2pm. 748-0228,

FREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. 528-2122, FREE Superhero School at New World Comics (6219 N Meridian Ave) features a different amazing super hero each week and on occasion a villain or two as well. All ages welcome. 10:30am-noon. 721-7634, www. U.S.S. Batfish Living History Days at War Memorial Park (3500 Batfish Rd, Muskogee) features a living history experience onboard the U.S.S. Batfish. Visitors to this event will also enjoy guided tours by historians dressed in 1940s Naval regalia. Adults, $7; kids (714), $4; kids (6 & under), free. 10am-6pm. 918-682-6294, FREE Chat on Scat at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about the different kinds of animal poop and even how people use it. All ages welcome. 2-3pm. 297-1429,

FREE “Green Fire” – Aldo Leopold Documentary at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) features a screening of the first full-length documentary made about Aldo Leopold, one of the earliest leaders in conservation. 4pm. 297-1429, FREE Heard on Hurd Street Fest in Edmond (Broadway between 1st & Hurd, Edmond) features local food, unique shopping and live music. 6-10pm. www.

just add water.

Life is one big pool.

FREE Cat Video Festival at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a 75-minute collection of the internet’s finest cat videos as well as food trucks, live music and more. Activities, 7pm; videos, 9pm. 445-7080, TobyMac in Concert at Frontier City (11501 N I-35 Service Rd). See website for times. 478-2140, www.frontiercity. com/entertainment/concerts/

Aug 18 & 19

FREE Train Days at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman) features trains and tracks of all layouts and sizes from local train enthusiasts. All ages welcome. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 701-2600,

Aug 18 - 25

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale at State Fair Park Pavilion (3212 Wichita Walk) features gently used toys, clothes, shoes and baby supplies at bargains up to 90 percent off retail prices. Saturday, $10; Sunday, $3; no admission charged for other days. Saturday, 5-9pm; Sunday, noon-9pm; Monday, 10am-9pm; Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 10am4pm; Friday, 10am-9pm; & Saturday, 10am-2pm.

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Aug 19

Chaparral Family Sundays at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features mascot meet & greets, player autograph sessions, inflatables, face painting and craft stations. Kids also get to run the bases following the game. Activities begin 30 prior to game time. $9 & up. 5:30pm. 218-1000,



10 NW 146th St


FREE Wild World Back-to-School Carnival at People’s Church (various locations) features inflatables, pony rides, extreme animals, free snow cones for kids, food trucks and more. See website for times and locations. 775-9991, FREE Block Party at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church (1212 Bedford Dr, Nichols Hills) features homemade ice cream, hot dogs, music, bingo and other family friendly games, water games, a giant Slip-N-Slide, face painting and more. All ages welcome. 5-7pm. 842-1486,

Aug 19 – 21

Rhea Lana’s of Edmond at the Edmond Conference Center (2833 Conference Dr, Edmond) features a high-end consignment event with children’s clothes, baby items and more. See website for special discounts. Free to attend. 9am-8pm. 501-328-3941,

Aug 21

Tiny Tuesdays at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a monthly themed come-and-go, openended art-making experience geared towards children, ages 5 and under, with a parent or caregiver. No advance registration is required. Dress for a mess! Free with admission. 10amnoon. 236-3100, FREE Kerr Park Kickoff Party at Kerr Park (123 Robert S Kerr Ave) features a garland cutting ceremony with music, games and complimentary pizza for all guests while supplies last. 11am-1pm.

Aug 22

Kate Barnard Living History Program at Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr). Learn about the life and contributions of Kate Barnard, one of the most significant influencers in Oklahoma politics and the first woman to be elected to a state office in the country. Preregister. $10. 1-3pm. 522-5225,

Aug 23

FREE Homeschool Day at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features special guided tours, educational information packets,

stomp dancing, cultural demonstrations, craft activities and more. Most activities will take place outside in the Traditional Village. Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center admission applies. 10am-5pm. 580-6227130, FREE Family Game Night at The Station Recreation Center (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a variety of different games like Monopoly, card games, Ping Pong and more. No registration required. All ages welcome. 7:30-9:30pm. 7935090,

Aug 24

FREE Summer Music Series at the Wheeler Ferris Wheel (1701 S Western Ave) features live music from The Allie Lauren Project, food trucks and pop up shops. 7-11pm. 655-8455, www. FREE Fiesta Friday in Historic Capitol Hill (SW 25th between Harvey and Robinson) features hot food, cold beverages, live music, dancing, shopping and activities for kids. 7-10pm. 623-0133,

Aug 24 & 25

FREE Blanchard Bluegrass Festival at Lions Park (SW 7th St, Blanchard) features gospel and bluegrass music, workshops, jam sessions and food vendors. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm. 485-9392,

OCA Range Rodeo at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features 12 historic ranch teams as they compete in rodeo contests. The round-up benefits the Children’s Miracle Network. Adults, $15 & up; kids (6-11), $5; kids (under 5), free. 7pm. 325-4391,

Aug 25

Moore War Run at Moore High School (300 N Eastern Ave, Moore) features a 5K race benefiting students in the Moore School District. Adults, $30; students (18 & under), $15. 7:30am. Tree Climbing for Kids at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St). Learn how to climb trees with a rope and harness. All ages welcome. $12. 8-11am. 297-1392,

Caleb’s Cause Foundations’ Annual 5K at Lake Hefner Parkway (10443 N May Ave) features a superhero themed 5K and one-mile fun run. Bring a pack of diapers, any size and any brand, to be entered into a raffle. $10 & up. 8:30am. 285-9341, FREE I-Naturalist Program at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn how to use I-Naturalist, the new naturalist app for smart phones and smart tablets. All ages welcome. 9:3011am. 297-1429, FREE Amp Festival on Film Row (Sheridan Ave) celebrates art and music created by powerful women from a variety of mediums and genres. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and spend the day eating, playing and shopping while listening live music. Noon-8pm. 810-6977, Slide Outta Summer at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond) features inflatable water slides, music from a live DJ and food trucks. There will also be a sand play area for non-sliders. All ages welcome. $5/slider. Noon-4pm. 359-4630, FREE Build-A-Raptor at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about common birds of prey found within the OKC metropolis, how to identify each species, their behaviors and the features that allow them to spot, stalk and capture prey. All ages welcome. Preregister. 4-5pm. 297-1429, FREE Movie in the Park at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features an outdoor screening of Sing, food trucks and fun activities including a talent show. 6pm. 3763411,

Aug 26

Chaparral Family Sundays at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features mascot meet & greets, player autograph sessions, inflatables, face painting and craft stations. Kids also get to run the bases following the game. Activities begin 30 prior to game time. $9 & up. 5:30pm. 218-1000,





fair season is here Whether you choose to attend the iconic Oklahoma State Fair or opt for one of the smaller county fairs in the area, here are some of our top picks for fair fun in and around the Oklahoma City metro.

Aug 28 - Sept 1

Aug 22 - 25

Sept 4 - 8

FREE Murray County Free Fair at the Murray County Expo Center (3490 HWY 7 W, Sulphur) features livestock competitions, arts & crafts exhibits, a kiddie show, chicken races, horse show and more. Exhibits will be on display through Friday; horse show, Saturday. See website for complete schedule of events. 580-622-3016, oces.okstate. edu/murray/murray-county-free-fair

Aug 22 - 25

FREE Canadian County Free Fair at the Canadian County Fairgrounds (220 N Country Club Rd, El Reno) features a carnival with amusement rides and games, live entertainment on multiple stages, tractor pulls, a talent show, a pet show, tasty fair food and more. See website for a complete schedule of events. 262-0683,

Aug 23 - 25

FREE Stephens County Free Fair at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center (2002 S 13th St, Duncan) features a carnival, livestock show, rodeo, food and entertainment. Fair, free admission; rodeo: adults, $7; kids (3-12), $4. See website for a complete schedule of events. 580-467-3824, www.

