MetroFamily Magazine January 2015

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Fin AM d RES AZI OU NG R i Edun our CES 2 c atio 015 nG (Se uid ep . 42 e ) JANUARY 2015


Homeschool Adventures in OKC & Beyond MEET REAL MOM OF THE METRO ROBIN KHOURY

Totaly Free Educational Attractions

Find winter fun with 126 amazing events!

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS: Communities of Faith, Service and Knowledge We are proud to have more than 20 schools in the Catholic Schools system in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, offering educational options for children of all ages. We believe that parents are the primary educators of their children and that our schools support parents in their efforts to form well-educated young people who live out their faith in a world sorely in need of hope, love, and integrity. We strive to share our deep and profound love for our Church and assist families in raising generations of people who are dedicated to living in right relationship with God, making tough moral choices rooted in the teachings and traditions of the Church, and recognizing Christ’s presence in everyone we encounter. Our schools offer excellent academic and co-curricular programs that are infused with religious truth and values reflecting Christ’s Gospel call to love one another. We are committed to preparing students for life in today’s Church and society. Our focus is grounded upon the development of the whole person of the student, spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically. We hope you will visit one of the many excellent Catholic Schools in our Archdiocese and experience the unique and diverse character of each school community firsthand. We also hope that you will consider a Catholic education for your children—it is an investment in the future of your child, but also in our world.

To learn more, contact one of our schools or our Office of Catholic Education at (405) 721-4202.

Call or Visit a Catholic School Today. St. Philip Neri

St. James the Greater Catholic School

Bishop John Carroll School

PreK3 - 8th Grade Midwest City, OK 405.737.4496

PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.636.6810

PreK - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.525.0956

St. Eugene Catholic School

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

St. Mary’s Catholic School

Pre-3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.751.0067

PreK - 8th Grade Edmond, OK 405.348.5364

PreK-8th Grade Guthrie, OK 405.282.2071

Christ the King School

Rosary School

PreK3 - 8th Grade Oklahoma City, OK 405.843.3909

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

Mount St. Mary Catholic High School 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



The ultimate OKC family fun

Volume 18, Number 1




Sarah Taylor–Publisher Hannah Schmitt–Managing Editor Lindsay Cuomo–Calendar Editor Heide Brandes, Heather Davis, Jennifer Geary and Lindsay Cuomo– Contributing Writers Steffanie Halley–Contributing Photographer

Discover how arts go hand-in-hand with education & how OKC classrooms use it for enrichment & engagement

HAVE A STORY OR BIG EVENT? We are all about family activities and fun in the OKC metro. If you have a story to share, let us know!

CONTACT THE TEAM AT 405-601-2081 or email


DESIGN & SALES Stacy Noakes–Art Director Callie Collins–Marketing Director Athena Delce & Dana Price–Sales Kathy Alberty–Office/Distribution

Circulation - 35,000 Also available as a digital edition at 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. MetroFamily Magazine is a monthly magazine published by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 OKC, OK 73103 Office: 405-601-2081 Fax: 405-445-7509 ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2014, All Rights Reserved.


PRINCIPAL’S CALLING How one local educator is changing the lives of kids with incarcerated parents.



DESTINATION HOMESCHOOLING Discover top Oklahoma attractions for homeschoolers.

6 7 8


LOCAL SHOPPING Find toy treasures at The Learning Tree.

The free libraries popping up around OKC Editor’s Picks: Hot spots for free learning Learn about the new program for parents at Edmond Public Schools

24 Calendar of Events 40 Mom humor: You Need WHAT? 42 Find 54 incredible resources in our Education Guide


This month, we discuss all things education, from top homeschooling destinations and learning hot spots to arts in the classroom and finding after-school care.


hile most people talk about how much they look forward to the new beginning January provides, I always get a little down this time of year.

With Christmas festivities behind us and a long winter ahead, it’s easy to bundle up and stay indoors until spring. However, you may find that tough to do after flipping through our education issue. These pages reveal endless ways to have fun and find new experiences in Oklahoma City this winter. Start with our Editor’s Picks on page 7 to discover free educational experiences throughout the metro area and beyond.A trip to any of these attractions will prove even adults have a lot to learn. On page 10, freelancer Heide Brandes dives right into how Oklahoma City classrooms are incorporating art into education. After you read about creativity in the classroom, check out our list of free and cheap arts experiences in the metro at freeart to go have some artistic fun yourself.

Our calendar this month (starting on page 24) proves there’s plenty of family fun to go around even in the winter. If the weather does take a nasty turn, we’ve got you covered with plenty of ideas for indoor fun at www. indoor-play. So instead of feeling down about the festivities behind us, I challenge you this month to find something to celebrate. In the next several months, we’re giving you dozens of ways to have serious fun with the people you love. So while I know it’s going to feel cold and it will be tough not to look forward to summer, I encourage you to make the most of the present.

Hannah Schmitt Editor


r u o r e t n E contestsig! to win b


• Enter our January giveaways at www. --

Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show—Just in time to make home improvements this spring, we’re giving three lucky families five-packs of tickets to this huge home and garden show (Jan. 16-18), featuring the Renegade Gardener, Don Engebretson. Enter by Jan. 9.


Spaghetti Eddie CD Giveaway—Enter to win the fourth studio album from talented local band Spaghetti Eddie. Enter by Jan. 15.


Cirque Du Soleil: VAREKAI—Enter to win one of two family five-packs to the Jan. 31, 7:30pm performance at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Each family five-pack is valued at $250. Enter by Jan. 23.


Whirling Dervishes of Rumi—This impressive Turkish dance group is bringing their talents to Oklahoma City Community College on Feb. 6, and we’re giving away three five-packs of tickets for your family to enjoy the show. Enter by Jan. 29.

• Strong Together Spring 2015 Call for Bloggers—Looking to get fit in 2015 and make

friends doing it? We’re kicking off our 2015 Strong Together fitness challenge next month and are looking for bloggers to share their stories. For information, visit

! W WO

family buzz

This month, we’re buzzing about all things learning, including popup libraries, top places for free educational fun and a special program just for parents.


Discover Oklahoma City’s Little Free Libraries


hile Oklahoma City’s Metropolitan Library and Pioneer Library Systems provide dozens of locations for finding new reading material, a different kind of library is getting some attention in OKC. Little Free Libraries is a national network of small collections of books and a few have been popping up throughout the metro. METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



Readers are encouraged to visit the libraries to borrow a book and leave a book to keep spreading the literacy love. In Oklahoma City, these little library pop-ups can be found at N.W. 28th St. and Venice Blvd., 417 N.W. 25th St. and N.W. 16th and Blackwelder Ave. In Yukon, find libraries at 633 W. Vandament Ave. and 1501 W. Commerce St. The tiny reading hubs can be loads of fun for young readers on the hunt for new material. Track the trend and find tips on starting your own library at

Editor’s Picks: Free Places to Learn in OKC


very parent knows education doesn’t stop when school lets out for the day. Children are learning around the clock and Oklahoma City boasts a variety of educational resources totally free. This month, head to one of these incredible OKC attractions to learn something new as a family.

Braum Family Farm 491 County Street 2280, Tuttle 478-1656

Why we love it: If your kids have ever enjoyed a treat at Braum’s, they’ll love getting a behind-the-scenes peek at how their favorite menu items are made and grown. The processing plant and bakery can be toured for free (reservations must be made at least a week in advance).Visitors will learn about everything from raising calves and milking cows to how ice cream is made and bakery items are packaged for sale.

Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave., Norman 325-3272

to pick up a great book. There are more than two dozen library locations between these two systems and they offer a steady stream of classes and programs, most of which are totally free for children and youth. These classes offer a chance to learn new hobbies like quilting, video gaming and cookie decorating or improve on educational lessons with lessons in subjects like reading and math.

National Weather Center 120 David L. Boren Blvd., Norman 325-3095

Why we love it: This state-of-the-art facility has so much to teach about weather and science. Schedule a free tour (which lasts an hour to an hour and a half and is recommended for 3rd grade and up) to get an inside look at how the experts predict Oklahoma’s weather. The center is one of the few sites in the country with Science On a Sphere, a room-sized global display system that uses computers and video projectors on a giant animated globe to teach about weather and the atmosphere. Reservations required one to two weeks in advance.

Martin Park Nature Center 5000 W. Memorial Rd. 755-0676

Why we love it: There’s so much to learn about wildlife and the outdoors at this city park, which boasts 140 acres of prairie grasses, towering trees and small ponds and creeks.Venture out on the hiking trail to discover something new about nature, or get an in-depth lesson at one of the nature center’s special programs. Park admission is free and educational programs are regularly featured at little or no cost and cover everything from meteorology to plant and animal life.

Why we love it: Impressive permanent collections and a unique lineup of rotating exhibits make this museum a standout. It’s one of the few museums in the metro with free admission and the attractions inside range from traditional art to FRED JONES JR. interesting installations to keep young MUSEUM minds engaged. Schedule your visit OF ART during one of the museum’s classes or events for an added bonus.

Metropolitan Library and Pioneer Library Systems

Why we love it: These libraries offer so much more than just a place




family buzz

Edmond Offering Program for Raising Resilient Kids BY HANNAH SCHMITT


hile academics are an important element at school, every parent knows their kids learn a lot more in the classroom than just traditional school work. Oklahoma City area campuses, especially those with elementary students, are working toward being more intentional in nurturing well-rounded individuals. For example, Edmond Public Schools has adopted a method called Conscious Discipline, where teachers integrate social-emotional learning so less time is spent on policing behaviors and more time is spent teaching vital life educational skills. To really make these lessons stick, it’s important for parents to practice similar tactics at home. Ruthie Riggs, executive director of elementary education at Edmond Public Schools, has organized an educational event to help parents understand how to develop resiliency in children. “Anyone who says parenting isn’t hard is either in denial or crazy,” Riggs said. “Parenting is hard. I really hope this is the beginning of multiple community events to support that important work of parenting.” Riggs has sought the help of Edmond psychologist Dr. Paul Tobin to help present the Developing Resilient Youth and Families program to parents for the first time. Tobin has been a psychologist for 25 years and a mental health expert for almost 40 years. He currently works in Edmond at the Counseling and Consulting Offices of Tobin, Benjamin and Marotta. The resiliency theories he will share with parents have been tested and proven effective, he said. The program uses emotional intelligence with elementary students to prevent risky behaviors as they go through middle and high school. According to Tobin, these lessons can prevent substance abuse, emotional difficulties, relational problems and fortify young people to deal with bullies, develop a sense of self-worth and belonging and better realize emotions in others.




“All kids are susceptible to these kinds of problems or have the potential to be,” he said. “Having a fortified sense of self-value and importance and a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves, these are critical core characteristics to develop to keep them from those harmful things.” Tobin and Riggs hope the event will be a springboard for parents to dive into the theories and begin to learn more on their own and practice them at home. Riggs said she is excited to encourage parents to practice some of the same lessons at home she encourages her teachers to use to nurture students emotionally and academically. “We know that when they (parents) can provide reinforcement at home for both academics and other kinds of emotional intelligence that the outcome is going to be better,” she said. “This is just an additional resource for parents to make sure they’re reinforcing the right things at home.” Tobin will present the free program on Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Edmond Public Schools Administrative Center at 1001 W. Danforth. An identical program will be hosted on Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the same location. School counselors and staff from Dr. Tobin’s office will be on hand to answer questions. The event will be open to all parents of elementary-aged children in the area, but preference will be given to parents of Edmond Public School students. Registration is required at or by contacting a school counselor.

local family fun

Engaging Kids through Arts in the




e have come to part three of our fourpart series on Introducing Kids to the Arts. In the past two months, we’ve discussed practical ways to introduce children to live stage performances and museum exhibits. This month, we discuss general arts education. While Oklahoma City’s education budget cuts may be limiting arts programs in some public schools, nonprofits and local businesses are stepping up to fill in the gap by providing a thriving arts scene to youth in the metro. Jean Hendrickson perhaps knows more than anyone in Oklahoma City the power of integrating the arts into education. She’s the director emeritus for Oklahoma A+ Schools, an organization she helped start in Oklahoma City in 2001 to transform education in the state. Through her experience with A+, she’s seen realized students do better when every learning experience starts with the arts. When kids are engaged creatively in what they are learning, the lessons stick and kids love to learn. She said parents have unlimited potential to encourage and stimulate the arts at home and be powerful forces on their child’s campus, too. “There has to be a way the arts live at home,” she said. “Just like we expect them to when we go to a production or we go to the museum or to the movies or anywhere else, the language and experience of the arts needs to live at home.” That means recreating scenes from a movie or play in the living room, she said, or singing along out loud to favorite songs in the car. “Parents need to be alert to those opportunities to make connections and have that natural extension so those things live at home just as they do at school.”

“Thinking about what’s happening in education right now in the state itself,” she said, “and the role parents are beginning to play, it’s a collective voice saying, ‘we’ve had enough of standardized tests defining my child.’ It’s a huge voice now and it’s making a difference in how policy makers really view what they should do all because parents have said, ‘my child is not a test score and you must not define my child that way.’” The most simple action parents can take is to nurture a collaborative relationship with teachers, she said. Education is a team effort and parents should discuss with teachers the creative preferences and talents of their child. Hendrickson’s been in education since 1979 and has seen what she calls a “boom bust cycle” in arts education in Oklahoma City Schools. The cycle tracks recessions and the availability of resources, she said, but they also track leadership. The presence of arts in schools has suffered when leadership doesn’t understand the greater impact.

winter FUN pass Nov 22 thru Jan 19

Right now, Hendrickson said, arts education in Oklahoma City is on the upswing. She noted there are more arts collaborations than ever in the city and a growing number of A+ schools, which she believes is the key to truly improving education. “We’re on the cusp of really determining for sure that we want the arts to be part of education in this community,” she said. “I’m very hopeful for the future.” Below, you’ll discover the value the arts can provide in educating Oklahoma City children and find practical ways to get your kids involved in learning through art. To learn more about Oklahoma A+ Schools and how Hendrickson believes the model can transform Oklahoma City’s education system, visit aplus. HARDING FINE ARTS ACADEMY

All You Can Play

Bowling, Laser Tag, Billiards, and Gravity Ropes starting at

In addition to playing up visual and creative arts at home, Hendrickson said parents have a responsibility to be involved on school grounds, too. She believes parents are the true advocates for their children and can be the drivers of what happens on campus.

per person per session

1441 W. Memorial Road 405-751-4900 METROFAMILY MAGAZINE


*Certain restrictions apply. Visit for details JANUARY 2015


ou don’t have to look far to find studies providing evidence that exposure to the arts enhances learning for students. The report “Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School” by the University of California, Los Angeles, reveals that young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours three days each week are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and four times more likely to win awards for writing. Additionally, it shows children exposed to the arts also are more likely to improve in school attendance and to participate in math and science fairs. In fact, arts education makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of students and helps level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries. In the words of one local expert, art is as much of a necessity to young children as nourishing foods. “Just like kids need to have good nutrition on a daily basis, kids need to have their daily serving of the arts,” said Kristen Bromley, marketing and public relations manager for Oklahoma’s Allied Arts. Allied Arts is a statewide force that formed in 1971 to enrich communities through advancement of the arts. Regardless of what research shows, funding for public school arts education continues to get cut. However, Oklahoma City’s art





experts reveal there are still plenty of ways to introduce the arts to kids in the metro. Locally, numerous arts and cultural organizations have stepped up to fill the gap in arts by offering programs that run the gamut from visual arts to dance. LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF ARTS IN THE CLASSROOM The developmental and academic benefits of incorporating arts are well-documented, but did you know that the benefits extend to adulthood, as well? Business leaders understand that arts education builds a school climate of high expectation, discipline and academic rigor which helps to strengthen student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success. In addition, arts education helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done, leading to a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around them. Art, in some cases, is the basis of an education at some schools in Oklahoma, like the Harding Fine Arts Academy.



“By integrating the arts into the core curriculum, we are training our students to be the kind of creative problem-solvers that the business world is now seeking,” said Barry Schmelzenbach, M.Ed.L., principal of Harding. “The ability to make connections between disciplines and to apply a solution in one area to a problem in another is a skill that needs to be nurtured and encouraged in all learners. Both students who are academically and artistically inclined flourish in such an environment.”


HOW TO INTEGRATE ARTS INTO YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION With all the proof that art education makes a well-rounded child, parents can begin to integrate the arts into their child’s life in a multitude of ways. Encouraging a child to find an art form they love means exposing them to the opportunity to create visual arts, music, dance, acting and more. According to Bromley at Allied Arts, a few simple ways to boost arts in daily school assignments include: •

When the student is given the opportunity to do a presentation or a non-traditional assignment, the parents can encourage them to act it out using drama or storytelling.

Integrate cultural products, art pieces and artistic ideas into non-traditional art curriculums; i.e. social sciences, math, science, etc.

As your child talks about topics they are learning in school, take them to a relevant arts experience or museum that relates to what they are learning in the classroom.

• Parents also can sneak arts into their child’s day-to-day life. After school, weekends or holidays are perfect times for parents to encourage children to learn how to play an instrument, enroll in a dance or vocal music class, play with clay or craft items to make art and more.

“What does your child respond to? Music? Do they spontaneously move when listening to music, or when watching others dance?” said Sharon Astrin with the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. “Knowing what kind of learner your child is helps. Are they a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner, for example? What was their favorite art project at school? Do they like singing? These are all valuable clues.”


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An easy way to expose youth to the beauty of art is to take them to a play or musical performance, many of which offer discount tickets to youth. “There are many forms of art that can be studied at home, ranging from photography and jewelry making to ceramics and painting,” said Schmelzenbach. “Oklahoma City is rich with music and art camps and classes such as the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, Oklahoma City of Museum of Art or the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM@UCO) in Bricktown. Many of these organizations grant scholarships to students who are in need.” FIND YOUR PERFECT PROGRAM Central Oklahoma is chock-full of arts programs geared toward children, and many offer scholarships. From dance programs, educational workshops, children’s theater programs like the HARDING FINE ARTS


Encourage your child to find the arts influence in significant peoples’ stories that they learn about in school. Parents can help them make the connection to the impact of the arts to other areas of life (particularly in the lives of historical and influential people).



JANUARY 2015 Photos courtesy of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. 2014


Oklahoma Children’s Theatre and arts-centered field trips, children have a world of art to explore without leaving the metro. So which program is right for your child? “Look for a program that honors who their child is and how he/she learns,” said Sandra Kent with Oklahoma A+ Schools. “Parents can ask their child’s school how they teach arts in their school. They can also ask teachers about the general curriculum so that they can then add relevant art experiences at home and as a family. They can also encourage the school to seek out models such as OKA+ so that the teachers will know how to integrate arts and other core curriculum.” Parents also can explore programs through Allied Arts. Although Allied Arts doesn’t carry out its own education programming; its role in arts education is to fund various programs so local organizations can carry them out in the community at a low cost or at no cost to the participants. Allied Arts helps fund a wide variety of arts education projects, like school programming, in-school activities, touring performances to schools, educational workshops, arts-centered field trips and much more. “The programs that we support help incorporate the arts into the educational experiences of the students at no cost to the school itself,” said Bromley. “ Students of all ages from elementary school to high school are given the opportunity to have access to the arts whether it is during the school day, in after-school programs, or throughout school vacation breaks.”





Astrin suggests sitting in on a few classes to get a feel for what they offer. “Go and observe the program or camp before enrolling your child. Talk to the director and to the staff and ask to observe a class if at all possible,” Astrin said. “Try to get a feel for what kind of learning framework is being used.” Harding Fine Arts Academy is a public charter high school sponsored by the Oklahoma City Public School District that has a broadbased fine arts and academic curriculum including classes in dance, martial arts, visual arts, photography, drama, speech, choir, musical instruments and more. Oklahoma’s After-School Network also encourages the arts by incorporating STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into children’s learning activities. “Parents should reach out to the wealth of arts resources in their area and work with their schools to see how they can integrate arts education into the school day and into after-school programs,” said Sheryl Lovelady, spokesperson for the After-School Network. “Put simply, our students need more time to learn. The school day is regimented and packed with mandates, but the hours after school and in the summer are the best time to add the arts back in.” [Editor’s Note: For a list of free and low-cost arts programs in the metro, visit]

Real moms of the metro Meet Robin Khoury




t was almost 20 years ago when Robin Khoury felt what she calls “a little tap on the shoulder” and a voice telling her she would someday start a school.


“I could just hear God telling me I would be teaching underprivileged kids one day,” she said. Today, Khoury is the founder and principal of Little Light Christian School, an Oklahoma City elementary school exclusively for kids whose parents are incarcerated. But back when she felt that little tap, she was just getting started homeschooling her own children and already feeling unqualified to even do that. “When I started, there were very few people doing it,” she said of homeschooling. “We were on the leading edge, the pioneers of the homeschooling movement. People thought I was crazy and thought I should be either in a mental institute or a prison for doing that to my kids. Then the big snowball started to roll and now it’s totally mainstream, people don’t even raise an eyebrow.” Although not mainstream when she started, her kids were none the wiser and loved being educated at home, she said. Although she felt challenged and tired at times, she always knew she was doing the right thing. But when she first felt the calling to someday educate other young children, she didn’t feel so confident. “I said to myself, ‘Okay, you don’t even have an education degree.You’re already experiencing so much grief from everyone with homeschooling, why don’t you just keep this to yourself,’” she said. So Robin made a note of this calling in her journal. Over the next two decades, her children grew up and she successfully taught them through high school and sent them off to college. Along the way, she flagged her journal again every time she felt the voice reminding her of this future school. Today, her face lights up at the mention of what all those notes turned into. Oklahoma has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the country. Most recent numbers from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections reveal there are 26,194 incarcerated individuals in Oklahoma. Many of those people are parents, and their children are profoundly impacted by their incarceration. Robin started to have awareness of this before she started the school or even the

ministry behind it. It was right after her two sons, 26-year-old Elijah and 29-year-old Chad, got off to college that Robin volunteered to mentor female inmates at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McCloud.