Aug 25 - 26

FREE Oklahoma County Free Fair at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features a variety of contests including an ice cream eating contest, a kiddy tractor pull and an indoor carnival. Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. 713-1125,

FREE Payne County Free Fair at Payne County Expo Center (4518 Expo Circle E, Stillwater) features livestock shows, a wide variety of agricultural exhibits, a carnival, fair food, an old-fashioned horse pull and more. See website for a complete schedule of events. 377-1275,

Experience LIV IN G C ULTU RE

FREE McClain County Free Fair at the McClain County Expo Center (1715 Hardcastle Blvd., Purcell) delights visitors with an antique tractor display, arts and crafts exhibits, a kiddie tractor pull, beef and dairy show and a children’s rodeo. See website for a complete schedule of events. 229-2543, oces.okstate. edu/mcclain/mcclain-county-free-fair/

Sept 6 - 9

FREE Cleveland County Free Fair at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 E Robinson St, Norman) features carnival rides, fair food, antique tractor pull, wiener dog races, exhibits, power lifting contests and more. See website for a complete schedule of events. 360-4721,

Sept 5 - 8

FREE Pottawatomie County Free Fair at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee) features familyfriendly activities including a carnival, classic fair food, daily livestock shows, a tractor pull and rodeo events. See website for a complete schedule of events. 273-6092,

Sept 13 - 23

Oklahoma State Fair at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features delicious fair food, midway games and rides, five exhibit halls, concerts, livestock competitions and more. Adults, $12; kids (6-11), $6; kids (5 & under), free. Discount tickets available. See website for a complete schedule. 948-6700,



Visit the CHICKASAW CULTURAL CENTER to explore and learn about the unique history and vibrant culture of the Chickasaw people. Join us for exhibits, films, demonstrations, storytelling and special events at one of the largest and most extensive cultural centers in the United States. See the Te Ata exhibit and the Sculpting Cultures: Southeast and Southwest Native Pottery exhibit on display until Sept. 2. SULPHUR, OK WWW.CHICKASAWCULTURALCENTER.COM


Aug 27

Full Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a leisurely hour’s ride through Downtown and timed training runs. All ages welcome. Lights and helmet are required to participate. $5. Run, 8pm; bike ride, 8:30pm. 4457080,

Aug 28

Little Sapling Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features songs, games and interactive fun to learn about gardens. Preregister. For ages 2-5. 1011am. Members, $3; non-members, $4. 445-7080, FREE Tinkergarten Trial Class at Pat Murphy Park (4500 W Hefner Rd) features an open-ended nature exploration activity, story, songs, circle time and more. For ages 18 mos-8 years; siblings of other age are also welcome. Preregister. 1-2:15pm. 837-4014,

FREE Slime Time at the Midwest City Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City). Learn the science behind slime and make several different slime recipes to take home. Preregister. For ages 5 & up. 2-3pm. 732-4828,

Aug 30

Oklahoma State University Football vs Missiouri State University at Boone Pickens Stadium (700 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). Prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 9/8 vs South Alabama. 877-ALL-4-OSU,

Aug 30 - Sept 2

Oktoberfest at Choctaw’s Creek Park (Harper Rd, Choctaw) features German food, live entertainment for all ages, vendors, crafts and activities for children. Adults, $5; kids (under 12), free. See website for a complete schedule of events.

Aug 31 – Sept 2

Izumicon at the Reed Conference Center (5750 Will Rogers Rd, Midwest City) features a three day comic and entertainment convention with celebrities, panels, video games, table top gaming, cosplay, artist alley and more. $30-$65. See website for a complete schedule of events.

Aug 31 - Sept 3

Find a complete list of Labor Day family fun ideas at www. metrofamilymagazine. com/labor-day

Sept 1

University of Oklahoma vs Florida Atlantic University at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (1185 Asp Ave, Norman). Prices vary. 11am. Also held: 9/8 vs UCLA. 3252424,


3 x USASF World Champs! • 3 x Summit Champs! • 25 x NCA National Champs! 16 x National and 68 x State Power tumbling Champs!


Competitive & Non-Competitive Cheer & Tumbling • Birthday Parties • Cheer and Tumble Clinics & Camps

Edmond 405-775-9491 • Muskogee 918- 913-7833 Norman 405- 573-9974 • Tulsa 918-622-58673


Family Favorites

Sept 1 & 2

FREE Labor Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features stomp dance and cultural demonstrations and special activities in the living village. Saturday, 10am5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130,

Sept 3

Labor Day Let It Glow Event at Westwood Family Aquatic Center (2400 Westport Dr, Norman) features a family-friendly party with a DJ, glow products and dancing. $5; pass holders, free. 8:30-10:30pm. 447-7665, www.

Sept 7 & 8

FREE Western Days Festival at Mustang Town Center & Wild Horse Park (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a chili cook-off, best-dressed cowboy & cowgirl

contest, gospel music concert, food trucks, vendors, live entertainment, pancake breakfast, fun run, parade car show, rodeo, Guthrie Gunfighters show and more. Most events are free to attend, participation prices vary based on activity. Friday, 10am-10pm; Saturday, 6:30am-10pm. 379-2758,

Sept 8

Piedmont Founders Day in Olde Town Piedmont (Piedmont and Jackson, Piedmont) features a vintage boutique & craft sale, parade, 5K, inflatables, kids’ obstacle course, train rides, pony rides, a petting zoo and more. Free to attend. 7:30am-4pm. 373-0072,

the Kruger Brothers, four-time National Banjo Champion, Gary “Biscuit” Davis and Paul Erickson, Lance Dieckow and Johnny Baier. $20-$35. 7pm. 2972264,

Sept 8 & 9

Grandparent’s Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur) features a special celebration including discounts in the Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center, the Aachompa’ gift shops and the Aaimpa’ Cafe for grandparents. Free to attend, some admission fees apply. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-6227130,

American Banjo Museum Banjo Fest at Hudiburg Chevrolet Center (6000 Prosper Rd, Midwest City) features a diverse and entertaining lineup of banjo’s best from around the world including







ONGOING EVENTS All exhibits are free with admission unless otherwise stated. Admission to the venues is listed.

Through Aug 11

FREE Chiyoko Myose: Sojourning at Oklahoma Contemporary (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features a solo exhibition of fiber installations by Chiyoko Myose, a Japanese artist who has been living in Wichita, Kan., for the past 20 years. The works explore cultural, social, philosophical and spiritual themes. Monday-Thursday, 9am-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am-5pm. 951-000,

Through Aug 16

FREE Work, Fight, Give: American Relief Posters of WWII at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) features a wide-ranging collection of original relief posters and memorabilia that provides an exciting new window on understanding a watershed event in the nation’s history. Tuesday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Saturday, 1-4pm. 3400078,

Through Aug 19

Download our FREE, convenient app today and you’ll have easy access to MetroFamily's best family fun information. Take advantage of the "Around Us" app feature where you can find the best parks, splash pads and museums near your location, wherever you are. So handy! The app is available for download on both Apple and Android systems (search “metrofamily”).

FREE Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant Rd, Edmond) features an archaeological exhibition enabling visitors to discover the history of ancient Judah’s most famous kingprophet pairing. Items on display include nearly three dozen artifacts from the time of King Hezekiah, including the recently discovered royal seal impressions of King Hezekiah and Isaiah from the Ophel excavations, royal Judean clay vessels and weapons used during the siege of Lachish. Monday-Thursday, 10am-7pm; Friday & Sunday, 10am-5pm. 285-1010,

Through Aug 31

FREE Bricktown Beach outside the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Blvd) features a large sand-filled outdoor park area with umbrellas, lounge chairs, sand volleyball equipment and outdoor games. Open daily.

Start having more #OKCFamilyFun today!


Through Sept 2

The Art of Oklahoma at Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a selection of paintings, prints and photographs spanning 100 years and ranging in style from Impressionism and documentary photography to geometric abstraction and hyperrealism. The exhibition includes 23 works by 19 artists including Oscar Brousse Jacobson, Nellie Shepherd, David Fitzgerald and Woody Big Bow, among others. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, noon5pm. 236-3100, Decomposition: Discovering the Beauty and Magnificence of Fungi at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) showcases the amazing beauty, shapes, colors and textures of fungi—the mysterious agents behind decay, rot and mold. Adults, $15.95; kids (3-12), $12.95. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664,

Through Sept 3

FREE Guerrilla Art Park at Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom (11th & Broadway) features an outdoor exhibition of diverse works from Emma Difani, Risa Ross, Additional Awesome (Tulsa artists Alisa Inglett and Andrew Harmon), Darci Lenker and Denise Duong. Open daily. 951-000,

Through Sept 4

FREE To Build at Oklahoma Contemporary’s Showroom Showcase (1146 N. Broadway Dr.) features the work of husband-and-wife duo Shane Darwent and Elspeth Schulze. Using plywood, cinder block, fiberglass insulation, vinyl siding and blue tarp in clean, formal iterations, they carefully craft a monument to the collective desire for shelter, stability and progress. Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm; Thursday, until 7pm. 9510000,

Through Sept 7

FREE Celebration of Life Art Show at INTEGRIS Cancer Institute (5911 W Memorial Rd) features more than 200 pieces of art showcasing fiber,

Through Sept 9

FREE Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm Ave, Norman) features celebratory, mysterious, thoughtprovoking and critical two-dimensional and three-dimensional works, including abstract and experimental contemporary Chickasaw art. Tuesday- Saturday, 10am5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday,15pm. 325-4938,

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. A series of kaftans highlighting Silk Road textiles will be included, as well as a newly commissioned costume

inspired by a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, Portrait of Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé, c. 1610. Adults, $12; kids (6-18), $10; kids (5 & under), free. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 236-3100,

Through Nov 11

In the Principles Office: Tom Ryan the Art Student at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) takes visitors into the classroom with Ryan as he takes “general illustration” with famed teacher Frank Reilly. Learn the principles of art as he did. Adults, $12.50; students, $9.75; kids (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250,

Through Jan. 6

Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived at Sam Noble Museum (2401 S Chautauqua Ave, Norman) showcases both fossil and modern shark specimens as well as full-scale models from several

collections. Visitors enter a full-size sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction. Free with admission. Adults, $8; kids (4-17), $5; kids (3 & under), free. MondaySaturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712,

Opening Sept 1

American Indian Artists: 20th Century Masters at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1400 NE 63rd St) explores early artists such as the Kiowa Six, Tonita Peña, Harrison Begay and the institutions that influenced them — particularly the University of Oklahoma and the Santa Fe Indian School. Adults, $12.50; students, $9.75; kids (6-12), $5.75; kids (5 & under), free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 478-2250, Discover more museum exhibits at

Dedicated to developing safe, strong swimmers since 1991. ASK ABOUT OUR



REGISTER TODAY! 405-721-1871

8405 N. Rockwell Ave., Ste. 1 Oklahoma City, OK. 73132


©2018 Aqua-Tots Swim Schools

graphics, oil, watercolor, mixed media, photography, pottery, sculpture, writing and poetry. Artists of all ages express how their lives have been affected by cancer. Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. 773-6400,



It takes four weeks to go from egg, larva, pupa to adult.


WEEKLY EVENTS FREE Art Moves in Downtown Oklahoma City (various locations) features live art like musical and theater performances, demonstrations and short film selections. Weekdays, noon-1pm. 270-4848, FREE Preschool Story Time at the Piedmont Library (1129 Stout St NW, Piedmont) features a 30-minute program geared for 3 & 4 year olds with stories, finger-plays, music and movement. Caregivers must be present and younger children are welcome. Tuesdays, 10am. 373-9018,

And in one magic moment, a scientist is born. SEE BALANCED LEARNING IN ACTION. CALL FOR A TOUR TODAY!

Infants – Private Kindergarten & After School

Primrose School of Edmond 15000 N. Western Ave. Edmond, OK 73013 405.285.6787 Each Primrose school is a privately owned and operated franchise. Primrose Schools® and Balanced Learning® are registered trademarks of Primrose School Franchising Company. ©2017 Primrose School Franchising Company. All rights reserved. See for ‘fact’ source and curriculum detail.

Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Paint & Play (575 Enterprise Dr Ste 110) features a short story time and age appropriate craft with lots of gluing and coloring. Free with admission. Wednesdays & Thursdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584,

FREE Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) for ages 3-5. Young artists are invited to experience art through books. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272,

Sunrise Yoga at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St) features morning yoga, every Thursday this summer. All skill levels welcome. $5 per class. Thursdays, 6:30-7:30am. 297-2279,

Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno Ave) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen. $5. Tuesdays, 7pm. 231-4747,

Family Skate Night at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Admission includes basic skate rental. (Family package coupon available at www. $6. Thursdays, 7-10pm; Sundays, 6-8pm. 605-2758,

FREE Wheeler Criterium in the Wheeler District (1701 S Western Ave) features some of Oklahoma’s top flat-track riders, live music and food trucks. Tuesdays, 5-8:30pm.


FREE Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) offers free admission to guests of all ages, courtesy of the Oklahoma Ford Dealers. Wednesdays, 10am-5pm. 478-2250,

FREE Reading Wednesdays Story Time at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features a nature-themed story time and craft activity. Best suited for ages 2-5. Walkups welcome. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 445-7080, Early Explorers at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features come & go, hands-on science activities for kids ages 6 & under. No registration required. Free with admission. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 6026664, FREE Preschool Story Time at the Mabel C. Fry Public Library (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) features stories, songs, rhymes, crafts, and lots of fun for kids ages 3 to kindergarten. Wednesdays, 11:30am. 354-8232, mabel-c-fry-public-library/


FREE Mother Goose on the Loose Story Time at the Piedmont Library (1129 Stout St NW, Piedmont) features a variety of activities such as rhymes, songs, puppets and instruments to foster speech development, motor coordination, self-confidence and sensitivity to others. For ages birth to 3. Fridays, 10am. 373-9018, FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, FREE Story Time at Barnes and Noble (13800 N May Ave) features a special story time with games and occasionally costumed characters. Saturdays, 11am. 755-1155, All Star Bowling at Bronco Bowl (133 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features noncompetitive bowling for the differentlyabled, family & friends in a safe and fun environment. Ramps and bumpers are available. $3 per game bowled. Saturdays. Two start times are available: 11am or 1pm. 256-5515,

FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May Ave) features crafts for kids ages 3 & up. No reservations necessary. Saturdays, 11am-3pm. 8588778, Mommy & Me Yoga at Tot Town (841 SW 119th St) features a kid and parent friendly yoga session with a certified instructor. Kids can try poses or play during the workout. Best suited for ages 0-6 and pre- & postnatal moms are welcome too. $5. Saturdays, 10-10:30am. 650-7560, FREE Sunday Twilight Concert Series at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno Ave) features an outdoor concert on the Great Lawn. Sundays, 7:309pm.


BUILDING HEALTHY FAMILIES Family membership means family time splashing in the pool, free youth sports, free child care while parents work out, fun for the kids during Parent's Night Out and so much more.

The Y. For a better family.



Faith, Hope and Grace Morgan BY ERIN PAGE PHOTOS PROVIDED


Thirteen years ago, Edmond mom Kimberly Morgan agreed to chronicle her fitness journey for MetroFamily as she trained for the 2005 Redbud Classic. Over the course of five months, Kimberly shared her challenges, successes and realizations, and then graced our cover with daughters Faith, Hope and Grace in March 2005. The girls were just 6, 4 and 3 when they appeared on our cover, and while they don’t remember the experience, they immediately recognized the photo of the cover. Kimberly’s commitment to getting fit was evident in her articles, but nowhere does her passion and dedication shine more brightly than through her three girls, now 19, 17 and 16. All homeschooled by Kimberly, the trio has benefited from their mom’s instruction and homeschool co-ops, through which they have taken some courses and enjoyed extracurricular activities with other


homeschool students. They each speak highly of the caliber of their education, and their teacher (their mom), as well as the close-knit relationship they’ve developed with each other along the way. The Morgan sisters, entering their college senior and high school senior and junior years, share how their educational experience and parents’ support has helped them flourish.

What have been the biggest benefits to homeschooling? Faith: My Mom did a wonderful job. First, it gave me a really good education, which has helped me a lot in college now. My friends now will say, ‘I blew off courses in high school and now it’s so much harder.’ My first semester in college was, in a way, easier than high school because of how rigorous my education was growing up. You have to have a lot of self-discipline. Once a week, we’d go to a co-op, get our homework for the whole week and have to make our own schedule and figure out how to get everything done by the next week. I didn’t realize how beneficial this would be later in life. Having a classical education, heavy in reading and writing, has helped me so much in writing courses and in general. Homeschooling also instilled in me a love of learning. So even courses that are not necessarily my favorite, I’m still interested in and still want to invest the time studying and learning.

Hope: I don’t think people realize all the awesome activities that go along with homeschooling. I’m a cheerleader, there’s basketball and just about every sport possible. You have the exact same opportunities as regular schooling. The education is really good. I’m at Excel right now, the homeschool co-op, where I go once a week, alternate through classes and get assigned work for the week. Next year I’m planning to take concurrent classes as well so I can get some basic [college] classes out of the way. Grace: It’s really good for training for college. You have to plan out your own work through week to make sure it gets done. It’s fun because there are sports teams and fun activities you get to be involved in. I’ve participated in cheerleading and volleyball. I am also taking biology at Southern Nazarene University, which is great because we get to be in the lab and it’s probably my favorite subject.

What was it like growing up in a family with three girls? How has your relationship grown over the years, especially since Faith left for college? Faith: All three of us are really close, which was definitely a blessing, and part of that was being homeschooled because we were always together. And we grew up in a solid Christian

home. Being in college has changed our relationship, but we’re just as close if not closer than we were growing up. I was ready to go to college and excited to experience life away from what I’d always experienced. I never really experienced homesickness until this past Christmas break, when coming back to school was difficult. I had gotten a lot closer to [my sisters] and got to spend more time with them than during the school year. Though it wasn’t hard initially, now I see it more as they’re maturing and growing older and I’m still moving on with life in Norman. Hope: We’ve always been best friends. We do everything together. It was definitely hard when Faith went off to college because we’re super close, but we get to visit her a lot and she comes back to Edmond a lot. Grace: We’ve all been close all our lives because we’ve been with each other every day since we were homeschooled. We always support each other. Now that Faith is at college, when we get to go to lunch with her in Norman or she comes home, we really value that time that we get to see her.