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“God really worked on my heart, getting to know on a personal level women who had committed serious crimes,” she said. “It was very touching. God really, really worked on me during that time, making me grateful for things I was never exposed to and all the different blessings in my life. I went home from that prison every time saying, ‘Thank God I can walk out of here.’” During her visits, she began to understand the burden the women behind bars feel toward their families on the outside, especially their own children. She began to see that all her years of homeschooling were preparing her to start a school where she would help meet the needs of the children whose parents could not. The 2014-2015 school year marks the third one for Little Light Christian School, which now has nine students between the ages of 6 and 11. She started Little Light Ministries before opening the school with the goal of breaking the cycle of incarceration in Oklahoma, she said. Now, the ministry still provides guidance to women behind bars, but the school specifically ministers to their children. In addition to teaching the children, Robin’s ministry provides scholarships for women in prison to get college credit while they’re incarcerated. The hope is that women who are locked up will get an education that can help them stay on the right path after their release. “Education is key,” Robin said. “That’s the key to keeping them out of prison and helping METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



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those in prison to get out and stay out.” There are seven staff members at the school, Robin included. The staff is more equipped than what you’ll find at most other schools; even her office manager has a Ph.D. Her staff has dozens of degrees among them, and backgrounds ranging from missionaries and licensed counselors and military chaplains and school principals. “Our teachers are very highly trained, so the children are in very good hands,” Robin said. “But children like this really require this type of background.” Most of the students at the school started there at least two years behind in classroom instruction, Robin said, and some of them were truant for long periods of time before enrolling at Little Light. In addition, children with incarcerated parents come from a variety of backgrounds many traditional students do not experience. Some may have post-traumatic stress disorder, Robin said, or are sensory deprived. They may never have learned to effectively communicate, which can lead to all kinds of behavioral issues.

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“If anyone is not loving, a volunteer or staff, they don’t last here very long,” Robin said. “We always treat the children with respect, even if they’re misbehaving. We always respect and love them, even with discipline.” The Little Light staff usually starts working with new students by simply letting them play, a method that can help them build pathways in the brain before bringing on a full slate of academics. The student body is intentionally small right now, Robin said, as the facility space is limited and the students require a lot of attention. The school is currently located inside Lone Star Baptist Church, with hopes to eventually grow into a facility of its own. The staff at Little Light comes together to meet the students’ every need, who are transported to and from the school every day, fed two meals and a snack each day and provided school uniforms. “Oh my goodness, they feel like my own children to me,” Robin said. “Everybody who knows me, I’m sure they get so tired of me whipping out my phone to show pictures of the latest cute things the kids are doing. I love them all dearly and I just talk about them constantly.” Students new to the school are always a little standoffish, Robin said, probably because they’ve had negative experiences in learning environments before. Within a couple weeks, METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



she notices a big change in their mood and behavior. Kids at the school learn in the classroom, but also learn through gardening, music and hands-on activities. The school emphasizes character development and spends time teaching communication, manners and even lessons on developing true grit. All the lessons are provided with the goal to meet all needs of the child and break the cycle of incarceration in the family. For the most part, students at the school have a history of shame regarding the status of their parents. Their current caregivers are doing the best they can, Robin said, but any situation where the parent cannot raise the child is less than ideal. “The thing about the caregivers,” she said, “these people are just stretched to their maximum limit. They have a family member incarcerated and that’s a financial pressure. Most are grandparents and they have normal issues of aging but they’re also caring for young children. They’ve raised kids already and now there’s this added pressure plus the shame factor.” At Little Light, students and their families don’t need to feel ashamed about the incarceration because they are understood by their peers. Because the school is provided at no cost to students, it is totally funded by donations and grants. The major funders have been the National Christian Foundation and Jasco Products Company in Edmond. With further funding, Robin hopes to see the school grow. They’re building a waiting list now and will be able to take on more students with a new facility. Her hope is to plant a church to accompany the school. Through the church, she would be able to provide more programs for the entire family, like classes in parenting, life skills, finances and 12-step programs. Growth would also allow her to provide summer camps and after-school programs to students. Until then, Robin will continue pouring her heart into the handful of students enrolled in the school now. “Whether I was homeschooling or teaching Sunday school or anything else, I have just loved every minute of having kids around,” she said. “When I’m with the students, it’s just like having my family around me. And that’s what they need. Children need to belong, they need to be part of the community. And I need to have a view of what this child can be, not what they’re like right now. We’re called to love them and teach them day by day so that’s just what I do.”

Robin has dedicated her life to children. Read more about what makes her tick. What is your favorite indulgence? A manicure and pedicure. What is your biggest challenge? Getting up at 5 a.m. How would you describe your parenting style? Hands-on and sheltering. What is on your wish list? How has motherhood changed you?

A recumbent stationary bicycle for our classroom at school.

Motherhood changed me for the better in every way. Becoming a mother helped me put other people’s needs ahead of my own, and helped me put my life in perspective. Becoming a mother helped me be more understanding and empathetic and less worldly. When you have a baby you realize people are much more important than things.

How do you banish stress?

What is your favorite quote about motherhood? My Granny used to say, “Man must work from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.” What is your guilty pleasure? Sneaking a large chocolate malt from Braum’s.

I take a long hot bath every night, I read books and pray. What motivates you? Children’s hugs and scripture. What would your friends or family say everyone else doesn’t know about you? I have spent thousands of hours of my lifetime looking for my keys! What is your favorite television show? “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

Describe yourself in five words. Loving, spiritual, creative, zany, compassionate. How do you find balance? By talking to God every morning. What makes you proud? My two sons.




exploring oklahoma with children

Homeschool Adventures in




As a homeschooling mom, I’m sometimes asked how I do it all. The answer? I don’t. In fact, I can’t. Any good teacher, classroom or homeschool, knows there’s no way to be an expert on everything. Sometimes kids don’t need an expert to teach them; if we teach them the basic skills they need to research and think, they can become more knowledgeable about their passions than we are. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to have others available who excel in their fields to share their knowledge and inspire our kids! Another question that’s common for homeschoolers to hear is, “Do you just stay home, or do you go out and do things, too?” Do we go out? Yes! In fact, we go out a lot, because I believe that one of the big advantages of homeschooling is that we’re not limited to four walls and a desk or to whatever field trips or speakers the district has approved. If there’s a place we can visit that’s related to what we’re learning about, we get in the car and go, even if it sometimes requires an absurd amount of driving to get there. Oklahoma and the surrounding areas are full of so many interesting and unique museums, parks and other sites that relate to almost every content area you can think of and I try to visit as many of those places as we can. Here are some wonderful metro area venues that offer excellent programming that is specifically geared toward homeschooling


families. If you haven’t taken part in these programs before, I encourage you to check them out and give them a try this spring.You don’t have to homeschool your children to enjoy these fabulous resources that let every family learn outside the classroom. Harn Homestead The Harn Homestead is dedicated to preserving a historic Oklahoma homestead and teaching children about life in territorial Oklahoma. If you’ve ever tried to organize a field trip, you know that many places require you to have a certain number of participants. Sometimes that can be a challenge for homeschoolers, especially if you aren’t an active part of an organized group. Harn Homestead offers a homeschool day each month from September-December and March-May with no required number of participants! All you have to do is call ahead to register, and for just $8 per child, your kids can participate in a morning full of farming fun. There is a dairy barn where kids can milk model cows, work the corn sheller and grinder, rake the stables and gather eggs. In the schoolhouse, children take part in a lesson just like students would in the late 1800s. There is also a farmhouse full of hands-on opportunities for kids to experience life in the past, from toys and games to dress up clothes. It’s almost like a life-sized historical playhouse for kids! Oklahoma City Zoo If you’ve lived in the metro for any amount of time, you’ve likely visited the Oklahoma City Zoo. If you haven’t participated in any of their classes, though, you’ve been missing out. The Zoo’s education department is absolutely amazing. The staff works hard to create classes that are age-appropriate and engaging. At $7 per class, they’re very affordable, too. From September through March on the first Friday of the month, the Zoo offers homeschool classes for three different age levels. Children are divided into preschool through second grades, third and fourth grades and fifth and sixth grades with each class having its own theme. Classes last from 10 to 11 a.m. and you can register by calling Jordan Long in the education department at 425-0218.




Saturdays for Kids Create Sand Art

10:00 a.m. - Noon Free for Children and Families

Saturday, February 7 Saturdays for Kids Mixed Media Journal Making

10:15 and 11:15 a.m. Free for Children and Families

Friday, February 13 Madonnas of the Prairie: Depictions of Women in the American West

Hosted by the Museum and organized by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, this exhibit features more than 100 works focusing on women in the late 19th century through the present as seen through the talents of multiple artists.


Saturday, January 3

And there is always more!


1700 NE 63rd St. Oklahoma City, OK (405) 478-2250


What does it take to help a child in foster care?


meschool Day, where homeschool students and their teachers can take in all the facility has to offer at a discounted rate. On March 10, discover life underwater with thousands of creatures swimming all around you. From tiny invertebrates to a collection of the largest bull sharks in captivity, the aquarium is bursting at the seams with exciting displays. On Homeschool Day, the aquarium education staff members set up OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO


(along with some support from experts) That’s where Angels Foster Family Network comes in, providing you and your family with the training, help and emotional support that you need to provide a loving, nurturing home to babies in need. If you’re interested in changing a child’s life through foster care, contact Angels Foster Family Network Oklahoma City today at


Oklahoma City Museum of Art The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has offered multi-week classes for homeschoolers for a while, and starting this semester they will have single-session classes available, too. So if you can’t make a weekly commitment, your kids will still be able to participate in high-quality hands-on art classes. Over the next few months, multiweek classes scheduled include “Design, Sculpt, Create” and “Draw, Paint, Print.” Single-session classes will be based on special exhibitions visiting the museum, such as an Andy Warhol class in April. Both types of classes are geared toward kids ages 6-13 and include time in the galleries and time in the studio for students to create their own art work. Multi-week classes are $35 per month for members and $45 for non-members; one-time classes are $10-15 per child. Sign your kids up online at www. or by phone at 236-3100. If you just want to tour the museum, call ahead and ask about special rates for homeschool groups. Oklahoma Aquarium Although it’s a few hours north of the metro, huge discoveries and tons of fun await homeschoolers willing to make the drive to Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Four times a year, the world class aquarium hosts Ho-

Find more at




stationed themes with hands-on activities for added learning and insight. Reduced admission is offered from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and homeschool activities are scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. The aquarium is located at 300 Aquarium Dr. in Jenks and can be reached at 918-216-FISH or by visiting General Tips If you haven’t been taking advantage of all the wonderful places our great state offers, I’d like to share a few tips to get you started. First, look over your plans for the semester and see what topics you’ll be covering. Chances are, you’ll be able to find some related field trips within a short drive. Once you’ve decided on a site you want to visit, check out their website thoroughly and make phone calls if needed. I try to plan bigger trips on days when nothing else is scheduled so we have plenty of time to see everything instead of needing to rush. If you’re going to make a drive, check to see if there are any other venues nearby that you might want to visit while in the area. Though

I like to coordinate our trips with our learning topics, I’m not opposed to visiting sites that aren’t related to our current studies. They may provide the opportunity to revisit something we’ve already studied or they may lay the foundation for future lessons. Prepare your kids for the field trip. I often show my kids any interesting pictures from the venue’s website and point out where we’ll be going on a map if we’re going out of town. Because my kids are five years apart, they’re not always learning about the same topics, so if we’re going on a trip related to something one child has been studying, I often try to find some related materials to share with the other child, usually my five year old, so she has some kind of background knowledge before we go. Hopefully your preparation will make the trip a little more meaningful.

sometimes I don’t. Honestly, that’s up to the teacher. Don’t feel obligated to give written work if you think discussion is good enough. Besides these great places, many other venues will offer student or group discounts or arrange special tours for homeschool groups, so don’t be afraid to ask for help; the venues are almost always more than happy to work OKLAHOMA AQUARIUM

with you. Oklahoma City is such a great place to be a homeschooler, so make sure you take advantage of some of the wonderful opportunities right at your doorstep! [Editor’s Note: Jennifer Geary blogs about her homeschooling experieces at Adventures-in-Homeschooling]


Decide on your main goals for the visit and share those with your kids before you go. Do you want them to be able to tell you certain facts at the end of your trip, or are you just going for the sake of the experience? Will they have an assignment they need to complete? Sometimes I do give my kids an assignment directly related to the trip and

Honoring Tradition

Since 1947, Casady School develops excellence, confidence, nd integrity in students nd prepares them with he skills and knowledge that serve as the foundation for success.