What’s the most positive change you’ve seen in the metro since your family was on the cover? Faith: Every time I go back to Edmond, I feel like there are more businesses popping up. It’s more of a place people want to live and do things, and it’s growing socially and economically. Hope: There are so many more options when you want to go hang out with friends. Lots of super fun activity places have come up, like Elevation Trampoline and Main Event and that’s been a huge improvement. Grace: I think all the fun coffee shops have been a pretty recent thing. There are a lot more activities now.

What’s your favorite thing to do together? Faith: We are really outdoorsy. We loved to be outside even when we were little; that was a big part of our upbringing and has continued into our relationship now. We love four-wheeling, exploring. During the summer we go to the lake a lot, and the few times it snows we like to go sledding. Hope: Probably shopping. We go to different thrift stores and find the best bargains. Grace: We really enjoy going on bike rides at Mitch Park. Also as a family we’ve run in the relay for the OKC Memorial Marathon.

What’s your favorite place to visit in the metro? Faith: Lake Arcadia to camp or cookout. During the summer, it holds a lot of memories for me. I also love to go to coffee shops in Norman.


Hope: All of the parks. At Mitch Park, I like to go biking on the trails or play Frisbee golf. I love being outside and being active. Grace: If I want to be outside, going on bike rides. I also love ice skating at Arctic Edge.

What have been your proudest accomplishments since you were on our cover? Faith: I have been able to maintain a solid relationship with my family even after starting college. I have gotten connected to Antioch Community Church to continue to deepen my faith. I’m enjoying college a lot, but I’ve also put a lot into it. These are four years I have to grow and expand outside everything I’ve experienced in my past. It’s a launching pad between high school and the real world. Hope: About two years ago, I made NCAA all-state cheer. We had to the opportunity to cheer for a basketball game for Destiny Christian School. Grace: I’ve played volleyball for several years; I just started out at the YMCA and this summer and fall season I’m going to be joining Storm, which is more competitive.

What’s next for you? Faith: I’m studying creative media production, and with that I want to do commercial production. That’s why I chose to go to the University of Oklahoma, because it’s one of the top rated in the nation for videography. I’ve been part of Gaylord Hall Production, where we got to create a PSA for FEMA. I’ve also been part of the videography team at Lindsay + Asp, Gaylord College’s advertising agency run by students. We work with real clients to come up with campaigns. I’m just trying to gain experience in a lot of different places. Hope: I love math and science, and I’m interested in the medical field. I went to a forensic, CSI-type camp at the University of Central Oklahoma and it was very informative, so I’m definitely interested in something like that. Grace: I’m considering engineering but I’m not quite sure yet.





SCOUT Cathy Ferguson competed in the 1964 Olympic Games in Japan. She received a Gold Medal for the Women’s 100-meter backstroke and another gold as a member of the first-place US team in the women’s 4x100-meter medley relay. She was inducted into the international swimming hall of fame as an “Honor Swimmer” in 1978.




What’s it Like to be a Surrogate Mom?



LaDonna Woodmansee remembers all she ever wanted to be growing up was a mom. “I have videos of me when I was little singing ‘One’s On The Way’ with a pillow stuffed under my shirt,” she said. “I just love kids.” And it’s a good thing she loves being pregnant, too, since she has spent many years in that state. After having three kids of her own and becoming a stepmom to two more, Woodmansee stumbled upon surrogacy. She and her husband married in 2002. Although they both had children from previous marriages, the couple wanted to have a child together. But after no success in reversing her husband’s vasectomy, the couple realized they were really blessed to have five children and perhaps they didn’t need more. But then Woodmansee met a surrogate mom. “I told my husband I thought that sounded like fun,” she said, “and he thought I was crazy.” She wasn’t entirely sold on the idea, she said, until she met someone who really needed her. “When you meet someone and you realize the


gift you could give them,” she said, “it really touches you.” Since 2006 she’s had four successful surrogate pregnancies, one of them with a set of twins. Alexis is 11, Kyla and Lucas are 8, Addison is 7 and Anna is 1. They play a special part in Woodmansee’s family, which consists of her own children: 20-year-old Kyrsten, 18-year-old Trenton, 16-year-old Sheridyn and step children 24-year-old Taylor and 21-year-old Brandon. To Woodmansee, surrogacy was the ideal way to help other people and fulfill her dream of having a lot of children. But that doesn’t mean everyone else around her always understood it. Her unique pregnancies could be difficult to explain to coworkers, friends and strangers. But Woodmansee said she always got a kick out of listening to her kids explain the situation to other people. “My kids always explained it better than I could,” she said. “People would ask them if they were having a brother or a sister and they’d jump in and tell them that their mom has a friend with a broken tummy and we’re

helping them have a baby.” Her husband got a kick out of it, too, she said, and enjoyed jokingly responding to congratulations from strangers with, “Thanks but it’s not mine.” Woodmansee works in hotel management and said her job has always been understanding of her role as a surrogate. Still, she’s found it difficult at times to jump back into work and routines after delivery. “You don’t have a baby at home, but you’re definitely still recovering,” she said. “It’s always a little bit of a transition.” People have questioned her motives at times, she said, but she believes seeing the end result explains everything. “My Mom and Dad were always worried about it because they were worried about my health,” she said. “I will never forget the first time my Dad saw the couple with their baby, though. He finally got it.” Her parents were not totally off-base to worry about her health. Although every baby she delivered was healthy, she said

Does Your Child

Have Autism? delivering the twins was traumatizing and carried dangerous complications for her and she really thought she might be done with surrogacy after that.

hospital after delivering her first surrogate baby, she recalled saying ‘Okay, when can I do this again?’”

But surprisingly, Dr. Andrea Miller, the OBGYN who treated Woodmansee throughout her pregnancy with the twins, approached her after the delivery to see if she would be her surrogate.

Now that the 40-year-old is done with surrogacy, Woodmansee is looking for other ways to help people. She’s signed up to be a bone marrow donor, she said, and is still trying to convince her husband she needs to donate her liver.

Giving someone the gift of family is a great feeling, Woodmansee said, one that’s addictive, even. Before she even left the

“There’s just nothing like that feeling of giving someone such an amazing gift,” she said. “It’s a high I just can’t explain.”

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What’s it like to be on the other side of surrogacy?


Two of the moms who used LaDonna as their surrogate discuss their experience. Alyson Schultz is originally from Tulsa but now lives in New York. After having her son (who’s now 15), Alyson discovered she had an autoimmune disease that wouldn’t allow her to have more children. She set out on a search for a surrogate. She hired a lawyer to help connect her with potential moms but wasn’t having any luck, she said. “Every woman we talked to seemed to have more health problems than I even had,” she said. “You really have to trust the person but none of these people were right.” She and her husband decided to search online and found LaDonna’s Facebook group. “She seemed perfect before I even talked to her,” Alyson said. “We had an instant connection. My husband and I flew out to meet her. She’d never even had a successful pregnancy for anyone else at the time. She had tried once and failed. But I liked her so much I decided to take the risk.” LaDonna traveled to New York for the procedure to become pregnant with the Schultz’s baby and it worked. Alyson said she was so busy being excited about having a daughter that she never thought much about any downside to surrogacy. Her daughter, Alexis, is 11 now. They waited until a couple years ago to tell her about LaDonna.

“I didn’t want her to be jealous that her brother was actually carried by me and that she was not,” Alyson said. “But when I told her she understood it. I felt like we took this chance and that was the big, interesting part of this story. We were her first one.” Given her heart defects, Nicole Herron knew getting pregnant was a bad idea. But she and her husband Nathan wanted to be parents, so they started researching their options. She found a group online called TOSS (Texas and Oklahoma Surrogacy Support) and after meeting several local surrogates she decided surrogacy was the right route for their family. She met Woodmansee in the TOSS group and the two became friends. “It’s difficult to hand over that kind of experience to someone else,” she said of selecting Woodmansee, who they used as their surrogate and much to their surprise the transfer resulted in twins. “I need to trust her like a sister. I didn’t want to go through this with someone I would never see again. I wanted her to stay a part of our lives.” Woodmansee has indeed continued to be part of the Herron’s lives as well as all the families she’s helped. In fact, her dream of being a mom has come true in ways she never could have imagined before becoming a surrogate. She can’t wait to watch all her children —her own and those she carried for others —grow up.



OKC’S 1st Annual

AND COMEDY SHOW stay updated

After-School Activities Guide The benefits of children participating in extracurricular activities have been well documented for years. Studies show that kids engaged in sports, the arts, leadership organizations and more typically improve their social, creative, academic, organizational and goalsetting skills, not to mention the boost in a child’s self-esteem as they learn and master new skills. Here are some great after-school activity options for you and your kids to consider this year. In addition to this guide, you will find a searchable guide to these activities and many other family resources at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/everything-guide.

Aqua-Tots Swim School

Cadence Equestrian

Offers indoor, year round swimming lessons for kids ages 4 months and up including parent/tot and advance technique. Incorporating selfsave, learn-to-swim strategies and more. Class size is capped at four students ensuring maximum swim time in each lesson and parents are provided individualized feedback after each lesson.

Cadence Equestrian offers year-round horseback riding lessons for children. Enroll anytime by calling or visiting the website. For ages 5 and up.

8405 N Rockwell Ave, Ste 1-4 405-721-1871

Artsy Learning Center

1215 36th Ave NW, Norman 405-343-4064 Art instruction focusing on famous artists’ work and creating art similar to theirs, with a new artist featured each week. Many types of mediums taught including drawing, painting, clay, collage and more. For ages 7-12. Fall & Spring sessions hosted weekly on Mondays, 3:30-4:30pm, from Oct. 12-Nov. 30 and Feb. 1-Mar. 15. $200/session.

Artsy Rose

7739 W Hefner Rd 405-603-8550 Offering an assortment of art activities for all ages with the belief that everyone should celebrate their creativity, originality and imagination through the wonderful world of art. Art camps, craft classes and lessons using a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpting and more.


14150 S Pine St, Edmond 405-348-7469

Classical Ballet School

12008 N Virginia Ave 405-755-5540 Offering ages 3-7 an imaginative ballet education through a magical story-based environment. Fall classes focus on “Enchanted Forest” theme. Instruction in classical ballet technique offered for ages 8 and up.

Community Dance Center of Oklahoma City University 2501 N Blackwelder 405-208-5508

Classes for all ages in a variety of styles taught by qualified teachers with convenient class times. There is no charge to participate in the end of year showcase, costumes are provided and admission is free. The center offers dance education to all children in a safe and fun environment. $10-$45/ month. Scholarships are available. Now enrolling for classes that begin after Labor Day. Ages 3-adult.


The Dance Department

1110 S Air Depot Boulevard, #11, Midwest City 405-673-1813 Offering ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop and creative movement lessons for dancers ages 3-18, both competitive and recreational companies. Enrollment is Aug. 2 from 4-9pm. Classes start week of Aug. 20.

Edmond Fine Arts Institute 27 E Edwards St, Edmond 405-340-4481

Offers a variety of kid and adult classes and camps taught by trained and professional artists. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

Edmond Parks & Recreation

After-School Programming 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630 Edmond Parks and Recreation offers after-school programming for ages 8-17 that includes activities such as theatre, archery, outdoor living, the arts and more. Classes are offered weekly September through November and continue in the spring. Call to enroll. Programs range from $5-$40.

Edmond Parks & Recreation

Extracurricular Classes & Camps 2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630 Edmond Parks and Recreation offers an array of classes for ages 2 through adults including social painting, dance, theatre, arts and crafts, sewing, science, fitness, self-defense and photography. Weekly classes are hosted all year and camps are held during Fall Break, Spring Break and summer. Class prices range from free to $40; camps range up to $240. Call to enroll.

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma 6100 N Robinson 405-528-4475

Gives girls the opportunity to take the lead. They become go-getters, innovators, risk-takers; they become leaders. Girls begin to identify and solve problems in their community, discover STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and develop a love for the outdoors. Offered throughout the academic year. Visit to enroll; grades K-12; annual membership fee is $25.

Goldfish Swim School 10 NW 146th St, Edmond 405-696-7500

Year-round swim lessons for ages 4 months to 12 years. The Perpetual Lessons model lets you choose a lesson time that fits the family’s

schedule and allows month-to-month payment. Low student-toteacher ratio ensures a safe, fun environment.

Lyric’s Thelma Gaylord Academy 1727 NW 16th St 405-524-9310

Offers musical theatre education, productions and private lessons that begin any time. Instruction is catered to ages 3-18 and prices range from $25-$450. Enroll online or by calling.

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5605

The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art’s After School Art Classes offer a unique environment for learning and creativity. Each semester, the museum offers several five-week fine art and theater classes; the sessions culminate with student art exhibits and performances. Enrollment opens Aug. 1. Discounts and scholarships available. Ages 7-18. $80 per five-week session with supplies included. EPIC vendor.

Metro Gymnastics

7420 N Broadway Ste A 405-848-5308 In its 37th year, Metro Gymnastics offers innovative gymnastics classes for walking toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children as well as a competitive team. Instructors work hard to make sure each child feels successful, providing an organized and clearlyoutlined curriculum with monthly lesson plans and creative themes. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

Oklahoma City Ballet Yvonne Chouteau School 6800 N Classen Blvd 405-843-9898

The official school of Oklahoma City Ballet and Oklahoma’s only American Ballet Theatre® Certified School. Classes for students ranging from age three to adult and from beginner to advanced in a disciplined yet nurturing environment. Instructors are certified in the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum, which embraces sound movement principles and incorporates the best of the French, Italian and Russian training methods. Classes offered include Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Pointe, Men’s Technique, Modern, Character, Jazz, Adult Ballet, Yoga and Zumba.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr 405-236-3100

The museum exists to connect visitors with art, each other and the world. Experiences are designed for all ages and many are free with admission. Most classes and programs include visits to the galleries to find inspiration from exhibitions on view. Professional teaching artists facilitate all offerings.




Oklahoma Swim Academy Key Fit Club in Edmond & Lighthouse Fitness Center 405-509-5415

Individualized instruction offered yearround ranging from infant swim survival lessons to adult lessons following the pace and schedule of students. With a tagline of “Swim with Purpose,” they help teach infants and toddlers to rescue themselves if they fall into a pool.




When kids eat healthy, they feel stronger, have more energy and focus better in school. The best way to start eating better? Fill half their plates with fruits and veggies at every meal!

IT’S A SUPER IDEA. Find tons of tasty, healthy recipes at

Oklahoma Youth Literacy Program 3663 North Lottie Ave 405-822-9900

Programs that get kids excited about literacy in addition to tutoring, homework assistance, free meals, life enrichment and life skills. Transportation fee from surrounding areas $25 per week. Registration fee is $25. Offered Monday-Friday 2:30-5:30 p.m. For PreK-12th grade. Aug. 20-May 24.

Oops I Arted

15200 Traditions Blvd, Bldg A, Ste. 2, Edmond 405-476-9211 Offers art classes for all ages. Create masterpieces in clay, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media and other child-friendly mediums. Offers classes in cardboard weaving, cardboard sculpture and a multitude of other creative and fun endeavors. Centrally located in Traditions Business Centre and easily accessible to Edmond, OKC and surrounding areas. After School classes begin Aug. 24. See the website for class schedule and to enroll.

Reclaiming Arts

312 South Coltrane, Edmond 405-435-4255



Offers a wide variety of classes in dance, aerial, voice, theatre and instrument for all ages and levels including recreational and professional training. Teachers are passionate about providing excellent training and an atmosphere that inspires their students to succeed. Their mission is to glorify God through ALL forms of art. Reclaiming Arts has a 150 seat theatre in studio, which is perfect for their parent previews and studio experiences. Classes are for ages 2 and up and cost $35/week. Held from Aug. 20-May 24. METROFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM / AUGUST 2018


Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Twist & Shout Training Center

Offers a variety of activities for kids of all ages. Join Spike’s Club and explore the natural world through its animals and environments. Or, experience the hands-on, immersive exhibits on Free First Mondays for Kids, which offers complimentary admission to the museum for anyone age 17 and under. Registration for Fall programs is now open at For a full list of upcoming events, visit Registration cost varies per event. Discounts are available for museum members.

Offers competitive and non-competitive tumbling and cheerleading for ages 4 and up. Many of their competitive teams have won national awards. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

SoccerCity of Oklahoma City

Unpluggits Paint & Play offers paint-and-take crafts, paint-your-own pottery, after-school clay workshops and ceramic painting as well as a playground open weekdays until 6 p.m. or later. Walk in Paint & Play (for ages 2-10) includes easel painting, play-dough and time to play on the playground. Visit online calendar to see after-school clay workshops (for ages 5 and up). $8 for drop-in activities, $25-$45 for clay workshops.

2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 405-325-4712

4520 Old Farm Rd, Oklahoma City 405-748-3888

Offers Lil Kickers for toddlers through age 9 all year long (next session starts Aug. 13), leagues for all ages, tournaments, camps during all school breaks, clinics and provides training times for soccer and other indoor sports. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

Studio J School of Dance 420 S Santa Fe Ave, Edmond 405-348-3377

Offers students of all ages and abilities the opportunity for self expression and faith through dance. Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical contemporary and clogging classes taught my instructors with a combined 85 years of experience. Classes hosted September through May and summer programs available. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

The Studio of The Sooner Theatre 110 E. Main St, Norman 405-321-9600

The Studio of The Sooner Theatre offers performing arts classes in musical theatre, acting, dance technique (ballet/jazz, tap, hip-hop), singing, magic and more. Enrollment event offered Aug. 7 for current students and Aug. 8 for new and/or current students. May also enroll by phone. For ages 3-18. $360-$510/year.