Outstanding Academics

Supporting Family

Cultivating Individuality

Buil Char

Casady is a college preparatory school with high academic standards that develop critical and creative thinking skills.

Casady’s warm community of motivated educators, genuine students, engaged parents and loyal alumni provides students the

Casady educators know each student individually and encourage academic growth by focusing on students’ unique strengths and guiding them to pursue their passions.

In the class chapel, Ca ethical dec and reinfo values, d compassiona

to explore their interests, accept challenges and reach their full potential.

Casady School is a college-preparatory Episcopal day school. Casady School admits students of any race, color, creed and national or ethnic origin. • 405.749.3185

9500 North Pennsylvania Ave. • Oklahoma City, OK 73120





events this



This marks the seventh season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it’s just the very first season for the team’s development league, the Oklahoma City Blue, to be playing right here in Oklahoma City. The team will face off against the Iowa Energy at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) on Jan. 9. Seeing the Blue play presents a great opportunity to experience the development of the Thunder in a brand new way and get excited about basketball in a new venue. Experience Blue all month long with additional home games happening Jan. 10, 13, 23, 24 and 29. Ticket prices vary. 7pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.NBA.COM/DLEAGUE/OKLAHOMACITY PHONE: 208-4800 Photo courtesy of Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images


The 33rd Annual Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show will be hosted at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) and showcases more than 500 local and national experts and vendors in landscaping, remodeling, cooking and design. This year, Kevin O’Connor, host of This Old House, will look back and share highlights on 35 years of the longest-running home improvement show in television history. Additionally, the Renegade Gardener, Don Engebretson, will cover the top gardening mistakes and myths. Adults, $12; children under 12 are free. Discount tickets are available online and at Buy for Less stores. Friday, noon-9pm; Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.OKLAHOMACITYHOMESHOW.COM PHONE: 800-395-1350 Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show





CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: VAREKAI—JAN 28-FEB 1 Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world where something else is possible. The world is called Varekai and it’s portrayed in Cirque du Soleil’s latest tour production, Varkai, at the Cheasepeake Energy Area (100 W Reno) at various showtimes between Jan. 28 and Feb. 1. Audiences will be entertained by the mystical acts as the show pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai. There are seven performances to choose from and tickets range from $35-$100. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.CIRQUEDUSOLEIL.COM/VAREKAI PHONE: 235-4789 Photo by Eric Piché, costume by Eiko Ishioka

FIREHOUSE ART CENTER’S CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL & ART DAY—JAN 31 The 33rd Annual Firehouse Art Center’s Chocolate Festival and Art Day at the Marriott Conference Center and Hotel (2801 State Highway 9 East, Norman) offers a dazzling array of indulgent chocolate treats as the finest restaurants and chocolatiers in Norman and the Oklahoma City metro area present their savory and sweet creations. The event includes an art center with hands-on fun for the young and old. All proceeds support Norman’s Firehouse Art Center’s mission to offer high quality visual arts education, experiences and exhibits. 10:30am-2pm. $25 for 10 samples, $40 for 15 samples. Discount tickets available for college students. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.NORMANFIREHOUSE.COM PHONE: 329-4523 Photo courtesy of Firehouse Art Center

40TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION FOR TATU—JAN 31 Celebrate Silverback Gorilla Tatu at a special birthday party just for him at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl). The big guy is turning 40 and you are invited to the celebration! The Western lowland gorilla, Tatu, has been with the Zoo since 1983 and has become a well-known ambassador for his species, which is critically endangered in the wild. The median life expectancy for gorillas is approximately 35 years old. The Zoo is honoring Tatu’s long and healthy life. The festivities will be hosted inside the Gorilla Interpretive Building in Great EscApe. Activities will include cupcakes while supplies last, signing Tatu’s birthday card and a special Tatu exhibit at the ZooZeum. 1:30 – 3:30pm. Free with paid admission. MORE INFORMATION: WWW.OKCZOO.COM PHONE: 425-0262 Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma City Zoo




events this




FREE Chesapeake Energy Holiday Lights Display at Chesapeake Energy (NW 63rd & Western) features 4.3 million LED lights decorating eight blocks of landscape. Lit nightly from sunset to 7am. FREE Downs Family Christmas Lights (2900 72nd Ave SE) is a light display set to music that features more than 18 miles of light strands. Bring a canned good to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State University Men’s Basketball vs. Kansas State at Gallagher-Iba Area (1046 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). Ticket prices vary. 11am. Also held: 1/10 vs University of Texas; 1/21 vs Texas Tech University; 1/27 vs Baylor University; 1/31 vs University of Oklahoma. 405-744-5745, www.okstate. com University of Oklahoma Men’s Basketball vs. Baylor University at the Lloyd Noble Center (2900 Jenkins Ave, Norman). Ticket prices vary. 3pm. Also held: 1/10 vs Kansas State University; 1/17 vs Oklahoma State University; 1/28 vs Texas Tech University; 2/3 vs West Virginia University. 325-2424, www.soonersports. com


Edmond Holiday Ice Skating at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd) features ice skating, holiday music and food concessions. $10 for two-hour skate session and skate rental; $7 if you bring your own skates. $5 for age 5 and under. Daily, noon-10pm. 274-1638,

Santa’s Adventures on the Oklahoma River at RIVERSPORT Adventures (725 S Lincoln Blvd) features Boathouse District activities with a holiday

spin, including the SandRidge Santa Zip, North Pole Climb, Candy Cane Rock Wall and Rudolph’s Launch. Saturday and Sunday, 1-8pm. $35. 552-4040, www. “The Book of Mormon” at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) is a Tony Award-winning musical. $40-85. TuesdayThursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2 & 8pm; Sunday, 2 & 7pm. 297-2264, www.

JAN 2-4

Annual Eagle Watch at Arcadia Lake (9000 E 2nd St, Edmond). Dress warmly and bring binoculars. Start at the park office located on E 2nd between N Post and N Douglas Roads to learn where eagles can be spotted. 8am-4pm. $3 per vehicle. 216-7471.


Get Fit Expo 2015 at Crosspointe Community Center (2601 24th Ave SE, Norman) offers healthy tips, giveaways, workouts and shopping. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Preregister. 11am-5pm. 4731566, Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) features sand art making for kids and families. Free with paid admission. 10am-noon. 478-2250, www.

JAN 3-4

OKC Land Run Antique Show at the Oklahoma State Fairgronds (3001 General Pershing Blvd) presents more than 70 antiques dealers. $5 for adults, $3 for children 9-12, free for children under 9. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm. 918-619-2875.


Winter Wind Concert at the Norman Depot (200 S Jones, Norman) is a concert




featuring Johnsmith, a Kerrville New Folk Winner. $20. 7pm. 307-9320, www. University of Oklahoma Women’s Basketball vs West Virginia at the Lloyd Noble Center (2900 Jenkins Ave, Norman). Tickets prices vary. 3:30pm. Also held: 1/14 vs University of Texas; 1/19 vs Oklahoma State University; 1/24 vs Texas Tech University; 2/4 vs Iowa State University. 325-2424,


FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm. 325-4712, www.

JAN 5-8

FREE Build It! at the Ralph Ellison Library (2000 Ne 23rd St) hosts four days of building fun. Stop by to be an architect, engineer or builder at the library. Construction materials and related books available to explore. Ages 12 & under. 9am9pm. 424-1437,


FREE Mini Model Build at the LEGO Store in Penn Square Mall (1901 NW Expressway) hosts a new Lego® model build the first Tuesday of each month. Quantities limited. Ages 6-12. 5pm. 840-9993, www.

Oklahoma City Barons vs Texas Stars at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens). Ticket prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 1/16 & 17 vs Texas Stars, 1/18 vs Rochester Americans, 1/30 & 31 vs Lake Erie Monsters. 232-4625,

events this



Oklahoma State University Women’s Basketball vs Texas Tech University at Gallagher-Iba Area (1046 W Hall of Fame Ave, Stillwater). Tickets prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 1/14 vs Kansas State University; 1/17 vs West Virginia University; 1/24 vs Texas Christian University; 2/4 vs Baylor University. 405-744-5745, www.okstate. com

JAN 8-10

FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) is a monthly celebration that includes an art walk, local artists, live music and shopping. 7-11pm. FREE Gallery Opening and Art Walk at the Norman Depot (200 S Jones, Norman) presents retired arts educator John Wolfe, who recently was featured on OETA’s “Gallery.” Wolfe will fill the Depot Gallery through February with a selection of his “People, Plants and Places” art works. 6-9pm. 307-9320,

JAN 9-11

Oklahoma Winter Quilt Show at the Cox Pavilion at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features a vendor mall with products and services offered by exhibitors as well as special guest educators, contests & workshops. $10 per day, $20 for three-day pass, kids 12 and under free. 10am-5pm. html

Oklahoma Winter Gem, Jewelry, & Bead Show at State Fair Park Expo Hall #3 (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features vendors with beads, jewelry, silver and tools. Classes available. $5 for weekend pass. Friday and Saturday, 10am- 6pm; Sunday, 10am-4pm.



Oklahoma City Blue vs Iowa Energy at Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens). Ticket prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 1/10 vs Reno Bighorns, 1/13 vs LA D-Fenders, 1/23 vs Canton Charge, 1/24 vs Austin Toros, 1/29 vs Erie Bayhawks. 208-4800, com/dleague/oklahomacity

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz at the Cheasepeake Energy Area (100 W Reno Ave). Ticket prices vary. 7pm. Also held: 1/16 vs Golden State Warriors, 1/26 vs Minnesota Timberwolves 2/6 vs New Orleans Pelicans, 2/8 vs LA Clippers. 208-4800, thunder FREE Norman’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art in downtown Norman is a monthly celebration of the arts connecting the downtown arts district with galleries, performance halls & Campus Corner. 6-10pm.

Winter Reindeer Family Workshop at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) invites ages 3-5 to collaborate with an adult to create a handprint reindeer using landscape paintings in the galleries as inspiration. Snacks and materials provided. $8.50 for members, $11 for non-members for each adult/child pair. 11am-noon. 2363100, FREE How to Attract Birds to Your Backyard at Martin Nature Park (5000 W Memorial) teaches which backyard habitats are most likely to attract colorful songbirds and about bird-attracting plants, water sources and how to plan your garden to minimize threats from predators. Preregister. 3pm. 297-1429, Parks/Martin_Park




Oklahoma City Philharmonic Classics Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 5 at the Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker) features pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet. $19 and up. 8pm. 8425387,

JAN 10-11 Buchanan Vintage Flea Market at Oklahoma State Fairgrounds (608 Kiamichi Pl) features antiques and collectibles including furniture, glassware, pottery, collectible toys, artwork and vintage clothing. $5 for adults, kids under 12 are FREE. Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 10am5pm.


Jazz at the Depot at the Norman Depot (200 S Jones, Norman) features the music of the Mitch Bell Group in a historic setting. $10. 7:30pm. 307-9320, www.normandepot. org


FREE Story Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd Street) features a chance for children to listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 9-10am. 5282122,

FREE Auto Alley Shop Hop in Historic Automobile Alley (Broadway & 9th) features open house events at local shops, extended shopping hours, live music, street artists and performers and giveaways. 6-9pm. www. FREE First Fifty Years of Oklahoma Art Opening Reception at GaylordPickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum (1400 Classen Dr) celebrates the opening of a special exhibit that showcases Oklahoma’s pioneer artists, on display until Apr. 25. 5:30-7:30pm. 235-4458, www.






FREE Open House at Oklahoma Christian School (4680 E 2nd St, Edmond) offers an open house for prospective parents of kids in preschool to 12th grade. 9-10:30am. 341-2265 ext. 4, www.ocssaints. org FREE Visitors Day at St. Mary’s School of Edmond (505 E Covell, Edmond) welcomes parents to experience the school in action, interact with teachers and students and tour the campus. RSVP requested. 8:30-10:30am. 341-9541, www.

JAN 16 & 17

FREE Marriage Conference with Dr. Gary Chapman at Metropolitan Baptist Church (7201 W Britton Rd) presents “When Sorry Isn’t Enough.” Dr. Chapman, author of the Love Language book series, will share valuable insight on how couples can resolve inevitable conflicts. Registration required. Friday, 6:30-9:30pm with childcare available; Saturday, 9am-noon.

JAN 17-30

FREE 2015 Youth Impressions Art Exhibit at the Edmond Downtown Community Center (28 E Main St, Edmond) invites artists in 1st-12th grade to enter art to win cash. Enter by Jan 14. $3 entry fee. Exhibit open to the public Monday-Saturday, 8am-8pm; Sunday, 8am-1pm. 340-4481,

JAN 16-18

International Finals Rodeo at State Fair Arena (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features three days of professional rodeo action. Lower level box seats, $120 plus a $5.00 fee for all session tickets or $30 per performance; upper level seats $18 per performance. Friday, 7:30pm; Saturday, 1:30 & 7:30pm; Sunday, 1:30pm. Children are invited to meet contestants one hour before Sunday event. 948-6800,


—The Wall Street Journal on the Dugout Canoes exhibit

Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) welcomes exhibitors and experts to Oklahoma City’s largest home and garden show to offer new products, home décor inspiration and remodeling ideas. $12, FREE for children under 12, discount tickets available online and at Buy for Less stores. Friday, noon-9pm: Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 10am-6pm. 800-3951350, FREE Oklahoma City RV & Boat Show at the Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) features the latest in RVs & boats with a variety of vendors available. Friday, 11am-9pm; Saturday, 9am-9pm; Sunday, noon-6pm. www.


Snowman Portraits Family Workshop at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) invites ages 3-5 to learn about elements used to create portraits and create a festive snowman using paint and scrapbook paper. Snacks and materials provided. $8.50 for members, $11 for non-members for each adult/child pair. 11am-noon. 236-3100, www.okcmoa. com

FREE Diaper Dash Baby Crawl at Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main, Yukon) calls for the fastest babies to compete in the annual race. 6-9 months, 10:30am; 10-14 months, 11am; Toddler Trot for up to 18 months, 11:30am. 350-8920, www. Make Pop Bottle Bird Feeders at Martin Nature Park (5000 W Memorial Rd) teaches how to upcycle a plastic pop bottle into a bird feeder for your backyard, garden or courtyard. Bring a 20-oz plastic drink bottle with lid to the park’s Visitor Center. $2 per person. 1-4pm. 297-1429, www.okc. gov/Parks/Martin_Park




EXHIBIT NOW OPEN Explore the world exposed when 101 ancient canoes were found in a dry lake bed. The acclaimed exhibit, with videos and interactive play and canoes, old and new. Sulphur, OK • 580-622-7130

Produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History with support from the AEC Trust, Lastinger Family Foundation, State of Florida and VisitGainesville.

for Call Trial E FRE lass C

Lil Kickers Winter Session continues through March 14.

events this


Wintery Wildlife Tea and Cocoa Party at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl) offers refreshments for a fun day at the Zoo. Ages 3 and up. Adults must accompany children. Parents are free with paid child registration. Pre-registration and pre-payment required. $15 for ZooFriends members, $18 for non-members. 3:304:30pm. 425-0218, Freeze Your Face-Off 5K at the Cox Convention Center (1 Myriad Gardens) benefits the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Oklahoma. Race fee includes the run, long-sleeve race shirt, medals to the first 750 finishers and a ticket to the Oklahoma City Barons game at 7pm. $30. 4:30pm


Open enrollment


Birthday Party Packages Indoor Soccer Leagues Rent fields for many different sports/activities 4520 Old Farm Road, OKC

(west of Meridian, south of 122nd)


Winter Wind Concert at the Norman Depot (200 S Jones, Norman) features the music of Meg Hutchinson in a historic setting. $20. 7pm. 307-9320, www.


School’s Out Safari Day Camp at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl) features fun for kids on a school holiday. Snacks provided, but campers must bring their lunch. Preregister. $25. 8:30am-12:30. 425-0218, FREE Kids Free Throw Contest at Jackie Cooper Gym (1024 E Main, Yukon) & Yukon Community Center (2200 S Holly Ave, Yukon). Ages 6-13 will shoot 20 free throws. Winners advance to the Yukon/ Mustang Challenge. 1pm. 354-8442, www. FREE “Honor, Celebrate and Work” Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration at various locations throughout Oklahoma City starts at St. Paul’s Cathedral (127 NW 7th St) kicks off with a parade and includes a silent march and job fair. Silent March begins at 9am, parade begins at 2pm. METROFAMILY MAGAZINE




Kids Mystery at the Musum of Osteology (10301 S Sunnylane) features a mystery event especially for young detectives. Participants will gather and analyze evidence throughout the Museum to solve a bone heist. Open to ages 8-14. $20 per child, $10 per adult. Includes dinner, dessert and participation in all activities. 814-0006,

JAN 23-24

All That Jazz: A Symphonic Celebration of Kander & Ebb at the Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) is presented by OKC Phil Pops Series and presents favorites from “Chicago,” “Cabaret” and “New York, New York.” $19 & up. 8pm. 297-2264, www.okcciviccenter. com/shows.php

JAN 23-25

Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series at the Cheasepeake Energy Area (100 W Reno) brings professional bull riders to the metro. $15 and up. Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm. www.


FREE Edmond Author’s Book Fair at the Edmond Historial Society & Museum (431 S Broadway, Edmond) includes more than 40 local authors showcasing their books. Family activities and refreshments provided. 1-4pm. 340-0078, www.


FREE Family Day at the Fred Jones Jr. Musuem of Art (555 Elm, Norman) hosts a free day for exploring art in the museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Also enjoy a variety of handson art activities for the entire family. 1-4pm. 325-3270,


Since 1925


FREE Open House at The Catholic School of Saint Eugene (2400 W Hefner Rd) features tours of the campus and a chance to meet teachers, parents and students. Saint Eugene provides all-day care for preschool to 8th grade. Before and after care available. 2-4pm. 751-0067, www.

JAN 26 • MONDAY FREE Developing Resilient Youth & Families presentation for parents by Edmond Public Schools at 1001 W Danforth, Edmond. Open to all parents but EPS parents are given priority. 6:30pm. Must preregister. Also held: Feb. 9, 6:30.

JAN 26-27

Russian National Ballet Theatre’s Swan Lake at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400-B S Bryant Rd, Edmond) presents a full-length ballet in three acts. Sixty dancers weave this epic tale of a young man’s love for the swan queen together with the exquisite grace and technical precision of the great Russian ballet tradition. $45-$97. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www.

JAN 28-FEB 1

Varekai: Cirque du Soleil at the Chesapeake Energy Area (100 W. Reno) features the latest Cirque du Soleil arena touring production for seven Oklahoma City performances. Times vary. $35-$100.

JAN 30-FEB 1

Oklahoma Tackle, Hunting & Boat Show at State Fair Park Cox Pavilion Building (3001 General Perishing Blvd) offers a variety of outdoor entertainment, products and family fun. Special guest appearance by A&E’s Swamp People Troy Landry on Sunday from 1-3pm. $10 adults, $5 kids 6 and older, kids 5 and under

are free. Friday, Noon-9pm; Saturday, 10am-8pm; Sunday, 10am-5pm. www.

With FOUR metro locations, a large medical staff & office hours including Saturdays, we make your treatment plan convenient for YOU


Chocolate Festival at the NCED Marriott Conference Center and Hotel (2801 E State Hwy 9, Norman) offers the chance to choose from thousands of samples of chocolate-inspired treats both savory and sweet. Proceeds benefit the Norman Firehouse Art Center. All ages. $25 for ten samples. Premier tickets are $40. 10:30am-2:30pm. 329-4523, www.

FREE Great Backyard Bird Count with Martin Nature Park (5000 W Memorial Rd) asks bird enthusiasts to join in partnership with the National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for their annual bird count. For three days, record the bird species you spy in your own neighborhoods and backyards. Results are reported as part of a national survey and help with population data. Preregister. Ages 12 & up. 3-4pm. 297-1429, www.okc. gov/Parks/Martin_Park Silverback Gorilla, Tatu, Turns 40 at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl) is a celebration of Tatu’s long and healthy life. The festivities will be held inside the Gorilla Interpretive Building in Great EscApe. Activities will include cupcakes while supplies last, signing Tatu’s birthday card, and a special Tatu exhibit at the ZooZeum. FREE with paid admission. 1:30-3:30pm. 425-0262, Dancing Pros: Live! at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) presents professional dancers from “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and dance champions from around the world. Using electronic voting remotes, the audience becomes part of the show and votes for their favorite couple. $39. 7:30pm. 297-2264, php METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



Gregory M. Metz, M.D., Richard T. Hatch, M.D., Warren V. Filley, M.D., and Shahan A. Stutes, M.D., (Seated, l-r) Stefanie E. Rollins, APRN-CNP, Karen L. Gregory, DNP, Patricia I. Overhulser, M.D., Florina Neagu, M.D., and Laura K. Chong, M.D.

Call today to make an appointment with the Allergists at the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic

405/235-0040 at the Oklahoma Health Center 750 N.E. 13th Meridian Medical Tower (Across from Mercy Hospital) 13321 N. Meridian, Suite 100 Edmond at Fisher Hall 3560 S. Boulevard Norman Physician’s Building (Across from Norman Reg. Hospital) 950 N. Porter, Suite 102

Facebook for daily allergy reports

events this



Daddy Daughter Dance at the Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) features music by Mr. Rock’N Roll Ronnie Kaye, refreshments, pictures for an additional cost and a special keepsake. $5 in advance, $7 day of event. Limited tickets available. 4-8 years old, 3-4:30pm & 5-6:30pm; 9-12 years old, 7-8:30pm. 3508937,


FREE Open House at Westminster School (612 NW 44th St) presents a chance for prospective parents of preschool and

kindergarten students to meet staff and see the campus. RSVP to Rebecca Skarky. 7pm. 524-0631, FREE Introductory meeting for MetroFamily’s Strong Together fitness team. 6:30pm. (Pick between two meetings, with the alternative meeting held Feb 7 at 10am.) 725 NW 11th Street. Join the team and register for the meeting at www.