To The Beat Academy

Toddler & Me Music Makers Class 7700 N Council Rd (The Gate Church gym) 405-728-7700 Offers a music class for toddlers (18 months to 4 years) and a parent, introducing children to music and rhythm. Classes incorporate interactive songs and activities that introduce and utilize dance, pitch, storytelling and musical games. Eight week session starts Sept. 11 and will be held Tuesdays from 10:15-11:15 a.m. Cost is $80 for one child; $50 for an additional child. Call to enroll.


Edmond and Norman locations Edmond: 405-775-9491 Norman: 405-573-9974

Unpluggits Paint & Play

575 Enterprise Dr, Ste 110, Edmond 405-340-7584

Upward Sports at New Covenant United Methodist 2700 S Boulevard, Edmond 405-562-3200

Offers basketball (Kindergarten to high school) and cheer instruction (Kindergarten to 8th grade). Season starts in November with final games at the end of February. Upward Sports is an established program that promotes developing the total athlete mentally, athletically, spiritually and socially. It is a Christ-focused sports league that helps children discover Christ through sports.

Velocity Dance Center

11122 N. Rockwell Ave., #11 405-721-8807 Velocity’s teachers aim to spark a love of dance in every child. Their special events foster community and friendship for the dancers and their parents. A variety of age-appropriate classes in ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop for ages 2 to 18 are offered, and their Leap N Learn curriculum was specifically designed for young dancers. Their free Discover Dance Days on Aug. 4 or 11 are a great way to try out a variety of dance styles to see what is a good fit for your child (sign up for this event at their website). Their Open House for enrollees on Aug. 12, 12-3 p.m. provides the opportunity to visit the facility, get free swag and more. Fall classes begin on Aug. 20; costs start at $43/ month. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City Multiple locations

Swim programs, soccer, martial arts, baseball, football, volleyball and more offered at multiple YMCA branches, all designed to provide skill instruction, youth development, healthy living and social responsibility through a supportive environment. A MetroFamily Family Favorite honoree.



LYRIC ACADEMY FALL PROGRAMS Productions        Classes         Lessons         Camps

Fall musical production, ages 7-18:

PLUS weekly classes for all ages including: musical theatre,  dance, acting PreK creative drama and much more! Scholarships available for all camps and classes   405/524-9310

After-School Activities For more after-school activities and dozens of other family resources, check out our searchable online guides.

“I am so glad my child gets to experience the magic of ballet while also being supported in her growth as a dancer and a person.”         ~ Jessie M.  Jo Rowan, Dance Dept. Chair

Now Enrolling! Dance classes for all ages!

Community Dance Center Hip Hop Imagine  a place where...

Creative Movement


Tap Ballet

friendships BLOSSOM and         laughter becomes a DANCE

Trained Instructors

                  where eyes shine BRIGHTLY                               and curiosity SOARS

ENCHANTED FOREST Imaginative ballet education for boys & girls ages 3 - 6



Classes Begin Aug 6

Scholarships Available

Small Class Sizes No-Hassle Spring Performance

Community Dance Center

405.208.5508 |

The Dance Department

Learn. Create. Inspire. Create masterpieces in clay, acrylics, watercolor, mixed media and other child friendly mediums. Enroll Now for After School Art Class Beginning August 24th, 4-5:30 pm.


Tap  Jazz  Ballet Modern  HipHop  Adult Tap

Classes start August 20th. Enroll online after July 2nd. Enroll at the studio August 2nd from 4-8. For all ages. Please call for more information.


oops i arted


15200 Traditions Blvd, Bldg A Ste.2 Edmond

Visit for more information

Discover Dance Days FREE

ENROLL BEGINNING AUGUST 7! Audition and Non-audition classes for grades pre-K-12

AUGUST 4 & 11

Save your space at Welcoming Environment Live Stream Monitors to view your child's progress

Musical Theatre Productions Acting • Musical Theatre Theatre Dance Technique Tap • Hip Hop • Magic Private Voice & Guitar and more! • (405) 321-9600

CREATING QUALITY ART for a Higher Purpose

24/7 Easy Online Enrollment Hassle Free Recital

Classes for ages 2 and up

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop Offering a wide variety of classes in dance, aerial, theatre, and music for all ages and levels. 11122 N Rockwell Ave Ste A-11 OKC

Enroll Now! Classes begin August 20th




Local Teacher Wisdom BY HANNAH SCHMITT

Back-to-school season can be as challenging as it is exciting. Kids and parents alike can have a difficult time getting into the swing of school. We asked some local teachers from a variety of grade levels to give us their best advice for our readers. The most important thing families can do to be ready not just for this school year, but for lifelong learning, is to create a culture of learning in their homes. To do this, parents can promote curiosity and questioning by talking about shared interests and what their kids wonder. They can create a culture of reading by devoting family time to reading and discussing what they have read. Parents can encourage their kids to be problem solvers and to understand that all people face challenges, but it is what we do when challenged that defines us. This powerful message can be shared in simple ways, like while building with blocks, learning a craft or baking together. When families create a culture of learning in their homes, kids will be eager to go to school and come home not just to tell parents how their day went, but what they loved about their day, and what they can do to extend that learning together. Teresa Lansford MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) has been a teacher for 14 years. She’s the Norman Public Schools 2018 Teacher of the Year and currently the teacher librarian at Lincoln Elementary School. –––––––––––––––––– The number one thing that parents can do to support their kids and their teachers is to simply talk to their students about school. Ask them what they’re learning about, what they did in their classes and if there is anything they would like to learn about more at home. Don’t ask yes or no


questions because your conversation will be over before it starts! If your student does open up about something they want to learn more about, get excited and get started! We are lucky enough to have wonderful resources through our school districts, public library systems and local colleges that can help any kid pursue their interests outside of the school day. Foster their love of learning at home and they will come to school ready to do work, ask questions and make new things! Also, encourage your kids to read at least 30 minutes every night. This would be a great family activity and data shows that reading for pleasure can increase comprehension skills. Reach out to teachers or librarians for good book recommendations for your kids! Jessica Eschbach is Norman’s Alcott Middle School 2017/2018 Teacher of the Year. She’s been a teacher for five years and will be the teacher librarian at Kennedy Elementary in Norman this year. –––––––––––––––––– Leading up to the first day of school, talk often about what to expect. Kids going to school for the first time benefit from frequent conversations and pretend play around school. Create a goodbye ritual that will make drop-off easier and will reinforce with your child what to expect next. Give children some say in what happens by letting them pick out their clothes or the food they will pack in their lunch. Another handy thing to do for teachers is to provide them directly with your contact

information. Of course the office has it, but giving it to the teacher at the beginning of the year ensures they have immediate access to it if they need it. Remember, your child picks up on your vibes. So stay calm and confident at drop-off and they will feel calm and confident, too. Cherry Mays has been teaching PreK for 17 years. She currently teaches at Cesar Chavez Elementary. –––––––––––––––––– My advice to parents would be to read with their child. I can’t overemphasize the benefits of this simple act. Every night would be great but I realize life is busy so strive for four to five nights a week, 15-20 minutes each night. A consistent reading habit will reap huge rewards for kids. Pick a book that you can take turns reading. The goal is for the student to hear the parent reading aloud using it as a model... students will learn how to read from their parents’ example. Do not use this time as a reading lesson.... if your child doesn’t know a word, just pronounce it for them. This time should be enjoyable reinforcing that learning and reading can be fun! If you are looking for a book to start with, I highly recommend “Land of Stories” by Chris Colfer. DeAnni Tate is a 15-year teaching veteran. She currently teaches fourth grade at Deer Creek Elementary ––––––––––––––––––