A Day of Love and Logic Parenting Conference at Metro Tech Conference

Center (1900 Springlake Dr) features Dr. Charles Fay, renowned parenting expert, presenting practical advice and steps to parents, educators and mental health professionals on how to effectively handle unruly kids. Seating is limited, register early. $99 per person. 8:30am-2:30pm. 800-3384065, FREE Open House and Transition Night at Westminster School (612 NW 44th St) is for prospective parents of 6th grade students to meet staff and tour the facility. RSVP to Rebecca Skarky. 7pm. 524-0631,

Attend Kids Fest

Saturday, April 18, 2015 Cox Convention Center in downtown OKC

CALL 601-2081 NOW

For more information visit

Call about booths & sponsorships METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



events this




The Whirling Dervishes of Rumi at the OCCC Visual & Performing Arts Center Theater (7777 S May Ave) presents a spiritual Turkish celebration featuring a traditional twirling dance. $20-25. 7:30pm. 682-7579,


FREE Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd) features mixed media journal making for kids and

families. 10:15-11:15am. 478-2250, www. Harlem Globetrotters at the Cheasepeake Energy Area (100 W Reno Ave) features the world famous Harlem Globetrotter in an entertaining basketball game. After the game, stars will stay for an autograph, photograph and high five session for fans (subject to availability). $19 plus fees and up. 2pm. Yukon Chocolate Festival at the Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore Dr, Yukon) offers a variety of assorted




chocolate served by local businesses and groups. Includes silent auction. $8 for six samples. 350-8937,


Oklahoma City Philharmonic Discovery Series: Knights & Princesses at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) presents fairy tales coming to life with the music of Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet and Beauty and the Beast. Kids are welcome to dress as their favorite character. $9. 2pm. 842-5387, www.

ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL School and Child Development Program

5401 N Brookline Oklahoma City, OK 73112 405.943.8583

Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade

Now Enrolling for August 2015 Dedicated to a quality, Christian education that goes beyond the books, St. John’s offers small class sizes, a nurturing environment, and an experienced staff that encourages children to grow emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. For more information, please call or visit our website at

events this



FREE Admission to the Oklahoma City Zoo (2000 Remington Pl) every Monday through Feb 23. 424-3344, www.okczoo. com

FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond). Saturdays, 11-11:30am. 3409202,

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. Visit site for full list of dates, books and activities.10:30am on Tuesdays. 325-3272,

FREE Nature Story Time at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) for ages 2-6 features stories to help children discover the world of nature, followed by an activity or outdoor hike. Saturdays, 10am. 755-0676, www.okc. gov/parks

Tiny Tuesday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) is a comeand-go art class. Dress for a mess. Ages 2-5 with adult. FREE with paid admission or membership. Tuesdays, 10am-noon. 2363100,

FREE Roller Skating Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) offers free skate instruction each Saturday. Learn to skate and make friends at the same time. Noon-12:45pm. $2 skate rental. 605-2758,

FREE Tuesday Noon Concerts at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) features 30-minute concerts performed by OU School of Music students and faculty. Noon on Tuesdays, 325-3272,

FREE Make + Take at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) provides instruction and supplies for a different creative endeavor the second Saturday of every month. Projects are designed to be accessible and fun for visitors of all ages and all levels of art-making experience. Come-and-go. 1-4pm. 9510000,

Toddler Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise, Edmond) features a different story each week & a related craft time. FREE with paid admission. Wednesdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, FREE Bringing Books to Life in the lobby of the Crystal Bridge in the Myriad Garden (301 W Reno) every Wednesday. 10am, for ages 2-5. Books are naturethemed and selected based on the season. Children will also create a small craft after the story. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens. org FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May) hosts a different craft each week. Come-and-go, no reservation needed. Saturdays, 11am3pm, ages 3 and up. 858-8778, www. FREE Children’s Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.




All Star Bowling for DifferentlyAbled Individuals at AMF Windsor Lanes (4600 NE 23rd) invites differentlyabled individuals and their friends and families to bowl on Saturdays. $8. Noon-1pm. 354-2516, Drop in Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities for all ages. FREE with paid admission. See website for themes/activities. Saturdays, 1-4pm. 2363100, Saturday Discovery Days at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman) features interactive activity for preschoolelementary ages. Free with paid admission. Saturdays, 2-3pm. 325-4712, www.

events this




My Generation: Young Chinese Artists art exhibit at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) is an extended look at the new generation of artists continuing to emerge in mainland China since 2000, the year that China first opened its doors to international artists and that Chinese artists began to command attention in the global arena. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, 10am-9pm. Sunday, noon-5pm. $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and children 6-18, $5 for military, free for kids under 5. 236-3100,


RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features an exhibit of species and examines the history, purpose & effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Children under 5 are free. $5 adults, $3 ages 6-17. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712,


The Illuminated Word: The Saint John’s Bible at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArther Dr, Shawnee) features all seven volumes of the Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition, based on the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. 878-5300,


Devon Ice Rink at Myriad Botanical Gardens (201 W Reno) offers ice skating through Downtown in December. $12 per person, includes skate rental. $8 for guests who bring their own skates. $8 per person for groups of 10 or more. MondayThursday, 3-9pm; Friday, 3-11pm; Saturday & Sunday, 11am-7pm. 708-6499, www.


FREE John Wolfe Exhibit “People,

Plants and Places” at the Norman Depot (200 S Jones, Norman) presents the work of retired arts educator John Wolfe, who recently was featured on OETA’s “Gallery.” Monday-Friday, 8am-2pm. 3079320, FREE OKC125 in The Underground (downtown Oklahoma City) is a photography exhibit showing off the work of 125 artists who were given disposable cameras and only 125 minutes to capture Oklahoma City. Select prints will be on sale for $125. The exhibit is displayed in The Underground tunnel system downtown, which can be accessed inside the First National Center at 100 Park Ave. Daily, 6am-8pm. okc125-okc/


Building Buddies exhibit at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd), presents hands-on construction projects for kids. FREE with museum admission. Ages 13-64, $13.95; ages 3-12 & over 65, $11.95; Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 602-6664,


Chickasaw Cultural Center Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas at Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Charles Cooper Memorial, Sulphur) features a landmark exhibition with interactive play and videos that explore the history of dugout canoes. MondaySaturday, 9am-5pm. 627-7130, www.


FREE Orly Genger: Terra at Campbell Park (NW 11th & Broadway) is an art installment presented by Oklahoma Contemporary. The outdoor sculpture piece is made of 1.4 million feet of recycled lobster-fishing rope and painted with 350 gallons of terracotta colored paint. 9510000,




local shopping

Find Something for Everyone at

The Learning Tree



anuary’s chill is here in full force. While the temperature may limit time for outside play, it does nothing to the levels of energy kids need to expend each day. After days or weeks of being forced indoors, you may start looking for a solution to your family’s cabin fever. A trip to The Learning Tree offers an experience far beyond the usual big-box store visit. Either alone or with the entire family, you can easily spend a chilly afternoon discovering all the treasures in stock at The Learning Tree.You’re likely to come home with something new to occupy your kids’ curiosity for many days to come. The Learning Tree is a specialty toy store with two locations on the north side of the metro, one in the Wilshire Village Shopping Center and one in the downtown Edmond store Cinnamon Bears.You can’t help but

feel like a kid again as you walk into the quaint shops, especially when you find that perfect item you had no idea even existed like a weedeater that looks just like dad’s or a cooking set with real utensils made for little hands. At the Wilshire Village location, the entire 1400-square-foot store is filled from front to back with toys, books, games and more, many of which are on display for hands-on exploration. “It is important for kids to play,” said Patti Tepper-Rasmussen, The Learning Tree’s owner and former Montessori teacher. Tepper-Rasmussen opened The Learning Tree in 1985 with Kathy Carey, a fellow Montessori teacher. The pair opened their doors wanting to offer parents something different, something beyond what they see in television toy commercials. When Carey returned to teaching 10 years ago, Tepper-Rasmussen continued to manage the store. The owners’ backgrounds are reflected within the beliefs of the store. The decisions on their approach, services and merchandise follow their beliefs that each child is unique, that children learn through activity, that they need time to explore and experiment and that adults can better nurture children if they understand how a child’s uniqueness fits within patterns of growth and development. As a result, The Learning Tree has a diverse lineup of products, ranging from small toys to imaginary play and beyond. The scope of what’s available is extensive, offering something for every aspect of play.




The Learning Tree started with products from just 25 companies. Now, the walls are lined with products from 450 different manufacturers including Brio, Hape, Quadrilla, Alex, Playmobil and many more. Though the majority of the toys The Learning Tree carries are not ones likely to be found at major retail stores, it isn’t hard to pick out characters from hits like “Star Wars” or “Frozen.” Some collectable brands, such as Thomas the Train and Breyer’s Horses, have an entire dedicated section offering shoppers plenty of variety. Tepper-Rasmussen said her goal is to find the products that are high-quality, durable and developmentally-appropriate for all kinds of children. Shoppers can find the newly-popular toy trends like balance bikes and Ezy Rollers as well as classics like the Flying Turtle scooter that many are likely to remember from their own gym classes. Tepper-Rasmussen makes a point to purchase from manufacturers who are socially responsible, and many of the products in the store are made in the U.S. Their unique assortment goes far beyond the most popular themes. Whether you have a budding artist, chef, beautician, builder, scientist or even a train enthusiast, The Learning Tree has something to spark interest and imagination. You won’t see any pink or blue aisles in the store, which is laid out by developmental sections to guide visitors towards the right toys to meet each child’s developmental skill. While shopping, there is little need to consult the packaging for the right age. As you walk

through the aisles there is a consistent flow along the developmental curve. No matter where your kids are on that curve, the shop has something for every child, from the book worm to the most active child. Toys and games match developmental milestones for kids from birth to age 14. Tepper-Rasmussen is proud of her products that can grow with children, offering many years of developmentally-appropriate play in one toy. Many of the items the store carries will continue to entertain and educate well past one particular age.Your older kids are not left out, either, with plenty of puzzles and games for more mature learners in stock. For all the busy families out there, The Learning Tree offers a few great time-saving perks: complimentary gift wrapping and free assembly of ride-on toys. If an item is not in when you arrive, the staff will contact you when it does. These perks can really help knock a few things off that to-do list in no time. In search of a one-of-a-kind gift for the kid who seems to have everything? Consider dropping by The Learning Tree on a Saturday. Most Saturdays, a different local author will be on hand to offer shoppers the chance to purchase their books. All profits directly benefit the author, said Tepper-Rasmussen, and the store usually purchases a few extra

copies for people who may have missed out on the event. The Learning Tree is exactly what you would expect from your neighborhood toy store and more. It is a truly unique, truly local shopping experience with quality you can count on. The Learning Tree is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. [Editor’s Note: Be sure to take advantage of the discount programs available at The Learning Tree. The shop has a frequent shopper program called Leaves of Gold that allows shoppers to earn store credit. Store employees track your first 15 purchases and after those purcahses, they average the amount spent and give the shopper store credit in that value.The Learning Tree also offers a 15 percent discount with the Keep it Local card and Allied Arts OKCityCard.]






BIG 12 HOME OPENER VS. WEST VIRGINIA | Sunday, January 4 • 3:30 PM Halftime performance by the Electrick Jumpers Postgame autographs with Whitney Ritchie and Maddie Manning

RED RIVER SHOWDOWN VS. TEXAS | Wednesday, January 14 • 7 PM Halftime performance by the Olate Dogs Postgame autographs with Nicole Kornet, McKenna Treece, and Derica Wyatt

VS. OKLAHOMA STATE | Monday, January 19 • 3:30 PM Halftime performance by the Zooperstars Postgame autographs with Sharane Campbell, T’ona Edwards, and LaNesia Williams

MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY VS. TEXAS TECH | Saturday, January 24 • 3 PM Postgame autograph session with the Sooners


mom gets the last laugh


You Need WHAT?




very single year, we barely have the Christmas tree put away and my daughters are busy breaking, um … I mean playing with their new toys when I announce, with exhaustion in my voice, that it’s only two more wake-ups until they return to school. This scene plays out each year:

she’ll explain.

“Well,” one of them will announce as if she is talking about the weather, “we’d better get me some new tennis shoes.”

Her middle school sister will step in at this point and brag, “My backpack is not torn up, and I walk a whole lot more than you do.”

I’ll stare at her in disbelief, mentally calculating how much I spent on those new tennis shoes just four months earlier. “Why do you need new shoes?”

“That’s because you lost your backpack the second day of school.”

“See?” she’ll say and hold up a tennis shoe that looks like it’s been sewn together with silly string. “And there’s a hole under my toes.” “How?” I’ll question her as I physically feel my hair turning grey, “How does a child who is dropped off at the front door every morning and picked up every afternoon rub a hole under her toes?” Then she’ll shrug her shoulders and mutter something about being the playground four-square champion. Her little chest will burst with pride… Which is probably how her backpack straps broke.

“But you don’t walk home,” you’ll explain right back, thinking of the endless entertainment and simultaneous headache the drop-off and pick-up lanes provide. “Yeah, what I meant was, when I’m walking out to the minivan, I like to swing it.” She’ll nod as if she’s trying to convince herself as well.

Both little faces will turn to see my expression. The younger face will be full of pride at her keeping a secret for her sister for so long. The older face will be full of frantic-ness trying to think of an excuse. My face will be full of contemplation as I wonder how we went a whole semester without my checking my daughter’s backpack. “Plus,” my younger daughter will add, “You traded it with your friend.” What? She traded it? We spent no less than four days and three tanks of gas running all over town trying to find the perfect school bag with matching lunch box. (We finally ended up ordering it online, if you must know.) And now it had been traded and lost … or had it been lost and traded?

“Sometimes when I walk home, I like to swing my backpack around,” METROFAMILY MAGAZINE



“Also,” my younger daughter will say, “I left my lunch box outside during recess and when I went back to get it three weeks later it was gone.” “Did you check the lost and found?” I’ll sigh. “Oh, I don’t think our school has a lost and found.” At this, her older sister will sigh and roll her eyes. “Every school has a lost and found,” she’ll say. “That’s where I found my lunch box from last year.” At this revelation, I glance over on the kitchen counter and realize that she is using last year’s lunch box. “Where’s your lunch box for this year?” Shrugging, she’ll say, “All I know is that it’s not in the lost and found.”

recess last year and when I went back after Fall Break, it was gone.” I’ll get dressed (it is Christmas break, after all, and why in the world would I change from my pajamas unless I really had to), grab my purse and pull out my notebook. “Okay,” I plop into the easy chair wishing it really did make things easier, “Let’s get this figured out before we head out.” As I jot my shopping notes down, the girls will look at me intently as waiting to see their maimed and missing school supplies appear right before their eyes.

“And a pair of slip ons.” “Why?” “Because I just want a new pair.” I quickly veto the wants so that we can take care of the needs. “Okay,” I start to conclude my list by lifting my pen just above my paper. “Do you need any pencils? Paper? Notebooks? Erasers?” “For what, Momma?” “For school!” “Oh, no. We haven’t really used all of those up since the summer.”

“Two backpacks, right?” I’ll see two heads nodding in agreement. “One lunch box.”

Shaking my head, I’ll turn to her younger sister and say, “Could you use your old lunch bag?”

“Momma!” will come a protest that is silenced by my reminder that she has an older lunch box she’s been successfully using.

“Sure,” she’ll announce, “If I knew where it was. I left it in the cafeteria before I went to

“One pair of tennis shoes.”

Every single semester break: this, my friends, is how we celebrate the halfway point of the school year. Heather Davis is a momma, a writer and is raising a couple of daughters who like to shop. She and her family live in Oklahoma, where she blogs about her antics at

2015 Schedule of Events 405.354.8442

cityofyukonokgov @cityofyukonok @cityofyukonokgov

Feb. 7 March 26 April 4 April 24-25 May 2 June 6 July 3-4 Aug. 9 Oct. 3 Oct. 24 Nov. 7 Nov. 21 Dec. 5 Dec. 17


Yukon Chocolate Festival Taste of Yukon Easter on the Prairie Iron Thistle Festival Festival of the Child Chisholm Trail and Crawfish Festival Freedom Fest Pooches in the Pool Czech Festival Spooksville Pumpkin Harvest Craft Festival Chill Your Cheeks 5K Run/Walk Opening of Christmas in the Park Kris Kringle Karnival Mayor’s Christmas Party for Kids Sounds of the Season Performed by the OKC Philharmonic




Education Guide Whether you’re a parent seeking a metro area private school, a teacher searching for a field trip venue or you’re in need of enrichment activities to enhance your child’s learning process, this is the place to begin. Find more in our online guides at






Academy of Classical Christian Studies

1120 E Hefner Road, OKC



The OKC metro’s only full-service classical Christian education, offering traditional (5-day) and blended (2.5-day) options to best fit the needs of each family. Multiple campuses (North, South, East).

Bishop John Carroll School

1100 NW 32nd Street, OKC 405-525-0956,


Diverse Catholic community providing excellence in academic instruction & faith formation in a safe, faith-filled environment.

Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School

801 NW 50th Street, OKC


Grades 9–12

Co-educational college prep Archdiocesan high school with diverse student body.

Casady School

9500 N Pennsylvania Avenue, OKC



College preparatory award-winning Episcopal school developing excellence, confidence and integrity in each of its students and preparing them with the skills and knowledge that serve as the foundation for success.

Child Care Inc.

3632 NW 51st Street, OKC 309 Bizzell, MWC 3034 NW 17th, OKC 540 N Council Rd, OKC 5816 NW 36th St, OKC 6624 NW 63rd St, OKC


Infant–12 years

Offers a complete curriculum program designed specifically for child development. Offers flexibility with two 24-hour locations and weekend care along with transportation to public schools and onsite PreK programs with OKC and PC schools. Each center is 3-Star rated and meets national standards.

Christ the King Catholic School

1905 Elmhurst Avenue, OKC


PreK 3–8

School focused on helping students develop academically for a life of faith, integrity & service.

Erna Krouch Preschool

4901 N Pennsylvania Avenue, OKC



Preschool offering music, Spanish, Handwriting Without Tears and Gymboree. All lead teachers possess at least a college degree.

The Goddard School

6001 E Covell, Edmond, 405-330-1313 17440 N Western, Edmond, 405-348-4442


Teachers nurture the healthy development of children to encourage each child’s lifelong love of learning. Education programs individualized for each student.

Holy Trinity Christian School

308 NW 164th Street, OKC 405-844-4000,


Hands-on learning geared toward children’s physical, social, emotional & intellectual development.

Insight School of Oklahoma

11601 S Jeffords, Nicoma Park


Grades 7-12

Offers a comprehensive approach for students of all levels and abilities. Tuition-free virtual public school with additional training or entry into a particular work field. Targeted support for struggling students and experienced state-certified teachers.

King’s Gate Christian School

Hefner Pointe at 11400 N Portland , OKC Surrey Hills at 12421 Mustang Rd, Yukon


6 months–7 at Hefner Pointe; 12 months–age 4 at Surrey Hills

Accredited Christian education in an accredited, ageappropriate learning environment rich in experimental interaction & exploration.

Mount St. Mary High School

2801 S Shartel Avenue, OKC



College preparatory, co-educational Catholic education with a diverse student body. Variety of clubs, organizations, fine arts & athletics.










North Penn Creative Kids Learning Center

2000 NW 150th Street, OKC

405-254-3147, www.northpenncreativekids. com


Program covers early literacy and numeracy skills; logical skills and problem solving; cooperation, respect and positive character building traits. They use the Creative Curriculum, offer healthy menus that include fresh fruit daily and promote physical coordination with Yoga and organized group play.

Oklahoma Christian School

4680 E 2nd Street, Edmond



Interdenominational Christian college-prep school preparing students to make an impact for the Kingdom of God in the field they are called.

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy

11601 S Jeffords, Nicoma Park



Gives Oklahoma students the chance to learn in the ways that are right for them. Offers award-winning K¹² curriculum, full-time, tuition-free online public charter school option, in-person introduction to program, customized learning plans and support from Oklahoma-certified teachers. Students may earn college credit while in high school and enjoy a range of extracurricular activities.

Oklahoma Virtual Preparatory Academy (OKVPA)

4101 NW 122nd St., Suite B, OKC

855-972-9205, www. oklahomavirtualprepacademy. com


A virtual distance learning program for students who are Oklahoma residents. OKVPA is a tuition-free program that uses the Calvert curriculum to provide a well-rounded education outside of the traditional classroom.

Primrose School of Edmond

15000 N Western, Edmond

405-285-6787 schools/edmond

Infants– 12 years

Child care facility providing a child- and teacher-directed approach to learning and development that follows the research of the top child development experts in the world. Full Preschool and Kindergarten programs and after-school program provided.

Quail Springs United Methodist Church

14617 N Pennsylvania, OKC


2 months up to 5 years

Christian-based multi-sensory Early Childhood Program offering Handwriting Without Tears, Get Set For School and lessons in music and Bible. Offered Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Rosary School

1919 NW 18th Street, OKC



Award-winning Catholic school offering a strong academic program and a small welcoming environment for ECH3 through 8th grade students with one classroom per grade.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School

925 S Boulevard, Edmond



Education program rooted in the values of love, respect & justice for every individual & form of life existing in God’s creation.

St. Eugene Catholic School

2400 W Hefner Road, OKC



Roman Catholic school that keeps Christ central by nurturing spiritual growth & academic excellence.

St. John’s Episcopal School & Child Development Program

5401 N Brookline, OKC


6 weeks–8

Supportive educational environment that fosters intellectual, physical, social & ethical development & exploration. Child care for infants to 3 years. Private school for PreK-8th grade.

St. James the Greater Catholic School

1224 SW 41st Street, OKC



Catholic school dedicated to academic excellence, service to others and faith experiences for children.

St. Mary Catholic School

502 E Warner, Guthrie



Committed to providing the best academic & spiritual formation for all.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School

505 E Covell Road, Edmond



Curriculum focuses on the whole child and teaches intellectual, spiritual, social and physical wellness. Before and after school programs available.

St. Philip Neri Catholic School

1121 Felix Place, Midwest City



Catholic school with committed teachers, strong academics, integrated technology and Catholic values. In additional to traditional core subjects, all students are taught Spanish, art, physical education, computer and music.

Trinity School

321 NW 36th Street, OKC



Private, independent day school specializing in intelligent students with learning differences in language, reading, math, handwriting, processing and/or other areas. Accepting Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for special needs students.

Westminster School

600 NW 44th Street, OKC



Co-ed school with the mission to educate children by engaging them in experiences to challenge them to solve problems as cooperative, confident & responsible learners. Before/after care and financial aid available.

YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

1 NW 4th Street, OKC


6 weeks-5 years

The YMCA child development program emphasizes care, safety and the nurture of a child’s natural desire to learn. Financial assistance available.





Field Trips Location




Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center

507 S 4th Street, Enid


Tells the history & development of the Cherokee Outlet where students can step back in time to early frontier days.