It’s really important for parents to be supportive. Teachers like to address any issues they see from the very beginning of the year. So if you get a call from your teacher about a potential problem, just be as supportive as you can be to make sure your child has a successful year in the classroom. Tamara Moore has been teaching for more than 20 years. She currently teaches fifth grade at Midwest City Elementary. –––––––––––––––––– My advice to parents is don’t be a stranger. I love it when parents come visit my classroom whether it be at the beginning of the school year or throughout the school year. My students see me because they need a different way of learning and having open communication at home helps build a team for student success. One strategy I recommend to enhance learning is to try different available apps, whether it is to record a student reading to themselves, to make a stop motion movie, or to use augmented reality for math. You can always scroll through the top educational apps on iTunes; there is always something fun to discover! Hannah Wahpepah-Harris just completed her first year teaching Special Education in Norman and currently works with fourth and fifth graders at Roosevelt Elementary. She’s the 2017-18 District Rookie Teacher of the Year. –––––––––––––––––– I wish that reading would be continuous throughout the year. Volunteer to go read through public reading programs, go to the library and join the free reading programs. If you stop reading throughout the summer, we generally have about six weeks of catch-up to do when we start school. I see during the summer and all the school breaks that if reading is continuous the students just perform better. Sadoka Chandler, sixth grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School. She’s been a teacher for 13 years. –––––––––––––––––– Sit down and encourage your kids on the benefits and behaviors that are appropriate at school. If parents help their kids understand that school is an

opportunity to learn and grow and discuss the impact it will have on their life, then teachers can get right into teaching. It’s also extremely important for parents to read with their children. The parents in my community don’t have much time, but this is so important to do for 20 minutes a day. Also, if your child wears a uniform to school, don’t forget to find another way to help them express themselves. Let them choose their shoes or hairstyles (as long as they’re not distracting) so they can build some individuality into their uniform. Karen Hairston, a seven-year teaching veteran who currently teaches sixth grade at Greystone Elementary. –––––––––––––––––– A motto I live by and remind my students of is...learning is messy, learning takes time and when you put in hard work it is the most rewarding feeling. Our society leans too much on being “perfect” which is a difficult ideal to meet. When we focus more on retaining and truly understanding what is taught, and less on “how can I get a 100,” more meaningful learning will occur. Ashley Mackey has been a teacher for almost seven years. She currently teaches eighth grade U.S. History at Deer Creek. –––––––––––––––––– Homework is meant to be a meaningful time for children to practice or extend skills outside the classroom. The idea of homework is to allow students an independent experience with skills learned in the classroom. In case you were wondering, no teacher sits at their desk thinking up meaningless tasks or ways to make children (or parents for that matter) dislike learning. From a teacher’s perspective, we struggle with whether to assign homework or not. We weigh the pros and cons. We consider our lowest achieving students and the resources they have available to them. Many teachers continue to assign homework, because it’s what they’ve always done. And many more choose to omit homework to allow kids to experience “childhood” and spend time with their families. How can parents avoid the dread that often comes with homework? First, recognize that your child’s teacher is not sitting behind her desk plotting to ruin your life. Their teacher has some very valid reasons for assigning homework,



and your child will likely benefit from the extra practice or extension. Make it meaningful and as enjoyable as possible for both you and your child. Second, set up a homework routine according to your family schedule and the homework requirements. Designate a space, set aside a quiet time, and create a dialogue with your child. Third, be available for questions or clarifications, and stay calm if you don’t know the answers! It is ok for your child to see you struggle with a concept, too. Working through the problem together is an invaluable skill. Fourth, communicate! Communicate with your child, your child’s teacher and other parents. Communicate your concerns, questions and frustrations. Finally, don’t give up! Don’t let your child see you quit. This is also a skill, but it is one that is most difficult to overcome, and it almost guarantees failure for your child. Paige Kelpine has spent 14 years as a teacher and is currently an eighth grade science teacher at Carl Albert Middle School. –––––––––––––––––– One tip I have was reiterated for me when I attended my own daughter’s fifth grade Open House and that is that kids must learn to be their own advocates. As parents we often want to “save” our kids and fight their battles for them; however, when students acquire the skills to inquire, ask questions and seek clarification themselves, they learn valuable life lessons. So, before I contact my own children’s teachers, I ask myself if I really need to be the one addressing whatever the issue is with the teacher, or are my girls learning more about independence and communication by speaking up themselves. Of course, there are times a quick email is all it takes to gain insight into a situation, but I joke with my students that their parents won’t be going to their jobs or college with them to complete their tasks and talk to their bosses or professors; thus, the earlier students learn to seek understanding on their own, the better prepared they will be for adulthood. Dionne Wright Liebl teaches ninth and tenth grade English at Deer Creek High School. She’s been a teacher for 18 years. ––––––––––––––––––


Making education a family’s priority: Attend school. Sending children to school every day is the most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to support their student’s education. This shows students that education is a priority. To minimize the disruption of a necessary absence, parents can buy a large desk calendar that lives on the refrigerator. Then have everyone write all school vacations, doctor’s appointments, family events, field trips, school project deadlines and test dates on it. If students are old enough, they can do this themselves and if they are just learning to read and write, have them do it with their parent on a sticky note. The visual reminder of things to come will keep everyone on the same page and keep parents from scheduling something when there is a big test or project due! Encourage students to use their resources. If students have to miss school due to an illness or unforeseen event or are even struggling with an assignment or homework, parents should encourage them to utilize their resources. I always tell my students resources can be in the form of Google classroom, websites, YouTube, classmates, parents and of course their teacher. So before anxiety sets in, parents should ask, “Have you used your resources to solve your problem?” Tracy Bates has been teaching English II to sophomores at Norman North High School for the past six years and is the 2018 Teacher of the Year at Norman North.

–––––––––––––––––– Parents love their children more than anyone else on planet Earth! True fact. Who else loves children? Teachers. Also true fact. As educators, one of the most important, most necessary ways we love our students is to hold students responsible for their own learning. So, parents, a helpful piece of advice as we shop for supplies, pack those backpacks and sign all the back-to-school forms: encourage and do everything you can to ensure your children advocate for themselves in the classroom. Self-advocacy looks different among grade levels, but all children have a voice and can work toward ensuring they understand instruction, understand their grades and understand how to solve problems when they don’t quite grasp what happens in the classroom. Whether it be the first grader asking his teacher to repeat instructions, or the fifth grader asking her teacher why she missed points on an assignment she felt she excelled with, or a senior scheduling time to improve his government grade, all students should be their own first advocate. Parents help teachers who help students who make parents and themselves happy. It’s a beautiful cycle! Gena Beeson, NBCT, has been a teacher for 23 years and is currently the Deer Creek District Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches Pre-AP English II, English IV and Reading for Fun Deer Creek High School.

Picture your child on MetroFamily’s cover! We’re looking for local kids ages 2-12 with big smiles and bright personalities to grace our upcoming covers in 2019. It’s easy to enter: Registration runs from August 13 to September 21. Register online for our Cover Kids Search program and pay $25 for one entry or $50 total for up to five entries. All families who enter the contest will be required to attend an exclusive and fun Cover Kids Search Party to be hosted from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Park House Event Center of Myriad Botanical Gardens. PLUS, if you are one of the first 100 to enter, your family will receive a goody bag at the event that is FULL of great surprises and FREE admission to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory on the day of the event! For more details (and to start registering on August 13), go to coverkidssearch

Thank you to our sponsors, Myriad Botanical Gardens and Foto Arts Photography (winner of our Family Favorites award for best local photographer).




Since ancient times, the nighttime sky has offered a sense of wonder and a mystical glimpse into what lies beyond our planet. Twinkling stars, faraway planets and other celestial objects dance their way across the sky in a captivating light show, offering families a front row seat to a spectacular sight that doesn’t require expensive equipment to enjoy!



“Astronomy is one of the most accessible of the sciences. It’s right overhead every day,” said Mike Brake, the observing and outreach coordinator with the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club. “All you really have to do is get away from city lights and look up.” While there are many complex and far away features, the moon is a great place to start your stargazing journey. You can learn about the moon’s cycle, how it got all the craters and about the people who have walked on the moon and how they got there.

With the naked eye, you can see stars, planets, meteors, satellites and more. With as little as a good pair of binoculars, nebulas and galaxies become visible. “The main idea is to learn what’s up there,” Brake said. “There are dozens of sky maps available to help you find planets, major constellations and more. This fall, Saturn and Mars will be well placed in the evening sky.” As your interest and experiences expand, so can your tools. Since there is a wide variety of technologies potentially available, Brake recommends starting small and giving yourself time to master the equipment.

“Complex, computer-controlled telescopes can be programmed to give you a tour of the night sky,” said Tom Arnold, director of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma. “It is a wonderful way to experience the night sky, but it is important to understand what really interests you as that should shape what you buy.”

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It is also important to keep your expectations realistic, Brake said. “Your telescope isn’t going to look like something taken by the Hubble telescope. That light could have been traveling for 40 million years to get here! And stay away from department store telescopes,” Brake added. “They are typically made of plastic and are frankly just toys.” Expect quality equipment to cost around $200, Brake said. In fact, one of the largest telescope dealers in the U.S. is located right here in the metro, a family-owned business in Norman called Astronomics. Books, websites and apps can help your family learn, but nothing quite replaces a hands-on experience. Weather permitting, on the first Friday of each month, the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club sets up their telescopes at Paseo’s First Friday Gallery Walk. Their Sidewalk Astronomy events are a great time to ask questions and learn from experienced astronomers. The club also operates an observatory in western Oklahoma called Cheddar Ranch. The observatory is equipped with a 14inch telescope and a brand new 30-inch telescope, which is the largest public access telescope in the state. “The observatory is open to club members but visitors are welcome,” Brake said. “Families can get in touch with our club via our website or Facebook page. Anyone is welcome to join our club as well.” In addition to Cheddar Ranch, Oklahoma has plenty of remote locations perfect for stargazing.