Chickasaw Cultural Center

867 Cooper Memorial Road, Sulphur

580-622-7130, www.

Shares the story of the Chickasaw people through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, ancient artifacts and natural outdoor spaces. Staffed with cultural demonstrators/teachers to educate visitors about traditional crafts, games and more.

Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum

1400 Classen Drive, OKC


Home of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Experience Oklahoma’s story through its people and explore our state’s rich heritage in a high-tech, interactive museum environment.

Harn Homestead Museum

1721 N Lincoln Boulevard, OKC


Field trip venue for students age 5+ to learn about territorial-era settlers. 2& 3-hour programs available for elementary & secondary students.

Leonardo’s Children’s Museum

200 E Maple, Enid


Hands-on children’s museum with focus on arts & science. All-day admission also includes Adventure Quest, an outdoor science playground featuring a three-story castle.

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5300,

Integrated student programs combining museum & classroom experiences for students of all ages.

Museum of Osteology

10301 S Sunnylane Rd, OKC


Offers field trips for PreK through college students as well as homeschool groups, day cares and senior centers. Visitors in groups of 20 or more are admitted for $5 per person. Each field trip includes a special introduction by museum staff and the opportunity to complete a scavenger hunt in the museum.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

1700 NE 63rd Street, OKC

405-478-2250, www.

Hands-on programs for K-6th grades meet OK academic standards for Social Studies. Guided tours for mid-high/high school. Traveling Trunks available for classroom use on American Cowboys, American Indians, Oklahoma History, tailored to grade level. Two-week free check out when picked up from museum.

Oklahoma WONDERtorium

308 W Franklin Lane, Stillwater


Inquiry-based exploration of 14 interactive, hands-on exhibits in the areas of science, engineering, creative art, math, history and culture. Field trips may be scheduled Wednesday–Friday, 10am–2pm. Schools bringing 100-120 children may schedule on Mondays in April and May.

Railroad Museum of Oklahoma

702 N Washington, Enid

580-233-3051, www.

Field trip venue with more than one million pieces of railroad memorabilia with all-caboose rail excursions.

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman


Explore Oklahoma’s wildlife, cultures and ancient past through immersive exhibits, interactive Discovery Room and PreK-12 educational programs. All programs feature hands-on science discovery and address PASS standards.

Find more local educational resources at and METROFAMILY MAGAZINE




Outreach Programs Location




Abrakadoodle OKC Remarkable Art Education

113 W Main Street, Moore


An art education company dedicated to developing creativity in children ages 2-15 through process art and engaging activities as well as partnerships for after-school programs, school break camps, art parties and field trip classes.

L’Alliance Française d’Oklahoma City

PO Box 414, OKC


Offers enrichment French classes for children (ages 6-10) and adults. Teachers are native French speakers. Children’s classes last one hour and are held on Saturday mornings. Adult classes are from 6:30–7:30pm on selected weekdays.

Building Minds

Classes come to you.


Uses LEGO products to make science and engineering fun and easy to understand. Kids also learn valuable life skills like teamwork, communication and problem solving.

Club Z! In-home Tutoring Service

3200 E Memorial, Edmond Moving to a new location soon!


Provides private tutoring instruction for all subjects and all levels, PreK– College. College test prep and grade level assessment available.

Fine Arts Institute of Edmond

27 E Edwards, Edmond


The Fine Arts Institute is Edmond’s non-profit community arts organization offering educational opportunities in visual and performing arts.

Kumon Math & Reading

Edmond West (245 S Santa Fe Avenue), 405-216-9800; Edmond North (775 W Covell Road), 405-715-1111

An after-school math & reading programs for ages 3–18. The learning method uses a systematic and individualized approach that helps children develop a solid command of math and reading skills. Through daily practice and mastery of materials, students increase confidence, improve concentration and develop better study skills.

Mad Science of OKC and Tulsa

14020 N Western Avenue, OKC

Fun, inquiry-based, hands-on, themed programs & activities for grades preschool through middle school held at schools or community centers.

Museum of Osteology

10301 S Sunnylane Road, OKC 405-814-0006,

Offers hands-on educational outreach for all ages to Oklahoma schools, libraries, day cares and colleges. $125 for first class, $100 per additional class held on the same day and at same location. Mileage is free if within 20 miles of museum, $0.50 per mile if outside a 20-mile radius. Students can participate in hands-on educational classes for all ages on-site as well.

Oklahoma City Ballet

7421 N Classen, OKC


ArtsReach 2015 is a free program that brings the arts into grades 1-12 classrooms, through online resources and student handouts, culminating in students attending a live matinee of the triple bill “Nine Sinatra Songs” on April 20, 2015 at 10 a.m. and noon. For more information please contact Jane Vorburger at

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

415 Couch Drive, OKC


Classes and camps available for ages 15 months & up. Scholarships available.

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

3000 General Pershing Boulevard, OKC


Provides visual and performing arts classes, camps and programming for kids of all ages. Scholarships available. Schools may be eligible for free field trips, which include education guides and on-site art projects.

Sensational Kids, Inc.

14715 Bristol Park Boulevard, 405-840-1686, OKC

Occupational therapists and speech language pathologists provide services to children of all abilities. Individualized treatment plans, parent education and unique clinical environments facilitate optimal progress.

Skate Galaxy OKC

5800 NW 36th St, OKC


Coming August 2015: A skate program with local trainers to enhance schools’ physical education classes.

Total Poss-Abilities

2917 NW 156th, Edmond


Provides family-centered occupational therapy, speech therapy and social language groups in a state-of-the-art facility with highly-trained therapists.







THE BEST FAMILY RESOURCES, SHOPPING IDEAS, RESTAURANTS AND MORE Find what you need here in MetroFamily’s Specialty Guides! Find even more online at

46 48 49 49 49 50 52 53










• Party Rooms • Cubs Cove • Water Slides • Wave Pool • Splash Zone • Lazy River


And Much More!

$2 OFF

Open Play 1 per child Exp. 05/2015


580-323-9966 x1

Book your party online for a Free JZ T-shirt! (405) 200-1691 Palagio Shops - SW 104th & Western Join Club JZ for Discounts

82º year round!





Oklahoma Sport


24 NW 144 Circle, Edmond 755-4195

New January members save 25% with this ad.

Locations: Moore, Yukon, Edmond, Midwest City | 405-759-7977

Introducing the NEW Yoga Project

EXPERIENCE THE VELOCITY DIFFERENCE! Easy online enrollment Fun 6-week mini sessions

11122 N Rockwell Ave Ste A-11 OKC


Are you paying the BEST PRICE on your home & auto insurance? It’s super EASY to find out!

Fill out one application. Receive quotes from local agents. • There’s NO COST to you. • Your information is confidential. • •

Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Boys Only Hip Hop, Contemporary & Clogging

What could you save? Find out today at

Visit our website for more information

Questions? Email 405 405-348-3377

420 S. Santa Fe in Edmond METROFAMILY MAGAZINE




Newborn to Teens



Just Kids Urgent Care provides the peace-of-mind you need when injuries or illnesses occur after hours, on weekends or holidays. • Asthma • Coughs & Wheezing

• Cuts & Minor Burns • Ear Aches & Infections

• Fever • Fracture Evaluation • Sore Throat

• Sports Injuries • Stomach Flu

URGENT CARE HOURS Mon-Fri: 5-9pm | Sat, Sun & Holidays: 9am-5pm

2809 SW 119th OKC, OK 73160


Lilyfield’s Care Connect Counseling program specializes in the issues facing foster and adoptive families.

We take Sooner Care and most insurance and bill on a sliding scale rate.


Please call us at 405-216-5240 or visit






SAVE $ 50!




Music, Art, Science, Spanish, Dramatic Play & Motor Development

Call NOW for Fall 2015!

Quail Springs United Methodist Church Early Childhood Program

Children’s Day Out, Preschool & Pre-K for children ages 2 mos.-5 yrs.

Multi-Sensory Curriculum

Bible Time, Music and Story Time for all ages

For more information contact us at

405-755-3258 14617 N. Penn, OKC

Enrollment begins at OPEN HOUSE, February 22nd Ages 2 yrs. - Pre-K

848-5926 4901 N. Penn For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 3:11

Oklahoma Christian School “Building on a Firm Foundation”

Pre-K – 12th


Now taking reservations for Spring and Land Run field trips for schools and homeschool groups.

Open House for Prospective Parents January 15, 2015 – 9:00-10:30 AM RSVP to OCS is located at I-35 & 2nd Edmond, OK • 405-341-2265 ext. 4

Homeschool Days:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 Tuesday, April 7, 2015 Thursday, April 23 (Land Run Day) Thursday, May 14, 2015 Land Run: April 21-24, 2015

Call us today to reserve your field trip! 1721 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City (405) 235-4058 METROFAMILY MAGAZINE





French Classes


taught by native French speakers for

L’Alliance Française d’Oklahoma City • Kids (ages 6-10), 5-Week Sessions

Classes begin January 24, 2015 10:00am - 11:00am

• Adult Classes Levels 1&3 begin January 20 Levels 2&4 begin January 22 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Register & Info

call 405-748-0868 visit e-mail

TIP: The best car seat is

We BUY & SELL gently used kids’ stuff. We pay CASH on the spot for kids’ clothing, shoes, toys and baby gear. Plus we’ve got everything your kids need at prices that can’t be beat!


All the BEST toys for your child are at learning tree! For children birth-14 yrs


Green Bambino will bring you a new parenting tip each month. Need more info? Stop by our shop—we're happy to help!

5120 N Shartel Ave. (405) 848-2330

13801 N Pennsylvania Ave. Suite G, Oklahoma City, OK 73134 405-286-3114 •


the one that fits your baby, fits your vehicle and you can install safely every time.


For a list of upcoming events, visit our website!


Something Special!

Great Private Party Room. Bridal Parties Punky Pottery Teen Parties Walk-in Anytime Birthday Parties Canvas Painting Canvas Painting Classes

Starting Soon! Paint your own pottery studio 842-7770


Ceramics Paint-n-Take BURRRthday Parties Indoor Playground

New Jr. Paintball



New Jr. Paintball! (5yr+) 8 Field Courses! New Picnic Area! New Playground! All-Weather Building! Birthday Parties! (405) 373-3745 16425 NW 150th in Piedmont 405-340-PLUG •

Open Year Round, Groups & Walk-ons Welcome! METROFAMILY MAGAZINE




Paint Your

New Year, New You! Start the year off right by challenging yourself to complete this fun fitness project!

Strong Together is a fitness group that’s: • FREE* • Fun • Self-paced

• Includes real support from women like you and from experts * The Strong Together program is free but there is a fee to sign up for the Redbud Classic, with net proceeds going to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oklahoma City.

The Strong Together team is supported by the local nonprofit organization runhers™. A certified running coach provides weekly training sessions and lots of support via Facebook and email. An optional group run/walk session is also available on Saturdays, perfect for meeting and making new friends!


Strong Together bloggers from fall 2014 season. Photo by

Want to get fit?

Join MetroFamily readers and runhers™ in an eight-week community initiative designed to get you off on the right foot in 2015! Together, we’ll train for the Redbud Classic 5K to be held on Sunday, April 12. Sign up today at!

Introductory meetings held Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6:30pm OR Saturday, Feb. 7, 10:00am (Choose one meeting time that fits your schedule)

First training run starts on Feb. 14.

Let’s get OKC and our families moving, moms! Join the Strong Together team today!

Sign up at

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