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Black Mesa State Park

In the far, most-western part of Oklahoma’s panhandle, Black Mesa State Park’s remote location leaves the city lights far behind, serving up some of the darkest skies around. Well-known for its star clarity, the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club collaborates with other clubs in Texas to host the annual Okie-Tex Star Party, Oct. 6-14. Pitch a tent and enjoy the night sky in a whole new way. Black Mesa is also a fantastic place to view the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, which peaks in early August, as the earth passes through the debris left by the Comet Swift-Tuttle.

Osage Hills State Park

The lush forest and serene waters of Osage Hills State Park in northeast Oklahoma offer visitors a nightcap of unspoiled views. The small towns that surround the park provide easy access to modern conveniences without all the light pollution to get in your way.

Roman Nose State Park

One of the seven original state parks in Oklahoma and located near Watonga in

Planetarium at Science Museum Oklahoma and James E. Bertelsmeyer Planetarium at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum offer a climate-controlled way to explore the stars.

northwest Oklahoma, Roman Nose State Park is a popular family destination, offering amazing views of the gypsum rock cliffs, natural springs, exciting hikes and a variety of places to drop a fishing line. But, the excitement doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. The area’s dark skies usher in a beautiful nighttime show.

What you need:

Alabaster Caverns State Park

While Alabaster Caverns, also located in northwest Oklahoma near Woodward and Waynoka, is known for large gypsum caves, bats and spelunking, this remote park won’t disappoint after the sun goes down. Be on the lookout for bats and more, as you enjoy some of Oklahoma’s remote skies.

Little Sahara State Park

Since remote is what any stargazer is looking for, Little Sahara State Park Park near Waynoka certainly fits the bill. The acres of sand dunes glisten in the moonlight. If adventuring into the wilderness isn’t for your family, Oklahoma is also home to two indoor planetariums. The Kirkpatrick

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• A blanket for comfort • A red-filtered flashlight to preserve your night vision (DIY options are available.) • A laser pointer to help orient children with the sky • A star map or app for navigation and identification • A step stool for telescope viewing (Kids are short and that can cause challenges when viewing through a telescope, Brake advised.)

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Keep the stargazing fun going at home by checking out one of these star-studded books at your local library. Titles are recommended by Piedmont librarian Michelle Ferguson for readers of all ages.

“Stargazing for Dummies” by Steve Owens This is a great backyard guide to the sky, with or without the use of binoculars or telescopes. Introduces constellations as well as planets and adds physics to the mix for those interested in going further into the science. “Stars and Planets, an Eyewitness Handbook” by Ian Ridpath With more detail than a primer, this volume illustrates constellations and offers monthly sky maps so that viewers can pinpoint exactly which stars they see overhead. “The Magic School Bus, Lost in the Solar System” by Joanna Cole One ride through space with wacky Ms. Frizzle teaches as well as entertains. Lots of trivia about the moon and sky and all its inhabitants. “The Universe, A First Discovery Book” from Scholastic, written by Gallimard Jeunesse and Jean-Pierre Verdet The perfect beginner’s guide to the sky, with lots of cool overlays kids will love. As informative as it is fun to read.

“Ham the Astrochimp” by Richard Hilliard Three-year-old chimpanzee Ham made history by flying around the earth as the first intelligent being to ride a rocket into space. Great fun for kids. “101 Facts…Stars!” by I.P. Factly For the Kindle fan, this book is one in a series of six about space. Geared toward kids with tons of informational tidbits, photos and videos. “Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon” by Catherine Thimmesh The story behind the first moon landing, revealing the thousands of people involved in such a massive undertaking: getting to the moon. “A Black Hole is NOT a Hole” by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano Black holes come from stars and are as mysterious as they are far away. Fantastic illustrations and graphics illuminate the science behind the wonder.

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper features the life-size, trompe l’œil paper costumes of Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave.

This exhibition is organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Society of the Four Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Frick Art and Historical Center, and Artis—Naples, the Baker Museum. Isabelle de Borchgrave, Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé (detail), 2017. Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh.





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“Dude instantly cuts the tension in the room,” she said of the two-and-a-half-yearold Portugese Water Dog she uses for her Animal Assisted Therapy Sessions. “Even when kids are really stressed out, they’re just instantly soothed and when parents are upset, it’s calming for them, too.” Marotta specializes in women, children and families. Her patients have the choice to


have Dude be part of their therapy session or not, although most people opt to have him there. Before Dude, Marotta practiced seven years with Suki, another Portugese Water Dog. She explained the long history of therapists using dogs to help soothe patients and make them more comfortable, citing that even the famous founder of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud used a dog in his practice.

“Dogs teach us a lot of things,” she said. “I’ve always thought that. More than responsibility, they teach us about unconditional love and caring, companionship, forgiveness and mindfulness. They’re very social and they socialize with the people they’re with. I think there’s something about having animals around that makes us more human.” Beyond using pets to make her patients comfortable, Marotta just plain loves dogs. Her passions for dogs and helping people combined to prompt her latest project, a book that will be released this fall that’s a culmination of her clinical experience in assisting children with grief. “Suki & Sam” is targeted to elementary-aged readers and

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explores the relationship between a girl and her dog. She frequently uses children’s books to help her patients and wanted to write one of her own to help kids with grief. “The hope is that the book will help them (children) grieve well,” Marotta said. “If they’re lucky, their first experience with grief is losing a pet. If that is done in a way that’s respectful to time and feelings and lets them express and work through, I find those children much less overwhelmed with subsequent deaths or losses. It’s a great way to get in there and do some preventative work.”

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Volunteering at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Kid Review: Samuel Roldán, age 11 Editor’s Note: In early June, MetroFamily staff, their families and any available 2018 Cover Kids (over age 8) and their parents helped pack food for the Regional Food Bank. Our reviewer, Sam, participated with this group and provides this report of the experience. What made the experience stand out? There are not that many volunteer opportunities for kids my age so getting to lend a hand was new for me. You usually have to be older for almost everything else and sometimes, you have to have a driver’s license. I definitely cannot drive but that wasn’t a problem. It was good to know I was actually able to help people without being any older. We scooped dry pinto beans from a big box into little plastic sacks and weighed them. That doesn’t really require any special skills a fifth grader like me wouldn’t have. Every kid age 8 and up could help somehow. What was the best part? I liked knowing that other people were going to get the food we packed. My Dad is a teacher at a public school here and he tells us almost every day about students who do not have enough to eat. That really hangs over me; it makes me sad, especially because I can’t fix it. Besides helping my community, what I liked was that it became kind of a competition to see who could work the fastest. I started to think of it as a race against time because we had to finish up by noon and the more we packed, the more meals kids could get. We made more than 1,000 meals with just our little group! What was the worst part? Not having enough time to make more meals and knowing that people need them hurts. I wanted to stay longer. I thought the worst part was going to be sweeping up but that was fun too because the brooms are bigger than a regular one. Will other kids like volunteering at the Regional Food Bank? Yes, I think they will. There are other tasks you could do besides scooping or weighing beans. I didn’t get to see


those areas of the facility but I know they’re there. What kids will like no matter what is being able to make any kind of difference. If you could do this again, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently? I would be more excited to go! I didn’t know what it was going to be like but I was up for anything. I was really happy to spend time with my Mom. I have three brothers and one of them is a new baby so it’s not every single day Mom and I get to spend time together. She woke me up early to go and first we went to breakfast together then to a farmers’ market. The day was all about food! Does anything you learned match up with what you’re doing in school or have seen on TV, in a book or somewhere else before? I got to weigh the beans, which matched up with some math skills I learned in school. The bags could be between 1.98 and 2.2 pounds. It’s easier to think about decimals and about kilograms, pounds and ounces if you can see a quantity. I never really saw a quantity in my mind before now. The next time I do math, I’ll probably think about weighing beans. The experience reminded me of when you measure medicine because I know you shouldn’t give someone too much or too little. Same with food, even though you wouldn’t poison anyone. I wanted it to be fair and the right amount for families. I’m going to be an engineer when I grow up. I know math is important but I never thought about it relating to kids and what they need to eat. What do you think you’ll remember most about volunteering? I felt like at least we could do something to help the kids I hear about who go to bed hungry and the people on the news who are real humans, not percentages or numbers. Just because you can’t do everything to help doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Kids really can help other kids if you let us. When can we go back?


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MetroFamily Magazine August 2018